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1.
Forewarned is forearmed : harmonized approaches for early detection of potentially invasive pests and pathogens in sentinel plantings
Carmen Morales-Rodríguez, Sten Anslan, Marie-Anne Auger-Rozenberg, Sylvie Augustin, Yuri Baranchikov, Amani Bellahirech, Daiva Burokiene, Dovile Čepukoit, Ejup Çota, Kateryna Davydenko, Maarten De Groot, 2019

Abstract: The number of invasive alien pest and pathogen species affecting ecosystem functioning, human health and economies has increased dramatically over the last decades. Discoveries of invasive pests and pathogens previously unknown to science or with unknown host associations yet damaging on novel hosts highlights the necessity of developing novel tools to predict their appearance in hitherto naïve environments. The use of sentinel plant systems is a promising tool to improve the detection of pests and pathogens before introduction and to provide valuable information for the development of preventative measures to minimize economic or environmental impacts. Though sentinel plantings have been established and studied during the last decade, there still remains a great need for guidance on which tools and protocols to put into practice in order to make assessments accurate and reliable. The sampling and diagnostic protocols chosen should enable as much information as possible about potential damaging agents and species identification. Consistency and comparison of results are based on the adoption of common procedures for sampling design and sample processing. In this paper, we suggest harmonized procedures that should be used in sentinel planting surveys for effective sampling and identification of potential pests and pathogens. We also review the benefits and limitations of various diagnostic methods for early detection in sentinel systems, and the feasibility of the results obtained supporting National Plant Protection Organizations in pest and commodity risk analysis.
Keywords: alien invasive pests, alien invasive pathogens, commodity risk analysis, early warning, sampling techniques, sentinel plants, pest risk analysis, prediction
DiRROS - Published: 01.07.2019; Views: 1663; Downloads: 905
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2.
Public preferences for the management of different invasive alien forest taxa
Anže Japelj, Jana Kus Veenvliet, Judita Malovrh, Andrej Verlič, Maarten De Groot, 2019

Abstract: Invasive alien species (IAS) require management to mitigate their impact on ecosystems. The success of management decisions often depends on whether they are socially acceptable and to what extent people are willing to be actively involved in an early warning and rapid response system (EWRR). We administered a nation-wide public poll to assess people%s knowledge on plant, insect and fungal IAS; their perception of IAS as an environmental problem; and their support for different IAS management measures. Most respondents (76%) knew the term IAS, and more than half (62%) provided a correct definition. Species with more media attention and those that are easily visible are more frequently identified correctly. Almost all respondents (97%) support an EWRR system; however, there is heterogeneity in terms of the types of actions people approve of. Non-lethal measures garner more support than lethal ones. Gender and previous knowledge also affect the level of agreement. The willingness-to-pay question largely confirmed this, as people were divided into four classes according to their preferences for either biological, mechanical or chemical measures to control IAS; completeness and location of removal; and having an EWRR established. Mechanical removal is the most preferred treatment in two of the four classes, and complete removal is preferred over partial removal in one of the four classes. Having an EWRR is consistently supported in all classes, and removal in urban areas is preferred over removal in forestland in only one class.
Keywords: Early warning and rapid response system, public attitudes, management measures, alien insects, alien plants, alien fungi
DiRROS - Published: 12.07.2019; Views: 1893; Downloads: 919
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3.
Occurrence of invasive alien plant species in the floodplain forests along the Mura River in Slovenia
Lado Kutnar, Aleksander Marinšek

Abstract: Background and purpose: The objectives of our study were to identify invasive alien plant species (IAS) in the main Natura 2000 forest habitat types (FHT) along the Mura River in Slovenia, and to estimate their abundance and cover. The aim of our study was to find out a) Which IAS appear in the research forests? b) What is their frequency and cover percentage? c) Whether individual IAS prosper better in some FHT than others? d) What is the correlation between the cover of IAS and the tree layer cover? Materials and methods: We analysed the fidelity of invasive plant species to individual FHT. The studied FHTs along the Mura River were the following: 91E0* (Alluvial forests with Alnus glutinosa and Fraxinus excelsior), 91F0 (Riparian mixed forests of Quercus robur, Ulmus laevis and Ulmus minor, Fraxinus excelsior or Fraxinus angustifolia, along the great rivers) and 91L0 (Illyrian oak-hornbeam forests). Two forest areas of about 600 ha were studied in total. With the intention to calculate number and cover of IAS some statistical analysis was made. In addition, correlations between the abundances of the most present IAS and cover of upper tree layer were carried out. Results: In total, 15 IAS were recorded in studied FHTs. Some species, like Robinia pseudoacacia, Impatiens glandulifera, I. parviflora, Fallopia japonica (incl. F. x bohemica), Erigeron annuus, Ambrosia artemisiifolia, Amorpha fruticosa, Conyza canadensis and Juncus tenuis occur only in one or two FHTs, while some species can be found in all studied FHTs (e.g. Solidago sp.). We found out that the most threatened forests are those with prevailing Salix alba, Alnus glutinosa, Fraxinus angustifolia and Ulmus laevis tree species. Those are the forests of FHT 91E0 which have less dense tree canopies, grow closest to the river and on the wettest sites. We found a statistically significant higher number and cover of IAS in the FHT 91E0 and the lowest number and cover in FHT 91L0. Conclusions: Alluvial forests with Alnus glutinosa and Fraxinus excelsior (FHT 91E0) along the Mura River are most prone to invasion of IAS. The increasing presence of IAS in the study areas seriously affects natural regeneration, stability, and continuity of floodplain forests in all other FHTs in the study area. At the same time the amount of IAS in these forests also depends on management measures and their intensities which accelerate light availability. Some measures and guidelines for managing of these forests with the purpose of reducing IAS impacts are suggested in this study.
Keywords: non-native plants, riparian vegetation, habitat types, conservation management, forest management
DiRROS - Published: 16.04.2018; Views: 2228; Downloads: 1022
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4.
Different belowground responses to elevated ozone and soil water deficit in three European oak species (Quercus ilex, Q. pubescens and Q. robur)
Tanja Mrak, Ines Štraus, Tine Grebenc, Jožica Gričar, Yasutomo Hoshika, Giulia Carriero, Elena Paoletti, Hojka Kraigher, 2019

