THE REMNANTS OF MID-FOREST IRON ORE EXCAVATIONS AS A REFUGE FOR LOCAL DIVERSITY IN THE VASCLUAR PLANT FLORA
Applied Ecology and Environmental Research
Strzeleczek et al.: The remnants of mid-forest iron ore excavations as a refuge for local diversity in the vascluar plant flora -1541 -APPLIED ECOLOGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH 15(4):1541-1563. Abstract. Former excavation remnants can play a significant role in increasing the species richness and local biodiversity on heavily altered, post-industrial sites. In this article we examined 30 plotsmounds and areas surrounding mounds to evaluate the influence of different key factors on floristic
... ors on floristic composition, including selected edaphic parameters (pH, EC, organic matter, CaCO 3 and content of metals: Pb, Cd, Zn, Fe). We also tested the species-area correlations. Additionally, we assessed basic characteristics of plant species, which inhabit those plots, measuring species richness and biodiversity with Shannon-Weiner index (H´) and also estimating the similarities in species composition between mounds and the surrounding areas, using Sörensen's index (S o ). In result, we noted 92 vascular plant species, with mostly native origin (98%). Based on the performed analysis, mounds which were studied had slightly higher values of mean species richness and species diversity compared to the surrounding area. Contribution of socio-ecological groups showed, that, mounds were inhabited predominantly by forest species from Querco-Fagetea and Vaccinio-Piceetea classes. Analyses of collected soil samples indicated strong influence of pH and content of metals (mostly zinc, lead and iron) in relation to the floristic composition on the examined plots. Unique characteristics of soil samples taken from the studied plots can explain the distinct preferences of some plant species which grow on them. This allowed to classify those structures as a refuge area, considering their positive contribution to the increase of species richness and biodiversity. Nowadays the old remnants can be also treated as a crucial part of historical and cultural heritage.