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The 7th meeting of the European Dry Grassland Group (EDGG) in Slovakia (Action D8)
Most of our team members attended the 7th European Dry Grassland Meeting. EDGG is an association of persons from throughout Europe involved in studying or conserving grasslands, meadows and other assemblages of low vegetation of an open character generally called "grasslands" (the EDGG website is listed under the heading "Links").

The conference was held from May 28 - June 1, 2010 in Smolenice, Slovakia, at a picturesque, reconstructed castle from the 19th century. The papers presented at the conference related to biodiversity, threats, forms and ways of protecting various types of grassland habitats. A poster session planned at the end of the first day enabled participants to engage in extensive discussions about the research that was presented.

Our staff members presented on the following topics:
  1. Changes over 45-years in the calcareous xerothermic vegetation of the lower Oder River valley (NW Poland) (K. Barañska, M. J. D±browski, M. ¯mihorski).
  2. The rediscovery of Anacamptis pyramidalis in Poland (P. Pluciñski).
  3. The diversity of calcareous xeric grasslands in Poland (K. Barañska, M. ¯mihorski).
  4. The xerothermic grasslands of Borowa Góra hill (Lublin Province, Tomaszów Lubelski County, SE Poland) - a potential Natura 2000 site (P. Chmielewski, A. Cwener).
  5. The xerothermic limestone grasslands of the Dzia³y Grabowieckie region (Lublin Upland, SE Poland) (A. Cwener).
By participating in the conference, we had an excellent opportunity to exchange experiences and discuss issues related to organizing activities for grassland protection with others who are implementing grassland conservation projects in various parts of Europe.

At a closed meeting of EDGG members, our group proposed to organize the 10th EDGG meeting in 2013 in Poland. This will be a conference where we will be able to summarize the LIFE project being implemented.

The last three days of the conference included site visits to:
  • Tematínske Vrchy Mountains
  • Biele Karpaty Mountains
  • Devínska Kobyla and Sandberg
This was an excellent opportunity to observe many plant species that are rare in Poland, as well as grasslands in habitats that do not occur in Poland. The many species of the Stipa grasslands in the Tematínske Vrchy Mountains were of particular interest, with such characteristic species as: Stipa eriocaulis, Onosma visianii, Jovibarba globifera and Seseli osseum. In the vicinity of forests and edge assemblages, we admired specimens of Limodorum abortivum and Loranthus europaeus. On the semi-dry grasslands at the border of the Czech Republic and Slovakia, we were surprised by the richness of orchid species, especially the inconspicuous representative of the Ophrys genus - O. holubyana. Other impressive species also grow here, such as Iris variegata and Polygala major. We were able to marvel at the most species-rich xerothermic grasslands and fringe assemblages during the third site visit to the "Devinska Kobyla" reserve, with rare species or those absent in countries along the Baltic, such as: Muscari tenuiflorum, Peucedanum arenarium, Chamaecytisus austriacus, Iris pumila, Scorzonera hispanica, Himantoglossum adriaticum, or Orobanche gracilis.

We are most grateful to the organizers and other participants for the substantial discussions and most pleasant atmosphere.