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Vegetation changes along gradients of long-term soil development in the Hawaiian montane rainforest zone11-219.Author(s): Kanehiro Kitayama; Dieter Mueller-Dombois
Source: Vegetatio 120: 1-20, .
Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
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DescriptionThe development of the Hawaiian montane rainforest was investigated along a 4.1-million-year soil age gradient at 1200 m elevation under two levels of precipitation, the mesic (c. 2500 mm annual rainfall) vs. wet (> 4000 mm)age gradient. Earlier analyses suggested that soil fertility and foliar nutrient concentrations of common canopy species changed unimodally on the same gradients, with peak values at the 20,000-150,000 yr old sites, and that foliar concentrations were consistently lower under the wet than under the mesic conditions. Our objectives were to assay the influences of soil aging and moisture on forest development using the patterns and rates of species displacements. The canopies at all sites were dominated by Metrosideros polymorpha. Mean height and dbh of upper canopy Metrosideros trees increased from the youngest site to peak values at the 2100-9000 yr sites, and successively declined to older sites. A detrended correspondence analysis applied to mean species cover values revealed that significant variation among sites occurred only on one axis (axis 1), for both soil-age gradients. Sample scores along axis 1 were perfectly correlated with soil age on the mesic gradient, and significantly correlated on the wet gradient. Higher rainfall appeared to be responsible for the higher rates of species turnover on the wet gradient probably through faster rock weathering and greater leaching of soil elements. We concluded that the changes in species cover values and size of the canopy species was a reflection of the changing pattern of nutrient availability associated with soil aging.
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CitationKitayama,Kanehiro; Mueller-Dombois, Dieter. 1995. Vegetation changes along gradients of long-term soil development in the Hawaiian montane rainforest zone11-219. Vegetatio 120: 1-20, .
KeywordsDetrended correspondence analysis, Ecosystem development, Nutrient limitation, Pedogenesis, Species diversity, Species turnover
- Acacia koa A. Gray
- Metrosideros polymorpha Gaudich
- First report of the root-rot pathogen, Armillaria gallica, on koa (Acacia koa) and 'Ohi'a lehua (Metrosideros polymorpha) on the island of Kaua'i, Hawai'i
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