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Comparative analysis of natural and artificial regeneration in Nowa Dęba Forest District

Abstract

New challenges related to the multifunctional role of forests in consideration of both natural environment and economy come into view sequentially. In current forestry practice, an important element is not only the quality of forest cultivations (silvicultural aspect) but also the costs incurred for their production and tending (economic aspect).

The main purpose of this article is to show the prospect of increasing positive silvicultural effects depending on the method used in management of Scots pine stands under given site conditions. The comparative analysis was carried out using the study results obtained in the Forest District Nowa Dęba and those presented in other relevant studies. In the present study, we examined whether the site conditions have significant effects on silvicultural and economic effectiveness of regeneration and development of Scots pine stands or those predominated by Scots pine in the initial stages of stand growth. Significance of the regeneration method effects on growth characteristics of Scots pine regeneration as well as the costs of forest cultivation management was analysed.

The study on silvicultural and economic effectiveness was carried out in the Forest District Nowa Dęba. The results obtained showed that using Scots pine natural regeneration under the conditions of fresh coniferous forest site and fresh mixed coniferous forest site was the way of management based on reason. This was supported by both the values of regeneration growth parameters and silvicultural quality along with clearly lower expenditures incurred to achieve these effects. In wet mixed coniferous site, Scots pine seedlings regenerated naturally; however, the results indicated their lower silvicultural quality and growth parameter values when compared to those artificially regenerated. In fresh mixed broadleaved forest site, equally for silvicultural and economic reasons, the more optimal option was to regenerate forest using traditional planting material as natural Scots pine regeneration showed lower silvicultural effects. The unit costs of regeneration and maintenance of stands with self-sown Scots pine in fresh mixed broadleaved forest site were higher when compared with other examined forest sites.

On the basis of the results of the present study, it can be concluded that regardless of the regeneration method examined, the most differentiating factor of the final economic effect of Scots pine stand establishment and maintenance was the cost of regeneration operation. The expenditure for this purpose consumed the largest part of expenses incurred in artificial regeneration variant. The higher cost of corrections in artificially planted forest cultivations in poorer forest sites was one of the reasons behind the profitable final balance of naturally regenerating Scots pine stands. Differences between other costs analysed were not significant.

The results of the present study may contribute to comprehensive assessments of natural and artificial ways of forest regeneration and indicate forest production costs that are the most closely related to site conditions.

Open access
Data envelopment analysis models for the assessment of efficiency of sustainable forest management in Poland

Abstract

The aim of the presented research was to analyse the efficiency of forest management as an approach to promote sustainable multifunctional forestry. A total of 17 Regional Directorates of State Forests (RDSFs) in Poland were studied with the use of data envelopment analysis (DEA). This method has been proposed and tested using criteria and indicators (C&Is) as inputs and outputs of the created models. The research process was divided into two stages: first, we analysed the efficiency of simple DEA models and models with additional variables, which allowed us to determine the major models providing the best combination of efficiency evaluation criteria. Second, we used these models to assess the efficiency of sustainable management of forests by RDSFs. According to our results, RDSFs were found to be highly efficient in converting resources into production and nonmarket results. Nevertheless, the implementation of sustainable development principles requires further actions, in order to fulfil all ecological, economic, and social functions in a more effective way. They are connected with the necessity to increase the areas of both protective forests and promotional forest complexes. Thus, the results of this study might be a valuable source of information for the planning process of forestry services at the strategic and operational levels.

Open access
Ecological and genetic aspects of distribution of the marginal populations of Swiss stone pine (Pinus cembra L.) in Ukrainian Carpathians

Abstract

Current distributions of Swiss stone pine mostly cover the mountain regions of Europe (Alps and Carpathians). Easternmost distribution of this species is located in western Ukraine. Due to environmental fragmentation in Eastern Carpathians and competition with Norway spruce and other species, marginal populations of Swiss stone pine create isolated island, where other species are not able to cope with harsh conditions. Still, Pinus cembra L. play an important role for soil-formation and soil-protection in high elevations. The evidence of recent reduction in the area of Swiss stone pine raises the question whether the introduction of this species at lower altitudes can be successful? According to the studies conducted on reciprocal transplant experiments, Swiss stone pine population from higher elevation are able to profit in low elevation sites. Thus, parallelly with gene conservation activity, the possibilities of assisted migration should be recognized for this species.

