Plant species diversity in abandoned coppice forests in a temperate deciduous forest area of central Japan

Takuo Nagaike, Tomohiko Kamitani, Tohru Nakashizuka

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    27 Citations (Scopus)


    We investigated plant species diversity as it related to stand structure and landscape parameters in abandoned coppice forests in a temperate, deciduous forest area of central Japan, where Fagus crenata was originally dominant. The species occurring in the study plots were classified into habitat types based on a statistical analysis of their occurrence bias in particular habitats (e.g., primary forest, coniferous plantation) in the landscape studied. The relationships between stand structure, which reflected the gradient of management, and forest floor plant species diversity (H′ and J′) and richness (number of species per unit area) were not significant. However, these factors did influence the forest floor plant composition of the different types of habitat. According to the multiple regression analysis, species diversity and the richness of forest floor plants was affected by landscape parameters rather than by stand structure. For trees, species richness was mainly affected by the relative dominance of F. crenata, which is one of the stand structure parameters that decreases with intensive management. This is probably because many of the tree species that are characteristic of coppice forests increase after F. crenata have been eliminated by management; these species are not dominant in the original forest, where they are suppressed by F. crenata, the shade-tolerant dominant species. The species diversity (H′ and J′) of trees was positively correlated with some landscape parameters, including the road density around the study plot, which may be associated with the intensity of management activity. The number of disturbance-tolerant species increased with increasing road density. Stand structure mainly affected disturbance-intolerant forest floor plant species and disturbance-tolerant tree species. Thus, the species diversity responses differed between forest floor plants and trees. The impact of forest management on species diversity was more prominent for forest floor plants.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)63-74
    Number of pages12
    JournalPlant Ecology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2003


    • Forest management
    • Landscape
    • Species classification
    • Species composition
    • Stand structure

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Ecology
    • Plant Science


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