The Ecological Network Natura 2000 project has been implemented in Poland since 2004, based on the Act on Nature Conservation. The Natura 2000 areas are often distinguished by particular values of the geological heritage, and sometimes also of cultural heritage. According to the premises of the programme, natural habitat should be identified by the conditions of occurrence and mutual relationships between the abiotic and biotic elements. Despite this assumption, in many cases, their valuation and description of the abiotic features is too cursory, and sometimes, it is even lacking. The valley of the Tarnawka River in the Polish Carpathians is the selected example of a Natura 2000 area. The presented characteristic of this area constitutes a supplement to its importance in the field of geological and cultural heritage. Also documented was the history of causes and changes of the natural environment dating back to the early Middle Ages. The physiographic characteristic of the area and the results of analysing the past transformations of its environment provide very rich material. It should be useful and used not only to supplement the importance of the area but also to conduct the comparative evaluation of the current and potential changes and threats caused by natural processes but, above all, by human activities. . . . . . Keywords Natura 2000 Geological sites Natural diversity Environmental changes Carpathian Mts Poland Introduction conservation (Birds Directive - 79/409/EEC) and the conser- vation of the wild species of fauna and flora (Habitats The Ecological Network Natura 2000 is a system for the pro- Directive - 92/43/EEC), characteristic of the particular biogeo- tection of the natural heritage of Europe, created within the graphical regions of Europe. As applied to the Natura 2000 framework of European Union directives in force within its network, natural habitat as a concept used in the legal termi- member states and the accession of new states. These direc- nology of the European Union is defined by the geographical tives enable the delineation of special protection areas for bird and ecological conditions of the environment. The ecological indicators of the environment pertain to both biotic and abiotic elements, since they jointly provide the natural diversity of a given type of habitat. Compared with biotic conditions, the * Witold Paweł Alexandrowicz firstname.lastname@example.org abiotic conditions of the types of Natura 2000 habitats are usually much less recognised. They undergo constant chang- Zofia Alexandrowicz es, slow or rapid, depending on the course of natural geomor- email@example.com phological processes and anthropogenic influence. The latter Krzysztof Buczek increasingly contributes to the contemporary transformations firstname.lastname@example.org of the natural environment in all climatic zones. Dynamically operating physical processes that are caused by the factors of Institute of Nature Conservation, Polish Academy of Sciences, Al. the natural evolution of relief or by human economic activities Mickiewicza 33, 31-120 Kraków, Poland usually appear as long-term consequences in the state of Faculty of Geology, Geophysics and Environmental Protection, geodiversity, morphodiversity, and biodiversity in particular AGH University of Science and Technology, Al. Mickiewicza 30, 30-059 Cracow, Poland areas (Naylor et al. 2002;Gilletal. 2015;Lawleretal. 2015). Geoheritage These kinds of potential threats should be taken into account in the strategies of all nature conservation programmes. The advancement of proceeding with the creation of the Natura 2000 network differs in particular countries. One of the principal problems with its implementation is the lack of sufficient awareness of the societies of the objectives and re- quirements of the programme. The conflicts between local communities and administrative authorities hamper the imple- mentation of tasks, particularly of environmental monitoring (Iojă et al. 2016). In Poland, Natura 2000 activity is one of the categories of protection introduced in 2004 into the amended Nature Conservation Act. This relatively and positively affects the development of the network. Until the present, the network of Natura 2000 areas includes some 20% of the Polish territo- ry. These areas, particularly those of great size, and distinct for high geo- and biodiversity, predominantly coincide with the national network of sites covered by various legal forms of nature protection (Alexandrowicz 2004a;Alexandrowicz et al. 2004a). The objective of this paper is to draw attention to the ex- ceedingly one-sided valuation of the Natura 2000 sites that frequently omits evaluation of their abiotic elements. Including them can complement the present valuation of the stage of nature areas selected for the implementation of tasks in the programme of nature conservation under discussion. The geological and geomorphological locations, usually in- volving small surfaces, are important to biodiversity, because many of them often form diverse microenvironments that are beneficial to the