Horní Jizera

Jizera Headwaters

Localisation: 50.846833N 15.328029E
Area: 2 302.909 ha
Category: Wetlands of International Importance
Wetland's type: mire, i.e. bog or fen
Inclusion in the list of Wetlands of International Importance: 2012
Criteria for inclusion in RS: 1, 2, 3, 4
The degree of protection: SCI, SPA, NR, NM, NNR, PLA
Altitude: 793 - 1094 m
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Wetland’s figure

Brief characteristics

Raised bogs and transition mires are situated within the flood plains of the Jizera River Valley, in the central part of the Jizera Mountain, following the Czech-Poland state border. Dominating vegetation of raised bogs are non-forest communities and spruce forests. Variable morphology of raised bogs establishes from frost and wind erosion. There are oblong, wet gaps and ditches and dry elevated peaks, which are very similar to the features of the north Scandinavian mires. Species poor fens border the raised bogs. Mire vegetation has subalpine tundra character hosting combination of arctic, subarctic, arctic-alpine and circumboreal species. These ecosystems serve as postglacial refuges for unique vegetation and fauna. Locality includes one of the largest characteristical raised bogs complex in the Czech Republic and in the temperate Europe. Because of the political borders, Czech raised bog complex is adjacent to a large similar one in Poland (where Ramsar Site is under preparation in close cooperation with the Czech proposal).

Geographical and geological data

Horní Jizera is located on the slopes of the Jizerské Mountains in the West part of the Sudety Mountains. Eastern part is situated within the flood plains in the upper Jizera River Valley of a large shallow concave form in approximately 850 m a.s.l. surrounded by the mountains. This morphological structure is unique within the Sudety Mountains and rare in temperate region. Western part is situated in a pass between three mountains in 920 – 1035 m a.s.l. Bedrock is acidic granite rocks. Ground waters are poorly mineralized, oligotrophic with pH ranging from 3.5 to 7.0.

Ecological characteristics

Ombrotrophic habitats dominate the Jizera River Valley. Open areas in raised bogs are overgrow by non-forest communities of Oxycocco-Sphagnetea (Eriophoro vaginati?Sphagnetum recurvi, Sphagnetum magellanici, Sphagnetosum fusci, Sphagnetum papillosi, Eriophoro-Trichophoretum caespitosi, Sphagnetosum compacti, Gymnocoleetosum inflatae), and of Scheuchzerietalia palustris in the wet parts (Caricetum limosae, Scheuchzerio-Sphagnetum cuspidati). These communities overgrow the flat surfaces at the tops of raised bogs. They are surrounded by shrubs of Pino mugo-Sphagnetum. Large areas of raised bogs are overgrown by spruce forests growing on peat – vegetation of Vaccinio-Piceetea (association Sphagno?Piceetum) with the typical following species: Picea abies, Molinia caerulea, Eriophorum vaginatum, Oxycoccus palustris, Vaccinium uliginosum, and Sphagnum species: Sphagnum fallax, Sph. angustifolium, Sph. nemoreum, and Sph. russowii. There are transitional poor fens dominated by vegetation of Caricetalia fuscae (associations: Sphagno recurvi-Caricetum rostratae, Junco filiformis-Sphagnetum recurvi, Caricetum fuscae (=nigrae ) subalpinum, Eriophoro angustifolii-Sphagnetum recurvi) in stream and river valleys and in borders of raised bogs. Transitional mires are also surrounded by spruce forests of Vaccinio-Piceetea. There can be found many small additional fens scattered within these forests. Typical animal communities associated with mires and peatswamp spruce forest habitats are well developed, including glacial relict species. Communities are typical especially with invertebrates and birds.

The main human activities

There is touristic and forestry use.

The main negative factors

The main dangerous impacts are air pollution and drainage for forestry use.

