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Scientia Silvae Sinicae ›› 2016, Vol. 52 ›› Issue (4): 91-99.doi: 10.11707/j.1001-7488.20160411

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Advances in Studies of Forest Gap Ecology

Guan Yunyun1,2, Fei Fei1,2, Guan Qingwei1,2, Chen Bin1,2   

  1. 1. Collaborative Innovation Center of Sustainable Forestry in Southern China Nanjing 210037;
    2. College of Biology and the Environment Nanjing Forest University Nanjing 210037
  • Received:2015-08-24 Revised:2015-03-01 Online:2016-04-25 Published:2016-05-05

Abstract: Forest gap, though an interference at local scale, is an important driving force forest reqeneration nutrient cycling and ecosystem functioning of forests. By thoroughly reviewing the literature of forest gap studies, this paper was intended to advance the knowledge for both scientific research and forest management. Traditionally, forest gap ecology focuses on the formation and characteristics of gaps, and the consequent impacts on above-ground ecological processes(e.g. microclimate and plant community characteristics). Nowadays, a growing body of the research shifts sights to the effects of forest gap on under ground ecological processes(e.g. fine roots and litter decomposition, soil carbon and nitrogen dynamics, soil enzyme activities) and ecophysiological traits of animals and soil microorganism. However, current knowledge of these new spots is limited by the small spatial and temporal research scales. With the purposes of improving stand structures, ecological services function and process of forests, future work should focus more on the effects of forest gap on under ground ecological processes(e.g. fine roots decomposition and rhizosphere effect, distribution, cycling and immobilization of soil carbon and nitrogen) and ecophysiological traits of organisms. Furthermore, future studies should enlarge their research scales, and should also integrate above- and under ground ecological ecosystem, biotic and abiotic factors, as well as micro- and macro-scales.

Key words: forest gap, above-ground ecological process, under ground ecological process, forest microclimate, litter decomposition, carbon-nitrogen dynamic, soil microorganism

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