Biodiversity surveys of grassland and coastal habitats in 2021 as a documentation of pre-war status in southern Ukraine

Skobel N., Borovyk D., Vynokurov D., Moysiyenko I., Babytskiy A., Bednarska I., Bezsmertna O., Chusova O., Dayneko P., Dengler J., Guarino R., Kalashnik K., Khodosovtsev A., Kolomiychuk V., Kucher O., Kuzemko A., Shapoval V., Umanets O., Zagorodniuk N., Zakharova M. & Dembicz I.
Biodiversity Data Journal
11: e99605 [19 p.]
Background: This paper presents two sampling-event datasets with occurrences of vascular plants, bryophytes and lichens collected in May-June 2021 in southern Ukraine. We aimed to collect high-quality biodiversity data in an understudied region and contribute it to international databases and networks. The study was carried out during the 15th Eurasian Dry Grassland Group (EDGG) Field Workshop in southern Ukraine and the Dark Diversity Network (DarkDivNet) sampling in the Kamianska Sich National Nature Park. By chance, these datasets were collected shortly before the major escalation of the Russian invasion in Ukraine. Surveyed areas in Kherson and Mykolaiv Regions, including established monitoring plots, were severely affected by military actions in 2022. Therefore, collected data are of significant value in the context of biodiversity documentation. The knowledge about the biodiversity of this area will help to assess the environmental impact of the war and plan restoration of the damaged or destroyed habitats. The first preliminary analysis of collected data demonstrates the biodiversity richness and conservation value of studied grassland habitats. New information: We provide sampling-event datasets with 7467 occurrences, which represent 708 taxa (vascular plants, bryophytes and lichens) collected in 275 vegetation relevés. Amongst them, vascular plants are represented by 6665 occurrences (610 taxa), lichens - 420 (46) and bryophytes - 381 (51). Several new species were reported for the first time at the national or regional level. In particular, one vascular plant species (Torilis pseudonodosa) and two lichen species (Cladonia conista, Endocarpon loscosii) were new to Ukraine. One vascular plant (Stipa tirsa), two species of bryophytes (Rhynchostegium megapolitanum, Ptychostomum torquescens) and three species of lichens (Cladonia cervicornis, C. symphycarpa, Involucropyrenium breussi) were recorded for the first time for the Kherson Region. Additionally, these datasets contain occurrences of taxa with narrow distribution, specialists of rare habitat types and, therefore, represented by a low number of occurrences in relevant biodiversity databases and particularly in GBIF. This publication highlights the diversity of natural vegetation and its flora in southern Ukraine and raises conservation concerns. Keywords: bryophytes, dry grasslands, flora, lichens, occurrence data, sampling-event data, steppe, vascular plants.
Wednesday, 08 March 2023 14:23