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Silva Fennica 1926-1997
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Acta Forestalia Fennica
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Articles by Si-Chong Chen

Category: Research article

article id 10019, category Research article
Junyan Liu, Junfeng Tang, Si-Chong Chen, Wenbao Ma, Zheng Zheng, Tingfa Dong. (2019). Do tree cavity density and characteristics vary across topographical habitats in the tropics? A case study from Xishuangbanna, southwest China. Silva Fennica vol. 53 no. 1 article id 10019. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.10019
Highlights: Cavities were significantly more abundant in high- and low-slope than high-plateau habitats; There are more “butt hollow” cavities in high-slope habitat and they occurred at a lower height; More “crack” cavities in low-slope habitat and they had a narrower entrance diameter; Certain types of cavities are concentrated in specific habitats, which provide opportunities for forest management and biodiversity conservation.

Despite the influence of cavities on the survival and distribution of cavity-dependent fauna, the variation in the density and characteristics of tree cavities across different habitat types in tropical forests is unknown. In this study, we surveyed 26 312 living trees from 376 species and compared cavity density and characteristics (height, size, type, and orientation) across five habitat types (valley, low-slope, high-slope, high-gully, and high-plateau) in a 20-hectare tropical rainforest in southwest China. From a total of 2047 cavities, we found that cavity density was mainly driven by habitat rather than tree species richness or diameter at breast height (DBH), and the characteristics of cavities were not uniformly distributed across habitats. Cavities were significantly more abundant in high- and low-slope than high-plateau habitats. Compared with other habitats, more “butt hollow” cavity types were found in high-slope habitat and they occurred at a lower tree height, whereas more “crack” cavities were found in low-slope habitat and they had a narrower entrance diameter. Although the mean orientation of cavities faced towards the northeast, cavity orientation varied significantly across habitat types. Our results indicate that certain types of cavities are concentrated in specific habitat types, which can provide avenues for forest management and biodiversity conservation. We highlight the importance of habitat heterogeneity in providing resources for cavity nesters.

  • Liu, Key Laboratory of Southwest China Wildlife Resources Conservation of Ministry of Education, Key Laboratory of Environmental Science and Biodiversity Conservation (Sichuan Province) and Institute of Plant Adaptation and Utilization in Southwest Mountains, China West Normal University, Nanchong, Sichuan 637009, China; Key Laboratory of Tropical Forest Ecology, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Mengla, Yunnan 666303, China ORCID ID:E-mail: liujunyan2300@163.com
  • Tang, Key Laboratory of Southwest China Wildlife Resources Conservation of Ministry of Education, Key Laboratory of Environmental Science and Biodiversity Conservation (Sichuan Province) and Institute of Plant Adaptation and Utilization in Southwest Mountains, China West Normal University, Nanchong, Sichuan 637009, China ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Chen, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Wakehurst Place, West Sussex RH17 6TN, UK; Mitrani Department of Desert Ecology, Swiss Institute for Dryland Environmental and Energy Research, Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Midreshet Ben-Gurion, Beer-Sheva 8499000, Israel ORCID ID:E-mail: chensichong0528@gmail.com
  • Ma, Ecological Restoration and Conservation of Forests and Wetlands Key Laboratory of Sichuan Province, Sichuan Academy of Forestry, Chengdu 610081, China ORCID ID:E-mail: mawenbao_2000@126.com
  • Zheng, Key Laboratory of Tropical Forest Ecology, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Mengla, Yunnan 666303, China ORCID ID:E-mail: dioeco@outlook.com
  • Dong, Key Laboratory of Southwest China Wildlife Resources Conservation of Ministry of Education, Key Laboratory of Environmental Science and Biodiversity Conservation (Sichuan Province) and Institute of Plant Adaptation and Utilization in Southwest Mountains, China West Normal University, Nanchong, Sichuan 637009, China ORCID ID:E-mail: dongtf@aliyun.com (email)

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