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Effect of site quality and thinning management on the structure of holm oak forests in northeast Spain

Effect of site quality and thinning management on the structure of holm oak forests in northeast Spain

Annales des Sciences Forestieres 53(2-3): 571-584

In the holm oak forests of NE Spain, the variability of thinning intensity, together with the great heterogeneity of site quality, due to the rough topography of the region, gives rise to important structural differences among stands. In this paper, we analyze the effect of site quality and thinning management on the structural heterogeneity of holm oak stands at the end of the cutting cycle in different areas of the Montseny and Les Guilleries massifs (NE Spain). These two factors influence the main structural variables of the stands in various ways. Height was used as an indicator of site quality, because it was relatively unaffected by thinning management, while density and total number of stems per stool were strongly affected. Mean tree diameter reflected the effect of both site quality and thinning. The type of forest management was found to be the most important factor determining forest structure. Site quality was a constraint of stand development, contributing in poor stands, to increased differences due to thinning management.

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Accession: 002817330

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DOI: 10.1051/forest:19960236

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