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Zofia Sotek

Distribution patterns, history, and dynamics of peatland vascular plants in Pomerania (NW Poland)

Pomerania is rich in various peatlands (fens, transitional bogs, raised bogs, spring-water mires, etc.), which support many rare and threatened plant species. This study was aimed: (1) to determine the phytogeographic diversity of Pomeranian peatland vascular plants associated with the classes Oxycocco-Sphagnetea and Scheuchzerio-Caricetea nigrae; (2) to attempt a reconstruction of the history of their postglacial migrations; and (3) to assess the dynamic trends of selected species. A database of records of 83 Pomeranian peatland plants was created, and cartograms of their distribution in Pomerania were made. Each taxon was briefly described, considering its distribution, phytocoenotic spectrum, and biological properties (e.g. pollination mode, diaspores dispersal). The phytogeographic analysis took into account geographic and directional elements, as well as mountain species found in Pomeranian peatlands. The plants' potential for colonization of new sites was assessed on the basis of Raunkiaer's life forms, modes of pollination and seed dispersal, and types of life strategies. As a result of numerical analysis and visual comparison of cartograms, 5 regional distributional types were distinguished: western, northern, eastern, all-Pomeranian, and disjunct. Within the eastern and all-Pomeranian types, which showed internal variation, several subtypes were distinguished. Most of the considered climatic variables (growing season length, temperature, and precipitation variables) were found to affect significantly the floristic variation of Pomeranian peatlands. The available palaeobotanical, palaeoclimatic, palaeoecological, and phytogeographic data, as well as original field research on the distribution of the taxa, allowed the formulation of hypotheses on the time and directions of their migration into Pomerania. Moreover, dynamic trends of selected species are analysed, and the decline of many peatland plant species in Pomerania is discussed.

Open access

Zofia Sotek, Grzegorz Grzejszczak, Małgorzata Stasińska and Ryszard Malinowski

Abstract

Raised and transitional peat bogs, despite their considerable resistance to synanthropization, as a result of anthropogenic transformations are exposed to the colonisation by alien species. One of them is the peatland “Roby”, where, in the years 2007-2009 and 2014, floristic, phytosociological and soil studies were carried out in order to record the signs of ongoing synanthropization. Conducted observations and analyses indicated that the expansion of willows has taken place and at present they occupy a large part of the bog, encroaching into bog birch forest and successfully competing with Myrica gale. Progressive peat mineralisation and constructed surfaced roads within the bog, contributed to the appearance and wide distribution of synanthropic species, such as: Urtica dioica, Impatiens parviflora and Spiraea salicifolia. Raised bog communities and their characteristic species occur on a few fragments of the bog, in north-western part, where water regime is shaped mainly by precipitation and peat deposit is fairly well-preserved. At the same time, in the patches of these communities, a distinct unfavourable increase in the share of Molinia caerulea is observed.

Open access

Bożena Prajs, Maciej Rogalski, Zofia Sotek and Małgorzata Stasińska

Natural conditions for the reconstruction of fish ponds and possibilities of their use in ecotourism

The paper comprises an analysis of the environmental impact of restoring small water retention in the Świergotka River. Hampering water flow due to river damming by 0.5 m and reconstruction of ponds will have a favourable effect on the valley's nature but may result in excessive water eutrophication in case of using these reservoirs for fish-farming.

Open access

Agnieszka Popiela, Andrzej Łysko, Zofia Sotek and Krzysztof Ziarnek

Abstract

In Western Pomerania, as in other areas of Europe, alien species play an increasingly important role. In particular, invasive plants tend to spread rapidly and in large numbers which may reduce diversity of native species, leading to the phenomenon of “trivialisation of flora”, and transform ecosystems. The list of invasive species (32 taxa) includes alien species occurring throughout Western Pomerania, and penetrating natural or semi-natural habitats. The second group consists of potentially invasive species (23 taxa), i.e. those distributed across the area under study and tending to increase the number of their localities in semi-natural and natural habitats, taxa invasive only locally, as well as species with missing data, which does not currently allow including them into the first group. Invasive weeds, as well as some epecophytes and archaeophytes occurring only on anthropogenic sites and tending to spread, were not taken into account. Among hemiagriophytes, the most common and troublesome ones are: Conyza canadensis, Erigeron annuus, Lolium multiflorum, Lupinus polyphyllus, Solidago canadensis, S. gigantea. Among holoagriophytes, i.e. the taxa which received the highest naturalisation status, very expansive species, successful in land colonisation, like Acer negundo, Bidens frondosa, B. connata, Clematis vitalba, Elodea canadensis, Epilobium ciliatum, Heracleum sosnowskyi, Impatiens glandulifera, I. parviflora, Padus serotina, Quercus rubra and Robinia pseudoacacia, should be given particular attention. Among the invasive and potentially invasive species, most taxa penetrate plant communities of the Artemisietea and Molinio-Arrhenatheretea class, followed by Querco-Fagetea, Vaccinio-Piceetea, Stellarietea mediae, Salicetea purpurae and Koelerio-Corynophoretea. The number of invasive species is twice as high when compared to the situation of these species in Poland; on the contrary, the number of species inhabiting anthropogenic, semi-natural and natural habitats is two times lower, while that of holoagriophytes and hemiagriophytes is 56.3% and 43.7%, respectively. It seems that in the case of some invasive and potentially invasive species, a decrease in the number of their locations may be observed from the west to the east (e.g. for Acer negundo, Bromus carinatus, Clematis vitalba, Helianthus tuberosus, Lycium barbarum, Reynoutria japonica, Rosa rugosa, Vicia grandiflora). Distribution patterns for some species (e.g. for Parthenocytisus inserta or Xanthium albinum) are indicative of a likely major role of the Odra River valley in the spreading of invasive species. It should be kept in mind that the area of the North-West Poland is poorly examined in terms of its flora, so the results provided in this paper are tentative. Nevertheless, the maps illustrate colonisation trends and directions and, moreover, have been so far the only attempt to synthesise this problem in NW Poland.