development of selected priority species of fauna and flora (Alexandrowicz et al. 2004b; Brancucci et al. 2004; Alexandrowicz and Alexandrowicz 2006; Alexandrowicz and Margielewski 2010;Gray 2013; Matthews 2014; Hjort et al. 2015). In Poland, these sites prin- cipally include the protected monuments of nature and docu- mented sites. They occur individually or in groups and often Fig. 1 The distribution of important geological, morphological, and represent interesting fragments of nature, which demonstrate cultural sites in the vicinity of the Tarnawka River area of Natura 2000 the coherence of its diverse elements. The selected example of such an area in the Outer (Flysch) Carpathians is the basin of the Tarnawka River (Fig. 1). The area is extremely interesting Study Area because of its situation within the differing geological struc- tures, which are well reflected in the landscape of the border- The water head of the Tarnawka River includes many streams lands between the Beskid Wyspowy Mts and the Wiśnicz flowing from the slopes of the Beskid Wyspowy Mountains, Foothills. Apart from the biological and cultural values of chiefly the hills of Kostrza (720 m a.s.l.) and Świnna Góra the Tarnawka River drainage area, the paper presents, its geo- (611 m a.s.l.) (Fig. 1). In 2001, steep, highly elevated, north- logical setting, the characteristics of the river gorge and of the ern, and northwestern slopes of the former hill were placed rocky landforms in the scenic sandstone landscape. An inno- under protection, as a nature reserve under the name vative proposal, supplementing the characteristics of the stud- BKostrza.^ Its limits overlap almost perfectly with the limits ied area of Natura 2000 site, includes the results of the analysis of the special area for the protection of forest habitats Natura in the natural environment occurring in historical time, deter- 2000 (Fig. 1). The Tarnawka River with right-bank and left- mined on the basis of the assemblages of subfossil molluscs bank tributaries is, however, included in the Natura 2000 pro- occurring in sediments. This analysis permits the determina- gramme as a special area of protection for natural habitats tion of the environmental phases essentially affecting the typical of a natural, foothill valley of the size of approx. course of natural processes within the protected area. 140 ha (Mróz and Perzanowska 2001; Perzanowska and Geoheritage Grzegorczyk 2009)(Fig. 1). The fragment of the main valley these cultural objects. Until the present, in the neighbourhood is 7.8 km long and spans from the Szyk Dolny locality to the of the Tarnawka River valley, six old fortified settlements mouth of the Stradomka River. were identified that were inhabited at the times of different In the basin of the Tarnawka River, there are different types cultures (Leńczyk 1983;Marszałek 1993;Wacławik and of habitats. The windings of the river’s meanders are covered Bajer 2014)(Fig. 1). The relics of the oldest settlements date by gravelbanks, and among them, oxbow lakes and small back to the Lusatian Bronze epoch, approx. 1300–1100 BP. ponds are periodically formed, and pioneering vegetation also invades the site. The river banks and mouths of streams are overgrown by hydrophilous tall herb fringe communities of the montane to alpine levels, including willow bush, and allu- Geological and Geomorphological Features vial willow, poplar, alder, and ash woods. In the surroundings of the gorge section of the valley, mixed forests with certain Geological Setting proportions of old beeches and firs occur. At some places, there are the outcrops of sandstones and rock screes, and Some zones of overthrusts of primary tectonic units in the among them are rock shelters and small caves. Within the Flysch Carpathians are characterised by chaotic complexes lower course of the river with a meandering bed and low of deposits (Jankowski and Margielewski 2014). The studied terrace, there are chiefly well-managed hay meadows. The area of Natura 2000 and its surroundings are situated within diversity of habitats occurring in the Tarnawka River valley the border area between the Beskid Wyspowy Mts and and in its immediate surroundings contributes to its being an Wiśnicz Foothill. At the same time, it is the zone of the front important refuge and place of the breeding for many animal of Magura Nappe overthrust over the Silesian Nappe (Burtan species, particularly for birds, ichtiofauna (e.g. Barbus and Skoczylas-Ciszewska 1964; Radwanek-Bąk 2009) carpathicus and Cottus gobio), and amphibians. The sites (Fig. 2). It has an enormously complex geological structure with such amphibians like the yellow-bellied toad Bombina corresponding to chaotic complexes. These are characterised variegata and crested newt Triturus cristatus occur at the by the melange of deposits, strong tectonic deformations, nu- limits of their biogeographical regions, where alpine and con- merous inversions of structures, and out-of-sequence thrusts. tinental regions are particularly worth attention in the Along the front of overthrust, there is also a separated frag- Carpathian Foothills. ment of the Magura Nappe, representing the type of block The spreading of the identified types of natural habitats matrix within chaotic complexes (Burtan and Skoczylas- in the Tarnawka River valley and around it clearly corre- Ciszewska 1964; Jankowski and Margielewski 2014). In its sponds to the principal features of the geological structure surroundings, there are the melange deposits of the Silesian in the study area. The Tarnawka River valley is situated in Nappe, where the formations of the sub-Silesian series are the Outer (Flysch) Carpathians, in the zone of the exposed in several places, and they are now referred to as overthrust of the Magura Nappe on to the Silesian Nappe Btectonic windows.