dr hab. Andrzej Bobiec, prof. UR - EN version

 

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CONTACT

tel. +48 17 785 50 25

e-mail: abobiec@ur.edu.pl

Zelwerowicza 4, 35-601 Rzeszów, D9, pokój 25

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0597-0167

Bibliografia Pracowników UR: http://bibliografia.ur.edu.pl/new/01/

Researchgate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Andrzej-Bobiec

 

Scientific interest: Structure and dynamics of forest ecosystems; Dendroecology; Conservation; Rural landscape ecology; Ecohistory of farming and forest use; Treescapes in agricultural landscape; Landscape anthropology

I graduated from the forestry faculty at the Agricultural University in Cracow, after which, during eighteen years I worked in Białowieża, mainly at the Forest Research Institute and the Białowieża National Park (BNP). During that period of my career, I was carrying out several research and educational projects in cooperation with, among others, Wageningen University, State Univ. of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Univ. of California Santa Cruz, Swedish Agricultural University (SLU).

My doctoral thesis addresses structural patterns of the ground layer in forest plant communities. In particular, compositional and spatial characteristics of the vegetation mosaic were considered with respect to various types of temperate forests and selected biotic and abiotic factors, including tree canopy layer, soil characteristics, management regime. In 1997, on a set of ten regular plots representing various aspects of the mesic “oak-hornbeam” forest in Białowieża, I initiated the long-term observation of the ground floor forest mosaic, with the last records taken in 2019.

As a post-doc, I extended the research objective to patterns and occurring at the level of the dynamics and patterns of stand structure (the mosaic of developmental phases, gap dynamics, and dead wood). With my systematic study on the dead wood structure in the natural forest of Białowieża, I contributed to the seminal text book on the topic, “The afterlife of a tree”.

Since 2008, applying the dendrochronological method, I was developing the dendroecological reconstruction of the origin of the BNP’s oaks (Quercus robur) old-growth stands. It points unambiguously at a decisive role of anthropogenic and zoo-anthropogenic factors of oaks regeneration, such as forest grazing, game intensive management, forest protoindustry, administrative ban on prescribed forest burning. Although it has undermined the strongly entrenched romantic “axiom” of Białowieża strict reserve as a remnant of undisturbed development of “primeval forest”, the recognition of the strong human footprint makes the forest history not only truer but also more fascinating. Considering present oak regeneration, it is unlikely that typical gap dynamics of “oak-hornbeam forest” may secure its recruitment at the level comparable to the forest historical dynamics driven by anthropogenic factors. The only meaningful emergence of the new oak generation can be observed either in large gaps resulting from the bark beetle outbreak in spruce-dominated stands (here and there) or in the post-farming mantle and fringe vegetation at the edge of BNP. These finds have diverted my interest towards the ecology and ecohistory of treed rural landscapes.

Having moved to the University of Rzeszów, SE Poland, I started exploring traditional agro-silvo-pastoral landscapes of Eastern Europe (SE Poland, W Ukraine, Hungary, and Romania). In their oak-dominated fabric, the “oakscape”, the common oak in particular reveals its true, “non-forest nature”, benefiting from optimal light conditions, disturbance regimes, and zoochoric seed dispersal. After World War II, however, due to the communism-imposed farming collectivisation, followed by the aggressive competition of intensive farming in the 1990s, and the centralistic EU’s Common Agricultural Policy, the rural landscapes undergo substantial change, losing their traditional, oaks-friendly character (here and there). Therefore, the sustenance of landscapes’ ecological resilience and their ecosystem services require a transformation management, mimicking certain important characteristics of traditional agricultural landscapes, referring to the wisdom of the traditional ecological knowledge, and re-connecting rural economies with their ecological contexts. We advocate that the future conservation policy should embrace efficient promotion and support of small, semi-subsistence family farms as key contributors to the wide bio-cultural legacy and human life quality (here and there). This was an important theme at the international conference on “Wooded rural landscapes of Central and Eastern Europe: biodiversity, cultural legacy and conservation” held in 2017 at the University of Rzeszów. The conference issued a topical “Rzeszów-Eger Resolution on traditional rural landscapes of the Carpathian region”, providing the framework guidelines for the conservation of the region’s biocultural legacy. I am advocating for re-connecting local rural economies with their immediate ecological contexts. I believe that that integrated systems of landscapes’ management and use, based on rich local and regional traditions, will be the best answer to present and future environmental, conservation, and social challenges. I am a guest editor of the Special Issue of Land, MDPI, "Towards the Re-Integration of Land Uses with Local Ecologies"

In my private life, I am blessed with a wife, four children and five grandsons.

Publications

Manuscripts reviewer for: Forest Ecology and Management; Forests; Landscape Ecology; People and Nature; European Journal of Forest Research; Ambio; Acta Ornithologica; Sustainability; Plant Ecology & Diversity; Annals of Forest Science; Journal of Applied Ecology; Polish Journal of Ecology