GRK2300: Economic implications of species mixtures in European beech stands enriched with coniferous trees
Mixed forests are encouraged by the German forestry policy as a strategy to fulfill the present demands and future challenges related to forests. They can better adapt to environmental changes and compensate for risks, such as storms,pests, tree diseases, droughts, and other climate-related risks, thus presenting posizive effects on the survival of the species in a mixture under a scenario of climate change. They also provide different advantages related to forest soil and nutrients, groundwater storage, aesthetics, habitat diversification, and fauna and flora species richness. Besides, mixed stands are often more productive than one- species stands, and they can show better yields than the average of pure stands of a particular species.
Although mixed forests promote more ecologically- relatet functions than economic aspects, the reduction in economic risks is also a strong supportive argument for this kind of forests. Besides reducing the risk related to the forest susceptibility to calamities, as previously stated, continuous and regular harvesting operations in mixed forests would diminish the risk related to the concentration of timber harvest at only one point in time by providing options for future harvests. Also, the establishment of a portfolio of tree species, as adopted in mixed forests, is a solution for the fluctuating demand for distinct timber species, qualities, and log sizes.
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Project partner:Norddeutsche Forstliche Versuchsanstalt