The knowledge about the impact of selection silviculture on deadwood components is fairly scarce. This study compared two Dinaric old-growth forests (OGFs) with adjacent managed forests (MFs) in which the single-tree selection system has been applied for a century. The comparisons were made in terms of the current amounts of coarse woody debris (CWD), distribution of its decay stages, and diameter structure of different CWD types (snags, logs, stumps). The relationship between the volume of live and dead trees was also examined. In both OGFs and MFs, the most snags were found in the third decay stage, while the volume of logs and stumps increased from the first to fifth decay class. The study showed the clear advantage of OGFs over adjacent selection MFs in terms of CWD volume, whereas the basal area of live trees and growing stock were not always reliable indicators for distinguishing between MFs and OGFs. The diameter distribution of individual CWD types (snags, logs, stumps) also differed significantly between selection MFs and OGFs in all tested pairs. This fact, along with the significant differences in CWD volume, indicates that selection silviculture should be amended to incorporate practices that ensure more natural management of deadwood components.
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