Šumavská rašeliniště

Šumava peatlands

Localisation: 48.849875N 13.919808E
Area: 10 224.539 ha
Category: Wetlands of International Importance
Wetland's type: springs
stream, stream segment
floodplain forest, alder or willow carr, or other wetland forest
flooded or wet meadow
reedswamp, sedge marshes
mire, i.e. bog or fen
Inclusion in the list of Wetlands of International Importance: 1990
Criteria for inclusion in RS: 1, 2, 3
The degree of protection: PLA, SPA, SCI, NR, NNR, NM, NP
Altitude: 714 - 1364 m
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Wetland’s figure

Brief characteristics

Montane, submontane and floodplain wetlands, found on peaty soils, having the character of edaphic island ecosystems of “boreal-like taiga and forest-tundra ecotone“. The fauna and flora of these mires have a specific character, mainly determined by the postglacial development of the area and its geographical location, with a predominance of boreal taxons. The majority of these mires have remained in a relatively natural state. Šumava is a relatively compact mountain range in central Europe, with communities of plants and animals closely related to the communities of the Alps to the south, as well as to the mire ecosystems to the north.

Geographical and geological data

The Šumava Mountains are formed by rocks of the Bohemian Massif. Paragneiss of the granite complex protrude to the surface in the regions of Prachatice, Vimperk and Volary, the Sušice region has biotic paragneiss with numerous intercalations of limestone. The Klatovy region is characterized by granites of the Central Bohemian Pluton. The Šumava Mountains is a fairly compact mountain system in Central Europe, which, from the point of view of development of plant and animal communities, has close relations both to the Alps and Western Europe and to North European ecosystems (peat bogs).

Ecological characteristics

The Šumava mires are found from the lower altitudes of the area along rivers up to the summit plateaux of the central part of the mountains. The valley raised-bogs found in the wide, flat river valleys of the Vltava and Křemelná rivers are by their physiognomy similar to the ecosystems of the taiga. They are mostly dominated by Pinus rotundata which is accompagnied by Pinus sylvestris, and Betula pubescens and Picea excelsa in the bog margin. Open valley raised bogs with dwarf shrub vegetation are less common. Patterned mires on the summit plateau of the central part of the Šumava Mountains have the physiognomic character of forest-tundra ecotone with abundant Pinus × pseudopumilio (P. mugo × P. rotundata) krummholz, and Picea excelsa, together with Betula pubescens admixtured in the bog margin. On active patterned bogs central open areas with dwarf shrub and grass vegetation (alliances Sphagnion medii, Oxycocco-Ericion, Oxycocco-Empetrion, Leuco-Scheuzerion palustris) are developed. Both types of ombrotrophic mires (valley raised-bogs and patterned mires) are often surrounded by waterlogged spruce forest (associations Bazzanio trilobatae-Piceetum, and Sphagno- Piceetum). Deforested areas are characterised by various minerotrophic mires with stands of short sedges (Class Scheuchzerio-Caricetea fuscae). The main vegetation formations outside mires are mixed beech forests including (herb-rich beech forest of the alliance Fagion and acidophilous montane beech forest of Luzulo-Fagion. At the highest altitudes, montane spruce forest (alliances Piceon excelsae and Athyrio alpestris-Piceion) is developed.

Forma ochrany území

All peat bogs are protected either as parts of the Šumava National Park (area 69 024 ha), or (a few of them) as parts of the Protected Landscape, surrounding the National Park. Most peat bogs are situated in the core zone of the National Park. The most important sites have been declared nature reserves, several sites in the western part of the Šumava Mountains have been proposed nature reserves. The whole of the Šumava Mountains is also a Biosphere Reserve. The regime of the protection of peat bogs does not include any form of management: the sites (including those which were used for peat extraction in the past) should be left to their spontaneous development. Management of areas surrounding the peat bogs should ensure their effective protection.

The main human activities

Human use is not envisaged on peat bogs and will be limited in surrounding areas to such activities which will ensure the stable functioning of the peat-bog ecosystems.

The main negative factors

Besides the likely effects of the surroundings (nutrient run-off from agricultural land, drainage etc.), the most important negative effect is uncontrolled tourist visits, especially if lead directly through the peat bogs. The peat bogs may also be affected indirectly by serious changes of the surroundings, e.g. by forest die-back owing to acid rain.

