Giant pandas Ailuropoda melanoleuca David inhabit cool temperate, montane, and subalpine conifer forests with a bamboo understorey in Sichuan, Gansu, and Shaanxi provinces, China. Clearcutting of subalpine conifer forest in panda habitat stimulates vegetative growth of bamboos. This impedes tree regeneration and hardwoods dominate sites after clearcutting, with conifers rarely becoming established. This study assesses the effects of selective cutting on patterns of forest regeneration through analyses of the age and size structure of tree populations in selectively cut and uncut forest. Conifer regeneration after selective cutting was adequate to produce a forest similar in structure and composition to uncut subalpine conifer forest. A selective cutting regime in production forest with pandas would strike a balance between panda conservation and needs for wood products, and would contribute to management initiatives aimed at preserving existing panda populations outside the protection of natural reserves.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Nature and Landscape Conservation