Description of the research

Native forests in Hungary have a complex designation for society: beside the satisfaction of timber and firewood demands, among others they contribute to biodiversity conservation, help the maintenance of air and water quality and healthy environment, have an important touristic role, as well as create job opportunities. All of these functions can be maintained for long term only by ecologically sustainable forest management. These purposes are satisfied by continuous cover forestry, which is extending in Hungary. It maintains a continuous, uneven aged forest cover in the course of timber production, because – instead of large cutting areas – it creates only gaps (small-sized cut patches). However, the techniques of this management type have not been elaborated well, yet: investigations, which compare the effects of different forestry treatments from many points of view simultaneously, are lacking.
Our two field experiments aim to fill this knowledge gap, which are leaded by the MTA Centre for Ecological Research in cooperation with Pilis Parkerdő Ltd., and many other research organisations jointed to it. The Pilis Forestry Systems Experiment, started in 2014, compares the forestry treatments of shelterwood (clear-cutting, preparation-cutting, retention tree group) and continuous cover forestry (gap-cutting) systems. The Pilis Gap Experiment has been begun in 2018, it investigates the effect of gap size and gap shape in the framework of continuous cover forestry.
In both experiments, we would like to answer the question how do the various forestry treatments affect the forest site, the forest biodiversity and the regeneration of the stands. We study the microclimatic conditions, the soil and litter characteristics. We investigate the changes of many different animal groups (ground beetles, spiders, enchytraeid worms, flies), of the understory vegetation and of the tree regeneration. In the case of the most important tree species, the individual growth of saplings is also monitored. We study the effect of ungulate browsing on the regeneration, and the decomposition processes in the different treatments as well. The detailed description of the two experiments and the summary of the short-term results can be found in the Document repertory: https://www.piliskiserlet.ecolres.hu/en/node/89.

Supports

2014-2015 MTA Infrastructure Grant (supervisor: Péter Ódor)
2015-2018. Hungarian Science Foundation (OTKA K111887, supervisor: Péter Ódor)
2016-2017. MTA Postdoctoral Grant (supervisor: Flóra Tinya, Péter Ódor)
2016-2020. National Research, Development and Innovation Office (GINOP 2.3.3-15-2016-00019, supervisor: András Báldi)
2018-2020. National Research, Development and Innovation Found (PD 123811, supervisor: Flóra Tinya)
2018-2022. National Research, Development and Innovation Found (K128441, supervisor: Péter Ódor)
2018-2019. MTA Excellence Cooperation Program (supervisor: András Báldi)