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PNRP 29(3) – 2010 r.

Contribution to knowledge of lichens and lichenicolous fungi of the “Las Biela雟ki” nature reserve in Warsaw

SUMMARY

The paper presents the results of lichenological research carried out in the “Las Biela雟ki’’ nature reserve in Warsaw in 2009. 68 taxa of lichenized fungi and 4 species of lichenicolous fungi (including 1 myxomycete) have been found in this area. Among the recorded lichen species, 57 were growing on trees (mostly on branches and twigs of old deciduous trees), 24 on wood and 2 on anthropogenic rock substrates. The biota includes 9 taxa that are on the list of protected species in Poland (Evernia prunastri, Melanelixia fuliginosa, Melanohalea exasperatula, M. elegantula, Parmelia saxatilis, Parmelina tiliacea, Platismatia glauca, Pseudevernia furfuracea, Usnea hirta) as well as 14 species threatened with extinction in the country (Bacidia rubella, Chaenotheca stemonea, C. trichialis, Evernia prunastri, Graphis scripta, Hypogymnia tubulosa, Melanohalea elegantula, Opegrapha vermicellifera, Opegrapha varia, Parmelina tiliacea, Porina chlorotica, Strangospora pinicola, Thelocarpon intermediellum, Usnea hirta). The paper briefly characterizes nine species that are rare or usually overlooked in Poland (Absconditella lignicola, Anisomeridium polypori, Bacidina sulphurella, Macentina abscondita, Opegrapha vermicellifera, Protoparmelia hypotremella, Scoliciosporum sarothamnii, Sphinctrina anglica, Thelocarpon intermediellum).


Dynamics of natural and introduced populations of the thistle Carlina onopordifolia BESSER in the years 2005 – 2009

