A healthy forest needs diseased trees
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Katedra Bioróżnorodności Leśnej, Uniwersytet Rolniczy im. Hugona Kołłątaja w Krakowie, al. 29 Listopada 46, 31-425 Kraków, Polska
Online publication date: 2020-07-09
Publication date: 2020-07-09
Fragm. Flor. et Geobot. Pol. 2020; XXVII(1): 5–15
Foresters in Poland have accepted the presence of coarse woody debris (CWD) in managed forests, but there is still a tendency to remove any diseased tree from the forest stand as soon as possible. Trees invaded by bark beetles or infested by pathogenic fungi are considered a threat to forest health. That approach is typical for timber-oriented forest management. In Poland, where multifunctional forestry is a declared policy in all forests belonging to the National Forests Enterprise, the rules for managing and protecting forest stands are uniform throughout the country. This does not allow some diseased or malformed specimens to be spared during forestry work as prospective habitat trees and as future sources of CWD. Without relaxation of the rules concerning sanitary cutting, it will be difficult to maintain or increase the current amount of CWD. There is no point in sparing diseased or injured trees in forest areas that are of no great value for recreation or conservation, where timber production is the priority, but in areas where recreation and conservation of biodiversity are of high value the rules should be changed to allow the number of habitat trees and the amount of CWD to increase.