The species composition of the ground vegetation in coppice woods is known to be greatly influenced by the various systems of coppice management. Both the simple method with clearfellings at the end of each rotation and the composite coppice system with shading trees have significant effects on the microclimate under the canopy and even on the physical and chemical properties of the soil or the water balance. The early silvicultural system included preparation of the soil in order to create a suitable habitat for the species of trees that it was desired to grow. The most important species under coppice management in the 18th. and 19th centuries was pedunculate oak (Quercus robur). The required conditions on dry, sandy soils were frequently achieved by digging to a substancial depth, whereas low-lying and waterlogged soils had to be drained. An example of the latter may be seen in the sequence where wet, non-loamy podzolic cover sands, poor in nutrients, change gradually into peaty soils in the more eutrophic conditions of lowland stream valleys.