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Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 540; doi:10.3390/su10020540

Actual and Balanced Stand Structure: Examples from Beech-Fir-Spruce Old-Growth Forests in the Area of the Dinarides in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Faculty of Forestry, University of Banja Luka, 78000 Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republic of Srpska
Faculty of Forestry, University of Belgrade, 11000 Belgrade, Republic of Serbia
Faculty of Forestry, University of Agriculture in Krakow, 31-425 Krakow, Poland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 December 2017 / Revised: 28 January 2018 / Accepted: 13 February 2018 / Published: 17 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Ecology and Forest Management)
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Old-growth forests are spontaneously developed forest ecosystems without direct human influence in which only natural processes take place. In this study we analyzed the structural sustainability of beech-fir-spruce old-growth forests on dolomite and limestone in the Bosnian Dinaric Mountains. The field work was carried out on permanent experimental plots of 1.0 hectare in size. Thereby, the diameters (d1.30) and the height (h) of all trees within the plots were measured. Based on the available literature, we hypothesized that the structure of old-growth forests provides sustainability through tree-size demographic equilibrium. Thus, the data collected were used to test possible differences between the actual and the theoretically balanced structure in the studied old-growth forests. Statistically significant difference in the actual structure between the two old-growth forests on limestone and dolomite was determined. However, both of them exhibited sustainable diameter distributions. These results point to the importance of preserving old-growth forests for future research as they exemplify the tree-size demographic sustainability and can thus serve as an appropriate reference to managed forests. Concretely, certain structural attributes from old-growth forests could be embedded into the management objectives for increased resilience of managed forests. View Full-Text
Keywords: mixed stands; balanced structure; old-growth forests; forest ecosystem sustainability mixed stands; balanced structure; old-growth forests; forest ecosystem sustainability

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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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Govedar, Z.; Krstić, M.; Keren, S.; Babić, V.; Zlokapa, B.; Kanjevac, B. Actual and Balanced Stand Structure: Examples from Beech-Fir-Spruce Old-Growth Forests in the Area of the Dinarides in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Sustainability 2018, 10, 540.

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