During one week in June 2018 we established seven new research plots for a biodiversity survey in a beech dominated primary forest reserve Kundracka (Great Fatra Mountains). Again, it was physically demanding,  but a fulfilling experience. Here are a few pictures with a description from our fieldwork.

The 70-hectare area of primary forest is protected in the National Nature Reserve Kundracka since 1973 and, along with the surrounding area, is a part of the Site of Community Importance of Velka Fatra and the Velka Fatra National Park. On the steep southwest to western slopes of mountain Perusin (1,281 m a.s.l.) in the Lubochnianska valley, the beech forest is preserved in a indented relief, where - alongside the dominant beech - fir and spruce find their habitat. Great maple (Acer pseudoplatanus) reaches a higher representation only in lime tree and maple rubble forests. Rarely, a Wych elm (Ulmus glabra), European mountain ash (Sorbus aucuparia), Rowan (Sorbus aria) and on the rocks Scotch pine (Pinus sylvestris), European larch (Larix decidua), and  also a Yew (Taxus baccata) were registered. Some trees reach a remarkable size, and we can easily find here firs with a tree trunk diameter of more than 1 meter, and the circuit of the widest registered living fir is nearly 430 cm. Lower forests in the reserve have been fallen longer ago in the past, and they are currently undergoing a spontaneous regeneration of the original woody structure and forest phytocoenosis. The edges of the primary forest have been affected by cattle grazing in the past. The reservation itself and the primary forest are not accessible to the public, but in the immediate vicinity there is a tourist path leading through the valley Blatna from the Lubochnianska Valley to the Smrekovica resort.

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