Short Communication

Journal of Forest Research

, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 73-78

First online:

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

  • Hiroaki T. IshiiAffiliated withGraduate School of Science and Technology, Kobe University Email author 
  • , M. Abdul MalequeAffiliated withGraduate School of Science and Technology, Kobe UniversityBangladesh Agricultural Research Institute
  • , Shingo TaniguchiAffiliated withForestry Technology Institute, Hyogo Prefectural Technology Center for Agriculture, Forestry and FisheriesFaculty of Agriculture, University of the Ryukyus

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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.


Biodiversity Forest management Silviculture Variable retention thinning