In the forest 'Meerdaalwoud' (central Belgium), as in many other forests across Europe, forest management has changed from traditional coppice-with-standards towards high forest management during previous decades. Because many forest herbs are adapted to the environmental conditions created by traditional coppicing (e.g., characterised by a cyclic light regime), this management shift was expected bo have induced changes in the forest herb layer. In addition, other environmental changes such as soil acidification may have contributed to these vegetation changes.
Twetny semi-permanent plots in the 'Meerdaalwoud' forest, dating from a 1954-survey, were relocated and re-sampled in 2000. In both surveys, vegetation descriptions and measurements of soil acidity were conducted in a comparable way. In this article, we present 46 years of vegetation change, with a focus on both the species and the community level. Our data clearly indicate an impact of changes in forest management and soil acidification on the forest vegetation. These findings allow us to point out a number of forest management implications and considerations.
|Publicatiestatus||Gepubliceerd - 2008|
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