More about Central Moravia
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Botanical characterization of this area comes from a phytogeografical distinction. In the Central Moravia, there we can find both typical members of a termophytic region - Haná, a mesophytic region
- Drahanská vrchovina (upland), the surroundings of Zábřeh, the foothills of Jeseníky and the Moravian Gate, or even an oreophytic one - the Nízký Jeseník Mountains.
For each of this phytogeographical region are typical another plant and animal species. In termophytic region, there are thermophilic species which require higher average temperatures and often can endure less amount of precipitation. The termophytic region is also characterized by low altitude (in general, up to 500 m above sea level). For the mesophytic region are typical species which may be called as "the gold mean" which require both precipitation and temperature mean for their optimal growth. Also the species growing there prefer average values of altitude (in general, up to 650 m above sea level). It is usually vegetation surrounding us. The last region, the oreophytic one, is present only marginally in the Central Moravia. Mountain plant species tolerating low temperatures, higher moisture and rougher climatic conditions (i.e., temperature fluctuations, great differences between a day and a night) are characteristic for this region. A range of altitudes is between 750 - 1602 m above sea level. In the Central Moravia, there it is a bottom bond of altitudes (surroundings of the Slunečná (a hill, 800 m above sea level). The ranges of altitudes for particular areas depend on morphology of area very strongly. Therefore it may become that some plant species for instance typical for the Jeseníky Mountains you can find in the state-protected area Litovelské Pomoraví.
An important element also influencing botanical variability is a diffusion of members of the Carpathian system in the Central Moravia which belongs to the Czech Massif. Typical example is a Crowtoe Dentaria glandulosa or the species Hacquetia epipactis in the Natural Reservation Království (the Kingdom) where is the western bound of their distribution. Generally, vegetation in the Central Moravia or anywhere may be for example classified into forest - wooden, meadow and wetland - herbal with all possible changes and kinds of communities.
Forest vegetation of Olomouc, Přerov and Prostějov regions went through important changes from their original medieval appearance to the present. Especially, a natural species structure of forests was changed due to their economic exploitation and subsequent forestry employment. In the most of cases these human interventions are negative from natural protection point of view. Despite of this a number of the natural forest types were reserved.
Till this time the oat-hornbeam forest with the oak and hornbeam dominance with different brushwood kinds depending on a habitat are relatively frequent. The most often there is a Sedge Carex pilosa, a Crowtoe Dentaria bulbifera, a Sweet Pea Lathyrus versus, the Wood Anemone (Anemone nemorosa), the Greater Stitchwort (Stellaria holostea) and the Martagon Lily (Lilium martagon).
Well-preserved vegetation of the oat-hornbeam forest may be found in the south side of Oderské vrchy (hills) in surroundings of villages Bohuslávky, Loučka and Podhoří, in the state-protected area Litovelské Pomoraví - the National Natural Monument Třesín, the Natural Reservation U Spálené or in the Přerov region - Přestavlcký les, Lesy u Bezuchova či Dřevohostcký les which are proposed as the European important localities in terms of the Natura 2000 system.
Another vegetative kind is beech wood where a beech dominates. Altogether, it is submountain and mountain kind of the forest. Therefore it occurs only marginally in the Central Moravia, mainly in the Oderské vrchy (hills) and the foothills of the Jeseníky Mountains and partially in the Drahanská vrchovina (upland). The most of natural vegetation was transformed into pine monocultures. In underbrush of the beech wood these species are dominating - the Wood Melick (Melica uniflora), a fescue Festuca altissima, a Sedge Carex pilosa or the Wolf's Milk Tithymalus amygdaloides. The helleborine´s beech wood is specific and rare kind of beech woods because you can find there a lot of orchidaceous plants - the White Helleborine (Cephalanthera damasonium), the Red Helleborine (Cephalanthera rubra), the Lady-slipper (Cypripedium calceolus) or the Neottia hlístníku hnízdáku (Neottia nidus-avis). In the Central Moravia, this kind of the beech wood occurs especially in the State Natural Reservation Špraněk in Javoříčský kras (karst).
As the opposite of the beech woods we can consider thermophilic oak woods with dominant mountain oak. In underbrush a presence of this plant species is characteristic - a Seal Wort Polygonatum odoratum, an Orchis Anthericum ramosum, a Five-Finger Potentilla alba or critically endangered species a Mezereon Daphne cneorum. Within this region this kind of underbrush survives only very rarely in small fragments in Třesín (a hill) in in the state-protected area Litovelské Pomoraví or in Velký Kosíř (a hill).
A special kind of the oak woods are so called acid oak woods which developed in mineral poor substrates. Frequently they are accompanied by a Fir-tree (Abies alba) vegetation. In underbrush there are species such as a Galium rotundifolium, the Hairy Woodrush (Luzula pilosa) and a Sedge Carex digitata. You can find them in the eastern edge of the Drahanská vrchovina (upland) or in the valley of the Bělkovicný potok (stream).
Characteristic kind of forest vegetation is a pine grove. We know them from the Central Moravia very well. But pay attention! These pine groves are cultural pine woods grown by foresters in every habitat types, for instance in flooded forest (see below). Natural pine groves do not occur there, they are typical for high locations of the Jeseníky Mountains. About the region Jeseník there is an individual chapter.
