Objective Evaluation of Forest Naturalness: Case Study in Slovak Nature Reserve
Ján Merganič1,2, Katarína Merganičová1,2, Martin Moravčík3, Ján Vorčák4, Róbert Marušák1
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1Department of Forest Management, Faculty of Forestry and Wood Sciences,
Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Kamýcká 129, 165 21 Praha 6 – Suchdol, Czech Republic
2Forest Research, Inventory and Monitoring (FORIM), Huta 14, 962 34 Železná Breznica, Slovakia
3National Forest Centre – Forest Research Institute Zvolen, T. G. Masaryka 22, SK-960 92 Zvolen, Slovakia
4Secondary Forestry Training School, Medvedzie 135, 027 47 Tvrdošín, Slovakia
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2012;21(5):1327–1337
Our paper analyzes the naturalness of the forest in Babia Hora Nature Reserve, Slovakia, using an objective classification model based on predictive discriminant analysis. The partial indicators of forest naturalness in the model are: the arithmetic mean of the ratio between crown length and tree height, deadwood volume, coverage of grasses, coverage of mosses and lichens, the Clark-Evans aggregation index, and the coefficient of variation of tree diameters. The analysis of the model results revealed that the model was capable of distinguishing the parts of the reserve affected by natural disturbances and/or by past human activities. Hence, the classification model can be used as a supportive decision-making tool when adopting proper measures aimed at improving the actual state or decisions about changing the use of forests with evidently low natural values.