Variation in the demography of a woodland understorey herb ( Primula vulgaris ) along the forest regeneration cycle: projection matrix analysis

Variation in the demography of a woodland understorey herb ( Primula vulgaris ) along the forest... 1 Gaps in the forest canopy allow establishment of many understorey species. As gaps close, their demographic behaviour is affected by changing environmental conditions. A demographic analysis of Primula vulgaris populations in forest patches with varying canopy openness was carried out to investigate the effect of forest canopy dynamics on the demography of this forest understorey herb. 2 Eight P. vulgaris populations across a range of light conditions were studied in three deciduous temperate forests in Britain. Demographic data were collected in each population during summer 1992, 1993 and 1994, and stage‐based population projection matrices were built to describe their demography for two growth periods (1992–93 and 1993–94). 3 Population growth rate (λ) varied from 0.97 to 1.98 in 1992–93, and from 0.88 to 1.23 in 1993–94. There was a significant positive correlation between λ and diffuse light for the two periods studied: generally, population growth rate was lower in darker patches, implying that populations decline as the canopy closes. Lower λ‐values in 1993–94 were the result of increased mortality and decreased fecundity compared to 1992–93. In most cases the observed population structures were significantly different from the calculated stable‐stage distributions. 4 Sensitivity analysis showed that λ was most sensitive to changes in matrix transitions that corresponded to growth from small to adult stages, especially those that implied fast growth. Elasticity analysis revealed that the contribution of fecundity elements to λ was small, but populations in brighter patches showed comparatively higher fecundity elasticities than populations under the closed canopy. High elasticities corresponded to the entries that implied growth (especially in brighter patches) or persistence in adult categories (predominantly in darker patches). 5 The observed variation in the demography of P. vulgaris in different patches along the forest regeneration cycle stresses the importance of studying the variation in plant population dynamics across the range of habitat patches in which the plant naturally occurs. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Ecology Wiley

Variation in the demography of a woodland understorey herb ( Primula vulgaris ) along the forest regeneration cycle: projection matrix analysis

Journal of Ecology, Volume 86 (4) – Aug 1, 1998

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 1998 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
ISSN
0022-0477
eISSN
1365-2745
DOI
10.1046/j.1365-2745.1998.00280.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

1 Gaps in the forest canopy allow establishment of many understorey species. As gaps close, their demographic behaviour is affected by changing environmental conditions. A demographic analysis of Primula vulgaris populations in forest patches with varying canopy openness was carried out to investigate the effect of forest canopy dynamics on the demography of this forest understorey herb. 2 Eight P. vulgaris populations across a range of light conditions were studied in three deciduous temperate forests in Britain. Demographic data were collected in each population during summer 1992, 1993 and 1994, and stage‐based population projection matrices were built to describe their demography for two growth periods (1992–93 and 1993–94). 3 Population growth rate (λ) varied from 0.97 to 1.98 in 1992–93, and from 0.88 to 1.23 in 1993–94. There was a significant positive correlation between λ and diffuse light for the two periods studied: generally, population growth rate was lower in darker patches, implying that populations decline as the canopy closes. Lower λ‐values in 1993–94 were the result of increased mortality and decreased fecundity compared to 1992–93. In most cases the observed population structures were significantly different from the calculated stable‐stage distributions. 4 Sensitivity analysis showed that λ was most sensitive to changes in matrix transitions that corresponded to growth from small to adult stages, especially those that implied fast growth. Elasticity analysis revealed that the contribution of fecundity elements to λ was small, but populations in brighter patches showed comparatively higher fecundity elasticities than populations under the closed canopy. High elasticities corresponded to the entries that implied growth (especially in brighter patches) or persistence in adult categories (predominantly in darker patches). 5 The observed variation in the demography of P. vulgaris in different patches along the forest regeneration cycle stresses the importance of studying the variation in plant population dynamics across the range of habitat patches in which the plant naturally occurs.

Journal

Journal of EcologyWiley

Published: Aug 1, 1998

References

  • Population growth and viability analyses of the clonal woodland herb, Asarum canadense .
    Damman, Damman; Cain, Cain
  • Comparing plant life histories using elasticity analysis: the importance of the life span and the number of life‐cycle stages.
    Enright, Enright; Franco, Franco; Silvertown, Silvertown
  • Local extinctions in a metapopulation context: an empirical evaluation.
    Harrison, Harrison
  • Demographic models of the northern spotted owl ( Strix occidentalis caurina ).
    Lande, Lande
  • A generalized algorithm for determining category size.
    Moloney, Moloney
  • Plant demography and habitat: a comparative approach.
    Silvertown, Silvertown; Franco, Franco
  • Interpretation of elasticity matrices as an aid to the management of plant populations for conservation.
    Silvertown, Silvertown; Franco, Franco; Menges, Menges

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