Another year after the end of the Life+ Beskidy Project

Mountain glades in the Beskid Mountains constitute an important place of biodiversity. They are the site of occurrence of many rare plant and animal species, for the effective protection of which it is necessary to recognise the plant communities, which they occur in, and the mutual relations between them. Despite the quite uniform form of extensive pastoral management in the Beskid Mountains, a number of diverse and interesting plant communities has developed in the glade area. Many of them are the so-called semi-natural communities. The term refers to systems dominated by native species, however in need of a certain form of human activity in order to exist, such as mowing or grazing.

The chance to maintain and restore the habitats subject to protection under the Project is provided for by conducting extensive sheep grazing. The currently existing habitats of valuable species of plants and animals in open areas loose their special properties due to the cessation of pastoral activities and head towards the transformation into forest areas. Animals that forage intensively in the open areas   contribute to the inhibition of the growth of seedlings of trees and shrubs which prevents afforestation of open areas. Additionally, herbaceous plants are eaten to various extents and on various levels which has a positive effect on the availability of hiding places and breeding sites for insects, invertebrates or small rodents.

During the implementation of the Project as well as after its completion, a gradual improvement in the state of preservation of the Carpathian Nardetallia was observed, which was the effect of the conducted active nature protection measures to a large extent. In most of the research plots, the share of positions, the general assessment of the state of preservation of which was assessed as appropriate, significantly increased, while there were fewer positions in an inappropriate condition. The proportionally largest change in the state of preservation took place in the second year of the Project. It indicates that conducting the protection measures improves the state of preservation in the long run only.

In the case of the mountain habitats of Trisetum flavescens and Agrostis used extensively, a significant improvement of the state of preservation, as a result of the conducted active nature protection measures, was recorded. In the case of this habitat, the biggest change in the assessment of the state of preservation was found between the second and third year of the Project. Campanula napuligera was identified on 8 surfaces. During the research in the years of 2014 – 2020, changes in abundance were observed, among others the decrease in the number of shoots in the Przegibek and Bendoszka glades, however the observed fluctuations were probably a natural component of the dynamics of the species in question and did not indicate any negative changes in the populations.      

A series of various changes, being the answer of the invertebrate communities to both the conducted protection measures as well as the natural environmental factors, were observed within the fauna of invertebrates investigated within the framework of the Project. Positive changes in the species composition and structure of the fauna were stated in the vast majority.

It is worth emphasising that the stable population of the mountain Orthoptera species Miramella alpina was confirmed and a new position of this species was identified.

Based on the conducted environmental monitoring, it may be concluded that the protective measures had a clear and positive impact on the reconstruction of vegetation and fauna of the Silesian Beskid Mountains and Żywiecki Beskid Mountains. A clear turn of the species diversity of flora and fauna, including the appearance of species appropriate and typical for extensively used glades and mountain pastures, was recorded in the majority of the mountain pastures. However, in order to maintain the achieved natural effects, the long-term, extensive and as varied as possible use of the mountain pastures and glades is necessary.






Projekt LIFE12 NAT/PL/000081 pn. „Ochrona zbiorowisk nieleśnych na terenie Beskidzkich Parków Krajobrazowych” jest współfinansowany przez Unię Europejską w ramach komponentu I LIFE+ Przyroda i różnorodność biologiczna oraz Narodowy Fundusz Ochrony Środowiska i Gospodarki Wodnej.