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Harvard Forest Symposium Abstract 2018

  • Title: Size-energy rules for seedlings
  • Primary Author: John Grady (Bryn Mawr College)
  • Additional Authors: Sydne Record (Bryn Mawr College); Colleen Smith (Humboldt State University); Kalaina Thorne (Bryn Mawr College)
  • Abstract:

    John Grady, Quentin Read, Sydne Record, Colleen Smith, Kalaina Thorne, Phoebe Zarnetske

    The scaling of tree abundance and metabolism with size is increasingly well-documented in forests, but little is known about whether deeply shaded seedlings and small saplings follow typical scaling rules. Here we quantify the density, growth and light conditions of small understory woody plants at Harvard Forest, using 80 1m x 1m quadrats in the Megaplot following a stratified random sample design. Preliminary results of seedling densities show support for general power laws that span the full range of tree sizes, where density declines as ~ -2 power with tree diameter. Additional work will incorporate growth rates of tagged seedlings to quantify the division of energy and resources for all tree sizes at Harvard Forest, including its smallest residents.

  • Research Category: Physiological Ecology, Population Dynamics, and Species Interactions