The diversity of cyanobacterial assemblages from various microhabitats in the Arctic area of Petuniabukta, Billefjorden, central Svalbard, was described. The present article contains the introductory common review of the cyanobacterial diversity and ecological data concerning main habitats, while the characteristics of individual taxonomic groups will be presented in following specific studies. Eight distinct main habitats were recognized, which differed in their species composition and especially the dominant species. More than 80 morphospecies were registered during our investigation, but only about 1/3 of them could be assigned to known and described taxa. The others require additional analyses based on modern taxonomic methods (the polyphasic approach ). The composition of cyanobacterial micro flora was comparable with assemblages in coastal Antarctica. The diversity of unicellular and colonial morphotypes (36 taxa) was higher tha n other groups. The number of filamentous species without heterocytes and akinetes, with 30 species, and heterocytous types, with only 20 species, were similar in both of these ecosystems. These numbers will be surely changed in the future, but the overall proportion of different groups will likely stay the same. In contrast to the limited species diversity, simple filamentous aheterocytous species were dominant and formed massive populations. Fewheterocy tous taxa, mostly grouped within the genus Nostoc ( N. commune –complex), were dominant in tundra soils.
The article provides a general overview of environmental protection and conservation practice in the Antarctic Treaty area, with special reference to the stipulations of the 1991 Protocol on Environmental Protection and its Annexes.
The observations carried out on Haswell Island on 20—24 January 1979 showed the occurrence of 7 species of nesting birds: Pygoscelis adeliae — about 36000 individuals including about 11300 young. Stercorarius skua maccormicki— 76 adults and 15 young, Daption capensis — 220+/- 10 nests, Fulmarlus glacialoides — 3150 +/- 200 nests, Thalassoica antarctica — 250 +/- 10 nests, Oceanites oceanicus — about 500 nests and Pagodroma nivea — about 10 nests. The time of hatching and moulting was found to be 15—20 days earlier, and the percentage of two-egg clutches in nests of Procellariidae was lower as compared with the literature data. More of the two-egg clutches were found for Stercorarius skua maccormicki. The krill dominated in the food of studied species of Procellariidae. Biometrical data for eggs of the majority of studied bird species were gathered.
Filamentous types from the order Oscillatoriales, particularly the species Phormidium autumnale , have widely diverse morphotypes, which dominate in Arctic aquatic microbial mats and wet soils. We cultivated 25 strains of Ph . autumnale from Svalbard and compared them with available strains from surrounding regions. The comparison of strains, based on 16S rDNA and 16S−23S rDNA intergenic spacer sequences, revealed the similarity of strains from Ellesmere Island, the Canadian Arctic and Abisko, Sweden with strains from Svalbard. The rate of colonization of Ph. atumnale from aquatic habitats is relatively high and we suggest geese as a main transmission vector from surrounding lands. Strains of Ph. autumnale were positioned in the phylogenetic tree according to their occurrence in similar habitats. An apparent clustering factor is the duration of availability of water in lakes and long−lasting streams in contrast to rapid and repeated desiccation in soil and on wetted rock in the spray zone of waterfalls. Strains that grow in very cold waters just above the melting point of snow or ice form a distinct genetic group. The strains investigated in this study show morphological similarity in the shape of the trichomes of the studied specimens. Overall, the cell diameter, except for terminal cells, of our strains varied between 3 and 10 μm. Comparison of 16S rDNA sequences of the genus Ph. autumnale with the previously published definition of the species Microcoleus vaginatus revealed the identity of these two species.
