ECOSYSTEM REHABILITATION IN THE RETEZAT MOUNTAINS

We partially restored 3 hectares of mixed forest in a degraded area by planting the original plant species of woody vegetation.

 

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Our goal is to reintroduce the same tree species as the forest composition before 1975, thus helping to restore the ecosystem functions of the area.

In 1975, the area, inclusive the embankment, was completely converted, by destroying the mixed forest in order to create a flat space to accommodate buildings serving as part of the Râul Mare-Retezat hydroelectric plant.

 

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Satellite image of the area.

The soil is of anthropic origin, so in order the maximize the survival rate of the seedlings we planted the seedlings in holes placed in a random pattern, filled with soil transported to the site – mixed with the humus rich soil collected from the edges of the site. Furthermore, every seedling was watered after planting.

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The planting method seems to be appropriate. In 2018 we planted 1200 Fagus s. and 400 Picea a, with mortality in the first year well below the acceptable levels.

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On 28-31 March and 4-7 April 2019 with the help of 24 volunteers (mainly students from the Faculty of the Biology and Geology of the Babes-Bolyai University) and 6 workers we planted 5800 common beech (Fagus sylvatica) 2900 European spruce (Picea abies) 800 silver fir (Abies alba) and 500 common alder (Alnus glutinosa) saplings.

During the planting we used 22 thousand liters of water, 6 cubic meter of soil. The owner of the land – the Rotunda SRL financially supported the work.

The more than 10 000 saplings started to grow slowly. We are going to continually monitor the plantation and take care of the planted trees.

Installed fences, and informative banners block the access of sheep. The herbaceous plants are going to be removed from around the saplings at the end of the vegetation period.

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The shoots of the young trees are a preferred food source of deer. We keep them away by using sheep wool-sheep fat.