The vegetation in Obeliai and Kriaunos area

Daiva Patalauskaitė

The investigations of the vegetation in Obeliai and Kriaunos environs have been performed in the summer of 2007 by a route method. The natural communities have been described by applying French-Swiss principles of the vegetation study and classifications and related methodology.

The picturesque hilly landscape of Obeliai and Kriaunos is greatly cultured with cultured grass pastures and arable land prevailing in the area. The plots of natural vegetation remained are small and distributed unevenly. The most valuable, in biological variety, areas are located in some parts of river valleys and lake environs, which avoided the draining programme. The natural meadows remained only in the wet parts of the river valleys. The biggest variety of the mowing meadows is observed in the Kriauna valley at Obeliai. Here the class Molinio-Arrhenatheretea R. Tx. 1937 (Alopecurion pratensis, Calthion palustris, Arrhenatherion elatioris) association communities and the class Phragmitetea australis R. Tx. et Prsg 1942 Magnocaricion Koch 1926 association communities have been detected. Some small plots of natural vegetation can be observed in the non-ameliorated parts of the Akmenė, Apeikė and Šaltoja river valleys, although now there is mowing here and the meadows are overgrowing with shrubs.

Lakes make a great value of Obeliai environs. There are not so much cases in Lithuania with so many lakes in a small area. They differ in age and development stages, and are mainly at their maturing stage. Separate species have been episodically investigated in some of these lakes, but there was no comprehensive research on lake vegetation done yet. It is very important to avoid acceleration of the lake aging process by human activities and pollution in order to conserve the lakes to remain natural for the future generations.