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Climate change and management of protected areas

Studies on biodiversity, visitor flows and energy efficiency

2013


Climate change and management of protected areas

Studies on biodiversity, visitor flows and energy efficiency

Editors Matej VranjeĹĄ - Iztok Ĺ kornik - Stefano Santi - Massimiliano Costa

PortoroĹž, 2013


Climate change and management of protected areas: Studies on biodiversity, visitor flows and energy efficiency Editors: Matej Vranješ, Iztok Škornik, Stefano Santi, Massimiliano Costa Photos on the cover: Borut Mavrič, Dan Briški, David Cappellari, Massimo Bertozzi, Iztok Škornik, Marco di Lenardo, Tomaž Mihelič Design and computer typesetting: Iztok Škornik Publishers: SOLINE Pridelava soli d.o.o. & Triglav National Park Printed: Silveco d.o.o. , Ljubljana,www.silveco.com 100 copies Portorož & Bled, 2013 First Edition The content of this publication does not necessarily reflect the official position of the European Union. The information and opinions contained herein are the sole responsibility of the authors.

Climaparks project funded under the Cross-Border Cooperation Programme Italy-Slovenia 2007-2013 by the European Regional Development Fund and national funds.

1

Climate

CIP - Kataložni zapis o publikaciji Narodna in univerzitetna knjižnica, Ljubljana 551.588.7:502.2(497.4-751) 551.588.7:502.2(450-751) CLIMATE change and management of protected areas : studies on biodiversity, visitor flows and energy efficiency / [editors Matej Vranješ ... et al.]. - 1st ed. - Portorož : Soline Pridelava soli ; Bled : Triglav National Park, 2013 ISBN 978-961-91550-8-0 (Soline Pridelava soli) 1. Vranješ, Matej 268809472

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Biodiversity

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Visitors


ClimaParks - Climate change and management of protected areas | 5

CONTENT

  CONTRIBUTIONS                          9

Triglav National Park 11 Habitat Use of Alpine Chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra) in Triglav National Park, Slovenia: Miha Krofel, Roman Luštrik, Matija Stergar & Klemen Jerina 21 Triglav National Park Forests in the Light of Climate Change: Andrej Arih 29 Analysis of Certain Data on Visitation to the Tourist Destination of the Julian Alps and Triglav National Park: Božo Bradaškja & Matej Vranješ

»» p.11

37 Landscape Park Strunjan 39 Monitoring of Marine Biodiversity in Strunjan Nature Reserve (Gulf of Trieste, Slovenia), With Special Emphasis on Climate Change Impacts on Selected Biological Elements: Lovrenc Lipej, Martina Orlando Bonaca, Borut Mavrič, Martin Vodopivec & Petar Kružić 49 The Effect of Weather on the Visitation of Strunjan Nature Park: Luka Kastelic

57 Sečovlje Salina Nature Park »» p.39

»» p.59

59 A Contribution to the Knowledge of Climate Change Impacts on Biodiversity and Visitation in Sečovlje Salina Nature Park: Iztok Škornik

83 Škocjan Caves Park »» p.241

85 Monitoring of Birds (Aves), Relict and Protected Plant Species, Terrestrial Troglobitic Fauna, and the Fauna of Percolation Water (the Epikarst) in the Škocjan Caves Park: Samo Šturm 111 Climatic Characteristics and Expected Climate Change In the Wider Area of the Škocjan Caves Park: Tanja Cegnar

»» p.117

117 Julian Prealps Nature Park 119 Design of a Uniform Methodology for Monitoring and Assessing the Impact of Climate Change on Biodiversity: N. Cannone, M. Buccheri, P. Glerean, F. Stoch, G. Bogliani, V. Lencioni & M. Gobbig

»» p.161

129 Results of the First Year of Monitoring of Habitats and Flora in the Canin Glacier Area (Julian Prealps Regional Park): Nicoletta Cannone


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  CONTRIBUTIONS     

                  

137 Preliminary Considerations on the Flora and Vegetation Monitoring Methodology and the 2012 Mapping Campaign: Giuseppe Oriolo

143 Friulian Dolomites Natural Park 145 Monitoring the Habitat and Floral Species in Ciadin Della Meda (Dolomiti Friulane Nature Park): Alberto Scariot, Michele Cassol & Simonetta Vettorel 155 Preliminary Remarks on a Unified Method for Monitoring and Analyzing Climate Change Impact on Biodiversity and on the First-Year Surveying of Plant Species Performed in 2012: Giuseppe Oriolo 161 Monitoring Tourist Flows in the Area of the Dolomiti Friulane Nature Park in 2011 and 2012, and Assessing Climate Change Impact on Visits to Parks: Federica Minatelli & Elettra Mian 167 Energy Plan of Dolomiti Friulane Nature Park: Elisa Tomasinsig

173 Po Delta Nature Park Veneto 175 Monitoring of Passerines and Other Bird Species Populations With the Constant Effort Ringing Method at the Ca’ Pisani Floodplain, Po Delta (RO): Emiliano Verza, Danilo Trombin, Andrea Favaretto, Luca Sattin, Albertino Frigo & Michele Bovo

185 Regional Park Po Delta Emilia-Romagna 187 Energy Masterplan of the Local Authority for Biodiversity and Parks in Po River Delta: Francesco Silvestri, Paolo Vincenzo Filetto, Marco Gavioli, Antonio Kaulard & Christian Cavazzuti 197 Monitoring the Effects of Climate Change on the Biocenoses of the Po Delta Regional Park in the Emilia Romagna Region: Stefano Mazzotti, Fausto Pesarini, Teresa Boscolo, Sara Lefosse, Danio Miserocchi, Elisabetta Tiozzo & Luciano Massetti 211 Climate Change and Management of Protected Areas: Survey on Tourist Flows and on the Modifications of Tourist’s Demand Related to Climate Change: Stefano Dall’Aglio

217 Park of Vena del Gesso Romagnola 219 Analysis of Bat Diet Through the Study of Guano in the Regional Park of Vena del Gesso Romagnola (Chiroptera, Arthropoda): Roberto Fabbri 227 Monitoring Bat Populations (Chiroptera) in the Regional Park of Vena del Gesso Romagnola: Massimo Bertozzi 233 Monitoring Populations of Breeding, Overwintering and Migratory Birds in the Regional Park of Vena del Gesso Romagnola, Using the Method of Constant Effort Ringing: Fabrizio Borghesi 241 Analysis of the Impact of Weather Conditions on Natural Park Visitor Flows: Monitoring the Park Visitors: Alessandro Lepri, Aureliano Bonini, Alberto Paterniani & Alice Catellani


ClimaParks - Climate change and management of protected areas | 7

Editorial Presented here is a collection of scientific and professional papers based on the research activities conducted in the scope of the project Climaparks – Climate Change and Management of Protected Areas. Nine protected areas from Slovenia and Italy have worked together on this project for over three and a half years. As the project title implies, Climaparks was not solely a research project. It included many other diverse activities divided into three major work packages. Project activities undertaken in the framework of the first package focused on biodiversity monitoring and research. Summaries of these results form a substantive part of the publication. Within this package, we also purchased the equipment for use in long-term monitoring and research, as these are vital in detecting the effects of climate change. In the second work package, parks carried out ‘pilot projects’ focusing on investments in infrastructure and equipment intended for energy-efficient management of protected areas. The investments into building and renovation of information centres and park authority buildings were carried out to energy-efficiency standards, focusing on the use of natural materials in construction, transition to renewable energy sources, rationalization of energy consumption, reduction of energy losses, and preparation of energy efficiency plans. Several project partners also invested in promoting the eco-friendly means of visitor transportation (e.g. bicycles, electric drive vehicles). In the context of the third work package, project partners undertook a range of activities relating to education and protected area visitation. Parks developed new learning themes and presented them through exhibitions, educational programs, workshops, and information points and trails with an aim to raise the awareness of people about climate change, the importance of biodiversity preservation, and a sustainable approach to the environment. Several new protected area visitation studies were also conducted within this package in order to help parks develop proper management responses to these concerns on the basis of long-term trend monitoring. Although the Climaparks project included relatively diverse activities, considerable effort was devoted to research under each of the work packages. The diversity and richness of project activities is now reflected in the diversity of the publication, which has become a kaleidoscope of research and professional papers. Most texts are methodological and research papers based on the results of monitoring of selected indicator species. Each park selected the species or habitats which will in the long term serve as a good indicator of the effects of climate change, or the species or habitats which are of vital importance for the protected area. Most project partners, with the exception of a few parks that already possess relevant data covering a sufficiently long period to determine the effects of climate change with considerable certainty, conducted initial studies set in ‘year zero’, at the start of long-term focused monitoring and research. Prior to that, most


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parks had not regularly conducted focused observation and research studies on climate change. In this respect, the primary objective of this work package was to select the indicator species and habitats and, by upgrading the existing methods or introducing new methods, set up a system of long-term and regular observations and research activities focused on determining the potential effects of climate change and other environmental factors. It needs to be noted, however, that for parks the detection and understanding of these changes is not important solely from the point of research, but rather to ensure effective management response concerning highly endangered and sensitive species. For this reason, project partners also performed preliminary or trial research studies on protected area visitation trends. Park visitation is commonly considered to be one of the main factors influencing the natural environment. Knowledge of visitation trends is also important for the planning of sustainable development of protected areas, with the cooperation of protected area management bodies. Last but not least, the publication also presents the studies on improving energy efficiency. Project partners believe that by adopting measures to improve energy efficiency and by promoting transition to renewable energy sources we are setting an example and thus promoting a sustainable approach to the environment. The Climaparks project joined management authorities of protected areas with different legal statuses, and many different natural and social environments. Geographically, the project covered the areas of the Alps, Pre-Alps, Karst, and the littoral zones of the Northern Adriatic. In view of such diversity we hope that the conducted research and developed long-term methodology will form a sound basis for further comparisons and future scientific and research cooperation. Most of the published papers are summaries of much longer and more detailed research reports. Readers interested in viewing the full texts can access these at the project’s website (www.climaparks.eu) or contact the authors. In preparing this publication, the editors were driven by a desire to bring to the interested public the scientific topics discussed in the papers and to present to the readers the protected areas in this part of Europe. Therefore, papers are not arranged by topics discussed, but by project partners, in the order adopted throughout the project. The publication is fully available in three languages: Slovene, Italian, and English. True to our commitment not to contribute unnecessarily to the greenhouse effect, we have decided to publish it in electronic form and only provide a few printed copies of the English version. With rational use of project resources our first priority, we have invested a lot of volunteer work into the creation of the book and apologize to the readers for any technical, linguistic, or design imperfections that might occur. As Project Manager of the Lead Partner I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to the partner park staff and all other project participants for three and a half years of fruitful and rewarding cooperation. Special thanks for the creation of this publication goes to all of them, to the authors and editors. For assistance with text editing and design, I thank Pika Valentič and Boris Kobeja. And finally, my biggest thanks goes to Iztok Škornik. Without him, you would not be holding this book in your hands.

dr. Matej Vranješ, CLIMAPARKS project manager


Triglav from Trenta (Photo: D. Briški)


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TRIGLAV NATIONAL PARK The Triglav National Park is among the earliest European parks; the first protection dates back to 1924 when the Alpine Conservation Park was founded. The principal task of the Triglav National Park Public Institution is the protection of the park, but it also carries out specialist and research tasks. The Triglav National Park (TNP) is the only Slovenian national park. The park was named after Triglav, the highest mountain in the heart of the park, which is also the highest summit in Slovenia (2864 m). The origin of the name Triglav is rather uncertain. Triglav (Âťthree-headedÂŤ) owes its name to its characteristic shape as seen from the south-east side or to the highest Slavic deity who was supposed to have its throne on the top of the mountain. The mountain is a true national symbol and is featured on the national coat of arms and the flag. The Triglav National Park extends along the Italian border and close to the Austrian border in the north-west of Slovenia, that is, in the south-eastern section of the Alps. Its territory is nearly identical with that occupied by the Eastern Julian Alps. The park covers 880 square kilometres, or 4% of the territory of Slovenia.

Triglavski Narodni Park (TNP) Ljubljanska cesta 27 4260 Bled SLOVENIJA Phone.: +386 (0) 4578 02 00 Fax: +386 (0) 4578 02 01 http://www.tnp.si triglavski-narodni-park@tnp.gov.si


Chamois in the Triglav National Park (Photo: D. Briški)


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Habitat Use of Alpine Chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra) in Triglav National Park, Slovenia Miha Krofel,a Roman Luštrik,b Matija Stergar,c Klemen Jerinad Department of Forestry and Renewable Forest Resources, Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana, Večna pot 83, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia. Correspondence: a miha.krofel@gmail.com, b roman.lustrik@gmail.com, c matija.stergar@bf.uni-lj.si, d klemen.jerina@bf.uni-lj.si.

Abstract Alpine Chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra) is one of the ecologically most important and most attractive hunting species of mountain ungulates. Climate change is predicted to have a strong impact on several species and ecosystems in the future, especially in the Alpine regions. This impact could also affect chamois, which is therefore a candidate indicator species for these changes. Use of habitat modeling (logistic regression and MaxEnt method) based on systematic observations and the first telemetry study of chamois in Slovenia provided insight into the species’ habitat use in Triglav National Park. Results obtained from both methods indicate that habitat suitability will probably decrease in the future due to forestation and related poorer food availability, as well as because of predicted climate change – in particular temperature increase – and its direct and indirect effects. Another factor negatively affecting the quality of habitat for chamois use is human disturbance, which calls for zoning of recreational activities. Keywords: chamois, habitat modeling, climate change, habitat use, telemetry, Triglav National Park.

INTRODUCTION Alpine chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra) is the most common and widely distributed species of mountain ungulates in the Alps. In its area of occurrence, the chamois ranks among the ecologically most important species and is the most attractive game animal (Miller & Corlatti, 2009). The species is ecologically sensitive, and as a result under threat from two interconnected factors: chamois scabies and human disturbance. In the long term, chamois as a predominantly mountain species could also be negatively affected by climate change, which is predicted to have a strong impact on many species and ecosystems in the future (IPCC, 2007). Temperature increases, changes in precipitation, and other predicted climate changes which will reshape the distribution of vegetation forms will definitely lead to considerable changes in animal species populations – with many facing the threat of extinction (IPCC, 2007; European Environment Agency, 2012). In Europe, southern species are expected to migrate northwards and lowland species will expand uphill. Conversely, the distribution range of northern and mountain species is expected to contract, mainly because isolation of these species caused by their fragmented habitats will restrict movement and these species will be forced into competition with lowland species. Therefore, mountain species are considered to be under higher threat, and the Alps are classified among the areas most at

risk from climate change (European Environment Agency, 2012). Several studies have showed that climate change, mainly through changes in vegetation phenology, also impacts several mountain ungulates, including chamois (Pettorelli et al., 2007; Rughetti & Festa-Bianchet, 2012). In Slovenia the continuous distribution range of Alpine chamois spans the Alps and Pre-Alps, where its population densities are highest. In other parts of the country, however, the species occurs in metapopulations with small population patches in central, southern, and eastern Slovenia (Stergar et al., 2009). The current chamois distribution range is largely dependent upon the species̕ specific habitat preferences. It is also a result of three successful chamois reintroductions, carried out in 1954 on Snežnik in the Notranjska region, in 1956 in the Kočevje region, and in 1959 on Mt. Nanos (Galjot, 1998). In terms of ecological characteristics, the Alpine chamois ranks among the least studied, free-ranging ungulates. With an aim to fill this information and knowledge gap and because the chamois is a candidate indicator species for the effects of climate change for the entire area of the Alps, habitat use of chamois in Triglav National Park (hereinafter: TNP) as the core of Slovenia’s chamois populations (Figure 1) was analysed. The paper presents the results obtained in the course of the


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Climaparks project, the aim of which was to investigate the habitat use of chamois through habitat modeling. Habitat models were developed from data collected in systematic chamois monitoring conducted in TNP in the period 1993–2011. This approach enabled us to assess the impact of various environmental factors, including climatic parameters, on chamois habitat use, and identify the impacts from predicted climate change. Moreover, the paper presents the preliminary results from the first telemetry study of chamois in Slovenia, which will most likely form the basis for fine-scale monitoring of potential changes in habitat use in the future.

Methods Triglav National Park is Slovenia’s only national park. With a surface area of 880 km2, the park covers most of the Eastern Julian Alps (Figure 1). The chamois inhabiting the park form the core of chamois populations in Slovenia, and are likely the donors for other metapopulations in the area. At the national level, no systematic monitoring of Alpine chamois, with the exception of harvest data, is currently being carried out in Slovenia. In TNP, however, various forms of chamois monitoring (systematic observations, periodic observations, taking of animals, GPS telemetry) have been underway since 1980 (for an overview of activities see Krofel, Luštrik et al., 2013).

Habitat modeling Spatially explicit habitat modeling is a modern analytical approach which became established with the development of remote sensing methods for collecting baseline data, and with more powerful computers and data processing tools. The objective of modeling is two-fold: firstly, to identify the key environmental impact factors, i.e. to define the factors having the highest impact on species occurrence as well as their manner of operation; and secondly, to predict the future spatial development, or distribution range, of the

Figure 1. The range and local densities of Alpine chamois in Slovenia as estimated from chamois harvest data (the blue line demarcates the border of Triglav National Park). Source: adapted from Stergar et al. (2009).

investigated species. In order to model habitat suitability for chamois in TNP, we used the data from systematic observations as these were expected to be the least biased of the currently available data sets (Krofel, Luštrik et al., 2013). Periodic observations and hunting records are more subjective, mainly because the observations are not random, with the surveyors/hunters often picking certain spots for animal counts or hunts (during their work or as part of targeted hunting spot selection), and there is the possibility that certain habitats are not covered. In TNP systematic chamois counts are conducted annually, normally in autumn. In selected hunting grounds, all hunting trails are walked and the number and demographic origin of all sighted chamois are recorded. Geographic locations are specified in a grid of equally-sized (1 km × 1 km) quadrants depicting the entire TNP area. The analysis included data from 1993 to 2011. In the years 1994, 1995, and 1998 summer counts were conducted as well, but these data were not included for reason of comparability. In 1998 the inventory was only carried out in June, so this year was entirely eliminated from the analysis. Two methods of habitat modeling were used, namely logistic regression (Faraway, 2006) and the MaxEnt model (Elith et al., 2011). Only data on chamois occurrence were available, but in order to develop models we also needed habitat availability data. All cells in the TNP area were classified as available habitats. Since occurrence data exceeded the number of cells within the TNP, occurrence data were randomly sampled, reducing the sample to 1000 units in order to minimize over-fitting. Sampling was repeated several times during the analysis. Also, it was confirmed that sampling does not cause significant alternations of the results. Environmental variables (Table 1) were taken from the database maintained by the Department of Forestry and Renewable Forest Resources of the Biotechnical Faculty. Correlations between pairs of variables were tested and one of the variables was eliminated whenever a strong correlation was detected (the limit was |0.75|). This reduced the multicollinearity of input data, an undesired characteristic potentially generating unstable and unreal models. Then, the two models were used to calculate chamois occurrence probability from reported presence signs and environmental variables for each 1 × 1 km cell of the TNP area. We also checked the differences between the areas where chamois presence was reported and the areas where the species was not observed. Any difference found could indicate preferential habitat selection. With regard to the presence or absence of chamois in a cell, the density was calculated for each environmental factor. Density indicates the frequency of a certain value and can be interpreted as a histogram for continuous variables. It should be noted that we operate at a spatial resolution of 1 × 1 km, which is relatively low for individual chamois and could cause considerable blurring of details.


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Table 1. Variables used as explanatory factors in modeling chamois presence using two models (logistic regression and Max Ent)

Variable code

Descripon of variable Median of inclinaon classes Dominant aspect (modus) Diversity of aspects Average annual precipitaon Average annual temperature Percentage of meadows Early successional stages of forest + other land-use types Average distance to non-forest from the nearest forest edge Percentage of conifers in the growing stock Number of forest associaons Distance to the nearest supplemental feeding place Size of largest forest patch

naklon eksp_mod eksp_pest padavine_mean temp_mean travniki zarascanje odd_do_gozda iglavci_delez st_zdruzb odd_do_krmisca gozdna_zaplata_max

GPS telemetry GPS telemetry is designed to handle large amounts of fine-scale geolocation data and functional activity data of the studied chamois individuals in any time interval over a longer period of time. Supported by GIS, the data can be used to determine what space an animal used at a given time, and assess its area of activity, average movements, seasonal changes in spatial use, etc. On a wider scale, these data are an excellent basis for studying the species’ habitat characteristics, understanding the effects of natural and anthropogenic environmental factors, and modeling the species’ habitat. Over the course of the project, chamois were captured at several locations in TNP in order to be fitted with tracking collars. Two adult females were captured at the Vršič pass and Tamar valley in September 2012, a two-year buck in November 2012, and another adult doe in the surroundings of Kranjska Gora in April 2013. All the animals survived the capture process and placing of tracking collars without any noticeable problems. Data on captured animals are given in Table 2. The chamois were equipped with GPS-VHF-GSM tracking collars manufactured by Lotek Inc. (Figure 2). They are designed to enable continuous capture of large amounts of fine-scale

Figure 2. A chamois buck named Tone, with a tracking collar, captured on the Vršič pass on 14 November 2012. Photo by Zvonko Kravanja.

location data which is regularly transmitted to the user via text messages. The collars were preprogrammed to record and store GPS location data at two-hour intervals, and to automatically release from the chamois and fall off after a year.

Table 2. Overview of telemetry data from four chamois in TNP equipped with tracking collars in the course of the project

No. of Animal collar name Sex 32829 Irena ♀ 32828 Mojca ♀ 4532 Tone ♂ 32167 Luna ♀

Place of capture

Date of capture

Vršič 11.9.2012 Tamar 28.9.2012 Vršič 14.11.2012 Kranjska Gora 20.4.2013

No. of Size of area of Size of area Size of area Average registered acvity during of acvity in of acvity in distance made locaons monitoring (ha) autumn (ha) winter (ha) within 2 h (ha) 2467 1877 1712 36

157 146 58 54 288 190 132 58 132 123 50 66 number of locaons too low to be analyzed

Note: The study includes data collected prior to 22 April 2013 (monitoring is still in progress). Home range size was estimated using the method of 100% minimum convex polygons. The date 15 January 2013 was used as the border between winter and summer time because on that day real winter conditions started and the data between seasons showed the highest contrast.


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Results Habitat modeling Chamois habitat was modeled from the data obtained in the course of systematic monitoring conducted over a period of 18 years. The monitoring consisted of 2,221 observations, and 17,666 recordings of animals (approximately 500–1500/ year). The results of habitat modeling using logistic regression and MaxEnt are presented in Figure 3. Both habitat models show similar spatial projections and identify the northern-central part of the park as the core of the most suitable habitat for Alpine chamois. The southern part of the park is predicted to be less suitable. The logistic regression model places lower emphasis on predominantly wooded areas (south-eastern part stretching towards Bled, and a narrow strip in the western part of the park), but considers the northern edge reaching towards the Sava Dolinka to be relatively favourable. According to the MaxEnt model, habitat suitability in forest Figure 4. The importance of a variable in predicting habitat suitability from the MaxEnt model. For descriptions of variables see Table 1.

Figure 3. Chamois habitat suitability models in TNP. The logistic regression model, left, and the MaxEnt model, right. The colors depict the relative suitability of the habitat as evident from the model and from systematic monitoring data (green = most suitable habitat; white = least suitable habitat). The values in the models are not directly comparable.

areas is relatively high compared to the logistic regression model. The cells in the north, reaching into the Dava Dolinka valley, are marked as less favourable. The logistic regression model stresses as statistically relevant the following environmental indicators: inclination, diversity of aspects, average precipitation, percentage of conifers in the growing stock, and the size of the largest forest patch in the quadrant (Table 3). According to the MaxEnt model, average precipitation and the size of the largest forest patch are classified as important, whereas all other factors contribute relatively low amounts of information to the final model (Figure 4). The results of the models show that the most suitable chamois habitat is steep rock faces with low forest cover and high-lying areas with elevations up to 2000

Table 3. Results of the logistic regression model

(Intercept) Naklon eksp_mod eksp_pest padavine_mean temp_mean Travniki zarascanje odd_do_gozda iglavci_delez st_zdruzb odd_do_krmisca gozdna_zaplata_max

Esmate 3.4050 0.0341 0.0294 –0.0044 –0.0015 –0.0202 0.0752 2.1432 0.0000 0.8607 –0.0189 0.0000 0.0000

Std. error 0.7677 0.0081 0.0235 0.0014 0.0002 0.0471 0.6710 1.1463 0.0007 0.2759 0.0247 0.0000 0.0000

z value 4.44 4.24 1.25 –3.05 –9.28 –0.43 0.11 1.87 0.03 3.12 –0.77 –0.45 –6.70

Pr(>|z|) 0.0000 0.0000 0.2115 0.0023 0.0000 0.6683 0.9108 0.0615 0.9795 0.0018 0.4429 0.6556 0.0000

x

e 30.11 1.03 1.03 1.00 1.00 0.98 1.08 8.53 1.00 2.36 0.98 1.00 1.00

Note: The dependent variable is presence of chamois in the cell, whereas environmental variables are treated as independent variables. For descriptions of variables see Table 1.


ClimaParks - Climate change and management of protected areas | 17

Figure 5. The density of variable values in cells where chamois were observed during systematic observations (blue) and in cells where chamois were not observed (red).

m.a.s.l., and that the species is sensitive to climatic conditions, namely both temperature and precipitation (both also correlate with altitude). The results of a comparison of environmental variables between the locations where chamois are present and the locations where no chamois presence was reported is given in Figure 5. The overview of variables generated similar findings to both habitat models described under previous chapters. Some differences between cells were observed for average inclination, dominant aspect, precipitation, average temperature, percentage of conifers, and the size of the largest forest patch. The differences were greatest with regard to the percentage of precipitation, which MaxEnt recognized as the most important factor. Chamois were more commonly recorded on meadows, in areas with predominant share of conifers and low size of the largest forest patches.

would justify any complex analysis. When under snow cover (after 15 January), the home range decreased considerably for all three monitored animals (by 48% on average), and movements to lower altitudes were observed (as shown in Figure 6). The average distance made within the two-hour interval was 54–66 m per animal (59 m on average; Table 2). The daily dynamics of movements showed two peaks of active movement in all the studied chamois. The first peak

GPS telemetry The results of telemetric monitoring obtained so far indicate that chamois in TNP move over relatively small areas and are mostly diurnal animals. In the first five or seven months of monitoring, three chamois (two females and one male) moved over an area of 132 ha to 288 ha, averaging at 192 ha (100% minimum convex polygon, Table 2). For the fourth chamois we have not obtained sufficient data that

Figure 6. Map of movements made by Irena, a female chamois equipped with a tracking collar, in autumn (before 15 January; red) and winter (after 15 January; blue) periods. The dots present individual GPS locations, and the polygons indicate estimated areas for each period (100% minimum convex polygon).


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Figure 7. Circadian rhythms of the activity of three chamois monitored using GPS telemetry in the period from 28 October 2012 to 31 March 2013. Activity was assessed from the distances made in two-hour intervals, whereby the value next to an hour x indicates the distance between time x – 1 and x + 1. Tone, Mojca and Irena are the given names of the three chamois.

occurred in the morning, between 9:00 and 10:00, the other in the afternoon, between 16:00 and 17:00 (Figure 7). All the animals were less active in the middle of the day, between 12:00 and 14:00. Movements were lowest during night time, with minimum values recorded in the coldest part of the night, before dawn, between 4:00 and 5:00.

Discussion Development of habitat models from data gathered in systematic observations and the preliminary analysis of the first telemetric study of Alpine chamois in Slovenia have provided us with a deep insight into chamois habitat use in TNP. Results delivered by both methods indicated a strong dependence of chamois habitat use upon climatic factors, which means that the species is likely to be heavily impacted by predicted climate change, and establishes its position as an indicator species for the effects of climate change. The results of the analyses conducted in the area of TNP, which identify climatic conditions, altitude, inclination, and forest cover as key factors determining chamois habitat use, are generally consistent with the findings of international studies (Pompilio & Meriggi, 2001), as well as with the habitat model for the entire Slovenia developed from chamois harvest data (Jerina et al., 2010). They also confirm the ecological features of Alpine chamois which have been identified so far (Miller & Corlatti, 2009). In terms of environmental factors, the reasons for observed habitat use and selection may originate from the dietary requirements and physiological features of Alpine chamois (dependent upon climatic conditions, altitude, and forest cover), its search for shelter from potential predators and disturbance caused by human activities (dependent upon inclination and forest cover), and higher competitiveness than observed in other ungulates (dependent upon altitude and forest cover). Preliminary analyses of telemetry data also point to a good correlation with international studies. The estimated home

range size in TNP is similar to the measurements obtained in the Austrian and Italian Alps, where seasonal home ranges are reported to shrink in winter, like in TNP (Miller & Corlatti, 2009). Circadian rhythms are also subject to this negative winter trend. In winter chamois typically have only two daily peaks of activity. In summer time, however, the duration of time between the beginning and end of daily activity is expected to increase as a result of longer days, with a third activity peak possibly appearing around noon, as noted by other foreign studies (Miller & Corlatti, 2009). However, interpretation of the study data should take into account the limitations of data sets used. The results of habitat models, for instance, depend on the manner of sampling, which was most intensive at the core of the suitable chamois habitat. If the intensity of monitoring had been more balanced over the entire park area, projections would most likely be slightly different. Unfortunately, we had no information on the spatial variability of the efforts invested in monitoring and were therefore not able to correct this effect. To sum up, one of the key recommendations for future chamois monitoring in TNP (Krofel, LuĹĄtrik et al., 2013) is to maintain accurate records of monitoring activities, i.e. systematic observations. Another important limitation of observation-based habitat model development is the differences in detection of chamois in various habitats. Since chamois are difficult to detect in diverse habitats with thick vegetation, the data on sighting distribution cannot be equated with the actual spatial distribution of the species. In our case, the results from habitat models defining larger forest patches as less suitable chamois habitats might actually be caused by poor chamois detection in these areas. It should also be noted that the systematic count data were gathered in autumn, which means that the final model does not necessarily portray the habitat suitability for all seasons. Since it is hard to ensure representative validity of data throughout the year, habitat models developed from telemetry data, in particular GPS telemetry which does not depend on the accessibility of the terrain to surveyors, are normally recognized as more reliable. Preliminary telemetry data presented in this paper were also limited to autumn-winter times, and more reliable information will only be available when the one-year monitoring scheme has been completed. The number of monitored animals was relatively low. With a view to ensuring more detailed understanding of chamois habitat use and chamois response to environmental and human factors, it is recommended to increase the sample of chamois monitored using GPS telemetry. Preliminary analyses provided good results and confirmed the efficiency of this method for monitoring chamois in an Alpine environment. More data would also enable validation of habitat models developed from systematic observations, as well as development of new, more precise, and unbiased models which are both unaffected by poor detection of chamois in certain habitat types and seasonally unrestricted. Collecting fine-scale data on chamois habitat use is most probably the best method to ascertain the impact of potential climate change. To this aim, it would be sensible to repeat GPS telemetry-based monitoring over a five-year


ClimaParks - Climate change and management of protected areas | 19

interval to be able to record any potential changes in habitat use by Alpine chamois in relation to time and actual change. This is of particular importance for chamois, as the results of developed habitat models lead us to believe that the projected climate change including temperature increase and changes in precipitation regimes in the Alps (European Environment Agency, 2012) could have (largely negative) impacts on chamois populations. As evident from foreign studies, air temperature increase and changes in precipitation may lead to a decline in chamois body mass, mostly likely as a result of the changes in vegetation phenology (Rughetti & Festa-Bianchet, 2012). Climate change is expected to affect chamois largely through changes in vegetation, which the models pointed out as one of the key factors determining the suitability of a habitat for chamois. In general, high forest cover has a negative effect on chamois presence and the species̕ feeding habits. Despite causing a decline in feeding conditions and increasing exposure to predators, a rise in forest cover can also have several positive impacts. It was observed, for instance, that forest patches are of key importance as sources of shelter from paragliding (Schnidrig-Petrig & Ingold, 2001). Areas in early successional stages of forest may also generate short-term positive effects since they improve feeding conditions through increased growth of shrubs and saplings. In the long run, however, chamois are negatively impacted by the development of later successional stages. Considering that the projected temperature increase will push the tree line higher and lead to overgrowing of high-altitude grasslands as the major chamois grazing grounds, we can expect the

species’ feeding conditions to deteriorate in these areas as well. Feeding conditions could possibly improve in higher elevations, which are currently unfit for grasslands and shrubs. Still, these potential new optimal areas are considerably smaller in size than the current optimal areas, which are projected to disappear due to climate change. In addition to the factors studied in this paper, the vitality, spatial distribution, and population dynamics of Alpine chamois can also be profoundly affected by anthropogenic disturbances, as has been stressed by a number of foreign studies and a comprehensive national project (Krofel, Simčič et al., 2013). These disturbances will be quantified on the basis of telemetry data after the completion of the monitoring scheme. In the range of recreational activities, paragliding poses the most serious threat as it frequently forces chamois to flee great distances to lower–lying forests or other vertically developed forms of vegetation, causing considerable energy loss. It seems that through evolution chamois, trying to escape air predators, e.g. eagles, have adopted fleeing as the most important predator avoidance strategy. In order to mitigate the negative effects of such recreational activities, many countries in the worlds have imposed complete or seasonal bans on the most threatening forms of recreation in the habitats of greatest value or exposure. Considering the scope of recreation practised over practically the entire park area and the expected future increase in recreation intensity, this would also be a sensible measure to introduce in Triglav National Park.

Acknowledgements For their assistance in the capture of chamois and processing of data collected in the course of systematic monitoring we wish to thank the staff of Triglav National Park and the Department for Forestry at Biotechnical Faculty of the University of Ljubljana: Danijel Borkovič, Irena Kavčič, Dean Kovač, Berti Kravanja, Jernej Legat, Jure Legat, Tone Štular, Martin Završnik, and in particular Sašo Hrovat, Zvonko Kravanja, Rado Legat, and Miha Marenče. Our thanks also go to all other park rangers, hunting wardens, and other people who collected and recorded data in the course of systematic chamois observations in the park. The study was financed by Climaparks project.

References Elith, J., Phillips, S. J., Hastie, T., Dudik, M., Chee, Y. E., & Yates, C. J. (2011). A statistical explanation of MaxEnt for ecologists. Diversity and Distributions, 17, 43–57. European Environment Agency. (2012). Climate change, impacts and vulnerability in Europe 2012. An Indicator-Based Report. Copenhagen, Denmark: EEA. Faraway, J. J. (2006). Extending the Linear Model with R. Taylor & Francis. Galjot, B. (1998). Gams v Sloveniji. In J. Bizjak et al. (Eds.), Gams (Rupicapra rupicapra, l. 1758) – varstvo in upravljanje na zavarovanih območjih Alp in v Sloveniji (pp. 25–32). Bled, Slovenia: Triglavski narodni park. IPCC. (2007). Climate Change 2007: Impacts, adaptation and vulnerability. Contribution of working group II to the fourth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press. Jerina, K., Stergar, M., Videmšek, U., Kobler, A., Pokorny, B., & Jelenko, I. (2010). Prostorska razširjenost, vitalnost in populacijska dinamika prostoživečih vrst parkljarjev v Sloveniji: preučevanje vplivov okoljskih in vrstno-specifičnih dejavnikov ter napovedovanje razvojnih trendov. Zaključno poročilo o rezultatih opravljenega raziskovalnega dela na projektu v okviru ciljnega raziskovalnega programa (CRP) “Konkurenčnost Slovenije 2006–2013.” Ljubljana: Oddelek za gozdarstvo in obnovljive gozdne vire, Biotehniška fakulteta.


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Krofel, M., Luštrik, R., Stergar, M., Marenče, M., Hrovat, S., & Jerina, K. (2013). Monitoring vpliva klimatskih in drugih okoljskih dejavnikov na populacijo gamsa Rupicapra rupicapra v Triglavskem narodnem parku. Ljubljana: Oddelek za gozdarstvo in obnovljive gozdne vire, Biotehniška fakulteta. Krofel, M., Simčič, B., Stergar, M., Luštrik, R., & Jerina, K. (2013). Vpliv antropogenih motenj na gamsa v Alpah in priporočila za zmanjšanje negativnih posledic motenj. Ljubljana, Slovenia: Oddelek za gozdarstvo in obnovljive gozdne vire, Biotehniška fakulteta. Miller, C., & Corlatti, L. (2009). Das Gamsbuch. Melsungen, Germany: Neumann-Neudamm. Pettorelli, N., Pelletier, F., von Hardenberg, A., Festa-Bianchet, M., & Cote, S. D. (2007). Early onset of vegetation growth vs. rapid green-up: Impacts on juvenile mountain ungulates. Ecology, 88, 381–390. Pompilio, L., & Meriggi, A. (2001). Modelling wild ungulate distribution in alpine habitat: A case study. Italian Journal of Zoology, 68, 281–289. Schnidrig-Petrig, R., & Ingold, P. (2001). Effects of paragliding on alpine chamois. Wildlife Biology, 7, 285–294. Stergar, M., Janozovič, M., & Jerina, K. (2009). Območje razširjenosti in relativne gostote avtohtonih vrst parklarjev v Sloveniji. Gozdarski vestnik, 67(9), 367–380.


ClimaParks - Climate change and management of protected areas | 21

Izvleček Gams (Rupicapra rupicapra) sodi med ekološko in lovno najpomembnejše vrste gorskih kopitarjev. Klimatske spremembe naj bi pomembno vplivale na mnoge vrste in ekosisteme, še zlasti v Alpah, tako tudi na gamsa, ki je zato lahko indikatorska vrsta. S habitatnim modeliranjem (logistična regresija in MaxEnt metoda) na podlagi sistematičnih opažanj gamsov ter preliminarno analizo prve telemetrijske študije gamsa v Sloveniji smo preučili rabo prostora gamsa v Triglavskem narodnem parku. Rezultati nakazujejo, da se bo primernost prostora za gamsa na področju TNP verjetno zmanjševala, tako zaradi zaraščanja in posledičnega krčenja prehranskih habitatov kot tudi napovedanega spreminjanja klime – zlasti višanja temperature, ki lahko na vrsto vpliva neposredno in posredno. Verjetno pomembno zmanjšujejo kakovost prostora za gamsa tudi motnje s strani človeka zaradi rekreacije, kjer bi bila za omiljevanja smiselna rajonizacija.

Estratto Il camoscio (Rupicapra rupicapra) rientra fra le specie montane di ungulati più importanti dal punto di vista dell’ecologia e della caccia. I cambiamenti climatici dovrebbero avere un impatto significativo su molte specie e ecosistemi, soprattutto nelle Alpi, così anche sul camoscio che può quindi essere considerato una specie indicatrice. Realizzando l'habitat (regressione logistica e metodo MaxEnt) sulla base di osservazioni sistematiche dei camosci e un’analisi preliminare del primo studio telemetrico del camoscio in Slovenia è stato esaminato l'uso dell’habitat da parte dei camosci nel Parco Nazionale del Triglav. I risultati indicano che l'idoneità dell’habitat del camoscio nell’area del PNT probabilmente si ridurrà, sia a causa dell’inselvamento eccessivo e la conseguente riduzione degli habitat alimentari, sia a causa del cambiamento climatico previsto - in particolare l'aumento della temperatura, che può avere un impatto diretto o indiretto sulla specie. Probabilmente riducono in modo significativo la qualità dell’habitat del camoscio anche i disturbi causati dall’uomo a causa dell’attività ricreativa, motivo per cui sarebbe opportuno pensare ad una zonizzazione al fine di alleviare il suo impatto negativo.


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Forest is one of the basic and most characteristic landscape elements of Triglav National Park (Photo: D. Briški).


e

ClimaParks - Climate change and management of protected areas | 23

Triglav National Park Forests in the Light of Climate Change Andrej Arih Javni zavod Triglavski narodni park (Triglav National Park Public Institute), Ljubljanska cesta 27, SI-4260 Bled, Slovenia. Correspodence: andrej.arih@tnp.gov.si.

Abstract The paper presents the basic vegetation characteristics and the health status of forests as one of the most typical landscape elements of Triglav National Park (TNP). The used data sets are derived from forest landscape analyses carried out in the framework of forest management planning and national forest health monitoring programs. A systematic multi-annual collection of such data provides the information necessary to apply forest management according to the principles of multi-purpose use and sustainability, and certain indicators are consistently observed to enable long-term monitoring of the effects of climate change on forest ecosystems. The paper emphasizes the urgent need to maintain and upgrade the existing monitoring system to assist in combating climate change, which is expected to redefine the multi-functional role of forests in Triglav National Park. Keywords: Triglav National Park, forest vegetation, climate change, free-ranging species, monitoring, forest use.

INTRODUCTION Forest is one of the basic and most characteristic landscape elements of Triglav National Park (Ferreira, 2005; Šolar, 1999), as it covers 47,722 ha, or 57% of its surface area (Gartner, 2011; Kozorog, 2011). If the term “forest” is to be understood as including non-forest areas located inside a uniform forested landscape as well as the dwarf pine belt, the total forest cover in the national park amounts to 66,000 ha, or almost 80%, of TNP. In conservation zone 1, forests are left to undisturbed natural processes without human intervention (TNP Act-1, 2010); in conservation zones 2 and 3, however, forest ecosystems are managed under the principles of multipurpose use and sustainability. Forest cover differs by the type of conservation zone. At 77%, it is highest in conservation zones 3, whereas in conservation zone 1 forests only cover 38% of the total surface area (Gartner, 2011; Kozorog, 2011). TNP forests play multiple roles and have ecological, social, as well as production functions. Some of these rank above the average for Slovenia and are therefore declared to be of national importance. These functions include, above all, biodiversity conservation and protection of valuable natural features, as well as protective, aesthetic, tourism, and recreation functions. Systematic forest studies of forest vegetation and health showed that in terms of vitality the trees in the national park exceed the Slovenian average (Skudnik & Japelj, 2011). Furthermore, air pollution data obtained from cover assessments of the main growth forms of epiphytic lichens (Skudnik & Japelj, 2011) showed that air quality and forest

conservation are better within TNP than anywhere else in Slovenia. The data relating to crown defoliation and damage, indirect assessment of air pollution through epiphytic lichens, and decaying wood biomass are suitable indicators that can be used in long-term monitoring of the effects of climate change on forests, as changing climate might, according to certain predictions, radically change the current appearance of Slovenia’s mountain forests ecosystems (GIS, 2008; GIS, 2011).

Methods The vegetation-based description of TNP forests which is presented in this paper is derived from the data supplied by the district units of the Slovenian Forest Service and published in the Forest Management Plans of the Forest Management Units Bled and Tolmin for the period 2011–2020. Collected in 2011, these figures are part of the efforts to prepare the analytical basis for the TNP Management Plan. The data and analyses used are based on computer data taken from the Forestry Information System and adapted to refer to the national park area. The basis for forest health assessments was the forest and forest ecosystem monitoring program carried out by the Slovenian Forestry Institute in 2007. The monitoring was undertaken on a grid of sample plots measuring 4 × 4 km, as part of the Monitoring of Forests and Forest Ecosystems (MFFE) program.


24 | ClimaParks - Climate change and management of protected areas

Results Vegetation description The entire Triglav National Park lies in the alpine phytogeographic region (Wraber, 1969), where harsh climatic conditions allow growth of mainly alpine plant elements adapted to cold and wet site conditions with long winters and short vegetation periods. The dominant forest types are montane, mid-montane, and subalpine beech forests on carbonate and mixed bedrock (55%). The plant community overgrowing the largest part of the park’s surface area is the climate-adapted Anemono trifolio – Fagetum var. geogr. Helleborus niger, which inhabits a wide belt of 600 to 1600 m above sea level (Figure 1). In this community, beech is admixed with spruce, and with larch in higher elevations. Above 1500 m alpine beech forest passes into alpine dwarf pines (Rhododendro – Rhodothamnetum) having an expressed protective role. At the upper tree line it is the pioneer plant community on bare ground, and is also present in raised bogs (Table 1). Picea abies is a common tree species in TNP. It grows mainly in the central and northern parts of the park although its stands are normally of secondary character due to human influence. Pure and floristically typical spruce forests only appear in Adenostyloglabrae–Piceetum associations and in subalpine spruce forests (Piceetum subalpinum). Larch does not form independent plant communities. Instead, it is normally included in the dwarf pine community, with its border of distribution at the upper tree line. On the southern side of the park in the Soča valley grows the thermophilic Ostryo carpinifoliae-Fraxinetum orni, which maintains its shrub growth either due to site conditions or human influence. Another thermophilic community is black pine forests (Pinetum austroalpinum) in the valley of the Koritnica. Other typical forest associations found in the park area are riparian willow formation along Alpine rivers and streams. The predominating plant community in TNP’s conservation zones 1 is the Alpine beech forest with Christmas rose (Anemono trifolio – Fagetum var. geogr. Helleborus niger),

Figure 1. Alpine beech forest with Christmas rose (Anemono trifolio – Fagetum var. geogr. Helleborus niger) is the most typical forest community type in TNP. Photo by Andrej Arih.

which covers 46% of the total surface area of this type of conservation zone. It is followed by Alpine dwarf pines and larch stands overgrowing 2,662 ha (22%) and 1,607 ha (13%) of the area, respectively. Sub-alpine spruce forest on carbonate bedrock covers 714 ha, whereas dinaric dwarf pine woods overgrow 453 ha of conservation zone 1 areas. Anemono trifolio – Fagetum var. geogr. Helleborus niger is also the dominant plant community in the second (57%) and third (46%) conservation zones (Figure 2).

The health status of forests in Triglav National Park In Slovenia systematic monitoring of forest health has been conducted since 1985 (Act ratifying the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution 1986; Rules on Forest Protection, 2000). Visual assessment of crown defoliation and tree damage records are used as the main indicators providing insight into the spatial and time-related changes of forests, as well as into the effects of stress factors. According to the Slovenian Forestry Institute data on the state of forests and forest ecosystems gathered from the Monitoring of Forests and Forest Ecosystems (MFFE) program conducted on a grid of 4 × 4 km sample plots, the tree vitality assessed through crown defoliation is higher in TNP than is the average for Slovenia (Skudnik & Japelj, 2011). At 20.8%, average crown defoliation of trees in TNP was 7.3% below Slovenia’s average (Table 2). The analysis of the tree damage index, i.e. number of trees exceeding the 25% defoliation rate, also pointed out considerable differences. In 2007, the tree damage index was 24.0% for TNP and 39.4% for Slovenia. Although considerably lower in absolute terms, defoliation of conifers (23.8%) is higher than that of broadleaf species (21.5%) both in TNP and in the Slovenian forest space. However, such classifications need to consider the size of the sample as well as its reliability rate. The results for crown defoliation and tree damage are calculated from the data for only 650 trees in 25 sample plots, located in the 4 × 4 km grid within the TNP forest area. Crown defoliation in the southern and central parts of the national park is lower than in its eastern parts, affecting mostly soft conifers and fir, and least pines, larches, and noble and hard broad-leaved tree species. Nevertheless, the condition of forests in TNP is good and exceeds the Slovenian average. Environmental impacts are relatively low in the area of the park, except in certain valleys which are heavily impacted by tourism and traffic. Forest health is negatively affected by the high percentage of spruce in forest stands, in particular those on the plateaus of Pokljuka and Mežakla, which are characterized by low stability and therefore more sensitive to mechanical damage from wind and snow, and gradation of bark worms and parasitic funghi. The absence of the key bioindicator species of epiphytic lichens from certain parts of the Julian Alps, in particular spruce in the western part of the park, indicates remote influence of air pollution. The bioindicator-based method of monitoring air pollution by


ClimaParks - Climate change and management of protected areas | 25

Table 1. Surface area and proportion of vegetation types in TNP

Vegetaon type willow, poplar, alder, grey alder woods sessile oak-hornbeam forests on carbonate and mixed bedrock submontane beech forests on carbonate and mixed bedrock submontane beech forests on silicate bedrock montane, almontane and subalpine beech forests on carbonate and mixed bedrock montane and almontane beech forests on silicate bedrock fir-beech forest maple, ash, lime woods thermophilic beech forests thermophilic deciduous forests and shrubs alkaliphilic Scots pine-black pine forests fir-spruce forests on carbonate and mixed bedrock fir-spruce forests on silicate bedrock spruce mires and dwarf pine forests larch forests dwarf pine woods Total

Surface area (ha) 29.96 27.30 815.49 142.96

Surface area (%) 0.06 0.06 1.71 0.30

26,041.94

54.57

640.46 4,893.72 35.35 1,571.38 1,539.63 474.43 3,930.96 5.77 659.78 2,055.34 4,857.39 47,721.86

1.34 10.25 0.07 3.29 3.23 0.99 8.24 0.01 1.38 4.31 10.18 100.00

Source: Gartner et al. (2011), Kozorog et al. (2011).

Prealpine submontane beech forests on carbonate and mixed bedrock Illyrian coastal beech forests Acidophilous montane altimontane beech forests with snowy woodrush (Lizula nivea) Spruce mire woods Beech forests with Ruscus hypoglossum

Forest community

Basophilic black pine woods Prealpine alpine thermophile beech forests Prealpine altimontane beech forests with pond water crowfoot Prealpine montane beech forests Spruce forests on carbonate bedrock Other Prealpine dinaro fir forests Alpine prealpine thermophile broad-leaf forests Dinaro mountain pine woods Subalpine spruce forests on carbonate bedrock Larch forests Alpine mountain pine woods Alpine beech forests with Christmas rose

0

10

20

30

40

50

60

% 1

2

3

Figure 2. Surface area and proportion of the most common forest communities by TNP conservation zone. Source: Gartner et al. (2011), Kozorog et al. (2011).


26 | ClimaParks - Climate change and management of protected areas

70.0

Number of plots (%)

60.0 50.0 40.0 30.0 20.0 10.0 0.0 0

1

2

3

4

5

Lichen cover class Slovenia - spruce

Figure 3. Spatial distribution of MFFE plots on a sample 4 × 4 km grid in the TNP area. Legend terms: ploskve MGGE 2007 TNP = MFFE plots 2007 TNP; MKGP gozdni rob TNP = MAFF TNP forest edge; območje TNP = TNP area; državna meja = national border. Source: Skudnik and Japelj (2011).

assessing the cover of three basic growth forms of epiphytic lichens in Slovenia is included in the MFFE system. In 2007, the epiphytic lichen flora in TNP was analysed on a total of 22 sample MFFE plots. The study showed that only one plot indicated no presence of any of the three studied lichen growth forms, whereas plots with higher cover of fruticose and foliose lichens were found on the plateaus of Pokljuka and Uskovnica (Skudnik & Japelj, 2011). According to cover classes, where class 0 indicates poor and class 7 indicates good conditions for lichen growth, most plots are classified into class 4, which means that the cover of crustose and foliose lichens is lower than or equal to 10%. A comparison with GMME data for the entire country shows that the values for air quality and forest conservation are higher in TNP than elsewhere in Slovenia, where most plots are classified into class 1 denoting the cover of crustose lichens up to 10% (Figure 4). This finding is confirmed by a study of foliate lichen flora on spruce, which shows that plots with lichen cover between 0% and 25% dominate in TNP, while on the national level most 35.0

Number of plots (%)

30.0 25.0 20.0 15.0 10.0 5.0 0.0 0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

Lichen cover class Slovenia

TNP

Figure 4. Distribution of plots, in percent for Slovenia and TNP, by epiphytic lichen cover category. Category of lichen cover: 0 = no lichens; 1 = only crustose lichens ≤ 10%; 2 = only crustose lichens > 10%; 3 = only foliose lichens; 4 = crustose and foliose lichens ≤ 10%; 5 = crustose ≤ 10% and foliose > 10%; 6 = crustose > 10% and foliose ≤ 10%; 7 = crustose and foliose > 10%; 8 = all three lichen types. Source: Skudnik and Japelj (2011).

TNP - spruce

Slovenia - beech

TNP - beech

Figure 5. Distribution of plots, in percent, for Slovenia and TNP, by lichen cover class for crustose lichens on spruce and foliose lichens on beech. Category of lichen cover: 0 = no lichens; 1 = between 0 and 20%; 2 = between 20 and 40%; 3 = between 40 and 60%; 4 = between 60 and 80%; 5 = between 80 and 100%. Source: Skudnik and Japelj (2011).

plots display no lichen growth. In crustose lichens on beech, the data for TNP are similar to the figures for Slovenia, both demonstrating the highest percentage of plots with lichen cover between 0% and 20% (Figure 5).

Discussion The dominant tree species in the TNP are spruce with 57% and beech with 32% of the total growing stock (Gartner, 2011; Kozorog, 2011). Both species contribute highly to the typical vegetation appearance and multi-purpose role of forests in the national park. However, as longevity does not necessarily guarantee high adaptive capacity to forest changes, forest ecosystems are particularly sensitive to climate change (Lindner et al., 2010) which, as many studies predict, will supplement other global changes in exerting significant adverse effects on forest ecosystems across Europe (Shaver et al., 2000; Askeev et al., 2005; Kellomäki & Leinonen, 2005; Maracchi et al., 2005; IPCC, 2007). In western and central Europe, coniferous monocultures are expected to transform into broadleaf forests (Maracchi et al., 2005; Koca et al., 2006), with the forest ecosystems of the arctic and montane areas identified as the most sensitive. Projected effects of climate change are three times greater in the Alps than in the rest of the world (OECD, 2007; Alpine Convention, 2009). Over recent years the changes in precipitation and temperature regimes have also been established and confirmed for Slovenia (Bergant, 2007). In the following decades, this trend will lead to a gradual predominance of thermophilic vegetation of mesophilic plants and cause changes in vegetation types in the majority of Slovenian forest areas (Kutnar et al., 2009). According to the worst-case scenarios for Triglav National Park and the Alpine Space, the area’s typical vegetation type of altimontane beech forests is expected to decrease in the subalpine and alpine areas from the present 8.7% of forested areas in the country to a low 0.2% in 2099. By that year, dwarf pine woods will have disappeared completely unless


ClimaParks - Climate change and management of protected areas | 27

Table 2. Crown defoliation and tree damage in TNP in 2007

(Intercept) Naklon eksp_mod eksp_pest padavine_mean temp_mean Travniki zarascanje odd_do_gozda iglavci_delez st_zdruzb odd_do_krmisca gozdna_zaplata_max

Esmate 3.4050 0.0341 0.0294 –0.0044 –0.0015 –0.0202 0.0752 2.1432 0.0000 0.8607 –0.0189 0.0000 0.0000

Std. error 0.7677 0.0081 0.0235 0.0014 0.0002 0.0471 0.6710 1.1463 0.0007 0.2759 0.0247 0.0000 0.0000

z value 4.44 4.24 1.25 –3.05 –9.28 –0.43 0.11 1.87 0.03 3.12 –0.77 –0.45 –6.70

Pr(>|z|) 0.0000 0.0000 0.2115 0.0023 0.0000 0.6683 0.9108 0.0615 0.9795 0.0018 0.4429 0.6556 0.0000

x

e 30.11 1.03 1.03 1.00 1.00 0.98 1.08 8.53 1.00 2.36 0.98 1.00 1.00

Note: Confidence interval-based parameter estimation (95%) is computed with t-distribution statistic (if N = 25 and α = 0.05, then tn – 1 = 24 = 2.064 – double; if N = 22 and α = 0.05 then tn – 1 = 20 = 2.080 – double; if N = 20 and α = 0.05 then tn – 1 = 19 = 2.093 – double; if N = 737 and α = 0.05 then tn – 1 = 736 = 1.95996). Source: Skudnik and Japelj (2011).

the tree line rises (Kutnar et al., 2009; GIS, 2008). Spruce and beech as the fundamental elements of forest communities in the national park are also known as being most sensitive to environmental stress and other accompanying effects of climate change, e.g. limited water availability, temperature increase, longer dry periods, reduced competitive ability, and lower resilience of trees to other environmental factors (Ellenberg, 1996; Fotelli et al., 2002; Peuke et al., 2002; Gessler et al., 2007; Ogris et al., 2008, Profft & Frischbier, 2009). The most significant changes in species composition can be expected to occur in primary and secondary spruce stands on Pokljuka (GIS, 2011) and other high-altitude plateaus. Changes in forest vegetation will strongly impact the distribution and population size of other free-ranging species and redefine species interactions as well as habitat conditions. A decrease in the share of spruce in the total growing stock and the increase in thermophilic broadleaf species due to the effects of climate change will have a direct effect on forest management in TNP. Apart from the production role of forests, these changes will also affect their recognized ecological and social functions, which are currently taken for granted and treated as definitive and permanent.

Conclusions The climate changes determined in Slovenia over the recent years and their predicted consequences may lead to considerable changes in the composition, characteristics, and role of forest ecosystems in TNP. Through monitoring certain indicators such as crown defoliation and tree damage, decaying wood biomass and indirect assessment of air pollution by means of epiphytic lichens, the MGGE system enables

long-term monitoring of the effects of climate change on forests. Together with forest inventory data supplied by public forestry services, monitoring contributes importantly to the understanding of forest condition. In the future, it is therefore essential to continue the above stated activities and, with a view to ensuring a more reliable study of the condition of TNP forests, compact and upgrade the existing MGGEE network to include the monitoring of those free-ranging species and habitats which have in recent studies been confirmed as suitable bioindicators of climate change. Apart from objective and critical determination of the consequences of climate change it is therefore possible to make appropriate, correct, and timely adaptation of forest use as a natural resource at the system level, but it needs to maintain its focus for sustainable and multi-purpose management and endeavour to preserve natural tree species composition.


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Bibliography Alpine Convention. (2009). Action plan on climate change in the Alps: AC_X_B6_fr. Retrieved 26 May 2013 from http:// www.alpconv.org/en/ClimatePortal/actionplan/Documents/AC_X_B6_en_new_fin.pdf Bergant, K. (2007). Projekcije podnebnih sprememb za Slovenijo. In M. Jurc (Ed.), Podnebne spremembe: vpliv na gozd in gozdarstvo (pp. 67–86). Ljubljana, Slovenia: Biotehniška fakulteta, Oddelek za gozdarstvo in obnovljive vire. Ellenberg, H. (1996). Vegetation Mitteleuropas mit den Alpen (5th ed). Stuttgart, Germany: Ulmer. Ferreira, A. (2005). Vloga gozda v trajnostno-sonaravnem razvoju Zgornje Gorenjske (Unpublished doctoral dissertation) Univerza v Ljubljani, Filozofska fakulteta, Oddelek za geografijo. Fotelli, N. M., Rennenberg, H., & Gessler, A. (2002). Effects of drought on the competitive interference of an early successional species (Rubus fruticosus) on Fagus sylvatica L. seedlings: 15N uptake and partitioning, responses of amino acids and other N compounds. Plant Biol, 4, 311–320. Gartner, A., Jerala, B., Šemrl, J., Cergolj, F., Tomšič, H., Donaval, M., … Lampe Papler, V. (2011) Gozdnogospodarski načrt Gozdnogospodarskega območja Bled (2011–2020) (No. 02/11). Bled, Slovenia: Zavod za gozdove Slovenije, Območna enota Bled. Gessler A., Keitel, C., Kreuzwieser, J., Matyssek, R., Seiler, W., & Rennenberg, H. (2006). Potential risks for European beech (FagussylvaticaL.) in a changing climate. Trees, 21, 1–11. Gozdarski inštitut Slovenije (GIS). (2008). Rastiščni, gozdno-gospodarski in politični vidiki odzivanja gozdov na pričakovane podnebne spremembe. Zaključno poročilo o rezultatih opravljenega raziskovalnega dela na projektu v okviru Ciljnega raziskovalnega programa (CRP) “Konkurenčnost Slovenije 2006–2013” (Project No. V4-0347). Gozdarski inštitut Slovenije (GIS). (2011). Prilagajanje gospodarjenja z gozdovi podnebnim spremembam glede na pričakovane spremembe značilnosti in prostorske razporeditve gozdov. Zaključno poročilo o rezultatih opravljenega raziskovalnega dela na projektu v okviru Ciljnega raziskovalnega programa (CRP) “Konkurenčnost Slovenije 2006–2013” (Project No. V4-0494). Koca, D., Smith, S., & Sykes, M. T. (2006). Modelling regional climate change effects on potential natural ecosystems in Sweden. Climatic Change, 78, 381–406. Kozorog, E., Koren, I., Zavrtanik, Z., Košič, V., Leban, F., Čufer, J., … Poljanec, A. (2011). Gozdnogospodarski načrt Gozdnogospodarskega območja Tolmin (2011–2020) (No. 01/11). Tolmin, Slovenia: Zavod za gozdove Slovenije, Območna enota Tolmin. Kutnar, L., Kobler, A., & Bergant, K. (2009). Vpliv podnebnih sprememb na pričakovano prostorsko prerazporeditev tipov gozdne vegetacije. Zbornik gozdarstva in lesarstva, 89, 33–42. Lindner, M., Maroschek, M., Netherer, S., Kremer, A., Barbati, A., Garcia-Gonzalo, J., … Marchetti, M. (2010). Climate change impacts, adaptive capacity, and vulnerability of European forest ecosystems. Forest Ecology and Management, 259, 698–709. Maracchi, G., Sirotenko, O., & Bindi, M. (2005). Impacts of present and future climate variability on agriculture and forestry in the temperate regions: Europe. Climatic Change, 70, 117–135. Ogris, N., Jurc, M., & Jurc, D. (2008). Varstvo bukovih gozdov – danes in jutri. In A. Bončina (Ed.). Bukovi gozdovi – ekologija in gospodarjenje: zbornik razširjenih povzetkov predavanj (pp. 36–39). Ljubljana: Biotehniška fakulteta, Oddelek za gozdarstvo in obnovljive gozdne vire. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). (2007). Climate change in the European Alps: Adapting winter tourism and natural hazards management. Retrieved 26 May 2013 from http://www.oecd.org/env/cc/climatechangeintheeuropeanalpsadaptingwintertourismand naturalhazardsmanagement.htm Peuke A. D., Schraml, C., Hartung, W., & Rennenberg, H. (2002). Identification of drought-sensitive beech eco types by physiological parameters. New Phytol, 154, 373–387. Pisek, R., & Matijašić, D. (2011). Kazalci okolja v Sloveniji: [GZ02] Ohranjenost gozdov. Ljubljana: Agencija Republike Slovenije za okolje. Retrieved 15 December 2011 from http://kazalci.arso.gov.si /?data=indicator&ind_id=347 Pravilnik o varstvu gozdov (Rules on Forest Protection). (2000). In Uradni list RS, 92/2000, 56/2006, 114/2009. Profft, I., & Frischbier, N. (2009). Forestry in a changing climate: The necessity of thinking decades ahead. In F. Feldmann, D. V. Alford, & C. Furk (Eds.), Crop plant resistance to biotic and abiotic factors – current potential and future demands. Proceedings of the 3rd International Symposium on Plant Protection and Plant Health in Europe, Deutsche Phytomedizinische Gesellschaft, DPG Selbstverlag, Braunschweig (pp. 66–73). Simončič, P. (2011). Poročilo o spremljanju stanja gozdov za l. 2010. Vsebinsko poročilo o spremljanju stanja gozdov v l. 2010 v skladu s Pravilnikom o varstvu gozdov (2009). Ljubljana, Slovenia: Gozdarski inštitut Slovenije. Skudnik, M., & Japelj, A. (2011). Podatki o stanju gozdov na območju Triglavskega narodnega parka: Analiza podatkov o stanju gozdov v letu 2007 s komentarjem. Ljubljana, Slovenia: Gozdarski inštitut Slovenije. Šolar, M. (1999). Pomen varovalnega gozda za uresničevanje naravovarstvenih ciljev v Triglavskem narodnem parku. Paper


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presented at Tudi varovalni gozd je gozd, Društvo inženirjev in tehnikov gozdarstva Posočja. Wraber, M. (1969). Pflanzengeographische Stellung und Gliederung Sloweniens. Vegetatio, 17, 176–199.

Izvleček Prispevek prikazuje osnovne vegetacijske značilnosti in zdravstveno stanjegozdovkot enega najbolj značilnih krajinskih elementov Triglavskega narodnega parka. Uporabljeni podatki temeljijo na analizah gozdnega prostora v okviru gozdnogospodarskega načrtovanja in nacionalnega monitoringa zdravstvenega stanja gozdnih ekosistemov. Dolgoletno sistematično zbiranje takšnih podatkov zagotavlja gospodarjenje z gozdovi po načelih mnogonamenskosti, trajnosti in sonaravnosti, s spremljanjem nekaterih kazalnikov pa tudi omogoča dolgoročno spremljanje vpliva podnebnih sprememb na gozdove. Izpostavljena je nujnost po nadaljevanju in nadgradnji sistema monitoringa, saj naj bi učinki podnebnih sprememb v gorskih gozdnih ekosistemih korenito spremenili vsestranski pomen gozdov Triglavskega narodnega parka.

Estratto Il contributo delinea le caratteristiche fondamentali della vegetazione e lo stato di salute delle foreste, \uno degli elementi paesaggistici che maggiormente caratterizzano il Parco nazionale del Triglav. I dati utilizzati si basano sulle analisi dell’ambiente forestale nell’ambito della gestione e pianificazione forestale, nonché del monitoraggio nazionale sullo stato di salute degli ecosistemi forestali. La raccolta sistematica di tali dati, durata molti anni, consente di gestire la foresta secondo i principi delle molteplici finalità, della sostenibilità e della naturalezza, mentre il monitoraggio di alcuni indicatori consente anche di seguire l’impatto a lungo termine dei cambiamenti climatici sulle foreste. Si sottolinea la necessità di continuare con il sistema di monitoraggio e di migliorarlo, in quanto gli effetti dei cambiamenti climatici sugli ecosistemi forestali montani potrebbero cambiare radicalmente il significato generale delle foreste nel Parco nazionale del Triglav.


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Mountain hiking (Photo: D. Briški).


ClimaParks - Climate change and management of protected areas | 31

Analysis of Certain Data on Visitation to the Tourist Destination of the Julian Alps and Triglav National Park Božo Bradaškja,a Matej Vranješ,b Trenta 20, SI-5232 Soča, Slovenia. bTriglavski narodni park (Triglav National Park), Ljubljanska cesta 27, SI-4260 Bled, Slovenia Correspondence: abozo.bradaskja@siol.net, bmatej.vranjes@gmail.com. a

Abstract The paper presents the results of a visitation analysis for the Julian Alps as a holiday destination and for the protected area of the Triglav National park (TNP) for the period from 2000 to 2009. The survey collected various data about visitor use including: the number of visitors, time of visit, visitation to TNP Information Centres and points of interest, and overnight stays at the mountain huts and lodges within the park area. The number of visitors coming to the Julian Alps is increasing and shows a strong seasonal summer component. Visitation to the protected area of TNP could not be analysed for lack of quality baseline data. In the future, a long-term data collection and analysis protocol would have to be adopted, including several field automated visitor counters. Keywords: visitation analysis, tourism, protected areas, Julian Alps, Triglav National Park.

INTRODUCTION Although for years now the tourist industry as well as many international organisations have been aware of the potential long-term effects of climate change on tourist flows (and vice versa), the studies to address this issue are few, and relatively recent. Most authors claim that it is impossible to predict with sufficient certainty the effects of climate change on tourist flows, both because visitation is also affected by many other factors and because not enough is known about the tourists’ behaviour patterns (Dawson, 2007; Gossling & Hall, 2006a, 2006b; Fischer, 2007; Scott et al., 2005). Many argue that tourism is and will continue to be much more affected by population and economic growth (Bigano et al., 2006; Hamilton & Tol 2006; McEvoy et al., 2006). Others who dare to look into the crystal ball of climate change speculate that in the long-term there will be a rise in the number of people visiting northern destinations and higher elevation areas (Bigano et al., 2006; Hamilton & Tol, 2006). As many of the latter are actually protected areas of nature, visitation in nature parks can be expected to rise in the future. In one of their surveys, Scott and Jones (2006) argue that Canada’s national parks could experience a considerable rise in visitor numbers as a result of climate change. Overall visitation levels are projected to increase between 10 and 40 percent by the year 2080, with the largest increases occurring between April and June and between September and November.

As vague as these debates may be, they do not diminish the importance of monitoring the implications of climate change for park visitation trends. We can say with much greater certainty that climate change will have (and already has) a long-term impact on many different ecosystems. Since visitation has important implications for certain sensitive species and ecosystems and the characteristics and sensitivity of these species and ecosystems will alter under climate change, monitoring of visitor numbers should become a regular management activity in all protected areas. With an aim to establish the trends in protected area visitation and the (overall) spatial and seasonal aspects of visitor use, TNP commissioned a preliminary analysis of visitor flows in the wider area and surroundings of TNP over the last decade (2000–2009) (Bradaškja, 2012). The study was general in scope and designed to determine the availability and quality of baseline data, thereby providing the management authority with a possibility to put in place a long-term visitor monitoring and data collection system. In the continuation, the study presents several findings of the above-mentioned analysis, related mainly to tourist arrivals data, visits to TNP attractions and information centres, and overnight stays at mountain huts and lodges. For better availability of data, the wider area of the Julian Alps (JA) was selected as the reference area in addition to TNP. Even though the JA area


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exceeds TNP in size, this inclusion appeared sensible as the trends in the TNP area seem to reflect the trends observed in the Julian Alps.

Tourist arrivals in the Julian Alps destination The tourist arrivals data indicate the number of people who spend at least one night at the destination of their visit. In the area of the tourist destination Julian Alps operate five local tourist boards (LTBs) which collect and process tourist arrivals data. It needs to be noted, however, that only two LTBs record arrivals on the basis of paid tourist tax, while others receive information, which is normally less accurate and slightly lower, from the Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia. In order to ensure collection of comparable data of higher quality, all LTBs should keep complete and uniform records of tourists paying tourist tax. The available data clearly show that the number of tourist arrivals at the destination JA in the period 2000–2009 recorded an overall rise in all municipalities, with the total number of arrivals climbing 32.3%. The highest relative increase in visitor numbers in that period was reported by the municipalities of Kobarid (108.4%) and Tolmin (79.7%), while in absolute terms the rise was greatest in the Municipality of Bled, by far the most visited municipality in the area of the Julian Alps (taking up 40% of all tourist arrivals) (Bradaškja, 2012, p. 6). Linear trend analysis was used to investigate the presence of a trend. As shown in Figure 1, tourist arrivals trends in the studied period were positive in all six municipalities in the Julian Alps area, which means that the number of visitors went up in all municipalities, but with varying intensity. It is worth noting that positive trends were not only observed in municipalities with a low absolute number of visitors, but also in those recording highest tourist numbers, e.g. Bled, Bohinj, and Bovec (the only exception is Kranjska Gora). Correlation coefficients were also calculated to detect statistical correlations between the number of tourists in a given area and the linear technical time. Table 1 shows that the correlation coefficient was positive and relatively high in all six municipalities and the JA destination (except in Kranjska Gora), which means that the correlation between the number of tourists and the technical

time was linear, positive and high. To put it simply, there is a high probability that in the future the number of arrivals will continue to grow in most municipalities unless there are some unexpected changes to vital factors (e.g. economic crisis). The estimated average growth for the entire JA area for the analysed period was approximately 14,500 arrivals per year (regression coefficient for JA).

Seasonality of tourist arrivals On account of the implications which mass visitation has on the natural and social environment, the TNP Authority needs to be familiar with the average periodic fluctuations of tourist arrivals to TNP. The seasonal variation of visitation was analysed using the ratio to moving average method. Seasonal indexes were based on the monthly tourist arrivals data for a six-year period (2004–2009), i.e. for the time interval for which sufficient amounts of quality and relevant data were available. Seasonal indexes of tourist arrivals in the JA area indicate that a strong seasonal component is typical for the entire studied area (Figure 2), with peak periods in July and August, and slightly above average numbers in June and September. It needs to be noted that all municipalities within the Julian Alps destination are characterized by a distinctive seasonal 220,000 200,000 180,000 160,000 140,000 120,000 100,000 80,000 60,000 40,000 20,000 0 2000

2001

2002 Bled

2003 Bohinj

2004 Bovec

Kobarid

2005 Kr. Gora

2006

2007

2008

2009

Tolmin

Figure 1. Tourist arrivals figures by municipality, 2000–2009. Source: Bradaškja (2012).

Table 1. Correlation coefficients and the estimated functions of tourist arrival trends

Area Bled Bohinj Bovec Kobarid Kranjska Gora Tolmin Julian Alps

Correlaon coefficient 0.915 0.851 0.784 0.965 0.594 0.917 0.949

Esmated funcon Bled'' = 179,130.0 + 6,884.5x Bohinj'' = 97,053.0 + 2,146.9x Bovec'' = 54,446.4 + 1,537.1x Kobarid'' = 24,519.4 + 1,909.1x Kr. Gora'' = 122,767.6 + 1,125.2x Tolmin'' = 12,406.3 + 996.0x JA'' = 490,323.0 + 14,698.9x

In technical terms the assessment of functional parameters follows a procedure similar to regression analysis, which can be simplified through introduction of “technical time” (with zero value set in the centre of the time series). The assessed linear function of the trend is as follows: Y˝= a + bX, where a and b are parameter estimates α and β.

1


ClimaParks - Climate change and management of protected areas | 33

variation, with indexes rising above 300. Slightly lower is the seasonal dependence in Bled (longer above-average season: May to October) and Kranjska Gora (winter season) (cf. Bradaškja, 2012, p. 10). Considering that the tourist season is at its highest in summer months when activities in nature, including visits to points of interest, are most popular, we can conclude that the seasonal character of tourist arrivals in the JA area will also be observed within the TNP area. On account of negative implications of seasonality on the natural and social environment, these figures should be considered in the planning of management practices. However, it is much more difficult to obtain detailed and accurate visitation data for TNP than for the JA area, since the data are relatively scarce and incomparable or fail to reflect the actual situation. The following chapters analyse visit to the attraction areas and information centres in the TNP, and overnight stays at the mountain huts and lodges in the park area.

the protected area. As shown in Table 2, visitation to TNP’s Information centres has been fluctuating from year to year, posting an overall negative trend at Dom Trenta and Pocar Homestead, and growing at Triglavska roža in Bled. Nevertheless, these data are not a good indicator of park visitation trends as they only cover the visitors who either see the exhibitions or attend organized events. A considerable part of the first visitor segment is taken up by school groups rather than individual tourists and regular park visitors, whereas local people take up a considerable portion of the second. The decline in the visitor numbers at Dom Trenta and Pocar Homestead is largely attributable to a lower number of school groups (and natural disasters, in the case of Trenta), while the

Visit to TNP information centres and attraction areas In Triglav National Park, visitation is recorded in the park’s three Information Centres. Dom Trenta as TNP’s most visited information centre is located in the village Trenta, in the heart of the protected area. Triglavska roža, open since 2006, is situated outside the protected area, in Bled, at the premises of the TNP Authority. A small-scale information point called Pocar Homestead can be found in a hamlet within

Figure 2. Tourist arrivals figures by municipality, 2000–2009. Source: Bradaškja (2012).

Table 2. Number of visitors at TNP Information Centres

Year 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010

Dom Trenta 19,209 22,440 17,210 20,425 21,421 19,440 18,443 17,085 16,029 17,396 14,941 15,063 15,775 12,244 12,625

Triglavska roža — — — — — — — — — — 178 7,907 9,866 10,166 10,960

Pocar Homestead — — — — 800 816 — — — — 2,000 1,956 1,308 1,311 784

All trend estimates also rejected the zero-assumption (H0 : β = 0) as being of low significance, which proves that regression coefficients were not equal to zero and that the number of arrivals at select locations rose in the studied period. 3 The ratio-to-moving-average method is intended for the following time series model: Y = Tlm pm εlm , where Tlm is the total effect of the trend and the cycle, in the period l and in the period m; pm is the periodic coefficient for the period m; εlm refers to irregular variation within the period m and within the period l; m = 1, 2, 3 … M (m = duration of the period, M = number of such cycles); l = 1, 2, 3 … L (l = period, L = number of periods). 2


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visit to Triglavska roža rose largely due to a higher number of events held in the recent years. It can be concluded that the existing visitation counts to information centres are important for the NP authority, but the data are not a relevant indicator of tourist trends in the entire protected area. Annual visitation of these centres is affected by many factors, and the data is not comparable either. Visits to natural and cultural attractions located in the park area are a more effective indicator of visitation trends. The below illustration considers four points of interest where visitor count data supplied from ticket sales is relatively accurate. The church at Javorca and the Tolminka troughs are tourist hotspots in the lower and upper stream of the Tolminka river, and the gorge Blejski Vintgar and the Savica waterfall on the Gorenjska side of the park are TNP’s generally most visited natural attractions. Even though ticket sales provide reliable data suitable for park visitation analyses, they are not fully available for all attractions during the studied period (start of ticket sales), which means that a more complex analysis of the visitation trend is not (yet) possible (Figure 3). A general conclusion can nevertheless be drawn, namely that the number of visitors fluctuates from year to year for most attractions, but seems to be rising on average, except at the Savica Waterfall, where fluctuations are more pronounced. With some simplification, we might say that these data reflect the tourist arrivals trends observed in the JA destination. However, longer data sets (time periods) would be required to make more statistically reliable conclusions, and the fact that weather is an important factor determining visitation of attraction areas would also have to be taken into consideration.

Visits to mountain huts and lodges The area of TNP is scattered with 37 mountain huts and lodges managed by 20 Alpine Clubs. Of all data sets currently available, visits to mountain huts and lodges are the most relevant indicator of protected area visitation trends. The relevance of the data is even greater because most huts are located in the core zone of the park where the strictest protective regime is applied. In this respect it is even more surprising that many Alpine Clubs did not have or did not wish to submit overnight stay data for the needs of the survey. 90,000 80,000 70,000 60,000 Javorca

50,000

Tol. korita

40,000

Savica

30,000

Vintgar

20,000 10,000 0 2000

2002

2004

2006

2008

2010

Figure 3. Visitation to selected points of interest within TNP, 2000–2010. Source: archives of Local tourist board Sotočje, Tourist Association Bohinj and Tourist Association Gorje.

TNP Authority also does not have the records. Only 12 of 20 Alpine Clubs responded positively to our request for information. According to the existing legislation, Alpine Clubs are obliged to submit overnight stay data to the Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia; it would therefore be useful if TNP Authority concluded an agreement with Alpine Clubs, which would require the clubs to regularly report the needed data for the purpose of protected area management. Table 3 shows the number of nights spent in 25 mountain huts in the period 2000–2009. The data indicate that the number of nights spent is highest in the huts located in the centre of the park, near Mt Triglav, i.e. the huts under the first protective regime. This is not surprising as these huts are farthest from the starting points of hiking tours. However, with figures varying considerably from year to year, these data do not allow definitive conclusions to be made about the trends in nights spent. Generally, the total number of nights spent was highest in 2003, and this is also the first year for which data for all the huts included in the survey are available. In subsequent years, the total number of bed nights spent began to decline, the intensity of the decline varying among huts. In order to determine statistically relevant trends in overnight stays, it would be necessary to consider the weather conditions which have considerable implications for high mountain visitation, as well as certain other relevant factors (opening times, hut renovations, etc.). Also, it needs to be noted that overnight stay data only cover a minority of mountain visitors, with most people only coming to the mountains for a one-day hike. Profound understanding of visitation trends in the mountains of TNP, and a protected area in general, would require a more complex analysis that would include the methods of trial – through regular and continuous – manual and automated visitor counts

Conclusion Long-term monitoring of park visitation figures is crucial for protected area management authorities not only because it helps determine the effect of climate change on tourist flows but also because it ensures that the management practices are controlled and adapted to meet the changing visitation trends. With climate change leading to changes in ecosystems and increased sensitivity of certain species, knowledge of protected area visitation characteristics and trends is becoming even more important in determining appropriate management response. To achieve this, parks should have in place long-term data acquisition and analysis protocols. This paper presents the selected findings of the visitation survey conducted in the Julian Alps tourist destination (Bradaškja, 2012). The purpose of the survey was to establish the underlying tourist trends, review the existing data, and assess data quality and relevance. The survey revealed a lack of quality baseline data and showed that trends can only be established from indirect indicators. The highest quality and most relevant data set available are the figures concerning overnight stays at the destination of


ClimaParks - Climate change and management of protected areas | 35

Table 3. Overnight stays at mountain huts and lodges, 2000–2009

Mountain hut or lodge Erjavčeva koča na Vršiču, 1,525 m Koča pri Izviru Soče, 886 m Tičarjev dom na Vršiču, 1,620 m Zavešče pod Špičkom, 2,064 m Dom na Komni, 1,520 m Koča pri Savici, 653 m Koča pri Triglavskih jezerih, 1,685 m Triglavski dom na Kredarici, 2,515 m Koča pod Boganom, 1,513 m Planinska koča na Uskovnici, 1,154 m Planinska koča na Vojah, 690 m Vodnikov dom na Velem polju, 1,817 m Dom dr. Klementa Juga v Lepeni, 700 m Gomiščkovo zavešče na Krnu, 2,182 m Planinski dom pri Krnskih jezerih, 1,385m Aljažev dom v Vrah, 1,015 m Šlajmarjev dom v Vrah, 1,015 m Dom Planika pod Triglavom, 2,401 m Koča na Doliču, 2,151 m Bregarjevo zavešče, Viševnik, 1,620 m Koča na planini pri Jezeru, 1,453 m Dom Zorka Jelinčiča na Črni Prs, 1,835 m Zasavska koča na Prehodavcih, 2,071 m Pogačnikov dom na Kriških podih, 2,050 m Koča na planini Razor, 1,315 m Total

Months 12 6 6 3 12 6 4 12 4.5 6 4 3 4 3 4 6 6 3 3 4 4 4 3 3 4

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2,318 1,826 2,429 1,840 1,339 912 507 482 605 462 515 555 600 328 372 148 191 181 110 111 1,359 1,423 1,907 2,008 1,420 1,421 1,583 1,287 1,133 987 637 532 516 445 280 228 263 351 322 256 n.d. n.d. n.d. 3,689 1,161 3,409 2,808 3,447 2,993 3,817 n.d. n.d. n.d. 648 581 775 656 654 818 728 n.d. n.d. n.d. 8,236 7,845 6,807 6,875 6,262 6,050 4,688 n.d. n.d. n.d. 10,984 8,686 8,209 7,824 8,954 8,973 10,217 2,331 2,684 2,460 2.377 4,014 2,742 1,816 2,185 2,060 2,089 1,167 1,121 1,227 1,487 1,255 1,280 860 780 951 774 167 246 506 589 572 663 747 430 341 316 2,588 2,633 2,736 2,945 3,178 2,806 2,825 3,091 2,771 3,062 876 1,011 808 533 703 778 781 961 635 578 820 589 831 765 440 427 573 620 518 437 2,398 1,648 2,583 3,766 2,877 2,849 3,511 3,494 2,666 2,558 n.d. n.d. n.d. 2,647 2,647 2,287 2,267 2,445 2,603 2,589 n.d. n.d. n.d. 1,098 482 477 741 907 757 826 4,899 4,373 4,501 4,908 4,334 4,059 3,835 4,012 3,022 5,567 805 5,258 4,540 5,297 4,246 3,829 4,259 3,946 4,259 4,584 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 2,530 2,234 2,103 2,302 2,413 2,091 1,786 2,220 2,814 2,248 566 519 445 558 571 427 521 665 442 615 1,381 819 1,287 1,662 1,834 1,428 1,600 1,539 1,430 2,101 3,717 3,225 3,853 3,593 2,861 2,644 2,914 2,743 2,923 2,634 1,164 1,280 1,357 1,003 958 1,224 1,315 985 1,244 596 34,703 31,270 35,458 62,669 54,664 52,362 50,757 52,966 50,777 49,073

Source: archives of the following alpine clubs (AC): AC Jesenice, AC Ljubljana-Matica, AC Srednja vas v Bohinju, AC Nova Gorica, AC Dovje-Mojstrana, AC Gorje, AC Drago Bregar, AC Integral, AC Podbrdo, AC Radeče, AC Radovljica and AC Tolmin..

Julian Alps. Even though this is a wide area, it can be assumed that the share of tourists coming to the protected area does not vary markedly during the year. The data showed that tourist arrivals were on the increase throughout the Julian Alps area. A strong seasonal pattern was observed in most municipalities, with peaks in July and August. The figures about visitors to TNP’s Information Centres are relatively specific, but not comparable because the centres have different locations and contents and because the collected data make no distinction between exhibition visitors, information seekers, and people attending various events (local inhabitants). Considerably more reliable in determining visitation trends are the data about the number of people visiting a certain attraction area, but even those are not available for a long-enough period. Nights spent at mountain huts and lodges are considered the most suitable data set, both because these figures are fairly accurate and because most huts are located in TNP’s core area. In this respect, the TNP authority is recommended to conclude an agreement with Alpine Clubs concerning regular submission of visitor data. Although traffic-related data lie outside

Figure 4. Mountain hiking


36 | ClimaParks - Climate change and management of protected areas

the scope of this paper, it is worth mentioning that a traffic survey showed that non-automated visitor counters provide fairly unreliable data. It can be concluded that for regular monitoring of the trends and characteristics of visiting the protected area of TNP a protocol on long-term data collection and analysis would be required. Furthermore, a computer program for data

acquisition and processing would have to be selected. Apart from regular collection of data from external sources, the protocol should also define the methods for regular periodic visitor counts at selected field sites. To this aim, automated visitor counters should be set up at selected points along hiking and cycling routes.

References Bigano, A., Hamilton, J. M., & Tol, R. (2006). The impact of climate change on holiday destination choice. Climatic Change, 76(3–4), 389–406. Bradaškja, B. (2012). Analiza obiska v turistični destinaciji Julijske Alpe v obdobju 2000–2009 (poročilo). Retrieved 6 June 2013 from http://www.climaparks.eu/cp2/sites/default/files/Analiza_%20obiska _TNP_2.pdf Dawson, J. (2007). Climate change and behavioural adaptation in the tourism-recreation sector. University of Waterloo. Retrieved 5 July 2013 from http://www.ahs.uwaterloo.ca/~garls /2007abstracts/Dawson.pdf Fischer, J. (2007). Current isues in the interdisciplinary research field of climate change and tourism. Doublin. Retrieved 5 July 2013 from http://tourism-climate.de/documents/Julian_Fischer_CC-Tourism_14-02-2008.pdf Gössling, S., & Hall, M. (2006a). An Introduction to tourism and global environmental change. In S. Gössling & M. Hall (Eds.), Tourism and Global Environmental Change: Ecological, Social, Economic and Political Interrelationships (pp. 1–33). London, United Kingdom: Routledge. Gössling, S., & Hall, M. (2006b). Uncertainties in predicting tourist flows under scenarios of climate change. Climatic Change, 79(3–4), 163–173. Scott, D., & Jones, B. (2006). Climate change and nature-based tourism: Implication for park visitation in Canada. Faculty of Environmental Studies, University of Waterloo. Retrieved 5 July 2013 from http://www.geography.uwaterloo.ca/ faculty/danielscott/PDFFiles/NATURE_Final%20copy.pdf Scott, D., Wall, G., & McBoyle, G. (2005). The evolution of the climate change issue in the tourism sector. In M. Hall & J. Higham (Eds.), Tourism, Recreation and Climate Change (pp. 44–61). Clevedon, United Kingdom: Channel View. .


