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Changes in the Krkonoše woodlands throughout history

Mining, ore processing, the development of metallurgy, glass, and then management by dwellers of mountain cabin smallholdings has caused in the past five centuries a great demand for wood, which led to major changes in the natural composition of Krkonoše's forests. The capacity for this depended at such time on haulage from habitats, the altitude and climatic circumstances, but these were overcome, with up to 35,000 cubic metres of timber being harvested per annum. This dramatically reduced hard-wood and mixed stands, replaced in the 18th to 20th centuries by plantations of unstable and over-dense spruce monocultures, mostly of poor genetic quality. The representation of beech, elm, ash and maple decreased and fir almost completely disappeared from the woods. Acid conifer litterfall resulted in deterioration of forest soils and the spatial, age and species diversity of Krkonoše's forests shrank.
The advent of industrial air pollution in the latter part of the 20th century caused widespread damage or even death to secondary mountain forests with little resistance.

The mountains are located in the territory called the Black Triangle, and at that time suffered the largest pollution load from across Europe, which, combined with the overpopulation of insect pests, resulted in the death of mountain spruce forest of over 8,000 hectares. Therefore, removing the effects of industrial air pollution is a priority for the mission of forest management in the mountains.
 



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