Chin J Plan Ecolo ›› 2012, Vol. 36 ›› Issue (8): 729-738.DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1258.2012.00729

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Spatiotemporal dynamics of seed rain in natural forest of Betula alnoides in Jingxi County, Guangxi, China

GUO Jun-Jie, ZHAO Zhi-Gang, OU Jing-Li, SHA Er, LIN Kai-Qin, ZENG Jie*, and XU Da-Ping   

  1. Research Institute of Tropical Forestry, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Guangzhou 510520, China
  • Received:2012-03-30 Revised:2012-07-19 Online:2012-08-01 Published:2012-08-21
  • Contact: ZENG Jie


Aims Our objective was to study spatiotemporal dynamics of seed dispersal of Betula alnoides and analyze its correlation with wind speed and wind direction at community and individual levels.
Methods Seed dispersal was investigated for a natural forest and an isolated tree of B. alnoides. We set seven sample lines 100 to 355 m long in or around the natural forest. One seed trap was placed every 5 m, and seeds were collected every two days. We set eight sample lines (east, southeast, south, southwest, west, northwest, north, northeast) around the isolated tree. Three seed traps were placed every 5 m from 0 to 50 m and every 10 m from 60 to 150 m, and seeds were collected each day. Wind speed and wind directions were measured at two sites. Seed rain density was calculated.
Important findings The seed rain lasted 83 and 60 days at the community and individual levels, respectively. The starting, fastigium and subsiding stages of seed dispersal lasted 11, 32 and 40 days for the community and 9, 25 and 26 days for the isolated individual. Seeds dispersed at the fastigium stage accounted for 83.1% and 68.7% of all seeds collected at the community and individual levels, respectively. Seed rain density was higher during the day than at night, and the highest seed rain density by day occurred at 12:00–16:00. At the individual level, seed rain density decreased with increasing distance from the maternal tree, and 79.6% of seeds were collected in the area of 0–30 m around the maternal tree. Seed rain density at the community level also decreased with longer distance from the forest edge, and 79.6% of seeds were collected in the area of 0–45 m around the forest edge. The seed rain density was significantly different among directions (p < 0.01), which was affected by wind direction. Seed rain density was also positively affected by wind speed (p < 0.05).