Annals of Forest Science

, Volume 70, Issue 8, pp 845–861 | Cite as

Regeneration strategies influence ground bryophyte composition and diversity after forest clearcutting

  • Xiao Li Yan
  • Wei Kai Bao
  • Xue Yong Pang
  • Ning Xuan Zhang
  • Jiquan Chen
Original Paper



Natural regeneration with broadleaved species and reforestation with coniferous trees are two widely practiced forest regeneration strategies after timber harvesting. They lead to different tree species composition and may cause different understory biodiversity, but the effects on ground bryophyte composition and diversity are not well-known.


We tested whether natural regeneration with broadleaved species and reforestation with spruce induced different diversities of the ground bryophyte populations 20–40 years after old-growth spruce forest clearcutting in the subalpine regions of southwestern China.


Differences between natural stands and plantations were compared through the analysis of 13 paired stands, with 78 plots, 390 shrub/herb quadrats, and a total of 1,560 bryophyte quadrats.


Naturally regenerated forests were characterized by lower density and cover and lower tree height but higher herbaceous plant height, shrub cover, and bryophyte diversity. They also harbored many more ground bryophytes. The species richness of pleurocarpous mosses and fans, mats, and turfs were significantly higher in naturally regenerated forests. Frequency difference analysis demonstrated that more bryophyte species preferred ground habitats in naturally regenerated forests than in plantations (116 vs. 48 species). The canonical correspondence analysis indicated that stand structure attributes were more important determinants of ground bryophyte diversity and abundance.


Natural regeneration and reforestation resulted in large differences in ground bryophyte populations. A larger diversity was observed in the former case, and natural regeneration practices can be an effective measure for the protection of ground bryophyte diversity after clearcutting.


Bryophyte Regeneration strategy Planted forest Clearcutting Natural forest Biodiversity conservation 


