Forests around Lake Péteri
Lake Péteri and its immediate surroundings cannot explicitly be described as woodlands. Since the Middle Ages, the original landscape has been systematically shaped by humans to meet their needs. Moreover, present day afforestation activities have permanently changed the landscape. The lakes are surrounded by saline pastures, sandy arable land, meadows, and copses of trees typical for Kiskunság farmlands. Native tree species include the silver or white poplar (Populus alba), grey poplar (Populus canescens), English oak (Quercus robur), brittle willow (Salix fragilis), field maple (Acer campestre), field elm (Ulmus minor) and wild pear (Pyrus pyraster).
The common hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna), black elderberry (Sambucus nigra) and dog-rose (Rosa canina) are among the most common shrubs. A natural forest community no longer exists. However, important ornithological habitats, shelters and feeding spots can be found in roadside tree copses, tree-lined avenues and bushes. A wide variety of natural willow scrubs line the banks of the lake and canal. Diverse species of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.), black pine (Pinus nigra), black locust and poplar have been planted. In recent years, increasingly aggressive invasive species have spread throughout the landscape, such as the common hackberry or nettletree (Celtis occidentalis), oleaster or Russian olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia) and boxelder maple (Acer negundo).
The spread of invasive species into what are considered natural and semi-natural habitats is considered to be among the most threatening factors to the area’s environment. Deliberate or accidental introduction of rapidly proliferating invasive flora and fauna species has lead to a decrease in biodiversity and the impoverishment of habitats. Invasive plant species strongly reshape their environment, inhibiting germination and growth of native species through shading, nutrient deprivation and leachable materials. Displacement of native plant species in turn diminishes, or even destroys the food base of others.