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Recognizing the ecological importance of forest gap formation for forest community structure, we examined the differences in species diversity between forest gaps and closed canopy areas for trees and shrubs in three developmental stages (seedling, saplingⅠ, and saplingⅡ) in a typical mixed broadleaved-Korean pine forest. We randomly placed 100 sample plots (2×2 m for seedling and saplingⅠ, and 5×5 m for saplingⅡ) in forest gap and closed canopy areas of a 9 ha permanent sample plot for vegetation surveys of plants of each developmental stage in each habitat type. Even though the formation of forest gaps encouraged the occurrence of gap-dependent species and increased overall species diversity, there were no significant differences in species richness among the three developmental stages for both tree and shrub species (p>0.05). Comparing the two types of sites, statistical tests revealed no difference in species richness for trees, but highly significant differences (p<0.01) between forest types for shrubs for seedlings and saplingⅠ, but not saplingⅡ. Analysis of variance test indicated that there were no significant differences in species diversity among the three developmental stages of tree species (p>0.05) for both Simpson and Shannon indices. The variance for shrub seedlings was significantly different between forest gaps and closed canopy areas, but not for saplingⅠ and saplingⅡ. The analysis showed that the species diversity in forest gaps was significantly different from that of closed canopy areas for seedling and saplingⅠ (p<0.01), but not for saplingⅡ (p>0.05).


Recognizing the ecological importance of forest gap formation for forest community structure, we examined the differences in species diversity between forest gaps and closed canopy areas for trees and shrubs in three developmental stages (seedling, saplingⅠ, and saplingⅡ) in a typical mixed broadleaved-Korean pine forest. We randomly placed 100 sample plots (2×2 m for seedling and saplingⅠ, and 5×5 m for saplingⅡ) in forest gap and closed canopy areas of a 9 ha permanent sample plot for vegetation surveys of plants of each developmental stage in each habitat type. Even though the formation of forest gaps encouraged the occurrence of gap-dependent species and increased overall species diversity, there were no significant differences in species richness among the three developmental stages for both tree and shrub species (p>0.05). Comparing the two types of sites, statistical tests revealed no difference in species richness for trees, but highly significant differences (p<0.01) between forest types for shrubs for seedlings and saplingⅠ, but not saplingⅡ. Analysis of variance test indicated that there were no significant differences in species diversity among the three developmental stages of tree species (p>0.05) for both Simpson and Shannon indices. The variance for shrub seedlings was significantly different between forest gaps and closed canopy areas, but not for saplingⅠ and saplingⅡ. The analysis showed that the species diversity in forest gaps was significantly different from that of closed canopy areas for seedling and saplingⅠ (p<0.01), but not for saplingⅡ (p>0.05).