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Journal of Arid Land  2017, Vol. 9 Issue (1): 122-131    DOI: 10.1007/s40333-016-0024-9
Orginal Article     
Effect of competition on spatial patterns of oak forests on the Chinese Loess Plateau
Di KANG1,2, Jian DENG2,3, Xiaowei QIN4, Fei HAO5, Shujuan GUO2,3, Xinhui HAN2,3,*(), Gaihe YANG2,3,*()
1 College of Forestry, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, China;
2 The Research Center of Recycle Agricultural Engineering and Technology of Shaanxi Province, Yangling 712100, China
3 College of Agronomy, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, China;
4 Spice and Beverage Institute Research, Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences, Wanning 730070, China
5 Yunnan Baiyao Group CO., LTD, Kunming 650500, China
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Reforestation or natural forest regeneration is an alternative measure for controlling soil erosion in degraded land on the Chinese Loess Plateau (CLP). However, our understanding of the temporal dynamics and the spatial patterns of forest regeneration remains inadequate. Two oak forests at different development stages were investigated to determine the spatial patterns of competitions (intraspecies and interspecies) during different successional stages. The intraspecies and interspecies spatial relationships among different tree diameters at breast height were analyzed at multiple scales by Kriging interpolation method and univariate and bivariate O-ring statistics. Our analytical results indicated that self-correlation and competition intensity were relatively high between oak and pine trees in the early development stage of oak forests due to their clumped distributions of heavy seeds. Birch trees had a lower competition in comparison to oak trees although birch was the dominant species. Therefore, asymmetric competition of oak trees was most likely to have led to their edge dispersal and their success in replacing the pioneer species. Asymmetric competition means that larger individuals obtained a disproportionately large share of the resources and suppressed the growth of smaller individuals. Kriging interpolation analysis showed a tendency towards homogenization caused by interspecies competition during the succession of oak forests. Our results demonstrated that the competition was the driving factor in the spatial distribution of oak forests on the CLP.

Key wordsarid and semi-arid region      forest regeneration      competition      spatial pattern      oak forests     
Received: 01 March 2016      Published: 31 July 2017
Corresponding Authors: Xinhui HAN,Gaihe YANG     E-mail:;
Cite this article:

Di KANG, Jian DENG, Xiaowei QIN, Fei HAO, Shujuan GUO, Xinhui HAN, Gaihe YANG. Effect of competition on spatial patterns of oak forests on the Chinese Loess Plateau. Journal of Arid Land, 2017, 9(1): 122-131.

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