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Ελληνική Ορνιθολογική Εταιρεία, φωτογραφία: Μ.Καλούλη
Complementary floristic Study of selected habitat polygons from the proposed Natura 2000 sites "Pylos Lagoon" and "Evrotas Delta", Peloponnisos, Greece, Techn, Report, Πaν Αθηνών, HOS
Καταγραφή Χλωρίδας Οικοτόπων Περιοχών ΝATURA 2000, GR 25500004: ΛΙΜΝΟΘΑΛΑΣΣΑ ΠΥΛΟΥ ΚΑΙ ΝΗΣΟΣ ΣΦΑΚΤΗΡΙΑ & GR25500003: ΔΕΛΤΑ ΕΥΡΩΤΑ
GRAHAM LOWENTHAL

Πρόγραμμα LIFE-Nature B4-3200/97/244
Implementation of Management Plans for Pylos Lagoon and Eurotas Delta NATURA 2000 Sites, Greece'

 Abstract

Loewenthal, G. 1999, "Complementary floristic study of selected habitat polygons from the Natura 2000 sites Pylos Lagoon and Evrotas Delta", English with Greek abstract.

The study (which was carried out between March and the end of June 1999) presents eight floristic inventories with the protection and conservation statuses included for each taxon.

Each inventory corresponds to one polygon located either in the Pylos Lagoon area or in the Evrotas Delta.

These polygons consist of the following vegetation units:

  • Mediterranean and thermo-atlantic halophilous scrubs (Arthocnemum fructicosae) with / without mudflats and sandflats not covered by seawater at low tide, (Dir.92/43 - 1410 / 1140).
  • Mediterranean salt meadows (Juncus maritimi - Puccinelion festuciformis) with riparian galleries (Nerio-Tamaricetae), (Dir. 92/43 - 1410x92D0).
  • Vegetative sea cliffs (Crithmi-staticion), (Dir. 92/43 - 1240).
  • Fixed/stabilized dunes with vegetation (Grey dunes), (Dir. 92/43 - 2130).
  • Ecotone between Riparian galleries (Nerio-Tamaricetae) and Olea-ceratonia maquis (Oleo-ceratonion), (Dir. 92/43 - 92D0 & 9320).

Περίληψη

Loewenthal, G. 1999, «Συμπληρωματική μελέτη χλωρίδική από επιλεγμένα πολύγονα οικοτόπων των θέσεων του Natura 2000 της Λιμνοθάλασσας Πύλου και του Δέλτα Ευρώτα. Η μελέτη είναι γραμμένη στα Αγγλικά με περίληψη στα Ελληνικά.

Η μελέτη (η οποία έγινε από το Μάρτιο ως το τέλος του Ιουνίου) περιλαμβάνει οκτώ απογράφες χλωρίδων με τις καταστάσεις της προστασίας και της συντήρησης για κάθε «Taxon». Κάθε απογραφή ανταποκρίνεται σε ένα πολύγονο που βρίσκεται ή στη περιοχή της Λιμνοθάλασσας Πύλου ή στo Δέλτα του Ευρώτά.

Αυτά τα πολύγονα περιλαμβάνουν τις εξής μονάδες βλάστησης:

  • Μεσογειακοί και Θερμοατλατνδικοί αλοφυτικοί θαμνώνες (Arthocnemum fructicosae) με / χωρίς γυμνές επιφάνειες, (Dir.92/43 - 1410 / 1140).
  • Μεσογειακά αλίπεδα (Juncus maritimi - Puccinelion festuciformis) με παρόχθια δάση-στοές (Nerio-Tamaricetae) , (Dir. 92/43 - 1410x92D0).
  • Απόκρημνες βραχώδεις ακτές με βλάστηση (Crithmi-staticion), (Dir. 92/43 - 1240).
  • Σταθερές θίνες με βλάστηση (γκρίζες θίνες), (Dir. 92/43 - 2130).
  • Oικοτόνος μεταξύ Λοχμών Olea & Ceratonia (Oleo-ceratonion) και παρόχθιών δασών-στοών (Nerio-Tamaricetae), (Dir. 92/43 - 92D0 & 9320).

Introduction

Necessary management actions have been undertaken under a LIFE programme in order to conserve and restore Pylos Lagoon and Evrotas Delta Natura 2000 areas as they are derived from National and Community strategy for Nature Conservation. The final purpose is the draft of a Presidential Decree proposed for the conservation and restoration of the Pylos Lagoon area and of the Evrotas Delta.

