New Forests

, Volume 43, Issue 5–6, pp 639–649 | Cite as

Promoting seedling stress resistance through nursery techniques in China

  • Y. Liu
  • S. L. Bai
  • Y. Zhu
  • G. L. LiEmail author
  • P. Jiang


Plantation forestry is one of the most important approaches to restoring forest cover in China. Of the remaining sites suitable for afforestation in China, 52 % are considered harsh and only 13 % considered good, which indicates that successfully establishing a plantation in the future will become more and more difficult. Seedling quality in terms of morphology, physiology, and viability is a critical aspect for successful plantation establishment. Due to a large area in need of afforestation, and because of its diverse harsh sites, many studies have focused on nursery techniques of promoting seedling stress resistance, including inoculating ectomycorrhizal fungi, applying plant growth regulators, use of fall fertilization, induced water stresses, or a combined use of these methods. Most of relevant results of this research have been published in Chinese, and are unknown to researchers from other countries. Moreover, no comprehensive review of stress resistance research in forest tree seedlings in China has been completed. Therefore, this review intends to provide a concise synthesis of literature related to plant manipulation techniques that offer seedling stress resistance in Chinese nurseries, discuss potential shortcomings of these studies, and define priorities for future seedling stress resistance research. With this paper we hope to enhance communication about nursery and plantation seedling culture among researchers from China and other countries.


Forest tree seedling Stress resistance Nursery technique Chinese forestry 



This manuscript was funded by the 948 Plan (2012-4-66) and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (Contract No. JD2011-3 & BLJD200905). We especially thank Mr. Richard R. Faltonson and Dr. Kasten Dumroese for improving the quality of English in this manuscript, and the anonymous reviewers for their technical comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Y. Liu
    • 1
  • S. L. Bai
    • 2
  • Y. Zhu
    • 1
  • G. L. Li
    • 1
    Email author
  • P. Jiang
    • 1
  1. 1.Key Laboratory for Silviculture and Conservation, Ministry of EducationBeijing Forestry UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.College of ForestryInner Mongolia Agricultural UniversityHohhotChina

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