European Journal of Forest Research (2018) 137:169–183
Response of fungal and plant communities to management‑induced
overstorey changes in montane forests of the Western Carpathians
· Mariana Ujházyová
· Katarína Bučinová
· Marek Čiliak
· Stanislav Glejdura
· Ivan Mihál
Received: 23 June 2017 / Revised: 12 December 2017 / Accepted: 26 December 2017 / Published online: 25 January 2018
© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018
The eﬀect of forest management on biodiversity is a crucial issue for sustainable forestry and nature conservation. However,
the ways in which management aﬀects macrofungal and plant communities and diversity of mountain temperate forests still
remain poorly understood. We performed a random sampling stratiﬁed by stand age and stand type on the sites of temper-
ate montane ﬁr–beech forests. Diversity of macrofungi and the vascular plant understorey in beech- and spruce-dominated
managed stands was investigated and compared to primeval forests located in the Poľana Biosphere Reserve, Western
Carpathians. Both the vascular plant and the macrofungal communities were altered by management, and the response of
the macrofungal species (especially wood-inhabiting fungi) was more pronounced in terms of species composition change.
Species turnover evaluation seems to be an important tool of forest natural status assessment, because alpha diversity did
not change as much as species composition. Certain species of Carpathian primeval forests were conﬁrmed as good indica-
tors for natural forest change; others were proposed. Species pool and mean number of species per plot were the highest
in unmanaged ﬁr–beech forests, and species diversity signiﬁcantly decreased in spruce plantations. The number of species
decreased signiﬁcantly due to the change of canopy tree species composition only in the macrofungal communities. As an
outcome for forest management, we recommend keeping mixed forests involving all natural tree species and providing at
least a minimal amount of dead wood necessary for wood-inhabiting organisms and leaving some area of unmanaged natural
forests within complexes of managed stands.
Keywords Bioindicators · Beech forests · Forest management · Slovakia · Species composition · Species diversity
Direct anthropogenic inﬂuence on forests is realized through
the changes in stand structure and tree species composition.
Altered forest stand structure and tree species composition
aﬀect forest understorey (Barbier et al. 2008; Máliš et al.
2012; Hofmeister et al. 2014). The inﬂuence of particular
tree species on the understorey organisms and soil is realized
by the change of litter quality and quantity (Barbier et al.
2008), change of microclimate and soil moisture (Chavez
and Macdonald 2010) and chemical and physical properties
(Schoenholtz et al. 2000; Zhang et al. 2010). Despite the
fact that a majority of forests in the temperate zone is man-
aged, we know little about long-term management eﬀects
on diﬀerent forest organisms (Thomas et al. 1999) and the
functioning of the entire ecosystem. Therefore, an increas-
ing number of studies is aimed at comparing the diversity
of managed and unmanaged stands (Abs et al. 2005; Rudolf
and Rasmussen 2013) and search for bioindicators of envi-
ronmental changes and natural forests (Lindenmayer et al.
2000; Liira and Kohv 2010; Blasi et al. 2010).
Effects of forest management on plant species pool
(γ-diversity) and species richness (α-diversity) have been
referred to by many authors (e.g. Paillet et al. 2010; Durak
2012; Schulze et al. 2015). The clear-cut system was
reported to aﬀect diversity the most, while more close-to-
nature techniques such as selective cutting may not signiﬁ-
cantly alter species composition of the undergrowth (Battles
et al. 2001). Moreover, diversity of understorey plants varies
Communicated by Hans Pretzsch.
Electronic supplementary material The online version of this
article (https ://doi.org/10.1007/s1034 2-017-1096-6) contains
supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
* Karol Ujházy
Extended author information available on the last page of the article