^ (Fig. 2) (Burtan and Skoczylas-Ciszewska 1964; The source area of the Tarnawka River as well as its Radwanek-Bąk 2009). The tectonics of the substrate deter- upper course occur within the abovementioned separate mines closely the characteristics of relief and the geodiver- part of the Magura Nappe, represented by the formation sity of the given area. of Eocene Magura sandstones. Here, the northernmost The Polish Carpathians are famous for their numerous sa- heights of the Beskid Wyspowy Mts are situated (e.g. cred historic buildings, such as churches and chapels of vari- Kostrza and Świnna Mt.) (Fig. 1). The hills surrounding ous ages. Particularly exceptional are late-Medieval Roman the gorge section of the valley are built by layers of the Catholic wooden churches. In 2003, some from those located Istebna Sandstone Formation (Upper Cretaceous– in the Southern Lesser Poland Voivodeship were placed on the Palaeocene) of the Silesian Nappe. In the lower course of UNESCO of World Heritage Sites. In Europe, it is the oldest the Tarnawka River, the Quaternary sediments of loess and grouping of wooden Medieval Churches with well-preserved river mud types cover the older substrate. elements of early-Gothic architecture. In the neighbourhood The chaotic complexes influence the forms of relief of the Tarnawka River valley, there are four historic churches (Jankowski and Margielewski 2014). In the study area, the (Fig. 1). extraordinarily abundant development of stream valleys and In the hills around the Tarnawka River, there are traces of gorges can be associated with this influence. The internal oc- prehistoric and medieval fortified settlements in the form of currence of numerous gravitational translocations of weath- remnants of protective ramparts once strengthened with soil, ered covers and rock fragments formed during the disintegra- wooden structures, and blocks of sandstones. At present, the tion of slipped sandstone beds resulting from disintegration of places are marked within forest by chaotic accumulations of slipped beds of sandstones are also linked to this influence rocky blocks. Some names of hills or localities correspond to (Fig. 3). Geoheritage Fig. 2 The study area in relation to main structural units of the Polish Carpathians (geological map after Żytko et al. 1988–1989, simplified) Gorge of the Tarnawka River The gorge of the Tarnawka River emerged in the zone of dislocations renewed by the movements of the Magura Nappe The approx. 3.5-km-long gorge of the Tarnawka River is on the foreland. The decisive effect on its formation came one of the characteristic elements of the studied Natura from the lithological nature of the Istebna Formation of the 2000 area (Fig. 3). The beginning of the gorge in the Silesian Nappe, represented by thick-bedded sandstones of the Szyk Dolny locality is marked by a sharp bend of the river Lower Istebna layers. They occur between the chaotic forma- from the southeast to the north. Then, the river flows in a tions of the sub-Silesian and Silesian series, seen above the mild arc towards the east, and it loses its erosional nature in gorge, and the complex of sandstones and shales of the Upper approx. 1.5 km before reaching the Tarnawa village. In the Istebna layers, which are less resistant to erosion, is exposed gorge, the river meanders between steep forested hills, el- below the gorge near Tarnawa. evated to 110–140 m above the rocky bottom of the valley. The width of the bottom of the meandering river valley is Rocky Landforms very variable; initially, it is approx. 10 to 20 m, and then, it increases with the length of the course, usually to 50 m, As in other areas of the Outer (Flysch) Carpathians, the natural and even to 200 m at some places. In the cross section of outcrops of sandstones in the Tarnawka River are particularly the gorge valley, the asymmetry of slopes of the surround- valuable as interesting objects for scientific, educational, and ing hills can be seen (Fig. 3). In its upper section, the geotourist studies (Alexandrowicz 2008). In this case, they inclination of slopes reaches 42°, particularly above the represent the Istebna Sandstone Formation, which is an im- orographically left bank of the Tarnawka River (Fig. 3(A- portant lithological-sedimentation type, marked in the land- A′,B-B′)). In the middle fragment of the gorge, a similar