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Acoustic Divergence in Domestic Horses

Abstract

We tested whether pronounced morphological variability of horses caused by artificial selection was followed also by variation in their vocalization. We compared whinnies of 10 breeds representing horse varieties both in morphology and history using discrimination analyses (Wilks´ lambda = 0.070). Whinnies of Shetland pony were the most distinct from calls of other breeds (74.1% classification success). This result is in agreement with distinction based on morphological features. Whinnies of the primitive Hucul horse belonged among the most correctly classified ones (73.5%). Classification results of both Old Kladruby horse colour forms were very different: whinnies of the grey form revealed the least successful classification (18.9%) whilst calls of the black form showed one of the best classification outputs (72.4%). A surprising result was the extreme vocal distinction between the heaviest breeds, confirmed by discrimination analysis, the Czech-Moravian Belgian (55.5%), and Silesian Noriker (51.4%). This finding was contrary to their morphological similarity.

The relationship between morphological and acoustical variables revealed a significant correlation (r ˂ -0.57). Our results did not confirm the hypothesis of acoustic distinction in horse breeds based simply on their morphology. However, whinnies of an old breed, the Shetland pony, were the most distinct ones from all the others. The other old breeds, the Thoroughbred and the Old Kladruby horses, clustered together with the modern Czech warmblood. Our results seem to not confirm the second hypothesis of vocal distinction based on the length of time since establishment of the respective breed. Significant differences among horse breeds indicate the process of vocal distinction during the process of artificial selection.

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Assessment of the data on distribution, habitats and population size of Liparis loeselii (Orchidaceae) in Lithuania

Abstract

Liparis loeselii is a declining orchid species in almost all European countries, mostly because of habitat loss. Therefore, good knowledge about the species ecology, distribution and populations is required in order to substantiate measures for its conservation. The aim of this research was to evaluate all available information about distribution, habitat types and population sizes of L. loeselii in Lithuania, in order to reveal the current state of our knowledge and identify information gaps. The study was based on the analysis of herbarium specimens and information in publications and various databases (a total of 481 unique records were used: 118 from herbaria, 121 from literature and 242 from databases). Intensive accumulation of information about L. loeselii started in the second half of the 20th century and a particularly large number of records were made in the period from 2010 to 2015 during the implementation of inventory and mapping of EU Habitats all over Lithuania. A summary of all information about L. loeselii revealed that it was registered in a total of 93 grid squares, and is mainly confined to uplands. The available information is quite sufficient for the evaluation of the species distribution and prevailing habitats, but is incomplete for the evaluation of population sizes, demographic structures and population trends under changing habitat conditions. Additional investigations are, therefore, required to enable a more accurate assessment of the size and viability of the L. loeselii metapopulation in Lithuania.

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Finnish–Hungarian Cooperation in Bryology; Memories from Excursions, Congresses and Research with Professor Tamás Pócs

Abstract

The paper describes Professor Tamás Pócs’ cooperation with Finnish bryologists and other cryptogam taxonomists. Cooperation began with exchange of reprints in 1966 and identification of African bryophyte specimens in 1973. In 1976, Timo Koponen visited Budapest and Eger, and joint work continued during a University of Helsinki Department of Botany student excursion to Tanzania in 1988. Tamás Pócs, then a professor at Sokoine Agricultural University, arranged the logistics for the preparatory visit of four teachers as well as for the excursion itself. Later, Pócs participated in the Congress of Eastern Asiatic Bryology, the EU-funded ‘Advanced instruction in bryology and lichenology’ (Large Scale Facility) program and the ‘Bryophyte Flora of the Huon Peninsula, Papua New Guinea’ project organized in Helsinki. He was elected a corresponding member of the Finnish Bryological Society in 2009.

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Population surveys of Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus) in the Murchison Falls National Park, Victoria Nile, Uganda

Abstract

1. A 12-month-long survey (April 2013 to March 2014) for Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus) was conducted along a section of the Victoria Nile/Ramsar site of Murchison Falls National Park, in order to update the historic information on crocodile populations in the area, locating nesting areas, determining seasonality patterns and habitat use, and assess the current abundance and the population size trends since the 1960s. The methods employed included visual encounter surveys, transect counts and opportunistic methods, by using boats. 2. In general, there were diurnal and seasonal fluctuations in the number of crocodile sightings. The crocodile sightings peaked between the months of June and August, with the highest mean number of sightings encountered on any single day being 67 (in July 2013), and the second peak was between January and March with the highest mean of 118 recorded in January 2014. The second peak also coincided with the crocodile breeding season. This clearly shows that the distribution of the sub-population sampled followed a climatic regime. 3. Crocodiles were observed most frequently in water (37%). Grassy banks, islands, river mouths and sandy banks constituted about 47% of the habitats utilised by the crocodile population. Although basking was the most frequent type of activity performed by crocodiles (50%) over the entire survey period, their key activities varied significantly from month to month. Nesting was very visible during the last quarter of the year and the first quarter of the New Year. 4. There was a clear decline of the abundance of crocodiles in this population between 1960s and nowadays. This declining trend was obvious also taking into account the various survey methodologies employed over the decades.

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Postmodern landscape architecture: theoretical, compositional characteristics and design elements with the analysis of 25 projects

Abstract

This paper endeavours to highlight three aspects of postmodern landscape design: theoretical basis, composition and design elements. Postmodern theories, philosophy influenced the language of the postmodern landscape architecture and got materialized in the use of narratives, eclecticism, the Rhizome-principle. Postmodern landscape composition can be associated with anti-hierarchy, unusual structures, landforms, and playful moods. Postmodern design elements consist of the strong graphical use of colour and pavements, bizarre water features, unusual structures and buildings, postmodern sculptures and thematic garden details. 25 analysed projects try to capture the essence of postmodernism in landscape architecture as well as to reveal points of intersection within these projects.

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Climatic drivers of dry grassland phylogenetic diversity in the Republic of Macedonia

Abstract

Climatic gradients can be used to predict the extent to which climate drives biodiversity and to which biodiversity may be affected by global climate changes. Climate and evolutionary history are linked by the ecological adaptations of species and the history of Earth’s climate. If so, phylogenetic diversity may be a good metric to estimate biodiversity. We aimed to test whether the phylogenetic diversity of Macedonian dry grasslands was related to climatic variables. We sampled 575 plots, identifying the species and building a phylogenetic tree for them. We calculated two metrics of phylogenetic diversity and regressed them against climatic variables. We also tested whether there were nodes in the tree responsible for the main observed spatial patterns of phylogenetic diversity. We found a strong signature of evolutionary history in species sorting across a gradient driven by climate in Macedonian dry grasslands. First, the amount of evolutionary history decreased towards drier and more seasonal climates, suggesting a phylogenetic niche conservatism. Second, there was an air temperature filter and a temperature seasonality filter, acting in opposite directions and leading to phylogenetic clustering. Third, there were few nodes in the phylogenetic tree with high degrees of allopatry, associated with clades that differed not only in their geographic distribution, but also in their climatic preferences. Macedonian dry grassland communities developed over centuries of traditional land use but are threatened nowadays by human activities. The use of phylogenetic approaches may lead to more effective conservation policies and help us preserve this highly diverse vegetation.

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The economic, financial and legal situation of private estates in Poland during the interwar period

Abstract

The bad economic situation for agro-forest farms in Poland during the interwar period was caused by war damage, a global economic crisis, crop failure, indebtedness prior to World War I, and by tribute payments towards rebuilding the country. Although the timber harvest was substantial, farm owners were forced to take loans. In 1938, the debt level of agro-forest farms accounted for 18 per cent of their total value. The average debt level for this period oscillated between 9.8 and 126.0 PLN/ha-1. The assistance programme implemented by the government provided for a reduction in the interest rate of loans, particularly for farms with an area up to 300 ha.

Open access
Some Perspectives on Rocket as a Vegetable Crop: A Review

Some Perspectives on Rocket as a Vegetable Crop: A Review

Baby leaf rocket is consumed worldwide as a salad vegetable. It is usually mixed with other baby leaf crops, such as spinach and lettuce, to form a mesclun-type salad. Rocket crops have become popular due to their distinct taste and textural appearance in mixed salads. There are two common forms of rocket that are commercially cultivated, a perennial species (Diplotaxis tenuifolia (L.) DC.) known as perennial wall rocket and an annual species (Eruca sativa Mill.) known as annual garden rocket. The popularity of baby leaf crops has increased in recent years due to consumer demand for a convenient, nutritious and easily accessible product. The baby leaf salad sector is now a significant part of the leafy vegetable market, with growth in this sector estimated to continue. The leaves of cultivars of perennial wall rocket and annual garden rocket have been bred to look similar, allowing for a year-round supply of produce. Despite this, there are many differences between the species that affect their responses to abiotic factors during growth and storage. This paper aims to provide some perspectives on the historical importance, botanical classification and cultivation techniques of these economically important plants.

Open access
The publication dates of Fragmenta Floristica Et Geobotanica (Ann. 1–45, 1954–2001)

Abstract

A short history of the botanical journal Fragmenta Floristica et Geobotanica is presented. The effective dates of publication of all instalments of this journal are compiled. Publication dates for all parts and supplements of volumes 1−45 which were published in the years 1954−2001 are included.

Open access
Distribution of the Common Adder Vipera berus and the Slow Worm Anguis fragils in Silesia, SW Poland

Abstract

During the years 2004-2008 the distribution of the Common Adder and the Slow Worm were studied in Silesia through questionnaire directed to forest inspectorates (n=871); 83.8% of them responded. These data were tested through field work in several randomly selected inspectorates. Both species were found to be widespread in the region, with a few strongholds identified in Sudety Mts. and larger forest complexes. The Common Adder was recorded in 68.5% of forest districts which responded, while the Slow Worm – in 73.6% of those districts. Changes in distribution and population trends could not be derived, since no reliable data were available from previous years.

Open access