Effects of topography and tree stand characteristics on susceptibility of forests to natural disturbances (ice and wind) in the Börzsöny Mountains (Hungary)

K. Kenderes, R. Aszalós, J. Ruff, Zs Barton, T. Standovár

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We analysed the role of topography, tree stand characteristics and management on the susceptibility of forest stands to abiotic natural disturbances. In 1996, stands of Börzsöny Mts, Hungary were hit by a severe ice storm, then by strong winds three years later. Affected areas were mapped on aerial photos, and we built a GIS database containing variables describing topography and tree stand characteristics. The role of variables in predicting ice break and windfall was investigated by non-parametric statistical tests and by a series of C&RT (Classification and Regression Tree) analyses. Elevation, aspect and slope proved to have strong statistical relationships with the distribution of both ice break and windfall, with misclassification error (MER) of 18% and 15%, respectively, if studied without stand descriptors. Mixing ratio and age of beech were the most important stand descriptors to explain the distribution of ice break (MER=15%), whereas that of windfall was best described by the age and height of the two dominant tree species (MER=11%). The explanatory power could be increased if all variables (topographic + stand descriptors) were considered, though the increase in explanatory power was higher in the case of ice break (MER decreased from 15% to 11%) than for windfall (MER decreased from 11 % to 10%). Since management related stand variables (beech mixture ratio, age, height, amount of recently felled stock, slenderness) and susceptibility to disturbance events seemed to be related, our results suggest that the sensitivity of tree stands could be decreased by increasing compositional and structural heterogeneity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-220
Number of pages12
JournalCommunity Ecology
Volume8
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Fingerprint

stand characteristics
Hungary
Ice
windthrow
topography
ice
mountains
disturbance
mountain
Fagus
ice storm
stand management
aerial photography
mixing ratio
forest stands
GIS
statistical analysis
Regression Analysis
effect
windfall

Keywords

  • Beech
  • C&RT
  • Fagus sylvatica
  • Ice break
  • Quercus petraea
  • Sessile oak
  • Windthrow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

Cite this

Effects of topography and tree stand characteristics on susceptibility of forests to natural disturbances (ice and wind) in the Börzsöny Mountains (Hungary). / Kenderes, K.; Aszalós, R.; Ruff, J.; Barton, Zs; Standovár, T.

In: Community Ecology, Vol. 8, No. 2, 2007, p. 209-220.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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abstract = "We analysed the role of topography, tree stand characteristics and management on the susceptibility of forest stands to abiotic natural disturbances. In 1996, stands of B{\"o}rzs{\"o}ny Mts, Hungary were hit by a severe ice storm, then by strong winds three years later. Affected areas were mapped on aerial photos, and we built a GIS database containing variables describing topography and tree stand characteristics. The role of variables in predicting ice break and windfall was investigated by non-parametric statistical tests and by a series of C&RT (Classification and Regression Tree) analyses. Elevation, aspect and slope proved to have strong statistical relationships with the distribution of both ice break and windfall, with misclassification error (MER) of 18{\%} and 15{\%}, respectively, if studied without stand descriptors. Mixing ratio and age of beech were the most important stand descriptors to explain the distribution of ice break (MER=15{\%}), whereas that of windfall was best described by the age and height of the two dominant tree species (MER=11{\%}). The explanatory power could be increased if all variables (topographic + stand descriptors) were considered, though the increase in explanatory power was higher in the case of ice break (MER decreased from 15{\%} to 11{\%}) than for windfall (MER decreased from 11 {\%} to 10{\%}). Since management related stand variables (beech mixture ratio, age, height, amount of recently felled stock, slenderness) and susceptibility to disturbance events seemed to be related, our results suggest that the sensitivity of tree stands could be decreased by increasing compositional and structural heterogeneity.",
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