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  • Author: László Miklós x
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Critical approach to landscape-ecological mainstream topics

Abstract

Nowadays, changes in environment have become characteristic of notorious mainstream political topics, with a corresponding moral, political, and financial support. The presented article deals with the landscape-ecological scientific aspects of climatic changes and of ecosystem services. The research of both phenomena is based on the complex investigation of the geosystem and, as a second step, on the scientifically-based interpretation of the obtained results. The problem resides in the question concerning the capability of scientific institutions and teams to deal with these topics with scientific profoundness, taking into account intensive public pressure and high expectations.

Open access
The Institutional Tools of Integrated Landscape Management in Slovakia for Mitigation of Climate Change and Other Natural Disasters

Abstract

The most frequent natural disasters in Slovakia are related to climatic events, in particular to the sudden intensive rains, quick run-off and unbalanced water regime. They induce soil erosion and accumulation, flash floods, landslides, overwhelming waterlogging and also draught. Since these events have an impact throughout the whole landscape - the forest, agricultural and urban landscape, which are under the management of different sectors, the integration of the sectoral planning tools for the mitigation of their consequences is inevitable. Integration is a difficult process of dual character: it requires the development of landscape-ecological methods applicable to land management tools on one side and the creation of legal provisions ensuring the transfer of those scientific principles to legislation, on the other side. This paper deals with both sides of this process in Slovakia.

Open access
Behavioural responses to handling stress in the Great Tit: within-individual consistency and the effect of age, sex and body condition

Abstract

In birds, individuals may show different behavioural and physiological responses when handling, and such variation may be related to individual differences in antipredator strategies. We performed a pilot study in both breeding and wintering populations of the Great Tit (Parus major), and we characterised three typical behavioural traits during a standard ringing procedure in captured birds. We assessed between- individual variations in breath rate, pecking rate and the number of distress calls displayed in response to handling, and also calculated the within-individual variation of these traits by repeated behavioural measurements. We found that these behaviours were consistently displayed within individuals (with repeatability varying between 0.44 and 0.82), and there was also some modest correlation between them (e.g. breath rate covaried with the number of distress calls). Furthermore, using multivariate linear models assessing a role of some potential predictors we found that a considerable amount of between-individual variation can be explained by sex and age differences and also by variation in body condition. However, the magnitude and direction of these relationships was inconsistent across seasons. Our results are in line with previous findings that several consistent behavioural traits measured during human handling could reflect individual specific antipredator strategy, but some confounding effects cannot be ruled out. Hence, our preliminary results require careful interpretation, and further studies are needed to assess the exact magnitude by which different behavioural traits are inter-related

Open access
Review. Automatic Segmentation Techniques of the Coronary Artery Using CT Images in Acute Coronary Syndromes

Abstract

Coronary artery disease represents one of the leading reasons of death worldwide, and acute coronary syndromes are their most devastating consequences. It is extremely important to identify the patients at risk for developing an acute myocardial infarction, and this goal can be achieved using noninvasive imaging techniques. Coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA) is currently one of the most reliable methods used for assessing the coronary arteries; however, its use in emergency settings is sometimes limited due to time constraints. This paper presents the main characteristics of plaque vulnerability, the role of CCTA in the assessment of vulnerable plaques, and automatic segmentation techniques of the coronary artery tree based on CT angiography images. A detailed inventory of existing methods is given, representing the state-of-the-art of computational methods applied in vascular system segmentation, focusing on the current applications in acute coronary syndromes.

