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Lopenik Area

LANDSLIPS AND FENS

If you have already walked through the White Carpathian landscape, you may have noticed that many of the slopes here are uneven, and sometimes look as if they had been torn. This is because of the bedrock – the flysch. Flysch, ancient ocean sediment, consists of alternating layers of sandstones and marls (or shales). The individual layers have very different properties; sandstones are quite hard, while the marls (actually ancient compressed mud) are very soft and have a great capacity to soak up water.

landslips

After heavy rainfall, or after meltdown in spring, the heavy water-soaked layers slide along the hard sandstone layers causing landslips. When the top layers of soil are torn as a result, the water comes to the surface creating springs. At places with steady water supply, small wetlands – fens – are established. Usually no more than several square meters large, these “islands” in the sea of meadows and pastures are real “gems”; they offer very different living conditions from those of the surrounding grasslands and by doing so significantly increase the diversity of the plant and animal life here.

fen with Cotton-grass

They can be spotted from afar, especially when decorated with the white fluffy heads of the flowering Cotton-grass (Eriophorum) but they are home of many more protected species of plants, rare algae, and small invertebrates. Fens are very sensitive to changes, which makes them one of the most threatened natural habitats. Hundreds of fens in the White Carpathians have already disappeared due to draining, fertilization, trampling by cattle, artificial conversion into ponds, and many of them because they had “just” stopped being mown.

Cotton-grass

GPS position

N 48° 56.848', E 17° 48.454'
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Contact

Vzdělávací a informační středisko Bílé Karpaty, o.p.s.
Marie Petrů
Bartolomějské náměstí 47, 698 01 Veselí nad Moravou
Tel.:518 322 545
e-mail:visbk@bilekarpaty.cz
http://bilekarpaty.cz/vis