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Abstract

The aim of the research was to verify the functionality of the ecological network elements from the point of view of wildlife mammal migrations in the observed territory. Theoretical basis defines fragmentation of the landscape, the migrations of forest animals, ecological networks, and their connectivity. In the research territory, species such as Capreolus capreolus, Cervus elaphus, Sus scrofa, Vulpes vulpes, Castor fiber and Lepus europaeus were recognized. The result of the issue is the confirmation or reversal of the functionality of the ecological network elements of the forest animal migrations and the actual status in the observed area. In the contact areas of the Small Carpathians forests and the lowland areas, the research was carried out during 2015, 2016, and 2017. The results have shown that the game tends to migrate between the Small Carpathian forests and the adjacent lowland, but the migration potential is very limited because of the presence of strong migration barriers. Biocenters located in the monitored area provide a variety of conditions and are widely used by almost all species, and we consider them to be functional in terms of game migration. Biocorridors are problematic, whose functionality with regard to the migration of wildlife is considerably limited because of the location of the D2 highway and first- and second-class roads.

Abstract

Geospatial technology has an enormous capacity to analyze large and diversified datasets for evaluating the hidden spatial relationship which provides a better comprehension of the subject and helps significantly in policymaking and planning future strategies.

This study has examined the relationship among diversified remote sensing and GIS datasets such as GHG emission from cropland, rice cultivation area, agro-ecological region, Land use/Land cover (LULC) categories, long-term NDVI (1982−2006) based negative changes, agriculture vulnerability, drought-prone area and future (2021, 2050) climate change anomalies (RCP-6) of India for better understanding and knowledge of the GHG emission scenario, vegetation health, LULC, agriculture vulnerability, and future climate change impact. The LULC analysis revealed that 49.6% (1 628 959 km²) of the geographical area was found to be under category ‘cropland’. The 32.5% of the total cropland areas are used for rice cultivation whereas around 76% of this rice cultivation area is producing high GHG emission (>1000 Mg CO2 e/yr.). LULC categories ‘Cropland’ and ‘Plantation’ show the long-term (1982−2006) negative change equivalent to 19.7 and 70.2% respectively. Similarly, around 56% of LULC categories representing the forest show the long-term negative change whereas the maximum change (139 867 km²) was found in the category of ‘Deciduous Broadleaf Forest’. The 30.6% of the LULC category of ‘cropland’ falls in very high agriculture vulnerable areas whereas 31.7% of the same category falls in the drought-prone area. The significant increase in temperature and abrupt rainfall patterns were observed during Kharif and Rabi seasons in the future. Such variation of climate parameter in the future not only adversely affect the agriculture crop production but also the natural vegetation of India.

The outcomes of the present study would support the policymakers of India to implement the climate-smart agriculture (CSA) and REDD+ on an urgent priority based on a proper evaluation of the socio-economic condition of the poor people. It will certainly help in the reduction of GHG emission, forest amelioration, will bring the resilience in livelihood and mitigate the poverty among the rural communities for the betterment of people.

Abstract

The study was conducted in pure Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) forests and mixed forests of Scots pine and silver birch (Betula pendula Roth.) within the Chernihiv Polissya physiographic region of Ukraine. The aim of the study was a comparative analysis of forest mensuration characteristics and health condition of pine and mixed pine-birch stands planted on formerly arable lands and cutover areas after pine stands infected by annosum root rot. It was found that in pine stands planted on formerly arable land, the average diameter of living trees in the root rot disease focus was 1–6% larger and the average diameter of dead trees was 11–23% larger than those outside the disease focus. Due to the pathological loss inside the disease foci, the pine stand density was much lower – by 14–38% and the growing stock volume was 16–35% less as compared to the outside areas. Mixed pine-birch stands (with a predominance of pine trees), established on the cutover areas after pine stands affected by root rot, had a 20% greater stock volume and the birch-pine stands (with birch predominance) in the clear-cuts had 18% greater stock volume than pure pine stands inside the root rot disease area. The pine trees were assessed as “weakened” in the mixed stands and as “severely weakened” in the pure pine stand inside the disease focus. The birch trees in mixed stands were characterized as “healthy”.