ClimaParks - Climate change and management of protected areas | 37

Izvleček V prispevku so predstavljeni izbrani izsledki analize obiska v turistični destinaciji Julijske Alpe in zavarovanem območju Triglavskega narodnega parka (TNP) za obdobje med leti 2000 in 2009. Analizirani so podatki o številu in periodični komponenti turističnih prihodov, o obisku znamenitosti in informacijskih središč TNP ter o nočitvah v kočah na območju parka. Število turističnih prihodov v Julijskih Alpah narašča, močno izražena je poletna sezonska komponenta. Za obisk zavarovanega območja TNP ni na voljo dovolj kvalitetnih podatkov. Potrebno bi bilo izdelati dolgoročen protokol pridobivanja in analiziranja podatkov, tudi s pomočjo avtomatskih števcev na terenu.

Estratto In questo articolo sono presentati dei risultati selezionati, ottenuti dall’analisi delle visite alla destinazione turistica delle Alpi Giulie e dell’area protetta del Parco Nazionale del Triglav (PNT) per il periodo tra il 2000 e il 2009. Sono analizzati i dati sul numero e la componente periodica degli arrivi turistici, sulla visita alle attrattive e ai centri di informazione turistica del PNT e sui pernottamenti nei rifugi all’interno del parco. Il numero degli arrivi turistici nelle Alpi Giulie è in aumento, con un forte rilievo sulla componente stagionale estiva. Non ci sono dati di qualità sufficienti circa le visite all’area protetta del PNT. Sarebbe necessario elaborare un protocollo con cui acquisire e analizzare i dati a lungo termine, anche con l’aiuto dei contatori automatici nel parco.


View on the highest cliff in Landscape Park Strunjan (Photo: L. Kastelic).


ClimaParks - Climate change and management of protected areas | 39

LANDSCAPE PARK STRUNJAN Strunjan Landscape Park hide a variety of natural and cultural heritage sites. The motley environment of the park is in many ways a place of superlatives. The unique interaction of the sea, the coast and its hinterland, people and their centuries-long legacy, are some of the reasons, why is this area today a nature park. The settlement stretching along the Slovenian Coast between Izola and Piran was formed in the valley of river Roja, encompassing the salt pans and on the nearby hills. This part of the coast was first proclaimed as landscape park in 1990 and in 2004 the park came under the state protection. Strunjan Landscape Park is a place of superlatives, because there we can find the highest flysch cliffs, the longest part of natural sea coast, the only Slovenian marine lagoon, the smallest salt pans and best preserved cultural landscape. The entire park includes the whole peninsula of Strunjan with the 4 km long coast between Izola's and Strunjan's bay with the belonging 200 m zone of the sea. Stjuža marine lagoon is the only one on the Slovenian coast. Once it was an open bay, but more than 200 years ago a dike was build between the bay the sea. Today the lagoon is connected with the sea only through the channel Among the most distinctive parts of the reserve is the precipitous wall of the Strunjan cliffs. It is up to 80 meters high and composed of soft layers of flysch, which have been for ages shaped by winds and rain. The Strunjan cliffs form the largest known coastal flysch wall on the entire Adriatic coast. Strunjan saltpans consist of evaporation ponds that shallow artificial ponds designed to produce salts from sea water. The harvest season lasts from June until September. The salt pans in Strunjan, which were built in the plain of the river Roja have only recently been one of the three existing town of Piran.

Javni zavod Krajinski park Strunjan Senčna pot 10, 6320 Portorož SLOVENIJA Phone: +386 (0) 8 205 1883 Fax.: +386 (0) 674 6980 http://www.parkstrunjan.si info@parkstrunjan.si


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Totally bleached stony coral colonies (Foto: B. MavriÄ?).


ClimaParks - Climate change and management of protected areas | 41

Monitoring of Marine Biodiversity in Strunjan Nature Reserve (Gulf of Trieste, Slovenia), With Special Emphasis on Climate Change Impacts on Selected Biological Elements Lovrenc Lipej,a,* Martina Orlando Bonaca,a Borut Mavrič,a Martin Vodopivec,a Petar Kružićb Marine Biology Station, National Institute of Biology, Fornače 41, SI-6330 Piran, Slovenia. bPrirodoslovno Matematički Fakultet, Sveučilište u Zagrebu, Biološki odsjek, Rooseveltov trg 6, HR-10000 Zagreb, Croatia. *Corresponding author: lipej@mbss.org. a

Abstract In order to ascertain potential climate change impacts on the biodiversity of Strunjan Nature Park, the Mediterranean colonial stony coral (Cladocora caespitosa) and coastal fish association were selected as target groups. Given that temperature change is a good indicator of potential impacts of climate change in a certain environment, 10-year temperature oscillation series at the annual scale (obtained through regular measurements at the oceanographic buoy of the Marine Biology Station and probes at different depth) were analyzed. It turned out that fish species closely linked to tropicalisation occur in the area researched. Furthermore, cases of coral bleaching were recorded, as well as incomparably greater annual increments of the stony coral's coralites. These phenomena are linked to the emergence of higher summer temperatures than in previous years. Keywords: biodiversity, climate change, colonial stony coral, thermophilous fishes, Strunjan Nature Park, Northern Adriatic.

INTRODUCTION Today, biodiversity is endangered more than ever in the Earth’s history. In short, we are faced with “biodiversity crisis.” In the last few decades, the Mediterranean Sea, including the Adriatic, has been faced with all kinds of processes that in some way or another affect its biodiversity. This is due to several factors, the most important among them being degradation and loss of habitats, environmental pollution, unwise exploitation of marine populations, introduction of non-indigenous species, as well as climate change (sensu Kryštufek, 1999). In Slovenia, we have had practically no cases that would bear witness to concrete impacts of climate change on biodiversity, except for a few reports (Lipej & Dobrajc, 2008) and records on tropicalisation (e.g. Lipej et al., 2009). The two phenomena that could possibly be associated with climate change and, even more specifically, with sea temperature rise in the Mediterranean Sea are tropicalisation and coral bleaching. During tropicalisation, the range of thermophilic species spreads northwards (Francour et al., 1994). A particularly good indicator of sea temperature change is the fish fauna, given that fishes are incapable of regulating their own body temperature (Stebbing et al.,

2001), with monitoring of their distribution being a relatively simple task. In the last few decades, the ecological barriers that used to prevent species spreading northwards have also fallen in the northern parts of the Mediterranean Sea as a result of higher temperatures. Owing to the rising temperatures, certain species that are otherwise characteristic of the Mediterranean Sea’s southern parts began to occur in the Adriatic (Dulčić et al., 1999) and, in the final phase, in the Gulf of Trieste as well (Lipej et al., 2009). The other phenomenon is coral bleaching, which occurs when endosymbiotic zooxanthellae leave the polyps due to their physiological stress. This is triggered largely due to high temperatures, but also owing to the intensive solar radiation or certain diseases. One of the anthozoan species that is known to be good indicator of climate change is the Mediterranean colonial stony coral (Cladocora caespitosa) (see e.g. Rodolfo-Metalpa et al., 2008), which is distributed in the Slovenian sea as well. The present article reports on potential impacts of climate change on the above mentioned biological indicators in the waters of Strunjan Nature Park.


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Methods Research area The area of research concerns the waters within the framework of Strunjan Nature Reserve (Figure 1). This protected area is characterized by well preserved flysch banks spreading from Simon Bay to the Tartini Villa at Strunjan. The coastal belt between Cape Strunjan and Cape Kane is in fact the longest section of natural shore in the total Gulf of Trieste. The protected area’s marine part covers 16 ha. This well elongated part of the coast embraces very diverse habitat types. The tidal and supratidal zones are natural and shingly. Most outstanding are the huge turbidite limestone blocks running in a series at Bele skale (White Rocks) and Mesečev zaliv (Moon Bay). With increasing depth, the size of flysch debris is reduced and turns, in some places earlier and in other places later, into a silty floor.

Figure 1. The area studied within the framework of Strunjan Nature Park.

Biological elements for climate change assessment Colonial stony coral To ascertain the potential impacts of climate change on biodiversity, we decided to select species whose biological characteristics, such as thriving and growth, are known to be directly connected to temperature and that they are long-lived. We opted for the Mediterranean stony coral (Cladocora caespitosa), an anthozoan known as a good indicator of climate change (see e.g. Rodolfo-Metalpa et al., 2008). On the basis of vertical transect surveys carried out between 1998 and 2012 and regular sampling in 2011 and 2012, implemented for the needs of Climaparks project, we attempted to assess the stony coral’s distribution within the protected area. During our underwater surveys in 2011 and 2012 we mapped, photographed and established the state of individual stony coral populations to document possible climate change consequences, such as coral bleaching. This was divided into three grades, i.e. minor bleaching (observed

on less than a third of the population surface area), distinct bleaching (with only a minor part not subjected to bleaching), and total bleaching (with the entire population’s surface area bleached). To assess the anthozoans’ growth, the radiography method was applied. Corallites are separate individuals that form colonies of colonial stony corals. Ten corallites (collected on 16 September 2011) were used. Sclerochronological analysis of corallites per standard methodology on the basis of X-radiography was implemented (Kružić & Benković, 2008; Kružić et al., 2012). Their annual growth increment was calculated on the basis of radiography photographs.

Thermophilic fish species To establish non-indigenous elements in the fish fauna, we gathered the data obtained through regular observation censuses of the coastal fish association in the area of Strunjan Nature Reserve in the 1998–2012 period, and on the basis of random data on the species caught in the area of Strunjan Reserve and wider in the Slovenian sea. In the identification of species subjected to the tropicalisation process, various literature sources were used that list the mentioned species as thermophilic and had not previously occurred in the Slovenian part of the Adriatic Sea, and on the basis of the list in the Slovenian Vertebrates Identification Key (Lipej, 1999, pp. 18–46, Cartilaginous Fishes Class; Marčeta, 1999, pp. 47–210, Teleosts Class).

Temperature impacts on biological elements Changing temperatures are one of the most characteristic indicators of potential changes taking place in a certain environment, linked to climate change. For this purpose, 10-year temperature oscillation series at the annual scale, obtained through regular measurements at the oceanographic buoy of the Marine Biology Station, were analyzed. Furthermore, 15 special probes were set up in different parts of the Slovenian sea, including Strunjan Nature Reserve, for a continuous measuring of temperature at depths of 5, 10, 15 and 20 metres, which corresponds to the stony coral’s depth distribution. In this way we wished to monitor temperature anomalies in the Slovenian sea and to compare the potential deviations between the probes and oceanographic buoy at the same time. Unfortunately, some probes could no longer be found in places where set up, including the two in Strunjan Nature Reserve. Measurements of surface temperature are carried out at location 45° 32’ 55,68’’ N, 13° 33’ 1,89’’ E by Seacat probe (Seabird Electronics), which is attached to the buoy at a depth of 3 m. At the bottom, temperature is measured by AWAC flow meter (Nortec, Inc.), situated in the vicinity of the buoy at a depth of 22 m (http://buoy.mbss.org). Values are recorded every 30 minutes and simultaneously entered into MySQL


ClimaParks - Climate change and management of protected areas | 43

database at the Marine Biology Station. For better transparency, some graphs display the temperatures’ smoothed values. For filtering, the low frequency filter on the basis of the Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) in the Matlab environment was used. Frequency spectrum was cut off at the period of 144 hours.

Results and discussion Colonial stony coral and temperature impacts on its populations The colonial stony coral is distributed more or less all over the area discussed, except for the section between Strunjan Cape and Strunjan resort beach (Figure 2), with its greatest densities recorded around Cape Strunjan and in the wider area of Cape Ronek at a depth range of 5–10 metres. It is less common only in places with prevailing Little Neptune Seagrass (Cymodocea nodosa) meadows, dunes and fine sand in shoals. Our analysis of 10 samples of corallites from the stony coral’s colony showed that the annual length growth increment oscillates from 3.00 to max. 5.70 mm/year. The highest value was established in 2010; the increment of above 5 mm/year was calculated twice for the year 2008 and once

for 2004 (Table 1). The average corallite growth in our sea is between 4.32 and 4.74 mm/year, with the highest average value recorded in 2008. Summer increment oscillates from 1.99 to 2.23 mm/year, while winter increment fluctuates between 2.23 and 2.51 mm/year (Table 2). These values are higher than average corallite increment values in other parts of the eastern Adriatic Sea, where the average value oscillates between 1.92 and 4.21/year (Kružić, 2005; Kružić et al., 2012). This can be interpreted two ways. In comparison with other parts of the Adriatic, the Slovenian sea most probably holds greater amounts of nutrients, which is reflected in the greater annual corallite increment. On the other hand, the impact of temperature is evident as well, on which corallite growth depends. The 2012 temperature time series measured at probes set up at different depths (5, 8 and 10 m) on different localities (Debeli rtič, Piranček and Punta) and at the oceanographic buoy (0.20 m) indicate the characteristic temperature stratification in the warmer part of the year and a homogeneous condition (well-mixed water column – isothermal process) in the colder part of the year (Figure 3, above and centre). If only probes at the three localities and at three depths between 5 and 10 m (where stony coral colonies most often occur) are compared, no evident differences among the stations can be perceived (Figure 3, centre). From both diagrams, however, it is clear (Figure above and centre) that in the summer period between July and September temperatures regularly (and

Figure 2. Assessed distribution of the colonial stony coral (Cladocora caespitosa) in the area of Strunjan Nature Reserve. Legend: 0 = absent, 1 = very rare, 2 = rare, 3 = moderately common, 4 = common, and 5 = very common.


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Table 1. Corallite increments (n = 10) in the colonial stony coral (in mm/year) per separate years, and average annual increment (in mm/year)

Corallite/year 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997

1 4.46 4.17 4.79 4.58 3.00 4.42 4.20 3.04 4.45 4.24 4.55 4.64 4.53 4.42

2 4.37 4.22 4.34 4.46 4.21 4.39 4.84 4.49 4.70 4.77 4.38 3.94 4.91

3 4.03 4.40 5.22 4.50 4.20 4.45 4.20 4.61 4.80 4.25 4.62

4 4.81 4.65 4.85 4.71 4.26 4.94 4.45 4.98 4.13 4.66 4.68 4.72

5 5.70 4.11 4.58 4.70 4.88 4.47 4.37 4.91

6 5.13 4.88 4.93 4.36 4.93 4.75 4.18 4.50 4.73

7 3.84 4.32 5.23 4.67 4.53 4.66 4.58 4.69 4.42 4.69

8 3.43 4.76 4.63 4.45 4.53 4.85 5.03 4.72

9 4.74 4.59 4.37 4.65 4.64 3.99 4.55 4.39 4.48 4.25 3.70 4.34 4.45 4.52

10 3.69 3.84 4.44 4.03 4.02 4.47

avg. 4.50 4.46 4.77 4.56 4.35 4.55 4.49 4.48 4.53 4.48 4.39 4.41 4.63 4.47

Table 2. Average corallite increments in the colonial stony coral (in mm)

1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010

E 4.47 4.63 4.41 4.39 4.48 4.53 4.48 4.49 4.54 4.32 4.51 4.74 4.39 4.42

H 2.34 2.48 2.37 2.29 2.34 2.43 2.37 2.34 2.36 2.33 2.33 2.51 2.29 2.23

L 2.13 2.15 2.05 2.09 2.14 2.10 2.11 2.15 2.18 1.99 2.11 2.23 2.10 2.19

Note: H = winter increment, L = summer increment, and E = average annual corallite increment.

occasionally significantly) surpass the values above 25 oC. This means, the colonial stony coral colonies are subjected to temperature stress in this period. The data regarding temperature time series in a longer (ten-year) period show great oscillations in the summer series and markedly great differences between separate years. Of particular interest are the last few years, when the highest measured temperatures exceeded 27 oC (2008–2012), with the highest values measured in 2010 when reaching about 30 oC. In comparison with other years, the years 2011 and 2012 were most prominent, with temperatures higher than 25 oC continuing well into September (Figure 3, bottom). In

the remaining years, temperature drop was always present in September. There is no doubt, however, that temperature is closely linked to the phenomenon of coral bleaching. In August 2011, few such cases were observed at Cape Strunjan (Table 3). In September of the same year, new cases of coral bleaching (with some very distinct among them) were noticed at the same locality, and even a couple of cases of total bleaching. This phenomenon reached still higher dimensions in early October, when cases of minor but distinct and total bleaching were even much more numerous. At that time, coral bleaching cases were recorded also at Cape Madona and Debeli rtiÄ?


ClimaParks - Climate change and management of protected areas | 45

Figure 4. Cases of colonial stony coral in the phase of bleaching within the area discussed. Apart from totally bleached stony coral colonies on both photos, two totally bleached samples of wart coral Balanophyllia europaea can be seen on the right. Photo by B. Mavrič.

Nature Monuments, as well as at certain localities in Simon Bay (Izola), at Pacug and at Piranček on the southern Piran coast. Cases of coral bleaching occurred at various localities within the framework of Strunjan Nature Reserve in 2012 as well (Figure 4).

Thermophilous fish species

Figure 3. Comparison of temperature series at the oceanographic buoy and probes in 2012 – filtered data (above), temperature change measured with probes at various localities with stony coral sites (centre), and average filtered data from the oceanographic buoy in the 2003–2012 period (bottom).

So far, at least 16 thermophilous fish species closely linked to the tropicalisation process have been recorded in the Slovenian sea. The majority of thermophilous fishes occurred in one case only (Table 4). Some of them can be seen only here and there, while the others are regular inhabitants of the Slovenian part of the Adriatic Sea. At times, dolphinfish (Coryphaena hippurus), bluefish (Pomatomus saltator) and blackfish (Centrolophus pompilio) wander into our sea, as well as mesopelagic fishes such as ribbonfish (Trachipterus trachypterus) and silver scabbardfish (Lepidopus caudatus) (Figure 5). Cases of ocean sunfish (Mola mola) occurring in our sea are also known (Lipej et al., 2007). Regular inhabitants of these waters today are the Mediterranean rainbowfish (Coris julis), pelagic stingray (Pteroplatytrigon violacea) and grey triggerfish (Balistes carolinensis). The latter is designated, together with the ornate wrasse (Thalassoma pavo), an indicator of tropicalisation (Lipej et al., 2008). This wrasse species has indeed not been recorded in the Slovenian sea, but was observed at the extreme cape of the Istrian Peninsula in September 2008 (Kružić, own observations). A regularly occurring fish is also the round sardinella (Sardinella aurita), which is a characteristic thermophilous species (Sabates et al., 2006), although data on its occurrence in our sea are highly irregular. It usually occurs in the summer,


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Table 3. Cases of colonial stony coral colony bleaching in the Slovenian part of the Adriatic Sea

Date of sampling

Temperature (°C)

Minor

Bleaching Disnct

28.8 26.3 24.1

3 5 33 41

0 5 21 26

26 August 2011 15 September 2011 6 October 2011 No. of all colonies

but cases of large schools of these fish entering our sea in the winter are also known, as it actually happened in February 2009. At that time, mass death cases due to temperature stress were also registered. With the tropicalisation process, the occurrence of humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) may closely be associated as well; after 1990, it occurred in the Mediterranean Sea more than in a dozen cases, when also seen in our sea in February 2009 (Genov et al., 2009). In the area of Strunjan Nature Reserve, only the Mediterranean rainbowfish occurs (regularly). For the first time, it occurred there as late as in 1999, when a few separate individuals were observed. In 2006, it was registered for the very first time at MIramare Nature Reserve near Trieste (Piron et al., 2007). Here it should be underlined that a regular monitoring has been carried out in the aquatory of this Reserve for 25 years and that a possibility of this fish being overlooked there (in previous years) is more or less excluded.

Total 0 3 5 8

Today, the Mediterranean rainbowfish is regularly present, although it can be seen in small groups only. In the last few years, however, young individuals have also been noticed, indicating that the fish also reproduces in the area discussed. In 2001, its recorded density was 0.28 individuals per 100 m2, although it should be added that they were not observed during every single sampling. In the 2007–2009 period, their densities in the entire Slovenian sea oscillated between 1.02 and 4.17 individuals/100 m2, when they were indeed few in numbers but still present at all sampling transects. In the Slovenian sea, this species inhabits the coastal belt on rocky sea floor in the lower infralittoral within the biocenosis of photophilous algae or deeper in the (pre)coraligenous biocenosis, most often in places where rocky bottom turns into sandy floor. They occur individually, less often in pairs or small groups. Of the characteristic thermophilous fishes, mostly the round sardinella is caught by the Slovenian fishing fleet, although only occasionally. It is possible, however, that this species is discarded immediately after being caught owing to its low quality. Among other fishes caught accidentally in fishermen’s nets are the ribbonfish, silver scabbardfish, blackfish and pelagic stingray. In these cases, only separate individuals are caught.

Conclusions

Figure 5. 1 = blackfish Centrolophus pompilius (photo by T. Rus); 2 = bluefish Pomatomus saltator (photo by B. Šuligoj); 3 = silver scabbardfish Lepidopus caudatus (photo by B. Šuligoj); 4 = grey triggerfish Balistes carolinensis (photo by B. Mavrič); 5 = ribbonfish Trachypterus trachipterus (photo by B. Šuligoj); 6 = Mediterranean rainbowfish Coris julis (photo by B. Mavrič).

In the last few decades, we have been faced with certain processes in the Slovenian part of the Adriatic Sea that are in one way or another linked to the global warming. In 2011 and 2012, utterly new phenomena, such as coral bleaching, have been noticed in the aquatory of Strunjan Nature Park. This phenomenon, during which loss of endosymbiotic algae zooxanthellae incurs due to too high environmental temperatures, is closely associated with global warming. In colonies of the colonial stony coral, numerous cases of minor, distinct and total bleaching were observed. This phenomenon became even more far-reaching in early October when recorded at several more localities. The winter, summer and annual corallite increments in the colonial stony coral are result of higher temperatures, too. Both phenomena, the higher annual increment and coral bleaching, coincide with high temperatures in the summer period that stand out in comparison with previous years. The phenomenon of higher temperatures extending far into September and even October has been noticed as well.


ClimaParks - Climate change and management of protected areas | 47

Table 4. Occurrence of thermophilous fish species that are closely linked to the process of tropicalisation and have been observed in the Slovenian part of the Adriatic Sea

English name of species Grey triggerfish Round sardinella Mediterranean rainbowfish Blackfish Vadigo Silver scabbardfish Ribbonfish Dolphinfish Bluefish Leopard- spoed goby Mediterranean moray Green wrasse Rubberlip grunt Blunthead puffer Ocean sunfish Pelagic sngray

Lan name Balistes carolinensis Sardinella aurita Coris julis Centrolophus niger Campogramma glaycos Lepidopus caudatus Trachipterus trachypterus Coryphaena hippurus Pomatomus saltator Thorogobius ephippiatus Muraena helena Labrus viridis Plectorchinchus mediterraneus Sphoeroides pachygaster Mola mola Pteroplatytrigon violacea

Occurrence Slovenian Strunjan sea NR 3 5 4 3 2 4 3 5 5 1 1 1 2 1 1 5

– + + + – – – – – – – – – – + +

Status 3 5 4 2 1 2 2 3 2 1 1 1 1 1 2 2

Source Lipej et al. (2005) Own data Own data Own data DulÄ?ić et al. (2002) Own data Own data DulÄ?ić and Lipej (1997) Lipej et al. (2005) Lipej et al. (2005) Lipej and MoĹĄkon (2011) Lipej et al. (2005) Lipej et al. (1996) Own data Lipej et al. (2007) Lipej et al. (2005)

Note: Occurrence: 1 = singly; 2 = 2–3 individuals; 3 = few individuals (> 3); 4 = > 10 individuals; 5 = many individuals (> 100). Status: 1 = very rare; 2 = rare; 3 = present; 4 = common; 5 = very common.

Owing to the higher temperatures in the Slovenian sea, some fish species have been registered in the Slovenian sea that had previously not been seen in this particular environment. Some among them are non-indigenous, while others are closely connected to the process of tropicalisation.

Acknowledgements The authors wish to express their warmest thanks to the personnel of Strunjan Nature Park for their help during the underwater sampling. On this occasion we gratefully acknowledge the kind help and incentives given by our colleagues at WWF Miramare near Trieste and Robert Turk, MSc. We are also indebted to Milijan Ĺ iĹĄko and Tihomir Makovec for their generous assistance in the field and in the preparation of graphics and photos, and to all of our colleagues that have furnished us with the precious photographic material.

References DulÄ?ić, J., & Lipej, L. (1997). New records of marine fishes from the Slovenian coastal waters. Falco (Koper), 11(12), 35–40. DulÄ?ić, J., Grbec, B., & Lipej, L. (1999). Information on the Adriatic ichthyofauna-effect of water warming? Acta Adriatica, 40, 33–43. DulÄ?ić, J., MarÄ?eta, B., Ĺ˝iĹža, V., Pallaoro, A., & Lipej, L. (2003). Northern extension of the range of the vadigo Campogramma glaycos (Pisces: Carangidae) from the Adriatic Sea. Journal of Marine Biological Association United Kingdom, 83(4), 877–878. Francour, P., Boudoresque, C. F., Harmelin, J. G., Harmelin-Vivien, M. L., & Quignard, J. P. (1994). Are the Mediteranean


48 | ClimaParks - Climate change and management of protected areas

waters becoming warmer? Information from biological indicators. Marine Pollution Bullettin, 9, 523–526. Genov, T., Kotnjek, P., & Lipej, L. (2009). New record of the humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) in the Adriatic Sea. Annales, Series Historia Naturalis, 19(1), 25–30. Kružić, P. (2005). Ekologija vrste kamenog koralja Cladocora caespitosa (Linnaeus, 1767) i njegove grebenaste tvorbe u Jadranskom moru (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). PMF, Zagreb. Kružić, P., & Benković, L. (2008). Bioconstructional features of the coral Cladocora caespitosa (Anthozoa, Scleractinia) in the Adriatic Sea. Marine Ecology, 29, 125–139. Kružić, P., Sršen, P., & L. Benković, L. (2012). The impact of seawater temperature on coral growth parameters of the colonial coral Cladocora caespitosa (Anthozoa, Scleractinia) in the eastern Adriatic Sea. Facies, 58(4), 477–491. doi:10.1007/ s10347-012-0306-4 Kryštufek, B. (1999). Osnove varstvene biologije. Ljubljana, Slovenia: Tehniška založba Slovenije. Lipej, L. (1999). Hrustančnice (Chondrichthyes). In B. Kryštufek & F. Janžekovič (Eds.), Ključ za določevanje vretenčarjev Slovenije (pp. 18–46). Ljubljana, Slovenia: DZS. Lipej, L., & Dobrajc, Ž. (2008). Slovenian national overview on vulnerability and impacts of climate change on marine and coastal biodiversity. United Nations Environment Programme Action Plan Regional Activity Centre for Specially Protected Areas. Draft Overview. Lipej, L., & Moškon, S. (2011). On the record of the Moray eel (Muraena helena Linnaeus, 1758) in Slovenian coastal waters (Gulf of Trieste, northern Adriatic). Annales, Series historia naturalis, 21(2), 157–162. Lipej, L., Dobrajc, Ž., Castellarin, C., Odorico, R., & Dulčić, J. (2007). New records of some rare and less-known fishes in the Gulf of Trieste (northern Adriatic). Annales, Series historia naturalis, 17(2), 171–176. Lipej, L., Mavrič, B., & Orlando-Bonaca, M. (2009). Recent changes in the Adriatic fish fauna – experiences from Slovenia. Varstvo narave, 22, 91–96. Lipej, L., Orlando Bonaca, M., & Richter, M. (2005). New contributions to the marine coastal fish fauna of Slovenia. Annales, Series Historia Naturalis, 15(2), 165–172. Lipej, L., Spoto M., & Dulčić, J. (1996). Plectorhinchus mediterraneus from off north east Italy and Slovenia – the first records of fish of the family Haemulidae from the Adriatic Sea. Journal of Fish Biology, 48, 805–806. Lipej, L., Turk, R., & Makovec, T. (2006). Ogrožene vrste in habitatni tipi v slovenskem morju. Endangered species and endangered habitat types in the Slovenian Sea. Ljubljana, Slovenia: Zavod RS za varstvo narave. Marčeta, B. (1999). Morske kostnice. In B. Kryštufek & F. Janžekovič (Eds.), Ključ za določevanje vretenčarjev Slovenije (pp. 47–210). Ljubljana, Slovenia: DZS. Rodolfo-Metalpa, R., Reynaud, S., Allemand, D., & Ferrier-Pagès, C. (2008). Temporal and depth responses of two temperate corals, Cladocora caespitosa and Oculina patagonica, from the north Mediterranean Sea. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 369, 103–114. Sabates, A., Martin, P., Lloret, J., & Raya, V. (2006). Sea warming and fish distribution: the case of the small pelagic fish Sardinella aurita, in the western Mediterranean. Global Change Biology, 12, 2209–2219. Stebbing, A. R. D., Turk, S. M. T., Wheeler, A., & Clarke, K. R. (2002). Immigration of southern fish species to south-west England linked to warming of the North Atlantic (1960–2001). Journal of Marine Biology Association of United Kingdom, 82, 177–180.


ClimaParks - Climate change and management of protected areas | 49

Izvleček Da bi ugotovili morebitne vplive podnebnih sprememb na biodiverziteto Krajinskega parka Strunjan, smo izbrali kot tarčni skupini sredozemsko kameno koralo (Cladocora caespitosa) in obrežno ribjo združbo. Ker so spremembe temperature dober pokazatelj morebitnih vplivov podnebnih sprememb v nekem okolju, smo v ta namen analizirali 10-letni niz nihanja temperatur v letni skali, dobljene z rednimi meritvami na oceanografski boji Morske biološke postaje NIB in sondah na različnih globinah. Izkazalo se je, da se v raziskanem območju pojavljajo ribje vrste, povezane s tropikalizacijo. Poleg tega so bili zabeleženi primeri bledenja koral ter znatno višji letni prirastki koralitov kamene korale. Omenjeni primeri so povezane s pojavom višjih poletnih temperatur kot v predhodnih letih.

Estratto Per accertare eventuali impatti dei cambiamenti atmosferici sulla biodiversità del Parco regionale di Strugnano sono stati selezionati come gruppi target la madrepora a cuscino (Cladocora caespitosa) e la comunità ittica costiera. Poiché le variazioni di temperatura sono risultate un buon indicatore di eventuali impatti dei cambiamenti atmosferici in un determinato ambiente, è stata analizzata la sequenza delle oscillazioni della temperatura in un periodo di 10 anni, su scala annuale, ottenuta con le misurazioni ordinarie effettuate dalla boa oceanografia della Stazione di biologia marina dell’Istituto nazionale di biologia (NIB) e da alcune sonde posizionate a diversa profondità. Si è dimostrato che nell’area esaminata sono presenti specie ittiche associate alla tropicalizzazione. Sono stati registrati inoltre casi di sbiancamento dei coralli e una maggiore velocità di crescita annuale dei coralliti della madrepora a cuscino. Tali fenomeni sono collegabili alla presenza di temperature estive più elevate rispetto agli anni precedenti.


Olive tree in ice. Frost on 26th March 2013. (Photo: L. Kastelic).


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The Effect of Weather on the Visitation of Strunjan Nature Park Luka Kastelic Javni zavod Krajinski park Strunjan.

Abstract In order to assess the climate change impact on the visitation of Strunjan Nature Park, the weather conditions were also monitored apart from visitation of the Park. Comparing the amount of precipitation and temperature with the number of visitors in the years 2011 and 2012 from May to December, it was established that the amount of precipitation affects the number of visitors in the Park, while temperature has no such effect. A historical analysis of the weather data from the last 37 years indicated a trend of gradual decrease of the average amount of annual precipitation and a rise of the average annual air temperature. In 2012, the Park was visited by 133,277 people in 136 days. Tourist accommodation providers had 164,291 overnight stays. The lowest number of visitors was recorded in December, the highest in August. As far as weather is concerned, the prolonged cold period in February, accompanied by hurricane-stage bura (northeasterly wind), should be highlighted. The winter 2013 was one of the snowiest in the last 50 years. At the end of March, many were taken unawares by frost, which is also highly unusual for this time of the year. Keywords: Strunjan Nature Park, climate change, weather monitoring, visitation monitoring, tourism in Strunjan Nature Park.

INTRODUCTION In Strunjan Nature Park, the visitation and weather monitoring has been carried out with a sole purpose to determine correlation between the Park’s visitation and existing weather conditions. We wished to establish the extent of climate change and how it affects the Park’s visitation pattern. Apart from the number of stationary traffic, visitors on the beach and anchored boats, data on overnight stays within the Park were collected with a purpose to determine how many people visit the Park.

Weather monitoring Weather data were obtained with the aid of Davis VantagePro weather station, which is equipped with precipitation collector, sensor for measuring the ambient humidity, temperature and UV radiation, and anemometer. The station is situated in the vicinity of Strunjan-Stjuža Nature Reserve. The daily weather data can be viewed at http://www.weatherlink. com/user/strunjan/.

Figure 1. Davis VantagePro weather station. Photo by Samanta Makovac.


52 | ClimaParks - Climate change and management of protected areas

Table 1. The highest, lowest and average values of annual and monthly precipitation in the 1961–2012 period

Annual precipitaon (mm) Monthly precipitaon(mm) Average annual precipitaon (mm)

max 1,415 346

year/month 2010 October 1992

min 639 0

year/month 2003 Jan 1964, Jan 1989, Aug 1962, Oct 1965

959

Historical data The national Environment Agency has three meteorological stations in the Slovenian Littoral: 2 precipitation stations at Strunjan and Seča, and the main station at Portorož. As far as measurements at Portorož are concerned, they were carried out from 1975 to 1991 at Beli Križ at an altitude of 92 metres, while since 1993 they have been conducted at Portorož Airport at an altitude of 2 metres, which of course aggravates the comparability of monthly historical data in our research, given that microclimate differs a great deal in these areas. On the basis of these facts, only annual average maximal and minimal values were used for the comparison of historical data and data acquired during the project research, while data on the amount of precipitation and its long-term average are suitable for the research purposes, considering that they are measured in the immediate vicinity of the project meteorological station. On average (1961–2012), 959 mm of precipitation per year is recorded at Strunjan. The wettest month on average is September with 115 mm of rainfall, while the driest month is February with only 53 mm precipitation. A trend of average annual precipitation decrease has been noted in the last few years. In the 1975–2012 period, the average annual temperature of 13.6 °C was measured at the Portorož weather station. The coldest month was January with the average monthly temperature of 4.8 °C, whereas the warmest month was July with the average monthly temperature of 23.1 °C. The greatest weather deviations were recorded in February 2012, when the average temperature did not rise above 0 °C in no less than 6 days in succession. Generally, the coldest first February decade was recorded in the entire country

Figure 2. Annual precipitation amount in the 1961–2012 period, recorded at Strunjan Precipitation Station. Source: Agencija Republike Slovenije za okolje (Slovenian environment Agency) (2013).

since 1956. From the analysis of data spanning from 1975 to 2012 it is evident that the average long-term air temperature remains unchanged.

Figure 3. Average annual values of air temperature in the 1975–2012 period, recorded at the Meteorological Station Portorož, Beli Križ, and Portorož Airport together. Source: Agencija Republike Slovenije za okolje (Slovenian environment Agency) (2013).

Specifics recorded during the survey The greatest weather deviations were recorded in February 2012, when the average temperature did not rise above 0 °C in no less than 6 days in a row. Generally, the coldest first February decade was recorded since 1956 in the entire country. Furthermore, a strong north-easterly wind bura was blowing at that time, which even reached the hurricane stage in four successive days. It caused much inconvenience all over the Slovenian Littoral region, with a lot of damage recorded in most of the Littoral Councils, mainly on roofs, in traffic, and on powerlines. Meteoalarm issued the highest (red) alert, which had never happened before (WineAndWeather, 2012). In Strunjan Nature Park, the consequences of this prolonged cold were shown mainly on the vegetation’s leaves and needles on the Strunjan Cliff and on Stone Pines in the Stone Pine Avenue. The Slovenian Littoral is dominated by sub-Mediterranean climate, with the average temperature in the coldest month reaching 4 °C. It is not surprising, therefore, that snowfall is rare. In the second half of the 20th century, snow fell in less than 25 seasons, with the average max snow depth


ClimaParks - Climate change and management of protected areas | 53

Figure 4. Damages on Pine Trees caused by prolonged cold and hurricane north-easterly wind in February 2012.

Figure 5. Snow on 22 February 2013.

reaching only 2.5 cm 15 seasons were above average (without 2012/2013), while more than 35 seasons were snowless. The winter 2013 was one of the snowiest in the last 50 years, with more snow recorded only in the winters 1968/1969 and 1969/1970 (Ciklon, 2012). In Strunjan Nature Park, the greatest amount of snow

was recorded on 8 December 2012 (no less than ca. 11 cm) and 22 February 2013 (ca. 8 cm). On 26 March 2013, snow in the form of snow slag was recorded, which is also highly unusual for this time of the year.

Table 2. A detailed monthly data display indicates a correlation between the increased precipitation and decreased number of visitors in the Park, from May to December

Month

Precipitaon (mm) 2011 2012

May June July August September October November December Total

0.2 4 8 0.9 5.4 0.2 1.21 2 21.91

0.2 7.8 0 0 0.36 0.281 0.45 0.53 9.621

Visitaon Deviaon (%)

2011

2012

Deviaon (%)

0 95 –100 –100 –93.33 40.5 –62.8 –73.5 –56.08

5,052 15,407 13,156 25,387 13,902 5,448 8,257 3,057 89,666

4,521 17,282 16,233 25,187 13,305 4,745 5,962 2,862 90,097

–10.51 12.16 23.38 –0.78 –4.29 –12.90 –27.81 –6.37 0.48

Table 3. Comparison between the change in the average monthly temperatures and the change in the number of visitors in the Park, from May to December

Month

Temperature (°C) 2011 2012

May June July August September October November December Average/Total*

19.78 22.17 23.73 24.08 22.39 13.69 19.81 7.12 19.09

18.06 23.51 25.79 23.8 21.04 16.12 14.6 6.24 18.64

Visitaon Deviaon (°C)

2011

2012

Deviaon (%)

–1.72 1.34 2.06 –0.28 –1.35 2.43 –5.21 –0.88 –0.45

5,052 15,407 13,156 25,387 13,902 5,448 8,257 3,057 89,666

4,521 17,282 16,233 25,187 13,305 4,745 5,962 2,862 90,097

–10.51 12.16 23.38 –0.78 –4.29 –12.90 –27.81 –6.37 0.48

* Average refers to temperature data, while total refers to visitation data.


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Visitation monitoring in conjunction with weather monitoring During visitation monitoring, data on stationary land traffic at different locations (such as Strunjan auto camp, car park at the bus station, car park “Pod trto”, car park in front of the Sosič Inn, Belvedere Hotel complex, car park below Belvedere, car park of Laguna Hotel, car park in front of Primorka Restaurant, car park at the church, car park at Lambada Restaurant, car park along the harbour) were collected. In the marine part, data on bathers on the beach and anchored vessels in Strunjan Nature Reserve were gathered at locations such as the bay in front of the salt-pans, Krka beach, between Tartini Villa and Cape Strunjan, between Cape Strunjan and Cape Ronek (Mesečev zaliv/Moon Bay), between Cape Ronek and Bele skale (White Rocks), between Bele Skale and Cape Kane. The processing of data shown in Tables 2 and 3 concern the years 2011 and 2012 from May to December. Data on the visitation monitoring in 75 days (20.54%) in each year are included. Apart from the same number of days in the two years, the same number of weekend days is taken into account, given that the Park is visited by most people at that time. The correlation between weather conditions and movement of visitors in the Park has shown several results, with the major ones summarized below. Between 2011 and 2012, the number of visitors increased during May and December

from 89,666 to 90,097, which means an increase of 0.48%. In the same period, the amount of precipitation recorded was 21.91 mm in 2011 and 9.62 mm in 2012, which means that the precipitation amount fell by 56.08% in 2012. In the same period, the average air temperature was 19.09 °C in 2011 and 18.64 °C in 2012, which presents a fall of average temperature by 0.45 °C. The visitation of the Park is largely influenced by individual events, such as the Persimmon Fruit Festival. In November 2011, more visitors were recorded, in spite of bad weather, than in November 2012, mainly due to the Persimmon Fruit Festival, which is visited by many people each year. In 2011, 2,504 visitors were recorded due to nice weather during the Persimmon Fruit Festival and only 1,004 visitors in 2012 due to bad weather. In the survey of the number of people visiting the Park from January to December 2012, the data acquired with the aid of monitoring, which was carried out during 136 days (or 37.26% of the entire year) were taken into consideration, as well as the number of participants of guided tours. In the entire year of 2012, 133,277 visitors were recorded. The lowest number (2,802 visitors) was registered in December, the largest (33,300 visitors) in August. Guided tours were attended by 1,314 people. In recent years there has been a dramatic increase in the number of vessels anchoring in the Nature Reserve Strunjan. Anchoring of boats causes numerous physical damages to the sea floor, which may lead to certain changes in the physical structure of the floor and in communities living in the bay. Furthermore, the vessels cause much noise in the water itself, which directly affects the behavioural characteristics of marine organisms.

Overnight stays in Strunjan Nature Park and in its immediate vicinity

Figure 6. The number of visitors in the entire year of 2012. The data on monitoring of visitors during 136 days and the number of participants of guided tours are included.

Figure 7. Anchoring in Strunjan Nature Reserve. Photo by Brina Knez.

Strunjan Nature Park is considered one of the most popular places in the Slovenian Littoral for holiday spending or merely short trips. The area that covers 428,6 ha embraces two major complexes, i.e. Krka and Belvedere Hotels, Belvedere Auto Camp, Rog Holiday Home, Elvira Vatovec Guesthouse, and three rooms to let providers. The largest tourist complex is the Krka Hotel, which is located between Strunjan Nature Reserve and Strunjan-Stjuža Nature Reserve. In 9 years, the Hotel had 1,266,769 overnight stays. In 2012, no less than 164,291 overnight stays were recorded by all Strunjan tourism providers. Most overnight stays were recorded in August (29,777), least in December (8,026). On the edge of the Park’s southern border, three major accommodation facilities are located, such as Oleander Hotel, Strunjan Auto Camp and Salinera Hotel. The visitation report also includes the number of overnight stays in the immediate vicinity of the Park, for it was noticed that the visitors spending the night in the above mentioned facilities often utilise the beaches or walking trails of Strunjan Nature Park. In 2012, the providers of overnight stay capacities recorded 91,707


ClimaParks - Climate change and management of protected areas | 55

Table 4. Number of overnight stays in the 2004–2012 period within Strunjan Nature Park

Year 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Total

Terme Krka hotel & Belvedere hotel Belvedere kamp Domesc Foreign Total Domesc Foreign Total 75,433 78,495 83,414 87,669 94,531 102,594 75,031 109,894 102,274 809,335

64,145 63,410 62,031 58,626 54,579 43,739 35,665 37,402 37,837 457,434

139,578 141,905 145,445 146,295 149,110 146,333 110,696 147,296 140,111 1,266,769

13,269 13,767 14,367 12,828 9,729 13,779 8,621 9,071 8,054 103,485

16,389 13,166 11,555 12,374 12,426 12,726 8,826 9,117 9,192 105,771

Holiday homes, guesthouses, rooms Domesc Foreign Total

29,658 26,933 25,922 25,202 22,155 26,505 17,447 18,188 17,246 209,256

— — — — — — — — 6,600 6,600

— — — — — — — — 334 334

— — — — — — — — 6,934 6,934

Table 5. Number of overnight stays in the 2004–2012 period in the immediate vicinity of Strunjan Nature Park

Year 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Total

Oleander hotel Domesc Foreign Total 8,080 8,369 7,804 8,514 5,748 6,339 6,732 6,376 6,762 64,724

1,216 1,649 2,249 1,805 3,066 2,371 1,467 1,718 1,460 17,001

9,296 10,018 10,053 10,319 8,814 8,710 8,199 8,094 8,222 81,725

Strunjan auto camp Domesc Foreign Total

Salinera hotel Domesc Foreign

17,488 20,552 13,645 15,010 15,690 13,980 5,755 5,862 5,179 113,161

— — — — 58,688 65,133 61,022 58,161 56,065 299,069

1,283 2,188 1,992 1,845 2,606 2,489 1,589 2,203 1,877 18,072

18,771 22,740 15,637 16,855 18,296 16,469 7,344 8,065 7,056 131,233

— — — — 22,824 17,213 15,407 21,205 16,884 93,533

Total — — — — 81,512 82,346 76,429 79,366 72,949 392,602

Table 6. Number of overnight stays in Strunjan Nature Park in 2012, by month

Month January February March April May June July August September October November December Total

Terme Krka hotel 8,046 7,706 8,962 8,586 9,439 10,869 11,964 12,908 10,030 8,923 8,129 7,396 112,958

Belvedere hotel 82 0 878 1,537 2,086 3,061 7,730 7,925 2,895 376 273 630 27,473

Belvedere camp 0 0 0 194 450 1,948 6,924 6,857 1,047 26 0 0 17,446

Holiday homes, guesthouses, rooms to let 0 2 0 209 91 867 2,461 2,087 685 12 0 0 6,414

Total 8,128 7,708 9,840 10,526 12,066 16,745 29,079 29,777 14,657 9,337 8,402 8,026 164,291


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Figure 8. Number of overnight stays in Strunjan Nature Park, by month

overnight stays. The highest number of overnight stays (29,777) was recorded in August, the lowest in December (8,026). As Strunjan Nature Park is accessed from several directions, it is difficult to assess how many people actually visit the Park. For a more accurate assessment of climate change impact on the Park’s visitation, the method of visitor monitoring should be supplemented with e.g. electronic meters at various locations or to carry out visitation monitoring physically each day several years in a row. Figure 8. Number of overnight stays in Strunjan Nature Park, by month

Conclusions In terms of tourism, Strunjan Nature Park is less developed than the nearby Portorož, even though the Park’s area also embraces hotels envisaged for all those who wish to spend their holidays in developed tourist places that are more closely linked to the natural environment. The Park attracts not only visitors in the summer months owing to its nearness to the sea, but also a high number of visitors who wish to get acquainted with natural and cultural heritage during their walks. In 2012, the tourist capacity providers within the Park had no less than 164,291 overnight stays, with the highest number in August (29,777) and the lowest in December (8,026). In order to assess the climate change impact on the visitation of Strunjan Nature Park, the weather conditions were also monitored apart from the visitors of the Park. When comparing the amount of precipitation from May to December in 2011 and 2012, when monitoring was carried out for 75 days (during weekdays and weekends), and the number of visitors, a decline in rainfall by 56.08% and an increase in the number of visitors by 0.48% was noted for the year 2012. For the same period in was established that the decline of average temperature by 0.45°C did not affect the number of visitors. In the overview of the number of visitors in 2012, the data acquired with the aid of monitoring (carried out during 136 day in the year) and the number of people attending guided tours (1,314 people) were taken into account. A total of

133,277 visitors were counted. Least of them (2,802) were recorded in December, while most of the visitors (33,300) were registered in August. In the historical weather data overview, a long-term trend of a decreasing amount of precipitation and unchanged average air temperature was observed for the last 37 years. As far as weather monitoring is concerned, the prolonged frost and hurricane-stage bura wind in 2012 should be highlighted, when the average temperature did not rise above 0 °C no less than 6 days in succession. The winter 2013 was one of the snowiest in the last 50 years. In December, 10 cm of snow was recorded in the Park, as well as frost at the end of March, which is also unusual for this time of the year.


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References Agencija Republike Slovenije za okolje. (2013). Meteo.si. Retrieved from http://meteo.arso.gov.si/Ciklon. (2012). Najobilnejši sneg na OBALI v zadnjih 25 letih! Retrieved from http://ciklon.si/stran /?p=4025 WineAndWeather. (2012, 26 February). Orkanska burja in ekstremen mraz na Primorskem in v Evropi – februar 2012. Retrieved from http://www.wineandweather.net/?p=995

Izvleček Da bi ugotovili vpliv podnebnih sprememb na obiskovanje Krajinskega parka Strunjan, smo poleg monitoringa obiskovalcev spremljali tudi stanje vremena. V primerjavi med količino padavin in temperature ter številom obiskovalcev iz leta 2011 in 2012 od meseca maja do decembra, smo ugotovili, da količina padavin vpliva na zmanjšanje števila obiskovalcev parka, medtem ko višina temperature nima tolikšnega vpliva. Zgodovinska analiza vremenskih podatkov v zadnjih 37 letih, je pokazala trend postopnega padanja povprečne količine letnih padavin in dvigovanja povprečne letne temperature zraka. V letu 2012 smo v 136 dneh zabeležili 133.277 obiskovalcev. Ponudniki turističnih prenočišč so ustvarili 164.291 nočitev. Najmanj obiskovalcev smo zaznali v mesecu decembru, največ pa v mesecu avgustu. Od vremenskih posebnosti bi izpostavili nenavadno daljše obdobje mraza meseca februarja, ki ga je spremljala orkanska burja. Zima leta 2013 je bila ena bolj sneženih v zadnjih 50 letih. Marsikoga je konec meseca marca 2013 presenetila pozeba, kar je prav tako nenavadno za ta letni čas.

Estratto Per accertare l’impatto dei cambiamenti climatici sulle visite al Parco naturale di Strugnano abbiamo monitorato anche la situazione del tempo, oltre al flusso dei visitatori. Confrontando la quantità di precipitazioni, la temperatura e il numero dei visitatori nel 2011 e nel 2012, dal mese di maggio a quello di dicembre, abbiamo accertato che la quantità di precipitazioni influisce sulla riduzione del numero dei visitatori del parco, mentre il livello della temperatura non ha un tale impatto. L’analisi storica dei dati meteorologici degli ultimi 37 anni ha dimostrato una tendenza ad una progressiva riduzione della quantità media di precipitazioni annuali e ad un rialzo della temperatura media annuale dell’aria. Nel 2012 ci sono stati 133.277 visitatori in 136 giorni. Gli operatori turistici hanno registrato 164.291 pernottamenti. Meno visitatori sono stati notati nel mese di dicembre, la maggior parte è arrivata invece ad agosto. Tra le particolarità meteorologiche si può mettere in rilievo l’insolito freddo che si è protratto nel mese di febbraio e che è stato accompagnato da una bora ciclonica. L’inverno del 2013 è stato uno dei più nevosi negli ultimi 50 anni. Alla fine di marzo del 2013 molti sono stati sorpresi dal gelo che parimenti non è consueto in questa stagione dell’anno.


The Fontanigge is distinguished for its great diversity of habitats.(Photo: I. Ĺ kornik).


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SEČOVLJE SALINA NATURE PARK Sečovlje Salina Nature Park covers about 750 ha along the Slovene-Croatian boundary in the extreme south western part of Slovenia, in the southern part of the Community of Piran. Its northern part, where active salt-making is still taking place, is called Lera. From the Park’s southern part, called Fontanigge, it is separated by the bed of the Drnica stream. SOLINE Pridelava soli d.o.o. (Salt Production Co. Ltd.) is protecting and permanently preserving the natural and cultural heritage within Sečovlje Salina Nature Park and producing salt in the traditional manner. By a special Decree, the Park has been divided into three areas of conservation. The first area of conservation, which is situated south of the Drnica channel (Fiume Grande channel), spreads across the districts of Fontanigge and Stare soline (the Old Pans) along the left bank of the Dragonja river. The second area of conservation encloses the sector Lera, where salt is produced, and the Sv. Jernej channel. The third area of conservation – in which the manner of traditional use and the implementation of various activities to the extent and in the way that cannot endanger the natural balance in the Park are also considered preferential apart from the conservation of natural riches – is situated between the old railway embankment and the main road in two separate districts, i.e. north of the old mine and south of the airport. Ramsar Site, Natura 2000.

SOLINE Pridelava soli d.o.o. Seča 115, 6320 Portorož SLOVENIJA Phone: +386 (0) 5 6721 330 Fax: +386 (0) 5 6721 331 http://www.kpss.si, http://www.soline.si info@kpss.si


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Young Black-winged Stilt ringed with colour ring (Photo: I. Ĺ kornik).


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A contribution to the knowledge of climate change impacts on biodiversity and visitation in Sečovlje Salina Nature Park Iztok Škornik SOLINE Pridelava soli d.o.o., KPSS, Seča 115, 6320 Portorož, Slovenia. Correspodence: iztok.skornik@kpss.si.

Abstract Sečovlje Salina is a national territory of high natural, cultural, economic and aesthetic values, the biodiversity of which can be maintained and regulated through sustainable management. Species diversity is endangered primarily due to habitat degradation and destruction. Indirectly, it can also be affected by visitation, which is already traditional in the protected areas and poses a significant development opportunity. In the future, much will also be contributed by climate change, which will no doubt affect the quality of habitats as well as the quality of experiencing this protected area. Habitat change of course brings changes within animal species themselves, the most threatened among them being the Sečovlje Salina Nature Park’s birds. Keywords: birds, habitats, weather, attendance, Sečovlje Salina.

INTRODUCTION Saltpans can be found along seashores in the entire Mediterranean, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Black Sea. Owing to their historical, cultural and ecological values, they constitute an exceptional landscape element between sea and land, between air and earth. Saltpans are important areas particularly from the aspect of nature conservation. They are unique wetlands with rich biodiversity, and it is no coincidence that many of them have been integrated into the NATURA 2000 network. Mediterranean saltpans are areas that rest under the water for the greater part of the year due to the salt-making activities carried out in them, which is compared to other Mediterranean living environments of inestimable value during hot and dry summers. In both industrial and traditional saltpans, salt-making activities provide and maintain stable living conditions for halophilous plants and animals living in water, air and on land. Mediterranean saltpans are regularly visited by a good hundred of different bird species belonging to 18 families, which is yet another proof why the pans present an invaluable habitat for them. In the Mediterranean, about half a million birds regularly spend the winter or are on passage there. And more than half of these birds occur in saltpans. Mediterranean pans are national areas of exceptional cultural, economic and aesthetic values, where biodiversity can be regulated and maintained. Active saltpans are a good example of cohabitation between economic activity, tourism and conservation needs, and at the same time a competitor to the world production

of salt in factories. And it is perhaps this very fact that keeps them alive, given that economic aspirations are more than negligible in these areas. Protected areas offer their visitors several natural and other qualities and are, at the same time, increasingly co-created by tourism and recreation. Most of them have acquired their protection status owing to their well preserved natural environment and presence of exceptional natural and cultural assets. They are distinguished by cohabitation of different types of land use, which are characterized by occasionally conflicting interests, which are not always in unison with each other. One of the commonest activities is visiting of the pans, which is already traditional in protected areas and a significant prospect for future development. Plut (2006) states that in certain cases protected areas can become even the mainstay of the comprehensively and sustainably designed regional development, with tourism playing the role of the basic branch of economy. Visiting of the pans, however, is not significant only from the economic and educational aspects, but also draws attention to the significant recreational role of protected areas, which provide high quality spending of spare time for the locals as well as for the visitors coming from predominantly urban areas. The gist of experiencing the protected areas is their visiting and not tourism, with the quality of their experiencing depending primarily on their geographical location, weather conditions and, of course, their management. In Sečovlje Salina Nature Park, the past and present still


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The Park, which covers 750 ha, is situated in the extreme southwestern part of Slovenia, immediately along the border with Croatia, in the southern part of the Piran Municipality. The northern part of the Park, where traditional salt production is still practiced, is called Lera. From the Park’s southern part, called Fontanigge, it is separated by the Drnica stream. Sečovlje saltpans are part of the Park. They cover ca. 620 ha and are in the north bounded by the St. Jernej Canal, in the east mostly by the embankment of the former narrow gauge railway, in the south by the Dragonja River, while in the east they are protected by the levees in Piran Bay. The area of Lera covers 294 ha and is separated into crystallization zone and seawater condensation zone. Fontanigge spreads on 344 ha between the Grande Canal and Dragonja River. In the west, it is surrounded by a highwater embankment, in the east by agricultural land. Fontanigge consists of a network of canals that used to serve as transport waterways and for the supply of seawater to separate salt fields and for the drainage of waste and meteoric waters. The canal network includes the Giassi and Curto Canals as well as Pichetto, the longest canal that retained its role of managing water regimes in the area. The canals lie parallel to the Dragonja River and are influenced by strong day and night winds that enhance the evaporation of water in the basins.

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go hand in hand. The ancient manner of salt- making learnt by Piran salters ages ago from their teachers, the Pag Island salt-makers, is still something very special indeed, even on the Mediterranean scale. The main objectives of Sečovlje Salina Nature Park (hereinafter referred to as “the Park”) are conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services and cultural heritage closely associated with it. In the Park, the following three basic land use aspects are closely intertwined: conservational, cultural and economic with three economic activities: salt-making, visitation and recreation with some other supplemental activities. The Government of the Republic of Slovenia has passed the Decree on Sečovlje Salina Nature Park with the purpose of protecting and preserving the typical saltpan ecosystem’s natural environment and its biodiversity. On 12 July 2003, the Ministry of the Environment, Spatial Planning and Energy signed a concession with the company SOLINE Pridelava soli d.o.o. for a 20-year management of the Park. The company SOLINE Pridelava solin d.o.o. is striving for a harmonious and sustainable development, enabling the visitors an exciting experiencing of the Park, while with its research work it provides optimal conditions for all living beings inhabiting the Park. A significant part of the Park’s activities are its educational work and management of the protected area.

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Figure 1. Map of the Sečovlje Salina, with the red line indicating the Park’s boundary.

Methods The area of Sečovlje saltpans has been divided into polygons, i.e. predominantly clearly separated and bounded saltpan basins and other areas of the pans. Some of them were given their names already in the distant past and are now used by saltworkers as well.

Survey grid Since 2008, a new national coordinate system (ESRS European Spatial Reference System) has been in force in Slovenia. At the moment, however, the WGS84 coordinate system is being used in our country, which is a reference ellipsoid introduced in 1984. It is used in conjunction with the GPS satellite navigation system. In this part of the pans, the birds' habitats and breeding distribution are presented in the form of a distribution map, which was made by us with the aid of DMAP digitizer program and georeferenced. The set up 100 x 100 m UTM network is used for the mapping of smaller areas. The universal UTM coordinate system is becoming a standard in the EU and can be displayed by any GPS receiver. The list of the actual sites gained by GPS enables an increased accuracy level.


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Bird monitoring Our objective was to include all data available on the birds of Sečovlje Salina. We used all written sources known to us, data supported by specimens in public collections, and observations by professionally qualified personnel in the field. The database includes all data gathered during ornitofaunistic research, with many new data. The data were gathered at several levels. The data covering the 1973–1983 period concerns many random observations. Since 1983, breeding, migration and overwintering of birds in the area under consideration has been systematically assessed by various survey and mapping methods. From 2010 to 2013, a regular weekly bird monitoring was carried out in the survey area within the framework of the Climaparks project. The survey area is the area of the Park with its polygons. For data entry directly in the field, the PDA Samsung Galaxy Note with GPS receiver and Nature Lister program were used. For the data storage and processing, the software Wildlife Recorder was applied. The database also includes all accessible records and citations from literature from 1870 onwards. By the end of 2012, a total of 25,117 data were entered into the Park’s database. Between 2010 and 2013, more than 2,949 were conducted in the area of Sečovlje saltpans.

In the preparation of distribution and other maps, the DMAP and DMAP Digitizer programs were used. In the statistical data processing we were aided by the Biodiversity Pro and TRIM programs, while in data interpretation the basic work from this sphere, Measuring Biological Diversity by A. E. Magurran (2004), was being taken into consideration.

Breeding data gathering The data on Sečovlje Salina breeders were gathered with a planned quantitative survey in the UTM 100 x 100 m grid. Between 2010 and 2013, the area of Sečovlje Salina was thoroughly checked during the breeding season on the entire surface suitable for nesting. The water surfaces without mudflats were not checked. Of the total 787 100 x 100 m squares, a little less than 500 were suitable for breeding. During our fieldwork, a boat acquired within the CLIMAPARKS framework was occasionally used as well. The data gathered with the aid of GPS receiver were also transferred to the 100 x 100 m survey grid, or were used to mark the actual nest sites of separate bird species on the map. Quantitative surveys are supplemented by the results acquired during the regular weekly monitoring carried out in the Park's area within the framework of its management. In the wider 1973-2009 period, a mass of data on passage migrants and winter residents as well as data concerning the time prior and after breeding were gathered. For the 1983-2004 period, the data were collected more or less systematically. The data covering the 2004-2013 period are the result of regular weekly monitoring of birds in the area under consideration.

Non-breeding data gathering Regular surveys were carried out in the entire area of Sečovlje Salina outside the breeding period as well. While monitoring the species frequenting open spaces (water surfaces, levees, dry basins, meadows, etc.), various optical appliances (binoculars, telescopes …) and digital cameras were used. In hard to detect passerine birds (warblers), the picture of the passage and post-breeding developments was obtained from data on birds caught in net.

Historical data gathering

Figure 2. 100 × 100 m UTM squares, where data on birds breeding in Sečovlje Salina Nature Park were collected in the 2010–2013 period.

In the last few decades, the ecological conditions and fauna together with them have no doubt changed at Sečovlje Salina a great deal. Some species that used to be common in the past, are now rare or have disappeared altogether. Others that once upon a time bred in the pans or in their immediate vicinity do not breed there any longer. There are, however, also birds that used to be rare, but are now breed here, with their numbers even increasing. Although records


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on the occurrence of some species that were observed in the area of Sečovlje Salina and its immediate vicinity exist, they were not recorded during our surveys. And the probability that they will reoccur is small, too. These kind of records are treated as »historical«.

Bird trapping and ringing In the area of Sečovlje Salina, bird trapping and bird ringing was carried out primarily for the purpose of studying the occurrence of hard to detect birds in the area under discussion. For this purpose, bird ringing station was set up in the area of Stojbe within the framework of CLIMAPARKS project. In the 2010-2013, bird trapping was carried out in the area of Stojbe at Fontanigge in autumn and spring, while in other areas of the Sečovlje Salina trapping was performed only occasionally. Some target species (Kentish Plover, Little and Common Terns, Black-winged Stilt and Avocet) were caught with spring traps and trap nets. The caught birds were systematically marked with colour and metal rings.

Habitat monitoring In the 2010-2013 period, water regimes were regularly maintained in the area of Sečovlje Salina, which provide for optimal living conditions for both plants and animals. Control over water regime is implemented, as a rule, in the entire area of the Park, in line with the needs and requirements of salt-making. Water regime management is carried out particularly accurately in places where suitable conditions for animals, plants and their habitats are to be provided for. The areas belonging to this category are equipped with special water level measuring sticks. The water level is regulated by water inlets and outlets through sluice gates and pipes. Habitat types from the list of the European habitat regulations were also mapped. For this purpose, 100 x 100 m UTM grid, which is used for mapping of smaller areas, was used.

Weather monitoring Weather monitoring is carried out at two Davis Vantage Pro2 Plus weather stations, bought and set up within the framework of the CLIMAPARKS project. Weather data are taken in 15 min intervals and stored using the WeatherLink 5.9.2 program. In this part of Slovenia, winds play a significant role. Through conversion of cardinal directions and using the WindRose PRO3 program, wind data are displayed with the wind rose. All weather data are accessible on our web portal http:// www.kpss.si/vreme, where they can be also checked on graphical display of daily, monthly and annual weather data.

Visitation monitoring Within the framework of the CLIMAPARKS' »Sustainable park visitation« work package, monitoring of the Park's visitors has also been introduced in Sečovlje Salina Nature Park. On November 1st, 2010, counting of all visitors, including those not paying fee for the entry into the Park (with the exception of the Sečovlje Salina Nature Park's employees, boat owners, members of the Rowing Club, and the firm's business partners), was introduced at the Lera entrance. From archives, as accurate as possible data on the numbers of the Park's visitors from 2006 onwards have been obtained. Within the work package entitled »Sustainable management: parks as examples of good practice«, a study on environmentally friendly transport was carried out in the Park during the project's duration, when attempting to check the reasonableness and usefulness of electric vehicles for transportation by the Park's visitors. We purchased two Elefteria electric bicycles and offered to the visitors for a free test ride at Lera. Part of the results was gathered with questionnaires in the field and on the Park's web portal . In June 2012, the Villager 8 electric vehicle was introduced at Lera for trial transportation of visitors from the entrance at Lera to the Visitor Information Centre (MMC). During these trial runs, the vehicle's users were questionnaired. A small scooter was also tested by the Park's employees. It is now used for short runs at Lera as well as in the field. The carrying capacity was estimated on the basis of the carrying capacity indicators for the sustainable visitation scenario. They were selected based on subjective judgment regarding the specific features of the area under consideration.

Statistical data processing Species diversity was calculated with the Simpson and Shannon-Wiener indices, which attempt to interpret the link in the number of individuals of a certain species within the community of all the dealt-with species and their number. Shannon–Wiener diversity index The Shannon–Wiener diversity index is the most widely used measure of diversity. On its basis, the diversity of an area or a community can also be interpreted. The higher the H' value, the higher the diversity. Functional value H' equals zero when organisms of a single species are present in a sample, and reaches the maximum when each of S species has the same number of individuals. When we are interested in how the data on abundance are distributed per separate species (and/or habitats), we speak of a uniform distribution of individuals between species (or per species), which can be expressed with different species evenness indices. They are calculated in the easiest way with diversity (Hill) numbers. When all species from a sample have equal abundances, the species evenness index is the highest. Its value, however, drops when species abundances are different. Calculation of the evenness index used by us is


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specified by Pielou (1975) as relation E = H / log( S ).

ANOSIM

The diversity index was calculated by equation: H = - S pi ln ( pi ), where

The similarity of certain groups (time periods, areas, habitat types, associations, sections) was checked using the similarity analysis (ANOSIM), which stipulates the manner of checking whether there is a significant difference between two or more sampling groups (Clarke & Green, 1988). If two groups of sampling units are indeed different in their species structure, then the differences between groups should be greater than those within a group. Anosim (R) is based on the difference of average ranks between groups (r_B) and within a group (r_W): R = (r_B - r_W) / (N (N-1) / 4)

H’ = diversity pi – share of taxon in the sample (relative abundance) S – number of all species registered in the area under consideration Shannon entropy specifies how much information is acquired on average in the measurement of a certain quantity. It specifies the quantity of uncertainty we are having about a quantity before it is measured. For this calculation, the following formula was used: H = - S pi log2 ( pi )

pi = probability for i events

Simpson index The frequently used diversity measures are based on the Simpson index D, which estimates the probability that two randomly chosen units belong to the same species: D = S pi2 The index, which was first developed in 1949 by Simpson, specifies three different ways of research. The first step for all three of them is calculation Pi, which presents the number of individuals of a certain species, divided by the total number of established organisms. 1. Simpson index: D = sum (Pi 2) It indicates the probability that two randomly chosen individuals in a community belong to the same category (e.g. species). Here 0 indicates infinite diversity, while 1 indicates no diversity at all. This means that the greater the D value, the smaller the diversity. 2. Simpson diversity index: 1 - D It indicates the probability that two randomly chosen individuals in community belong to different categories (e.g. species). The value of this index oscillates between 0 and 1, except that in this case the value is higher with a larger sample of diversity, which is more reasonable. In this case the index shows the probability that two randomly chosen individuals in the sample will belong to two different species. 3. Simpson reciprocal index: 1 / D It indicates the number of equal categories (e.g. species), which form the Simpson index. The value of this index begins with 1, which is the smallest possible result. This result indicates community with a single species. The higher the value, the higher the diversity. The highest value is the number of species in a sample (if there are five species in a sample, the highest value is 5).

ANOSIM generates values lying between -1 and 1, while 0 values indicate 0 hypothesis (there are no differences between the series of samples). We are dealing with comparison of R value of groups with which we measure how separated are groups on the scale from 0 (cannot be separated) to 1 (all similarities within a group are less than any similarity between groups). The result tells us what the difference between groups is. If the similarity within a group is greater than between groups, R will be greater than 0. In ecological associations, R is rarely smaller than 0. If R=0, there are no differences between groups. Bray-Curtis similarity coefficient Similarity in toponyms' structure of toponyms and in the frequency of occurrence of separate bird taxa at individual sampling points and (or) in a certain time period was evaluated with the multivariate cluster analysis (Pielou, 1984). With respect to the presence and frequency of species, individual areas (toponyms) were compared using the BrayCurtis similarity index. Each area pair had its similarity index stipulated, with which similarity of abundance of bird species was estimated. The similarity index indicates a value between 0 and 100%. If toponyms have not even a single species in common, the similarity index is 0%. If, on the other hand, same species with same abundance are present in toponyms, the similarity index is 100%. Toponyms that resemble each other most form the so-called clusters (groups). The clusters were presented using diagram of a tree-like structure – the dendrogram. The same analysis was also made per years for the 1983-2009 period. For all statistical analysis, the BioDiversity Professional 2.0 program was used. TRIM The population trend estimate for significant breeders in the area of Sečovlje Salina was estimated using the program TRIM - Trends and Indices for Monitoring data, version 3.54, which was created specially for the calculation of indices and trends. The program converts the entire multiplicative


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gradient into one of the following categories of trend (with category depending on the gradient and its 95% confidence interval – gradient +/- 1.96 SE of the gradient): significant increase, moderate increase, stable, unreliable, moderate decline and significant decline of the number of counted individuals/nests/pairs (in simple terms: populations of the studied species). As a rule, the trend can be calculated after five successive surveys. In the case of monitoring under consideration, this is therefore possible only for the species monitored each year.

Results and discussion Birds All of the already published as well as numerous unpublished data from personal ornithological notebooks have been gathered. Some data, however, have not been obtained in spite of our desire and attempts to do so. In the wider 1973–2012 period, countless data have been collected for the area under consideration, i.e. from the overwintering period (from November to March), spring migration (March–May), breeding period (May–July), post-breeding period (July and August) and autumn migration (September–November). For the 1983–2002 period, the data were gathered more or less systematically. The data covering the 2004–2009 period are the result of regular weekly bird monitoring in the survey area, carried out within the framework of Sečovlje Salina Nature Park management. The data for the 2010–2013 period have been collected within the Climaparks project. 25,117 faunistic data have been gathered (datum = record of a certain species, in a certain place, at a certain time), which speak of 988,934 observed individuals. Discussed herewith are 297 bird species that were recorded at least once in the 1870–2012 period within the area of Sečovlje Salina Nature Park. In the 2010–2012 period, a total of 209 different bird species were recorded: 196 at Fontanigge and 121 at Lera. In 2010, 160 bird species were recorded, of which no less than 141 were registered at Fontanigge and 92 in the Lera area. In 2011, 153 bird species were registered, 142 of them at Fontanigge and 69 at Lera. In the 2010–2011 period, a total of 186 different bird species were recorded: 172 at 90

Fontanigge and 105 at Lera. 33 species were observed only in 2010, 26 species only in 2011. The most often observed species in 2010 was the Stilt Himantopus himantopus with 120 records, followed by the Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis with 112 records and Mallard Anas platyrhynchos with 109 records. The most numerous species in 2010 was the Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis with 40,723 registered individuals, followed by the Coot Fulica atra with 15,819 registered individuals and Mallard Anas platyrhynchos with individuals. The most often observed species in 2011 was the Stilt Himantopus himantopus with 95 records, followed by the Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis with 82 records and Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus with 76 records. The most numerous species in 2011 was again the Yellow-legged Gull with 39,278 registered individuals, followed by the Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis with 6670 registered individuals and Coot Fulica atra with 4794 individuals. In 2012, 174 bird species were recorded, 163 of them at Fontanigge and 90 at Lera. In January 2012, 61 species overwintered in the Park, while in December 2012 46 species spent the winter there. In 2012, a total of 68 overwintering bird species were registered, 22 of them only in January and 7 only in December. The most often observed species in 2012 was the Mallard Anas platyrhynchos with 199 records, followed by the Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis with 166 records and Little Egret Egretta garzetta with 62 records. The most numerous species in 2012 was again the Yellow-legged Gull with 47,632 registered individuals, followed by the Mallard Anas platyrhynchos with 11,636 registered individuals and Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus with 7,836 individuals. In 2012, 1 new species for the area of Sečovlje Salina was recorded, i.e. the Grey-headed Woodpecker Picus canus. No less than 87 of all registered species have been inscribed on the list of birds from Annex I of the Bird Directive and migrating species from Article 4. No less than 30 of them are triggering (qualifying) species, for which SPA sites are stipulated. 29 species can be found on the Red List of Breeding Species. Bird trapping and ringing that takes place in the area of Stojbe is carried out within the framework of regular bird monitoring in the Park and the Climaparks project, with the aid of which the prefabricated shed for 2 bird ringers was equipped. During 5 trapping days, 1,572 birds belonging to 35000

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Figure 7. Similarity dendrogram based on the Bray-Curtis Similarity index for the 2003–2012 period.

no less than 34 species were trapped and ringed. The target species (Black-winged Stilt, Kentish Plover, Avocet, Little and Common Terns) were tagged with colour rings as well. The first results have shown that the majority of them migrate across the Italian Northern Adriatic wetlands.

Species diversity Use of diversity criteria is quite normal amongst zoologists. Zoocenological research is most often limited to separate populations of organisms or taxonomic groups at different levels. It is most often the case of determining the relationship between species and number of individuals belonging to a particular species. In the majority of diversity indexes, the number of individuals appears as the key input data. One of the basic tasks in mapping and marking of biotic communities is identification and interpretation of the relationship between the number of species, which constitute a given cenosis, and distribution of their individuals (Robič, 2000). Man’s intensive use of land causes its fragmentation,

which results in direct and indirect conflicts with organisms that compete with man for the remaining semi-natural areas. Sečovlje Salina originated on the former alluvia of the Dragonja River and was manmade. Prior to the man’s first encroachments upon this space, the river’s vast drain area was interspersed with different and more or less naturally interconnected habitats. Habitat fragmentation is almost always in conjunction with the impact on natural processes and with economic activities in certain areas. Through several and prolonged encroachments upon the former Dragonja delta and through transformation of the surface area into exploitable fields, which in fact provided for the outset of salt-making activities, fragmentation into smaller parts took place here. With the construction of levees, canals and basins, the drain area was divided into several smaller and functionally different parts, which then changed through years a great deal. As the entire area of Sečovlje Salina was inundated several times by the Dragonja River, it was redirected into the former St. Odorik Canal, where it still flows these days. For decades and centuries, similar ecological conditions prevailed in the Salina which, however, began to change with the abandonment of


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salt-making activities. The once vast water surfaces dried up here and there; in dry and semi-dry basins, numerous halophilous plants began to thrive and spread, with species composition, including birds, changing as well (Škornik, 2012). In the interpretation of species diversity in the area discussed, the data of the last 10 years of regular weekly monitoring (which was carried out in Sečovlje Salina Nature Park from 1 January 2003 to 31 December 2012) were used. In this period, 251 bird species were registered, 66 of which were passage visitors. Linear trend for the last 10 years indicates a slight rise in the species observed (TRIM = p < 0.05), while estimates of the number of observed individuals trend are unreliable. A comparison of the two 5-year periods indicates that 37 species were identified only in the 2008–2012 period, while merely 16 such species were identified only in the 2003–2007 period, with new and rare species among them. For the area of Fontanigge, no less than 234 (93%) species of the total of 251 species registered in Sečovlje Salina were established, while at Lera only 185 (73%) birds species were recorded. 61 species were registered only at Fontanigge, 12 species only at Lera. In comparison with Fontanigge, the species diversity at Lera is smaller, which is not surprising at all. Similar results were presented by Škornik in his Faunistic and Ecological Review of Sečovlje Salina Birds, where he claims that more than a half of species composition of the birds community between Lera and Fontanigge has changed in the last few decades (Škornik, 2012).

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The species breeding in the area under consideration The data on Sečovlje Salina’s breeders were collected through a well planned quantitative mapping in the UTM 100 × 100 m survey grid. In the 2010–2013 period, the entire area of Sečovlje Salina suitable for nesting was systematically surveyed during the breeding season. The water surfaces void of mudflats were not checked. Of a total of 787 100 × 100 m squares, a little less than 500 were suitable for breeding. In the area of Sečovlje Salina, 53 breeding species were recorded till the end of 2009, only 24 of which breed in the Salina. 39 species are regular breeders, while 6 bred here occasionally (Škornik, 2012). Of all species breeding in Sečovlje Salina Nature Park, 10 are of national significance. These are species that hold 10% or more of their total national population. Within the framework of Climaparks project, 8 were selected as target species, i.e. Shelduck Tadorna tadorna, Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus, Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta, Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus, Redshank Tringa totanus, Little Tern Sternula albifrons, Common Tern Sterna hirundo and Fan-tailed Warbler Cisticola juncidis and Cetti’s Warbler Cettia cetti. In 2010, 36 breeding species were registered in the area of Sečovlje Salina Nature Park, while in 2011 only 28 breeders were established to breed in the area. The breeders from the area of influence were not mapped. In the 2010–2011 period,

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Figure 8. Breeding distribution of the Little Tern (Sternula albifrons) and Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus), and their habitat type selection.


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a total of 41 breeding species were registered. In 2010, 318 bird nests were found, while in 2011, 331 nests of difefrent bird species were registered. In the 2010–2011 period, a total of 649 nests of different bird species were recorded. Most of them belong to Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus, i.e. 128 (77 in 2010 and 52 in 2011), followed by Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus with 108 nests (64 in 2010 and 44 in 2011) and Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis with 84 nests (38 in 2010 and 46 in 2011). In 2012, the Redshank Tringa totanus did not breed in the Park, and neither did the Fan-tailed Warbler Cisticola juncidis, although a singing male was observed there. Owing to the exceptionally low temperatures in February 2012, the Adriatic population suffered great damages and has even totally disappeared in some places. In 2012, 478 nets were found. The highest number of broods went to the Little Tern Sternula albifrons (72), Common Tern Sterna hirundo (62), Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus (54) and Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus (52). The earliest breeders were the Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis (12 January 2012) and Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus (22 March 2012). The Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta attempted to breed in Sečovlje saltpans as early as in 1994, but failed to produce offspring. About the first reliable breeding speaks the nest with eggs found on a small levee in the Life area in 2001 (Škornik, 2012). Since 2008, its breeding has been successful, with increasing number of breeding pairs.

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In Sečovlje Salina, the Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus bred for the first time in 1990 (Makovec & Škornik, 1990). The number of breeding pairs has been rising, although some major oscillations have been noticed in separate breeding seasons, affected mainly by the water regime during the breeding season (Škornik, 2012) and, most probably, by the arrival of new individuals. The Black-winged Stilt’s breeding success oscillates, from poor to exceptional. The species in which a major breeding population growth has been noted in the last few years is the Little Tern Sternula albifrons. Its favourite nest-sites are the lowest and with water surface levelled places, due to which, however, its breeding is more hazardous and its breeding success low. According to the data known to us so far, it can be concluded that the condition for a successful breeding is a suitable water regime and dry breeding season with no heavy rainfall. Owing to occasional heavy rain, the Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus is also endangered apart from the Little Tern. Most often, this species breeds on a dry and bare levee, or on the bottom of a dried up basin, although invariably on its somewhat elevated part. It has also been seen breeding on levees overgrown with halophilous vegetation, where its nest is almost always located in the shelter of one of the Salina’s halophytes. The threat status of this species in the area of Sečovlje saltpans depends primarily on seasonal weather conditions (with successful breeding seasons coinciding with favourable salt-making conditions – seasons), suitable water regime, appropriately preserved nest-sites, predators and, to a smaller extent, on its disturbance during the breeding season. The Fan-tailed Warbler Cisticola juncidis has not bred in the area of Sečovlje saltpans since 2012, when its population was destroyed by severe February cold and winds. The Fan-tailed Warbler is highly sensitive to harsh winters, which can totally destroy its population. This also took place in the winter of 1985/86, when its population was disastrously affected. In that particular period, it altogether disappeared from some valleys and Sečovlje pans and reappeared as late as in September, which indicates its repopulation (Geister, 1995).

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Figure 10. Breeding of the Kentish Plover and population trend from 1985 to 2012 (p < 0.01).

The summer-visiting species in the area discussed, or the species occurring here in the post-breeding season Among the summer-visiting species that occur in the area of Sečovlje Salina in the post-breeding season (July and August), there are quite few that have no suitable habitats in the area, i.e. breed elsewhere and moult here as juveniles, frequent this area owing to its more suitable feeding sites, or their nest sites are geographically situated much higher and thus have no opportunity to breed here. Among the species that occur in the area of Sečovlje Salina in the post-breeding season, a special mention should be made of the Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis, Mediterranean Gull Ichthyaetus melanocephalus and Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis. All three of them occur here in large numbers. The most abundant among them, however, is no doubt the


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Since 2007, more than 200 birds, which had been marked on Croatian islands where they breed, have been recognised with the aid of our Italian colleagues on the basis of the birds’ colour rings. 61% were from the Brijuni Islands, 13% from the Silbanski Grebeni Archipelago, 10% from the Kvarner Archipelago and 16% from other localities. Their breeding population has been estimated at up to 2,000 pairs (J. Kralj, personal communication, 2012). In the Gulf of Trieste, up to 4,000 individuals gather in the post-breeding season, which is more than a half of the entire Adriatic population (Škornik et al., 2011). Apart from Shag, it is also the Mediterranean Gull Ichthyaetus melanocephalus that occurs here in greater numbers during the post-breeding season; according to the Act on Ratification of the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (MKVERZ) and Appendix II, it has been proclaimed a strictly protected animal species

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Figure 13. The dynamics of Yellow-legged Gull’s occurrence per separate weeks in the 1983–2012 period.

Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis, which fulfils several IBA and SPA criteria (Škornik, 2007). The Shag has its nest sites in Dalmatia, while its post-breeding roost sites are located in the Northern Adriatic (Figure 14). The Shag’s largest nest sites are in the Kvarner Archipelago and Brijuni, whereas the largest nest site in Dalmatia is the Silbanski Grebeni (Zadar), where even more than 200 pairs are known to breed. In the Southern Adriatic, they breed on the island of Lastovo (R. Crnković, personal communication, 2011). IIn the Northern Adriatic, Shags occur in larger numbers as early as August. They roost in the Venetian Lagoons, at the shellfish farm in front of Sečovlje and Strunjan Salinas, as well as at the shellfish farms spreading from Debeli Rtič to the mouth of the Timavo River. In the Gulf of Trieste, up to 4,000 individuals gather in the post-breeding season, which is more than half of the entire Adriatic population. Shags occur in greater numbers as early as August. They roost in the Venetian Lagoons, at the shellfish farm in front of Sečovlje and Strunjan Salinas, as well as at the shellfish farms spreading from Debeli Rtič to the mouth of the Timavo River.

The species occurring in the area under consideration as passage migrants Generally, the spring migration starts as early as February, when birds leave their wintering grounds, with some species beginning to return as early as July (Snow & Perrins, 1998). In Slovenia, the migration wave starts with a delay. Owing to the occurrence of the characteristic aquatic birds that stop in Slovenia, it can be assumed that the spring migration takes place in our country between late March and early June, with the peak reached in early April, therefore within three months. The autumn migration is somewhat more prolonged, lasting for about four months, i.e. from late August till early November. Specifically, birds are not in such a hurry to return to the wintering grounds in the autumn like in spring to their breeding sites, when the arduous task of breeding is still waiting for them (Vrezec et al., 2006). In the area of Sečovlje Salina, the spring migration takes place mostly between March and May, while the autumn migration starts in August and ends in October. During the spring migration in the 1983–2009 period, 213 bird species were registered, while during the autumn migration in this particular period, 211 species were recorded. Quite few species stop in the area of Sečovlje Salina both during the migration and overwintering periods. 134 species are regular passage migrants (Škornik, 2012). In 2010, 149 different bird species were recorded during the spring and autumn migration periods. In the Sečovlje Salina area, spring migration takes place predominantly between March and May. In 2010, 123 different species were registered during this period, and 89 species during the autumn migration period, which takes place between August and October. 60 species were seen on migration only in spring, 26 species only during the autumn migration period. In 2011, 131 different bird species were recorded during the spring and autumn migration periods. In the area of Sečovlje Salina Nature Park, spring migration takes place mostly between March and May. In 2010, 92 different species were


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Figure 14. Shag’s nest sites in Dalmatia (red) and its post-breeding roost sites in the Northern Adriatic (yellow).

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Although winter is officially denoted as a period lasting from 21 December and 21 March, a more suitable period is used for the determination of the birds’ winter distribution, i.e. from late November till early February, when temperatures are lowest, when it snows, and when days are short (Sovinc, 1994). Even though the first overwintering birds land at Sečovlje Salina as early as November, and leave it in March, some even in April, only birds that stay here during the winter months (December, January) for a longer period are marked as winter residents. Among these are also those that arrive in our country owing to the harsh weather and other conditions, with their regular wintering grounds usually

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elsewhere. During the 1983–2009 period, 143 overwintering species were recorded. 70 of them regularly spend the winter in the area of Sečovlje Salina, 30 do not overwinter here every year, while 53 species are winter visitors (Škornik, 2012). According to the Atlas of Wintering Birds in Slovenia, the area of Sečovlje Salina is the most significant wintering grounds of birds in Slovenia with its 123 species observed during the winter (Sovinc, 1994). In January 2010, 55 bird species overwintered in the Sečovlje Salina area, in December 2010 only 33 species. In January 2011, 39 species spent the winter here, in December 2011 60 species. In the 2010–2011 period, a total of 79

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registered in spring, and 94 species in the autumn migration period, which takes place between August and October. 37 species were recorded on migration only in spring, 39 species only during the autumn migration period. In 2012, 149 different species were recorded during the spring and autumn migration. 119 species were registered during the spring and 109 species during the autumn migration. 40 migrating species occurred only in spring, 30 species only in the period of autumn migration.

Figure 15. The abundance of Wigeon during its overwintering in the 1983–2012 period.


