Science.gov

Sample records for agricultural ecological environment

  1. Research on agricultural ecology and environment analysis and modeling based on RS and GIS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Wensheng; Chen, Hongfu; Wang, Mingsheng

    2009-07-01

    Analysis of agricultural ecology and environment is based on the data of agricultural resources, which are obtained by RS monitoring. The over-exploitation of farmlands will cause structural changes of the soil composition, and damage the planting environment and the agro-ecosystem. Through the research on the dynamic monitoring methods of multitemporal RS images and GIS technology, the crop growth status, crop acreage and other relevant information in agricultural production are extracted based on the monitor and analysis of the conditions of the fields and crop growth. The agro-ecological GIS platform is developed with the establishment of the agricultural resources management database, which manages spatial data, RS data and attribute data of agricultural resources. Using the RS, GIS analysis results, the reasons of agro-ecological destruction are analyzed and the evaluation methods are established. This paper puts forward the concept of utilization capacity of farmland, which describes farmland space for development and utilization that is influenced by the conditions of the land, water resources, climate, pesticides and chemical fertilizers and many other agricultural production factors. Assessment model of agricultural land use capacity is constructed with the help of Fuzzy. Assessing the utilization capacity of farmland can be helpful to agricultural production and ecological protection of farmland. This paper describes the application of the capacity evaluation model with simulated data in two aspects, namely, in evaluating the status of farmland development and utilization and in optimal planting.

  2. Landscape fragmentation and pollinator movement within agricultural environments: a modelling framework for exploring foraging and movement ecology

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Pollinator decline has been linked to landscape change, through both habitat fragmentation and the loss of habitat suitable for the pollinators to live within. One method for exploring why landscape change should affect pollinator populations is to combine individual-level behavioural ecological techniques with larger-scale landscape ecology. A modelling framework is described that uses spatially-explicit individual-based models to explore the effects of individual behavioural rules within a landscape. The technique described gives a simple method for exploring the effects of the removal of wild corridors, and the creation of wild set-aside fields: interventions that are common to many national agricultural policies. The effects of these manipulations on central-place nesting pollinators are varied, and depend upon the behavioural rules that the pollinators are using to move through the environment. The value of this modelling framework is discussed, and future directions for exploration are identified. PMID:24795848

  3. Stronger management needed to protect agricultural environment

    SciTech Connect

    Cai Shikui

    1983-01-01

    This article examines environmental issues and management in developed agricultural areas of China. Agricultural environmental management is defined as the adoption of countermeasures by applying the theories and methods of environmental science and management science and abiding by economic laws and ecological laws to prevent pollution of the agricultural environment and destruction of the agro-ecology by man; to coordinate the relationship between the development of agricultural production and the protection of the agricultural environment and to satisfy increasing demands for agricultural by-products. Topics considered include the basis for developing agricultural environmental management, the present condition of the agricultural environment in China, and several management proposals.

  4. Ecological Models: Agricultural Models

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The agricultural research community is faced with a wide array of complex problems to solve. Continued population increases in developing countries require increased agricultural production, while agroecosystems are being stressed and negatively impacted by greater use of water and agrochemicals. F...

  5. [Ecological approach for a better understanding of population-agriculture-environment relations].

    PubMed

    Traore, G

    1994-05-01

    In January 1993, representatives from 9 member states of the Permanent Inter-State Committee for the Struggle Against Desertification in the Sahel (CILSS) met to propose potential ecological observation sites for a subnetwork of a vast network covering member countries of the CILSS, the Arab Maghreb Union, and the Intergovernmental Authority Against Desertification for Development. The delegates identified 20 potential sites which represent principle agroecological, socioeconomic, and demographic zones of the Sahel. The identified sites included 8 protected areas, 5 with potential agrico-pastoral development activities, 4 with existing research and experimentation stations to collect scientific data over a long period, 2 with advancing sand, and 1 urban development zone. The ecoclimatic zones were Sahelian (45%), Saharan (30%), Sahelo-Sudanian (15%), and Sudanian (10%). This network will have to put in place an effective coordination mechanism involving all related organizations and to deliver a minimum resource base guaranteeing continuation of guiding activities. Taking in account demographic and socioeconomic aspects integrated with physical aspects will better allow formulation of solutions to identified problems. The blending of data collection and data analysis methods at the heart of the network will constitute an important gain allowing extrapolation of results and the proposition of interregional and international corrective measures. One should avoid duplications which waste these countries' rare resources by strengthening already existing regional and international coordination organizations. PMID:12288137

  6. Measuring pesticide ecological and health risks in West African agriculture to establish an enabling environment for sustainable intensification.

    PubMed

    Jepson, P C; Guzy, M; Blaustein, K; Sow, M; Sarr, M; Mineau, P; Kegley, S

    2014-04-01

    We outline an approach to pesticide risk assessment that is based upon surveys of pesticide use throughout West Africa. We have developed and used new risk assessment models to provide, to our knowledge, the first detailed, geographically extensive, scientifically based analysis of pesticide risks for this region. Human health risks from dermal exposure to adults and children are severe enough in many crops to require long periods of up to three weeks when entry to fields should be restricted. This is impractical in terms of crop management, and regulatory action is needed to remove these pesticides from the marketplace. We also found widespread risks to terrestrial and aquatic wildlife throughout the region, and if these results were extrapolated to all similar irrigated perimeters in the Senegal and Niger River Basins, they suggest that pesticides could pose a significant threat to regional biodiversity. Our analyses are presented at the regional, national and village levels to promote regulatory advances but also local risk communication and management. Without progress in pesticide risk management, supported by participatory farmer education, West African agriculture provides a weak context for the sustainable intensification of agricultural production or for the adoption of new crop technologies. PMID:24535399

  7. Measuring pesticide ecological and health risks in West African agriculture to establish an enabling environment for sustainable intensification

    PubMed Central

    Jepson, P. C.; Guzy, M.; Blaustein, K.; Sow, M.; Sarr, M.; Mineau, P.; Kegley, S.

