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Tree Species and Management Effect on Herb Layer Species Composition in Mountain Fir-Beech Forests of the Western Carpathians

  • Karol UjházyEmail author
  • Eva Križová
  • Peter Glončák
  • Blažena Benčaťová
  • Juraj Nič
Chapter
Part of the Environmental Science and Engineering book series (ESE)

Abstract

The effect of tree species on herbs in forest understory was studied in the Dobročský prales National Nature Reserve in the Western Carpathians, as well as neighboring secondary stands at the same site. Herb species occurrence and dendrometric values were recorded on belt transects and analyzed by direct gradient analysis (RDA). The results of a permutation test showed that herb frequencies were significantly affected by both beech and spruce, regardless of plot position inside or outside of the Reserve. In general, frequencies of herb species occurrence reacted negatively to the increasing tree competition, particularly the density of trees (over 7 cm DBH) in their surroundings. Frequency of the occurrence of most herb species had negative correlations with increasing beech competition (especially with stem density). Several herb species were significantly associated with spruce (especially Festuca altissima, Oxalis acetosella, Viola reichenbachiana). A subset comprised of natural fir-beech and secondary spruce stands was also compared. Dentaria enneaphyllos was found as the best indicator of natural stands, whereas Asarum europaeum, Luzula luzuloides, Moehringia trinervia, and Veronica officinalis were characteristic for secondary spruce forests of the studied site. Spruce forests had a more diverse and species-rich herb layer; however, several species of original fir-beech forests were suppressed or excluded there. The consequences of such diversity change are also discussed in the chapter.

Keywords

Herb Species Herb Layer Stand Type Acer Pseudoplatanus Thick Tree 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

We are grateful to Gabriela Chovancová, Patrícia Pekarovičová, and Michal Martinák for help in the field and to reviewers for their comments. The research was supported by the Slovak Grant Agency VEGA (project no. 1/0831/09).

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karol Ujházy
    • 1
    Email author
  • Eva Križová
    • 1
  • Peter Glončák
    • 1
  • Blažena Benčaťová
    • 1
  • Juraj Nič
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Phytology, Faculty of ForestryTechnical University in ZvolenZvolenSlovakia

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