SUMMARY

Amongst rare and endangered species, represented by small and isolated populations, the thistle Carlina onopordifolia BESSER is an important plant. It is a long-lived monocarpic perennial species which reproduces only generatively, however, it flowers and fruits only once in a lifespan (about 20 years) and it dies after its seeds have developed. Moreover, the plant flowers abundantly every 2 – 3 years. Due to this type of reproduction, the size of a population depends on the amount of produced seeds. It is an endemic plant species that has 7 natural and 5 secondary stands in Poland, found in the southern and eastern parts of the country. The natural sites of the species are situated in the Ma這polska Upland and the Lublin Upland, whereas the introduced stands are located in the Kraków – Cz瘰tochowa Upland and the Ma這polska Upland.
The paper presents the latest data on the sizes of populations and reproduction of Carlina onopordifolia in all the known stands in Poland, gathered over the last 5 years. Issues such as the role of pollinating entomofauna in generative transformation were considered. Differences and year-to-year fluctuations in the frequency and the number of generative and vegetative specimens in natural and introduced stands were studied in the years 2005 – 2009, although abundant flowering and fruiting occurred only in the years 2006 and 2008 (2008 was the richest). The most abundant are three natural populations: the “Wa造” reserve (in 2008 there were 24 357 individuals, a mean of 18 442 individuals in the years 2006 – 2009), the “Stawska Góra” reserve (a mean of 4310) and the stand in Pi鎍zów (a mean of 1634). In 2008 in all natural stands in total 35 159 individuals were noted (a mean of 26 096) including 1547 flowering, that is 4.4% (a mean of 715, 2.74%).
The sizes of populations in secondary stands are estimated at several dozens of individuals. 2008 was the first year when 6 flowering specimens were recorded in all the artificial stands, constituting 5.61 percent of all the populations that had a total size of 107 plants. The mean contribution of flowering individuals in the years 2006 – 2009 in all the populations amounted to ca 2.75%, but reached 4.4% in 2008, which allowed to estimate the age of one generation at approx. 23 years, on the basis of data from literature. The density of plants in natural stands amounted to ca 8 individuals per 1 m2 (2 – 28). When it comes to the age structure, immature plants were predominant and constituted 69 – 80%. Juvenile individuals made a contribution of ca 5 – 24%, seedlings only 0.8 to 7.1% and generative specimens from 0 to 13.9%. In 2008 the number of flowering plants recorded in all the populations was 1553, which might produce ca 330 thousands of seeds capable to germinate. On average, every year 720 plants are in the bloom phase, which can set more than 150 thousands seeds.
During the flowering season of Carlina onopordifolia (on the turn of July) a total of 15 species of pollinating insects have been observed on all the stands (including: 10 butterflies, 3 bumble-bees, 1 bee and 1 other species). It makes about 30% of all pollinating entomofauna observed during the whole vegetation season from spring to autumn on the studied plots. However, only 8 pollinating species have visited inflorescences of this plant: 5 butterflies (Colias hyale, Pieris napi, Vanessa cardui, Inachis io, Manitiola jurtina), 2 bumble-bees (Bombus terrestris and B. lucorum) and 1 bee (Apis mellifera). Moreover, on inflorescences of Carlina onopordifolia other insects were noted: cockchafers, weevils of genus Liparus as well as ants of the Formica and Myrmica genera, which were found mostly on damaged plants.
The thermophilous grasslands and swards are very valuable in relation to species richness and biocenotic diversity, due to their role as biotopes for many plants and animals species characteristic of steppe vegetation. They usually form isolated and small populations in fragmented landscape. The protection of this kind of ecosystems has a long tradition, with natural reserves having been considered the most effective protection method. However, in the network of nature reserves in Poland comprising 1420 objects, only about 50 are steppe or floristic reserves established for conservation of xerothermic species. Moreover, they are mainly small in terms of size. When considering an integral system of nature conservation, three solutions should be taken into account: establishment of large (about 190 ha) steppe reserve under the name “Góry Pi鎍zowskie” on Pi鎍zów Hummock, enlargement of the “Wa造” reserve through inclusion of abandoned arable field with an abundant stand of Carlina onopordifolia and foundation of sites of ecological interest in Mstów near Cz瘰tochowa (Góra Wa and Polana Golizna) which in the future should be transformed into nature reserves.


Materials to the knowledge of beetles (Insecta: Coleoptera) of peatbogs and bog-springs
in Polish Tatra Mountains