    2014-01-01

    We outline an approach to pesticide risk assessment that is based upon surveys of pesticide use throughout West Africa. We have developed and used new risk assessment models to provide, to our knowledge, the first detailed, geographically extensive, scientifically based analysis of pesticide risks for this region. Human health risks from dermal exposure to adults and children are severe enough in many crops to require long periods of up to three weeks when entry to fields should be restricted. This is impractical in terms of crop management, and regulatory action is needed to remove these pesticides from the marketplace. We also found widespread risks to terrestrial and aquatic wildlife throughout the region, and if these results were extrapolated to all similar irrigated perimeters in the Senegal and Niger River Basins, they suggest that pesticides could pose a significant threat to regional biodiversity. Our analyses are presented at the regional, national and village levels to promote regulatory advances but also local risk communication and management. Without progress in pesticide risk management, supported by participatory farmer education, West African agriculture provides a weak context for the sustainable intensification of agricultural production or for the adoption of new crop technologies. PMID:24535399

  8. Ecology, Pollution, Environment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Turk, Amos; And Others

    Elements of environmental science and how the science is related to the more traditionally established disciplines are explored in this supplementary text. Two aspects of environmental science are considered--subject matter and decision making. Relevant background material in the physical sciences is presented under the following topics: ecology,…

  9. Teaching Ecology in Urban Environments.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fail, Joseph, Jr.

    1995-01-01

    Discusses the teaching of ecology and environmental education in urban environments by using field trips to city parks, airports, nuclear power plants, water treatment plants, sewage treatment plants, incinerators, foundries, and forests. (MKR)

  10. [Engineering issues of microbial ecology in space agriculture].

    PubMed

    Yamashita, Masamichi; Ishikawa, Yoji; Oshima, Tairo

    2005-03-01

    Closure of the materials recycle loop for water-foods-oxygen is the primary purpose of space agriculture on Mars and Moon. A microbial ecological system takes a part of agriculture to process our metabolic excreta and inedible biomass and convert them to nutrients and soil substrate for cultivating plants. If we extend the purpose of space agriculture to the creation and control of a healthy and pleasant living environment, we should realize that our human body should not be sterilized but exposed to the appropriate microbial environment. We are proposing a use of hyper-thermophilic aerobic composting microbial ecology in space agriculture. Japan has a broad historical and cultural background on this subject. There had been agriculture that drove a closed loop of materials between consuming cities and farming villages in vicinity. Recent environmental problems regarding garbage collection and processing in towns have motivated home electronics companies to innovate "garbage composting" machines with bacterial technology. Based on those matured technology, together with new insights on microbiology and microbial ecology, we have been developing a conceptual design of space agriculture on Moon and Mars. There are several issues to be answered in order to prove effectiveness of the use of microbial systems in space. 1) Can the recycled nutrients, processed by the hyper-thermal aerobic composting microbial ecology, be formed in the physical and chemical state or configuration, with which plants can uptake those nutrients? A possibility of removing any major components of fertilizer from its recycle loop is another item to be evaluated. 2) What are the merits of forming soil microbial ecology around the root system of plants? This might be the most crucial question. Recent researches exhibit various mutually beneficial relationships among soil microbiota and plants, and symbiotic ecology in composting bacteria. It is essential to understand those features, and define

  11. Role of ecological farms in improving agricultural environmental problems

    SciTech Connect

    Huang Zhenguan; Shu, T.

    1983-01-01

    This article examines the concept of regarding the agricultural ecosystem as an entirety, integrating the energy conversion and material cycle between various biocoenosiums of plants, animals and microorganisms and that between organisms and nonorganisms which run through the entire ecosystem, and composing scientifically the environment-ecosystem for the purpose of gaining the maximum biotic yield and the best efficiency in protection of the agricultural environment. It is indicated that ''methane-fermentation'' of agricultural organisms is an important link in fully utilizing matter and energy and reducing environmental pollution, and this will partly solve the problem of fuel shortage in rural areas as well. There is a need to find models of ecological farms which suit the realities of China. Even though ecological farms are a new concept in the agricultural sciences, some forms of ecological farms have long existed in traditional agricultural production of China. For example, the peasants in some flatland areas of southern China scrape sod from the borderdikes to bed down domestic animals, the mud-bearing sod is mixed with the excrement of livestock, and after pilling and rotting, the decomposed manure is applied as organic fertilizer in farmlands. A diagram of the production structure of a fishpond is presented.

  12. [Discussion on agricultural product quality and safety problem from ecological view].

    PubMed

    Xiao, Ming; Dong, Nan; Lyu, Xin

    2015-08-01

    There are many different perspectives about the sustainable agriculture, which had been proposed since the last three decades in the world. While China's ecologists and agronomists proposed a similar concept named 'ecological agriculture'. Although ecological agriculture in China has achieved substantial progress, including theory, models and supporting technologies nearly several decades of practice and development, its application guidance still is not yet clear. The organic agriculture model proposed by European Union is popular, but it is limited in the beneficiary groups and the social and ecological responsibility. In this context, the article based on an ecological point of view, analyzed the shortcomings of ecological imbalance caused by a single mode of agricultural production and the negative impact on the quality of agricultural products, and discussed the core values of ecological agriculture. On this basis, we put forward the concept of sustainable security of agricultural products. Based on this concept, an agricultural platform was established under the healthy ecosysphere environment, and from this agricultural platform, agricultural products could be safely and sustainably obtained. Around the central value of the concept, we designed the agricultural sustainable and security production model. Finally, we compared the responsibility, benefiting groups, agronomic practices selection and other aspects of sustainable agriculture with organic agriculture, and proved the advancement of sustainable agricultural model in agricultural production quality and safety. PMID:26685623

  13. Agriculture & the Environment. Teacher's Guide.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McMurry, Linda Maston

    This teacher's guide offers background information that teachers can use to incorporate topics related to agriculture and the environment into the curriculum. Classroom activities to bring these topics alive for students in grades 6-9 are suggested. Chapters include: (1) Pesticides and Integrated Pest Management; (2) Food Safety; (3) Water…

  14. Agricultural applications of insect ecological genomics.

    PubMed

    Poelchau, Monica F; Coates, Brad S; Childers, Christopher P; Peréz de León, Adalberto A; Evans, Jay D; Hackett, Kevin; Shoemaker, DeWayne

    2016-02-01

    Agricultural entomology is poised to benefit from the application of ecological genomics, particularly the fields of biofuels generation and pest control. Metagenomic methods can characterize microbial communities of termites, wood-boring beetles and livestock pests, and transcriptomic approaches reveal molecular bases behind wood-digesting capabilities of these insects, leading to potential mechanisms for biofuel generation. Genome sequences are being exploited to develop new pest control methods, identify candidate antigens to vaccinate livestock, and discover RNAi target sequences and potential non-target effects in other insects. Gene content analyses of pest genome sequences and their endosymbionts suggest metabolic interdependencies between organisms, exposing potential gene targets for insect control. Finally, genome-wide association studies and genotyping by high-throughput sequencing promise to improve management of pesticide resistance. PMID:27436554

  15. INTEGRATING SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE, ECOLOGY, AND ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY

    EPA Science Inventory

    Current agricultural practices are contributing to environmental degradation, which also threatens the sustainability of agricultural production. cology has the potential to contribute significantly to the development of a sustainable and environmentally sound agriculture. owever...

