Kelheim Forest, Germany

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#41)  Re: Kelheim Forest, Germany

Postby Jeroen Philippona » Sun Jul 30, 2017 6:54 am

Bob,

Kouta will give a more complete answere, but without researching the literature on this (to timeconsuming for me for this moment) I think there is not only a north-south gradient but also a west-east. Within Europe I think the souheast is richest in species and the Cacasian region probably has the highest diversity in species. The Caspian region in N. Iran perhaps is even more species rich. It has a lot to do with refuge areas in the glacial periods. I did not control it in literature, but a Spanish tree specialist told me once that there are only some 55 real native tree species in Spain (I suppose without smaller shrubs etc.). I think in Italy and the Balkan countries the numbers are higher. In the Netherlands only 30 - 35 treespecies are realy native (there are more varieties and introduced species like Castanea sativa wich are naturalised from Roman times) and some 70 shrubs etc, including Roses).
There are probably studies with lists and maps of the number of species in the different European countries.

Jeroen
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#42)  Re: Kelheim Forest, Germany

Postby dbhguru » Sun Jul 30, 2017 9:27 am

Jeroen,

 Thanks for the input and I look forward to any additional information Kouta provides. He is a virtual encyclopedia.

 This topic is extremely interesting to me. The role of the Alps blocking glacial advance has always been given as the explanation for the difference in species diversity from north to south. By the way, what role did the Carpathians play?

 Since you all joined NTS, I, for one, have really received a valuable education. Regrettably, over here on this side of the pond, we often see Europe in terms of human politics and the natural treasures of the different countries and regions are often lost to us.

 One fact that has clearly emerged is that the European continent can grow extraordinary trees of many species, natural or naturalized.

Bob
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#43)  Re: Kelheim Forest, Germany

Postby Joe » Sun Jul 30, 2017 10:45 am

Bob said, "...we often see Europe in terms of human politics and the natural treasures of the different countries and regions are often lost to us"

On Netflix, there is a series of nature videos that all begin with "Wild....". There is one called "Wild Europe". There is another series by an Australian naturalist who travels the world. He has some videos in Europe. They may not answer the questions you ask about species distribution and long history- but they are quite fun to watch.

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#44)  Re: Kelheim Forest, Germany

Postby dbhguru » Sun Jul 30, 2017 3:07 pm

Joe,

  I watch that series religiously. Lots of great information, but not much about trees. No matter, still very informative. It is very interesting to learn about how many wild places there are in eastern Europe.

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#45)  Re: Kelheim Forest, Germany

Postby Don » Sun Jul 30, 2017 6:01 pm

While trying not to be indelicate, it was my training in forestry classes, on both coasts, that classic German forestry was the standard that American forestry began with.  One of the faults that emerged was the impact of German forestry where all trees, and their associated debris were removed from the land being managed. It's now becoming apparent how essential the role of the coarse woody debris, and even more significant is the fungal community that returned the decaying forest to the soil, where it was once again available. The classic German forestry of the 19th century is no longer a model.  I suspect that much of the rest of early European forest management was influenced initially by German forest management tenets...it should be interesting to hear from our European NTS members how far off my forestry training was!
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#46)  Re: Kelheim Forest, Germany

Postby dbhguru » Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:25 am

Don,

  An interesting, if not surprising post. There's so much to consider in comparing holistic approaches to forestry versus the stern soldier-like model of the early Germans. I have my preferences, but I am certainly no expert. I recall the eco-forestry movement of the 1990s and wonder what has happened to it. It was basically a west coast movement with a weak eastern incarnation as the Forest Stewards Guild. My understanding of that movement was to place extra importance on biodiversity. German-style plantation forests and their American counterparts certainly don't do that.

   Throughout the 1990s and most of the decade of 2000-2010, I tried to stay aware of the schools of thought and where they were leading. As you know, today from our joint venture, I'm mostly focused on champion tree competitions and how to measure dimensions more accurately. Still, I'm involved in management issues especially as they relate to the old growth remnants and mature second growth forests here in Massachusetts. Ray's and my evolving project to educate the public on Massachusetts's small old growth remnants and their value is pointing to the need for us to describe the spectrum of Mass woodlands. Are the small old growth remnants valuable ecological or do they serve mainly as historical museum pieces that are gradually falling apart? Lots to think about.

