Čermák, P.*, Mikita, T., Trnka, M., Štěpánek, P., Jurečka, F., Kusbach A. and Šebesta, J. 2018. Changes of Climate Characteristics of Forest Altitudinal Zones within the Czech Republic and their Possible Consequences for Forest Species Composition. Baltic

Forest altitudinal zones are important ecological units of forest classification within the Czech Republic. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the changes of climate characteristics of forest altitudinal zones (FAZ) during climatic seasons of 1961-1990 and 1991-2014 within the Czech Republic. Based on these changes, the risks in forestry are identified and it is evaluated whether the current concept of FAZ is still applicable to the differentiation of forest management in the face of climate change. The most important changes from the perspective of growth conditions occurred after 1990 from the 1st to 3rd FAZs, where temperatures increased significantly, spring precipitation decreased, and both the number of days with absolute maximum temperature above 30°C and reduced water availability in the soil increased. The detected changes of climate parameters of forest altitudinal zones are an important factor affecting the FAZs application in forest management used in the forestry practice.
Keywords: forest altitudinal zone, climate change, long-term planning, risk, forest management