Chin J Plan Ecolo ›› 2013, Vol. 37 ›› Issue (7): 611-619.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1258.2013.00063

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Tree architecture of overlapping species among successional stages in evergreen broad-leaved forests in Tiantong region, Zhejiang Province, China

YANG Xiao-Dong1,2, YAN En-Rong1,2*, ZHANG Zhi-Hao1,2, SUN Bao-Wei1,2, HUANG Hai-Xia1,2, Ali ARSHAD1,2, MA Wen-Ji1,2, and SHI Qing-Ru1,2   

  1. 1Department of Environment Science, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China;

    2Tiantong National Forest Ecosystem Observation and Research Station, Ningbo, Zhejiang 315114, China
  • Received:2013-03-18 Revised:2013-06-15 Online:2013-07-05 Published:2013-07-01
  • Contact: YAN En-Rong


Aims Tree architecture refers to the overall shape and size of the woody plants, as well as the spatial arrangement of its components in response to changing light. Variation in tree architecture of overlapping species among successional stages can be used to indicate relationships between tree architecture and light availability, because confounding effects resulted from plant phylogenetics are excluded. Our objective was to examine how tree architecture varies among overlapping species in different successional stages.
Methods The study sites are located in Tiantong National Forest Park (29°52′ N, 121°39′ E), Nanshan Mountain (29°52′ N, 121°41′ E) and Beilun Forest Park (29°50′ N, 121°52′ E) in Zhejiang Province, China. We measured tree height, crown depth and area, stem basal diameter, leaf coverage and convergence, stretch direction of branch and crown exposure index for five overlapping species in four vertical layers among successional communities in three sites. Linear regression analysis was conducted to examine the quantitative relationship between tree architecture and crown exposure index.
Important findings With the forest succession, crown depth and area, leaf coverage and stem basal diameter increased gradually, but did not show significant differences between adjacent successional stages in some cases. The proportion of dispersed leaves increased, but the proportion of clumped leaves decreased. Among four vertical layers, crown exposure index decreased through forest succession. There were significant linear relationships between crown exposure index and each of eight tree architectural traits (p < 0.001). We conclude that variability in tree architecture among overlapping species through forest succession indicates a shifting pattern of plant functional groups from pioneer species to shade-tolerant species in evergreen broad-leaved forests. Light acclimatization is one of main factors driving variation in tree architecture.

