Deadwood management in Central European forests: Key considerations for practical implementation
Publication date: 1 December 2018
Source: Forest Ecology and Management, Volume 429
Author(s): Lucie Vítková, Radek Bače, Petr Kjučukov, Miroslav Svoboda
A substantial amount of literature on the importance of deadwood in Central European forests has been available providing partial recommendations to enhance deadwood-dependent biodiversity. However, a comprehensive review of science- and forestry experts-based recommendations effectively enhancing deadwood bearing in mind operational implications has not been presented in international literature. Therefore, this paper compiles the key aspects regarding the implementation of deadwood management in managed forests where the aim is to favour biodiversity without compromising or negatively affecting operational and commercial aspects of forest management. Simple deadwood management guidelines rooted in science and forestry expertise aiding decision-making in the efforts to effectively enhance biodiversity without compromising other management objectives are thus provided. Specifically, long-term retention of individual trees or tree groups and the retention of already existing deadwood (e.g. snags, coarse woody debris, uprooted, snapped, and sun-exposed trees) as well as artificial creation of deadwood (e.g. tree girdling) are presented here as we identified them as the key approaches to successful deadwood management. The major advantages and disadvantages of individual deadwood management approaches in terms of biological and operational/commercial aspects are also emphasised in order to assist forest managers in their decision-making. Furthermore, the key factors that should be considered when applying ecologically and economically efficient deadwood management are discussed; i.e. retention of trees with microhabitats, size of retained trees, position and arrangement, and decay stage. The main points regarding these factors are also addressed in the light of supporting realistic implementation of individual deadwood management approaches.
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