BIODIVERSITY OF VIRGIN FORESTS OF TRANSCARPATHIA
Hamor F., Dovhanych Ya., Pokynchereda V., Sukharyuk D., Bundzyak Yo., Berkela Yu., Voloshchuk M., Hodovanets В., Kabal M.
Field works analyses and reference literary sources studies (Flora and Vegetation of CBR, 1982; Biodiversity of the Carpathian Biosphere Reserve, 1997) prove the important role of the virgin forests for the biological diversity conservation. About 1.000 vascular plant species, 450 moss species and 430 lichen species are found here. Virgin forests are a real paradise for fungi (about 700 species). Almost all species of wood-destructive fungi of Europe are distributed here.
A herbaceous layer is very rich her. Its coverage in different forests elevates from 5% to 70%. This layer is mainly made up of Oxafe acetosella, Rubus hirtus, Anemone nemorosa, Dentaria glandulosa, Galium odoratum and some other species density of which constitutes from 7 to 46 specimens per m2. Pdygonatum vertidlatum, Senedo nemorensis, Luzula sylvatica, Festuca sylvatica and other species are found here too.
Fern species are rattier diverse here too. The most widely distributed are such species as Athyrium іїіх-femina, Dryopteris filix-mas, Phegopteris connectilis, Pdypodium vulgare and others.
Early spring rare ephemeroids grow here with high density (3-32 specimens per m2): Galanthus nivalis, Leucojum vemum, Sdlla bHdia, as well as red-listed species: Atropa belladonna, Lunaria rediviva, Epipactis helleborine, LJIium martagon, Scopdia camidica, and endemics: Symphytum cordatum, Mellitis carpatica.
Vast areas of virgin ecosystems help to preserve a number of animal populations. Transcarpattiian virgin forests, in particular, serve as a habitat for 73 mammal species and 101 bird species. It’s worth mentioning here that all the European woodpecker species are found in our virgin forests. Rare and endemic amphibian species are very common for the Carpathian forests (Rana dalmatina, Triiurus montandoni and Salamandra salamandra), as well as reptiles (Eaphe longissima and Coronella austriaca); birds (Сісопіа nigra, Aquila pomarina, Grus grus and Strix uralensis); mammals (Rhindophus hipposideros, Plecotus auritus, Felis silvestris) and others.
Virgin forests are vitally important for a number of animals which are ecologically associated with damaged trees and deadwood. They are such as owls (Strigiformes), pigeons (Cdumbiformis), small pigeon birds (Passeriniformes), some mammal species, several bat species (Chiroptera), squirrels (Sdurus vulgaris), dormice (Driomys sp.), martens (Martes sp.) etc. Many of bird species teed with animals living in the deadwood; they are woodpeckers first of all (Pidiforme), Sita europea, Certhia familiaris etc. Storms and windfalls are important for a successful reproduction of Bubo bubo which is red-listed in Ukraine and nests on the ground.
A brown bear (Ursus arctos) often hibernates among wind-fallen trees. Such animals as lynx (Lynx lynx) and wild cat (fiefe silvestris) find their shelter in the virgin forests defended from the outer environment with wind-fallen trees. Presence of high old trees provides nesting places for Сісопіа nigra and many birds of prey, such as Aquila chrysaetos, Aquila pomarina, Hieratus pennatus, Ferox gallicus etc. A rare species Rosalia alpina is also met in the virgin forests due to the deadwood occurrence, which is necessary for its larvae feeding.
Source: Hamor F., Dovhanych Ya., Pokynchereda V., Sukharyuk D., Bundzyak Yo., Berkela Yu., Voloshchuk M., Hodovanets В., Kabal M. Virgin forests of Transcarpathia. Inventory and management. – Rakhiv, 2008. – 86 p.