In 2010, an attempt was made to quantify bird species breeding in the Opava Mts. and their foothill (c. 135 km2, including c. 40 km2 [31%] of forests). The area is situated in the extreme south of Opole Silesia, SSW Poland. For most non-passerine species, total counts were made for the whole area (distribution of their breeding pairs is shown on maps), while for most passerine species, semi-quantitative studies were conducted. A total of 116 breeding and two probably breeding bird species were recorded. Changes in breeding avifauna of the area during the years 1880-2010 are also analysed based on literature search. A total of 134 breeding bird species were recorded over the 130 years. During the years 1990-2010, decreae in numbers has been evidenced for the following species: Perdix perdix, Tetrastes bonasia, Tyto alba, Athene noctua, Corvus frugilegus, and Nycifraga caryocatactes, In the same period, increase in numbers has been documented for species such as: Accipiter gentilis, Falco tinnunculus, Columba oenas, Jynx torquilla, Dryocopus martius, Picus canus, Picus viridis, Motacilla cinerea, Luscinia megarhynchos, Phoenicurus phoenicurus, Saxicola rubicola, Locustella naevia, Locustella fluviatilis, Corvus corax and Corvus cornix. Opava Mts. and its foothills constitute an imporant conservation area. Fifteen species listed in Annex I of the Bird Directive of the E.U. were recorded there, including a sizable population of Ficedula albicollis.
Issam Bouchahdane, Mohamed Boukhemza, Karim Souttou and Arezki Derridj
Knowledge and study of breeding birds’ biology is essential to understand the dynamic, assess productivity and identify threats. The population of booted eagles (Hieraaetus pennatus) was studied during three consecutive breeding seasons (2013−2015) in the Chettabah forest. Each year, arrivals of Booted eagles are recorded during March (15 individuals in 2013, 12 in 2014 and 11 in 2015). For the three years of study, the mean breeding pair’s density was 1.23 ± 0.153/km2, incubation period ranged from 33 to 38 days, whilst the frequency distribution of clutch size was 67.6% for 2 eggs, 27% for 1 and 5.4% for 3. Amongst the 63 eggs monitored, 55 hatched. No significant variation in hatching rate was observed during the 3 years (90% in 2013, 76.19% in 2014 and 84% in 2015). The comparison of breeding parameters with those reported in Spain showed a noticeable similarity. Further investigations should be conducted to improve the provision of information to support sound management interventions of this North African population.
Snowbed vegetation is one of the most sensitive alpine vegetation type to the climate change, because shortened period of snow cover has essential impact on the snowbed environment. We focus on its changes in the Western Tatras, which is a part of the Western Carpathians (Slovakia). The assessment of changes in snowbed vegetation is based on the method of pair comparison. In 2016–2018, we resampled 21 historical phytocoenological relevés of Festucion picturatae and Salicion herbaceae alliances from 1974 and 1976. Historical data include 45 species, while recent data include 50 species. We observed a decrease in the frequency of species characteristic for snowbeds and, on the other hand, an increase in that for strong competitors, especially grasses and small shrubs from adjacent habitats. According to Ellenberg’s ecological indices, there is some increase in temperature and decrease in light ecological factors in snowbed habitats. In S. herbaceae data, a statistically significant increase in the average species number was observed with new species that penetrated from the adjacent habitats. Changes in species composition between historical and recent data are confirmed by Non-metric multidimensional scaling (nMDS) ordination diagram. Linear mixed-effect models showed big variability in factors that have impact on phytodiversity; nevertheless, temperature is the most significant factor.
Orsolya Valkó, Rocco Labadessa, Salza Palpurina, Sabina Burrascano, Atushi Ushimaru and Stephen Venn
Palaearctic grasslands are diverse and dynamic ecosystems that are in the focus of ecology, conservation biology and agronomy. This special issue is dedicated to the biodiversity and conservation issues of Palaearctic grasslands and was initiated by the Eurasian Dry Grassland Group members attending the 14th Eurasian Dry Grassland Conference (EDGC) at Sulmona, Italy in 2018. The papers in this special issue cover a wide range of grassland ecosystems from mountain dry grasslands to lowland loess grasslands, feathergrass steppes and wet grasslands, and focus on the biodiversity values and conservation issues of Palaearctic grasslands. We believe that this compilation will contribute to a better understanding of the ecology of grasslands and support their more effective conservation.
The unpublished zoogeographical views of louse flies from genus Hippobosca deposited in Collection of the Zoological institute of Russian Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg, Russia from Transcaucasia are summarized. A total 248 deposited samples and one recent sample belonging to species Hippobosca equina Linnaeus, 1758 and Hippobosca longipennis Fabricius, 1805 from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Southern Caucasus and north-western Iran are presented.
