Population dynamics of coniferous and broad‐leaved trees in a Japanese temperate mixed forest

Tohru Nakashizuka

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    76 Citations (Scopus)


    The growth and survival of coniferous and broad‐leaved trees were followed over a 5‐yr period in a temperate old‐growth mixed forest in Japan, and dynamic features of the forest were studied in relation to the life history of the dominants, the coniferous Abies homolepis and the broad‐leaved Fagus crenata. During this period, the gap formation rate was 31m2 ha−1yr−1, the mortality of trees > 2m high was 1.7%/yr, and the rate of loss in basal area 1.4%/yr. These values were much higher than the recruitment, 0.3%/yr, and the total growth of surviving and new trees, 0.6%/yr, owing to the inhibition of regeneration by understorey dwarf bamboo (Sasa borealis). A transition matrix model based on DBH size classes predicts that the basal area of the forest will decrease by 14% in 50 yr, but that the DBH distribution of trees > 10 cm diameter will change little. Equilibrium DBH distributions assuming recruitment being equal to mortality, were quite different between broad‐leaved and coniferous trees, reflecting different survivorship curves of the two dominants. The composition and structure of the forest may change depending on the pattern and frequency of disturbances, or episodic events, notably the synchronous death of Sasa borealis. 1991 IAVS ‐ the International Association of Vegetation Science

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)413-418
    Number of pages6
    JournalJournal of Vegetation Science
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1991 Jun


    • Abies homolepis
    • DBH distribution
    • Disturbance
    • Dwarf bamboo
    • Fagus crenata
    • Forest dynamics
    • Gap formation
    • Population dynamics
    • Sasa borealis
    • Transition matrix

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Ecology
    • Plant Science


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