SUMMARY

The study on beetle fauna (Coleoptera) of the peat bogs and bog-springs in Polish Tatra Mountains was carried out in the years 2006 – 2008. 17 localities with these types of habitats were under research, both in East as in West Tatra from 890 m a.s.l. (lower forest montane zone) up to 1870 m a.s.l. (alpine meadow zone). As a result 179 species were recorded, belonging to 23 families. The most numerous families were: Staphylinidae – 64 species, Carabidae – 24 species, Curculionidae with Apionidae – 18 species, Chrysomelidae – 16 species. A certain number of species characteristic for peat bogs (tyrphobiontic and tyrphophilous) was found, namely Trechus amplicollis FAIRM., Hydroporus melanocephalus (MARSH.), Agabus congener (THUNB.), Crenitis punctatostriata LETZN., Eucnecosum brachypterum (GYLL.), Tachyporus transversalis GRAV., Atheta arctica (THOMS.), Cyphon kongsbergensis MUNST. and Donacia obscura GYLL. Most of them were of great faunistic value for the investigated habitats. The peculiarities in the beetle associations of different types of peat bogs were shown. In open peat bogs Pterostichus diligens (STURM), Crenitis punctatostriata and Plateumaris sericea (L.) were the most abundant species; only here rare tyrphobiontic Cyphon kongsbergensis occurred. Among most numerous beetle fauna in wooded peat bogs were tyrphophilous Trechus amplicollis and several species from the genus Quedius, especially Q. cincticollis KRAATZ and Q. collaris ERICHS. The occurrence of rare and relic Trechus montanellus GEMM. et HAR. in bog spruce forest in Molkówka is worth mentioning. The richest in species were fens and bog-springs, where occurred Trechus latus PUTZ. and species from the genera Stenus and Cyphon in the forest floor layer, and in the herb layer – Chrysomelidae and Curculionidae, among which worth mentioning are relic Donacia obscura, Plateumaris consimilis (SCHRK.), Notaris aterrimus (HAMPE) and Limnobaris dolorosa (GOEZE). Montane species Eusphalerum alpinum (HEER) and boreo-montane Absidia schoenherri (DEJ.) were frequently found on the flowers of cow parsley Chaerophyllum hirsutum L. The valorization of the investigated localities allowed to indicate the most valuable objects in relation to the beetle fauna. Such were peat bogs situated in forest zone (Toporowy Staw Wy積i, Wielka Pa雟zczycka M豉ka, Kotlinowy Wierch) and in foothill zone (B這ciska, Molkówka, Las Capowski). Analysis of ecological preferences of species showed the predominance of eurytopic forms (almost 58%), however hygrophilous species had also a significant share (25.6%). Nearly one third of the latter belonged to the ecological groups of tyrphobiontic and tyrphophilous beetles. Among zoogeographical elements montane forms were the most numerous (21.7%), yet the species with broad range (Eurosiberian, Palaearctic and Holarctic) nearly reached 50% altogether. Furthermore, additional comments on 15 species rare to Poland were done – except some aforementioned there were also the following: Omalium exiguum GYLL., Stenus carpathicus GANGLB., S. flavipalpis THOMS., Aloconota currax (KRAATZ) and Cyphon ruficeps TOURN. Finally, 40 species were reported from Tatra Mountains for the first time, and the occurrence of further 53 species, recorded here recently in XIX century, was confirmed.


Occurrence of uro-genital disease (balanoposthitis) in males of the European bison in the Belorussian part of the Bia這wie瘸 Forest
SUMMARY

Long-term changes in the intensity of the disease called balanoposthitis in males from the free-living lowland European bison population in the Belarussian part of the Bia這wie瘸 Forest were presented in this work. In 1980 – 2008 the disease was found in 151 males, including 127 culled and 24 found dead. The average annual percentage of males with balanoposthitis, calculated as a fraction of all males in the population, fluctuated from 0.9% to 14.8% (on average 5.4%). If cases of inflammation of urogenital organs of males recorded in 1966 – 1979 were to be recognized as balanoposthitis, the number of ill males would grow to 162 (134 culled and 28 found dead). 2 – 3 years old juveniles and 4 – 10 years old sexually mature males are the most likely to suffer from balanoposthitis (30.1% and 44.3%, respectively). In the discussion the author compares the intensity of balanoposthitis in the Belarusian and Polish populations of the European bison in the Bia這wie瘸 Forest. It was found that in 1980 – 1997 the intensity was similar, with some exceptions. However, there has been no such correlation after 2000. A little bit more ill animals were observed in the Polish population than in the Belarusian herd. Further in the discussion the author considers presumable causes of balanoposthitis in European bison males in the Belarusian part of the Bia這wie瘸 Forest.


