By Klaus J Puettmann; K Dave Coates; Christian C Messier

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Natural forests in central Europe commonly contained multiple tree species, and early management efforts did not pay particular attention to or even affect species composition. The first notable exceptions were large, wide-crowned oak and beech that were favored to ensure high seed production as nutritious food for animals (Mantel 1990). In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, as management practices intensified, the choice of species and the question of monocultures versus species mixtures became topics of intense discussion (Hausrath 1982).

Early in the twentieth century, silvicultural books began to formally 38 a critique of silviculture: manag ing for complexity acknowledge scientific findings as a basis for silvicultural decision making. For example, Mayr (1909) first presented scientific data in his silviculture book. Morosov (1920) included the first treatment of site and stand-type classifications. Shortly thereafter, scientific progress in subjects like botany, climatology, and soil science was addressed and the importance of site characteristics on growth of forest trees was recognized (Rubner and Leiningen-Westerburg 1925).

The devastating windstorms in central Europe during the spring of 1990 became a turning point for the movement in terms of widespread interest. org) and developed formal principles that include natural regeneration, continuous forest cover of mixed-species stands, and allowing natural processes in all aspects of silviculture (Pommerening and Murphy 2004). A parallel historical assessment points out that early North American literature started by describing silvicultural systems developed and established in Europe (Hawley 1921).

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