Gap dynamics and regeneration in a near-natural calcareous beech forest in the Hainich National Park
Initiated under the EU-funded Nat-Man Project, a permanent research site was established in the Weberstedter Holz, in the core protection zone of the National Park Hainich. A complete inventory was carried out across an expanse of 28 ha and the gaps in the forest canopy mapped. Fenced and unfenced regeneration and vegetation plots have also been established. The objectives of the studies in the Weberstedter Holz are to examine the dynamics of a beech dominated stand, left largely unmanaged for a period of over fifty years. Areas of specific interest are the frequency and extent of gap formation in the stand, and the subsequent influence upon natural regeneration, in particular the rates of establishment and the species mix. The comparison of fenced and unfenced plots also provides an insight into the extent of browsing, and the impact this has upon establishment rates and species composition. A further component of stand dynamics in beech forests is the mortality issue. Apart from its relevance in relation to gap formation, a determination of the actual reasons contributing to the relatively short life spans of beech trees in Central Europe are a major research objective.
|Projektbearbeitung:||David Butler Manning|
|Projektbetreuung:||Prof. Dr. J. Huss|