2016 - 2023Available
5papers in this issue.
Background: An important consideration for the risk assessment of transgenic plants is their overwintering potential in a natural ecosystem, which allows the survival of the seed bank and may lead to seed reproduction. Here, we investigated the overwintering of sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) seeds in the laboratory (temperatures: –5, –1, 5, and 10°C) and in the field (burial depth: 0, 5, 15, and 30 cm) as a case study to examine the invasiveness of transgenic crops. Results: Sunflower seeds germinated when incubated at 5°C and 10°C for 2, 4, 6, and 12 weeks but not when incubated at –5°C or –1°C. However, the seeds incubated at –5°C or –1°C germinated when they were transferred to the optimal germination temperature (25°C). Up to 16.5% and 15.0% of seeds were dormant when cultured at sub-zero temperatures in a Petri dish containing filter paper and soil, respectively. In the field trial, soil temperature, moisture, and microbial communities differed significantly between soil depths. Germination-related microorganisms were more distributed on the soil surface. Seeds buried on the surface decayed rapidly from 4 weeks after burial, whereas those buried at depths of 15 cm and 30 cm germinated even 16 weeks after burial. No dormancy was detected for seeds buried at any depth. Conclusions: Although sunflower seeds did not overwinter in situ in this study, we cannot exclude the possibility that these seeds lie dormant at sub-zero temperatures and then germinate at optimal temperatures in nature.
Background: The understanding of ecosystem services can be quantified and qualitative to assess the impacts of changes in the ecosystem to support human well-being. In the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, sustainable use of ecosystem services has attracted the interest of a range of decision-makers. However, although there is a concern for biodiversity, natural ecosystem, and their services, linking ecosystems with conservation planning remains challenging. Results: This study assessed the first qualitative ecosystem services provided by the Mundok wetland with decision makers of the West/Yellow Sea region. Furthermore, this study applied the Rapid Assessment Wetland Ecosystem method to support natural resources management, improving living conditions. We identified that cultural and supporting services index are highly provided, but preparing a plan to increase the provisioning and regulating services in Mundok wetland is necessary. Conclusions: The assessment results can provide helpful information for ecosystem services assessment, habitat conservation, conservation planning, and decision-making at local level.
Background: Several species of amphibians in agricultural areas are often infected with ranaviruses; however, the biological or ecological factors that cause this infection are not well understood. In this study, we investigated whether local tadpole density, Gosner de velopmental stage, and weather conditions affected ranavirus infection in Dryophytes ja ponicus tadpoles in rice paddies over three months. Results: During the study, eight samplings were undertaken between June 6 and August 21, 2022. No die-off of tadpoles occurred, but 20 of 110 tadpoles (18.8%) were found to be infected with ranavirus. The tadpole density at the sampling site and Gosner stage of the sampled tadpoles were not related to the daily ranavirus infection rate. The mean daily highest temperature during the two weeks prior to the sampling date and the mean daily lowest and highest temperatures during the week prior to the sampling date were nega tively related to the daily infection rate. Conclusions: Our results suggest that low and extreme temperatures caused by flood ing and draining of paddy fields or climate change in summer could be a significant risk factor for ranavirus infection in summer-breeding frogs in agricultural areas.
An adult male Eurasian river otter (Lutra lutra) with ataxia and lethargy was rescued. Through the necropsy of this otter with neurological symptoms, a broad range of vascular damage caused by mercury toxicity in several organs, hepatocellular necrosis, and vacuolation in the brain. In mercury examination, liver, kidney, and hair showed values of 0.878 ± 0.027, 1.807 ± 0.049, and 5.712 ± 0.102 μg/g, respectively. Compared with certified reference material, it was confirmed that the concentration of mercury were 6.7 times, 13.7 times, and 43.3 times higher, respectively. When the symptoms and diagnosis results were comprehensively reviewed, this otter’s demise was revealed due to mercury poisoning. The mercury concentration in the liver does not exceed the lowest observed effect level of 3.4 μg/g. However, even at low concentrations, long-term accumulation can cause symptoms including neuropathy, and the possibility that these heavy metals have accumulated in other wild animals cannot be ruled out. It seems that continuous monitoring using sentinel animals is necessary.
Background: Over the past three decades, gradual eustatic sea-level rise has been considered a primary exogenous factor in the increased frequency of flooding and biological changes in several salt marshes. Under this paradigm, the potential importance of shortterm events, such as ocean storminess, in coastal hydrology and ecology is underrepresented in the literature. In this study, a simulation was developed to evaluate the influence of wind waves driven by atmospheric oscillations on sedimentary and vegetation dynamics at the Skallingen salt marsh in southwestern Denmark. The model was built based on long-term data of mean sea level, sediment accretion, and plant species composition collected at the Skallingen salt marsh from 1933–2006. In the model, the submergence frequency (number yr–1) was estimated as a combined function of wind-driven high water level (HWL) events (> 80 cm Danish Ordnance Datum) affected by the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and changes in surface elevation (cm yr–1). Vegetation dynamics were represented as transitions between successional stages controlled by flooding effects. Two types of simulations were performed: (1) baseline modeling, which assumed no effect of wind-driven sea-level change, and (2) experimental modeling, which considered both normal tidal activity and wind-driven sea-level change. Results: Experimental modeling successfully represented the patterns of vegetation change observed in the field. It realistically simulated a retarded or retrogressive successional state dominated by early- to mid-successional species, despite a continuous increase in surface elevation at Skallingen. This situation is believed to be caused by an increase in extreme HWL events that cannot occur without meteorological ocean storms. In contrast, baseline modeling showed progressive succession towards the predominance of late-successional species, which was not the then-current state in the marsh. Conclusions: These findings support the hypothesis that variations in the NAO index toward its positive phase have increased storminess and wind tides on the North Sea surface (especially since the 1980s). This led to an increased frequency and duration of submergence and delayed ecological succession. Researchers should therefore employ a multitemporal perspective, recognizing the importance of short-term sea-level changes nested within long-term gradual trends.