Water bears (Tardigrada) are known as one of the most extremophile animals in the world. They inhabit environments from the deepest parts of the oceans up to the highest mountains. One of the most extreme and still poorly studied habitats which tardigrades inhabit are cryoconite holes. We analysed the relation between area, depth, elevation and tardigrades densities in cryoconite holes on four glaciers on Spitsbergen. The mean (±SD) of cryoconite area was 1287.21±2400.8 cm2, while the depth was on average 10.8±11.2 cm, the elevation 172.6±109.66 m a.s.l., and tardigrade density 24.9±33.0 individuals per gram of wet material (n = 38). The densities of tardigrades on Hans Glacier reached values of up to 168 ind. cm3, 104 ind. g-1 wet weight, and 275 ind. g-1 dry weight. The densities of tardigrades of the three glaciers in Billefjorden were up to 82 ind. cm2, 326 ind. g-1 wet weight and 624 ind. g-1 dry weight. Surprisingly, although the model included area, depth and elevation as independent variables, it cannot explain Tardigrada density in cryoconite holes. We propose that due to the rapid melting of the glacier surface in the Arctic, the constant flushing of cryoconite sediments, and inter-hole water-sediment mixing, the functioning of these ecosystems is disrupted. We conclude that cryoconite holes are dynamic ecosystems for microinvertebrates in the Arctic.
The period from arrival of the Wilson's petrel to its breeding grounds to the onset of breeding covered 33 days (November 5 — December 8). The egg-laying period averaged 56 days; the frequency distribution of egg laying in different colonies was close to normal. Incubation took 44 days, on the average, and chicks stayed in nests 59 days. The weight of chicks at hatching was 7.5 g, and the maximum weight was 80 g, that is, 205"o of adult weight. Growth rate of chicks depended on weather conditions, especially on the amount of snowfall, blocking the access to the neast. This caused many-day starvation of chicks and their weight could drop by 46"',.. The diet of chicks and adults consisted of the krill in 96% mostly of Euphausia superba High nesting losses were caused by rainfall and snowfall. Of 129 nesting attempts, 61.2% failed in the stage of eggs and 27.9% in the stage of chicks. Mortality was related to the age and weight of chicks. It has been found that the prolonged egg-laying period, rapid growth rate of chicks in their first days, and their high weight represent adaptations to the climate of Antarctica.
An investigation of cyanobacterial microflora in the northern, deglaciated part of James Ross Island in the NW part of the Weddell Sea, Antarctica , was conducted during the Antarctic summer season 2005-2006. Five main types of habitats with dominant cyanobacterial assemblages were analyzed (soils, seepages, streams, wetted rocky walls and lakes), and main ecological variables were measured (pH, temperature, intensity of global radiation, conductivity and nutrients), as a background for further ecological and ecophysiological studies. The definable traditional cyanobacterial morphospecies were identified.
The results of several years of studies concerning the role of penguin rookeries in the functioning of the land ecosystems in the maritime Antarctic are summarized. The origins of phosphatic ornithogenic soil in the areas of currently active penguin rookeries arc presented. In the maritime Antarctic occurs relatively fast microbiological decomposition and mineralization of large amounts of excrements carried into coastal area by penguins during breeding period. Chemically aggressive water solutions of guano react with underlaying rocks. This process brings about the occurrence of wide zones of phosphatization. These processes cause the appearance of the series of phosphate minerals whose composition and properties depend on the changing physical and chemical conditions of the soil environment. It has been discovered that in the rookeries for various reasons abandoned by penguins phosphates are still present in large amounts and, gradually changed and washed out, have been for hundreds, or even thousands years a source of nutrients for plants growing in poor Antarctic land ecosystems. These soils came to be called the relic ornithogenic soils of the maritime Antarctic. The stages of plant colonization in the abandoned penguin rookeries were traced. The differences in the fate of the organic matter carried out from the sea to the coastal area by sea-birds in various climatic zones were discussed.
The common and ecologically important cyanobacterial form-genus Leptolyngbya is widely distributed in numerous ecosystems over the Earth's biosphere. Several morphospecies dominate microbial communities in polar habitats, but their diversity and local ecological significance are little known. Several articles characterising strains isolated from Antarctic coastal habitats by molecular methods were published, but knowledge of their phenotype and ecological characters are indispensable for future detailed environmental studies. Distinct morpho- and ecotypes (ecologically important morphospecies) from maritime Antarctica are characterised in this article. Eight dominant Leptolyngbya types from subaerophytic and freshwater habitats were recognised, and four of them (L. borchgrevinkii, L. fritschiana, L. nigrescens and L. vincentii) are described as new distinct species.
