“Virgin Forests in the Transcarpathia (Ukraine)
as the core areas of Pan-European ecological network”
Forests in the Transcarpathia (Ukraine) cover an area of ca.
647700 ha within which 434300 ha are the broad-leaved forests and 213400 ha are
the coniferous ones. There are numerous ecological niches and a high plant
diversity because of the landscape diversity (plains, foothills, mountains), a
great elevation of altitude (400 to 2061 m above sea level), relief and bedrock
diversity, also a high variety of soils and hydrological conditions.
forests in the Transcarpathia consist of the characteristic for the Central
Europe tree species. Beech (Fagus sylvatica) predominates here (59%), spruce (Picea
abies) and fir (Abies alba) comprise together 32%, and the participation of
spruce is larger because of the people economic activity. The natural spruce
forests (Piceeta abietis) cover the spacious area and they grow at 1200-1650 m
above sea level. The fir-spruce forests (Abieto- Piceeta) are characteristic for
poor and acid soils in the limits of the beech vegetation belt. Pine (Pinus
cembra) and larch (Larix decidua) occur here and there. The territory of the oak
forests (several species of Quercus) covers 7,5%, and the forests of ash-tree (Fraxinus
excelsior), maple (Acer pseudoplatanus), elm (Ulmus glabra) and some other
species are distributed at the limited area.
composition of the forest vegetation is mostly determined here by altitude zones.
So the oak forests are distributed in the plain and foothill part of the
Transcarpathia, and the oak-ash flood forests (Quercetum roboris-Fraxineta) are
typical for the terraces of the Tysa, Borzhava and Latorytsya rivers. The oak
forests with participation of hornbeam (Carpineto-Querceta roboris) are
distributed in the foothills, and the oak-beech forests (Fageto-Querceta
petraeeae) are characteristic for the Hutyn-Tomnatyk Mountain Range.
beech forests occupy the largest territories within the Transcarpathia, and
optimal growing conditions for beech are within limits of 350-1450 m a.s.l. The
pure beech stands (Fageta sylvaticae) frequently grow here almost without lower
layer. Next to them, there is a number of forests transient to mixed ones. For
example, rock oak (Quercus petraea) is an admixture in the warmer lower
vegetation belts, and yew tree (Taxus baccata) together with lime tree (Tilia
cordata) occur on the limestone bedrocks.
crooked woodland of mountain pine (Pinus mugo), green alder (Alnus viridis) and
siberian juniper (Juniperus sibirica) are characteristic for the subalpine belt
of the Transcarpathia.
The Flora of the Transcarpathia includes ca. 2600 species of the Higher Plants (ca. 2500 species of the Vascular Plants), and among them there are 120 Carpathian endemics.
present time the full understanding of the location and size of territories of
the Transcarpathian primeval forests is absent, therefore, a lot of these
forests have not protected status, and a large part of them continues to be
under anthropogenic press and their territories continue to be reduced. Besides,
the Ukrainian Government doesn’t have an appropriate policy concerning the
management of various primeval forest types.
for realization of the Project
the scientific circles and the forestry practice, the more and more attention is
payed to problems of the stable forestry, especially in the mountain forests.
The Swiss-Ukrainian Project for the forestry development in the Transcarpathia (FORZA),
also the results of the collaboration of the Carpathian Biosphere Reserve and
other Scientific Institutions together with the Swiss Federal Institute of
Forest, Snow and Landscape (WSL) in the frame of the Projects of the Swiss
Scientific Foundation (SCOPES) plays the essential role in Ukraine. The
actuality of problems according the stable forestry in the Carpathians also is
increasing after the ratification of the Frame Convention concerning the
protection and stable development ot the Carpathians and taking of the new
version of the Forest Codex of Ukraine.
point 85 of this Law matters very much because it garantees the primeval forest
protection and the conservation of a wild nature as a whole. It is a new
approach to the natural protection in Ukraine, therefore, it is very important
to have the complete and objective notion concerning the quantitative and
qualitative composition of the primeval forest ecosystems. But at the present
time the such data in fact are absent. In this context the Ukrainian-Dutch
Project “Virgin Forests in the Transcarpathia (Ukraine) as the core areas of
Pan-European ecological network” is very important.
forementioned Project is carried out in Ukraine in the frames of the
International Programme of the nature management PIN-MATRA and it is supported
by the Dutch Government. It is also expedient to note that in 2001-2005 the
Romanian Forestry Institute (ICAS) and the Forestry Institute of the Bulgarian
Academy of Sciences (FRI-BAS) already completed the inventory and mapping of the
primeval forests in Romania and Bulgaria exactly in the frames of this Programme,
besides, and at present time the Slovakian National Forestry Institute is
analyzing the state of the natural forests in Slovakia.
importance of this Project is increasing because of the Ukrainian-Slovak
nomination “Beech primeval forests of the Carpathians” recently presented
for its inclusion into “The List of the World Nature and Culture Heritadge of
Project of inventory and mapping of the primeval forests in the Transcarpathia
is conducting in the frames of the Contract on collaboration between the Dutch
Royal Society of the Nature Protection (DRSNP) and the Carpathian Biosphere
Reserve (CBR) according to the agreement of the Ministry of the Nature
Protection of Ukraine (letters ¹26-9-10/477 from 19.07.2005 and ¹865/29-8
from 30.01.2006) and the State Commitee of Forestry of Ukraine (letter ¹
06-18/4963 from 20.12.2005).
the elaboration of the Manual the data of the Forestry Institute of the
Bulgarian Academy of Sciences were used.
implementation of this Project will give to specify the exact space location of
these forests and to elaborate measures on their protection and use.
Main and long-term objectives
The overall objective of the Project is to favour the long-term conservation of the primeval complexes in the Transcarpathia by instillation of the sustainable management and protection of the valuable forests and for the approaching of them up to the standards of the Helsinki Declaration and requirements of the EU. As a result of the carrying out of the Project, a list of the primeval forests has to be prepared and it would be based on the scientific criteria. The outcomes of the Project would be reflected in the “Action Plan for the forests protection and management and their inclusion to the PEEN/Natura 2000”. The very important long-term objective is also to promote the comprehencion of the importance of the primeval forests conservation by public opinion .
Working out of criteria for selection of the forest territories to
be regarded as primeval ones.
Working out of criteria for assessment of the ecological
peculiarities of these ecosystems (structure and conditions for functioning).
Mapping of the forests classified as the primeval ones on the base
of the field studies and usage of methods for analysis of satellite images.
Descriptions of the primeval forests according to their diversity,
types, state and conditions for the sustainable management.
Working out of a strategy for management and protection of these
forests including the emphasizing on the priorities and measures for their
Strengthening of attention to the protection of the primeval
Increasing of the forest owners (state and private persons)
interest by means of arrangement of seminars and relevant publications.
Elaboration of the recommendations for monitoring and future
precise study in these forests.