Institute of Biology ZRC SAZU

Ljubljana, Slovenia

Institute of Biology ZRC SAZU

Ljubljana, Slovenia
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Dullinger S.,Vienna Institute for Nature Conservation and Analyses | Dullinger S.,University of Vienna | Gattringer A.,Vienna Institute for Nature Conservation and Analyses | Thuiller W.,French National Center for Scientific Research | And 22 more authors.
Nature Climate Change | Year: 2012

Quantitative estimates of the range loss of mountain plants under climate change have so far mostly relied on static geographical projections of speciesĝ habitat shifts. Here, we use a hybrid model that combines such projections with simulations of demography and seed dispersal to forecast the climate-driven spatio-temporal dynamics of 150 high-mountain plant species across the European Alps. This model predicts average range size reductions of 44ĝ€"50% by the end of the twenty-first century, which is similar to projections from the most ĝ€ optimisticĝ static model (49%). However, the hybrid model also indicates that population dynamics will lag behind climatic trends and that an average of 40% of the range still occupied at the end of the twenty-first century will have become climatically unsuitable for the respective species, creating an extinction debt. Alarmingly, species endemic to the Alps seem to face the highest range losses. These results caution against optimistic conclusions from moderate range size reductions observed during the twenty-first century as they are likely to belie more severe longer-term effects of climate warming on mountain plants. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

Dedeurwaerdere T.,Catholic University of Leuven | Admiraal J.,Leiden University | Beringer A.,University of Greifsald | Bonaiuto F.,University of Rome La Sapienza | And 12 more authors.
Environmental Science and Policy | Year: 2016

This paper analyses the possibility of building a mutually supportive dynamics between internally and externally motivated behaviour for biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services provision. To this purpose a face to face survey amongst 169 key actors of 34 highly successful and prominent biodiversity arrangements in seven EU countries was conducted. The main finding of the paper is the feasibility of combining inherently intrinsically motivated behaviours (providing enjoyment, pleasure from experimentation and learning, aesthetic satisfaction) and internalized extrinsic motivations (related to the identification with the collective goals of conservation policy) through a common set of governance features. Successful initiatives that combine internal and external motivations share the following features: inclusive decision making processes, a broad monitoring by "peers" beyond the core staff of the initiatives, and a context that is supportive for the building of autonomous actor competences. These findings are in line with the psycho-sociological theory of motivation, which shows the importance of a psycho-social context leading to a subjective perception of autonomy and a sense of competence of the actors. © 2016.

Acic S.,University of Belgrade | Silc U.,Institute of Biology ZRC SAZU | Lakusic D.,University of Belgrade | Vukojicic S.,University of Belgrade | Dajic Stevanovic Z.,University of Belgrade
Hacquetia | Year: 2013

A list of corrected and typified grassland communities of the class Molinio-Arrhenatheretea Tx. 1937 occurring in Serbia was provided. The nomenclature rules of the International Code of Phytosociological Nomenclature were strictly followed. Syntaxonomic affiliation of communities to higher syntaxa was assessed according to the existing syntaxonomical schemes for Serbia, i.e. according to the position determined by the original source. Higher syntaxa followed the synsystem of the so-called "EuroVegChecklist". Since syntaxonomic disagreements concerning a certain plant association's position within the whole classification system have not been discussed, such a list should serve as the starting point for a further revision of the status of grassland communities in Serbia. So far, a total of 87 plant communities of the class Molinio-Arrhenatheretea were described for Serbia. The list provided here will enable more precise and more accurate mapping of vegetation in Serbia, as well as classification of these communities into the Habitat Directive which will enable the establishment of the Red list of Habitats for Serbia.

Acic S.,University of Belgrade | Silc U.,Institute of Biology ZRC SAZU | Petrovic M.,University of Belgrade | Tomovic G.,University of Belgrade | Stevanovic Z.D.,University of Belgrade
Tuexenia | Year: 2015

