Wild horses pasture effect in Podyjí … return to the scene

Last week, our working group together with the help of one of our external members, Luboš Tichý, returned to PLA Podyjí. Last year we established permanent plots in two localities – former military range Mašovice and heathland Havraníky. Both localities are grazed by wild horses (Exmoor ponies).

Therefore, we have a unique opportunity to compare development of extensively grazed vegetation with non-grazed vegetation. Especially the effect of horse grazing on occurrence of woody species and shrubs.

 

Sheep once more on the island in sandpit

On Wednesday, May 22 we once more transported sheep to the island in the Cep II sand pit. The sheep stayed there for a whole week and they grazed our experimental plots for restoration of dry grasslands where bird's-foot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus) and wood small-reed (Calamgrostis epigejos) started to overgrow the psamophytic vegetation.

This management is as traditionally carried out by our colleague Alča Bartošová and her ecologically concious herd of sheep.  Their 8-day stay ended today on Wednesday, May 29.
We greatly thank all the protagonists (sheep and people included), this year for the fifth time!!

 

Restoration and succession on disturbed peatbogs

Happily forward with mostly dry feet! Wish us good luck in next three years when we will be studying how fast, from where and by what are disturbed peatbogs in Šumava Mountains colonized. We are interested in many things – from microscopic fungi and plants to butterflies. We are already fully equipped and full of enthusiasm as shown in the pictures.

 

 

The weather is in our favour therefore our working group is successfully continuing with our field work and field trips. With the beginning of April, we started field work on two harvested peatbgos and two preserved peatbogs. We managed to establish almost all permanent plots and prepare all the boreholes for measuring water level.

 

Vegetation season is coming! Pasture in military area near Milovice.

Sunny spring days are tempting us to set out for nature and so our working group is starting with field trips. Our first field trip was once again to the former military area near Milovice where we are studying the effect of pasture of large herbivores on the restoration of dry grasslands. Our experiment was established on abandoned field last summer and it was necessary to check on our permanent plots which will be sampled during June.

During the field trip, we were also looking for localities in the former military area which were burned and where we can study succession of plants. Furthermore, our group is planning to find and select several dust-bath places where we can observe the succession of plants and the effect of wild horses and European bison on the species composition.

 

Guidelines for establishment of flower-strips

One of the results of our collaboration with German colleagues from Hochschule Anhalt in Bernburg is a document with Guidelines for establishment of species rich flowering strips in rural and urban areas. English version of guidelines is free for download in the section: For the public.

http://restoration-ecology.eu/CZ/data/uploads/Guidelines_flower-rich%20structures%20FINAL.PDF

Study stay in Belgium

One of the most important parts of student life is certainly a PhD study stay abroad. Students from the Ecological restoration working group have an opportunity to choose between several prestigious workplaces dealing with restoration. Anička Müllerová has chosen Flemish (Belgian) Antwerp.

Anička is fulfilling her PhD study stay at the University of Antwerp under the supervision of prof. Rudy van Diggelen. Our working group often collaborates with him and prof. Van Diggelen is also one of the lecturers of the course Ecological restoration I. at the University of South Bohemia.

During her three-month stay, Anička is getting acquainted with projects of ecological restoration of disturbed sites in Belgium and she has, therefore, an opportunity to learn new methods of restoration with specialization in wetlands’ restoration. Furthermore, this study stay is an opportunity to consult not only the already implemented methods of data collections but also new remarks on an improvement of collecting data in wetland habitats. The collaboration with colleagues from the University of Antwerp can contribute to the gain of new knowledge in data sampling of aquatic communities. Apart from that, Anička has a chance to analyse already collected data for her PhD thesis and consult the results of statistical analyses.

For more information: polarni.badatel@seznam.cz

Great success of our colleague in an international contest

Our colleague and collaborator Luboš Tichý and his team won the international contest Quarry Life Award among more than 110 participating projects. We congratulate the whole team!

In their project, they examined the seasonal activity of honey bees in relation to the biodiversity of selected quarries. 

Photo: Michael Rademacher

Restoration Ecology at the Faculty of Environmental Sciences in Prague

For several years, students of the Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague, have the opportunity to take the Land Reclamation course (and Rekultivace for Czech students) which is guaranteed by our colleague Markéta Hendrychová. And for several years, members of our group are invited to tell the students something about the ecological restoration of mining sites. This year, Lenka Šebelíková spoke about the ecological restoration, management and research of sand pits. Two weeks later, Karel Prach gave a lecture about ecological restoration and restoration ecology in a broader context. We hope that our lectures were useful and inspiring and we are looking forward to the next year.