  16. Ecological Agriculture Research: Increasing Competence through PhD Courses.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lieblein, G.; Francis, C. A.; Salomonsson, L.; Sriskandarajah, N.

    1999-01-01

    A Ph.D. course in ecological agriculture included a weeklong intensive workshop and individual research projects. The course demonstrated the usefulness of multiple approaches to learning research methods and perspectives and increased networking among researchers. (SK)

  17. Agricultural biodiversity, social-ecological systems and sustainable diets.

    PubMed

    Allen, Thomas; Prosperi, Paolo; Cogill, Bruce; Flichman, Guillermo

    2014-11-01

    The stark observation of the co-existence of undernourishment, nutrient deficiencies and overweight and obesity, the triple burden of malnutrition, is inviting us to reconsider health and nutrition as the primary goal and final endpoint of food systems. Agriculture and the food industry have made remarkable advances in the past decades. However, their development has not entirely fulfilled health and nutritional needs, and moreover, they have generated substantial collateral losses in agricultural biodiversity. Simultaneously, several regions are experiencing unprecedented weather events caused by climate change and habitat depletion, in turn putting at risk global food and nutrition security. This coincidence of food crises with increasing environmental degradation suggests an urgent need for novel analyses and new paradigms. The sustainable diets concept proposes a research and policy agenda that strives towards a sustainable use of human and natural resources for food and nutrition security, highlighting the preeminent role of consumers in defining sustainable options and the importance of biodiversity in nutrition. Food systems act as complex social-ecological systems, involving multiple interactions between human and natural components. Nutritional patterns and environment structure are interconnected in a mutual dynamic of changes. The systemic nature of these interactions calls for multidimensional approaches and integrated assessment and simulation tools to guide change. This paper proposes a review and conceptual modelling framework that articulate the synergies and tradeoffs between dietary diversity, widely recognised as key for healthy diets, and agricultural biodiversity and associated ecosystem functions, crucial resilience factors to climate and global changes. PMID:25068204

  18. Detection, Occurrence and Fate of Emerging Contaminants in Agricultural Environments.

    PubMed

    Snow, Daniel D; Cassada, David A; Bartelt-Hunt, Shannon L; Li, Xu; D'Alessio, Matteo; Zhang, Yun; Zhang, Yuping; Sallach, J Brett

    2016-10-01

    A total of 59 papers published in 2015 were reviewed ranging from detailed descriptions of analytical methods, to fate and occurrence studies, to ecological effects and sampling techniques for a wide variety of emerging contaminants likely to occur in agricultural environments. New methods and studies on veterinary pharmaceuticals, steroids, antibiotic resistance genes in agricultural environments continue to expand our knowledge base on the occurrence and potential impacts of these compounds. This review is divided into the following sections: Introduction, Analytical Methods, Steroid Hormones, Pharmaceutical Contaminants, Transformation Products, and "Antibiotic Resistance, Drugs, Bugs and Genes". PMID:27620078

  19. Agricultural Science Protects Our Environment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    1967

    Included are a 49 frame filmstrip and a script for narrating a presentation. The presentation is aimed at the secondary school level with an emphasis on how agricultural scientists investigate problems in farmland erosion, stream pollution, road building erosion problems, air pollution, farm pollution, pesticides, and insect control by biological…

  20. Hyper-thermophilic aerobic bacterial ecology for space agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oshima, T.; Kanazawa, S.; Moriya, T.; Ishikawa, Y.; Hashimoto, H.; Yamashita, M.; Space Agriculture Task Force, J.

    A material recycling is one of core issues in engineering for habitation on extraterrestrial bodies such as Mars A new composting system has been developed in Japan which utilizes some thermophilic bacteria to attain higher temperature than normally expected in the ordinary composting system Dead body of rat was found to be eaten up by the thermophilic bacteria under aerated condition and oxidized to carbon dioxide and few other inorganics within two hours Ecology of these composting bacteria is structured on the intensive symbiotic interactions among various species that participate in various reaction networks in a concert Complexity in the composting bacteria might be based on multiple interaction and interdependency among participating species and organisms Species identification and phylogeny of symbiotic bacteria and understanding of their ecology have been made Those bacterial systems are active and durable under temperature high in a range of 80 to 100 r C Biological combustion release heat and temperature goes up when air is fed through the reaction bed Since microbial activity decreases at exceeding temperature and release of heat decreases as well temperature in the reacting bed itself-regulated in the range Even though it should be verified composting bacteria themselves are presumed to be safe for human agricultural plant and animal species Their activity is restricted only to the condition under elevated temperature Their activities depend greatly on their symbiotic partners and extreme environment created by them The

  1. NASA Earth Resources Survey Symposium. Volume 1-A: Agriculture, environment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1975-01-01

    A number of papers dealing with the practical application of imagery obtained from remote sensors on LANDSAT satellites, the Skylab Earth resources experiment package, and aircraft to problems in agriculture and the environment were presented. Some of the more important topics that were covered included: range management and resources, environmental monitoring and management, crop growth and inventory, land management, multispectral band scanners, forest management, mapping, marshlands, strip mining, water quality and pollution, ecology.

  2. Environment and chemicals in agriculture

    SciTech Connect

    Winteringham, F.W.P.

    1985-01-01

    The Commission of the European Communities and the Irish Government jointly organized a symposium in Dublin in October 1984, from which the papers in this book are presented. Environmental concerns related to intensive agriculture provided the impetus for the symposium. More than half of the papers deal with economic or extension aspects of environmental protection. It is stressed that uniform standards and regulations are not reasonable, since soils, climate, and farming systems vary. With respect to pesticide use, emphasis is placed on integrated pest management through improved pest forecasting, more specific targeting of pesticide applications, and farmer education. The development of pesticide resistance is a serious concern that will require research into new techniques for pest control. The primary environmental problem with fertilizers is the leaching of NO/sub 3/ into ground water, with many ears exceeding the acceptable level of 50 mg/L. The Netherlands, in particular, has the highest average rate of N fertilizer use in the world, 240 kg/ha, with about 400 kg/ha of N applied in areas with intensive dairy (Bos sp.) farming. Nevertheless, areas in the Netherlands where the NO/sub 3/ concentration in ground water exceeds 50 mg/L are associated with large amounts of manure produced in intensive pig and poultry farming, rather than with fertilizer applications. There is a need to balance nutrients added with those removed in intensive agricultural systems.

  3. [Ecological design of ditches in agricultural land consolidation: a review].

