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The Principal Threats to the Standing Water Habitats in the Continental Biogeographical Region of Central Europe

Abstract

This paper discusses threats of standing water habitats of high importance to the European Community in the Continental Biogeographical Region (CBR) of Europe, specifically in Poland, as a reference. The study covers five standing water habitats types distinguished in Natura 2000: 3110, 3130, 3140, 3150, 3160, occurring in 806 Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) in Poland. The most significant threats to standing water habitats in the Continental biogeographical region, result from human-induced changes in hydrological conditions that have modified whole natural systems. Based on multivariate analysis, we found that significant differences in the conservation status of the standing water habitats resulted from a variety of threats, pressures, and activities, among which the most significant are decreased and unstable water resources (3110, 3130, 3140, 3150, 3160), fishing and harvesting aquatic resources (3110, 3130, 3140, 3150, 3160), pollution from use of the catchment (3130, 3140, 3150), improper management and use of the agricultural catchment (3110, 3130, 3140, 3150, 3160) and forest catchment (3110, 3140, 3160), urbanisation, residential and commercial development (3150, 3140), transportation and service corridors (3140> 3160 > 3110, 3150), including parking areas (3140), changes in biocenotic evolution, succession, plant species composition (3110, 3130, 3140, 3150, 3160), succession of invasive species (3130), and more intense touristic exploration (3110, 3130, 3140, 3150, 3160). Only in the case of habitats 3110, 3130, 3140 changes in their conservation status have been associated with climate change.

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Quantifying spirorchiid eggs in splenic histological samples from green turtles

Summary

The present study proposes a new methodology for the quantification of parasite eggs in animal tissue. Quantification of parasites are important to understand epidemiology of spirorchiid infections in sea turtles, however different methodologies for quantifying Spirorchiidae eggs in turtle tissues have been used. The most representative way to quantify Spirorchiidae burdens in tissues is counting eggs / g of tissue, however, this method is very laborious. As an alternative, we propose quantifying number of Spirorchiidae eggs/area of tissue on a microscope slide. We compared this method to number of eggs / slide, a common metric of egg burden in turtle tissues. Both methods correlated well with eggs / g with eggs/mm2 of tissue having better correlation.

Open access
Results on search for the broad fish tapeworm Dibothriocephalus latus (Linnaeus, 1758), (syn. Diphyllobothrium latum) (Cestoda: Diphyllobothriidea), in the Danube River

Summary

Diphyllobothriosis is a fish-borne parasitic zoonosis caused by so-called “broad tapeworms” or “fish tapeworms” of different genera of the order Diphyllobothriidea. Dibothriocephalus l atus (Linnaeus 1758), (syn. Diphyllobothrium latum), is a medically important type species of the genus, whose occurrence in various European regions is either regular, e.g. in the Alpine lakes region, or occasional and sporadic, e. g. in the Danube River region. For the latter, data on the detection of D. latus plerocercoids in the second intermediate fish host (European perch Perca fluviatilis), as well as in definitive hosts (human and dog), in which infection was directly linked to the consumption of infected fish from the Danube, were published more than 50 years ago. In order to assess the current situation, we aimed to find out whether D. latus is present in the natural environment of the Danube River. In total, 700 perch from five sampling sites in the Slovak part of the Danube River were examined. Plerocercoids were not detected in any fish examined, which leads to the conclusion that D. latus is currently not present in the studied aquatic environment.

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A Review of Extant Croatian Freshwater Fish and Lampreys
Annotated list and distribution

Abstract

A checklist of the freshwater fish fauna of Croatia is presented for the first time. It is based on 1360 publications of historical and recent data in the literature. According to the literature review, there were 137 fish species in 30 families and 75 genera recorded in Croatia. The checklist is systematically arranged and provides distributional data of the freshwater fish fauna as well as whether the species is endemic, introduced or translocated.

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The Role of Hillshade, Aspect, and Toposhape in the Woodland Dieback of Arid and Semi-Arid Ecosystems: A Case Study in Zagros Woodlands of Ilam Province, Iran

Abstract

Soil moisture plays a key role in the ecological capability of arid and semi-arid woodland. Reducing soil moisture due to frequent droughts causes pest prevalence and disease outbreak and the consequence of forest dieback. On the other hand, soil moisture is strongly correlated with the amount of radiation received on the Earth’s surface. The sun’s radiation is traditionally described often by aspect and sometimes by toposhape. The use of the hillshade map for estimating solar radiation is possible through developing GIS. The present study aimed to compare the relationship and the ability of these indices to describe the phenomenon of arid and semi-arid woodland decline better and more accurately in a case study in the west of Iran. To this aim, the aspect and toposhape layers were generated in 5 and 12 classes, respectively. Then, the hillshade map in range of 0-255 was made during the peak of summer heat. The comparison of the dieback ratio in the three characteristic histograms showed that the shade index, unlike the other two indicators, had a significant effect on forest drought (R2=0.91 for linear equation and R2=0.94 for quadratic equation). The results indicated that the application of hillshade in describing and analysing ecological processes by relying on soil moisture such as woodland dieback is superior to the other two indicators. It is suggested that this index be used to obtain a risk model to predict woodlands dieback which are under the pressure of frequent droughts due to climate change or other mortal factors.

