Eduard Průša and followers

Complex research of virgin forests was initiated by Ing. Eduard Průša, CSc. in the 1970s in the network of virgin forests that were selected in different forest vegetation zones and on various types of habitats (Bílá Opava, Boubín, Cahnov-Soutok, Doutnáč, Kohoutov, Milešice, Polom, Ranšpurk, Razula, Salajka, Stožec, Žákova hora, Žofín). The tree layer was geodetically localized in the entire reserve, regeneration and forest types were mapped, permanent typological plots were established which served for surveys of changes in herb layer and soil conditions, transects were surveyed in order to study forest structure, etc. This research represented the largest survey in virgin forests that had been carried out in the Czechoslovakia at the given time (PRŮŠA 1972, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1985a, 1985b, 1990; PIŠTA et PRŮŠA 1974; PRŮŠA et HOLUŠA 1976; PRŮŠA et VOKOUN 1984). Some surveys were repeated in a limited range in the 1980s (PRŮŠA 1988, 1989).


Cahnov-Soutok 1973 – Průša’s map of virgin forest

From 1994 to 2000, surveys in reserves captured by Ing. Průša were repeated during a long-term project “Research of the dynamics of primeval forests in the Czech Republic” carried out by research team “Blue Cat” at the Department of Forest Ecology, Nature Conservation Agency. A complete review of all original surveys after ca. 20-25 years was gradually conducted. This network was completed by repeated surveys in localities targeted by other authors who used Průša’s original methodology – Velká Pleš (MOUCHA 1978) and Jiřina (OKÁČ 1984) – and also in new localities (Diana, Hojná Voda, Lipina, Mionší, Sidonie). Also original surveys from other authors were used – e.g. from the locality V Klučí (BATELKA 1975; BATELKA et BOHÁČEK 1976). As a result, a network of 20 monitored localities which include a complete range of vegetation zones in the Czech Republic (Table 1) was established. At the same time, a collection of results from original reserves or PRP in the reserves was transformed using a unified methodological framework and spatial data were digitized. This is essential for further research and synthesis of partial results. Part of the results has already been published (ODEHNALOVÁ 2001; VRŠKA 1996, 1997a, 1997b, 1998a, 1998b; VRŠKA et al. 1999, 2000; VRŠKA et al. 2000, 2001a-c; VRŠKA et al. 2001, 2002) and others are gradually prepared for publications.

Cahnov-Soutok 1973 – Průša’s map of virgin forest (segment)

Synthetic process of the results from individual publications related to the research topic is essential and indispensable. This topic has been addressed in the long term by our leading forest ecologist and colleague Ing. Igor Míchal, CSc. (MÍCHAL 1983).