iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Perspectives of plantation forests in the sustainable forest development of China

Taimoor Hassan Farooq (1-2), Awais Shakoor (3), Xiaohong Wu (1-2), Yong Li (1-2), Muhammad Haroon U Rashid (4), Xiang Zhang (1-2), Matoor Mohsin Gilani (4), Uttam Kumar (5), Xiaoyong Chen (2-6), Wende Yan (1-2)   

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 14, Issue 2, Pages 166-174 (2021)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor3551-014
Published: Apr 09, 2021 - Copyright © 2021 SISEF

Review Papers

Modern forestry is gradually moving towards man-made forests on a large scale. Plantations with advanced forestry system have been introduced with the goal of sustainable forestry development and to enhance social, ecological, and economic benefits. Forest plantations with native and exotic species have been established in China and worldwide with shorter rotation cycles than natural forests. In this paper, we discuss the role and perspectives of plantation forests in the Chinese sustainable forest development, the evolution of various plantation programs, the ecological effects of plantations, and the measures to improve plantation forestry. The Chinese government has given substantial importance to nurturing plantation forest resources through various large scale afforestation programs. In 2019, the total area covered by plantations in China reached 79.54 million ha, with a stock volume of 3.39 billion m³ (59.30 m³ per ha); coniferous forests (26.11 million ha, 32.83%) and broad-leaved forests (26.45 million ha, 33.25%) are the dominant types. Plantations have been primarily distributed in the central and southern parts of the country. Plantations with fast-growing and high-yielding tree species facilitated Chinese afforestation activities and improved the administration of forest production, which effectively boosted the forest industry. Plantation forest resources offer many potential productive, economic, and social advantages, though they are also associated with a loss of biodiversity and climate change makes them likely susceptible to disease and insect attack. Appropriate forest management practices during planning, execution, and maintenance of plantations can contribute to the conservation, promotion, and restoration of biodiversity, with the final aim of attaining a balance between having forest plantations and natural forests.


Chinese Fir, Poplar, Eucalyptus, National Forest Inventories of China, Ecological Implications

Authors’ address

Taimoor Hassan Farooq 0000-0001-5478-1533
Xiaohong Wu
Yong Li
Xiang Zhang
Wende Yan 0000-0003-3688-0209
College of Life Science and Technology, Central South University of Forestry and Technology, Changsha, 410004 (China)
Taimoor Hassan Farooq 0000-0001-5478-1533
Xiaohong Wu
Yong Li
Xiang Zhang
Xiaoyong Chen 0000-0003-0810-9863
Wende Yan 0000-0003-3688-0209
National Engineering Laboratory for Applied Technology in Forestry and Ecology in South China, Central South University of Forestry and Technology, Changsha, 410004 (China)
Awais Shakoor 0000-0001-9273-4500
Department of Environment and Soil Sciences, University of Lleida, Avinguda Alcalde Rovira Roure 191, 25198, Lleida (Spain)
Muhammad Haroon U Rashid 0000-0003-4035-1561
Matoor Mohsin Gilani
College of Forestry, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou, 350002 (China)
Uttam Kumar
Institute of Applied Ecology, College of Plant Protection, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou, 350002 (China)
Xiaoyong Chen 0000-0003-0810-9863
College of Arts and Sciences, Governors State University, University Park, IL 60484 (USA)

Corresponding author



Farooq TH, Shakoor A, Wu X, Li Y, Rashid MHU, Zhang X, Gilani MM, Kumar U, Chen X, Yan W (2021). Perspectives of plantation forests in the sustainable forest development of China. iForest 14: 166-174. - doi: 10.3832/ifor3551-014

Academic Editor

Giorgio Vacchiano

Paper history

Received: Jun 12, 2020
Accepted: Jan 29, 2021

First online: Apr 09, 2021
Publication Date: Apr 30, 2021
Publication Time: 2.33 months

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