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Grassland vegetation of karstic poljes of Croatia

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Chapter Summary

Among the plant species in grasslands of the poljes, there are a few which are common to all the Dinaric karstic fields. One of them is the endemic species Scilla litardierei, distributed through Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro. The grassland of Molinio-Lathyretum pannonici is the most characteristic type of the karstic fields in Croatia, as well as in nearby Bosnia and Herzegovina. This habitat is inundated in the cold season and during most of the growing season the soil is wet due to flooding or ground water. Large areas of dry grasslands or part of them consist of the community Festucetum rupicolae-vallesiacae. This vegetation is ecologically and biogeographically transitional between the orders Festucetalia valesiacae on the continental side, and the Scorzoneretalia villosae on the sub-mediterranean side. One must hope that the land of the karstic poljes in Croatia will in future, be managed to maintain their diverse and colourful grasslands.

Keywords: Croatia; Dinaric karstic fields; Festucetalia valesiacae; grassland vegetation; karstic poljes; Molinio-Lathyretum pannonici grassland; Scilla litardierei



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