Jan Dick, Amani Al-Assaf, Chris Andrews, Ricardo Díaz-Delgado, Elli Groner, Ľuboš Halada, Zita Izakovičová, Miklós Kertész, Fares Khoury, Dušanka Krasić, Kinga Krauze, Giorgio Matteucci, Viesturs Melecis, Michael Mirtl, Daniel E. Orenstein, Elena Preda, Margarida Santos-Reis, Rognvald I. Smith, Angheluta Vadineanu, Sanja Veselić and Petteri Vihervaara
The identification of parameters to monitor the ecosystem services delivered at a site is fundamental to the concept’s adoption as a useful policy instrument at local, national and international scales. In this paper we (i) describe the process of developing a rapid comprehensive ecosystem service assessment methodology and (ii) test the applicability of the protocol at 35 long-term research (LTER) sites across 14 countries in the LTER-Europe network (www.lter-europe.net) including marine, urban, agricultural, forest, desert and conservation sites. An assessment of probability of occurrence with estimated confidence score using 83 ecosystem service parameters was tested. The parameters were either specific services like food production or proxies such as human activities which were considered surrogates for cultural diversity and economic activity. This initial test of the ecosystem service parameter list revealed that the parameters tested were relatively easy to score by site managers with a high level of certainty (92% scored as either occurring or not occurring at the site with certainty of over 90%). Based on this assessment, we concluded that (i) this approach to operationalise the concept of ecosystem services is practical and applicable by many sectors of civil society as a first screen of the ecosystem services present at a site, (ii) this study has direct relevance to land management and policy decision makers as a transparent vehicle to focus testing scenarios and target data gathering, but (iii) further work beyond the scale investigated here is required to ensure global applicability.
Tomáš Bohdal, Josef Navrátil and František Sedláček
Riparian stands along streams are important landscape elements – biocorridors, allowing the dispersal of many small terrestrial mammals. Streams are, however, also barriers limiting dispersal, which leads to isolation and population-genetic changes. Communities of small terrestrial mammals (Eulipotyphla, Rodentia) were studied in 2004 to 2006 on five watercourses of varying widths in Central European cultural landscape situated in South Bohemia (Czech Republic). In total, 547 individuals from 10 species were captured by the Capture-Mark-Recapture method (CMR). Yellow-necked mouse (Apodemus flavicollis) and bank voles (Myodes glareolus) were eu-dominant species at all locations. Species diversity and equitability rose with the degree of the barrier – proportional to the width of the stream.
The terrestrial mobility of selected species was also assessed. Apodemus flavicollis indicated overall highest values of mobility, and Myodes glareolus males also scored higher values, however, the width of the stream did not correlate with mobility in these species. The animals crossed water-courses on the order of tens of meters wide in the period of 3 months. The frequency of crossing of Apodemus flavicollis decreased exponentially with the width of the stream and was dependent on population density.
The presence of water is one of the decisive factors of landscape’s natural potential. Water affects landscape’s predisposition for agricultural production, water supply available to the wide population and industry (the most important is the yield of water resources). Ponds, lakes and other water areas are zones of recreation and relaxation. Near sources mineral water, several world-famous spas were build. Waterways are also used to generate electricity. Geothermal underground water represents a very significant landscape potential. Determining hydrological potential of the area is important for the regional development. This paper assesses the landscape potential for water management regarding its surface waters in the micro-region Minčol. The micro-region was divided by a square grid, and for each square, we determined the appropriateness of this potential based on score points. The determining evaluation criteria were static reserves of surface water, waterway ranking and annual average discharge. First, we determined the significance (value) of individual criteria (classification characteristics), and then we calculated the values of individual classifiers, which were then multiplied by the value of the individual classifier intervals. The summary of points in each square belongs to a particular degree of suitability for water management based on surface waters. The potential was divided into five degrees (intervals): very unfavourable potential, unfavourable potential, moderately favourable potential, favourable potential and very favourable potential.
Chilka Saha, Saida Parveen, Joy Chakraborty, Soujita Pramanik and Gautam Aditya
The life table characteristics of the invasive snail Physa acuta were assessed in the laboratory using the individuals occurring in a newly colonised area in Burdwan, West Bengal, India. Using the changes in the shell length and the body weight of the snails as surrogate, the population growth of the snails was estimated along with longevity and the fecundity schedule. The cohort of P. acuta lived for a maximum of 22 weeks with a life expectancy (ex) of 7.27 weeks and the age-specific survivorship being 0.825. Increment of the shell length of the snails complied with the von Bertalanffy growth equation, lt = 11.75(1 − exp−0.17(t−0.06)), and the observed and the expected data of the length at time t (lt) did not vary significantly (z score = 0.230; P = 0.818; n=20 pairs). Following attainment of sexual maturity between 28 and 42 days, oviposition continued till 20 weeks time, with 0.1-10 eggs laid by each individual. The eggs present per capsule remained between 01 and 11, whilst the net reproductive rate (R0), intrinsic rate of increase (rm) and the finite rate of increase (λ) were 116.07, 0.1 and 1.11, respectively. The observations are similar to those made earlier on the same species but from African and South American continents. The results of the present observation are pioneer in providing the initial studies about the life history of the invasive snail P. acuta in Indian context. Using the present information as a basis, further studies including long-term population monitoring should be initiated to understand the effects of the invasive snail P. acuta in the freshwater ecosystem of West Bengal, India.
