The book presents the results of the research on plant-environment relations, both in natural and anthropogenic inland saline areas in Central Europe. The research covered most of the existing sites of inland halophytes in Poland known from the literature. In order to perform the analyses in an even wider range of variability of ecological factors, the study was also performed on a few salt marshes in Germany. In the first stage, habitat properties of the studied sites of halophytes were analysed. In the next stage, a general vegetation pattern was investigated and the importance of different salinity measures for the development of this pattern was compared. Ecological spectra of species occurring in salt marshes were analysed based on the salinity measure that was most important for the vegetation pattern. The subsequent analyses were carried out in order to investigate whether the species composition and cover-abundance of species in vegetation patches are related to the intensity of influence exerted by particular environmental variables. For this purpose, the studied patches were grouped. It was analysed which environmental factors are most important in differentiation of the distinguished groups, and what is the relationship between their occurrence and the local environmental conditions.
Ms. Agnieszka Piernik is a graduate of biology at the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń. She completed her Master's thesis under the supervision of Professor (Mr.) Zbigniew Prusinkiewicz at the Department of Soil Science. After graduation, she was employed at the NCU Department of Plant Ecology and Nature Conservation with Professor (Ms.) Jadwiga Wilkoń-Michalska as the Head of the Department. Under the supervision of Professor Jadwiga Wilkoń-Michalska she began her researches on ecology of halophytic vegetation and wrote a PhD thesis on halophytes as indicators of soil salinity in the region of Kujawy. She was awarded the degree of Doctor of Biological Sciences in 2000 at the NCU Faculty of Biology and Earth Sciences. She gained and extended her knowledge of salt marsh ecosystems not only under the supervision of Professor Jadwiga Wilkoń-Michalska, but also during foreign internships in the Netherlands, in Germany and in Spain.
At present she is employed in the Laboratory of Ecological Modelling at NCU. Her scientific interests include ecology of halophytic vegetation, and in particular the relationships between the distribution of vegetation and environmental conditions, species tolerance to salinity, as well as monitoring and protection of saline habitats, and application of statistical methods in ecological analysis.