On the detection of dynamic responses in a drought-perturbed tropical rainforest in Borneo

Lingenfelder, Marcus; Newbery, David McClintock (2009). On the detection of dynamic responses in a drought-perturbed tropical rainforest in Borneo. Plant Ecology, 201(1), pp. 267-290. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands 10.1007/s11258-008-9568-x

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The dynamics of aseasonal lowland dipterocarp forest in Borneo is influenced by perturbation from droughts. These events might be increasing in frequency and intensity in the future. This paper describes drought-affected dynamics between 1986 and 2001 in Sabah, Malaysia, and considers how it is possible, reliably and accurately, to measure both coarse- and fine-scale responses of the forest. Some fundamental concerns about methodology and data analysis emerge. In two plots forming 8 ha, mortality, recruitment, and stem growth rates of trees ≥10 cm gbh (girth at breast height) were measured in a ‘pre-drought’ period (1986–1996), and in a period (1996–2001) including the 1997–1998 ENSO-drought. For 2.56 ha of subplots, mortality and growth rates of small trees (10–<50 cm gbh) were found also for two sub-periods (1996–1999, 1999–2001). A total of c. 19 K trees were recorded. Mortality rate increased by 25% while both recruitment and relative growth rates increased by 12% for all trees at the coarse scale. For small trees, at the fine scale, mortality increased by 6% and 9% from pre-drought to drought and on to ‘post-drought’ sub-periods. Relative growth rates correspondingly decreased by 38% and increased by 98%. Tree size and topography interacted in a complex manner with between-plot differences. The forest appears to have been sustained by off-setting elevated tree mortality by highly resilient stem growth. This last is seen as the key integrating tree variable which links the external driver (drought causing water stress) and population dynamics recorded as mortality and recruitment. Suitably sound measurements of stem girth, leading to valid growth rates, are needed to understand and model tree dynamic responses to perturbations. The proportion of sound data, however, is in part determined by the drought itself.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS)
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS) > Vegetation Ecology (discontinued)

UniBE Contributor:

Lingenfelder, Marcus and Newbery, David McClintock

Subjects:

500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)

ISSN:

1385-0237

Publisher:

Springer Netherlands

Language:

English

Submitter:

Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 15:21

Last Modified:

26 Jun 2018 13:16

Publisher DOI:

10.1007/s11258-008-9568-x

Web of Science ID:

000263175800021

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Dynamics; Perturbation; Drought; Stem growth; Tree mortality; Validity

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.36302

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/36302 (FactScience: 204319)

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