Faculty of Biology, University of Latvia
Hard copy: ISSN 1691–8088
On-line: ISSN 2255–9582
Environ Exp Biol (2019) 17: 9–14
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Environmental and

Environ Exp Biol (2019) 17: 9–14

Orginal Paper

Habitat restoration of coniferous forests on glaciofluvial eskers – four-year results

Guntis Brūmelis1*, Egita Zviedre1, Iluta Dauškane1, Agita Treimane1, Sandra Ikauniece2, Annija Grebeža1
1 Faculty of Biology, University of Latvia, Jelgavas 1, Riga LV–1004, Latvia
2 Nature Conservation Agency, Baznīcas 7, Sigulda LV–2150, Latvia
* Corresponding author, E-mail: guntis.brumelis@lu.lv


European countries have made committments to conservation of habitats of concern listed in Annex 1 of the European Council Directive 92/43/EEC (21 May 1992) on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora. Much of present area of forest habitats of concern has been degraded, as natural processes in forests are not compatable with the main goal in commercial forests on wood productivity. The present work was focused on the EU protected habitat 9060 “Coniferous forests on, or connected to, glaciofluvial eskers”. The typical plant communities of this habitat are well lit under a sparse canopy and often contain rare and protected sun-loving plants. Within the LIFE project “National Conservation and Management Programme for Natura 2000 sites in Latvia”, in winter 2013 – 2014 restoration of two pine stands on an esker system was conducted in the Razna National Park. The restoration attempted to create the natural structure of this habitat by reducing shading of target sun-loving plants by partial harvest of trees and creation of patches of exposed mineral soil. The aim of the present work was to assess the effects of restoration using a Before–After treatment experimental design. In general, management had minimal effect on restoration of the target plant community. Development of a new Pinus sylvestris cohort was initiated, which is expected to increase shading in the future. Further restoration of esker habitat should be employed only when the target sun-loving species are still present, as seed dispersal from neighbouring stands and establishment will likely not be successful. Also, creation of patches with exposed mineral soil requires more complete scarification by mechanical equipment or by burning.

Key words: boreal, light, partial harvest, sun-lit, scarification, vegetation.

Environ Exp Biol (2019) 17: 9–14
 DOI: http://doi.org/10.22364/eeb.17.03

Prof. Gederts Ievinsh
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