Bureš P.: The Broumov Region – The Landscape of Unique Nature and Architectural Monuments
The Broumov region (eastern Bohemia) harbours the picturesque landscape, fully separated from outside by a mountain wall, hills and rock phenomena in the Javoří hory/Maple Mts., Broumov Rocks and the Adrspach-Teplice Rocks. Within the outward barriers, the region had been developing for centuries: in addition to unique nature, a lot of cultural heritage monuments have been preserved there. The region´s history is connected with the Order of Saint Benedict /Benedictine Order, also known as the Black Monks; the town of Broumov is a centre of human settlement there. A comprehensive set of Baroque churches built by famous architects Christoph and Kilian Ignaz Dienztenhofers is highly valuable. The Our Lady of Snow Chapel called The Star built on a sandstone rock range is another original masterpiece. The traditional folk architecture when all villages provide the Middle Age urbanism evidence from the colonisation period in the second half of the 13th century and the early 14th century definitely is of pan-European importance. Dog places built into dwelling house wainscotings are also of the utmost uniqueness. The Broumov region cultural heritage should be preserved by permanent communication, education and public awareness and by motivation of owners to involve experts into the repair, rebuilding and reconstruction of cultural heritage monuments.
Dědek P.: The Table National Nature Reserve
In 1951, the Table National Nature Reserve was declared to protect and conserve various steppe ecosystem types in South Moravia. A hillock is covered by an extensive grassy turf steppe having been developed on deep fertile soils. Steep rock slopes encompassing Table Mountain harbour a typical Pálava/Pavlov Hills rock steppe flora; foothills provide enough space for cultural grassland (i.e. meadow) development. A flat top of Table Mountain is quite similar to more famous South American table mountains. Among the important wild animal species occurring there, the earthworm Allolobophora hrabei should be mentioned: the invertebrate requires grassland grazing by large livestock for its survival. The Predatory bush cricket (Saga pedo) is also quite rare: because it can reach up to 10 cm in length, it is the largest Central European insect species. Since it is protected by the European Union nature conservation legislation, the insect has been regularly monitored there. Rare wild plant species inhabiting the small-size protected area also include the Mediterranean or African sage (Salvia aethiopis) which had once been close to the extinction in the Pálava/Pavlov Hills. Moreover, the plant species was saved by collecting seeds from the last few fertile specimens and by planting seedlings at suitable sites. A trip to the Table Mountain with the Sirotčí hrad/Orphan Castle ruins is enjoyed also by fans of history. In addition, there is a magnificent view over the adjacent landscape there.
Kuča K. & Kučová V.: Landscape Heritage Zones – Areas with Cultural and Historic Values
Within the State Institute of Historical Monuments Care and Nature Conservation, both nature conservation and cultural heritage preservation had been under the Ministry of Culture up to 1990. At present, both branches of activities are separated in their respective sectors, namely the Ministry of the Environment, the Ministry of Culture respectively. Since the 1970ʼs, need for territorial cultural heritage preservation has been raised resulting in establishing Urban Memorial Zones as well as Rural Memorial Zones. Since 1992 Landscape Memorial Zones (LMZs) have step by step been declared, too. Up to date, there have been 25 LMZs in the Czech Republic. In 2015, a book describing in details the LMZs was published. It is clear that there are from a point of view of the landscape valuable extensive areas the State Heritage Preservation shall aim at. Recently officially agreed co-operation between the State Nature Conservancy and the State Cultural Heritage Preservation has been a good precondition for successful nature, landscape and cultural heritage preservation in the Czech Republic.
Kučera T.: Public Greenery (V.). Nature Completes Image of Cultural Monuments
In gardens and parks close to cultural monuments and in Landscape Memorial Zones, there often is valuable nature with significant habitats inhabited by threatened and specially protected wild plant and animal species in the Czech Republic. In addition, valuable landscape scenery/character elements, e.g. old trees with holes, watercourses and reservoirs, etc. have been preserved there. Therefore, nature conservation aims and goals have to be joined with those of cultural heritage preservation because in the landscape, natural elements complete aesthetical image of the natural and cultural heritage.
Horecký J. & Dolejský V.: The National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy Sums up Solutions to Reduce and Minimize Climate Change Impacts, including Drought and Floods in the Czech Republic
Since 1980, both the winter (December to February) and the summer (June to August) temperature has been increasing in the Czech Republic. In addition, the number of summer and tropical days has also been increasing there. The raising temperatures cause increasing evaporation and consequently also decline in underground water level across most of the Czech Republic´s territory as well as soil desiccation and the reduction in flow rates. In 2014-2015, precipitation deficit reached more than 200 millimetres. In 2015, the Government of the Czech Republic has approved the National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy. By the end of 2016, the Action Plan to effectively implement the strategy shall be developed: the effort is being coordinated by the Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic and the inter-sectoral document shall be submitted for approval as required. The Action Plan will aim at rainfall water retention at spaces where it falls down to the ground. Changes in approach to the landscape and its use and management are also necessary so that water does not flow away so quickly to watercourses in the country. Anthropogenic drivers of long-term droughts and floods include not only climate changes but also the current state of the landscape and ways how it has been managed and used by humans. The necessity to adapt nature and the landscape as well as human society to climate change poses at the same time a unique challenge to raise awareness among the general public and decision makers of sustainable use of the landscape taking into account the future.
