Effects of life-history components on population dynamics of the rare endangered plant Davidia involucrata


In order to estimate the most effect stage and process on population growth and effective conserve the rare endangered plant Davidia involucrata, we analyzed the dynamics and the contributions of life-history components on population dynamics based on Lefkovitch matrix model and sensitivity analysis. The life cycle of Davidia involucrata was divided into six stages (seed, seedling, juvenile, immature, early adult and late adult) based on the species characteristics and published literature data, the survival rates in each life-history stage were simulated using a static life table, and the fecundity of each stage was determined according to sample information. The results showed that the structure of the observed population was not ideal, and the numbers of seedlings and coppice shoots was similar. The population growth rate was influenced largely by individual growth process, and asexual reproduction made a larger contribution to population growth than sexual reproduction. However, sexual reproduction was more important than asexual reproduction, because most asexual reproducing individuals (the coppice shoots) were derived mainly from human destruction (e.g. felling trees). The most important stage was stage V (late adult), associated with seed production and germination. Therefore, conservation of Davidia involucrata populations should focus on stage V and sexual reproduction, in order to improve the seed production and germination rate, and to promote population stability and development.

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You, H. , Liu, Y. and Fujiwara, K. (2013) Effects of life-history components on population dynamics of the rare endangered plant Davidia involucrata. Natural Science, 5, 62-70. doi: 10.4236/ns.2013.51011.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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