Gomortega keule is an endemic Chilean tree currently in danger of extinction. Although the regeneration patterns of the species are poorly-understood, some authors have alluded to a widespread lack of seedlings in established populations. Past regeneration patterns were inferred from diameter distributions in a population of G. keule in an old-growth stand at Caramávida in south-central Chile. These data were compared with those of two of its most common associates, Aextoxicon punctatum and Eucryphia cordifolia. Seedling light environments were also measured in order to identify the conditions that favour sexual regeneration of the species. Results suggest that sexual regeneration of G. keule requires considerable canopy opening. On the other hand, A. punctatum shows evidence of continuous regeneration and E. cordifolia shows a strong tendency to reproduce by suckering. G. keule appears to be more shade-intolerant than the other two species studied. The irregularity of G. keule 's diameter distribution, and the association of seedlings with a recent canopy opening on the plot, suggest a strongly discontinuous regeneration pattern. Although seedlings of G. keule were present on the plot, these seem unlikely to survive in the low light levels now prevailing in the partially closed gap where they established. G. keule appears to be less shade tolerant than the other two species studied, which show evidence of more continuous regeneration. Conservation and restoration of populations of G. keule will require further demographic studies, as well as research on other aspects of the biology of the species.
|Translated title of the contribution||Structure and dynamics of a population of Gomortega keule (Mol.) Baillon in old growth valdivian rain forest in south-central Chile|
|Number of pages||7|
|Publication status||Published - 2003|
- Chilean coast range
- Forest dynamics