Research Output
Desynchronizing effects of lightning strike disturbances on cyclic forest dynamics in mangrove plantations.
  Plantations released from management are vulnerable to transient oscillations until cohort dynamics are broken and the vertical and horizontal structures of the plantation are transformed to those of more natural forests. Cohort-desynchronizing factors such as canopy disturbances are expected to accelerate this process. Using well-established mangrove plantations in Can Gio (Viet Nam) as an example, we tested whether lightning gaps can affect transition dynamics of plantations to more natural forests by damping the amplitude or by shortening the period of oscillations in tree densities. This was done by applying point pattern analyses to remotely sensed data, and by further combining statistical and individual-based modelling. The occurrence of lightning gaps was biased by the forest matrix, which presented a challenge for the point pattern analysis. This problem was solved by using the scattered forest area as a binary mask. A Matern cluster process model was found to be suitable for describing the lightning regime. This statistical model was incorporated into the individual-based mangrove model KiWi, and simulation experiments revealed that: (i) the evenly spaced distribution of the tree cohorts in the plantation supports non-linear transition behaviour, i.e. oscillation of tree density, and (ii) the lightning regime in Can Gio damps the oscillation amplitude but is not sufficient to prevent the latter nor to decrease the length of the period of oscillations.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    31 December 2011

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  • Library of Congress:

    QH301 Biology

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    570 Life sciences; biology


Kautz, M., Berger, U., Stoyan, D., Vogt, J., Khan, N. I., Diele, K., …Nam, V. N. (2011). Desynchronizing effects of lightning strike disturbances on cyclic forest dynamics in mangrove plantations. Aquatic Botany, 95, 173-181.



Can Gio; Canopy gap; Field-of-neighbourhood; Individual-based modelling; Interrupted point process; KiWi model; Matern cluster process; Point pattern analysis; Rhizophora apiculata;

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