Kinga Kostrakiewicz-Gierałt, Maciej Kozak and Katarzyna Kozłowska-Kozak
The investigations presented here were carried out in years 2013-14, in a Molinietum caeruleae meadow with interrupted plant cover caused by animal activity (patch I); abandoned Molinietum caeruleae meadows with untouched plant canopy, dominated by species with considerable height of the above-ground parts (patches II-VI); as well as the edge (patch VII) and the interior (patch VIII) of a birch woodlot. The height of standing vegetation and soil moisture increased in subsequent patches, whereas the light availability at ground level showed inverse tendency. The abundance of Trollius europaeus subpopulations in all studied patches was rather low. In patch I, juvenile individuals dominated, while in other stands - flowering adults prevailed. The lack of temporal variability in the number of basal leaves observed in patches III, IV, V, VI and VII might be due to lack of available area necessary for clonal proliferation of ramets, while the increase of basal leaves number in other sites might suggest unlimited iterative growth. The dimensions of basal leaves in consecutive years were constant in majority of subpopulations, while they showed strong spatial variability increasing gradually from patch I to patch VII and, subsequently, decreasing in patch VIII. The substantial dimensions of basal leaves may enable better light capture in sites with great level of lateral shade, while smaller dimensions in patches located within a woodlot may be due to shade from above created by trees. Lack of temporal variability and presence of substantial spatial variability in the number and height of generative stems, as well as flower production might enhance chances for successful pollination in a competitive environment. Significant changes of follicle number in time and space suggest successful process of pollination in all patches excluding patch VIII. The weak condition of the ramet clusters in patch I is not compensated by considerable seedling recruitment, whereas the satisfactory state of the ramet clusters in patches II-VIII may not suffice for the long-term maintenance of populations in colonized areas.
Katarzyna Kozłowska-Kozak, Maciej Kozak and Artur Pliszko
In 2013 and 2018, the occurrence of alien Dittrichia graveolens was confirmed within 126 road sections (1-kilometre) of the A4 highway in the Lower Silesian Province and Silesian Province, south-western Poland. During five years the increase in abundance has been recorded within 50 sections (52.1%), a decrease within 11 sections (11.5%), whereas within 35 sections (36.5%) it remained unchanged. New data suggest that D. graveolens is fully established in the Polish flora, and it should be classified as a potentially invasive species.
Sławomir Pietrzak, Tomasz Próchniak, Katarzyna Kozak-Jurek and Angelika Zapała
Breeding value of sport horses in Poland is estimated on the basis of, among others, results of the 100-day performance test of young stallions in the training centres. However recently, a drastic decrease has been reported in the number of stallions undergoing this way of assessment in Poland with an increase in foreign breeds in equestrian competitions. The objective of the study was to determine variability level of stallion traits evaluated in the training centres and to identify factors affecting stallion performance value assessment during the stationary performance test. The study included 503 stallions subjected to the 100-day training followed by the performance test in the years 2004-2013 at the training centres. There were computed statistical characteristics of 16 performance traits which were scored by the trainer of the training centre, judging commission and test riders. Influence of identified factors on each evaluation was established using the GLM procedure. The rank correlations served to estimate phenotypic interdependencies between the scores and performance value indices. It was stated that the studied group of stallions showed low variation within the body basic measurements and the conformation correctness evaluated on the 100-point scale was also found within an average value (78.86 pts), quite close to minimum value for young stallions in Poland (78 pts). The highest variation was observed for the scores given by the test riders and the main factor differentiating the performance value of horses was their origin-breed group. The horses of the German breeds (HANN, OLDBG, HOLST) earned the highest scores, while Wielkopolska horses got the lowest scores for performance test. Insufficient consistency between the individual evaluation made by the trainer of training centre and the judging commission may imply completely different period of assessment (trainer - 100 days, judging commission - 2 days) or unsatisfactory competencies of examiners.
