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Forests 2015, 6(3), 809-826; doi:10.3390/f6030809

China’s National Monitoring Program on Ecological Functions of Forests: An Analysis of the Protocol and Initial Results

1
Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Earth System Modeling, Center for Earth System Science, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
2
Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Silviculture and Conservation, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083, China
3
Department of Forestry Engineering, Gansu Forestry Technological College, Gansu 741020, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Rodney J. Keenan and Eric J. Jokela
Received: 8 January 2015 / Revised: 10 March 2015 / Accepted: 16 March 2015 / Published: 19 March 2015
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [533 KB, uploaded 20 March 2015]   |  

Abstract

Information on the ecological functions of forests is important for sustainable forest management. In this study, we introduced the national monitoring program which has been used in China to evaluate the overall health status and ecological functions of forests. We also compared it to similar monitoring programs operating in Europe and the United States of America. We revealed the strength and drawbacks of China’s monitoring program by analyzing the initial evaluation results. Our analysis showed that among the three programs, the European program gives the most detailed measurements of conditions of forests while the U.S. program generates the most detailed information on individual trees. In comparison, China’s monitoring program has a higher spatial resolution but is narrowly focused on trees and uses coarse classifications of indicators. The health status of forests in China suggested that more resources should be invested to improve the health of existing forests, especially plantations. The limitations in China’s monitoring program need to be addressed to improve the accuracy of future assessments. View Full-Text
Keywords: national forest inventory; forest health; ecological functions; indicator; composite index national forest inventory; forest health; ecological functions; indicator; composite index
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Yang, J.; Dai, G.; Wang, S. China’s National Monitoring Program on Ecological Functions of Forests: An Analysis of the Protocol and Initial Results. Forests 2015, 6, 809-826.

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