On the second day of our transect drive, we have visited the Kopaonik National park in Serbia.
After a typical Serbian breakfast at the pension we have elevated more than 800 m to the Kopaonik (highest peak is just over 2000 m above sea level) national park. Our first visit there was the ICP Forest Monitoring plot (level II). We were received by dr. Svetlana Bilibojki from the Beograd Forestry Institute, who presented the plot overgrown with Norway spruce and the ongoing work that they are doing on the site. The discussion included topics such as phenology measurements, bark beetle concerns and others.
Our second stop was at the headquarters of the national park Kopaonik, where deputy director Srđan Simovic welcomed us and briefly introduced the park. Afterwards, they have shown us a short educational film about the park. The film was about biodiversity and history and featured magnificent landscapes. Near the park we have been able to see ski slopes, for which the Kopaonik national park is the best-known for.
At our next stop, Kopaonik national park forest engineer Mirko Dugalić, took us to a bark beetle Norway spruce stand in the park’s core protection zone, where forest management measures (for ex. cutting trees) are permitted. We have discussed deeply about the spread of bark beetle into the production forest around the park. Afterwards we also walked to see typical stands with Norway spruce and silver fir. On the way we passed “the spring of youth”, where some of us drank water in the hope of staying forever young.
On our way back to to the pension, we have passed an amazing panoramic point, visible in the gallery below. In the afternoon, our hosts organized a workshop, which consisted of ten presentations given by researchers from University of Novi Sad and ILFE. Topics ranged from population genetics to physiology, monitoring and climate change research, especially on beech. The workshop was well-prepared and a lively scientific debate developed after some of the presentations. The full list of presentations is available here.