    PubMed

    Ye, Yan-mei; Wu, Ci-fang; Yu, Jing

    2011-07-01

    Agricultural land consolidation is a strong disturbance to farmland ecosystem. In traditional agricultural land consolidation, the main technical and economic indices for the design of ditches include the convenience for production and transportation, the allocation of water resources, and the improvement of water utilization, but short of ecological consideration, which has already affected the spread of agricultural species, caused the degradation of bio-habitat, and given obvious negative effects on the bio-competition mechanism, buffering and compensation capacity, and insect pests-resistance of farmland ecosystem. This paper summarized the functions of ecological ditches, and introduced the recent progress on the formations and construction designs of ecological ditches, tests of ecological engineering methods, and technologies and methods of choosing correct ecological materials. It was suggested that the future research should focus on the different functional requirements and specifications for different roads and ditches, and the characteristics and habitats of all the organisms and animals should be considered by the designers and constructors. Moreover, a comprehensive design which meets the ecological demands for the ditches' formations, structures, and regulatory sizes should be taken into account to solve the most of the problems listed above. PMID:22007475

  4. Technology Of Controlled-Environment Agriculture

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bubenheim, David L.; Bates, Maynard E.

    1995-01-01

    Report discusses controlled-environment agriculture (CEA) for commercial production of organisms, whether plants or animals. Practiced in greenhouses to produce food on nonarable lands. Describes conceptual regenerative system that incorporates biological, physical, and chemical processes to support humans in extraterrestrial environments.

  5. Ecology and the Environment: A Dissertation Bibliography.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    1978

    This expanded listing of dissertations on ecology and the environment updates those previously listed in the 1972 publication. It covers the period from 1970-1976. In combination, these two works list more than 5,500 dissertations covering such topics as pollution, conservation, pesticides, radiation, wastes, and birth control. In addition to the…

  6. Environment. [Project ECOLogy ELE Pak, Dorland Pak].

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dorland, Billie

    This is one of a series of units for environmental education developed by the Highline Public Schools. This unit, which focuses on environment and ecology, is designed for upper grade elementary school pupils. Since the five lessons were designed specifically for substitute teachers, each is completely self-contained. Each lesson is developed in…

  7. [The Environment: Agriculture and Health Perspectives.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Charles C.; Byerly, T. C.

    On January 1, 1970, President Nixon signed into law a bill establishing a national policy to maintain conditions of the environment under which man and nature can exist in productive harmony. In keeping with this, the 1970 National Agricultural Outlook Conference was held, at which the 2 speeches presented in this document were delivered. The…

  8. Early environments and the ecology of inflammation.

    PubMed

    McDade, Thomas W

    2012-10-16

    Recent research has implicated inflammatory processes in the pathophysiology of a wide range of chronic degenerative diseases, although inflammation has long been recognized as a critical line of defense against infectious disease. However, current scientific understandings of the links between chronic low-grade inflammation and diseases of aging are based primarily on research in high-income nations with low levels of infectious disease and high levels of overweight/obesity. From a comparative and historical point of view, this epidemiological situation is relatively unique, and it may not capture the full range of ecological variation necessary to understand the processes that shape the development of inflammatory phenotypes. The human immune system is characterized by substantial developmental plasticity, and a comparative, developmental, ecological framework is proposed to cast light on the complex associations among early environments, regulation of inflammation, and disease. Recent studies in the Philippines and lowland Ecuador reveal low levels of chronic inflammation, despite higher burdens of infectious disease, and point to nutritional and microbial exposures in infancy as important determinants of inflammation in adulthood. By shaping the regulation of inflammation, early environments moderate responses to inflammatory stimuli later in life, with implications for the association between inflammation and chronic diseases. Attention to the eco-logics of inflammation may point to promising directions for future research, enriching our understanding of this important physiological system and informing approaches to the prevention and treatment of disease. PMID:23045646

  9. Early environments and the ecology of inflammation

    PubMed Central

    McDade, Thomas W.

    2012-01-01

    Recent research has implicated inflammatory processes in the pathophysiology of a wide range of chronic degenerative diseases, although inflammation has long been recognized as a critical line of defense against infectious disease. However, current scientific understandings of the links between chronic low-grade inflammation and diseases of aging are based primarily on research in high-income nations with low levels of infectious disease and high levels of overweight/obesity. From a comparative and historical point of view, this epidemiological situation is relatively unique, and it may not capture the full range of ecological variation necessary to understand the processes that shape the development of inflammatory phenotypes. The human immune system is characterized by substantial developmental plasticity, and a comparative, developmental, ecological framework is proposed to cast light on the complex associations among early environments, regulation of inflammation, and disease. Recent studies in the Philippines and lowland Ecuador reveal low levels of chronic inflammation, despite higher burdens of infectious disease, and point to nutritional and microbial exposures in infancy as important determinants of inflammation in adulthood. By shaping the regulation of inflammation, early environments moderate responses to inflammatory stimuli later in life, with implications for the association between inflammation and chronic diseases. Attention to the eco-logics of inflammation may point to promising directions for future research, enriching our understanding of this important physiological system and informing approaches to the prevention and treatment of disease. PMID:23045646

  10. Farming for Ecosystem Services: An Ecological Approach to Production Agriculture

    PubMed Central

    Philip Robertson, G.; Gross, Katherine L.; Hamilton, Stephen K.; Landis, Douglas A.; Schmidt, Thomas M.; Snapp, Sieglinde S.; Swinton, Scott M.

    2014-01-01

    A balanced assessment of ecosystem services provided by agriculture requires a systems-level socioecological understanding of related management practices at local to landscape scales. The results from 25 years of observation and experimentation at the Kellogg Biological Station long-term ecological research site reveal services that could be provided by intensive row-crop ecosystems. In addition to high yields, farms could be readily managed to contribute clean water, biocontrol and other biodiversity benefits, climate stabilization, and long-term soil fertility, thereby helping meet society's need for agriculture that is economically and environmentally sustainable. Midwest farmers—especially those with large farms—appear willing to adopt practices that deliver these services in exchange for payments scaled to management complexity and farmstead benefit. Surveyed citizens appear willing to pay farmers for the delivery of specific services, such as cleaner lakes. A new farming for services paradigm in US agriculture seems feasible and could be environmentally significant. PMID:26955069

