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  • Author: Marcin Wójcik x
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Abstract

Social studies of suburban villages have important implications for modern human geography. To a large extent, they relate to a broader problem, which is a change in the value system of Polish society and the needs met in the countryside environment. It is worth considering how a society with specific needs changes the space of the contemporary suburban village. The knowledge of those processes is necessary to further develop spatial policies and local development of gminas (communes) in Poland, especially in the case of rapidly transforming villages in the vicinity of large cities. The primary objective of this paper is to identify differences in the territorial identity and social perception of rural space expressed by immigrant and local groups of long-term residents.

Spine flexibility and the prevalence of contractures of selected postural muscle groups in junior male football players

Study aim: To assess spine flexibility and possible muscle contractures at shoulder and hip joints in boys practicing football and in their untrained mates.

Material and methods: Two groups of boys aged 10 - 13 years were studied: football players (n = 176) and untrained boys (n = 137). Warm-up stretching exercises were applied at every training session. Spine mobility was determined by measuring differences between standing and bent postures in the forward (thoracic and lumbar regions), backward and lateral bends and in axial rotation (body twist). Muscle contractures were detected by applying Thomas', Dega's (wall test) and pseudo-Laseque's (for sciatic-tibial muscles) tests.

Results: Boys training football had significantly (p<0.01 - 0.001) better mobility of the thoracic spine and in the transversal plane, that latter being age-related. Muscle contractures (by pseudo-Laseque's test) were significantly (p<0.05) less frequent in football players than in untrained boys, especially in the older ones.

Conclusions: Stretching exercises ought to be recommended as elements of warm-ups and of physical education classes in order to improve spine flexibility and reduce the incidence of muscle contractures (thoracic and sciatictibial muscles and hip flexors).

Abstract

In the early 21st century, orchard fruit-growing is one of Poland's most rapidly-growing branches of agriculture. The rate and direction of this process of development have obviously been under the fundamental influence of an European Union Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) binding upon Poland since 2004. A series of changes concerning orchard fruit-growing have been ushered in this way, with production intensifying and spatial reorganisation taking place. The work described here has thus sought to determine changes in the level of output achieved by fruit-growing, as well as changes in the distribution of orchards, during the time over which the CAP's instruments have been exerting their influence on Polish agriculture. Research first concentrated on identification of the key CAP instruments capable of influencing the development of orcharding in Poland. Analyses were then carried out in respect of changes in the level of fruit production and the area devoted to orchard cultivation. Impacts on production, including those manifested in increased exports of fresh fruit, are shown to have helped Poland maintain position on European and world markets, with consequences including an increased area assigned to the growing of the most in-demand fruit (i.e. apples and raspberries), in peripheral regions especially. This can therefore be thought to reflect both growing specialisation in farming, and a way of maintaining some economic vitality in rural areas far from large urban agglomerations.

Abstract

This paper is meant to determine trends in changes in the organisation of fruit production at the beginning of the 21st century. It focuses on the determination of those trends as well as their circumstances. The analysis of changes in the organisation of fruit production was made using Grójec poviat as an example. The accession of Poland to the European Union resulted in the intensification of processes of specialisation and concentration in agriculture, due to which the area occupied by orchards started to grow systematically. With the growing area and the intensification of fruit crops, quantities of fruits produced also increased. Currently, Poland is one of the biggest fruit manufacturers in Europe, with Grójec poviat being the biggest producer in Poland.

Summary

High Nature Value farmlands in Europe are of greatest importance in the conservation of biodiversity. Their environmental importance has been recognized for some time, and has been studied mostly in Western Europe. This article describes the results of multivariate statistical analyses performed on data (13 variables) collected from the latest National Agricultural Census and the CORINE database to provide a typology of farmlands with respect to their nature value at municipality level (LAU 2, Local Administrative Units level 2) across Poland. All municipalities were grouped into eight categories (types). Some of the farmland categories were considered to be High Nature Value farmland (HNVf). The following interrelated variables mostly contributed to the identification of HNVf: share of protected areas and forest, grassland, arable land and fallow, farmland cover diversity, and rate of nitrogen fertilization. HNVf was identified in 958 out of 2173 municipalities, covering 44% of the territory of Poland. The identified HNVf also overlaps partially (61%) with LFAs (Less Favored Areas). Farmlands with the highest nature value are located mostly across mountain and hilly areas, close to forests, and protected areas on lowlands and river valleys. The identified HNV farmlands are characterized by low-input farming systems and a large share of semi-natural habitats with a high landscape mosaic.

Abstract

The aim of the study was to assess the extent of fur chewing problems on chinchilla farms. The research was based on a 20-question survey addressed to breeders. A total of 47 anonymous questionnaires were answered. Results showed that the problem of fur chewing was found in as many as 85% of the farms but the proportion of affected animals was usually low (mean±SE: 3.5±0.55%). To determine the relationship between herd size and the extent of the problem, the Pearson’s correlation coefficient was calculated to be r = -0.315 (P≤0.05), possibly indicating the problem to be more severe on smaller farms. No correlation was found between fur chewing and the type of fodder (pellets from different producers), temperature, humidity, type of cage equipment or frequency of dust baths. Moreover, the level of fur-biting animals kept on a deep-litter floor was estimated at 1.7% while the level of those kept on a wire floor and in a mixed system was 2.8-times higher (P≤0.05). The fact that 37.5% of the respondents perceived the predisposition to fur chewing to be hereditary was an important observation suggesting a direction for further research. A considerable proportion of those surveyed (37.5%) also pointed to a greater excitability among fur chewers. To sum up, results of the present study revealed that keeping animals on litter reduces the incidence of fur chewing. Breeders’ observations also suggest that fur biting may be determined genetically and/or connected with impulsive-compulsive disorders; however, more detailed studies are necessary to confirm these hypotheses.

Abstract

This article addresses the problematic county of Wieruszow-a peripheral area of Poland, constituting a classic case of historical development away from urban agglomerations, additionally burdened by the stigma of a former near-border location, and later (including today) functioning at the fringe of an administrative district. The area in question exemplifies structural transformations associated with changes in patterns of accessibility to large urban agglomerations following the coming into operation of a key expressway. The work detailed here has sought to analyse the aforementioned area’s position vis-a-vis accessibility, as set against the background of factors justifying the description of “inner periphery”. An essential element in accounting for any strategy for overcoming this peripherality takes the form of the results of in-depth interviews carried out by the authors. Joint consideration of the two perspectives mentioned, i.e. the structural (showing the position of a given area in relation to its proximate (regional) and ultimate (national) environments), and the social (i.e. the expert assessment), ultimately allowed for an assessment of opportunities and threats as far as the overcoming of peripherality in its geographic and social dimensions is concerned.