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Criteria for assessment of conservation status of wild populations of annex plant species


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Criteria for assessment of conservation status of wild populations of annex plant species 1 in slovakia
Pavol Mereďa jr., Iva Hodálová, Ján Šeffer, Rastislav Lasák, Daniel Dítě, Marta Kubandová, Viera Feráková, Anna Kubínska, Karol Marhold

Conservation status of population (populations respectively) of a given annex plant species is assessed at the territory of Slovakia at two levels:



  1. at locality level – conservation status of population of an annex species is assessed at the concrete locality monitoring of a species will be performed every year for selected annex species and at every locality; part of the total amount of populations of remaining species will be monitored every year and remaining part of populations only once, twice, three-times within 6 years (frequency of monitoring will be set for every species individually). Results of monitoring will be given to the State Nature Conservancy of SR.]

  2. at national level – conservation status of all populations of the species in Slovakia is assessed results of the assessment of conservation status of populations of annex species at the national level will be forwarded to the Brussels every 6 years.

Conservation status at two above mentioned levels will be assessed according to criteria as follows:




  1. Criteria for the assessment of conservation status of population of an annex species at the concrete locality (= criteria of locality level)2



1. Size of the area of the occurrence

= size of the area [ha, m2, bryophytes in dm2 respectively] that an annex species colonizes at a locality in the form of fertile, sterile or damaged individuals;

 size of the area will be estimated and drawn in to a map in the scale 1: 10 000;



  • in case that the population consists of many good bounded micropopulations, the size of

the area will be calculated as a sum of the small areas that these micropopulations cover

(that means that the area between micropopulations is not counted into the size of the

area).
bryophytes: as for epiphytic species, it is the size of the area on which woods colonized by an annex species of bryophyte occur (woods fallen down or standing, including dying).
2. Number of individuals3, 4, 5, 6

 localities that will be monitored minimum twice within six years (annually, every other year or every third year):

= maximum number of individuals (fertile, sterile and damaged together) of an annex species recorded at a locality within six-year-period

 number of individuals will be monitored at a locality every year (or every other year, every third year respectively) within six years and in the assessment of conservation status of population only number of species in the year, when the population has reached the biggest abundance, will be taken into account

 localities that will be monitored once within six years:

= numbers of individuals of an annex species recorded at a locality in the year when monitoring was performed.


bryophytes: number of individuals will be expressed in one of four alternatives as follows: as for epiphytic species, number of woods (fallen down or standing, including dying), which are colonized by an annex species of bryophyte (hereafter as "colonized trees"):

A: species forms continuous stands at a large part of a locality (as for epiphytic species, in majority of trees occurring at a locality)

B: species forms continuous stands at some smaller microsites within a locality or it is scattered among other species equably at the whole area of a locality (as for epiphytic species, species forms continuous stands on some trees or it is scattered among other species of bryophytes on majority of trees occurring at a locality)

C: species is rarely scattered among other species of bryophytes and occurs only at some parts of a locality

(as for epiphytic species, species is rarely scattered among other species of bryophytes and grows only on

some trees occurring at a locality)

D: species was not recorded at a locality within last six years

3. Population vitality7, 8, 9

 localities that will be monitored minimum twice within six years (annually, every other

year or every third year):

= percentage of flowering or fertile individuals of the total number of individuals of an annex species at a locality within six-year-period

 percentage of flowering or fertile individuals in population will be monitored at a locality annually (or every other year, every third year respectively) within six years and during assessment of favourable conservation status (that means in the sixth year) average of these values will be taken into account

 localities that will be monitored once within six years:

= percentage of flowering or fertile individuals of the total number of individuals of an annex species at a locality recorded at the locality in the year when monitoring is performed

bryophytes - this criterion is not assessed


4. Habitat status10

4.1. habitat size

= area of the real occurrence of a species + surrounded area of the whole habitat ha, m2

 size of the area of habitat will be estimated and drawn in to a map in the scale

1: 10 000;



4.2. percentage of the occurrence of invasive neophyte taxa11

= abundance of invasive neophyte taxa [%] on the area of habitat

 list of invasive neophyte taxa will be provided for every locality

4.3. light conditions

= extent of shading or lighting of habitat by shrubs and trees (in per cents)



4.4. unfavourable impacts

= unfavourable change for a species in the character of habitat by natural processes [e.g. drying, overgrowing by undesirable (expansive) species (Bromus erectus, Calamagrostis epigejos etc.)] or by human activities realized at the locality: e. g. construction or agricultural activities (drainage, erosion, eutrophication etc.), transport, striking occurrence of non-native (alien) non-invasive taxa12

 these unfavourable impacts will be characterized for every locality in details (at every species will be stated what mappers should take into account while assessing this criterion)

(4.5. key ecological factor)

= abiotic factor inevitable for the occurrence of an annex species  it will be assessed only at selected species

bryophytes: only criteria number: 4.1 and 4.4 are assessed, at selected species also criteria number 4.3 and 4.5.