Jürgen Dengler, Stefan Widmer, Eline Staubli, Manuel Babbi, Jamyra Gehler, Daniel Hepenstrick, Ariel Bergamini, Regula Billeter, Steffen Boch, Sven Rohrer and Iwona Dembicz
The upper Rhone valley in the Swiss canton of Valais is one of the driest and most continental of the inner-alpine valleys and harbours a rich xerothermic flora. We studied syntaxonomy and ecology of dry grasslands and their species richness patterns. In 2018 we recorded 28 vegetation plots (10 m2) and three nested-plot series of 0.0001 to 100 m2 on the south-facing slopes above the village of Ausserberg. Mean richness of all species ranged from 1.7 on 1 cm2 to 47.3 on 100 m2, with little contribution of bryophytes and lichens. The species-area relationship for total richness closely followed a power function. Modified TWINSPAN yielded a three-cluster solution, which could easily be matched with three orders of the class Festuco-Brometea: Stipo pulcherrimae-Festucetalia pallentis (xeric, rocky), Festucetalia valesiacae (xeric, non-rocky) and Brachypodietalia pinnati (meso-xeric). The subdivision of the xeric types into two orders is new for Swiss dry grasslands, where these types up to now had been joined in a single alliance Stipo-Poion within the Festucetalia valesiacae.
Aloysius Suratin, Eka Triakuntini and Herdis Herdiansyah
The status of the availability of water resources in DKI (Indonesia’s Special Region of) Jakarta has reached a critical phase. Determination of progressive tariffs by the DKI Jakarta Provincial Government in 2007 aimed to encourage water users to use water resources rationally and in a sustainable way. However, since the launch of the policy, there has been no evaluation to determine the effectiveness of these progressive tariffs. This research analysed empirical data to examine the effect of policy interventions on water use behaviour in DKI Jakarta. An analysis was carried out by calculating water usage before progressive tariffs were applied and comparing them to water use after the tariffs were applied. Another analysis calculated the number of customers before and after the implementation of progressive tariffs and compared the changes. The increase in water prices plotted are stated in nominal value by assuming the average level of inflation in Jakarta (especially the price of water) was nearly under 2 percent and the price of water was not controlled by the market mechanism The results of this study indicate that before progressive tariffs were applied, water consumption had declined despite an increase in the number of customers, however, water consumption increased after the implementation. This shows that progressive tariffs are effective instruments to distribute clean water access through cross-subsidies, however, it has no effect on consumption levels.
Jürgen Dengler, Alla Aleksanyan, Didem Ambarlı, Idoia Biurrun, Iwona Dembicz, Anna Kuzemko, Péter Török, Stephen Venn and Michael Vrahnakis
This report summarises the activities and achievements of the Eurasian Dry Grassland Group (EDGG) from January 2018 through July 2019. During the reported period, two Eurasian Grassland Conference (EGCs) took place: the 15th EGC in Sulmona, Italy, and the 16th EGC in Graz, Austria. The 11th and 12th EDGG Field Workshops studied vegetation diversity patterns in the inner alpine valleys of Austria and Switzerland, while the 13th Field Workshop was organised in Armenia. The formerly electronic newsletter of EDGG (Bulletin of the Eurasian Dry Grassland) was transformed into a peer-reviewed international journal, called Palaearctic Grasslands, which now is attracting both scientific and photographic contributions. Furthermore, the EDGG homepage was re-constructed with a new design and content management system. The EDGG has also finalised two grassland-related Special Features during the past 1.5 years in the international journals Tuexenia and Hacquetia, and contributed with eight chapters to the book Grasslands of the World: Diversity, Management and Conservation. The vegetation-plot database GrassPlot, containing standardised multi-scale data from Palaearctic grasslands and closely connected with EDGG, has developed well, as did some other regional and national grassland-focused databases.
Balázs Deák, Csaba Albert Tóth, Ádám Bede, Iva Apostolova, Tatyana M. Bragina, Ferenc Báthori and Miklós Bán
Eurasian steppes have an essential role in conserving biodiversity, but due to the huge habitat loss in the past centuries they are often preserved only in small refuges. Among such refuges are the ancient steppic burial mounds (the so called ‘kurgans’) which have a high cultural and historical importance and are also essential sites of nature conservation. Despite their high number (approximately half million) and conservational importance there is a huge lack of knowledge on the locality and conservational state of the kurgans in most regions of Eurasia. To fill this knowledge gap, we built a public database which allows to record and query basic information on their cultural values and factors (such as land cover type, threatening factors, cover of woody species) that might serve as a basis for their effective conservation. The database provides a transparent, public and easy-to-use source for conservation managers and landscape planners focussed on grassland conservation. In addition, it also provides background information for other associate disciplines and public agencies dealing with the protection of cultural heritage.
Michaela Havlíková, Lucie Crespo Stupková and Lenka Plíšková
This paper proposes a new methodology for assessing the potential of sustainable tourism. It examines the overall potential of the landscape when faced with the negative impacts of tourism. Our assessment combines components of tourism and environmental sustainability. The methodology involved consultation with experts, and verification by tourists before being applied to the study area. The methodology was then applied to selected tourism centres in the Giant Mountains. The Giant Mountains are a popular tourist destination thanks to their outstanding natural beauty, and represent significant potential for tourism development. They are also one of the most over-burdened regions from tourism in the Czech Republic. However, many negative impacts of tourism exist, reducing the overall tourism potential of the region. Comparative results from the individual tourist centres in the study reveal the significant impact of potentially reducing attributes. Our assessment of the potential for sustainable tourism development in the area thus combines the environmental aspect of sustainable forms of tourism, with the identification of the most serious threats that need to be avoided to maintain the environment in the long-term. The results reveal the significant impact of excessive and inappropriate infrastructure and housing, as well as insufficient environmental education and legislation.