How the Slovak forests change according to botanists

26. 03. 2015

Another meeting of the public with personalities of science and technology ‘with a cup of coffee’ was held on 26 March 2015 at 17:00 in the Slovak Centre of Scientific and Technical Information (SCSTI) in Bratislava. Organizer of the Science Café entitled Science in the CENTRE was traditionally the National Centre for the Popularization of Science and Technology in Society within SCSTI.

Among the guests of the Science Café on How the Slovak forests change according to botanists were two Slovak scientists-botanists, experts on vegetation – RNDr. Milan Valachovič, CSc., and RNDr. Ivan Jarolímek, CSc., from the Institute of Botany of the Slovak Academy of Sciences in Bratislava. They have long been concerned with an overview of plant communities in Slovakia and complex handling of forest and scrubland communities in their scientific research.


From the left: RNDr. Milan Valachovič, CSc., and RNDr. Ivan Jarolímek, CSc.

In lectures was said, among other things that a forest as the largest and the most sophisticated ecosystem is of the utmost importance for life on Earth. It is [a forest] a living organism, which grows after birth, matures, gets old and dies. The history of a forest is older than the history of mankind. It reaches far into the times, when the humankind did not exist on the planet Earth. It has been constantly changing due to the impact of various factors on the given territories since then until this day.

Geobotanists are able to see forest through the prism of its evolution from postglacial to the present. They are able to outline a map of potential vegetation and also determine, where the image of the current forest comes the closest to the ideal of natural forest and where are the most significant changes mainly due to consequences of inappropriate management and civilizational pressure, which cause the most damage to the forests.

PhDr. Zuzana HajduConservation of forests and their residues is of vital importance for the conservation of biodiversity, scientific research, but also from the cultural and social perspective. The Slovak Republic has accepted an international obligation to protect the primeval forests on its territory. To date, SR has failed to ensure even the conservation of all the primeval forests at the sites that were included in the 2007 UNESCO World Heritage List (

Forest is a complex ecosystem, where among trees coexist a number of other organisms interconnected via complex relationships.

The event was moderated by PhDr. Zuzana Hajdu. 

Questions of the participants in the debate were focused i.e. on birch tree, which is one of the fastest growing ground woods; what are the effects of a forest on the human health; calamities; atmospheric pollution; acid rain; whether there is cooperation between the Institute of Botany of the Slovak Academy of Sciences and the state enterprise Forests of the Slovak Republic; where in Slovakia are primeval forests, etc..


Compiled by: PhDr. Marta Bartošovičová

Photo Gallery: Ing. Alena Oravcová

Natural sciences