Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Interacting effects of canopy gap, understory vegetation and leaf litter on tree seedling recruitment and composition in tropical secondary forests

Published source details

Dupuy J.M. & Chazdon R.L. (2008) Interacting effects of canopy gap, understory vegetation and leaf litter on tree seedling recruitment and composition in tropical secondary forests. Forest Ecology and Management, 255, 3716-3725


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Add organic matter Forest Conservation

A replicated, controlled study in 1997-1999 in tropical forest in Costa Rica (Dupuy & Chazdon 2008) found that addition of leaf litter decreased the density of new tree seedlings in artificial forest gaps, but not under intact forest canopy. The density of new tree seedlings was higher in control (3.0/m2) than in litter addition plots (1.7/m2) inside gaps, but similar between treatments in intact forest (0.5/m2 in both). In 1997, large gaps (320–540 m2) were created inside five 40 × 40 m plots (gap plots) by cutting and removing all stems ≥5 cm diameter at breast height. Five other similar size plots (non-gap plots) were unmanipulated with respect to canopy cover. Five blocks were established within each plot, each comprised of two 2×2 m quadrats of each of litter addition and control treatments. Data were taken every two months for one year after treatments.

 

Remove or disturb leaf litter to enhance germination Forest Conservation

A replicated, controlled study in 1997-1999 in tropical forest in Costa Rica (2) found that removal of leaf litter decreased the density of new tree seedlings in forest areas, but not in artificial gaps. The density of new tree seedlings was higher in control (0.5/m2) than in litter removal plots (0.3/m2) in forest areas, and similar between treatments in artificial gaps (control: 3.0/m2; litter removal: 2.7/m2). In 1997, large gaps (320–540 m2) were created inside five 40 × 40 m plots (gap plots) by cutting and removing all tree stems ≥5 cm diameter at breast height. Five other similar size plots (non-gap plots) were unmanipulated with respect to canopy cover. Five blocks were established within each plot, each comprised of two 2 × 2 m quadrats one of each of litter removal and a control with no litter removal. Data were taken every two months for one year after treatments.

 

Use group-selection harvesting Forest Conservation

A replicated, controlled study in 1997-1999 in tropical forest in Costa Rica (Dupuy & Chazdon 2008) found that group-selection harvesting increased the density of new tree seedlings. The density of new tree seedlings was 2.5/m2 in group-selection, and <0.5/ m2 in uncut plots. In 1997, large gaps (320–540 m2) were created inside five 40 × 40 m plots (group-selection) by cutting and removing all stems ≥5 cm diameter at breast height. Five other similar size plots (uncut) were unmanipulated with respect to canopy cover. Data were recorded every two months for one year after treatment.