The changing needs for the exploitation of natural resources

It is an important question how the ecological potential and forest resource of Hungary will  develop in the future. There is an expected change in the technology and the objectives of forest management (for example, financing environmental services that have not taken into account yet, like carbon sequestration). Different strategies must be applied to plantation forestry, requiring in many respects contradictory solutions, to traditional and close-to-nature silviculture, and to the management of protected ecosystems. It is necessary to determine the speed and the ecological conditions of the increase of forest cover (forestation). This includes for example the supply of timber and firewood, depending on quantity and quality needs, needs in connection with the protective function of forests (eg, soil conservation and shelterbelts), and the increasing and changing expectations towards the functions of forests for public welfare. The increased demand for the use of wood and woody plants as an energy resource should also be put on the list.


Preparation for changes caused by various external effects

 This segment of the research should consider the possible effects of climate change as well as other human-induced external effects, such as pollution of various sources or human-caused biological invasions. In the coming decades, climate change is one of the biggest challenges in forestry. Silviculture, wood policy, ecology strategy that will result in minimizing damages and losses, the effect of climate change on genetical and biological diversity should be defined. Obviously, this will have a strong influence on propagation material management, the maintenance and use of regions of provenance, seed crop stands and gene reserves. It is necessary to continue the former and start new gene reservation programs of domestic tree species and domestic forest animals (including invertebrates). Nature conservation goals and forest disturbances in order to prevent unfavorable effects should correspond. The mitigating and balancing role of forests and forest planting must be determined.


Expectable changes in the concept of sustainability and the increasing emphasis on economic aspects

 The change of economic conditions and new services (eg coal trade) have a significant influence on the economic conditions of forestry. Accordingly, it is necessary to specify a finance system that is able to help forestry to fulfil its tasks. We have to find ways of maintaining many-sided forest functions beside increasing economical interests. Forestry must be integrated into rural development and into the more efficient use of agricultural potential. All this will be influenced by a further possible change in the types of ownership.


A better suited game management to close-to-nature forestry

 It is difficult to make forestry profitable and more adaptable to social needs at the present degree of game damage. We have to specify the tasks to achieve a balance under certain ecological, silvicultural and nature conservation conditions. We have to estimate the degree of biotic and abiotic damage of forers ecosystems in the future years and decades and discover the preparation for it. Significant changes are to be expected in forest protection technology.   We have to prepare for the invasion of new plant and animal species. We have to follow social needs and ensure that forestry adapts quickly to new needs.


Future research topics of priority

  • Spacing-based monitoring of the state of forest ecosystems, its development, particularly with regard to modelling the effects of climate change.
  • Measurements for better understanding forest carbon cycle in order to give a scientific proof of greenhouse gas inventories.
  • Learning ecological processes, particularities of climate conditions on regional and local level, validating the identified cause-and-effect relations in silvicultural and reforestation practice
  • Large-scale mapping of the change in site conditions due to the effects of climate change, its estimation using the existing databases.
  • Spacing-based monitoring of forest health conditions, its development with special regard to biomonitoring new invasive pests, and to the development of environment friendly protection methods that are applicable in practice.
  • Dicovering forest genetic resources, development of ex situ and in situ conservation methods and their dissemination in practice.
  • Examination of genetic aspects when determining silvicultural methods, with special regard to adaptation to climate change.
  • Research on more widespread use of renewable forest resources, competitive products for further processing.
  • Production of new varieties for areas with extreme site conditions that are not suitable for forests
  • Advantages and benefits: economy studies to estimate the economic, social and cultural value of forests, their services for the society, with special regard to private forests.