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Stand Dynamics and Biomass Increment in a Lucidophyllous Forest over a 28-Year Period in Central Japan

Chen, Siyu, Komiyama, Akira, Kato, Shogo, Cao, Ruoming, Yoshitake, Shinpei, Ohtsuka, Toshiyuki
Forests 2017 v.8 no.10
Castanopsis cuspidata, Cleyera japonica, Eurya japonica, biomass, canopy, forests, monitoring, net primary productivity, secondary succession, stand development, stems, trees, wood, Japan
Secondary lucidophyllous forest is one of the dominant forests in human-dominated subtropical/warm-temperate regions in East Asia. There were few direct monitoring techniques to elucidate the following hypotheses: (a) self-thinning may govern the stand development process and (b) wood production decline can be observed during secondary succession in a lucidophyllous forest. We conducted a long-term study at a permanent plot in central Japan, since 1989. The forest consists mainly of Castanopsis cuspidata in a canopy layer, Cleyera japonica, and Eurya japonica in a subtree layer. During the 28-year period, the basal area of the stand significantly increased due to the growth of C. cuspidata, from 29.18 ± 1.84 (87.8% of total) to 38.71 ± 2.22 m2 ha−1 (91.9%), while the stem density of C. cuspidata significantly decreased from 666 ± 13 to 404 ± 10 stems ha−1 in proportion to accumulating biomass (117.8 to 166.6 ton ha−1). The annual woody net primary production ranged from 2.40 ± 0.13 to 3.93 ± 0.33 ton ha−1 year−1 as a nearly 70-year-old forest. There was no age-related decline of woody net primary production (NPP) was found during secondary succession, and the growth of individual tree still increased when the self-thinning process governed the stand.