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overwintering bird species were registered: 13 species of a total of 63 stayed only in January, while 16 species of a total of 66 stayed only in December. Quite surprising was the first record of an overwintering Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula in Slovenia, which was most probably a result of the exceptionally warm winter in 2011. The last few observations have confirmed that Kentish Plovers Charadrius alexandrinus spend the winter in small groups within the Sečovlje Salina area. The increasing number of winter observations indicate that our Kentish Plovers overwinter here as well, which has been confirmed by observations of birds tagged with colour rings. In January 2012, 61 species overwintered in the Park, while in December 2012 46 species spent the winter there. In 2012, a total of 68 overwintering bird species were registered, 22 of them only in January and 7 only in December. Quite surprising was the first record of an overwintering Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula in Slovenia, which was most probably a result of the exceptionally warm winter in 2011. The last few observations have confirmed that Kentish Plovers Charadrius alexandrinus spend the winter in small groups within the Sečovlje Salina area. The increasing number of winter observations indicate that our Kentish Plovers overwinter here as well, which has been confirmed by observations of birds tagged with colour rings. The number of individuals of some species was reduced in the winter season. This applies particularly for the Wigeon Anas penelope (Figure 15).

Rare species The rarity status is stipulated for separate species by the national Rarities Committee (which functions under the auspices of the Bird Watching and Bird Study Association of Slovenia) on the basis of the actual observations of a species in Slovenia (Vrezec et al., 2006). Considered rare are all those species that have been observed less than 10 times in the last 50 years (Božič, 2001). A similar rarity criterion (up to 10 observations) has been used for the area of Sečovlje Salina. Still, if a species is dealt with as rare in this area, this does not yet mean that it is rare outside Sečovlje Salina or in the territory of Slovenia. 120

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Figure 16. The abundance of Shelduck Tadorna tadorna from 1984 to 2012. The number of its individuals has greatly increased in the last ten years.

Of the 292 species registered in the area of Sečovlje Salina Nature Park till 2009, 125 (42.8%) were observed less than 10 times. 39 species (13.3%) occurred in this area only once, which is sufficient to claim that their occurrence in Sečovlje Salina was purely a set of circumstances. Apart from it, the data concerning 9 species originate from the end of the 19th century (historical data), among which 7 concern the species that are very unlikely to occur here once more (Škornik, 2012). In 2011, 4 species new to the area of Sečovlje Salina were recorded – Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea, Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus, Paddyfield Warbler Acrocephalus agricola and Barred Warbler Sylvia nisoria. The interesting and rare species that occurred in the area of Sečovlje Salina Nature Park in 2010 are: Short-toed Eagle Circaetus gallicus, Corn Crake Crex crex, Great Spotted Cuckoo Clamator glandarius, Gull-billed Tern Gelochelidon nilotica, Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus and Red Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus. The interesting and rare species that occurred in Sečovlje Salina in 2011 are: Mandarin Aix galericulata, Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus, Corn Crake Crex crex, Gull-billed Tern Gelochelidon nilotica, Barn Owl Tyto alba, Woodchat Shrike Lanius senator and Citrine Wagtail Motacilla citreola. The observations of Citrine Wagtail Motacilla citreola, Crossbill Loxia curvirostra and Black Swan Cygnus atratus are the second observations of these species in the area of Sečovlje Salina Nature Park. The rare species that occurred in this area in 2012 are: Turnstone Arenaria interpres, Broad-billed Sandpiper Limicola falcinellus (third observation), Red-crested Pochard Netta rufina (third observation). The interesting species that occurred in Sečovlje Salina in 2012 apart from the above mentioned new and rare species are: Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos, Red Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus and Yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella.

Habitats and their importance Species diversity is endangered mainly due to habitat degradation and destruction. Habitat loss is increasing predominantly due to man's intensive exploitation of natural assets and urbanization. In the future, this will be further aggravated by climate change, which will affect the quality of habitats. In order to conserve both natural habitats and species of wild fauna and flora, the Council Directive 92/43/ EEC on the Conservation of Natural Habitats and of Wild Fauna and Flora, known as the Habitats Directive, was adopted on May 21st 1992. The Directive has been supplemented several times, for the last time in 1995, when the act was accessed by Austria, Finland and Sweden. Within the framework of CLIMAPARKS project, habitat types from the list of European Decree on Habitats have been mapped in the area of Sečovlje Salina. Sea level rise, as a result of global warming, is of special concern in the littoral belt, given that even the smallest rise of the sea brings radical changes to the existing Sečovlje Salina's habitats, changes that will greatly affect the distribution and quality of the already


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vulnerable habitats. And changes in habitats bring changes in animal species as well. The mapped habitat types are:

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Estuaries (Nat. 2000 code 1130) Silty and sandy mudflats that turn dry during low tide (Nat. 2000 code 1140) Pioneer stands of the genus Salicornia and other annual plants on silt and sand (Nat. 2000 code 1310) Stands of Spartina sward Spartinion maritimae (Nat. 2000 code 1320) Mediterranean salt grasslands Juncetalia maritimi (Nat. 2000 code 1410) Mediterranean halophilous scrubs Sarcocornetea fruticosi (Nat. 2000 code 1420)

In the 2010-2012 period, the water regimes that enable optimal living conditions for plants and animals of Sečovlje Salina were regularly maintained. In order to provide for

suitable water regimes, various refurbishment and other maintenance works are carried out in the area of Sečovlje Salina within the framework of the acquired international projects and national water management programmes. At the same time, the greater part of the exploited area is used for the traditional production of salt. With the reconstruction of evaporation basins, which are inundated during the greater part of the year, the surface area of significant habitats has been reduced, which is the reason why a proposal was made to improve the state of all habitats of European concern in such a way as to avoid any major encroachment upon breeding conditions of important bird species as well as upon the traditional production of salt. With a suitable approach to draining, ca. 50 hectares of dry tracts of land or occasionally inundated basins can be provided in the area of Fontanigge, which will enable suitable conditions for the growth and spreading of halophilous vegetation.


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Sečovlje Salina's climatic characteristics IIn the 1983–2012 period, the meteorological measurements were not carried out continuously from the same spot on the Slovenian coastline. In the first few years, meteorological data were supplied from the Beli Križ weather station, while later on they were measured at Portorož Airport and our two stations (at Lera and Fontanigge). To make them comparable, the data from Beli Križ were recalculated to the Portorož Airport location. While this procedure enables us a good comparison of average monthly values, it does not provide good results for extreme values, which are highly dependent on microlocal conditions, in which Beli Križ and the Airport differ a great deal. In 2010, two weather stations were therefore set up at Sečovlje Salina within the framework of Climaparks project: one in the Visitor Centre at Lera, the other along the Pichetto Canal at Fontanigge.

Temperature Slovenia is known for its sub-Mediterranean or mitigated Mediterranean climate, given that Mediterranean and Continental climate types converge in this part of the world. The sub-Mediterranean climate differs from the true Mediterranean climate in its somewhat lower average temperatures and in different precipitation distribution and quantity. Mediterranean climate is characterized by high concentration of rainfall in the winter which, however, does not apply for the greater part of the Slovenian Mediterranean region. Still, the latter has considerably higher average annual temperatures than those occurring in the interior of Slovenia. It is particularly significant that winter temperatures are higher than in Slovenia’s interior. The Koper Littoral’s climate is the warmest in Slovenia. Owing to the hot summers and mild winters, the temperature regime is Mediterranean. This, however, does not apply for the annual distribution of rainfall, which is in the Mediterranean concentrated in winter. The warmest month is July. Mean temperatures along the coast oscillate between 23 in 25 °C, while those in the hilly hinterland they are somewhat lower, although still above 20 °C. The summer is also the period of the greatest weather stability, when the anti-cyclone type of weather prevails. In January, which is the coldest month, the temperatures exceed 3 °C, but do not fall below 2 °C even in the hills and hillocks. In this part of the Koper Coastland, impacts of the sea can be felt on the climate itself. The average monthly temperatures of the sea are, as a rule, always higher than the average monthly air temperatures, i.e. from the greatest difference of 5.3 °C in November to the smallest difference of 0.2 °C in May. The average sea temperature at Portorož (1976–1985) is 15.8 °C and is by 2.4 °C higher than the average annual air temperature. The differences are greatest in the October– January period, when the sea is by 4.4 °C warmer on average. The difference between the average July and February temperatures is 15.9 °C. As far as air temperature is concerned,

it is significant that the sea warms up slowly in spring and cools slowly in autumn. Sea temperature reaches its highest values two months after the corresponding solstices. Between mid-June and early October, the mean daily sea temperature does not fall below 20 °C. This period usually lasts for more than 110 days. With its sub-Mediterranean climate, the Sečovlje Salina is ranked amongst the warmest parts of Slovenia. Sunny days are plentiful, with their annual average reaching 2,346 hours. Precipitation is low, i.e. between 1,000 and 1,100 mm/year. The area is characterized by mild winters, with temperatures falling below zero only here and there. Ogrin (1995) classified Sečovlje Salina into a special climatic range, characteristic of the valleys and lowlands of Slovenian Istria. These are characterized by distinct night temperature inversions. The differences between the values of temperatures measured at the Portorož Airport station can thus be by up to 2 °C lower than temperatures measured at the station outside the inversion zone – Beli Križ (Ogrin, 1995).

Exposure to the sun This area is known for the highest solar radiation in Slovenia and the longest vegetation period: 9–11 months for grasses. Solar radiation is the highest during the summer months and lowest in the winter. The solar radiation energy is closely associated with the solar radiation duration and is practically linearly dependent on duration of solar radiation. The weather station at Lera is also equipped with an instrument for solar radiation measuring. The threshold with which duration of solar radiation was determined is 100 W/m2. In the last 30 years, duration of solar radiation has changed a great deal as well. Apart from natural variability, the trend of increasing solar radiation duration has been noticed. On average, the number of hours of solar radiation rises in all seasons except autumn (ARSO, 2006).

Precipitation The highest rainfall is recorded in the western part of the region in October, while in the eastern part of the hillocks and in the contact area with Podgorski Kras the rainfall is highest in November. The second peak is reached in June. The precipitation quantities increase from west to east, rising from about 1,000 mm in Koper and Portorož to between 1,200 and 1,350 mm in the eastern parts of the hillocks. The driest period lasts from January till May. July and August are, on average, wetter than the winter months, which is contrary to the characteristics of the Mediterranean climatic type, in which the precipitation peak is reached during the winter months (Repolusk, 1993). In the area of Sečovlje Salina, the precipitation peak is reached in September. In spite of the high precipitation quantities, physiological drought occurs during the summer. In the last five years, the average precipitation quantity in Sečovlje Salina amounts to more than 800


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Figure 18. Wind roses from the automatic Meteorological Station Airport Portorož for the 2006–2012 period. 24-hour measurement (left), daily measurements (in the middle) and night-time measurements (right).

mm. In the area of Fontanigge, higher rainfall is recorded on average than at Lera (by 10% - 18% more). The rainfall was most abundant in 2010, with more than 1,200 mm, while the driest year was 2012 with less than 600 mm.

short-lived transitory wind that blows in the Adriatic from N in all four seasons. It can be a strong and locally dangerous wind. It usually turns into the bura.

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Climatic characteristics in 2011 and trends of some meteorological variables

IIn this part of Slovenia, winds are a very significant landscape factor. The northeasterly wind bura blows throughout the year, particularly during the winter. It can last from few hours (mainly during the summer), few days and up to a week or two (largely during the winter). The burin is night thermal wind blowing from land towards the sea; it originates due to the fact that the land cools faster than the sea after the sunset. Owing to the type of its origin, it blows only in the vicinity of the coast; at greater distances it weakens and disappears. It blows from the sunset to the sunrise from the north-north-east (NNE) to east-north-east (ENE) directions. The levant is a transitory and humid wind in the Northern Adriatic, blowing from the east (E). It is characteristic mainly of the winter period. It originates in still air and turns into the bura or yugo. The yugo (scirocco) is a warm and humid wind, blowing in the Adriatic from the ESE to SSE directions. It is accompanied by cloudy weather and, quite often, by rain. The southeasterly wind scirocco is more frequent than the wind called ostro, which is a transitory and short-lived wind, blowing directly from the south. These two winds are often called simply yugo, which brings deteriorating weather with heavy rainfall. In nicer weather during the warmer part of the year, the winds maestral (NW) and lebich (SW) blow frequently between 11:00 and 16:00. In Slovenia, the maestral blows from WNW, in the greater part of the Adriatic from NW, and in the extreme Southern Adriatic even from W. It starts after 10:00, with its greatest strength of about 4 Bf reached at about 14:00, and dies down before the sunset. In the Adriatic, the lebich is a stormy SW wind, accompanied by heavy rainfall. In the summer, it originates as a wind of local thermal storms. The ponente is another stormy wind, blowing from W. The tramontana, on the other hand, is a

The year 2011 is considered one of the hottest years in our country. All over Slovenia, the average annual temperature was by more than 1 °C above the 1961–1990 average; in the greater part of Slovenia, the average was exceeded even by more than 1.5 °C (ARSO, 2012). At Lera, the average annual temperature reached 14.5 °C, whereas at Fontanigge it was slightly lower, i.e. 14 °C. The majority of months in 2011 were exceptionally warm, most conspicuous among them being August with the highest measured day-time temperature at Lera reaching 34.9 °C and at Fontanigge 33.8 °C. The lowest annual temperature at Lera, i.e. –4.8 °C, was measured on 8 March 2011, while the lowest annual temperature at Fontanigge, i.e. –4.7 °C, was measured on 4 January 2011 and 3 March 2011. In 2011, the sum of precipitation was below the long-term average everywhere in Slovenia; in the greater part of the country, the precipitation reached only between 70 and 80% of the long-term average. The rainfall at Lera reached 569.8 mm, at Fontanigge slightly more, i.e. 628.7 mm. The highest precipitation in the area of Sečovlje Salina was recorded in July and October. Even drier month than November on the Slovenian coastline was August. In August, Lera received 4.2 mm, in November 9.2 mm of rain. Fontanigge, on the other hand, received 1.6 mm of rain in August and 8.2 mm in November. Since 1951, the year 2011 was one of the driest in the greater part of the country. In the entire year, Portorož received no more than 614 mm of rain, which greatly differs from the year 2010 with 1,394 mm of rain (ARSO, 2012). In 2011, the duration of solar radiation was above the long-term average. At Portorož, with its 2,730 hrs of sun, it was the sunniest year since 1955. The annual sum of solar


76 | ClimaParks - Climate change and management of protected areas

radiation in 2011 at Lera was 3,075.5 hrs. In July 2011, the Portorož Airport had 315 hrs of sunshine, which is 100% more than the average of the 1961–1990 period. In July 2011, Lera received 355.8 hrs of sun. The prevailing wind in the area of Sečovlje Salina is the yugo (SE), which blows at night. It is stronger although more constant at Fontanigge. The windiest month was March.

Climatic characteristics in 2012 and trends of some meteorological variables The year 2012 was exceptionally warm all over the country. The greatest deviation was reached at Slovenske Gorice and Pomurje (NE Slovenia) and in the belt stretching from central Slovenia southwards to Mt. Snežnik and right down to the

border with Croatia, and in the Dolenjska region, where the deviation exceeded 2 °C. Elsewhere, it was at least by 1 °C warmer than usual (ARSO, 2013). At Lera, the average annual temperature was 14.3 °C, while at Fontanigge it reached 14.1 °C. January 2012 was characterized by its fairly high temperatures in its early part, with the highest day-time temperature recorded on 3 January in Sečovlje Salina Nature Park. At Lera, the highest temperature was 12.6 °C, while at Fontanigge it was somewhat higher, i.e. 13.1 °C. The lowest January temperature was at both weather stations about the same (Lera –4.3 °C, Fontanigge –4.5 °C). In the greater part of Slovenia, December 2012 was warmer than usual. At Lera, the December average reached 5.2 °C, at Fontanigge 4.8 °C. The highest temperature at Lera was recorded on 23 August 2012 (35.6 °C), at Fontanigge on 2 July 2012 (35.7 °C). The lowest temperature at Lera and Temperature 2012 30

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The average values ​of wind direction in 2011

The average values ​of wind direction in 2012

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ClimaParks - Climate change and management of protected areas | 77

Figure 25. Wind rose for the month of February from automatic meteorological station Portorož Airport for the period 2006–2012 (left) and wind rose for the month of February 2012 from the meteorological stations at Lera (center) and Fontanigge (right).

Fontanigge was measured on 9 February 2012, i.e. –7.6 °C at both locations. February was also exceptionally windy, with prevailing bura wind. In 2012, there was more sun than usual all over the country. The annual sum of solar radiation at Lera reached 3,095.5 hrs. In July 2012, the Portorož Airport received by no less than 116% more sun than was the 1961–1990 average (ARSO, 2013). In 2012, the July sum of solar radiation was greater than in 2011, reaching 367.8 hrs. In the last 20 years, the average air temperature has been indicating a rising trend. The year 2012 was markedly warmer than the long-term average, although even higher average air temperature was measured in the past. In the year 2012, the precipitation sum was even smaller than a year earlier. Lera received 554.9 mm of rain, Fontanigge a little more than in 2011, i.e. 655.4 mm. The highest precipitation rates in the area of Sečovlje Salina were recorded in May and November. In May, Lera received 88.8 mm of rain, in November 114.6 mm of rain. Fontanigge had 112.2 mm of rain in May and 1109.6 mm in November. The driest month was March. In February 2012, the largest part of Europe was faced with severe frost, which was in places accompanied by strong winds and snow. The area of Sečovlje Salina was covered by ice. The average speed of wind at Lera reached 35.4 km/h, with the greatest gust of wind – 101.4 km/h – measured on 4 February. At Fontanigge, the wind was blowing at the average speed of 28.4 km/h, with the strongest gust of wind at 93.3 km/h. In the first seven days of February 2012, the temperature was constantly below 0 °C, but felt like –16 °C due to very strong bura wind.

Visitation Protected areas are considered most important instrument of biodiversity conservation. The objective of proclaiming and managing a protected area is to conserve nature and with it connected natural assets, benefits and cultural values.

Our long-term objectives of the Park’s management are directed towards protection and sustained conservation of natural beauties and thus biodiversity of Sečovlje Salina, as well as towards protection of cultural heritage and the characteristics of littoral cultural landscape of Slovenian Istria. The visitors are invited to experience the Park through various forms of guidance (information centres and points, information boards, trails), guided tours, workshops in nature, creative workshops and different education programs and lectures. Most suitable forms of recreation are those subjected to the Park’s basic purposes. In Sečovlje Salina Nature Park, the traditional Salt Festival is also held, which attracts numerous enthusiasts and lovers of salt-making tradition and culinary specialties. On the basis of the Nature Conservation Law, entrance fee is charged for the visit of the Park. By buying a ticket, the visitors are insured against accidents during the visit of the Park, when the Code of Conduct is to be respected as well. Sečovlje Salina Nature Park can be visited individually or in groups. Organised groups (at least 15 persons) are enabled a guided tour which, however, must be announced in due time with the aid of the web form, which was prepared within the Climaparks project and in which general conditions and notes are given. Guided tours through the Park are intended for the visitors who wish, apart from strolling through the Park, to learn some more about the Sečovlje Salina and its salt-making tradition. With programs designed for visitors with special needs, we wish to bring the Park closer to all visitors. The programs are prepared in cooperation with professional leaders of different groups. For the blind and visually impaired, a tactile model of Sečovlje Salina is available in the Visitor Centre. The Park has two land entrances (Lera, Fontanigge), with access to both areas enabled by sea with a boat as well. No dogs are allowed to the area of Lera. The Museum of Saltmaking can be accessed by sea or via macadam road along the Dragonja River at Fontanigge. The Park can be entered both in winter and summer one hour after the sunrise, and has to be exited one hour before the sunset. Visitors are advised, however, to check for the


78 | ClimaParks - Climate change and management of protected areas

opening hours at the Park’s reception. Prior to arriving at the Park, visitors can check on the camera of the Park’s web portal for the basic weather conditions at both weather stations. Within the framework of the program entitled The effectiveness of managing protected areas in Slovenia, Final report of the RAPPAM analysis, tourism and recreation are specified as activities posing potential pressure and threats to the protected areas (Kus & Sovinc, 2009), even though we cannot talk about tourism in the majority of cases, but of protected area visitation. The authors assess that pressures and threats are the greatest at Triglav National Park, while in smaller protected areas, such as Sečovlje Salina, they are moderate or small. These data are based on the estimates made by the areas’ managers and not on the grounds of results obtained through analyses of the gathered data, which means that their interpretation can be false. Even more, any conclusions as to the impacts exerted on protected areas by “tourism and recreation,” without acquiring accurate data on the number of visitors and their habits is, to put it mildly, speculative. In accordance with the biodiversity conservation strategy in Slovenia, “tourism” can pose a development opportunity for the areas with high natural assets, although only under the condition that it does not diminish biodiversity, that it reduces utilization of non-renewable sources and follows the principles of sustainable visitation, which has to include preservation of diversity, characteristics and beauties of nature and landscape. Sustainable visitation of protected areas should be understood as opportunity and not as pressure or threat. Intense cooperation between the nine parks within the Climaparks project in the implementation of various project tasks will contribute to the exchange of good practices and strengthening of cooperation between Slovenia and Italy. By setting up a joint measuring and observation network we expect to build above all a solid foundation for the preparation of comparative analyses, which can then be carried out for the first time within and between separate parks. We are upgrading the existing and establishing new methods of visitation monitoring for the purpose of assessing the trends and adaptation of the visitation management. Within the framework of the Climaparks’ “Sustainable visitation of parks” work package, regular monitoring of the Park’s visitors and their counting at both entrances was introduced. In the 2006–2012 period, the Park was visited by 267,743 people. The carrying capacity concept is not uniformly defined, for different definitions have been presented by different authors. Chamberlain (1997) defines the tourist carrying capacity as a level of the activities by man that can somehow still be tolerated by the environment, without this environment getting destroyed and without the local population being affected or the visitors’ satisfaction reduced. According to the World Tourist Organization’s definition, the carrying capacity is stipulated with the maximum number of tourists at a certain tourist destination, which would not yet negatively affect the natural and social environment and reduce the tourists’

satisfaction (Mangion, 2001). With regard to the considered environment’s ecological capacity, which is linked primarily to the changes of biophysical environment owing to the “tourist use,” and social carrying capacity that presents the attitude of both local population and visitors to the environment, use of natural resources and environmental pollution as well as satisfaction of both with the offer and development of visitation in protected areas, the Sečovlje Salina Nature Park’s management stipulated as the upper limit of the still acceptable max. 50,000 visitors per year, which means that 300 visitors at the most can frequent the Park at the same time, or 900 visitors at the most per day.

2010 In 2010, the Sečovlje Salina was visited by 35,010 people. 24,902 of these visited the Lera area, while 10,108 people visited the Museum of Salt-making at Fontanigge. At Lera, 395 guided tours attended by 12,693 visitors (predominantly school groups and pensioners) were accomplished. In 2010, 67 annual passes as well as 1,390 family admission tickets, 9,526 tickets for adults and 13,902 tickets for children, schoolchildren, students and pensioners were sold at Lera. From the beginning of visitor counting on 1 November 2010, about 70 visitors entering the Park free of charge were counted.

2011 In 2011, Sečovlje Salina Nature Park was visited by the record-breaking 47,430 people. 38,702 of these visited the Lera area, while 8,728 people visited the Museum of Saltmaking at Fontanigge. At Lera, 529 guided tours attended by 16,753 visitors were accomplished; most of these were school groups and pensioners, but the number of foreign visitors is increasing as well. In 2011, 27 annual passes as well as 1,801 family admission tickets, 9,202 tickets for adults and 15,529 tickets for children, schoolchildren, students and pensioners were sold. 11,745 visitors entered the Sečovlje Salina Nature Park free of charge, while 56 groups with a total of 1,347 visitors were enabled free guidance through the Park. 100 annual passes were donated to all participants of the cleaning action. The Park was entered by land by a total of 43,082 visitors (90.84% of all visitors), while 4,348 visitors (9.16% of all visitors) arrived by sea. A total 2,291 of these landed at Lera and 2,057 visitors at Fontanigge. Among those coming to the Park by boats were mostly school groups.

2012 In 2012, the Park was visited by 45,000 people: 36,729 of these visited the Lera area, 8,281 the Museum of Salt-making at Fontanigge. At Lera, no less than 431 guided tours attended by 13,585 visitors were accomplished. Most of these were


ClimaParks - Climate change and management of protected areas | 79

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school groups and pensioners, although the number of foreign visitors is increasing as well. In comparison with the year 2011, the number of the Park’s visitors slightly fell in 2012. In 2012, 51 annual passes as well as 1,876 family admission tickets, 12,590 tickets for adults and 18,818 tickets for children, schoolchildren, students and pensioners were sold in the Park. 11,886 visitors entered the Park free of charge. 109 groups (1,895 visitors) were enabled free guidance. 100 annual passes were donated to all participants of the cleaning action. The Park was entered by land by a total of 41,256 visitors. 34,135 of these visited Lera and 7,121 the Fontanigge area. 3,754 visitors arrived by sea; 2,594 of these landed at Lera and 1,160 at Fontanigge.

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Figure 27. Trend of linear increase (Trend) and No. of visitors (N) in the Park during the 2006–2012 period indicate a moderate increase (p < 0.01).

Visitation trend This trend can be defined as direction into which the people’s spare time habits are moving. Trend is the basic direction, presenting the effect of factors that work on the long run. This direction, however, is not linear. Direction of these peaks and valleys is stipulated by trend’s direction and visitors’ habits. If we are having a sequence of higher peaks and valleys, we are talking about increasing trend. These factors can cause this phenomenon reflecting the tendency of constant increase or constant decline, or the expressed tendency can even change in a longer period of time. Trend

Table 1. No. of visitors and precipitation amounts

Month April May June July August September October Total

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Precipitaon (mm) 2012

Var (%)

2011

10.4 54 37.2 142.6 4.2 67.2 116.2 431.8

45.2 88.8 29 3 21.2 77.4 86.2 350.8

334.60 64.40 –22.00 –97.90 404.80 15.20 –25.80 –18.80

4,292 5,326 6,141 3,106 3,069 4,755 4,234 30,923

Visitors 2012

Var (%)

4,557 5,976 6,625 3,776 4,177 6,596 4,189 35,896

6.2 12.2 7.9 21.6 36.1 38.7 –1.1 16.1

Table 2. No. of visitors and air temperature

Month April May June July August September October Total

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Temperature (°C) 2012

Var (%)

14.1 17.8 21.8 22.7 24.5 22.4 13.9 19.6

12.8 16.8 22.5 25.4 24.6 20.5 15.7 19.8

–9.2 –5.6 3.2 11.9 0.4 –8.5 12.5 0.8

2011

Visitors 2012

Var (%)

4,292 5,326 6,141 3,106 3,069 4,755 4,234 30,923

4,557 5,976 6,625 3,776 4,177 6,596 4,189 35,896

6.2 12.2 7.9 21.6 36.1 38.7 –1.1 16.1


80 | ClimaParks - Climate change and management of protected areas

enables us an easier and more illustrative comparison between phenomena, prediction of the probable development of the phenomenon in the future, and mitigates determination of other components of the phenomenon as well as indicates its strength and significance (Pfajfar & Arh, 1998). Of the total 127,440 visitors in the 2010–2012 period, the area of Lera (where the Visitor Centre is also located) was visited by 77.9%, while the Museum of Salt-making was visited by a little less than a third of them. The Park was entered via land by 91% of the visitors, while 9% of them arrived via sea by boat. A good third (33.7%) of the visitors opted for guided tours. 76% were domestic visitors, a little less than one fourth (23.74%) foreigners, the majority of which were English-speaking (13.9%), followed by Italian-speaking (4.7%) 0-500

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and German-speaking visitors (3.1%), while a little less than 2% of the guided tours were conducted in other languages (Russian, Croatian …). Regarding the structure of visitors, the first place went to primary/secondary school children and students (46.3%), followed by adult visitors (28.1%), journalists and business partners (6.5%), and pensioners (5.8%). A good two percent (2.4%) were persons with special needs. The results of the carried out statistical analysis indicate that the number of visitors is rising and that the main “season” in the 2010–2012 period was covered by April and August, when the number of visitors surpassed the monthly average (Figure 28). Very close as far as their mutual resemblance (calculated on the basis of the Bray-Curtis index) is concerned, were the winter months of December, January and February,

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Figure 28. Visitation trend in the Park during the year with regard to the time of arrival to the Park in the 2010–2012 period. Only those visitors were taken into account who bought a ticket at Lera and the time of their arrival was registered (N = 53,613).

Figure 30. Regarding the structure of visitors, the first place went to primary/ secondary school children and students

Figure 29. Monthly dendrogram of the visitation rate similarity on the basis of the Bray-Curtis index in 2010–2012.


ClimaParks - Climate change and management of protected areas | 81

when visitors were few. The greatest similarity was noted between May and October, when the Park hosts mostly school groups. These are followed by all summer months (Figure 29). In order to ascertain potential links between the weather and visitation, data on visitation and weather data (temperature, air pressure, humidity, precipitation, height of snow layer) were being sent during the 2008–2012 period to the firm Trademark Italia within the framework of the Climaparks project, with which the first comparisons were made. In April and October months, the Park was visited by 21,821 people in 2008 and 35,896 people in 2012 (+64.5%). In the same period, the precipitation was reduced by 28.2% (488.8 mm in 2008 and 350.8 in 2012). Average annual temperature for the April–October period reached 18.7 °C in 2008 and 19.8 °C (+1,1 °C) in 2012. We expected that the rainfall and temperature would significantly affect the visitation trend. Detailed monthly analyses for the 2011–2012 period (April–October) indicated, however, no significant correlations between the number of visitors and the amount of precipitation and no correlation between the number of visitors and air temperature (Tables 1, 2). Quite interesting is the time trend or time of entry to the Park, with the August peak between 10:00 and 11:00 hrs. Figure 28 shows that the highest numbers of visitors enter the Park between 9:00 and 13:00 hrs during the summer. Judging by climatic conditions at Sečovlje Salina, the trend of temporal visitation in this period is everything but normal, although expected. It turned out that the visitation by school and other groups was closely associated with duration of bus transport from distant places, visitation by tourists from nearby tourist destination with their departure of beaches in the hottest part of the day, as well as with insufficient information by hotel receptions and tourist agencies on the possibilities and places for recreation or visits.

Environmentally-friendly transport in the Park Within the framework of the work package entitled “Sustainable management: parks as examples of good practice,” a study on environmentally-friendly transport was implemented during the project duration in Sečovlje Salina Nature Park. From the visitors we wished to get their opinion about the reasonableness and utility of electric vehicles for transportation through the Park. We purchased two Elefteria electric bikes, which could be used by the visitors at Lera free of charge. After the tests, they were kindly requested to fill in a questionnaire. Part of the results was also gathered in the Park’s web portal. Almost half (42%) of the visitors had learnt about Sečovlje Salina Nature Park from their friends and acquaintances, 22% had searched for information on the Internet, while only 5% of them had heard about the Park at tourist info centres. A third of them visited the Park only once or never, whereas 17% of them stated that they visit the Park quite regularly. Most often they opted for a walk (28%), while 12% of them were only looking for peace and quiet. Two thirds of the visitors believe in climate change, although only 58% of

Figure 31. Elefteria electric bikes.

Figure 32. Villager 8 electric vehicle Nationality Chinese Australian American Scottish British Irish French Indian Russian Polish German Swedish Danish Italian Austrian Swiss Slovenian 0

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Figure 34. Age structure of visitors testing the Villager 8 electric vehicle

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82 | ClimaParks - Climate change and management of protected areas

them think that the introduction of transport in the Park is unnecessary and that the visitors should simply walk through it. 15% of the visitors think that the most suitable means of transportation would be a little electric train, 10% of them are in favour of electric bikes and 14% of ordinary bikes. Utterly different results were obtained from the visitors who had tested the electric bike in practice. In the 2010–2011 period, 100 visitors from 10 different countries were enabled a tour through the Park with Elefteria electric bikes. The research involved about the same number of males and females, with the majority of them (62%) belonging to the age class between 30–60 years. Most of them were, as expected, Slovenians (48%), Germans (14%), Austrians (13%) and Italians (11%). All of them confirmed that the ride with the bike was comfortable. 71% of the respondents covered the entire path at Lera with the aid of electric drive, a little less than a third (27%) switched the electric drive off here and there, while only one visitor decided not to use the electric drive at all. 78% of the respondents stopped at info boards, but just all of them observed the surroundings during their ride with the electric bike. They were impressed by the easiness of the ride, the ecological use of power, as well as simplicity and noiselessness of the ride. No less than 82% of the respondents said that the introduction of this kind of transport was great, 17% of them commended our intent, while only 1% that the introduction of this kind of transport did not seem sensible. In June 2012, a Villager electric vehicle was also introduced at Lera, to experimentally transport the visitors for a couple of weeks from the Lera entrance to the Visitor Centre. In these two weeks, the users were asked again to fill in the questionnaire prepared by us. During June and August 2912, 114 visitors from 17 different countries were enabled a drive with the Villager 8 electric vehicle. The research again included about the same number of males and females, the majority of which belonged to the age class above 60 years (32.4%), followed by visitors belonging to the 31–45 (29.8%) and 46–60 age class (29.8%). The option for this kind of transport by older visitors was not surprising, given that the summer 2012 was extremely hot. Most of them were, as expected, Slovenians and Italians (Figure 32) and they all confirmed that the ride was comfortable. During the ride they were impressed by the ecological use of power as well as by simplicity and noiselessness of the ride. A small Alpha scooter was tested by us, the Park’s employees. It is used for short drives at Lera and elsewhere in the field. The introduction of electric bikes, scooters and other electric vehicles is sensible in protected areas, for it enables lower transport costs, but at the same time dictates certain demands to the managers (storage space, connection to the power network, maintenance) that provide for a smooth and high quality service. The autonomy of electric vehicles is conditioned by the electric drive load (slopes, carrying capacity) which, however, is in our case minimal owing to the fact that the path has no slopes at all.

Conclusions Sečovlje Salina is a national territory of high natural, cultural, economic and aesthetic values, the biodiversity of which can be maintained and regulated through sustainable management. One of the most frequent activities is the Park’s visitation, which is already traditional in the protected areas and poses a significant development opportunity. The Park’s carrying capacity was assessed on the basis of carrying capacity indicators for the sustainable visitation scenario. They were selected based on subjective judgment regarding the specific features of the area under consideration and the gathered data. In a single year, the Park can be visited by 50,000 people at the most, for visitation is no doubt an activity in which the climate change impacts will be felt first. The average air temperature shows increasing temperature trend in the last twenty years in Slovenia. Although the year 2012 was substantially warmer than the long-term average, an even higher average air temperature was measured in the past. The precipitation amount in the 2011–2012 period was lower than in 2010. In February 2012, a large part of Europe was troubled by severe cold, which was in places accompanied by strong winds and snowfall. Sečovlje saltpans were encased in ice. Altogether, 297 bird species were registered that were recorded at least once at Sečovlje Salina within the 1870–2012 period. In the 2010–2012 period, 209 species were recorded, 196 of which were registered at Fontanigge and 121 at Lera. Linear trend for the last ten years indicates a slight rise of the observed species (TRIM = p < 0.05), while the calculation of the number of the observed individuals trend is unreliable. A comparison of the two 5-year periods shows that 37 bird species were registered only in the 2008–2012 period and 16 species in the years only between 2003 and 2007. There is no doubt that the ecological conditions and fauna with them have changed a great deal in the last few decades at Sečovlje Salina. Some species that used to be common decades ago are rare these days or have even completely disappeared. Others that used to breed in the pans and their immediate vicinity can no longer be seen breeding today. Still others that were once upon a time considered rare now breed here in increasing numbers. Some species, on the other hand, that used to spend the winter further south from the area under consideration now overwinter within the Park. The species diversity is endangered mostly due to habitat degradation and destruction. The situation will be further aggravated by climate change in the future that will certainly affect the quality of habitats. The changes in habitats bring changes in animal species as well, with birds in particular the most threatened among them all.


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Acknowledgements For the successfully implemented CLIIMAPARKS project I am deeply indebted to my colleagues, particularly J. Bergoč, D. Čendak, M. Makovec and D. Pokleka, who took an active part in the project and contributed their invaluable share to it.

Literature Clarke, K.R. & R.H., Green, 1988: Statistical design and analysis for a 'biological effects' study. Mar. col. Prog. Ser. 92: 213-226. Geister, I., 1995: Ornitološki atlas Slovenije. DZS. Ljubljana. Kus Veenvliet, I., Sovinc, A., 2009: Učinkovitost upravljanja zavarovanih območij v Sloveniji, Končno poročilo RAPPAM analize. Ljubljana. Maguran, A., E., 2008: Measuring Biological Diversity. Blackwell Publishing. Makovec, T. , Škornik, I., 1990: Pričakovana gnezditev rdečenogega polojnika Himantopus himantopus v Sloveniji. Acrocephalus 11, št. 46 str. 87-95. Pielou, E.C. 1984: The interpretation of Ecological Data, Wiley, New York. BioDiversity 1997. NHM & SAMS. Ogrin, D., 1995: Podnebje Slovenske Istre. Knjižnica Annales 11, Koper, 381 str. Pfajfar, L., Arh, F., 1998: Statistika 1, Zapiski predavanj. EF Ljubljana. Plut, D., 2006: Zavarovana območja in turistični napredek Slovenije, Turizem v zavarovanih območjih, Turistična zveza Slovenije, Ljubljana, str. 9-16. 49. Repolusk, P. , 1996: Koprsko Primorje. V: Regionalno geografska monografija Slovenije, Knj. 4. Submediteranski svet. Ljubljana. Geografski inštitut ZRC SAZU: 16-35. Robič, D., 2000: Različno razumevanje in pomen biodiverzitete v ekologiji, posebno v fitocenologiji. Zbornik gozdarstva in lesarstva 63: 47-93. Snow, D. W., Perrins, C. M., 1998: The Birds of the Western Palearctic. Oxford, New York, Oxford University Press, 1694 str. Škornik, I., 2008: Naravovarstveni monitoring Sečoveljskih solin 2006-2007. Seča, SOLINE d.o.o. Škornik, I., 2012: Favnistični in ekološki pregled ptic Sečoveljskih solin - Faunistic and Ecological Survey of Birds in the Sečovlje Salina. SOLINE Pridelava soli d.o.o.. Seča. Vrezec, A., Tome, D., Denac, D., 2006: Delitev in izjemni selitveni pojavi pri pticah. UJMA 20: 125-136.

Izvleček Sečoveljske soline predstavljajo nacionalno območje velike naravne, kulturne, ekonomske in estetske vrednosti, v katerih je s sonaravnim gospodarjenjem mogoče vzdrževati in uravnavati biološko raznolikost. Vrstna pestrost je ogrožena predvsem zaradi degradacije in uničevanja habitatov. Posreden vpliv nanjo ima lahko tudi obiskovanje, ki je na zavarovanih območjih že tradicionalno prisotno in predstavlja pomembno razvojno možnost. Svoje bodo v prihodnje prispevale tudi podnebne spremembe, ki bodo vplivale na kvaliteto habitatov, kot tudi na kvaliteto doživljanja zavarovanega območja. Spremembe življenjskih okolij prinašajo spremembe tudi na živalskih vrstah. Med najbolj ogroženimi v Sečoveljskih solinah so vsekakor ptice.

Estratto Le Saline di Sicciole rappresentano un’area nazionale dal grande valore naturale, culturale, economico ed estetico, in cui la varietà biotica può essere mantenuta e regolata con una gestione sostenibile. La varietà delle specie è a rischio soprattutto per il degrado e la distruzione degli habitat. Un impatto indiretto su quest’ultima può essere causato anche dalle visite, tradizionalmente praticate nelle aree protette, che costituiscono un’importante possibilità di sviluppo. In futuro vi contribuiranno anche i cambiamenti atmosferici, che influiranno sulla qualità degli habitat, nonché sul modo di vivere l’area protetta. I cambiamenti degli habitat portano dei cambiamenti anche nelle specie animali, tra le quali quelle più a rischio nelle Saline di Sicciole si annoverano gli uccelli.


Ĺ kocjan caves. The canyon is crossed at the Cerkvenikov Bridge, 45 m above the Reka river (Photo: B. Lozej).


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ŠKOCJAN CAVES PARK The Škocjan Caves are one of the most significant underground phenomena in the Karst and according to international scientific circles one of the natural treasures of the Earth. It is also for that reason that they were entered on UNESCO’s list of natural and cultural world heritage sites in 1986 and are still the only Slovenian monument on the said list. The significance of the caves is reflected also by their inclusion on the Ramsar Convention list in May 1999 as the first underground wetland in Europe. The Park is also included in UNESCO's intergovernmental scientific programme Man and the Biosphere (MAB), which connects biosphere reserves around the world with an emphasis on the conservation of biological diversity and promotion of sustainable development. There are only 19 sites in the world that are included, at the same time, on the World Heritage list, the Ramsar Convention list of internationally important wetlands and in the MAB programme. The Škocjan Caves Regional Park is one of them.

Javni zavod Park Škocjanske jame Škocjan 2 6215 Divača SLOVENIJA Phone: +386 (0) 5 7082 110 Fax: +386 (0) 5 7082 111 http://www.park-skocjanske-jame.si/ psj.info@psj.gov.si


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The Eurasian Eagle-Owl (Photo: T. MiheliÄ?)


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Monitoring of Birds (Aves), Relict and Protected Plant Species, Terrestrial Troglobitic Fauna, and the Fauna of Percolation Water (the Epikarst) in the Škocjan Caves Park Samo Šturm Research and Development Service, The Škocjan Caves Park Public Service Agency, Slovenia, Škocjan 2, SI-6215 Divača, Slovenia. Correspondence: samo.sturm@psj.gov.si

Abstract In accordance with both the management goals of PŠJ (The Škocjan Caves Park Public Service Agency, Slovenia), the objective of which is a favourable conservation status of natural assets, animal and plant species as well as habitat types, and those of the Natura 2000 network, PŠJ being one of the sites in the network, the carrying out of appropriate studies was commissioned within the framework of the Climaparks CB005 project, work package 2 “Monitoring and analysing the influence of climate change on biodiversity.” A comprehensive study of avifauna in the designated protected area and the part of the area of influence where the landscape is an organic continuation of the habitat types occurring within the Park (415 ha) was carried out. A special emphasis was placed on the species listed in the Habitats Directive which had a confirmed presence in the selected study area. In the task, an evaluation of the climate influence on future trends, conservation guidelines were given and a proposal for future monitoring was made. An evaluation of the status of flora in glacial habitats and of thermophile species with a proposal for further monitoring was carried out. The thriving of 18 species from the list of endangered and protected species was confirmed. Two glacial relicts (Alpine Auricula and Crusted Saxifrage) and two thermophile relicts (Maidenhair Fern and Wild Asparagus) were recorded. In the task, a proposal for the monitoring of selected species was drawn up. An evaluation of the status in the percolation water in the Škocjan Caves system was carried out and monitoring was set up. Copepods from the order Harpacticoida were the most abundant subjects in the epikarst water; oviparous females were also found. The monitoring of the terrestrial troglobitic fauna in the tourist part of the Škocjan Caves was performed. The aim of the research was primarily to make a complete list (making of an inventory) of the terrestrial cave fauna of the Škocjan Caves which could be used in long-term monitoring of its status and in detecting possible changes in the composition of fauna in time and space. Keywords: monitoring, protected areas, Natura 2000, troglobites, birds, the epikarst, glacial relicts.

INTRODUCTION The Park’s absolutely main priority is nature conservation; this explains why the planning and research work are essential tasks for the management of such a vulnerable area as Škocjanske Jame and its vicinity are. The area of the Park has an international importance. According to a long-term vision of the protected area the Park should in the future represent an excellent example of the protection and management of the area as a world natural heritage, as an underground wetland in accord to the international conventions as well as a natural monument according to the state law. The nature in the Park should be well preserved and in some parts left untouched, managed exclusively by natural processes (without any human

interference!) therefore biotic diversity should remain at a high level. To make it certain, research and monitoring of the live and inanimate nature within the Park are urgent and they must adequately correlate with plans how to manage the protected areas and with many international conventions and regulations that must be implemented (Convention on Biological Diversity, The Habitats Directive, The Birds Directive etc.). The area of the Regional Park Škocjanske Jame (RPŠJ) entirely incorporates two areas of Natura 2000; these are: Special Protected Area Kras defined according to the Birds Directive, and the special conservation area. Habitat types comprised in the Habitats Directive in the protected area


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RPŠJ are (1) caves not open to the public; (2) carbonate rock slopes with vegetation in rocky fi ssures; (3) Middle-European carbonate scree slopes in Sub-Montane and Montane belt; (4) eastern Submediterranean dry grasslands and (5) association of juniper. The species from the Habitats Directive and Birds Directive connected to these habitat types are: bats, Leptodirus Hohewarti, Proteus, and Marsh Fritillary, and birds Eagle Owl, Short-toed Eagle, Nightjar, Woodlark, Peregrine Falcon, Barred Warbler, Hoopoe, and Scops Owl. On the international scale the Slovenian karst boasts an extreme diversity of underground fauna with many endemic species. In the Natura 2000 within the habitat type (HT) of 8310 caves we are obliged to conserve diversified cave fauna, in particular the species included in the Habitats Directive Natura 2000. We may stress that conservation and protection of living spaces and entire ecosystems is the most important step to protect individual species. For species that enjoy the priority within the European Directive we must collect data about the actual state of population and follow trends such as size and density of the population, habitat occupied and conservation state of species. Škocjanske Jame belong to a group of caves with extremely rich underground fauna. Škocjanske Jame offer an appropriate living space mostly to invertebrates; some among them are so well adapted to a life cycle without light and to conditions where food is scarce and of poor nutritional value, that they evolved into real underground animals. Aquatic and terrestrial habitats are populated by many species of underground organisms, such as Copepods, Isopods, Gastropods, Insects and Proteus anguinus. Th e majority of the species lives in trickles of a percolation water seeping from the epikarst (Šturm, 2011). In accordance with both the management goals of PŠJ (The Škocjan Caves Park Public Institute, Slovenia), the objective of which is a favourable conservation status of natural assets, animal and plant species as well as habitat types, and those of the Natura 2000 network, PŠJ being one of the sites in the network, an expert plan for monitoring and making of inventory of birds in PŠJ was prepared. Within the framework of the Climaparks CB005 project, The Škocjan Caves Park Public Institute (PŠJ) commissioned a comprehensive study of avifauna in the designated protected area (415 ha) and the part of the area of influence where the landscape is an organic continuation of the habitat types occurring within the Park. A special emphasis was placed on the species in the Habitats Directive which had a confirmed presence in the selected study area. The required parameters for the monitoring of qualifying species were: a) the area where species occurs and the size of the area, b) population density and size in PŠJ, c) the time intervals of the presence of the species, d) habitat in PŠJ (where the species occurs), e) conservation status in PŠJ, f) population trends compared to those in the special protection area of Karst (SPA Kras), g) the status of the habitat inhabited by the species in PŠJ (evaluation), and h) the proposed measures for the species in connection with the specific characteristics of PŠJ. The research of the avifauna around the Škocjan Caves was not intensive in the past, however, some studies and data

are available. In 1991, a colony of Alpine Swifts Apus melba was found, the author estimated that around 10 pairs nested in the area of the Park, of which 2–3 pairs nested at Betanja (Trontelj, 1991, in Figelj & Kmecl, 2012).). From 1992 to 1993, Lipej and Gjerkeš made a study of the food Tawny Owl Strix aluco obtained in the area of the caves; their crucial finding was that the main prey of Tawny Owl was Dormouse Myoxus glis accounting for as much as 83.5% of the biomass of all its prey (Lipej & Gjerkeš, 1996, in Figelj & Kmecl, 2012).). The first complete inventory of the birds in the Park was made by S. Polak and P. Trontelj in 1999. They used the area count method (S. Polak, P. Trontelj in person, in Figelj & Kmecl, 2012).). The results of this inventory were not published, however, we have compared part of those results with the results of our inventory. The area was included in inventories for both ornithological atlases of Slovenia (Geister, 1995, DOPPS – BirdLife Slovenia, data from New Ornithological Atlas of Slovenia [NOAGS]), and in the area of Ležeški Gabrk a monitoring of Woodlark, Ortolan Bunting and European Nightjar is also in progress (Denac et al., 2011b, in Figelj & Kmecl, 2012). The main objectives of the task of evaluation of the status of the flora both of rare and endangered species on the red list and that of glacial and thermophile relict species were to prepare an evaluation of the status of glacial and thermophile relicts, and rare and endangered species as well as to establish monitoring stations of glacial and thermophile relicts, and rare and endangered species. In the Škocjan Caves, glacial relicts occur in the temperature inversion zone, an area of cold and humid air, which extends just above the entrance into the Schmidl Hall (Schmidlova dvorana) (Trčak, 2012). The coldest area is the lower part above the Reka River; that is where the most important glacial relicts are, namely the alpine species: Alpine Auricula (Primula auricula), Crusted Saxifraga (Saxifraga crustata), Kernera saxatilis and Twoflower Violet (Viola biflora) (Martinčič, 1973, in Trčak, 2012). The thermophile relicts in the Škocjan Caves are true Mediterranean species, in other words, species with the center of distribution in the Mediterranean, although the Caves are in fact situated in the sub-Mediterranean phytogeographical region. These species include Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum capillus-veneris), Wild Asparagus (Asparagus acutifolius) and a moss species Tortella flavovirens. Prickly Juniper (Juniperus oxycedrus) is also considered a thermophile relict (Trčak, 2012). Within the framework of the Climaparks CB005 project, The Škocjan Caves Park Public Institute, Slovenia carried out sampling and established the monitoring of the terrestrial troglobitic fauna in the tourist part of the Škocjan Caves. The main objectives of the task were to sample the terrestrial troglobitic fauna in the tourist part of the Škocjan Caves, to prepare an evaluation of the status of the fauna, and to establish monitoring stations for the terrestrial troglobitic fauna in the tourist part of the Škocjan Caves. The main aim of the research was primarily to make a complete inventory of the terrestrial cave fauna of the Škocjan Caves which could be used in long-term monitoring of its


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status and in detecting possible changes in the composition of fauna in time and space. Within the framework of this project, the sampling methodology of the terrestrial fauna in the tourist part of the Škocjan Caves was therefore designed as systematic and methodologically repeatable. One of the most established methods of studying terrestrial fauna is the use of pit-fall traps furnished with baits (attractants) and a fixing fluid (Polak, 2012). Despite a rich and speleologically long history of the Škocjan Caves and the fact that naturalists visited the caves very early on, the Škocjan Caves have so far not been given an appropriate speleobiological overview of its fauna. Most scientific and specialist works deal with individual discoveries or taxonomic groups of subterranean animals. The most complete overview to date is given in Animalium cavernarum catalogus (Wolf, 1934–1938, in Polak, 2012). We checked a lot of data in this catalogue, unfortunately some of the data could not be verified, dubious data was excluded. This section deals only with terrestrial subterranean fauna, and only with that fauna which can be found in the tourist part of the Škocjan Caves. A more detailed speleobiological research including lower non-tourist phreatic levels (the Martel Hall – Martelova dvorana) would be essential in order to compile a more comprehensive overview of cave fauna in the future (Polak, 2012). The task of setting up and carrying out the monitoring of the epikarst in the Škocjan Caves was prepared in accordance with both the management goals of PŠJ (The Škocjan Caves Park Public Institute, Slovenia), the objective of which is a favourable conservation status of natural assets, animal and plant species as well as habitat types, and those of the Natura 2000 network, PŠJ being one of the sites in the network. The main objectives of the task were to sample the percolation water in the Škocjan Caves, to prepare an evaluation of the status of the epikarst fauna, and to set up monitoring stations of the percolation water in PŠJ. Copepods from the order Harpacticoida were the most abundant subjects in the epikarst water; females with eggs were also found. This indicates that the population of copepods as the most important organisms in the epikarst is viable and keeps regenerating. This proves that the Škocjan Caves are a diverse karst subterranean ecosystem in which interesting discoveries are still to be expected (Pipan, 2013). The data on the number of organisms and the diversity of animal species specialized for life underground in the Škocjan Caves confirm and testify to a satisfactory health of the ecosystem. Since the underground, especially the epikarst, is a layer just below the surface directly dependent on the surface, the monitoring of the fauna of percolation water should be continued as this allows for an all-embracing evaluation of the ecological status of a wider hinterland area above the cave system. Individual species of copepods in percolation water can be used as bioindicators for the overall evaluation of environmental impacts (Pipan, 2013). In the same way as the skin protects all of the organs in an organism, the surface protects and safeguards the underground world. If we damaged it by pollution or activities grossly affecting it, we

would prevent it from performing its role of protecting and safeguarding the underground environment (Pipan, 2013).

Overview of the results A brief overview of some of the results is given. Articles in their entirety are available on the website of the Park (http:// climaparks.park-skocjanske-jame.si/raziskave in Slovene).

Monitoring of avifauna1 The bird inventory in the Škocjan Caves Park was divided into 4 sections: the winter inventory, the inventory of common species, the inventory of rare species, and the inventory of the selected qualifying species. The selected qualifying species are the species listed in Annex I of the Birds Directive for which the Karst is defined as a Natura 2000 special protection area (Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia No. 49/04) and some of the species of European conservation concern, categories 2 and 3 (SPEC 2 and 3) which are at the same time also migratory birds and nest in the Karst. Within each section different methods were used (Bibby et al., 2000; Südbeck et al., 2005; Figelj & Kmecl, 2012) and other sources listed under each inventory.

The inventory of the selected qualifying species The selected qualifying species are: Eagle Owl, Short-toed Snake Eagle, Ortolan Bunting, Woodlark, European Nightjar, Barred Warbler, Tawny Pipit, Rufous Nightingale, Scops Owl, Honey Buzzard, Red-backed Shrike, Hoopoe, and Common Whitethroat. In the Karst, Woodlark, Rufous Nightingale, Red-backed Shrike, Hoopoe, and Common Whitethroat are widespread and abundant nesting birds (DOPPS – BirdLife Slovenia, data from New Ornithological Atlas of Slovenia [NOAGS]), for this reason these were included in the inventory of common species using the mapping method. Short-toed Snake Eagle and Honey Buzzard are birds of prey and the size of their nesting territory exceeds that of the Škocjan Caves Park. The aim of the inventory of these species was to determine their presence in the Škocjan Caves Park during the nesting period. We were on the lookout for Snake Eagle and Honey Buzzard during all of the inventories carried out in the Škocjan Caves Park area in the period between April and August. Tawny Pipit, Barred Warbler and Ortolan Bunting are extremely rare nesting birds in the Karst. The census of these species was made by walking the length and breadth of suitable Entirely taken from Figelj and Kmecl (2012). European Parliament and Council Directive 2009/147/ES of 30 November 2009 on the conservation of wild birds (codified version), Official Gazette of the European Union, 26 January 2010.

1 2


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habitats within the Škocjan Caves Park and its close vicinity at the appropriate time (May, July). The habitat within the Park is not suitable for these species, which is confirmed by the fact that there is no occurrence data on these species within the Škocjan Caves Park; however, they were recorded in the close vicinity of the Škocjan Caves (Geister, 1995, DOPPS – BirdLife Slovenia, data from New Ornithological Atlas of Slovenia (NOAGS), in Figelj & Kmecl, 2012), especially in the area of Divaški Gabrk. We targeted the area of Divaški Gabrk (for Ortolan Bunting, Tawny Pipit, Barred Warbler) and the area around Naklo (for Barred Warbler). We walked the length and breadth of suitable habitats in the area and drew the detected subjects in the map. The Karst is the most important area for Woodlark in Slovenia (Denac et al., 2011b, in Figelj & Kmecl, 2012). Within the framework of monitoring the population of the selected bird species (Denac et al., 2011b, in Figelj & Kmecl, 2012). DOPPS – BirdLife Slovenia performs monitoring of Woodlark also in the Karst. In 2011 and 2012, line mapping was done along the already set up transects in Divaški Gabrk. The inventory maker drew the recorded Woodlarks in the attached map.

Interpretations of the results For the interpretation of the results it is essential that different subjects of the same species during the same visit are clearly marked. A singing male during one visit constitutes one detection. After the inventories had been completed all detections of each species during all of the visits were drawn in a special species map. In drawing territories the rules in Bibby et al. (2000, in Figelj & Kmecl, 2012) were followed. A territory was drawn based on 2 detections, while a territory on the edge of an area was taken into account if over half of detections were within the area. If a territory on the edge of an area only had 2 detections, the territory was taken into account provided the detection within the area was further away from the edge of the area than the detection outside the area.

The winter inventory in the canyon The winter inventory in the canyon was carried out along two transects following the path in the canyon, i.e. from the bridge in Škoflje to Školj (1) and from the entrance into the caves below Škocjan to Školj (2). The length of the two transects totaled to 2,348 metres. At the time of the last inventory (17 February 2012) the Reka River was frozen over, and except for the first inventory the air temperature was always below freezing point. 26 species were recorded in total, of these 4 species dependent on water. It is our estimate that in the winter of 2011/2012 three White-throated Dippers Cinclus cinclus and two Kingfishers Alcedo atthis ovewintered in the canyon, while one Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo and a pair of Mallards Anas plathyrhynchos occasionally stayed on the river.

Figure 1. Winter inventories in the Škocjan Caves Park. Legend terms (from the top): Legenda = legend; Meja parka (green line) = the boundary of the Škocjan Caves Park; Popis udorniv (green spot with a cross) = the inventory stations on the walls of collapse dolines, inventory dates: 28 November 2011, 14 February 2012; Gozd (green area) = forest, inventory dates: 28 November 2011 and 15 February 2012; Kulturna krajina (red area) = cultural landscape, inventory dates: 28 November 2011 and 17 January 2012; Popis kanjona (red line) = the transects of the winter inventory of the canyon. Source: Figelj and Kmecl (2012).

The night inventory of nesting birds The night inventory of nesting birds was carried out on 1 April 2011, 17 April 2012 and 24 May 2012. The following species were provoked: Long-eared Owl (red points) and Tawny Owl (blue points) on 1 April 2011; Little Owl (squares with a dot) on 17 April 2012; Scops Owl (yellow points) on 24 May 2012. While Long-eared Owl and Little Owl were not detected, Tawny Owl was: – without provocation on 1 April 2011: 2 calling males from station 14, 1 calling male, 1 calling male, – with provocation on 1 April 2011: 2 provoked males, – without provocation on 24 May 2012: 1 chick hissing at station 6 and 1 chick. One male Scops Owl was detected calling spontaneously in the village of Škoflje on 24 May 2012. During the night inventories the following conservationally important species were also recorded: – Eagle Owl, on 1 April 2011 a male called spontaneously from the Lisičina collapse doline, – European Nightjar, on 24 May 2012 6 signing males were recorded, – Quail, on 24 May 2012 1 was calling. A monitoring of Eagle Owl was carried out separately on 2 March 2012. No Eagle Owl was recorded.

Overview of the selected qualifying species Within the boundaries of the Škocjan Caves Park area the diversity and abundance of the selected qualifying species are low. 5 nesting birds, 1 disappeared nesting bird, 3 possible


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Table 1. The list of the selected qualifying species with their statuses within the boundaries of the Škocjan Caves Park

Species Eagle Owl Short-toed Snake Eagle Ortolan Bunng Woodlark European Nightjar Barred Warbler Tawny Pipit Rufous Nighngale Scops Owl Honey Buzzard Red-backed Shrike Hoopoe Common Whitethroat

Species (scienfic name) Bubo bubo Circaetus gallicus Emberiza hortulana Lullula arborea Caprimulgus europaeus Sylvia nisoria Anthus campestris Luscinia megarhynchos Otus scops Pernis apivorus Lanius collurio Upupa epops Sylvia communis

Populaon — — — 4 6–10 — — 0–3 1–3 1 1–3 0–2 0–3

Status Ex — — G G Go — Go G G G Go Go

Note: Ex = a disappeared nesting bird, G = nests in the Škocjan Caves Park, Go = nests in the close vicinity. An estimate of population size is given only for the species occurring within the boundaries of the Škocjan Caves Park. Source: Figelj and Kmecl (2012).

nesting birds were recorded, while 4 selected nesting birds do not nest in the Škocjan Caves Park. The most numerous selected qualifying species within the boundaries of the Škocjan Caves Park is European Nightjar: 6 singing males were counted.

Overview of all birds recorded during the inventory The inventories in 2011 and 2012 recorded 90 different bird species. Within the boundaries of the Škocjan Caves Park, 49 different bird species were nesting, additional 9 species were classified as possible nesting birds. In the close vicinity of the Škocjan Caves Park (Divaški Gabrk, Mejame, Radvanj, Risnik) additional 15 species nested, 2 were possible nesting birds. In wintertime, 9 species were detected, 5 species were recorded in the migration season. Blackcap is the most abundant nesting bird in the Škocjan Caves Park. Table 2 shows

the species recorded during the research, their status in the Škocjan Caves Park, and an estimate of their population size within the Škocjan Caves Park.

Monitoring of glacial relicts, thermophile relicts and protected plants on the red list3 18 species were recorded in the study area, of which there were two thermophile relicts and two glacial relicts.

Thermophile relicts Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum capillus-veneris L.) Maidenhair Fern was recorded in the only known site in the Škocjan Caves, i.e. on the ceiling of the entrance into the Schmidl Hall. Wild Asparagus (Asparagus acutifolius L.) Wild Asparagus grows in the immediate vicinity of Maidenhair Fern, just in a little sunnier spot. Both Maidenhair Fern and Wild Asparagus grow in hardly accessible places. Monitoring their occurrence can be performed by taking photos of a given patch and then comparing the shape of the patch. Due to bad lighting conditions taking photos is quite a feat, for this reason, a suitable protocol needs to be designed.

Glacial relicts Alpine Auricula (Primula auricula L.) Alpine Auricula was observed in the Velika and Mala dolina collapse dolines from the natural bridge, and on the walls of the Lisičina collapse doline. The species was often detected on the sunless cliffs. Hardly accessible. In places where it is accessible its presence Figure 2. The inventory stations in 2011 and 2012 for determining the presence of Eagle Owl Bubo bubo. Source: Figelj and Kmecl (2012).

Entirely taken from Trčak (2012).

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Table 2. Overview of the species recorded during the research

Species Pied Wagtail* Griffon Vulture Eurasian Nuthatch* Fieldfare Mistle Thrush* Song Thrush* Eurasian Siskin Crested Tit* Black Stork Black Woodpecker Blackcap* Turtle Dove Hawfinch* Long-tailed Tit* House Sparrow Common Pheasant European Serin* Common Wood-Pigeon Wood Warbler Bonelli's Warbler Woodlark* Common Buzzard Barn Swallow Golden Oriole* Great Cormorant Blackbird* Northern Goshawk Melodious Warbler Short-toed Treecreeper* Red Crossbill Raven Cuckoo Tawny Owl Goldfinch* Lesser Spoed Woodpecker Coal Tit* House Marn Rock Dove Mallard Lesser Whitethroat Marsh Tit* Green Sandpiper Brambling Barred Warbler Grey-headed Woodpecker Alpine Swi Blue Tit* Cirl Bunng* European Nightjar Eurasian Skylark Tree Sparrow* White-throated Dipper

Species (scienfic name) Motacilla alba Gyps fulvus Sia europea Turdus pilaris Turdus viscivorus Turdus philomelos Carduelis spinus Lophophanes cristatus Ciconia nigra Dryocopus marus Sylvia atricapilla Streptopelia turtur Coccothraustes coccothraustes Aegithalos caudatus Passer domescus Phasianus colchicus Serinus serinus Columba palumba Phylloscopus sibilatrix Phylloscopus bonelli Lullula arborea Buteo buteo Hirundo rusca Oriolus oriolus Phalacrocorax carbo Turdus merula Accipiter genlis Hippolais polygloa Certhia brachydactyla Loxia curvirostra Corvus corax Cuculus canorus Strix aluco Carduelis carduelis Dendrocopos minor Periparus ater Delichon urbicum Columba livia Anas plathyrhynchos Sylvia curruca Poecile palustris Tringa ochropus Fringilla monfringilla Sylvia nisoria Picus canus Apus melba Cyanistes caeruleus Emberiza cirlus Caprimulgus europaeus Alauda arvensis Passer montanus Cinclus cinclus

Populaon 7 — 57 — 4 27 — 140 — 1–2 288 — 6 37 25 — 19 — — — 4 1–2 — 20 — 251 1 1–5 79 — 1–2 — 6–10 42 — 128 — — 1–2 — 220 — — — 3–5 36–40 79 5 6–10 — 1 1–2

Status G p G z G G z G p G G mG G G G Go G mG p p G G mG G z G z mG G mGo G G G G mG G mG G G Go G p z Go G G G G G Go G G

Note: Population = an estimate of the population size in pairs; status = the status of the species within the boundaries of PŠJ (The Škocjan Caves Park), Ex = a disappeared nesting bird, G = a nesting bird, Go = nests in the close vicinity (the area of Divaški Gabrk, Radvanj, Risnik, Mejame, and the area around Naklo), mG = a possible nesting bird, mGo = a possible nesting bird in the vicinity, p = a passage visitor, z = a winter visitor. Source: Figelj and Kmecl (2012). * An estimate of population size obtained by extrapolating data from the mapping inventory; for other species, data from target inventories and random data were used for the estimate of population size.


ClimaParks - Climate change and management of protected areas | 93

may be influenced by people walking by and picking it. Crusted Saxifrage (Saxifraga crustata Vest) Crusted Saxifrage was recorded on the natural bridge between Velika and Mala dolina; it is very likely that it still grows also in both of these dolines, however, the inventory of it there was not made. The Dol Sokolak collapse doline was added to the inventory instead. The growth of the species depends on low temperatures and competitiveness. At least in some places the species can become uncompetitive due to land becoming overgrown (which is not necessarily caused by climate change).

on the viewpoint over Mala dolina, to the north of the natural bridge, and on the viewpoint over the Škocjan Caves at the St Kancijan Church. Black Hellebore (Veratrum nigrum L.) – The species was recorded in several places: several specimens were detected on the education trail towards the viewpoint, on the way to the Globočak collapse doline, in the Velika dolina collapse doline, next to the revolving door, and on the slope by the river at the turn for the elevator and the entrance into the small hall underneath the natural bridge.

Other recorded species on the list Other species on List 1 are not necessarily of special significance to the Škocjan Caves, however, they are protected in the entire area of the Republic of Slovenia as endangered and consequently included in the Red List (Rules on the inclusion of endangered plant and animal species in the Red List, Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia No. 82/2002, 42/2010), or protected by the Decree on protected wild plant species (Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia No. 46/2004, 110/2004, 115/2007, 36/2009). Wild Strawberry (Fragaria viridis (Duchesne) Weston) – Detected on the edge of a meadow in the Dol Jablanc doline. Snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis L.) – Remnants of leaves were found in the Dol Sokolak collapse doline. A specialist from the Park (Samo Šturm) has confirmed that the species grows in the collapse dolines of Mala and Velika dolina, and the Dol Lisičina collapse doline. Fire Lily (Lilium bulbiferum L.) – The species was recorded next to the education trail, in its northern part near the village of Škocjan. A guide from the Park orally has confirmed that it grows in Velika dolina; she also confirmed that Turk’s Cap Lily (Lilium martagon) grows there as well. Grape Hyacinth (Muscari botryoides (L.) Mill. em. Lam. & DC.) – The species was recorded three years ago in the meadows west of the Dol Globočak collapse doline. Poet’s Daffodil (Narcissus poëticus L. subsp. radiifolius (Salisb.) Baker) – The species was recorded three years ago in several meadows in the vicinity of the Škocjan Caves. Ivy Broomrape (Orobanche hederae Duby) – The species was recorded in several places (the Schmidl Hall, along the path between the Jurjev doline and the Velika dolina collapse doline). Common Peony (Paeonia officinalis L.) – The species was recorded three years ago in the forest in the vicinity of the Škocjan Caves. Mountain Pasque Flower (Pulsatilla montana (Hoppe) Rchb.) – The species was recorded in the Dol Sokolak collapse doline and on the southern slope of the Kozara hill. According to data from the past three years it is also most certainly present in several meadows around the Škocjan Caves. Butcher’s Broom (Ruscus aculeatus L.) – A common forest species in the Škocjan Caves. It was recorded in Velika dolina. Sage (Salvia officinalis L.) – The species is fairly common in hardly accessible places on the sunny side. It was recorded

Figure 3. Overview of the species found in the Škocjan Caves Park. Source: Trčak (2012).

Wild orchids (Orchidaceae) Wild orchids are known for a high fluctuation in the number of blooming specimens between years. A one-time inventory then does not say much about the status of a “micropopulation,” so the status of the population should be monitored several years in a row, at least at the beginning. Another useful fact to consider is that meadow wild orchids respond more quickly to changes (manuring, land becoming overgrown) in the environment than forest species, in other words, their environment is usually less stable (a higher possibility of changes in the habitat) in the long term. Sword-leaved Helleborine (Cephalanthera longifolia (L.) Fritsch) – The species was recorded in the forest by the education trail to the west of the Dol Lisičina collapse doline. Green-winged Orchid (Orchis morio L.) – The species was recorded in the meadows on the Kozara hill, in the meadow above the Globočak collapse doline, in the doline of Sapendol; three years ago it was also found in many other meadows in the immediate vicinity of the Škocjan Caves. Three-toothed Orchid (Orchis tridentata Scop.) – The species was found in several places: in the doline of Jablanc and on the way to the doline, in the doline of Sapendol, in the meadows above Globočak. Burnt-tip Orchid (Orchis ustulata L.) – The species was found next to the education trail, in the meadow by the trail


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to the north of the viewpoint over Velika dolina. Elder-flowered Orchid (Dactylorhiza sambucina (L.) Soó) – This species is an early bloomer, but despite an April visit it could not be found on the stated site. Given that the location was not very specific, but rather described as a wide area, it is possible that the growing site was overlooked. In the field, in addition to target species we came across some of the conservationally important species, which may be included in monitoring at one’s own discretion. Twayblade (Listera ovata (L.) R. Br.): in the forest by the education trail to the west of the edge of the cliff of the Dol Lisičina collapse doline. Greater Butterfly-orchid (Platanthera chlorantha (Custer) Rchb.): in the forest by the education trail to the northwest of the edge of the cliff of the Dol Lisičina collapse doline, near the clearing for the transmission line. Pyramidal Orchid (Anacamptis pyramidalis (L.) Rich.): in a meadow next to the Karst pond at the crossroads with a stone signpost on the old Dolnje Ležeče-Lokev road. Great Stonecrop (Sedum maximum (L.) Hoffm.): by the path to the Dol Globočak collapse doline. Turk’s Cap Lily (Lilium martagon L.): in the Velika dolina collapse doline (a piece of oral information provided by a guide from the Park). Spurge-laurel (Daphne laureola L.): in the Velika dolina collapse doline.

The purpose of monitoring The purpose of monitoring target species is to obtain information on: – population size trends and the species’ viability, – species’ habitats trends, – reasons for changes in plant populations and their habitats.

Monitoring of terrestrial troglobitic fauna4 An overview of the detected fauna in the tourist part of the Škocjan Caves is shown in Table 3. The table takes into account data gathered from pit-fall traps as well as those gathered by using the method of directly examining the cave habitat (a visual inspection of dripstones, cave walls, pebbles, clay loam, and the water surface), and recording all of the invertebrates found. The overview also includes taxa listed in

Figure 5. A plan view of the Škocjan Caves system with the tourtist footpath drawn in and the sampling stations of speleobiological research marked. Figure terms: vzorčno mesto = sampling point. Source: The Škocjan Caves Park Archives; adapted from Polak (2012).

specialist literature, however, dubious finds were excluded. Equally, the statements of taxa from the literature for which it is impossible to determine whether they refer to finds in the caves or to those in the surface environment of the Škocjan Caves were also excluded. A subjective estimate of abundance or density of taxa on sampling stations was given in accordance with the standardized method of performing an inventory. In determining the status of a species regarding its adaptation to the cave habitat (trogloxene, troglophile, troglobite) we drew on experience and took account of conditions in the area of the Classical Karst. Still, the status of some of the taxa was very difficult to determine. In such cases the status was left unresolved – and a double status was attributed. Below is a taxonomy overview of the detected organisms.

Group: Molluscs/Molusca Gastropods/Gastropoda In the entrance parts of Slovene caves various gastropod species can be found; they only occasionally come there, especially during summer droughts and in wintertime, because of humidity and a more stable climate. Some species of terrestrial troglophilic gastropods are slightly better adapted to life in the underground and caves. In the deeper parts of the Škocjan Caves, Oxychilus cellarius from the family Zonitidae is a common species. The representatives of the cave snail genus Zospeum (Ellobiidae) are truly troglobitic. Representatives of the freshwater gastropod family Hydrobiidae, rich in species, also live in the underground flow of the Reka River. Freshwater gastropods are not dealt with in this section (Polak, 2012). Oxychilus cellarius (O. F. Müller, 1774) Lit: Hyalina cellaria austriaca: Stammer (1932, pp. 521–656). Cellar gastropods are usually found in damp cellars and

Figure 4. Poet’s Daffodil, Three-toothed Orchid and Burnt-tip Orchid. Source: Trčak (2012).

This chapter content and the sources that are cited in text but not included in the reference list are entirely taken from Polak (2012).

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Table 3. An overview of the detected fauna in the tourist part of the Ĺ kocjan Caves by sampling stations

Taxon Oxychilus cellarius

1

Zospeum spelaeum spelaeum Eisenia cf. spelaea Lithobius validus Trachysphaera noduligera Brachydesmus subterraneus

2

3

4

x

xx

xx x

xxx

xx

x x

Titanethes dahli Alpioniscus strasseri

Oncopodura sp. Laemostenus cavicola Laemostenus elongates

xx

plur

xxx

plur

x

xx

x

x

x

x x

xxx

xx

xx x

xx

x

x x

x

xx x

x

x

x

xxx xx

10 x

x

x x x

xx xxx xx

x x x

x

xxx

x

x

x xxx

x

x

xxx

xx

x

Tf/Tb Tf

xxx x xx

x

xx xx x

Tf Tf Tf

Tb/Tf Tf Tb

x xxx xx x

Tb Tx Tb

x

xx

Tf Tf

x

Tb Tf Tx

x x

x

x

x xx

xx

x (x)

x

Tb Tx Tx Tx Tx

(x) x

plur

xxx

x

x

x

xx

xx

x x x

xx xx

Tf Tb Tf Tx Tf

x

Bathysciotes khevenhuelleri terghesnus Blaps mucronata

Tf Tf Tf/Tb Tf Tf Tb

x

x

Status Tf Tb Tf

xx

Trechus croacus/cardioderus Bryaxis argus Bathyscia montana montana

Triphosa dubitata Scoliopteryx libatrix

9

Tb Tb/Tf

Pteroschus fasciopunctatus Anophthalmus schmid

Phoridae in det. Speolepta leptogaster Troglophilus neglectus

8 x

x

Metellina merianae Mitostoma chrysomelas Leiobunum rupestre

Heteromurus nidus Hypogastruridae in det

7 plur

x

Nescus eremite Meta menardi

Onichiuridae in det. Arrhopalites cf. canzianus Troglopedetes cf. pallidus

x

6 xx

(?) x

Typhloiulus illiricus Gammasidae in det. Eukoenenia sp.

Androniscus stygius tschameri Androniscus roseus Moserius percoi

5

x

xxx

xxx

x

xx

x

x

xx x

x

x

Note: x = present, xx = rare, xxx = common, plur = in large numbers, (?) = probable presence; Tb = troglobite, Tf = troglophile, Tx = trogloxene. Source: Polak (2012).

Tx Tx


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similar spaces, and also between scree slope rocks and in the entrance parts of caves. In the Škocjan Caves, a permanent and abundant troglophilic population of this species has developed, especially in the Hall of Rimstone Pools (Dvorana ponvic) where bat excrement builds up. The species is able to digest chitin; given the fact that these snails occur in large numbers underneath bat colonies, it is assumed that they feed on the chitinous remnants of guano.

della Guerra” (Venetian Slovenia), and which Mršič (1991) in his overview of earthworms in the Balkans does not list for the Škocjan Caves.

Zospeum spelaeum spelaeum (Rossmaesler, 1839) Lit: Kuščer 1925 (p. 41), Bole 1974 (p. 271), Velkovrh (in lit). The cave snail of genus Zospeum represents one of the most typical dry land – terrestrial cave snails of the Dinaric Karst, the Eastern Alps and the Pyrenees (Bole, 1974). In Slovenia, 10 species occur, which are further divided into several subspecies. Only the species Zospeum spelaeum subspecies spelaeum, which also occurs in the Postojna Cave, has been described in the literature so far for the Škocjan Caves (Kuščer, 1925; Bole, 1974). In our research this approximately 2 mm-long species was found mostly on damp drispstones in the Silent Cave (Tiha jama), from the Paradise (Paradiž) to the Great Hall (Velika dvorana). Apart from numerous empty shells of cave snails, in places covered with flowstone deposits, live specimens were found.

Lithobius validus (Meinert, 1872) Lit: Stammer (1932, pp. 509–525). A troglomorphic species of a cave centipede Eupolybotrus obrovensis lives in the karst underground of Istria; it was first found in the caves of Matarsko podolje and Učka. The species has so far not been detected in the Škocjan Caves. A species of a large centipede Lithobius validus with no troglomorphic features is listed for the Škocjan Caves already by Stammer (1932). This centipede species is widespread in Slovenia, especially under bigger stones in forest leaf litter (Kos, 1987). In the Škocjan Caves, this centipede species is widespread and often occurs next to large deposits of bat guano where it seems it has developed a cave-adapted population. This centipede species is without a doubt the main predator of the rich fauna of guanobionts in the Škocjan Caves.

Group: Annelids (ringed worms)/Annelida Annelids include polychaetes (Polychaeta), among which the cave-dwelling tube worm (Marifugia cavatica) stands out as a distinctly cave form, which has as yet not been found in the underground world of the Škocjan Caves, and clitellates (Clitellata) which comprise mostly aquatic leeches (Hirudinea) and oligochaete worms (Oligochaeta). The oligochaete worms present in the caves include water tubificids (Tubificidae) and mainly terrestrial earthworms (Lumbricidae). Oligochaete worms/Oligochaeta Earthworms/Lumbricidae Eisenia cf. spelaea (Rosa, 1901). Lit: Eisenia rosea: Stammer 1932 (pp. 509–525); Heliodrilus latens: Cognetti 1903; Heliodrilus pygmaeus: Cognetti 1903; Heliodrilus smaragdinus: Cognetti 1903; Nais communis: Stammer 1932 (pp. 509–525). In the literature, the fauna of earthworms in the Škocjan Caves is mentioned only a few times. Stammer (1932) and Cognetti (1903) write about several species whose taxonomic status often changed. In the Škocjan Caves, numerous specimens of earthworms can be observed along the tourist path, in places underneath the bat colonies, particularly in the surroundings of the Hall of Rimstone Pools. Earthworms drill through moist cave clay loam and probably feed on the rich organic material of bat guano remains. After a preliminary examination of specimens it seems that the subjects belong to the species Eisenia cf. spelaea (Rosa, 1901), whose description is based on the specimens from the Italian cave “Grotta

Group: Centipedes and millipedes/Myriapoda Centipedes/Chilopoda

Diplopods/Diplopoda According to data in the literature there are five species of diplopods living in the Škocjan Caves, namely: Trachysphaera noduligera (Verhoeff, 1906; Mršić, 1994, p. 16); Polydesmus (Basicentrus) falcifer (Latzel, 1884; Strasser, 1966b); Polydesmus (Basicentrus) rangifer (Latzel, 1884; Mršić 1994, p. 23); Brachydesmus (B) subterraneus (Heller, 1857; Verhoeff, 1929); Typhloiulus (Stygoiiulus) illiricus (Verhoeff, 1929; Strasser, 1966b). Trachysphaera noduligera (Verhoeff, 1906) Lit: Mršić (1994, p. 16). The living environment of this species of a ball-shaped diplopod is usually not deep large caves, but most typically a shallow underground environment. In our research of the tourist part of the Škocjan Caves it was not detected. The species is probably present in the surface underground environment of fissures and scree slopes of large collapse dolines. The genus Polydesmus is not cave adapted, although species of this genus can be found in the entrance parts of caves. In the literature two types of genus Polydesmus are listed for the Škocjan Caves: Polydesmus (Basicentrus) falcifer (Latzel, 1884; Strasser, 1966b; Mršić, 1994, p. 23), and Polydesmus (Basicentrus) rangifer (Latzel, 1884; Mršić, 1994, p. 23), neither of which was detected deep in the cave during our research of the tourist part of the Škocjan Caves. Brachydesmus (B) subterraneus (Heller, 1857) Lit: Verhoeff (1929). The description of the white tape-like diplopod as a cave species is based on specimens from the Postojna Cave. The species is widespread in the Dinaric part of Slovenia; in the


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Figure 6. The white tape-like diplopod Brachydesmus subterraneus (Heller, 1857, in Polak, 2012) is a common diplopod species in the Silent Cave. Photo by Slavko Polak.

Figure 7. During our research a cave palpigrade (Eukoenenia sp.) was found for the first time also in the Škocjan Caves. Photo by Slavko Polak.

humid part of the year it can be found also in forest leaf litter. In many caves this species forms abundant cave populations, so it is also common in the entrance parts of the Škocjan Caves. The white tape-like diplopods are common especially in the Paradise in the Silent Cave where they most often stay and feed on “lampenflora” caused by cave lighting.

Palpigrades (microwhip scorpions)/Palpigradi Palpigrades are an ancient group of arachnids consisting of a small number of species. These are tiny, delicate, and in Slovenia exclusively subterranean arachnids which are very difficult to detect unless you systematically search for them. These animals live in various subterranean microhabitats with high humidity. It has been proved that they actively prey on cave springtails (Collembola) (M. Lukić, personal communication, in Polak, 2012). In Slovenia, in caves mostly in the southern part of the country three species of palpigrades were discovered: Eukoenenia austriaca (Hansen, 1926), E. spelaea (Peyerimhoff, 1902) and E. gasparoi (Condé, 1988; Zagmajster & Kovač, 2006).

Typhloiulus (Stygoiiulus) illiricus (Verhoeff, 1929) Lit: Strasser (1966b), Mršič (1994, p. 27). A cave snake millipede is a troglomorphic species of a diplopod snake millipede (Julidae) found in caves of the northwestern part of the Dinaric karst. The species likes muddy, damp, even occasionally flooded parts of caves. In our research of the tourist part of the Škocjan Caves the species was not detected, but it probably occurs in the lower flood levels of the Murmuring Cave (Šumeča jama).

Group: Arachnids/Arachnida Acari (mites and ticks)/Acarina Acari are a diverse group of arachnids which occur in different surface habitats. The species which require a humid and dark habitat are also found in karst caves. Some of the species are parasites, while numerous species are distinct guanobionts. Sellnick (1932, pp. 701–704) lists the following species of acari for the Škocjan Caves: Banksia tegeocranus, Hypoaspis aculeifer, Liacarus coracinus, Collohmannia nova, Galumna tenuiclavis, Punctoribates punctum, Eugamasus furcatus, Oribotritia decumana, Phthiriacarus globvosus, Phthiriacarus italicus, Pseudotritia monodactyla. The species Rhagidia mordax is mentioned by Stammer (1932, pp. 509–525) and Vitzthum (1932. pp. 682–686). During our research several species were detected both from the group of beetle mites (Oribatidae) and that of bloodsucking mites (Gamasidae). They occur mostly on bat guano. Due to the lack of experts who specialize in this group, species determination for these species has not yet been performed in our research.

Eukoenenia sp. On 29 October 2012 a single specimen was caught (leg. L. Đud) and photgraphed also in the Škocjan Caves in the area of the Silent Cave. Before that palpigrades were not found in the Škocjan Caves. The closest sites of palpigrades are the Divača Cave, the Postojna Cave and the Cave under Predjama Castle. The specimens from these caves belong to the species Eukoenenia austriaca. The recently described species Eukoenenia gasparoi is known from the Vilenica Cave; it was found in the Radota Cave in Čičarija not long ago (Polak et al., 2012; Christian et al., 2012). Species determination is time-consuming and requires preparing specimens for microscope slides. The specimen found in the Škocjan Caves is still in the process of species determination. Spiders/Araneae The group of spiders with a large number of species includes a lot of troglobitic species that have evolved in the Dinaric karst and elsewhere in the world. Several species from the family of six-eyed spiders (Dysderidae) (Deeleman-Reinhold, 1971) live in the Dinaric part of Slovenia; they have vestigial eyes and are fully adapted to the cave habitat. A lot of troglomorphic species of the genus Troglohyphantes (Deeleman-Reinhold,


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1978). from the family of sheet-weaving spiders (Linyphiide) are known from the caves, but they display numerous clines from surface to subterranean forms. Cave six-eyed spiders of the species Stalita taenaria, Mezostalita nocturna, which are known from the surrounding caves (Polak et al., 2012), have so far not been found in the Škocjan Caves. Equally, during our research no specimen of the genus Troglohyphantes has been found, yet it is very likely that at least one of the trogloxene species lives here. Near the entrance parts of the karst caves in the wider area numerous troglophilic and trogloxene spider species have been found, of which the following species Nesticus eremita from the family Nesticidae, and Meta menardi and Metelina meriane from the family Metidae have been found in the Škocjan Caves.

Mitostoma chrysomelas (Hermann, 1804) Mitostoma chrysomelas is a species of harvestman which lives in humid places under stones and in decaying wood matter. In the Škocjan Caves, the species is common especially in places where the river washes up decaying wood and other organic matter. It was found on sampling stations 5, 6, 7, 8 and 10. Leiobunum rupestre (Herbst, 1799) Several species of the genus of harvestmen Leiobunum occur all over Slovenia. These species live in humid places and often come to the entrance parts of caves. The species Leiobunum rupestre was recorded while it was overwintering on a wall in the Schmidl Hall.

Nesticus eremita (Simon, 1879) Among all of the spiders found so far in the Škocjan Caves, the spider of the species Nesticus eremita shows the highest degree of adaptation to the cave habitat. Although the species still has eyes, it can also be found in deeper, completely aphotic parts of the caves. The species catches its prey in the vertical threads of its prey-capturing webs. It is often dependent on guanobiotic populations of cave invertebrates. The species is common especially in the caves of the Littoral and Istria (Polak et al., 2012). Both juvenile and adult subjects have been found scattered all over the tourist part of the Škocjan Caves, however, the species is not common there.

