Dynamics of a Sequoia sempervirens forest in northern California were studied with long-term plot data (1.44 ha) and recent transect data. The study was conducted in an old stand (> 1100 yr) on alluvial flats. Over three decades (1972-2001), changes in the composition and structure of the tree stratum were minor. Sequoia maintained a broad distribution of stem diameters throughout the period. Annual rates of Sequoia mortality (0.0029) and ingrowth (0.0029) were low, reflecting the great longevity of Sequoia and the slow canopy turnover of the study forest. Transect data also indicated a low frequency of canopy gap disturbance (??? 0.4% of total land area per yr), but gap size was potentially large (> 0.1 ha) and the fraction of area in gaps (ca. 20%) was similar to other temperate forests. Regeneration quadrats sampled along transects, in gap centers, and on logs revealed that Sequoia regeneration is elevated at gap edges. The longevity of Sequoia and its response to gap disturbances ensure that it will remain a dominant species in the study forest.
Additional publication details
Dynamics of composition and structure in an old Sequoia sempervirens forest