Fanatele Lunei de Jos / Cocosu Hill meadow-steppe habitat

A beautiful site which presumably is the north-westernmost of all from Transylvania

Situated much to the north-west in the region then we thought the limits of the typical Transylvanian forest-steppe actually would be this beautiful and full of tranquility site was discovered by dr. L. Rakossy from BBU while he investigated the populations of some host plants for the lepidopters he studies. The single rare plant here encountered is Verbascum nigrum (scattered individuals or small groups of individuals) and the local populations of Clematis integrifolia, Clematis recta and Centaurea triumfetii ssp. axillaris are fragmented and composed rather of small patches or isolated individuals. The most peculiar and precious feature of the site is the fact that it still contains some large patches of Molinietum coeruleae a kind of mesohygrophyle association so seldom encountered in the whole Transylvania. They are however under continuous contraction due to overgrazing. The single other meadow-steppe habitat from Transylvania containing large patches of Molinietum is the one between Podeni and Pietroasa - Fanatele Pietroasei (Ceagzului).

Thinopyrum intermedium invaded a lot of land here especially near the borders of the site and the ruderalisation is on an ascendent course. This clearly reflects the effects of the seasonal sheep grazing but however the site is much endangered by the presence of a great herd of sheep right near to the east (in 2010 there will be 1700!) of a sibian origin. The owner of the herd exposed his plans to buy or rent the hayfield patches from the owners who did not mow any patch of grassland in late July 2009. However at the beginning of August until late October and in early spring the sheep are free to graze in the perimeter, ravaging the site.

The file that contains the spatial extension of the site is here.



















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