The development of pastoral farming and agriculture contributed to the formation of meadow communities. Originally, such places were formed as a result of natural disasters. The burning of native forests in order to obtain land for pastures and farming caused the distraction of native vegetation, but also allowed the formation of new communities containing plants that had been rare or evenmissing in those areas before. The rich communities of picturesque mountain meadows exist thanks to human activities, however while giving up the traditional farming method, the human being has also caused their substantial transformation. Grassland ploughing aimed at crop intensification, soil fertilizing with accidentally chosen chemical fertilizers, and extra sowing of improved grass mixtures have all caused the fast elimination of many species and loss of natural features the semi- natural meadow communities have before. After a few years, the resulted plant associations become less valuable from the economic point of view. Grassland communities of various kind cover more than 300 ha of the area of the Stołowe Mountains National Park They are often found on the plateau of the middle mountain planation in the form of poor post-farming communities and impoverished pastures. Some of them are characterized by preponderance of bent grass or soft velvet grass, and the wettest of them are dominated by tufted hair grass. Small patches can be distinguished with the preponderance of subalpine species - common thistle. The species blooms in summer developing capitula of dark purple flowers 5 cm in diameter. Its leaves covered with white tomentom from the bottom show a great variety in shape. On the post-farming meadows, there are rare occurrences of protected Gladiolus imbricatus and monk's rhubarb - a subalpine species with large egg-shaped leaves. In the mat-grass swards (their name comes from the mat-grass that can be found there) developed on poor soils, mountain tobacco can be spotted, unfortunately in rare occasions. This beautifulperennial plant with golden-yellowish flowers occurred in large quantities some time ago in the area now covered by the Stołowe Mountains National Park. A number of its stands, also in other parts of the country have been destroyed by misusing it for curative purposes. Among the meadows in the Stołowe Mountains, rich peaty meadows are considered semi-natural and least degraded, containing rich populations of some protected species. Globe flower, locally called "the rose of Kłodzko" is of special importance in May, as it is considered a symbol of the region. In the wet meadows, there are large fields of the golden- yellowish heads swinging in the wind among spring-green grass. Globe flower can be admired, among other places, in the region of Skałki Łężyckie being a fragment of extensive meadows on the middle level of mountain planation at the foot of Narożnik massif. Single sandstone rocks scattered in the open field of long grass and accompanied by branchy trees give an impression of the African savannah and therefore this area is often referred to as "Sawanna Łużycka". Obviously, the vegetation and formation of these grass communities have nothing to do with a real savannah although the landscape is really amazing. Globe flower is usually accompanied with Veratrum lobelianum, a beautiful mountain plant reaching a height of 1.5 m with wide elliptic leaves, and orchids including marsh orchid. In autumn, the wet meadows are covered with saffron-like flowers of autumn saffron. The richest communities that develop on fertile and not so wet soils are referred to as Sudety orchid meadow. Apart from the above mentioned protected plants found in the globe flower meadows, the inhabitants include orchids, such as common twayblade, fragrant orchid, early purple orchid, and Traunsteinera globosa that was confirmed after the second war in the Stołowe Mountains, being the only stand in the Sudety Mountains. Among other protected plants, the following can be found: columbine, ball-headed mixed-flower, hairy gentian and gentiana praecox. The orchid meadow communities are among the most valuable in the whole area of the Park. Among meadow species growing in moderately wet habitats, Lilium bulbiferum is the most interesting. This lily, featuring the largest flowers among all wild plants in our country, is very rare in Poland. It is known that, except for a few stands in the Słolowe Mountains National Park and in Kłodzko Region, it can only be found in the vicinities of Dzianisz at the foot of the Tatry Mountains. Generally, the grassy communities, covering merely 5% of the Park's area, implicate its biodiversity, since these communities contain nearly 40% of vascular plant species. Furthermore, the meadows are an essential element of thecultural landscape of the Stołowe Mountains. Therefore, they must be maintained. A new problem associated with them, that appeared in the recent years is meadow overgrowing. The total discontinuance of animal grazing and grass mowing lead to the rapid increase in content of nitrogen compounds in the soil. In such situation, the meadow is approached first by nitrogen-hungry species, then tall perennial weeds such as Fuchs's ragwort, and then by willows and birch trees. In the final stage, birch woods are formed with very poor undergrowth. In the brook valleys and places of water exudation, the patches of water-associated herbal communities are found, in which white butterbur, a mountain plant with large round leaves dominates. A small area within the Park's borders is occupied by the so-called synanthropic communities, i.e. vegetation that accompanies the human being. They are particularly well formed within Pasterka, the only village located in the Park's area. The world of vascular plants in the Park totals to about 650 species. Among them, 28 species are fully protected under the Polish law, 11 species are enlisted as the endangered species in Poland or are included in the Polish Red Book of Plants, and 9 species are subject of partly protection. Furthermore, 16 more species of vascular plants that inhabit the region are considered as locally valuable, i.e. endangered of extinction or rare in the Sudety Mountains and in the Lower Silesia. Here, it is worth noting that within the areas of National Parks, all the species are subject to protection.
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