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Plant Species Diversity in a Managed Forest Landscape Composed of Larix kaempferi Plantations and Abandoned Coppice Forests in Central Japan

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To evaluate the role of each forest type and stand in an intensively managed forest landscape in terms of vascular plant species diversity, we studied a landscape composed mainly of Larix kaempferi plantations with different stand ages and secondary broad-leaved abandoned coppice forests in central Japan, which were both codominant in the study landscape. All species diversity indices were significantly higher in plantations than in secondary forests. In the detrended correspondence analysis diagram, the younger plantations were distributed far from the older plantations, and the older plantations were located close to broad-leaved secondary forests. The relative frequency of occurrence and number of weed species were both negatively correlated with stand age for plantations, while the number of species with bird-dispersed seeds was positively correlated. Therefore, these changes along the stand-age gradient for specific ecological attributes of species created the similarity in community composition found between older plantations and secondary forests. Because the relative frequency of occurrence and number of tall-tree species and the relative frequency of species with bird-dispersed seeds were significantly higher in secondary forests than in plantations, restoring these species in plantations would likely be a long process.
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Keywords: Growth form; long-rotation plantation; plantation stand age; seed dispersal type; weed species

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2006-06-01

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    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.
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