Differentiating Structural and Compositional Attributes across Successional Stages in Chilean Temperate Rainforests
AbstractThe landscape in the lowlands of south-central Chile is dominated by agricultural lands and forestry plantations of exotic species. Natural forests are restricted to successional forests, while old-growth forests are nearly absent. The lack of old-growth forests may deprive society from some ecosystem services. Both successional and old forests differ in their ecological functions and in the ecosystem services they can provide. To promote old-growth characteristics in successional forests, it becomes necessary to know which compositional and structural attributes differentiate forests along succession. We aim at identifying the differential attributes among successional and old-growth forests in the lowlands in the northern portion of the Valdivian Rainforests. We analyzed 19 variables in seven different forests and found statistically significant differences in 13 of them. A subset of these variables illustrated major patterns that differentiate successional stages, of which a few could be more easily controlled through management. The latter include lowering tree densities (from >3000 to <1500 trees per hectare), increasing volume of large trees, especially of shade-tolerant species, and structural heterogeneity (a Gini coefficient >0.7 represents older forests). While successional forest show a rapid recovery, forest managers would need to focus in controlling these attributes to increase their old-growth characteristics. View Full-Text
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Ponce, D.B.; Donoso, P.J.; Salas-Eljatib, C. Differentiating Structural and Compositional Attributes across Successional Stages in Chilean Temperate Rainforests. Forests 2017, 8, 329.
Ponce DB, Donoso PJ, Salas-Eljatib C. Differentiating Structural and Compositional Attributes across Successional Stages in Chilean Temperate Rainforests. Forests. 2017; 8(9):329.Chicago/Turabian Style
Ponce, Diego B.; Donoso, Pablo J.; Salas-Eljatib, Christian. 2017. "Differentiating Structural and Compositional Attributes across Successional Stages in Chilean Temperate Rainforests." Forests 8, no. 9: 329.
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