Succession: A population process

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Recent critical reviews suggest the need for a reductionistic approach to the study of secondary plant succession. We propose viewing succession as the result of the underlying plant population dynamics. This approach is being developed using nearly 50 years of permanent sample plot records. After initial establishment Pinus taeda shows an exponential depletion with stands of various densities conforming to the reciprocal yield relationship. Uneven-aged hardwoods also show exponential depletion. Canopy disturbance can enhance the establishment process, though severe disturbance and the consequent abundant regeneration can lead again to dense, even-aged stands with low levels of establishment. These results suggest a general pattern of forest development wherein establishment is initially important, but is quickly replaced by mortality as the dominant process when the dense, even-sized stand starts to thin. Eventually, failing additional disturbance, natural mortality will again open the canopy allowing development of a balance between establishment, and mortality. © 1980 Dr. W. Junk b.v. Publishers.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Peet, RK; Christensen, NL

Published Date

  • December 1, 1980

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 43 / 1-2

Start / End Page

  • 131 - 140

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1573-5052

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0042-3106

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/BF00121025

Citation Source

  • Scopus