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Intensified grazing affects endemic plant and gastropod diversity in alpine grasslands of the Southern Carpathian mountains (Romania)

Baur, Bruno and Cremene, Cristina and Groza, Cheorghe and Schileyko, Anatoli A. and Baur, Anette and Erhardt, Andreas. (2007) Intensified grazing affects endemic plant and gastropod diversity in alpine grasslands of the Southern Carpathian mountains (Romania). Biologia : journal of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, Vol. 62, Nr. 4. pp. 438-445.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A5248964

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Abstract

Alpine grasslands in the Southern Carpathian Mts, Romania, harbour an extraordinarily high diversity of plants and invertebrates, including Carpathic endemics. In the past decades, intensive sheep grazing has caused a dramatic decrease in biodiversity and even led to eroded soils at many places in the Carpathians. Because of limited food resources, sheep are increasingly forced to graze on steep slopes, which were formerly not grazed by livestock and are considered as local biodiversity hotspots. We examined species richness, abundance and number of endemic vascular plants and terrestrial gastropods on steep slopes that were either grazed by sheep or ungrazed by livestock in two areas of the Southern Carpathians. On calcareous soils in the Bucegi Mts, a total of 177 vascular plant and 19 gastropod species were recorded. Twelve plant species (6.8 (15.8 and gastropod species richness than ungrazed sites. Furthermore, grazed sites harboured fewer gastropod species endemic to the Carpathians than ungrazed sites. On acid soils in the Fagaras Mts, a total of 96 vascular plant and nine gastropod species were found. In this mountain area, however, grazed and ungrazed sites did not differ in species richness, abundance and number of endemic plant and gastropod species. Our findings confirm the high biodiversity of grasslands on steep slopes in the Southern Carpathian Mts and caution against increasing grazing pressure in these refuges for relic plants and gastropods as well as for other invertebrates.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Natur- Landschafts- und Umweltschutz > Naturschutzbiologie (Baur)
05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Ehemalige Einheiten Umweltwissenschaften > Botanik (Erhardt)
UniBasel Contributors:Erhardt, Andreas and Baur, Bruno
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Bibsysno:Link to catalogue
Publisher:Slovak Academic Press
ISSN:0006-3088
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:22 Mar 2012 14:30
Deposited On:22 Mar 2012 14:16

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