European Journal of Forest Research

, Volume 134, Issue 6, pp 1143–1154 | Cite as

Completing the life history of Castanopsis fargesii: changes in the seed dispersal, seedling and sapling recruitment patterns

  • Yongchuan Yang
  • Li Huang
  • Shenhua Qian
  • Kenji Fukuda
Original Paper


The spatial distribution of species in forest ecosystems involves the underlying ecological processes or mechanisms of population and community structure, as well as forest dynamics. Because the relative importance of these factors can shift across life history stages, assessment of local population and community structures in the context of life history stages is essential for understanding forest dynamics. In this study, we investigated the changes in the spatial patterns of seed dispersal as well as seedling and sapling recruitment for Castanopsis fargesii, a dominant tree species in a subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest in China. We found notably aggregated spatial patterns for C. fargesii seeds during the seed dispersal. A majority of seeds and newly germinated seedlings aggregated under adult tree canopies, suggesting a decreased efficiency in secondary dispersal for C. fargesii within this evergreen broad-leaved forest. During the later stages of life history (i.e., seedling and sapling stages), the spatial distribution of C. fargesii getting segregated. This is caused by a negative density dependence mechanism in seedling recruitment, rather than by spatial dispersion due to secondary dispersal. By incorporating the patterns and processes across the life history stages of dominant species of evergreen broad-leaved forests, we can add specific details in developing methods of stage-based in situ forest management and conservation frameworks.


Castanopsis fargesii Life history Seed dispersal Seedling recruitment Negative density dependence Evergreen broad-leaved forest 



We thank Xiangyang Gao, Meng Qi, Xia Zhou, Chao Yang, Shenghe Yang and Xiaohan Li for help with field work, and Yukiko Takahashi, Kun Song, Liang Zhao and Dunmei Lin for the valuable comments. We are grateful to two anonymous reviewers for their comments to improve the manuscript. This study was supported by the Visiting Scholar Foundation of the Key Laboratory of the Three Gorges Reservoir Region’s Eco-environment (Ministry of Education) of Chongqing University, a grant from the 111 Project (No. B13041), the Scientific Research Foundation for the Returned Overseas Chinese Scholars from the State Education Ministry, a grant from the Project of China Science and Technology (2015FY210200), and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (Project No.106112014CDJZR210007) to YY.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yongchuan Yang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Li Huang
    • 1
  • Shenhua Qian
    • 3
  • Kenji Fukuda
    • 4
  1. 1.Faculty of Urban Construction and Environmental EngineeringChongqing UniversityChongqingChina
  2. 2.Laboratory of Three Gorges Reservoir Region’s Eco-Environment, Ministry of EducationChongqing UniversityChongqingChina
  3. 3.Postdoctoral Station of Ecology Chongqing UniversityChongqingChina
  4. 4.Laboratory of Evaluation of Natural Environment, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, Institute of Environmental StudiesUniversity of TokyoKashiwaJapan

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