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Abstract

Abstract Studies concerning the ultrastructure of the periendothelial zone integumentary cells of Asteraceae species are scarce. The aim was to check whether and/or what kinds of integument modifications occur in Onopordum acanthium. Ovule structure was investigated using light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy and histochemistry. For visualization of calcium oxalate crystals, the polarizing microscopy was used. The periendothelial zone of integument in O. acanthium is well developed and composed of mucilage cells near the integumentary tapetum and large, highly vacuolated cells at the chalaza and therefore they differ from other integumentary cells. The cells of this zone lack starch and protein bodies. Periendothelial zone cells do not have calcium oxalate crystals, in contrast to other integument cells. The disintegration of periendothelial zone cells was observed in a mature ovule. The general ovule structure of O. acanthium is similar to other members of the subfamily Carduoideae, although it is different to “Taraxacum”, “Galinsoga” and “Ratibida” ovule types.
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Abstract

Abstract Many Asteraceae species have been introduced into horticulture as ornamental or interesting exotic plants. Some of them, including Solidago and Galinsoga, are now aggressive weeds; others such as Ratibida are not. Special modifications of the ovule tissue and the occurrence of nutritive tissue have been described in several Asteraceae species, including invasive Taraxacum species. This study examined whether such modifications might also occur in other genera. We found that the three genera examined - Galinsoga (G. quadriradiata), Solidago (S. canadensis, S. rigida, S. gigantea) and Ratibida (R. pinnata) - differed in their nutritive tissue structure. According to changes in the integument, we identified three types of ovules in Asteraceae: “Taraxacum” type (recorded in Taraxacum, Bellis, Solidago, Chondrilla), with well-developed nutritive tissue having very swollen cell walls of spongy structure; “Galinsoga” type (in Galinsoga), in which the nutritive tissue cells have more cyto-plasm and thicker cell walls than the other integument parenchyma cells, and in which the most prominent character of the nutritive tissue cells is well-developed rough ER; and “Ratibida” type (in Ratibida), in which the nutritive tissue is only slightly developed and consists of large highly vacuolated cells. Our study and future investigations of ovule structure may be useful in phylogenetic analyses.
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Abstract

Organic carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus in the soils of the High Arctic play an important role in the context of global warming, biodiversity, and richness of tundra vegetation. The main aim of the present study was to determine the content and spatial distribution of soil organic carbon (SOC), total nitrogen (N tot ), and total phosphorus (P tot ) in the surface horizons of Arctic soils obtained from the lower part of the Fuglebekken catchment in Spitsbergen as an example of a small non−glaciated catchment representing uplifted marine terraces of the Svalbard Archipelago. The obtained results indicate that surface soil horizons in the Fuglebekken catchment show considerable differences in content of SOC, N tot , and P tot . This mosaic is related to high variability of soil type, local hydrology, vegetation (type and quantity), and especially location of seabird nesting colony. The highest content of SOC, N tot , and P tot occurs in soil surface horizons obtained from sites fertilized by seabird guano and located along streams flowing from the direction of the seabird colony. The content of SOC, N tot , and P tot is strongly negatively correlated with distance from seabird colony indicating a strong influence of the birds on the fertility of the studied soils and indirectly on the accumulation of soil organic matter. The lowest content of SOC, N tot , and P tot occurs in soil surface horizons obtained from the lateral moraine of the Hansbreen glacier and from sites in the close vicinity of the lateral moraine. The content of N tot ,P tot , and SOC in soil surface horizons are strongly and positively correlated with one another, i.e. the higher the content of nutrients, the higher the content of SOC. The spatial distribution of SOC, N tot , and P tot in soils of the Hornsund area in SW Spitsbergen reflects the combined effects of severe climate conditions and periglacial processes. Seabirds play a crucial role in nutrient enrichment in these weakly developed soils.
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Abstract

The casting workshop was discovered with numerous artifacts, confirming the existence of the manufacturing process of metal ornaments using ceramic molds and investment casting technology in Lower Silesia (Poland) in 7-6 BC. The research has yielded significant technological information about the bronze casting field, especially the alloys that were used and the artifacts that were made from them. Based on the analyses, the model alloys were experimentally reconstructed. Taking advantage of the computer-modeling method, a geometric visualization of the bronze bracelets was performed; subsequently, we simulated pouring liquid metal in the ceramic molds and observed the alloy solidification. These steps made it possible to better understand the casting processes from the perspective of the mold technology as well as the melting and casting of alloys.
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Abstract

Investment casting technology that utilizes lost-wax casting is one of the most-important achievements of ancient society. In Lower Silesia, Poland (Grzybiany, Legnica county), a 7-6 BC casting workshop was discovered with numerous artifacts, confirming the existence of the manufacturing process of metal ornaments using ceramic molds. The paper presents the research of molds and casts from the Bronze and Early Iron Ages. Microscopic analyses of the casting molds were performed, along with radiographic and chemical composition tests of the artifacts (the latter employing the use of the X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy method). The clustering method was used for alloy classification. The microstructure was analyzed by means of Scanning Electron Microscopy with Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy. Conclusions from the research were utilized in further experiments
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Abstract

In recent years organic semiconductors have been given attention in the field of active materials for gas sensor applications. In the paper the investigations of the optoelectronic sensor structure of ammonia were presented. The sensor head consists of polyaniline and Nafion layers deposited on the face of the telecommunication optical fiber. The elaborated sensor structure in the form of Fabry-Perot interferometer is of the extremely small dimension – its thickness is of the order of 1 um. Many sensor structures of diffierent combinations of the polyaniline and Nafion layers were constructed and investigated. The optimal solution seems to be the structures with small number of polianiline layers (up to three).
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Abstract

During excavation of the cremation cemetery of urnfield culture in Legnica at Spokojna Street (Lower Silesia, Poland), dated to 1100-700 BC, the largest - so far in Poland – a collection of casting moulds from the Bronze Age was discovered: three moulds for axes casting made out of stone and five moulds for casting sickles, razors, spearhead and chisels, made out of clay. This archaeological find constituted fittings of foundrymen’s graves. In order to perform the complete analysis of moulds in respect of their application in the Bronze Age casting technology analytical methods, as well as, computer aided methods of technological processes were used. Macroscopic investigations were performed and the X-ray fluorescence spectrometry method was used to analyse the chemical composition and metal elements content in mould cavities. Moulds were subjected to three-dimensional scanning and due to the reverse engineering the geometry of castings produced in these moulds were obtained. The gathered data was used to perform design and research works by means of the MAGMA5 software. Various variants of the pouring process and alloys solidification in these archaeological moulds were simulated. The obtained results were utilised in the interpretation of the Bronze Age casting production in stone and clay moulds, with regard to their quality and possibility of casting defects occurrence being the result of these moulds construction. The reverse engineering, modelling and computer simulation allowed the analysis of moulds and castings. Investigations of casting moulds together with their digitalisation and reconstruction of casting technology, confirm the high advancement degree of production processes in the Bronze Age.
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