scape of a given area by particularly interesting rocky land- high inclination of slopes occurs just above its right fringe, forms associated with the development of erosion and gravi- whereas the opposite slopes gradually reduce their heights tational mass movements, as well as with the weathering pro- (Fig. 3(C-C′)). In the final stage of the gorge, the inclina- cesses. In various places in the gorge section of the Tarnawka tion of the left-bank slopes decreases and the cross section River, there are the resistant beds of sandstones formed into a of the valley becomes increasingly asymmetrical series of low thresholds, separated by thin layers of shales and (Fig. 3(D-D′)). Just below the gorge, the valley of the marls (Fig. 4). On the steep slopes of hills, and especially meandering river markedly widens, and at the mouth to along the Tarnawka River banks, the fissured outcrops of the Stradomka River, it is already 500 m wide. sandstones breaking up into blocks can be noted. At times, Geoheritage Fig. 3 The relief of Tarnawka gorge valley and its surrounding Fig. 4 The fragment of the Tarnawka River gorge valley Geoheritage these lead to the damage and deformation of trees. The steep The diverse sequences of sediments in the two rocks de- hill slopes are divided by a dense network of gorges that are scribed as examples of the protected monuments of nature, mostly temporarily watered (Fig. 3). Within them, there are which are different in terms of the situation of occurrence, numerous forms produced by the slumped weathered debris represent the same type of deposit sedimentation. Their accu- covers, as well as various sizes of rock packets. mulation occurred in a deep-sea basin as a result of the partic- The selected, instructive example among landslide forms is ipation of high density turbidity currents or gravity flows, also usually called Wielki Kamień (Great Stone) occurring just called fluxoturbidites (Dżułyński et al. 1959; Unrug 1963; above the Tarnawka River valley, at the end of the side ridge Lowe 1982;Leszczyński 1989; Shanmugam 1996). of Szykowska Góra (452 m a.s.l.) (Figs. 1 and 5). It was once The gravel-sand formations of the Carpathian Flysch are the most exposed fragment of the rock ridge of the initial characterised by very thick beds with heterogeneous and poor- section of the gorge valley, but it now is completely hidden ly sorted coarse-grained components that are unequally in woods. The rock outcrop spans 20 m long and 8–10 m wide cemented. These are the most suitable for the development along the ridge. It is inclined approx. 50° towards the north- of rocky forms especially within lithosomes represented by east. Its spur-like ending is composed of thick sandstone beds fluxoturbidites (Alexandrowicz 1977, 1978). Sandstone com- with conglomerates and is elevated up to 10 m above the slope plexes have been exposed in the relief by the active processes (Fig. 5a). The stratification of sandstone beds is diverse, e.g. of the erosion and weathering during the Late Pleistocene there are also the lens of conglomerates and clay balls Glacial and Holocene periods. The lithological characteristics (Fig. 5b). The rocky ridge is separated by open fissures along of sandstones producing rock forms and the sedimentation tectonic joints, testifying to the advanced progression of grav- properties showing the variety of bedding and erosional wash- itational processes. They lead to the slow sliding and settling ing out of debris flows are clearly patterned on the rock wall of rock fragments on steep slopes, the falling of its overhang- due to the processes of selective weathering. The effects of ing parts, the accumulations of loose blocks, as well as the contemporary transformations of the rock surfaces in the form formation of rock shelters and caves. The cave studied to date of weathering crusts securing them periodically and their var- is 7 m long. ious stages of exfoliation are also evident (Alexandrowicz The process of the disintegration of rock masses and relo- et al. 2014a)(Fig. 5a). cations of its packets is brought about by the following causes: the loss of stability resulting from erosional deepening and side erosion of the river bed, the geological situation of the Malacofauna as Indicator area in the zone of complicated overthrust of nappes with of the Environmental Changes different bed sequences and tectonic structures, and the occur- rence of clay shales separating thick sandstone complexes Malacological analysis is used as one of the methods to study facilitating their sliding. the effect of human activities upon the changes in the natural Grodziec Hill (423 m a.s.l.) contains an original rocky form environment (Alexandrowicz and Alexandrowicz 2011). that has been known under various names, but is now normal- Because of the possibility to conduct local-scale reconstruc- ly referred to as Żółw (Turtle), and Grodziec Hill is situated in tions, the method is particularly useful in finding the diversity an exceptional place and is suggested for protection in the nature of natural habitats. It also provides the opportu- (Klimaszewski 1932, 1947; Rotter 1976/77; Alexandrowicz nity to characterise the most recent geological history of the 1978)(Figs. 1 and 6). It towers from the rocky ridge, leading studied area, while simultaneously indicating the diversity and to the place over the gorge where once a fortified settlement directions of environmental changes in its particular parts. It existed, and the remained fragmentary traces of it allowed the should be emphasised that the conclusions drawn from the reconstruction of its past appearance (Leńczyk 1983). The studies of the changes in the characteristics of natural habitats rock is 8 m high on the northern side, and 5 m high on the employing the subfossil molluscan assemblages permit one to southern side (Fig. 6a). It is a diagenetic concretion, which is obtain data that is essential and difficult-to-get by other exposed on the top ridge due to the resistance of sandstones methods. and conglomerates whose mineral components are strongly Malacological analysis been used to find the anthropogenic cemented with iron compounds. The rock is characterised by changes in the early period of written history recorded in sed- diverse lithological composition, very variable bedding, and iments forming low terraces in one of the streams of the the presence of traces of erosional washes (Fig. 6b). Tarnawka River drainage area. The material for studies includ- Sandstones are coarse grained and poorly sorted, and like ed 19 samples of fluvial sediments representing four profiles. conglomerates, contain numerous fragments of exotic rocks, The profiles are situated in the Owsianka Stream valley in the such as quartzites, hornstones, and the various varieties of section between the village of Jodłownik and the mouth of the limestones. The wall surfaces are clearly modelled by the pro- stream into the Tarnawka River (Fig. 1). Thus, they represent cesses of selective weathering. the neighbourhood situated south of the Natura 2000 area. All Geoheritage Fig. 5 Rocky forms gravitationally moving on the steep northern slope of exfoliation the weathering crusts. b Lithological and sedimentary the Szykowska Mont. a Fragment of the Big Stone scenery showing the sequences of beds exposed on the walls of Big Stone disintegration of the thick-bedded Lower Istebna Sandstones and the analysed profiles have similar forms of sediments. These natural environment in the Owsianka Stream valley, and par- are principally sandy or silty alluvial soils with the insertions ticularly those associated with human activities. These activ- of fine-grained gravels. In the floor part, coarse-grained ities undoubtedly had a profound effect on the processes oc- gravels appear, and sometimes, the outcrops of flysch forma- curring in the Tarnawka River drainage basin as well as in its tions forming rock blocks appear. The thickness of sediments part included in the Natura 2000 area. containing molluscan shells does not exceed 1 m. The analysis The malacological studies included the description of out- of malacofauna was aimed at characterising the changes of crops, the collection of samples, and laboratory processing Fig. 6 Sandstone tor called Turtle on the Grodziec Hill. a The view from east (photo by W. Głowacki). b Tor view from west showing sedimentary sequences and its resistance to weathering processes of the Lower Istebna Sandstones Geoheritage Table 1 Malacofauna of the deposits of the Owsianka stream valley F shade-loving species, O open-country species, M mesophilous between Jodłownik and Szyk Dolny. E ecological groups of molluscs species, W water species, SB symbol of species, Jd-I–Jd-IV profiles, 1– (based on Ložek 1964; Alexandrowicz and Alexandrowicz 2011), 19 samples E Taxon SB Profiles Jd-I Jd-II Jd-III Jd-IV F Platyla polita (Hartm.) Pp 1 28 F Ena montana (Drap.) Em 1 3 4 F Acanthinula aculeata (Müll.) Aa 4 F Daudebardia rufa (Drap.) Df 12 F Eucobresia nivalis (Dum. et Mort.) En 2 F Discus perspectives (Mühlf) Dp 40 F Discus rotundatus (Müll.) Dr 10 F Vitrea diaphana (Stud.) Vd 39 F Vitrea transsylvanica (Cless.) Vt 7 F Vitrea crystallina (Müll.) Vc 63 8 18 F Aegopinella minor (Stabile) Am 21 F Aegopinella pura (Ald.) Ap 49 F Ruthenica filograna (Rossm.) Rf 6 F Cochlodina laminata (Mont.) Cl 2 F Alinda biplicata (Mont.) Ab 7 8 F Vestia gulo (Bielz) Vg 45 F Vestia turgida (Rossm.) Vt 1 25 F Fruticicola fruticum (Müll.) Ff 41 3 F Perforatella bidentata (Gmel.) Pb 11 72 1 F Monachoides incarnatus (Müll.) Mi 2 55 2 2 F Monachoides vicinus (Rossm.) Mv 63 3 F Isognomostoma isognomostomos (Schröt.) Ii 13 7 F Chilostoma faustinum (Rossm) Cf 11 F Helix pomatia (L.) Hp 3 O Vertigo pygmaea (Drap.) Vp 2 O Pupilla muscorum (L.) Pm 12 7 3 4 O Vallonia costata (Müll.) Vs 9 54 O Vallonia pulchella (Müll.) Vl 59 8 41 217 O Cecilioides acicula (Müll.) Ca 39 M Carychium tridentatum (Risso) Ct 1 108 M Cochlicopa lubrica (Müll.) Cb 29 19 11 30 M Succinella oblonga Drap. So 19 41 10 27 M Columella edentula (Drap.) Ce 4 M Punctum pygmaeum (Drap.) Pg 1 M Vitrea contracta (West.) Vn 56 M Perpolita hammonis (Ström) Ph 2 17 M Limacidae Li 6 7 20 7 