Plant Ecology

, Volume 213, Issue 5, pp 783–794

Crown exposure to light and tree allometry of 11 tree species in a snowy cool-temperate forest in Japan


DOI: 10.1007/s11258-012-0041-5

Cite this article as:
Osada, N. Plant Ecol (2012) 213: 783. doi:10.1007/s11258-012-0041-5


Crown exposure to light (CE) and tree allometry were investigated for 11 species in a snowy cool-temperate secondary forest dominated by Fagus crenata and Betula ermanii in Japan. The 11 species differentiated horizontal and vertical light gradients for regeneration. CE was highly variable across species in small trees, but variation in CE decreased with increasing height. The 11 species were classified into three patterns of height-dependent change in CE in comparison to community-level trends, and rank reversal of CE with increasing height was not apparent. Allometric relationships between trunk diameter (D) and height (H) and between D and trunk length (L) differed little between trees of high and low CE within species. In contrast, slopes of the allometric relationships between D and H differed across species; species with larger maximum height (Hmax) were taller at a given D, as was noted in previous studies of warm-temperate and tropical forest trees. Differences in trunk angle among the species of different Hmax were the main factor generating the differences in allometric relationships between D and H in this forest. Trunk angle increased with increasing height in the species of large Hmax but decreased in those of small Hmax. Hence, allometric relationships between D and L were not related to Hmax. Since the species of small Hmax grow laterally and are easily covered in snow during winter while those of large Hmax grow vertically above snow cover, differences in trunk angle may reflect species mechanical properties.


Canopy speciesMaximum heightSnow coverTrunk elevation angleTrunk lengthUnderstory species

Supplementary material

11258_2012_41_MOESM1_ESM.doc (636 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 635 kb)

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of Life SciencesTohoku UniversityAoba, SendaiJapan
  2. 2.Field Science, Education, and Research CenterKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan