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Above and Below Ground Biomass and Carbon Stock in Permanent Grasslands of Slovakia

Abstract

This paper aimed to monitory the dry matter biomass production and carbon stocks of above-and below-ground biomass in five types of grasslands in Slovakia: i) lowland oversowed pasture ii) lowland hay meadows, iii) mesophilous pasture, iv) mountain hay meadows, v) abandoned grassland. Averaged over two cropping seasons the total above-and below-ground biomass differed significantly across the monitored grasslands. It ranged respectively from 2.18 to 7.86 t/ha and from 9.64 to 22.67 t/ha dry matter depending on the pedoclimatic condition and the botanical composition of each grassland type. Consequently, this resulted also in the carbon stocks in above-and below-ground biomass. Generally, the mean carbon stocks were 1.56 t/ha for above-ground biomass (24%) and 4.83 t/ha for below-ground biomass (76%). The botanical composition for all the grassland types was also described. The highest number of plant species (55) was observed in lowland hay meadow located in Slovak Karst, the lowest one (23) for the oversowed grassland located in Eastern Slovak Upland. This monitoring paper showed that semi-natural grassland habitats and improved grasslands as well are an important carbon sink, and they can play a key role in global climate change mitigation.

Open access
Adaptive Abilities of Broad Bean (Vicia faba L.) Accession in Terms of Main Quantitative Traits

Abstract

The experimental activity was conducted at the Institute of Forage Crops (Pleven) during the period 2016 – 2018. The adaptive ability of 10 broad bean accessions was determined with respect to main quantitative traits based on parametric and nonparametric analysis. The environment influences to the highest degree the traits of 1st pod height, pods number and seed weight per plant. The plant height and seeds number were strongly influenced by the genotype, and the mass of 100 seeds was determined by the genotype × environment interaction. The broad bean accessions can be distributed as follows: Fb 1929 has a high value of the 1st pod height (34 cm) and is characterized by high plasticity and stability; BGE 029055 and Fb 1896 are stable and form a large number of pods per plant (11 – 15); Fb 1896 and Fb 2486 are distinguished with good adaptability and stability, increased seed weight (28.01 and 30.28 g, respectively) and 100 seeds mass (105.48 g and 91.31 g). Accessions BGE 032012 and Fb 2481 represent a selection value in terms of plant height (61.36 and 65.83 cm); Fb 1929 – in 1st pod height (32.46 cm); and BGE 029055, Fb 1896 and Fb 2486 – in pods number (10.59, 9.67 and 11.89). Fb 1896, Fb 2486 and BGE 041470 can be used to develop a new genetic diversity in breeding aimed at increasing the mass of 100 seeds and seed productivity.

Open access
Application of ZnO-nanoparticles to manage Rhizopus soft rot of sweet potato and prolong shelf-life

Abstract

A reduction in crop spoilage and an increase in shelf-life is the goal of effective disease control methods. This study aimed to assess ZnO-nanoparticles (ZnO-NPs) as a safe, new protectant against Rhizopus soft rot of sweet potato. ZnO-NPs had a fungicidal effect against Rhizopus stolonifer when used at concentrations above 50 ppm. The results showed that tubers treated with ZnO-NPs exhibited fewer fungal populations (1.2 CFU per segment) than those that did not receive the treatment. Tubers infected with Rhizopus stolonifer and treated with ZnO-NPs showed no visible decay for up to 15 days, indicating that ZnO-NPs act as a coating layer on tuber surface. The greatest weight loss after 15 days of storage was reported in infected tubers (8.98%), followed by infected tubers treated with ZnO (6.54%) and infected tubers treated with ZnO-NPs (3.79%). The activity of cell-wall degrading enzymes, α-amylase and cellulase, were significantly increased in both infected tubers and those treated with ZnO, compared to the tubers treated with ZnO-NPs. These results confirm that coating with ZnO-NPs is an effective method of protecting sweet potato tubers from infection, maintaining their quality and increasing their shelf-life for up to 2 months in storage.

Open access
Assessment of bio-agent (Trichoderma Harzianum) in the management of two pepper varieties infected with root-knot nematode (Meloidogyne Incognita)

Abstract

Two field trials were carried out at the Teaching and Research Farm of the University of Ilorin in the 2012 and 2014 planting seasons to find out the effeciency of Trichoderma harzianum as a bio-control agent in controlling root-knot nematode (Meloidogyne incognita) in two pepper varieties (F1 Nikita and Gianfranco Fuscello). A 2 × 2 factorial design fitted into a randomized complete block design (RCBD) was used with 5 replications. The T. harzianum filtrate significantly increased plant height, number of leaves, and yield. The control showed higher root galling and soil nematode population. Varietal differences showed that F1 Nikita performed significantly better than G. Fuscello. The combination of Trichoderma and F1 Nikita appears effective for managing root-knot nematodes.

Open access
The behaviour of some hyacinth varieties in forced culture

Abstract

This paper presents the behaviour of five hyacinth varieties: ‘City of Haarlem’, ‘Blue Jacket’, ‘Miss Saigon’, ‘Jan Boss’, and ‘Double Prince of Love’ in forced culture under the influence of different culture substrates. For this purpose, the following parameters were monitored concerning the main characteristics: number of flowers from inflorescence, length of stem flower, earliness of flowering period, and the flowers’ blooming period. The results of this work show that in culture substrate garden soil and sand (1:1) the best results were obtained regarding the length of the floral stem, number of flowers from inflorescence, and flowering period, and less favourable results were obtained for bloom precocity.

Open access
Bio-chemical properties and susceptibility to fire blight (Erwinia amylovora Burrill) of scab-resistant apple cultivars (Malus domestica Borkh.)

