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Białowieża, Poland

Stefaniak A.,University of Lodz | Ziemkiewicz S.,University of Lodz | Karczewska M.,Bialowieza National Park | Klejps A.,University of Lodz | Jakubska-Busse A.,Wroclaw 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. Source

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. Source

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. Source

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). Source

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. Source

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