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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceReview

Forest Climax Phenomenon: An Invariance of Scale

Institute of Forestry, Lithuanian Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry, LT-53101 Kaunas distr., Lithuania
Forests 2020, 11(1), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11010056
Received: 6 December 2019 / Revised: 26 December 2019 / Accepted: 28 December 2019 / Published: 2 January 2020
We can think of forests as multiscale multispecies networks, constantly evolving toward a climax or potential natural community—the successional process-pattern of natural regeneration that exhibits sensitivity to initial conditions. This is why I look into forest succession in light of the Red Queen hypothesis and focus on the key aspects of ecological self-organisation: dynamical criticality, evolvability and intransitivity. The idea of the review is that forest climax should be associated with habitat dynamics driven by a large continuum of ecologically equivalent time scales, so that the same ecological conclusions could be drawn statistically from any scale. A synthesis of the literature is undertaken in order to (1) present the framework for assessing habitat dynamics and (2) present the types of successional trajectories based on tree regeneration mode in forest gaps. In general, there are four types of successional trajectories within the process-pattern of forest regeneration that exhibits sensitivity to initial conditions: advance reproduction specialists, advance reproduction generalists, early reproduction generalists and early reproduction specialists. A successional trajectory is an expression of a fractal connectivity among certain patterns of natural regeneration in the multiscale multispecies networks of landscape habitats. Theoretically, the organically derived measures of pattern diversity, integrity and complexity, determined by the rates of recruitment, growth and mortality of forest tree species, are the means to test the efficacy of specific interventions to avert the disturbance-related decline in forest regeneration. That is of relevance to the emerging field of biocomplexity research. View Full-Text
Keywords: habitat; regeneration; succession; dynamics habitat; regeneration; succession; dynamics
MDPI and ACS Style

Petrokas, R. Forest Climax Phenomenon: An Invariance of Scale. Forests 2020, 11, 56.

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