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Title: Conversion of clearcut beech coppices into high forests with continuous cover: A case study in central Italy
Authors: Ciancio, Orazio
Corona, Piermaria
Lamonaca, Andrea
Portoghesi, Luigi
Travaglini, Davide
Keywords: Coppice; Conversion to high forest; Thinning; Relative spacing; Continuous cover forestry; Fagus sylvatica
Issue Date: 2006
Publisher: Elsevier
Source: Ciancio O, Corona P, Lamonaca A, Portoghesi L, Travaglini D, 2006 Conversion of clearcut beech coppices into high forests with continuous cover: A case study in central Italy Forest Ecology and Management, Volume 224, Issue 3, Pages 235-240
Converting coppices into high forests with continuous cover has often been established during the last decades as a management goal in hilly and mountainous Mediterranean areas to attenuate the negative effects that frequent clearcutting may have on soil, landscape and biodiversity conservation. The silvicultural tool usually adopted for this purpose is the gradual thinning of sprouts during the long span of time required to complete the conversion, that also allows the owner to keep harvesting some wood. This research compared the effects of various thinning intensities (three treatments plus control) on the stand growth and structure of a beech coppice with standards. The optimal density after thinning was assessed by expressing mean tree spacing as a function of main stand attributes like stand height and stand dbh. This system was preferred to the empirical evaluation of the percentage of basal area to be removed in order to give forest managers general reference guidelines to adapt to the varying environments of the Mediterranean mountains. Results confirmed that the positive effects of thinning on mean stem volume is due more to the higher diameter increment than to different height growth. The acceleration of crown growth in the thinned plots allowed canopy closure to be achieved 13 years after thinning. This reduced the negative effects of the opening of the stand overlayer and the elimination of most suppressed trees on soil protection. Under the conditions examined, the best thinning intensity proved to be a stand density 20% lower than normal prescribed by the yield tables elaborated for beech high forests in Central and Southern Italy.
ISSN: 0378-1127
Appears in Collections:DiSAFRi - Archivio della produzione scientifica

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