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Plant communities in extensive landscapes are often mapped remotely using detectable patterns based on vegetation structure and canopy species with a high relative cover. A plot-based classification which includes species with low relative canopy cover and ignores vegetation structure, may result in plant communities not easily reconcilable with the landscape patterns represented in mapping. In our study, we investigate the effects on classification outcomes if we (1) remove rare species based on canopy cover, and (2) incorporate vegetation structure by weighting species’ cover by different measures of vegetation height. Using a dataset of 101 plots of savanna vegetation in north-eastern Australia we investigated first, the effect of removing rare species using four cover thresholds (1, 5, 8 and 10% contribution to total cover) and second, weighting species by four height measures including actual height as well as continuous and categorical transformations. Using agglomerative hierarchical clustering we produced a classification for each dataset and compared them for differences in: patterns of plot similarity, clustering, species richness and evenness, and characteristic species. We estimated the ability of each classification to predict species cover using generalised linear models. We found removing rare species at any cover threshold produced characteristic species appearing to correspond to landscape scale changes and better predicted species cover in grasslands and shrublands. However, in woodlands it made no difference. Using actual height of vegetation layer maintained vegetation structure, emphasised canopy and then sub-canopy species in clustering, and predicted species cover best of the height-measures tested. Thus, removing rare species and weighting species by height are useful techniques for identifying plant communities from plot-based classifications which are conceptually consistent with those in landscape scale mapping. This increases the confidence of end-users in both the classifications and the maps, thus enhancing their use in land management decisions.

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Land abandonment is a widespread phenomenon in agricultural systems, especially in former communist countries of Eastern and South-eastern Europe. Moreover, Croatia was affected by acts of war which enhanced the depopulation of marginal areas impelling further land abandonment. Agricultural landscapes in Croatia are highly parcelled with various proportions of forest habitats due to traditional smallholder farming systems. Secondary successions as a consequence of land abandonment affect farmland birds that are among the most endangered bird species in Europe. We examined bird communities along a habitat gradient in heterogeneous agricultural landscapes. We used the share of woody vegetation cover as a proxy measure for land abandonment that we classified in four classes. Our results showed no significant Shannon Wiener Index differences of bird communities along the land abandonment gradient. However, there were differences in abundances when we examined bird guilds such as farmland, forest and “other” birds separately. However, the conservation value of each of the four land abandonment classes did not show significant differences. We extracted single bird species such as the Yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella), Red-backed Shrike (Lanius collurio), Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos) and European Robin (Erithacus rubecula) as potential indicator species for the four examined land abandonment levels. With these four species we successfully modelled the distribution of the recorded bird assemblages at the plot level along the four vegetation succession stages. We emphasized the need to develop new and integrative land use management concepts for areas affected by land abandonment in order to formulate sound conservation policy.

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Studies of functional diversity can help to understand processes that determine the presence of species in different habitats. Measurement of functional diversity in silviculture areas is important because different functional traits can show different responses to this landscape alteration, and therefore ecological functions can be affected. This study evaluated functional and taxonomic differences in bird assemblages in a native forest and eucalyptus plantations, and also assessed the functional nestedness of the bird species. We censused birds in eucalyptus plantations of four different ages, and also in a native forest. The results showed higher functional and taxonomic diversity of birds in the native forest than in plantations and higher similarity of functional traits between plantations of different ages. The high functional diversity in the native forest indicates a greater variety of functional traits, resulting in greater functional complementarity than in plantations. The association of some traits with the native forest, such as nectarivory and foraging in air, indicates the importance of native habitats in maintaining species and functions related to such traits. Already, species traits in eucalyptus plantations represent a subset of those that were recorded in the native forest, indicating that some functions are maintained in plantations. Our results demonstrate that the species occurrence in the plantations and native forest is determined by species traits. Thus, the maintenance of some functions in plantations is provided, although there is a higher functional diversity in native forest.

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The paper proposes a short reflection on the nature of the post war political transformation in Sierra Leone, taking the visual signs of the streets as a starting point. The author observed the post-conflict democratisation process over five years, between 2008 and 2012, and describes how reading the political slogans, bill boards and popular graffitis allowed her following the subtle socio-economic changes characterising the country. The underlying argument is that the largely externally led liberal peace building using foreign and local NGOs as engines of a deep social transformation was based on abstract promises that ultimately failed to realise. Without effectively changing people’s lives, these abstract promises normalised a value system that prepared a capitalist take offbut ten years after the end of the civil war capitalist development still worked only for a tiny minority, making many people doubt about the benevolent nature of globalisation.

