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Kostrzyca Forest Gene Bank, Poland

National coordinator

Czesław Kozioł
The Kostrzyca Forest Gene Bank
Miłków 300
58-535 Miłków, Poland  [2]

Quick info

Letter of Agreement signed on 22 Jul 2015

Member since 1994


  • Marcin Beza, Kostrzyca Forest Gene Bank
  • Daniel Chmura, Polish Academy of Sciences
  • Jan Kowalczyk, Forest Research Institute
  • Czesław Kozioł, The Kostrzyca Forest Gene Bank
  • Jan Matras, Forest Research Institute
  •   [1]
    Kostrzyca Forest Gene Bank, Poland

    Focal point

    Czesław Kozioł
    The Kostrzyca Forest Gene Bank

    Management of forest genetic resources in Poland

    The total area of forests in Poland is about 9 177 thousand hectares, which puts forest cover at 29.4 %. In the ownership structure of forests in Poland the majority (81.2 %) are publicly-owned, of which 77.2 % are under the administration of the State Forests National Forest Holding (the State Forests). With a large  area of forests and standing volume exceeding the European average, Poland has significant timber resources which amount to more than 2.3 billion m3.

    Forests in Poland mainly occur in areas with the poorest soils, which determines the structure of forest habitat types. Coniferous forest habitats predominate, accounting for 51 % of the total forest area, while broadleaved forest habitats account for 49 %.

    The geographical distribution of habitats is largely reflected in the spatial structure of dominant tree species. Apart from the mountain regions where Norway spruce, silver fir and European beech have a larger share in stand composition, in the rest of the country Scots pine is the dominant species (59.1 % of the area of forests in all ownership categories).

    During the recent decades the species structure of Polish forests has changed substantially, which is evident in the increased share of stands with the prevalence of broadleaved species. In the State Forests, where these changes are monitored annually, the increase was from 13 % to 23.4 %. In Poland, forest stands of native species dominate, reaching up to 99,6 %)

    Forests in Poland fulfill diverse functions, either naturally or as a result of human activities:

    • environmental functions - favourable impact on shaping of the local and global climate, regulation of water cycle in nature, prevention of floods, avalanches and landslides, protection of soil against erosion and landscape against steppisation,
    • social functions - providing health-enhancing and recreational conditions for society, contributing to the labour market and helping to develop environmental education of society,
    • productive functions - production of renewable biomass, including timber and non-timber products and effective management of hunting.

    Forests in Poland are protected by a variety of nature and landscape conservation measures. The highest level of protection is given to national parks, which are currently 23 and cover an area of 314.6 thousand hectares, of which 195.0 thousand hectares (62 %) are forests. The 1480 nature reserves cover an area of 165.7 thousand hectares, of which 95.6 thousand hectares are forests. The majority of nature reserves (1271) are administered by the State Forests.

    The areas of Natura 2000 network cover about 20 % of the country’s land area. Within the State Forests, Special Protection Areas for birds (SPAs) cover 2205 thousand hectares (29.1 % of the State Forests territory) and Sites of Community Importance (SCIs) - 1640 thousand hectares (21.7 %).

    In the total area of forest stands under special protection over 204 279 hectares of stands are designated as the seed base which supplies material for maintaining native ecotypes of forest-forming species in our forests. The State Forests also initiate their own programmes aimed at maintaining biological diversity and protecting and restoring endangered species of flora and fauna.

    Two registers of forest basic material have been established in Poland:

    • The National Register of Forest Basic Material, which includes 36 forest tree species and categories of items listed in the Act on Forest Reproductive Material  [3],
    • The Register of Forest Basic Material of the State Forests, which is managed by the State Forests IT Department and includes data on tree species and other categories, such as stands, trees, conservation plantations and clonal archives not covered by the mentioned act.

    The objects registered in both registers serve the in situ conservation of forest genetic diversity in forests under all ownership categories.

    According to the National Register of Forest Basic Material, Poland has:

    • 20382 seed and conservation stands (including 1096 selected seed stands),
    • 264 seed orchards,
    • 8541 plus trees,
    • 2630 sources of seeds.

    Further information

    External publications

    EUFORGEN publications

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