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The research deals with the description of basic characteristics of stand structure and regeneration processes according to affecting factors. Characteristics are described before and after large-scale bark beetle outbreak in the high mountain spruce forest of the National Nature Reserve (NNR) Kotlov žľab. In 1968, a series of three permanent research plots (PRP) with the size of 0.50 ha was established at an altitude of 1400–1500 m. Measurements of the stand structure and regeneration processes were carried out in 1968, 1978, 1988, 1998 and 2019. Before the largescale disturbance, the high mountain spruce forest was little differentiated and was dominated by single tree layer with stagnant regeneration. The development in PRP 3, which had initially the lowest number of trees, the highest variability of tree diameters and was located at the lowest altitude, responded best to the effect of disturbance. However, taking into account the forest development after disturbance, we can state that in 2019 there was a sufficient amount of advanced spruce regeneration in all PRPs, which will ensure that development does not take place through early successional stages. In the initial stage of the forest development, rowan could be expected to fill openings among remaining spruce trees.
This study estimates effects of hydrogel Stockosorb and slow-release fertilizer Silvamix on survival, damage, aboveground and root growth, and foliar nutrients concentration of bareroot and containerized Norway spruce (spruce) and European beech (beech) seedlings five years after planting on windthrow area in the Javorie Mts., Central Slovakia. The average survival rate of all seedlings was 74% and 54% one and five years after planting, respectively. Spruce survived better, but was damaged by game more and by drying leading shoot in a similar extent, when compared to beech. Within tree species, bareroot and containerized seedlings showed a comparable survival and growth. Silvamix decreased survival of spruce seedlings, and on the contrary, increased foliar concentration of some macronutrients in all seedlings, and temporarily the aboveground growth of bareroot seedlings; however, a significant effect of the additives neither on the aboveground growth nor on root dry weight, short root frequency and relative abundance of ectomycorrhizal roots was found five years after planting. The results suggest a relatively low survival rate of seedlings, the most probably due to a precipitation deficiency in the first growing season after planting and a certain but inconsistent effects of the additives tested on outplanting seedling performance depending on tree species and planting stocktype used.
A group of saproxylic beetles has become a frequently used as a bioindicator of forest biodiversity. These beetles, especially endangered species, testify very credibly to the preservation of the forest ecosystem. Intensive forest management reduces biodiversity mainly due to the absence of dead wood. Dead wood is also a very important element for the circulation of nutrients and water, and often creates a suitable substrate for the tree regeneration. In this paper, 159 publications dealing with forest biodiversity were analysed. In commercial forests with a full stand canopy and no dead wood, the environment is almost uninhabitable for saproxylic beetles. The main factors that affect the biodiversity of saproxylic beetles are: (1) sun exposure and canopy closure, as the elements that increase or decrease the temperature, and (2) dead wood of all dimensions. Dead wood of large dimensions is not present in the production forests, and therefore the associated species are mostly endangered. Standing snags and large trees are the largest hosts of microhabitats. Intensive forest management significantly reduces all these attributes, and therefore results in lower biodiversity of saproxyls than in the forest reserves.
This study analyzes the structure and short-term development of the spruce old-growth forest situated in the National Nature Reserve Zadná Poľana (Slovakia) during the years 2013 and 2018. Spatial positions and measured DBH (d1.3) and height of all living and dead standing trees with DBH d1.3 >8 cm were inventoried in 20 circular permanent research plots. The area of one circular permanent research plot was 1,000 m2. In 2018, additional measurement of trees with DBH d1.3 >2–8 cm and coarse woody debris inventory was carried out. During five years 2013–2018, a number of standing dead trees demonstrated a relatively big difference (-20.3%). Growing stock (+2.2%) and basal area (+1.3%) of the forest stand slightly increased, diameter DBH distribution of living trees remained with no significant change. Lower mortality rate of spruce (17 pcs ha–1) more or less conserved the bimodal structure of the assessed stand. Increase in the number of juvenile trees (9 pcs ha–1) within the first diameter class compensated spruce decrease only partially. Results of our study suggest the presence of the evident changes in the number of trees even over a relatively short period.
