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Forests 2017, 8(4), 105; doi:10.3390/f8040105

On the Effect of Thinning on Tree Growth and Stand Structure of White Birch (Betula platyphylla Sukaczev) and Siberian Larch (Larix sibirica Ledeb.) in Mongolia

1
Department of Silviculture and Forest Ecology of the Temperate Zones, Universität Göttingen, Büsgenweg 1, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
2
Institute of Geography-Geoecology, Mongolian Academy of Sciences, Post Box-81, Baruun Selbe 15, Ulaanbaatar 15170, Mongolia
3
School of Agroecology and Business, Institute of Plant and Agricultural Sciences, Mongolian University of Life Sciences, P.O. Box 904, University St., Darkhan, 45047 Darkhan-Uul, Mongolia
4
Chair of Silviculture, Technische Universität Dresden, Pienner Strasse 8, 01735 Tharandt, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Phil G. Comeau and Timothy A. Martin
Received: 13 February 2017 / Revised: 15 March 2017 / Accepted: 23 March 2017 / Published: 31 March 2017
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Abstract

The forests of North Mongolia are largely dominated either by larch (Larix sibirica Ledeb.) or birch (Betula platyphylla Sukaczev). The increasing demand for timber and firewood is currently met by removal of wood from these forest stands. Therefore, silvicultural approaches that account for both utilization and protection are needed. Thinning trials were established in the research area Altansumber, in the mountain forest steppe west of the town of Darkhan. We analyzed the response of non-spatial and spatial structure and growth of birch and larch stands on thinning. Before thinning, spatial tree distribution was largely clumped. Thinning promoted regular tree distribution. Ingrowth of new stems after thinning tended to redirect stand structure towards clumping. Both relative and absolute tree growth and competition were evaluated before, directly after, and three years after the thinning. Competition played a significant role in tree growth before thinning. A reduction in competition after thinning triggered significantly increased growth of both birch and larch. The observed positive growth response was valid in absolute and relative terms. A methodically based forest management strategy, including thinning operations and selective cuttings, could be established, even under the harsh Mongolian conditions. Our findings could initiate the development of broader forest management guidelines for the light-taiga dominated stands. View Full-Text
Keywords: thinning; mountain forest steppe; Siberian larch; birch; growth response; spatial forest structure; forest management; Mongolia thinning; mountain forest steppe; Siberian larch; birch; growth response; spatial forest structure; forest management; Mongolia
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MDPI and ACS Style

Gradel, A.; Ammer, C.; Ganbaatar, B.; Nadaldorj, O.; Dovdondemberel, B.; Wagner, S. On the Effect of Thinning on Tree Growth and Stand Structure of White Birch (Betula platyphylla Sukaczev) and Siberian Larch (Larix sibirica Ledeb.) in Mongolia. Forests 2017, 8, 105.

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