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Strengthening research in virgin and managed forests as basis for biodiversity conservation and sustainable use of forest resources in the Ukrainian Carpathians

English title Strengthening research in virgin and managed forests as basis for biodiversity conservation and sustainable use of forest resources in the Ukrainian Carpathians
Applicant Commarmot Brigitte
Number 111087
Funding scheme SCOPES
Research institution Swiss Federal Research Inst. WSL Direktion
Institution of higher education Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research - WSL
Main discipline Agricultural and Forestry Sciences
Start/End 01.10.2005 - 31.03.2009
Approved amount 100'000.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Agricultural and Forestry Sciences

Keywords (4)

virgin forest research; biodiversity; close-to-nature silviculture; sustainable forest use

Lay Summary (English)

Lay summary
The forests of the Ukrainian Carpathians are of high ecological and economic value. Almost 20’000 ha of virgin forests remain in the Ukrainian Carpathians; some of them are considered as unique for Europe. They are most valuable for nature conservation and constitute most important study sites for forest ecosystem research. Timber is an important income factor for the Transcarpathian region where forests cover more than 50% of the area. Economic pressure and current logging practices, however, do not sufficiently take into account the various functions of the forests.Changes towards a multi-purpose forest management and a sustainable nature-friendly use of the natural resources are necessary.
The general aim of this Institutional Partnership is to strengthen scientific institutions which play an important role in nature conservation, forestry and forest ecosystem research and to support them in developing a scientific basis for the conservation of biodiversity and for a sustainable and ecologically safe utilisation of the natural forest resources.
In several joint research projects structures, dynamics and biodiversity of virgin forests are studied and compared to those of managed forests. An inventory concept for monitoring the structure and dynamics of virgin forests will be elaborated and tested and a database for monitoring and experimental plots created. A long-term silvicultural experiment to harvest and to naturally regenerate secondary Norway spruce forests without clear-cuts and to transform them inthe long run into mixed, structured forests is initiated in collaboration with the Swiss-Ukrainian Forest Development Project FOR-ZA. An excursion guide to the unique virgin beech forest Uholka will be published and a project web site about the Swiss-Ukrainian partnership established. Ukrainian and Swiss scientists will have the opportunity for mutual study visits.
The research results shall contribute to optimise management strategies for the conservation of forest biodiversity and for a sustainable, close-to-nature use of the forest resources. The harmonisation of research and monitoring methods shall facilitate the exchange and comparability of data and results and help to integrate the Ukrainian partners in international networks. Scientists participating in joint research projects, study visits and trainings will improve their scientific and language skills and enhance their competitiveness. The international co-operation will raise the national and international image and reputation of the institutions. Diverse publications shall increase national and international public awareness of the rich natural heritage of the Ukrainian Carpathians and contribute to its long-term conservation.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

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