rss_2.0Chemistry FeedSciendo RSS Feed for Chemistry Feed influence of electron and gamma irradiation on the properties of starch:PVA films – the effect of irradiation dose<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>The paper discusses the effect of ionizing radiation on the functional properties of the biodegradable starch:PVA films. The analysis is related to the possible use of the material for packing the products (particularly, food) that are predicted for radiation decontamination and to the potential modification of the material by radiation treatment. Our previous results have shown that the influence of ionizing radiation on the films’ properties varied for the specific compositions (differing in starch:PVA ratio or the type of substrates) and depended on irradiation conditions. However, these studies considered only the irradiation performed in gamma chamber or in e-beam using a dose of 25 kGy. Therefore, the present study deals with the effect of the irradiations performed using various doses on the selected promising starch:PVA composition. The films characterized by starch:PVA weight ratio of 45:55 was obtained by solution casting and irradiated with fast electrons in air and with <sup>60</sup>Co gamma rays in nitrogen applying the doses of 5, 10, 20, 25, 30, 50, and 75 kGy. No regular dependence has been noticed between the composition of films (differing in the starch and PVA content) and the intensities of the particular bands in the UV-VIS DRS spectra after irradiation. The results indicated strong interaction of the starch and PVA components in the films and the occurrence of specific reactions in each composition upon irradiation. No special differences were observed between tensile strength and Young’s modulus of the non-irradiated films characterized by the starch:PVA ratio equal to 45:55 and the samples irradiated using doses in the range of 5–75 kGy. Similarly, no differences were observed in both cases between the swelling capability of the non-irradiated and the irradiated films. However, it can be deduced that solubility in water increased when the radiation dose increased. The results show that using the doses till the range 25 kGy does not cause an essential change of all the examined properties of the starch:PVA (45:55) films. Accordingly, starch:PVA (45:55) films might be considered suitable for packing food predicted for radiation decontamination.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2021-03-06T00:00:00.000+00:00Natural zeolite as a replacement for resin in the cation exchange process of cesium on post-irradiated nuclear fuel<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>Characterization of natural salts from Bayah, Lampung, and Tasikmalaya, Indonesia has been carried out as a substitute for synthetic resins. The characteristics include zeolite activation with NH<sub>4</sub>Cl, and heated at 200°C, the bond stability test of <sup>137</sup>Cs-zeolite, chemical composition analysis, surface area, pore size, analysis of Cs cation exchange capacity (CEC), diffusion coefficient (<italic>D<sub>i</sub></italic>), activation energy (<italic>E<sub>a</sub></italic>), and absorption of three zeolites. To do this, pipette 50 μl of a standard solution of <sup>137</sup>Cs from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), put in, 2 ml of 0.1 N HCl, and then add 1 g of zeolite and stir each for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 24 h. Based on this stirring time, the <sup>137</sup>C isotope will exchange ions with NH<sub>4</sub>-zeolite to <sup>137</sup>Cs-zeolite in the solid phase. The content of <sup>137</sup>Cs in <sup>137</sup>Cs-zeolites (solid phase) was analysed using a gamma spectrometer. The results of the chemical composition analysis showed that the character of zeolite from Lampung has a Si/Al ratio, with a CEC value of 1.448 mEq/g which is greater than Bayah and Tasikmalaya, while the <italic>D<sub>i</sub></italic> and <italic>E<sub>a</sub></italic> values for the three select types were obtained almost the same. Moreover, the stability test of the Cs ion bond with zeolite showed no significant release of Cs ions from the zeolite structure. It can be concluded that the three soloists tested that the zeolite from Lampung has better characters. The results of <sup>137</sup>Cs isotope separation in 150 μl of U<sub>3</sub>Si<sub>2</sub>/Al fuel solution post-irradiation using zeolite from Lampung and Dowex resins obtained almost the same recovery around 98–99%, so it can be concluded that zeolite from Lampung can be used as a substitute for synthetic resin in the cation exchange process for the <sup>137</sup>Cs isotope in nuclear fuel post-irradiated.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2021-03-06T00:00:00.000+00:00A virtual laboratory for radiotracer and sealed-source applications in industry<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>Radioactive sealed sources and radiotracer techniques are used to diagnose industrial process units. This work introduces a workspace to simulate four sealed sources and radiotracer applications, namely, gamma scanning of distillation columns, gamma scanning of pipes, gamma transmission tomography, and radiotracer flow rate measurements. The workspace was created in Geant4 Application for Tomographic Emission (GATE) simulation toolkit and was called Industrial Radioisotope Applications Virtual Laboratory. The flexibility of GATE and the fact that it is an open-source software render it advantageous to radioisotope technology practitioners, educators, and students. The comparison of the simulation results with experimental results that are available in the literature showed the effectiveness of the virtual laboratory.