Population structure of Fagus grandifolia subsp. mexicana in the cloud forest of Hidalgo State, Mexico
The highest densities and largest areas of Fagus grandifolia subsp. mexicana in Mexico grow in the cloud forest of the state of Hidalgo. Although this taxon is endangered, there is little information about its population structure. This study provides data on the structure of heights, diameters and ages of Fagus in three populations in Hidalgo. Additionally, information was obtained on the structure of the beech forests, whose canopy is dominated by Fagus. At each locality, three to five 400 m2 sample plots, depending on the size of the respective forest, were randomly selected. Within each plot, density and basal area of each species of tree and shrub with diameter greater than 2.5 cm (1.30 m) were estimated. At the species level, populations are dynamic, with a high percentage of young individuals; however, at one of the localities, changes have occurred in the last decade due to anthropogenic activity, and the structure of sizes and diameters in the youngest age categories has changed. Diameter was a good indicator of the age of the trees. At the community level, the dominance of Fagus and other species differed between localities, which is probably related to the degree of disturbance. Population and community structure are related and could be considered as indicators of changes in environmental conditions in the recent past and today.
Copyright (c) 2017 Botanical Sciences
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.