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Coarse woody debris in a Carpathian subalpine spruce forest

Totholz in einem subalpinen Fichtenwald der Karpaten

Summary

Number, volume and size of snags, broken and uprooted trees as well as advancement of their decomposition and arrangement were analysed in a subalpine spruce forest in the Babia Góra massif (West Carpathians). The most important results are:

  1. 1.

    The amount of coarse woody debris noted on Babia Góra was among the highest in subalpine spruce forests, however it was lower than in unmanaged boreal spruce forests, and much lower than in the mountain and boreal forests of North America.

  2. 2.

    Most trees died standing, whereas uprooting was the rarest cause of mortality. The probability that a tree would die standing was greatest among thinnest and thickest individuals. The greater the diameter of spruce the higher was the probability of breakage. Uprooting was most common among trees of moderate diameter.

  3. 3.

    Snags and broken stems were randomly distributed, whereas windthrows were clumped.

  4. 4.

    Decomposition of spruce logs was a very slow process as these logs remain visible on the soil surface for about 150 years after tree death. The process is slower than in central Sweden, but much quicker than in boreal forests of northern Sweden.

  5. 5.

    The diameter of dead trees and the spatial pattern of stand breakdown changed in recent years as a result of stand development and changes of causal factors.

  6. 6.

    In recent years intensity of stand breakdown was nearly two times higher than stand growth when the volume of the trees was taken into account. This indicates the probability of the stand to enter the breakdown stadium.

Zusammenfassung

In einem subalpinen Fichtenwald des Babia Góra-Massivs (West-Karpaten) wurden Anzahl, Volumen und Größe von stehenden, gebrochenen und entwurzelten Totholzstämmen nebst ihrem Zersetzungsgrad und ihrer räumlichen Anordnung analysiert. Die wichtigsten Ergebnisse waren:

  1. 1.

    Die am Babia Góra gefundene Totholzmenge gehört zu den höchsten, die bislang in subalpinen Fichtenwäldern des temperierten Europa festgestellt wurde, jedoch war sie geringer als in unbewirtschafteten borealen Fichtenwäldern und viel geringer als in Nadelwäldern der Gebirge und der borealen Zone Nordamerikas.

  2. 2.

    Die meisten Bäume waren stehend abgestorben, während Windwurf die seltenste Mortalitätsursache war. Die Wahrscheinlichkeit des Absterbens war am höchsten unter den Individuen der geringsten und der stärksten Durchmesserklassen. Die Wahrscheinlichkeit von Stammbrüchen nahm mit steigendem Durchmesser zu. Windwurf war unter den Bäumen mittleren Durchmessers am häufigsten.

  3. 3.

    Stehendes und gebrochenes Totholz war zufällig verteilt, während Windwürfe räumlich aggregierty auftraten.

  4. 4.

    Die Zersetzung von Fichtenstämmen vollzieht sich sehr langsam, wie noch nach ca. 150 Jahren nach Absterben erkennbare Reste belegen. Der Prozess verläuft langsamer als in Zentralschweden, jedoch viel schneller als in borealen Wäldern Nordschwedens.

  5. 5.

    Die Durchmesserverteilung des Totholzes und das räumliche Muster der Bestandeszusammenbrüche unterlag in den letzten 20 Jahren Veränderungen, die durch die Bestandesentwicklung und eine geänderte Häufigkeit der einzelnen Mortalitätsurachen bedingt war.

  6. 6.

    In den letzten Jahren war das Volumen absterbender Bäume nahezu doppelt so hoch wie der Zuwachs der verbleibenden Bestandesglieder.

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Correspondence to Jan Holeksa.

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Holeksa, J. Coarse woody debris in a Carpathian subalpine spruce forest. Forstw Cbl 120, 256–270 (2001). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02796097

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Keywords

  • subalpine spruce forest
  • coarse woody debris
  • W Carpathians
  • S Poland

Schlüsselwörter

  • subalpiner Fichtenwald
  • Totholz
  • West-Karpaten
  • Süd-Polen