National Forest Center

Zvolen, Slovakia

National Forest Center

Zvolen, Slovakia
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Schueler S.,Federal Research and Training Center for Forests | Kapeller S.,Federal Research and Training Center for Forests | Konrad H.,Federal Research and Training Center for Forests | Geburek T.,Federal Research and Training Center for Forests | And 8 more authors.
Biodiversity and Conservation | Year: 2013

Genetic resources of forest trees are considered as a key factor for the persistence of forest ecosystems because the ability of tree species to survive under changing climate depends strongly on their intraspecific variation in climate response. Therefore, utilizing available genetic variation in climate response and planting alternative provenances suitable for future climatic conditions is considered as an important adaptation measure for forestry. On the other hand, the distribution of adaptive genetic diversity of many tree species is still unknown and the predicted shift of ecological zones and species' distribution may threaten forest genetic resources that are important for adaptation. Here, we use Norway spruce in Austria as a case study to demonstrate the genetic variation in climate response and to analyse the existing network of genetic conservation units for its effectiveness to safeguard the hotspots of adaptive and neutral genetic diversity of this species. An analysis of the climate response of 480 provenances, clustered into 9 groups of climatically similar provenances, revealed high variation among provenance groups. The most productive and promising provenance clusters for future climates originate from three regions that today depict the warmest and driest areas of the natural spruce distribution in Austria. Gap analysis of the Austrian genetic conservation units in the EUFGIS Portal suggests adequate coverage of the genetic hotspots in southern parts of Austria, but not in eastern and northern Austria. Therefore conservation measures and sustainable utilization of the valuable genetic resources in these regions need to be expanded to cover their high adaptive genetic variation and local adaptation to a warmer climate. The study shows that current conservation efforts need to be evaluated for their effectiveness to protect genetic resources that are important for the survival of trees in a future climate. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Koskela J.,Third University of Rome | Lefevre F.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research | Schueler S.,Federal Research and Training Center for Forests | Kraigher H.,Slovenian Forestry Institute | And 18 more authors.
Biological Conservation | Year: 2013

This paper provides a review of theoretical and practical aspects related to genetic management of forest trees. The implementation of international commitments on forest genetic diversity has been slow and partly neglected. Conservation of forest genetic diversity is still riddled with problems, and complexities of national legal and administrative structures. Europe is an example of a complex region where the distribution ranges of tree species extend across large geographical areas with profound environmental differences, and include many countries. Conservation of forest genetic diversity in Europe has been hampered by a lack of common understanding on the management requirements for genetic conservation units of forest trees. The challenge resides in integrating scientific knowledge on conservation genetics into management of tree populations so that recommendations are feasible to implement across different countries. Here, we present pan-European minimum requirements for dynamic conservation units of forest genetic diversity. The units are natural or man-made tree populations which are managed for maintaining evolutionary processes and adaptive potential across generations. Each unit should have a designated status and a management plan, and one or more tree species recognized as target species for genetic conservation. The minimum sizes of the units are set at 500, 50 or 15 reproducing individuals depending on tree species and conservation objectives. Furthermore, silvicultural interventions should be allowed to enhance genetic processes, as needed, and field inventories carried out to monitor regeneration and the population size. These minimum requirements are now used by 36 countries to improve management of forest genetic diversity. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Schueler S.,Federal Research and Training Center for Forests | Falk W.,Bavarian State Institute of Forestry | Koskela J.,Third University of Rome | Lefevre F.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research | And 5 more authors.
Global Change Biology | Year: 2014

A transnational network of genetic conservation units for forest trees was recently documented in Europe aiming at the conservation of evolutionary processes and the adaptive potential of natural or man-made tree populations. In this study, we quantified the vulnerability of individual conservation units and the whole network to climate change using climate favourability models and the estimated velocity of climate change. Compared to the overall climate niche of the analysed target species populations at the warm and dry end of the species niche are underrepresented in the network. However, by 2100, target species in 33-65 % of conservation units, mostly located in southern Europe, will be at the limit or outside the species' current climatic niche as demonstrated by favourabilities below required model sensitivities of 95%. The highest average decrease in favourabilities throughout the network can be expected for coniferous trees although they are mainly occurring within units in mountainous landscapes for which we estimated lower velocities of change. Generally, the species-specific estimates of favourabilities showed only low correlations to the velocity of climate change in individual units, indicating that both vulnerability measures should be considered for climate risk analysis. The variation in favourabilities among target species within the same conservation units is expected to increase with climate change and will likely require a prioritization among co-occurring species. The present results suggest that there is a strong need to intensify monitoring efforts and to develop additional conservation measures for populations in the most vulnerable units. Also, our results call for continued transnational actions for genetic conservation of European forest trees, including the establishment of dynamic conservation populations outside the current species distribution ranges within European assisted migration schemes. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Bosela M.,National Forest Center | Bosela M.,Czech University of Life Sciences | Petras R.,National Forest Center | Sitkova Z.,National Forest Center | And 7 more authors.
Environmental Pollution | Year: 2014