  11. Population, agriculture, and the environment in Africa.

    PubMed

    Cleaver, K; Schreiber, G

    1992-06-01

    An overview is provided of the World Bank study about the interaction between rapid population growth, poor agricultural performance, and environmental degradation. The links between these 3 phenomena are identified as traditional methods of crop and livestock production, land tenure systems, women's responsibilities, and methods of forest use. When land was abundant and capital limited, pastoralism, shifting cultivation, and setting aside fallow land was possible. Mobility and allowances for natural regeneration of vegetation could not continue with rapid population growth. Permanent settlements developed but cultivation methods remained the same; the result was deterioration of soil fertility, low yields, and erosion of soil as occurred in Rwanda, Burkina Faso, and parts of Nigeria. Technological innovation has been slow and poor roads have interfered with a market oriented economy. Inappropriate pricing, exchange rates, and fiscal policies also prevent productivity gains. A heavy demand is placed on women's time. Demand for children is high and is stimulated by environmental degradation, food insecurity, land tenure systems, and cultural traditions. Child labor is needed. The demand for contraception is 30-50% in North Africa, 36-55% in Asia, and 40-60% in South America. Land ownership problems have arisen under community ownership and between herders and settlers. Solutions have ranged from land nationalization and arbitrary designation of individual ownership. Open access situations have developed and lent themselves to exploitation. Fuelwood needs have exacerbated the destruction of forests. Commercial logging accounted for 10-20% of the forest loss. New approaches are needed to link cross-sectionally population, the environment, an agriculture. Emphasis should be on resource conservation, family planning, and environmentally benign intensive farming. Agricultural production needs to grow at 4%/year, fertility lowered by 50% over 30 years, and deforestation

  12. Policy and Ethics In Agricultural and Ecological Water Uses.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Appelgren, Bo

    Agricultural water use accounts for about 70 percent of abstracted waters reaching 92 percent of the collective uses of all water resources when rain water is included. Agriculture is the traditional first sector and linked to a wide range of social, economic and cultural issues at local and global level that reach beyond the production of cheap food and industrial fibres. With the dominance in agricultural water uses and linkages with land use and soil conservation the sector is critical to the protection of global and local environmental values especially in sensitive dryland systems. Ethical principles related to development and nature conservation have traditionally been focused on sustainability imperatives building on precaution and preventive action or on indisputable natural systems values, but are by necessity turning more and more towards solidarity-based risk management approaches. Policy and management have in general failed to consider social dimensions with solidarity, consistency and realism for societal acceptance and practical application. As a consequence agriculture and water related land degradation is resulting in accelerated losses in land productivity and biodiversity in dryland and in humid eco- systems. Increasingly faced with the deer social consequences in the form of large man-made hydrological disasters and with pragmatic requirements driven by drastic increases in the related social cost the preferences are moving to short-term risk management approaches with civil protection objectives. Water scarcity assessment combined with crisis diagnoses and overriding statements on demographic growth, poverty and natural resources scarcity and deteriorating food security in developing countries have become common in the last decades. Such studies are increasingly questioned for purpose, ethical integrity and methodology and lack of consideration of interdependencies between society, economy and environment and of society's capacity to adapt to

  13. [Agricultural environment quality of China and its improving countermeasures].

    PubMed

    Zeng, Xibai; Yang, Zhengli

    2006-01-01

    This paper analyzed the present status of China agricultural water and soil environment. It was indicated that the agricultural water environment in this country was more serious, with the affected area being approximately 20% of the total farmland, and 5% of it being severely affected. More attention should be paid to the pollution of agricultural chemicals in soil environment. The impacts of industrial wastes, urban sewage and garbage, agricultural chemicals, and soil erosion on agro-environment were discussed, with the impact degree of these factors analyzed. The major problems in China agricultural environment melioration were presented, related researches and major countermeasures in this country and developed countries were reviewed, and relevant measures and suggestions on improving the agricultural environment quality of China were put forward. PMID:16689249

  14. A book review of Spatial data analysis in ecology and agriculture using R

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Spatial Data Analysis in Ecology and Agriculture Using R is a valuable resource to assist agricultural and ecological researchers with spatial data analyses using the R statistical software(www.r-project.org). Special emphasis is on spatial data sets; how-ever, the text also provides ample guidance ...

  15. Applications of CELSS technology to controlled environment agriculture

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bates, Maynard E.; Bubenheim, David L.

    1991-01-01

    Controlled environment agriculture (CEA) is defined as the use of environmental manipulation for the commercial production of organisms, whether plants or animals. While many of the technologies necessary for aquaculture systems in North America is nevertheless doubling approximately every five years. Economic, cultural, and environmental pressures all favor CEA over field production for many non-commodity agricultural crops. Many countries around the world are already dependent on CEA for much of their fresh food. Controlled ecological life support systems (CELSS), under development at ARC, KSC, and JSC expand the concept of CEA to the extent that all human requirements for food, oxygen, and water will be provided regenerated by processing of waste streams to supply plant inputs. The CELSS will likely contain plants, humans, possibly other animals, microorganisms and physically and chemical processors. In effect, NASA will create engineered ecosystems. In the process of developing the technology for CELSS, NASA will develop information and technology which will be applied to improving the efficiency, reliability, and cost effectiveness for CEA, improving its resources recycling capabilities, and lessening its environmental impact to negligible levels.

  16. Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning: Exploring Principles of Ecology with Agricultural Plants

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ruesink, Jennifer; O'Connor, Eileen; Sparks, Grace

    2006-01-01

    To date, little of the ecological research on biological diversity and ecosystem functioning has been carried out in agricultural systems, despite the fact that agriculture is a major contributor to loss of native habitats and species. However, agricultural research has demonstrated that polycultures of multiple crop species can have higher total…

  17. Mapping ecological states in a complex environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steele, C. M.; Bestelmeyer, B.; Burkett, L. M.; Ayers, E.; Romig, K.; Slaughter, A.

    2013-12-01

    The vegetation of northern Chihuahuan Desert rangelands is sparse, heterogeneous and for most of the year, consists of a large proportion of non-photosynthetic material. The soils in this area are spectrally bright and variable in their reflectance properties. Both factors provide challenges to the application of remote sensing for estimating canopy variables (e.g., leaf area index, biomass, percentage canopy cover, primary production). Additionally, with reference to current paradigms of rangeland health assessment, remotely-sensed estimates of canopy variables have limited practical use to the rangeland manager if they are not placed in the context of ecological site and ecological state. To address these challenges, we created a multifactor classification system based on the USDA-NRCS ecological site schema and associated state-and-transition models to map ecological states on desert rangelands in southern New Mexico. Applying this system using per-pixel image processing techniques and multispectral, remotely sensed imagery raised other challenges. Per-pixel image classification relies upon the spectral information in each pixel alone, there is no reference to the spatial context of the pixel and its relationship with its neighbors. Ecological state classes may have direct relevance to managers but the non-unique spectral properties of different ecological state classes in our study area means that per-pixel classification of multispectral data performs poorly in discriminating between different ecological states. We found that image interpreters who are familiar with the landscape and its associated ecological site descriptions perform better than per-pixel classification techniques in assigning ecological states. However, two important issues affect manual classification methods: subjectivity of interpretation and reproducibility of results. An alternative to per-pixel classification and manual interpretation is object-based image analysis. Object-based image

  18. Followership in Ecology/Environment Social Movements.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clavner, Jerry B.; Sumodi, Veronica R.

