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Structure, Productivity and Carbon Storage of Primeval European Beech Forests

dc.contributor.advisorLeuschner, Christoph Prof. Dr.
dc.contributor.authorGlatthorn, Jonas
dc.titleStructure, Productivity and Carbon Storage of Primeval European Beech Forestsde
dc.contributor.refereeLeuschner, Christoph Prof. Dr.
dc.description.abstractengA major part of the potential natural vegetation of central Europe consists of European beech forests (Fagus sylvatica L.). Beech is one of the most important broadleaf tree species for forestry within its distribution range and of outstanding value for biodiversity conservation. Despite their geographic confinedness, the last remnants of primeval beech forests are due to their variability well suited to study relationships between ecosystem functioning and stand structure. Through comparative study, effects of production forestry on forest functioning can be assessed. The present work focuses on (1) the effect of age-class forestry and (2) influences of the natural development cycle on stand and canopy structure, aboveground biomass stocks, and net primary production (ANPP). Parameters describing the stand structure and biomass budget were inventoried in three primeval beech forests in eastern Slovakia and in three close-by production forests. Canopy density and canopy structural diversity were quantified via the leaf area index (LAI; mean and dispersion of multiple measurements per plot with a LAI-2000 system). Live- and dead biomass stocks were calculated with allometric equations and the ANPP (woody biomass and litter production) was derived from seasonal diameter-increments of trees and with litter trapping. Additionally, a complete inventory of two large plots in primeval beech forests in Albania was used to test the hypothesis that an unsupervised classification algorithm is suitable to detect naturally existing thresholds within multivariate stand structural datasets of primeval forests, which mark transitions between forest development stages. Linear regression models show that canopy density is greater by 1.6 m2^m-2 in the Slovakian primeval forests compared to the production forests. Canopy structural diversity is as well considerably greater in the primeval forests. Wood mass stocks (live and dead) are 39 % larger in the primeval forests, while ANPP is approximately equal in both systems. Canopy structural diversity is identified as a key promoting factor of \ANPP{} responsible for an increase of approximately 1 Mg ha^-1 yr^-1. The multivariate structural data of the Albanian primeval forests is rather homogeneously distributed, no natural thresholds are present. This confirms the practicability of current methods to discriminate between forest development stages. The presented results may provide insights for the advancement of silvicultural techniques to ensure the maintenance of the full set of ecosystem services provided by beech
dc.contributor.coRefereeHauck, Markus Prof. Dr.
dc.contributor.thirdRefereeKleinn, Christoph Prof. Dr.
dc.subject.engFagus sylvatica, Forest dynamics, NPP, Biomass stock, Leaf area index, Slovakia, Canopy structure, Canopy structural diversityde
dc.affiliation.instituteBiologische Fakultät für Biologie und Psychologiede
dc.subject.gokfullBiologie (PPN619462639)de

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