Bulletin of Forestry Science / Volume 8 / Issue 1 / Pages 11-25
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50 years trends of the forest drought damage in Hungary (1962-2011)

Anikó Hirka, Zoltán Pödör, Balázs Garamszegi & György Csóka

Correspondence

Correspondence: Hirka Anikó

Postal address: H-3232 Mátrafüred, Hegyalja u. 18.

e-mail: hirkaa[at]erti.hu

Abstract

The frequency of droughts increased in Hungary between 1962 and 2011. On top of this increasing trend, the extreme droughts had become more and more frequent. As a response for this, forest drought damage also showed an increasing trend. The yearly values of the forest drought damage showed a significant response for the yearly values of two drought indices (Pálfai and Forest Aridity index). Drought damage is reported not only from younger lowland stands, but also from older native stands of montane regions. It is proven that droughts play a decisive role in the health of sessile oak and beech stands. On top of their direct impacts, droughts have major indirect effects on forest health, manifesting in “damage chains”. Droughts regularly have positive effects on outbreaks of many forest insects. The trees and stands weakened by drought stress can successfully be attacked by pathogens which are less aggressive amid better weather conditions. If the frequency and severity of droughts (and other weather extremes) increase (as it is predicted), our forests will suffer from an even higher damage pressure, so further negative health trends can be predicted in Hungarian forests. Therefore the forest management/sylviculture should aim at increasing forest resistance/resilience. The reactive forest protection should be changed for a long term proactive approach.

Keywords: forest drought damage, drought indices, drought stress, damage chain, increasing damage pressure

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    Cite this article as:

    Hirka, A., Pödör, Z., Garamszegi, B. & Csóka, Gy. (2018): 50 years trends of the forest drought damage in Hungary (1962-2011). Bulletin of Forestry Science, 8(1): 11-25. (in Hungarian) DOI: 10.17164/EK.2018.001

    Volume 8, Issue 1
    Pages: 11-25

    DOI: 10.17164/EK.2018.001

    First published:
    28 May 2018

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