Disturbance ecology and management of temperate forests in Southeastern Europe
Nagel, T. A. (2018). Disturbance ecology and management of temperate forests in Southeastern Europe. 5th European Congress of Conservation Biology. doi: 10.17011/conference/eccb2018/107507
© the Authors, 2018
Forest management that emulates the processes and structures that arise from a natural disturbance regime require a quantitative description of the regime for a given forest region. This has been particularly challenging in temperate forests of Europe because a long history of land-use has been the overriding driver of forest dynamics. This contribution presents a brief synthesis of the natural disturbance regime in temperate forests (beech and mixed beech-fir forests) of Southeastern Europe, with an emphasis on the range of natural variability of regime components for the main disturbance agents. Disturbance evidence was compiled from meteorological data, historical documents, studies from old-growth remnants, and salvage logging data from National forest inventories. Taken together, the results show that no single disturbance agent dominates the regime, and any given agent exhibits remarkable variation in terms of severity and spatial extent both within and among individual disturbance events . The presentation then examines how the regime influences tree community dynamics and biological legacies. In general, traditional conceptual models of forest dynamics in the region supported a steady-state view of forests, disregarded the role of disturbances, and explained variation in tree species community composition as a function of site conditions. Recent work in old-growth forests highlights the non-equilibrial nature of forests and the important role of periodic disturbances in maintaining less shade tolerant canopy species . Perhaps most important in the context of the Southeastern Europe, where the public often views natural disturbances as harmful, is the recognition that disturbances are an inherent part of forest dynamics and the damage they create in forests provides food and habitat for myriad species, especially those dependent on dead wood. This changing perception of disturbance is vital for reforming long standing management practices in the region, such as routinely salvage logging disturbed areas. The presentation concludes with a brief examination of how the disturbance ecology of forests in the region compares with the ongoing practice of close to nature forest management, a form of continuous cover silviculture that has a long tradition in the region. While some aspects of the current form of management match the natural disturbance regime, other aspects require significant improvement, such as improving deadwood quantity and quality, and thinking beyond stand scales. One potential solution is to move away from the long tradition of integrated forest management toward a system that allows more segregation of economic and ecological functions, such as one that increases the area of unmanaged forest reserves, balanced with more intensive timber production in other areas . 1. Nagel et al. For Eco Man. 2017;388: 29–42. 2. Nagel et al. Eco App. 2014;24: 663–679. 3. Nagel et al. Biol Cons. 2017;216: 101–107. ...
PublisherOpen Science Centre, University of Jyväskylä
ConferenceECCB2018: 5th European Congress of Conservation Biology. 12th - 15th of June 2018, Jyväskylä, Finland
MetadataShow full item record
- ECCB 2018 
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