J. Plant Res., 2009 Jan;122(1):81-93.
PMID: 19037582 DOI: 10.1007/s10265-008-0198-0


We examined relationships between mortality rate, relative growth rate (RGR), and spatial patterns of three growth stages (small, medium, and large trees) for 11 dipterocarp species in the Pasoh 50-ha plot. Mortality rates for these species tended to be positively correlated with RGRs, although the correlation was significant only at the small-tree stage. Seven species with high growth and mortality rates exhibited peaks in spatial aggregation at small distances (<100 m) in small trees, but this aggregation disappeared in medium and large trees. In contrast, the other four species with low growth and mortality rates aggregated at large distances (>200 m) throughout the three growth stages in all but one species. Negative associations between different growth stages were observed only for the high-mortality species, suggesting density-dependent mortality. The high-mortality species showed habitat associations with topography, soil type, and the forest regeneration phase after gap formation, whereas the three low-mortality species only had associations with the forest regeneration phase. A randomization procedure revealed that these habitat associations explained little of their spatial aggregation. Our results suggest that the growth strategy has a large effect on the structuring of the spatial distribution of tree species through mortality processes.

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