Full text in PDF
In order to understand the processes of snow and wind induced damage in a natural montane, secondary forest in northeastern China, we examined the impacts of site conditions on the snow and wind damage; analyzed if the dominant tree species differed in their susceptibilities to the damage; and established the relationships between the characteristics of tree and stand and the damage. The results indicated that in regard to the topography factors, slope steepness and soil depth played a relatively important role for the damage. Damage ratios of all types combined were positively related with the composition of dominant tree species. The stand density was also important in determining resistance to the damage, i.e., the densely populated stand exhibited less overall damage ratios; however, the dominant tree species were commonly damaged easily by the snow and wind. Four damage modes found (uprooting, stem breakage, canopy damage and bending) were closely related to the stem taper (p < 0.05), and they could be ranked in following order: bending (92.0 ) > uprooting (85.3) > stem breakage (80.1) > canopy damage (65.0). In regard to differences in tree species’ susceptibilities to the damage, Betula costata exhibited the most uprooting, bending and overall damage ratios; while Quercus mongolica showed the highest breakage (both stem breakage and canopy damage) ratio, and Fraxinus mandshurica exhibited the least damage ratio (overall). The major six tree species could also be divided into two groups according to the overall damage ratios, i.e., more susceptible ones (B. costata, Ulmus laciniata and Q. mongolica), and less susceptible ones (F. mandshurica, Acer mono and Juglans mandshurica) to the snow and wind damage.