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Sprouting Response in Prunus serotina Erhr.: Multivariate Analysis of Site, Forest Structure and Growth Rate Relationships

Allan N. Auclair
The American Midland Naturalist
Vol. 94, No. 1 (Jul., 1975), pp. 72-87
DOI: 10.2307/2424539
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2424539
Page Count: 16
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Sprouting Response in Prunus serotina Erhr.: Multivariate Analysis of Site, Forest Structure and Growth Rate Relationships
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Abstract

Sprouting potential in black cherry is requisite to effective gap-phase behavior in southern Wisconsin. Survival in this species depends ultimately on the occurrence of gaps in the oak canopy, which are largely attributable to extensive oak-wilt fungus mortality. Canonical variation levels for forest structure, growth rate and site in relation to the amount of sprouting were .93, .64 and .63, respectively. Sprouting was least in young, rapidly growing stands and greatest in the understory of oak stands with high tree basal area and high sapling density. Sprouting, but not growth rate, increased markedly in oak-wilt openings. This was attributed to sudden increases in moisture and thermal stress and greatly increased sapling and shrub competition. Young sprouts were presumed better adapted to the new conditions than stems preconditioned to shade and moisture levels of the forest understory. Total age and growth-rate analysis indicated sprouting response was initiated by suppression of growth. In black cherry this was associated with cumulative expansion and moisture stress in the leaf canopy. Canopy growth of 7-8 years was critical to moisture balance in the plant.

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