Comparative demography of three coexisting Acer species in gaps and under closed canopy

H. Tanaka, M. Shibata, T. Masaki, S. Iida, K. Niiyama, S. Abe, Y. Kominami, T. Nakashizuka

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    Abstract

    Questions: 1. Is there a trade-off between gap dependency and shade tolerance in each of the life-history stages of three closely related, coexisting species, Acer amoenum (Aa), A. mono (Am) and A. rufinerve (Ar)? 2. If not, what differences in life-history traits contribute to the coexistence of these non-pioneer species? Location: Ogawa Forest Reserve, a remnant (98 ha), species-rich, temperate deciduous forest in central Japan (36°56' N, 140°35' E, 600 - 660 m a.s.l.). Methods: We estimated the demographic parameters (survival, growth rate and fecundity) by stage of each species growing in gaps and under closed canopy through observations of a 6-ha permanent plot over 12 years. Population dynamics were analysed with stage-based matrix models including gap dynamics. Results: All of the species showed high seedling and sapling survival rates under closed canopies. However, demographic parameters for each growth stage in gaps and under closed canopies revealed inter-specific differences and ontogenetic shifts. The trade-off between survival in the shade and growth in gaps was detected only at the small sapling stage (height < 30 cm), and Ar had the highest growth rate both in the shade and in the gaps at most life stages. Conclusions: Inter-specific differences and ontogenetic shifts in light requirements with life-form differences may contribute to the coexistence of the Acer species in old-growth forests, with Aa considered a long-lived sub-canopy tree, Am a long-lived canopy tree, and Ar a short-lived, 'gap-phase' sub-canopy tree.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)127-138
    Number of pages12
    JournalJournal of Vegetation Science
    Volume19
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2008 Feb 1

    Keywords

    • Demography
    • Growth rate
    • Ogawa reserve
    • Shade tolerance
    • Survival
    • Trade-off
    • Transition matrix model

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Ecology
    • Plant Science

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    Tanaka, H., Shibata, M., Masaki, T., Iida, S., Niiyama, K., Abe, S., Kominami, Y., & Nakashizuka, T. (2008). Comparative demography of three coexisting Acer species in gaps and under closed canopy. Journal of Vegetation Science, 19(1), 127-138. https://doi.org/10.3170/2007-8-18342