An Environmental Impact Assessment of Different Management Regimes in Eucalypt Plantations in Southern China Using Landscape Function Analysis

Xiying Zhao, Lei Zhang, Jun Lan, David Tongway, David Freudenberger*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    There are global concerns regarding the detrimental environmental impacts of industrial forest plantations developed over the past 30 years. To address this concern, the Landscape Function Analysis methodology was used to rapidly assess indices of soil stability, water infiltration, and nutrient cycling within eucalypt plantations at different growth stages and under different management regimes in Guangxi Province, China. Results showed that these plantations under both regimes were approaching an ecologically functional state by the time of harvest. However, within the plantation management that included the burning of post-harvest biomass residues, indices of water infiltration, and nutrient cycling were significantly lower than within the plantation that retained post-harvest residues. Indicators of rain splash protection, perennial vegetation cover, and litter accumulation were all lower in the plantation that practiced residue burning and pre-planting cultivation. Retention of post-harvest residues improves landscape functionality at the time of re-planting. Our results indicate that burning and extensive cultivation prior to re-planting should be minimized.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)526-536
    Number of pages11
    JournalJournal of Sustainable Forestry
    Volume41
    Issue number6
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2022

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