Open access
The European spruce bark beetle Ips typographus (L.) in wind-damaged stands of the eastern part of the Tatra National Park – the population dynamics pattern remains constant

Abstract

In March 2017, in the eastern part of the Tatra National Park in Poland, large windthrowns affected the passively and actively protected Norway spruce Picea abies stands. In early 2018, a set of 12 small research plots (20 trees on each plot) was established in the Norway spruce stands next to the windblown area – 6 in the stands under active nature protection (broken and fallen trees processed in 2017), and 6 in the stands under passive nature protection (trees left on the ground). Living trees on the plots were regularly checked during the growing season in order to identify and register the spruces infested by Ips typographus, which were dissected in 2 or 4 half-meter sections. 155 spruces (64%) infested by I. typographus were recorded on all 12 plots: 118 out of 120 (98%) in passive and 37 out of 120 trees (31%) in active protection. Mean infestation density calculated on 128 samples from 47 trees was higher under passive than under active protection (1.23 and 0.92 mating chamber per 1 dm2, respectively). Among 1709 gallery systems, those with 2 maternal galleries prevailed (63.0%); the mean share of females was higher in passive than in active protection zone (63.1 and 59.6% respectively). The mean number of progeny per one female was higher in active than in passive protection zone (20.23 and 19.12 respectively). I. typographus attack on standing trees had lower intensity in the stands previously subjected to the processing and removal of fallen and broken trees, which indicates positive effect of implemented active protection procedures. The parameters describing I. typographus population on attacked trees, as well as low activity of natural enemies, demonstrate its reproduction potential and resulting high risk of a new outbreak, according to the pattern known earlier from the other areas in Poland and Europe.

Open access
Harmfulness of xylophagous insects for silver birch (Betula pendula Roth.) in the left-bank forest-steppe of Ukraine

Abstract

The aim of the research was to determine the rate of the damage of xylophagous insects for silver birch (Betula pendula Roth.) stands in the Left Bank Forest-steppe of Ukraine. Evaluation of physiological harmfulness considered a health condition of inhabited trees, features of maturating feeding and pathogens vectoring for the cases of so-called ‘provoked aggressiveness’ and its absence. Evaluation of technical harmfulness considered a location and depth of larval galleries and pupal chambers, colonized sapwood surface, and stem part. Evaluation of general harmfulness considered physiological harmfulness, technical harmfulness and generation number.

Among 22 xylophagous insect species, 4 species were widespread (Agrilus viridis (Linnaeus, 1758), Xylotrechus rusticus (Linnaeus, 1758), Xyleborinus saxeseni (Ratzeburg, 1837), and Xyleborinus attenuatus (Blandford, 1894)); 3 species were common, 6 species were rare and 9 species were single.

The highest physiological harmfulness is expected for Tremex fuscicornis (Fabricius, 1787) and Tremex magus (Fabricius, 1787), Сhrysobothris affinis (Fabricius, 1774), Agrilus viridis (Linnaeus, 1758), Xylotrechus rusticus, and bark beetles. The highest technical harmfulness is expected for wood wasps – Tremex spp., jewel beetles Dicerca furcata (Thunberg, 1787) and Dicerca alni (Fischer von Waldheim, 1824), longhorn beetle Xylotrechus rusticus, and xylomycetophages – Xyleborinus sp.

