iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Growth dynamics of the Norway spruce and silver fir understory in continuous cover forestry

Jaroslav Vencurik (1)   , Stanislav Kucbel (1), Milan Saniga (1), Peter Jaloviar (1), Denisa Sedmáková (1), Ján Pittner (1), Zuzana Parobeková (1), Michal Bosela (2)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 13, Issue 1, Pages 56-64 (2020)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor3183-012
Published: Feb 05, 2020 - Copyright © 2020 SISEF

Research Articles

The conversion to uneven-aged, mixed-species stands represents one possible way to mitigate the consequences of disturbances in Norway spruce forests in Central Europe. A better understanding of the establishment and growth dynamics of the understory can contribute to a more effective conversion process. Here we investigate the structure of understory, light climate and growth of natural regeneration of Norway spruce and silver fir in two forest stands undergoing conversion to continuous cover forestry. Stand-wise forest inventory was conducted in 1993 and 2013. The natural regeneration was surveyed, and the light conditions and inter-tree competition were quantified in 51 sample plots established across the stands in 2013. Our results suggest that the diffuse radiation strongly affects the height growth of fir and spruce natural regeneration. We do not confirm the effect of local sapling density on the regeneration dynamics. The results further show that fir trees grow faster than spruce under less intensity of diffuse light. Most of the spruce and fir trees reached the upper limit of the lower overstory (DBH 12 cm) at approximately 50 years of age. Thus, more substantial reductions in stand density can lead to a well-differentiated structure in less than five decades. To control the prospective representation of spruce and fir in mixed-species forests undergoing the conversion, managing of light conditions is crucial.


Conversion to Selection Forest, Natural Regeneration, Height Growth, Diffuse Light

Authors’ address

Jaroslav Vencurik
Stanislav Kucbel
Milan Saniga
Peter Jaloviar
Denisa Sedmáková 0000-0001-5556-0839
Ján Pittner
Zuzana Parobeková
Department of Silviculture, Faculty of Forestry, Technical University in Zvolen, Masarykova 24, 960 53 Zvolen (Slovak Republic)
Michal Bosela 0000-0001-6706-8614
Department of Forest Management and Geodesy, Faculty of Forestry, Technical University in Zvolen, Masarykova 24, 960 53 Zvolen (Slovak Republic)

Corresponding author

Jaroslav Vencurik


Vencurik J, Kucbel S, Saniga M, Jaloviar P, Sedmáková D, Pittner J, Parobeková Z, Bosela M (2020). Growth dynamics of the Norway spruce and silver fir understory in continuous cover forestry. iForest 13: 56-64. - doi: 10.3832/ifor3183-012

Academic Editor

Davide Ascoli

Paper history

Received: Jul 03, 2019
Accepted: Nov 28, 2019

First online: Feb 05, 2020
Publication Date: Feb 29, 2020
Publication Time: 2.30 months

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