Influencing factors of seed long-distance dispersal on a fragmented forest landscape on Changbai Mountains, China

Fuqiang Zhao, Lin Qi, Lei Fang, Jian Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Seed long-distance dispersal (LDD) events are typically rare, but are important in the population processes that determine large-scale forest changes and the persistence of species in fragmented landscapes. However, previous studies focused on species dispersed via animal-mediated LDD, and ignored those dispersed by wind. The aim of this study was to assess the effects of canopy openness, edge, seed source, and patch tree density on the LDD of seeds by wind in forest. We collected birch seeds, a typical wind-dispersed species, throughout a larch plantation. We then assessed the relationship between birch LDD and each factor that may influence LDD of seeds by wind including distance to edge, canopy openness size, distance to mature forest, and the tree density of the larch plantation. We used univariate linear regression analysis to assess the influence of those factors on birch LDD, and partial correlations to calculate the contribution of each factor to LDD. The results showed that both canopy openness and edge had significant influences on birch LDD. Specifically, a negative relationship was observed between distance to edge and birch LDD, whereas there was a positive correlation between canopy openness size and LDD. In contrast, the distance to the mature forest was not correlated with birch LDD. Our results suggest that patch tree density could potently affect the probability of LDD by wind vectors, which provides novel and revealing insights regarding the effect of fragmentation on wind dynamics. The data also provide compelling evidence for the previously undocumented effect of habitat fragmentation on wind-dispersed organisms. As such, these observations will facilitate reasonable conservation planning, which requires a detailed understanding of the mechanisms by which patch properties hamper the delivery of seeds of wind-dispersed plants to fragmented areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-77
Number of pages10
JournalChinese Geographical Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, Science Press, Northeast Institute of Geography and Agricultural Ecology, CAS and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


  • Changbai Mountains
  • forest fragmentation
  • patch property
  • seed long-distance dispersal (LDD)
  • wind dispersal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (all)


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