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Distribution of toxigenic cyanobacteria in Alpine lakes and rivers as revealed by molecular screening
Maša Jablonska, Leonardo Cerasino, Adriano Boscaini, Camilla Capelli, Claudia Greco, Aleksandra Krivograd-Klemenčič, Ute Mischke, Nico Salmaso, Rainer Kurmayer, 2024, original scientific article

Abstract: The increasing frequency of cyanobacteria blooms in waterbodies caused by ecosystem eutrophication could endanger human health. This risk can be mitigated by effective monitoring incorporating molecular methods. To date, most molecular studies on toxigenic cyanobacteria have been limited to microcystins (MCs), disregarding other cyanotoxins, to freshwater planktic habitats while ignoring benthic habitats, and to limited geographic areas (usually one or a few specific waterbodies). In this study, we used PCR-based methods including PCR product sequencing and chemical-analytical methods (LC-MS/MS) to screen many plankton (n = 123) and biofilm samples (n = 113) originating from 29 Alpine lakes and 18 rivers for their cyanotoxin production potential. Both mcyE (indicating MC synthesis) and anaC (indicating anatoxin (ATX) synthesis) gene fragments were able to qualitatively predict MC or ATX occurrence. The abundance of mcyE gene fragments was significantly related to MC concentrations in plankton samples (R2 = 0.61). mcyE gene fragments indicative of MC synthesis were most abundant in planktic samples (65 %) and were assigned to the genera Planktothrix and Microcystis. However, mcyE rarely occurred in biofilms of lakes and rivers, i.e., 4 % and 5 %, respectively, and were assigned to Microcystis, Planktothrix, and Nostoc. In contrast, anaC gene fragments occurred frequently in planktic samples (14 % assigned to Tychonema, Phormidium (Microcoleus), and Oscillatoria), but also in biofilms of lakes (49 %) and rivers (18 %) and were assigned to the genera Phormidium, Oscillatoria, and Nostocales. The cyrJ gene fragment indicating cylindrospermopsin synthesis occurred only once in plankton (assigned to Dolichospermum), while saxitoxin synthesis potential was not detected. For plankton samples, monomictic and less eutrophic conditions were positively related to mcyE/MC occurrence frequency, while oligomictic conditions were related to anaC/ATX frequency. The anaC/ATX frequency in biofilm was related to the lake habitats generally showing higher biodiversity as revealed from metabarcoding in a parallel study.
Keywords: cyanotoxins, planktic and benthic habitats, water quality monitoring, early warning, toxigenic cyanobacteria, European Alps
Published in DiRROS: 03.06.2024; Views: 105; Downloads: 60
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Morphological and molecular characterization of Micromeria croatica (Lamiaceae), an endemic and potentially valuable horticultural species of the Dinaric Alps
Zlatko Liber, Ivan Radosavljević, Zlatko Šatović, Marija Hodja, Vesna Židovec, Faruk Bogunić, Dalibor Ballian, Danijela Stešević, Sven D. Jelaska, Dario Kremer, 2023, original scientific article

Abstract: Due to climate extremes and limited natural resources, especially water, we can expect increased demand in the future for species that can better tolerate climate extremes such as drought. One potentially valuable horticultural species is the endemic species of the Dinaride Mountains Micromeria croatica (Pers.) Schott (family Lamiaceae). It grows in the crevices of carbonate rocks, extending from an altitude of 150 m to more than 2000 m. This study aims to provide additional insight into the genetic and morphological diversity of this endemic species, focusing on valuable horticultural traits. To achieve this goal, morphological and molecular analyses were performed on ten natural populations. Through STRUCTURE and PCoA analyses, ten M. croatica populations were placed into western and eastern genetic groups, with several individuals from western populations assigned to the eastern group and vice versa. These atypical individuals assigned to the new genetic group by BAPS analysis indicate gene flow between western and eastern populations. Similarly, an analysis of molecular variance revealed fewer genetic differences than within studied populations. Both PCA and CANDISC analysis based on eleven morphological traits largely confirmed the existence of two slightly different genetic groups. Two populations containing plants with the most flowers per shoot, one with white-flowered individuals, one with the roundest leaves, and one with the narrowest leaves proved to be the most horticulturally valuable. The genetic and morphological variability found should be a sufficient basis for the potential selection of M. croatica populations and individuals for horticultural purposes.
Keywords: morphological characterization, molecular characterization, Micromeria croatica (Lamiaceae), Dinaric Alps
Published in DiRROS: 19.03.2024; Views: 184; Downloads: 107
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Upper Triassic–to Lower Cretaceous Slovenian Basin successions in the northern margin of the Sava Folds
Benjamin Scherman, Boštjan Rožič, Ágnes Görög, Szilvia Kövér, László Fodor, 2023, original scientific article

Abstract: The evolution of the Slovenian Basin southern margin is currently interpreted based on the successions outcropping in the surroundings of Škofja Loka, on the Ponikve Plateau and in the foothills of the Julian Alps in western Slovenia, as well as from the valley of the Mirna River in south-eastern Slovenia. However, no extensive research on this paleogeographic unit has been carried out in the northern part of the Sava Folds region. Recent field observations permitted the recognition of Upper Triassic to lowermost Cretaceous successions of the Slovenian Basin, including the recently described Middle Jurassic Ponikve Breccia Member of the Tolmin Formation. Based on reambulation-type geological mapping, macroscopic facies observations supported by microfacies analysis and biostratigraphy, three stratigraphic columns were constructed showcasing Slovenian Basin formations on the northern flank of the Trojane Anticline (Sava Folds region). These newly described successions encompass Upper Triassic (Bača Dolomite Formation) and Jurassic–lowermost Cretaceous resedimented limestones and pelagic formations, while the attribution of the Pseudozilian Formation is complex. Based on facies characteristics these successions are similar to those preserved in the Podmelec Nappe (lowermost thrust unit of the Tolmin Nappe) in western Slovenia. The connection between the western and the eastern Slovenian Basin during the Late Triassic-Early Cretaceous interval could be thus recognised.
Keywords: Southern Alps, Sava Folds, Slovenian Basin, Jurassic, Ponikve Breccia, stratigraphy, foraminifera
Published in DiRROS: 15.01.2024; Views: 306; Downloads: 145
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Atmosphere–cryosphere interactions during the last phase of the Last Glacial Maximum (21 ka) in the European Alps
Costanza Del Gobbo, Renato R. Colucci, Giovanni Monegato, Manja Žebre, Filippo Giorgi, 2023, original scientific article

Abstract: Evidence that during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) glaciers extended well into the piedmont plains is still identifiable in the alpine foreland as a system of well-preserved moraines. Glaciers are strongly controlled by temperature and precipitation, and therefore, they are excellent indicators of climate change. Here, we use a regional climate model (RCM) to investigate some of the physical processes sustaining Alpine glaciers during the last phase of the LGM during Greenland Stadial 2 at 21 ka. We find a predominance of convection during summer and increased southwesterly stratiform precipitation over the southern Alps when compared to pre-industrial (PI) conditions. This precipitation pattern, along with lower temperatures, determined summer snowfall extending to low elevations, with a consequent substantial drop of the equilibrium line altitude (ELA), which is consistent with the estimated LGM glacier extent. Our RCM-based estimates of 21 ka ELA at the LGM yield excellent consistency with Alpine ELA reconstructions, further demonstrating the great potential of this technique for use in palaeoclimate studies.
Keywords: Quaternary, ice age, atmosphere, glaciers, climate change, the Alps
Published in DiRROS: 19.09.2023; Views: 458; Downloads: 140
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Neogene block rotation inside the dextral fault zone at the Adriatic-European collision zone: reexamination of existing results
Lea Žibret, Gorazd Žibret, 2023, original scientific article

Abstract: The study focused on the post-Middle-Miocene stress analysis within the dextral strike-slip zone of the Dinaric fault system in the collision zone between the European plate, the Adria microplate and the Pannonian Domain. Block rotations were studied by re-examination of available paleostress data and their spatial distribution. The results are in agreement with the existing block model of the area, indicating CCW rotations within blocks between the main strike-slip faults in which rotation angle increases from W to E. The improved kinematic model, which is proposed in this study, will contribute to the knowledge on the kinematics within the complex collision zones and improve the seismic hazard models.
Keywords: collision zone, NW External Dinarides, Southern Alps, paleostress tensor, strike-slip zone, block rotation
Published in DiRROS: 06.07.2023; Views: 419; Downloads: 167
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Seismic activity in the Celje Basin (Slovenia) in Roman times—archaeoseismological evidence from Celeia
Miklós Kázmér, Petra Jamšek Rupnik, Krzysztof Gaidzik, 2023, original scientific article

