"The concept of the old growth forest is highly debated in the literature because of its. implications, from close-to-nature forest management to carbon balance. Studies on old growth forests have multiplied in the last three decades. Most of these studies have focussed on defining the structural features of old growth forests of non-Mediterranean forest ecosystems or of specific forest types. In Italy, forest structure since Roman times has been greatly influenced by man. For. this reason, the concept of old growth forest in these ecosystems seems more controversial than at. the global level. Nonetheless, in the Mediterranean region, there are persistent forest formations that present a certain level of oldgrowthness. These types of forests have been identified mostly in National Parks. The description of forest structure requires a vast amount of information about. several biometric attributes. Consequently, the classification of forests as old growth is very time. and resource-consuming. This research aims to describe and test a proposed methodology to. classify and determine the relative oldgrowthness of a series of forest inventory plots. Data from. seventy-seven beech forest plots located all across Italy were collected and compared with a virtual reference plot. To compare the forest plots, a set of similarity\/dissimilarity indexes were tested. The results obtained show that it is possible to accurately rank the oldgrowthness of forest plots and to screen them to exclude non old growth forests. The method described was applied for. the first time on a set of plots located in the Italian National Parks to determine a priority list of beech forests where further studies need to be conducted."
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1007/s10342-012-0616-7|
|Codice identificativo Scopus:||2-s2.0-84865829989|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|