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Research articles

ScienceAsia 34 (2008): 409-415 |doi: 10.2306/scienceasia1513-1874.2008.34.409

Fractal studies on the spatial patterns of trees: A case study of Khao Yai National Park, Thailand

Pornkamon Nalakarna, I-Ming Tangb, Wannapong Triampob,c,*

ABSTRACT:     The distribution of the trees in a 30 hectare plot in Khao Yai National Park, Thailand containing 16375 trees, divided into 63 families and 182 species was studied. The allometric scaling exponent in the relation between number and diameter of all the trees taken as one group was approximately −2. The spatial heterogeneity of the forest shown by the variation of this scaling exponent determined for each hectare in the area of study. The box counting method was used to determine the fractal dimensions (df) of the spatial patterns of the trees. The spatial pattern for all the trees taken as a whole had a df of 1.81. The fractal dimensions for the patterns of the six most abundant species ranged from 1.73 to 1.75. On the other hand, values of df as measured from each hectare were less than 1.5, suggesting that the pattern is not self-similar over a significant range of length scales.

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a Physics Department, Faculty of Science & Technology, Thammasat University, Bangkok 12121, Thailand
b R&D Group of Biological and Environmental Physics, Department of Physics, Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, Bangkok 10400, Thailand
c Institute for Science & Technology for Research & Development, Mahidol University, Nakhon Pathom 73170, Thailand

* Corresponding author, E-mail: scwtr@mahidol.ac.th

Received 26 Feb 2007, Accepted 3 Mar 2008