The role of bracken (Pteridium aquilinum) in forest dynamics

The role of bracken (Pteridium aquilinum) in forest dynamics. PhD thesis. Den Ouden, Jan (2000).
Wageningen University, Wageningen. ISBN 90-5808-288-1; 218 pp.

Bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum) causes stagnation in forest succession in many parts of the world. Den Ouden has investigated which mechanisms enable bracken to hamper establishment and growth other plant species in bracken vegetation, focussing on the regeneration of tree species in Dutch forest habitats. Den Ouden uses a variety of approaches, including experiments in field, greenhouse and laboratory, modelling, monitoring and literature survey. It is shown that the inhibition of tree regeneration by bracken is due to a combination of factors, especially structural and mechanical properties of bracken vegetation and the habitat function of bracken for seed predating rodents. Allelopathy, however, does not seem of any importance.

Jan den Ouden graduated October 24, 2000.

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