Skip to main content

Ecophysiology of Seedlings of Oaks and Red Maple Across a Topographic Gradient in Eastern Kentucky

Buy Article:

$21.50 plus tax (Refund Policy)

Throughout much of the eastern United States, oaks (Quercus spp.) are being replaced through natural succession by more shade-tolerant species. In Robinson Forest in eastern Kentucky, A. rubrum is numerically dominant in the understory and appears to be successionally replacing five oaks that occur at different topographic positions in upland forests. To help predict future succession, we compared A. rubrum and the five oaks in terms of patterns of gas exchange and water relations in understory seedlings subjected to artificial, saturating light levels. Physiological responses exhibited clear diurnal patterns, but were not strongly related to topography (mesic versus xeric aspects). Despite their different topographic distributions, oaks differed only minimally in responses. The lack of oak species and topographic effects on physiology may have stemmed from nonlimiting moisture conditions during the study. In contrast, A. rubrum exhibited very low A and gww and very high leaf compared to the oaks. Furthermore, in the oaks, A was controlled mainly by gwv, whereas in A. rubrum, leaf and Tleaf were more strongly correlated with A than was gwv probably reflecting relatively low dehydration tolerance in A. rubrum leaves. Future light regimes should be enhanced by gap-phase dynamics. Under these conditions, the higher photosynthetic capacity of oaks compared to A. rubrum may contribute to higher leaf carbon gain. On the other hand, abundant tall understory A. rubrum may continue preempting light from smaller oak juveniles, promoting eventual replacement of oaks by A. rubrum at Robinson Forest. For. Sci. 42(3):335-342.
No Reference information available - sign in for access.
No Citation information available - sign in for access.
No Supplementary Data.
No Data/Media
No Metrics

Keywords: Succession; forest dynamics; gas exchange; plant distribution; water relations

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Associate Professor in the Center for Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior and the T H. Morgan School of Biological Sciences at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506

Publication date: 1996-08-01

More about this publication?
  • Forest Science is a peer-reviewed journal publishing fundamental and applied research that explores all aspects of natural and social sciences as they apply to the function and management of the forested ecosystems of the world. Topics include silviculture, forest management, biometrics, economics, entomology & pathology, fire & fuels management, forest ecology, genetics & tree improvement, geospatial technologies, harvesting & utilization, landscape ecology, operations research, forest policy, physiology, recreation, social sciences, soils & hydrology, and wildlife management.
    Forest Science is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December.

    2016 Impact Factor: 1.782 (Rank 17/64 in forestry)

    Average time from submission to first decision: 62.5 days*
    June 1, 2016 to Feb. 28, 2017

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
  • Submit a Paper
  • Membership Information
  • Author Guidelines
  • Podcasts
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more