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Volume 2, March

Ecologies, Volume 1, Issue 1 (December 2020) – 4 articles

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Open AccessArticle
Normalized Difference Vegetation Index Determination in Urban Areas by Full-Spectrum Photography
Ecologies 2020, 1(1), 22-35; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ecologies1010004 - 20 Nov 2020
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Abstract
(1) Background: The NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) is a basic indicator of photosynthetic activity frequently employed in landscape and urban ecology. However, the high-resolution determination of NDVI requires an expensive multi-spectral digital camera. (2) Methods: In the present work, we are developing [...] Read more.
(1) Background: The NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) is a basic indicator of photosynthetic activity frequently employed in landscape and urban ecology. However, the high-resolution determination of NDVI requires an expensive multi-spectral digital camera. (2) Methods: In the present work, we are developing a general procedure that converts a Nikon D50 into a full-spectrum camera. We also use a red Hoya A25 filter to separate red (R) and infrared (NIR) radiations. Afterward, we calibrate the camera using the reflectance information of a Macbeth Color Checker. Additional procedures include a custom white balance (CWB), histogram equalization and exposure control. (3) Results: Our results indicate high correlations over 90% for R and NIR channels, which allow us to determine the NDVI with precision. Even it is possible to observe the NDVI differences between soil, water, rocks, algae, lichens, shrubs, grasses and trees in different environmental conditions and (4) Conclusions: The methodology described in this work allows a more economical analysis of high-resolution NDVI in landscape and urban areas adapting a modified camera to airborne or drone systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Ecologies 2021)
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Open AccessArticle
Asexual Regeneration Response of Ilex canariensis Poir. to Management of the Canopy of Pinus radiata D.Don
Ecologies 2020, 1(1), 14-21; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ecologies1010003 - 27 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 457
Abstract
Exotic afforestation can provide suitable conditions for native shade-tolerant species restoration without threatening native forests. This study analyzes the impact of different thinning intensities of the canopy of an exotic Pinus radiata stand on the asexual regeneration response of Ilex canariensis, a [...] Read more.
Exotic afforestation can provide suitable conditions for native shade-tolerant species restoration without threatening native forests. This study analyzes the impact of different thinning intensities of the canopy of an exotic Pinus radiata stand on the asexual regeneration response of Ilex canariensis, a native laurel forest species in the Canary Islands, Spain. The results provide useful indications for how to manage P. radiata stands to promote recovery of native plant communities. For different stand treatments were selected: stand clear cut, low intensity thinning (10–15%), high intensity thinning (25%), and a control. The stand clear cut management revealed Ilex canariensis individuals with a higher number of sprouts and more leaf cover; however, the height of these sprouts two years after the cut did not reach the values of individuals prior to this management. Consequently, the vitality index following clear cut management is significantly lower with respect to the other treatments. Thinning management is shown not to be so useful to promote the growth and vitality of Ilex canariensis individuals. The results suggest that thinning over 50% could be more appropriate in the case of Pinus radiata, allowing resprouting of Ilex canariensis in the understory and improvement in the vitality index. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Regeneration Strategies of Forest Species)
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Open AccessArticle
Are Spine-Bearing Freshwater Gastropods Better Defended?
Ecologies 2020, 1(1), 3-13; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ecologies1010002 - 27 Sep 2020
Viewed by 506
Abstract
Freshwater snails usually possess thin unadorned shells lacking structural components such as spines. Exceptions can be found on the high, well-watered islands of the South Pacific. Streams on these islands support a rich freshwater molluscan fauna with several nerite taxa (Neritimorpha: Neritidae) exhibiting [...] Read more.
Freshwater snails usually possess thin unadorned shells lacking structural components such as spines. Exceptions can be found on the high, well-watered islands of the South Pacific. Streams on these islands support a rich freshwater molluscan fauna with several nerite taxa (Neritimorpha: Neritidae) exhibiting extremely long dorsal spines. We sought to assess the defensive capacity of these structures for several co-occurring nerite genera on the Island of Ovalau, Fiji. Our overarching hypothesis was that spines confer a defensive advantage. We tested four predictions for eight common taxa: (i) predator “rich” habitats (the creek entrance) would be dominated by spine-bearing nerites, (ii) spine-bearing species should be smaller in size, (iii) nerites with spines would exhibit lower levels of shell damage and (iv) nerites with spines should invest less in their shells (i.e., their shells should be thinner). Most of these predictions received support. Spine-bearing species dominated the entrance to the creek and were smaller in size. Levels of shell damage were low overall, with 2 of the 3 spinose taxa exhibiting no shell damage, as did many of the nonspinose taxa. Finally, shells of spinose species were 25% thicker, demonstrating increased rather than decreased investment. Taken together, these findings suggest that the elaborate spines of Clithon spp. play a defensive role. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Ecologies 2021)
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Open AccessEditorial
Ecologies—A New Multidisciplinary and International Open Access Journal
Ecologies 2020, 1(1), 1-2; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ecologies1010001 - 10 Jul 2020
Viewed by 747
Abstract
As we head towards the middle of the 21st century, environmental problems become more evident in our planet, in part because of the human pressure on natural resources and also because of the concern of humans about this damage, requiring more specific tools [...] Read more.
As we head towards the middle of the 21st century, environmental problems become more evident in our planet, in part because of the human pressure on natural resources and also because of the concern of humans about this damage, requiring more specific tools for the evaluation of the negative impacts of human activities, and also the development of restoration tools to confront these problems [...] Full article
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