Journal Article

Do Interspecific Differences in Sapling Growth Traits Contribute to the Co-dominance of <i>Acer saccharum</i> and <i>Fagus grandifolia</i>?

Koichi Takahashi and Martin J. Lechowicz

in Annals of Botany

Published on behalf of The Annals of Botany Company

Volume 101, issue 1, pages 103-109
Published in print January 2008 | ISSN: 0305-7364
Published online October 2007 | e-ISSN: 1095-8290 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcm259
Do Interspecific Differences in Sapling Growth Traits Contribute to the Co-dominance of Acer saccharum and Fagus grandifolia?

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Ecology and Conservation
  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Plant Sciences and Forestry

GO

Show Summary Details

Preview

Background and Aims Acer saccharum

and Fagus grandifolia are among the most dominant late-successional tree species in North America. The influence of sapling growth responses to canopy gaps on the co-dominance of the two species in an old-growth forest in southern Quebec, Canada was examined. Two predictions were evaluated: (a) F. grandifolia is more shade tolerant than A. saccharum due to greater sapling leaf area and net production per sapling in closed-canopy conditions; and (b) the height growth rate of A. saccharum in canopy gaps is greater than that of F. grandifolia due to increased net production per sapling.

Methods

Sapling crown allometry, net production and height growth rates were compared between and within the two species in closed canopy vs. canopy gaps. Standardized major axis regression was used to analyse differences in crown allometry.

Key Results F. grandifolia

had greater crown projection, sapling leaf area and net production rate per sapling than A. saccharum in closed-canopy conditions. In response to canopy gaps, net production per sapling increased to the same degree in both species. The net production per sapling of F. grandifolia thus was much greater than that of A. saccharum in both canopy gap and closed-canopy conditions. The height growth rate of both species increased in canopy gaps, but the degree of increase was greater in F. grandifolia than in A. saccharum.

Conclusions F. grandifolia

regenerated more successfully than A. saccharum in both closed-canopy conditions and canopy gaps, which indicates that the co-dominance of the two species cannot be maintained simply by interspecific differences in shade tolerance and growth in gaps. Previous research showed that although Fagus and Acer shared dominance at this site, their relative dominance shifted with edaphic conditions. This suggests that the widespread co-dominance of the two species in eastern North American forests is maintained by the joint influence of canopy disturbance and species-specific responses to the heterogeneity of moisture and fertility regimes within forested landscapes.

Keywords: American beech; crown architecture; crown allometry; height growth rate; net production rate; saplings; sugar maple

Journal Article.  5435 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Ecology and Conservation ; Evolutionary Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.