rss_2.0Folia Oecologica FeedSciendo RSS Feed for Folia Oecologica Oecologica Feed, litter decomposition, and carbon storage of and stands in South Korea<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The quantification of carbon (C) storage of different stand types is a key component for understanding forest C cycles and potential climate change. This study evaluated the effects of stand types on litterfall, litter decomposition, and forest C storage in <italic>Pinus densiflora</italic> S. et Z. and <italic>Quercus variabilis</italic> Blume stands in southern Korea. The aboveground C storage by tree biomass was not affected (<italic>P</italic> &gt; 0.05) by stand types (<italic>P. densiflora</italic>: 79.49 Mg C ha<sup>–1</sup>; <italic>Q. variabilis</italic>: 96.37 Mg C ha<sup>–1</sup>). However, total C inputs by litterfall were significantly higher for the <italic>P. densiflora</italic> (4,473 kg C ha–1 year–1) than for the <italic>Q. variabilis</italic> (2,633 kg C ha–1 year<sup>–1</sup>) stands. Organic C over litter decomposition processes was more rapidly mineralized in the leaf litter of <italic>Q. variabilis</italic> than in needle litter of <italic>P. densiflora</italic>, but C storage on the forest floor was not affected by different stand types. Total soil C storage was not significantly different between the <italic>Q. variabilis</italic> (55.71 Mg C ha<sup>–1</sup>) and <italic>P. densiflora</italic> (80.49 Mg C ha–1), whereas the C concentrations at each soil depth were significantly higher in the <italic>P. densiflora</italic> than in the <italic>Q. variabilis</italic> stands, except for the subsurface depth (30–50 cm). These results indicate that the distribution of C storage in <italic>P. densiflora</italic> and <italic>Q. variabilis</italic> stands is less susceptible to interspecific differences, such as litterfall inputs and decomposition rates.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue trees used by a pest bird (Village Weaver, ): a large field survey suggests further human conflicts with local stakeholders in Southern Nigeria<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The village weaver (<italic>Ploceus cucullatus</italic>) is a common colonial nesting bird widespread throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. It is known to weave its nests from leaf strips from a variety of tree species (mainly coconuts trees, oil palm trees) associated with human settlement areas, grasses, and other available plants. In this regard, this bird was considered a pest for its impact on different economic activities. Although extensive literature is already available on the parasitic role of village weavers, there is still a lack of analytical data that outlines which tree species are used for nesting and in what proportion, as well as the related implications in terms of economic impacts. Here, we carried out the first comprehensive arrangement of trees used by this species for nesting in Southern Nigeria (West Africa), checking for possible different impacts on stakeholders. In April 2021, we searched for village weaver nesting in 95 sites in 77 communities from 24 local government areas in Southern Nigeria, during 14 field surveys. Within each site, we collected GPS coordinates and counted the number of active nests, nesting birds and occupied trees. We recorded a total of 5,776 nests and 2,140 birds in 94 plants belonging to 23 tree species selected for nesting. Oil palm (<italic>Elaeis guineensis</italic>; n = 45) was the most used tree species, as 2,990 (51.77%) nests and 873 (40.79%) birds were recorded. Our results indicate the preference for nesting on trees used by stakeholders belonging to agricultural (palm farmers), touristic (operators) and energy (gas flare stations) sectors with economic implications about the conflict with this pest species.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue, regeneration and carbon stocks of woody plants in the Litwang’ata village land forest reserve, Southwest Tanzania<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The plant biodiversity status of many village land forest reserves is little known to support meaningful implementation of sustainable forest management objectives in Tanzania. This study was conducted to assess the status of Litwang’ata village land forest reserve in Ludewa district, Southwest Tanzania through 20 square sample plots of 10 × 10 m. A total of 20 woody plant species belonging to 12 families and 19 genera with DBH ≥ 5 cm were identified in the study forest. The most important species with their importance value index were <italic>Brachystegia spiciformis</italic> (78.02), <italic>Brachystegia boehmii</italic> (22.05), <italic>Faurea saligna</italic> (15.18), <italic>Uapaca kirkiana</italic> (14), <italic>Acacia