This project called "Implementation of management plans (IMP) for Pylos Lagoon and Evrotas Delta NATURA 2000 sites, Greece", was led in co-operation with The Hellenic Ornithological Society, The Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece, and The Institute of Marine Biology of Crete

According to the objectives of this project a complementary work on species inventory was conducted.

The present study focuses on floristic inventories of selected habitat polygons in the two threatened areas mentioned above. The "European Voluntary Service - Future Capital" grant scheme (D.G. XXII) and The Hellenic Ornithological Society financed this study.

Geography and Site descriptions

Pylos Lagoon is located in the northern end of the Bay of Navarino, approximately 40km south west of the town of Kalamata, Messinias, South Peloponnese. Evrotas Delta is located a few kilometres east of the town of Gytheio at the most northerly end of the Lakonikos Gulf, South Peloponnese. The sites" geographical co-ordinates are respectively 36 58" N / 21 40" E and 22 42" N / 36 49" E.

Pylos Lagoon is a 600 ha wetland consisting mainly of open brackish water and salt meadows. These salt meadows are found in the north and eastern end of the Lagoon. To the west of the lagoon, there is a limestone outcrop named "Mt. Korifassion" and coastal shifting dune formations. Finally to the south, a narrow strip of land of salt meadows is located where Dune juniper thickets and embryonic shifting sand dunes are represented.

The Evrotas delta itself covers an area of 5820 ha and the Evrotas River is approximately 100 km long. The majority of the surface area is used for the cultivation of orange trees, whilst its southern coastline consists of embryonic and white shifting sand dunes, except for a few areas of coastal cliffs.

The maps (Fig.1 & Fig. 2) indicate the locations of the habitat polygons studied for the IMP.

Fig.1. Map of the Pylos Lagoon area, showing locations of the studied habitat polygons: P6, 7, 8, 9, 12 and 16

Fig.2. Map of Evrotas Delta, showing locations of the studied habitat polygons: E1 and E2.

Bioclimate.

Bioclimatology is the study of the climate in relation to the environments of living organisms, in respects to this study, the relationship between the climate and plant growth. The two most important climatic elements that reflect the growth of plants are heat and water (Mavrommati). From this bases, the bioclimate of the studied areas are illustrated by Emberger"s Pluviometric Quotient and the Xerothermic index.

Climatic elements were taken from the meteorological stations of a) Methoni been the nearest station to Pylos (grid ref. Lat. 36 50`N Long. 21 42`E) with the barometer at an altitude of 52.4m. b) Gythio (grid ref. Lat. 36 46`N Long. 22 34`E) with the barometer at an altitude of 2m.

From the climate elements taken from the Methoni Meteorological Station, the Pylos area is classified by

  1. The bioclimatic stages of Emberger as subhumid, with warm winters and no frosts. Where Q2 = 115 & m= 7,8C (Q2 = Pluviometric quotient & m= the mean minimum temperature of the coldest month),
  2. The xerothermic index fluctuating between 98-112, which indicates a possibly 98 to 112 "biological" dry days that could occur during the 5 month dry period (May - September), according to the Ombrothermic diagram5,. This index grouping is found between two climate classifications 75

Note. The "δροσια" to be taken from the "xerothermic index" only.

From the climatic elements taken from the Gythio Meteorological station

  1. The surrounding area belongs to the subhumid bioclimatic stage according to Emberger. Where Q2 = 100 & m= 5.1 (the mean minimum temperature of the coldest month). Therefore the Gytheio area is subject to some frosts and has a mild winter.
  2. The xerothermic index of 118, means out of the 5-month dry period from May to September (see Ombrothermic diagramme), there are 118 "biological" dry days and the area is characterised by a weak Thermal-Mediterranean climate.

Materials and Method

From March to the end of June 1999, the habitat polygons were visited for the collection of specimens.

The maps used for the determination of the polygons' boundaries -issued by the IMP- were at the scale of 1:25.000.

The main florae used for the identification of the specimens were: Flora European (Tutin et al.,1964 - 1980), Flora Hellenica (Strid &Tan 1997) and Flora d"Italia (Pignatti 1982).

The nomenclature follows that of the "Flora European" (Tutin et al., 1964 - 1980).

Herbarium specimens are lodged at the Department of Botany, Athens University, where the identification work was carried out.

Basic vegetation and habitat polygon descriptions and flora

The vegetation descriptions have been sited from the IMP and are recorded in accordance to Annex 1 of the Council directive 92/43/EEC1.

