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Forest damage assessment using permanent forest inventory plots

Forest damage assessment using permanent forest inventory plots

Annales de Gembloux 98(1): 49-62

In order to determine the extent of forest damage after the severe storms of January and February 1990, damage was assessed on a 10,000-ha area in Wallonia, Belgium, and compared with the results of a 1980 inventory. Height, diameter, circumference, and volume of the fallen trees as well as the distribution of the fallen wood on the existing plots were determined and mapped. The inventory revealed an increase in denuded surface area, a decrease of the surface area occupied by young tree stands, and relatively great stability of mature tree stands. Totally destroyed tree stands extended over a 1,500-ha surface area with a total volume of 600,000 cubic meters. Of the private spruce stands, which represent two thirds of the total surface area occupied by spruce, 1000 ha were denuded and the volume of fallen wood reached 430,000 cubic meters. The extent of damage was found to be in direct proportion to the tree age.

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