Woodland ecosystems

The accumulation of current vegetation of woodlands.

In the woodlands of PNP (4,706.04 ha, the woods occupy 94.9% (4,463.90 ha), with non-woodland areas 5.1% (242.14 ha).

Phytocoenosis predominates in woodlands of the juvenile developmental stages, occurring in the natural habitats, around the cultivated forests and in the artificially afforested areas, and in a natural way post-farm lands. They constitute 2,627.28 ha, out of which 55.7% belong to the woodland surface. They were conventionally called "replacement accumulation". In the area of this group, the biggest percentage (39.5%) has accumulations with the predominant downy birch, Scots pine (32.3%) and black alder (20.3%). The presence of accumulations with predominant silver birch (3.5%), pedunculate oak (3.0%), aspen (1.3%) and European spruce (0.1%) are also marked.

From accumulations belonging to the natural vegetation, occupying 1,836.62 ha (39.0% woodland surface), the biggest area is occupied by the continental swamp birch forest Querco roboris-Pinetum (30.1%), the swamp birch forest Betuletum pubescentis (23.2%) and the alder swamp forest Ribo nigri-Alnetum (14.6%).

In the range from 5% to 10%, there is the share of the sub-continental moor grass wood Molinio-Pinetum (7.7%), the sub-continental oak-linden-hornbeam forest Tilio-Carpinetum (7.1%) and the continental swamp forest Vaccinio uliginosi-Pinetum (5.4 %). The remaining accumulations of this group (in declining share) are the sub-oceanic young forest Leucobryo- Pinetum (4.6%), the sub-boreal mixed forest Serratulo-Pinetum (3.1%), the sub-continental young forest Peucedano-Pinetum (1.5%), the oak forest with potentilla alba Potentillo albae-Quercetum (1.0%), the alder-ash forest Cicaeo- Alnetum (1.0%), the alder-turf forest Sphagno squarrosi_Alnetum (0.4%) and the sub-boreal moor grass mixed forest Querco roboris-Piceetum (0.3%).


Potential forest accumulations

Among the potential accumulations of the Park, the prime leaders are the alder turf forest Sphagno squarrosi-Alnetum (30.2%), the continental mixed forest Querco roboris-Pinetum (26.0%), and the sub-continental oak-linden-hornbeam forest Tilio-Carpinetum (24.9%). The bigger share belongs to the alder swamp forest Ribo nigri-Alnetum (8.8%), the sub-oceanic young forest Leucobryo- Pinetum (5.5%) and the swamp birch forest Betuletum pubescentis ( 3.4%).

The percentage of the remaining accumulations is small: the continental swamp forest Vaccinio uliginosi- Pinetum - 0.5%, the oak forest with Potentilla alba Potentillo albae-Quercetum - 0.3%, the alder-ash forest Cicaeo- Alnetum - 0.2%, the sub-continental young forest Peucedano-Pinetum - 0.2% and the sub-boreal swamp mixed forest Querco roboris-Piceetum - 0.0%.

All together in the trophic intake, the potential forest accumulation occupies 6.2%, mixed forests 24.9%, forests and mixed forests 25.2%, and alder forests 39.2%. In the case of demand for moisture, the swamp habitat accumulations predominate with 43.1% and moisture 27.7% (altogether 70.8%), over the young habitat accumulations.

Developmental stadiums and phases of forest stands in the Park.

The majority of the forests stands in the Park have reached their adulthood stadium, and almost as numerous are the represented rise stadium; however, the juvenile, senescence and decomposition stadia occur sparsely.

Within the adulthood stadium, covering 47.1% of the surface, the early optimal phase dominates (34.8% of the woodlands). It means that the forest stands have recently reached their adulthood stadium. The late optimal phase covers 12.3%.

In the rise stadium (38.2%) the distribution into phases is more even, with some dominance of the older phase. Even-aged pole wood phase covers 15.4%, and even-aged forest stand phase covers 22.8% of the surface.

