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Forest Structure, Composition, and Distribution on a Pacific Island, with Reference to Ecological Release and Speciation

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Title:Forest Structure, Composition, and Distribution on a Pacific Island, with Reference to Ecological Release and Speciation
Authors:Shimizu, Yoshikazu
Tabata, Hideo
Date Issued:Jan 1991
Publisher:University of Hawai'i Press
Citation:Shimizu Y, Tabata H. 1991. Forest structure, composition, and distribution on a Pacific Island, with reference to ecological release and speciation. Pac Sci 45(1): 28-49.
Abstract:Native forest and scrub of Chichijima, the largest island in the
Bonins, were classified into five types based on structural features: ElaeocarpusArdisia
mesic forest, 13-16 m high , dominated by Elaeocarpus photiniaefolius
and Ardisia sieboldii; Pinus-Schima mesic forest, 12-16 m high , consisting of
Schima mertensiana and an introduced pine , Pinus lutchuensis; RhaphiolepisLivistonia
dry forest, 2-6 m high, mainly occupied by Rhaphiolepis indica v.
integerrima; Distylium-Schima dry forest, 3-8 m high , dominated by Distylium
lepidotum and Schima mertensiana; and Distylium-Pouteria dry scrub, 0.3-1.5
m high , mainly composed of Distylium lepidotum. A vegetation map based
on this classification was developed. Species composition and structural features
of each type were analyzed in terms of habitat condition and mechanisms of
regeneration. A group of species such as Pouteria obovata, Syzgygium buxifolium,
Hibiscus glaber, Rhaphiolepis indica v. integerrima, and Pandanus boninensis,
all with different growth forms from large trees to stunted shrubs, was
subdominant in all vegetation types. Schima mertensiana , an endemic pioneer
tree, occurred in both secondary forests and climax forests as a dominant canopy
species and may be an indication of " ecological release," a characteristic of
oceanic islands with poor floras and little competitive pressure. Some taxonomic
groups (Callicarpa, Symplocos, Pittosporum, etc.) have speciated in the understory
of Distylium-Schima dry forest and Distylium-Pouteria dry scrub. Speciation
seems to have occurred exclusively where there are comparatively small
numbers of component species, historically stable habitats, some opportunity
for regeneration without large-scale disturbance, and the occasional occurrence
of canopy gaps.
Appears in Collections: Pacific Science Volume 45, Number 1, 1991

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