rss_2.0Acta Scientifica Naturalis FeedSciendo RSS Feed for Acta Scientifica Naturalis Scientifica Naturalis Feed Soil-Plant and Soil-Insect Interactions: A Mathematical Modeling Approach<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The Pev and Rv functions were introduced as a way of summarizing the mechanical phenomenon of root-soil interactions and the effect of root growth on soil volume. The Mohr-Coulomb criterion was applied to the Rv function to demonstrate the relationship between root morphology, soil mechanical properties, and soil stability. The theory of elasticity and plasticity was applied in the analysis of the Bio-Geo Interface, which showed that the force F generated by the roots increased with time due to the growth of the roots and the increase in their volume. The forces acting on the Bio-Geo Interface were represented mathematically through the use of vector arithmetic, which helped to calculate the direction of the forces acting on the system. The Pev function was used to study the evolution of the plant and how it affected the Rv function. The results showed that the interplay between plant growth and soil mechanics is crucial in understanding the behavior of the Bio-Geo Interface, and can provide valuable insights into the interactions between plants and soil in natural and engineered systems. In the study of soil-insect interaction, a mathematical function, Iev, was proposed to represent the insect’s evolution in the soil environment. The function takes into account factors such as food sources and void ratio, which are important indicators of the biological and geotechnical aspects of the soil respectively. Despite the potential impact of insects on the soil environment, it has been concluded that their force resulting from their movement and behavior is negligible according to theories of elasticity and plasticity. This means that the impact of insects on the soil is minimal and does not significantly affect the soil’s mechanical properties. However, the biological aspects of the soil, such as food sources, remain important factors in the study of insect evolution in the soil environment.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue elements of grain yield in triticale (х Wittmack) grown under organic farming conditions<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>During the period 2018-2020 in the experimental field of the Agricultural Institute, Shumen, on calcic chernozem soil type, a field experiment with triticale (x Triticosecale Wittmack) was conducted. The experiment was based on the block method, in four replications with a size of the experimental plot of 10 m<sup>2</sup>. Sowing was carried out in October with a sowing rate of 500 germinate able seeds/m2 after the predecessor sugar beet (Beta vulgaris L.). In the appropriate periods treatments were made in 4 variants: 1) Control-untreated variant. 2) Treatment with biodynamic preparations: Preparation 500 (5% solution) + Fladen preparation (1.5% solution) + preparation 501 (1.5 g for 300 l H<sub>2</sub>O/ha). 3) Treatment with biological preparations: Heliosulfur (500 ml/ha) + Free N (500 ml/ha). 4) Combined treatment with the same biodynamic and biological preparations. The following indicators were studied: plant height, number of spikelet’s per spike, number of grains per spike, grain weight per spike. After the statistical analysis for the first year of the study, a proven positive difference was found in all indicators in the combined biodynamic + biological method of cultivation, as well as in the stand-alone biological. In the second year of the study, a proven positive difference was obtained in all studied indicators in the variants treated with biodynamic preparations and the combination of biodynamic + biological preparations, with statistical significance for p&lt;0.001. A positive correlation was found between all variants of the observed indicators at p&lt;0.05.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue medicines for treatment of socially significant diseases in current Bulgarian society<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Socially significant diseases are defined as widespread diseases causing great economic, social and demographic damage. Nowadays traditional health practices have gained increasing interest. The aim of this online survey was to establish the knowledge of a random sample of Bulgarian people about traditional medicines in order to find out: 1) the knowledge about the use of medicinal plants for some socially significant diseases; 2) the attitudes of respondents towards the medicinal plants safety; 3) the statement whether the herbs can replace conventional drugs. In present survey the most used medicinal plants reported was Crataegus monogyna Jacq., Zingiber officinale Roscoe, Allium sativum L., Valeriana officinalis L., Sambucus nigra L., Cinnamomum verum J. Presl and Curcuma longa L. Current scientific studies proved appropriate use reports of these plants. One of the reasons for the renewed interest in phytotherapy is the assumption that anything natural is safe, but there are data that herbal chemical constituents could exert toxic effects. The demographic features of our respondents revealed the importance of the level of education for the self-health care. So, more efforts should be focused on the spread of disease prevention information in low educated populations.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue competency-bazed approach in the environmental education of the students - future biology teachers<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The contemporary trends of globalization and enhanced international cooperation, as well as the aim at building a knowledge-based society, have put higher education institutions in an ever-increasing public interest. The fast-developing digitalization, the implementation of artificial intelligence and especially the generational characteristics of the learners determine the need for new approaches in teaching and learning tailored to individual needs. One of them is the competence approach, which represents one of the leading pedagogical concepts of the 21st century and is the basis for the formation of ecological competence. Its application in pedagogical practice is a serious challenge for both teachers and students – future Biology teachers. The article analyses on a structural and functional basis the components of environmental competence. A theoretical model for the formation of ecological competence in the discipline “Forms and methods of ecological education and upbringing in Biology education”, included in the curriculum of Master degree students is presented. The model is aimed at updating the vision of the learning process in the relevant discipline, the main part of which is environmental education.