Monitoring and analysis of model group of organisms
Model group of organisms that will be monitored includes bryophytes mushrooms, saproxylic beetles, mollusks and bats.
GoalThe monitoring of model groups of organisms aims at summarizing, reviewing and adding so far known information about species diversity of these model organisms at selected localities. On the basis of these data we should be able to document and assess significance of natural forest biotopes for preservation of diversity of these organisms.
Monitoring of bryophytes
First part will focus on summary and interpretation of historical data about diversity of epixylic and epiphytic bryophytes at eleven selected localities (Bílá Opava - Eustaška, Boubínský prales, Kohoutov, Mionší, Lipina, Polom, Ranšpurk, Salajka, Velká Pleš, Žákova hora, Žofínský prales), which represent a range of natural forest ecosystem from mountain spruce forests to floodplain forests. This will result in an assessment of diversity and importance of bryophytes on individual localities and in recommendations for management based on a list of so far known taxa, with a commentary on indication-species or species significant from the perspective of protection or other importance. Second part will consist of founding a network of monitored decaying and living tree stems on the above mentioned localities. Selection of decaying tree stems will focus on two most important tree species in each locality and communities of epiphytic bryophytes will be studied on a one living tree species. The position of the stems together with the description of bryophytes communities will be marked in detail. These data can be used for long term study of succession of these ommunities.
Collection of data on selected decaying tree stems as well as living trees will complement knowledge about diversity of bryophytes in the most valuable forest reserves. It will also provide new insight into the structure of bryophytes communities across main types of natural forests of the Czech Republic and will contribute to a discussion about bio-indication significance of bryophytes and their use in the assessment of the preservation of forest biotopes. The research will also bring new arguments in promoting unmanaged respectively friendly managed forest regime in other areas. It will help in seeking effective tools to protect forest habitats across the country. Another significant benefit of the field part of the project can be seen in establishing a network of monitored decaying and living tree stems in natural forests whose regular monitoring in the future may significantly enrich the knowledge about various factors influencing the diversity, quality and successional development of bryophytes communities in the less affected habitats.
Monitoring of fungi
Also here the first part will focus on summarizing and interpreting historical data about diversity of lignicolous fungi in eleven selected localities (Bílá Opava - Eustaška, Boubínský prales, Kohoutov, Mionší, Lipina, Polom, Ranšpurk, Salajka, Velká Pleš, Žákova hora, Žofínský prales). This will result in an assessment of diversity and importance of lignicolous fungi on individual localities and in recommendations for management based on a list of so far known taxa, with a commentary on indication-species, or species significant from the perspective of protection or other importance. In the second part, a network of monitored decaying tree stems will be established in the localities. On the stems, a repeated presence of individual species of lignicolous fungi will be noted during a year. Selection of decaying stems will focus on one of the main tree species (spruce, fir, beech, oak) so that the resulting number of these stems approximately reflects representation of the main species in the potential natural vegetation.
Repeated data collection on selected decaying stems will partly supplement knowledge about diversity of fungi in the most valuable forest reserves, provide insight into the structure of lignicolous fungi communities across main types of natural forests and contributes to the discussion about bio-indication significance of lignicolous fungi in the assessment of the preservation of forest biotopes. The research will also bring new arguments in promoting unmanaged respectively friendly managed forest regime in other areas. It will help in seeking effective tools to protect forest habitats across the country. Another significant benefit of the field part of the project can be seen in establishing a network of monitored decaying and living tree stems in natural forests whose regular monitoring in the future may significantly enrich the knowledge about various factors influencing the diversity, quality and successional development of lignicolous fungi communities in the less affected habitats.
Monitoring of molluscs
On individual localities, a layer of leaf litter together with surface layer of soil will be collected. This so called forest litter is characterized with the highest abundance of molluscs. The collections will be supplemented by manual collections that capture remaining part of forest mollusc fauna. Analysis of material from forest litter will provide information about both quantitative and qualitative composition of mollusc communities.
Molluscs represent a model group of organisms which is commonly used in nature protection. Therefore analysis of molluscan communities will provide information about the state of habitat in each locality. Molluscs, especially forest communities, are very sensitive to habitat changes. Therefore the disturbance of habitats prevents them to retain their original state for centuries. Comparing monitored localities by using e.g. multivariate analyses enables studying main factors that affect the diversity of these communities.
Monitoring of saproxylic beetles
Saproxylic beetles are considered as one of the most significant indicator species documenting state of forest ecosystems. Historical data about their distribution in selected localities are at present very sketchy. It is predicted that in protected areas species diversity and population densities of individual (and particularly endangered) species is higher than in the surrounding managed forests. Using excerpts of historical data, maximum data about original distribution will be collected. All localities will be also monitored by so called stratified monitoring in varying degrees. This methodology has been recommended and tested in several localities from the Databank of natural forests. Specifically, there will be located eight interception traps of cross design in each locality regardless its size. This is necessary for repeatability and evaluation of a state of the locality in comparison with past and possibly following years. The traps will be regularly collected and cleaned - they will be activated after a snow meltdown in spring and deactivated during the first autumn frosts. Thus obtained material will be categorized and all representatives of a very abundant family of click beetles (Elateridae) will be determined by the species level and further divided into saproxylic species (approx. 60 species in CZ) and species without any relationship to dead wood. Click beetles represent a suitable monitored group of beetles by crash traps - similar to that of ground beetles (Carabidae) and earth traps. In the vicinity of each trap, environmental variables that potentially affect distribution of click beetles will be inventoried. These variables include volume and diversity of dead wood, canopy openness, etc. All data will be processed and inserted into NDOP.
Monitoring will result in a database which enables filtering specific information about species from a given locality. The data will also serve as input for main outputs in the form of methodologies for individual protected areas.
Monitoring of bats
Abundance of forest bats and diversity of their communities strongly reflects quality and structure of a forest biotope. This allows a relatively comprehensive assessment of the appropriateness and quality of forest habitat in terms of respective biota. Therefore we will monitor and evaluate abundance and diversity of bat community with emphasis on the presence of more demanding species with specific needs. Literature review and screening of available databases related to data about bats in individual localities will be conducted. Structure, abundance and activity of the bat community will be assessed by detection and recording ultrasound signals of bats on points or transects spread in standardized manner in studied localities. In case of necessity, bats can be caught in nets. In the next step, echolocation signals will be analysed by special software and characteristics of communities will be described. Impact of individual characteristics of given localities on the abundance and diversity of bat community will be assessed. This will allow us to determine key environmental variables (e.g. by using multivariate statistics methods) that affect bat community the most.
The results should show quality of forest habitats in terms of biota. It should be stressed that bats represent a model bio-indicative group and the corresponding results are generally applicable to a wider effect.