Tatra National Park

Zakopane, Poland

Tatra National Park

Zakopane, Poland
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Dzialuk A.,Kazimierz Wielki University in Bydgoszcz | Chybicki I.,Kazimierz Wielki University in Bydgoszcz | Gout R.,Ukrainian State University of Forestry and Wood Technology | Maczka T.,Tatra National Park | And 5 more authors.
Conservation Genetics | Year: 2014

In Europe, most of the alpine timberline ecotone has been altered by human activities and climate change. Hence, mountain forests are of the highest conservation interest. Here, we screened 25 populations of Swiss stone pine (Pinus cembra L.) from the Carpathians and the Alps, using a set of ten microsatellite primers to assess the relative conservation value of populations sampled in Polish and Slovak Tatra National Parks, where potential extinction risk is the highest within the Carpathian range. Although endangered, with small and fragmented populations, P. cembra in the Tatra Mts. shows high levels of allelic richness (AR = 5.0) and observed heterozygosity (Ho = 0.554). Our results suggest that anthropogenic habitat fragmentation has had little impact on DNA variation of Swiss stone pine in the Tatra Mts. However, the effects of changing conditions on the genetic structure may occur with a substantial time delay due to the long life span of P. cembra. Moreover, inbreeding depression may occur in the next generations, since we found inbreeding (FIS = 0.063) and elevated coancestry coefficient (θ = 0.062) in all populations. Also a shallow pattern of genetic differentiation between populations was found, indicating recent fragmentation of a common gene pool that formerly occupied a larger range. Therefore, the Tatra Mts. can be considered as a single conservation unit. Based on our results, we suggest possible conservation activities for Swiss stone pine both in Poland and Slovakia. © 2014, The Author(s).


Zwijacz-Kozica T.,Tatra National Park | Selva N.,Polish Academy of Sciences | Barja I.,Autonomous University of Madrid | Silvan G.,Complutense University of Madrid | And 3 more authors.
Acta Theriologica | Year: 2013

In protected areas, outdoor recreation, and nature-based tourism can act as potential stressors for wildlife. Given the growing demand for nature recreation, the consequences of high tourist visitation on wildlife need to be assessed in order to avoid incompatibilities between public use and species protection goals. The Tatra National Park (Poland), in the Carpathian Mountains, is a unique alpine ecosystem visited by three million tourists per year. It hosts the only native population of an endemic subspecies of chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra tatrica). We investigated the effects of tourist disturbance, the number of visitors, and the season on the concentration of fecal cortisol metabolites (FCM) in Tatra chamois in 2009. FCM levels of chamois were significantly higher and showed higher variation at high tourist disturbance (mean ± SD, 46. 2 ± 31. 53 ng/g, n = 56) than at low disturbance sites (mean ± SD, 17. 2 ± 8. 05 ng/g, n = 38). Stress levels increased with the number of visitors and therefore showed a peak in summer, coinciding with the highest number of visitation to the national park. A large portion of chamois habitat in Tatra National Park is within the area of influence of the touristic trail network. The temporal or permanent creation of areas free of disturbance in protected areas should be considered, especially in the periods of high tourist visitation. This study highlights the need to monitor the effects of tourist activities on wildlife and to implement new policies in the management of protected areas. © 2012 Mammal Research Institute, Polish Academy of Sciences, Białowieża, Poland.


Svajda J.,Matej Bel University | Korony S.,Matej Bel University | Zieba A.,Tatra National Park | Adamski P.,Polish Academy of Sciences
Forestry Journal | Year: 2016

Since the last decades, natural disturbances in forests including protected areas have intensified. They have the potential to impact visual quality and safety of visitors as well as spread beyond protected area boundaries. While economic and ecological impacts are well studied, there is still a lack of work focused on human dimensions and social aspects. This study examines visitor perceptions towards bark beetle infestation in Tatra National Park, Poland. The findings, based on visitor surveys collected during the summer of 2014, indicate the significance of different factors influencing visitor attitudes towards the bark beetle. Age of visitors and importance of the bark beetle issue for them (based on subjective ratings of importance of bark beetle issue for respondents) are the most prominent variables. Also place of origin and environmental worldview were recognized as significantly important variables in accordance with similar studies. Results suggest management implications for park authorities including public relations and environmental education in order to increase knowledge and support for natural disturbance and ecological integrity policies in the national park. © 2016 Juraj Švajda et al., published by De Gruyter Open.