Open access
Sources of variation in haematocrit in the Collared Flycatcher (Ficedula albicollis)

Abstract

The haematocrit rate of the blood shows the individual physiological state. As the haematocrit grows, the higher erythrocyte number results in more efficient oxygen uptake capacity which can lead to better performance and probably a better survival rate of an individual. Hence we assume that the high value of haematocrit reflects good health state. Altogether 308 blood samples were collected from a wild population of Collared Flycatchers (Ficedula albicollis) in two breeding stages during a period of 2008-2010. We tried to elucidate the relationship between condition and haematocrit level of an individual and studied the haematocrit changes of an individual between years. The haematocrit values differed between years. Females had higher haematocrit values than males in 2010 but not in 2009. At courtship the haematocrit level of males was higher, than during nestling care. The different environmental effects and energy demands of the individuals may be the driving force behind the observed changes in haematocrit level. Analysing the changes between two years, there was a positive correlation between changes in condition index and haematocrit of individuals. The haematocrit values of an individual were repeatable between years. This finding suggests that haematocrit can be informative about the individual’s general health state.

Open access
Automatic bird song and syllable segmentation with an open-source deep-learning object detection method – a case study in the Collared Flycatcher (Ficedula albicollis)

Abstract

The bioacoustic analyses of animal sounds result in an enormous amount of digitized acoustic data, and we need effective automatic processing to extract the information content of the recordings. Our research focuses on the song of Collared Flycatcher (Ficedula albicollis) and we are interested in the evolution of acoustic signals. During the last 20 years, we obtained hundreds of hours of recordings of bird songs collected in natural environment, and there is a permanent need for the automatic process of recordings. In this study, we chose an open-source, deep-learning image detection system to (1) find the species-specific songs of the Collared Flycatcher on the recordings and (2) to detect the small, discrete elements so-called syllables within the song. For these tasks, we first transformed the acoustic data into spectrogram images, then we trained two deep-learning models separately on our manually segmented database. The resulted models detect the songs with an intersection of union higher than 0.8 and the syllables higher than 0.7. This technique anticipates an order of magnitude less human effort in the acoustic processing than the manual method used before. Thanks to the new technique, we are able to address new biological questions that need large amount of acoustic data.

Open access
Effect of Oxygen Doping on the Structure of TiN Surface Coatings

Abstract

In the present work the influence of the level of oxygen doping on the structure of TiN films was investigated by dedicated experiments. The films were deposited at 400°C in an all metal UHV device by unbalanced magnetron sputtering at the same Ar and nitrogen flow rates, but the oxygen flow rate was changed in the experiments, incorporating oxygen in the range of 4 and 20 at.%. The structure of the films was investigated by XRD, Auger electron (AES) and X-ray photon electron (XPS) spectroscopy and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The results discovered the crystal face anisotropy in the incorporation-segregation of oxygen leading to the change of the <111> texture to <002>. The structure analysis revealed that the <002> texture is developing also by competitive growth of crystals, which is the result of the limitation of the growth of the <111> oriented crystals by the TiO2 layer developing on their growth surface by the segregated oxygen species. The oxygen incorporating in the crystal lattice on the 002 crystal faces of the <002> oriented crystals is segregated by surface spinodal decomposition, developing nm sized 3D TiO-2 inclusion both in the bulk of the columns and the column boundaries.

Open access
Continuous field soil moisture content mapping by means of apparent electrical conductivity (ECa) measurement

Abstract

A soil moisture content map is important for providing information about the distribution of moisture in a given area. Moisture content directly influences agricultural yield thus it is crucial to have accurate and reliable information about moisture distribution and content in the field. Since soil is a porous medium modified generalized Archie’s equation provides the basic formula to calculate moisture content data based on measured ECa. In this study we aimed to find a more accurate and cost effective method for measuring moisture content than manual field sampling. Locations of 25 sampling points were chosen from our research field as a reference. We assumed that soil moisture content could be calculated by measuring apparent electrical conductivity (ECa) using the Veris-3100 on-the-go soil mapping tool. Statistical analysis was carried out on the 10.791 ECa raw data in order to filter the outliers. The applied statistical method was ±1.5 interquartile (IRQ) distance approach. The visualization of soil moisture distribution within the experimental field was carried out by means of ArcGIS/ArcMAP using the inverse distance weighting interpolation method. In the investigated 25 sampling points, coefficient of determination between calculated volumetric moisture content data and measured ECa was R2 = 0.87. According to our results, volumetric moisture content can be mapped by applying ECa measurements in these particular soil types.

Open access