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2021-03-06T00:00:00.000+00:00Chemical characterization of PM10 in two small towns located in South Poland<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>The purpose of this study is to analyse the elements and PM10 concentrations in air samples gathered in the winter of 2017/2018 in two small towns, namely Skala and Wadowice. The chemical elements were identified for each sample using the energy dispersive X-ray method. The spectrometer was equipped, among others, with an Mo-X-ray tube which was the source of the photons and the Si(Li) detector. The following chemical elements: Cl, K, Fe, Ca, Zn, Pb, Br, Ti, Cu, Mn, V, Co, Rb, Ni, Sr, and Cr were identified in the samples. In addition, As and Se were identified in Wadowice. First, the results were compared with each other and then with the results for the nearest city. It was observed that the PM10 concentrations were significantly higher than the UE limit value for PM10, which equals 50 μg·m<sup>−3</sup> per 24 h. Moreover, the high concentrations of, among others, K, Pb, Cl or Zn, are likely to be linked with fossil fuels combustion and biomass burning. The levels of element concentrations in Wadowice and Skala resemble the levels observed several years earlier in Krakow.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2021-03-06T00:00:00.000+00:00Assessment of the impact of urbanisation on agricultural and forest areas in the coastal zone of Mostaganem (western Algeria)<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The accelerated and uncontrolled urbanisation in the coastal zone of Mostaganem is exclusively at the expense of agricultural and natural areas and is reflected in the aggravation of their degradation. The study area is a 62-km-long littoral to the west of Mostaganem and includes 11 municipalities. The Corine Land Cover nomenclature was used by exploiting data from Landsat satellite images over a 30-year period. The exploitation of statistics related to agricultural and forestry areas reveals a worrying dynamics. All spaces are under pressure mainly due to urbanisation. The phenomena of urbanization and coastalisation and the development of seaside tourism have increased the pressures on natural heritage to the point of compromising it. The analysis identified seven thematic object classes for the study area. An assessment of the dynamics of urban, forest and agricultural areas is an informative indicator of the sustainability of natural areas in the coastline of Mostaganem. The cultivated areas measured from 42,356 ha in 1985 to 38,301 ha in 2015,forest formations from 8207 ha to 9298 ha and urbanised areas from 2604 ha to 5049 ha. The dramatic land use change stimulated by rapid urbanisation in the study areas has resulted in a fundamental change in the landscape pattern. The thematic maps and the results obtained through different periods show that the predominant agricultural landscape has been gradually converted into urban areas.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-10-22T00:00:00.000+00:00Capacity and flow of selected cultural ecosystem services: Case study of microregion Terchovská valley<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Cultural ecosystem services (ESs) are assessed less often than other ES; however, their importance for human well-being is crucial. In this article, we focused on an assessment of capacity and flow of three selected cultural ES – Recreation and tourism, Natural and cultural heritage and Aesthetics and landscape character. The capacity in terms of cultural ES focuses on the potential of landscape features to provide cultural ES, while flow provides us with data about areas where these cultural ES are consumed by people. We can assume that in areas with higher capacity to provide cultural ES, there is also a higher flow of these services. The areas with the highest capacity to provide selected cultural ES are natural areas, such as natural and semi-natural meadows, pastures, alpine areas and wetlands, and cultural-historical sites. Such areas in our study area are the Malá Fatra National Park and areas with dispersed settlement, which we rank as the most valuable parts of the microregion Terchovská Valley. There are also areas with the highest flow of cultural ES. To know the relationship between the capacity of the landscape to provide cultural ES and the flow of cultural ES in this study area could be useful in terms of landscape protection and management.