Evaluating the behaviour of vertical structure indices in Scots pine forests uri icon


  • Correlations between all vertical structure indices were highly significant. All indices showed that height diversity was greater in the forest with the longer regeneration period and where less intensive thinnings were applied throughout the rotation. Diversity was highest in uneven-aged stands and in the period between the regeneration stage and the first thinning. Thinning from below accounted for the decrease in vertical structure complexity throughout the rotation in even-aged stands.
  • Stand structure indices would appear to be good surrogate measures for biodiversity in forest ecosystems.
  • The results show that height distribution along with successional stage data enhance the analysis of vertical diversity since structural complexity is highly related to the silvicultural practices that are carried out at different ages.
  • The vertical structure of Pinus sylvestris L. stands in Central Spain was analysed in order to evaluate their structural diversity. A comparison between two forests with similar ecological conditions but managed under different silvicultural systems was conducted in order to analyse changes in diversity at different stages of stand development. Height diversity was quantified using two non-spatially explicit indices (Shannon's index and STVI) as well as two spatially explicit indices (Gadow's differentiation index and the Structure complexity index). A new diversity index was then proposed, based on the sum of square roots of height differences (SQRI).

publication date

  • 2009
  • 2009