Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 14, Issue 9, pp 1814–1826 | Cite as

Structure and regeneration dynamics of three forest types at different succession stages of spruce – fir mixed forest in Changbai Mountain, northeastern China

  • Wei-wei Guo
  • Xin-jie Wang
  • Xin-gang Kang
  • Qing Zhang
  • Jing-hui Meng
  • Meng-tao Zhang
  • Lei Ji


Analyzing and understanding the structure and growth dynamics of forests at different stages is helpful to promote forest succession, restoration and management. Three spots representing three succession stages of spruce-fir mixed forest (SF: polar-birch secondary forest, MF: spruce-fir mixed forest and PF: spruce-fir near primary forest) were established. Structure, growth dynamics during two growth seasons for dominant tree species, regeneration were examined, and a univariate O-ring function statistic was used to analyze the spatial patterns of main regeneration tree species. Results showed that, (1) composition of tree species, periodic annual increment (PAI) of the diameter at breast height (DBH), basal area for overstory trees and of ground diameter (DGH) for saplings, were significantly different with the succession; (2) the current species composition and regeneration dynamics of SF suggested a development towards spruce-fir mixed forests. Pioneer species like Betula platyphyllaa will gradually disappear while climax species, such as Abies nephrolepis, Pinus koraiensis, Picea koraiensis and Tilia amurensis will dominate forest stands; (3) Despite the highest volume occurring in PF, and saplings in it grew better than in the others, this forest type is unstable because of its unsustainable structure of DBH class and insufficient regeneration; and (4) MF had the most reasonable distribution of DBH class for adult trees (DBH > 5.0 cm) and DGH class for saplings (H ≥30 cm and DBH ≤5 cm), as well as an optimal volume increment. Limiting canopy opening size can lessen the physiological stress and promote the growth and competitive status of regeneration. Management implications for increasing the gaps and thus creating better growth conditions for understory saplings and facilitating forest succession were discussed.


Forest succession Saplings Structure and growth Spatial pattern Changbai Mountain 


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The study is co-supported by the “948” Project of the State Forestry Administration of China (Grant No. 2013-4-66) and “The Twelfth Five-Year-Plan” of National Science and Technology for Rural Development in China (Grant No. 2012BAD22B0203).


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Silviculture and Conservation, College of ForestryBeijing Forestry UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.College of ForestryShanxi Agricultural UniversityTaiyuanChina

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