5. Population dynamics
= change in abundance of the population of an annex species at a locality within last 10

years13



  • if these observations are absent at present times, changes within first 10 years will be assessed according to the changes in abundance of the population of annex species at a locality within one year or respective number of years

  • in the assessment of this indicator one can not come out only from the difference in abundance of individuals in the current year and 10 years (less then 10 years respectively) ago, however, it is necessary to take into account the existence of some natural fluctuations in the abundance of population of an annex species during individual years (natural extent of fluctuation).

bryophytes  changes in the density of population (as for epiphytic species, changes in the numbers of colonized trees will be monitored)




  1. Criteria for the assessment of conservation status of populations of an annex species at national level (= criteria of national level)14, 15




  1. Changes in the number of localities



= changes in the number of localities of an annex species in Slovakia within last 10 years;

  • if this reference source is absent at present times, changes within first 10 years will be assessed according to changes in the number of localities of an annex species in Slovakia within one year or respective number of years16.


2. Number of localities
= the number of localities of an annex species in Slovakia on which the occurrence of one individual was recorded within last six years at least – while setting the scale of assessment of this indicator it is necessary to take into account the number of localities in the period of "reference source" that should be older than 20 years.17
3. Size of the distribution area in Slovakia

= distance between two the most extreme (the most distant) Slovak populations of an annex species in km18


4. Average quality of populations

= average favourable conservation status of populations of an annex species in Slovakia

  • it is expressed by the number and its value is specified as follows:

1. In the first step conservation status of every locality of a given annex species will be assessed according to a similar table as the table number 1 by criterion „A“, „B“, „C“ or „D“.

2. Categories of individual criteria gained this way subsequently will be expressed

with the help of the table number 3 by so called weighted values and for every

locality sum of these weighted values will be done - so called total weighted



value of the locality (TWVL).

3. In the next step the arithmetical average of total weighted values of the all localities of an annex species in Slovakia will be counted and gained value represents the average quality of populations of a given annex species.



Table 1: Table assessing conservation status of populations of the species Liparis loeselii at locality level19

Criterion /

assessment of the criterion

weight

conservation status of population at locality

A

favourable

excellent



B

favourable

good



C

unfavourable

-disturbed

D

unfavourable

- unsuitable

I.1. Size of the area of the occurrence [m2]

0,1

> 1 000

100 – 1 000

10 - 99

 10

I.2. Number of individuals

0,3*

> 100

30 – 100

5 – 29

< 5

I.3. Population vitality

0,1

flowering plants

>50% or


fertile plants

> 25 %


flowering plants

2550 % or fertile plants 10  25 %



flowering plants

10-24 %


o or fertile plants

5-9 %


flowering plants

<10 %

or fertile plants



<5 %

I.4. Habitat status


I.4.1.habitat size [m2]

0,1

> 20 000

2 000 – 20 000

200 - 1 999

 200

I.4.2. % of invasive neophyte taxa

0,05

< 1 %

1  5 %

6 - 20 %

20%

I.4.3. light condi

tions (extent of shading)

0,05

< 5 %

5  20 %

21 – 40 %

> 40 %

I.4.4. unfavourable

impacts**

0,2

none or moderate only;

±  regular and suitable management at locality



none or moderate only;

locality without regular

management


moderate or clear;

locality threaten from long-term point of view



clear;

locality threaten from short-term point of view

(cca less than 3 years)


I.5. Population dynamics

0,1

abundance increasing or stabilized

(in the frame of extent of natural fluctuation)



number of individuals decreased within last 10 years about < 10%

or every year decreases in average about < 1%***



number of individuals decreased within last 10 years about 10-50% or every year decreases in average about

1-5%***


number of individuals decreased within last 10 years about > 50%

or every year decreases in average about

> 5%***

* Weight of the abundance of population found out once will be decreased from the value 0,3 to 0,2 and taken value 0,1 will be divided equally (0,5 and 0,5 ) between criteria I.4.2. (% of invasive neophyte taxa) and I.4.3. (extent of shading).

