Forest structure, species diversity and spatial patterns of trees in monodominant and mixed stands in the Ituri Forest, Democratic Republic of Congo Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/v405sd94j

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  • Two rectangular 10-ha plots (200 x 500 m) were established in each of the two main forest types of the Ituri Forest, Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire). The description of stand structure and species diversity, the comparison of the two forest types, and the evaluation of the effects of canopy dominance on species richness were the main goals of the study. All shrubs and trees >1 cm dbh, and lianas >2 cm dbh were measured, tagged, mapped to the nearest half-meter, and identified. Stem density, basal area, species richness and spatial dispersion of species were determined. Statistical comparisons were performed using analysis of variance and the chi-square test. The density of trees >1 cm dbh was higher in mixed forest (8112 stems ha-1) than in monodominant forest (6844 stems ha-1). Density of stems >10 cm dbh was 438 ha-1 and 358 ha-1 in mixed and monodominant stands, respectively. Monodominant stands, with 98 stems >30 cm dbh ha-1, had more large trees than mixed stands (77 stems ha-1). Basal area was 37.7 m2 ha-1 and 32.6 m2 ha-1 for trees >1 cm dbh and >10 cm dbh in monodominant forest, and 33.2 m2 ha-1 and 26.2 m2 ha-1 in mixed forest, respectively. Mean number of species per hectare was 178, 56, and 14 at 1 cm dbh, 10 cm dbh and 30 cm dbh, respectively, in monodominant forest; in the same order, mean species richness per hectare was 170,68 and 27 in mixed forest. The density of Gilbertiodendron dewevrei, the dominant tree species of the monodominant stands, had a strong negative correlation with the species richness of trees >30 cm dbh. The vast majority of species exhibited significant clumping at all scales of analysis. No species had a significant regular dispersion pattern in the 10-ha plots. Small trees were more clumped than large trees and rare species were more clumped than more common species. Compared to many other tropical moist forests, the Ituri Forest was less diverse.
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