  1. Astrom M, Dynesius M, Hylander K, Nilsson C (2005) Effects of slash harvest on bryophytes and vascular plants in southern boreal forest clear-cuts. Ecology 42:1194–1202Google Scholar
  2. Bao WK, Lei B, Pang XY, Yan XL, Jia Y (2009) Species composition and synusia structure of ground bryophyte communities under different aged spruce plantations and the old-growth forest in the upper reaches of the Dadu River, Sichuan. Biodivers Sci 17:201–209Google Scholar
  3. Barbier S, Gosselin F, Balandier P (2008) Influence of tree species on understory vegetation diversity and mechanisms involved—a critical review for temperate and boreal forests. For Ecol Manage 254:1–15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bremer LL, Farley KA (2010) Does plantation forestry restore biodiversity or create green deserts? a synthesis of the effects of land-use transitions on plant species richness. Biodivers Conserv 19:3893–3915CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brockerhoff EG, Jactel H, Parrotta JA, Quine CP, Sayer J (2008) Plantation forests and biodiversity: oxymoron or opportunity? Biodivers Conserv 17:925–951CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Chen J, Saunders SD, Crow T, Brosofske KD, Mroz G, Naiman R, Brookshire B, Franklin J (1999) Microclimatic in forest ecosystems and landscapes. Bioscience 49:288–297CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. During HJ (1990) Clonal growth patterns among bryophytes. In: van Groenendael J, de Kroon H (eds) Clonal growth in plants: regulation and function. SPB Academic, The Hague, pp 153–176Google Scholar
  8. FAO (2011) State of the world’s forests 2011. Rome, Italy.
  9. Fenton NJ, Frego KA (2005) Bryophyte (moss and liverwort) conservation under remnant canopy in managed forests. Biol Conserv 122:417–430CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Fitzsimmons M (2003) Effects of deforestation and reforestation on landscape spatial structure in boreal Saskatchewan, Canada. For Ecol Manage 174:577–592CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Frelich LE, Machado JL, Reich PB (2003) Fine-scale environmental variation and structure of understory plant communities in two old-growth pine forests. J Ecol 91:283–293CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Haeussler S, Bedford L, Leduc A, Bergeron Y, Kranabetter JM (2002) Silvicultural disturbance severity and plant communities of the southern Canadian boreal forest. Silva Fenn 36:307–327Google Scholar
  13. Humphrey JW, Davey S, Peace AJ, Ferris R, Harding K (2002) Lichens and bryophyte communities of planted and semi-natural forests in Britain: the influence of site type, stand structure and deadwood. Biol Conserv 107:165–180CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Lee TD, La Roi GH (1979) Bryophyte and understory vascular plant beta diversity in relation to moisture and elevation gradients. Plant Ecol 40:29–38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Lemenih M, Gidyelew T, Teketay D (2004) Effects of canopy cover and understory environment of tree plantations on richness. For Ecol Manage 194:1–10CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Lesica P, McCune B, Cooper SV, Hong WS (1991) Differences in lichen and bryophyte communities between old-growth and managed second-growth forests in the Swan Valley, Montana. Can J Bot 69:1745–1755CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Liu Q (2002) Ecological research on subalpine coniferous forests in China. Sichuan University Press, ChengduGoogle Scholar
  18. Magurran AE (1988) Ecological diversity and its measurement. University Press, CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Márialigeti S, Németh B, Tinya F, O’dor P (2009) The effects of stand structure on ground-floor bryophyte assemblages in temperate mixed forests. Biodivers Conserv 18:2223–2241CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. McClellan MH, Swanston DN, Hennon PE, Deal RL, DeSanto TL, Wipfli MS (2000) Alternatives to clearcutting in the old-growth forests of southeast Alaska: study plan and establishment report. General Technical Report-Pacific Northwest Research Station, USDA Forest Service (PNW-GTR-494)Google Scholar
  21. Moora M, Daniell T, Kalle H, Liira J, Püssa K, Roosaluste E, Öpik M, Wheatley R, Zobel M (2007) Spatial pattern and species richness of boreonemoral forest understorey and its determinants—a comparison of differently managed forests. For Ecol Manag 250:64–70CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Moore KM (2012) Manipulation of vegetation succession in forestry and applications for sustainable forest management. Dissertation, University of DublinGoogle Scholar
  23. Nagaike T (2002) Differences in plant species diversity between conifer (Larix kaempferi) plantations and broad-leaved (Quercus crispula) secondary forests in central Japan. For Ecol Manag 168:111–123CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Newmaster SG, Bell FW (2002) The effects of silvicultural disturbances on cryptogam diversity in the boreal-mixedwood forest. Can J For Res 32:38–51CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Ódor P, Standovár T (2001) Richness of bryophyte vegetation in near-natural and managed beech stands: the effects of management-induced differences in dead wood. Ecol Bull 49:219–229Google Scholar
  26. Oishi Y (2009) A survey method for evaluating drought-sensitive bryophytes in fragmented forests: a bryophyte life-form based approach. Biol Conserv 142:2854–2861CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Oksanen J, Blanchet FG, Kindt R, Legendre P, Minchin PR, O'Hara RB, Simpson GL, Solymos P, Stevens MHH, Wagner H (2011) Vegan: community ecology package.
  28. Proctor MCF (2008) Physiological ecology. In: Goffinet B, Shaw AJ (eds) Bryophyte biology: 2nd edn. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 237–268Google Scholar
  29. Ramovs BV, Roberts MR (2005) Response of plant functional groups within plantations and naturally regenerated forests in southern New Brunswick, Canada. Can J Forest Res 35:1261–1276CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Ross-Davis AL, Frego KA (2002) Comparison of plantations and naturally regenerated clearcuts in the Acadian Forest: forest floor bryophyte community and habitat features. Can J Bot 80:21–33CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Rudolphi J, Gustafsson L (2011) Forests regenerating after clear-cutting function as habitat for bryophyte and lichen species of conservation concern. PLoS ONE 6:e18639PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Tullus T, Tullus A, Roosaluste E, Kaasik A, Lutter R, Tullus H (2013) Understorey vegetation in young naturally regenerated and planted birch (Betula spp.) stands on abandoned agricultural land. New Forest 44:591–611CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Vellak K, Ingerpuu N (2005) Management effects on bryophytes in Estonian forests. Biodivers Conserv 14:3255–3263CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Xu M, Qi Y, Chen J, Yin W (2000) Effects of spatial heterogeneity of microenvironment on plant biodiversity in the Southeastern Missouri Ozarks. J Geogr Inf Sci 6:1–6Google Scholar
  35. Yan XL, Bao WK (2008) Structure and species composition of ground bryophyte community of high-altitude young silvicultural cutovers in Ramtang County, China: effects of clear-cutting and silvicultural management. Chin J Plant Ecol 32:815–824Google Scholar
  36. Yan XL, Bao WK (2011) Ground bryophyte diversity in secondary birch forests in western Sichuan, China. Biodivers Sci 19:327–334CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Yang YP (1985) Alpine forest management handbook. Sichuan Publishing House of Science & Technology, ChengduGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© INRA and Springer-Verlag France 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiao Li Yan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Wei Kai Bao
    • 1
  • Xue Yong Pang
    • 1
  • Ning Xuan Zhang
    • 1
  • Jiquan Chen
    • 3
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Mountain Ecological Restoration and Bio-resource Utilization, Ecological Restoration Biodiversity Conservation Key Laboratory of Sichuan Province, Chengdu Institute of BiologyChinese Academy of SciencesChengduPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Graduate University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Department of Environmental ScienceUniversity of ToledoToledoUSA

Personalised recommendations