A few thoughts about sustainable sylviculture in the context of the weather extremes of 2010
Keywords: climate change, sustainability, sylviculture, species and variety, natural management
The year 2010 will be a memorable year for Hungarian forests and sylviculture. A series of serious unfavourable weather factors caused unexpected damages to our forests. Thousands of trees and several hundreds of hectares of forest were razed by the harsh storms, jeopardizing the sustainable natural forest management envisaged for the areas. Experience gained throughout 2010 confirmed the need to continue research into climate change and to summarise, evaluate and utilize practical experience as soon as possible. Most of the ongoing research efforts will supply scientifically grounded, practically useful results after a longer period of time.
Extreme weather makes up a significant portion of the abiotic and biotic damages threathening the forests (primary abiotic damage factor). Damages caused by storms, snow and wind, frost and ice, drought and flood have been known before to the forestry industry, but they have intensified. So far, both research and practice confirms that the following actions offer protection againts the major damage factors: selection of species and varieties in line with the ecological characteristics; raising mixed forests consisting of many tree species; modern, natural forest management, the planting of new forests and raising them and caring for them in line with the laws of nature.