Abstract: Searching for unknown earthquakes in Slovenia in the first millennium, we performed archaeoseismological analysis of Roman settlements. The Mesto pod mestom museum in Celje exhibits a paved Roman road, which suffered severe deformation. Built on fine gravel and sand from the Savinja River, the road displays a bulge and trench, pop-up structures, and pavement slabs tilted up to 40°. The city wall was built over the deformed road in Late Roman times, supported by a foundation containing recycled material (spolia) from public buildings, including an emperor’s statue. We hypothesize that a severe earthquake hit the town before 350 AD, causing widespread destruction. Seismic-induced liquefaction caused differential subsidence, deforming the road. One of the nearby faults from the strike-slip Periadriatic fault system was the seismic source of this event.
Keywords: paleoseismology, Periadriatic fault system, active tectonics, Southern Alps, Pannonian Basin, Dinarides
Published in DiRROS: 14.02.2023; Views: 562; Downloads: 173
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Depositional environment of the Middle Triassic Strelovec Formation on Mt. Raduha, Kamnik-Savinja Alps, northern Slovenia
Primož Miklavc, Bogomir Celarc, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: The Raduha section represents a continuation of the research of the Anisian Strelovec Formation in the Kamnik-Savinja Alps. The Strelovec Formation was deposited during the Anisian on a drowned section of the Serla Dolomite carbonate platform in a restricted probably outer ramp environment associated with an intraplatform basin. The base of the section is represented by dolostone breccia containing angular carbonate lithoclasts of shallow-marine origin. This is followed by alternations of laminated and homogenous hemipelagic limestones deposited in a restricted and anoxic environment. Hemipelagic sedimentation was occasionally interrupted by clay input and deposition of sediments from gravity mass flows. Slow filling of the basin lead to a gradual cessation of anoxic conditions and sedimentation of bedded shallow-marine limestones. After shallow water conditions were established, bioclastic dolostone of the Contrin Formation was deposited.
Keywords: Southern Alps, bituminous limestones, restricted basin, intraformational breccia, Anisian, facies analysis
Published in DiRROS: 18.01.2023; Views: 783; Downloads: 262
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The Rigelj Formation, a new lithostratigraphic unit of the Lower Permian in the Karavanke Mountains (Slovenia/Austria)
Matevž Novak, Karl Krainer, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: The Rigelj Formation is a new lithostratigraphic unit of the Lower Permian Rattendorf Group in the Karavanke Mountains. The Formation is up to 105 m thick and mainly composed of siliciclastic and fossiliferous carbonate sediments that are entirely of shallow-marine setting. Conglomerates are interpreted as shoreface deposits, sandstones as deposits of the upper to lower shoreface, and fossiliferous siltstones as offshore deposits. Fossiliferous limestones were deposited in a shallow, open-marine shelf environment of moderate to low energy (wackestone, floatstone) and strong water turbulence (packstone, rudstone). The siliciclastic and carbonate lithotypes form some well-developed backstepping cycles starting with conglomerates, overlain by sandstones, siltstones and fossiliferous limestones that formed in an open shelf environment without siliciclastic influx. Similar sedimentary cycles are developed in the Grenzland Formation of the Carnic Alps. The fusulinid fauna indicates that the Rigelj Formation ranges in age from the late Asselian to the middle Sakmarian. In the western Karavanke Mountains and near Trögern, the Lower Permian lithostratigraphic succession is very similar to the succession in the Carnic Alps with Tarvis Breccia resting on the Trogkofel Limestone and the Goggau Limestone. Unlike this, in the central part of the Karavanke Mountains (Dovžanova Soteska–Mt. Pleschiwetz/Plešivec area) the Rigelj Formation is erosively overlain by the Tarvis Breccia. The stronger diversification of the sedimentary environments within the Karavanke-Carnic Alps in the Lower Permian after the uniform sedimentation in the Upper Carboniferous can be attributed to block-faulting.
Keywords: Lower Permian, Southern Alps, Dovžanova soteska, Mt. Pleschiwetz / Plešivec, Clastic Trogkofel Beds, fusulinid biostratigraphy
Published in DiRROS: 25.08.2022; Views: 630; Downloads: 178
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