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Siberian Iris phot. Stefan Michalik

Siberian Iris phot. Stefan Michalik

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Nature protection » Forest ecosystems

Forest ecosystems

Pursuant to a natural evaluation and considering the necessity of protection the most precious refuges of the natural forest ecosystems, the area of the Park was divided into strictly protected areas and the so-called actively protected areas.

Strict protection
 In the areas of the strict protection, there is a strict ban on making any actions. These areas are left for the natural processes. In the MNP 12% of its total area is covered with this form of protection. Currently there are 3 strictly protected areas in the Park:
- Magura Watkowska (1188,69ha)
- Kamien (377,93ha)
- Zimna Woda (847,11ha)
The fourth conservation zone of the strict protection - Slodkie, covering 227ha on, is being prepared.
In these areas forests of the typical primeval character dominate as well as tree stands of high and very high values. There are refuges of the rare forest animals: Brown Bear, Lynx, Wild Cat, Common Marten, Wolf, Badger and birds – Golden Eagle, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Buzzard, Black Stork, White-backed Woodpecker and Dipterans.

Active protection of the conservative character
Active protection is being practised when there is a justified necessity of interference in the ecosystems. The protection of the conservative character, similarly to the strict protection, means the excluding of the human interference. It allows to make certain actions only in case of natural disasters: fire, ice cap, excessive occurrence of the insects and fungi being dangerous for the ecosystems. Some fallen trees attacked by fungi or insects are being removed as part of this form of protection.

Active protection of the stabilization and creative character
As examples of the active form of protection of the stabilization and creative character activities in the tree stand with fir (as a species which doesn’t hold competition with beech) as well as activities in tree stands with other rare and valuable tree species (elms, fruit trees) and trees of the monument size may be mentioned. That work consist in removing trees which interfere with growing of the precious species and help in recovering the tree stand mainly those with fir where the most important aspect is the protection of the young generation of trees from deer (e.g. the applying of repellents – chemical products which protect young trees from being grazed by deer).

The most common form of active protection in the Park is the active protection of the creative character – tree-stand reconstruction. It is being practised in the tree-stands which were introduced on the croplands in the 1950’s. The low topsoil, lack or low amount of both organic matter and microorganisms in soil means that the forest founded on the cropland must consist of the so-called forecrop species that are fast growing tree species. These are: pine, birch, larch, aspen and alder. These species enrich soil with organic matter, they favour the mycorrhiza development and they create a cover for the species introduced later such as: beech, fir, sycamore maple, ash or elm. The forecrop species might be cut down 20-40 years after planting the target species. The forest reconstruction consist of many activities which are long-standing, labour-consuming and expensive. It starts with seed collection in the selected Park seed stands, seed husking and storing, the seeding production in the forest nursery, melioracje and planting, seedlings nurturing, and it ends with the forecrop species removing.