A group of young enthusiasts led by doc. Miroslav Svoboda managed to clarify an important issue, which is currently the subject of many disputes in the field of mountain spruce management. According to the traditional paradigm, small-scale forest decay and subsequent regeneration with a predominance of spruce rejuvenation is naturally described, while large-scale decay is considered rather a sign of disturbance of stability in the ecosystem.
However, an extensive study from the Romanian forests corrects the traditionally accepted ideas, because on a landscape scale, disturbances proved to be highly variable in terms of the strength and extent of the affected area. The results document not only small-scale, but also medium-scale and large-scale vegetation disturbance.
Based on a study of the available literature, scientists assume that wind was the main disturbance factor. Other common and probable reasons include the weakening of individuals by parasitic fungi, in which the stands become more susceptible to bark beetle or wind gusts.
The conclusions from the Romanian Calimani and Giumalau mountains can also be applied to Central European forests, due to similar climatic conditions and disturbance dynamics. Such an extensive survey on a landscape scale would not be possible in our region, due to the absence of large natural forests and forest communities in our territory. After all, in how many of our forests can we find 300-year-old spruces, with a long history inscribed in the annual ring zone?
For the forest manager, this leads to the main conclusion that natural mountain spruces do not consist of equatorial stands and we can also call a wide range of vegetation disturbance as natural – from the death of an individual to 10-20 ha of a large area. We should therefore look at the forest cycle as a dynamic process influenced by many habitat and biotic factors rather than as a scheme that a "good" forest must follow…
Svoboda M., Janda P., Bače R., Fraver S., Nagel T. A., Rejzek J., Mikoláš M., Douda J., Boublík K., Šamonil P., Čada V., Trotsiuk V., Teodosiu M., Bouriaud O., Biriş A. I., Sýkora O., Uzel P., Zelenka J., Sedlák V. and Lehejček J., 2013. Landscape-level variability in historical disturbance in primary Picea abies mountain forests of the Eastern Carpathians, Romania. Journal of Vegetation Sciences 25(2): 386-401.
prof. Ing. Miroslav Svoboda, Ph.D. (* 1977)
He studied forestry at the Faculty of Forestry and Wood Sciences, CULS in Prague. He became an associate professor in the field of Ecology in 2009, and currently works as the head of the newly established Department of Forest Ecology at FLD.
Prepared by: Zuzana Michalová