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Species diversity, vegetation pattern and conservation of Gentiana macrophylla Pall. communities in Dongling mountain meadow, Beijing, China

Sehrish Sadia, Jin-Tun Zhang, Akash Tariq, Xiaohang Bai, Arshad Ali Shedayi, Ke Cao, Paras Mazari, Sidra Aslam and Latif Ahmad

Gentiana macrophylla, native to mountainous areas of Central and Southern Asia, is most popular remedy for rheumatism and pains in Traditional Chinese Medicine with an extensive demand in local market. Our study aimed to classify G. macrophylla communities and to find out the impact of topographic and soil factors on their diversity and distribution in Dongling mountain meadow, Beijing, China. Seventy five samples in 15 transects separated by 50m distance in altitude along an elevation gradient (1592-2298m) were established by quadrate method. TWINSAPN and CCA were used for classification and ordination, respectively. Six diversity indices (Species richness, Shannon-Weiner heterogeneity, Simpson’s index, Hill’s index, Pielou evenness and McIntosh evenness) were used to analyze the pattern of species diversity and polynomial regression analysis was used to establish their relationship with environmental variables. TWINSPAN classified G. macrophylla communities into 8 types and CCA indicated that soil pH, soil temperature, soil type, disturbance, total N, total K, Mg and Zn were significantly related to these communities. Elevation was the most significant factor that affecting the diversity and distribution of G. macrophylla communities. Significant effect of environment, topography and disturbance to meadow communities of G. macrophylla highly suggests some important measures such as uprooting restriction, tourism limitation in meadow area, monitoring of functional diversity, fertilization, irrigation, cloning and cultivation to protect and conserve it and its communities to be used in medicine industry.

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