Classifying aerial stems of woody plants by developmental stages using relative growth rate

Authors

  • Daisuke Fujiki,

    Corresponding author
    1. Laboratory of Forest Biology, Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University, Oiwake-tyo, Kitashirakawa, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8502, Japan
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Kihachiro Kikuzawa

    1. Laboratory of Forest Biology, Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University, Oiwake-tyo, Kitashirakawa, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8502, Japan
    Search for more papers by this author

Author for correspondence: Daisuke Fujiki Tel: +75 753 6479 Fax: +75 753 6129 Email: modama@mta.biglobe.ne.jp

Summary

  • • Here we propose a new method for classifying aerial stems of woody plants by developmental stage, using the logarithmic reciprocal of relative growth rate (LRR) as an indicator of developmental stage.
  • • Stem analyses were conducted on naturally dead aerial stems of Lindera umbellata to clarify the changes in LRR over a lifetime. LRR, number of current-year shoots, and the recruitment and mortality rates of shoots of living stems were investigated.
  • • LRR was at a minimum value at age 1 yr and at a maximum just before each stem died. There was little difference between the ranges of stem LRR. The recruitment and mortality rates of shoots depended on LRR.
  • • LRR satisfied the necessary and sufficient condition for a variable as an indicator of stage better than either age or size. The LRR-structured model accurately demonstrates the real demographic processes in shoot populations over a lifetime of aerial stems. This result supports the utility of LRR as an indicator of stage. The method using LRR can be applied to analyses for other growth processes.

Ancillary