Old-growth forests are considered as one of the important conservation targets in sustainable management of forest ecosystems. Stand parameters such as age, diameter at breast height, area, species mixture, canopy closure and snag volume per hectare are employed in estimating the value of the old-growth forests. This article is focused on the main stand parameters in determining potential old-growth forest stands by considering survival rate against 40-year of timber management philosophy in Turkey. The changes in the old growth forest stands between 1984 and 2006 were studied in the Balci Forest Planning Unit in Artvin, Turkey. The study showed that the decrease on the old-growth forest area was mainly attributed to the bark beetles. The Caucasian spruce dominated old growth forest stands were the most effected areas by this insect devastation. These stands left their places to the young oriental beech dominated stands. From the social point of view, “the extinct is not only a tree species or the forest ecosystem produced by it but also the cultural values and history in the region.”
Key words: Old-growth forest, forest management, geographic Information systems, forest ecosystems.
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