M Clausilia dubia Drap. Cd 1 2 1 M Laciniaria plicata (Drap.) Lp 1 4 W Bythinella austriaca (Fér) Ba 211 15 W Galba truncatula (Müll.) Gt 4 W Pisidium casertanum (Poli) Pc 19 W Pisidium personatum Malm Pr 62 Total species 23 39 15 10 Total specimens 100 1170 133 415 Indeterminate shell fragments 33 217 71 92 (flushing, drying, the removal of molluscan shells, and iden- (2011). The malacological profiles are characterised by small tifying the fauna as well as finding the numbers of particular thicknesses and little diversification of fauna. Its composition taxa). This material provided the basis of the reconstruction of and structure was presented in combined malacological spec- environmental changes carried out in accordance with the tra. The basis for separating fauna assemblages was the anal- standard methods of malacological analysis described by ysis of the dendrogram prepared applying the formula defined Ložek (1964) and Alexandrowicz and Alexandrowicz by Morisita (1959), which was performed with the use of the Geoheritage Fig. 7 Ecological and taxonomical composition of malacofauna from deposits of the Owsianka stream valley between Jodłownik and Szyk Dolny PAST software package (Hammer et al. 2001). The dendro- samples varied from 6 to 34, and the number of specimens gram enables grouping of samples which are characterised by varied from 14 to 322 (Table 1). similar species composition and the structure of assemblage. The ecological structure and species composition of the Owing to these, it allows pooling the samples and the malacofauna identified in particular profiles are presented in malacofauna occurring in them with a specific type of habitat Table 1 and Fig. 7. The shadow-loving species are the char- and—as a consequence—the palaeographic reconstructions acteristic and predominant component in profiles Jd-I and Jd- pertaining to the principal phases of the environmental chang- II (Fig. 7,Table 1). Both snails inhabiting dense forests es in the described area. The stratigraphic position of sedi- (Aegopinella pura, Ruthenica filigrana, Discus perspectivus), ments was found indirectly, based on comparisons with other the forms typical of translucent forests and shrubby zones similar profiles described in the neighbouring areas as well as (Fruticicola fruticum, Discus rotundatus), and shadow- directly through radiocarbon dating. The result of dating was loving species typical of moist habitats (Perforatella calibrated by the use of the OxCal 4.2 software package bidentata, Monachoides vicinus) are present, and their com- (Bronk Ramsey 2009). bined share exceeds 50%. In profiles Jd-III and Jd-IV (Fig. 1), The shell material included 43 taxa of molluscs (39 species the shadow-loving molluscs are practically absent. Their place of terrestrial snails, 2 species of water snails, and 2 species of is occupied by the snails of open grassy habitats (Vallonia mussels), representing a combined number of nearly 1900 pulchella and Vallonia costata). Worth mentioning is the pres- ence of Cecilioides acicula, which is an index taxon for specimens. The numbers of taxa occurring in particular Geoheritage This species is the common component of malacoenoses representing the period of written history. It was noted in very numerous sites of sediments dated as not older than 1000 years in the Podhale Basin, (Alexandrowicz 2010 , Alexandrowicz 2013; Alexandrowicz and Rybska 2013; Alexandrowicz et al. 2014a, b), the Pieniny Mts (Alexandrowicz 2004a, b, 2010; Alexandrowicz et al. 2016), and in the Flysch Carpathians (Alexandrowicz 2004a, b, 2009). The significant proportion of shade-loving species in- dicated that the malacoenosis in question corresponds to the phase preceding intensive settlement activities. It is likely that the age of the floor part of the alluvial soil series in the profile represented by Jd-I (1380 ± 70 years BP (581–694 and 747– 763 cal AD)) corresponds to just this period (Fig. 9). The intensified settlement activities falling on the period of the fourteenth century is a phenomenon commonly observed in the Carpathian Foothills, and within intermontane basins (Alexandrowicz and Alexandrowicz 1995; Alexandrowicz 2004a, b, 2013). It can be associated with the phase of warm Fig. 8 Cluster analysis of the malacofauna from deposits of the Owsianka climate, which is called the BMedieval Climatic Optimum^ stream valley between Jodłownik and Szyk Dolny (Grove and Swistur 1994; Hughes and Diaz 1995;Bradley 2000;Briffa 2000). The increase in human population num- agricultural areas. Water molluscs are represented by the taxa bers had a significant effect on the environment, with defor- typical for spring zones and running waters (Bythinella estation as its main symptom. The replacement of forests by austriaca, Pisidium personatum). Relatively numerous open grassland habitats led to the impoverishment of mesophilous species and evidently rarer hygrophiles are com- malacoenoses as well as to significant reconstruction of their plementary components (Fig. 7, Table 1). species compositions and structures. The accumulations of The analysis of the dendrogram (Fig. 8) indicates the pres- sandy alluvial soils identified in Jd-I and Jd-III profiles con- ence of three different fauna assemblages. The first fauna (A- taining poor fauna assemblage where the main components I) occurs in the profile Jd-II and is characterised by the pre- are snails typical of open environments, and mesophilous domination of shade-loving species and abundant occurrence forms (fauna of A-II type), can be associated with this period. of Bythinella austriaca and Pisidium personatum.This fauna The intensification of erosion, which led to the formation of an is typical of shaded habitats of variable moisture levels and the approx. 