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Carcass and meat quality traits of pig fatteners from Slovenian Breeding programme
Maja Prevolnik, Martin Škrlep, Dejan Škorjanc, Marjeta Čandek-Potokar, 2008, published scientific conference contribution

Abstract: The aim of the present study was the comparison of carcass and meat quality traits of commercial pigs of various crossbreeds from two major Slovenian herds. The analysis is based on phenotypic data from field trials which have been collected in the last past five years within the Slovenian breeding programme. Important differences in carcass traits were observed between two herds and were associated to different crossbreeds used. In spite of that economically important result on the slaughter line (lean meat %) was similar for both herds. Meat quality traits were also significantly different between the two herds. Again, the difference could be ascribed to crossbreeds used. However, since the herd effect is connected with abattoir effect, different ante-mortem conditions and/or lower robustness of these animals to premortal stress could also be contributed to the observed differences. The presented results give important information on the state-of-the-art regarding meat quality of Slovenian pigs.
Keywords: pigs, carcass quality, meat, breeding programs, Slovenia
Published in DiRROS: 06.09.2022; Views: 71; Downloads: 16
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Impact of urbanization and steel mill emissions on elemental composition of street dust and corresponding particle characterization
Klemen Teran, Gorazd Žibret, Mattia Fanetti, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: Street Dust (SD) acts as a sink and source of atmospheric particles containing Potentially Toxic Elements (PTEs) and can pose a possible pathway of PTEs to human bodies. Comprehensive SD study, where 249 samples were collected from rural, urban and industrialized areas aimed to increase the understanding between sedimentation of atmospheric dust derived from anthropogenic activities and elemental composition of SD. Elemental composition for 53 elements (ICP-MS, aqua regia digestion) was determined on fraction <0.063 mm. Significantly increased levels of Sn-Cu-Sb-Bi-Ag-Ba-Mo-Pt-Pb and other elements have been detected in urban environments, compared to the rural ones. SEM/EDS investigation identified that main carriers of Ba, Cu and Sn are most likely particles derived from non-exhaust traffic emissions. Areas around steel mills show a strong enrichment with Cr, Mo, Ni and W, which exponentially decreases with the increased distance from the plant, reaching corresponding urban background 15 and 20 km from the source. SEM/EDS inspection identified spherical and melted irregular particles as the main carriers of the above-mentioned elements. City managers shall adapt measures to reduce amount of vehicular traffic and quantity of deposited SD on the public surfaces and encourage green city planning, while industrial emitters are encouraged to reduce their dust emissions.
Keywords: ironwork, pollution, potentially toxic elements, Slovenia, traffic
Published in DiRROS: 10.06.2022; Views: 175; Downloads: 78
.pdf Full text (10,32 MB)

Variation in floristic and trait composition along environmental gradients in the herb layer of temperate forests in the transition zone between Central and SE Europe
Janez Kermavnar, Lado Kutnar, Aleksander Marinšek, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: Species- and trait-environment linkages in forest plant communities continue to be a frequent topic in ecological research. We studied the dependence of floristic and functional trait composition on environmental factors, namely local soil properties, overstory characteristics, climatic parameters and other abiotic and biotic variables. The study area comprised 50 monitoring plots across Slovenia, belonging to the EU ICP Forests monitoring network. Vegetation was surveyed in accordance with harmonized protocols, and environmental variables were either measured or estimated during vegetation sampling. Significant predictors of species composition were identified by canonical correspondence analysis. Correlations between plant traits, i.e. plant growth habit, life form, flowering features and CSR signature, were examined with fourth-corner analysis and linear regressions. Our results show that variation in floristic composition was mainly explained by climatic parameters (mean annual temperature, mean annual precipitation), soil properties (pH) and tree layer-dependent light conditions. Trait composition was most closely related with tree layer characteristics, such as shade-casting ability (SCA, a proxy for light availability in the understory layer), tree species richness and tree species composition. Amongst soil properties, total nitrogen content and soil texture (proportion of clay) were most frequently correlated with different species traits or trait states. The CSR signature of herb communities was associated with tree layer SCA, soil pH and mean annual temperature. The floristic composition of the studied herb-layer vegetation depended on temperature and precipitation, which are likely to be influenced by ongoing climate change (warming and drying). Trait composition exhibited significant links to tree layer characteristics and soil conditions, which are in turn directly modified by forest management interventions.
Keywords: vegetation–environment relationship, floristic composition, life-history traits, herbaceous species, Slovenia
Published in DiRROS: 15.04.2022; Views: 199; Downloads: 176
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Using stable isotopes and major ions to identify recharge characteristics of the Alpine groundwater-flow dominated Triglavska Bistrica River
Luka Serianz, Sonja Cerar, Polona Vreča, 2021, original scientific article

