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Structure of an old-growth stand (Reserve of Lom, Republic of Bosnia Herzegovina) and two over-mature forest stands from the Italian eastern Alps (Ludrin, TN, and Val Navarza, UD)

Author(s): Meloni F | Lingua E | Castagneri D | Berretti R | Maunaga Z | Motta R

Journal: Forest@
ISSN 1824-0119

Volume: 5;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 100;
Date: 2008;
Original page

Keywords: Old-growth forest | Natural reserve | Forest structure | Silviculture

The Republic of Bosnia Herzegovina is a country relatively rich (2000 ha) of primeval and old-growth forests that are very rare in central and southern Europe. One of the best Bosnian old-growth is located in the forest of Lom where a Forest reserve of 278 ha was established in 1956. Inside this reserve, 1 ha long-term intensive monitoring plot was established in 2005 to investigate the origin, spatio-temporal development and disturbance history of the stand. Structural characteristics of the stand were than compared with other Bosnian old-growth and with two well-preserved Italian forests belonging to the same forest type. The permanent plot is very rich in living biomass (1158 m3 ha-1) and in coarse woody debris (383 m3 ha-1 approximately 33% of living trees). The oldest trees are more than 450 years old. The stand has developed without large-scale disturbances and, according to data coming from other Bosnian old-growth, appears to be highly stable. The main differences between a true old-growth (Lom) and the previously managed forests of Ludrin and Navarza are the quality and the quantity of coarse woody debris, the size of the largest trees and the age of the oldest trees. The importance of Forest Reserves as a reference for managed forest and as a site for long-term ecological research is discussed.
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