Dynamics and Management of Restored Forests in Post-Mining Sites with Respect to Their Recreation Value: A Matrix Growth Model

Melichar, J., Cienciala, M., Albert, J., Braun Kohlová, M., Máca, V., Pavelčík, P. (2022) Forests, 13(9), 1519

Afforestation has been a popular restoration procedure for spoil heaps in the sites affected by coal open-cast mining in the Czech Republic. Forest replantation is a frequent restoration variant when spoil heaps are recovered, but unreclaimed sites are often left to spontaneous succession. Studies on the dynamics of such restored forests are missing, and the evidence of restored forests with respect to their recreation value is also sporadic. To study the dynamics and management of restored forests-both replanted and recovered by spontaneous succession-on spoil heaps, we used a matrix growth model, which accounts for harvest, artificial and natural regeneration, and recreation value of these forest stands. The model calibration was performed on data from 250 inventory plots distributed across the Velka Podkrusnohorska spoil heap and the Matyas spoil heap in the Sokolov brown-coal mining area. The growth model was applied on six restored forest types to simulate-over 65 years with a 10-year cutting cycle-the effect of various management regimes of thinning on their recreation value and aboveground biomass (AGB). The results indicate that initial planting density and stand type have an effect on the dynamics of restored forest stands in the short-term horizon. Applying the thinning management resulted in an increase in recreation value for all types of restored stands, while AGB decreased.


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