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Michał Ciach

Leaf Warblers (Phylloscopus spp.) As a Model Group in Migration Ecology Studies

The aim of this paper is to review information on systematic position, distribution ranges, habitat requirements, morphology, and ecology of the leaf warblers (Phylloscopus spp.). Closely related species of this group present different migration strategies. Exhibiting many inter-specific similarities in morphology and ecological requirements, leaf warblers reveal high intra-specific variability. The morphological differentiation of individual species, subspecies, populations, and age-sex groups, affords considerable possibilities for migration studies, especially those concerning the basis of migration strategy. Leaf warblers make a group of model species, being a good subject for ecological studies. The knowledge of their migration strategies may be a good reference point for understanding a general pattern of the migration of European passerines.

Open access

Jakub Michalcewicz and Michał Ciach

Rosalia longicorn Rosalia alpina (L.) (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) uses roadside European ash trees Fraxinus excelsior L. - an unexpected habitat of an endangered species

The paper reports the discovery of the rosalia longicorn Rosalia alpina on European ash trees Fraxinus excelsior in the Magura National Park (Beskid Niski Mts, SE Poland) in August 2011. Imagines were found on dead trees growing by the side of a road running between a forest and a meadow. At least eleven individuals were observed, including mating beetles. The data on this previously unknown habitat of the rosalia longicorn in Poland are discussed in the context of its trophic relationships and habitat requirements, as well as species conservation issues.

Open access

Michał Ciach and Jakub Michalcewicz

Abstract

The Rosalia longicorn Rosalia alpina is regarded as a primeval forest relict and occurs mainly in old beech woodland in mountain areas. This paper describes a locality of the species in a copse surrounded by pastures, lying in open farmland situated at some distance from woodlands. The larval host plant was Wych Elm Ulmus glabra. The trees at this locality were dying from Dutch elm disease, which is caused by the fungus Ophiostoma sp. It is demonstrated that under favourable circumstances R. alpina can also colonise copses in pastureland, a hitherto unknown habitat for this species. At the same time this newly discovered locality may signify a change in the species’ habitat preferences. R. alpina is under threat, however, from the possible felling of the dead trees by the landowner; conservation measures should therefore include

a mechanism for financial compensation in return for not cutting the trees down. This work has shown that copses may be used by endangered saproxylic species. The discovery of a R. alpina locality in a pastureland copse gives an indication of the importance of pockets of unmanaged habitat in the farming landscape, which could be contributing to the preservation of populations of rare species.

Open access

Michał Ciach, Dominik Wikar and Małgorzata Bylicka

Density and Flock Size of the Raven (Corvus corax) In the Orawa - Nowy Targ Basin During Non-Breeding Season

During the 2002/2003-2004/2005 non-breeding seasons the density of the Raven in the open habitats of the Orawa - Nowy Targ Basin was studied by line transect method. The results were analysed in four periods (autumn, early winter, winter and early spring). The median density of Ravens did not differ significantly between individual periods and was respectively: 3.5, 3.8, 4.8 and 3.8 indiv. / 10 km. Number of birds during particular controls varied from 1.0 to 24.8 indiv. / 10 km. However, while excluding flocks, the median density of single individuals and pairs of the Raven was considerably lower and in subsequent periods reached respectively: 2.2, 2.4, 2.2 and 1.7 indiv. / 10 km. Flock size did not differ significantly between individual periods. Single individuals and, less often, groups of two birds were recorded mostly. Small (3-5 indiv.) and medium (6-15 indiv.) flocks were recorded rarely and large flocks (16 indiv. and above) - only exceptionally. The high density and strong fluctuations of abundance of Ravens were determined by flocks presence, which was probably linked to irregular occurrence of food resources.

Open access

Jakub Michalcewicz, Michał Ciach and Jan Bodziarczyk

The unknown natural habitat of Rosalia alpina (L.) (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) and its trophic association with the mountain elm Ulmus glabra in Poland - a change of habitat and host plant

A unique natural habitat of Rosalia alpina (L.) located in the Beskid Niski mountain range (Carpathians) and consisting of a forest clearing community in the stage of succession with the mountain elm Ulmus glabra, in part dying and dead, is described. Results of the laboratory rearing of this longhorn beetle from elm wood as well as field observations of its adults in this natural habitat are given. This habitat and trophic association of R. alpina with U. glabra are discussed in connection with the known trophic relations of this insect species with host plants of the genus Ulmus.

Open access

Jakub Michalcewicz and Michał Ciach

ABSTRACT

.The body size of xylophagous beetles is determined by the host plant species, as well as by the amount and quality of breeding material. Consequently, the biometric traits of adults can be used as an indicator of the attractiveness of the breeding material and the quality of a habitat. The paper presents selected biometric traits of rosalia longicorn Rosalia alpina (L.) imagines in three populations from the Beskid Niski Mts (Carpathian Mts, south-eastern Poland). Two populations of this beetle from managed forests and one from a protected area in the Magura National Park were compared. The former developed on two different host plants (European beech Fagus sylvatica and wych elm Ulmus glabra), the latter on European beech. No significant differences were found between the biometric traits of imagines from the three populations. No intersexual differences were found for the width of the pronotum in any of the populations, but females had longer elytra than males in all the populations. The lack of body size differences in these populations potentially indicates that this species occurs only in favourable habitat conditions. The limited species range and the patchy distribution of the rosalia longicorn are indications of its stringent habitat requirements and its dependence on forest management. Habitats supplying a sufficient amount and quality of suitable breeding material for the development of the rosalia longicorn should be protected.

Open access

Jakub Michalcewicz and Michał Ciach

Abstract

The former range of the Rosalia longicorn Rosalia alpina in Poland probably overlapped with the range of the European beech Fagus sylvatica. In the 20th century, the species was recorded in the following parts of Poland: the Carpathians (almost the entire range), the Świętokrzyskie Mountains, the Roztocze Upland, Lower Silesia, and the northern and northwestern parts of the country. Although the Rosalia longicorn appears to have regressed in the countries of central Europe, the current population trend of this species in Poland is not known. This study presents data on the distribution of the Rosalia longicorn in Poland in 2000-2013 and defines its current distribution and range. A total of 210 sites of the Rosalia longicorn were identified, situated in 42 UTM squares (10x10 km). The total area of the species’ occurrence (maximum convex polygon) was 3334 km2 and the effectively used area was 1877 km2. The Rosalia longicorn has withdrawn from most of its former sites in Poland and at present occurs only in parts of the Carpathians. Its continuous distribution range comprises the Bieszczady Zachodnie and Beskid Niski Mountains. Scattered and less abundant sites occur in the Beskid Sądecki, Pieniny Mountains and Sanok-Turka Mountains. At present, therefore, the species’ range of occurrence in Poland is significantly smaller than that recorded in the 20th century. The median nearest neighbour distance between sites was 1023 m (mean = 1640 m ±1702 SD, range 502-10870 m). Those situated on the peripheries of the range are thinly scattered, and the distance between them is probably too large to allow free movement of the species. This can disrupt the current range and lead to the formation of isolated sites (islands) along its peripheries, from which the Rosalia longicorn may gradually disappear. Such a development could cause its total extinction. The current distribution of the Rosalia longicorn in the Carpathians suggests that certain detrimental processes are taking place in the population, demonstrating that the species’ extinction in Poland is ongoing.

Open access

Jakub Michalcewicz, Jan Bodziarczyk and Michał Ciach

Abstract

In 2012 the development of the rosalia longicorn Rosalia alpina (L.) was confirmed in the sycamore maple Acer pseudoplatanus L., a new host plant in Poland. In the laboratory, one adult beetle was reared from a branch obtained from the Magura National Park (Beskid Niski Mts., Carpathians, SE Poland). The breeding material was collected at a site located in the fertile Carpathian beech forest association Dentario glandulosae-Fagetum, in a stand with an admixture of sycamore maple trees. In the paper the importance of the sycamore maple as a host plant is discussed.

Open access

Michal Wojasiński, Maciej Pilarek and Tomasz Ciach

Abstract

Comparative statistical analysis of the infiuence of processing parameters, for electrospinning (ES) and solution blow spinning (SBS) processes, on nanofibrous poly(L-lactic acid) (PLLA) material morphology and average fiber diameter was conducted in order to identify the key processing parameter for tailoring the product properties. Further, a comparative preliminary biocompatibility evaluation was performed. Based on Design of Experiment (DOE) principles, analysis of standard effects of voltage, air pressure, solution feed rate and concentration, on nanofibers average diameter was performed with the Pareto’s charts and the best fitted surface charts. Nanofibers were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The preliminary biocompatibility comparative tests were performed based on SEM microphotographs of CP5 cells cultured on materials derived from ES and SBS. Polymer solution concentration was identified as the key parameter infiuencing morphology and dimensions of nanofibrous mat produced from both techniques. In both cases, when polymer concentration increases the average fiber diameter increase. The preliminary biocompatibility test suggests that nanofibers produced by ES as well as SBS are suitable as the biomedical engineering scaffold material.