Stand structure indices as tools to support forest management: an application in Trentino forests (Italy)

https://doi.org/10.17221/75/2012-JFSCitation:Pastorella F., Paletto A. (2013): Stand structure indices as tools to support forest management: an application in Trentino forests (Italy). J. For. Sci., 59: 159-168.
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Stand structure and species diversity are two useful parameters to provide a synthetic measure of forest biodiversity. The stand structure is spatial distribution, mutual position, diameter and height differentiation of trees in a forest ecosystem and it highly influences habitat and species diversity. The forest stand and species diversity can be measured through indices that provide important information to better address silvicultural practices and forest management strategies in the short and long-term period. These indices can be combined in a composite index in order to evaluate the complex diversity at the stand level. The aim of the paper is to identify and to test a complex index (S-index) allowing to take into account both the tree species composition and the stand structure. S-index was applied in a case study in the north-east of Italy (Trentino province). The results show that the Norway spruce forests in Trentino province are characterized by a medium-low level of complexity (S-index is in a range between 0.14 and 0.46) due to a low tree species composition rather than to the stand structure (diametric differentiation and spatial distribution of trees).  
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