Invertebrates of the Palava Biosphere Reserve of the UNESCO


Southern Moravia is a unique region in which, in a relatively small area, one can find such markedly different ecosystems as steppes and floodplain forests and meadows, occupying two extremes of an imaginary humidity sere and showing considerable species diversity of their biota. The whole situation is enhanced by the geography and climate of the study area. The Czech name of the area, Palava, is being derived from the dialectal word "pálava", denoting a place scorched by glowing sun. The name fits well to the sun-parched limestone cliffs of the Pavlovske vrchy Hills and the arid loess slopes in their surroundings. The Palava Protected Landscape Area was proclaimed in 1976. In 1986, this territory was included in the world-wide network of biosphere reserves of UNESCO. There are two Ramsar sites (within the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat - Ramsar Convention) at the study area: Floodplain of lover Dyje River, and Lednice fishponds. Moreover, Lednice - Valtice Area has been proclaimed a World Heritage Site (UNESCO) in December 1996, as a unique culture landscape, documenting harmonious co-existence of man and nature for centuries.

The study of invertebrates occurring in the Palava B.R. (in its proposed extended scope) has been aimed for the following reasons: (1) the available data on invertebrates living in the territory of the Palava B.R. are scattered over several hundreds of papers; (2) several monitoring programmes were implemented or are running in the study area, including selected invertebrate groups; (3) so far, only a part of the results of faunistic investigations in the target area have been published, and the preparation of this prodromus has become a welcome opportunity to publish the rest. A factor limiting the inclusion of groups has been the level of their knowledge and the aims of the native specialists. Thus, for example, Enchytreidae, and some Acarina have remained untreated.


This project was supported by grants from the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic no. 206/93/2053 (1993-1995), no. 206/96/0997 (1996-1998), no. 206/97/0339 (1997-1999), from the Ministry of Education of the Czech Republic no. PG 97126 (1999) and from the Masaryk University Brno CEZ: MSM:143100010 (1999-2003).


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