B3.5 BIOINDICATION MONITORING OF THE ENVIRONMENT
Regular monitoring of living organisms at selected localities
When assessing environmental quality by means of chemical an physical quantities the assessment question may ask for their environmental effects. Pollutants are not, however, affecting the environment separately yet as a whole set of affecting factors. In many times resulting effects is reinforced by their synergic effect. Methodology of the bioindication monitoring observes the response of organisms to the sum of all factors, which affects the environment on the given site. Then special attention is paid to organisms more sensitive then the humans and therefore signalling potential effects on the human population in advance.
In Prague this monitoring has been carried out over long-term, since 1984. In five-year cycle there is inventory taking of selected groups of flora and fauna, having high information value, carried out continuously over year at five selected areas. The model localities are Divoká Šárka Valley, Prokopské Valley, Pitkovické Valley and Uhříněveská Game Preserve, confluence of the Vltava River and the Berounka River, and Troja Valley. Repetition and benchmarking with the previously found results enables to evaluate the development trend. The evaluation is arranged for by the Department of the Environment of the Prague City Hall in cooperation with the Chapter 01/68 of the ČSOP.
In 2009 in the protected area of Prokopské Valley was monitored. The valley evaluation was carried out on the basis of the inventory taking in groups of lichens, mosses, higher vascular plants, molluscs, butterflies, Carabidae beetles, amphibians and reptiles, and birds. Prokopské Valley can be, according to numerous indicators, considered the most interesting and richest locality in Prague concerning its biodiversity due to higher variety of substrates compared to the comparable area of Divoká Šárka Valley.
In the last century deterioration of the environment was monitored, namely due to atmospheric transfer of urban, as well as agrochemical pollution. After 1989 affects of certain pollutants (SO2, Pb) has been reduced which indicates a number of groups of the organisms monitored by halting of their progressive degradation detected till then and transition to a steady state of environmental quality, and in certain indicators even partial revitalisation has been observed. The still important and persistent pollutant is nitrogen oxides from increasing traffic exhaust gases and the nitrogenous eutrophication and invasions of nitrophilous organisms. At present major changes to the area of Prokopské Valley are caused by spontaneous as well as controlled changes to vegetation cover. The locality protected wilderness has been malignantly affected by intensive construction activities at the edge of the protection zone and increase in recreational activities as well.
Fig. B3.5.1 Prokopské Valley – numbers of species of Carabidae beetles by group of bioindicators and season
Fig. B3.5.2 Prokopské Valley – decrease in endangered species of higher vascular plants