Palo, A.* and Gimbutas, M. 2017. Successional Dynamics of Tree Composition in Mixed Boreo-Nemoral Stands from Habitat Directive Annex I Forest Types *9020, 9050, 9060, *9010. Baltic Forestry 23(3): 546-555.

   Without human influence, boreo-nemoral (hemi-boreal) landscapes on fertile soils would be covered with mixed deciduous-spruce-forest. At the stand level, patches with only dominant tree species (spruce or some broadleaved species) may also be present. Nowadays, human impact seldom allows such forests to reach late-successional phase.

   Our study results confirmed that also Habitat Directive Annex I forest types present on mesic fertile soils in Estonia, are mostly highly human-influenced. Broadleaved forests (*9020) are very common on areas that have been wooded meadows or pastures a century ago. Depending on the soil type, they will remain as broadleaved communities, although the proportions of tree species may change, or they will change to mixed forests with a variable cover of spruce in following generations. In contrast, the current Herb rich spruce forests (9050) will develop into more diverse stands, containing many broadleaved species, especially in the understory. Preferably on Gleysols and probably more frequently on Gleyic Cambisols or Luvisols, the spruce forest belonging to the type *9050 according to spruce coverage criteria may change into Broadleaved old-growth forest type (*9020). Spruce has been highly favored on areas with evidence of management; the trend was confirmed by the analysis of deadwood parameters. The Esker forests (9060) will have a different successional path on Arenosols and Mollic Cambisols. We suggest that increasing the area and connectivity of the fertile soil forest habitat patches will ensure the heterogeneity and availability of habitat conditions and substrates. Therefore, instead of implementing protection measures for each Natura habitat type separately to maintain their current tree composition and structure, which is result of the nineteenth and twentieth century land use practices, the entire forest area on fertile soil should be treated as one unit, within which patches are promoted to follow different trajectories.

   Keywords: Habitat Directive Annex I forest habitat types *9020, 9050, 9060, *9010; changing land use; tree composition; succession; forest conservation.