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-10-22T00:00:00.000+00:00Avifauna Structure Of Boreal Zone Open Habitats (Ishim Plain, Western Siberia)<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In 2014‒2016 field seasons, bird censuses were conducted on 34 flyways in seven different types of open habitats of the Russian part of the Ishim River region. Ninety-five species from 72 genera from 10 orders were registered. It is established that the taxonomic composition and ecological structure of avifauna of the habitats under investigation comply with their biotopical characteristics; diversity of taxons and ecological groups show positive correlation with habitats’ heterogeneity. In natural habitats, the maximum total abundance of birds, highest species diversity within the habitat (α-diversity) and species sustainability are characteristic of river meadows ornithocenoses, mainly due to low-numbered species and a higher evenness index. In disturbed habitats, the maximum total abundance, species diversity, Shannon diversity index, Pielou’s evenness index, minimal index of diversity and highest indices of elastic and general sustainability are characteristic of abandoned fields ornithocenoses, due to a more complex structure of vegetation communities and habitat resource capacity, which increased in the course of secondary succession. Due to natural and historical unity, middle and northern forest steppe’s avifaunae are most similar. The southern taiga open habitats’ ornithocenoses are most heterogeneous, due to an increased amount of dendrophilous birds along with forest habitats’ increased area and diversity.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-10-22T00:00:00.000+00:00The Study of Transformed Herbaceous Vegetation in the Area Flooded Due to Coal Mine Workings<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The spontaneous vegetation in permanent flooding zone around technogenic water bodies arising on former pastures due to underground coal mining in the Western Donbass basin (steppe zone of Ukraine) was studied in 2018–2019. Occurrence and abundance of herbaceous plants were taken into account in 36 vegetation plots over a total area of 0.8 km<sup>2</sup> in different habitats: dry, wet and flooded. In total, 83 plant species belonging to 31 families and 66 genera were identified, among which perennials dominated. Strong negative Pearson’s correlation was found between the amount and abundance of plant species and soil characteristics across the studied habitats, where the joint action of all edaphic factors determined the mosaic appearance of transformed vegetation. The spontaneous vegetation of the least disturbed xero-mesophilic habitats was most similar to (semi)natural grasslands, while the vegetation of hygrophilic habitats had a complete mismatch. Surrounding grasslands were not the most important diasporas’ source for spontaneous succession in the disturbed zone, and many species were supposed to come from the more remote areas. Recovery of target vegetation did not occur for 25 years of permanent subsidence and flooding due to radical transformation of landscape and soil and appearance of completely inappropriate habitats. At the same time, the unusual species composition of spontaneous vegetation and significant number of rare and endangered plants indicate the formation of valuable biotopes in the subsidence and flooding zone.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-10-22T00:00:00.000+00:00Assessment and mapping of the agro-ecological risk in the Mina plain (northwestern Algeria): Soil salinity and irrigation water quality<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The objective of this study is to contribute in assessing and mapping of the salinity risks level of soil and groundwater for irrigation in the Mina plain. The experimentation was carried out on a surface area of 4000 ha. Electromagnetic conductivity (EM) measurements and soil and well water samples were taken and analysed. The results showed an important spatial variability of the electrical conductivity (EC) of saturated paste extracts (ECe), which varied between 1.35 and 28.8 dS/m. The isovalues map of ECe was estimated by the regression equation and interpolated by the ordinary kriging (OK) method which showed that the area of saline soils (ECe &gt; 4 dS/m) represented 90% of the study area. The results also showed poor to unsuitable well water quality. To find the risk of salinity and sodium, the water points were classified as C3S3 (2.5%), C4S2 (5%), C4S3 (30%) and C4S4 (62.5%). Spatial distribution maps of total dissolved solids (TDS), electrical conductivity of water (ECw) and sodium adsorption ratio (SAR) interpolated by inverse distance weighting (IDW) showed too high risk levels of ECw (&gt;5000 μS/cm) and TDS (&gt;3000 mg/l) occupying a large wellfield (70%); with regard to SAR (&gt;18), 36% of the groundwater had a high risk of sodium. These results showed that the choice of tolerant crops, redevelopment of drainage systems and irrigation with less saline water should be designed for the sustainability of soil productivity and agro-ecosystems.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-10-22T00:00:00.000+00:00Spiders (Araneae) as a component of ground-dwelling animal assemblages of the energy crop fields in northern Bukovyna (Ukraine)<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Energy cropping has positive effect only if considering and mitigating potential biodiversity loss in agroecosystems. While investigating ground-dwelling animal assemblages in experimental fields of miscanthus and switchgrass in comparison with a legume-grass mixture and an abandoned field, we found low abundance and taxon diversity of the energy crops assemblages. Spiders comprised 3.3‒3.8% of collected arthropods in the switchgrass and miscanthus and 8.3‒10.1% in the abandoned field and grass mixture. Forty-seven spider species were collected: 14 species in the miscanthus field, 18 in the switchgrass, 23 in the grass mixture and 31 in the abandoned field. Spider diversity was the lowest in the miscanthus, while the number of specimens was minimal in the switchgrass. According to our findings, energy crops hosted poor spider assemblages with no species found exclusively in these habitats. To mitigate the negative impact of biofuel production on biodiversity, we recommend preserving areas of semi-natural vegetation in the agricultural landscape.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-10-22T00:00:00.000+00:00Land use land cover mapping using advanced machine learning classifiers<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Due to the recent climate changes such as floods and droughts, there is a need for Land Use Land Cover (LULC) mapping to monitor environmental changes that have effects on ecology, policy management, health and disaster management. As such, in this study, two well-known machine learning classifiers, namely, Support Vector Machine (SVM) and Random Forest (RF), are used for land cover mapping. In addition, two advanced deep learning algorithms, namely, the GAMLP and FSMLP, that are based on the Multi-layer Perceptron (MLP) function are developed in MATLAB programming language. The GAMLP uses a Genetic Algorithm (GA) to optimise parameters of the MLP function and, on the other hand, the FSMLP uses a derivative-free function for optimisation of the MLP function parameters. Three different scenarios using Landsat-8 imagery with spatial resolutions of 30 and 15 m are defined to investigate the effects of data pre-processing on the final predicted LULC map. Results based on the statistical indices, including overall accuracy (OA) and kappa index, show that the developed MLP-based algorithms have relatively high accuracies with higher than 98% correct classification. Besides the statistical indices, final LULC maps are interpreted visually where the GAMLP and FSMLP give the best results for the pre-processed Landsat-8 imagery with a spatial resolution of 15 m, but they have the worst outcomes for the unprocessed Landsat-8 imagery compared to SVM and RF classifiers visually and statistically.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-10-22T00:00:00.000+00:00Study of the dynamics of vegetation cover by satellite images: Case of El Kala National Park (Algeria)<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In recent years, wetlands in Algeria have experienced a significant deterioration in the natural quality of the landscapes that compose them. This is the case of the El Kala National Park in the far northeast of Algeria. The state of degradation of the open plant of this park is urgently to look at the state of the art in the face of multiple threats that affect these spaces. The exploitation of the Landsat satellite images, coupled with GIS and supplemented by field surveys and climate and documentary data, made it possible to analyze the vegetation cover and its evolution between 1987 and 2016. The results of our study show that the vegetation cover during the period (1987‒2016) lost 7.49% (6038 ha) of its natural vegetation. Also this work allowed us to set up a cartographic base which can constitute a precious tool of management of this protected area. This method is simple and adaptable to other protected areas of Algeria.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-10-22T00:00:00.000+00:00Does Seabird Colony Size Determine The Physiochemical Properties Of Island Soils?<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Many species of gulls have expanded their range worldwide and massively occupied coastal islands. These colonisations have not only affected the biotic interactions among seabird colonies, but also altered the soil chemistry through excrement accumulation. To test whether the seabird colony size determines nutrient levels of island soil, we carried out a field study during a breeding season on six Mediterranean islands in central North Algeria which harbour different population sizes of the yellow-legged gull (<italic>Larus michahellis</italic>). We sampled the soil and measured a suite of physical (area, floral richness, clay, fine silt, large silt, fine sand and large sand content) and chemical (pH, electric conductivity, limestone, organic matter, N, P, Ca, Mg, K and Na) properties and the colony size and density of the yellow-legged gull. Using principal component analysis, we found that the six islands showed some physicochemical similarities, but island area, colony size and soil N and P levels structured the islands into different groups. Although there was evidence of a positive relationship between colony size and N and P soil levels, this relationship was not linear. Our results suggest that historical rather than punctual data on the colony size of seabirds might give more robust predictions of soil physicochemistry of islands.