Canadian Forest Service Publications

Different mixtures of Norway spruce, silver fir, and European beech modify competitive interactions in central European mature mixed forests. Bosela, M.; Tobin, B.; Seben, V.; Petras, R.; Larocque, G.R. 2015. Can. J. For. Res. 45:1577-1586.

Year: 2015

Available from: Laurentian Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 36603

Language: English

CFS Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.1139/cjfr-2015-0219

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The influence of forest ecology and strategic planning has increased in importance to support the management of mixed-species forests to enhance biodiversity. However, little is known about competitive and facilitative interactions between trees and species in mixed fir–beech–spruce forests, mostly because of a lack of long-term experimental research. In the 1960s, long-term sample plots were established in the Western Carpathians to develop region-specific yield models. Trees in the plots were measured at 5- to 16-year intervals from 1967(69). In 2010, the positions of standing trees in all plots were identified spatially. Stump positions were also identified to record the coordinates of trees that had been removed or had died. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the applicability of widely used competition indices for mature fir–beech–spruce mixed forests and to test whether the tree competition zone changes among species and forest stands of different stocking densities. Results showed that the best competition index was based on the comparison of the basal area of competitors and the subject tree in the radius, which was defined as a function of stand density and species. In addition, beech was found to be a strong self-competitor, which was not the case for silver fir (Abies alba Mill.). Results suggest that simpler competition indices are better suited for such diverse forests, as more complex indices do not describe the competition interactions sufficiently well.

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