Anthropophytes in the flora of different spatial units within old rural settlements of the Lubuskie Lakeland, western Poland
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Biodiv. Res. Conserv. 2015;(39):19–32
Studies of the flora of villages in a connection with the surrounding landscape are rare and mostly limited to the built-up area and its general location in a geographical region. Thus, the aim of this study was to examine the diversity patterns of flora against the background of local landscape units in the rural areas and to analyse them in the context of village transformation. The study comprised 30 villages of medieval origin representing the oval-shape type, with differently preserved structure of built-up area and cultivated fields, located in the Lubuskie Lakeland. The terrain within a buffer zone of 200 m in width, located outside of the built-up area, was divided into spatial complexes. In each of these complexes, floristic lists were compiled. The structure of surrounding landscape within the buffer zone of 1 km in width, measuring from the village centroid, was analysed using ArcGIS.
The recorded flora comprised 767 taxa of spontaneously occurring vascular plants. Extremely rare and common species were the most numerous. Native species distinctly prevailed over alien in all types of spatial complexes and the majority of them occurred in the habitats transformed by man. There were noted altogether 244 species of anthropophytes. The index of anthropophytization of flora (WAnt) showed that both types of built-up areas (transformed and non-transformed) reached the highest values, slightly higher than fields and central green. Index of flora modernization (WM) showed the same pattern. Only water bodies were strikingly different from other complexes in respect to both indices (WAnt – significantly lower values, while WM – much higher). Differences in the floristic composition of transformed and non-transformed villages were not significant at the level of whole village. The villages were still harbouring rare species from the group of relics of former cultivation and archaeophytes, but observations conducted since 2007 confirmed that they have been decreasing in number. The percentage of groups of species with different affinity toward urban areas have shown that in the studied rural areas, the share of urbanophilic species is still very low as compared to the dominant group of urbanoneutral and moderately urbanophobic species.