Production and soil restoration effect of pioneer tree species in a region of allochthonous Norway spruce dieback
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The paper analyses the growth, structure, production and soil chemistry of different tree species stands 20 years after allochthonous spruce dieback. The experiment was carried out at lower altitudes (300 m a.s.l.) at rich sites of the Central Europe region. Norway spruce (Picea abies Linnaeus) and beech (Fagus sylvatica Linnaeus) stands established by artificial regeneration were compared with silver birch (Betula pendula Roth), aspen (Populus tremula Linnaeus) and birch-aspen stands, which were regenerated naturally. Spruce stands showed a decrease of site index (site index 3), compared with the previous generation (site index 2). This leads to an expected lower production at the age of 100 years, compared to mature beech stands, which showed a site index of 1. The highest production (tree overbark volume) was found out in the aspen stand - 294 m3.ha-1. The production (tree overbark volume) of other monoculture stands was comparable and reached 201-222 m3.ha-1. Most of the soil chemical characteristics under the compared stands (Ca and Mg content, Al content and active and potential soil reaction) were significantly better under aspen and decreased in the following trend: birch - beech - spruce.