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Effects of selective thinning andresidue removal on ground layer structure and diversity in a mixed pine-oak stand of the Qinling Mountains, China
Plant species in forest ground layer are main food resources for animals and other species in the Qinling Mountains, China. To optimize forest thinning programs, we examined how deferring selective thinning and thinning residue removal regimes influence ground layer diversity and cover. We explored these factors for two years in a mixed pine-oak stand. Results indicate the treatments resulted in an increase in the numbers of species, genus, and family by 10, 10, and 6, respectively, after year one thinning, and by 14, 10, and 4, respectively, after year two years thinning, compared to the starting point. The highest richness index was achieved at a selective thinning intensity of 17% and a residue removal rate of 57% concurrently. The highest evenness index was achieved at a selective thinning intensity and residue removal rate of 25% and 43% concurrently. The highest ground cover layer was achieved at a selective thinning intensity and residue removal rate of 25% and 69% concurrently. Our results suggest medium thinning intensity and thinning residual removal rate may benefit ground layer richness, whereas a high thinning intensity and medium thinning residual removal rate may maximize evenness and ground cover layer in current forest.
BT16233 Accepted 10 August 2017
© CSIRO 2017