A Density Management Diagram for Norway Spruce in the Temperate European montane region
European Journal of Forest Research
Czech Science Foundation
Norway spruce is one of the most important conifer tree species in Europe, paramount for timber provision, habitat, recreation, and protection of mountain roads and settlements from natural hazards. Although natural Norway spruce forests exhibit diverse structures, even-aged stands can arise after disturbance or as the result of common silvicultural practice, including off-site afforestation. Many even-aged Norway spruce forests face issues such as senescence, insufficient regeneration, mechanical stability, sensitivity to biotic disturbances, and restoration. We propose the use of Density Management Diagrams (DMD), stand-scale graphical models designed to project growth and yield of even-aged forests, as a heuristic tool for assessing the structure and development of even-aged Norway spruce stands. DMDs are predicated on basic tree allometry and the assumption that self-thinning occurs predictably in forest stands. We designed a DMD for Norway spruce in temperate Europe based on wide-ranging forest inventory data. Quantitative relationships between tree- and stand-level variables that describe resistance to selected natural disturbances were superimposed on the DMD. These susceptibility zones were used to demonstrate assessment and possible management actions related to, for example, windfirmness and effectiveness of the protective function against rockfall or avalanches. The Norway spruce DMD provides forest managers and silviculturists a simple, easy-to-use, tool for evaluating stand dynamics and scheduling needed density management actions. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
Vacchiano, G., R.J. DeRose, M. Svoboda, J.D. Shaw, and R. Motta. 2013. A density management diagram for central European Norway Spruce. European Journal of Forest Research132:535-549.