Research can strengthen the competitiveness and the development of the sector in two ways. On the one hand, the available intellectual and material resources should be focused on key areas, and on the other hand, research activities should be coordinated. The results of forest research have already proved that by means of sustainable forest management we can increase not only the value of forests that can be expressed in natural objects but also their adaptability and their other amenities. Professionally managed forests are more resistant to unfavorable environmental impacts, provide more and better quality timber, moreover, they are more suitable for performing welfare and recreational functions. The key task of forest research is the investigation of the ecological relations, evolution and growth, that is, the internal laws of the forest in order to determine the proper ways of disturbance. The permanent expansion of the many-sided role of the forest, the degradation of forest health condition observed in recent decades, changes of environmental conditions, such as climate change, require gradual exptension of basic, biological research. The Forest Research Institute carries on its observations and experiments in so-called "forest laboratories", a country-wide sustainability network comprising hundreds of plots, at its experimental stations, and in the ecological and genetic laboratories operating at these stations. Besides, it has also an outstanding contribution to the maintenance of forest gene collections.
Key research areas:
Climate change, potential impacts and appropriate responses:
- Assessment of the unfavorable impacts of climate change on the environment and on the forest management, elaboration of silvicultural alternatives for their mitigation (improving growing technologies, preparation for their change etc).
- Analysis of the forest carbon budget, investigation of its relation to forestation and silviculture.
- Working out adaptation strategies and managing methods, technologies serving the purpose of genetically sustainable high quality timber production.
- Improvement of drought tolerant varieties that are resistant to emerging biotic pests.
Improvement of management methods based on natural processes:
- Development of natural silvicultural methods, definition of their extended fields of application.
- Development and extension of techniques ensuring continuous forest cover.
- Definition of the economic conditions for natural forest management
Activities in connection with the establishment and utilization of energy plantations
- Improvement of varieties suitable for planting high-yield energy crops, for safe cultivation among home site conditions, and resistant to disease.
- Development of growing technology for energy plantations, clarification of ecological (nutrient exchange) problems and those of plant protection in relation to sustainability
- Solid biomass product line optimization.
- Cost-benefit analysis, economical preparation of investment decisions