In the juvenile stadium, covering 8.8% of the surface, the juvenile phase is the most numerously represented (4.2%) - greenwood, with less numerous initial phase of the cultivation - 1.8%, and the relevant initial woodless sub-phase covers 0.2%, because of the remaining acreage (2.6%) belongs to "the ecological areas", that are planned to be restored.

Forest stands in the senescence stadium cover 5.4% of the area, whereof the majority (4.9%), is in the early terminal phase, and the late terminal phase is just 0.5%.

The rarest is encountered decomposition stadium covering just 0.5% of the woodland, within which the languishment phase was exclusively distinguished (there is no representation of the restoration phase).

Generally speaking, on the basis of the data as above, it can be stated that the forests of the Park are mainly (85.3%) in their adult and juvenile physiological age; however 57.6% of the area concentrates next to the borderline separating those stages (in one age forest stand phase and in early optimal phase).

The functional division of woodlands of PNP, application to the type of possession, protection category and the leading woodland function

Woodlands are the dominant type of ecosystems and the dominant element of the ecological landscape, especially in the central and eastern part of PNP.

 Among woodlands located between the boarders of the Park, 88% is the property of the Treasury, under the management of PNP, and the remaining 12% belongs to other groups of owners, mainly individuals.

The woodlands under the management of PNP are under strict and active protection, and extraneous property falls under landscape protection. Under its strict protection falls 115 ha (swamp forest and pine-birch swamp forest).

The leading functions and aims of woodland ecosystems protection within strict, active and landscape protection have been listed below.

Woodland falling under the strict protection

1. The leading functions:

- The protection of natural environmental processes

- Scientific function (cognitive)

- monitoring

2. Aims of protection:

- assurance of free (undisturbed) flow of environmental processes by elimination or reduction of the influence of external factors, minimising of their penetration, and the creation of buffer zones from the surrounding areas, falling under the partial or landscape protection;

- carrying out researches on the regularities ruling the environmental processes in the natural conditions;

- Periodic examination of the state of the ecosystem in order to describe the tendencies and directions of the changes (on permanent areas of observation under control measurements with accordance to accepted methodology)

Woodlands falling under the active protection

1. The leading functions are:

Various functions arising from the accepted subjects and aims of protection:

- The protection of woodland ecosystems as one whole;

- The protection of determined vegetation accumulations being in a medial stage in a succession chain;

- The protection of selected vegetation and animal species, recognised as the subject of particular care;

- fulfilling ancillary (protective) function by the woodland ecosystems with regard to the selected non-woodland ecosystems;

- fulfilling landscape and cultural functions of the woodlands;

- Cognitive function;

- monitoring

2. Aims of protection:

-  Preservation, naturalisation, and the recreation of the woodland ecosystems;

- Preservation, in a natural shape, of the woodland vegetation accumulations recognised as precious from the environmental or scientific point of view, constituting non-permanent succession stages (for example for preservation of rare biotopes or the enlargement of the bio-diversity);

- Preservation or restitution of the native flora and fauna elements, rare or endangered, in of extinction;

- Support for the protection of non-woodland ecosystems that have been recognised as particularly important for realisation of the main aims of the Park;

- Preservation or development of the aesthetic values of regional landscape and cultural functions connected with forests;

- Creation of the possibility to carry out environmental research, including forestry;

- Periodic research of the woodland ecosystems condition, including woodlands and their changes in terms of active protection.

Woodland falling under the landscape protection

1. The leading functions:

In woodlands under landscape protection on the borders of the Park, thus used for farming, the nature protection functions have to become reconciled with usable functions. They must be applied into the general protection functions of the Park, even because of the existence in a chessboard with forests and other types of lands that are under the supervision of PNP. They should be supporting those functions, and in case of conflict situations, the negative influence of forest usage for farming should be minimised.

2. Aims of protection:

The general aims of protection are analogical to the one applied in the forests of the Park, falling under the active protection, and they come down to preservation or naturalisation of woodland ecosystems and their restoration in the areas that are not fit for farming because of various reasons. They must be implem