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Long-term and country scale projection of even-aged forest management: a case study for Fagus sylvatica in Croatia

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Out of the 901,848 ha forests of the European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) in Croatia, 383,473 ha are even-aged beech forests with irregular age-class structure. Potential forest management of the even-aged beech forests (including the conversion of coppice even-aged beech forests) was studied using a dynamic model system, in the context of long-term planning at the national level in Croatia. Three management policy scenarios were defined regarding the area control method, that is, planned area for annual regeneration felling was given as a function of (1) total forest area (conservative approach scenario–CAS), (2) area of stands older than 50 years (moderate approach scenario–MAS), and (3) area of stands older than 80 years (intensive approach scenario–IAS). Projections of future trends in the annual area of regeneration, age-class distribution, standing volume and annual felling, and thinning cut were obtained for each scenario. Management according to the Scenario 3 would lead to achievement of a best age-class balancing and more sustainable management in the next 50 years. The structure of the growing stock and the quality of harvested timber would also improve as a result of this approach. Intensive regeneration felling (4460 ha per year) and conversion of coppice forests (420 ha per year) is required to reach this goal.

Keywords: Age-class structure; beech forests; dynamic system model; even-aged management; regeneration scheduling

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02827581.2011.628336

Affiliations: 1: Faculty of Forestry Zagreb, Department of Forest Inventory and Management Planning, Zagreb, Croatia 2: Rudjer Bošković Institute,Informatics and Environmental Modelling, Zagreb, Croatia

Publication date: January 1, 2012

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