Value for water management

Bogs and mires water is supplied by precipitation and ground water – very active underground water fluxes (from primeval and derivative sources) were measured near streams and rivers. The Jizera River catchment is part of the Elbe River catchment, and therefore a part of the North Sea drainage area. Bogs and mires are part of European hydrological system within the Sudety Mountains, and they are the source of water for the Jizera River. A natural character of the Jizera River is preserved in the upper part of the valley with many meanders cuting deap in the peat layers, and forming shallows and large gravel beds.

Social and cultural significance

Great part of the area is used for forestry. Parts of the site are used for recreation, however majority of tourist use is concentrated in less valuable habitats and marginal parts. To attract some localities and raise public awareness a touristic infrastructure has been done (i.e. nature trails at the Rašeliniště Jizerky and Klečové louky peatbogs, tourist tower at the Na Čihadle peatbog).

Flora and vegetation characteristic

Nationally rare and threatened species: Andromeda polifolia, Arnica montana, Baeothryon cespitosum, Betula carpatica, Carex diandra, Carex limosa, Carex pauciflora, Dactylorhiza longebracteata, Drosera rotundifolia, Empetrum nigrum, Erica tetralix, Juniperus communis subsp. alpina, Ledum palustre, Lycopodiella inundata, Lycopodium annotinum, Menyanthes trifoliata, Meum athamanticum, Montia fontan, Oxycoccus palustris, Pedicularis sylvatica, Pneumonanthe asclepiadea, Potamogeton alpinus, Scheuchzeria palustris. Regionally rare plant communities: Sphagnetum magellanici, Sphagnetosum fusci, Eriophoro-Trichophoretum caespitosi, Pino mugo-Sphagnetum, Caricetum limosae, Scheuchzerio-Sphagnetum cuspidati, Caricetum fuscae (=nigrae) subalpinum.

Fauna characteristic

Invertebrates – Spiders: Arctosa cinera – species dependent on river gravel beds, one of only three known localities in the Czech Republic. Meioneta milleri – discovered and described from the Rašeliniště Jizery peatbog as a completely new species in 1997.Beetles: Pytho albieticola and Pteroloma forsstroemi – typical glacial relicts, nationally rare. Fly: Scatophaga jizerensis – found and described from the Rašeliniště Jizery peatbog area in 2004 as a completely new species. Rare tyrfophilous dragonflies Leucorrhinia dubia and Somatochlora alpestris. Birds: Black grouse (Tetrao tetrix) – mires are especially important for sheltered reproduction and as lekking grounds, the black grouse population in Jizerské hory represents approx. ? of the national population, endangered. Common crane (Grus grus) – two or three pairs regularly nesting sites since 2000 (including Polish border area), critically endangered. Tengmalm’s owl (Aegolis funereus) – one to several pairs regularly nesting depending on the season, both in natural cavities and provided nest-boxes, endangered. Common Rosefinch (Carpodacus erythrinus) – regionally important regular nesting site of several pairs, endangered. Amphibians: Alpine newt (Triturus alpestris) – regular occurrence and reproduction in water bodies within the area, endangered. Mammals: Alpine shrew (Sorex alpinus) – typical glacial relict, regular occurrence, regionally important, endangered. Otter (Lutra lutra) – has colonised area during last few years, presently regular occurrence, area is very important as a migration corridor connecting the Jizera River system with the Smědá River catchment in the north, endangered.

Research activities

Zoological and botanical monitoring, hydrological surveys at the Rašeliniště Jizerky and Rašeliniště Jizery peatbogs, hydrological revitalization at the Rašeliniště Jizerky peatbog, management in non-forest areas and measures in forest. Permanent monitoring plots were fixed within the Bog woodland (91D0*) and Active raised bogs (7110*) habitat types for long-term monitoring of these habitats.

Recreational use

Marginally used for recreation and tourism, slightly higher touristic use is in areas of Jizerka – Smědava, Čihadlo- Klečové louky (tourist paths). Mostly cycling and hiking, in winter cross-country skiing. Great majority of these activities are confined to existing tracks within the area.

