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Projects / Programmes source: ARRS

Measures for improvement of forest production potentials

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
degraded stands, site index, conversion, restoration, planting, secondary succession, immigration, s
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (16)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publications
1.  29881  Tomaž Adamič    Technician  2011 - 2014  32 
2.  10801  PhD Andrej Bončina  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  500 
3.  11958  PhD Robert Brus  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  722 
4.  15493  PhD Matjaž Čater  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  286 
5.  11253  PhD Jurij Diaci  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Principal Researcher  2011 - 2014  698 
6.  27615  PhD Andrej Ficko  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Technician  2011 - 2014  143 
7.  26070  PhD Kristjan Jarni  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Technician  2011 - 2014  95 
8.  20035  PhD Aleš Kadunc  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  149 
9.  32063  Petra Kajdiž  Biotechnical sciences  Junior researcher  2011 - 2014 
10.  28501  PhD Matija Klopčič  Biotechnical sciences  Technician  2011 - 2014  153 
11.  27544  PhD Thomas Andrew Nagel  Biotechnical sciences  Researcher  2011 - 2014  213 
12.  25666  PhD Aleš Poljanec  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  223 
13.  24368  PhD Andrej Rozman  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  107 
14.  21043  PhD Dušan Roženbergar  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Technician  2011 - 2014  217 
15.  30432  Tihomir Rugani    Technician  2011 - 2014  36 
16.  10008  PhD Milan Šinko  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Technician  2011 - 2014  122 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publications
1.  0404  Slovenian Forestry Institute  Ljubljana  5051673000  11,778 
2.  0481  University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty  Ljubljana  1626914  64,118 
Abstract
Increased utilisation of biological production is important prerequisite for future sustainable development. In Slovenia the production capacity of forests in terms of volume and quality can be significantly increased with conversion of low-yield stands, which account for nearly a quarter of forest sites. Many degraded stands bear marks of the past (overuse, litter gathering, forest grazing, plantations). Although inappropriate forest use has been abandoned, the share of low-yield forests has not been decreasing as farmland is spontaneously overgrown and forests are affected by natural disasters. Conversion is also vital in stands with altered tree composition, which account for about a tenth of forest area and represent the core of the problem of instable stands (bark beetles, root rot, snowbreak, windbreak). For conversions to be successful, knowledge about their area, priorities and silvicultural methods need to be combined with forestry-policy aspects such as ways to encourage and motivate forest owners. Increased use of tree biomass may even make low-yield forests a development opportunity. Main goals of the project are: 1) identify, analyze and compare forest areas with reduced growth and stability, 2) prepare silvicultural strategies for conversion of low-yield and unstable forests, and 3) economically evaluate, set priorities and propose forestry-policy measures. In accordance with these goals, we divided the project to three work packages (WP). In the WP1 we will identify forest areas in need of conversion (low-yield stands, unstable stands) with forestry databases using indicators such as site productivity, growth, stand structure, tree composition, growing stock, wood quality structure, stand size, forest infrastructure and amount of needed investment. On the basis of multi-criteria models underpinned by expert estimates, we will design lists of priority action. For the WP2 we selected three characteristic forest areas for conversion on the basis of economic (overgrowing areas in Haloze), ecological (spruce plantations within a pre-Alpine beech-silver fir forest site) and combined reasons (black pine plantations in the Karst – sub-Mediterranean). Variant proposals of silvicultural measures will be made for all three areas including ecological and economical comparison of traditional approach, alternative approach and minimal tending activity. Emphasis will be placed on the conversion with natural and combined regeneration and the study of immigration of target tree species. The majority of the project work in the WP2 will be dedicated to Karst forest, where conversion is of particular importance due to the poor health of black pine plantations and climate change (higher temperatures, more frequent drought). For natural and combined regeneration we will design multiple filed experiments for long-term study of the interactions between seedling establishement, their further development (qualitative, quantitative and physiological indicators) and ecological factors (gap size, position within gap, soil and microclimate conditions). For combined regeneration we will make experimental oak plantations (sessile oak, Turkey oak) and minority tree species (wild cherry, service tree). Emphasis will be on emmigration potential, early sexual maturity and fertility of target tree species. In the WP3 we will conduct economic evaluation and comparison of alternative silvicultural measures in selected areas. We will study best practices abroad, propose new ways to encourage and motivate forest owners to take action, and prepare the grounds for changes to the system of forest subventions. Results of the project will be important nationally by allowing a comprehensive overview of conversion (priority areas, ways to activate forest owners) and will lead to improved utilization of biological forest production in the long term. Selected examples of best practices will help foresters in the field to take direct action.
Significance for science
In this project the knowledge, available in Slovenia in the field of forest conversion was upgraded with new scientific knowledge from abroad. Classic research approach was advanced with the economic assessment and feasibility analysis. We prepared a number of research facilities in the Karst, Haloze and Krasica area, which have the potential for further research development. The research project involved numerous students who were working on their undergraduate and graduate work and participated in the direct field measurements, so the project has contributed to the training of future experts in the field. In this way the transfer the results of the project was done in direct way. The results of the project have been included in the updated study material covering low productivity forest and its conversion. New knowledge is already disseminated through lectures in several Forestry faculty classes: phytosociology, dendrology, silviculture, wood production and forest economics. The results of the project are an important starting point to develop methodologies to study and treat low productivity and altered forests in, but also outside Slovenia. There is an active collaborration in progress with researchers from Italy and Croatia (the project covering related research is Croatian Istria started in the end of year 2014). The international dissemination of scientific knowledge from the project will be possible through planned and already carried out (see report) scientific publications in indexed international scientific journals.
Significance for the country
Project results are important for sustainable development of Slovenia since they will influence on more efficient and rational management of low yield and endangered forests. Project conclusions serve as basis for adjusted management and forest conversion on several levels - from state to local communities and forest owners. Project results will contribute to more efficient use of forest products, more rational use of forests, correct decision making in forest policy, delovopment of silviculture, improvement of forest management and to activate production potential of Slovenian forests. Recognition and comparison analysis of sites with large discrepancy between current yield and potential capacity of yield of the given site enables prioritising of measures on national (forest policy, forest owner motivation) as well as operative level (better sylvicultural plans, implementation into practise). List of possible inovative silvicultral approaches and good examples that arouse during cooperation with forest owners and local foresters will contribute to active forest management of forest in the areas of the test sites (Kras, Haloze, pre-Alpine fir-beech forest). Successful conversion of forest stands largely depends on economic analysis of measures and suggestions regarding forest policy (silviculturaly projects, subsidies system) as well as on motivation of forest owners. Project could indirectly influence the mobilization of timber in Slovenia, furthermore extended program of conversion could result in higher volumes of timber for plywood and biomass and higher volume and value increment of stands in longer term. The object of conversion, i.e. improvement are low yield and converted forests. Improvement in the first group of forests indicates options for increasing the production of volume and quality. Improving the structure of the second group means less risk for natural disturbances and therefore sustaining long term of ecosystem services of these forests. Therefore we expect significant contribution of proejct results in the field of natureconservation and sustainable development. During the project operations we established connection with participants, e.g. Slovenian Forest Service, logging companies and forest owners. On several sites that represent example of good practise we maneged to successfuly connect scientific and professional work and to motivate forest owners. Tranfer of knowledge had several ways, therefore we expect that these examples of good practises will continue in the future. Inclusion of Forest Service employees in reasearch will contribute to developlmental potential and improvement of administration activity.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2011, 2012, 2013, final report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2011, 2012, 2013, final report
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