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Latest Articles

From forest functions to forest ecosystem services – the evolution of the attitude towards forest benefits in Poland
Od funkcji lasu do leśnych usług ekosystemowych – ewolucja podejścia do korzyści z lasu w Polsce
Abstract: This article presents the concept of forest functions (FF) as well as the emergence and development of the concept and understanding of FF and its significance for the model of multifunctional forest management in Poland in the last century, since the end of the First World War. Against this background, the concept of ecosystem services (ES) is discussed and the differences to the concept of FF are shown, as well as the possibilities arising from a broader adoption of the idea of ES in practise as a complement to the model of multifunctional forest management. The study was conducted on the basis of a content analysis of legal acts and programme documents on forest management to include issues of FF and multifunctionality of forest management and was complemented by a literature review of the four most important Polish forest science journals (‘Sylwan’, ‘Folia Forestalia Polonica’, ‘Leśne Prace Badawcze’ and ‘Polish Journal of Forestry’). Based on the collected source material and its characteristics, four thematic areas were defined, for which a detailed content analysis was carried out: the concept of FF and multifunctional forest management; the concept of ES; FF and ES in Polish literature on this topic; FF and ES in legal acts and programme documents; FF and ES in operational documents of forest management in Poland. We conclude that although both concepts have different origins, they have many points of contact and are largely complementary. Neither concept is free of drawbacks, but the increasing popularity of the ES concept in relation to forests suggests that it compensates for and complements the shortcomings of the FF concept. Although the concept of ES is currently not clearly included in Polish forest−related legislation, which is based on the concept of FF, this is likely to change in the future as this concept is used in more and more strategic and programmatic environmental documents. The ES concept, which offers the possibility to quantify, map, evaluate and value forest ES based on ES indicators, can be a very useful tool for planning forest management and conservation measures at the local level or for designing forest and environmental policies at the regional or national level.
Key words: CICES, indicators, multifunctionality, sustainable forest management
The contribution of elms in non−alluvial forest communities depends on the distance from a river
Udział wiązów w zbiorowiskach niełęgowych zależy od odległości od rzeki
Abstract: In this paper, the occurrence of three European elm species was analyzed depending on the location with respect to major or medium−sized watercourses. A river is understood here in a broader sense together with the area of the valley it creates and the riparian communities located in this area. Previous research pointed out that a significant part of the Ulmus laevis total numbers occur outside riparian communities in oak−hornbeam forest communities. The aim of the research presented here was to check whether the distribution of oak−hornbeam forest elm localities is shaped only by the distribution of specific habitats or is it perhaps also related to the distance from the river valley. The study covered 273 randomly selected tree stands in Lower Silesian forests. This is a topographically diverse region with an area of nearly 20,000 km² located in the center of Europe and within the geographical ranges of three European elm species. The paper presents patterns of distribution of individual species and the probabilities of their occurrence at various distances from watercourses. U. laevis, the prevalent species in the area in question, and Ulmus minor, the least frequent one, constitute a statistically homogeneous group of elms that is very closely connected with watercourses. In the case of these two species, more than ⅓ of all localities and over ⅔ of the localities in which elm make up at least 10% of the stand composition are located within 1,000 meters of the watercourse. The connection of Ulmus glabra with valleys of major and medium−sized rivers is significantly smaller. A very significant result of the work presented in this study is the discovery that the contribution of U. laevis in the forest site types of ‘fresh mixed deciduous forest’ (FMDF) and ‘fresh deciduous forest’ (FDF) which encompass fertile variants of communities of typical oak−hornbeam forests depends on the distance from the nearest medium−sized or big river valley.
Key words: ecology, forest composition, plant communities, Ulmus glabra, Ulmus laevis, Ulmus minor
Genetic variability of Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco in northern Poland
Zróżnicowanie genetyczne daglezji zielonej Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco w północnej Polsce
Abstract: Among the introduced conifers, Pseudotsuga menziesii (Douglas−fir) appears to be one of the bestacclimatised species in its secondary range in Europe. This undeniable success was most likely the result of matching secondary growth conditions to the ecological requirements of the native populations. Nevertheless, our knowledge of the genetic structure of the first−generation is still incomplete, leaving uncertainty whether climate changes have influenced the genetic structure of the studied populations. The main aim of the study was to determine the genetic diversity of Douglas−fir populations in northern Poland. Total DNA was isolated from needles collected in five old−growth and one younger stand. Four nuclear microsatellite markers were applied coupled with standard methods of statistical analyses of population molecular genetics. The high genetic diversity of the five first−generation stands corresponds to the diversity of native populations while the younger stand is characterised by a significantly lower genetic variability and a higher inbreeding index. Genetic distance analysis indicates a distinct grouping into two clusters: young population and the first−generation old populations. Here, for the first time we present the results of genetic diversity analysis of this species in northern Poland – western part of South Baltic region. Our results suggest higher genetic distance between older tree stands and younger one. Additionally, the younger stand was characterise by inbreeding. Considering the limitations of the dataset low (number of tree stands), we call for a genetic verification of the origin of artificial populations of Douglas−fir in Poland.
Key words: basic forest material, Douglas−fir, genetic diversity, non−native species, SSR markers
Number, density and sex−age of the moose Alces alces population in north−eastern Poland after 20 years of hunting ban
Liczebność, zagęszczenie i struktura płciowo−wiekowa populacji łosia Alces alces w objętej 20−letnim zakazem polowań północno−wschodniej Polsce
Abstract: The moose hunting ban in Poland resulted in a dramatic growth in population number which is now the cause of major damage to forests and farmlands and numerous traffic accidents. The lack of well−documented data pertaining to moose numbers constitutes the prime barrier to reopening the hunting season. In February 2020, the population density and number of moose were estimated in the Augustów Forest, a large (1120.0 km²) forest complex in north−eastern Poland. Observations made by a 30−person research team recorded moose numbers in 20 sampling plots on 91.5 km² of the total area. The average population density amounted to 1.22 ±0.19 moose/ km² (X̅±SE), indicating that 1344 animals were living in the study area. In autumn, among 609 adults, the sex ratio was 1:1.17 in favour of females and the number of calves per 100 females was estimated as 71.3 individuals. In the 2001−2020 period, the number of moose in the study area increased from 211 to 1344 individuals. The annual finite population increase rate (λ) estimated on this basis for the subsequent time intervals (Nt, Nt+1) attained the value of 1.102 of the initial number, i.e. 10.2% per year. Reasons of low annual increase in population numbers are discussed.
Key words: field observations, moose, Poland, population density, sampling plots, sex−age structure
The changes occurring in oak Quercus robur L. wood as a result of long−term immersion in freshwater of hydrotechnical objects
Zmiany zachodzące w drewnie dębowym wskutek długotrwałego zanurzenia w słodkowodnych obiektach hydrotechnicznych
Abstract: Oak Quercus robur wood is characterized by high durability and resistance to variable weather conditions. It is a heavy, hard material (II hardness class according to Brinell) that is easily split and elastic. As a material, oak wood is easy to process mechanically. Due to these characteristics, oak wood is a valuable resource widely used in construction, including water−related objects. The research material used in this study was oak wood obtained from the sluice gate of the dam in Czaniec. The dam was built in 1958, and the oak elements of the sluice gate were also constructed that year. The studied material was exposed to extremely variable environmental conditions until 2020, being periodically submerged in water and also outside the aquatic environment. In this study, the strength of oak wood was analyzed through bending and compression tests using a Shimadzu AG−XV strength testing machine. Additionally, the chemical properties were examined through elemental analysis using an LECO CHN628 + S analyzer and thermogravimetric analysis on a Mettler Toledo TGA/DSC3 apparatus. The average density of the tested material in an absolutely dry state was 639 kg/m³, with a calorific value of 18.39 MJ/kg. The cellulose content was 43%, hemicellulose 21%, lignin 29%, water 6%, and resin and ash 1%. The tested wood exhibited a bending strength of 76.00 MPa and a compression strength of 60.77 MPa along the fibers. The wood meets the required standards for structural wood according to ISO PN−EN 338:2016−06, with a class of D50. Despite the challenging conditions and the long period of storage, the tested oak wood still retains properties similar to recently obtained oak wood.
Key words: calorific value, elemental composition, wood density
Development of European Union policy on forests and forestry before the European Green Deal
Rozwój polityki Unii Europejskiej w zakresie lasów i leśnictwa przed Europejskim Zielonym Ładem
Abstract: This article presents and analyses the evolution of the European Union’s forest policy prior to the adoption of the European Green Deal in 2019. We provide an overview of the main EU policy initiatives and documents related to forests and forestry up to 2018, based on a content analysis of policy documents and legal acts as well as literature on the subject. In the following sections, we discuss EU initiatives up to 1998, including the Thomas Report (1986), the first Forestry Strategy for the European Union (1998) and the EU Forest Action Plan (2006), the new EU Forest Strategy (2013), and the review of progress in implementing the new EU Forestry Strategy (2018). Our review illustrates the evolution in terms of forest policy formulation by the European Union. Although the EU treaties did not provide a legal basis for EU regulation on forest−related issues, numerous initiatives have been undertaken since the 1960s, initially under the Common Agricultural Policy. Increasing problems with the natural environment, linked mainly to the massive destruction of tropical rainforests and forest fires in the Mediterranean forests, and growing public awareness prompted the EU institutions to take a series of activities in the 1980s and 1990s that broadened the range of forest−related initiatives. As a result, the first EU Forestry Strategy was adopted in the form of a Council Resolution in 1998. Since the early 1990s, Member States and the EU institutions have been taking join action to develop a forest policy framework at the supranational level. Since the early 1990s, forest policy at European level has been supported to a large extent by the Forest Europe process where the European Union and all European countries are signatories), reflecting also global environmental agendas within the United Nations. Forest Europe and EU policies have influenced and complemented each other, and all of the above processes have been clearly reflected in EU policy objectives and actions.
Key words: CAP, forest−focused polices, forest−related policies, forest strategy