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History

Within the newly established University of Agriculture in Brno, the Department of Dendrology was constituted (in premises of the present Department of Forest Botany, Dendrology and Geobiocoenology) in 1922. From the very beginning, the Department was headed by prof. Dr. August Bayer (appointed a full professor in 1936) who gradually furnished this institute by an extensive library, collections, laboratory and workshop during his activities in 1922--1941. The Department of Dendrology was one of the best managed and conceptually consolidated workplaces at then University of Agriculture in Brno. For educational and scientific purposes of the Department Dr. Bayer established an arboretum in Křtiny (Training Forest Enterprise "Masaryk Forest") in 1928. Ten years later, he began to build an arboretum in Brno. In the second half of the 50s, this arboretum became an all-university area and after its enlargement, a basis of the present Botanical Garden and Arboretum of Mendel University in Brno. In addition to this, with the aim of increasing the aesthetic, recreational and educational value of the area, forest glades, retreats and vistas maintained up to the present day were created and planted with exotic woody species under the auspices of specialists of this workplace.


After the arrest and martyrdom of prof. Dr. A. Bayer in a concentration camp in Mauthausen (1942), the Institute was headed by a Prof. Bayer's lecturer and later Professor RNDr. Alois Zlatník, DrSc. After 1950, Prof. Zlatník remained a member of the Institute, however, due to deformations of society at that time, he was suspended from office (the institute was headed by prof. Ing. Miroslav Vyskot and prof. Ing. Jan Kantor). As an excellent scientist and forest specialist Prof. Zlatník was the founder of Czechoslovak geobiocoenological forest typology and of the network of forest reserves. He created a new and up to the present day useful pedagogical division of the institute named Department of Forest Botany and Phytocoenology (1946--1992). In 1956, the Scientific Laboratory of Geobiocoenology and Typology headed by Prof. Zlatník was established by the Ministry of Education. This workplace was very important for research into forest typology particularly for the consistent use of integrated ecological approach from an individual to a biocoenosis. Prof. Zlatník was also an author of the first textbook of ecology published under the name "Elements of Ecology" in 1972. Under the direct influence of Prof. Zlatník a number of important personalities was formed, eg RNDr. Antonín Vězda (a lichenologist of European importance), Assoc. Prof. Ing. Zdeněk Ambros, CSc., Assoc. Prof. Ing. Jaroslav Horák, CSc., Assoc. Prof. Ing. Jaromír Vorel, CSc. (an important forest typologist), Prof. Ing. Milan Križo, DrSc. (palynologist and botanist) engaged later at the Faculty of Forestry, Technical University Zvolen, Assoc. Prof. Ing. Jindřich Chmelař, DrSc. (an important dendrologist and world-famous expert in the genus Salix and a founder of the collection of willows in the University arboretums in Brno and in Křtiny) and a number of other his followers.


At the beginning of the 60s, the department was headed for a short time by doc. Ing. Jindřich Chmelař, DrSc. (the founder of an arboretum in Řícmanice in 1968--70).


In 1963--1983, prof. RNDr. PhMr. Miroslav Penka, DrSc., the former dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy, was appointed a head of this department. Under his management and in cooperation with Assoc. Prof. Ing. Anton Matovič, DrSc., an external workplace, namely Hacker forest nursery in Křtiny, was built up. In this nursery, physiological research was carried out. At the same time, Prof. Penka headed the Institute for the International Biological Programme which was renamed to the Institute of Forest Ecology in 1976. The close linkage of both workplaces resulted in the application of basic research, for example in the field of plant water relations and generally physiology of trees influencing also scientific orientation of other branches and departments of the Faculty of Forestry.


In 1983--1991, the department was headed by prof. Ing. Anton Matovič, DrSc., who was a specialist in the field of wood science. Under the influence of Prof. Zlatník and other colleagues he developed particularly wood science in relation to other biological disciplines of the Department and of the Institute of Forest Ecology. In recent years, he prepared a start of the study of wood engineering and the establishment of a new Department of Wood Science. It was achieved in 1995 when the technical trend of development unfolded before the branch of wood science.


In 1991--1993, the Department was headed by doc. Ing. Jaromír Vorel, CSc. He concentrated his efforts on geobiocoenological problems of forests in the extensive area of Central Europe thus preparing professional background for the foreign cooperation of our students and graduates. In 1992, the workplace was renamed to the Department of Forest Botany, Dendrology and Typology.


Prof. Ing. Jaroslav Koblížek, CSc. who has overmastered the broad spectrum of botanical disciplines being specialized in systematic botany, dendrology and useful plants was head of the Department in 1993--2007. Together with his colleagues Prof. Koblížek established the Professor August Bayer Endowment Fund. The fund is aimed at the development of inheritance after this versatile biologist. Under his leadership, activities of the Department were extended to the region of tropics and subtropics. The last change in the department name occurred in 2005.


In the years 2007--2014 was head of the Department prof. Dr. Ing. Petr Maděra who is a specialist in the field of ecology of woody plants, their populations and communities with interference to geobiocoenology and landscape ecology. Chairman of the Czech chapter of International Association for Landscape Ecology (IALE) in 2008-2011.

The present head of the Department (since 1. 1. 2015) is doc. Ing. Luboš Úradníček, CSc., his specialization is dendrology and ecology of woody plants and he deals also with introduced species of trees and shrubs. He participated in the creation and accreditation of a study programme Arboristics, which is currently guarantor.