Saprotrophic filamentous microfungi were isolated by means of the soil dilution method from soil samples collected from four locations in the Bellsund region of Spitsbergen (77°33’N, 14°31’E) representing the following forms of surface micro-relief: an old stormbank, a sorted circle, a frost fissure between tundra polygons, and the central part of a tundra polygon. The fungal isolates were identified and screened for their ability to grow at low temperatures. The oligotrophy of psychrophilic and psychrotrophic strains was then determined as the ability of growth on silica gel without a C source added. Differences in some physico-chemical properties were found between the soils sampled from the four sites. A total of 89 taxa from 17 genera were isolated. Most of the isolates were species of Mortierella, Penicillium, Chrysosporium and Phialophora, and half of them were psychrophiles. Fungal communities isolated from a frost fissure between tundra polygons (site 3) and from the central part of a tundra polygon (site 4) were dominated by psychrophiles but those isolated from an old stormbank (site 1) and a sorted circle (site 2) were predominantly psychrotrophic. Oligopsychrophilic taxa accounted for 27% and oligopsychrotrophic for 20% of all the isolated taxa but only from 0.7% to 11.7% and from 1.2% to 6.3% of the total number of cfu (colony forming unit) isolated from an individual site, respectively. The results of the present study suggest that the abundance of fungi in Arctic soil is mostly affected by the content of organic matter in the A horizon and the plant cover, but other factors, such as the stage of soil development and the micro-relief of the surface, are more important for species richness of fungal communities.
The main issue of this article are eco-bridges, pedestrian-friendly imaginary sites (enclave) of greenery in urban tissues. Discussed cases include the implementations of projects such as: the High Line in New York and the Garden Bridge in London. The main theme of the article is to compare the green bridges in the urban tissue embedded with “living root bridges”. The author of the article highlights the potential limits for “living root bridges” in the urban tissue, resulting from the climate, time of their creation and limits of urban space. She also notes the strong tendency to create green areas in the “concrete” urban structure, but also the use of artificial materials in tissue of “living root bridges”.
Morphological description of seeds is a required step for analysis of biodiversity in natural populations and may give clues to adaptive strategies in species evolution. A cardioid is the curve described by a point of one circumference rolling around another circumference of equal radius. Models based on adjustment of seed shape with cardioid curves have been described for Arabidopsis thaliana and the model legumes Lotus japonicus and Medicago truncatula. In this work the model is applied to analyze seed morphology in populations of two subspecies of Capparis spinosa growing in Tunisia. Adjustment of seed images to cardioid curves, followed by statistical analysis of similarity in the complete images as well as in each of four quadrants, allows an accurate description of seed shape. The results show differences in morphology between subspecies. Seeds of subsp. rupestris present higher diversity of shape than seeds of subsp. spinosa. This may indicate primitiveness of C. subsp. rupestris seeds, associated with nonspecialization. The results are discussed in relation to the ecological strategies of both subspecies in their evolution.
Diatom assemblages from small pools and creeks on the Ecology Glacier forefield have been investigated. It is the first study in the Admiralty Bay region after the thorough taxonomic revision of the non-marine Antarctic diatom flora. A total of 122 diatom taxa, belonging to 35 genera were identified. More than 55% of all observed species have a restricted Antarctic distribution. Another 15% have a marine origin. Nitzschia gracilis Hantzsch, N. homburgiensis Lange-Bertalot and Planothidium rostrolanceolatum Van de Vijver et al. dominated the flora. Based on a DCA analysis, samples were subdivided in three groups reflecting ecological differences. Several samples (group 1) showed a mixed freshwater/marine diatom composition and are typical for coastal pools. Two other groups were separated based on the amount of limnoterrestrial taxa indicating the temporary character of some of the pools.
