Advertisement

Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Increasing topographic influence on vegetation structure during primary succession

Abstract

Mount Pinatubo, Philippines (15.14°N, 120.35°E) erupted violently in 1991 to initiate significant primary succession. Aspect, the direction faced by a slope, affects patterns of vegetation at higher latitudes, but such effects remain unreported in the wet tropics. Therefore, we monitored species composition and cover in established plots during 2006, 2010, and 2013 to characterize how aspect affected primary succession. We used redundancy analysis (RDA) to assess vegetation change in response to time and environmental factors. Vegetation cover increased from 153 to 245% on north-facing slopes, and from 174 to 230% in south-facing slopes while species richness and diversity indices also increased. From 38 to 63% of the species were restricted to one aspect, depending on the year of study. Redundancy analysis demonstrated that aspect strongly affected species composition and that its effects persist. Fabaceae was concentrated on south-facing slopes, which suggested that aspect effects might be accentuated due to enhanced soil nitrogen. Vines, grasses, and forbs, all typical of habitats with greater insolation, were more abundant on south aspects, while trees and ferns were more common on the north aspects. This is the first survey of vegetation dynamics using permanent plots on new volcanic surfaces in this region. Aspect differences produced distinct insolation and moisture patterns that enhanced habitat diversity and altered species composition. This effect has not been noted in monsoon forests. Aspect may continue to initiate divergence in succession trajectories as soils and vertical canopy structure develop differentially in response to differential dominance.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2

References

  1. Analytical Software (2008) Statistix 9. Analytical Software, Tallahassee

  2. Andivia E, Fernández M, Alejano R, Vázquez-Piqué J (2015) Tree patch distribution drives spatial heterogeneity of soil traits in cork oak woodlands. Ann For Sci 72:549–559. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13595-015-0475-8

  3. Armesto JJ, Martínez JA (1978) Relations between vegetation structure and slope aspect in the Mediterranean region of Chile. J Ecol 66:881–889

  4. Aström M, Dynesius M, Hylander K, Nilsson C (2007) Slope aspect modifies community responses to clear-cutting in Boreal forests. Ecology 88:749–758. https://doi.org/10.1890/06-0613

  5. Bennie J, Hill MO, Baxter R, Huntley B (2006) Influence of slope and aspect on long-term vegetation change in British chalk grasslands. J Ecol 94:355–368. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2745.200.01104.x

  6. Bernards SJ, Morris LR (2017) Influence of topography on long-term successional trajectories in canyon grasslands. Appl Veg Sci 20:236–246. https://doi.org/10.1111/avsc.12272

  7. Blood LE, Titus JH (2010) Microsite effects on forest regeneration in a bottomland swamp in western New York. J Torrey Bot Soc 137:88–102. https://doi.org/10.3159/08-RA-062.1

  8. Chapman JI, McEwan RW (2013) Spatio-temporal dynamics of α- and β-diversity across topographic gradients in the herbaceous layer of an old-growth deciduous forest. Oikos 122:1679–1686. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0706.2013.00544.x

  9. Chimphango SBM, Potgieter G, Cramer MD (2015) Differentiation of the biogeochemical niches of legumes and non-legumes in the Cape Floristic Region of South Africa. Plant Ecol 216:1583–1595. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11258-015-0542-0

  10. Chu HY, Xiang XJ, Yang J, Adams JM, Zhang KP, Li YT, Shi Y (2016) Effects of slope aspects on soil bacterial and arbuscular fungal communities in a boreal forest in China. Pedosphere 26:226–234. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1002-0160(15)60037-6

  11. Clark JS, Silman M, Kern R, Macklin E, Hille Ris Lambers J (1999) Seed dispersal near and far: patterns across temperate and tropical forests. Ecology 80:1475–1495. https://doi.org/10.1890/0012-9658(1999)080[1475:SDNAFP]2.0.CO;2

  12. del Moral R, Titus JH (2018) Primary succession on Mount St. Helens: rates, determinism, and alternative states. In: Crisafulli CC, Dale VD (eds) Ecological responses at Mount St. Helens: revisited 35 years after the 1980 eruption. Springer, New York, pp 127–148. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4939-7451-1

  13. del Moral R, Sandler JE, Muerdter CP (2009) Spatial factors affect primary succession on the Muddy River Lahar, Mount St. Helens, Washington. Plant Ecol 202:177–190. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11258-008-9506-y

  14. del Moral R, Thomason LA, Wenke AC, Lozanoff N, Abata MD (2012) Primary succession trajectories on pumice at Mount St. Helens, Washington. J Veg Sci 23:73–85. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1654-1103.2011.01336.x

  15. Dimopoulos P, Raus T, Mucina L, Tsiripidis I (2010) Vegetation patterns and primary succession on sea-born volcanic islands (Santorini archipelago, Aegean Sea, Greece). Phytocoenologia 40:1–14. https://doi.org/10.1127/0340-269X/2010/0040-0426