    The paper analyzes the failure of the ecology/environmental movement to develop into a social movement and to generate a mass following. The movement has had difficulty not only in organizing collective behavior but also in maintaining the necessary momentum to change into a full-fledged social movement. Obvious reasons are that ecologists…

  19. The tightening conflict: population, energy use, and the ecology of agriculture.

    PubMed

    Giampietro, M; Pimentel, D

    1993-10-01

    In the last half century, the technological development of agriculture has dramatically changed farming. On the positive side, a more stable and abundant food supply has resulted; on the negative side are more environmental degradation, more dependence on fossil energy, and a lower energy efficiency. Farmers operating in developed countries abandoned traditional techniques of production to keep their income competitive with that of other sectors of society. The result was large monocultures that rely heavily on technical inputs. Subsistence farming systems are economically not sustainable when these societies interact with more developed socioeconomic systems. However, the high-technology agricultural techniques depend on nonrenewable stocks of oil and have negative environmental impacts: soil erosion, reduced biodiversity, chemical contamination of the environment by fertilizers and pesticides, and mining of groundwater. Hence, the current intensive agriculture based on heavy technological subsidies of fossil energy is ecologically not sustainable. The 2 major sources of energy used by human society are solar energy and fossil or nonrenewable energy, which represents more than 90% of the exosomatic energy used in the United States and other developed countries. Fossil energy is used to overcome the ecological constraints limiting food output. The rapid growth in the world population is associated with the maximum expansion of fossil energy use. Regarding strategies of energy use in world agriculture, in the US fossil energy is mainly used to boost farmers' productivity, while productivity per hectare is not as much a concern as in Europe. Because of the demographic explosion experienced in the last decades, Africa will experience declining food supplies, increasing poverty, and increasing environmental degradation. The level of renewable energy consumption that will be enjoyed by a future sustainable society will lie below the one reached today by developed

  20. Urban ecological environment monitoring and evaluation based on remote sensing ecological index

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheng, Peng-gen; Tong, Cheng-zhuo; Chen, Xiao-yong; Nie, Yun-ju

    2015-12-01

    At present, the dynamic change monitoring of urban ecological environment has became an important guarantee measure for urban management, planning and construction. In this paper, taking Nanchang city as a case study, the remote sensing ecological index (RSEI) which is based on the natural factors is used to study the changes of the urban ecological environment. The Landsat images in the three different time periods of 1996, 2005, and 2013 in Nanchang were selected. To extract the four factors of green level, moisture, dryness and heat respectively as sub-indexs of the ecological assessment, in which the single window algorithm was used to calculate the heat. Based on the four factors, the RSEI in each year was finally calculated. The results show that the ecological environment in Nanchang deteriorated in the past 17 years, the value of the RSEI has decreased from 0.385 in 1996 to 0.267 in 2005, falling by 30.65%, but the ecological environment has improved in the later period, with the value of RSEI value rising to 0.413, increased by 54.68% compared with the results in 2005. It is indicates that the urban ecological environment of Nanchang has been significantly improved after some effective measures such as urban greening, pollution control, environmental protection were taken.

  1. An ecological method to understand agricultural standardization in peach orchard ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Wan, Nian-Feng; Zhang, Ming-Yi; Jiang, Jie-Xian; Ji, Xiang-Yun; Hao-Zhang

    2016-01-01

    While the worldwide standardization of agricultural production has been advocated and recommended, relatively little research has focused on the ecological significance of such a shift. The ecological concerns stemming from the standardization of agricultural production may require new methodology. In this study, we concentrated on how ecological two-sidedness and ecological processes affect the standardization of agricultural production which was divided into three phrases (pre-, mid- and post-production), considering both the positive and negative effects of agricultural processes. We constructed evaluation indicator systems for the pre-, mid- and post-production phases and here we presented a Standardization of Green Production Index (SGPI) based on the Full Permutation Polygon Synthetic Indicator (FPPSI) method which we used to assess the superiority of three methods of standardized production for peaches. The values of SGPI for pre-, mid- and post-production were 0.121 (Level IV, “Excellent” standard), 0.379 (Level III, “Good” standard), and 0.769 × 10−2 (Level IV, “Excellent” standard), respectively. Here we aimed to explore the integrated application of ecological two-sidedness and ecological process in agricultural production. Our results are of use to decision-makers and ecologists focusing on eco-agriculture and those farmers who hope to implement standardized agricultural production practices. PMID:26899360

  2. An ecological method to understand agricultural standardization in peach orchard ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Wan, Nian-Feng; Zhang, Ming-Yi; Jiang, Jie-Xian; Ji, Xiang-Yun; Hao-Zhang

    2016-01-01

    While the worldwide standardization of agricultural production has been advocated and recommended, relatively little research has focused on the ecological significance of such a shift. The ecological concerns stemming from the standardization of agricultural production may require new methodology. In this study, we concentrated on how ecological two-sidedness and ecological processes affect the standardization of agricultural production which was divided into three phrases (pre-, mid- and post-production), considering both the positive and negative effects of agricultural processes. We constructed evaluation indicator systems for the pre-, mid- and post-production phases and here we presented a Standardization of Green Production Index (SGPI) based on the Full Permutation Polygon Synthetic Indicator (FPPSI) method which we used to assess the superiority of three methods of standardized production for peaches. The values of SGPI for pre-, mid- and post-production were 0.121 (Level IV, "Excellent" standard), 0.379 (Level III, "Good" standard), and 0.769 × 10(-2) (Level IV, "Excellent" standard), respectively. Here we aimed to explore the integrated application of ecological two-sidedness and ecological process in agricultural production. Our results are of use to decision-makers and ecologists focusing on eco-agriculture and those farmers who hope to implement standardized agricultural production practices. PMID:26899360

  3. Untested pesticide mitigation requirements: ecological, agricultural, and legal implications

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Vyas, Nimish B.

