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'Groupement Forestier des montagnes particulières de': a case from the mountains of southwestern France


General information on the forests of the GF des montagnes particulières de Hèches.

Forest communityMostly mixed beech-fir montane forest (Fagion sylvaticae and Luzulo-Fagion). Locally Tilio-Acerion ravine forests and Cephalantero-Fagion dry beech forest
Total forest area930 ha (+272 ha of subalpine meadows)
Main management typeSelective cutting system
Total mean volumeVery wide range according to a wide array of soil conditions; from a few m3/ha (rocky soils) to more than 600 m3/ha (thick fertile soils)
Annual growthVery variable. More than 10 m3/ha for the most productive stands
DeadwoodWide range depending on local conditions and management intensity: from 9 to 60 m3/ha (diameter >10 cm)
Altitude620–1900 m a.s.l. (forest: 620–1500 m)
OwnershipPrivate forest; ‘Groupement Forestier’ status
Geology23 different substrates. Four main categories: (i) hard nutrient-rich Mesozoic limestones and dolomites; (ii) soft nutrient-rich Mesozoic clayey limestones and marls; (iii) acidic nutrient-poor Palaeozoic shales, Mesozoic puddingstones (conglomerate), ophite, etc.; and (iv) very acidic and strongly nutrient-poor Palaeozoic quartzite and shales
Protected area0 ha
Nature protection area (Natura 2000)0 ha
Protected area for the water spring of the
20 ha with specific constraints on management
Area without harvestingRoughly 200 ha (20 %)