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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 

Code Science Field
1.06  Natural Sciences  Biological sciences 
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 (27)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  28204  Dragan Abram    Technical associate  2009 - 2012  17 
2.  17078  PhD Sabina Anžlovar  Biology  Researcher  2009 - 2012  67 
3.  21778  PhD Martina Bačič  Biology  Researcher  2009 - 2012  606 
4.  15456  PhD Jasna Dolenc Koce  Biology  Researcher  2009 - 2012  217 
5.  28500  PhD Nataša Dolinar  Biology  Junior researcher  2009 - 2012  34 
6.  22761  PhD Božo Frajman  Biology  Researcher  2009 - 2011  205 
7.  05222  PhD Alenka Gaberščik  Biology  Head  2009 - 2012  823 
8.  15122  PhD Mateja Germ  Biology  Researcher  2009 - 2012  594 
9.  34326  PhD Aleksandra Golob  Biology  Junior researcher  2011 - 2012  116 
10.  12583  PhD Jernej Jogan  Biology  Researcher  2009 - 2012  528 
11.  20070  PhD Aleš Kladnik  Biology  Researcher  2009 - 2012  174 
12.  33135  PhD Katja Klančnik Židan  Biology  Junior researcher  2010 - 2012  83 
13.  31970  PhD Špela Koren Bačovnik  Control and care of the environment  Junior researcher  2009 - 2012  68 
14.  35370  PhD Eva Kovačec  Plant production  Junior researcher  2012  70 
15.  23964  Milena Kubelj    Technical associate  2009 - 2012 
16.  25510  PhD Urška Kuhar  Biology  Researcher  2009 - 2011  78 
17.  20428  PhD Matevž Likar  Biology  Researcher  2009 - 2012  281 
18.  32059  PhD Špela Mechora  Plant production  Junior researcher  2009 - 2012  73 
19.  19137  Tjaša Pogačnik Lipovec  Biotechnology  Technical associate  2009 - 2012  11 
20.  25512  PhD Paula Pongrac  Biology  Researcher  2009 - 2011  285 
21.  12013  PhD Marjana Regvar  Biology  Researcher  2009 - 2012  537 
22.  21410  PhD Simona Strgulc Krajšek  Biology  Researcher  2009 - 2012  315 
23.  33146  PhD Petra Štrekelj  Plant production  Junior researcher  2012  14 
24.  19589  PhD Tadeja Trošt Sedej  Biology  Researcher  2009 - 2012  91 
25.  12039  PhD Barbara Vilhar  Biology  Researcher  2009 - 2012  215 
26.  21623  PhD Katarina Vogel Mikuš  Biology  Researcher  2009 - 2012  615 
27.  21452  PhD Igor Zelnik  Biology  Researcher  2010 - 2012  231 
Organisations (1)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0481  University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty  Ljubljana  1626914  66,295 
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
Our studies focused on different levels of plant biodiversity contributed to the understanding of local and global biodiversity. Our research on the systematics of tribus Sileneae and taxonomic complex of genera Epilobium and Fallopia are important contribution to the knowledge of these intriguing taxonomic groups. The outcomes on biology and distribution of different invasive alien plant species brought better insight into mechanisms of invasions. The research of alien species in riparian zones of watercourses revealed that invasion threat depended on the structure of riparian zone. The macrophyte survey in rivers, karst ponds and accumulation lake revealed the importance of the watershed and riparian zone quality for community development. The results of studies of plant species biology in extreme environments (areas polluted with toxic metals, intermittent and saline habitats) and their adaptations, significantly contributed to better understanding of their tolerance mechanisms to stress conditions, to interactions between plants and rhizosphere biota and to their ecological functions. The results of the studies in selected ecosystems on the presence and importance of mycorrhizal fungi and DSE (that were frequently detected in extreme habitats) for growth and development, brought important knowledge for Slovene and global science. Our outcomes on the role of mycorrhizal fungi in mitigating the effects of allelochemicals on neighbouring plants were unexplored therefore we improved the understanding of the effects of these environmentally friendly chemicals on ecosystems. The study of the influence of UV-B treatment in buckwheat on root colonisation with mycorrhizal fungi and simultaneous UV-B and drought treatments brought new insights into UV-B effects on plants. The researches of Se in aquatic plants are scarce; thus we widen the knowledge on this research field and pointed out the usefulness of aquatic plant species for remediation and bioindication. With long-term research of reed primary production in relation to water level fluctuations, we contributed to the understanding of the influence of water regime at Lake Cerknica and other water-bodies affected by changes of precipitation patterns. Our studies of seed development in corn and leaf