Club Mosses, Horsetails and Ferns in Poland - resources and protection

Ewa Szczęśniak, Edyta Gola (Eds.)

Club mosses, horsetails and ferns are fascinating plants due to their ancient history, unique biology and spectacular appearance. Their mysterious life made them magic plants in different cultures for very long time. As witnesses of evolution and symbols of the past they should be acknowledged and protected. However, pteridophytes are one of the most endangered groups of vascular plants because of human interference and severe habitat changes. Nowadays, about half of Polish pteridoflora is threatened with extinction and requires the active protection programs to maintain its present resources.This volume consists of 22 chapters dealing with various aspects of pteridophyte biology, ecology, phytosociology and chorology, as well as threats and protection condition of Polish pteridoflora. Data presented here contribute significantly to evaluation of the current state of pteridophytes in our country. We hope that not only pteridologists but general botanists and nature enthusiasts will find each chapter of this volume worth reading.

spis treści
1. Reproductive strategies of Huperzia

Edyta M. Gola


Abstract: The genus Huperzia has the ability to reproduce vegetatively due to the presence of special vegetative propagules called bulbils. This ability makes a relatively quick propagation and dispersal of a plant possible and it is particularly important for the species having long-lasting life-cycles such as Huperzia. The generative and vegetative reproduction occurs alternately during the vegetative season in Huperzia species. Interestingly, the populations differ in their strategies of balancing the generative and vegetative reproduction with the extensive bulbil production in the mountain locations in opposition to the average amount of propagules produced by the lowland plants. In this paper, different anatomical aspects of the vegetative and generative reproduction as well as developmental changes in the bulbil structure associated with the process of a bulbil detachment are briefly given and discussed.

Key words: bulbil,bulbil detachment, Huperzia, sporangium development, spore germination, vegetative propagule


2. Propagation in vitro and ex situ cultivation of Woodsia alpina (Bolton)

Krystyna Kromer, Andrzej Raj, Ludwik Żołnierz, Dorota Poturała


Abstract: Woodsia alpina is a rare fern with circumpolar distribution. The species is protected or endangered in many countries. In Poland, it is known from the Sudetes Mts. (1 location) and the Tatra Mts. (3 locations). The reproduction of this plant by spores is difficult and thus there is no method of cultivation available. An in vitro tissue culture technique is promising in propagation of many recalcitrant and demanding species. This technique was used to determine the propagation method on purpose to maintain the Sudeten population of Woodsia alpina in botanical collections and in the supplementary habitat in the Karkonoski National Park. Spores collected in the glacial circus Mały Śnieżny Kocioł were sown in vitro and germinated during 3-9 months. Prothalli cultured in vitro spread vegetatively in various manners. Gametangia were formed on prothalli in different developmental stages. On heart-shaped prothalli archegonia and occasionally antheridia were formed, whereas on filamentous ones only antheridia occurred. Sporophytes were hardly ever produced with single sporophytes present per thousands of gametophytes. At apical meristems of the primarily formed sporophytes, green globular bodies (GGB) proliferated. These bodies could further regenerate forming secondary sporophytes, which developed nearby the initial ones. Sporophytes at this stage of development often became brown and lost fronds, however many of them renewed their growth after the dormancy period. Plants, which were transferred in spring to a greenhouse and planted in a commercial mix for ferns or neutralized peat substratum, acclimated in 70%. The growth cycle of W. alpina cultivated at the altitude of 120 m a.s.l. in the Botanical Garden of the University of Wrocław was short and fronds were lost in the middle of August. Next year not all rhizomes initiated the growth; only the biggest ones displayed this ability. Plants cultivated in the supplementary habitat in the Jagniątków nursery of the Karkonoski National Park at the altitude of 650 m a.s.l. performed perfectly well.

Key words: Woodsia alpina, in vitro cultures, endangered ferns


3. Ladder spleenwort (Asplenium adulterinum Milde) in Poland - distribution, population state and conservation plan framework

Ludwik Żołnierz, Krystyna Kromer, Krzysztof Świerkosz


Abstract: Asplenium adulterinum is a rare and endangered European fern species almost strictly related to serpentine rocks. It occurs in SW Poland (Lower Silesia) in 11 sites in the Sudetes Mts. and their foreland. The total Polish quantity of the species is estimated at about 490 individuals. The majority of populations is smaller than 20 individuals, only two reach sizes of about 90 and 200 individuals. Some active protection procedures are proposed to improve the fitness of the populations. The recently developed methods of in vitro propagation and  ex situ preservation should help to create a gene bank of threatened populations. It would be used in case of the necessity to reintroduce any extinct or damaged population in the future.

Key words: Asplenium adulterinum, Lower Silesia, distribution, endangered species, conservation plan, in vitro cultures


4. Killarney fern Trichomanes speciosum Willd. in Poland (2002-–2008) - the state of population and protection perspective

Krzysztof Świerkosz, Kamila Reczyńska, Marek Krukowski


Abstract: Killarney fern (Trichomanes speciosum Willd., Hymenophyllaceae) is one of the most endangered and interesting ferns in Europe, which forms exclusively independent gametophyte colonies. In Poland, it has been reported in two localities in the Westsudeten Foothills, Lower Silesia. They are the most eastern outposts of this taxon in Europe, suffering the most severe climatic conditions in the extent of its occurrence. In both sites, gametophytes occurred in horizontal rock fissures in the Upper Cretaceous sandstone, surrounded by degraded eastern oak-hornbeam forests. The analysis of its occurrence in Poland during sixth years showed dynamic changes of the population state. The population which occurs in the cave near Złotoryja has decreased between 2002 and 2006, to be almost extinct, but in the last two years its cover increased to half of its previous state. Gametophytes found in the locality near Lwówek Śląski (Panieńskie Skały) in years 2002-2004 have not been confirmed in 2008.

Key words: killarney fern, Hymenophyllaceae, Central Europe, Poland 


5. Royal fern Osmunda regalis L. in isolated localities in the Łódź Province - a state of preservation

Beata Woziwoda


Abstract: The article presents the distribution, threats and the state of conservation of the royal fern in the Łódź Province. In addition, the structure and the spatial distribution of specimens (clumps) of three isolated populations of Osmunda regalis in Ugoda Barczewska, Mogilno and Podlubień are described based on research performed in years from 2006 to 2008.

 Key words: Osmunda regalis, fern, population size, central Poland, conservation


6. Communities with Matteucia struthiopteris (L.) Tod in the Carpathians and attendant threats

Alina Stachurska-Swakoń, Krystyna Towpasz


Abstract: Matteucia struthiopteris (L.) Tod. (ostrich fern) is a circumboreal species occurring chiefly in southern Poland and in disjunctive locations in central and northern Poland. It is a character species of riverine carrs. In order to identify threats to local populations and to determine the phytosociological allegiance of of Matteucia struthiopteris in the Carpathians was prepared. The studies have shown shrinking numbers of locations with Matteucia struthiopteris as the result of direct destruction during river engineering, road construction and creation of man-made lakes, as well as private house building. The threat to local populations comes also from invasive species such as Reynoutria japonica and Solidago gigantea, as well as from excessive drying, which can contribute to the development of degenerated forms of riverine carrs, with a predominance of Carex brizoides. Within the Carpathians, Matteucia struthiopteris is not exclusively attached to the Carpathian alderwood and may also occur in other associations of riverine carrs. Its occurrence was confirmed in Carici remotae-Fraxinetum, Fraxino-Alnetum, and Salicetum albo-fragilis, and in fragments of carrs.

