Plant Diversity and Vegetation Structures in the Understory of Mixed Boreal Forests under Different Management Regimes
Wen Wu1,2, Yuanman Hu1, Yuehui Li1, Jiping Gong1,2, Long Chen1,2, Yu Chang1, Zaiping Xiong1
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1Key Laboratory of Forest Ecology and Management, Institute of Applied Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences,
Shenyang 110164, People’s Republic of China
2University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, People’s Republic of China
Publish date: 2016-07-22
Submission date: 2015-09-30
Final revision date: 2016-02-27
Acceptance date: 2016-03-07
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2016;25(4):1749–1757
Community surveys were performed in 30 forest stands with similar conditions under different management types in forests of northeastern China to study the influence of forest management on plant biodiversity. We evaluated this effect by calculating and analyzing species richness, vegetation structure, and aboveground biomass. Large variations in species composition, vegetation structure, species richness, and aboveground biomass were evident among the three types of common management types investigated (cut shrub tending, selective cutting, and understory planting). The species composition of the herb layer changed more than that of the shrub layer, and herbs were more vulnerable to impact from human activities. Each management type reduced the plant coverage, and this was most significant in planted plots. We found that in the cut shrub tending plots, the shrub height increased over time. The mean fresh weight of the control group was about 2 kg·m-2, which was about two-fold the selective cutting group (1 kg·m-2) and five-fold the understory planting group (0.4 kg·m-2). Our results also showed that management types in mixed forest stands strongly impact species diversity and, to some extent, environmental capacity, with negative effects on biodiversity.