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Woody Plant Regeneration in Four Floodplain Forests
Ecological Monographs (1994)
  • Robert H. Jones, Auburn University
  • Rebecca R. Sharitz, University of Georgia
  • Philip Dixon, University of Georgia
  • Debra S. Segal, KBN Engineering and Applied Sciences
  • Rebecca L. Schneider, Cornell University
Between 1987 and 1990, we estimated seedfall and recorded age, growth,
and survival of 10 933 tree and vine seedlings growing in the under stories of four bottomland
hardwood forests in South Carolina. The forests differed in flood frequency soils, and
vegetation structure but had a number of woody plant species in common.
Several demographic processes were consistent for all four forests as well as for floodplain
forests described in other published studies.Smaller seeded species had larger numbers
of seeds dispersed, germinants,and established seedlings. Seed size, however, was not
clearly related to seedling survival. Published rankings of shade and flood tolerances were
also unrelated to survival,at least during the first growing season after germination. Seedling
survival rates were least during the first growing season and greater in subsequent years.
Within a growing season, early germinants had greater survival. For some species, survival
was negatively related to basal area of neighboring conspecific adult trees.
Some aspects of the regeneration process were more site specific. Within species, seedfall
densities relative to adult tree abundance differed across forests by an order of magnitude.
First-year seedling mortality rates were significantly affected by site and site x species
interactions. Mortality in subsequent years was also significantly affected by site. Although
the role of flooding in site-specific mortality was not clear, small elevation changes within
flooded sites were correlated with changes in germination and survival for some species.
  • Acer rubrum,
  • bottomland hardwood forest,
  • demography,
  • floodplain forests,
  • forest regeneration,
  • life history traits,
  • Liquidambar styraciflua,
  • Nyssa sylvatica var. biflora,
  • population dynamics,
  • Quercus spp.,
  • seed size,
  • seedling recruitment,
  • shade tolerance
Publication Date
Publisher Statement
This is an article from Ecological Monographs 64 (1994): 345, doi:10.2307/2937166
Posted with permission. Copyright 1994 by the Ecological Society of America
Citation Information
Robert H. Jones, Rebecca R. Sharitz, Philip Dixon, Debra S. Segal, et al.. "Woody Plant Regeneration in Four Floodplain Forests" Ecological Monographs Vol. 64 Iss. 3 (1994) p. 345 - 367
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