Current issue: 54(2)
Under compilation: 54(3)
In the forest areas of eastern China, there is a change from forest dominated by deciduous broad-leaved trees to forest dominated by evergreen broad-leaved trees as the latitude or altitude decreases. Different life forms have different survival strategies to deal with climate change, and studying the life form dynamics of the tree layers in the mixed forest in eastern China, with increasing temperature, can help us understand how the forest responds. This study was performed in a 1 ha plot in evergreen and deciduous broad-leaved mixed forest in Tianmu Mountain National Nature Reserve. Based on the data from two surveys (1996 and 2017), the changes in life form composition and biodiversity over the past 21 years were analyzed. We obtained the following results: (1) The proportion of evergreen trees increased from 55.0% in 1996 to 67.5% in 2017, and the dominance of evergreen species was enhanced. (2) The diversity of both life forms increased, and the tree species were more abundant. (3) The average annual recruitment rate of the evergreen species was 2.1% greater than their mortality rate, and the average annual recruitment rate of the deciduous species was 0.5% less than their mortality rate. (4) The competition among the trees in the small-diameter class (10 cm ≤ DBH < 20 cm) was fierce for many tree species. The proportion of the evergreen species in the small-diameter class was high. The life forms making up the mixed climax forest community has changed over the past 21 years, with the proportion and dominance of evergreen trees increasing significantly.