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Ecological land classification: A quantitative classification and ordination of forest communities adjacent to a rapidly expanding urban area in southeast coastal China

Chen, Lei, Tang, Lina, Ren, Yin, Liao, Jiangfu
Acta ecologica Sinica 2015 v.35 no.2 pp. 46-51
A horizons, B horizons, correspondence analysis, environmental factors, forest communities, forest resources, forests, indicator species, land classification, land use, landscapes, principal component analysis, urban areas, China
Along with the development of the city construction, a series of ecological problems, such as irrational land use and forest resources destruction, have appeared. Ecological land classification aims to efficiently manage natural resources, and is often used as an effective approach for solving environmental problems. The most basic land unit of ecological land classification is determined by identifying the relationship between vegetation and environmental factors. Using such, this study analyzed the quantitative classification and ordination of a forest landscape in Xiamen City, China. We used two-way indicator species analysis (TWINSPAN) to examine the relationship between environmental factors, and vegetation communities within forty vegetation plots in Xiamen City. The ordination of these community types was accomplished according to six environmental factors: elevation, aspect, slope, slope position, and thickness of A horizon and thickness of B horizon, using principal components analysis (PCA) and canonical correspondence analysis (CCA). The results indicated that vegetation plots can be divided into six community types. Among the environmental factors, aspect, slope and thickness of A horizon were closely correlated with plant community type, and distribution pattern within this region, indicating that they are useful variables for ecological land classification in Xiamen City.