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      Biosphere Reserve Information



  General Description   The Polana Biosphere Reserve is situated in central Slovakia within the Western Carpathians Mountains. It represents a mountain landscape with a diverse topography, reflecting a complex geologic history of volcanic activity, faulting and erosion. Nearly 85% of Polana is covered by mainly coniferous forests. The vegetation of Polana is characterized by a common occurrence of both thermophilous and mountain plant species. This reflects the changes in elevation, alternating rock and soil types, influence of the slope aspect and the region’s outlying position south of the main West Carpathians arc.
The area is sparsely inhabited (320 inhabitants in 2002). Within the biosphere reserve, there are three villages, one recreation center, cottages, several farmhouses, and gamekeeper’s lodges. Half of the residents are retired, and those in employment mainly commute to industrial enterprises outside the region, others work in forestry or agriculture. About 18,000 tourists annually visit the area (2002).
One of the main goals of the biosphere reserve is to secure management of abandoned pastures and grasslands to keep valuable biotopes. The biosphere reserve was part of the IUCN project ‘Biodiversity protection and Management of Grassland parts in the Protected Landscape Area and Biosphere Reserve Polana’ (1996-1998). This study aimed at rational and sustainable use of grasslands through the evaluation of abiotic and biotic conditions and proposing a sustainable development strategy to the area.
  Major ecosystem type   Temperate broadleaf forests or woodlands
  Major habitats & land cover types   Primary spruce forests with Picea abies, Sorbus aucuparia and Acer pseudoplatanus; beech forests, mixed forests with beech, fir and spruce characterized by Fagus sylvatica, Abies alba, Picea abies, Acer pseudoplatanus, A. platanoides, Fraxinus excelsior etc.; mixed forest with beech, oak and hornbeam including Quercus robur, Q. petraea, Q. cerris, Carpinus betulus etc.; rock habitats with Cotoneaster integerrimus, C. tomentosus, Rosa pendulina etc.; wetlands with Trollius altissimus, Dactylorhiza majalis, Molinia caerulea, Parnassia palustris etc.; grasslands including Malus sylvestris, Cersus avium and herbs such as Agrostis tenuis, Anthoxanthum odoratum, Nardus stricta, Festuca ovina etc.
  Location   48°39'N; 19°29'E
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   20,360
  Core area(s)   1,338
  Buffer zone(s)   9,183
  Transition area(s) when given   9,839
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   +460 to +1,458
  Year designated   1990
  Administrative authorities   Polana BR administration is responsible for expert statements in nature protection. State administration service gives final decisions. Reports to: State Nature Protection of the Slovak Republic and Ministry of the Environment
  Brief description   Soil chemistry processes in surface layers of andosols
Physical characteristics of atmosphere, including air temperature and humidity, global radiation, soil temperature, precipitation, natural filtration and chemical parameters of soil
Run-off monitoring at the two catchment areas with different forest cover
Monitoring of surface water and soil pollution by oil and oil-based products
Monitoring of NOx and O3 concentrations
Ecological carrying capacity in the catchment area of the Hrinova water reservoir, run-off, erosion and erosion-induced soil loss
Ornito-coenoses, tropical ecology and behaviour of threatened bird species (Lanius minor, Upupa epops, Strix uralensis)
Ecological stability of forest ecosystems
Monitoring of forest health
Forest Intensive Monitoring Programme (ICP Forests - level II)
Utilizing of autochthonous species of trees (mountain ahs, elm, maple)
Game monitoring
Integrated research focusing on effects on forest ecosystems of forest management technologies
Perceptions of farmers regarding termination their low effective agricultural activities
Scientists involved in the projects come from the Faculty of Forestry and Faculty of Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Technical University in Zvolen, the Forest Ecology Institute of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, Zvolen and the Forestry Research Institute in Zvolen.
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   Abiotic factors, acidic deposition/acid rain, air temperature, erosion, hydrology, monitoring/methodologies, pollution, pollutants, soil, uv radiation/solar radiation.
  Biodiversity   Birds, ecology, endemic species, ethology, forest systems, methodologies, rare/endangered/threatened species, wildlife.
  Socio-economic   Agriculture/Production systems, stakeholders' interests.
  Integrated monitoring   Carrying capacity/Sustainability, integrated studies/interdisciplinaty, management issues, watershed studies/monitoring.
  Contact address   Dusan Slávik
Polana Landscape Protected Area, Biosphere Reserve
Hurbanova ul.20
960 01 Zvolen
  Telephone   (421.45) 533 4834
  Fax   (421.45) 533 3657

Last updated: 26/02/2007

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