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Projects / Programmes source: ARRS

Suitability of Douglas Fir and other non-native tree species in the restoration of forests through planting and sowing in Slovenia

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
4.01.01  Biotechnical sciences  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Forest - forestry 

Code Science Field
B430  Biomedical sciences  Sylviculture, forestry, forestry technology 

Code Science Field
4.01  Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences  Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries 
Keywords
non-native tree species, Douglas fir, forest restoration, silviculture, forest reproductive material, wood properties, climate change
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (37)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publications
1.  29881  Tomaž Adamič    Technician  2018 - 2021  32 
2.  29875  Marko Bajc  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2018 - 2021  273 
3.  14869  PhD Gregor Božič  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2018 - 2021  492 
4.  11958  PhD Robert Brus  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Principal Researcher  2018 - 2021  722 
5.  15493  PhD Matjaž Čater  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2018 - 2021  286 
6.  02937  PhD Katarina Čufar  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2018 - 2021  936 
7.  52663  Rok Damjanić    Technician  2020 - 2021  130 
8.  29092  PhD Maarten De Groot  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2018 - 2021  606 
9.  11253  PhD Jurij Diaci  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2018 - 2021  698 
10.  52869  Natalija Dovč    Technician  2020 - 2021 
11.  34320  PhD Gal Fidej  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2018 - 2021  75 
12.  32936  Samo Grbec  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2018 - 2021  13 
13.  21242  PhD Tine Grebenc  Plant production  Researcher  2018 - 2021  456 
14.  30165  PhD Tine Hauptman  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2018 - 2021  198 
15.  28855  Melita Hrenko    Technician  2018 - 2021 
16.  19106  PhD Miha Humar  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2018 - 2021  1,196 
17.  26070  PhD Kristjan Jarni  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2018 - 2021  95 
18.  07948  PhD Dušan Jurc  Forestry, wood and paper technology    2018 - 2021  669 
19.  02491  PhD Maja Jurc  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2018 - 2021  564 
20.  33222  PhD Andreja Kavčič  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2018 - 2021  1,030 
21.  07127  PhD Hojka Kraigher  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2018 - 2021  1,297 
22.  37425  PhD Davor Kržišnik  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2018 - 2021  155 
23.  15108  PhD Lado Kutnar  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2018 - 2021  767 
24.  28503  PhD Boštjan Lesar  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2018 - 2021  411 
25.  20842  PhD Aleksander Marinšek  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2018 - 2021  354 
26.  24268  PhD Tanja Mrak  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2018 - 2021  118 
27.  27544  PhD Thomas Andrew Nagel  Biotechnical sciences  Researcher  2018 - 2021  213 
28.  23448  PhD Nikica Ogris  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2018 - 2021  1,086 
29.  13256  Roman Pavlin  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Technician  2018 - 2021  86 
30.  25448  PhD Barbara Piškur  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2018 - 2021  819 
31.  24368  PhD Andrej Rozman  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2018 - 2021  107 
32.  21043  PhD Dušan Roženbergar  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2018 - 2021  217 
33.  31877  PhD Nataša Šibanc  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2018 - 2021  72 
34.  24777  Barbara Štupar    Technician  2018 - 2021  29 
35.  38188  PhD Tina Unuk Nahberger  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Junior researcher  2018 - 2020  42 
36.  24343  PhD Marjana Westergren  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2018 - 2021  384 
37.  28401  PhD Peter Železnik  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2018 - 2021  180 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publications
1.  0404  Slovenian Forestry Institute  Ljubljana  5051673000  11,847 
2.  0481  University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty  Ljubljana  1626914  64,100 
Abstract
In the coming years, large areas of affected or destroyed forests will have to be restored or rejuvenated in Slovenia. When selecting tree species that will be able to grow and perform well in the long run, site suitability and ecological acceptability, profitability, availability of forest reproductive material and costs of restoration and tending will have to be taken into account. Climate change and increasingly frequent natural disturbances will lead to the retreat of some tree species from certain habitats or even changes in their distribution range (e.g., Norway spruce), and there is also the possibility of the emergence of new, as yet unknown, diseases and pests that could affect our native tree species. In such cases, these species will need to be replaced by more resilient, preferably native, tree species and their provenances. However, there is no guarantee that the range of native tree species will be sufficient to meet the requirements necessary to achieve all objectives over the long term. Therefore, when selecting the appropriate tree species, it is strategically wise to prepare backup or alternative solutions that could in some cases include non-native tree species (NNTS). In addition to the timber production potential and profitability of NNTS, their potential better adaptability to climate change or better resilience to biotic and abiotic factors could be important. In Slovenia, like elsewhere in Europe, NNTS began to be planted on a large scale in forests at the end of the 19th century. After black locust, species such as eastern white pine, Douglas fir and northern red oak account for the largest share of the wood stock of NNTS in Slovenian forests. In recent decades, the use of NNTS has declined markedly and has almost ceased today. However, a gradual increase