Modelling dead wood in Norway spruce stands subject to different management regimes
ABSTRACT Strategies for preserving biodiversity in boreal forests should include the maintenance of coarse woody debris (CWD) because this substrate is a key feature for the preservation of many threatened species. Computer simulation programs are useful tools for predicting the amount of CWD that will arise if certain management practices are applied in the long term. We have constructed and used a simulation program based on stochastic equations, which aims at predicting the amount of CWD in homogenous stands of Norway spruce in central Scandinavia. Because the rate of tree mortality is a critical factor in such simulations, we present such data derived from spruce-dominated forests surveyed in the Swedish National Forest Inventory.A comparison between simulation outcomes and field data shows that the average quantity of CWD in today’s managed forest is possible to predict using the simulation model. If the forest is managed according to the Forest Certification Standard, the amount of CWD (diameter larger than 10 cm) will be almost three times higher as the amount in today’s managed forests. The amount of CWD was found to be highest in old stands and immediately after cutting. In stands of an intermediate age the amount of CWD was low, especially CWD in early decay stages and of larger sizes. High productivity and long rotation time tended, on average, to increase the amount of CWD in stands. Among the management practices recommended in the new biodiversity-oriented forestry, retention of small areas with living trees is the most efficient way to increase the average amount and continuous occurrence of CWD within a stand, at least if the retained areas are as productive as the main part of the stands.
- Alzheimers & Dementia - ALZHEIMERS DEMENT. 01/2011; 7(4).
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ABSTRACT: Dead wood is an important element of forests both for biodiversity and ecosystem functions. Due to intensive silviculture, however, dead wood usually is strongly underrepresented in European forests. Forest reserves cannot fully compensate for this because they comprise only a small proportion of forested areas and are often isolated. Retaining a certain number of dead trees in managed forests is important, but may cause safety problems for lumbermen and visitors and still does not necessarily lead to an amount and incidence (i.e., probability of occurrence) of dead wood that might be required for many species and certain ecosystem functions. Our studies concentrate on a third and complimentary dead wood management strategy: dead wood islands, i.e. small unmanaged islands distributed throughout managed forests. As an example, we focus on European beech forests (Fagus sylvatica). An important question related to this strategy is: how do amount, quality, and incidence of dead wood depend on the island’s size? To provide an answer, we use the spatially explicit, rule-based simulation model BEFORE-CWD that was developed to analyse dead wood dynamics in natural beech forests. This model and its predecessor, BEFORE, are well-verified and validated. They reproduce a suite of observed patterns and generate valid secondary and independent predictions. We found that islands that are too small, i.e. smaller than 0.33 and 0.08ha for standing and lying dead wood, respectively, can fail to provide dead wood for several decades. The shape of the islands has only a minor effect. Extreme storm events temporarily increase and then decrease the amount of standing dead wood. In terms of the amount and incidence of dead wood, it makes no difference if one big or several small islands are set aside from management, unless the islands are not too small. We conclude that even relatively small unmanaged islands within managed forests can reliably provide dead wood and therefore should be considered as a management option. Our results can be used, for example by using metapopulation models of species of interest, to develop management plans for creating networks of dead wood islands. KeywordsForest management-Silviculture-Coarse woody debris-Rule-based forest model-Individual-based model-ConservationEuropean Journal of Forest Research 01/2010; 129(4):659-668. · 1.96 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Semi-natural forests, which naturally regenerate after timber harvesting, provide distinct opportunities for dead wood (DW) management for biodiversity. We described DW pool and sources of its variation during the first decade after final felling in Estonia, hemiboreal Europe. Depending on forest type, the mean post-harvest volumes of above-ground DW ranged from 70 to 119 m3 ha-1. Final felling generally did not reduce downed coarse woody debris (CWD) because many sawn logs were left on-site, and soil scarification was rarely used. However, subsequent decay of downed CWD appears to be accelerated due to the increased ground contact of logs, so that even the relatively small inputs from live retention trees observed (5 m3 ha-1 per decade) can be ecologically significant. While final felling greatly reduced snag abundance, the mortality of retained live trees generally balanced their later losses. The volumes of downed fine woody debris in conventional cutover sites were roughly double that of pre-harvest forests. Slash harvest caused an approximately twofold reduction in downed DW and resulted in CWD volumes that were below mature-forest levels. The results indicate that the habitat quality of cutovers critically depends both on the retention and on the post-harvest management of biological legacies. In Estonia, the necessary improvements include more careful retention of snags in final felling, selecting larger retention trees, focusing slash harvest on the fine debris of common tree species, and providing snags of late-successional tree species.European Journal of Forest Research 01/2013; 132(2):335-349. · 1.96 Impact Factor