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Forests 2015, 6(6), 2178-2198; doi:10.3390/f6062178

Modelling Facilitates Silvicultural Decision-Making for Improving the Mitigating Effect of Beech (Fagus Sylvatica L.) Dominated Alpine Forest against Rockfall

Department of Forestry and Renewable Forest Resources, Biotechnical Faculty, University in Ljubljana, Vecna pot 83, Ljubljana 1000, Slovenia
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Academic Editors: Rodney J. Keenan and Eric J. Jokela
Received: 10 April 2015 / Revised: 3 June 2015 / Accepted: 8 June 2015 / Published: 19 June 2015
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Abstract

In southeast Europe, silvicultural measures for improving forest protective effects against rockfall are often based on unsystematic observation and experience. We compared formalised expert assessment of forest protective effects and silvicultural decision-making with an approach supported by modelling (Rockyfor3D, Rockfor.NET, shadow angle method). The case study was conducted in Fagus sylvatica dominated Alpine forests above the regional road leading to the Ljubelj pass, in Slovenia. We analysed rock sources, silent witnesses, forest structure and regeneration. Expert assessment indicated acceptable protection effects of the forest and their decline in the future. Modelling revealed several road sections endangered by rockfalls. It also indicated subtle differences between silvicultural alternatives: current forest, current forest with cable crane lines, selection forest and non-forested slope. This outcome may be due to short transition zones, small rock sizes, low rock source heights and low resolution of the digital elevation model. Modelling requires more initial input than formalised expert assessment but gives spatially explicit results that enable comparison of silvicultural alternatives, coordination of silviculture and forest operations, and delineation of protection forests. Modelling also supported prioritising of silvicultural measures, where the necessity of silvicultural measures increases with increasing rockfall susceptibility and decreasing long-term stability of stands. View Full-Text
Keywords: beech forest; protective function; rockfall; Slovenia; Rockyfor3D; Rockfor.NET; Viewshed beech forest; protective function; rockfall; Slovenia; Rockyfor3D; Rockfor.NET; Viewshed
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Kajdiž, P.; Diaci, J.; Rebernik, J. Modelling Facilitates Silvicultural Decision-Making for Improving the Mitigating Effect of Beech (Fagus Sylvatica L.) Dominated Alpine Forest against Rockfall. Forests 2015, 6, 2178-2198.

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