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Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 2093; doi:10.3390/su9112093

Structural Complexity and Ecosystem Functions in a Natural Mixed Forest under a Single-Tree Selection Silviculture

1
Uryu Experimental Forest, Field Science Center for Northern Biosphere, Hokkaido University, Prefecture 060-0808, Japan
2
Graduate School of Agriculture, Hokkaido University, Hokkaido 060-8589, Japan
3
Graduate School of Environmental Science, Hokkaido University, Hokkaido 096-0071, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 September 2017 / Revised: 6 November 2017 / Accepted: 11 November 2017 / Published: 14 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecological Restoration for Sustainable Forest Management)
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Abstract

The objective of forest management has become broader, and it is essential to harmonize timber production with conservation of the forest ecosystem. Selection cutting is recognized as a major alternative of clear-cutting, because it can maintain the complexity and heterogeneity of a natural forest; however, its long-term evaluations are limited. This study compared various attributes of stand structures, which are indicators of biodiversity and ecosystem carbon stock between managed and unmanaged blocks (12.6 ha area in total) in a natural mixed forest in Hokkaido, the northernmost island of Japan. We found that 30 years’ implementation of single-tree selection did not affect the volume, size structure, species diversity nor spatial distribution of overstory trees in the managed stands. Also, the total carbon stock in the managed stands was almost equal to that of the unmanaged stands. In contrast, several structural attributes and indicator elements that are significant for biodiversity (such as large-diameter live trees, dead trees, cavities, epiphytic bryophytes, and some avian guilds) showed marked decrease in the managed stands. We conclude that it is required to leave these structures and elements to some extent for deriving the merit of the management as an alternative silvicultural regime in the region. View Full-Text
Keywords: conifer-broadleaved mixed forest; uneven-aged management; single-tree selection system; sustainable yield of timber; conservation of biodiversity conifer-broadleaved mixed forest; uneven-aged management; single-tree selection system; sustainable yield of timber; conservation of biodiversity
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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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Yoshida, T.; Naito, S.; Nagumo, M.; Hyodo, N.; Inoue, T.; Umegane, H.; Yamazaki, H.; Miya, H.; Nakamura, F. Structural Complexity and Ecosystem Functions in a Natural Mixed Forest under a Single-Tree Selection Silviculture. Sustainability 2017, 9, 2093.

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