Volume XX |

Identifying gaps in conservation and habitat management – Natura 2000 site Târnovu Mare-Latorița

Abstract: The study aims to identify the main gaps in conservation and proposes objectives in the management of protected areas. The physical characteristics of the protected area, the land use, the identification of current pressures and future threats are analyzed. Geomorphological and geological analysis is the component that highlights the correlations between relief and the distribution of habitat types. Among the features that make it unique in the Carpathian landscape, the protected area consists of a very rugged calcareous ridge with calcareous rocky slopes and chasmophytic vegetation, alpine calcareous grass-lands and a habitat of community interest consisting of forests with Larix decidua (the largest larch area in the Romanian Carpathians). The site is also home to a viable population of large carnivores (Ursus arctos, Canis lupus, Lynx lynx).
The main current pressures that are also mostly identified as future threats to the site are intensive grazing, the extension of access roads, poaching, creating of conditions for invasive species, reduction of habitat connectivity due to anthropogenic causes, antagonism with domestic animals, and off-road driving of the motor vehicles.
Future threats are anticipated due to growing forestry activities, with a negative impact especially by complete deforestation, which is favoured by the restitutio in integrum of forests to the private domain without any conditionality for those that lie within the protected natural areas.
Intensive grazing leads to grassland degradation (impoverishment in species, changes in plant association). Among the proposed conservation measures, we mention: strict control of grazing livestock and grazing period, payment of compensation for private forests with high conservation value, limitation of buildings and access roads in the high areas.

Volume XX |

Phylogenetic diversity and EDGE approach in conservation of birds of prey in Europe

Abstract: Biodiversity of our planet is rapidly eliminated, at rates much higher than ever observed in human history. The birds of prey, among others few groups of bird species in Europe, have the highest proportion of threatened and near threatened species per taxonomic group and also, 25% of birds of prey species are experiencing population decline. Today, more than never in our modern life, we have to fight for nature conservation. Our understanding of biological diversity has broadened due to the fact that the use of phylogenies in ecology is increasingly common. If our conservation efforts are directed to maximize the preservation of biodiversity in a broad sense, we have to think beyond species. If we treat the species as evolutionary units, and not like types, our conservation efforts will preserve not only the organism, but the organism capacity to responde to environmental changes. In this paper I aimed to highlight the importance of phylogenetic information in conservation of birds of prey species in Europe through the EDGE approach. This metric has been implemented to prioritise species, beeing the only global initiative to focus on conservation of threatened species with significant amount of unique evolutionary history. Using this approach in conservation, we can be more confident that we will have the potential to preserve more functional trait diversity than expected. The top five birds of prey EDGE species in Europe are: osprey (Pandion haliaetus), the black-winged kite (Elanus caeruleus), the egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus), the european honey-buzzard (Pernis apivorus) and the bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus), according their EDGE scores.

Volume XIX |

Landslide-susceptibility Analysis, Mapping and Validation in the Bălăcița Piedmont (South-West Romania)

Abstract: This work presents the results of applying the GIS matrix method (GMM) to the mapping and validation of landslide-susceptibility analysis in different sectors of the Bălăciţa Piedmont. The main objective of the paper concerns the achievement of landslide-susceptibility maps based on the inventory, classification and description of the landslides within the study area. The starting point was represented by the DEM and, subsequently, based on the lithological data, other determinant factors were analyzed and reclassified in a vectorial format: slope angle, slope elevation and slope aspect. After the factors that determine instability were identified for each type of mechanism, susceptibility maps were drawn. In the resulting landslide-susceptibility map a model for the validation is presented (based on the determination and calculation of a set of landslides not included in the susceptibility analysis). The landslide-susceptibility maps of the Bălăciţa Piedmont are preventive tools intended to minimize risks in the threatened areas, especially near the settlements that are located on the left slope of the Jiu river and witness the reactivation of old landslides.

Volume XVIII |

Human impact due to the capitalization of water resources within the Jiu Gorge National Park

Abstract: Within the Jiu Gorge National Park, there was a project, which almost draws to an end, for the hydro-energetic capitaliza-tion of the river, which implies a potentially negative impact of this investment on the aquatic sector of the Jiu river in this sector. The current study analyses the hydrological regime of the Jiu river within the gorge sector (natural flow and controlled flow for the technical-economic capitalization parameters) and the impact on natural landscapes due to building and construction sites, bringing arguments and solutions for meeting the declared objective of conserving the aquatic ecosystems within the Jiu Gorge National Park. Thus, there must be ensured a minimum discharge (ecological discharge) on all rivers within the national park and Natura 2000 sit, to provide for this mere purpose of this category of protected areas.

Volume IX |

The Analysis of the Relief Fragmentation Features within the Bălăciţa Piedmont

Abstract: Within the Bălăciţa Piedmont there are to be distinguished two areas with specific features, which correspond to the Danube catchment and to the Jiu drainage area. Both in the case of the drainage density, as well as in that of the relief energy, the distribution of the value classes correlated with the two catchments underlines major differences, but also certain resemblances, situation which is explained by the evolution time, the base level, the flow direction in relation with the structure and the lithological and climatic homogeneity.
The analysis of the data enabled the quantification of the relief energy and of the drainage density within the Bălăciţa Piedmont, as well as the correlation of the two parameters in report to the main catchments. The computation and representation methods for the two indicators of the relief fragmentation (i.e. the depth and the density) allowed for a quantitative interpretation (the identification of five value classes), as well as for a spatial interpretation (the grouping of the values depending on the two collecting rivers: the Danube and the Jiu). The aggregation of the influence factors on the two main drainage areas is mostly due to the fact that the Danube catchment extended its area in the detriment of the Jiu catchment, the three more important tributaries (the Blahniţa, the Drincea and the Desnăţui) catching sectors within the upper course of the tributaries of the Jiu.
The analysis of the relief fragmentation within the Bălăciţa Piedmont shows that this unit is on different evolution stages. The complexity of the fragmentation is closely connected to the maturity degree of the valleys and to the morphogenetic complexes imposed by the paleogeographical evolution.