The quantity of dead wood in the forests around Europe is an important indicator of biodiversity in forests and it has been significantly reduced due to intensive exploitation of forests and the use of wood for heating. Managing dead wood and habitat trees as well as their inventory, with simultaneous preservation of saproxylic species are new topics in the forestry curriculum and for this purpose on 8 and 9 October a professional training was held on Maleshevo Mountains for inventorying and recording dead wood, habitat trees and preservation of saproxylic species. It was organized by the Faculty of Forestry in Skopje as part of the Nature Conservation Programme, while the trainer was professor of forest ecology Thibault Lachat from the Bern University of Applied Sciences (BFH-HAFL).
The training comprised a theoretical and a practical part. In the theoretical part the participants learned about the ecological importance of dead wood and habitat trees for the preservation of saproxylic species in forest ecosystems, monitoring of species in forest ecosystems, habitat trees and microhabitats related to trees, as well as how deed wood is inventoried in Switzerland. In the practical part the participants had the opportunity to inventory dead wood in practice, in accordance with the Swiss rules, as well as monitor various types of habitat trees in forests that are managed and not managed.
This was the first professional training of this type in the country, and it was attended by professors and students from the Faculty of Forestry in Skopje, forest engineers from the branches of PE National Forests from the Eastern Planning Region as well as representatives of the Macedonian Ecological Society (MES), who are partners of NCP. This is what some of the participants stated after the training:
This training meant that I acquired theoretical and practical knowledge about the importance of dead wood, habitat trees and forest biodiversity. This was an excellent first step to introducing a forestry discipline that was not part of our forestry, Blagoj Shurbevski, post-graduate student at the Skopje Faculty of Forestry.
For me as a student of the Faculty of Forestry in Skopje this training meant additional knowledge about the method for proper research, inventorization and analysis about the presence of dead wood, in forests that are managed and not managed. I also learned how to properly establish habitat trees in forests, which are quite important for biodiversity. Such trainings by experienced professors can improve the expert staff and mean implementation of global trends in forestry, Jani Mitreski, student at the Skopje Faculty of Forestry.
Dead wood and habitat trees are part of healthy forest ecosystems and that is why it is necessary to monitor dead wood, habitat trees and saproxylic species in order to control the efficiency of the conservation measures. Having in mind that management of dead wood is a new topic, further research is required, while the Nature Conservation Programme and its partners will continue working on this issue.