Vegetation units and descriptions of studied polygons

Note. Possibly add size of polygon (ha).

Habitat polygon 6: Dir. 92/43 - 1410x92D0 Mediterranean salt meadows (Juncetalia maritimi) with Thermo-mediterranean riparian galleries (Nerio-Tamaricetea) The majority of this polygon is subject to animal husbandry as well as land cultivation because of the existence of fresh water springs located to the Northwest of the polygon. This water is at present pumped for the irrigation of the surrounding meadows during the summer months of May until October These springs produce a lower salinity percentage in the Eastern End of the lagoon at 10-17%, in comparison to 30 - 38% in the Western End. Contra to this, there is a meadow immediately adjacent to one freshwater spring that is neither cultivated nor heavily grazed (up until mid-June). For this area is subject to flooding up to 20mm, with a dominance of Cyperus longus, Lythrum junceum and Runancular sp.. Farther more, swards of Juncus acutus and Phragmites austalia cover much of the meadow, with halophytic scrub dominating nearer the brackish lagoon.

Although this may seem problematic for the local farmers to cultivate this area, continuous grazing, trampling and slash and burn techniques are likely to change the present situation.

In addition to these human interventions, rubbish is dumped in the Far Western areas of the salt meadows bordering the polygon P7 halophilous scrubs. As a result, land cultivation does not extend beyond this point and the area is subject to changing relief, with the lower levels encroached by Arthrocnemum sp.

Habitat polygon P7: Dir. 92/43 - 1420 Mediterranean and thermo-Atlantic halophilous scrubs (Arthrocnemetalia fructicosae) In this polygon Arthrocnemum sp. dominates the western lower levels and Juncus sp. dominates the upper eastern levels neighbouring the Salt meadows. In addition, there are areas of desiccation where little vegetation grows.

To the Southern end of the polygon, between the most Southern and central canal banks, Phragmites australis is dominant in the shallow waters in between areas of Arthrocnemum sp. and the open water.

Habitat polygon P8: Dir. 92/43 - 1420 Mediterranean and thermo-Atlantic halophilous scrubs (Arthrocnemetalia fructicosae) The neighbouring areas of polygon P8 is for animal husbandry and cultivation, which occurs on higher westerly and southern bounders.

At the far southern end of the polygon before the road divides off the last section of the habitat dominated by Juncus gerardi, there is a hillock. Which consisting of dry stabilised sand with the dimensions of 10m x 6m x 2m. In addition to dwarf matorral elements and herbs present, the ground surface is dominated by a bryophyte, it is questionable whether the sand dune is natural or a sand pile from lagoon canals being dug out.

In the section of habitat on the far side of the dividing road, the dominant flora changes. The whole of the area is dominated by Juncus gerardi with Arthrocnemum sp. and includes large areas of desiccated ground. Due to the accumulation of mud at their roots, Juncus gerardi occurs on the higher ground level. Athrocnemum sp. are present on lower levels (and sparely covering the desiccated ground) along with Salicornia europaea and Suaeda sp. The lowest levels are the drainage ditches, where desiccation occurs most. It is apparent that small fish and shrimp were resident there before the water dried up.

Habitat polygon P9: Dir. 92/43 - 1420x1140 Mediterranean and thermo-Atlantic halophilous scrubs (Arthrocnemetalia fructicosae) with Mudflats and sandflats not covered by seawater at low tide This area is perminately flooded due to the presents of the canal. The shallowers waters are dominated by Arthrocnemum sp. and Salicornia sp.. Farther towards the canal, Juncus gerardi is more dominate, followed by Cyperus triquester that dominates the boundary of the polygon with the canal.

The more western area of the polygon, is desiccated with areas of high dry ground dominated by Hordeum muriumum, whilst the lower moist ground has Arthrocnemum perenne. However, to the Far West, the area is sparely covered with vegetation, dusty ground and desiccated and goat grazing, and cattle husbandry on the banks of the irrigation canals.

Habitat polygon P12 & P16: Dir. 92/43 - 1240 Vegetated sea cliffs of the Mediterranean coasts (with endemic Limonium spp.) Inland from these two polygons Marquis is dominant. However, there are small areas of limestone grasslands that are due to human trampling and goat grazing.

The majority of the plants are found on the higher rocks further inland, where they are more sheltered from the sea-spray and wind. Except however Arthocnemum macrostachya, which is found distinctly closer to the water"s edge.

