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22 September 2020 Low-Intensity Cutting Leads to Similar Forest Structure and Tree Diversity as in Protected Stands
Dorota Dobrowolska, Olga Orman, Ravi M. Tiwari
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Forest structure in Europe has been shaped by forest management which may vary from intensive clearcuttings to single-tree selection cuttings. Most investigations on silver fir forests have been carried out in the mountains. Forests in lowlands have been less studied, although many of them are of natural origin. We investigated and assessed potential stand structural differences between managed and partially protected mixed silver fir stands. We also assessed the impact of silvicultural activities that led to the development of current stand structures of mixed Abies alba stands. The study was conducted in Janów Forests in south-eastern Poland. We randomly established 40 circular nested plots in three managed and three partially protected stands. Although both managed and partially protected stands differed in the intensity of management and the type of selection cuttings, we found little difference in the composition and stand structure. Regardless of management intensity all stands were characterized by diversified natural regeneration, where the main tree species, especially in the phase of seedlings, was silver fir. The basal area of standing dead trees was higher for the protected than managed stands, but the differences were not significant, whereas the mean volume of dead standing trees was significantly higher in the reserve. Both in managed and protected stands, silver fir benefited from the management measures mimicking natural processes. Our results suggest that low intensity forest management for silver fir dominated forests will be crucial for conserving these forests and their unique structure in the region.

Dorota Dobrowolska, Olga Orman, and Ravi M. Tiwari "Low-Intensity Cutting Leads to Similar Forest Structure and Tree Diversity as in Protected Stands," Polish Journal of Ecology 68(2), 145-158, (22 September 2020).
Received: 1 April 2020; Published: 22 September 2020
forest management
forest stand deadwood
Silver fir
young generation
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