Abstract: Effects on roots due to ozone and/or soil water deficit often occur through diminished belowground allocation of carbon. Responses of root biomass, morphology, anatomy and ectomycorrhizal communities were investigated in seedlings of three oak species: Quercus ilex L., Q. pubescens Willd. and Q. robur L., exposed to combined effects of elevated ozone (ambient air and 1.4 x ambient air) and water deficit (100% and 10% irrigation relative to field capacity) for one growing season at a free-air ozone exposure facility. Effects on root biomass were observed as general reduction in coarse root biomass by -26.8 % and in fine root biomass by -13.1 % due to water deficit. Effect on coarse root biomass was the most prominent in Q. robur (-36.3 %). Root morphological changes manifested as changes in proportions of fine root (<2 mm) diameter classes due to ozone and water deficit in Q. pubescens and due to water deficit in Q. robur. In addition, reduced fine root diameter (-8.49 %) in Q. robur was observed under water deficit. Changes in root anatomy were observed as increased vessel density (+18.5 %) due to ozone in all three species, as reduced vessel tangential diameter (-46.7 %) in Q. ilex due to interaction of ozone and water, and as generally increased bark to secondary xylem ratio (+47.0 %) due to interaction of ozone and water. Water deficit influenced occurrence of distinct growth ring boundaries in roots of Q. ilex and Q. robur. It shifted the ectomycorrhizal community towards dominance of stress-resistant species, with reduced relative abundance of Tomentella sp. 2 and increased relative abundances of Sphaerosporella brunnea and Thelephora sp. Our results provide evidence that expression of stress effects varies between root traits; therefore the combined analysis of root traits is necessary to obtain a complete picture of belowground responses.
Keywords: ozone, drought, fine roots, ectomycorrhiza, anatomy, morphology, plants
DiRROS - Published: 20.02.2020; Views: 1208; Downloads: 675
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5.
Passive shoulder exoskeletons : more effective in the lab than in the field?
Sander De Bock, Jo Ghillebert, Renée Govaerts, Shirley A. Elprama, Uroš Marušič, Ben Serrien, An Jacobs, Joost Geeroms, Romain Meeusen, Kevin De Pauw, 2021

Abstract: Shoulder exoskeletons potentially reduce overuse injuries in industrial settings including overhead work or lifting tasks. Previous studies evaluated these devices primarily in laboratory setting, but evidence of their effectiveness outside the lab is lacking. The present study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of two passive shoulder exoskeletons and explore the transfer of laboratory-based results to the field. Four industrial workers performed controlled and in-field evaluations without and with two exoskeletons, ShoulderX and Skelex in a randomized order. The exoskeletons decreased upper trapezius activity (up to 46%) and heart rate in isolated tasks. In the field, the effects of both exoskeletons were less prominent (up to 26% upper trapezius activity reduction) while lifting windscreens weighing 13.1 and 17.0 kg. ShoulderX received high discomfort scores in the shoulder region and usability of both exoskeletons was moderate. Overall, both exoskeletons positively affected the isolated tasks, but in the field the support of both exoskeletons was limited. Skelex, which performed worse in the isolated tasks compared to ShoulderX, seemed to provide the most support during the in-field situations. Exoskeleton interface improvements are required to improve comfort and usability. Laboratory-based evaluations of exoskeletons should be interpreted with caution, since the effect of an exoskeleton is task specific and not all infield situations with high-level lifting will equally benefit from the use of an exoskeleton. Before considering passive exoskeleton implementation, we recommend analyzing joint angles in the field, because the support is inherently dependent on these angles, and to perform in-field pilot tests. This paper is the first thorough evaluation of two shoulder exoskeletons in a controlled and infield situation.
Keywords: assistive devices, exoskeletons, ergonomics, industrial plants, system validation
DiRROS - Published: 28.02.2022; Views: 134; Downloads: 75
.pdf Fulltext (3,15 MB)

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