Tree mortality in a natural mixed forest affected by stand fragmentation and by a strong typhoon in northern Japan
Source: Journal of Forest Research, Volume 16, Number 3, June 2011 , pp. 215-222(8)
Abstract:Windthrow is recognized as an extremely significant disturbance in many forests. Its effects are increased by stand fragmentation, which exposes the stand to strong winds. In this study, we investigated the change in tree mortality in fragmented stands with the distance from the stand edge, in a conifer–broadleaved mixed forest in northern Japan. We set out experimental plots having three stand sizes (400, 1,600, 6,400 m2) and examined the stand dynamics over 10 years. Tree mortality tended to be higher in smaller stands, although an effect of stand size was found only in the first 5 years of the study. Distance-dependent individual mortality was obvious in Abies sachalinensis, the most vulnerable major tree species, again in the first 5 years, suggesting that wind-risk management should emphasize the area within ca. 20 m from the stand edge. No distant-dependent effect was found, however, in the latter 5 years, in which there was a strong typhoon; tree deaths occurred throughout the stand (irrespective of distance within) as a result of this event. We conclude that the severity of wind can cause the features of wind-induced damage to differ; stand edge effects peculiar to a small forest are unlikely to occur with particularly strong winds, and the effect of fragmentation might therefore be clear only in weaker disturbances.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: Uryu Experimental Forest, Field Science Center for Northern Biosphere, Hokkaido University, Moshiri, Horokanai, 074-0741, Japan, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 2: Shikoku Research Center, Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, Kochi, Japan 3: Northern Development Office, Field Science Center for Northern Biosphere, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan 4: Graduate School of Agriculture, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan 5: Tomakomai Experimental Forest, Field Science Center for Northern Biosphere, Hokkaido University, Tomakomai, Japan
Publication date: June 1, 2011