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  • Author: Małgorzata Suska-Malawska x
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Monika Mętrak, Paweł Pawlikowski and Małgorzata Suska-Malawska

Abstract

Small, astatic ponds are important features of post-glacial landscape, which support heterogeneity and biodiversity of agricultural areas. In the presented research we explored differences in hydrochemistry and plant cover of 20 small ponds located in Northeastern Poland, characterized by diverse age and developed in differently managed areas. According to our research, though changes in water level are under direct influence of water balance in the catchment, to which belonged the ponds, their hydrochemistry seemed to be shaped by processes at the level lower than the catchment scale. Age of the ponds appeared to be an important factor influencing density and species composition of vegetation developed on the studied ponds.

Open access

Marcin Sulwiński, Monika Mętrak and Małgorzata Suska-Malawska

Abstract

Fire has considerable impact on vegetation and organic soils properties. As we observed that the differences between vegetation of burnt and unburnt areas on the rich fen are visible 11 years after the fire, we assumed that the post-fire changes are long lasting, yet limited exclusively to the burnt areas. In order to check this hypothesis we studied spatial differentiation of physical and chemical properties of soils, and productivity capacities of burnt and unburnt areas in the fen in Biebrza National Park. We took soil samples from the neighboring burnt and unburnt areas, from the depth of 0–30 cm and 30–50 cm. We analyzed 21 parameters of the soils including: pH, ash content, moisture, bulk density, exchangeable K, Na, Ca, available P, N-NH4 +, N-NO3 , total N, C, K, Na, Ca, Mg, Fe, P; and calculated C:N, C:P ratios. Surface layer of the burnt soils differed significantly from the unburnt soils in respect of 17 out of 21 parameters. The most pronounced difference was observed for available phosphorous (on average 6 times higher for the burnt soils). The differences in the deeper layer were mostly insignificant. The burnt areas were also characterized by twofold higher plant productivity than recorded for the unburnt areas. The influence of fire on peaty soils was long lasting but mostly limited to the surface layer of the soils. In the case of particular soil features, the post-fire differences were modified by advanced muck formation (moorshing) processes in the unburnt areas. Since the fire led to long lasting increase of fertility, the recovery of fen vegetation is unlikely.

Open access

Mateusz Wilk, Julia Pawłowska, Marta Wrzosek, Michał Gorczak and Małgorzata Suska-Malawska

Abstract

During a 35-month study on the decomposition of Sphagnum moss litter in poor fen and pine bog forest, an intensive colonization of litter-bags by mycorrhizal roots was observed during the decomposition process. Content of mycorrhizal roots in litter-bags, expressed as % mass of roots, was generally increasing during the decomposition in pine bog forest, and fluctuating during decomposition on poor fen, although in both cases the results were statistically insignificant. Two morphotypes of ericoid roots and two morphotypes of ectomycorrhizal roots were recorded from litter-bags on poor fen during the decomposition experiment, while in pine bog forest one morphotype of ericoid and nine morphotypes of ectomycorrhizal roots were recorded. Molecular identification of mycorrhizal roots succeeded only in the case of one ericoid and six putatively ectomycorrhizal morphotypes. Most morphotypes were recorded only once during the whole 35-month decomposition period, and only one ericoid and one ectomycorrhizal morphotypes were shared between the poor fen and pine bog forest communities

Open access

Fabian Welc, Khodjiakbar Toychiew, Małgorzata Suska-Malawska, Leszek Marks and Monika Mętrak

Abstract

Scenario of climate changes in the Late Pleistocene and Holocene in Central Asia is very fragmentary and inconsistent. Therefore, interaction between the development and decline of ancient cultures and the climate fluctuations are difficult to be traced. To resolve this problem, the key role can be played by multidisciplinary studies of unique Late Pleistocene and especially Holocene loess – soil succession of the Tien Shan foothills in Uzbekistan. This area yields unique successions of paleosols interbedded with loesses that are particularly useful for paleoclimate analysis. They are represented by continuous and uninterrupted sedimentary sequences with a highly varied record of magnetic susceptibility. As such, they contain a full sequence of short-term climatic oscillations of the Holocene in high resolution and therefore, in this case, they are exceptional on global scale. The correlation of Late Pleistocene and Holocene climate changes scenario with stages of development and collapse of the past human settlement in Central Asia seems at present one of the most promising research directions, in line with the substantial course of interdisciplinary research on the interaction between humans and the natural environment.