Primeval beech forests of the Carpathians

Beech primeval forests of the Ukrainian Carpathians and their functional role Text of the scientific article on the specialty ” Biological Sciences “

Abstract of the scientific article on biological sciences, the author of the research work – Chernyavsky N.V., Izhik G.V., Genyk Y.V.

Beech forests in the Ukrainian Carpathians form a separate belt of vegetation. In this belt, allocated beech prales with the minor participation of yavor, spruce, fir and other species on an area of 20123 hectares. Pristine beech forests are characterized by a complex age and spatial structure, high stability and sustainability and are subject to protection. Their significance and role are defined taking into account the functions of the forests and the biosphere.

Related topics of scientific papers on biological sciences, by N.V. Chernyavskiy, G.V. Izhik, Y.V. Genik.

Role of wind-blown-soil complexes in the regeneration of tree species and in maintaining the biological diversity of natural beech and dark coniferous-beech forests of the Ukrainian Carpathians

BEECH VIRGIN FORESTS OF UKRAINIAN CARPATHIANS AND THEIR FUNCTIONAL ROLE

Beech forests (Fageta sylvaticae) in the Ukrainian Carpathians form a separate zone of vegetation. Primeval beech virgin forest with little involvement of sycamore, spruce, fir and other species is allocated in this zone in the area of 20123 hectares. Beech virgin forests differ by the complex age and spatial structure, high stability and durability and are subject to protection. The value and role of primeval virgin forests is determined on the basis of the functions of the biosphere and functions of forests.

The text of the scientific paper on “Beech virgin forests of the Ukrainian Carpathians and their functional role”

BEECH VIRGIN FORESTS OF THE UKRAINIAN CARPATHIANS AND THEIR FUNCTIONAL ROLE

BEECH VIRGIN FORESTS OF UKRAINIAN CARPATHIANS AND THEIR FUNCTIONAL ROLE

Chernyavskiy N.V., Izhik G.V., Genyk Y.V.

(National Forestry University of Ukraine, Lviv, Ukraine) Chernyavskyy M.V., Izhyk H.V., Henyk Ya.

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(Ukrainian National Forestry University, Lviv, Ukraine)

Beech forests in the Ukrainian Carpathians form a separate belt of vegetation. In this belt, allocated beech prales with the minor participation of yavor, spruce, fir and other species on an area of 20123 hectares. Pristine beech forests are characterized by a complex age and spatial structure, high stability and sustainability and are subject to protection. Their significance and role are defined taking into account the functions of the forests and the biosphere.

Beech forests (Fageta sylvaticae) in the Ukrainian Carpathians form a separate zone of vegetation. Primeval beech virgin forest with little involvement of sycamore, spruce, fir and other species is allocated in this zone in the area of20123 hectares. Beech virgin forests differ by the complex age and spatial structure, high stability and durability and are subject to protection. The value and role of primeval virgin forests is determined on the basis of the functions of the biosphere and functions offorests.

Key words: Ukrainian Carpathians, virgin forests, beech, biodiversity

Key words: Ukrainian Carpathians, virgin forests, beech, biodiversity

In the Ukrainian Carpathians, still preserved forest areas on small areas where no logging has ever been carried out. In the forest vegetation, the composition of tree species and the structure of such areas today, there is no trace of human intervention. In the past, these massifs often belonged to the hunting grounds of noblemen. Such forests can be broadly regarded as prales, or primeval forests. Their value is immeasurable, which is why Carpathian beech primeval forests have been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Primeval beech forests are characterized by a complex age and spatial structure, high stability and sustainability, and are certainly subject to protection. The identification of their polyfunctional role is the key to the formation of present and future forests [3]. In this regard, the definition of the functions of primary forests and their role is an urgent task aimed at developing special measures for the conservation of genetic resources and maintaining the sustainability of forests.

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Program and methodology

Identification of the areas and condition of virgin beech forests, establishment of their temporal and spatial characteristics, assessment of their functions and role in preservation and maintenance of biotic diversity is provided by selection of stands of all phases and stages of development. During the last 20 years, 36 permanent plots of 0.5-1 ha in size and a continuous profile in Berezniki Forestry (Zakarpattya) of 1.6 km in length have been established.

The plot is 1.6 km long in Berezniki Forestry, Zakarpattya. Geobotanical, soil and mycological descriptions, as well as forest stand taxation studies with mapping of all trees were conducted on them. The role of prales was determined on the basis of biosphere functions of the forest.

Results and discussion

Beech forests (^a^a jaubaisae) in the Ukrainian Carpathians form a separate belt of vegetation, which on the southwestern megaslope (Transcarpathia) is distributed within 400-1280 (1340) m a.s.l., in some places (Stoy) forming the upper boundary of the forest, and on the northwestern (Precarpathia) macroslope – 450-800 m a.s.l. [3]. The vegetation belt of beech forests is formed under the conditions of temperate (sum of active temperatures 2200° – 2400°) and cool (sum of active temperatures 1800 – 2400°) climatic zones. Under optimal climatic conditions, beech forms climax groupings. From west to east, the massiveness and height of mountain ranges increases and the upper boundary of beech pra- woods adequately rises (table).

Beech prales occupy the largest area among the virgin forests of the Ukrainian Carpathians – 20123 ha. Due to differences in climatic and soil-hydrological conditions, beech always dominates in the stand composition, but with varying admixture of sub-edifiers, among which maple-javel (Jav) is constant. In the lower part of the belt on the southwestern megaslope in stands the participation of skeletal oak (Dsk), mountain elm (Il), spikenard maple (Cl o), and in the northwest – European spruce (E) and white fir (Px) is typical. The stands are of absolutely different ages, with an average development cycle of 260-280 and a maximum of 370 years. Individual trees reach the age of 450-500 years. Beech primeval forests go through seven phases of development: regeneration, young forest, sturgeon, optimum, selective, aging and decay, which are on average 40-60 years. Phases and stages of development (destructive-renewal, optimal, regenerative) predetermine the accumulation of wood, the stocks of which fluctuate within a significant

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stock varies considerably – 120-770 m/ha. In optimum and selective development phases, they are the largest – up to 430 m/ha.

they are the largest and amount to 430-770 m/ha (table).

Under the beech forests, predominantly brown mountain-forest heavy and medium loamy rubbly soils, thick, with high humus content, were formed on limestone rocks in the south-western megaslope and on the north-western – on the Carpathian flysch. Among the 123 plant associations, the dominant ones are Fagetum dentariosum, H. a^upo8it.

The importance of prales ecosystems and their role is multifaceted, which is well studied [3]. We propose a definition of the role of beech prales, based on the fact that all forests perform ecological, economic, social and cultural functions, as well as the understanding that their biospheric function is synthesizing. Biosphere functions of forests are as follows: biogeochemical, energetic, organizational, water-transforming, and environment-forming.

Table – Distribution and characteristics of forests in the Ukrainian Carpathians

Area, ha Age / maximum age of beech, years Stand structure Growing stock, m3/ha

The Carpathian biosphere reserve 480-1300 11325,2 40-370 /500 10Bq units Yl E Px Yas Dsk Cl o 530-720

Gorgany Nature Reserve 950-1100 21.0 40-350 /320 6-7Bk2-3P1E +Yav 560-770

Enchanted Land National Nature Park 740-950 371.0 40-260 /~340 10Bk+Yav 430-530

Uzhansky National Nature Park* 640-1100 3962.1 40-270 /~320 10Bk+P Yav Dsk Cl o 490-660

Synevyr National Nature Park* 450-700 2183.8 40-240 /~360 10Bk+P yav 575-620

750-1300 2200,0 30-280 /370 10Bk+Nv 520-770 Svaliavsky, Bereznikovsky Gankovitskoye, Dusinskoye, Polyanskoe

Slavsky, Oporetskoye 1020-1080 60.0 30-240 /370~ 280 10Bk+Yav E 480-680

Biogeochemical function provides maintenance of physical and chemical parameters of natural environment, first of all, chemical composition of air and surface waters, purification of environment from various biogenic wastes harmful for humans. The energy function provides binding and storage of solar energy in organic matter and subsequent dissipation of energy during consumption and mineralization of organic matter. The synthesis of organic matter results in the accumulation of biotic resources and the decomposition process results in the accumulation of organogenic matter. The higher the level of organization of natural ecosystems, the more resistant they are to external perturbations. The water-transforming function ensures the existence of living beings, the productive process. Concentrating function ensures evolutionary process of living systems development, preserving biodiversity.

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Beech virgin forests are characterized by high biodiversity. For example, 438 species of lichens, 216 species of fungi, 434 species of mosses, and 391 species of algae have been recorded in the Ugolsko-Shirokoluzhansky Forest Reserve and its buffer zone [1, 4]. Almost all wood-destroying fungi found on the European continent are common here. We noted 57 species of xylotrophs on rotten beech wood. Among 1029 species of vascular plants [1] in beech forests there are species from the Red Book of Ukraine: Atropa belladonna, Lunaria rediviva, Epipactis helleborine, Lilium martagón, Scopolia carniolica, Epipactis purpurata, Epipactis microphylla and many endemics.

Large areas of prales ecosystems help preserve populations of many animal species, they are home to 54 mammal species, 10 amphibian species, 7 reptiles, and 91 bird species [1, 4], among which are all European woodpecker species, rare and endemic species of amphibians (Rana dalmatina, Triturus montandoni and Salamandra salamandra), reptiles (Elaphe longissima and Coronella austriaca), birds (Ciconia ni-gra, Aquila pomarina, Grus grus and Strix uralensis), mammals (Rhinolophus hipposideros, Plecotus auritus, Felis silvestris) and others.

Pristine forests are the best preserved invaluable gene pool of beech and several other species, so they are an extremely important object for understanding the full picture of history and evolution.

Beech prales occupy the largest area among the virgin forests of the Ukrainian Carpathians (20123 ha) and have a complex age and spatial structure, a high level of self-organization and self-regulation. The duration of the development cycle is 260-280, maximum – 370 years.

Biosphere, as synthesizing functions of forests, are the following: biogeochemical, energetic, organizational, water-transforming and environment-forming. Beech virgin forests are places of preservation of extremely rich diversity of plant and animal life.

List of references

Bioregions of the Carpathian Buffer Reserve [Text]/ edited by J.1.Movchan. – Kshv : Intercultural Center, 1997. – 710 с.

2. The rules of national natural park “Synevyr”/ Derbak M., Tyukh Y., Yarema Y. [Elektr. resource : http://www.rtkorr.com/news/2011/03/21/225747.new

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Stoyko S., Kopach V. Centenary of Establishment of the Primeval Forest Reserves in the Ukrainian Carpathians. [Monograph] / S.Stoyko, V.Kopach – Lviv, 2012. – 60 p.

4. Virgin forests of Transcarpathia. Inventory and management [Text]/ Hamor F., Dovhanych Ya., Pokynchereda V., Sukharyuk D., Bundzyak Yo., Berkela Yu, Voloshchuk M., Hodovanets B., Kabal M. – Rakhiv, 2008. – 86 p.

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