Institute of Ecology of Nature Research Center


Institute of Ecology of Nature Research Center

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Barsiene J.,Institute of Ecology of Nature Research Center | Rybakovas A.,Institute of Ecology of Nature Research Center | Andreikenaite L.,Institute of Ecology of Nature Research Center
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment | Year: 2012

Environmental genotoxicity and cytotoxicity effects in the gills of mussels Mytilus edulis, from the Baltic Sea areas close to the Butinge oil terminal (Lithuania) before and after accidental oil spill in 31 January 2008 were studied. Mussels from the oil spillage zones were collected in 12 days, in 3 and 6 months after the spill to determine the effects of the spill. Mussels sampled in 2006-2007 were used for the assessment of the background levels of genotoxicity and cytotoxicity in the Butinge oil terminal area. Comparison of the responses in M. edulis before and after the oil spill revealed significant elevation of frequencies of micronuclei (MN), nuclear buds (NB) and fragmented-apoptotic (FA) cells. Environmental genotoxicity and cytotoxicity levels in mussels from the Palanga site before the accident (in June 2007) served as a reference. Six months after the accident, in July 2008, 5.6-fold increase of MN, 2.9-fold elevation of NB, and 8.8-fold elevation of FA cells were observed in mussels from the same site. © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011.

Binkiene R.,Institute of Ecology of Nature Research Center | Kontrimavichus V.,Institute of Ecology of Nature Research Center | Hoberg E.P.,U.S. Department of Agriculture
Helminthologia | Year: 2011

The cestode fauna in shrews of the genus Sorex from the European region consists of seventeen species. Twelve cestode species have broad Palearctic distributions, three belong to the Western-Asian-European faunistic complex, and only two are endemic to the European zone. Postglacial expansion into the European territory resulted in geographic colonization by sixteen species. The large number of cestode species with transpalearctic ranges, as well as paleontological data indicating a nearly complete faunal turnover for species of Sorex in the Pleistocene, suggests that these parasites are more ancient than the assemblage of contemporary hosts in which they now occur, and thus represent ecological relicts. We suggest that origins of the cestode fauna pre-date those of the modern fauna of its hosts, and that initial formation and radiation occurred not later than the Pliocene. In the current review, we outline testable hypotheses to explore the structure, history and development of this fauna which appears limited to species of Sorex. © 2011 Versita Warsaw and Springer-Verlag Wien.

Juskaitis R.,Institute of Ecology of Nature Research Center | Baltrunaite L.,Institute of Ecology of Nature Research Center
Folia Zoologica | Year: 2013

The diet of the forest dormouse, Dryomys nitedula, was studied in Lithuania, which is situated on the north-western edge of its range. The diet composition of D. nitedula changes constantly over the activity period. From late April until mid-July, food of animal origin dominates the diet, while vegetable food prevails from mid-July until early September. Over the entire activity season, food of animal origin comprises on average 63 % of dormouse diet by volume estimates. Four main food groups - birds, adult insects, insect larvae and millipedes - dominate, but their proportions vary over the course of the season, as does the composition of vegetable food used by D. nitedula. Among vegetable food, dormice feed on blossoms of Norway spruce, oak and aspen in May, cones of Norway spruce during June-August, raspberries, birch seeds and fruits of glossy buckthorn in July and August and oak acorns in late August and early September. The composition of vegetable food used by D. nitedula in Lithuania is rather specific in comparison to other parts of the range and shows high dormouse adaptability to local conditions. In different years, the proportions of vegetable and animal food, as well as their compositions, vary in the dormouse diet. Dormice can accumulate sufficient fat reserves for hibernation feeding on both vegetable and animal food.

Blazyte-Cereskiene L.,Institute of Ecology of Nature Research Center | Karalius V.,Institute of Ecology of Nature Research Center
Insect Conservation and Diversity | Year: 2012

1.To further knowledge regarding habitat requirements of the threatened species Boros schneideri, a total of 1522 dead standing Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) were checked for the presence of B. schneideri larvae. For the 245 trees inhabited by larvae (16% of all examined trees), tree characteristics and occupancy patterns were measured. 2.As most of the investigated forests were 40-80years old and were dominated by comparatively thin dead trees (5-20cm diameter at breast height), B. schneideri larvae were mainly found under the bark of trees with a diameter in the range of 10-20cm. However, the probability of a tree being inhabited by B. schneideri increased progressively with tree diameter and forest age. 3.Most of the trees with B. schneideri (79%) were in medium-dense and sparse-growth pine forests where the canopy cover was 60-80%. The presence of Norway spruce (Picea abies) in Scots pine forests was an important factor affecting the probability of trees being inhabited by B. schneideri. Only 6% of trees inhabited by B. schneideri were found in mixed Scots pine-Norway spruce forests, where the shadowing was higher than 80%. 4.All dead trees inhabited by B. schneideri had loose and at least slightly fragmented bark. A bark area of 0.08m 2 was found to be sufficient for the survival of B. schneideri. The critical bark thickness for B. schneideri larvae was 5mm. 5.The data obtained are important for the optimisation of conservation measures implemented during forest management operations. © 2011 The Authors Insect Conservation and Diversity © 2011 The Royal Entomological Society.

Balciauskas L.,Institute of Ecology of Nature Research Center | Balciauskiene L.,Institute of Ecology of Nature Research Center
North-Western Journal of Zoology | Year: 2012

A single specimen of the Mediterranean water shrew (Neomys anomalus) was trapped in west Lithuania in 2009. Characteristics of N. anomalus shared by this specimen include: the keel on the ventral side of the tail only extending to the proximal third of the tail length, and the hind foot length and several skull measurements being significantly smaller than N. fodiens. The habitat of the specimen was flooded sedge meadows and reeds. A review of the skull collection at the Nature Research Centre (Vilnius, Lithuania) and its associated biometric data yielded two more N. anomalus individuals from the west of the country. These records extend the species' distribution by over 350 km to the north and represent a new mammal species for Lithuania and the Baltic countries. © NwjZ, Oradea, Romania, 2012.

Pliuraite V.,Institute of Ecology of Nature Research Center
Fresenius Environmental Bulletin | Year: 2011

The status of three Lithuanian medium-sized streams: a forested natural stream, an agricultural natural stream and a straightened stream, receiving diffused pollution from agricultural lands, was evaluated in spring, summer and autumn 2008 using selected physicochemical variables and macroinvertebrate analysis. Taxonomie composition of invertebrate macrofauna was used for calculation of the following biotic indices: the Danish Stream Fauna Index (DSFI), Hilsenhoff Biotic Index (HBI), Biological Monitoring Working Party (BMWP), Average Score per Taxon (ASPT), Belgian Biotic Index (BBI) and Extended Biotic Index (IBE). The data obtained show that water quality was of class 1 in the forested natural stream, of class 3 in the agricultural natural stream and of class 4 in the agricultural channelized stream (on a five-class scale), according to NO3-N and N total values. It was concluded that BMWP, ASPT, BBI and IBE indices tend to assign stream water to a higher water quality class than DSFI and HBI do. According to BMWP, BBI and IBE indices, good water quality was found even in the agricultural natural stream, where water quality was moderate according to NO 3-N and NT values. © by PSP.

Pliuraite V.,Institute of Ecology of Nature Research Center | Kesminas V.,Institute of Ecology of Nature Research Center
Fresenius Environmental Bulletin | Year: 2010

The present study contains the results of an investigation of the taxonomic diversity of common groups of benthic macrofauna, collected in the natural and channelized sites of the large river, receiving diffused pollution from agricultural lands. Channelization impacts on macroinvertebrate communities ranged from a negative influence to no effect. Total species richness (SR) in the natural river site was higher in comparison with that of the channelized river site. The sensitive Plecoptera are missing. There were no significant statistical differences for total Ephemeroptera and Trichoptera (ET) richness between the natural and the channelized river site. The data obtained showed that the natural site differed from the channelized one in the dominance of individual taxa. The data of this investigation showed that the share of Trichoptera was significantly higher in the natural site while the share of Chironomidae was higher in the channelized river site. According to Hilsenhoff biotic index, the ecological status during all seasons in natural river site is good and in channelized site fair. © by PSP.