This work aims to comprehensively describe the current state of the concept of green infrastructure. It is thus meant to fill in a gap in Polish literature as no comprehensive works concerning green infrastructure have been published in our country even though we have witnessed several such works in other places in the world. The book is mostly addressed to urban planners, spatial planners and landscape architects and it focuses on issues related to developing strategies or green nalyzingture network designs. It is difficult to establish when (and by whom) the term “green infrastructure” was actually coined. The performed literature search indicates that various authors attribute its beginnings to different publications. There is, however, much more consensus regarding the origins of the idea of green infrastructure. Among the concepts regarded as the bases for the notion of green infrastructure we can discern two principal ones: the concept of ecological networks and the concept of greenways (in the US). In Poland, such concepts included the Ecological System of Protected Areas (in Polish: Ekologiczny System Obszarów Chronionych) and System of Open Spaces (in Polish: System terenów otwartych). There is some disagreement regarding the origins of green infrastructure in cities. Analysis of defi nitions of green infrastructure seen in both scientific publications as well as guides and formal documents leads to a single conclusion – we should accept the diversity of interpretations and approaches. A similar diversity in approaches can also be found when looking at the presented typologies. By analyzing the rationale behind the typologies, we can discern three major criteria used by the authors: land cover, land use and ecological value, which is usually associated with formal protection of specifi c areas. The principles of green infrastructure development can be divided into planning-related (multi-functionality, connectivity, multi-scale approach, multi-object approach, cost-effective approach) and governance-related (strategic approach, integration, social inclusion, transdisciplinarity, stakeholder inclusion). Green infrastructure provides people with a multitude of more or less measurable benefits. For the last several years they have been identified and quantified using a concept of ecosystem services. These services are always provided in certain confi gurations, which means that it is only possible to obtain the benefits if the services generating those benefi ts are not contradictory to each other. For several years now, the European Commission has been conducting research on the scope, possibilities and methods of implementing the concept of green infrastructure in the member states. However, the EU’s offi cial position on this subject was declared only in 2013 via Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions – Green Infrastructure (GI) — Enhancing Europe’s Natural Capital. In both EU member states and the United States, non-governmental organizations are the main advocates of the concept of green infrastructure. They have been recently joined by governmental and self-government agencies. The case studies of already developed strategies and designs of the concept of green infrastructure presented in this book illustrate a great diversity of approaches. It is particularly noticeable in the way of identifying specific components and principles of planning and implementation of green infrastructure networks. These differences come mainly from the varying scale of development, adopted interpretations of the notion of green infrastructure as well as specifi c natural, social and sometimes economic conditions in particular areas. Based on the knowledge and experience gathered from the analysis of those cases, we can point out the following problems that Polish planners need to face in order to develop and implement green infrastructure for Polish rural communes, cities and regions: • good selection of the formula and defi nition of green infrastructure that is appropriate for the scale, specifi c conditions of the area, needs of the inhabitants and ambitions of the authorities; • good identification of areas with potential for green infrastructure development that is appropriate for the scale and problems of a specific area (city, village, region) • identification of the scope and degree of confl ict between ecosystem services provided by individual components of green infrastructure; • development of a spatial concept that includes the problem of the inherent conflict between the expected benefits (especially regulation and maintenance versus cultural) coming from individual components of green infrastructure; • proposal of appropriate instruments for implementing the concept and resolving the problem of its coexistence with other concepts of shaping the ecological structure of cities, rural communes and regions in Poland. Summing up, the concept of green infrastructure can be viewed as the ultimate synthesis of all former ideas dealing with the development of ecological structure of cities, open landscapes and regions. In most European countries, apart from Great Britain, the concept of green infrastructure is currently in its implementation phase. Therefore, its true – not paper – history is about to begin and it will probably look diff erent in every country. It will be aff ected by various traditions of development planning, the already developed concepts, degree of involvement of the authorities and – probably above all – the will of those that expect quantifiable benefits from green infrastructure.
Background: Equine sarcoids are the most common neoplasms in horses. Bovine papilloma- virus type 1 (BPV-1) is the main viral type identified in equine sarcoids in Europe. Objective: The aim of the present study was to genetically evaluate BPV types based on DNA analyses of the CDS of the L1 gene. The presence of BPV DNA was confirmed by Degenerate Oligonucleotide-Primed Polymerase Chain Reaction (DOP PCR) with FAP59/FAP64 consensus primers. Results: The DNA was detected in 21/40 (52.5%) of clinically diagnosed sarcoids. More than half of 14 isolates (66.7%) shared 100% homology with BPV-1 Deltapapillomavirus 4 isolate 09 asi UK (Acc. No. MF384289) and 99% nucleotide identity with BPV-1 isolate EqSarc1 (Acc. No. JX678969). A comparison with BPV-1 isolate EqSarc1 revealed one silent mutation in C5827T which did not change the aminoacid codon. The remaining 6 isolates (28.6%) shared 100% nucleotide identity with the BPV-1 (Acc. No. X02346) “wild type” isolate, and 1 isolate (4.8%) demonstrated 99% nucleotide identity with BPV-2 (Acc. No. M20219). Conclusions: Variants of BPV-1 isolate EqSarc1 (Acc. No. JX678969) constitute the most prevalent type of BPV-1 in Polish horses.
