The forest cover plays a crucial role in the formation and preservation of Plitvice Lakes. In order to preserve this natural treasure, it is important to understand its components, structure, mutual influences, interdependencies, potential threats and, above all, to raise awareness of the rules and importance of its protection. Driven by these motives, the Faculty of Forestry and Wood Technology of the University of Zagreb and Oikon Ltd – Institute of Applied Ecology have jointly published a monograph The Forests of the Plitvice Lakes National Park by Joso Vukelić, Irena Šapić, Damir Ugarković and Krešimir Krapinec. In this monograph, the authors have summarised the results of their multi-year research as well as the knowledge of other scientists and experts studying the forests of Plitvice Lakes National Park.
The publication is a multidisciplinary synthesis of research results from five multi-year scientific projects in which the authors have studied different forest segments of the national park. The focus is on the phytocenological study of forest vegetation, which includes the description and mapping of 13 associations and three vegetation types, as well as a general overview of other successional stages and anthropogenically influenced stands. The phytocenological results are based on 201 phytosociological relevés, and the mapping was carried out using satellite and orthophotos in combination with field surveys. The first part deals with the basic ecological factors influencing the composition and distribution of vegetation types, while the final part gives a comprehensive overview of the fauna research results, with a special focus on the potential habitat of the western capercaillie and survival of the hazel grouse.
The research methodology, analysis and interpretation of the results allow international comparisons and applications for all initiatives promoting the enhancement, conservation, and sustainable use of forest ecosystems. This monograph is aimed at scientists, forestry experts, students and all nature lovers and serves as a valuable source of information on the natural wonders of Plitvice Lakes.
To access the monograph The Forests of the Plitvice Lakes National Park together with the accompanying phytosociological relevés and a map of forest communities, please visit the following link. The materials are in Croatian.