  16. Ehrlich R, Schulz S, Schloter M, Steinberger Y (2015) Effect of slope orientation on microbial community composition in different particle size fractions from soils obtained from desert ecosystems. Biol Fertil Soils 51:507–510. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00374-014-0988-6

  17. Farji-Brenner AG, Chinchilla FA, Magrach A, Romero V, Ríos M, Velilla M, Serrano JM, Amador-Vargas S (2009) Slope orientation enhances the nurse effect of a paramo shrub, Hypericum irazuense (Hypericaceae) in Costa Rica. J Trop Ecol 25:331–335. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0266467409005999

  18. Gallardo-Cruz JA, Pérez-García EA, Meave JA (2009) ß-diversity and vegetation structure as influenced by slope aspect and altitude in a seasonally dry tropical landscape. Landsc Ecol 24:473–482. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10980-009-9332-1

  19. Gilliam FS, Galloway JE, Sarmiento JS (2015) Variation with slope aspect in effects of temperature on nitrogen mineralization and nitrification in mineral soil of mixed hardwood forests. Can J For Res 45:958–962. https://doi.org/10.1139/cjfr-2015-0087

  20. Gonzalez-Alday J, Marrs RH, Martinez-Ruiz C (2008) The influence of aspect on the early growth dynamics of hydroseeded species in coal reclamation areas. Appl Veg Sci 11:405–412. https://doi.org/10.3170/2008-7-18497

  21. Gran KB, Montgomery DR (2005) Spatial and temporal patterns in fluvial recovery following volcanic eruptions: channel response to basin-wide sediment loading at Mount Pinatubo, Philippines. Geol Soc Am Bull 117:195–211. https://doi.org/10.1130/B25528.1

  22. Gran KB, Tal M, Wartman ED (2015) Co-evolution of riparian vegetation and channel dynamics in an aggrading river system, Mount Pinatubo, Philippines. Earth Surf Process Landf. https://doi.org/10.1002/esp.3699

  23. Grime JP (2006) Trait convergence and trait divergence in herbaceous plant communities: mechanisms and consequences. J Veg Sci 17:255–260. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1654-1103.2006.t

  24. Gurnell A (2014) Plants as river system engineers. Earth Surf Process Landf 39:4–25. https://doi.org/10.1002/esp.3397

  25. Holland PG, Steyn DG (1975) Vegetational responses to latitudinal variations in slope angle and aspect. J Biogeogr 2:179–183

  26. Hooper DU, Chapin FS III, Ewel JJ, Hector A, Inchausti P, Lavorel S, Lawton JH, Lodge DM, Loreau M, Naeem S, Schmid B, Setälä H, Symstad AJ, Vandermeer J, Wardle DA (2005) Effects of biodiversity on ecosystem functioning: a consensus of current knowledge. Ecol Monogr 75:3–35. https://doi.org/10.1890/04-0922

  27. International Plant Names Index (2009) http://www.ipni.org. Accessed 8 April 2018

  28. Kavgaci A, Örtel E, Torres I, Safford H (2016) Early post-fire vegetation recovery of Pinus brutia forests: effects of fire severity, pre-fire stand age, and aspect. Turk J Agric For 40:723–736. https://doi.org/10.3906/tar-1601-21

  29. Kovach WL (1998) MVSP, a multivariate statistics package for Windows, Version 3.0. Kovach Computer Consulting Services Pentraeth, Wales

  30. Laidlaw MJ, Richardson KS, Yeates AG, McDonald WJF, Hunter RJ (2016) Modelling the spatial distribution of beta diversity in Australian subtropical rainforest. Aust Ecol 41:189–196. https://doi.org/10.1111/aec.12292

  31. Legendre L, Legendre P (2012) Numerical ecology, 3rd edn. Elsevier, Amsterdam

  32. Lepš J, Šmilauer P (2003) Multivariate analysis of ecological data using CANOCO. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

  33. Marler TE, del Moral R (2011) Primary succession along an elevation gradient 15 years after the eruption of Mount Pinatubo, Luzon, Philippines. Pac Sci 65:157–173. https://doi.org/10.2984/65.2.157

  34. Marler TE, del Moral R (2013) Primary succession in Mount Pinatubo: habitat availability and ordination analysis. Comm Integr Biol 6:e25924. https://doi.org/10.4161/cib.25924

  35. McCune B, Keon D (2002) Equations for potential annual direct incident radiation and heat load. J Veg Sci 13:603–606. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1654-1103.2002.tb02087.x

  36. Méndez-Toribio M, Meave JA, Zermeño-Hernández I, Ibarra-Manríquez G (2016) Effects of slope aspect and topographic position on environmental variables, disturbance regime and tree community attributes in a seasonal tropical dry forest. J Veg Sci 27:1094–1103. https://doi.org/10.1111/jvs.12455

