|WHAT, IF ANYTHING, HAS CHANGED?|
On several occasions this column has addressed the attitude of the society/politics towards forests, the forestry profession and its status. We may discuss the way the society perceives forestry and the forestry profession and we may even feel responsible for certain inaccurate perceptions because we may not have tried hard enough to change such perceptions. However, crucial things cannot be changed without political will, and the attitude of politics towards the forest and the forestry profession greatly influences the general perception of the society. We have eagerly awaited changes, but have they really taken place regardless of the elapsed time? In our opinion, the main changes have not, regrettably taken place yet! To start with, the term forestry has not been restored to the name of the relevant ministry, and as far as we know, not a word has been said about this. The relevant minister has not even found time to receive the representatives of the Croatian Forestry Association, which, as has always been proclaimed, unifies the forestry education, science and practice and which has in the past period critically responded to some incompetent procedures in the profession. Since the minister is not a forestry expert (and he need not be one), we expected him to learn about the problems of the profession through relevant talks and to endeavour to eliminate them. However, if he relies solely on advice from the Ministry employees, then we will be waiting for changes in vain. We leave it to the readers to understand this sentence in any way they wish, but truth cannot be ignored. Some statements uttered by wood processors and even by some people from the Chamber of Commerce, on their satisfaction in further supporting „log distribution“ lead us to the conclusion that market economy in forestry is just a tale. National resources continue to be sold at highly reduced prices and raw material and semi-finished goods rather than highly finalized products continue to be exported, which ends in the loss of working places. The belief that the Croatian wood processing industry will be saved by cheap raw material and that this will ensure higher employment and export is still deeply rooted. We, on the other hand, continue to ask the same questions: how much raw material and how many final products do we export and why do we expect someone to strive towards high finalisation when they can earn sufficiently on raw materials and semi finished goods without large investments in modern equipment and highly specialized personnel? The product they export does not require either of the above; in contrast, to be competitive in the final production, the two above mentioned points are of crucial importance. This leads to another question: why do we educate wood processing specialists and who will employ them? The answer is very simple – the market price of wood raw material will determine its finalisation and stimulate the development of the accompanying industries (equipment, glues, metal articles, varnishes and others), which will consequently lead to higher employment.
Next, the declaration on supporting the economy/entrepreneurship mentions the lessening or even the abolishment of some para-fiscal taxes. Surprisingly, the first among these is the tax on non-market forest functions (NMFF). The basic question is whether this is a para-fiscal charge or the generally beneficial contribution to the society as a whole. When some, including primarily the politicians, finally realize what this is all about, there will be no problem in paying this tax. The TV spot „We may get lost in a forest, but we must not lose forests“ sounds nice, but the society with its acclamatory behaviour is heading in exactly this direction. The Law on Forests lists about 15 non-market forest functions. These functions can be expanded depending on the space they cover and their purpose. There is also an EU Forest Strategy which specifically emphasises sustainable forest management, a principle that the Croatian forestry has been implementing for a long time. The Strategy focuses especially on rural space. Sustainable management primarily involves silviculture and protection against harmful biotic and abiotic factors, that is, active rather than passive protection. The brochure Croatian National Treasure by the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, which we mentioned in the last issue of the Forestry Journal, also contains relevant data on the soil (which is hard to form and easy to lose), water and climate, the essential constituents of a forest. The forest has an important hydrological role because it absorbs and purifies water during rainy seasons and snow melting. It retains part of it and lets off the rest into water springs and courses, which it refills in the dry season from its reserves. Its hydrological role is reflected primarily in the protection of soil against torrents, erosion and wind. We can illustrate the role of a forest in terms of erosion in the karst area with the article „The Anti- Erosion, Hydrological and Water-Protective Role of Mediterranean Forests“ by V. Topić, PhD, and L. Butorac, PhD, in the monograph „Forests of the Croatian Mediterranean“, which shows the condition of the soil under the forest and without the forest. Needless to say, the forest has a profound impact on the main climate factors and on the social and spiritual life of men in general. There is not enough space in this column for more detailed data and for all non- market forest functions, but we instruct the readers where to find these data if they really want to get them, because ignorance excuses no man in making detrimental decisions.
