The disturbance regime of Norway spruce forests in Bulgaria
Natural disturbances are among the most important factors that shape forest dynamics and forest landscapes. However, the natural disturbance regime of Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) forests in Europe is not well understood. We studied the disturbance regimes in three forest reserves in Bulgaria (Parangalitsa, Bistrishko branishte, and Beglika), which are representative of the range of conditions typical for P. abies ecosystems in central and southern Europe. Our data indicated that large-scale disturbances were most numerous in forests that were between 120 and 160 years old, those with unimodal diameter at breast height (DBH) distributions, and especially those located in vulnerable topographic settings. Wind disturbances ranged up to 60 ha, followed in one case by a 200 ha Ips typographus (Linnaeus, 1758) outbreak. Older forests and those with more complex structures (i.e., reverse-J DBH) were characterized by numerous small gaps but were also affected by a few larger disturbances. In some old-growth forests at highly productive sites, gaps could be so numerous that the long-term existence of old trees may become an exception. Over the past centuries, the natural range of variability of these Norway spruce forests in Bulgaria appears to have been shaped mostly by wind and bark beetle disturbances of various sizes.
Canadian Journal of Forest Research
Panayotov, Momchil; Bebi, Peter; Tsvetanov, Nickolay; Alexandrov, Neno; Laranjeiro, Lucinda; and Kulakowski, Dominik, "The disturbance regime of Norway spruce forests in Bulgaria" (2015). Geography. 290.