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Structure, floristic composition and natural regeneration in the forests of Cat Tien National Park, Vietnam: an analysis of the successional trends

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The forests in Cat Tien National Park, appear as a mosaic of different communities, distinct from each other with respect to their floristic and structural parameters. The objectives of this study are (1) to characterize the different formations occurring in the lowland part and (2) to identify the main successional trends in the area. Understanding forest succession is important for silviculture and restoration of forests and land rehabilitation, as adequate information on the ecological role of local species in the functioning of the forests is not available in Vietnam. Five plots (1 ha each) were established in the lowland part of Cat Tien National Park, where all the trees ≥ 10 cm d.b.h. (diameter at breast height) were located, measured and identified. A systematic sampling was made to assess the regeneration. Three plots (A, C and D) can be considered as secondary forests on the basis of their structural parameters. Plots A and C are dominated by Lagerstrmia calyculata and plot D by Dipterocarpus alatus. The other two plots can be regarded as mature forests. Plot B corresponds to a semideciduous formation dominated by Lagerstrmia calyculata and Fabaceae species, and plot E to an evergreen one dominated by dipterocarp species. The floristic composition of plots A and C will change in the future because dominant canopy species are rare or absent in regeneration. A correspondence analysis performed on the number of trees per species shows two kinds of successional trends: one from A to B on shallow and drier soils, and another from C to E on deeper and wetter soils.
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Keywords: Dipterocarpaceae; Lagerstrmia calyculata; Secondary forests; Vietnam; diversity; reciprocal ordination; semideciduous forests

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Laboratoire de Biométrie et Biologie Evolutive, UMR CNRS 5558, Université Claude Bernard, Lyon 1, 43 Bd du 11 novembre 1918, 69622 Villeurbanne Cedex—France. Email:, Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 2000-01-01

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