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#47)  Re: Kelheim Forest, Germany

Postby KoutaR » Mon Jul 31, 2017 6:36 pm

Bob, Jeroen & others,

I am not an encyclopedia. If a more exact answer is required, I have to do some research. Increasing tree species richness from the north to the south is clear, as is the increasing richness from the west to the east in temperate and boreal latitudes (as a part of the recolonization after the Ice Ages happenened from the east). But I was not sure if that is true for Mediterranean latitudes. As this interests me, too, I decided to make a study. I counted tree species numbers in following regions:

a. for SW Europe, Spain including the Balearic Islands but excluding the Canary Islands, the area is about 498,000 km2
b. for SE Europe, Albania+Macedonia+Bulgaria+Greece including all the Greek Islands, the area is about 297,000 km2

The SE European study area is smaller but on the other hand, it has countless islands which have some endemic species. The Balearic Islands (in the Mediterranean Sea) add only one tree species to Spain.

My simple definition for tree in this case is that it should commonly attain at least 5 m in height.

The species are listed in the attached files. I have omitted apomictic Sorbus microspecies.

Spain has 87 native tree species and the SE European area 135, so Jeroen has right in that the increasing richness from the west to the east is true for the Mediterranean latitudes, too. But the claim of 55 native tree spp. in Spain by Jeroen's friend seems to be too low. The reason may be in the definition of tree. Therefore I also counted trees that commonly attain at least 10 m in height. (The lower trees are marked with "<=10m" in the Spain file.) Now Spain has 70 tree spp., still  more than Jeroen's friend claimed. Maybe he doesn't count all the species in less charismatic genera, like Salix.

Note that you cannot do a comparison simply with the first source alone (listed in the files). It has errors, its tree definition is only two meters (if multi-stemmed, 5cm in diameter) and most notably it includes apomictic Sorbus microspecies which, for example, doubles the species number in the case of the UK, where they are much better studied than in eastern Europe.

I once counted the tree species number in Germany, it is about 65. In Finland I think it is about 30, perhaps a bit more.

In my former species richness comparison, I did not found evidence that the Caucasus region would be still richer than the Balkan region (SE Europe).
viewtopic.php?f=144&t=6804

To Don: Unfortunately, forestry is not my strength, so it is better that I don't say anything. More natural forestry methods are being developed today.

Kouta
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#48)  Re: Kelheim Forest, Germany

Postby Don » Tue Aug 01, 2017 9:37 am

Bob/Kouta-
My somewhat brief excursion into New England forests while attending UMASS at Amherst exposed me to somewhat chaotic forest ecosystems, primarily responding to intentional manipulations and secondarily by natural disturbances. My grasp of this was certainly a function of studying the tenets of Forest Stand Dynamics as described by Chadwick Oliver and Bruce Larson.
When you view the forest ecosystem in the light of what has brought it to its current condition, in the absence of man's role, the role of cyclic natural disturbances stands out as a primary force.  For example, in New England, the role of wind events such as hurricanes and the duration of the return cycle has much to do with stand dynamics...more familiar to me, the role of wildfires and their duration and intensity has a primary role in the evolving forest stand conditions.
The relatively depauperate understory in the preceding photos of ash stands in the Kelheim Forests, to me, appear to be that of a forest gleaned of the coarse woody debris I'd expect of a relatively undisturbed forest ecosystem. The multi-aged forest structure does, to me, indicate some resilience to the ecosystem, but perhaps the stand is missing a diverse plant community component (somewhat of a monoculture?). Perhaps a visit further into the growing season would change my mind...
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#49)  Re: Kelheim Forest, Germany

Postby KoutaR » Tue Aug 01, 2017 11:14 am

Don,

The ash-oak forest of Kelheim was in the past cleared from coarse debris, indeed. The locality was planted with ash and sessile oak in the 1840s. However, management ceased some years before my first visit and the forest is now a nature reserve. Beech is invading the forest. The parts with more open canopy have now up to 3 m tall beech and Sambucus nigra and up to 2 m tall nettle. I think ash will persist as mixed tree due to the lime-rich soil but oak will disappear when the today's generation dies.

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