Structure and inferred dynamics of a large grove of Microberlinia bisulcata trees in central African rain forest: the possible role of periods of multiple disturbance events

Newbery, David McClintock; van der Burgt, XM; Moravie, Marie-Agnès (2004). Structure and inferred dynamics of a large grove of Microberlinia bisulcata trees in central African rain forest: the possible role of periods of multiple disturbance events. Journal of Tropical Ecology, 20(2), pp. 131-143. Cambridge University Press 10.1017/S0266467403001111

[img]
Preview
Text
Newbery_VanderBurgt.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Publisher holds Copyright.
Sherpa/Romeo: Publishers version/PDF may be used in an institutional repository or PubMed Central after 12 month embargo

Download (351kB) | Preview

A 272-ha grove of dominant Microberlinia bisulcata (Caesalpinioideae) adult trees greater than or equal to 50 cm stem diameter was mapped in its entirety in the southern part of Korup National Park, Cameroon. The approach used an earlier-established 82.5-ha permanent plot with a new surrounding 50-m grid of transect lines. Tree diameters were available from the plot but trees on the grid were recorded as being greater than or equal to 50 cm. The grove consisted of 1028 trees in 2000. Other species occurred within the grove. including the associated subdominants Tetraberlinia bifoliolata and T. korupensis. Microberlinia bisulcata becomes adult at a stein diameter of c. 50 cm and at an estimated age of 50 y. Three oval-shaped subgroves with dimensions c. 8 50 in x 13 50 in (90 ha) were defined. For two of them (within the plot) tree diameters were available. Subgroves differed in their scales and intensities of spatial tree patterns, and in their size frequency distributions, these suggesting differing past dynamics. The modal scale of clumping was 40-50 m. Seed dispersal by pod ejection (to c. 50 in) was evident from the semi-circles of trees at the grove's edge and from the many internal circles (100-200 m diameter). The grove has the capacity. therefore, to increase at c. 100 m per century. To form its present extent and structure. it is inferred that it expanded and infilled from a possibly smaller area of lower adult-tree density. This possibly happened in three waves of recruitment, each one determined by a period of several intense disturbances. Climate records for Africa show that 1740-50 and 1820-30 were periods of drought, and that 1870-1895 was also regionally very dry. Canopy openings allow the light-demanding and fast-growing ectomycorrhizal M. bisulcata to establish, but successive releases are thought to be required to achieve effective recruitment. Nevertheless, in the last 50 y there were no major events and recruitment in the grove was very poor. This present study leads to a new hypothesis of the role of periods of multiple extreme events being the driving factor for the population dynamics of many large African tree species such as M. bisulcata.

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:

Newbery, David McClintock and Moravie, Marie-Agnès

Subjects:

500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)

ISSN:

0266-4674

Publisher:

Cambridge University Press

Language:

English

Submitter:

Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

15 Aug 2014 12:12

Last Modified:

18 May 2016 11:20

Publisher DOI:

10.1017/S0266467403001111

Uncontrolled Keywords:

grove formation, multiple disturbances, seed dispersal, size distribution, spatial pattern, tropical rain forest

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.53826

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/53826

Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback