Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Hierarchical Environmental Factors Affecting the Distribution of Abies koreana on the Korean Peninsula

Version 1 : Received: 22 October 2018 / Approved: 23 October 2018 / Online: 23 October 2018 (05:00:38 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Park, J.S.; Shin, H.S.; Choi, C.-H.; Lee, J.; Kim, J. Hierarchical Environmental Factors Affecting the Distribution of Abies koreana on the Korean Peninsula. Forests 2018, 9, 777. Park, J.S.; Shin, H.S.; Choi, C.-H.; Lee, J.; Kim, J. Hierarchical Environmental Factors Affecting the Distribution of Abies koreana on the Korean Peninsula. Forests 2018, 9, 777.

Journal reference: Forests 2018, 9, 777
DOI: 10.3390/f9120777

Abstract

Regional declines of the Korean fir (Abies koreana) have been observed since the 1980s on the subalpine region. To explain this decline, it is fundamental to investigate the degree to which environmental factors have contributed to plant distributions on diverse spatial scales. We applied a hierarchical regression model to determine quantitatively the relationship between the abundance of Korean fir (seedlings) and diverse environmental factors across two different ecological scales. We measured Korean fir density and the occurrence of its seedlings in 102 (84) plots nested at five sites and collected a range of environmental factors at the same plots. Our model included hierarchical explanatory variables at both site-level (weather conditions) and plot-level (micro-topographic factors, soil properties, and competing species). The occurrence of Korean fir seedlings was positively associated with moss cover and rock cover but negatively related to dwarf bamboo cover. On site-level, winter precipitation was significantly positively related to the occurrence of seedlings. A hierarchical Poisson regression model revealed that Korean fir density were negatively associated with slope aspect, topographic position index, Quercus mongolica cover, and mean summer temperature. Our results suggest that drought and competition with other species are factors which halt the survival of Korean fir. We can predict that the population of Korean fir will continue to decline on the Korean Peninsula due to rising temperatures and seasonal drought, and only a few Korean fir will survive on northern slopes or valleys where competition with dwarf bamboo and Q. mongolica can be avoided.

Subject Areas

Korean fir; hierarchical regression model; climate change; seedling survival; dwarf bamboo; drought

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