Plant Ecology

, Volume 151, Issue 2, pp 181–197

Population structure and spatial patterns for trees in a temperate old-growth evergreen broad-leaved forest in Japan

  • T. Manabe
  • N. Nishimura
  • M. Miura
  • S. Yamamoto


The population structure and spatial pattern of major tree species in a warm-temperate old-growth evergreen broad-leaved forest in the Tatera Forest Reserve of Japan were investigated. All stems ≥ 5 cm in diameter at breast height (DBH) were mapped on a 4 ha plot and analyses were made of population structure and the spatial distribution and spatial association of stems in different vertical layers for nine species. This was done in the context of scale dependency. The plot was located on a very gentle slope and 17.1% of its canopy layer was in gaps. It contained 45 woody plant species and 4570 living stems with a basal area of 63.9 m2 ha−1. Castanopsis cuspidata var. sieboldii, the most dominant species for the basal area, had the maximum DBH among the species present, fewer smaller stems and a lower coefficient of statistical skewness of the DBH distribution. The second most dominant species, Dystilium racemosum, had the highest stem density (410 ha−1), more abundant smaller stems and a relatively higher coefficient of skewness. Most stems in different vertical layers showed a weakly aggregated distribution with loose colonies as basic units. Gap dependency for the occurrence of stems under the canopy layer was weak. Maximum slope degree of the plot also weakly affected the occurrence of stems. Spatial associations varied among intra- and interspecific cohorts in the different layers and spatial scales examined, and positive associations among cohorts were found more frequently as the scales examined became larger. This tendency suggests that key factors forming observed spatial associations might vary with the spatial scales.

