Nurse plant theory and its application in ecological restoration in lower subtropics of China
【摘要】：Nurse plants are those that facilitate the growth and development of other plant species (target species) beneath their canopy because they offer benign microhabitats that are more favorable for seed germination and/or seedling recruitment than their surrounding envi-ronment. Nurse plants have been mainly used to restore vegetation in arid and sub-arid zones in recent years. Based on summarizing the definition of nurse plant and target plant,we review the nursing effect mechanisms,ecological factors that influence nursing effect,rela-tionships between nurse plant and ecological restoration. This review also brings forward possible pairs of nurse and target species at lower subtropical areas. Furthermore,we provide the potential tendency in nurse plant research and application.