rss_2.0Ekológia (Bratislava) FeedSciendo RSS Feed for Ekológia (Bratislava)https://sciendo.com/journal/EKOhttps://www.sciendo.comEkológia (Bratislava) 's Coverhttps://sciendo-parsed-data-feed.s3.eu-central-1.amazonaws.com/634da6808f43d26484a850bd/cover-image.jpg?X-Amz-Algorithm=AWS4-HMAC-SHA256&X-Amz-Date=20221205T073134Z&X-Amz-SignedHeaders=host&X-Amz-Expires=604800&X-Amz-Credential=AKIA6AP2G7AKP25APDM2%2F20221205%2Feu-central-1%2Fs3%2Faws4_request&X-Amz-Signature=2083b0fe073b97e73f02e33c0ff4d862990b96b4a07848a7eb033790cfe2dae9200300Definition of hot-spots to reduce the nitrogen losses from agricultural land to groundwater in Slovakiahttps://sciendo.com/article/10.2478/eko-2022-0030<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Agriculture is a significant contributor to nitrate pollution of groundwater which in many cases serves as a source of drinking water. Therefore, targeted reduction of nitrogen leaching losses is fully justified to address this issue. The aim of the study was to define the areas of utilized agricultural land (UAL) in Slovakia, where a nitrogen surplus needs to be reduced. Using the average values of leachable nitrogen in the period 2015-2018 and the long-term amount of percolated water, the nitrate concentration in leachate was calculated. To ensure that agricultural activities will contribute to the gradual reduction of nitrate concentration in groundwater, the nitrate concentration in leachate of 40 mg L<sup>-1</sup> was chosen as the target value. This concentration was exceeded at 11.7% of the UAL area. The average indicative amount of nitrogen in industrial fertilizers that needs to be reduced to achieve a stricter nitrate concentration in the leachate in these hot-spots is 16 kg ha<sup>-1</sup> with the proviso that in two districts this value exceeds 30 kg ha<sup>-1</sup>.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-10-17T00:00:00.000+00:00Characterization and diversity of macroin-vertebrates in groundwater in the region of Souk-Ahras (North-East of Algeria)https://sciendo.com/article/10.2478/eko-2022-0022<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>A preliminary inventory of macroinvertebrate communities and a regular physicochemical analysis of groundwater were carried out in the Souk Ahras region (north-eastern Algeria). It aims to study and analyze the structure and distribution of underground aquatic species, thus determining the relationship that may exist between the quality of water in wells and springs with the diversity of aquatic fauna present in the habitats. Through 2018, 14 stations (10 wells and 4 springs) were monitored on a monthly basis, while water and aquatic fauna samples were taken. A principal component analysis (PCA) of the physicochemical quality parameters was carried out from the average values of each parameter. It has been observed that the waters are highly mineralized, due to the high values of total hardness, salinity, and sulfate levels in certain stations. The sources of contamination are mainly due to the raw wastewater circulating in the small canals. Also “seguias” are used either to evacuate wastewater or for irrigation, which seeps down to the water table. The collected aquatic fauna in all the 14 stations is diversified and contains 29 families which correspond to 4 taxa.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-10-17T00:00:00.000+00:00Distribution of breeding waterbirds in relation to wetland characteristics in the Oued Righ valley in the Algerian Saharahttps://sciendo.com/article/10.2478/eko-2022-0025<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In the framework of this study 14 breeding species were identified in the wetland complex of the Oued Righ valley in the Algerian Sahara. Six species of breeding Anatidae were reported, two of which are classified as vulnerable and threatened, namely, the ferruginous duck <italic>Aythya nyroca</italic> and the marbled teal <italic>Marmaronetta angustirostris</italic>. For shorebirds, we noted reproduction of the pied avocet <italic>Recurvirostra avosetta</italic>, the black-winged stilt <italic>Himantopus Himantopus,</italic> and the Kentish plover <italic>Charadrius alexandrinus</italic> in most of the wetlands studied. We report for the first time nesting of the slender-billed gull <italic>Chroicocephalus genei</italic> at Chott Merouane with 72 pairs recorded during the breeding season 2018. This colony was associated with the larger colony of greater flamingo <italic>Phoenicopterus roseus</italic> composed of 640 pairs. Principal component analysis (PCA), gathering 69.74% of the information, showed a significant correlation between the distribution of different bird species and the main environmental factors, that is, vegetation, water surface area, water depth, and salinity, and a strong correlation between the species of Annatidae and Rallidae, which are associated with less-saline environments rich in vegetation and deep water, with the exception of shelducks, which prefer large surface areas with less-dense vegetation and more holomorphic water. For the shorebirds such as <italic>R. avosetta</italic> and <italic>H. himantopus,</italic> there was a clear preference for large wetlands with shallow water and relatively high salinity. A remarkable correlation was also noted for <italic>P. roseus,</italic> where a strong distribution of breeding populations was observed in areas with the highest salinity levels and a vast surface area.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-10-17T00:00:00.000+00:00Assessment in treatment efficiency of a small-scale municipal wastewater treatment plant with activated sludgehttps://sciendo.com/article/10.2478/eko-2022-0028<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In this paper, the treatment efficiency of a small-scale wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) with activated sludge was analysed in order to examine the impact of variations in the composition of incoming raw municipal wastewater. The characteristics of the wastewater were analysed with respect to COD, BOD<sub>5</sub> and TSS values and loading during the two years, 2018 and 2019. The mixed liquid suspended solid (MLSS), sludge volume index (SVI), food to microorganism ratio (F/M), sludge age and hydraulic retention time (HRT) were used for evaluation of the performance of WWTP. Removal percentage is in the order of TSS &gt; BOD<sub>5</sub> &gt; COD during 2018, while in 2019 is in the order BOD<sub>5</sub> &gt; TSS &gt; COD. However, better values of removal efficiency for COD, BOD and TSS are obtained in 2019, which is connected to lower oscillation values of MLSS and SVI index. Biodegradability ratio of raw and treated wastewater, plant reliability factor (RF) and equivalent number of inhabitant (ENI) were determined. In addition, the economic cost of small-scale wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) with activated sludge was evaluated and discussed.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-10-17T00:00:00.000+00:00Farmers’ Preference and Willingness to Pay for Climate-Smart Rice Varieties in Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State, Nigeriahttps://sciendo.com/article/10.2478/eko-2022-0027<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This paper examined farmers’ preference and willingness to pay (WTP) for climate-smart rice varieties in Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State, Nigeria. A total of 80 respondents were purposely selected from 5 major rice growing communities in the study area. Questionnaire was the main tool for data collection. Also, data on climate elements (such as temperature and rainfall volume) for a period of 35 years (1986–2020) were obtained from the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET). Multinomial logit model, ordinary least square (OLS) regression model, descriptive statistics and trend analysis were employed for data analysis. The results show that FARO 44 was preferred by 95% of the farmers for grain size, 100% of farmers preferred it for days to maturity, 76.2% preferred it for strength of grain to withstand breakage during processing, 98.75% preferred it for potential yield (tons) and plant height (cm) and 87.5% preferred it for its ecological adaptation. Farmers’ preference and willingness to pay for climate-smart rice varieties were influenced by attributes of these varieties and knowledge of such technologies, primary occupation, farm size, extension visits and access to media information and farm size. This study recommends that government should provide extension agents with the adequate resources to enable them carry out their duties more effectively.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-10-17T00:00:00.000+00:00Post-fire dynamics of the main biogenic nutrients of the forest soil of Jijel, Northeastern Algeriahttps://sciendo.com/article/10.2478/eko-2022-0021<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Forest fires are part of the natural dynamics of Mediterranean forest ecosystems. In the Mediterranean regions, the ecosystems are shaped by this disturbance that they have been subjected to for a long time. This work aimed to study the effect of fire on the superficial soil of the <italic>Pinus pinaster</italic> forest of Jijel, Northeastern Algeria. Soil samples were taken at a depth of 0–5 cm at different dates over a period of 24 months, in a diachronic mode. The following parameters have been tested: total carbon (C), total nitrogen (N), pH, cations exchange capacity (C.E.C.) and main exchangeable bases: calcium (Ca<sup>2+</sup>), magnesium (Mg<sup>2+</sup>), sodium (Na<sup>+</sup>) and potassium (K<sup>+</sup>). The results of the study showed a significant soil enrichment during the first few months after the fire; this temporary high fertility decreases with time due to ecosystem recovery, which could be interpreted as a return to the pre-fire state.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-10-17T00:00:00.000+00:00Ecodendrometric study of stone pine ( L.) in the region of Mostaganem (western Algeria)https://sciendo.com/article/10.2478/eko-2022-0023<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The evaluation and monitoring of forest species provide a fundamental source of information for the implementation of effective and adapted conservation strategies for these species. The present study aims to determine the ecodendrometric characterisation of even-aged stone pine stands in the region of Mostaganem (western Algeria). Seventy-two temporary plots (1,151 trees) of circular shape with a surface area of (4–6 a) were installed according to age and density in stands that were as regular as possible. These plots were subjected to a complete dendrometric inventory (total height, crown diameter, circumference at 1.3 m, age, etc.) and an ecological description (soil depth, altitude, aspect and slope). It was found that this species is characterised by a regular structure forming young populations. Relationships between parameters such as mean total height/mean circumference, mean crown diameter/diameter at 1.3 m and basal area/mean crown diameter were very positive and significant. The ecodendrometric data was processed by a multivariate principal component analysis, which revealed the effect of altitude, especially soil depth, on stone pine production.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-10-17T00:00:00.000+00:00Assesment of heavy metals concentration in initial soils of post-mining landscapes in Kryvyi Rih District (Ukraine)https://sciendo.com/article/10.2478/eko-2022-0020<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Assessment of heavy metals content in the initial soils of the post-mining landscapes plays an important role in pollution control, ecological protection, and safe-guarding human health. In this study, the site-specific pedogeochemical background contents of several metals in soils in Kryvyi Rih Iron Ore Mining &amp; Metallurgical District (central part of Ukraine) were determined. The metal concentrations in the soils of Petrovsky waste rock dump were also quantified and were also assessed using indices of pollution. The field sampling was carried out at a depth of 0-10 cm in five plots in dump area and in one plot in control site. The 43 soil samples were collected. The results showed that local background concentrations of heavy metals in soils of studied area decreased in the following order (mg×kg<sup>−1</sup>): Fe (42 510) &gt; Mn (761.7) &gt; Cr (94.48) &gt; Zn (90.51) &gt; &gt; As (31.85) &gt; Cu (28.10) &gt; Pb (18.73) &gt; Co (16.21) &gt; Sn (4.64) &gt; Mo (0.28) &gt; Cd (0.16). In the initial soils of devastated lands at Petrovsky waste rock dumps the predominance of increased Cd, Co, Fe, Mm, Mo and Sn content and the predominance of decreased As, Cr and Pb content were observed. Based on the mean values of the individual indices of pollution (Pollution index, Geoaccumulation index, Enrichment factor, Contamination factor) can be assumed that in these soils As, Cd, Fe, Mo, Pb and Sn are mostly coming from industrial activities. Co, Cr, Cu, Mn and Zn are mostly related to their natural occurrence in devastated lands. The values of integrated indices of pollution (Nemerow pollution index, Pollution load index, Degree of contaminated, Modified degree of contamination) indicated that the initial soils of post-mining landscapes can be evaluated as no polluted – and extremely heavy polluted.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-10-17T00:00:00.000+00:00Reproductive phenology of the spider (C.L. Koch, 1845) (Araneae; Sparassidae) across an elevational gradient in Northeast Algeriahttps://sciendo.com/article/10.2478/eko-2022-0026<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Decreased ambient temperature and shorter reproductive seasons are the two main obstacles that ectotherms face at higher elevations. Studies have shown that some life history traits such as phenological windows of activity, duration, and fitness components vary as elevation increases. However, studies on the elevational gradient at the southern range limit of species are lacking. In this study, we aim at assessing some aspects of the life history of a spider species, the sprassid <italic>Micrommata ligurina</italic> (C.L. Koch, 1845), across an elevational gradient from 30 to 1030 m in Northeast Algeria. There was strong evidence of an elevational shift in the phenology of reproduction with a delay rate of 2.2 days per 100 m of elevation, and the three quantiles of the phenology (10, 50, and 90%) shifted with the same magnitude across elevation. In all sites from low to high elevation, the species showed a decrease in number of individuals. The mean number of eggs was 200 ± 35 eggs, and the mean number of hatching eggs was 110.9 ± 23.5 eggs. The clutch size at high elevation sites was higher than that of low-elevation sites, but in contrast, the hatching success was higher at lower elevation sites. Overall, the species exhibited clear elevational clines in life history traits and abundance, suggesting a high potential of plasticity. This work constitutes the first study carried out on spider species ecology in the region.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-10-17T00:00:00.000+00:00Predicting suitable habitats of the major forest trees in the Saïda region (Algeria): A reliable reforestation toolhttps://sciendo.com/article/10.2478/eko-2022-0024<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Modeling potential habitat for plant species is an appropriate approach to maintain biodiversity, developing proper reforestation campaigns, and rehabilitating ecosystems. In this study, we investigated the potential distributions of four forest species, namely, <italic>Quercus faginea</italic> Lam.; <italic>Q. ilex</italic> L.; <italic>Tetraclinis articulata</italic> (Vahl) Mast.; and <italic>Pistacia atlantica</italic> Desf. In the north-western Algeria at Saïda region. The MAXENT method was used to model the habitats of these species using topographic data as predictive variables at a resolution of 100 m. Moreover, the model evaluation process was achieved using the area under the operating characteristic curve of the receiver (AUC) and Jackknife test.</p> <p>The generated models were found to be accurate. AUC results are ranging between 0.98 and 0.91 for the training set and 0.87 and 0.97 for the testing set. The results of the distribution probability of this study provide a useful tool for the local decision-makers of reforestation campaigns.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-10-17T00:00:00.000+00:00Climate change adaptation strategies by rice processors in Ebonyi State, Nigeriahttps://sciendo.com/article/10.2478/eko-2022-0029<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The paper examined adaptation strategies used by rice processors in Ebonyi State to manage climate risks. The paper used random sampling technique to select respondents and questionnaire was used to collect data from the respondents. Cross-sectional data collected from 98 rice processors were analysed using descriptive statistics and multivariate probit regression model. The results indicated that majority of the rice processors perceived prolonged dry season and increased rainfall intensity as the main climate risks in the state. Livelihood diversification, storing of paddy, and reliance on climate information were the major adaptation strategies used by the rice processors to manage the climate risks. The main determinants of climate change adaptation strategies of rice processors were education, membership of cooperative societies, income, training on rice processing and climate risk management, experience of climate hazards, and ownership of assets. The processors faced various barriers to adoption which are mainly related to capital needs, competition from foreign brands, access to basic infrastructure and roads and information, high cost of labour. It is recommended that government support be given to the rice producing communities in terms of basic infrastructure and policies to protect the industry. Also, regular workshops/trainings should be held to train processors on best climate risk management practices and encourage registration of processor cooperatives/relevant associations.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-10-17T00:00:00.000+00:00Assessment of the Population Status of O. Fedtsch. In the Mountains of Uzbekistanhttps://sciendo.com/article/10.2478/eko-2022-0015<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Currently, the genetic resources of plants are on the verge of gradual disappearance, called genetic erosion. The erosion of genetic diversity implies the loss of diverse genes in individual plant species. Therefore, special attention should be paid to the collection and conservation of genetic resources of endangered plants for future use. The aim of this study is to research the natural coenopopulation of the ancestral species of cultivated plant, <italic>Allium oschaninii</italic> in the mountains of Uzbekistan. Field studies were conducted in nine coenopopulations in the Turkestan, Gissar, and Alai ranges. For each coenopopulation, a phytocoenotic characteristic given on the sites of 100 m<sup>2</sup>. When determining the structure of <italic>A. oschaninii</italic> and the characteristics of the coenopopulation, transects from 10 to 30 sites of 1 m<sup>2</sup> were established. The condition of the coenopopulation was assessed by the age structure of <italic>A. oschaninii</italic> and using a demographic indicator. We found that the condition of the coenopopulation is normal, but incomplete. The condition of the coenopopulations 1, 8, 9 is under threat due to anthropogenic load (overgrazing) and unfavorable factors of the ecotype. The ontogenetic spectrum is centered with a peak on average generative individuals and does not coincide with the characteristic one. Coenopopulations with a left-sided type, with a predominance of juvenile individuals, are formed on stony-gravelly, fine-grained gravel, and soft-soil mountain plains. By biological nature, the ontogenetic spectrum of <italic>A. oschaninii</italic> is left- sided, with an absolute maximum on one of the pregenerative groups. According to the demographic indicators, in diverse communities and in low-mountain and medium-category habitats and in a static substrate with grazing, the coenopopulation is young, mature, and in a transitional state.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-07-04T00:00:00.000+00:00Water Quality from the Sources of Non-Centralized Water Supply within the Rural Settlements of Zhytomyr Regionhttps://sciendo.com/article/10.2478/eko-2022-0013<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The research was conducted within the territories of rural settlements of Zhytomyr region. A total of 72 sources of non-centralized water supply were surveyed. Water quality was assessed by physical and chemical (pH, iron total, total water hardness) and toxicological (nitrites, nitrates, and ammonium) indicators, the content of which was compared with the norms given in the State Sanitary Regulations and Standards 2.2.4-171-10 “Hygienic Requirements for Drinking Water Intended for Human Consumption.” The assessment of drinking water quality was carried out in accordance with DSTU (National Standards of Ukraine) 4808:2007 and with the water quality index (WQI). It was found that the largest deviations from the norm among toxicological indicators were observed for nitrates – 63.9%. In terms of water quality classes according to DSTU 4808:2007, drinking water from sources of non-centralized water supply of villages showed the following distribution: 2.8% of the samples belonged to class 1 (excellent water quality), 72.2% to class 2, and 25% to class 3. According to WQI, 16.7% of the examined sources of non-centralized water supply had excellent water, 63.9% had good water, and 19.4% had poor water. Despite the fact that the water from the investigated sources of non-centralized water supply was of acceptable quality, it is impotable due to the excessive nitrate content. The results obtained show that there is a need for monitoring of drinking water quality from the sources of non-centralized water supply, especially in rural settlements that are not provided with centralized water supply.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-07-04T00:00:00.000+00:00Effects of Different Cropping and Land Management Practices on the Quality of Irrigated Soils of the Upper Awash Basin, Central Rift Valley of Ethiopiahttps://sciendo.com/article/10.2478/eko-2022-0011<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Irrigation is one way of utilizing the land resources to enhance agricultural production. Irrigation crop production is crucial in the present study area due to its arid and semi-arid climatic characteristics. However, little is known about the influence of different cropping and land management practices on soil quality (SQ). This study aimed to determine the effects of different cropping systems and land management practices on variability of SQ indicators in the Central Rift Valley of Ethiopia (CRVE). To this end, 45 disturbed surface (0‒20 cm) and 24 undisturbed (upper 7 cm) soil samples were collected from four adjacent farms: large-scale perennial farms (LSPF), large-scale annual farms (LSAF), smallholder subsistence annual farms (SHAF), and non-cultivated lands (NCL). Soil analyses were made for selected SQ indicators – particle size analysis, bulk density, soil water content, organic matter, pH, total nitrogen, available potassium and phosphorus, exchangeable bases, and cation exchange capacity. One-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Pearson correlation coefficient (<italic>r</italic>) were computed. Key informants’ interview was conducted to substantiate the data obtained from soil laboratory analyses. As the results confirmed, different cropping and land management practices had significant effects on some SQ indicators. Soil organic matter, total nitrogen, available P, and available K declined significantly (<italic>P</italic> &lt; 0.05) in the soils of LSAF and SHAF. This is attributed to land management-induced problems such as frequent tillage practice of mono-cropping, high level of mechanization, removal of crop residues/above-ground biomass in LSAF, and use of low external inputs and overcultivation without appropriate land management practices in SHAF. However, LSPF practice resulted in the improvement of key SQ indicators, next to NCL. Therefore, LSPF can be an alternative cropping and land management practice to achieve sustainable agricultural production and land management in semi-arid irrigated lands of CRVE and in places with similar environments.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-07-04T00:00:00.000+00:00The Effect of Population Pseudo-Rejuvenation in Adverse Changes in Living Conditions: A Case Study on the Highland Plant Species in the Ukrainian Carpathianshttps://sciendo.com/article/10.2478/eko-2022-0016<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>“Rejuvenation of population” is commonly considered as an increase in the proportion of young individuals in the population. In our opinion, the term “rejuvenation” has to be used in case of an increasing percentage of young individuals providing maintenance or increase of the entire population size. In return, an increasing percentage of young individuals while reducing the number of the entire population should be considered as “pseudo-rejuvenation.” A key feature of rejuvenation is the positive dynamics of the population. Instead, pseudo-rejuvenation is an indicator of negative exogenous or endogenous changes and is evidence of population degradation under adverse environment conditions. The article presents the most common examples of the processes of rejuvenation of populations in different plant species under the influence of anthropogenic and natural factors in the plant communities of the Ukrainian Carpathians. The main causes of rejuvenation and pseudo-rejuvenation of populations of the target plant species have been identified. Studies of population structure changes <italic>in situ</italic> were performed using both long-term monitoring transects laid 5–40 years ago and in new sites. Transects are located in the alpine, subalpine, and upper forest zones of the Ukrainian Carpathians in the height range of 1200–2000 m a.s.l. The study areas cover the most common alpine and chionophilic communities, some forest and subalpine phytocenoses.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-07-04T00:00:00.000+00:00The Value of Protected Areas Ranger Service Personnel for Biodiversity Monitoring: Case Study in Paklenica National Park (Croatia)https://sciendo.com/article/10.2478/eko-2022-0019<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>To preserve the long-term survival of habitats and wildlife, it is necessary to monitor their status. In protected areas, that is, biodiversity centres, rangers have excellent knowledge of specific locations and they spend a large amount of time in the field. But since rangers are not required to have a university degree, the question is whether they can be an added value in baseline survey monitoring. To investigate this issue, a case study was conducted in the Paklenica National Park (Paklenica NP), Croatia, using camera trapping survey between 2011 and 2016 at 22 camera sites. The aims of this survey were (1) to collect baseline data of mammalian diversity, (2) to analyse the regulatory effect of top predators on the trophic pyramid through top–down effects and (3) to estimate the data gathered by ranger service from the Paklenica NP. Data gathered through this study represents the first peer-reviewed list of medium- to large-sized mammals for Paklenica NP, as up till now, there is no peer-reviewed published paper of Paklenica NP mammalian diversity. Results showed that the recorded top predator–mesopredator–prey ratios were concordant with the trophic pyramid hypothesis. Also, as it was expected according to the literature, species richness indices were higher when top predators were present. On analysing the costs for conducting camera trapping survey by external and internal services, a significant difference was observed. Internal rangers’ cost was nine times lower than the external service cost. Future research run by rangers needs to be conducted in way to capture all mammalian biodiversity. Therefore, we propose camera trapping methodology for rangers in the protected areas since this may be an invaluable tool for biodiversity monitoring.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-07-04T00:00:00.000+00:00Influence of Plants on the Spatial Variability of Soil Penetration Resistancehttps://sciendo.com/article/10.2478/eko-2022-0012<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Soil penetration resistance is an informative indicator to monitor soil compaction, which affects a range of ecological processes in floodplain ecosystems. The aim of the investigation was to reveal the influence of vegetation cover on the spatial variability of penetration resistance of floodplain soils. The study was carried out in the elm oak forest in the floodplain of the Dnipro River (Dniprovsko-Orilsky Nature Reserve, Ukraine). The study of the soil profile morphology was performed in accordance with the guidelines of the field description of soils FAO. The soil penetration resistance was measured in the field using the Eijkelkamp manual penetrometer to a depth of 100 cm at 5-cm intervals within the polygon consisted of 105 sampling points. Vegetation descriptions were made in a 3×3-meter surrounding from each sampling point. The soil penetration resistance was found to regularly increase with increasing depth. The changes in resistance values were insignificant until 25–30 cm depth. After that, there was a sharp increase in penetration resistance up to the depth of 70–75 cm, after which the indicators plateaued. In the three-dimensional aspect, the spatial variation of soil penetration resistance can be fractionated into broad-scale, medium-scale, and fine-scale components. Tree vegetation induces a broad-scale component of soil penetration resistance variations, which embraces the whole soil profile. The herbaceous vegetation induces a medium-scale component, which embraces the upper and middle parts of the soil profile. The fine-scale component is influenced by pedogenic factors.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-07-04T00:00:00.000+00:00Tree Species Biodiversity in Small Ukrainian Townshttps://sciendo.com/article/10.2478/eko-2022-0017<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Biodiversity is one of the important indicators of ecosystem sustainability, which is less studied in relation to urban areas, particularly Ukraine, and even more so in small towns. Taking the example of three small Ukrainian towns, the biodiversity of tree species is compared in the article. The studied small towns are located in two geographic zones, mixed forests (Polissya) and forest-steppe, and administratively, in Chernihiv and Kyiv regions. An inventory of trees in the residential area of Ukrainka, in the central streets of Novhorod-Siverskyi, as well as in the central part and all streets of Vyshhorod was conducted. Thus, the species richness of trees both between the studied towns and between its central part and the whole territory of the town was compared. The species structure of tree plantings in terms of richness, diversity, dominance, alignment, and similarity was assessed. The obtained results were subjected to cluster and correlation analysis. It was found that the greatest diversity is characteristic for the dendroflora of the whole territory of Vyshhorod, which is the fastest growing town, located closest to the capital. The dendrofloras of small towns were quite similar to each other. The values of similarity indices varied in a wide range: Jacquard’s index from 0.26 to 0.56 and Sørensen index from 0.41 to 0.66. The lowest degree of similarity was found with the dendroflora of the most distant Novgorod-Siverskyi town. Mainly the urban plantings require enrichment of the tree species composition, taking into account their resistance to anthropogenic impacts and climate change.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-07-04T00:00:00.000+00:00Assessment of Naturalness: The Response of Social Behavior Types of Plants to Anthropogenic Impacthttps://sciendo.com/article/10.2478/eko-2022-0014<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The aims of this research are to assess the relationship between the concepts of hemeroby and naturalness of plant communities and to test the hypothesis about the ordinal nature of the response of social behavior types of plants under anthropogenic influence. Study area is the recreational zone of the Botanical Garden of Dnipro National University, named after Oles Gonchar, Dnipro City, Ukraine (48.43°N 35.05°E). Four polygons (105 relevés in each) were examined. Two polygons were in the zone after park reconstruction, and two were in the zone without reconstruction. The vegetation community ordination was performed using RLQ analysis. The Q-table was represented by eight dummy variables, which indicated social behavior types. The most important predictors of naturalness were aggressive alien species and invaders and weeds (positive dependence) and disturbance tolerants (negative dependence). The most important predictors of hemeroby were aggressive alien species (negative dependence) and ruderal competitors, invaders, and disturbance tolerants (positive dependence). Naturalness and hemeroby reflect different strategies for transforming a plant community and are not completely symmetrically opposed concepts. The response of a plant community is multivariate, so the naturalness metric based on the social behavior types is only able to distinguish well between the extreme states of a plant community, but is a poor measure for a more detailed assessment of naturalness.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-07-04T00:00:00.000+00:00Methodology of Wildlife Underpasses Attractiveness Assessmenthttps://sciendo.com/article/10.2478/eko-2022-0018<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The permeability of line barriers in the landscape is often a prerequisite for the survival of the wide spectrum of native species. The aim of this study is to create a methodology for assessing the attractiveness of wildlife underpasses used by animals during migrations, translocations or as a habitat. Understanding the relationship between the parameters of underpasses in the broader landscape-ecological context and their attractiveness for animals is a key aspect in spatial planning and the construction of new linear transport structures, which will significantly help mitigate the barrier effect and isolation of animal populations. The attractiveness assessment is based on the evaluation of the underpass individual parameters and its surroundings through the 8 sub-indexes (openness, substrate, anthropogenic, vegetation, landscape structure elements, ecological networks, potential and real migration/habitat).</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-07-04T00:00:00.000+00:00en-us-1