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Projekt PL BY
Dzika Odyseja
Izba Administracji Skarbowej w Białymstoku
Strona główna arrow Parki Narodowe i Rezerwaty Przyrody
PNRP 28(1) – 2009 r.

The role of nature reserves in conservation of the lichen biota
(Ascomycota lichenisati) – the case of Kozienicka Forest


The paper contains the results of the lichenological research conducted in four nature reserves in the Kozienicka Forest, i.e. Ciszek, Brzeźniczka, Źródło Królewskie, and Pionki (Fig. 1). In total, 114 lichen species were recorded (Table 2), among them 8 species new for the Kozienicka Forest. The overall number of species known so far from this area has reached 267 taxa. The lichen biota of 10 reserves investigated in the years 2000 – 2007 were compared (Table 3). For each of them, the so-called lichenological value was assessed; it comprises the number of species a) occurring exclusively in the given reserve, b) threatened in the country (threat categories CR, EN, VU), c) being indicators of the lowland old-growth forests. The highest value was ascribed to the Zagożdżon reserve (59 species) which was followed by the Ponty-Dęby (39 species), whereas the the Leniwa nature reserve was the last (9 species; Table 3). Species richness, type of inhabited substrate, and frequency of epiphytic and epixylic lichens were compared between the reserves and managed forests. Three groups of lichens were distinguished and characterized: the species growing in both the reserves and the managed forests (99 taxa – 58%), the species growing exclusively in the nature reserves (59 – 35%), and species growing exclusively in the managed forests (12 – 7%). Table 4 lists several particularly valuable species occurring in the reserves and managed forests. The forest communities in the reserves, as compared to the managed forests, clearly stand out due to their greater richness of lichen biota, higher frequencies of particular species, and wider range of ecological amplitude of tree species available for lichen colonization. The occurrence of epiphytic and epixylic lichens was analyzed in terms of the degree of anthropogenic changes in forest communities. The forest communities in the reserves can be classified on the basis of the lichen species composition (Table 4) as regenerating managed forests exhibiting a clear tendency towards expressing some features indicating forest communities of natural origin.
With consideration for the recent studies, changes in the previous threat status of the lichens of the Kozienicka Forest (CIEŚLIŃSKI 2003 b) have been proposed. The threat indicator decreased slightly from 61.8% to 55.8% of all the taxa, but it still remains high (Table 5).
The research conducted in the area of the Kozienicka Forest reveals that forest communities in the nature reserves should be considered as an important refugium for many indigenous, typical forest species which are rare and threatened in the country and indicate the forests of high natural value in the Central Polish Lowland. Only part of these species are abundant and show no symptoms of reduced vitality in the Kozienicka Forest. Most of them occur as rare, small and often isolated populations, with signs of local vulnerability to threats.
The system of nature conservation functioning in the Kozienicka Forest (15 nature reserves, Kozienicki Landscape Park, Kozienicka Forest Promotional Complex, numerous natural monuments, etc.) creates possibilities of preserving the whole biodiversity of lichens and other species. The accumulation and conservation of very old trees, mainly oaks, in the area of the Kozienicka Forest, is of great importance for maintaining lichen species that are sensitive to the human activities.

Epiphytic lichens in old orchards of the Lower Vistula Valley (N Poland)


Orchards play an important role in regulating local microclimate conditions in heavily deforested areas. As a site of lichen vegetation and nesting for numerous bird species, they contribute to the biodiversity of the area and constitute an especially valuable element of local ecological corridors. Due to poor profitability of fruit farming, many old orchards have been liquidated and others will soon disappear. In the 30 old orchards selected for the study, located in the Chełmiński and Nadwiślański Landscape Parks in the Lower Vistula Valley, 53 species of epiphytic lichens have been found, as well as two species of lichenicolous fungi. The highest number of lichen species was found on the bark of apple and pear trees – 47 and 30 species, respectively – and the fewest – 7 species – were found on cherry tree bark. Crustose lichens were dominant on apple tree bark, while the remaining phorophytes were host to foliose lichens. The most interesting of these include Bryoria implexa, Hypogymnia tubulosa, Melanohalea exasperatula, Opegrapha varia, Physcia dimidiata, Physconia distorta, P. perisidiosa, Tuckermannopsis chlorophylla, Usnea hirta and Vulpicida pinastri. There were more lichen species in the orchards located on the valley-side than in those situated on the plateau or the valley-floor. The greatest number of interesting lichen species were found on the bark of apple trees in orchards located on the valley-floor. Tree trunks in many of the orchards showed clearly visible traces of lime that they had been painted with in the spring. Some orchards are used as fenced pasture areas for farm animals; cows and horses brush against the tree trunks, removing lichen thalli or impeding their growth. The vegetation of lichens in the Lower Vistula Valley may also be impeded by atmoshperic pollution, both local – from Świecie, Chełmno and other towns – and arriving from greater distances – Bydgoszcz and Toruń in the South, and the Tri-City (Gdańsk, Gdynia and Sopot) in the North.