Response of some animals to human activity in Polish national parks

SUMMARY

Contemporary human activity leaves practically no space for the animals’ natural living without the presence of man. Even protected areas, such as national parks, are frequently penetrated by people. Animal adaptations to permanent contact with humans and civilization’s products can be divided into two groups: anthropogenic changes that are manifested in a modification of behavior and synanthropisation that shows in settling near human establishments, accepting the human presence, taking the human food and exploiting available resources. Such behavior is additionally stimulated by improper human reactions in urban areas as well as on tourist routes. This kind of adaptation was observed in 19 (out of 23) Polish national parks. Anthropogenic reactions were confirmed in 16 species, and synanthropisation – in 21 (15 mammalian and 22 bird species) species of various ecological requirements.
The effect described above seems to be regional, for example big gulls prefer the contacts with humans in coastal national parks, and bears – in Carpathian ones. The species with the widest spectrum are foxes and wild boars. These three species are classified as problematic species causing real danger to humans. Synanthropisation of the bear is observed mostly in the Tatra Mountains National Park, synanthropisation of wild boars’ and foxes was noticed accordingly in 5 and 13 parks. The populations of these two species grew significantly in Poland.
The problem of the animals’ reactions caused by contacts with the humans has been marginalized so far. It wasn’t discussed for example in the parks’ protection plans and there have been no uniform principles of protection policy for all the protected areas.


The role of small water bodies in the conservation of biodiversity
SUMMARY

Ponds are shallow water bodies of various surface areas, permanent or seasonal, natural or man-made. In spite of their small sizes, they play a strikingly important role as places of concentration of biodiversity in the landscape. Compared to other freshwater body types, they are inhabited by a larger number of species, including unique, rare, and endangered ones. The high biodiversity of ponds results mainly from relatively large ranges of their habitats and generally favourable conditions they provide. Optimal temperatures, nutrient abundance, and good light conditions promote the growth of plants that provide habitats for many animal species. Small water bodies often lack fish, a condition favourable for many invertebrates and amphibians. As a rule, in small water bodies ecological succession proceeds rapidly, and successive stages are characterized by different plant and animal communities. Additionally, stochastic events tend to have greater influence on the biotic assemblages in small waters. The small catchment size of ponds, compared with other water body types, is both a benefit and a disadvantage. Ponds, with their small volumes, are highly vulnerable to degradation which is caused mainly by drainage and pollution. On the other hand, because of their small catchment areas, ponds are relatively easy and inexpensive to protect. Focusing resources towards small water bodies may be one of the most effective ways of protecting freshwater biodiversity. 

SHORT FLORISTIC, FAUNISTIC AND MICOBIOTIC NOTES

The occurrence of Omphalodes scorpioides (HAENKE) SCHRANK in the Ojców National Park (Southern Poland)
SUMMARY

Omphalodes scorpioides is a genus of flowering plants in the Boraginaceae family. The species is distributed especially in the eastern part of Europe. In Poland it occurs mainly in the southeastern part. This species is declining – critically endangered, and placed on “The Red list of vascular plants in Poland” in the threat category (E) (ZARZYCKI, SZEL: 2006).

The plants are winter annuals, i.e. they germinate in autumn und flower next spring. The distribution this species was monitored in the Ojców National Park (DF48) in the Spring of 2009.
The population occured especially in the central part of Park and consisted of 734 specimens. 85% of population grew in the S御powska Valley. Specimens occured on 12 stands. Five of them were actually confirmed and two of them were new (Fig. 1).
The plants grew in the following forest associations: Alno – Ulmion, Tilio – Carpinetum stachyetosum and Tilio – Carpinetum typicum. The most numerous herbarium species were accompanying Omphalodes scorpioides were: Aegopodium podagraria, Ranunculus languinosus, Acer platanoides, Ficaria verna, Adoxa moschatellina, Padus avium.
Average indicator values proposed by ZARZYCKI (1984) were calculated for individual plant communities. They included: L – light, T – temperature, W – moisture, Tr – nitrogen compounds supply in the soil, R – soil reaction and H – humus and organic matter content. Omphalodes scorpioides grew in typical habitats, in half-life places, in microclimatic conditions from reasonably cool to reasonably warm. It occurs on fresh, moist, rich soil (Fig. 2).
Almost all known stands of Omphalodes scorpioides in the Ojców National Park are threatened. Direct destruction of stands is caused by tourists. Almost all stands are localities near roadsides or routes. 43% of the population is strongly threatened, because it occurc on areas less then one meter away from roads or routes. Some trampled, broken and run over specimens were found. 
 
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