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A management tool for reducing the potential risk of windthrow for coastal Casuarina equisetifolia L. stands on Hainan Island, China

Meng, Jinghui, Bai, Yanfeng, Zeng, Weisheng, Ma, Wu
European journal of forest research 2017 v.136 no.3 pp. 543-554
Casuarina equisetifolia, coastal forests, disasters, equations, financial economics, plantations, risk, stand density, windthrow, China
Coastal forests are normally established to mitigate coastal natural disasters instead of artificial barriers because of their low cost, ecological friendliness and economic benefits. The stand stability of coastal forests is of great importance to protect against coastal natural disasters. In the present study, we produced a stand density management diagram (SDMD) that can quantitatively guide the management of stand density to reduce the potential risk of windthrow in the coastal Casuarina equisetifolia L. plantations in southern China. The SDMD was developed using a relative spacing index (RS), average slenderness coefficient (SC) and a system of two equations as the basic components. The RS was used to characterize the growing stock, and the average SC was included to assess stand stability. Finally, we illustrated the application of the SDMD in formulating thinning schedules to secure stand stability. For comparison purposes, management options both with and without considering stand stability were produced and discussed. The study indicated that the SDMD produced here can provide detailed quantitative guidance of regulating stand density to secure stand stability for C. equisetifolia plantations. Additionally, this SDMD can be used to develop thinning schedules for a wide range of site qualities and management objectives for C. equisetifolia plantations.