History, present and expected future of forests in Slovakia.
In this paper, we briefly summarize the problems that have been affecting Slovakian forestry in the past, in the present and are expected in the future. In the past, the forests in Central Europe were significantly harmed by the development of mining, metallurgy, wood processing industry, agriculture and grazing of sheep and cattle. Many areas have been completely deforested. Fundamental change occurred in the 18thCentury, when the regulations about forest management, declared by Empress of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy Maria Therese, came into force. With the changing level of forest cover, there have been changing as well the problems in the forestry. Forests in Slovakia are nowadays dealing with the climate change, which is causing extreme weather fluctuations. It is connected with the emergence of abiotic disturbances after which usually occurs activation of biotic harmful agents. We expect that the most serious problem of forests in the future will be their state of health. We expect an increase representation of thermophilic tree species (beech and oak) at the expense of upland trees such as spruce. An important role will be played by the invasive species of plants, fungi and animals that can compete with native species and their habitats or in the situation of the absence of their reducents these can cause serious economic and environmental damage.