Project MZE0002070203 (2009 – 2013)

Stabilisation of forest functions in anthropically disturbed and changing environmental conditions
(coordinator A. Jurasek; 2009 – 2013; No. MZE0002070203)

The Research Plan focuses on the stabilisation of forest functions under anthropically disturbed and changing environmental conditions. At present, these topics are of concern to practically all the forests in the Czech Republic. Research is based on the main activity of the FGMRI and takes into account the obligations resulting from the 4th and 5th Ministerial Conference on the Protection of European Forests (Vienna 2003, Warsaw 2007), Strategic Objectives for European Action Plan for Forest Management (2005) and Action Plan EU for Forests (2006). The Objective of the Research Plan as a whole is to obtain new scientific information on various aspects of forestry and to integrate this information into the strategic objectives of forest management. Specificially, the goal is to improve the sustainability of forest management by increasing biodiversity, preserving and supporting of forest functions and supporting the adaptation to possible changes in environmental conditions. From a nationwide view point the expected new scientific results will be applicable in environment protection and flood prevention.
The Research Plan is, because of its complexity, divided into five interconnected Partial Research Plans (PRP 01 to 05) focusing on the following topic research problems:

Partial intention PRP 01
Ecological stability of forest stands and dynamics of environmental changesy
(coordinator V. Sramek)

PRP 01 will study and evaluate the changes of air pollution and climatic conditions and meteorological stress, and their impact on forest stands in the perspective of today and historical load of acid deposition and ozone impact. The changes and development of climatic conditions, occurrence of extreme weather situations, development of growth and vitality of the forest stands, and site characteristics and biodiversity parameters will also be studied. Attention will be paid to the dynamics of nitrogen, phosphorus and other nutrients and stress elements in the forest ecosystems under changing environmental conditions. The current results of investigation of forest soil characteristics and biodiversity parameters will be evaluated. Present possibilities of the monitoring of the carbon pool in forest soil, nutrition of forest tree species and nutrient supply limits, including the element ratio will be evaluated and studied in detail. The relationship among nutrition, health status and growth of the forest stands and other environmental factors will be evaluated within regions of large air pollution clearcuts. The hydrological part of the project will focus on regions more sensitive to precipitation misbalances (spruce stands at lower altitudes), where water flow in the forest soil, together with the health state and growth of trees will be evaluated under real and/or potential dryness situations. The impact of forest stands of different ages on the changes in chemistry of soil water and water run-off in the forest environment will also be studied.

Partial project is divided into three parts:

  • Changes in air pollution and climatic conditions and their impact on forest stands (Sramek,V.).
  • Dynamics of nutrients and stress elements in the forest ecosystems under changing environmental conditions (Lomsky, B.).
  • Hydrology of forest stands under changing environmental conditions (Biba, M.).

Objectives of the project is to support sustainable forest management with the use of the criteria and indicators of monitoring and evaluation, as adopted by the Ministerial Conference on Forest Protection in Europe (Vienna, 2002).

Partial intention PRP 02
Importance of insect and fungi in forest ecosystems under changing environmental conditions
(coordinator P. Zahradnik)

PRP 02 will focus on the gathering of basic data about the importance and function of selected forest dendrophagous organisms, and analysis and synthesis of the data. The research will focus on the study of symbiotic and competitive relations, management influences on biodiversity, taxonomy, bionomy and population dynamics of forest insects as well as on the possibility of using pathogenic and parasitic organisms in biological forest protection. The studies will concentrate on cambioxylophagous and foliophagous insects plus fungus symbionts and pathogens occurring in forest ecosystems. Changing environmental conditions are influencing the behavior of these organisms and also their distribution and role in forest ecosystems. Species of low economic or cenotic importance or rare species are often becoming more frequent and they may have a high local and/or regional importance in stressed forest stands. Special attention will be paid also to invasive and quarantine species, which may invade or be introduced into the new regions of central Europe and may potentially endanger the health and/or survival of forest stands. This research relates to commitments of the CR resulting from conclusions of ministry conferences on European forests protection (Strasburg, Lisbon, Vienna) and international agreements on biodiversity protection (Rio de Janeiro).

Partial research plan is divided into four thematic blocks:

  • Importance of symbiosis and competition between fungi and forest tree species (V. Peskova).
  • Insect biodiversity in forests under different forest management (P. Zahradnik).
  • Taxonomy, bionomics and population dynamics of forest insects (M. Knizek).
  • Organisms with potential use in biological control. (J. Holusa).

The objectives of the project is to study the structure and function of forests and key groups of organisms with application in ecological methods of forest protection necessary for future biodiversity of forests.

