The Yuanjiang dry-hot valley features hot and dry climate, low vegetation and soil degradation. It had lush vegetation in the past, but has become degraded in recent decades. Understanding the interrelationship between species and the habitat is necessary to explain this change. In this study, a link between fern and fern allies - a group that is hypersensitive to environmental factors and their circumstances is constructed. Intensive transects and plots were designed to be proxies for extant fern and fern allies, and their habitats. Fifty years of meteorological records of precipitation and temperature along altitude and river running direction (latitudinal) were employed. Alpha and beta diversity are used to access diversity. Species_estimated, Singletons, Uniques, ACE, ICE, and Chao2, which associate to abundance and rarity, are subscribed to the correlation between fern and fern allies, and their ecosystem. Eight species, Selaginella pseudopaleifera, Aleuritopteris squamosa, Adiantum malesianum, Pteris vittata, Davallia trichomanoides, Sinephropteris delavayi, Selaginella jugorum, and Lygodium japonicum are used as indicators of a typical xeric and sun-drying habitat. The results indicate (1) accompanied by dramatically shrinking habitats, fern and fern allies are in very low diversity and abundance, whereas the rarity is relatively high; (2) for fern and fern allies, environmental factors are positive when altitude goes up; and (3) eight indicator species are latitudinally correlated with fern and fern allies along the river running direction.
Keywords: Diversity; dry-hot valley; fern; indicator; rarity.
© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.