Economy and nature conservation


Human activity is a factor considerably influencing changes in environmental conditions. The primary aim is to search for a compromise between the need for management based on the utilisation of the environment (forestry, game management, agriculture, fisheries) and effective nature conservation methods. For this reason the professional and social activity comprising research (scientific publications), teaching (handbooks and manuals), popular science (popular science articles) and organisational activity (seminars, conferences) aims at the development of such a type of economic activity, which would at the same time be a form of nature conservation.

Cultural and historical aspects of forestry and game management

The value of the environment is determined not only by its nature value, but also its cultural and historical elements. The primary aim is to identify and gain insight into the complex dependencies, which have developed over centuries, between civilisation progress (the cultural landscape) and natural changes (the natural landscape). In this context it is crucial to perform a historical analysis of economic mechanisms affecting the natural environment, while at the same time acknowledging the inspiring and cultural role of nature. The above aims may be attained only by developing the cooperation between representatives of life sciences (e.g. biologists, foresters) and representatives of the humanities (e.g. historians, specialists in cultural studies).


These studies concern acarifauna of selected regions focusing on protected areas, e.g. national parks. They are conducted in several geographical regions, thanks to which species new to the fauna of a given country have been reported, e.g. Australia, Iran, Norway, Peru, Romania, Turkey or Italy. In recent years a cycle of studies has been initiated, covering the polar regions both in the Arctic and the Antarctic. Moreover, at present research projects are being realised in Australia, Iran, Peru, Poland, Russia, Switzerland and Vietnam. Information collected in the course of these studies is used in zoogeographic analyses aiming at the determination of e.g. the ranges of selected mire species.



Based on the data collected either in independent research works or by foreign partners, as well as material coming from acarological collections (e.g. in Berlin, Florence, London, München) new genera were described, along with several dozen species new to science and several dozen previously unknown developmental stages. Over a dozen genera have been reviewed, while keys have been developed for the identification of mites from selected families and genera from the order Mesostigmata. A monograph was published concerning, among other things, such groups of mites as Ascidae, Sejoidea, Antennophoroidea, Celaenopsoidea and Microgynioidea.



It was attempted in these studies to define factors affecting the occurrence of mites in the natural environment and to identify their hierarchy. These investigations focused on microenvironmental preferences while studying acarifauna, e.g. bird nests, ant nests, insect feeding corridors located under bark, decaying wood or bracket fungi. Moreover, another aspect was connected with the effect on acarifauna which is exerted by selected human activities, such as e.g. tending operations or protective measures within the scope of forest management, as well as tourism (ski runs). Other aspects were also analysed, e.g. soil substrate, the type of plant community or altitude. In this manner the character of mite groups was determined in selected microenvironments, while it was decided which species may be considered eurytopic and which are stenotopic. The above-mentioned research constituted the foundation for studies using selected groups of mites as bioindicators of changes in the natural environment.




Studies in this area concerned mites colonising nests of selected bird species found in Poland (e.g. white and black storks, red-backed shrike, red kite, white-tailed eagle, greater spotted eagle, osprey), as well as nests of birds found in the Arctic (e.g. barnacle goose, common eider, glaucous gull, black-legged kittiwake, snow bunting). Another research problem was related to the analysis of parasites found in nesting boxes of common starling and snow bunting, or on the bodies of sand lizard and viviparous lizard. Recently studies have been initiated on the role of parasitic mites as vectors of certain diseases.

Selected current research problems and tasks

Mites as bioindicators of nature value of the forest environment.

Laelapid mites (Acari, Masostigmata) of tropical forests.

Succession of invertebrates in the Svalbard Archipelago.

Factors affecting the structure of invertebrate groups in the Antarctic.

Parasitic motes as vectors of dangerous diseases.


Dr Axel Christian, Senckenberg Museum für Naturkunde Görlitz, Germany (photo)

Prof. dr Stephen J. Coulson, Department of Arctic Biology, University Centre in Svalbard, Norway

Dr Juliane Diller, Bavarian State Collection of Zoology, Munich (photo)

Dr Jason Dunlop, Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin, Germany (photo)

Dr Sergey G. Ermilov, Tyumen State University, Tyumen, Russia

Dr Peter Fenda, Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia

Dr Bruce R. Halliday, CSIRO Entomology, Canberra, Australia

Prof. dr Jaroslav Holuša, Department of Forest Protection and Game Management, Czech University of Life Sciences, Prague, Czech Republic (photo)

Prof. dr Takayoshi Koike, Department of Forest Science, Hokkaido University, Japan (photo)

Prof. dr Leonid L. Kolodochka, Institute of Zoology, National Academy of Science of Ukraine

Dr Olga L. Makarova, Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow,  Russia

Dr Irina I. Marchenko, Institute of Systematics and Ecology of Animals, Russian Academy of Sciences, Novosibirsk, Russia

Dr Peter Mašán, Institute of Zoology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava, Slovakia

Prof. dr Alireza Nemati – Shahrekord University, Iran (photo)

Dr Hasan Hüseyin Özbek, Faculty of Science and Arts, Erzincan University, Erzincan, Turkey

Dr Anita Risch, Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research, Switzerland

Dr Giuseppino Sabbatini Peverieri, Research Center for Agrobiology and Pedology, Florence, Italy

Prof. dr Alireza Saboori, Department of Plant Protection, College of Agriculture, Tehran University, Karaj, Iran

Dr Minodora Stanescu, Institute of Biology, Romanian Academy of Science, Bucharest, Romania

Dr Martijn L. Vandegehuchte, Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research, Switzerland

Dr Helena Wirta, Department of Agricultural Sciences, University of Helsinki, Finland