Human society benefits a lot from artificial light at night (ALAN), but in the same time it has led to a significant increase in light pollution of the night sky during the past decades. It has serious consequences on reproduction, navigation, foraging, habitat selection, communication, trophic and social interactions of the biota. Also widespread incursion of ALAN within protected areas has been evidenced for some countries, including the National Nature Parks (NNPs), Biosphere and Nature Reserves in the Steppe Zone and Crimea Mountains of Ukraine. However, the common situation with ALAN impact on protected areas within Ukraine is unclear yet. This research attempted to estimate the level of light pollution on the NNPs, Biosphere and Nature Reserves in the Forest, Forest-Steppe zones and Carpathian Mountains within Ukraine. Kmz layers of these protected areas and the New World Atlas of Artificial Sky Brightness, through Google Earth Pro, were used to calculate the level of artificial sky brightness for 33 NNPs, 2 Biosphere Reserves and 9 Nature Reserves. The results show that majority of studied protected areas are impacted by ALAN, but some of them stay almost under the dark sky still. The situation is unique for Europe, therefore these areas have the special value for biodiversity conservation and can be recognized as refugia where natural habitats are not influenced by ALAN. Based on obtained results, recommendations for improving of nature conservation management are given in the context of ALAN problem.
Pollen grains of 10 species of Pedicularis occurring in Ukraine were investigated using light and scanning electron microscopy. Palynological data on 6 species are reported for the first time. General pollen morphology of the genus Pedicularis is presented. Three types of apertures (2-syncolpate, 3-colpate, and 3-syncolpate) and seven subtypes of sculpture (3-syncolpate pilate, 3-syncolpate microscabrate-tubeculate, 2-syncolpate microscabrate, 2-syncolpate microscabrate-tubeculate, 2-syncolpate microscabrate-tubeculate-perforate, 2-syncolpate microfoveolate, and 2-syncolpate microscabrate-perforate) are indentified. The subgenus Pedicularis is heterogeneous in its types of apertures and sculpture of the surface, which indicates the need of further taxonomic revision of the group.