The Bohemian Forest creates the most extensive forest landscape in Central Europe. Primeval mountain forest remnants, glacial lakes, peat bogs, and mountain secondary grasslands are home to various communities of vegetation and animal species. The center of this region is preserved as the Bavarian Forest National Park (242 km2) and Šumava National Park (680 km2). The Šumava Protected Landscape Area (1000 km2) serves as a buffer zone.

The existence of these protected areas offers unique opportunities to study, observe and learn from nature. Especially now, in the time of rapid climate changes, it is a source of important knowledge covering enormously wide variety of themes. As permanently protected ecosystems in a process of near natural development, national parks serve as extremely attractive “control” areas for long-term ecosystem research and monitoring. More and more research and monitoring projects are operated transboundary following the natural distribution of biotopes as well as natural migration of wild animals in the region of both National parks, which are not respecting the borders either. The main focus of long-term research and monitoring is on ecosystem processes such as natural regeneration of mountain forests after wind storm disturbances or spruce bark beetle outbreaks, as well as on changes of water regime and species diversity in response to climate changes. Many monitoring and long-term research activities are operating in this area. Map

Changes in ecosystem services and better awareness of the National parks for public are the most discussed topics of currently emerging socio-economic studies. Common Czech-Bavarian LTSER (Long-term socio-ecological research) platform Silva Gabreta was born several years ago and recently we are working on improving our activities. The name of our common LTSER platform was adopted from the scientific journal Silva Gabreta that is published by the Šumava NP since 1996.