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Vladimír Šimanský, Martin Juriga and Łukasz Mendyk
An interaction between the slope position and type of soil management practices could be one of the most important factor affecting several soil properties including soil structure. Therefore, we evaluated selected soil properties including soil structure parameters in relation to slope gradient and soil management practices between Trakovice and Bučany villages (western Slovakia). The sampling sites were located in two adjacent, gently sloping fields with a NW-SE orientation. The sites also differ in soil management type: Field No. 1 was used as arable land with intensive cultivation (IC) of crops, while a greening system (GS) had been established on Field No. 2. Soil samples were taken from five geomorphological zones at each slope: summit, shoulder, back-slope, toe slope and flat terrain under the slope. Results showed that soil pH, content of soil organic matter (SOM) and carbonates depended on land use of the slopes. In GS, the water-stable macro-aggregates (WSAma) 0.5–3 mm (favourable size fraction) displayed statistical significant quadratic polynomial trend along the slope gradient. In IC the values of mean weight diameter of dry sieved aggregates (MWDd) decreased significantly along the slope gradient, while in GS the opposite trend was observed. In IC significant correlations between carbonates content (r=-0.775, P<0.01), humic acids (HA) content (r=0.654, P<0.05), colour quotients of humic substances (r=-0.706, P<0.05), colour quotients of HA (r=-0.723, P<0.05) and MWDd were determined. In GS higher content of carbonates was followed by a decrease in content WSAma, MWDd, mean weight diameter of wet sieved aggregates (MWDw) and stability index of aggregates. At the same time stabile and labile soil organic matter improved soil structure parameters in GS.
Thymus trauvetteri Klokov & Desj. (Lamiaceae) is a permanent species that grows in some mountain rangeland of Iran including Mazandaran province. The aerial parts of Thymus trauvetteri were collected during flowering stage in June 2014, from mountain rangelands of Mazandaran province,in North of Iran. Around samples collected from four altitudes (2100 m, 2400 m, 2700 m and 3000 m) in mountain region of Mazandaran province. The goal of current research was to assess the effect of altitude on the chemical composition and function of essential oil in Thymus trauvetteri. The essential oil were obtained by hydrodistillation and analyzed by gas chromatography (GC) and gas spectrometry (GC-MS). Based on the results, the essential oil content is between 1.01-1.51% at different altitudes. The highest essential oil (1.51%%) was extracted at an altitude of 2400 m, while it was opposite (1.01%) at an altitude of 3000 m. The main compounds essential oil of Thymus trauvetteri samples were identified: thymol (5.93%-49.75%), carvacrol (1.78%-54.02%), and p-cymen (6.98%-19.07%). According to the results, altitude was significantly (p≤ 0.05) effective on essential oil, thymol, carvacrol and p-cymen rates according to results of correlation analysis. The highest percentage of essential oil is at an altitude of 2400 m and the lowest is 3000 m above sea level. The highest percentage of thymol is in L3 (2700 m) and lowest is in L1 (2100 m). The highest percentage of carvacrol is in L3 (2700 m) and lowest is in L4 (3000 m). The highest percentage of p-cymen is in L1, L2, L3 (2100, 2400 and 2700 m, no significant difference) and lowest is in L4 (3000 m). Variations in essential oil rates and compositions may be due to on genetic, ecological or individual variability.
Sándor András Boldogh, Tamás Visnyovszky, Zsolt Szegedi, Béla Habarics, Róbert Horváth, Cecília Krajnyák and Szabolcs Lengyel
The Corncrake is a threatened umbrella species for wet meadows, which mostly depends on managed grasslands. Therefore, effective conservation requires bird-friendly land management schemes and subsidies. Although the most important populations in Hungary usually breed in protected areas, some of these are regularly flooded, which forces Corncrakes to find breeding sites elsewhere. Such movements from protected/subsidised areas to suboptimal sites have risks for Corncrake populations and their conservation. Here, we describe a large-scale dynamic system of interlinked populations based on data from 4194 Corncrake territories found at four different sites (Aggtelek, Bodrogzug, Szatmár-Bereg and Zemplén regions) across eight years between 1997 and 2006 in NE Hungary (c. 1500 km2). The results showed that the total population fluctuated between 407 and 631 pairs and that the populations were more-or-less stable in the first four years (1997–2000). However, extended floods caused the disappearance of the species from the Bodrogzug region in 2005–2006, while in the other sites, the number of territories increased five-fold (Zemplén), three-fold (Aggtelek) and two-fold (Szatmár-Bereg). The correlation between the number of territories and maximum water level of river Tisza in April-May was negative in the Bodrogzug site and positive in the three other sites, indicating that interlinkages of the populations were associated with water levels. Our data thus support the hypothesis that many of the birds driven out by inundation of floodplain meadows moved to other sites in NE Hungary in flood years. These results suggest that even large, centrally located populations of Corncrake can be greatly exposed to risks of flooding and that it is highly important to maintain suitable alternative breeding sites for the species. The High Natural Value Areas programme may allow administrative and funding support to provide or extend protection and/or subsidies to maintain this large-scale dynamic system. To this end, the area managed in bird-friendly ways and subsidised under agri-environmental schemes was extended by 35,000 hectares in NE Hungary in 2009.
We investigated habitat preference of Common Sandpipers as part of a monitoring program in the Őrség National Park, Hungary. Field observations were conducted during the summers between 2008 and 2012 along a 47-km long section of the River Rába. During the observations we recorded the number and location of birds on the river bank. We divided the studied area into 1 km long sections and measured the proportion of the visually distinguishable habitat types (water, low gravel and sand bank, vegetation and degraded area) from a digitalized map. Furthermore, we recorded the number of the low banks and the number of bends of the river within each section, as well as the sections’ distance from the closest hydroelectric power plants and human settlements. In 2012 we also performed a detailed habitat mapping, recording the proportion of the vegetation types along the river bank and the number of fishing spots, embankment strengthenings and gravel banks. We tested the correlations between these habitat variables and number of birds present in the river sections. Our results show that Common Sandpipers were observed more frequently in locations which have (1) larger number and area of low gravel and sand banks, (2) less dense vegetation, and (3) lower proportion of degraded habitats. These findings can be taken into account in the conservation management of River Rába
Agata Leszczuk, Ewa Szczuka, Kinga Stanisławek, Ilona Mazurkiewcz and Anna Kasprzyk
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Thi Minh Hang Vu, Viet Phu Tu and Klaus Duerrschmid
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Aiman Albatayneh, Dariusz Alterman, Adrian Page and Behdad Moghtaderi
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Naser Sabaghnia, Mohsen Janmohammadi and Asghar Ebadi Segherloo
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