Habitat polygon E27: Dir. 92/43 - 2130 Fixed dunes with herbaceous vegetation (Grey dunes). The polygon is split up into two grey dunes due to a temporary winter water body with Phragmites australis, Tamarix sp. J. acutusa, J. gerardi and Halimione portulacoides dominating. To the north of the stabilised dune system halophytic scrub is present and to the south there are embryonic shifting sand dunes. Between the shifting and stabilised dune systems, there is a dune depression that is subject to temporary winter flooding and in dominated by the above mentions plants.

Bromus hordaceus, Hordeum murinum and Silene colorata are dominant during the spring months on the dunes. On the far side of the western dune, Ammophila arenaria is dominant and therefore has been classified as a "shifting sand dune with Ammophila arenaria"8.

Occurring on the highest point of the eastern grey dune, there is a small wooden hut on stilts (approximately 3m by 2m) adjacent to an area of cultivation (approximately 30m by 20m). Up until July, the hut seemed maintained i.e. cleaned, whereas the cultivated area remained unkept and heavily overgrown.

It has been observed that the surrounding area (including embryonic, shifting and stabilised dune systems) is under the pressure of sheep grazing.

Habitat polygon E33 &35: Dir. 92/43 - 92D0 & 9320 Thermo-mediterranean riparian galleries (Nerio-Tamaricetea) & Oleo-Ceratonion matorral The whole area consist of a narrow strip of ground, with an inclination from the southern matorral sand dune to the northern lower ground level of the riparian gallery.

The majority of this area is dominated by Juncus maritimus that occurs on the incline. However, there is an area of level ground (without inclination) found to the West of the polygon that is dominated by herbaceous plants and matorral elements.

A transect was measured to illustrate the change in vegetation with the height of the ground level, this is illustrated in union with map x. It suggests that with the increase in moisture that is apparent with the decline of the ground level, Juncus maritimus becomes more dominate. Whilst, the herbaceous ground that occurrs at a level with the base of the matorral sand dune, has a dryer, more compact sand composition.

This is in agreement with other small areas of the high ground in the West end of the polygon, which are sparsely covered by J. maritimus but herbaceous plant dominate.

It is worth noting that in to the east of the polygon where it decreases in width, there is an area where the ecotone boundary neighbours a temporary waterbody. Here additional plants are dominant: Juncus gerardi, Phragmites australis and Salicornia europaea.

The presents of goats in the area as well as a footpath that runs the length of the polygon, suggests the possibility of grazing.

Flora

A species inventory for each habitat polygon is provided (Annex 1), including:

  1. The collection data and distribution of each taxon. Specimen collection numbers are in italics, the dates of collection in roman font and the following abbreviations are given: "fl." = Flowering specimen; "fr." = Fruiting specimen; "st." = sterile specimen (with neither fruit nor flower).
  2. For each taxon the following categories are sited:
    1. Greek endemic taxa
    2. Conservation Status: Red Data Book of rare and threatened plants of Greece, World conservation Monitoring Centre database (threatened)
    3. Protection Status: CITES 1992, Bern Conversion, Presidential Decree (67/1981).

All the information regarding the distribution was sited from the Flora where the taxon was identified.

Acknowledgements

EVS

HOS

STPS

UOA

Personal

Bibliography

  • Bonetti A, 1996 "Draft Management Plan for the Divari Lagoon", Wetland Advisory and Training Centre.
  • BuonfiglioG, & Rucci N., May 1986, "Mission to Greece Report", Project Regional Mediterraneen de Developement de l"Aquaculture.
  • European Commission, DG XI, "Natura 2000, Interpretation manual of European Union habitats Version EUR 15", Brussels.
  • Gaussen H. Juillet 1954 "Expression des Milieux par des formules ecologiques. Leur representation cartographique", Colloque sur les Regions Ecologiques du Globe, Paris.
  • Goulandris Natural History Museum, Greek biotope/Wetland Centre, 1996, "Directive 92/43/EEC, The Greek Habitat Project Natura 2000: an overview", Thessaloniki
  • Kardakari N. (Ed.) (1998) "Implementation of Management Plans for Pylos Lagoon and Evrotas Delta, Natura 2000 Sites, Greece: First Technical Interim Report to EE", Annex 1, HOS STPS, IMBC, Athens.
  • Mavrommatis G. "The Bioclimate of Greece relating Climate and Natural Vegetation Bioclimatic Maps", The Research Forest Institute, Athens (Greek).
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