Species diversity of broad-leaved trees in Cryptomeria japonica plantations in relation to the distance from adjacent broad-leaved forests
Journal of Forest Research
The species diversity of broad-leaved trees in relation to the distance from a broad-leaved forest was investigated in Cryptomeria japonica plantations with crown snow damage near the Japan Sea in central Japan. The number and diversity of species and stem density decreased with distance from the broad-leaved forest in maturing gap stands (51-58 years old; >10 years after crown snow damage), but not in recent gap stands (34-42 years old; <10 years after crown snow damage), and increased with improved light conditions in the interior of recent gap stands, but not in that of maturing gap stands. The stem densities of tall and small tree species and woody lianas were greater in the interior of recent gap stands than in maturing gap stands. Woody lianas, which are characteristically shade intolerant, had a high stem density in the interior of recent gap stands. In contrast, the stem density of shrubs was greater in maturing gap stands than in recent gap stands, irrespective of distance. Shade-tolerant shrubs had a high stem density in maturing gap stands. Wind-dispersed and frugivore-dispersed species were concentrated at the edges of maturing gap stands, but some frugivore-dispersed species, which may persist in soil seed banks, occurred in the interior of recent gap stands. Gravity-dispersed species tended to occur both at the plantation edge and in the interior. The differences in the occurrence patterns of broad-leaved trees in the two types of stands reflected the difference in the effect of both the distance from the adjacent broad-leaved forest and the light conditions related to canopy gaps, with the time since gap formation in a region where crown snow damage often occurs.