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Ariya U.,Okayama University | Hamano K.-Y.,Okayama University | Makimoto T.,Okayama Prefecture Mimasaka General Service Bureau | Kinoshita S.,Okayama University | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Forest Research

Dendrochronological approaches enable us to understand forest stand dynamics by estimation of disturbance history and age structure. The present study was conducted in an old-growth beech forest in a forest reserve in western Japan. Increment cores were taken for tree ring analysis from all canopy trees in a 50 m × 130 m study plot. Radial growth release criteria were developed to identify significant growth releases in each tree ring series and to characterize the disturbance history of the study site. The age structure of the forest was indicative of continuous establishment by Fagus crenata and simultaneous establishment by Magnolia obovata. A variety of low-intensity disturbances were identified in each decade, especially after the 1900s, but the occurrence of high-intensity catastrophic disturbance was rare, and likely played an important role in maintaining species diversity in the existing forest canopy. The results also suggest that F. crenata regenerates gradually before and after both large- and small-scale disturbances, whereas M. obovata and Betula grossa regenerate only after large-scale catastrophic disturbances. © 2015 The Japanese Forest Society and Springer Japan Source

Akaji Y.,Okayama University | Miyazaki Y.,Okayama University | Hirobe M.,Okayama University | Makimoto T.,Okayama Prefecture Mimasaka General Service Bureau | Sakamoto K.,Okayama University
Plant Ecology

Seedling genotype is one of the major factors affecting seedling survival when the rate of damage by natural enemies depends on a host genotype. However, to our knowledge, no previous study has examined the mortality of seedlings adjacent to conspecific adults, considering intraspecific variation in seedling genotypes. On the basis of the assumption that natural enemies adapt to adult trees having a unique genotype, we tested the hypothesis that seedling survival decreases when they are more closely genetically related to neighboring adults, by measuring the mortality rate of seedlings of Fagus crenata growing in a cool-temperate forest in Japan. We estimated the genetic relatedness of seedlings (2 and 6 years old) to the neighboring adult F. crenata using microsatellite analysis and measured seedling survival. We determined that there was a non-significant negative correlation between seedling survival and genetic relatedness in the 2-year-old seedling cohort, and a non-significant but positive correlation in the 6-year-old seedlings. Our results call for further studies on the potential relationship between seedling survival and genetic relatedness to neighboring adults. © 2016 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht Source

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