Zoltán Kása and István Fekete
Zsolt Kotroczó, Zsuzsa Veres, István Fekete, Mária Papp and János Attila Tóth
Climate change is a global problem. During the last century the increase of annual average temperature was 0.68°C, while the decrease of annual average of precipitation was 83 mm in Hungary. According to the long term meteorological data of Síkfőkút forest ILTER site the annual average temperature increased while average of yearly precipitation decreased, the forest climate became warmer and dryer. These processes could considerably contribute to forest decline, not only in the Quercetum petraeae-cerris stand of Síkfőkút, but everywhere in the country. Species composition and structure of the forest have changed considerably, as 68% of sessile oak (Quercus petraea) and 16% of Turkey oak (Quercus cerris) have died. Forest decline resulted in the breaking up of the formerly closed canopy, and consequently, in the formation of gaps in the forest. In the gaps, a secondary canopy developed with tree species of less forestry value. As a consequence, mass regeneration of field maple (Acer campestre) appeard in the gaps. The formation of gaps accelerated the warming and aridity of forests. In the article we answer the following question: how did climatic change and changing forest structure influence the leaf-litter production in the last four decades?