Croatian & Serbian border river floodplain
Along the Croatian/Serbian border, SUPERB will foster international cooperation to restore riparian forests that have been cleared for agriculture and urban development, which negatively affected natural water regimes and changed tree composition.
About the demo
Riparian forests are of major importance to biodiversity conservation as they provide food and water resources to terrestrial and aquatic organisms. By defragmenting and diversifying forests in the area, our demo will help reverse habitat loss while improving flood control for agriculture and increasing forest resilience.
The Serbian section of the demo consists mainly of protected forest areas, while the Croatian part includes fragmented forest plantations of poplar clones on fluvisol (soil that is periodically flooded) surrounded by agricultural land with intensive food production.
Type of restoration:
We will convert devitalised poplar plantations into mixed forests with the use of oak and elm tree species and increase tree species diversity (e.g. Prunus sp. and Sorbus sp.), aiming at achieving greater potential for biodiversity and ecosystem services.
How the demo is now:
Large tracts of riparian forests have been cleared for agriculture and urban development in the past. Besides, damming and regulation of rivers have altered the local flood regime. This resulted in tree decline due to changed disturbance regimes and drought-induced stress. Existing poplar plantations in the area have a low resistance to climate disturbances. At the same time, there is a need to increase forest ecosystem services and food production, as well as forest resilience in the face of climate change impacts.
Forest restoration techniques will help improve wood production, boost carbon sequestration, enhance biodiversity and increase stand resistance. With SUPERB, we will also raise awareness of the importance of functional riparian forests through dialogue with local stakeholders and educational activities.
Restoration upscaling potential (within and beyond SUPERB):
Both Serbian and Croatian public enterprises for forest management are restoring and diversifying devitalised poplar plantations to other forest types according to site-specific demands. This might help upscale the project actions to other areas in the country.