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-10-22T00:00:00.000+00:00Trophic characteristics of (Mollusca: Gastropoda: Lymnaeidae) in toxic environment<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>The influence of ions of heavy metals (copper, cadmium, nickel, zinc, cobalt and manganese) was investigated on the basis of trophic characteristics: the average daily ration (ADR), and duration of food passage (DFP) of the <italic>Lymnaea stagnalis</italic> L. in various concentrations of toxicants in vivisection experiment. In addition to these indicators, the total amount of food consumed in the solutions with various concentrations of pollutants was found out during the chronic experiment and it was calculated for an individual (average monthly ration – AMR). It leads to the conclusions about the intensity of food consuming considering different levels of intoxication. In solutions with lethal concentrations, the death of animals occurs during the first day of its impact due to the damage of tissues and organ systems. Chronic lethal concentrations of toxicants inhibit the nutrition of pond snails dramatically. At the beginning of the experiment, solutions of heavy metals with sublethal concentrations give some stimulatory effect on the digestive system of molluscs that is replaced by its suppression in case of longer being in the toxic environment. The influence of toxicants within a subthreshold limit cannot be considered safe because of the cumulative properties of heavy metals – they become sublethal with prolonged exposure time.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2019-08-28T00:00:00.000+00:00 L. and (L.) All. heavy metal (Fe, Mn, Cu, Zn and Pb) bioaccumulation specificity in the area of Bardača fishpond<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>Paper deals with seasonal changes in heavy metal bioaccumulation (Fe, Mn, Cu, Zn and Pb) in <italic>Utricularia vulgaris</italic> L. and <italic>Salvinia natans</italic> (L.) All. of two localities (Necik and Sinjak – active fishpond basins) in the area of Bardača fishpond. According to our results, the better accumulator of Fe (3035 mg/kg) and Zn was <italic>S. natans</italic> (163.55 mg/kg), whereas <italic>Utricularia vulgaris</italic> better accumulates Mn (620 mg/kg) and Cu (10.18 mg/kg). Amounts of Pb in both investigated macrophyte were below the detection level (&lt;0.51 mg/kg). The values of the bioaccumulation factor (BAC) of the tested metals were &gt;1 or ~1 for both species, and the BAC values decreased in the following order in both investigated species: Fe &gt; Mn &gt; Cu &gt; Zn. The results obtained indicated that tested macrophyte show very good characteristics as bioaccumulators and, thanks to this fact, they could be used in phytoremediation technique successfully in water-polluted ecosystem.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2019-08-28T00:00:00.000+00:00Macrophytes in the littoral of Lake Arakhley in different states of water regime<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>The study of aquatic vegetation in the littoral of the dimictic water bodies of taiga is of particular interest in case of long-term observations carried out under conditions of climate fluctuations. During the low-water period, drying of the littoral with a decrease in the water level leads to the changes in phytomass of macrophytes, as well as in the composition of species and their distribution by depth. The area of littoral covered with ice in winter is also large in the low-water period; it affects the growth of perennial plants. When the water level decreases, the sand beach replaces the sand and pebble beach; it leads to the disappearance of epilithon and the predominance of rooting plants. The features of vegetation were determined for each period of water content. The low-water period is characterised mostly by grass-type vegetation; the high-water period is characterised by vegetation of mixed type.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2019-08-28T00:00:00.000+00:00The state of bio-ecological characteristics of the one-year shoots of L. Under the conditions of industrial pollution<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>The paper studies the influence of industrial pollution on bio-ecological characteristics of the one-year shoot of <italic>Robinia pseudoacacia</italic> L. in the conditions of the city of Dnipro, Ukraine. It analyses the state of biometric parameters of the shoot and anatomic indices of the stem of the studied species exposed to toxic gases. It was found that there are adaptive changes in the histological structure of the stem of <italic>R. pseudoacacia</italic> under the conditions of technogenesis. The study revealed that bio-ecological characteristics of the black locust are highly resistant to industrial emissions with big shares of SO<sub>2</sub> and NO<sub>2</sub>. It was suggested to use <italic>R. pseudoacacia</italic> for greening of the technogenic territories.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2019-08-28T00:00:00.000+00:00The effect of the selected remediation medium on the cadmium bioavailability in the selected ecosystem in the Southwestern locality of Slovakia<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>Soil is a sensitive ecological factor. Biodegradable materials from the environment can also be used to deal with serious ecological problems. Soil affecting by remediation medium - garden compost - was analysed for toxic cadmium (Cd) in terms of environmental protection. The objective of this research was to analyse soil and compost at foothill locality of the Tribeč Mountains (Southwestern Slovakia) in the years 2015−2017 to determine Cd contents in soil and compost, pH and to assess Cd bioavailability. The analyses were carried out using the Atomic Absorption Spectrometry with seven-step Selective Sequential Extraction methods. The results obtained were evaluated statistically using the SAS 9.4 software method by Spearman’s correlation coefficient. The results showed that Cd contents in soil had reached 2.96 mg kg<sup>−1</sup> and soil with compost (the ratio 1:1) 2.71 mg kg<sup>−1</sup> dry matter. Cd contents in the soil exceeded maximum allowed limit of 196%. And deceased by 25% after adding compost. The pH in soil with compost varied from 6.78 to 7.98. The pH prevented the mobility of Cd about 8.3% in average. Statistical dependence was high, which was demonstrated for relationship between Cd in soil, pH and compost. Available Cd forms in soil were 53.3% and soil with compost were 45% in average. The garden compost as a remediation medium reduced Cd bioavailability.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2019-08-28T00:00:00.000+00:00Morphological characteristics and variation of wood, cone and seed productions in the reforestation of Aleppo pine in Northeastern Tunisia using terrestrial and spatial index approaches<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>For several decades, forest management policies have encouraged land cover changes, with the establishment of tree cover such as Aleppo pine in natural or degraded ecosystems for soil protection and the firewood production. In order to investigate the importance of Aleppo pine trees in the ecosystem, this study was conducted in the reforestation of the Aleppo pine of Northeastern Tunisia. The production of wood, cones and seeds of Aleppo pine in the 6 date reforestation in Northeastern Tunisia were surveyed using 6 plots (20 tree/plot) spread over 6 different location. Our hypothesis was to determine the characteristics that can be decisive in estimating the production of Aleppo pine in reforestation in Tunisia using terrestrial and spatial measurements including (i) age, (ii) dendrometric characteristics, (iii) silvicultural treatments, (iv) stationary data and/ or (v) remote sensing parameter (NDVI: Normalized Difference Vegetation Index). We found that the Aleppo pine in Northeastern Tunisia and at young age trees (14–35 years) were more productive than the regeneration or reforestation stand, either young or old, in Northwest of Tunisia. Wood, cone and seed productions were significantly different amongst the plots (p &lt;0.05). The NDVI was positively correlated with the production of wood, cones and seeds. Stand age, exposure and longitude were also positively correlated with the production. However, longitude and altitude were negatively correlated with the production, showing a negative effect on the morphological traits of trees and, subsequently, their growth. The regression analysis indicates that NDVI and age were the most determinant factors of seed production. This research suggests that reforestation planning, particularly the choice of altitude and latitude, may result in improved tree morphology that may increase Aleppo pine wood seed and cone crops.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2019-08-28T00:00:00.000+00:00Chemical Properties of the Forest Litter in Istria and the Croatian Littoral<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>The experiment was set up in the forest ecosystem with diverse vegetation zones in the area of Istria and the Croatian Littoral. Research included the following systematic soil units: lithic lepto-sols, rendzic leptosols, rendzic leptosols - eroded, mollic leptosols, chromic cambisol and chromic luvisols. The average quantity of the forest litter in the studied systematic soil units reaches 13.36 t/ha (Tables 1-3). The “wealth” of organic matter in the studied soil units can be presented with the following series: chromic cambisols (CMx) &gt; mollic leptosols (LPm), organogenic, rendzic leptosols (LPk) &gt; lithic leptosols (LPq) &gt; chromic cambisols (CMx) - Terra rossa, chromic luvi-sols (LVx) &gt; rendzic leptosols (LPk) - eroded. As expected, the lowest value of total nitrogen was found in the lithic leptosols in relation to almost all the other soils, except when compared with chromic cambisol and rendzic leptosols (p ⋋ 0.05). The statistically justified higher values of the percentage share of P<sub>2</sub>O<sub>5</sub> in the forest litter were found in chromic luvisols and rendzic leptosols - eroded in relation to the other studied soils. Significantly higher level of copper contamination was inside rendzic leptosols - eroded in relation to the other studied soils. The exception is rendzic leptosols (p ⋋ 0.05). A significantly higher zinc content was detected in the lithic leptosols in relation to the other soil units, except for chromic luvisols, while a justifiably higher total lead and cadmium content in the forest litter was observed in chromic luvisols in relation to the other compared soils <italic>(p</italic> ⋋ 0.05).</p></abstract>ARTICLE2014-08-21T00:00:00.000+00:00en-us-1