Science.gov

Sample records for environmental indicators

  1. ENVIRONMENTAL PUBLIC HEALTH INDICATORS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Environmental Public Health Indicators (EPHIs), quantitative measures of health factors and environmental influences tracked over time, can be used to identify specific areas and populations for intervention and prevention efforts and to evaluate the outcomes of implemented polic...

  2. Thermodynamic indicators for environmental certification.

    PubMed

    Panzieri, Margherita; Porcelli, Marcello; Pulselli, Federico Maria

    2002-09-01

    The Earth is an open thermodynamic system, that remains in a steady state far from the equilibrium, through energy and matter exchanges with the surrounding environment. These natural constraints, which prevent the system from maximizing its entropy, are threatened by human action and our ecosystem needs urgent protection. In this viewpoint the environmental certification was born, according to international standards ISO 14001, ISO 14040, and European Regulation EMAS. These are voluntary adhesions to a program of environmental protection by companies, administrations and organizations which, starting from the respect of the existing environmental laws and regulations, decide to further improve their environmental performance. To obtain and maintain certification of a system is necessary to apply some indicators to evaluate its environmental performance and to demonstrate its progressive improvement. Here we propose to use for this purpose the thermodynamic indicators produced from energy analysis by Odum. The case study is Montalcino city (Italy) and energy indicators are used to evaluate environmental performance of this system where exist different activities, from agricultural productions, to tourism. Results show that energy analysis could become a valid standard monitoring method for environmental certification, especially in consideration of its wide application field. PMID:12407910

  3. Spider webs as environmental indicators.

    PubMed

    Hose, G C; James, J M; Gray, M R

    2002-01-01

    Analysis of spider webs from limestone arches in New South Wales, Australia showed levels of lead and zinc to be several times higher at Jenolan Caves than reference sites at Abercrombie and Wombeyan Caves. The high concentrations at Jenolan were attributed to emissions from motor vehicles that travel through the arch. Analysis of water-soluble ions in webs from Jenolan and Abercrombie Caves showed large differences between the sites, which could be explained by differences in the geology and biology of the cave environments. Spider webs proved useful indicators of environmental chemistry and undoubtedly have applications beyond the cave environments studied here. PMID:12442796

  4. GENETIC INDICATORS IN ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

    EPA Science Inventory

    University of California, Davis, Bodega Bay Marine Laboratory; US EPA National Exposure Research Laboratory, Molecular Ecology Research Division, Cincinnati, OH; US EPA National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory (NHEERL), Gulf Ecology Division, Gulf Breeze, FL;...

  5. MACROPHAGE AGGREGATES AS INDICATORS OF ENVIRONMENTAL STRESS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The growing awareness of adverse effects of environmental contamination has lead to scrutiny of various biomarkers as early indicators of these effects. he use of splenic macrophage aggregates (MA) as indicators of fish health and environmental degradation was evaluated using thr...

  6. Environmental indicators of intra-urban hetererogeneity.

    PubMed

    Rego, Rita Franco; Lima, Veronica Cadena; Lima, Ana Cerqueira; Barreto, Mauricio L; Prado, Matildes S; Strina, Agostino

    2013-06-01

    A large number of human diseases are related to poor access to water and sewer systems, inadequate solid waste management and deficient storm water drainage. The goal of this study was to formulate environmental sanitation indicators and classify sanitation conditions in specific sewer basins and their respective neighborhoods. The database used contains information on the following sanitation components in these areas: water supply, sewer systems, urban drainage, road pavement, building typology and public cleaning. Data was analyzed using cluster analysis. The key variable of each component was identified, and eight sewer basins and twenty-three neighborhoods were classified into the following categories: good, regular, and poor. The use of environmental sanitation indicators allows decision makers to identify critical areas and define priorities for improving environmental sanitation conditions. PMID:23778549

  7. Indicators of recent environmental change in Alaska

    SciTech Connect

    Jacoby, G.C.; D`Arrigo, R.D.; Juday, G.

    1997-12-31

    Climate models predict that global warming due to the effects of increasing trace gases will be amplified in northern high latitude regions, including Alaska. Several environmental indicators, including tree-ring based temperature reconstructions, borcal forest growth measurements and observations of glacial retreat all indicate that the general warming of the past century has been significant relative to prior centuries to millenia. The tree-ring records for central and northern Alaska indicate that annual temperature increased over the past century, peaked in the 1940s, and are still near the highest level for the past three centuries (Jacoby and D`Arrigo 1995). The tree-ring analyses also suggest that drought stress may now be a factor limiting growth at many northern sites. The recent warming combined with drier years may be altering the response of tree growth to climate and raising the likelihood of forest changes in Alaska and other boreal forests. Other tree-ring and forest data from southern and interior Alaska provide indices of the response of vegetation to extreme events (e.g., insect outbreaks, snow events) in Alaska (Juday and marler 1996). Historical maps, field measurements and satellite imagery indicate that Alaskan glaciers have receded over the past century (e.g., Hall and Benson 1996). Severe outbreaks of bark beetles may be on the increase due to warming, which can shorten their reproductive cycle. Such data and understanding of causes are useful for policy makers and others interested in evaluation of possible impacts of trace-gas induced warming and environmental change in the United States.

  8. Environmental policy indicators: A systems model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cummings, Leslie Edwards; Cayer, N. Joseph

    1993-09-01

    This article describes and tests a systems theory-based policy indicators model. The framework is used to examine propositions about linkages between states' ecological-spatial characteristics and subsequent selected solid waste management (SWM) -related environmental policies. It was hypothesized that state characteristics of: (1) population density (used as a garbage-per-land area index), (2) population convergence within urban areas, and (3) percent population change in the interval 1980 1985, could jointly explain state variation in both the number and the vigor of SWM policy outputs. Greater levels of spatial pressure were proposed to be related directly to more numerous, more convincing policies. Proposals are grounded in the literature of organizational search theory, crisis stimulation, and technological pressure. Results revealed that the sociospatial model in fact could explain a reasonable proportion of policy variation across states. However, not all hypotheses are supported. Population change shows an indirect, rather than the anticipated direct, relationship with policy output levels. In addition, when used in the model as a pollution intensity index, population density failed to contribute significantly to an explanation of differences in state SWM policy levels. The analysis raises questions about changes occurring over time in the nature and direction of linkages between sociospatial measures and policy responses. This study suggests that strengthening policy indicator models may require questioning key assumptions and theoretical bases, conducting longitudinal studies, and factoring in political, economic, and other policy environment forces.

  9. An economic approach to environmental indices

    EPA Science Inventory

    This study uses the directional output distance function from economic productivity theory as an alternative approach to environmental index construction. We use the directional output distance function to aggregate multiple environmental objectives into one measure of environme...

  10. Chrysophyte cysts as potential environmental indicators.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Adam, D.P.; Mahood, A.D.

    1981-01-01

    Many chrysophyte algae produce morphologically distinctive, siliceous, microscopic cysts during a resting stage of their life cycles; these cysts are often preserved in sediments. Scanning electron microscopy and Nomarski optics permit much more detailed observation of these cysts than was heretofore possible. Many cyst types are found only in specific habitats, such as montane lakes, wet meadows, ephemeral ponds, and Sphagnum bogs. In the samples studied, cysts seem to be most common in fluctuating fresh-water habitats of low to moderate pH and some winter freezing. Chrysophyte cysts have the potential to be a useful tool for modern environmental assessments and paleoecological studies of Cenozoic fresh-water lacustrine deposits. -from Authors

  11. ENVIRONMENTAL HELATH INDICATORS-DIVERSE PROGRAMS, COMMON METHODOLOGICAL CHALLENGES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Abstract: Environmental Health Indicators are quantitative measures of important environmental health factors that can be used to identify specific areas and populations for intervention and prevention efforts and to evaluate the outcomes of implemented policies or programs for ...

  12. Environmental indicators of biofuel sustainability : What about context?

    EPA Science Inventory

    Indicators of the environmental sustainability of biofuel production, distribution, and use should be selected, measured, and interpreted with respect to the context in which they are used. These indicators include measures of soil quality, water quality and quantity, greenhouse...

  13. UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY'S ENVIRONMENTAL INDICATORS INITIATIVE AND BIOMARKERS DATABASE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Within the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), there are several on-going programs and projects that collect health and environmental information. The USEPA's Environmental Indicators Initiative is one such program which includes the development of environmenta...

  14. Measuring the accuracy of agro-environmental indicators.

    PubMed

    Makowski, David; Tichit, Muriel; Guichard, Laurence; Van Keulen, Herman; Beaudoin, Nicolas

    2009-05-01

    Numerous agro-environmental indicators have been developed by agronomists and ecologists during the last 20 years to assess the environmental impact of farmers' practices, and to monitor effects of agro-environmental policies. The objectives of this paper were (i) to measure the accuracy of a wide range of agro-environmental indicators from experimental data and (ii) to discuss the value of different information typically used by these indicators, i.e. information on farmers' practices, and on plant and soil characteristics. Four series of indicators were considered in this paper: indicators of habitat quality for grassland bird species, indicators of risk of disease in oilseed rape crops, indicators of risk of pollution by nitrogen fertilizer, and indicators of weed infestation. Several datasets were used to measure their accuracy in cultivated plots and in grasslands. The sensitivity, specificity, and probability of correctly ranking plots were estimated for each indicator. Our results showed that the indicators had widely varying levels of accuracy. Some show very poor performance and had no discriminatory ability. Other indicators were informative and performed better than random decisions. Among the tested indicators, the best ones were those using information on plant characteristics such as grass height, fraction of diseased flowers, or crop yield. The statistical method applied in this paper could support researchers, farm advisers, and decision makers in comparing various indicators. PMID:19128870

  15. Indicators to support environmental sustainability of bioenergy systems

    SciTech Connect

    McBride, Allen; Dale, Virginia H; Baskaran, Latha Malar; Downing, Mark; Eaton, Laurence M; Efroymson, Rebecca Ann; Garten Jr, Charles T; Kline, Keith L; Jager, Yetta; Mulholland, Patrick J; Parish, Esther S; Schweizer, Peter E; Storey, John Morse

    2011-01-01

    Indicators are needed to assess environmental sustainability of bioenergy systems. Effective indicators will help in the quantification of benefits and costs of bioenergy options and resource uses. We identify 19 measurable indicators for soil quality, water quality and quantity, greenhouse gases, biodiversity, air quality, and productivity, building on existing knowledge and on national and international programs that are seeking ways to assess sustainable bioenergy. Together, this suite of indicators is hypothesized to reflect major environmental effects of diverse feedstocks, management practices, and post-production processes. The importance of each indicator is identified. Future research relating to this indicator suite is discussed, including field testing, target establishment, and application to particular bioenergy systems. Coupled with such efforts, we envision that this indicator suite can serve as a basis for the practical evaluation of environmental sustainability in a variety of bioenergy systems.

  16. Continental diatoms as indicators of long-term environmental change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bradbury, J. Platt

    1999-01-01

    It is curious that diatoms, whose short lifespans and capacity for rapid regeneration make them especially suitable for short-term paleoenvironmental studies, would also have a significant role as indicators of long-term environmental change. This chapter explores the nature of long diatom records, their relation to global environmental changes, guidelines for their interpretation, and problems common to such records.

  17. [Environmental sustainability and health indicators in the Legal Amazonia, Brazil].

    PubMed

    Freitas, Carlos Machado de; Giatti, Leandro Luiz

    2009-06-01

    One of the challenges for public health is to build systems of indicators that allow monitoring current conditions and trends in environmental and health sustainability. This article focuses on the Legal Amazonia macro-region, which has undergone profound socioeconomic, environmental, and health changes since the mid-20th century. The conceptual framework adopted here was the model entitled Driving Forces, Pressures, State, Exposure, Effects, and Action (DPSEEA) proposed by the World Health Organization and adopted for environmental health surveillance by the Brazilian Ministry of Health. The results show that numerous motor forces and pressures have contributed to the growth of the economy and the population, as well as to improvements in some traditional health indicators (a reduction in infant mortality and an increase in life expectancy), alongside major social and economic inequalities and heterogeneity in environmental health impacts. This same process has been accompanied by environmental changes that indicate an unsustainable development model for present and future generations, demanding comprehensive action by public health and environmental institutions. PMID:19503956

  18. Opportunities for Web-Based Indicators in Environmental Sciences

    PubMed Central

    Malcevschi, Sergio; Marchini, Agnese; Savini, Dario; Facchinetti, Tullio

    2012-01-01

    This paper proposes a set of web-based indicators for quantifying and ranking the relevance of terms related to key-issues in Ecology and Sustainability Science. Search engines that operate in different contexts (e.g. global, social, scientific) are considered as web information carriers (WICs) and are able to analyse; (i) relevance on different levels: global web, individual/personal sphere, on-line news, and culture/science; (ii) time trends of relevance; (iii) relevance of keywords for environmental governance. For the purposes of this study, several indicators and specific indices (relational indices and dynamic indices) were applied to a test-set of 24 keywords. Outputs consistently show that traditional study topics in environmental sciences such as water and air have remained the most quantitatively relevant keywords, while interest in systemic issues (i.e. ecosystem and landscape) has grown over the last 20 years. Nowadays, the relevance of new concepts such as resilience and ecosystem services is increasing, but the actual ability of these concepts to influence environmental governance needs to be further studied and understood. The proposed approach, which is based on intuitive and easily replicable procedures, can support the decision-making processes related to environmental governance. PMID:22905118

  19. Environmental indicators of biofuel sustainability: What about context?

    SciTech Connect

    Efroymson, Rebecca Ann; Dale, Virginia H; Kline, Keith L; McBride, Allen; Bielicki, Jeffrey M; Smith, Raymond; Parish, Esther S; Schweizer, Peter E; Shaw, Denice

    2013-01-01

    Indicators of the environmental sustainability of biofuel production, distribution, and use should be selected, measured, and interpreted with respect to the context in which they are used. These indicators include measures of soil quality, water quality and quantity, greenhouse-gas emissions, biodiversity, air quality, and vegetation productivity. Contextual considerations include the purpose for the sustainability analysis, the particular biofuel production and distribution system (including supply chain, management aspects, and system viability), policy conditions, stakeholder values, location, temporal influences, spatial scale, baselines, and reference scenarios. Recommendations presented in this paper include formulating the problem for particular analyses, selecting appropriate context-specific indicators of environmental sustainability, and developing indicators that can reflect multiple environmental properties at low cost within a defined context. In addition, contextual considerations such as technical objectives, varying values and perspectives of stakeholder groups, and availability and reliability of data need to be understood and considered. Sustainability indicators for biofuels are most useful if adequate historical data are available, information can be collected at appropriate spatial and temporal scales, organizations are committed to use indicator information in the decision-making process, and indicators can effectively guide behavior toward more sustainable practices.

  20. Freshwater diatoms as environmental indicators: evaluating the effects of eutrophication using species morphology and biological indices.

    PubMed

    Vilmi, Annika; Karjalainen, Satu Maaria; Landeiro, Victor L; Heino, Jani

    2015-05-01

    Anthropogenic eutrophication is a major form of perturbation in freshwaters, and several approaches aim to recognise its effects on lake ecosystems. We compared the responses of diatom species morphology, diversity indices and diatom indices to total phosphorus, total nitrogen and distance from a point stressor causing eutrophication in a large lake. We specifically examined the degree to which extent nutrients and distance to the stressor affect variation in the values of various biological indices and diatom valve size. In addition, special attention was given to the adequate repetition of diatom valve width measurements in the context of environmental assessment. Our results showed that diatom valve width was a better indicator of nutrient concentrations than any of the diatom and diversity indices examined. However, the results varied between the two study transects, suggesting that the diatom-based variables not only respond to nutrients but also to other environmental factors (e.g. shoreline morphology). We also found that when using the method based on diatom morphology, one should measure more valves than has been originally suggested to provide a more reliable picture of response to eutrophication. We argue that diatom morphology could be considered as an additional environmental assessment tool, because it may complement the information provided by the traditional diatom indices. Diatom valve width may also be more sensitive to early phases of the eutrophication process and its effects on freshwater ecosystems than various diatom indices that were developed in regional contexts with wide ranges in nutrient levels. PMID:25864081

  1. Environmental indicators for sustainable production of algal biofuels

    SciTech Connect

    Efroymson, Rebecca A.; Dale, Virginia H.

    2014-10-01

    For analyzing sustainability of algal biofuels, we identify 16 environmental indicators that fall into six categories: soil quality, water quality and quantity, air quality, greenhouse gas emissions, biodiversity, and productivity. Indicators are selected to be practical, widely applicable, predictable in response, anticipatory of future changes, independent of scale, and responsive to management. Major differences between algae and terrestrial plant feedstocks, as well as their supply chains for biofuel, are highlighted, for they influence the choice of appropriate sustainability indicators. Algae strain selection characteristics do not generally affect which indicators are selected. The use of water instead of soil as the growth medium for algae determines the higher priority of water- over soil-related indicators. The proposed set of environmental indicators provides an initial checklist for measures of biofuel sustainability but may need to be modified for particular contexts depending on data availability, goals of the stakeholders, and financial constraints. Ultimately, use of these indicators entails defining sustainability goals and targets in relation to stakeholder values in a particular context and can lead to improved management practices.

  2. Environmental Indicators of Biofuel Sustainability: What About Context?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Efroymson, Rebecca A.; Dale, Virginia H.; Kline, Keith L.; McBride, Allen C.; Bielicki, Jeffrey M.; Smith, Raymond L.; Parish, Esther S.; Schweizer, Peter E.; Shaw, Denice M.

    2013-02-01

    Indicators of the environmental sustainability of biofuel production, distribution, and use should be selected, measured, and interpreted with respect to the context in which they are used. The context of a sustainability assessment includes the purpose, the particular biofuel production and distribution system, policy conditions, stakeholder values, location, temporal influences, spatial scale, baselines, and reference scenarios. We recommend that biofuel sustainability questions be formulated with respect to the context, that appropriate indicators of environmental sustainability be developed or selected from more generic suites, and that decision makers consider context in ascribing meaning to indicators. In addition, considerations such as technical objectives, varying values and perspectives of stakeholder groups, indicator cost, and availability and reliability of data need to be understood and considered. Sustainability indicators for biofuels are most useful if adequate historical data are available, information can be collected at appropriate spatial and temporal scales, organizations are committed to use indicator information in the decision-making process, and indicators can effectively guide behavior toward more sustainable practices.

  3. Environmental indicators for sustainable production of algal biofuels

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Efroymson, Rebecca A.; Dale, Virginia H.

    2014-10-01

    For analyzing sustainability of algal biofuels, we identify 16 environmental indicators that fall into six categories: soil quality, water quality and quantity, air quality, greenhouse gas emissions, biodiversity, and productivity. Indicators are selected to be practical, widely applicable, predictable in response, anticipatory of future changes, independent of scale, and responsive to management. Major differences between algae and terrestrial plant feedstocks, as well as their supply chains for biofuel, are highlighted, for they influence the choice of appropriate sustainability indicators. Algae strain selection characteristics do not generally affect which indicators are selected. The use of water instead of soil as themore » growth medium for algae determines the higher priority of water- over soil-related indicators. The proposed set of environmental indicators provides an initial checklist for measures of biofuel sustainability but may need to be modified for particular contexts depending on data availability, goals of the stakeholders, and financial constraints. Ultimately, use of these indicators entails defining sustainability goals and targets in relation to stakeholder values in a particular context and can lead to improved management practices.« less

  4. Environmental Health Indicators of Climate Change for the United States: Findings from the State Environmental Health Indicator Collaborative

    PubMed Central

    English, Paul B.; Sinclair, Amber H.; Ross, Zev; Anderson, Henry; Boothe, Vicki; Davis, Christine; Ebi, Kristie; Kagey, Betsy; Malecki, Kristen; Shultz, Rebecca; Simms, Erin

    2009-01-01

    Objective To develop public health adaptation strategies and to project the impacts of climate change on human health, indicators of vulnerability and preparedness along with accurate surveillance data on climate-sensitive health outcomes are needed. We researched and developed environmental health indicators for inputs into human health vulnerability assessments for climate change and to propose public health preventative actions. Data sources We conducted a review of the scientific literature to identify outcomes and actions that were related to climate change. Data sources included governmental and nongovernmental agencies and the published literature. Data extraction Sources were identified and assessed for completeness, usability, and accuracy. Priority was then given to identifying longitudinal data sets that were applicable at the state and community level. Data synthesis We present a list of surveillance indicators for practitioners and policy makers that include climate-sensitive health outcomes and environmental and vulnerability indicators, as well as mitigation, adaptation, and policy indicators of climate change. Conclusions A review of environmental health indicators for climate change shows that data exist for many of these measures, but more evaluation of their sensitivity and usefulness is needed. Further attention is necessary to increase data quality and availability and to develop new surveillance databases, especially for climate-sensitive morbidity. PMID:20049116

  5. Evaluating microbial indicators of environmental condition in Oregon rivers.

    PubMed

    Pennington, A T; Harding, A K; Hendricks, C W; Campbell, H M

    2001-12-01

    Traditional bacterial indicators used in public health to assess water quality and the Biolog system were evaluated to compare their response to biological, chemical, and physical habitat indicators of stream condition both within the state of Oregon and among ecoregion aggregates (Coast Range, Willamette Valley, Cascades, and eastern Oregon). Forty-three randomly selected Oregon river sites were sampled during the summer in 1997 and 1998. The public health indicators included heterotrophic plate counts (HPC), total coliforms (TC), fecal coliforms (FC) and Escherichia coli (EC). Statewide, HPC correlated strongly with physical habitat (elevation, riparian complexity, % canopy presence, and indices of agriculture, pavement, road, pasture, and total disturbance) and chemistry (pH, dissolved O2, specific conductance, acid-neutralizing capacity, dissolved organic carbon, total N, total P, SiO2, and SO4). FC and EC were significantly correlated generally with the river chemistry indicators. TC bacteria significantly correlated with riparian complexity, road disturbance, dissolved O2, and SiO2 and FC. Analyzing the sites by ecoregion, eastern Oregon was characterized by high HPC, FC, EC, nutrient loads, and indices of human disturbance, whereas the Cascades ecoregion had correspondingly low counts of these indicators. The Coast Range and Willamette Valley presented inconsistent indicator patterns that are more difficult to characterize. Attempts to distinguish between ecoregions with the Biolog system were not successful, nor did a statistical pattern emerge between the first five principle components and the other environmental indicators. Our research suggests that some traditional public health microbial indicators may be useful in measuring the environmental condition of lotic systems. PMID:11915970

  6. Evaluating Microbial Indicators of Environmental Condition in Oregon Rivers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pennington, Alan T.; Harding, Anna K.; Hendricks, Charles W.; Campbell, Heidi M. K.

    2001-12-01

    Traditional bacterial indicators used in public health to assess water quality and the Biolog® system were evaluated to compare their response to biological, chemical, and physical habitat indicators of stream condition both within the state of Oregon and among ecoregion aggregates (Coast Range, Willamette Valley, Cascades, and eastern Oregon). Forty-three randomly selected Oregon river sites were sampled during the summer in 1997 and 1998. The public health indicators included heterotrophic plate counts (HPC), total coliforms (TC), fecal coliforms (FC) and Escherichia coli (EC). Statewide, HPC correlated strongly with physical habitat (elevation, riparian complexity, % canopy presence, and indices of agriculture, pavement, road, pasture, and total disturbance) and chemistry (pH, dissolved O2, specific conductance, acid-neutralizing capacity, dissolved organic carbon, total N, total P, SiO2, and SO4). FC and EC were significantly correlated generally with the river chemistry indicators. TC bacteria significantly correlated with riparian complexity, road disturbance, dissolved O2, and SiO2 and FC. Analyzing the sites by ecoregion, eastern Oregon was characterized by high HPC, FC, EC, nutrient loads, and indices of human disturbance, whereas the Cascades ecoregion had correspondingly low counts of these indicators. The Coast Range and Willamette Valley presented inconsistent indicator patterns that are more difficult to characterize. Attempts to distinguish between ecoregions with the Biolog system were not successful, nor did a statistical pattern emerge between the first five principle components and the other environmental indicators. Our research suggests that some traditional public health microbial indicators may be useful in measuring the environmental condition of lotic systems.

  7. Environmental performance indicators: an empirical study of Canadian manufacturing firms.

    PubMed

    Henri, Jean-François; Journeault, Marc

    2008-04-01

    The aim of this exploratory study is to examine the importance of measurement and use of environmental performance indicators (EPIs) within manufacturing firms. Two research questions are investigated: (i) To what extent are firm characteristics associated with the importance of measurement of various categories of EPIs? (ii) To what extent are firm characteristics associated with global and specific uses of EPIs? More specifically, this paper examines four uses of EPIs (i.e. to monitor compliance, to motivate continuous improvement, to support decision making, and to provide data for external reporting) as well as four characteristics of firms, namely environmental strategy, International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 14001 compliance, size, and ownership. This study contributes to the environmental management accounting literature by collecting and analyzing empirical evidence that provides a better understanding of the associations among firm characteristics and EPIs. PMID:17368921

  8. Comparing Environmental Conditions Using Indicators of Pollution Hazard

    PubMed

    Turner; Ruffio; Roberts

    1997-07-01

    / Land use/land cover classifications for 1973 and 1991, derived from the interpretation of satellite imagery, are quantified on the basis of biophysical land units in a study area in southeastern Australia. Nutrient export potentials are estimated for each land unit based on their composition of land use/land cover classes. Spatial and temporal comparisons are made of the land units based on the calculated pollution hazard indicators to provide an insight into changes in the state of the environment and the regional significance of land use changes. For example, one ecosystem, unique to the study, showed a large increase in pollution hazard over the study period as a manifestation of an 11-fold rise in cleared area and an expansion of cropping activities. The benefits to environmental management in general are discussed.KEY WORDS: Land cover change; Nutrient export; Environmental condition; Pollution hazard; Agricultural pollution; Nonpoint source pollution; Diffuse pollution; Environmental degradation PMID:9175549

  9. Indicators for technological, environmental and economic sustainability of ozone contactors.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jie; Tejada-Martinez, Andres E; Lei, Hongxia; Zhang, Qiong

    2016-09-15

    Various studies have attempted to improve disinfection efficiency as a way to improve the sustainability of ozone disinfection which is a critical unit process for water treatment. Baffling factor, CT10, and log-inactivation are commonly used indicators for quantifying disinfection credits. However the applicability of these indicators and the relationship between these indicators have not been investigated in depth. This study simulated flow, tracer transport, and chemical species transport in a full-scale ozone contactor operated by the City of Tampa Water Department and six other modified designs using computational fluid dynamics (CFD). Through analysis of the simulation results, we found that baffling factor and CT10 are not optimal indicators of disinfection performance. We also found that the relationship between effluent CT obtained from CT transport simulation and baffling factor depends on the location of ozone release. In addition, we analyzed the environmental and economic impacts of ozone contactor designs and upgrades and developed a composite indicator to quantify the sustainability in technological, environmental and economic dimensions. PMID:27322565

  10. Energy and Environmental Consequences of Transportation: Indicators of Sustainability

    SciTech Connect

    Greene, D.L.

    1997-07-01

    The rapid motorization of world transportation systems puts growing emphasis on controlling transportation`s direct and indirect impacts on the global environment, in other words, on achieving sustainability in transport. In 1950, the world contained 70 million motor vehicles, of which 70% were in the United States. Today the world`s motor vehicle fleet exceeds 600 million,of which less than one-third are in the U.S. Outside of the U.S., motor vehicle stocks are growing twice as fast (Davis & McFarlin, 1996, tables 1.1 & 1.2). With this explosive growth of motorized transport comes a compelling need to control its concomitant pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and fossil fuel consumption. Large scale indicators of transportation`s performance with respect to sustainability are therefore becoming increasingly important for monitoring trends and evaluating the effectiveness of policies at national and international scales. A recent survey by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (U. S. DOT/BTS, 1 996) of data on transportation`s environmental consequences in the U.S., found that reasonable indicators exist for energy use and for certain of transportation`s environmental impacts. Statistics on air pollutant emissions, greenhouse gas emissions, and energy use are adequate for developing rigorous indicators of at least emissions and energy use. Much less is known about noise generation, water and groundwater pollution, solid waste,land-use and habitat impacts.

  11. Indices of environmental temperatures for primates in open habitats.

    PubMed

    Hill, Russell A; Weingrill, Tony; Barrett, Louise; Henzi, S Peter; Hill, Russel A; Barrett, Luise

    2004-01-01

    Studies of thermoregulation in primates are under-represented in the literature, although there is sufficient evidence to suggest that temperature represents an important ecological constraint. One of the problems in examining thermoregulation in primates, however, is the difficulty in quantifying the thermal environment, since shade temperatures, solar radiation, humidity and wind speed all serve to alter an animal's 'perceived' temperature. Since animals respond to their perceived temperature, we need methods to account for each of these factors, both individually and collectively, if we are to understand the integrated impact of the thermal environment on primates. Here, we present a review of some thermal indices currently available. Black bulb temperatures can account for the effect of solar radiation, with wind chill equivalent temperatures and the heat index providing quantifiable estimates of the relative impact of wind speed and humidity, respectively. We present three potential indices of the 'perceived environmental temperature' (PET) that account for the combined impact of solar radiation, humidity and wind speed on temperature, and perform a preliminary test of all of the climatic indices against behavioural data from a field study of chacma baboons ( Papio cynocephalus ursinus) at De Hoop Nature Reserve, South Africa. One measure of the perceived environmental temperature, PET2, is an effective thermal index, since it enters the models for feeding and resting behaviour, and also accounts for levels of allogrooming. Solar radiation intensity is an important factor underlying these relationships, although the wind chill equivalent temperature and humidity enter the models for other behaviours. Future studies should thus be mindful of the impact of each of these elements of the thermal environment. A detailed understanding of primate thermoregulation will only come with the development of biophysical models of the thermal characteristics of the species

  12. Risk-based indicators of Canadians’ exposures to environmental carcinogens

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Tools for estimating population exposures to environmental carcinogens are required to support evidence-based policies to reduce chronic exposures and associated cancers. Our objective was to develop indicators of population exposure to selected environmental carcinogens that can be easily updated over time, and allow comparisons and prioritization between different carcinogens and exposure pathways. Methods We employed a risk assessment-based approach to produce screening-level estimates of lifetime excess cancer risk for selected substances listed as known carcinogens by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Estimates of lifetime average daily intake were calculated using population characteristics combined with concentrations (circa 2006) in outdoor air, indoor air, dust, drinking water, and food and beverages from existing monitoring databases or comprehensive literature reviews. Intake estimates were then multiplied by cancer potency factors from Health Canada, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, and the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment to estimate lifetime excess cancer risks associated with each substance and exposure pathway. Lifetime excess cancer risks in excess of 1 per million people are identified as potential priorities for further attention. Results Based on data representing average conditions circa 2006, a total of 18 carcinogen-exposure pathways had potential lifetime excess cancer risks greater than 1 per million, based on varying data quality. Carcinogens with moderate to high data quality and lifetime excess cancer risk greater than 1 per million included benzene, 1,3-butadiene and radon in outdoor air; benzene and radon in indoor air; and arsenic and hexavalent chromium in drinking water. Important data gaps were identified for asbestos, hexavalent chromium and diesel exhaust in outdoor and indoor air, while little data were available to assess risk for substances in dust, food

  13. Indicators of environmental health in the urban setting.

    PubMed

    Hancock, Trevor

    2002-01-01

    The North American population is approximately 80% urbanized and spends almost 90% of the time indoors. Accordingly, the built environment is the most important--one might almost say "natural"--human environment. Urban settlements incorporate within their boundaries natural ecosystems of plant and animal life (often highly adapted to the urban environment), and are in turn incorporated within wider bioregions and global ecosystems. But urban settlements are not just built and natural physical environments, they are social, economic, cultural and political environments; the whole constitutes an urban ecosystem. These ecosystems have profound implications for the physical, mental, social, emotional and spiritual well-being of their human inhabitants, as well as for human beings remote from these urban ecosystems. Therefore, this paper discusses urban ecosystems and human health and presents a framework for indicators of environmental health in the urban setting based on such an understanding. The concepts of environmental viability, ecological sustainability, urban livability, community conviviality, social equity, and economic adequacy are discussed in relation to human health and are used to organize proposed candidate indicators for urban ecosystems and public health. PMID:12425175

  14. Remote sensing of landscape-level coastal environmental indicators.

    PubMed

    Klemas, V V

    2001-01-01

    Advances in technology and decreases in cost are making remote sensing (RS) and geographic information systems (GIS) practical and attractive for use in coastal resource management. They are also allowing researchers and managers to take a broader view of ecological patterns and processes. Landscape-level environmental indicators that can be detected by Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) and other remote sensors are available to provide quantitative estimates of coastal and estuarine habitat conditions and trends. Such indicators include watershed land cover, riparian buffers, shoreline and wetland changes, among others. With the launch of Landsat 7, the cost of TM imagery has dropped by nearly a factor of 10, decreasing the cost of monitoring large coastal areas and estuaries. New satellites, carrying sensors with much finer spatial (1-5 m) and spectral (200 narrow bands) resolutions are being launched, providing a capability to more accurately detect changes in coastal habitat and wetland health. Advances in the application of GIS help incorporate ancillary data layers to improve the accuracy of satellite land-cover classification. When these techniques for generating, organizing, storing, and analyzing spatial information are combined with mathematical models, coastal planners and managers have a means for assessing the impacts of alternative management practices. PMID:11083908

  15. Limitations of carbon footprint as indicator of environmental sustainability.

    PubMed

    Laurent, Alexis; Olsen, Stig I; Hauschild, Michael Z

    2012-04-01

    Greenhouse gas accountings, commonly referred to with the popular term carbon footprints (CFP), are a widely used metric of climate change impacts and the main focus of many sustainability policies among companies and authorities. However, environmental sustainability concerns not just climate change but also other environmental problems, like chemical pollution or depletion of natural resources, and the focus on CFP brings the risk of problem shifting when reductions in CFP are obtained at the expense of increase in other environmental impacts. But how real is this risk? Here, we model and analyze the life cycle impacts from about 4000 different products, technologies, and services taken from several sectors, including energy generation, transportation, material production, infrastructure, and waste management. By investigating the correlations between the CFP and 13 other impact scores, we show that some environmental impacts, notably those related to emissions of toxic substances, often do not covary with climate change impacts. In such situations, carbon footprint is a poor representative of the environmental burden of products, and environmental management focused exclusively on CFP runs the risk of inadvertently shifting the problem to other environmental impacts when products are optimized to become more "green". These findings call for the use of more broadly encompassing tools to assess and manage environmental sustainability. PMID:22443866

  16. DEVELOPMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL INDICES FOR GREEN CHEMICAL PRODUCTION AND USE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Chemical production, use and disposal cause adverse impacts on the environment. Consequently, much research has been conducted to develop methods for estimating the risk of chemicals and to screen them based on environmental impact. Risk assessment may be subdivide...

  17. ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH INDICATORS: STATE OF THE ENVIRONMENT REPORT

    EPA Science Inventory

    Background/Purpose: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is moving in the direction of measuring and assessing human health and ecological outcomes. The new "outcome" measures complement the more traditional approaches by more closely reflecting the actual public health...

  18. Reliability testing across the Environmental Quality Index and national environmental indices.

    EPA Science Inventory

    One challenge in environmental epidemiology is the exploration of cumulative environmental exposure across multiple domains (e.g. air, water, land). The Environmental Quality Index (EQI), created by the U.S. EPA, uses principle component analyses combining environmental domains (...

  19. Environmental stability of PAH source indices in pyrogenic tars

    SciTech Connect

    Uhler, A.D.; Emsbo-Mattingly, S.D.

    2006-04-15

    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are widespread environmental contaminants found in soil, sediments, and airborne particulates. The majority of PAHs found in modern soils and sediments arise from myriad anthropogenic petrogenic and pyrogenic sources. Tars and tar products such as creosote produced from the industrial pyrolysis of coal or oil at former manufactured gas plants (MGPs) or in coking retorts are viscous, oily substances that contain significant concentrations of PAH, usually in excess of 30% w/w. Pyrogenic tars and tar products have unique PAH patterns (source signatures) that are a function of their industrial production. Among pyrogenic materials, certain diagnostic ratios of environmentally recalcitrant 4-, 5- and 6-ring PAHs have been identified as useful environmental markers for tracking the signature of tars and petroleum in the environment. The use of selected PAH source ratios is based on the concept that PAHs with similar properties (i.e., molecular weight, partial pressure, solubility, partition coefficients, and biotic/abiotic degradation) will weather at similar rates in the environment thereby yielding stable ratios. The stability of more than 30 high molecular weight PAH ratios is evaluated during controlled studies of tar evaporation and aerobic biodegradation. The starting materials in these experiments consisted of relatively unweathered tars derived from coal and petroleum, respectively. The PAH ratios from these laboratory studies are compared to those measured in PAH residues found in tar-contaminated soils at a former MGP that operated with a carburetted water gas process.

