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Open access

Zuzana Sarvašová, Klára Báliková, Zuzana Dobšinská, Martina Štěrbová and Jaroslav Šálka

Abstract

Payments for ecosystem services (PES) are flexible, financial mechanisms for utilisation of available finances for environmental improvement. Payments for forest ecosystem services (PFES) have gained increasing policy acceptance at national and international levels. However, evidence about their implementation is limited and rather mixed. PES design is a complex task. There are a number of PES design features that need careful understanding of the specific ecological and socio-economic context. The aim of this article is to analyse main approaches to PFES and types of PES schemes or financial arrangements with the emphasis on three basic schemes: (i) public schemes or government-financed PES (Pigouvian type), (ii) private schemes or user-financed PES (Coasean type) and (iii) public–private schemes (a mixed type). The empirical part is based on the review of PES schemes implemented in different Forest Europe signatory countries. The main features of PES schemes are described on chosen examples from Slovakia.

Open access

Maryam Rashidi, Atefeh Chamani and Minoo Moshtaghi

Abstract

In recent decades, detrimental effects of roads have been the focus of numerous studies. Roadways have various negative effects, such as habitat fragmentation, noise and air pollution, on bird communities. This study was aimed to investigate the effects of traffic noise on the bird’s abundance during autumn period. Field operations were performed in a forest located parallel to a main high-traffic highway. The bird’s abundance was recorded using a point counting method at 27 points along three transects (65, 335 and 605 m from the road). The counting at each point was conducted every five minutes and repeated once every week (12 times during autumn). Environmental indices including the number of trees with DBH of over 20 cm, the number of standing dead trees, canopy cover percentage and Leq 30 were also measured. A total of 2950 bird belonging to 30 species were observed. The number of dominant species (more than 10) in the area considerably changed as the distance from the road increased. Leq 30 had the greatest correlation coefficient with bird abundance. Therefore, traffic noise has negative effects on the bird’s abundance in this area.

Open access

Edita Štefanić, Vesna Kovačević, Slavica Antunović, Božica Japundžić-Palenkić, Dinko Zima, Alka Turalija and Nikola Nestorović

Abstract

This paper analyses the floristic biodiversity of weed communities in the arable lands of the Istrian peninsula during a twelve year period (2005–2017). A total of 50 fields were surveyed for each sampling time using the seven-degree Braun-Blanquet cover abundance scale in the following agricultural categories: a) permanent crops (vineyards/olive groves), b) alfalfa fields, c) cereals, d) row crops and e) ruderal areas. The taxonomic identification was performed during the full development of vegetation, for cereals in June and July, and for the rest – in August and September. A total of 175 weed species were determined during both study periods with Asteraceae and Poaceae families as the most abundant. Altogether, therophytes were dominant in both surveys, followed by hemycryptophytes and geophytes. Variations in species composition were visible in both study periods (2005 and 2017) as well as in the selected habitat types. Exclusive species were found in addition to those that were common for both surveys. Changes in species composition between 2005 and 2017 referred to the difference in row spacing in earlier period, and ruderal vs. agricultural habitats in the recent survey. The differences in phenological traits between the past and present surveys were greatest for germination season in permanent crops and row crops, flowering start for permanent crops, flowering period for ruderal area and weed height for permanent crops. Significant differences between the past and present survey for other plant traits did not occur.

Open access

Wondwosen Abera and Mohammed Assen

Abstract

Soil quality (SQ) dynamics assessment vis-à-vis land use/land cover (LULC) and elevation variations in Ethiopia is desirable as elevation impact on land use is highly pronounced. This study examined SQ indicators dynamics across LULC and elevation variations. For this, surface soil samples (0−20 cm) were collected from the recognized LULC categories of different elevations in Wanka watershed, northwestern Ethiopian highlands. Both disturbed and undisturbed soil samples that were taken from three adjacent LULC (natural forest, grazing and cultivated lands) and elevation (2238–2300, 2400–2600, and 2700–2800) classes analysed for the selected physico-chemical SQ indicators. Two-way ANOVA, Tukey’s multiple comparison test and SQ deterioration index were computed. The impact of LULC and elevation was found significant on key SQ indicators. In cultivated and grazing lands, soil organic matter (SOM) and soil nutrients like total nitrogen declined significantly (p < 0.01). Conversely, bulk density increased significantly (p < 0.01). The divalent basic cations (Ca2+ and Mg2+), cation exchange capacity and pH significantly (p < 0.01) decreased in upper elevation. Synergetic effect of LULC and elevation variations was found significant (p < 0.01) on SOM, total nitrogen, available phosphorus, water content at field capacity and soil particle distribution (silt and clay). Thus, elevation specific land management strategies that improve these SQ indicators need to be emphasized.

Open access

Ivan Korshikov, Yulia Belonozhko and Helena Lapteva

Abstract

In this study, we compare the pathological mitosis rates, chromosomal abnormalities and nucleolar organizer activity in Pinus pallasiana D. Don seedlings from natural population in the Crimean Mountains and from the urban plantations in the steppe of Ukraine. On the stages of anaphase and telophase of mitosis, such chromosomal abnormalities as bridges were most often found in the seeds of plantations exposed to air pollutants, whereas lead and agglutination of chromosomes were found in seeds from iron ore dump stands. Our studies have shown that P. pallasiana can be used for genotoxic monitoring of technogenic polluted lands.

