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Knowing the global pattern of species diversity is a central goal of the science of ecology, and scaling laws can be useful for analysis of cross-scale biodiversity patterns. An elevational gradient in a warm temperate zone of the Donglingshan mountains (China) is used to test the scaling laws of species abundance distribution using multifractal analysis. We show that the power law scaling relationship holds for not just the classical SAR (species–area relationship for richness), but also for Shannon and Simpson diversity. In fact, we find power-laws in the generalized species abundance distribution at all stratal levels of the forest (trees, shrubs and herbs). The fact that these laws exist across a heterogeneous landscape representing a strong bioclimatic gradient suggests that biodiversity scaling laws may be more robust than previously thought.