Current state of European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) forests In Germany
The situation of beech forests in Germany is presented with special consideration of the genetic constitution and conservation of the genetic resources. The occurrence of beech has been influenced by man starting already in Neolithic times, resulting in an area of now 1.565 million ha (reduced area). Beech occupies a broad spectrum of ecological niches, some with a high genetic diversity. A national plan for conserving the genetic resources of all tree species has been developed. A close-to-nature silvicultural concept is being followed aiming at multiple forest functions and uses. Beech forests have suffered in the years following the drought during the summer of 2003, but on the whole the beech forests are highly productive and years of seed production are more frequent. The economics of beech silviculture improved in recent years due to diversification of the uses.