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Selected Publication:

Neumann, M; Hasenauer, H.
(2021): Thinning Response and Potential Basal Area-A Case Study in a Mixed Sub-Humid Low-Elevation Oak-Hornbeam Forest
FORESTS. 2021; 12(10), 1354 FullText FullText_BOKU

Competition for resources (light, water, nutrients, etc.) limits the size and abundance of live trees a site can support. This carrying capacity determines the potential carbon sequestration in live trees and the maximum growing stock. Lower stocking through thinning can change growth and mortality. We were interested in the relations between stand structure, increment, and mortality using a long-unmanaged oak-hornbeam forest near Vienna, Austria, as a case study. We expected lower increment for heavily thinned compared to unmanaged stands. We tested the thinning response using three permanent growth plots, in which two were thinned (50% and 70% basal area removed) and one remained unmanaged. We calculated stand structure (basal area, stem density, diameter distribution) and increment and mortality of single trees. Over ten years, the heavily thinned stand had a similar increment as that of the moderately thinned and unthinned stands. The basal area of the unthinned stand remained constant and stem density decreased due to competition-related mortality. The studied oak-hornbeam stands responded well even to late and heavy thinning, suggesting a broad "plateau " of stocking and increment for these forest types. Lower stem density for thinned stands led to a much larger tree increment of single trees, compared to the unthinned reference. The findings of this study need verification for other soil and climatic conditions.

Authors BOKU Wien:
Hasenauer Hubert
Neumann Mathias

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