Exogenous and endogenous determinants of spatial aggregation patterns in Tibetan Plateau meadow vegetation

Jiajia Liu, Wu Deyan, Xiaoyu Peng, Shurong Zhou, Corey Bradshaw

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)


    AimsWe aim to quantify the relative importance of various endogenous and exogenous processes influencing the spatial distribution of the individuals of plant species at different temporal and spatial scales in a species-rich and high-cover meadow in the eastern Tibetan Plateau.MethodsWe calculated Green's index of dispersion to infer the spatial distribution patterns of 73 herbaceous species at two scales (0.25 and 1.0 m). We constructed a series of generalized linear models to test the hypotheses that different species traits such as mean plant stem density, per capita dry biomass, maximum plant height and mean seed mass contribute to their spatial distribution. We used the first principal component of soil C, N and P to explain abundance variation across quadrats and sub-plots.Important FindingsThe individuals of the species studied were highly spatially aggregated. At both spatial scales, biomass and stem density explained the most variation in aggregation, but there was no evidence for an effect of mean seed mass on aggregation intensity. The effects of soil carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus at different depths affected plant abundance mostly at the broader spatial scale. Our results demonstrate that self-thinning and habitat heterogeneity all contribute to determine the spatial aggregation patterns of plant individuals in alpine meadow vegetation in the eastern Tibetan Plateau.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)277-285
    Number of pages9
    JournalJournal of Plant Ecology
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013


    • alpine meadow
    • community
    • dispersal limitation
    • habitat heterogeneity
    • self-thinning


    Dive into the research topics of 'Exogenous and endogenous determinants of spatial aggregation patterns in Tibetan Plateau meadow vegetation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this