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This paper broadly compares environmentalism in Hungary and Slovakia, with a specific focus on Slovakia’s green movement under late-socialism and after. Nature activism in both countries was not directly controlled by the Party, and in each case individuals pushed the boundaries of activism and redefined notions of protest and dissent. But the way these two movements emerged were quite different from one another. In Hungary, the movement coalesced around a big “international” Soviet-style mega-project. This was the flashpoint. In Hungary, the Nagymaros dam project was an infringement — a monument of unhappy partnerships, and a symbol that fueled nationalist rumblings. In Slovakia, the whole notion of megaworks was not an unwelcome idea. But the differences between Hungarian and Slovak greens are more than the story of a dam controversy. While Hungary’s movement had its origins in the Danube River, Slovak greens emerged from the conservation of folk dwellings in the mountains. In Slovakia — the weekend amateur, the Catholic, the writer, the sociologist — instead found traction in the notion of human conservation. I explore these differences and examine how things change in the post-socialist period.

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Abstract  

Publication and citation indicators of 26 countries in 5 major science fields are presented in the form of three-dimensional landscapes. These landscapes being an extension of relational charts by adding the dimension of publication size to the expected and observed citation rates, take us one step closer to the ideal of multidimensional assessments so passionately advocated byMoravcsik.

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Abstract  

Radioactivity has been known for more than a hundred years. Nuclear data compilations through nuclide charts began in the 1920s with the work of Soddy, and were later rationalized in the Karlsruher Nuklidkarte. For 50 years, it has depicted the status of our nuclear knowledge in an easy reading form. It was born as an educational and scientific tool that gives access to the basic bricks that the nuclear Physics community needs to build the physics knowledge at the femtometer (10−15 m) level. Nuclide data is a bridge between research and development. On the one hand, the nucleus can be regarded as a vast laboratory with, the possibility to test from fundamental concepts of the Standard Model to the genesis of the elements in the Universe. On the other hand, this data is also leading to applications in many areas of everyday life such as health care or environmental monitoring.

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It is strange to find Wagner and Offenbach mentioned together at the time of their reception in nineteenth-century Budapest, and measured against each other in the Hungarian press. This study seeks to interpret that juxtaposition in terms of the system of theatrical institutions in Budapest at the time. Factors identified that concern directly the way Hungarians received the two stage composers are the multinational, multicultural character of theater life, the want of distinctions between genres, and the ongoing changes in the institutional system of the theater.

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The vast rural areas, which contain historical, cultural heritage and natural resources areas are the root for the stability of China and the foundation of the Chinese nation. However, excessive urban development and construction has affected these smaller rural villages, which were left behind due to China’s rapid economy. This is a design study of the ‘Beautiful Village’ Project, initiated by the local government, in order to demonstrate an opportunity to redesign the rural areas. This paper exhibits the experiences and impressions of the architects from China Central Academy of Fine Arts who took part in the architecture design for the villages. In order to achieve this, a series of investigation and analysis was done by the architects to reveal the present situation of the villages in China. Additionally, the active participation of the villagers is crucial in the successful re-development of the area. The main objective of this paper is to therefore identify the difficulties and problems encountered by the village and to propose a counter solution in order to design a better living condition for the rural areas of China.

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Abstract  

In this paper we introduce two key notions related to understanding the glassy state problem. One is the notion of the excitation profile for an amorphous system, and the other is the notion of the simple glassformer. The attributes of the latter may be used, in quite different ways, to calculate and characterize the former. The excitation profile itself directly reflects the combined phonon/configuron density of states, which in turn determines the liquid fragility. In effect, we are examining the equivalent, for liquids, of the low temperature Einstein-Debye regime for solids though, in the liquid heat capacity case, there is no equivalent of the Dulong/Pettit classical limit for solids.To quantify these notions we apply simple calorimetric methods in a novel manner. First we use DTA techniques to define some glass-forming systems that are molecularly simpler than any described before, including cases which are 80 mol% CS2, or 100% S2Cl2. We then use the same data to obtain the fragility of these simple systems by a new approach, the 'reduced glass transition width' method. This method will be justified using data on a wider variety of well characterized glassformers, for which the unambiguous F 1/2 fragility measures are available. We also describe a new DTA method for obtaining F 1/2 fragilities in a single scan. We draw surprising conclusions about the fragility of the simplest molecular glassformers, the mixed LJ glasses, which have been much studied by molecular dynamics computer simulation.These ideas are then applied to a different kind of simple glass — one whose thermodynamics is dominated by breaking and making of covalent bonds — for which case the excitation profile can be straight-forwardly modeled. Comparisons with the profile obtained from computer studies of the molecularly simple glasses are made, and the differences in profiles implied for strong vs. fragile systems are discussed. The origin of fragility in the relation between the vibrational and configurational densities of states is discussed, and the conditions under which high fragility can convert to a first order liquid-liquid transition, is outlined.

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