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Note: Balkan Mountains – a symbol of liberty – Part I (Eastern Balkan) Sea Morphotectonic Nature<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The presence of oceanic crust on the Black Sea bottom indicates that this sea basin was a section - a Pontic Ocean gulf at the northern margin of the Phanerozoic Tethys Ocean. The late Phanerozoic subduction of the Tethys oceanic crust under the European continental massif in this area took place in the subduction zone, whose modern traces are found today south of the Crimean Peninsula. On the surface of the subducted oceanic crust were numerous fragments of the destroyed continental crust on the northern margin of the Gondwana continent. These relatively lighter than oceanic crust crustal fragments (or a significant part of them) were not subducted. They accumulate in the immediate vicinity of the subduction zone on the unsub ducted remnants of oceanic crust. Such is the case with the Black Sea. It is not an imposed subcontinental basin, but a last modern relict of the northern margin of the Late Phanerozoic Tethys Ocean.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue tourist resources in the Stara planina tourist region (Bulgaria)<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The Stara planina tourist region is one of the most attractive regions for tourism in Bulgaria and one of the few that have almost year-round tourist activities. The outline of the area includes the mountain of the same name, but also the Pre-Balkan. This fact predetermines the exceptional richness and diversity of natural tourist resources. Here are some of the largest broad-leaved forests in the country, waterfalls, bizarre rock formations, etc. The relatively well-preserved natural environment is a prerequisite for the presence of exceptional biodiversity, as well as a significant number of protected areas. The region is specialized mainly in mountain tourism, including recreation, mountain trekking, rural and ecotourism. Due to the scarce tourist infrastructure, ski tourism still lags behind in its development compared to other mountain regions in the country. Very often, the Stara planina Region is primarily identified with its cultural and historical heritage, while its natural features remain in the background. Regardless of this, and as a result of the more intense tourist load, the problem of protecting natural tourist resources from the growing anthropogenic pressure is gaining special relevance. There is also an urgent need to identify and evaluate the prospects for sustainable development of the tourism industry in the region.</p> <p>The purpose of the present study is to valorize the natural tourist resources of the Stara planina tourist region and to provide guidelines for their sustainable use.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue (Raf.) Raf. (Cactaceae) in the Bulgarian flora<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Opuntia humifusa (Raf.) Raf. is included in the List of Top 10 of the worst invasive alien plant species in Bulgaria. This is the fastest spreading species of the four species of the Opuntia genus found so far in natural habitats in Bulgaria. In the period 2010-2023, 3 new localities of the species were established in 3 new floristic regions of Bulgaria: Black Sea Coast (North), Stara Planina (East) and Strandzha Mountain. They describe the northernmost and easternmost distribution limits of the species in Bulgaria. The described localities are different in area: from 0.08 ha to 21.11 ha. The characteristics of the abiotic environment are presented such as: slope, exposure, elevation, bedrock, soil, climatic region and subregion. The habitats in which individuals of the species are found are indicated. Accompanying plant species were studied. The spatial structure of O. humifusa populations was studied. The reasons for the appearance and spread of this invasive alien plant species in territories that have not been inhabited by it until now have been examined, considering that these reasons are not natural, but have an anthropogenic character. Our findings support the opinions of other researchers about the key role of nature lovers in the spread of this invasive species. Factors favoring the increase in population size in established localities are indicated. Methods have been proposed to control the spread of the species.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue efficiency in scientific writing in the field of plant growing: Collaborating with AI assistant ChatGPT for enhanced productivity<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Every scientist at the beginning of his professional career inevitably encounters difficulties in developing scientific publications. These obstacles are often related with the preparation of the introductory section, which relies on existing research and from the mastery of various statistical approaches, understanding results and their interpretation. The aim of this study is to assess to what extent ChatGPT can streamline the process of writing scientific publications in the field of plant breeding and how it can be beneficial as an auxiliary tool. ChatGPT cannot entirely write the introductory section for you, but it can generate adequate ideas and fundamental aspects that the author can utilize and further develop for the elaboration of this part. ChatGPT can perform basic statistical analyses commonly used in such studies, which adequately align with the developments implemented in other statistical software.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue ability to form environmental competence throughout Waste management<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Environmental competence is a category related to environmental awareness, environmental culture, environmental ethics and environmental behaviour and is a key competence. An efficient way to build a public awareness of environmental responsibility is to separate waste, a concept that is now widespread across Europe. Project work is an integrative strategy that provides opportunities for cooperation and interaction between students in the team organization of cognitive activity, realizing the connection between theoretical knowledge and practical activity of students, for conducting active training of students and effective socialization of the training, thus increasing the practical focus of the acquired knowledge and competences.</p> <p>The article presents results following the application of the project method as an opportunity to increase the environmental competence of junior high school students, with regards to sustainable waste management at school and in their households.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue activity of Velen. methanol extracts<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Current studies are focused on medicinal plants secondary metabolites as a source of new anticancer agents. The aim of this study was to evaluate in vitro influence of methanolic extracts of Achillea thracica Velen. from natural habitat, in vitro propagated and ex vitro established plants on tumor cells proliferation/viability. All extract tested (50 µg/ml for 24 hours) significantly inhibited SK-HEP-1 cell line proliferation/viability (Р ≤ 0.05). The inhibitory effect of ex vitro established plants was slightly weaker in comparison with A. thracica grown in its natural habitat. So, ex situ conservation of A. thracica enables an opportunity to explore its valuable phytochemicals.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Note: Rhodopes Mountains - a fairy tale in green – Part III (Western Rhodopes) effect of the flavonoid fustin isolated from heartwood in a rat model of indomethacin-induced gastric ulceration<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Gastric ulcer is a common health issue. Cotinus coggygria heartwood extracts rich in the flavonoids fustin and sulfuretin have shown protective effects in a rat model of indomethacin-induced gastric ulceration. Fustin itself has been protective in a rat model of ethanol-induced gastric ulcer. In the present study we aimed to reveal the effect of the flavonoid fustin isolated from Cotinus coggygria heartwood in a rat model of indomethacin-induced gastric ulceration.</p> <p>Fustin was isolated from Cotinus coggygria heartwood and purified. The experiment was performed on 30 male Wistar rats allocated to three groups – Control, Indo and F10. F10 group was pretreated with fustin (10 mg/kg b.w. for 7 days). Rats were sacrificed and macroscopic, histopathological and immunohistochemical investigations of the stomachs were performed.</p> <p>Indomethacin caused severe mucosal damage, proven by the macroscopic, microscopic and immunohistochemical gastric mucosa investigation. Fustin pretreatment slightly reduced the macroscopic indices for gastric damage (ulcer number, area, score and index), and significantly alleviated the severity of the microscopic indices (mucosal erosions, necrosis, hemorrhages and inflammation). In fustin-pretreated rats, the expression of NF-κB was reduced in comparison with indomethacin-treated animals.</p> <p>In conclusion, fustin exerted a gastroprotective action in an indomethacin-induced gastric ulceration model, probably due to its anti-inflammatory activity.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue for sustainable development - analysis and findings<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Education is defined as a major tool for raising awareness of the principles and functions of sustainable development. The problem of sustainable development, environmental and health education is subject to standards defining both content parameters in subject areas, overlapping integral fields, and options for implementation in pedagogical practice. The article presents an analysis of the problem of climate and energy efficiency, which is present only implicitly within the State educational standard for general education and curricula within the framework of the key competence common to all subjects - skills to support sustainable development and healthy lifestyle and sport.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Knowledge of Medicinal Plants in Relation to Local Customs and Practices of the North Black Sea Coast Population<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This comprehensive ethnobotanical study was conducted along the North Black Sea coast area to find of the extent to which indigenous knowledge of medicinal plants and their relation to Bulgarian traditions and customs is preserved. We aim to identify the tendencies of passing this knowledge to future generations.</p> <p>The survey was conducted in 2015 in various urban and rural North Black Sea coast areas, using a face-to-face interviews technique. We used the Chi-square test to analyse the results. Pearson correlation coefficient was used for the assessment of the impact of demographics on respondents' answers.</p> <p>More than half of the respondents (61.08%) are not familiar with rituals and traditional practices related to medicinal plants. Moderate influence on respondents' answers is rendered by age only. For the local population of the North Black Sea coast, Enyovden turns out to be the most popular holiday related to medicinal plants. Enyovden is the herbalists' feast and is cited by 20% of respondents. The same percentage of interviewees mention Geranium spp. and Ocimum basilicum L. as the most favoured herbs related to local traditions and customs.</p> <p>Traditional knowledge of the relation between Bulgarian rituals and customs to medicinal plants and their magical powers is fading.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue methods based on constructivism in environmental education<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The traditional educational paradigm is increasingly giving way to active learning and the various possibilities for its application, which methodological basis is constructivism. They are all part of integrative learning, expressed in the creation of sustainable interdisciplinary connections. Constructivism is associated with key competencies for lifelong learning, necessary for ensuring a sustainable and adaptable to changes educational environment. This in turn requires a change in the teaching model and the application of technologies and approaches adjusted to these changes in the learning process. Part of these methods, that are successfully applied in problem-based, ecological education is project-based, and cooperative learning.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue composition and biologic activities of different preparations of Japanese quince ()<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The hectic pace of life and growing threat of cardiovascular, metabolic and neoplastic diseases highlight the demand for products with natural origin that could simultaneously be part of the balanced diet and improve human’s health. A promising finding in this respect is the Japanese quince – Chaenomeles japonica. It is an ancient plant with eastern origin, but the scientific knowledge about it has only recently started to build up.</p> <p>The aim of this review is to gather scientific data about chemical composition and biologic activities of Chaenomeles japonica and to provide an insight into the possible prophylactic and therapeutic applications of the plant. The gathered and summarized information concerning Japanese quince shows that preparations of different parts of the plant, especially fruits and leaves, possess biologic properties that could be of exceptional nutritional and medicinal value. Antiinflammatory, antiproliferative, antimicrobial, carbohydrate metabolism-modulating activities in in vitro studies as well as safety profile, influence on neuropsychology and behavior in animal models are discussed.</p> <p>This review outlines the prophylactic and therapeutic effects of Chaenomeles japonica, as well as the chemical composition that stands behind them, and aims to serve as a basis for further investigations of the medicinal plant’s potential.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Note: Rhodopes Mountains - a fairy tale in green – Part II (Central Rhodopes) Resources. Cycle of substances in nature. Implementation of ecological education and formation of ecological culture in the studies of “Man and Nature” and “Chemistry and Environmental Protection”<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Throughout a long historical period, the natural resources of the world have been managed by different human communities. Living within the boundaries of their own ecosystems forces people to develop a deep knowledge of managing their natural resources. Whether they and their children will survive directly depends on their behavior. People have given the land and natural resources a social and symbolic value that goes beyond their immediate use value. This symbolism is based on ecological principles and supports a system of ethical, social and economic rules that are adaptive. This means that these principles and rules help human communities prevent the overexploitation of natural resources, preserve their connections with the surrounding ecosystems, so that people can live within the limits imposed by the availability of resources and technology.</p> <p>Over the course of the last few generations, however, the world's diversity of cultures, along with their adaptations to local environmental conditions, has been rapidly disintegrating under the influence of a new, global culture characterized by extremely high levels of consumption. Economic growth based on fossil fuel energy led to the rapid development of industry and international trade, and improved lifestyles as well as advances in health care led to rapid growth in human population and consumption. As a consequence, the search for new ways of extracting resources, involving powerful machines and efficient technologies, which absorb the traditions of conservation of nature built by local human communities during their long historical experience of survival, is intensified.</p> <p>Mechanisms developed as adaptations to the environment over hundreds of years are rapidly breaking down as a result of globalization, thereby freeing humans from their traditional environmental constraints.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue characterization of the areas of exploitation of the CBG sites: cas of the plateaus of N'Dangara and Boundou Wandé, Sangarédi sub-prefecture, Prefecture of Boké, Republic of Guinea<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This work aims to analyze the quality of groundwater in the riparian areas of the bauxitic plateaus of N'Dangara and Boundou Wandé in operation by the CBG (Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinée). The geology of the study area consists mainly of sedimentary formations of the Devonian faro, Neogene and Quaternary. Three water measurement and sampling campaigns on the two plateaus were carried out with determination of piezometric measurements and physic-chemical parameters. This study showed that the general flow direction of groundwater is dispersed. The flows at Boundou Wandé are from the center of the plateau to the north and that at N'Dangara is from the center to the south and southwest. It can be seen that the direction of groundwater flow reflects overall the relief of the deposit conditioned by its geomorphological framework. It emerges from the analysis of physical and chemical parameters that well water is consumable. However, the water from wells MW15, MW16, MW17, MW18 and MW21 with a low pH (4.84 to 5.13) may present a certain nuisance for its consumption and because it can be corrosive. Analysis of the Piper diagram showed two hydrogeochemical facies (calcium and magnesium bicarbonate facies and sodium and potassium carbonate facies). However, this study strongly suggests continuous monitoring of groundwater in and around the study area in order to meet the demand for water supply to communities without compromising the ability of future generations to meet water quality requirements.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue