Presentation on theme: "MURŠČAK Integrated fieldwork for the 8 th grades II. osnovna škola Čakovec regarding the International Year of Forests 2011."— Presentation transcript:
MURŠČAK Integrated fieldwork for the 8 th grades II. osnovna škola Čakovec regarding the International Year of Forests 2011
MURŠČAK Since ancient times a term for a big complex of a centuries-old oak forest along the river Mura after which it was named. These oak forests are mentioned in Me đ imurje already in 1672 on the property list of the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and the heirs of Nikola Zrinski on Me đ imurje seigniory. Until the big felling in 1927 Murščak was mostly covered with oak forests.
Murščak today Under the anthropogenic influence and regulation of the Mura river, Murščak is today divided into a marsh area along the river Mura covered with forests within the defensive dam and arable land with the remains of former forests and variable aquatic habitats outside the defensive dam. Since spring 2001 Murščak got the status of a protected landscape.
Educational path Murščak The first educational path in Me đ imurje It is situated in a part of Murščak, the widest area along the river Mura without any settlement within an area of 1500 hectares Length: 6,300 m It contains 12 marked stations
S tations on the path– open air classrooms They provide the opportunity to acquire knowledge under natural conditions, in direct and immediate contact about: – water, forest, meadow, arable Bio Ecosystems – geographical, historical, economic and traditional values of this ecologically preserved landscape
Marked stations on the educational path Murščak: 1.Murščak 2.Čiga and Glavni leš (Main Path) 3.Vrbulja and the ornithological world of Murščak 4.Mura 5.Stara straža (Old Guard) 6.Forests of wet habitats 7.Pčelinjak (Apiary) 8.Mowing meadows 9.The wildlife of Murščak 10.The Fučička Pond 11.Forests of drier habitats 12.The Puddle
STATION 1: MURŠČAK
STATION 2: ČIGA AND GLAVNI LEŠ (MAIN PATH) Čiga is a lever which was used to draw water from wells. It used to be put at busy places, usually at crossroads of paths (leši), to supply cattle and people with water Besides čiga, in Murščak people have built five wells of which some do not exist any more, and some have drained out.
Leš (Path) is an old Slavic word which denoted an observatory (a line) or cut through the forest with hunting awaits for observation of wildlife of potential poachers. The oldest Glavni leš (Main Path) which lead from Domašinec to the ship’s crossing on the river Mura nearby Stara straža (Old guard) and forth to the Hungarian village sela Semeninec (Murasemenye). Glavni leš (Main Path) was made even at the time of the Turks in the 17 th century Earl Feštetić had made a whole net of leši (paths) in the 19 th century in Murščak including the biggest Veliki leš (Big Path).
Multiple use of leši (paths): Conquest of space of forest area Better transparency with the purpose of better forest tree breeding Easier exploitation of wood Better control over thieves, poachers …
Leši (Paths) are geodetic taken, mutually parallel and vertical Such a net of paths simplifies the otherwise large and complex area of Murščak.
STATION 3: VRBULJA AND THE ORNITHOLOGICAL WORLD OF MURŠČAK It is situated in the north part of Murščak The name comes from the most frequent type of wood in this part – vrba (willow). In World War II, when Murščak was a shelter for the Partisans in 1944, the Hungarians killed a group of 12 Partisans there. On that spot a monument was raised.
Except osier beds, in that area there are forests of wet habitats, areas with swampy vegetation interrupted with meadow and arable land. Such habitats are an ideal place for a diverse ornithological world which resides in Vrbulja and other parts of Murščak.
STATION 4: MURA The Mura originates in the Western part of Niedere Tauern in Austria. It has often changed its riverbed due to the low resistance Pleistocene sediments, and today’s flow of Mura stabilized in the Holocene. It is 519 kilometres long, of which 53 kilometres of the lower flow belongs to Croatia. It is a border river between Croatia and Slovenia and Croatia and Hungary. At Legrad it flows into the Drava.
Mura is a nival regime river with the highest water level during the summer months. It is a lowland river which floods the surrounding areas during the year. The flooded areas form a unique natural space substantially different from the other parts of the landscape where different habitats alternate: bigger and smaller stagnant waters (puddles, ponds, swamps…), meanders, backwaters and running waters, meadows, shrubbery, arable land and groves.
A rich variety of habitats enables the population of numerous plant and animal species within a relative small space. The aquatic species are particularly interesting, because of the rarefication and extermination in the other parts of Europe. 38 species of fish are recorded in the river Mura.
In swampy areas with a silty ground and very exuberant vegetation resides a glacial relict, a strictly protected fish brunette (Umbra crameri), the only autochtonic species in Europe of totally 5 species of the family of brunettes (Umbridae). It feeds on insects, their larvae and snails. It’s 9 – 13 cm long, has a dark reddish brown back and fairer hips with dark brown freckles.
Mura is also the habitat of the two types of aquatic insects, which are extinct in most of Europe: caddisfly (Platyphylax frauenfeldi) and plecoptera (Xanthoperla apicalis). They live only in fast running waters rich in oxygen, and slowing down of the river flow, building of accumulations etc. causes their extinction.
