Spatial patterns in an old-growth Nothofagus obliqua forest in south-central Chile


Data from a 1 ha permanent sample plot in an old-growth Nothofagus obliqua dominated forest were used to study spatial patterns of dead and live trees using the Ripley’s $K(t)$ function. Univariate and bivariate analyses were conducted. We computed confidence envelopes for a random (Poisson) spatial distribution using Monte Carlo simulations. An edge effect correction was applied. The spatial pattern of Aextoxicon punctatum (the dominant species) changed from a random distribution at short spatial intervals of analysis to a clustered distribution at broader spatial scales. N. obliqua appeared to be more regularly distributed, but was not statistically significantly different from a random distribution at 95% confidence. There was a negative interaction (i.e. repulsion) between shorter (generally younger than 100 years) and taller (generally older than 250 years) trees. On the other hand, there was a positive interaction (i.e. attraction) between shorter, younger trees and standing dead trees.

Forest Ecology and Management, 231 : 38–46.