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- Forest ecosystem research in Hainich National Park (Thuringia) : first results on flora and vegetation in stands with contrasting tree species diversity (2006)
- A floristic description is presented of the study sites of the Research Training Group “The role of biodi-versity for biogeochemical cycles and biotic interactions in temperate deciduous forests”. To investi-gate different aspects of plant biodiversity in Hainich National Park (Thuringia), deciduous forest stands with low, medium and high canopy tree species diversity were compared. The results of species richness and forest communities show that the research sites are characterised by a typical central European forest flora. Greater vascular plant species richness occurs with higher diversity of tree species. Six of altogether twelve research sites are assigned to the beech forest alliance (Galioodorati-Fagion), the second half belongs to the oak-hornbeam forest alliance (Carpinionbetuli). Suballiances within the Galioodorati-Fagion in the study area include the Galio-Fagetum and the Hordelymo-Fagetum. All Carpinionbetuli relevées are assigned to the suballiance Stellario-Carpinetum.
- Impact of the admixture of European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) on plant species diversity and naturalness of conifer stands in Lower Saxony (2011)
- The promotion and extension of continuous cover mixed stands with a simultaneous reduction of conifer-monocultures play a major role in current silvicultural practices in Central Europe. It is assumed that the admixture of the natural dominant beech (Fagus sylvatica) in pure non site-specific conifer stands automatically indicates better conditions in terms of nature conservation and forest management. To test this hypothesis three different conifer-beech-comparisons of pure and mixed stands in Lower Saxony are studied, analyzing plant species diversity and naturalness of understory vegetation as one important indicator for the ecological status of forests. Each comparison includes pure coniferous stands (Picea abies, Pinus sylvestris, Pseudotsuga menziesii), mixed coniferous-beech-stands, and pure beech stands on similar acidic mineral soils where the potential natural vegetation will be an oligotrophic beech forest (L u z u l o - Fa g e t um). The age of stands varies between 50 and 150 years. To specify tree species influence on site conditions and vegetation, the study also includes light climate and soil data of the stands. It is observed that, with regard to all comparisons, the admixture of beech reduces plant species diversity but increases naturalness of the stands. The intensity of beech admixture effects differs. While in Scots pine stands the impact of admixed beech is very noticeable, with the mixed stands being nearly identical with pure beech stands, the species change in Douglas-fir and Norway spruce stands proceeds more slowly. Assuming that the status in nature conservation and forest management is improving with increasing plant species diversity and increasing naturalness, the results of this study show a contrary development on a stand scale, as the potential natural vegetation of the L u z u l o - F a g e t u m is in its self very species poor on vascular plants.
- The estimation of aboveground biomass and nutrient pools of understorey plants in closed Norway spruce forests and on clearcuts (2010)
- The estimation model PhytoCalc allows a non-destructive quantification of dry weight and nutrient pools of understorey plants in forests by using the relationship between species biomass, cover and mean shoot length. The model has been validated with independent samples in several German forest types and can be a useful tool in forest monitoring. However, in open areas within forests (e.g. clearcuts), the current model version underestimates biomass and produces unreliable nutrient pool estimations. Thus, tissue density, as approximated by leaf dry matter content (LDMC), is systematically higher under high light compared to low light conditions. We demonstrate that the ratio of LDMC under clearcut conditions to LDMC under forest conditions can be used to adjust the PhytoCalc model to clearcut conditions. We investigated the LDMC ratio of five exemplary species commonly occurring on clearcuts. Integrating the square of the ratio as a correction factor improved estimates of biomass to more than 70% fit between observations and predictions. Results also suggest this ratio can be used to correct nutrient concentrations modelled in PhytoCalc, which tend to be overestimated in clearcuts. As morphological groups of plant species exhibit significantly different ratios, we advise using group-specific correction factors for clearcut adjustments in the future.