Vegetation in the Danube Delta
The vegetation in the Danube Delta is so unique and unrivalled, that made this place a true flora paradise. In December 1990, the Danube Delta became a Biosphere Reserve, in the UNESCO World Heritage, gaining the highest international recognition.
The biotopes found in the Danube Delta are diverse: marshes full of reed, lakes, floating or fixed reed islands, deciduous forests, sandbank vegetation with saline soil, grassland vegetation, luxuriant forest and riverside coppices. An exotic land with over 1,830 species of trees and plants.
The specific vegetation in the Danube Delta is the floating one. The most common specimen is the reed, a perennial plant that covers over 1,500 square kilometres in islets. It consists of a row of rhizomes of reed and roots of other aquatic plants mixed with organic residues and soil and it masses in a thick layer of 0.5 – 1.6 meters. The reed islet can detach from the bottom of the lakes and ponds, turning into floating islands of different sizes.
The vegetation of the sandbanks mesophilic meadows extends to about 3% of the total delta surface, especially on the fluvial gorges subject to periodic flooding. The vegetation of sandy steppe meadows also extends to about 3% of the total delta surface, especially in Letea, Caraorman and Saraturile, while the vegetation of the sandbanks with saline soil extends to about 6% of the total delta surface.
On the fluvial sandbanks grow many species of willows, black poplars, white poplars, mistletoes, sea buckthorns, blackberries, and near the seashore, wormwoods, salt grass and sand bindwind. In the Natural Reservation Erenciuc, we find the black alder, being the only area in Europe where it grows. In the Natural Reservation of Letea Forest, which is a natural monument, we find numerous species of plants including the fluffy ash, the clematis, the bindweed, the hop, the sand picotee, the ryegrass, the oak, the hawthorn and the brier.
The riverside coppice is a specific vegetation in the Danube Delta. It is a forest of willows, ashes, alders and poplars that grows on fluvial sandbanks and is periodically flooded. It develops on 6% of the total surface area.
In the Danube Delta, we encounter aquatic plants such as white lily, yellow lily, stomata, duckweed, utricularia and aldrovanda. The aquatic ecosystem is very well represented by phytoplankton, various species of brown, green and blue algae and zooplankton, which feed on the riverbeds and invertebrates (invertebrates, molluscs).
There are also facilities for agricultural crops, forest plantations and fish farms. The archaic development of these facilities has completely changed the deltaic landscape, to the detriment of all the species present in the Delta. Due to the economic inefficiency, many of these may be reintegrated into the natural hydrographic regime.
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