Vol15 No.9: 1909-1919
【Title】Spatial patterns in natural Picea crassifolia forests of northwestern China, as basis for close-to-nature forestry
【Author】HE Zhi-bin1*; FANG Shu1,2; CHEN Long-fei1; DU Jun1; ZHU Xi1; LIN Peng-fei1
【Addresses】1 Linze Inland River Basin Research Station, Chinese Ecosystem Research Network, Key Laboratory of Eco-hydrology of Inland River Basin, Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China; 2 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
【Corresponding author】HE Zhi-bin
【Citation】He ZB, Fang S, Chen LF, et al. (2018) Spatial patterns in natural Picea crassifolia forests of northwestern China, as basis for close-to-nature forestry. Journal of Mountain Science 15(9). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11629-016-3998-z
【Abstract】Close-to-nature forest management has been proposed as an effective method for improving the quality of plantation forests. Knowledge of spatial distribution patterns, structure, and succession trajectories in natural forests can provide guidelines for the establishment of close-to-nature forest plantations. Such knowledge is lacking in natural spruce (Picea crassifolia) forests in the Qilian Mountains of China, impeding the establishment of production forests. We conducted a case study in the Qilian Mountains to analyze the relationships between the naturally-formed forest patches and terrain factors, spatial heterogeneity of stand characteristics, and stand structure following harvesting disturbance. Our results suggested that spruce plantations will be effective on the N, NE, and NW slopes, at elevations between 2700 and 3300 m, and on slopes ranging from 15° to 45°. Further, planted forest patches should occupy 64% of the slope area on semi-shady slopes (NE, NW). Spatial patterns in the studied forest exhibited a strong scale-effect, and an area of 0.25 ha could be used as the most efficient plot scale for the management of spruce plantations.Partial logging is an effective method for the conversion of spruceplanted forests into near-natural forests, and the intensity of partial logging can be determined from the negative exponential function relationship between stand density and DBH. Our results provided critical information for the developmentof spruce plantations and conversion of existing plantations.
【Keywords】Picea crassifolia;spruce;Close-to-nature forestry; Spatial patterns; Qilian Mountains