Sites of Botanical Interest in Moravia

National Nature Monument Váté písky near Hodonín

Vít Grulich and Vladimír Antonín

Fig. 1. National Nature Monument Váté písky [Shifting sands] near the village of Bzenec. A section of the map "Velká cykloturistická mapa 1 : 75 000. Uhersko-hradištsko. Bílé Karpaty, Chřiby" (SHOCart Zlín, 1999).
Fig. 2. Species-poor psammophilous vegetation of the association Thymo angustifolii-Corynephoretum canescentis along the railway Břeclav - Přerov in the National Nature Monument Váté Písky near the village of Bzenec. Photo M. Chytrý, 2000.

The largest area of eolian sands in Moravia, known as Váté písky [shifting sands], is situated in the triangle between the towns of Hodonín, Kyjov and Bzenec. These sands originate from fluvial deposits of the Morava River. Its catchment area includes the geologically uniform, mainly Carboniferous and flysch-formed parts of northern and eastern Moravia, such as the Oderské vrchy Hills, the Nízký Jeseník Mts. and the Western Carpathians. The alluvial deposits are very homogenous and fine-grained, contain more than 90% SiO2 and are very acidic. They were blown out from the terraces of the Morava River during the Pleistocene. These sand layers are up to 30 m deep in the northeast of the area and become more shallow towards the west and south. The prevailing soil types are cambic arenosols under forest stands, and dystric lithosols in open places without vegetation cover. The climate of the region is dry and warm. The mean annual temperature lies between 9.0 and 9.5 °C, whereas the mean annual rainfall lies between 550 and 600 mm.
During the Holocene, acidophilous oak forests (Festuco ovinae-Quercetum roboris; Genisto germanicae-Quercion), probably with the autochthonous Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris), developed on thick sand layers, and Pannonian thermophilous oak forests (Carici fritschii-Quercetum roboris; Aceri tatarici-Quercion) on thin sand layers. In depressions between sand dunes, alder carrs of the association Carici elongatae-Alnetum (Alnion glutinosae) could develop. Near the western and northern margin of the area, several fens came into existence, leaving thick layers of fen peat at some places. These sites possessed natural treeless vegetation.
The forest stands of the area were severely damaged by grazing during the Middle Ages, and mobile sand dunes developed until the 18th century at several sites. For this reason, the region was called the Moravian Sahara. In the early 19th century afforestation efforts started with extensive planting of Scots pine. The whole area would have been reforested if the Emperor Ferdinand's Northern Railway had not been built in the late 1830s, cutting the eastern margin of the area between the villages of Rohatec and Moravský Písek. Along the railway, a security strip of open sand had to be preserved to prevent forest fires. This strip, maintained almost until the end of the 20th century, has become an important refuge of psammophilous flora and vegetation. Further smaller areas of open sand dunes were preserved in adjacent military training grounds. Since 1990 the area has been a nature reserve and is managed by conservation authorities. Management includes regular removing of self-sown trees, mainly Scots pine.
In open places, various succession stages can be found, from sites supporting only terophytes and initial stages of grasslands (Corynephorion) to more developed grasslands with Festuca vaginata and Stipa borysthenica. The flora consists of a combination of sub-Atlantic species, some of them reaching their southeastern distribution limit here, and of Pannonian species, some of them at their northern or northwestern distribution limit. The former group includes Armeria vulgaris subsp. vulgaris, Corynephorus canescens, and Spergula morisonii, the latter Gypsophila paniculata, Hierochloë repens, Linaria genistifolia, Spergula pentandra, and Stipa borysthenica. Thymus serpyllum s.str. grows here near its southern distribution limit. The local populations of Festuca vaginata are sometimes considered a separate subspecies dominii, endemic to the western Pannonian region.

