J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2007, Vol. 49 ›› Issue (2): -.DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2007.00429.x

Special Issue: Ecology and Global Changes

• Research Articles •    

Age Structure and Growth Pattern of an Endangered Species, Amentotaxus formosana Li

Chinsu Lin, Ming-Hsun Chan, Feng-Sheng Chen and Ya-Nan Wang   

Abstract: Amentotaxus formosana Li is a native, tolerant, and under-wood species in Taiwan. This particular species is only distributed around the Chachayalaishan and Dawushan areas. Because of its rarity, and the endangered and native properties of the species, we explored the regeneration process of the species in the native environment. This paper, therefore, aims to outline the age distribution and growth characteristics of A. formosana in the native stand using the techniques of tree ring analysis. An inventory was conducted in a site at the Chachayalaishan area from 2004 to 2006. According to the inventory, there are 67 trees in the sampling plot among which 16 individual A. formosana trees were counted. This is roughly 24% of the total population. This particular species is distributed around the understory space, while other species such as Litsea spp., Meliosma squamulata Hance, Schefflera octophylla Harms, Elaeocarpus japonicus Sieb et Zucc and Cleyera japonica Thunb are the major species whose canopy occupying the upperstory space of the stand. Results of tree-ring analysis suggest that the age of most of the trees in the sampling plot is between 31 and 90 years old with an average of 56. For the endangered species, A. formosana, age of the individuals varied from 14 and 126 years old and the average was 58 years old. Age distribution of the species was modeled using the Weibull probability density function and was statistically assessed using Sigmaplot statistical software. The estimate of shape parameter is 1.404 5 indicating a medium regeneration situation. The diameter growth rate of A. formosana is 0.32 cm and ranks 20th among the 26 species in the sampling plot. Using the age as a regressor variable, we can predict the diameter increment of A. formosana efficiently. The coefficient of determination, R2, is 0.832 2. The diameter growth among the trees of the upperstory and understory was competitive. Relationship between the growth change percentage of A. formosana and the surrounding hardwoods is negative.

Key words: age structure, Amentotaxus formosana, growth pattern, Weibull function

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