  20. Fecal Indicator Bacteria and Environmental Observations: Validation of Virtual Beach

    EPA Science Inventory

    Contamination of recreational waters by fecal material is often assessed using indicator bacteria such as enterococci. Enumeration based on culturing methods can take up to 48 hours to complete, limiting the accuracy of water quality evaluations. Molecular microbial techniques em...

  1. Environmental Density vs. Colour Indices of the Low Redshifts Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dobrycheva, D. V.; Melnyk, O. V.; Vavilova, I. B.; Elyiv, A. A.

    2015-06-01

    We have used 3D Voronoi tessellation to determine the environmental density of galaxies from a sample of the SDSS DR9 survey (0.02 < z < 0.1 and mr < 17.7). The sample was divided into two groups: bright central galaxies with Mr < -20.7 (N ~ 120000) and faint satellite galaxies with Mr > -20.7 (N~140000). We characterized the environmental density of the galaxies by the inverse volume of a Voronoi cell. We confirmed a tendency for an evolutionary decrease in the relative number of early galaxy types (with quenched star formation) with increasing redshift. It was also shown that the higher the density of environment near a central galaxy, it is more likely that the central galaxy has an early morphological type. The fraction of early types among the central galaxies is higher (78%) that among the sample of satellite galaxies (26%). In addition, the higher fraction of the central early-type galaxies in the sample, the higher their share in the denser environments.

  2. Operationalizing environmental indicators for physical activity in older adults.

    PubMed

    Strath, Scott; Isaacs, Raymond; Greenwald, Michael J

    2007-10-01

    This qualitative study describes environmental supports and barriers to physical activity in an older adult sample drawn from low- and high-walkable neighborhoods. Thirty-seven individuals age 55 and over were recruited and answered open-ended survey questions, with a subsample invited back to partake in a semistructured interview. Content analysis identified categories and themes linking perceptions of neighborhood-environment characteristics to activity. Emerging categories and themes did not differ across neighborhood walkability, so results are presented for both groups combined. Infrastructure was the most common category identified to encourage activity, specifically, well-maintained sidewalks, bike paths or lanes, and traffic control. Other categories of land use, landscape, and aesthetics were reported. Poorly maintained or missing sidewalks, crosswalks, bike paths or lanes, and traffic safety were categories that discouraged activity. In conclusion, the information obtained is helpful in solidifying which environmental characteristics are important to measure as they relate to activity behavior in an older adult population. PMID:18048945

  3. ASSESSING THE IMPACT OF ENVIRONMENTAL STRESSORS ON MACROINVERTEBRATE INDICATORS IN OHIO

    EPA Science Inventory

    Macroinvertebrate indicators are used as assessment endpoints for surface water quality monitoring in Ohio. The purpose of this study is to explain and predict the impact of environmental stressors on macroinvertebrate communities as measured by the Ohio Environmental Protection...

  4. Propolis as an indicator of environmental contamination by metals.

    PubMed

    Finger, Daiane; Filho, Irineo Kelte; Torres, Yohandra Reyes; Quináia, Sueli Pércio

    2014-03-01

    Concentrations of eleven representative metals (Al, Ca, Cd, Cr, Cu, K, Mg, Mn, Na, Pb and Zn) in forty-two propolis samples were measured by electrothermal atomization and flame atomic absorption spectrometry after calcination in a muffle furnace. Samples were collected from different regions from Paraná State - Brazil where apiculture is an important economic activity. Results showed that the average content of Al, Ca, K, Mg, Mn, Na and Zn in propolis was 0.68, 1.66, 7.59, 1.27, 0.08, 0.58 and 0.02 mg g(-1), respectively. Levels of Al, Ca, and Mg were statistically different in some regions of Paraná and could be used to assign the geographical origin of the propolis. The average concentration of the Cd, Cr, and Pb in raw propolis was 0.13, 5.53 and 9.85 μg g(-1), respectively, and allowed for identification of specific areas with environmental contamination. PMID:24414164

  5. Life expectancy as an indicator of environmental health.

    PubMed

    Gulis, G

    2000-02-01

    Whether or not life expectancy at birth is related to the quality of life as expressed by global economical, environmental and nutritional measures is the primarily studied question in this article. Two models, set of independent variables and multivariate analysis was performed. An attempt to estimate the role of studied variables in overall life expectancy was done, too. A descriptive, ecological study design was used. The population of 156 countries have been taken into account, using data from published databases [7, 9]. Access to safe drinking water, per capita gross domestic product, literacy, calories available as percentage of needs and per capita public health expenditures were taken as exposure, and compared with life expectancy at birth. A linear regression model was used to estimate the role of different exposures on life expectancy at birth. A correlation matrix for all variables and life expectancy at birth is presented in the article. Literacy and access to safe drinking water are statistically significant variables (p < 0.001) also after fitting a linear regression model. The correlation coefficient for the linear model was 0.8823 (R2 = 0.7784). Shares of years of life from overall life expectancy attributed to studied variables were 28.06, 9.42, 2.04 and 1.93% for literacy, access to safe drinking water, GDP and calories available as percentage of needs, respectively. PMID:10845266

  6. Zeolites on Mars: Possible environmental indicators in soils and sediments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ming, D. W.; Gooding, J. L.

    1988-01-01

    Weathering products should serve as indicators of weathering environments and may provide the best evidence of the nature of climate change on Mars. No direct mineralogical measurements of Martian regolith were performed by the Viking missions, but the biology and X-ray fluorescence experiments provided some information on the physiochemical properties of Martian regolith. Most post-Viking studies of candidate weathering products have emphasized phyllosilicates and Fe-oxides; zeolites are potentially important, but overlooked, candidate Martian minerals. Zeolites would be important on Mars for three different reasons. First, they are major sinks of atmospheric gases and, per unit mass, are stronger and more efficient sorbents than are phyllosilicates. Secondly, they can be virtually unique sorbents and shelters for organic compounds and possible catalysts for organic-based reactions. Finally, their exchangeable ions are good indicators of the chemical properties of solutions with which they have communicated. Accordingly, the search for information on past compositions of the Martian atmosphere and hydrosphere should find zeolites to be rich repositories.

  7. MEASURING THE IMPACT OF PARTICULATE MATTER REDUCTIONS BY ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH OUTCOME INDICATORS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Quantifiable indicators will measure the progress of local and national PM reduction strategies in lowering population exposure to PM and positively impacting public health. These environmental health outcome indicators will ultimately serve to inform and evaluate environmen...

  8. Meeting Report: Development of Environmental Health Indicators in Brazil and Other Countries in the Americas

    PubMed Central

    Carneiro, Fernando F.; Oliveira, Mara Lúcia C.; Netto, Guilherme F.; Galvão, Luis A.C.; Cancio, Jacira A.; Bonini, Estela M.; Corvalan, Carlos F.

    2006-01-01

    This report summarizes the Brazilian experience on the design and implementation of environmental health, with contributions from Argentina, Canada, and Cuba, presented at the International Symposium on the Development of Indicators for Environmental Health Integrated Management, held in Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil, on 17–18 June 2004. The methodology for the development of environmental health indicators has been used as a reference in the implementation of environmental health surveillance in Brazil. This methodology has provided tools and processes to facilitate the understanding and to measure the determinants of risks to environmental health, to help decision makers control those risks. PMID:16966096

  9. Environmental management on the basis of Complex Regional Indicators Concept: case of the Murmansk region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kozlov, A.; Gutman, S.; Zaychenko, I.; Rytova, E.; Nijinskaya, P.

    2015-09-01

    The article presents an approach to sustainable environmental development of the Murmansk region of the Russian Federation based on the complex regional indicators as a transformation of a balance scorecard method. The peculiarities of Murmansk region connected with sustainable environmental development are described. The complex regional indicators approach allows to elaborate the general concept of complex regional development taking into consideration economic and non-economic factors with the focus on environmental aspects, accumulated environmental damage in particular. General strategic chart of sustainable environmental development of the Murmansk region worked out on the basis of complex regional indicators concept is composed. The key target indicators of sustainable ecological development of the Murmansk region are presented for the following strategic chart components: regional finance; society and market; industry and entrepreneurship; training, development and innovations. These charts are to be integrated with international environmental monitoring systems.

  10. Environmental performance policy indicators for the public sector: the case of the defence sector.

    PubMed

    Ramos, Tomás B; Alves, Inês; Subtil, Rui; Joanaz de Melo, João

    2007-03-01

    The development of environmental performance policy indicators for public services, and in particular for the defence sector, is an emerging issue. Despite a number of recent initiatives there has been little work done in this area, since the other sectors usually focused on are agriculture, transport, industry, tourism and energy. This type of tool can be an important component for environmental performance evaluation at policy level, when integrated in the general performance assessment system of public missions and activities. The main objective of this research was to develop environmental performance policy indicators for the public sector, specifically applied to the defence sector. Previous research included an assessment of the environmental profile, through the evaluation of how environmental management practices have been adopted in this sector and an assessment of environmental aspects and impacts. This paper builds upon that previous research, developing an indicator framework--SEPI--supported by the selection and construction of environmental performance indicators. Another aim is to discuss how the current environmental indicator framework can be integrated into overall performance management. The Portuguese defence sector is presented and the usefulness of this methodology demonstrated. Feasibility and relevancy criteria are applied to evaluate the set of indicators proposed, allowing indicators to be scored and indicators for the policy level to be obtained. PMID:16580128

  11. Physical and biological factors influencing environmental sources of fecal indicator bacteria in surface water

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Whitman, Richard L.; Nevers, Meredith B.; Przybyla-Kelly, Katarzyna; Byappanahalli, Muruleedhara N.

    2011-01-01

    This paper describes the environmental populations of faecal indicator bacteria, and the processes by which these populations become nonpoint sources and influence nearshore water quality. The different possible sources of these indicator bacteria are presented. These include groundwater, springs and seeps, aquatic sediments, beach sand, birds, Cladophora and plant wrack. Also discussed are the environmental factors (moisture, sunlight, temperature and salinity) influencing their survival.

  12. Environmental Indicators. A Preliminary Set = Indicateurs d'environnement. Une etude pilote.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, Paris (France).

    This document provides a preliminary set of environmental indicators by which to measure environmental performance. The indicators are patterned on the outline of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) "Report on the State of the Environment," a companion volume published in the same year. This volume is comprised of 18…

  13. Development of Composite Indices to Measure the Adoption of Pro-Environmental Behaviours across Canadian Provinces

    PubMed Central

    Canuel, Magalie; Abdous, Belkacem; Bélanger, Diane; Gosselin, Pierre

    2014-01-01

    Objective The adoption of pro-environmental behaviours reduces anthropogenic environmental impacts and subsequent human health effects. This study developed composite indices measuring adoption of pro-environmental behaviours at the household level in Canada. Methods The 2007 Households and the Environment Survey conducted by Statistics Canada collected data on Canadian environmental behaviours at households' level. A subset of 55 retained questions from this survey was analyzed by Multiple Correspondence Analysis (MCA) to develop the index. Weights attributed by MCA were used to compute scores for each Canadian province as well as for socio-demographic strata. Scores were classified into four categories reflecting different levels of adoption of pro-environmental behaviours. Results Two indices were finally created: one based on 23 questions related to behaviours done inside the dwelling and a second based on 16 questions measuring behaviours done outside of the dwelling. British Columbia, Quebec, Prince-Edward-Island and Nova-Scotia appeared in one of the two top categories of adoption of pro-environmental behaviours for both indices. Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Newfoundland-and-Labrador were classified in one of the two last categories of pro-environmental behaviours adoption for both indices. Households with a higher income, educational attainment, or greater number of persons adopted more indoor pro-environmental behaviours, while on the outdoor index, they adopted fewer such behaviours. Households with low-income fared better on the adoption of outdoors pro-environmental behaviours. Conclusion MCA was successfully applied in creating Indoor and Outdoor composite Indices of pro-environmental behaviours. The Indices cover a good range of environmental themes and the analysis could be applied to similar surveys worldwide (as baseline weights) enabling temporal trend comparison for recurring themes. Much more than voluntary measures, the study shows that

  14. Relationships among fisheries exploitation, environmental conditions, and ecological indicators across a series of marine ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fu, Caihong; Large, Scott; Knight, Ben; Richardson, Anthony J.; Bundy, Alida; Reygondeau, Gabriel; Boldt, Jennifer; van der Meeren, Gro I.; Torres, Maria A.; Sobrino, Ignacio; Auber, Arnaud; Travers-Trolet, Morgane; Piroddi, Chiara; Diallo, Ibrahima; Jouffre, Didier; Mendes, Hugo; Borges, Maria Fatima; Lynam, Christopher P.; Coll, Marta; Shannon, Lynne J.; Shin, Yunne-Jai

    2015-08-01

    Understanding how external pressures impact ecosystem structure and functioning is essential for ecosystem-based approaches to fisheries management. We quantified the relative effects of fisheries exploitation and environmental conditions on ecological indicators derived from two different data sources, fisheries catch data (catch-based) and fisheries independent survey data (survey-based) for 12 marine ecosystems using a partial least squares path modeling approach (PLS-PM). We linked these ecological indicators to the total biomass of the ecosystem. Although the effects of exploitation and environmental conditions differed across the ecosystems, some general results can be drawn from the comparative approach. Interestingly, the PLS-PM analyses showed that survey-based indicators were less tightly associated with each other than the catch-based ones. The analyses also showed that the effects of environmental conditions on the ecological indicators were predominantly significant, and tended to be negative, suggesting that in the recent period, indicators accounted for changes in environmental conditions and the changes were more likely to be adverse. Total biomass was associated with fisheries exploitation and environmental conditions; however its association with the ecological indicators was weak across the ecosystems. Knowledge of the relative influence of exploitation and environmental pressures on the dynamics within exploited ecosystems will help us to move towards ecosystem-based approaches to fisheries management. PLS-PM proved to be a useful approach to quantify the relative effects of fisheries exploitation and environmental conditions and suggest it could be used more widely in fisheries oceanography.

  15. Environmental Indicators of Metal Pollution and Emission: An Experiment for the Instrumental Analysis Laboratory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bowden, John A.; Nocito, Brian A.; Lowers, Russell H.; Guillette, Louis J., Jr.; Williams, Kathryn R.; Young, Vaneica Y.

    2012-01-01

    This experiment enlightens students on the use of environmental indicators and inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES) and demonstrates the ability of these monitoring tools to measure metal deposition in environmental samples (both as a result of lab-simulated and real events). In this two-part study, the initial…

  16. VITELLOGENIN GENE TRANSCRIPTION: A RELATIVE QUANTITATIVE EXPOSURE INDICATOR OF ENVIRONMENTAL ESTROGENS

    EPA Science Inventory

    We report the development of a quantifiable exposure indicator for measuring the presence of environmental estrogens in aquatic systems. Synthetic oligonucleotides, designed specifically for the vitellogenin gene (Vg) transcription product, were used in a Reverse Transcription Po...

  17. APPLICATION OF GENOMIC AND PROTEOMIC INDICATORS TO CHARACTERIZE EXPOSURE OF AQUATIC ORGANISMS TO ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINANTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Advances in molecular biological methods are continually being brought to bear on human health research, from a basic understanding of systems biology to identification of toxicity pathways for environmental stressors and to correlations of molecular indicators with physiological...

  18. Environmental Indicators for the Coastal Region of North American Great Lakes: Introduction and Prospectus

    EPA Science Inventory

    Environmental indicators are benchmarks for the current conditions of the Great Lakes coastal region and provide measurable endpoints to assess the success of future management, conservation, protection, and restoration of this important resource.

  19. Human development index adjusted for environmental indicators: case study in one Egyptian village.

    PubMed

    Gamal El-Din, M M

    2005-01-01

    The Egypt Human Development Report 2003 does not take account of the impact of the environment on human development indicators. A case study was made in one village in El-Montaza district, Alexandria governorate, Egypt. The environmental indicators used for calculating the human development index were access to safe water, access to sanitation and environment surrounding the house. The human development index for this village decreased from 0.622 to 0.595 after adjustment for environmental factors. PMID:16761685

  20. Tracking health and the environment: a pilot test of environmental public health indicators.

    PubMed

    Dreyling, Erin; Dederick, Elizabeth J; Chari, Ramya; Resnick, Beth; Malecki, Kristen Chossek; Burke, Thomas; Neff, Roni

    2007-12-01

    Examining the relationship between health outcomes and environmental exposures requires summary measures, or indicators. To advance the use of indicators, the Johns Hopkins Center for Excellence in Environmental Public Health Tracking piloted three pairs of indicators: 1) air toxics and leukemia in New Jersey, 2) mercury emissions and fish advisories in the United States, and 3) urban sprawl and obesity in New Jersey. These analyses illustrate the feasibility of creating environmental hazard, exposure, and health outcome indicators, examining their temporal and geographic trends, and identifying their temporal and geographic relationships. They also show the importance of including appropriate caveats with the findings. The authors' investigations demonstrate how existing environmental health data can be used to create meaningful indicator measures to further the understanding of environment-related diseases and to help prioritize and guide interventions. Indicators are the foundation of environmental public health tracking, and increased use and development of them are necessary for the establishment of a nationwide tracking network capable of linking environmental exposures and health outcomes. PMID:18189034

  1. ENVIRONMENTALLY STRATIFIED SAMPLING DESIGN FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE GREAT LAKES ENVIRONMENTAL INDICATORS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecological indicators must be shown to be responsive to stress. For large-scale observational studies the best way to demonstrate responsiveness is by evaluating indicators along a gradient of stress, but such gradients are often unknown for a population of sites prior to site se...

  2. SENSITIVITY ANALYSIS OF AGGREGATED ENVIRONMENTAL INDICES WITH A CASE-STUDY OF THE MID-ATLANTIC REGION

    EPA Science Inventory

    Environmental indicators are often aggregated into a single index for various purposes in environmental studies. Aggregated indices derived from the same data set can differ, usually because the aggregated indices' sensitivities are not thoroughly analyzed. Furthermore, if a sens...

  3. Environmental indicators for sustainability: a strategic analysis for the sugarcane ethanol context in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Gomes, Priscila; Malheiros, Tadeu; Fernandes, Valdir; Sobral, Maria do Carmo

    2016-01-01

    Sugarcane ethanol is considered a renewable energy source and has emerged as a potential alternative to reduce dependency on fossil fuels, particularly in Brazil. However, there are some questions about how sustainable this energy source is, given the impacts from its production and use on a larger scale. To understand and achieve sustainability, it is essential to build tools that can assess an integrated conception and help decision-makers to establish public policies for a sustainable development. The indicators appear as such tools by capturing the complexity without reducing the significance of each system's component. The environmental indicators such as water quality indicator represent the level of water pollution, considering several parameters. The importance of the development, selection and validation of environmental indicators through a structured and cohesive process becomes essential. In the State of São Paulo, in Brazil, the environmental indicators, as well as policies based on them, are defined by the Environmental Secretariat (SMA/SP). This article presents an environmental indicator's evaluation method and reports based on the discussions about sustainability for the ethanol sugarcane context in the State of São Paulo. The method consists of interviews and an expert's workshop which pointed out a set of benchmarks for the evaluation of environmental indicators. The procedures were applied to an indicator used by the SMA/SP to illustrate the method's effectiveness. The results show that a strategic analysis framework can improve the environmental indicators required for the discussion on sustainability, providing a better guide to decision-makers. PMID:26153435

  4. How Many Environmental Impact Indicators Are Needed in the Evaluation of Product Life Cycles?

    PubMed

    Steinmann, Zoran J N; Schipper, Aafke M; Hauck, Mara; Huijbregts, Mark A J

    2016-04-01

    Numerous indicators are currently available for environmental impact assessments, especially in the field of Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA). Because decision-making on the basis of hundreds of indicators simultaneously is unfeasible, a nonredundant key set of indicators representative of the overall environmental impact is needed. We aimed to find such a nonredundant set of indicators based on their mutual correlations. We have used Principal Component Analysis (PCA) in combination with an optimization algorithm to find an optimal set of indicators out of 135 impact indicators calculated for 976 products from the ecoinvent database. The first four principal components covered 92% of the variance in product rankings, showing the potential for indicator reduction. The same amount of variance (92%) could be covered by a minimal set of six indicators, related to climate change, ozone depletion, the combined effects of acidification and eutrophication, terrestrial ecotoxicity, marine ecotoxicity, and land use. In comparison, four commonly used resource footprints (energy, water, land, materials) together accounted for 84% of the variance in product rankings. We conclude that the plethora of environmental indicators can be reduced to a small key set, representing the major part of the variation in environmental impacts between product life cycles. PMID:26963880

  5. A Review of Medication Use as an Indicator of Human Health Impact in Environmentally Stressed Areas.

    PubMed

    Hollingworth, Samantha A; Kim, Diane Dabok; Jagals, Paul

    2016-01-01

    We reviewed from literature the feasibility of medication use as an indicator of health outcomes in environmentally stressed areas, especially where a paucity of typical epidemiological and other risk-based data are encountered. The majority of studies reported were about medication use as an indicator of adverse respiratory effects from air pollution in developed countries. Studies to a lesser extent pointed to medication use as indicator of health outcomes associated with other environmental health stressors such as water, noise pollution, and habitat conditions. The relationship between environmental stressors and medication use strongly suggests that medication use could be used to measure the impact of environmental stressors that otherwise could not be measured by epidemiological or other impact assessment studies, typically in settings where morbidity and mortality data might not be not accessible. PMID:27325069

  6. Is cumulative fossil energy demand a useful indicator for the environmental performance of products?

    SciTech Connect

    Mark A.J. Huijbregts; Linda J.A. Rombouts; Stefanie Hellweg; Rolf Frischknecht; A. Jan Hendriks; Dik van de Meent; Ad M.J. Ragas; Lucas Reijnders; Jaap Struijs

    2006-02-01

    The appropriateness of the fossil Cumulative Energy Demand (CED) as an indicator for the environmental performance of products and processes is explored with a regression analysis between the environmental life-cycle impacts and fossil CEDs of 1218 products, divided into the product categories 'energy production' (including heat and electricity production), 'material production', 'transport', and 'waste treatment'. Results show that, for all product groups but waste treatment, the fossil CED correlates well with most impact categories, such as global warming, resource depletion, acidification, eutrophication, tropospheric ozone formation, ozone depletion, and human toxicity (explained variance between 46% and 100%). It is concluded that the use of fossil fuels is an important driver of several environmental impacts and thereby indicative for many environmental problems. It may therefore serve as a screening indicator for environmental performance. However, the usefulness of fossil CED as a stand-alone indicator for environmental impact is limited by the large uncertainty in the product-specific fossil CED-based impact scores (larger than a factor of 10 for the majority of the impact categories; 95% confidence interval). A major reason for this high uncertainty is nonfossil energy related emissions and land use, such as landfill leachates, radionuclide emissions, and land use in agriculture and forestry. 38 refs., 4 figs., 4 tabs.

  7. Examples of landscape indicators for assessing environmental conditions and problems in urban and suburban areas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Martin-Duque, J. F.; Godfrey, A.; Diez, A.; Cleaves, E.; Pedraza, J.; Sanz, M.A.; Carrasco, R.M.; Bodoque, J.

    2002-01-01

    Geo-indicators can help to assess environmental conditions in city urban and suburban areas. Those indicators should be meaningful for understanding environmental changes. From examples of Spanish and American cities, geo-indicators for assessing environmental conditions and changes in urban and suburban areas are proposed. The paper explore two types of geo-indicators. The first type presents general information that can be used to indicate the presence of a broad array of geologic conditions, either favouring or limiting various kinds of uses of the land. The second type of geo-indicator is the one most commonly used, and as a group most easily understood; these are site and problem specific and they are generally used after a problem is identified. Among them, watershed processes, seismicity and physiographic diversity are explained in more detail. A second dimension that is considered when discussing geo-indicators is the issue of scale. Broad scale investigations, covering extensive areas are only efficient at cataloguing general conditions common to much of the area or some outstanding feature within the area. This type of information is best used for policy type decisions. Detailed scale investigations can provide information about local conditions, but are not efficient at cataloguing vast areas. Information gathered at the detailed level is necessary for project design and construction.

  8. Identification and selection of Environmental Performance Indicators for sustainable port development.

    PubMed

    Puig, Martí; Wooldridge, Chris; Darbra, Rosa Mari

    2014-04-15

    In this paper an identification and selection of Environmental Performance Indicators (EPIs) in port areas has been conducted. A comprehensive inventory of existing EPIs in use in the seaport sector has been identified for monitoring performance of operational (e.g. dust, noise, dredging, and waste), managerial (e.g. certification, compliance, and complaints) and environmental condition (e.g. air, water, sediment and ecosystems). These indicators have been filtered against specific criteria and have been assessed and evaluated by port stakeholders in order to obtain a final set of indicators suitable to be implemented at EU level. A user friendly tool has been developed specifically to assist port authorities in calculating and reporting the proposed indicators. This study has drawn on major research projects to blend academic research with input from marine professionals in order to identify, select, evaluate and validate EPIs that are acceptable and feasible to the sector, and practicable in their application and implementation. PMID:24629381

  9. An environmental tolerance index for ostracodes as indicators of physical and chemical factors in aquatic habitats

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Curry, B. Brandon

    1999-01-01

    Continental ostracode occurrences reflect salinity, solute composition, temperature, flow conditions, and other environmental properties of the water they inhabit. Their occurrences also reflect the variability of many of these environmental parameters. Environmental tolerance indices (ETIs) offer a new way to express the nature of an ostracode's environment. As defined herein, ETIs range in value from zero to one, and may be calculated for continuous and binary variables. For continuous variables such as salinity, the ETI is the ratio of the range of values of salinity tolerated by an ostracode to the total range of salinity values from a representative database. In this investigation, the database of continuous variables consists of information from 341 sites located throughout the United States. Binary ETIs indicate whether an environmental variable such as flowing water affects ostracode presence or absence. The binary database consists of information from 784 sites primarily from Illinois, USA. ETIs were developed in this investigation to interpret paleohydrological changes implied by fossil ostracode successions. ETI profiles may be cast in terms of a weighted average, or on presence/absence. The profiles express ostracode tolerance of environmental parameters such as salinity or currents. Tolerance of a wide range of values is taken to indicate shallow water because shallow environments are conducive to thermal variability, short-term water residence, and the development of currents from wind-driven waves.

  10. The stingless bee species, Scaptotrigona aff. depilis, as a potential indicator of environmental pesticide contamination.

    PubMed

    de Souza Rosa, Annelise; I'Anson Price, Robbie; Ferreira Caliman, Maria Juliana; Pereira Queiroz, Elisa; Blochtein, Betina; Sílvia Soares Pires, Carmen; Imperatriz-Fonseca, Vera Lucia

    2015-08-01

    Neonicotinoids have the potential to enter the diet of pollinators that collect resources from contaminated plants. The species Scaptotrigona aff. depilis (Moure, 1942) can be a useful indicator of the prevalence of these chemicals in the environment. Using high-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry, the authors devised a protocol for neonicotinoid residue extraction and detected the presence of neonicotinoids in the bee bodies. Thus, the authors consider this species to be a potential indicator of environmental contamination. PMID:26190578

  11. [Dependence of demographic indices on environmental and hygienic factors in Kazakhstan].

    PubMed

    Korchevskiĭ, A A; Samakova, A B; Rakhmanin, Iu A

    2006-01-01

    The authors demonstrate the hygienic significance of Gompertc-Makeham model, which expresses age-dependent mortality of population, and use both theoretical concepts and statistical data to substantiate a hypothesis of an indicator significance of the model's free coefficient for environmental state evaluation. The model was approved using the data from the regions of Republic Kazakhstan. PMID:16789537

  12. On the Potential of Surfers to Monitor Environmental Indicators in the Coastal Zone

    PubMed Central

    Brewin, Robert J. W.; de Mora, Lee; Jackson, Thomas; Brewin, Thomas G.; Shutler, Jamie

    2015-01-01

    The social and economic benefits of the coastal zone make it one of the most treasured environments on our planet. Yet it is vulnerable to increasing anthropogenic pressure and climate change. Coastal management aims to mitigate these pressures while augmenting the socio-economic benefits the coastal region has to offer. However, coastal management is challenged by inadequate sampling of key environmental indicators, partly due to issues relating to cost of data collection. Here, we investigate the use of recreational surfers as platforms to improve sampling coverage of environmental indicators in the coastal zone. We equipped a recreational surfer, based in the south west United Kingdom (UK), with a temperature sensor and Global Positioning System (GPS) device that they used when surfing for a period of one year (85 surfing sessions). The temperature sensor was used to derive estimates of sea-surface temperature (SST), an important environmental indicator, and the GPS device used to provide sample location and to extract information on surfer performance. SST data acquired by the surfer were compared with data from an oceanographic station in the south west UK and with satellite observations. Our results demonstrate: (i) high-quality SST data can be acquired by surfers using low cost sensors; and (ii) GPS data can provide information on surfing performance that may help motivate data collection by surfers. Using recent estimates of the UK surfing population, and frequency of surfer participation, we speculate around 40 million measurements on environmental indicators per year could be acquired at the UK coastline by surfers. This quantity of data is likely to enhance coastal monitoring and aid UK coastal management. Considering surfing is a world-wide sport, our results have global implications and the approach could be expanded to other popular marine recreational activities for coastal monitoring of environmental indicators. PMID:26154173

  13. On the Potential of Surfers to Monitor Environmental Indicators in the Coastal Zone.

    PubMed

    Brewin, Robert J W; de Mora, Lee; Jackson, Thomas; Brewin, Thomas G; Shutler, Jamie

    2015-01-01

    The social and economic benefits of the coastal zone make it one of the most treasured environments on our planet. Yet it is vulnerable to increasing anthropogenic pressure and climate change. Coastal management aims to mitigate these pressures while augmenting the socio-economic benefits the coastal region has to offer. However, coastal management is challenged by inadequate sampling of key environmental indicators, partly due to issues relating to cost of data collection. Here, we investigate the use of recreational surfers as platforms to improve sampling coverage of environmental indicators in the coastal zone. We equipped a recreational surfer, based in the south west United Kingdom (UK), with a temperature sensor and Global Positioning System (GPS) device that they used when surfing for a period of one year (85 surfing sessions). The temperature sensor was used to derive estimates of sea-surface temperature (SST), an important environmental indicator, and the GPS device used to provide sample location and to extract information on surfer performance. SST data acquired by the surfer were compared with data from an oceanographic station in the south west UK and with satellite observations. Our results demonstrate: (i) high-quality SST data can be acquired by surfers using low cost sensors; and (ii) GPS data can provide information on surfing performance that may help motivate data collection by surfers. Using recent estimates of the UK surfing population, and frequency of surfer participation, we speculate around 40 million measurements on environmental indicators per year could be acquired at the UK coastline by surfers. This quantity of data is likely to enhance coastal monitoring and aid UK coastal management. Considering surfing is a world-wide sport, our results have global implications and the approach could be expanded to other popular marine recreational activities for coastal monitoring of environmental indicators. PMID:26154173

  14. Environmental quality indicators and financial development in Malaysia: unity in diversity.

    PubMed

    Alam, Arif; Azam, Muhammad; Abdullah, Alias Bin; Malik, Ihtisham Abdul; Khan, Anwar; Hamzah, Tengku Adeline Adura Tengku; Faridullah; Khan, Muhammad Mushtaq; Zahoor, Hina; Zaman, Khalid

    2015-06-01

    Environmental quality indicators are crucial for responsive and cost-effective policies. The objective of the study is to examine the relationship between environmental quality indicators and financial development in Malaysia. For this purpose, the number of environmental quality indicators has been used, i.e., air pollution measured by carbon dioxide emissions, population density per square kilometer of land area, agricultural production measured by cereal production and livestock production, and energy resources considered by energy use and fossil fuel energy consumption, which placed an impact on the financial development of the country. The study used four main financial indicators, i.e., broad money supply (M2), domestic credit provided by the financial sector (DCFS), domestic credit to the private sector (DCPC), and inflation (CPI), which each financial indicator separately estimated with the environmental quality indicators, over a period of 1975-2013. The study used the generalized method of moments (GMM) technique to minimize the simultaneity from the model. The results show that carbon dioxide emissions exert the positive correlation with the M2, DCFC, and DCPC, while there is a negative correlation with the CPI. However, these results have been evaporated from the GMM estimates, where carbon emissions have no significant relationship with any of the four financial indicators in Malaysia. The GMM results show that population density has a negative relationship with the all four financial indicators; however, in case of M2, this relationship is insignificant to explain their result. Cereal production has a positive relationship with the DCPC, while there is a negative relationship with the CPI. Livestock production exerts the positive relationship with the all four financial indicators; however, this relationship with the CPI has a more elastic relationship, while the remaining relationship is less elastic with the three financial indicators in a country

  15. Effect of climate change on environmental flow indicators in the narew basin, poland.

    PubMed

    Piniewski, Mikołaj; Laizé, Cédric L R; Acreman, Michael C; Okruszko, Tomasz; Schneider, Christof

    2014-01-01

    Environmental flows-the quantity of water required to maintain a river ecosystem in its desired state-are of particular importance in areas of high natural value. Water-dependent ecosystems are exposed to the risk of climate change through altered precipitation and evaporation. Rivers in the Narew basin in northeastern Poland are known for their valuable river and wetland ecosystems, many of them in pristine or near-pristine condition. The objective of this study was to assess changes in the environmental flow regime of the Narew river system, caused by climate change, as simulated by hydrological models with different degrees of physical characterization and spatial aggregation. Two models were assessed: the river basin scale model Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) and the continental model of water availability and use WaterGAP. Future climate change scenarios were provided by two general circulation models coupled with the A2 emission scenario: IPSL-CM4 and MIROC3.2. To assess the impact of climate change on environmental flows, a method based conceptually on the "range of variability" approach was used. The results indicate that the environmental flow regime in the Narew basin is subject to climate change risk, whose magnitude and spatial variability varies with climate model and hydrological modeling scale. Most of the analyzed sites experienced moderate impacts for the Generic Environmental Flow Indicator (GEFI), the Floodplain Inundation Indicator, and the River Habitat Availability Indicator. The consistency between SWAT and WaterGAP for GEFI was medium: in 55 to 66% of analyzed sites, the models suggested the same level of impact. Hence, we suggest that state-of-the-art, high-resolution, global- or continental-scale models, such as WaterGAP, could be useful tools for water management decision-makers and wetland conservation practitioners, whereas models such as SWAT should serve as a complementary tool for more specific, smaller-scale, local

  16. Workgroup Report: Developing Environmental Health Indicators for European Children: World Health Organization Working Group

    PubMed Central

    Pond, Kathy; Kim, Rokho; Carroquino, Maria-Jose; Pirard, Philippe; Gore, Fiona; Cucu, Alexandra; Nemer, Leda; MacKay, Morag; Smedje, Greta; Georgellis, Antonis; Dalbokova, Dafina; Krzyzanowski, Michal

    2007-01-01

    A working group coordinated by the World Health Organization developed a set of indicators to protect children’s health from environmental risks and to support current and future European policy needs. On the basis of identified policy needs, the group developed a core set of 29 indicators for implementation plus an extended set of eight additional indicators for future development, focusing on exposure, health effects, and action. As far as possible, the indicators were designed to use existing information and are flexible enough to be developed further to meet the needs of policy makers and changing health priorities. These indicators cover most of the priority topic areas specified in the Children’s Environment and Health Action Plan for Europe (CEHAPE) as adopted in the Fourth Ministerial Conference on Health and Environment in 2004, and will be used to monitor the implementation of CEHAPE. This effort can be viewed as an integral part of the Global Initiative on Children’s Environmental Health Indicators, launched at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002. PMID:17805431

  17. Aqueous extracts of Mozambican plants as alternative and environmentally safe acid-base indicators.

    PubMed

    Macuvele, Domingos Lusitaneo Pier; Sithole, Gerre Zebedias Samo; Cesca, Karina; Macuvele, Suzana Lília Pinare; Matsinhe, Jonas Valente

    2016-06-01

    Indicators are substances that change color as the pH of the medium. Many of these substances are dyes of synthetic origin. The mulala plant (Euclea natalensis), which roots are commonly used by rural communities for their oral hygiene, and roseira (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis), an ornamental plant, are abundant in Mozambique. Currently, synthetic acid-base indicators are most commonly used but have environmental implications and, on the other hand, are expensive products, so the demand for natural indicators started. This study investigated the applicability of aqueous extracts of H. rosa-sinensis and E. natalensis as acid-base indicators. Ground on this work, the extracts can be used as acid-base indicators. On the basis of the absorption spectroscopy in both the UV-Vis region and previous studies, it was possible to preliminarily pinpoint anthocyanins and naphthoquinones as responsible for the shifting of colors depending on the pH range of aqueous extracts of H. rosa-sinensis and E. natalensis. These natural indicators are easily accessible, inexpensive, easy to extract, environmentally safe, and locally available. PMID:26936478

  18. Indicator-based assessment of environmental hazards and health effects in the industrial cities of upper Silesia, Poland.

