Present address: Shirakami Natural Science Park, Hirosaki University, Hirosaki 036-8561, Japan.
Consequences of forest fragmentation in an understory plant community: extensive range expansion of native dwarf bamboo
Article first published online: 4 JAN 2011
© 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 The Society for the Study of Species Biology
Plant Species Biology
Volume 26, Issue 1, pages 3–12, January 2011
How to Cite
TOMIMATSU, H., YAMAGISHI, H., TANAKA, I., SATO, M., KONDO, R. and KONNO, Y. (2011), Consequences of forest fragmentation in an understory plant community: extensive range expansion of native dwarf bamboo. Plant Species Biology, 26: 3–12. doi: 10.1111/j.1442-1984.2010.00310.x
- Issue published online: 4 JAN 2011
- Article first published online: 4 JAN 2011
- Received 5 September 2010; accepted 20 November 2010
- edge effect;
- forest herb;
- habitat fragmentation;
- Sasa chartacea
Understory bamboo species are important and influential components of temperate forests in at least several parts of the world. Here we report a study testing the effect of forest fragmentation on the dynamics of the dwarf bamboo Sasa chartacea and on forest herb communities in the Tokachi plain of Hokkaido, Japan. We studied 16 forest fragments of different sizes and small plots established in these fragments to examine the relationship between the abundance of S. chartacea, landscape and environmental conditions, and forest herb communities. Sasa chartacea was more abundant near forest edges and in smaller fragments, suggesting that the species has expanded its local range and increased its abundance in response to forest fragmentation. Edge-related changes in light and soil moisture might have facilitated this range expansion. The species richness of forest herbs was strongly negatively related to the density of S. chartacea. Because much larger variation in species richness was explained by S. chartacea density than distance to the nearest forest edge, the expansion of S. chartacea has likely excluded other understory species by competition. In addition, the density of S. chartacea significantly explained variation in the species composition of forest herbs across plots. Taken together, our results emphasize the key roles of dwarf bamboos in changing plant communities following forest fragmentation.