The concept of geo-biotope as a possible superior site unit for differentiation of forest management

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Abstract

The paper proposes and justifies an alternative concept of aggregation of forest site types in higher units for purposes of differentiation of forest management. Analysis of variance was performed for both: the natural occurrence of tree species in reserves, as well as the production potential of tree species measured on the representative plots according to Zlatnik´s altitudinal vegetation zones and edaphictrophic series. Based on the results of this analysis, an aggregation of forest site types was suggested along the elevation gradient of climatop, and along the edaphic-trophic and the edaphic-hydric gradients of edaphotop. By intersection of such created 32 categories of geotope with the basic formation groups of forest habitats by Braun-Blanquet geo-botanical school, 53 reconstructive geo-biotopes were formed. The proposed unit was compared using the F-test, Akaike information criterion (AIC), and the index of classification efficiency (EQ) with current typological units in terms of its ability to describe the variability of the analyzed parameters. Finally, the qualitative association of the compared classification models with the European classification systems was assessed. Based on the results obtained, it can be concluded that the site unit geo-biotop is at least comparable with currently used unit MGFT, with the number of categories lower by 72%.

Summary

The aim of the paper is to propose and justify the concept of a new, hierarchically higher, in terms of the number of units rational, and by the natural potential sufficiently homogeneous site unit, based on existing reconstructive forest typology applied in Slovakia. Proposed unit should be also more compatible with the geo-botanic system commonly used for vegetation classification in Europe.

Analysis of variance was performed for both: the natural occurrence of tree species in reserves, as well as the production potential of tree species measured on the representative plots according to Zlatnik´s altitudinal vegetation zones and edaphic-trophic series. Based on the results of this analysis, an aggregation of the forest site types was suggested along the elevation gradient of climatop, and along the edaphic-trophic and the edaphic-hydric gradients of edaphotop.

By intersection of such created 32 categories of geotope with the basic formation groups of forest habitats by Braun-Blanquet relevant for Slovakia territory, 53 reconstructive geo-biotopes were formed. The geo-biotopes, therefore, represent essential site variants of formation groups of forest vegetation consistently respecting reconstructive Zlatnik´s typology, as well as terminology and organisation of the higher geo-botanical units most commonly used in vegetation mapping in Europe and the world.

The proposed unit was compared using the F-test, Akaike information criterion (AIC), and the index of classification efficiency (EQ) with current typological units in terms of its ability to describe the variability of the natural occurrence and productive potential of tree species. Finally, the qualitative association of the compared classification models with the European classification systems was assessed.

Based on the results obtained, it can be concluded that the newdesigned site unit, geo-biotope, is at least comparable with currently used unit MGFT, with the number of categories lower by 72%. This decrease offers significant potential for reducing the number of management models, highlighting the differences between them and improving the conditions for inventory of these units. Finally, the opportunities for revision of the existing typological map using the forest site types to geo-biotopes conversion key are indicated. The full conversion key has been published KULLA et al. 2012.

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Central European Forestry Journal

The Journal of National Forest Centre – Forest Research Institute Zvolen

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CiteScore 2016: 0.56

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2016: 0.230
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2016: 0.454

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