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(p = 0.0665). The results suggested greater age variability for fir (Figure 3). Thus, fir may have invaded the site first and was also able to grow under the canopy of broadleaves and pioneer species. The maximum age spread of fir (42 years) suggests that the stand is not even-aged and that the colonization of pasture was gradual. Considering the growth pattern in the juvenile phase, we should add approximately 10 years to the age at 1 m. This would mean that succession of conifers had begun in about 1900–1910.
The growth pattern of dominant trees showed a negative parabolic pattern, with slow growth in the initial phase, accelerated growth in the intermediate period, and a reduction in the recent period (Figure 4). In the initial phase, growth performance of both species was similar; in the intermediate period, performance of fir was better; and during the last period, the diameter growth performance of spruce was better. Some of the poorest performances of both species were synchronized and probably caused by periods of drought (e.g. 1952/53, 1958, 1992/1993, 2003).
Composition of ground vegetation Sastav prizemne vegetacije
In the Lipje forest reserve, five phytocenological relevés were made and 71 vascular plant species were inventoried, but bryophyte species were not identified. The composition of syntaxonomic groups shows a predominance of species from the Aremonio-Fagion (Ht.1938) Borhidi in Torok, Podani & Borhidi 1989 alliance, Fagetalia sylvaticae Pawł. in Pawł. & al. 1928 order and Carpino-Fagetea Passarge in Passarge & Hofmann 1968 class, which indicates potential beech or hornbeam habitat (Table 1). The larger proportion of Vaccinio-Piceetea Br.-Bl. 1939 emend. Zupančič (1976) 2000 species indicates some degree of acidification, probably resulting from coniferous litterfall or the chemical characteristics of the bedrock.
In the biological spectrum, hemicryptophytes and phanerophytes predominate with a two-thirds majority (Table 2). Among them, stem forms are the most numerous. They are followed by geophytes, mostly with rhizomes. The proportion of chamephytes is rather small since bryophytes and lichen species were not inventoried. Given the high proportion of phanerophytes and hemicryptophytes, it can be established that the forest, despite acidified soils, grows in quite favorable habitat conditions.
Ground vegetation composition was compared to the following related fir, fir-beech, beech, and hornbeam phytocenoses: Galio rotundifolii-Abietetum M. Wraber 1959 (G-A), Galio rotundifolii-Abietetum M. Wraber 1959 var.