** Notice especially: status of water regime at a locality (water is stagnant above the surface, locality is drying respectively; drainage ditches are dug in the surroundings; succession of woods or herbs (reed) at places with the species occurrence

*** Applies to populations that are monitored less than 10 years.


Table 2: Table assessing conservation status of populations of the species Liparis loeselii at national level


Criterion /

assessment of the criterion

weight

conservation status of population in Slovakia

A

favourable

excellent



B

favourable

good



C

unfavourable

-disturbed

D

unfavourable

- unsuitable

II.1. Changes in the number of localities


0,2

number of localities increases or is ± stable

number of localities decreased within last 10 years about 5%

or every year decreases in average about 0,5%*



number of localities decreased within last 10 years about 5-25% or every year decreases in average about 0,5-2,5%*

number of localities decreased within last 10 years about 25% or every year decreases in average about 2,5%*

II.2. Number of localities

0,35

> 20

10 - 20

5 – 9

 5

II.3. Size of the distribution area in Slovakia km

0,25

> 300

200  300

15 - 199


 15

II.4. Average quality of populations

0,2

 0,9

0,65 – 0,89

0 – 0,64

< 0

* Applies to populations that are monitored less than 10 years.

Process on the assessment of conservation status of population, populations respectively


Categories of criteria on the assessment of conservation status of a species at the locality and national levels

Every criterion used for the assessment of conservation status of a population at the locality and national levels (criteria number I.1. – I.5. and II.1. – II.4.) is assessed by categories „A“, „B“, „C“or „D“.

Values „A“ and „B“ mean favourable conservation status of a given criterion, population, populations respectively (Favourable Conservation Status, FCS), while value „A“ means „excellent status“ and value „B“ „good status“. Values „C“ and „D“ mean, that conservation status (of a given criterion, population or populations) of an annex species at the territory of Slovakia is unfavourable, while value „C“ means „disturbed status“ and value „D“ „unsuitable status“.
Quantificators of categories

Categories „A“, „B“, „C“ and „D“ are assessed according to their importance by numerical value too – so called quantificator, while quantificator „1“ belongs to category „A“, quantificator „0,8“ belongs to category „B“, quantificator „0,5“ belongs to category „C“, and quantificator „-1“ belongs to category „D“. These numerical data (quantificators) are necessary for the specification of resulting value of the conservation status of a given population, populations respectively of a given annex species at national level (see further).




Weighting of criteria

Weight is given to every criterion at the locality and national levels and it expresses criterion's importance among the other criteria. Values of these weights can be different at individual species, however, their sum always equals 1 (Table 3.1-3.X and 5.1.-5.X in annex „Natura 2000 plant species in Slovakia“).

Weight of the abundance of population found out once will be decreased from the value 0,3 to 0,2 and taken value 0,1will be divided equally (0,05 and 0,05 ) between criteria I.4.2. (% of invasive neophyte taxa) and I.4.3. (extent of shading).
Process on the assessment of conservation status of a population at locality level

Table assessing conservation status of a given population is designed for every annex species and it contains limit values for all relevant criteria and their categories (Table 1.1. – 1.X in annex „Natura 2000 plant species in Slovakia“).


Process of assessment:

1. Conservation status of every population of a given species will be assessed according to an analogous table as the Table 1 and every criterion will be given category „A“, „B“, „C“ or „D“.



  1. This way gained categories of individual criteria will be expressed by so called weighted values using Table 3 and for every locality the sum of these weighted values will be counted  so called total weighted value of locality (TWVL) (see Table 3.1.1).

  2. Intervals of total weighted values of the locality are given in Table 4 as well as their relevant categories. These categories express conservation status of a population.


Process on the assessment of conservation status of a population at national level

For every annex species table assessing conservation status of its population is designed and the table contains limit values for all relevant criteria and their categories (Table 2.1. – 2.X in annex „Natura 2000 plant species in Slovakia“).


Process of assessment:

1. Conservation status of populations of every annex species will be assessed according to an analogous table as the Table 2 and every criterion will be given category „A“, „B“, „C“ or „D“. Way of calculation of numerical value of the criterion number II.4.is given above.



  1. This way gained categories of criteria number II.1. – II.3. and numerical value of the

criterion number II.4. will be expressed by so called weighted values using Table 5 and

for every species the sum of these weighted values will be counted  so called total



weighted value of localities (TWVLL) (see Table 5.1.1).

  1. Intervals of total weighted values of localities are given in Table 4 as well as their

relevant categories. These categories express conservation status of the population of a

given species in Slovakia.