The aim of this work was to assess the effect of stand age and type of forest management on the species richness and abundance of spiders, ground beetles, centipedes, millipedes and woodlice. The arthropods were sampled in four treatments – clearings, young, middle-aged and old forest stands. The effect of management was evaluated for clearings and old forest stands. Clearings and older stands hosted the highest species richness for most of the studied groups of arthropods. On the contrary, the lowest species richness was found mainly in young stands. Our results emphasized the high importance of uneven-aged silviculture. Most species were found in clearings without mechanical soil preparation. Therefore, mechanical soil preparation is not suitable for the studied groups of arthropods. Responses to the management of the old stands varied for different arthropod groups. It is necessary to limit the large-area milling of clearings and maintain continuity of both commercial and non-interventional old forest stands.
Birch, as one of the pioneer species, is a part of the preparatory forest, especially after extensive calamities. In the 1970s and 1980s, it most often served as a substitute stand in connection with the widespread dieback of forests as a result of the effects of air pollution. In recent years, it has become increasingly important in relation to the impacts of climate change. This paper deals with the comparison of selected quantitative and qualitative characteristics of two mixed birch stands at the age of 59 years, having the production and spa-therapeutic function, over a 30-year period. The results showed higher values of quantitative parameters (a number of trees, basal area, and merchantable volume) in the plot with the spa-therapeutic function. Qualitative production was slightly worse in the plot with production function.
The aim of the study was to determine the possibility of using SSR markers for assessing clonal identity of European larch (Larix decidua Mill.) trees in seed orchards and determine the suitability of markers for the analysis of genetic diversity in populations of European larch in the Czech Republic. Total genomic DNA was extracted by DNA Plant Mini Kit (QIAGEN) from young needles taken from 218 sampled trees of two seed orchards. Samples were screened using thirteen selected polymorphic nuclear microsatellite markers. Measuring of the size of amplification products was carried out using Applied Biosystems 3500 genetic analyser. The obtained data was analysed by statistical programs CERVUS and GenAlEx 6.503. 155 different alleles were detected at 13 loci of the 218 larch individuals from two seed orchards. By applying the 13 suitable markers to the 90 clones from model seed orchards we obtained multilocus genotypes (MLG). The obtained results illustrate the utility of the microsatellite loci for assessing spatial patterns of genetic diversity and for individual genotypes identification. 98.24% of the sampled trees could be assigned to the clones represented in the Bílovice seed orchard. The tested genetic loci were verified as highly polymorphic and could be further used for clonal identification and genetic diversity evaluation of European larch trees.
The carcasses of infected wild boars, which gradually degrade in the wild, seem to play a significant role in the spread of African swine fever (ASF). Their consumption by other pigs has been already demonstrated. The aim of the study was to verify the possibility of using dogs with no special training to search for these carcasses. Special dog training, especially for reporting a found carcass, lasts 4–6 months. On the other hand it was found that most dogs, whether hunting or of other breeds, look for decomposing cadaver when moving in the field, but only exceptionally report the found cadaver to the handler. The above mentioned findings led to the verification of the possibility of searching for carcasses (replaced by the decaying skin of a wild boar in this study) using dogs that carry the registration device (surveillance collar, camera). One group consisted of individuals of hunting breeds with standard hunting tests (15 individuals), the other group of dogs of different breeds (including hybrids) with no hunting practice (15 individuals). During the search, the dogs carried cameras that recorded video and registered actual GPS coordinates, speed and current track. A comparison of the work of hunting dogs and dogs without tests showed that hunting dogs reached a higher average (8.21 vs. 4.51 km/h) and maximum speed (18.8 vs. 11.45 km/h) when searching. In conclusion, it can be stated that for searching for carcasses it is possible to use hunting dogs with no special training, equipped with an electronic device that records the movement of the dog and the environment.