Key words: Matteucia struthiopteris, carr communities, phytosociology, the Carpathians, invasive species, human's impact


7. The role of Athyrium distentifolium Tausch ex Opiz in formation of tall herb communities in the Tatra National Park (the West

Alina Stachurska-Swakoń


 Abstract: Athyrium distentifolium has a disjunctive circumpolar arctic-montane distribution, which is reflected in its European ranges. In Poland, this species occurs in the montane and the sub-alpine belt in the Sudeten Mts. and the Carpathian Mts. It participates in formation of several plant communities, where it could be a dominant species. This paper presents the differentiation and distribution of the Adenostylo alliariae-Athyrietum alpestris (Zlatnik 1928) Jeník 1961 association in the area of the Tatra National Park (the Western Carpathians, Poland). Based on phytosociological studies, two subassociations related to the altitude and two ecological variants were distinguished. The identity of community forms in various ranges is discussed.

 Key words: Adenostylo-Athyrietum alpestris, tall-herb communities, high-mountain vegetation, syntaxonomy, the Tatra Mts.

8. Resources of Polystichum aculeatum (L.) Roth (Dryopteridaceae, Pteridophyta) in the Sandomierska Upland (south-eastern Poland

Marek Podsiedlik


Abstract: The paper presents the distribution, habitat preferences and size of populations of Polystichum aculeatum in the Sandomierska Upland. So far, populations from the Krakowsko-Częstochowska Upland, Roztocze, and the Świętokrzyskie Mts. have been regarded as the largest ones at the lower altitudes, although the majority of them is composed of several to several dozen individuals, and only one consists of about 100 plants. Three new locations of this species are described from loess ravines in the Sandomierska Upland near villages: Rożki, Radoszki and Wierzbiny. Populations consist of 227, 11 and 21 individuals, respectively.

Key words: Polystichum aculeatum, pteridophytes, Sandomierska Upland


9. Patterns of pteridophyte distribution in the territory of the north-eastern foreground of the Świętokrzyskie Mts.

Marcin Nobis, Renata Piwowarczyk


Abstract: The pteridophyte flora of the Iłża Foreland counts 32 species, including 18 species of Pterophytina, 8 species of Sphenophytina, and 6 species of Lycophytina. Species occurring in the area represent 11 families and 17 genera. The forest plants (15 species) and plants from different wet sites (7 species) compose the most important group among all ecological groups. Among species occurring in the north-eastern foreground of the Świętokrzyskie Mts., 13 species of pteridophytes have been placed on the local Red List; among them 3 species are considered to be regionally extinct, 2 – critically endangered, 1 – endangered, 4 – vulnerable and 3 – locally rare.

Key words: pteridophytes, distribution, category of threat, Iłża Foreland, Świętokrzyskie Mts.


10. Resources and distribution of pteridophytes in the area of Kielce (SE Poland)

Bożenna Maciejczak


Abstract: This work contains a list of 34 species of pteridophytic flora (Pterophytina, Sphenophytina, Lycophytina), occurring within administrative borders of the city of Kielce (study area equal to 135 km2). The occurrence of 3 species (Botrychium multifidum, Ophioglossum azoricum, Blechnum spicant), which were previously reported from this area, was not confirmed. Each species was characterized in terms of the number of sites, type of habitat, socio-ecological group, category of endangerment and legal protection status. The list of pteridoflora was created based on the studies of synanthropic flora of towns in the Kielce region, initiated in 1977, vascular flora of Kielce, monitored since 1984, published historical sources and herbarium materials. Some pteridophytes show decreasing population abundance (e.g. Botrychium lunaria, B. matricariifolium, Ophioglossum vulgatum), while others occur at numerous stands and even enter synanthropic habitats (Pteridium aquilinum, Polypodium vulgare, Asplenium ruta-muraria, Equisetum sylvaticum and others). The Kielce pteridoflora in about 40% consists of species which are protected by low and noted on the lists of endangered species in the region and the country.

