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      Biosphere Reserve Information



© Photo: Erika Stanciu
  General Description   This biosphere reserve is situated in the southern Carpathian Mountains and has an altitude range from low mountain ranges to alpine landscape. Peak Peleaga with 2,509 meters above sea level is the highest elevation in the biosphere reserve. The Retezat Massif is a well-defined upland block, separated on most sides from the rest of the range by deep valleys and to the north overlooking the Tertiary Hateg basin. The area was glaciated in the quaternary and has many landforms caused by glacial erosion. This biosphere reserve is significant for the conservation of European mountain forest diversity. The vegetation is very diverse due to the varied relief and the junction of three floristic regions in this area.
The biosphere reserve is not inhabited, however rural communities outside the biosphere reserve depend on agriculture, livestock raising and forestry. Impacts on the environment come from overgrazing and recreation activities. In this region, people from different origins (Romania, Hungary, Germany and Serbia) are living together.
  Major ecosystem type   Temperate and sub-polar broadleaf forests or woodlands (Coniferous forest, Mesophyllous broad-leaved forests, Mixed broadleaved and coniferous woods, Cryophyllous alpine grasslands, Mesophyllous grasslands, Saxicole and petrophyllous formations, Cryophyllous small alpine bushes, Subalpine bushes)
  Major habitats & land cover types   a) Natural and semi-natural habitats:
Alpine and subalpine grasslands; alpine and subalpine scrub; bogs, mires, fens; cliffs, rock outcrops and shelves (siliceous and basic); coniferous woodland, deciduous broadleaved forest; dry grasslands; inland surface waters (running and still), together with their littoral zones; ; mesic grasslands; mixed broadleaved and coniferous woods; riparian scrub; scree slopes; shrub habitats; snow-patch habitats; sparsely or unvegetated areas; terrestrial underground caves and waterbodies; wet grasslands; woodland fringes and clearings (tall grass/fern)
b) Strongly anthropogenic habitats include:
Artificial water structures; man-influenced woods/cleared areas; settled areas; transportation networks and their margins
c) Special features: Within these broad EUNIS types, certain habitats are of special national and international importance. There are >80 glacial lakes (largest is Bucura at 2041m and 8.86 ha). Forests (broad-leaved, coniferous and mixed) include a number of local and distinctive Carpathian and Dacian types, displaying a distinct altitudinal zonation: 650-1,650m: Quercus petraea, Carpinus betulus and Tilia cordata giving way above to Fagus sylvatica and Abies alba, or Picea abies mixed with Fagus, or Picea alone in the upper area; Subalpine levels have dwarf-pine (Pinus mugo) up to 2,300 m, with occasional Arolla Pine (P. cembra) and areas of both Rhododendron myrtifolium and Alnus viridis. The alpine area is mainly siliceous, but with strongly basic areas in the Little Retezat. As well as having a very rich assemblage of both animals and plants, the Retezat is a centre of diversity and endemism for Hieracium (257 taxa) and Poa (31 taxa). More than 60 plant communities are described for the Park.
* Reference: Davies, C.E. and D. Moss. (1999). EUNIS Habitat Classification. Draft Report. Prepared for the European Environment Agency, European Topic Centre on Nature Conservation by the Institute of Terrestrial Ecology, Cambridgeshire, UK.
  Location   45°15' to 45°30'N; 23°04' to 23°40'E
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   38,047
  Core area(s)   20,127
  Buffer zone(s)   17,720
  Transition area(s) when given   200
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   +650 to +2,509
  Year designated   1979
  Administrative authorities   Administration of the Biosphere Reserve: Retezat National Park Administration (RNPA), under the Forest Directorate Hunedoara
  Brief description   Complex studies of sub-alpine ecosystems in the Small Retezat
Systemic analysis of forest ecosystems at the upper limit of woodland
Integrated ecological research of mountain ecosystems
History of quuaternary vegetation from the Retezat Mountains
Structure and functions of some of the main phytocoenoses in the Retezat National Park (forest ecosystems, lichen communities, mushrooms communities, edaphic algal communities)
Structures of zoocoenoses (faunistic and bioproductivity research of Amphibians and Reptiles, specific structure of bird and mammal communities, research on nematode communities, earthworm, mite communities, uropods, collembola communities, Macrolepidoptera communities)
Zooplankton and zoobenthos investigations
Baseline survey was started by the Park Administration in year 2000. Monitoring protocols are being developed and monitoring activities will start in 2002.
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   Monitoring/methodologies.
  Biodiversity   Algae, amphibians, benthos, birds, community studies/communities, ecology, evolutionary studies/palaeoecology/evolution, fauna, forest systems, fungi, invertebrates/insects/spiders, lichens, mammals, methodologies, mountain and highland systems, plankton, productivity, reptiles.
  Socio-economic   n.a.
  Integrated monitoring   n.a.
  Contact address   Zoran Acimov
Parc National Retezat - Réserve de biosphère
Bdul 22 Decembrie Bl. 4 Parter
2700 Deva
  Telephone   (4.0254) 779 969
  Fax   (4.0254) 779 969 int. 313
  Web site

Last updated: 09/03/2005

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