Value for water management

The peat bogs are efficient regulators of the water regime, they make it possible to keep water in the landscape for long periods of time and ensure a stable water balance in the catchment. Their self-purification function is also important. The European water-shed leads through the Šumava Mountains.

Social and cultural significance

As unique natural ecosystems, peat bogs are highly suitable for complex scientific research or for long-term monitoring of environmental changes. Their educational value is not negligible, either; their value can be communicated to the public by means of nature trails. Peat bogs served as a source of peat in the past; peat extraction continues at several sites in the Šumava mountains, but is being successively finished. Peat bogs have affected local folklore by their mysterious character.

Flora and vegetation characteristic

The unique and exceptional flora and vegetation communities of the Šumava mires are the result of their geographical location and their Postglacial development. Their flora includes subarctic and boreal species as well as species of the Alps and sub-Atlantic regions. The existence of mires within central European mixed forest resulted in the development of unique phytosociological communities. Valuable communities in the following classes Oxycocco-Sphagnetea and Scheuchzerio-Caricetea fuscae include: Andromedo polifoliae-Sphagnetum magellanici, Carici rostratae-Drepanocladetum fluitantis, Carici rostratae-Sphagnetum apiculati, Drepanoclado fluitantis-Caricetum limosae, Empetro hermaphroditi-Sphagnetum fusci, Eriophoro vaginati-Sphagnetum recurvi, Junco filiformis-Sphagnetum recurvi, Pino rotundatae-Sphagnetum, Scheuchzerio-Sphagnetum cuspidati, Scirpo austriaci-Sphagnetum papillosi, Willemetio-Caricetum paniceae, etc. Valuable plant species: Mosses – Drepanocladus fluitans, Mylia anomala, Sphagnum compactum, S. fuscum, S. magellanicum, S. papillosum, S. recurvum, S. rubellum, S. warnstorfii. Higher plants – Andromeda polifolia, Betula nana, Calluna vulgaris, Carex canescens, C. chordorrhiza, C. diandra, C. dioica, C. echinata, C. lasiocarpa, C. limosa, C. nigra, C. pauciflora, C. paupercula, C. rostrata, Corallorhiza trifida, Dactylorhiza traunsteineri, Drosera anglica, D. rotundifolia, Empetrum nigrum, Epilobium nutans, Erica tetralix, Eriophorum vaginatum, Ledum palustre, Ligularia sibirica, Listera cordata, Lycopodiella inundata, Montia hallii, Nuphar lutea, N. pumila, Potamogeton alpinus, Oxycoccus microcarpus, O. palustris, Scheuchzeria palustris, Sedum villosum, Sparganium minimum, Trichophorum alpinum, T. cespitosum, Trientalis europaea, Utricularia australis, U. ochroleuca, Vaccinium uliginosum.

Fauna characteristic

From the point of view of nature conservation the most valuable fauna on mires are invertebrates. Some species of butterflies are very important relicts, as well as some species of dragonflies (Aeshna subarctica, Cordulegaster boltoni, Leucorrhinia dubia, Somatochlora alpestris), beetles (Agonum ericeti, Carabus menetriesi, Stenus kiesenwetteri) and caddis flies (Hagenella clathrata, Limnephilus coenosus, Rhyacophila dorsalis). From the Šumava peatbogs are known the isolated and relict populations of about 25 butterfly species. These include, for example: Anarta cordigera, Arichanna melanaria, Boloria aquilonaris, Carsia sororiata, Chionides viduela, Celaena haworthii, Colias palaeno, Eugraphe subrosea, Epinotia gimmerthaliana, and Pediasia truncatella. Notable spiders worth mentioning are, for example: Arctosa alpigena lamperti, Gnaphosa microps, Pardosa ferruginea, P. sphagnicola, and P. hyperborea. From among the vertebrates, the Šumava bogs represent important habitats for residual bird populations of Tetrao urogallus and Tetrao tetrix, and peripheral parts of the bogs host populations of mouse species Sicista betulina.

Research activities

Extensive entomological research is focused on the fauna and ecology of selected groups of insects and spiders. Detailed botanical and ornithological research has been carried out in important peat bogs.

Recreational use

The peat bogs and their close surroundings are not opened to tourists. Tourist tracks including winter skiing tracks are usually lead in a distance allowing to eliminate the negative impact of tourism.