Partial intention PRP 03
Breeding, preservation and reproduction of forest tree species gene pool under changing environmental conditions
(coordinator P. Machova)

Partial intention PRP 03 is aimed at acquiring scientific information about genetically conditioned variability of forest tree species gene pool and partial populations. Within the framework of long-term breeding programs, tests will be done on both quantitative and qualitative characteristics of forest tree species, with the goal of using auto vegetative reproduction methods for creation of synthetic varieties of the tested experimental variants. Provenance research will centre especially on actualisation of reproductive material transfer rules. The objectives of the hybridization experiments are to obtain information on breeding variants genetic parameters, together with selection of valuable hybrid combinations. Also, sources of reproductive material will be tested with the goal of proposing the most valuable variants to be enlisted among second generation seed orchards and tested sources. During the research attention will be paid to valuable forms and ecotypes of forest tree species, including rare and threatened species. Introduced tree species will be tested with regards to their use in changing environmental conditions. Special attention will be paid to problems of fast growing tree species. Biotechnology research will done to acquirement new information about morph-regulation processes of forest tree species micro propagation, growth of explants in vitro during ontogenesis and acceleration of breeding procedures, including genetic engineering. Research in the framework of molecular genetics of forest tree species will be directed towards studies of forest tree species populations’ genetic variability and their certain genetic identification by the gene markers. Research will be done on flowering, fructification, management practices and health of seed orchards of selected species. Also, seed quality and the effects of presowing treatments on dormant tree seed germination will be studied.

Partial project 03 is divided to 5 thematic blocks:

  • Genetic variability, adaptation ability, resistance, production, quality and preservation of forest tree species gene sources (J. Frydl).
  • Alternative utilization of introduced tree species in forest management (F. Beran).
  • Breeding and yield of fast growing trees (L. Cizkova).
  • Biotechnologies and molecular genetics of forest tree species (J. Mala).
  • Production, quality and presowing treatment of forest tree seeds (Z. Prochazkova).

The objective of the research will be the preservation and/or increasing of stability of forest tree species gene and reproductive material sources with the aim to stabilize the basic role of the ecosystems biodiversity.

Partial intention PRP 04
Establishment of forest stands and afforestation under changing environment conditions
(coordinator A. Jurásek)

PRP 04 focuses on forest stand sustainability, regeneration and health of young stands under specific conditions (mountain regions, the lowest locations under threat of drought, extreme soil conditions). Studies will be made on determining the impacts of new nursery and planting technologies upon artificially regenerated stands using propagation by cuttings to reveal their role in increasing forest ecosytem stability. Studies of growth of site-specific-mountain populations will be included. As well, the new problems of regeneration and growth of principal tree species will be examined in terms of biologically and economically appropriate measures for establishment of diversified-mixed stands under conditions of site-specific required forest functions. A dynamic of forest environment restoration on long-term-cultivated former non-forest land will be evaluated including site-induced risks on these localities.

The partial project is falls under three main topics:

  • Biotechnical measures for stability and sustainability of forests using artificial regeneration (Jurasek, A.).
  • Regeneration, conversion and reforestation of forest stands under changing environmental conditions (Soucek, J.).
  • Afforestation and stabilization of tree species plantations on non-forest land (Kacalek, D.).

The research is aimed at preserving and increasing biological diversity, integrity and the health of newly established forest stands including their resistance to probable climate and environmental changes.

Partial intention PRP 05
Support of forest functions by silvicultural treatments during thinning and regeneration of forest stands
(coordinator M. Slodicak)

PRP 05 is aimed at determining the effect of silviculture measures upon maintenance and strengthening of forest functions and providing protection against natural disasters and supporting economical, multifunctional and sustainable forest management. The project deals with different thinning regimes of major tree species in relation to wood production (quantity, quality, sustainability) and health. The project includes the questions of thinning effect (including unthinned variants) upon soil formation and soil protection (litter fall, decomposition and subsequent biomass accumulation in forest-floor humus, carbon sequestration and nutrients turnover) plus diversification of spatial stand structure and stabilization of the stands before conversion including possibilities of near-natural management utilization. Silvicultural measures protecting soil against degradation, supporting optimization of water management in the landscape, inhibiting climatic extremes impact and leading to more structured stands fulfilling demanded forest roles under extreme soil and climate conditions will be proposed and verified. A part of the PRP studies will focus on conversion and diversification of spruce and pine monocultures situated under unsuitable ecological conditions including formation of stand mixtures. The research includes a conversion of first-generation forests.

The partial research plan is divided into three topics:

  • Support of forest roles by tending (Novak, J.).
  • Support of forest roles at regeneration (Cernohous, V.)
  • Support of forest roles by conversion of coniferous monocultures (Slodicak, M.).

The research plan is aimed to get information on silviculture measures leading to increased adaptability and resistance of forest ecosystems in long-term scale under changing environmental conditions.