Bryophyta species are a significant, yet a poorly researched plant group. They play an important role in various ecosystems. As taxonomically differentiated organisms and stenobionts (in terms of various ecological factors), they are used as bioindicators, e.g. of heavy metals contamination, atmosphere contamination with sulphur and nitrogen oxides, ecosystems’ naturalness, etc. The work done in “Górażdże” quarry will allow to:

a. determine the taxonomical diversity of the quarry mosses, with special regard to protected and endangered species, which will contribute to better understanding of such areas biodiversity

b. work out the moss species protection methods within areas where mineral resources are exploited; the methods will help to preserve this piece of natural heritage of Opole Province

c. modify some of the reclamation process stages, which will create appropriate conditions for endangered and protected species development.

It is necessary to emphasize that the moss species protection policy within areas where mineral resources are exploited has not been realised yet. The supporting company will be the pioneer institution taking part in this kind of project.

The investigation will be carried out in two ways simultaneously. The first comprises field work and its purpose is to establish biodiversity of the bryoflora in the limestone quarry. For each location of a ‘key species’ the following information will be gathered: pH, plant community, soil moisture and isolation according to the appropriate scales. The particular locations will be determined with the use of geographical coordinates obtained from the GPS receiver. Distribution analysis of the ‘key species’ allows to designate the most valuable places from the bryological point of view on which permanent plots will be established (ten plots are planned). They will be a source of data  which allow to elaborate appropriate methods of protection of these species. First data will be available in September 2012. If  possible, the plots should operate for many years providing further information.

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