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Open AccessArticle

Drivers of the Distribution of Ecological Species Groups in Temperate Deciduous Managed Forests in the Western Carpathian Mountains

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National Forest Centre, Institute for Forest Resource and Information, Department of Remote Sensing, Sokolska 2, 96001 Zvolen, Slovakia
2
Comenius University in Bratislava, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Department of Ecology, Ilkovicova 6, 84215 Bratislava, Slovakia
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Comenius University in Bratislava, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Department of Physical Geography and Geoecology, Ilkovicova 6, 84215 Bratislava, Slovakia
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Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Slovak Republic, Dobrovicova 12, 81266 Bratislava, Slovakia
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Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences, 94901 Nitra, Slovakia
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Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Department of Mathematics, 94901 Nitra, Slovakia
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Palacky University, Faculty of Science, Department of Development and Environmental Studies, 17 Listopadu 12, 77146 Olomouc, Czech Republic
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2019, 10(9), 798; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10090798
Received: 4 August 2019 / Revised: 27 August 2019 / Accepted: 9 September 2019 / Published: 12 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
Managed broadleaf deciduous forests are an important type of forest vegetation in Central Europe, also in the Western Carpathians. These forests are both economically and environmentally valuable. However, little is known about ecological species groups and the inter-specific associations of dominant species in temperate deciduous managed forests in Central Europe. Since the forest stands are in a managed landscape, they are not consistent with the traditionally recognized and used vegetation associations in the Western Carpathians. For these reasons our research contributes to understanding the consequences of broadleaf deciduous forest management. The aim of this research was the determination of ecological species groups and an investigation into the main environmental drivers, in order to explain the distribution of ecological species groups. The numerical TWINSPAN classification was selected to distribute 146 relevés to the five ecological species groups. Of these, 77 relevés were divided into two groups with Fagus sylvatica dominant, while 63 relevés were Quercus petraea dominant. Carpinus betulus, Tilia cordata and Fraxinus excelsior were dominant in 19 relevés. Constrained Analysis of Principal Components was used to explain the vegetation–environment relationship on three transects in the Male Karpaty Mountains. Altitude, pH, Ca, C, K and Mg were selected as the significant environmental drivers responsible for a large part of the species group variability (31.8%). The main requirement for sustainable forest management is knowledge of the vegetation–environment relationship and this research was focused on gaining such understanding. This knowledge can be used as a decision support tool for sustainable management in managed deciduous forests. View Full-Text
Keywords: herbaceous species; classification; soil properties; topography properties; statistical analysis; systematic sampling; Slovakia herbaceous species; classification; soil properties; topography properties; statistical analysis; systematic sampling; Slovakia
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Gabor, M.; Beracko, P.; Faltan, V.; Matecny, I.; Karlik, L.; Petrovič, F.; Vallo, D.; Machar, I. Drivers of the Distribution of Ecological Species Groups in Temperate Deciduous Managed Forests in the Western Carpathian Mountains. Forests 2019, 10, 798.

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