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Structure and dynamics of old-growth and near-natural beech forests in Europe

Tihomir Rugani and Thomas A. Nagel and Dušan Roženbergar and Dejan Firm and Jurij Diaci (2008) Structure and dynamics of old-growth and near-natural beech forests in Europe. Zbornik gozdarstva in lesarstva (87). pp. 33-44. ISSN 0351-3114

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    In past millennia, pure beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) forests covered vast areas of central and southeastern Europe. however, due to intensive forest exploitation by humans, few old-growth remnants of these forests remain. These small remnants of the former forest provide invaluable information on structure and natural processes and are important for understanding the natural spatial-temporal dynamics of beech forests. This basic information is also crucial for forest management, which tries to mimic natural processes. As these old-growth forests are so rare, near-natural beech forests that have been unmanaged for decades may provide a valuable source of information as well. In the present paper, we review the literature on old-growth and near-natural beech forests in Central Europe in order to describe the structure (i.e. diameter and age structure, course woody debris, canopy structure, etc.) and dynamics (mortality, regeneration, disturbance regimes, etc) of these ecosystems. In total, we included 22 forests that contained at least 7� % of beech in the species composition. we compared our findings with data on fir-beech forests. Finally, some guidelines for close-to-nature management are presented.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: beech (Fagus sylvatica L.), old-growth forest, forest reserve, forest structure and dynamics, disturbance regime, beech silviculture
    Link to COBISS: http://www.cobiss.si/scripts/cobiss?command=SEARCH&base=COBIB&select=ID= 2358694
    Divisions: Biotechnical Faculty, Department of Forestry > Section of Silviculture
    Item ID: 191
    Date Deposited: 07 Feb 2014 13:51
    Last Modified: 07 Feb 2014 13:51
    URI: http://eprints.gozdis.si/id/eprint/191

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