Tree regeneration after bamboo die‐back in Chinese Abies‐Betula forests

Alan H. Taylor, Qin Zisheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Abstract. Gaps created by disturbance in the forest canopy are important sites for tree regeneration from seed but plants already established in gaps may slow gap‐filling. This study deals with consequences of bamboo die‐back for tree regeneration and the dynamics of Abies‐Betula forests in southwest China. Bamboo dominates the forest understory impeding tree regeneration when in its vegetative phase. Populations of tree seedlings were sampled in 1984–85 and 1990 in two sets of permanent plots where bamboo had died back in 1983. Both Abies and Betula density increased after bamboo die‐back, Betula more so than Abies, especially in gaps. Before bamboo die‐back, seedlings were established on raised surfaces such as logs but afterwards seedlings became common on the forest floor. This reduced the intensity of clumping of seedling populations between 1984 and 1990. A tree by tree replacement model predicts an increase in Abies and a decrease in Betula after bamboo die‐back. Life histories of tree species, gap characteristics, and the bamboo growth cycle (mature/die‐back/building) interact to promote fluctuating dominance of Abies and Betula in old‐growth forests. 1992 IAVS ‐ the International Association of Vegetation Science

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)253-260
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Vegetation Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1992

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology
  • Plant Science


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