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On the Management of Large-Diameter Trees in China’s Forests

Zhejiang Academy of Forestry, Hangzhou 310023, China
Tianmushan National Nature Reserve, Lin’an 311311, China
Anji Branch, Zhejiang Museum of Natural History, Huzhou 313300, China
Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Biodiversity Science and Ecological Engineering, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2020, 11(1), 111;
Received: 7 December 2019 / Revised: 11 January 2020 / Accepted: 13 January 2020 / Published: 16 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Structure and Sustainable Resource Management)
Large-diameter trees have mainly been used for timber production in forestry practices. Recently, their critical roles played in biodiversity conservation and maintenance of ecosystem functions have been recognized. However, current forestry policy on the management of large-diameter trees is weak. As China is the biggest consumer of large-diameter timbers, how to maintain sustainable large-diameter timber resources as well as maximize ecological functions of the forests is a critical question to address. Here we summarize historical uses, distribution patterns, and management strategies of large-diameter trees in China. We found that large-diameter trees are mainly distributed in old-growth forests. Although China’s forest cover has increased rapidly in the past decades, large-diameter trees are rarely found in plantation forests and secondary forests. We suggest that knowledge of large-diameter trees should be widely disseminated in local forestry departments, especially their irreplaceable value in terms of biodiversity conservation and ecosystem functions. Protection of large-diameter trees, especially those in old-growth forests, is critical for sustainable forestry. To meet the increasing demand of large-diameter timbers, plantation forests and secondary forests should apply forest density management with thinning to cultivate more large-diameter trees. View Full-Text
Keywords: large-diameter trees; large-diameter timber; biodiversity; policy; old-growth forest large-diameter trees; large-diameter timber; biodiversity; policy; old-growth forest
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Wu, C.; Jiang, B.; Yuan, W.; Shen, A.; Yang, S.; Yao, S.; Liu, J. On the Management of Large-Diameter Trees in China’s Forests. Forests 2020, 11, 111.

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