Group: Crustaceans/Crustacea

Meta menardi (Latreille, 1804) The European cave spider is a typical eutroglophile species in most entrance parts of the Slovene caves. This big species of spider resembles a cross spider (Aranea sp.) and spins similar spiral orb webs like that spider to capture troglophilic invertebrates. In the Škocjan Caves, the species is common, but only in the parts of the cave which the faint light from the outside still reaches. The species is common in the Schmid Hall and the Tominc Cave (Tominčeva jama). Metellina merianae (Scopoli, 1763) Lit: Stammer (1932, pp. 509–525). The species of spider Metelina (Meta) merianae is a smaller form of the species Meta menardi. Unlike the above-mentioned species this one is present even in deeper, completely aphotic parts of the cave. In the Škocjan Caves, this spider is common everywhere in the Murmuring Cave, the Tominc Cave and other parts of the cave with a distinct outside impact. This spider cannot be found in a truly cave habitat of the inner parts of the cave, in the Silent Cave. Harvestmen/Opiliones Harvestmen can be found mostly on the ground surface and in the ground, but also underground; however, true troglobites among them are rare. In the Slovene Littoral, troglobitic species are not known. The species that are abundant are troglophiles which overwinter in the entrance parts of caves, and trogloxenes which find suitable living conditions there, such as a humid environment with decaying plant matter.

Terrestrial isopods/Isopoda terrestria Crustaceans are mostly water animals with the exception of a group of terrestrial isopod crustaceans, called woodlice, which have also adapted to life on land. Several species of edaphic woodlice can be found in the entrance parts of the Škocjan Caves seeking humid environment and moderate and constant temperatures in the extremely cold and dry months of the year. Many species of the woodlice family (Trichoniscide) have best adapted to the cave habitat; they also include completely troglobitic species. Five cave-adapted species have so far been found in the Škocjan Caves. The species Trichoniscus strammeri listed by Verhoeff (1932, p. 22) as part of the Škocjan Caves fauna, has not been found during our research. Titanethes dahli (Verhoeff, 1926) Lit: Verhoeff (1926), Bedek et al. (2011). The giant cave woodlouse occurs in an area that stretches from the Pivka Valley over the whole southwest of Slovenia to Čičarija, Gorski Kotar, and the Northern Velebit. The species belongs to troglobites, and it is among the biggest ones being up to just under 3 cm long. In some of the caves in the Karst and Istria this species may be very abundant (Polak et al., 2012). The giant cave woodlouse occurs in the Škocjan Caves, but it is not common there. In our research of the tourist part of the Škocjan Caves we observed it mainly in the central part of the Silent Cave where it stays in more humid places. The species is probably also present in the non-tourist humid parts of the lower level of the Murmuring Cave. Alpioniscus strasseri (Verhoeff, 1927) Lit: Strouhal (1939), Bedek et al. (2011). This species of woodlouse occurs in caves in a wide area extending from the Trieste Karst over the Divača Karst and the area of Matarsko podolje to Istria and Kvarner. In the Škocjan Caves, it was recorded in the humid environment of sampling stations 2, 3 and 4, most commonly in association with “lampenflora.” Alpioniscus strasseri is not a common species in the Škocjan Caves.


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Androniscus stygius tschameri (Strouhal, 1939) Lit: Strouhal (1939), Bedek et al. (2011). Although this small cave woodlouse of the species Androniscus stygius has distinctive troglomorphic adaptations, it does not inhabit large cave spaces, but mostly lives in fissures of the surface underground environment. The species can be found mostly at the bottom of karst abysses and in the entrance parts of caves where there is a lot of organic matter, wood and fallen leaves. In the Škocjan Caves, this species is relatively common, but only on sampling stations 1, 2 and 3. There they can be found usually feeding on algae and moss of “lampenflora.” Androniscus roseus (C. Koch, 1838) Lit: Bedek et al. (2011). This small pink-coloured woodlouse is a troglophile species of woodlouse found especially in humid leaf litter, in shallow subterranean habitat, and also in the entrances of caves. It is widespread from France and the south of Germany to the Balkans. The pink colour is its distinctive feature, and it has several subspecies. In the Škocjan Caves, this species of woodlouse was found in association with larger bat guano deposits in the Murmuring Cave (sampling station 6) and in Hall of Rimstone Pools (sampling station 7). There are but a few true cave populations of this species, and the population in the Škocjan Caves is one of them. Moserius percoi (Strouhal, 1940) Lit: Strouhal (1940). On 18 October 1885, L.C. Moser found an unusual humpy woodlouse in the Belinca Cave at Štorje. H. Strouhal, an isopod expert, recognized the specimen as a new species as late as in 1940 and also described a new genus. He named the species Mosoreus percoi after Andrej Perko, the director of the Postojna Cave at the time. For over a hundred years this was the only known specimen of this species. In 2010, after a long search in the same cave (Belinca) a second specimen was found, however, it was not found in the cave habitat of the deeper part of the cave, but under stones near the entrance. To our big surprise, the next two specimens (one juvenile and one adult) were found on 15 October 2012 in the Škocjan Caves during our research. Both subjects were found on the large dripstones called the Organ (Orgle) in the Silent Cave. It should be mentioned that percolation water from the surface seeped down these dripstones quite profusely. Later on another adult subject was found in the matter caught in the pit-fall traps set between 23 August and 15 September 2012 on sampling station 3 in the Silent Cave. Thus the Škocjan Caves are a second known site of this rare species of isopod.

Group: Apterygotes/Apterygota Springtails/Collembola In terms of numbers, springtails are a very large group of invertebrates living mostly in soil, leaf litter and similar

humid habitats. Many species more or less dependent on the cave habitat are known. The description of many cave species is based on specimens from the Slovene caves, among which the Postojna Cave and the Škocjan Caves stand out. The original descriptions of taxa are old and usually very incomplete, so for many species new, more expert descriptions based on type material should be provided. Because there is no expert specializing in this group in Slovenia, we invited Marko Lukić, an expert from Zagreb to work with us. Material gathered during our research is still in the process of taxonomic determination. In the literature the following species are listed for the Škocjan Caves. Lit: Joseph (1882, p. 44) mentions Anura infernalis; Stammer (1932, pp. 509–525) Achorutes muscorum, Hypogastrura armata, Isotoma violacea, Onychiurus fimetarius, Tomocerus unidentatu, Podura aquatica; Stach (1934, p. 125) Onychiurus armatus, Onychiurides (Onychiurus) canzianus, Oncopodura cavernorum, Heteropodura (Onychiurus) variotuberculatus, and Stach (1945) Arrhopalites canzianus. Onychiuridae in det. The taxonomy of a large group of small springtails of the genera Onychiurus and Onychiurides has not yet been fully explained. Many species from different caves have been described, but the descriptions are incomplete, so the group is now undergoing an intensive taxonomic processing. The description of the species Onychiurides (Onychiurus) canzianus is based on the specimens found in the Škocjan Caves. Arrhopalites cf. canzianus (Stach, 1945) Stach based his description of the endemic species Arrhopalites canzianus on the specimens found in the Škocjan Caves. Tiny springtails of this genus from the family Siminthuridae are common in some places in the Škocjan Caves. An exact taxonomic determination of gathered specimens is still ongoing. Many specimens of the genus Arrhopalites can be found mainly on the water surface of rimstone pools and lakes, and also on humid spots between dripstones where they are extremely difficult to spot. These are probably troglophilic animals which the percolation water washes into the cave from the epikarst layers above the cave at times of heavy rain. Specimens were found in the pit-fall traps on sampling station 2; a high number of subjects was found on sampling station 3; they were also common on the water surface of the rimstone pools on sampling station 7. Troglopedetes cf. pallidus (Absolon, 1907) The specimens of the genus Troglopedetes are very common in the Silent Cave of the Škocjan Caves, but the exact species determination has not yet been made. The type site of the tiny troglobitic species Troglopedetes pallidus is Hotiške ponikve, a cave at Hotična. In the Škocjan Caves, the specimens of this genus are common especially on the algae and moss of “lampenflora” in the Paradise and the Great Hall. Troglopedetes cf. pallidus (Absolon, 1907) This slightly bigger species of springtail is classified as a


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troglophilic springtail, and these are often found in the cave habitat. Their eyes are reduced in size, but still developed. In the Škocjan Caves, this species is common mainly on sampling stations 1 and 2, although individual specimens can be found along the entire profile of the tourist part of the cave. We observed many subjects feeding on algae and moss of “lampenflora,” and on sampling station 7 also on bat guano. The species is also common in the surrounding caves. Hypogastruridae in det. The springtails in this group are probably troglophiles washed down from the surface by percolation water. We observed them on sampling station 7 near rimstone pools with percolation water and plenty of bat guano. Oncopodura sp. This genus of springtail has not been taxonomically processed yet. Most of the specimens were found on the surface of lakes and rimstone pools in the Silent Cave. Specimens of this genus are troglobites and are known from many other caves. Isotomidae in det. The specimens of this group of springtails were found on the surface of captured water in the Silent Cave. The group has not been taxonomically processed yet. Many species of this family live mostly in forest leaf litter and soil.

Group: Insects/Insecta Beetles/Coleoptera Laemostenus cavicola (Schaum, 1858) Lit: Joseph (1882, p. 84), Cerkvenik (1910, 1911, 1953), Pretner et al. (unpublished). The description of this species of beetle is based on the specimens from the Pivka Valley, it occurs south of Postojna, all over the Karst, and as several subspecies from Istria to Albania (Casale, 1988; Pretner unpublished). The eyes of the species are reduced in size, yet it is not a troglobite, even though it is very often found in most of the caves in the Karst (Pretner, unpublished). The cave guide Cerkvenik captured them in traps with baits in the Tominc Cave in September 1910. Egon Pretner found them in the Marinič Cave (Mariničeva jama) in April 1911, in the Silent Cave on 5 September 1950 and in the Great Hall on 1 June 1953, but every time only a single specimen was found. In our research in the tourist part of the Škocjan Caves we captured them only in the pit-fall traps set near the iron door at the entrance into the Paradise. Specimens were captured in all samplings, that is why we believe that the species has developed a permanent population there. Laemostenus elongatus (Dejean, 1828) Lit: Joseph (1882, p. 58), Müller (1926, pp. 110, 217), Pretner (1949, 1956, 1958, 1969). Lemostenus elongatus is a species similar to the abovementioned one, only much less dependent on the subterranean habitat. It can be found mainly in fairly warm scree slopes in

collapse dolines, and more rarely also in the entrances into caves. In our research, this species was recorded only next to bat guano in the Hall of Rimstone Pools (sampling station 7), in the Schmidl Hall (sampling station 8), and in the Tominc Cave (sampling station 9). The species is not abundant. Pterostichus fasciopunctatus (Creutzer, 1793) Lit: Cognetti (1903, p. 7), Cerkvenik (1910), Müller (1926, pp. 110, 217), Müller (1928). Many entomologists list this species of beetle of the family Carabidae for the Škocjan Caves. The species inhabits deep cracks in surface habitats, especially near water, streams and rivers. In our research the species was recorded in front of the cave entrance in the Schmidl Hall (sampling station 8) and in the matter washed up in the dead-end cave passage under the Okroglica Abyss (sampling station 10). In some places the species occurs in large numbers, and there it has a permanent population. The swollen waters of the Reka River occasionally wash the specimens of this species into the inner part of the Škocjan Caves where the species then might form an isolated cave or troglophilic population. Such a population of the species, and quite a large one, is at the bottom of the Labodnica Cave at Trebče which constitutes part of the underground river system of the Reka River (Timavo). Anophthalmus schmidti trebicianus (Müller, 1915) Lit: Cognetti (1903, p. 9), Müller (1913, 1915, 1930, p. 82), Pretner (1956), Daffner (1998). In our research of the tourist part of the Škocjan Caves, this species of blind cave beetle was not detected, nor was it captured in pit-fall traps, which are otherwise used for studying cave beetles. Isolated specimens of this species and of the local subspecies were captured by Müller in 1913 and Pretner in 1956 in the Martel Hall. The species is a troglobite and can be found exclusively in deep and humid caves. The subspecies is endemic to the underground flow of the Reka River; apart from the Škocjan Caves, it is also known from the Kačna Cave at Divača and the Labodnica Cave at Trebče (Grotta di Trebiciano) which is the type site of this subspecies. Trechus croaticus (Dejean, 1831) Lit: Müller (1926, p. 110), Jeannel (1927, p. 533). The genus Trechus includes many species of the surface members of the subfamily of cave beetles Trechinae. The species Trechus croaticus is common in leaf litter and deep cracks in the wide karst area. Swollen waters occasionally wash specimens away and carry them to organic matter deposits composed of fallen-plant material (branches, tree leaves, sludge) accumulating in the sheltered parts of the lower levels of the Škocjan Caves. The species thrives in humid and dark habitats, that is why it can form troglophilic populations in such environments. Specimens of this species can be found mainly in deposits along the Reka River outside the tourist part of the cave. Trechus cardioderus pilisensis (Csiki, 1917) Lit: Springer (1913), Müller (1930, p. 82).


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The species Trechus cardioderus is like the above-mentioned one. Many specimens can be found in river deposits at the lower levels of the Škocjan Caves, it is particularly abundant in the Martel Hall. This is a surface species, but it can also form regular or at least occasional troglophilic populations. Platinus scrobiculatum (Fabricius, 1801) This species of beetle of the family Caribidae lives near the waters of the Reka River, and it is also common in river deposits. It was found in large numbers in deposits on the edge of swallow holes of the Škocjan Caves. Carabus creutzeri (Fabricius, 1801) This big species of beetle of the family Caribidae is typical of forest habitats in higher-lying areas. It is common on Mount Snežnik, and it also has an isolated population on Vremščica. The species does not survive in the cave habitat, but it is common in the overgrown and fractured entrance parts of the Škocjan Caves. It seems that the species has an isolated relict population at the bottom of the dolines in the Škocjan Caves Park. Bryaxis argus (Kraatz, 1863) The subfamily Pselaphinae of the large family of rove beetles (Staphiliniidae) includes several troglobitic and troglophilic species. In Slovenia, the following two troglobitic genera occur: Bithoxenus and Machaerites. In the Škocjan Caves, no troglobitic member of the subfamily Pselaphinae was found so far. So the two subjects of the species Bryaxis argus found on sampling stations 2 and 3 on 15 October 2012 are the first two finds of this group of beetles in the Škocjan Caves. Both specimens (the male and the female) belong to a species that is not a troglobite, it still has eyes, only reduced in size. Bathyscia montana montana (Schiødte, 1848) Lit: Krekich and Schatzmayr (1907), Müller and Springer (1910, 1911), Müller (1930, p. 82), Stammer (1932, pp. 521–656), Kiefer (1931, p. 48). The description of the leptodirine beetle of the species Bathyscia montana is based on the specimens from the soil in front of the Cave under Predjama Castle. The species is widespread almost over the entire territory of Slovenia; the area of its presence extends also into the frontier regions of Italy and Croatia (Gorski Kotar). This tiny species of leptodirine beetle occurs almost exclusively in forest leaf litter on the surface and only exceptionally in leaf litter in front of cave entrances. There is an unusual permanent cave population on piles of guano in the Murmuring Cave (sampling stations 7 and 8) in the Škocjan Caves. There this species of beetle forms part of a special association of guanobionts. Springer (1910). mentions large numbers of this species on guano in the Silent Cave, but now it is no longer there. Bathysciotes khevenhuelleri tergestinus (Müller, 1922) Lit: Krekich and Schatzmayr (1907), Muller and Springer (1910), Pretner (1949, 1953), Jeannel (1927, p. 533), Müller (1930, p. 82).

Unlike the above-mentioned species, the leptodirine beetle Bathysciotes khevenhuelleri is a distinct troglobitic species in the area of Karst. Only in the high mountain parts of Mount Snežnik, Javorniki and Nanos, it can also be found in the shallow subterranean habitat. The subspecies B. k. tergestinus occurs in large numbers in some of the caves in the Karst and the area of Matarsko podolje. In the Škocjan Caves, many entomologists captured the species in pit-fall traps, but all data are obsolete. Springer (1910, in Polak, 2012). mentions it occurs in large numbers in the Silent Cave, Pretner (1949, 1953). mentions many specimens on a slice of bread next to the pools with blind cave salamanders. In our research, we set pit-fall traps on the same spots in the Škocjan Caves mentioned above, but did not capture a single specimen. When we examined cave sediments thoroughly, we found only chitinous remnants of these beetles. It seems that the species has disappeared locally in the tourist part of the Škocjan Caves. Aphaobius milleri milleri (Müller, 1914) Lit: Joseph (1882, p. 84). Joseph’s reports of this distinctly cold-loving species in the Škocjan Caves are dubious; they are very likely false because the Škocjan Caves are outside the area where the genus Aphaobius occurs. Blaps mucronata (Latreille, 1804) Lit: Müller (1911), Pretner (1958). This big species of churchyard beetle is not a cave animal, however, because it likes to come to humid and dark caves and cellars, it can occasionally be also found in the entrances of warm caves. In our research, we did not focus on the dry parts of the entrances in the Škocjan Caves, so we probably overlooked the species. Müller and Pretner mention the occurrence of the species in the Schmidl Hall. At the entrance into the Tominc Cave, a specimen of this rare and protected species was found and photographed on 24 August 1998 (Polak, leg.) True flies/Diptera Speolepta leptogaster (Winnertz, 1863) This species of true fly resembles a small crane fly, its larvae can be found on the ceiling and walls of the humid parts of karst caves with a river flow. Larvae spin webs in which they capture prey – other subterranean invertebrates. Larvae of this troglophilic insect are not rare in the humid parts of the Murmuring Cave. They were recorded on sampling stations 5 and 6. The species is certainly very common at the lower river levels of the Škocjan Caves. Diptera in det. In the entrance parts of the Škocjan Caves, plenty of troglophilic and trogloxene species of true flies, particularly from the families Limonidae, Sciaridae, Mycetophilidae, Sphaeroceridae and Trichoceridae, can be found. This group of insects does not include troglobitic species. Due to a high number of described species of these families of true flies


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and the lack of experts specializing in these groups, the gathered specimens from the Škocjan Caves have not been taxonomically processed. Phoridae in det. Hump-backed flies are a very common and large, often troglophilic, group of true flies found in Slovene caves. In speleobiological research, these small black flies are most often captured in large numbers in pit-fall traps. This was also the case in our research in the Škocjan Caves. Specimens of this family of true flies were found in the pit-fall traps on all sampling stations, on sampling stations 1 in 2 even in large numbers. Orthoptera Troglophilus neglectus (Krauss, 1879) Lit: Stammer (1932, pp. 509–525). This species of cave cricket is very common and widespread in the Škocjan Caves. In the summer, these trogloxene insects spend their days outside the caves feeding, and at nighttime they come to the caves. They also overwinter in the caves in large numbers. A high number of this species of cricket can be found near the cave entrances, even though they were captured in pit-fall traps on almost all sampling stations. The similar species Troglophilus cavicola (Kollar, 1833). has so far not been recorded in the Škocjan Caves. Butterflies and moths/Lepidoptera Triphosa dubitata (Linnaeus, 1758) Although tissue moths of the species Triphosa dubitata are surface animals, they regularly come to the caves in wintertime to overwinter and in summertime during aestivation. The species is common in most of Slovene caves, especially in their entrance parts. The species is also common in the Škocjan Caves. They can be found on the walls of the deeper parts of the Schmidl Hall as well as of the Tominc and Mohorčič Cave. Scoliopteryx libatrix (Linnaeus, 1758) Like tissue moths, heralds can be found in caves mostly in wintertime when they come there to overwinter. The species was recorded in the Schmidl Hall. This species is rare in the Škocjan Caves.

Figure 8. A plan view of the Škocjan Caves with sampling stations marked. Source: The Škocjan Caves Park Archives, Pipan (2013).

Figure 9. A cross-section of the Škocjan Caves from the entrance to the Svetina Hall. Sampling stations from 1 to 5 are marked. The structure and use of the surface above the caves (above the sampling stations) can also be seen. Source: Pipan (2013).

Monitoring of percolation water – the epikarst5 Precipitation water that percolates through the soil continues its path through cracks and fissures in the rock layer just under the soil layer where it can remain for some time before percolating deeper underground. This layer, called the epikarst, is a suitable dwelling space for many true subterranean animals, of which a part is carried by gravity and water flow into the caves where we can sample them. The organisms in the percolation water, the most frequent among them being the copepods, are an important indicator of the This chapter content and the sources that are cited in text but not included in the reference list are entirely taken from Pipan (2013).

5

Figure 10. A schematic display of a device for sampling fauna in percolation water. Figure terms: lijak = funnel; posoda z odtokom = vessel with outflow; vzorčevalna posoda z mrežico = sampler holder with net. Source: Pipan (2013).


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Table 4. Description of sampling stations in the Ĺ kocjan Caves

SS 1

2

3

4

5

6

Locaon MahorÄ?iÄ? Cave

Sampling staon characteriscs Percolaon water is dripping from the approx 15 m high ceiling. Here the ceiling is thin, and severe drought in combinaon with heat causes the dripping of water to dry up. In winter, part of the cave is exposed to advances of cold air, and water is frozen for at least 1 month. Collecng samples is very difficult. Brihta Cave In winter, part of the cave is exposed to advances of (Brihta jama) cold air, and water is frozen for at least 1 month. Alpine swis stay nearby and bats frequently fly over the area (guano and excrement in sampling vessels). Tominc Cave In winter, part of the cave is exposed to advances of cold air, and water is frozen for at least 1 month. The flow of the percolaon water is strong here. Hall of Percolaon water is dripping from the approx 15 m Rimstone high ceiling. In mes of drought the dripping is very Pools weak. In warm months, bat colonies regularly stay in the area (fly overs) which causes a rather large amount of guano in water samples. Svena Hall Percolaon water is dripping from the approx 15 m (Svenova high ceiling. A steady dripping all year round. The dvorana) staon is most suitable for sampling all year round. In the summer months samples contain some guano due to bats flying over the area. Great Hall â&#x20AC;&#x201C; The staon is suitable for sampling all year round. A the boom true cave habitat.

7

Great Hall â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a pothole (ĹĄkavna)

The staon is suitable for sampling all year round. Percolaon water is dripping from the approx 15 m high ceiling. A true cave habitat.

8

Calvary (Kalvarija) â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a tent Rain Cave (DeĹževna jama)

The cave ceiling is thin, the flow of the percolaon water is strong and steady. A true cave habitat. The staon is suitable for sampling all year round. The staon is suitable for sampling all year round. The flow of the percolaon water is strong and steady. During the most severe frost water freezes over for a few days. Percolaon water is dripping from the approx 25 m high ceiling. The staon is suitable for sampling all year round.

9

10

Hanke's Cahnnel (Hankejev kanal)

Note: SS = Sampling stations in the Ĺ kocjan Caves. Source: Pipan (2013).

Sampling staon jusficaon The sampling staon is situated below the village of Ĺ kocjan which makes it especially suitable for studying correlaons between the ecology of the habitat and the impact of human acvity on it.

The sampling staon is situated below the village of Ĺ kocjan which makes it especially suitable for studying correlaons between the ecology of the habitat and the impact of human acvity on it. The measuring staon is situated roughly under the pasturage and karst forest. The measuring staon is situated roughly under the karst forest.

The measuring staon is situated roughly under the karst grassland and pine forest.

The sampling staon is situated roughly under the infrastructure of the Park (the car park, the informaon centre) which makes it suitable for monitoring any potenal special features. The sampling staon is situated roughly under the infrastructure of the Park (the car park, the informaon centre) which makes it suitable for monitoring any potenal special features. The measuring staon is situated roughly under the pasturage. The measuring staon is situated roughly under the karst grassland and pasturage.

The measuring staon is situated deep in the underground canyon where the temperature does not drop below freezing point. It is situated roughly under the karst forest and pasturage.


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Figure 11. Sampling fauna in percolation water, sampling station 8 in the Škocjan Caves. Photo by S. Šturm.

status of the environment (Pipan, 2003, 2005). In addition to precipitation water, other substances, pollutants, percolate from the surface and they impact populations living in subterranean habitats. By monitoring chemical parameters we usually detect only the current status, while the monitoring of living organisms gives an evaluation of the vitality of the population, its stability or endangerment. In this way we also obtain data about possible environmental impacts. In karst territory, any intervention on the surface is reflected in altered conditions underground which are determined by monitoring environmental parameters in subterranean waters. Subjects captured in trickles were distributed randomly and belonged to both freshwater and terrestrial surface taxa and also to epikarstic as well as subterranean taxa. Freshwater organisms included Oligochaete worms, roundworms and

Table 5. The list of taxa found on ten sampling stations during the one-year sampling of the percolation water in the Škocjan Caves

Group Nematoda Annelida Arthropoda

Class

Ordo

Clitellata Arachnida

Oligochaeta Palpigrada Araneae Acarina Haipaccoida

Copepoda Diplopoda Insecta

Abundance 53 3 1 12 28 169 1 32 68 56 6 10

Diptera- adult Diptera-larvae Collembola Apterigota

Undefined

Site 1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 10 3, 5 3 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10 6 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10 6, 10 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 10 2, 3, 6 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 9, 10 2, 6, 7, 8, 10 1, 2, 3, 5, 6

Source: Pipan (2013).

Table 6. The presence of harpacticoid copepods on each sampling station (1–10) by month

Site/Date June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 Januar 2012 Februar 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 Total

1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

2 0 0 0 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4

3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

4 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1

5 1 0 14(2) 6 0 0 3 2 0 0 0 0 26

6 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1

7 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Note: The number in brackets is the number of oviparous females in a given month on a given sampling station. Source: Pipan (2013).

8 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 4

9 9 (1) 11 6 1 8(1) 0 1 2 0 0 0 0 38

10 11(1) 6(1) 0 0 47 12 2 1 0 0 6 8 93


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Table 7. A summary of environmental parameters (average value, minimum, maximum) in the percolation water on the ten sampling stations in the Škocjan Caves; monthly sampling from June 2011 to May 2012

Parameter

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

Temperature (°C)

10.7 (1.3–17.0)

8.52 (0.6–15.2)

8.72 (0.1–14.1)

9.22 (2.3–14.3)

8.6 (0.2–13.4)

12.17 (11.9–12.4)

12.33 (12.1–12.7)

12.22 (11.9–12.8)

8.02 (0.3–12.7)

8.45 (0.8–12.9)

pH

8.42 (8.2–8.6)

8.68 (8.36–8.92)

8.33 (7.94–8.54)

8.32 (7.9–8.59)

8,48 (8.24–8.62)

8.24 (7.77–8.53)

8.13 (7.89–8.57)

8.18 (7.97–8.42)

8.35 (8.08–8.6)

8.38 (8.15–8.64)

Conducvity -1 (µScm )

351.75 (190–431)

411.36 (366–486)

314.7 (242–417)

373.1 (281–502)

257.8 (223–321)

195.45 (168–246)

276.82 (179–362)

405.55 (251–526)

331 (131–522)

272 (251–312)

Carbonats -1 (mgl )

3.61 (1.73–4.56)

3.81 (3.49–4.67)

2.96 (2.38–3.84)

3.03 (1.71–5.27)

2.46 (2.16–3.08)

1.84 (1.45–2.3)

2.89 (1.6–4.29)

3.83 (2.22–4.62)

3.15 (1.7–5.13)

2.65 (2.26–4.26)

3.93 (1.99–5.41)

4.39 (4.03–5.22)

3.14 (2.31–4.09)

3.58 (2.49–5.55)

2.66 (2.26–3.29)

1.99 (1.56–2.46)

2.95 (1.76–3.85)

4.10 (2.16–4.83)

3.41 (1.83–5.48)

2.77 (2.55–3.18)

3.96 (2–5.51)

4.43 (4.09–5.26)

3.2 (2.5–4.1)

3.81 (2.63–5.73)

2.69 (2.3–3.33)

2.04 (1.61–2.53)

3.10 (1.78–3.87)

4.17 (2.29–5.04)

3.46 (1.86–5.6)

2.83 (2.61–3.22)

-

5.26 9.92 1.55 16.95 1.98 (0.60–20.13) (4.91–19.48) (0.77–3.81) (1.32–46.32) (0.83–4.30)

0.65 (0.42–0.79)

0.86 (0.64–1.04)

1.29 (0.99–1.68)

2.73 (1.3–6.7)

5.53 (3.51–9.09)

2-

4.21 20.72 4.14 7.69 5.87 (1.52–11.71) (7.26–56.30) (1.45–7.85) (1.60–16.89) (2.13–9.92)

3.82 (2.01–6.18)

4.10 (2.18–5.65)

3.61 (1.58–6.33)

3.78 (1.07–1.07)

4.75 (3.06–9.04)

2+

Ca -1 (mgl ) Ca + Mg -1 (mgl ) NO3 -1 (mgl ) SO4 -1 (mgl )

Source: Pipan (2013).

copepods which were the predominant organisms (Table 5). The most common terrestrial fauna was arachnids and insects. Copepods were found on seven out of ten sampling stations (Table 5). On four sampling stations (2, 4, 6 and 8) individual specimens occurred, while they were more abundant on sampling stations 5, 9, and 10 where occasionally oviparous females were also found. All three stations of great abundance are stations with a steady substantial dripping and a thin ceiling. There are pasturage and forest areas above them. In contrast to these, the stations where only individual subjects were found are situated under the village or the infrastructure of the Park where also the basic chemical parameters indicated the anthropogenic impact (increased conductivity and content of nitrates and sulphates). Stations with no subjects found were affected by cold winter air and situated under the village (1), pasturage (3) and the infrastructure of the Park (7).

12%

38%

Conclusions

1%

10%

In February and March 2012, the samples did not contain even a single subject because low temperatures caused the water in the sampling vessels to freeze and the flow of percolation water dried up. In November 2011, April and May 2012, subjects were present on sampling station 10 only. The number of subjects in samples is often a reflection of current conditions, especially climatic conditions (the amount of precipitation and/or the temperature). Statistically characteristic dependence between the average values of environmental parameters and the number of copepods on each sampling station was determined by using the Pearson correlation coefficient (r). Negative statistical dependence between temperature and the number of subjects (r = –0,5) was established. The correlation analysis of other pairs of variables (T, pH, conductivity, carbonates, Ca2+, hardness, NO3-, SO42-) showed no statistically characteristic dependence.

Worms Oligochaeta (Earthworms) Aranea (Spiders) Copepoda (Crayfish) Insects

39%

Figure 12. A percentage display of the most common taxa in the percolation water in the Škocjan Caves. Source: Pipan (2013).

Discussions, guidelines, potential climate impact on the studied species6 Monitoring of avifauna The Škocjan Caves Park is situated in the Karst special protection area (a Natura 2000 site) (Denac et al., 2011a). Even though most of the Karst is covered by forest, the predominant 6 This chapter content and the sources that are cited in text but not included in the reference list are entirely taken from Figelj and Kmecl (2012).


106 | ClimaParks - Climate change and management of protected areas

type of birds on the qualifying species list are birds of open areas inhabiting meadows, shrubland and cliffs (Božič, 2003). Like the Karst, the Škocjan Caves Park is also mostly covered by forest. Meadows and farmland full of hedges, trees and shrubbery are situated near settlements (Jakopič, 2004). Consequently, the composition of species and the number of birds nesting in the Škocjan Caves Park corresponds to that. The most common species are Blackcap, Robin, Blackbird, Chaffinch and Marsh Tit. The first 4 species are generalist birds which means they are not dependent on a specific habitat, while Marsh Tit is a forest specialist (Tucker & Evans, 1997). The populations of the above-mentioned species exceed 200 pairs. The populations of Coal Tit and Crested Tit exceed 100 pairs. Coal Tit and Crested Tit are species dependent on coniferous forest (Snow & Perrins, 1998a; Tucker & Evans, 1997), and are common in the Škocjan Caves Park because of the reforestation of the area with Black Pine Pinus nigra in the past; the species indicate a high share of Black Pine, which has also been confirmed by the habitat type mapping (Jakopič, 2004). As many as 6 species of woodpecker have been recorded (Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Green Woodpecker, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Black Woodpecker and Wryneck), which indicates that there are a lot of mature and dead trees and a large amount of suitable food for woodpeckers, i.e. mainly ants and bark beetles (Snow & Perrins, 1998b). Woodpeckers are very important especially for secondary cavity nesting birds, such as Scops Owl, which inhabit their abandoned nests. The absence of Corn Bunting and Eurasian Skylark indicates that the area of open agricultural landscape within the boundaries of the Škocjan Caves Park is small. Especially Eurasian Skylark inhabits vast open spaces with low vegetation, its nearest nesting sites are in the area of Divaški Gabrk. Woodlark inhabits mosaic agricultural landscape with different land uses and dotted with trees, hedges and shrubbery. In the Park, 2 pairs of Woodlark have been recorded, its population within the boundaries of the Škocjan Caves Park has been obtained by extrapolating data from the mapping inventory and is estimated at 4 nesting pairs, which roughly corresponds to the area of suitable habitat within the Park. Divaški Gabrk is a known nesting area for Woodlark (Denac et al., 2011b), Hoopoe and Common Whitethroat (DOPPS – BirdLife Slovenia, data from New Ornithological Atlas of Slovenia [NOAGS]). During this research Barred Warbler, a rare nesting bird in the Karst, was recorded in the area of Divaški Gabrk (DOPPS, data from New Ornithological Atlas of Slovenia [NOAGS]). No Ortolan Bunting was recorded, we specifically checked parts of Divaški Gabrk which burnt down in March 2012. Ortolan Bunting likes to inhabit areas with remains of a fire (Brotons et al., 2008; Dale & Hagen, 1997), especially if these areas are large and near other nesting areas (Brotons et al., 2008), therefore the remains of the fire in Divaški Gabrk should also be monitored in the future. In the cultural landscape at Naklo, Woodlark and Hoopoe has been recorded. The Reka River is the only big waterway in the Karst; bird species that cannot be found elsewhere in the Karst nest on it. From the bridge in Famlje to Škocjan, 8 (2011) and 10

(2012) nesting pairs of Grey Wagtail have been recorded on an approx 2,700 m long sections of the Reka River. The density of Grey Wagtail on the Reka River comes to 2.8–3.7 pairs per km of the river. The highest density of Grey Wagtail is on fast-flowing, richly structured 10–20 m wide rivers, in such a habitat in Switzerland 91 pairs were recorded on a 30.2 km long section of the Ticino River (Schifferli & Flousek, 1985). The Reka River in the canyon provides a similar habitat. Božič (1996) states that in Slovenia the distance between nests of Grey Wagtail exceeds 100 m, however, in different years he recorded 5 nests on a 200 m long section of the river around Renke. In the Park itself, Grey wagtail nests in the collapse dolines of Velika and Mala dolina (at least 3 pairs). During the inventory of Alpine Swift, a Grey Wagtail was recorded when flying deep into the Schmid Hall. Due to the large size of the collapse dolines of Velika and Mala dolina, it is quite possible that the population of Grey Wagtail is in fact a pair or two larger than evaluated during the making of the inventory. The rapids of the Reka River between Famlje and Škocjan are a suitable habitat also for White-throated Dipper (Božič, 1997; Snow & Perrins, 1998a). White-throated Dipper was recorded in both of the years the research was taking place, in wintertime and in the nesting period. It is estimated that at least 1 pair of White-throated Dipper (probably 2) nests within the boundaries of the Škocjan Caves Park. In the Karst, the Škocjan Caves Park is the most important area for Grey Wagtail and White-throated Dipper. The density of Grey Wagtail is among the highest in Slovenia and can be compared to the highest densities in Europe. Several authors state that the presence of Grey Wagtail and especially of White-throated Dipper on a waterway is a good indicator of the high degree of conservation of an ecosystem around the waterway (Larsen et al., 2010; Sorace et al., 2002). The many rocky cliffs in the Reka River canyon and the collapse dolines in and around the Park attract rock-nesting birds, such as Eagle Owl, Peregrine Falcon and Alpine Swift. A territorial male of Eagle Owl was recorded in 2011 in the Lisičina collapse doline. Lisičina is a known nesting area of Eagle Owl (S. Polak, personal communication; Mihelič, 2002; T. Mihelič, personal communication). In 2012, the presence of Eagle Owl could not be determined; it is very likely that the male died because of an electric shock. There have been many cases of an Eagle Owl dying because of an electric shock on pillars of medium voltage transmission lines in Slovenia and in the Karst (Mihelič, 2008). There is a high number of medium voltage transmission lines in the Škocjan Caves Park and in its close vicinity, which makes the Škocjan Caves Park an ecological trap. Suitable nesting areas and hunting grounds keep attracting new subjects of Eagle Owl, which sooner or later perch on a pillar of a medium voltage transmission line and die due to an electric shock. The Risnik collapse doline is also an abandoned nesting area of Eagle Owl (DOPPS – BirdLife Slovenia, data from New Ornithological Atlas of Slovenia [NOAGS]), and most probably the Reka River canyon at Školj Castle, too (T. Mihelič, personal communication). Eagle Owl is extremely sensitive to human disturbance, especially from climbers. There have been cases all over Slovenia of Eagle


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Owl abandoning the nest due to the presence of climbers; the most known case is the abandoned nest above the village of Osp (Marčeta & Mihelič, 2000; Mihelič, 2002). Another threat to Eagel Owl is the motorway between Risnik and the Škocjan Caves Park. The number of Eagle Owl fatalities due to motor vehicle accidents is not negligible (Martinez et al., 2006), there are known cases also in Slovenia (Krašna, personal communication). Tawny Owl is the most abundant owl in the Škocjan Caves Park. Tawny Owl likes to live and nest in caves and karst abysses (Lipej & Gjerkeš, 1996; Polak, 2000), and there is plenty of those in the Škocjan Caves Park. The population of Tawny Owl in the Škocjan Caves Park is estimated at 6–10 pairs. European Nightjar is also one of the common nocturnal species; its population in the Škocjan Caves Park is estimated at 6–10 pairs. European Nightjar is a common species in the Karst (DOPPS – BirdLife Slovenia, data from New Ornithological Atlas of Slovenia [NOAGS]), it particularly likes pine groves near pastures, there is such a habitat in the western part of the Škocjan Caves Park, and there the highest number of European Nightjars have been detected (cf. chapter Results). Scops Owl is more rare, one spontaneously singing male has been recorded in Škoflje. In both of the years of inventory, Peregrine Falcon successfully nested in the Sokolak collapse doline. In 2011, 2 fledglings were recorded, in 2012, the pair had 3 chicks. Peregrine Falcon feeds on pigeons; the most abundant species of pigeon in the Škocjan Caves Park is Domestic Pigeon. Domestic Pigeon was derived from Rock Dove and it is sometimes difficult to determine which species it belongs to (Snow & Perrins, 1998b). The pigeons in the Škocjan Caves behave as Rock Doves, they also stay in the caves which is typical of Rock Doves (Snow & Perrins, 1998b). Not all pigeons have the same colours as Rock Dove, some of the subjects have more white or brown on their bodies which means that they are crossbred with Domestic Pigeon. In Slovenia, Alpine Swift is a sparse bird, known nesting areas are on the Karst Edge, in the Western Julian Alps, and in the Škocjan Caves (DOPPS – BirdLife Slovenia, data from New Ornithological Atlas of Slovenia [NOAGS]). All known nesting areas in Slovenia are natural, elsewhere in Europe the species also nests on high buildings (Bize & Roulin, 2009). The data on the size of individual colonies are scarce. It is estimated that 36–40 pairs of Alpine Swift nest in the Škocjan Caves Park. The colony of Alpine Swift in the southwestern part of the Karst Edge is supposed to be larger than the one in the Škocjan Caves (T. Mihelič, personal communication); there are no exact data on the size of other colonies. In the Škocjan Caves, Alpine Swift nests in the entrance parts of the caves and on the natural bridge between the Velika and Mala dolina collapse dolines. Some of the pairs fly deep into the part of the cave where there is total darkness, and most probably nest there. We have compared our data with those from the 1999 inventory (S. Polak, personal communication), but except for Yellowhammer we have not observed considerable differences. In 1999, the inventory of the area was made once in

two visits (29 April 1999 and 7 May 1999), while making this inventory we visited the Park 8 times just for the purpose of mapping the common species, so it is very difficult to make any comparisons. Nevertheless, it is clear that Yellowhammer has almost disappeared in the Škocjan Caves Park. In 1999, 9 Yellowhammers were recorded, in 2011, only one Yellowhammer was detected during a single visit. The reasons for the drop in the number of Yellowhammers within the boundaries of the Škocjan Caves Park are unclear; it is probably the result of land becoming overgrown and agricultural use being abandoned. The status of the qualifying species in the wider area of influence of the Škocjan Caves Park is not satisfactory. The status of Ortolan Bunting is bad, from 2005 on it can be considered a disappeared species. The status of Woodlark, Scops Owl and European Nightjar on the other hand seems stable. The situation is the worst in the valley of the Reka River. The most important habitats for the qualifying species in the valley of the Reka River were wet, extensive meadows, mosaic agricultural landscape, and a large number of hedges, individual shrubs and similar structures. The population trends of the qualifying bird species clearly reflect changes in agricultural use, which has intensified; as a result, trends are negative and species are disappearing. Lesser Grey Shrike is a disappeared species in the valley of the Reka River. Unless the use changes, it will be only a matter of time before Corncrake, Spotted Crake and Whinchat disappear as well. The key to improving the situation is to stop development and to engage in a more extensive farming.

Conservation guidelines and measures The diversity of avifauna in the Škocjan Caves Park is affected mainly by human activity. The current mode of space management in the Škocjan Caves is unfavourable for some species. As major threats have been documented: – medium voltage transmission lines within the boundaries of the Park, – human disturbance. It is necessary to preserve extensive meadows and prevent

Figure 13. Conservation zones within the Škocjan Caves Park. Source: Figelj and Kmecl (2012).


108 | ClimaParks - Climate change and management of protected areas

overgrowing of land. Farming in the Škocjan Caves Park does not constitute a major threat to birds, but it can be detrimental to the birds in the close vicinity. Most of the grasslands around Naklo are fertilized, and some of them are even overseeded (our own observations); we have also noticed that some of the hedges were cut down unnecessarily. We recommend extensive use of grasslands around Naklo, which means that fertilizing and overseeding should be stopped.

The influence of the climate on the trends in the future The climate, or rather climate change is one of the factors influencing the distribution and abundance of birds (Lindström et al., 2012). The Škocjan Caves Park is situated near the sub-Mediterranean region, which is reflected on the flora (Jakopič, 2004) and avifauna in its close vicinity. It is expected that average annual temperatures will rise in the future, which will influence the distribution of birds around the caves (Huntley et al., 2007). Most likely Mediterranean bird species will gain the most; assuming that the Park area will not become overgrown, nesting of Blue Rock Thrush Monticola solitarius can be expected, if the temperature rises even more, maybe even Western Rock Nuthatch Sitta neumayer and Red-rumped Swallow Hirundo daurica will nest here. In addition to that, the abundance of some species which are already present in the Park will increase, e.g. Cirl Bunting and Nightingale. In Slovenia, Blue Rock Thrush is most abundant on the Karst Edge, but it also nests in the rock walls of the southern edge of the Trnovo Forest and Nanos; it has also been recorded below Mount Krn (DOPPS – BirdLife Slovenia, data from New Ornithological Atlas of Slovenia [NOAGS]). Although there are no data on the occurrence of Blue Rock Thrush in the Škocjan Caves Park, we expected to detect it during our research. It seems that walls in the Škocjan Caves Park are not thermophilic enough at the moment to provide favourable conditions for Blue Rock Thrush. The cave area proper is rather cold and north-oriented; collapse dolines and the Reka River gorge add to that while at the same time contributing to a smaller temperature fluctuation (Rejec Brancelj, 1998). As far as avifauna is concerned, the rise in the average temperature will thus most probably increase the diversity of birds.

Monitoring of glacial, thermophile relicts and protected plants on the red list of flora7 We believe that to determine the impact of potential climate change it is necessary to carefully select the species that should be monitored. Because the number of blooming specimens in orchids may vary considerably between years, This chapter content is entirely taken from Trčak (2012). This chapter content and the sources that are cited in text but not included in the reference list are entirely taken from Polak (2012). 7 8

the decision which ones to include in monitoring should be well thought out, since a comparison of a few years will not necessarily provide representative results. It is therefore recommended that the status of orchids is monitored using more suitable methods, such as the transect method, or that meadows where orchids grow are monitored. Equally, the specific “micropopulation” which will be monitored should also be selected carefully. Those populations where environmental factors (for example, overgrowing) affect the status of the population itself as little as possible should be selected. Many specimens of species belonging to glacial or thermophilic relicts are in hardly accessible places; if possible, easily accessible surfaces that nonetheless satisfy other criteria should be chosen for monitoring. The description of the location of an inventory plot should be clear, so it can be easily found following the description. Usually, GPS coordinates are used, but in the Škocjan Caves this may present a problem because this method is only partly usable on vertical walls. Alternative methods include photographing the inventory plot, the use of binoculars or a telescope, or laser meters. The selected inventory station should have a guaranteed permanent, unchanged use (a contact with the owner, a harmonization with the planned developments in the Park etc.). The selection of species and the list of inventory stations or transects where each species will be monitored should be made on the basis of the gathered data. The inventory method should be determined for each species and for each inventory station. The time interval within a year should be specified for monitoring depending on the time of flowering; the interval may slightly vary between years due to weather conditions. In order to guarantee the monitoring of individual species on the selected inventory plots over several years, previous use should not be changed. For this end, the owner of the land where the inventory plot is situated should be determined, and the possibility of carrying out the monitoring should be arranged with them. When parameters have been specified, it should be ensured that monitoring is in fact carried out (financial and personnel planning) in accordance with the planned time of monitoring (in years). Given that there is a relatively small number of glacial and thermophilic relicts, it is advisable to monitor at least one growing site of each species, preferably more, so that micropopulation trends can be monitored and compared in order to determine the climate change impact on flora; while for other species a selection of sites may be made. Because some of the growing sites of relicts are hardly accessible, monitoring all of the sites is not feasible.

Monitoring of terrestrial troglobitic fauna8 In the overview of the subterranean fauna of the tourist part of the Škocjan Caves 38 taxa are listed, of which only 8 organisms are indisputably troglobitic; out of these eight taxa the leptodirine beetle Bathysciotes khevenhuelleri should temporarily be listed as a locally disappeared species from


ClimaParks - Climate change and management of protected areas | 109

this part of the cave. The number of identified troglobitic species will probably increase by a few species after a more detailed analysis of the collected springtails (Collembola). Given the dimensions of the Škocjan Caves, the number of troglobites is relatively small, certainly far smaller than in those Slovene Dinaric caves that are the most rich in fauna, such as the Postojna Cave, the Cave under Predjama Castle, the Logarček Cave, the Križna Cave and many others (Sket & Culver, 2000). The number of troglobites in the tourist part of the Škocjan Caves is also considerably smaller than in many other caves in the Karst, in the area of Matarsko podolje and Čičarija. Caves, such as Polina peč, Račiška pečina, Dimnice, Medvedjak and Radota jama, have more than 15 troglobites (Polak et al., 2012). The main reason for a small number of troglobitic organisms in the Škocjan Caves lies in the fact that the Škocjan Caves have not been explored in their entirety; only the tourist part of the caves has been included in our research. This part of the cave is a relatively old fossil passage, and what is most relevant as far as fauna is concerned, it lies deep below the surface. Layers of continuous rock above the Silent Cave and the Murmuring Cave are 60 to 100 meter thick. It is known (Culver & Pipan, 2009) that organic matter, food for cave fauna, is extremely scarce in deep subterranean habitats. The main source of food there is percolation water, rainwater from the surface, bringing dissolved organic matter into the underground. As it percolates through thick layers of rock the amount of food in percolation water drops considerably. Only the most modest cave organisms capable of filtering percolation water and feeding on the organic film on dripstones and the surface of percolation water are adapted to this extremely scarce food source. In the Škocjan Caves, such organisms found mostly in the central part of the Silent Cave are: the cave snail Zospeum spelaeum, the giant cave woodlouse Titanethes dahli, the cave palpigrade Eukoenenia sp., and so far three identified troglobitic species of cave springtail (Collembola). The troglobitic species of beetle found in the

Škocjan Caves include the Schmidt’s blind cave beetle Anophthalmus schmidti and the leptodirine beetle of the species Bathysciotes khevenhuelleri. The Schmidt’s blind cave beetle has so far been found only in the lower water levels of the Škocjan Caves, and has not been detected in our research. It seems that food in the Silent Cave is currently still too scarce for the leptodirine beetle Batysciotes khevenhuelleri. Today, climate change – mainly caused by human activity – is a fact. Changes in climate conditions are relatively quickly followed by changes in biosphere. Changes in distribution of some plant and animal species as the consequence of global warming have already been noted in Slovenia, too. It is mostly warmth-loving species that broaden their area of occurrence (Polak, 2007). Climate conditions in the Karst underground are relatively stable and do not respond much to daily (circadian) or annual (circannual) climate changes on the surface. Seasonal climate changes (precipitation, temperature, air streams) can have an impact on phenology and spatial periodic variations in occurrence of some cave animals, but the composition of fauna stays the same (Polak, 2009). A detailed definition of the current (zero) status of the terrestrial troglobitic fauna and establishing a long-term monitoring following the same methodology will enable attributing potential changes in the composition of troglobitic fauna to the observed long-term climate changes. Along with a regular periodic monitoring of the status of subterranean fauna, accurate meteorological measurements of temperature, humidity, air streams in the caves and the composition of gases should also be performed. Only a long-term environmental monitoring, which is already being carried out by the Škocjan Caves Park, will enable us to explain and interpret potential changes in the composition of the subterranean fauna in the Škocjan Caves in the future.

Monitoring of percolation water – the epikarst9 Copepods from the order Harpacticoida were the most

Figure 14. An illustrative schematic side cross-section of the Škocjan Caves system with the sampling stations of speleobiological research drawn in. Figure terms: vzorčno mesto monitoringa terestrične favne = sampling point of cave fauna. Source: The Škocjan Caves Park Archives, adapted from Polak (2012).


110 | ClimaParks - Climate change and management of protected areas

Figure 15. There is a copepod fauna, small in number, yet rich in species, in trickles and puddles of percolation water. Many of them are endemic. The one in the picture is Morariopsis scotenophila, only half a millimeter long, the first copepod found in the Ĺ kocjan Caves described as early as in 1930. Photo by A. Brancelj.

abundant subjects in the epikarst water; females with eggs were also found. This indicates that the population of copepods as the most important organisms in the epikarst is viable and keeps regenerating. This proves that the Ĺ kocjan Caves are a diverse karst subterranean ecosystem in which interesting discoveries are still to be expected. The data on the number of organisms and the diversity of animal species specialized for life underground in the Ĺ kocjan Caves confirm and testify to a satisfactory health of the ecosystem. Since the underground, especially the epikarst, is a layer just below the surface directly dependent on the surface, the monitoring of the fauna of percolation water should be continued as this allows for an all-embracing evaluation of the ecological status of a wider hinterland area above the cave system. Individual species of copepods in percolation water can be used as bioindicators for the overall evaluation of environmental impacts (Pipan & Culver, 2007). In the same way as the skin protects all of the organs in an organism, the surface protects and safeguards the underground world. If we damaged it by pollution or activities grossly affecting it, we prevent it from performing its role of protecting and safeguarding the underground environment.

This chapter content and the sources that are cited in text but not included in the reference list are entirely taken from Pipan (2013).

9


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References Figelj, J., & Kmecl, P. (2012). Monitoring ptic v parku Škocjanske jame: metodologija, izvedba popisa in ocena varstvenega stanja. Ljubljana, Slovenia: Društvo za opazovanje in proučevanje ptic Slovenije (DOPPS). Pipan, T. (2013). Ocena stanja in vzpostavitve monitoringa v prenikli vodi v sistemu Škocjanskih jam. Ljubljana, Slovenia: Znanstvenoraziskovalni center SAZU, Inštitut za raziskovanje krasa. Polak, S. (2012). Monitoring terestrične troglobiontske favne v turističnem delu Škocjanskih jam. (Spremljanje posebnosti določenih vrst kraškega podzemlja). DS2: Monitoring in analiza vplivov podnebnih sprememb na biodiverziteto. Postojna, Slovenia: Zavod Znanje Postojna, OE Notranjski muzej Postojna. Šturm S. (2011). Researches in the Škocjanske jame park: Conservation of living diversity in the park. Revija Kras, 113, 26–29. Trčak, B. (2012). Ocena stanja flore glacialnih habitatov in termofilnih vrst. Miklavž na Dravskem polju, Slovenia: Center za kartografijo favne in flore.

Izvleček V skladu z upravljavskimi cilji javnega zavoda Park Škocjanske jame, Slovenija (v nadaljevanju PŠJ) ter s cilji upravljanja območij Natura 2000 kamor spada PŠJ, so bile v okviru projekta CLIMAPARKS, naročene izvedbe ustreznih študij. Izvedena je bila celovita študija avifavne v ožjem zavarovanem območju (415 ha) ter delom vplivnega območja. Poseben poudarek je bil na vrstah iz Habitatne direktive, ki so imele potrjeno prisotnost v izbranem študijskem območju. V nalogi je bila podana ocena klimatološkega vpliva na trende v prihodnosti, varstvene smernice in predlog monitoringa v prihodnje. Izvedena je bila ocena stanja flore glacialnih habitatov in termofilnih vrst s predlogom nadaljnjega monitoringa. S seznama ogroženih in zavarovanih vrst se je potrdilo uspevanje 18 vrst. V nalogi je podan predlog monitoringa izbranih vrst. Izvedena je bila ocena stanja in vzpostavitev monitoringa v prenikli vodi v sistemu Škocjanskih jam. Izveden je bil monitoring terestrične troglobiontske favne v turističnem delu Škocjanskih jam. Namen raziskave je bil v prvi vrsti izdelati celovit popis, ki bo služil za dolgoročno spremljanje stanja in ugotavljanje morebitnih sprememb favnistične sestave v času in prostoru.

Estratto In conformità agli obiettivi gestionali del PŠJ (Ente pubblico Parco Škocjanske jame, Slovenia), con lo scopo di preservare il favorevole stato dei valori naturali, di specie animali e vegetali e di tipi di habitat, e agli obiettivi della gestione dei siti della rete Natura 2000, della quale fa parte anche PŠJ, nell’ambito del progetto CLIMAPARKS CB005, del Work Package 2 »Monitoraggio e analisi dell’impatto dei cambiamenti climatici sulla biodiversità«, sono stati commissionati appositi studi. È stato eseguito uno studio completo dell’avifauna nella zona protetta del Parco (415 ha), e nella parte della zona di influenza che è un paesaggio organicamente legato ai tipi di habitat che si trovano anche all’interno del Parco. Un’enfasi speciale era posta sulle specie dalla Direttiva Habitat la cui presenza nell’area di studio prescelta era accertata. L’incarico riporta la valutazione dell’impatto climatologico su trend futuri, le linee guida di protezione e la proposta del monitoraggio nel futuro. È stata eseguita la valutazione dello stato della flora degli habitat glaciali e delle specie termofili con la proposta del monitoraggio nel futuro. Dalla lista delle specie minacciate e protette è stato confermato l’attecchimento di 18 specie. Sono stati registrati due relitti glaciali (primula orecchia d’orso e sassifraga incrostata) e due relitti termofili (felce capelvenere e asparago selvatico). L’incarico riporta la proposta del monitoraggio delle specie prescelte. È stata eseguita la valutazione della situazione e l’istituzione del monitoraggio dell’acqua di percolazione nel sistema delle Grotte di Škocjan. Gli individui più numerosi nell’acqua dell’epicarso erano i copepodi dell’ordine Harpacticoida, sono state trovate anche femmine ovipare. È stato eseguito il monitoraggio della fauna terrestre troglobia nella parte turistica delle Grotte di Škocjan. Lo scopo dello studio era soprattutto fare un inventario completo della fauna cavernicola terrestre delle Grotte di Škocjan che servirà per il monitoraggio a lungo termine della situazione ed il rilevamento di eventuali cambiamenti nella composizione faunistica nello spazio e nel tempo.


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Ĺ kocjan Caves (Photo: B. Lozej)


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Climatic Characteristics and Expected Climate Change In the Wider Area of the Škocjan Caves Park Tanja Cegnar Agencija RS za okolje (Slovenian Environment Agency). Correspondence: tanja.cegnar@gmail.com.

Abstract Climate change is a significant component of the environment and throughout the history of humankind the climate has affected the life of people. The climate in Slovenia is determined by many factors, the most important being its geographical position, a diverse relief, the orientation of mountain ridges, and the proximity of the sea. For the study of the climate in the Škocjan Caves Park we use the weather station in the Park and those in the surroundings, from whose data we can already detect changes in the climate. More frequent climate threats are forecast for the Park as well as for its surroundings. Keywords: climate, climate change, Škocjan Caves Park, climate threats.

INTRODUCTION On the significance of climate in general We are often not aware of just how a significant component of environment climatic conditions really are. On the geological time scale, climate contributed significantly to transforming the earth's surface. The two most effective ways of shaping the earth's surface are wind and water erosion, but also glaciers changed the earth's surface noticeably. Climatic conditions are essential for disintegration of rocks, distribution and thriving of plant and animal species, and their coexistence. Climate has always had a decisive influence on people and their life style; throughout the history of humankind it was reflected in ways of building, agriculture, the selection of domestic animals, population density, availability of water sources, customs and traditions, eating habits and health. In the past century, rapid technological development provided relatively easy access to energy, including fossil fuels, brought a different way of building, increased mobility and expanded the list of cultivated plants, and made better and heavier crops possible. All of this gave us a deceptive feeling that we have subjugated nature. But we cannot control nature and climate, let alone shape it according to our wishes. Changes in climate result from natural causes, but people add to that by emitting greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Thus over the past decade climate has changed faster than ever before, while modern society has not increased resistance

to extreme weather events. On the contrary, modern society is becoming increasingly vulnerable. Regions differ in type and frequency of natural disasters, their intensity, and also, of course, in how prepared they are for them as well as in their ability to remedy the consequences quickly and effectively. The degree of vulnerability is largely influenced also by activities affecting the environment. If these are sensible and well thought-out, they will not increase vulnerability, they might even help reduce it. In practice, unfortunately, the opposite is often the case.

Climatic characteristics of the Škocjan Caves Park Already in 2005, an automatic weather station started operating in the area of the Škocjan Caves Park. However, several decades worth of meteorological data would be needed to determine climatic conditions; also, the data provided by the automatic weather station, although taken in very frequent time intervals, do not cover the whole set of weather variables. Data from two weather stations relatively close by will therefore be used for the assessment of climatic conditions and expected changes/trends; these two stations


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provide a wider selection of variables, and what is more, have been in operation long enough, which means that on the basis of their data a more comprehensive picture of climatic conditions can be made. The weather stations in question are: Godnje (320 m above sea level) and Ilirska Bistrica (424 m above sea level), whereas the station in Postojna (533 m above sea level) is higher and further away from the sea, so it is already more under the influence of the continental climate, and consequently less similar to the area of the Škocjan Caves in terms of the climate. For the assessment of the signs of climate change, data from the entire territory of Slovenia will be used.

Advantages of climatic conditions

The main factors shaping the climatic conditions in the area of the Škocjan Caves Park

Climate threats

Slovenia lies in a moderate geographical and climate zone, and is consequently characterized by high variability of climatic and weather conditions because of the interaction of the influences of the sub-Mediterranean, alpine and continental climates on the territory of Slovenia. The climate in Slovenia is determined by many factors, the most important being its geographical position, a diverse relief, the orientation of mountain ridges, and the proximity of the sea. The interaction of these factors results in a very diverse climate. The area of the Škocjan Caves Park with a typical karst relief extends at 420 to 450 m above sea level and is situated in the transitional area between the coastal and continental part of Slovenia. It is surrounded by the Brkini Hills and Mount Vremščica. You can find more on its surface and geographical characteristics at webpage of the park. The influence of the Mediterranean Sea can still be felt, which is reflected in temperature conditions, and the bora wind is typical as well. Most of the precipitation is brought by the southwest air streams, which intensify precipitation also due to the influence of air masses moving up over the Karst and the Dinaric and Alpine ridge. A precipitation regime determines the distribution of precipitation over the year. The sub-Mediterranean climate is characterized by two precipitation maximums: the first occurs at the end of spring, the other, far more distinctive, in autumn. The amount of precipitation may vary considerably from one year to the next resulting in both dry and extremely wet years. Due to the orographic effect, the amount of precipitation increases as we move away from the sea inland, and reaches its maximum at the Dinaric-Alpine barrier. On the coast, the annual amount of precipitation ranges between 1100 and 1200 mm; in Godnje around 1400 mm falls annually, in Ilirska Bistrica 1350 mm, in Postojna already almost 1600 mm. The amount of percipitation is highest in weather situations in which humid and relatively warm air masses move along with a southwest wind. Because the direction of movement of air masses is perpendicular to orographic barriers, the air lifts up the side of the barriers and cools down, which causes condensation and precipitation.

The climate advantages of the area include mainly the absence of intense summer heat and sultriness which is typical of the coastal and continental parts of Slovenia. Also, in winter and spring the temperature inversion and fog from the Northern Adriatic usually do not reach the area. For this reason, a less severe air pollution can be expected. Moslty in the cold part of the year, big variations in the lowest daily temperatures can occur even within small distances on the diverse karst surface, which can be an advantage if space is used appropriately.

Every year extreme events, both weather and climate events, also happen. Experts estimate that in the future due to climate change more extreme weather events can be expected, such as storms, heat waves, droughts, torrential floods etc. In recent years, we have often witnessed severe summer droughts, which adversely affected farmers, in some places they were also a threat to sources of drinking water. The lack of precipitation in summer was often accompanied by a high air temperature and an unusually high amount of sunny weather, which further increased the need for water. In the southwest of Slovenia, drought usually occurs every summer, partly due to geological conditions. Long dry periods can also occur in winter, only the consequences are usually less noticeable. In the southwest of Slovenia, there was a long, intense dry period in the first three months of 2012; there, unlike in the rest of the territory, the dry conditions continued during the spring months, in summer the drought intensified and reached its peak. Slovenia is one of the regions with the highest number of thunderstorms in Europe; each year some of them are also fierce storms, the damage of which depends on the settlement and the purpose of the area the storm engulfs. The Škocjan Caves Park lies in the area where the number of thunderstorms is one of the highest in Slovenia. Most damage can be caused by hail, and of course also by strong gusts of wind and heavy downpours. A strong bora wind blowing in the Littoral obstructs traffic at least a few days a year; in exposed places, it sometimes prevents it altogether. Gusts of wind occurring in fierce thunderstorms anywhere in Slovenia are more unpredictable. These can also cause damage and uncover roofs, in rare cases also break trees. Because the bora wind is common in this area, most of the infrastructure is adapted to these conditions. Heat waves are especially hard for susceptible people because it may trigger symptoms of many illnesses or make them worse. Intense heat can also affect animals and plants. The air temperature may reach high values, but heat is nowhere as hard on people as in lowlands and basins. The combination of heat and a prolonged period of dry weather is potentially dangerous because it increases the risk of wildfire.


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The Brkini Hills are one of the areas in Slovenia that are more at risk for the occurrence of glaze ice than the rest of the country. The karst ground composition affects water conditions, and these are the reason why droughts are more frequent here than elsewhere. This area is not as responsive to heavy precipitation like the rest of Slovenia, at least not within such a short time typical of torrential floods elsewhere in the country. In the area of the Škocjan Caves Park, conditions for winter sports are not favourable, so increasingly frequent winters without snow do not present a serious problem.

The already observed climate changes Over three decades, namely between 1951−1980, the temperature average on the territory of Slovenia was stable. In Slovenia, the most noticeable rise in temperature occurred in the last two decades of the previous century when the trend of the rise in temperature exceeded the projections of the models for forecasting future climate; on the territory of Slovenia, the average annual temperature increased for no less than 1.1 °C on average. In this millennium, the rise in temperature is slower and more in accordance with the climate projections of the rise in the average temperature; there has been an increase of 0.1 °C. The climate change can be most clearly seen in atmospheric warming, but that is far from being the only change in the climate system we are witnessing. In addition to the rise in the average annual temperature in the entire territory of Slovenia, the average winter, spring, and summer air temperatures are also on the increase; only the autumn temperature average does not show a significant rising trend. Also, a difference in trend between the lowest daily temperature and the highest daily temperature can be seen: the rise in the lowest daily temperature is more distinct. The rise in temperature leads to an increase in the number of warm days and a decrease in the number of ice days. A very important change that has been noted is the rising trend in autumn precipitation, whereas in other seasons a negative trend in precipitation has been detected. Even though there are considerable differences between individual years, a negative trend in the duration of snow cover and in the height of fresh snow can be seen. For the measuring station in Postojna, which is relatively nearby, the assessment of the trend of the average annual air temperature per decade made on the basis of the linear trend over the last 60 years is 0.2 °C; the same trend holds also for winter, in spring it comes to 0.3 °C, in summer to 0.4 °C, and in autumn to 0.1 °C. The data from this measuring station for the same period indicate that annual, winter and spring precipitation do not show a significant trend. However, it is significant that summer precipitation shows a negative trend slightly exceeding 10 mm per decade, the autumn trend is positive and slightly exceeding 20 mm per decade. It is therefore obvious that the precipitation regime is changing: the autumn maximum is becoming more distinct, while the amount of precipitation in other months is decreasing. Such

trends can be seen on all measuring stations nearby, which means they are characteristic of the wider area. The analysis has been made on the basis of the data of the Slovenian Environment Agency and adapted from the publication of the Slovenian Meteorological Society entitled Stališče SMD o podnebnih (Slovensko meteorološko društvo, 2011). Given that the wider area of the Škocjan Caves Park has a distinct precipitation maximum in October and November, in other words in the autumn months, this trend is very alarming. Also, it is very unfavourable that summer precipitation shows a decreasing trend when the trend of the rise in the average air temperature is highest in summer of all seasons. A higher temperature and less precipitation leads to more frequent, longer and more intense droughts in summertime.

Future climate projections People have no control over how much of the sun's energy the earth will intercept and how this energy will be distributed across different latitudes. The properties of the atmosphere and the earth's surface determine how much of the received sun's energy the earth together with its atmosphere will retain and use for warming up the surface, warming up the oceans and air masses, for the movement of the oceans and air masses, for the growth and development of plants. Aside from natural causes, people are changing the climate by emitting greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. That is why climate change projections coupled with knowledge of the past climate are of key importance for the preparation of strategies on adaptation to climate change. Because we do not know how rapidly greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere will rise, how fast the world population will increase, what the development of technology will bring, what political and economic conditions will be like, the so-called scenarios are used. A scenario is a probable and often simplified description of the future climate based on comprehensible and reasonable assumptions about the connections between climate factors allowing for an assessment of anticipated consequences of human-caused changes in climate. Global climate patterns are mainly the result of the distribution of the sun's radiation on earth, the earth's rotation, and the influence of the distribution of land and sea, and topography, which are all satisfactorily covered by general circulation models. The regional or local climate is a response of the global climate on the properties of the surface (e.g. undulation, vegetation...) at a regional or local level. Climate models are not yet accurate enough to describe all of the climatic diversity existing in Slovenia, and to be used as a good enough basis for assessing the impacts and for preparing strategies on adaptation to climate change for individual regions or even smaller areas. General circulation models are often used to study the response of a climate system to the changed composition of atmosphere. These include descriptions of the main physical, chemical and biological processes in the atmosphere, the oceans, the ice and on the earths's surface, and their


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interdependence. The results of the latest IPCC report from 2007 show that by the end of this century a global warming between 1,1 and 6,4 °C can be expected against the average conditions in the period of 1980–1999 (IPPC, 2007). The rate of atmospheric warming depends on which of the greenhouse gas and particle emission scenarios will unfold in the future. Regardless of which emission scenario is taken into account, spatial patterns of climate change do not vary considerably, they only differ in the timeline of their intensity. We can deduce how society will develop in the future and how this will affect greenhouse gas emissions and their content in the atmosphere only from current trends, and that presents the basic source of uncertainty in climate change assessments. Furthermore, we are not familiar with all the details of the climate system and its response to changes in the composition of atmosphere and to other changes in climate factors. Different models provide slightly different assessments of changes, which should be taken into account when interpreting such results. The other thing that also depends on the choice of the emission scenario is the intensity of changes. In Slovenia, by the end of this century it is expected that summers will warm up more than winters, and that in winter there will be slightly more precipitation, while in summer there will be less. The assessments vary slightly from model to model and depending on the methodology used. So mainly those anticipated trends can be relied on where the results of the majority of projections are in agreement, as far as the degree of change is concerned there are greater differences, which indicates a high degree of uncertainty. Below follows a summary of a few assessments adapted from the publication entitled Stališče SMD o podnebnih spremembah (SMS's Position on Climate Change), Vetrnica. Climate change will be of various intensity in individual climate zones of Slovenia; this is especially true of the amount of precipitation. The climate change projections of both models used show that in accordance with the SRES A1B emission scenario the air temperature will increase by 2 to 3 °C throughout Slovenia by the end of the century compared to the 1961–1990 average. The temperature is projected to increase the least in spring, for which the assessments of the two models are around 2 °C for the Central Slovenia, a little less than 2 °C for the Littoral, and a little more than 2 °C for the eastern part of Slovenia. The warming is projected to be most intense in summer when the rise in the air temperature in the Central Slovenia could exceed 4 °C. According to this scenario, the most intense summer warming would engulf the Littoral. Because the models are less reliable in describing precipitation events, the climate change projections related to precipitation are less reliable. At the end of the 21st century compared to current conditions, the projections forecast a smaller amount of precipitation in summertime almost throughout Slovenia. The decrease in the amount of precipitation is projected to be especially significant in the Littoral where it would reach up to 40% in some places; in other parts of Slovenia there would be from 10–30% less precipitation. According to the

forecasts of the models, most of Slovenia would get over 10% more precipitation in winter. In autumn and winter, major changes in the length of periods without precipitation are not to be expected, whereas in summer and spring, the trend is towards increasingly longer periods without precipitation. In the northwest of Slovenia which is most exposed to heavy, short downpours, no major changes in the highest amounts of one-day precipitation can be seen in the future. A slight shift towards heavier one-day precipitation can be seen in spring and summer (Slovensko meteorološko društvo, 2011). Apart from the changes in the average amounts of precipitation, it is the impact of climate change on some of the extreme events, such as storms, to which we are the most vulnerable – however, climate projections do not cover them – that is of main significance. Thunderstorm precipitation in summer will probably be less frequent and on average there will be less of them, but they will be heavier. In winter, an increase in the highest amounts of 5-day precipitation and the consequent decrease in duration of the longest dry period can be expected. This implies more frequent and more intense thunderstorms. Both in summer and autumn on average longer maximum periods without precipitation can be expected, which implies more prolonged and more intense droughts. This will be especially pronounced in summertime when at least in the western part of Slovenia a slightly lower maximum 5-day precipitation can be expected. In autumn unlike in summer, despite the expected longer maximum period without precipitation more intense maximum amounts of 5-day precipitation can be expected. The climate projection models have two basic sources of uncertainty regarding the results of climate change; a limited knowledge of processes and current conditions, and the impossibility of forecasting the future in terms of whether the chosen greenhouse gas and particle emission scenarios will come true. Even if we knew the dependence of the response of the climate system to the composition of atmosphere in detail, we could only model the climate with a limited spatial accuracy, which does not cover all regional and local climate features of a selected area. It can be concluded that climate change projections for Slovenia are still rather uncertain, especially for precipitation for small areas. Given the current range of weather variability, it is generally accepted that it should suffice if until 2030 we keep adapting to current variability (i.e. to the already observed weather and climate deviations from normal conditions), and thus increase resistance to dangerous weather events and climate anomalies. During this period the variability signal will still exceed the climate change signal. Later it is expected that the climate change signal will reach the current weather variability signal. Since a lot of plans, especially in the field of infrastructure, go beyond 2030, the precautionary principle and the expected changes in climate should be taken into account.


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Conclusion Until recently, the focus of action to climate change was only on limiting greenhouse gas emissions, but now the realization that a well thought-out strategy on adaptation to climate change based on scientific findings and knowing the local conditions is needed is gaining ground. If we adapt to new conditions, we can reduce vulnerability and damage suffered every year due to weather fluctuations and climate change. Those who will adapt effectively and in time will have an advantage over those who will not succeed in doing so, or who will not decide to monitor changes in climate conditions and adapt to them. Calculations and projections show that the consequences of changes in climate will not be distributed evenly, but that some areas will be more affected than others. The present data already show that warming in Europe is slightly over the world average; the area of the Alps is warming up yet a

little faster than the rest of Europe. Locally, changes might be even bigger, and they can particularly affect biological associations which are specifically adapted to local conditions, in other words, species which are well-adapted to specific local conditions and for which migration will therefore be hindered or absolutely impossible. The world scientific community agrees that climate change can no longer be prevented, it can only be mitigated and slowed down. We are going to be facing the inevitable part of climate change. To be successful in doing that we should be familiar with the codependency between climate and various sectors of human activity; it is equally important that we know how to anticipate the future climate. Since climate projections contain a great deal of uncertainty, they should be monitored and refreshed regularly, the same goes for measures and plans for adaptation to climate change.

References Intergovernmental panel on climate change. (2007). Fourth assessment report: Climate change 2007 (AR4). Retrieved from http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/publications_and_data_reports.shtml Park Škocjanske jame. (n.d.) Lega in površje. Retrieved from http://www.park-skocjanske-jame.si/slo/park-skocjanske-jame_obmocje_lega.shtml Slovensko meteorološko društvo. (2011). Vetrnica – Stališče SMD o podnebnih spremembah. Retrieved from http://www. meteo-drustvo.si/data/upload/Stalisce_net.pdf

Izvleček Podnebne spremembe so pomemben sestavni del okolja in podnebje je skozi celotno človeško zgodovino vplivalo na življenje ljudi.Podnebje v Sloveniji določajo številni dejavniki, najpomembnejši so njena geografska lega, razgiban relief, usmerjenost gorskih grebenov in bližina morja. Za pregled podnebja v parku škocjanske jame nam je v pomoč meteorološka postaja v parku ter ostale v okolici iz katerih lahko razberemo že vidne spremembe v podnebju. Tako za park kot okolico so za v prihodnje napovedane pogostejše podnebne grožnje.

Estratto I cambiamenti climatici sono una componente importante dell’ambiente e durante tutta la storia umana l’ambiente ha avuto un impatto decisivo sulla vita dell’uomo. Il clima della Slovenia è determinato da numerosi fattori, i più importanti sono la posizione geografica, il rilievo movimentato, l’orientamento delle creste montuose e la vicinanza del mare. La conseguenza dell’intreccio dei numerosi fattori è un clima molto variegato. Per l’esame del clima nel Parco Škocjanske jame ci è di aiuto la stazione meteorologica nel Parco e quelle nei dintorni, dai cui dati possiamo già notare dei cambiamenti del clima. Sia per il Parco che per i dintorni sono previste minacce climatiche più frequenti.


The Ridge of Chila and Nische (Photo: M. Di Lenardo - Archives PNPG)


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JULIAN PREALPS NATURE PARK Julian Prealps Nature Park was grounded in 1996, covering almost 100 km2 in the municipalities of Resia, Resiutta, Chiusaforte, Lusevera, Venzone and Moggio Udinese (province Udine, region Friuli Venezia Giulia â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Italy). Park area includes the highest parts of the Mount Plauris range, Mount Musi and Mount Canin massif, dropping the average altitude only in the hamlet of Povici and Mea creeks. The areas forming the park have been chosen for their features in nature and geology, landscape, culture and history, they are often absolutely unique. Three main biogeographic areas meet in park area: Alpine, Mediterranean and Illiric. Their specificness associated to high rainfall rate explain the high number of fauna and flora species (1.200 species, 60 endemic species). The rich trail network connects the most beautiful places and points of interest. More info and info material can be collected at visitors centres and infopoints in the town centres of the municipalities of the protected area.

Parco Naturale Regionale delle Prealpi Giulie Piazza del Tiglio 3, 33010 Resia (UD), ITALIJA Phone: +39 (0) 433 53534 Fax: +39 (0) 433 53129 http://www.parcoprealpigiulie.it info@parcoprealpigiulie.it


Our 2011 performance was significantly better than industry averages in most categories

Canin glacier area (Photo: M. Di Lenardo - Archives PNPG)


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Design of a Uniform Methodology for Monitoring and Assessing the Impact of Climate Change on Biodiversity Nicoletta Cannone,a Massimo Buccheri,b Paolo Glerean,c Fabio Stoch,d Giuseppe Bogliani,e Valeria Lencioni,f Mauro Gobbig Dipartimento di Scienze Teoriche e Applicate, Università Degli Studi dell’Insubria, Via Ravasi 2, 21100 Varese, Italy; b Museo Friulano di Storia Naturale, Via Marangoni 39, 33100 Udine, Italy; c Museo Friulano di Storia Naturale, Via Marangoni 39, 33100 Udine, Italy; d Dipartimento di Scienze Ambientali, Università dell’Aquila, Via Vetoio (Coppito 1), 67100 Coppito (AQ), Italy; e Dipartimento di Biologia Animale Università di Pavia, Via Adolfo Ferrata 9, 27100 Pavia, Italy; f Museo Tridentino di Scienze Naturali, Via Calepina 14, 38122 Trento, Italy; g Museo Tridentino di Scienze Naturali, Via Calepina 14, 38122 Trento, Italy. Correspondence: a nicoletta.cannone@uninsubria.it, b massimo.buccheri@comune.udine.it, c paolo.glerean@comune. udine.it, d fstoch@faunitalia.it, e bogliani@unipv.it, f lencioni@mtsn.tn.it, g mauro.gobbi@mtsn.tn.it. a

Abstract This protocol aims to evaluate and monitor the short- and medium-long term impacts of climate change on land flora and fauna ecosystems in the Regional Parks of the Friuli Dolomites and the Julian Alps (Friuli Venezia Giulia, NE Italy) (Figure 1). The botanical protocol involves the monitoring of individual species and plant communities within permanent plots, phyto-sociological mapping, soil use and phenological monitoring. In terms of fauna, it establishes altitudinal transects in representative areas. Transects will be structured in series of monitoring stations in which data on certain vertebrate and invertebrate taxa will be permanently mapped. Additional lake-suitable stations will be placed at streams and basins in these sites to monitor the aquatic invertebrate community. Keywords: Friuli Venezia Giulia, NE Italy, climate change, monitoring, plant communities, fauna.

INTRODUCTION In the past 100 years, the planet has recorded an average increase in air temperature of approximately 0.6 ± 0.2 °C (95% CI; IPCC, 2007), with two main periods of increase (from 1910 to 1945 and from 1976 onwards) and this trend is foreseen to continue in future (IPCC, 2001, 2007). It is estimated that by 2100 the increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere will lead to an increase in the average global air temperature of between 1.4 and 5.8 °C as well as a significant increase in rainfall (IPCC, 2001). Globally, these changes have already produced clear impacts, with consequences on a wide range of animal and plant species, land, sea and freshwater environments, across a wide geographical area, from the polar regions to the tropics and equatorial zones (Walther et al., 2002; Root et al., 2003; Parmesan & Yohe, 2003; Wookey et al., 2009). For example, significant changes have been recorded in sea ice coverage at the Arctic, glaciers, in the snow lines and the permafrost, both in the Arctic and the Antarctic (IPCC, 2001). As far as biological systems are concerned, many species have recorded variations in both latitudinal and altitudinal

distribution, with movements towards the polar regions or to higher altitudes, variations in abundance, phenology (particularly with earlier development in the spring and/or delays in autumnal senescence), alterations in the methods of inter-specific interaction, invasion of alien species (also from lower altitudes), variations in the composition of plant communities (Hughes, 2000; Chapin et al., 2005). The impacts of climate change are expected to be more intense and rapid in high altitude regions (Theurillat & Guisan, 2001; Körner, 2003; IPCC, 2007), where the biological components have bordeline survival capacities and ecosystems are mainly controlled by abiotic factors. In this sense some works have already focused on the change in species distribution with latitude (Chapin et al., 2005), altitude (Grabherr et al., 1994; Lenoir et al., 2008) and areal variations of entire plant communities (Cannone et al., 2007). An acceleration has also been recorded in the impacts of climate change (Cannone et al., 2008). High altitude vegetation is considered to be very sensi-


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tive and vulnerable to long-term climate change (Gottfried et al. 1998; Theurillat & Guisan, 2001) although some authors believe that the short-term impacts of climate change are limited due to the slow growth and long life cycles of Alpine species (Pauli et al., 1999). In the past 50 years the sensitivity of Alpine plant ecosystems has been demonstrated by the increase in altitude of between 120–340 m of the distribution limits of tree and shrub species (Kullman, 2002), the altitudinal migration of plants to Alpine planes and snow lines (Grabherr et al., 1994; Walther et al., 2005; Pauli et al., 2007), by changes in the composition of the plant communities within permanent monitoring areas (Keller et al., 2005; Bahn & Körner, 2003; Pauli et al., 2007) (Figure 2).

Figure 1. Areas of study. Source: Archives of Friulian Museum of Natural History.

Figure 2. Dryas octopetala. Photo courtesy of Archives of Friulian Museum of Natural History.

The same trend has also been recorded for plant life in snow valleys and peat bog vegetation in wetlands (Cannone et al., 2007). These results indicate that the vegetation on the Alpine planes and snow lines respond very rapidly and flexibly to climatic stress, in contrast to what stated by Theurillat and Guisan (2001), who believe that Alpine vegetation is characterised by considerable inertia and that only increases in temperature of above 2 °C could produce significant changes (Figure 3). The results obtained at the Stelvio Pass (Cannone et al., 2007) show for the first time that the impacts of climate change are clear on an ecological level above that of the species, affecting entire plant communities, and is visible over wide surface areas. Agreeing with what stated by Neilson (1993), this data shows that large-scale climate changes are in progress, which are sending clear signals to the highest levels of biological organisation. In terms of fauna, some recently published works highlight the effects of climate change (increase in air and water temperature, glacier retreat, alteration of rainfall and hydrological systems) on the community of aquatic macroinvertebrates, with the upstream movement of taxa that are typical of the valley bottoms and the local extinction of high altitude species. Many studies have been carried out in the past 20 years on the adaptation to the cold and the ability to respond to heat of cold stenotherm species, common to mountain environments, in invertebrates of the polar regions and, recently, also Alpine regions (Bernabò et al., 2011). These studies highlight the great vulnerability of cold stenotherm species to global warming (survival in higher than natural temperatures limited to a few hours, inability to activate molecular “defence” mechanisms to thermal shock and so on). Arthropod communities are distributed along the altitudinal gradient according to their environmental tolerances, and consequently are able to respond quickly to environmental changes. Alpine arthropods are able to respond differently to

Figure 3. Petrocallis pirenaica. Photo courtesy of Archives of Friulian Museum of Natural History.


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environmental changes, for example by varying the diversity and abundance of the populations, colonising new habitats or demonstrating particular morpho-functional adjustments (Gobbi et al., 2010). Due to these specificities and the variety of responses, the taxa that best represent global biodiversity, playing a key role in the trophic chain and in the structure and function of the ecosystem, must be identified. For example, the recent revision by Hodkinson (2005) describes in detail which taxa must be used as bio-indicators according to the objective to be achieved. Among the land arthropods, Ground Beetles (Carabids) and Lepidoptera (above all Rhopalocera) are the best known groups and the most suited for assessing the effects of climate change, the quality of ecosystems, landscape planning and the monitoring of the areas most subject to anthropic and/ or climate related environmental changes. Equal importance in this sense is given to Lepidoptera, thanks to the level of knowledge we have of this group of insects, their specific biological characteristics and their great importance in terms of conservation (Settele et al., 2008; Van Swaay et al., 2010) (Figure 4). As far as the Carabids are concerned, the correlation between their species grouping and the main biotic and abiotic features of the environments they live in has been widely documented (Thiele, 1977), and in fact in the past few years works have increasingly focused on the use of these animals

for animal assessment and planning (on this subject refer to Brandmayr et al., 2005; Pizzolotto & Brandmayr, 2004; Stork, 1990; Desender, 1994). As far as aquatic fauna is concerned, insects, including Diptera Chironomidae, Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera and Trichoptera, are candidates for the role of “climate change sentinel.” Many references support this candidature, including the works of Brittain and Milner (2001), Lami and Boggero (2006), Bertuzzi and Cantonati (2007), Cantonati et al. (2011). As far as the vertebrates are concerned, nesting birds are frequently used as environmental indicators and for monitoring ecological processes. As these animals are mainly diurnal, visible and often make particular noises, it is possible to characterise their populations and communities in quantitative and semi-quantitative terms. Moreover, some time ago standardised measurement protocols were developed for this taxon, which can be repeated also by different operators and analysed using parametric and non-parametric techniques. Finally, the Mammals class has been proposed on several occasions as a suitable taxon for monitoring ecological processes, in particular considering any macroscopic variations in mammalian communities in terms of the appearance or disappearance of species linked to conditions that may change as a result of phenomena attributable to the so-called global change.

Methods

Figure 4. Lepidoptera monitoring using artificial light sources to attract the insects. Photo courtesy of Archives of Friulian Museum of Natural History.

