Genetically modified plants do not pose a threat
Erkki Truve calls the readers to avoid blind fanatism as far as discussions over GMOs are concerned. He gives a thorough overview of the biology of GM-plants. A colorful diagram illustrates the “making” of a GM-plant. The author stresses that the use of GM-plants poses a lot less threats to the environment than toxic chemicals, for instance. So far there is no reason to prohibit the use of GMOs, since no negative effects have been detected.
Let’s leave the GMOs in the lab
Jaan Suurküla warns against the hidden aspects of GMOs, which could become dangerous in decades to come. He says that the GMO-business is so much under the control of influential enterprises that any control or studies by scientists are complicated. The author lists a number of potential threats associated with the use of GMOs.
Eesti Loodus enquires
Mati Kaal explains the possibilities to help the Tallinn Zoo.
Mati Viiul tells about his new nature videos in the field of geology.
The hearsays of the death of the Biosphere Reserve are strongly exaggerated
Toomas Jüriado mediates impressions from a conference about the presence and future of the West-Estonian Archipelago Biosphere Reserve. Once an active protected area, the institution has been in lethargy for quite a few years. This conference could possibly mark the rebirth, and the author concludes with the impression that the reserve has all the potential needed for prosperous future.
Alder tree can supplement the menu
Urmas Kokassaar describes the possibilities to use different parts of alder tree as a food supplement. In bad times the alder cones were smashed and added to the bread dough. The use of alder timber in making kitchenware and smoking the meat and fish is better known.
When strangers become “us”. Hybridization in aviofauna
Ülo Väli takes a look at the breeding habits of birds and concludes that about a tenth of all bird species are occasionally engaged in crossbreeding. Hybridization is most common in the Anseriformes Family. Although in most cases hybridization takes place between the birds of the same genus, there are some exceptions: for example, the greylag goose is known to mate with a mute swan or a mallard. The article is illustrated with photos of hybrids that can be seen in Estonian nature.
Marimetsa nature protection area
Piret Kiristaja takes us to the West-Estonian lowland: to the spacious pool bog and sand dunes covered with pine forests. The bog is a favorite breeding area for many rare birds, and the hiking trail offers good recreation possibilities for nature lovers.
European rarities in Estonia: Golden eagle
Gunnar Sein introduces one of the best-known native eagles – the golden eagle. However, this majestic raptor dislikes the company of humans the most. In Estonia, the golden eagle inhabits mostly extensive bog areas.
Ivar Puura has interviewed Scott Gilbert, a professor of evolutionary biology.
On Chunra in the Thar Desert
Helle-Mai Pedastsaar has visited a place, where one just has to go to the camel safari – the Thar Desert in Rajasthan, India. The warm story of camels and their masters, as well as of the ancient city of Jaisalmer, is illustrated with colorful photos of the magnetic region.
Exploring Estonia with the help of “Eesti Loodus”
Helen Alumäe gives an overview of places and regions that our magazine has written about in the last 20 years, from 1989–2003. The detailed map and extensive list of mentioned places help the users to find places and regions. The study reveals that there are still “white spots” on the map – regions that wait to be explored and written about.
Kalevi Kull writes about two ways to know nature.
The lost grape ferns
Rainar Kurbel writes about the genus of grape ferns (Botrychium). Of the six species, only one is rather common. The rest of the species are extremely rare, and two of them have not been seen since the beginning of the last century. The author has visited the islands of Finland to meet and photograph the archaic-looking plants.
A new orchid – the “Dactylorhiza osilliensis”?
Tarmo Pikner might have found a new orchid species on the island of Saaremaa. The marsh orchids plant group is in constant evolution and hybrids are said to be common, so it is possible that new species are developing as we speak. The next summer will hopefully give answers to many questions regarding the origin of the species.