Impacts of forest management on stand and landscape-level microclimate heterogeneity of European beech forests

2023 | journal article. A publication with affiliation to the University of Göttingen.

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​Impacts of forest management on stand and landscape-level microclimate heterogeneity of European beech forests​
Menge, J. H.; Magdon, P.; Wöllauer, S. & Ehbrecht, M.​ (2023) 
Landscape Ecology,.​ DOI: 

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Menge, Joscha H.; Magdon, Paul; Wöllauer, Stephan; Ehbrecht, Martin
Abstract Context Forest microclimate influences biodiversity and plays a crucial role in regulating forest ecosystem functions. It is modified by forest management as a result of changes in forest structure due to tree harvesting and thinning. Objectives Here, we investigate the impacts of even-aged and uneven-aged forest management on stand- and landscape-level heterogeneity of forest microclimates, in comparison with unmanaged, old-growth European beech forest. Methods We combined stand structural and topographical indices derived from airborne laser scanning with climate observations from 23 meteorological stations at permanent forest plots within the Hainich region, Germany. Based on a multiple linear regression model, we spatially interpolated the diurnal temperature range (DTR) as an indicator of forest microclimate across a 4338 ha section of the forest with 50 m spatial resolution. Microclimate heterogeneity was measured as α-, β-, and γ-diversity of thermal niches (i.e. DTR classes). Results Even-aged forests showed a higher γ-diversity of microclimates than uneven-aged and unmanaged forests. This was mainly due to a higher β-diversity resulting from the spatial coexistence of different forest developmental stages within the landscape. The greater structural complexity at the stand-level in uneven-aged stands did not increase α-diversity of microclimates. Predicted DTR was significantly lower and spatially more homogenous in unmanaged forest compared to both types of managed forest. Conclusion If forest management aims at creating a wide range of habitats with different microclimates within a landscape, spatially co-existing types of differently managed and unmanaged forests should be considered, instead of focusing on a specific type of management, or setting aside forest reserves only.
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Landscape Ecology 
Fakultät für Forstwissenschaften und Waldökologie ; Burckhardt-Institut ; Abteilung Waldbau und Waldökologie der gemäßigten Zonen 
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft
Georg-August-Universität Göttingen 501100003385



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