This protocol aims to assess and monitor, in both the short- and medium-long term, the impact of climate change on the plant components and some fauna of land ecosystems and, where possible, on their potential interactions with the most significant abiotic components (in particular in the cryosphere) in the two Regional Parks of Friuli Venezia Giulia (Friuli Dolomites and Julian Prealps) for a period of approximately 15–20 years, as part of the Interreg Climaparks project. It was considered appropriate to select simple ecosystems in terms of both structure and composition, in environmental contexts in which the elements of variability not directly connected to the analysed processes are reduced to a minimum. Considering that there is absolutely no certainty on the spatial and temporal scale on which the effects of climate change are manifested, we decided to plan the monitoring activities on a multiple scale, considering aspects and processes that could be integrated both in terms of individual species and communities, and in terms of single plots and broader areas. For this purpose, in terms of vegetation, a multiple and integrated approach was adopted on several levels: 1. Monitoring of individual plant communities in permanent plots; 2. Production of a phytosociological map of the vegetation constituting a point of reference for medium-long term monitoring (15–20 years) of the potential variations in spatial distribution of the plant communities; 3. Possible analysis of the phenology of target plant species


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(in the plots selected in point 1); 4. Monitoring of soil use and any changes; 5. Approach by altitudinal gradients selecting different altitudinal horizons above the tree line; 6. Approach by ecosystems with high potential levels of sensitivity, such as mountain grassland and snow valleys; 7. Possible monitoring of colonisation processes and in-situ dynamism where the plant component is closely connected to glacial and/or periglacial forms. Similarly to what envisaged for the plant component, for the fauna we propose to structure a monitoring plan over at least 1–2 years in order to define a “zero point” as a reference for medium-long term monitoring, to record any variations in the considered animal communities, as illustrated above. As far as the monitoring sites are concerned, we plan to maintain the same areas considered in the plant component protocol, supported by additional sites considered suitable, in particular for some specific taxa. The types of habitat to be analysed in order to identify the sensitivity of the zoocenosis to the environmental and climatic changes caused by anthropic activities shall, within the selected areas of study, be developed following an altitudinal transect, from the mountain and sub-Alpine plane to the Alpine and snow lines. The taxa chosen for monitoring include, among the land invertebrates, mainly the Ground Beetles and Lepidoptera, which in some specific cases may be supported by a group of predators (Spiders) and a group of phytophaga (Orthoptera) to obtain more comprehensive answers. The aquatic invertebrates chosen for the study are macroinvertebrates and meiofauna in (crenal) springs and (rhithral) brooks. Closer attention must be paid to Insects, including the Diptera Chironomidae, Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera and Trichoptera, groups already referred to in literature as “climate change sentinels” and Crustaceans, including freshwater crayfish (Austropotamobius pallipes) and the many other species present in the meiofauna. Specifically, standardised sampling and monitoring techniques will be used for these groups to make the data comparable over time, even where gathered in geographically distant areas. As far as the vertebrate component is concerned, according to the habitats and territorial morphology of the Parks involved in the project, the choice has fallen mainly on the monitoring of birds and possible some taxa of mammals.

plant communities that are sensitive to the impacts of climate change, such as snow valley communities (Figure 5). The use of permanent plots along altitudinal (Pauli et al., 2007) and/or ecological gradients allow us to associate any changes observed in the plant component with one or more environmental factors and to quantify the impact on target communities and/or species. Moreover, where possible it is also worth monitoring the main abiotic components (glaciers, snowfields, periglacial forms, permafrost) which depend on the climatic conditions for their conservation and dynamism (Cannone et al., 2008). This type of approach allows us to verify (and quantify) if the biological response to the climate change inputs is similar (in terms of direction and magnitude) to that of the abiotic component, and if there is any temporal concordance of the two (biotic and abiotic) components compared to the climatic and/or environmental input (Cannone et al., 2008). In all the areas of study, the monitoring protocol involves a preliminary analysis of the physiognomic and phytosociological features of the vegetation using the phytosociological method (Braun Blanquet, 1964). The size of the permanent plots must consider the minimum area of the involved plant communities (Mueller-Dombois & Ellenberg, 1974; Lévesque, 1996; Cannone, 2004), in order to monitor both the species and the communities. For each type of plant community at least two permanent plots should be established, in order to have available a sufficient number of replicates for subsequent statistical analysis. In the case of permanent plots along an altitudinal gradient, at least two replicates should be established for each altitude with equivalent types of vegetation. For each permanent plot the monitoring protocol involves a multiple mapping strategy. Each permanent plot will be characterised, indicating the following parameters: map localisation and GPS georeferencing, main topographical parameters (altitude, exposure, gradient), type of substrate, geomorphological characterisation, surface stoniness (% blocks, % pebbles, % gravel, % sand

Results Monitoring of individual species and plant communities in permanent plots For species and community monitoring, one of the most successful strategies is the use of permanent plots (Pauli et al. 2007), which allow us to analyse in-depth the variations of both flora and vegetation over limited areas. Permanent plots must be established around particularly vulnerable

Figure 5. Snow valley on Mount Canin. Photo courtesy of Archives of Friulian Museum of Natural History.


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and fine material). For this purpose, each plot must be divided into 1 × 1 m sub-plots from which samples will be taken, based on the integration of different methods (Figure 6, according to Cannone, 2004): 1a. phytosociological mapping of 1 m2: done on all 25 sub-plots of 1 × 1m, indicating the total % plant coverage, % coverage of each vegetation layer (tree, shrub, grass, moss), the list of each species with relative % coverage (expressed in figures from 0 to 100%); 1b. each 1 × 1 m sub-plot is divided into small cells of 10 × 10 cm, which are then phytosociologically mapped following the same method described in the previous point. In order to avoid a “trampling effect” of the surveyor on each sub-plot and the consequent disturbance of the plant component, it is advisable to take these measurements only on the four corners of the 5 × 5 m plot. 1c. Another type of measurement is the point intercept method, which is done on all 25 1 × 1m sub-plots; on the intersection of each point on the grid (10 × 10 cm cells) on each sub-plot the species present is recorded. For each point, 4 sectors are identified and the number of contacts (maximum 4, with 1 contact for each sector) is indicated. In this way, the point intercept data can also be used as an objective quantitative parameter to calculate the % coverage of each species (Cannone, 2004). The use of 100 cm2 mapping and the point intercept also allow us to obtain data on the spatial distribution of the species in the plot and, over time, to assess the variations in plant composition and percentage of coverage of each species and its precise localisation within the plot. To characterise each permanent plot it is also advisable, in immediately adjacent areas characterised by the same

plant component and the same micro-topographic and microenvironmental characteristics, to measure and analyse the epigeal and hypogeal plant biomass, and the soil in terms of: percentage of water content; granulometry; pH, electrical conductivity, total organic substance, total C, total N. This will allow us to assess whether, in time, not only the plant component but also the pedological component has been modified as a consequence of climate change. It would also be advisable to measure the temperature and humidity of the soil and the main meteorological parameters, including air temperature and humidity, wind speed and direction, incident and emitted radiation, snow and rainfall, snow thickness and coverage. The monitoring should take place above the tree line, from the sub-Alpine line to the snow line. The mapping campaigns should take place on a five-year or at least ten-year basis. This will allow, over the 20 year period considered by Climaparks, to have not only a “zero point” of the initial situation but also an intermediate and final status allowing us to interpret the acquired data more precisely.

Phytosociological mapping and soil use For sites offering greater cenotic diversity, a phytosociological map of the vegetation will be drawn up through field mapping over a surface area of at least 2 km2 on a detailed scale (1:1500 or 1:2000). The map, supported by appropriate photographic documentation, represents the “zero point” for medium-long term quantitative and qualitative monitoring of the impacts of climate change (Cannone et al., 2007).

Phenology analysis The phenological monitoring of the permanent plots is also hoped for, above all in combination with the soil and air temperature and rainfall measurements. These are however very time-consuming, and should therefore be done only for some target species in selected plant communities. A reference protocol for this type of monitoring was developed in the international ITEX project (International Tundra EXperiment, Molau, 1993).

auna monitoring

Figure 6. Layout of a permanent plot sized 5 × 5 m divided into 25 subplots sized 1 × 1 m. Source: Cannone (2004).

The zoocenosis analysis involves the identification of an altitudinal transect which must consider respectively the mountain and sub-Alpine planes (including the relative natural grassland, mowing areas, grazing areas and abandoned meadows), the Alpine plain (tree line gradient – Alpine grassland) and the snow line (rock mass areas and areas near snowfields). The census of Ground Beetles, Lepidoptera and possibly Spiders and Orthoptera must be done at reference stations with uniform ecological-functional characteristics. For each


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sampling station, at least two replicates must be selected with the same characteristics (phytosociological, altitudinal and exposure). In the monitoring areas an altitudinal transect of at least 1000 metres of altitude difference must be identified with sampling stations every 100 metres of altitude. The transect must possibly be chosen in agreement with the ornithologists (in this respect refer to the following part concerning the vertebrates protocol). Two transects should in any case be privileged, one located along the south-facing slope and one along the north-facing slope, in order to assess the different composition and response of the communities to the temperature and other correlated environmental parameters. The minimum protocol requires one sampling per month from May to October during the first year of the survey. As far as the land arthropods are concerned, the Ground Beetles, and possibly the Spiders, must be sampled using drop traps. The Lepidoptera and possibly the Orthoptera must be censused using transects with standardised length and times. For the Lepidoptera, suitable methods include not only direct diurnal measuring along the transects but also nocturnal measuring using light traps, which are the only method for obtaining a comprehensive estimate of biodiversity. It is then proposed to sample the Lepidoptera Rhopalocera and Heterocerus belonging to the so-called “Macrolepidoptera” with diurnal activity in linear transects of approx. 1 km (5 m width) by collection by sight, in addition to the sampling of “Macrolepidoptera” with nocturnal activity by placing artificial light sources emitting diversified wavelengths (15W UV lamp, strobe lamp and super actinic lamp). The sampling involves at least four seasonal replicates (from June to August) in the low altitude stations and at least two replicates in the high altitude stations. For the aquatic benthic fauna from streams in the considered groups, the main hydrographic basins of the area covered must be selected: sampling shall be done at the (crenal) spring and brook stretches at the river head or along the main stream. The aquatic larvae will be collected using Surber sampling nets (250 μm mesh) through the sampling of all micro-habitats and substrate types in the three environmental types (run, riffle, pool) and in the different spring types (rheocrenal and helocrenal) in the Alpine and sub-Alpine areas of the considered plots. The sampling should be integrated in a subaerial environment using a sweep net and emergency traps to catch adults. The (crenal) springs must be sampled in the first 5 m downstream from the spring (eucrenal). In the brook stretch, a 15m long station must be identified that represents a uniform stretch of the stream in terms of abiotic characteristics (e.g. gradient, main substrate granulometry, bank stability, riparian vegetation, flow rate, etc.). Specifically, quantitative samples must be taken, i.e. 5 replicates each corresponding to an area of approx. 30 × 30 cm for 30 seconds, chosen to mirror the number of diverse micro-habitats (e.g., in a station dominated by riffle and pebbles, replicates will be chosen in proportion in the riffle areas with pebbles). Three or four samples will be taken each year: spring, summer, autumn and, if possible, winter.

The standardised census method proposed for Birds consists in the establishment of point counts lasting 20 minutes, which involve two different methods of data collection: 1) determination of the number of birds recorded singing or seen within a given radius; 2) determination of the number of birds recorded with no distance limit (Bibby et al. 2000). The first method refers the number of animals observed in a known area; assuming that the countability function does not change moving from the central point of the station to the outer limit of 100 metres, this offers an estimation of density. The second method corresponds to the IPA – Indice Ponctuelle d’Abondance established by French authors and, although it does not provide any information on density but merely on relative abundance, it is used to gather semi-quantitative information on the species present in low density, the presence of which may also be recorded at distances above the average distance of the majority of singing perching birds. The point count stations will therefore be located along an altitudinal gradient that runs from the upper tree line upwards, with point count stations situated at 100 m altitudinal intervals, possibly located in the same place as the land invertebrate sampling areas. The ornithological observer will use the central point of the sampling station for the point count to ensure the correlation between the data collected at the same stations. The measurement will be taken by listening to the birdsong and observing the birds, also using play-back and subsequent listening sessions. The measurements must be taken at least three times in each season at each point count station, from dawn to 10 am (solar time) and possibly in: 1) early April–late April, 2) early May–late May, 3) early June–mid July. The monitoring must

Figure 7. Field sheet model for bird monitoring. Source: Archives of Friulian Museum of Natural History.


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consider the need to record both songbird species active in early spring and trans-Saharan migrant birds which reach the area of study later in the season (Figure 7). As far as the mammal monitoring is concerned, we would consider this an additional proposal to the bird fauna, only for a long-term protocol. In this case, it is well know that the geographical area involved in the project is undergoing a significant expansion in terms of local species. In this sense, it is worth proposing the monitoring of medium and large sized mammal species using camera traps associated to infrared sensors to obtain semi-quantitative data on the composition of the community using the areas inside the sampling stations, assess the phenology of the passing animals and gather information used to determine the relationships existing between the frequency of use of the areas and their structural characteristics and environmental context (Clevenger & Waltho, 2005).

Discussion The field work for installing and activating the plots for plant studies, the first phase of measurements and the production of the maps will take 2 years. The species and community analysis will be done mainly using the permanent plot strategy. To select the permanent plots, in each chosen altitudinal plane different ecological series will be selected: shrubland, grassland, snow valleys, pioneer vegetation, wetlands, each with its own environmental factors and dynamics, which will therefore supply different responses to the same climatic input. Moreover, the altitudinal-ecological series integrated approach helps to identify and quantify any variations in behaviour/adaptability of the species which, as proposed by Theurillat and Guisan (2001) can adapt, migrate and die out as a consequence of climate change. In particular, as far as the adaptation strategies are concerned, species may also manifest a shift, a variation in ecological niche, changing their position in an original community to other types of ecological community (Cannone & Pignatti, in preparation). Unstable environments, such as steep slopes or layers of debris, provide very important information for biodiversity conservation purposes, above all when located at high altitudes, in the presence of discontinuous permafrost. Permafrost degradation is in fact one of the possible causes of the impacts recorded at higher altitudes by Cannone et al. (2007) in the Stelvio Pass, where unexpected decreases in vegetation were recorded. Moreover these environments represent bastions for safeguarding biodiversity as they may be colonised only by species with specific ecological adaptations (Cannone & Gerdol, 2004), and constitute “biological barriers” to the migration of species from other altitudinal and/or ecological environments. The data acquired for each plot during the sampling phases can be used for many analyses and the consequent evaluation of the following indices:

– wealth of species (S1), calculated in each year of monitoring; – number of common species during the different monitoring periods (S12); – number of species disappearing in time T1–T2 (Sext); – number of new species in time T1–T2 (Sing); – % of change in wealth of species (according to Holzinger et al. 2008), %SR = [(S2–S1)/S1] × 100; – % of extinction, %ER = (Sext/Stot12) × 100; – % of entry, %ING = (ING/Stot) × 100; – Jaccard similarity index (based on the incidence data); – Sørensen similarity index (based on the incidence data); Moreover, using the % average of coverage and frequency of the species on each plot (or sub-plot) we can calculate the Bray-Curtis similarity indices, both according to % coverage and average % frequency data. With the reference phytosociological map (time T1) and the control map (time T2) and using a GIS system, it will be possible carry out the following evaluations: – quantification of the variations in vegetation in terms of % coverage; – analysis of the dynamism of the vegetation according to a successional dynamic; – analysis of the ecological series and any variations thereto, both in terms of types present and spatial distribution. Any variations in the spatial distribution of the plant communities, in terms of altitude, exposure, gradient, and the analysis of any variations in plant composition and biodiversity, may also be interpreted using the model proposed by Theurilat and Guisan (2001) according to three main strategies: adaptation, migration, extinction. This methodology was used successfully to evaluate the changes in high altitude vegetation on the Stelvio Pass from 1953 to 2003 (Cannone et al., 2007). Concerning the fauna, from the results obtained using the proposed protocols, it will be possible to obtain a considerable amount of data focusing on the following objectives: 1. To document and provide a database used to evaluate the climate changes taking place over time. 2. To assess the ecological responses of the zoocenoses to disturbance (also on an experimental basis). 3. To identify and assess the changes in ecosystem structure and functioning. 4. To offer new hypotheses on the dynamics of populations, communities and ecosystems. 5. To provide empirical data to verify ecological models and theories concerning the animal communities. 6. To produce a set of data for exploring new research and new hypotheses.


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Conclusions This methodological protocol aims to assess the effects of climate change on biological systems. It is a very important objective, on one hand because biological systems respond continuously to discontinuous stimuli, and their response therefore represents the objective result of a set of inputs that would otherwise be difficult to evaluate. On the other may also be useful for developing predictive models.

hand, because the acquisition of data on the adaptation of biological systems to climate change may offer elements to help tackle any future emergencies for conservational purposes. The integration of the results in the Friuli Park areas with those of other Alpine areas or other geographical regions

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Körner, C., (2003). Alpine plant life: Functional plant ecology of high mountain ecosystems (2nd ed.). Berlin, Germany: Springer. Kullman, L. (2002). Rapid recent range-margin rise of tree and shrub species in the Swedish Scandes. J. Ecol., 90, 68–77. Lami, A., & Boggero, A. (Eds.). (2006). Ecology of high altitude aquatic systems in the Alps [Special issue]. Hydrobiologia, 562(1). Lenoir, J., Gégout, J. C., Marquet, P. A., et al. (2008). A significant upward shift in plant species optimum elevation during the 20th century. Science, 320, 1768–1771. Lévesque, E. (1996). Minimum area and cover-abundance scales as applied to polar desert. Arctic and Alpine Research, 28, 156–162. Molau, U. (1993). Relationships between flowering phenology and life history strategies in tundra plants. Arctic Antarctic and Alpine Research, 25, 391–402. Mueller-Dombois, D., Ellenberg, H. (1974). Aims and methods of vegetation ecology. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons. Neilson, R. P. (1993). Transient ecotone response to climatic change: Some conceptual and modelling approaches. Ecol. Appl., 3, 385–395. Parmesan, C, & Yohe, G. (2003). A globally coherent fingerprint of climate change impacts across natural systems. Nature, 421, 37–42. Pauli, H., Gottfried, M., & Grabherr, G. (1999). Vascular plant distribution patterns at the low temperature limits of plant life – The alpine–nival ecotone of Mount Schrankogel (Tyrol, Austria). Phytocoenologia, 29, 297–325. Pauli, H., Gottfried, M., Reiter, K., et al. (2007). Signals of range expansions and contractions of vascular plants in the high Alps: Observations (1994–2004) at the GLORIA* master site Schrankogel, Tyrol, Austria. Global Change Biology, 13, 147–156. Pizzolotto, R., & Brandmayr, P. (2004). Coleotteri Carabidi e comunità animali: Due direzioni per la gestione delle risorse naturali. In Filogenesi e sistematica dei Carabidi. Firenze, Italy: Accademia Nazionale Italiana di Entomologia. Root, T. L., Price, J. T., Hall, K. R., et al. (2003). Fingerprints of global warming on wild animals and plants. Nature, 421, 57–60. Settele, J., Kudrna, O., Harpke, A., Kuehn, I., van Swaay, C., Verovnik, R., … Schweiger, O. (2008). Climatic risk atlas of European butterflies. Biorisk, 1, 1–710. Stork, N. E. (1990). The role of ground beetles in ecological and enviromental studies. Andover, Hampshire, United Kingdom: Intercept. Theurillat, J. P., & Guisan, A. (2001). Potential impact of climate change on vegetation in the European Alps: A review. Clim. Change, 50, 77–109. Thiele, H. U. (1977). Carabid beetles in their enviroments: A study on habitat selection by adaptions in physiology and behaviour. Berlin, Germany: Springer-Verlag. Van Swaay, C., Cuttelod, A., Collins, S., Maes, D., López Munguira, M., Šašić, M., … Wynhoff, I. (2010). European red list of butterflies. Luxembourg, Luxembourg: European Commission, Publications Office of the European Union. Walther, G., Post, E., Convey, P., et al. (2002). Ecological responses to recent climate change. Nature, 416, 389–95. Walther, G.-R., Beißner, S., & Burga, C. A. (2005). Trends in the upward shift of alpine plants. J. of Veg. Sci., 16, 541–548. Wookey, P. A., Aerts, R., Bardgett, R. D., et al. (2009). Ecosystem feedbacks and cascade processes: Understanding their role in the responses of Arctic and alpine ecosystems to environmental change. Global Change Biology, 15, 1153–1172.

Izvleček Namen tega protokola je kratkoročno ter srednje-dolgoročno vrednotenje in spremljanje vplivov podnebnih sprememb na kopenske ekosisteme rastlinskih in živalskih vrst v deželnih parkih Furlanskih Dolomitov in Julijskega predgorja (Furlanija-Julijska krajina, SV Italija) (Slika 1).Botanični protokol zagotavlja spremljanje posameznih rastlinskih vrst in združb znotraj stalnih ploskev, fitosociološko mapiranje, rabo tal in fenološko spremljanje. Kar zadeva živalstvo pa bodo v okviru protokola oblikovani višinski transekti na značilnih območjih. Transekte bodo sestavljale vrste vzorčnih mest, kjer bo potekalo stalno mapiranje podatkov o določenih taksonih vretenčarjev in nevretenčarjev. Omenjenim mestom bodo dodana vzorčna mesta ob vodnih tokovih in v porečjih, kjer bo mogoče spremljati vodne združbe nevretenčarjev.

Estratto Questo protocollo ha come obiettivo la valutazione ed il monitoraggio degli impatti sugli ecosistemi territoriali, nel breve e medio termine, in relazione ai cambiamenti climatici sulla fauna e flora nei Parchi Naturali Regionali delle Dolomiti Friulane e delle Prealpi Giulie (Friuli Venezia Giulia, NE Italia) (Fig. 1). Il protocollo botanico comprende il monitoraggio delle singole specie e delle comunità di piante all’interno di appezzamenti permanenti, la mappatura fito-sociologica, l’uso del terreno ed il monitoraggio fenologico.Per quanto riguarda la fauna, con il protocollo vengono posizionati dei transetti altitudinali in aree rappresentative. I transetti verranno strutturati in serie di stazioni di monitoraggio dove i dati di un certo vertebrato e le unità tassonomiche vertebrate verranno mappate permanentemente. Nei predetti siti verranno posizionate altre stazioni lacustri presso corsi d’acqua e bacini al fine di monitorare la comunità acquatica degli invertebrati.


A plot in monitoring area (Photo: N. Canone)


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Results of the First Year of Monitoring of Habitats and Flora in the Canin Glacier Area (Julian Prealps Regional Park) Nicoletta Cannone Dep. Theoretical and Applied Sciences, Insubria University, Via Valleggio 11, 21100 Como (CO), Italy. Correspondence: nicoletta.cannone@uninsubria.it.

Abstract The recent climate change has already had a vast impact on both the biotic and abiotic components of ecosystems. The Alps are one of three regions which, globally, have seen the greatest increase in air temperature over the past 60 years. To assess the impact of climate change on particularly vulnerable systems, such as Alpine and Sub-Alpine systems, medium and long-term monitoring projects are required. This study presents the results of the launch of the monitoring project for plant and floral communities in the study site in the proglacial area of the Canin Glacier, in the Julian Prealps Regional Park. The purposes of this study consist in offering a detailed description of the current state of the flora and vegetation on the site, to create a reference parameter for assessing future changes. Keywords: climate change, flora, vegetation, monitoring, impacts.

INTRODUCTION Over the past 100 years the global air temperature has risen on average by approximately 0.6 ¹ 0.2 °C (95% CI; IPCC, 2007). In the history of our planet, significant changes have been recorded in climatic conditions, to which the species have responded as part of their evolutionary history. As regards the plant component, the climate changes that took place in the past influenced the vegetation in terms of both singles species and whole communities, right up to landscape scale, with serious consequences on the presence, distribution and characteristics of the flora and vegetation (Birks, 1991; Wick & Tinner, 1997). Also more recent climate changes (in the 20th century) have already produced evident global impacts, with consequences on a wide range of animal and plant species, in land, sea and freshwater environments, in a vast range of geographical distribution, from the polar regions to the tropics and equatorial areas (Walther et al., 2002; Root et al., 2003; Parmesan & Yohe, 2003; Wookey et al., 2009). These impacts cover both the physical and biological components of the ecosystems. Alpine tundra ecosystems (above the tree line) are extremely susceptible to recent climate change, as shown in the observations on the migration of species to higher altitudes, the expansion of shrub vegetation, variations in the floral composition of plant communities, variations in vegetation distribution (e.g., Grabherr et al., 1994; Keller et al., 2000; Kullman, 2002, 2010; Bahn & KÜrner, 2003; Klanderud & Birks, 2003; Walther et al., 2005;

Pauli et al., 2007; Cannone et al., 2007; Holzinger et al., 2008; Kelly & Goulden, 2008; Lenoir et al., 2008; Wilson & Nilsson, 2009; Gottfried et al., 2012). As far as Italy is concerned, in the Central Italian Alps we have seen a strong expansion of shrub vegetation, with a migration of approximately 200 m upwards, mainly at the expense of Alpine meadowland vegetation, which has reacted by migrating further upwards but at a lower rate (which has therefore translated into a drastic regression of the meadowland areas). The same trend has also been recorded for plant life in snow valleys and peat bog vegetation in wetlands (Cannone et al., 2007). In the Alps, moreover, the strong expansion of shrubs and the simultaneous regression of the meadowland are also the product of the converging impacts of climate change and change in soil use due to the abandonment of traditional agricultural, forestry and pastoral activities (Tappeiner et al., 2008). Pioneer plant communities have also suffered the impacts of climate change (Cannone et al., 2007), with sudden regressions to higher altitudes (probably due to the increase in the processes of surface instability due to the degradation of the permafrost), with ingressions at lower altitudes (perhaps linked to extreme rain and snow fall), and an acceleration of the dynamism relating to the concurrent regression of glacier coverage (Cannone et al., 2008). In this context, it is of fundamental importance to monitor


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the ecosystems in order to be able to understand the direction and magnitude of the variations in progress, and their relations to climatic input, also in order to take appropriate measures to manage the habitats to preserve their biodiversity and foster actions for the mitigation and/or adaptation to climate change. In this context, this study presents the results of the launch of the monitoring project for plant and floral communities (with particular reference to diversity α, the wealth of species) in the study site in the proglacial area of the Canin Glacier, in the Julian Prealps Regional Park. The purpose of this work is to provide a detailed description of the current state of flora and vegetation in the site to establish a “time zero” for the subsequent medium and long-term monitoring, i.e. the reference term for the quantitative and qualitative analysis of future variations in vegetation.

Methods The flora species and habitats in the Canin glacier area were monitored following the indications laid down in the analysis and monitoring protocol “Design of a uniform monitoring and analysis method for the impacts of climate change on biodiversity – part I – Plant Component,” drafted within the Climaparks project. In particular, for this purpose the following were carried out: – identification of the main plant communities present in the study site, installation and description of permanent plots for long-term monitoring activities; – measurement and processing of phyto-sociological mapping of the vegetation in the Canin glacier area. The plant communities for long-term monitoring were selected considering the whole ecological series present on the site at the same altitudinal plane, in order to be able to check if over time there was any conformity in the type and intensity of the ecological responses of the different types of vegetation to the same climatic input. As regards the size of the permanent plots, the plant communities are mainly grasses and shrubs, and plots measuring di 5 × 5 m (25 m2) were installed, as specified in the Climaparks monitoring protocol, in order to comply with the minimum area requirements. For some types of plant communities it was possible to install two plots (with different positions inside the study area) in order to offer a replica for comparison of the dynamism over time. In other cases it was not possible to replicate the plots as the plant populations were much smaller in size than the standard plot size (5 × 5 m) or because the types were not found in other places within the study area. According to the “Climaparks Protocol” methodologies, each 25 m2 plot was divided into 25 sub-plot measuring 1 m2 each, in which the following measurements were taken on the vegetation: – phyto-sociological measurement on a grid of 1 × 1 m (on all 25 sub-plots of 1 m2 each); – phyto-sociological measurement on a grid of 10 × 10

cm (only on the four corners of each plot – therefore on a total of 4 sub-plots measuring 1 m2 each); – intercept point on a grid of 10 × 10 cm (only on the four corners of each plot – therefore on a total of 4 sub-plots measuring 1 m2 each). In total, for each permanent plot 25 phyto-sociological measurements were taken (1 × 1 m grids); 400 phyto-sociological measurements (10 × 10 cm grids); 1600 measurements concerning 400 points (with 4 sectors each) on the intercept point measurement (10 × 10 cm grid). The phyto-sociological mapping was done on the basis of the ground results and not on aerial photographs and/or satellite imaging (which cannot be used in contexts with low plant coverage or in the presence of mainly grass communities). The ground measurement was done on a detailed scale (1:2000) in order to obtain a detailed phyto-sociological map. The plant patches were mapped with a dimension of ≥ 4 × 4 m.

Results and discussion Flora and vegetation A total of 51 species of flowering plants were observed in the study area, of which 3 shrubs (all belonging to the Salix genus) and 48 grasses (of which 41 non graminoids and 7 graminoids), for a total of 37 genera, mostly represented by only one species (with the exception of Achillea, Arabis, Campanula, Carex, Homogyne, Salix, Saxifraga, Soldanella). The cryptogramic flora comprises mosses and rare elliptical lichen, all of the crusty type. The majority of the species present are calciphile, however some species typical of siliceous substrates were observed above all near the more evolved communities, in particular the dwarf shrub communities in the snow valley. The vegetation in the study area belongs to five main types of plant communities developed on calcareous substrate referred to different dynamic stages including pioneer communities on the Alpine plane (Thlaspion rotundifolii and local groupings traceable to the association of Papaveretum rhaetici), element of discontinuous meadowland on the Subalpine plane (in particular Caricion ferrugineae), snow valley communities on the Alpine plane dominated by dwarf shrubs belonging to the genus Salix (S. retusa, S. waldsteiniana). The different plant communities are present both a pure stands, and in the form of vegetation mosaics, characterised by different stages of evolution (in terms of dynamism), flora wealth and different degrees of plant coverage in %. In particular the following types of plant communities were observed, listed in decreasing order of dynamism, from the most evolved and mature communities to the pioneer communities. Stages of greatest evolution: a) snow valley dwarf shrub vegetation at the Subalpine plane dominated by Salix retusa (and S. waldsteininana) and belonging to the Salicetum retuso-reticulatae community;


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b) mosaic of snow valley dwarf shrub vegetation dominated by Salix retusa and S. waldsteiniana (Salicetum retuso-reticulatae) and Subalpine meadowland grass vegetation dominated by Carex ferruginea (Caricion ferrugineae). Stages of intermediate evolution: c) mosaic of pioneer vegetation (Thlaspi cepaeifolium subsp. rotundifolium, Papaver alpinum subsp. rhaeticum, P. alpinum sub ernesti-mayeri) with elements of snow valley dwarf shrub vegetation dominated by Salix waldsteiniana (Salicetum retuso-reticulatae) indicating a transition phase of the vegetation towards more evolved and mature stages; d) meadowland vegetation dominated by Poa alpina, with stages of intermediate maturation, containing some elements of pioneer vegetation, both Thlaspion rotundifolii (Thlaspi cepaeifolium sub rotundifolium), and Papaveretum rhaetici (Papaver alpinum subsp. rhaeticum, P. alpinum subsp. ernesti-mayeri). Pioneer stages: e) pioneer vegetation colonising rock mass, scree and moraines, belonging to the Thlaspion rotundifolii community. All the plant communities observed in the area of study constitute cenoses of significant naturalistic importance (also as a Natura 2000 habitat), as well as being extremely sensitive and vulnerable to the potential impact of climate change, with the presence of many microthermal species (some types of altitudinal planes at higher altitudes than those of the study site), in particular concerning the impact of potential increases in air temperature and variations in rain and particularly snow fall, and the consequences of climate change also on the cryospheric component (Canin glacier), the dynamism of which can significantly affect the evolution of the plant communities.

Permanent plots In total eight permanent monitoring plots were identified, installed and described, distributed in a range of 200 m altitude (from 2054 m to 2252 m) in the proglacial area next to the eastern Canin glacier (Table 1). Plots 1, 2, 8 are located in correspondence to the most evolved plant communities in terms of both plant physiognomy (mosaic of dwarf shrubs and grass species), dynamic stage (maximum maturation and evolution), type of plant community (mosaic of Salicetum retuso-reticulatae and Caricion ferrugineae in plots 1 and 2, mosaic of Salicetum retuso-reticulatae, Thlaspion rotundifolii and Papaveretum rhaetici in plot 8), degree of plant coverage (in particular for plots 1 and 2) and wealth of flora (in particular for plots 1 and 2 respectively hosting 37 and 28 species, of a total of 51 species observed). Plots 1, 2, 8 are located in correspondence to glacial deposits dating back to the Little Ice Age (LIA), which are also the oldest surface/deposits of the investigated area. Plots 3 and 4 were installed in correspondence to a morainic ridge of 1920 and are almost adjacent. They have the same surface age, but in different edaphic conditions in terms of exposure to wind and the potential build up and persistence of snow, and offer the possibility of the plant component providing different responses to the impacts of medium and long term climate change. Plot 5 was also installed in correspondence to a surface dating back to 1920, in an area where in addition to the morainic deposits of 1920 there are also surface rocks (outside the plot). Plots 6 and 7 were installed on very recent surfaces: plot 6 was located in correspondence to a morainic ridge deposited in 1986, while plot 7 was located on a surface very close to

Table 1. Summary of the characteristics of the 8 permanent plots installed in the area of study

Plot Plant type Coverage (%) Altude (m) 1 Mosaic of Salicetum retuso-reculatae and 92.6 2054 Caricion ferrugineae 2 Mosaic of Salicetum retuso-reculatae and 62 2066 Caricion ferrugineae 3 Pioneer vegetaon Thlaspion rotundifolii 18 2177 4 Pioneer vegetaon Thlaspion rotundifolii 15.2 2180 5 Intermediate community (early 28.9 2205 successional community) with Poa alpina, Thlaspi, Papaver spp. 6 Bare ground 0 7 Bare ground 0 2252 8 Mosaic of Salicetum retuso-reculatae, 15.9 2096 Thlaspion rotundifolii and Papaveretum rhaeci

Gradient (°) 10

Latude (N) 46°22’7.29

Longitude (E) 13°26’45.54

20

46°22’6.47

13°26’48.30

1 20 10

46°21’58.57 46°21’58.57 46°21’57.05

13°26’42.70 13°26’42.70 13°26’47.45

10 20

46°22’21.99 46°22’05.80

13°27’0.18 13°26’53.36


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Figure 1. The plant landscape of the proglacial area of the Canin Glacier is characterised by the presence of vegetation with highly discontinuous coverage and pioneer species. Photo by Nicoletta Cannone.


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the current glacier border. The maximum biodiversity (or diversity Îą, the total number of species) is observed in plot 1, which hosts 37 species of flowering plants, followed by plot 2 (with 28 flowering plant species).

Plant mapping The types of vegetation and their spatial distribution in the study area were analysed on the ground, to obtain a detailed phyto-sociological map of the area next to the eastern Canin glacier. The vegetation in the area comprises mainly grass communities of discontinuous pioneer vegetation with very reduced coverage (in many cases < 5%) characterised by the presence of pioneer species including Thlaspi cepaeifolium subsp. rotundifolium, Papaver alpinum (with two different sub-species, rhaeticum and ernesti-mayeri), Pritzelago alpina. The lack of a complete floral retinue prevents us from assigning an alliance of Thlaspion rotundifolii to this pioneer vegetation community. In some sites (particularly in correspondence to permanent plots 3 and 4 and permanent plot 5) we observed some patches of Thlaspion rotundifolii again with discontinuous coverage, but with a more uniform distribution of dominant species and a floral retinue including many species that are characteristic of this alliance. In sites where situations promoting the settlement of vegetation are configured (such as areas with finer soil grain size, thicker build ups and/or longer persisting snow, and/ or refuge situations) a greater evolution of the vegetation towards the initial stages of Subalpine meadowland are observed, with the domination/co-domination of Poa alpina. This community in fact constitutes an intermediate developmental stage (early successional community) between the first stages of colonisation (pioneer vegetation of Thlaspion rotundifolii) and more evolved phases towards the constitution of Subalpine meadowland (Caricion ferrugineae). However, this community is always present in small sized patches (< 4 Ă&#x2014; 4 m) and cannot therefore be mapped. At lower altitudes and in sites with suitable edaphic and micro-topographic conditions, we can observe some patches of snow valley dwarf shrub vegetation (Salicetum retusoreticulatae) dominated by Salix retusa and S. waldsteiniana, present in the area both in pure patches with continuous coverage, and mixed patches, forming a mosaic with calcareous meadowland grass vegetation (Caricion ferrugineae). The factors that seem to influence the current spatial distribution of vegetation appear to be the age of the surface deglaciation (with a progressive reduction of the degree of floral evolution, coverage and diversity moving from lower altitudes to the current border of the glacier), the instability of the substrate (in many cases the substrate is characterised by high gradients, which facilitate the surface movement of sediments, preventing the settlement of vegetation), the lack or reduced development of the soil, exposure to limiting

factors (in particular depending on the micro-topographic conditions).

Conclusions The results of this work constitute the first stage of the medium and long-term monitoring activities to assess the impact of climate change on the plant components of the earthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ecosystems and, where possible, also on their potential interactions with particularly sensitive components of the abiotic component (in particular the cryosphere) in the territory of Friuli, as part of the Interreg Climaparks project, in particular concerning the Friuli Dolomites Regional Park and the Julian Prealps Regional Park. The correct assessment of the type and entity of ecological responses to the impacts of climate change will provide indispensable elements for planning appropriate territorial management measures, with particular reference to the protection of the ecological areas and species most at risk of extinction, in order to preserve biodiversity (at different ecological levels, from individual species to habitats, to landscape) and to promote any actions to mitigate and/or adapt to climate changes.


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Thanks Thanks to Massimo Buccheri who cooperated actively in the field plant measuring activities.

References Bahn, M., & Körner, C. (2003). Recent increases in summit flora caused by warming in the Alps. Ecol Stud, 167, 437–41. Birks, H. H. (1991). Holocene vegetational history and climatic change in west Spitsbergen – Plant macrofossils from Skardtjørna, an Arctic lake. Holocene, 1, 209–218. Cannone, N., Diolaiuti, G., Guglielmin, M., & Smiraglia, C. (2008). Accelerating climate change impacts on alpine glacier ecosystems in the European Alps. Ecological Applications, 18(3), 637–648. Cannone, N., Sgorbati, S., & Guglielmin, M. (2007). Unexpected impacts of climatic change on alpine vegetation. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 7, 360–364. Gottfried, M., Pauli, H., Futschik, A., et al. (2012). Continent-wide response of mountain vegetation to climate change. Nature Climate Change, 2, 111–115. Grabherr, G., Gottfried, M., & Pauli, H. (1994). Climate effects on mountain plants. Nature, 369, 448. Holzinger, B., Hülber, K., Camenisch, M., & Grabherr, G. (2008). Changes in plant species richness over the last century in the eastern Swiss Alps: elevational gradient, bedrock effects and migration rates. Plant Ecology, 195, 179–196. IPCC. (2007). Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; Summary for policy makers. Geneva, Switzerland: WMO, UNEP. Keller, F., Kienast, F., & Beniston, M. (2000). Evidence of response of vegetation to environmental change on high-elevation sites in the Swiss Alps. Regional Environmental Change, 1, 70–77. Kelly, A. E., & Goulden, M. L. (2008). Rapid shifts in plant distribution with recent climate change. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 105(33), 11823–11826. Klanderud, K., & Birks, H. J. B. (2003). Recent increases in species richness and shifts in altitudinal distributions of Norwegian mountain plants. Holocene, 13, 1–6. Kullman, L. (2002). Rapid recent range-margin rise of tree and shrub species in the Swedish Scandes. Ecol Stud, 90, 68–77. Kullman, L. (2010). Alpine flora dynamics: a critical review of responses to climate change in the Swedish Scandes since the early 1950s. Nordic Journal of Botany, 28, 398–408. Lenoir, J., Gégout, J. C., Marquet, P. A., et al. (2008). A significant upward shift in plant species optimum elevation during the 20th century. Science, 320, 1768–1771. Parmesan, C., & Yohe, G. (2003). A globally coherent fingerprint of climate change impacts across natural systems. Nature, 421, 37–42. Pauli, H., Gottfried, M., Reiter, K., et al. (2007). Signals of range expansions and contractions of vascular plants in the high Alps: Observations (1994–2004) at the GLORIA* master site Schrankogel, Tyrol, Austria. Global Change Biology, 13, 147–156. Root, T. L., Price, J. T., Hall, K. R., et al. (2003). Fingerprints of global warming on wild animals and plants. Nature, 421, 57–60. Tappeiner, U., Tasser, E., Leitinger, G., et al. (2008). Effects of historical and likely future scenarios of land use on above- and belowground vegetation carbon stocks of an alpine valley. Ecosystems, 11, 1383–1400. Walther, G. R., Beißner, S., & Burga, C. A. (2005). Trends in the upward shift of alpine plants. J of Veg Sci, 16, 541–548. Walther, G., Post, E., Convey, P., et al. (2002). Ecological responses to recent climate change. Nature, 416, 389–95. Wick, L., & Tinner, W. (1997). Vegetation changes and timberline fluctuations in the Central Alps as indicators of Holocene climatic oscillations. Arctic and Alpine Research, 29, 445–458. Wilson, S. D., & Nilsson, C. (2009). Arctic alpine vegetation change over 20 years. Global Change Biology, 15, 1676–1684. Wookey, P. A., Aerts, R., Bardgett, R. D., et al. (2009). Ecosystem feedbacks and cascade processes: Understanding their role in the responses of Arctic and alpine ecosystems to environmental change. Global Change Biology, 15, 1153–1172.


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Izvleček Današnje podnebne spremembe so že povzročile vrsto učinkov tako na biotske kot na abiotske komponente ekosistemov. Alpe so eno od treh območij, v katerih je na globalni ravni prišlo do največjega porasta temperature zraka v zadnjih 60 letih. Za oceno vpliva podnebnih sprememb na posebej občutljive sisteme, kakršni so ekosistemu subalpinskega in alpinskega pasu, je potrebno srednje- in dolgoročno spremljanje. V tej študiji so predstavljeni rezultati začetka spremljanja rastlinskih združb in vrst flore v obravnavanem območju proglacialnega predela Kaninskega ledenika, v Naravnem parku Julijsko predgorje. Cilj te študije je izdelati podrobni opis dejanskega stanja flore in rastja na tem območju, ki bo postal referenčni parameter za oceno prihodnjih sprememb.

Estratto Il cambiamento climatico recente ha già prodotto una vasta gamma di impatti sia sulle componenti biotiche che su quelle abiotiche degli ecosistemi. Le Alpi sono una delle tre regioni che, a livello globale, hanno presentato il maggiore incremento di temperatura dell’aria negli ultimi 60 anni. Per valutare l’impatto del cambiamento climatico su sistemi particolarmente vulnerabili, quali gli ecosistemi subalpini ed alpini, occorrono interventi di monitoraggio a medio e lungo termine. Questo studio presenta i risultati dell’avvio del monitoraggio delle comunità vegetali e delle specie floristiche del sito di studio dell’area proglaciale del Ghiacciaio del Canin, nel Parco regionale delle Prealpi Giulie. La finalità di tale studio consiste nel fornire una descrizione dettagliata dello stato attuale di flora e vegetazione del sito che costituisca un parametro di riferimento per valutarne i futuri cambiamenti.


Looking at Canin glacier area (Photo: M. Di Lenardo - Archives PNPG)


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Preliminary Considerations on the Flora and Vegetation Monitoring Methodology and the 2012 Mapping Campaign Giuseppe Oriolo Via Roma 50, Monfalcone (GO), Italy. Correspondence: giuseppe.oriolo@gmail.com.

Abstract The Friulian Museum of Natural History, inside the framework of the Climaparks project, defined an unified methodology for monitoring and analyzing the effects of climate changes on biodiversity. During 2012 this methodology has been used to collect data in a study area inside the Nature Park of Julian Prealps. Collected data can be considered as â&#x20AC;&#x153;zero statusâ&#x20AC;? and they are useful also to highlight merit and lacks of this approach. This methodology is not related to other global and European projects (i.e. Gloria project) and it is suitable in the alpine and nival belts for pioneer vegetation that are also not stratified. The application in the area facing the remnant of Canin glaciers can be considered coherent and useful. Keywords: Monitoring, vegetation, Julian Prealps Natural Park, methodological evaluation.

INTRODUCTION The Climaparks project offers an integrated and articulated view of the issues concerning the consequences of climate change on biological and ecological systems. It involves the energy improvement of the functional structures in protected areas, dissemination and awareness raising, as well as the organisation of medium and long term scientific monitoring. The issue of climate change is tackled on various fronts, but the data allowing us to verify the effects of climatic dynamics on the biological component at high altitude over the decades is central. The knowledge of the effects of the increase in average temperature on the biology and ecology of species is still being developed, with the exception of a few species; their value as a biological indicator is yet to be fully understood. There are some contrasting opinions (Cannone, 2007; Theurillat & Guisan, 2001) even on the same indicator value of Alpine species. While for chemical and physical data significant historical series are available for performing statistically solid evaluations (indeed the issue is more that of the artificial causes of the temperature increases or their connection to natural climatic cycles), for the biological component we still have only single results, even though some projects covering broad geographical areas and long time frames (Gottfried et al. 2012; Grabherr et. al, 2010) are beginning to provide consolidated databases. The complexity of the scale of the phenomena is however well

know, from minor physiological, to biological adaptations and on to ecological modifications. Think for example how difficult it is to appreciate qualitative modifications in terms of the spread of species and the composition of ecosystems which in any case experience constant fluctuations in the quantitative ratios between species and which in turn are part of even complex natural (and artificial) dynamic lines.

Methods The methodology proposed in the protocol drafted by the Friulian Museum of Natural History (final report, July 2011), in terms of vegetational aspects, is based on what proposed by Cannone (2004) for analyses carried out on some plots in the Antarctic. The method involves a multiple approach to defining the areas and type of data gathered. The data concerns: a) flora and vegetation, b) meteorology, c) phenology and d) pedology, although not all are considered compulsory. The main nucleus comprises permanent plots and the map of vegetation with a high spatial and typological detail. The permanent plots measure 25 m2, divided into 1 m2 squares, in turn divided into 100 cm2 sections and intercept points. The following are carried out on each plot: 1 general phyto-


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sociological survey for the purposes of characterisation, 25 × 1 m2 measurements, phytosociological surveys of 100 cm2 squares (recommended on the 4 corner plots), recording the dominant species on the 4 corners of each 100 cm2 plot intersection. The term “phytosociological” is used generically, referring only to the recording of species/coverage, which on the smaller plots is expressed as a percentage. 25 m2 is considered a minimum plot size for recording non-forestry vegetation. Another important source of data is the phytosociological map of the vegetation layer which must be recorded on the ground, with many phytosociological surveys for the characterisation of the considered types and on a scale of 1:1,500 to 1:2,000, on a plot measuring at least 2 km2. The methodological report indicates some minimum statistical analyses to be conducted on the obtained data (thus, excluding a specific wealth index, from the next available series of data). Pedological analyses are also planned adjacent to the plots and, where possible, a weekly phenological analysis which is difficult to carry out at other altitudes. A “data logger” must be positioned to collect the temperature date. The methodology provides no indications or interpretations on how to tackle some critical issues in this kind of survey, such as understanding specific mechanisms of reaction to “climate change” and the distinction of primary and secondary dynamics in progress.

Results The surveys, coordinated by Nicoletta Cannone and carried out by Massimo Buccheri were presented in a technical report (January 2013). The work followed the proposed methodology also on the basis of the features of the chosen plot. This is a proglacial strip of the Mount Canin glacier; it reaches an altitude of more than 2000 metres, in the Alpine altitudinal strip with mainly primary dynamics including the evolution of consolidated scree. The preliminary surveys produced an

overview of the vegetation present (Poldini & Feoli, 1973; Feoli Chiapella & Poldini, 1993; Poldini & Martini, 1993; Poldini et al., 2004; Poldini & Vidali, 2012). It was difficult to identify plots with uniform vegetation due to the widespread phenomena of both mosaics and dynamic phases (clearly identified in the phytosociological map). As planned, 8 permanent plots measuring 25 m2 were established. Data was collected at all foreseen levels on all 25 m2 plots, even though on two of these, positioned in only recently defrosted areas, there was no plant coverage and so the measurements were not recorded. The vegetation map is based on 5 key indicators, three of which refer to vegetation. Pedological analyses were not carried out (Figure 1).

Discussion The purpose of this article is to present a first assessment of the proposed methodology in terms of: a) adaptability to the considered ecological situations b) ability to identify and isolate the responses to climate change in relation to other dynamics c) cost-benefit ratio and d) any relations and congruities with other similar projects. In terms of the application of the system to Alpine or snow-line environments, it is practicable in snow valley type vegetation, also with dwarf willows or on scree in consolidation with elements of Alpine grassland, while it is not suitable for more structured vegetation such as stable grasslands, moorland and shrubland. The phenological analysis is not practicable on high altitude plots with difficult access, while it could be used in awareness raising projects in schools applied to valley species. Another important yet always problematic aspect common to many monitoring projects is the lack of data on bryophytes which play a very important role in habitats such as snow valleys. The amount of data collected for the completed plots will be explored in detail only through the construction of temporal series. Certainly the “intercept point” method provides plenty of information, and is that which most significantly reduces the subjectivity

Figure 1. Typical Alpine mobile scree on Mount Canin. Note the colonization of the endemic white Julian poppy (Papaver alpinum susbp. ernesti-mayer)


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of the surveyor. In this respect, also in line with other longterm monitoring projects (e.g. “CONECOFOR” or “GLORIA”), it may be possible to draft a surveyor's manual and procedures to standardise the data, particularly on plots monitored by different surveyors or over the years by other working groups. In some sub-Alpine and Alpine environments it is difficult to distinguish between dynamic progressions of pasture abandonment (due to economic activities or a significant variation in the number of Alpine ungulates). It may be worth providing some guidelines on how to interpret data series, characterising each plot also in dynamic terms. As far as the cost-benefit ratio is concerned, the complete system proposed is quite costly, and provides a broad database which is not always easy to interpret or explore. A modulation is proposed, maintaining 4 plots with complete series, while on the others recordings can be made only on the 1 m2 areas. Further statistical analyses must be organised to investigate the possible relations between the environmental data collected (e.g. variations in temperature, ground snow, etc.) and the flora and vegetation results. One critical aspect concerns the choice of not joining any supranational long-term Alpine vegetation monitoring networks, such as “Gloria” which has already obtained results in nearby plots (Pauli et al., 2007; Holzinger, 2008; Erschbamer et al., 2009; Erschbamer et al., 2011).

four 25 m2 plots, with only phytosociological surveys on 1 m2 areas on the other 4 plots on other altitudes and particularly on the snow line where the vegetation is thin, and perhaps most sensitive to climate change. These more rapid surveys could be repeated every 5 years, while the detailed measurements could be taken in campaigns set at an interval of at least 10 years. The utmost attention must also be paid to the methods of drafting the phytosociological map, which has a higher grade of subjectivity in both its topological (minimum uniform plot, mosaics) and typological definition. In the next few years it is planned to carry out the pedological analyses and report on the available chemical and physical data. It will be very important to organise the collected data in ad-hoc computer systems; the statistical analyses must allow us to understand as far as possible any causal links between changes in vegetation and climatic trends which therefore deviate from the normal successional dynamics that are typical of the periglacial area of the Canin.

Conclusions The method proposed in the Climaparks project for the Julian Prealps Natural Park requires a large effort for data collection, which is not always practicable. It should be simplified to match the situation in the Alpine strip of the Park: this could be done by continuing complete surveys on

References Cannone, N. (2004). Minimum area assessment and different sampling approaches for the study of vegetation communities in Antarctica. Antarctic Science, 16(2), 157–164. Cannone, N., Sgorbati, S., & Guglielmini, M. (2007). Unexpected impacts of climatic change on alpine vegetation. Frontiers in Ecology and Environment, 7, 360–364. Erschbamer, B., Kiebacher, T., Mallaum, M., & Unterluggauer, P. (2009). Short-term signals of climate change along an altitudinal gradient in the South Alps. Plant ecology, 202, 79–89. Erschbamer, B., Unterluggauer, P., Winkler, E., & Mallaum, M. (2011). Changes in plant species diversity revealed by long-term monitoring on mountain summits in the Dolomites (northern Italy). Preslia, 83, 387–401. Feoli Chiapella, L., & Poldini, L. (1993). Prati e pascoli del Friuli (NE Italia) su substrati basici. Studia Geobotanica, 13, 3–140. Gottfried, M., et al. (2012). Continent-wide response of mountain vegetation to climate change. Nature Climate Change, 2, 111–115. Grabherr, G., Pauli, H., & Gottfried, M. (2010). A worldwide observation of effects of climate change on mountain ecosystems. In A. Borsdorf et al. (Eds.), Challenges for mountain regions – Tackling complexity (pp. 50–57). Wien, Austria: Bohlau. Holzinger, B., et al. (2008). Changes in plant species richness over the last century in the eastern Swiss Alps: Elevational gradient, bedrock effects and migration rates. Plant Ecology, 195, 179–196.


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Pauli, H., et al. (2007). Signals of range expansions and contractions of vascular plants in the high Alps: Observations (1994–2004) at the GLORIA*master site Schrankogel, Tyrol, Austria. Global Change Biology, 13, 147–156. Poldini, L., & Feoli, E. (1976). Phytogeography and syntaxonomy of the Caricetum firmae L. s.l. in the Carnic Alps. Vegetatio, 32(1), 1–9. Poldini, L., & Martini, F. (1993). La vegetazione delle vallette nivali su calcare, dei conoidi e delle alluvioni nel Friuli (NE Italia). Studia Geobotanica, 13, 141–214. Poldini, L., & Vidali, M. (2012). Le serie di vegetazione della regione Friuli Venezia Giulia. In C. Blasi (Ed.), La vegetazione d’Italia (pp. 130–160). Roma, Italy: Palombi & Partner. Poldini, L., Oriolo, G., & Francescato, C. (2004). Mountain pine scrubs and heaths with Ericaceae in the south-eastern Alps. Plant Biosystems, 138, 1, 53–85. Theurillat, J. P., & Guisa, A. (2001). Potential impact of climate change on vegetation in European Alps: A review. Clim. Change, 50, 77–109.


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Izvleček V okviru projekta Climaparks je Furlanski prirodoslovni muzej izdelal enotno metodologijo spremljanja in analize podnebnih sprememb na biotsko raznovrstnost. Ta metodologija je bila uporabljena na študijskem območju Naravnega parka Julijskega predgorja v letu 2012. Zbrani podatki predstavljajo izhodiščno stanje, koristni pa so tudi za prikaz prednosti in slabosti metodologije. Metodološki pristop je avtonomen glede na druge projekte na evropski in svetovni ravni (na primer projekt Gloria) in je primeren za oceno pionirske vegetacije z nizko biotsko raznovrstnostjo, ki je značilna za alpinski in nivalni pas. V območju, ki gleda proti ostanku Kaninskega ledenika, se je metoda izkazala za dosledno in uporabno.

Estratto Nell’ambito del progetto Climaparks è stata predisposta dal Museo Friulano di Storia Naturale una metodologia uniformata di monitoraggio e di analisi dei cambiamenti climatici sulla biodiversità. Essa è stata applicata in un’area studio del Parco Naturale delle Prealpi Giulie durante il 2012. I dati raccolti costituiscono lo stato zero e sono utili anche per evidenziare pregi e difetti della metodologia. L’approccio metodologico risulta autonomo rispetto ad altri progetti di scale europea e globale (esempio progetto Gloria) e si adatta alla valutazioni di vegetazioni del piano alpino e nivale, pioniere e poco stratificate. Nel caso dell’area prospiciente il ghiacciaio del Canin il metodo è risultato coerente e utile.


Forcella Giaf (Photo: D. Cappellari)


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FRIULIAN DOLOMITES NATURAL PARK The Natural Regional Park of the Friulian Dolomites is located in the western sector of the mountainous territory that dominates the high Friulian plains. It covers an area of 36,950 hectares. It extends from the Pordenone province to the province of Udine and includes the Valcellina, the high Tagliamento river valley and the territories bordering on the Tramontina valley. Friulian Dolomites Natural ParkThe predominant landscape is comprised of a Dolomite contour and by long, narrow valleys. The inaccessibility of the area and its terrain, the absence of paved roads and towns inside the protected area have guaranteed a minimum anthropical impact and its natural conservation thanks to the local population. The entire area is therefore characterized by a high degree of ‘wilderness’ which is hard to find in other areas within the alpine and prealpine mountainous zones. The ‘biodiversity’ is notably important, favoured by the strong variations in elevation, by its geographical position and the climate. The Golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), which is also the symbol of the park, and the main ungulates of the eastern alpine range are just a few of the many faunistic species within the territory of the park. The floral heritage of the park is very rich and has quite a few rare and endemic species.

Parco Naturale Dolomiti Friulane Via Roma, 4 33080 Cimolais (PN) ITALIJA Phone.: +39 (0) 427 87333 Fax: +39 (0) 427 877900 http://www.parcodolomitifriulane.it info@parcodolomitifriulane.it


Temperature detector with solar screen installed at Ciadin della Meda. (Photo: S. Vettorel)


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Monitoring the Habitat and Floral Species in Ciadin Della Meda (Dolomiti Friulane Nature Park) Alberto Scariot,a Michele Cassol,b Simonetta Vettorel Studio Associato Dottori Forestali Cassol e Scariot, Via Stadio 18, 32036 Sedico (BL), Italy. Correspondence: aabies2@alice. it, bmichelecassol@libero.it.

Abstract This paper is offered to illustrate a monitoring activity carried out in the framework of a Cross-border Cooperation Programme named “Climaparks – climate change and management of protected areas,” whose aim is to study the effects of climate change on vegetation. The study area is found in Val Settimana, in the municipality of Claut (PN), Dolomiti Friulane Nature Park. The monitoring activity consisted in identifying permanent survey areas, principally found in snow beds, but also in other areas where ongoing dynamic conditions have been observed (e.g. superficial acidification, etc.). The selection of survey areas was based on a preliminary phytosociological map, soil analysis and characterization. Climate monitoring was performed by installing a temperature detection station. Keywords: climate change, snow beds, vegetation monitoring, permanent plot.

INTRODUCTION As described in the paper “Planning a Standardized Method to Monitor and Assess Climate Change Impact on Biodiversity” (Udine, 2011) developed by the Friulian Museum of Natural History, air temperature has been constantly increasing in the past century, and the trend is apparently confirmed for the future. Such variations have caused several species to change both in latitude and altitude distributions, as they have moved towards the polar areas or higher altitudes. The climate changes that have occurred over the past decades have attracted the attention of scientists mainly because of their time lapse: while the current climate variations are acting on a human time scale, the species’ adaptation processes have started much more slowly, so that the species are not guaranteed recovery from damage. Because at high altitudes and latitudes biological components reach the limits of their survival capacity and ecosystems are principally controlled by abiotic factors, good results are obtained from the study of climate change impact on vegetation along altitudinal gradients, similarly to the study of impact along latitudinal gradients, but with another advantage, that is, high altitude stations are a key point for biodiversity (Diaz et al., 2003). It is worth recalling that sensitivity of alpine plant ecosystems has been revealed by a number of studies in the past decades: Kullman says that some trees and shrubs of the alpine range have risen their distribution limits by 120–340

metres (Kullman, 2002); other studies reveal that plants have migrated from the alpine to the nival zone (Grabherr et al., 1994; Walther et al., 2005; Pauli et al., 2007); other authors monitored variations of plant communities within permanent plots (Keller et al., 2005; Bahn & Körner, 2003; Pauli et al., 2007). These studies on high altitude pioneer plant communities and shrub lands found at vegetation limits have been joined by several other studies demonstrating that alpine and nival zone vegetation react and adapt fast to climate change. On the other hand, some authors, for instance Theurillat and Guisan (2001), suggest that alpine plants are characterized by great inertia and trigger meaningful variations only when temperature rises by over 2 °C. Based on the remarks above, within the framework of Climaparks – Cross-border Cooperation Programme –, the Friulian Museum of Natural History developed a protocol aimed at measuring and monitoring climate change impact on the plant component of the terrestrial ecosystems in the short and long term and, whenever possible, on their prospective interaction with particularly sensitive elements of the abiotic component (cryosphere especially). The monitoring activity will be carried out in the regional territory of Friuli, and namely in the areas of the Dolomiti Friulane Regional Park and of the Prealpi Giulie Regional Park, for a period of about 15–20 years. The present study is part of the project and represents


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the “ground zero” of the monitoring activity on plant components of high altitude habitats within the Dolomiti Friulane Nature Park.

Methods The methods adopted for monitoring make reference to the protocol suggested by the Friulian Museum of Natural History, that is, a multidisciplinary approach including different aspects of the territory, both during field surveying and data processing, based on a special research protocol. The analysis of species and communities was principally carried out with the strategy of permanent plots, where plant variations can be analyzed in detail within a limited area. The surveys were completed with a soil analysis, the installation of a temperature datalogger and the processing of a phytosociological map of the concerned area. The survey area (Figure 1) is found at the heart of the Dolomiti Friulane Regional Nature Park, in Val Settimana, in the municipal territory of Claut (PN). The site surveyed corresponds to the cirque of “Ciadin della Meda,” at an altitude comprised between 1940 m.a.s.l. and 2000 m.a.s.l. The site is reached from Val Settimana, by climbing Val della Meda along the CAI 375 track, past the Bivacco Goitan (1810 m.a.s.l.) up to the glacier amphitheatre above.

Figure 2. Plot 1 bounding. Photo by Simonetta Vettorel.

Monitoring plant communities in permanent plots Plant communities were studied with the method of permanent plots, as illustrated in the above-mentioned monitoring protocol. The plots were organized in areas where plant communities reveal high vulnerability (e.g. snow beds), as their monitoring allows easily identifying and measuring climate change impact. After survey sites (plots sized 5X5 m) were identified, they were bounded with stakes and wire;

Figure 1. Position of the survey area. Source: Dolomiti Friulane Regional Nature Park.

Figure 3. Board containing information about Climaparks project found near the 4 plots. Photo by Simonetta Vettorel.

Figure 4. Layout of a permanent plot sized 5 × 5 m divided into 25 subplots sized 1 × 1 m. Source: Cannone (2004).


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along their sides, iron stakes were fixed in the ground at every metre length to support colourful wires, so as to divide a plot into subplots sized 1x1 m for a total of 25 subplots. The 4 outer corners of the plots were surveyed with GPS. Each plot was marked with a board indicating the plot number and information about the survey in progress. The selection of permanent plot location was based on the phytosociological map of the area and on the phytosociological surveys performed. The results of these surveys allowed identifying the types of plant communities fit for long-term monitoring and selecting the sites for the 25 m2 plots. The size of permanent plots (25 m2) takes into account the minimum area inhabited by the surveyed plant communities (Mueller-Dombois & Ellemberg, 1974; Lévesque, 1996; Cannone, 2004). As it was impossible to identify homogeneous areas of 25 m2 per point of sampling, one plot was limited to 2 m2 and other 4 plots to 1 m2. These were named microplots. Therefore, three plots of 25 m2 (plot 1, 2, 3), one plot of 2 m2 (plot 4) and four plots of 1 m2 (microplots 1, 2, 3, 4) were organized in total. The plant conditions detected within the plots and microp-

Figure 5. Position of sampling areas (plots and microplots) in “Ciadin della Meda.” Photo by Alberto Scariot.

In the plots where vegetation is more sparse (plots 2 and 4), it was possible to make a complete survey, as dictated by the monitoring protocol. Then, the phytosociological surveys were completed in all 25 subplots sized 1 m2 (two surveys of 1 m2 in plot 4), by detailing % total plant cover, a list of individual species with their % cover, % surfacing rock, soil and necromass. After completing the phytosociological surveys, another similar survey was carried out on smaller areas sized 100 cm2 in the 4 subplots found at the four corners of Plot 2 and on both subplots of Plot 4. Surveying the outer subplots only helps avoiding the so-called “trampling effect” caused by the surveyors standing on the area. The cells sized 10 × 10 cm were analyzed with the help of a movable grid sized 1 × 1 m, made of a wooden frame and a network of colourful threads and nails fixed at a distance of 10 cm along the sides of the frame (Figure 8). On the same plots (2 and 4), the species distribution was surveyed with the point intercept method. This survey was carried out on all 25 subplots of plot 2 and on the 2 subplots of plot 4. The point intercept method consists in identifying the species found at the interception of each knot of the grid (with cells sized 10 × 10 cm) and reporting the species on a layout reproducing the same grid. The determination of the species at the interception of a knot of the movable grid used for the survey was performed by a surveyor observing perpendicularly to the ground at the point of interception of the grid. At each knot, 4 sectors were selected and the number of contacts was counted (there are maximum 4 contacts, i.e. one contact per sector). This way, the data reported in the survey sheets may also be used to measure the % cover of individual species. In more densely covered plots (1 and 3), only a phytosociological survey of the 25 subplots of 1 m2 was carried out, as it is impossible to recognize the component of Graminaceous plants in small areas. A similar problem emerged in the application of the point intercept method, where plant specimens are excessively superposed and any tiny displacement of the movable grid will imply a meaningful variation of the results. On the 4

lots are as follows: Plot 1 Complex plant condition, in evolution, with Salix reticulata as indicator species Plot 2 Dryadetum very rich in Gentiana froelichii Plot 3 Seslerietum communities/acidified Firmetum with Loiseleuria procumbens and Vaccinium gaultherioides Plot 4 Snow bed with Salix herbacea Microplot 1 Community of Carex ferruginea Microplot 2 Basophilic snow bed with Salix retusa Microplot 3 Cluster of acidophilic Rhodoretum Microplot 4 Acidic rock with Loiseleuria procumbenss After plots and microplots were identified, they were made the object of a phytosociological survey to investigate the following parameters: elevation, exposition, slope, % cover of tree stratum, % cover of shrub stratum (if applicable), % rockiness (if applicable), % mosses and lichens (if applicable).

Figure 6. Monitoring steps of a phytosociological survey on 100 cm2. Photo by Michele Cassol.


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microplots too, only a phytosociological survey was carried out on 1 m2.

Soil analysis Based on the indications contained in the monitoring protocol, a full characterization of each permanent plot implies that some soil analyses should be carried out in the neighbouring areas featuring the same plant component and the same micro-topographic and micro-habitat elements. These analysis were carried out by geologist Danilo Belli. To this end, a small dugout was excavated to identify soil horizons, measure their depth and describe their features (grain size, texture, colour, aggregation, other possible characteristics, e.g. cryoturbation, peculiar layers, etc.), and each horizon was sampled. A soil sample was taken in each site for all identified horizons to perform geotechnical and chemical tests, for a total of 13 samples of natural soils. Each sample was marked with an acronym of the corresponding plot (P1) and with an acronym of the relevant horizon (O1), where the number gets higher as the horizon deepens (Table 1).

of minimum 10 m. These parameters implied that the small station with temperature detector could be located centrally with respect to the plots on top of the moraine deposits found between plot 1 and plots 2, 3 and 4. Considering the slope of these moraines, the areas with smaller slopes were selected and here an old dry larch hit by a lightning was used to support the detector with solar screen (Figure 7).

Installation of a temperature datalogger The monitoring protocol suggests that a small weather station be installed near the sampling site. After some thought, a temperature detector (datalogger) protected by a passive solar screen was selected and installed. The position of the datalogger was evaluated in consideration of the following technical elements: – central location with respect to the permanent plots; – use of an existing support to fix the solar screen; – area with small or no slope; – absence of neighbouring shrubs or trees at a distance

Figure 7. Picture of a temperature detector with solar screen installed at Ciadin della Meda. Photo by Simonetta Vettorel.

Table 1. Main features and position of soil samples

Acronym of sampling site PLOT 1

Elevaon (m.a.s.l.) 1,940

Acronym of samples P1O1 P1O2 P1O3

PLOT 2

1,990

PLOT 3

2,000

PLOT 4

1,975

P2O1 P2O2 P2O3 P3O1 P3O2 P3O3 P4O1 P4O2 P4O3 P4O4

Geological and geomorphological descripon of the site Small colluvial-alluvial cone within a cirque (front posion), inside a rock step Rock at the edge of a cirque with acve scree Rock

Micro “valley” of glacier/nival origin and/or fill of karst doline within a cirque (lateral posion), with superimposed karst dolines


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Processing a phytosociological map The vegetation in the area was studied with the phytosociological method designed by the Swiss scientist BraunBlanquet in the early 20th century. At a preliminary step, the area was entirely observed and, based on the vegetation characteristics detected, some sampling sites were finally selected. A total of 21 plant samples were taken, of which 4 as permanent plots and 4 as microplots. The sampling activity was distributed over the whole area, by focussing on some representative plant coenoses. Sampling sites were selected in areas characterized by sufficiently homogeneous plant composition. The size of the surveyed areas varied from few square metres to 400 square metres (e.g. mountain pine woodlands). After listing the species, they were quantitatively estimated by adopting, depending on the vegetation conditions found, the cover values of the scale suggested by Braun-Blanquet (1964) or of the scale modified by Pignatti and Mengarda (1962). In plots and microplots, however, individual % values were used. The scales adopted are reported in Table 2. During the preliminary survey of the area, with the help of the phytosociological surveys, a phytosociological map was elaborated on a 1:5.000 scale. During field surveys, a colour aerial picture of the area (orthophoto) helped identify phototypes and verify the real vegetation correspondence in the field. Later, the areas corresponding to different types of vegetation were transferred on GIS based on the Technical Regional Map of Friuli Venezia Giulia. The interpretation of information was based on both the field recognition of plant types and the collection of an adequate number of phytosociological samples of the vegetation.

Results Monitoring plant communities with the permanent plot method amounted to 8 phytosociological surveys of four plots and four subplots, and 77 phytosociological surveys of the subplots included in three plots sized 25 m2 and in plot 4 sized 2 m2. In addition to these, 400 surveys were carried out on the percentage cover of the species in cells sized 100 cm2 located at the corners of Plot 2 and 200 similar surveys on

Plot 4. Moreover, in Plots 2 and 4 the point intercept method was used to generate a total of 27 survey sheets. For the species nomenclature, reference was made to Pignatti (1982). In the framework of the Climaparks programme, future survey campaigns will help statistically process the information collected during surveys against the indices reported in the monitoring protocol, e.g. the species richness measured in different monitoring years, the number of species found at different monitoring steps, the number of species that have become extinct over time, the number of new species with time, etc. As of today, it is only possible to measure the richness of species in the plots and microplots surveyed in the first monitoring year (2012) (Table 3). As mentioned above, the 21 phytosociological surveys (four plots, four microplots and 13 surveys on representative vegetation conditions) have helped draw a phytosociological Map (Figure 8) of an area of about 100 hectares. The Table 4 offers an illustration of the plant units detected, their cover area in square metres and hectares (ha), and % of the total area.

Discussion As shown in Table 4 and in the phytosociological map (Figure 8), the area is characterized by a prevalence of primitive habitats, e.g. rocks and scree, which cover 50% of the total surveyed area. Potentilletum nitidae thrives on rocky walls and Valeriano elongatae-Asplenietum viridis on cooler and moister cracks. These habitats feature the most precious vegetation of the area, with some rare species including endemic Arenaria huteri, Campanula morettiana, Physoplexis comosa, Primula tyrolensis, etc. The screes are home to Thlaspion rotundifolii communities, mostly consisting of Papaveretum rhaetici. The vegetation of snow beds is principally represented by basophilic valleys of dwarf willows (Salicetum retuso-reticulatae), but also by some tiny portions of acidophilic valleys of Salicetum herbaceae subass. potentilletosum brauneanae, a characteristic plant of carbonate substrates that have gone superficially decarbonated. Continuous meadows fall in the area of Ranunculo hybridi– Caricetum sempervirentis with Sesleria albicans and Carex

Table 2. Cover percentage detected during the phytosociological sampling campaign, based on Pignatti scale and Braun-Blanquet scale

Pigna scale Index

Cover (%)

Index

5 4 3 2 1 + r

80–100 60–80 40–60 20–40 1–20 <1 rare

5 4 3 2 1 + r

Braun-Blanquet scale Cover (%) 75–100 50–75 25–50 5–25 1–5 <1 rare


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Table 3. Richness in species (S1) of plots and microplots (not including mosses and lichens)

Plot or Microplot P1 P2 P3 P4 M1 M2 M3 M4

S1 Richness in species 40 22 48 15 12 13 19 30

Figure 8. Phytosociological map of the Area Ciadin della Meda. Authors: M. Cassol and A. Scariot.

sempervirens as the dominant species associated to several endemic species of the south-eastern Alps, e.g. Horminum pyrenaicum, Laserpitium peucedanoides, Pedicularis julica and Ranunculus hybridus. Serial contacts occur with Firmetum (Gentiano terglouensisCaricetum firmae), as much as to create uneasily distinguished patchworks, and with Dryadetum octopetalae, in primitive stages of debris cones undergoing consolidation. The areas covered in Firmetum and Dryadetum are very rich in Gentiana froelichii subspecie zenarii, a paleo-endemic species of the Carnic Prealps (Buccheri, 2010). The lower section of the area is characterized by plants

falling in the transition strip from tree to shrub vegetation of the subalpine zone, prevalently represented here by micro-thermal mountain pine woodlands (Rhododendro hirsuti-Pinetum prostratae), as spruce woodlands are totally absent. In areas characterized by long-term snow persistence and eroded watersheds, acidophilic mountain pines thrive (Sorbo chamaemespili-Pinetum mugo), and are easily identified also thanks to a greater presence of larch specimens in the tree strip. Accessory communities include primary larch woodlands (Rhodothamno-Laricetum), which are found here in primitive conditions only. At the foot of alluvial cones, where water flows near the surface and in the watersheds of slopes,


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Table 4. Detected plant units, with respective surface areas and percentage

Plant types

2

Area (m )

Area (ha)

%

SPRING AREA PLANTS (CLASS: MONTIO CARDAMINETEA) Cratoneurion WILLOW AND TALL HERB COMMUNITIES (CLASS: MULGEDIO-ACONITETEA)

31.09

0.003

0.003

Communies of Aconitum ranunculifolium Salicetum waldsteinianae VEGETAZIONE RUPICOLA (CLASSE ASPLENIETEA TRICHOMANIS) Rock plants (Campanuletum moreanae, Cystopteridion, rocce nude etc.)

797.08 1211.33

0.08 0.12

0.08 0.12

345778.70

34.58

33.93

156401.47 5666.60 4921.53 298.55 1927.04

15.64 0.57 0.49 0.03 0.19

15.35 0.56 0.48 0.03 0.19

142.33 7122.83 164472.34 967.88 402.73

0.01 0.71 16.45 0.10 0.04

0.01 0.70 16.14 0.09 0.04

Caricetum firmae/Ranunculo hybridi Caricetum sempervirens with pioneer stage of Rhodothamno-Laricetum

38807.80

3.88

3.81

Caricetum firmae/Ranunculo hybridi Caricetum sempervirens with pioneer stage of Rhodothamno-Rhododendretum hirsu

24869.73

2.49

2.44

Dryadetum octopetalae Ranunculo hybridi Caricetum sempervirens con stadi pionieri di Rhododendro hirsu-Pinetum prostratae

8127.43 14408.83

0.81 1.44

0.80 1.41

Ranunculo hybridi Caricetum sempervirens with pioneer stage of RhodothamnoRhododendretum hirsu

25209.38

2.52

2.47

0.12 2.24

0.12 2.20

0.003

0.003

8.04 0.60 4.98

7.89 0.59 4.89

49266.55 8131.86

4.93 0.81

4.83 0.80

159.99 1018972.573

0.02 101.90

0.02 100.00

SCREE PLANTS (CLASS: THLASPIETEA ROTUNDIFOLII) Papaveretum rhaeci Coarse stone heap with some Papaveretum rhaeci Coarse aphytoic stone heap Salicetum retuso-reculatae Salicetum retuso-reculatae/Caricetum ferrugineae/Poion BASOPHILIC MEADOWS (CLASS: ELYNO-SESLERIETEA) Caricetum ferrugineae Caricetum firmae with pioneer stage of Rhodothamno-Rhododendretum hirsu Caricetum firmae s.l. Caricetum firmae s.l. variant of Salix retusa Caricetum firmae/Ranunculo hybridi Caricetum sempervirens with low heath

Limestone plaorm with no vegetaon (some Caricetum firmae) 1240.66 Coarse stone heap with some Caricetum firmae s.l. 22386.44 ACIDOPHYTIC SNOW BEDS (CLASS: SALICETEA HERBACEAE) Salicetum herbaceae potenlletosum brauneanae 33.47 MOUNTAIN PINE AND LARCH WOODLANDS, AND BASOPHILIC SHRUBLANDS (CLASS: ERICO-PINETEA) Rhododendro hirsu-Pinetum prostratee 80419.48 Sorbo chamaemespili-Pinetum prostratae 5979.89 Rhododendro hirsu-Pinetum prostratae with Caricetum firmae/Ranunculo hybridi 49820.68 Caricetum sempervirens Rhododendro hirsu-Pinetum prostratae/Rock vegetaon Rhodothamno-Rhododendretum hirsu/Salicetum waldsteinianae ACIDOPHILIC SHRUBLANDS (CLASS: LOISELEURIO-VACCINIETEA) Rhododendretum ferruginei TOTAL


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meadows of Caricion ferrugineae are found. Frequent contacts occur within this vegetation strip, especially in areas characterized by depressions and accumulation of snow and nutrients (tall herb communities, associations of Adenostylion), subalpine willow woodlands (Salicetum waldsteinianae) and small Cratoneurion spring habitats. Such areas are found in the main watershed below Bivacco Goitan. Concerning soil analysis, the first three plots (1, 2, 3) resulted to be similar, although they belong to different habitats, while plot 4, located in a snow bed covered in Salix herbacea, was found to be fairly different. The three plots (1, 2, 3) show a top horizon (O1) averagely 6 cm thick. It is prevalently made of sand and silt (sand > 50%), features a dark colour owed to abundant organic matter (> 55%, including roots) and high natural humidity (water content > 100%) favoured by the presence of organic matter. Ph is acidic, except in plot 2, where limestone clasts are found in greater concentration. The other parameters indicate a substantial homogeneity of the horizon, but for plot 2 showing high conductivity. Horizon 2 is characterized by a different grain size (gravel > 60%) and colour (hazelnut). This layer is about 20 cm thick, with a much poorer content in organic matter (about –50%) and in water, although the latter is still quite high (> 14%). Ph is basic and conductivity is still high. Nitrogen content is also meaningful, though much lower than in horizon 1. Horizon 3 features a significantly coarser grain (gravel is prevalent and more abundant, with some pebbles) and a paler colour (light hazelnut). The silt content is comparable in both horizons. The content of organic matter gets halved as compared to the upper horizon (> 7.5%) and the water content is considerably reduced (by about 5–8%). Ph is as basic as in the upper layer, but electric conductivity falls (by 50%) and nitrogen content decreases to less than a half. The clasts of horizons 2 and 3 feature an altered (non fresh) surface, top coloration (oxide deposits owed to leaching), get

easily scratched and crushed, and their texture tends to be mealy (deconstruction owed to limestone dissolution). Their shape is prevalently polyhedral, non-tabular and non-scaly, sub-rounded and deprived of sharp edges. Plot 4 offers a sequence of totally different horizons. The grain size is still referred to sand, natural humidity is still around 100% (86,4–125,5%), electric conductivity is still low (< 126 S/cm), and the content of organic matter is still poor (14,2–24,9%), but the nitrogen content is averagely high (as much as the values of horizon 2 in plots 1, 2, 3). Colour is still dark and seemingly not affected by the content in organic matter. Ph is still acidic, but gets basic in the lower horizon (O4). No gravel levels (equivalent of horizons O2 and O3 of the three other plots) have been found down to the surveyed depth (about 50 cm).

Conclusion The study of the high elevation plant communities in the Dolomiti Friulane Nature Park represents the “ground zero” of a series of monitoring activities that, with the future surveys included in the Climaparks programme, will supply interesting information about the variations of plant coenoses living at high elevation in response to climate change. Moreover, the study allowed completing a careful soil analysis in the surveyed sites and supplying interesting information about the substrate where the coenoses thrive. The installation of a temperature control station and the continuous recording of hourly temperature values will generate important information to cross-monitor vegetation changes and climate change. The phytosociological map offers a representation of the “ground zero” of vegetation conditions. Future surveys will then help quantify the variations in % cover of the species and study the changes in vegetation succession, by analyzing ecological series and their possible variations.

References Bahn M., & Körner, C. (2003). Recent increases in summit flora caused by warming in the Alps. Ecol. Stud., 167, 437–41. Braun-Blanquet, J. (1964). Pflanzensoziologie. Wien, Austria: Springer. Buccheri, M. (2010). La flora del Parco – Invito alla scoperta del paesaggio vegetale nel Parco Naturale Dolomiti Friulane. Udine, Italy: Museo Friulano di Storia Naturale, Parco Naturale Dolomiti Friulane. Cannone, N. (2004). Minimum area assessment and different sampling approaches for the study of vegetation communities in Antarctica. Antarctic Science, 16(2), 157–164. Grabherr, G., Gottfried, M., & Pauli, H. (1994). Climate effects on mountain plants. Nature, 369, 448. Keller, F., Goyette, S., & Beniston, M. (2005). Sensitivity analysis of snow cover to climate change scenarios and their impact on plant habitats in alpine terrain. Clim Change, 72, 299–319. Kullman, L. (2002). Rapid recent range-margin rise of tree and shrub species in the Swedish Scandes. J. Ecol., 90, 68–77. Lévesque, E. (1996). Minimum area and cover-abundance scales as applied to polar desert. Arctic and Alpine Research, 28, 156–162. Mueller-Dombois, D., & Ellenberg, H. (1974). Aims and methods of vegetation ecology. New York, NY, USA: John Wiley & Sons. Museo Friulano di Storia Naturale (2011). Progetto Climaparks – Progettazione di una metodologia uniformata di monitoraggio e di analisi dell’impatto dei cambiamenti climatici sulla biodiversità. Udine, Italy: Comune di Udine.


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Pauli, H., Gottfried, M., Reiter, K., et al. (2007). Signals of range expansions and contractions of vascular plants in the high Alps: Observations (1994–2004) at the GLORIA* master site Schrankogel, Tyrol, Austria. Global Change Biology, 13, 147–156. Pignatti, S. (1982). Flora d’Italia (Vol. 3). Bologna, Italy: Edagricole. Pignatti, S., & Mengarda, F. (1962). Un nuovo procedimento per l’elaborazione delle tabelle fitosociologiche. Atti Accad. Naz. Lincei, VIII. Ser., Rend., Cl. Sci. Fis. Mat. Nat., 32, 215–222. Theurillat, J. P., & Guisan, A. (2001). Potential impact of climate change on vegetation in the European Alps: A review. Clim. Change, 50, 77–109. Walther, G.-R., Beißner. S., & Burga, C. A. (2005). Trends in the upward shift of alpine plants. J. of Veg. Sci., 16, 541–548.

Izvleček Članek opisuje monitoring, ki smo ga izvedli v sklopu projekta čezmejnega sodelovanja Climaparks – klimatske spremembe in upravljanje zaščitenih območij. Namen monitoringa je bil proučiti vplive podnebnih sprememb na vegetacijo. Študijsko območje leži v dolini Val Settimana, v občini Claut (PN). Monitoring smo opravili na trajnih raziskovalnih ploskvah, posebno v snežnih dolinicah, a tudi na drugih mestih, kjer so bili prepoznani procesi v teku (npr. zakisovanje tal). Po predhodnem ogledu razmejenega območja, smo izdelali fitosociološko karto s pomočjo podrobnih popisov kar na licu mesta. V skladu s standardno prakso smo zatem opravili vzorčenje tal. Za spremljanje klimatskih razmer smo inštalirali temperaturni datalogger (spominska enota, ki omogoča merjenje temperature in shranjevanje podatkov).

Estratto In questo articolo si descrive il monitoraggio effettuato sulla base di un Progetto di cooperazione transfrontaliera denominato Climaparks – cambiamenti climatici e gestione delle aree protette, finalizzato a studiare gli effetti dei cambiamenti climatici sulla vegetazione. L’area di studio è localizzata in Val Settimana, nel comune di Claut (PN), Parco Naturale delle Dolomiti Friulane. Il monitoraggio si è concretato nell’individuazione di aree di rilievo permanenti localizzate principalmente in vallette nivali, ma anche in situazioni in cui siano stati riconosciuti aspetti dinamici in atto (acidificazione superficiale etc.). Per la scelta delle aree è stata importante la definizione della carta fitosociologica nonché, per la loro caratterizzazione, l’analisi dei suoli. Per il monitoraggio climatico è stata installata una stazione di rilevamento della temperatura.Nel caso dell’area prospiciente il ghiacciaio del Canin il metodo è risultato coerente e utile.


Seslerieto - is an alpine meadow. The name comes from the main species Sesleria varia. (Photo: A. Scariot)


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Preliminary Remarks on a Unified Method for Monitoring and Analyzing Climate Change Impact on Biodiversity and on the First-Year Surveying of Plant Species Performed in 2012 Giuseppe Oriolo Via Roma 50, 34074 Monfalcone (GO), Italy. Correspondence: giuseppe.oriolo@gmail.com.

Abstract Within the framework of Climaparks programme, the Friulian Museum of Natural History defined a unified methodology for monitoring and analyzing the effects of climate changes on biodiversity. During 2012 this methodology was used to collect data in a study area inside the Dolomiti Friulane Nature Park. These data can be considered as “ground zero” and are also useful to highlight the advantages and disadvantages of this approach. The methodology is not related to other world and European projects (i.e. Gloria project) and is adapted to study poorly stratified pioneer vegetation in the alpine and nival strips. On the other hand, the approach was applied only to some plots in the area of “Ciadin della Meda”, where vegetation offers more complex and evolved conditions. Keywords: monitoring, vegetation, Dolomiti Friulane Nature Park, methodology evaluation.

INTRODUCTION The Climaparks programme offers a multifaceted integrated approach for understanding the consequences of climate change on biological and ecological systems. In fact, the programme aims at improving energy efficiency of the functional facilities in protected areas, spreading information and raising awareness, as well as scientific monitoring in the medium and long term. The issue of climate change is approached from different points of view, but collecting data aimed at verifying the effects of climate change on the biology of high-elevation areas remains central. The knowledge of the effects of mean temperature increase on the biology and ecology of several species is still a “work in progress,” and reliable data are available only for few species. The value itself of high mountain species as a biological indicator must still be understood thoroughly. There still exist different opinions on this topic (Cannone, 2007; Theurillat & Guisan, 2001). While meaningful historical sets of chemical and physical data are now available and allow performing accurate statistical analyses (focussed on the causes of temperature increase, either induced by human activity or resulting from natural climate cycles), only random data are available for the biological component of ecosystems, although some projects with a long-term perspective and a wide geographical

application (Gottfried et al. 2012; Grabherr et. al, 2010) are giving important data series. As it is well known, the scale of such phenomena is varied, going from smaller physiological and biological adaptations to larger ecological modifications. For instance, it is very difficult to notice qualitative changes in species distribution and in the composition of ecosystems, which often undergo constant fluctuations in species numbers and are affected by complex natural (but also artificial) patterns of change.

Methods The methodology for plant species monitoring suggested by the Friulian Museum of Natural History (final report, July 2012) is based on a work by Cannone (2004) based on an analysis of some plots in Antarctica. The method consists in a multi-faceted approach for the definition of the surveyed areas and type of collected information. In particular, information should be collected about: a) vegetation, b) weather, c) plant life cycle and d) soil, but not all of them are considered as compulsory. The main group of data comes from permanent plots and a vegetation map with high spatial and typological definition.


