Environmental Sciences

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    Successive processes at quarry waste dumps of various ages
    (Sciendo (De Gruyter), 2021-12-11) Smirnov, Aleksandr; Mutalibova, Gavakhirat; Leontyev, Vyacheslav; Lozano-Rivas, William
    This work is dedicated to the study of the succession processes in quarries of different ages in the territory of the Russian Federation and neighbouring countries, namely, Kazakhstan and Ukraine. In selected soil samples from the areas studied, certain physical and chemical properties, the quantitative composition of microbial communities and the diversity of floral species from the quarries were studied. The pH values for the Kuzbass area were found to decrease to 4.8, and in the area of the younger quarries – Inguletsky and Sokolovsky – higher pH values were recorded. The basal soil respiration rate of the Kuzbass quarry was approximately 0.2 mg CO2/g/h. The CO2 carbonate content ranged from 0.05% to 0.6%. The microbial biomass in Kuzbass soil was from 0.87 to 5.10 µg C/g soil, while its quantity in other quarries was 6 times lower, which is associated with the relatively young age of these sites. The study of the diversity of floral species in the Kuznetsk coalfield identified 120 species of upper plants belonging to 34 families. Among them, cereals, legumes and mosses, lichens and algae were predominant. In the territory of Inguletsky and Sokolovsky quarries, the diversity of plant species was much poorer. In this regard, further research will focus on increasing the rate of succession and maintaining ecosystem stability by increasing the share of microorganisms. Also, the study of the possibility to accelerate the restoration of younger flora in the discharges of age careers at the expense of the mycorrhizal communities formation is of high relevance
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    Expected harmfulness of gnawing phyllophagous insects in urban stands of Kharkiv city
    (Sciendo (De Gruyter), 2021-12-11) Kukina, Olga; Kardash, Eugenia; Shvydenko, Inna
    Urban stands are becoming increasingly important in improving the environmental health and liveability of cities. However, they weaken as a result of technogenic air pollution and become vulnerable to pests, particularly to non-native forest insects. The aim of this research was to assess potential harmfulness (bionomically determined harmfulness [BDH]), environmentally determined harmfulness (EDH) and generally expected harmfulness (GEH) of the gnawing phyllophagous lepidopterous insects in the green stands of Kharkiv (Ukraine). All supplementary parameters were assessed by analysis of publications and the own experience of authors. BDH was evaluated as a product of the duration of larvae nutrition (p1) and an index of larvae nutrition (p2). An index of larvae nutrition (p2) was considered being proportional to their imago wingspan. EDH was evaluated as a product of the value of damaged tree species (p3), location of plant damage (p4), the period of loss decorative effect (p5) and the prevalence of certain insect species in the stands (p6). GEH was estimated as a product of BDH, EDH and the ability of insect species to the outbreaks (p7). A modified approach for evaluation BDH, EDH and GEH was suggested and implemented, considering phyllophagous leaf miner insects and phyllophagous insects with open lifestyle in the deciduous stands of streets, parks, and Forest Park of Kharkiv city. EDH of insects with an open lifestyle depends on their size and prevalence in the stand. EDH and GEH of all revealed insects with an open lifestyle increase from streets to Forest Park. Among the insects with an open lifestyle, Lymantriidae and Notodontidae had the highest BDH due to the large size and long feeding period of larvae. Among the insects with hidden lifestyle, Cameraria ohridella had the highest BDH due to the highest prevalence and the large duration of feeding period with its several generations.
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    The attempt to assess the fire risk of non-forest terrestrial ecosystems of Biebrza National Park – A case study
    (Sciendo (De Gruyter), 2021-06-08) Szczygieł, Ryszard; Kwiatkowski, Mirosław; Kołakowski, Bartłomiej
    On 19th April, the largest wildfire of the entire history of Biebrza National Park broke out and consumed 5526 ha, mostly overdried grassland with sedges and reeds of Biebrza marshes. The very rapid spread of the fire in the open space, with the blowing wind changing directions and the inaccessibility of the area for fire-fighting vehicles were the main reasons of this third largest wildfire in Poland, after the tragic forest fires in Kuźnia Raciborska (9060 ha burnt) and Potrzebowice (5600 ha burnt) in the memorable year of 1992. After this event, activities were undertaken to develop a fire protection plan for the Biebrza National Park. It took into account an innovative approach during the analysis of the existing fire risk, primarily regarding the non-forest terrestrial ecosystems composed of herbaceous vegetation, which constitutes as much as 61.2% of the park’s area, and to propose protection methods adequate to the threat. The work was completed in the framework of the project entitled ‘Development of the method for assessing the fire risk of non-forest ecosystems and the principles of fire protection for the Biebrza National Park – stage I,’ commissioned for the Forest Research Institute by the Biebrza National Park, financed by the State Forests from the forest fund, in accordance with the contract EZ.0290.1.24.2020. The article presents a preliminary method of classifying the fire risk of non-forest ecosystems, considering the occurrence of the fires in the Biebrza National Park in the years 2007–2020 and the type of vegetation burnt. This method, after supplementary field tests planned in 2021, will enable evaluation of the fire risk, which shall be a premise for the development of a fire protection plan.
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    Automatic Airborne Laser Scanning Data Quality Control Procedure for Environmental Studies
    (Sciendo (De Gruyter), 2020-12-14) Kraszewski, Bartłomiej; Piasecka, Żaneta; Sadkowski, Rafał; Stereńczak, Krzysztof
    Airborne laser scanning (ALS) technology delivers large amount of data collected from airborne level. These data are used for many different applications in forestry, civil engineering, environmental studies and others. To acquire the best possible results from the data, accuracy analysis is a necessary part of data processing chain. Therefore, considering the increasing interest worldwide in the use of laser scanning data, improving the quality control (QC) tools is a crucial pursuit. This study underlines the possible error sources, summarises the existing QC knowledge for ALS data and proposes an optimised QC procedure. The procedure was implemented in selected applications and evaluated for three different environments, namely, forests, rural areas and croplands. The proposed solution is almost fully automatic outside from the module that supports the operator in the clas sification examination. The workflow is scalable and can be expanded with new modules that enhance the functionality. The presented procedures can save up to 30 min of manual checks for every 1 km2 area.