iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Effects of different silvicultural measures on plant diversity - the case of the Illyrian Fagus sylvatica habitat type (Natura 2000)

Lado Kutnar (1)   , Klemen Eler (1-2), Aleksander Marinšek (1-3)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 9, Issue 2, Pages 318-324 (2015)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor1587-008
Published: Oct 22, 2015 - Copyright © 2015 SISEF

Research Articles

In Slovenia, the Natura 2000 network covers more than 37% of the country. Forests dominate more than 70% of this area, and forest management is a significant driver of diversity. Depending on the options applied, forest management may enhance or decrease forest biodiversity. Dinaric fir-beech forests (part of Natura 2000 habitat type) with remarkable nature-conservation interest and timber production functions were selected for this study. With the aim of testing the effects of different silvicultural measures on plant diversity in these forests, and consequently on biodiversity in a broader sense, three sites in the Slovenian part of a Dinaric fir-beech forest range were studied. The plant species diversity was assessed before and after the implementation of silvicultural measures of three intensities: (1) control plots - no logging; (2) logging of 50% of the growing stock; and (3) logging of 100% of the growing stock. Before the implementation of the silvicultural measures, the mean number of plant species per 400 m² vegetation plots was 48.8, and the mean value of the Shannon’s diversity index was 2.41. Two years after the measures were implemented, different magnitudes of plant species turnover were observed. There were no significant changes in plant diversity status and vegetation composition in the control plots. Two years after 50% of the growing stock was logged, the mean number of species was 73.3, and the mean value of the Shannon index was 3.21. In the plots where all the trees were removed, the mean number of species was 87.4, and the mean value of the Shannon index was 3.42. In parallel with the increases in the diversity parameters, the cover of the herbaceous layer increased significantly with an increase in the silvicultural intensity, indicating that short-term species turnover can mostly be attributed to herbaceous plant species. As a result of changed stand and ecological conditions, an increased plant diversity, a greater biodiversity in a broader sense and an improved habitat suitability for different animal species could be expected.


Forest Management, Silviculture, Nature Conservation, Plant Diversity, Species Turnover, Gap Colonization, Mountain Forest, Dinaric Fir-beech Forest, Natura 2000

Authors’ address

Lado Kutnar
Klemen Eler
Aleksander Marinšek
Slovenian Forestry Institute, Department of Forest Ecology, Večna pot 2, SI-1000 Ljubljana (Slovenia)
Klemen Eler
Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana, Jamnikarjeva 101, SI-1000 Ljubljana (Slovenia)
Aleksander Marinšek
Higher Vocational College for Forestry and Hunting, Ljubljanska 3, SI-6230 Postojna (Slovenia)

Corresponding author

Lado Kutnar


Kutnar L, Eler K, Marinšek A (2015). Effects of different silvicultural measures on plant diversity - the case of the Illyrian Fagus sylvatica habitat type (Natura 2000). iForest 9: 318-324. - doi: 10.3832/ifor1587-008

Academic Editor

Renzo Motta

Paper history

Received: Feb 04, 2015
Accepted: Jul 08, 2015

First online: Oct 22, 2015
Publication Date: Apr 26, 2016
Publication Time: 3.53 months

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