Făgăraș mountains, Romania
Primary forests are precious ecosystems with a unique value for biodiversity conservation. They are also extremely rare in Europe, representing only 0,7% of the continent’s forested area. Some of the last European large old-growth forests can be found in the Carpathian Mountains, where the SUPERB Romanian demo is located.
About the demo
SUPERB’s goal is to connect forest fragments in the Făgăraș Mountains, the highest mountain range of the Southern Carpathians. The project will establish buffer zones in neighboring managed forests to protect old-growth forests and create a safe environment for species such as large carnivores.
The sites across the demo area are owned by the Foundation Conservation Carpathia (FCC), active in both conservation and restoration programmes. FCC also acts to create a new and non-destructive economy around the Făgăraș Mountains for the benefit of local communities.
Promoting natural regeneration
Type of restoration:
To increase the naturalness of buffer zones of primary forests, we will initiate the coming back of natural forests in 100 hectares of spruce monocultures and apply a second intervention in more than 300 hectares of spruce monocultures. With single-tree selection, group selection, conversion of spruce to mixed species, larger snag densities, and the creation of a multi-layered canopy at the stand level, foresters can accelerate the development of suitable natural forest habitats. Restoration of upper timberline (Arolla pine – Pinus cembra forests) is also needed. Historically, large areas of mountain pine (Pinus mugo) forests were burned by shepherds and only small fragments remained. Restoration of mix high-altitude spruce and Arolla pines protected habitats and Pinus mugo scrubs will be done in the upper timberline and nearby, in alpine pastures.
How the demo is now:
Currently, the demo area is characterised by a combination of primary, restored and degraded forests where restoration actions are conducted by FCC.
Increased naturalness levels will generate positive effects on water quality and food abundance for wildlife, leading to a decrease in conflicts between human populations and large carnivores. The restoration measures will be complemented by the provision of support to ecological tourism, with the renovation of a cabin in Valea Vladului to be used as a field station for researchers, education programmes and guided tours.
Restoration upscaling potential (within and beyond SUPERB):
Max. 20.000 ha.
Stakeholder Engagement Workshop in SUPERB’s Czech demo Since 2018, massive bark beetle attacks caused widespread damage to the Norway spruce forests in SUPERB’s Czech demo, leading to heavily degraded areas…