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Latest Articles

Ecological succession of bryophytes and lichens on mineral−soil habitats originated within windthrows (Kampinos National Park, central Poland)
Sukcesja ekologiczna mszaków i porostów w obrębie mineralnych siedlisk inicjalnych na wiatrołomach (Kampinoski Park Narodowy, środkowa Polska)
Abstract: Windthrows are common, natural disturbances in forest ecosystems. One of the effects of these disturbances is the exposure of mineral soil, which is gradually colonised by plants and other organisms via secondary succession. The aim of this research, conducted in the windthrows in the Kampinos National Park (central Poland), was to determine the changes in composition, richness, and abundance of the bryophytes and lichens inhabiting the mineral habitats of uprooted trees and to identify the level of its distinctiveness from the surrounding forest floor. The largest number of species (28) was found in pits; fewer species were found on the lower part of the uproot mounds (21), and in the vicinity of the uprooted trees (16). Many species differed in abundance and in their fidelity to the selected habitat types. Significant changes in the species richness and composition of the habitat types were observed between the first and third year after the disturbance. A large number of species inhabited the pits, and there was a gradual increase in the lower parts of the uproot plates. The communities of the pits and lower parts of the mounds were similar in the first year after the windthrow. After three years the pits became more similar to the undisturbed sites, whereas the opposite tendency was observed in relation to lower parts of the mounds. There were important differences in (a) condition between the studied habitats as estimated using ecological indicator values, and (b) the share of species with different types of growth forms and life strategies.
Key words: colonist species, ecological indicator values, liverworts, mosses, mound, pit, treefall disturbance
The first observation of Lobaria pulmonaria (L.) Hoffm. on Malus domestica Borkh. in the Białowieża Forest
Pierwsze stanowisko granicznika płucnika Lobaria pulmonaria (L.) Hoffm. na jabłoni domowej Malus domestica Borkh. w Puszczy Białowieskiej
Abstract: North−eastern Poland is an area of high natural values, including a well−preserved, varied and rich biota of lichens. It is a kind of refuge for many lichen species. Lichens are much more frequent and more abundant here than in other regions of the country. The Białowieża Forest is distinguished by the presence of the best−preserved natural habitats in the Polish lowlands. The lichen biota of the Białowieża Forest has been studied by many lichenologists. The data were provided by numerous studies dating back to the 19th century. Lichens belong are of significant importance for the natural environment; moreover, they are most sensitive to contemporary anthropogenic changes in natural environments. Many species occurring in Poland are threatened with extinction. One of the flagship lichen species in Poland is the lungwort lichen Lobaria pulmonaria (L.) Hoffm. It is a characteristic representative of the lichen biota of the whole country and an icon for protection of these organisms. The thalli are easily visible and their identification is unquestionable. The lungwort lichen is one of the most impressive lichens in Poland. It is mainly found in old, undisturbed forests where it is often accompanied by other rare lichen species with similar ecological requirements. The lungwort lichen is an umbrella species, protecting other valuable and rare species. It grows mainly on the bark of deciduous trees, but it has been recorded on exception from the bark of conifers (spruce, fir, pine). A new location of L. pulmonaria was found on Malus domestica Borkh. in 2021. The home apple tree bearing the lungwort lichen is located in the Podcerkwa nature reserve in Polana Berezowo. The tree grows in an open space, a former hunting ground, now a mid−forest meadow mowed as part of a nature reserve protection plan or species protection program. The lichen thallus is located on the north−eastern side of the tree (N−E). The largest thallus is about 17 cm wide, at a height of about 2 m. The tree also has a few smaller thalli, 2 to 10 cm in size, located up to a height of about 3.5 m. Thanks to the discovery of a new site in the Białowieża Forest District, the home apple tree M. domestica Borkh. should also be added to the phorophytes of the lungwort lichen. Until now, in the Polish literature, the lichen has not been recorded from this tree species.
Key words: home apple tree, lichens, lungwort lichen, phorophyte, Polana Berezowo
The content of long−chain hydrocarbons in the bark of selected willow cultivars in the context of cervids' food preferences
Zawartość węglowodorów długołańcuchowych w korze wybranych kultywarów wierzb w kontekście preferencji żywieniowych jeleniowatych
Abstract: The content of long−chain hydrocarbons in the bark of several willow cultivars was investigated. The research material consisted of 10−cm−long apical one−year shoots harvested from 3−year−old carps. The content and composition of hydrocarbons were determined by gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry. All analyzed cultivars contained 19 hydrocarbons in various amounts. Hydrocarbon content was highest in the bark of Salix purpurea clone 1126, mainly due to a high concentration of 9,12−octadecadienoic acid. In turn, eicosanoic acid was found in trace amounts. A correlation analysis showed a positive relationship between browsing intensity and the content of the following compounds in willow bark: hexadecanoic acid, 11−octadecenoic acid, 9,12−octadecadienoic acid, 9,12,15−octadecatrienoic acid, docosanoic acid, and octadecanoid acid.
Key words: deer, long−chain hydrocarbons, willow browsing by cervids
Outside the forest stand: Analysis of urban forest buffer zones to implement nature−based solutions – A case study of Poznań (Poland)
Poza drzewostanem: analiza stref buforowych lasów miejskich jako narzędzie do wdrożenia rozwiązań opartych na przyrodzie– studium przypadku Poznania
Abstract: Urban forests are important and highly valuable natural elements of urban green infrastructure (GI). The tightening of developed areas in the vicinity of urban forests results in negative changes in water relations, the disruption of the continuity of wildlife corridors, and the growing number of users, which has an impact on the degradation of urban forest ecosystems. This study, conducted in Poznań, Poland, provides an analysis of urban forest buffer zones regarding land use type, the high greenery ratio, and the planning decisions that could serve as a nature−based solution (NbS). The study shows a significant change in developed land area in the urban forest buffer zones with the width of 500 m and 100 m. That change occurred between 1997 and 2019 and should be a matter of concern. Coverage of the buffer zones with high greenery, which turned out to be very diverse, could be treated as a forest extension and an element mitigating the negative transition between the forest and the city. Different land use types were taken into consideration, especially in developed areas. The buffer zones of urban forests should be developed with spatial planning tools like data management and decision−making to mitigate the negative impact of the developed areas on the forests. The development of the concept of supporting green infrastructure in urban forest buffer zones, regardless of land use type was also part of the study.
Key words: canopy ratio, forest edge, high greenery, spatial planning, urban forest
Legal and organizational aspects of arson attacks on monumental trees in Poland
Prawne i organizacyjne aspekty podpaleń drzew pomnikowych w Polsce
Abstract: Trees, as natural monuments, have special natural and social significance, therefore their destruction is felt as a great loss. The aim of this article is to consider legal and organizational aspects related to arson of monumental trees in Poland – presentation of the current status, identification of existing deficiencies and shortcomings, as well as to propose solutions to the identified problems. The information about arson attacks on monumental trees was collected as a result of browsing 480 websites using four keywords, including ‘arson attack on nature monument’ (pol. ‘podpalony pomnik przyrody’), of which 175 (unique) were considered useful. Additionally, to the above, reviews of legal acts were carried out, including the Penal Code, the Code of Petty Offences, the Nature Conservation Act and its implementing acts. In total, information was collected about 30 arson attacks on monumental trees, mostly oaks, located most often in southern Poland, which is only a fraction of all such cases of vandalism. The phenomenon has greatly intensified in the second decade of the 21st century, which makes it all the more urgent to consider the legal and organizational issues involved. The analysis of legal acts showed discrepancies in the qualification of such an act (Nature Conservation Act – a petty offence, Penal Code – an offence), which entails different consequences for perpetrators, as well as ambiguities in defining its rank (what is to be considered significant damage?). Additionally, there are several paragraphs in the Penal Code that potentially fit the situation, creating ambiguity as to the ultimate choice of sentence. Also at a disadvantage is the limited case law in this area and the undetermined way to calculate the full value of a monumental tree, which may determine the penalty for the crime. In response to this problem, the authors proposed a simplified way of valuing monumental trees, differentiated according to the rank of the tree set on fire, as well as harsher penalties for the described crime. In addition to the imperfection of the law, a major problem is the low level of enforcement. It is due to the low detection rate of the perpetrators of the crimes – out of the 34 cases of described arson attacks, only in one the perpetrator was revealed and was held liable for his crime. None of the trees were under surveillance or access restriction at the time of the arson. The article analyses the existing procedures (recently introduced in the State Forests), as well as possible technical solutions that could allow a faster and more effective response in case of a threat to a natural monument. The authors considered the protection of the most valuable trees – through the installation of photo traps and temperature/smoke sensors notifying of recorded threats – as the most urgent need, as well as the posting of information about their monitoring.
Key words: fire, fire protection, law enforcement, monitoring, natural monument, vandalism
Early growth of saplings of selected chestnut (Castanea spp.) taxa raised in vegetation cells, hydrogel enriched substrate, or soil
Wczesny przyrost wysokości sadzonek różnych taksonów kasztana (Castanea spp.) hodowanych w komórkach wegetacyjnych, na substracie wzbogaconym hydrożelem i w glebie
Abstract: Climate change mitigation strategies, which include distributing ecological risk over a greater number of tree species in forest ecosystems, increase the attractiveness of cultivating chestnut in selected areas of Slovakia. Artificial restoration practices are important tools for preservation and improvement of the current status of chestnut. However, ongoing technology advances have tended to provoke their revision and actualization. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of sowing on the early growth of saplings of selected chestnut taxa. Chestnut seeds collected from Castanea mollissima (C. moll.), C. crenata (L7) and hybrids C. crenata × C. sativa (C6, B12) were germinated and sowed into the following treatments: vegetation cells (VC), growing substrate enriched by hydrogel (H), or loam soil (C), then raised under standard cultivation conditions over one growing season. During the growing season, the aboveground height was measured every 2 weeks. Despite slightly higher values of height of the aboveground parts of saplings C.moll., B12, and C6 grown in VC, and L7 grown in H, than saplings grown in C, analysis of variance did not reveal these differences as statistically significant. On the other hand, significant differences were observed in the aboveground height of the chestnut taxa. Saplings of C. moll. (28.9 cm) and L7 (25.3 cm) grew significantly taller than hybrids C6 and B12 (17.3 cm and 13.2 cm). Our findings suggest that cultivation of chestnut saplings in VC or H under standard growing conditions does not stimulate growth in height during early growth stages.
Key words: chestnut hybrids, direct sowing, forest restoration, juvenile, large seeds