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Bieszczadzki PN arrow Flora - lower plants

Flora - lower plants
09.05.2011.
Even though the fungi are no longer included in the plant kingdom, they are traditionally described along plant organisms. The fungi as a group were not studied thoroughly in the process of developing the Plan for the protection of the Bieszczady National Park. Large-scale research projects were completed only in the period 1958–1965 and later in 1969. The results were presented in several publications (Domanski et al. 1960, 1963, 1967, 1970, Wojewoda 1994). From the viewpoint of the abundance of microflora, the Bieszczady mountains are undoubtedly the richest region in the Polish Carpathians, and in Poland they are second only to the north-eastern part of Poland (Augustów and Bia³owie¿a primeval forests). Some 1000 species of fungi were recorded, including ca. 30 from Oomycetes and Zygomycetes classes, ca. 160 Ascomycetes, ca. 720 Basidiomycetes, and ca. 30 of Deuteromycetes class (Fungi imperfecti). Strikingly high is the great abundance of epiphytic fungi of Polyporaceae and Hymenochaetaceae families. Another family represented by a high number of species is Corticiaceae – some 100 species. In the period 1958–1964 many mycorrhitic fungi from the Cortinariaceae and Tricholomataceae families were found in Bieszczady, which are now disappearing rapidly.
 Resupinatus wetlinianus (Domanski 1964) is the species recorded only in the Bieszczady mountains. Tremella moriformis, Ceriporiopsis gilvescens and Phellinus ferrugineus have in the Bieszczady mountains their only known stations in Poland. There are a number of very rare or rare fungi species, e.g. Bondarzewia mesenterica, Guepiniopsis buccinia, Hericium erinaceus, and Trichaptum pergamenum.

Some species are still fairly common in the Bieszczady mountains while in other parts of the Carpathians they are either disappearing or are endangered (Wojewoda 1991, Wojewoda and Lawrynowicz 1992).

The microflora of the Bieszczady mountains is far from being fully studied. It may be presumed that the number of fungal species in the area amounts to at least 2000. It may, however be feared that in recent years under the increasing human impact, there could be some adverse changes occurring in the fungi flora.

The study by Glanc and Tobolewski (1962) reported 309 lichen species recorded in the Bieszczady region, including many rare species. In the high Bieszczady ranges, concentrations of alpine and montane were found. Later only some notes were published sporadically (Bystrek, Glanc 1976, Sulma, Bystrek 1982).

The lichens (Lichenes), a group of organisms which react rapidly to any air pollutants, are used as indicators of the clean environment (Kiszka 1991). At present, the incomplete results of the floristic studies allow one to classify the status of the flora of lichens as moderately good. The checklist of the lichens compiled for the Polish Eastern Carpathians (Kiszka 1997, 1999, Kiszka, Koscielniak 1999, 2001), based on the published sources and new studies, includes over 410 species recorded from the Bieszczady Wysokie range, however several of these species must be now regarded as extinct (event though they were encountered as late as in the 1950s). On the other hand the current floristic studies have provided new interesting findings (Kiszka 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, Kiszka, Koscielniak 1998, 2001, 2002, 2003).

The studies on the mosses (Bryopsida) of the Bieszczady region, conducted in the 1950s were completed in a publication by Lisowski (1956) recording 252 species found in the area. As there is no separate checklist for the Bieszczady National Park it may only be said that a significant proportion of the mosses listed in that paper also have a station within the Park. This regards particularly the alpine species which occur above the upper forest line (over 40 species). The Moczarne valley shows a particular abundance in mosses, as in the Górna Solinka canyon the occurrence of many extremely rare species was reported, including some recorded for the first time either in the whole of Poland or of the Carpathians. For all these reasons, a special reserve was created which has now been included in the Bieszczady National Park.

Floristic studies on the occurrence and distribution of liverworts (Hepaticopsida) in the Bieszczady mountains were carried out by J. Szweykowski (Szweykowski, Buczkowska 1996) over many years, while studies in the Bieszczady National Park begun in 1996 (Mierzeñska 1998). To-date, some 75 species have been found (109 species in the whole of the Western Bieszczady), including many interesting taxa of a boreal or alpine character.

The distribution of slime moulds (Myxomycetes), and saprophytic organisms related to fungi are still to be studied in more detail throughout Poland. The studies in the Carpathians have concentrated in the Tatra and Pieniny mountains, with other ranges only sporadically visited by mycologists. Some information on the slime moulds of the Bieszczady mountains can be derived from studies by Domañski et al. (1970). Summing up the knowledge on the occurrence of slime moulds in the Park, based both on published records and her own studies was provided by Drozdowicz (1996, 2001). In all, 30 species were recorded, among them several very interesting mountain species associated with melting snow.
 
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