Abstract

The focus of our research was to evaluate different apples cultivars in terms of their biological properties and bioactive compounds content, and determine the levels of their resistance (or susceptibility) to fire blight. The properties of 10 scab-resistant apple cultivars were examined on the Žiča monastery estate (West Serbia) during the period from 2011 to 2015. The biological and chemical properties such as firmness, maturity stage, total soluble solids, total acids, total and reducing sugars, ascorbic acid content and surface blush of apple fruits were monitored. Various phenolic compounds in the tested samples were tentatively identified by LC-MS analyses. A study of generative properties included: number of flower buds, fruit mass and width, crop load, yield efficiency and yield. During the period of blooming and intensive shoot growth, artificial inoculations were carried out. For each cultivar, a fire blight score was determined by dividing the average length of necrotic tissue by the average total shoot length. In the study period, the cultivars ‘GoldRush’ (41.1 t ha−1) and ‘Florina’ (35.9 t ha−1) produced the highest yields, and the cultivars ‘Discovery’ (19.0 t ha−1) and Selection 25/63 (15.1 t ha−1) the lowest. The cultivar ‘William’s Pride’ produced the largest fruits, with an average fruit mass of 206.8 g. The earliest harvest period was recorded for the cultivar ‘Discovery’ (end of July), and the latest for the cultivar ‘GoldRush’ (beginning of October). The cultivar ‘Enterprise’ had the highest value of total phenols (432.2 mg 100 g −1 FW), while the cultivar ‘Topaz’ had the highest value of total flavanols (145.2 mg 100 g−1 FW). The highest degree of susceptibility to fire blight was found in Selection 25/63, and the greatest resistance was manifested by the cultivar ‘GoldRush’. In the five-year study period, the cultivars ‘GoldRush’, ‘Rewena’ and ‘Enterprise’ exhibited better bio-chemical properties and higher levels of resistance to fire blight than the remaining cultivars.

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Breeding avifauna of Opava Mountains and their foothills, Opole Silesia

Abstract

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.

Open access
Calcium Chloride and Drought Stress Changed Grain Yield and Physiological Traits in Sesame (Sesamum indicum L.)

Abstract

Water deficit or drought stress is one of the most significant abiotic stresses that induce reduction in plant growth and crops yield. Calcium chloride has been shown to ameliorate the adverse effects of drought stress on many plants. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the role of calcium chloride in drought resistance and its effect on some physiological characteristics in sesame. Calcium is essential for good growth and structure of plants. In sesame (Sesamum indicum L.), the foliar application of calcium chloride (C1=0 (control), C2=5, C3=10 and C4=15 mM concentration) significantly affected on grain yield under drought stress (W1= 7 (control, no drought stress-plants irrigation at a 7-day interval), W2= 12 (severe drought and plants irrigation at a 12- day interval) and W3= 17 (the most severe drought and plants irrigation at a 17-day interval). Drought stress reduced grain yield and 1000 seed weight, but these were enhanced by foliar application of calcium chloride when drought levels increased from W1 to W3. Although the increasing calcium chloride concentration reduced the content of photosynthesis pigments in leaves, the drought treatment until W2 increased the content of photosynthetic pigments (chlorophyll “a” and carotenoids) in leaves. The foliar application of calcium chloride increased the seed weight in plant, the number of capsules per plant, plant height, and the concentration of potassium and phosphorus in leaves and seeds. The greatest amount of potassium in leaves and seeds were measured under the W1C3 treatment. Sesame plants under W3C3 and W2C3 had the highest amount of phosphorus in leaves and seeds, respectively. Overall, although drought stress reduced the growth and grain yield in sesame, the foliar application of calcium chloride at the concentration of 10 mM, prevented the drought-stressed sesame plants from damage by improving their physiological parameters.

Open access
Canopy-Dwelling Arthropod Response to Rynaxypyr and Lambda-Cyhalothrin Treatments in Maize

Abstract

The technology of grain corn production has recently been continuously changing due to spreading of insecticidal in-crop treatments in Europe. The aim of these interventions is to prevent damage caused by serious lepidopterous pests in maize. We carried out in-maize field experiments using two different active ingredients of insecticides in four consecutive years (2014–2017). A field experiment was conducted to compare the effect of applications of rynaxypyr (ANT) and rynaxypyr + lambda-cyhalothrin (PYR) on the canopy-dwelling arthropod community in commercial maize grain acreage. The effects of both ANT and PYR treatments against Ostrinia nubilalis Hübner (Lep.: Crambidae) were tested through four-year field experiments. The quantitative and qualitative assemblages of the perished arthropods and diversity alterations measured by canopy netting and grounded tarpaulins greatly differed in the different insecticide treatments. A significant number of dead arthropods was recorded after PYR treatment. Populations of other natural enemies (Coccinellidae, Chrysopidae, etc.) and endangered species (Calomobius filum, Rossi) were also negatively affected. The arthropod community of the examined maize plots was drastically altered by sprayings, which, among other factors, may account for the mass appearance of the other non-target pest organisms (Aphidae: Rhopalosiphum spp., Miridae: Trygonotylus spp.).

Open access
Changes in germination parameters of seven sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) varieties due to treating with gibberellic and ascorbic acids

Abstract

During the study, the seeds of seven sweet basil cultivars were treated with 100 ppm solutions of gibberellic acid or ascorbic acid prior to a 14-day germination experiment. Values of the first day of germination, germination energy, germinability, mean time and rate of germination, and uncertainty and synchrony of germination were calculated. The results show that both of the substances altered the measured parameters, priming with gibberellic acid proving to be a more effective way to enhance the germination of basil seeds. Also, they revealed major differences among the germination parameters of the examined cultivars.

Open access