, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 73-78
Date: 29 Nov 2007

Line thinning promotes stand growth and understory diversity in Japanese cedar (Cryptomeria japonica D. Don) plantations


We studied the effects of line thinning on stand structure, microclimate and understory species diversity of two Cryptomeria japonica D. Don plantations in south-central Japan. In each of two study sites we compared stand structure between the thinned stand and an adjacent unthinned stand and found that line thinning increased the growth rate of residual trees such that stand basal area may recover within 10 years after thinning. In the thinned stand, more open canopy conditions resulted in higher maximum temperatures on the forest floor during the early growing season than in the unthinned stand. The thinned stand had greater understory plant species richness and biomass than the unthinned stand. This study suggested that line thinning could potentially enhance biodiversity while simultaneously increasing tree-growth rates in overstocked Cryptomeria japonica plantations.