The life history of vine maple on the H. J. Andrews Experimental Forest Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/9k41zh30p

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  • The objective of this study was to examine the life history of vine maple on the H. J. Andrews Experimental Forest. This study was conducted as a part of an I. B. P. general study of understory biomass and productivity. The specific objectives were to 1) estimate the contribution of vine to the general community biomass. 2) evaluate the abundance of vine maple on the basis of environment and successional time frame. 3) to estimate the contribution of vine maple to the general nutrient cycling system. Vine maple within the study area was generally ubiquitous but at varying levels of abundance. The distribution and abundance of vine maple through successional time is closely related to the history of site disturbance. Abundance during the successional time frame follows a bi-modal distribution in which early abundance after clear-cutting is followed by near-extinction at the age of 40 years under conifers. Vine maple reproduces primarily by vegetative means. Growth and structure of vine maple varied, depending on the general stage of successional development of the associated forest stand. Vine maple appears to have the ability to selectively remove large stems within a clump and thus alter the relative growth and biomass structure. Therefore permitting improved survival prospects as environmental conditions become less favorable. This alteration of structure and growth is hypothesized to be controlled by an internal regulation mechanism. These findings suggest that vine maple may be able to survive throughout forest succession by a "vegetative leap-frog" approach. Vine maple in general makes an important relative contribution to the total undestory biomass; its relative biomass contribution is slight when all forest vegetation layers are considered. It plays a major role in mineral cycling as a component of early forest succession and later in the understory. Vine maple's importance as a species relates also to its strong competitive ability within vegetation communities, especially under low levels of light.
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