Our colleagues Jakub Černý, Ondřej Špulák and Jan Leugner scored significantly in scientific competitions at this year’s Bread Basket (Země živitelka)

At the Bread Basket exhibition, awards for extraordinary results of research and experimental development for the year 2023 were traditionally handed to young scientists under 35 years of age, to  support and appreciate their research activities (Award for young scientists), by the Minister of Agriculture. Also, the Award of the Minister of Agriculture for the best realized research result and experimental development was handed, too.

Photos from the left: Ing. Jan Leugner, Ph.D.; Ing. Jakub Černý, Ph.D.; doc. Ing. Vít Šrámek, Ph.D.; Minister of Agriculture Mgr. Marek Výborný

Awards for extraordinary results in research and experimental development in both categories were handed to awarded scientists by the Minister of Agriculture Mgr. Marek Výborný together with the chairman of the Czech Academy of Agricultural Sciences RNDr. Jan Nedělník, Ph.D.

This year, a total of 59 proposals entered the competition for the Minister’s Prize – 28 for the Prize for Young Scientists and 31 for the Prize for the Best Realized Result.

Award of the Minister of Agriculture for young scientists for the year 2023:

The first place: Ing. Zdeněk Vacek, Ph.D., Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague; for the result of the Jimp-peer-reviewed expert article “Production potential, biodiversity and soil properties of forest reclamations: Opportunities or risk of introduced coniferous tree species under climate change” („Potenciál introdukovaných dřevin pro lesnické rekultivace v kontextu klimatické změny“).

The area of human-degraded areas is still increasing, as well as the effect of climate change, which is causing widespread destruction of native tree species. One of the ground-breaking solutions, it is the use of introduced tree species. The innovative result evaluates the potentials and risks of non-native tree species and brings clearly defined cultivation principles for forest reclamation in the period of climate change.

The second place: Ing. Jakub Černý, Ph.D., Forestry and Game Management Research Institute; for the result of the Jimp- peer-reviewed professional paper “Field Measurement of Effective Leaf Area Index using Optical Device in Vegetation Canopy” („Terénní měření efektivního indexu listové plochy pomocí optického zařízení ve vegetačním zápoji“).

The paper presents the methodical procedure for measuring the effective leaf area index (LAI) with the new device LaiPen LP 110, which was developed by the authors of the result and the company PSI, Czech Republic. LAI quantifies the amount of assimilation apparatus in the ecosystem and it presents the interface between vegetation and the atmosphere, where physiological processes, including photosynthesis, take place. That is why LAI enters a number of models (C and water cycle, energy flows) and why it is used for exact evaluation of the health status of vegetation.

Award of the Minister of Agriculture for the best realised result in the year 2023:

The second place: Ing. Ondřej Špulák, Ph.D., Forestry and Game Management Research Institute; for the result of the Jimp-peer-reviewed paper “Measurement of Snow Cover Accumulation and Melting Using New Automated Loggers at Three Study Sites” („Průběh akumulace a tání sněhu měřené novými automatickými sněhoměrnými zařízeními na třech modelových lokalitách“).

The paper discusses the three-year testing of a new snow measuring device, in the development of which the authors participated, in the real conditions of a high-altitude transect in the mountains. The advantages and limitations of the device, which achieves relatively high accuracy even in adverse climatic conditions, have been verified. At the same time, the hitherto unknown framework proportion of evaporation (i.e. steam) from snow during winter was determined, depending on the altitude.

The award was accepted on behalf by doc. Ing. Vít Šrámek, Ph.D., (Director of the Forestry and Game Management Research Institute).

Recognition of the Minister of Agriculture and the Chairman of ČAZV for the high-quality results was achieved by Ing. Jan Leugner, Ph.D.; Forestry and Game Management Research Institute; for the result of the Ztech – verified technology “Planting material of mountain spruce populations for areas of high N deposition” („Sadební materiál populací horského smrku pro oblasti vysokých depozic N“).

The technology is aimed to strengthen the natural proportion of resistant individuals (with a climax growth strategy) in mountain conditions during forest regeneration, and thereby to contribute to strengthening of the future stability of forest stands. Increasing the proportion of individuals with a climax growth strategy in mountain spruce populations during artificial forest regeneration will make it possible to effectively increase the genetic quality and stability of newly established forest stands also in mountain locations with high nitrogen deposition.

So, forestry scientists achieved in this year extraordinary success and they won half of the prizes in the competitions on the Bread Basket (Země živitelka).

You can find more information about the competitions here.