Key words: pteridoflora, ecology, threats, protection, urban flora, Kielce, Poland


11. Peculiar pteridophyte species of the administrative Silesia Province (Southern Poland)

Dariusz Tlałka, Adam Rostański


Abstract: The Upper Silesia Province is often perceived as a heavily degraded region transformed by the industrial activity. The process of industrialization and urbanization of this region, lasting for over 200 years, left its mark on the diversity of natural habitats and the richness of the flora and fauna. Despite those unfavourable factors, there are still a lot of elements of natural flora in the region, which are often essential for the maintenance of the biological diversity of the country. In the present paper the authors focused on the current status of the exceptionally rare pteridophytes in the borders of the administrative Silesia Province. The criterion for species selection was the smallest number of rating of the specimen in the region (1–7 locations). Pteridophytes discussed here include 5 lycopods, 1 horsetail, and 7 fern species.

Key words: pteridophytes, endangered species, Upper Silesia, Silesia Province


12. New localities of the royal fern Osmunda regalis L. near Koszęcin in Upper Silesia (Southern Poland)

Adam Rostański, Stanisław Cabała


Abstract: Osmunda regalis is a strictly protected fern species, which is dispersed in Polish lowlands; there are also less frequent localities in Polish highlands. It usually grows in damp forest habitats, which are quite often thinned out. It also occurs in the places which have been shaped by man such as forest ditches and forest roadsides. Data on several localities of the royal fern in Upper Silesia was given previously. The aim of this article is to present two localities of the species, which have not been reported until now. These localities were documented in 2007 in the area of the Boronów Forestry in the Koszęcin Forestry District of the Regional Management of the State-Owned Forests in Katowice.
Populations of the royal fern occur in the Leucobryo-Pinetum molinietosum community, which slightly varies in the composition and the quantity of individual species between different patches. Examined populations of Osmunda regalis are in good condition, they spore profusely, and the spores germinate well, forming new specimens.

 Key words: Osmunda regalis, protected fern, new localities, Leucobryo-Pinetum

13. Salvinia natans (L.) All. in fishponds and oxbow lakes in Lower and Opole Silesia (SW Poland)

Krzysztof Spałek


Abstract: Salvinia natans (L.) All. was recorded at about 200 localities in Poland, concentrated mainly in the river valleys of Oder and Vistula. It is a character species of the community Spirodelo-Salvinietum natantis Slavnić 1956. During geobotanical survey conducted in years 1995-2006 at fishponds and oxbow lakes of Lower and Opole Silesia, this species was found at 55 localities. Among them 33 sites were in fishponds (Lower Silesia – 17; Opole Silesia - 16), and 22 in oxbow lakes (Lower Silesia – 18; Opole Silesia – 4). The species usually occurs in Spirodelo-Salvinietum natantis Slavnić 1956 and Stratiotetum aloidis Nowiński 1930 phytocoenoses. Periodic drying of ponds for winter that causes freezing of sporocarps, and conservation and cleaning of ponds, when silt with sporocarps is removed, are the major threats for this species. Other factors that are dangerous to localities of Salvinia natans are shallowing of oxbow lakes, eutrophication of water bodies and keeping of the plant eating fish, the Grass Carp Ctenopharyngodon idella in fishponds.

Key words: Salvinia natans, fishponds, oxbow lakes, Lower Silesia, Opole Silesia, Poland


14. Pillwort Pilularia globulifera L. in Lower Silesia - biology and ecology

Ewa Szczęśniak, Andrzej Szlachetka


Abstract: Pilularia  globulifera is an endemic species of the sub-Atlantic part of Europe, critically endangered in Poland. In Lower Silesia, it has not been reported since 1903. Two new locations were found in the Bory Dolnośląskie district in 2007 and the bigger population of Pilularia became an object of detailed research. Pilularia forms there a dense mat, specimens are vigorous and produce sporocarps. Gametophytes and young sporophytes developed properly. This species forms its own plant community Pilularietum globuliferae R.Tx. 1955 ex Müll. et Görs 1960 and also occurs in rushes of Phragmites australis.

