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Projects / Programmes source: ARRS

Updating of the vegetation system for the forest management planning purposes

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
forest site, potential vegetation, information system, forest management planning, habitat type, nat
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (14)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publications
1.  14869  PhD Gregor Božič  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  492 
2.  10194  PhD Andraž Čarni  Biology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  552 
3.  08376  PhD Igor Dakskobler  Biology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  668 
4.  32936  Samo Grbec  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Technician  2011 - 2014  14 
5.  27605  PhD Milan Kobal  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  339 
6.  16067  PhD Andrej Kobler  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  284 
7.  16206  PhD Petra Košir  Biology  Researcher  2011 - 2012  129 
8.  17333  Robert Krajnc    Technician  2013 - 2014  54 
9.  15108  PhD Lado Kutnar  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Principal Researcher  2011 - 2014  768 
10.  20842  PhD Aleksander Marinšek  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2011 - 2012  354 
11.  10264  PhD Primož Simončič  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  680 
12.  17094  PhD Urban Šilc  Biology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  396 
13.  22592  PhD Urša Vilhar  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  398 
14.  21137  Daniel Žlindra  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  159 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publications
1.  0404  Slovenian Forestry Institute  Ljubljana  5051673000  11,778 
2.  0618  Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts  Ljubljana  5105498000  58,484 
Abstract
Slovenian forestry is based on the sustainability principle. This includes directing the development of forests to maximize the natural structure and composition of natural tree species composition. Natural forest is not only the most environmentally appropriate, but also the most economically acceptable. By following the natural process significantly lowers the cost of investment, reducing the possibility of damage to forests and the entire management. Fundamental starting points in dealing with forest are different site-vegetation layers. Data on forest site and vegetation (with the associated code list of forest communities) are one of the key conceptual and technical bases of forestry information system. The majority of the agglomerations of spatial data are based upon them. Sound system of forest communities and the credibility of the field data are the preconditions for a clear and appropriate presentation of data on forests at all levels, for example, comparison of data on forest habitats and the potential communities, proper grouping of specific sites and silvicultural classes, reliability of the content related to protected sites and habitat types and Natura 2000 sites, the different spatial levels - from the section to the level of the entire country, better and more credible international comparability. The project will pursue the following main objectives: a) review and analysis of the existing vegetation layers used in the system of forest management planning, and assessment of its quality, b) to prepare a draft the methodology for the updating and upgrading site-vegetation bases suitable for operational use, c) establish links between vegetation systems and international forest and forest habitats typologies. Within the first package of the project consistency and weaknesses of site-vegetation contents for the forest management planning will be evaluated and proposals for their improvement will be prepared. We will analyze the use of site-vegetation layers (typology, maps) in the entire system of forest management planning with an emphasis on creating silvicultural classes (RGR at the level of forest management regions and forest management units). The existing forestry information database will be analyzed for the state of coverage / representation of individual communities or groups of sites (different levels of detail). Greater emphasis will be given to forest communities / habitats that have been neglected in the past and they have a nature conservation importance (e.g. Natura 2000 habitat types). Based on findings of the preliminary package a proposal of methodological approaches to modernizing and updating site-vegetation layers for operational use in forestry will be prepared. Methodology for updating layers will be demonstrated by a few selected cases (e.g., riverine forests, forests of valuable hardwood, thermophilous deciduous forests). A starting point for a clearer demarcation between some primary and secondary forests for the purpose of forest management planning and nature conservation (the elimination of habitats) will be prepared. The potential use of LIDAR data to extract specific forest sites will be evaluated in the test area. Due to a number of initiatives, programs and projects indicating requirements for adequate preparation and aggregation of data, a third package will be aimed to establish the link between a typology of forest communities in forestry information base (based on Slovenia's forests classification) and a typology of forests and forest habitats (European forest types, EU habitat types in Natura 2000 and habitat types in Slovenia). Correlation tables between the typology of forest communities and a typology of forests / habitats will be made. The lastpackage will be aimed to reporting, publishing of results, and dissemination of results into forestry practice.
