Understanding the sustainability of high-value timber species in managed forests provides useful information for the management of these species in the long-run. Using nearly 50 years of census data in long-term permanent plots, we investigated the sustainability of three high-value timber species—monarch birch (Betula maximowicziana
Regel), castor aralia (Kalopanax septemlobus
(Thunb.) Koidz), and Japanese oak (Quercus crispula
Blume)—in cool-temperate mixed forest under a selection system in northern Japan. We used stocking, demographic parameters, and species proportions of these species as measures of sustainability. Results showed that the tree density and basal area of the three high-value timber species increased during the study period. Moreover, the basal area increment of these species showed an increasing trend across census periods. However, while no significant differences in the tree mortality of these species were observed, the numbers of in-growth fluctuated across census periods. Increasing trends in species proportions of monarch birch and Japanese oak were observed. Even though there were some fluctuations across census periods, especially in smaller diameter classes, diameter distribution curves of high-value timber species followed a reversed J-shaped pattern. The results revealed that the sustainability measures of high-value timber species can be achieved in forest stands managed under single-tree selection system. In addition, the results also indicated the changing structure and composition of the forest stand. The stocking and basal area increment of conifers decreased while those of broadleaves increased. The proportion of conifers decreased to 33.01% in 2008–2016 from 48.35% in 1968–1978. The results of this study would be useful for adapting silvicultural practices and harvesting practices as well as for simulating various silvicultural and management options for high-value timber species.
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