Key words: water ferns, endangered species, Pilularia globulifera, gametophytes

15. Distribution and present condition of the royal fern Osmunda regalis L. in Lower Silesia

Michał Śliwiński, Ewa Szczęśniak


 Abstract: Osmunda regalis L. is a rare and endangered species in Poland, strictly protected by the low since 1946. The research, which started in 2008, has confirmed its presence in 12 out of 31 localities in Lower Silesia known up to date. There were less than 5 individuals of Osmunda regalis in 8 localities, and in 3 localities more than 10 plants were present. Juvenile plants occurred only in two populations. Osmunda regalis is a species critically endangered by the extinction in Lower Silesia, therefore its active protection is an urgent and extremely important necessity. All populations are monitored.

 Key words: Osmunda regalis, fern, protected plant, endangered species, Lower Silesia


16. 16. Hart's tongue Phyllitis scolopendrium (L.) Newm. in the Lower Silesia region

Jan Bodziarczyk, Marek Malicki


Abstract: The present distribution of the hart's tongue fern Phyllitis scolopendrium (L.) Newm. in the Lower Silesia region (Poland) is described including historical sites that have been confirmed, new sites and suggested areas requiring further investigation. Especially valuable are newly discovered sites, as they provide correction of the north-western range of this fern in Poland. Occurrence conditions, frequency and the present category of endangerment of the fern population has also been presented in the paper.

Key words: ferns, rare and protected species, distribution, demography, Sudeten Mts., Poland 


17. The association of Hypno-Polypodietum Jurko et Peciar 1963 in the Opawskie Mountains (the Eastern Sudetes Mts.)

Arkadiusz Nowak, Sylwia Nowak, Adam Stebel


Abstract: This paper presents the outcome of geobotanical investigations carried out in 2008 within phyllite outcrops in the Opawskie Mts. in the southern part of the Opole Silesia Province. The association of Hypno-Polypodietum Jurko et Peciar 1963 was found in the easternmost outskirts of the Polish Sudetes Mts. The phytocoenoses of Hypnum cupressiforme and Polypodium vulgare occurred at several localities at altitudes of 340 up to 370 m a.s.l. on steep and rocky overhangs and ledges of inclinations between 55° and 85°. All patches of this association were noted in the villages of Jarnołtówek and Pokrzywna, in most cases within the ‘Karliki' and ‘Karolinki' rocks. The phytocoenoses developed in shaded, woody places on the natural slate outcrops. They were mainly composed of two character plants – Polypodium vulgare and Hypnum cupressiforme. The analysis of species composition revealed that the structure of vegetation patches was similar to those noted in other regions of Poland as well as in Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

 Key words: rock vegetation, Hypno-Polypodietum, the Sudetes Mts., Opole Silesia, plant association


18. A new locality of Botrychium matricariifolium (Retz.) A. Braun ex W. D. J. Koch in the Sudeten Foreland

Sylwia Nowak, Arkadiusz Nowak


Abstract: This paper presents a new locality of Botrychium matricariifolium, one of the rarest and critically endangered plant in Poland. The population occupies the south slope of the hill near Pomianów Górny (Lower Silesia) in the border area of the Niemczańsko-Strzelińskie Hills and the Otmuchów Lowering. It consists of one individual, which was found in the grass community of a transitional character. Dominant plants represent mainly the Festuco-Brometea and the Koelerio glaucae-Corynephoretea canescentis classes. The cover ratio of species from the Nardo-Callunetea and the Molinio-Arrhenatheretea classes was also considerably high. No anthropogenic threats were identified, which could influence the habitat of the species considered. Only the natural succession would cause significant changes in this phytocoenosis and the main threat is expansion of Calamagrostis epigejos.