    PubMed Central

    Wcislo, Eleonora; Dutkiewicz, Tadeusz; Konczalik, Jerzy

    2002-01-01

    Using an indicator-based approach, we assessed environmental hazards and related health effects in populations of industrial cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants in Upper Silesia, Poland, and analyzed the relationship between environment and health. We adopted the method developed by Dutkiewicz et al. for assessing large geographic areas. Based on routinely collected environmental and health data, two groups of indicators, environmental indicators (EIs) and health status indicators (HSIs), related to environmental contamination were selected. The EI and HSI values were normalized and aggregated into synthetic measures using Strahl's taxonometric method. The synthetic measures indicated the intensity of environmental hazards and health outcomes. We used a three-level index scale to compare and rank the cities under the study and, consequently, to facilitate decision making. Findings of the assessment identified cities where actions aimed at reducing environmental hazards and improving population health status should be established as priorities. These cities included Chorzów, Katowice, Sosnowiec, Bytom, and Zabrze. We found a high correlation between the synthetic measures of environmental indicators and the synthetic measure of health status indicators (r = 0.77), as well as a high level of consistency between environmental hazard indices and environmental-related health status indices (73%). This may indicate the existence of a causal relationship between the environmental contamination within industrial cities and the health status of their inhabitants. PMID:12417485

  19. Development of novel sol-gel indicators (SGI`s) for in-situ environmental measurements

    SciTech Connect

    Livingston, R.R.; Wicks, G.G.; Baylor, L.C.; Whitaker, M.J.

    1993-10-01

    Organic indicator molecules have been incorporated in a porous sol- gel matrix coated on the end of a fiber-optic lens assembly to create sensors for in situ environmental measurements. Probes have been made that are sensitive to pH and uranyl concentration. The use of fiber optics allows the probe to be lowered into a well or bore hole, while support equipment such as a spectrophotometer and computer may be situated hundreds of meters away.

  20. Environmental certification: a scientific tool for sustainability. Evaluation of possible indicators for the environmental performance evaluation (EPE) of Ravenna province (Italy).

    PubMed

    Panzieri, Margherita; Marchettini, Nadia; Ridolfi, Roberto

    2003-04-01

    Environmental certification is becoming the main tool for application of sustainable development principles. The European Regulation Emas and the international standard ISO 14001 both require for certification, to perform an environmental management system to prevent environmental impacts and to continuously improve environmental performance. For a good environmental performance evaluation (EPE), certification needs to use scientific methodologies and to interface with scientific research; here we proposed emergy analysis as a valid method for EPE and emergetic environmental performance and condition indicators (EPIs, ECIs) to monitor a territorial system: Ravenna province (Italy). Together with emergy indicators were selected other indicators for a deeper EPE: emitted/adsorbed CO2, energy consumptions, air and water pollution measures. The paper showed that Ravenna system has a good environmental performance and demonstrated how different indicators from the most advanced chemical research (chemical-physical, analytical, etc.) contribute to a complete EPE of a complex territorial system and are useful for environmental certification and sustainable development. PMID:12817643

  1. Anopheles species associations in Southeast Asia: indicator species and environmental influences

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Southeast Asia presents a high diversity of Anopheles. Environmental requirements differ for each species and should be clarified because of their influence on malaria transmission potential. Monitoring projects collect vast quantities of entomological data over the whole region and could bring valuable information to malaria control staff but collections are not always standardized and are thus difficult to analyze. In this context studying species associations and their relation to the environment offer some opportunities as they are less subject to sampling error than individual species. Methods Using asymmetrical similarity coefficients, indirect clustering and the search of indicator species, this paper identified species associations. Environmental influences were then analysed through canonical and discriminant analysis using climatic and topographic data, land cover in a 3 km buffer around villages and vegetation indices. Results Six groups of sites characterized the structure of the species assemblage. Temperature, rainfall and vegetation factors all play a role. Four out of the six groups of sites based on species similarities could be discriminated using environmental information only. Conclusions Vegetation indices derived from satellite imagery proved very valuable with one variable explaining more variance of the species dataset than any other variable. The analysis could be improved by integrating seasonality in the sampling and collecting at least 4 consecutive days. PMID:23642279

  2. Useful model organisms, indicators, or both? Ground beetles (Coleoptera, Carabidae) reflecting environmental conditions

    PubMed Central

    Koivula, Matti J.

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Classic studies have successfully linked single-species abundances, life-history traits, assemblage structures and biomass of carabid beetles to past and present, human-caused environmental impacts and variation in ‘natural’ conditions. This evidence has led many to suggest carabids to function as ‘indicators’ − a term that bears multiple meanings. Here, a conservation-oriented definition for an indicator is used, carabid indicator potential from seven views is evaluated, and ways to proceed in indicator research are discussed. (1) Carabid species richness poorly indicates the richness and abundance of other taxa, which underlines the importance of using multiple taxa in environmental assessments. The ability of assemblage indices and specialist or functional-group abundances to reflect rare species and habitats should be examined in detail. (2) Experimental evidence suggests that carabids may potentially serve as keystone indicators. (3) Carabids are sensitive to human-altered abiotic conditions, such as pesticide use in agro-ecosystems and heavy metal contamination of soils. Carabids might thus reflect ecological sustainability and ‘ecosystem health’. (4) Carabid assemblages host abundant species characteristic of particular habitat types or successional stages, which makes them promising dominance indicators. (5) Carabids reflect variation in ‘natural’ conditions, but vegetation and structural features are more commonly adopted as condition indicators. Carabids nevertheless provide yet another, equally accurate, view on the structure of the environment. (6) Carabids may function as early-warning signalers, as suggested by recent studies linking climate and carabid distributions. (7) Carabids reflect natural and human-caused disturbances and management, but the usefulness of these responses for conservation purposes requires further research. In summary, European carabids appear useful model organisms and possibly indicators because

  3. Fate of sucralose through environmental and water treatment processes and impact on plant indicator species.

    PubMed

    Soh, Lindsay; Connors, Kristin A; Brooks, Bryan W; Zimmerman, Julie

    2011-02-15

    The degradation and partitioning of sucralose during exposure to a variety of environmental and advanced treatment processes (ATP) and the effect of sucralose on indicator plant species were systematically assessed. Bench scale experiments were used to reproduce conditions from environmental processes (microbial degradation, hydrolysis, soil sorption) and ATPs (chlorination, ozonation, sorption to activated carbon, and UV radiation). Degradation only occurred to a limited extent during hydrolysis, ozonation, and microbial processes indicating that breakdown of sucralose will likely be slow and incomplete leading to accumulation in surface waters. Further, the persistence of sucralose was compared to suggested human tracer compounds, caffeine and acesulfame-K. In comparison sucralose exhibits similar or enhanced characteristics pertaining to persistence, prevalence, and facile detection and can therefore be considered an ideal tracer for anthropogenic activity. Ecological effects of sucralose were assessed by measuring sucrose uptake inhibition in plant cotelydons and aquatic plant growth impairment. Sucralose did not inhibit plant cotelydon sucrose uptake, nor did it effect frond number, wet weight, or growth rate in aquatic plant, Lemna gibba. Though sucralose does not appear toxic to plant growth, the peristent qualities of sucralose may lead to chronic low-dose exposure with largely unknown consequences for human and environmental health. PMID:21235203

  4. Environmental heterogeneity influences the reliability of secondary sexual traits as condition indicators.

    PubMed

    Vergara, Pablo; Martinez-Padilla, J; Mougeot, F; Leckie, F; Redpath, S M

    2012-01-01

    Numerous studies have shown positive associations between ornaments and condition, as predicted by indicator models of sexual selection. However, this idea is continuously challenged by opposite results, which reveal our lack of full understanding of how sexual selection works. Environmental heterogeneity may explain such inconsistencies, but valid field tests of this idea are currently lacking. We first analysed the relationship between condition and ornament expression from nine populations over 7 years in a wild bird, the red grouse Lagopus lagopus scoticus. We then manipulated male aggressiveness at the population level by means of testosterone implants in a replicated field experiment. We found that the relationship between condition and ornamentation varied greatly between environments and became stronger when environmental conditions (ECs) were worse or when aggressiveness in the population was experimentally increased. Some ornaments may therefore reliably advertise a better condition only in adverse ECs. Considering environmental heterogeneity can help reconcile conflicting findings regarding the reliability of ornaments as indicators of condition and will help our understanding of sexual selection processes. PMID:22022806

  5. Lysosomal and autophagic reactions as predictive indicators of environmental impact in aquatic animals.

    PubMed

    Moore, Michael N; Allen, J Icarus; McVeigh, Allan; Shaw, Jenny

    2006-01-01

    The lysosomal-autophagic system appears to be a common target for many environmental pollutants as lysosomes accumulate many toxic metals and organic xenobiotics, which perturb normal function and damage the lysosomal membrane. In fact, lysosomal membrane integrity or stability appears to be an effective generic indicator of cellular well-being in eukaryotes: in bivalve molluscs and fish, stability is correlated with many toxicological responses and pathological reactions. Prognostic use of adverse lysosomal and autophagic reactions to environmental pollutants has been explored in relation to predicting cellular dysfunction and health in marine mussels, which are extensively used as sensitive bioindicators in monitoring ecosystem health. Derivation of explanatory frameworks for prediction of pollutant impact on health is a major goal; and we have developed a conceptual mechanistic model linking lysosomal damage and autophagic dysfunction with injury to cells and tissues. This model has also complemented the creation of a cell-based computational model for molluscan hepatopancreatic cells that simulates lysosomal, autophagic and other cellular reactions to pollutants. Experimental and simulated results have also indicated that nutritional deprivation-induced autophagy has a protective function against toxic effects mediated by reactive oxygen species (ROS). Finally, coupled measurement of lysosomal-autophagic reactions and modelling is proposed as a practical toolbox for predicting toxic environmental risk. PMID:16874099

  6. Development of a database system for the calculation of indicators of environmental pressure caused by transport.

    PubMed

    Giannouli, Myrsini; Samaras, Zissis; Keller, Mario; DeHaan, Peter; Kallivoda, Manfred; Sorenson, Spencer; Georgakaki, Aliki

    2006-03-15

    The scope of this paper is to summarise a methodology developed for TRENDS (TRansport and ENvironment Database System-TRENDS). The main objective of TRENDS was the calculation of environmental pressure indicators caused by transport. The environmental pressures considered are associated with air emissions from the four main transport modes, i.e. road, rail, ships and air. In order to determine these indicators a system for calculating a range of environmental pressures due to transport was developed within a PC-based MS Access environment. Emphasis is given on the latest features incorporated in the model and their applications. One of the recently developed features of the software provides an option for simple scenario analysis including vehicle dynamics (such as turnover and evolution) for all EU15 member states. This feature is called the Transport Activity Balance module (TAB) and enables the production of collective results for all transport modes as well as a comparative assessment of air emissions produced by the various modes. Traffic activity and emission data obtained according to a basic (reference) scenario are displayed for the time period 1970-2020. In addition, a detailed assessment of the results produced by TRENDS was conducted by means of comparison with data found in the literature. Finally, vehicle emissions produced by the model for the EU15 member states were spatially disaggregated for the base year, 1995 and GIS maps were generated. Examples of these maps are displayed in this document, for the various modes of transport considered in the study. PMID:15975633

  7. Epiphytic lichens as indicators of environmental quality around a municipal solid waste landfill (C Italy).

    PubMed

    Paoli, Luca; Grassi, Alice; Vannini, Andrea; Maslaňáková, Ivana; Bil'ová, Ivana; Bačkor, Martin; Corsini, Adelmo; Loppi, Stefano

    2015-08-01

    Epiphytic lichens have been used as indicators of environmental quality around a municipal solid waste landfill in C Italy. An integrated approach, using the diversity of epiphytic lichens, as well as element bioaccumulation and physiological parameters in the lichen Flavoparmelia caperata (L.) Hale was applied along a transect from the facility. The results highlighted the biological effects of air pollution around the landfill. The Index of Lichen Diversity (ILD) increased and the content of heavy metals (Cr, Cd, Cu, Fe, Ni and Zn) decreased with distance from the landfill. Clear stress signals were observed in lichens growing in front of the facility, i.e. discoloration, necrosis, membrane lipid peroxidation, lower ergosterol content, higher dehydrogenase activity. Decreased photosynthetic efficiency, altered chlorophyll integrity and production of secondary metabolites were also found. The results suggested that lichens can be profitably used as bioindicators of environmental quality around landfills. PMID:25987289

  8. Environmental and genetic contributions to indicators of oral malodor in twins.

    PubMed

    Bretz, Walter A; Biesbrock, Aaron; Corby, Patricia M; Corby, Andrea L; Bretz, Walter G; Wessel, Jennifer; Schork, Nicholas J

    2011-12-01

    This study aimed to: (1) determine concordance rates of self-reported and subjectively determined indicators of oral malodor in twins; (2) determine the relative contributions of genetic and environmental factors to levels of volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs) in intraoral and exhaled breath. Fifty-one twin pairs participated in the study. Measurements of VSCs were obtained by a halimeter. The presence of tongue coatings was determined and twins filled out a 32-item questionnaire on oral malodor indicators independently of one another. Estimates of heritability (h2) for halimeter measurements were computed by SOLAR. The concordance rates for the presence of tongue coating among identical and fraternal twins were 67% and 11%, respectively. In the 10 most informative items, 70% exhibited higher concordance rates for identical than for fraternal twins. Of particular interest were the differences in concordance rates for dry mouth, sinus infection and unusual sweating. The h2 for intraoral breath was 0.28 +/- 0.17 (NS), whereas the h2 for exhaled breath was 0.50 +/- 0.20 (p = .0207). The concordance rates of tongue coatings and malodor indicators were higher in identical twins than in fraternal twins. Intraoral breath VSC values were primarily attributable to environmental factors, whereas exhaled breath VSC values were partially explained by genetic factors. PMID:22506313

  9. Putting indicators to work. A summary of roundtable presentations on the Latin American and Caribbean experience with environmental health indicators.

    PubMed

    Furgal, Chris

    2002-01-01

    A roundtable was held at the conclusion of the formal conference presentations to present and discuss experiences in Latin America and the Caribbean with indicator selection, implementation and use. Four presentations were given covering the following topics: the Pan American Health Organization's (PAHO) implementation of a core indicators program in the Americas; Latin America's use and application of the WHO developed Driving forces, Pressure, State, Exposure, Effect, Action framework (DPSEEA) for indicators; the Chilean experience in identifying, selecting and implementing indicators for use throughout the country; and finally, the use and application of the WHO DPSEEA framework to the issue of water quality monitoring in Brazil. Each paper presented a summary of knowledge gained to date from their experience and some of the strengths and challenges identified from the various approaches taken. The summary presented here provides a brief overview of the presentations given at the workshop. PMID:12425179

  10. Analysis of Illumina MiSeq Metabarcoding Data: Application to Benthic Indices for Environmental Monitoring.

    PubMed

    Aylagas, Eva; Rodríguez-Ezpeleta, Naiara

    2016-01-01

    This protocol details the analysis of Illumina MiSeq amplicon libraries derived from marine benthic macroinvertebrate samples and based on two barcodes of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase 1 (CO1) gene: a "short region," covered by overlapping forward and reverse reads and a "long region" for which forward and reverse reads do not overlap. Aside from providing guidelines for analyzing both types of amplicons, we show how amplicon reads can be used for the calculation of benthic indices for environmental monitoring. PMID:27460382

  11. An approach for the application of the Ecological Footprint as environmental indicator in the textile sector.

    PubMed

    Herva, M; Franco, A; Ferreiro, S; Alvarez, A; Roca, E

    2008-08-15

    The Ecological Footprint (EF) is a recent concept which has widely been used as an indicator of environmental sustainability applied to individual lifestyles, regions, nations or even the world. Recently, its application to enterprises has been proposed. In the present study, a textile tailoring plant has been analysed. The overall purpose of this study was to develop a tool useful for evaluating the environmental impact evolution due to the performance of the plant, as well as for comparing the environmental behaviour of different tailoring processes. Therefore, the selected data were those from the manufacturing work. Data were divided in three main categories: energy, resources and waste. The principal contribution to the final EF (expressed in hectares of land) was the resources category, mainly due to the high value associated to the cloth. The consumed energy was the second contributor, while the waste category remained in third place. The final outcomes were divided by the production rates to obtain a comparable relative index, easy to be interpreted by the different stakeholders. This is of special importance for a Company involved in Corporate Social Responsibility and thus meant to have a general communication strategy. PMID:18280032

  12. Water Mites (Acari: Hydrachnida) of Ozark Streams - Abundance, Species Richness, and Potential as Environmental Indicators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Radwell, A. J.; Brown, A. V.

    2005-05-01

    Because water mites are tightly linked to other stream metazoans through parasitism and predation, they are potentially effective indicators of environmental quality. Meiofauna (80 μm to 1 mm) were sampled from headwater riffles of 11 Ozark streams to determine relative abundance and densities of major meiofauna taxa. Water mites comprised 15.3% of the organisms collected exceeded only by chironomids (50.2%) and oligochaetes (17.8%), and mean water mite density among the 11 streams was 265 organisms per liter. The two streams that differed the most in environmental quality were sampled using techniques suitable for identification of species. An estimated 32 species from 20 genera and 13 families were found in the least disturbed stream; an estimated 19 species from 13 genera and 8 families were found in the most disturbed stream. This preliminary finding supports the notion that water mite species richness declines in response to environmental disturbance. Many species could only be identified as morphospecies of particular genera, but the ongoing taxonomic revision of Hydrachnida is expected to provide needed information. A collaborative effort between those interested in taxonomy/systematics of water mites and ecologists interested in the significance of water mites in aquatic communities could prove mutually beneficial.

  13. Confirmatory factor analysis for indicators of perceived environmental quality of the stadium (IPEQS).

    PubMed

    Manca, Sara; Fornara, Ferdinando

    2015-09-01

    Studies conducted in the 1980s (see Canter et al. in Football in its place. An environmental psychology of football grounds. Routledge, London, 1989) highlighted the prominent role of the spatial-physical features of football grounds in influencing users' perception of safety, comfort, and general satisfaction towards the stadium experience. In particular, the importance of fulfilling the spectators' needs of personal space (e.g. presence of an open view, proper distance between the seats) and movement opportunity was analysed. The aim of this study is to confirm the factorial structure of a set of indicators--the IPEQS--concerning the perceived quality of an array of aspects (i.e. architectural, social, functional, and safety issues) related to the stadium design. Participants (N = 255), who were selected on the basis of their stadium experience, filled in a self-report questionnaire measuring a set of indicators developed on the basis of both validated tools [i.e. the perceived residential environment quality indicators (PREQIs): Bonaiuto et al. in J Environ Psychol 19:331-352, 1999] and outcomes of semi-structured interviews. Confirmatory factor analyses (CFA) were performed for each scale, and reliability assessments were then carried out for each indicator. IPEQS' factorial structures found through the CFA procedure substantially confirm the results of exploratory factor analyses run with previous data. Outcomes of this study should provide a useful tool for managers and designers of football grounds, in order to improve the overall experience of the spectators. PMID:26239754

  14. Moss and vascular plant indices in Ohio wetlands have similar environmental predictors

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stapanian, Martin A.; Schumacher, William; Gara, Brian; Adams, Jean V.; Viau, Nick

    2016-01-01

    Mosses and vascular plants have been shown to be reliable indicators of wetland habitat delineation and environmental quality. Knowledge of the best ecological predictors of the quality of wetland moss and vascular plant communities may determine if similar management practices would simultaneously enhance both populations. We used Akaike's Information Criterion to identify models predicting a moss quality assessment index (MQAI) and a vascular plant index of biological integrity based on floristic quality (VIBI-FQ) from 27 emergent and 13 forested wetlands in Ohio, USA. The set of predictors included the six metrics from a wetlands disturbance index (ORAM) and two landscape development intensity indices (LDIs). The best single predictor of MQAI and one of the predictors of VIBI-FQ was an ORAM metric that assesses habitat alteration and disturbance within the wetland, such as mowing, grazing, and agricultural practices. However, the best single predictor of VIBI-FQ was an ORAM metric that assessed wetland vascular plant communities, interspersion, and microtopography. LDIs better predicted MQAI than VIBI-FQ, suggesting that mosses may either respond more rapidly to, or recover more slowly from, anthropogenic disturbance in the surrounding landscape than vascular plants. These results supported previous predictive studies on amphibian indices and metrics and a separate vegetation index, indicating that similar wetland management practices may result in qualitatively the same ecological response for three vastly different wetland biological communities (amphibians, vascular plants, and mosses).

  15. Relationship of Environmental, Physiological, and Perceptual Heat Stress Indices in Iranian Men

    PubMed Central

    Habibi, Peymaneh; Momeni, Reza; Dehghan, Habibollah

    2015-01-01

    Background: Heat stress is a known occupational hazard, which cause reduced exercise capacity. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relationship among environmental, physiological, and perceptual heat stress indices in Iranian men. Methods: This analytical study was carried out on 24 healthy men (age 23.34 ± 1.64 years) with normal body weight (body mass indices 21–25 kg/m2) in low workload for 120 min under hot climates (22–32°C, 40% relative humidity). Physiological strain index (PSI), wet-bulb globe temperature (WBGT), oral temperature, heart rate (HR), and heat strain score index (HSSI) questionnaires were simultaneous measurements taken at any 5 min during the exposure and resting state the initial measurements. Results: The results showed that the range of WBGT index was 20.47–31.40°C. Significant correlation were found among WBGT and HSSI (r = 0.995), PSI (r = 0.990), oral temperature (r = 0.991), and HR (r = 0.972) indices. Also, significant correlation were found among HSSI and oral temperature (r = 0.983), HR (r = 0.978), and PSI (r = 0.987). Conclusions: The results have shown that simultaneous with the increase in valid indices of heat stress such as WBGT and PSI indices, the amount of HSSI has also increased with high power. Therefore, when there is no access to a reliable heat stress method such as WBGT, or PSI indices, HSSI, an observative and subjective heat strain method, can be used as a simple, fast in least 5 min, and inexpensive for evaluating the heat strain in Iranian men. PMID:26730346

  16. Indicator Properties of Baltic Zooplankton for Classification of Environmental Status within Marine Strategy Framework Directive

    PubMed Central

    Lehtiniemi, Maiju; Postel, Lutz; Rubene, Gunta; Amid, Callis; Lesutiene, Jurate; Uusitalo, Laura; Strake, Solvita; Demereckiene, Natalja

    2016-01-01

    The European Marine Strategy Framework Directive requires the EU Member States to estimate the level of anthropogenic impacts on their marine systems using 11 Descriptors. Assessing food web response to altered habitats is addressed by Descriptor 4 and its indicators, which are being developed for regional seas. However, the development of simple foodweb indicators able to assess the health of ecologically diverse, spatially variable and complex interactions is challenging. Zooplankton is a key element in marine foodwebs and thus comprise an important part of overall ecosystem health. Here, we review work on zooplankton indicator development using long-term data sets across the Baltic Sea and report the main findings. A suite of zooplankton community metrics were evaluated as putative ecological indicators that track community state in relation to Good Environmental Status (GES) criteria with regard to eutrophication and fish feeding conditions in the Baltic Sea. On the basis of an operational definition of GES, we propose mean body mass of zooplankton in the community in combination with zooplankton stock measured as either abundance or biomass to be applicable as an integrated indicator that could be used within the Descriptor 4 in the Baltic Sea. These metrics performed best in predicting zooplankton being in-GES when considering all datasets evaluated. However, some other metrics, such as copepod biomass, the contribution of copepods to the total zooplankton biomass or biomass-based Cladocera: Copepoda ratio, were equally reliable or even superior in certain basin-specific assessments. Our evaluation suggests that in several basins of the Baltic Sea, zooplankton communities currently appear to be out-of-GES, being comprised by smaller zooplankters and having lower total abundance or biomass compared to the communities during the reference conditions; however, the changes in the taxonomic structure underlying these trends vary widely across the sea basins due to

  17. Indicator Properties of Baltic Zooplankton for Classification of Environmental Status within Marine Strategy Framework Directive.

    PubMed

    Gorokhova, Elena; Lehtiniemi, Maiju; Postel, Lutz; Rubene, Gunta; Amid, Callis; Lesutiene, Jurate; Uusitalo, Laura; Strake, Solvita; Demereckiene, Natalja

    2016-01-01

    The European Marine Strategy Framework Directive requires the EU Member States to estimate the level of anthropogenic impacts on their marine systems using 11 Descriptors. Assessing food web response to altered habitats is addressed by Descriptor 4 and its indicators, which are being developed for regional seas. However, the development of simple foodweb indicators able to assess the health of ecologically diverse, spatially variable and complex interactions is challenging. Zooplankton is a key element in marine foodwebs and thus comprise an important part of overall ecosystem health. Here, we review work on zooplankton indicator development using long-term data sets across the Baltic Sea and report the main findings. A suite of zooplankton community metrics were evaluated as putative ecological indicators that track community state in relation to Good Environmental Status (GES) criteria with regard to eutrophication and fish feeding conditions in the Baltic Sea. On the basis of an operational definition of GES, we propose mean body mass of zooplankton in the community in combination with zooplankton stock measured as either abundance or biomass to be applicable as an integrated indicator that could be used within the Descriptor 4 in the Baltic Sea. These metrics performed best in predicting zooplankton being in-GES when considering all datasets evaluated. However, some other metrics, such as copepod biomass, the contribution of copepods to the total zooplankton biomass or biomass-based Cladocera: Copepoda ratio, were equally reliable or even superior in certain basin-specific assessments. Our evaluation suggests that in several basins of the Baltic Sea, zooplankton communities currently appear to be out-of-GES, being comprised by smaller zooplankters and having lower total abundance or biomass compared to the communities during the reference conditions; however, the changes in the taxonomic structure underlying these trends vary widely across the sea basins due to

  18. Rapid Analysis of Glibenclamide Using an Environmentally Benign Stability-Indicating RP-HPLC Method

    PubMed Central

    Haq, Nazrul; Alanazi, Fars Kaed; Alsarra, Ibrahim Abdullah; Shakeel, Faiyaz

    2014-01-01

    An environmentally benign RP-HPLC approach for rapid analysis of glibenclamide in pure form, developed nanoemulsion and commercial tablets was developed and validated in present investigation. The green chromatographic identification was performed on Lichrosphere 250 X 4.0 mm RP C8 column having a 5 μm packing as a stationary phase using a combination of ethanol: methanol (50:50 % v/v) as a mobile phase, at a flow rate of 1.0 mL/min with UV detection at 245 nm. The proposed method was validated for linearity, selectivity, accuracy, precision, robustness, sensitivity and specificity as per international conference on harmonization (ICH) guidelines. The utility of proposed method was verified by assay of glibenclamide in developed nanoemulsion and commercial tablets. The proposed method was found to be satisfactory in terms of selectivity, precision, accuracy, robustness, sensitivity and specificity. The content of glibenclamide in developed nanoemulsion and commercial tablets was found to be 100.50 % and 99.15 % respectively. The proposed method successfully resoled glibenclamide peak in the presence of its all type of degradation products which indicated stability-indicating property of the proposed method. These results indicated that the green chromatographic method could be successfully employed for routine analysis of glibenclamide in pure drug and various commercial formulations. PMID:25276186

  19. Functional traits of selected mangrove species in Brazil as biological indicators of different environmental conditions.

    PubMed

    Arrivabene, Hiulana Pereira; Souza, Iara; Có, Walter Luiz Oliveira; Rodella, Roberto Antônio; Wunderlin, Daniel Alberto; Milanez, Camilla Rozindo

    2014-04-01

    Ecological studies on phenotypic plasticity illustrate the relevance of this phenomenon in nature. Conditions of biota reflect environmental changes, highlighting the adaptability of resident species that can be used as bioindicators of such changes. We report the morpho-anatomical plasticity of leaves of Avicennia schaueriana Stapf & Leechm. ex Moldenke, Laguncularia racemosa (L.) C.F.Gaertn. and Rhizophora mangle L., evaluated in three estuaries (Vitória bay, Santa Cruz and Itaúnas River; state of Espírito Santo, Brazil), considering five areas of mangrove ecosystems with diverse environmental issues. Two sampling sites are part of the Ecological Station Lameirão Island in Vitória bay, close to a harbor. A third sampling site in Cariacica (Vitória bay) is inside the Vitória harbor and also is influenced by domestic sewage. The fourth studied area (Santa Cruz) is part of Piraquê Mangrove Ecological Reservation, while the fifth (Itaúnas River) is a small mangrove, with sandy sediment and greater photosynthetically active radiation, also not strongly influenced by anthropic activity. Results pointed out the morpho-anatomical plasticity in studied species, showing that A. schaueriana and L. racemosa might be considered the most appropriate bioindicators to indicate different settings and environmental conditions. Particularly, the dry mass per leaf area (LMA) of A. schaueriana was the main biomarker measured. In our study, LMA of A. schaueriana was positively correlated with salinity (Spearman 0.71), Mn content (0.81) and pH (0.82) but negatively correlated with phosphorus content (-0.63). Thus, the evaluation of modification in LMA of A. schaueriana pointed out changes among five studied sites, suggesting its use to reflect changes in the environment, which could be also useful in the future to evaluate the climate change. PMID:24496023

  20. A Review of Frameworks for Developing Environmental Health Indicators for Climate Change and Health

    PubMed Central

    Hambling, Tammy; Weinstein, Philip; Slaney, David

    2011-01-01

    The role climate change may play in altering human health, particularly in the emergence and spread of diseases, is an evolving area of research. It is important to understand this relationship because it will compound the already significant burden of diseases on national economies and public health. Authorities need to be able to assess, anticipate, and monitor human health vulnerability to climate change, in order to plan for, or implement action to avoid these eventualities. Environmental health indicators (EHIs) provide a tool to assess, monitor, and quantify human health vulnerability, to aid in the design and targeting of interventions, and measure the effectiveness of climate change adaptation and mitigation activities. Our aim was to identify the most suitable framework for developing EHIs to measure and monitor the impacts of climate change on human health and inform the development of interventions. Using published literature we reviewed the attributes of 11 frameworks. We identified the Driving force-Pressure-State-Exposure-Effect-Action (DPSEEA) framework as the most suitable one for developing EHIs for climate change and health. We propose the use of EHIs as a valuable tool to assess, quantify, and monitor human health vulnerability, design and target interventions, and measure the effectiveness of climate change adaptation and mitigation activities. In this paper, we lay the groundwork for the future development of EHIs as a multidisciplinary approach to link existing environmental and epidemiological data and networks. Analysis of such data will contribute to an enhanced understanding of the relationship between climate change and human health. PMID:21845162

  1. A review of frameworks for developing environmental health indicators for climate change and health.

    PubMed

    Hambling, Tammy; Weinstein, Philip; Slaney, David

    2011-07-01

    The role climate change may play in altering human health, particularly in the emergence and spread of diseases, is an evolving area of research. It is important to understand this relationship because it will compound the already significant burden of diseases on national economies and public health. Authorities need to be able to assess, anticipate, and monitor human health vulnerability to climate change, in order to plan for, or implement action to avoid these eventualities. Environmental health indicators (EHIs) provide a tool to assess, monitor, and quantify human health vulnerability, to aid in the design and targeting of interventions, and measure the effectiveness of climate change adaptation and mitigation activities. Our aim was to identify the most suitable framework for developing EHIs to measure and monitor the impacts of climate change on human health and inform the development of interventions. Using published literature we reviewed the attributes of 11 frameworks. We identified the Driving force-Pressure-State-Exposure-Effect-Action (DPSEEA) framework as the most suitable one for developing EHIs for climate change and health. We propose the use of EHIs as a valuable tool to assess, quantify, and monitor human health vulnerability, design and target interventions, and measure the effectiveness of climate change adaptation and mitigation activities. In this paper, we lay the groundwork for the future development of EHIs as a multidisciplinary approach to link existing environmental and epidemiological data and networks. Analysis of such data will contribute to an enhanced understanding of the relationship between climate change and human health. PMID:21845162

  2. Environmental indicators to assess the risk of diffuse Nitrogen losses from agriculture.

    PubMed

    Buczko, Uwe; Kuchenbuch, Rolf O

    2010-05-01

    Diffuse Nitrogen (N) loss from agriculture is a major factor contributing to increased concentrations of nitrate in surface and groundwater, and of N(2)O and NH(3) in the atmosphere. Different approaches to assess diffuse N losses from agriculture have been proposed, among other direct measurements of N loads in leachate and groundwater, and physically-based modelling. However, both these approaches have serious drawbacks and are awkward to use at a routine base. N loss indicators (NLIs) are environmental management tools for assessing the risk of diffuse N losses from agricultural fields. They range in complexity from simple proxy variables to elaborate systems of algebraic equations. Here we present an overview of NLIs developed in different parts of the world. NLIs can be categorized into source-based, transport-based, and composite approaches. Several issues demand more attention in future studies. (1) Is incorporation of leaching losses and gaseous losses into one single NLI warranted? (2) Is it sufficient to restrict the focus on the rooted soil zone without considering the vadose zone and aquifer? (3) Calibration and validation of NLIs using field data of N loss seems not sufficient. Comparisons of several different NLIs with each other needs more attention; however, the different scaling of NLIs impedes comparability. (4) Sensitivity of input parameters with regard to the final NLI output needs more attention in future studies. (5) For environmental management purposes, factors addressing management decision by farmers deserve more attention. PMID:20306042

  3. Influence of short-term sampling parameters on the uncertainty of the Lden environmental noise indicator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mateus, M.; Dias Carrilho, J.; Gameiro da Silva, M.

    2015-02-01

    The present study deals with the influence of the sampling parameters on the uncertainty of noise equivalent level in environmental noise measurements. The study has been carried out through the test of different sampling strategies doing resampling trials over continuous monitoring noise files obtained previously in an urban location in the city of Coimbra, in Portugal. On short term measurements, not only the duration of the sampling episodes but also its number have influence on the uncertainty of the result. This influence is higher for the time periods where sound levels suffer a greater variation, such as during the night period. In this period, in case both parameters (duration and number of sampling episodes) are not carefully selected, the uncertainty level can reach too high values contributing to a loss of precision of the measurements. With the obtained data it was investigated the sampling parameters influence on the long term noise indicator uncertainty, calculated according the Draft 1st CD ISO 1996-2:2012 proposed method. It has been verified that this method allows the possibility of defining a general methodology which enables the setting of the parameters once the precision level is fixed. For the three reference periods defined for environmental noise (day, evening and night), it was possible to derive a two variable power law representing the uncertainty of the determined values as a function of the two sampling parameters: duration of sampling episode and number of episodes.

  4. Fish embryos: Practical indicators of environmental quality of significance to fisheries

    SciTech Connect

    Longwell, A.C. )

    1988-10-01

    Cyto-embryological analyses of fish eggs collected in nature can be a more sensitive indicator of environmental pollution than more typical assays conducted on artificially-spawned eggs. This is because uncertainties associated with artificial spawning and rearing are dispensed with, as well as because of the sensitivity of some cellular and subcellular analyses. At the same time, such measures can provide information on interannual differences in egg viability of importance in elucidating great, unexplained variability in fisheries recruitment. Extensive experience with fish embryos from ocean plankton has led to the choice of a particularly useful, practical suite of observations for different developmental stages. This includes measures of embryo mortality, mutagenicity, teratogenicity, abnormal cell differentiation, and development rate. Atlantic mackerel egg mortality has been determined to be greater in the surface waters of the New York Bight apex and along the New Jersey coast than in less polluted portions of the Bight. Chromosome abnormality of mid-stage embryos was also greater in more impacted areas of the same water mass, as well as in the somatic cells of adult mackerel and winter flounder, and in juvenile and adult windowpane flounder caught in more impacted areas. Mortality and abnormality of the mackerel embryos showed statistical associations with toxic hydrocarbons as measured in plankton, and with heavy metals as measured in sea surface waters. The sensitivity, practicality, and relevance of the cytoembryological studies to population dynamics of resource species make this an important means of monitoring environmental quality.

