Ecological Significance of Crown Functional Traits Across Size Classes and Disturbance Environments in Eight Pioneer Species in a Sri Lankan Rain Forest
This article evaluates the tree crown characteristics of eight pioneer tree species in the Shorea-Mesua vegetation type (an aseasonal, mixed dipterocarp forest) around the Sinharaja World Heritage Forest Reserve in southwest Sri Lanka.
Research Goals & Methods
The crown surface area, crown volume, and live crown ratio were measured as well as evaluated for their correlation with tree size classes and disturbance causes.
Conclusions & Takeaways
The authors found that tree size influenced crown characteristics for smaller size classes; however, for larger size classes, they found that disturbance causes influenced the live crown ratio and tree size influenced the other crown characteristics. There were significant differences between species in their tree crown characteristics. The authors explain that their findings can guide the selection of pioneer species for reforestation and the design of silvicultural treatments for forest management. They recommend the use of high light restricted species and generalists (Trema orientalis, Macaranga peltata, Alstonia macrophylla, and Melastoma malabathricum) be used early in restoration when there are large open areas followed by the use of more shade tolerant species (Macaranga indica, Dillenia triquetra, Schumacheria castaneifolia, and Wendlandia bicuspidata) during a second phase of planting.
Ecological Significance of Crown Functional Traits Across Size Classes and Disturbance Environments in Eight Pioneer Species in a Sri Lankan Rain Forest. Journal of Sustainable Forestry. 2009;28:22–47. doi:10.1080/10549810802626126..
- Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, New Haven, CT, USA