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ŠUMARSKI LIST 3-4/2013 str. 48     <-- 48 -->        PDF

Dead wood is an important component of forest ecosystems because it is used as a source of food and habitat by a great number of plants and animals. The data on presence, quantity, and quality of dead wood provide important information on: unexploited growing stock, state and quality of the living space, diversity and structure of forest stands, cycling of matter and amount of carbon bound (Lojo et al., 2008). In Europe, the volume of standing and lying dead wood in managed or economic forests is regarded as an important indicator of sustainable management and biodiversity conservation (MCPFE, 2003).
Despite the great importance of its presence in forest ecosystems, dead wood has only recently become a topic of scientific research studies in Serbia (Koprivica et al., 2013). On the other hand, dead wood has been studied with great interest worldwide. In Europe, dead wood has been studied mostly in virgin forests, i.e. in beech forest reserves. Christensen et al. (2005) have made a detailed analysis of dead wood based on the research results of numerous studies that cover 86 European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) reserves. Furthermore, dead wood has been studied in near-natural beech forests (Beneke and Manning, 2003; Mountford, 2002) and in managed beech forests (Green and Peterken, 1997; Fridman and Walheim, 2000; Ferguson and Archibald, 2002; Mund, 2004; Mund and Schulze, 2006). The characteristics of dead wood in natural or unmanaged forests have been compared with the characteristics of dead wood in managed forests (Andersson and Hytteborn, 1991; Kirby et al., 1998). Apart from the quantity and quality, the changes in dynamics of dead wood in beech forests have also been studied (Hahn and Christensen, 2004; Mountford et al., 1999; Mataji et al., 2011). Dead wood has often been analyzed within the general studies of beech forests biodiversity (Samuelsson et al., 1994; Stevens, 1997; Stokland, 2001).
Due to the increasing importance of the presented problem, the authors of this paper devoted special attention to studying dead wood in managed beech high forests on the territory of Serbia. The first task was to determine the quantity and structure of dead wood above ground, its dry biomass and carbon stock bound. The next task was to determine the biomass and carbon stock bound in belowground dead wood, i.e. in the roots of old stumps and snags. The aim of the research was to obtain reliable information on the most important characteristics of dead wood (volume, biomass and carbon) in managed beech forests.
Material and method
Materijal i metode
Investigation of state-owned beech high forests was carried out in the period from 2005 to 2007 on nine localities in Serbia (Figure 1). The statistically representative method (sample method) was applied.
Beech is a dominant tree species in the growing stock of Serbia since it accounts for 60 % of the total tree volume of all high forests (Stojanović et al., 2005). The investigated beech stands have a specific structural form. Different management systems of beech forests used to be applied in the past. The main ones were: selection felling system, regeneration felling system, and group selection system.
When, at the beginning of the twentieth century, planned conversion of beech virgin forests into an economical form of forests was started, the selection management system was solely applied (single tree selection). It was applied until the sixties of the last century. The selection system was then assessed as unsuitable for beech forests and it was replaced with the management system of group selection felling (with so called silvicultural groups). This system was defined both in theory and in practice by Milin (1988), and it was applied in the period from 1960 to 1990. The new management system was later assessed as unsuitable for beech forests, too and a new change of management system was implemented. The system of forest management by regeneration