Quantifying effects on tree growth rates of symmetric and asymmetric inter-tree competition in even-aged, monoculture Eucalyptus pilularis forests View Full Text


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Article Info

DATE

2022-09-01

AUTHORS

P. W. West

ABSTRACT

Key messageIn even-aged, monoculture eucalypt forest, symmetric inter-tree competition was far more important in determining tree growth rates than asymmetric competition. Tree size principally determined competitive ability at any time.AbstractIn even-aged, monoculture forests, individual tree growth rates are much affected by the amount of the resources required for growth (particularly light, water and nutrients) that are available to them from the site on which they are growing. In turn, those amounts are much affected by competition for them between neighbouring trees. Competition may be ‘symmetric’, when tree growth rates are directly proportional to tree sizes, or ‘asymmetric’ when growth rates vary disproportionately with tree sizes. Using a large data set from blackbutt (Eucalyptus pilularis Smith) forests of sub-tropical eastern Australia, methods were devised to quantify the effects of symmetric and asymmetric competition; they were determined as the change each causes in individual tree growth rates over growth periods of a few years. It was found that symmetric competition was by far the principal determinant of tree growth rates. Asymmetric competition had much lesser effects, but was sufficient to alter substantially the development with age of the frequency distribution of tree sizes. It is concluded that the size of a tree at any time is the principal determinant of both its metabolic capabilities for growth and its competitive status and, hence, its growth rate. More... »

PAGES

1-16

References to SciGraph publications

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  • 2011-11-19. The relative importance of above- versus belowground competition for tree growth during early succession of a tropical moist forest in PLANT ECOLOGY
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