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Changes of historical metadata reflected in the wind parameters at Iași meteorological station

Abstract

The metadata are defined as the informations behind the data. The purpose of the metadata in meteorological activity is to represent where, when, how and by whom meteorological data has been obtained, colected and recorded. Ideally, a comprehensive metadata base should contain records of all changes that have occured throughout the entire period in which the meteorological station has functioned, the so called „station history”. This paper renders the preliminary results of the analysed wind parameter values (percentages of wind calm and wind frequency) for the time period between 1961 and 2015 at Iași meteorological station. The data were analysed based on various historical metadata information (e.g. the emergence of new construction(s) around the station, relocation of the station, changes in the equipment used to measure the wind etc.), information that may influence the wind parameters measured at Iași weather station.

Open access
The Genus Bilabrella Lindl. (Orchidaceae, Habenariinae): General Characteristic and Research History of The Genus

Abstract

The genus Bilabrella (Habenarinae, Orchidaceae) was described by Lindley in 1834, but within next years, different authors incorporated it as the section of the genus Habenaria Willd. From 2003, Szlachetko and Kras stated that there were no grounds for distinguishing the sections Bilabrellae and Replicatae. They restored the genus Bilabrella, transfering to it 93 species from the section Replicatae and four species new to science were described. The poor condition of the old plant materials, the lack of some type specimens for many species described by Schlechter and problems with a series of transitional forms between some species are only few reasons, why the revision of the genus has not been published so far. Bilabrella comprises orchids found in Sub-Saharan Africa, Madagascar and neighbouring islands. Bilabrella differs from other Habenariinae in its unique combination of features

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Water temperature in investigations of Polish lakes

Abstract

Scientists became professionally interested in Polish lakes in the early 1850s. They focused predominantly upon the measurements of depth, observations of water stages, optical properties, and water temperature. The first systematic observations of surface water temperature were carried out in 1956. At present these measurements are conducted in 29 lakes. Investigations of the vertical distribution of water temperature were initiated in the interwar period and they contributed to a better recognition of the processes and factors conditioning dynamics of water masses. In general, measurements of water temperature have constituted fundamental observations with respect to the studies of yearly and daily courses of the temperature of surface water and the entire water mass, the influence of basin morphometry upon water thermal conditions, heat balance and heat resources, thermal conditions of bottom deposits and thermal classification of the lakes. The introduction of automatic gradient probes gave a new impulse to the investigations of water temperature in the lakes. The foundation of the Polish Limnological Society in 2001 and 18 national and international limnological conferences stimulated integration of the circle of limnologists. Specialist journals (Limnological Review, Studia Limnologica et Telmatologica) have presented around 40 publications with the leading theme of water temperature.

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Herbaria of the Prussian physician Boretius (1694-1738) in the Herbarium WA

Abstract

Pre-Linnaean herbaria have a growing value for botanists and historians of science. A unique example is a four volume herbarium from the early 18th century preserved in the archives of the Herbarium of the Faculty of Biology, University of Warsaw. They consist of one, originally five volume set. We proved that the plants had been gathered by the famous naturalist Georg Andreas Helwing (1666-1748), and his son-in-law, Matthias Ernst Boretius (1694-1738), and they annotated and classified the exhibits. Boretius was born in Prussia, in Lec (now: Giżycko). He acquired his academic training in Königsberg and Leiden, and deepened it by scientific travels. He was the first in Masuria to promote vaccination against smallpox. Earning the reputation of a distinguished scholar, he was appointed Royal Physician and Crown Councilor of the Prussian court. He died in 1738 at the age of just 44, leaving the herbarium vivum – a magnificent remnant of his times. There are over 900 cards with glued specimen, signed in three languages: Latin, German and Polish. It includes vascular plants, liverworts, true mosses, clubmosses, algae and macrofungi. Boretius implemented the system made known by the French botanist Joseph Pitton de Tournefort (1656-1708). His system divided the plant world into 22 classes, based on flower morphology but also retaining the traditional split into trees, shrubs and forbs. The choice of this arrangement by Boretius was an innovation; the earlier plant collections of his tutor Helwing lacked any attempt to classify plant species.

Open access
The Current State of Phyto-Coenological Research in the “Iron Gates” Danube Gorge (Banat, Romania)

Abstract

The author of the study writes a concise history of the phyto-coenological research conducted previously in the Danube Gorge; he notes the papers and the respective publishing years for the botanists who contributed with research to the knowledge of the cormophyte vegetation along the aforementioned sector of the Danube River.

55 important papers are highlighted, authored by fifty-four specialists in the years 1931-2006.

Open access
A History of Pebbles and Silt – Fluvial Sediment Transport, Hydropower and Technical Expertise at the Austrian Danube and its Tributaries

Abstract

The paper investigates experts’ perceptions of hydropower, sediment regime, and their interaction in the 20th century with an environmental historical approach, based on various case studies at both the Danube River and one of its tributaries, and on a review of contemporary literature authored by engineers. Results show that questions of sediment continuity have engaged planners of hydropower plants since the advent of this technology, and decisions were at any time influenced by multiple interests (navigation, electricity demand, nature conservation). In such an intricate fluvial landscape, phenomena like reservoir sedimentation and riverbed incision can be approached as “legacies” of past technical interventions, which limit the options of current and future river management.

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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.

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
Waste Management in Hunter-Gatherer Communities

Abstract

This article describes examples of material and waste management with a focus on select Upper Paleolithic and Mesolithic sites. It examines the structuring of space and landscape from the perspective of waste management as a certain need of natural human behavior. The article touches on the concept of purity and on defining the creation of waste.

Open access