Significance for science
Based on new backgrounds, the new system of forest sites in Slovenia were developed in this project. This system were published in Slovenian professional journal for forestry with the title Typology of Slovenian forest sites according to ecological and vegetation conditions for the purposes of forest management (Kutnar et al. 2012). In this paper we proposed a new Slovenian description for forest site types, showed a link to the system of forest community names (syntaxa) in the previous database of Slovenian Forest Service and to the newer names of forest syntax. All forest sites were divided into two main groups. The first group consists of forest site types on the carbonate and mixed carbonate-silicate rocks. In the second group are forest site types on the silicate rocks. Forests on the carbonate and mixed carbonate-silicate rocks were classified into five altitudinal belts. Forests on the silicate rocks were classified into four altitude zones. The typology is designed hierarchically, so it is possible to addressed forests at different levels. For operational use, 19 groups of forest sites were formed which are suitable as a framework for generating the operative management/silvicultural classes. For more intensive approaches in forest management planning, forest communities are clustered into 29 groups of site types (19 on carbonate and mixed bedrock, and 10 on silicate bedrock) and 74 forest site types (58 on carbonate and mixed bedrock, and 16 on silicate bedrock). The Typology of forest sites has been already implemented in the forest information system. In addition to forest management planning, the project results are also important for nature conservation. Forest-management planning itself involves more and more items related to nature conservation which are also regulated by the relevant legal acts. Although the nature conservation concern is primarily focused to the habitat types and species within the European ecological network of Natura 2000 areas, in the concept of sustainable forest management attention needs to be paid to the forest habitat types (Habitat Directive, 1992) on their entire area. In this project, we found that, mainly due to objective circumstances, some forest and scrubland habitat types have not been adequately addressed in the forest management planning system so far. Among them are also forests belonging to European priority habitat types (Natura 2000), e.g. 9180 *Tilio-Acerion forests of slopes, screes and ravines, 91D0 *Bog woodland, 91E0 *Alluvial forests with Alnus glutinosa and Fraxinus excelsior, and 9530 *(Sub-) Mediterranean pine forests with endemic black pines, which all needing special attention due to their importance and small area. Some forest habitat types were not integrated properly in the forest management planning system so far, e.g. habitat type 9420 Alpine Larix decidua forests; habitat type 9340 Quercus ilex forests. With the aim to fill the knowledge gap, these forests were presented in 5 separate publications. For the first time, the comprehensive overviews of 21 less known forest site types in Slovenia were provided in these publications. In the first publication, the larch forests of 9420 habitat type were presented. In the second one, 4 types of broad-leaved ravine forests of the priority habitat type 9180* were presented. In the third one, we described different communities of peat-moss species, dwarf mountain pine and spruce on various bogs, which are classified into two European priority habitat type 91D0* and 7110*. In the fourth one, we showed 5 types of floodplain woods, swamp woods and riverine forests which are due to the high nature conservation importance included in habitat types 91E0*, 91F0, 3240 and 3230. In the fifth publication, 8 types of thermophilous deciduous forests with the significant biotope role as habitats of rare and protected plants and animals have been presented. Among them are also forests of habitat type 9340.
Significance for the country
In this project prepared final version and the publication of Typology of Slovenian forest sites is result of years of the intensive cooperation and coordination among various institutions dealing with forest vegetation at the applied-operational, research and educational level. With the new Typology of forest sites we have achieved an important historical compromise on the field of forest vegetation and habitats research in Slovenia, as this concept allows a common approach at the forest vegetation dealing, and comparability at the entire Slovenian territory. The new typology of forest sites is very useful for forest planning and management. However, the usefulness of this system is much broader. It can be used among experts dealing with spatial and environmental issues of forest habitats, ecosystems and landscapes. All 5 publications presenting less known forests and forest habitats are actually the result of long-term studies of the group of experts on forest vegetation within longer period. In this project, the challenging synthesis of knowledge accumulated in the past has been done. Extensive photographic material for the presentation of these forests were mostly collected in several years before the start of this project. Forests that have been discussed within these projects publications mainly belong to the EU priority habitat types (Natura 2000) and are of great nature conservation importance for Slovenia and beyond. These forests are important habitats of rare, threatened or otherwise important plant and animal species, so knowledge on these forest is especially significant. Among the most endangered forests in Slovenia are also different riparian forests in which possible conflicting interests may appear; nature conservation from one side, and intensive agriculture and energy use on the other side. Their better knowledge will help the society at the evaluation of effects on environment and at the future interventions, e.g construction of hydroelectric power plants. Among studied forests are also some with high economic significance, such as broad-leaved ravine forests, riparian oak forests. Better knowledge of their ecology and habitats may also contribute at the optimal forest management planning and sustainable use with harmonisation of various forest functions, e.g. timber-production function, function of biodiversity conservation.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2012, 2013, final report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2012, 2013, final report
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