in the use of NNTS in order to replace even a small share of removed native species or to increase the profitability of forests is not without risk to the natural environment, as these species could cause undesirable effects on autochthonous vegetation, impair site conditions, overgrow domestic species or even become invasive. Another risk of future cultivation of these species may also be their poor adaptive capacity, which would make plantations or stands unsuccessful and unprofitable. The gradual introduction or increase in growing intensity of NNTS must therefore be supported by the results of long-term and thorough testing. Unfortunately, in Slovenia there is little research or practical experience that would enable scientifically-based recommendations on the use and cultivation of NNTS. The number of NNTS that have been planted or tested so far is limited; the number of existing plantations and provenance tests allowing analysis is limited; and many of them are approaching the final cut period. Therefore, now is the last opportunity to analyze NNTS, evaluate their adaptability and economic performance, gather experience and determine which of them could be more intensively used in the future without serious threat to the natural environment. Some NNTS in Slovenia have already clearly shown good adaptability in difficult conditions (e.g., the resistance of Douglas fir to ice storms, drought and bark beetle attack in areas where Norway spruce has been severely affected). Moreover, they have not negatively impacted the environment and have great potential for fulfilling several functions, including profitability, which is an important priority of forest owners. Douglas fir is one of the few non-native tree species that has been cultivated in our country for a long enough period to enable a full evaluation of its potential and risks. In addition, in the future it will also be necessary to analyse in a comprehensive way some of the other most common non-native tree species. In addition to the most widespread non-native tree species, it is necessary to begin experimenting as soon as possible with other as yet unused species, as decades of
Significance for science
The contribution to the development of science will be achieved through the analysis of the success of the current cultivation of non-native tree species (NNTS) and their possible impact on the environment through analysis of provenance tests and through the development and use of molecular methods for the identification of the provenances of Douglas fir. Another contribution to the development of science will be the testing of wood properties with an emphasis on the resilience of various, as yet not well known, NNTS and studies on the regeneration ecology of NNTS. The project will also contribute to the development of forestry and the forestry profession, initially by encouraging a professional debate on NNTS, which, for various reasons, has been practically non-existent in recent decades. A selection of non-native tree species and their provenances appropriate for growing on a slightly larger scale, or to test more intensively in Slovenia, will be proposed. Clear guidelines for the selection of provenances and guidelines for extraction, processing, storage, testing and use of FRM of Douglas fir and, if necessary, other NNTS will be presented to the public forest service. The results will be useful for the establishment and tending of plantations or groups of NNTS in Slovenia with the greatest emphasis on Douglas fir. Since 1990 practically no plantations of NNTS have been established in Slovenia. Therefore, establishing experimental plantations is a very important goal, since only in this way will we be able to acquire our own experience and solutions necessary for the future. Within the project we will establish at least two experimental plantations, one in the university forests in Vrhnika and the other in the Pahernik forests on Pohorje. The plantations will also serve to educate students, forestry professionals and forest owners. Within the project we will also acquire new knowledge, which will be directly included in the education process. Findings of individual work packages will also contribute to the basic information and data needed for the implementation of tasks in other work packages.
Significance for the country
Through the results of the project and the transfer of knowledge, we will contribute to the long-term stability and adaptability of Slovenian forests in terms of fulfilling all of their ecosystem services. The retreat of Norway spruce in the lowlands and hills due to environmental changes is becoming inevitable, and as a result of climate change and large herbivore browsing, the cultivation of silver fir is becoming increasingly difficult. In the future high demand for softwood timber is expected, but it will be difficult to fulfill with native species. This gap could be partially filled by NNTS. The use of NNTS can increase the direct value of forests for owners, both due to the higher timber value and through the registration of new seed objects, which could provide the possibility of additional income for forest owners in the future. Production and sales of NNTS seedlings will increase competitive advantage and the income of forest nurseries, with higher prices of these seedlings and the increased overall use of forest tree seedlings. The results of the project will have direct effects on the timber processing industry, which will face a huge shortage of raw material that will not be able to be replaced in the short term. The project will indicate which NNTS can be useful substitutes for native conifers and which might even surpass natives in terms of quality. The project will demonstrate on which sites and in which way these species can be promoted to establish healthy, resilient, adaptable and recoverable forests.The results of the project will be important for establishing the conditions for the possibility of using NNTS in Slovenian forestry (professional bases for regulation changes, review of the origin of selected Douglas fir stands in Slovenia, preparation of protocols and special part of the Seed Husbandry Practicum (Semenarski praktikum) for direct use in practice).
Most important scientific results Annual report 2018, 2019, 2020
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2018, 2019, 2020
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