There is a growing interest in the application of scientific-physical, chemical etc. methods in archaeology. This is partly due to the fact that classical archaeology, based upon the form, style, decoration of the objects has reached its limits, to obtain new result and, the integration of other disciplines into the argumentation of archaeologists is needed. The other important reason is the development and availability of methods and equipment for non-destructive analyses, ways of gathering useful information on the chemical and mineral composition, age, and state of preservation of the objects which can be useful in their scientific appraisal. PGAA is one of the techniques eminently suited for this purpose.
A pot experiment was designed to study the colonization of indigenous arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) on barley (
L.) host plant. Soils of the pots were collected from a long-term field microelement loading experiment on calcareous chernozem soil twelve years after 13 heavy metals (Al, As, Ba, Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Mo, Ni, Pb, Se, Sr and Zn) were applied once in four doses (0, 30, 90 and 270 mg element·kg
d.w.). The biomass production and element accumulation of the host plant, the various colonization values of the arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi (AMF) – such as colonization intensity (M %), arbusculum richness (A %) in the root system and the sporulation intensity (g
dry soil) in the rhizosphere – were measured. When considering the twelve-year adaptation process of the AM fungal populations at the various metal loads, a relatively balanced inside mycorrhiza colonization was found, suggesting the potentials for the selection of tolerant fungi in metal contaminated soils. The balanced infection intensity (M %) of the AM fungi and their common strategies with the host plant have resulted a nonsignificant shoot and root biomass production of barley in general. Mycorrhiza sporulation in the root system proved to be much variable and indicated the toxicity of metals and metal rates. Cd, Pb and Sr elements significantly reduced spore numbers, while a value of 34 spores·g
soil was counted in the case of Ni in comparison to the control’s 22 spores·g
soil value. Stress-defending strategies of the fungal–plant symbiosis, such as the increased arbusculum richness (A %) could be established for the Hg and Pb rates. In the case of Cd an increased root biomass production became a tool for stress alleviation and reduced the metal allocation towards the shoots. Mycorrhiza fungi are part of the common plant–microbe interactions and appropriate defending mechanisms in metal contaminated soils.
The abundance of some
culturable soil microorganisms (bacteria and fungi) was examined at two
Hungarian salt-affected soils of the Hortobagy region. In addition to the
so-called “helper bacteria” (
sp., nitrogen fixers), which
are mainly attached to the rhizoplane, the abundance of other microbial groups
(total number of bacteria, micromycetes,
) were also
assessed. A modified, selective plate dilution assay was used with increasing
salt (NaCl) concentrations (5-50 g l
media), for assessing the
salt tolerant ratio of specific microbial groups. The type of main salt-specific ions differed at
the two sites, resulting more or less stressed pH conditions in the rhizosphere
of the most typical halophytes. At Zám mainly the chloride, at Nyírőlapos, however mainly sulphate ions
dominated in the samples (at an 80% level), which resulted in a more severe
stress situation. Actinomycetes proved to be especially abundant in the salt
affected soils examined. In almost all microbial groups, only the high
concentration of salt (50 g l
) reduced the abundance and
the colony types of microorganisms. Nitrogen fixers, however were affected at
lower salt concentrations and were found to be the most sensitive group at both
sites. Variability of the existing colony types of micromycetes was reduced
significantly by increasing levels of salinity. Soil- and rhizo-biological
characteristics proved to be sensitive indicators of soil quality and
Obsidian samples from the Tokaj Mountains (Hungary) and from the neighbouring Zemplin Hills (Slovakia) were analysed by instrumental
and epithermal neutron activation analysis for obtaining a “fingerprint” for discrimination of potential natural sources of
raw material that would permit tracing the origin of archaeological obsidian artefacts. These techniques fully discriminate
the Zemplin Hills sources (Carpathian I, eastern Slovakia) and the Tokaj Mountain sources (Carpathian II, north-eastern Hungary)
as well as these Central European sources from those already studied of the Mediterranean basin and adjacent regions.
Recently, several archaeometrical projects were started on the prehistoric collection of the Hungarian National Museum. Among
the analytical methods applied, non-destructive prompt gamma activation analysis (PGAA) has a special importance. Based on
major-and trace components, characterization of stone tools and their raw materials were performed. Until now, 160 pieces
from Carpathian Basin and from the surrounding area (Romania, Croatia, Ukraine, Poland and the Mediterranean region) have
been analyzed, including both archaeological and geological pieces. Obsidian and Szeletian felsitic porphyry objects adequately
separable with PGAA. Identification of high silica silex categories, however, is much more difficult.
