Journal of Arid Land

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 233–248 | Cite as

Forest recovery after clear-cutting in Chinese pine (Pinus tabuliformis) plantations of North China

  • Boqian Dong
  • Kuangji Zhao
  • Zhibin Wang
  • Zhongkui Jia
  • Lvyi Ma
  • Xinli Xia


In Hebei Province of North China, forest was recovered with natural recruitment in plantations with large area of clear-cutting Chinese pine (Pinus tabuliformis). This study was aimed to demonstrate the dynamic characteristics of recruits during the natural recruitment. Both plot survey and the spatial point-pattern analysis were performed. Five developmental stages of natural recruitment were selected and studied, including 1 year before and 2, 5, 8, and 11 years after clear-cutting. Different slope aspects were also included. Natural recruitment was always dominated by Chinese pine with a proportion of higher than 90%. For plots of 1 year before clear-cutting on east- and north-facing slopes, recruit densities were 7886 and 5036 stems/hm2, the average heights were 0.78 (±0.85) and 1.06 (±1.15) m, and the average diameters at breast height (DBH) were 3.21 (±1.38) and 2.91 (±1.38) cm, respectively. After clear-cutting, recruit density was initially increased, then it was gradually declined with time; however, the variation of average DBH was contrary to that of recruit density. Both of them were no longer varied between 8 and 11 years after clear-cutting. The average height of recruits continued to increase after clear-cutting. For the plots of 11 years after clear-cutting on east- and north-facing slopes, average heights of recruits reached 2.00 (±1.14) and 2.24 (±1.20) m, respectively. The statuses of recruits on north-facing slopes were better than those on east-facing slopes after clear-cutting. Meanwhile, recruits on east-facing slopes were always aggregated at small scales, while spatial pattern of recruits varied with time on north-facing slopes. Moreover, forest was recovered more quickly by natural recruitment than by artificial afforestation after clear-cutting. The structural diversity was higher in naturally regenerated forests than in plantations of the same age. Our results demonstrated that clear-cutting of Chinese pine plantations recovered by natural recruitment has the potential to be an effective approach for establishing multifunctional forest.


Chinese pine natural recruitment clear-cutting slope aspect spatial pattern Hebei Province 


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This work was supported by the National Key R&D Program of China (2017YFD0600501) and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities of China (TD2011-08).


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Copyright information

© Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Boqian Dong
    • 1
  • Kuangji Zhao
    • 1
  • Zhibin Wang
    • 1
  • Zhongkui Jia
    • 1
  • Lvyi Ma
    • 1
  • Xinli Xia
    • 2
  1. 1.Key Laboratory for Silviculture and Conservation of the Ministry of Education, College of ForestryBeijing Forestry UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.College of Biological Sciences and TechnologyBeijing Forestry UniversityBeijingChina

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