Heavy metal vegetation in the Olkusz region (southern Poland) - preliminary studies
Grassland communities of areas with high levels of zinc and lead in the Olkusz region (southern Poland) were studied. They developed spontaneously on mine waste deposited at the beginning of the 20th century. Twenty phytosociological releves in two areas are presented, along with pH and the zinc and lead concentrations in the upper soil layer. The soils were shallow, pH-neutral or slightly alkaline, and with very high heavy metal content (Zn 3.3–10.4%, Pb 0.32–1.66%). The grasslands were generally short and rather dense, and floristically similar to the Armerietum halleri Libbert 1930 association described by many authors from metalliferous areas of Germany; they differed from German ones by the presence of Biscutella laevigata and by the constant and often abundant occurrence of some vascular plants and lichen species (e.g., Rumex thyrsifl orus, Cardaminopsis arenosa, Diploschistes muscorum, Verrucaria muralis). Difficulties in comparing phytosociological materials from various areas are discussed. The paper points to the need to conserve grassland islands in the monotonous, seriously degraded landscape of the area.