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CR 73:57-71 (2017)  -  DOI:

Forest ecosystem services affected by natural disturbances, climate and land-use changes in the Tatra Mountains

Peter Fleischer1,2, Viliam Pichler1, Peter Fleischer Jr.1, Ladislav Holko3, František Máliš1,4, Erika Gömöryová1,*, Pavel Cudlín5, Jan Holeksa6, Zuzana Michalová7, Zuzana Homolová2, Jaroslav Škvarenina1, Katarína Střelcová1, Pavol Hlaváč1

1Faculty of Forestry, Technical University in Zvolen, 96053 Zvolen, Slovakia
2Research Station of TANAP, State Forest of TANAP, 059 60 Tatranská Lomnica, Slovakia
3Institute of Hydrology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, 031 05 Liptovský Mikuláš, Slovakia
4Forest Research Institute Zvolen, National Forest Centre, 960 92 Zvolen, Slovakia
5Institute of Systems Biology and Ecology, Academy of Sciences, 370 05 České Budejovice, Czech Republic
6Faculty of Biology, Adam Mickiewicz University, 61 614 Poznań, Poland
7Faculty of Forestry and Wood Technology, Czech University of Life Sciences, 16 521 Prague, Czech Republic
*Corresponding author: Advance View was available online June 28, 2017

ABSTRACT: The consequences of large-scale disturbances magnified by climate extremes and land-use changes in Norway spruce forests in the Tatra Mountains (Slovakia) are assessed in this study. The study area is part of the territory of Tatra National Park (TANAP). The driver-pressure-state-impact-response (DPSIR) framework was applied to evaluate how the ecosystem and its services are affected. The state of the ecosystem and its potential for provisioning ecosystem services before and after disturbances is expressed by a set of indicators derived mostly from long-term ecological research conducted in TANAP. The differences are classified by a standardised change index (CI). Ten years after the major windthrow disturbance in 2004, all ecosystem services were still below the pre-disturbance state. The most pronounced declines were found in cultural (average CI = 0.69) and provisioning (average CI = 0.86) ecosystem services. Regulating services are recovering faster (average CI = 0.97), with some indicators exceeding the state before the disturbances. Significant changes took place at the tree line, which is a new phenomenon not known from previous disturbances. Despite a gradual recovery of the ecosystem state and functioning, this analysis confirms that there is a serious risk of decline in forest ecosystem benefits according to regional climate change projections. It also indicates the increasing importance of sustainable forest management for safeguarding ecosystem services under changing conditions.

KEY WORDS: Forest ecosystem state · Bark beetle outbreak · Long-term research

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Cite this article as: Fleischer P, Pichler V, Fleischer P Jr, Holko L and others (2017) Forest ecosystem services affected by natural disturbances, climate and land-use changes in the Tatra Mountains. Clim Res 73:57-71.

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