This is an European bass video.
This 2014 video is called Lichen Biology.
March 12, 2018
Summary: Widely used as biomonitors of air quality, forest health and climate change, lichens play a vital role. However, no overview of their diversity across the emblematic Alps had been provided up until recently, when an international team of lichenologists concluded their 15-year study. Their annotated checklist includes more than 3,000 lichens and presents a long-missed benchmark for scientists studying mountain systems around the globe.
Historically, the Alps have always played an emblematic role, being one of the largest continuous natural areas in Europe. With its numerous habitats, the mountain system is easily one of the richest biodiversity hotspots in Europe.
Lichens are curious organisms comprising a stable symbiosis between a fungus and one or more photosynthetic organisms, for example green algae and/or cyanobacteria. Once the symbiosis is established, the new composite organism starts to function as a whole new one, which can now convert sunlight into essential nutrients and resist ultraviolet light at the same time.
Being able to grow on a wide range of surfaces — from tree bark to soil and rock, lichens are extremely useful as biomonitors of air quality, forest health and climate change.
Nevertheless, while the Alps are one of the best studied parts of the world in terms of their biogeography, no overview of the Alpine lichens had been provided up until recently, when an international team of lichenologists, led by Prof. Pier Luigi Nimis, University of Trieste, Italy, concluded their 15-year study with a publication in the open access journal MycoKeys.
The scientists’ joint efforts produced the first ever checklist to provide a complete critical catalogue of all lichens hitherto reported from the Alps. It comprises a total of 3,138 entries, based on data collected from eight countries — Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Slovenia and Switzerland. In their research paper, the authors have also included notes on the lichens’ ecology and taxonomy.
They point out that such catalogue has been missing for far too long, hampering research all over the world. The scientists point out that this has been “particularly annoying,” since the data from the Alps could have been extremely useful for comparisons between mountainous lichen populations from around the globe. It turns out that many lichens originally described from the Alps have been later identified in other parts of the world.
“It was a long and painstaking work, which lasted almost 15 years, revealing a surprisingly high number of yet to be resolved taxonomic problems that will hopefully trigger further research in the coming years,” say the authors.
“We think that the best criterion to judge whether a checklist has accomplished its task for the scientific community is the speed of it becoming outdated,” they conclude paradoxically.
The new checklist is expected to serve as a valuable tool for retrieving and accessing the enormous amount of information on the lichens of the Alps that has accumulated over centuries of research. It offers a basis for specimen revisions, critical re-appraisal of poorly-known species and further exploration of under-explored areas. Thus, it could become a catalyst for new, more intensive investigations and turn into a benchmark for comparisons between mountains systems worldwide.
This is a booted warbler video.
These birds nest mainly in Russia and winter in India.
They are rare vagrants in western Europe.
9 Oct 2017
(Bird)Life through a Lens: EuroBirdwatch 2017
By Christopher Sands
Bird lovers, young and old, across Europe took out their binoculars for the bird-watching highlight of the year – BirdLife’s annual EuroBirdwatch! Over the weekend of 30th September – 1st October, nearly 22,000 people attended 934 different events across 41 countries. And now the results are in!
BirdLife’s ‘EuroBirdwatch 2017’ (30th September – 1st October) hosted almost 22,000 people across 41 countries. In over 934 different events, the magnificence of the autumn migration was in full flight as over 4 million migratory birds were observed making their way south to their wintering places.
A different BirdLife partner takes on the coordinating and data collection role each year to provide us with this amazing snapshot of the weekend. This year SOS/Birdlife Slovakia assembled the aggregate figures and notable moments, which are available in their entirety at www.eurobirdwatch.eu.
A glimpse of some of the excitement includes over 1.2 million birds observed in Finland, among them a Desert Wheatear, 3 Red-flanked Bluetails, and 2 each, Olive-backed Pipits, Dusky Warblers, and Common Firecrests.
Hungary had the most participants with nearly 4,000 enthusiasts showing up and spotting, among other spectacular travelers, a Yellow-browed warbler, Lesser White-fronted goose, Saker falcon, Peregrine falcon, Black stork, Golden plover, Osprey, and Cattle egret.
As mentioned above, with the rare Desert Wheatear in Finland, other highlights included many other rare species, including: a Buff-breasted sandpiper in Sweden; Yellow-browed Warbler in Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Hungary, Latvia and Czechia; Red-throated Pipits in Belarus, Switzerland and Lithuania; White-headed Duck in Uzbekistan; Dusky warbler in Italy; Eleonora’s falcon in Bulgaria; Pallid Harrier in Cyprus and Malta; and the amazing Cory’s Shearwaters migration in Gibraltar.
A tip of the feather to SOS/BirdLife Slovakia for their superb work in collating and organizing the results, and to all of the organizers and participants across the 41 European countries celebrating the natural miracle of migration and wishing all birds travelling south a safe flyway.