Spatial pattern and size distribution of the animal-dispersed tree Quercus robur in two spruce-dominated forests
2000 (English)In: Ecoscience, ISSN 1195-6860, Vol. 7, no 1, 38-44 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
We investigated the degree to which the spatial distribution of oaks (Quercus robur L.) was related to habitat conditions, as reflected by vegetation type and structural features presumed to attract animal dispersers (trails, community borders). We hypothesized that the distribution pattern of oaks, with their potential to establish in many habitats, depends on the behaviour of the dispersing animals to a greater extent than micro-habitat conditions. One 100 m x 100 m plot was surveyed in each of two coniferous forests in east-central Sweden. No adult oak trees grew in the forests; all oaks were considered as dispersed into the plots by animals. We tested whether oak distribution was clumped with spatial autocorrelation analyses and whether oak distribution was related to vegetation type, species composition, tree cover, distance to nearest fertile oak tree, or distance to animal trails. Our study showed that oak trees were also spatially aggregated in a small-scale context. The spatial distribution of seedlings and older trees were associated with species richness and tree cover but not with any specific vegetation type, even though fewer oaks than expected grew in spruce forest habitats. Furthermore, we found that oak trees were associated with trails. There were differences in oak distribution between the two study sites in total number of oaks, the number of first-year seedlings, caches, and oak occurrence in relation to species richness and distance to nearest fertile oak. Seed-dispersing animals seem to be of importance for oak distribution even though animal activities seem to differ between sites.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2000. Vol. 7, no 1, 38-44 p.
tree seedlings; acorns; rodents; spatial aggregations; SEED DISPERSAL; TROPICAL FORESTS; PREDATION; RECRUITMENT; POPULATION
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-38090OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-38090DiVA: diva2:65989