Silva Balcanica 22(1): 31-43, doi: 10.3897/silvabalcanica.22.e58020
Comparison of tree diameter distributions in managed and unmanaged Kazdağı fir forests
expand article infoFerhat Kara
‡ Kastamonu University, Kastamonu, Turkey
Open Access
Abstract

Forest structural complexity affects tree growth, species diversity, understory seedling density, wildlife habitat and fire behaviour. Thus, defining the structural complexity of forest ecosystems would play a crucial role in their management. The vertical structure in stands of shade-tolerant tree species can be described by using the distribution of tree diameters. In this study, the main objective was to determine and compare the diameter distribution patterns of managed and unmanaged Kazdağı fir (Abies nordmanniana subsp. equi-trojani) forests in northern Turkey. Hierarchical clustering analysis was used to define the diameter distribution patterns. Three main diameter distribution patterns were examined in both managed and unmanaged forests. Two of the patterns in the managed forest did not possess the expected diameter structure of selection silviculture (i.e. reverse J-shape). The observed patterns in the unmanaged forest were mostly representative of the diameter structure of old-growth forests. Given the initial findings, it is likely that the small-scale disturbances created by selection methods may not be adequate to establish and recruit sufficient number of trees into small- diameter sizes in Kazdağı fir forests. The assessment of patterns of tree diameter distribution in these forests would create a basis for future research, aiming to enhance the structural complexity.

Keywords
Abies, biodiversity, diameter distribution, silviculture, stand structure