PNRP 41(3)


Long-term effect of restoration hydrological conditions
on the herb layer structure
of plant communities Ledo-Sphagnetum magellanici and Vaccinio uliginosi-Pinetum
in Roztocze National Park


The paper presents the results of the research on the changes in the vegetation of the contact zone of the two phytocenoses: Ledo-Sphagnetum magellanici and Vaccinio uliginosi-Pinetum after the restoration of water conditions that took place in the Roztocze National Park in the 1990s. A belt transect method was used in the research that covered a period of 20 years. The results indicate the very favourable impact the restoration had on the preservation of the state of the two wetland ecosystems – continental raised bog and peatbog pine forest. As a result of the restoration efforts, the spreading of the peatbog species in the contact zone of phytocoenoses and the transition of the borders (expansion of the peatbog at the cost of the peatbog pine forest) was observed. The restoration work aimed at the reconstruction of the original natural hydrological conditions halted the succession of continental raised bog in the direction of the peatbog pine forest, that was previously accelerating due to earlier works that caused drainage of this area.


Fauna of the Kry軼iów stream (Poprad Landscape Park)


The Poprad Landscape Park was established to protect the natural, cultural and landscape values of the S康ecki Beskid and is spread over 53,419 ha, with forests covering about seventy percent of the area. The Park is located within the catchment area of the rivers Poprad and Kamienica Nawojowska, right-bank tributaries of the river Dunajec. Theses rivers are fed by a number of mountain streams. The Kry軼iów stream, one of the tributaries of the Kamienica Nawojowska, has largely preserved its natural character. In the whole catchments area there are no buildings expect for a ground road along the stream; the road is closed for motor traffic. In the lower course of the stream, a few small thresholds were built. The stream has its source at 962 m a.s.l. and then flows for 6380 m along a forested ravine and joins its confluence at 540 m a.s.l. (Fig. 1). The bed of the stream down to its confluence is made of boulders, cobbles, gravels, with rock outcrops in some places. The chemical status of the stream waters is very good in terms of oxidation, electrolitic conductivity, as well as biogenic elements (Table 1).
The aim of the study was to determine the qualitative and quantitative composition of invertebrate fauna, fish and amphibians. Bottom invertebrates were sampled twice: on 6 July 2010 and 6 September 2010 on five sites at different altitudes: site 1 at 771 m a.s.l.; site 2 at 705 m a.s.l.; site 3 at 636 m a.s.l.; site 4 at 579 m a.s.l.; site 5 at 541 m a.s.l. (Fig. 1). Sampling of fish was carried out with a backpack electrofisher at ten sections, from the outlet (540 m a.s.l.) to the altitude of 636 m a.s.l. Amphibians were determined directly on site, and notes of their location and species were made.
A total of 3070 invertebrate specimens were collected. Site 1 was the least populated (512 specimens), while site 5 (763 specimens) was the richest in this respect (Fig. 2). On sites 2-5, the most numerous group was Diptera belonging to the family Simuliidae (30-40%) and Chironomidae (15-20%) – in total 50-60%, and Ephemeroptera (30-40%). A percentage share of Trichoptera and Plecoptera did not exceed 10% and Oligochaeta – 2%. A percentage share was different on site 1. Diptera was still dominating but the share of Simuliidae was only 10%, while Chironomidae contributed to 30%. A share of Plecoptera and Oligochaeta increased (Fig.3). The present study determined 119 taxa: 17 Oligochaeta, 15 Plecoptera, 12 Ephemeroptera, 15 Trichoptera, and nine families of Diptera, including 41 Chironomidae and 8 Simuliidae taxa (Table 2). It is particularly noteworthy that the noble crayfish Astacus astacus, -listed as Vulnerable (VU), was found in the lower course of the stream. A distinct zonation along the course of the stream was found in each fauna group (Table 3).
A comparison between the present results and those obtained in the 1960s (ZA灣ILICHOWSKA 1968) was difficult due to significant changes in the taxonomy of aquatic insects over the last half century. However, some similarities can be found by comparison of the percentage share of the main groups of fauna (Fig.2). Larvae of the genus Baetis and larvae Cricotopus and Orthocladius dominated back in the 1960s and they still dominate today.
Two species of fish were found: the stream trout (Salmo trutta m. fario (Linnaeus, 1758) and the stripe bullhead (Cottus poecilopus (Heckel, 1837), legally protected and listed as Near Threatened (NT). In the whole stream 65 stripe bullheads and 75 stream trout were recorded. Fish density in the lower course was 10 to 15 individuals per one hundred-meter-section of the stream and decreased with an increasing altitude. The highest site where a trout was recorded was at 636 m a.s.l. (Table 4).
Three species of amphibians were found in the catchment of the stream: the fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra (Linnaeus, 1758)), the fire-bellied toad (Bombina variegata (Linnaeus, 1758)) and the grass frog (Rana temporaria (Linnaeus, 1758)); all of them are protected species.
The results justify the conclusion that the Kry軼iów stream can be considered as an area of great natural value due to high biodiversity and the occurrence of rare, legally protected species. No significant differences in species richness and the number of invertebrates were found between the sites situated above and below the hydrotechnical construction.


