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Yu. O Moskalenko

Abstract

Using hierarchical cluster analysis there were distinguished six spatial patterns of bird communities during the breeding season in the Lower Dnieper Sands. The differentiation of these patterns is based on a spatial heterogeneity in the area ratio of different habitats. The sites with natural and sub-natural landscapes hold three types of bird communities. Another type of the bird community is relatively similar to the previous three, but characterized by a poor quantitative and qualitative bird composition; it is associated with open landscapes with destroyed natural vegetation. Bird communities of artificial pine plantations (the most transformed landscapes of the Lower Dnieper Sands) are very different from those in the natural and sub-natural landscapes. The spectra of ecological groups of different bird communities match the spectra of different habitat types obtained using a supervised classification of remote sensing data. It makes it possible to use a topological model of the habitat types (based on remote sensing data) as a predictor for GIS modelling of spatial distribution of different birds communities throughout the Lower Dnieper Sands.

Open access

O. V. Vasyliuk, O. D. Nekrasova, D. V. Shyriaieva and G. O. Kolomytsev

Abstract

We identified major factors (both direct and indirect), caused by the hostilities in Ukrainian ATO zone that adversely influence local biodiversity and environment. Damaged conservational territories (objects of nature conservation fund) were assessed. One of the most severe factors, the fires were studied using data from Terra MODIS remote sensing, resulting in a model of localization and spatial configuration of fires on natural and agricultural territories in ATO zone during June-September 2014. In that period, 2901 ignitions were registered in ATO zone, exceeding the numbers for previous four years. It was determined that 81 % of all of the ignitions happened on natural steppe and forest areas, 19 % in settlements. Th e fires damaged 18 % of forest area, 23 % of the steppe area and 14 % of arable lands of ATO zone. For two snake species of Red book of Ukraine — eastern Elaphe dione and more widespread Hierophis caspius — it was shown that most of the animals and their biotopes in Luhansk and Donetsk Regions of Ukraine are under threat. Far example, 65–82 % of 108 finds of these Colubridae registered in the eastern Ukraine are located in the ATO zone and near to hostilities. GIS models also showed that more than 50 % of biotopes, suitable for these snakes, are in the ATO zone or near it. Based on world-wide experience and our own observations, we safely assume that the events of 2014 in the ATO territory can possibly cause far-reaching adverse consequences for natural landscapes, local flora and fauna, and the massive local disappearance of plant and animal populations.

Open access

R. Marico-Pérez, R. Mayén-Estrada, R. Macip-Ríos and I. Dovgal

Morphometric Variations of Discophrya Elongata (Ciliophora, Suctorea) Attached to Two Different Species of Aquatic True Bugs (Hemiptera, Prosorrhyncha, Nepomorpha)

Morphometric variation in Discophrya elongata living as epibionts of two species of aquatic true bugs, Corisella edulis and Notonecta unifasciata, collected from the same pond in Mexico are discussed. Factors that may be responsible for observed variability, especially hydrodynamic loads and long-term modifications, also are identified and discussed.