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The Short-Term Effects of Experimental Forestry Treatments on Site Conditions in an Oak–Hornbeam Forest

1
MTA Centre for Ecological Research, Institute of Ecology and Botany, Alkotmány út 2-4, H-2163 Vácrátót, Hungary
2
MTA Centre for Ecological Research, GINOP Sustainable Ecosystems Research Group, Klebelsberg Kuno utca 3, H-8237 Tihany, Hungary
3
Department of Plant Systematics, Ecology and Theoretical Biology, Eötvös Loránd University, Pázmány Péter Sétány 1/C, H-1117 Budapest, Hungary
4
Institute of Environmental and Earth Sciences, University of Sopron, Bajcsy-Zsilinszky utca 4, H-9400 Sopron, Hungary
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2018, 9(7), 406; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9070406
Received: 4 June 2018 / Revised: 2 July 2018 / Accepted: 3 July 2018 / Published: 5 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
Forest management alters forest site; however, information is still limited about how different silvicultural treatments modify abiotic conditions. We compared the effects of four treatments from three different forestry systems on forest microclimate, litter, and soil conditions. The clear-cutting, retention tree group, preparation cutting, and gap-cutting treatments were experimentally established in a European oak-dominated forest, following a complete block design with six replicates. In this study, we show the results of the quantitative analyses of 21 variables, one year after the interventions. Strong treatment effects were observed for the microclimate and litter variables, whereas the soil characteristics remained similar. The increase in light was the highest in the clear-cuts with intermediate effects in the gap-cuts. The means and variances of the air and soil temperature as well as the vapor pressure deficit were the highest for the clear-cutting treatment. An increase in soil moisture, litter pH, and litter moisture was significant in the gap-cuts and, to a smaller extent, in the clear-cuts. The soil pH increased in the retention tree groups. Microclimatic differences between the treatments were the largest during the summer, which demonstrates the buffering effect of the canopy. Our study confirms that less intensive and more spatially heterogeneous silvicultural treatments (e.g., gap-cutting) preserve a stable below-canopy microclimate more effectively. These results can support and might be useful for both forest management and conservation planning. View Full-Text
Keywords: forest site conditions; microclimate; soil; litter; temperate deciduous forest; field experiment; forest management forest site conditions; microclimate; soil; litter; temperate deciduous forest; field experiment; forest management
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kovács, B.; Tinya, F.; Guba, E.; Németh, C.; Sass, V.; Bidló, A.; Ódor, P. The Short-Term Effects of Experimental Forestry Treatments on Site Conditions in an Oak–Hornbeam Forest. Forests 2018, 9, 406.

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