Resilience of stand structure and tree species diversity in subtropical forest degraded by clear logging

Shinjiro Fujii, Yasuhiro Kubota, Tsutomu Enoki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Subtropical forests in the Ryukyu Islands have been degraded by silvicultural practices, and thus their structural attributes are being shifted to other states dominated by a few tree species. This study clarified the mechanisms of the change, and examined the effect of clear logging on the resilience of a subtropical forest. Sprouting regeneration and typhoon disturbance were introduced into an individual-based model, SEIB-DGVM, for describing stand development and succession. The regeneration dynamics from young secondary to oldgrowth stands were reproduced fairly well with the model. Sprouting recruitment produced high stem density at the beginning of stand development, which caused a selfthinning trajectory following the -3/2 power law. In the late development stage after 70 years, tree species diversity fluctuated because of the regenerative response of sprouting species and the facilitatory effect of typhoon disturbance on the coexistence of subordinate species. The death of canopy trees because of typhoon disturbances reduced the dominance of Castanopsis sieboldii, and depressed its dominance in the understory. Consequently, the understory species could establish by virtue of fallen canopy trees, and tree species diversity increased at the stand level. Clear logging experiments in the model revealed that species diversity deteriorated, especially in the stand dominated by sprouting species. Resilience of subtropical forests was determined by initial species composition before clear logging. Our simulation results suggest that repeated logging drives subtropical forests with high species diversity to a stand monopolized by C. sieboldii.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-387
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Forest Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Forestry


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