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2.1.1 Flora
choice 1
    According to the data of the report with respect to the landscape and flora of the Solomonov channel and of the Jebriansk rocky structure, on whose territory the tract of the locks canal is to pass, this area is characterized by a floral diversity. The flora of these territories consists of 905 vascular plants (95.68% of the whole flora of the Danube Natural Reserve), and it has the first place in the southern region of the Black Sea, as far as the species diversity is concerned. It is to be noticed the diversity of species of the psammofil neo-endemic floristic structure of the seashore, with the significant presence of the steppe vegetation, of the boreal vegetation (in the pools) and of the nemoral vegetation (the rocky structures). The high endemism of the flora can be explained mainly by the sand deposits along the channels (this causes the diversity of the sand endemic vegetation, such as Senacio borzsthenicus, Tragopon borzsthenicus, Onosma borzsthenica, Stipa borzsthenica etc.) and by the existence, on the rocky structures, of the maritime flora.
    Prehistoric vegetation is also very richly represented (the tertiary and quaternary species), which started their existence on the shore areas of Tetis. 13 species registered in the Red Book of Ukraine can be found here, as well as 3 species within the red List of Europe, a species registered in the International Red List and 5 species within Annex 1 of the Berne Convention. 58 species and 55 endemic species are registered in the rare, vulnerable and disappearing species list, established according to the JUNC scale.
    The flora of the area to be crossed by the locks canal is characterized by the diversity of the species, categorized in various systems: flooding meadow species, forest, bush, pools, sand, salted land species, as well as marsh and water species; this diversity can be explained by the variety of the environment conditions, from semi-desert to water. Some flora categories are registered in the Green Book of Ukraine.
    The report stresses the diversity of the adventive flora, explained by the excessive anthropogenic interference. The new environmental conditions determined by the construction of the protection dykes and by the exploitation of the canal are expected to cause a spreading of these species and a wide proliferation of some new species.
    The tract of the Solomonov channel - Jebriank gulf canal will divide the Kebraonsk rocky structure in two. This will cause the degradation of the ecosystems, as they are extremely vulnerable due to the extreme circumstances of their existence: arid and unstable sands.
    It is to be noticed the fact that the ecosystems of this area have been already subjected to a significant anthropogenic transformation. Any interference, no matter how insignificant, is due to cause dramatic changes to the ecosystems and to the flora and the construction of the canal is bound to destroy its mid section, the most diversified one, whose variety of species is unique and whose loss cannot be compensated in some other areas, by any means.
Choice 2
    As far as the Danube Natural Reserve areas, on the banks of the Bystroe channel, are concerned, whose flora is bound to be affected by the construction and exploitation works, according to choice 2, the report briefly mentions the uniqueness of the flora, determined by the specific conditions of the flooding meadows and by the influence of the Black Sea (on the territories of the Starostambulsk and Kubansk islands). It is assumed the fact that similar flora can be found along other channels or islands of the Danube Natural Reserve, as well.
    The maps indicating the spreading areas of the vascular plants, registered in The Red Book of Ukraine, and of the flora registered in the Green Book of Ukraine, reveal the fact that the areas crossed by the locks canal (choice1) are far more valuable than those in the Bystroe area (choice 2), as far as diversity and protection of species in their spreading areas are concerned.
    Equally important is the criterion of existence of these places in other sectors of the Danube Natural Reserve. According to the maps, along the tract of the canal, there are places where 10 species listed in the Red Book grow, out of which 7 species can be found only here and 7 groups listed in the Green Book out of which 4 cannot be found in other sectors of the Danube Natural Reserve.
    In the Bystroe Channel area only 2 species listed in the Red Book and 2 listed in the Green Book grow; moreover, the places where these species grow are widespread all over the territory of the Danube Natural Reserve. Thus, taking into account this criterion, the flower species growing on the territory of choice 1 have to be considered as more valuable than those in the Bystroe channel area.
    One should stress that the danger for flora on the territory of choice 1 is not inevitable. If the installations necessary for the exploitation of the canal were floating and not placed on the banks and if the works to strengthen the banks were reduced to a minimum, any impact on these territories flora can be avoided. If these conditions are respected, the impact of the canal built in accordance with choice 2 on the flora of the neighboring territories cannot be considered as decisive.
    Thus, taking into account the value of the territories as far as flora and the impact on this flora are concerned, the construction of the canal on the Bystroe branch has to be considered as preferable.
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Last forum post by codrin on May 6, 2006, 9:06 pm
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