Theory of Vegetation Reconstruction for Various Management Types with Different Site Conditions
According to the management purpose and technical measures, the forest site of the hilly area in middle and lower reaches of Yangtze River was divided into four “management groups”: vegetation reconstruction for areas of extreme erosion and degeneration, regeneration and improvement of secondary forests, agroforestry, and commercial forest on good sites. Characteristics of the four groups are described, based on the vegetation reconstruction theory for each of the different site management groups. In particular, for the extreme erosion group, when the external disturbance stops, the degraded community will gradually start its succession toward a dominant community, i.e., progressive succession. Under purposive human intervention, the succession process can be greatly shortened when the following principles are obeyed. (1) Ecological–economic principle: In an eroded red soil area, returning farmland to forest is not only an important means of vegetation restoration and reconstruction but also a national ecological project. We should combine ecology and the economy not only to improve the eco-environment but also to establish a material base for local farmers to shake off poverty, based on the principle of the optimum distribution of resources. (2) The principle of tailoring measures to suit local conditions and to proceed from an assessment of the real situation; (3) the principle of being guided by science and technology, and the ideal of sustainable development; (4) the principle of flexible management and guidance; (5) the principle of making full use of natural forces.