Adventitious root formation of two Abies species on log and soil in an old-growth subalpine forest in central Japan

  • Yusuke Doi
  • Akira S. Mori
  • Hiroshi Takeda
Short Communication


We assessed stem burial and adventitious root formation of two late-successional species, Abies mariesii and A. veitchii, in central Japan. In a plot (5 × 5 m), all seedlings between 8 and 24 cm tall were excavated: six A. mariesii seedlings in soil, and six and four A. veitchii seedlings in soil and on logs, respectively. For each sampled seedling, the number of terminal bud scars (TBS) was counted on the aboveground and belowground stems. Stem length was measured, and divided into aboveground and belowground stems. Among the three groups (A. mariesii seedlings in soil and A. veitchii seedlings in soil or on logs), there was no significant difference in height or total root weight (sum of adventitious roots and primary roots), but diameter at ground level and number of TBS were significantly different. Counting TBS on the aboveground stem of seedlings in soil underestimated seedling age, whereas the estimate was much closer to the true age for seedlings on logs. Seedlings in soil formed more adventitious roots than seedlings on logs. A large proportion of the stem was buried in humus for seedlings in soil, while most of the stem was not buried in humus for seedlings on logs. These results suggest that substrate affects adventitious root formation, the formation of which is important to shade tolerance. Thus, our preliminary results suggest that consideration of adventitious root formation is necessary to understand seedling bank dynamics and estimate seedling ages of these Abies species in spatially heterogeneous old-growth subalpine forests.


Abies species Adventitious root Log substrate Subalpine forest Terminal bud scar 



We thank Takashi Osono, Eri Mizumachi and member of Forest Ecology Laboratory of Kyoto University for support of the field research and giving useful advice. We thank three anonymous reviewers for providing valuable comments on the original manuscript.


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Copyright information

© The Japanese Forest Society and Springer 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Environmental Science and Technology, Graduate School of AgricultureKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  2. 2.Forest Ecology Lab, School of Resource and Environmental ManagementSimon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada

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