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500 years of coppice-with-standards management in Meerdaal Forest (Central Belgium)

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Abstract
For centuries, coppice and coppice-with-standards were the main forest management systems in the northern and central parts of present Belgium. A high population density and a low forest cover in the whole region resulted in a high demand for wood, therefore strict regulations and management regimes were necessary to prevent overexploitation. We illustrate this with a well-documented case, that of Meerdaal Forest in Central Belgium, with reference to other sites in the region. Meerdaal Forest is a woodland 30 km east of Brussels. For centuries its high quality timber stands, especially oak, were managed as coppice-with-standards, with a gradually increasing share of standard trees. Using archive documents and ancient maps, we have reconstructed how this coppice-with-standard management has been developed and optimized over a period of about 500 years. Changes in cutting cycles and configurations were discerned, with a gradual increase of the importance of the standard layer over time. The analysis also showed how wood production could be successfully combined with other sources of income like grazing and pannage. We conclude that former managers of Meerdaal Forest, notwithstanding their lack of scholarship and reference works, developed a state-of-the-art sustainable and flexible management regime that allowed to provide high revenues during many centuries.
Keywords
Coppice-with-standards, Archive Documents, Ancient Maps, Long-term Forest Changes, Grazing, Pannage, NORTHERN BELGIUM, BIODIVERSITY, WOODLANDS, FLANDERS

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MLA
Vandekerkhove, Kris et al. “500 Years of Coppice-with-standards Management in Meerdaal Forest (Central Belgium).” IFOREST-BIOGEOSCIENCES AND FORESTRY 9.4 (2016): 509–517. Print.
APA
Vandekerkhove, K., Baeté, H., Van Der Aa, B., De Keersmaeker, L., Thomaes, A., Leyman, A., & Verheyen, K. (2016). 500 years of coppice-with-standards management in Meerdaal Forest (Central Belgium). IFOREST-BIOGEOSCIENCES AND FORESTRY, 9(4), 509–517.
Chicago author-date
Vandekerkhove, Kris, Hans Baeté, Beatrijs Van Der Aa, Luc De Keersmaeker, Arno Thomaes, Anja Leyman, and Kris Verheyen. 2016. “500 Years of Coppice-with-standards Management in Meerdaal Forest (Central Belgium).” Iforest-biogeosciences and Forestry 9 (4): 509–517.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Vandekerkhove, Kris, Hans Baeté, Beatrijs Van Der Aa, Luc De Keersmaeker, Arno Thomaes, Anja Leyman, and Kris Verheyen. 2016. “500 Years of Coppice-with-standards Management in Meerdaal Forest (Central Belgium).” Iforest-biogeosciences and Forestry 9 (4): 509–517.
Vancouver
1.
Vandekerkhove K, Baeté H, Van Der Aa B, De Keersmaeker L, Thomaes A, Leyman A, et al. 500 years of coppice-with-standards management in Meerdaal Forest (Central Belgium). IFOREST-BIOGEOSCIENCES AND FORESTRY. 2016;9(4):509–17.
IEEE
[1]
K. Vandekerkhove et al., “500 years of coppice-with-standards management in Meerdaal Forest (Central Belgium),” IFOREST-BIOGEOSCIENCES AND FORESTRY, vol. 9, no. 4, pp. 509–517, 2016.
@article{8530682,
  abstract     = {For centuries, coppice and coppice-with-standards were the main forest management systems in the northern and central parts of present Belgium. A high population density and a low forest cover in the whole region resulted in a high demand for wood, therefore strict regulations and management regimes were necessary to prevent overexploitation. We illustrate this with a well-documented case, that of Meerdaal Forest in Central Belgium, with reference to other sites in the region. Meerdaal Forest is a woodland 30 km east of Brussels. For centuries its high quality timber stands, especially oak, were managed as coppice-with-standards, with a gradually increasing share of standard trees. Using archive documents and ancient maps, we have reconstructed how this coppice-with-standard management has been developed and optimized over a period of about 500 years. Changes in cutting cycles and configurations were discerned, with a gradual increase of the importance of the standard layer over time. The analysis also showed how wood production could be successfully combined with other sources of income like grazing and pannage. We conclude that former managers of Meerdaal Forest, notwithstanding their lack of scholarship and reference works, developed a state-of-the-art sustainable and flexible management regime that allowed to provide high revenues during many centuries.},
  author       = {Vandekerkhove, Kris and Baeté, Hans and Van Der Aa, Beatrijs and De Keersmaeker, Luc and Thomaes, Arno and Leyman, Anja and Verheyen, Kris},
  issn         = {1971-7458},
  journal      = {IFOREST-BIOGEOSCIENCES AND FORESTRY},
  keywords     = {Coppice-with-standards,Archive Documents,Ancient Maps,Long-term Forest Changes,Grazing,Pannage,NORTHERN BELGIUM,BIODIVERSITY,WOODLANDS,FLANDERS},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {509--517},
  title        = {500 years of coppice-with-standards management in Meerdaal Forest (Central Belgium)},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.3832/ifor1782-008},
  volume       = {9},
  year         = {2016},
}

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