abscission of tomato are important for developmental biology and agronomy. The research of tissue morphology and chemical structure in wheat seeds increased the knowledge on mineral uptake and possibilities for biofortification. The outcomes of toxicity studies of nanoparticles are important from the point of view of their use and health protection. Leaf reflection spectra have very wide use. The study of optical properties of different species revealed that “spectral signatures” of leaves should be used with precaution and brought new insights in leaf optical properties of different wetland plant species. We also showed that Tartary buckwheat and cabbage had ability to transform anorganic Se to bioactive Se organic compound, important in human nutrition. Se has impact on second generation of Tartary buckwheat, treated with Se. Significant contribution of the research group was made by development and improvement of different research methods that had already been tested in our research. In the framework of molecular biology researches and for study of endoreduplication we improved methods of light microscopy. We upgraded the methodology of elemental imaging in plant tissues using modern synchrotronic methods that enabled the study of elemental distribution and determination of their species. New detection molecules for membrane bound lipid sphingomyelin are important for studies of its metabolism. Plant and fungal material and plant seeds, collected within programme group and infrastructural units have known origin and are accessible to researchers studying population dynamics of individual species and intraspecific variability.
Significance for the country
Human survival depends on undisturbed ecosystem services. Therefore knowledge on biodiversity serves as a base for community well-fare and development. Our activities in knowledge transfer to other sectors and social strata impact different aspects and levels of everyday life. From the national point of view, technical and scientific writing in Slovene language is highly important also because of development of Slovene terminology. Research programme is an opportunity for students to participate in the research processes (60 BSc and 3 PhD Theses) and also enabled participation of our research team in national and international projects and programmes. As a result of our activities, numerous herbarium specimens were added to the LJU herbarium collection and our field records are directly entered into the Flora of Slovenia Database. LJU herbarium collection and Flora of Slovenia Database are important from the scientific and cultural-historical point of view. In addition to that, studies of unique taxa and ecosystem (intermittent Lake Cerknica) are also of national importance. Results obtained within the programme have also direct effects and application. The outcomes of floristic, taxonomic and ecological research are important for updating the new edition of plant determination key Mala flora Slovenije. With results of phytoremediation technologies studies we contributed to the potential solutions for stabilization of the areas polluted with toxic metals. Studies of mycorrhiza and dark septate endophytes presence and diversity are important to increase plant ability to mitigate stress conditions and pollution effects. The study of interactive influence of allelochemical exudates and mycorrhiza pointed out their possible use as environmetal friendlier alternative to commercial chemical herbicides. The concentration of plant available selenium in soil in Slovenia is low. Thus the ways of successful enrichment of different cultural plants with selenium enabled the production of better quality food for animals and humans. The studies of rapidly growing organs represent the basis for the biotechnological improvement of crops, leading to less harmful cultivation practices. The researches in Lake Cerknica gave us additional knowledge which was used for preparing the management plan of this area. Research showed that and amounts of Se in aquatic plants differed regarding the location of sampling sites with different land use. Therefore selected macrophytes can be used in biomonitoring of Se in watercourses. With data base and outcomes gathered from macrophyte research in Slovenian water bodies, we successfully contributed to the establishment of methodology for evaluation of ecological status according Water Framework Directive and proposed the measures for improving their ecological status.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2009, 2010, 2011, final report, complete report on dLib.si
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2009, 2010, 2011, final report, complete report on dLib.si
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