Zywiec M.,Polish Academy of Sciences | Holeksa J.,Polish Academy of Sciences | Wesolowska M.,Institute of Environmental Protection | Szewczyk J.,Agricultural University of Krakow | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Vegetation Science | Year: 2013

Questions: What is the spatial range of regeneration of the fleshy-fruited tree Sorbus aucuparia (rowan) in a coarse-grained spruce stand on a large landscape scale? Does the spatial distribution and size of stands of different ages affect the probability of rowan regeneration? What are the consequences of the dynamics of dominant coniferous tree species for the dynamics of admixture rowan? Location: A sub-alpine spruce forest in the Tatra Mountains, Poland. Methods: We mapped all mature rowans in a 203-ha area and counted the rowan seedlings and saplings on a grid of evenly distributed plots. In plots, the age and diameter of trees were measured. Patches of homogenous stands were distinguished and each rowan tree and each plot was assigned to one of four stand categories: dense small-crowned stands, dense large-crowned stands, sparse large-crowned stands and sparse stands near the upper forest limit. Areas above the upper forest limit formed a separate fifth category. Results: The distribution of rowan trees was clumped. Most of them grew in dense spruce stands up to 135 yr old and near the upper forest limit. Substantially fewer rowan trees were in sparse spruce stands of nearly 200 yr old. Seedlings and saplings occurred at high density (mean 24.8 individuals 100 m-2) only up to 40 m from trees bearing fruits, and at much lower density at longer distances. In consequence of the clumped distribution of adult trees and the short range of seed dispersal, most of the old spruce stands were outside the range of abundant regeneration of rowan. Conclusions: The presence of fine- vs coarse-grained mosaics of coniferous stands of different ages can strongly influence population processes in a rowan population on a large landscape scale. Extensive disturbances resulting in large homogenous patches of coniferous stands, the long lifespan of a single generation of spruce and spatial limitation of rowan seed dispersal seem responsible for the small contribution this broad-leaved species makes to sub-alpine forests. A high share of rowan can be expected in forests with fine-grained mosaics of stands, where small patches of young and old stands are inter-mixed, assuring delivery of seeds to stands of each category. © 2012 International Association for Vegetation Science.


Kolenda R.,TU Brandenburg | Schierack P.,TU Brandenburg | Zieba F.,Tatra National Park | Zwijacz-Kozica T.,Tatra National Park | Bednarski M.,Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Sciences
Parasitology Research | Year: 2015

In this study, sarcocysts from three Polish Tatra chamois were isolated and identified using morphological and molecular methods for the first time. Six cysts were found in the latissimus dorsi muscle and another two in the diaphragm. No sarcocysts were detected in the myocardium, tongue, and esophagus. The isolated cysts were long with rounded ends, 0.35–0.61 mm in length, and 0.02–0.06 mm in width. All the sarcocysts were identified as Sarcocystis tenella on the basis of light microscopy and sequencing of cytochrome C oxidase subunit I (cox1) and small-subunit rRNA (ssu rRNA) genes. Comparative analysis showed a 99.23 % identity of the cox1 gene sequences from Tatra chamois and sheep sarcocysts, and an even higher degree of sequence identity (99.88 %) was documented in the case of the ssu rRNA gene. When compared at a haplotype level, all the sheep sequences of cox1 differed from those isolated from Tatra chamois. In contrast, one out of the two ssu rRNA haplotypes from the sheep isolates was identical with the haplotype from Tatra chamois. In conclusion, we showed that cox1 and ssu rRNA genes can be used as genetic markers for identification of the S. tenella, with cox1 gene providing better resolution during phylogenetic analyses. However, both genetic population analysis and phylogenetic inference with cox1 and ssu rRNA genes demonstrated that they do not constitute good markers for spatial differentiation of S. tenella. © 2015, The Author(s).