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Permanent plots of 25 m2 are divided into 1 m2 squares, and subdivided in 100 cm2 cells and intercept points. The following information will then be collected in each plot: 1 phytosociological survey for general plant characterization; 25 surveys on the plots sized 1 m2; phytosociological surveys on the subplots sized 100 cm2 (recommended in the 1 m2 plots located at the four corners); surveys of dominant species at the 4 points of interception in the subplots sized 100 cm2. The term “phytosociological” is used in a very general way, that is, to indicate only the collection of data about plant species/cover, which is expressed in percentage in the smaller plots. The minimum area of 25 m2 is considered as sufficient to analyze non-forest ecosystems. A phytosociological map must be drawn in the field, with several surveys for plant species characterization, with a scale from 1:1500 to 1:2000 and on a minimum area of 2 km2. The description of the methodology indicates also some statistical processing to be performed on the data sets collected (starting from next year, except for species richness, which is available as early as the first year). Soil samples will be collected very close to the plots and a phenological analysis will be performed on a weekly basis, when possible because the task is hard in high mountain areas. A temperature data logger will be installed on site. The methodology gives no indications about how some critical issues should be solved, for instance understanding the mechanisms of reaction to climate change and distinguishing between primary and secondary ecological change patterns.

Results The data collected in 2012 by a work group coordinated by Michele Cassol and Alberto Scariot are offered in a technical report (January 2013). The field work respected the methodology, but some changes were necessary, due to the special features of the area. In particular, the cirque of Ciadin della Meda, in Val Settimana, in the municipality of Claut, is located at around 2000 m.a.s.l., inside an altitude strip where successional phenomena are occurring with a natural increase in heath cover and an evolution of consolidated screes. An early analysis of the numerous phytosociological surveys carried out helped identifying in depth vegetation types and patterns of change (Poldini & Feoli, 1973; Feoli Chiapella & Poldini, 1993; Poldini & Martini, 1993; Poldini et al., 2004; Poldini & Vidali, 2012). The identification of homogenous vegetation areas was difficult because plant patchworks and dynamical stages are very common. For this reason, different areas were considered, and namely three plots sized 25 m2, one plot sized 2 m2 and four plots sized 1 m2. Complete series of data were collected in one of the plots sized 25 m2 and in the plot sized 2 m2, while only phytosociological surveys were performed in the smaller plots. The vegetation map consists in as many as 27 types (including associations, synusiae, dynamical stages and micro patchworks) plus three point habitats. Soil samples were collected and characterized, and a temperature data logger was installed.

Discussion The aim of this paper is to offer a preliminary evaluation of the methodology in terms of a) suitability for the ecological characteristics of the area, b) ability to detect and separate reactions to climate change as opposed to other endogenous changes c) cost/benefit ratio and d) relation and consistency with other similar projects. Regarding point a), the methodology can be applied only to few vegetation types with low cover and no stratification, e.g. snow beds with dwarf willows, while it is not suitable for well-developed primary pasture meadows, heaths and dwarf shrubs, where it was necessary to step down to 1 m2 plots only. A phenological analysis cannot be performed in high mountain areas, which are not easily reached, but could be used in educational projects with schools for analyzing the species found at the bottom of the valley. The lack of data about Bryophytes is also critical because these species are very important in snow bed cover. The high amount of data collected in the plots will need a proper statistical investigation as soon as temporal series are available. The intercept point method gives a large amount of information and reduces surveyors’ subjectivity. It is important to notice that, unlike other long-term monitoring projects (i.e. “CONECOFOR or GLORIA), no manual for field activities and no standardization procedure for data collection are now available. These tools are very useful when several work groups are active in different areas or in different monitoring years. In the subalpine belt it is really difficult to distinguish between different dynamical processes related to pastureland abandon (either related to human activities or to meaningful changes in Ungulate numbers). It would have been probably useful to give more information about the interpretation of data series, by means of a dynamical characterization of each plot. It is essential to define one or more reference models to help observe the variations, and this should be supplied before starting the next survey campaign. Regarding the analysis of costs/benefits, the methodology is expensive in terms of time and money when applied on all 8 plots; moreover, data sets could be too large and difficult to process. For these reasons, some changes are suggested, as follows: a complete investigation could be performed only in one plot, while only 1 m2 surveys could be done in the other; some more plots sized 1 m2 could be added, mainly in the alpine and nival belts of other mountains; more statistical analyses could also be done in order to investigate the relationships between environmental (temperature changes, snow persistence, etc.) and vegetation data. It seems critical that this project is not directly integrated with other long-term international monitoring programmes, e.g. “Gloria,” which have already generated some results for nearby mountain areas (Pauli et al., 2007; Holzinger, 2008; Erschbamer et al., 2009; Erschbamer et al., 2011).


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Conclusions The methodology proposed within the Climapark Programme for the Dolomiti Friulane Nature Park implies collecting a large amount of data, which is sometimes not possible. The method should be adjusted for the Ciadin della Meda area. It is suggested here that all types of analyses be performed only on one of the 25 m2 plots, and only 1 m2 surveys on the others, and that six more 1 m2 plots be added on other mountains with scattered vegetation cover in the nival belt, which are perhaps the most sensitive habitats to climate change. The new programme could expand the spectrum of investigated conditions at lower time and money costs. These fast surveys on 1 m2 plots will be collected every five years, while 10 years are considered as a minimum time interval to carry out the complete surveys and outline a vegetation map. It will be very important to organize all data in a database and to perform statistical analyses aimed at understanding the causal relations between vegetation and climate change patterns, by distinguishing successional changes from the ongoing primary (but also secondary) changes occurring in Ciadin della Meda.


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References Cannone, N. (2004). Minimum area assessment and different sampling approaches for the study of vegetation communities in Antarctica. Antarctic Science, 16(2), 157–164. Cannone, N., Sgorbati, S., & Guglielmini, M. (2007). Unexpected impacts of climatic change on alpine vegetation. Frontiers in Ecology and Environment, 7, 360–364. Erschbamer, B., Kiebacher, T., Mallaum, M., & Unterluggauer, P. (2009). Short-term signals of climate change along an altitudinal gradient in the South Alps. Plant Ecology, 202, 79–89. Erschbamer, B., Unterluggauer, P., Winkler, E., & Mallaum, M. (2011). Changes in plant species diversity revealed by long-term monitoring on mountain summits in the Dolomites (northern Italy). Preslia, 83, 387–401. Feoli Chiapella, L., & Poldini, L. (1993). Prati e pascoli del Friuli (NE Italia) su substrati basici. Studia Geobotanica, 13, 3–140. Gottfried, M., et al. (2012). Continent-wide response of mountain vegetation to climate change. Nature Climate Change, 2, 111–115. Grabherr, G., Pauli, H., & Gottfried, M. (2010). A worldwide observation of effects of climate change on mountain ecosystems. In A. Borsdorf et al. (Eds.), Challenges for mountain regions – Tackling complexity (pp. 50–57). Wien, Austria: Bohlau. Holzinger, B., et al. (2008). Changes in plant species richness over the last century in the eastern Swiss Alps: Elevational gradient, bedrock effects and migration rates. Plant Ecology, 195, 179–196. Pauli, H., et al. (2007). Signals of range expansions and contractions of vascular plants in the high Alps: Observations (1994–2004) at the GLORIA*master site Schrankogel, Tyrol, Austria. Global Change Biology, 13, 147–156. Poldini, L., & Feoli, E. (1976). Phytogeography and syntaxonomy of the Caricetum firmae L. s.l. in the Carnic Alps. Vegetatio, 32(1), 1–9. Poldini, L., & Martini, F. (1993). La vegetazione delle vallette nivali su calcare, dei conoidi e delle alluvioni nel Friuli (NE Italia). Studia Geobotanica, 13, 141–214. Poldini, L., & Vidali, M. (2012). Le serie di vegetazione della regione Friuli Venezia Giulia. In C. Blasi (Ed.), La vegetazione d’Italia (pp. 130–160). Roma, Italy: Palombi & Partner. Poldini, L., Oriolo, G., & Francescato, C. (2004). Mountain pine scrubs and heaths with Ericaceae in the south-eastern Alps. Plant Biosystems 138, 1, 53–85. Theurillat, J. P., & Guisa, A. (2001). Potential impact of climate change on vegetation in European Alps: A review. Clim. Change, 50, 77–109.


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Izvleček V sklopu projekta Climaparks je Furlanski naravoslovni muzej pripravil standardizirano metodologijo monitoringa in analize vplivov podnebnih sprememb na biotsko raznovrstnost. To metodologijo so leta 2012 uporabili na študijskem območju Ciadin della Meda v Naravnem parku Furlanskih Dolomitov. Poleg tega da predstavljajo “ničelno” oziroma izhodiščno točko, so zbrani podatki koristni tudi za določanje prednosti in/ali pomanjkljivosti metodologije. Metodološki pristop se zdi drugačen kot pri drugih projektih, ki se izvajajo drugje po Evopi in po svetu (npr. projekt GLORIA), prilagaja pa se tudi ocenjevanju sestojev pionirskih rastlinskih vrst, ki so tipične za nivalni pas. Glede na to, da je stanje na območju Ciadin della Meda precej kompleksno in razvito, so omenjeni pristop uporabili samo na nekaterih opazovalnih ploskvah.

Estratto Nell’ambito del progetto Climarpks è stata predisposta dal Museo Friulano di Storia Naturale una metodologia uniformata di monitoraggio e di analisi dei cambiamenti climatici sulla biodiversità. Essa è stata applicata in un’area studio del Parco Naturale delle Dolomiti Friulane durante il 2012. I dati raccolti costituiscono lo stato zero e sono utili anche per evidenziare pregi e difetti della metodologia. L’approccio metodologico risulta autonomo rispetto ad altri progetti di scala europea e globale (come ad esempio progetto Gloria) e si adatta alla valutazioni di vegetazioni del piano nivale, pioniere e poco stratificate. Nel caso del Ciadin della Meda la situazione è maggiormente complessa ed evoluta e quindi l’approccio è risultato applicabile solo ad alcuni plot.


Visitors in the Dolomiti Friulane Nature Park (Photo: D. Cappellari)


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Monitoring Tourist Flows in the Area of the Dolomiti Friulane Nature Park in 2011 and 2012, and Assessing Climate Change Impact on Visits to Parks Federica Minatelli,a Elettra Mianb Parco Naturale Dolomiti Friulane, Via Roma 4, 33080 Cimolais (PN), Italy. b Cooperativa S.T.A.F., P.le della Vittoria 1, 33080 Barcis, Italy. Correspondence: a federica.minatelli@gmail.com, b coopstaf@libero.it.

a

Abstract Monitoring the flow of visitors in the Dolomiti Friulane Nature Park is an essential activity to help planning, managing and promoting sustainable economic development in the territory. The activity consisted in monitoring the daily flow of visitors in a few selected areas of the Park, aimed at detecting tourist presence and at the same time comparing the collected information with data about the weather conditions in the area. Because the pattern of tourist flow in the Park actually varies depending on weather conditions, the study suggests that climate change is likely to have an impact on the number of visitors Keywords: sustainable tourism, climate change, monitoring.

INTRODUCTION Generally speaking, tourism plays a key economic role for protected areas, as it generates considerable benefits for the local economy. On the other hand, tourism brings in some environmental sacrifice. Successfully matching the need to protect the environmental heritage and to organize the recreational use and the economic interests of a territory can be of considerable help for an efficient management of protected areas (Sustainable tourism in protected areas: Guidelines for planning and management, 2002). While the territory of the Dolomiti Friulane Nature Park does not include any facilities connected to tourist sports activities with a high environmental impact, e.g. ski-lifting facilities, still a large number of tourists and users practice sports or recreational and cultural activities in the protected area throughout the year, and namely hiking, climbing, backcountry skiing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, rafting, canyoning, angling, overnight staying in mountain huts and pasture lodges, and exploring visitor centres. If all these activities are not managed properly, they can have a negative impact on the natural environment, that is loss of biodiversity and high emissions of CO2. The latter consideration highlights that there exists a very close link between the type of recreational/sports activity and climate. Climate represents a great challenge for alpine tourism, as the latter must adjust to changes and, at the same time, become more climate compatible by reducing direct and indirect emissions of CO2. Transport and energy are

key sectors with a huge potential to reduce CO2 emissions (Tourism in climate change, CIPRA, 2011). For these reasons, the Dolomiti Friulane Nature Park has been monitoring visitor flows for several years with a view to managing the territory at best. This means protecting the areas at a higher risk of environmental impact and of biodiversity loss and, simultaneously, improving services in less sensitive areas. The information collected in the past years is sourced from nature tours for schools and all sorts of groups led by the Park’s staff, from the flows to the Park’s visitor centres and tourists staying in the mountain huts and pasture lodges included in the territory of the Park. By joining Climaparks programme, the Park’s authority has decided to upgrade tourist flow monitoring with the help of automatic pedometers installed in two frequently hiked areas and of a field survey carried out in the main access valleys and highelevation tracks within the Park.

Methods Automatic pedometer monitoring method Two automatic pedometers were installed in two strategic areas of the Park, that is, the “aviary area” neighbouring the village of Andreis (PN) and the track to Rifugio Pordenone and


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an infrared or Bluetooth connection with a PDA. A special software helps analysing and processing the collected data by hour, day, month and year, number of entries and exits, etc.

Field monitoring method

Figure 1. Way of operation of logger. Source: Eco-Counter (n.d.).

to Val Montanaia, which is the main access to CAI trail No. 353 leading to the “Campanile,” one of the highlights of the Park. The automatic people counters are composed of four plates, a transducer, a pipe, a cable with a waterproof socket, and an Eco-Combo logger. The way of operation is quite simple: four underground micro-pressure sensitive plates help detect pedestrian passage. A special software allows counting only one passage even if a person makes two steps on a plate. The level of accuracy is ± 5%, with a minimum detected pressure equal to a child weighing 10 kg (Eco-Counter, n.d.). Installing four plates allows detecting people’s direction and therefore monitoring entry and exit. Hourly data can be broken down to 15 minutes. The logger collects data via

Figure 2. Installation of logger in Val Montanaia. Photo by G. Giordani.

The field monitoring activity was carried out by Cooperativa S.T.A.F. based in Barcis (PN) in the summer of 2011 and 2012. The aim was to survey tourist flow in the main access valleys and along the high-elevation tracks of the Park’s territory. As a priority criterion, the surveyors were selected among experts with a good knowledge of the area, and were offered prior to the field activity a general training about the Park during two briefing sessions held in the headquarters of the Park’s Authority in Cimolais (PN) and in the headquarters of Cooperativa S.T.A.F in Barcis (PN). The activity started at the last weekend of July and ended on the Sunday following mid-August, for a total of six sessions yearly, so as to cover the period of highest tourist presence, although the weather conditions were not always favourable. Surveyors were given survey sheets (Figure 3) to fill in during their activity. Monitoring was performed along the tracks and in the sites previously identified, by collecting full information about the number and details of motor vehicles (type, origin, etc.) and people standing or passing, and accurately noting the site and hour of collection. The above-mentioned method was agreed with the partners of the project, and in particular with partner No. 9 – Provincial government of Ravenna – who was the head of work package 4 for tourist flow monitoring. Beside monitoring, surveyors spread information about the protected area and about Climaparks programme as they met visitors and tourists, who proved to be interested and involved. In the area at the bottom of the valleys, surveyors worked at daytime and explored the following valleys, partly on foot and partly by car: Val Meduna, Val Silisia, Val Cimoliana and Val Zemola, Val Settimana and Alta Val Cellina, Val di Giaf. When monitoring high-elevation tracks, surveyors stayed overnight in a pasture lodge and worked for twenty-four hours in total. The monitored areas were as follows: Casera

Figure 3. Data collection sheet.


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Bedin and Rifugio Maniago in Val Zemola; Casera Bregolina Grande and Bregolina Piccola in Val Cimoliana; Casera Valine in Val Silisia; Casera Chiampiuz, Casera Masons and Rifugio Flaiban-Pacherini in the area of Forni. The activity guaranteed that nine surveyors were simultaneously exploring the main valleys of the area over the weekend during the periods of highest tourist flow, so that monitoring ensured visibility and good control over the territory, with certainly positive effects for the Park’s users. Beside promoting and spreading information about the activity, surveyors guaranteed that any possible emergencies or needs could be promptly addressed, with a view to ensuring a correct usage and protection of the environment.

Results Automatic pedometer monitoring method The data collected and downloaded from May 2011 through May 2013 indicate that the tourist flow was greater with good weather, from April through September, and reached a peak in August. In autumn and winter months, the number of visitors fell abruptly and reached the minimum level in November. A comparison of these data with weather data shows that the lowest flow coincides with the rainiest months of the year (Figure 4).

Field surveys showed that Val Cimoliana is the most visited valley, with a peak in August. Taking 15 August as a reference, the total number of counted visitors amounted to 51 in 2011 and 232 in 2012. Casera Bedin is the most popular high-elevation site, with a peak in July 2011 totalling 93 people and 13 overnight stays, and a peak in August 2012 totalling 154 people and 19 overnight stays.

Discussion The automatic pedometers installed within the Park can supply useful information that can be easily processed. Concerning the data collected with survey sheets during field monitoring, they are less easily processed. Although monitoring activities lasted for two consecutive years and during the same periods, data cannot be compared and flow patterns cannot be estimated. As a matter of fact, the following variables must be taken into account: – weather conditions were very different in the two seasons; – the majority of the Park’s users do not stay overnight in the facilities of the area, as they often come from nearby areas to visit or practice some activities for one day only. Anyway, a quick analysis of the collected data helps identifying the most hiked (valley and high-elevation) sites. Moreover, some contingent conditions can alter sizably the number of users-visitors in a certain area. By way of example, the road to Val Settimana was closed after a landslip in July 2011 and, as a consequence, the mountain hut of Rifugio Pussa lying in the inner part of the valley could not be reached for the whole season. In spite of these remarks, the results allowed understanding that weather conditions have a huge impact on the presence of excursionists and other users of the territory (e.g. families using the facilities lying at the bottom of the valleys).

Conclusion Figure 4. Data collected between July 2012 and May 2013 by the automatic pedometer installed near the aviaries in Andreis (PN).

Field monitoring method The activity guaranteed that nine surveyors were simultaneously exploring the main valleys of the area over the weekend during the periods of highest tourist flow, so that monitoring ensured visibility and good control over the territory, with certainly positive effects for the Park’s users. Beside promoting and spreading information about the activity, surveyors guaranteed that any possible emergencies or needs could be promptly addressed, with a view to ensuring a correct usage and protection of the environment.

Monitoring over a far longer term will be needed to obtain a more complete outlook. Also, it would be necessary to standardize the method of collection in all “surveyed areas” and to expand the information collected about the users, now limited to their number, with some important details about their place of origin, type of group (tourists, schools) and age range of the schools involved in educational projects. It is therefore recommended that similar activities be repeated beyond the scope of Climaparks project.


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References Abegg, B. (2011). Turismo nel cambiamento climatico. Schaan, Liechtenstein: CIPRA Internationale Alpenschutzkommission. Retrieved 24 April 2013 from http://www.cipra.org/it/alpmedia /pubblicazioni/4606 Becheri, E., & Maggiore, G. (Eds.). (2011). Rapporto sul turismo italiano. Milano, Italy: Franco Angeli. Eagles, P. F. J., McCool, S. F., & Haynes, C. D. (2002). Sustainable tourism in protected areas: Guidelines for planning and management. Gland, Switzerland: IUCN – The World Conservation Union. Eco-Counter. (n.d.). Acoustic SLAB. Retrieved from http://www.eco-compteur.com/Slab-Sensor.html ?wpid=15035 Ente Foreste della Sardegna – Regione Autonoma della Sardegna. (2010). Monitoraggio del flusso turistico nei complessi forestali gestiti dall’Ente Foreste della Sardegna. Author. Retrieved 24 April 2013 from http://www.sardegnaambiente. it/documenti/3_68_20110210092649.pdf Federazione EUROPARC. (1999). European charter for sustainable tourism in protected areas. Author. Retrieved 24 April 2013 from http://www.parks.it/federparchi/PDF/CharterFullText.pdf Parks & Benefits. (2009). Guide to sustainable tourism in protected areas. Author. Rizzioli, B. (2012). Monitoraggio delle attività turistiche e sportive e creazione di gruppi locali. Retrieved 24 April 2013 from http://www.regione.piemonte.it/agri/area_tecnico_scientifica/osserv_faun /progetti/dwd/alcotra/relFinali/6T.pdf


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Izvleček Spremljanje turističnih tokov je ključnega pomena, da bi načrtovali, upravljali in spodbujali trajnostni sonaravni napredek območja oz. gospodarski napredek v okviru omejitev okolja. V raziskavi smo spremljali dnevni pritok obiskovalcev na nekaterih vzorčnih območjih Parka. To spremljanje je imelo dvojni namen in sicer ugotavljanje prisotnosti turistov in zbiranje potrebnih podatkov, katere bi lahko vzporedno primerjali z lokalnimi meteorološkimi podatki. Na ta način smo želeli nadzirati pritok turistov na območje parka v zvezi z vremenskimi razmerami in preveriti, če podnebje in njegove morebitne spremembe pogojujejo turistične dinamike.

Estratto Il monitoraggio del flusso di visitatori del Parco Naturale Dolomiti Friulane è un’attività indispensabile per poter pianificare, gestire e promuovere lo sviluppo economico del territorio in modo sostenibile.Nell’indagine è stato monitorato il flusso giornaliero in alcune aree campione del territorio del Parco, con il duplice scopo di rilevare le presenze turistiche e di raccogliere dati utili al fine di poterli successivamente relazionare con i dati meteorologici della zona, mettendo in luce le dinamiche dell’afflusso di turisti nell’area del Parco rispetto alle condizioni meteo e quindi poter ipotizzare l’impatto del clima e dei cambiamenti climatici sul flusso di visitatori.


Claut Visitorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s center (Photo: E. Granziera).


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Energy Plan of Dolomiti Friulane Nature Park Elisa Tomasinsig CETA Centro di Ecologia Teorica ed Applicata, Via Licinio, 44, 34170 Gorizia, Italy.

Abstract A major environmental impact generated by human activities is represented by the emissions in the atmosphere of green house gases released by fossil combustibles used to produce energy. An analysis of energy consumption in the Dolomiti Friulane Nature Park showed that the activities carried out by the Park Authority contribute CO2 emissions into the atmosphere of over 124 tons yearly, 70% of which result from the consumption of fossil combustibles used to heat the Park’s facilities. An Energy Plan is a useful tool to plan and schedule the actions the Park Authority intends to start with a view to reducing the impact on the ongoing climate changes, while at the same time improving the environmental sustainability of the activities promoted. Keywords: Energy Plan, Friulian Dolomites Natural Park, environmental impact

INTRODUCTION An Energy Plan can improve the Park Authority’s energy balance in different ways: detecting any possible waste caused by poor performance of the facilities, air conditioning system, means of transport or users’ behaviour, and starting actions aimed at eliminating the causes of poor performance; evaluating local availability of renewable energy sources and promoting their usage to meet energy needs. By adopting this tool, the Park Authority will be able to improve energy balance and reduce the costs for buying energy (electricity, natural gas, GPL, fuel oil, petrol) as a result of reducing consumption, self-producing energy from renewable sources, and possibly selling the share of energy generated by renewable sources exceeding the Park’s needs.

Methods An Energy Plan consists in an early analysis section, based on a recognition of the state of the art, and in a proactive section aimed at identifying objectives and actions recommended to reach them, including an estimation of the required financial resources. The recognition of the state of the art involves an inspection of the Authority’s energy consumption. The latter is related to the activities of in-house or outsourced staff, to the means and equipment used, and

to the facilities where they are carried out. For the sake of simplicity, the considered sources of consumption were as followed: facilities, means of transport, direct and indirect activities. The energy consumption attributed to “facilities” regards the consumption of combustibles for air conditioning and the consumption of power for lighting and equipments (computers, audiovisuals, office fixings, other) installed in the facilities. The energy consumption attributed to transport is related to the consumption of fuel (petrol, fuel oil, or other) for the vehicles owned by the Authority. The energy consumption attributed to direct and indirect activities, based on the considerations above, concerns all the activities other than the ones performed inside the facilities or involving the use of any means of transport that are carried out by the staff of the Authority or entrusted to third parties through agreements or tenders. In the analysis offered below, the Park’s consumption was broken down by final destination (air conditioning of facilities; electric/electronic equipment; means of transport) and by energy source or vector used (fuel oil, GPL, petrol, electric power). The collection of data about yearly consumption lasted from 2004 to 2011. The information about the consumption of electricity, heating fuel, and fuel for vehicles is sourced from regular inspections of meters, as well as registers or


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Table 1. Coefficients for unit conversion

Fuel Oil Petrol GPL Electricity

udm t t t MWh

accounting documents supplied by the Park Authority. The different consumption measurement units (kg, litres, kWh, etc.) have all been converted into equivalent petroleum tons (tep) by using the coefficients reported in Table 1.

Results Energy consumption The total yearly consumption of the Park Authority amounted to 32 TEP in 2011. The value fell gradually from 2004 to 2006, then grew sizably (by about 50% yearly) in 2007 and 2008, and finally started falling again, but weakly, from 2008 to 2010. Energy consumption remained essentially stable in 2010 and 2011. The greatest variations concerned the consumption for air conditioning. The item, in fact, accounts for over 50% of the total yearly consumption of the Park Authority, with a progressive increase to 70% in 2011 as the facilities were

Figure 1. Breakdown by final destination of yearly energy consumption.

Figure 2. Breakdown by source of energy of yearly consumption.

tep 1.08 1.20 1.10 0.086

t CO2 eq 3.024 3.173 3.141 0.503

increasingly more used. The most widely consumed source of energy is GPL, as it is used to heat almost all the facilities.

Green house gas emissions Green house gas emissions generated by the Park Authority, deriving from the usage of fossil combustibles, average 124 tons/year of CO2 eq. An analysis of the data referred to the past three years reveals that the largest share of green house gases is released by GPL used for heating. The emissions generated by the combustion of fuel gas used for both heating and vehicles, and by electric power are only just lower. Electricity, which accounts for about 18% of consumption on average, generates 26% of emissions, because of its high specific emissions per consumed energy unit

Energy consumption in facilities The energy consumption of the Park’s facilities represent the main item of consumption by the Authority. With an aim of estimating the prospective reduction of consumption and therefore contributing to curb greenhouse gas emissions, the analysis of 6 buildings was coupled with an energy auditing to evaluate and suggest some corrective interventions. The facilities making the object of this detailed analysis were as follows: the Park Authority’s Headquarters in Cimolais, the Visitor Centre in Erto e Casso, the Visitor Centre in Forni di Sopra, the Visitor Centre in Forni di Sotto, the Visitor Centre in Frisanco, the “Ex Mugolio” guesthouse in Cimolais. All heating systems of the above-mentioned facilities are powered by GPL, with the exception of the Visitor Centre in Erto e Casso, which is heated with fuel oil.

Figure 3. Breakdown by final destination of mean CO2 emissions per year.


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Table 2. Energy performance index

Facility Headquarters – Cimolais VC - Erto e Casso VC - Forni di Sopra VC - Forni di Soo VC - Frisanco Guesthouse - Ex Mugolio

Average real consumpon Global energy performance 3 2009–2011 (kWh/year) indexa (kWh/m year)

Energy class

Reference threshold according to 3 standards in forceb (kWh/m year)

134,879

59.20

F

23.38

43,250 14,876 3,314 6,762 18,401

61.20 81.50 62.22 42.19 81.32

F G G E E

27.16 24.18 24.30 21.67 47.92

Source: data supplied by surveyor G. Bertoli. a Calculated in standard operating conditions. b Thresholds fixed for new or renovated buildings according to Italian DM 26 June 2009. Table 3. Some corrections aimed at improving the facilities

Facility locaon Headquarters in Cimolais VC in Erto e Casso VC in Forni di SoŠo

VC in Frisanco Guesthouse – ex Mugolio

Correcon Paral insulaon of building Internal insulaon by wood fibre lining Insulaon of vercal walls, under-roof and some roof areas. Paral insulaon of building Paral insulaon of building

Fossil combusble a saved (TEP/year) 2.3

Rao of reduced energy need (%) 17

Emissions avoided (t/year) 5.0

1.9

48

6.2

0.1

nd

0.3

0.3

16

1.0

0.1

4

0.3

For electric power, the replaced fossil combustible was calculated as the amount required to produce one energy unit (kWh) in the national power plant system.

a

An energy auditing was carried out in each facility so as to estimate their energy “quality.” The results of the auditing are summarized in Table 2, which reports the global energy performance index, calculated according to the current standards in force, and the relevant energy class of the concerned buildings. A comparison of the information reported in Table 2 immediately reveals different values of energy consumption in the individual facilities (column 2). The data, however, do not account for the different degrees of usage: low consumption is often owed to a limited usage of the facility, and not to good performance of the building. This becomes clear when the energy performance indexes calculated in standard operating conditions (column 3) and the energy class of each building (column 4) are compared. All the analyzed facilities show poor energy efficiency, as their energy performance indexes exceed by far the thresholds fixed for new buildings.

Other energy consumption items The energy consumption generated by the transport means owned by the Park accounts for a trivial share of the

total consumption. An analysis of fuel consumption regarded 5 vehicles, 4 of which are fuelled by fuel oil and 1 by petrol. The consumption related to direct and indirect activities, e.g. actions aimed at protecting the territory, studying and protecting biodiversity, training and information spreading, raising awareness of environmental issues carried out directly in the territory of the Park, generate an utterly trivial impact on total energy consumption.

The potential offered by renewable sources Some renewable sources of energy are found inside the Park and could be tapped to produce electric or thermal energy both in a safe way for the territory and in an environmentally sustainable way. This approach would help make the most of the territory and reduce the environmental impact generated by the consumption of fossil combustibles. A survey was conducted to measure the sources of water, wind, solar, forestry and biogas-generating biomass energies, so as to assess their potential exploitation and the possibility to install small low-impact power plants capable of tapping the resources and of self-generating energy. The survey


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Table 4. Some possible plants powered by renewable energy sources

Facility Nominal power Fossil combusble Rao of energy Emissions a locaon (kW) replaced (TEP/year) need met (%) avoided (t/year) Installaon Headquarters Central heang plant powered 116 10 100 35 in Cimolais by woodchips from forestry biomass VC in Forni di Connecon with district heang – 1.3 100 3.6 Sopra Headquarters Photovoltaic power staon 25.5 4.8 63 12.1 in Cimolais VC in Frisanco Photovoltaic power staon 6.7 1.1 100 2.8 2 Guesthouse/ex Solar power staon for DHW 32 m (occupied 0.8 46 3.8 surface) Mugolio producon For electric power, the replaced fossil combustible was calculated as the amount required to produce one energy unit (kWh) in the national power plant system.

a

demonstrated that there are some interesting opportunities to exploit forestry biomasses, also thanks to the existence of local businesses working in the sectors of early wood processing and of solar-powered production of heat and electricity. The plants suggested are reported in Table 4. The other energy sources (that is, wind and water energy) cannot be tapped in current conditions.

Discussion Some actions were suggested to improve the energy performance of the facilities and to replace fossil combustibles with renewable sources of energy. In addition to them, it was recommended to start actions aimed at spreading information and raising the public opinion’s and the Park’s users’ awareness about the issues of energy, energy saving and usage of renewable sources. This will not only help enhance public awareness but also favour the adoption of similar actions both inside and outside the Park’s territory. The most meaningful suggestions in terms of prospective improvement of the energy efficiency of the facilities and of the installation of self-generating energy plants are listed below. In particular, the main results of the above-mentioned actions are summarized in Table 3 and Table 4.

Conclusions Based on the surveys conducted and on the evaluation of the possible actions aimed at enhancing energy efficiency and at developing the available renewable sources, some actions were suggested to improve the energy balance of the Dolomiti Friulane Nature Park and to abate green house gas emissions. As of today, the Park Authority has started to pursue this objective, for instance by way of a photovoltaic power station recently installed on the roof of the Visitor Centre in Claut. Other possible actions will be studied and coupled with the identification of possible investment funds based on the results of the present study.


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References Centro di Ecologia Teorica e Applicata (CETA). (2012). Piano dell’energia del Parco Naturale Dolomiti Friulane: Relazione finale. Author.

Izvleček Človeške dejavnosti imajo nesporen vpliv na okolje. Pomembno vlogo imajo emisije toplogrednih plinov, ki nastanejo zaradi uporabe fosilnih goriv za proizvodnjo energije. Pri proučevanju energetske porabe Naravnega parka Furlanski Dolomiti smo ugotovili, da celoletne dejavnosti oddajo v ozračje preko 124t ogljikovega dioksida. Kar 70% tega CO2 izvira iz porabe fosilnih goriv za ogrevanje objektov. Energetski načrt je orodje za strateško načrtovanje in programiranje ukrepov za povečanje okoljske trajnosti, ki bodo usmerjeni v zmanjšanje vpliva na okolje, še posebno na podnebne spremembe.

Estratto Tra gli impatti ambientali esercitati dall’attività umane un ruolo determinate è legato alle emissioni di gas climalteranti in atmosfera che a loro volta vengono generate dall’impiego dei combustibili fossili per la produzione energetica. Dall’analisi dei consumi energetici del Parco Naturale Dolomiti Friulane è emerso come ogni anno le attività esercitate dall’Ente contribuiscano ad emettere in atmosfera oltre 124t di CO2, il 70% delle quali derivano dal consumo di combustibili fossili per il riscaldamento degli edifici. Il Piano dell’energia è uno strumento di pianificazione e programmazione delle azioni che l’Ente parco intende promuovere per ridurre il proprio impatto sui cambiamenti climatici in atto, accrescendo la sostenibilità ambientale delle azioni da esso promosse.


Breeding colony of Black-headed Gulls and Common terns in the Po Delta (Photo: I. Ĺ kornik)


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PO DELTA NATURE PARK VENETO River and sea meet and mix, shaping the widest wetland in Italy: Po Delta. This is a birdwatcher’s paradise – 370 species and stunning scenery, nature grandeur above and under sea level. The landscape is a smoothly changing of different environments that step by step appear from the mainland to the sea: the relaxing countryside, the fresh riverbanks, the wild wetlands, the man made fishing ponds, the lagoons and sandbars. People settled here centuries and centuries ago, helping since then nature shaping its forms, wisely and skilfully, striking the balance between land and water. To protect and enhance nature and cultural heritage of the area, in 1997 the regional government of Veneto established the Po Delta Nature Park. Park area is spread over 12.600 ha, within 9 municipalities in the Province of Rovigo: Adria, Ariano nel Polesine, Corbola, Loreo, Papozze, Porto Viro, Porto Tolle, Rosolina and Taglio di Po. The best places to start your travel in the delta area, among many others managed by the Nature Park, are the Visitors’ Centre in Porto Viro, the Coastal Botanical Garden in Porto Caleri, Cà Vendramin Drainage Museum and San Basilio Culture Centre.

Parco Regionale Veneto del Delta del Po Via Marconi, 6 Ariano nel Polesine 45012 Rovigo ITALIJA Phone: +39 (0) 426 372202 Fax: +39 (0) 426 373035 http://www.parcodeltapo.org info@parcodeltapo.org


Bluethroat (Luscinia svecica) captured at the Caâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Pisani (Photo: L. Sattin)


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Monitoring of Passerines and Other Bird Species Populations With the Constant Effort Ringing Method at the Ca’ Pisani Floodplain, Po Delta (RO) Emiliano Verza, Danilo Trombin, Andrea Favaretto, Luca Sattin, Albertino Frigo, Michele Bovo c/o Associazione C. N. Sagittaria, Via Badaloni 9, 45100 Rovigo, Italy. Correspondence: sagittaria.at@libero.it.

Abstract This research, carried out by the Association Sagittaria (Rovigo, Veneto, Italy) on behalf of Regional Park of the Po Delta, involved the study of songbirds in the Delta Veneto (Rovigo). The project was divided into two parts: activation of a ringing station with “Prisco” method, by capturing birds with mist nets, and studying the breeding population of Passeriformes and related species. The site chosen has been the floodplain of Ca' Pisani (Porto Viro), in the “Maistra” Po river branch, with extensive reed beds and riparian forest with a prevalence of willows. The capturing sessions, from March 2012 to April 2013, allowed to ring 1321 birds of 39 species. The highest number of catches were recorded in the months of April, September and October, at the time of migration season. Over 50% of the birds captured belonged to the following species: Blackcap, Reed Warbler and Robin, thanks to the presence of wetlands and wooded areas. Analyzing the phenology of the catches for many species, has been observed a good match with the national data, while for some other was, however, observed a delay in the passage. An analysis of the breeding population shown in some cases differences with the national or European trends. From this analysis, it became quite evident that different species are showing rapid changes in density and range, not directly connected with changes in land use of the area of the Delta. Such changes could be directly linked with climate change. For Cetti's Warbler and Zitting Cisticola, in fact, is known as large fluctuations are caused by very cold winters.

INTRODUCTION

Methods

With Director Decree No. 35 of 16 February 2012 the Veneto Regional Park of the Po Delta has entrusted the Cultural Naturalistic Association “Sagittaria” of Rovigo (www. associazionesagittaria.it) for the research “Monitoring of populations of songbirds and other species, through the constant effort ringing method.” The activities have focused on the activation of a ringing station with “Prisco” method, by capturing birds with mist nets (especially passerines). The site chosen has been the floodplain of Ca’ Pisani (Porto Viro), owned by the Veneto Regional Park of the Po Delta and managed by the Peripheral Unit of the Regional Forest Service of Padua and Rovigo.

Location of the ringing station The site chosen has been the floodplain of Ca’ Pisani, located in the municipality of Porto Viro (RO), “lanca or “golena” placed along the left bank of the “Maistra” Po river branch. This site was chosen because of the following characteristics: – Area included within the perimeter of the Veneto Regional Park of the Po Delta, that owns the property; – Fenced area and actively managed by the Forest Service, which provides cleaning, security and mowing of paths; – High environmental variability: the site, in fact, presents wet woods, meadows, reed bands, shrubberies. The area is completely surrounded by a bank and is included in the wider area of the Po di Maistra. The northern part is dominated


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by reed beds of Phragmites australis interspersed with less wet shrubs chains of Amorpha fruticosa, Rubus ulmifolius and Sambucus nigra. In the southern part, however, riparian forest of Salix alba is dominant, subject to periodic flooding; as well as the willows, clearly dominant, there are black poplars, white poplars, alders, ashes. This area falls entirely in SIC “Delta del Po: final stretch and venetian delta” (IT3270017) and the SPA “Delta del Po” (IT3270023); is partially codified under the Habitats Directive 92/43/EEC, as “Alluvial forests with Alnus glutinosa and Fraxinus excelsior (Alno-Padion, Alnion incanae, Salicion albae)” (91E0). – High variability of bird species: the site falls within a quadrant UTM (10 km on each side) which is among the 10 richest in species of nesting birds from all over Italy (www. ornitho.it). Remarkable is the concentration of species of Passeriformes, even rare or uncommon, including the Bearded Reedling (Panurus biarmucus), the Great Grey Shrike (Lanius excubitor) and the Woodlark (Lullula arborea). In 2011, Sagittaria has developed a university thesis to monitor breeding populations of songbirds in the Po Delta. Through this census (thesis viewable on the site www.associazionesagittaria.it) in the floodplain of Ca’ Pisani emerged a population of Passerines, especially “Warblers,” very interesting, and with high densities. Among the 15 sites investigated, the floodplain of Ca’ Pisani has been the richest in “Warblers” (hosted 25% of singing males recorded, belonging to 7 species, 5 of which nesting); here it was reached the second higher density: 3.71 singing males per hectare. This rate of biodiversity confirm the richness of the site. – Optimum characteristics of “catchability”: this floodplain is equipped with an articulated and well-groomed trails, entirely suited for mist nets.

Figure 1. Red circle: location of the study site in the Natura 2000 Network area of the Po Delta.

Figure 2. View of the floodplain, showing the bands of reeds. Photo by E. Verza.

Procedure The study was conducted by analyzing phenology and morphology, in particular of Passeriformes, captured with mist nets. For each bird captured was been applied a metal ring, according to the method of scientific ringing. This activity is coordinated by ISPRA (Institute for Environmental Protection and Research). Catches have been physically

Figure 3. Trapping activities. Photo by D. Trombin.


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tions, with the suspension of these from December 2012 to late January 2013. In February, the two sessions were performed, and due to climatic anomalies from late winter to early spring, with the presence of intense and continuous rains, in March and April it was possible to carry out a single capture session per month.

Results General analysis Figure 4. Ringers in activity. Photo by E. Verza.

carried out by high qualified staff. The project involved at least two ringers each session, one of these with permission of type “A.” The team of ringers was composed by: – Andrea Favaretto (permit type A), – Luca Sattin (permit type A), – Albertino Frigo (permit type C), – Michele Bovo (permit type C). For catching have been used “mist-nets,” positioned along transects made in existing paths. The transepts, in number of 3, stretch with a east-west orientation, in order to better exploit the movement of birds in transit. The transects intercept different environmental types of river habitats: pure reed beds, reeds and shrubs, bushes, riparian forest. Their total length is 216 m. This method of capture is bloodless, well established and subject to both national and European application protocols. The transect 1 is the one with most environmental diversification, next to the reed; the transect 3, instead, is the one with more trees.

From March 2012 to April 2013 were captured a total of 1321 birds, of which 1159 in 2012. In addition to the individuals captured and marked with rings, there are those “auto-recaptured” (individuals captured

Figure 5. Individuals captured in the period from March 2012 to April 2013.

Time schedule The project provided the realization of 29 capture sessions, developed over one year. Capture operations had started in late March 2012, with three sessions per month, which later became 2 for the period from November to February. Starting in December 2012, a combination of negative factors (bad weather conditions, partial unavailability of the site due to work of hydraulic reset) slowed capture opera-

Figure 6. Individuals auto-recaptured in the period from March 2012 to April 2013.

Table 1. Birds captured by year

Year 2012 2013

N° sessions 24 5

N° species 35 24

Birds captured 1159 162

Birds autorecaptured 224 54

Birds recaptured 3

Total 1386 216


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Table 2. Birds captured in years 2012 and 2013

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39

Common name Blackcap Reed Warbler Robin Garden Warbler Blue Tit Great Tit Nighngale Long-tailed Tit Goldcrest Blackbird Chiffchaff Great Reed Warbler Chaffinch Ceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Warbler Dunnock Greenfinch Marsh Warbler Pied Flycatcher Wren Song Thrush Willow Warbler Sedge Warbler Icterine Warbler Whitethroat Lesser Whitethroat Wood Warbler Reed Bunng Bluethroat Penduline Tit Redstart Starling Mallard Wryneck Night Heron Red-backed Shrike House Sparrow Sardinian Warbler Great Spoed Woodpecker Firecrest Total

Scienfic name Sylvia atricapilla Acrocephalus scirpaceus Erithacus rubecula Sylvia borin Cyanistes caeruleus Parus major Luscinia megarhynchos Aegithalos caudatus Regulus regulus Turdus merula Phylloscopus collybita Acrocephalus arundinaceus Fringilla coelebs Cea ce Prunella modularis Carduelis chloris Acrocephalus palustris Ficedula hypoleuca Troglodytes troglodytes Turdus philomelos Phylloscopus trochilus Acrocephalus schoenobaenus Hippolais icterina Sylvia communis Sylvia curruca Phylloscopus sibilatrix Emberiza schoeniclus Luscinia svecica Remiz pendulinus Phoenicurus phoenicurus Sturnus vulgaris Anas platyrhynchos Jynx torquilla Nyccorax nyccorax Lanius collurio Passer domescus Sylvia melanocephala Dendrocopos major Regulus ignicapillus

but already marked in previous sessions at the same site, usually identified with the letters â&#x20AC;&#x153;arâ&#x20AC;?) and those recaptured (marked in other sites, with code â&#x20AC;&#x153;râ&#x20AC;?). This is because many individuals spend a relatively long period of time even at the site, for trophic, breeding or wintering reasons. Those recaptured, however, come from other sites, and provide a

2012 262 233 169 87 54 42 43 34 33 28 10 17 9 15 13 12 13 11 11 8 6 8 7 5 5 5 1 4 4 3 2 2 1 1 1

1159

2013 27 1 39 20 10 3 3 8 21 7 1 2 2 1 2 4 1 1 1 4

1 1 1 1 162

Total 289 234 208 87 74 52 43 37 36 36 31 17 16 15 14 14 13 13 12 10 10 9 7 6 6 5 5 4 4 3 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1321

lot of information in relation to the migratory movements, fidelity to the sites and the survival rate. In 2012, 3 recaptures were made: two birds ringed in Italy (two Reed Warblers) and a Blackcap with a Norwegian ring. The trend of birds captured shows that there is a first peak in April, and a second in May and June, for the passage of


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Acrocephalus birds and other sub-Saharan species. From July onwards, the number of individuals captured Increases gradually until it reaches its peak in September, for the passage of the post-nuptial migration and dispersal of young of the year. Obviously, the individuals auto-recaptured increase with the passage of the sessions, hand in hand with the rise of individuals marked in the site. Here can be observed two peaks: the first in June–July for the presence of the site of breeding adults and young of the year, the second in the

presence of tits, that breed in the area significantly.

Analysis of the species It is subsequently analyzed the phenology of some species considered most representative regarding the study of migration, or other phases of the life cycle of songbirds.

Acrocephalus birds The Reed Warbler winters in Africa, and is therefore present in the Po Delta only as a migrant and as a breeder. In Italy shows two peaks of presence, in conjunction with the steps of pre-nuptial and post-breeding dispersal. The peak migration recorded in 2012 at Ca’ Pisani is shifted a little later than observed on average in Italy (Licheri & Spina, 2002); we recorded a good presence of individuals in summer breeding dispersion. At the ringing station were recaptured two individuals previously marked, whose data are shown below. First individual: – Captured on 22/6/2005 in Oasis of Ca’ Mello (Porto Tolle).

Figure 7. Individuals captured in the period from March 2012 to April 2013.

winter, with the onset of wintering individuals. The presence of a high number of auto-recaptured of some species confirms the fact that many reed warblers, blackcaps, nightingales and tits marked are actually in reproduction within the study site. The most captured species is the Blackcap, the most common warbler in the Delta, followed by Reed Warbler, demonstrating the goodness of the site for the Acrocephalus specie. The Robin turns out to be the third most important species, thanks to the passage of migratory birds. These three species, together with the Garden Warbler, represent as much as 62% of individuals captured. Also important is the

Figure 8. Reed Warbler, individuals captured.

Table 3. Birds auto-recaptured in years 2012 and 2013

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

Common name Blackcap Robin Ce’s Warbler Blue Tis Great Tit Long-tailed Tit Dunnock Blackbird Nighngale Great Reed Warbler Reed Warbler Goldcrest Wren Total

Scienfic name Sylvia atricapilla Erithacus rubecula Cea ce Cyanistes caeruleus Parus major Aegithalos caudatus Prunella modularis Turdus merula Luscinia megarhynchos Acrocephalus arundinaceus Acrocephalus scirpaceus Regulus regulus Troglodytes troglodytes

Individua 41 19 9 45 21 33 3 3 18 3 77 3 3 278


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– 28/5/2012 recaptured in the floodplain of Ca’ Pisani. – Days spent: 2530. – Distance between the two sites: 14,43 km. It is remarkable to note that this individual has shown loyalty to the site, presumably nesting. Second individual: – Captured on 10/09/2011 in Beccara Nuova - Argenta (FE). – Recaptured on 28/07/2012 in floodplain Ca’ Pisani. – Days spent: 322. – Distance between the two sites: 56.66 km. The individual was ringed in 2011 as a juvenile. Also in this case there is some fidelity to the geographical area of origin. The Great reed Warbler is the second Acrocephalus for number of catches; winters in Africa, and then at the ringing station was reported from April to August. Phenology then shows two main peaks, one in spring and one passage in August.

In 2012 it was captured an individual with a ring from Norway, whose data has not yet arrived. The Garden Warbler shows two clear peaks of presence, corresponding to the two migration flows. The step pre-nuptial in 2012, however, seems retarded than the national average.

Muscicapidae The Robin, thanks to the large number of individuals captured, can be well used as a term of comparison between the phenology observed at Ca’ Pisani and the national one. Putting together both data 2012 and 2013 we can see two peaks, March and April and October.

Warblers For the Blackcap we can see how the presence is concentrated on both the two moments of migratory transit, with the presence of individuals in summer reproduction. The phenology of Ca’ Pisani and Italy match significantly.

Figure 11. Blackcap, individual captured.

Figure 9. Sites of capture and recapture of Reed Warbler.

Figure 12. Garden Warbler, individuals captured.

Figure 10. Great Reed Warbler, individuals captured.

Figure 13. Robin, individuals captured.


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Tits

males are counted, fact that suggests the reproduction on the site. The census is carried out in two distinct dates, then average with the data is collected. In order to quantify the size of the breeding population of Warblers and other songbirds in the study area, and especially to compare with data already collected in 2011, we proceeded with two sessions of census, carried out on 1 and 23 June 2012. During the breeding season, 2011, in fact, thanks to a specific thesis (Boscain, 2012) we estimated population of nesting Warblers (broadly defined) of the Venetian part of the Po Delta. In such sessions in 2012 it was decided to complete census of singing males of all species present in the mist-net capturing area. This method is known by the name of “listening points.” From the data collected can be seen that there is a clear preponderance of 5 species, 4 of which of “Warblers.” Prevails Blackcap, adaptable species, follows Nightingale, a common species in the Po Delta, and then two Acrocephalus typical of reeds. All these species clearly describe the types of habitat present, consisting of riparian forest (Blackcap), scrub (Nightingale) and reeds (Reed Warbler, Great Reed Warbler). The other species are recorded as breeders of river areas, or at least areas with good bush-trees coverage. Very interesting is the presence of the Sparrowhawk, a new breeding species for the Delta. Green woodpecker and Wood Pigeon, however, are species now well established, as well as the Blue Tit. Also note the lack of Corvidae, that could favor the small

The graph of the Blue Tit, shows as the majority of the

Figure 14. Blue Tit, individuals captured.

subjects captured depends on the wintering population.

Population dynamics The changes in the populations of songbirds can be monitored also by other techniques of investigation, including that of the census of singing males. This method provides for the census in the reproductive period in the sample areas, with surface and vegetation composition known. Singing Table 4. 2011 monitoring of breeding pairs, Po river Delta (Rovigo)

Species

S.I.C. IT3270003 S.I.C. IT 3270004

S.I.C. IT3270005

S.I.C. IT3270023

Total breeding pairs

Cea ce

0

0–5

0–1

1300–1700

2000–3000

Ciscola juncidis

0

0

0

100–150

100–200

Acrocephalus schoenobaenus

0

0

0

0

0

Acrocephalus palustris

0

0

0

200–250

300–500

Acrocephalus scirpaceus

0

0

0

1400–1450

1500–1600

Acrocephalus arundinaceus

0

0

0

700–750

800–900

Hippolais icterina

0

0

0

0

0

Hippolais polygloa

0

0

0–2

60–100

200–400

Sylvia atricapilla

50–100

20–35

20–35

2000–3000

3000–5000

Sylvia communis

0

0

0–1

10–20

10–20

Sylvia canlans

0–1

0

0

0

0–1

Sylvia melanocephala

0–2

0

0–1

10–20

15–25

Phylloscopus sibilatrix

0

0

0

0

0

Phylloscopus collybita

0

0

0

0

0

Phylloscopus trochilus

0

0

0

0

0

50–103

20–40

20–40

5780–7440

7925–11646

Total Source: Boscain (2012).


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Table 5. Census of singing males by session

Singing males Blackcap

01/06/12 30

23/06/12 25

Average 27.5

11/05/11 25

09/06/11 41

Average 33

Reed Warbler

14

13

13.5

4

4

4

Great Reed Warbler

12

13

12.5

7

6

6.5

6

6

6

5

5

19

16

Marsh Warbler Ce’s Warbler

Passerines. The density of singing males of tits is certainly an underestimate, caused they sing in the early spring. If we compare these results with data collected in 2011 for some kind of “Warblers,” we can make some considerations about breeding population trend. Many are the differences within the two years. It should be noted that these differences are not due to morphological changes of the vegetation of the site, or changes in the studied area (same area for 2011 and 2012) but rather to changes in the population of bird species. From the data collected can be seen that Reed Warbler is increasing in the floodplain of Ca’ Pisani. The species during the twentieth century showed a phase of expansion in Europe, with a current trend of stability. The Italian population is estimated at 30 to 60000 pairs, and in the Delta Veneto is estimated at 1500–1600 pairs for 2011 (Boscain, 2012). Even the Great Reed Warbler is increasing in Ca’ Pisani. The species shows a negative trend in Europe, with a decrease of 50%. Its favorable situation in the floodplain and in general in the Po Delta is an important fact. The Italian population is estimated at 20 to 40000 pairs, while in the Delta Veneto is 800–900 pairs in 2011 (Boscain, 2012). Two species are instead with stability trend. They are Blackcap and Marsh Warbler. The Blackcap, as well as in the study site, presents stability trend both in Italy and in Europe. The breeding population of the Delta Veneto is estimated at 3000–5000 pairs for 2011 (Boscain L.), which makes the most common “silvide” in the area. The European population of the Marsh Warbler appears to be stable, even phenomena of growth were recorded in some areas for change of wetlands (increase of bushes). The breeding population of the Delta Veneto is estimated to be 300 to 500 pairs for 2011 (Boscain, 2012), One of the most evident phenomena observed was the collapse of the breeding population of Cetti’s Warbler, noted both globally and in the Po Valley and along the upper Adriatic coast, both within the floodplain of Ca’ Pisani (no singing males in 2012). In fact in 2011 was considered one of the most common species of the Delta Veneto, with 2000–3000 estimated singing males (Boscain, 2012). Is known as the species undergoes drastic fluctuations due to particularly harsh winters, as indeed that of 2011–12. This situation has to be kept under observation as Italy and Turkey are the most important areas for the species in Europe. Of particular concern is the phenomenon of the collapse of populations of Zitting Cisticola, observed both in Italy and in the Po Delta In 2011; the breeding population in the Delta Veneto was estimated at 100–200 pairs in 2011 (Boscain,

13

2012); in 2012 the species was found only in one site in the entire Delta. It is known that large fluctuations are caused by very cold winters.

Discussion Among the Passerines, the group of Warblers is one of the most suitable for analyzes of the climate change, given their strong propensity to migrate. Many, in fact, are transSaharan species, ie they spend the cold season in Africa. Their migratory movements are influenced by the photoperiod and weather conditions. So a particularly wet and cold spring may lead to a slowdown in the rise of adults ready for breeding, as well as a fine hot and dry summer may slow the start to the south. Another feature that makes them suitable for this type of analysis is the speed of response to changes: migration is in fact very fast, and they are specialized in the choice of particular habitats. More specifically, the year 2012 was rather unusual from a meteorological perspective. January and February saw the presence of a huge perturbation of oriental origin, with drought and low temperatures. Spring 2012 was abnormally warm in the first few days of March, both in the plains and in the mountains. This first month of the spring remained rather mild and keeps in a certain way the state of drought observed during the winter months. In April, the situation began to change with the return of the rains, at least in the mountains, a little less in the plains. In addition to the reappearance of rainfall, the month

Figure 15. Thermal analysis of the month of April 2012. Source: www.arpa. veneto.it.


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of April was also pretty cool. From 26 we saw a profound shift in circulation with the emergence of high pressure in the Azores, which brings fine weather, progressively milder and relatively warm (26 and 27 April around 30 °C in the plains). May seemed much more as a spring month, with the alternation between the Azores anticyclone and breaking down of cold air (www.arpa.veneto.it). So the month of April 2012, particularly cold and wet, may have influenced the migration of rising songbirds. The perturbation, in fact, may have delayed the advance, as seems to have happened to Reed Warbler and Garden Warbler. It is evident, however, such this analysis must be made over several years to become more reliable.

In addition to analysis of the migratory flow, thanks to the data collected it was possible to analyze the population dynamics of some nesting species, especially by comparison with the previous data. From this analysis, it became quite evident that different species are showing rapid changes in density and range, not explicable directly with changes in land use of the area of the Delta. Such changes could be put in direct relation with climate change. For Cetti’s Warbler and Zitting Cisticola, in fact, is known as large fluctuations are caused by very cold winters. Even in this case a wider series of data would give better conclusions.

References Boscain, L. (2012). I silvidi del Delta del Po (Rovigo) – The Warblers of the Po river Delta (Rovigo) (Bachelor’s degree). University of Padova, Faculty of Sciences. Licheri, D., & Spina, F. (2002). Biodiversità dell’avifauna italiana: Variabilità morfologica nei Passeriformi (parte II: Alaudidae – Sylviidae). Biol. Cons. Fauna, 112, 1–208.

Izvleček Ta raziskava, ki jo je izvedlo društvo Ass. Sagittaria di Rovigo, in ki jo je naročil inštitut Ente Parco Regionale Veneto del Delta del Po, zajema študijo o pevcih na območju delte reke Pad, ki spada pod deželo Veneto (pokrajina Rovigo). Projekt je bil razdeljen na dva dela: aktivacija postaje za obročkanje z metodo PRISCO, z ujetjem ptic v znanstvene namene s pomočjo mrež tipa mist-net ter študija gnezdeče populacije penic in podobnih vrst. Izbrana lokacija je Golena di Ca’ Pisani (Porto Viro), poplavna ravnina reke Pad Maistra, kjer se nahajajo obširna trstičja in pasovi higrofilnih gozdov, v katerih prevladuje vrba. Ulovi, ki so bili opravljeni od marca 2012 do aprila 2013, zajemajo 1321 osebkov, ki pripadajo 39 vrstam. Višek ulovov je bil opažen v aprilu, septembru in oktobru, sočasno s selitvenimi obdobji. Nad 50% ujetih osebkov je pripadalo vrstam črnoglavka, srpična trstnica in taščica, zaradi prisotnosti vlažnih področjih in gozdnatih pasov. Če analiziramo fenologijo ulovov, se za številne vrste pridobljeni podatki do dobre mere skladajo z državnimi podatki; za nekatere vrste pa je bila opažena zamuda v preletu. Analiza gnezdečih vrst je v nekaterih primerih pokazala razlike v primerjavi z državnim oz. evropskim trendom. Iz te analize precej jasno izhaja, kako različne vrste kažejo hitre spremembe v gostoti in porazdelitvi po površini, kar ni neposredno vezano na spreminjanje namenske rabe tal v območju delte reke Pad. Tovrstne spremembe bi lahko neposredno povezali s klimatskimi spremembami. Za vrsti svilnica in brškinka je namreč znano, da izredno hude zime povzročijo znatne fluktuacije.

Estratto La presente ricerca, svolto dall’Ass. Sagittaria di Rovigo, su incarico dell’Ente Parco Regionale Veneto del Delta del Po, ha riguardato lo studio dei Passeriformi nell’area del Delta veneto (provincia di Rovigo). Il progetto è stato suddiviso in due parti: attivazione di una stazione di inanellamento con metodica PRISCO, mediante la cattura a scopo scientifico dell’Avifauna con mist nets, e studio della popolazione nidificante di Silvidi e specie affini. Il sito utilizzato è stato la Golena di Ca’ Pisani (Porto Viro), golena del Po di Maistra dotata di vasti canneti e fasce di bosco igrofilo a prevalenza di salici. Le catture, effettuate da marzo 2012 ad aprile 2013, hanno riguardato 1321 individui, appartenenti a 39 specie. Il massimo delle catture è stato registrato nei mesi di aprile, settembre e ottobre, in concomitanza con il passaggio dei migratori. Oltre il 50% dei soggetti catturati apparteneva alle specie Capinera, Cannaiola comune e Pettirosso, grazie alla presenza di zone umide e fasce boscate. Analizzando al fenologia delle catture, è stata osservata per molte specie una buona corrispondenza con i dati nazionali; per alcune è invece stato osservato un ritardo nel passo. L’analisi dei nidificanti ha mostrato in alcuni casi differenze con il trend nazionale o europeo. Da questa analisi è risultato abbastanza evidente come diverse specie stiano mostrando repentini cambiamenti di densità e areale, non ricollegabili direttamente con cambiamenti dell’uso del suolo dell’area del Delta. Tali cambiamenti potrebbero essere messi in diretta relazione con i mutamenti climatici. Per Usignolo di fiume e Beccamoschino, difatti, è noto come grandi fluttuazioni siano provocate da inverni particolarmente rigidi.


Greater Flamingos (Phoenicopterus roseus) in the Comacchio (Photo: I. Ĺ kornik)


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REGIONAL PARK PO DELTA EMILIAROMAGNA The Regional Park Po Delta Emilia-Romagna encompasses extraordinary natural attractions, which are interwoven with local history, tradition, culture and art, thus offering an unusual, surprising and unique landscape. The richness of the Park is due to the great diversity of its environments, populated by numerous species of plants and animals. This is a rich, but extremely fragile and delicate environment, in which the subtle and typical balance of the delta areas between sea, land and water, is likely to be damaged as a result of climate change, which is particularly evident in this area This is a place of traditions and ancient crafts, characterised by artefacts and examples of how man has been able to manage over the years the balance between nature and culture, between land and water. In December 1999, the Parco Delta del Po was included on UNESCOâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s World Heritage List and the entire zone encompasses 11 Ramsar Sites, 18 Areas of Community Interest and 17 Special Protection Areas. In the Park live 317 bird species. Due to the presence of these species the Park is the most important ornithological area in Italy and one of the most important in Europe. Ente di Gestione per i Parchi e la BiodiversitĂ - Delta del Po Via Mazzini, 200 44022 Comacchio (Ferrara) ITALIJA Phone: +39 (0) 533 314003 Fax: +39 (0) 533 318007 http://www.parcodeltapo.it parcodeltapo@parcodeltapo.it


Excursions by electric boat in Saline of Cervia (Photo: L. Kastelic)


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Energy Masterplan of the Local Authority for Biodiversity and Parks in Po River Delta Francesco Silvestri,a Paolo Vincenzo Filetto,a Marco Gavioli,a Antonio Kaulard,a Christian Cavazzutib Eco&Eco srl, via Oberdan 11, 40126 Bologna, Italy. b Sinergia Sistemi SpA, via del Lavoro 87, 40033 Casalecchio di Reno (BO), Italy. Correspondence: a info@eco-eco.it. a

Abstract In last years natural parks are moved by a growing interest in energy planning. This interest could be explicated with a willingness to contribute to CO2 reduction, struggle against climate change, promote virtuous patterns in energy efficiency, and preserve territory from potential landscape impacts of equipment such as solar fields, wind poles, and bioenergy plants. The Energy Masterplan of Delta Po Park designs an energy policy for the area through 3 main objectives, 7 operational objectives, 18 directions and a portfolio of 15 ready-to-be-implemented projects. The Masterplan shows that a public body aimed at biodiversity protection is a main agent to reach energy rationality goals of a whole territory, in the framework of burden sharing and local action for global purpose. Keywords: energy, climate change, biodiversity protection, natural parks, Po river delta.

INTRODUCTION Definition of the masterplan Within the OP Italy-Slovenia Climaparks, the Po Delta Park of Emilia-Romagna Region the macro-area Energy Masterplan. There are some topical objectives characterizing the Masterplan: improving the knowledge of vocations as well as energy potentialities of the Po Delta Area; defining a strategy on energy efficiency and climate change in the area; building a portfolio of feasible projects to give soundness to the objectives. Companies Eco&Eco Economics and Ecology of Bologna and Sinergia Sistemi of Casalecchio di Reno (Bologna), an Energy Saving COmpany with clients all over Italy, have been the selected group to undertake the task. If technical aspects has been covered by Sinergia Sistemi, the Masterplan was coordinated by Eco&Eco, a company operating in the fields of environmental economic research and consultancy, management of environmental resources,

public policies for environment, and sustainability Energy matters, who operated in the Po Delta area in last 15 years.

Objectives and methodology The Energy Masterplan sets three main objectives, seven operational objectives, 18 directions and 15 project that altogether design an energy policy for the Delta Area, defining budget and financing, economic benefits and CO2 emission savings. The work also included the path to make the Po Delta the first protected area to join the Covenant of Mayors, the growing European movement involving local and regional authorities committing to increase energy efficiency and use of renewable energy sources on their territories. In this way, the Energy Masterplan intended to empha-


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sise that a public body aimed at biodiversity conservation must be considered a main agent to reach energy rationality objectives of a whole territory, in the framework of burden sharing and of local action for global purpose.

Perspective and context of the Energy Masterplan It is well-known that protected areas (national and regional parks, Natura 2000 sites) are institutions established to deal with flora and fauna conservation and sustainable development. Because of their mission, they’re deeply concerned even in climate change, nowadays the key-word in environmental matters. And this means to be progressively involved in the energy subject. The main framework for energy in the Po River Delta area is given by the Kyoto protocol, the European Energy Plan (aka 20-20-20 Package), nowadays renewed and widened with the European Union Energy Roadmap 2050, by the National Action Plan 2020 for Renewable Energies, by the Emilia-Romagna Regional Energy Masterplan and the related Triennial Action Plans, by Provincial Energy Masterplans and finally, by municipalities’ SEAP. Focusing on EU Energy Roadmap, it sets the ambitious target of reducing Carbon Dioxide emissions of 80% by 2050, to be reached in an energy system definitely “carbon free,” and following subsidiarity and responsibility sharing principles. With respect to this, Italian Ministry of Economic Development joint with Ministry of Environment decided to issue the so called Burden Sharing Decree (Legislative Decree 28/2011), that claims for the tangible contribution by any administrative regional level in terms of energy consumption covered by renewable energy to fulfil the objective. Even though not explicit, the Decree seems to suggest that the minimum target set for any region must be transferred in some way to other administrative sub-level: Provinces, Municipalities, and, other local bodies such as regional parks. They are rural areas, with a huge production of biomass, but they’re even populated territories, where business and production activities are run, residential buildings with main energy requirements are erected; they are administration centres, with offices, infopoints, visitors accommodation structures, motorvehicles fleets, using energy. Finally, they are local authorities, aimed at urban (and energy) planning and economic programming of places under their functional jurisdiction. In last years, many protected areas has implemented efficient energy and CO2 abatement projects, often through pilots. In Emilia-Romagna, examples of it are: – renewable energy production in buildings property of natural parks (PV modules at Taro Regional Park, wind rotor at the hostel of Vena del Gesso Romagnola Regional Park); – coordination of joint-purchase groups to install PV modules in residential buildings inside the park (Sun-park project, National Park of Tuscany-Emilia Apennines); – reforestation to broaden carbon sinks capacity according

to Tokyo Procol (Emilia-Romagna Po River Delta Regional Park, Boschi di Carrega Regional Park); – electrical cars, bicycles and motorvehicles to transport both visitors and staff workers inside the natural area (Emilia-Romagna Po River Delta Regional Park, National Park of Tuscany-Emilia Apennines); – addressing inhabitants, students and practitioners to energy saving (Abbazia di Monteveglio Regional Park); – committing studies and researches on climate change (Emilia-Romagna Po River Delta Regional Park). Even if it is hard to label problematic their energy consumption both park and the community who lives in, protected areas could behave as relevant nodes of the energy regional network, both emphasizing their nature of “social laboratories,” where to experiment good practices even in the field of renewable and saving energy, and acting as addressing and attracting centres on the matter for rural zones. In this sense, we can say that we do need an Energy Masterplan of a natural park, and that natural parks could play a role in the (renewable) energy policy of a territory, and it is true for many reasons: – because biodiversity, whose protection is the primary mission of a natural park, is strictly influenced by climate change, and because this last strongly relies on consumption and production of energy; – because even a natural park, considered both as a territory and a local authority, is claimed to contribute to energy rationality objectives as defined by upper administrative levels in the “burden sharing” framework and in the “think global and act local” rationale; – because a protected area is a place where to test righteous patterns in environmental matters, energy included because in Italy there’s a strong debate on the future of intermediate administrative levels, and Authorities such Natural parks could be asked to take the role of Provinces in coordinating and supporting environmental and energy matters at the sub-regional level. All this reasons are the driving force that moved the Emilia-Romagna Po River Delta to be one of the first Parks in Europe to design a its own energy Masterplan.

Po Delta Energy Masterplan, part 1: Analysis The Masterplan concentrates on addressing policies and territory dynamics related to energy, treated with a particular attention on biodiversity conservation. Document’s approach is of a strategic kind, with objectives, lines and pilots to be implemented in the area, and leaving apart actions aimed at favouring the energy efficiency of the Park as a local body (office activities, machineries, vehicles). Masterplan is parted in two macro-sections: an analytical one, where information on plans and activities related to energy efficiency are collected. They are run by local authorities (Regional Park included), private firms and inhabitants. Doing so, we followed the fil rouge of economic vocations in the different areas, namely:


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Figure 1. Map of the existing energy projects in the Park area.


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â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Goro Lagoon: fishery and seashell farming; â&#x20AC;&#x201C; internal waters: former fishery recovers and huts (the â&#x20AC;&#x153;capanniâ&#x20AC;?); â&#x20AC;&#x201C; coast: bath-houses and beach services; â&#x20AC;&#x201C; internal areas: agriculture firms, and agri-tourism accommodations. In addition, we considered most interesting energy projects implemented in the whole Park area from any economic or institutional operator. The survey has been made through documental analysis, field visits and interviews to stakeholders (agrarian organizations, agricultural cooperatives managing biomass plants, local renewable energies producers, managers of beach services firms and of tourism organizations, civil servants). The analytical part of the Masterplan can be summarized through the following visual map, reporting the peculiar existing experiences found in the Park area.

Po Delta Energy Masterplan, part 2: Strategy and projects The second part of the Energy Masterplan deals with the strategic objectives, lines and projects to be addressed in the area with the Regional park support. Suggested local actions are of different kinds: not only immaterial projects (studies, communication and information about best practices), but even measurable ones in terms of produced and saved energy, so as of reduced CO2, and of monetary costs and benefits. To strengthen the practical bankability of the Energy Masterplan, a survey of the viable financial funds to be activated is offered. Finally, for all the project an assessment on potential impacts for Natura 2000 sites is provided. The synopsis of the Masterplan is represented in Table 1. The pilot actions are 15, gathered in a kind of portfolio that permits to quantify the needed investments, and the results obtainable in terms of monetary value of Energy efficiency and of saved CO2. The list of viable projects, and the related costs, are collected in Table 2, while the following one express the single project and total benefits. The main peculiar character of the Energy Masterplan is to be committed by a local authority aimed at biodiversity

Table 1. Master plan synopsis

Strategic Objecves Protecng biodiversity through climate change

Specific Objecves 1. Promong the raonal use of energy and reducon of CO2 emissions in the Regional Park 2. Implemenng intelligent energy schemes in producve sectors 3. Reducing emissions in transports

Contribung to the overall objecves of energy efficiency according to burden sharing

4. Supporng local producon of energy from renewable sources

Direcons 1. Implemenng a Regional Park SEAP 2. Implemenng Energy efficiency in buildings 3. Supporng local planning on energy and CO2 abatement 4. Facilitang efficient and non-invasive equipments and devices 5. Promong energy efficient soluons adaptable to local producons 6. Renewing the transport fleet of Park 7. Implemenng visitors sustainable mobility projects 8. Promong CO2 abatement with respect to boats for seashell farming

9. Promong low impact plants and micro systems 10. Promong brownfield recovering to produce renewable energy 5. Supporng Energy efficiency 11. Encouraging Energy efficiency in agricultural firms in agriculture and forest 12. Sustaining short supply chains and closed cycles in companies producons Acng as an experimental 6. Supporng research and 13. Financing R & D on Energy and Climate change and coordinaon player on informaon on climate change 14. Publishing popular and widespread circulaon documents energy maers and energy maers on Energy and Climate change 15. Favouring good pracces disseminaon 16. Cooperang with other local and public bodies 7. Involving local Municipalies 17. Creang a network of actors on Energy and Climate Change In efficiency energy policies 18. Supporng weaker Municipalies in implemenng efficient Energy policies


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Table 2. List of viable projects and related characteristic

Project a. Regional Park SEAP

Global investment (€) 40,000

b. Efficient Lagoon hut (grid connected) b. Efficient Lagoon hut (stand alone) c. Eliceo wood 4,604,000 reforestaon d. Goro Solar village

Unit investment (€)

7,500 6,000

Parcipaon Total Involvable rate (esteem) investment actors (%) (€) Funds 1 40,000 Bank Foundaons; Selfinvestment; Regional Plan for Renewable Energy, European Cooperaon Fund 100 30 225,000 European Cooperaon, Naonal subvenon (Fund for Energy) 650 10 390,000 European Cooperaon Fund

8,000

1,694

1

f. Efficient Camping

43,000

27

30

g. Efficient Bath-house

20,000

344

10

h. Efficient Agritourism accomodaon i. Ecoprofit in the Delta

62,000

32

25

e. Covenant of Mayors Parcipaon

l. Sustainable Mobility in Park Staons

m. Mussels farming boats (kit) m. Mussels farming (replacement) n. Zero Emission Saltpans

o. Efficient Fishery Staon p. Converng Ex SIVALCO brownfield

q. Delta Energy Atlas Total

20,000

375,000

1 (10 firms)

1,421,000

1

2,000

400

25

15,000

256

10

800,000

1

150,000

3

1,400,000

1

30,000

1

8,690,000

100

4,604,000 Donors (Parks for Kyoto), Regional Plan for Renew. Energy 135,520 Naonal subvenon (Fund for Energy) Banks 20,000 Bank Foundaons; Selfinvestment; Regional Plan for Renewable Energy 348,300 Tax Relief 55%; Naonal subvenon (Fund for Energy) 688,000 Tax Relief 55%; Naonal subvenon (Fund for Energy) 496,000 Tax Relief 55%; Naonal subvenon (Fund for Energy), Regional Plan for Renew. Energy 375,000 European Cooperaon Fund, Regional Plan for Renewable Energy, Private self-financing 1,421,000 LIFE+, EEEF, CIP EIE, Naonal subvenon (Fund for Energy), Regional Plan for Renewable Energy 200,000 New EU Coastal LAG, Regional Plan for Renewable Energy, 384,000 Private self-financing 800,000 Naonal subvenon (Fund for Energy), Self-investment, CIP (Ecoinnovaon), Regional Plan for Renewable Energy 450,000 Naonal subvenon (Fund for Energy), Bank Foundaons 1,400,000 Naonal subvenon (Fund for Energy), Bank Foundaons, ESCO, LIFE+, 7th FP, Regional Plan for Renew. Energy 30,000 Bank Foundaons; Selfinvestment, EU Leader LAG 12,006,820


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Table 3. List of viable projects and related benefits

Project a. Regional Park SEAP b Efficient Lagoon hut (grid connected) b. Efficient Lagoon hut (stand alone) c. Eliceo wood reforestaon d. Goro Solar village e. Covenant of Mayors Parcipaon f. Efficient Camping g. Efficient Bath-house h. Efficient Agritourism accomodaon i. Ecoprofit in the Delta l. Sustainable Mobility in Park Staons m. Mussels farming boats (kit) m. Mussels farming (replacement) n. Zero Emission Saltpans o. Efficient Fishery Staon p. Converng Ex SIVALCO brownfield q. Delta Energy Atlas Total

Energy Saving (kWh/year)

Total monetary val. (€/year)

Pay-back (years)

Total emissions reducon (kg CO2/year)

— 4,000

— 29,100

— 8

— 78,000

1,300 3,312 — 44,500 10,950 41,000

16,250 10,000 13,552 — 46,980 82,560 64,000

24 * 10 — 7 8 8

56,550 173,400,000 24,292 — 243,000 254,560 108,000

395,000 25,000

162,934 9,000

3 *

348,803 6,700

400 256 675,000 47,656 800,000

640,000 163,840 100,000 34,500 260,000

** 8 13 7

240,000 61,440 70,000 96,000 540,000

— 1,632,716

— 8

— 175,527,344

* Not relevant. * When consumption of 8,000 liters of fuel is reached.

conservation. Consequentially, for each project a special focus on potential environmental impacts of its implementation – in particular on the Natura 2000 network, has been made. From a technological perspective, the considered projects involve roof-integrated PV, solar-thermal and, just in an isolated case, the establishment of a small size biogas plant. This part of the assessment leaded to four prescription to be considered in the practical execution of the projects. Each project is illustrated in the Report through a specific summary sheet form, with a related more exhaustive sheet in the annexes, when the project needed a further technical explication. An example of the general sheet is in the Figure 2.

Parks, energy, and climate change The Energy Masterplan of Po River Delta aims at providing the Regional park, who evolved in the meanwhile in a wider functions Public body for biodiversity conservation of the Macro-region of Po River Delta, of a planning guidelines document, to face the Energy and Climate Change challenges from a biodiversity protection and sustainable development point of view. Doing so, this Public body intends to claim its competence in this subject with respect to other administrative

levels – such as Provinces and Regional Government – and its involvement in joining the burden sharing principle, and in cooperating with other local municipalities and public bodies to implement a Delta territory energy policy. To comply to this general objective, the Masterplan has been drawn as a strategic one, typical of widen areas, and not as a SEAP, more fitting for municipalities that need to implement practical actions to abate CO2 and to cut the Energy bill. Notwithstanding its strategic orientation, thanks to the conception of a 15 projects portfolio the Masterplan is able to point out feasible targets in terms of monetary saving and CO2 abatement, doing a sort of cost-benefit analysis whose final results is summarised in Table 5. As mentioned, this Masterplan puts the Po Delta in the “avant-garde” of parks throughout Europe, and in the relationship between nature conservation and Energy planning. In Italy, only Regional Park of Lombardy Ticino approved an Energy Masterplan (2007), made in the form of a SEAP, while Adamello-Brenta Regional Park is involved in a European project to abate CO2 in the area (Fossil Free). In the whole Europe there exist less than 10 Natural protected areas with some experience in Energy planning. For Emilia-Romagna Po Delta this Masterplan is nothing but a first step, to be followed by the implementation of a SEAP,


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Table 4. Recommendation for future project implementation

Prescripon 1 Prescripon 2 Prescripon 3

Prescripon 4

For Solar Energy plants sized under 100 kWp, internal to Natura 2000 sites, the use of roof integrated coplanar panels is recommended; in these cases, an impact assessment pre-evaluaon is needed. For the same kind of plants, when localized less than 5 kilometres far from a Natura 2000 site borders, Prescripon 1 applies, but impact assessment pre-evaluaon is not needed. For Solar Energy plants sized over 100 kWp or more than a hectare wide, internal to Natura 2000 sites, the use of roof integrated coplanar and non-reflecng panels is recommended. In these cases, an impact assessment pre-evaluaon is obliged, and a Landscape assessment brief is suggested. Biogas/biomass plants localized less than 5 kilometres far from a Natura 2000 site borders, a proximity principle supply chain is requested. Moreover, an impact assessment pre-evaluaon is obliged, and a Landscape assessment brief is suggested.

Figure 2. Template of project sheet.


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Table 5. Cost-benefit analysis

Investment cost Annual economic value (revenues and savings) Average global payback Annual CO2 abatement

â&#x201A;Ź 12,006,820 â&#x201A;Ź 1,632,716 7 years and 4 months 175,527,344 kg CO2 (2,127,344 kg CO2 abolishing the project c. Eliceo wood reforestaon)

addressed at introducing the topic of Energy efficiency inside the Park intended as an organization, and by the adhesion of the Park to Covenant of Mayors (CoM), playing the role of Coordinator to serve the whole area. It would be the first Park to join the CoM, tracking a new way for Parks and for Energy planning in rural areas.


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Izvleček V zadnjih letih se naravni parki čedalje bolj zanimajo za energetsko načrtovanje. To zanimanje izhaja iz večje pripravljenosti, da tovrstne ustanove prispevajo k zmanjšanju emisij CO2, nasprotujejo podnebnim spremembam, spodbujajo uspešne modele na področju energetske učinkovitosti in zavarujejo svoja območja pred morebitnimi negativnimi vplivi obratov, kot so sončna polja, vetrnice in bioenergetski objekti. Energetski načrt opredeljuje energetsko politiko za to območje na osnovi 3 glavnih ciljev, 7 operativnih ciljih, 18 smernic in 15 projektov. Načrt dokazuje, da neka javna ustanova, katere cilj je zaščita biotske raznovrstnosti, lahko odigra vlogo protagonista pri doseganju ciljev energetske racionalnosti nekega ozemlja, v skladu z načelom delitve bremen in lokalnega ukrepanja za globalne namene.

Estratto Negli ultimi anni si assiste a un crescente attivismo dei parchi in campo energetico. Tale interesse segnala la volontà di contribuire alla riduzione di CO2, di lottare contro i cambiamenti climatici, di promuovere modelli virtuosi in termini di efficienza energetica e di tutelare il territorio potenzialmente minacciato da impianti per la produzione di energia quali campi fotovoltaici, pale eoliche e biodigestori. Il Piano definisce una politica energetica per il territorio attraverso 3 obiettivi principali, 7 obiettivi operativi, 18 indicazioni e 15 progetti. Il Piano evidenzia che un ente pubblico la cui missione è la tutela della biodiversità, è un protagonista della strategia energetica di un territorio, nella logica della condivisione degli oneri e dell’azione locale per fini globali.


Monitoring of amphibians in the Mesola Wood (Photo: Archive of the Museum of NaturalHistory, Museum of Ferrara,Italy)


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Monitoring the Effects of Climate Change on the Biocenosis of the Po Delta Regional Park in the Emilia-Romagna Region Stefano Mazzotti,a Fausto Pesarini,a Teresa Boscolo,a Sara Lefosse,a Danio Miserocchi,a Elisabetta Tiozzo,a Luciano Massettib Museum of Natural History, Via De Pisis 24, I-44100 Ferrara, Italy. b Institute of Biometeorology, National Research Council, Via Giovanni Caproni 8, I-50145 Florence, Italy. Correspondence: a s.mazzotti@comune.fe.it, b i.massetti@ibimet.cnr.it. a

Abstract We have identified species and taxocenoses, which constitute bioclimatic indicators susceptible to weather and climate changes in the Po Delta: a) Agile Frog (Rana dalmatina); b) carabidocenosis (Coleoptera, Carabidae); c) microteriocenosis (Mammalia, Rodentia, Soricomorpha). The analysis of carabidocenosis has showed a relative increase of Central AsianTuranian chorotypes and a simultaneous sharp drop in those from Northern Asia, highlighting that a replacement of faunas is going on through a process of alternation of hygrophilic species with thermophilic species. Even for microteriocenosis we have observed an increase of thermophilic species and a reduction of the mesophilic ones. Climate change could also affect the phenology of the Agile Frog with effects on its reproductive activities. This frog is considered to be a good indicator for monitoring the biological effects of global warming. Keywords: Po Delta, bioclimatic indicators, Agile Frog, microtheriocoenosis, carabidocenosis, climate change.

INTRODUCTION Bioclimatic indicators The assessment of the climatic effects on biocenoses requires the identification of species, taxocenoses and distinct communities that constitute indicators sensible to local weather and climate changes. Therefore, we had to identify key groups of umbrella species that undertake the role of indicators based on changes in vital rhythms or in the composition of communities in a given environmental compartment. The criteria for selection of taxa and monitoring models that can be considered homogeneous for all the parks and protected areas within the Climaparks project are summarized in the following two points: 1) Identify taxocenoses, animal communities or populations of umbrella species to be monitored as bio-indicators during their reproductive cycles in relation to the rhythms of seasonal activities and correlate them with measurements of weather and climate parameters (water, air and soil temperature, rainfall, air humidity, radiation etc.), monitored in parallel in order to identify relationships between phenologies of the selected species and the trends of the identified parameters (e.g. time of occurrence in spawning

migrations, frequency of occurrence, correlated thermal trends). The information obtained could be compared with previous data and with subsequent monitoring in order to identify any trends; 2) Analyse community structures or taxocenoses through qualitative composition and quantitative frequency analysis of the species that compose them in relation to specific geographic areas. In this case too the acquired information (number and distribution of the frequencies of the different species) could be compared with previous data and with subsequent monitoring in order to identify any trends (e.g. variation of the frequencies of the species, which compose the communities, disappearance or replacement of species). On the basis of the above mentioned guidelines we have identified the following specific bioclimatic indicators for the Po Delta: a) Amphibians, target species Agile Frog (Rana dalmatina) (Figure 1); b) carabidocoenosis (Coleoptera, Carabidae); c) microteriocoenosis (small mammals) (Mammalia, Rodentia, Soricomorpha).


