The history and natural regeneration of a secondary oak-beech woodland on a former wood-pasture in Hungary

Anna Varga, Péter Ódor, Zsolt Molnár, János Bölöni

Abstract


Characteristic features of European woodland include both a reduction in natural forest areas and an increase in former agricultural areas occupied by secondary woodland. The management of these areas is challenging in terms of nature conservation, agricultural and forestry management and policy. The aim of our study was to reconstruct the history and to document the current tree stand structure for a secondary oak-beech woodland in Hungary. Towards the end of the 1800s, this area which was once almost completely occupied by a continuous forest, had been transformed into a wood-pasture. As a result of its gradual abandonment, the closed forest stand of the pasture increased from 10 to 52% between 1963 and 2005. The most characteristic feature of this woodland is the abundance of large trees. Globally, the number of large and ancient trees is rapidly diminishing. Therefore preserving and maintaining such areas, where large trees could live, is an essential management task.

Keywords


socio-economic changes; forest cover change; large trees; broadleaved forest; silvo-pastoral system

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References


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