COMPARISON OF STAND STRUCTURE IN MANAGED AND VIRGIN EUROPEAN BEECH FORESTS IN SERBIA
Croatian Forestry Society
This study presents results of the comparison of structural and production characteristics of managed and virgin European beech forests in Serbia. Five managed and three virgin European beech stands were studied. The aim of this research was to determine the impact of the previous forest management on the structural diversity and production characteristics of managed European beech high forests in Serbia. The observed stands are located in the mountainous range of 400 to 1200 meters above sea level in the areas with the most productive beech forests in Serbia. Structural characteristics were compared using the following parameters: Height curves, Diameter distribution, Gini index, Coefficient of variation, Slenderness coefficient and maximum dimensions of standing living and dead trees. Stand density and productive characteristics were studied using the following forest estimation elements: number of trees, basal area, volume, biomass, carbon stock, stand quadratic mean diameter, Lorey’s mean height and volume of dead wood. The greatest differences were found in the dimensions of the largest trees in managed and virgin beech forests (diameters at breast height and heights). Certain differences were found in the shape of Height curves and Diameter distribution and in the values of Slenderness coefficient. However, the Gini index and the Coefficient of variation show that these managed beech forests in Serbia substantially preserve the primeval structural diversity. The differences in the average value of most forest estimation elements of managed beech high forests in Serbia compared to virgin beech forests are statistically significant, which tells us that the previous management had a significant impact on the changes in the production characteristics of these forests in Serbia.
Fagus sylvatica, forest management, virgin forest, the Balkans