The Relative Contributions of Seed Bank, Seed Rain, and Understory Vegetation Dynamics to the Reorganization of Tsuga Canadensis Forests After Loss due to Logging or Simulated Attack by Adelges tsugae
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CitationFarnsworth, Elizabeth J., Audrey A. Barker Plotkin, Aaron M. Ellison. 2012. The relative contributions of seed bank, seed rain, and understory vegetation dynamics to the reorganization of Tsuga canadensis forests after loss due to logging or simulated attack by Adelges tsugae. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 42(12): 2090-2105.
AbstractProfound changes are occurring in forests as native insects, nonnative insects, or pathogens irrupt on foundation tree species; comprehensive models of vegetation responses are needed to predict future forest composition. We experimentally simulated hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae Annand) infestation (by girdling trees) and preemptive logging of eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis (L.) Carrière) and compared vegetation dynamics in replicate 90 m × 90 m treatment plots and intact hemlock stands from 2004 to 2010. Using Chao–Sørensen abundance-based similarity indices, we assessed compositional similarities of trees, shrubs, forbs, and graminoids among the seed bank, seed rain, and standing vegetation over time and among treatments. Post-treatment seed rain, similar among treatments, closely reflected canopy tree composition. Species richness of the seed bank was similar in 2004 and 2010. Standing vegetation in the hemlock controls remained dissimilar from the seed bank, reflecting suppressed germination. Recruits from the seed rain and seed bank dominated standing vegetation in the logged treatment, whereas regeneration of vegetation from the seed bank and seed rain was slowed due to shading by dying hemlocks in the girdled treatment. Our approach uniquely integrates multiple regeneration components through time and provides a method for predicting forest dynamics following loss of foundation tree species.
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