Tatra National Park - Slovakia
Tatra National Park
Parent Site Name
The spruce forest ecosystem has been intensively studied since 1990s (resistance to pollution, insect infestation, weather extremes). After large-scale destruction by wind (12,000 ha) in 2004, consequent bark beetle outbreak (7,000 ha) and fire, the research was focused to four research plots (min. 100 ha each). Three of them were damaged by wind disturbance: plot NEX without forestry management (no timber extraction, no afforestation); plot EXT from which timber was extracted and the plot was afforested; plot FIR damaged by fire one year after the wind disturbance. The last plot (REF) is not affected by wind disturbance (reference plot). The monitoring equipment (meteorological stations, dendrometres, transpiration flow sensors, soil lysimeters, precipitation collectors, etc.) was installed in each plot. The focus was mainly on monitoring the spatial variability of soil, vegetation and zoocenoses. Our studies confirmed permanent disturbance regime on the affected area and unexpectedly fast and successful regeneration of ecosystem after damage. The intense, but short-term increase in nutrient flows (especially nitrogen) and the renewal of carbon sequestration confirm the adaptation of ecosystems to this disturbance regime. We found increase in biodiversity (abundance and diversity of fauna and flora) caused by disturbance. Future risk poses projected warming which might dramatically change growing condition for dominant tree species and increase population of bark beetles.
General Characteristics, Purpose, History
Four sites (each cca 100 ha) were established in 2004 to study changes caused by an extreme windstorm in larch-spruce forest community on south oriented slopes of the Tatra Mts. The aim is to study long term ecosystem changes (status, processes, services) under various impact (pollution, weather extremes - windfalls, drought, insect infestation) and management approach (managed vs unmanaged forest! to support decision making of NP authorities. The ecosystem itself has been intensively studied since 1990s (resistance to pollution, insect infestation, weather extremes). After large scale destruction (12 000 ha) in 2004 and consequent bark beetle outbreak (7 000 ha), energy and material flows are more intensively studied.
Affiliation and Network Specific Information