Grassland research in National Park Plitvice Lake and wider Lika region area
Objavljeno: 18 Aug, 2023

In the period from 2021 to 2023, we implemented project “Research of grasslands plant diversity in National Park Plitvice Lake and wider Lika region area”. The project was carried out on a total of 200 plots during six-month period.

The first-year research put an emphasis on Plitvice Lakes National Park area, which has long been known for its great plant species and communities’ diversity. Although the focus of the research was on grassland communities peatland were also included, which are among the most endangered habitats in Croatia. Research also covered several selected karst fields (Vrhovinsko polje, Lapačko polje, Bjelopolje and Koreničko polje). During this work we had the opportunity to witness a great contrast between intensively grazed and mowed areas, moderately used and abandoned areas with advanced succession.

The second year of research covered 30 plots in the Velebit mountain area, which were located within the Velebit Nature Park and the North Velebit National Park. However, most of the research (70 plots) was focused on rich and diverse karst fields, which are important for grasslands diversity and preservation: Ličko polje, Krbavsko polje, Podlapačko polje, Gacko polje, Lipovo polje and Krbavica.

Over 4000 finds belonging to over 700 different plant species were recorded on the researched plots. Among them, it is important to single out numerous species that are on the Vascular Fora Red List in Republic of Croatia, and which are under high risk of extinction – 4 critically endangered species (CR), 15 endangered species (EN) and 11 vulnerable species (VU). In addition to rare, strictly protected and endemic plant species, a great diversity of plant communities was recorded, of which as many as 15 belong to rare and/or endangered habitats in the Republic of Croatia.

Thanks to this project, valuable recent data on grassland communities of Lika region were collected and their potential for mowing, grazing, beekeeping and collection of medicinal plant species was valorized. After the researched grasslands condition assessment, preservation measures were proposed. This research is extremely important for the area of the Plitvice Lakes National Park where grasslands, along with the abundance of water and forests, represent a fundamental biological phenomenon and their preservation is of key importance. Given that most of the researched area is within the Natura 2000 ecological network, this research also made a significant contribution to our knowledge on distribution, target plant species conservation status, grassland and peatland communities in the Lika area.

#grassland #peatland  # endangeredspecies #habitatsmapping #botanicalresearch #targetplantspecies #protectedareas #NationalParkPLitviceLakes #sustainablecattlebreeding #beekeeping #greezing #grasslandsuccession


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