  37. Myster RW, Thomlinson JR, Larsen MC (1997) Predicting landslide vegetation in patches on landscape gradients in Puerto Rico. Landsc Ecol 12:299–307. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1007942804047

  38. Oldfather MF, Britton MN, Papper PD, Koontz MJ, Halbur MM, Dodge C, Flint AL, Flint LE, Ackerly DD (2016) Effects of topoclimatic complexity on the composition of woody plant communities. AoB Plants 8:plw049. https://doi.org/10.1093/aobpla/plw049

  39. Pereira P, Cerdà A, Lopez AJ, Zavala LM, Mataix-Solera J, Arcenegui, Misiune I, Keesstra S, Novara A (2016) Short-term vegetation recovery after a grassland fire in Lithuania: the effects of fire severity, slope position and aspect. Land Degrad Develop 27:1523–1534. https://doi.org/10.1002/ldr.2498

  40. Rubel F, Kottek M (2010) Observed and projected climate shifts 1901–2100 depicted by world maps of the Köppen-Geiger climate classification. Meteorol Zeits 19:135–141. https://doi.org/10.1127/0941-2948/2010/0430

  41. Ruwanza S, Shackleton CM (2017) Aspect and slope as determinants of vegetation composition and soil properties in coastal forest back dunes of Eastern Cape, South Africa. Afr J Ecol 55:211–221. https://doi.org/10.1111/aje.12343

  42. Saremi H, Kumar L, Turner R (2014) Airborne LiDAR derived canopy height model reveals a significant difference in radiate pine (Pinus radiata D. Don) heights based on slope and aspect of sites. Trees 28:733–744. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13595-014-0374-4

  43. Silva WG, Metzger JP, Bernacci LC, Martins Catharino EL, Durigan G, Simoes S (2008) Relief influence on tree species richness in secondary forest fragments of Atlantic Forest, SE, Brazil. Acta Botan Bras 22:589–598. https://doi.org/10.1590/S0102-33062008000200026

  44. Smith JMB (1977) Vegetation and microclimate of east-facing and west facing slopes in grasslands of Mt. Wilhelm, Papua New-Guinea. J Ecol 65:39–53. https://doi.org/10.2307/2259061

  45. Smith LA, Eissenstat DM, Kaye MW (2016) Variability in aboveground carbon driven by slope aspect and curvature in an eastern deciduous forest, USA. Can J For Res 47:149–158. https://doi.org/10.1139/cjfr-2016-0147

  46. Sternberg M, Shoshany M (2001) Influence of slope aspect on Mediterranean woody formations: comparison of a semiarid and an arid site in Israel. Ecol Res 16:335–345. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1440-1703.2001.00393.x

  47. Stoutjesdijk PH, Barkman JJ (1992) Microclimate: vegetation and fauna. Opulus Press, Uppsala

  48. ter Braak CJF, Šmilauer P (2007) CANOCO—A FORTRAN program for canonical community ordination (version 4.5). DLO-Agricultural Mathematics Group, Wageningen

  49. Walker LR, Shiels AB, Bellingham PJ, Sparrow AD, Fetcher N, Landau FH, Lodge DJ (2013) Changes in abiotic influences on seed plants and ferns during 18 years of primary succession on Puerto Rican landslides. J Ecol 101:650–661. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2745.12071

  50. Weintraub SR, Taylor PG, Porder S, Cleveland CC, Asner GP, Townsend AR (2015) Topographic controls on soil nitrogen availability in a lowland tropical forest. Ecology 96:1561–1574. https://doi.org/10.1890/14-0834.1

  51. Whittaker RH (1960) Vegetation of the Siskiyou Mountains, Oregon and California. Ecol Monogr 30:279–338. https://doi.org/10.2307/1943563

  52. Zhao N-N, Guggenberger G, Shibistova O, Thao DT, Shi WJ, Li XG (2014) Aspect-vegetation complex effects on biochemical characteristics and decomposability of soil organic carbon on the eastern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. Plant Soil 384:289–301. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11104-014-2210-x

Download references

Acknowledgements

This research was funded in part by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under Award Number 2013-31100-06057. We thank Julie Barcelona, Leonardo Co, Ulysses Ferreras, and Lynn Raulerson for species identifications.

Author information

Correspondence to Thomas E. Marler.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Additional information

Communicated by Thomas A. Nagel.

Electronic supplementary material

Below is the link to the electronic supplementary material.

Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 46 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Marler, T.E., del Moral, R. Increasing topographic influence on vegetation structure during primary succession. Plant Ecol 219, 1009–1020 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11258-018-0853-z

Download citation

Keywords

  • Aspect effects
  • Insolation
  • Trajectory
  • Tropics
  • Vegetation differentiation