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Open AccessArticle

Analysis of Ice Storm Impact on and Post-Disaster Recovery of Typical Subtropical Forests in Southeast China

1
Aerospace Information Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, No. 9 Dengzhuang South Road, Haidian District, Beijing 100094, China
2
School of Electronic, Electrical, and Communication Engineering, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 10049, China
3
Sanya Institute of Remote Sensing, No.6 Heitu Village, Tianya Town, Sanya 572029, China
4
Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 1 Beichen West Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100101, China
5
Guangdong Chebaling National Nature Reserve, Shaoguan 512528, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(1), 164; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12010164
Received: 30 October 2019 / Revised: 13 December 2019 / Accepted: 24 December 2019 / Published: 2 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Natural Hazards)
Ice storms greatly affect the structure, dynamics, and functioning of forest ecosystems. Studies on the impact of such disasters, as well as the post-disaster recovery of forests, are important contents in forest biology, ecology, and geography. Remote-sensing technology provides data and methods that can support the study of disasters at the large-to-medium scale and over long time periods. This study took Chebaling National Nature Reserve in Guangdong Province, China, as the study area. First, field-survey data and remote-sensing data were comprehensively analyzed to demonstrate the feasibility of replacing the forest stock volume with the mean annual value of the Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI), to study forest growth and change. We then used the EVI from 2007 to 2017, together with a variety of other remote-sensing and forest sub-compartment data, to analyze the impact of the 2008 ice storm and the subsequent post-disaster recovery of the forest. Finally, we drew the following conclusions: (1) Topography had a considerable effect on disaster impact and forest recovery in Chebaling. The forest at high altitudes (700–1000 m) and on steep slopes (25–40°) was seriously affected by this disaster but had a stronger post-disaster recovery ability. Meanwhile, the hardest-hit area for coniferous forest was higher and steeper than that for broad-leaved forest. (2) In the same terrain conditions, coniferous forests were less affected by the disaster than broad-leaved forests and showed less variation during the post-disaster recovery process. Nevertheless, broad-leaved forests had faster recovery rates and higher recovery degrees; (3) Under the influence of human activities, the recovery and fluctuation degree for planted forest in the post-disaster recovery process was significantly higher than that for natural forest. The study suggests that forest has high disaster resistance and self-recovery ability after the ice storm, and this ability has a strong correlation with the type of forest and the topographic factors such as elevation and slope. At the same time, human intervention can speed up the recovery of forests after disasters. View Full-Text
Keywords: ice storm; forest ecosystems; disaster impact; post-disaster recovery; remote sensing ice storm; forest ecosystems; disaster impact; post-disaster recovery; remote sensing
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MDPI and ACS Style

Yao, W.; Ma, Y.; Chen, F.; Xiao, Z.; Shu, Z.; Chen, L.; Xiao, W.; Liu, J.; Jiang, L.; Zhang, S. Analysis of Ice Storm Impact on and Post-Disaster Recovery of Typical Subtropical Forests in Southeast China. Remote Sens. 2020, 12, 164.

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