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dentification of primeval and old-growth forests held in May-August 2014 on the area of nine national nature parks involved in the project (106.5 thousand ha) by the methodology developed in the framework of the WWF Danube-Carpathian Program (www.sfmu.org.ua)) as part of the international project “Open borders for bears between Romanian and Ukrainian Carpathians”, HUSKROUA/1001/038 and “Support Responsible Forest Management for a Sustainable Development in the Ukrainian Carpathians”, DEG – PPP, a and data of WWF Danube-Carpathian Program given for NNP "Verkhovynsky" expansion area (project "Open borders for bears between Romanian and Ukrainian Carpathians", HUSKROUA/1001/038, 2012 – 2014) showed the following.

1. 16349,1 ha of potential old-growth forests were identified on the above-mentioned area.


2. Among them according to the field surveys the following forests were recognized:
        - 11882,3 ha (72,7% from 16349,1 ha; and 11,1% from total area of 106,5 thousand ha) of primeval and old-growth forests;
        - 4466,8 ha (27,3% from 16349,1 ha; and 4,2% from total area of 106,5 thousand ha)  of forests transformed into managed ones due to the excessive anthropogenic impact.


    3. Primeval forests are represented by common beech stands in wet pure common beech fertile forest type and wet pure common beech fairly fertile forest type, and Norway spruce stands in wet pure norway spruce fairly fertile forest type. Accordingly, the most common in terms of the species composition are pure common beech (37%) and pure Norway spruce stands (35%). They are characterized by moderate productivity of two- or three-layered structure age of 150-200 years, stock of lying dead wood 40 m3/ha and natural regeneration of 12.4 thousand pcs./ha.


    4. Old-growth forests are also represented by beech stands in wet pure common beech fertile forest type і wet pure common beech fairly fertile forest type; Norway spruce stands in wet pure norway spruce fairly fertile forest type, and also by the large share of silver fir stands in wet common beech-norway spruce-silver fir fairly fertile forest type and wet common beech-norway spruce-silver fir fertile forest type. The most common in terms of tree species composition, similar to primeval forest are pure common beech (24%) and pure silver fir (27%) stands. The share of mixed tree stands is over 20%. Old-growth forests are characterized by high productivity, single- or two-layered structure, age of 90-13 years, lying dead wood stock of 28 m 3/ha and natural regeneration at the level of 11.5 thousand pcs./ha.


5. Among identified primeval and old-growth forests the unique (very rare) formations were revealed. In particular:
- Following rare primeval forests:
        - by species composition: pure sessile oak, mountain pine and sycamore stands, and also common beech-sycamore and sycamore-speckled alder stands;
        - by forest type: wet pure mountain pine fairly fertile forest type, wet norway spruce-common beech fairly fertile forest type, wet sycamore-common beech fairly fertile forest type, wet pure norway spruce infertile forest type and wet arolla pine-norway spruce infertile forest type;
        - by structure - single-layered stands of mountain pine.
- Following rare old-growth forests:
        - by species composition: pure sessile oak, sycamore, speckled alder, silver birch, and also Scots pine-Norway spruce, common beech-sycamore and sycamore-speckled alder;
        - by forest type: wet pure mountain pine fairly fertile forest type, raw speckled alder fairly fertile forest type, wet norway spruce-common beech fairly fertile forest type, wet sycamore-common beech fairly fertile forest type, wet pure norway spruce fairly infertile forest type, wet common beech fairly infertile forest type and wet arolla pine-norway spruce infertile forest type;
        - by structure - single-layered mountain pine stands. 


6. During old-growth forests survey some other forest ecosystems for protection were found. In particular, it is high conservation value forests (HCVFs) and natural habitats (natural biotopes).


7. According to survey results it is proposed to expand the territory of Parks and withdraw lands from the landowners and give them to the Parks for the permanent use (in total  106492,9 ha), in particular valuable areas of wild nature important for the biodiversity conservation and ecosystem resilience.

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