The relationship between the present distribution of some vascular plants in managed forests and forest history was investigated in western Poland. A forest inventory report was used as the source of data for plant distribution in the 211 subcompartments of the forest, and archive maps for the stand history assessment. The “history” of a sub-compartment (ancient vs. recent) increases the parsimony of the models, as assessed with AIC, explaining understory plant species occurrence. Occurrences of Vaccinium myrtillus and Pteridium aquilinum appeared to be most reliable predictors of forest history. Among the 110 sub-compartments where the two species were recorded, 103 were covered by ancient forest. The two plant species selected as reliable predictors of ancient forest continuity also appeared to be significant predictors of forest history in the nearby control area. The use of indicator species described in the reports may be an attractive source of knowledge on the ecosystem.
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