Charpentieria (itala) ornata (Rossmässler, 1836)(Gastropoda: Pulmonata: Clausiliidae) on the northern fringes of its range - a nationally endangered species surviving due to human activities

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Charpentaria ornata is a SE-Alpine species which reaches the extreme north-east of its range in isolated populations in the Czech Republic and the extreme south-west of Poland, where it is known from this study only from eight abandoned limestone quarries in the western part of the Krowiarki range (Lower Silesia, region of Klodzko). It is a red-listed species in the Polish fauna. These quarries harbour a total of 39 gastropod species, a mixture of open-country, tolerant and
specifically forest species. Ch. ornata associates with open country species, and its density declines as tree cover increases. At this edge of its range, it appears unable to survive in full forest cover, although this is the natural climax vegetation of the region. Comparison with the more southerly populations in the Czech Republic shows that in warmer conditions it can survive full canopy cover, and is part of a rich, natural clausiliid fauna. It seems most likely that the species spread north from Czech sites in the mid-Holocene climatic optimum, and survived later as a result of early forest clearance exposing limestone crags to more xerothermic conditions. Later reafforestation was offset in these few sites by quarrying. Thus, in contrast to most threatened species of land gastropod, effective conservation requires the maintenance of highly disturbed habitats in an early stage of succession.

Charpentieria ornata
endangered species
pioneer species