Deciduous trees affect small-scale floristic diversity and tree regeneration in conifer forests
2006 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research, ISSN 0282-7581, Vol. 21, no 5, 399-404 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
There is a growing interest in the effects of deciduous trees on biodiversity, soil processes and long-term productivity in boreal, conifer-dominated forests. This study investigated whether individual birch trees allowed to grow to maturity in the coniferous forest can have a local effect on floristic richness and regeneration of tree saplings. The ground vegetation was compared in 2 m radius plots around the stem under the canopies of matched conifer-deciduous trees in a mature, conifer-dominated forest, and included in the analysis variables that could potentially mediate the tree effect (soil pH, cover of lichens, bryophytes, leaf and needle litter). The field layer vegetation was more species rich under birch (Betula pendula and B. pubescens) than under conifers (Picea abies and Pinus sylvestris), and several vascular plant species (including saplings of tree species) occurred more often under birch than under conifers. However, when the effect of the number of subordinate trees was taken into account the difference between birch and pine was not significant. The number of tree regenerations (saplings) was lowest under pines, but did not differ between spruce and birch. There were no effects of the canopy species on soil pH or on cover of lichens and bryophytes. The difference in diversity may be caused by the different effects of leaf and needle litter, and it is also likely that canopy structure has an influence via interception and throughfall and by affecting the light and microclimate.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 21, no 5, 399-404 p.
Betula, litter, pH, Picea, Pinus, shading, species richness, tree regeneration
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-24192DOI: 10.1080/02827580600917387ISI: 000241491600007OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-24192DiVA: diva2:51966