    2013-01-01

    Every pesticide sold in the United States must have a U.S. Environmental Agency approved label on its container. The label provides directions for the pesticide’s use and is legally enforceable under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act. For a pesticide with high ecological risks, mitigation statements may be included on the label to reduce the pesticide’s risks and to support its registration. Many mitigation mandates are easy to implement and are effective, however, at times, well-intentioned but novel and untested mitigation requirements, though theoretically sound, may not be perceived by the pesticide users to be practical under operational settings. Courts of law recognize the pesticide label as a legal document, therefore it is imperative that the label mitigation mandates be achievable. I use the rodenticide Rozol label to illustrate how an untested risk mitigation mandate may be considered too burdensome by pesticide users whereby the mitigation action may not be implemented in the field, resulting in label violation and unreasonable risks to the environment.

  4. Designing impact assessments for evaluating ecological effects of agricultural conservation practices on streams

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Conservation practices are regularly implemented within agricultural watersheds throughout the United States without evaluating their ecological impacts. Scientific evaluations documenting how habitat and aquatic biota within streams respond to these practices are needed for evaluating the effects o...

  5. Environment: Language Ecology and Language Death

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Romaine, Suzanne

    Global linguistic diversity is rapidly declining. As the world becomes less linguistically diverse, it is becoming culturally less diverse as well as the world's tribes and languages are dying out or being assimilated into modern civilization because their habitats are being destroyed. At the same time the world is experiencing a substantial decline in biodiversity. The extinction of languages is part of the larger picture of near total collapse of the worldwide ecosystem, and languages are vital parts of complex local ecologies that must be supported if global biodiversity is to be maintained.

  6. Ecology of Vibrio mimicus in aquatic environments.

    PubMed Central

    Chowdhury, M A; Yamanaka, H; Miyoshi, S; Aziz, K M; Shinoda, S

    1989-01-01

    An environmental study was done to examine the prevalence of Vibrio mimicus in some aquatic environments of Dhaka, Bangladesh, and of Okayama, Japan. Water samples from Dhaka environments and water and plankton samples from Okayama environments were quantitatively as well as qualitatively analyzed throughout the seasons for V. mimicus. The organism was isolated from Bangladesh environments throughout the year, whereas it was not isolated in Okayama when the water temperature fell below 10 degrees C. Samples with as many as 9.0 x 10(2) CFU of V. mimicus per 100 ml of water in Dhaka and 1.5 x 10(4) CFU of V. mimicus per 100 ml of water in Okayama were detected during the study period. V. mimicus was not found in any environment with an average salinity of 10% or more. Brackish environments with an average salinity of 4% were observed to be the optimal natural condition for the pathogen. Using the API 20E system with the conventional test methods, we observed variations in biochemical properties within the V. mimicus species. This study reveals the inefficacy of the API 20E system to identify a significant percentage of V. mimicus. Therefore, in addition to the API 20E system, a salt tolerance test and a string test are recommended for identification of this species. Susceptibility testing of strains isolated from Okayama environments showed higher resistance to ampicillin and susceptibility to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole when compared with environmental isolates of V. mimicus from Bangladesh. PMID:2782878

  7. The Quality of Home Environment in Brazil: An Ecological Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    de Oliveira, Ebenezer A.; Barros, Fernando C.; Anselmi, Luciana D. da Silva; Piccinini, Cesar A.

    2006-01-01

    Based on Bronfenbrenner's (1999) ecological perspective, a longitudinal, prospective model of individual differences in the quality of home environment (Home Observation for Measurement of the Environment--HOME) was tested in a sample of 179 Brazilian children and their families. Perinatal measures of family socioeconomic status (SES) and child…

  8. SCOPE 28: Environmental consequences of nuclear war. Volume II. Ecological and agricultural effects

    SciTech Connect

    Harwell, M.A.; Hutchinson, T.C.; Cropper, W.P. Jr.; Harwell, C.C.; Grover, H.D.

    1985-01-01

    This book presents papers on the environmental and biological impacts of nuclear weapons. Topics considered include ecological principles relevant to nuclear war, the vulnerability of ecological systems to the climatic effects of nuclear war, additional potential effects of nuclear war on ecological systems, the potential effects of nuclear war on agricultural productivity, food availability after nuclear war, experiences and extrapolations from Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the integration of effects on human populations.

  9. Project CHOICE: #100. A Career Unit for Grades 3 and 4. Ecology Workers. (Agriculture and Ecological Studies Occupations Career Cluster).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kern County Superintendent of Schools, Bakersfield, CA.

    This teaching unit, Ecology Workers, is one in a series of career guides developed by Project CHOICE (Children Have Options in Career Education) to provide the classroom teacher with a source of career-related activities linking third and fourth grade elementary classroom experiences with the world of work. Part of the Agriculture and Ecological…

  10. Bringing Environment into the Study of Agriculture: Observations and Suggestions Regarding the Sociology of Agriculture.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dunlap, Riley E.; Martin, Kenneth E.

    1983-01-01

    Analyzes two recent controversies in the sociology of agriculture--one dealing with the adoption of agricultural innovations and the other with the energy intensity of farming--from an environmental sociology perspective. Illustrates sociology's entrenched habit of ignoring the physical environment, and the pitfalls of doing so in research on…

  11. ECOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT OF AGRICULTURAL DRAINAGE DITCHES: A LITERATURE REVIEW

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agricultural drainage ditches are headwater streams that have been modified or constructed for agricultural drainage, and are often used in conjunction with tile drains. These modified streams are a common landscape feature in Ohio, and constitute 25% of stream habitat within the state. Management o...

  12. Ecology and management of agricultural drainage ditches: a literature review

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agricultural drainage ditches are headwater streams that have been modified or constructed for agricultural drainage, and are often used in conjunction with tile drains. These modified streams are a common landscape feature in Ohio, and constitute 25% of stream habitat within the state. Management o...

  13. Drosophila larvae: Thermal ecology in changing environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, George

    Temperature affects almost all aspects of life. Although much work has been done to assess the impact of temperature on organismal performance, relatively little is known about how organisms behaviorally regulate temperature, how these behaviors effect population fitness, or how changing climate may interact with these behaviors. I explore these questions with the model system Drosophila larvae. Larvae are small, with a low thermal mass and limited capacity for physiological thermoregulation. Mortality is generally high in larvae, with large potential impacts on population growth rate. Thus behavioral thermoregulation in larvae should be of critical selective importance. I present a review of the current knowledge of Drosophila thermal preference. I describe quantifiable thermoregulatory behaviors ( TMV and TW) unique to larvae. I show interspecific variation of these behaviors in Drosophila melanogaster and several close relatives, and intraspecific variation between populations collected from different environments. I also investigate these behaviors in two mutant lines, ssa and biz, to investigate the genetic basis of these behaviors. I show that larval thermoregulatory systems are independent of those of adults. Further these thermoregulatory behaviors differ between two sister species, D. yakuba and D. santomea. Although these two species readily hybridize in laboratory conditions, very few hybrids are observed in the field. The surprising result that hybrids of D. yakuba and D. santomea seem to inherit TMV from D. yakuba suggests a novel extrinsic isolation mechanism between the two species. I explore how fitness is the result of the interaction between genetics and the environment. I utilize Monte Carlo simulation to show how non-linear norms of reaction generate variation in populations even in the absence of behavior or epigenetic evolutionary mechanisms. Finally I investigate the global distribution of temperatures in which these organisms exist using

  14. [Population and environment. The era of ecological refugees].