Changes in the plant cover in the reserve
of Stara Buczyna in Raków after 44 years


In the years 2006 – 2007 floristical and phytosociological investigations were carried out in the Stara Buczyna in Raków reserve. This reserve was created to protect beech forest at the limit of beech occurrence range. During the first geobotanical research this beech forest was identified as a Melico – Fagetum association. After 14 years it was described as a Querco – Carpinetum lathyretosum verni oak-hornbeam forest. Current phytosociological research proved that the area of the reserve is overgrown by a multilayer deciduous forest, which may be classified as Tilio cordatae – Carpinetum betuli.
The flora of the reserve comprises 116 taxa, including 112 taxa of vascular plants and 4 species of mosses. Two of the formerly recorded species, Galium rotundifolium and Cephalanthera damasonium, were absent during the presently reported investigation. In contrast, 49 species of vascular plants taxa were identified as new in the reserve.
Changes that occurred in the reserve’s vegetation are bidirectional. The currently regenerating forest is an example of an oak-hornbeam phytocoenosis. It undergoes a process of synanthropisation caused by the expansion of invasive plant species: Padus serotina and Impatiens parviflora. The main function of the reserve is still the protection of the old beech stand. The regenerating oak-hornbeam phytocoenosis enables the researchers to record changes in natural succession processes.

Dytiscus latissimus LINNAEUS, 1758 (Coleoptera: Dytiscidae)
in Szumleś Królewski of the Cashubian Lake District


In the years 2000 – 2005, a Dytiscus latissimus LINNAEUS, 1758 (Coleoptera: Dytiscidae) beetle was found in Szumleś Królewski of the Cashubian Lake District. This is a species which is vulnerable (VU) to extinction (IUCN Red List) and placed under strict protection in Poland. It is also mentioned in the 2nd and 4th annex of the UE Habitat Directive. It was found in a small (about 1 ha) natural dystrophic pond, with a small island in the center. A mixed tree forest, administered by State Forests, surrounds the pond.
This is the first sighting of Dytiscus latissimus in the Cashubian Lake Region after World War 2. Further studies of the habitation and biotope of the species in Szumleś and in surroundings will be undertaken.

Distribution and population size of the raptors Falconiformes
and the Raven Corvus corax in the Ojców National Park in 2006 and 2007


The research was conducted in 2005 – 2007 in the area of the Ojców National Park, covering 21.46 km2 (Fig. 1). In 2005 only southern part of the Park covering 15.13 km2 was monitored, whereas in the following years the research covered the whole Park. In 2006 and 2007 39 and 32 occupied breeding territories of 6 species of raptors Falconiformes were surveyed: the Honey Buzzard Pernis apivorus, the Common Buzzard Buteo buteo, the Goshawk Accipiter gentilis, the Sparrowhawk A. nisus, the Kestrel Falco tinnunculus and the Hobby F. subbuteo (Tab. 1). During the study also 7 and 6 pairs of the Raven Corvus corax were noted.
In 2006 2 pairs of the Honey Buzzard were found in the area of the Park and their density amounted to 0.9 pairs/10 km2 of the total area and 1.3 pairs/10 km2 of the forest area. The breeding territories of both pairs were located at a great distance from each other (Fig. 2 A). The predominating species of the Ojców National Park was the Common Buzzard which reached a number of 12 pairs and a density of 5.6 pairs/10 km2 of the total area and 7.8 pairs/10 km2 of the forest area. The distribution of its breeding territories was quite even (Fig. 2 B). Also, 5 pairs of the Goshawk were observed, which gave a density of 2.3 pairs/10 km2 of the total area and 3.3 pairs/10 km2 of the forest area. Even though the distribution of their breeding territories was quite even, they rather avoided the centre of the Park (Fig. 3 A). During the study 6 and 4 pairs of the Sparrowhawk were also surveyed, which gave a density of 1.9 – 2.8 pairs/10 km2 of the total area and 2.6 – 3.9 pairs/10 km2 of the forest area and it was observed that the pairs were clearly gathering in the centre of the Park (Fig. 3 B). The Kestrel, the second in terms of abundance, nested in a number of 13 and 11 pairs, what gave a density of 5.1 – 6.1 pairs/10 km2 of the total area and 7.2 – 8.5 pairs/10 km2 of the forest area. The majority of breeding sites were located in the central and northern part of the Park (Fig. 4). Furthermore, 1 pair of the Hobby was noted in 2006 (Fig. 5 A). Also, 7 and 6 pairs of the Raven nested in the Park, what gave a density of 2.8 – 3.3 pairs/10 km2 of the total area and 3.9 – 4.6 pairs/10 km2 of the forest area. The distribution of its breeding territories was quite even (Fig. 5 B).
The nests of raptors were found on 6 out of 16 tree species which occur in the Ojców National Park. However, most of the nests were built on the European larch, the European beech and the Scotch pine which also predominate in the forest stands. The great abundance and variety of rock forms provided suitable and safe nesting sites both for the Raven and the Kestrel that was eager to nest in buildings. All of the Common Buzzard nests were situated in the proximity of forest edge, at 86 m on average, while the Goshawks nested at a greater distance, 254 m on average.

Mitochondrial DNA diversity and gene flow between moose populations
from the Biebrza valley and the Augustowska Forest


We assessed the mitochondrial DNA variation of moose, Alces alces in the northeastern Poland: in the Biebrza valley (N = 39) and the Augustowska Forest (N = 21). DNA sequences of 580 bp long were analyzed in 60 moose and four haplotypes were identified. We found four haplotypes in the Augustowska Forest: H1 (N = 1), H2 (N = 14), H3 (N = 3) and H4 (N = 3). The haplotype (h) and nucleotide (π) diversity estimates were: 0.23, 0.5% and 0.54, 0.7% in the Biebrza valley and the Augustowska Forest, respectively. The most common haplotype, H1 from the Biebrza valley, was very distinct from the other mtDNA haplotypes in Europe. The remaining three haplotypes (H2, H3 and H4) were identical to those described in moose from Finland (Finland1, Finland2, Finland3). Our results indicate that the moose population in the Biebrza valley experienced severe bottlenecks and could be regarded as a relic group of moose that is distinct from the others in Europe. The high value of genetic differentiation measured by Φ (0.674) indicates that there is significant divergence between moose the populations from the Biebrza valley and the Augustowska Forest. This means that the level of gene flow between these geographically close populations is very low (M = 0.24).

Protected areas and environmental services – choosen problems


The analysis of Polish and international literature that relates to the economic value of natural environment in protected areas became my inspiration for preparing this work. Particularly essential here are fundamental problems with the pricing of environmental goods. Less importantly the text covers the issue of environmental services, their pricing and economic value. The author of this work assumed that environmental services fulfill a role of the natural environment; therefore their value requires a separate analysis. New understanding of environmental services requires one to look at the issue from the stand point of the theory of biodiversity. It is possible to perform a detailed analysis of environmental services in protected areas only after integrating ecologic and economic knowledge.
Environmental services are defined here as ecological processes that ensure supplies necessary for the life of humans and biosphere through ecosystems of matter, energy and information. Development of the subject matter associated with environmental services as part of the theory of economy relates to the thermodynamics of physical systems (the entropy theory) as well as the balance of dynamic ecosystems. The sources of services inside ecosystems are their elements that are organized into structures. Environmental services in the protected territories can be classified according to 4 major groups: services of raw materials, production and transformation; regulatory and utility services; services for antropogenic use; information services. The complex meaning of natural resources is inevitably tied with the search for ways of pricing environmental services.
However, their estimated value often reflects a narrow scope of services rendered by one given element of the environment. This simplified thinking about resources leads to underestimation of the real value of the environment. For example, the value of a forest would be no less than the trade value of the wood that could be obtained. The difficulty in knowing the true value of environment lays in the challenges of estimating goods such as uninterrupted hydrologic cycle or dynamic balance of ecosystem as well as its services, which influence other ecosystems.
According to the author, the ways of estimating economic value of environmental services should include the following: the method of indirect value, the method of direct value, the method of analyzing efficiency in production of organic matter.
It is worth mentioning that problems associated with the conservation of environmental services in regions that are protected leads to many consequences related to the theory of economy and management. Estimation of the value of services of the natural environment is especially important, in terms of both the supply and the effects caused by exploitation and degradation of biodiversity.
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