All widespread species are evaluated by a wide range of physiological harmfulness. Three of them (all except Agrilus viridis) are evaluated by highly technical harmfulness and from moderate to highly general harmfulness. Among the species having a common occurrence, Tremex fuscicornis can be highly harmful only in the case of tree weakening by negative factors, another two species can be non-harmful, and Xiphydria longicollis (Geoffroy, 1785) can be low harmful in the case of tree weakening by negative factors. Among the rare species, Scolytus ratzeburgi Janson, 1856 can be low or moderately harmful and Tremex magus can be low or highly harmful depending on the presence or absence of other negative factors. Among single species, Zeuzera pyrina (Linnaeus, 1761) can be moderately harmful because it colonizes almost healthy trees. The rest three species can be moderately harmful in the case of tree weakening by negative factors.

Open access
Impact of climate change on ivy (Hedera helix L.) expansion in forests of Central Poland

Abstract

The article refers to a broader context of scientific debates on the effect of climate warming on shifts in species ranges and describes the recent changes in the distribution and life strategy of Hedera helix close to its eastern limit, in light of climate changes. European ivy is an ecotone species, occurring in fringe communities, in deciduous and mixed deciduous forests in fresh and moist habitats that are occupied by oak-hornbeam and riparian alder-ash forests in Central Poland. Since the mid-20th century, the ivy, a species rarely reproducing generatively, has become an expansive plant with a growing number of sites where flowering and fruiting individuals are encountered. We studied the distribution, habitat requirements and flowering of H. helix in Central Poland in the years 2015–2017 and compared to the situation in the mid-1970s. Climate changes in terms of average air temperatures and precipitation amounts for the past four decades were also assessed. Within the study area, 474 stands of naturally growing Hedera have recently been identified. Ivy was found to reproduce generatively on 121 of those locations. There has been an almost 10-fold increase in the number of fruiting ivy specimens since the mid-1970s of the 20th century. Changes in the species life strategy can be ascribed to the increase in both average air temperatures and solar radiation intensity observed for the past decades. Both enhanced fragmentation of woodland tracts and development of forest ecotones and forest canopy openings promote the expansion of H. helix, while its habitat preferences remain unchanged.

Open access
Thinning effects on stand formation and modifications of a young pine/birch forest: a boreal zone case study

Abstract

Thinning of young forests attracts the attention of scientists despite the long-term commercial effect. However, these researches are scarce. Therefore, it is important to study experiments with a long history. The aim of our study is to investigate the impact of thinning carried out in young pine/birch boreal forests on stand formation, natural regeneration, ground cover and properties of the soil layers in stands.

We investigated three types of thinning in young pine/birch forests. In one plot of the initial stand, thinning was performed in two stages with a time interval of 27 years; in the first stage, thinning intensity was 75% of stems, while in the second stage, thinning intensity was 30%. In two other plots, thinning was performed in one stage at a stand age of 13 years, with thinning intensities of 76 and 84%. At the stand age of 72 years (2017), integrated studies of the silvicultural and ecological states were carried out.

All thinned plots had developed into pure pine stands with 28–53% thicker stems, 12–18% higher trees and a growing stock 55–92% higher compared to the un-thinned reference stand. The most pronounced differences were observed for Option 1. With thinning, forest type changed to red whortleberry type, while the un-thinned reference site developed into a blueberry type forest.

Thinning in young pine/birch stands results in the formation of pure pine stands. The associated modification of environmental properties changed the composition and density of the ground cover and some properties of the upper soil layers. Two-stage thinning had the least impacts; this approach can be used to produce stands with high commercial value. It is especially recommended for young pine/birch forests in the northern taiga.

Open access
The use of herbicides to regulate weeds in forest nurseries and crops in Poland

Abstract

Weeds competing with seedlings of trees for nutrients, moisture, light and space, drown out their growth in nurseries and forest crops. Currently, in forestry, weed control is mainly carried out in forest nurseries, less often during the preparation of the area intended for afforestation, but sporadically in forest crops. The most important species of weeds threatening seedlings of forest trees include Senecio vulgaris, S. silvaticus, Deschampsia caespitosa, Pteridium aquilinum, Agropyron repens, Calamagrostis epigeios and Equisetum arvense.