The river Mura in Me đ imurje used to be the place of rinsing gold, there were numerous ship-mills, and today there are only a few scaffolds left from the past. The rafting cup on Mura has been taking place since 2002.
STATION 5: THE OLD GUARD The oldest ferry crossing over Mura used to connect Domašinec and Big and Small Murasemenye in Hungary. It is situated approximately a hundred metres away from the Main Path (Glavni leš). The cable ferry (skela) used to transport horse-drawn vehicles and people who cultivated their vineyards in Hungarian hills since the 17 th century.
The Old Guard crossing was functioning until the fall of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy in 1918, when the state of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs (SHS) was established, which closed that crossing. The crossing was restored in 1942 by Mr Ivan Jambrošić (Šturk) from Domašinec, during the Hungarian occupation. The crossing was functioning until 1949, when all the border crossings to Hungary got closed because of the Informbiro.
In the 17 th century, in defense from the Turks, the Counts of Zrinski organized the guards along Mura in wooden guardhouses. One of them was in Murščak and it has preserved the name Stara straža (The Old Guard) ever since. Šturkov božek is the monument in remembrance of the ferry crossing Stara straža (The Old Guard).
STATION 6: FOREST OF WET HABITATS Mostly mixed forests and willow groves prevailing with different kinds of willows of the genus Salix. Viability of forest communities depends on the dynamics of the inflow and the outflow of the floodplain waters of Mura. The part of the forests owned by the state is being governed by the regeneration through the wood felling for fertilization, acorn sowing and planting the pedunculate oak seedlings. Willows and poplar trees are being regenerated through the pure wood felling and reforestation.
The most common parasites that can be found in these forests are: – cockchafer – longhorn beetle – butterflies Hibernia defoliaria (“mrazovci”) – gipsy moth – tortrix moth – poplar and willow borer
STATION 7: PČELINJAK (APIARY) In the area of Murščak there are five beehives, and three of them are placed next to the Educational Path Murščak. The Croatian grey bee – belongs to the best European bee families, and their feature is that they live in small bee communities. A bee community consists of worker bees, a queen bee and drones.
STATION 8: MOWING MEADOWS On the surfaces surrounding the Mura there are meadows of a wetter type, rich in different kinds of meadow flora. Regular mowing is a condition for the survival of meadows. Great burnet (Sanguisorba officinalis) – one of the rare meadow species in the area of Croatia, and it is defined on the meadows surrounding the Mura river. Fritillaria plant (Fritillaria meleagris) – an endangered and law protected species of the lily family, a resident of floodplain meadows along the Mura river.
STATION 9: THE WILDLIFE OF MURŠČAK The wildlife of Murščak is divided into: – resident (pheasant, partridge, rabbit, doe, wild ducks –”gluvare” and “križulje”, badger, polecat, marten, weasel, fox, otter) – occasional (deer, boar) – seasonal wildlife (quail, pigeon, bat, goose…)
STATION 10: THE FUČIČKA POND The rest of the former flow of the Mura river, it was made out of one of the separated curves of the past river meanders. A part of the bank is overgrown with reed with leaves of yellow water-lily floating in the middle. It is shaded by the trees, predominantly willow. Fučička is a very characteristic and significant habitat, regarding both ecology and fauna, because we meet plant and animal species that spend their entire lives in the water.
STATION 11: FORESTS OF DRIER HABITATS The forest in Murščak was self-sown in the ancient times on the alluvial ground made by the river Mura in the geological past. It is probably the rest of a former European rainforest. Until the end of World War I, when the forests of Murščak were managed by the Counts of Feštetić, there used to be a centuries-old forest of lowland pedunculate oak and common hornbeam.
Earl Eugen Feštetić sold Murščak in 1923 to the consortium Slavonija plc., whose merchants had the forests felled. In the time between the two wars the forest fever for buying and felling the forest in Murščak arose. Some trees had the diametre of more than 2 metres.
Another disaster for the flora and fauna was caused in the second half of the 20 th century by the construction of a net of channels and a defensive dam, which led to the lowering of the level of groundwaters, which are the main condition for the development of pedunculate oak forests.
Today’s forest community of drier habitats in Murščak consists of the forests outside the defensive dam, which are mosty a mixture of pedunculate oak (Quercus robur L.), narrow- leaved ash (Fraxinus angustifolia), common hornbeam (Carpinus betulus L.) and black locust (Robinia pseudacacia). The ground level and the shrubbery level are very well developed.
STATION 12: THE PUDDLE The rest of the net of brooks or the riverbed of the old flow of Mura in Murščak. The main characteristic of this habitat – puddle is shallow water which occasionaly drains out, especially in the summer. The puddle is inhabitated by specific representatives of fauna, that are especially adapted to the life in changeable conditions of water and temperatures of this habitat.
IN THE PREPARATION OF THIS PRESENTATION THE FOLLOWING SOURCE WAS USED: The Educational Path Murščak: Mura in Me đ imurje – Marija Purić Hranjec dipl. ing. – Publisher: The Community for Protection of Natural Heritage MURA, the county of Me đ imurje, the district of Domašinec Branka Lamza, Iva Naranđa, Ivanka Novak