iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Nearest neighbour relationships in Pinus yunnanensis var. tenuifolia forests along the Nanpan River, China

Yuanfa Li (1), Gangying Hui (2), Sufang Yu (1), Yehong Luo (1), Xianyu Yao (1), Shaoming Ye (1)   

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 10, Issue 4, Pages 746-753 (2017)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor2405-010
Published: Aug 01, 2017 - Copyright © 2017 SISEF

Research Articles

Forest stand structural diversity can be examined at different scales. Small-scale structural changes are the basis of forest structural diversity and habitat heterogeneity, and play a key role in biodiversity conservation. Most research on forest structure has focused mainly at stand level and above, with little attention paid to fine-scale structure and correlations among different forest stand attributes. We set up four permanent plots within a secondary forest community of Pinus yunnanensis var. tenuifolia mixed forests along the Nanpan River in southern China. We analyzed their nearest-neighbor relationships using a bivariate distribution of stand spatial structural parameters (SSSP) with the aim of understanding the processes that drive structural diversity in the development of a secondary forest community. Our results revealed that communities with different disturbance histories and species compositions differed in the level of species mixture. Large, small, and medium-sized trees were well mixed within the community, both conspecific and heterospecificindividual with varying densities. All plots exhibited a uniform size differentiation pattern. Trees with different dominance levels or mixture levels were randomly distributed within the plots, and only few of these displayed clumped or regular distribution. Pearson’s correlation analysis revealed that distribution patterns may be related to species composition and diameter differentiation, though their relationship was very weak. The results of this study are relevant to optimize forest management activities in the studied stands, and promote tree growth, regeneration and habitat diversity at the fine scale.


Bivariate Distribution, Nearest Neighbour Trees, Pinus yunnanensis, Secondary Forest, Structure Diversity

Authors’ address

Yuanfa Li
Sufang Yu
Yehong Luo
Xianyu Yao
Shaoming Ye
College of Forestry, Guangxi University, Daxue East Road 100, Xixiangtang District, Nanning, Guangxi Province 530004 (China)
Gangying Hui
Research Institute of Forestry; Chinese Academy of Forestry, Key Laboratory of Tree Breeding and Cultivation, State Forestry Administration, Box 1958, Beijing 100091 (China)

Corresponding author



Li Y, Hui G, Yu S, Luo Y, Yao X, Ye S (2017). Nearest neighbour relationships in Pinus yunnanensis var. tenuifolia forests along the Nanpan River, China. iForest 10: 746-753. - doi: 10.3832/ifor2405-010

Academic Editor

Matteo Garbarino

Paper history

Received: Feb 12, 2017
Accepted: Jun 04, 2017

First online: Aug 01, 2017
Publication Date: Aug 31, 2017
Publication Time: 1.93 months

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