• dendrometer band;
  • diameter at breast height (DBH);
  • Dinghushan;
  • meteorological variables;
  • subtropical forest


Information on changes in diameter at breast height (DBH) is important for net primary production (NPP) estimates, timing of forest inventory, and forest management. In the present study, patterns of DBH change were measured under field conditions during the dry season for three dominant and native tree species in a monsoon evergreen broad-leaved forest in the Dinghushan Biosphere Reserve. For each tree species, different patterns of DBH change were observed. In the case of the fast-growing tree species Castanopsis chinensis Hance, large diurnal fluctuations occur, with a peak DBH in the early morning (around 05:00 h) that decreases to a minimum by about 14:00 h. Both Schima superba Gardn. et Chemp and Cryptocarya chinensis (Hance) Hemsl. exhibited less diurnal swelling and shrinkage. Diurnal fluctuations for these species were observed on a few occasions over the period of observation. Graphical comparisons and statistical analysis of changes in DBH with meteorological variables indicate that for different trees, the different changes in DBH observed responded to different meteorological variables. Large stem changes were found to occur for Ca. chinensis trees that were associated with variations in solar radiation. However, both S. superba and Cr. chinensis were found to be less sensitive to solar radiation. Changes in the DBH of these two species were found to be controlled mainly by soil temperature and soil moisture. During the later dry season, with a lower soil temperature and soil moisture, all three tree species stopped growing and only negligible shrinkage, expansion, or fluctuation occurred, suggesting that the optimum time to measure tree growth in the Dinghushan Biosphere Reserve is the later dry season.

(Managing editor: Ya-Qin Han)