4-m-high terrace along the Owsianka Stream valley, presence of fast-moving mountain streams. The second type can be linked with increasingly cool and moist climate pre- of fauna (A-II) appears in the profiles Jd-I and Jd-III. It is vailing during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries (Fig. 9). characterised by a poor species composition, and the predom- This phase corresponds to the older part of the Little Ice Age ination of snails is typical of open grassy biotopes (Vallonia (Bradley and Jones 1993;Bradley 2000;Briffa 2000;Jones pulchella and Vallonia costata). The third type (A-III) is sim- and Mann 2004). Similar phenomena are observed in valleys ilar to the type represented by A-II, but it contains numerous of a number of Carpathian rivers (Starkel 1960, 1985, 1996, shells of Cecilioides acicula. 2005; Starkel et al. 2006;Alexandrowicz 2013). The youngest The knowledge of the history of human settlements in the malacoenosis identified with the low terrace is characterised Owsianka Stream valley is essential to the characterising of by the occurrence of many Cecilioides acicula shells, indicat- the diversification of the molluscan assemblages identified ing the presence of arable lands in close vicinity. The above- there. The oldest records of the village of Jodłownik date back described terrace is inserted into an older system, approx. 4 m to the fourteenth century. This period can be linked with the high, which was formed during the older part of the Little Ice influx of human groups into the area and with the onset of Age. In accordance with the data on the development of the anthropogenic pressure manifested primarily by disappear- river network and the intensity of fluvial processes in the ance of forests, and replacing them by open grassland habitats, Carpathians, the accumulation of the lowest system of terraces and later, by arable fields. Viewed from this perspective, the occurred at the break of the eighteenth and nineteenth centu- assemblage identified in the Jd-II profile (fauna of A-I type) ries, whereas the cutting of sediments can be correlated with with a considerable proportion of forest species should be the increase in flood intensities falling on the second part of considered the oldest. Its stratigraphic position can be indirect- the nineteenth century (Starkel 2005;Gębica 2013;Gębica ly ascertained based on the presence of Bythinella austriaca. et al. 2016)(Fig. 9). Geoheritage Fig. 9 Environmental changes of Owsianka stream valley between Jodłownik and Szyk Dolny during historical times Concluding Remarks and its tributaries, a ban on building developments in the val- leys, and a ban on the deforestation of hill slopes. The studies in the Natura 2000 site that encompasses the One of the most important elements which determines the Tarnawka River valley, reaching into its geological and histor- natural values of protected areas is their unique and separate ical past, enriched the motives of its previous valuation. At the nature, particularly with respect to the features of the environ- same time, the results obtained point to the need to extend the ment prevailing in their surroundings. Such diversity stems area in view of the good opportunity to present the diversity in from a number of factors, natural components (geological the broader context of the natural habitats, typical of the valley structure, land relief, fauna and flora), and from the changes and its surroundings in the Carpathian Foothills. Maintaining in the environment over time. In this second aspect, human the conditions for the natural development of the whole drain- activities are of particular significance. The possibility to re- agebasinof theTarnawkaRiver will primarily require the in- construct the phases, nature, and intensity of anthropogenic troduction of a ban involving technical regulation of its course pressure is of fundamental significance to the functioning of Geoheritage protected areas and to the undertaking of adequate protective References measures. On the one hand, the malacological analysis applied in the presented study indicated the presence of a phase of Alexandrowicz Z (1977) The origin of sandstone tors in the Polish Western Carpathians. Bull Acad Pol Sci Sci Terre 25(2):83–90 particularly intensive human activity and the dramatic change Alexandrowicz Z (1978) Skałki piaskowcowe zachodnich Karpat of environmental conditions