Table 3: Weighted values of categories for locality tables of the species

Liparis loeselii.




conservation status

favourable

unfavourable




category

A

B

C

D

criterion

Quantificator

value/weight

1

0.8

0.5

-1

I.1. Size of the area of the occurrence

0.1

0.1

0.08

0.05

-0.1

I.2. Number of individuals

0.3

0.3

0.24

0.15

-0.3

I.3. Population vitality

0.1

0.1

0.08

0.05

-0.1

I.4.1. Habitat size

0.1

0.1

0.08

0.05

-0.1

I.4.2. Presence of invasive neophyte

taxa

0.05

0.05

0.04

0.025

-0.05

I.4.3. Light conditions

0.05

0.05

0.04

0.025

-0.05

I.4.4. Unfavourable impacts

0.2

0.2

0.16

0.1

-0.2

I..5. Population dynamics

0.1

0.1

0.08

0.05

-0.1

Table 4: Intervals of total weighted values and their relevant categories.



Intervals of TWVL

0.9 - 1

0.65 – 0.89

0 – 0.64

< 0

Category

A

B

C

D

Conservation status of the species population on the locality

favourable

unfavourable




Intervals of TWVLL

0.9 - 1

0.65 – 0.89

0 – 0.64

< 0

Category

A

B

C

D

Conservation status of the species population in Slovakia

favourable

unfavourable

Table 5: Weighted values of categories for national tables of the species



Liparis loeselii.




conservation status

favourable

unfavourable




category

A

B

C

D

criterion

quantificator value/

weight

1

0.8

0.5

- 1

II.1. Changes in the number of

localities

0.2

0.2

0.16

0.1

- 0.2

II.2. Number of localities

0.35

0.35

0.28

0.175

- 0.35

II.3. Size of the distribution area in

Slovakia

0.25

0.25

0.2

0.125

- 0.25

II.4. Average quality of populations

0.2

0.2 × value of the average quality of

populations





Example of the assessment of conservation status of populations

of the species Liparis loeselii
Table 1.1.1: Example of the assessment of conservation status of populations of the species Liparis loeselii at the locality Plavecký Peter, Hanšpile

Criterion /

assessment of the criterion

weight

conservation status of population at locality

A

favourable

excellent



B

favourable

good



C

unfavourable

-disturbed

D

unfavourable

- unsuitable

I.1. Size of the area of the occurrence [m2]

0,1

cca 20 000










I.2. Number of individuals

0,3




50







I.3. Population vitality

0,1

flowering plants

60%










I.4. Habitat status


I.4.1.habitat size [m2]

0,1

cca 50 000







I.4.2. % of invasive neophyte taxa

0,05



5 %




I.4.3. light condi

tions (extent of shading)

0,05



5 %





I.4.4. unfavourable

impacts**

0,2



natural succession (expansion of overgrowing woods at the edge of locality); part of the site flooded by water





I.5. Population dynamics

0,1










number of individuals decreased about 0 > 80%

Table 3.1.1: Example of the calculation of total weighted value of the locality



Plavecký Peter, Hanšpile of the species Liparis loeselii.




conservation status

favourable

unfavourable




category

A

B

C

D

criterion

quantificator

value/ weight

1

0.8

0.5

-1

I.1. Size of the area of the occurrence

0.1

0.1










I.2. Number of individuals

0.3




0.24







I.3. Population vitality

0.1

0.1










I.4.1. Habitat size

0.1

0.1










I.4.2. Presence of invasive neophyte

taxa

0.05




0.04







I.4.3. Light conditions

0.05




0.04







I.4.4. Unfavourable impacts

0.2




0.16







I..5. Population dynamics

0.1










-0,1

TWVL = 0.1+0.24+0.1+0.1+0.04+0.04+0.16 = 0.78 – 0.1 = 0.68 = B
Conservation status of the locality Plavecký Peter, Hanšpile of the species Liparis loeselii is „favourable – good".

Tab. 2.1.1: Example of the assessment of conservation status of populations of the species Liparis loeselii at national level



Criterion/

assessment of the criterion

weight

conservation status of population in Slovakia

A

favourable

excellent



B

favourable

good



C

unfavourable

-disturbed

D

unfavourable

-unsuitable

II.1. Changes in the number of localities


0,2

number of localities more or less stable (one locality has become extinct, a new one has been recorded since 1992)










II.2. Number of localities

0,35










3

II.3. Size of the distribution area in Slovakia km

0,25

350




II.4. Average quality of populations

0,2

(0.68 + 0.8 + 0.65) / 3 = 0.71




Tab. 5.1.1: Example of the calculation of total weighted value of localities



of the species Liparis loeselii.




conservation status

favourable

unfavourable




category

A

B

C

D

criterion

quantificator value/

weight

1

0.8

0.5

- 1

II.1. Changes in the number of

localities

0.2

0.2










II.2. Number of localities

0.35










-0.35

II.3. Size of the distribution area in

Slovakia

0.25

0.25










II.4. Average quality of populations

0.2

0.2 × 0.71 = 0.142

TWVLL = 0.2+0.25+0.142 = 0.592 – 0.35 = 0. 242 = C
Conclusion: Conservation status of the population of the species Liparis loeselii in Slovakia is „unfavourable – disturbed “.