An unusual kind of forest vegetation is a flooded forest. It is called as an azonal kind of vegetation. It is bound to bottom lands of larger rivers. It does not respect a climate of this area in such rate. Generally, we distinguish hard flood-plain woods and soft flood-plain wood. The first one consists of sturdy trees of a forest oak, an ash-tree, a maple, an elm-tree and a lime-tree. It is connected to the drier places. Contrary, so called soft flood-plain woods occur in the damper places in a proximity of the rivers. It is characterized mainly by the willows, an alder-tree and a poplar-tree. A typical feature of the flooded forest is so called a spring aspect which means that before foliage of trees a coloured palette of plants come into flower in underbrush there. Typical member of these "geophyta" is the Snow-drop (Galanthus nivalis), the Snowflake (Leucojum verum), the Fumeroot (Corydalis cava), the Yellow Star-of-Bethlehem (Gagea lutea) or the Lungwort (Pulmonaria obscura). A typical representative of the flooded forest of the Central Moravia is in the state-protected area Litovelské Pomoraví, the Natural Reservation Království (the Kingdom) near Grygov (a village), Chrbovský les (forest) situated between Troubky and Chropyně or the smaller enclaves in an alluvium of the Bečva River.
The scree woodland is important and characteristic vegetative type. This scree woodland colonizes exposed stone slopes with variegated mosaic of woody plants - maples, an ash-tree, a lime-tree, an elm-tree or a horn-beam. In underbrush there is also colourful palette species from which these species are very remarkable these species - the Lunary (Lunaria rediviva) or the Goatbeard (Aruncus vulgaris). You can find typical scree woodland in valley slopes of the Bystřice River around Hrubá Voda (a village) - the Natural Reservation Hrubovodské sutě (screes).
Wetland vegetation of the Central Moravia is bound to the river-basin of the Morava River - its stream, alluvium, and inflows - and to the expanses of water - sand pits, ponds, pools... In most cases we meet communities of reeds and high sedges.
Vegetation of flowing water is very rare. Generally, a considerable decrease of aquatic and wetland vegetation took place during past years because of a river regulation and landscape melioration.
Typical species of aquatic and wetland vegetation is the Reed (Phragmites australis), the Reedmace (Typha latifolia), a numerous species of Sedge, the Hornwort (Ceratophyllum demersum), the Curled Pondweed (Potamogeton crispus), the Zellow Iris (Iris psedacorus) or Hotonia palustris. The state-protected area Litovelské Pomoraví and a wider alluvium of the Morava River and the Bečva River are typical localities rich in wetland and aquatic vegetation in the Central Moravia.
Fen communities are bound to a sufficiency of water too. These fen communities were the most degraded from all of plant community kinds in former times. In the Central Moravia, the relics of two fens are extant there but only in degraded form due to a drinking water pumping. The first one is Černovírské slatiniště (fen) near Olomouc City where strong endangered species a Pink Dianthus superbus and the Wolf's Milk Euphorbia villosa survive. The second one is the National Natural Monument Hrdibořické rybníky (ponds) with an evidence of a critically endangered Angelica palustris or the Water Cress (Nasturtium microphyllum).
Apparently similar character of vegetation is also made in turfy meadows which develop in acid subsoil. In the Central Moravia region, these turfy meadows occur in Oderské vrchy (hills) only - in the Natural Reservation Smolenská luka. Typical plant member of these meadows is the Bellflower Phyteuma orbiculare of the Red Rattle (Pedicularis palustris).
By contrast, in the Central Moravia region meadow vegetation of all types occurs there frequently. These are wet alluvial ones, mesophile meadows of middle locations or sun-exposed xerotherm lawns with an occurrence of thermophilic plant species. All these meadow types were notably degraded in former times because of both a lack of care of them and a change of a hydrogeological situation (melioration) or their total liquidation foe example because of its transformation into an arable soil. Meadows in the Natural Reservation Plané loučky (meadows) may be included in the jewels of the alluvial meadows in the Central Moravia. This Natural Reservation houses hundreds of plant species. Mostly, these are so called fox-tail's meadows with a dominance of the Fox-tail Grass (Alopecurus pratensis) and other species such as the Bloodwort (Sanguisorba officinalis), the Meadow Cranesbill (Geranium pretense) or in damper parts with the Teasel (Cirsium canum). An occurrence the mesophile meadows is the most frequent within this region. Mostly they are degraded cultural meadows with an occurence of the Oat Grass (Arrhenatherum elatius). Xerotherm lawns have a lot of protected and endangered plant species. However they survive only in remains. Typical plant members are for example the Brome Grass (Bromus erectus), the Wild Aster (Aster amellus) or a Pink Dianthus cartusianorum.
Very important from both aesthetic and nature protection point of view it is an occurrence of many important and protected plant species in all vegetative types mentioned above. It shows evidence of both regional natural values and of an effort and a success of a protection of this nature. Into the most important plant species in the Central Moravia we may include for example the Rush Juncus atratus, the Vetch Lathyrus palustris, the Great Fen Ragwort (Senecio paludosus), the Sword Lily (Gladiolus imbricatus), an Orchis Dactylorhyza incarnata, the Pasqueflower (Pulsatilla grandis), the Gnat-flower (Orchis tridentata), the Green-winged Orchis (Orchis morio), the Lady-slipper (Cypripedium calceolus), the Water Cress (Nasturtium microphyllum), Phyteuma orbiculare, and tens of another less important species.
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