Effects of thinning on stand structure and tree stability in an afforested oriental beech (Fagus orientalis Lipsky) stand in northeast Turkey

Yücesan Z., Ozcelik S., Oktan E.

JOURNAL OF FORESTRY RESEARCH, vol.26, no.1, pp.123-129, 2015 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 26 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11676-015-0028-x
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.123-129
  • Karadeniz Technical University Affiliated: Yes


We studied relationships between stand structure and stand stability according to thinning intensity in an afforested oriental beech stand. Various thinning intensities were applied in sample stands. We sampled eight plots in stands that were lightly thinned, eight plots in heavily thinned stands and eight plots in unthinned stands as a control. Height and diameter distributions of the stands were measured to assess stand structure. We quantified individual tree stability and collective stability. Heavy thinning during the first thinning operation damaged the storied structure of the stand in thicket stage and affected collective structuring ability. While most control plots had multi-storied stands, after light and heavy thinning two-storied structure became more common. Large gaps occurred in the canopy after heavy thinning. On average, nine tree collectives were formed per sampling plot in the untreated stand, seven collectives after thinning in 2008 and four collectives after thinning in 2009. Stable trees accounted for 17 % of trees in control plots, 24 % in lightly thinned plots, and 15 % in heavily thinned plots. Collective stability values were 83 % in control plots, 82 % in lightly thinned plots and 36 % in heavily thinned plots. We conclude that it is necessary to retain collective structuring capacity during thinning operations for sustaining stand stability.