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Apeldoorn, Netherlands

Camerlink I.,Wageningen University | Ellinger L.,Centaurea | Bakker E.J.,Wageningen University | Lantinga E.A.,Wageningen University
Homeopathy | Year: 2010

Background: The use of antibiotics in the livestock sector is increasing to such an extent that it threatens negative consequences for human health, animal health and the environment. Homeopathy might be an alternative to antibiotics. It has therefore been tested in a randomised placebo-controlled trial to prevent Escherichia coli diarrhoea in neonatal piglets. Method: On a commercial pig farm 52 sows of different parities, in their last month of gestation, were treated twice a week with either the homeopathic agent Coli 30K or placebo. The 525 piglets born from these sows were scored for occurrence and duration of diarrhoea. Results: Piglets of the homeopathic treated group had significantly less E. coli diarrhoea than piglets in the placebo group (P < .0001). Especially piglets from first parity sows gave a good response to treatment with Coli 30K. The diarrhoea seemed to be less severe in the homeopathically treated litters, there was less transmission and duration appeared shorter. © 2009.

Chytry M.,Masaryk University | Drazil T.,Administration of the Slovensky Raj | Hajek M.,Masaryk University | Kalnikova V.,Masaryk University | And 31 more authors.
Preslia | Year: 2015

We provide an inventory of the sites and vegetation types in the Czech Republic and Slovakia that contain the highest numbers of vascular plant species in small areas of up to 625 m2. The highest numbers of species were recorded in semi-natural grasslands, in which we report four new world records for fine-scale species richness: 17 species of vascular plants in 0.0044 m2 in a mountain meadow in the Krkonoše Mts, 52 and 63 species in 0.25 and 0.5 m2, respectively, in the Kopanecké lúky meadows in the Slovak Paradise (Slovenský raj), and 109 species in 16 m2 in the Porážky meadows in the White Carpathians (Bílé Karpaty). The previous world record of 43 species in 0.1 m2 was equalled in the Čertoryje meadows in the White Carpathians, however, the previous record referred to shoot presence while the new record considers only the species rooted in the plot. We interpreted and corrected the data from the Czech Republic that Wilson et al. (2012) used to compile a list of world records and provide an updated list. The updated list contains five world records from the Czech Republic and two from Slovakia. The most species-rich grasslands and forests in the Czech Republic and Slovakia are concentrated in regions with base-rich soils in the Western Carpathians, especially in the flysch zone in SE Moravia and the Czech-Slovak borderland, and in limestone and volcanic areas in central Slovakia. The richest types of non-forest vegetation include semi-dry base-rich meadows (Bromion erecti and Cirsio-Brachypodion pinnati), base-rich pastures and mesic meadows (Cynosurion cristati and Arrhenatherion elatioris), Nardus stricta grasslands (Violion caninae and Nardo strictae-Agrostion tenuis) and some wet meadows and natural subalpine grasslands. A special type of species-rich herbaceous to open woodland vegetation develops as successional stages on gravel accumulations in Carpathian rivers after severe flooding. The maximum counts of vascular plant species in non-forest vegetation in the Czech Republic and Slovakia are 7 species/0.0009 m2, 11/0.0011 m2, 12/0.004 m2, 17/0.0044 m2, 23/0.01 m2, 37/0.04 m2, 43/0.1 m2, 52/0.25 m2, 63/0.5 m2, 82/1 m2, 88/4 m2, 109/16 m2, 116/25 m2, 131/49 m2 and 133/100 m2. While the maximum counts for plots smaller than 0.5 m2 are from various regions and probably mainly depend on appropriate management, the maximum counts for plots larger than 0.5 m2 are for two areas only, the south-eastern part of the White Carpathians and Kopanecké lúky meadows, suggesting the importance of regionally specific landscape processes for high species richness at such scales. Czech and Slovak forest vegetation is much poorer than grasslands, reaching maxima of 100, 109 and 118 species in plots of 100, 400 and 500 m2, which are considerably smaller than global maxima for temperate forests. Most of the species-rich sites occur on base-rich soils, in habitats with intermediate values of environmental factors, are subject to low-intensity management or natural disturbance, occur in landscapes with large areas of natural and semi-natural vegetation and probably have a long historical continuity.

