Chin J Plan Ecolo ›› 2016, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (7): 711-722.DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2015.0366

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Effects of biotic neighbors and habitat heterogeneity on tree seedling survival in a secondary mixed conifer and broad-leaved forest in Changbai Mountain

Shuai LIU1,2, Jia-Xing LIAO1, Cui XIAO1, Xiu-Hua FAN2,*()   

  1. 1Key Laboratory for Forest Resources & Ecosystem Processes of Beijing, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083, China
    and
    2College of Science, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083, China
  • Received:2015-10-13 Accepted:2016-03-26 Online:2016-07-10 Published:2016-07-07
  • Contact: Xiu-Hua FAN

Abstract:

Aims Our study aimed to understand the effects and the relative importance of biotic neighborhood and habitat heterogeneity for tree seedling survival in a secondary mixed conifer and broad-leaved forest in Changbai Mountain, north-eastern China.
Methods The generalized mixed linear model was used to examine the relative effects of biotic neighborhood and habitat heterogeneity on seedling survival over two years.
Important findings Our results showed that both biotic neighborhood and habitat heterogeneity had significant effects on the seedling survival at community level. The local environment suitable for the adult growth was also suitable for seedling survival. The soil moisture and soil available nitrogen exhibited significant positive effects on seedling survival. On the other hand, seedling density had significant negative effects on seedling survival due to the individual competition. Particularly, we found significant negative density-dependent effects on seedling survival which was caused by conspecific adult and seedling neighbors. As expected, with the increasing of seedling survival age, the habitat heterogeneity became more important on seedling survival. These results suggest that both local biotic neighborhood and habitat heterogeneity drive seedling survival in this temperate forest, and their relative importance varies with different seedling age classes and species traits.

Key words: secondary mixed conifer and broad-leaved forest, generalized linear mixed model, tree seedling survival, biotic neighborhood, habitat heterogeneity