The Intermediate Disturbance Hypothesis [IDH] and the Gradual Climate Change Hypothesis [GCC] offer intuitively appealing, verbal non-equilibrium explanations to species coexistence in competitive communities, but so far they lack a solid theoretical background and a proper experimental methodology. To make them testable and comparable on a solid methodological basis, they should be formulated as well-defined non- equilibrium community dynamical models.
Light environments in two lowland New Zealand podocarp rainforests are described using data from quantum sensors. Mean daily total photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) in the forest understorey varies from 2.6-5.2% incident PPFD in summer and 1.0-2.5% in autumn, and in gaps from 5.0-16.6% in summer and 6.3-8.3% in autumn. Pronounced differences in understorey PPFD occur between clear and overcast days. Overcast days tend to have a lower proportion of 2-minute periods with very low mean PPFD than clear days.