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Nature forests dynamics in the Temperate Zone of Europe

A network of 19 permanent research plots in natural forest reserves in Slovakia covers the range of forest types and has been investigated for more than five decades by the Department of Silviculture. This network has been built in the most valuable natural forest remnants since the late 1950s and has provided unique data-sets on natural forest. The series of permanent research plots covers 7 altitudinal forest vegetation zones present in Slovakia (oak, oak-beech, beech-oak, beech, beech-fir, beech-fir- spruce, and spruce).

Typically, a set of three rectangular plots with the size of 0.5 ha each was established in each reserve and repeated measurements have been taken every 10 years. On these research plots, all living trees, standing deadwood and lying deadwood, and the structure of natural regeneration were recorded. At the present time, besides periodic measurements, the research also pays attention to the disturbance
regimes in natural forests. The main aim is the analysis of the structural diversity and the identification of possible causes according to developmental stages on the plots.

We evaluate whether the large-scale wind and bark beetle disturbances are the phenomenon of the last decade, or if they are an ordinary part of subalpine spruce forest development in the conditions of Slovakia. The focus is on age structure and tree recruitment in time; intensity and periodicity of disturbances – reconstruction of disturbance regime; role of disturbances in the development of forest ecosystems. 


KUCBEL, S., SANIGA, M., JALOVIAR, P., VENCURIK, J., 2012: Production, stand structure and temporal variability in old-growth beech-dominated forests of northwestern Carpathians: A 40-year perspective. Forest Ecology and Management.264/2/:125-133

SANIGA, M., BUGOŠOVÁ, L., KUCBEL, S., JALOVIAR, P., PITTNER, J., 2014: Structure, dendromass distribution, disturbance regime and regeneration processes of old-growth forest in NNR Rožok /a 30 years study/. Scientific Monograph TU Zvolen, ISBN 978-80-228-2617-4, 61 pp.

SANIGA, M., BALANDA, M., KUCBEL, S., PITTNER, J., 2014: Four decades of forest succession in the oak- dominated forest reserves in Slovakia. In iForest – biogeosciences and forestry .Vol. 7 (2014), p. 324-332.


prof. Dr. Milan Saniga
Dr. Stanislav Kucbel
Dr. Peter Jaloviar
Dr. Ján Pittner
Dr. Denisa Sedmáková


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Prof. Dr. Milan Saniga
Department of Silviculture

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