Klimesova J.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic | Janecek S.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic | Hornik J.,Centaurea | Hornik J.,University of South Bohemia | Dolezal J.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic
Preslia | Year: 2011

The role of clonal traits in a plant's response to changes in management of semi-natural grasslands is poorly known and the few studies examining their importance have yielded contradictory results. For a better understanding of the role of plant functional traits in determining competitive ability and clonal growth in response to early changes in management, we mowed and applied fertilizer to 22 wet meadows in the Železné hory Mts, Czech Republic.We used two methods of assessing abundance (plant cover and species frequency) to determine whether changes in frequency induced by changes in management are better predicted by clonal traits while changes in cover are mainly determined by competitive traits such as plant height. We evaluated (i) the response of individual species to changes in management and (ii) the response of the whole community, with and without taking abundance of individual plants into account, in order to separate the effect of local extinction and immigration from changes inabundance. The plant functional traits tested were generally found to be important soon after the changes in the management of the semi-natural grasslands occurred: competitively superior resident species (possessing tall erosulate, monocyclic shoots) that are able to spread far and multiply clonally (having a high clonal index) were favoured by applying fertilizer and/or suppressed by mowing. Some other traits supposed to be important in the response to changes in management did not change (persistence of connection between ramets). Results for the two methods of assessing abundance differed; however, neither was better at detecting the response of particular types of traits (i.e. relevant to clonal growth and competitive ability). The initial response of the whole community, with and without taking abundance of individual plants into account, was consistent indicating that species that went extinct possessed the same traits as those that decreased in abundance. The clonal index proved to bea useful characteristic of meadow plants. Our results further imply that (i) the method used to assess abundance significantly affects the output of analyses of the response of functional traits, and (ii) a comparison of analyses based on weighting abundance and unweighted means resulted in a deeper insight into the changes in the spectra of functional traits that occurred after changes in meadow management.

Hornik J.,University of South Bohemia | Janecek S.,Centaurea | Janecek S.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic | Klimesova J.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic | And 6 more authors.
Plant Ecology | Year: 2012

Species-area curves are often employed to identify factors affecting biodiversity patterns. The aim of this study was to determine how model choice affects biological interpretation of SAC parameters at a small scale in wet, temperate meadows (Železné hory Mts, Czech Republic). We estimated 88 species-area curves in nested plots on areas ranging from 0. 01 to 4 m2 at 22 localities using four different models (Arrhenius, Gleason, and their log transformations). Relationships were tested between the parameters of the fitted curves (slope and intercept) and a number of environmental and vegetation characteristics (environmental-water table, pH, nutrient availability, organic matter content; community-productivity, evenness; and individual plant-shoot cyclicity, persistence of connection among ramets, multiplication rate, dispersal ability). Species diversity was calculated for 0. 01, 1, and 4 m2. The corrected Akaike information criterion was used to identify the best model. The models differed in their sensitivity to environmental, community, and individual plant characteristics. The spatial scale that was the most suitable for revealing the factors underlying species diversity was the smallest considered (0. 01 m2). The most important factors were spatial pattern in community structure (evenness, lateral spread), plant mobility (lateral spread and persistence), and soil properties. Although Gleason model showed better fit to data (both non-log and log transformation) and its intercept was more sensitive to tested biological characteristics, the Arrhenius model was more sensitive when correlating biological characteristics and slope. Choice of model according to best fit criteria restricts possibilities of biological interpretation and deserves further study. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Janecek S.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic | de Bello F.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic | de Bello F.,University of South Bohemia | Hornik J.,Centaurea | And 12 more authors.
Journal of Vegetation Science | Year: 2013

Questions: To what extent do changes in management (abandonment and fertilization) affect plant functional and taxonomic diversity in wet meadow communities? To what extent do the changes in functional and taxonomic diversity depend on site productivity? Location: Železné hory Mts., Czech Republic. Methods: Experimental plots were established on 21 wet meadows differing in productivity and species composition. In each meadow, in 2007, four 1 × 1 m plots were established, representing a full factorial design with abandonment and fertilization as the factors. In each plot, the number of species present was recorded in 100 subplots (0.1 × 0.1 m) in the years 2007, 2009 and 2011. Different indicators of functional diversity (functional richness, functional evenness, and Rao′s quadratic entropy) were calculated using five functional traits (SLA, LDMC, seed mass, plant height and clonality). Both abundance-weighted and non-weighted diversity indices were calculated. Randomization tests (conducted with PERMANOVA) were used to assess the effect of site productivity and management on both α- and β-diversity components. Results: Meadows along the productivity gradient differed in functional and taxonomic diversity. Both abandonment and fertilization decreased taxonomic diversity. Whereas fertilization decreased functional richness and Rao′s quadratic entropy, abandonment decreased functional evenness. The changes in both taxonomic and functional diversity caused by abandonment and fertilization occurred faster in more productive meadows. Conclusions: The increased dominance of tall species with abandonment and fertilization, followed by the loss of species and the decrease in various indicators of functional diversity, suggest that increased competition for light resulted in increased trait convergence among co-existing species. In addition, many processes occurring after abandonment and fertilization depend on meadow productivity. Results suggest that abundance- and non-abundance-weighted diversity indices give complementary insights on community structure. These results imply that changes are needed in current meadow management and conservation. © 2012 International Association for Vegetation Science.

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