Reasons for inclusion in the Ramsar Convention

The site meets criteria 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Natural habitats

Habitat code Habitat name Code of the habitat type Name the habitat type Area Relative area (%) Habitat quality (1-4)
T8.3 Brusnicová vegetace skal a drolin 4030 Evropská suchá vřesoviště 1.779 ha 0.08 1.71
T1.2 Horské trojštětové louky 6520 Horské sečené louky 0.449 ha 0.02 2
L9.1 Horské třtinové smrčiny 9410 Acidofilní smrčiny (Vaccinio-Piceetea) 613.286 ha 26.63 2.99
R1.2 Luční prameniště bez tvorby pěnovců -- -- 0.259 ha 0.01 1
V2C Makrofytní vegetace mělkých stojatých vod, ostatní porosty -- -- 0.060 ha -- 1
V4A Makrofytní vegetace vodních toků, porosty aktuálně přítomných vodních makrofytů 3260 Nížinné až horské vodní toky s vegetací svazů Ranunculion fluitantis a Callitricho-Batrachion 0.919 ha 0.04 1
V4B Makrofytní vegetace vodních toků, stanoviště s potenciálním výskytem vodních makrofytů nebo se zjevně přirozeným či přírodě blízkým chrakterem koryta -- -- 2.642 ha 0.11 2.96
R2.2 Nevápnitá mechová slatiniště 7140 Přechodová rašeliniště a třasoviště 0.951 ha 0.04 2
R3.1 Otevřená vrchoviště 7110 Aktivní vrchoviště 17.915 ha 0.78 1.29
T2.3B Podhorské a horské smilkové trávníky bez výskytu jalovce obecného (Juniperus communis) 6230 Druhově bohaté smilkové louky na silikátových podložích v horských oblastech (a v kontinentální Evropě v podhorských oblastech) 24.618 ha 1.07 1.85
T2.3A Podhorské a horské smilkové trávníky s rozptýlenými porosty jalovce obecného (Juniperus communis) 5130 Formace jalovce obecného (Juniperus communis) na vřesovištích nebo vápnitých trávnících 1.750 ha 0.08 1
L9.2B Podmáčené smrčiny 9410 Acidofilní smrčiny (Vaccinio-Piceetea) 247.737 ha 10.76 2.1
R2.3 Přechodová rašeliniště 7140 Přechodová rašeliniště a třasoviště 75.510 ha 3.28 1.52
L9.2A Rašelinné smrčiny 91D0 Rašelinný les 335.436 ha 14.57 2.41
T8.2B Sekundární podhorská a horská vřesoviště bez výskytu jalovce obecného (Juniperus communis) 4030 Evropská suchá vřesoviště 0.625 ha 0.03 1
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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 Scoliciosporum curvatum -- -- -- Zranitelný (VU) -- 2018
Lišejníky Micarea deminuta -- -- -- Chybí údaje (DD) -- 2018
Lišejníky Lecanora subsaligna -- -- -- Chybí údaje (DD) -- 2018
Lišejníky Lecanora symmicta -- -- -- Téměř ohrožený (NT) -- 2018
Lišejníky Lecidea huxariensis -- -- -- Chybí údaje (DD) -- 2018
Lišejníky Lecidea plana -- -- -- Téměř ohrožený (NT) -- 2018
Lišejníky Lepraria jackii -- -- -- Téměř ohrožený (NT) -- 2018
Lišejníky Melanelixia subaurifera -- -- -- Zranitelný (VU) -- 2018
Lišejníky Micarea myriocarpa -- -- -- Téměř ohrožený (NT) -- 2018
Lišejníky Lecanora sarcopidoides -- -- -- Chybí údaje (DD) -- 2018
Lišejníky Micarea nitschkeana -- -- -- Téměř ohrožený (NT) -- 2018
Lišejníky Micarea turfosa -- -- -- Zranitelný (VU) -- 2018
Lišejníky Palicella filamentosa -- -- -- Zranitelný (VU) -- 2018
Lišejníky Platismatia glauca -- -- -- Téměř ohrožený (NT) -- 2018
Lišejníky Pseudevernia furfuracea -- -- -- Téměř ohrožený (NT) -- 2018
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