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Water 2018, 10(8), 1062; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10081062

To What Degree Can the Specifics of Occurrence of Glacial Relic Betula humilis Schrank Be an Indicator of Habitat Conditions of Moderate Climate Peatlands?

1
Department of Environmental Engineering and Geodesy, University of Life Sciences in Lublin, Leszczyńskiego 58 str., 20-068 Lublin, Poland
2
Institute of Soil Science, Engineering and Environmental Sciences, University of Life Sciences in Lublin, Leszczyńskiego 7 str., 20-069 Lublin, Poland
3
Department of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science, University of Life Sciences in Lublin, Głęboka 28 str., 20-612 Lublin, Poland
4
Department of Plant Physiology, University of Life Sciences in Lublin, Akademicka 15 str., 20-950 Lublin, Poland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 July 2018 / Revised: 6 August 2018 / Accepted: 7 August 2018 / Published: 10 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Freshwater Quality as a Driver of Aquatic Ecosystem Health)
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Abstract

Anthropogenic transformations of habitat conditions in moderate climate peatlands frequently cause a decrease in the number of sites of occurrence and the size of the population of many valuable plant species, including the boreal relic Betula humilis. The objective of this paper was an attempt to relate the specifics of the occurrence of the glacial relic Betula humilis in the peatlands of Central-Eastern Poland, which developed under moderate climate conditions, to the conditions of the natural environment identified through research into the physical and chemical parameters of the groundwater, as well as botanical research into its habitat. The study results confirm that shrub birch has a broad range of ecological tolerance to the majority of the studied factors and can therefore be an indicator of habitat transformation. Important environmental factors affecting its abundance are water relations and the contribution of calcium hydroxide and phosphorus fractions. A condition favouring the proper functioning of individuals of the studied species is TP values lower than other obtained values, in the following range: 0.08–0.32; P-PO4: 0.1; TN: 2.2–21.2; N-NH4: 0.1–0.46; DOC: 24.6–55.9 (mg·dm−3), as well as higher than average pH values, in the following range: 5.34–5.95; Ca: 5.67–28.1; Mg: 0.56–2.41 (mg·dm−3) and EC: 72.1–142.3 (µS·cm−1). View Full-Text
Keywords: shrub birch; boreal relic; habitat; physical–chemical parameters; peatlands shrub birch; boreal relic; habitat; physical–chemical parameters; peatlands
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Serafin, A.; Urban, D.; Bronowicka-Mielniczuk, U.; Szczurowska, A. To What Degree Can the Specifics of Occurrence of Glacial Relic Betula humilis Schrank Be an Indicator of Habitat Conditions of Moderate Climate Peatlands? Water 2018, 10, 1062.

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