Establishing the current level for the monitoring of High Nature Value grasslands in Romania

Assessment of the conservation status of permanent meadows located in the eligible areas for agri-environmental measure packages applicable to agricultural land with permanent pasture category

Funded by: European Commission. Direct beneficiary: Romanian Ministry of Agriculture. ADEPT was a subcontractor for this specific project

Duration: March 2015 - September 2015 (6 months)

Budget: 478.000 Ron

Project Objectives

The Overall Objective: establishing the basic level necessary for the monitoring of plant species specific to High Nature Value grasslands in Romania, as an additional impact indicator of measure 214 "Agro-environment payments”.

Specific Objective 1: establishing a data collection methodology for the monitoring of natural and semi-natural meadows, in terms of floral composition in order to obtain the baseline level

Specific Objective 2: identifying the current status of indicator plant species on eligible agricultural land under the agri-environment measure (as a baseline for further monitoring of their evolution)

Specific Objective 3: identifying plant species that can be used as indicator species to further assess the natural value of the  permanent grasslands

Specific Objective 4: identifying the plant species which can be used as indicators to establish the compliance of agricultural practices with the basic and specific requirements of the agri-environment packages

Specific Objective 5: development of new agri-environment packages applicable to the areas used as permanent meadows with a view to their inclusion in  the future National Rural Development Plan 2014 - 2020

Project Updates

Under the project, the provider (Fundația ADEPT Transilvania) provided research and development services and related consultancy services as follows:

  • methodology development
  • data collection, selection and sampling
  • data analysis and interpretation

Activities done

The methodology for monitoring the species of plants on the  High Nature Value grasslands in Romania was developed together with the specialists: detailed maps, land records, database where the collected data will be entered, setting up the guidelines for completing the database and the land evaluation form.

Elaboration of documents containing information on indicator species, in terms of natural value and correlation with the use of agricultural land. Land monitoring records have been adapted to biogeographical areas and different types of management, taking into account the diversity of flora species and the characteristics of plant associations at national level. Two types of documents have been developed: informative brochures and scientific papers: brochures addressed to general public (especially farmers), using simplified language, and more compressed information, while scientific papers contain more information and technical terms. For ecological indicator species and indicator management species, scientific papers and related brochures were prepared.

Training the staff involved in collecting raw data on the ground. 28 experts were trained in field monitoring activities and various materials needed to conduct fieldwork.

Performing on-site monitoring activities (gathering raw data on the ground, entering them in the database and centralizing data).

The total HNV area was evaluated and the possibility of using a grid corresponding to a standard sampling design was probed. Using GIS techniques and starting from the base layer on land use, the condition being represented by CORINE Land Cover 2006 (European Environmental Agency), habitats of no interest were removed resulting in a target habitat area of ​​27,273 km2. This habitat is distributed unevenly within the HNV territory, which is why, alongside the raised surface, a randomised sampling design becomes the ideal solution. The selection of 700 sampling points was made on the basis of the area of ​​the study area and the spatial distribution of the favorable habitat polygons. This distribution is important and has been analyzed including altitude classes.

An analysis of data available at European level on the availability of data for indicator species has been carried out. A comparison was made between field data and existing data and a scientific report on the conservation status of the indicator species and on other relevant criteria was developed.

Developing recommendations for increasing the efficiency of the agri-environment measures and packages aimed at preserving priority species or habitats specific to permanent grasslands. Technical datasheets for 3 agri-environmental packages were prepared according to current legislative requirements and those that were accepted for 2014-2020. At the same time, the list of areas eligible for packages (P9, P10 and P11) was prepared.

Under the present project, 90 species were monitored (82 species for ecological indicator species and 8 species for management species).  In addition, 9 species for environmental indicators (6 species as a result of fieldwork and 3 species as a result of the documents review done by the scientific staff) and 3 species for management indicators were identified. We mention some of the monitored species: Ononis spinosa, Pimpinella saxifraga, Knautiaarvensis, Leontodon hispidus, Plantago media, Briza media, Thymus serpyllum, Veronica austriaca, Leucanthemum vulgare, Dianthis carthusianorum, Trifolium montanum, Polygala major, Linum catharticum, Primula veris, Origanum vulgare, Prunella grandiflora, Viola hirta, Lathyrus pratensis, Succisa pratensis, Sanguisorba officinalis, Serratula tinctoria, Clinopodium vulgare

Managing Body & Contact

Cristi Gherghiceanu

Executive President - Fundatia ADEPT Transilvania

Răzvan Popa

Technical Director - Fundația ADEPT Transilvania

Tel: 004 (0) 752 264 592

Our Partners

Biodiversity conservation and community development in Transylvania