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ŠUMARSKI LIST 7-8/2023 str. 85     <-- 85 -->        PDF

Historical overview of the Deliblato sands afforestation
Povijesni pregled pošumljavanja Deliblatske pješčare
Mirjana Ćuk, Radenko Ponjarac, Dušan Igić, Miloš Ilić, Marius Oldja, Dragana Vukov, Andraž Čarni
Deliblato Sands is one of the largest sandy areas in Europe. Given that developing of vegetation on the sand is a slow process, followed by human activities that devastate the plant cover (grazing, deforestation), the free-moving sand on Deliblato Sands exited until the 18th century. Unbound sand hindered the development of agriculture in the entire southern Banat region, so it was necessary to start a more intensive process of restraining sand masses. The afforestation of this area began in 1818 and is still ongoing. In the process of afforestation, nine periods can be recognized that differ in relation to afforestation/reforestation techniques, the choice of species or the organizational structure of the forestry units (and countries) of the area of Deliblato Sands belonged throughout history.
The most significant results in the binding of free moving sand were achieved by the application of black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) seedlings with juniper scrub (Juniperus communis L.) laid down on open sandy areas and sowing different species of grass between the rows of seedlings. This technique has been applied since the IV afforestation period (1878-1898). The largest areas were afforested in the V period (1898-1918), when parts of Deliblato Sands were formally protected for the first time in history as areas of importance for the preservation of biodiversity. The species most used in afforestation are black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.), Scots pine and black pine (Pinus sylvestris L., Pinus nigra J. F. Arnold), poplars (Populus sp.), and some shrubby (e.g. Juniperus virginiana L.) and herbaceous species (e. g. Ammophilla arenaria (L.) Link, Festuca vaginata Willd., Leymus arenarius (L.) Hochst., Carex arenaria L.). Today, Robinia pseudoacacia L. is most common tree species on Deliblato Sands and it occupies almost a third of the entire area.
Key words: stabilization of sand, vegetation on sand, continental sand dunes, black locust
Sandy landscapes are mostly found on sea and ocean shores, but such habitats can also exist in continental areas. In general, they arise due to the accumulation of sedimentary alluvial material in the flood zones of large rivers. In Europe, continental sandy areas are linked to the last major relief modifications that took place in the glacial periods of the Quaternary Era (Bohn, 2000). Once formed, the continental unbound sands were moved and carried by winds across great distances, until vegetation partially covered these expanses in the early postglacial period. During the postglacial period, the sandy areas of Europe were partially covered by forest (Walter and Straka, 1970). However, due to deforestation (Hejcman et al., 2013), secondary grassland