rss_2.0Ekológia (Bratislava) FeedSciendo RSS Feed for Ekológia (Bratislava)ógia (Bratislava) Feed of Morphometric Relief Parameters on Soil Depth Changes and Humus Horizon Thickness in Relation to Erosion-Accumulation Processes: A Study in the Ipeľská Pahorkatina Hills, Slovakia<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This study examines the spatial distribution of soil types and their susceptibility to erosion and accumulation processes in a study area in Slovakia. Field research involving 71 probes identified various soil types, with Regosols and Cutanic Luvisols being predominant. The study found that erosion-accumulation processes were detected in 69.97% of the probes, with changes observed in soil horizons. Soil analysis revealed different relations between soil depth, humus thickness, and terrain characteristics such as slope, slope length, and slope length and steepness factor (LS factor). Specifically, we confirmed a moderately strong positive correlation between soil depth and humus thickness (<italic>r</italic> = 0.597, <italic>n</italic> = 71, <italic>p</italic> &lt; 0.001). Shallow soils (0–30 cm) exhibited a very strong positive correlation between soil depth and humus horizon thickness (<italic>r</italic> = 0.978, <italic>n</italic> = 33, <italic>p</italic> &lt; 0.001). Conversely, no relationship was found in moderately deep soils (30–60 cm) (<italic>r</italic> = 0.018, <italic>n</italic> = 14, <italic>p</italic> &lt; 0.948). For deep soils, we identified a moderately strong positive correlation (<italic>r</italic> = 0.345, <italic>n</italic> = 24, <italic>p</italic> = 0.098). While slope and slope length showed relationships with soil depth and humus thickness, the LS factor did not exhibit a clear correlation. These findings underscore the importance of understanding soil dynamics in informing land management practices, especially in areas susceptible to erosion. Recommendations include continued monitoring of eroded soils and implementing erosion control measures to maintain soil health and sustainability in agricultural production amidst climate change challenges.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Information Systems for Water Quality Modeling in the Zhytomyr District Communities<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>To ensure safe and quality drinking water for residents of rural settlements who use their own wells, boreholes, and natural sources for domestic water supply, a comprehensive approach to evaluating the quality of underground drinking water using geographic information system (GIS) technologies is necessary. The purpose of the study was to assess the quality of drinking water sources of noncentralized water supply in rural settlements of the united territorial communities (UTCs) of Zhytomyr district and to create geoinformation models based on the research results. The following research methods were used during the research: analytical, field, laboratory, statistical, calculation, and cartographic. The research was conducted in 129 settlements of 12 UTCs of Zhytomyr district, where drinking water samples were collected from noncentralized water supply sources for further analysis in the Measurement Laboratory of Polissia National University, and the creation of geoinformation models using the ArcGIS Pro software package. It has been proven that the average pH level in none of the studied settlements exceeded the norm. The average nitrate concentration in the drinking water from noncentralized water sources exceeded the norm by 1.4–3.5 times, specifically in the water of the Pulyny, Cherniakhiv, Vilshanka, Volytsia, and Oliivka communities, exceeding the maximum acceptable concentration (MAC) limit by more than two times. Only in rural settlements in the Liubar community was the average iron content found to be above the norm by more than 1.9 times. Overall, it was established that the calculated value of the overall water quality class in the Zhytomyr district was 2.03, which is determined as “good,” clean water of acceptable quality. The best water quality was found in the Vilshanka, Cherniakhiv, and Stanyshivka communities, with a quality class range of 1.85–1.93, while the worst water quality was recorded in the Oliivka, Teterivka, and Liubar communities, with a quality class range of 2.13–2.31. It was determined that the highest contribution to the overall water quality was made by nitrate and iron content. The obtained research results and models based on them can be used by local governments of the studied communities to inform the population about the quality of drinking water and to develop a plan for improving the state of drinking water supply with the aim of increasing the level of environmental safety of drinking water.