Case Study – Czech Republic

Kostelec, Czech Republic

The study landscape contains a diverse mosaics of forest types with the dominance of vulnerable Norway spruce Picea abies that increasingly suffers from wind, bark beetle infestations, and drought. Yet spruce is still considered a cornerstone of the regional forestry economy though the  prospects are unclear. The Czech case study aims to investigate (i) how to adapt these forests to climate change and intensifying disturbances via silviculture practices fostering forest resilience, (ii) how to stabilize the provision of key ecosystem services, including timber production, climate regulation, and biodiversity, and (iii) how to increase the capacity of regional forestry sector to cope with the fast forest transformation and erratic timber flows.  

Quick overview

Area: 40,928 ha with 45 % forest cover (18 500 ha)

Value chain: Large industry dominates

Biogeografical area: Continental 

Species composition

In short

Case Study - Kostelec, Czech Republic





Ecosystem Services

Wood & biomass production


Non-wood provisioning services

Case study Q&A

How does the value chain look like: supply, demand, timber market?
Note: We characterize here the School Forest Enterprise (30% of the study area), data for the remaining area are not accessible. The value chain investigation will focus on this are only.

The School Forest Enterprise operates its own sawmill with a capacity of approximately 50 thousand m3 of spruce timber that is about a half of the current annual harvests. Before the most recent disturbance period, the sawmill was able to accommodate 80-90 % of all timber harvested in the enterprise. The unprocessed timber is distributed to up to ten, mostly domestic facilities within a distance of up to 100 km. A higher-grade timber is supplied to the sawmills and a lower-grade timber to domestic and foreign pulpmills. Logging residues and wood chips are supplied to biomass powerplants.

During the outbreak (2018 onward), the market was flooded with a low-grade beetle-damaged timber. The enterprise faced decreased timber demand and reduced prices, yet it managed to operate the sawmill at its full capacity. The excess of timber was sold to the Asian markets (China) though the entire value chain was affected by the COVID crises.

What are the silvicultural measures applied – if any?
Forest management strives to convert the monospecific forests to more diverse climate-adapted forests, yet the pace of this transformation is slow. Most forest stands are under the clearcut and shelterwood managements with rotation period of ca 120 years, depending on site and tree species. Part of the forest owned by the state forest enterprise Forests of the Czech Republic is under the experimental selection management. The study area contains a beech nature reserve Voděradské bučiny (684 ha; established in 1955) with a no-intervention zone. Salvage and sanitary removals of dead and infested trees aiming to recoup economic values and prevent bark beetle`s spread are applied extensively. High ungulate populations make regeneration protection by fencing and chemical repellents inevitable. Nevertheless, some forest owners strive to downregulate the game by hunting with a varying success. Restoration of calamity clearings usually relies on a combination of extensive planting and natural regeneration. Game browsing significantly counters the restoration efforts.
What is the amount of the wood harvested?
Within the German part of the study region, the last national forest inventory (2012) reported average yearly harvests of approximately 5 m3/ha/year. The largest share was pine, followed by beech, oak and other long-lived broadleaves. In the Alsace region, the average harvest between 2016-2020 was roughly 4 m3/ha/year. 

Case study partners

Czech University Of Life Sciences Prague