Journal of Forestry Research

, Volume 30, Issue 5, pp 1679–1687 | Cite as

Long-term response of living forest biomass to extensive logging in subtropical China

  • Hua Zhou
  • Shengwang Meng
  • Qijing LiuEmail author
Original Paper


Forest disturbance and recovery are critical ecosystem processes, but the temporal patterns of disturbance have not been studied in subtropical China. Using a tree-ring analysis approach, we studied post-logging above-ground (ABG) biomass recovery dynamics over a 26-year period in four plots with different degrees of logging disturbance. Before logging, the ABG biomass ranged from 291 to 309 t ha−1. Soon after logging, the plots in primary forest, secondary forest, mixed forest and single-species forest had lost 33, 91, 90 and 100% of their initial ABG biomass, respectively. Twenty-six years after logging, the plots had regained 147, 62, 80 and 92% of their original ABG biomass, respectively. Over the 26 years following logging, the mean CAI (Current annual increment) were 10.1, 5.5, 6.4 and 10.8 t ha−1 a−1 and the average MAI (Mean annual increment) 8.7, 2.5, 5.6 and 7.8 t ha−1 a−1 for the four forest types, respectively. The results indicate that subtropical forests subjected to moderate logging or disturbances do not require intensive management and single-species plantings can rapidly restore the above-ground biomass to levels prior to heavy logging.


Biomass Forest management Harvest intensity Subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest Jiulianshan Nature Reserve 



Our fieldwork was aided by the Administration Bureau of Jiulian Mountain National Nature Reserve, which granted us permission to conduct surveys and procure samples in the forest. We thank Zhong Hao, Zhong Yuanchang, Liang Yuelong, Hu Hualin and Fu Qinglin for providing logistical support. This manuscript was improved by anonymous reviewers.


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Copyright information

© Northeast Forestry University and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Forestry CollegeBeijing Forestry UniversityBeijingPeople’s Republic of China

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