SREL Reprint #1912





Tree population dynamics in seven South Carolina mixed-species forests

Robert H. Jones
School of Forestry, 108 M. White Smith Hall,
Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849

Rebecca R. Sharitz
Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, Aiken, SC 29802 and
Department of Botany, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602

Susanne M. James
Department of Biology, Berry College, Rome, GA 30149

Philip M. Dixon
Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, Aiken, SC 29802

Seven 1-ha plots were established in second-growth, mixed-species forests across a soil moisture gradient in the Coastal Plain of South Carolina. All trees in the plots were tagged in 1979 and measured in 1979 and 1989 to determine 10-yr. recruitment of trees >4.5 cm DBH (in growth) and mortality. Ingrowth to mortality ratios and sums of ingrowth plus mortality were used to quantify shade tolerance and successional status of individual species. In all plots, small stem density decreased and large stem density increased, an indication that the forests were in mid-successional phases where competition is expected to be intense. Shade tolerant species, especially small tree life forms, had the greatest ratios of ingrowth to mortality. Large differences in population flux, even among shade tolerant species, indicated that different mechanisms can account for increases in populations of late-successional species. Within some species, ratios of ingrowth to mortality varied significantly across the gradient reflecting flooding or soil moisture effects on succession.

Key words: forest succession, ingrowth, mortality, shade tolerance, population flux.


SREL Reprint #1912

Jones, R.H., R.R. Sharitz, S.M. James, and P.M. Dixon. 1994. Tree population dynamics in seven South Carolina mixed-species forests. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club 121:360-368.

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