On 12-17 June 2016 a study trip took place in order to: inspect places of Groenlandia densa occurrence, conduct habitat and population field studies and take samples for genetic research within the LIFEDrawaPL project.
Another aim of the visit was to become familiar with the widest possible range of ecological and habitat variation of Groenlandia densa positions.
This trip, combined with the last year’s inspection of positions in northern and western Germany (http://drawalifeplus.rdos.szczecin.pl/), enabled to fill a gap in the knowledge of variability and ecology of the species; it was also an excellent opportunity to verify the data in the literature in the context of this taxon’s occurrence within the 3260 habitat. It was extremely important in the context of preparing guidelines for the reintroduction of this species within the LIFEDrawaPL project.
The trip was preceded by consultations with specialists dealing with hydrobotany and hydrobiology, who had information about locations and conditions of Groenlandia densa places of occurrence in southern Germany and northern Austria.
The study trip was conducted by the employees of the Regional Directorate for Environmental Protection in Szczecin and the members of the LIFEDrawaPL project team: Sylwia Jurzyk-Nordlöw, Krzysztof Adamczak, Piotr Waloch, Wojciech Puchalski. The inspection was also attended by local specialists who played a role of guides and experts (Bavaria – Christian Jorda, Vorarlberg – Dietmar Jäger, Upper Austria – Michael Hohla).
On the first day of the study trip positions in Bavaria (Germany) were inspected. Detailed research was conducted in the valley of the limestone stream Lauterbach (a tributary of the Loisach) which is a subtype of the water-crowfoots rives’ habitat 3260 near Oberau. Then they went to northern Austria, where in the land Vorarlberg six current places of occurrence of this species were inspected. From the perspective of our project the most interesting fluvial ecosystems were those classified or related to the 3260 habitat (the flow Mühlebach in Hard, the submontane stream Nafla in Rankweil and a flow pond in the valley of the Schwarzbach stream in Thüringen).
Among the species of aquatic communities with Groenlandia densa also occurred numerous species typical and indicative for the 3260 habitat, e.g.: Callitriche sp., Ranunculus trichophyllus, Fontinalis sp., Berula erecta, Veronica beccabunga, Veronica anagallis-aquatica, Nasturcium officinale.
Another interesting aspect were artificial submontane chara lakes with Groenlandia densa. One of the positions was similar in nature to the positions known from northern Germany. It was a small drainage ditch recharged by groundwater rich in iron compounds, within a great peat polder in the Rhine Valley (Lauteracher Ried). Due to too high water levels the presence of Groenlandia densa was not confirmed within a few submontane and regulated flows. The last lustrated positions were in the land Upper Austria, in the Inn Valley. They all were anthropogenic in nature (artificial ditches, fish ponds), but as for ecological conditions and species composition of communities they referred to the water-crowfoots rivers’ habitat (3260). Additionally the presence of Groenlandia densa was not confirmed in Ried im Innkreis.
These field studies enabled to get the accurate knowledge of habitat conditions in which Groenlandia densa lives. In addition to habitat conditions some research concerning biology and ecology of this species was conducted in its natural and anthropogenic habitats within the natural range. Within the LIFEDrawaPL project Groenlandia densa is to be reintroduced into West Pomeranian flows, mostly of a submontane nature.
You can also watch a film: