OPERATING INSTITUTE: Research Station and Museum of Tatra National Park.

MAIN PURPOSE: Long term ecological changes, biodiversity.

ECOSYSTEM TYPE: Spruce forest.

EXPERIMENTAL TREATMENTS: Ecological status under changing environmental conditions, natural versus traditional forestry.

LOCALISATION: 49.159465119067185 20.29541015625

FACILITIES: After a heavy windstorm in 2004, more than 12 000ha of mostly natural  and seminatural Norway spruce forest was blown down in the Tatra National Park. In 2005, the international scientific community began joint research on ecological conse-quences and erected 3 eddy covariance towers for carbon balance studies. Despite the fact that eddy towers were dismantled in 2007, research activities still continue. Global and net radiation, vertical profile of air temperature and humidity, wind, rain amount and chemistry, soil moisture and temperature, heat and CO2 fluxes are still measured on former eddy sites. Physical and chemical parameters support biodiversity monitoring (flora, insect, small mammals) based on terrestrial and aerial methods. A unique feature is parallel comparable observation of mountain forest ecosystem parameters and behaviour on large scale windfall sites with contrasting management (traditional forestry vs. natural devices only).
Participation in the ExpeER consortium led to development of the site: new sensors (soil heat flux, soil moistue, temperature, soil) and instruments (soil CO2 efflux, ground vegetation NEE) were installed. The original four research and monitoring sites (1. disturbed by wind and managed, 2. disturbed by fire and managed, 3. disturbed by wind and unmanaged, 4. undisturbed, reference) were enlarged by the fifth site – forest killed by insects, which have killed almost 7000ha of mostly natural spruce forest in National Park. The new site is located in the core zone of the National Park, so it remains un-managed. As welle as continuous micro-meteorology, soil respiration is intensively monitored using manual chamber method. An automatic soil CO2 chamber has been tested at the site. Weather data are used for online calculation of fire index (Angstrom), available for visitors and Park staff via internet.

CONTACT: P. FLEISCHER (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

More information on www.lesytanap.sk

● Lóšková, J., Ľuptáčik, P., Miklisová, D., Kováč, Ľ., 2013: The effect of clear-cutting and wildfire on soil Oribatida (Acari) in windthrown stands of the High Tatra Mountains (Slovakia). European Journal of Soil Biology 55 (2013) 131–138.
● Don, A., Bärwolf, M., Kalbitz, K., Andruschkewitsch, R., Jungkunst, H.F., Schulze, E.D., 2012: No rapid soil carbon loss after a winthrow event in the High Tatra. Forest Ecology and Management 276 (2012) 239–246.


TA PROJECTS: Forest re-initiation (FoR).

TA User (visit): Radek Bace, Department of  Forest Ecology, Faculty of Forestry and Wood Sciences, Czech University of Life Sciences, CZECH REPUBLIC (August, 2014 - 15 days).
Project Description: The management practices all over the European national parks shifted towards non-intervention approach in the last decades. The transition raised a lot of concern about the future forest appearance and composition, because the scale and frequency of natural disturbances distinctly increased. One of the main issues is the precondition for successful survival of saplings in the mountain spruce forests. We propose to estimate the probability of survival and growth of spruce saplings, based on the impact of intraspecific competition (dependent on size and distance to the closest neighbor), as well as on the interaction with the growth substrate and vegetation composition. In 2011, we already founded 25 monitoring plots in the region of High Tatra National Park. The plots were situated in forest gaps subject to recent bark-beetle outbreak (for the majority of plots, in 2007). Our objective is to estimate the mortality and annual growth increment of spruce seedlings in order to elucidate the processes of successful stand re-initiation after natural disturbances in spruce mountain forests.
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Spruce seedling recruitment (SpruSeR)

TA User (visit): Martin Weiser, University Of Prague, CZECH REPUBLIC (May, 2012).
Project Description: We wish to assess the probability of survival and fitness of spruce seedlings in different microhabitats defined by the presence of dead wood and vegetation on different spatial scales. We propose to establish ca. 150 permanent plots, 3 sq. meters each. In each of these, make a phytosociological relevé in it, measure its orientation and exposition, indicate the amount and form of dead wood. All of the spruce seedlings will be tagged and their height, basal diameter, age and indications of herbivory will be measured. Around each of the seedlings, small and very small phytosociological relevés (900 sq. cm, 225 sq. cm) will be taken. This system will allow us to observe the role of vegetation on vital characteristics of spruce seedling on different spatial scales. Tagging will allow us to link these data with the demography of seedlings.
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