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Electronic supplementary material

Methods

Analyses

DBH class frequency distribution has been applied widely in the studies of vegetation in Eastern Asia (Ohsawa 1984, 1991, Tang & Ohsawa, 2002, Wangda & Ohsawa 2006, Sano & Ohsawa 2008). There are four types of frequency distribution patterns for DBH size classes of populations (Ohsawa 1991, Tang & Ohsawa 1997, Da et al. 2004). The inverse-J type is formed by species having the highest frequency in the small DBH classes with a gradual decrease in the number of individuals towards the larger classes and a small peak in diameter classes, suggesting a sustainable population. The inverse-J type species are often the shade-tolerant climax trees making up the tree layer. The L-type with individuals centralized in the small DBH classes without any large individuals, indicates a developing population. The L-type species often are the dominants of the subtree or shrub layer. The sporadic type, with more than one peak and without a great number of individuals in the small size classes, indicates a sporadic developing population with the possibility of strong regeneration. Most of the sporadic type species are regarded as a kind of pioneers in the climax forests and the main component of tree layer. The unimodal type with a single peak in the middle or large size classes and fewer in small size classes suggests a declining population. The unimodal type species often act as pioneers at disturbed sites, such as canopy gaps from clear-cutting or typhoon.



Results

Thermal conditions along the altitudinal gradient
According to records during 1987 and 1996 from weather stations on Mt. Tianmu, the warmest monthly mean temperature occurred in July from 19.8 oC (1506 m asl) to 26.21 oC (350 m asl). The coldest monthly mean temperature occurred in January from -1.82 oC (1506 m asl) to 2.79 oC (350 m asl). The temperature decreased with altitude at varying lapse rates, with the mean annual lapse rate of 0.48 oC·100 m-1. The monthly mean temperature lapse rate was higher between July and October with a maximum of 0.57 oC·100 m-1 in August (Fig. S3a). The minimum of 0.36 oC · 100 m-1 was in December. Above 1300 m asl, the coldest mean monthly temperatures occurring in January were below -1 oC (Fig. S3b).



Fig. S3

WI and CI ranged from 67.3 oC·months and -18.8 oC·months at 1506 m asl to 120 oC·months and -3 oC·months at 300 m asl respectively (Fig. S4). The decisive temperature conditions for the upper limits of evergreen broad-leaved forests in humid East Asia (a WI of 85 oC·months or a CMT of -1 oC; Kira 1991, Ohsawa 1990) occurred at 1050 m asl and 1300 m asl respectively (Fig. S4). A CI of -10 or -15 oC·months, the critical coldness index value for evergreen broad-leaved forest in Eastern China of the 30° N belt latitude (Fang et al. 1996), occurred at 950 m asl and 1260 m asl, respectively.





Fig. S4

References

Da LJ, Yang YC, Song YC (2004) Population structure and regeneration types of dominant species in an evergreen broadleaved forest in Tiantong National Forest Park, Zhejiang province, eastern China. Acta Phytoecol Sin 28:376384. in Chinese with English abstract.

Ohsawa M (1984) Differentiation of vegetation zones and species strategies in the subalpine region Mt. Fuji. Vegetatio 57:1552. doi:10.1007/BF00031929



Ohsawa M (1991) Structural comparison of tropical montane rain forest along latitudinal and altitudinal gradient in south and east Asia. Vegetatio 97:110.

Sano T, Ohsawa M (2008) Classification and comparison of oak dominated forests on the eroded fan remnant at the foot of Yatsugatake volcano, central Japan. Forest Ecol Manag 255:817829. doi:10.1016/j.foreco.2007.09.072

Tang CQ, Ohsawa M (1997) Zonal transition of evergreen, deciduous,and coniferous forests along the altitudinal gradient on a humid subtropical mountain, Mt. Emei,Sichuan, China. Plant Ecol 133:6378. doi:10.1023/A:1009729027521

Tang CQ, Ohsawa M (2002) Coexistence mechanisms of evergreen, deciduous and coniferous trees in a mid-montane mixed forest on Mt. Emei, Sichuan, China. Plant Ecol 161:215230. doi:10.1023/A:1020395830795

Wangda P, Ohsawa M (2006) Structure and regeneration dynamics of dominant tree species along altitudinal gradient in a dry valley slopes of the Bhutan Himalaya. Forest Ecol Manag 230:136150. doi:10.1016/j.foreco.2006.04.027

Figure legends

Fig. S1 Altitudinal distribution of the relative basal area (RBA %) of five life-forms. Species are distinguished by life-form with different columns.

