Institute of Ecology and Silviculture
Phone: +385 01 235 2570
Fax: 01 /2352-515
The Institute of Ecology and Silviculture is one of the six Institutes of the Department of Forestry at the Faculty of Forestry of the University of Zagreb. This is the largest Institute of the Faculty consisting of 23 employees, one of whom is professor emeritus, five full professors, two associate professors, three assistant professors, nine assistants and research novices, two professional associates, one senior technical associate, one administrative officer and one cleaning lady.
The basic components of the Institute are the six groups of programme courses (Chairs/Lectures):
- Establishment of Forests
- Forest Ecology
- Forestry Phytocoenology
- Forest Karst Melioration with Nature Protection
In addition to that, the Institute has also the Ecological and Pedological Laboratory, the Laboratory for Forest Seed and Seedlings and the Library.
In a similar organizational structure as it is today, the Institute of Ecology and Silviculture has been operating since March 14, 1921, although its history can be tracked down already from 1860 with the beginning of the higher education of Forestry in Croatia.
The teaching activity is carried out through the undergraduate, graduate, postgraduate specialist and postgraduate doctoral studies of the Faculty of Forestry. The Institute is the holder of two postgraduate specialist studies: Silviculture and Forest Establishment and Ecological Landscape Design, Nature Conservation and Horticulture.
The scientific research and professional activity of the Institute includes:
ecological monitoring in forest ecosystems, research in protected natural resources, monitoring the environmental condition and selecting recovery measures, environmental impact assessment study, close to nature silviculture, silvicultural analyses and recommendations, quality control of forest seed material, quality control of forest seed, afforestation projects, forest soil condition monitoring, soil and soil properties mapping, physical and chemical soil analyses, vegetation research, forest vegetation mapping, forest fire risk assessment, recovery methods of burned forest area, nature protection, arboriculture.
Teaching classes are carried out through lectures, exercises and field classes. The field classes of the Faculty of Forestry were founded in our Institute. Today, field classes are usually conducted in the teaching and experimental forest facilities of our Faculty and in the facilities of Hrvatske šume d.o.o. (Croatian Forests Ltd). Zagreb. As a part of the courses that provide field classes, each student is introduced to the characteristics of the Croatian forest ecosystems.
Over the past years international field classes have been intensified as the result of the bilateral agreements between the Faculty of Forestry of the University of Zagreb and Mendel University of Agriculture and Forestry in Brno. Six generations of students have already been on a several-days field excursion on the Czech lands, in connection with the course on Forest Growing II and Silviculture.
The members of the Institute of Ecology and Silviculture are Lecturers of the compulsory and optional courses at the undergraduate, graduate, postgraduate specialist and postgraduate doctoral studies of the Faculty of Forestry.
Scientific, Research and Professional Activity
The scientific research and professional activity of the Institute includes:
- ecological monitoring in forest ecosystems
- research in protected natural resources
- monitoring the environmental condition and selecting recovery measures
- environmental impact assessment study
- close to nature Silviculture
- silvicultural analyses and recommendations
- quality control of forest seed material
- quality control of forest seed
- afforestation projects
- forest soil condition monitoring
- soil and soil properties mapping
- physical and chemical soil analyses
- vegetation research
- forest vegetation mapping
- forest fire risk assessment
- recovery methods of burned forest area
The international cooperation of the Institute of Ecology and Silviculture has always been vividly developed, especially with the related institutes and chairs of European universities we are historically connected to by the programme orientation - natural forest growing (close to nature Silviculture).
We are proud of our tradition and long-lasting friendships with colleagues from the Department of Forestry, Zvolen Technical University, Slovakia, the Department of Forestry, Mendel Agricultural and Forestry University in Brno, Czech Republic, and the Department of Forestry, Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana. A similar collaboration was made with the Faculties of Forestry in Sopronj, Sarajevo, Vienna, Ljubljana, Freising, Zürich.
The collaboration with other Faculties abroad has been constantly increased through our teachers’ lecturing at the foreign universities as well as through foreign lecturers teaching at our Faculty (guest lecturer), through the exchange of field classes, joint research activities and publishing of papers with the colleagues from abroad, the associates’ from our Institute specialization at the foreign Faculties, as well as specialization of colleagues from foreign universities in our Institute, post doctoral specializations, professional excursion of several days, joint organization of international conferences, joint organization of classes and teaching, especially on the postgraduate studies (specialist and doctoral), participation in different commissions.
Over the past years the Institute has hosted and organized many professional and scientific consultations, congresses and excursions, study visits of foreign experts and students, especially from Italy, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Denmark, USA and Canada.
The members of the Institute were the leaders of the working groups of the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO), and are members of the Governing Board of the International Federation Pro Silva Europe.
The history of the Institute for Ecology and Silviculture is connected with the history of forestry teaching and science in Croatia. It all began at the College for Agriculture and Forestry in Križevci (1860), in the Study-room for professions in forestry production, as a part of the Course on Forest Planting and Silviculture.
Upon the foundation of the Academy of Forestry in 1898, the same Study-room and the library were moved from Križevci to Zagreb in 1898 to continue with its work by conducting courses in Silviculture, the Use of Forests, Mechanical Technology in Forestry, Forest Preservation and Wood Anatomy. The first Head of the Study was a professor at the Academy of Forestry Franjo Ž. Kesterčanek.
The Institute of Silviculture with an organizational structure similar to the current one was founded in 1921 by the decree of the Commission for Education and Religion of the Royal Croatian-Slavonian Land Government. The published Statute of the Institute also defines its purpose: “To serve the professional staff of the Institute in their scientific and research activities, advanced followers of its courses and graduates, to enable seminars in breeding and to provide expert opinions to authorities and other interested parties.”
The first Head of the Institute was prof. Andrija Petračić, PhD, who founded a laboratory, a study-room with the collection of seeds, cones, buds and the herbarium, as well as a forest garden for experimental and teaching purposes, and the library of the Institute. Till 1946 the Institute was located in the Forestry Home in the street Vukotinovićeva 2 in Zagreb. Afterwards it was moved to the new building of the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry in the street Svetošimunska cesta 25.
Period from 1919 – 1930 is defined by the establishment of the Institute as the basic unit for Silviculture and Dendrology. The Institute was also offering a seminar on Silviculture and the course on Anatomy of Trees and Shrubs. Dendrological collections of seeds, cones and buds inherited from the Academy of Forestry are organized during this period. The Forest Garden of the Institute was founded in 1922.
The second stage of development of the Institute from 1930 to 1945 is marked by its teaching activities and the beginnings of more extensive research activities as well as by the intensive cooperation with professionals in the field of forestry at home and abroad.
During the period from 1945 – 1960 The Institute is experiencing a significant development and progress. Educational programmes get expanded in terms of content and number of courses, and postgraduate courses are introduced. Seminars are held on parking and greening of public areas, application of Phytocoenology in practical forestry, cultivation of fast growing trees, etc. A huge interest in seminars was shown especially among economy experts, which led to a fruitful cooperation with the forestry economy sector that still continues.
Period from 1960 – 2000 is marked by the progress and development of the staff and of teaching and scientific activities. The change of the educational plan and programme/curricula results in the introduction of new courses and field classes gain more importance as a valuable form of teaching. The basis of the field classes are plant nurseries and teaching and experimental forest facilities of the Faculty of Forestry, as well as close cooperation with forestry offices throughout Croatia. Graduation thesis and papers take an important place in the activities of lecturers being closely related to students’ research activities supervised by their mentors and carried out across the territory of Croatia, as well as at the teaching and experimental facilities of the Faculty. In 1995 the Department of Pedology was integrated in the Institute.
Since 2001, three modules have been created within the new curriculum in the Department of Forestry at the Faculty of Forestry of the University of Zagreb, teaching is being adapted to the dynamics of scientific and technological progress of that time, and the Institute is changing its name to the Department of Ecology and Silviculture.
The Bologna process enters into force in the academic year 2005/5006 and the Institute of Ecology and Silviculture is going through important changes and progress in terms of the organisation and staff. Active participation in scientific projects organized by the Ministry of Science of Education and Sports of the Republic of Croatia, creating many projects for forestry and other economic entities created the need of new researchers and opened new opportunities to strengthen the Institute by employing new researches.
In cooperation with the MSES, more scientific novices get directly involved in scientific, research and teaching activities at the Institute. During 2007 the Department of Ecology and Silviculture completely moved to the new building of the Department of Forestry at the Faculty of Forestry of the University of Zagreb. The new facilities with sufficient high-quality working space have created the preconditions for the extensive and high-quality teaching, scientific and research activities as well as for a closer cooperation with other institutions at home and abroad.
Since the date of its establishment till today, the Institute was governed by the following Heads of the Institute:
- Prof. Andrija Petračić, PhD 1921 – 1952
- Prof. Milan Anić, PhD 1952 – 1968
- Prof. Ivo Dekanić, PhD 1968 – 1985
- Prof. Branimir Prpić, PhD 1985 – 1992
- Prof. Đuro Rauš, PhD 1992 – 1995
- Associate prof. Zvonko Seletković, PhD 1995 – 1997
- Prof. Slavko Matić, PhD 1997 – 2003
- Prof. Zvonko Seletković, PhD 2003 – 2008
- Prof. Igor Anić, PhD 2008 - 2012
- Prof. Nikola Pernar, PhD 2012 - 2016
- Prof. Ivica Tikvić, PhD 2016 - current
Three times a different Head of the Institute became a full member of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts - the academician Milan Anić, the academician Slavko Matić and the academician Igor Anić.