European Journal of Environmental Sciences 2020-06-22T12:53:33+02:00 Pavel Kindlmann Open Journal Systems <div> <p>The&nbsp;<em><strong>European Journal of Environmental Sciences</strong></em> offers a mixture of original refereed research papers, which bring you some of the most exciting developments in environmental sciences in the broadest sense, often with an inter- or trans-disciplinary perspective, focused on the European problems. The journal also includes critical reviews on topical issues, and overviews of the status of environmental protection in particular regions / countries. The journal covers a broad range of topics, including direct or indirect interactions between abiotic or biotic components of the environment, interactions of environment with human society, etc. For more details see the full Aims and Scope of the journal. The journal is published twice a year (June, December).</p> </div> Mating behaviour of the predaceous ladybird, Harmonia dimidiata 2020-04-22T00:27:08+02:00 Ahmad Pervez Monalisa . Mumtaj Jahan <p> We studied the mating behaviour of the predaceous ladybird beetle, <em>Harmonia dimidiata </em>(Fabricius) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae). The courtship behaviour of the male involves the secretion from the tibio-femoral joints of its hind-legs of yellow coloured reflex blood containing the alkaloid harmonine, which is usually the first line of defence of this ladybird. In this case, this reflex blood also functions as a nuptial gift from the male, which is edible and facilitates mating. The amount of reflex blood offered as a nuptial gift decreases with each subsequent mating. Mating in <em>H. dimidiata </em>was prolonged and initially increased before subsequently decreasing with each subsequent mating. This information could be useful for the mass rearing of this species in the laboratory.</p> 2020-06-22T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Ahmad Pervez, Monalisa, Ms., Mumtaj Jahan Composting and vermicomposting used to break down and remove pollutants from organic waste: a mini review 2020-05-09T11:44:39+02:00 Alena Grasserová Aleš Hanč Petra Innemanová Tomáš Cajthaml <p>The advantages of combining composting and vermicomposting to break down and remove pollutants from organic waste are reviewed. This mini-review aims to present the benefits of combining these methods and the outcome of specific cases of environmental remediation.</p> 2020-06-22T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Alena Grasserová, Aleš Hanč, Petra Innemanová, Tomáš Cajthaml Spatial analysis of the accessibility of urban greenspace at the city level 2020-06-20T12:16:56+02:00 Panagiotis - Tsampikos Alexandros Koliotsis Maria P. Papadopoulou mail@test.mail <p>The aim of this study was to analyse the access people have to urban greenspaces at the city level (Athens) using a combination and by comparing different methods. These two approaches are the Accessible Natural Greenspace Standards (ANGSt) Model and selected urban greenspace indices. According to the results, the accessibility of areas of urban greenspace is sufficient in most of Athens, which indicates that the majority of its residents have access to urban greenspaces. The correlation of accessibility with urban greenspace indices provided a better classification for Athens, in terms of citizens’ quality of life, as 20% of the Municipalities have a higher value for greenspace than that recommended by the World Health Organization of 9 m2. If this percentage is expressed as a population equivalent, only 13.3% of the population of Athens has a higher value than the minimum recommended. In addition, 21% of the population has a much smaller value and, in particular, it does not exceed 2 m2 of greenspace per capita.</p> 2020-06-22T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Panagiotis - Tsampikos Alexandros Koliotsis, Maria P. Papadopoulou Quantitative assessment of forest ecosystem stress caused by cement plant pollution using in situ measurements and Sentinel-2 satellite data in a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site 2020-04-22T00:46:48+02:00 Ali Asharfi Yousef Erfanifard Farshad Amiraslani Ali Darvishi Boloorani AliJafar Mousivand <p> </p> <p> Anthropogenic industrial dust decreases productivity and slows down the growth of plants. Quantifying the effects of industrial dust on vegetation and determining the distance over which factories scatter dust are of paramount importance for biodiversity conservation and sustaining ecosystem services. This study aims at quantifying the effect of dust emitted by the Neka cement plant (NCP), Mazandaran province, northern Iran, on the surrounding Hyrcanian forests based on an analysis of the Leaf Area Index (LAI) retrieved from Sentinel-2 imagery. An Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer (ICP-MS) was used to quantify the concentrations of cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), lead (Pb), calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), sodium (Na), silicon (Si) and zinc (Zn) in leaves of the dominant Chestnut-leaved Oak (<em>Quercus castaneifolia</em>). A feed-forward neural network algorithm and field measurements were used to retrieve the leaf area index (LAI) from Sentinel-2 data with a RMSE of 0.42 (m2/m2). MODIS-NDVI and EVI time series spanning 17 years (2000 to 2017) were analysed to ensure the independence of the variation in the condition of the vegetation from drought or other environmental factors. The results indicate that Sentinel-2 data can be used to map degradation due to pollution from the cement plant and quantify the effect of the dust spatially. Dust from the cement plant (dust source) was carried approximately 4700 meters in the direction of the prevailing wind. A significant correlation of 0.849 was recorded between LAI and distance from the NCP. It is concluded that dust from the NCP had adverse ecological effects on the neighbouring forest ecosystems recently designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.</p> 2020-06-22T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Ali Asharfi, Yousef Erfanifard, Farshad Amiraslani, Ali Darvishi Boloorani, AliJafar Mousivand Does artificial snow fertilise the soil of mountain meadows in the Krkonoše National Park? 2020-04-22T00:23:44+02:00 Zdenka Křenová Ondřej Bílek Vladimír Zýval <p>There are no high mountains in the Czech Republic and only few of them are higher than 1500 m a.s.l. Nevertheless, skiing is one of the most popular winter sports in this country and has a long history and tradition. During the last two decades, climate change, big differences in snow cover from year to year and unusual warm winter periods causing the snow to melt resulted in visitors to Czech ski resorts going to the Alps. Managers of ski resorts facing this challenge recognised that artificial snow enables skiing throughout the entire season and overcomes the risk posed by climate to the skiing business. However, many ski resorts are located in protected areas and it is difficult to negotiate changes in the rules for preparing and applying artificial snow with conservationists, who are fearful of the negative effects of snowmaking on rare and protected species and habitats. This paper presents results of a case study conducted in the SkiResort ČERNÁ HORA – PEC in the Krkonoše National Park throughout the 2019 season. The seasonal changes in the water quality in two reservoirs and six creeks, from which water is used for making artificial snow, were determined in order to assess the risk of this snow adding fertiliser to the meadows on ski slopes. We found that the nutrients recorded in two reservoirs and six creeks were very low. Water quality parameters did not exceed the limits of permissible pollution of surface and drinking water. Several episodic increases in the parameters measured were recorded and the causes discussed. We did not measure the direct effects of artificial snow on grassland communities. However, the use of water from these reservoirs and creeks for snowmaking does not pose a significant risk in terms of adding fertiliser to the meadows on ski slopes. To eliminate these risks and unusual events, several management measures for improving the water regime in the area studied are proposed. To better understand the effect of artificial snow on mountain meadows, permanent plots and long-term monitoring of vegetation, soil invertebrates and soil chemistry are recommended.</p> 2020-06-22T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Zdenka Křenová, Ondřej Bílek, Vladimír Zýval Biomarkers as a tool for assessing diffuse contamination of coastal wetland 2020-04-28T20:53:42+02:00 Silvia Villar Arias <p>Playa Penino is a natural reserve located on the south coast of Uruguay. It hosts 244 species of birds (more than 50% of the bird biodiversity recorded for Uruguay). The area is included in the International BirdLife Program for biodiversity preservation. Urbanization and pollution generally have affected the quality of the water and biodiversity in wetlands. The analysis of the major wetland of Playa Penino revealed high levels of organic compounds. The biomonitoring was done using the caviomorph rodent Ctenomys pearsoni (commonly known as tuco tuco) as an indicator species because they inhabit burrows around the wetland. Genetic effects were determined using the comet assay and micronucleus test. The significant correlations between chemical and microbiological parameters and genetic damage might indicate that macronutrients from sewage could be one of the causes of the genetic damage. There is an urgent need to conserve the biodiversity of this natural area by introducing sewage treatment, cesspool control and by controlling settlement in the area etc.</p> 2020-06-22T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Silvia Villar Arias Large scale manipulation of the interactions between key ecosystem processes at multiple scales: why and how the FALCON array of artificial catchments was built 2020-06-20T11:58:48+02:00 Jan Frouz Martin Bartuška mail@test.mail Jan Hošek mail@test.mail Jiří Kučera mail@test.mail Jiří Leitgeb mail@test.mail Zbyněk Novák mail@test.mail Martin Šanda mail@test.mail Tomáš Vitvar mail@test.mail <p>Understanding how natural processes arise from complex interactions between particular processes at small spatiotemporal scales and in turn how these processes form patterns at large spatiotemporal scales is one of the current principal questions in environmental science.<br />The problem is very complicated, as in many cases, key processes are often studied by researchers in separate disciplines such as ecology, soil science or hydrology. One of the major obstacles is that the processes at a landscape scale are difficult to manipulate and, in many cases, even measure. In particular, the belowground processes are in many cases overlooked or at least understudied. Here we briefly describe a methodological solution used to cope with this problem and describe artificial catchments designed for experimental manipulation at the level of a landscape, called FALCON. This array has two treatments: one mimics a site reclaimed using an alder plantation and the other was left to unassisted primary succession. For each treatment, there were two replicates in four similar catchments. Individual catchments<br />are hydrologically isolated from the environment and equipped with instruments, so that all the main processes and all significant flows of substances and energy in the ecosystem can be monitored, including the cycling of water, nutrients and gas between the ecosystem and the atmosphere. In addition, in each catchment there are sets of lysimeters, which allow the study of small-scale processes and how these can be extrapolated to the catchment scale. In addition, two lysimetric fields exist alongside the catchments for monitoring the effects of the experimental manipulation.</p> 2020-06-20T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Jan Frouz, Martin Bartuška, Jan Hošek, Jiří Kučera, Jiří Leitgeb, Zbyněk Novák, Martin Šanda, Tomáš Vitvar