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|ŠUMARSKI LIST 7-8/2013 str. 21 <-- 21 --> PDF|
STAND DYNAMICS OF THE SUBALPINE SPRUCE (Picea abies L. Karst) FOREST – A DISTURBANCE DRIVEN DEVELOPMENT
SASTOJINSKA DINAMIKA PRETPLANINSKE ŠUME SMREKE (Picea abies L. Karst) – REZULTAT PRIRODNIH POREMEĆAJA
Miroslav Balanda, Ján Pittner, Milan Saniga, Ján Jaďuď, Lucia Danková, Marián Ďuriš
The paper deals with the stand dynamics of subalpine Norway spruce forest in the Low Tatras Mts., Slovakia. The recent state of subalpine spruce forests is unsatisfactory because of the extensive windstorms followed by bark beetle outbreak. The study is focused on the reconstruction of historical disturbances affecting this locality in the past. The research was conducted on the model locality Mt. Veľký Bok in the Low Tatras, central Slovakia. After the harvesting of snags we cored spruce stumps (N=60). Boundary-line criteria (fig.1) were used for evaluation of growth releases. We reconstructed local disturbance chronology and tree recruitment chronology. Three distinctive peaks of growth releases were revealed, in 1860−1880; 1920−1940 and 1980−2000. The identified disturbance periods were confirmed by examination of historical sources. Regarding the tree recruitment patterns, 50 % of analyzed trees met the criterion of gap recruitment. The temporal position of recruitment waves fairly corresponds with occurrence of a major disturbance. According to obtained results, we can state that the large-scale wind disturbances are the natural part of subalpine spruce forest and the overall dynamics of investigated forest is driven by combination of gap and patch dynamics.
#KEKey words: growth release, Norway spruce, boundary line, Central Europe, natural disturbances
In spite of small area extent of subalpine spruce forests these are of high importance regarding the numerous non-productive functions. Soil-protection, avalanche protection and securing of water supplies are only the fragment of functions that are provided by subalpine spruce forests.
Generally, the Norway spruce decline is caused by the synergistic influence of several natural and anthropogenic factors, whereby wind, snow, emissions, drought, nutrient shortage, insects and fungi are considered the most important ones (Schmidt-Vogt 1989, Kucbel et al. 2004; Grodzki 2007). According to Kucbel (2000b), the recent state of protection forests in conditions of the Low Tatras Mts. can be characterized as a result of the combination of extreme environmental conditions as the low temperature, long lasting snow coverage, shallow soil etc. and anthropogenic impact (pasture and uncoordinated tree harvest, the impact of emissions, global warming). Homogenous structure and height leveling together with the anatomy and morphology of