Current issue: 55(2)
The paper deals with production of above-ground biomass of silver birch (Betula pendula Roth) stands in the Czech Republic. One-year biomass dynamics was studied within chronosequence of birch stands at the age of 4–5, 8–9, 17–18 and 22–23 years. With the exception of the youngest stand, which was established by seeding, all experimental birch stands were regenerated naturally after the allochthonous spruce stands. Above-ground biomass (AB) was calculated from plot inventory data and biomass equations were parameterized from destructive sampling of biomass component of sampled trees. Results reveal that the peak of the mean annual increment (MAIABtotal) of birch stands can be expected at the age from 15 to 20 years. Additionally, the stand age, the value of basal area (BA) should be considered as a predictor of stand productivity. If the value of BA varied from 25 to 35 m2 ha–1, the MAI of the birch stands reached the range from 5.0 to 6.5 t of dry biomass per ha y–1 at the age ranging between 15 and 25 years. The stem/branch proportion increased with stand age, the stem relative proportion ranging from 75 to 90% of total above-ground biomass. According to the results of this study, birch stand biomass production and utilization is one of the approaches in terms of forest recovery management in large disturbed areas. Although, no silvicultural treatments were occurred in all analysed stands, the pre-commercial thinning method could increase stand productivity and stability as well.
In this study we determined the effect of transformation of a mature sessile oak forest stand into a coppiced forest, and of thinning and throughfall reduction in a coppice stand on soil water content (SWC) and soil CO2 efflux. The precipitation reduction was induced by installing parallel drainage channels in both unthinned and thinned coppice stands. The driving factor for temporal dynamics of soil CO2 efflux in all plots was soil temperature. The other factor was soil water content but only up to about 15%. Above this threshold, there was no more effect on CO2 efflux. We found no clear difference in SWC or soil CO2 efflux between the mature and coppiced stand eight years after harvesting. On the other hand, thinning of the coppice stand resulted in increase in SWC up to 22% in proportion, which we assume to be a result of increased gap fraction of the canopy. However, no effect on soil CO2 efflux was observed two years after the thinning. Installation of the drainage channels in two plots covering 30% of the ground area resulted in decrease in SWC up to a proportional 30.5% and thus contributed up to 50.7% reduction in soil CO2 efflux.