We investigated the effects of planting density and relative ground height (distance from the water table) on the early establishment of two introduced tree species [Mongolian pine (Pinus sylvestris var. mongolica) and white poplar (Populus alba var. pyramidalis)] in the Mu Us Sandy Land of China; we used GLMM to analyze experimental effects. In total, 14 afforestation plots (seven plots per species) with variable relative ground heights were established on a shifting sand dune. Trees were planted at intervals of 3, 5, and 7 m, and the distances between neighboring trees were fixed within plots. Planting intervals and numbers of neighboring trees were treated as measures of planting density, and relative ground height was treated as an indicator of water supply stability. For both species, tree survival rates decreased with increasing planting interval; the number of neighboring trees had a positive effect on survival. The effect of relative ground height differed between species. Pine tree survival rates decreased with increased relative ground height, while the survival rates of poplar trees were unaffected. We recommend that pine trees be planted at high density on lower sectors of sand dunes to prevent wind erosion in early spring. Poplar trees should be planted at high density without reference to relative ground height for the provision of fuelwood.
- Pinus sylvestris var. mongolica
- Populus alba var. pyramidalis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Nature and Landscape Conservation
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law