[1]Anten NPR, Schieving F (2010). The role of wood mass density and mechanical constraints in the economy of tree architecture. The American Naturalist, 175, 250–260. Crossref
[2] Ashton PS (1958). Light intensity measurements in rain forest near Santarem, Brazil. Journal of Ecology, 45, 65–70. Crossref
[3] Bazzaz FA, Pickett STA (1980). Physiological ecology of tropical succession: a comparative review. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics, 11, 287–310. Crossref
[4] Clark JS (2010). Individuals and the variation needed for high species diversity in forest trees. Science, 327, 1129–1132. Crossref
[5] Davies SJ, Ashton PS (1999). Phenology and fecundity in 11 sympatric pioneer species of Macaranga (Euphorbiaceae) in Borneo. American Journal of Botany, 86, 1786–1795. Crossref
[6] England JR, Attiwill PM (2006). Changes in leaf morphology and anatomy with tree age and height in the broadleaved evergreen species, Eucalyptus regnans F. Muell. Trees, 20, 79–90. Crossref
[7] Enquist BJ, West GB, Charnov EL, Brown JH (1999). Allometric scaling of production and life-history variation in vascular plants. Nature, 401, 907–911. Crossref
[8] Givnish TJ (1988). Adaptation to sun and shade: a whole-plant perspective. Australian Journal of Plant Physiology, 15, 63–92. Crossref
[9] Horn HS (1971). The Adaptive Geometry of Trees. Princeton University Press, Princeton. Crossref
[10] Iida Y, Kohyama TS, Kobo T, Kassim AR, Poorter L, Sterck F, Potts MD (2011). Tree architecture and life-history strategies across 200 co-occurring tropical tree species. Functional Ecology, 25, 1260–1268. Crossref
[11] Liu CC, Liu YG, Guo K (2011). Ecophysiological adaptations to drought stress of seedlings of four plant species with different growth forms in karst habitats. Chinese Journal of Plant Ecology, 35, 1070–1082. (in Chinese with English abstract) [刘长成, 刘玉国, 郭柯 (2011). 四种不同生活型植物幼苗对喀斯特生境干旱的生理生态适应. 植物生态学报, 35, 1070–1082.] Crossref
[12] King DA (1996). Allometry and life history of tropical trees. Journal of Tropical Ecology, 12, 25–44. Crossref
[13] King DA, Davies SJ, Nur Supardi MN, Tan S (2005). Tree growth is related to light interception and wood density in two mixed dipterocarp forests of Malaysia. Functional Ecology, 19, 445–453. Crossref
[14] Kohyama T (1993). Size-structured tree populations in gap-dynamic forest―the forest architecture hypothesis for the stable coexistence of species. Journal of Ecology, 81, 131–143. Crossref
[15] Kohyama T, Suzuki E, Partomihardjo T, Yamada T, Kubo T (2003). Tree species differentiation in growth, recruitment and allometry in relation to maximum height in a Bornean mixed dipterocarp forest. Journal of Ecology, 91, 797–806. Crossref
[16] Koch GW, Sillett SC, Jennings GM, Davis SD (2004). The limits to tree height. Nature, 428, 851–854. Crossref
[17] McCulloh KA, Johnson DM, Meinzer FC, Voelker SL, Lachenbruch H, Domec JC (2012). Hydraulic architecture of two species differing in wood density: opposing strategies in co-occurring tropical pioneer trees. Plant, Cell & Environment, 35, 116–125. Crossref
[18] McCulloh KA, Meinzer FC, Sperry JS, Lachenbruch B, Voelker SL, Woodruff DR, Domec JC (2011). Comparative hydraulic architecture of tropical tree species representing a range of successional stages and wood density. Oecologia, 167, 27–37. Crossref
[19] Muller-Landau HC (2004). Interspecific and inter-site variation in wood specific gravity of tropical trees. Biotropica, 36, 20–32. Crossref
[20] Niklas KJ, Spatz HC (2004). Growth and hydraulic (not mechanical) constraints govern the scaling of tree height and mass. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 101, 15661–15663. Crossref
[21] Olson ME, Aguirre-Hernández R, Rosell JA (2009). Universal foliage-stem scaling across environments and species in dicot trees: plasticity, biomechanics and Corner’s rules. Ecology Letters, 12, 210–219. Crossref
[22] Poorter L, Bongers F, Sterck FJ, Wöll H (2003). Architecture of 53 rain forest tree species differing in adult stature and shade tolerance. Ecology, 84, 602–608. Crossref
[23] Poorter L, Bongers L, Bongers F (2006). Architecture of 54 moist-forest tree species: traits, trade-offs, and functional groups. Ecology, 87, 1289–1301. Crossref
[24] Poorter L, McDonald I, Alarcón A, Fichtler E, Licona JC, Peña-Claros M, Sterck F, Villegas Z, Sass-Klaassen U (2010). The importance of wood traits and hydraulic conductance for the performance and life history strategies of 42 rainforest tree species. New Phytologist, 185, 481–492. Crossref
[25] Poorter L, Wright SJ, Paz H, Ackerly DD, Condit R, Ibarra- Manriquez G, Harms KE, Licona JC, Martínez-Ramos M, Mazer SJ, Muller-Landau HC, Peña-Claros M, Webb CO, Wright IJ (2008). Are functional traits good predictors of demographic rates? Evidence from five neotropical forests. Ecology, 89, 1908–1920. Crossref
[26] Price CA, Enquist BJ (2007). Scaling mass and morphology in leaves: an extension of the WBE model. Ecology, 88, 1132–1141. Crossref
[27] Ryan MG, Yoder BJ (1997). Hydraulic limits to tree height and tree growth. BioScience, 47, 235–242. Crossref
[28] Savage VM, Bentley LP, Enquist BJ, Sperry JS, Smith DD, Reich PB, von Allmen EI (2010). Hydraulic trade-offs and space filling enable better predictions of vascular structure and function in plants. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107, 22722–22727. Crossref
[29] Shukla RP, Ramakrishnan PS (1986). Architecture and growth strategies of tropical trees in relation to successional status. Journal of Ecology, 74, 33–46. Crossref
[30] Song YC, Wang XR (1995). Vegetation and Flora of Tiantong National Forest Park in Zhejiang Province. Shanghai Scientific and Technical Document Publishing House, Shanghai. 1–16. [宋永昌, 王祥荣 (1995). 浙江天童国家森林公园的植被和区系. 上海科学技术文献出版社, 上海. 1–16.] Crossref
[31] Steppe K, Cochard H, Lacointe A, Améglio T (2012). Could rapid diameter changes be facilitated by a variable hydraulic conductance? Plant, Cell & Environment, 35, 150–157. Crossref
[32] Sterck FJ, Bongers F, Newbery DM (2001). Tree architecture in a Bornean lowland rain forest: intraspecific and interspecific patterns. Plant Ecology, 153, 279–292. Crossref
[33] Thomas SC (1996). Asymptotic height as a predictor of growth and allometric characteristics in Malaysian rain forest trees. American Journal of Botany, 83, 556–566. Crossref
[34] Wang BY, Feng YL (2005). Effects of growth light intensities on photosynthesis in seedlings of two tropical rain forest species. Acta Ecologica Sinica, 25, 23–30. (in Chinese with English abstract) [王博轶, 冯玉龙 (2005). 生长环境光强对两种热带雨林树种幼苗光合作用的影响. 生态学报, 25, 23–30.] Crossref
[35] Westoby M, Falster DS, Moles AT, Vesk PA, Wright IJ (2002). Plant ecological strategies: some leading dimensions of variation between species. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics, 33, 125–159. Crossref
[36] Woodruff DR, Bond BJ, Meinzer FC (2004). Does turgor limit growth in tall trees? Plant, Cell & Environment, 27, 229–236. Crossref
[37] Wright SJ, Jaramillo MA, Pavon J, Condit R, Hubbell SP, Foster RB (2005). Reproductive size thresholds in tropical trees: variation among individuals, species and forests. Journal of Tropical Ecology, 21, 307–315. Crossref
[38] Wright SJ, Kitajima K, Kraft NJ, Reich PB, Wright IJ, Bunker DE, Condit R, Dalling JW, Davies SJ, Díaz S, Engelbrecht BMJ, Harms KE, Hubbell SP, Marks CO, Ruiz-Jaen MC, Salvador CM, Zanne AE (2010). Functional traits and the growth-mortality trade-off in tropical trees. Ecology, 91, 3664–3674. Crossref
[39] Yan ER, Wang XH, Guo M, Zhong Q, Zhou W, Li YF (2009). Temporal patterns of net soil N mineralization and nitrification through secondary succession in the subtropical forests of eastern China. Plant and Soil, 320, 181–194. Crossref
[40] Yan ER, Wang XH, Huang JJ (2006). Shifts in plant nutrient use strategies under secondary forest succession. Plant and Soil, 289, 187–197. Crossref
[41] Yan ER, Wang XH, Zhou W (2008). N:P stoichiometry in secondary succession in evergreen broad-leaved forest, Tiantong, East China. Journal of Plant Ecology (Chinese Version), 32, 13–22. (in Chinese with English abstract) [阎恩荣, 王希华, 周武 (2008). 天童常绿阔叶林演替系列植物群落的N:P化学计量特征. 植物生态学报, 32, 13–22.] Crossref
[42] Zan QJ, Li MG, Wang BS, Zhou XY (2000). Dynamics of community structure in successional process of needle and broad-leaved mixed forest in Heishiding of Guangdong. Chinese Journal of Applied Ecology, 11, 1–4. (in Chinese with English abstract) [昝启杰, 李鸣光, 王伯荪, 周先叶 (2000). 黑石顶针阔叶混交林演替过程中群落结构动态. 应用生态学报, 11, 1–4.] Crossref
No related articles found!
Full text



