The light environment, morphology and growth of the early successional tree species Litsea citriodora

Yoshiyuki Miyazawa, Shirasa Tatsuya, Kihachiro Kikuzawa, Kyoichi Otsuki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The light environment and growth traits of the pioneer tree species Litsea citriodora in a recently clear-cut plantation were investigated in order to reveal the establishment process and growth of this species under annual weeding after clear-cutting. We investigated the light environments and the morphology, physiology and aboveground architecture of L. citriodora saplings in a plot that included both clear-cut open areas and forest floor under a conifer canopy. Dense populations of L. citriodora saplings were found in the open sites but few were observed on the forest floor. Saplings that originated from old stumps (sprout-saplings) were tall in height and dense, but seedlings were sparse and lower in height than the competitive tall herbaceous species Solidago altissima. Saplings of L. citriodora showed a higher leaf area per aboveground mass and greater area-based photosynthetic capacity than saplings of the co-occurring pioneer tree species Mallotus japonicus and Clerodendron trichotomum. Moreover, the L. citriodora saplings had a main stem with a larger length per mass ratio and more efficiently elongated per unit aboveground mass than M. japonicus and C. trichotomum. Sprout-saplings of L. citriodora attained rapid vertical elongation with rapid biomass acquisition as a result of their aboveground shoot architecture, allowing competition with S. altissima. Clear-cutting and subsequent weeding not only created open sites favorable for this pioneer tree, but also promoted the formation of sprouts, allowing sprout-saplings with rapid vertical growth to successfully establish in the clear-cut zone by inhibiting complete coverage by other pioneer trees.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-258
Number of pages8
JournalForest Ecology and Management
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Forestry
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


Dive into the research topics of 'The light environment, morphology and growth of the early successional tree species Litsea citriodora'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this