1 Species in the Annex II and IV of the Council Directive 92/43/EEC on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora (called as Habitat Directive).

2 Fixed setting of bounds to (definition of) a locality, population respectively in the field is very important, as in the future it will not be possible to divide localities, populations respectively in many smaller ones or to combine them in to bigger ones during repeated mapping (by different mappers respectively). This would make impossible to compare historical data on conservation status of given populations and also this could influence comprehensive assessment of conservation status of a given species in Slovakia (e. g. increase of number of localities in Slovakia only because of narrower understanding of historical localities). Assessment of many criteria (especially number I.1, I.2, I.5, II.1, II.2) depends on definition of a locality, population respectively, as well as definition of scales for assessment of these criteria. Binding definition of localities for NATURA has been finished and therefore it will be possible neither to combine nor to devide current localities in the future. In the future localities can be enlarged only (by spreading of individuals to a new space) or diminished, can become extinct or new can be established (recorded) respectively.

3 In case of individuals growing in turfs or clonally growing species with hard identified individuals, numbers of turfs will be caunted.

4 In case of small populations (up to 500 ks pieces), the exact number of individuals will be caunted, in bigger populations the number will be estimated. Number of individuals at a given area will be estimated also in case that the population colonizes hard accessive terrain (e. g. steep slopes, water areas etc.).

5 In case that any individual was not recorded at a locality during last monitoring, the locality would be assessed in category “CX”. If an annex species does not appear at a locality within following six years, the locality will be not assessed. As long as this locality has not been destroyed (e. g. by construction), it is recommended to observe the locality regularly anf if the species appears at the locality, then to include it into assessment in given six-year-period.

6 At some species the size of stand will be assessed instead of the number of individuals.

7 At setting the scale of assessment of this indicator following facts have been taken into account: to which extent a species is able of vegetative reproduction; how its life (development) cycle looks like etc.

8 In case of clonally growing species with hard identified individuals (see the list above), percentage of flowering or fertile clusters of the total number of clusters of annexspecies at a locality will be assessed.

9 In case of big and hard accessive populations (e. g. at steep slopes, in water areas etc.) the vitality of population will be ivestigated on a part of the population and subseqently will be applied and caunted to the whole population.


10 Under the term habitat here the area of the whole habitat is understood on which individuals of an annex species occur – that is the area of the real occurrence of a given annex species + surrounded area of the habitat on which the species does not occur.

11 For invasive neophyte taxa are considered those which are listed in article by Gojdičová E., Cvachová A. et Karasová E. 2002: Zoznam nepôvodných, inváznych a expanzívnych cievnatých rastlín Slovenska (List of alien, invasive alien and expansive native vascular plant species of Slovakia. – Ochrana prírody (Nature Protection),

Banská Bystrica, 21: 59 – 79 in category 1a.

12 For non-native (alien) taxa are considered those which are listed in article by: Gojdičová E. et al. (2002) in categories 1b to 6.

13 Foe example: if the first assessment of favourable conservation status of the population of an annex species will be done at the end of the year 2004 then change in the number of abundance of population in the year 2014 will be related to the period of 2005-2014 etc.

14 Criteria number: II.1 – II.4 are valid for ferns and vascular plants alike as well as for bryophytes.

15 Criteria number: II.1-II.4 - at the assessment of conservation status only localities with the natural occurrence of an annex speciess will be taken into account (localities of artifitial origin – e. g. in parks, botanical gerdens etc. – will be not taken into account).

16 That means that changes in the number of localities will be not assessed according to the initial year of monitoring but according to the last but one assessment of conservation status of population of an annex species at national level (e. g. if the first assessment of conservation status is done at the end of the year 2004, then in the year 2014 changes in the number of localities will be related to the period of 2005-2014, in the year 2022 the changes will be related to the period 2013-2022 etc.).

17 “Reference source” is the oldest oral or written information on the number of localities of an annex species in Slovakia in a given period or recent work that brings these historical data.

18 At setting the scale of assessment of this indicator it is necessary to take into account distance between two the most extreme Slovak populations in the period of so called "reference source" that should cover distribution of a taxon in Slovakia in the first half of the 20th century or before the year 1980 at least (see criterion number II.1).

19 Analogous table is compiled for every annex species.


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