Growth and C02-exchange were measured on two species in the field layer of ash coppice. Two independent methods for the measurements of photosynthesis were used: the 14C02- method and the U RAS-method. Before coppicing the woodland plant Geum urbanum showed its adaptation to the deciduous woodland environment: a high rate of growth and photosynthesis in the spring light phase, and an adaptation to the shade conditions in summer. The first year after coppicing, Geum showed stunted growth and partly disappeared. Cirsium palustre, on the other hand, germinated after coppicing and demonstrated a high assimilation rate and rapid vegetative growth, which led to abundant blooming in the second year of the coppice cycle.