This study investigated the composition, age- and size-structure, and tree-ring relationships for an old-growth, warm-temperate, mixed-evergreen forest at the University of Tokyo Chiba Forest, Japan. A total of 32 tree species were recorded, which was dominated by Abies firma and Quercus acuta. Tsuga sieboldii dominated the recruitment after 1850, followed by Abies firma. After 1920, many individuals of Castanopsis, Cinnamomum, Cleyera and Quercus became established. The temporal pattern of conifer recruitment did not correspond to the record of strong wind events. Basal area increment in Abies firma and Castanopsis sieboldii trees increased throughout their lives, a trend not seen in the ring width index. Mean annual temperature was below the 100-year mean between 1920 and 1940 and 1960–1980, but increased rather abruptly after 1980. Mean annual precipitation decreased after 1960. Tree-ring releases are very common at the study forest, which are indicative of frequent small to moderate-sized disturbances. At least one release was recorded in every decade from 1890 to the present day, which is likely the primary causal factor promoting tree growth and recruitment. Our results suggest that early logging activities coupled with natural disturbances had a great influence on the developmental process and current structure of the study stand and that tree growth is varying in a manner consistent with forest dynamics.
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Vol. 73 • No. 2