Georgios Fotiadis, Michael Vrahnakis, Yannis Kazoglou and Ioannis Tsiripidis
A recently completed project on the Natura 2000 sites of Prespa National Park revealed that the area hosts 49 habitat types according to the EU classification, of which eight have a narrowly restricted distribution in Greece. The priority habitat type “*6260 Pannonic sand steppes” is reported here for the first time for Greece. The new locality represents its southernmost occurrence on the Balkan Peninsula. The aim of this paper therefore is to describe the Greek stands of this habitat type, investigate the factors affecting its occurrence and discuss the associated conservation issues. This is based on a total of 87 releves sampled for this study and 8 additional releves from the literature. The releves were classified by applying TWINSPAN and ordinated using Detrended Correspondence Analysis (DCA). Six vegetation units could be distinguished. One of these corresponds to the habitat type *6260 and was found exclusively on inland sand dunes. Syntaxonomically, we assigned this unit to the alliance Sileno conicae-Cerastion semidecandri s.l. of the class Koelerio-Corynephoretea. Its occurrence in the study area seems to be determined by climatic factors, as well as by the sandy substrate, while anthropogenic disturbances such as grazing also appear to be beneficial to some degree. Apart from the Koelerio-Corynephoretea, another five grassland classes were distinguished in the national park, namely the Thero-Brachypodietea, Stellarietea mediae, Festuco-Brometea, Daphno-Festucetea and Juncetea trifidi.
Stephen Venn, Didem Ambarlı, Idoia Biurrun, Jürgen Dengler, Anna Kuzemko, Péter Török and Michael Vrahnakis
This report summarizes the activities and achievements of the Eurasian Dry Grassland Group (EDGG) from mid-2016 through to the end of 2017. During this period, the 13th Eurasian Grassland Conference took place in Sighişoara, Romania, and the 14th conference was held in Riga, Latvia. The 10th EDGG Field Workshop on Biodiversity patterns across a precipitation gradient in the Central Apennine mountains was conducted in the Central Apennines, Italy, this time in addition to multi-scale sampling of vascular plants, bryophytes and lichens, also including one animal group (leaf hoppers). Apart from the quarterly issues of its own electronic journal (Bulletin of the Eurasian Dry Grassland Group), EDGG also finalised five grassland-related Special Features/Issues during the past 1.5 years in the following international journals: Applied Vegetation Science, Biodiversity and Conservation, Phytocoenologia, Tuexenia and Hacquetia. Beyond that, EDGG facilitated various national and supra-national vegetationplot databases of grasslands and established its own specialised database for standardised multi-scale plot data of Palaearctic grasslands (GrassPlot).
Jürgen Dengler, Alla Aleksanyan, Didem Ambarlı, Idoia Biurrun, Iwona Dembicz, Anna Kuzemko, Péter Török, Stephen Venn and Michael Vrahnakis
This report summarises the activities and achievements of the Eurasian Dry Grassland Group (EDGG) from January 2018 through July 2019. During the reported period, two Eurasian Grassland Conference (EGCs) took place: the 15th EGC in Sulmona, Italy, and the 16th EGC in Graz, Austria. The 11th and 12th EDGG Field Workshops studied vegetation diversity patterns in the inner alpine valleys of Austria and Switzerland, while the 13th Field Workshop was organised in Armenia. The formerly electronic newsletter of EDGG (Bulletin of the Eurasian Dry Grassland) was transformed into a peer-reviewed international journal, called Palaearctic Grasslands, which now is attracting both scientific and photographic contributions. Furthermore, the EDGG homepage was re-constructed with a new design and content management system. The EDGG has also finalised two grassland-related Special Features during the past 1.5 years in the international journals Tuexenia and Hacquetia, and contributed with eight chapters to the book Grasslands of the World: Diversity, Management and Conservation. The vegetation-plot database GrassPlot, containing standardised multi-scale data from Palaearctic grasslands and closely connected with EDGG, has developed well, as did some other regional and national grassland-focused databases.