Dynamics of forests with Araucariaceae in the western Pacific
Enright, N.J., Ogden, J. and Rigg, L.S. (1999) Dynamics of forests with Araucariaceae in the western Pacific. Journal of Vegetation Science, 10 (6). pp. 793-804.
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Several species of Araucaria and Agathis (Araucariaceae) occur as canopy emergents in rain forests of the western pacific region, often representing major components of total stand biomass. New data from permanent forest plots (and other published work) for three species (Araucaria hunsteinii from New Guinea, A. laubenfelsii from New Caledonia, and Agathis australis from New Zealand) are used to test the validity of the temporal stand replacement model proposed by Ogden (1985) and Ogden and Stewart (1995) to explain the structural and compositional properties of New Zealand rain forests containing the conifer Agathis australis. Here we propose the model as a general one which explains the stand dynamics of rain forests with Araucariaceae across a range of sites and species in the western Pacific. Forest stands representing putative stages in the model were examined for changes through time in species recruitment, growth and survivorship, and stand richness, density and basal area. Support for the model was found on the basis of: 1. Evidence for a phase of massive conifer recruitment following landscape-scale disturbances (e.g. by fire at the Huapai site, New Zealand for Agathis australis); 2. Increasing species richness of angiosperm trees in the pole stage of forest stand development (i.e. as the initial cohort of conifers reach tree size; > 10 cm DBH); 3. A high turnover rate for angiosperms (< 100 yr), and low turnover for conifers (>> 100 yr) in the pole stage, but similar turnover rates for both components (50-100 yr) as forests enter the mature to senescent phase for the initial conifer cohort; 4. Very low rates of recruitment for conifers within mature stands, and projected forest compositions which show increasing dominance by angiosperm tree species; 5. A low probability of conifer recruitment in large canopy gaps created by conifer tree falls during the initial cohort senescent phase, which could produce a second generation low density stand in the absence of landscape scale disturbance; 6. Evidence that each of the three species examined required open canopy conditions (canopy openness > 10%) for successful recruitment. The evidence presented here supports the temporal stand replacement model, but more long-term supporting data are needed, especially for the phase immediately following landscape level disturbance.
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