Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Roe deer antlers as an accumulative and a reactive bioindicator of environmental pollution

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
1.03.03  Natural sciences and mathematics  Biology  Ecosystems 

Code Science Field
B280  Biomedical sciences  Animal ecology 
B340  Biomedical sciences  Animal anatomy, animal morphology 
roe deer, antlers, teeth, bioindication, environmental pollution, fluctuating asymmetry
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (7)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  19122  PhD Erika Glasenčnik  Biology  Researcher  2002 - 2004 
2.  19901  Andrej Glinšek  Chemistry  Researcher  2002 - 2004 
3.  18112  PhD Boštjan Pokorny  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2002 - 2004 
4.  08604  PhD Cvetka Ribarič Lasnik  Plant production  Head  2002 - 2004 
5.  11467  PhD Marta Svetina Veder  Geology  Researcher  2002 - 2004 
6.  10037  PhD Nives Vrbič Kugonič  Control and care of the environment  Researcher  2002 - 2004 
7.  15165  MSc Julija Vrbovšek  Chemistry  Researcher  2002 - 2004 
Organisations (1)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  1007  Eurofins ERICo Slovenija Inštitut za ekološke raziskave d.o.o. (Slovene)  Velenje  5583055000 
Pollution of the environment can be determined with the help of bioindicators – organisms which enable assessment of the quality of their environment. Due to their characteristics (high bioaccumulation of different pollutants; yearly regrowth enables high self-standardisation; availability of historical samples in well-dated trophy collections), roe deer antlers are a perfect tool for spatial as well as temporal bioindication in either accumulative (contents of pollutants in antlers reflect their burdens in the environment) or reactive (fluctuating asymmetry is a good indicator of stressful factors, including pollution) sense. Therefore, measurements of heavy metals (Pb, Cd, Zn), fluoride and sulphur levels in historical samples of roe deer antlers, shot in the Šalek Valley, the Upper Meža Valley (two areas with high emissions from electricity generating and smelting plants) and in the woody region around Notranjski Snežnik (a control area) would enable assessment of historical changes in pollution of the environment in last fifty years. Moreover, the analysis of stable Pb isotope ratio may allowed us to determine the most important emission sources in the specific period of time. Consequently, the efficiency of sanation measures on big local emission sources in northern Slovenia will be enabled as well. Measurement of fluctuating asymmetry (non-directional differences between left and right beam of bilateral roe deer antlers, which were caused by different stressors, such as pollutants) running parallel would reflect the biological effect of pollution on roe deer (conservative value of the research project). Combination of both accumulative and reactive approach would enable a development of new bioindication method with general employability, simplicity, rapidity and low costs as the main advantages. Since the assessment of efficiency of sanation measures will be enabled and the most important sources of pollution in space and time may be determined, the research project has a definite application value.
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