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General description of site


The area is located in the Region of Veneto, in Province of Belluno (at the border with the Province of Treviso). It is included in the Natural Biogenetic Reserve “Pian Parrocchia-Campo di Mezzo” (established in 1977).


The forest, with beech (Fagus sylvatica) as dominant species, covers an area of 667 ha, totally included in Special Protection Zones (ZPS, 79/409/CEE) and in Sites of Community Importance (SIC, 92/43/CEE). Since 1996, the forest hosts also a site of the Italian network of the forest ecosystem monitoring (CONECOFOR), part of the of the UN/ECE International Cooperative Programme of Forests (ICP Forests, that, in 2009- 2010, was monitored under LIFE+ FutMon (http://www.


The forest has a long tradition of forest management: the basic rules applied are moderate thinning from below or mixed thinning, repeated every 20 years, while stand regeneration is by group shelterwood system. Generally, an amount of 700-1000 m3 of wood is extracted per intervention, over 10 to 15 ha.  The forest management is carried out by the Ufficio Territoriale Carabinieri per la Biodiversità (UTCB) of Vittorio Veneto.


Test area description


The Experimental area selected for LIFE+ CLIMARK lies in a beech high forest compartment aged 120 to 145 years, at an altitude ranging from 1100 m to 1200 m a.s.l.. Currently, the age of final cutting is being shifted to a not-definite (at now) stand age, to match the emerging recreational, landscape and climate change mitigation functions. Site parameters (elevation, position, soil, rainfall amount and pattern) are optimal for beech growth and such conditions allow the prolongation of standing crop permanence time (rotation length).


An area of 35 hectares, divided into nine (plus one) compartments, was devoted to the management trials of LIFE + ManFor C.BD. ( Three options were identified and randomly assigned in three replicates to the compartments (1 to 9). A cluster of three permanent circular sampling plots was established within each compartment according to a systematic design to survey measuring parameters (species, dbh, height, tree position, social rank, crown projections, etc.).


The three management options proposed for the Cansiglio site were:


  1. Customary (local): the traditional management which consists in moderate thinning from below or mixed thinning, while stand regeneration is by group shelterwood system. Tree selection was performed by UTBC personnel under the guidance of LIFE+ ManFor C.BD. staff;
  2. Innovative: consisting of the identification of a non-fixed number of scattered, well-shaped trees (usually in the predominant-dominant social classes) and crown thinning of neighbouring competitors to promote better growth of selected trees at crown, stem and root level in the future.
  3. Delayed intervention: delay intervention at a later stage that in the context of beech high forest management has reasons to be tested because of its wide application in Italy (e.g. in National Parks, Reserves).


An additional area (not replicated) has been set-up as the first-ever implemented ‘ageing patch’ (literally from French ‘îlot de sénescence’). It consists of an area of a few hectares (2-3 ha) where trees are left to an indefinite ageing up to their death and decay; where holes on standing trees and snags are being created, where a part of living stems are partially cut along outer circumference up to cambium to make them becoming dead standing trees or felled and left on the ground to establish micro-habitats, niches and corridors for insects and micro-fauna.


General description of site


Forests of the municipality of Lorenzago di Cadore, Region of Veneto, Province of Belluno, cover a total area of 1100 ha and are characterized by mixed stand of Spruce, Fir, Beech and larch (Picea abies, Abies alba, Fagus sylvatica, Larix decidua). The Lorenzago di Cadore area is included in one of the largest Special Protection Zone of the Alps (ZPS IT3230089 “Dolomiti of Cadore and Comelico”) and contains two Sites of Community Importance (SIC, 92/43/CEE). Forests of Lorenzago are certified for Sustainable Forest Management by PEFC.


Test area description


The site that was selected within LIFE+ ManFor C.BD. lies in a mixed, uneven-aged coniferous forest (silver fir 51%, Norway spruce 46%, European larch 2%, beech 1%) ranging from 925 m – 1220 m a.s.l., traditionally managed according to the selection system.


Forest management trials were performed on 25 hectares, two different management options were performed, listed below:


  1. Customary (local): Every ‘n’ years the practice includes the contemporary: i) harvesting of mature trees; ii) thinning in the intermediate storey; iii) progressive side cuttings around the already-established regeneration patches to promote their successful growth; iv) felling of defective stems and withering trees throughout. The hauling system with horses used in the past allowed the frequent harvesting of scattered mature trees; the use of tractors nowadays makes harvest feasible, but needs to somehow concentrate fellings on the ground somehow.
  2. Innovative: The contemporary harvesting of a few mature trees and thinning of intermediate-sized trees is arranged into small groups, and allows minimal interventions with mechanized harvesting. Innovative practice has been implemented by the opening of strip clearcuttings 60 m long (1½ top height) and 20 m wide (½ top height). These ‘light thinnings’ are NW-SE oriented. Broadleaved trees and young regeneration along the strips are favoured and then released. Beech regeneration (eradicated in the past because of low value compared to fir or spruce timber) is always favoured to enhance tree species diversity.


In the site 6 permanent sampling plots (30 m radius) were established to represent the forest and treatments variability.