||Plot size for modelling the spatial structure of sudanian woodland trees. Annals of Forest Science
FONTON HOUÉDOUGBÉ NOËL ,
ATINDOGBE GILBERT ,
HOUNKONNOU MAHOUTON NORBERT ,
||Annals of Forest Science
||& Introduction Over the past decades, savannah woodland
management in the Sudanian region of Africa has focused
on rotation and enrichment. To best manage these resources,
it is critical to first understand the ecological processes
influencing the behaviour of plants in their habitats.
Previous work on the spatial patterns of trees has failed to
account for the effects of plot size.
& Methods Here, we determined the optimal plot size
required to analyse and accurately represent the spatial
patterns of trees. Five plot sizes (0.25–1.5 ha) from a
representative stand of 2.25 ha were compared on the basis
of simulations. We estimated the lengths of clumped radii
and the strengths of the relationships between Isoberlinia
spp. and subsidiary species using Ripley’s K(r) function.
& Results The lengths of clumped radii (1.5–6 m) differed
significantly with and were proportional to plot size. The spatial
relationships between Isoberlinia spp. and subsidiary species
were random, irrespective of plot size, but with a tendency
towards repulsion. The spatial patterns of 1.0- and 1.5-ha plots
were statistically similar to those of the main stand.
& Conclusion Given the investigation costs, a plot size of
1.0 ha may be reasonably considered as suitable for
behavioural studies of tree species in Sudanian ecosystems.
||Sudanian open woodland . Spatial pattern . Plot
size . Ripley’s K function . Isoberlinia . Benin . Savannah
woodland . Ecological niche
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