Abstract: Regression of conifers in European mixed old-growth mountain forests has been observed for a long period and studied from different aspects. Old-growth (OG) forests in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) have not experienced heavy air pollution and chronic overbrowsing that have affected many other European OG forests, while climatic and anthropogenic disturbances have been well documented. We analysed stand structure in the Janj OG forest, compared it with inventories of Lom and Perucica OG forests (BiH) and with earlier inventories of the same reserves. At present, OG forest Janj is characterized by a high growing stock (1215 m3∙ha−1). This is due to good site quality, prevalence of conifers (84%) and dominant endogenous processes in recent decades. In all three OG forests, indicators of structural change exhibited progression of European beech over time. Historical evidence revealed the occurrence of warm summers and droughts followed by bark beetle outbreaks in the 1920s, 1940s and early 1950s, which in turn influenced a marked conifer decline. It seems likely that repeated canopy opening released waves of European beech regeneration. These stand structural changes have delayed the rejuvenation of conifers and can help explain the early observations of conifer decline.
Keywords: mixed old-growth forest; structural attributes; Fagus sylvatica progression; climatic extremes
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Keren, S.; Motta, R.; Govedar, Z.; Lucic, R.; Medarevic, M.; Diaci, J. Comparative Structural Dynamics of the Janj Mixed Old-Growth Mountain Forest in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Are Conifers in a Long-Term Decline? Forests 2014, 5, 1243-1266.
Keren S, Motta R, Govedar Z, Lucic R, Medarevic M, Diaci J. Comparative Structural Dynamics of the Janj Mixed Old-Growth Mountain Forest in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Are Conifers in a Long-Term Decline? Forests. 2014; 5(6):1243-1266.
Keren, Srdjan; Motta, Renzo; Govedar, Zoran; Lucic, Radovan; Medarevic, Milan; Diaci, Jurij. 2014. "Comparative Structural Dynamics of the Janj Mixed Old-Growth Mountain Forest in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Are Conifers in a Long-Term Decline?" Forests 5, no. 6: 1243-1266.