Jan Hrebácka
Dobrovského 3,
54301 Vrchlabi,
Czech Republic
Station Manager:
Martin Erlebach

Shortlist from Station Catalogue over facilities and science disciplines.

krkonose

STATION NAME AND OWNER

Krkonoše (CZ)/Karkonosze (PL) Mountains National Parks are state properties of the Czech Republic and Poland. The parks are a trans-boundary UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve. Two Observer Stations, a Czech station called Krkonoše and a Polish station called Karkonosze, are situated in the park. Because of their location within the same mountains, this catalogue gives a combined description of the two stations.

LOCATION

The area is known for its high biodiversity in four altitudinal vegetation belts, from sub-mountain to alpine. The Krkonoše/ Karkonosze Mountains National Parks (NPs) are situated on both sides of the Czech/Poland state border and form the highest part of the Hercynian mountain system in Central Europe. The stations are situated in the tundra which covers the subalpine/alpine belt of both NPs. The mountain belt is densely occupied by mountain chalets. Nearest towns are Karpacz (PL, 8 km to the north) and Vrchlabi (CZ, 10 km to the south).

BIODIVERSITY AND NATURAL ENVIRONMENT

The tundra – above the Picea abies tree line – has the unique character of a relic island of the sub-arctic-alpine tundra (thanks to its isolation from Scandinavia, the Alps and the Carpathians since the end of Pleistocene). Three zones are distinguishable within it: 1. “stony-lichen tundra” with a mosaic of lichens, bryophytes, low grasses, and bushes on alpine peaks, 2. “grassy tundra” with grasses, subarctic mires, and shrubs of Pinus mugo (vicariance of Betula nana and B. czerepanovii) in the lower plateaus, and 3. ”flower rich tundra” with tall herbs and grasses in the lee of the glacial corries. The area exhibits many plants and animal species with arctic-alpine distribution.

HISTORY AND FACILITIES

The Polish Karkonosze National Park was established in January 1959 and the Czech Krkonoše National Park in May 1963. However, scientific research in this area started already in 1786. At present, 400 different scientific projects are carried out each year on both sides of the border. We can offer local accommodation, high speed internet connection and several well equipped stores in the neighbourhood.

GENERAL RESEARCH AND DATABASES

The research focuses on fauna, flora, lichens, bryophytes, algae, GIS, geology, geomorphology (waterfalls), environmental chemistry, climatology (avalanches), forest management, pedology, recreation, speleology, sociology (socioeconomic), former ore mining, agriculture, archaeology (history) etc. In addition, a lot of different databases containing data from animate (biotic) and inanimate (abiotic) nature are available.

HUMAN DIMENSION

The Krkonoše/Karkonosze Mountains has been inhabited for a long time. Besides nature protection and research, the area is also used for forestry, agriculture, tourism, and sports. The Krkonoše/Karkonosze Mountains is a popular tourist destination for hikers and skiers with about 5-6 million visitors per year on the Czech and 2.5-3 million on the Polish side (2002).

ACCESS

Krkonoše/Karkonosze Mountains can be reached by car, bus, and train. It will take around two hours by car from Prague airport to Vrchlabi and another 30 min from Vrchlabi to the tundra zone. Access from Poland is via Karpacz.

Field Site information table pdf

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