Adam Roman, Ewa Popiela-Pleban, Maria Kozak and Katarzyna Roman
Research surveys were conducted from August through December 2011 and March through July 2012, in the regions of Lower Silesia, Opole, Silesia, and Wielkopolska, Poland. Respondents were chosen randomly and a sample of 540 respondents were surveyed. The first aim of this study was to investigate the quality and aesthetic factors expected of honey and its packaging in order to establish their influence on decisions related to the purchase of honey. The second aim was to determine the importance of the aesthetic factors of honey and its packaging in the process of influencing consumer behavior related to the purchase of honey. As many as 78% of respondents said that the honey from a beekeeper was better than that offered in the stores. A large number of respondents, 88.3%, choose honey produced domestically. However, our study showed that for 43.4% of the respondents, packaging and visual features did not affect the purchase of the product. Only for 23% of respondents, the origin of the honey and quality which was guaranteed with certificates were the most important factors taken into account when deciding on the place or form of a honey purchase. The varieties of honey most often indicated by the respondents were: multifloral honey 46.9%, linden honey 42.5%, rapeseed honey 16.2%, and acacia honey 12.8%. The selection of honey varieties was primarily determined by psychological factors, social factors, and only later by convenience of consumption or financial situation.
Marek Błaś, Żaneta Polkowska, Vasil Simeonov, Stefan Tsakovski, Mieczysław Sobik, Katarzyna Kozak and Jacek Namieśnik
Snow samples were collected during winter 2011/2012 in three posts in the Western Sudety Mountains (Poland) in 3 consecutive phases of snow cover development, i.e. stabilisation (Feb 1st), growth (Mar 15th) and its ablation (Mar 27th). To maintain a fixed number of samples, each snow profile has been divided into six layers, but hydrochemical indications were made for each 10 cm section of core. The complete data set was subjected in the first run of chemometric data interpretation to Cluster Analysis as well as Principal Components Analysis. Further, Self-Organizing Maps, type of neutral network described by Kohonen were used for visualization and interpretation of large high-dimensional data sets. For each site the hierarchical Ward’s method of linkage, squared Euclidean distance as similarity measure, standardized raw data, cluster significance test according to Sneath’s criterion clustering of the chemical variables was done. Afterwards this grouping of the chemical variables was confirmed by the results from Principal Components Analysis. The major conclusion is that the whole system of three sampling sites four patterns of variable groupings are observed: the first one is related to the mineral salt impact; the second one - with the impact of secondary emissions and organic pollutants; next one - with dissolved matter effect and the last one - with oxidative influence, again with relation to anthropogenic activities like smog, coal burning, traffic etc. It might be also concluded that specificity of the samples is determined by the factors responsible for the data set structure and not by particular individual or time factors.
Dominik Kaim, Jacek Kozak, Krzysztof Ostafin, Monika Dobosz, Katarzyna Ostapowicz, Natalia Kolecka and Urs Gimmi
The paper presents the outcomes of the uncertainty investigation of a long-term forest cover change analysis in the Polish Carpathians (nearly 20,000 km2) and Swiss Alps (nearly 10,000 km2) based on topographic maps. Following Leyk et al. (2005) all possible uncertainties are grouped into three domains - production-oriented, transformation- oriented and application-oriented. We show typical examples for each uncertainty domain, encountered during the forest cover change analysis and discuss consequences for change detection. Finally, a proposal for reliability assessment is presented.
Marek Ruman, Katarzyna Kozak, Sara Lehmann, Krystyna Kozioł and Żaneta Polkowska
During last years an interest in the processes of transport and fate of pollutants to the polar regions located distantly from industrial centers, has significantly increased. The current analytical techniques enabling conducting studies prove that the Arctic regions (in the past considered as a pollution free area) have become an area of highly intensive anthropopresion. Svalbard archipelago stands out from the other polar regions due to its specific environmental conditions and geographic location, which results in becoming a reservoir of contamination in this area. Systematic environmental monitoring of arctic regions is extremely important due to an unique opportunity of observing a direct impact of pollution on the ongoing processes in the area of interest. In this way measurement data obtained are a valuable source of information, not only on changes occurring in the Arctic ecosystem, but also on estimated global impact of certain xenobiotics present in the environment. Furthermore, qualitative and quantitative studies on particular chemicals deposited in different regions of the Arctic ecosystem may constitute the basis for undertaking actions aimed at preventing negative effects caused by these pollutants.