  5. Peculiarity and vulnerability of karst settings, analyzed through a review of available environmental indices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parise, Mario; Mazzei, Marianna

    2016-04-01

    Karst is a unique environment on Earth, characterized by a variety of peculiar geological and hydrological features, that are expressed by typical landforms at the surface (doline, ponor, polje, etc.) and underground (single cave, sinkhole, complex hypogean systems consisting of sequences of pits and galleries, etc.). Among the main characters of karst, the direct connection between the surface and the underground is at the origin of the fragility of karst settings, and the related high vulnerability. Many different types of natural geological hazards (or geo-hazards) may potentially affect karst lands, with sinkholes and flash floods being the most frequent and typical. In addition, karst is exposed to a variety of anthropogenic disturbances as well, including loss of natural landscapes, destruction of caves and speleothems, and contamination and pollution problems. At this latter regard, it has to be reminded that karst aquifers host high quality groundwaters, that are used as source of drinking water worldwide, with estimates indicating that the supply of drinking water from karst is going to have a significant increase in the next decades, From all of this, the importance in fully defining the karst setting, and in a detail examination of all the natural and anthropogenic events that may cause negative effects on it, comes out. Uniqueness of karst has been acknowledged since a long time, but only in recent years efforts have been made to develop approaches and methods specifically dedicated to this peculiar environment. Such approaches represent definitely a mandatory step in the correct management of karst terranes, providing useful elements to stakeholders, land managers and people living in karst lands about their fragility, and the need to safeguard them and the natural resources therein contained. Starting from these considerations, in this contribution we review the main environmental indices dedicated to karst that have been recently proposed in the

  6. Use of Geochemical Indices in Environmental Assessment of Soil; the Predictable and the Predictably Unpredictable

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mikkonen, Hannah; Clarke, Bradley; van de Graaff, Robert; Reichman, Suzie

    2016-04-01

    application of geochemical indices without an understanding of site specific conditions could result in significant underestimation of anthropogenic impacts to soil and potential risks to the environment. The reliability and application of geochemical indices for estimation of background concentrations will be discussed, including comment on statistical limitations, (such as management of censored results and the behaviour of composition data) and miss-use/miss-interpretation of geochemical indices within the environmental assessment industry, including inferences of causation based on empirical relationships. HAMON, R. E., MCLAUGHLIN, M. J., GILKES, R. J., RATE, A. W., ZARCINAS, B., ROBERTSON, A., COZENS, G., RADFORD, N. & BETTENAY, L. 2004. Geochemical indices allow estimation of heavy metal background concentrations in soils. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 18, GB1014. MYERS, J. & THORBJORNSEN, K. 2004. Identifying Metals Contamination in Soil: A Geochemical Approach. Soil & Sediment Contamination, 13, 1-16.

  7. Can biotic indicators distinguish between natural and anthropogenic environmental stress in estuaries?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tweedley, J. R.; Warwick, R. M.; Potter, I. C.

    2015-08-01

    Because estuaries are naturally stressed, due to variations in salinity, organic loadings, sediment stability and oxygen concentrations over both spatial and temporal scales, it is difficult both to set baseline reference conditions and to distinguish between natural and anthropogenic environmental stresses. This contrasts with the situation in marine coastal and offshore locations. A very large benthic macroinvertebrate dataset and matching concentrations for seven toxic heavy metals (i.e. Cr, Ni, Cu, Zn, Cd, Hg and Pb), compiled over three years as part of the UK's National Marine Monitoring Programme (NMMP) for 27 subtidal sites in 16 estuaries and 34 coastal marine sites in the United Kingdom, have been analysed. The results demonstrate that species composition and most benthic biotic indicators (number of taxa, overall density, Shannon-Wiener diversity, Simpson's index and AZTI's Marine Biotic Index [AMBI]) for sites in estuarine and coastal areas were significantly different, reflecting natural differences between these two environments. Shannon-Wiener diversity and AMBI were not significantly correlated either with overall heavy metal contaminant loadings or with individual heavy metal concentrations ('normalized' as heavy metal/aluminium ratios) in estuaries. In contrast, average taxonomic distinctness (Δ+) and variation in taxonomic distinctness (Λ+) did not differ significantly between estuarine and coastal environments, i.e. they were unaffected by natural differences between these two environments, but both were significantly correlated with overall heavy metal concentrations. Furthermore, Δ+ was correlated significantly with the Cu, Zn, Cd, Hg and Pb concentrations and Λ+ was correlated significantly with the Cr, Ni, Cu, Cd and Hg concentrations. Thus, one or both of these two taxonomic distinctness indices are significantly correlated with the concentrations for each of these seven heavy metals. These taxonomic distinctness indices are therefore

  8. Incorporating Environmental Justice into Second Generation Indices of Multiple Deprivation: Lessons from the UK and Progress Internationally.

    PubMed

    Fairburn, Jon; Maier, Werner; Braubach, Matthias

    2016-01-01

    Second generation area-based indices of multiple deprivation have been extensively used in the UK over the last 15 years. They resulted from significant developments in political, technical, and conceptual spheres for deprivation data. We review the parallel development of environmental justice research and how and when environmental data was incorporated into these indices. We explain the transfer of these methods from the UK to Germany and assess the progress internationally in developing such indices. Finally, we illustrate how billions of pounds in the UK was allocated by using these tools to tackle neighbourhood deprivation and environmental justice to address the determinants of health. PMID:27472347

  9. Incorporating Environmental Justice into Second Generation Indices of Multiple Deprivation: Lessons from the UK and Progress Internationally

    PubMed Central

    Fairburn, Jon; Maier, Werner; Braubach, Matthias

    2016-01-01

    Second generation area-based indices of multiple deprivation have been extensively used in the UK over the last 15 years. They resulted from significant developments in political, technical, and conceptual spheres for deprivation data. We review the parallel development of environmental justice research and how and when environmental data was incorporated into these indices. We explain the transfer of these methods from the UK to Germany and assess the progress internationally in developing such indices. Finally, we illustrate how billions of pounds in the UK was allocated by using these tools to tackle neighbourhood deprivation and environmental justice to address the determinants of health. PMID:27472347

  10. Trace metals in surface sediments of the Taiwan Strait: geochemical characteristics and environmental indication.

    PubMed

    Gao, Xuelu; Zhou, Fengxia; Lui, Hon-Kit; Lou, Jiann-Yuh; Chen, Chen-Tung Arthur; Zhuang, Wen

    2016-06-01

    The concentration and geochemical fractionation of six trace metals related with environmental quality assessment, namely Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn, in 30 surface sediments from both inshore and offshore areas of the Taiwan Strait were measured to investigate their distribution characteristics, evaluate their potential mobility, and assess their pollution status. The geoaccumulation index results indicated that, on average, the studied metals presented an order of Cd > Pb > Ni > Zn > Cu > Cr and were practically in uncontaminated status except Cd. The results of the sequential extraction analysis indicated that, on average, the studied metals were mostly accumulated in residual fraction except Cd whose concentration was the highest in the acid soluble fraction presenting a high risk to the environment, and their mobility decreased in the sequence of Cd > Pb > Ni > Cu > Zn > Cr. Based on the mean probable effect level quotients, the combination of the studied metals had an 8 % probability of being toxic at two sampling sites and had a 21 % probability of being toxic at the rest of sites. The spatial distribution of the studied metals in total concentrations and different geochemical fractions corroborated the previous findings about the possible sediment transportation routes in and around the Taiwan Strait. PMID:26514571

  11. Application of oxidative stress indices in natural populations of Perna viridis as biomarker of environmental pollution.

    PubMed

    Jena, K B; Verlecar, X N; Chainy, G B N

    2009-01-01

    Oxidative stress indices were measured in gills and digestive glands of Perna viridis collected from three coastal locations in Goa i.e., Bambolim, Marmugao Harbour and Malim. In addition to lipid peroxidation, the activities of antioxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase and glutathione S-transferase and two non-enzymatic antioxidants (ascorbic acid and reduced glutathione) were investigated in order to understand their variation with respect to pollution status of the sampling locations. We observed a significant increase in lipid peroxidation and antioxidant enzymes of both the tissues at Mormugao Harbour and Malim, suggesting that the animals at these two locations are at higher level of oxidative stress as compared to those at Bambolim. Conversely, low levels of non-enzymatic antioxidants such as ascorbic acid and reduced glutathione, observed at Mormugao Harbour and Malim indicate that the animals may use these compounds to counteract stress in the tissues. This study shows that changes in lipid peroxidation, superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione reductase, glutathione S-transferase and reduced glutathione in tissues of P. viridis can be used as molecular biomarkers in environmental monitoring programs. PMID:18849055

  12. Environmental tracers as indicators of karst conduits in groundwater in South Dakota, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Long, A.J.; Sawyer, J.F.; Putnam, L.D.

    2008-01-01

    Environmental tracers sampled from the carbonate Madison aquifer on the eastern flank of the Black Hills, South Dakota, USA indicated the approximate locations of four major karst conduits. Contamination issues are a major concern because these conduits are characterized by direct connections to sinking streams, high groundwater velocities, and proximity to public water supplies. Objectives of the study were to estimate approximate conduit locations and assess possible anthropogenic influences associated with conduits. Anomalies of young groundwater based on chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), tritium, and electrical conductivity (EC) indicated fast moving, focused flow and thus the likely presence of conduits. ??18O was useful for determining sources of recharge for each conduit, and nitrate was a useful tracer for assessing flow paths for anthropogenic influences. Two of the four conduits terminate at or near a large spring complex. CFC apparent ages ranged from 15 years near conduits to >50 years in other areas. Nitrate-N concentrations >0.4 mg/L in groundwater were associated with each of the four conduits compared with concentrations ranging from <0.1 to 0.4 mg/L in other areas. These higher nitrate-N concentrations probably do not result from sinking streams but rather from other areas of infiltration. ?? Springer-Verlag 2007.

  13. Peculiarity and vulnerability of karst settings, analyzed through a review of available environmental indices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parise, Mario; Mazzei, Marianna

    2016-04-01

    Karst is a unique environment on Earth, characterized by a variety of peculiar geological and hydrological features, that are expressed by typical landforms at the surface (doline, ponor, polje, etc.) and underground (single cave, sinkhole, complex hypogean systems consisting of sequences of pits and galleries, etc.). Among the main characters of karst, the direct connection between the surface and the underground is at the origin of the fragility of karst settings, and the related high vulnerability. Many different types of natural geological hazards (or geo-hazards) may potentially affect karst lands, with sinkholes and flash floods being the most frequent and typical. In addition, karst is exposed to a variety of anthropogenic disturbances as well, including loss of natural landscapes, destruction of caves and speleothems, and contamination and pollution problems. At this latter regard, it has to be reminded that karst aquifers host high quality groundwaters, that are used as source of drinking water worldwide, with estimates indicating that the supply of drinking water from karst is going to have a significant increase in the next decades, From all of this, the importance in fully defining the karst setting, and in a detail examination of all the natural and anthropogenic events that may cause negative effects on it, comes out. Uniqueness of karst has been acknowledged since a long time, but only in recent years efforts have been made to develop approaches and methods specifically dedicated to this peculiar environment. Such approaches represent definitely a mandatory step in the correct management of karst terranes, providing useful elements to stakeholders, land managers and people living in karst lands about their fragility, and the need to safeguard them and the natural resources therein contained. Starting from these considerations, in this contribution we review the main environmental indices dedicated to karst that have been recently proposed in the

  14. Hospital food waste and environmental and economic indicators--A Portuguese case study.

    PubMed

    Dias-Ferreira, C; Santos, T; Oliveira, V

    2015-12-01

    This study presents a comprehensive characterization of plate waste (food served but not eaten) at an acute care hospital in Portugal and elaborates on possible waste reduction measures. Even though waste prevention is a priority in Europe, large amounts of food are still being wasted every day, with hospitals giving rise to two to three times more food waste than other foodservice sectors. For this work the plate waste arising at the ward level was audited during 8 weeks, covering almost 8000 meals, using a general hospital as case study. Weighing the food served to patients and that returned after the meal allowed calculating plate waste for the average meal, as well as for individual meal items. Comparison of food waste arising showed that differences exist among wards, with some generating more waste than others. On average each patient throws away 953 g of food each day, representing 35% of the food served. This equates to 8.7 thousand tonnes of food waste being thrown away each year at hospitals across Portugal. These tonnes of food transformed into waste represent economic losses and environmental impacts, being estimated that 16.4 thousand tonnes of CO2 (equivalent) and 35.3 million euros are the annual national indicators in Portugal. This means that 0.5% of the Portuguese National Health budget gets thrown away as food waste. Given the magnitude of the food problem five measures were suggested to reduce food waste, and their potential impact and ease of implementation were discussed. Even though food waste is unavoidable the results obtained in this work highlight the potential financial and environmental savings for Portuguese hospitals, providing a basis to establish future strategies to tackle food waste. PMID:26427934

  15. Environmental health indicators and sanitation-related disease in developing countries: limitations to the use of routine data sources.

    PubMed

    Kolsky, P J; Blumenthal, U J

    1995-01-01

    This article explores conceptual issues in the development and use of environmental health indicators for basic problems related to water and sanitation in developing countries. In this context, faecal contamination is the most important environmental health problem, responsible for the death of approximately 3 million children a year, and the infection of hundreds of millions. Good indicators would be invaluable in assessing the magnitude and source of such problems in different settings. PMID:8585231

  16. A study of the landslide potential along the mountain road using environmental indices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, C. Y.

    2014-12-01

    Utilization of slope land in recent years is rapid as a result of the dense population and limit of land resources in Taiwan. Therefore, mountain road plays an essential role for the necessity of human life. However, landslide disaster resulting in road failure occurred frequently in Taiwan on the slope land due to earthquake and typhoon. Previous studies found that the extreme rainfall coupled with the property of fragile geology could cause landslide. Nevertheless, the landslide occurrence might be affected by the drainage of the road side ditches. Taiwan Highway No.21 in Chi-Shan watershed and the forest roads located in Xiao-Lin Village, which failure during the hit of Typhoon Morakot in 2009, were selected for exploring the potential of vulnerable to landslides. Topographic Wetness Index (TWI) and Road Curvature (RC) were extracted along the road to indicate the potential sites which are vulnerable to slope failure. The surface runoff diverted by the road side ditches could spoil the sites with high RC due to the straight movement characteristics of the diverted runoff and cause the downslope collapse. The sites with higher mean value and lower standard deviation of Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) derived from the SPOT imagery taken in dry and/or rainy seasons could be implied as the vegetation stands showing highly buffer effects in environmental stress due to having deeper soil layer, and are hardly interfered by the drought. The stands located in such sites once collapsed are often resulting in huge volumes of debris. Drainage Density (DD) index could be applied as the degrees of geologic fragile in the slope land. A road across the sites with higher mean value and lower standard deviation of NDVI and/or higher DD should be paid more attention because of having highly vulnerable to deep seated landslide. This study is focusing on extracting and analyzing the environmental indices such as TWI, RC, NDVI and DD for exploring the slope stability

  17. Taking the pulse of Colorados Front Range: Developing regional indicators of environmental and quality of life condition

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Baron, Jill S.

    2005-01-01

    Indicators are routinely used to report the status and trends of human health, economy, educational achievement, and quality of life. Some environmental indicators, such as for water and air quality, are routinely reported and used to inform personal, management, or policy decisions. Other environmental indicators, particularly those that do not relate directly to human well-being, have been harder to define, interpret, or use. These indicators may be just as useful and important in describing the ability to provide ecosystem good and services, or less tangible quality of life measures, but they may be suspect because of the quality of data or even the source of the information.

  18. Indicating pressure and environmental effects by means of the spectral shift with rhodamine B and fluorescein

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johann, R. M.

    2015-07-01

    Fluorescence absorption and emission wavelengths can be influenced by environmental conditions, such as pressure, temperature and concentration. Here those effects are explored with an emphasis on determining the potential of rhodamine B and fluorescein as high-pressure indicators. The red shift of the emission peak maxima of rhodamine B and fluorescein are investigated in dependence of pressure up to 200 MPa using as the solvents water, ethanol and poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) with rhodamine B and water, polystyrene beads and melamine resin beads with fluorescein. Emission spectra recording and peak fitting is done automatically at time intervals of down to a second and with 0.3 nm wavelength resolution. The wavenumber-pressure relation for rhodamine B reveals increasing divergence from linear behavior in the sequence of the solvents water, ethanol and silicone rubber. Graphical correlation of the data diverging only slightly from linearity with a selection of polarity functions is enabled using the concept of `deviation from linearity (DL)' plots. Using the example of rhodamine B dissolved in PDMS elastomer it is shown that there is a temperature induced irreversible molecular reordering, when scanning between 3 and ˜50°C, and a polarity change in the proximity of the embedded dye molecule. Swelling studies are performed with PDMS containing rhodamine B, where the elastomer is first put in water, then in ethanol and again in water. There a complex solvent exchange process is revealed in the elastomer demonstrating the feasibility of fluorescence spectroscopy, when observing variations in wavelength, to indicate and enlighten molecular rearrangements and swelling dynamics in the polymer, and polarity changes and solvent exchange processes in the dye solvation shell.

  19. Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory radiological control performance indicator report. Third quarter, calendar year 1997

    SciTech Connect

    1997-11-01

    This document provides a report and analysis of the Radiological Control Program through the third quarter of calendar year 1997 (CY-97) at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL) under the direction of Lockheed Martin Idaho Technologies Company (LMITCO). This Performance Indicator Report is provided in accordance with Article 133 of the INEEL Radiological Control Manual. The INEEL collective occupational radiation exposure goal (deep dose) has been revised from 137 person-rem to 102.465 person-rem. Aggressive application of ALARA protective measures has resulted in a 66.834 person-rem deep dose compared to projected third quarter goal of 85.5 person-rem. Dose savings at the ICPP Tank Farm and rescheduling of some of the ROVER work account for most of the difference in the goal and actual dose year to date. Work at the ICPP Tank farm has resulted in about 14 rem dose savings. The RWMC has also reduced exposure by moving waste to new temporary storage facilities well ahead of schedule.

  20. Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory Radiological Control Performance Indicator Report -- Fourth Quarter, Calendar Year 1998

    SciTech Connect

    Hinckley, F.L.

    1999-02-01

    This document provides a report of an analysis of the Radiological Control Program through the fourth quarter of Calendar Year (CY-98) and is the annual report for the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL). This Performance Indicator Report is provided in accordance with Article 133 of the INEEL Radiological Control Manual. The INEEL collective occupational radiation deep dose is 63.034 person-rem year to date, compared to a goal of 83.1 person-rem. During the fourth quarter, all areas experienced deletions of work resulting from the Maintenance Stand Down. This reduction in work is a primary factor in the difference in the year end dose and the ALARA goal. The work will be completed during CY-99. Beginning in CY-98, a numeric Radiological Performance Index (RPI) is being used to compare radiological performance. The RPI takes into consideration frequency and severity of events such as skin contaminations, clothing contaminations, spills, exposures to radiation exceeding limits, and positive internal dose. The RPI measures the cost of these events in cents per hour of radiological work performed. To make the RPI meaningful, tables have been prepared to show the facility that contributes to the values used. The data are compared on a quarterly basis to the prior year to show measurable performance.

  1. Levels of metals in hair of young children as an indicator of environmental pollution

    SciTech Connect

    Wibowo, A.A.; Herber, R.F.; Das, H.A.; Roeleveld, N.; Zielhuis, R.L.

    1986-08-01

    In 1982 the levels of lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), vanadium (V), copper (Cu), and selenium (Se) were determined in hair of 231 four- to five-year-old children. The objective was to explore the feasibility of using metal-in-hair levels in groups of children as an indicator of environmental pollution. The study was carried out in four areas, which were assumed to differ in ambient pollution by metals. A questionnaire on personal data, socioeconomic status, intake of beverages, and life-style was completed by the parents. The metal-in-hair levels covered a large range. The variables pertaining to location together with sex, presence of a garden, and drinking of coffee and/or tea explained 32% of the variance of Pb, 24% of the variance of Cd, and 21% of the variance of V. The total variance explained by all measured questionnaire items was at best 38%. The location was the most important factor. Cu and Se levels did not differ between the locations.

  2. Influence of environmental storage relative humidity on biological indicator resistance, viability, and moisture content.

    PubMed

    Reich, R R; Morien, L L

    1982-03-01

    The effect of environmental storage relative humidity (RH) on the moisture content, viability, and moist heat and gaseous ethylene oxide (EO) resistance of biological indicators (BIs) was evaluated. No statistically significant difference was observed between the initial Bacillus stearothermophilus spore population and the spore population of BIs stored at 20 degrees C and 0, 20, 44, of 55% RH or under ambient, 4 degrees C, or -20 degrees C conditions after 12 months. A statistically significant decrease in moist heat resistance from initial starting levels was found for BIs stored at 20 degrees C and either 0 or 20% RH. There was a statistically significant decrease in the B. subtilis BI spore population, compared with initial levels, when the BIs were stored at 20 degrees C and 0% RH concomitant with a significant increase in their EO resistance. BI storage at 20 degrees C and 20 or 44% RH, or under ambient, 4 degrees C, or -20 degrees C conditions, had no significant effect on EO resistance. BIs stored at 20 degrees C and 66% RH demonstrated a significantly lower EO resistance compared with starting levels. PMID:7073275

  3. Influence of environmental storage relative humidity on biological indicator resistance, viability, and moisture content.

    PubMed Central

    Reich, R R; Morien, L L

    1982-01-01

    The effect of environmental storage relative humidity (RH) on the moisture content, viability, and moist heat and gaseous ethylene oxide (EO) resistance of biological indicators (BIs) was evaluated. No statistically significant difference was observed between the initial Bacillus stearothermophilus spore population and the spore population of BIs stored at 20 degrees C and 0, 20, 44, of 55% RH or under ambient, 4 degrees C, or -20 degrees C conditions after 12 months. A statistically significant decrease in moist heat resistance from initial starting levels was found for BIs stored at 20 degrees C and either 0 or 20% RH. There was a statistically significant decrease in the B. subtilis BI spore population, compared with initial levels, when the BIs were stored at 20 degrees C and 0% RH concomitant with a significant increase in their EO resistance. BI storage at 20 degrees C and 20 or 44% RH, or under ambient, 4 degrees C, or -20 degrees C conditions, had no significant effect on EO resistance. BIs stored at 20 degrees C and 66% RH demonstrated a significantly lower EO resistance compared with starting levels. PMID:7073275

  4. Development of novel Sol-Gel Indicators (SGI's) for in-situ environmental measurements: Part 1, Program and a new pH Sol-Gel Indicator

    SciTech Connect

    Livingston, R.R.; Baylor, L.; Wicks, G.G.

    1992-11-03

    The feasibility of incorporating analytical indicators into a sol-gel glassy matrix and then coating substrates with this composite material has bee demonstrated. Substrates coated include paper, wood, glass, and the lens of an analytical probe. The first SRTC sol-gel indicator, comprising bromophenol blue dispersed in a silica matrix, was fabricated and successfully used to measure solution pH in the range of pH 3.0 to 7.5. material exhibited a quick response time, as measured by color changes both qualitatively and quantitatively, and the measuring device was reversible or reusable. Additional indicators with responses over other ranges as well as indicators sensitive to the presence of elements of interest, are also under development. The new SGI composites possess promising properties and an excellent potential for performing a variety important in-situ environmental measurements and area discussed in this report.

  5. Environmental isotopes as indicators for ground water recharge to fractured granite.

    PubMed

    Ofterdinger, U S; Balderer, W; Loew, S; Renard, P

    2004-01-01

    To assess the contribution of accumulated winter precipitation and glacial meltwater to the recharge of deep ground water flow systems in fracture crystalline rocks, measurements of environmental isotope ratios, hydrochemical composition, and in situ parameters of ground water were performed in a deep tunnel. The measurements demonstrate the significance of these ground water recharge components for deep ground water flow systems in fractured granites of a high alpine catchment in the Central Alps, Switzerland. Hydrochemical and in situ parameters, as well as delta(18)O in ground water samples collected in the tunnel, show only small temporal variations. The precipitation record of delta(18)O shows seasonal variations of approximately 14% and a decrease of 0.23% +/- 0.03% per 100 m elevation gain. delta(2)H and delta(18)O in precipitation are well correlated and plot close to the meteoric water line, as well as delta(2)H and delta(18)O in ground water samples, reflecting the meteoric origin of the latter. The depletion of 18O in ground water compared to 18O content in precipitation during the ground water recharge period indicates significant contributions from accumulated depleted winter precipitation to ground water recharge. The hydrochemical composition of the encountered ground water, Na-Ca-HCO3-SO4(-F), reflects an evolution of the ground water along the flowpath through the granite body. Observed tritium concentrations in ground water range from 2.6 to 16.6 TU, with the lowest values associated with a local negative temperature anomaly and anomalous depleted 18O in ground water. This demonstrates the effect of local ground water recharge from meltwater of submodern glacial ice. Such localized recharge from glaciated areas occurs along preferential flowpaths within the granite body that are mainly controlled by observed hydraulic active shear fractures and cataclastic faults. PMID:15584300

  6. Bivalves as indicators of environmental variation and potential anthropogenic impacts in the southern Barents Sea.

    PubMed

    Carroll, Michael L; Johnson, Beverly J; Henkes, Gregory A; McMahon, Kelton W; Voronkov, Andrey; Ambrose, William G; Denisenko, Stanislav G

    2009-01-01

    Identifying patterns and drivers of natural variability in populations is necessary to gauge potential effects of climatic change and the expected increases in commercial activities in the Arctic on communities and ecosystems. We analyzed growth rates and shell geochemistry of the circumpolar Greenland smooth cockle, Serripes groenlandicus, from the southern Barents Sea over almost 70 years between 1882 and 1968. The datasets were calibrated via annually-deposited growth lines, and growth, stable isotope (delta(18)O, delta(13)C), and trace elemental (Mg, Sr, Ba, Mn) patterns were linked to environmental variations on weekly to decadal scales. Standardized growth indices revealed an oscillatory growth pattern with a multi-year periodicity, which was inversely related to the North Atlantic Oscillation Index (NAO), and positively related to local river discharge. Up to 60% of the annual variability in Ba/Ca could be explained by variations in river discharge at the site closest to the rivers, but the relationship disappeared at a more distant location. Patterns of delta(18)O, delta(13)C, and Sr/Ca together provide evidence that bivalve growth ceases at elevated temperatures during the fall and recommences at the coldest temperatures in the early spring, with the implication that food, rather than temperature, is the primary driver of bivalve growth. The multi-proxy approach of combining the annually integrated information from the growth results and higher resolution geochemical results yielded a robust interpretation of biophysical coupling in the region over temporal and spatial scales. We thus demonstrate that sclerochronological proxies can be useful retrospective analytical tools for establishing a baseline of ecosystem variability in assessing potential combined impacts of climatic change and increasing commercial activities on Arctic communities. PMID:19394657

  7. Bivalves as indicators of environmental variation and potential anthropogenic impacts in the southern Barents Sea

    PubMed Central

    Carroll, Michael L.; Johnson, Beverly J.; Henkes, Gregory A.; McMahon, Kelton W.; Voronkov, Andrey; Ambrose, William G.; Denisenko, Stanislav G.

    2009-01-01

    Identifying patterns and drivers of natural variability in populations is necessary to gauge potential effects of climatic change and the expected increases in commercial activities in the Arctic on communities and ecosystems. We analyzed growth rates and shell geochemistry of the circumpolar Greenland smooth cockle, Serripes groenlandicus, from the southern Barents Sea over almost 70 years between 1882 and 1968. The datasets were calibrated via annually-deposited growth lines, and growth, stable isotope (δ18O, δ13C), and trace elemental (Mg, Sr, Ba, Mn) patterns were linked to environmental variations on weekly to decadal scales. Standardized growth indices revealed an oscillatory growth pattern with a multi-year periodicity, which was inversely related to the North Atlantic Oscillation Index (NAO), and positively related to local river discharge. Up to 60% of the annual variability in the Ba/Ca could be explained by variations in river discharge at the site closest to the rivers, but the relationship disappeared at a more distant location. Patterns of δ18O, δ13C, and Sr/Ca together provide evidence that bivalve growth ceases at elevated temperatures during the fall and recommences at the coldest temperatures in the early spring, with the implication that food, rather than temperature, is the primary driver of bivalve growth. The multi-proxy approach of combining the annually integrated information from the growth results and higher resolution geochemical results yielded a robust interpretation of biophysical coupling in the region over temporal and spatial scales. We thus demonstrate that sclerochronological proxies can be useful retrospective analytical tools for establishing a baseline of ecosystem variability in assessing potential combined impacts of climatic change and increasing commercial activities on Arctic communities. PMID:19394657

  8. Assessing agro-environmental performance of dairy farms in northwest Italy based on aggregated results from indicators.

    PubMed

    Gaudino, Stefano; Goia, Irene; Grignani, Carlo; Monaco, Stefano; Sacco, Dario

    2014-07-01

    Dairy farms control an important share of the agricultural area of Northern Italy. Zero grazing, large maize-cropped areas, high stocking densities, and high milk production make them intensive and prone to impact the environment. Currently, few published studies have proposed indicator sets able to describe the entire dairy farm system and their internal components. This work had four aims: i) to propose a list of agro-environmental indicators to assess dairy farms; ii) to understand which indicators classify farms best; iii) to evaluate the dairy farms based on the proposed indicator list; iv) to link farmer decisions to the consequent environmental pressures. Forty agro-environmental indicators selected for this study are described. Northern Italy dairy systems were analysed considering both farmer decision indicators (farm management) and the resulting pressure indicators that demonstrate environmental stress on the entire farming system, and its components: cropping system, livestock system, and milk production. The correlations among single indicators identified redundant indicators. Principal Components Analysis distinguished which indicators provided meaningful information about each pressure indicator group. Analysis of the communalities and the correlations among indicators identified those that best represented farm variability: Farm Gate N Balance, Greenhouse Gas Emission, and Net Energy of the farm system; Net Energy and Gross P Balance of the cropping system component; Energy Use Efficiency and Purchased Feed N Input of the livestock system component; N Eco-Efficiency of the milk production component. Farm evaluation, based on the complete list of selected indicators demonstrated organic farming resulted in uniformly high values, while farms with low milk-producing herds resulted in uniformly low values. Yet on other farms, the environmental quality varied greatly when different groups of pressure indicators were considered, which highlighted the

  9. The lead content of plants and animals as indicators of environmental contamination

    SciTech Connect

    Adaudi, A.O.; Gbodi, T.A.; Aliu, Y.O. )

    1990-10-01

    Lead content of tissues from some edible plants, pigeons and a vulture, and from human and cattle blood were determined to gain insight into the extent of environmental lead contamination in Zaria and Kaduna environs of Kaduna state of Nigeria. The results suggest that environmental lead contamination in these areas was insignificant when compared to values from developed countries like US. However, there is need for more work of this nature on a regional basis to ascertain the true picture of total environmental lead pollution in Nigeria.

  10. GEOSS, NEW TECHNOLOGY AND THE BIOSPHERE: REMOTE SENSING OF ENVIRONMENTAL INDICATORS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The international Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) initiative combines science, technology and collaboration to improve our understanding and monitoring of the integrated earth system, and to see how humans can be better global environmental stewards. GEOSS inco...

  11. MICROBIAL GENOTOXICITY AS AN ENVIRONMENTAL INDICATOR FOR NEAR-COASTAL SEDIMENT PORE WATERS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Lewis, Michael A., Carol. B. Daniels and Cynthia A. Chancy. Submitted. The genotoxic potential of environmental media collected from coastal areas impacted by anthropogenic contaminants has not been reported frequently in the scientific literature, particularly in the Gulf of Mex...

  12. Mechanistic Indicators of Childhood Asthma (MICA): piloting an integrative design for evaluating environmental health

    EPA Science Inventory

    Background: Modem methods in molecular biology and advanced computational tools show promise in elucidating complex interactions that occur between genes and environmental factors in diseases such as asthma; however appropriately designed studies are critical for these methods to...

  13. Lagoon islets as indicators of recent environmental changes in the South Pacific - The New Caledonian example

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garcin, Manuel; Vendé-Leclerc, Myriam; Maurizot, Pierre; Le Cozannet, Gonéri; Robineau, Bernard; Nicolae-Lerma, Alexandre

    2016-07-01

    as integrative indicators of environmental and climatic change for New Caledonia.

  14. Late Miocene biomarker and pollen records in Southeast Atlantic Ocean sediments indicate environmental changes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rommerskirchen, Florian; Dupont, Lydie; Condon, Tegan; Mollenhauer, Gesine; Schefuß, Enno

    2010-05-01

    The Late Miocene epoch is characterized by fundamental changes in Earth‘s climate system: sea-level variability, changes in surface- and deep-water circulation, increase in upwelling intensity along the coasts and turnover in marine and terrestrial biota [1,2]. It is thought that plants using the CO2 concentrating C4 mechanism for photosynthesis potentially evolved during times of a global drop in atmospheric CO2 content and at relatively hot and dry habitats. During the Late Miocene C4 plants expanded nearly simultaneously at different places in the world, while temperatures declined and global CO2 levels exhibited no corresponding change [1,3]. Our objectives concern the climatic and environmental change of Miocene Southwest Africa between ~14 to ~5 Myrs BP and how these conditions may be linked to the C4 plant expansion. We use a variety of organic geochemical techniques combined with palynology on sediments of ODP Site 1085. The site is situated in the Cape Basin at the south-west African continental margin, within the today's upwelling zone of the Benguela Coastal Current. Miocene sea surface temperature (SST) estimates applying two indices (TEX86 and UK'37) suggest a transition to cooler temperatures from above 27 to 18°C over a time period from ~14 to ~5 Myrs BP, but are different in rate and timing. Increased upwelling leads to cooler SSTs and enhanced marine primary production as implied by a small but clear overall shift in total organic carbon content after 11 Myrs BP. Concurrently, the abundance of both marine cysts and terrestrial pollen and spores increase and the relative contribution river run-off from the nearby Orange River declines, as indicated by the BIT-index (from ~0.8 to <0.1). We connect these findings to a change in strength and the predominant direction of the wind combined with an intensification of the Benguela upwelling current bringing cold, nutrient-rich waters from the South Atlantic and the Antarctic circumpolar current

  15. Bryozoan paleoecology indicates mid-Phanerozoic extinctions were the product of long-term environmental stress

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Powers, Catherine M.; Bottjer, David J.

    2007-11-01

    We compiled the global onshore-offshore distribution of marine bryozoans within 396 Permian-Early Jurassic bryozoan assemblages and show that bryozoan assemblage generic richness declined significantly in advance of the end-Permian and end-Triassic mass extinctions, starting as early as the Capitanian prior to the end-Permian and the Norian prior to the end-Triassic. We also show that offshore settings were affected first, prior to both extinctions, suggesting that environmental stress resulted from the gradual encroachment of some deep-water phenomenon onto the shelves. These patterns support long-term oceanographic, rather than extraterrestrial, extinction mechanisms, such as widespread euxinia triggered by massive volcanism and global warming. Tracking the onshore-offshore environmental distribution of these marine invertebrates provides a unique approach to assessing prolonged environmentally induced stress through this ˜120 m.y. time interval.

  16. Adsorptive Stripping Voltammetry of Environmental Indicators: Determination of Zinc in Algae

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Collado-Sanchez, C.; Hernandez-Brito, J. J.; Perez-Pena, J.; Torres-Padron, M. E.; Gelado-Caballero, M. D.

    2005-01-01

    A method for sample preparation and for the determination of average zinc content in algae using adsorptive stripping voltammetry are described. The students gain important didactic advantages through metal determination in environmental matrices, which include carrying out clean protocols for sampling and handling, and digesting samples using…

  17. MUSSEL WATCH--MEASUREMENTS OF CHEMICAL POLLUTANTS IN BIVALVES AS ONE INDICATOR OF COASTAL ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY

    EPA Science Inventory

    The utility of the bivalve sentinel organism approach to monitoring for some chemicals of environmental concern in coastal and estuarine areas has been evaluated by regional and national programs and by smaller scale research efforts during the past 15 years. The extent and sever...

  18. EVALUATION OF SEVERAL ASSESSMENT METHODS AS INDICATORS OF ESTUARINE ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Researchers from U.S. EPA's Gulf Ecology Division have conducted a multi-year evaluation of the environmental condition of near-coastal areas affected by different types of stressors. Areas of study have included coastal rivers, transportation canals, residential canals and estua...

  19. INTEGRATION OF COASTAL ENVIRONMENTAL INDICATORS FOR THE U.S. MID-ATLANTIC REGION

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Mid-Atlantic Integrated Assessment (MAlA) Project began in 1994 as a partnership between USEPA's Region III Office and Office of Research and Development. This multi-year initiative was envisioned to: (1) improve the quality of environmental science and promote the use of sou...

  20. Variations in Environmental Signals in Tree-Ring Indices in Trees with Different Growth Potential.

    PubMed

    Hafner, Polona; Gričar, Jožica; Skudnik, Mitja; Levanič, Tom

    2015-01-01

    We analysed two groups of Quercus robur trees, growing at nearby plots with different micro-location condition (W-wet and D-dry) in the floodplain Krakovo forest, Slovenia. In the study we compared the growth response of two different tree groups to environmental variables, the potential signal stored in earlywood (EW) structure and the potential difference of the information stored in carbon isotope discrimination of EW and latewood (LW). For that purpose EW and LW widths and carbon isotope discrimination for the period 1970-2008 AD were measured. EW and LW widths were measured on stained microscopic slides and chronologies were standardised using the ARSTAN program. α-cellulose was extracted from pooled EW and LW samples and homogenized samples were further analysed using an elemental analyser and IRMS. We discovered that W oaks grew significantly better over the whole analysed period. The difference between D and W oaks was significant in all analysed variables with the exception of stable carbon isotope discrimination in latewood. In W oaks, latewood widths correlated with summer (June to August) climatic variables, while carbon isotope discrimination was more connected to River Krka flow during the summer. EW discrimination correlated with summer and autumn River Krka flow of the previous year, while latewood discrimination correlated with flow during the current year. In the case of D oaks, the environmental signal appears to be vague, probably due to less favourable growth conditions resulting in markedly reduced increments. Our study revealed important differences in responses to environmental factors between the two oak groups of different physiological conditions that are preconditioned by environmental stress. Environmental information stored in tree-ring features may vary, even within the same forest stand, and largely depends on the micro-environment. Our analysis confirmed our assumptions that separate EW and LW analysis of widths and carbon isotope

  1. Variations in Environmental Signals in Tree-Ring Indices in Trees with Different Growth Potential

    PubMed Central

    Hafner, Polona; Gričar, Jožica; Skudnik, Mitja; Levanič, Tom

    2015-01-01

    We analysed two groups of Quercus robur trees, growing at nearby plots with different micro-location condition (W-wet and D-dry) in the floodplain Krakovo forest, Slovenia. In the study we compared the growth response of two different tree groups to environmental variables, the potential signal stored in earlywood (EW) structure and the potential difference of the information stored in carbon isotope discrimination of EW and latewood (LW). For that purpose EW and LW widths and carbon isotope discrimination for the period 1970–2008 AD were measured. EW and LW widths were measured on stained microscopic slides and chronologies were standardised using the ARSTAN program. α-cellulose was extracted from pooled EW and LW samples and homogenized samples were further analysed using an elemental analyser and IRMS. We discovered that W oaks grew significantly better over the whole analysed period. The difference between D and W oaks was significant in all analysed variables with the exception of stable carbon isotope discrimination in latewood. In W oaks, latewood widths correlated with summer (June to August) climatic variables, while carbon isotope discrimination was more connected to River Krka flow during the summer. EW discrimination correlated with summer and autumn River Krka flow of the previous year, while latewood discrimination correlated with flow during the current year. In the case of D oaks, the environmental signal appears to be vague, probably due to less favourable growth conditions resulting in markedly reduced increments. Our study revealed important differences in responses to environmental factors between the two oak groups of different physiological conditions that are preconditioned by environmental stress. Environmental information stored in tree-ring features may vary, even within the same forest stand, and largely depends on the micro-environment. Our analysis confirmed our assumptions that separate EW and LW analysis of widths and carbon

  2. Assessing Environmental Impacts of Treated Wastewater through Monitoring of Fecal Indicator Bacteria and Salinity in Irrigated Soils

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    To assess the potential for bacterial persistence and/or growth in reclaimed water irrigation systems and in irrigated soils, and to quantify the effects of wastewater application on soil salinity, levels of fecal indicator bacteria (E. coli, Enterococcus) and environmental covariates were measured ...

  3. Detection of Microbial Water Quality Indicators and Fecal Waterborne Pathogens in Environmental Waters: A Review of Methods, Applications, and Limitations

    EPA Science Inventory

    Environmental waters are important reservoirs of pathogenic microorganisms, many of which are of fecal origin. In most cases, the presence of pathogens is determined using surrogate bacterial indicators. In other cases, direct detection of the pathogen in question is required. M...

  4. Integrating Environmental and Socio-Economic Indicators of a Linked Catchment-Coastal System Using Variable Environmental Intensity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dymond, John R.; Davie, Tim J. A.; Fenemor, Andrew D.; Ekanayake, Jagath C.; Knight, Ben R.; Cole, Anthony O.; de Oca Munguia, Oscar Montes; Allen, Will J.; Young, Roger G.; Basher, Les R.; Dresser, Marc; Batstone, Chris J.

    2010-09-01

    Can we develop land use policy that balances the conflicting views of stakeholders in a catchment while moving toward long term sustainability? Adaptive management provides a strategy for this whereby measures of catchment performance are compared against performance goals in order to progressively improve policy. However, the feedback loop of adaptive management is often slow and irreversible impacts may result before policy has been adapted. In contrast, integrated modelling of future land use policy provides rapid feedback and potentially improves the chance of avoiding unwanted collapse events. Replacing measures of catchment performance with modelled catchment performance has usually required the dynamic linking of many models, both biophysical and socio-economic—and this requires much effort in software development. As an alternative, we propose the use of variable environmental intensity (defined as the ratio of environmental impact over economic output) in a loose coupling of models to provide a sufficient level of integration while avoiding significant effort required for software development. This model construct was applied to the Motueka Catchment of New Zealand where several biophysical (riverine water quantity, sediment, E. coli faecal bacteria, trout numbers, nitrogen transport, marine productivity) models, a socio-economic (gross output, gross margin, job numbers) model, and an agent-based model were linked. An extreme set of land use scenarios (historic, present, and intensive) were applied to this modelling framework. Results suggest that the catchment is presently in a near optimal land use configuration that is unlikely to benefit from further intensification. This would quickly put stress on water quantity (at low flow) and water quality ( E. coli). To date, this model evaluation is based on a theoretical test that explores the logical implications of intensification at an unlikely extreme in order to assess the implications of likely growth

  5. The Contribution of Scenic Beauty Indicators in Estimating Environmental Welfare Measures: A Case Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fanariotu, Ioanna; Skuras, Dimitris

    2004-01-01

    Aesthetic indicators of landscapes, expressed as individual scenic beauty estimates, may be used as proxies of individuals' specific aesthetic values, and improve the properties of welfare estimates produced by contingent valuation models. This work presents results from an interdisciplinary study where forest scenic beauty indicators are utilized…

  6. DEVELOPMENT OF MICROARRAYS AS A TOOL FOR DISCOVERING ENVIRONMENTAL EXPOSURE INDICATORS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Toxicogenomics includes research to identify differential gene expression in laboratory and field animals exposed to toxicants, and ultimately, to link the earliest indicators of exposure to adverse effects in organisms and populations. The USEPA National Exposure Research Labor...

  7. SOIL MICROARTHROPODS AS INDICATORS OF EXPOSURE TO ENVIRONMENTAL STRESS IN CHIHUAHUAN DESERT RANGELANDS

    EPA Science Inventory

    We studied soil microarthropod communities along livestock grazing disturbance gradients, inside and outside grazing exclosures, and on areas subjected to restoration efforts (herbicide and bulldozing) in order to test the suitability of mites as indicators of rangeland soil qual...

  8. Environmental indicators of macroinvertebrate and fish assemblage integrity in urbanizing watersheds

    EPA Science Inventory

    Urbanization compromises the biotic integrity and health of streams, and indicators of integrity loss are needed to improve assessment programs and identify mechanisms of urban effects. We investigated linkages between landscapes and assemblages in 31 wadeable Piedmont streams i...

  9. Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory Radiological Control Performance Indicator Report - Third Quarter - Calendar Year 1998

    SciTech Connect

    Hinckley, F.L.

    1998-11-01

    The INEEL Radiological Control Performance Indicator Report is provided quarterly, in accordance with Article 133 of the INEEL Radiological Control Manual. Indicators are used to measure performance of the Radiological Control Program and as a motivation for improvement, not as goals in themselves. These indicators should be used by management as tools to focus on priorities, attention, and adherence to As-Low-As-Reasonably-Achievable (ALARA) practices. This document provides a report and an analysis of the Radiological Control Program through the third quarter of Calendar Year 1998 (CY-98) for Lockheed Martin Idaho Technologies Company (LMITCO). This Performance Indicator Report is provided in accordance with Article 133 of the INEEL Radiological Control Manual. The LMITCO collective occupational radiation deep dose is 47.0 person-rem year to date, compared to a year to date goal of 65.8 person-rem.

  10. Correlations between Microbial Indicators, Pathogens, and Environmental Factors in a Subtropical Estuary

    PubMed Central

    Ortega, Cristina; Solo-Gabriele, Helena M.; Abdelzaher, Amir; Wright, Mary; Deng, Yang; Stark, Lillian M.

    2009-01-01

    The objective of this study was to evaluate whether indicator microbes and physical-chemical parameters were correlated with pathogens within a tidally influenced estuary. Measurements included the analysis of physical-chemical parameters (pH, salinity, temperature, and turbidity), measurements of bacterial indicators (enterococci, fecal coliform, E. coli, and total coliform), viral indicators (somatic and MS2 coliphage), viral pathogens (enterovirus by culture), and protozoan pathogens (Cryptosporidium and Giardia). All pathogen results were negative with the exception of one sample which tested positive for culturable reovirus (8.5 MPN/100 L).. Notable physical-chemical parameters for this sample included low salinity (<1 ppt) and high water temperature (31 °C). Indicator bacteria and indicator virus levels for this sample were within average values typically measured within the study site and were low in comparison with levels observed in other freshwater environments. Overall results suggest that high levels of bacterial and viral indicators were associated with low salinity sites. PMID:19464704

  11. Mussel watch - measurements of chemical pollutants in bivalves as one indicator of coastal environmental quality

    SciTech Connect

    Farrington, J.W.; Davis, A.C.; Tripp, B.W.; Phelps, D.K.; Galloway, W.B.

    1987-01-01

    The utility of the bivalve sentinel organism approach to monitoring for some chemicals of environmental concern in coastal and estuarine areas has been evaluated by regional and national programs and by smaller-scale research efforts during the past 15 years. The extent and severity of coastal contamination by chemicals such as polychlorinated biphenyls, chlorinated pesticides, trace metals, and plutonium was assessed in several bivalve sentinel organism programs. Advantages and limitations of this approach are presented and discussed briefly within the context of both national and international efforts.

  12. Coastal vulnerability assessment with the use of environmental and socio-economic indicators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alexandrakis, George; Petrakis, Stelios; Vousdoukas, Mixalis; Ghionis, George; Hatziyanni, Eleni; Kampanis, Nikolaos

    2014-05-01

    Climate change has significant repercussions on the natural environment, triggering obvious changes in the natural processes that have a severe socio-economic impact on the coastal zone; where a great number of human activities are concentrated. So far, the estimation of coastal vulnerability was based primarily on the natural processes and less on socio-economic variables, which would assist in the identification of vulnerable areas. The present investigation proposes a methodology to examine the vulnerability of a highly touristic area in the Island of Crete to an expected sea level rise of up to ~40 cm by the year 2100, according to the A1B scenario of IPCC 2007. The methodology includes the combination of socio-economic indicators into a GIS-based coastal vulnerability index for wave-induced erosion. This approach includes three sub-indices that contribute equally to the overall index. The sub-indices refer to coastal forcing, socio-economic and coastal characteristics. All variables are ranked on a 1-5 scale with 5 indicating higher vulnerability. The socio-economic sub-index includes, as indicators, the population of the study area, cultural heritage sites, transport networks, land use and protection measures. The coastal forcing sub-index includes the frequency of extreme events, while the Coastal Vulnerability Index includes the geological variables (coastal geomorphology, historical coastline changes, and regional coastal slope) and the variables representing the marine processes (relative sea level rise, mean significant wave height, and tidal range). The main difficulty for the estimation of the index lies in assessing and ranking the socio-economic indicators. The whole approach was tested and validated through field and desktop studies, using as a case study the Elouda bay, Crete Isl., an area of high cultural and economic value, which combines monuments from ancient and medieval times, with a very high touristic development since the 1970s.

  13. Potato production systems in Maine: geospatial assessments of agri-environmental indicators

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The sustainability of Maine potato production systems has been a major concern for at least the past 35 years following release of a detailed soil loss investigation conducted in Aroostook County that indicated close to 80% of the most intensively farmed fields were shedding soil at rates of 6.7-190...

  14. Environmental Learning Workshop: Lichen as Biological Indicator of Air Quality and Impact on Secondary Students' Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Samsudin, Mohd Wahid; Daik, Rusli; Abas, Azlan; Meerah, T. Subahan Mohd; Halim, Lilia

    2013-01-01

    In this study, the learning of science outside the classroom is believe to be an added value to science learning as well as it offers students to interact with the environment. This study presents data obtained from two days' workshop on Lichen as Biological Indicator for Air Quality. The aim of the workshop is for the students to gain an…

  15. Database on Pathogen and Indicator Organism Survival in Soils and other Environmental Media

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Data on survival of pathogen and indicator organism in soils, sediments, organic waste, and waters represent the key information for evaluating management practices and predicting fate and transport of the microorganisms. Such data are, in general, available, but are spread across thousands of publi...

  16. The use of invertebrates as indicators of environmental change in alpine rivers and lakes.

    PubMed

    Khamis, K; Hannah, D M; Brown, L E; Tiberti, R; Milner, A M

    2014-09-15

    In alpine regions climatic change will alter the balance between water sources (rainfall, ice-melt, snowmelt, and groundwater) for aquatic systems, particularly modifying the relative contributions of meltwater, groundwater and rain to both rivers and lakes. While these changes are expected to have implications for alpine aquatic ecosystems, little is known about potential ecological tipping points and associated indicator taxa. We examined changes in biotic communities along a gradient of glacier influence for two study systems: (1) a stream network in the French Pyrénées; and (2) a network of lakes in the Italian Alps, with the aim of identifying potential indicator taxa (macroinvertebrates and zooplankton) of glacier retreat in these environments. To assess parallels in biotic responses across streams and lakes, both primary data and findings from other publications were synthesised. Using TITAN (Threshold Indicator Taxa ANalysis) changes in community composition of river taxa were identified at thresholds of <5.1% glacier cover and <66.6% meltwater contribution. Below these thresholds the loss of cold stenothermic benthic invertebrate taxa, Diamesa spp. and the Pyrenean endemic Rhyacophila angelieri was apparent. Some generalist taxa including Protonemura sp., Perla grandis, Baetis alpinus, Rhithrogena loyolaea and Microspectra sp. increased when glacier cover was <2.7% and <52% meltwater. Patterns were not as distinct for the alpine lakes, due to fewer sampling sites; however, Daphnia longispina grp. and the benthic invertebrate groups Plectopera and Planaria were identified as potential indicator taxa. While further work is required to assess potential indicator taxa for alpine lake systems, findings from alpine river systems were consistent between methods for assessing glacier influence (meltwater contribution/glacier cover). Hence, it is clear that TITAN could become a useful management tool, enabling: (i) the identification of taxa particularly

  17. Environmental soil quality index and indicators for a coal mining soil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Masto, R. E.; Sheik, S.; Nehru, G.; Selvi, V. A.; George, J.; Ram, L. C.

    2015-02-01

    Assessment of soil quality is one of the key parameters for evaluation of environmental contamination in the mining ecosystem. To investigate the effect of coal mining on soil quality, opencast and underground mining sites were selected in the Raniganj Coafield area, India. The physical, chemical, biological parameters, heavy metals, and PAHs contents of the soils were evaluated. Soil dehydrogenase (+79%) and fluorescein (+32%) activities were significantly higher in underground mine (UGM) soil, whereas peroxidase activity (+57%) was higher in opencast mine (OCM) soil. Content of As, Be, Co, Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni, and Pb was significantly higher in OCM soil, whereas, Cd was higher in UGM. In general, the PAHs contents were higher in UGM soils probably due to the natural coal burning in these sites. The observed values for the above properties were converted into a unit less score (0-1.00) and the scores were integrated into environmental soil quality index (ESQI). In the unscreened index (ESQI-1) all the soil parameters were included and the results showed that the quality of the soil was better for UGM (0.539) than the OCM (0.511) soils. Principal component analysis was employed to derive ESQI-2 and accordingly, total PAHs, loss on ignition, bulk density, Be, Co, Cr, Ni, Pb, and microbial quotient (respiration: microbial biomass ratio) were found to be the most critical properties. The ESQI-2 was also higher for soils near UGM (+10.1%). The proposed ESQI may be employed to monitor soil quality changes due to anthropogenic interventions.

  18. The use of remote sensors to relate biological and physical indicators to environmental and public health problems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1972-01-01

    Relationships between biological, ecological and botanical structures, and disease organisms and their vectors which might be detected and measured by remote sensing are determined. In addition to the use of trees as indicators of disease or potential disease, an attempt is made to identify environmental factors such as soil moisture and soil and water temperatures as they relate to disease or health problems and may be detected by remote sensing. The following three diseases and one major health problem are examined: Malaria, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Encephalitis and Red Tide. It is shown that no single species of vascular plant nor any one environmental factor can be used as the indicator of disease or health problems. Entire vegetation types, successional stages and combinations of factors must be used.

  19. Indicators of domestic/intimate partner violence are structured by genetic and nonshared environmental influences.

    PubMed

    Barnes, J C; TenEyck, Michael; Boutwell, Brian B; Beaver, Kevin M

    2013-03-01

    One of the most consistent findings to emerge from domestic/intimate partner violence (IPV) research is that IPV tends to "run in the family." Social learning theories appear to be consistent with empirical data, but almost no attention has been given to alternative explanations, including that genetic factors explain intergenerational transmission of IPV. Data for this study were drawn from wave 4 of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health). Three indicators of IPV were measured and genetic factors accounted for 24% of the variance in hitting one's partner, 54% of the variance in injuring one's partner, and 51% of the variance in forcing sexual activity on one's partner. The shared environment explained none of the variance across all three indicators and the nonshared environment explained the remainder of the variance. These findings point to the importance of genetic factors in the etiology of IPV. PMID:23168137

  20. One Step forward: Benthic Pelagic Coupling and Indicators for Environmental Status

    PubMed Central

    Dimitriou, Panagiotis D.; Papageorgiou, Nafsika; Arvanitidis, Christos; Assimakopoulou, Georgia; Pagou, Kalliopi; Papadopoulou, Konstantia N.; Pavlidou, Alexandra; Pitta, Paraskevi; Reizopoulou, Sofia; Simboura, Nomiki; Karakassis, Ioannis

    2015-01-01

    A large data set from the Eastern Mediterranean was analyzed to explore the relationship between seawater column variables and benthic community status. Our results showed a strong quantitative link between the seawater column variables (Chlorophyll a and Eutrophication Index) and various indicators describing benthic diversity and community composition. The percentage of benthic opportunistic species increased significantly in the stations with high trophic status of the seawater column and so did the strength of the coupling between values of seawater column and benthic indicators. The Eutrophication Index threshold level of 0.85, separating the “Bad and Poor” from “Moderate to High” conditions could serve as an acceptable critical value above which there is a readily observable change in benthic community composition. PMID:26496714

  1. Development of Vulnerability Indicators for Deltaic Social-Ecological Systems Facing Multiple Environmental and Anthropogenic Hazards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sebesvari, Z.; Hagenlocher, M.; Haas, S.; Renaud, F.

    2015-12-01

    Deltas are low-lying coastal areas that form where rivers flow into the ocean. Hosting dense populations, featuring rich biodiversity and being hot spots of both agricultural and industrial production, they are considered of great economic and ecological importance. Long-term sustainability of deltas is increasingly under threat due to the consequences of natural and man-made hazards, including large-scale human interventions such as dam construction and extraction of underground resources. Understanding prevailing vulnerabilities in these deltaic systems is becoming increasingly important for the development of spatially-targeted adaptation options at the sub-delta scale (coastal regions, floodplains etc.) which is imperative for the sustainability and in some cases even for the survival of deltaic social-ecological systems (SES). We developed an inclusive SES-centered framework for vulnerability assessments, allowing for different sets of vulnerability indicators to be identified which can then be combined for deltas globally in a modular way. The modular structure allows being responsive to the specific multi-hazard settings of a given delta SES while also considering the interactions between the hazards in one given location. It therefore represents a departure from the usual fixed set of indicators used in existing vulnerability assessments. We present (1) the methods applied for indicator development, including local stakeholder consultations and a systematic literature review, as well as (2) the resulting modular set of indicators to be used in future spatially explicit vulnerability assessments. The approach aims to provide a ʾblueprintʿ for delta vulnerability assessments worldwide. Due to its modular structure it fosters both transferability and reproducibility. This work is part of a global project on 'Catalyzing action towards sustainability of deltaic systems (DELTAS)' funded by the Belmont Forum and the 2015 Sustainable Deltas Initiative, endorsed

  2. Relationships Between Environmental Factors, Bacterial Indicators, and the Occurrence of Enteric Viruses in Estuarine Sediments

    PubMed Central

    LaBelle, Raymond L.; Gerba, Charles P.; Goyal, Sagar M.; Melnick, Joseph L.; Cech, Irina; Bogdan, Gregory F.

    1980-01-01

    Current standards for evaluation of the public health safety of recreational and shellfish-harvesting waters are based upon bacteriological analysis, but do not include an evaluation of the number of viruses. The objective of this study was to determine the occurrence of enteric viruses in estuarine sediments and to find a relationship, if any, between the presence of viruses in seawater or sediment or both and various biological and physicochemical characteristics of the environment. Viruses were found in greater numbers in sediment than in overlying seawater on a volume basis. Several types of enteroviruses were isolated: coxsackievirus types A16, B1, and B5, echovirus type 1, and poliovirus type 2. On several occasions, viruses were isolated from sediments when overlying seawaters met bacteriological water quality standards for recreational use. Statistical analysis of the relationship between viruses in seawater or in sediment and other variables measured yielded only one significant association: the number of viruses in sediment was found to be positively correlated with the number of fecal coliforms in sediment. No other physical, chemical, or biological characteristic of seawater or sediment that was measured showed statistically significant association with viral numbers. No correlation was found between bacterial indicators and virus in the overlying waters. The data indicated that evaluation of the presence of bacteria and viruses in sediment may provide additional insight into long-term water quality conditions and that indicator bacteria in water are not reflective of the concentration of enteric viruses in marine waters. PMID:6247974

  3. Using Indices of Happiness to Examine The Influence of Environmental Enhancements for Nursing Home Residents With Alzheimer's Disease

    PubMed Central

    Moore, Kimberly; Delaney, Jennifer A; Dixon, Mark R

    2007-01-01

    The present study extends the growing behavioral literature on indices of happiness for persons with developmental disabilities to the geriatric population. Data on indices of emotional affect (i.e., happiness) were collected prior to, during, and after each resident was exposed to environmental enhancement activities of various durations. Results showed that every activity improved each resident's level of happiness when compared to pre- and postactivity levels. These outcomes suggest that indexing affect may be as useful for nursing home residents as it has been for individuals with developmental disabilities. PMID:17970267

  4. A multidisciplinary weight of evidence approach for environmental risk assessment at the Costa Concordia wreck: Integrative indices from Mussel Watch.

    PubMed

    Regoli, Francesco; Pellegrini, David; Cicero, Anna Maria; Nigro, Marco; Benedetti, Maura; Gorbi, Stefania; Fattorini, Daniele; D'Errico, Giuseppe; Di Carlo, Marta; Nardi, Alessandro; Gaion, Andrea; Scuderi, Alice; Giuliani, Silvia; Romanelli, Giulia; Berto, Daniela; Trabucco, Benedetta; Guidi, Patrizia; Bernardeschi, Margherita; Scarcelli, Vittoria; Frenzilli, Giada

    2014-05-01

    A complex framework of chemical, biological and oceanographic activities was immediately activated after the Costa Concordia shipwreck, to assess possible contamination events and the environmental impact during both emergency and wreck removal operations. In the present paper, we describe the results obtained with caged mussels, Mytilus galloprovincialis, chosen as bioindicator organisms to detect variations of bioavailability and the early onset of molecular and cellular effects (biomarkers). Seven translocation experiments were carried out during the first year from the incident, with organisms deployed at 2 depths in 3 different sites. After 4-6 weeks, tissue concentrations were measured for the main classes of potentially released chemicals (trace metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, volatile and aliphatic hydrocarbons, polychlorinated biphenyls, halogenated pesticides, organotin compounds, brominated flame retardants, anionic surfactants); a wide battery of biomarkers covered responses indicative of exposure, detoxification, oxidative stress, cell damage and genotoxic effects. Results excluded serious contamination events or a consistent increase of environmental pollution although some episodic spills with reversible effects were detected. Data were elaborated within a quantitative weight of evidence (WOE) model which provided synthetic hazard indices for each typology of data, before their overall integration in an environmental risk index, which generally ranged from slight to moderate. The proposed WOE model was confirmed a useful tool to summarize large datasets of complex data in integrative indices, and to simplify the interpretation for stakeholders and decision makers, thus supporting a more comprehensive process of "site-oriented" management decisions. PMID:24144855

  5. The utility of two marine community indices to assess the environmental degradation of lotic systems using fish communities.

    PubMed

    Stojković Piperac, Milica; Milošević, Djuradj; Simić, Snežana; Simić, Vladica

    2016-05-01

    Multimetric approaches are commonly used to evaluate the ecological status of aquatic ecosystems. However, it has been recommended that the sensitivity of existing methods be improved through the investigation of the potential of new metrics to detect environmental disturbances. In this study we tested the effectiveness of two community indices (Taxonomic distinctness index (TDI) and Abundance biomass comparison (ABC) method), primarily proposed for marine ecosystems, to identify sites with different levels of environmental degradation in lotic systems using fish community data. Fish samples were collected over the period 2003-2011 at 131 sampling stations. To generate water and habitat quality classes, a self-organizing map (SOM) based on environmental data was applied. Gradients over the SOM map were investigated for the values of the TDI and ABC indices. The results of this study reveal that the values of both the TDI and ABC indices are highly correlated with water and habitat quality gradients. However, despite the observed correlation, the utility of TDI as a potential metric in bioassessment programs is rather limited, due to its lack of discriminatory power. In contrast, the ABC method could be proposed as a novel metric, but can only be applied in type-specific multimetric approaches. PMID:26874754

  6. Sheep lymph-nodes as a biological indicator of environmental exposure to fluoro-edenite.

    PubMed

    Ledda, Caterina; Loreto, Carla; Pomara, Cristoforo; Rapisarda, Giuseppe; Fiore, Maria; Ferrante, Margherita; Bracci, Massimo; Santarelli, Lory; Fenga, Concettina; Rapisarda, Venerando

    2016-05-01

    A significantly increased incidence of pleural mesothelioma in Biancavilla (Sicily, Italy) has been attributed to exposure to fluoro-edenite (FE), a fibrous amphibole extracted from a local stone quarry. The lymph-nodes draining the pulmonary lobes of sheep grazing around the town were examined, to gain insights into fibre diffusion. The pasture areas of six sheep flocks lying about 3km from Biancavilla were located using the global positioning system. The cranial tracheobronchial and one middle mediastinal lymph-node as well as four lung tissue samples were collected from 10 animals from each flock and from 10 control sheep for light and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) examination. The lymph-nodes from exposed sheep were enlarged and exhibited signs of anthracosis. Histologically, especially at the paracortical level, they showed lymph-follicle hyperplasia with large reactive cores and several macrophages (coniophages) containing grey-brownish particulate interspersed with elements with a fibril structure, forming aggregates of varying dimensions (coniophage nodules). Similar findings were detected in some peribronchiolar areas of the lung parenchyma. SEM examination showed that FE fibres measured 8-41µm in length and 0.4-1.39µm in diameter in both lymph-nodes and lung tissue. Monitoring of FE fibres in sheep lymph-nodes using appropriate techniques can help set up environmental pollution surveillance. PMID:26855127

  7. Lichens as indicators of elevated levels of environmental lead in Utah Valley, Utah. [Rhizoplaca melanophthalma

    SciTech Connect

    St. Clair, L.L.; Rushforth, S.R.; Newberry, C.C. )

    1990-01-01

    Utah Valley, Utah is a high elevation mountain valley with a moderate population and a large aged integrated steel mill. Fine particulate pollution (PM{sub 10}) levels in the valley are among the highest din the US, particularly during winter inversion periods. Utah Valley also has high levels of carbon monoxide. The local bureau of air quality monitored ambient air lead in Utah Valley for several years through the 1980s. Values as high as 1.35 g/m{sup 3} were noted from this monitoring. Such levels are 90% of the federal ambient air standard of 1.5 g/m{sup 3}. Lichens have long been recognized as bioindicators for heavy metals. Reports of high concentrations of lead in lichen thalli were common prior to the development and use of unleaded fuels. Since that time, lead concentrations in lichen thalli have generally decreased. Recent studies indicate lichen lead levels from clean air areas in the western US range from 10 to 25 ppm. Studies of the umbilicate saxicolous lichen Rhizoplaca melanophthalma in Utah Valley indicate lead levels between 188 and 200 ppm. Excess lead in Utah Valley likely originates from the steel mill and from the high number of vehicles still using leaded fuels.

  8. Parasites of the grouper fish Epinephelus coioides (Serranidae) as potential environmental indicators in Indonesian coastal ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Kleinertz, S; Palm, H W

    2015-01-01

    A total of 195 Epinephelus coioides (Hamilton, 1822) were studied for fish parasites from Javanese (Segara Anakan lagoon) and Balinese waters. Up to 25 different parasite species belonging to the following taxa: one Ciliata, one Microsporea, five Digenea, one Monogenea, four Cestoda, four Nematoda, one Acanthocephala, one Hirudinea and seven Crustacea were identified with four new host and locality records. The dominant parasites included the monogenean Pseudorhabdosynochus lantauensis (53.3-97.1%), the nematode Spirophilometra endangae (23.3-42.9%), the digenean Didymodiclinus sp. (2.9-40.0%), the nematodes Philometra sp. (22.6-34.3%) and Raphidascaris sp. (2.9-28.6%), and the isopod Alcirona sp. (6.7-31.4%). Regional differences for E. coioides were found in terms of endoparasite diversity, total diversity according to Shannon-Wiener, Simpson index and Evenness. A comparison with published data from Sumatera revealed highest endoparasite diversity (Shannon-Wiener: 1.86/1.67-2.04) and lowest ectoparasite/endoparasite ratio (0.73/0.57-0.88) off the Balinese coast, followed by Lampung Bay, Sumatera (1.84; 0.67), off the coast of Segara Anakan lagoon (1.71; 0.71), and in the lagoon (0.30/0.19-0.66; 0.85/0.67-1.00). The presented data demonstrate the natural range of these parameters and parasite prevalences according to habitat and region, allowing adjustment of the scale that has been used in the visual integration of the parasite parameters into a star graph. The parasite fauna of E. coioides in Segara Anakan lagoon 'improved' from 2004 until 2008/09, possibly related to earlier oil spill events in 2002 and 2004. The use of grouper fish parasites as an early warning system for environmental change in Indonesian coastal ecosystems is discussed. PMID:24018181

  9. Salt facies and budgets as environmental indicators in the Dead Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kiro, Yael; Goldstein, Steven L.; Stein, Mordechai; Garcia-Veigas, Javier; Levy, Elan J.; Lazar, Boaz

    2016-04-01

    Deep drilling in the Dead Sea reveals thick sections of halite that precipitated during the last three interglacials, when lake levels were low. Pore water and halite fluid inclusions show an increase in Mg concentration and a decrease in Na/Cl ratio during precipitation of halite, both during the last interglacial and the beginning of the Holocene. A mass balance based on the thickness of the halite layers and the changes in the chemical composition of the brine has been developed in order to calculate the change in the lake levels. Results indicate a drastic decrease in fresh water input, with the average discharge at 30% and 50% of the modern over thousands of years during the last interglacial and early Holocene, respectively. However, packages of detritus alternating with the halite indicate wetter episodes over intervals of centuries to a few millennia with conditions similar to the present-day, as well as more severe conditions with ~10% of the modern discharge over periods of decades to a few centuries. The different facies of halite in the core are well preserved. The lake level calculation based on the salt budget shows that although the lake level decreased drastically, the lake was always >100 m depth, and the absence of significant halite dissolution supports this conclusion. Thus, the halite reflects deep-water facies. There are two main halite crystal types. Small cumulate crystals that are formed on the lake surface, which alternate with bottom-growth crystals with relatively scarce fluid inclusion bands. The frequency of the crystal alternation varies between seasonal and multi-year changes and reflects the hydrological and limnological regime. The small cumulate crystals require that the lake surface was supersaturated with respect to halite, indicating high evaporation and possibly a thermally stratified water column. The bottom-growth crystals are formed only when it is not disturbed by the "rain" of cumulate crystals, with a lower degree of

  10. The Water Footprint as an indicator of environmental sustainability in water use at the river basin level.

    PubMed

    Pellicer-Martínez, Francisco; Martínez-Paz, José Miguel

    2016-11-15

    One of the main challenges in water management is to determine how the current water use can condition its availability to future generations and hence its sustainability. This study proposes the use of the Water Footprint (WF) indicator to assess the environmental sustainability in water resources management at the river basin level. The current study presents the methodology developed and applies it to a case study. The WF is a relatively new indicator that measures the total volume of freshwater that is used as a production factor. Its application is ever growing in the evaluation of water use in production processes. The calculation of the WF involves water resources (blue), precipitation stored in the soil (green) and pollution (grey). It provides a comprehensive assessment of the environmental sustainability of water use in a river basin. The methodology is based upon the simulation of the anthropised water cycle, which is conducted by combining a hydrological model and a decision support system. The methodology allows the assessment of the environmental sustainability of water management at different levels, and/or ex-ante analysis of how the decisions made in water planning process affect sustainability. The sustainability study was carried out in the Segura River Basin (SRB) in South-eastern Spain. The SRB is among the most complex basins in Europe, given its special peculiarities: competition for the use, overexploitation of aquifers, pollution, alternative sources, among others. The results indicate that blue water use is not sustainable due to the generalised overexploitation of aquifers. They also reveal that surface water pollution, which is not sustainable, is mainly caused by phosphate concentrations. The assessment of future scenarios reveals that these problems will worsen if no additional measures are implemented, and therefore the water management in the SRB is environmentally unsustainable in both the short- and medium-term. PMID:27405519

  11. Simple indicator to identify the environmental soundness of growth of consumption and technology: "eco-velocity of consumption".

    PubMed

    Nansai, Keisuke; Kagawa, Shigemi; Suh, Sangwon; Inaba, Rokuta; Moriguchi, Yuichi

    2007-02-15

    Today's material welfare has been achieved at the expense of consumption of finite resources and generation of environmental burdens. Over the past few decades the volume of global consumption has grown dramatically, while at the same time technological advances have enabled products with greater efficiencies. These two directions of change, consumption growth and technological advance, are the foci of the present paper. Using quantitative measures for these two factors, we define a new indicator, "eco-velocity of consumption", analogous to velocity in physics. The indicator not only identifies the environmental soundness of consumption growth and technological advance but also indicates whether and to what extent our society is shifting toward sustainable consumption. This study demonstrates the practicability of the indicator through a case study in which we calculate the eco-velocities of Japanese household consumption in 2 years: 1995 and 2000. The rate of technological advance during the periods concerned is quantified in terms of the embodied carbon dioxide emission per yen of product. The results show that the current growth rate of Japanese household consumption is greater than the rate of technological advance to mitigate carbon dioxide emissions. The eco-velocities at the level of individual commodity groups are also examined, and the sources of changes in eco-velocity for each commodity are identified using structural decomposition analysis. PMID:17593758

  12. The NIfETy Method for Environmental Assessment of Neighborhood-level Indicators of Violence, Alcohol, and Other Drug Exposure

    PubMed Central

    Furr-Holden, C. D. M.; Smart, M. J.; Pokorni, J. L.; Ialongo, N. S.; Leaf, P. J.; Holder, H. D.; Anthony, J. C.

    2010-01-01

    There are limited validated quantitative assessment methods to measure features of the built and social environment that might form the basis for environmental preventive interventions. This study describes a model approach for epidemiologic assessment of suspected environmental determinants of violence, alcohol and other drug (VAOD) exposure and fills this gap in current research. The investigation sought to test the feasibility of a systematic and longitudinal assessment of residential block characteristics related to physical and social disorder and indicators of VAOD exposure. Planometric data were used to establish a stratified random sample of street segments within defined neighborhoods of an urban metropolitan area. Field rater assessments of these neighborhood street segments were conducted using the Neighborhood Inventory for Environmental Typology (NIfETy). This report provides a detailed description of the NIfETy Method, including metric properties of the NIfETy Instrument and outcomes of training procedures and quality control measures. Also presented are block-level characteristics and estimates of observable signs of VAOD activity. This work is a first step toward developing future community-level environmental preventive interventions geared to reduce community VAOD exposure among youthful urban populations and may prove to be useful to other public health research groups as well. PMID:18931911

  13. An Approach to Developing Local Climate Change Environmental Public Health Indicators, Vulnerability Assessments, and Projections of Future Impacts

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Environmental public health indicators (EPHIs) are used by local, state, and federal health agencies to track the status of environmental hazards; exposure to those hazards; health effects of exposure; and public health interventions designed to reduce or prevent the hazard, exposure, or resulting health effect. Climate and health EPHIs have been developed at the state, federal, and international levels. However, they are also needed at the local level to track variations in community vulnerability and to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions designed to enhance community resilience. This review draws on a guidance document developed by the U.S. Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists' State Environmental Health Indicators Collaborative climate change working group to present a three-tiered approach to develop local climate change EPHIs. Local climate change EPHIs can assist local health departments (LHDs) in implementing key steps of the 10 essential public health services and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Building Resilience Against Climate Effects framework. They also allow LHDs to incorporate climate-related trends into the larger health department planning process and can be used to perform vulnerability assessments which can be leveraged to ensure that interventions designed to address climate change do not exacerbate existing health disparities. PMID:25349621

  14. An approach to developing local climate change environmental public health indicators, vulnerability assessments, and projections of future impacts.

    PubMed

    Houghton, Adele; English, Paul

    2014-01-01

    Environmental public health indicators (EPHIs) are used by local, state, and federal health agencies to track the status of environmental hazards; exposure to those hazards; health effects of exposure; and public health interventions designed to reduce or prevent the hazard, exposure, or resulting health effect. Climate and health EPHIs have been developed at the state, federal, and international levels. However, they are also needed at the local level to track variations in community vulnerability and to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions designed to enhance community resilience. This review draws on a guidance document developed by the U.S. Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists' State Environmental Health Indicators Collaborative climate change working group to present a three-tiered approach to develop local climate change EPHIs. Local climate change EPHIs can assist local health departments (LHDs) in implementing key steps of the 10 essential public health services and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Building Resilience Against Climate Effects framework. They also allow LHDs to incorporate climate-related trends into the larger health department planning process and can be used to perform vulnerability assessments which can be leveraged to ensure that interventions designed to address climate change do not exacerbate existing health disparities. PMID:25349621

  15. Environmental indicators of habitat quality in a migratory freshwater fish fauna

    SciTech Connect

    McDowall, R.M.; Taylor, M.J.

    2000-04-01

    In general, diadromous (and particularly amphidromous and catadromous) freshwater fishes decline in frequency of occurrence, change age/size structure, and probability also decline in abundance with increasing elevation and distance upstream from the sea. In freshwater fish faunas with a high proportion of migratory species, as in New Zealand, these changes in occurrence and abundance result in a breakdown of the relationship between fish abundance and habitat quality, making application of the index of biotic integrity (IBI) as a measure of habitat quality problematical since the index depends on the relationship between population metrics and habitat quality. An alternative approach applicable to assessing temporal changes in habitat quality and that uses a large database on fish distributions, involves analysis of the distribution of species across their natural distributions. In this paper, the authors generate curves of occurrence of species across ranges of altitude and distance inland and show, through comparisons of data subsets, that the curves are consistent estimators of species' occurrence and therefore useful as indicators of habitat quality.

  16. Effect of environmental parameters on pathogen and faecal indicator organism concentrations within an urban estuary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Henry, Rebekah; Schang, Christelle; Kolotelo, Peter; Coleman, Rhys; Rooney, Graham; Schmidt, Jonathan; Deletic, Ana; McCarthy, David T.

    2016-06-01

    Current World Health Organisation figures estimate that ∼2.5 million deaths per year result from recreational contact with contaminated water sources. Concerns about quantitative risk assessments of waterways using faecal indicator organisms (FIOs) as surrogates to infer pathogenic risk currently exist. In Melbourne, Australia, the Yarra River has come under public scrutiny due to perceived public health risks associated with aquatic recreation; a characteristic shared with urban estuaries worldwide. A 10-month study of the Yarra estuary investigated the processes that affect FIOs and pathogens within this system. A total of 74 samples were collected from three estuarine and two upstream, freshwater, locations under different climatic and hydrological conditions, and the levels of Escherichia coli, enterococci, Clostridium perfringens, fRNA coliphages, Campylobacter spp. Cryptosporidium oocysts, Giardia cysts, adenoviruses, and enteroviruses were monitored. Reference pathogenic bacteria, protozoa, and viruses were detected in 81%, 19%, and 8% of samples, respectively. Variations in FIO concentrations were found to be associated with changes in specific climatic and hydrological variables including: temperature, flow, humidity and rainfall. In contrast, pathogen levels remained unaffected by all variables investigated. Limitations of current national and international culture-based standard methods may have played a significant role in limiting the identification of correlative relationships The data demonstrate the differences between FIOs and microbial pathogens in terms of sources, sinks, and survival processes within an urban estuary and provide further evidence of the inadequacy of FIO inclusion in the development of worldwide regulatory water quality criteria and risk assessment models.

  17. Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory Radiological Control Performance Indicator Report - First Quarter, Calendar Year 1999

    SciTech Connect

    Hinckley, F.L.

    1999-05-01

    This Performance Indicator Report is provided in accordance with Article 133 of the INEEL Radiological Control Manual. The INEEL collective occupational radiation deep dose is 63.034 person-rem year to date, compared to a goal of 83.1 person-rem. During the fourth quarter, all areas experienced deletions of work resulting from the Maintenance Stand Down. This reduction in work is a primary factor in the difference in the year end dose and the ALARA goal. The work will be completed during CY-99. Beginning in CY-98, a numeric Radiological Performance Index (RPI) is being used to compare radiological performance. The RPI takes into consideration frequency and severity of events such as skin contaminations, clothing contaminations, spills, exposures to radiation exceeding limits, and positive internal dose. The RPI measures the cost of these events in cents per hour of radiological work performed. To make the RPI meaningful, tables have been prepared to show the facility that contributes to the values used. The data are compared on a quarterly basis to the prior year to show measurable performance.

  18. Medicinal and Environmental Indicator Species of Utricularia from Montane Forest of Peninsular Malaysia

    PubMed Central

    Haron, Noorma Wati; Chew, Ming Yee

    2012-01-01

    The carnivorous Utricularia (Lentibulariaceae) is a small herb of multifarious wet habitats worldwide. Eleven of the 14 Peninsular Malaysian species range into the mountains. Distribution, disturbance adaptability and collection frequency were used to formulate their commonness category. Common (U. aurea, U. bifida, and U. minutissima) and fairly common (U. gibba and U. uliginosa) species are mostly lowland plants that ascend to open montane microhabitats, while the fairly common (U. striatula), narrow-range (U. caerulea pink form and U. involvens), rare (U. furcellata and U. scandens), and endemic (U. vitellina) species are restricted to mountainous sites. Common species that colonise dystrophic to oligotrophic man-made sites in late succession could serve as predictors for general health and recovery of wet habitats. Rarer species are often locally abundant, their niches situated around pristine forest edges. When in decline, they indicate the beginning of problems affecting the forest. Utricularia is reportedly nutritious, mildly astringent, and diuretic. Preadapted to nutrient-poor, waterlogged soils, U. bifida is suitable as an alternative for small-scale herb cultivation on low pH, wet poor soils usually deemed not suitable for any crops. PMID:22619629

  19. Liver lesions in winter flounder (Pseudopleuronectes americanus) from Jamaica Bay, New York: Indications of environmental degradation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Augspurger, T.P.; Herman, R.L.; Tanacredi, J.T.; Hatfield, J.S.

    1994-01-01

    Liver sections of winter flounder (Pseudopleuronectes americanus) collected from Jamaica Bay and Shinnecock Bay, New York, in 1989, were examined microscopically to determine the pervasiveness of liver lesions observed previously in Jamaica Bay winter flounder. Neoplastic lesions were not detected in fish from Jamaica Bay or the Shinnecock Bay reference site. Twenty-two percent of Jamaica Bay winter flounder examined (n = 103) had unusual vacuolization of hepatocytes and biliary pre-ductal and ductal cells (referred to hereafter as the vacuolated cell lesion). The lesion, identical to that found in 25% of Jamaica Bay winter flounder examined in 1988, has previously been identified in fishes taken from highly polluted regions of the Atlantic coast (e.g., Boston Harbor, Massachusetts, and Black Rock Harbor, Connecticut). Prevalence of the vacuolated cell lesion in winter flounder from Jamaica Bay was significantly greater (p < 0.0001) than in 102 specimens collected from Shinnecock Bay. Current scientific literature indicates vacuolated hepatocytes and cholangiocytes are chronically injured and that the extent of their deformity is consistent with the action of a hepatotoxicant. The high prevalence of vacuolated hepatocytes in Jamaica Bay winter flounder and absence of the lesion in flounder from reference sites strongly supports the hypothesis that this impairment is a manifestation of a toxic condition in at least some portions of Jamaica Bay.

  20. Investigation of environmental indices from the Earth Resources Technology Satellite. [environmental trends in land use water quality, and air quality in Pennsylvania

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greeley, R. S. (Principal Investigator); Ward, E. A.; Elliott, J. C.; Friedman, E. J.; Riley, E. L.; Stryker, S.

    1974-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. Land use change, water quality, and air quality indices have been calculated from analysis of ERTS-1 multispectral scanning imagery and computer compatible tapes. Specifications have been developed and discussed for an ERTS-1 environmental monitoring system which help to serve the information needs of environmental managers at the Federal, state, regional, and local level. General conclusions of the investigation are that ERTS-1 data is very useful in land use mapping and updating to 10-15 categories, and can provide an overall measure of air and water turbidity; however, more and better ground truth and possibly additional spacecraft sensors will be required if specific air and water pollutants are to be quantified from satellite data.

  1. Environmental impact assessment of sediment dumping in the southern Baltic Sea using meiofaunal indicators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frenzel, Peter; Borrmann, Corinna; Lauenburg, Beate; Bohling, Björn; Bartholdy, Jan

    2009-02-01

    An experimental sediment dumping was carried out in the southern part of the Mecklenburg Bight in June 2001. Foraminiferans and ostracods from superficial sandy sediment were studied in a time series from before dumping until March 2004 in order to assess changes in associations and recolonization patterns of both groups. Additionally, an area sampling covering the dumping site and its surroundings from 15.5 to 20.7 m water depth made it possible to compare associations inside and outside the dumping area as well as the water depth dependent distribution of foraminiferans and ostracods. Salinity values vary within the high alpha-mesohaline and low polyhaline range. The dominating species are Ammotium cassis (Foraminifera) and Sarsicytheridea bradii (Ostracoda). The diversity is low (Fisher alpha index from 0.4 to 3.2 for foraminiferans and 1.0 to 2.5 for ostracods), but higher within the dumping site samples. These higher values are explainable by input of allochthonous tests and valves representing additional species. After the sediment dumping it took two and a half years to re-establish the total foraminiferan association and the total foraminifer/ostracod ratio within the dumping site. Total foraminiferan abundance increases remarkably with water depth (mean 83 tests in 100 ml) driven by higher nutrient availability and more suitable salinity and temperature values within the zone of the oscillating halocline. The distribution of shallow water species such as Cribroelphidium excavatum, Eucythere argus and Hirschmannia viridis, within the transient water layer A. cassis, Nodulina dentaliniformis, S. bradii and Palmoconcha laevata and below Eggerella scabra indicate the depth position of the halocline. Water depth and sediment dumping influence are the main driving factors for the distribution of foraminifer and ostracod associations within the study area. However, a significant sedimentological difference between samples inside and outside the dumping area is

  2. Developing Index for Sustainable Water Use with Environmental and Socioeconomic Indicators: an Application for Hydrologic Units in South Korea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Y.; Kong, I.

    2014-12-01

    This study aimed to develop index for sustainable water use over hydrologic units in South Korea. We identified major indicators for sustainable water use with considering multiple aspects of water use: not only physical, biological and chemical aspects but also social and environmental aspects. Furthermore, stressors for sustainable water use were of major interests because they were straightforward and easy to measure in comparison to indicators representing the state- and impact-related indictors. As a result, sustainability index was constructed with a theme-based hierarchical approach. It is comprised of two components of stress and response to sustainable water use and each component includes five sub-components of human water requirements, water quality requirements, 4) h, equitable water use and others. Then for each sub-component, multiple indicators, i.e., proxy variables were identified. For drainage basins in South Korea, standard hydrologic units with their total number of about 100 across the country, total 19 indicators were identified and their data from the various sources such as remote-sensing based datasets and survey-based national datasets were collected for current times. Then they were integrated to estimate the sustainability index with a multi-criteria decision making (MCDM) approach. At last, we evaluated sustainability index with focusing on the spatial variability of indices and indicators and the sensitivity of indices to individual indicators to better understand the sustainability of water use in Korea. In addition, we derived the indices with different MCDM methods to evaluate the sensitivity of index to various mathematical techniques.

  3. A global assessment of transboundary watersheds for potential hydro-political tensions using environmental, political, and economic indicators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sproles, E. A.; De Stefano, L.; Petersen-Perlman, J.; Eynard, J.; Wolf, A.

    2014-12-01

    Watersheds do not recognize political boundaries. However globally 286 of them extend across international borders. In these basins, transboundary water resources support an interdependent web of environmental, political, and economic systems that can enhance or destabilize a region. We present an integrated global-scale assessment of transboundary watersheds to identify regions more likely to experience hydro-political tensions over the next decade and beyond based upon environmental, political, and economic indicators. We apply NASA's Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) data to bridge the sparse and inconsistent hydrologic monitoring networks that exist in many regions of the world. GRACE does not distinguish political boundaries, and provides novel insights into terrestrial water storage anomalies across and through a watershed. We combine GRACE measurements of changes in terrestrial water storage with metrics of projected climate change impacts on water variability, the institutional capacity of countries to manage shared water resources, the development of new water infrastructure, gross national income, domestic and international armed conflicts, and disputes over transboundary waters. Our analysis integrates political, economic and environmental metrics as part of the United Nation's Transboundary Waters Assessment Programme to provide the first global-scale assessment of its type.

  4. Statistical monitoring of spatial patterns of environmental indices for integrated ecosystem assessment: Application to the Bay of Biscay pelagic zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woillez, Mathieu; Petitgas, Pierre; Huret, Martin; Struski, Caroline; Léger, Fabien

    2010-10-01

    Monitoring the environment of fish is a key component of the ecosystem approach to fisheries management. Here, we propose a methodology to statistically monitor time series of maps of environmental indices. These maps were derived from a 37-year hindcast of a coupled physical-biogeochemical model. The space-time variability in the maps was decomposed using empirical orthogonal functions into time-invariant spatial patterns and time-varying amplitudes for these patterns. A statistical process control chart was then applied to the time series of the amplitudes. In that way, changes were detected with known statistical performance. The monitoring system also specified how long the changes lasted and which years, seasons and zones were affected. Results for all indices were assembled in an integrative dashboard of the detected deviations. For illustration, the procedure was applied to the Bay of Biscay pelagic zone. The selected environmental indices characterized the evolution of hydrological structures such as fronts and river plumes, as well as changes in temperature, water column stratification, horizontal current flow and primary production. A major result was that, in the last decade, sea surface temperature showed repeated significant shifts towards warming, which were largest in the northern half of the Bay, while the spatial extension of river plumes over the shelf alternated between wet and dry years. From 2005, several other indices showed repeated significant deviations: increase in sea bottom temperature, increase in the depth of the pycnocline and changes in coastal currents. The procedure provided an integrated view of ecosystem variability and change for all its components and their spatial organization.

  5. The risk of enteric diseases in young children and environmental indicators in sentinel areas of Mexico City.

    PubMed

    Cifuentes, Enrique; Mazari-Hiriart, Marisa; Carneiro, Fernando; Bianchi, Flavia; Gonzalez, Dolores

    2002-03-01

    The overall objective of this study is to promote the development of environmental health indicators in Mexico City. Specific examples focused on water quality, household characteristics e.g., sanitation and risk of enteric diseases. A geographic information system (GIS) was used in order to identify eligible wells and their surrounding homesteads (0.5 km around each well). A pilot study was conducted during the rainy season (1999), and a total of 1, 250 eligible households were visited on a random sample basis; only those having children under 5 years of age were interviewed. Data on diarrheal disease (i.e. occurrence in the previous two weeks) were obtained from 950 children, and their guardians provided information on their water supply, sanitation and socioeconomic variables. A total of 320 water samples were obtained from 40 wells, and tested for Total coliforms (TC/100 ml), Fecal coliforms (FC/100 ml). Escherichia coli (EC) and Fecal streptococci (FS). Bacterial indicators were detected in 40% of the wells in the western zone and in 32% of the southern zone (p = 0.01). The rate of diarrheal diseases was higher for children from the southern areas than in the west (OR = 1.7 and 95% CI: 0.99, 2.86). The final analysis showed a higher risk of diarrhea in children from rented homes than those living in owned dwellings (OR = 1.7 and 95% Cl: 1.04, 2.77): the risk was also highest for children living in houses with poor sanitation facilities (e.g., latrine) than those connected to a sewerage (OR = 1.7 and 95% Cl: 1.00, 2.93). Children from households perceiving unpleasant taste of water showed a higher risk than those without complaints (OR = 2.2 and 95% Cl: 1.28, 3.75). Linkages between environmental factors and health risk were created from spatially distributed information, and the proposed environmental health indicator (EHI) summarized the most significant predictors of diarrheal diseases. This baseline information may contribute to further environmental health

  6. An assessment of potential hydro-political tensions in transboundary river basins using environmental, political, and economic indicators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Stefano, Lucia; Petersen-Perlman, Jacob; Sproles, Eric; Eynard, James; Wolf, Aaron T.

    2015-04-01

    Globally 286 river basins extend across international borders, covering over 61.9 million km2 of the earth's surface and hosting a total of approximately 2.7 billion people. In these basins, transboundary water resources support an interdependent web of environmental, political, and economic systems that can enhance or destabilize a region. We present an integrated global-scale assessment of transboundary watersheds to identify regions more likely to experience hydro-political tensions over the next decade and beyond based upon environmental, political, and economic indicators. We combine NASA's Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) measurements of changes in terrestrial water storage with metrics of projected climate change impacts on water variability, the institutional capacity of countries to manage shared water resources, the development of new water infrastructure, per capita gross national income, domestic and international armed conflicts, and recent history of disputes over transboundary waters. The construction of new water-related infrastructure is on-going or planned in many basins worldwide. New water infrastructure is foreseen also in areas where instruments of international cooperation are still absent or limited in scope, e.g. in Southeast Asia, South Asia, Central America, the northern part of the South American continent, and the southern Balkans as well as in different parts of Africa. Moreover, in Central and Eastern Africa, the Middle East, and Central, South and South-East Asia there is a concomitance of several political, environmental and socioeconomic factors that could exacerbate hydropolitical tensions. Our analysis integrates political, economic and environmental metrics and is part of the United Nation's Transboundary Waters Assessment Programme to provide the first global-scale assessment of its type.

  7. Water quality, weather and environmental factors associated with fecal indicator organism density in beach sand at two recreational marine beaches.

    PubMed

    Heaney, Christopher D; Exum, Natalie G; Dufour, Alfred P; Brenner, Kristen P; Haugland, Richard A; Chern, Eunice; Schwab, Kellogg J; Love, David C; Serre, Marc L; Noble, Rachel; Wade, Timothy J

    2014-11-01

    Recent studies showing an association between fecal indicator organisms (FIOs) in sand and gastrointestinal (GI) illness among beachgoers with sand contact have important public health implications because of the large numbers of people who recreate at beaches and engage in sand contact activities. Yet, factors that influence fecal pollution in beach sand remain unclear. During the 2007 National Epidemiological and Environmental Assessment of Recreational (NEEAR) Water Study, sand samples were collected at three locations (60 m apart) on weekend days (Sat, Sun) and holidays between June and September at two marine beaches - Fairhope Beach, AL and Goddard Beach, RI - with nearby publicly-owned treatment works (POTWs) outfalls. F(+) coliphage, enterococci, Bacteroidales, fecal Bacteroides spp., and Clostridium spp. were measured in sand using culture and qPCR-based calibrator-cell equivalent methods. Water samples were also collected on the same days, times and transects as the 144 sand samples and were assayed using the same FIO measurements. Weather and environmental data were collected at the time of sample collection. Mean FIO concentrations in sand varied over time, but not space. Enterococci CFU and CCE densities in sand were not correlated, although other FIOs in sand were. The strongest correlation between FIO density in sand and water was fecal Bacteroides CCE, followed by enterococci CFU, Clostridium spp. CCE, and Bacteroidales CCE. Overall, the factors associated with FIO concentrations in sand were related to the sand-water interface (i.e., sand-wetting) and included daily average densities of FIOs in water, rainfall, and wave height. Targeted monitoring that focuses on daily trends of sand FIO variability, combined with information about specific water quality, weather, and environmental factors may inform beach monitoring and management decisions to reduce microbial burdens in beach sand. The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and do

  8. Water quality, weather and environmental factors associated with fecal indicator organism density in beach sand at two recreational marine beaches

    PubMed Central

    Heaney, Christopher D.; Exum, Natalie G.; Dufour, Alfred P.; Brenner, Kristen P.; Haugland, Richard A.; Chern, Eunice; Schwab, Kellogg J.; Love, David C.; Serre, Marc L.; Noble, Rachel; Wade, Timothy J.

    2015-01-01

    Recent studies showing an association between fecal indicator organisms (FIOs) in sand and gastrointestinal (GI) illness among beachgoers with sand contact have important public health implications because of the large numbers of people who recreate at beaches and engage in sand contact activities. Yet, factors that influence fecal pollution in beach sand remain unclear. During the 2007 National Epidemiological and Environmental Assessment of Recreational (NEEAR) Water Study, sand samples were collected at three locations (60 m apart) on weekend days (Sat, Sun) and holidays between June and September at two marine beaches — Fairhope Beach, AL and Goddard Beach, RI — with nearby publicly-owned treatment works (POTWs) outfalls. F+ coliphage, enterococci, Bacteroidales, fecal Bacteroides spp., and Clostridium spp. were measured in sand using culture and qPCR-based calibrator-cell equivalent methods. Water samples were also collected on the same days, times and transects as the 144 sand samples and were assayed using the same FIO measurements. Weather and environmental data were collected at the time of sample collection. Mean FIO concentrations in sand varied over time, but not space. Enterococci CFU and CCE densities in sand were not correlated, although other FIOs in sand were. The strongest correlation between FIO density in sand and water was fecal Bacteroides CCE, followed by enterococci CFU, Clostridium spp. CCE, and Bacteroidales CCE. Overall, the factors associated with FIO concentrations in sand were related to the sand–water interface (i.e., sand-wetting) and included daily average densities of FIOs in water, rainfall, and wave height. Targeted monitoring that focuses on daily trends of sand FIO variability, combined with information about specific water quality, weather, and environmental factors may inform beach monitoring and management decisions to reduce microbial burdens in beach sand. The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors

  9. Sediment amino acids as indicators of anthropogenic activities and potential environmental risk in Erhai Lake, Southwest China.

    PubMed

    Ni, Zhaokui; Wang, Shengrui; Zhang, Mianmian

    2016-05-01

    Total hydrolysable amino acids (THAAs) constitute the most important fraction of labile nitrogen. Anthropogenic activities directly influence various biogeochemical cycles and then accelerate lake ecosystem deterioration. This is the first study that has established the relationship between sediment THAAs and anthropogenic activities using dated sediment cores, and evaluated the possibility of THAAs release at the sediment interface based on changes in environmental conditions in Erhai Lake. The results showed that historical distribution and fractions of THAAs could be divided into three stages: a stable period before the 1970s, a clear increasing period from the 1970s to 1990s, and a gradually steady period that started after the 1990s. The chemical fraction, aromatic and sulfur amino acids (AAs) accounted for only ≤3% of THAAs. Basic AAs accounted for 5-17% of THAAs, and remained at a relatively stable level. However, acidic and neutral AAs, which accounted for 19-44% and 35-69% of THAAs, respectively, were the predominant factors causing THAAs to increase due to rapid agricultural intensification and intensification of contemporary sedimentation of phytoplankton or macrophytes since the 1970s. These trends were closely related to both anthropogenic activities and natural processes, which implied that sediment THAAs could act as an effective indicator that reflects anthropogenic activities and aquatic environmental characteristics. The current contributions of sediment THAAs on TN and TOC were <5% and 1.5%, respectively. However, the dramatic increase in THAAs in the sediment cores indicated that there was a huge potential source of labile nitrogen for the overlying water under certain environmental conditions. Correlation analysis suggested that the release of THAAs was negatively correlated with pH, whereas positively correlated with bacterial number and degree of OM mineralization, which particularly depend on the stability of HFOM. Therefore, the risk of

  10. Microbial Indicator Profiling of Fresh Produce and Environmental Samples from Farms and Packing Facilities in Northern Mexico.

    PubMed

    Heredia, Norma; Caballero, Cindy; Cárdenas, Carmen; Molina, Karina; García, Rafael; Solís, Luisa; Burrowes, Vanessa; Bartz, Faith E; de Aceituno, Anna Fabiszewski; Jaykus, Lee-Ann; García, Santos; Leon, Juan

    2016-07-01

    To compare microbiological indicator and pathogen contamination among different types of fresh produce and environmental samples along the production chain, 636 samples of produce (rinsates from cantaloupe melons, jalapeño peppers, and tomatoes) and environmental samples (rinsates from hands of workers, soil, and water) were collected at four successive steps in the production process (from the field before harvest through the packing facility) on 11 farms in northern Mexico during 2011 and 2012. Samples were assayed for enteric pathogens (Escherichia coli O157:H7, other Shiga toxigenic E. coli, Salmonella, and Listeria monocytogenes) and microbial indicators (coliforms, other E. coli strains, and Enterococcus spp.). Salmonella was the only pathogen detected; it was found in one preharvest jalapeño sample (detection limits: 0.0033 CFU/ml in produce and hand samples, 0.0013 CFU/ml in water, and 0.04 CFU/g in soil). Microbial indicator profiles for produce, worker hands, and soil from jalapeño and tomato farms were similar, but cantaloupe farm samples had higher indicator levels (P < 0.05 for all comparisons) on fruit (6.5, 2.8, and 7.2 log CFU per fruit) and hands (6.6, 3.1, and 7.1 log CFU per hand) for coliforms, E. coli, and Enterococcus, respectively, and lower E. coli levels in soil (<1 CFU/g). In water from tomato farms, E. coli indicators were significantly more prevalent (70 to 89% of samples were positive; P = 0.01 to 0.02), and geometric mean levels were higher (0.3 to 0.6 log CFU/100 ml) than those in cantaloupe farm water (32 to 38% of samples were positive, geometric mean <1 CFU/100 ml). Microbial indicators were present during all production steps, but prevalence and levels were generally highest at the final on-farm production step (the packing facility) (P < 0.03 for significant comparisons). The finding that microbial contamination on produce farms is influenced by produce type and production step can inform the design of effective approaches to

  11. The Baltic Sea: Geophysical and geochemical properties of Holocene sediment sequences as indicators of past environmental variability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lenz, Conny; Reinholdsson, Maja; Zillén, Lovisa; Conley, Daniel J.; Snowball, Ian

    2010-05-01

    The Baltic Sea has undergone large environmental changes since the retreat of the Weischselian Ice-sheet. In the Late Glacial Period and the early Holocene these changes were most likely caused by natural environmental changes (i.e. changes in the morphology and depths of the Baltic basin and the sills). In more recent time anthropogenic impacts have become more important as a possible and likely cause for changes. During the whole Holocene period climate variability played an important role. However, the relative importance between humans and nature is largely unknown. Here we present the results of a combined geophysical and geochemical study on selected sediment sequences from the Baltic Sea within the two BONUS (Baltic Organisations Network For Funding Science) funded projects HYPER (HYPoxia mitigation for Baltic Sea Ecosystem Restoration) and Baltic GAS (GAS storage and effects of climate change and eutrophication). The over-all aim of these projects is to understand large-scale Baltic Sea ecosystem responses to environmental, climate and anthropogenic forcing. During two Baltic Sea research cruises in 2009 long sediment cores from 8 different locations were recovered. We present preliminary results from one site (LL19) located in the north central Baltic Proper at 169 m water depth. The Littorina Sea sediment record (i.e. the last c. 8000 years) is characterised by alternating periods of homogenised sediments (indicative of oxic conditions) and laminated sediments (indicative of hypoxic/anoxic conditions). Mineral magnetic properties illustrate clear changes between laminated and non-laminated sections of the core. The concentration of ferrimagnetic minerals, as revealed by initial magnetic susceptibility (χ) and saturation isothermal remanent magnetization (SIRM) is variable. The laminated sections in particular show high concentrations and to reveal the origin of the ferrimagnetic signal additional magnetic properties were measured, specifically the

  12. DEVELOPMENT OF A TAMPER RESISTANT/INDICATING AEROSOL COLLECTION SYSTEM FOR ENVIRONMENTAL SAMPLING AT BULK HANDLING FACILITIES

    SciTech Connect

    Sexton, L.

    2012-06-06

    Environmental sampling has become a key component of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards approaches since its approval for use in 1996. Environmental sampling supports the IAEA's mission of drawing conclusions concerning the absence of undeclared nuclear material or nuclear activities in a Nation State. Swipe sampling is the most commonly used method for the collection of environmental samples from bulk handling facilities. However, augmenting swipe samples with an air monitoring system, which could continuously draw samples from the environment of bulk handling facilities, could improve the possibility of the detection of undeclared activities. Continuous sampling offers the opportunity to collect airborne materials before they settle onto surfaces which can be decontaminated, taken into existing duct work, filtered by plant ventilation, or escape via alternate pathways (i.e. drains, doors). Researchers at the Savannah River National Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory have been working to further develop an aerosol collection technology that could be installed at IAEA safeguarded bulk handling facilities. The addition of this technology may reduce the number of IAEA inspector visits required to effectively collect samples. The principal sample collection device is a patented Aerosol Contaminant Extractor (ACE) which utilizes electrostatic precipitation principles to deposit particulates onto selected substrates. Recent work has focused on comparing traditional swipe sampling to samples collected via an ACE system, and incorporating tamper resistant and tamper indicating (TRI) technologies into the ACE system. Development of a TRI-ACE system would allow collection of samples at uranium/plutonium bulk handling facilities in a manner that ensures sample integrity and could be an important addition to the international nuclear safeguards inspector's toolkit. This work was supported by the Next Generation Safeguards Initiative (NGSI), Office

  13. Environmental specimen bank samples of Pleurozium schreberi and Hylocomium splendens as indicators of the radiation environment at the surface.

    PubMed

    Huttunen, S; Taipale, T; Lappalainen, N M; Kubin, E; Lakkala, K; Kaurola, J

    2005-01-01

    Pleurozium schreberi (Brid.) Mitt. and Hylocomium splendens (Hedw.) Schimp. samples from the Finnish Environmental Specimen Bank were used to study the UV-B-absorbing compounds as potential screens of the past radiation environment. The first series from southern and central Finland consisted of samples collected from 18 P. schreberi or H. splendens dominated sites in 1985 and 1995. The second series from four H. splendens dominated sites (two in southern and two in northern Finland) and two P. schreberi dominated sites (one southern and one northern) were from the years 1985, 1990, 1995 and 2000. In the first series, the moss surface area of the analyzed specimens (5 +/- 0.2 mg DW) was smaller in 1995 (40% of both species collected in June) than in 1985 (40% of P. schreberi and 55% of H. splendens collected in September). The methanol-extractable UV-B-absorbing compounds of P. schreberi in 1985 and 1995 measured as absorbance at 10 nm intervals at 280-360 nm per mg DW revealed a negative correlation with reconstructed UV-radiation data. In the second series, the UV-B-absorbing compounds per specific surface area (surface area mm2 per DW) showed significant differences between the years. The highest values in both species were obtained in 1990. In H. splendens, a difference between the southern and northern samples was observed. The preliminary study encouraged the use of environmental specimen bank samples to indicate changes in surface radiation conditions. PMID:15519462

  14. Mammalian Faunas as Indicators of Environmental and Climatic Changes in Spain during the Pliocene-Quaternary Transition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montuire, Sophie

    1999-07-01

    The study of mammal communities provides useful knowledge of paleoenvironments and paleoclimates during the Quaternary Period, and better documentation about the main fossil sites is making this task easier. Paleoecological reconstructions of this study are based on (i) rodent evolution and species richness, (ii) the cenogram method, and (iii) methods for quantifying climatic parameters. These analyses applied to a Pliocene-Quaternary faunal sequence of Spain indicate that a climatic change occurred at the end of the Pliocene when considerable cooling led to the onset of the glacial-interglacial cycles. Subsequently, during the Quaternary Period, alternating environmental patterns occurred, with a rather open and arid environment during the cold phases that contrasts with a somewhat more closed and comparatively wet environment during warmer phases. These observations are generalized from Spain to the remainder of the continent, noting that climatic conditions were less harsh and more arid in Spain than elsewhere in Europe.

  15. Biomarkers as environmental indicators in a carbonate complex, example from the Middle to Upper Devonian, Holy Cross Mountains, Poland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marynowski, L.; Narkiewicz, M.; Grelowski, C.

    2000-12-01

    Autochthonous biomarker distributions were studied in an array of different subfacies of a Devonian carbonate complex (represented in platform, reef and off-platform shelf-basinal systems). It revealed that biomarkers are sensitive indicators of depositional environments and may serve to refine palaeoenvironmental interpretations of carbonate complexes based on "classical" sedimentological/facies analyses. The contrasting biomarker composition of the carbonate platform and reef complex versus shelf-basin deposits is here interpreted as the effect of both more diverse biotic sources of a primary organic matter in the former environments (highly scattered results of sterane distribution) and contrasting styles of decay and bacterial reworking of the primary biomass. Peritidal dolostones deposited under anoxic to suboxic conditions, and with scarce sedimentological evidence of elevated salinity, reveal the highest potential of organic matter preservation among other platform/reefal facies. Their biomarker composition includes several compounds indicating hypersaline conditions and anoxia whereas others, in particular gammacerane, indicate that the water-column was stratified during sedimentation. This observation constrains environmental interpretation of these deposits, pointing to shallow-subtidal lagoons with elevated salinity and low-oxygen near-bottom waters most probably originating from a salinity-controlled stratification of the water-column. Biomarkers diagnostic of green sulphur bacteria were found in both peritidal/lagoonal dolostones and shelf-basinal facies. This indicates the existence of photic zone anoxia in the latter environment, thus suggesting a shallow position of the redoxcline. The Frasnian/Famennian mass extinction event(s) apparently had no impact on the biomarker distribution in the shelf-basinal system continuous across the stage boundary.

  16. Dissemination of antibiotic resistance genes in representative broiler feedlots environments: identification of indicator ARGs and correlations with environmental variables.

    PubMed

    He, Liang-Ying; Liu, You-Sheng; Su, Hao-Chang; Zhao, Jian-Liang; Liu, Shuang-Shuang; Chen, Jun; Liu, Wang-Rong; Ying, Guang-Guo

    2014-11-18

    Livestock operations are known to harbor elevated levels of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) that may pose a threat to public health. Broiler feedlots may represent an important source of ARGs in the environment. However, the prevalence and dissemination mechanisms of various types of ARGs in the environment of broiler feedlots have not previously been identified. We examined the occurrence, abundance and variation of ARGs conferring resistance to chloramphenicols, sulfonamides and tetracyclines in the environments of two representative types of broiler feedlots (free range and indoor) by quantitative PCR, and assessed their dissemination mechanisms. The results showed the prevalence of various types of ARGs in the environmental samples of the broiler feedlots including manure/litter, soil, sediment, and water samples, with the first report of five chloramphenicol resistance genes (cmlA, floR, fexA, cfr, and fexB) in broiler feedlots. Overall, chloramphenicol resistance genes and sulfonamides sul genes were more abundant than tetracyclines tet genes. The ARG abundances in the samples from indoor boiler feedlots were generally different to the free range feedlots, suggesting the importance of feeding operations in ARG dissemination. Pearson correlation analysis showed significant correlations between ARGs and mobile genetic element genes (int1 and int2), and between the different classes of ARGs themselves, revealing the roles of horizontal gene transfer and coselection for ARG dissemination in the environment. Further regression analysis revealed that fexA, sul1 and tetW could be reliable indicator genes to surrogate anthropogenic sources of ARGs in boiler feedlots (correlations of fexA, sul1 and tetW to all ARGs: R = 0.95, 0.96 and 0.86, p < 0.01). Meanwhile, significant correlations were also identified between indicator ARGs and their corresponding antibiotics. In addition, some ARGs were significantly correlated with typical metals (e.g., Cu, Zn, and As with

  17. Assessing the potential hazard of chemical substances for the terrestrial environment. Development of hazard classification criteria and quantitative environmental indicators.

    PubMed

    Tarazona, J V; Fresno, A; Aycard, S; Ramos, C; Vega, M M; Carbonell, G

    2000-03-20

    Hazard assessment constitutes an essential tool in order to evaluate the potential effects of chemical substances on organisms and ecosystems. It includes as a first step, hazard identification, which must detect the potential dangers of the substance (i.e. the kind of effects that the substance may produce), and a second step to quantify each danger and to set the expected dose/response relationships. Hazard assessment plays a key role in the regulation of chemical substances, including pollution control and sustainable development. However, the aquatic environment has largely received more attention than terrestrial ecosystems. This paper presents the extrapolation of several basic concepts from the aquatic to the terrestrial compartment, and suggests possibilities for their regulatory use. Two specific proposals are discussed. The first focuses on the scientific basis of the hazard identification-classification criteria included in the EU regulations and their extrapolation to the terrestrial environment. The second focuses on the OECD programme for environmental indicators and the development of a soil pollution pressure indicator to quantify the potential hazards for the soil compartment and its associated terrestrial ecosystem related to the toxic chemicals applied deliberately (i.e. pesticides) or not (i.e. heavy metals in sludge-based fertilisers; industrial spills) to the soil. PMID:10803544

  18. Parasite diversity as an indicator of environmental change? An example from tropical grouper (Epinephelus fuscoguttatus) mariculture in Indonesia.

    PubMed

    Palm, H W; Kleinertz, S; Rückert, S

    2011-11-01

    Fish parasites are used to monitor long-term change in finfish grouper mariculture in Indonesia. A total of 210 Epinephelus fuscoguttatus were sampled in six consecutive years between 2003/04 and 2008/09 and examined for parasites. The fish were obtained from floating net cages of a commercially run mariculture facility that opened in 2001. The fauna was species rich, consisting of ten ecto- and 18 endoparasite species. The ectoparasite diversity and composition was relatively stable, with the monogeneans Pseudorhabdosynochus spp. (83-100% prevalence, Berger-Parker Index of 0·82-0·97) being the predominant taxon. Tetraphyllidean larvae Scolex pleuronectis and the nematodes Terranova sp. and Raphidascaris sp. 1 were highly abundant in 2003/04-2005/06 (max. prevalence S. pleuronectis 40%, Terranova sp. 57%, Raphidascaris sp. 1 100%), and drastically reduced until 2008/09. These parasites together with the prevalence of Trichodina spp., ecto-/endoparasite ratio and endoparasite diversity illustrate a significant change in holding conditions over the years. This can be either referred to a definite change in management methods such as feed use and fish treatment, or a possible transition of a relatively undisturbed marine environment into a more affected habitat. By visualizing all parameters within a single diagram, we demonstrate that fish parasites are useful bioindicators to monitor long-term change in Indonesian grouper mariculture. This also indicates that groupers can be used to monitor environmental change in the wild. Further taxonomic and systematic efforts in less sampled regions significantly contributes to this new application, supporting fish culture and environmental impact monitoring also in other tropical marine habitats. PMID:21320385

  19. Mitochondrial DNA Indicates Late Pleistocene Divergence of Populations of Heteronympha merope, an Emerging Model in Environmental Change Biology

    PubMed Central

    Pavlova, Alexandra; Bull, James K.; Murray, Neil D.; Sunnucks, Paul

    2009-01-01

    Knowledge of historical changes in species range distribution provides context for investigating adaptive potential and dispersal ability. This is valuable for predicting the potential impact of environmental change on species of interest. Butterflies are one of the most important taxa for studying such impacts, and Heteronympha merope has the potential to provide a particularly valuable model, in part due to the existence of historical data on morphological traits and glycolytic enzyme variation. This study investigates the population genetic structure and phylogeography of H. merope, comparing the relative resolution achieved through partial DNA sequences of two mitochondrial loci, COI and ND5. These data are used to define the relationship between subspecies, showing that the subspecies are reciprocally monophyletic. On this basis, the Western Australian subspecies H. m. duboulayi is genetically distinct from the two eastern subspecies. Throughout the eastern part of the range, levels of migration and the timing of key population splits of potential relevance to climatic adaptation are estimated and indicate Late Pleistocene divergence both of the Tasmanian subspecies and of an isolated northern population from the eastern mainland subspecies H. m. merope. This information is then used to revisit historical data and provides support for the importance of clinal variation in wing characters, as well as evidence for selective pressure acting on allozyme loci phosphoglucose isomerase and phosphoglucomutase in H. merope. The study has thus confirmed the value of H. merope as a model organism for measuring responses to environmental change, offering the opportunity to focus on isolated populations, as well as a latitudinal gradient, and to use historical changes to test the accuracy of predictions for the future. PMID:19956696

  20. Using remotely-sensed nearshore suspended sediment as an indicator of environmental change on the Alaskan North Slope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hobson, Anne Carrie Hickey

    The effects of climate change are increasing the vulnerability the delicate Arctic system on the North Slope of Alaska. Concurrently, oil and gas development is projected to expand across the region, the wide-scale effects of which are largely unknown in a less-resilient system. This research provides the framework for using satellite data to assess and monitor suspended sediment conditions in the nearshore Alaskan Beaufort Sea, which provide a key indicator of environmental change. Satellite monitoring of suspended sediment levels provides a cost-effective means to obtain nearly real-time, synoptic information about environmental change on the North Slope. This information can be incorporated into cumulative effects analyses and enhance their capability to assess and predict the environmental effects of oil and gas development in a changing climate. Surface reflectance data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) sensors were calibrated to total suspended sediment (TSS) concentrations in the Alaskan Beaufort Sea and used to construct time series of proxy TSS data for 2000--2005 and 1981--2004, respectively. These time series produced a baseline quantifying the interannual variability and 24-year trends in median annual TSS concentrations at locations in the nearshore Alaskan Beaufort Sea. Increasing trends over the analysis period were identified in the outflow areas of the Ikpikpuk, Colville, Kuparuk and Sagavanirktok Rivers, as well as in Admiralty Bay. Additionally, TSS levels in 1994 and 2000 exceeded the normal range of variability at several of the nearshore locations investigated. Different areas along the nearshore had varying TSS magnitudes and modes of variability, a function of the terrestrial and nearshore processes controlling TSS conditions at each location. An empirical model explained 65 percent of the variability in annual median TSS values using precipitation factors that

  1. δ13C and δ18O in Siberian tree rings as indicators of environmental changes in the Eurasian north

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sidorova, O. V.; Siegwolf, R. T. W.; Saurer, M.; Boettger, T.; Vaganov, E. A.

    2009-04-01

    According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report (IPCC 2007) some aspects of the current climate change are not unusual, but others are. Therefore we need to look into the past for revealing "unusual" (extremely warm or cold) climatic changes. The application of long-term tree-ring chronologies in paleoclimate reconstructions helps us to evaluate climatic and environmental changes in the past and to estimate the magnitude of the recent warming. The application of the stable isotope analysis to classical dendrochronology is steadily increasing because stable isotopes provide complementary information about climatic variabilities, which is not available with tree ring width alone. In northern latitude forests, stable isotopes may yield insight into precipitation variability, while tree-ring width and density are more sensitive to temperature changes. Using stable isotopes is therefore very helpful in improving our understanding of the forest response to environmental changes. The tree-ring width and stable isotope (δ13C, δ18O) analyses were carried out for Siberian tree ring chronologies from northeastern Yakutia (70N-148E) and eastern Taimyr (71N-102E). The results showed extremely warm AD 900-1100, AD 1950-2006 and extremely cold AD 516-560, AD 1600-1650, AD 1800-1850 periods during the late Holocene. Isotope analyses reveal new supplementary signals about the moisture regime, in particular a correlation to July precipitation was found for the calibration period. We detected a strong relationship between the oxygen isotope ratio of tree rings and Greenland ice core chronologies [Meese et al. 1994] for the Medieval and recent periods, which indicate similarities in the nature of low-frequency temperature variability in these two regions. Further, we found that trees from the vast Subarctic Eurasia zone (eastern Taimyr and northeastern Yakutia) showed a decrease in the tree radial growth, δ13C, δ18O in whole wood and cellulose after major

  2. Overall multi-media persistence as an indicator of potential for population-level intake of environmental contaminants

    SciTech Connect

    MacLeod, Matthew; McKone, Thomas E.

    2003-06-01

    Although it is intuitively apparent that population-level exposure to contaminants dispersed in the environment must related to the persistence of the contaminant, there has been little effort to formally quantify this link. In this paper we investigate the relationship between overall persistence in a multimedia environment and the population-level exposure as expressed by intake fraction (iF), which is the cumulative fraction of chemical emitted to the environment that is taken up by members of the population. We first confirm that for any given chemical contaminant and emission scenario the definition of iF implies that it is directly proportional to the overall multi-media persistence, P{sub OV}. We show that the proportionality constant has dimensions of time and represents the characteristic time for population intake (CTI) of the chemical from the environment. We then apply the CalTOX fate and exposure model to explore how P{sub OV} and CTI combine to determine the magnitude of iF. We find that CTI has a narrow range of possible values relative to P{sub OV} across multiple chemicals and emissions scenarios. We use data from the Canadian Environmental Protection Act Priority Substance List (PSL1) Assessments to show that exposure assessments based on empirical observation are consistent with interpretations from the model. The characteristic time for intake along different dominant exposure pathways is discussed. Results indicate that P{sub OV} derived from screening-level assessments of persistence, bioaccumulation potential, and toxicity (PBT) is a useful indicator of the potential for population-level exposure.

  3. A 1000-yr record of environmental change in NE China indicated by diatom assemblages from maar lake Erlongwan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Luo; Rioual, Patrick; Panizzo, Virginia N.; Lu, Houyuan; Gu, Zhaoyan; Chu, Guoqiang; Yang, Deguang; Han, Jingtai; Liu, Jiaqi; Mackay, Anson W.

    2012-07-01

    Past environmental changes based on diatom relative abundances have been inferred from the maar Lake Erlongwan in northeast China. The limnology of Lake Erlongwan is affected by the strongly seasonal regional climate. The composition of diatom assemblages, in turn, responds to changes in the seasonal duration of ice cover in winter, water-column turnover in spring and autumn, and thermal stratification in summer. Statistical analysis of the sedimentary diatom assemblages reveals three significant stratigraphic zones over the past 1000 yr. The highest abundance of the planktonic species Discostella species occurs between AD 1050 and 1400 and suggests an annual ice-free period of long duration and well-developed summer stratification of the water column. This planktonic diatom peak between ca. AD 1150 and 1200 suggests that this period was the warmest over the past 1000 yr. The interval between AD 1400 and 1800 is marked by a decline in planktonic diatoms and suggests shorter duration of the ice-free season, weaker water stratification and possibly generally cold conditions. After AD 1800 relative abundances of planktonic diatoms, including Puncticulata praetermissa and Asterionella formosa, increase again, which indicates lengthening of the duration of the annual ice-free period and a stronger overturn of the water column. All these data imply that the pattern of the seasons is different between the MWP and the 20th century.

  4. Monitoring exposure of northern cardinals, Cardinalis cardinalis, to cholinesterase-inhibiting pesticides: enzyme activity, reactivations, and indicators of environmental stress.

    PubMed

    Maul, Jonathan D; Farris, Jerry L

    2005-07-01

    Northern cardinals (Cardinalis cardinalis) frequently use agricultural field edges in northeast Arkansas, USA, and may be at risk of exposure to cholinesterase (ChE)-inhibiting pesticides. We monitored northern cardinal exposure to ChE-inhibiting pesticides by comparing plasma total ChE (TChE) activity to reference-derived benchmarks and TChE reactivations. Total ChE and acetylcholinesterase (AChE) were measured for 128 plasma samples from 104 northern cardinals from nine study sites. Of birds sampled from sites treated with ChE-inhibiting pesticides, 4.3% of the samples had TChE activities below the diagnostic threshold (2 standard deviations [SD] below the reference mean) and 8.7% of the samples had TChE reactivations. No difference was found in TChE (p = 0.553) and AChE (p = 0.288) activity between treated and reference sites; however, activity varied among treated sites (p = 0.003). These data do not suggest uniform exposure to individuals, but rather exposure was variable and likely influenced by mitigating factors at individual and site scales. Furthermore, monitoring of TChE reactivation appeared to be a more sensitive indicator of exposure than the diagnostic threshold. Fluctuating asymmetry (FA) was greater at agricultural sites than reference sites (p = 0.016), supporting the hypothesis that FA may be useful for assessing a combination of habitat- and contaminant-related environmental stress. PMID:16050589

  5. Black-legged kittiwakes as indicators of environmental change in the North Sea: Evidence from long-term studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wanless, S.; Frederiksen, M.; Daunt, F.; Scott, B. E.; Harris, M. P.

    2007-01-01

    Top predators, particularly seabirds, have repeatedly been suggested as indicators of marine ecosystem status. One region currently under pressure from human fisheries and climate change is the North Sea. Standardized seabird monitoring data have been collected on the Isle of May, an important seabird colony in the northwestern North Sea, over the last 10-20 years. Over this period oceanographic conditions have varied markedly, and between 1990 and 1999 a major industrial fishery for sandlance ( Ammodytes marinus), the main prey of most seabird species, was prosecuted nearby. Sandlance fishing grounds close to seabird colonies down the east coast of the UK were closed in 2000 in an attempt to improve foraging opportunities for breeding seabirds, particularly black-legged kittiwakes ( Rissa tridactyla). Initially this closure seemed to be beneficial for kittiwakes with breeding success recovering to pre-fishery levels. However, despite the ban continuing, kittiwakes and many other seabird species in the North Sea suffered severe breeding failures in 2004. In this paper, we test the predictive power of four previously established correlations between kittiwake breeding success and climatic/trophic variables to explain the observed breeding success at the Isle of May in 2004. During the breeding season, kittiwakes at this colony switch from feeding on 1+ group to 0 group sandlance, and results up until 2003 indicated that availability of both age classes had a positive effect on kittiwake breeding success. The low breeding success of kittiwakes in 2004 was consistent with the late appearance and small body size of 0 group sandlance, but at odds with the two variables likely to operate via 1 group availability (lagged winter sea surface temperature and larval sandlance cohort strength in 2003). The reason for the discrepancy is currently unknown, but analysis of 1 group sandlance body composition indicated that lipid content in 2004 was extremely low, and thus fish

  6. Diatoms as paleoecological indicators of environmental change in the Lake Czechowskie catchments ecosystem (Northern Tuchola Pinewoods, Poland)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rzodkiewicz, Monika; Zawiska, Izabela; Noryśkiewicz, Agnieszka Maria; Obremska, Milena; Ott, Florian; Kramkowski, Mateusz; Słowiński, Michał; Błaszkiewicz, Mirosław; Brauer, Achim

    2016-04-01

    In this study we investigated four cores of biogenic sediments from the lakes located in close vicinity. Three cores are situated along a transect in the Lake Czechowskie basin from its deepest point towards a former lake bay. The fourth sediment core was retrieved from the nearby Trzechowskie paleolake. Lake Czechowskie is located in the northern part of the Tuchola Pinewoods District (Northern Poland) in a young glacial landscape. At present, the majority of the area is forested or used for agriculture. The main focus was of the study was Late Glacial and early Holocene period. We performed diatom, Cladocera and pollen analyses, the chronology was established by varve counting, confirmed by AMS 14C dating and Laacher See Tephra (Wulf et. all 2013). In this study we focused on the results of diatom analyses. Diatom assemblages are integrated indicators of environmental change because their distributions are closely linked to water quality parameters including such as nutrient availability. At the beginning of Allerød there are more eutrophic diatom taxa such as Staurosira construens, Pseudostaurosira brevistriata, Staurosira pinnata. These species are widely distributed in the littoral mainly freshwater, many of which are species of epiphytic, preferring water rich in nutrients. At the end of the Allerød we observe significant changes within diatom assemblages. The increase of planktonic Cyclotella comensis together with the decrease of benthic Stauroseria construens indicate the shortening of time with ice cove on the lake and longer time with summer stratification. In the Younger Dryas cooling we can see the increase of the abundance of diatom Staurosira construens which indicate cold spring and late ice-out (Bradbury et al., 2002). At the early Holocene planktonic diatoms increase in particular Cyclotella comensis, Punciculata radiosa and Cyclotella praetermissa. Some of Aulacoseira species at the end of Younger Dryas. The Holocene sediments showed no

  7. Biodiversity patterns, environmental drivers and indicator species on a high-temperature hydrothermal edifice, Mid-Atlantic Ridge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sarrazin, Jozée; Legendre, Pierre; de Busserolles, Fanny; Fabri, Marie-Claire; Guilini, Katja; Ivanenko, Viatcheslav N.; Morineaux, Marie; Vanreusel, Ann; Sarradin, Pierre-Marie

    2015-11-01

    Knowledge on quantitative faunal distribution patterns of hydrothermal communities in slow-spreading vent fields is particularly scarce, despite the importance of these ridges in the global mid-ocean system. This study assessed the composition, abundance and diversity of 12 benthic faunal assemblages from various locations on the Eiffel Tower edifice (Lucky Strike vent field, Mid-Atlantic Ridge) and investigated the role of key environmental conditions (temperature, total dissolved iron (TdFe), sulfide (TdS), copper (TdCu) and pH) on the distribution of macro- and meiofaunal species at small spatial scales (<1 m). There were differences in macro- and meiofaunal community structure between the different sampling locations, separating the hydrothermal community of the Eiffel Tower edifice into three types of microhabitats: (1) cold microhabitats characterized by low temperatures (<6 °C), high TdCu (up to 2.4±1.37 μmol l-1), high pH (up to 7.34±0.13) but low TdS concentrations (<6.98±5.01 μmol l-1); (2) warm microhabitats characterized by warmer temperatures (>6 °C), low pH (<6.5) and high TdS/TdFe concentrations (>12.8 μmol l-1/>1.1 μmol l-1 respectively); and (3) the third microhabitat characterized by intermediate abiotic conditions. Environmental conditions showed more variation in the warm microhabitats than in the cold microhabitats. In terms of fauna, the warm microhabitats had lower macro- and meiofaunal densities, and lower richness and Shannon diversity than the cold microhabitats. Six macrofaunal species (Branchipolynoe seepensis, Amathys lutzi, Bathymodiolus azoricus, Lepetodrilus fucensis, Protolira valvatoides and Chorocaris chacei) and three meiofaunal taxa (Paracanthonchus, Cephalochaetosoma and Microlaimus) were identified as being significant indicator species/taxa of particular microhabitats. Our results also highlight very specific niche separation for copepod juveniles among the different hydrothermal microhabitats. Some sampling units

  8. EVALUATION OF IMMOBILIZED REDOX INDICATORS AS REVERSIBLE, IN SITU REDOX SENSORS FOR DETERMINING FE(III)-REDUCING CONDITIONS IN ENVIRONMENTAL SAMPLES. (R828772)

    EPA Science Inventory

    An in situ methodology based on immobilized redox indicators has been developed to determine when Fe(III)-reducing conditions exist in environmental systems. The redox indicators thionine (Thi, formal potential at pH 7 (E70') equals 66 mV), tol...

  9. LA35 Poultry Fecal Marker Persistence Is Correlated with That of Indicators and Pathogens in Environmental Waters

    PubMed Central

    Nayak, Bina; Weidhaas, Jennifer

    2015-01-01

    Disposal of fecally contaminated poultry litter by land application can deliver pathogens and fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) into receiving waters via runoff. While water quality is regulated by FIB enumeration, FIB testing provides inadequate information about contamination source and health risk. This microbial source tracking (MST) study compared the persistence of the Brevibacterium sp. strain LA35 16S rRNA gene (marker) for poultry litter with that of pathogens and FIB under outdoor, environmentally relevant conditions in freshwater, marine water, and sediments over 7 days. Salmonella enterica, Campylobacter jejuni, Campylobacter coli, Bacteroidales, and LA35 were enumerated by quantitative PCR (qPCR), and Enterococcus spp. and E. coli were quantified by culture and qPCR. Unlike the other bacteria, C. jejuni was not detectable after 48 h. Bacterial levels in the water column consistently declined over time and were highly correlated among species. Survival in sediments ranged from a slow decrease over time to growth, particularly in marine microcosms and for Bacteroidales. S. enterica also grew in marine sediments. Linear decay rates in water (k) ranged from −0.17 day−1 for LA35 to −3.12 day−1 for C. coli. LA35 levels correlated well with those of other bacteria in the water column but not in sediments. These observations suggest that, particularly in the water column, the fate of LA35 in aquatic environments is similar to that of FIB, C. coli, and Salmonella, supporting the hypothesis that the LA35 marker gene can be a useful tool for evaluating the impact of poultry litter on water quality and human health risk. PMID:25934617

  10. LA35 Poultry Fecal Marker Persistence Is Correlated with That of Indicators and Pathogens in Environmental Waters.

    PubMed

    Nayak, Bina; Weidhaas, Jennifer; Harwood, Valerie J

    2015-07-01

    Disposal of fecally contaminated poultry litter by land application can deliver pathogens and fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) into receiving waters via runoff. While water quality is regulated by FIB enumeration, FIB testing provides inadequate information about contamination source and health risk. This microbial source tracking (MST) study compared the persistence of the Brevibacterium sp. strain LA35 16S rRNA gene (marker) for poultry litter with that of pathogens and FIB under outdoor, environmentally relevant conditions in freshwater, marine water, and sediments over 7 days. Salmonella enterica, Campylobacter jejuni, Campylobacter coli, Bacteroidales, and LA35 were enumerated by quantitative PCR (qPCR), and Enterococcus spp. and E. coli were quantified by culture and qPCR. Unlike the other bacteria, C. jejuni was not detectable after 48 h. Bacterial levels in the water column consistently declined over time and were highly correlated among species. Survival in sediments ranged from a slow decrease over time to growth, particularly in marine microcosms and for Bacteroidales. S. enterica also grew in marine sediments. Linear decay rates in water (k) ranged from -0.17 day(-1) for LA35 to -3.12 day(-1) for C. coli. LA35 levels correlated well with those of other bacteria in the water column but not in sediments. These observations suggest that, particularly in the water column, the fate of LA35 in aquatic environments is similar to that of FIB, C. coli, and Salmonella, supporting the hypothesis that the LA35 marker gene can be a useful tool for evaluating the impact of poultry litter on water quality and human health risk. PMID:25934617

  11. MECHANISTIC INDICATORS OF CHILDHOOD ASTHMA (MICA): A SYSTEMS BIOLOGY APPROACH FOR THE INTEGRATION OF MULTIFACTORIAL EXPOSURE AND ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH DATA

    EPA Science Inventory

    Modem methods in molecular biology and advanced computational tools show promise in elucidating complex interactions that occur between genes and environmental factors in diseases such as asthma. However, appropriately designed studies are critical for these methods to reach the...

  12. Development of novel Sol-Gel Indicators (SGI`s) for in-situ environmental measurements: Part 1, Program and a new pH Sol-Gel Indicator

    SciTech Connect

    Livingston, R.R.; Baylor, L.; Wicks, G.G.

    1992-11-03

    The feasibility of incorporating analytical indicators into a sol-gel glassy matrix and then coating substrates with this composite material has bee demonstrated. Substrates coated include paper, wood, glass, and the lens of an analytical probe. The first SRTC sol-gel indicator, comprising bromophenol blue dispersed in a silica matrix, was fabricated and successfully used to measure solution pH in the range of pH 3.0 to 7.5. material exhibited a quick response time, as measured by color changes both qualitatively and quantitatively, and the measuring device was reversible or reusable. Additional indicators with responses over other ranges as well as indicators sensitive to the presence of elements of interest, are also under development. The new SGI composites possess promising properties and an excellent potential for performing a variety important in-situ environmental measurements and area discussed in this report.

  13. Multiple tree-ring isotopes as environmental indicators of diffuse atmospheric pollution in a peri-urban area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doucet, A.; Savard, M. M.; Bégin, C.; Ouarda, T. B.; Marion, J.

    2010-12-01

    The combined analyses of tree-ring δ13C, δ18O, δ15N, 206Pb/207Pb, 206Pb/204Pb and 206Pb/208Pb isotope ratios of three red spruce specimens from the Tantaré ecological reserve located 40 km northwest of Québec City (Canada) were studied with the aim of reconstructing environmental conditions and unravel past air-quality changes of the 1880-2007 period. To separate the tree-ring δ18O and δ13C patterns induced by natural conditions from those generated by anthropogenic perturbations, a linear regression was applied between the most explicative meteorological parameters and the isotopic series for the period of low pollution (1880 to 1909). The model equations were then applied to the most recent part of the series (1910-2007) to verify if climatic conditions have remained the main driver of the tree-ring isotopic variations. The good fit between the modeled and measured δ18O series for the entire studied period suggests that the assimilation of oxygen by red spruce trees is not significantly affected by pollution stress near Québec City. However, the deviation between the measured and modeled δ13C values for the 1944-2007 period indicates that diffuse pollution affected carbon assimilation by the investigated trees. To independently validate if atmospheric pollution could have generated the deviation between the measured and the estimated δ13C values, a linear regression was applied between the portion of the residual δ13C values and atmospheric pollution (Canadian fossil fuel proxy from 1958 to 2000). The nice fit between the modeled δ13C values from the combination of the two regression analyses based on climate and emission proxy strongly supports the hypothesis that there is a natural and an anthropogenic portion in the δ13C variations of the studied specimens. The short-term variations of the red spruce δ15N series are correlated with the instrumentally measured amounts of provincial N emissions for the 1990 to 2006 period (longest measurements

  14. Metric Properties of the Neighborhood Inventory for Environmental Typology (NIfETy): An Environmental Assessment Tool for Measuring Indicators of Violence, Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug Exposures

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Furr-Holden, C. D. M.; Campbell, K. D. M.; Milam, A. J.; Smart, M. J.; Ialongo, N. A.; Leaf, P. J.

    2010-01-01

    Objectives: Establish metric properties of the Neighborhood Inventory for Environmental Typology (NIfETy). Method: A total of 919 residential block faces were assessed by paired raters using the NIfETy. Reliability was evaluated via interrater and internal consistency reliability; validity by comparing NIfETy data with youth self-reported…

  15. Impact of environmental chemicals, sociodemographic variables, depression, and clinical indicators of health and nutrition on self-reported health status

    EPA Science Inventory

    Public health researchers ideally integrate social, environmental, and clinical measures to identify predictors of poor health. Chemicals measured in human tissues are often evaluated in relation to intangible or rare health outcomes, or are studied one chemical at a time. Using ...

  16. Use of biomarkers to indicate exposure of children to organophosphate pesticides: implications for a longitudinal study of children's environmental health.

    PubMed Central

    Wessels, Denise; Barr, Dana B; Mendola, Pauline

    2003-01-01

    Because of their history of widespread use in the United States and unknown long-term health effects, organophosphate pesticides (OPs) are being considered as a chemical class of interest in planning for the National Children's Study, a longitudinal study of children's environmental health. The availability and appropriate use of biomarkers to determine absorbed doses of environmental chemicals such as OPs are critical issues. Biomarkers of OP exposure are typically measured in blood and urine; however, postpartum meconium has been shown to be a promising matrix for assessing cumulative in utero exposure to the fetus, and studies are currently in progress to determine the utility of using saliva and amniotic fluid as matrices. In this article, we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the currently available OP exposure monitoring methods (cholinesterase inhibition in blood, pesticides in blood, metabolites in urine and alternative matrices); study design issues for a large, long-term study of children's environmental health; and current research and future research needs. Because OPs are rapidly metabolized and excreted, the utility of one-time spot measurements of OP biomarkers is questionable unless background exposure levels are relatively stable over time or a specific time frame of interest for the study is identified and samples are collected accordingly. Biomarkers of OP exposure can be a valuable tool in epidemiology of children's environmental health, as long as they are applied and interpreted appropriately. PMID:14644670

  17. SEDIMENT AND PERIPHYTON ASSESSMENT AS INDICATORS OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITION IN THE FLORIDA BAY-EVERGLADES TRANSITIONAL ZONE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Florida Bay and its watershed are currently the focus of numerous investigations designed to assess the extent and cause of deterioration in environmental quality observed during recent years. Periphyton and sediment bioassessment were used in a multiyear study to compare the rel...

  18. Calculation of probabilities of transfer, recurrence intervals, and positional indices for linear compartment models. Environmental Sciences Division Publication no. 1544

    SciTech Connect

    Carney, J.H.; DeAngelis, D.L.; Gardner, R.H.; Mankin, J.B.; Post, W.M.

    1981-02-01

    Six indices are presented for linear compartment systems that quantify the probable pathways of matter or energy transfer, the likelihood of recurrence if the model contains feedback loops, and the number of steps (transfers) through the system. General examples are used to illustrate how these indices can simplify the comparison of complex systems or organisms in unrelated systems.

  19. [Indicators for population and individual risk in assessing the effect of environmental factors on the health of children].

    PubMed

    Berdnik, O V; Serykh, L V; Antomonov, M Iu

    2001-01-01

    Populational studies define a risk for abnormalities forming in children residing in varying polluted areas and compare it with the risk due to other health-forming factors. To define an individual risk, the authors have developed scales rating the likelihood of abnormalities that can occur in each child in relation to the biomedical or social risk factors in children, to their residence in poor environmental areas, to the child's age and sex. PMID:11665543

  20. Condition and type of housing as an indicator of potential environmental lead exposure and pediatric blood lead levels

    SciTech Connect

    Clark, C.S.; Bornschein, R.L.; Succop, P.; Que Hee, S.S.; Hammond, P.B.; Peace, B.

    1985-10-01

    Environmental evaluations in a prospective behavior study of children with blood lead levels up to about 50 g/dl were performed by an intensive environmental survey and by exterior visual evaluations of housing quality. Serial blood lead values for infants in the study were compared to exterior housing type and quality, which itself was also compared with results of the intensive environmental evaluation. Five housing condition and type categories were defined: public housing; private housing (satisfactory, deteriorated, and dilapidated); and rehabilitated private housing. In this interim report on the first subset of available data, the housing categories were found to differ in paint and environment dust lead levels, with public and rehabilitated housing having lowest values. Blood lead concentrations of children differed across housing categories as early as 6 months of age, with children residing in public housing having lowest levels, followed by those in rehabilitated housing. The spread in mean blood lead concentrations among the housing quality categories increased with increasing age of the children. Housing category accounted for over one-half of the blood lead variability in 18-month-old children.

  1. Environmental pollen trapped by tobacco leaf as indicators of the provenance of counterfeit cigarette products: a preliminary investigation and test of concept.

    PubMed

    Donaldson, Margaret P; Stephens, William E

    2010-05-01

    The global trade in counterfeit tobacco products is increasingly taking market share from legal brands in many parts of the developed world, with attendant adverse economic, health, criminal, and other societal impacts. Knowing the geographical source is central to developing new strategies for curbing this illicit trade, and here, the potential of environmental pollen extracted from manufactured cigarettes is examined. Two samples representing U.S. and Chinese brands were investigated for their pollen content. Results indicate that tobacco leaf very efficiently captures environmental pollen (about 1800 and 12,600 grains per cigarette, respectively) with no detectable self-contamination by the tobacco plant. In both cases, the flora is typical of open space environments, but pollen type counts indicate very different distributions of species. This preliminary investigation indicates that palynology has the potential to constrain geographical source(s) of tobacco, particularly if regionally localized species can be recognized among the pollen. PMID:20202071

  2. Correlation of melanophore index with a battery of functional genomic stress indicators for measurement of environmental stress in aquatic ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Daiwile, Atul P; Naoghare, Pravin K; Giripunje, Manisha D; Rao, P D Prasada; Ghosh, Tarun K; Krishnamurthi, Kannan; Alimba, Chibuisi G; Sivanesan, Saravanadevi

    2015-03-01

    The correlation of primary stress indicator; melanophore index (MI) with set of genomic stress indicators is important for a better understanding of the cellular stress pathway induced by xenobiotics in aquatic species. This study presents a correlation between melanophore index (MI) and genomic stress indicators in Oreochromis mossambicus treated with lead nitrate, phenol and hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH). O. mossambicus was exposed to sub-lethal concentrations of the different LC50 values (96 h) of the tested chemicals at varying exposure periods and the response via genomic stress indicators and scale melanophores were assessed in accordance with standard protocols. Melanophore index decreased significantly (p<0.01) in a time dependent pattern to the tested chemicals. Gene expression showed significant time dependent increase in the expression of heat shock proteins (HSP70 and HSP60). Vitellogenin (Vtg) expression insignificantly altered. Significant increase in the expression of melanin concentrating hormone (MCH) was observed in response to hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) in the treated fish. The findings demonstrated an inverse relationship between melanophore index and the set of genomic stress indicators. PMID:25680093

  3. Metazoan endoparasites diversity of Pseudoplatystoma corruscans (Siluriformes: Pimelodidae) as an indicator of environmental alterations on a tropical aquatic system.

    PubMed

    Ribeiro, Thamy S; Lizama, Maria A P; Takemoto, Ricardo M

    2014-09-01

    The aim of the present study was to detect the alterations of Pseudoplatystoma corruscans parasite infracommunity structure, after the construction of the Porto Primavera dam on the high Paraná River floodplain. The execution of this research was based on 119 host specimens collected between March 2011 and September 2012, and the results were compared to studies performed on periods before the reservoir's construction, when 110 fishes were collected between March 1992 and February 1993. Five parasite species still remain on the environment, despite the environmental modifications: Choanoscolex abscissus, Spasskyelina spinulifera, Nomimoscolex pertierrae, Harriscolex kaparari and Contracaecum sp 2. The Berger-Parker dominance index, calculated to the parasite fauna of 1992, did not show the dominance of any species, while, on the present days, this same index accused the dominance of Nomimoscolex pertierrae (49%) and Choanoscolex abscissus (50%). The present study reports the disappearance of Megathylacus travassosi, Contracaecum sp. 1, Contracaecum sp. 3, Procamallanus (Spirocamallanus) sp. and Cucullanus pseudoplatystomae, suggesting the possibility of a local extinction or a host switch of these species. It has also been registered an Acanthocephala specimen, a genus not observed on this host yet. The results here presented show that the antropic influences on natural systems alter the environmental conditions, what is reflected on the richness and diversity parasite levels. PMID:25119352

  4. Metric Properties of the Neighborhood Inventory for Environmental Typology (NIfETy): An Environmental Assessment Tool for Measuring Indicators of Violence, Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Exposures

    PubMed Central

    Furr-Holden, CDM; Campbell, KDM; Milam, AJ; Smart, MJ; Ialongo, NA; Leaf, PJ

    2011-01-01

    Objectives Establish metric properties of The Neighborhood Inventory for Environmental Typology (NIfETy). Methods 919 residential block faces were assessed by paired raters using the NIfETy. Reliability was evaluated via inter-rater and internal consistency reliability; validity by comparing NIfETy data with youth self-reported violence, alcohol and other drug exposure and crime statistics. Results Validity and reliability metrics were moderate to exemplary for the total scale and subscales. NIfETy data correlated strongly with crime data and youth self-reported exposure. Conclusions The NIfETy is valid and reliable. Future investigations will explore its utility in other urban centers and association to other health outcomes. PMID:20479211

  5. Water Quality, Weather and Environmental Factors Associated with Fecal Indicator Organism Density in Beach Sand at Two Recreational Marine Beaches

    EPA Science Inventory

    Recent studies showing an association between fecal indicator organisms (FIOs and gastrointestinal (GI) illness among beachgoers wit sand contact have important public health implicatons because of the large numbers of people who recreate at beaches and engage in sand contact act...

  6. The assessment of the radiation hazard indices due to uranium and thorium in some Egyptian environmental matrices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    El-Taher, A.; Uosif, M. A. M.

    2006-10-01

    The estimation of exposures of humans to the various sources of radiation is important. Instrumental neutron activation analysis has been used for the determination of uranium and thorium in environmental samples such as Toshki soil, Aswan iron ore, gold vein deposits and phosphate samples from Upper Egypt. The specific activities due to 238U and 232Th have been measured and the radiation hazard to the workers, the Radium equivalent activities, representative level index and dose rates were also estimated. The lowest external γ-radiation dose received by the workers is 33.15 ± 6.06 µSv y-1 which comes from gold samples and the highest one was 315.65 ± 7.98 µSv y-1 which comes from phosphate samples which is far below the worldwide allowed dose of 20 mSv y-1 for workers (ICRP-60 1990).

  7. Environmental occurrence of the enterococcal surface protein (esp) gene is an unreliable indicator of human fecal contamination

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Byappanahalli, M.N.; Przybyla-Kelly, K.; Shively, D.A.; Whitman, R.L.

    2008-01-01

    The enterococcal surface protein (esp) gene found in Enterococcus faecalis and E. faecium has recently been explored as a marker of sewage pollution in recreational waters but its occurrence and distribution in environmental enterococci has not been well-documented. If the esp gene is found in environmental samples, there are potential implications for microbial source tracking applications. In the current study, a total of 452 samples (lake water, 100; stream water, 129; nearshore sand, 96; and backshore sand, 71; Cladophora sp. (Chlorophyta), 41; and periphyton (mostly Bacillariophyceae), 15) collected from the coastal watersheds of southern Lake Michigan were selectively cultured for enterococci and then analyzed for the esp gene by PCR, targeting E. faecalis/ E. faecium (espfs/fm) and E. faecium (espfm). Overall relative frequencies for espfs/fm and espfm were 27.4 and 5.1%. Respective percent frequency for the espfs/fm and espfm was 36 and 14% in lake water; 38.8 and 2.3% in stream water; 24 and 6.3% in nearshore sand; 0% in backshore sand; 24.4 and 0% in Cladophora sp.; and 33.3 and 0% in periphyton. The overall occurrence of both espfs/fm and espfm was significantly related (χ2 = 49, P espfs/fm increased in lake and stream water and nearshore sand. Further, E. coli and enterococci cell densities were significant predictors for espfs/fm occurrence in post-rain lake water, but espfm was not. F+ coliphage densities were not significant predictors for espfm or espfs/fm gene incidence. In summary, the differential occurrence of the esp gene in the environment suggests that it is not limited to human fecal sources and thus may weaken its use as a reliable tool in discriminating contaminant sources (i.e., human vs nonhuman).

  8. Comparison of the sensitivity of electrophoresis and ecological indices for the detection of environmental stress in aquatic ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Facemire, C.F.

    1989-01-01

    Selected enzyme systems from a number of aquatic vertebrate and invertebrate species found in three southwestern Ohio Streams were analyzed using electrophoretic techniques. Results were compared with those obtained using various community parameters to determine which method (1) was most sensitive to Pollutant stress, (2) provided the most consistent results when applied to the communities and populations found in the three streams, (3) had the best capability for providing a continuous assessment given a wide range of pollutant stress, (4) was least dependent upon sample size, (5) was most easily calculated, (6) was most able to differentiate between pollutant induced changes and those due to natural cyclic or stochastic ones, and, (7) was most ecologically relevant. Species richness, S, four species diversity indices, the Index of Biotic Integrity, and three community similarity indices were compared to one another and to various genetic measures including allele and genotype frequency data, percent heterozygosity, and Rogers' genetic similarity. In most cases, data from the ecological indices (1) were not correlated with water quality, (2) provided differing interpretations dependent upon the taxa used in the analyses, (3) were unable to discriminate between instream communities, and (4) were often influenced by factors unrelated to contaminant stress including sample size, habitat heterogeneity, season, the life cycle of a dominant species, and the taxonomic group evaluated. Electrophoretic analysis exhibited greater sensitivity to changes in water quality and, in most cases, a high degree of inter-population discriminatory ability.

  9. Estimation of concentration ratio of indicator to pathogen-related gene in environmental water based on left-censored data.

    PubMed

    Kato, Tsuyoshi; Kobayashi, Ayano; Ito, Toshihiro; Miura, Takayuki; Ishii, Satoshi; Okabe, Satoshi; Sano, Daisuke

    2016-02-01

    A stochastic model for estimating the ratio between a fecal indicator and a pathogen based on left-censored data, which includes a substantially high number of non-detects, was constructed. River water samples were taken for 16 months at six points in a river watershed, and conventional fecal indicators (total coliforms and general Escherichia coli), genetic markers (Bacteroides spp.), and virulence genes (eaeA of enteropathogenic E. coli and ciaB of Campylobacter jejuni) were quantified. The quantification of general E. coli failed to predict the presence of the virulence gene from enteropathogenic E. coli, different from what happened with genetic markers (Total Bac and Human Bac). A Bayesian model that was adapted to left-censored data with a varying analytical quantification limit was applied to the quantitative data, and the posterior predictive distributions of the concentration ratio were predicted. When the sample size was 144, simulations conducted in this study suggested that 39 detects were enough to accurately estimate the distribution of the concentration ratio, when combined with a dataset with a positive rate higher than 99%. To evaluate the level of accuracy in the estimation, it is desirable to perform a simulation using an artificially generated left-censored dataset that has the identical number of non-detects as the actual data. PMID:26837826

  10. Fish biliary PAH metabolites estimated by fixed-wavelength fluorescence as an indicator of environmental exposure and effects

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Yang, X.; Peterson, D.S.; Baumann, P.C.; Lin, E.L.C.

    2003-01-01

    Biliary polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) metabolites have been studied since the mid 1980s as an indicator of exposure of fish to PAHs. However, the measurements of PAH metabolites are often costly and time-consuming. A simple and rapid method, fixed-wavelength fluorescence (FF), was used to measure the concentrations of benzo(a)pyrene (B[a]P)-type and naphthalene (NAPH)-type PAH metabolites in the bile of brown bullheads (Ameiurus nebulosus) collected from Old Woman Creek, Ottawa River, Cuyahoga River-harbor and Cuyahoga River-upstream. The biliary PAH metabolites in fish from the less contaminated Old Woman Creek were significantly lower than those from the industrially contaminated Ottawa and Cuyahoga rivers. The levels of biliary PAH metabolites were found to be related to the PAH sediment contamination for the four sites except Cuyahoga River-upstream, and to the prevalence of fish barbel abnormalities and external raised lesions observed in all rivers except Ottawa. Statistical analysis revealed a significant association between the occurrence of barbel abnormalities and concentrations of biliary NAPH-type metabolites and between the occurrence of raised lesions and concentrations of B[a]P-type metabolites. This study provides added evidence that FF is an effective bile analysis method for determining the exposure of fish to PAHs. This study also indicates that the measurement of PAH metabolites could help establish causal relationship between the chemical exposure and effects such as barbel abnormalities and raised lesions.

  11. Magnetic susceptibility as an indicator to paleo-environmental pollution in an urban lagoon near Istanbul city

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alpar, Bedri; Unlu, Selma; Altinok, Yildiz; Ongen, Sinan

    2014-05-01

    For assessing anthropogenic pollution, magnetic susceptibility profiles and accompanying data were measured along three short cores recovered at the southern part of an urban lagoon; Kucukcekmece, Istanbul, Turkey. This marine inlet, connected to the Sea of Marmara by a very narrow channel, was used as a drinking water reservoir 40-50 years ago before it was contaminated by municipal, agricultural and industrial activities, mainly carried by three streams feeding the lagoon. The magnetic signals decrease gradually from the lake bottom towards the core base showing some characteristic anomalies. These signatures were tested as an environmental magnetic parameter against the lithological diversity (silici-clastic, total organic matter and carbonate), metal enrichments with larger variations (Pb, Mn, Zn, Ni, Co, Cr, U and Al) and probable hydrocarbon contamination. Mineral assemblage was determined by a computer driven X-ray diffractometer. The heavy metal concentrations and total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) were measured by ICP-MS and UVF spectrometry, respectively. Magnetic susceptibility shows slightly higher values in interlayers containing higher silici-clastic material and organic content which may suggest first-order changes in the relative supplies of terrigenous and biogenic materials. On the basis of cluster analyses, enhanced magnetic signals could be correlated with the elevated concentrations of Co, Zn, U, Pb and TPH along the cores. The Pb concentrations at the upper parts of the cores were higher than the "Severe Effect Level" and could pose a potential risk for living organisms. Greater amounts of organic carbon tend to accumulate in muddy sediments. In fact, there are a few studies reporting some relationship between enhanced magnetic signals and organic contamination mainly due to petroleum aromatic hydrocarbons. In conclusion, the magnetic susceptibility changes in sedimentary depositional environments could be used as a rapid and cost

  12. Biomonitoring of Environmental Status and Trends (BEST) Program: Environmental contaminants, health indicators, and reproductive biomarkers in fish from the Colorado River basin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hinck, Jo Ellen; Blazer, Vicki; Denslow, Nancy D.; Gross, Timothy S.; Echols, Kathy R.; Davis, Anne P.; May, Tom W.; Orazio, Carl E.; Coyle, James J.; Tillitt, Donald E.

    2006-01-01

    Seven fish species were collected from 14 sites on rivers in the Colorado River Basin (CDRB) from August to October 2003. Spatial trends in the concentrations of accumulative contaminants were documented and contaminant effects on the fish were assessed. Sites were located on the mainstem of the Colorado River and on the Yampa, Green, Gunnison, San Juan, and Gila Rivers. Common carp (Cyprinus carpio), black bass (Micropterus sp.), and channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) were the targeted species. Fish were field-examined for external and internal anomalies, selected organs were weighed to compute somatic indices, and tissue and fluid samples were preserved for fish health and reproductive biomarker analyses. Composite samples of whole fish, grouped by species and gender, from each site were analyzed for organochlorine and elemental contaminants using performance-based and instrumental methods. 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin-like activity (TCDD-EQ) was measured using the H4IIE rat hepatoma cell bioassay. Selenium (Se) and mercury (Hg) concentrations were elevated throughout the CDRB, and pesticides concentrations were greatest in fish from agricultural areas in the Lower Colorado River and Gila River. Selenium concentrations exceeded toxicity thresholds for fish (>1.0 ?g/g ww) at all sites except from the Gila River at Hayden, Arizona. Mercury concentrations were elevated (>0.1 ?g/g ww) in fish from the Yampa River at Lay, Colorado; the Green River at Ouray National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), Utah and San Rafael, Utah; the San Juan River at Hogback Diversion, New Mexico; and the Colorado River at Gold Bar Canyon, Utah, Needles, California, and Imperial Dam, Arizona. Concentrations of p,p'-DDE were relatively high in fish from Arlington, Arizona (>1.0 ?g/g ww) and Phoenix, Arizona (>0.5 ?g/g ww). Concentrations of other banned pesticides including toxaphene, total chlordanes, and dieldrin were also greatest at these two sites but did not exceed toxicity thresholds

  13. Study of the Continuous Improvement Trend for Health, Safety and Environmental Indicators, after Establishment of Integrated Management System (IMS) in a Pharmaceutical Industry in Iran

    PubMed Central

    Mariouryad, Pegah; Golbabaei, Farideh; Nasiri, Parvin; Mohammadfam, Iraj

    2015-01-01

    Background Nowadays, organizations try to improve their services and consequently adopt management systems and standards which have become key parts in various industries. One of these management systems which have been noticed in the recent years is Integrated Management System that is the combination of quality, health, safety and environment management systems. Aim This study was conducted with the aim of evaluating the improvement trend after establishment of integrated management system for health, safety and environment indicators, in a pharmaceutical industry in Iran. Materials and Methods First, during several inspections in different parts of the industry, indicators that should have been noted were listed and then these indicators were organized in 3 domains of health, safety and environment in the form of a questionnaire that followed Likert method of scaling. Also, the weight of each index was resulted from averaging out of 30 managers and the viewpoints of the related experts in the field. Moreover, by checking the documents and evidence of different years (5 contemplation years of this study), the score of each indicator was determined by multiplying the weight and score of the indices and were finally analysed. Results Over 5 years, scores of health scope indicators, increased from 161.99 to 202.23. Score in the first year after applying the integrated management system establishment was 172.37 in safety part and in the final year increased to 197.57. The changes of environmental scope rates, from the beginning of the program up to the last year increased from 49.24 to 64.27. Conclusion Integrated management systems help organizations to improve programs to achieve their objectives. Although in this study all trends of health, safety and environmental indicator changes were positive, but at the same time showed to be slow. So, one can suggest that the result of an annual evaluation should be applied in planning future activities for the years ahead

  14. Flux variations and vertical distributions of microzooplankton (Radiolaria) in the western Arctic Ocean: environmental indices in a warming Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ikenoue, T.; Bjørklund, K. R.; Kruglikova, S. B.; Onodera, J.; Kimoto, K.; Harada, N.

    2014-12-01

    The vertical distribution of radiolarians was investigated using a vertical multiple plankton sampler (100-0, 250-100, 500-250 and 1000-500 m water depths, 62 μm mesh size) at the Northwind Abyssal Plain and southwestern Canada Basin in September 2013. To investigate seasonal variations in the flux of radiolarians in relation to sea-ice and water masses, time series sediment trap system was moored at Station NAP (75°00' N, 162°00' W, bottom depth 1975 m) in the western Arctic Ocean during October 2010-September 2012. We showed characteristics of fourteen abundant radiolarian taxa related to the vertical hydrographic structure in the western Arctic Ocean. We found the Ceratocyrtis histricosus, a warm Atlantic water species, in net samples, indicating that it has extended its habitat into the Pacific Winter Water. The radiolarian flux was comparable to that in the North Pacific Oceans. Amphimelissa setosa was dominant during the open water and the beginning and the end of ice cover seasons with well-grown ice algae, ice fauna and with alternation of stable water masses and deep vertical mixing. During the sea-ice cover season, however, oligotrophic and cold-water tolerant Actinommidae was dominant and the productivity of radiolaria was lower and its species diversity was greater, which might be associated with the seasonal increase of solar radiation that induce the growth of algae on the ice and the other phytoplankton species under the sea-ice. These indicated that the dynamics of sea-ice was a major factor affecting the productivity, distribution, and composition of radiolarian fauna.

  15. Bulk Organic Matter and Lipid Biomarker Composition of Chesapeake Bay Surficial Sediments as Indicators of Environmental Processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zimmerman, A. R.; Canuel, E. A.

    2001-09-01

    Seasonal measurements of lipid biomarker (fatty acid and sterol) composition along with organic carbon and nitrogen elemental and stable isotopic signatures were made in surficial sediments collected along the salinity gradient of the Chesapeake Bay mainstem. These data along with water quality information including chlorophyll and dissolved oxygen concentration were used to assess temporal and spatial variations in organic matter (OM) composition and the processes that control its distribution. While the amount of OM in sediments was largely related to sediment surface area and exhibited very little seasonal variability, OM lipid composition was spatially and temporally variable. Principal components analysis (PCA) identified three suites of lipid compounds that encapsulate these elements of variability. The first, representing allochthonous versus autochthonous OM identified the Northern Bay as the major site of terrestrial OM deposition. The greater contribution of terrestrial OM in this region was supported by elemental C:N and stable isotope data. The second was identified as a seasonal component of lipid composition and indicated the deposition of labile, primarily diatom-derived OM in the spring and degradation of this OM through the summer and fall. This component was particularly enriched in Southern Bay sediments relative to other portions of the Bay and varied with tributary water inflow. A third component of OM composition represented microbially-derived OM which, although most abundant in the Mid-Bay, represented the greatest fraction of OM in the Southern Bay. Sediments of the Mid-Bay were particularly enriched in flagellate-derived OM in the summer. Sediment OM composition was not influenced by water-column dissolved oxygen concentration. The combination of lipid biomarkers and PCA proved a more sensitive indicator of sediment OM sources and reactivity than bulk elemental or isotopic data and presents a picture of the estuary as a trap for both

  16. Biometric parameters of the bream (Abramis brama) as indicators for long-term changes in fish health and environmental quality--data from the German ESB.

    PubMed

    Teubner, Diana; Paulus, Martin; Veith, Michael; Klein, Roland

    2015-02-01

    Piscifaunal health depends upon the state and quality of the aquatic environment. Variations in physical condition of fish may therefore be attributed to changes in environmental quality. Based on time series of up to 20 years of biometric data of bream from multiple sampling sites of the German environmental specimen bank (ESB), this study assessed whether changes in biometric parameters are able to indicate long-term alterations in fish health and environmental quality. Evaluated biometric parameters of fish health comprised length and weight of individuals of a defined age class, the condition factor, lipid content and hepatosomatic index (HSI). Although there are negative trends of the HSI, the overall development of health parameters can be interpreted as positive. This seems to suggest that health parameters conclusively mirror the long-term improvement of water quality in the selected rivers. However, the applicability of the condition factor as well as lipid content as indicators for fish health remained subject to restrictions. Altogether, the results from the ESB confirmed the high value of biometric parameters for monitoring of long-term changes in state and quality of aquatic ecosystems. PMID:24824506

  17. The risk of Ascaris lumbricoides infection in children as an environmental health indicator to guide preventive activities in Caparaó and Alto Caparaó, Brazil.

    PubMed Central

    Carneiro, Fernando Ferreira; Cifuentes, Enrique; Tellez-Rojo, Martha Maria; Romieu, Isabelle

    2002-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To develop an environmental health indicator for use as a basis for developing preventive measures against Ascaris lumbricoides infection in children from the rural municipalities of Caparaó and Alto Caparaó, in Minas Gerais, Brazil. METHODS: A cross-sectional survey was conducted between May and September 1998 among 1171 children under 14 years of age living in 588 dwellings selected from 11 communities. Trained interviewers used a questionnaire to identify risk factors for infection (socioeconomic, sanitation and hygiene variables) and collected stool samples from each child for parasitological tests. RESULTS: The overall prevalence of A. lumbricoides infection was 12.2%. The results showed the protective effects of availability of water in the washbasin and better hygiene, sanitation and socioeconomic status; the interactive effect of crowding was five times larger in households without water in the washbasin than in those having water. There was a statistically significant association between infection and children's age. CONCLUSION: The environmental health indicator, which incorporated the most significant biological, environmental and social factors associated with the risk of A. lumbricoides infection in children from these communities, should contribute to the development of surveillance tools and health protection measures in this population. PMID:11884972

  18. Metal-binding protein in the pacific oyster, Crassostrea gigas: assessment of the protein as a biochemical environmental indicator

    SciTech Connect

    Imber, B.E.; Thompson, J.A.J.; Ward, S.

    1987-04-01

    In this paper the determination of metal-binding proteins (MBP) in the Pacific Oyster (Crassostrea gigas) is reported. The objectives of this study were to employ a simple, cost-effective method for quantifying MBP and to assess this parameter for possible use as an indicator of identifiable sources of metal input to biological systems. Abnormally high quantities of zinc had been found previously in C. gigas growing in waters adjacent to the Kraft pump mill at Crofton, British Columbia. From 1971 to 1973 oysters near the effluent outfalls were found to have body-burden zinc six to ten times the zinc concentrations found in reference specimens. Zinc dithionite was used in the pulping process at the mill until 1973. Subsequent to a change to sodium dithionite, concentrations of zinc in oysters decreased steadily. A second potential source of contamination is sited directly south of the pulp mill. In this case, leaching of copper and zinc from smelter slag into Osborn Bay has been identified.

  19. Micronucleus test in fishes as indicators of environmental quality in subestuaries of the Río de la Plata (Uruguay).

    PubMed

    Gutiérrez, Juan Manuel; Villar, Silvia; Acuña Plavan, Alicia

    2015-02-28

    Genotoxic agents may exert damage that may be active through following generations. Micronuclei are cytoplasmic chromatin masses outside the main cell nucleus, indicators of chromosomal damage. This study applied micronuclei test to evaluate genetic damage of fish in three breeding and nursery areas of commercially important fishes exposed to differing degrees of anthropogenic impact: Pando, Solís Chico and Solís Grande sub-estuaries. The micronuclei test revealed differences in the presence and concentrations of genotoxic components in these sub-estuaries. Fish in the urban and industrialized Pando sub-estuary presented the highest percentages of micronuclei. The absence of seasonal changes in micronuclei in Pando fish could be explained by physical characteristics of the sub-estuary and by regional weather conditions. Odontesthes argentinensis (Valenciennes, 1835) was the species most susceptible to genotoxic components. It is recommended the use of a battery of biomarkers to better explain the health of organisms in that important nursery area. PMID:25455785

  20. Monitoring of trace metals in tissues of Wallago attu (lanchi) from the Indus River as an indicator of environmental pollution

    PubMed Central

    Al-Ghanim, K.A.; Mahboob, Shahid; Seemab, Sadia; Sultana, S.; Sultana, T.; Al-Misned, Fahad; Ahmed, Z.

    2015-01-01

    We aimed to assess the bioaccumulation of selected four trace metals (Cd, Ni, Zn and Co) in four tissues (muscles, skin, gills and liver) of a freshwater fish Wallago attu (lanchi) from three different sites (upstream, middle stream and downstream) of the Indus River in Mianwali district of Pakistan. Heavy metal contents in water samples and from different selected tissues of fish were examined by using flame atomic absorption spectrometry. The data were statistically compared to study the effects of the site and fish organs and their interaction on the bioaccumulation pattern of these metals at P < 0.05. In W. attu the level of cadmium ranged from 0.004 to 0.24; nickel 0.003–0.708; cobalt 0.002–0.768 and zinc 47.4–1147.5 μg/g wet weight. The magnitude of metal bioaccumulation in different organs of fish species had the following order gills > liver > skin > muscle. The order of bioaccumulation of these metals was Ni < Zn < Co < Cd. Heavy metal concentrations were increased during the dry season as compared to the wet season. The results of this study indicate that freshwater fish produced and marketed in Mianwali have concentrations below the standards of FEPA/WHO for these toxic metals. PMID:26858541

  1. Monitoring of trace metals in tissues of Wallago attu (lanchi) from the Indus River as an indicator of environmental pollution.

    PubMed

    Al-Ghanim, K A; Mahboob, Shahid; Seemab, Sadia; Sultana, S; Sultana, T; Al-Misned, Fahad; Ahmed, Z

    2016-01-01

    We aimed to assess the bioaccumulation of selected four trace metals (Cd, Ni, Zn and Co) in four tissues (muscles, skin, gills and liver) of a freshwater fish Wallago attu (lanchi) from three different sites (upstream, middle stream and downstream) of the Indus River in Mianwali district of Pakistan. Heavy metal contents in water samples and from different selected tissues of fish were examined by using flame atomic absorption spectrometry. The data were statistically compared to study the effects of the site and fish organs and their interaction on the bioaccumulation pattern of these metals at P < 0.05. In W. attu the level of cadmium ranged from 0.004 to 0.24; nickel 0.003-0.708; cobalt 0.002-0.768 and zinc 47.4-1147.5 μg/g wet weight. The magnitude of metal bioaccumulation in different organs of fish species had the following order gills > liver > skin > muscle. The order of bioaccumulation of these metals was Ni < Zn < Co < Cd. Heavy metal concentrations were increased during the dry season as compared to the wet season. The results of this study indicate that freshwater fish produced and marketed in Mianwali have concentrations below the standards of FEPA/WHO for these toxic metals. PMID:26858541

  2. Environmental factors influencing human viral pathogens and their potential indicator organisms in the blue mussel, Mytilus edulis: the first Scandinavian report.

    PubMed

    Hernroth, Bodil E; Conden-Hansson, Ann-Christine; Rehnstam-Holm, Ann-Sofi; Girones, Rosina; Allard, Annika K

    2002-09-01

    This study was carried out in order to investigate human enteric virus contaminants in mussels from three sites on the west coast of Sweden, representing a gradient of anthropogenic influence. Mussels were sampled monthly during the period from February 2000 to July 2001 and analyzed for adeno-, entero-, Norwalk-like, and hepatitis A viruses as well as the potential viral indicator organisms somatic coliphages, F-specific RNA bacteriophages, bacteriophages infecting Bacteroides fragilis, and Escherichia coli. The influence of environmental factors such as water temperature, salinity, and land runoff on the occurrence of these microbes was also included in this study. Enteric viruses were found in 50 to 60% of the mussel samples, and there were no pronounced differences between the samples from the three sites. E. coli counts exceeded the limit for category A for shellfish sanitary safety in 40% of the samples from the sites situated in fjords. However, at the site in the outer archipelago, this limit was exceeded only once, in March 2001, when extremely high levels of atypical indole-negative strains of E. coli were registered at all three sites. The environmental factors influenced the occurrence of viruses and phages differently, and therefore, it was hard to find a coexistence between them. This study shows that, for risk assessment, separate modeling should be done for every specific area, with special emphasis on environmental factors such as temperature and land runoff. The present standard for human fecal contamination, E. coli, seems to be an acceptable indicator of only local sanitary contamination; it is not a reliable indicator of viral contaminants in mussels. To protect consumers and get verification of "clean" mussels, it seems necessary to analyze for viruses as well. The use of a molecular index of the human contamination of Swedish shellfish underscores the need for reference laboratories with high-technology facilities. PMID:12200309

  3. Environmental Factors Influencing Human Viral Pathogens and Their Potential Indicator Organisms in the Blue Mussel, Mytilus edulis: the First Scandinavian Report

    PubMed Central

    Hernroth, Bodil E.; Conden-Hansson, Ann-Christine; Rehnstam-Holm, Ann-Sofi; Girones, Rosina; Allard, Annika K.

    2002-01-01

    This study was carried out in order to investigate human enteric virus contaminants in mussels from three sites on the west coast of Sweden, representing a gradient of anthropogenic influence. Mussels were sampled monthly during the period from February 2000 to July 2001 and analyzed for adeno-, entero-, Norwalk-like, and hepatitis A viruses as well as the potential viral indicator organisms somatic coliphages, F-specific RNA bacteriophages, bacteriophages infecting Bacteroides fragilis, and Escherichia coli. The influence of environmental factors such as water temperature, salinity, and land runoff on the occurrence of these microbes was also included in this study. Enteric viruses were found in 50 to 60% of the mussel samples, and there were no pronounced differences between the samples from the three sites. E. coli counts exceeded the limit for category A for shellfish sanitary safety in 40% of the samples from the sites situated in fjords. However, at the site in the outer archipelago, this limit was exceeded only once, in March 2001, when extremely high levels of atypical indole-negative strains of E. coli were registered at all three sites. The environmental factors influenced the occurrence of viruses and phages differently, and therefore, it was hard to find a coexistence between them. This study shows that, for risk assessment, separate modeling should be done for every specific area, with special emphasis on environmental factors such as temperature and land runoff. The present standard for human fecal contamination, E. coli, seems to be an acceptable indicator of only local sanitary contamination; it is not a reliable indicator of viral contaminants in mussels. To protect consumers and get verification of “clean” mussels, it seems necessary to analyze for viruses as well. The use of a molecular index of the human contamination of Swedish shellfish underscores the need for reference laboratories with high-technology facilities. PMID:12200309

  4. Bio-indicator bacteria & environmental variables of the coastal zones: The example of the Güllük Bay, Aegean Sea, Turkey.

    PubMed

    Kalkan, Samet; Altuğ, Gülşen

    2015-06-15

    In this study bio-indicator bacteria and environmental variable parameters were investigated in the coastal areas of the Güllük Bay, Aegean Sea, Turkey. The seawater samples which were taken from surface (0-30cm) were tested regarding total and fecal coliform, streptococci and nutrients from May to February in 2012-2013. The primary hydrographic parameters were recorded using multiparameter (YSI 556) in situ at the sampling stations. The highest fecal pollution stress and indicator bacteria values were observed in the period between June and August. The finding showed that bacterial pollution sources of the study area, especially in the summer season, under the control of increasing anthropogenic activities. The finding showed that terrestrial pollution sources carry a potential risk for public and ecosystem health and the sustainable use of living sources. Precautions should be formulated and put into action immediately in order to protect the region from bacteriological risks. PMID:25956440

  5. Diversity of Clinical and Environmental Isolates of Vibrio cholerae in Natural Transformation and Contact-Dependent Bacterial Killing Indicative of Type VI Secretion System Activity.

    PubMed

    Bernardy, Eryn E; Turnsek, Maryann A; Wilson, Sarah K; Tarr, Cheryl L; Hammer, Brian K

    2016-05-01

    The bacterial pathogenVibrio choleraecan occupy both the human gut and aquatic reservoirs, where it may colonize chitinous surfaces that induce the expression of factors for three phenotypes: chitin utilization, DNA uptake by natural transformation, and contact-dependent bacterial killing via a type VI secretion system (T6SS). In this study, we surveyed a diverse set of 53 isolates from different geographic locales collected over the past century from human clinical and environmental specimens for each phenotype outlined above. The set included pandemic isolates of serogroup O1, as well as several serogroup O139 and non-O1/non-O139 strains. We found that while chitin utilization was common, only 22.6% of the isolates tested were proficient at chitin-induced natural transformation, suggesting that transformation is expendable. Constitutive contact-dependent killing ofEscherichia coliprey, which is indicative of a functional T6SS, was rare among clinical isolates (only 4 of 29) but common among environmental isolates (22 of 24). These results bolster the pathoadaptive model in which tight regulation of T6SS-mediated bacterial killing is beneficial in a human host, whereas constitutive killing by environmental isolates may give a competitive advantage in natural settings. Future sequence analysis of this set of diverse isolates may identify previously unknown regulators and structural components for both natural transformation and T6SS. PMID:26944842

  6. Dependence of RNA:DNA ratios and Fulton’s K condition indices on environmental characteristics of plaice and dab nursery grounds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Raedemaecker, F.; Brophy, D.; O'Connor, I.; O'Neill, B.

    2012-02-01

    This field study showed a lack of a correlation between a morphometric (Fulton's K) and biochemical (RNA:DNA ratio) condition index in juvenile plaice ( Pleuronectes platessa) and dab ( Limanda limanda) studied to assess habitat quality in four sandy beach nursery grounds in Galway Bay, Ireland. Based on monthly surveys from June to September in 2008 and 2009, fish growth, indicated by RNA:DNA ratios and Fulton's K, displayed considerable spatio-temporal variability. Site-related patterns in Fulton's K for plaice and dab were consistent between years whereas RNA:DNA ratios displayed annual and interspecific variability among nursery habitats. This indicates a higher sensitivity of RNA:DNA ratios to short-term environmental fluctuations which is not apparent in Fulton's K measurements of juvenile flatfish. Generalized Additive Modelling (GAM) revealed non-linear relationships between the condition indices and (biotic and abiotic) habitat characteristics as well as diet features, derived from gut content analyses. Density of predators, sediment grain size and salinity were the most important predictors of both condition indices. Temperature also affected condition indices in dab whereas plaice condition indices varied with depth. Diet features did not contribute to the explained variability in the models predicting RNA:DNA ratios whereas certain prey groups significantly improved the explained variability in the models predicting Fulton's K of plaice and dab. The value of both indices for assessing fish condition and habitat quality in field studies is discussed. These findings aid understanding of the biological and physical mechanisms promoting fast growth and high survival which will help to identify high quality nursery areas for juvenile plaice and dab.

  7. East Greenland and Barents Sea polar bears (Ursus maritimus): adaptive variation between two populations using skull morphometrics as an indicator of environmental and genetic differences.

    PubMed

    Pertoldi, Cino; Sonne, Christian; Wiig, Øystein; Baagøe, Hans J; Loeschcke, Volker; Bechshøft, Thea Østergaard

    2012-06-01

    A morphometric study was conducted on four skull traits of 37 male and 18 female adult East Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus) collected 1892-1968, and on 54 male and 44 female adult Barents Sea polar bears collected 1950-1969. The aim was to compare differences in size and shape of the bear skulls using a multivariate approach, characterizing the variation between the two populations using morphometric traits as an indicator of environmental and genetic differences. Mixture analysis testing for geographic differentiation within each population revealed three clusters for Barents Sea males and three clusters for Barents Sea females. East Greenland consisted of one female and one male cluster. A principal component analysis (PCA) conducted on the clusters defined by the mixture analysis, showed that East Greenland and Barents Sea polar bear populations overlapped to a large degree, especially with regards to females. Multivariate analyses of variance (MANOVA) showed no significant differences in morphometric means between the two populations, but differences were detected between clusters from each respective geographic locality. To estimate the importance of genetics and environment in the morphometric differences between the bears, a PCA was performed on the covariance matrix derived from the skull measurements. Skull trait size (PC1) explained approx. 80% of the morphometric variation, whereas shape (PC2) defined approx. 15%, indicating some genetic differentiation. Hence, both environmental and genetic factors seem to have contributed to the observed skull differences between the two populations. Overall, results indicate that many Barents Sea polar bears are morphometrically similar to the East Greenland ones, suggesting an exchange of individuals between the two populations. Furthermore, a subpopulation structure in the Barents Sea population was also indicated from the present analyses, which should be considered with regards to future management

  8. Using SPOT-VGT NDVI as a successive ecological indicator for understanding the environmental implications in the Tarim River Basin, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Zhandong; Chang, Ni-Bin; Opp, Christian

    2010-11-01

    The resilience and vulnerability of terrestrial ecosystem in the Tarim River Basin, Xinjiang is critical in sustainable development of the northwest region in China. To learn more about causes of the ecosystem evolution in this wide region, vegetation dynamics can be a surrogate indicator of environmental responses and human perturbations. This paper aims to use the inter-annual and intra-annual coefficient of variation (CoV) derived by the SPOT-VGT Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) as an integrated measure of vegetation dynamics to address the environmental implications in response to climate change. To finally pin down the vegetation dynamics, the intra-annual CoV based on monthly NDVI values and the inter-annual CoV based on seasonally accumulated NDVI values were respectively calculated. Such vegetation dynamics can then be associated with precipitation patterns extracted from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) data and irrigation efforts reflecting the cross-linkages between human society and natural systems. Such a remote sensing analysis enables us to explore the complex vegetation dynamics in terms of distribution and evolution of the collective features of heterogeneity over local soil characteristics, climate change impacts, and anthropogenic activities at differing space and time scales. Findings clearly indicate that the vegetation changes had an obvious trend in some high mountainous areas as a result of climate change whereas the vegetation changes in fluvial plains reflected the increasing evidence of human perturbations due to anthropogenic activities. Some possible environmental implications were finally elaborated from those cross-linkages between economic development and resources depletion in the context of sustainable development.

  9. Integrated biomarker responses of the invasive species Corbicula fluminea in relation to environmental abiotic conditions: a potential indicator of the likelihood of clam's summer mortality syndrome.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, Cristiana; Vilares, Pedro; Guilhermino, Lúcia

    2015-04-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the variation of several biomarkers in wild populations of Corbicula fluminea in relation to abiotic condition changes to identify environmental factors associated with increased stress in this species potentially leading to massive mortality events. The study was carried out from July to October in the freshwater tidal areas of the estuaries of Minho and Lima Rivers (NW Iberian Peninsula). Monthly, 7 biomarkers (biotransformation, energy production, anti-oxidant defenses and lipid peroxidation damages) were determined in C. fluminea and 17 abiotic parameters were determined in water or sediments in 4 sampling sites: M1, M2 and M3 in Minho (up=> downstream); and L in Lima estuaries. The results of biomarkers were integrated using the Integrated Biomarker Response (IBR), Index and also analysed in relation to environmental parameters by Redundancy Analysis (RDA). Overall, the findings of the present study indicate that July and August are particularly stressful months for the studied C. fluminea populations, especially at downstream sites; the increase of nutrients and ammonium water concentrations, water temperature and conductivity are major contributors for this increased stress; the biomarkers indicated that in July/August C. fluminea is exposed to oxidative stress inducers, environmental chemical contaminants biotransformed by esterases and glutathione S-transferase enzymes, and that organisms need additional energy to cope with the chemical and/or thermally-induced stress. The findings of the present study stress the importance of biomonitoring the health condition of C. fluminea because it may allow determining the likelihood of summer/post summer mortality syndrome in this species. PMID:25499240

  10. Calculation of enviromental indices

    SciTech Connect

    1995-10-01

    This portion of the Energy Vision 2020 draft report discusses the development of environmental indices. These indices were developed to be a quantitative measure of characterizing how TVA power system operations and alternative energy strategies might affect the environment. All indices were calculated relative to the reference strategy, and for the environmental review, the reference strategy was `no action`.