Welcome   Introduction   Mountain Streams   Fauna and Flora   Natura 2000   Forrest   Abiotic Nature

                                         ŠOP SR    NP Malá Fatra   Rajec   Návrat rysov


Forests cover approximately 80% of the area of Šútovská valley and subalpine meadows above the upper timber-line cover 20%. Most of the forests are in the highest 5th degree of protection, the rest is in the 3rd degree of protection with sensitive commercial exploitation. Thanks to the protection and inaccessibility of the area, original forest communities with high level of stability and genetic value are preserved in the valley. In past, the highest situated forests grew in the altitude of 1450 m. Above them there was a continuous growth of dwarf pine. In the 16th century during the Walachian colonization, the timber-line decreased because of livestock grazing. The shepherds cut and burnt the forests and thus enlarged the area of pasture lands. Therefore in some localities the timber-line decreased by more than 450 m. Intensive grazing continued in the Šútovská valley until the end of 1980s. The negative human activity affects also tree composition. In some parts of the valley the original mixed forests were replaced by spruce monocultures with a much lower stability when compared with the original mixed forest. Nowadays, the nature itself replaces dying spruce forests by genetically original forests with a stable composition. In this area the original mixed forests consists of the so-called Carpathian mixture, thus a mixture of beech and fir with spruce and other tree species such as sycamore maple, lime, hornbeam, ash, birch, pine, rowan, etc. Presently, deciduous trees (60%) prevail over coniferous ones (40%). The most abundant tree is beech, followed by dying spruce forests, fir, mugo pine and sycamore maple. Close to the brook one can find alder, willow and other species. In the broken terrain on stone terraces there grow communities of Scots pine, birch, and European yew. A well-preserved growth of dwarf pine grows in the locality Úplaz. The proportion of tree species changed depending on climatic conditions but basically it always preserved the character of mixed beech-fir-spruce forest. At the beginning of the 20th century, foresters started to prefer silvicilture of spruce as a tree with direct and low-branched stem and quality wood mass and easy management. The managed forests in the national park looked more and more like monocultures. Such changed forests had much lower stability and resistance against abiotic as well as biotic agents. Gradually, the negative tree composition in the forests started to take its toll. The monocultures were affected by wind and snow calamities which always meant enormous losses for foresters in the case of spruce forests because of  their root system with low stability. Another negative factor, pollutants in the atmosphere, joined in the second half of the 20th century. Thanks to their impacts, the stability and resistance of the forest ecosystems decreased more and more and their sensitivity to bark beetles and fungi increased. Due to the impacts of these negative conditions the health conditions of the forests weakened continually. Nowadays,  the individual negative impacts overlap and cumulate into the maximum negative effect on the health conditions of the forests. The Administration of the National Park tries to enforce planting of multi-storey forests with natural tree composition, and using local seedlings which are more resistant and more adapted to climatic conditions of Krivánska Malá Fatra Mts. A forest with several storeys is more resistant against wind, snow, bark beetles and fungi in comparison with one-storey forest which is unstable and vulnerable.

Let us appreciate forests as a heritage

of our ancestors which we will pass

on to our children.


Tomáš Hulík, Miloš Majda, Miloš Majda ml., Andrej Zahradník, Daniel Podbrežný, Zuzana Pánisová, Peter Cáder, Anna Dobošová

Photo: Tomáš Hulík, Miloš Majda