In Poland, herbicides have the largest share (about 50%) in the sale of plant protection products, but the scale of their use in forests is small, compared to agriculture. In 2012, 915 herbicides were registered in the country, out of which only 14 products (0.5%) were for use in forestry. In the years 1999–2019, 31 herbicides were registered for the protection of forest nurseries and crops, which included 13 active substances belonging to 11 chemical groups, of which 9 active substances have been used up to now. Most herbicides (15–16) were used in the years 2004–2006, the lowest in 1999–2000 and in 2014 (4 products). The most popular active substance has been glyphosate contained in 18 products.

Open access
Conceptual basis of transformation of ecological and economic relations in the forest sector of Ukraine in the context of European integration

Abstract

The article defines the priorities, principles and main provisions of national forest policy of Ukraine towards European integration. The main objectives and structure of the mechanism of transformation of ecological and economic relations in the forest sector of Ukraine is grounded. The main tasks of transformation of ecological and economic relations in the forest sector should be decentralization of the management system, budget savings and sustainability, sustainable development and ecological security, development of public and private partnership, and welfare of local communities. It justifies priority directions of transformation, which include the system of distribution of powers between central, regional and local levels, the financing system and fiscal regulation in the forest sector, powers and subordination of the organs of ecological control, the organizational forms of companies and associations, the institutionalization of communal and private ownership of forests. Necessary organizational and economic framework for their implementation should ensure the economic mechanisms of transformation of the system of state management of economic processes, financial-credit and fiscal regulation, economic incentives of the deep environmentally friendly forest products, integration of businesses and innovative and investment development of the forest sector, the Institute of ownership of forest land, the property rights of forest users and local communities.

The structure of transformation mechanism of ecological and economic relations in the forest sector is developed. It will allow the use of modern economic methods (de-monopolization and transparent competition on the timber market; economic incentives for deep wood processing; the transition to the new organizational forms of integration of economic entities; the empowerment of local communities and their executive bodies) and the instruments (preferential loans; target financing of large-scale projects at the national level; environmental insurance; transfer pricing; export and import duties; the state order; the state guarantees and subsidies), and to form an effective organizational forms of business entities in the forest sector.

It is concluded that transformation processes should apply to all spheres of economic activities in the forest sector, especially in the following areas: increased powers of the management bodies of the forest sector at the regional and local levels; simplification of procedures for land allocation by local governments to provide additional reforestation; coordination between the organs of ecological control and forest management to strengthen the relationship between the real state of forestry and the system of rational use of forest resources; the introduction of modern forms of enterprise and associations of enterprises at different stages of the reproductive process.

Open access
The current state and efficiency use of in situ and ex situ conservation units for seed harvesting in the central part of Ukraine

Abstract

Significant increase of biological stability, timber volume, and economic value of forests is impossible without refinement and improvement of the organization, and implementation of forest seed production on a genetic and breeding basis. It is possible to solve this task by creating and efficiently functioning in situ and ex situ facilities.

In Ukraine, the basic principles of plus selection are envisaged, which include the selection and testing progeny of plus trees. The total number of progeny tests in Ukraine is 106 plots, in which 1,079 genotypes of plus trees are presented. Taking into account the total number of plus trees in Ukraine (4,560), only 23.7% was subjected to progeny tests. The largest number of progeny tests are represented by Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) – 76 plots and a significantly smaller number of plots for English oak (Quercus robur L.) – 21. The corresponding representation of genotypes is for pine – 520, for oak – 365.

The area of tree breeding units in Ukraine is very small (0.4–0.6%) of the total forest area in the region. Despite the available areas, the use of in situ and ex situ objects for harvesting seed in Ukraine is low, around 30%. In the central region of Ukraine, the share of in situ and ex situ objects from the total forest area is 0.1–0.5%. On these sites, from 0 to 54% is harvested, which is insufficient.

According to the results of the conducted research, it was established that the areas of permanent forest-seed base (in situ and ex situ units) are insignificant and their use is insufficient. Testing of more than 70% of the selected plus trees is required. An important trend is to study the genotype-environment interaction in connection with trends of global climate change.

Open access