Dry grasslands are highly diverse vegetation types of great importance for livestock production in rural Balkan areas. We analysed a large data set of phytosociological relevés of dry grasslands (Festu-co-Brometea and Festucetea vaginatae classes) in Serbia to produce the first overview of its classification, distribution, environmental conditions and biodiversity patterns. Phytocoenological relevés from relevant literature sources and our own investigations were stored in the Vegetation Database of Serbia (EU-RS-002) and the Balkan Dry Grassland Database (EU-00-013). After heterogeneity-constrained random resampling, the final dataset contained 1,897 relevés and 1,323 species. Species composition was classified hierarchically by the beta flexible method. We used species ecological indicator values for the estimation of the ecological conditions. Floristic and vegetation diversity and the conservation relevance of various dry grassland types, based on an assessment of endemic and protected species, were analysed. We identified 11 clusters, which were well characterised by their species composition and ecology. The first three clusters included loess and sand steppe grasslands mostly found in the Pannonian part of Serbia (Festucion rupicolae and Festucion vaginatae). The next three clusters consisted of Balkan ultramafic rocky grasslands of the order Halacsyetalia sendtneri, Balkan submediter-ranean mountain steppe grasslands on calcareous substrates, belonging to the order Astragalo-Potentilletalia and grasslands of the Balkan alliance Saturejion montanae on limestone. The third group of relevés comprised Balkan alliances of dry grasslands on deep soils, the Chrysopogono-Danthonion and sub-continental steppes of the alliance Festucion valesiacae in hilly areas of Serbia, mostly in the thermophilous oak zone. According to ordination analysis (DCA), the main floristic gradient was largely determined by temperature and moisture. The Festuco-Brometea class exhibited high floristic diversity (1,323 plant species) and very high conservation relevance in view of the large number of Balkan endemic species (204). A total of 233 species and subspecies protected by national legislation within the studied vegetation were recorded.

Acic S.,University of Belgrade | Silc U.,Institute of Biology ZRC SAZU | Jovanovic S.,University of Belgrade | Kabas E.,University of Belgrade | And 2 more authors.
Tuexenia | Year: 2014

An extensive survey of the relevant literature of dry grassland communities described for the territory of Serbia allowed us to check the validity and legitimacy of the nomenclature of this vegetation. Nomenclature rules of the International Code of Phytosociological Nomenclature were strictly followed. The syntaxonomic affiliation of communities to higher syntaxa was assessed according to existing syntaxonomic schemes for Serbia and the position determined by the original source. Higher syntaxa followed the synsystem of the so-called “EuroVegChecklist“. We have highlighted problems and some disagreement with the existing classification of dry grassland communities in Europe. A total of 134 dry grassland communities have so far been registered for Serbia. This list of syntaxa may serve for further research of grassland vegetation and its appropriate positioning within a syntaxonomical scheme of Europe.

News Article | November 17, 2016

Scientists have discovered a unique, leaf-shaped spider that perfectly camouflages itself in rainforest trees—and even drags dead leaves up into the branches, securing them with web, to help itself hide. A short paper published in the Journal of Arachnology this week described the spider, which was discovered in 2011 by a group of researchers in the rainforests of Mengla, in Yunnan province, China. They were on an expedition to look for spiders, but not this specific kind, according to Matjaž Kuntner, lead author of the paper and a research with both the National Museum of Natural History and the Jovan Hadži Institute of Biology ZRC SAZU in Slovenia. "We're trained to find strands of spider silk at night by using our headlamps and we found these strands of silk and basically followed them to the source of it," Kuntner explained. The first spider was found hanging among dead leaves that were lashed to the tree branches with spider silk, making the researchers suspect that the female spider went down to the forest floor, gathered up dead leaves, dragged them to her hiding spot, and hung them up like curtains. "We didn't observe that behavior but I don't think there's any other way for leaves to appear on little strands of silk," Kuntner said. "The hung leaves were sort of a giveaway that it had to be a spider and one of the leaves, of course, turned out not to be a leaf at all." The spiders are dark brown, like a dead leaf, on one side of their abdomen and light green on the reverse, allowing them to hide among any stage of the leaf cycle. Their abdomens are curved and veiny like a leaf and even have a long, stem-like protrusion that really sells the disguise. With their legs tucked up around their head, hanging from a branch, it woud be really easy to miss these creatures if you weren't a trained spider stalker like Kuntner. Though a handful of other spiders have body shapes that resemble vegetation like flowers or twigs, this is the first time a spider that mimics a leaf has been found, Kuntner said. It could help the spider hide from predators, or to sneak up on prey, or maybe both. A search for more specimens only yielded one other spider, which suggests they aren't that common. As the researchers wrote in the paper, "its cryptic habits and nocturnal lifestyle help evade not only predators, but also researchers."

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