The growth of individual trees in a forest is affected by many factors, a crucial one being the intensity of competition among trees, because it affects the spatial structure of the forest and is in turn influenced by silvicultural practices. In a mixed forest in particular, the growth of trees is affected by multiple interactions. To analyse the competition between moso bamboo (Phyllostachys pubescens
(Pradelle) Mazel ex J.Houz.) and broad-leaved trees in a mixed forest, data were extracted by sampling six spots within such a forest using terrestrial laser scanning (TLS). The convex hull algorithm was used for calculating the overlap volume between the crowns of the broad-leaved trees and the bamboo canopy. Bamboos growing at least 3 m away from any of the broad-leaved trees were the most numerous and the diameter at breast height (DBH) is larger than those growing closer than that, which suggests that broad-leaved trees suppressed the growth of bamboo if they are closer but promote it beyond 3 m up to a point at which the distance is too great for any such effect. The modified Hegyi’s competition index was constructed based on the canopy factor, which may better describe the competitive interaction among the trees and bamboos. Using TLS can enhance our understanding of the competition among trees in mixed forests and help in planning the spatial structure of such forests in general and provide a benchmark for choosing planting distances in particular.
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