Herpetofauna of the Tarnobrzeska Vistula Valley


The observations were carried out in the years 2020-2022 on the area of the Site of Community Importance Tarnobrzeska Vistula Valley. This area located on the border of two provinces: 安i皻okrzyskie and Podkarpackie. The SCI protects a small part of the upper Vistula valley within the limits of the Vistula embankments. The Vistula is accompanied by very numerous oxbow lakes, bends, backwaters, river bays, riparian forests, and wet meadows.
The observations covered different biotopes, including ponds, meadows, forests, orchards, and agricultural lands. The research included an inventory of herpetofauna and the identification of threats, along with determining the necessary protection measures. As a result 10 species of amphibians and 3 species of reptiles were found in 26 research localities. The following species were found: smooth newt Lissotriton vulgaris L., European fire-bellied toad Bombina bombina L., common toad Bufo bufo L., European green toad Bufotes viridis Laur., European tree frog Hyla arborea L., edible frog Pelophylax esculentus L., pool frog Pelophylax lessonae Cam., marsh frog Pelophylax ridibundus Pall., moor frog Rana arvalis Nilss., common frog Rana temporaria L., sand lizard Lacerta agilis L., grass snake Natrix natrix L. and common European adder Vipera berus L. (Fig. 1-3, Tab. 1). The main threats to amphibians and reptiles in this area are floods of the Vistula, drying out of water bodies, surface water pollution, stocking, mowing of meadows, littering, fire setting and eutrophication.




Diet composition of the Ural Owl Strix uralensis fledgelings
on the Dynowskie Foothills (SE Poland)


Research on the diet composition of three Ural Owl Strix uralensis macroura fledgelings from one nest, was conducted in the period 9-21.05.2021. It was located in the centre of the Podkarpackie Voivodeship, on the Dynowskie Foothills (SE Poland), in an atypical i.e. anthropogenic environment on the border of Brzozów town (Phot. 1). The nest-tree stood on the south-eastern border of the Czarnorzecko-Strzy穎wski Landscape Park buffer zone and the Czarnorzecki Protected Landscape Area.
Diet composition was determined on the basis of analysis of the pellets contents, prey remains collected right under the nest and visual statements of the parents while delivering food. A total of 72 prey individuals were identified, mainly belonging to mammals (76.4% by number), subsequently birds (19.4%) and insects (4.2%) (Table 1). Seven species of mammals, 6 birds and 1 species of insect were found. The most frequently caught prey was the field vole Microtus agrestis (19.4%) and next the yellow-necked mouse Apodemus flavicollis (16.7%). The total biomass consumed was estimated at 3.25 kg and the food niche breadth was 3.86. A total of 16 pellets were collected with medium dimensions ‒ length 44 × width 25 mm, which contained on average 3.4 prey items (Table 2).
The field vole was the most important prey of this owl fledgelings both in the Niepo這micka Forest and in the Dynowskie Foothills (Table 3).




The history of fallow deer in Bia這wie瘸 Forest


The Common Daniel, a mammal of the deer family, native to Asia Minor, was first introduced in Poland in the 13th century in the Silesian Lowlands. The assumption put forward by some scientists that it was present in Bia這wie瘸 Forest at the times when the area was a part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania is unlikely, if not incorrect. It is certain that fallow deer appeared in Bia這wie瘸 Forest in 1860, before the planned autumn hunt of Tsar Alexander II. The imported 14 head of fallow deer were placed in the game preserve within the area of approximately 600 ha. There were also bison, elk, wild boar, wolves, foxes, roe deer, badgers and hares. In subsequent years, until the end of the nineteenth century, consecutive batches of fallow deer were brought to the Bia這wie瘸 reserve. The first animals were released in 1892, and since 1899 all fallow deer lived outside the zoo. During the hunts organized for tsars, Russian aristocracy and guests of the tsarist court, fallow deer were often used as a hunting trophy. Nevertheless, their number was constantly growing. For example, in 1893, 90 fallow deer were counted in Pushcha, in 1895-118, in 1900-600, in 1910 -1402 (despite the occurrence of anthrax epizootic, which greatly reduced the population of ungulates).
In 1914 the number of fallow deer was 1488. It was the maximum number in the whole history of Bia這wie瘸 Forest. A few years before the outbreak of World War I the reduction of the number of the forest game was started. The real pogrom for fallow deer, as well as for the whole game of Pushcha, was brought about by World War I. Most of the sources say that in March 1919, in the Bia這wie瘸 Forest, the fallow deer were killed. Most sources say that in March 1917, there were only 209 fallow deer. However, it is difficult to determine the exact number of animals that managed to survive the war. There were probably a dozen or so of them. They were exposed to both predator attacks and poachers' arrows. The last fallow deer were torn apart by wolves in 1930 in Zwierzyniec Forest District. Fallow deer appeared again in Pushcha 30 years later. In 1960 a batch of 12 animals was brought to the Belarusian part of Pushcha. Soon all of them died, becoming a prey of predatory animals - wolf and lynx. The next batch of fallow deer (5 animals) was brought by Belarusians in 1963, but they also died out very quickly. In mid-1960s one female fallow deer was seen for a short period in the Polish part of Bia這wie瘸 Forest District. In the following years, there were no more fallow deer seen in Bia這wie瘸 Forest. And again there is a long break in the presence of this species in this area. Only in 2008 was the first batch of fallow deer (30 animals) imported to the Belarusian part of Bia這wie瘸 Forest from Poland, and soon after that the next one (53 animals). The animals were placed in a special breeding pen with an area of 2000 ha. The breeding of fallow deer was established mainly with a view to their further distribution in hunting farms across Belarus and future use for hunting.


The Bia這wie瘸 Primeval Forest at the beginning of the Second Polish Republic
in the light of the articles from the Echa Le郾e


"Echa Le郾e" was one of the most important Polish forestry magazines of the interwar period. The authors' research led to the discovery of some previously ignored information on the history of Bia這wie瘸 Primeval Forest in nature and forestry magazines. In this context, ‘‘Echa Le郾e" proved to be a very valuable historical source, containing information unknown from other publications. The article analyses information concerning the beginnings of Polish administration in the Forest after World War I, the beginnings of the Bia這wie瘸 National Park, the return of items connected with Bia這wie瘸 stolen by the Russians, and the German plan for a nature reserve in the Forest.