Definition of the databank

Databank of natural forest in the Czech Republic (Databank) is an information and informatics platform of research of the natural forests in the Czech Republic, conducted by the Department of Forest Ecology at the Silva Tarouca Research Institute for Landscape and Ornamental Gardening, Pub. Res. Inst., former Agency for Nature Conservation or Czech Authority of Nature Conservation VaMP – for further details see page Current research.

Development of the databank

Development of the databank is related to these four projects:

a) Project VaV 610/1/99 (1999-2001) – Research and management of forest ecosystems in special protected areas of the Czech Republic; subtask 1.2 – Analysis of forest ecosystems in the existing SSPAs aiming to optimize this system.A network of forest reserves as a geographical database was one of the main project outputs. It captures all small special protected areas (SSPAs) with forest or areas intended to fulfil forest function. Areas were divided into four according to the definition of forest role in relation to the protection of SSPA. This database of “forest” SSPAs is still managed and updated as a basic platform for other data sets.

b) Project VaV 610/6/02 (2002-2004) – Research and collection of knowledge about condition and distribution of natural forests in the Czech Republic.The main output of the project was represented by the Databank itself. Data set of forest reserves gathered and primarily classified during the previous project served as an input. “Forest” SSPAs were surveyed both from the perspective of present condition and historical development (see Methodology of assessing naturalness of forests) to select more valuable forests from the set. This survey was applied not only to the present network of “forest” SSPAs but also to all other forests in the Czech Republic without the SSPA status or outside this category (forests in National parks, Protected landscape areas, so called open landscape without legislatively insured special protection). Thus we cannot say that the Databank is a subset of “forest” SSPAs network but that it stems from it.

c) Project VaV SM/6/153/05 (2005-2008) – Monitoring dynamics of natural forests left to spontaneous development; development of methodology for selecting areas with communities left to natural processes, designing methods and techniques of care for these areas.The project follows the above mentioned projects by narrowing selection of localities that already are or should be left to spontaneous development. Monitoring based on a methodology created specifically for this type of localities was initiated in the localities that were already set aside; i.e. a first set of data about their state was gathered. The monitoring was based on statistical inventory of network of permanent circular plots (see output from the METHODOLOGY of monitoring forests left to spontaneous development).

d) Research project MSM 6293359101 (2005-2011) – Research into sources and indicators of biodiversity in cultural landscape in the context of its fragmentation dynamics; part 3 – Research and monitoring of the developmental dynamics of natural forests left to spontaneous development as a basis for restoration management in the network of protected areas.The aim of the project was to ensure long-term continuity of natural forests research. The research was conducted in the form of extensive nationwide investigation since 1972 at a limited series of 20 localities including vegetation gradient from first to eight forest vegetation degree. The network of researched localities was a subset of localities of natural forests present in the Databank.

Current state of the Databank

Data from the questionnaire survey were collected from nearly all localities of natural forests. Data from localities from first two military districts were added in 2007.GIS data were collected or finalized for the most part of the Czech Republic. Outer boundaries are available for all localities while interior division according to the degree of forest naturalness is available for approx. 75 % of the localities.

Up-to-date data of forest management plans (FMP), so called “forest detail” in the digital form, were available only in the forest stands owned by the Forests of the Czech Republic authority and thus basic vegetation data are not available for all localities.



Future of the Databank

  • Adding so far missing localities
  • Adding localities that have not so far met criteria of the forest naturalness (permanent actualization of the Databank)
  • Adding values of descriptive attributes that have not been researched yet (mainly time left to spontaneous development)
  • Actualization in the qualitative sense (substitution of geometric attributes of a locality by data of higher qualitative class – accessing data from FMP)
  • Actualization of data about localities based on the declaration of new SSPAs
  • Actualization of localities based on spatial and qualitative changes in the National Parks zonation
  • Output in the form of map “Important localities of old-growth forests in the Czech Republic” in the Landscape Atlas of the Czech Republic