Comparison of beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) in so-called Green Eyes with neighbouring spruce stands (Picea abies [L.] KARST.) in the Thuringian Vogtland country concerning soil quality, tree root density and tree growth
Heinze, M.; Tomczyk, S.; Nicke, A.
Forstwissenschaftliches Centralblatt 120(3): 139-153
ISSN/ISBN: 0015-8003 DOI: 10.1007/bf02796088
In the Lemnitz forest district as well as in other forest districts of the Thuringian and Saxonian Vogtland county, so-called Green Eyes were installed around 1938. These are small-sized plantations of beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) within large complexes of conifer stands. In the presented paper the influence of beech on soil and the growth of beech were investigated in comparison with neighbouring even-aged spruce stands (Picea abies [L.] KARST) 60 years after planting. For this purpose, 10 pairs of investigation plots were selected in which soil profiles were ditched, samples of the humus layer and the mineral soil were taken, and root density and the diversity of Lumbricidae were investigated. Further, the growth of the stands was recorded. In all investigation plots a homogenous soil substrate was found: a stony, gravelly, silty loam originated from carboneous schists and sandstones mixed with loess. A brown earth-pseudogley-soil association has developed. The soil density is looser under beech than under spruce. The beech humus layer had a higher pH, a closer UN ratio and a better supply of calcium and magnesium. On the other hand, in the mineral soil no significant chemical differences between the two tree species were found except for a higher pH value under beech. Beech roots were found to be deeper and denser in the soil volume between trunks than spruce (beech: 0.9m deep, 5 fine roots/dm(2) roots on average from 0 to 40 cm depth; spruce: 0.7 m deep, 1.5 fine roots/dm(2)). Species and individuals of Lumbricidae are more numerous under beech than under spruce. The beech stands were 59, the spruce stands 48 years old. Beech reached a height growth bonity of 28 m (II, 0), spruce, 31 m (I, 8). The installation of long-term trial plots and expansion to other regions are recommended for further installation.