Structure-based forest management is a scientific and easy-to-operate method for sustainable forest management. We analyzed the stand spatial structure of Larix principis-rupprechtii
plantation under five reserve densities. The results indicated that with the decrease of densities after thinning, the average mingling degree and uniform angle index had an increasing tendency, but the amplitude was small. Most of the trees were in zero mix, and a few of them were in moderate, strong, and relatively strong mix; the horizontal distribution patterns were uniform or near-uniform random. The distribution of neighborhood comparison and opening degree changed with a fluctuant pattern, but thinning decreased the competitive intensities to some extent. A composite structure index (Ci
) was established, based on the relative importance of the above four indicators, to evaluate the overall effect of thinning on stand structure characteristics. The findings showed that Ci
increased with the increase of thinning intensity, that is, the stand spatial structure became more complex. This indicated that Ci
may be a simple and rapid indicator to evaluate the overall effect of thinning on stand spatial structure within densities after thinning.
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