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PNRP 33(3) – 2014 r.


Anthropogenic changes in vascular flora in the surroundings
of caves in Sokole Góry nature reserve


The aim of this article is to present research on the vascular flora of selected caves surrounding the Highland. In 2010, the authors carried out research within the Sokole Góry nature reserve. Six caves were under examination: 4 vertical (Koralowa cave, Pod Sokolą Górą cave, Studnisko cave, and Wszystkich Świętych cave), and 2 horizontal (Komarowa cave, and Olsztyńska cave). The surroundings of each were analyzed at a maximum proximity of 5 metres starting from the entry, containing three-zone divisions. The aim of this research was to identify the flora that grow near the entry of the caves, as well as to evaluate the significance of tourism on its transformation. The flora of the explored areas around the caves at Sokole Góry reserve consist of 61 species of plants which belong to 37 families and 49 genera. For each of these caves that number was variable, and it ranged from 5 to 36. The most frequently identified species was Mycelis muralis, which was observed in all of the 6 caves (Fi = 100%). High frequency was also observed for: Asplenium trichomanes, Convalaria majalis and Drypoteris carthusiana (4 caves, Fi = 66%). The analysis of floristic similarity in the surroundings of each cave confirmed a significant distinction between horizontal and vertical caves. The abundance and diversity of flora surrounding the caves were considerably greater in vertical caves. It was found that the protection of plants growing in the cave environment is essential, as it is the best preservation area located in the immediate vicinity of the inlet to each of the analyzed objects. This zone is the richest in species, in the case of large caves, and creates a suitable habitat for plants with different ecological requirements.


Spiders (Araneae) of coniferous trees in the shelterbelts of the
Dezydery Chłapowski Landscape Park


The paper presents spider species inhabiting branches of spruces (Picea abies) and pines (Pinus sylvestris) of midfield shelterbelts in farmland of the Dezydery Chłapowski Landscape Park. Four shelterbelts grown in the years 1995 - 1996 were studied. The branches of five trees up to 2 m in height in each shelterbelt were shaken. Within the period of the studies, from April to September 2007, 16 species represented by 138 specimens were reported. The most abundant spiders were: Philodromus sp., Theridion sp., Mangora acalypha, Neottiura bimaculata, Araniella sp., Metellina sp. and Linyphia triangularis. Some spiders species connected with coniferous trees were also noted: Dendryphantes rudis and Platnickina tincta. The hunting strategies of the collected spiders were analyzed. More than 50% of the specimens belonged to web-building spiders. Araneidae and Metellina sp. were the most abundant among them. Theridiidae and Dictynidae were in second position and constituted 25% of all spiders and linyphiids - 9%. The other strategies were as follows: ambush spiders - 19%, actively hunting (mainly Ero sp.) - 8% and jumping spiders - 4%. Further studies of spiders in coniferous trees, and in a greater number of habitats are needed in the face of few data, especially in the Polish literature.


Breeding birds of the ‘‘Łacha Jelcz’’ nature reserve
and its surroundings (Lower Silesia)


In 2007, 29 breeding bird species were recorded in ‘‘Łacha Jelcz'' nature reserve (15 ha) in Lower Silesia. However, as many as 36 other breeding species were recorded in area directly bordering to the reserve (40 ha). The following species were dominant in the whole area (55 ha): Fringilla coelebs, Sturnus vulgaris, Phylloscopus collybita, Sylvia atricapilla, Parus caeruleus, and Passer montanus. Together they comprised half of all breeding pairs. The following species breeding in the area are listed in the Appendix 1 of the Birds Directive: Picus canus, Dryocopus martius, Dendrocopos medius, Alcedo atthis, Lanius collurio and Ficedula albicollis (8 - 11 pairs). Three other species (Haliaeetus albicilla, Milvus migrant, Ciconia ciconia) nested outside the study area, but frequented it as foraging place. It is postulated to enlarge the reserve (15 ha) to the whole study area (55 ha).


Anurans of Biebrza National Park and its buffer zone


Amphibians are considered to be the group of vertebrates most threatened with extinction. This is a result of fast changes observed in the environment due to human activity. The monitoring of breeding sites and long-term studies, particular in protected areas, can contribute to effective protection for this group of animals. The aim of the conducted studies was to determine the distribution and the number of particular anuran amphibian species in the area of Biebrza National Park (BPN).
The studies were carried out in the area of BPN in the years 2006 - 2007. Field surveys involved using the following techniques: live catching of amphibians, monitoring the voices of mating males, as well as catching individuals on a selected stretch of road during their spring migration to breeding sites. During the two-year research 783 adult amphibian specimens belonging to 10 species were caught. The most numerous were: moor frog Rana arvalis, edible frog Pelophylax kl. esculentus and pool frog Pelophylax lessonae. Less numerous were: the common frog Rana temporaria, fire-bellied toad Bombina bombina, common toad Bufo bufo, and common three frog Hyla arborea. The rarest, occurring only in some regions of BPN were: the green toad Pseudepidalea viridis, common spadefoot Pelobates fuscus and marsh frog Pelophylax ridibundus. In BPN we did not observe the natterjack toad Epidalea calamita.
During spring migrations, on the selected stretch of road we observed only three amphibian species - the moor frog, common frog and common toad. The most numerous were the moor frogs, representing almost 83% of all caught specimens.


Is bark beetle gradation a chance for the Scots pine?


