In harmony with nature – How is the state of the Białowieża forest changing?

Apr 15, 2022


How is the state of the Białowieża forest changing? – LIFE + ForBioSensing project † Download file.

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The state and dynamics of wood resources were first determined in ForBioSensing for the whole area of ​​the Polish part of the Białowieża jungle.

The reference to the previous state of the forest was possible only in the case of the strict reserve of the Białowieża National Park, and even with certain restrictions.

The main phenomenon noted is: death of spruce. This led to significant disruptions in the structure of the stands. In 2015-2019, the volume of trees that died was 4.173 million m3, of which 2.750 million m3 (66%) were spruce.

The abundance of stands decreased throughout the Forest. The data collected by the researchers shows that this happened least in the Strict Reserve.

The death of spruce and ash, and to a lesser extent the differences in mortality and increase of other tree species, have changed the species composition of the Białowieża jungle stands.

In all interpreting units, hornbeam was most abundant in the low and high subsections. The new situation was the dominance of maple in the flowering layer.

Key changes noted over the past 100 years:

  • decrease in the share of light needy species
  • an increase in the share of shade-bearing species
  • dynamics of spruce (also elm and ash)
  • hornbeam extension

Can the observed changes be stopped? What is the future of the Białowieża Forest?

Guests of Marcelina Markowska:

– dr. Ewa Zin – Dendro ecological research specialist in the LIFE + ForBioSensing project

– dr hab. Krzysztof Stereńczak, Prof. ILL- Project manager for BioSensing

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source: mat. press.

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