Effects of Forest Gaps on Soil Properties in Castanopsis kawakamii Nature Forest
More than 80% of terrestrial ecosystems have been influenced by natural disasters, human activities and the combination of both natural and human disturbances. Forest ecosystem, as one of the most important terrestrial ecosystems, has also been disturbed without exception. Under the disturbance from natural disasters and human activities, particularly from the unreasonable activities of human beings, forest decline or forest degradation has become more and more severe. For this reason, sustaining or recovering forest service functions is one of the current purposes for managing forest ecosystems. In recent decades, the studies on disturbed ecosystems have been carried out frequently, especially on their ecological processes and their responses to the disturbances. These studies play a very important role in the projects of natural forest conservation and the construction of ecological environment in China. Based on a wide range of literatures collection on forest disturbance research, this paper discussed the fundamental concepts of disturbance ecology, the relationships between forest management and disturbance, and the study contents of forest disturbance ecology. The major research topics of forest disturbance ecology may include: 1) the basic characteristics of disturbed forests; 2) the processes of natural and human disturbances; 3) the responses of forests ecosystem to the disturbances; 4) the main ecological processes or the consequential results of disturbed forests, including the change of biodiversity, soil nutrient and water cycle, eco-physiology and carbon cycle, regeneration mechanism of disturbed forests and so on; 5) the relationships between disturbances and forest management; and 6) the principles and techniques for the management of disturbed forests. This review may be helpful to the management of disturbed forest ecosystem, and to the projects of natural forest conservation in China.