Springs of the Roztocze escarpment zone: the diversity of plant cover vs. environment quality

key words: springs, flora, krenophytes, plant communities, anthropopressure, ruderalization, escarpment zone, Roztocze


Field studies of springs were conducted in the years 1997−2008. They aimed to present the phytocoenotic and floristic diversity of springs of the Roz-tocze escarpment zone on the background of hydrogeochemistry of effluences, and to evaluate the degree of their naturality or antropogenization in relation to springs’ location (objects in forest vs. non-forest areas, particularly in rural ones), as well as to answer the question whether spring protection as nature monuments is effective. The study springs are accompanied by a specific set of species of vascular plants and bryophytes, representing different groups of krenophytes. Small spring niches are usually overgrown with communities of Cardamine amara-Chrysosplenium alternifolium and Cardamino-Beruletum erecti dominated by few species belonging to obligatory and/or facultative kreno-phytes. Along spring water effluences, patches of Glycerietum plicatae commu-nity are common. The presence of krenophytes indicates a high quality of the en-vironment of the Roztocze escarpment zone. In the large niches of vauclusian springs there also occur phytocoenoses dominated by synusia of tall macroforbs, e.g. Epilobium hirsutum, Mentha longifolia, Scrophularia umbrosa, Urtica dioica, Eupatorium cannabinum, Cirsium oleraceum. In rural areas, under the influence of the antropopressure (trodding, grazing, etc.) there occur nitrophi-lous carpet communities consisting of Poa annua, Lolium perenne, Plantago me-dia, Prunella vulgaris, and the so-called geese pastures dominated by Potentilla anserina and Agrostis stolonifera. The examples of drastic anthropogenic inter-ference within spring niches show a rather low effectiveness protection of springs as nature monuments.


Czarnecka B. 2009. Springs of the Roztocze escarpment zone: the diversity of plant cover vs. environment quality. Infrastruktura i Ekologia Terenów Wiejskich. Nr 2009/ 06