Effects of Thinning and Water Supply on a Mongolian Pine Forest PLOS ONE | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone
- Effects of Thinning and Water Supply on a…
Management is an effective tool for increasing the productivity of Mongolian pine (Pinus sylvestris var. mongolica). This species has been widely planted in China, especially in sandy lands. However, optimization of management practices had not been fully explored. We established a system dynamic model to evaluate the effects of thinning and of manipulation of water supply on the productivity and population density of a Mongolian pine forest (17 scenarios in total). Different levels of thinning increased the mean biomass of Mongolian pine over no-management to a range from 202 to 256 t·ha-1. Increasing water supply decreased the mean biomass of Mongolian pine to a range from 176 to 199 t·ha-1. These results indicated that thinning at different levels may lead to an increase in biomass accumulation, while manipulating water supply may decrease biomass. Further, thinning appeared more effective than increasing water supply in efforts at maintaining high productivity of Mongolian pine forests. Moreover, the highest biomass occurred in a scenario with a thinning intensity of 30% in over-mature trees, indicating that this thinning intensity was the most effective choice for to the maintenance of the highest biomass in Mongolian pine forests. This study informs about the interactions between Mongolian pine and forest management, and provides guidelines for the practice of management of this forest type.