iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Oak often needs to be promoted in mixed beech-oak stands - the structural processes behind competition and silvicultural management in mixed stands of European beech and sessile oak

Kobra Maleki (1)   , Laura Zeller (2), Hans Pretzsch (2)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 13, Issue 2, Pages 80-88 (2020)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor3172-013
Published: Mar 01, 2020 - Copyright © 2020 SISEF

Research Articles

Forest ecosystems nowadays provide multiple ecosystem goods and services at a time and throughout all development phases. Species mixing is considered an effective measure to gain benefits beyond purely additive effects. However, the complex structural processes behind interspecific competition and temporal and spatial facilitative effects through mixing are still far from being understood and predictable. In particular the mixture of European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) and sessile oak (Quercus petraea [Matt.] Liebl.) is gaining even more importance due to the fact that forests from these species are considered more tolerant to climatic effects and are expected to expand their natural range to the north due to global warming. The 30 long-term experimental plots analysed in this study reveal the structural processes in mixed beech-oak stands based on data at the tree and stand level. Using spatial and non-spatial structural indices, we can show an increasing dominance of beech over oak in unmanaged stands and the effectiveness of thinning operations to support oak. Those processes are representative for other light-demanding tree species in mixtures with shade-tolerant species. Improving the knowledge on the structural processes in mixed-species stands is particularly relevant when trying to modify forest structure in order to adapt forest management to shifting environmental conditions and the increasing demand for ecosystem services.


Ecosystem Services and Functions, Facilitation and Competition, Mixing Regulation, Silvicultural Prescriptions, Spatial Distribution, Stand Development, Structural Complexity, Thinning

Authors’ address

Kobra Maleki 0000-0002-3292-7412
Institute of Forest Research, University of Quebec in Abitibi-Temiscamingue, 445 boul. de l’Université, Rouyn-Noranda, QC J9X 5E4 (Canada)
Laura Zeller
Hans Pretzsch 0000-0002-4958-1868
Chair for Forest Growth and Yield Science, School of Life Sciences Weihenstephan, Technical University of Munich, Hans-Carl-von-Carlowitz-Platz 2, 85354 Freising (Germany)

Corresponding author

Kobra Maleki


Maleki K, Zeller L, Pretzsch H (2020). Oak often needs to be promoted in mixed beech-oak stands - the structural processes behind competition and silvicultural management in mixed stands of European beech and sessile oak. iForest 13: 80-88. - doi: 10.3832/ifor3172-013

Academic Editor

Giorgio Alberti

Paper history

Received: Jun 19, 2019
Accepted: Jan 02, 2020

First online: Mar 01, 2020
Publication Date: Apr 30, 2020
Publication Time: 1.97 months

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