amythethophylla</italic> (13.07), <italic>Pseudolachnostylis maprouneifolia</italic> (12.76) and <italic>Gardenia ternifolia</italic> (10.36). The forest had a Shannon diversity index (<italic>H´</italic>) of 2.27, indicating medium diversity. Stand structure comprised 1,330 ± 523 stems ha<sup>–1</sup>, basal area of 18.97 ± 6.81 m<sup>2</sup> ha–1 and stand volume of 142.36 ± 52.17 m<sup>3</sup> ha–1. The mean above- and belowground carbon stocks were 46.97 ± 17.23 Mg ha<sup>–1</sup> and 23.90 ± 8.58 Mg ha–1 respectively. The higher tree densities, basal area, stand volume and carbon stocks recorded in this study compared to other Miombo woodlands indicate that Litwang’ata forest is still in good condition, and managment efforts should be strengthened to bolster biodiversity conservation for present and future generations.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of dicamba and casein hydrolysate on growthand shoot regeneration of date palm ( L.) cv. Barhee<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The investigation was carried out to evaluate the influence of the dicamba (3,6-Dichloro-2-methoxybenzoic acid) (DIC) and casein hydrolysate (CH) on the callus growth, shoot multiplication, and some biochemical constituents of date palm cv. Barhee cultured <italic>in vitro</italic>. Both DIC and CH were required for callus growth and shoots regeneration. The medium supplemented with 4.0 mg l<sup>−1</sup> DIC in combination with 1.0 g l<sup>−1</sup> CH gave the highest callus weight (287 mg), while the maximum response rate and the number of shoots per jar (86.67% and 15.07 shoots/jar) were found in MS media equipped with 4 mg l<sup>−1</sup> DIC and 0.5 mg l−1 CH combination. The total amount of phenolic compounds was significantly reduced to 0.82 and 0.79 mg GAE g<sup>–1</sup> in shoots cultured in the medium equipped with 4.0 mg l<sup>−1</sup> DIC with 0.5 and 1.0 g l−1 CH, which is reflected in the rate of browning. The results showed that the highest shoots content of endogenous IAA (3.71 and 3.50 μg g<sup>−1</sup>), were obtained in response to 4 mg l<sup>−1</sup> DIC + 1.0 g l−1 CH and 4.0 mg l−1 DIC + 0.5 g l−1 CH, respectively. The macronutrient K, P, Ca, and free amino acids content significantly increased in the <italic>in vitro</italic> shoots regenerated on the media supplemented with 4.0 mg l<sup>−1</sup> DIC + 1.0 g l−1 CH. The genetic stability of this study was confirmed by the DNA-based fingerprinting method RAPD. The RAPD binding patterns indicated no variation among tissue culture-derived plants. The in vitro propagation protocol described herein can be introduced to the production of genetically stable date palm plants.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue mixture effects on decomposition change with forest succession and are influenced by time and soil fauna in tropical mountain Andes<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In highly transformed regions, such as the tropical Andes, identifying the influence of forest succession and soil fauna on non-additive effects of litter decomposition is crucial for gaining a more realistic understanding of carbon dynamics and nutrient cycles. The objective of this paper was to analyze the changes of litter mixture effects on decomposition between different soil fauna treatments (macrofauna inclusion vs macrofauna exclusion) and successional stages (mature forests vs secondary forests) in upper Andean tropical forests along time by using a reciprocal translocation experiment of 1,344 litterbags that ran for 18 months with six common native Andean species. Thought <italic>t</italic>-tests, linear regressions, and linear mixed models, I found that litter mixture effects vary among sites and increase with time in secondary forests until the year of decomposition in litterbags with macrofauna exclusion. Mature forests exhibited strong antagonistic effects, while pronounced synergistic effects were observed in secondary forests. Although soil macrofauna did not increase significantly litter decomposition and synergistic effects in the mixtures at any of the stages of decay, it is likely that soil macrofauna may impact litter mixtures through top-down effects within soil food webs, rather than exerting a direct effect in the litter consumption as has been reported in tropical lowland ecosystems. Overall, this study supports the idea that litter mixtures exhibit significant variability across sites, can change with successional stage, and are influenced by soil fauna depending on the stage of decay in tropical Andean montane forests.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue variations and their position relative to leaf epidermal cells in ten Maple species<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In the present study, we investigated the structure of stomata in seven native species of Hyrcanian forests (<italic>Acer hyrcanum, A. velutinum Boiss., A. campestre, A. platanoides L., A. cappadocicum, A. monspessulanum, A. amazandaranicum</italic>), as well as non-native species that have fully adapted (<italic>A. negundo, A. negundo variegatum, and A. palmatum</italic>). We used light and electron microscopy to determine the form and position of the stomata in relation to the leaf epidermal cells. The length, width, shape, area, perimeter, and stomatal density were all measured. Our findings revealed that the stomata type of <italic>A. negundo varengiayum, A. campestre, A. hyrcanum, A. mazandaranicum</italic> and <italic>A. monsspesulanum</italic> is anomocytic, <italic>A. platanoides</italic> and <italic>A. cappadocicum</italic> have anomocytic stomata with wavy subsidiary cells, while <italic>A. palmatum</italic> has anisocytic stomata and <italic>A. velutinum</italic> has parasitic stomata. <italic>A. negundo</italic> has actinocytic stomata. Regarding the location of stomata relative to adjacent epidermal cells, we identified three types. In the first type, the stomata were flush with adjacent epidermal cells (<italic>A. cappadocicum, A. negundo, A. platanoides</italic>). In the second type, the stomata were higher (<italic>A. negundo variegatum</italic>), and in the third type, the stomata were lower (<italic>A. velutinum, A. monspesulanom, A. campestre, A. mazandaranicum, A. hyrcanum</italic>). The principal component analysis was used to determine the essential stomatal traits in differentiating between species. We also investigated the distribution of trees in the coordinate axis space based on two main components and performed cluster analysis based on stomatal characteristics. <italic>A. platanoides, A. negundo, A. negundo variegatum</italic> were in one cluster, while the other species were in separate clusters. The calculation of dissimilarity among the studied species revealed the lowest similarity between <italic>A. negundo</italic> and <italic>A. hyrcanum</italic> and the highest similarity between <italic>A. campestre</italic> and <italic>A. mazandaranicum</italic>. The results of the discriminant analysis identified stomatal density as the essential factor in differentiation between the studied species.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue hogweeds ( and ) in Ukraine: distribution, ecological and coenotical features<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The paper aims to study the distribution and communities of two giant hogweed species <italic>Heracleum mantegazzianum</italic> and <italic>H. sosnowskyi</italic> in Ukraine. This research was motivated by strong invasive trends, risks for native vegetation and a lack of data on giant hogweeds in Ukraine. We presented phytosociological tables of giant hogweeds communities, maps of their modern distribution in Ukraine, a dendrogram of similarity of the communities, phytoindicative evaluation, and proportions of diagnostic species in the syntaxa. According to our survey and literature data, there are 102 locations of <italic>H. mantegazzianum</italic> and 405 locations of <italic>H. sosnowskyi</italic> throughout most of Ukraine, except for the steppe zone, where the limiting factor is the arid climate. The amplitudes of both studied <italic>Heracleum</italic> species have a significant overlap in the factors of humidity, nitrogen, and salt regime. There are differences between the species in the factors of light, temperature and continentality. The amplitudes of the studied species are the widest for moisture and the narrowest range for soil acidity. Both species favour soils enriched in nitrogen. Based on the phytosociological survey, the species forms two distinct associations <italic>Urtico dioicae-Heracleetum sosnowskyi</italic> and <italic>Urtico dioicae-Heracleetum mantegazziani</italic>i and also occurs with lower abundance in communities belonging to 8 vegetation classes. The obtained data can be used to carry out preventive measures against the further spread of giant hogweeds in new habitats with varying degrees of anthropogenic transformation.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue threat analysis approach in a small forest urban park (Northern Italy): local expert-based assessment to prioritize the management actions<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>To overcome the human-induced threats impacting on ecosystems, managers should focus on priorities. Here, we applied the expert-based Threat Analysis (TAN) in a forest urban park (Northern Italy), involving experts which ranked local threats, from the more to less impacting and following the IUCN classification. We also evaluated the level of knowledge of operators about these threats. Experts identified five priority target-specific threats: Roads and Railroads; Invasive-Non Native/Alien species; Other Ecosystem modifications; Recreational Activities, and Storms and Flooding. Storms and Flooding and Invasive-Non Native/Alien species appeared the threats with significant highest magnitude. Knowledge of threats is comparable without significant difference among them. However, Storms and Flooding and Roads and Railroads are the threats having both the highest level of knowledge by experts and the highest magnitude. At the opposite, Mowing was the less known threat regarding its regime and showed the lowest magnitude. TAN approach should be routinely used to build conceptual frameworks, ranking threats from the more to less impacting, therefore optimizing the management effort and developing local projects.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue (Coleoptera, Coccinellidae) communities on nonnative blue spruce in central Europe<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Blue spruce (<italic>Picea pungens</italic>) has been planted in urban greenery as an ornamental tree in central Europe for more than 150 years. We investigated whether this nonnative spruce is a convenient habitat for ladybirds (Coleoptera, Coccinellidae). In 2021 and 2022, adults and larvae were sampled in four towns in Slovakia at monthly intervals throughout the growing season, from April to October. We recorded adults of 27 species and larvae of 11 ladybird species. Conifer specialist ladybird species predominated both in adult and larval communities (adults – 9 species, 85.2% of all individuals; larvae – 7 species, 92.1% of all individuals). <italic>Exochomus quadripustulatus</italic> and <italic>Aphidecta obliterata</italic> were the most common in adult (31.8% and 33.5% of all individuals, respectively) and larval (57.5% and 25.1% of all individuals, respectively) communities. The most abundant generalist species was nonnative invasive <italic>Harmonia axyridis</italic> (adults – 5.6%, larvae – 6.8% of all individuals). Adults and larvae of ladybirds were more abundant on solitary trees than on trees growing in groups. Our results confirmed that blue spruce hosts rich ladybird communities and provides them shelter and food resources.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue (Miq.) root distribution seedlings in response to nitrogen concentrations and tillage<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><italic>Falcataria moluccana</italic> (Miq.) Barnaby &amp; Grimes is an important species for forest plantation programmes in Malaysia and is widely used in the wood industry. However, its root interactions have not been widely investigated due to the limited methodologies and information about the root distribution of trees and crops in forest plantation and agroforestry systems. This study was conducted to determine the rhizotron-scale root interactions of <italic>F. moluccana</italic> at different tillage and nitrogen concentrations under four different treatments: control, tillage, fertiliser, and tillage with fertiliser. The rhizotron-scale experiment was conducted at a greenhouse where <italic>F. moluccan</italic>a (Batai) seedlings were transplanted in transparent rhizotron tubes (onemetre-high transparent polycarbonate solid sheet) using topsoil and river sand to simulate natural growing conditions. Root Intensity (RI), Root Length Density (RLD), Specific Root Length (SRL), dried shoot bio-mass and root biomass were recorded. Root biomass and SRL were notably higher (25–50 cm depth) at 6 WAT (Weeks After Transplanting), and the shoot biomass (tillage + fertiliser) was significantly higher at 14 WAT. However, plants treated with different tillage and nitrogen concentrations showed no significant impact on the RI and RLD. Fertiliser treatment only, and tillage with fertiliser treatment, showed greater root distribution at the rhizotron scale. These findings contribute to forest plantation and natural forest rehabilitation efforts by helping optimise the soil resources within ecosystems for sustainable forest management.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue distribution and modeling of potential distribution of (Planch.) H. St. John at the territory of Ukraine and Europe<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><italic>Elodea nuttallii</italic> (Planch.) H. St. John – an invasive species that actively expands the boundaries of its secondary range. This work presents the current and predicted future distribution of <italic>E. nuttallii</italic> in Europe. The spread of the species is observed in northern areas with a mild oceanic climate (with mild winters and cool, rainy summers) formed by Atlantic cyclones. <italic>E. nuttallii</italic> occurs in aquatic biotopes throughout the temperate climatic zone and partially occurs in the subtropical. It was established that the most important factors in determining the possibility of a plant’s spread are the amount of precipitation in the driest month, the minimum temperature of the coldest month, and altitude above the sea level. According to the data collected, the species is at its ecological optimum in most of Europe. Most of the changes expected in the next 100 years will take place in the next 30–40 years.