, Volume 116, Issue 3, pp 207-216
Date: 17 Apr 2003

Resprouting ability of Quercus crispula seedlings depends on the vegetation cover of their microhabitats

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Abstract

To examine the effects of vegetation cover on the resprouting abilities of Quercus crispula seedlings, in each of three consecutive years, we artificially clipped seedlings growing in microhabitats with differing degrees of vegetation cover. We also investigated the relationship between the level of total nonstructural carbohydrate (TNC) and resprouting ability. Seedlings with clipped shoots in gaps produced larger resprouting shoots than those in the understory. Moreover, both the percentage of resprouting seedlings and the survival ratio in seedlings with clipped shoots were negatively correlated with the degree of vegetation cover. Seedlings stored high levels of TNC, especially in their roots, and their TNC levels were negatively correlated with the degree of vegetation cover. There were also positive relationships between the TNC levels in their roots and the degree of resprouting. Hence, we conclude that release from vegetation cover enhanced the resprouting ability of Q. crispula seedlings by increasing their levels of stored carbohydrate. The key variables affected were the resprouting ratio (the proportion of seedlings capable of producing new shoots) and the size of the resprouted shoots.