Open access
Rural Tourism to Promote Territories along the Ancient Roads of Communication: Case Study of the Rediscovery of the St. Francis’s Ways Between Florence and La Verna

Abstract

This research project aims at identifying a new network of routes and historical itineraries for the development and promotion of rural tourism in the Tuscany Region, by promoting forms of sustainable mobility in rural areas, particularly marginal ones. Religious tourism is defined as tourism, which includes visits to religious sites such as shrines, churches, abbeys, hermitages and sacred places; such places are an attraction for their religious essence as well as their artistic and cultural beauty. The ancient obsolete road system, which often survives as an archaeological relic as a precursor of the present road system, especially in rural areas, is more widespread than a layman would think. The paper refers the results of the study aimed at recovering the entire historical road that allowed pilgrims and travelers to reach La Verna (a place where St. Francis received the Stigmata) coming from Florence.

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The state of bio-ecological characteristics of the one-year shoots of Robinia pseudoacacia L. Under the conditions of industrial pollution

Abstract

The paper studies the influence of industrial pollution on bio-ecological characteristics of the one-year shoot of Robinia pseudoacacia L. in the conditions of the city of Dnipro, Ukraine. It analyses the state of biometric parameters of the shoot and anatomic indices of the stem of the studied species exposed to toxic gases. It was found that there are adaptive changes in the histological structure of the stem of R. pseudoacacia under the conditions of technogenesis. The study revealed that bio-ecological characteristics of the black locust are highly resistant to industrial emissions with big shares of SO2 and NO2. It was suggested to use R. pseudoacacia for greening of the technogenic territories.

Open access
Sysmä Community Currency: An Analysis of its Success from the Perspectives of Purposes, Stakeholders and Promotion

Abstract

The article is a case study of a local currency, recently introduced in the rurally situated municipality of Sysmä, Finland. As a small community suffering a gradual population decline since the 1960s, Sysmä municipality has begun to innovate with several projects this millennium. Here, we analyse as a narrative and from the viewpoint of experienced tensions, the introductory phase of one of these projects, which strictly is a hyper-local currency acting as a system of account. It is noted that there are unclarities regarding the purpose of the scheme, and that different stakeholders and other observers do have varying ideas about this purpose. Political decisions over limiting rights of issuance of the local currency to locally registered businesses; and its exclusive use for local association subsidies have created some challenges to the acceptance of the currency. Further, the currency has limited uptake due to technical issues, injudicious use of the marketing mix and difficulties with innovating in a rural area. Noting these issues and the peculiarity of the scheme amidst other typical European local currency schemes, the article also points out benefits of the scheme and potential future developments.

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A Ten-Year Biomonitoring Study of Atmospheric Deposition of Trace Elements at the Territory of the Republic of Belarus

Abstract

For the third time since 2005 atmospheric deposition of trace elements in Belarus was monitored by the moss technique widely used in Europe for air pollution studies. Samples of moss species of Hylocomium splendens and Pleurozium schreberi were collected at 86 sites over the Gomel, Vitebsk and Minsk Regions in the summer of 2015. A total of 30 elements were determined by epithermal neutron activation analysis. Studying of the temporal trends in Belarus was undertaken with the results obtained in previous moss surveys in 2005/2006 and 2010/2011. Comparison with the analogous data from the neighbouring countries showed relatively low contamination levels in Belarus for the most heavy and toxic elements. The results of survey 2010/2011 showed that, except Cr, other element concentrations reduce or are at the same levels.

Open access
Trophic characteristics of Lymnaea stagnalis (Mollusca: Gastropoda: Lymnaeidae) in toxic environment

Abstract

The influence of ions of heavy metals (copper, cadmium, nickel, zinc, cobalt and manganese) was investigated on the basis of trophic characteristics: the average daily ration (ADR), and duration of food passage (DFP) of the Lymnaea stagnalis L. in various concentrations of toxicants in vivisection experiment. In addition to these indicators, the total amount of food consumed in the solutions with various concentrations of pollutants was found out during the chronic experiment and it was calculated for an individual (average monthly ration – AMR). It leads to the conclusions about the intensity of food consuming considering different levels of intoxication. In solutions with lethal concentrations, the death of animals occurs during the first day of its impact due to the damage of tissues and organ systems. Chronic lethal concentrations of toxicants inhibit the nutrition of pond snails dramatically. At the beginning of the experiment, solutions of heavy metals with sublethal concentrations give some stimulatory effect on the digestive system of molluscs that is replaced by its suppression in case of longer being in the toxic environment. The influence of toxicants within a subthreshold limit cannot be considered safe because of the cumulative properties of heavy metals – they become sublethal with prolonged exposure time.

Open access