A key driver of biodiversity loss is human landscape transformation. Change detection and trajectory analysis are frequently applied methods for studying landscape change. We studied to what degree habitat-specific change detection and trajectory analysis provide different information on landscape change compared to the analysis with land-cover statistics. Our research was carried out at two spatial scales (regional, 1800 km2, 360 random points; local, 23 km2, polygon-based maps) in the Kiskunság, Hungary. Spatio-temporal databases were prepared using historical maps, aerial photos and satellite images from 1783, 1883, 1954, and 2009. Local expert knowledge of landscape history and recent vegetation was used during the historical reconstructions. We found large differences at both scales between land-cover based and habitat-specific analyses. Habitat-specific change detection revealed that grassland loss was not continuous in the different habitats, as land-cover based analysis implied. Ploughing affected open sand grasslands and sand steppes differently in the periods studied. It was only apparent from the habitat-specific analyses that from the grasslands only mesotrophic and Molinia meadows were relatively constant, up until the 1950s. The gradual increase in forest area revealed by land-cover CHD analyses was split into natural and anthropogenic processes by habitat-specific analyses. Habitat specific trajectory analysis also revealed ecologically important historical differences between habitats. Afforestation affected especially the open sand grasslands, whereas wetland habitats were relatively stable. The most important trajectory was the one in which closed sand steppes were ploughed during the 19th century, and remained arable fields until present. Fifty percent of the regional trajectories of 18th century open sand grasslands terminated in tree plantations at present, though 82% of the current open sand grasslands of the local site can be regarded as ancient. We concluded that dividing land-cover categories into finer habitat categories offered an opportunity for a more precise historical analysis of key habitats, and could reveal important ecological processes that cannot be reconstructed with land-cover based analyses. It also highlighted habitat-specific processes making natural and social drivers better interpretable. Information on the diversity of habitat-histories may serve as a basis for spatially more explicit conservation management.
The terricolous species Cladonia foliacea (Cladoniaceae, lichenised Ascomycota) widely distributed in open, dry lowland steppe and rocky mountain grassland vegetation in Europe was chosen as a potential test organism for ecological experiments, since their thalli are producing cortical solar radiation-protective and UV screening pigment dibenzofuran usnic acid and medullary secondary substance depsidone fumarprotocetraric acid. Significant seasonal differences were found in the amounts of lichen secondary metabolites analysed by HPTLC and HPLC-PDA between summer and winter collected thalli in sandy grassland area in Hungary. The concentrations of usnic acid varied between 7.34 and 15.52 mg/g in summer collected samples and 13.90 and 21.61 mg/g in winter collected ones. A comparable amount (11.61±0.29 mg/g) was measured in pulverised samples. The concentrations of fumarprotocetraric acid varied between 0.60 and 3.01 mg/g in summer collected samples and 2.26 and 5.81 mg/g in winter collected thalli. A comparable amount (2.45±0.21 mg/g) was found in pulverised samples. The range of concentration values is comparable with data known from lichens. A higher amount of usnic acid is produced in winter probably to ensure sufficient protection also for summer. The fumarprotocetraric acid content of the medulla might contribute to the solar irradiation reflecting role of the pale lower surface lobes turning upwards in dry condition.
Phytoremediation is an approach designed to extract excessive heavy metals from contaminated soils through plant uptake. Cadmium (Cd) is among the elements most toxic to living organisms. Health hazards associated with the lethal intake of Cd include renal (kidney) damage, anaemia, hypertension and liver damage. A greenhouse experiment was carried out with Indian mustard (Brassica juncea) grown on artificially spiked soil (100 μg Cd g−1) with EDTA (2 mmol kg−1 in 5 split doses), FYM, vermicompost (VC) and microbial inoculants (MI) such as Azotobacter sp. and Pseudomonas sp. The growth of Brassica juncea L. was better in soil amended with FYM or VC as compared to unamended Cd-polluted soil. Growth was slightly suppressed in EDTA-treated soil, whereas it was better after treatment with MI. The application of FYM and VC increased the dry matter yield of Indian mustard either alone or in combination with microbial inoculants, while that of EDTA caused a significant decrease in the biomass of Indian mustard. The application of microbial inoculants increased the dry matter yield of both the roots and shoots, but not significantly, because MI shows greater sensitivity towards cadmium. The maximum cadmium concentration was observed in the EDTA +MI treatment, but Cd uptake was maximum in the VC + MI treatment. The Cd concentration in the shoots increased by 120% in CdEDTA over the Cd100 treatment, followed by CdVC (65%) and CdFYM (42%) in the absence of microbial inoculants. The corresponding values in the presence of MI were 107, 51 and 37%, respectively. A similar trend was also observed in the roots in the order CdEDTA+M > CdVC+M > CdFYM+M>Cd100+M.MI caused an increase in Cd content of 5.5% in the roots and 4.1% in the shoots in the CdEDTA+M treatment compared with the CdEDTA treatment. FYM, VC and EDTA also increased Cd uptake significantly both in the shoots and roots with and without microbial inoculants.The results indicated that Vermicompost in combination with microbial inoculants is the best treatment for the phytoremediation of Cd-contaminated soil by Indian mustard, as revealed by the Cd uptake values in the shoots: CdVC+M (2265.7 μg/pot) followed by CdEDTA+M (2251.2 μg/pot), CdFYM+M (1485.7 μg/pot) and Cd100+M (993.1 μg/pot).
The aim of this study was to evaluate the nutritional status of elderly belonging to one primary care office. Twenty-seven men and 26 women, all over 60 years, were involved. Nutritional assessment, anthropometric measurements were performed, serum proteins, lipid and iron status and haematological parameters were determined. Energy and protein intake was sufficient, but the distribution of energy with a high fat and low carbohydrate was inadequate. Iron, copper, calcium, retinol and folate intake was lower, whereas sodium, ascorbic acid and cobalamin intake was higher than the Hungarian recommendation. The prevalence of obesity characterized by body mass index or waist circumference was higher in women than in men. The percentage of pathological levels of lipid parameters was also higher in women. No iron deficient erythropoesis was detected, but high serum ferritin concentration as a marker of body iron store was determined in some cases. General practitioners have possibilities to influence the nutritional habits of elderly, thereby reducing the incidence of obesity, cardiovascular diseases and stroke. Iron status of Hungarian elderly looks to be satisfactory, so supplementation without testing the iron status would be useless and harmful.