Bretz Guby NA, Dobbertin M (1996) Quantitative estimates of coarse woody debris and standing dead trees in selected Swiss forests. Global Ecology and Biogeography Letters, 5 (6): 327-341.


woody debris, forest ecology, Methods: quantitative assessment, quantitative assessment


Coarse woody debris and standing dead trees play a crucial role in biodiversity and the functioning of forest ecosystems. Little information is currently available concerning the amount and distribution of coarse woody debris in Swiss forests, and little is known about the relative abundance of lying dead trees and standing dead trees in managed and unmanaged forests. In this study, data were collected from eleven sites in order to assess the volume and the decay stages of coarse woody debris and of standing dead trees. There were substantial differences in deadwood volume between sites, but sampling variability was high. The amount of dead wood found in the study sites was substantially smaller than the estimated amount from studies in virgin forests and in the range of values found for other managed and unmanaged forests in Europe. Most of the dead wood material belonged to young decay states. As expected, there was more dead wood in unmanaged than in managed stands, and in mature stands as compared with young stands. In particular, most unmanaged stands had significantly more standing dead trees than most managed stands, indicating that, in Switzerland, diseased and dead trees are removed by salvage cutting.

LWF Classification

Network: LWF, Sites: Alptal Bettlachstock Chironico Isone Jussy Lausanne Neunkirch Novaggio Othmarsingen Vordemwald, Category: ISI,