Method

A data analysis was carried out to determine whether the EU Habitats Directive provides sufficient protection for relict species in taxa of higher plants, molluscs, dragonflies and damselflies, and butterflies ( Rhopalocera only) in Germany. For this purpose a database, containing for the most part glacial relict species, was set up based on studies by CLECOM (2002), De Lattin (1967), Holdhaus (1954), Kudrna (2002), Thorn (1960), Reisch (2001), Welk (2001) and Buchholz and Welk (2005). This database was modified for plants: i.e. Gentiana clusii was not accepted as a glacial relict species (populations in the Black Forest) as proposed by Thorn (1960) and Reisch (2001), because the species is not autochthonous there (Oberdorfer 1990). On the other hand, the database does not claim to be exhaustive for all potential glacial relicts with occurrences in Germany. Species on the edge of their distribution area and endemics (other than relicts) in Germany were not included in the data analysis. Assessment was carried out on two levels:

1. Direct species protection was checked, i.e. whether the species is covered by Annex II (site protection within Natura 2000), Annex IV (strict species protection) or Annex V (limited protection of used or managed plants) of the Habitats Directive.

2. Protection of the habitat of the relict species was checked, i.e. whether the species is indirectly protected by the Natura 2000 sites: This can be assumed if the habitat of the species corresponds to a protected Annex I habitat type. We also assessed whether the occurrences of these glacial relicts are really covered by existing SCI and do not by chance lie outside the Natura 2000 network.

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