Regeneration patterns and tree species coexistence in old-growth Abies-Picea forests in southwestern China

  • Taylor A
  • Shi Wei J
  • Lian Jun Z
 et al. 
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We analyzed the population structure (size, age, spatial patterns) and radial growth patterns of Abies faxoniana Rehder & Wilson, Picea purpurea Mast., and Betula sp. to investigate the role of dwarf bamboo abundance, gap disturbance, and species life history on the coexistence of canopy dominants in old-growth forests in the Wang Lang Natural Reserve in southwestern China. Four stands were sampled with a single large plot (0.4-0.5 ha). There were fewer tree seedlings and saplings in the two plots with a dense bamboo understory, and A. faxoniana seedlings and saplings were much more abundant than those of P. purpurea. Picea purpurea and Betula sp. seedlings established more frequently on raised surfaces than those of A. faxoniana. Seedling density of A. faxoniana, and B. utilis was also higher beneath open than closed canopy conditions in the plots with little bamboo. Young A. faxoniana and Betula sp. trees were clumped at small to intermediate scales (25-900 m2), which are scales of clumping consistent with past regeneration in canopy gaps. Frequent peaks in radial growth releases in the canopy trees in the plots suggest a prevailing regime of small-scale gap disturbances. In each plot, A. faxoniana tree density and basal area was greater than that of P. purpurea. Picea purpurea trees were present in a wide range of age-classes in each plot indicating a pattern of intermittent regeneration in each stand for at least 500 years. In contrast, Abies faxoniana were abundant in age-classes 350 years old. Betula sp. were mainly

Author-supplied keywords

  • Age structure
  • Bamboo
  • Disturbance
  • Forest dynamics
  • Giant panda
  • Regeneration
  • Size structure
  • Spatial patterns

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  • Alan H. Taylor

  • Jang Shi Wei

  • Zhao Lian Jun

  • Liang Chun Ping

  • Miao Chang Jin

  • Huang Jinyan

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