|ORIGINAL SCIENTIFIC PAPERS|
|Jelena KRANJEC, Marno MILOTIĆ, Marija HEGOL, Danko DIMINIĆ|| UDK 630* 449 (001)
|FUNGUS-LIKE ORGANISMS IN THE SOIL OF DECLINING NARROW-LEAVED ASH STANDS (Fraxinus angustifolia Vahl)|
Narrow-leaved ash (Fraxinus angustifolia Vahl), ecologically and economically very important species of Croatian lowland forests, has been showing more prominent symptoms of dieback in the past few years. Research conducted so far has confirmed presence of the pathogenic fungus Hymenoscyphus fraxineus Baral, Queloz & Hosoya in the crowns and stems of the trees showing the symptoms of dieback at several locations in Croatia (Diminić 2015, Milotić et al. 2016). Since forest dieback is usually a consequence of multiple abiotic and biotic factors, research to find causes often encompass not just the above-ground parts of stands, but also the root systems and soil, where fungal-like organisms such as Phytophthora species are considered to be an important biotic factor responsible for tree mortality. The goal of this research was to detect fungus-like organisms in the soil of declining narrow-leaved ash stands in order to confirm or reject the hypothesis that pathogenic Phytophthora species have a potential role in the dieback and also to expand the knowledge about fungus-like organisms’ diversity in Croatian forest soils.
Total of 30 soil samples were collected from three forest management units (ten from each) in declining narrow-leaved ash stands, around the stems of trees of different health status according to Jankowiak et al. (2014). Fungus-like organisms were isolated using the soil baiting method according to Themann and Werres (1999), with Rhododendron catawbiense Michx. and Prunus laurocerasus L. leaves used as baits. Pure mycelia cultures showing vegetative morphological features characteristic for fungal-like organisms were obtained from 24 soil samples. To confirm this, sporangia production was induced in these isolates by flooding agar discs taken from 4-7 days old colonies with three different non-sterile soil extracts for each (1%, 1,5%, 5%). Sporangia were successfully induced in all isolates except one, which was chosen for the species identification using molecular methods together with five others (two isolates from each location). Genomic DNA was isolated using modified phenol-chloroform method according to Allemann et al. (1999). Amplification of internal transcribed spacers (ITS1 and ITS2) and 5.8 subunit of nuclear ITS rDNA region was conducted using the ITS4/ITS6 primer set, with reaction mixture and PCR protocol as in Grünwald et al. (2011). Amplification, PCR product purification and sequencing were conducted at InovaGen Ltd. (Zagreb, Croatia). All three isolates obtained from soil sampled around declining trees were identified as Phytopythium citrinum (B. Paul) Abad, De Cock, Bala, Robideau, Lodhi & Lévesque, and other three obtained from soil sampled around healthy trees were identified as Pythium lutarium Ali-Shtayeh, Pythium anandrum Drechsler and Phytopythium litorale Nechw. Presence of Phytophthora species in the soil of declining narrow-leaved ash stands wasn’t confirmed at the investigated locations, excluding them as one of the potential causative agents of narrow-leaved ash dieback in Croatia until further research is conducted. Although the Pythium and Phytopythium species were often isolated from the soil of declining forest stands and are known pathogens of seedling in forest nurseries, their possible role in dieback of narrow-leaved ash has yet to be determined.
Key words: narrow-leaved ash; fungal-like organisms; soil; Pythium; Phytopythium
DIMINIĆ, Danko ŠL
|Ali DURKAYA, Birsen DURKAYA, Ali SABANCI, Sinan KAPTAN|| UDK 630* 537 (001)
|EVALUATION OF THE EFFECTS OF VARIOUS FACTORS ON ABOVEGROUND AND BELOWGROUND BIOMASS STORAGE CAPACITY OF EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN MAQUIS VEGETATION|
This study was carried out on the data obtained from 35 plot areas selected among the vertical distribution regions of maquis in study area located in Eastern Mediterranean region. The data were grouped in terms of altitude, dominant exposure, vegetation height, and mean age factors, and it is tried to reveal the change of maquis biomass depending on these factors. The data obtained shown significant variation and, for this reason, the mass values are expressed as mean values. The potential relationship between the mentioned factors and the amounts of stored biomass was examined by using t-test and variation analysis. The mean aboveground biomass amount was found to be 24,183 ton/ha, while mean belowground biomass that doesn’t contain fine root was found to be 41,062 ton/ha. According to these results obtained from mean values, the root/shoot ratio was calculated to be 1.7.
Key words: Biomass; maquis; root/shoot ratio; altitude; exposure
|Kyriaki KITIKIDOU, Elias MILIOS, Panagiota PALAVOUZI|| UDK 630* 582 (001)
|Development of an ensemble classifier with data from description sheets To classify forest stands in site qualities|
Aim of study: In this work, we tested the technique of combining the predictions of classifiers for the development of a single, ensemble classifier, in order to classify forest stands in site qualities. Area of study: We used data of the forest stands of Dadia – Lefkimi – Soufli forest (north-eastern Greece). Materials and methods: The variables that we used as input were the altitude, slope, age and canopy density. For the ensemble classifier development we applied the boosting algorithm. Main results: The canopy density was the most important predictor; topography which replaced altitudes and slopes was the second important predictor, while the developed ensemble classifier gave a percentage of correct classification up to 98.59% (for the worst site quality). Research essentials: If we consider that the initial site classification comprised over 70% of the Dadia-Lefkimi –Soufli forest area in the worst site quality, then the usage of boosting method for creating a collective classifier for site qualities in the studied forest can be characterized as fully successful. The application of this method using these input parameters do not need background information regarding the tree age and (or) other difficult to access information. Moreover, in a quite high degree, this site classification is not influenced by disturbances. The boosting method for creating a collective classifier for site qualities obviously will give far more accurate classifications of site productivity, if a more sophisticated scheme of data collection is used.
