Structural characteristics of the mixed spruce - fir - beech forests on Mountain Bjelasica in Montenegro
Keywords:Biogradska Gora; Bjelasica; mixed forest; Montenegro; old-growth forest
Biogradska Gora National Park in Montenegro is part of the Bjelasica Mountain which belongs to the montane region of the Dinaric Alps. Biogradska Gora is one of the largest long-term preserved forests in the Southeast Europe. In this paper there were compared the main structural characteristics of the old-growth mixed forest of spruce (Picea abies L.), fir (Abies alba L.) and beech (Fagus moesiaca (Domin, Maly) Czecz.), from the preserved area of the Biogradska Gora, with similar managed forests from the same mountain. Basic insight into the structural characteristics of forests of spruce, fir and beech was obtained by analyzing tree species composition and two basic structural elements - number of trees and wood volume per unit area. The obtained data provides overview of the structural characteristics of these forests. The results revealed the production potential of the studied mixed forests. The average quantity of standing volume in old-growth forests of Biogradska Gora indicates very valuable and productive forest ecosystems. Presented data shows that forest ecosystems of spruce, fir and beech in the protected area of the National Park Biogradska Gora are characterized by structurally irregular forests with presence of old trees with relevant growing stock and optimal balance of beech and conifer species, while in managed forests on the same mountain, growing stock is very low and with structure which is far from optimal.
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