Is generalisation of uneven-aged management in mountain forests the key to improve biodiversity conservation within forest landscape mosaics?

Mathilde Redon, Sandra Luque, Frédéric Gosselin, Thomas Cordonnier

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    18 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Context: Uneven-aged management systems based on selection silviculture have become popular in European mountain forests and progressively replace other silvicultural practices. In time, this trend could lead to a homogenisation of the forest mosaic with consequences on structural indices recognised as beneficial to forest biodiversity.
    Aims: This study was conducted to investigate the potential effects of a generalisation of the selection silvicultural system on structural diversity in the forest landscape with consequences for forest biodiversity conservation.
    Methods: We compared four structural indices (tree species richness, diameter heterogeneity, deadwood volume and basal area of mature trees) in five different stand types typical of the northern French Alps, using forest plot data in the Vercors mountain range. Through virtual landscape simulations, we then calculated predicted mean proportions of stand types under two different conservation strategies: (i) maximising mean index values at the landscape level and (ii) maximising the number of plots in the landscape with index values above
    given thresholds.
    Results: Multi-staged forests did not maximise all indices, the best solution being to combine the five stand types in uneven proportions to improve biodiversity conservation.
    Conclusion: The expansion of selection silviculture in European heterogeneous forest landscapes could enhance biodiversity conservation if other stand types with complementary structural characteristics are maintained.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalAnnals of Forest Science
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

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