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Figure 1. Agile frog (Rana dalmatina), climatic bioindicator used in the monitoring of the Po Delta of Emilia Romagna

Monitoring sites, materials and methods We have selected two sites of particular significance for the purposes of monitoring: the Mesola Wood, in the Ferrara region of the Park, and the Classe Pine Forest in Ravenna. The Mesola Woods Natural Reserve is characterized by an alternation of sand dunes and interdunal depressions, on which xero-thermophilic and thermo-hygrophilic vegetation may be found respectively; in the interdunal depressions there are hygrophilic woods and stadial vegetation such as damp meadows and aquatic cenoses near lakes, ponds and pools (for a more detailed description of the biotope and vegetation see Mazzotti, 2007). In the Pine Forest of Ravenna and Piallasse area we have found the same variety of xero-thermophilic and thermo-hygrophilic habitats, but with a more marked separation between the two different types and a greater emphasis of their characteristics (Mazzotti, 2007). For both the Mesola Wood and the habitats in the Ravenna region there are many previous data on Carabidae communities and Agile Frog populations, covering the span of a few decades. These data are therefore an important point of reference for identifying any temporal trends in the composition of coenosis. For the monitoring of micromammals we have carried out inspections in the Po Delta area in the provinces of Ferrara and Rovigo in order to identify abandoned cottages and barns that constitute suitable roosts for collecting Barn Owl (Tyto alba) food pellets. We have selected the sites according to the availability of previous data and museum materials, and we have chosen the roosts that have not undergone radical changes of surrounding environment or

substantial changes of land use. This information was gained through the analysis of the “Maps of the actual use of the ground” prepared by the Mapping and Soils Department of Emilia-Romagna Region and of digital maps created within the Corine Land Cover 2000 project. The analysed roosts have provided the preys distributed in an area of land that approximately corresponds to the home-range of the Barn Owl, which by convention is represented with a circle which has the centre located at the roost, and a radius of 2.5 km. In order to analyse the climate of the Po Delta and its changes we have searched for historical sources of meteorological measurements of the weather stations located near the monitoring sites. The survey revealed that three weather stations had time series validated by institutions such as the ERMES DEXTER Meteorological Service of the Emilia-Romagna Region, ARPAV of the Veneto Region and the Province of Ferrara. In May 2011, as part of the Climaparks project, we have installed a weather station equipped with sensors for temperature, relative humidity, rainfall, wind speed and wind direction managed by ARPA Emilia-Romagna Region, which has allowed us to detect in real time the meteorological parameters. Listed below (Table 1) are the sources that have allowed the comparison with the data collected during the monitoring. The quality and completeness of the time series has been verified. In particular, the years and the seasons that had over 1% of missing data were excluded from the annual and seasonal climatic analyses. The series had to undergo the Standard Normal Homogeneity Test (Alexandersson, 1986) and the S2 series showed a suspected discontinuity between 1990 and 1991, where the test shows a maximum that represents an indicator of a discontinuity in that point. The station’s metadata did not allow us to verify the cause of this potential discontinuity, therefore it was decided to limit the analysis of this station to the period between 1992 and 2012 (2001 and 2004 were excluded from the annual trend analysis due to the lack of a significant amount of data in the autumn period). S1 and S3 series were complete for the years 1948–2011 and 1990–2012. The time series of bioclimatic and aridity indicators reported in Table 2 were analysed to identify any annual (A) and seasonal (S) trends. The carabidofauna survey has been carried out using 24 pitfall traps: 12 in the Mesola Wood and 12 in the Classe Pine Forest. Within the two monitoring areas we have identified two trapping sites where we have placed 6 pitfall traps, spaced about 5–6 m. As traps we have used 12 cm deep and 9 cm large cylindrical jars, buried up to the edge and “triggered” by filling them up to the half with white wine vinegar, which

Table 1. Time series of meteorological data measurements

Code S1 S2 S3

Staon Classe Pine forest (Ravenna) Mesola Woods (Ferrara) Porto Tolle (Rovigo)

Available period 1948–2011 1986–2012 1989–2012

Analysed period 1948–2011 1992–2012 1990–2012


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Table 2. Bioclimatic and aridity indicators, and annual (A) and seasonal (S) aggregation level

Index TX TM TN P NP PF MART Q

Descripon Maximum temperature average Average temperature average Minimum temperature average Cumulated rainfall Rainy days (p > 1mm) Lang’s rain factor (1915) De Martonne index Emberger’s pluviometric quoent

Aggregaon A–S A–S A–S A–S A–S A A A

Formula

P/TM P/(TM + 10) 100 × P/(TC2 – TF2)

Note: TC = average maximum temperature of the warmest month expressed in °C, TF = average minimum temperature of the coldest month expressed in °C.

acts as an attractor for the arthropod fauna, and adding salt kitchen (Na Cl) up to a concentration of 5%, to preserve the fallen insects. All traps have been covered with special plastic covers to protect its contents from leaves, debris and weather elements, and kept off the ground to allow the entry of arthropods. Emptying and subsequent renewal of the traps has been carried out every two weeks or one month. All Carabidae have been identified, dried and stored in entomological boxes. The remaining contents of the traps have been sorted in general miscellaneous and miscellaneous Coleoptera and left in 70% alcohol preparations at the study collections of the Natural History Museum of Ferrara. For the monitoring of the Agile Frog population we have considered the commencement of the reproductive activity, which corresponds to the appearance of the first egg masses that have been detected through direct observation of specimens and/or eggs with the aid of a hydrophone. In order to overcome possible errors in the calculation of the DOY (Day Of The Year) of the beginning of egg laying, we have taken into account also the date with 20% of catch and the one with the maximum number of catches for each year. We have then considered the weather conditions of the DOY preceding the discovery of an egg mass, by assuming as DOY of deposition the day when female specimens moved. In 2012, at the Mesola Wood site, we have used pitfall traps with barriers from 21 February to 10 March in order to intercept the spawning migration. The traps were checked at least once a day and the specimens found were measured (apex of the snout-cloaca length, SVL), weighed and released inside the barrier in order to allow them to access the water. Since each female lays one egg mass, the number of egg masses in a site corresponds to the number of females. Using the Museum’s database we then calculated the average of the male/female ratio to elaborate an estimate of the breeding population in the years when only egg masses were counted. For the monitoring of small mammals we have compared the data from studies concerning the analysis of Barn Owl (Tyto alba) pellets for three different collection periods (1975–80, 2006–09, 2011–12), in order to understand, if changes in climatic conditions may have affected the composition of microtheriologic communities in the study area. We have collected the pellets every three months from July 2011 to

September 2013, in eight cottages of the Po Delta Park. The osteological material has been analysed according to the methods indicated by Contoli (1980). For the determination of the species we have used the diagnostic criteria proposed by various authors (Toschi, 1959; Toschi, 1965; Chaline et al., 1974; Niethammer & Krapp, 1978a; Niethammer & Krapp, 1978b; Nappi, 2001; Amori et al. 2008). When we concluded the collection process, the opening of the pellets, the identification and storage of the material, we analysed the data by using the indices of thermoxerophilia (Contoli, 1980) that are based on the relative frequencies of species with different thermal requirements. The indices have higher values in warmest and driest areas: ITX = Crocidurinae/Soricidae; ITX1 (Suncus etruscus – Sorex sp.)/Soricidae; ITX2 = {(Suncus etruscus/ Soricidae) + [(Mus musculus + Rattus rattus)/Murinae]}/2; ITX3 = (Mus musculus + Rattus rattus)/Murinae.

Results The monthly values of the three thermo-pluviometric monitoring stations are characterized by a similar thermal regime. The Classe Pine Forest (S1) is characterized by an average annual value of the TX (19.2 °C) slightly higher than the other two stations (18.3 °C, 18.6 °C). The Mesola Woods station (S2) turns out to be characterized by a slightly cooler summer than S1 for both minimum (0.7 °C) and maximum temperatures (1 °C). The three stations are characterized by a similar rainfall regime both in terms of total annual cumulated rainfall (S1: P = 673 mm; S2: P = 697 mm; S3: P = 706 mm), as well as distribution over the months of the year. The annual and seasonal trends’ analysis has been performed for the period of availability of data for all stations: S1 for 1948–2011 (Table 3), S2 for 1992–2012 (Table 5) and S3 for 1990–2012 (Table 6). For S1 analysis has been also carried out for the period between 1990 and 2012 (Table 4). The annual time series analysis of bioclimatic indices of S1 over the entire available period (Table 3) showed the following significant trends: a) positive trend for the maximum temperature (0.4 °C per decade, p < 0.01) and the average temperature (0.2 °C per decade, p < 0.01); b) negative trend for the number of rainy days (about 1.7 days per decade, p < 0.05). We did not


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Table 3. Annual trends and significance of annual and seasonal trends in the Classe Pine Forest (S1) for the 1948–2011 period

TX (°C/Y) TN (°C/Y) TM (°C/Y) P (mm/Y) PN (days/Y) PF MAR Q

Winter 0.019 –0.011 0.003 –0.072 –0.05

Spring 0.042** –0.002 0.02* 0.148 –0.034

Summer 0.056** 0.007 0.031** 0.078 –0.023

Autumn 0.018* –0.002 0.007 0.206 –0.06

Annual 0.040** –0.001 0.019** 0.311 –0.175* –0.035 –0.006 –0.292

* p < 0.05. ** p < 0.01.

Table 4. Annual trends and significance of annual and seasonal trends in the Classe Pine Forest (S1) for the 1990–2012 period

TX (°C/Y) TN (°C/Y) TM (°C/Y) P (mm/Y) PN (days/Y) PF MAR Q

Winter 0.013 0.008 0.038 4.280* 0.660*

Spring 0.111** 0.083** 0.104** 1.609 0.213

Summer 0.115** 0.103** 0.108** –1.287 –0.176

Autumn 0.072* 0.037 0.052 –1.731 –0.334

Annual 0.082** 0.064** 0.083** 1.487 0.232 –0.123 –0.016 –0.452

* p < 0.05. ** p < 0.01.

Table 5. Annual trends and significance of annual and seasonal trends in the Mesola Wood (S2) for the 1992–2012 period

TX (°C/Y) TN (°C/Y) TM (°C/Y) P (mm/Y) PN (days/Y) PF MAR Q

Winter –0.116** 0.103 –0.032 0.671 0.453

Spring –0.020 0.184** 0.069* 2.139 0.154

Summer –0.028 0.191** 0.076 –5.317 –0.084

Autumn –0.050 0.128** 0.011 –4.724 –0.134

Annual –0.057 0.144** 0.027 –9.274 0.308 –0.778 –0.424 –0.935

* p < 0.05. ** p < 0.01. Table 6. Annual trends and significance of annual and seasonal trends in Porto Tolle (S3) for the 1990–2012 period

TX (°C/Y) TN (°C/Y) TM (°C/Y) P (mm/Y) PN (days/Y) PF MAR Q * p < 0.05. ** p < 0.01.

Winter 0.045 0.057 0.054 2.990 0.593**

Spring 0.096** 0.084** 0.089** –0.561 0.003

Summer 0.099** 0.095** 0.095** –3.091 –0.150

Autumn 0.092** 0.084** 0.085** 0.842 –0.032

Annual 0.084** 0.081** 0.080** 0.003 0.409 –0.293 –0.093 –0.413


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observe significant trends regarding rainy days, although in all seasons a reduction in rainfall has occurred. The positive trend in the average temperature is caused by the rising temperatures in spring and summer, whereas the maximum temperature significantly increases in autumn. The analysis of the annual time series of bioclimatic indices of S1 over the last 22 years (Table 8) (period of comparison with other stations) shows positive trends of all indices related to the temperature of greater intensity than the analysis of the complete time series. The TX value shows an increase of about 0.8 °C per decade, which is twice higher than the value of the complete period, while TN, which showed no significance, increased about 0.6 °C per decade and the two effects combined lead to a positive trend (0.6 °C per decade) of the TM that is roughly three times higher than the entire period. No significant trend was observed in the number of rainy days. The analysis of each season confirms the important role of the spring and seasonal positive trend for all thermal indices (TX, TM, TN) and confirms an upward trend of TX in the fall. As for the rainfall, we have observed a significant trend in cumulative rainfall and rainy days in the winter, but this could be due to the influence of 2009 and 2010 winters, when rainfall increased for about 40% above the average.

Both years are in the final part of the time series. The analysis of the annual time series of bioclimatic indices of S2 (Table 9) over the available period showed a positive trend only for the minimum temperature (1.4 °C per decade, p < 0.01). The seasonal analysis shows a significant decrease in the maximum temperature in winter (1.2 °C per decade, p < 0.01) and an increase in the average spring temperature (0.7 °C per decade, p < 0.01). On the contrary, the minimum temperatures show a strong upward trend in spring (1.8 °C per decade, p < 0.01), in summer (1.9 °C per decade, p < 0.01) and in autumn (1.3 °C per decade, p < 0.01). Although this is not statistically significant, it is important to emphasize the decrease in annual precipitation of –9 mm per year mainly due to the summer of 2012, which has been by far the driest of this period. The analysis of the annual time series of bioclimatic indices of S3 (Table 6) showed positive trends over all indices related to temperature of about 0.8 °C per decade, due to the increase of respective indices in spring, summer and autumn. No significant trend was observed for the cumulative rainfall and number of rainy days. Only for the winter rains we have observed also a significant trend in cumulative rainfall (only S1) and the number of rainy days (all stations), but this may be due to the winters of 2009 and 2010 that recorded a rainfall

Table 7. Sampled species of Coleoptera Carabidae at Mesola Wood

Mesola Wood’ species Calosoma sycophanta Carabus granulatus intersalis Carabus cancellatus emarginatus Nebria brevicollis Noophilus rufipes Omophron limbatum Trechus quadristriatus Amara aenea Chlaeniellus vestus Anisodactylus binotatus Acinopus picipes Ophonus azureus Harpalus pumilus Harpalus tardus Harpalus dimidiatus Calathus fuscipes graecus (= latus) Calathus cinctus Calathus melanocephalus Calathus cfr. micropterus Laemostenus venustus

Chorotype PAL ASE SIE TUE EUR PAL TEM PAL EUM ASE TUE CEM PAL ASE EUR EUM WPA PAL OLA EME

Hygrophilia MI IG IG IG IG IG IG XR IG IG XR XR XR IG XR MI MI MI MI XR

Thermophilia TM MS MS MS MS TM MS TM MS MS TM TM TM MS TM TM TM MS MS MS

No. of specim. 6 13 51 5 10 3 4 1 1 1 1 2 2 17 1 493 3 144 2 1

Note: Wide-distribution chorotypes (LAD): OLA = Holarctic; PAL = Palearctic; WPA = Western-Palearctic; ASE = Asian-European; EUM = European-Mediterranean; Chorotypes with European gravitation (GEU): EUR = European; CEU = Central European; SEU = South European. Chorotypes with Mediterranean gravitation (GME): MED = Mediterranean; WME = West Mediterranean; EME = East Mediterranean. Chorotypes with North Asian gravitation (AST): SIE = SiberianEuropean. Chorotypes with Central Asian-Turanian gravitation (CAT): CEM = Central Asian-European-Mediterranean; CAE = Central Asian-European; TEM = Turanian-European-Mediterranean; TUE = Turanian-European; TUM = Turanian-Mediterranean. Levels of hygrophilia and thermophilia of the species: XR = xerophilic; MI = mesohygrophilic; IG = hygrophilic; MS: mesophilic; TM = thermophilic.


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Table 8. Sampled species at the Classe Pine Forest

Classe Pine Forest’ species Calosoma inquisitor Carabus granulatus intersalis Carabus italicus Dyschiriodes globosus Paratachys bistriatus Bembidion lampros Bembidion lunulatum Bembidion inoptatum Pteroschus melas Pteroschus nigrita Pteroschus strenuus Badister bullatus Badister sodalist Baudia cfr peltata Scybalicus oblongiusculus Pseudoophonus rufipes Harpalus dimidiatus Platyderus neapolitanus Calathus fuscipes graecus (= latus) Agonum viduum Syntomus truncatellus

Chorotype SIE ASE (OLA) SEU SIE TUE PAL (OLA) EUM SEU EUR PAL ASE OLA TUE SIE MED PAL (OLA) EUR SEU EUM SIE SIE

Hygrophilia MI IG IG IG IG IG IG IG XR IG IG IG IG IG XR MI XR MI MI IG XR

Thermophilia MS MS MS MS MS MS MS MS TM MS MS MS MS MS TM MS TM TM TM MS MS

No. of specim. 1 4 173 12 1 64 1 5 4 8 4 1 1 7 1 1 2 1 6 113 3

Note: See Table 7 note for abbreviations.

about 40% above the average, which being in the final part of a series of only 22 years, may have influenced the outcome. No significant trend was observed for the three indices of aridity taken into account, although all tend to decrease in value and consequently increase in aridity. This index variation is more substantial for the site S2, where the De Martonne index (MAR), for example, tends to decrease for 4.24 points per decade (significance p = 0.22) and similarly the other do to. The monitoring of carabidocenoses carried out in the two sites has led us to sample a total of 1,174 specimens of Coleoptera Carabidae divided into 38 species and two monitoring sites as showed in Table 7 and Table 8, which show the species sampled in the Mesola Wood and Classe Pine Forest, with their respective chorotypes, ecological categories of appartenance and the total number of specimens for each species. The chorotypes and their groupings are those proposed by Vigna Taglianti (2005) and Ratti et al. (1997). In order to analyse the structure of the carabidofauna sampled at Mesola Wood and Classe Pine Forest we have applied the index of dominance (Tischler, 1949) expressed as a percentage. At the Mesola Wood dominances are distributed as follows: Eudominant (> 10%), Calathus fuscipes graecus (65%), Calathus melanocephalus (19%); Dominant (5–10%), Carabus cancellatus emarginatus (7%); Subdominant (2–5%) no species; Recedent (1–2%) and Subrecedent (< 1%), other species. The percentages of the Classe Pine Forest are as follows: Eudominant (> 10%), Carabus italicus (42%), Agonum

viduum (27%), Bembidion lampros (15%); Dominant (5–10%) no species; Subdominant (2–5%), Dyschirius globosus (3%); Recedent (1–2%) and Subrecedent (< 1%), other species. Since previous data relating to the Mesola Wood’ carabidofauna obtained from sampling carried out in the years 1995–1997 in the same sites (Corazza and Fabbri, Natural History Museum of Ferrara, unpublished) were available, we have compared the compositions of carabidae communities obtained in the two periods (Table 9). The 1995–1997 sample contains 887 specimens representing 22 species. Of these, 8 are present in both periods, 13 are exclusive of the first period and 11 of the Climaparks monitoring period. The index of dominance of the species sampled in the Mesola Wood during the 1995–97 period is as follows: Eudominant (> 10%), Carabus granulatus interstitialis (30%), Calathus melanocephalus (17%), Nebria brevicollis (15%), Calathus fuscipes graecus (15%), Carabus cancellatus emarginatus (13%); Dominant (5–10%) no species; Subdominant (2–5%), Agonum viduum (3%); Recedent (1–2%) and Subrecedent (< 1%) other species. The Agile Frog Rana dalmatina (Amphibia, Anura) is a mainly forest-related species that goes into the water only to breed. The reproductive strategy of the Agile Frog is unimodal explosive (Duellman et al., 1986; Wells, 1977), since the deposition of the eggs takes place in a very short period (from a few days to a couple of weeks) and larval development is completed in about two-three months after deposition. The monitoring of the Mesola Wood’ and the Classe Pine Forest’ population


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Table 9. List of the sampled species at the Mesola Wood in the 1995–1997 period

Mesola Woods’ species Carabus cancellatus emarginatus Carabus italicus Carabus granulatus intersalis Nebria brevicollis Trechus quadristriatus Polyderis algiricus Paratachys bistriatus Pteroschus melanarius Pteroschus niger Amara aenea Pseudoophonus rufipes Pseudoophonus griseus Harpalus tardus Harpalus pumilus Harpalus anxius Harpalus flavicornis Harpalus serripes Calathus fuscipes graecus (= latus) Calathus melanocephalus Olisthopus fuscatus Agonum viduum Syntomus truncatellus

Chorotype SIE SEU ASE (OLA) TUE TEM WME TUE OLA ASE PAL (OLA) PAL (OLA) PAL ASE PAL PAL SEU PAL EUM PAL MED SIE SIE

Hygrophilia IG IG IG IG IG XR IG MI IG XR MI XR IG XR XR XR XR MI MI XR IG XR

Thermophilia MS MS MS MS MS MS MS TM MS TM MS TM MS TM TM MS TM TM MS TM MS MS

No. of specim. 113 5 267 132 11 1 5 2 11 1 8 2 2 2 3 2 7 131 155 1 23 3

Note: See Table 7 note for abbreviations. Source: Corazza and Fabbri, Natural History Museum of Ferrara, unpublished. Table 10. Variation of the number of catches in reproductive periods of Agile Frog between 2001 and 2012 expressed in DOY (Day Of the Year)

Year 2001 2002 2003 2004 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012

PC 55 44 60 58 46 39 44 35 69 46 58

20% 66 47 64 58 53 44 62 43 69 59 65

MC 68 102 78 58 97 52 73 63 69 86 87

Note: PC = first catch; 20% = 20% of catches; MC = peak.

showed that the date of first capture is related to the month of February: an average increase of 1 °C leads to an advance of 4.5 days. The peak of the catches, and consequently of the egg masses laid, is correlated with winter temperatures and in particular with those of the month of January: a winter warmer by 1 °C causes an advance of nearly 13 days, but in the eleven years in which the phenology has been monitored, we have not observed any significant trend (Table 10).

According to the model proposed by Mazzotti et al. (2008), the breeding season begins when the average daily temperature exceeds 8 °C and according to the formula DOY25% = DOY > 8 °C + 3 is possible to predict the DOY with 25% of the catch. By updating the analysis with our data, we can predict this DOY with a square deviation of 4.4 days (Table 11). The spawning migration in 2012 and the climatic variables have been tested with Spearman’s rank correlation, but since


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Table 11. Observed dates (DOYo) and predicted dates (DOYs) and errors expressed in number of days (Ne) corresponding to 25% of catches

Year 2001 2002 2003 2004 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012

DOYo 66 47 64 58 53 44 62 43 69 59 65

DOYs 68 41 65 — 54 44 62 39 — 52 58

Ne 2 6 1 — 1 0 0 4 — 7 7

Table 12. Impact of climatic variables on the catches of 2012

rho 0.3877 0.2486 0.3301 0.6333

Tmax Tave Tmin Humidity

p-value 0.1534 0.3717 0.2295 0.0113

Note: The relationship has been tested with Spearman’s rank correlation. When applying the Bonferroni method significance is p < 0.0125. Table 13 Relation between the number of egg masses and rainfall of the previous year

Year 2006 2008 2010 2011 2012

No. egg masses 49 34 60 69 34

Rainfall (mm) 783,7 680.7 911.9 978.2 467.2

Note: Spearman’s rank correlation demonstrates a high correlation (rho > 0.95) and statistical significance (p < 0.05).

these tests have been repeated, the significance threshold was corrected with the Bonferroni method. The displacement of the specimens is not correlated to the temperature, but to the atmospheric humidity (Table 12), in line with what has been reported in literature (Timm et al., 2007). The monitoring has allowed to sample a total of 773 egg masses laid between February and March, with a variation of a couple of weeks between the two years. The relationship between the number of egg masses of the Mesola Wood’ population in the years in which data has been collected with the same sampling methodologies (2006, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012) and the rainfall of the previous year, has been confirmed by the Spearman’s rank correlation (rho = 0.9747, p-value = 0.0048), which shows a high correlation (rho > 0.95) and statistical significance (p < 0.05) (Table 13). By monitoring the communities of small mammals (Mammalia, Soricomorpha, Rodentia) we have collected 688 pellets. In them we have found 1,975 skeletal remains of small mammals. The number of specimens per species and frequency percentages for the monitoring carried out during

the Climaparks period (2011–2012 = T3) and the collections of previous years (1975–1980 = T1 and 2006–2009 = T2) are shown in Table 14 The data analysis shows that insectivores are better represented in the first collection (T1), in which their percentage on the total of mammals is 37.9%. This percentage decreases sharply in the T2 collection (21.24%) and tends to increase slightly in the T3 collection (23.99%). Among the insectivores it can be observed that specimens of the genus Sorex, that are more related to damp and cool environments, are more represented in the T1 collections and that their frequency decreases linearly from the first to third collection. On the contrary, Suncus etruscus, a species that prefers hot and arid environments, is not well represented in the T1 collection, whereas it reaches higher frequencies in T2 and T3 collections (Figure 2). Among rodents, Mus musculus is more preyed on in the T2 and T3 collections than in T1, whereas Rattus rattus appears to be a species hunted sporadically by the Barn Owl. The indices of thermoxerophilia have a positive trend (Table 15), ITX shows


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Table 14. Number of prey, frequency percentages on the total and partial No. of the species of small mammals relating to the collections made during the periods 1975–80 (T1), 2006–09 (T2) and Climaparks monitoring 2011–12 (T3)

Species C. suaveolens C. leucodon Crocidura sp. Sorex sp. S. etruscus T. europaea N. anomalus Tot. soricomorpha M. musculus Apodemus sp. R. norvegicus R. raus Raus sp. M. arvalis M. savii M. minutus A. amphibius Muridae ind. Microtus sp. Tot. Rodena Total

No.

T1 % micr.

288 73 4 87 8 12 29 505 92 179 33 8 2 17 383 80 29 10 0 833 1,338

21.52 5.46 0.60 6.50 0.60 0.90 2.17 37.74 6.88 13.38 2.47 0.60 0.15 1.27 28.62 598 2.17 0.75 0 62.10 100

% part.

No.

T2 % micr.

57.03 14.46 1.58 17.23 1.58 2.38 574 100 11.04 21.49 3.96 0.96 0.24 2.04 4.598 9.60 3.48 1.20 0 100

208 62 0 30 44 1 2 347 242 341 0 29 2 358 255 60 2 2 0 1,291 1,638

12.70 3.79 0 1.83 2.69 0.06 0.12 21.18 14.77 20.82 0 1.77 0.12 21.86 1.557 3.66 0.12 0.12 0 78.82 100

% part.

No.

T3 % micr.

59.94 17.87 0 8.65 12.68 0.29 0.58 100 18.75 26.41 2.25 0 0.15 27.75 19.75 4.65 0.15 0.15 0 100

262 120 0 16 61 4 6 469 250 369 0 10 1 644 187 24 2 11 8 1,506 1,975

13.27 6.08 0 0.81 3.09 0.20 0.30 23.75 12.66 18.68 0 0.51 0.05 32.61 9.47 1.22 0.10 0.56 0.41 76.25 100

% part 55.86 25.59 0 3.41 13.01 0.85 1.28 100 16.60 24.50 0 0.66 0.07 42.76 12.42 1.59 0.13 0.73 0.53 100

Table 15. Thermoxerophilia indices values in the three collections

ITX ITX1 ITX2 ITX3

T1 0.79 –0.17 0.13 0.25

Figure 2. Sorex sp. and Suncus etrusus frequencies in the three periods: 1975–80 (T1), 2006–09 (T2) and Climaparks monitoring 2011–12 (T3).

T2 0.87 0.04 0.26 0.40

T3 0.95 0.10 0.26 0.39

increasing values in the three collections between 0.76 (T1) and 0.95 (T3) (Table 2), which is more than the value of 0.71 indicated by Contoli (1986) as the maximum expected value for areas with temperate bioclimatic conditions. The values of ITX1 are increasing in the three following collections and vary from –0.161 to 0.096. The values of ITX2 and ITX3 indices increase between T1 and T2 and tend to stabilize between the latter and T3. The major variations observed between collections T1 and T2 can be explained by the fact that the elapsed time is greater (about 20 years) than the one between collections T2 and T3 (only 5 years). It should be noted that the formulas of ITX2 and ITX3 indices take into consideration the frequency of Rattus rattus, which in the specific area is difficult to distinguish from R. norvegicus by analysing only the bone remains (Aloise , 2008). In addition, the Barn Owl does not appear to be a totally random sampler of the Rattus species, as it likely selects smaller, younger or less


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aggressive specimens. For this reason it has to be considered that the calculated values of ITX and ITX1 are more probable than those calculated by the other two.

Conclusions The analysis of the time series of the three weather stations confirmed a general increase in temperatures in the study area. The longest time series (Classe Pine Forest, 64 years), which can be considered as an indicator of climate change in the medium to long term, showed a significant increase of the maximum temperature at a rate of 0.4 °C per decade and this increase is mainly caused by rising temperatures in spring and summer. The trend is particularly pronounced from 1990 onwards. In fact, both for Classe Pine Forest and Porto Tolle, the increasing trend was significant for minimum, average and maximum temperatures at a higher rate (0.8 °C per decade which corresponds to an increase of 8 °C per century), due mainly to spring and summer season for the first one and also autumn for the second. This trend is due to a corresponding increase in spring and summer temperatures and a sharp increase in autumn temperatures for S3. These results correspond with those of previous studies. In fact, Brunetti et al. (2006) have reported an increase in all thermal indices of about 8 °C in spring and summer per century since the 1980s. In the Mesola Wood’ station significant changes were observed only for minimum temperatures, but with a higher decadal rate (+1.4 °C per decade), with a strong upward trend in summer temperatures (1.9 °C per decade) and spring temperatures (1.8 °C per decade). This difference may be due to local microclimatic conditions and in particular to the role played by vegetation in mitigating night temperatures. No clear trend has been observed for rainfall, both in terms of cumulative values and number of annual events, although the analysis of the 1948–2011 series in the Classe Pine Forest shows a weak downward trend in the number of rainy days, combined with a substantial constancy of the annual rainfall, and this data indicates more intense rainfall events. From the comparative analysis of chorologic data on Coleoptera Carabidae sampled in the Mesola Wood and those provided by samples of previous years (1995–1997), we can confirm the prevalence of wide-distribution species on the time scale too. The relative increase in Central AsianTuranian chorotypes and the simultaneous sharp drop of those belonging to the North Asian group shows a significant trend, which is more interesting than the deviations observed in the spectra of chorotypes, from which we may hypothesize that a replacement of faunas is going on. The deviations in the relative abundances of eudominant and dominant species, in fact, are not only macroscopic, but demonstrate an alternation of species of different categories, both chorologic and ecological (in terms of hygrophilia and thermophilia). The clearly dominant species in 2011–2012 was Calathus fuscipes graecus, an eumediterranean, mesohygrophilic and thermophilic species, whose relative abundance has increased to 65% from 15% of the 1995–1997 period, while

Carabus granulatus interstitialis, a dominant hygrophilic and mesothermophilic species in the previous period, has registered a significant decrease during the Climaparks monitoring period from 30% to 2%. A macroscopic regression affected Nebria brevicollis, also a hygrophilic and mesothermophilic species, which went from eudominant with 15% to recedent with 1%. Significant and in line with the trends observed so far is the decline of Carabus cancellatus emarginatus, a Siberian-European hygrophilic and mesothermophilic species, which decreased from 13% to 7%. The above-mentioned trend lines are confirmed by the results of the survey carried out in the mid-1980s (Contarini, 1988). In this study, the hygrophilic and mesothermophilic species Carabus granulatus interstitialis was frequent, while the mesohygrophilic and mesothermophilic Calathus melanocephalus was classified as sporadic. Even more striking is the fact that today’s dominant species Calathus melanocephalus was not recorded in that study. The analysis of the Carabidae chorotypes of the Classe Pine Forest reveals a predominance of widely distributed entities, although less marked than the Mesola Wood ones. The carabidocenoses of the two monitoring sites differ significantly from each other so as to be scarcely comparable. The monitored area seems to have undergone significant changes in the population’s structure of micromammals in the last 30 years. By comparing the collection carried out in the 1975–1980 period to that of more recent periods, we have observed an increase of some thermophilic species (Mus musculus, Suncus etruscus) and a decrease of mesophilic species (Sorex sp.). These changes are also confirmed by the increase of the thermoxerophilia indices. From the analysis of weather data it is clear that in recent decades the analysed area has suffered significant increases in temperature, and this changes could have had a positive effect on thermophilic species and a negative effect on mesophilic species of small mammals of the monitored area. The increase of thermophilic species may cause adverse effects not only to microteriocenoses, but also to entire ecosystems, and the progressive reduction of mesophilic species could lead to a loss of biodiversity. In addition, the increase of more antropophile thermophilic species (Mus musculus and Rattus rattus) could increase the risk of rodent-transmitted diseases (Menne & Ebi, 2006; Szpunar et al., 2008). The reproductive phenology of the Agile Frog populations in the two sites is in line with what has been reported in literature. Because of the close relationship between temperature and reproductive activity, a direct effect of the rising temperatures could be the early starting of the reproductive season (Beebee, 1995; Crucitti, 2012; Tryjanowski et al., 2003). With our data we cannot define as concrete the changes in the Agile Frog’s phenology, because more longterm monitoring is needed (Corn, 2005) to detect significant changes in the pace of reproductive activities of this species. It is clear, however, that if the climate trends were to persist or intensify, an early starting of the reproductive season or reproductive anomalies such as those observed for the Common Toad in the Mesola Wood (Mazzotti et al., 2003)


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may also occur in a short time. It is a well-known fact that the effects of climate change affect the physiology (e.g. balance between water lost by transpiration and acquired by osmosis), behaviour (period of hibernation) and ecology of amphibians (Blaustein et al., 2001), so we can assume that this frog is a good bioclimatic indicator for future monitoring of the effects of climate change on biological systems.

References

Alexandersson, H. (1986). A homogeneity test applied to precipitation data. Journal of Climatology, 6, 661–675. Aloise, G., Szpunar, G., Mazzotti, S., Nieder, L., & Cristaldi, M. (2008, July). On a Rattus rattus (Linnaeus, 1758) population characterized by atypical M1 [Abstract]. In Rodens et spatium. 11th International Conference on Rodent Biology, Myshkin (Russia). Amori, G., Contoli, L. & Nappi, A. (2008). Fauna d’Italia. Vol. 44, Mammalia II: Erinaceomorpha, Soricomorpha, Lagomorpha, Rodentia. Italy: Calderini Editore. Blaustein, A. R., Walls, S. C., Bancroft, B. A., Lawler, J. J., Searle, C. L., & Gervasi S. S. (2010). Direct and indirect effects of climate change on amphibian populations. Diversity, 2, 281–313. Brunetti, M., Maugeri, M., Monti, F., & Nanni, T. (2006). Temperature and precipitation variability in Italy in the last two centuries from homogenised instrumental time series. International Journal of Climatology, 26, 345–381. Chaline, J., Baudvin, H., Jammot, D., & Saint Girons, M. C. (1974). Les proies des rapaces. Paris, France: Doin. Contarini, E. (1988). La coleotterofauna del “Boscone della Mesola” (delta padano meridionale). Secondo contributo (Carabidae, Silphidae, Scydmaenidae, Staphylinidae, Pselaphidae, Histeridae, Anthicidae). Bollettino del Museo civico di Storia naturale di Venezia, 38, 135–154. Contoli, L. (1980). Borre di Strigiformi e ricerca teriologica in Italia. Natura e Montagna, 3, 73–94. Contoli, L. (1986). Sistemi trofici e corologia: dati su Soricidae, Talpidae ed Arvicolidae d’Italia predati da Tyto alba (Scopoli 1769). Hystrix, 1(2), 95–118. Corn, P. S. (2005). Climate change and amphibians. Animal Biodiversity and Conservation, 28(1), 59–67. Crucitti, P. (2012). A review of phenological patterns of amphibians and reptiles in central Mediterranean ecoregion. In Xiaoyang Zhang (Ed.), Phenology and climate change (Chapter 3). doi: 10.5772/35961 Duellman, W. E., & Trueb, L. (Eds). (1986). Biology of Amphibians. Baltimore, MD, USA: Johns Hopkins University Press. Mazzotti, S., R., Falconi & F., Zaccanti (2003). Autumnal reproduction of Bufo bufo in the Po Delta river (Northern Italy). Annali del Museo civico di Storia naturale di Ferrara, 5 (2002): 131-133. Mazzotti, S. (Ed.) (2007). Quaderni della Staz. di Ecol. del Museo civico di St. Nat. Vol. 17: “Herp-Help” Status e strategie di conservazione degli Anfibi e dei Rettili del Parco Regionale del Delta del Po. Ferrara, Italy: Museo civico di Storia Naturale. Mazzotti, S., Massetti, L., & Maruzzi, P. (2008). Timing and thermal relation of movement events to pond-breeding by Rana dalmatina in the Po river Delta (Northern Italy). In C. Corti (Ed.), Le Scienze. Vol 8: Herpetologia Sardiniae. Latina, Italy: Societas Herpetologica Italica/Belvedere. Menne, B., & Ebi, K. L. (2006). Vector and rodent-borne diseases. In B. Menne & K. L. Ebi (Eds.), Climate change and adaptation strategies for human health (pp. 129–268). Darmstadt, Germany: Steinkopff. Nappi, A. (2001). I micromammiferi d’Italia. Italy: Simone. Niethammer, J., & Krapp, F. (1978a). Handbuch der Säugetiere Europas. Band 1: Nagetiere I (Sciuridae, Castoridae, Gliridae, Muridae). Wiesbaden, Germany: Akademische Verlagsgesellschaft. Niethammer, J., & Krapp, F. (1978b). Handbuch der Säugetiere Europas. Band 3: Nagetiere I (Erinaceidae, Talpidae, Soricidae, Cercopithecidae). Wiesbaden, Germany: Akademische Verlagsgesellschaft. Ratti, E., Busato, L., De Martin, P., & Zanella, L. (1997). I Carabidi delle golene del corso inferiore del Piave (Veneto, Italia nordorientale) (Insecta Coleoptera Carabidae). Boll. Mus. civ. St. nat. Venezia, 47, 7–74. Szpunar, G., Aloise, G., Mazzotti, S., Nieder, L., & Cristaldi, M. (2008). Effects of global climate change on small mammal communities in Italy. Fresenius Environmental Bulletin, 17, 1526–1533. Timm, B. C., McGarigal, K., & Compton, B. W. (2007). Timing of large movement events of pond-breeding amphibians in


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Western Massachusetts, USA. Biological Conservation, 136. 442–454. Tischler, W. (1949). Grundzüge der terrestrischen Tierökologie. Brannschweig, Germany: F. Vieweg & Sohn. Toschi, A. (1959). Mammalia. Generalità-Insectivora-Chiroptera. In A. Toschi & B. Lanza (Eds.), Fauna d’Italia. Vol. 4 (pp. 65–186). Bologna, Italy: Calderini. Toschi, A. (1965). Mammalia. Lagomorpha-Rodentia-Carnivora-Artiodactyla-Cetacea. In A. Toschi (Ed.), Fauna d’Italia. Vol. 6 (pp. 48–238). Bologna, Italy: Calderini. Tryjanowski, P., Rybacki, M., & Sparks, T. (2003). Changes in the first spawning dates of common frogs and common toads in western Poland in 1978–2002. Annales Zoologici Fennici, 40, 459–464. Vigna Taglianti, A. (2005). Checklist e corotipi delle specie di Carabidae della fauna italiana. In P. Brandmayr, T. Zetto & R. Pizzolotto (Eds.), I Coleotteri Carabidi per la valutazione ambientale e la conservazione della biodiversità: Manuale operativo (Appendix B, pp. 186–225). Roma, Italy: APAT. Wells, K. D. (1977). The social behaviour of anuran amphibians. Animal Behaviour, 25, 666–693.


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Izvleček V okviru pričujoče študije smo opredelili vrste in taksocenoze, ki predstavljajo bioklimatske kazalnike, občutljive na vremenske in podnebne spremembe v delti reke Pad:) rosnica (Rana dalmatina); b) krešiči (Coleoptera, Carabidae), c) mikroterjocenoze (Mammalia, Rodentia, Soricomorpha). Iz analize cenoze krešičev izhaja relativno povečanje centralno azijsko-turanskih korotipov in hkratno upadanje severnoazijskih, kar dokazuje, da je v teku proces nadomeščanja favne preko zamenjave higrofilnih vrst s termofilnimi. Tudi pri mikroterjocenozah smo opazili povečanje termofilnih vrst in krčenje mezofilnih. Podnebne spremembe bi lahko vplivale tudi na fenologijo rosnice in njene reproduktivne dejavnosti. Tovrstna žaba predstavlja dober kazalnik za spremljanje bioloških učinkov globalnega segrevanja.

Estratto Sono individuate specie e tassocenosi che costituiscono indicatori bioclimatici sensibili delle modificazioni meteoclimatiche nel Delta del Po: a) rana agile (Rana dalmatina); b) carabidocenosi (Coleoptera, Carabidae); c) microteriocenosi (Mammalia, Rodentia, Soricomorpha). L’analisi delle carabidocenosi ha mostrato un aumento relativo di corotipi centro asiatici turanici e il contemporaneo forte regresso di quelli asiatico settentrionale evidenziando una sostituzione di faune in atto con un processo di avvicendamento di specie igrofile con specie termofile. Anche per le microteriocenosi si osserva l’aumento di specie termofile e la diminuzione di quelle mesofile. I cambiamenti climatici potrebbero interessare anche la fenologia di rana agile con effetti sulle attività riproduttive.


Valli di Comacchio (Photo: I. Ĺ kornik)


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Climate Change and Management of Protected Areas: Survey on Tourist Flows and on the Modifications of Tourist’s Demand Related to Climate Change Stefano Dall’Aglio Econstat, Via Irnerio 22, 40126 Bologna, Italy. Correspondence: mail@econstat.it.

Abstract Climate change is one of the most prominent issues challenging the development strategy of destinations. The study has been conducted In order to understand how climate change could affect the perception of visitors in the Park, their future visit-and-use behaviour. The research has been based on a survey on park visitors. Coming to the study’s outcomes, climate change seems able to foster park’s visitation in the off-season. Focusing on specific tourist activities, some of them seem to be much more sensitive than others to climate change effects. This is a preliminary study, which must lead to the subsequent identification of improvements to be carried out and new tourism products to be launched, able to face the new situation and turn it into an opportunity for the whole tourism system. Keywords: climate change, sustainable development, tourist destinations, natural areas, park, tourist activities, seasonal spread.

INTRODUCTION This summary refers to the research on expected modifications of tourist behavior in visiting the park, as a response of climate change. The research has been carried out by Econstat on behalf of Ente di Gestioneper iParchi e la Biodiversitàdel Delta del Po. Climate change is certainly high on the attention of the tourist managers worldwide; studies are increasing on how these factor must be taken into account in the local development strategy, provided that the changes in meteo conditions can have both negative effects (reduced attractiveness or availability of existing tourism products) and positive ones (expanded tourist season, demand for new products). Literature reveals that mountain and marine areas are regarded as far more exposed to the adverse effects of

climate change, although the phenomenon will still lead to changes in other environments and tourism products, such as natural areas.

Objectives and methodology This study arises from the goal set up by the board of the Po Delta Park of Emilia-Romagna, to understand how climate change may affect the perception, the visit and the use of the natural area by the prospects and is based on a survey on park visitors. This is a preliminary study, preparatory to a more structured subsequent intervention aimed at the identification of


improvements in the supply system and the development of new tourism products/offers, useful to the Park to face the new situation and turn it to advantage. The research has been based on a data collection, carried out by a questionnaire on tourists users of the Park of the Po Delta, lasted from mid-April to early June 2012, which recorded the active participation of the staff of 7 Visitor Centers and 3 camping sites on the coast of Emilia-Romagna. Questionnaires were also collected during the International Po Birdwatching Fair, held in Comacchio from 27 to 29 April 2012. The questionnaires were self-completed by respondents and were then processed by the researchers; as a result of the analysis of completeness and consistency of the answers, it has come to the final number of 212 (out of more than 400 collected) valid questionnaires for the survey, sample size which can be considered statistically robust. The first results show that the “spontaneous” knowledge of climate change and its effects is vast majority: as much as 95% of the sample of tourists claims to know the phenomenon, without any particular changes in the subgroups by gender, age, level education, frequency of visit to the Park. The first and general reactions to the possible effects on tourism behavior in the area induced by climate changes, show a potential increase in the frequency especially in Spring (6 points the difference plus-minus in the share of attendance) Autumn (9 points of plus-minus) and a decrease in Winter (–18) and Summer (–17). Considering the weight of present visits to the park in the different seasons (“high” in Spring and Summer; “low” in Autumn and Winter), overall attendance is then expected stable (74% foresees it to be stable, 13% increase, 13% decrease), with a null plus-minus. In terms of length of visit, a high correlation between frequency and duration has been recorded: the seasons with potential increasing frequency, are also those with a potential increase in the average length of stay and vice versa. Therefore climate change would seem potentially mean for the Park in the off-season (especially autumn) not only more frequent visits by the users, but also longer stays. The analysis then focused on specific tourist activities in the Park (13 have been considered such as: trekking, biking, canoeing, horseback riding, birdwatching, educational activities, food & wine, etc.) and the perception of changes

in the behavior of these specific segments as a response to climate changes. In this passage from general perception to the specific tourism products, new needs and expectations emerge, useful to drive the adaptation of the tourism supply system. Some activities seem to be much more sensitive than others to climate change. In addition, some results on the spread of the seasonal effects are not fully in line with what has been described above, proof that treat environmental questions without falling into the obvious, requires attention and sophisticated research tools.

Figure 1. Expected changes in the frequency of visits to the Delta Po Park in different seasons.

Figure 2. Tourist activities in the Park.

Guidelines The following are theguidelines drawn upas a result of the research on visitors and the sharing of outcomes with local operators. These guidelineswere drawn up onthe basis ofevidenceresultingfrom the specificsituation andcontext of intervention (Park of the Po Delta). We believe, however, they are generalizable and extendible to manyprotected areas with similar features.

Protected areas are destinations to a demand expressing the desire for enjoying a growing variety of activities There is an increasing trend in the number of visitors and tourists in parks and protected areas, well recorded by the National Monitor Ecotur on Nature Tourism. The Park of Po Delta records an average yearly growth of 3.7% over a period of 11 years. In addition, we are witnessing the growth in the number of activities practiced by guests. As if to say that if in the past the visit in a protected area was essentially “passive” (relaxation, observation), today every visitor amplifies its request for things to see, activities to do, experiences to enjoy. In the survey carried out in the Park of the Po Delta, for example, the average number of activities for each visitor is about 2.5, with ranks: birdwatching (played by 39% of the sample); visits accompanied by guides (35%), the general discovery of the Park (29%), the entry into a visitors center


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(24%). This “desire to practice” on the demand side must be accompanied by a similar growth of services on the supply side, without which the economy (and the competitiveness) of the protected area will inevitably be weakened.

– In absolute: nature guided visits; excursions by boat; biking/MTB, trekking/walking, birdwatching. – In relation to the (smaller) size of the segment: equestrian trails/excursions; trails in canoe/kayak.

Climate change will have an impact on the The trend is geared to a confirmation of period of visit growth in visitors and the activities played The survey conducted among visitors shows how the protected area records the arrival of a large number of people never came before (thanks to events – in this case Slow Spring – acting as catalysts): almost half of the respondents is in the Park for the first time. The “repeaters,” on the other hand, are intensive users of the Park (about 2/3 of those who has already come, did it for more than 3 times). Increase both in the number of “first timers” and in the frequency of visit of “habitués” draw a scenario marked by a further increase of demand. However, it is even more sustained the growth in the future propensity of visitors to engage themselves in the Park area: the practice of various activities, on average, is expected to double. Activities characterized by a trend of higher growth are:

Climate change manifests its effects in different ways, among which the most important are: a rise in average temperatures and a general decline in precipitations, with showers (rain, snow) more focused and more intense. At seasonal level we are recording: a drier summer, an early Spring, but with a higher likelihood of rain, a fall warmer and longer, a milder and shorter winter (but with possible snow storms). The survey reveals that in terms of seasonal visitation, climate changes cause – as opposed to the expected seasonal use – an increase in frequency especially in Autumn (the season that benefits more from than phenomenon) followed by Winter and Summer (period when growth is slight but positive), while it is stable in the Spring (which is still the much preferred season to go in a park). The study thus reveals the potentials of climate change

Figure 3. Shares of users among visitors for some activities within the park: Current Users (who practice the activity), Expected future additional users, Climate Change-induced users.


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for protected areas: the capacity to develop flows in seasons traditionally “minor” (Autumn and Winter) and, for parks in mountain areas, “revitalize” the Summer – at least for specific customer segments – thanks to the positive temperature differential compared to hot cities of the plain.

Climate change has a positive impact on the visitation and the practiced activities In the “naturally expansive” general trend, climate change induces a further boost due in particular to better climate conditions during Autumn, traditionally an off-peak season, however favorable to the visit and the use of protected areas. In the scenario with climate change, the average variation detected on users is positive (+10% the practiced activities vs. the “no climate change” trend). Figure 3. Shares of users among visitors for some activities within the park: Current Users (who practice the activity), Expected future additional users, Climate Change-induced users.

Some activities are most affected than others by climate change Climate change has an incremental effect more strongly on some experiences over others, and more specifically: Activities in the Visitor Centers; Birdwatching, Educational Activities about flora/fauna/environment, Trekking/Walking, Food and Wine tourism. These results represent knowledge to be conveyed to the supply tourism operators so that they can build services and proposals to respond to the “new” demand and seize the opportunities offered by climate change.

Beware to banalities in marketing and communication The theme of climate and its changes has been much abused and is very easy to fall into banality (as always when it deals with environmental issues): everybody agrees, answers and immediate reactions are obvious (in theory), but latent factors do exist, which make difficult (in practice) to change behaviors and processes towards the right direction. The risk in policy making is to use obvious keys, to implement initiatives that will hardly have a real impact on the behavior of consumers or on the adaptation process of the enterprises. In order to “change skin” – as climate change forces – are needed, however, “refined” and unusual tools, approaches and initiatives, both in the analysis of the impacts (on the attractive system, on the behavior of guests, on the reactions of firms) and in the implementation of actions (in communication, information, training, construction of services and tourism products).


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Izvleček Podnebne spremembe so eno od najpomembnejših vprašanj, ki jih morajo obravnavati razvojne strategije turističnih destinacij. Študijo smo izvedli zato, da bi razumeli, kako lahko podnebne spremembe vplivajo na percepcijo obiskovalcev Parka delte reke Pad ter na njihovo bodoče ravnanje in koriščenje parka. Raziskavo smo izvedli na podlagi anketiranja obiskovalcev parka. Izsledki kažejo, da podnebne spremembe spodbujajo obiskovanje parka v nižji sezoni. Glede specifičnih turističnih aktivnosti, ki se izvajajo na območju parka, ugotavljamo, da so nekatere bolj občutljive do podnebnih sprememb kot druge. Na osnovi te predhodne študije je treba v prihodnje opredeliti izboljšave in oblikovati nove turistične produkte, s katerimi bomo kos novim razmeram in da jih spremenimo v prednost za celoten sistem turistične oskrbe.

Estratto Il cambiamento climatico è uno degli elementi chiave per le nuove strategie di sviluppo delle destinazioni. Il presente studio è stato realizzato per capire come il cambiamento climatico può influenzare la percezione dei visitatori del Parco del Delta del Po e il loro di visita comportamento futuro . La ricerca si è basata su un sondaggio sui visitatori del parco. I risultati dello studio mostrano che il cambiamento climatico può favorire fenomeni di destagionalizzazione. In merito alle attività turistiche nel parco, alcune sembrano essere più sensibili di altre agli effetti del cambiamento climatico. Si tratta di uno studio preliminare, che deve servire per individuare nuovi prodotti turistici in grado di trasformare il cambiamento climatico in una opportunità per l’intero sistema turistico.


Monte Mauro (Photo: P. Lucci)


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PARK OF VENA DEL GESSO ROMAGNOLA The Park of Vena del Gesso Romagnola (6.000 ha) protects and promotes a wonder of Apennines, an outcropping of Gypsum crystals, with long, beautiful cliffs, as the San Biagio Cliff and Mount Mauro. The stone is soluble and there are important karst sites, over 200 caves, dolinas, sinkholes and karst springs. Over the rocks in south slopes, live specialized plants, among which the rare Cheilanthes persica, in its only Italian site and species of the Maquis. In the northern side the Vein is covered by woods and there are, in the deep ravines, a lot of high mountain species. Most important Mammals are Bats, with important colonies and also Crested Porcupine, Wild Cat, Wolf. There are many nesting species of Birds of prey, as the magnificent Eagle Owl and the Peregrine Falcon. The History of Men is interesting. The caves (Tanaccia and Re Tiberio) were used during the Prehistory as place of woreship; in the Middle Age were built ecclesiastic and military settlements and original villages made of Gypsum stones over Gypsum rocks. Agricolture characterizes the surrounding landscape and gives extraordinary foods.

Parco regionale della Vena del Gesso Romagnola Via Saffi, 2 - 48013 Brisighella (RA 48121 Ravenna ITALIJA Phone: +39 (0) 546 81066 Fax: +39 (0) 546 80066 http://www.parcovenadelgesso.it parcovenadelgesso@romagnafaentina.it


The lesser horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus hipposideros) hibernating in a cave (Photo: M. Bertozzi)


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Analysis of Bat Diet Through the Study of Guano in the Regional Park of Vena del Gesso Romagnola (Emilia-Romagna) in the Climaparks Project (Arthropods, Mammalia Chiroptera) Roberto Fabbri Via Bisa 2, 48017 Lavezzola (RA), Italy. Correspondence: eco.fabbri@gmail.com.cnr.it.

Abstract The guano of Myotis emarginatus and Rhinolophus hipposideros, collected during 2011 and 2012 in two areas of the Park, has been analysed in order to identify the remains of arthropods contained within the pellets, define their diet and identify their hunting environment. At the same time, night-dwelling arthropods have been surveyed to ease certain aspects of the research. The study of the guano confirms that the group of invertebrates consumed the most by M. emarginatus was made up of araneids; while R. hipposideros mainly captured lepidopters. Both species were shown to especially frequent water courses as areas for foraging where they found a larger concentration of arthropods on the vegetation, particularly during the scorching summer period. Keywords: guano analysis, chiropteran diets, hunting areas.

INTRODUCTION Within the ambit of the three-year project studying the diet of some species of chiropterans in the Vena del Gesso Romagnola Park, we examined the collected guano of Rhinolophus hipposideros and Myotis emarginatus in two different areas. The study of diet using remains contained in the pellets has been considered a reliable method for some time both from a qualitative and quantitative viewpoint (Kunz & Whitaker, 1983; McAney et al., 1991, 1997; Vaughan, 1997; Whitaker, 1988). M. emarginatus frequents forest edges for foraging, the bands of trees and bushes interspersed with meadows but also the edges of cultivated fields, pastures and gardens (Krull et al., 1991; Steck & Brinkmann, 2006). Typically it eats spiders (Araneae), insects (mostly diptera like Brachycera and Nematocera but also neuroptera, hymenoptera, lepidoptera, coleoptera, blattoidei) and other invertebrates, which it captures in flight, on the ground and on vegetation (Hutson et al., 2008). R. hipposideros especially hunt in forests but also in bands of riparian vegetation. Its dietary regimen consists primarily of insects like diptera, especially nematocera (McAney & Fairley, 1989) but also some families of diptera brachicera. Secondarily it consumes lepidoptera and other orders like:

Neuroptera, Trichoptera, Hymenoptera, Coleoptera, Hemiptera, Psocoptera and even Arachnida of the order Araneae. The purpose of the research was to: learn more about the alimentary ecology of bat species, with special reference to diet; compare the availability of prey in nature with the results from the analysis of guano; define hunting environments for each colony of bats.

Methods Area of study The colonies of the two species of bats are located near waterways. The single-species nursery of R. hipposideros from which guano was collected is located in a building near the Santerno river, 110 m.a.s.l., in Borgo Tossignano (BO). The area where arthropods were sampled at night is located along the banks of the tract of the Santerno about 500 m upstream of the old Bailey bridge over the river (44°16’22.49”N 11°34’47.09”E), up to 1.5 km downstream from this bridge (44°16’31.99”N


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11°34’42.71”E), in the locality of Corsignano, in a woodland edge located some hundred metres from the tract of the River in question. The single-species colony of M. emarginatus, from which the guano was taken is located under the street bridge on the river Sintria, at the height of Casa la Fornace, 95 m.a.s.l. Night sampling points of arthropods were located along the banks of the Sintria river just upstream of Casa Lame (44°14’24.55”N 11°43’26.81”E), at Casa la Fornace and up to San Mamante in Curiano (44°14’43.26”N 11°44’10.54” E) (municipalities of Brisighella and Riolo Terme) and along the edge of the upstream of Casa Lame. Both rivers (Santerno and Sintria) have seasonal rainfall and accommodate large sections of riparian forest along their banks. Inside the river branches where the two colonies are present there are deciduous forests, semi-natural meadows, arable fields and conventional orchards, and wide or isolated residential settlements.

Insects collected in the field In conjunction with the study of bat droppings, in the late spring and summer 2011–2012 field research was conducted on insects in night activities that are most likely to be in the same hunting environments of the bats. Specially prepared traps (pitfall-light-traps) were used (Fabbri & Giacomoni, 2010; Fabbri & Corazza, 2009), consisting

Figure 2. Light-trap placed on Sintria river to collect insects wit nocturnal activity.

Figure 3. Droppings of bats after extraction of insect fragments.

of 8-watt Wood lamps powered by a 12 volt battery. They were set out at night in hot weather muggy and kept active from dusk until late at night. Also used along with these was a screen for night mowing the vegetation along predefined paths. The arthropod fauna collected was subsequently sorted, finally determined in species when possible, and the number of specimens was counted.

Collection and analysis of the guano

Figure 1. Light-trap placed on Sintria river to collect insects wit nocturnal activity.

The study of alimentary ecology was carried out through the analysis of faecal pellets. This method is advantageous because it is not invasive and the remains of ingested arthropods remain recognisable. During the period when the colonies stay within the roost, periodic collections were made of the bat droppings produced from June to October 2011–2012 in Borgo Tossignano for


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During the data processing an estimation was made of the volume occupied by a single predated taxonomic unit within each dropping and related to 100 (Arlettaz, 1995; Duvergé, 1996; Vaughan, 1997), the calculation of the average percentage volume (or cumulative frequency in the diet) for each taxon identified (Duvergé, 1996), the valuation of the percentage rate, namely the number of pellets in a given taxon divided by the total number of pellets examined multiplied by 100.

Results Invertebrates collected in the field Figure 4. Study on stereomicroscope of the pellets of bats.

R. hipposideros and from May to September 2011–2012 in Zattaglia for M. emarginatus, using nylon sheets placed on the ground in the areas most frequented. The guano collected was dried, placed in labelled bags and analysed in the laboratory following the analysing procedure of Pont and Moulin (1985), Dickmann and Huang (1988), McAney et al. (1991, 1997), Arlettaz et al.(1993), Duvergé (1996), Steck and Brinkmann (2006). The minimum number of pellets selected to analyse by sample, to estimate the minimum taxonomic richness predated, was 15. The taxonomic determination of the insect fragments in the pellets was made using a comparison with invertebrates located in dry places and collected during the night hunts, using key identifiers and guides to determine the remains in the bat pellets (Whitaker, 1988; McAney et al., 1991, 1997; Vaughan, 1997). The fragments were determined in the lowest taxonomic category possible, which made it possible to associate various entomatic taxa to their likely living habitats.

During 2011–2012 the use of light traps and mowing screen allowed sampling several thousand specimens of invertebrates of the following taxa with nocturnal activity or resting on the vegetation at night in the 2 areas where the nurseries are and probably frequented by bats during foraging. Zattaglia along Sintria Creek (hunting area of M. emarginatus): Gastropods (3 sp.), Opiliones (1 sp.), Ephemeoptera (3 sp.), Orthoptera (3 sp.), Blattoidea (1 sp.), Dermaptera (1 sp.), Heteroptera (plur. sp.), Homoptera (plur. sp), Mecoptera (1 sp.), Coleoptera (25 sp.), Diptera (plur. sp), Lepidoptera (over 60 sp.), Trichoptera (15 sp.), Hymenoptera (plur. sp). Borgo Tossignano, along the river Santerno (hunting area of R. hipposideros): Gastropods (1 sp.), Araneidae (plur. sp), Ephemeoptera (3 sp.), Odonata (1 sp.), Orthoptera (3 sp.), Dermaptera (1 sp.), Heteroptera (plur. sp), Homoptera (plur. sp.), Coleoptera (21 sp.), Diptera (plur. sp.), Lepidoptera (17 species), Trichoptera (13 sp.), Hymenoptera (plur. sp). The results show that the majority of specimens caught are small (small wing class) and belong to the coleoptera,

Table 1. Frequency and volume of the major groups of invertebrates found in pellets of Myotis emarginatus and Rhinolophus hipposideros in 2011–2012

Order Lepidoptera Araneae Coleoptera Diptera Nematocera Diptera Brachycera Trichoptera Heteroptera Homoptera Orthoptera Blaaria Ephemeroptera Hymenoptera Neuroptera Other

Frequency (%) Myos Rhinolophus emarginatus hipposideros 30.4 91.3 65.2 21.7 47.8 4.3 17.4 17.4

13.0 78.3

92.0 84.0 40.0 68.0 36.0 36.0 20.0 4.0 4.0 4.0 12.0 32.0 56.0

Volume (%) Myos emarginatus

Rhinolophus hipposideros

3.5 48.2 16.3 2.3 14.5 0.3 2.0 2.8

34.1

5.5 4.6

10.1 15.9 15.0 4.6 7.5 4.0 0.1 0.1 0.1 1.4 4.8 2.6


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Table 2. Cumulative frequency of main groups of invertebrates found in 2011–2012 twoyear period in the diet of Myotis emarginatus at Zattaglia

Araneae

4.7.2011 5.8.2011 24.6.2012 30.7.2012 9.9.2012

35.0 50.0 31.0 60.0 65.0

Diptera Diptera Coleoptera Nematocera Brachycera Lepidoptera Heteroptera Homoptera Hymenoptera Trichoptera

38.3 16.0 4.0 18.0 5.0

3.3 6.0 0.0 2.0 0.0

3.3 8.0 54.0 4.0 3.0

6.7 7.0 1.0 0.0 3.0

5.0 1.0 4.0 0.0 0.0

0.0 9.0 0.0 0.0 5.0

1.7 0.0 0.0 12.0 14.0

1.7 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

Table 3. Cumulative frequency of the main group of invertebrates carried out during 2011-2012 on the diet of Rhinolophus hipposideros at Borgo Tossignano

11.8.2011 16.7.2012 26.8.2012 2.10.2012

Diptera Diptera Epheme Hymeno Neuropt Lepidopt Coleopte Nemato Brachyc Trichopt Heterop Homopt Orthopt era era ra cera era era tera era era Blaaria roptera ptera 25.3 21.2 10.5 19.0 8.3 1.8 5.0 0.3 0.3 0.3 1.5 3.0 44.0 8.0 0.0 10.0 0.0 12.0 6.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 4.0 14.0 52.0 7.0 8.0 12.0 5.0 10.0 3.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 15.0 4.0 45.0 19.0 5.0 6.0 2.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 2.0

hereoptera, homoptera, diptera and hymenoptera; these are taxa mainly linked to water or plants that grow along the water’s edge, on the wet banks of watercourses and low growing vegetation.

Analysis of guano A total of 45 faecal pellets were examined in 2011, and in 2012 altogether 90. In the pellets of both bat species in most cases were 3–5 orders of arthropods and only in few cases 1–2 or 6 taxa. One detail that stands out is that both bats catch small beetles often attributable to the Corticariidae and/or Mycetophagidae families. These beetles, on average 1.2–3.0 mm long (for the species preyed upon), live by eating at various stages arboreal and corticoleal fungi and therefore can be caught by adult bats sitting on bark and foliage. R. hipposideros preys on a considerably greater number of families of beetles than M. emarginatus from the data available thus far (7 vs. 2). The predation of R. hipposideros on Metcalfa pruinosa is very interesting. Such an event was observed with certainty twice but it is likely that it happens quite frequently because it is not easy to identify fragments of homoptera and heteroptera in pellets. M. pruinosa is an exotic invasive insect species and predation by bats is ever more important. Table 1 presents the frequency rate of arthropod taxa as they are found on average in pellets of the two species of bats studied and Table 1 also shows the volume percentage that each invertebrate order is on average found in the droppings analysed. The number of arthropod taxa common to the diet of both bat species is 8 of 13. The number of taxa predated by only one or the other bat species is 4; one taxon for M. emarginatus: araneidae, with high frequency and high volume

Other 3.5 2.0 3.0 2.0

(freq. 91.3% and vol. 48.2%), and which constitutes a large part of its diet; three taxa for R. hipposideros: orthoptera and blattoidei (both with 4.0% freq. vol. 0.1%) and neuroptera (freq. 32.0% and vol. 4.8%), with insignificant values for their presence in the diet of the species. The most common arthropod taxa in the pellets of both species of bats are the coleoptera (65.2% 84.0%), diptera brachycera (47.8% and 68.0%) and lepidoptera (30.4% and 92.0%). The most represented arthropod orders by volume in the pellets of both bat species are the diptera (14.5% and 15.0%) and coleoptera (16.3% and 10.1%) and secondly lepidoptera (3.5% and 34.1%) and Diptera nematocera (2.3% and 15.9%). Tables 2 and 3 present the cumulative frequency of the major arthropod groups predated in the study period 2011–2012 by both bat species. It is interesting to note that for M. emarginatus the diet is based primarily in periods considered primarily araneidae and secondarily on coleoptera and when these fall in spring, predation turns more to diptera brachycera (Table 2). The taxa most preyed on are caught mostly on foliage and herbs, or between these, and this is evident because these taxa never fly (like the araneidae) or because they are not active during night but rest on vegetation (such as diptera brachycera, various coleoptera and hymenoptera, and others). M. emarginatus thus catches more inactive arthropods. For R. hipposideros diet relies mainly on multiple taxa according to the time of year: lepidoptera, coleoptera, diptera nematoceri, diptera brachycera, tricoptera and heteroptera in August and September; lepidoptera, neuroptera, coleoptera, diptera brachycera, heteroptera and homoptera in July (Table 3). R. hipposideros, unlike M. emarginatus, prey on more active flying insects as abundant taxa were found in its diet.


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Discussion and conclusions The data collected with light traps located in several places and the direct search with mowing screen, as regards the study of alimentary ecology, have greatly facilitated the identification of fragments of invertebrates found in droppings and have allowed the identification of the most likely types of hunting areas. The study of the guano of Myotis emarginatus in Zattaglia confirms that the most consumed invertebrate group consists of the araneidae. Surprisingly, the second taxon most predated is not the coleoptera as is reported in some bibliographic works. The bats especially catch arthropods resting or active on vegetation or both, and not invertebrates in flight. For this species of bat it is evident how the river (or other watercourses in the area), in this case the river Sintria, is a hunting area significantly frequented, with various aquatic entomatic taxa encountered inside the pellets. The taxa not related to water predated by M. emarginatus are hunted in shrubby and ecotonal vegetation. Regarding Rhinolophus hipposideros in Borgo Tossignano, there are always a various number of arthropod taxa present in its diet in different periods of the year with high volume and frequency: lepidoptera, coleoptera, diptera nematoceri, diptera brachycera, tricoptera, neuroptera, homoptera and

heteroptera. The most frequent order is lepidoptera followed by coleoptera and diptera brachycera. The prey found in the pellets shows a distinct tie of the colony to the river Santerno (or other neighboring watercourses) as the foraging area, as 2 taxa preyed on in 12, and at least 6 families, develop exclusively in water. Of the rest of the entomatic group eaten as food, the majority lives in wooded areas and in ecotonal areas of transition between wooded spots and glades and meadows. Most of the arthropods predated by the two bat species (among others the tricoptera were predated by both bats more in 2011) do not come directly from the water. In the past two summers of 2011–2012, the persistence of warm-dry weather led to a greater concentration of invertebrate pests and predators, not strictly related to water, along the treeshrub-grass vegetation of the river banks (as is clear from the trap data, not only in Vena del Gesso). This happened because the river vegetation was more lush than the surroundings by the increased availability of water in the soil (albeit with tracts of dry riverbed) and with the subsequent effect of moderating temperatures. It seems likely therefore that the two colonies of bats have locally used the river corridors as a main hunting ground during the past two years with very hot summers and their diet varied as a function of the prey found in these areas.

Acknowledgements I would like to thank the various entomologists who helped me in determining some of the groups of insects captured with the light traps, Massimo Bertozzi for collecting the chiropterans’ guano, and the management of the Vena del Gesso Romagnola Regional Park for their collaboration.

References Arlettaz, R. (1995). Ecology of the sibling mouse-eared bats (Myotis myotis and Myotis blythii): zoogeography, niche, competition and foraging (Doctoral dissertation, University of Lausanne). Martigny, Switzerland: Horus. Arlettaz, R., Ruedi, M., & Hausser, J. (1993). Ecologie trophique de deux espèces jumelles et sympatriques de chauves-souris: Myotis myotis et Myotis blythii (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae). Premiers résultats. Mammalia, 57(4), 519–531. Dickmann, C. R., & Huang, C. (1988). The reliability of fecal analysis as a method for determining the diet of insectivorous mammals. Journal of Mammology, 69, 108–113. Duvergé, P. L. (1996). Foraging activity, habitat use, development of juveniles, and diet of the greater horseshoe bats (Rhinolophus ferrumequinum Schreber, 1774) in south-west England (Doctoral dissertation). Faculty of Science, University of Bristol, England. Fabbri, R., & Giacomoni, R. (2010). Ecologia alimentare del Rinolofo maggiore (Rhinolophus ferrumequinum (Schreber, 1774) nella Riserva Naturale Speciale di Alfonsine (Ravenna, Emilia-Romagna) (Mammalia Chiroptera, Insecta). Quaderno di Studi e Notizie di Storia Naturale della Romagna, 31, 61–87. Hutson, A. M., Spitzenberger, F., Aulagnier, S., & Nagy, Z. (2008). Myotis emarginatus. In IUCN 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (Version 2011.1). Retrieved 21 July 2011 from http://www.iucnredlist.org/ Krull, D., Schumm, A., Metzner, W., & Neuweiler, G. (1991). Foraging areas and foraging behavior in the notch-eared bat, Myotis emarginatus (Vespertilionidae). Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 28(4), 247–253. Kunz, T. H., & Whitaker, J. O. (1983). An evaluation of fecal analysis for determining food habits of insectivorous bats. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 61, 1317–1321. McAney, C. M., Shiel, C., Sullivan, C., & Fairley, J. S. (1991). The analysis of bat droppings. London, United Kingdom: The


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Mammal Society. McAney, C. M., Shiel, C., Sullivan, C., & Fairley, J. S. (1997). Identification of arthropod fragments in bat droppings. London, United Kingdom: The Mammal Society. McAney, M., & Fairley, J. S. (1989). Analysis of the diet of the lesser horseshoe bat Rhinolophus hipposideros in the West of Ireland. Journal of Zoology, 217, 491–498. Steck, C. E., & Brinkmann, R. (2006). The trophic niche of the Geoffroy’s bat (Myotis emarginatus) in south-western Germany. Acta Chiropterologica, 8(2), 445–450. Vaughan, N. (1997). The diets of British bats (Chiroptera). Mammal Rev., 27(2), 77–94. Whitaker, J. O., Jr. (1988). Food habits analysis of insectivorous bats. In T. H. Kunz (Ed.), Ecological and behavioural methods for the study of bats (pp. 171–189). Washington, DC, USA: Smithsonian Institution Press.


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Izvleček Raziskovalna dejavnost o populacijah netopirjev, prisotnih v krajinskem parku, je zajela obdobje dveh let in sicer leti 2011 in 2012 ter zimo leta 2012/2013. Uporabljene so bile različne raziskovalne metode, s katerimi so se zbirale obširne informacije o stanju populacij netopirjev, prisotnih v parku. S pomočjo bat-detektorja je bilo posnetih več kot 1000 posnetkov, ki pripadajo 9 različnim vrstam. S pregledom podzemnih ambientov je bilo mogoče določiti in slediti porodniškim ter prezimovalnim kolonijam z visokim številom primerkov. Skupno je bilo popisanih 15 vrst. Informacije o prisotnosti in ekologiji posameznih vrst so se izkazale ključnega pomena pri določanju krajev in ambientov, ki so izjemno pomembni za ohranitev netopirskih vrst na območju samem.

Estratto È stato analizzato il guano di Myotis emarginatus e Rhinolophus hipposideros, raccolto durante il 2011 e 2012 in due località del Parco, allo scopo di individuare i resti di artropodi contenuti nelle pellets, definirne la dieta e identificare gli ambienti di caccia. Contemporaneamente sono stati indagati gli artropodi attivi di notte per agevolare vari aspetti della ricerca. Lo studio del guano conferma che il gruppo di invertebrati maggiormente consumato da M. emarginatus è costituito dagli araneidi; R. hipposideros cattura invece soprattutto lepidotteri. Entrambi le specie risultano frequentare soprattutto i corsi d’acqua come aree di foraggiamento dove trovano una maggiore concentrazione di artropodi sulla vegetazione, in particolare durante il periodo estivo torrido.


Breeding colony of Geoffroyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bat (Myotis emarginatus under a bridge (Photo: M. Bertozzi)


s)

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Monitoring Bat Populations (Chiroptera) in the Regional Park of Vena del Gesso Romagnola, in the Climaparks Project Massimo Bertozzi Via Ortignola 23/A, 40026 Imola (BO), Italy. Correspondence: max.berto@libero.it.

Abstract The research on the populations of chiropterans in the Park involved two entire years, 2011 and 2012, and the winter of 2012/13. Various survey methods were used to acquire more exhaustive information on the state of chiropteran fauna in the Park. Using bat detectors, over 1000 contacts were registered, ascribable to nine certain species. By controlling the hypogeal environments, it was possible to identify and monitor reproductive colonies and migrating colonies with high numbers of specimens. There were fifteen assessed species in total. The information regarding the presence and ecology of the species were fundamental in identifying the most important sites and environments for the conservation of bats in the territory. Keywords: chiropterans, monitoring, hypogeal cavities, reproductive colonies, migrating colonies.

INTRODUCTION The activities for monitoring bat populations in the Regional Park of Vena del Gesso Romagnola for the Climaparks project were initiated in autumn 2010, with the acquisition of all the preliminary information for starting the research, and lasted until the winter of 2012/2013. The field research activity involved two entire years, 2011 and 2012, and winter 2012/2013 for monitoring overwintering specimens. The year 2011 was essential both for acquiring the first significant data for the Project on the bat fauna of the Park, and for a clearer understanding of the environmental features of the area and the structure of the territory, with reference to the characteristics and ecological requirements of bat populations in the Park. The second year, 2012, played an important role in consolidating the first important data acquired during the previous year, and also for acquiring new data on the bat fauna of the Park. This report on the work carried out summarises the activities performed and the results of the entire monitoring period.

Methods The work carried out was the implementation of the following actions:

Bio-acoustic detection of the presence of bats in the Park The activity was carried out using digital registration bat detectors during the summer (from July to September) with

audio transepts, by foot and in a very slow-moving vehicle, and in fixed listening points. A total of 54 transepts and five fixed listening points were carried out. The subsequent analysis of the ultrasounds registered â&#x20AC;&#x201C; using the specific Batsound 3.31 software â&#x20AC;&#x201C; allowed the number of contacts to be identified and, where possible, specifically determined (Russ, 1999; Russo & Jones, 2002; Tupinier, 1997).

Search for the colonies in forest environment Through forest habitat monitors have been sought arboreal specimens with characteristics suitable for bat colonies or individual animals. This monitoring activity was done during the summertime with targeted controls in some of the most important forest environments of the Park, or on the occasion of the bat research monitoring in buildings, or also along the listening transepts with bat-detectors, taken in the late afternoon, before sunset, at which time some forest species emit high-pitched sounds audible to the ear that allow their detection in the roost.

Search for colonies in buildings and other structures The activity was carried out primarily by identifying suitable buildings. In particular, abandoned or semi-abandoned homes were found and monitored, but also other buildings, unused, abandoned or semi-abandoned by humans such as: barns,


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cellars and towers. Bridges were also included as structures often suitable for housing bats. Checks inside buildings were made during the day to verify the presence of specimens at rest, using flashlights and cameras for the identification and count of any specimens present. The specimens were always determined by sight, thereby avoiding capturing the specimens and limiting disturbance to the animals.

Search for any rupicole colonies The activity was done during each monitoring with bat dectectors placed near the rocky cliffs of Vena del Gesso, with particular attention to the twilight hours, the time the specimens fly out from their refuge. In particular, signals were sought in succession for multiple specimens of species with rupicole habits, such as for example Tadarida teniotis, or a species only potentially rupicole such as Eptesicus serotinus or some belonging to the genus Pipistrellus.

Monitoring of underground environments During summer and autumn periods, some significant underground shelters were monitored for the presence of bats, especially those that house breeding colonies. In addition to daytime checks of the roost, made by introducing the underground observation of some specimens at rest, in a few cases, evening monitoring was also done on specimens leaving the refuge. In winter 2012/2013 there was also an inspection carried out in some of the most important underground shelters in the area for monitoring specimens in hibernation. Daytime checks were made visually, while evening checks were made using bio-acoustic detection and/ or captures of specimens with a mist net (see the specific description of activities below).

Capture of specimens with mist nets This methodology, suggested in the first report (November 2010), involves the use of nets (mist-nets) for the capture of specimens and subsequent identification (Diez and von Helversen, 2004). This technique, used in the watering areas of “flight corridors” and/or upon leaving the roost, allows acquiring useful information on the presence and ecology not obtainable using other methods. In the summer of 2012 the method was used at the Park’s waterways, the river Senio and river Sintria, as well as for monitoring the specimens leaving from Grotta del Re Tiberio (locality of Borgo Rivola, municipality of Riolo Terme). The specimens were caught, handled and then released, without causing them any harm, following the protocols indicated by national guidelines on bat monitoring (Agnelli et al., 2004).

Determination of diet through the study of faeces First, the bat colonies were identified from which to collect guano. Once the colonies were identified with the search activities for colonies in old buildings and other structures, plastic sheeting was placed under the colony for the periodic collection of guano in the periods the colony was present in 2011 and 2012. Guano collected was then analysed by the study entomologist. For a specific description of the methods and the results of this activity, we refer you to the article by expert entomologist, Roberto Fabbri.

Results For each activity listed above, the following concisely reports the results obtained.

Bio-acoustic detection using bat detectors Within the Park area 53 listening transects with bat-detectors were made on foot or by car in the year 2011 and 54 in the year 2012 (the same ones as 2011 plus one new one), trying as much as possible to evenly cover the entire surface of the survey area. Also in the year 2011, 5 listening points using bat-detectors were made of 15 minutes each. The length of the transects made varies from a minimum of 450 metres to a maximum of 7000 metres, with regard to the possibilities and accessibility of the different areas of the Park. A total of 119,550 metres were passed in 2011 and 121,250 metres in 2012. Monitoring time with bat-detectors in the transepts was 1123 minutes in 2011 and 1120 minutes in 2012, for a total respectively of 576 and 510 recorded contacts. The overall duration of the listening points is instead 75 minutes, for a total of 151 recorded contacts. For almost all the signals recorded in the transects it was possible, in the analysis stage, to proceed to a specific identification. Only a small number of recorded signals, about 67 of 1237, were impossible to identify either by species or genera. The methodology of investigation made it possible to identify 9 species with certainty: Rhinolophus hipposideros, Rhinolophus ferrumequinum, Rhinolophus euryale, Pipistrellus kuhlii, Pipistrellus pipistrellus, Hypsugo savii, Eptesicus serotinus, Nyctalus noctula and Myotis daubentonii. Among these, the species most contacted, for both years, were Pipistrellus kuhlii and Hypsugo savii. In addition to the recorded signals with certain species determination are those for which it was only possible to determine by genus or by couples or groups of species, due to poor signal quality and above all the inherent limitations of the survey methodology. Among these, the data numerically most significant related to the groups of species: “miniopterus/Pipistrellus” (formed of M. schreibersii/P. pygmaeus and P. pipstrellus/M. schreibersii), and “serotine/noctule” (formed of E. serotinus/N. leisleri and Nyctalus sp./E. serotinus).


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Search for colonies in forest environment Inside the park, targeted controls were made in some of the forest areas present. For both years (2011 and 2012), the chestnut forest of Campiuno was monitored daily, perhaps the richest area of tree cavities in the Park; also monitored, with transepts in the late afternoon or just before sunset, were the wooded ridge of Monte del Casino (from the Ca Siepe area up to the area of the former cave Spes di Tossignano), the ridge from the seat of Ca’ Faggia to Mount Mauro and the wooded area surrounding the Tanaccia grotto. In addition to these is the monitoring made on the territory in the context of the search in abandoned buildings or other structures suitable for the presence of bats. The search did not lead to the discovery of colonies, nor of individual specimens in tree cavities of the forest environments inspected in the Park. With the activity of bat-detectoring however the presence was recorded of the Nyctalus noctula, a species considered purely dendrophilic, with a significant number of contacts: 40 in total, over a period of two years.

Search for colonies and individual specimens in buildings and other structures During the two years of monitoring 23 buildings deemed potentially suitable to house bats were identified and tracked. Four of these buildings, those deemed most important for the presence of bats, were monitored both years. Five species were observed and identified with certainty: Rhinolophus hipposideros, Rhinolophus ferrumequinum, Pipistrellus kuhlii, Myotis emarginatus and Miniopterus schreibersii. Of the 23 buildings monitored, only 6 did not have specimens inside and only in 2 were no traces of guano found, guano and/or insect remains. Almost all the buildings visited appear therefore to be more or less used by bats, often by individuals or a few specimens, but also by breeding colonies. This is the case of two buildings, one a bridge and the other an attic in a house partially used, that every year respectively house a reproductive colony of about 60 specimens of Myotis emarginatus (Figure 1) and about 30 specimens of Rhinolophus hipposideros. The two buildings were visited periodically during the summer season to collect the guano samples used for the analysis of the bats’ diet through the study of droppings.

rupicule.

Monitoring of underground environments The underground shelters monitored during the summer were: Grotta del Re Tiberio, tunnel of the cave Saint Gobain and Grotta della Lucerne. The Grotta del Re Tiberio (Municipality of Riolo Terme RA, locality of Borgo Rivola, Monte Tondo) was checked in August 2012, with a daytime inspection looking for specimens at rest. Inside about thirty specimens were seen, of the Eurìale horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus euryale), singly or in small groups. The specimens observed can be attributed to the breeding colony of about a hundred specimens of the species known in the cave. No specimens were observed of other species. The Re Tiberio was monitored also in the second half of September of the same year, a particularly interesting period as it is the time of swarming for various species, especially for some species belonging to the genus Myotis. Autumn monitoring was carried out starting from sunset and using mist nets and bat detectors. The species found were: Rhinolophus hipposideros, Rhinolophus ferrumequinum, Myotis nattereri, only captured and not contacted by the bat detectors, and Miniopterus schreibersii. The tunnels of the cave Saint Gobain (Municipality of Riolo Terme RA, locality Borgo Rivola, Monte Tondo), were inspected in August 2012, in the three main systems of tunnels, excavated at different altitudes above sea level and then named precisely on the basis of the altitude: Level 160, Level 200 and Level 215. In Level 160 the breeding colony marked in the site for years was observed, and made up of several thousand females, estimated at 3000–4000 individuals, of three different species: Miniopterus schreibersii, to which the majority of specimens belong, Myotis myotis and Myotis blythii. Numerous individuals of Miniopterus schreibersii, singly or in small groups, were also observed and mostly at Level 200, while at Level 215 there were only a few dozen specimens of the genus Rhinolophus. The Grotta della Lucerne (Municipality of Brisighella

Search for any rupicole colonies The search for any rupicole colonies in the territory of the Park did not yield positive results. The activity of bat-detectoring revealed specimens potentially using, both in colonies and individually, shelters such as crevices of rocks, for example: Pipistrellus kuhlii, Pipistrellus pipistrellus and Hypsugo savii; however no specimen was found for which it was possible to determine the place of the shelter. Thus no contacts were recorded for Tadarida teniotis, a species considered strictly

Figure 1. Breeding colony of Geoffroy’s bat (Myotis emarginatus) under a bridge.


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RA, Zattaglia, Monte Mauro) was checked in the second half of August 2012, both internally, by inspecting the main hall, and some of its tunnels, and by using bat detectors at sunset. For some years the presence of a breeding colony of Rhinolophus euryale had been known to exist in the cave, consisting of several hundred individuals. The internal check made in the late afternoon revealed only a few specimens of Rhinolophus in flight. Evening bat-detectoring activities showed the presence of some specimens of Rhinolophus hipposideros and a few dozen Rhinolophus euryale. It was difficult, however, to establish the exact number of the latter, in view of the considerable “bustle” of the specimens at the entrance starting at sunset. The number of appearances seemed much lower than what is known for the site. The cave is one of the most important for bat fauna in the Park and certainly deserves great protection and further monitoring in the summertim. In the Park there is also a large migrating colony – approximately one thousand specimens – of the same species within the Rio Stella-Rio Basino Karst complex (Bertozzi, 2010). The underground refuges checked during the winter period were: the Sinkhole west of Ca’ Siepe, the tunnels from the former quarry SPES, Grotta Tanaccia, Buco del Noce and the tunnels of cave Saint Gobain and the former quarry Marana. All monitoring was done in 2013 between the first days of January and the first days of February. Sinkhole west of Ca’ Siepe (Municipality of Riolo Terme RA, locality Ca’ Siepe, Borgo Rivola). The grotto is extremely important for the overwintering of Rhinolophus hipposideros (Figure 2); inside 294 specimens of this species were counted as well as 19 Rhinolophus ferrumequinum and 1 of the genus Plecotus. Tunnels of former quarry SPES (Municipality of Borgo Tossignano BO, locality Tossignano). The quarry, unused for several decades now, hosts specimens of different species in all periods of the year. During the winter monitoring were observed: 101 Rhinolophus ferrumequinum, 3 Rhinolophus hipposideros and 5 Eptesicus serotinus. Grotta Tanaccia (Municipality of Brisighella RA, locality Case di Trebbo). The cave appears to be frequented by bats especially in the winter; the monitoring results found: 32

Rhinolophus ferrumequinum, 56 Rhinolophus hipposideros and 1 Rhinolophus euryale. Buco del Noce (Municipality of Brisighella RA, locality Case di Trebbo). This is an important site for the overwintering of Rhinolophus ferrumequinum; inside 123 specimens of this species were observed as well as 14 Rhinolophus hipposideros. Tunnels of the cave of Saint Gobain (Municipality of Riolo Terme RA, locality of Borgo Rivola). Doubtlessly the most important underground site of Vena del Gesso for bat conservation, as well as a roost of great regional and national importance, as evidenced in the monitoring results. In winter hibernating specimens are concentrated especially at the 200 Level, where about 30 Rhinolophus hipposideros were observed, nearly 1,100 Rhinolophus ferrumequinum (of which more than 900 are in one group) and a huge overwintering colony of Miniopterus schreibersii, with the number of specimens not precisely quantifiable given their considerable distance from the ground and the extreme compactness of the specimens in the colony, but estimated at no less than 9,000–10,000 individuals. In the lower levels (160 Level and 140 Level) were also observed some isolated specimens of these three species, as well as a colony of about 1,000–2,000 Miniopterus schreibersii at 160 Level (not far from where the summer colony of the same species is formed), consisting of relatively active specimens and thus not hibernating. Tunnels of former quarry Marana (Municipality of Brisighella RA, locality Case di Trebbo). The small artificial cavity gives shelter to some overwintering specimens of Rhinolophus hipposideros; during monitoring, three of them were observed.

Capture of specimens with mist nets In August 2012 two evenings of capture were undertaken corresponding to the two rivers in the Park, the Senio River and the Sintria River, by placing three mist nets per site, for a duration of about three and a half hours starting at sunset. This method was also used on an evening in September of the same year for monitoring the specimens leaving from the Grotta del Re Tiberio. Six species were detected: Rhinolophus hipposideros, Rhinolophus ferrumequinum, Myotis daubentonii, Myotis mystacinus (first recording for the Park), Myotis nattereri and Miniopterus schreibersii. The research methodology allowed identifying species whose presence is not easily detectable using other methods; specifically this is in reference to three species of the genus Myotis, rarely visible at rest because they are generally fessuricole and also difficult to identify with bat-detectoring.

Discussion and conclusions

Figure 2. Specimen of Rhinolophus hipposideros hibernating in a cave.

The monitoring tasks allowed acquiring important information about the bat fauna in the Park. First, from reading the data collected, the abundance of a good 15 certain species is noted: Rhinolophus hipposideros, Rhinolophus ferrumequinum,


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Rhinolophus euryale, Myotis blythii, Myotis daubentonii, Myotis emarginatus, Myotis myotis, Myotis mystacinus, Myotis nattereri, Pipistrellus kuhlii, Pipistrellus pipistrellus, Hypsugo savii, Eptesicus serotinus, Nyctalus noctula and Miniopterus schreibersii; this proves the great importance of studying the territory for bat conservation. In addition to the qualitative data are then the quantitative, for the presence of some species, notably Rhinolophus hipposideros, Rhinolophus ferrumequinum, Rhinolophus euryale and Miniopterus schreibersii (all species included in Annex II to Directive 92/43/ EEC “Habitat”), observed in overwintering and/or reproduc-

tion with colonies numbering in the several hundred or even thousands of specimens. The important information about the presence and the ecology of the species has proven crucial in the identification of sites and environments of major importance for the conservation of bats in the territory of the Park. Sites and environments whose preservation is essential given the considerable environmental changes to which they are subjected. Alterations are both on the large scale, such as rapid and global climate change, and at the local scale, such as direct human activities, in particular agriculture and mining of the mineral gypsum.

