The scientific background of the Institute of Forest Ecology SAS is dated to the years 1894 – 1898 with such important research institutions as the Arboretum Mlyňany, Central Research Forestry Station in Banská Štiavnica and especially the years 1951 – 1954 when were established Forestry Laboratory Academy of Sciences in Bratislava led by Dr. Ing. Vladimír Biskupský, PhD. in partnership with prof. Dr.Bohumil Doležal, DrSc.
After the abolition of Forestry Laboratory Academy of Sciences in Bratislava scientists have moved to Research Institute of Forestry in Banská Štiavnica and since 1964 in Zvolen.
Institute of Forest Ecology has been established in 1st January 1983 by Presidium SAS resolution number 743 from 27.4.1982 as a Forest Ecosystem Research Institute subsidiary office Institute of Experimental Biology and Ecology and Centre for Bio-Ecological Sciences SAS. Working capacity at that time consisted of three research stations in the Central Slovakia (Banská Bystrica, Staré Hory and Východná) with 20 research workers and 5 scientists.
Effort to build an independent scientific institute was successfully achieved in 1st July 1987. Presidium SAS at 48th session confirmed an establishment the Institute of Forest Ecology as a part of Centre for Bio-Ecological Sciences SAS with director Ľudovít Weissmann based in this building who was also the director of the Institute of Experimental Biology and Ecology.
In the period when Presidium SAS cancelled the Centre Bio-Ecological Sciences were established research institutions – Institute of Experimental Phytopathology and Entomology SAS in Ivanka pri Dunaji, Arboretum Mlyňany and Institute of Dendrobiology in Vieska nad Žitavou.
Since 1st January 1983 is Institute of Forest Ecology SAS independent institution with own technical and economic administration, which actually mean a complete financial and organizational independence constitution.
During years 1990 – 1993 Institute of Forest Ecology outperformed number of changes which implied from social situation and restructuralisation SAS. Result of these changes was delimitation of Institute of Dendrobiology located in Arboretum Mlyňany and there was established Branch for Woody Plants Biology in Nitra with two departments. The director of institute became assoc. prof. Ing. Ferdinand Tokár, DrSc. and Brending Plants Institute led by Ing. Aurélia Kamenická, PhD. Located in Arboretum Mlyňany.
The Institute of Animal Biochemistry and Genetics in Zvolen was affiliated to IFE in 1st July 1993. Institute academic history is dated since 1974 when was founded SAS Research Institute in Zvolen covered by the Institute of Animal Physiology in Košice. In the same year the Institute of Animal Biochemistry and Genetics was cancelled and selected scientists removed to Institute of Forest Ecology SAS even the Department of Applied Evolutionary Ecology in Banská Štiavnica led by Ing. Peter Múdry, PhD.
In the 30 long-year history it is impressive to see the remarkable fact that just our Institute has retained its own identity and independence till now/ present and is only one academic research institution SAS in Central Slovakia (Banská Bystrica region).
Further period meant rapid rate of progress that has been achieved in the field of research activities and building position in Slovak academic circles and EU area. That development of Institute of Forest Ecology helped to nurture new scientists for rapidly changing station.
Breeding Plants Institute located in Arboretum Mlyňany was detached from Institute of Forest Ecology in 2001 and affiliated to Arboretum Mlyňany as a result of effort to rebuild cancelled research station.
Historical overview and characteristics of the institute:
1983 – 1990 – establishment and development of IEF
1990 – 2000 – process of transformation in Slovak Society and also in Slovak Academy of Science
2000 – 2016 – period of institute stabilization and development in research infrastructure. Thank to Presidium SAS and all scientists for support and interest this period is characterized and marked by efforts to stabilize an equity – related environment the IFE to integrate to EU structures.
The headquarters if the institute are situated in Zvolen. The other satellite workplaces are located in Nitra (the branch for Woody Plants Biology), Bratislava (two departments) and Mlyňany (the Arboretum).
The most recent enlargement of the institute facilities represent a detached branch in Bratislava (since 1st November 2012, the Department of Strategic Environmental Analyses formerly belonging to the Prognostic Institute SAS and since 1st December 2013, the Department of Molecular Apidology formerly belonging to the Institute of Molecular Biology SAS. Following the decision No. 242C of the Presidium SAS dated 3th April 2014, the specialized organization of SAS – Arboretum Mlyňany was merged with the Institute of Forest Ecology SAS since 1st July 2014, while the original name of the workplace “Arboretum Mlyňany” was retained.
According to the Foundation Charter No. 305/G/12/2014 signed on 20 June 2014, the institute focuses on the basic and applied research in forest ecology. Institute´s research programme features the research on changes, processes and stressors important for the stability, structure, production and protection of forest ecosystems.