the population of Goniolimon tataricum L.

from Mihesu de Campie (Mures county)

The area (Dealul Mare Hill, Morut grazing land, "Coada Taului") is one of the most important habitats with xeric and mesoxeric vegetation from Transylvania, which remained totally isolated in the central-southern part of the Transylvanian Plain (Campia Transilvaniei)

This population was discovered and published by I. Resmerita (1961) along with other rare important species like Nepeta ucranica, Astragalus dasyanthus. Another species, A vesicarius was not confirmed by us while we saw in 2001 Hesperis tristis here.

We found again the site in 1999 and since then we re-visited it many times, the last occasion being in august 2008 when we mapped the species here.

It is placed in a former cattle grazing land which was, in 1962, planted densely with Pinus nigra, Fraxinus ornus, Robinia pseudacaccia. Fortunately, a large clearing remained on the south-western cline of the hill where the rare plants and a splendid xeric-mesoxeric steppe ecosystem survived.

Unfortunately, here there is only a residual population, consisting of no more than 14 individuals, located in the most xeric type of steppe grasslands from western Palearctic, Agropyro-Kochietum prostratae (though as in most part of Transylvanian forest-steppe, Kochia prostrata is absent in this very location). Curiously, one of main factors which determins the reducing of the population is the total absence of grazing since the forestry plantation was implemented in 1962. A good management of the site, including some supervised grazing and artificial reproduction of the species (using only the local seeds!) should be implemented as soon as possible. This will have to take into account also the other rare species present and most important, the entire habitat as a whole.

Below, there are two Google Earth pictures revealing the location. The Google Earth .kmz file with the location can be dowloaded here . It can be opened also with Global Mapper and transformed in a .gpx file which can be opened then with MapSource from Garmin and transferred into Garmin GPS units for field work.

The file represent the situation of the population as on 23rd of August 2009, when it consisted of 14 individuals (13 grouped in 'polygon1'  and 1 isolated).
















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