Multifunctional Forestry on the Loess Plateau

  • Yanhui Wang
  • Pengtao Yu
  • Junzhong Wang
  • Lihong Xu
  • Karl-Heinz Feger
  • Wei Xiong


The various services/functions supplied by forests are illustrated according to their relevance to the people’s income, socioeconomic development, and environment safety, with some examples from the dry Loess Plateau in northwest China. The relationships between services of forests and between the service supply and demand are complex, not always synergic, but contrarily often competitive. In addition, the importance and relationships of services are site and region specific and vary with changing spatial scale and natural and socioeconomic conditions. On the Loess Plateau, soil protection against erosion is usually the dominant service required; water cycle regulation is very important but the drought limitation and water yield reduction after afforestation must be considered in forestry planning, forest establishment, and forest management; increasing the economic benefits through forest products and non-timber forest products is also desired. However, traditional forest management with a single purpose lowered the contribution of forestry to regional development. Therefore, trade-offs are necessary to optimise the overall value of services from forests and adjacent ecosystems per unit space to various stakeholders at different spatio-temporal scales. Through the promising multifunctional forestry, i.e. the rational regulation of forest quantity (cover), forest distribution, and forest quality (structure), the service competition can be balanced, in which the dominant services can be met but without too much loss of other services. The requirements and technical points in multifunctional management of forests and of the main forest types are briefly suggested.


Loess Plateau Forest Owner Annual Runoff Economic Forest Wild Vegetable 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This research was supported by: “Study on Water Conservation Mechanism of Forest Ecosystem and the Scale Effect on China’s Loess Plateau”, a Major Project of National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41390461); “Spatial Scale Effect of Land Use Impact on Runoff in the Loess Plateau under Climate Change”, a Key Project of National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41230852); “Formation Mechanism and Scale Effect of Spatial Pattern of Soil Water in Upstream Jinghe River Based on Landscape Pattern Change”, a General Project of National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41471029); “Study on Forest Management Techniques Based on Vegetation Carrying Capacity of Site Water Conditions”, a subproject of the Ministry of Science and Technology during the 12th Five-Year Plan Period (No. 2012BAD22B030102); Forest Ecological Station of the State Forestry Administration in Ningxia Liupan Mountains; “Study and Demonstration of Multifunctional Forestry in Different Regions of Ningxia” a project of the Comprehensive Research Center for Ecological Restoration and Multifunctional Forestry in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yanhui Wang
    • 1
  • Pengtao Yu
    • 1
  • Junzhong Wang
    • 1
  • Lihong Xu
    • 1
  • Karl-Heinz Feger
    • 2
  • Wei Xiong
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Forest Ecology, Environment and ProtectionChinese Academy of ForestryBeijingChina
  2. 2.Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Institute of Soil Science and Site EcologyTU DresdenTharandtGermany

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