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30-Year Changes in Oak-Hornbeam Forest after Windthrow

Department of Natural Forests, Forest Research Institute, Park Dyrekcyjny 6, 17-230 Białowieża, Poland
Department of Forest Ecology, Forest Research Institute, Sękocin Stary, Braci Leśnej 3, 05-090 Raszyn, Poland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Jerzy Szwagrzyk and Anna Gazda
Forests 2021, 12(5), 600;
Received: 21 March 2021 / Revised: 28 April 2021 / Accepted: 7 May 2021 / Published: 11 May 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Long-Term Vegetation Dynamics and Forest Landscape Change)
Hurricane winds are one of the most important abiotic factors in shaping the structure of the forest and the processes that occur in it. The aim of research was to determine regeneration processes and changes in the structure of forest stands caused by the windstorm in 1983. The research, based on stand tables from the years 1982, 1984, 1989 and 2014, was carried out on nine permanent research plots in the Białowieża Forest. The mean number of trees (MNT) taller than 1.30 m decreased by 13.7% after the windstorm. In 2014, MNT increased compared to 1984 (142%) and 1989 (53%). A significant decrease in the share of Picea abies (L.) H. Karst., thicker than 7 cm DBH and a significant increase in the share of Carpinus betulus L. was observed. Species richness for trees thicker than 7 cm DBH indicated a significantly lower species richness in 1982 and 1984 (12 species) compared to 1989 (14) and 2014 (16). The windstorm did not have a direct effect on the species richness, species composition of stands or the distinguished tree layers, except for trees thicker than 55 cm DBH. The observed changes in tree density in the lower layers of the stand prove that the regeneration process does not start immediately and continues even 30 years after the windstorm. Intermediate-severity windthrow accelerated natural changes in the stand structure. View Full-Text
Keywords: Białowieża Forest; regeneration; succession; disturbances; hornbeam expansion; natural regeneration; forest recovery Białowieża Forest; regeneration; succession; disturbances; hornbeam expansion; natural regeneration; forest recovery
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MDPI and ACS Style

Gabrysiak, K.A.; Paluch, R.; Gawryś, R. 30-Year Changes in Oak-Hornbeam Forest after Windthrow. Forests 2021, 12, 600.

AMA Style

Gabrysiak KA, Paluch R, Gawryś R. 30-Year Changes in Oak-Hornbeam Forest after Windthrow. Forests. 2021; 12(5):600.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Gabrysiak, Karolina A., Rafał Paluch, and Radosław Gawryś. 2021. "30-Year Changes in Oak-Hornbeam Forest after Windthrow" Forests 12, no. 5: 600.

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