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Jan Cukor, Zdeněk Vacek, Rostislav Linda and Lukáš Bílek

Abstract

Soil organic carbon (SOC) is a great component of the global carbon cycle and plays significant role in terms of climatic changes and agricultural land-use. An important management concern is the extent of SOC stocks sequestration when farmland is converted to forest stands. We have reviewed the literature about changes in SOC stock in relation to altitude and stand age and sought differences between former agricultural land and origin forest stands. Accumulation of SOC was monitored in 17 examples (41 samples) in 9 locations across the all Czech Republic with focus on the main tree species Norway spruce (Picea abies [L.] Karst.). Results showed a significant increase of SOC stock in an afforested farmland with increasing stand age. Another factor was the altitude. With increasing altitude, the carbon stock in our model gradually decreased. From the data analyzed comparing forest stand and former agricultural land, similar carbon sequestration was documented for both variants with higher SOC for forest stands. However, other conditions affecting SOC stock should be taken into consideration, especially silvicultural management, topography, disturbances, soil properties and cultivation. The general tendencies of SOC changes at the investigated sites are comparable to those in other studies across the Europe.

Open access

Jan Cukor, Lukáš Linhart, Zdeněk Vacek, Martin Baláš and Rostislav Linda

Abstract

Afforestation of marginal agricultural lands is an important issue in the land use changes running in Europe at present. The aim of the presented study is the documentation of effects of site improving material Alginite three years after afforestation of agricultural land in the locality with unfavourable hydrophysical regime. The impact was evaluated on growth parameters (height increment, mortality and foliar nutrient content) of Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco), Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) and a mixture of English oak (Quercus robur L.), red oak (Quercus rubra L.) and Norway maple (Acer platanoides L.) seedlings on former agricultural land in central Bohemia, Czech Republic. The research plot consists of 36 square sub-plots, each sub-plot is 400 m2 in size. Each sub-plot consists of 400 individuals, except Douglas-fir with 200 individuals. The following doses of Alginite were applied: control (variant A without Alginite), 0.5 kg of Alginite (B) and 1.5 kg of Alginite (C) on both conifers and broadleaves. The results showed that Alginite application had greater positive effect on height growth of seedlings than mortality, especially variant C. In most of the cases height increments were significantly positively affected (p < 0.05) by both variants of Alginite application only in the third year after planting. Alginite applications were also connected with differences in the foliar nutrient content, especially with higher magnesium and phosphorus values. The highest differences among Alginite variants were observed for Norway maple and English oak, while the lowest for red oak and Scots pine within all monitored parameters.

Open access

Zdeněk Vacek, Jan Cukor, Stanislav Vacek, Vilém Podrázský, Rostislav Linda and Jakub Kovařík

Abstract

Land reclamation of post-mining sites strongly influences not only diversity and biomass of frequently studied ground vegetation, but also diversity of forest ecosystem. In most cases, spoil heaps are afforested after coal mining, but some reclaimed sites are left to spontaneous development, such as our study locality – surroundings of the Sokolov town, Czech Republic. Structure, species diversity and production potential were studied on three heap sites, artificially afforested by pedunculate oak (Quercus robur L.), black alder (Alnus glutinosa [L.] Gaertn) and silver birch (Betula pendula Roth) stands, and compared with three permanent research plots (PRP) left to natural succession processes with prevailing European aspen (Populus tremula L.), goat willow (Salix caprea L.) and also with silver birch. The timber production increased from the willow stand (28 m3 ha−1) to birch ones (97 m3 ha−1, all 45 years old). The mean stand volumes were significantly higher on afforested PRPs (74 m3 ha−1) than on succession PRPs (51 m3 ha−1), just as tree diameters. However, in terms of production quality, occurrence of breaks was significantly higher on afforested PRPs (15%) compared to succession PRPs (7%), while the opposite situation was observed in the stem quality. Horizontal structure of trees was regular on afforested PRPs, while spatial pattern on succession PRPs was aggregated. The highest differences in favor of succession PRPs was found in species richness and total stand diversity. These results imply a need for combined approaches in post-mining landscape management to support economic benefit and especially ecological value.

Open access

Jiří Slanař, Zdeněk Vacek, Stanislav Vacek, Daniel Bulušek, Jan Cukor, Igor Štefančík, Lukáš Bílek and Jan Král

Abstract

The paper deals with development of the natural regeneration of even-aged spruce-beech forests during their transformation to uneven-aged stands with diversified structure at the Jedlový důl area in the Protected Landscape Area Jizerské hory Mts., Czech Republic. Shelterwood management system and free felling policy based on selection principles has been applied there since 1979 with the support of admixed tree species of the natural species composition, especially silver fir (Abies alba Mill.). The research was focuses on structure and development of natural regeneration with the emphasis on ungulate damage and interaction with tree layer from 1979 to 2015. In the course of 36 years, the regeneration structure was diversified towards the close-to-nature tree species composition, spatial and age structure. The number of regeneration recruits increased in average from 941 to 41,669 ind ha-1. During this period share of European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) significantly (p < 0.01) increased (by 53.6%), while the share of Norway spruce (Picea abies [L.] Karst.) decreased (by 51.5%), such as damage caused by ungulate (by 61.4%) with the highest loses on sycamore maple (Acer pseudoplatanus L.), rowan (Sorbus aucuparia L.) and silver fir. Moreover, the parent trees had a significant negative influence on natural regeneration at smaller spacing (within a 1 - 5 m radius from the stem). Both, regeneration potential and effective role of the tree layer during the forest transformation has been confirmed as important prerequisites for ongoing forest transformation.