Long-term response of understorey cover, basal area and diversity to stand density in a mixed oak forest on the Síkfőkút plot in Hungary

https://doi.org/10.17221/15/2013-JFSCitation:Misik T., Varga K., Veres Z., Kárász I., Tóthmérész B. (2013): Long-term response of understorey cover, basal area and diversity to stand density in a mixed oak forest on the Síkfőkút plot in Hungary. J. For. Sci., 59: 319-327.
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The serious oak decline was reported for the 1979–80 period and 63.0% of adult oaks died in a mixed oak forest in the Síkfőkút site, Hungary. The data were used to obtain (1) quantitative information on diversity indices of shrub layer and shrub canopy, including foliage cover percentage of the shrub layer, mean cover of shrub species before and after the oak decline and (2) structural information on shrub basal area and shrub foliage arrangement. Since 1972 we have determined diversity indices, cover percentage and basal area of shrubby vegetation on the monitoring and plus plots. A negative relation was detected between Shannon-Wiener and Evenness indices of the shrub layer and living oak tree density. A positive relation was confirmed between basal area and mean cover of dominant woody species (Acer campestre, Acer tataricum and Cornus mas). The mean cover of shrub species except of A. campestre increased non-significantly after the oak decline on the 48 m × 48 m plot. The findings of the study indicate that diversity indices of the shrub layer and mean cover of A. campestre can be used as a principal indicator of natural disturbance in the studied mature stand and the species of the shrub layer respond differently to the decreasing stand density.  
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