Some species of vascular plants recorded in the reserve
Acer negundo
Agrostis vinealis
Achillea pannonica
Achillea setacea
Allium scorodoprasum
Anthemis ruthenica
Anthoxanthum odoratum
Arabidopsis thaliana
Arabis glabra
Aristolochia clematitis
Armeria vulgaris
subsp. vulgaris
Arrhenatherum elatius
Artemisia campestris
Asparagus officinalis
Astragalus glycyphyllos
Atriplex patula
Berteroa incana
Betonica officinalis
Brachypodium sylvaticum
Bromus hordeaceus
Bromus sterilis
Bromus tectorum
Calamagrostis epigejos
Camelina microcarpa
Carex hirta
Carex humilis
Carex praecox
Carex supina
Carlina vulgaris
Centaurea scabiosa
Centaurea stoebe
Cerastium arvense
Cerastium glutinosum
Cerastium semidecandrum
Chelidonium majus
Chenopodium botrys
Chenopodium hybridum
Chenopodium pumilio
Chondrilla juncea
Cichorium intybus
Consolida regalis
Conyza canadensis
Corynephorus canescens
Cynodon dactylon
Cynoglossum officinale
Danthonia decumbens
Dianthus pontederae
Echium vulgare
Equisetum arvense
Equisetum ramosissimum
Eragrostis minor
Erigeron acris
Erodium cicutarium
Erophila verna
Eryngium campestre
Erysimum diffusum
Euphorbia cyparissias
Euphorbia esula
Falcaria vulgaris
Festuca brevipila
Festuca rubra
Festuca vaginata
subsp. dominii
Galium aparine
Geranium robertianum
Gnaphalium sylvaticum
Gypsophila paniculata
Helichrysum arenarium
Hieracium bauhini
Hieracium echioides
Hieracium pilosella
Hieracium rothianum
Hieracium umbellatum
Hylotelephium maximum
Hypericum perforatum
Hypochoeris radicata
Impatiens parviflora
Jasione montana
Lamium purpureum
Lathyrus tuberosus
Lepidium campestre
Linaria genistifolia
Linaria vulgaris
Luzula campestris
Melampyrum pratense
Melica transsilvanica
Moehringia trinervia
Muscari comosum
Myosotis ramosissima
Myosotis stricta
Oenothera biennis
Origanum vulgare
Papaver argemone
Petrorhagia prolifera
Peucedanum oreoselinum
Pimpinella saxifraga
Pinus sylvestris
Plantago arenaria
Poa compressa
Potentilla arenaria
Potentilla reptans
Pseudolysimachion spicatum
Quercus robur
Robinia pseudacacia
Rumex acetosella
Salvia nemorosa
Saponaria officinalis
Scabiosa ochroleuca
Scleranthus annuus
Scleranthus perennis
Scleranthus polycarpos
Scrophularia nodosa
Securigera varia
Sedum sexangulare
Senecio jacobaea
Senecio viscosus
Seseli annuum
Seseli osseum
Setaria viridis
Silene nutans
Silene otites
Silene viscosa
Silene vulgaris
Spergula arvensis
Spergula morisonii
Spergula pentandra
Stellaria media
Stellaria pallida
Stipa borysthenica
Stipa capillata
sp. e sect. Erythrosperma
Teucrium chamaedrys
Thymus serpyllum
Tragopogon dubius
Trifolium alpestre
Trifolium arvense
Trifolium dubium
Trifolium montanum
Valeriana officinalis
Verbascum chaixii subsp. austriacum
Verbascum phoeniceum
Veronica arvensis
Veronica dillenii
Veronica verna
Vicia lathyroides
Vincetoxicum hirundinaria
Viola arvensis
Viola canina


Since 1996, the NNR Váté písky has been mycologically studied by Z. Bieberová, mycologist at the Agency for Nature and Landscape Protection of the Czech Republic in Brno, and by J.W. Jongepier (Veselí nad Moravou). Almost 90 macromycetes taxa have been recorded till now.

Remarkable species of fungi recorded in the reserve
Agrocybe semiorbicularis (Bull.) Fayod
A. subpediades (Murrill) Watling
Astraeus hygrometricus (Pers.) Morgan
Calvatia candida (Rostk.) Hollós; regularly collected here, for the first time probably by F. Šmarda (Pilát 1958)
Cinereomyces lindbladii (Berk.) Jülich
Coltricia perennis (L.) Murrill
Dichomitus squalens (P. Karst.) D.A. Reid; a very rare species, in the Czech Republic known only from four sites
Entoloma dysthaloides Noordel.
Hygrophorus aureus (Arrh.) Fr.
Inocybe dulcamara (Alb. et Schwein.) P. Kumm.
Lactarius pinicola Smotl. ex Z. Schaef.
Lycoperdon lividum Pers.
Phylloporus rhodoxanthus (Schwein.) Bres.; a rare species, now proposed for inclusion in the Bern Convention Fungus List
Pseudomerulius aureus (Fr.) Jülich
Rhidicybe popinalis (Fr.) Singer
Rhodocybe hirneola (Fr.) P.D. Orton
Tricholoma equestre (L.) P. Kumm.
T. orirubens Quél.
T. portentosum (Fr.) Quél.


Grulich V. (ed.) (1989): Výsledky floristického kursu ČSBS v Uherském Hradišti 1987 [Results of the Summer School of Field Botany of the Czechoslovak Botanical Society in Uherské Hradiště, 1987]. - Uherské Hradiště. [In Czech.]

Pilát A. (ed.) (1958): Gasteromycetes. Houby - břichatky. - In: Flora ČSR, ser. B, 1: 1-864, Praha.

Řepka R. (ed.) (1997): Příspěvek k flóře vracovsko-bzeneckých písků [Contribution to the flora of the sands surrounding the villages of Bzenec and Vracov]. - Sborn. Přírod. Klubu Uherské Hradiště 2: 58-79. [In Czech with English abstract.]

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