Christensen, Morten, Jens Emborg & Anders Busse Nielsen (2007): The forest cycle of Suserup Skov - revisited and revised. Ecological Bulletins 52: 33-42.


We quantified changes in forest structure in Suserup Skov based on two detailed inventories of forest development phases carried out in 1992 and 2002. The inventories were based on a forest cycle model for Suserup Skov, which included five sequential development phases (innovation, aggradation, early biostatic, late biostatic, and degradation). Due to a multitude of different development processes nearly half of the total area changed phase during the 10 yr, which was more than three times the expected. To a large extent, the observed changes between developmental phases followed the basic forest cycle. However, many deviations did occur, of which the most important can be summarised as: 1) the majority of the area in the innovation phase in 2002 originated
from phases other than degradation. This was caused by storm damage resulting in aggregate tree fall and the massive spread of Dutch elm disease resulting in sudden die back of patches dominated by elm trees; 2) the majority of the area in the early biostatic
phase in 2002 originated from phases other than the aggradation phase, due to crown expansion of trees in the early biostatic phase surrounding canopy gaps; and 3) the majority of the area in the aggradation phase in 2002 was recruited from other phases than the innovation phase, because of a well developed understorey that gradually replaced areas with a degraded canopy. These processes are discussed and presented in a revised model of the overall structural dynamics in Suserup Skov and discussed as a reference for nature-based forest management of deciduous, temperate forests.

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Christensen, Morten