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue, Threats, and Opportunities in Developing and Sustaining the Management of Forest and Forestland Resources of Baler, Aurora, Philippines<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The sustainability of forests and forestland resources is essential in ensuring the long-term well-being of ecosystems, biodiversity, and human society. This study analyzed available data from triangulated sources that produced information about extent and locations of the current assets, threats, and opportunities that were analyzed using various statistical methods, image and spatial analysis, and situational analysis in order to develop and sustain applicable management, conservation, and protection strategies for forest and forestland (FFL) resources of Baler, Aurora. Results revealed that there were significant changes of FFL assets from 2003 to 2018, and the recent data showed that closed forest was still the dominant cover of the area along with other assets like biodiversity, tourism, water resources, and others. The decreasing trend of the forest cover was the result of expansion of cultivated lands that follows the occurrence of several threats both from natural and anthropogenic sources. The most severe among the anthropogenic threats is timber poaching followed by charcoal making, pole timber collection, and firewood gathering. These threats were driven by the number of dependents, home-to-threat distance, conveyances used, and income earned per activity. Social geomatics of the identified threats shows that the human activities had extended almost to the farthest portions of each sub-watersheds that affects opportunities for development and sustainable utilization of resources. Assets, threats, and opportunities were considered as inputs used in situational analysis of sub-watersheds of which prior-itization of use was decided and FFL management strategies were developed and proposed to be sustained in order to produce optimum ecological, socio-cultural, and economical benefits in the future.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Wildlife Crime Trend and Sociodemographic Attributes of Offenders in Annapurna Conservation Area, Nepal<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Wildlife crime has emerged as one of the most crucial threats to biodiversity conservation and is particularly severe in south and southeast Asia. Addressing the ever-increasing challenges of wildlife crime in Nepal requires strategies informed by rigorous analysis of spatiotemporal patterns of wildlife crime. However, little do we know about the nature and trends of wildlife crimes in Nepal. Retrieving the information on the registered wild-life crime cases of Annapurna Conservation Area (ACA) from the Annapurna Conservation Area Liaison Office (ACALO) and Kaski District Court, this study assessed the temporal trend and spatial pattern of wildlife crime in the ACA from 1994 to 2019. Additionally, this study assessed the sociodemographic characteristics of the people convicted in wildlife crime cases. A total of 48 cases of crimes were registered over the last 25 years among which the majority of the cases were of poaching and wildlife trophies transportation (89.6%) mainly from Kaski district (60%). For those cases, a total of 132 people were convicted (65% from local villages and 35% from outside the ACA). About 68% of the convicted perpetrators were from Janajati ethnicity with poor economic conditions. These inferences emphasize the necessity of understanding the severity and pattern of the crime to prevent it by synthesizing and implementing conservation programs such as educating targeted groups and providing alternative sources of income.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Community Hemeroby is a Reliable Indicator of the Dynamics of Reclamation of Lands Disturbed by Mining<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Reliable indicators of success are needed to monitor the process of reclaiming disturbed land in order to understand the achievement of reclamation objectives. The formation of coherent dynamics of vegetation and soil development is ultimately a crucial condition for the success of reclaiming territory disturbed by surface mining and the possibility of using reclaimed land in agricultural production. The study revealed a relationship between the phytoindicator of vegetation hemeroby and the physical properties of technosols to prove its application as a measure of the restoration of the disturbed ecosystem in the reclamation process. The plant communities were classified into beta-, alpha-euhemerobic, polyhemerobic and metahemerobic levels of anthropogenic transformation. The technosols varied in the proportion of hemeroby levels of plant communities. The hemeroby level was consistent with the physical properties of technosols. A decrease in hemeroby level resulted in increased soil electrical conductivity, decreased soil penetration resistance and altered soil aggregate structure. The hemeroby of plant communities is a dependable phytoindicator of ecosystem restoration during reclamation.