Abstract

Under marginal nutritional conditions, growth in utero is related to subsequent growth and adult height. The aim of this research is to compare the young adult body size of women grouped by estimated duration of pregnancy relative to World War II. Subjects were 620 university students 18-25 years, for whom archival data for date of birth, age, height and weight were available; the BMI was calculated. Based on estimated time of pregnancy and birth relative to WWII, the women were grouped as follows: (1) pregnancy and birth before the war (n=203); (2) pregnancy before the war, birth during the war (n=54); (3) pregnancy and birth during the war (n=173); (4) pregnancy during the war, birth after the war (n=16); and (5) pregnancy and birth after the war (n=174). Heights of women born before and after WWII were significantly taller than heights of women born during the war. Though not significant, the height of women who were conceived before but born during the war was intermediate between those of women born before and during the war. The height of women conceived during the war but born after the war was similar to that of women conceived and born during the war. In contrast, BMIs and the distributions of women by weight status did not differ among the five pregnancy groups. The results suggested that heights of young adult women exposed in utero to the conditions of WWII (marginal nutritional status, maternal stress, among other factors) were shorter than women who were not exposed in utero to wartime conditions.

Abstract

We studied photosynthetic pigments in needles of Pісеа аbies and P. pungens in plantings exposed to aerotechnogenic influence of various levels in the big industrial center of steppe zone of Ukraine (Kryvyi Rih). We analyzed the pigment content in needles of the second year of life sampled from 30 to 40-year-old trees of both species in 6 monitoring sites for 5 months. For the needles of P. аbies and P. pungens from all the sites, we noticed the decreasing content of chlorophyll a (to 27.2 and 25.0%, respectively) and chlorophyll b (to 17.9 and 20.0%, respectively) from May till September, in comparison with background territory. At the same time, the content of carotenoids performing the protective function in photosynthetic reactions increased up to 26.1 and 24.0%, respectively. For P. аbies and P. pungens growing in conditions of intensive technogenic pressure, we ascertained that, during investigations, the sum of chlorophylls (a + b) rate decreased to 24.4 and 23.6%, respectively; ratio (a/b) decreased to 11.4 and 12.3%, respectively; ratio (chlorophylls [a + b]/carotenoids) also decreased to 30.1 and 38.0%, respectively, in comparison with plants from the least polluted site. It is shown that the most intensive negative influence on plantings is caused by industrial pollution and exhaust gases: the minimum or, more rarely, the maximum rates of pigment content appeared in needles of the plants exactly from these sites. Our research results demonstrate the feasibility of using the pigment complexes of P. аbies and P. pungens, with the assimilative apparatus sensitive to air pollution damage, as indicators of air environmental conditions.

Abstract

Climate change is a major global issue, which is becoming increasingly important on the international scene. As it has a direct impact on ecosystems and societies. Water is at the heart of these changes. The aim of this article was to capture all the microeconomic and macroeconomic effects of resource availability, and to propose a sequential dynamic computable general equilibrium (CGE) model that takes into account long-term changes in the availability of the primary resource (water supply) with regard to population growth (demand). The results show that the very negative effects on the economy of water shortages could be counteracted by the introduction of a marginal cost demand management policy. This makes it possible to better manage the scarcity of this resource. In fact, the model shows that when Algeria is facing water deficits, the marginal cost tariff policy reverses the trends of an economy that would maintain a tariff policy at average cost. Total investment increases, and total welfare deteriorates less. The drop in the price of water (input and final good), generated by the transition from an average cost pricing to a marginal cost pricing, generates an expansion of many sectors, and stimulates economic activity which reduces the rate of unemployment.

