LIFE13 NAT/SI/000314

The Strmec virgin forest

Published on 13. 1. 2015 under Kočevska
The Strmec virgin forest

This forest has “never seen an axe”. Such mighty fir and beech forests were still covering the central part of Stojna about a century ago. Here, the nature lives by its own laws for millennia, and that is why the virgin forest reserve can be seen only at the information panels next to the forest road.

Today, the beech tree prevails in the Strmec virgin forest in terms of number and tree volume. Also in other virgin forests in the Kočevska area, the beech tree is more present than the fir tree. However, today the fir tree prevails in the diameter structure among the thin trees, since it can”wait” in the shade and hardly visibly grow in thickness. Many of young beech trees wither away in their fight for light.

The tree volume of the virgin forest indicates a bell-shaped distribution with a large share of trees with their diameter over 50 cm.

The measurements of tree volume by centuries show the variation in tree species shares, but the total tree volume – accumulated energy – remains practically the same.

The Strmec virgin forest covers 15.55 ha. Every 10 years, all trees with the diameter over 10 cm are measured. The 1994 data: on the entire virgin forest surface there are 7619 still growing and still measurable dead trees (the fir prevails, since it decays slowly). The total tree volume is 12661 m3.