Landscape represents appropriate spatial dimension for a study of ecosystems, especially due to ability to translate scientific knowledge into proper guidance for land use practice and enhancing the inclusion of local stakeholders in decision-making procedures. We tested social preferences method to reach initial and raw overview of the ecosystem services (ES) distribution and their values in the study areas. Perception of experts and local residents about capacities of relevant CORINE land cover (CLC) types to provide various ES was linked with Geographic Information System databases. We quantified the results on the basis of the mean values for each CLC type and the ES groups and these were interpreted also in spatial context. The expectation about perceptible capacities of forest to provide goods and services was fulfilled by responses of the experts, as was the expected difficulty to assess capacities of transitional woodland shrub or complex cultivation patterns. However, additional land cover types in question are meadows and pastures or discon-tinuous urban fabric. Mostly middle ranking values prevail in responses of local residents and uncertainty in the background is much greater comparing to the experts. On the other hand, rural people may better recognise diversified fow of services due to their everyday close connection to more ES. Large variation in the scores of some valued CLC classes in responses of the local residents and also experts seems resulting from lack of knowledge in the background and differences in viewpoint and appreciation. We understand the gaps in evaluating ES by the experts and resident population as good experience and key challenge for the further steps and fine-tuning of the research methods.
Nurul Huda Abdul, Che Salmah Md Rawi, Abu Hassan Ahmad and Salman Abdo Al-Shami
Odonata larvae have been intensively used as bioindicators for freshwater pollution as their community structure closely follow changes in the environment and habitat settings. In this study, 28 taxa of Odonata larvae were collected from three stations (upper, middle and lower) of a polluted river in Malaysia. The upper river basin receives effluents from an oil palm plantation. However, the middle station is presumably contaminated with anthropogenic wastes. The lower station is found to receive polluted discharges from aquaculture outlet. Several environmental parameters of water and sediment were continuously measured during the study. The water parameters showed no significant differences amongst the three stations. The species richness of Odonata was 22, 24 and 20 in the upper, middle and lower stations, respectively. The abundance of Odonata was significantly different among the studied sites. The tolerant damselfly, Pseudagrion sp. (41.22%), and facultative dragonflies, Onychothemis sp. (17.12%), were the most dominant taxa along the river stations. Onychothemis sp. and Paragomphus capricornis were equally important at the upper station [Important Species Index (ISI) 25.3 and 24.2%, respectively]. Pseudagrion sp. only scored an ISI value of 9.7%. Pseudagrion sp., P. capricornis and Onychothemis sp. were dominant in the middle station (ISI: 41.2%, 25.9% and 10.9% respectively), and Pseudagrion sp., Onychothemis sp. and Prodasineura sp. dominated the areas with dense growth of submerged aquatic weeds Hydrilla sp. in the lower station (ISI: 47.9, 24.5 and 13.8%, respectively). On the basis of the variations in larval abundance and ISI values, microhabitats differences partly in response to different types of pollutions entering the water structured the Odonata communities in this river basin.
Peter Hanajík, Milan Zvarík, Hannu Fritze, Ivan Šimkovic and Róbert Kanka
We studied soil PLFAs composition and specific soil properties among transect of small-scale fen in Stankovany, Slovakia. The aim of this study was to determine potential differences in the microbial community structure of the fen transect and reveal correlations among PLFAs and specific soil characteristics. PCA analyses of 43 PLFAs showed a separation of the samples along the axis largely influenced by i14:0, 16:1ω5, br17:0, 10Me16:0, cy17:0, cy17:1, br18:0 and 10Me17:0. We measured a high correlation of sample scores and distance from fen edge (Kendall’s test τ = 0.857, P < 0.01). Kendall’s test showed a negative correlation of PLFAs content (mol%) and distance from the fen border for Gram (+) bacteria, Actinomycetes, mid-chain branched saturated PLFAs and total PLFAs. The redundancy analysis of the PLFA data set for the eight samples using PLFAs as species and 21 environmental variables identified soil properties significantly associated with the PLFA variables, as tested by Monte Carlo permutation showing most significant environmental variables including dichlormethan extractables, water extractables, Klason lignin, acid-soluble lignin, holocellulose, total extractables, organic matter content, total PLFA amount, bacterial PLFA and total nitrogen negatively correlated to axis 1 and dry weight and carbonate carbon positively correlated to axis 1. The amounts of Klason lignin, acid-soluble lignin, holocellulose total extractables, total PLFA, bacterial PLFA and total nitrogen were significantly correlated positively to the distance from fen border while moisture and total carbonate carbon were correlated negatively.
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