Stability of Pinus thunbergii between two contrasting stands at differing distances from the coastline

Stability of Pinus thunbergii between two contrasting stands at differing distances from the coastline

Publication date: Available online 25 May 2018

Source: Forest Ecology and Management

Author(s): Chikage Todo, Chie Tokoro, Keitaro Yamase, Toko Tanikawa, Mizue Ohashi, Hidetoshi Ikeno, Masako Dannoura, Kouhei Miyatani, Ryuusei Doi, Yasuhiro Hirano


The extent of damage to Pinus thunbergii trees in coastal forests resulting from the tsunami caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011 differed depending on the local environment. The height (H) of P. thunbergii was generally limited in stands closer to the coastline and these trees could fail due to the force of the tsunami. The resistance forces of coastal forests to tsunamis are expressed as critical turning moments and measured by tree-pulling experiments. However, few studies have focused on the differences in the critical turning moment between stands with locally different environmental conditions among P. thunbergii coastal forests. We determined the differences in the critical turning moments of P. thunbergii in two contrasting sites having different distances from the coastline. We also estimated the tolerance of P. thunbergii in the two sites against loading from tsunami. Two experimental plots, sea-side and land-side, in a coastal P. thunbergii forest were established with different depths of the water table belowground and wind forces. In both plots, the aboveground traits, including the diameter at breast height (DBH), and H × DBH2 of P. thunbergii, were positively correlated with the critical turning moments. In particular, when P. thunbergii had the same H × DBH2 between the plots, there were no differences in the critical turning moments. This result suggested that P. thunbergii at the sea-side had acclimated for 50 years to their environment by changing shallow tap roots for shallower belowground water and developing horizontal roots for strong winds. The depth of the center point of rotation was significantly deeper and was positively correlated with moments in the land-side plot, suggesting changes from a tap root system to a plate root system in the sea-side plot with a shallower water table. The estimated loading from the tsunami with a 2 m wave height was over the critical turning moments for both plots. P. thunbergii trees at the sea-side plot could be more susceptible to overturning by lower-height waves than at the land-side plot because of differences in aboveground traits of H × DBH. We propose that the practical management of coastal forests is to create an embankment by raising the ground level to develop tree growth with capable of enhanced resilience to tsunamis.


via ScienceDirect Publication: Forest Ecology and Management

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s