Zofin natural forests - Czechia
Zofin natural forests
Nearly one hundred hectares of natural spruce-fir-beech forests have survived in the former Nové Hrady domain, owing to the enlightened owner count Buquoy, who founded here the Czech oldest natural forest reserves as early as in 1838. Similarly to the Bohemian Forest (Šumava in Czech), human colonization came to remote forests of the Novohradské Mts. as late as in the 15th century and, during the 18th century, abundant glassworks caused the most intensive pressure on the forests. For centuries, ship builders visited the utmost mountains’ corners to find tall and straight fir stems suitable for ship masts. Both Žofín and Hojná Voda were declared as reserves at the same time in 1838, yet timber had been taken from these sites even in the half of the 19th century. Both sites have been left to spontaneous development since the 1880s. Remarkable disturbance in the natural forests became in January 2007 when the hurricane Kyrill blew over. Substantial southern and south-western parts of the Žofín natural forest got down. Now we can study large-disturbance dynamics, the potential of bark beetle resistance in mixed forest, and many other unanswered questions.
General Characteristics and Status