Havelková S.: Issuing a Statutory Exception from Provisions on Prohibitions Concerning Specially Protected Species in the Procedure Started by Force of Authority
When examining the administrative decision issued by the Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic on appeal on approval of marking a tourist path across a site inhabited by the Western Capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus), in December 2015 the Supreme Administrative Court of the Czech Republic confirmed an opinion of the Regional Court and rejected a complaint submitted by the Ministry. The trial particularly deals with issues related to the obligation to provide assessment on impact on the Natura 2000 network sites as well with the question whether the State Nature Conservancy authority has to start administrative procedure on issuing a statutory exception from the prohibitions on specially protected species. The Supreme Administrative Court concluded that the State Nature conservancy authority is obliged to start such a procedure even if intervening in the natural development of a specially protected species is only presumable and that the authority has to do it by its force. The article presents another opinion. The relevant State Nature Conservancy authorities had to deal with the above issue within administrative procedure on issuing an approval of a tourist path route. If traffic on the path caused by visitors disturbs the Critically Threatened capercaillies, as would be revealed by biological assessment, the authority should not issue the approval. Species protection is inseparably connected with territorial protection and specially protected species protection is provided directly by legal prohibitions.
Šantrůčková M., Weber M. & Salašová A.: Research on and Monitoring Cultural and Historical Values in Landscape Memorial Zones
Landscape Memorial Zones (LMZs) is the most important tool of cultural heritage preservation to protect cultural and historical values in the landscape. The article debates a research project dealt with assessment of the tool´s strengths and weaknesses and aimed at proposing LMZs improvement. Using ARC GIS, identification of cultural and historical as well as composition phenomena and natural values was developed resulting in maps and text and tabular assessments. In addition, the project´s outputs also include methodology on monitoring the state of a LMZ. It provides a unified structure for monitoring the state of and changes in the landscape, being an integral part of the respective LMZ management. At the same time, it identifies the best data to be used to capture the state of and changes in cultural landscape values under the optimal conservation, management and development of the respective area.
Janeček J.: The Moravian Monkshood, a Remarkable Western Carpathian Endemic Vascular Plant
The Moravian Monkshood (Aconitum firmum subsp. moravicum Skalický) is a Western Carpathian endemic vascular plant. In the Moravskoslezské Beskydy/Moravian-Silesian Beskids Mts. (north-eastern Moravia, the Czech Republic), it covers the same distribution range as the Manchurian Monkshood (Aconitum variegatum). A central part of the mountains is a core area of the endemic herb distribution: at present,
280 sites inhabited by more than 15,000 individuals have been known there. The article presents the Moravian monkshood´s identification signs, habitat requirements and plant communities where the subspecies occurs. Key drivers influencing its populations and conservation are also described by the author.
Zeidler M. & Banaš M.: A Piste – Salvation or Curse? A Response of Low Bush Growths with the Bilberry to Downhill Ski Slope Impacts
Building ski resorts poses significant anthropogenic impacts not only in the Czech mountains. It can affect the distribution and duration of snow cover which are important drivers affecting ecosystem processes in the alpine zone. On a piste, the authors documented the changes in environmental factors together with response of the Bilberry, also known as the European blueberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) as a dominant species in alpine heathlands. Permanent plots established on the ski slope under operations (inside the ski slope) and on an unaffected control area (outside the ski slope) were compared and phenology, growth and reproductive performance in the species assessed.
On the ski slope, a lower mean temperature and a shorter time of great temperature fluctuations during snow melting, a longer time span of snow cover, and a higher snow water equivalent were found compared to outside area. Response of the bilberry consists of growth onset postponing, and of a delay in phenological development inside the ski slope. Nevertheless, bilberry caught up the phenological delay and ripened both inside and outside the ski slope in a similar period. Much more, it showed similar cover and even higher flower and fruit densities inside the ski slope compared with natural surroundings. Hence the persistence of the Bilberry was not disturbed and its performance was even better inside the ski slope. The results are particularly important in relation to the expected climate change as well as from point of view nature conservation and management planning.
Zajíček P.: Remarkable Old Postcards Sent from the Moravský kras/Moravian Karst
History of postcards sent by a mail dates back to the mid-19th century. At the end of 19th century, the first picture postcards from the Moravský kras/Moravian Karst had appeared. The Macocha Abyss, the Punkva River well and also sights and places of pilgrimage, e.g. Sloup or Křtiny were most commonly pictured on the postcards. The Czech Tourist Club established in 1888 was mostly involved in issuing postcards in the Czech Republic at the beginning of that activity. The postcards sent from the Moravský kras/Moravian Karst by Karel Absolon, the famous scientist and explorer, are well known and often published. Thus, historical postcards sent by a mail often display interesting stories about addressees and senders/mailers.
Ambrozek L.: For Beauties of Irises to Eastern Turkey and Kurdistan
From various points of view, Turkey is a key bridge between Asia and Europe. In addition to its geopolitical importance it is also known thanks to its natural beauties and landscape sceneries. Turkey’s location, mountains, and its encirclement by three seas have resulted in spectacular extraordinarily high biological diversity. The pattern is particularly expressed in many wild flora groups and species and can clearly be demonstrated by irises (Iris spp.). The genus consists in total of
230 to 280 species occurring particularly in warm areas as well as in high mountains. Just from Turkey and the Middle East, irises had been imported to England where they became a source for cultivating current garden cultivars. The author presents most remarkable iris taxa from eastern Turkey and Kurdistan, making also notes on their habitat selection and biology.