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Raking the fled on xerothermic grasslands (Action C5)
The process of xerothermic grasslands degradation caused by their abandonment is very complex. Such places are highly threatened by ecological succession, bushes and trees overgrow; moreover they might be afforested or ploughed. New, non-native plant species might occur here and - as a consequence - a thick layer of not decomposed biomass may accumulate. On well conserved xerothermic grasslands the production biomass is rather low and plant debris are eaten by animals, taken with wind or burned due to accidental fires. On degraded xerothermic grasslands highly fertilized and overgrown by invasive grasses, the accumulation of fled is very high. The accumulated biomass affects negatively native flora and fauna typical for xerothermic grasslands. Sunlight does not reach to the lover parts of plants and several xerothermic plant species growing just above the soil, are not able to rise. Moreover, the fled does not allow seeds to germinate as they do not have access to the soil. Accumulated fled is also a source of organic compounds and humidity which are serious disturbances on xerothermic grasslands not only for plants but also for small animals which need well warmed soil.

Unfortunately the problem presented above was also found on some of xerothermic grasslands included in our project. That is why we accepted the idea of Mr Wiaczesław Michalczuk from Zomojski Natural Company to rake out the fled. First of all we decided to rake the fled on sites where Echium rubrum was found, because this species protection is one of the most important tasks in our project. During one day, four people managed to remove the fled from two endangered sites were Echium rubrum grows. Due to this action, the soil was exposed and seeds of this rare plant will be able to germinate in the next year.