Legacy effects of canopy gaps on liana abundance 25 years later in a seasonal tropical evergreen forest in northeastern Thailand
Fujimoto, Yutaro et al. (2023), Legacy effects of canopy gaps on liana abundance 25 years later in a seasonal tropical evergreen forest in northeastern Thailand, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.8sf7m0ct6
Lianas require host trees to reach and stay in the forest canopy, but as seedlings and juveniles, they benefit from canopy gaps created by treefalls. Here, we evaluated the relative importance of these two aspects, i.e., the availability of potential hosts vs. the legacy effect of past treefall gaps, on the local abundance of liana stems in a seasonal tropical evergreen forest in the Sakaerat Biosphere Reserve in northeastern Thailand. Within a 2.5-ha plot for forest dynamics monitoring, canopy height was measured in 1993 and 2018 at 5-m intervals to distinguish areas of mature (canopy height ≥ 20 m), building (10-20 m), and gap phases (< 10 m). In 2017–2018, we surveyed all liana stems ≥ 1 cm in diameter at breast height within 50 subplots (10 m × 10 m each) and recorded their diameter and the diameter of the host tree. Of a total of 445 liana individuals, 242 could be identified at least to the family level, while the others had clear morphological traits of climbing mechanisms. The number of liana stems was higher in areas that had been at the building/gap phase than those at the mature phase in 1993. When this 25-year-old legacy of past gap locations was considered, there was a positive association of local abundance between lianas and trees in areas at the mature phase in 2018. In conclusion, liana abundance reflected a long-term legacy of past treefall gaps more than 25 years earlier in this seasonal evergreen forest.