A 10-year evaluation of the functional basis for regeneration habitat preference of trees in an African evergreen forest
This study reports on the growth and survival of experimentally planted tree seedlings in the understory over a 10-year period in a moist evergreen forest at Kibale National Park in Western Uganda.
Goals & methods
The goal of the study is to understand how the functional traits of trees will influence their light preference and response to disturbance. Tree seedlings were transplanted into the shaded understory and categorized into two light guilds: understory and gap/edge. The growth and survival of the two guilds were quantified for 10 years and differences between the guilds were determined based on seedling survival, growth, seed size, adult height, and leaf traits.
conclusions & TakeAways
According to the authors, what was surprising was that the survival of the seedlings during 10 years showed no obvious relationship to light guild. However, there was a tendency for gap/edge species to grow faster than understory species in shaded understory. The equally high survival of post-establishment seedlings of species in understory and gap/edge guilds may indicate that their difference in stem distributions along light gradients may be created at an earlier regeneration stage.
A 10-year evaluation of the functional basis for regeneration habitat preference of trees in an African evergreen forest. Forest Ecology and Management. 2008;255:3790–3796. doi:10.1016/j.foreco.2008.03.016..
- McGill University, McGill School of Environment, Montreal, Canada