Original paper

The situation of Trollius europaeus L. (Ranunculaceae) in the north-east of Central Europe — history, current changes and conservation

Lemke, Tristan

Abstract

Trollius europaeus is a herbaceous perennial of moist fen grasslands and can usually be found at montane to (sub-)alpine elevations or in boreal environments in most parts of its range. In the north-eastern lowlands of Central Europe T. europaeus has experienced a considerable decline since the 1960s, basically due to intensive agricultural land use. It is a threatened species in this region today. Information from different sources was compiled to summarize the historic distribution as well as the changes to date for this region and to give an overview on its current status in north-eastern Germany and northern Poland. A smaller study area was chosen for a survey of localities from which T. europaeus has previously been reported or is known to be present. Data on presence or absence, population size and type of land use were recorded. The general trend of decline in occupied localities could be confirmed for the representative study area and demonstrates that, despite conservation efforts, the loss of populations still continues. Most extant populations were found to be small and more than half of them persist under presumably unfavourable habitat conditions. The efficiency of protection efforts and future directions to improve conservation strategies for T. europaeus are discussed.

Keywords

trollius europaeusdistributiondeclinecurrent statuspopulation surveysmall populationslong-term survivalconservation