Broken model-scientific permanent plots for forest monitoring, 2004 - 2008

Events, facts, documents and evidences: There are special, model-scientific permanent plots for forest monitoring in the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha". Employees of the scientific department research natural processes in conditions of isolation of the plot from wild ungulates which number in Belovezhskaya Pushcha considerably exceeds the ecologically balanced optimum. The feature of these plots is they are fenced with netting which protects them from penetration of ungulate animals and, in this way, from consuming the vegetation within the plot.
Some such plots (for example, in the compartment 741, Oak grass forest) are used to carry participants of conferences, auditors and other persons relevant and to show them what "high" level of the forest science is in the national park.
(You can read more detail about purposes and functions of scientific permanent plots on this page.)

Unfortunately, the state of these indicative permanent plots is actually too far from ideal since their fences are destroyed in many parts.


Scientific Permanent Plot ¹2, compartment 741A.
Date of establishment is very long
Forest type - Oak grass forest
Average age of stand - 160 years
Average height of stand - 30 meters
The wood volume - 400 meters cubic per 1 hectare

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(A shield with the brief characteristic of the permanent plot; compartment 741, September 14, 2004)
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(The common view of the oak forest within the permanent plot; compartment 741, September 14, 2004)

A wood pole to which wood lathes and a metal netting are fixed are seen in the middle of the shot below. The difference in the vegetation between the inside of the permanent plot (many young maple trees are on the right) and thr outside (the lack of young trees consumed by wild ungulates on the left) is quite evident.
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(The forest space inside (on the right) and outside (on the left) of the permanent plot; compartment 741, September 14, 2004)

A fallen tree which crushed the fence is visible in this photo.

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(A broken fence; compartment 741, September 14, 2004)

The next examination of scientific permanent plots was done in four years. It has shown an unsatisfactory situation. The gate of the permanent plot was open. New holes have appeared in the fence. Nobody repaired the fence for 4 years, so wild ungulates freely penetrate and damage young trees within the plot during all this time.

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(The common view of the oak forest within the permanent plot; compartment 741, November 30, 2008)
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(It's unclear why the old and broken meteorological station is still lying on the permanent plot; compartment 741, November 30, 2008)
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(The open gate; compartment 741, November 30, 2008)
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(The broken and non-repaired fence; compartment 741, November 30, 2008)

Scientific Permanent Plot ¹30, compartment 826D.
Forest type – Pine moss forest
Average age of stand - 150 years
Average height of stand - 28 meters

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(A shield with the brief characteristic of the permanent plot; compartment 826, October 06, 2004)
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(The common view of the pine forest and the permanent plot; compartment 826, October 06, 2004)

These photos show a fallen tree which crushed the fence.

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(A broken fence; compartment 826, October 06, 2004)

According to the forest service, nobody repaired the fence on this permanent plot for 4 years, so wild ungulates freely penetrate and damage young trees within the plor during all this time.


Scientific Permanent Plot ¹6, compartment 807A.
Date of establishment - 1951
Forest type - Oak grass forest
Average age of stand - 150 years

The scientific permanent plot is situated in the Wilderness Protection Zone (the strictly protected area), in the compartmentå where the share of durmast (oak) is high. A tourist ecological route is near to the permanent plot.

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(The common view of the oak forest within the permanent plot; compartment 807, November 03, 2005)
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(An angular post at the permanent plot; compartment 807, November 03, 2005)

The shots below show pheromone traps, apparently, for spruce bark beetles which were set up on this permanent plot. In this connection the matter of this action is completely unclear as this beetle affects only spruce trees but no oaks in any way?!

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(Pheromone traps within the permanent plot; compartment 807, November 03, 2005)

This shot below is very remarkable! It shows a stack of fire wood on the given permanent plot! Pay attention, taking place in the absolutely (strictly) protected zone at the core of Belovezhskaya Pushcha! It means in the area where any economic activity is totally forbidden.

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(A stack of fire wood on the permanent plot; compartment 807, November 03, 2005)

Thus, the public control shows that the state of the most of the indicative, experimental, permanent plots is unsatisfactory. The netting which encircles the protected areas has holes for a long time while the fences in many places are destroyed. Wild ungulates penetrate inside of the plots, consume the vegetation there and in this way break the purity of research experiments. Last years the fence of the scientific permanent plots is very little under repair, possibly about once in ten years and even less often. Therefore, on the one hand, there is actually no matter to speak about any "purity" of the research experiment. In this connection serious questions about reliability of scientific publications which are made on the basis of information got on these plots are appearing. That is because no one scientific paper mentions that the netting of the protecting fence has holes and wild ungulates penetrate inside of the permanent plot. It is written everywhere that the permanent plots are fenced, that means the integrity of fences and their protection is valid. (?)

On the other hand, such state of the indicative, experimental, permanent plots show the real situation concerning the scientific department and the science in the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" which actually have fallen into utter decay and are in a state of neglect. It also testifies to the true attitude of the today's administration towards the science and the scientific department which can be characterized as indifferent. Actually, the main purpose for which the scientific department and the science are used today in the national park is the following - for making visibility of the ecological "well-being", for some kind of "screen" which helps partly cover the ugly ecological policy, the bad level of management and outrages made by the administration of the national park.