ACT Newsletter - Adapting to Climate change in Time

Patras Local Impact Assessment: why we choose biodiversity

The area with biodiversity interest in Patras is the Mountain Panahaiko. The area of Panahaiko falls under the jurisdiction of the Municipality of Patras as well as two neighboring Municipalities. To a large extent the area is a Natura 2000 site with the code name “Mountain Panahaiko” with the code GR 2320007. This area includes a wealth of important environmental elements such as Forest areas, rivers streams and wetlands.

The annual level of precipitation is 667,7 mm and the mean annual temperature is 17,9 ºC. The dry period lasts for more than four (4) months, starting from mid-May until the end of September. This fact determines the type of vegetation that can develop in the area but also contributes to the high danger of fire.

Pasturing is the dominant land use in the area of Panahaiko mountain as take up approximately 118 km2, a percentage of 56,5% of the total area. This is followed by forest areas of 38 km2 (percentage of 19,6%) and agricultural land of 33 km2 (percentage of 17,4%). The settlements, roads etc occupy 0,7 km2, and 2 km2 are covered by water.

In many cases in the Panachaiko mountain there are land-use conflicts. The coexistence of settlements, agriculture and pasturing with ecologically sensitive areas and significant ecotypes creates many problems in the management of the land.

Mountain Panachaiko contains very important vegetation ecosystems:

According to the data of the Special Environmental Study that has been done in the area there have been recorded 568 species of fauna, known either by bibliography or by recordings of research groups, while the real number of plant species is possibly bigger.
Also according to the data of the Special Environmental Study, the flora of the area of Panachaiko mountain presents considerable diversity. There have been recorded 155 species of vertebrates, and the invertebrates are calculated to be over 2000 species.

Forest fires have historically been one of the most important factors that have contributed to the degradation of forests and forestall areas of Panachaiko mountain. Fires are usually present in the lower altitudes, closer to the settlements, mainly in the evergreen broadleaf. From the analysis of the seasonal timing of fires we conclude that the highest frequency of forest fires is during the summer months (August 38,3%, July 16,2%) when 95% of the total burned area is burned. Increase of temperature, especially during the summer months, is expected to pose additional threat of fires which in combination with the uncontrolled pasturing poses the most significant threat for the biodiversity of Panachaiko mountain.

Konstadinos Konstadakopoulos - ADEP S.A., Patras Municipality

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