Coppice forest management in Austria and Japan

Finally we are happy to present result of our ongoing collaboration. The previous blog entry on soil studies in the Satoyama woodlands near Kashiwa (Carbon dynamics in satoyama woodlands) sheds some light on various fieldwork activities. These resulted in a comparative paper where we analyze the historic development, current status and future perspectives for these unique ecosystems in a periurban context. In addition we were able to confirm an alteration in soil chemistry after conversion of stands managed as coppice to high forest in Japan.

The stand characteristics, including distribution of the dominating genera shows remarkable similarities between Austria and Japan. This was also confirmed in terms of carbon stocks in biomass, but the stocks of soil organic carbon were higher in Japan as a consequence of soil properties. We conclude that a controlled re-activation of traditional Satoyama forest management, inluding coppicing, may unlocks potentials for biomass production while increasing biodiversity. However, this requires careful planning and meaningful balancing of economical, environmental and societal expectations.

The publication “Overmature periurban Quercus–Carpinus coppice forests in Austria and Japan: a comparison of carbon stocks, stand characteristics and conversion to high forest” is available at Springer Link: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10342-016-0979-2, doi:10.1007/s10342-016-0979-2.

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