Tree of the Year: Bird Cherry, the plum tree of forest edges
Ott Luuk introduces an ordinary tree: even city people do not have to go looking for it from afar. However, the bird cherry is nowadays well known only in period of blooming. In other times of the year it is mostly considered as an inconvenient brush tree. The author gives an overview of the species’ biology, systematical position, its use in folk tradition and spread around the world.
Estonian Nature Protection 100: Gustav Vilbaste, a nature protector regardless of the reign
Andres Tõnisson portrays the Grand Old Man of Estonian nature protection, who remained in his seat − inspector of nature protection − even when the regimes changed in 1930ies and 1940ies. The author believes that Vilbaste’s success was based on the good understanding of people’s real attitudes and his ability to arouse others’ enthusiasm. Vilbaste started his career as an inspector of nature protection in 1936, after a period of work in school and science. In 1936-1941 about 549 objects were taken under nature protection. Vilbaste loved fieldwork and was also quite productive in writing articles. The article takes a look at the three different political periods that affected his work and outputs to real nature protection.
Estonian Nature enquires
Imbi Henno writes about changes in new curricula of sciences.
Jaan Lutt explains why the ferry to the Hiiumaa Island tends to get stuck in the sea bottom.
Bergamot Orange: a citrus fruit with appealing smell
Urmas Kokassaar thinks highly of the wonderfully smelling bergamot essence gives its distinctive flavour to the Earl Grey tea, but also to several liquors and products of perfumery. Bergamot oranges are today grown mostly in Calabria, Italy. Fresh bergamot oranges are not edible.
Viitna Landscape Protection Area: Lakes among hills
Riina Kotter recommends visiting three protected lakes and the 7 km-long nature trail connecting the lakes. Lake Viitna Pikkjärv, the biggest of the three lakes, is the favorite swimming lake of the people of the Viru County. By nature an oligotrophic lake, it is seriously endangered by the high number of swimmers and their impact and the accompanying eutrofication. All lakes and the surrounding areas are habitats for numerous protected plant and animal species.
A critical glance at the Estonian climate politics
Airi Andresson from the National Audit Office of Estonia takes a critical view at how Estonia is fulfilling the duties brought along with the Kyoto protocol. When Estonia joined the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in 1994, it was hoped that since the amount of industrial production had decreased anyway, Estonia would not have to do much, if anything, to achieve the goals set by the convention, i.e to decrease the emissions of greenhouse gases by 8%. There have, however, been many changes and factors that have changed the situation and now Estonia really has to exert itself to fulfill all the criteria. There is a lot of confusion about data, programmes and those responsible for certain fields.
Interview: Evolutionary biology helps to understand the society in a whole
Juhan Javoiš has interviewed George Lozano, a behavioral ecologist.
The Estonian Society of Orchid Protection – 25
Laimi Truus reminds the difficulties that accompanied the founding of the Society and is proud of its 25-year old history. There are about 80 members in the Society and about 4 events in a year: meetings in spring and autumn and fieldtrips in summer. The article gives an overview of the society’s achievements and activities.
New species of fungi in Estonia
Erast Parmasto writes about finding an especially rare species of fungi in Estonia: such species are determined with the help of international cooperation and open databases. The author exemplifies his article with a rare species of fungi found from a dead moth in August, 2004.
Earthed up limnoglacial sediments reflect the history of the development of the Baltic Sea
Leili Saarse and Jüri Vassiljev introduce a seemingly ordinary sedimentary layer, which helps geologists to explain land uplift processes. In 2009 a local inhabitant found a layer of limnoglacial sediments under the gravel layer of the Littorina Sea sediments at Koimla, West-Saaremaa. The followed geological research has helped to explain the development of the Baltic Sea.
Estonians and seasons
Siir Silm gives an overview of her doctoral thesis, which, for one, showed that beer is a summer drink and March is the month with highest birth rate. The four main reasons explaining seasonality of social phenomena are weather (light, temperature), weather-related activities (gardening, outdoor sports), traditions related to calendar and weather-related changes in human body (changes in the level of hormones).