Regeneration ecology of broadleaved trees in Caledonian Forest
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This thesis quantifies aspects of shade tolerance in tree seedlings of species native to the Caledonian pinewood ecosystems of Glen Affric (Highland Region, Inverness-shire). Growth, allocation and morphological responses of 15 species to irradiance under simulated forest canopy light were investigated in a nursery-based shade house experiment. The same responses of four of the 15 species (Ilex aquifolium, Alnus glutinosa, Sorbus aucuparia and Betula pubescens) to different developmental stages of Pinus sylvestris woodland were investigated in the field. The spatial and temporal growth responses of naturally regenerating S. aucuparia seedlings to shade and gap microhabitats were also studied. Data from the shade house experiment enabled further detailed exploration of the relationship between relative growth rates (RGR) and irradiance and potential cross-overs of ranks of growth in high and low light conditions.