Open access

Jana Júdová, Radoslava Kanianska, Jana JaĎuĎová, Miriam Kizeková and Jarmila Makovníková

Abstract

Land use changes are local phenomena with global impact. They have an impact in a cumulative sense on biodiversity or soil degradation. This study aimed to examine the effects of different land-uses (arable land, permanent grasslands, abandoned grasslands, forest land) on the selected biotic and abiotic soil parameters in the Slovak mountain study sites Liptovská Teplička and Tajov. Biotic (microbial community structure, earthworm number and fresh body biomass, arthropod number and fresh body biomass), and abiotic chemical soil parameters (pH, total organic carbon, total nitrogen, nutrients) were measured. According to MALDI-TOF (Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization-Time of Flight), several bacterial strains were identified. Mutual relations between soil microorganisms and soil biotic and abiotic properties determined by different land uses were analysed. Microbial response expressed as average well-colour development (AWCD) values indicated relations between higher microbial diversity and higher nutrient availability at both study sites. In the comparison of land use types, permanent grasslands (PG) showed the lowest microbial activity in the depth of 0–0.1 m. But in the depth of 0.2-0.3 m in PG of both study sites, the higher microbial activity was recorded compared to the depth of 0-0.1 m. In addition, lower AWCD values in PG were in line with the lower available P and K content but higher earthworm density and biomass.

Open access

Ngo Thi Lu, Phung Thi Thu Hang, Nguyen Huu Tuyen, Ha Thi Giang and Nguyen Thanh Hai

Abstract

This article examines in detail the characteristics of Dien Bien earthquake on 19 February 2001 and its aftershocks. On the basis of the temporal development of aftershocks and the spatial distribution of tectonic faults, five aftershock series have been determined. The analysis of spatial distribution and temporal evolution of these five aftershock series has clarified the development in the source zone of Dien Bien earthquake, which is closely related to the active and recent activities of tectonic faults in the area, especially Lai Chau Dien Bien fault. The comparison between characteristics of aftershock activities of Dien Bien earthquake and geomorphological features as well as tectonic activities in the area has indicated that the magnitude of these aftershocks and their temporal evolution (early or late) depend not only on the closer or further distance compared to the mainshock and the active faults that cause them but also on terrain elevation, slope index, lineament density and their positions relative to other tectonic faults in the studied area.

Open access

Daria Svidzinska

Abstract

As anisotropy is a fundamental property of the real-world environmental spatial variables, the conventional omnidirectional variograms and correlograms do not provide means enough to characterise spatial dependence between observations. The purpose of this article is to introduce directional univariate structure functions analysis to explore and quantify the spatial anisotropy of environmental variables. Analysis of six environmental variables within three physical–geographical regions proved the leading role of relief for landscape differentiation; it also defined the size and extension of major landforms responsible for the organisation of spatial pattern. The arrangement of the vegetation patches demonstrated linkage with the major landforms. The other relief derivatives, being prone to noise and artefacts in the original data, showed a random-variable type of behaviour. In the lack of any particular spatially anisotropic structure, the results of the analysis can provide a clue about meaningful distances of interest at finer scales. The approach can also be an exploratory tool for discrete measurements to recognise the features of spatial continuity.

Open access

Ihor Kozak, Ivan Balaniuk, Diana Szelenko, Sergiy Balaniuk and Hanna Kozak

Abstract

The study was conducted within the actual area of Krempna commune in Jaslo county Podkarpackie voivodeship in Poland. Historical data and maps were analysed using the ArcGIS 10.3 program. The changes in the number of villages, householders and human population were presented. Religious composition for the year 1785 and ethnic composition for the year 1939 were evaluated. Only in the case of Ukrainian population, the Moran’s test has shown dispersed distribution (Index Moran’s for Ukrainians = −0.478664; Z = −1.684100; P = 0.092162). The total number of householders increased from 915 in the year 1785 to 1,409 householders in the year 1939 and decreased to 349 in the year 1965 and 333 in the year 2018. The traditional village system (TVS) of Krempna commune was depopulated after World War II. As a result, the agricultural abandonment and forest succession developed. Class area (CA) of settlements decreased from 1174.02 ha in the year 1939 to 248.13 ha in the year 1965 and 240.2 ha in the year 2018, and CA of forests increased from 7,268.20 ha in the year 1939 to 15,465.20 ha in the year 1965 and 15,841.3 ha in the year 2018. Villages that had begun the core of TVS together with tserkvas and chapels in the centre of village, roadside crosses and traditional private farms were lost. The scale and results of such changes are interesting for future research, mainly in terms of change in TVS infrastructure and culture.

Open access

Nadiia Yorkina, Olexander Zhukov and Olena Chromysheva

Abstract

The study of potential possibilities of mesofauna as bioindicator of soil contamination by heavy metals is one of the most important areas of urban ecology and soil biology. The work presents the results of ecotoxicological and bioindicative assessment of the environment and the biota of the Melitopol urbosystem of Ukraine. The dynamics of chemical properties of soils in different functional zones of the city is analysed. The complex indices of pollution of environmental components are determined. A bioindicative assessment of the ecological condition of the territory of the urbosystem on the indicators of vitality of the soil mesofauna is carried out. For the first time, regional species-bioindicators for the territory of the city of Melitopol were determined. The ecomorphic structure of soil mesofauna of various functional zones of the city was revealed.