Canopy gaps Forest dynamics Long-term study Natural disturbance Scale dependency 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Akashi, N. 1996. The spatial pattern and canopy-understorey association of trees in a cool temperate, mixed forest in western Japan. Ecol. Res. 11: 311–319.Google Scholar
  2. Busing, R. T. & White, P. S. 1993. Effects of area on old-growth forest attributes: importance for the equilibrium landscape concept. Landsc. Ecol. 8: 119–126.Google Scholar
  3. Brokaw, N. V. L. 1985. Treefalls, regrowth, and community structure in tropical forests. Pp. 53–69. In: Pickett, S. T. A. & White, P. S. (eds), The ecology of natural disturbance and patch dynamics. Academic Press, Orland.Google Scholar
  4. Collins, B. S. & Pickett, S. T. A. 1982. Vegetation composition and relation to environment in an Allegheny hardwoods forest. Am. Midland Nat. 108: 117–123.Google Scholar
  5. Condit, R. 1998. Tropical forest census plot. Springer-Verlag, New York.Google Scholar
  6. Condit, R., Hubbell, S. P., Lafrankie, J. V., Sukumar, R., Manokaran, N., Foster, R. B. & Ashton, P. S. 1996. Speciesarea and species-individual relationships for tropical trees: a comparison of three 50-ha plots. J. Ecol. 84: 549–562.Google Scholar
  7. Chiarucci, A. 1996. Species diversity in plant communities on ultramafic soils in relation to pine afforestation. J. Veg. Sci. 7: 57–62.Google Scholar
  8. Denslow, J. S. 1980. Gap partitioning among tropical rainforest trees. Biotropica 12suppl.: 47–55.Google Scholar
  9. Fali´nski, J. B. 1978. Uprooted trees, their distribution and influence in the primeval forest biotope. Vegetatio 38: 175–183.Google Scholar
  10. Frelich, L. E., Calcote, R. R., Davis, M. B. & Pastor, J. 1993. Patch formation and maintenance in an old-growth hemlock-hardwood forest. Ecology 74: 513–527.Google Scholar
  11. Houle, G. 1994. Spatiotemporal patterns in the components of regeneration of four sympatric tree species -Acer rubrum, A. saccharum, Betula alleghaniensis and Fagus grandifolia. J. Ecol. 82: 39–53.Google Scholar
  12. Hubbell, S. P. 1979. Tree dispersion, abundance, and diversity in a tropical dry forest. Science 203: 1299–1309.Google Scholar
  13. Hubbell, S. P. & Foster, R. B. 1983. Diversity of canopy trees in a neotropical forest and implications for conservation. Pp. 25–41. In: Sutton, S. L., Whitmore, T. C. & Chadwick, A. C. (eds), Tropical rain forest: ecology and management. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford.Google Scholar
  14. Itow, S. 1977. Phytosociological studies on forest vegetation in western Kyushu, Japan. VI. Natural forests of Castanopsis cuspidata in Tsushima. Hikobia 8: 169–179 (in Japanese with English summary).Google Scholar
  15. Itow, S. 1991. Species turnover and diversity patterns along an evergreen broad-leaved forest coenocline. J. Veg. Sci. 2: 477–484.Google Scholar
  16. Itow, S. & Nakanishi, H. 1994. Studies in the evergreen broadleaved forest of Tatera Forest Reserve, Tsushima, Japan. VI. List of Spermatophytes and Pteridophytes. Bull. Faculty Liberal Arts, Nagasaki Univ. Nat. Sci. 35(1): 27–40.Google Scholar
  17. Itow, S., Nakanishi, H. & Kawasato, H. 1993. Studies in the evergreen broad-leaved forest of Tatera Forest Reserve, Tsushima, Japan. III. Phytosociology. Bull. Faculty of Liberal Arts, Nagasaki Univ. Nat. Sci. 33(2): 111–121.Google Scholar
  18. Iwao, S. 1972. Application of the m *m method to the analysis of spatial patterns by changing the quadrat size. Res. Pop. Ecol. 14: 97–128.Google Scholar
  19. Iwao, S. 1977. Analysis of spatial association between two species based on the interspecies mean crowding. Res. Pop. Ecol. 18: 243–260.Google Scholar
  20. Kira, T. 1991. Forest ecosystems of east and southeast Asia in global perspective. Ecol. Res. 6: 185–200.Google Scholar
  21. Kohyama, T. 1986. Tree size structure of stands and each species in primary warm-temperate rain forests of southern Japan. Bot. Magazine, Tokyo 99: 267–279.Google Scholar
  22. Koike, F. 1989. Foliage-crown development and interaction in Quercus gilva and Q. acuta. J. Ecol. 77: 92–111.Google Scholar
  23. Lloyd, M. 1967. Mean crowding. J. Animal Ecol. 36: 1–30.Google Scholar
  24. Masaki, T., Suzuki, W., Niiyama, K., Iida, S., Tanaka, H. & Nakashizuka, T. 1992. Community structure of a species-rich temperate forest, Ogawa Forest Reserve, central Japan. Vegetatio 98: 97–111.Google Scholar
  25. Manabe, T. & Yamamoto, S. 1997. Spatial distribution of Eurya japonica in an old-growth evergreen broad-leaved forest, SW Japan. J. Veg. Sci. 8: 761–722.Google Scholar
  26. Martínez-Ramos, M., Sarukhán, J. & Pińero, D. 1988. The demography of tropical trees in the context of forest gap dynamics: the case of Astrocaryum mexicanum at Los Tuxtlas tropical rain forest. Pp. 293–313. In: Davy, A. J., Hutchings, M. J. & Watkinson, A. R. (eds), Plant population ecology. Blackwell, Oxford.Google Scholar