It is commonly believed that Scots pine forests belong to plant associations developing under fire influence, and the Scots pine is a species predestined to regenerate in such conditions. But events of recent years have shown that the scenario of Scots pine forest development may be different. The mixed fresh forest biochore of the sandy hill, with developed albic cambiarenosols, within the strictly-protected area of Białowieża National Park, in compartments: 224, 255, 256, was studied. The examined stands consist of 100 - 180-year-old Scots pine, with a large addition of Norway spruce aged 80 - 150 years. On the basis of tree age, stand space structure, regeneration, and the presence and lying deadwood decay degree, parts of the stands shaped by disturbances (eight-toothed bark beetle gradations) in 4 periods: 1963 - 66, 1983 - 88, 1994 - 97, 2000 - 04, were distinguished. In parts of the disturbed and undisturbed stands 10 circular 0.04 ha study plots for each time period were established. On every plot all the trees' (living and dying) breast height diameter (D.B.H.), with species distinction, was measured, and on the 40-square metre surface regeneration to the 1.3 m level was also counted.
On the basis of results it can be stated that the natural spatial mosaic of the coniferous forest stand parts, at different decay and regeneration levels, is an effect of the influence of biotic and abiotic factors. The species composition of regenerated forest depends on the amount of light reaching the forest floor, as a consequence of disturbance scale. The gaps and small open plots are regenerated by Norway spruce; the big open plots by Norway spruce and Birch; and extensive open plots by Norway spruce, Scots pine and Birch. The presence of decaying wood, as well as barriers formed by dying, breaking down logs, may have an influence on the interaction between species, both as to their regeneration and also their future survival.
In fact, we do not know the answer to the question included in this article's title. Research results may support the hypothesis that the arising Scotch pine regeneration has suitable developmental conditions, but some natural factors can cause unpredictability, so the final effect cannot be fully estimated.



Notes on the nature collections of museums in Kraków,
and the collections of Ojców, Pieniny and Tatra National Parks


The notes cover the period from the late 19th century to the 1960s. The discussed museums are still operational, but because of rash modernization they were deprived of their historic, educational and scientific functions.
In Kraków, hasty and ill-planned modernization has destroyed old museums of the Jagiellonian University, which had great historical value. These were museums of palaeontology, zoology and geology located at no. 6 Św. Anny street, in Kołłątaj's Collegium, established in 1870-1890. Kraków lost many precious, unique and old natural history museums.
Similar changes also affected natural history museums in provincial locations. At the Museum of Pieniny NP, in Krościenko n/Dunajcem, its curator, the engineer R. Żukowski, created, from nothing, a collection of butterflies from the Pieniny region, the only one of its kind for Polish National Parks. This collection was used as a subject of modern faunistic research, but after the premature death of Żukowski the collection disappeared in just a few months.
In the region of the Tatra Mts. and their foothills, S. Batkowski, an amateur lepidopterologist, gathered a large collection of butterflies. He divided his collection into two parts, hoping that if one was destroyed, the other, equally-valuable, part would be saved. The first collection was given to the Museum of Tatra NP, and the second one ended up in the Tatra Museum, both in Zakopane. Today, the collection in the Tatra Museum is professionally and carefully preserved, but the second collection, given by Batkowski to the Museum of Tatra NP, has vanished without trace.
In Ojców NP the lepidopteran museum collection was created from nothing by its first director, the engineer J. Rojkowski. His successors have consistently enlarged the collection, and now it includes numerous groups of insects, providing a source material for scientific research important both to ONP and its region.
The irreversible loss to Polish faunistic studies caused by the destruction and misappropriation of these collections has a great negative significance, as they were used as research material on lepidopteran fauna of these national parks and their regions. With advances in science the status of many taxa described in older publications needs to be revised. Meanwhile, changes in now-gone ecosystems had led to the extinction of butterfly populations, even those that used to be large. New regulations on nature conservation do not allow for gathering large series of specimens to be used bymuseums. Therefore, the re-creation of the vanished collections is no longer possible due to dynamic changes in the need to protect the existing populations.
The act on the conservation of nature and natural resources (of 13 September 2007, Dz. U. No. 75, item 493) urges private individuals in possession of specimens of protected species to immediately donate them to public museums. The law is retroactive and applies both to specimens and fragments thereof (such as stuffed birds, beaver and marmot skins, chamois antlers, collections of insects, etc.). This makes losses, unpredicted by the legislators, difficult to estimate, because many exhibits were completely destroyed to avoid complicated procedures.


Białowieża Forest – World Heritage Property


World Heritage Committee in 1979 inscribed on the List of World Heritage Sites a part of the Bialowieza Forest, situated in Poland, under the name "Bialowieza National Park". Then, in 1992, the Site was enlarged and incorporated a large Belarusian part of the Bialowieza Forest. The Transboundary World Heritage Site "Belovezhskaya Pushcha/Bialowieza Forest" was created. In 2014 the Committee accepted proposed by Poland and Belarus changes of the name, boundaries and criteria of inscription. State Parties agreed that the name "Białowieża Forest" is simple and easily recognized worldwide. After the enlargement the area of the Property is 141 885 ha and the surrounding buffer zone covers 166 798 ha. The criteria of the inscription are as follows: (1) The Property is an outstanding example representing significant on-going ecological and biological processes in the evolution and development of terrestrial ecosystems and communities of plants and animals and (2) Contains the most important and significant natural habitats for in-situ conservation of biological diversity, including those containing threatened species of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science and conservation.

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