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This report describes some of the most unique and characteristic natural features and interdependencies between species and nature types at the Vega world heritage site, and how these habitats are intertwined with the continuity of human intervention. Foreseeable threats and change scenarios are then presented and discussed for the key natural features in Vega.

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European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) forests provide multiple essential ecosystem goods and services. The projected climatic conditions for the current century will significantly affect the vitality of European beech. The expected impact of climate change on forest ecosystems will be potentially stronger in southeast Europe than on the rest of the continent. Therefore, our aim was to use the long-term monitoring data of crown vitality indicators in Croatia to identify long-term trends, and to investigate the influence of current and previous year climate conditions and available site factors using defoliation (DEF) and defoliation change (DDEF) as response variables. The results reveal an increasing trend of DEF during the study period from 1996 to 2017. In contrast, no significant trend in annual DDEF was observed. The applied linear mixed effects models indicate a very strong influence of previous year drought on DDEF, while climate conditions have a weak or insignificant effect on DEF. The results suggest that site factors explain 25 to 30% DEF variance, while similar values of conditional and marginal R2 show a uniform influence of drought on DDEF. These results suggest that DEF represents the accumulated impact of location-specific stressful environmental conditions on tree vitality, while DDEF reflects intense stress and represents the current or recent status of tree vitality that could be more appropriate for analysing the effect of climate conditions on forest trees.