Eesti Looduse fotov�istlus

   Eesti Looduse


Eesti Loodus
summary EL 2006/8

Nature versus economy: an insolvable conflict?

Hannes Veinla explains the principles of environmental legislation, which may sound strange at first: that nature has intrinsic value, ecologically valuable areas do not have to be used for gaining economic profit and that building a socially relevant facility may be stopped because of the value of nature. In Estonia it has been common to believe that nature should give way to human benefits, be it social or econnomic. Now, being part of the EU, the challenge becomes even more problematic: Natura-sites, many of them invaluable in European context, involve relatively large parts of Estonian territory. The article presents and explains many interesting judicial cases from Estonia and elsewhere from the World.

Estonian Nature enquires

Kärt Vaarmari describes the main judicial cases that are brought to Estonian Fund for Nature.

Leo Filippov introduces the Society of the Owners of Old Trees.

The secret underground life of plants

Martin Zobel and Maarja Öpik take a glance into the hidden aspects of co-existense of plants and fungi. The research in this field has been a successful one in Estonian scientific community. The relations between plants and microbes are still not well known, but are, according to studies, worth much more attention. There are different types of mychhoriza, the arbuscular mycorrhiza fungal communities being the most common among them. The present article describes the importance of arbuscular mycorrhiza fungal communities and brings forward some studies related to these communities and plants.

Essay: Problems with „cross-hills” by Raivo Kalle

The unknown pearl of the Silurian Klint

Igor Tuuling, Tiit Hang and Kaidi Tilk introduce an unknown, hardly accessible, but interesting section of the Klint in West-Estonia. This section is located on the Kesselaiu Islet. Up until now, the Kesse Cliff has not deserved much scientific attention. The research behind this article fills that gap, presenting the most important characteristics of this about 600 m-long and 10 m-high Cliff. The authors have distinguished 5 different sections along the cliff and describe them accordingly.

A grey owl with long tail

Sven Začek observes the hidden family life of Ural Owl in springtime: how do they protect their territory and raise the offspring.

Kolga Nature Protection Area

Reigo Roasto describes a recently founded (2006) protected area in Varbla rural municipality, Pärnu County. The area is intended to protect forests, a natural stream and rare species of fauna, such as the White-tailed Eagle and Black Stork. The dominating landscapes are sand dunes, covered by light dry boreal and boreal pine forests.

European rarities in Estonia: Large Copper

Mati Martin looks for reasons why the butterfly Large Copper feels so well in Estonia, unlike elsewhere in Europe. The Large Copper spread to Estonia from the South-East about 60 years ago and is rapidly expanding its area of distribution. The species inhabits river meadows, paludified meadows and shores of waterbodies. The main danger in Europe is the drainage of mires.

How much does a heavy shower cost?

Mait Sepp tries to estimate the monetary damage in Ida-Virumaa County, caused by the extreme pouring rain three years ago. The author analyzes the meteorological genesis of the rain, presenting radar pictures of the rain period. The summer of 2003 was generally rather dry and the soils were very dry. The heavy shower flooded fields and streets, cellars and apartments. Alltogether, the county applied for over 800 000 EEK compensation from the state for the direct damage. However, the indirect damage was estimated to be about 11,7 million EEK. The overall estimates accounted for 50-60 million EEK. Much of the damage could have been avoided by maintaining proper drainage facilities.

Interview: Folk culture helps us to maintain our own look

Toomas Kukk has interviewed Ants Viires, a folklorist

Tree of the Year. Willows – as simple as that! (3) Willow summer and willow brush

Tõnu Ploompuu teaches to recognize willows based on their leaves and branches. The basic characteristics are the shape, hairyness and waxy aril of the leaves. The article presents a detailed table, which helps a beginner willow-researcher to find his/her way in the diverse world of willows.

Practical tips: It’s time to improve your willow herbarium

Ülle Reier shares her tips to those interested in collecting willow samples. If branches and leaves are falsely collected, the determination of species might prove impossible.

Hiking trail: Hiking nearby Haapsalu bays

Marju Erit suggests to visit the Silma Nature Protection Area near Haapsalu and take a hike on different hiking trails of the area. There are 3 trails: two in Saare village and one in Saunja village. Altogether there are 8 bird-watching/look-out towers and several information boards along the trails. The shorter trail of the Saare village is 4 km long and runs in the reedbed. The longer trail, called the Horse Trail is meant for more experienced hikers, it runs along ancient coastal meadows and takes you to the end of the Võnnu peninsula. The third trail in Saunja brings you to the Saunja Bay, a real bird paradise, especially during migration period.

Bog Whortleberries

Urmas Kokassaar attempts to improve the image of bog whortleberry as an edible berry. These bog berries taste mawkish, because they contain a lot of sugar, but few organic acids. The content of ascorbic acid and bioflavonoids is remarkably high, and whortleberries have been especially known in folk medicine for the high content of vitamin C. The folk belief that whortleberries are poisonous is not true: these berries are totally harmless, and several good preservatives can be made of these large wild berries.