- What can we find at Great Szczeliniec?

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What can we find at Great Szczeliniec?


The most interesting are the plant species, which adapted to harsh conditions and survived on rocky ridges, small rock ledges, damp chasms and dark crevices. These microhabitats constitute a living place for such communities, which are now among the most natural.


What plants thrive in such unfavourable conditions?


Indeed, the living conditions here are difficult, however, thanks to employment of special adaptations some plants are still capable of growing here and can manage quite well. Various rare mosses, hepatic and ferns grow here in great numbers. Great Szczeliniec also contains the most numerous localities of luminous moss, which at a certain stage of its growth (protonema) develops specific cells which seem to glow green.


All of these plants are rather small.


Conditions existing on rock ledges mean that those species have the most success growing there but sometimes there are much larger plants. A very interesting forest community managed to grow here – mountain pine forest.


But pine is a lowland species!


That is true, yet there are large alpine areas covered by pine forest which were introduced there artificially. The exception is the ecotype of Scots pine which grows on rocks. Such a pine forest is a rare but natural communities which also contain numerous birches. Their height is significantly lower than in lowlands, and these small trees are often quite old. They did not manage to grow to full size because of the adverse conditions.