Alluvial Gravel Bars as an Example of Habitat of the Widest Ecological Spectrum in the Mountain Regions – A Case of Carpathians, Southern Poland

Aldona K. Uziębło*, Alicja  Barć

University of Silesia, Department of Ecology, 28 Jagiellonska Str., 40-032 Katowice, POLAND
*Corresponding author:

Abstract. Alluvial stream-bank gravel bars are one of the most interesting types of habitat in montane regions. The flora of two streams representative of Eastern and Western Carpathians were analysed. Both valleys are similar in respect to geomorphological shape, length and the influence of anthropopressure, but different in respect to vegetation adjacent to stream-bed and flora richness. Both streams were divided into three sections. Ecological differentiation of analysed gravel flora in both stream valleys was expressed by the share of elements of different syntaxa (and EUNIS types of habitat) and in the other hand by species characterised with selected ecological indices (pH, humidity, trophism and soil dispersal). This paper is focused on proving that heterogeneity of gravel bars as habitat which is caused by frequent submergences makes the close coexistence of plants with extremely different habitat requirements possible. The results showed that the flora of gravel bars of both streams in spite of their floristic differences and regardless of floristic richness represents almost entire ecological spectrum. 

Key words: alluvial habitats, gravel bars, montane flora of streambanks, ecological differentiation.

Ecologia Balkanica, 2015, vol. 7, Issue 1, pp. 1-11

Article № eb.15106, ICID: 116550 [Full text - PDF]pdf

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