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A 370-year dendroecological history of an old-growth AbiesAcerQuercus forest in

Summary: A 370-year dendroecological history of an
old-growth Abies­Acer­Quercus forest in
Hokkaido, northern Japan
Marc D. Abrams, Carolyn A. Copenheaver, Kazuhiko Terazawa, Kiyoshi Umeki,
Mika Takiya, and Nobuhiro Akashi
Abstract: Dendroecological techniques were used to study the dynamics and species recruitment patterns, spanning
nearly four centuries, for a mesic, montane, old-growth forest in Hokkaido, northern Japan. The forest is dominated by
Abies sachalinensis (Masters), Acer palmatum (Thunb.), Quercus mongolica var. grosseserrata (Rehd.), and
Cercidiphyllum japonicum (Sieb.). From 1620 to 1750 and 1820 to 1840, Q. mongolica exhibited continuous
recruitment into the overstory. A lack of recruitment for all tree species from 1750 to 1820 followed a 1739 volcanic
eruption 200 km from the study area. Release events for individual trees occurred almost every decade of the stand
history, indicating that frequent small-scale disturbances coupled with infrequent large-scale disturbances, impact tree
growth and species recruitment. From 1870 to 1950, canopy recruitment of Abies and Acer dominated the forest, while
recruitment of Quercus ceased. These later successional species appeared to be replacing Quercus, suggesting that the
syndrome of declining oak dominance is an increasingly global phenomenon. However, successional patterns in the
forest are difficult to predict because intensive deer browsing has recently prevented canopy recruitment of all tree
species and the possibility of future large-scale disturbances, such as fire and volcanic eruption.
Résumé : Des techniques dendroécologiques ont été utilisées pour étudier la dynamique et les patrons de recrutement
des espèces, sur près de quatre siècles, d'une vieille forêt montagnarde mésique de l'île de Hokkaido, dans le nord du
Japon. La forêt est dominée par l'Abies sachalinensis (Masters), l'Acer palmatum (Thunb.), le Quercus mongolica var.


Source: Abrams, Marc David - School of Forest Resources, Pennsylvania State University


Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology