Brown Bear and Man: how to avoid conflicts
Egle Tammeleht and her coauthors take a look at the human-influenced menu of the brown bear and search solutions for peaceful co-existence. The main areas where the interests of men and bears conflict are apiaries, cornfields and apple plantations. The share of human-influenced food in the diet of bears is especially high in autumn. Due to many reasons the area of oat fields have decreased, and the deserted apple gardens have grown old, decreasing thus seriously the dietary possibilities for bears. Therefore, the ravages in apiaries have increased considerably.
Tree of the Year: cockscomb on the leaves of the soft-leaved elm and other gallflies
Kaljo Voolma shares his knowledge about insects causing galls on elm trees. In Estonia, there are three species of gallflies. Two of these feed of the leaves of the European elm, while one lives on the leaves of the soft-leaved elm. The author describes the activities of all the species.
Tree of the Year: the spread of elm trees in our forests
Lembit Maamets has done some research about the share of elm trees in different habitat types and regions of Estonia. The elm tree is mostly spread as side species, not the main species of a forest. There are only about 80 ha of forests in which elm trees occupy more than half of the territory of the forest.
Tree of the Year: the thickest European and soft-leaved elms of Estonia
Hendrik Relve measured and determined the species of the thickest elm trees and gives an overview of the results. The biggest surprise of the research was the fact that many soft-leaved elms have formerly been identified as European elms.
Tree of the Year: how did the elm tree species get their Estonian names?
Karl Pajusalu takes a glance at the history of Estonian dialects and the related languages. Though one would on a first thought related the word ’jalakas’ to the word ’jalg’ (’foot’), it is more likely that it can rather be associated with Finnish words meaning ’big, magnificent’.
The protein that starts the nuclear station
Rainer Kerge looks for reasons why Tõnisson, a famous character from Oskar Luts’ „Kevade“ could not memorize verses. In human body, mitochondrions of neurons are responsible for memorizing abilities of a person. Mitochondrions are like small mobile power stations of a cell. However, memorizing can be practiced.
Interview: The glasshouses of Tallinn Botanical Gardens are just fine
Toomas Kukk has interviewed Virve Roost, a botanist.
Estonian Nature enquires
Anne-Ly Nurmõtalo explains how those interested can help to improve the collections of the Estonian Natural Museum.
Peep Männil explains why only 100 lynx can be hunted in 2012.
Flavedo and albedo together in syrup
Urmas Kokassaar suggests to buy candied fruit from a store rather than make it on your own. The author describes the chemical and physical composition of citrus fruits. The history of making classical candied fruit is described as well.
Bird of the Year: the story of the national bird
Elle-Mari Talivee and Meelis Uustal take a look into history and reveal how the barn swallow was nominated as the national bird of Estonia. Additionally, they look at how national birds have been chosen in other countries. The barn swallow was chosen among three candidates in November 1962 and it seemed to be a good decision, as the barn swallow is a very well-known bird and people like it. The authors look at how the image of the bird has been used in art and as a national symbol; moreover, they elaborate on the origin of the Estonian word for barn swallow – ’suitsupääsuke’.
Tree of the Year: the sworn tree
Mari-Ann Remmel introduces the thickest elm tree of North-Estonia. In fact, the tree has turned out to be a soft-leaved elm. It has been considered a holy tree and its branches should not be torn or broken.
The first on the South Pole
Enn Kaup takes the reader a century back in time, when Roald Amundsen and his team were the first to reach the South Pole on December 14. At first, he had aimed at reaching the North Pole, but as a few polar researchers arrived there before him, he decided to go south instead. It took him and the team of four 99 days to get to the Pole and back from their camp. The success of Amundsen’s trip lay in thorough preparation, and the use of dogs as means of transportation. The story is based on Amundsen’s diary published in English in 2010.