Our research and teaching activities cover a broad range of topics – forest ecology, ecological basics of forest management, theoretical background of forest management, forest establishment (seed production and nursery management), and forest tending and regeneration. The Department team studies forest ecosystems and forest stands of various intensity of management: from natural and close-to-nature managed forests to lignicultures. We also focus on silviculture in various conditions like forest management in protected areas, forest regeneration in polluted areas or reclamation of devastated localities; special attention is paid to forest soils and humus forms. Members of our team are excellent specialists closely collaborating with foresters – this is an important aspect of all research activities. Some of our field research plots are impressive in their character and duration of systematic investigation. Our research and teaching team can take advantage of a field research station Truba and the School Forest Enterprise, both in Kostelec nad Černými lesy. We use top-class equipment and share it with students to help them carry out their qualification projects.
In the early 1990s, our Department was re-established together with the Faculty. We uphold the tradition of “Prague Silviculture School” established by renowned silviculture experts, e.g. prof. Sigmond, Sigmond, Ševčík, Zlatuška, Svoboda and Mezera. Prof. Poleno was another outstanding member of our restored Department – an eminent promoter of close-to-nature silviculture, a trend we regard as fundamental.
We teach a wide range of subjects covering natural forests dynamics, forest ecology, forest stand regeneration, establishment and tending, management of forests in extreme ecological and anthropogenically-induced conditions, or in special-purpose forest plantations. Lately, we have also focused on forest tree species nutrition (especially in nurseries) and forest stand fertilization, in relation to so called urban forestry. Almost all subjects can be taught in Czech and English. Forest Ecology Basics, Silviculture Basics, Silviculture in the Tropics and Subtropics, Forest Management and other subjects are sought after by students from other CZU faculties. The Department is involved in Bc, MSc and PhD programmes.
In forest ecology, we focus on specific issues of humus forms and the way they are affected by silviculture measures, and on spontaneous succession in soils. We study natural forest regeneration and its dynamics in various climate conditions, in all kinds of locations from the lowlands to montane levels. In the field of silviculture, we investigate natural and artificial forest regeneration, introducing broad-leaved tree species to the forest stand composition, and establishing stands with highly-valued broadleaves admixed. Special attention is paid to the introduced tree species, their silviculture and ecological impact. Within CR, we perform a specific and somewhat unique research of applied forest paedology, focused on humus forms. We investigate ways to improve nutrition of forest stands and study silvicultural soil improvement measures, especially on biological and chemical level (soil liming and fertilizing). The results of our studies support forest regeneration in areas affected by pollution and anthropogenic factors where we traditionally collaborate in research with the Forestry and Game Management Research Institute, Forest Research Station of Opočno, especially in the Orlice Mountains. We study areas in the CR (with the Czech-Polish Sudeten and the Šumava Mountains being of enormous interest to us) but abroad as well.
Our Department is involved in the international ERASMUS teacher and student exchange programme and we uphold teacher and student exchange programmes e.g. with the universities in Madrid, Warsaw, Poznań and with the Technical University in Zvolen. In research, we collaborate also with universities in Turkey (Kastamonu, Istanbul, Düzce) and in Poland (Warsaw, Poznań and Kraków).