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Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Plant Biology

Periods
Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
1.03.00  Natural sciences and mathematics  Biology   
1.08.00  Natural sciences and mathematics  Control and care of the environment   

Code Science Field
B270  Biomedical sciences  Plant ecology 
Keywords
biodiversity, bioinvasion, bioassays, ecotoxicology, environmental monitoring, extreme habitats, interaction of plants with pathogenic microorganisms, mapping of Slovenian flora, mechanisms of tolerance, mychorrhizae, pollution, sugar metabolism, conservation of nature.
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (25)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  28204  Dragan Abram    Technical associate  2007 - 2008  17 
2.  17078  PhD Sabina Anžlovar  Biology  Researcher  2007 - 2008  67 
3.  21778  PhD Martina Bačič  Biology  Researcher  2007 - 2008  606 
4.  08277  PhD Jože Bavcon  Biology  Researcher  2004 - 2008  1,310 
5.  18201  PhD Nika Debeljak  Biology  Researcher  2004 - 2008  21 
6.  08280  PhD Marina Dermastia  Biology  Head  2004 - 2008  872 
7.  15456  PhD Jasna Dolenc Koce  Biology  Researcher  2004 - 2008  217 
8.  28500  PhD Nataša Dolinar  Biology  Junior researcher  2007 - 2008  34 
9.  22761  PhD Božo Frajman  Biology  Researcher  2008  205 
10.  05222  PhD Alenka Gaberščik  Biology  Researcher  2004 - 2008  823 
11.  12583  PhD Jernej Jogan  Biology  Researcher  2004 - 2008  528 
12.  20070  PhD Aleš Kladnik  Biology  Researcher  2004 - 2008  174 
13.  23964  Milena Kubelj    Technical associate  2004 - 2008 
14.  25510  PhD Urška Kuhar  Biology  Junior researcher  2005 - 2008  78 
15.  17423  Dragica Luznar    Technical associate  2005 
16.  17821  Katja Mohorčič    Technical associate  2004 - 2006 
17.  25512  PhD Paula Pongrac  Biology  Junior researcher  2005 - 2008  285 
18.  12013  PhD Marjana Regvar  Biology  Researcher  2004 - 2008  537 
19.  27542  PhD Tomaž Rijavec  Microbiology and immunology  Junior researcher  2006 - 2008  247 
20.  21410  PhD Simona Strgulc Krajšek  Biology  Researcher  2004 - 2008  315 
21.  24506  PhD Nina Šraj  Biology  Junior researcher  2005 - 2007  44 
22.  19589  PhD Tadeja Trošt Sedej  Biology  Researcher  2007 - 2008  91 
23.  12039  PhD Barbara Vilhar  Biology  Researcher  2004 - 2008  215 
24.  21623  PhD Katarina Vogel Mikuš  Biology  Researcher  2007 - 2008  615 
25.  24294  PhD Irena Žnidar  Biology  Junior researcher  2005 - 2008  18 
Organisations (1)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0481  University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty  Ljubljana  1626914  66,273 
Abstract
Biodiversity conservation is a base for a sustainable development, and a strategic goal and a challenge for the future in Slovenia. With the ratification of the Convention on Biological Diversity, the provisions of the convention became a legally binding instrument obliging Slovenia to fulfill the objectives in a manner provided for in the Convention. A prerequisite for biological conservation is its understanding, on ecosystem, species and genetic level. In order to achieve these goals the program of Plant Biology involves studies of Slovenian plant biodiversity with emphasize on plants inhabit the extreme habitats, like salt fields, wetlands, heavily polluted sites. We continue the research on endemic plants and plants identified as globally threatened species according to IUCN Red List. Several plants from this list are not even threatened in Slovenia. Moreover, it could be that Slovenia is their only left growing place. For those we will suggest special treatment with the coordinate the in-situ and ex-situ measures, including the breeding of species for reintroduction into the wild and the establishment of suitable conditions for their reproduction in nature. Monitoring of changes in ecosystem has revealed the marked human impact on a decrease of the biodiversity. Biodiversity components are affected, among others, with the introducing of non-indigenous species into the natural environment. At certain conditions they can become naturalized or even invasive. The ecological factors and genetic basis for making a species invasive are largely unknown and poorly understood, and at least some of them will be identified throughout the program activities. Extreme habitats are populated by highly specialized organism, and are therefore even more vulnerable. Changes in plant communities in such habitats represent an early warning system for the recognition of disturbances on a larger scale. The program implements studies of adapting mechanisms to natural factors, like salinity and water regime, or to human activities, like introducing of pollutants or increased UV-radiation. The understanding of plant adaptation mechanisms may lead to the effective phytoremediation of disturbed habitats. We will enforce physiological and biochemical studies of plant interactions with mychorrhizal and pathogenic fungi in extreme habitats. The possible recognized compounds involved in these interactions could be valuable source for biotechnology. Furthermore, the recognition of specific plant stress responses could be a base for a permanent monitoring of changes in ecosystems. Important part of the program includes studies on one of the most important crop - maize. As support units for Plant Biology program are Botanical garden, Herbarium collection and fungal collection, which are all under the management of the program research team.
Significance for science
The economic value of biotic communities in extreme habitats is generally low, which often leads to their threatened status. In this regard the results of the program research on biology of plant species in such habitats has improved our understanding of their important ecological functions and adaptation mechanisms. Although most of seed plants have established mychorrhizal associations, such relationship is even more important in extreme growth conditions. Our research on mychorrhizae, together with high ability of some plants involved in mychorrhizae to hyper-accumulate heavy metals, will contribute to further phytoremediation of heavily metal polluted sites. According to the results of our studies we will suggest application of some parameters for the monitoring and evaluation of the ecosystem degradation level. Our results will also contribute to the evaluation of the threats to biodiversity, forecasting of community dynamics after different intervention in ecosystems, and planning of sustainable use of habitats. From the macro-mapping results we will evaluate the geographic distribution of Slovenian plants. Applying modeling approaches together with the biology research we will forecast distribution patterns and their dynamics affected by non-indigenous plant species or climate changes. Maize was once and still is one of the world's major crops. Results obtained from the functional genomic studies included in the program will contribute to improvement of already established cultivars and to the basic physiology of crops. All plant and fungal material used in the program is of known source and is available to other scientists for genetic, population or ecophysiological studies. Program Plant Biology included large international cooperation, in particular, one project inside the Sixth Framework Programme EU, bilateral projects between Slovene and European countries, and Slovene and USA, and several other informal international collaborations.
Significance for the country
Biological diversity is one of the most valuable resources of Slovenia and its conservation is a base for a sustainable development. Dynamical equilibrium in highly diverse landscape is fragile and in many cases disturbed. Only the understanding of extreme habitats, like wetlands, salt field or dry grasslands leads to their conservation and planning of proper sustainable use. It is important to note that such habitats are generally populated by specific plants and animals, most of them endemic or even threatened. Throughout program activities we have identified the plant species that are most tolerable to high concentration of specific ions in soil. These species could be potentially reused on other sites, especially those, which are polluted to the extent that already affect the health of local people. We determined several parameters related to plant stress responses, which could be applied for monitoring of changes in degraded ecosystems. We established some new plant bioassays and introduced some classic bioassays, but not yet tested on plants, for monitoring the heavy metal pollutants in the environment. Research and mapping of Slovenian flora and its exhibit in the Herbarium and Botanical garden has already contributed to its recognition and appreciation in public and culminated in a recognition of the Botanical garden as one of 10 % the most influencing botanical gardens worldwide.
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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