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Effects of various cutting treatments and topographic factors on microclimatic conditions in Dinaric fir-beech forests
Janez Kermavnar, Mitja Ferlan, Aleksander Marinšek, Klemen Eler, Andrej Kobler, Lado Kutnar, 2020

Povzetek: Forest microclimate is strongly affected by local topography and management activities, as these directly alter overstory structure. In the present work we analysed the dependence of observed patterns of spatio-temporal microclimatic variations on topographic, canopy- and management-related factors. A forestry experiment was conducted in managed fir-beech forests in the Dinaric Mountains (Slovenia), which are characterized by rugged karstic terrain with numerous sinkholes. In 2012, cutting treatments representing a range in the intensity of overstory removal were performed: uncut controls (CON), 50% cut of stand growing stock (intermediate management intensity % IMI) and 100% cut (high management intensity % HMI) creating 0.4 ha canopy gaps. Fine-scale variation in aspect and slope and its effects on microclimate was assessed by comparing central, south-facing and north-facing within-sinkhole positions. We measured microclimatic variables (air temperature % T, relative humidity % RH) 0.5 m above the ground over three consecutive post-treatment growing seasons. Microclimatic variables showed an increase (T and vapour pressure deficit % VPD) or decrease (RH) with management intensity. Daily Tmax and VPDmax in HMI treatment were up to 5.9°C (on average 3.5°C) and up to 1.4 kPa (on average 0.6 kPa) higher than those in CON treatment, respectively, whereas daily RHmin was up to 22.7 (on average 13.0) percentage points lower. Regarding intra-seasonal patterns, microclimatic differences between treatments were largest during the summer. South-facing plots in the HMI treatment overall exhibited the most extreme conditions, i.e. the highest Tmax and lowest RHmin. Differences in microclimate between treatments were strongly modulated by canopy cover. The results also suggest that overstory removal increases topography-mediated variation in microclimate, as evidenced by significant differences in T, RH and VPD along the fine-scale topographic gradient within the created canopy gaps.
Ključne besede: tree cutting, air temperature, relative humidity, vapour pressure deficit, karst topography, canopy cover
DiRROS - Objavljeno: 08.10.2020; Ogledov: 747; Prenosov: 254
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