Silver fir is one of the most productive and ecologically valuable native European tree species, however, it has been experiencing decline which has periodically occurred over its natural range. This paper aims to investigate the recent climate-growth relationships of silver fir (Abies alba Mill.) and its temporal change along the course of its life. Long-term tree-ring databases, as well as records on climate, atmospheric SO2, NO3 and acid concentrations from four different regions in the Western Carpathians were used. The results provide clear evidence of significant increase of silver fir's radial increment over the entire Western Carpathian area since 1970-1980. The results indicated that the most probable factors behind the rapid recovery of tree radial increment were reductions in emissions of NO3 and SO 2, alongside a significant increase in mean June, July and April temperatures. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Bosel'a M.,National Forest Center | Bosel'a M.,Czech University of Life Sciences | Sedmak R.,Czech University of Life Sciences | Sedmak R.,Technical University In Zvolen | And 3 more authors.
Forest Ecology and Management | Year: 2014

Norway spruce (. Picea abies) is one of the most widespread and economically valuable tree species in Europe, however recently it has been experiencing a large-scale decline. In the western Carpathians, particularly forests in the Beskids Mountains have recorded the most extensive health decline ever documented. Climate change during the last several decades has had a significant impact on the functioning of these forest ecosystems. To contribute to the debate on the causes of the spruce decline we conducted a dendroecological study in the Beskids Mountains. A large sample of ring-width series were collected along a transect spanning the large range of ecological conditions in the region. Non-metric multidimensional scaling was used to identify structural similarities between spruce trees in terms of their response to climate variation and to identify the most relevant site- and stand-related variables. Cluster analysis was applied to identify relevant groups of trees. Step-wise linear regression was used to build climate-growth models for chronologies in the clusters. A shifting correlation in 20-year moving segments was used to identify temporal change in spruce climate-growth relationships. Results show that needle loss significantly changed the character of the response when trees with different intensity of defoliation, growing at the same altitude, responded oppositely to the mean summer temperature. In addition, we observe shifts in the climate-growth relationships of spruce trees to spring and summer temperatures when the relationship of trees without or with low defoliation started to decline between 1990 and 1998. This deterioration indicates three hypotheses: (i) climate change (ii) trees that were considered healthy when observed might have started to decline, and this will be visually detectable in the near future; and (iii) rapid reduction of emissions in interaction with the recent climate change. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Bosela M.,Technical University In Zvolen | Bosela M.,National Forest Center | Stefancik I.,National Forest Center | Stefancik I.,Czech University of Life Sciences | And 3 more authors.
Agricultural and Forest Meteorology | Year: 2016

Recent studies have revealed that European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) has significantly increased its growth in Central Europe during the last century but recently started to decline at the edge of its southern distribution. Climate scenarios predict an increased frequency of severe drought events in the future, which is supposed to cause a decline of beech forests even towards the northern edge. Whether the management has the potential to mitigate the negative effects of climate warming has not been fully addressed yet. In order to fill the knowledge gap, we compiled data from 29 long-term research plots (LTRP) at 8 sites across the western Carpathian Mountains (Eastern Europe). The LTRP were established in 1958-84 and measured every 4-5 years till 2015. Development of forest stand attributes including top height (htop), mean quadratic diameter (dq), mean annual tree volume increment (iv̅), periodic annual volume increment (PAIV), mean annual basal area increment (BAI), and total yield production (TY) was compared with the simulations by the Slovakian yield models developed in the 1980s based on data from the period before recent climate change. Results were additionally confronted with the growth of beech forests in a larger Central European region. Results showed an increase of TY since the 1960s compared to the simulated TY, starting from the same value, ranging from 5% to 40% and mainly depending on site quality and average annual temperature. The largest increase was found on less productive sites, which was in line with the previous findings in recent literature. Interestingly, beech TY in the Western Carpathians was found to be lower by -11% on average compared to beech forests in Central Europe (Germany). Moreover, while an increase in the BAI continues in unmanaged forests, it has recently slowed down in forests managed by "free crown thinning" and it even started to decrease in less productive forests where heavy thinning from below was applied. Finally, our results showed that the responses of beech BAI to climate variation significantly depended on tree class. © 2016 Elsevier B.V..

Noguchi K.,Japan Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute | Nagakura J.,Japan Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute | Konopka B.,National Forest Center | Konopka B.,Czech University of Life Sciences | And 3 more authors.
Plant and Soil | Year: 2013

Aims: Nitrogen deposition affect fine-root dynamics, a key factor in forest carbon and nutrient dynamics. This study aimed to elucidate the effects of increased soil inorganic nitrogen (N) levels on the fine-root dynamics of Cryptomeria japonica, which is tolerant to excess N load. Methods: An ammonium nitrate solution (28 kg ha-1 month-1) was applied for 3 years to plots (1 m × 2 m) in a C. japonica plantation. The elongation and disappearance of the fine roots were examined using the minirhizotron technique. Results: The N fertilization increased soil inorganic N content and lowered the soil pH. Fine-root elongation rates increased with fertilization, whereas patterns of their seasonal changes were not affected. The ratio of cumulative disappearance to cumulative elongation of fine roots was lower in the N-fertilized plots than in the control plots. The mean diameter of the fine roots was not affected by N fertilization. Conclusions: Our results suggest that C. japonica can respond to increased levels of soil inorganic N by increasing both the production and residence time of the fine roots. However, the effects of the changing soil N content are less evident for the phenology and morphology of the fine roots in C. japonica. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Priwitzer T.,National Forest Center | Caboun V.,National Forest Center
Folia Oecologica | Year: 2013

This paper presents the results of ecophysiological research of European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) in high-productive mixed forests of the Slovak Poľana Mountain. This research was performed in the research and demonstration object Pol'ana - Hukavský grúň. The radiation, temperature and humidity regimes, as well as daily dynamic of photosynthetic activity and electric resistance of cambial tissue are presented within the whole beech crown profile. The impact of meteorological conditions on selected physiological processes was studied. The results confirmed close correlation between a diameter of trees d1, 3 and biofield, as well as between a biofield and cambial tissue's electric resistance. The considerable differences in CO2 uptake within individual beech crown layers were determined.

Barna M.,Slovak Academy of Sciences | Barna M.,Czech University of Life Sciences | Bosela M.,Czech University of Life Sciences | Bosela M.,National Forest Center
Forest Ecology and Management | Year: 2015

Biodiversity is deemed to play an important role in adaptation of forest ecosystems to climate change. However, there is ongoing research to determine if the best way to preserve or increase biodiversity is through leaving forest ecosystems to their natural-development. In this study we investigated how forest management can influence tree species diversity in a natural regenerating beech-dominated forest ecosystem. For this purpose, long-term research plots were established in 1989 to simulate different intensities of cutting intervention (including clear-cut) in mature forest stands. The natural regeneration was surveyed five times during the period between 2002 and 2012, 14-24. years after the initial cutting. In addition to forest density, tree species and diversity indices (Hill E5 and Shannon H') were used to quantify diversity and temporal change. Results show that management can impact development and diversity of natural regeneration, but this varied with management intensity. Only the initial cutting affected the development of successive young stands, and additional interventions did not lead to further changes in biodiversity. Beech, as the dominant species of the forests in long-term plots, had a high competitive ability however, the proportion of beech regeneration depended on the intensity of the initial cutting: more canopy openness resulted in a lower proportion of regeneration. Since beech is the most competitive species in the region, the most intensive forest management would be required to increase species diversity. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

Lalkovic M.,National Forest Center | Pajtikova J.,National Forest Center
WIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment | Year: 2010

In 2008 the wildfire smoke detection system Forestwatch® was introduced to Slovakia. The operational trial was set up at the State Forest Enterprise Kriváň and covered about 60,000 ha of mostly forested area. The trial benefited from the transfer of know-how from abroad. In 2008-2009, the trial focused on the system implementation and testing its feasibility in Slovak conditions. The trial results have fully confirmed its suitability for wider use in Slovak forests. © 2010 WIT Press.

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