Gromadzka M.,Jagiellonian University | Wolanin A.,Jagiellonian University | Zelazny M.,Jagiellonian University | Peksa L.,Tatra National Park
Hydrology Research | Year: 2015

This paper describes research on two of the largest karst springs in Poland's Tatra Mountains - Goryczkowe and Bystrej Górne - both located in the Tatra National Park. The aim of the study was to determine the potential contributing area for the Bystrej Gorne Spring. Research has shown that seasonal changes in the physical and chemical properties of water in both springs followed a similar pattern; however, observed differences were not statistically significant. Additionally, research has shown that the potential contributing area is different than that previously identified by other researchers. The chemical composition of water obtained from each spring was dominated by Ca2+ and HCO-3, and included small amounts of the biogenic NO3 ion. The highest values of the measured physical and chemical parameters were noted in winter, while the lowest values were noted in spring and summer. Principal component analysis was used to assess the physical and chemical parameters of water obtained from both studied springs. Water dilution and catchment biological activity were identified as two key processes affecting physical and chemical properties of karst spring water. Several differences were identified between the springs - water temperature, pH, mineralization, as well as the concentration of Mg2+, HCO-3, and SO2 4. © 2015 IWA Publishing.


Peeksa L.,Tatra National Park | Ciach M.,Agricultural University of Krakow
ORYX | Year: 2015

Until recently animals inhabiting mountain areas were relatively free from disturbance by people but they are now coming under increasing pressure. Tourism, especially that involving large numbers of people, is having an ever more detrimental effect on the natural resources of high mountains, even in protected areas. We analyse the effect of tourist pressure on the population of the Tatra chamois Rupicapra rupicapra tatrica, which inhabits the strictly protected high-altitude habitats of the Tatra mountains (Carpathians, Poland). The Kasprowy Wierch cable car system, in operation since 1936, was modernized in 2007; as a consequence 50% more people can now be carried into the chamois' habitat. The effect of this sudden increase in tourist pressure has been to reduce the size of herds (3.9 vs 5.3 individuals) and to increase the distance between the animals and the cable car station (1,664.0 vs 693.0 m), the cable car infrastructure (1,415.0 vs 467.8 m) and adjacent ski-lifts and ski pistes (1,214.2 vs 494.3 m). The distance to the marked hiking trails has not changed, however. Following the modernization of the cable cars, larger herds of chamois have been seen at greater distances from the tourist infrastructure. Our results indicate the adverse impact of this mass tourism. Human activities in high-mountain ecosystems need to have due consideration for the requirements of wild species, and the number of visitors needs to be controlled. © 2014 Fauna & Flora International.


Sproull G.J.,University of Denver | Sproull G.J.,Agricultural University of Krakow | Adamus M.,Agricultural University of Krakow | Bukowski M.,Tatra National Park | And 4 more authors.
Forest Ecology and Management | Year: 2015

