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Meeting with students from the Chateaufarine - Besonson Training Center in France

As part of educational and promotional activities conducted by the Natural Forests Plant in Białowieża in cooperation with the LIFE + ForBioSensing project, on April 1,  at the ZLN headquarters a meeting was held with students from the Chateaufarine - Besonson Training Center in France.

The students had the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the scope of work carried out in the Department as part of the LIFE + project and the first results obtained thanks to data obtained as a result of field work and remote methods.

At the beginning Professor Rafał Paluch discussed the effects of dendrochronological work carried out both by the Natural Forest Department and in the LIFE + project. It turns out that thanks to them we can go back almost to the history of the stand by almost 400 years to trace the rate of tree growth, change of microclimate in a given area, and the history of man-made management in the forest, which is associated with traces of fires preserved in wood grain.

Fires in the Forest, caused on a small scale, were associated both with grazing animals and with beekeeping. The idea was to create an open, lighted area where melliferous plants or grazing plants had good growth conditions. They also had a very significant impact on the renewal of pyrophilic species, such as pine.

Preserved traces on wood indicate that such micro-fences in a given tree stand occurred quite regularly, because on average every 10 years. Thanks to them, it is also possible to determine the year of the fire, in what time of year it happened and what climate conditions prevailed at that time. They are also confirmed by historical data showing that in the past Puszcza was a visible forest with large access of light to the forest floor.

Then, the main research objectives related to the LIFE + project were discussed, such as:

- monitoring of the dynamics of forest stands of the Białowieża Primeval Forest, including problems related to the dying of spruce (expansion of the bark beetle) and ash, the expansion of the hornbeam

- analysis of ways of renewing, rejuvenation and regeneration of stands as well as dynamics of naturally occurring gaps

- use of data from above-ground monitoring areas as a reference for data obtained remotely (satellite data, aerial scanning, laser scanning)

Remote methods will in the future allow for the collection of data on stands (including valuable natural sites located on hard-to-reach areas) and large forest facilities, which will improve the methods of environmental monitoring and will allow better planning of conservation activities in the Białowieża Forest in order to preserve it. full biodiversity.

The lecture met with great interest of students. Interest in, among others, issues related to the bark beetle gradation, pine natural renewal and hornbeam expansion in the Bialowieza Forest, and the possibilities that remote techniques bring with it.

At the end of the meeting, as a surprise, the students had the opportunity to observe our colleagues at work and exchange their observations with them.


Text and photo: D.Raczkowska-Paluch