Abstract: Triglavska Bistrica is a typical Alpine river in the north-western part of Slovenia. Its recharge area includes some of the highest peaks in the Julian Alps. The hydrogeological conditions and flow of the river depend largely on groundwater exchange between the karstified aquifer in the carbonate rocks and the intergranular aquifer in the glaciofluvial deposits. The average volume of the river flow is up to several m3/s. In this study, water samples from different locations along the river were analysed for stable isotope ratios of oxygen and hydrogen, major ions, and concentration of tritium activity. The correlation of major ions suggests that the recharge area consists of both limestone and dolomite rocks. The δ18O and δ2H values decrease downstream, implying that the average recharge elevation increases. At the downstream sampling site V-5, located approx. 300 m upstream from the confluence of the Sava Dolinka River, the calculated mean recharge altitude is estimated to be 1,996 m.
Keywords: groundwater, oxygen and hydrogen isotopes, hydrogeochemistry, recharge area, Alpine aquifer, Slovenia
Published in DiRROS: 09.03.2022; Views: 414; Downloads: 131
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Combining an occurrence model and a quantitative model for the prediction of the sanitary felling of Norway spruce because of bark beetles
Maarten De Groot, Nikica Ogris, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: The European spruce bark beetle (Ips typographus L.) is an eruptive forest pest that has caused a great deal of damage in the last decades because of increasing climatic extremes. In order to effectively manage outbreaks of this pest, it is important to predict where they will occur in the future. In this study we developed a predictive model of the sanitary felling of Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.) because of bark beetles. We used a time series of sanitary felling because of bark beetles from 1996 to 2020 in Slovenia. For the explanatory variables, we used soil, site, climate, geographic, and tree damage data from the previous year. The model showed that sanitary felling is negatively correlated with slope, soil depth, soil cation exchange capacity, and Standard Precipitation Index (less sanitary felling in wet years). On the other hand, soil base saturation percentage, temperature, sanitary felling because of bark beetles from the previous year, sanitary felling because of other abiotic factors from the previous year, and the amount of spruce were positively correlated with the sanitary felling of Norway spruce due to bark beetles. The model had an R2 of 0.38. A prediction was performed for 2021 combining an occurrence model and a quantitative model. The model can be used to predict the amount of sanitary felling of Norway spruce due to bark beetles and to refine the risk map for the next year, which can be used for forest management planning and economic loss predictions.
Keywords: sanitary felling, prediction, Ips typographus, Picea abies, Slovenia, forecasting, insect outbreak forest pest
Published in DiRROS: 21.02.2022; Views: 224; Downloads: 191
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Next-generation sequencing to characterize pyrazinamide resistance in Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates from two Balkan countries
Eva Sodja, Simon Koren, Nataša Toplak, Sara Truden, Marija Žolnir-Dovč, 2021, original scientific article

Abstract: Objectives. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) provide a comprehensive analysis of the genetic alterations that are most commonly linked with pyrazinamide (PZA) resistance. There are no studies reporting molecular background of PZA resistance in TB isolates from Balkan Peninsula. We aimed to examine the feasibility of full-length analysis of a gene linked with PZA resistance, pncA, using Ion Torrent technology in comparison to phenotypic BACTEC MGIT 960 DST in clinical TB isolates from two countries of the Balkan Peninsula. Methods. Between 1996 and 2017, we retrospectively selected 61 TB isolates. To identify gene variants related to drug resistance in genomic DNA extracted from TB isolates, AmpliSeq libraries were generated automatically using the AmpliSeq™ Kit for Chef DL8 and the Ion AmpliSeq TB Research Panel. Result.s Of all 61 TB isolates included, 56 TB were phenotypically resistant to any antibiotic. Among them, 38/56 (67.9%) TB isolates were phenotypically resistant to pyrazinamide and pncA mutations were detected in 33/38 cases (86.8%). A mutation in the pncA promoter region was the most prevalent genetic alteration, detected in eight TB isolates. Comparison of NGS to conventional BACTEC MGIT 960 DST revealed very strong agreement (90.2%) between the two methods in identifying PZA resistance, with high sensitivity (89.5%) and specificity (95.7%) for NGS. Conclusions. Detection of PZA resistance using NGS seems to be a valuable tool for surveillance of TB drug resistance also in the Balkan Peninsula, with great potential to provide useful information at least one weak earlier than is possible with phenotypic DST.
Keywords: tuberculosis, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, high-throughput nucleotide sequencing, pyrazinamide, microbial sensitivity tests, next-generation sequencing, drug susceptibility testing, Slovenia, Republic of North Macedonia
Published in DiRROS: 10.01.2022; Views: 359; Downloads: 207
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