Silvicultural characterization of the Cantabrian beech forest: the influence of site conditions and anthropic uses

M. Gómez-Manzanedo, S. Roig, J. A. Reque


The goal of this study is the description of different structures within the Cantabrian beech forests, and the assessment of the influence in the stand structure of factors of ecological site and human use. As a first approach, a typological classification of the Cantabrian beech forests was established. Based on this classification the relation between forest structure and previously established ecological classifications was analysed: regions of provenance, territorial areas and potential areas derived from population ecology studies. The data base for the establishment of the typological classification was the Third National Forest Inventory. The multivariate analysis of the IFN3 plots with beech as dominant species in the Cantabrian range allowed us to define seven beech forest structure types. The main difference between groups was stand density, diametric distribution and species diversity. Finally we compared the stand types obtained with the different ecological and administrative classifications. Beech forests in the southern Cantabrian range presented more pole stages while the presence of timber stages was more important in the northern part of the Cantabrian range. The results show that structural heterogeneity in the beech forest is determined by the union of ecological and anthropic factors.


Fagus sylvatica; stands typology; ecological classifications; forest uses

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DOI: 10.5424/srf/2008172-01031