|Title||Response of understory trees to canopy gaps in a 150-year-old northern hardwood forest|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||1989|
|Authors||Roberts MRichard, Jolls CL, Banfield M.E|
|Journal||Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America|
Twelve natural treefall gaps were studied to determine the role of gaps in the recruitment and growth of tree species in the Colonial Point Hardwoods. Paired 20 m x 20 m plots were placed in each gap and under a standing tree of the same species and diameter as the gapmaker. Understory trees were censused in three height classes: <1m, 1-3 m, and 3-10m. Radial growth after the date of gap formation was measured on increment cores from trees in the 3-10 m class in each plot. For individual species and all species combined, there were no significant differences between gaps and controls in density for any height class (paired sample t-test, p < 0.05). Radial growth was significantly greater in the gaps than in the controls for Fagus grandifolia but not for Acer saccharum (ANOVA, p < 0.05). These results indicate that growth release of exisiting understory trees may occur in gaps but recruitment may not be increased.