Acknowledgements I would like to thank Irene Salicini for her precious help in the field, Saint Gobain PPC Italia s.r.l. for their availability during the surveys in the area of the mine of Mount Tondo and the Vena del Gesso Romagnola Regional Park, represented by Massimiliano Costa, for their collaboration throughout every phase of the research.

References Agnelli, P., Martinoli, A., Patriarca, E., Russo, D., Scaravelli, D., & Genovesi, P. (Eds.). (2004). Quad. Cons. Natura. Vol. 19, Linee guida per il monitoraggio dei Chirotteri: indicazioni metodologiche per lo studio e la conservazione dei pipistrelli in Italia. Ozzano dell’Emilia (BO), Italy: Istituto Nazionale per la Fauna Selvatica. Bertozzi, M. (2010). I pipistrelli dell’area carsica del Rio Stella-Rio Basino. In P. Forti & P. Lucci (Eds.), Il progetto Stella-Basino, studio multidisciplinare di un sistema carsico nella Vena del Gesso Romagnola. Memorie dell’Istituto Italiano di Speleologia, Serie II, 23, 231–239. Dietz, C., & von Helversen, O. (2004). Illustrated identification key to the bats of Europe (Electronic Publication Version 1.0). Tuebingen, Germany: Author. Russ, J. (1999). The bats of Britain and Ireland: Echolocation calls, sound analysis and species identification. London, United Kingdom: Alana Ecology. Russo, D., & Jones, G. (2002). Identification of twenty-two bat species (Mammalia: Chiroptera) from Italy by analysis of time-expanded recordings of echolocation calls. Journal of Zoology, 258, 91–103. Tupinier, Y. (1997). European bats: their world of sound. Lyon, France: Société Linnéenne de Lyon.

Izvleček Raziskovalna dejavnost o populacijah netopirjev, prisotnih v krajinskem parku, je zajela obdobje dveh let in sicer leti 2011 in 2012 ter zimo leta 2012/2013. Uporabljene so bile različne raziskovalne metode, s katerimi so se zbirale obširne informacije o stanju populacij netopirjev, prisotnih v parku. S pomočjo bat-detektorja je bilo posnetih več kot 1000 posnetkov, ki pripadajo 9 različnim vrstam. S pregledom podzemnih ambientov je bilo mogoče določiti in slediti porodniškim ter prezimovalnim kolonijam z visokim številom primerkov. Skupno je bilo popisanih 15 vrst. Informacije o prisotnosti in ekologiji posameznih vrst so se izkazale ključnega pomena pri določanju krajev in ambientov, ki so izjemno pomembni za ohranitev netopirskih vrst na območju samem.

Estratto L’attività di ricerca sulle popolazioni di chirotteri nel Parco ha interessato due intere annualità, il 2011 e il 2012, e l’inverno 2012/2013. Sono state utilizzate varie metodologie di indagine per acquisire informazioni più esaustive sullo status della chirotterofauna del Parco. Tramite l’utilizzo del bat detector sono stati registrati oltre 1000 contatti ascrivibili a 9 specie certe. Dal controllo degli ambienti ipogei è stato possibile individuare e monitorare colonie riproduttive e colonie svernanti con elevati numeri di esemplari. Le specie censite sono state in totale 15. Le informazioni di presenza ed ecologia delle specie si sono dimostrate fondamentali nell’identificazione dei siti e degli ambienti di maggior importanza per la conservazione dei pipistrelli nel territorio.


The Cirl Bunting (Photo: I. Fabbri)


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Monitoring populations of breeding, overwintering and migratory birds in the regional park of vena del gesso romagnola, using the method of constant effort ringing Fabrizio Borghesi I.S.P.R.A., Via Cà Fornacetta 9, 40064 Ozzano Emilia. Correspondence: fabrizio.b@racine.ra.it.

Abstract The activity of constant effort ringing has been applied to the programme for monitoring bird populations at the Cà Carnè Shelter, Brisighella (Ravenna). The method is described in the Feasible Project drawn up by the Province of Ravenna (Costa, 2010). Here we present the results obtained by 31 March 2013, with monitoring still in progress. Approximately 1000 birds have been marked, 200 of which have registered at least one recapture. Considering a conventional subdivision of the solar year into four phonological periods, the second year saw a large fall in the number of captures that even continued to affect the hibernation period of the third year. This report highlights and discusses some demographical trends observed so far. Keywords: ringing, Passeriformes, ornithological monitoring, biodiversity, productivity, migration.

INTRODUCTION The method of constant effort ringing was applied to the monitoring programme of breeding, overwintering and migratory species of the ornithic populations within the Cà Carnè area, Brisighella (RA). For further details on the method, based on an extension and partial amendment of the Constant Effort Ringing Project (National Institute for Wild Fauna, 2002), and widely experimented in various countries (Peach et al., 1996; Robinson et al., 2009), please refer to the Feasible Project drawn up by the Province of Ravenna (Costa, 2010). Monitoring activity was started after installing the new capture system in November 2010 and is still ongoing. On 31 May 2013, date to which this report refers, we acquired detailed knowledge on the composition of the community and the structure of the population, concerning the species that can be contacted with the method used. At the same time, a database was created containing the morphological and physiological data of all the individuals captured, some indexes of the biological diversity and of the population for

different seasonal periods were calculated, and over 200 “life-histories” were compiled based on the recoveries of birds already ringed. This report highlights and discusses the demographic trends observed thus far.

Methods The capture system The system consists of 22 “mist-nets” 12 x 2.50 m (264 linear m, 1452 m2 along the front of the net) with a 16 mm mesh. The comparability of the data is possible by the unchanged arrangement of the net and the maintenance over time of the characteristics of the habitats in which they were placed. The efficiency of the nets was ensured by the timely replacement of those damaged by normal wear and


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Figure 1. Geographic location of the system (left) and arrangement of transects (right). Geographical coordinates in the text. The maps are oriented with north at the top.

tear, exceptional meteorological events and the impact of wild animals. The system is geographically located on the northeast side of Appennino Tosco-Romagnolo inside the Park of Vena Gesso Romagnola in the municipality of Brisighella, and deployed near the visitors centre of Cà Carnè Refuge (44° 13’ 36.80” N, 11° 44’ 15.80” E), within a radius of 200 m from the refuge, at an altitude of about 380 m.a.s.l. (Figure 1, left). The transects were placed in four habitat types (Figure 1, right). The habitats investigated and the respective number of nets are as follows: – 6 nets in the xerophylic shrubbery (Quercus pubescens, Pistacia terebinthus, Juniperus spp.) at the top of a headland of selenitic gypsum to the North of Cà Carnè Refuge (transects “C”); – 9 nets along the modest grassy-shrub margin (Spartium junceum, Rubus spp., Cornus sanguinea, Sambucus ebulus) between a small olive grove and the woods southwest of the Refuge (transects “U”); – 6 nets in said mesophile forest (Carpinus betulus, Ostrya carpinifolia, Alnus glutinosa, Populus nigra, Fraxinus excelsior, Acer pseudoplatanus, Sambucus nigra) (transects “B”); – 1 net in a small group of non-native conifers south of

the Refuge (transect “A”).

The capture effort The Project called for 32 capture sessions in each project year (from December to January), with two sessions a month in December, January and February, and three sessions a month during the rest of the year (Table 1). Two consecutive sessions should be broken up by an interval of at least seven days. From May to August there was full compliance with Protocol PR.I.S.Co., then the system goes into action once every decade starting from sunrise for six hours, while at other times the nets are open from dawn to dusk. Small variations to the Protocol, such as the early closure of some netsm were carried out in the rare cases where there could be a risk to the safety of the birds due to particularly harsh weather conditions. It was decided to divide the project every year into four periods. This subdivision, the same for all species, it does not reflect the real phoenologies, but it is useful for performing data analysis and defining the structure of the population. As of the date of this report information is provided about two complete annuities, as well as the third winter and the month of March 2013.

Table 1. Division of annual calendar sessions into “phenology” periods: overwintering (S), spring migratory (MP), nesting (N), autumn migratory (MA)

Overwintering Dec Jan Feb 2

2

Spring migr. Mar Apr

2

3

3

Nesng (Pr.I.S.Co.) May Jun Jul Aug 3

3

3

Autumn migr. Sep Oct Nov

3

3

3

2

Total 32

Table 2. Number of catches per month from December 2010 to March 2013

Year 1 2 3

Overwintering Dec Jan Feb 68 53 44

42 46 34

48 22 38

Spring migraon Mar Apr 88 59 64

59 42 —

Nesng (Pr.I.S.Co.) May Jun Jul Aug 48 27 —

37 23 —

44 44 —

56 31 —

Autumn migraon Sep Oct Nov 70 30 —

110 73 —

89 28 —


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Results As of 31 March 2013, 994 individuals of 39 species were marked by and 413 checks were carried out on 208 birds already ringed. Table 2 shows the totals from the catches, broken down by “phoenology” period. Clearly the second year was always characterized by significantly lower numbers, except in January and July. On a seasonal basis (for “season” this refers to the periods set by convention) the decrease in the number of captures varied between 23% to –26% from December until the end of the summer, compounded further in the fall recording –51.5%. Altogether, the second year recorded 36% fewer catches. The third year opened with a further decline in the catches in December and January than the second, while a slight sign of recovery was recorded in February and March. Examining the community indexes (in the summer period, only those adult specimens that presumably settled in the site for reproduction were considered, therefore excluding the young born throughout the year and the adult specimens considered in all probability to be in transit), the number of the species (“richness”) showed a tendency to be higher during the two migration periods (18–24 species) and lower during the hibernation periods (14–17 species) (Figure 2),

as was to be expected. In actual fact, as shown by the bar diagram in Figure 2, the variation of the number of species between periods was fairly irrelevant, with only two peaks of any value: one positive in the fall of the first year (MA1, 24 species) and one negative in the winter of the third year (S3, 14 species). The two nesting periods fall into an intermediate position (17–18 species). The Shannon diversity index (Figure 2) and evenness (not represented in the graph), showed significantly lower values in the reproductive period, compared to all other times of the year. The generally lower number of catches that characterized the summer periods (N1, N2), rationalized in part by the reduced duration of the individual sessions, may have influenced these indices. In fact, the Margalef index , which is a measure of the specific richness taking abundance into account, showed mediumhigh values even in reproductive periods, indicating, in fact, the higher value in correspondence with period N2. It can also be noted how, during the three “phenological” periods (MP2, N2, MA2) that followed the second hibernation (S2), the Shannon diversity index registered a drop compared to the same three periods of the year before. Such a prolonged phase of “impoverishment” resulted in effects on the wealth of species in the third winter, as clearly shown by the Margalef index for S3 (Figure 2). Despite this, the Shannon index for

S

Shannon diversity: H = − ∑ pi ln pi , where pi is the relative frequency of the i-th species. i =1 2 Evenness: J = H/Hmax, where Hmax = ln S. 2 Diversity of Margalef: D = S – 1/ln N, where S = species richness and N = total number of individuals. 1

Figure 2. Indices of diversity of bird community in the various periods investigated. During the reproductive period the community is referred only to the individual adults considered to have settled for reproduction.


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Table 3. Productivity indices related to the reproductive period in the first two years

Species Willow Tit Nuthatch Blue Tit Blackbird Common Redstart Long-Tailed Tit Robin Great spoed woodpecker Green woodpecker Winter wren Chaffinch Firecrest Mistle thrush Small Warbler Great Tit Blackcap Moltoni's subalpine warbler Jay Spoed flycatcher

Producvity 1st year 3.00 3.00 2.33 2.22 2.00 2.00 2.00 2.00* 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00* 0.86 0.44 0.38 0.33 —

Producvity 2nd year 2.00* — 4.00 1.60 4.00* 2.00 1.40 — 1.00 0.50 — — — — 3.67 0.36 1.00 1.00 1.00

* Values marked with an asterisk are species for which there were no captures of adults against the capture of one or more young birds, which is considered in the calculation as No. adults = 1.

the third winter remained similar to the two previous winters. In the group of the overwintering community during the first two winters, the Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs), Robin (Erithacus rubecula), Long-Tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus) and Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) were the dominant species. In the third winter there was a greater presence of irruptive species: Brambling (Fringilla montifringilla), Coal Tit (Periparus ater) and especially the Siskin (Carduelis spinus). The latter has replaced, among the dominating species, the Tomtit. The third year highlights the evident declines in Robin, Dunnock (Prunella modularis), Winter Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes) and, precisely, the Blue Tit. In both reproductive periods, the Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla) showed a clear dominance, while the group of sub-dominant species was composed of the Blackbird (Turdus merula), Robin, Great Tit (Parus major) and Moltoni’s Subalpine Warbler (Sylvia subalpina). In the second summer there was, however, a generalised decline in all of these species except the Blackbird. Among the breeding birds captured so far there are five species with long-range migration strategies: Subalpine Warbler, Common Redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus), Spotted Flycatcher (Muscicapa striata), Golden Oriole (Oriolus oriolus) and Wild Dove (Streptopelia turtur).

Examining the young birds captured during the entire real reproductive period (or rather, considering the captures of all young throughout the year until the end of the “Pr.I.S.Co” period, with the sole exclusion of the young of those species that are certainly not nesting in the area), some very evident differences have been noted between the first and the second year. The richness included 18 species in the first year and 13 in the second. Even more surprising is the drop in the number of captures and the trend of the reproductive season overall. In the first year, 85 young birds were ringed, with the first appearances of flying young already from the last ten day period of April, while in the second year the first young were only captured from mid-June onwards, and at the end of August the overall calculation was of just 49 young. In the first analysis, the drop of more than 42% in young captured during the year is in part to be attributed to the lower amount of reproductive adults registered during the second summer of the project, but the lower rate of and delayed flight of the young, probably due to a failure in a large part of the first broodings, also contributed. The common species that have mostly been affected include the Blackcap, which also registered low productivity during the first year, as well as the Blackbird, Robin and Wren, while the Whitethroat, Tomtit

4 The case of the Moltoni Whitethroat is of high biogeographic and genetic interest in that, on one side, its rapid and recent expansion may be guided by climactic changes; on the other, its reproductive behaviour is less known in the study area (Brambilla et al, 2007), especially at the rate of the recent taxonomic separation of the Whitethroat (Sylvia cantillans) (Brambilla et al., 2008). 5

Relationship between the number of young contacted and the adults present (no distinction is made between adult males and females)..


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and Great Tit showed a notable increase in productivity in the second year compared to the first (Table 3). The Redstart, Marsh Tit, Long-Tailed Tit and the Green Woodpecker seem to have maintained good productivity indexes over the two years, even if this cannot be evaluated with a good margin of reliability due to the modest number of captured individuals. The site did not shown any particular prominence with monitoring the migratory birds. On the other hand, during intermediate periods between nesting and overwintering there were a lot of data readings regarding the phoenology of the species. In autumn 2011 a higher number of catches was recorded of the Robin in particular, but also the Blackbird, Great Tit and Blue Tit, while autumn 2012 was characterized by the greatest abundance of Chaffinches. The spring 2012 period saw more evident drops regarding the Robin and Tomtit again who were joined by the Blackcap and Wren, while for the Blackbird, Long-Tailed Tit and Great Tit the drop was less perceived.

Discussions and conclusions Even working with a fairly limited quantity of data and over a very brief period (a little less than two years), we were able to derive rather revealing information on the possible response by the ornithological community to pressure factors of weather condition origin. The population structure and the number of captures in the first four sessions of the second year of the project (December 2011 and January 2012) were coherent with the previous year. This was no surprise as, from the very start of the project (December 2010) throughout January 2012, no significant anomalies were found regarding the state of the habitats surveyed, nor were any unusual, longlasting weather conditions registered in the area. Throughout the first half of February 2012, however, the area was hit by an exceptional wave of bad weather, characterised by several occasions of heavy snowfall, culminating at the end of the period in a harsh, sudden drop in temperature that stayed below zero for several days. From that moment on, the results of almost all of the sessions and, adding the data, of every “phonological” period have been inferior to the previous year. Only in the sessions of February and March 2013, the last to be referred to in this report, have we seen indications of numerical recovery compared to 2012, even if the registered numbers are still less than 2011. The reduced specific richness observed in the winter of 2013 (Figure 2) may still be a consequence of the events of the second half of the winter of 2012, when a high mortality rate presumably affected the migrating community. It should, however, be highlighted that the unusual event of the end of winter as described was followed, in 2012, by a particularly hot summer which may have been the main cause of the scarce general productivity observed in the second year of the project. As already seen in 2003 in the area of Forlì (Emilia-Romagna, 44°10’13”N, 12°05’16”E) during a similar project carried out with similar methods and in a similar environment between 2002 and 2010 (Borghesi, data unpublished), an exceptionally hot summer may cause

decidedly unfavourable conditions for the reproduction of many species linked to mesophilic environments. For the Cà Carnè area, such conditions seem to have determined an impoverishment – in terms of numbers – of the adult community, consequently a number of flying young that is inferior to the previous year and, additionally, a conspicuous delay in the presence of young birds flying the nest (in 2012 no young bird was captured before the third ten-day period of June). It is not possible to determine whether this scarce reproductive result may have been significantly influenced by the weather events of the end of winter 2012, given that, while the Whitethroat and Redstart (trans-Saharan migrators) seem to have not been affected, it is also true that the low productivity rates of 2012 do not seem to have affected the tits or the long-tailed tit (fundamentally sedentary species). Moreover, effects due to the extreme cold cannot be excluded even on part of the community of reproducers, and in this sense, some hypotheses may be formulated: – climactic weather adversity may have influenced the condition of surviving adults to make it difficult for them to successfully bring to term the spring reproductive event; – the delay in adults achieving the physiological conditions suitable for breeding purposes may have triggered a ripple effect on the departure of the broods of some species; – the temperatures may have significantly reduced the biomass of prey typically available in the first phase of reproduction, influencing the success of the first brood. It is however highly probable that the main negative factor on productivity was the sequence of waves of African heat, alternating with high pressure from the Atlantic which characterised 2012 from as early as spring. This determined a prolonged period of extreme heat and lasting drought that conditioned the humidity level of the mesophilic woods. In this ambit, the pressure factor represented by the intense anthropic use of the area during the spring and summer, in particular regarding the summer visits of numerous school groups, remains to be understood. For the moment the noteworthy numerical differences and the rates of diversity registered between the two reproductive periods surveyed relegates this element of disturbance to an undefinable role, which nevertheless should be considered when interpreting the data coming from future monitoring. In extreme summary, we can therefore hypothesise that the negative results registered during the second year of the project were conditioned by two extreme and opposing weather events over just a few months: the first with direct effects on the migrating community and probably also on a part of the reproductive one; the second with indirect effects on the Passeriformes species linked to the mesophilic and cool habitats, due to the alteration of the humidity levels of said habitats and the consequent negative influences on brooding. Since long-term climate changes are characterized by a higher frequency of extreme events, and because the stress signals so far recorded relate both to the abundance of common species and species diversity, the need to continue to monitor the evolution of the community in relation to the pressures affecting the typical bird life of the Park of Vena del Gesso Romagnola has been demonstrated.


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References Brambilla, M., Reginato, F., & Guidali, F. (2007). Habitat use by Moltoni’s warbler Sylvia cantillans moltonii in Italy. Ornis Fennica, 84, 91–96. Brambilla, M., Vitulano, S., Spina, F., Baccetti, N., Gargallo, G., Fabbri, E., … Randi, E. (2008). A molecular phylogeny of the Sylvia cantillans complex: cryptic species within the Mediterranean basin. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 48(2), 461–472. Costa, M. (2010). Monitoraggio delle popolazioni di uccelli nidificanti, svernanti e migratrici nel Parco regionale della Vena del Gesso Romagnola, mediante la metodologia dell’inanellamento a sforzo costante. Ravenna, Italy: Parco regionale della Vena del Gesso Romagnola. Istituto Nazionale per la Fauna Selvatica. (2002). Pr.I.S.Co. Progetto di inanellamento a sforzo costante (Version 1.1, 5 August 2002). Margalef, R. (1958). Information theory in ecology. General Systems, 3, 36–71. Peach, W. J., Buckland, S. T., & Baillie, S. R. (1996). The use of constant effort mist-netting to measure between-year changes in the abundance and productivity of common passerines. Bird Study, 43(2), 142–156. Robinson, R. A., Julliard, R., & Saracco, J. F. (2009). Constant effort: Studying avian population processes using standardised ringing. Ringing & Migration, 24(3), 199–204. Shannon, C. E., & Weaver, W. (1963). The mathematical theory of communication. Urbana, IL, USA: The University of Illinois Press.


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Izvleček Obročkanje je tehnika, ki so jo že uporabili pri nadzorovanju ptičje populacije pri zavetišču Cà Carnè v občini Brisighella (Ravenna). Opis tehnike je podan v Izvršnem projektu, ki ga je pripravila Pokrajina Ravenna (Costa, 2010). V tem besedilu želimo predstaviti rezultate na dan 31.3.2013, ko je nadzorovalna dejavnost še v teku. Obročenih je bilo kakih 1000 ptic, 200 izmed katerih so kasneje vsaj enkrat ponovno ujeli. Ob upoštevanju konvencionalne razdelitve sončnega leta v 4 letne čase, je bil v teku drugega leta opazen znaten upad števila ulovov, katerega posledice so bile vidne tudi v obdobju prezimljanja v teku tretjega leta. V tem poročilu bomo izpostavili in opisali nekatere demografske težnje, ki smo jih do sedaj opazili.

Estratto L’inanellamento a sforzo costante è stato applicato al programma di monitoraggio delle popolazioni ornitiche presso il Rifugio Cà Carnè, Brisighella (RA). Il metodo è descritto all’interno del Progetto Esecutivo elaborato dalla Provincia di Ravenna (Costa, 2010). Vengono qui presentati i risultati ottenuti alla data del 31 marzo 2013, a monitoraggio ancora in corso. Approssimativamente, sono stati marcati 1000 uccelli, 200 dei quali hanno fatto registrare almeno una ricattura. Considerando una suddivisione convenzionale dell’anno solare in 4 periodi fenologici, è stato registrato nel secondo anno un vistoso calo nel numero di catture che ha continuato a produrre effetti anche nel periodo di svernamento del terzo anno. In questo rapporto vengono evidenziati e discussi alcuni andamenti demografici finora osservati.


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Hikers in the Vena del Gesso (Photo: S. Lorenzi)


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Analysis of the Impact of Weather Conditions on Natural Park Visitor Flows: Monitoring the Park Visitors Alessandro Lepri,a Aureliano Bonini,b Alberto Paterniani,c Alice Catellanid Trademark Italia srl, Corso d’Augusto 97, 47921 Rimini. Authors’ contribution: a project leader, b supervisor, c statistician, d editing. Correspondence: info@trademarkitalia.com.

Abstract The study of the relationship existing between weather condition and nature park visitor flows gives rise to the need to put a system into place whereby the number of visitors and the main weather variable making up the climate can be monitored on a daily basis. This way the connections can be highlighted between the number of park visitors and the “weather” recorded on the same or previous day. The aim of the weather data survey is to build up a daily historical series of a group of variables relating to the nature park area. The obtained data will be compared with existing data relating to Park visitors. The comparison between the evolution of meteorological variables and the movement of visitors in natural Parks in the last five years, highlights a direct correlation only in some of the analyzed cases. Keywords: visitors, weather, flows, comparison.

INTRODUCTION The study of the relationship existing between weather condition and nature park visitor flows is prompted, first and foremost, by the strongly excursionist nature of this type of tourist activity. It is therefore only right to address the problem of how weather conditions affect the decision of people living (or temporarily residing) within a radius of not more than 80–100 km to travel to and visit a natural park area. Apart from such distance, in fact, it is impossible to imagine any relationship between the two variables involved. The initial idea thus gives rise to the need to put a system into place whereby the number of visitors and the main weather variable making up the climate can be monitored on a daily basis. This way the connections can be highlighted between the number of park visitors and the “weather” recorded on the same or previous day. The devised methodological approach stems directly

from this idea and has been conceived quite apart from the specific park to which the survey refers.

Methods Survey and analysis method proposal Monitoring the weather data The aim of the weather data survey is to build up a daily historical series of a group of variables relating to the nature park area. The obtained data will be compared with existing data relating to Park visitors. We suggest the following operating steps: 1. Identification of the weather survey services operating


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within the area: the daily monitoring of weather data represents a complex scientific activity, outside the capabilities of persons who are not experts on the subject. A weather data supplier body will therefore have to be identified operating in an area as close as possible to the park and an agreement reached for the supply of such data; if there are no weather stations in the area in question, the weather data provided by the airport closest to the Park (Air Force Met Office) will have to be used. 2. Acquisition of weather data: we suggest acquiring the historical daily series of data relating to the following quantity variables (5) on a monthly basis: – temperature, – atmospheric pressure, – humidity, – millilitres of rain, – centimetres of snow. In addition to these, the type of weather will be recorded (this can be done directly by park personnel) prevailing during the course of the day: sun, cloud, rain, snow. 3. Processing of monthly averages for comparison with visitor flow data.

Estimation of park visitors flows The second quantity variable for studying the relationship in object consists of visitors flows in the Parks.

Figure 1. Hikers in the Vena del Gesso. Photo by S. Lorenzi

In case of the existence of “direct” visitors monitoring systems, such as the purchase of an entrance ticket or controlled transit through counting systems (counting turngates, photoelectric cells, etc.) positioned in all the car-parks or at Park entrances, the data relating to the movement of visitors are easily available for processing and drawing up weekly, monthly or yearly reports. Quantifying the flow of visitors entering an unfenced area which can be accessed without showing an entrance ticket on the other hand, necessarily calls for methods of estimation and approximation different to simply counting the number of individuals. In such situations, in which it is practically impossible to make an exact quantification of visitors, calculation and estimation strategies have to be implemented to provide “a plausible representation of the real situation” (actually unknown). The method we suggest, thoroughly tested in localities distinguished by large excursion movement numbers, is based on the detection of movement of vehicles arriving close to the natural park area. The result of such “direct” survey will bring to the creation of a historic daily series of natural park visitor flows and will represent the first quantity variable for the study of the relationship in question. In addition, we suggest an “indirect” survey to warm up the cold numerical data with qualitative and marketing information. Direct survey The departure point as regards the estimation procedure is represented by the number of vehicles recorded daily in the car-parks of the nature park. We suggest the following operating steps: 1. Identification of the car-park areas: it is essential to identify a definite number of parking areas; for each of them, the name will have to be provided (e.g., car-park 1, car-park 2, etc.) along with estimated max capacity (the best thing would be to split the parking areas up by those dedicated to cars and those dedicated to coaches, motor-homes, etc.). 2. Quantification of parking dispersion: at the same time, the max number of vehicles will have to be quantified that can be parked outside the identified parking areas. 3. Daily recording: every day both the number of vehicles entering the parking areas (when possible with the aid of automatic counters) and the percentage of occupation of the car-parks in dispersion will have to be recorded. 4. Calculation of the number of arriving vehicles: day by day, the sum of the two previous data will provide an estimate of the total number of vehicles arriving in the Park area. 5. Final estimate of visitor flows: the application of an average number of vehicle occupants (we suggest 2.5 per car and 42 for coaches) will provide the final daily estimate of visitors to the Park. In brief, the number of visitors in cars in any one month can be obtained with the following formula: Dispersion: number of available car parks outside park 1, park 2, park 3, etc.

1


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where i = indicates month of year (i =1, January; i = 12, December), n_esc_autoi = number of excursionists/visitors travelling by car during month i, j = indicated day of month (j = 1, first day; j = 28, 29, 30, 31, last day), n_park1j = number of cars recorded in car-park 1 on day j, n_park2i = number of cars recorded in car-park 2 on day j, n_park3j = number of cars recorded in car-park 3 on day j, n_disp = number of empty car parking spaces (in dispersion ) occj = occupation rate or index of empty car-parking spaces (in dispersion1) on day j, 2.5 = average number of occupants/passengers per car. The same formula, with suitable adjustments as regards average number of occupants can be used for other types of vehicles in the event of its being possible to isolate and count these. Indirect survey Together with direct-survey activities, we suggest monitoring further variables. These data, though not directly usable for work purposes, will be useful for analysing scenarios, studying tourist trends and conceiving targeted marketing activities. In this respect, we suggest the following activities: 1. Recording visits to information centres: visits to park information centres can be exploited to collect up numerous details. Besides recording the number of people entering the centres (to be used to check the figures produced by direct survey), we suggest distributing a simple form-questionnaire to as many people as possible. The short form will invite guests to provide details such as place of origin, reasons for visit, composition of group visiting the park, information sources used and other marketing cues. This data will be recorded on a daily basis, but we suggest monthly processing. 2. Monitoring of tourist movements in neighbouring localities: analysing the number of people can help the understanding the tourist flows (and the load factor) in areas neighbouring on the park and therefore suggest marketing and promotion activities. These data, which are normally made available by official sources with a delay of around 6/9 months, will be above all useful for six-monthly, yearly or final surveys. The statistical data will be used relating to tourist flows in Municipalities touching on the Park area: people from home and abroad arriving and staying in hotels and other accommodation facilities. 3. Recording visitors to major events organised in neighbouring Municipalities: to assess the tourist appeal of the areas making up the natural Park, the movement of visitors can be monitored at major events on the Calendars of each of the Municipalities touching on the Park area. In this case, all the car-parks will have to be identified (together with their capacity on terms of cars) used for these strong-appeal

events and a daily calculation of vehicles (turnaround also), will have to be made for the entire duration of the event. The data will be processed using the same method suggested for estimating the number of Park visitors through the monitoring of the car-park areas (see a) Direct Survey).

Data processing The obtained data will be processed and compared, to bring to evidence possible correlations.

Elaboration of the final methodology The first phase of the activity of researchers Trademark Italy has focused on analysis of characteristics Parks Project partners Climaparks and the definition of a common system of daily checks, both the number of visitors that the main weather variables that describe the climate. The purpose of the Project is to highlight the links between the presence in the parks and the weather conditions recorded locally. After a quick inspection of the Regional Park of the Vena del Gesso, to assess the most appropriate solutions, was developed primarily an activity desk: – Preparation of cards for the detection of visitors; – Preparation of cards for the detection of weather variables; – Processing of instructions for proper completion of the ballot; – Mailing of the ballots and instructions to the Parks partners; – Receiving feedback; – Adjustment of the data on the basis of the comments received; – Mailing of the ballots and instructions updated. The second phase of the activity is developed from participation in the second coordination meeting of the project partners Climaparks held in Ravenna. On this occasion the researchers Trademark Italy presented to representatives of the Parks present the common methodology of data collection. The discussion that has developed with partners has highlighted the need for a “personalization” of the detection system, because of the different geographical, and organizational dimensions of the individual partners. This decision has resulted in additional workload compared to projections for researchers Trademark Italy, which have developed rapidly: – Cards for the detection of visitors customized for each park; – The specific directions for the proper completion of the ballot; – Spreadsheets suitable for the collection of data; – Appropriate programs for data processing and the creation of tables and graphs.


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Monitoring the weather data

Estimation of park visitors flows

The aim of the weather data survey is to build up a daily historical series of a group of variables relating to the nature park area. The obtained data will be compared with existing data relating to Park visitors. We suggest the following operating steps: 1. identification of the weather survey services operating within the area; 2. acquisition of weather data: the data base of each Park partner of the Project was implemented acquiring the historical daily series of data relating to the following quantity variables (5) on a monthly basis: – temperature, – atmospheric pressure, – humidity, – rainfall (ml of rain, cm of snow), – processing of monthly averages for comparison with visitor flow data.

The second quantity variable for studying the relationship in object consists of visitors flows in the Parks. In case of the existence of “direct” visitors monitoring systems, such as the purchase of an entrance ticket or controlled transit through counting systems (counting turngates, photoelectric cells, etc.) positioned in all the car-parks or at Park entrances, the data relating to the movement of visitors are easily available for processing and drawing up weekly, monthly or yearly reports. In case of lack of “direct” data, we used “indirect” statistical data, related to tourist flows in neighboring cities: domestic and international arrivals and overnights in hotels and other accommodation in cities (or provinces) on which the Park insists. The new elaborations were sent to all partners in the Project and from May 2011, they provided to send historical data (when available) and, on a monthly basis, data relating to 2011 and 2012 summer seasons (April–October).

Table 1. Weather conditions of natural parks

Park

Weather data

Sečoveljske Soline Natural Daily data from January 2008 to October 2012 provided directly from the park. Park Strunjan Natural Park

Daily data from May to October 2012 provided directly from the park. For April 2011 and for 2008–2010, data provided by Sečoveljske Soline Natural Park, because of the short distance and the same locaon facing the sea.

Triglav Naonal Park

Daily data from 2008 to 2012 collected by the weather staon in Ljubljana (57 km) published on the website eurometeo.com, which provides hourly observaons (data selected each day at 12 o’clock). The rain millimeters are esmated on the basis of descripve indicaons, based on the official rain classificaon.

Škocjanske Jame Park

Daily data from January 2006 to October 2012 provided directly from the park. The few missing data were completed by the weather staon in Ljubljana (76 km) published on the website eurometeo.com, which provides hourly observaons (data selected each day at 12 o’clock). The rain millimeters are esmated on the basis of descripve indicaons, based on the official rain classificaon.

Vena del Gesso Park

Daily data from 2008 to 2012 collected by the weather staon of Faenza (19 km) published on the website meteofa.it, which provides daily data for all of the defined items.

Delta del Po Veneto Park

Daily data from 2008 to 2012 collected by the weather staon of Ferrara (42 km from Ariano, 51 km from Mesola) and published on the website ilmeteo.it, which provides average daily data. The rain millimeters are esmated on the basis of descripve indicaons, based on the official rain classificaon.

Delta del Po EmiliaRomagna Park Prealpi Giulie Park

Daily data from 2008 to 2012 collected by the weather staon of Tarvisio (53 km) published on the website ilmeteo.it, which provides average daily data. The rain millimeters are esmated on the basis of descripve indicaons, based on the official rain classificaon.

Dolomi Friulane Park

For July and August 2011, the park has provided data collected by the weather staon of Andreis, located within the park. For the period 2008–2010, the other months of 2011 and for 2012, daily data collected by the weather staon of Aviano (21 km) published on the website ilmeteo.it. The rain millimeters are esmated on the basis of descripve indicaons, based on the official rain classificaon.

Note: The official rain classification considers the intensity of rainfall, distinguishing between: drizzle (< 1 mm per hour), rain (1–2 mm/h), moderate rain (2–6 mm/h), heavy rain (> 6 mm/h), storm (> 10 mm/h but limited in duration), heavy storm (> 30 mm/h).


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The Trademark Italia team periodically inserted new data within the data base, to produce annual and final processing.

Weather report Concerning the point “Analysis of the impact of weather conditions on Natural Parks visitor flows,” regarding these partners: Narodni Park Triglav, Škocjanske Jame Park, Delta del Po Veneto Park, Delta del Po Emilia-Romagna Park in the role of researchers, and Province of Ravenna with Vena del Gesso Park in the role of coordination. So far, Trademark Italia received the weather data and figures from the following Parks: – Krajinski Park Sečoveljske Soline, Portorož (SLO) from January 2008 to October 2012, – Krajinski Park Strunjan, Portorož (SLO) from May 2011 to October 2012, – Parco della Vena del Gesso, Ravenna (ITA) from April 2008 to October 2012. No data have been received from other parks. The other two Slovenians parks were outsiders of this contract, but delivering weather data automatically allowed the coordinators a better data processing and served the objectives of the project. To implement the analysis, Trademark Italia researchers worked out a special data base with weather information on all partner parks using statistical files and archives of weather stations located near the parks themselves.

Visitors flows Regarding the point “Monitoring the Natural Parks visitors,” the project consider the participation of all partners: Narodni Park Triglav, Strunjan Landscape Park, Secovlje Salina Nature Park, Jame Skocjanske Park, Prealpi Giulie Park, Dolomiti Friulane Park, Delta del Po Veneto Park, Delta del Po Emilia-Romagna Park in the role of researchers and Province of Ravenna with Vena del Gesso Park in the role of coordination, but in this case Trademark Italia received visitors flows data just from the following Parks: – Sečoveljske Soline, Portorož (SLO) from January 2008 to October 2012; – Krajinski Park Strunjan, Portorož (SLO) from May to October 2012; – Škocjanske Jame Park, Divaca (SLO) from January 2009 to October 2012; – Vena del Gesso Park, Ravenna (ITA): from April to October 2012; – Delta del Po ER Park, Comacchio (ITA): from 2008 to 2012; – Prealpi Giulie Natural Park, Resia (ITA): from 2008 to 2012; – Dolomiti Friulane Natural Park, Cimolais (ITA): from July to September 2011. The other parks did not send any data. The data base has been completed using estimates based on arrivals of visitors in the same day in similar periods in the same park or in the same day in the nearest park considering similar weather conditions. For all the other parks Trademark Italia has built a visitors flows data base using “indirect” institutional data

Table 2. Natural parks visitors flows

Park

Visitors flows data

Sečoveljske Soline Natural Daily data from January 2008 to October 2012 provided directly by the park. Park Strunjan Natural Park

Daily data from May to October 2012 provided directly by the park. For April 2011 and for 2008– 2010, esmated data on the basis of the visitors flows in Sečoveljske Soline Natural Park, because of the short distance and the same locaon facing the sea.

Triglav Naonal Park

No direct data provided. No indirect data available.

Škocjanske Jame Park

Daily data from January 2009 to October 2012 provided directly by the Park. Monthly visitors data in 2008 esmated on the basis of the trends observed in other Slovenian Parks.

Vena del Gesso Park

Daily data from April to October 2011 provided directly by the Park. Monthly visitors data for the period 2008–2010 esmated by a correlaon with the monthly tourists arrivals recorded in the City of Brisighella.

Delta del Po E-R Park Delta del Po Veneto Park

Esmates by Trademark Italia on the basis of annual visitors data from 2008 to 2011 registered directly in the Park Visitor Centers, Museums and in the main cultural and religious sites located within the Park. Annual data available from the Delta del Po Veneto Park.

Prealpi Giulie Natural Park Daily data from April 2008 to October 2012 related to visitors registered in Resia Visitors Centre. Dolomi Friulane Natural For the period from July to October 2011, the park has provided the data collected through two Park people counters (located in Val Montanaia and Andreis). For the other months of 2011 data were esmated on the basis of the visitors found themselves in similar periods in the day of the week in terms of weather. For the period 2008–2010 and for 2012, data were esmated by a correlaon with the monthly tourists overnights in the Pordenone Province.


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regarding tourist flows in the territory of each park (arrivals, overnight stays and alternative data, when available).

Links between weather conditions and park’s visitors flows Once completed the weather and the visitors flows database for the period 2008–2012, Trademark Italia started to analyze and highlight the main links between the parks visitors and the weather conditions. When the researchers (before completing data processing) tried to translate the correlations between these variables, spontaneous answers were: – an increase in temperature could match an increase in visitors (the heat in the cities pushes people away from urban atmosphere, in the nature, in the green, searching relief); – a decrease in temperature should correspond to a decrease in visitors (the cold slows down park visitors); – an increase in rainfall should reflect a decrease in visitors (the rain generally forbids entertainment in the Parks). The first data exit confirms all these correlations between the weather conditions (especially rainfalling and temperatures) and the visitors flows in the Parks, closely related with Table 3. Vena del Gesso Park: Visitors time series Year 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2012/2008

Visitors 7,376 6,507 18,442 21,106 34,061 26,685

% — –11.8 183.4 14.4 61.4 361.8

Table 4. Vena del Gesso Park: Precipitations time series Year 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2012/2008

Rainfall (ml) 240.2 324.0 577.4 272.6 381.8 141.6

% — 34.9 78.2 –52.8 40.1 59.0

Table 5. Vena del Gesso Park: Average temperature time series Year 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2012/2008

Temperature (°C) 20.0 20.3 19.0 20.5 20.9 0.9

% — 1.5 –6.4 7.9 2.0 4.5

temperature and rain. But some exceptions are possible.

Report for individual partner parks In this section of the study are presented the main findings concerning the comparison of meteorological data and visitors data flows of Climaparks project partners.

Vena del Gesso Park, Ravenna (ITA) With the collection of data relating to the 2012 summer season (April–October), researchers were able to make an initial assessment of the state of visitors in the Vena del Gesso Park of Ravenna (ITA) in the last 5 years (2008–2012) and compare it with evolving meteorological data, according to the guidelines set out by Climaparks project. The method adopted for the collection of data relating to Vena del Gesso Park is connected with the development of historical weather data collected from the meteorological station of Faenza (location: 19 km distance), available at www. meteofa.it, which provides average daily surveys for all data of the period between April 2008 and October 2012. The Park data base has been implemented on a monthly basis with the daily time series referred to the following quantitative variables: – temperature, – atmospheric pressure, – humidity, – precipitations (rain, snow). As for the details regarding the movement and visitors flows from April 2008 to October 2012, daily data were supplied directly from the park. Monthly data for the period 2008–2010 have been estimated through a correlation with monthly tourist arrivals registered in accommodation facilities of Brisighella, the nearest city whose territory insists on a portion of the Park. The data processing for the period April–October 2008–2012 highlights the links between weather conditions and the movement of visitors in the park and produced different results (summarized below).

Table 6. Vena del Gesso Park: Precipitations and visitors by month, 2012/2011

Month

2011

Rainfall (ml) 2012

April May June July August September October Total

32.6 42.8 57.2 54.4 0.2 17.0 68.4 272.6

99.6 86.0 4.6 0.0 8.8 120.6 62.2 381.8

% 205.5 100.9 –92.0 –100 4,300 609.4 –9.1 40.1

2011

Visitors 2012

%

3,273 2,456 2,205 3,061 5,327 2,825 1,959 21,106

4,951 3,631 5,488 4,995 7,063 4,927 3,006 34,061

51.3 47.8 148.9 63.2 32.6 74.4 53.4 61.4


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Table 7. Vena del Gesso Park: Temperature and visitors by month, 2012/2011

Month

2011

Temperature (°C) 2012

April May June July August September October Total

15.1 18.7 22.5 24.3 26.2 22.7 13.7 20.5

13.3 17.8 25.0 27.4 27.0 20.0 15.4 20.8

Between 2008 and 2012 Vena del Gesso Park visitors recorded from April to October rose from 7,376 to 34,061. The 5 years increase is 361.8%. The 2012 increase on 2011 is 61.4%. In the same period (2008–2012) recorded precipitation (rain) from April to October increased from 240.2 ml total in 2008 to 381.8 ml in 2012 (59% over the period); the increase recorded in 2012 over the previous year is 40.1%. With the exception of 2011 season, there was a gradual increase in rainfall between April and October. The average annual temperature (°C) for the period April–October increased from 20.0 °C in 2008 to 20.9 °C in 2012 (0.9 °C, corresponding to 4.5%). The 2012 increase on 2011 is 2.0%. Even in this case is highlighted, with the exclusion of the 2010 season, a progressive increase of the average temperature during the considered period. The monthly detail the last two seasons (2011–2012) doesn’t show a direct correlation between the amount of rainfall and the number of visitors in the Park: facing a decrease in precipitation, growth of visitors was registered during the months of June, July and October; but with increased rainfalls (see meteo conditions in the month of September), the Park registered a remarkable and larger growth in visitors. Neither the comparison between the change in average monthly temperatures with variation of the visitors in the Park

% –11.9 –4.8 11.1 12.8 3.1 –11.9 12.4 1.9

2011

Visitors 2012

%

3,273 2,456 2,205 3,061 5,327 2,825 1,959 21,106

4,951 3,631 5,488 4,995 7,063 4,927 3,006 34,061

51.3 47.8 148.9 63.2 32.6 74.4 53.4 61.4

highlights significant correlations: in June, July, August and October there was an increase in average temperatures and an increase in visitors, where in April, May and September there was an increase in visitors with a decrease in average temperatures.

Krajinski Park Strunjan, Portorož (SLO) With the collection of data relating to 2011 and 2012 summer seasons (April–October), traced the state of visitors of Krajinski Park Strunjan in Portorož (SLO) and compared it with the meteorological data, according to the guidelines set out by the Climaparks project. The method adopted for collecting data relating to Krajinski Park Strunjan expected a meteorological data supply directly from the park during the period between May 2011 and October 2012. To complete the data base of the Krajinski Park Strunjan were used the same historical weather data (on a daily basis) from 2008 until April 2011 of Krajinski Park Sečoveljske Soline, because of the proximity and similar location facing the sea. The data base of the Park has been implemented on a monthly basis with the daily time series relative to the following quantitative variables: – temperature, – atmospheric pressure,

Table 8. Krajinski Park Strunjan: Precipitations and visitors by month, 2012/2011

Month

2011

Rainfall (ml) 2012

%

2011

Visitors 2012

%

April May June July August September October Total

10.4 53.6 34.0 151.2 9.2 60.6 105.6 424.6

39.6 91.2 43.2 59.6 2.0 159.8 210.4 605.8

280.8 70.1 27.1 –60.6 –78.3 163.7 99.2 42.7

23,700 39,610 70,247 86,955 140,609 83,377 38,282 482,780

20,539 25,490 68,867 90,980 114,034 49,864 21,436 391,210

–13.3 –35.6 –2.0 4.6 –18.9 –40.2 –44.0 –19.0


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Table 9. Krajinski Park Strunjan: Temperature and visitors by month, 2012/2011

Month

2011

Temperature (°C) 2012

April May June July August September October Total

14.1 18.2 22.1 23.3 24.5 22.5 14.2 19.8

13.3 17.2 23.2 25.2 25.8 21.1 16.1 20.3

– humidity, – precipitation (rain, snow). Concerning details regarding visitors flows from May 2011 to October 2012, data are provided directly by the Park (periodic surveys, not every day). Missing data were completed through estimates based on visitor arrivals during the same days in similar periods in the same park, or in the same days in a nearby park, with similar weather conditions. In the case of Krajinski Park Strunjan, for April 2011 and for the period 2008–2010 the data were estimated considering the performance of visitors to Krajinski Park Sečoveljske Soline (short distance location and equally facing the sea). The data processing for the period April–October 2011–2012 highlights the links between weather conditions and the movement of visitors in the park and produced different results: – between 2011 and 2012 visitors recorded from April to October in Krajinski Park Strunjan decreased from 482,780 to 391,210 (–19.0%); – during the same period precipitation (rain ml) rose from 424.6 ml (total of 2011) to 605.8 ml of 2012, with an increase of 42.7%; – in the same period the average temperature increased from 19.8 °C in 2011 to 20.3 °C in 2012. The increase was 0.5 °C corresponding to 2.2%; – the monthly detail shows a close correlation between the increase of rain and the decrease in visitors in the Park. The comparison between the change in average monthly temperatures and the monthly variation of number of visitors in the Park doesn’t seem to show direct correlations.

Krajinski Park Sečoveljske Soline, Portorož (SLO) With the collection of data and figures relating to the 2012 summer season (April–October), Trademark Italia was able to represent the trend of visitors in Krajinski Park Sečoveljske Soline in Portorož (SLO) of the last 5 years (2008–2012) and compare visitors numbers with evolving meteorological data (according to the guidelines set out by the Climaparks project). The method adopted for the data collection relating to Krajinski Park Sečoveljske Soline supposed the meteorological

% –5.7 –5.5 5.0 8.2 5.3 –6.2 13.4 2.2

2011

Visitors 2012

%

23,700 39,610 70,247 86,955 140,609 83,377 38,282 482,780

20,539 25,490 68,867 90,980 114,034 49,864 21,436 391,210

–13.3 –35.6 –2.0 4.6 –18.9 –40.2 –44.0 –19.0

data supply directly from the park during the period between April 2008 and October 2012. The data base of the Park has been implemented on a monthly basis with the daily time series relative to the following quantitative variables: – temperature, – atmospheric pressure, – humidity, – precipitation (rain, snow). As for the details regarding movement and visitors flows from April 2008 to October 2012, the daily data were supplied directly from the park (on a daily basis). The data processing aimed to highlight the links between weather conditions and the movement of visitors in the park. Research and calculations produced different results. Between 2008 and 2012 visitors recorded from April to October in Krajinski Park Sečoveljske Soline increased of 64.5% (from 21,821 to 35,896); the variation recorded in 2012 over 2011 is 16.1%. In the same period (2008–2012) precipitation (rain) recorded each year from April to October fell from 488.8 ml in 2008 to 350.8 ml in 2012, with a decrease of 28.2% but with an increase from 2011 to 2012 of 18.8%. Table 10. Krajinski Park Sečoveljske Soline: Visitors time series Year 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2012/2008

Visitors 21,821 23,163 21,169 30,923 35,896 14,075

% — 6.2 –8.6 46.1 16.1 64.5

Table 11. Krajinski Park Sečoveljske Soline: Precipitation time series Year 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2012/2008

Rainfall (ml) 488.8 357.6 699.2 431.8 350.8 –138.0

% — –26.8 95.5 –38.2 –18.8 –28.2

Table 12. Krajinski Park Sečoveljske Soline: Temperature time series Year 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2012/2008

Temperature (°C) 18.7 19.2 18.4 19.6 19.8 1.1

% — 2.7 –4.2 6.5 1.0 5.9


ClimaParks - Climate change and management of protected areas | 251

Table 13. Krajinski Park Sečoveljske Soline: Precipitations and visitors by month, 2012/2011

Month April May June July August September October Total

2011

Rainfall (ml) 2012

%

10.4 54.0 37.2 142.6 4.2 67.2 116.2 431.8

45.2 88.8 29.0 3.0 21.2 77.4 86.2 350.8

334.6 64.4 –22.0 –97.9 404.8 15.2 –25.8 –18.8

2011

Visitors 2012

%

4,292 5,326 6,141 3,106 3,069 4,755 4,234 30,923

4,557 5,976 6,625 3,776 4,177 6,596 4,189 35,896

6.2 12.2 7.9 21.6 36.1 38.7 –1.1 16.1

Table 14. Krajinski Park Sečoveljske Soline: Temperature and visitors by month, 2012/2011

Month

2011

Temperature (°C) 2012

%

2011

Visitors 2012

%

April May June July August September October Total

14.1 17.8 21.8 22.7 24.5 22.4 13.9 19.6

12.8 16.8 22.5 25.4 24.6 20.5 15.7 19.8

–9.2 –5.6 3.2 11.9 0.4 –8.5 12.9 0.8

4,292 5,326 6,141 3,106 3,069 4,755 4,234 30,923

4,557 5,976 6,625 3,776 4,177 6,596 4,189 35,896

6.2 12.2 7.9 21.6 36.1 38.7 –1.1 16.1

After the peak registered in 2010, in the last two summer seasons data highlight a progressive decrease in rainfall between April and October. The average temperature for the period from April to October rose annually from 18.7 °C in 2008 to 19.8 °C in 2012, with an increase of 1.1 °C (5.9%); the variation recorded in 2012 in comparison with 2011 is 1.0%. During the last three seasons was registred a progressive increase of the average temperature in the considered period. The monthly detail of the last two seasons (2011–2012) doesn’t show a close correlation between the amount of rainfall and the number of visitors in the park. Facing a general decreases in precipitation, there was only a slight increases in visitors during the months of June and July and a scarce increase in October. During April, May, August and September, on the contrary, visitors increased independently from increased rain precipitations. Neither the comparison between the change in average monthly temperatures with variation of the visitors in the Park highlights significant correlations: if in June, July and August average temperatures increased, the Park registred an increase in visitors in April, May and September in front of a decrease in average temperatures. In October average temperature increased, but visitors decreased.

Park Škocjanske Jame, Divača (SLO) With the collection of data and figures relating to the 2012 summer season (April–October), Trademark Italia was able to represent the trend of visitors in Park Škocjanske Jame in Divaca (SLO) of the last 5 years (2008–2012) and compare visitors numbers with evolving meteorological data (according to the guidelines set out by the Climaparks project). The method adopted for the data collection relating to Park Škocjanske Jame supposed the meteorological data supply directly from the park during the period between April 2008 and October 2012. The few missing data were completed by the weather station in Ljubljana (76 km) published on the website eurometeo.com, which provides hourly observations (data selected each day at 12 o’clock). The rain millimeters are estimated on the basis of descriptive indications, based on the official rain classification. The data base of the Park has been implemented on a monthly basis with the daily time series relative to the following quantitative variables: – temperature, – atmospheric pressure, – humidity, – precipitation (rain, snow). As for the details regarding movement and visitors flows from April 2009 to October 2012, the daily data were supplied directly from the park (on a daily basis), monthly visitors data


252 | ClimaParks - Climate change and management of protected areas

Table 15. Park Škocjanske Jame: Visitors time series Year 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2012/2008

Visitors 77,755 85,902 87,566 83,665 81,521 3,766

% — 10.5 1.9 –4.5 –2.6 4.8

Table 16. Park Škocjanske Jame: Precipitation time series Year 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2012/2008

Rainfall (ml) 764.6 496.5 1,041.1 728.5 687.4 –77.2

% — –35.1 109.7 –30.0 –5.6 –10.1

Table 17. Park Škocjanske Jame: Temperature time series Year 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2012/2008

Temperature (°C) 15.8 16.8 15.4 16.5 16.9 1.1

% — 6.3 –8.3 7.1 2.4 7.0

in 2008 were estimated on the basis of the trends observed in other Slovenian Parks. The data processing aimed to highlight the links between weather conditions and the movement of visitors in the park. Research and calculations produced different results. Between 2008 and 2012 visitors recorded from April to October in Park Škocjanske Jame increased of 4.8% (from

77,755 to 81,521); the variation recorded in 2012 over 2011 is –2.6%. In the same period (2008–2012) precipitation (rain ml) recorded each year from April to October fell from 764.6 ml in 2008 to 687.4 ml in 2012, with a decrease of 10.1% and with a decrease from 2011 to 2012 of 5.6%. After the peak registered in 2010, in the last two summer seasons data highlight a progressive decrease in rainfall between April and October. The average temperature for the period from April to October rose from 15.8 °C in 2008 to 16.9 °C in 2012, with an increase of 1.1° (7.0%); the variation recorded in 2012 in comparison with 2011 is 2.4%. During the last two seasons was registred a progressive increase of the average temperature in the considered period. The monthly detail of the last two seasons (2011–2012) doesn’t show a close correlation between the amount of rainfall and the number of visitors in the park: during April and May facing an increases in precipitation, there was an increases in visitors; during June, July and August, on the contrary, facing an increases in precipitation visitors decreased. Neither the comparison between the change in average monthly temperatures with variation of the visitors in the Park highlights significant correlations: if in April and May in front of a decrease of average temperatures, the data show

Table 18. Park Škocjanske Jame: Precipitations and visitors by month, 2012/2011

Month

2011

Rainfall (ml) 2012

%

2011

Visitors 2012

%

April May June July August September October Total

38.7 95.2 164.5 164.5 34.6 92.0 139.0 728.5

79.1 100.7 72.6 68.6 33.5 175.7 157.2 687.4

104.4 5.8 –55.9 –58.3 –3.2 91.0 13.1 –5.6

7,252 7,959 11,394 17,526 19,377 12,745 7,412 83,665

7,669 9,963 10,630 16,401 18,999 11,411 6,448 81,521

5.8 25.2 –6.7 –6.4 –2.0 –10.5 –13.0 –2.6

Table 19. Park Škocjanske Jame: Temperature and visitors by month, 2012/2011

Month

2011

Temperature (°C) 2012

%

2011

Visitors 2012

%

April May June July August September October Total

11.5 15.3 18.6 19.5 21.4 19.1 10.2 16.5

10.3 14.1 19.8 22.0 22.8 17.1 12.1 16.9

–10.4 –7.8 6.5 12.8 6.5 –10.5 18.6 2.2

7,252 7,959 11,394 17,526 19,377 12,745 7,412 83,665

7,669 9,963 10,630 16,401 18,999 11,411 6,448 81,521

5.8 25.2 –6.7 –6.4 –2.0 –10.5 –13.0 –2.6


ClimaParks - Climate change and management of protected areas | 253

an increase of visitors, in the period June–August and in October in front of an increase in average temperatures the Park registered a decrease in visitors; in September, on the contrary, visitors decreased in the same percentage of the decrease in average temperatures.

Table 20. Delta del Po Emilia-Romagna Park: Visitors time series Year 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2012/2008

Visitors 290,571 268,810 253,729 255,141 227,710 –62,861

% — –7.5% –5.6% 0.6% –10.8% –21.6%

Table 21. Delta del Po Emilia-Romagna Park: Precipitations time series Year 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2012/2008

Rainfall (ml) 470.8 449.7 319.0 258.6 379.9 –90.9

% — –4.5 –29.1 –18.9 46.9 –19.3

Table 22. Delta del Po Emilia-Romagna Park: Average temperature time series Year 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2012/2008

Temperature (°C) 21.5 22.9 21.0 23.06 23.09 1.6

% — 6.5 –8.3 9.8 0.1 7.4

Delta del Po Emilia-Romagna Park, Comacchio (ITA) The trend of visitors in Delta del Po Emilia-Romagna Park in Comacchio (ITA) in summer season (April–October) of the last 5 years (2008–2012) was compared with evolving meteorological data, according to the guidelines set out by the Climaparks project. The method adopted for the data collection relating to Delta del Po Emilia-Romagna Park supposed to use daily data from April 2008 to October 2012 collected by the weather station of Ferrara (51 km from Mesola) and published on the website ilmeteo.it, which provides average daily data. The rain millimeters are estimated on the basis of descriptive indications, based on the official rain classification. The data base of the Park has been implemented on a monthly basis with the daily time series relative to the following quantitative variables: – temperature, – atmospheric pressure, – humidity, – precipitation (rain, snow). As for the details regarding movement and visitors flows from April 2008 to October 2012, the data were supplied directly from the park (visitors in the Visitors Centre on a yearly basis). Monthly data for the period 2008–2012 have been estimated through a correlation with monthly tourist

Table 23. Delta del Po Emilia-Romagna Park: Precipitations and visitors by month, 2012/2011

Month

2011

Rainfall (ml) 2012

%

2011

Visitors 2012

%

April May June July August September October Total

39.5 27.6 56.0 29.7 0.0 51.4 54.4 258.6

108.8 70.8 21.9 7.0 5.3 88.2 77.9 379.9

175.4 156.5 –60.9 –76.4 52,900 71.6 43.2 46.9

43,880 54,905 39,038 33,425 34,643 33,590 15,660 255,141

44,074 56,119 26,053 24,369 31,566 28,143 17,386 227,710

0.4 2.2 –33.3 –27.1 –8.9 –16.2 11.0 –10.8

Table 24. Delta del Po Emilia-Romagna Park: Temperature and visitors by month, 2012/2011

Month

2011

Temperature (°C) 2012

%

2011

Visitors 2012

%

April May June July August September October Total

18.1 22.5 25.0 26.3 28.8 25.1 15.6 23.06

15.1 20.6 27.3 29.7 30.0 22.2 16.7 23.09

–16.6 –8.4 9.2 12.9 4.2 –11.6 7.1 0.1

43,880 54,905 39,038 33,425 34,643 33,590 15,660 255,141

44,074 56,119 26,053 24,369 31,566 28,143 17,386 227,710

0.4 2.2 –33.3 –27.1 –8.9 –16.2 11.0 –10.8


254 | ClimaParks - Climate change and management of protected areas

arrivals registered in accommodation facilities of Ferrara and Ravenna provinces, whose territories insists on a portion of the Park. The data processing for the period April–October 2008–2012 highlights the links between weather conditions and the movement of visitors in the park and produced different results (summarized below). Between 2008 and 2012 visitors recorded from April to October in Delta del Po Emilia-Romagna Park had a decrease of 21.6%, from 290,571 to 227,710. In 2012, visitors decreased by 10.8% compared to 2011. In the same period (2008–2012) recorded precipitation (rain ml) from April to October decreased from 470.8 ml total in 2008 to 379.9 ml in 2012 (–19.3% over the period); the increase recorded in 2012 over the previous year is 46.9%. With the exception of 2012 season, there was a gradual decrease in rainfall between April and October. The average annual temperature for the period April–October increased from 21.5 °C in 2008 to 23.09 °C in 2012 (+1.6 °C, corresponding to +7.4%). The 2012 increase on 2011 is 0.1%. Even in this case is highlighted, with the exclusion of the 2010 season, a progressive increase of the average temperature during the considered period. The monthly detail of the last two seasons (2011–2012) doesn’t show a direct correlation between the amount of rainfall and the number of visitors in the Park: facing a decrease in precipitation, same decrease of visitors was registered during the months of June and July; an increase of visitors was registered in April, May and October, even in front of an (important) increase of rainfalls. In August and September, one of the first spontaneous answers of the researchers was confirmed: an increase in rainfall reflects a decrease in visitors. The comparison between the change in average monthly temperatures with variation of the visitors in the Park highlights significant correlations in October only, when an increase in average temperatures reflects a correspondant increase in visitors. In April and May average temperatures decreased, but visitors registered an increase; in June, July and August we registered the contrary: an increase in average temperatures reflects a huge decrease in visitors.

Table 25. Delta del Po Veneto Park: Visitors time series Year 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2012/2008

Visitors 12,353 12,055 11,786 12,251 11,989 –364

% — –2.4 –2.2 3.9 –2.1 –2.9

Table 26. Delta del Po Veneto Park: Precipitations time series Year 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2012/2008

Rainfall (ml) 470.8 449.7 319.0 258.6 379.9 –90.9

% — –4.5 –29.1 –18.9 46.9 –19.3

Table 27. Delta del Po Veneto Park: Average temperature time series Year 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2012/2008

Temperature (°C) 21.5 22.9 21.0 23.06 23.09 1.6

% — 6.5 –8.3 9.8 0.1 7.4

Delta del Po Veneto Park, Ariano nel Polesine (ITA) The trend of visitors in Delta del Po Veneto Park in Ariano nel Polesine (ITA) in summer season (April–October) of the last 5 years (2008–2012) was compared with evolving meteorological data, according to the guidelines set out by the Climaparks project. The method adopted for the data collection relating to Delta del Po Veneto Park supposed to use daily data from April 2008 to October 2012 collected by the weather station of Ferrara (42 km from Ariano) and published on the website ilmeteo.it, which provides average daily data. The rain millimeters are estimated on the basis of descriptive indications, based on the official rain classification. The data base of the Park has been implemented on a monthly basis with the daily time series relative to the following quantitative variables: – temperature, – atmospheric pressure, – humidity, – precipitation (rain, snow).

Table 28. Delta del Po Veneto Park: Precipitations and visitors, 2012/2011

Month

2011

Rainfall (ml) 2012

%

2011

Visitors 2012

%

April May June July August September October Total

39.5 27.6 56.0 29.7 0.0 51.4 54.4 258.6

108.8 70.8 21.9 7.0 5.3 88.2 77.9 379.9

175.4 156.5 –60.9 –76.4 — 71.6 43.2 46.9

433 944 2,105 2,936 4,498 975 360 12,251

510 1,040 1,953 2,580 4,448 1,071 387 11,989

17.8 10.2 –7.2 –12.1 –1.1 9.8 7.5 –2.1


ClimaParks - Climate change and management of protected areas | 255

Table 29. Delta del Po Veneto Park: Temperature and visitors by month, 2012/2011

Month

2011

Temperature (°C) 2012

Var.

2011

Visitors 2012

Var.

April May June July August September October Total

18.1 22.5 25.0 26.3 28.8 25.1 15.6 23.06

15.1 20.6 27.3 29.7 30.0 22.2 16.7 23.09

–16.6 –8.4 9.2 12.9 4.2 –11.6 7.1 0.1

433 944 2,105 2,936 4,498 975 360 12,251

510 1,040 1,953 2,580 4,448 1,071 387 11,989

17.8 10.2 –7.2 –12.1 –1.1 9.8 7.5 –2.1

As for the details regarding movement and visitors flows from April 2008 to October 2012, the data were supplied directly from the park (visitors in the Visitors Centre on a yearly basis). The data processing for the period April–October 2008–2012 highlights the links between weather conditions and the movement of visitors in the park and produced different results (summarized below). Between 2008 and 2012 visitors recorded from April to October in Delta del Po Veneto Park had a decrease of 2.9%, from 12,353 to 11,989. The 2012 decrease on 2011 was 2.1%. In the period 2008–2012, the Park registered an increase in visitors in 2011 only. In the same period (2008–2012) recorded precipitation (rain ml) from April to October decreased from 470.8 ml total in 2008 to 379.9 ml in 2012 (–19.3% over the period); the increase recorded in 2012 over the previous year is 46.9%. With the exception of 2012 season, there was a gradual decrease in rainfall between April and October. The average annual temperature for the period April–October increased from 21.5 °C in 2008 to 23.09 °C in 2012 (+1.6 °C, corresponding to +7.4%). The 2012 increase on 2011 is 0.1%. ture time series Even in this case is highlighted, with the exclusion of the 2010 season, a progressive increase of the average temperature during the considered period. The monthly detail of the last two seasons (2011–2012) doesn’t show a direct correlation between the amount of rainfall and the number of visitors in the Park: facing a decrease in precipitation, same decrease of visitors was registered during the months of June and July; an increase of visitors was registered in April, May, September and October, even in front of an (important) increase of rainfalls. The comparison between the change in average monthly temperatures with variation of the visitors in the Park highlights significant correlations in October only, when an increase in average temperatures reflects a correspondant increase in visitors. In April and May average temperatures decreased, but visitors registered an increase; in June, July and August we registered the contrary: an increase in average temperatures reflects a decrease in visitors.

Prealpi Giulie Park, Resia (ITA) The trend of visitors in Prealpi Giulie Park in Resia (ITA) in summer season (April–October) of the last 5 years (2008–2012) was compared with evolving meteorological data, according to the guidelines set out by the Climaparks project. The method adopted for the data collection relating to Prealpi Giulie Park supposed to use daily data from April 2008 to October 2012 collected by the weather station of Tarvisio (53 km distance) and published on the website ilmeteo.it, which provides average daily data. The rain millimeters are estimated on the basis of descriptive indications, based on the official rain classification. The data base of the Park has been implemented on a monthly basis with the daily time series relative to the following quantitative variables: – temperature, – atmospheric pressure, – humidity, – precipitation (rain, snow). As for the details regarding movement and visitors flows from April 2008 to October 2012, the data were supplied directly from the park (visitors in the Resia Visitors Centre Table 30. Prealpi Giulie Park: Visitors time series Year 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2012/2008

Visitors 5,755 3,540 3,704 3,935 2,338 –3,417

% — –38.5 4.6 6.2 –40.6 –59.4

Table 31. Prealpi Giulie Park: Precipitations time series Year 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2012/2008

Rainfall (ml) 1,123.1 782.4 1,070.6 631.4 1,053.6 –69.5

% — –30.3 36.8 –41.0 66.9 –6.2

Table 32. Prealpi Giulie Park: Average temperature time series Year 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2012/2008

Temperature (°C) 14.4 15.8 14.7 16.2 15.9 1.5

% — 9.7 –7.0 10.2 –1.9 10.4


256 | ClimaParks - Climate change and management of protected areas

Table 33. Prealpi Giulie Park: Precipitations and visitors by month, 2012/2011

Month April May June July August September October Total

2011

Rainfall (ml) 2012

%

0.0 106.6 0.0 162.6 171.5 190.7 0.0 631.4

99.2 100.2 81.1 147.6 242.2 76.0 307.3 1,053.6

— –6.0 — –9.2 41.2 –60.1 — 66.9

2011

Visitors 2012

%

671 741 348 600 654 351 570 3,935

0 453 240 508 535 260 342 2,338

–100 –38.9 –31.0 –15.3 –18.2 –25.9 –40.0 –40.6

Table 34. Prealpi Giulie Park: Temperature and visitors by month, 2012/2011

Month

2011

Temperature (°C) 2012

%

2011

Visitors 2012

%

April May June July August September October Total

12.5 15.8 17.6 19.1 20.8 18.3 9.1 16.2

9.3 15.1 19.5 20.3 21.4 15.4 10.0 15.9

–25.6 –4.4 10.8 6.3 2.9 –15.8 9.9 –1.9

671 741 348 600 654 351 570 3,935

0 453 240 508 535 260 342 2,338

–100 –38.9 –31.0 –15.3 –18.2 –25.9 –40.0 –40.6

on a daily basis). The data processing for the period April–October 2008–2012 highlights the links between weather conditions and the movement of visitors in the park and produced different results (summarized below). Between 2008 and 2012 visitors recorded from April to October in Prealpi Giulie Park had a decrease of 59.4%, from 5,755 to 2,338. The 2012 decrease on 2011 is 40.6%. In the same period (2008–2012) recorded precipitation (rain ml) from April to October decreased from 1,123.1 ml total in 2008 to 1,053.6 ml in 2012 (–6.2% over the period); the increase recorded in 2012 over the previous year is 66.9%. In the period 2008–2012, there was a gradual decrease in rainfall between April and October. The average annual temperature (°C) for the period April–October increased from 14.4 °C in 2008 to 15.9 °C in 2012 (+1.5 °C, corresponding to +10.4%). The 2012 decrease on 2011 is 1.9%. Even in this case is highlighted a progressive increase of the average temperature during the considered period. The monthly detail of the last two seasons (2011–2012) shows a possible correlation between the amount of rainfall and the number of visitors in the Park during the months of June, August and October, when facing an increase in precipitation, the Park registered a decrease of visitors; in May, July and September, on the contrary, visitors decrease

even in front of a decrease of rainfalls. The comparison between the change in average monthly temperatures with variation of the visitors in the Park confirmes one of the first spontaneous answers of the researchers during the months of May and September only, when a decrease in average temperatures reflects a correspondant decrease in visitors. In the other months average temperatures increase, but visitors registered a decrease.

Dolomiti Friulane Park, Pordenone (ITA) The trend of visitors in Dolomiti Friulane Park in Pordenone (ITA) in summer season (April–October) of the last 5 years (2008–2012) was compared with evolving meteorological data, according to the guidelines set out by the Climaparks project. The method adopted for the data collection relating to Dolomiti Friulane Park supposed to use daily data from April 2008 to October 2012 collected by the weather station of Aviano (21 km distance) and published on the website ilmeteo. it, which provides average daily data. The rain millimeters are estimated on the basis of descriptive indications, based on the official rain classification. For July and August 2011, the park has provided data collected by the weather station of Andreis, located within the park. The data base of the Park has been implemented on a monthly basis with the daily


ClimaParks - Climate change and management of protected areas | 257

Table 35. Dolomiti Friulane Park: Visitors time series Year 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2012/2008

Visitors 11,429 11,072 11,515 12,749 11,731 302

% — –3.1 4.0 10.7 –8.0 2.6

Table 36. Dolomiti Friulane Park: Precipitations time series Year 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2012/2008

Rainfall (ml) 1,292.5 917.6 884.9 1,084.7 1,061.2 –231.3

% — –29.0 –3.6 22.6 –2.2 –17.9

Table 37. Dolomiti Friulane Park: Average temperature time series Year 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2012/2008

Temperature (°C) 20.3 21.7 19.7 18.7 21.3 1.0

% — 6.9 –9.2 –5.1 13.9 4.9

time series relative to the following quantitative variables: – temperature, – atmospheric pressure, – humidity, – precipitation (rain, snow). As for the details regarding movement and visitors flows, for the period from July to October 2011 the park has provided the data collected through two people counters (located in Val Montanaia and Andreis). For the other months of 2011

data were estimated on the basis of the visitors registered in similar periods in the same day of the week with similar weather conditions. For the period 2008–2010 and for 2012, data were estimated by a correlation with the monthly tourists overnights in the Pordenone Province, whose territory insists on a portion of the Park. The data processing for the period April–October 2008–2012 highlights the links between weather conditions and the movement of visitors in the park and produced different results (summarized below). Between 2008 and 2012 visitors recorded from April to October in Dolomiti Friulane Park had an increase of 2.6%, from 11,429 to 11,731. The 2012 season registered a decrease of 8.0% in comparison with 2011. In the same period (2008–2012) recorded precipitation (rain) from April to October decreased from 1,292.5 ml total in 2008 to 1,061.2 ml in 2012 (–17.9% over the period); the decrease recorded in 2012 over the previous year is 2.2%. With the exception of 2012 season, in the period 2008–2012 there was a gradual decrease in rainfall between April and October. The average annual temperature for the period April– October increased from 20.3 °C in 2008 to 21.3 °C in 2012 (1.0 °C, corresponding to 4.9%). The 2012 increase on 2011 is 13.9%. Even in this case, exluding 2010 and 2011 seasons, the

Table 38. Dolomiti Friulane Park: Precipitations and visitors by month, 2012/2011

Month April May June July August September October Total

2011

Rainfall (ml) 2012

%

2011

Visitors 2012

%

51.9 167.4 235.8 304.8 90.8 103.8 130.2 1,084.7

146.4 223.2 157.7 165.1 64.0 104.7 200.1 1,061.2

182.1 33.3 –33.1 –45.8 –29.5 0.9 53.7 –2.2

833 1,421 1,492 2,401 4,042 1,588 972 12,749

770 1,247 1,353 2,205 3,815 1,457 884 11,731

–7.6 –12.2 –9.3 –8.2 –5.6 –8.2 –9.1 –8.0

Table 39. Prealpi Giulie Park: Temperature and visitors by month, 2012/2011

Month

2011

Temperature (°C) 2012

%

2011

Visitors 2012

%

April May June July August September October Total

15.3 19.6 21.6 18.7 20.3 22.1 13.3 18.7

14.0 19.6 24.2 27.0 27.6 21.1 15.6 21.3

–8.5 0.0 12.0 44.4 36.0 –4.5 17.3 13.9

833 1,421 1,492 2,401 4,042 1,588 972 12,749

770 1,247 1,353 2,205 3,815 1,457 884 11,731

–7.6 –12.2 –9.3 –8.2 –5.6 –8.2 –9.1 –8.0


258 | ClimaParks - Climate change and management of protected areas

data show a progressive increase of the average temperature during the considered period. The monthly detail of the last two seasons (2011–2012) shows a possible correlation between the amount of rainfall and the number of visitors in the Park during the months of April, May, September and October, when facing an increase in precipitation, the Park registered a decrease of visitors. In the other months, visitors decrease even in front of a decrease of rainfalls. Neither the comparison between the change in average monthly temperatures with variation of the visitors in the Park highlights significant correlations. Both in front of an increase of average temperatures and a decrease, the Park registered a decrease in visitors.

Conclusions The comparison between the evolution of meteorological variables and the movement of visitors in natural Parks in the last five years, highlights a direct correlation only in some of the analyzed cases. In general, the effect of climate changes on the quantity of visitors in recent years (those affected by crisis recession) shows an increasing weight in the propensity of european tourists toward short stays, weekends and short breaks “open-air.” Visiting national parks in Europe seems to adhere to these categories. Beyond the direct correlations between climate change and influx of visitors in the natural parks, in 2012 (5th year of economic crisis) tourists have shown unexpected behaviour compared to traditional tourism habits. All areas of Europe reflect growing attention for outdoor holidays and leisure and exploration of natural parks. Economic uncertainty, the stress of everyday life, incomes down, invite people to look for less expensive alternative. People are testing tours looking forward future stays the hospitality of natural parks, reserves, green sanctuaries and open air holiday destination generously available in Europe. It is not yet a “definitive” choice but a “saving option”; the economic uncertainty has affected the majority of EU countries and has convinced everyone to use the leverage of thrift together with fragmentation and shortening of the holidays. Now thrift perfectly combines with outdoor holidays, a widespread expression of the minor trend of expenditure. Europe is changing attitudes; the offers of green, casual, natural hospitality now respond very well to the new economy requirements. Confirmation of this trend comes from 2012 arrivals in the traditional hospitality industry that shows double-digit contractions and a tremendous increases in demand for accommodation in open-air structures and resorts. European demand, despite the long period of global recession, is adjusting without sacrificing the holidays and the usual 3 weekends out of the house during the summer. Basically it can be said that the crisis spillover benefits to the inputs to Natural parks, which represent the collective affordable, environmentally friendly alternative and “valid” that probably does and will be part of the new options relatives.

The fifth year of the global crisis, Europe is experiencing unexpected anthropological changes. Marketing experts are often faced with sudden reversals rituals. On holiday europeans challenge to the usual comforts, they change their agenda from television (perpetually turned on) to observing and listening to nature, they pass from the condo apartment to the tent, from urban concentrations to isolation of the reserve, from concrete and asphalt to lawns and greens ... With no compromise on holiday, they seem to love convertion into emotions, accepting an original experience outside their home that requires severe adaptation. Reduced comfort habits are exchanged freely with a challenging hospitality in the open. Holidays no frills and obligations protocol are welcome. However, for those who wish, in parks, pine forests, oases, green resorts, camping sites, there are also superior hospitality options, bungalows and tends equipped with all services for those who do not like spartan accomodations “away from home. The data show a growing number of people who focused on the quality of equipment, in particular on large swimming areas and entertainment around the pool (in which european resort and outdoor holidays camps are generous). Actually holiday camps are removing significant amounts of customers from famous destinations structured for traditional hospitality. Despite the crisis influencing all sectors of the hospitality industry, the open air tourism growth is a clear sign that the economic uncertainty is generating new attention to parks and nature reserves, emblematic places of sustainable tourism, ecological sensitivity, time truly free “liberated” without any restriction of clothing and protocol. The long recession is bringing large share of consumers outside the traditional niches of the consumption. Tourism in the wild is becoming fashionable and takes on values that are not an expression of poverty and resizing consumerist, but a qualitative option qualitative option that allows new generations to appreciate the beauty and the attraction of the wild expressions of nature available in the macrocentral-european areas. To push the Europeans more and more toward natural parks, reserves, oases, villages and

Figure 2. Performance of Nature Tourism in 2012 according to the European Tour Operators. Source: 10th National Report Ecotur.


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wild destinations in general, is not just the economic crisis, but the need to participate forms of “active,” dynamic, free sports, with your family and pet friends rarely well accepted in hotels, beaches and restaurants. The trend is well known, established and widespread: Europe, more and more animal friendly, grows tourist demand for favourable situations for family pets. An active break in the wild is also emblematic of “health consciousness” but also a challenge against obesity thanks to simple, inviting organic food available. The positive trend also includes sporting activities, including those with points racing for large quotes of loyal nature lovers. According to a recent survey published by European Tour Operators specialized on Nature Tourism, 48% of respondents define “sport” the main reason to choose this type of vacation, 23% prefer relaxation, 15% the pleasures of tasting organic food and wine, 11% memories and returning to traditional places. As for sports activities, in 2012 the emerging boom goes to the bike: for the first time biking exceeds all sports standing at 31%, followed by the generic hiking (21%), from hiking (15%), animal watching (13%), followed by cross-country skiing, horseback riding and climbing. The parks, nature reserves, oases, outdoor vacation center, are included in the “so called” “offer of Nature Tourism.” It is not a symbolic value of ecological appeal, but rather a “product” with a total turnover (Italy only) of more than 11 billion euro (the estimation dated 2011 was 10.929 billion euro). The growth of Nature Tourism is also confirmed by the findings of a european report demonstrating that the vast majority (65%) of parks showed an increase in demand in 2012, while 31% declared stability and only a 4% a decrease. Significant fact: 57% of brokers and tour operators say they have included in their 2013 print and online catalogs more open air holiday deals than to 2012. According to Tour Operator, tourists who choose open air resorts, holiday camps, nature and Parks for their main holidays are more educated than those who choose the traditional hospitality (41% have a college degree, 46% a diploma, and only 13% a title lower). According to the managers of parks and reserves, guests and visitors are predominantly young: 51% are under 30 years old, and 35% between 31 and 60 years old. The increase of sensitivity to the issues connected with Natural Parks and Reserves is capturing more and more schools and colleges. The increase of school trips increased 26% in comparison to the past. The growth also affects families and small groups of friends. Organised groups demand is “shrinking.” At the same time demand for alternative accommodation is growing but not the attraction of Agriturismi (country farms). In 2012 they are loosing at least 1.2%. Return to success of the classic motorhome holiday that jumps from 6.5% in 2011 to 11% in 2012. In this situation, the Italian market met a good 2012, a year in which the Nature Tourism for the first time exceeded the threshold of 100 million visitors (accommodation number of guests open air throughout Italy). The data reported by 10th National Report Ecotur on Nature Tourism, edited by Istat, ENIT and the University of L’Aquila, suggests a revenue 2012 of 101.8 million room nights, with

an increase of 1.8% compared to 2011. Italy is working to capture international tourist; the Italian market is loosing over 10% but the movement of open-air tourists (and nature tourism) is now ensuring green hospitality a 39% of international arrivals (in 2011 less than 38%). Tourists who choose the green and nature for their holidays are Italians for the vast majority, 22% of the total are European, 12% comes from other parts of the world (source: Ecotur Report). The ranking of first favorite Italian Parks (Italian specialised tour operators): – Abruzzo National Park, – Gran Paradiso National Park, – Stelvio National Park, – Cinque Terre National Park, affected by the tragic events of 2011, – Belluno Dolomites National Park, – Pollino National Park, – Casentino Forest National Park, – Majella National Park, – Sila National Park. Foreign tour operators give different evaluation: – Cinque Terre National Park, – Belluno Dolomites National Park, – Park of the Tuscan Archipelago, – Park of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines, – Vesuvius National Park, – National Park of Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise, – Gran Paradiso National Park, – Park of Cilento, – Park of Gargano. To strengthen the arguments there are some issues raised in the 22nd survey carried out by Trademark Italy on a sample of over 1,200 Italians. According to the Survey (2013 – Dove vanno in vacanza gli italiani (forecasting where Italian are going on holiday) 2013 will be the fourth summer of decline, with arrivals and declining attendance average of more than 7 percent, significant loss of turnover and jobs, a nation trying to save money, to reduce budget and length of vacation. Well, in this negative frame the survey enhance positive numbers of the “Green Tourism,” because for Italians is emblematic of fuel consumption, simplicity, authenticity and economic austerity. According to the same survey, in 2013 the Italian demand for tourism will grow in the open-air as it considers the centers with holiday bungalows and mobile homes, more comfortable than traditional hotel rooms. The survey refers of the increase in demand for freedom holidays (no packaging), a push forward camping sites, holiday center and hybrid formulas of camping sites; remarkable and positive trend also toward slow, non-competitive, walking and cycling holiday.


260 | ClimaParks - Climate change and management of protected areas


ClimaParks - Climate change and management of protected areas | 261

Izvleček Temeljni razlog raziskovanja povezave med vremenskimi razmerami in turističnimi prihodi v naravnih parkih torej zahteva izbiro sistema za dnevno beleženje tako števila obiskovalcev kot temeljnih vremenskih spremenljivk, ki opisujejo podnebje. Na ta način bo mogoče ugotoviti povezave med obiski parkov in vremenom na dan obiska ali dan pred tem. Cilj beleženja vremenskih podatkov je izdelati dnevno zgodovino vrste spremenljivk o območju vsakega naravnega parka, ki kot partner sodeluje pri projektu. Pridobljeni podatki se nato primerjajo z obstoječimi podatki o gibanju števila obiskovalcev v vsakem parku, da bi bilo mogoče ugotoviti morebitne povezave. Pri primerjavi gibanja vremenskih spremenljivk in gibanja števila obiskov pohodnikov v naravnih parkih v zadnjih 5 letih je le v nekaterih od analiziranih primerov opaziti neposredno povezavo.

Estratto Lo studio della relazione esistente tra condizioni meteo e afflusso di visitatori nei parchi naturali comporta la necessità di disporre di un sistema di rilevazione giornaliera sia del numero di visitatori che delle principali variabili meteo che descrivono il clima. In tal modo sarà possibile evidenziare i legami tra le presenze ai parchi e il “tempo” registrato nello stesso giorno o nel giorno prima. La rilevazione dei dati meteo ha l’obiettivo di costruire una serie storica giornaliera di un gruppo di variabili relative all’area di ogni Parco naturale partner del Progetto. I dati ottenuti vengono poi comparati ai dati esistenti sul movimento di visitatori in ogni Parco per evidenziare le possibili correlazioni. Il confronto tra l’andamento delle variabili meteorologiche ed il movimento escursionistico nei Parchi naturali negli ultimi 5 anni evidenzia, solo in alcuni dei casi analizzati, una correlazione diretta.


262 | ClimaParks - Climate change and management of protected areas

Photos Alberto Scariot, Andrej Arih, Anton Brancelj, Archives of Friulian Museum of Natural History, Borut Lozej, Borut Mavrič, Brina Knez, Dan Briški, Danilo Trombin, David Capellari, Emiliano Verza, Fabrizio Bertozzi, Francesco Grazioli, Giuseppe Oriolo, G. Giordani, Ivano Fabbri, Iztok Škornik, Luka Kastelic, Luca Sattin, Marco di Lenardo, Michele Cassol, Nicoletta Cannone, Piero Lucci, Roberto Fabbri , Samanta Makovac, Samo Šturm, Simonetta Vettorel, Slavko Polak, Tomaž Mihelič, Zvonko Kravanja

CITATION: A reference to the whole edited book: Vranješ, M., Škornik, I., Santi, S., & Costa, M. (Eds.). (2013). Climate change and management of protected areas: Studies on biodiversity, visitor flows and energy efficiency. Portorož, Slovenia: SOLINE Pridelava soli. The editors recommend that for references to this work the following example citation should be used: Mazzotti, S., Pesarini, F., Boscolo, T., Lefosse, S., Miserocchi, D., Tiozzo E., & Massetti, L. (2013). Monitoring the effects of climate change on the biocoenosis of the Po Delta Regional Park in the Emilia-Romagna region. In Vranješ, M., Škornik, I., Santi, S., & Costa, M. (Eds.). (2013). Climate change and management of protected areas: Studies on biodiversity, visitor flows and energy efficiency (pp. 196–209). Portorož, Slovenia: SOLINE Pridelava soli.


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ISBN 978-961-91550-8-0

9 789619 155080

Projekt Climaparks sofinanciran v okviru Programa Ä?ezmejnega sodelovanja Slovenija-Italija 2007-2013 iz sredstev Evropskega sklada za regionalni razvoj in nacionalnih sredstev. Progetto Climaparks finanziato nellâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ambito del Programma per la Cooperazione Transfrontaliera Italia-Slovenia 2007-2013, dal Fondo europeo di sviluppo regionale e dai fondi nazionali. Climaparks project funded under the Cross-Border Cooperation Programme Italy-Slovenia 2007-2013 by the European Regional Development Fund and national funds.

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