Coppicing systems as a way of understanding patterns in forest vegetation
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A brief history of coppicing
Coppicing is a short-rotation system based on harvesting the stump regrowth of deciduous trees. In Central and Northwestern Europe, traditional coppicing was a major, and in the lowlands even the most prevalent, type of forest use from prehistory to the mid-20th century, from which time on it was largely abandoned (Hopkins and Kirby 2007; Szabó et al. 2015). In other regions, such as the Mediterranean or France, it remains an important type of forestry management to this day. Coppice systems produced a variety of products such as small poles used for fuel, larger timbers for buildings, litter for animal bedding or fodder for livestock.
The ecological consequences of traditional coppicing on forest structure and organisms inhabiting forests were profound (Buckley and Mills 2015a,b). Coppicing created a dynamic mosaic of lighter and darker phases, and in the long-run it altered soil acidity and nutrient pools (Hölscher et al. 2001; Baeten et al. 2009)....
Keywordsbiodiversity forest management restoration vegetation dynamics traditional coppicing
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