Abstract

The construction of highways leads to several environmental and landscape impacts, including the fragmentation of natural habitats for many animal species. Highway projects are therefore generally accompanied by mobilisations from the inhabitants of the areas concerned and environmental associations. This work aims to model the potential impacts of a highway project in France on ecological networks and to study the reception of the results by the opponents of this project. We have adopted a three-step approach. First, a land-cover map of the study area was produced at a fine scale of 10 m resolution. Second, we developed a multi-species approach by defining fifteen species groups representative of different habitats of our study area. Third, the design of landscape graphs and the resulting calculation of connectivity metrics allowed mapping the impact of the highway on multi-species ecological connectivity. Reflexive feedback from comments on these results by the public during a mobilisation day against the highway project allows assessment of the relevance of such a modelling approach in this context.

Abstract

The indicators of perinatal outcome are birth weight and gestational age. The standard method of assessing the outcome is comparing the newborn’s birth weight with the reference system, presented in the form of percentile charts. Acceleration or delay in prenatal development, which are associated with environmental changes, stress the need to validate the developmental norms. The goal of this study is to evaluate the need to construct new and accurate reference standards. The study includes data of newborns from singleton pregnancies: 4919 born in 2000 and 3683 born in 2015. Study variables included gestational age, sex, and birth weight. Percentile values estimated for two groups of infants born in years separated by a 15-year period, born in 2000 and in 2015, were compared. Birth weight percentiles, from the 28th to the 42nd week of gestation, were calculated using the Lambda Mu Sigma method. Estimated values revealed the birth weight standards in different weeks of gestational age for both years: 2000 and 2015. Comparison among medians estimated for infants born in these years showed the existence of significant differences among boys in the 28th, 36th, and 39th weeks and among girls in the 34th and 41st weeks of gestational age. As the period between the two measurements involves several years, environmental changes during this time period might have significantly affected the course of pregnancy and thus the birth weight. Hence, there is a need to validate the developmental norms. The reference standards should be renewed, and must be done on a periodical basis.

Abstract

In the literature there are no unequivocal assessments of the effect of paternal age on the risk of cerebral palsy (CP). The objective of the studies was the analysis of the influence of paternal age on this risk, considering all the important risk factors and division into singleton and twin, as well as term- and preterm-born infants. The inquiry included a group of 278 children with cerebral palsy from selected education-therapeutic institutions in Poland. The control group consisted of the data from medical records of 435 neonates born in God’s Mercy Hospital in Limanowa, Poland. The data were based on a questionnaire designed to obtain information which would make it possible to ascertain the probable etiological factors. Constructed models of logistic regression were used in statistical analysis. The results were presented as the odds ratio (OR) with 95% confidence interval (CI). Though the estimation with a complex model of logistic regression showed no significant effect of paternal age on the occurrence of cerebral palsy, it confirmed it as a stronger predictor compared to maternal age. Disregarding paternal of age while considering maternal age and other risk factors may lead to a bias in the estimations of the risk cerebral palsy.

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to provide an overview of bluefin tuna, with special regard to its farming challenges. Tuna is one of the most prominent species in fisheries worldwide. The high market value of tuna stocks has led to intensified fishing pressure that resulted in drastic population reductions in every ocean where these fish are found. It is very difficult to obtain the necessary data for the appropriate stock assessment analysis, and there is a very high degree of uncertainty in the models used to evaluate Atlantic bluefin tuna stocks. Tuna-farming could help reduce pressure on the tuna population, but the problem is that the majority of cage-farmed fish is caught in its natural environment (wild population), and thus is fattened or farmed to a certain size. Additionally, the challenges in tuna farming are numerous. Tuna is a fast swimmer, a large energy and oxygen consumer, therefore consuming a large portion of available food to maintain its metabolism. However, due to its delicious taste, high market price and a large demand for this species, pressure will probably continue to grow in the future. Therefore intensive farming, which implies the full breeding cycle in captivity, remains one of the possible solutions that could help reduce the pressure on the tuna population.