Inspired by the Chicago School sociology and anthropology of Mary Douglas authors of the article show the special cultural status of new urban peripheries in comparison to villages, old urban peripheries and city centers. Critically they relate to the thesis that new urban peripheries are “cultural deserts” or “bedroom/dormitory suburbs”, considering them as a form of collective organization or sustained activity patterns that replace an original kind of culture. According to Mary Douglas villages are characterized by low level of social energy and high degree of collective control, and the city centers are characterized by high level of energy and low collective control. Referring to this classification the authors of the paper claim that new urban peripheries are characterized by both low energy and low collective control. A more detailed characterization of a new urban periphery is presented in the article on the basis of materials collected in several qualitative sociological research projects. In the light of the empirical material, it can be revealed that in new urban peripheries direct forms of collective control have been replaced by social non-interference, development of individualistic self-control and privatization of micro-spaces of living and transporting. It was noted that the intensive development of individualized outdoor activity leads to gradual formation of the new body type of a new urban periphery resident.
The paper presents the results of taxonomical work concerning the lichen genus Cladonia Hill ex P. Browne from the Arctic island Spitsbergen (Svalbard). The work is based on studies of herbarium material collected during several Polish expeditions (deposited in Polish herbaria) and on the field work carried out by the author in 2002. The materials originate from the west coast of the island. Specimens were studied using methods of classical taxonomy supported by chemical analysis of the lichen substances. Twenty-seven taxa have been recognized in the materials examined. The description (morphological characters and chemistry), ecology and distribution of particular taxa are presented. An updated key for identification of taxa is included. Habitus photos of the species are submitted.
Eocene penguin remains from Seymour Island (Antarctica) are so far the oldest−known record of extinct Sphenisciformes. Rich Argentineand Polish collections of penguin bones from the La Meseta Formation are taxonomically revised on tarsometatarsal morphology. Two genera and four species are erected: Mesetaornis polarisgen. et sp. n., Marambiornis exilisgen. et sp. n., Delphinornis arctowskiisp. n. and D. gracilissp. n. Moreover, the diagnoses of already described species: Anthropornis nordenskjoeldi, A. grandis, Palaeeudyptes klekowskii, P. gunnari, Archaeospheniscus wimani and Delphinornis larseniare revised as well. Gradual cooling of climate, changes of environment andtrophic relationships, that lasted several millions years, were most probably responsible forthe intense speciation and taxonomic diversification of the Middle–Late Eocene La Meseta penguins.
Hass avocado cultivation in Colombia has grown rapidly in area in recent years. It is being planted in marginal areas, which leads to low yields, and in many cases is related to diseases. Ecological niche modeling (ENM) can offer a view of the potential geographic and environmental distribution of diseases, and thus identify areas with suitable or unsuitable conditions for their development. The aim of the study was to assess current and potential distribution of the major diseases on Hass avocado in Colombia. Areas planted with Hass avocado in Antioquia, Colombia were sampled for diseases including the following pathogens: Phytophthora cinnamomi, Verticillium sp., Lasiodiplodia theobromae, Phytophthora palmivora, Colletotrichum gloeosporioides sensu lato, Pestalotia sp., and Capnodium sp., and one disorder hypoxia-anoxia. These pathogens were selected based on their relevance (incidence-severity) and capacity to cause damage in different tissues of avocado plants. Severity and incidence of each disease were related to environmental information from vegetation indices and topographic variables using maximum entropy modeling approaches (MaxEnt). Models were calibrated only across areas sampled, and then transferred more broadly to areas currently planted, and to potential zones for planting. Combinations of best performance and low omission rates were the basis for model selection. Results show that Hass avocado has been planted in areas highly conducive for many pathogens, particularly for Phytophthora cinnamomi and hypoxia-anoxia disorder. Ecological niche modeling approaches offer an alternative toolset for planning and making assessments that can be incorporated into disease management plans.
