Kamez, Albania

The Agricultural University of Tirana is a public university located in Tirana, Albania. It offers education in agronomy, veterinary, forestry, ecology, agribusiness, and similar subjects.AUT was created in 1951. It was first called "High Institute of Agriculture" . It received its current name in 1991. AUT includes the following faculties: Faculty of Agriculture and Environment Faculty of Economy and Agribusiness Faculty of Forest science Faculty of Veterinary Medicine Faculty of Biotechnology Wikipedia.


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Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2013.1.2-02 | Award Amount: 6.57M | Year: 2014

Long term S&T objective: The project is aimed to sustainable use of Leguminous plants and soil resources in order to ensure European citizens with balanced and safe food, ensuring the high quality protein sources in their daily diet by increasing competitiveness and cultivation of legumes for food and feed. Short-term S&T objectives: 1. Evaluation of pea, faba bean and cowpea/black-eye-bean local genetic resources for the development of new varieties for food and feed and further use in breeding; 2. Development of new food and feed products from available European varieties of pea, faba bean and cowpea; 3. Selection of appropriate rhizobium strains and arbuscular mycorrhizae fungi to support nitrogen fixation and development of new, commercial inoculants; 4.Evaluation of influence of leguminous plants on the soil properties in sustainable, regionally specific cropping systems. Activities: WP1 Management and coordination; WP2 Broadening of genetic diversity in breeding trough evaluation of local genetic resources; WP3 Selection of appropriate rhizobium strains to support nitrogen fixation and development of inoculants; WP4 Nutritional value and innovative food and feed; WP5 Legume supported cropping system in sustainable agriculture; WP6 Management and valorization of the residual biomass; WP7 Publicity and dissemination. 19 partners from 10 EU Member States.


Pasho E.,CSIC - Pyrenean Institute of Ecology | Pasho E.,Agricultural University of Tirana | Camarero J.J.,CSIC - Pyrenean Institute of Ecology | de Luis M.,University of Zaragoza | Vicente-Serrano S.M.,CSIC - Pyrenean Institute of Ecology
Agricultural and Forest Meteorology | Year: 2011

In this study we analyzed the influence of general atmospheric circulation patterns and the frequency of weather types on the spatio-temporal variability of tree-ring growth in Pinus halepensis forests in eastern Spain. Three atmospheric circulation patterns affecting the western Mediterranean region were included in the study: the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), the Western Mediterranean Oscillation (WeMO) and the Mediterranean Oscillation (MO). In addition, the particular circulation pattern affecting eastern Spain was quantified using the frequency of weather types. The variability of radial growth (width) of earlywood and latewood in P. halepensis was quantified at 19 sites using dendrochronological methods. Two distinct patterns, reflecting growth variability in the northern and southern areas involved in the study, were identified for both earlywood and latewood tree-ring series. The influence of atmospheric circulation modes on tree growth resembled the spatial patterns identified, as earlywood and latewood formation in northern sites was determined by the NAO variability, whereas the WeMO dominated growth at the southern sites. Winter, summer and autumn weather types also exerted a control over tree radial growth. We conclude that both atmospheric circulation indices and weather types exert significant control on the formation of earlywood and latewood, because of their influence on precipitation patterns. The findings also suggest that wet and mild conditions during winter and the following autumn enhance P. halepensis earlywood and latewood formation, respectively. Thus, winter atmospheric patterns may indirectly influence latewood growth through direct effects on previous earlywood development driven by precipitation variability. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


Pasho E.,CSIC - Pyrenean Institute of Ecology | Pasho E.,Agricultural University of Tirana | Camarero J.J.,CSIC - Pyrenean Institute of Ecology | de Luis M.,University of Zaragoza | Vicente-Serrano S.M.,CSIC - Pyrenean Institute of Ecology
Agricultural and Forest Meteorology | Year: 2011

We analyzed the impact of drought measured on different time-scales on radial growth of eight tree species during the period 1950-2005 growing across a wide climatic gradient encompassing semiarid Mediterranean woodlands and wet mountain forests in north-eastern Spain. A drought index (standardized precipitation index, SPI) at different time scales (1-48 months) was correlated with chronologies of ring width to determine the significant time scale at which drought affected most tree growth. The findings indicated that the impact of drought on growth varied noticeably among species and sites. Two distinct patterns were clearly observed considering spatial and temporal differences in the response of species to drought. Species growing in xeric sites (Pinus and Quercus species and Juniperus thurifera) showed the highest responses to SPI time-scales of 9-11 months while those located in mesic sites (Abies alba, Pinus sylvestris) did respond more to SPI time scales shorter than 5 months. The SPI-growth correlations were significant, although weak, up to 30 months in xeric sites while no consistent association was observed at higher time scales. Important seasonal differences were noticed in the SPI-growth associations. Species growing in xeric areas responded to spring-summer SPI while those distributed in mesic sites responded more to summer SPI. Our findings should be useful to understand forest responses to climate change, including an increasing frequency of severe droughts, and to adapt appropriate management strategies to mitigate the impact of drought on tree growth. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


Pasho E.,Agricultural University of Tirana | Pasho E.,CSIC - Pyrenean Institute of Ecology | Camarero J.J.,CSIC - Pyrenean Institute of Ecology | Vicente-Serrano S.M.,CSIC - Pyrenean Institute of Ecology
Trees - Structure and Function | Year: 2012

Short- and long-term growth responses to drought and climatic influences still remain poorly understood. In this study, we investigated the impact of climatic drivers (temperature, precipitation) and drought, using the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) calculated at different time scales (1-48 months), on earlywood (EW) and latewood (LW) widths in Pinus halepensis. Nine forests subjected to dry summer conditions were sampled in Mediterranean semi-arid areas from north-eastern Spain. In addition, we explored the seasonal dynamics of cambial activity and wood formation in relation to short-term climate variability. We found two peaks of tracheid cell production corresponding to EW (May-June) and LW (mid-July-August) growth phases, associated with a sharp decrease in enlarging cells in early July in response to low water availability. In the period of analysis (1970-2005), EW growth was positively correlated with precipitation in previous December and current January, April, May and June, while it was negatively correlated with temperature in June and July. LW was correlated positively with minimum temperatures in January. Probably this was an indirect relationship as a consequence of increased EW width at higher January temperatures. Drought affected more negatively EW than LW formation as evidenced the higher SPI-EW correlation (r = 0. 72) than the SPI-LW one (r = 0. 54). The strongest EW response to drought was observed in July, whereas the highest LW response to drought occurred in September; and this seasonal pattern matched the phases of lowest EW and LW tracheid production. Under a future reduction of winter and spring precipitation, the studied forests may show a decrease in tracheid cell production, causing a decline of radial growth, a reduction in hydraulic conductivity and, indirectly, a hampered carbon uptake in such semi-arid woodlands. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.


Bani A.,Agricultural University of Tirana | Bani A.,CNRS Soil and Environment Laboratory | Echevarria G.,CNRS Soil and Environment Laboratory | Sulce S.,Agricultural University of Tirana | Morel J.L.,CNRS Soil and Environment Laboratory
International Journal of Phytoremediation | Year: 2015

Large ultramafic areas exist in Albania, which could be suitable for phytomining with native Alyssum murale. We undertook a five-year field experiment on an ultramafic Vertisol, aimed at optimizing a low-cost Ni-phytoextraction crop of A. murale which is adapted to the Balkans. The following aspects were studied on 18-m2 plots in natural conditions: the effect of (i) plant phenology and element distribution, (ii) plant nutrition and fertilization, (iii) plant cover and weed control and (iv), planting technique (natural cover vs. sown crop). The optimal harvest time was set at the mid-flowering stage when Ni concentration and biomass yield were highest. The application of N, P, and K fertilizers, and especially a split 100-kg ha−1 N application, increased the density of A. murale against all other species. It significantly increased shoot yield, without reducing Ni concentration. In natural stands, the control of graminaceous weeds required the use of an anti-monocots herbicide. However, after the optimization of fertilization and harvest time, weed control procured little benefit. Finally, cropping sown A. murale was more efficient than enhancing native stands and gave higher biomass and phytoextraction yields; biomass yields progressively improved from 0.3 to 9.0 t ha−1 and phytoextracted Ni increased from 1.7 to 105 kg ha−1. © 2015, Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


Binaj I.,University of New York Tirana | Suli D.,Agricultural University of Tirana
International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues | Year: 2013

This paper emphasizes the vital importance of the agriculture sector to the food security for Albania and other neighboring post-communist countries. The aim of this study is to illustrate how investments in agricultural development and food security can protect these countries form future global crisis. Agriculture sector used to be a major contributor to the Albanian economy until the 90’s and its role decreased with the liberalization of the economy. Albanians are of the opinion that more investment opportunities within the agricultural sector are required to decrease poverty at the national level and to make sustainable development possible for Albania. To achieve this, agricultural development and food security must be at the focus of the Albanian economy. This paper recommends an increase in investment within the agricultural sector across the nation. The mixed research approach method was used to validate these claims. © 2013, Econjournals. All rights reserved.


Bakiu R.,Agricultural University of Tirana
Acta Facultatis Medicae Naissensis | Year: 2014

Isoform 2 of calsequestrin (CASQ2) is the main calcium-binding protein of sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR), expressed both in cardiac and in skeletal muscles. CASQ2 acts as an SR calcium (Ca2+) sensor and regulates SR Ca2+ release via interactions with triadin, junctin, and the ryanodine receptor. Various mutations of the csq2 gene lead to altered Ca2+ release and contractile dysfunction contributing to the development of arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death in young individuals affected by catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT). Recently, a transgenic mouse carrying one of the identified CASQ2 point-mutations (R33Q) associated to CPVT was developed and a drastic reduction of the mutated protein was observed. Following a biomolecular approach, several analysis were performed using different antibody treatments in order to identify when the reduction of CASQ2 begins in skeletal muscles, unveil the mechanism involved in the reduction of CASQ2 in slow-twitch and fast twitch muscles and verify if other proteins are affected by the presence of the mutated protein. Mutated CASQ2 decreased soon after birth. Up-regulation of proteins associated to the unfolded protein response (UPR) was also observed. Important proteins in skeletal muscle triads formation were analyzed and increased protein levels were observed in adult knock-in CASQ2-R33Q/R33Q mice. Probably, R33Q mutation induced the decrease of CASQ2 by activation of the UPR and subsequently degradation through proteasome. © Acta Facultatis Medicae Naissensis 2015.


Grazhdani D.,Agricultural University of Tirana
Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment | Year: 2014

Protected areas (PAs) provide some important goods and services, thus making them an important contributor to social well-being. They are widely regarded as the cornerstones of biodiversity conservation strategies worlwide, providing the main foundation for in situ conservation of flora and fauna, being an important element of any sustainable development. The double impacts of climate change and biodiversity loss are major threats to achieving the Millennium Development Goals, especially those relating to environmental sustainability, poverty alleviation and food and water security. Protected undeveloped areas are an important tool for land conservation in developing nations. Efficient land allocation decisions and resource management requires knowledge of non-market benefits. The contingent valuation method is a stated preference method of non-market valuation where respondents are asked to state their preferences for an environmental good or service that is not bought and sold in traditional markets. This study used contingent valuation method (CVM) to derive estimates of economic value for recreational benefits use of Albanian part of Prespa Park (AL-Prespa), in southeastern Albania. The contingent valuation survey used a dichotomous choice (DC) format followed by an openended question asking for their maximum WTP for restoration. Park visitors were surveyed regarding their willingness-to-pay (WTP) for ecological restoration and recreational benefits of area. The WTP responses were analysed using a probit procedure. The results of the study indicated that visitors are willing to pay increased entrance fees to finance ecological restoration and recreational benefits of areas damaged by human activities. Consumer surplus for ecological restoration and recreational benefits of the AL-Prespa elicited through the close-ended DC exercise was found to be € 1.4 per person, and elicited through the open-ended exercise was found to be about € 1.6. The factors and personal characteristics of the visitors that affect respondent’s WTP for ecological restoration and recreational benefits damaged by human activities in AL-Prespa could be important inputs in order to ensure successful environment protection. The results of this study also should be helpful to assist the authority for the fee system and how much they can increase the new entrance fee charged to the visitors. © 2014 World Food Ltd. and WFL Publishers. All rights reserved.


Bakiu R.,Agricultural University of Tirana
Biologia (Poland) | Year: 2014

Calreticulin (CRT) is a low molecular weight protein present in vertebrates, invertebrates and higher plants. Its multiple functions have been demonstrated. It plays an important role as a chaperone and Ca2+ buffer inside sarcoplasmic/endoplasmic reticulum (SR/ER), and outside the ER in many physiological/pathological processes. Recently it has been observed that CRT over-expression or its absence is linked to various pathological conditions, such as malignant evolution and progression, and these facts really increased its study interests. Using an evolution approach CRT was further characterized. Several Bayesian phylogenetic analyses were performed using coding and amino acid sequences. CRT molecular evolution was investigated for the presence of negative or/and positive selection using HyPhy package. The results indicated that the purifying selection might have operated over the whole CRT primary structure. Although, an episodic diversifying selection was also found on the analyzed CRT sequences. © 2013 Institute of Molecular Biology, Slovak Academy of Sciences.


Recently, local governments in Albania have begun paying attention to management of small watershed, because there are specific boundaries and people living within a watershed basin tend to be more concerned about the basin’s environmental, economic, and social development. But this natural resource management and non-point source (NPS) pollution control is still facing challenges. Albanian part of Prespa Park (AL-Prespa) is a good case study, as it is a protected wetland area of high biodiversity and long human history. In this framework, this study was undertaken, the main objectives of which were to explore: (1) the attitudes of the residents toward NPS pollution control, (2) their willingness-to-pay for improving water quality, and (3) factors affecting the residents’ willingness-to-pay. Descriptive statistics, one-way ANOVA (analysis of variance), Chi-square analysis, and multivariate data analysis techniques were used. Findings strongly suggested that the residents’ attitudes toward NPS pollution control in this area were positive. With the combination of two major contingent valuation methods—dichotomous choice and open-ended formats, the survey results indicated that the average yearly respondents’ WTP was €6.4. The survey revealed that residents’ yearly income and education level were the main factors affecting residents’ willingness-to-pay for NPS pollution control in this area, and there was no significant correlation between residents’ yearly income and their education level. The current study would lay a solid foundation on decision-making in further NPS pollution control and public participation through community-based watershed management policies in AL-Prespa watershed and similar areas. © 2015, Springer Science+Business Media New York.

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