Volume XVI |

Changes of the karst landscape and epikarst system in the area of the Tapolca karst terrains, North-West Balaton Highlands, Hungary

Abstract: The caves in Hungary have been protected for a long time. The current national legislation on nature conservation states that all known and unknown caves are under ex lege protection but the karst areas above them are not. The territories above the caves can be owned by the state but also some of them belong to private owners, thus a great diversity of economic activities are conducted on them. Anthropogenic activities endanger both directly and indirectly the caves environment and the karst ground waters. The damages and pollution of caves take place through the epikarst systems which are in direct connection with the topographic ground surface. Therefore, it is of special significance to emphasize the natural processes taking place in epikarstic systems as well as to analyze the changes within epikarst terrains caused by human impacts. The effects of human impacts on epikarst system in the area of the Tapolca karst were analyzed both by field and laboratory methods. The historical evolution of land cover and land use was assessed related to the impact on the abiotic elements (soil and karstic cover-deposit, water) in Tapolca area. The intrinsic vulnerability was assessed using the semi-quantitative COP Method. The results show high resource vulnerability in all analyzed epikarstic sites.

Volume XVI |

Conservation Status of Habitat Types of European Community Interest in the Alpine Biogeographic Region of Romania

Abstract: The Habitat Directive (HD) is the main strategy for nature conservation in the European Union aimed at stopping biodiversity loss. In this paper, we present the conservation status of those habitat types designated at the European level that occur within the Alpine biogeographic region (ALP) of Romania. The conservation status (CS) of habitats was assessed using data that were acquired as a result of the first national monitoring of species and habitats. This monitoring was completed during the 2007-2012 period following the mandatory requirements that arise from Article 17 of the HD to report the results to the European Commission in 2013. The ALP, which is one of the five terrestrial biogeographic regions that were demarcated within Romania on European criteria, comprises the Carpathian Mountains and covers an area of 46,800 km2. Following the official European methodology, all parameters were evaluated and combined to give the CS of each habitat type. The results show that, out of the 51 habitat types belonging to 6 classes that were identified of European Community importance within the Carpathian part of the ALP bio-region, only 17 habitat types occurred solely in the ALP bio-region. The conservation status of the habitat types was assessed as: ”Favourable” (FV) for eleven types (1 freshwater, 3 temperate heath and scrub, 4 natural and semi-natural grassland formations, 1 rocky habitat, and 2 forest habitats), ”Unfavourable inadequate” (U1) for four types (1 freshwater, 1 temperate heath and scrub, 1 Sphagnum acid bogs habitat, and 1 forest habitat), ”Unfavourable bad” (U2) for one (Sphagnum acid bogs type), and ”Unknown” (XX) for one (Calcareous fens habitat). These are results of the first national assessment in Romania of the CS of species and habitats protected by the HD and the first report to the European Commission.

Volume XV |

Floristic composition and functional zones pattern of the beach-dune system along the Danube Delta coast – Romania

Abstract: This paper presents the floristic composition of vegetation for each feature on a beach-dune system sector from the western Black Sea coast, Romania. The studied site is a relatively small fragment of the 10 km shore on the southern part of the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve (DDBR) that may be susceptible to anthropogenic pressure in the coming years. Out of the 38 identified species, ten are threatened species according to the national Red List of endangered plant species. Compositae and Poaceae are the families with the highest number of species. The analysis of floristic spectrum shows a mixture of elements of plant communities, but Pontic and Ponto-Caspian elements are prevalent.
Physiognomically, the foredunes in the Danube delta coast have a typical morphology, with a smooth profile and do not exceed 2 m high. They are vegetated by herbaceous annual and perennial plants, but in terms of abundance the native dune builder rhizomatous grasses are rare.
The fore dunes from this Black Sea coast sector serve as vital habitat and refuge for Convolvulus persicus L. within the western limit of its geographical range. This endemic Ponto-Caspian element defines a particular habitat type within the Black Sea biogeographic region: “Pontic shore dunes with Convolvulus persicus L.” Currently, the main threats of this habitat are cattle grazing and the increasing touristic activities (human trampling, horse riding and all-terrain vehicle riding).

Volume XIII |

Conservation Status and Conservation Strategies of threatened aquatic fern Marsilea quadrifolia L. in Europe

Abstract: The aquatic fern Marsilea quadrifolia L is a rare and threatened species in entire Europe due to wetland habitats destruction and changing agricultural practices. To protect it, in situ and ex situ conservation methods are approached in European Union an in other countries. The in vivo and in vitro collections that were developed in botanical gardens in the last two decades are used for reintroduction and for restoration of M. quadrifolia populations in natural sites as well as in agro ecosystems that are analogous to natural habitats. Natural establishment of several M. quadrifolia populations in its natural range is an evidence that it can colonize new suitable habitats, including anthropogenic habitats. Despite conservation strategies approached within the European Union, its area of occupancy has decreased, thereby this species has become vulnerable at European Union level. The main threats are the small size populations, low genetic diversity and genetic erosion of populations, habitat degradation and chemical pollutions of waters by herbicides and fertilizers used in modern agricultural practice.