COMPARISON OF STAND SPATIAL STRUCTURE IN DIFFERENT PLANTATIONS AND NATURAL FORESTS IN ROCKY MOUNTAIN AREA OF NORTHERN CHINA
Free (open access)
Volume 9 (2014), Issue 2
141 - 148
GUANG-LEI GAO, GUO-DONG DING, ANG ZHANG, MEI-NA CAO, YUAN-YUAN ZHAO, YAN-FENG BAO, YA-JUAN GUO, MING-HAN YU & XU LI
China is the global leader in afforestation efforts to restore degraded forest ecosystems. However, it is difficult for these efforts to completely substitute for natural forests. In order to reveal the differences between plantations and natural forests, we compared stand spatial structure of plantations, mixed plantations, and natural forests by using the mingling degree (Mi), uniform angle index (Wi), and neighborhood comparison ( Ui) in the Mulan-Weichang Forestry Administrative region of the rocky mountain area, northern China. The results indicated that natural forests were characterized by varying species composition, individual tree distribution, and competitive relationships, which were more complex than monoculture plantations. Forest management is beneficial to stand spatial structure improvement, resulting in mixed plantations that are closer to natural forests. On this basis, China’s forest policy should shift focus from afforestation for area expansion to forest management for ecological improvement.
Forest restoration, plantation, natural forest, stand spatial structure, forest management