- biodiversity, classification and ecology of grassland communities in Central Europe
- vegetation-environment relationships
- succession and management of grassland vegetation
- population biology of grasses
- demography and conservation of rare plants
Management, restoration and diversity of grassland vegetation
Determinants of rarity within Tephroseris longifolia agg.: biosystematic and population-biological approach
The project continues and extends the previous studies focussing on populations of rare endemic subspecies Tephroseris longifolia subsp. moravica in order to specify our knowledge on taxon life cycle and demography based on a long-term field observations. Experimental estimation of optimum conditions for seed germination and seedling establishment can serve to project the support of small populations. In order to understand the processes underlying the rarity of the Carpathian subspecies we would like to extend the previous study by observation of four other subspecies of Tephroseris longifolia agg. We suppose that the revealed differences between narrow endemic subspecies and widespread subspecies could explain the potential significance of geographically peripheral and ecologically marginal populations in the process of evolution of narrow endemism. The evaluation of morphological and karyological interspecific variation in T. longifolia agg. will elucidate the mutual evolutionary relationships of individual subspecies.
Demographical, coenological and ecological analysis of Tephroseris longifolia subsp. moravica - the threatened taxon of European importance
Tephroseris longifolia subsp. moravica is a critically endangered endemic taxon of Carpathian flora included in the European list of important species. Altogether 14 localities are known, 6 of them in the Moravia and 8 in Slovakia. Even when the abundance of its populations has been monitored during last 3 years, reliable information on its life cycle is still missing and the interpretation of the results is vague. The recorded population abundance is very variable, what complicates the evaluation of population development and establishment of effective conservation means. The demographical analysis will ensure the relevant information for proposal of optimal monitoring and objective evaluation of the recent knowledge. Moreover, we plan cultivation experiments, seed bank survey, estimation of ecological requirements and limiting factors of the taxon. The phytosociological material will enable the ecological analysis based on interspecific associations and ecological indicator numbers.
Management models for grassland habitats
EEA Financial Mechanism and the Norwegian Financial Mechanism and from the State budget of the Slovak Republic
The project is dealing with the preparation of management models for 20 types of grassland habitats. They should serve for planning of management for the habitats important from a conservation point of view and for designing of the conditions for agri-environmental payments. The models will cover exact determination of habitats, ecological requirement, chorology and management recommendations. Establishment of long-term field experiments create good conditions for receiving exact scientific data about influence of mulching on grassland habitats in comparison with conventional management (mowing, pasturing). Prepared models will rise also from results of short-term experiments, which will be realized in different Slovakia regions. They will use also knowledge’s of researchers from various ended as well as running projects. Prepared models will be accessible on-line with broad possibilities of utilization in area of nature protection and good agricultural practice.
Dynamics and succession of grassland vegetation
Recently a considerable attention is devoted to the research of grassland vegetation which represents the most widespread type of non-forest vegetation in Slovakia. Species-rich grasslands are threatened by numerous factors and their biodiversity in some regions decreases gradually. The project logically follows several previous projects focusing on grassland vegetation in Slovakia (VEGA 5084, APVV 5804). The main goal is through the implementation, broadening and completion of the results obtained by previous grassland projects to evaluate and elucidate the present state and temporal changes in grassland vegetation using the modern statistical methods. These analyses should result in a comprehensive synthesis of Slovak grassland vegetation which could serve to a wide spectrum of users. Results will be summarized in the fifth volume of edition Plant communities of Slovakia. It will contain detailed characteristics of meadow, pasture, halophilous and fringe vegetation.
Formalized classification system for identification of grassland vegetation
The project followed activities devoted to the mapping of grasslands (by Daphne - Institute of Applied Ecology) and mapping of biotopes (for the Natura 2000). During the first stage, a large phytosociological material was collected on grassland vegetation in Slovakia, so that all main grassland vegetation types are covered. The central database of phytosociological relevés (http://ibot.sav.sk/cdf/) was completed. The second stage was aimed revision of the diagnostic species used in the current standard classification and evaluation of delimitation of individual syntaxa. For this purpose a formalized classification approach was used which was successfully applied in the neighbouring countries for vegetation evaluation of large areas. The new classification based on precisely defined criteria was compared with the traditional approaches and discussed with grassland researchers. Finally, the classification criteria were incorporated into the formalized expert system for identification of grassland communities (Janišová et al. 2007). The analyses were based on database containing 11 121 relevés of grassland vegetation.
Diversity of vegetation in the Veľká Fatra Mts. in relation to the adjacent regions. I. Non-forest vegetation
The non-forest vegetation of Veľká Fatra Mts. and adjacent regions (Starohorské vrchy Mts.) were studied. The survey of floristic and phytosociological data was published in Kliment et al. (2008).
Demecological, synecological and genetic aspects of the colonization of pastures by forest tree species
The project aims at a study of the colonization process of a non-forest land by tree species and the subsequent succession of herbaceous plant communities. Norway spruce (Picea abies Karst.) was chosen as a model species for the investigation of the population dynamics, development of the spatial and age structures, growth processes, and genetic structure changes. The relationships between the changes of the herbaceous vegetation and the development of the tree layer, as well as soil properties and microclimatic regime, will be studied. The acquired experimental data will be used for the formulation and verification of mathematical models of the population dynamics and genetic processes.
Mapping of grassland vegetation in Slovakia
DAPHNE - Institute of Applied Ecology
Biodiversity conservation and management of permanent grasslands in Protected Landscape Area and Biosphere Reserve Poľana