Nika N.,Klaipeda University | Virbickas T.,Institute of Ecology of Nature Research Center
Journal of Fish Biology | Year: 2010

Reproductive interaction between sympatric lampreys and salmonids was studied. The superimposition of brown trout Salmo trutta redds by spring-spawning river lamprey Lampetra fluviatilis and brook lamprey Lampetra planeri was examined in a small lowland stream of western Lithuania. A high superimposition rate of S. trutta redds by both L. fluviatilis (up to 83%) and L. planeri (up to 48%) was found, when the spawning intensity of Lampetra spp. was high. The occurrence of this phenomenon is the result of the overlap in the spawning habitat preferences at the reach-scale and at the microhabitat scale for the three species. One of the main requirements for Lampetra spp. spawning site selection was the negative streambed slope, an essential trait of the pool-riffle transitional zone. The structure of the salmonid redd created a considerable negative microhabitat slope suitable for Lampetra spp. spawning, which put the redds under a higher susceptibility to be superimposed. The timing of Lampetra spp. spawning overlapped closely with the emergence of S. trutta fry, suggesting a probable ecological effect of superimposition on S. trutta in the pre-emergent and emerging stages. © 2010 The Authors. Journal of Fish Biology © 2010 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

Petkeviciute R.,Institute of Ecology of Nature Research Center | Stunzenas V.,Institute of Ecology of Nature Research Center | Staneviciute G.,Institute of Ecology of Nature Research Center | Zhokhov A.E.,Russian Academy of Sciences
Zoologica Scripta | Year: 2015

Genetic markers of some European Gorgoderidae species, including potential adults of Cercaria duplicata, were obtained and used to clarify phylogenetic affinities within the genus Phyllodistomum and to verify conflicting data existing on their life cycles. Molecular data and karyotype, 2n = 18, provide further support for ascription of C. duplicata to the Gorgoderinae. Sequences of C. duplicata form a robustly supported major clade, phylogenetically distinct from other known gorgoderid species in both ITS2- and 28S-based phylogenetic trees. The molecular data revealed no match between C. duplicata and any species of Phyllodistomum, including adults found in the experimental studies. One of them, P. elongatum, showed no differences from type species P. folium. Other, P. angulatum, forms a robustly supported clade, which is closely related to P. macrocotyle clade in all phylogenetic trees. This study supports the concept that only P. macrocotyle is a parasite of Dreissena polymorpha among the phyllodistomes and life cycle described for the type species P. folium by Sinitsin (1905) can apparently be discounted. Previously reported low host specificity of P. folium was justified. Adults of P. folium were detected in eight teleost species from five families and four orders. Cystocercous cercariae of P. folium were recorded in sphaeriid bivalves of the genus Sphaerium and Pisidium. According to our molecular data, P. simile, parasite of bullhead, must be regarded as synonym of P. folium. Phyllodistomum umblae is most closely related to P. folium in the all phylogenetic analyses. Molecular phylogenies support a presumption that Phyllodistomum species with cystocercous cercariae developing in sphaeriid bivalves should be regarded as Phyllodistomum sensu stricto. The results reveal a clear need for reconsideration of the knowledge on gorgoderid life cycles based on experimental studies and re-evaluation of the validity of some nominal Phyllodistomum species. © 2014 Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Stunzenas V.,Institute of Ecology of Nature Research Center | Petkeviciute R.,Institute of Ecology of Nature Research Center | Staneviciute G.,Institute of Ecology of Nature Research Center
Central European Journal of Biology | Year: 2011

The present work represents the first karyological and molecular characterisation of Sphaerium solidum, a rare European clam. Specimens of S. solidum were collected in Lithuania and Hungary. The modal diploid chromosome number found in both populations was 2n=30. Small, biarmed B chromosomes were found in 42.3% of cells studied in clams from Lithuania and in 11.8% of cells in clams from Hungary. Comparative analysis revealed no significant (P<0.05) interspecific differences in chromosome morphology of S. solidum and that of previously studied S. corneum. DNA sequence analyses of S. solidum showed no interpopulation differences in ITS1; moreover, only one site was different from ITS1 of S. corneum. However, differences in mitochondrial 16S sequence of S. solidum were revealed: two haplotypes in Lithuania and three in Hungary were identified. The genetic characteristics revealed in this study do not support ascription of S. solidum and S. corneum to different subgenus, Cyrenastrum and Sphaerium s. str., respectively. Comparative cytogenetic analysis disclosed that the chromosome morphology could be conserved in some sphaeriid species during speciation despite the fact that most other species in this family undergo radical karyotypic differentiation. © 2010 Versita Warsaw and Springer-Verlag Wien.

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