Factors influencing the damage of a montane secondary forest induced by snow/wind in northeastern China.
Zhu, Jiao-jun1, Li, Xiu-fen1, 2, Liu, Zu-gen1, 2, Gonda, Yutaka3, Matsuzaki, Takeshi3, 1 Institute of Applied Ecology, Chinese Academy of Science, Shenyang, Liaoning Province, China2 Graduate School of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China3 Faculty of Agriculture, Niigata University, Niigata, Japan
ABSTRACT- It is important and significant for the development of a forest ecosystem to have snow/wind disturbances because they influence the forest ecosystem from both timber and ecological aspects. According to the references till now, however, the researches related to these aspects have been mostly conducted in Europe for plantations, while information is lacking in Asia and other regions for natural forest ecosystems. In order to document the initial situations and to understand the processes of snow/wind damage in a natural secondary forest, we made an investigation on the damage of a montane secondary forest induced by snow/wind occurred in 2003 in northeastern China. The relationship between forest damage and topography factors indicated that slope steepness and soil depth played a relatively important role for the forest damage. Altitude and slope aspects played a relatively minor role. Snapped ratios (ratio of snapped stems to total stems) increased with the slope steepness and soil depth, the uprooted ratio (ratio of uprooted stems to total stems) decreased with the soil depth. The index of the importance value (Iv) of tree species, which expressed the stand structure of tree species composition, appeared to affect the forest damage of individual tree species, i.e., the damage ratio (ratio of damaged stems to total stems) of a tree species increased with the increment of Iv value. Four damage modes of uprooting, stem breakage, canopy damage and stem bending were closely related to the stem taper (p<0.05). The mean taper values of the four-mode damage ranked as: bending (92.0)> uprooting (85.3) > stem breakage (80.1) > canopy damage (65.0). The differences in tree species' susceptibility to the snow and wind existed among the major tree species in the secondary forest. Betula costata exhibited the most uprooting, bending and overall damage ratios; while, Quercus mongolica showed the highest breakage (both stem breakage and canopy damage) ratio than other species; whereas, Fraxinus mandshurica exhibited the least overall damage ratio.
Key words: snow/wind damage, secondary forest, stem breakage, uprooting
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