Summary Eesti Loodus 2014/06-07

 Summary

Would the military orchid need more efficient protection in Estonia?

Tiiu Kull and Aigi Ilves introduce the life of the Orchid of the Year, the military orchid, and discuss the protection status of the species in Estonia. The species is quite common and well known in Estonia, but little studied. The blossom of the military orchid reminds the human silhouette, a soldier with a helmet. In Estonia, the orchid grows at the calcareous meadows and wooded meadows of West- and North-Estonia, and is therefore threatened by the loss of such habitats. Luckily, research has indicated that the military orchid settles quite fast at brownfields and former quarries, which should be seen as potential habitats for many species.

 

Which kind of habitat is preferred by field birds?

Riho Marja looks at ways how to make the agricultural landscape, which has become poor because of intensive production mechanisms, more suitable for birds. It is well known that biodiversity lies in the variety of landscape patterns, and this is very much true about agricultural landscape and the related bird fauna. Birds are also directly affected by the use of pesticides, which kill the insects that birds eat. The author brings forth several measures which support bird diversity in agricultural landscapes and gives overview of the several recent studies regarding field birds’ diversity and lifestyle patterns.

 

Estonian Nature enquires

Miina Krabbi explains how fire hazard index is calculated.

Urmas Sutrop writes about aspects of the Estonian language: why animals have sons, but plants have daughters.

 

How to recognize an insect VI. The smaller orders of holometabolous insects

Mati Martin takes a closer look at the orders of Raphidioptera, Megaloptera, Neuroptera, Mecoptera and Siphonaptera – smaller orders of holometabolous species. These include snakeflies, alderflies, dobsonflies and fishflies, lacewings, antlions, scorpionflies and fleas. They are all characterized by specific kind of insect development which includes four life stages – as an embryo or egg, a larva, a pupa and an imago or adult. Holometabolism is amonophyletic trait common to all insects in the superorder Endopterygota. Like in previous series, the article is provided with numerous photographs of different remarkable species.

 

Estonian salmons are ravaged by a kidney parasite

Anti Vasemägi describes a parasite Tetracapsuloides bryosalmonae, the causative agent of salmonid proliferative kidney disease (PKD). The number of the parasite has increased rapidly in Estonia in the last few years. The author describes the biology of the myxozoan parasite of salmonid fishes and the related research, as until the late 1990ies, the organism which caused PKD was enigmatic, and there is still a lot of incomprehensibility about its biology. In Estonia the parasite was first recorded about 15 years ago, and now thorough research about its spread and impact is undertaken by the University of Life Sciences.

 

Everyman’s right. What to know when roaming out in nature

Pihel Sarv gives advice to land owners as well as to hikers, as everyman’s right is about to change since July. All basic rights and duties are now collected into the new general part of environmental code of laws. The main interest of hikers, but also landowners involves the use of waterbodies. The code of laws enacts that almost all waterbodies have to be accessed by public, and there has to be a usable shore path along all shores. There are a few exceptions: these, and several more aspects about the use of private property are handled in the article.

 

Our national bird. My national bird

Karl Ander Adami’s photo story takes a glance at the everyday life of the barn swallow, his concerns and pleasures.

 

The limestone shores of the Matsalu area

Rein Einasto focuses on low limestone shores near the Matsalu national park, especially on the Uisu cliff. The limestone denudations are more common south from the Matsalu Bay and tell a lot about geological history of the area.

 

Interview: Nature protection and forestry go hand in hand

Toomas Kukk has interviewed Andres Talijärv, the chancellor of Ministry of Environment.

 

The first decade of the Matsalu National Park

Kaja Lotman presents the habitat types and other natural values of the 10-year old Matsalu national park. The park comprises valuable cultural heritage – burial sites, manor heritage, traditional skills and knowledge – as well as natural heritage: some of the latter are much influenced by human activity, such as coastal meadows, flooded meadows, alvars and wooded meadows, but also small, partly inhabited islands. The highest value of the park is its bird fauna, but there are also valuable plant species and geological sights of interest.

 

From the Matsalu Bay to Point Puise – a journey on the memory landscapes of the national park

Mari-Ann Remmel has studied what do the local people of Matsalu remember and keep in their mind about their surroundings and their past. The local lore is influenced by the vicinity of Kasari flood plain and the Matsalu Bay, as well as Väinameri Sea, fishing and all aspects of traditional coastal lifestyle. The article illustrates some meanings of place names and brings examples of older and newer archive texts. The memory landscapes of Matsalu can be studied from the geoportal of the Estonian Land Board, which exhibits some 250 places with a selection of files.

 

The bird studies of Matsalu and bird ringing

Maire Toming gives an overview of the long history and status quo of ornithological field works and research at the Matsalu protected area. The scientific research of the local bird fauna started in 1957, after the foundation of the nature protection area. The author lists the main research topics of different time periods. One of the main topics that have remained important through the decades is the survey of hatching birds of sea islets.

 

The Penijõe hiking trail connects people, nature and time

Marju Pajumets takes the reader on a hike along heritage landscapes: one can choose between trails of different length and difficulty. The Penijõe hiking trail runs between two villages of the national park: Äärenurga (nowadays Kirikuküla) and Penijõe, strolling though reed beds and flood plains, hayfields, alvars and meadows. One can choose between trails of different length: 3.6 km, 4.7 km, 5 km, 6 km and 7 km. The article is provided with a detailed map of the area and trails, and all trail points (16) are described as well.

 

Estonian shallow sea and an island in its centre

Jaan Laas establishes an interesting hypothesis about the history of Neidsaare Hill located at Matsalu. He recites the Ynglinga saga, according to which the Swedish king Yngarr was killed in at a place named Kivi at a Shallow Sea of Estonia probably in the beginning of the 17th century. But no-one knows the location of the place. The author suggests that as the coast of West-Estonia has withdrawn considerably during the 1400 years after the event, we have to look at today’s mainland to identify the possible former islands. The author points at Neidsaare Hill, which has an interesting foundation of unfinished earthwork, and elaborates on his idea about the ancient battle field.

 

Tiit Kändler’s essay: We’re still here, due to the fractality of the world