Karst Valleys of Slovakia
Ministry of the Environment of the Slovak Republic
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The locality consists of a series of karst phenomena in nature reserves on the territory of Slovakia. Whole area of Slovakia had been evaluated in order to select representative localities. Localities chosen into representative sample have following attributes: low anthropic impact and well-preserved nature ecosystems, high degree of ecological stability and high biodiversity of flora and fauna, well-preserved relict communities of flora and fauna, high abundance of rare and endangered species of flora and fauna on a small territory.Selected karst areas in Slovakia represent main stages of the geological and geomorphological development of the territory in the period from Late Tertiary till Quaternary. Geological structure, petrographic composition and rocks proportion, tectonic movements and exogene agents created specific karst areas, very rich in natural values and beauties. The landscape of karst valleys, unlike other landscape types, has many specific features, which evidently differ it from non-karst areas. It is mainly strong interaction of all nature factors of the landscape (geological basement, relief, water, soil, climate, vegetation, fauna) and their evolution knot. This fact underlines the complexity of natural conditions of the karst area as a whole and also in individual details. Limestone and dolomite substratum, its karst forms and special development create conditions for specific elements of flora and fauna, which are connected with this environment. The occurrence of Carpathians plant and animal species, often endemic or endangered species, is typical for karst areas. Karst areas give landscape an individual high significance landscaping-esthetical scenery by their morphological segmentation. From the botanical point of view, the karst valleys are an example of vegetation development from the end of the Ice Age. From the ph, togeographical point of view, the proposed sites belong to the western Carpathian flora (Carpaticum occidentale) with the occurrence of characteristic species and Carpathian endemics and sub-endemics. From the zoological point of view, the areas of karst valleys are very important for the preservation of many endemic and zoo-geographically significant species as well as for the maintenance of native, typical fauna of the Carpathians. Big terrain division, alternation of diverse and intact communities determine unusual rich biodiversity, concentrated on a relatively small area.