Fig. S2 Height-class frequency distribution of five life-forms for each plot. Species are distinguished by life-form with different columns. P means the plot

Fig. S3 Temperature regimes of the study area. a) Monthly mean temperature lapse rate was estimated form the observed climate data during 1987 and 1996 from weather station at Chanyuan Temple (350 m asl) near the base and Xianrending (1506 m asl) near the summit of Mt. Tianmu, based on the altitudinal differences between the stations. b) Monthly mean temperature along the altitudinal gradient. Data with solid line indicate observed data. Data with dashed line indicate estimated data based on the observed data using the monthly mean temperature lapse rate and altitudinal differences on Mt. Tianmu

Fig. S4 Thermal indices: warmth index (WI), coldness index (CI) and coldest mean monthly temperature (CMT) along the altitudinal gradient. Data were estimated from the observed data using the monthly mean temperature lapse rate and altitudinal differences on Mt. Tianmu. Some important values are emphasized with dotted lines. The WI of 85 oC·months occurred around 1050 m asl; the CI of -10 and -15 oC·months occurred around 950 and 1260 m asl respectively; the CMT of -1 oC occurred around 1300 m asl. WI, CI and CMT mean the warmth index, coldness index and coldest mean monthly temperature respectively

Table S1 Plot details and floristic composition of the study plots. Dominant species of each plot are indicated by asterisk



Vegetation zone

EBF

DEBMF

DBF

Plot number

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

Altitude (m)

400

550

710

840

930

1100

1100

1220

1300

1400

1500

Exposure (degree)

S

N50E

S45W

S60W

E

S40W

S45E

S40E

S10W

S50W

S

Slope (degree)

5

25

40

35

25

20

5

5

15

5

10

Plot size (m2)

1000

300

600

600

400

1600

2500

400

300

100

100

Hmax (m)

25

18

25

20

20

22

36

16

12

10

8

DBHmax (cm)

89

40

53

62.5

48.5

66

214

38.5

36

26

19

Total BA (m2/ha)

69.32

31.86

55.61

56.05

46.35

45.01

112.56

44.73

32.21

27.04

24.04

T1Height (m)

25

18

25

20

16

20

25

16

11

10




Coverage (%)

40

30

45

80

70

60

50

60

50

85




T2Height (m)

14

14

14

12

10

14

14

10










Coverage (%)

40

65

80

50

50

55

60

50










S1Height (m)

6

4

6

5

5

5

6

4.5

5

5

4

Coverage (%)

5

50

45

40

80

30

50

25

30

40

85

S2 Height (m)

























2.5

2.5

2

Coverage (%)

























70

60

50

Herb Height (m)

0.8

1

1

1.5

1

1

1.5

1

1

1

0.8

Coverage (%)

80

12

25

30

55

25

20

35

60

80

90

Species number/plot

11

28

25

28

27

52

72

32

44

33

22

Relative basal area (%)

RBA

RBA

RBA

RBA

RBA

RBA

RBA

RBA

RBA

RBA

RBA

Evergreen coniferous trees


































Cryptomeria fortunei

*50.4
















89.0













Cunninghamia lanceolata




*18.3

*9.9

*6.0

*15.7

*4.6

0.9













Torreya grandis







0.1

<0.1

<0.1



















Cephalotaxus fortunei



















<0.1




<0.1







Subtotal

50.4

18.3

10.0

6.1

15.7

4.6

89.9

 

<0.1

 

 

Evergreen broad-leaved trees


































Phoebe chekiangensis

*12.9































Schima superba




*26.5




























Castanopsis eyrei




*15.0




























Cyclobalanopsis gracilis




*7.9

*24.8

*13.0

*14.8

*29.5

1

7.9

1.9







Lithocarpus harlandii




0.8

3.6

0.5

1.5

1.2

1

3.2










Litsea coreana var. sinensis




1.1

0.3

3.0

3.7

0.5

0.1













Cyclobalanopsis glauca




2.6

2.2




1.5



















Cyclobalanopsis myrsinaefolia




1.7

1.2

1.3






















Cinnamomum subavenium




1.6

0.1

























Lithocarpus glaber




1.4




























Symplocos stellaris







0.2

0.2




1.1
















Cyclobalanopsis stewardiana










1.4

*7.3

*6.7

0.2













Daphniphyllum macropodum










<0.1

1.7

1.7

0.3

*21.9










Symplocos anomala










0.2

3.4



















Symplocos setchuensis










0.1

*7.8



















Subtotal

13.0

59.3

32.3

19.6

41.9

40.8

2.6

33.1

1.9

 

 
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