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue–Coenotic features and Current Distribution (Michx.) Torr. et A. Gray () in Ukraine<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The information on the spontaneous spread (1152 localities) of the invasive species <italic>Echinocystis lobata</italic> is summarized. It was found that this alien species is timed to coastal water biotopes, floodplain meadows, mesophytic forests, wetlands, as well as disturbed ecotopes. The syntaxonomic scheme of vegetation with the participation of <italic>E. lobata</italic> includes 13 classes, 7 orders, 8 alliances, and 8 associations. It is predicted that under the conditions of a temperature increase of 3 °C, there will likely be changes in the carbonate content (Ca), water regime (Hd) of the soil, thermal regime (Tm), and climate humidity (Om), which will cause a reduction in the secondary range of the species in Ukraine, and the changed acid regime of the soil will cause (Rc) its disappearance in some localities. The obtained data can be used to carry out preventive measures regarding the emergence and further distribution of <italic>E. lobata</italic> in new habitats with different degrees of anthropogenic transformation.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Properties of Steppe Soils with (Pomel) in The Naâma Region (Algeria)<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>With an average annual rainfall below 150 mm, the steppe with <italic>Hammada scoparia</italic> emerges, constituting the transition between the arid steppes and the Saharan vegetation. The distribution of the vegetation is very irregular, which depends on the nature and structure of the soils. A soil study, based on observations and the sampling of 42 profiles, was carried out within a range of species located in the southern part of Naâma. The principal component analysis enables the identification of relationships between the different soil profiles and the species studied. The results obtained show that the woody steppe with <italic>H. scoparia</italic> occupies habitats characterized by a sandy-loamy to sandy and stony texture on the surface of carbonate crusts, often in the form of slabs with a variable carbonate content of 1.22 to 12.7% in certain types of soil; this element tends to be carried to a depth of 40 to 60 cm. In other types of soil, on the contrary, it remains distributed throughout the entire profile. Colonized soils are generally shallow and poor in organic matter, varying from 2 to 3.65%, with an alkaline pH ranging between 6.7 and 8.8. The measured electrical conductivity varies between 0.1 and 0.7 mS/cm. This variation largely depends on the texture of the soil, the bioclimate and the steppe vegetation. The results obtained enable the valorization of this species, which has a socio-economic and ecological role, as it practically adapts to the different types of soil of the steppe space.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Broomrape ( Wallr.) and Weeds in Sunflower Crops with Minimized Tillage in a Steppe Ecotype Crop Rotation<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>An important reserve for increasing the productivity of agricultural production is a scientifically based crop structure and the use of rational crop rotations, which implement the optimal ratio of agroecological standards. The aim of the research was to determine the influence of elements of agrotechnical measures, in particular, the saturation of crop rotations with sunflower, soil tillage system on the number and species composition of various agrobiological groups of weeds in sunflower crops, including the weed parasite sunflower broomrape (<italic>Orobanche cumana</italic> Wallr.). Weed control measures and the spread of the parasitic weed sunflower broomrape in sunflower crops have been carried out according to the methods generally accepted in agriculture and weed science. The scheme of the experiment included crop rotations with saturation in the structure of sunflower sowing of 12.5, 20, 25, 33.3, 50, 100% and three systems of basic tillage: moldboard plowing, disc tillage, and no-tillage. As a result of the research, it has been found that the systems of disc tillage and no-tillage cause an increase in the number of weeds in sunflower crops compared to the moldboard plowing by 1.3–1.5 times. On average, over the years of research, the abundance of weeds in the plots when using disk tools was 10.4–15.1 pcs./m<sup>2</sup>, moldboard plowing was 7.1–12.4 pcs./m<sup>2</sup>, and before harvesting was 2.6–5.2 and 4.1–12.4 pcs./m<sup>2</sup>. The highest degree of sunflower broomrape damage has been observed in 2-fields crop rotation (winter wheat—sunflower) and permanent sunflower cultivation, as 16.0–32.4% of affected sunflower plants have been observed here. The intensity of sunflower broomrape damage to sunflower plants was higher in the moldboard plowing system and amounted to 1.2–8.3 pcs./per plant, which exceeded disc tillage and no-tillage by 1.2–1.6 times. The maximum seed yield of 2.92–2.95 t/ha has been obtained in 8- and 5-fields rotations with the use of moldboard plowing. The lowest yields of sunflower seeds were in short-rotation crop rotations with a sunflower saturation of 50% in the structure of sown areas and permanent cultivation and amounted to: moldboard plowing—1.75–2.21 t/ha, disk tillage—1.57–2.01 t/ha, and no-tillage—1.49–1.95 t/ha. Given the urgency of supplying the global market with sunflower oil, in the future it is necessary to increase the concentration of sunflower in the structure of sown areas to 30-40% through the system of basic tillage, selection of resistant hybrids, and use of herbicides.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Use/Cover Dynamics and its Implication on the Sustainability of Urban Agriculture in Selected Urban Centers of Ethiopia<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Analysis of urban Land Use/Land Cover (LULC) dynamics in light of urban agriculture (UA) helps to understand its implication for UA practice and in turn making the necessary interventions. Therefore, the main objective of this study was to examine the LULC dynamics in selected urban centers of Ethiopia (Addis Ababa, Bahir Dar, Adama, and Hawassa cities) for the last seventeen years (2006–2022). SPOT 5 satellite imagery for the year 2006 and 2016 and Sentinel image for the year 2022 were analyzed. In addition, data from key informant interviews, focus group discussions, and field observations were used to triangulate LULC analyses information and to identify the main causes of LULC dynamics in the studied urban centers. The findings reveled that there were rapid expansion of urban built-up areas at the expense of other urban LULC types mainly of peri urban horticultural lands for the last 17 years (2006‒2022) in Addis Ababa, Hawassa, Bahir Dar, and Adama cities of Ethiopia. This has adverse impact on the sustainability of UA. Rapid urban population growth mainly because of high rural urban migration, expansion of squatter settlement, and increment of investment were the main driving forces of LULC dynamics. Based on the findings of this study (changes in LULC and driving factors) the studied cities administrations or authorities need to develop sustainable development plans by considering UA.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Structure Impact on the Occurrence Preferences and Behaviour of the Endangered Species (Lepidoptera, Nymphalidae) in Slovakia<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The aim of this study is to elaborate on the prior information about <italic>Hipparchia hermione</italic> ecology, examine its behaviour and find the habitat preferences of the species in specific study areas. The obtained results contribute to better management and conservation of the species and its habitats in Slovakia. Six types of behaviour were observed, with the exception of courtship dances, mating and perching. The most common types of behaviour observed were flight and food intake. The RDA analysis of behaviour and environmental variables resulted in a positive effect of free substrate and tall-herb vegetation on <italic>H. hermione</italic> abundance. The free substrate had a significant positive effect on all types of <italic>H. hermione</italic> behaviour. The results of the RDA analysis indicate butterflies’ shrub preference. The notion of shrubs’ presence having a positive effect on the representation of <italic>H. hermione</italic> is supported by another data set, according to which shrub vegetation provided ideal conditions for all types of observed behaviour. The abundance and diversity of nectaring plants did not have a statistically significant effect on species representation. Due to the environmental variables, the tree crowns’ significance plays a vital role. The average values are of 50%. The number of <italic>H. hermione</italic> individuals in the study areas increased with the growing number of tree trunks over 20 cm and heights over 3 m and the growing number of caterpillar host plants (<italic>Festuca ovina</italic>). The data show that <italic>Hipparchia</italic> hermione butterflies depend more on the spatial and structural arrangement of the forest than on abundance or diversity of the flora in the study areas.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of Water Deficit and Burial Depth on The Germination of<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><italic>Periploca angustifolia</italic> (Labill.) is a multipurpose xerophytic shrub in the Apocynaceae, which is widely disturbed in arid zones. This shrub is often used in programs for the rehabilitation of degraded areas, so it is essential to investigate the impact of environmental factors (drought, burial depth) on seed germination patterns. During 20 days, germination responses of seeds were determined over a wide range of constant temperatures (25 °C), polyethylene glycol PEG-6000 solutions of different osmotic potentials (0 to -1.6 MPa), and burial depths (1–8 cm). The highest germination percentages (99%) were obtained under control conditions without PEG, and increasing osmotic pressure progressively inhibited seed germination, which was about 2% at -1.6 MPa. When seeds were buried deep, there was a significant decrease in seedling emergence percentage and rate. Seedlings of <italic>P. angustifolia</italic> emerged well at depths of 1–2 cm with the highest emergence percentage of 74 and 69%, respectively. They could not emerge when the sand burial depth was higher than 4 cm.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue in the Synergic Accumulation of Toxic Elements in Pelagic and Benthic Fish from Glacier-Fed Rivers of the Dzungarian Alatau<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The determination of potentially toxic element concentrations in fish is an important topic from the point of view of both nature conservation and human consumption. The aim of this study was to assess the concentrations of S, K, Ca, Cr, Mn, Fe, Zn, Rb, Sr, Mo, and P in benthic and pelagic fish species in the Karatal river, which is fed by melting glaciers from the Dzungarian Alatau in Kazakhstan. In September 2022, 48 fish samples were collected. It has been demonstrated that the accumulation of chemical elements in fish species can be explained by both the physiological parameters of the fish species and the influence of glaciers that feed river habitats. The data presented in this study provide a synergistic view of pollutants affecting fish populations. Benthic fish contained more manganese and strontium than pelagic species, while the mutual accumulation of potassium, chromium, rubidium, and molybdenum was higher in pelagic fish. The synergistic concentration of calcium and phosphorus in pelagic fish was higher than that in benthic species, while the amount of zinc and sulfur was higher in benthic animals. Relatively elevated levels of mercury in fish were found. The study contributes to the discussion about the role of glacial environments in loading pollutants to aquatic systems.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Influence of Heavy Metal Pollution on the Pigment Content in the Assimilation Apparatus of Poplar Cultivars in the Conditions of the Iron Ore Region<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>We carried out studies of the translocation of heavy metals in the soils of Kryvyi Rih. The peculiarities of the accumulation of heavy metals in the assimilation apparatus of seven poplar cultivars were clarified. The maximum rates of translocation of heavy metals were detected at the monitoring site of the industrial site of Northern Iron Ore Dressing Combine (henceforth referred to as Pivnichnyi HZK or PivnHZK). In the leaves of poplars “Lvivska,” “Hradizhzka,” and “I-45/51,” cadmium, one of the highly toxic elements, accumulates 25–30 times more than in the leaves of control plants. High rates of accumulation of heavy metals lead to a violation of the functioning of the plant organism at the physiological and biochemical levels, as evidenced by changes in the content of chlorophyll <italic>a</italic> and <italic>b</italic>. The amount of the main pigments of photosynthesis in the leaves of poplar cultivars under conditions of environmental pollution with heavy metals is lower than in the control, which indicates the inclusion of plant signaling mechanisms. At the same time, the amount of carotenoids in the organs of assimilation of poplars growing on the industrial sites of Northern and Central Iron Ore Dressing Combines (henceforth referred to as Central HZK or CHZK) increases and indicates the realization of their protective functions. The investigated cultivars can be divided into two groups according to the intensity of changes in pigment content. The first group (with a decrease in chlorophylls up to 2 times and an increase in the amount of carotenoids up to 2.5 times) includes “I-45/51,” “Lvivska,” and “Hradizhzka,” and the second group (with a decrease in chlorophylls by more than 2 times and an increase in the amount of carotenoids by more than 2.5 times) includes “Keliberdynska,” “Robusta,” “Sacrau-59,” and “Tronco.” This fact indicates better adaptation and greater resistance of cultivars of the first group to the action of heavy metals.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue as the Basic Potential of the Regional Development (Case Study: The Važec Village, Slovakia)<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The development of each spatial unit is determined by the capital, whether natural or socioeconomic, which it possesses. Natural capital is determined by the properties of individual natural components of the landscape, both abiotic and biotic sources. Socioeconomic capital is linked to a socioeconomic activities in the landscape. Capital creates certain prerequisites for the development of individual socioeconomic activities. Society does not always optimally use the offered potential, which is connected with the manifestation of various environmental problems. The paper focuses on the presentation of the methodical procedure of natural capital evaluation on the example of the village of Važec. The methodological procedure is based on an integrated approach to the landscape. It focuses on the assessment of both natural capital and limiting factors resulting from the development of socioeconomic activities, namely: – positive arising from the needs of nature and landscape protection, as well as from the protection of natural resources, – negative (stress factors) linked to the contamination of environmental components, which in retrospect in relation to socioeconomic activities act as hygienic limits.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Study of Wild Grossh. and Grossh. ( MILL.) in Azerbaijan<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Knowing the distribution and eco-geography of native <italic>Onobrychis altissima</italic> and <italic>O. cyri</italic> in Azerbaijan is critical for the implementation of strategies for their conservation and sustainable use. This study includes 27 specimens from nine wild populations of <italic>O. altissima</italic> and <italic>O. cyri</italic> collected from their natural habitats in Azerbaijan. The aims of this study are to provide a detailed morphological and eco-geographic characterization of <italic>O. altissima</italic> and <italic>O. cyri</italic>, to determine the distribution and environmental variables that define the eco-geographic zones native to Azerbaijan, and also to determine the priority areas for <italic>in situ</italic> conservation of native <italic>Onobrychis</italic> germplasm in Azerbaijan. Besides, research work was carried out for the purpose of clarifying the distribution areas, discovering more resistant species for selection, as well as enriching the genetic resources and Her-barium Fund. The specimens were biometrically assessed using 34 quantitative and 10 qualitative morphological characters. At each site, we recorded eco-geographic data regarding longitude, latitude, altitude, slope inclination, slope orientation, maximum and minimum temperatures, annual precipitation, relief, as well as soil traits including texture, humus, organic carbon, total nitrogen, pH, phosphorus pentoxide, potassium oxide, and magnesium. Cluster analysis of morphological characters showed that the nine populations could be divided into three main groups. Furthermore, principal component analysis (PCA) of eco-geographic data is discussed. The article presents tables and phenograms reflecting some eco-geographic information and a distribution map of the species.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue’s Consortium Ties with (A. Kern.) Fritsch., 1922 on the Example of Forest Parks and City Phytocenoses in Kyiv City (Ukraine)<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><italic>Parthenocissus inserta</italic> (A. Kern.) Fritsch. adapts to living in the forests of Ukraine. The influence of <italic>P. inserta</italic> on native species and its consortial ties with representatives of the secondary ranges biota, in particular birds, has not been studied. The purpose of this study is to make an inventory of the consorts’ ornithocomplexes of <italic>P. inserta</italic>, to give a comparative analysis of topic and trophic consorts as a result of an introduced species’ participation in the transformation of habitat’s conditions. The material was collected from 2019 to 2022 in forest parks and urban green spaces of the Kyiv city. The bird distribution was determined by the standard method of counting birds at points. Exactly 12.2 ha of <italic>P. inserta</italic> plantations were surveyed. Trophic consortium relationships of <italic>P. inserta</italic> with 32 bird species and topic ones with six bird species were revealed. The species composition of consorts was higher in forest fragments than in urban plantations (26 and 21 species, respectively). In the ornithocomplexes of <italic>P. inserta</italic> consorts in forest biotopes, there was a smaller pressure of dominant species and a more evenly ranked distribution of species by abundance than in urbanized ones. The similarity of the consort’s species composition in urbanized and natural biotopes according to the Sorensen index was 0.64, in consorts 1 and 2 of the consortium concentres was 0.32, and in topic and trophic consorts was 0.27. According to the status of stay in the region, trophic consorts of P. <italic>inserta</italic> were mainly resident birds – 20 species (62.50%), wintering birds – six species (18.75%), and birds migrating through the region – six species of birds (18.75%). Among the topic consorts, there were four species of sedentary species and two species arriving for nesting. Principal component analysis revealed the largest positive relationship between <italic>P. inserta</italic> planting area and the number of consort bird species nesting (0.999) and feeding (0.889) on girlish vine plants. We predict that in the future, <italic>P. inserta</italic> will be more strongly woven into the matter cycle of the secondary range ecosystems. The study of consortial relationships between invasive plants and birds, taking into account the knowledge of the ecological characteristics of consort birds, will make it possible to more effectively prevent the spread of plants into natural biotopes.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Structure of Populations of (Lamiaceae) in Uzbekistan Under Drought Climate<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The current study presents data on the structure of populations of an endemic species <italic>Phlomis nubilans</italic> Zakirov under a drought climate. The rare species <italic>P. nubilans</italic> belongs to the respective endemic genus of Uzbekistan. We studied the ontogenetic structure of populations, and the current state of <italic>P. nubilans</italic> populations was estimated based on a set of climate factors.</p> <p>The study focused on the ontogenetic structure of two populations of <italic>P. nubilans</italic>, revealing that the examined populations grew under drought conditions. The ontogenetic structure was incomplete, that is, it did not include all age groups. Their ontogenetic spectrum was centered and coincided with the characteristic spectrum. The research determined that the ontogenetic type was mature. The studied populations do have not any young plants (juvenile, immature, virginal) due to extreme drought conditions and various factors of elimination, including irregular seed propagation.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Dynamics of North African Steppe (Case Study of the Moulouya Plateau In Morocco)<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The North African steppe areas represent a heritage of great economic and ecological importance. These areas, which were once prosperous, are currently experiencing significant degradation and a decrease in productivity due to several factors. The objective of this study was to evaluate the dynamics of the steppe vegetation, identify the responsible factors, and present perspectives for their management and restoration. The methodological approach adopted for the characterization of climatic and socioeconomic conditions and the analysis of vegetation dynamics combined classical geomatics methods with a data mining method by mobilizing several sources and on important temporal horizons. This study was optimized by using the Google Earth Engine platform. Results showed that steppe areas are characterized by their plant richness and great potential for resilience despite their low vegetation cover. The analysis of the dynamics of change has highlighted a regressive trend in steppe vegetation during the study period (1995–2020). This study has been able to highlight the extent of the dynamics of the steppes in the study area during the last 26 years and to identify the human activity as the main trigger for the transformation that steppe areas are currently undergoing. Such results improve our knowledge of these areas and open perspectives for their management.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Approach for Analysis and Assessment of the Pollution Indices of the Struma River in the Bulgarian Section<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In this work, 13 pollution indices in 10 stations of the Struma river in the Bulgarian section are investigated: temperature (T°C), pH, dissolved oxygen (DO), oxygen saturation (SO<sub>2</sub>), electrical conductivity (EC), biological oxygen demand (BOD), permanganate oxidation (KMn<sub>3</sub>O<sub>4</sub>), ammonia nitrogen (NH<sub>3</sub>-N), nitrite nitrogen (NO<sub>2</sub>-N), nitrate nitrogen (NO<sub>3</sub>-N), orthophosphates (PO<sub>4</sub>), dissolved substances (DS), and unsolved substances (US). The analysis and assessment of the studied indices of pollution of the Struma river in the Bulgarian section is carried out by means of a recently proposed multi-criteria decision-making method called intercriteria decision analysis (ICDA). Application of ICDA showed that we have a degree of agreement for T°C for all stations with very few exceptions. This also applies to DO, KMn<sub>3</sub>O<sub>4</sub>, SO<sub>2</sub> and EC. We had a degree of disagreement for all other indices. From the conducted research, it can be concluded that for all indicators, it is necessary to develop mathematical models in the studied stations according to the studied indicators of the Struma river in Bulgaria. The application of ICDA allows us to examine the correlations between individual indicators and eliminate those that are highly dependent on each other.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Condition of the Protected Area of Endangered Asian Arowana () Golden-Red in East-Central Sumatra, Indonesia<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The only location for the protection of Arowana golden-red in its natural habitat is in east-central Sumatra. Currently, the area is being invaded by oil palm plantations. This research identified the present conditions in that conservation area, specifically focusing on land-use situation and aquatic organism distribution and diversity. We designated four sampling sites according to the stratification of river flows that pass through the Arowana golden-red conservation area and present land use. The research showed that oil palm plantation was the largest land use in the Arowana golden-red conservation area covering 61.2% (2,310.84 ha). The swamp forest which is the habitat of Arowana golden-red only remained at 6.99% (263.98 ha). In the study area, aquatic organisms were identified as 47 species with a total of 424 individuals: 7 genera of Benthos, 11 species of Planktonic algae, and 29 species of Fish. The diversity index was in the range of 0.46–2.45. The diversity of aquatic organisms was found to be comparable to or higher than other areas in Malaysia and Indonesia such as Aceh province and Kalimantan. However, only 31 individuals of Arowana golden-red were found in the swamp forest in Middle Mahato. This site should be a priority area to save the Arowana golden-red.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue