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Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 3801-3822; doi:10.3390/su7043801

Resilience Assessment of Lowland Plantations Using an Ecosystem Modeling Approach

1
Senior Vocational High School, National Taitung Junior College, 95045 Taitung, Taiwan
2
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Studies, National Dong Hwa University, 97401 Hualien, Taiwan
3
Departamento Ciencias del Medio Natural, Universidad Pública de Navarra, Campus de Arrosadía, Pamplona, Navarra 31006, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Yu-Pin Lin
Received: 30 December 2014 / Revised: 20 March 2015 / Accepted: 25 March 2015 / Published: 31 March 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Land Use and Ecosystem Management)
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Abstract

As afforestation programs of former farmlands take hold in Taiwan to achieve a variety of ecological and socio-economic values, it is becoming necessary to define best forest management. Hence, we simulated mixed stands of Cinnamomum camphora and Fraxinus griffithii planted through a gradient of soil fertility and varying camphor/ash density ratios, but maintaining a fixed total stand density of 1500 trees ha−1. Total stand productivity was slightly lower in mixed stands than the combination of both monocultures in rich and poor sites. Maximum negative yield surpluses for 50-year old stands were 7 Mg ha−1 and 6 Mg ha−1 for rich and poor sites with a 1:1 camphor laurel/ash ratios. Maximum stand woody biomass in rich sites was reached in camphor laurel monocultures (120 Mg ha−1) and in poor sites for Himalayan ash monocultures (58 Mg ha−1). However, for medium-quality sites, a small yield surplus (11 Mg ha−1) was estimated coinciding with a maximum stand woody biomass of 95 Mg ha−1 for a 1:1 camphor laurel/ash density ratio. From an ecological resilience point of view, rotation length was more important than stand composition. Long rotations (100 years) could improve soil conditions in poor sites. In rich sites, short rotations (50 years) should be avoided to reduce risks or fertility loss. View Full-Text
Keywords: mixed forests; artificial forest; ecological modeling; resilience; ecological sustainability; camphor laurel; Himalayan ash; FORECAST model mixed forests; artificial forest; ecological modeling; resilience; ecological sustainability; camphor laurel; Himalayan ash; FORECAST model
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Wu, C.-H.; Lo, Y.-H.; Blanco, J.A.; Chang, S.-C. Resilience Assessment of Lowland Plantations Using an Ecosystem Modeling Approach. Sustainability 2015, 7, 3801-3822.

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