Virgin Status Assessment of Plješevica Forest in Bosnia - Herzegovina
Keywords:diversity; evenness; dead wood; unmanaged forest
Virgin forests are relatively rare in the European temperate zone. This is due to the continuous use of forests historically and to increasing high population densities. Virgin forests are forests where the structure and dynamics have developed entirely under natural conditions, without any human interference or influence. This article assesses the Plješevica forest in Bosnia Herzegovina to establish whether it can be classified as a virgin forest. The structure and components of the forest were assessed in a 1 ha sample plot and four 400 m2 quadrats. The values of the biodiversity indexes (as defined by Shannon and Weaver, Krebs and Meyer), species richness and evenness, the distribution of the different stand development stages and the proportion of deadwood lead to the conclusion that Plješevica forest presents a set of structural and dynamic characteristics close to the ones typical for virgin forests in Europe, so in order to maintain its status as such, in the meantime, it should undergo a protection management program.
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