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Trade-offs between growth and survival of non-pioneer light-demanding tree seedlings in tropical forest of Hainan Island, China

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  30 September 2011

Wenjie Yang
Affiliation:
Laboratory of Forest Ecology and Global Changes, School of Life Science, Nanjing University, 22 Hankou Road, Nanjing 210093, China College of Horticulture and Forestry Science, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, China
Fude Liu
Affiliation:
Laboratory of Forest Ecology and Global Changes, School of Life Science, Nanjing University, 22 Hankou Road, Nanjing 210093, China Key Laboratory of Water Resources and Environment of Shandong Province, Water Resources Research Institute of Shandong Province, Jinan 250013, China
Lingyan Zhou
Affiliation:
Laboratory of Forest Ecology and Global Changes, School of Life Science, Nanjing University, 22 Hankou Road, Nanjing 210093, China
Shiting Zhang
Affiliation:
Laboratory of Forest Ecology and Global Changes, School of Life Science, Nanjing University, 22 Hankou Road, Nanjing 210093, China
Shuqing An*
Affiliation:
Laboratory of Forest Ecology and Global Changes, School of Life Science, Nanjing University, 22 Hankou Road, Nanjing 210093, China
*
1Corresponding author. Email: anshq@nju.edu.cn

Abstract:

We performed a pot experiment in which 540 seedlings of nine non-pioneer light-demanding tree species were grown for 12 months in shade houses at three light levels, 46% daylight, 13% daylight and 2% daylight, to examine the mechanisms contributing to the coexistence of seedlings of non-pioneer light-demanding tree species in secondary successional tropical rain forest in Hainan, China. Growth and survival of tree seedlings were compared at different light levels, and the morphological and physiological correlates of high-light seedling growth and low-light survival across species were determined. For all species, mortality was very low in the 46% daylight and 13% daylight treatment but increased significantly in the 2% daylight treatment. Seedling survival in 2% daylight treatment was positively related to seed mass. Trade-off between high-light growth and low-light survival was more evident in the relationship with 2% daylight treatment as compared with 13% daylight treatment. Relative growth rate in the 2% daylight treatment was not significantly related to relative growth rate in the 13% daylight or 46% daylight treatment; although a slight negative correlation was apparent. Interspecific variation in RGRm was only closely correlated with net assimilation rate (NAR). The results provide some support for the niche-partitioning hypothesis.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2011

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Trade-offs between growth and survival of non-pioneer light-demanding tree seedlings in tropical forest of Hainan Island, China
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