Scientific research activity
The Plitvice Lakes National Park devotes special attention to scientific research. The most significant role with respect to launching, intensifying and coordinating scientific research was the establishment of the first research station - The Plitvice Lakes Biological Station in 1961. This research station has since changed its name and location, and has had a few brief interruptions, but today it operates as the “Ivo Pevalek Scientific Research Center” (Špoljarić and Belančić, 2009).
The numerous published papers from various fields on the topic of the Plitvice Lakes indicate the enormous scientific value and attractiveness of this area.
Scientific research of the Plitvice Lakes has a 160-year history.
- In 1850, Major Franz Bach conducted limnological measurements of the lakes’ depth, while Dr. Josip Sauch conducted the first geological survey. This was followed by botanical (J. Schlosser and Lj. Vukotinović), and zoological studies (D. Šoštarić).
- Prompted by University Professor Dr. Gustav Janeček, in 1893, a company for the beautification and landscaping of the Lakes and the surrounding area was founded with the aim of studying the nature conditions of the region.
- In the following years, Franić, Gavazzi, Koch, Rösler, Pevalek and Roglić conducted research.
- Among the most responsible individuals for Plitvice Lakes being declared a national park on April 8, 1949, is Professor Ivo Pevalek. Due to his discovery of the freshwater moss and algae being crucial to the unique geomorphology of Plitvice Lakes, and that the fundamental phenomenon of Plitvice Lakes were the tufa formations, Ivo Pevalek prompted serious consideration on the legal protection of the lakes.
- In 1951 started the teamwork of Petrik, Iveković, Emili, and associates (limnology); by now, research was organized, multidisciplinary, and supported by the National Park. The results of these studies were published in 1958 in the “Plitvice Lakes National Park” Collection of Papers. This Collection of Papers published scientists such as: Čulinović (history), Pevalek (botany), Redenšek (speleology), Thaler (ichthyology), Makjanić (climatology), Rucner (ornithology), Kovačević (entomology), and Roglić (geography).
- Complex hydro-biological studies began in 1959, under the leadership of Biology Professor Ljubica Kostić-Brnek.
- On August 9, 1961, in coordination with the Biology Institute of Zagreb University, the Plitvice Lakes Biological Station was founded in the Plitvice village of Ljeskovac. The works of the Biological Station based on studies conducted by researchers Kostić-Brnek and Brnek- Kostić (saprobiology), Matoničkin, Pavletić (biocenology), and Emili (bacteriology), were published in the first volume of the Plitvice Bulletin from 1959 to 1965.
- In 1974, the first Conference on the Protection of Plitvice Lakes was held, and the collection of papers “Plitvice Lakes – Man and Nature“ was released, which included a series of studies conducted in the 25 years of the National Park: Roglić (geomorphology); Polšak (geology); Martinović (pedology); Kostić-Brnek, Brnek-Kostić (limnology); Plavšić-Gojković (flora); Cestar et al. (forestry); Plavšić-Gojković et al. (old-growth forest vegetation); Marković (bibliography data) and Gušić, Vidaković, Korica, Šuvar, Blažević, Marković, Lay, Šimunović, Prica, Movčan, Bosanac (economic and social topics).
- In 1975, the modern “Ivo Pevalek Research Station” was open in the Plitvice village of Mukinje, under which the Biological Research Station continued its work and since then was organized within the “Plitvice Research Project”, implemented from 1976 to 1980.
- Head of the Station, Aleksandar Brnek-Kostić, prepared the text and supporting documents for inscribing the Plitvice Lakes on the UNESCO World Heritage List (from 1979).
- • Research from the previous decade continued into the 1980s, while several new studies were launched: Stilinović, Futač (sanitary survey of the waters); Redžepović et al. (forest soil microbiology); Tortić (fungi); Eberhardt, Šegulja, Krga (grassland vegetation); Huber, Roth (bears); Poje (climatology); Blaženčić and Blaženčić (macrophytic vegetation); Horvatinčić, Srdoč (chemical and isotopic studies of karst water); Marušić, Ćuruvija (hydrological and hydrochemical study); Habdija, Primc-Habdija, Belinić (limnology); Martinović, Vranković, Pernar (pedology); Krga (vascular plants); Bristol, Mayberry (trout parasites); Al Lecount (management of bears and other game).
- In 1989, the National Park released Volume 2 of the Plitvice Bulletin, Volumes 3-4 in 1990-91, and Volume 5 in 1992, after which it was discontinued due to war circumstances.
- In 1999, the Scientific Conference on the Protection of Plitvice Lakes was held, upon which the publication “Fifty Years of the Plitvice Lakes National Park (1949-1999) – Man and Nature II” was released.
- Scientific work was re-established with the financial support of the National Park through the “Ecological Status of the Waters Project”, several inventory projects, as well as forestry and hydro-geological research projects.
- The Scientific Research Station continued to operate within the “Ivo Pevalek Scientific Research Centre” opened in 2003 in a new building in Velika Poljana.
- From 1997 to 2010, many teams were engaged in research studies, such as: Kerovec et al. (biological and environmental research of the waters); Stilinović, Habdija (study of the tufa formation rate); Leiner et al. (autochthonous ichthyofauna); Čož-Rakovec et al. (trout genetic structure and population renewal); Šegulja et al. (grassland vegetation); Lukač (inventory of ornythofauna, songbirds, hole-nesting birds); Tutiš et al. (raptors and owls); Tvrtković et al. (inventory of bats); Kučinić (caddisflies, butterflies and moths); Šašić (blue butterfly); Kranjčev (orchids); Obelić et al. (anthropogenic pollution after the war); Biondić et al. (hydrogeology); Omanović et al. (ecotoxicology); Kralj et al. (effect of forest management on fauna abundance and diversity); Posavec (forestry); Markowska (erosional processes along the shores of Lake Kozjak) Tikvić et al. (forest ecology); Anić (forestry) and Pribičević, Medak (geodetic surveys). Part of these studies is published in 2004 in the Plitvice Bulletin, Vol.6.
- On the 60th anniversary since the proclamation of the Plitvice Lakes National Park and the 30th anniversary since the Park’s inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List, in 2009, the Management of the National Park organized a scientific meeting sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, at which were presented recent results of research conducted in the area. The meeting proceedings were issued in 2011.