Norway spruce has been widely planted in Europe since the second half of the 19th century. Extensive monotonous spruce plantations dominate large parts of the forested landscape in Western and Central Europe with a management system based on clear-cutting. The Norway spruce is sensitive to pests, wind throw, pollution and drought which results in irregular harvests so forest managers are converting to planting broadleaf varieties under the shelter of mature spruce stands to give reduced competition between planted species, and a favourable microclimate especially in respect to late frost damage and negligible nutrient losses. However, the scientific fundamental and the silvicultural experience for this method are weak especially regarding below ground root competition, nutrient limitations and adaptation to low light intensity. Furthermore, the quality of plants grown under the shelter of the spruce stand has not yet been sufficiently assessed and parameters for silvicultural methods such as plant number, spacing etc. have not been optimised.
The objectives of the project are:
1) to develop better understanding of ecological limitations entailed in the introduction of broadleaf species beneath spruce monocultures
2) to assess quality and growth of the introduced plants in relation to site characteristics and mature stand management
3) to work out a management guideline fort the introduction of broadleaf species.
The results showed clearly that the assessment of site quality is a key prerequisite for successful broadleaf species introduction. The water regime of the site plays an important role in the establishment of the broadleaf plants. Despite assumed strong below-ground competition between planted beeches and mature Norway spruce trees, the results showed that young beech trees rooted much deeper than old spruces and were thus avoiding pronounced root competition and were simultaneously less susceptible to drought. Light quality and quantity reaching the under-planted saplings were, together with the competition within the regeneration layer, the leading parameters for plant quality of the future forest stand. A management guideline has been produced as a key instrument for the dissemination of the results.
CROP PESTS AND DISEASES, FORESTRY
Scientist responsible for the project
Dr. jur. DIETRICH EBERHARDT
Albert-Einstein -Alle 11
Germany - DE
Phone: +49 7315025000
Fax: +49 7315025007
||UNIVERSITY OF ULM
||1 606 676 €
|Total EC contribution
||1 214 538 €
|Web address of the project