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Early responses of biodiversity indicators to various thinning treatments in mountain beech forests

Fabio Lombardi (1)   , Stefania Di Lella (2), Valeria Altieri (1), Simone Di Benedetto (1), Carmen Giancola (2), Bruno Lasserre (2), Lado Kutnar (3), Roberto Tognetti (4-5), Marco Marchetti (2)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 11, Issue 5, Pages 609-618 (2018)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor2733-011
Published: Sep 25, 2018 - Copyright © 2018 SISEF

Research Articles


In recent decades, the conservation of biodiversity has become one of the main areas under consideration in managing forests in an ecologically sustainable way. Forest management practices are primary drivers of diversity and may enhance or decrease forest biodiversity, according to the measures applied (thinning options). We have focused on three beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) forests across a latitudinal gradient in Italy, characterised by different structures resulting from dissimilar management. We tested the short-term effects of differently-based silvicultural intervention vs. stands where no silvicultural practices were applied on biodiversity indicators and related proxies: deadwood amounts, microhabitat density, floristic richness and life form abundance. In each study area, the occurrence of the above indicators and proxies was evaluated before and after the implementation of crop tree thinning (CTT) and thinning from below (LT) methods, comparing them with control areas where no interventions were performed. After two years, the management options resulted in different responses of the investigated parameters. The CTT increased deadwood amounts in comparison with the LT ones, while stumps increased significantly after the LT thinning. Microhabitats increased significantly where intervention was not undertaken. On the contrary, they remained unaltered after the LT treatments. CTT thinning created favourable conditions for the development of microhabitats and their proliferation in the long term. Two years after the application of the CTT thinning treatment, all forest stands demonstrated a significant increase in their floristic richness and herb layer cover. Significant differences were also found in both the frequency and cover of life forms in relation to silvicultural treatment. These findings provide a better understanding of short-term effects of silvicultural treatment useful for maintaining biodiversity in mountain beech forests.

  Keywords


Deadwood, Microhabitats, Understory Vegetation, Mountain Forests, Sustainable Forest Management, Italian Forests

Authors’ address

(1)
Fabio Lombardi
Valeria Altieri
Simone Di Benedetto
Dipartimento di Agraria, Università Mediterranea di Reggio Calabria, loc. Feo di Vito, 89122, Reggio Calabria (Italy)
(2)
Stefania Di Lella
Carmen Giancola
Bruno Lasserre
Marco Marchetti
Dipartimento di Bioscienze e Territorio, Università degli Studi del Molise, c.da Fonte Lappone, 86090, Pesche - IS (Italy)
(3)
Lado Kutnar
Slovenian Forestry Institute, Dep. of Forest Ecology, Vecna pot 2, 1000 Ljubljana (Slovenia)
(4)
Roberto Tognetti
Dipartimento di Agricoltura, Ambiente e Alimenti, Università degli Studi del Molise, v. Francesco De Sanctis, 86100, Campobasso (Italy)
(5)
Roberto Tognetti
The EFI Project Centre on Mountain Forests (MOUNTFOR), Edmund Mach Foundation, 38010, San Michele all’Adige - TN (Italy)

Corresponding author

 
Fabio Lombardi
fabio.lombardi@unirc.it

Citation

Lombardi F, Lella SD, Altieri V, Benedetto SD, Giancola C, Lasserre B, Kutnar L, Tognetti R, Marchetti M (2018). Early responses of biodiversity indicators to various thinning treatments in mountain beech forests. iForest 11: 609-618. - doi: 10.3832/ifor2733-011

Academic Editor

Agostino Ferrara

Paper history

Received: Jan 19, 2018
Accepted: Jun 26, 2018

First online: Sep 25, 2018
Publication Date: Oct 31, 2018
Publication Time: 3.03 months

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