Tetranychus urticae (Acari: Tetranychidae) infesting many plants but Mentha viridis L., and Mentha piperita L., were low in number of infestation. Therefore the objective of this study was to identify the resistance of M. viridis and M. piperita plants against T. urticae by studying the external shape and internal contents of those plants. For morphological studies, dried leaves were covered with gold utilizing an Edwards Scan coat six sputter-coater. For histological studies, arrangements of Soft Tissue technique were used. For phytochemical studies, the plants were cut, dried and then high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) was used. While feeding the mites were collected from the area between oily glands, trichomes and respiratory stomata in both mint species. The most important leaf structures in aromatic plants are the oily glands found on the external part of the leaves (both upper and lower epidermis). The number of oil glands in M. viridis leaves was greater than in M. piperita; the trichomes on the epidermis of M. viridis were greater in number than in M. piperita; the spongy mesophyll in M. viridis was much thicker than in M. piperita. The essential oils in the leaves of both mint species contained 71 compounds representing 99.61% of the total oil constituents identified from M. viridis before infestation, and 90.95% after infestation, and about 99.65% from M. piperita before infestation, and 99.98% after infestation.
In a study on the click beetles (Coleoptera: Elateridae) of selected plant communities of the Lasy Janowskie Reserve, 21 species of these beetles were recorded – 10 each in riparian forests and a sub-Atlantic mesic coniferous forest, 11 in a continental mixed coniferous forest, and 6 in wet grassland communities. The numbers of species in the communities was similar to numbers recorded in other, comparable areas of Poland, with the exception of the wet grasslands. Forest species that can also occur outside of forests – Athous subfuscus and Dalopius marginatus – were dominant. The biodiversity of the click beetle fauna in the communities was at an average level. An ecological and zoogeographical analysis was carried out as well.
One of the factors that contribute to the development of foundry moulding technology is environmental protection. The related challenges are effectively satisfied by a new inorganic binder that has been designed for castings made of non-ferrous metal alloys. This article presents in a concise way the test results, showing the ecological character of the new binder at the stage of making moulds, pouring them with metal and cooling of castings, indicating the possibilities for an economic re-use of waste materials formed during practical application of this technology. The results were compared with the results obtained on the sands with organic binders. Studies were carried out under the project POIG.01.01.02-00-015/09 "Advanced materials and technologies."
The environment is the greatest good for the people. Everyone wants to breath air of the best possible quality, whether living in the city center of a metropolis or in a rural area. Air polluted with very fine particles contribute to the negative effect on people’s health and the whole environment. A significant part of air dust pollution comes from the so-called low emissions sources which include: non-standard furnaces, fireplaces, low-efficiency outdated boilers and local heat sources. Since the beginning of Polish Mining Group’s existence, the company actively participates and supports many activities, the aim of which is to improve the air quality by producing and supplying high quality coal for the residential sector. The company has undertaken pro-ecological activities towards creating a new, pro-ecological strategy as well as product offer. The production of an ecological coal assortment is systematically developing but new coal products are also being launched on the market. One of the company’s priorities is the production of thermal coal for the residential sector. Many organizational and technological changes have been made In that area (e.g. the establishmsnt of the Eco-Fuels Production Plant) to ensure a suitable level of production of the highest quality thermal coal.
The article presents the issues related to ecological security of the Baltic Sea. The issue was taken from the perspective of Poland as one of the Baltic States, and also as a Member State of the European Union. The authors discussed the mechanisms and legal instruments which are crucial for the ecological security of the Baltic Sea (i.e. Helsinki Convention of 1974, or Agenda 21 for the Baltic Sea Region “Baltic 21”). The importance of cross-border cooperation has also been emphasized as an essential element of the security policy in the Baltic Sea area. The article also indicated threats to the protection of Baltic waters, among others, eutrophication.