Key words: rare fern, threatened plants, Sudetes Mts., Lower Silesia


19. Endangered, expansive and invasive species in pteridoflora of Lower Silesia

Ewa Szczęśniak


Abstract: Pteridoflora of Lower Silesia consists of 62 species and is one of the most diverse in Poland. The aim of the presented study was to determine pteridophyte reaction to human activity in Lower Silesia. Actualised list of endangered pteridophytes consists of 42 species, among them 31 are categorized as highly threatened: 2 regionally extinct (Botrychium multifidum, Woodsia ilvensis), 13 critically endangered and 16 endangered or vulnerable. Remaining 20 species are not endangered, among them 3 are expansive (Equisetum arvense, Pteridium aquilinum, Athyrium distentifolium) and 1 species is potentially invasive (Azolla filiculoides).

Key words: ferns, horsetails, club-mosses, endangered species, expansive species, invasive species, Lower

20. The analysis of the spatial structure of hart's tongue Phyllitis scolopendrium (L.) Newman population

Jan Bodziarczyk


Abstract: The paper presents results of the spatial pattern analysis in hart's tongue Phyllitis scolopendrium (L.) Newm. populations. Spatial relationships among individuals belonging to various developmental stages were determined, and the relation between the occurrence of hart's tongue fern and environmental factors was ascertained. The fine-scale spatial pattern of Phyllitis scolopendrium resulted from its life history strategy and microsite mosaics. Although the spatial patterns in various populations were variable, they displayed also some universal features. In general, juvenile plants were clumped, usually at distances between 0.5 and 1.0 m. Mature individuals displayed a random spatial pattern, and senile ones tended to be uniformly distributed, although the tendency towards regularity was statistically insignificant. Positive spatial correlation was found between the individuals belonging to the early juvenile and juvenile stages, while a negative spatial relationship was found between juvenile and senile individuals.

Key words: protected species, Ripley's function, site mosaic, spatial pattern, rubble


21. The structure of selected stands of Lycopodium annotinum L. on the grounds of the Opoczno Forestry Management

Anna Śliwińska-Wyrzychowska


Abstract: The aim of the study was to compare the structure of two stands of Lycopodium annotinum occurring in fresh pine coniferous forest and fresh mixed pine coniferous forest. Soil fertility, determined here as a habitat type of the forest, is a factor significantly affecting the number and type of shoots produced by Lycopodium annotinum. The statistical analysis proved that two patches of Lycopodium occurring in different habitats can be treated as two separate coenopopulations despite the small distance between them. In coenopopulations occurring in the mixed coniferous forest there is a higher density of shoots with and without strobili comparing to the coenopopulation of fresh pine coniferous forest. Additionally, in the latter coenopopulation the phenomenon of atrophy is more escalated and a higher percent of shoots starts reproducing using spores.

Key words: Lycopodium annotinum, horizontal structure, vertical shoots, spatial structure, modular growth


22. The spatial structure and condition of Lycopodium clavatum L. in the Zrębice Forestry

Monika Bogdanowicz, Anna Śliwińska-Wyrzychowska


Abstract: The aim of the study was to estimate the condition of Lycopodium clavatum stands. The biggest area of 67m2 occupied by the club moss was located in the Calamagrostio arundinaceae-Quercetum petraeae (Hartm. 1934) Scam. et. Pass. 1959 association. The contribution of living vertical shoots was much higher than the dead ones. Horizontal shoots were strongly branched. In the Leucobryo-Pinetum W. Mat. (1962) 1973 association club mosses occupied the area of 28m2 in one stand, and in two others, 5m2 each. These stands were characterized by the high average number of dead shoots. Horizontal shoots occupied small parts of individual squares. In 2007, club moss stands in the Leucobryo-Pinetum were destroyed as a result of procedures of forest managing. Also, there were only dead shoots present in the stand localized in the Calamagrostio arundinaceae-Quercetum. We can assume that illegal collection of club moss shoots additionally results in decreasing of the stand and population numbers.

Key words: Lycopodium clavatum, horizontal shoots, vertical shoots, spatial structure, condition, polycormons