J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2007, Vol. 49 ›› Issue (11): 1565-1572.DOI: 10.1111/j.1774-7909.2007.00577.x

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Seed Dynamics in Relation to Gaps in a Tropical Montane Rainforest of Hainan Island, South China: (I) Seed Rain

Run-Guo Zang, Wei-Yin Zhang and Yi Ding   

Abstract: Seed dynamics is an important part of stand dynamics in forest ecosystems. In this paper, 26 gaps were randomly selected to study the influence of gaps on the spatial and temporal patterns of seed rains in a tropical montane rainforest of Hainan Island, South China. Three zones for each gap, including outside gap zone (Non-gap), transitional gap zone (EG-CG), and central gap zone (CG), were designed, and four seed traps (each 1m × 1m in size) were placed in each zone. Seed rains were collected by these traps every 10 days from June 2001 to May 2002. Seed rain varied greatly with season and generally exhibited a pattern of unimodal change during the study period: seed abundance and species richness were both greater in the wet season than in the dry season. Gaps significantly influenced the temporal patterns of both species richness and density of seed rains. Gaps had no significant influences on the spatial distribution patterns of seed rain species richness, but significantly affected the spatial distribution pattern of seed rain densities. Among the three different zones of gaps, the outside gap zone generally received more seeds inputs than the two other gap zones.

Key words: forest regeneration, gap dynamics, Hainan Island, seed dispersal, seed rain, supply-side process, tropical montane rain forest.

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