Restoration Ecology group is part of international competition Quarry Life Award again

Our restoration group marked a huge success in 2012 in the Quarry Life Award when our project of ecological restoration in CEP II sandpit won despite strong international competition. The Quarry Life Award is a scientific and education contest proposed by HeidelbergCement. The competition takes place every two years and runs simultaneously at national and international levels. Its aim is to raise awareness of the organic value of mining sites and to find new ways to further enhance it. Every year several hundreds of projects are evaluated at the national or international level and several of them are later selected for realization.

This year, Klára Řehounková, a member of our group, has acted as a member of the international jury. Klára has visited several mining sites during this season all over Europe, including Spain, Poland and Romania, to learn more about projects registered into the competition. The international jury is comprised of eight members including experts from HeidelbergCement company and research scientists. After reading through more than a hundred of final reports, the jury is now ready to make a decision about the best projects of this year. Winners will be announced and financially awarded during a ceremony which will take place in Brussels during December.

For more information visit Quarry Life Award.

Hot news - Participation of our restoration group at the SER Europe conference

The results of our research have been presented at the SER conference held in Reykjavik, Iceland this week. Klára Řehounková talked about the restoration of psammophytic grasslands and Anna Müllerová turned attention on spontaneous succession in aquatic and wetland habitats. Karel Prach presented general trends concerning vegetation establishment in various disturbed sites across Europe. Two more external members of our restoration group, Ivana Jongepirová and Ondřej Mudrák demonstrated another restoration topics focused on species traits and also practical aspects in the implementation of using regional seed mixture. We also visited some restoration projects in the field during the mid-conference excursion.

Contribute to the European Database of Successional Series!

You are kindly invited to contribute your successional data to the European Database of Successional Series (EDaSS). We aim to compile existing successional data of changes in vegetation following disturbance and thus enlarge an existing unique dataset from multiple human-disturbed sites across the Czech Republic (see here) to the European scale.                                                             You are more than welcome to contribute with your data and share our effort! See our flyer for more information.

Flower strips in university campus already in flower!

The flower strips in the university campus are already in flower. We are really happy about how they look like. Besides many flowers of Leucanthemum, we can find also flowering Lychnis viscaria, Salvia pratensis, or Reseda lutea. We were surprised that this spring we could not see any nice blue flowers of Centaurea cyanus. Still, we dare to say that the flower strips are nice this year. We are curious how many plant species and how many interesting species of butterflies and bees we will find during the monitoring this year. Therefore we kindly ask - please do not pluck the plants.

The flower strips in city park Stromovka seem to be a bit late in comparison with the flower strips in university campus, however they also look very promising!

(Photo: J. Řehounek, L. Šebelíková)

Restoration of china clay mines in Spain

Klára Řehounková represented SER Europe in the Expert Panel Action organized by the TECMINE in Valencia. She gave a lecture about experiences with passive and active restoration approach in post-mining sites. The high potential LIFE project TECMINE deals with a cost-effective restoration of a china clay mine in a Mediterranean forest area using innovative techniques.

Restoration of post-mining sites in Mediterranean areas is challenging. The mine is situated in a highly eroded area in elevation of about 1 000 m above sea level. The impressive restoration plan includes various restoration techniques with the aim to reduce soil erosion processes, stabilize steep slopes and establish mixture of forests and steppe-like grasslands.

The field work was carried out on the first day within a group of professionals specialised in different fields such as botany, geology and geomorphology, ecological engineering, restoration ecology, hydrology or social sciences. The second day, several presentations summarized experiences from European countries from various aspects and provided some suggestions trying to find an optimal plan through discussion focused on particular alternatives. Really amazing best-practise example of multidisciplinary and comprehensive restoration action - good luck TECMINE!

Monitoring of pasture in former military area Milovice

We take advantage of sunny spring days and go to the field. One of our field trips led us to Milovice where an existing wild horse pasture will be enlarged. Part of this future pasture is and abandoned field which we intend to regrass by a biomass transfer. Therefore we searched for suitable donor sites for green hay harvesting during our field trip. We are already curious if the hay transfer will be successful and the abandoned field become a nice pasture with a lot of flowering herbs.

In addition, we will also monitor the effect of grazing on vegetation development, similarly as in Podyjí, about which we have informed earlier.

Back in Příbramské dumps after 10 years

Ten years ago, our former student observed vegetation development on 4 dumps after uranium mining near Příbram. Our master student Katka Vejvodová will repeat the study this year. Therefore we went together to the field to see how the spoil heaps currently look like and to find suitable plots for vegetation sampling.

We thank Mr. Faktor for his company and a lot of useful information.

This year's first trip to the field

The Restoration ecology group went to the field again after the winter. This time, we visited two localities in the PLA Podyjí where Exmoor ponies will start to graze at the end of April. It is a unique opportunity to compare development of extensively grazed vegetation with non-grazed vegetation. Our colleagues from Brno who already have experience with similar observations, a representative of Administration of the PLA, and Miloslav Jirků who is responsible for the ponies accompanied us into the field. Together we have found suitable plots for monitoring of the vegetation development. And now the ponies can come and start to graze!

Both localities enthralled us by numerous flowers of Pulsatilla grandis and Gagea bohemica. And we even could see snowy tops of Alps.