  27. Meteorological Business Support Center. 1998. The encyclopedia of typhoons. Maruzen, Tokyo (in Japanese).Google Scholar
  28. Naka, K. 1982. Community dynamics of evergreen broadleaf forests in southwestern Japan. I. Wind damaged trees and canopy gaps in an evergreen oak forest. Bot. Magazine, Tokyo 95: 385–399.Google Scholar
  29. Nakashizuka, T. 1989. Role of uprooting in composition and dynamics of an old-growth forest in Japan. Ecology 70: 1273–1278.Google Scholar
  30. Ohwi, J. & Kitagawa, M. 1992. New flora of Japan (revised) Shibundo, Tokyo (in Japanese).Google Scholar
  31. Ozaki, K. & Ohsawa, M. 1995. Successional change of forest pattern along topographic gradients in warm-temperate mixed forests in Mt. Kiyosumi, central Japan. Ecol. Res. 10: 223–234.Google Scholar
  32. Petraitis, P. & Latham, R. E. 1999. The importance of scale in testing the origins of alternative community states. Ecology 80: 429–442.Google Scholar
  33. Putz, F. E. 1983. Treefall pits and mounds, buried seeds, and the importance of soil disturbance to pioneer trees on Barro Colorado Island, Panama. Ecology 64: 1069–1074.Google Scholar
  34. Runkle, J. R. 1981. Gap regeneration in some old-growth forests of the eastern United States. Ecology 62: 1041–1051.Google Scholar
  35. Sakai, A. & Ohsawa, M. 1993. Vegetation pattern and microtopography on a landslides scar of Mt. Kiyosumi, central Japan. Ecol. Res. 8: 47–56.Google Scholar
  36. Sato, T., Tanouchi, H. & Takeshita, K. 1994. Initial regeneration processes of Distylium racemosum and Persea thunbergii in an evergreen broad-leaved forest. J. Plant Res. 107: 331–337.Google Scholar
  37. Sato, T., Kominami, Y., Saito, S., Niiyama, K., Manabe, T., Tanouchi, H., Noma, N. & Yamamoto, S. 1999. An introduction to the Aya research site, a long-term ecological research site, in a warm temperate evergreen broad-leaved forest ecosystem in southwestern Japan: research topics and design. Bull. Kitakyushu Museum Natural History 18: 157–180.Google Scholar
  38. Smith, T. M. & Urban, D. L. 1988. Scale and resolution of forest structural pattern. Vegetatio 74: 143–150.Google Scholar
  39. Sumida, A. 1995. Three-dimensional structure of a mixed broadleaved forest in Japan. Vegetatio 119: 67–80.Google Scholar
  40. Tagawa, H. 1995. Distribution of lucidophyll oak-laurel forest formation in Asia and other areas. Tropics 5: 1–40.Google Scholar
  41. Tanaka, N. 1985. Patchy structure of a temperate mixed forest and topography in the Chichibu mountains, Japan. Jap. J. Ecol. 35: 153–167.Google Scholar
  42. Tanouchi, H. & Yamamoto, S. 1995. Structure and regeneration of canopy species in an old-growth evergreen broad-leaved forest in Aya district, Southwestern Japan. Vegetatio 117: 51–60.Google Scholar
  43. Taylor, A. H. & Qin, Z. 1988. Regeneration patterns in old-growth Abies-Betula forests in the Wolong natural reserve, Sichuan, China. J. Ecol. 76: 1204–1218.Google Scholar
  44. White, P. S. 1996. Spatial and biological scales in reintroduction. Pp. 49–86. In: Falk, D. A., Millar, C. I. & Olwell, M. (eds), Restoring diversity. Island Press, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  45. Whitmore, T. C. 1989. Canopy gaps and the two major groups of forest trees. Ecology 70: 536–538.Google Scholar
  46. Wiens, J. A. 1989. Spatial scaling in ecology. Funct. Ecol. 3: 385–397.Google Scholar
  47. Yamada, T. & Suzuki, E. 1997. Changes in spatial distribution during the life history of a tropical tree, Scaphium macropodum (Sterculiaceae) in Borneo. J. Plant Res. 110: 179–186.Google Scholar
  48. Yamakura, T., Kanzaki, M., Itoh, A., Ohkubo, T., Ogino, K., Chai, O. K. E., Lee, H. S. & Ashton, P. S. 1995. Topography of a large-scale research plot established within a tropical rain forest at Lambir, Sarawak. Tropics 5: 41–56.Google Scholar
  49. Yamamoto, S. 1992. Gap characteristics and gap regeneration in primary evergreen broad-leaved forests of western Japan. Bot. Magazine, Tokyo 105: 29–45.Google Scholar
  50. Yamamoto, S. & Itow, S. 1994. Studies in the evergreen broadleaved forest of Tatera forest reserve, Tsushima, Japan. V. Canopy gaps and gap regeneration in mature stands. Bull. Faculty Liberal Arts, Nagasaki Univ. Nat. Sci. 35(1): 17–26.Google Scholar
  51. Yamamoto, S., Nishimura, N. & Matsui, K. 1995. Natural disturbance and tree species coexistence in an old-growth beech-dwarf bamboo forest, southwestern Japan. J. Veg. Sci. 6: 875–886.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Manabe
  • N. Nishimura
  • M. Miura
  • S. Yamamoto

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations