Hungarian red clays are the result of soil formation from previous geologic periods. They were spread over areas which were dry during the Tertiary Period and were not covered by sediments. The climate of the Quaternary Period eroded them, so that today they can only be found in areas where they were protected against degradation or where their thickness and resilience could withstand the forces of erosion. Thus, red clays are fossil or relic products of soil formation. Since both their water regime and nutrient supply differ from soils formed in the Holocene, their economic importance is far from negligible; vineyards, forests and arable cultivation can be found on these areas. Their influence may be seen in more extensive territories where they were washed away, settled and became mixed with other soils.
Aspects of Charlin’s educational biography have been collected within a qualitative study considering challenges and conditions of successful educational pathways of Sinteza and Romnija (female Romani people) in Germany. But, to face discrimination in school and workplace is something also Charlin knows. Charlin is Sinteza, a woman, a mother, and belongs to the acknowledged national minority of Sinti and Romani in Germany. This article presents a qualitative, narrative-biographical interview conducted in 2018 that reveals her educational biography and builds the basis of a case analysis. In addition to that, the case of Charlin portrays a successful one referring to graduation and societal participation; it outlines various aspects to question: the importance of role models, the importance of discriminatory experiences and resilience, gender roles, and the appearance and invisibility of ethnic identity in different contexts.
Authors:Boglárka Keller, Judit Szabó, Csaba Centeri, Gergely Jakab and Zoltán Szalai
Adaptation is the most important strategy to reduce the effect of climate change and soil erosion. During this process adequate, rational land use is necessary to ensure climate resilience. Therefore, the main objective in this study was to evaluate the susceptibility of different land use intensities (arable land and grassland) to soil erosion. The rainfall simulation method is a good tool to measure and estimate soil erosion in situ. The comparative measurements were carried out in the field with a Shower Power-02 simulator on 6 m2 plots in Gerézdpuszta, where the slope angles were ~8% and the simulated rainfall events had high intensities (~70-96 mm h−1). The runoff and soil loss were significantly higher from arable land. The runoff-infiltration ratio and runoff coefficient showed lower infiltration capacity in the case of arable land. On average, the suspended sediment loads were tenfold higher under intensive land use. In the case of grassland a moderate increase in infiltration was observed due to higher rainfall intensity, as also reported in the literature. The rainfall simulation method provides good data for soil loss estimations.
The series of adverse shocks of both economic and political character that Europe has suffered since 2008, the last of them coming from the Brexit referendum, revealed numerous institutional gaps and asymmetries in the EU integration architecture. They originate from the voluntary nature of the EU project and the necessity to obtain unanimous approval of all member states to take new integration steps. To increase the resilience of the EU project against current and future shocks, its major institutional gaps and asymmetries should be addressed as quickly as possible. In this paper, we use the theory of fiscal federalism and subsidiarity principle to set the agenda of the EU reform. This includes the identification of areas such as completing the EMU and Schengen projects, foreign, security, and defence policies, environmental and climate change policies where further integration can offer substantial returns to scale and better provisions of global and pan-European public goods. On the other hand, there are also areas such as agriculture policy, products, services and labour standards, and fiscal surveillance rules, where deregulation in favour of market forces could ease business environment and make EU regulations less bureaucratic. Developing integration beyond the traditional economic sphere will also have an impact on the size of the EU budget, balance of power between the EU governing bodies (a bigger role of the European Parliament) and the democratic legitimacy of the EU project.
Authors:C. Maucieri, C. Caruso, S. Bona, M. Borin, A. C. Barbera and V. Cavallaro
In many world regions, osmotic and salt stresses are becoming the primary environmental conditions limiting successful establishment of crops. The old durum wheat landraces may provide a source of genes useful to enhance crop resilience to the abiotic stresses of dryland areas or foreseen as a result of climate change. With this in mind, in order to determine the effects of salt and osmotic stresses on durum wheat germination, an old Sicilian durum wheat landrace “Timilia” and a relatively recent cultivar “Mongibello” were investigated at various iso-osmotic solutions of NaCl and mannitol at osmotic potentials of: 0 – control, –0.125, –0.250, –0.500 and –0.750 MPa.
Under stress conditions, different germination and early growth behavior was observed in the two durum wheat genotypes. Timilia presented almost stable germination even at the highest osmotic stresses (96.7% and 88.3% seed germination at 0 and –0.750 MPa, respectively) showing a higher capacity of seed imbibition than Mongibello. The latter thus showed a higher sensitivity than the old landrace to the studied stresses. The variability ascertained in the response to salinity stress indicate that Timilia could be a source of interesting genes for breeding programs.
Authors:S. Ongaro, S. Martellos, G. Bacaro, A. De Agostini, A. Cogoni and P. Cortis
The Mediterranean is one of the major biodiversity hotspots of the world. It has been identified as the “core” of the speciation process for many groups of organisms. It hosts an impressive number of species, many of which are classified as endangered taxa. Climate change in such a diverse context could heavily influence community composition, reducing ecosystems resistance and resilience. This study aims at depicting the distribution of nine orchid species in the island of Sardinia (Italy), and at forecasting their future distribution in consequence of climate change. The models were produced by following an “ensemble” approach. We analysed present and future (2070) niche for the nine species, using Land Use and Soil Type, as well as 8 bioclimatic variables as predictors, selected because of their influence on the fitness of these orchids. Climate change in the next years, at Mediterranean latitudes, is predicted to results mainly in an increase of temperature and a decrease of precipitation. In 2070, the general trend for almost all modelled taxa is the widening of the suitable areas. However, not always the newly gained areas have high probability of presence. A correct interpretation of environmental changes is needed for developing effective conservation strategies.
Authors:R. A. Correia, A. M. A. Franco and J. M. Palmeirim
The Mediterranean Sea has separated the sclerophyllous forests of southern Europe and northern Africa for millions of years, but its role structuring forest bird assemblages remains unclear. To address this issue we sampled bird assemblages in cork oak woodlands located north and south of the Strait of Gibraltar and compared abundance, diversity, and species and guild assemblage structure between regions. Abundance and diversity patterns were remarkably similar, but dissimilarity analyses of species and guild composition revealed differences in bird assemblage structure between regions. Differences are partly attributable to the effect of the Mediterranean as barrier to the dispersal of forest birds; a few species were unable to colonize North Africa, and many that colonized it remained in sufficient isolation to evolve into distinct taxa. In addition to this divergence of biogeographic genesis, assemblages also differ because in North African cork oak woodlands forest and insectivorous specialist species are less abundant. This dissimilarity could be due to the effect of different exploitation levels present in each region. Managed cork oak woodlands are widespread in the Western Mediterranean, and are valuable because they conciliate economic exploitation with high biodiversity. In North Africa these woodlands are of greater conservation concern because they harbour endemic bird species that give its assemblage a distinct character, cover a smaller area, and are currently under greater pressure from overexploitation. These results highlight the importance to implement management practices that increase resilience and maintain biodiversity value throughout the range of cork oak woodlands.
Authors:J. Wang, L. Huang, H. Ren, Z. Sun and Q. Guo
Soil seed banks can act as an important source in forest regeneration, and the information on the seed bank composition is vital for determining the resilience of plant communities under severe environments such as urban settings. In this study, we examined the seed bank density and functional composition, and their relationships with aboveground vegetation in three remnant evergreen broad-leaved forests, i.e., PuGang (PG), LuoGang (LG), and DaLingShan (DLS) under urbanization in Guangzhou, South China. In both years of our study (2010–2011), seed density and species richness for overall soil seed banks and each classified life forms (tree, shrub, herb and grass) significantly differed among the forests and were much higher in the PG forest. The prevailing life forms in the seed banks were herbs and grasses, and the proportion of tree species Importance Value index (IV) of the seed banks was low. We did not detect significant difference in the percentage of exotic species seeds in the seed banks among the forests. The proportion of species with animal dispersal mode was much higher in the DLS forest than in the PG and LG forests. The similarity in species composition between standing vegetation and seed banks was low with the lower value in the DLS forest than in PG and LG forest. Our findings suggest that the regeneration potential of the soil seed banks is limited for the remnant forests in urban areas. Therefore, greater proactive and enhanced conservation efforts are thus needed.
Authors:F.A. Rodríguez-Zaragoza, M. Ortiz, F. Berrios, L. Campos, A. de Jesús-Navarrete, J. Castro-Pérez, A. Hernández-Flores, M. García-Rivas, F. Fonseca-Peralta and E. Gallegos-Aguilar
Banco Chinchorro is the largest reef in the Mexican Caribbean. Historically, spiny lobster, queen conch and over 20 other reef species have been exploited here. Multispecies intervention management from an ecosystem perspective has been developed in this area; however, an assessment of the effects of such practices on ecosystem health is required. Five quantitative trophic models were constructed using Ecopath with Ecosim. The results show that, in terms of biomass, benthic autotrophs are the dominant group in all communities. Ecosystem Network Analysis indices showed that Cueva de Tiburones was the most mature, developed, complex and healthy subsystem, but, El Colorado and La Baliza were the subsystems most resistant to disturbances. The fisheries mainly concentrate on primary (La Baliza and Cueva de Tiburones sites) and secondary consumers (La Caldera, Chancay, and El Colorado). The greatest propagation of direct and indirect effects, estimated by Mixed Trophic Impacts and Ecosim simulations, were generated by the benthic autotrophs, small benthic epifauna, benthic-pelagic carnivorous fish and benthic carnivorous fish, among others. In contrast, the System Recovery Time showed different patterns among subsystems, indicating several compartments that reduce resilience. Considering the structure, dynamics, trophic functioning and ecosystem health of Banco Chinchorro, its ecological heterogeneity highlights the need for the design of a specific (by subsystem) management strategy, particularly because different species or functional groups present greater sensitivity to human interventions in each community.
After having been systematically disfigured by building developers for decades, in the last 15 years Naples has been over-polluted
and unable to manage the problem of waste dumping sites. The latest and most blatant outcome of this situation is the world-infamous
image of a beautiful and ancient city literally swallowed by its own trash. But behind this shocking TV-picture lies a structural
condition in which ecological devastation, politics and business are tightly interlaced. Environmental ruin is here in fact
just another face of a deeper political failure, which can be labeled a crisis of citizenship, also caused by the rise of
the so-called “ecomafia.” This essay questions whether and how ecological culture and ecocriticism in particular can provide
the population with critical instruments necessary to develop their own “strategy of survival” both environmental and political.
After reflecting on the philosophical implications of the idea of waste, it considers whether projects of environmental education
based on narrations about territorial issues can be implemented as forms of a “narrative re-inhabitation”: a task intended
to sharpen people’s ecological and political awareness starting from their “locatedness,” to restore social hope and to envision
long-term community projects. In this framework, the eco-cultural retrieval and invention of locally embedded stories and
of place-identity is both an expression of civil disobedience toward a corrupted power and a means of political resilience.