Community structure of a species-rich temperate forest, Ogawa Forest Reserve, central Japan

T. Masaki, W. Suzuki, K. Niiyama, S. Iida, H. Tanaka, T. Nakashizuka

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    168 Citations (Scopus)


    Species assembly and niche differentiation were studied, and future species composition was predicted by simple Markov models, in an old-growth deciduous forest at the Ogawa Forest Reserve in central Japan. The dominant species in our 6ha study site are Quercus serrata, Fagus japonica, and F. crenata. An ordination by population parameters revealed four different combination 3 of life forms and regeneration niches. Cluster analysis based on interspecific spatial correlation revealed three groups of species. The species in cluster A, such as F. japonica, occurred at the bottom of the valley, while those in cluster B, such as Q. serrata, occurred along ridges. Species in cluster C, such as F. crenata, did not show any particular habitat preference. Clusters B and C were further divided into three smaller clusters (a-c). Both clusters Ba and Bb included shade intolerant species. Species in cluster Ba had large clump sizes (>1500 m2), reflecting regeneration following large-scale disturbances. Species in cluster Bb had smaller clump sizes (<400 m2) reflecting regeneration following local disturbances. Clusters Ca and Cb mainly included shade tolerant species and shade intolerant species, respectively. Markov models predicted that shade intolerant species, particularly those in cluster Ba, would be eliminated. Thus, species coexist by differentiation of both habitats and regeneration niche in this forest community. Some species such as Quercus serrata, however, regenerate following large-scale disturbances or human activity.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)97-111
    Number of pages15
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1992 Feb 1


    • Guild structure
    • Historical events
    • Markov model
    • Non-equilibrium coexistence
    • Regeneration niche

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Plant Science


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