This study investigates temporal shifts in Norway spruce (Picea abies) mortality, stand structure characteristics, and stand complexity facilitated by a bark beetle (Ips typographus) outbreak that affected an unmanaged subalpine forest region in Tatra National Park, Poland in the late 2000s. Changes in survivorship and stand structure characteristics (diameter (DBH), basal area, height, age, and crown length ratio) of nearly 2500 spatially-referenced trees located in 64 long-term survey plots were compared over four time periods that spanned the duration of the outbreak disturbance event. Stand structure characteristics, topographic factors (slope, elevation, and aspect), and solar equinox radiation were tested as predictors of mortality for multiple stages in the outbreak using boosted regression tree modeling. Our findings showed that: (1) spatial synchrony was not reflective of mortality severity; (2) mortality rates increased significantly as the outbreak progressed; (3) the stand's structure was altered significantly by the outbreak (larger trees were killed most frequently); (4) stand structure characteristics were the best predictors of mortality in all stages of the outbreak, though topographic factors and solar equinox radiation also exhibited moderate to strong predictive power in some stages; and (5) stand complexity decreased significantly as the outbreak progressed. This illustrates the inherently complex nature of bark beetle outbreaks on fine spatial scales and suggests that the extent and severity of spruce mortality during an outbreak event is largely dependent on the relative stage of the outbreak and the structure of the stand. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.


Sproull G.J.,Agricultural University of Krakow | Adamus M.,Agricultural University of Krakow | Bukowski M.,Tatra National Park | Krzyzanowski T.,Tatra National Park | And 3 more authors.
Forest Ecology and Management | Year: 2015

This study investigates temporal shifts in Norway spruce (Picea abies) mortality, stand structure characteristics, and stand complexity facilitated by a bark beetle (Ips typographus) outbreak that affected an unmanaged subalpine forest region in Tatra National Park, Poland in the late 2000s. Changes in survivorship and stand structure characteristics (diameter (DBH), basal area, height, age, and crown length ratio) of nearly 2500 spatially-referenced trees located in 64 long-term survey plots were compared over four time periods that spanned the duration of the outbreak disturbance event. Stand structure characteristics, topographic factors (slope, elevation, and aspect), and solar equinox radiation were tested as predictors of mortality for multiple stages in the outbreak using boosted regression tree modeling. Our findings showed that: (1) spatial synchrony was not reflective of mortality severity; (2) mortality rates increased significantly as the outbreak progressed; (3) the stand's structure was altered significantly by the outbreak (larger trees were killed most frequently); (4) stand structure characteristics were the best predictors of mortality in all stages of the outbreak, though topographic factors and solar equinox radiation also exhibited moderate to strong predictive power in some stages; and (5) stand complexity decreased significantly as the outbreak progressed. This illustrates the inherently complex nature of bark beetle outbreaks on fine spatial scales and suggests that the extent and severity of spruce mortality during an outbreak event is largely dependent on the relative stage of the outbreak and the structure of the stand. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.


Ziolkowska E.,Jagiellonian University | Ostapowicz K.,Jagiellonian University | Radeloff V.C.,University of Wisconsin - Madison | Kuemmerle T.,Humboldt University of Berlin | And 5 more authors.
Landscape Ecology | Year: 2016

Context: Connectivity assessments typically rely on resistance surfaces derived from habitat models, assuming that higher-quality habitat facilitates movement. This assumption remains largely untested though, and it is unlikely that the same environmental factors determine both animal movements and habitat selection, potentially biasing connectivity assessments. Objectives: We evaluated how much connectivity assessments differ when based on resistance surfaces from habitat versus movement models. In addition, we tested how sensitive connectivity assessments are with respect to the parameterization of the movement models. Methods: We parameterized maximum entropy models to predict habitat suitability, and step selection functions to derive movement models for brown bear (Ursus arctos) in the northeastern Carpathians. We compared spatial patterns and distributions of resistance values derived from those models, and locations and characteristics of potential movement corridors. Results: Brown bears preferred areas with high forest cover, close to forest edges, high topographic complexity, and with low human pressure in both habitat and movement models. However, resistance surfaces derived from the habitat models based on predictors measured at broad and medium scales tended to underestimate connectivity, as they predicted substantially higher resistance values for most of the study area, including corridors. Conclusions: Our findings highlighted that connectivity assessments should be based on movement information if available, rather than generic habitat models. However, the parameterization of movement models is important, because the type of movement events considered, and the sampling method of environmental covariates can greatly affect connectivity assessments, and hence the predicted corridors. © 2016 The Author(s)

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