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Modelling facilitates silvicultural decision-making for improving the mitigating effect of beech (Fagus Sylvatica L.) dominated Alpine forest against rockfall
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In southeast Europe, silvicultural measures for improving forest protective effects against rockfall are often based on unsystematic observation and experience. We compared formalised expert assessment of forest protective effects and silvicultural decision-making with an approach supported by modelling (Rockyfor3D, Rockfor.NET, shadow angle method). The case study was conducted in Fagus sylvatica dominated Alpine forests above the regional road leading to the Ljubelj pass, in Slovenia. We analysed rock sources, silent witnesses, forest structure and regeneration. Expert assessment indicated acceptable protection effects of the forest and their decline in the future. Modelling revealed several road sections endangered by rockfalls. It also indicated subtle differences between silvicultural alternatives: current forest, current forest with cable crane lines, selection forest and non-forested slope. This outcome may be due to short transition zones, small rock sizes, low rock source heights and low resolution of the digital elevation model. Modelling requires more initial input than formalised expert assessment but gives spatially explicit results that enable comparison of silvicultural alternatives, coordination of silviculture and forest operations, and delineation of protection forests. Modelling also supported prioritising of silvicultural measures, where the necessity of silvicultural measures increases with increasing rockfall susceptibility and decreasing long-term stability of stands.
1.01 - Original Scientific Article
BF - Biotechnical Faculty
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Vol. 6, iss. 6
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ARRS - Agencija za raziskovalno dejavnost Republike Slovenije (ARRS)
Slovenian Ministry for Agriculture, Forestry and Food
CC BY 4.0, Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
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