in the immediate vicinity of the fliszowych (Engl. summ. Sandstone tors of the Western Flysch protected area. On the other hand, the narrow gorge section of Carpathians). Prace Geologiczne Komisji Nauk Geol PAN Oddz w the Tarnawka River valley, having a surface relief that is dis- Krakowie 113:1–87 Alexandrowicz WP (2004a) Molluscan assemblages of Late Glacial and advantageous from the viewpoint of agricultural management Holocene calcareous tufas in Southern Poland. Folia Ouaternaria 75: (steep, partly rocky slopes), has principally retained its natural 1–309 character, representing the features of habitats from before the Alexandrowicz Z (2004b) Important geosites of Poland in relation to the phase of intensive settlement activities. The malacological Ecological Network Natura 2000. In: Ber A, Alexandrowicz Z, Balabanis P (eds) Geological heritage concept, conservation and studies indicated that the protected section of the Tarnawka protection policy in Central Europe. Polish Geological Institute, River valley retained its distinction throughout several of the Special Papers 13, pp 41–48 most recent centuries. This fact underscores its major natural Alexandrowicz Z (2008) Sandstone rocky forms in the Polish values and the necessity for protecting it. It also indicates the Carpathians attractive for education and tourism. Prz Geol 56(8/1): 680–687 purposefulness of undertaking malacological analyses when Alexandrowicz WP (2009) Malakofauna górnoholoceńskich martwic developing the characteristics of protected areas. wapiennych w Beskidach Zachodnich (południowa Polska) (Engl. The current data on the abiotic elements of natural habitats summ. Malacofauna of Upper Holocene calcareous tufa in the in the national Natura 2000 areas are generally not sufficient Western Beskidy Mts (Southern Poland)). Geologia Kwartalnik AGH 35:175–200 for forecasting their natural and/or anthropogenic changes and Alexandrowicz WP (2010) Molluscan assemblages of recent calcareous threats. As a consequence, keeping the relatively permanent tufa in Podhale Basin and Pieniny Mts (Southern Poland). Folia state of affairs for retaining the required habitat conditions is Malacol 18(3):99–112 problematic unless the countermeasures against threats via Alexandrowicz WP (2013) Molluscan communities in Late Holocene other protective measures or economic use of the area are fluvial deposits as an indicator of human activity: a study in Podhale Basin in South Poland. Ekologia Bratislava 32:111–125 not attempted in a sufficient time. After the 25-year long pro- Alexandrowicz SW, Alexandrowicz WP (1995) Quaternary molluscan cess of creating the Natura 2000 network, its functioning can assemblages of the Polish Carpathians. Studia Geomorphologica provide a convincing argument that (not only in the areas Carpatho-Balcanica 29:41–54 covered by monitoring schemes) there is an interdependence Alexandrowicz SW, Alexandrowicz Z (2006) Rocky edge and malacocenoses of the Żurawnica Ridge (Polish Western between the occurrence of abiotic and biotic elements in var- Carpathians). Ekológia (Bratislava) 25(2):151–165 ious types of natural habitats. The current challenge is a formal Alexandrowicz SW, Alexandrowicz WP (2011) Analiza malakologiczna recognition of this integrity in the implementation of the plans metody badań i interpretacji (Engl. summ. Malacological analyses of Natura 2000. methods of investigation and interpretation). Rozpr Wydz Przyrodniczego PAU 3:5–302 The integration of geodiversity and biodiversity is interde- Alexandrowicz Z, Margielewski W (2010) Impact of mass movements on pendent and cohesive parts of nature in all protected areas, and geo- and biodiversity in the Polish Outer (Flysch) Carpathians. this was one of the main messages recommended in the Geomorphology 123:290–304 Declaration of the VIII International ProGEO Symposium held Alexandrowicz WP, Rybska E (2013) Environmental changes of intramontane basins derived from malacological analysis of profile in Reykjavik in 2015 (Declaration of Reykjavik 2015). The of calcareous tufa in Niedzica (Podhale Basin, Southern Poland). strategy of this message pertaining to the Ecological Network Carpathian J Earth Environ Sci 8(4):13–26 Natura 2000 requires the application of a relevant EU directive Alexandrowicz Z, Dyduch-Falniowska A, Mróz W (2004a) The Pattern that would demand recording and checking the status as well as of geo- and biodiversity conservation in Poland, In: Parkes MA (ed.) Natural and cultural landscapes—the geological foundation. protecting of abiotic elements of natural habitats. Proceedings of a Conference, Royal Irish Academy, Dublin 2002, pp 53–56 Acknowledgments Special thanks for Professor dr hab Stefan Witold Alexandrowicz Z, Margielewski W, Perzanowska J (2004b) European Alexandrowicz for malacological materials. Ecological Network NATURA 2000 in relation to landslide areas diversity: a case study in the Polish Carpathians. 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Geoheritage – Springer Journals
Published: May 28, 2018
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