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue record of (L.) Scutari growing on PET plastic within a fruit crops plot and its implications<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In a fruit crop located in the Lujan district (Buenos Aires province, Argentina), we exposed plastic bottles to the environment for three years. We explored microplastics’ presence on thalli. Out of the potential five lichen species only one grew: <italic>Hyperphyscia coralloides</italic>. Microplastic particles were observed on the thalli. The present work represents the first record of <italic>H. coralloides</italic> growing on PET plastic. Considering the largest thalli size recorded, the results of the growth rate are similar in an average to those recorded for fruticose species. Finally, our results suggest that the contact of <italic>H. coralloides</italic> with microplastics may be a potential pathway for the incorporation of microplastics into ecosystems.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue in cities: the impact of biodiversity data across spatial scales on diversity estimates<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The assessment and monitoring of biodiversity in urban areas has been shown to have enormous potential to inform integrative urban planning in cities. In this context, digital biodiversity repositories such as the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) has been promoted for its central role in gathering and harmonizing biodiversity data worldwide, thereby facilitating these assessments and monitoring efforts. While GBIF data has been investigated for its potential at a large scale and in natural ecosystems, the question remains as to what extent, and in which context, is GBIF data applicable to urban biodiversity assessment and monitoring? In this study, we assessed the spatial patterns of biodiversity, by exploring species richness patterns in relation to land use types for three taxonomic groups (birds, mammals and arthropods) in three cities in The Netherlands (Rotterdam, Amsterdam and Groningen) at multiple spatial scales. We found significant variation in the effect of land uses on the species richness patterns, in terms of taxonomic group, spatial configuration and land cover type, and across spatial scales. Our study demonstrates the potential of GBIF data while highlighting the importance of the careful selection of one or multiple spatial scales, especially in relation to the taxonomic group characteristics and ecology and the spatial configuration of the cities studied.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue germination behavior of Quézel & Simonneau: a vulnerable and endemic Lamiaceae (Northwest Algeria)<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>As part of the ex-situ conservation of the rare plant species <italic>Teucrium santae</italic> (Lamiaceae), which is native to Algeria flora, we conducted this study under controlled conditions to determine the optimal circumstances for the germination of its seeds in terms of light, temperature, and water stress. The seeds showed a double dormancy that could be overcome using scarification with sulfuric acid combined with soaking in Gibberellic acid at 1,500 ppm. The seed’s photosensitivity was tested afterward and found to be indifferent. The highest final germination percentage (75%) was obtained at a temperature of 20 °C. The temperature has no significant effect on the velocity coefficient, unlike the initial germination day and the mean germination time which decrease with increasing temperature. On the opposite of the velocity coefficient, water stress results in a tremendous depressive effect on the final germination percentage, initial germination time and mean germination time. The value of –1.2 MPa constitutes the water potential beyond which germination becomes impossible.