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Architectural Stratification and Woody Species Diversity of a Subtropical Forest Grown in a Limestone Habitat in Okinawa Island, Japan

Authors: S. M. Feroz, K. Yoshimura, A. Hagihara


The forest stand consisted of four layers. The species composition between the third and the bottom layers was almost similar, whereas it was almost exclusive between the top and the lower three layers. The values of Shannon-s index H' and Pielou-s index J ' tended to increase from the bottom layer upward, except for H' -value of the top layer. The values of H' and J ' were 4.21 bit and 0.73, respectively, for the total stand. High woody species diversity of the forest depended on large trees in the upper layers, which trend was different from a subtropical evergreen broadleaf forest grown in silicate habitat in the northern part of Okinawa Island. The spatial distribution of trees was overlapped between the third and the bottom layers, whereas it was independent or slightly exclusive between the top and the lower three layers. Mean tree weight of each layer decreased from the top toward the bottom layer, whereas the corresponding tree density increased from the top downward. This relationship was analogous to the process of self-thinning plant populations.

Keywords: Species Diversity, Canopy multi-layering, limestone habitat, mean tree weight-density relationship, subtropical forest

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