Germination requirements and seedling shade tolerance are not correlated in a Chilean temperate rain forest

Javier A. Figueroa*, Christopher H. Lusk

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    66 Citations (Scopus)


    In a comparative study of 26 Chilean temperate woody species, the following questions were addressed. Are germination requirements correlated with seedling light requirements? Can germination requirements be used to delimit pioneer and nonpioneer guilds? To assess dependence of germination on canopy gaps, germination percentages were compared experimentally in gap and understorey environments. Seedling light requirements were quantified by determining the mean light environment naturally occupied by juveniles of each species. Germination was significantly higher in the gap than in the understorey in > 30% of the species, although only one germinated exclusively in the gap. In the understorey, germination was higher in 19% of species, whereas 50% were indifferent to germination environment. Several light-demanding species germinated abundantly in the understorey. Both cross-species analysis and phylogenetically independent contrasts showed that seedling light requirements were not correlated with responsiveness of germination to the gap environment. Results suggest that germination requirements and seedling light requirements are not coupled, and that requirement of canopy gaps for germination cannot be used to delimit pioneer and nonpioneer guilds in a Chilean temperate rain forest.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)483-489
    Number of pages7
    JournalNew Phytologist
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2001


    • Forest dynamics
    • Germination
    • LAI-2000
    • Phylogenetically independent contrasts
    • Pioneer and climax species
    • Shade tolerance
    • Temperate rain forest


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