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue iron and zinc nano-fertilizers enhance growth, mineral uptake, and antioxidant defense in date palm () seedlings<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Salty sandy soil usually hinders plant growth, while spraying nano-fertilizers such as iron and zinc enhances plant growth. This experiment investigated the role of iron and zinc nano-fertilizers (1 g l<sup>–1</sup>) in the adaptation of date palm seedlings (cv. Barhee) subjected to salt stress (0, 75, 150 mM NaCl). Nano-fertilizer increased plant height, length of roots, number of leaves, and roots. In contrast, salt stress led to reducing these parameters. Salt stress increased hydrogen peroxide, electrolyte leakage, malondialdehyde, and antioxidants such as soluble proteins, proline, catalase, ascorbate peroxidase, and peroxidase enzyme in the leaves. Abscisic acid also increased. Nano-fertilizers increased the chlorophyll and dry matter of the plant under salt stress. Nano-iron induced better seedling growth than nano-zinc, especially in the length of the roots. Nano-iron under salt stress increased iron and potassium concentration and K/Na ratio in leaves. Nano-fertilizers help the plant adapt to environmental stresses, and seedlings succeed in growing in saline sandy soils.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of heavy metals content and regularities of its migration within a soil profile during pyrogenic soil formation in the context of the Scotch pine forest in Togljatty city<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Forest fires are among the most significant disturbances on a global scale. Affecting biodiversity and biogeochemical cycles, forest fires play an important role in atmospheric chemical processes and the global carbon cycle. Using the example of the pyrogenic landscapes of the Samara region, this article reviews changes in the accumulation regularity of heavy metal content and its migration within a soil profile during pyrogenic soil formation. In the case of surface forest fires, the studied postpyrogenic soils are characterized by increased cadmium, nickel and zinc content in the Opyr pyrogenic horizon. In contrast, the content of all analyzed heavy metals decreases compared to the control for crown forest fires, indicating active element emissions into the atmosphere.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of topography, soil and climate on forest species composition and diversity in the West Usambara Montane Forests of Tanzania<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Understanding the variables that determine the variation in forest species composition and diversity in tropical montane systems remains a topic for discussion in plant ecology. This is especially true in areas where the topography is complex and forests are vulnerable to human activity. In this study, a set of topographic, soil, and climatic variables were used to determine their effects on the composition and diversity patterns of two forests in the West Usambara Mountains (Tanzania). Two-phase systematic sampling was used to collect vegetation data from 159 sample plots distributed across the forests. An agglomerative hierarchical clustering method was used for forest community classification, and indicator species analysis was used to determine the species significantly associated with forest communities. The influence of environmental variables on forest communities was analysed using canonical correspondence analysis (CCA). Finally, we evaluated diversity patterns by comparing diversity indices (Shannon-Wiener diversity index, evenness, and richness) and beta diversity processes. In total, 7,767 individual trees belonged to 183 species, 132 genera, and 66 families were quantified. We found that (i) the forests of West Usambara can be divided into three different forest communities; (ii) each forest community has a specific set of topographical, soil, and climate variables; (iii) there are significant differences in Shannon diversity and richness indices among communities; and (iv) community composition is mostly influenced by species turnover than by species nestedness. Our study revealed the importance of considering a set of environmental variables related to climate, soil, and topography to understand the variation in the composition and diversity of forest communities in tropical montane forests.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue production, release and dispersion in Himalayan alder ( D. Don.): a major aeroallergens taxa<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><italic>Alnus nepalensis</italic> is a medium-sized, deciduous tree that occurs in the Indian sub-continent, South America, Hawaii, and China. It is a prolific pioneer species in freshly exposed soil in landslide areas of the western Himalayas and has the potential of fixing nitrogen. A study was conducted to assess the reproductive phenology, pollen production, pollen release, and pollen-mediated gene flow of <italic>Alnus nepalensis</italic> by considering a patch of trees as a pollen source in the temperate forest of Garhwal Himalaya to develop sustainable management strategies relating to the plantation geometry in seed orchards. Staminate flowers of <italic>A. nepalensis</italic> are composed of “cymules”. The presence of bifid stigma and protandry condition were the unique features of the species. Flowering in the male phase was initiated in the last week of September and continued till November. Peak shedding of pollen generally proceeds peak receptivity by 1–2 weeks. The time between onset and peak flowering was 2 weeks 4 days and the total average duration of the flowering period was about 24.8 days. Temperature and relative humidity played a major role in pollen release and the maximum pollen release occurred at 29.2 °C at 13.00 hrs of the day. Pollen production per catkin varied significantly among trees. The average pollen grains per tree were 2.20 × 10<sup>10</sup>. The pollen-ovule ratio suggests that the breeding system of <italic>A. nepalensis</italic> falls under the class xenogamy. Pollen mediated gene flow revealed that the significant pollen which can cause pollination of <italic>A. nepalensis</italic> can travel up to 40 m uphill and 80 m in downhill directions. Thus, an isolation strip of 80 m is sufficient to manage the seed orchard of <italic>A. nepalensis</italic> in the western Himalayan region.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue test battery approach for ecotoxicological evaluation of disinfectants prepared on the basis of sodium hypochlorite<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The research is related to the assessment of the overall sensitivity and applicability of many bioassays representing different trophic levels for the preliminary ecotoxicological testing of commercial disinfectants marked as SA (SAVO, Bochemie a.s., Czech Republic) and DoAm (Dom Amor, BOOS – Biologické substancie, Slovak Republic). Disinfectants were prepared based on sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl). SA contains only NaOCl while earthworm enzymes enrich DoAm. In both commercial products, the NaOCl content did not exceed 5%; pure NaOCl was used as a 10% solution as well. For bioassay, water organisms (<italic>Vibrio fischeri, Desmodesmus subspicatus, Daphnia magna</italic> and <italic>Tubifex tubifex</italic>) situated in various trophic levels were used. All the tests were confirmed as suitable for the determination of chlorine’s adverse effects. Because the organisms’ reactions to the tested disinfectants varied, they can be arranged in the following rank order of sensitivity: <italic>V. fischeri</italic> ≥ <italic>D. subspicatus</italic> &gt;&gt; <italic>D. magna</italic> &gt;&gt; <italic>T. tubifex</italic>. The toxicity of the tested substances (NaOCl, SA, DoAm) depends on the length of exposure, the species of the organism and FAC (free available chlorine) content. The effective concentrations of the tested products ranged from 0.13 to 8.18 μL L<sup>–1</sup>, i.e., 0.014 to 0.26 mg L<sup>–1</sup> of FAC. However, in the tests with <italic>T. tubifex</italic> and <italic>V. fischeri</italic> the toxic effect of NaOCl was the weakest; the tests with other two organisms confirmed this compound as the most toxic. Only for <italic>T. tubifex</italic> (96 hrs) did SA have a more adverse effect than DoAm.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of soils in the Dnipro River valley (based on the example of the Dnipro-Orilsky Nature Reserve)<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The study established the classification position of the soils of the Dnipro River valley (within the Dnipro-Orilsky Nature Reserve) according to the international WRB classification. The pits were laid along three transects that passed through the most significant relief gradients within the study area. The study of the morphological structure of 20 soil profiles showed that the soil cover is closely related to the geo-morphological structure of the river valley. The morphological characteristics of typical profiles of these soils reflect their structure, properties and genesis and determine the classification position of the soils according to the WRB. Multidimensional scaling allowed us to perform soil ordination in the space of two dimensions. Dimension 1 differentiates soils by the gradient of relief height and/or moisture level. Dimension 2 differentiated hydromorphic soils. The properties of Quaternary sediments were found to determine the position of soils at both levels of classification (reference groups, main and additional classifiers). The distribution of each of the reference groups is clearly related to the geomorphology of the valley. Arenosols and Cambisols form the soil cover of the floodplain terrace, while Fluvisols and Gleysols are found mainly in the floodplain.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue