Bialowieza National Park

Białowieża, Poland

Bialowieza National Park

Białowieża, Poland
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Moskwa B.,Polish Academy of Sciences | Bien J.,Polish Academy of Sciences | Cybulska A.,Polish Academy of Sciences | Kornacka A.,Polish Academy of Sciences | And 3 more authors.
Veterinary Parasitology | Year: 2015

A simple polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test was used to identify Ashworthius sidemi, a blood-sucking gastrointestinal nematode that commonly infects bison, red and roe deer, and moose in Poland. The present study uses this technique to confirm the possibility of transmission of A. sidemi infection from wildlife to domestic animals, such as cattle and sheep, grazing on the same natural pastures. A 406. bp fragment of genomic A. sidemi DNA was actually detected in DNA isolated from larval cultures derived from feces from cattle. A. sidemi DNA has been detected in cattle which represent a new host for this parasite. This is the first evidence of A. sidemi in cattle. The results reveal that a PCR test based on DNA from L3 larvae can be used for in vivo detection of A. sidemi invasions in breeding animals.In conclusion, the transfer of A. sidemi infection from wildlife to the farm animals sharing the same pastures appears possible. © 2015 .


Moskwa B.,Polish Academy of Sciences | Bien J.,Polish Academy of Sciences | Kornacka A.,Polish Academy of Sciences | Cybulska A.,Polish Academy of Sciences | And 4 more authors.
Parasitology Research | Year: 2017

The study was performed on a male European bison (Bison bonasus bonasus L.) foetus spontaneously aborted at the fourth or fifth month of pregnancy in the Białowieża Forest. Serum samples from the foetus and mother revealed the presence of antibodies against T. gondii (S/P% = 88% and 75%, respectively). Mobile extracellular tachyzoites were first observed in a Vero cell culture, 110 days following inoculation of brain homogenate. PCR amplification with TGR1E1 and TGR1E2 primers confirmed the presence of T. gondii DNA, which was classified as Type I by PCR-RFLP genotyping. The sequences of 18S ribosomal RNA (18S rRNA) and 5.8S ribosomal RNA (5.8S rRNA) genes; internal transcribed spacer 1 (ITS1) and internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2), obtained from T. gondii isolate, have been deposited in GenBank (accession number KX459518.1). This is the first in vitro isolation and molecular identification of T. gondii from an aborted European bison foetus. The origin of this protozoan isolate indicates that the species is a significant threat to the European bison conservation program implemented in the Białowieża Forest. © 2017 The Author(s)


Bernhardt-Romermann M.,Friedrich - Schiller University of Jena | Baeten L.,Ghent University | Craven D.,German Center for Integrative Biodiversity Research iDiv | Craven D.,University of Leipzig | And 41 more authors.
Global Change Biology | Year: 2015

Global biodiversity is affected by numerous environmental drivers. Yet, the extent to which global environmental changes contribute to changes in local diversity is poorly understood. We investigated biodiversity changes in a meta-analysis of 39 resurvey studies in European temperate forests (3988 vegetation records in total, 17-75 years between the two surveys) by assessing the importance of (i) coarse-resolution (i.e., among sites) vs. fine-resolution (i.e., within sites) environmental differences and (ii) changing environmental conditions between surveys. Our results clarify the mechanisms underlying the direction and magnitude of local-scale biodiversity changes. While not detecting any net local diversity loss, we observed considerable among-site variation, partly explained by temporal changes in light availability (a local driver) and density of large herbivores (a regional driver). Furthermore, strong evidence was found that presurvey levels of nitrogen deposition determined subsequent diversity changes. We conclude that models forecasting future biodiversity changes should consider coarse-resolution environmental changes, account for differences in baseline environmental conditions and for local changes in fine-resolution environmental conditions. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Baker A.G.,University of Oxford | Baker A.G.,University College London | Zimny M.,University of Gdansk | Keczynski A.,Bialowieza National Park | And 5 more authors.
Holocene | Year: 2016

Pollen productivity estimates of individual plant taxa are necessary when determining changes of vegetation cover during the Holocene. To date, studies describing this parameter in lowland temperate Europe have been carried out in cultural landscapes showing low forest cover and dominated by human activities. However, these may be of limited use when applied to reconstruct past land cover, for instance, from pre-agricultural landscapes. The aim of this paper is to ascertain whether pollen productivity from the closed-canopy old-growth forest in the Białowieża National Park, Poland, where human impact has been minimal for nearly a century, is different from that calculated in much more open landscapes. We ask: how much does forest antiquity and structure influence the amount of pollen released from particular taxa? We implemented maximum likelihood estimation of relative pollen productivity for seven tree species and for Poaceae using 18 modern pollen assemblages and distance-weighted plant abundances. Our results demonstrate that the ratio of pollen productivity between high producers (Pinus sylvestris and Quercus robur) and low producers (Poaceae, Corylus avellana) is on an average six times greater in Białowieża than across other European cultural landscapes. Pollen from forest Poaceae and C. avellana is six times more under-represented in old-growth forest than hitherto estimated from cultural landscapes. This finding reinforces the idea that pollen productivity can vary in response to changes in the prevailing environmental settings and we present for the first time a quantification of this variability, likely induced by differences in light availability. © 2015, The Author(s) 2015.


PubMed | German Center for Integrative Biodiversity Research iDiv, Research Institute for Nature and Forest, University of Potsdam, University of Picardie Jules Verne and 19 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Global change biology | Year: 2015

Global biodiversity is affected by numerous environmental drivers. Yet, the extent to which global environmental changes contribute to changes in local diversity is poorly understood. We investigated biodiversity changes in a meta-analysis of 39 resurvey studies in European temperate forests (3988 vegetation records in total, 17-75years between the two surveys) by assessing the importance of (i) coarse-resolution (i.e., among sites) vs. fine-resolution (i.e., within sites) environmental differences and (ii) changing environmental conditions between surveys. Our results clarify the mechanisms underlying the direction and magnitude of local-scale biodiversity changes. While not detecting any net local diversity loss, we observed considerable among-site variation, partly explained by temporal changes in light availability (a local driver) and density of large herbivores (a regional driver). Furthermore, strong evidence was found that presurvey levels of nitrogen deposition determined subsequent diversity changes. We conclude that models forecasting future biodiversity changes should consider coarse-resolution environmental changes, account for differences in baseline environmental conditions and for local changes in fine-resolution environmental conditions.


Eycott A.,Polish Academy of Sciences | Eycott A.,University of Bergen | Daleszczyk K.,Bialowieza National Park | Drese J.,Polish Academy of Sciences | And 3 more authors.
Acta Theriologica | Year: 2013

Data on the digestive characteristics of European bison, Bison bonasus (L.), are needed for studies of their role as the largest extant herbivore in Europe and a potential keystone species of the temperate forest ecosystem. Very little published data are available, particularly on the defecation rate which affects population estimates from dropping counts and also the individual seed deposition rate. We gathered data from a captive bison group kept at the Show Reserve of the Białowieża National Park. Droppings accumulated in the enclosure over a 72-h period were counted in winter 2010. In addition, the group was observed over approximately 6-h periods three times in winter and 16 times in summer. The count of accumulated droppings over a 72-h period gave eight defecations per day. The summer direct observations recorded 7.5 defecations per day and winter observation 5.4 defecations per day. These estimates are within the range for other bovids of similar size. The difference between summer and winter observation-based estimates may be accounted for by a higher frequency of defecation in early morning and late afternoon, periods not covered in winter observations. Given the published density of seedlings emerging from droppings of the ∼470 free-living bison in the nearby forest, eight defecations a day mean that seed deposition by European bison may contribute significantly to realize seed dispersal and plant establishment. © 2013 The Author(s).


Stefaniak A.,University of Lodz | Ziemkiewicz S.,University of Lodz | Karczewska M.,Bialowieza National Park | Klejps A.,University of Lodz | Jakubska-Busse A.,Wrocław University
Archives of Biological Sciences | Year: 2013

The priority task of national parks is to protect valuable species, including Orchidaceae. This article presents data on the occurrence of Orchidaceae taxa in Polish national parks, and is an attempt to evaluate their number within the orchid family included in this type of protected area.


Adaszek L.,Lublin University of Life Sciences | Dziegiel B.,Lublin University of Life Sciences | Krzysiak M.,Bialowieza National Park | Skrzypczak M.,Prof ubiszewski University | And 4 more authors.
Polish Journal of Veterinary Sciences | Year: 2014

The aim of the present study was to investigate the occurrence of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato DNA in a group of 120 wild bison (Bison bonasus) from the Bialowieza Primeval Forest in eastern Poland. The PCR technique revealed the presence of 16S RNA of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in the blood of 16 out of 120 examined animals. DNA amplification by means of primers SC1 and SC2 gave a product with a size of 300-bp. The sequences of the PCR products obtained showed 100% homology with each other and 100% homology with B. burgdorferi s.l. 16S RNA gene DQ111061. Results of this study suggest that wild bison are important in maintaining agents of Lyme borreliosis, and that studies of reservoir competence of this species are indicated. © Polish Academy of Sciences, Committee of Veterinary Sciences &University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn 2015.


Samojlik T.,Polish Academy of Sciences | Jedrzejewska B.,Polish Academy of Sciences | Michniewicz M.,Polish Academy of Sciences | Krasnodebski D.,Polish Academy of Sciences | And 4 more authors.
Phytocoenologia | Year: 2013

Despite being one of the best preserved temperate forest of the European lowlands, the Bialowieza Primeval Forest (eastern Poland) has a long history of human use. We described the areal extent, and habitat features related to 18th-century charcoal and wood-tar production in this forest. Based on anthracological analysis of charcoal samples collected in production sites we determined the tree taxa used in production and discussed the possible impact of this exploitation on tree stands. Eight charcoal and nine wood-tar production sites were found in the area which covered over 300 km2. The density of charcoal hearths was estimated at 2-4 sites per 100 km2, and that of wood-tar kilns at 2-6 sites per 100 km2. Contemporary habitat features in the 500-m zones around production sites were compared with those around thirteen random points. As expected, charcoal hearths were located significantly closer to streams and more frequently in wet and deciduous forests, whereas wood-tar kilns were closer to water than random points. Archaeological excavation was carried out on the remains of one charcoal hearth (dated to the second half of the 18th century), and revealed its construction features with a layer of stones on the bottom and a wooden truss. The tree species used in production were related to tree stand composition reconstructed from published palynological studies. In total, ten taxa were discovered in samples from charcoal hearths and two in samples from wood-tar kilns. Hornbeam Carpinus betulus (52.3% of samples), birch Betula sp. (17.5%) and small-leaved lime Tilia cordata (14.0%) were most often used in charcoal production, while Scots pine Pinus sylvestris (98.7% of samples) was almost exclusively the species used for manufacturing woodtar. Comparison with published palynological data suggested selective exploitation of hornbeam for charcoal production. In conclusion, charcoal and tar burning was not of great importance in BPF in the past (due to low site density and short period of activity), therefore the direct influence of these activities on the forest development was very limited. © 2013 Gebrüder Borntraeger, 70176 Stuttgart, Germany.

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