Machar, I., Pechanec, V., Rejsek, K., Vranova, V. and Kilianova, H. 2018. Knowledge of Forest Management History as a Support Decision Tool for Management Plans of Forest Protected Areas. Baltic Forestry 24(1): 99-108.

   The paper deals with forest management history of Norway spruce dominated forest ecosystem in Central Europe. Until the early 18t h century, the remnants of climax Norway spruce forests below the alpine tree line in study area was affected only by a locally conducted selection logging. By the end of the 18th century, these forests were utilized in two different ways based on available wood transport: (i) forests that allowed transport of harvested wood to the valleys by river drives were intensively harvested by clearcutting with no subsequent artificial restoration, leaving the stands to be sponta-neously renewed by natural regeneration, whereas (ii) forests that did not allow river drives maintained their primeval character. In the subsequent years, the clear cuts often reached the alpine tree line, and, in combination with grazing and hay making, caused a downward shift of the tree line by up to 100 meters of altitude. Abandoning the no longer suitable clear-cut harvests below the alpine tree line in the mid 19th century has the historical influence of forest harvests as one of the factors causing the alpine tree line altitudinal downward shift. Recently, a gradual upward shift of the alpine tree line ecotone is being observed in the study area under climate change. The results of this study suggest that research on forest management history can be consider as a decision-support tool for conservation management strategies for mountain forest habitats in protected areas.

Keywords: acidophilous spruce forests, conservation, forest management, Hruby Jesenik Mountains, Natura 2000.