Published on Nov 30, 2015
We, biologists, already know whether forestry reclamation in sand pits is necessary - it is not! However, new arguments need to be constantly acquired to convince also others, especially miners, foresters and land owners. One of the most common arguments for forestry reclamation in sand pits is that rapid tree planting prevents colonization by invasive tree species present in the close surrounding. Spontaneously developed areas may be prone to invasions of alien species. We know from our experience that even forestry reclamations are not totally devoid of alien species which start to grow rapidly after first thinning that creates gaps for them.
Our new student, Míla Prošková, likes this topic very much and she intends to test resistance of differently aged spontaneous and forestry reclaimed sites to invasive species in the South Bohemian sand pits.
And so, at the time of Advent, when one should reflect on his life and reassess his priorities, the Restoration ecology group established its very first, and hopefully also the last, forestry reclamation!
(Foto: Jiří Migl, Českomoravský štěrk, a.s.)
Published on Nov 4, 2015
During sheep grazing on the island in the Cep II sand pit this year, we realized that the sheep don't like the vegetation that much. We have therefore chosen a radical approach and mow the whole island, cut down small Pine trees and rakes litter and mosses out. Hopefully we ensure more juicy and tasty vegetation for the next year.
We learned two important things from this experiment: 1) there is only one suitable donor locality for psamophytic vegetation - Vlkov sand dune. Lužnice terraces from which we also took biomass are already too mesophilous. 2) Transferred biomass should be dispersed in very thin layer. If the layer is too thick, it helps expansion of competitively strong mosses.
Published on Sep 17, 2015
Published on Jul 15, 2015
Our Restoration Ecology group works also abroad. As an example, Karel Prach has just completed his field work on a former dam on the Elwha river in the Olympic National Park in the west of Washington. He did his research during his six-month stay at the University of Washington in Seattle. On the Elwha river, two dams were demolished a few years ago because such constructions should not be in the National Park. At the same time this should enable migration of several salmon species which are traditional commodity for the Native Americans and other inhabitants. The works are part of a broader project and are coordinated by the Administration of the National Park. The goal of the project is to compare the current course of spontaneous and directed succession (sowing and planting of native species) and to answer the question whether the direction is to restore the native forests composed mainly of Pseudotsuga menziesii, Tsuga heterophylla, Thuja plicata, Acer macrophyllum and Alnus rubra. So far it seems that they can rely on spontaneous succession and thus possibly save on costly sowing and planting. On the other hand, they are a kind of advertising for the National Park and also provide jobs. However, they are not harmful to the nature, like the majority of reclamation works in our country.
Published on Jul 8, 2015
In the vegetation season, there is always something going on. In the Váté písky near Bzenec, annual phytosociological sampling was held on permanent plots that were established in 2012. In some parts of the National Nature Monument, Ivana Jongepierová organized the topsoil removal to start the restoration of this rare habitat and to prevent the expansion of Calamagrostis epigejos. This project was successful and instead of stands of Calamagrostis, we now can see open sand patches with Corynephorus canescens stands.
Among others, we also sampled permanent plots that were established after a legendary fire event of Bzenec oak forest in 2012. At leats a small part of this area was left to the spontaneous development after negotiations with foresters.
Another interesting project for maintenance of open sandy patches in sand pits is geocaching. For geocaching fans, there are two series - Borovany miniseries and Lžín sand pit.
Published on Jun 19, 2015
The sheep's exotic holiday at the island of the Cep II sand pit is over. And we have few tips and lessons learned for the next time:
1) Sheep can swim! It swims very well and it likes to swim!
2) They eat only young, still not entirely grown, Lotus corniculatus.
3) Three sheep is still too less even for the island.
4) Anything is impossible!
Published on May 28, 2015
Almost impossible became real and a small flock of sheep has grazed on an islet in the Cep II sand pit since yesterday evening. And if we say small, we mean small - two meritorious female grazers and one cute black lamb. Until Sunday they will graze the experimental plots for restoration of psammophytic grasslands which were established in 2009. Lotus corniculatus spreads on plots with transfered biomass and it needs to be suppressed. Moreover, it is also desirable to disrupt thick layers of lichens and moses.
Transport of sheep on a ferry went smoothly and sheep seem satisfied with the food supply. Alča Bartošová will oversee that they enjoy their vacation and she deserves many thanks that she was not afraid and went for it! Many thanks also to our favorite ferry driver who assisted for the whole time and transported the girls smoothly to the other bank.
So now we have to rely on the sheep's appetite and let them graze everything according to a planned "zig-zag" design!