Thirty years of gap dynamics in a central European beech forest reserve

Kata Kenderes, Barbara Mihók, Tibor Standovár

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Investigation of gap characteristics and tree regeneration patterns is central for our understanding of forest dynamics. By integrating aerial photograph analyses and ground surveys, we provide a study of long-term canopy gap dynamics and tree regeneration patterns in a Hungarian beech forest reserve. We found (1) that in spite of the overall increase of gap area during the investigated 30-years (from 2.5 to 7.7 per cent), total gap area and average gap size (40-93 m2) were remarkably similar to those found in other temperate and tropical forests, (2) if the fate of individual gaps was followed, two to three times more intensive canopy dynamics (gap creation, closure and expansion) could be recognized than simple change of gap area indicated, and (3) average seedling density was considered to be sufficient for natural regeneration. However, it was apparent that recent increased deer browsing had prevented establishment of younger trees of 1-2 m in height, as taller saplings were recorded only in old gaps. Our results not only provide useful information on forest dynamics but can also contribute to understanding the potential roles that small forest reserves can play in providing essential reference data for nature-based forest management of this forest type.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-123
Number of pages13
JournalForestry
Volume81
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry

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