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Below- and Above-Ground Allometries of Shade-Tolerant Seedlings in a Japanese Warm-Temperat Rain Forest

T. Kohyama and P. J. Grubb
Functional Ecology
Vol. 8, No. 2 (Apr., 1994), pp. 229-236
DOI: 10.2307/2389906
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2389906
Page Count: 8
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Below- and Above-Ground Allometries of Shade-Tolerant Seedlings in a Japanese Warm-Temperat Rain Forest
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Abstract

1. A comparative study has been made of the allometric relationships among below-ground and above-ground dimensions of seedlings (6.5-27 cm tall) of 14 abundant shade-tolerant species taken from the forest floor in a warm-temperate rain forest on Yakushima Island, southern Japan. 2. The allometric lines between below-ground dimensions are significantly different between species, which reflects the differentiation between the species developing tap-roots and those developing horizontal fine roots in the same forest. The difference correlates with a difference in seed size, but not with height at maturity or habitat (ridge vs slope or gully). It is hypothesized that the differences in root architecture are related to `choices' in microsite for establishment, the large-seeded tap-rooted species being better suited to soft soil and deep litter, and the small-seeded lateral rooters to rocky soil and a lack of litter. 3. The allometric relationship relating below-and above-ground dry mass is not sufficient to characterize a species' architecture; a species may have a large ratio of root mass to shoot mass but a low ratio of fine-root length to leaf area. 4. Interspecific differentiation in below-ground allometries at the seedling stage is not correlated with that in above-ground allometries at the seedling stage or with that in above-ground allometries at the sapling stage with developed branching architecture. Allometric `design' in architecture at the sapling stage (related to earlier or later canopy-gap formation) is variously combined with that at the seedling stage (related to the microsite of establishment).

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