Key words: ensemble classifiers; forest stands; site qualities.
|Matija STERGAR, Klemen JERINA|| UDK 630* 156
|WILDLIFE AND FOREST MANAGEMENT MEASURES SIGNIFICANTLY IMPACT RED DEER POPULATION DENSITY|
Red deer (Cervus elaphus L.) is in many parts of the world ecologically important and highly popular game species. Its population densities and environmental impacts largely depend on habitat suitability, which in turn is under strong influence of humans. Wildlife management intentionally improves habitat suitability, while forestry’s impacts on red deer are mostly unintentional. In both disciplines the full extent of these impacts is poorly understood. To better understand habitat use and improve management of red deer, we studied the impacts of multiple environmental and historical factors, mostly anthropogenic, on red deer spatial distribution in Slovenia. We found that the probability of red deer presence and population density are higher close to locations of historic (> 100 years ago) red deer reintroduction sites and in large continuous forest complexes. The finding is important for forecasting future red deer distribution and population dynamics. Population density is also positively dependent on proximity to supplemental feeding sites, the proportion of spruce stands in pole-stage and the share of forest young growth, which is important for preventing unwanted impacts of red deer on forest. The approach used by this study and its results are also useful for improving habitat ranking of hunting grounds, which some countries use in wildlife management planning.
Key words: red deer; habitat suitability; population density; wildlife management; forest management; supplemental feeding; Slovenia
|Ljiljana KEČA, Milica MARČETA, Stjepan POSAVEC, Sreten JELIĆ, Špela PEZDEVŠEK-MALOVRH|| UDK 630* 899
|MARKET CHARACTERISTICS AND CLUSTER ANALYSIS OF NON-WOOD FOREST PRODUCTS|
The share of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is largely present in forestry, especially in the segment related to non-wood forest products (NWFPs) in Europe. They are also a dominant category in entrepreneurship in Serbia. Therefore, the subjects of this research were the companies operating in the sector of NWFPs, within specific statistical regions of Serbia. The database of SMEs was obtained from 119 SMEs and the share of surveyed SMEs was 81.5%. The main research method was two-step cluster analysis. Questionnaire was used for the purpose of the research. The aim of the research was to identify clusters in order to establish similarities within the defined clusters and the differences among them. Spatial distribution of specific categories of NWFPs in nature (mushrooms, medicinal and aromatic plants, honey and wild berries), contributed to the portfolio of the companies. This largely influenced clusters that are created by categories of products that are typical for certain statistical regions in Serbia.
Key words: cluster analysis; forest products; spacial distribution; Serbia; market
POSAVEC, Stjepan ŠL
|ORIGINAL SCIENTIFIC PAPERS|
|Erhan ÇALIŞKAN, Uzay KARAHALIL|| UDK 630* 686 + 383 (001)
|EVALUATION OF FOREST ROAD NETWORK AND DETERMINING TIMBER EXTRACTION SYSTEM USING GIS: A CASE STUDY IN ANBARDAG PLANNING UNIT|
Secondary forest road network planning and primary timber extraction systems play very important roles in sustainable forest management. The progression of forest areas in Turkey and the world towards mountains as well as the increase in working obligations have made timber extraction systems gain more importance. The forest areas found in mountainous lands with harsh slopes in Turkey makes timber extraction systems more problematic and more complex. The objective of this study is to develop a model for timber extraction systems using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) analysis considering terrain morphology and secondary forest road network. Additionally the forest road network in Anbardağ forest planning unit of Giresun province in Turkey was investigated considering forest road density and forest road spacing. According to obtained results, the forest road length was 226.34 km, forest road density was 11.74 m/ha, forest road spacing was 851.7 m and road coverage was 51% of the study area. Chainsaw–small size cable crane (36.76%) and chainsaw–medium size cable crane (27.94%) were selected as the most suitable timber extraction systems for the steep terrain study area according to our model. They were followed by chainsaw–forest tractor (23.52%), chainsaw–agriculture tractor (10.29%) and chainsaw–sledge yarder (1.49%). The results of this study showed that GIS saved a considerable amount of labor force, time and cost for the evaluation of forest road network as well as the development model for timber extraction system.
Key words: secondary forest road network; timber extraction system; GIS; Turkey