6000 hectars of Estonian alvars need to be restored fast
Aveliina Helm, Martin Zobel, Meelis Pärtel and Annely Reinloo give a warning that in 10 years the unique seminatural habitats – the alvars – might disappear from Europe. In 1930ies there were over 43,000 ha of alvars in Estonia. By 2000ies, only 5,000–10,000 of these have been maintained. Alvars, which are in good condition, occupy only some 500 ha. The species-rich habitat is a home for about 270 species of vascular plants, 142 species of mosses and 263 species of lichens, but also for about 68 species of butterflies. The article gives a geographic overview of our best-reserved alvars and give recommendations for maintaining those.
Estonian Nature enquires
Taimi Paal looks back at this year’s yield of berries.
Epp Moks explains relations between tapeworms and edible berries.
What has happened to Pogonophora?
Tarmo Timm describes animals living in deep sea bottom. They get their nutrients from hydrosulphuric acid or methane with the help of symbiotic bacteria. The phylum of Pogonophora was discovered some 60 years ago. Later, the phylum has been divided into two: Frenulata and Vestimentifera. Sometimes a third classis, Monilifera, has been defined. The author describes their lifestyle and origin and finishes with a short overview of how scientists can not always agree about the origin of different life forms.
Back to the Õunaku Hill
Taavi Pae has found the placename of Õunaku already from an old dictionary. He looks at reasons why such relatively modest landform was included in Wiedemann’s dictionary (1869).
Ermine moths on silver willow
Kaljo Voolma introduces Yponomeuta rorrella, a small ermine moth, a newcomer in Estonian fauna and helps to get to know other species of ermine moths living in Estonia. Ermine moths are tiny moths, usually unnoticed, but the deeds of their cankerworms easily catch the human eye. The larvae construct grey communal webs among the foliage of host trees and shrubs. The article describes also other species of ermine moths feeding on leaves and gives instructions for differentiating between the adults of the genus Yponometua.
Flies on window sill
Mati Martin states that is not possible to fight against Thaumatomyia glabra, a fly that winters next to humans. It is not very common in Estonia, though. It prefers to winter in large colonies, involving millions, or even billions of specimen at one place.
Pakri landscape protection area and nature area
Hella Kink takes the reader to North-East Estonia, to the protected areas located on the Pakri Island and the Pakri Peninsula, as well as between them. The Pakri landscape protection area forms the core of the North-Estonian Geopark, created to safeguard unique geological objects and habitats. The Pakri nature area is intended to maintain different habitat types and species.
Interview: Sporty geographer who loves maps
Helen Külvik has interviewed Heino Mardiste, lecturer emeritus of geography.
News about the edibility of Gyromitra esculenta
Kuulo Kalamees warns that dried “false morels” from the species Gyromitra esculenta have to be well and many times blanched before use.
How many times should a protected area be founded?
Ain Vellak and Andres Tõnisson analyze the history of the soon-to-be Peipsiveere nature protection area from the protection management point of view. The area involves three quite different types of landscapes: the Emajõe Suursoo – a large delta mire, the island of Piirissaar and the water table of Lake Peipsi located between these two areas. All these three areas are protected as different types of protected areas. In addition, there about 10 additional protection “layers” that cover the area: for example, the whole area is a Ramsar area, an important plant area, Natura 2000 nature area, an object of primeval nature etc. The areas of these layers are slightly different and don not, unfortunately, form or function as a whole.
Poisonous mushrooms and related intoxications IV. Orellanine intoxication
Kuulo Kalamees continues to warn against poisonous mushrooms. This time he looks at poisonous species of the genus Cortinarius. The species of the very diverse and species-rich genus of Cortinarius are extremely hard to differentiate. There are three very poisonous species in the genus, which are thoroughly described in the article.
Chernobyl and fungi
Arvi Liiva gives an overview of reasons behind the radioactivity of fungi, as well as about the related research in Estonia and elsewhere after the Chernobyl catastrophe. It is known that fungi collect harmful, also radioactive substances within their fruiting body. The research did not show any considerable amount of radioactive substances in our mushrooms.
Kavinia alboviridis, a Cinderella among pretty-looking mushrooms
Erast Parmasto introduces Kavinia alboviridis, but also several alike-looking species of fungi, which are not closely related.