Action B.3 aims to examine close-to-nature forest management practices in different EFTs, for diverse forest management systems. The species composition, stand density and age structure, stand edges/site conditions, genetic structure (B1) and biodiversity (B2.1) is evaluated as well as effect of management on spatial genetic diversity (in collaboration with B1). Best practice guidelines of Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) will be produced from the obtained information. The action is divided into three tasks planned in the demonstration sites.

B3.1 Past influence of silvicultural practices. Studying the effect of past silvicultural practices by comparing pure species/mixed stands in which different forest management have been carried out in the past with old-growth forest/Unmanaged Forest Nature Reserve.

B3.2 Influence of current silvicultural practices. Studying the effect of current silvicultural practices; forest cutting based on low and medium intensity forest management approaches (a minimum of 0.5 ha per site is considered for demonstration purposes) are monitored in demonstration sites.

B3.3 Ongoing regeneration processes. Studying the ongoing regeneration processes by assessing the influence of silvicultural measures in the parental population on genetic diversity of forest trees, the influence of wildlife browsing (fenced vs non-fenced areas) on the diversity of natural regeneration centres, and comparison to the enrichment planting. The study will be carried out at selected demonstration sites (4 replicates of 100 m x 100 m area in each site).

The Action B3 in collaboration with Actions B1 and B2 is defining the effect of SFM in relation to climatic change and the best silviculture practice is addressed to maintain the genetic structure necessary to preserve the forest resilience to environmental disturbances. The GenBioSilvi model developed in B2.2 is tested and validated