Edge effects on tree growth and species diversity in forests of different types and ages

Li, J.; Zhao, C.; Peng, Y.; Hu, Y.; Yuan, X.

English Scientific Article (Journal Article)
Published: POLISH JOURNAL OF ECOLOGY 1505-2249 66 (3) pp. 239-249 2018
  • Szociológiai Tudományos Bizottság: C
  • SJR Scopus - Ecology: Q3
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Subjects:
    Edge to interior gradients in forest ecosystems can influence the species composition and community structure as a result of vari-ations in micro-environment. In this study, the edge effects on stand productivity and plant species diversity were investigated in two adjacent types of forests in central-southern China: Chinese fir adjacent with pine forests and Chinese fir adjacent with broad-leaved forests. A total of 48 sample plots for overstory and 240 sample quadrates for understory in different stand ages were set up. The tree growth parameters were measured in the overstory while the plant species diversity was measured in both overstory and understory of the examined forests. The results showed that DBH (tree diameter at the breast height), tree height and stand volume in overstory increased from the central areas (CA) of forests to the edge areas (EA), and the plant and diver-sity in understory were greater in EA than in CA. The edge effect species richness was greater in Chinese fir paired with broad-leaved forests than in Chinese fir paired with pine forests. The edge effect decreased in an order as young aged stands > middle aged stands > mature aged stands in the studied forests. The changes in tree growth and species diversity in the edge area compared to the interior were mainly attributed to the alteration of micro-environmental factors such as light density, temperature and moisture. Our results suggest increasing forest productivity and plant species diversity could be achieved by making more edges in the forests.
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    2020-09-23 20:32