Dwarf bamboo, Pleioblastus chino, grows extensively in abandoned coppice woodlands on the Kanto Plain in central Japan and suppresses other understory plants. In order to clarify the factors determining the growth of P. chino, we considered the effect of light conditions under a coppice canopy and examined its relationship with slope aspect, slope angle, and basal area of the trees. The relative photon flux density under the canopy was highly correlated with canopy coverage (R2 = 0.97). The light conditions under the canopy were almost the same at all sites in the summer leafy season regardless of the stand type, while they were remarkably different among the sites and depended on the basal area of evergreen trees in the winter leafless season. The biomass of P. chino on the forest floor was described by the equation: y = 3.18 x 1 - 0.05 x2 + 3.11 (R2 = 0.77, P < 0.01), where y is the log-transformed value of P. chino biomass (g dry mass m -2), x1 is cosζ at solar noon at the winter solstice, and x2 is the canopy coverage during the winter leafless season. ζ is the angle between the sun's rays and the normal to the surface and changes with slope aspect and angle. We concluded that light conditions under the canopy in the leafless season had a great effect on P. chino biomass, and that the basal area of evergreen trees and slope characteristics can provide useful guidelines in the control and management of P. chino.
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