Advertisement

Plant Ecology

, 212:1819 | Cite as

Microenvironmental conditions for Japanese alder seedling establishment in a hummocky fen

  • Yuichiro ShidaEmail author
  • Futoshi Nakamura
Article

Abstract

In this article, we focused on hummocky microtopography as a prominent feature of mires and explored the microenvironmental conditions suitable for alder seedling establishment. Japanese alder (Alnus japonica) forest is widely distributed in wetlands in northern Japan. However, because alder seedlings are rare in mires, alder population dynamics and conditions that favor the establishment of alder seedlings are still unknown. The study was conducted in northern Japan at a site in mesotrophic mire. We surveyed the seedling density, the microenvironmental conditions (light, litter cover, and soil quality), and the density of dispersed seeds in alder forest and in the adjacent herbaceous fen. In addition, we performed a laboratory experiment to examine the germination characteristics of alder. Seedlings grew only on hummocks in alder forest. The percentage of litter cover on hummocks was lower than in hollows, and the density of dispersed seeds in alder forest was much higher than in herbaceous fen. Seeds of Japanese alder germinated under both light and dark conditions, and the germination rate were high under light and high-temperature conditions. Our results suggest that litter cover may inhibit seedling establishment and hummocks that characterized by less litter cover are suitable place for the establishment of seedlings. We conclude that hummocky microtopography and abundant seed rain in the mire enable the establishment of Japanese alder seedlings.

Keywords

Alnus japonica Germination characteristics Hummock Hollow Litter 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors thank Kazuo Yabe of Sapporo City University and Takatoshi Nakamura of Tokyo University of Agriculture for providing advice on the field surveys, Yuki Tamura of Kankyo Consultants Corporation and Mayumi Kubo of Hokkaido University for helping with the field surveys, Yutaka Tamai and Tetsuya Kondo of Hokkaido University for providing advice on the germination experiments, and Hiroko Fujita and Junko Morimoto of Hokkaido University for providing helpful comments that improved the manuscript.

References

  1. Akaike H (1974) A new look at the statistical model identification. IEEE Trans Automat Contr 19:716–723. doi: 10.1109/TAC.1974.1100705 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Asada T (2002) Vegetation gradients in relation to temporal fluctuation of environmental factors in Bekanbeushi peatland, Hokkaido, Japan. Ecol Res 17:505–518. doi: 10.1046/j.1440-1703.2002.00507.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Baskin JM, Baskin CC (1988) Seeds: ecology biogeography and evolution of dormancy and germination. Academic Press, San DiegoGoogle Scholar
  4. Berry AM, Torrey JG (1985) Seed germination, seedling inoculation and establishment of Alnus spp. in containers in greenhouse trials. Plant Soil 87:161–173. doi: 10.1007/BF02277657 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bruland GL, Richardson CJ (2005) Hydrologic, edaphic, and vegetative responses to microtopographic reestablishment in a restored wetland. Restor Ecol 13:515–523. doi: 10.1111/j.1526-100X.2005.00064.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Donath TW, Hözel N, Otte A (2003) The impact of site conditions and seed dispersal on restoration success in alluvial meadows. Appl Veg Sci 6:13–22. doi: 10.1111/j.1654-109X.2003.tb00560.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Eckstein RL, Donath TW (2005) Interactions between litter and water availability affect seedling emergence in four familial pairs of floodplain species. J Ecol 93:807–816. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2745.2005.01015.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Egawa C, Koyama A, Tsuyuzaki S (2009) Relationships between the developments of seedbank, standing vegetation and litter in a post-mined peatland. Plant Ecol 203:217–228. doi: 10.1007/s11258-008-9536-5 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Ehrenfeld JG (1995) Microsite differences in surface substrate characteristics in Chamaecyparis swamps of the New Jersey pinelands. Wetlands 15:183–189. doi: 10.1007/BF03160672 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Facelli JM, Pickett STA (1991) Plant Litter: light Interception and effects on an old-field plant community. Ecology 72:1024–1031. doi: 10.2307/1940602 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Faraway JJ (2006) Extending the linear model with R: generalized linear, mixed effects and nonparametric regression models. Chapman and Hall/CRC, Boca RatonGoogle Scholar
  12. Fujita H (2001) Germination test of Alnus japonica (Thunb.) Steud. on the assumption of the field condition. In: Papers in commemoration of Prof. Dr. Shigetoshi Okuda’s retirement: studies on the vegetation of alluvial plains, pp 33–36. (in Japanese with English abstract)Google Scholar
  13. Fujita H (2007) Outline of mires in Hokkaido, Japan, and their ecosystem conservation and restoration. Global Environ Res 11:187–194Google Scholar
  14. Geritz SAH, de Jong TJ, Klinkhamer PGL (1984) The efficacy of dispersal in relation to safe site area and seed production. Oecologia 62:219–221. doi: 10.1007/BF00379016 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gill DS, Marks PL (1991) Tree and shrub seedling colonization of old fields in central New York. Ecol Monogr 61:183–205. doi: 10.2307/1943007 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Greene DF, Johnson EA (1989) A model of wind dispersal of winged or plumed seeds. Ecology 70:339–347. doi: 10.2307/1937538 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Greene DF, Johnson EA (1996) Wind dispersal of seeds from a forest into a clearing. Ecology 77:595–609. doi: 10.2307/2265633 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Harper JL (1977) Population biology of plants. Academic Press, LondonGoogle Scholar
  19. Hora FB (1981) Alders (genus Alnus). In: Hora B (ed) The oxford encyclopedia of trees of the world. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 139–141Google Scholar
  20. Hotes S, Poschlod P, Sakai H, Inoue T (2001) Vegetation, hydrology, and development of a coastal mire in Hokkaido, Japan, affected by flooding and tephra deposition. Can J Bot 79:341–361. doi: 10.1139/b01-011 Google Scholar
  21. Iwanaga F, Yamamoto F (2007) Growth, morphology and photosynthetic activity in flooded Alnus japonica seedlings. J For Res 12:243–246. doi: 10.1007/s10310-007-0003-2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Iyobe T, Haraguchi A, Nishijima H, Tomizawa H, Nishio F (2003) Effect of fog on sea salt deposition on peat soil in boreal Pecea glehnii forests in Ochiishi, eastern Hokkaido, Japan. Ecol Res 18:587–597. doi: 10.1672/2-20 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Jensen K, Gutekunst K (2003) Effects of litter on establishment of grassland plant species: the role of seed size and successional status. Basic Appl Ecol 4:579–587. doi: 10.1078/1439-1791-00179 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Keddy PA (2000) Wetland ecology: principles and conservation. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  25. Koponen P, Nygren P, Sabatier D, Rousteau A, Saur E (2004) Tree species diversity and forest structure in relation to microtopography in a tropical freshwater swamp forest in French Guiana. Plant Ecol 173:17–32. doi: 10.1023/B:VEGE.0000026328.98628.b8 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Koyama A, Tsuyuzaki S (2010) Effects of sedge and cottongrass tussocks on plant establishment patterns in a post-mined peatland, northern Japan. Wetlands Ecol Manage 18:135–148. doi: 10.1007/s11273-009-9154-6 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Mackenzie A, Ball AS, Virdee SR (1998) Instant notes in ecology. BIOS Scientific Publishers, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  28. Malmer N (1986) Vegetational gradients in relation to environmental conditions in northwestern European mires. Can J Bot 64:375–383. doi: 10.1139/b86-054 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Middleton B (2000) Hydrochory, seed banks, and regeneration dynamics along the landscape boundaries of a forested wetland. Plant Ecol 146:169–184. doi: 10.1023/A:1009871404477 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Mori T (1998) Alnus Mill. (Alder). In: Katsuta M, Mori T, Yokoyama T (eds) Tree Seeds in Japan (Broadleaf Tree). Japan Forest Tree Breeding Association, Tokyo, pp 48–56. (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  31. Nakamura F, Inahara S (2007) Fluvial geomorphic disturbances and life history traits of riparian tree species. In: Johnson EA, Miyanishi K (eds) Plant disturbance ecology: the process and the response. Academic press, Burlington, pp 283–310Google Scholar
  32. Nakamura F, Jitsu M, Kameyama S, Mizugaki S (2002a) Changes in riparian forests in the Kushiro Mire, Japan, associated with stream channelization. River Res Appl 18:65–79. doi: 10.1002/rra.621 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Nakamura T, Uemura S, Yabe K (2002b) Hydrochemical regime of fen and bog in north Japanese mires as an influence on habitat and above-ground biomass of Carex species. J Ecol 90:1017–1023. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2745.2002.00726.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Nakamura F, Kameyama S, Mizugaki S (2004) Rapid shrinkage of Kushiro Mire, the largest mire in Japan, due to increased sedimentation associated with land-use development in the catchment. Catena 55:213–229. doi: 10.1016/S0341-8162(03)00119-X CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Negishi T (2009) Gradients controlling vegetation in Alnus japonica forests in Kushiro mire, Hokkaido, Japan. Landscape Ecol Eng 5:23–31. doi: 10.1007/s11355-008-0055-2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Oki K, Awadu T, Oguma H, Omasa K (2005) Spatial assessment of the alder tree in Kushiro mire, Japan using remotely sensed imagery-effects of the surrounding land use on Kushiro mire. Environ Monit 109:243–253. doi: 10.1007/s10661-005-6284-z CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Økland RH, Rydgren K, Økland T (2008) Species richness in boreal swamp forests of SE Norway: the role of surface microtopography. J Veg Sci 19:67–74. doi: 10.3170/2007-8-18330 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. R Development Core Team (2007) R: a language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, ViennaGoogle Scholar
  39. Seiwa K, Kikuzawa K (1996) Importance of seed size for the establishment of seedlings of five deciduous broad-leaved tree species. Vegetatio 123:51–64. doi: 10.1007/BF00044887 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Shen H, Yanhong T, Washitani I (2006) Morphological plasticity of Primula nutans to hummock-and-hollow microsites in an alpine wetland. J Plant Res 119:257–264. doi: 10.1007/s10265-006-0269-z PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Shida Y, Nakamura F, Yamada H, Nakamura T, Yoshimura H, Kaneko M (2009) Factors determining the expansion of alder forests in a wetland isolated by artificial dikes and drainage ditches. Wetlands 29:988–996. doi: 10.1672/08-175.1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Terazawa K, Kikuzawa K (1994) Effects of flooding on leaf dynamics and other seedling responses in flood-tolerant Alnus japonica and flood-intolerant Betula platyphylla var japonica. Tree Physiol 14:251–261. doi: 10.1093/treephys/14.3.251 PubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. Tomizawa H, Oikawa M, Nishio F, Haraguchi A (1997) Chemical modification of rain water by Alnus japonica wetland forest in Kiritappu mire, eastern Hokkaido, Japan. J For Res 2:189–192. doi: 10.1007/BF02348219 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Tsuyuzaki S, Haraguchi A, Kanda F (2004) Effects of scale-dependent factors on herbaceous vegetation patterns in a wetland, northern Japan. Ecol Res 19:349–355. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1703.2004.00644.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Vivian-Smith G (1997) Microtopographic heterogeneity and floristic diversity in experimental wetland communities. J Ecol 85:71–82CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Wheeler BD, Proctor MCF (2000) Ecological gradients, subdivisions and terminology of north-west European mires. J Ecol 88:187–203. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2745.2000.00455.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Yabe K, Nakamura T (2002) Base mineral inflow in a remnant cool-temperate mire ecosystem. Ecol Res 17:601–613. doi: 10.1046/j.1440-1703.2002.00518.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Yabe K, Onimaru K (1997) Key variable controlling the vegetation of a cool-temperate mire in northern Japan. J Veg Sci 8:29–36. doi: 10.2307/3237239 CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Wildlife Research Institute Co. LtdSapporoJapan
  2. 2.Research Faculty of AgricultureHokkaido UniversitySapporoJapan

Personalised recommendations