Influence of typhoon disturbances on the understory light regime and stand dynamics of a subtropical rain forest in northeastern Taiwan

Teng-Chiu Lin, Steven P. Hamburg, Yue Joe Hsia, Tzer Ton Lin, Hen Biau King, Lih Jih Wang, Kuo Chuan Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

36 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In 1996 and 1997 we examined the effects of typhoon disturbance on the understory light environment and sapling dynamics of the Fu-shan Experimental Forest, a subtropical rain forest in northeastern Taiwan. Mean understory light levels were approximately 30% of those in the open immediately following the two 1996 typhoons which affected the forest, yet in 1997, following two more typhoons, mean understory light levels were 10%-20% of those in the open. The decline of understory light levels to those present prior to the typhoons was more rapid in 1996 than in 1997, even though the two typhoons in 1996 were more intense than those in 1997. This difference might be the result of the timing of the typhoons. In 1996 the typhoons occurred earlier in the growing season, before August 1 rather than the middle and end of August in 1997. The regular defoliation caused by the frequent typhoons that impact Fu-shan (average of 1.4 per year) and the low stature of the forest (mean canopy height of 10.6m), results in much higher light levels beneath the canopy (9%-30% of levels in the open) than those found in most tropical and temperate forests. As a result, understory light levels are not limiting the distribution of canopy tree saplings within the forest and there is no evidence that canopy gaps play an important role in canopy tree regeneration within the Fushan Experiment Forest. This is in contrast with the pattern reported for some tropical forests. With frequent typhoons impacting northeastern Taiwan, the forests of this region are perpetually recovering from wind disturbances.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-145
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Forest Research
Volume8
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Aug 1

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typhoons
stand dynamics
typhoon
understory
rain forests
Taiwan
photoperiod
disturbance
canopy
sapling
tropical forest
saplings
tropical forests
canopy gap
defoliation
temperate forest
experimental forests
canopy gaps
rain forest
forest canopy

Keywords

  • Disturbance ecology
  • Forest canopy
  • Forest regeneration
  • Typhoon impacts
  • Understory light

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry

Cite this

Influence of typhoon disturbances on the understory light regime and stand dynamics of a subtropical rain forest in northeastern Taiwan. / Lin, Teng-Chiu; Hamburg, Steven P.; Hsia, Yue Joe; Lin, Tzer Ton; King, Hen Biau; Wang, Lih Jih; Lin, Kuo Chuan.

In: Journal of Forest Research, Vol. 8, No. 3, 01.08.2003, p. 139-145.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Lin, Teng-Chiu ; Hamburg, Steven P. ; Hsia, Yue Joe ; Lin, Tzer Ton ; King, Hen Biau ; Wang, Lih Jih ; Lin, Kuo Chuan. / Influence of typhoon disturbances on the understory light regime and stand dynamics of a subtropical rain forest in northeastern Taiwan. In: Journal of Forest Research. 2003 ; Vol. 8, No. 3. pp. 139-145.
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