Journal of Tropical Ecology

Allometry, adult stature and regeneration requirement of 65 tree species on Barro Colorado Island, Panama

Stephanie Bohlman a1c1 and Sean O'Brien a2
a1 Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Apartado Postal 2072, Balboa, Ancon, Republic of Panama
a2 University of Virginia, Sorensen Institute, P.O. Box 400206, Charlottesville, VA 22904, USA

Article author query
bohlman s   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
o'brien s   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 


This study provides a community-level analysis of how regeneration requirement and adult stature are related to tree allometry (diameter, height and crown size) throughout post-seedling ontogeny on Barro Colorado Island, Panama. Comparing 65 species, gap species are taller, have higher diameter growth rates and occupy more low-canopy sites ([less-than-or-equal]10 m canopy height) than shade species at small diameters ([less-than-or-equal]10 cm dbh). For trees >10 cm dbh, diameter-height relationships and growth rates no longer differ between gap and shade species, but shade species have larger, particularly deeper, crowns than gap species. Species with tall adult stature have more slender stems with larger crowns compared with treelet and mid-canopy species starting at 5 cm dbh. From 10 to 40 cm dbh, diameter growth rate is also significantly greater for tall species. The consistent allometric differences between functional groups on a community level will, in part, determine vertical and horizontal stand structure.

(Accepted October 6 2005)

Key Words: allometry; forest structure; functional groups; Panama; tree architecture.

c1 Corresponding author: Stephanie Bohlman, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, 08544 USA. Email: