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Open access

Juraj Kapusta, Juraj Hreško, František Petrovič, Dávid Tomko-Králo and Jozef Gallik

Abstract

Tatra’s lakes are vulnerable ecosystems and an important element of the alpine landscape. Mainly some shallow lake basins succumb to intense detritus sedimentation, fine fractions of material from the catchment area or to the overgrowing of water level by vegetation. In this paper, changes and dynamics of the 12 Tatra’s lake shorelines that were selected based on the detailed mapping of their extent are pointed out. Changes were assessed by accurate comparisons of historical and current orthophoto maps from the years 1949, 1955 and 2015 – and therefore, based on the oldest and the latest relevant materials. Due to the overgrowing of lakes caused by vegetation, their water surface decreased from −0.9% up to −47.9%, during the examined period. Losses were caused by the overgrowing of open water surface by the communities of sedges and peat bogs. The most significant dynamics of the shorelines during the last decades were reached by those lakes, into which fine sediments were simultaneously deposited by means of mountain water coarse. These sediments made the marginal parts of the lake basins shallower and accelerated rapid expansion of vegetation to the detriment of the open water surface. The overgrowing of shallow moraine lakes lying in the vegetation zone is a significant phenomenon of the High Tatras alpine landscape. It leads to their gradual extinction, turn into peat bogs and wet alpine meadows.

Open access

Marek Bednář and Bořivoj Šarapatka

Abstract

The article presents a method of selecting critical areas (4th river basin) in terms of landscape degradation, with an emphasis on water retention, from a relatively larger unit (3rd river basin). For this purpose, indicators that point directly or indirectly to soil and landscape degradation or water retention were selected with regard to the scale of processing. The indicators were processed in a multi-criteria context using principal component analysis, which, based on the spatial layout pattern of the indicators, assigns weights of importance. These weights were then subsequently used to calculate the aggregation index, which indirectly indicates the sensitivity of the area to degradation and, in particular, water retention. Two catchment areas of the 3rd order – Čížina and Kyjovka – with different soil, climatic and economic conditions were selected for the study. Among the indicators of water retention in the landscape, our analysis included the share of agricultural land in the total area, the share of arable land, the average size of the field block, soil degradation according to the degradation model, runoff curve number, potential water erosion and surface drainage. The resulting procedure can be used to evaluate smaller areas. For a more detailed solution, a number of other methods and indicators could be used, which are also outlined in the article.

Open access

Anita Ivanković, Nikolina Ćosić, Zrinka Knezović and Višnja Vasilj

Abstract

Blidinje lake is an integral part of the Nature Park Blidinje established in 1995. Blidinje lake is largest mountain lake in Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H) according to the surface and water supplies. Considering the surface, it is surprising to its low depth and large surface changes.

Eutrophication is defined as the ‘biological effect of increasing concentrations of plant nutrients in aquatic ecosystems’. Eutrophication results in increased primary production or the production of aquatic plants. It can adversely affect the suitability of the use of water resources for other purposes. Metabolism of shallow lakes is extremely specific such as classical connections; algal biomass with a load of nutrients in shallow lakes can have catastrophic effects.

Nutrients that come directly or indirectly into water lead to increase in the amount of algae as well as changes in the composition of phytoplankton, where there is suppression of diatoms and green algae by cyanobacteria.

The values of parameters assessing trophic index (Trophic State Index [TSI]) are total phosphorus, chlorophyll a and transparency. This method that generalises numerous data using mathematical equations allows the expression of trophic level.

On the basis of earlier studies on physical and chemical parameters of water quality in Blidinje lake, Carlson trophic index was calculated, and based on that assessment, trophic level is given.

Open access

Galina Zadorozhnaya

Abstract

This article examines changes in the spatial distribution of soil penetration resistance in ordinary chernozem (Calcic Chernozem) and in the recultivated soil in 2012 and 2014. The measurements were carried out in the field using an Eijkelkamp penetrometer on a regular grid. The depth of measurement was 50 cm, the interval was 5 cm. The indices of variation of soil penetration resistance in space and time have been determined. The degree of spatial dependence of soil penetration resistance has been determined layer by layer. The nature of temporal dynamics of soil penetration resistance of chernozem and technical soil has been described. A significant positive relationship of the structure of chernozem in the two years of the research has been shown. Significant correlations between the data of different years in the technical soil were found to be mostly negative.

Open access

Dadi Feyisa, Endalkachew Kissi and Zerihun Kebebew

Abstract

Despite their restriction, smallholder farmers have been continuing growing Eucalyptus globulus in the cultivated land in the central highland of Ethiopia. Literature has shown controversial issues against E. globulus. Therefore, the objective of the study was to investigate the compatibility of E. globulus in the smallholder farmers’ land use system. Soil samples were collected from five different land uses and analysed for selected physical and chemical properties. The socioeconomic contribution of E. globulus was collected through household surveys from 110 households. Analysis of soil showed that organic carbon (OC), total nitrogen (TN) and cation exchange capacity (CEC) were significantly higher (P<0.05) under E. globulus compared to the cultivated land. The survey results also showed that the largest proportion (58%) of households was interested in growing E. globulus because of its multiple uses. About 83% of households responded that E. globulus help them to attain food security through increasing the purchasing power of smallholder farmers to buy agricultural inputs and food. This study has substantiated the role of E. globulus in the land use system of smallholder farmers. Most of the soil fertility indicators were better under E. globulus. The present finding reveals that E. globulus degrade the soil seemingly difficult to generalise. Growing E. globulus must be promoted under appealing land use to enhance smallholder farmers’ livelihoods. Removing E. globulus from the land use system may jeopardise the food security situation of many households.

Open access

Vasiliy M. Zverkovskyy, Svitlana A. Sytnyk, Viktoriia M. Lovynska, Mykola M. Kharytonov, Ivan P. Lakyda, Svitlana Yu. Mykolenko, Giovanni Pardini, Eva Margui and Maria Gispert

Abstract

The aim of the research was to study the features of accumulation of heavy metals by assimilation apparatus of coniferous and deciduous arboreous plants. The research identified excess of factual concentrations for Arsenic in mining rock in relation to values stated in IPC (indicative permissible concentrations). It is stated that the metals can be divided into three groups according to their absolute content in unit of foliage biomass. The element of excessive concentration is Mn, medium concentration is characteristic for Pb and Zn and low concentration is observed for Sb, Cr, As, Cu, Ni and Sn. Calculation of coefficient of biological accumulation of the metals under research has shown its high values for Crimean pine. The data presented for Black locust indicate low values of coefficient of biological accumulation, which is best noticeable for Chromium, Antimony and Tin. It is determined that a small amount of Sb and Sn are a subject to uptake by Black locust leaves, whilst for Crimean pine needles, Sb and As are characterised by the lowest inflow. The average content of lead is 209.11 kg·ha−1 for Crimean pine in all age groups of trees, whilst for Black locust, this index is only 15.52 kg·ha−1, which is 13.5 times less. Zinc accumulation is better performed by Black locust leaves, and it gradually decreases with increasing age. No definite trend of redistribution and subsequent accumulation of copper depending on tree species and age was found.

Open access

Abolfazl Ranjbar, Marzieh Taabe, Seiied Hojjat Mousavi and Mohammad Khosroshahi

Abstract

Proper management of natural ecosystems is not possible without the knowledge of the health status of its components. Vegetation, as the main component of the ecosystem, plays an important role in its health. One of the key determinants of vegetation health is its resilience in the face of environmental disorders. This research was conducted in parts of the Namakzar-e Khaf watershed in Northeast of South Khorasan Province with the aim of quantifying the vegetative resilience on behalf of the ecosystem health in response to long-term precipitation changes. First, the annual precipitation standardization was performed during a thirty-year period by the SPI method. Then, the average variation in TNDVI index obtained from the Landsat satellite images was examined and the resilience was tested by calculating the four effective factors (amplitude, malleability, damping and hysteresis). According to the results, the amplitude in the survey period was 6.04% and the vegetation has had different values of damping over the years. The most prominent example of vegetation resilience occurred between 1986 and 1996, with malleability of 0.7 and damping of zero. Vegetation in this period, after the elimination of drought effects (1986), has not only returned to the amount of vegetation of reference year with severe precipitation (1996) but also increased by 0.25%. This increase, as the index of hysteresis, has been presented for the first time in the ecosystem health discussion quantitatively in the present study. A set of quantitative calculations showed that despite reduced annual precipitation and drought events, the vegetation has been able to maintain its resilience, which indicates the health of vegetation in the studied ecosystem.

Open access

Milena Moyzeová

Abstract

Nowadays, topics like natural capital assessment, ecosystem services and green infrastructure have become frequent subjects of a number of national and international projects accomplished on local, regional, national and cross-frontier levels. These projects respond to the deterioration of biotopes due to their fragmentation and degradation as a result of constructions and tourism/recreation. This situation requires an economic assessment of ecosystems from the view point of their capacities to satisfy human necessities with simultaneous conservation of the environmental quality, and the optimal status of landscape diversity both in rural and urban areas. The aim of the Green Infrastructure initiative is to stop the loss of land as an irreplaceable natural resource and to contribute to the inclusion of ecological and sustainability aspects into the spatial planning and regional development in rural and urban areas. Green Infrastructure is the tool that may reduce the loss of ecosystem services connected with future occupation of land and improve functions of land. It may support ecological measures aimed at conservation of agricultural landscape and adoption of measures in the sphere of forest and water economies. Important role in the assessment of ecosystems is played not only by the scientists but also by experts and the public at large. This is the reason why ever more stakeholders possessing knowledge of local territory and personal life experience participate in these projects. Their judgments and views, often bearing information important for the above-mentioned assessment, are applied to proposed measures aimed at the improvement of environmental quality and quality of life in terms of sustainability. This article brings the possible example of how to include a selected sample of stakeholders into the assessment of natural capital and ecosystem services on local level in the frame of Green Infrastructure. The aim of this paper is to analyse attitudes of the involved for the evaluation of natural capital and ecosystem services at a local level by means of structured interviews. Obtained views will be applied for the assessment of ecosystem services and proposals aimed at protection and conservation of natural capital and building of green infrastructure. The research was carried out in the model territory of the rural commune Liptovská Teplička.

Open access

Raisa Burda

Abstract

This paper is the first critical review of the diversity of the Ukrainian adventive flora, which has spread in agricultural habitats in the 21st century. The author’s annotated checklist contains the data on 740 species, subspecies and hybrids from 362 genera and 79 families of non-native weeds. The floristic comparative method was used, and the information was generalised into some categories of five characteristic features: climamorphotype (life form), time and method of introduction, level of naturalisation, and distribution into 22 classes of three habitat types according to European Nature Information System (EUNIS). Two assessments of the ecological risk of alien plants were first conducted in Ukraine according to the European methods: the risk of overcoming natural migration barriers and the risk of their impact on the environment. The exposed impact of invasive alien plants on ecosystems has a convertible character; the obtained information confirms a high level of phytobiotic contamination of agricultural habitats in Ukraine. It is necessary to implement European and national documents regarding the legislative and regulative policy on invasive alien species as one of the threats to biotic diversity.

Open access

A. Abdul-Azeez Anjorin, B. Olumuyiwa Salu, O.B. Akeeb Oyefolu, O. Bamidele Oke, B. Ayorinde James, R. Mercy Orenolu, A. Maryam Abdullah, A. Roosevelt Anyanwu, A. Wellington Oyibo and A. Sunday Omilabu

Abstract

The co-infection of different influenza A virus enable viral gene re-assortments especially in pigs that serve as mixing vessel with the possibility of emergence of novel subtypes. Such re-assortants pose serious public health threat, as epitomised by the emergence of pandemic influenza in 2009. In Nigeria, there is mixture of animal species and highly populated densities that can increase the risk of influenza virus endemicity, genetic reshuffling and emergence of future pandemic influenza viruses. Thus, this study was aimed at determining influenza virus disease burden in pigs. This study was a cross sectional molecular surveillance of influenza virus. A total of 194 pig nasal samples from reported cases and randomly sampled were collected from pig farms in Ojo and Ikorodu in Lagos State between October, 2015 and April, 2016. The samples were investigated for the presence of influenza virus matrix gene by Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction and detected by gel electrophoresis. P-values were calculated using Chi-square and Fisher’s exact tests. The result showed that 25 (12.9%) samples were positive for influenza A virus, out of which, 20 (80%) were samples from Ojo while 5 (20%) were samples from Ikorodu. Epidemiological parameters for the sampled locations, methods either as reported case or randomised, and sex compared were significant at 95% confidence interval.This study determined influenza viral burden in pigs with a molecular prevalence of 12.9% to influenza A. It further confirmed the sub-clinical and clinical circulation of Influenza A virus in pigs in Ojo and Ikorodu in Lagos. Therefore, the detection of influenza A virus in commercial pigs in Nigeria accentuates the importance of continuous surveillance and monitoring of the virus in order to prevent the advent of virulent strains that may spread to Pig-handlers and the community at large.