sustainable management of Apuseni Mountains
Sustainable development of local communities in rural area is strongly related to the administration manner of resources. The rural communities in the central part of Apuseni Mountains (Romania) need sustainable management of their own resources in order to increase the living standard and to preserve the cultural landscape.
The semi-natural oligotrophic grasslands with great plant diversity are facing abandonment even if there are programs of intervention in agriculture like APIA (Agency of Payments and Intervention in Agriculture).
Abandonment of grasslands creates a negative situation which will draw a change in land use categories and it will materialise in reforestation of pastures and hay meadows.
Enhance of local interest in oligotrophic grasslands becomes particularly important for the conservation of plant diversity and cultural landscape. Turning to account these habitat types in a sustainable use creates new sources of income for locals as the main resource (wood) is rapidly decreasing. The economic benefits gained by locals through sustainable harvesting of resources in oligotrophic grasslands are essential for the existence of these habitats. The absence of economic advantages will lead to a major local disinterest with repercussions of ecologic, economic and social nature.
Locals must have primordial part in conservation of habitats because without their contribution, the protective actions aren’t successful.
In Apuseni Mountains, Arnica occurs in the following grassland types: Nardus stricta, Nardus stricta – Festuca rubra, Festuca rubra and Festuca rubra – Agrostis capillaris. In these habitats, Arnica grows along other species such as: Polygala vulgaris, Gentiana austriaca, Scorzonera rosea, Hieracium aurantiacum, Viola declinata, Croccus heufilianus, Gymnadea conopsea, Traunsteinera globosa etc.
The species is important both for conservative interests and for medicinal and cosmetic use. Arnica montana is a protected species in Europe, as it is listed in various categories of the Red List depending on the region (vulnerable in Romania, endangered in Germany, critically endangered in Netherlands etc.). The species is listed in Annex V of Nature 2000 program (Council Directive 92/43/EEC). The low spread in Europe grants this species an endemic status.
The conservation of the species is strictly connected to the existence of the habitat which, in turn, depends on the applied grassland management.
The Arnica montana habitats in the northern and central parts of Apuseni Mountains are ecologic certified.