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Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Biodiversity

Periods
January 1, 2004 - December 31, 2008
Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
1.03.00  Natural sciences and mathematics  Biology   
1.05.00  Natural sciences and mathematics  Biochemistry and molecular biology   

Code Science Field
B005  Biomedical sciences  Zoology 
Keywords
biodiversity, ecophysiology, communications, sensory systems, bioclimate, taxonomy, morphometry, phylogeography, cultivated plants, olive production, chemistry of olive oil, molecular markers, succession, allelopathy, floristics, faunistics, biogeography
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (18)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  12183  PhD Jana Ambrožič Dolinšek  Biology  Researcher  2005 - 2008  294 
2.  20038  PhD Dunja Bandelj  Biotechnology  Researcher  2004 - 2008  275 
3.  17144  PhD Erika Bešter  Chemistry  Junior researcher  2004 - 2007  111 
4.  03517  PhD Dušan Devetak  Biology  Researcher  2004 - 2008  500 
5.  13134  PhD Franc Janžekovič  Biology  Researcher  2004 - 2008  528 
6.  10352  PhD Mitja Kaligarič  Biology  Researcher  2004 - 2008  698 
7.  06395  PhD Primož Kerkoč  Physics  Researcher  2004 - 2006  46 
8.  09211  PhD Boris Kryštufek  Biology  Head  2004 - 2008  982 
9.  16402  PhD Saška Lipovšek  Microbiology and immunology  Researcher  2004 - 2008  190 
10.  07497  PhD Bojana Mozetič Francky  Biochemistry and molecular biology  Researcher  2004 - 2005  35 
11.  13133  PhD Tone Novak  Biology  Researcher  2004 - 2008  393 
12.  28407  PhD Nataša Pipenbaher  Biology  Junior researcher  2007 - 2008  115 
13.  05833  PhD Leon Senčič  Biochemistry and molecular biology  Researcher  2004  172 
14.  19562  PhD Sonja Škornik  Biology  Researcher  2004 - 2008  353 
15.  21574  PhD Liliana Vižintin  Biotechnology  Researcher  2006  105 
16.  22418  PhD Tatjana Vrščaj Vodošek  Plant production  Researcher  2004  46 
17.  17107  PhD Irma Vuk  Biotechnical sciences  Researcher  2007 - 2008  90 
18.  11068  PhD Igor Žiberna  Geography  Researcher  2004 - 2005  439 
Organisations (3)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0589  University of Maribor, Faculty of Education  Maribor  5089638013  13,178 
2.  1510  Science and Research Centre Koper  Koper  7187416000  13,745 
3.  2547  University of Maribor, Faculty of natural sciences and mathematics  Maribor  5089638051  17,900 
Abstract
- Studies of taxonomy and the zoogeography of mammals of the eastern Mediterranean, with special focus on the Balkan peninsula, Asia Minor and Cyprus. In South Africa we study the biodiversity of small mammals of two very different ecosystems: lowland brushland and the Afromontane forest. Studies involve various levels, from taxonomy to ecology of groups. - Biology and ecophysiology of arthropods involve studies of communications and physiological adaptations to special conditions. - Studies of biodiversity patterns focus on the secondary succession and allelopathy. Model group is from the Mediterranean grasslands. - Research in olive cultivation aims at improving technology of oil production. We are establishing a collection of olive varieties which are autochthonous to Slovenian Istria. Selection of lines which are resistant to late freezes includes also studies of molecular markers. - Long term monitoring of the edible dormouse (Glis glis) and the response of its populations to specific dynamics of the ecosystem generated by a single plant species (beech Fagus sylvatica).
Significance for science
Biodiversity pattern in hot-spots of species richness: In SE European hot-spot our results contributed to a debate on the evolutionary consequences of glacial cycles as forcing factors in shaping current biodiversity [COBISS.SI-ID 1179859; 1386195] and uncovered a bi-directional crossing of the Marmara straits by the bicoloured shrew [1265619]. By using tools of geometric morphometry we provided evidence on mophological divergence between two sibling species within the Apodemus mystacinus group [14365704]. Pattern in small mammal species richness dynamics was documented for several fossil sites during the Last Glacial Maximum and the Holocene [1195219; 22789933; 26952237]. Species–area relationships and nestedness patterns were assessed in three groups of small terrestrial vertebrates on landbridge islands of the eastern Adriatic [1334483] and Balkan mammal diversity was assessed quantitatively for the first time [763347]. Analysis of genetic and morphologic variability of glassworts (Salicornia) in the Gulf of Trieste retrived a reticulate evolution of diploides and tetraploides and lack of congruence between nuclear and plastid DNA [15855880]. Taxonomic revisions of arthropods covered opilionids [14885896; 13715464; 14487048]) and neuropterans (625909; 13792776]). In the southern African hot-spot we defined a taxonomic scope of Grammomys cometes, a species endemic to the southern African subregion, by using molecular, chromosomal and morphological data [1434067]. Structure in rodent assemblage was assessed in a habitat mosaic within the Valley Thicket vegetation [1392595]. Three species new to science were described, one rodent (genus Grammomys) from Kenya [1543379] and two opilionids (genus Siro) from Europe [14940936]. Landscape ecology: Based on a long term research on changes in land-use we defined current vegetation in selected regions of Slovenia (14503176; 14948360) and developed models for predicting vegetation patterns and dynamics (14720776; 13318664; 15674376). Structure, function and behavior: We studied evolutionary origin of a specialized predatory behaviour in the insect order Neuroptera. Arthropod sensory organs [13573384] developed in a connection with physical properties of their environment [14077448]. When pit-building antlions evolved from non-pit-building ancestors, certain adaptations in morphology and behaviour occurred [15271432]. In antlions, detection of prey has been studied for a longer period [13844488]. We continued these studies, especially elucidating the biophysical properties of sandy substrate as a medium for transmission of signals, relevant for prey detection [15465736; 15674632]. Determination of biosynthesis potential of Pyrethrum (Tanacetum cinerariifolium) revealed that the piyethrin content of flower heads from Northern Adriatic population is comparable to conventional production of Pyrethrum (1244252; 1563727). In our results the infection significantly changed the morphology and regenerative capacity of shoots and roots and decreased pyrethrins content (1352147; 1842511). Agrarian biodiversity: Varietal structure of Slovene Istria olives [5455225] was assessed by various DNA markers [4167801, 3882873, 1115603, 885203, 775379, 4252281] and the first genotyping database was constructed [5318777, 776915]. Information enabled clarification of the origin of some traditional varieties [777171]. Fig (Ficus carica) varieties were similarly identified using morphology and molecular tools [5454969; 1070547; 1410259; 1138131; 1235411; 1401299; 4774521; 237755392]. Unambiguous varietal identification [1346259] and improvement [1074387] are now possible.
Significance for the country
Development of decentralized high education and human resources: During the 2004/08 programme term life sciences progressed significantly in both, eastern and western Slovenia. Nine new study programmes were prepared in accordance with Bologna declaration and five of them started at the University of Primorska (UP) and University in Maribor (UM) in the academic year 2008/09. UP established molecular laboratory in 2007 and UM gaine international funds in 2008 to improve research infrastructure. Ten postgraduate theses (six master and four Ph.D) were supewised by rasearches of the programme group; two of the students were young researchers. Two postgraduate students got employment in enterprises. Protection of nature and biodiversity conservation: Preserving biodiversity represents a daunting challenge for human society and Slovenia has to fulfill concrete national and international obligations (Habitat Directive etc.) in this respect. Ideally, conservation policies should be based on sound scientific data, including an understanding of the mechanisms that sustain biodiversity over long periods of time. Our phylogeographic analyses [COBISS.SI-ID 1179859; 1386195; 1265619] provide firm evidence on past glacial refugia as areas of a long-term climatic and environmental stability. As such glacial refugia represent areas of special value for long-term persistence of biodiversity what is particularly important in the context of expected rapid climatic change relating to the greenhouse effect. The EU project LIFE02NAT/SLO/8587 developed two novel models in biodiversity conservation in the Mediterranean landscape mosaic in Kraški rob. The project further involved local population into management and maintenance of the ecological network Natura 2000 (an obligation from Habitat Directive) and established the information centre in Rakitovec. Scientific Coordination of the WWF project 'Dinaric Arc Ecoregion' helps to fulfill commitments of countries towards the Convention on Biological Diversity. One of specific goals (gap analysis of Protected Areas, PA) aims to identify gaps in the existing PA network and in transboundary cooperation in biodiversity conservarion in the entire Dinaric region. At the landscape level we defined indicators for determining the traditional agricultural landscape in NE Slovenia (15674376), assessed habitat deterioration due to hydrological changes (14948360) and mapped the coastal habitats (14503176). Our scientific results on rarity and decline in palaeoendemic Martino's vole, a species that wanished in Slovenia during the Holocene [1436371] convienced the IUCN to elevate its conservation status (VU). We studied the invasive neophytes (watter lettuce) in thermal waters (15379464); conservational techniques and approaches were applied on conservation of Pasque flower (15090696). Agrarian biodiversity - conservation and improvement in agrarian practice: The research on olives was applied in order to preserve and manage the genetic resources of Slovene Istria olives and to obtain important information which can serve for varietal improvement for olive growing [5455225, 885203, 1115603, 777171]. With molecular characterisation, the first genotyping database of Slovenian olive varieties was constructed and its publication allowed comparison with genotyped varieties from all over the Mediterranean countries that is very important in nurseries, when certificated plants are propagated [5318777, 776915, 1346259]. In order to revitalize fig growing and to study diversity and planning fig genetic resources an inventory of plant genetic material and varietal identification using morphological and molecular descriptors were done [1070547, 1410259, 237755392, 1538003]. Results were presented to the interested growers and are of great importance for production of certified planting material.
Most important scientific results Final report, complete report on dLib.si
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Final report, complete report on dLib.si
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