SPECIES COMPOSITION AND DIVERSITY OF LIANAS IN TROPICAL FORESTS OF SOUTHERN YUNNAN (XISHUANGBANNA), SOUTH-WESTERN CHINA
Keywords:Liana diversity, across forest types, tropical China
We conducted a floristic inventory in fourteen 50 x 50 m plots across two main vegetation formations including seven forest types in southern Yunnan, south-western China. A total of 165 liana species with diameter at breast height (dbh) ≥ 1 cm in 44 families were recorded and the liana diversity varied from 15 to 41 species in a plot of 0.25 ha. The majority of liana species occurred only in one or two forest types. Liana species contributed from 13.5 to 27.1% of the total species (comprising tree, shrub, herb and liana) or 16.8 to 30.2% of the woody species across forest types. Conspicuous correspondence of liana diversity to other life-form groups was not seen. The similarity coefficients of lianas across forest types were generally low. In floristic composition, Leguminosae with 20 species, was the largest family, followed by Annonaceae (12 species), Vitaceae (12 species), Apocynaceae (10 species) and Rtibiaceae (8 species), while a total 13 families were represented by single species. Among the liana species recorded, only five species occurred in more than 3/4 of forest types, which indicated a high degree of heterogeneity in distribution. The forests in southern Yunnan do not show lower liana diversity than equatorial Asian forests, although they occur at a higher latitude and altitude.