To what extent do forest herbs recover after clearcutting in beech forest?

  • Published source details Godefroid S., Rucquoij S. & Koedam N. (2005) To what extent do forest herbs recover after clearcutting in beech forest?. Forest Ecology and Management, 210, 39-53.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use clearcutting to increase understory diversity

Action Link
Forest Conservation
  1. Use clearcutting to increase understory diversity

    A site comparison study in temperate broadleaf forest in Belgium (Godefroid, Rucquoij & Koedam 2005) found that clearcutting had mixed effects on forest herbaceous species. Woodland germander Teucrium scorodonia, pill sedge Carex pilulifera, and common bracken Pteridium aquilinum were more frequent in clearcuts (30%, 25% and 20%) than in uncut forest areas (9%, 15% and 7%). Broad buckler-fern Dryopteris dilatata, remote sedge Carex remota, enchanter’s-nightshade Circaea lutetiana, hairy wood-rush Luzula pilosa and greater wood-rush L. sylvatica were more frequent in uncut forest areas (62%, 60% 43%, 12% and 10%) than in clearcuts (46%, 32% 3%, 4% and 3%). Frequencies of wavy hair-grass Deschampsia flexuosa, common wood sorrel Oxalis acetosella, tufted hair-grass D. cespitosa and wood anemone Anomone nemorosa were similar (approximately 30%, 20%, 20% and 3% respectively). Relative cover of broad buckler-fern (46% vs 13%), common bracken (4% vs 19%), enchanter’s-nightshade (15% vs 0%), Woodland germander (10% vs 3%), hairy wood-rush (8% vs 1%) and common wood sorrel (5% vs 2%) was higher in uncut forest than in clearcuts while relative cover the other species was similar. Forest herbaceous species were sampled using total of 82 quadrats (4 m2) in four clearcut sites (0.5 – 2 ha) ages 6 – 13 years, and 219 grid cells (50 × 50 m) in uncut forest areas (surrounding the sites).


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