Neighbourhood Species Richness Reduces Crown Asymmetry of Subtropical Trees in Sloping Terrain

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenKommentare / Debatten / BerichteForschung


Reforestation in sloping terrain is an important measure for soil erosion control and sustainable watershed management. The mechanical stability of such reforested stands, however, can be low due to a strong asymmetric shape of tree crowns. We investigated how neighbourhood tree species richness, neighbourhood pressure, tree height, and slope inclination affect crown asymmetry in a large-scale plantation biodiversity-ecosystem functioning experiment in subtropical China (BEF-China) over eight years. We took the advantage of terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) measurements, which provide non-destructive, high-resolution data of tree structure without altering tree interactions. Neighbourhood species richness significantly reduced crown asymmetry, and this effect became stronger at steeper slopes. Our results suggest that tree diversity promotes the mechanical stability of forest stands in sloping terrain and highlight the importance of TLS-data for a comprehensive understanding of the role of tree diversity in modulating crown interactions in mixed-species forest plantations.

ZeitschriftRemote Sensing
Anzahl der Seiten14
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 16.03.2022

Bibliographische Notiz

Funding Information:
Funding: This research was funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation), grant number 319936945/GRK2324, and by the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (UCAS).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Ökosystemforschung - BEF-China, biodiversity-ecosystem functioning, crown assymetry, crown complementarity, forestry, LiDAR, sloping terrain, terrestrial laser scanning