Reasons for inclusion in the Ramsar Convention

The Šumava peat bogs are unique ecosystems of island character, representing highly relic natural ecosystems with numerous rare and endangered species of plant and invertebrates. The designation is based on criteria 2 and 3.

Natural habitats

Habitat code Habitat name Code of the habitat type Name the habitat type Area Relative area (%) Habitat quality (1-4)
L5.4 Acidofilní bučiny 9110 Bučiny asociace Luzulo-Fagetum 97.679 ha 0.96 2.37
T1.4 Aluviální psárkové louky -- -- 67.303 ha 0.66 3.38
L10.4 Blatkové bory 91D0 Rašelinný les 340.378 ha 3.33 1.16
L8.1B Boreokontinentální bory, ostatní porosty -- -- 0.257 ha -- 2
R3.4 Degradovaná vrchoviště 7120 Degradovaná vrchoviště (ještě schopná přirozené obnovy) 173.125 ha 1.69 2.03
L2.1 Horské olšiny s olší šedou (Alnus incana) 91E0 Smíšené jasanovo-olšové lužní lesy temperátní a boreální Evropy (Alno-Padion, Alnion incanae, Salicion albae) 7.915 ha 0.08 2.79
T1.2 Horské trojštětové louky 6520 Horské sečené louky 3.686 ha 0.04 2.76
L9.1 Horské třtinové smrčiny 9410 Acidofilní smrčiny (Vaccinio-Piceetea) 2 828.395 ha 27.66 2.12
L5.1 Květnaté bučiny 9130 Bučiny asociace Asperulo-Fagetum 2.333 ha 0.02 2
R1.4 Lesní prameniště bez tvorby pěnovců -- -- 1.626 ha 0.02 1.39
R1.2 Luční prameniště bez tvorby pěnovců -- -- 0.407 ha -- 1.8
V2C Makrofytní vegetace mělkých stojatých vod, ostatní porosty -- -- 0.113 ha -- 1.11
V3 Makrofytní vegetace oligotrofních jezírek a tůní 3160 Přirozená dystrofní jezera a tůně 1.815 ha 0.02 1.99
V1C Makrofytní vegetace přirozeně eutrofních a mezotrofních stojatých vod s bublinatkou jižní nebo obecnou (Utricularia australis a U. vulgaris) 3150 Přirozené eutrofní vodní nádrže s vegetací typu Magnopotamion nebo Hydrocharition 0.312 ha -- 1.08
V1F Makrofytní vegetace přirozeně eutrofních a mezotrofních stojatých vod, porosty bez druhů charakteristických pro V1A-V1E 3150 Přirozené eutrofní vodní nádrže s vegetací typu Magnopotamion nebo Hydrocharition 4.925 ha 0.05 1.15
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List of species of conservation finding database

Category Latin name of the species Czech name of the species Protection category
(Law 114/92 Sb.)
Directive of birds/
Red list Invasiveness (i) Year of last record
Lišejníky Chaenotheca brunneola -- -- -- Téměř ohrožený (NT) -- 2019
Lišejníky Micarea hedlundii -- -- -- Ohrožený (EN) -- 2017
Lišejníky Ochrolechia microstictoides -- -- -- Zranitelný (VU) -- 2019
Lišejníky Ochrolechia androgyna -- -- -- Zranitelný (VU) -- 2019
Lišejníky Ochrolechia alboflavescens -- -- -- Ohrožený (EN) -- 2019
Lišejníky Mycoblastus sanguinarius -- -- -- Ohrožený (EN) -- 2019
Lišejníky Mycoblastus alpinus -- -- -- Ohrožený (EN) -- 2018
Lišejníky Mycoblastus affinis -- -- -- Kriticky ohrožený (CR) -- 2017
Lišejníky Multiclavula mucida -- -- -- -- -- 2019
Lišejníky Micarea viridileprosa -- -- -- Téměř ohrožený (NT) -- 2019
Lišejníky Micarea myriocarpa -- -- -- Téměř ohrožený (NT) -- 2019
Lišejníky Micarea elachista -- -- -- Ohrožený (EN) -- 2019
Lišejníky Peltigera horizontalis -- -- -- Ohrožený (EN) -- 2019
Lišejníky Micarea contexta -- -- -- Kriticky ohrožený (CR) -- 2019
Lišejníky Micarea byssacea -- -- -- Chybí údaje (DD) -- 2019
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