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Senf, C; Muller, J; Seidl, R.
(2019): Post-disturbance recovery of forest cover and tree height differ with management in Central Europe
LANDSCAPE ECOL. 2019; 34(12): 2837-2850. FullText FullText_BOKU

Context Recovery from disturbances is a prominent measure of forest ecosystem resilience, with swift recovery indicating resilient systems. The forest ecosystems of Central Europe have recently been affected by unprecedented levels of natural disturbance, yet our understanding of their ability to recover from disturbances is still limited. Objectives We here integrated satellite and airborne Lidar data to (i) quantify multi-decadal post-disturbance recovery of two indicators of forest structure, and (ii) compare the recovery trajectories of forest structure among managed and un-managed forests. Methods We developed satellite-based models predicting Lidar-derived estimates of tree cover and stand height at 30 m grain across a 3100 km(2) landscape in the Bohemian Forest Ecosystem (Central Europe). We summarized the percentage of disturbed area that recovered to > 40% tree cover and > 5 m stand height and quantified the variability in both indicators over a 30-year period. The analyses were stratified by three management regimes (managed, protected, strictly protected) and two forest types (beech-dominated, spruce-dominated). Results We found that on average 84% of the disturbed area met our recovery threshold 30 years post-disturbance. The rate of recovery was slower in un-managed compared to managed forests. Variability in tree cover was more persistent over time in un-managed forests, while managed forests strongly converged after a few decades post-disturbance. Conclusion We conclude that current management facilitates the recovery of forest structure in Central European forest ecosystems. However, our results underline that forests recovered well from disturbances also in the absence of human intervention. Our analysis highlights the high resilience of Central European forest ecosystems to recent disturbances.
Authors BOKU Wien:
Seidl Rupert
Senf Cornelius

Find related publications in this database (Keywords)
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Forest management
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