Traditional coppice conversion to high forest through periodic thinning requires a long period to attain the regeneration stage. We showed that anticipating seed cutting can accelerate the progression of the stands towards more adult stand conditions, compared with traditional management. The application of different active management options in the same landscape can contribute to increase landscape diversity.
In southern European beech forests, coppice is a widespread management system, especially due to the past uses. The existence of large areas either abandoned or under protracted transitory stage raises questions concerning environmental and economic revenues related to the different management options. We evaluated the effectiveness of anticipating seed cutting in beech coppices to accelerate the coppice transition to high forest, compared with traditional management (periodic thinning) and natural evolution pattern (unthinned control). We used an exploratory analysis of ecological variables related to structure, dynamics, and productivity of the stands (growth efficiency, leaf area index, litter production, transmittance, and canopy heterogeneity), which were monitored during 10 years in beech coppices in Central Italy. Anticipating seed cutting produced stronger modification in canopy structure, improving growth efficiency as a result of higher resource availability, supporting higher seed production which accelerated the progression of the stand towards more adult stand conditions, compared with traditional management and unthinned control. The application of different active management options can increase landscape heterogeneity under the conditions in which increasing landscape diversity represents a priority management issue, while simultaneously allowing environmental and economic revenues.
Cutini A, Chianucci F, Giannini T, Manetti M, Salvati L 2015. Is anticipated seed cutting an effective option to accelerate transition to high forest in European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) coppice stands? Ann. For. Sci.: 1-10. 10.1007/s13595-015-0476-7.
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