Population ecology - Original research


, Volume 172, Issue 3, pp 713-724

First online:

Soil-related variations in the population dynamics of six dipterocarp tree species with strong habitat preferences

  • Toshihiro YamadaAffiliated withGraduate School of Integrated Arts and Sciences, Hiroshima University Email author 
  • , Yuko YamadaAffiliated withGraduate School of Integrated Arts and Sciences, Hiroshima University
  • , Toshinori OkudaAffiliated withGraduate School of Integrated Arts and Sciences, Hiroshima University
  • , Christine FletcherAffiliated withForest Research Institute Malaysia

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Differences in the density of conspecific tree individuals in response to environmental gradients are well documented for many tree species, but how such density differences are generated and maintained is poorly understood. We examined the segregation of six dipterocarp species among three soil types in the Pasoh tropical forest, Malaysia. We examined how individual performance and population dynamics changed across the soil types using 10-year demographic data to compare tree performance across soil types, and constructed population matrix models to analyze the population dynamics. Species showed only minor changes in mortality and juvenile growth across soil types, although recruitment differed greatly. Clear, interspecific demographic trade-offs between growth and mortality were found in all soil types. The relative trade-offs by a species did not differ substantially among the soil types. Population sizes were projected to remain stable in all soil types for all species with one exception. Our life-table response experiment demonstrated that the population dynamics of a species differed only subtly among soil types. Therefore, species with strong density differences across soil types do not necessarily differ greatly in their population dynamics across the soil types. In contrast, interspecific differences in population dynamics were large. The trade-off between mortality and growth led to a negative correlation between the contributions of mortality and growth to variations in the population growth rate (λ) and thus reduced their net contributions. Recruitment had little impact on the variation in λ. The combination of these factors resulted in little variation in λ among species.


Anisoptera laevis Growth strategy Shorea species Tree mortality Tropical forest