[1] . [J]. Chin Bull Bot, 2002, 19(01): 121 -124 .
[2] ZHANG Shi-Gong;GAO Ji-Yin and SONG Jing-Zhi. Effects of Betaine on Activities of Membrane Protective Enzymes in Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) Seedlings Under NaCl Stress[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 1999, 16(04): 429 -432 .
[3] SHE Chao-WenSONG Yun-Chun LIU Li-Hua. Analysis on the G_banded Karyotypes and Its Fluctuation at Different Mitotic Phases and Stages in Triticum tauschii (Aegilops squarrosa)[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 2001, 18(06): 727 -734 .
[4] Guijun Yang, Wenjiang Huang, Jihua Wang, Zhurong Xing. Inversion of Forest Leaf Area Index Calculated from Multi-source and Multi-angle Remote Sensing Data[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 2010, 45(05): 566 -578 .
[5] Man Chen, YishengTu, Linan Ye, Biyun Yang. Effect of Amino Acids on Thallus Growth and Huperzine-A Accumulation in Huperzia serrata[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 2017, 52(2): 218 -224 .
[6] Yefei Shang, Ming Li, Bo Ding, Hao Niu, Zhenning Yang, Xiaoqiang Chen, Gaoyi Cao, Xiaodong Xie. Advances in Auxin Regulation of Plant Stomatal Development[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 2017, 52(2): 235 -240 .
[7] CUI Xiao-Yong, Du Zhan-Chi, Wang Yan-Fen. Photosynthetic Characteristics of a Semi-arid Sandy Grassland Community in Inner Mongolia[J]. Chin J Plan Ecolo, 2000, 24(5): 541 -546 .
[8] LI Wei, ZHANG Ya-Li, HU Yuan-Yuan, YANG Mei-Sen, WU Jie, and ZHANG Wang-Feng. Research on the photoprotection and photosynthesis characteristics of young cotton leaves under field conditions[J]. Chin J Plan Ecolo, 2012, 36(7): 662 -670 .
[9] WEI Jie, YU Hui, KUANG Ting-Yun, BEN Gui-Ying. Ultrastructure of Polygonum viviparum L. Grown at Different Elevations on Qinghai Plateau[J]. Chin J Plan Ecolo, 2000, 24(3): 304 -307 .
[10] CHEN Jin, LI Yang, HUANG Jian-Hui. Decomposition of mixed litter of four dominant species in an Inner Mongolia steppe[J]. Chin J Plan Ecolo, 2011, 35(1): 9 -16 .