Merry Christmas from the Restoration Ecology Group

Our group usually meets at the end of the year and discuss about the past season. We talk about our successes and address any eventual problems. And we also celebrate because we were successful with two project proposals. In the next years we will therefore deal with enlargement of our Database of Successional Series across Europe, and meadows in White Carpathians which were regrassed with a regional seed mixtures in the past. Happy new year 2020!

Interesting seminar on urban greenery

On November 19, 2019, an interesting seminar took place at the Biology Centre in České Budějovice on "Near-nature care about urban lawns". Not only experts but also people from municipal authorities shared their knowledge and experience. In addition to a number of presentations on lawn care, biodiversity protection in cities or blue-green infrastructure, we also offered a walk through the faculty garden. The seminar aroused a great interest.

First season of the peatbog project is over

We successfully finished the first season of our interesting project working in mined as well as preserved peatbogs. Our aim is to find out which species of fungi, mosses and higher plants grow there and which species of butterflies occur there and, moreover, why some species do still not occur on the mined peatbogs. We also performed experimental sowing of berries of bog cranberry (Vaccinium oxycoccos) in selected peatbogs to find out if it does not grow there because it still has not spread there or because there are unsuitable conditions there. Hopefully, we will be able to answer this and many other questions in the next years.

International conference on Restoration Ecology in South Africa

This year's international conference on Restoration Ecology was held in South Africa in Cape Town. Our working group was represented by Anička Müllerová and Petra Janečková who presented their posters, Klára Řehounková who had a talk about the results of analyses fo our Database of Successional Series, and Karel Prach who chaired a special section. The conference was very successful and we had great experiences even outside the conference venue...judge for yourself!

End of the vegetation season in style - on the beach :)

We ended up this vegetation season in style on the beach and now we are ready for processing the data. We are greatful for help of our foreign students Chiara Tofollo from Milan who will stay till Christmas, and our almost "naturalized" post-doc Miguel Ballesteros Jiménez from Spain. We thank to all people who joined us and helped in the field!

Geocaching in sand pits

We continue in our promising project on support open habitats in abandoned sand pits using geocaching. Visitors help to disturb the dead biomass layer and turfs by trampling thus mintaining bare substrate suitable for competitively weak species of plants and endangered species of insects.

This year we rereated sampling in several localities near Třebeč and Lžín but we also established new cache in sand pit Hroznějovice. Do not hesitate and support endangered species by geocaching!!

Flowering strips in blossom - monitoring continues

This week, we continue with sampling of flowering strips in the Stromovka city park and the University campus, this time with the help of the Italian student Chiara, who joined our group thanks to the Erasmus + program. Besides many oxeye daisies (Leucanthemum vulgare), we found for example white bedstraw (Galium album), yellow chamomile (Anthemis tinctoria) or yellow mignonette (Reseda lutea). We are curious about the species which we record during the repeated sampling at the end of summer.

In addition to botanical research, entomological monitoring is carried out on the flowering strips, focusing on solitary wasps and bees, and butterflies, who use flowers within the strips as food.

Successful monitoring of NNR Váté písky near Bzenec

It has become a tradition to visit southern Moravia and sample permanent plots in NNR Váté písky in June. Since 2012, Restoration ecology group has monitored the process of vegetation succession of plots restored with removal of top soil layer with expansive grass Calamagrostis epigejos. Even after seven years since the plot establishemnt, most of them still maintain open character. They can thus serve as a refugia for a number of species typical of open sandy habitats which are almost absent in the agrarian landscape of southern Moravia.

In addition, we have also established permanent plots in nearby Bzenecká doubrava woodland which burnt seven years ago. After an agreement with the forestry administration, small part of the woodland was left for spontaneous succession.

We would like to thank Ivana Jongepierová and Karel Fajmon for their help in the field, hospitality and moral support.

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