• Abies;
  • above-ground biomass;
  • stand structure;
  • self-thinning;
  • wave-type regeneration

Stand dynamics and self-thinning were analyzed in relation to the dynamics of above-ground biomass in natural Abies sachalinensis stands growing on sand dunes in northern Hokkaido, Japan. This was done in order to examine wave-type regeneration in the stands. Fifty-two plots were established in almost pure Abies stands that ranged from saplings to the mature and collapsing growth stages. Above-ground biomass and tree height reached asymptotic levels prior to the collapsing phase, unlike wave-regeneration Abies stands in central Japan and North America. Stand density was high in the young growth stages, but the self-thinning rate, that is, the density decrease per biomass growth in the study stands was greater than in wave-regeneration stands in central Japan, as indicated by a large self-thinning exponent (−1.26 by reduced major axis regression). The range of tree height distribution was very narrow, and the stands’ vertical structure was typically single-layered. The slenderness ratio of trees was large, except in young stands. In mature and collapsing stands, advanced seedling density increased markedly. These stand and tree characteristics were considered to be correlated with the wave-type regeneration in the study stands, and it is assumed that prevailing winds affect tree mortality.