Canopy gaps in two virgin beech forest reserves in Slovakia

https://doi.org/10.17221/4578-JFSCitation:Drößler L., von Lüpke B. (2005): Canopy gaps in two virgin beech forest reserves in Slovakia. J. For. Sci., 51: 446-457.
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The formation, size distribution and percentage of gaps in two virgin deciduous forests are presented in two case studies. Gaps are defined as openings in the canopy above 2/3 of stand height. These gaps comprise
16% of the forest area in Havešová Reserve and 14.6% of the forest area in Kyjov Reserve. The estimated turnover time is
220 years. More than half the gaps were caused by the death of one tree, and 80% of the gaps were due to the death of up to 3 trees. The largest gap in Havešová Reserve was 0.40 ha, resulting from the death of 56 trees over the last 40 years. The area of the largest gap in Kyjov Reserve was 0.44 ha. It was caused by the death of 80 trees over the last 40 years. Such large gaps are scarce. 85% of the gaps are smaller than 250 m². A correction of the bias towards the over-abundance of large gaps by line-transect sampling was made by estimating the percentage area of gaps of different size from the percentage length along the transects. In Havešová an attempt was made to date the death of trees that were still visible in the gaps. 1/5 of the trees initiated gaps by their death, while 4/5 of the trees extended gaps. While uprooted trees dominate in Havešová, breakage is most common in Kyjov.
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