    PubMed

    Talla, R

    1994-12-01

    In 2015, Senegal will have 16 million inhabitants, a doubling of the population in only 25 years. At the same time, the urban population will reach 9 million inhabitants (56% of the population). The percentage of youth (20 years) will be above 58% of the population. Yet, the desert does not stop growing. Population pressure in the countryside and sprawling development of cities are destroying Senegal's rural areas. In Senegal, due to permanent dryness and demographic growth, ecosystems have deteriorated greatly. For example, in 10 years, forests have been reduced from 12.7 billion hectares to 11.9 billion hectares. The rate of population growth can have a definite impact on cultivable land, which will continue to recede until it will no longer support sustainable agriculture. Deforestation affects food production and compromises the land's ability to retain water. The level of precipitation diminishes with deforestation, which exacerbates soil degradation. An infernal cycle secures the impoverishment of a productive ecosystem. Rural populations are thus forced to move to urban areas. The hope of a better life in cities is an illusion for the ecological refugees. 22% of Senegal's population lives in Dakar, which occupies 0.3% of the national territory. This population pressure translates into congestion of transport systems, housing, education, health, sanitation, and employment. Environmental pollution has an negative effect on the quality of life. Senegal is the first Sub-Saharan African country to sign on to the Population Policy Declaration. It chose Population and Environment for the theme of the 1993 World Population Day. More is needed than just signing declarations. PMID:12288694

  15. [African agriculture faced with global changes: researches and innovations based on ecological sciences].

    PubMed

    Masse, Dominique; Ndour Badiane, Yacine; Hien, Edmond; Akpo, Léonard-Élie; Assigbetsé, Komi; Bilgo, Ablassé; Diédhiou, Ibrahima; Hien, Victor; Lardy, Lydie

    2013-01-01

    In the context of environmental and socio-economic changes, the agriculture of Sub-Saharan African countries will have to ensure food security of the population, while reducing its environmental footprint. The biophysical and social systems of agricultural production are complex. Innovative agricultural practices will be based on an intensification of ecological processes that determine the functioning of the soil-plant system, farmers' fields and agro-ecosystems. This ecological engineering approach is useful to take up the challenge of Sub-Saharan agricultures in the future, as shown in researches conducted by IESOL International Joint Lab "Intensification of agricultural soils in West Africa" (ISRA, UCAD, TU, OU, INERA, IRD). PMID:23916205

  16. Establishing standards and assessment criteria for ecological instream flow needs in agricultural regions of Canada.

    PubMed

    Peters, Daniel L; Baird, Donald J; Monk, Wendy A; Armanini, David G

    2012-01-01

    Agricultural land use can place heavy demands on regional water resources, strongly influencing the quantity and timing of water flows needed to sustain natural ecosystems. The effects of agricultural practices on streamflow conditions are multifaceted, as they also contribute to the severity of impacts arising from other stressors within the river ecosystem. Thus, river scientists need to determine the quantity of water required to sustain important aquatic ecosystem components and ecological services, to support wise apportionment of water for agricultural use. It is now apparent that arbitrarily defined minimum flows are inadequate for this task because the complex habitat requirements of the biota, which underpin the structure and function of a river ecosystem, are strongly influenced by predictable temporal variations in flow. We present an alternative framework for establishing a first-level, regional ecological instream flow needs standard based on adoption of the Indicators of Hydrologic Alteration/Range of Variability Approach as a broadly applicable hydrological assessment tool, coupling this to the Canadian Ecological Flow Index which assesses ecological responses to hydrological alteration. By explicitly incorporating a new field-based ecological assessment tool for small agricultural streams, we provide a necessary verification of altered hydrology that is broadly applicable within Canada and essential to ensure the continuous feedback between the application of flow management criteria and ecological condition. PMID:22218172

  17. An Ecological and Evolutionary Framework for Commensalism in Anthropogenic Environments.

    PubMed

    Hulme-Beaman, Ardern; Dobney, Keith; Cucchi, Thomas; Searle, Jeremy B

    2016-08-01

    Commensalism within anthropogenic environments has not been extensively discussed, despite its impact on humans, and there is no formal framework for assessing this ecological relationship in its varied forms. Here, we examine commensalism in anthropogenic environments in detail, considering both ecological and evolutionary drivers. The many assumptions about commensalism and the nature of anthropogenic environments are discussed and we highlight dependency as a key attribute of anthropogenic commensals (anthrodependent taxa). We primarily focus on mammalian species in the anthropogenic-commensal niche, but the traits described and selective pressures presented are likely fundamental to many species engaged in intense commensal relationships with humans. Furthermore, we demonstrate that this largely understudied interaction represents an important opportunity to investigate evolutionary processes in rapidly changing environments. PMID:27297117

  18. Project CHOICE: #26. A Career Education Unit for Junior High School. Careers in Conservation of the Environment and Natural Resources. (Agriculture and Ecological Studies Cluster; Science and Engineering Occupations Cluster).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kern County Superintendent of Schools, Bakersfield, CA.

    This junior high teaching unit on careers in conservation of the environment and natural resources is one in a series of career guidebooks developed by Project CHOICE (Children Have Options in Career Education) to provide the classroom teacher with a source of career-related activities linking classroom experiences with the world of work. The unit…

  19. The Ecology of Interactive Learning Environments: Situating Traditional Theory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Genevieve Marie

    2014-01-01

    In educational discourse on human learning (i.e. the result of experience) and development (i.e. the result of maturation), there are three fundamental theoretical frameworks, -- behaviourism, cognitivism and constructivism, each of which have been applied, with varying degrees of success, in online environments. An ecological framework of human…

  20. Multi-country evidence that crop diversification promotes ecological intensification of agriculture.

    PubMed

    Gurr, Geoff M; Lu, Zhongxian; Zheng, Xusong; Xu, Hongxing; Zhu, Pingyang; Chen, Guihua; Yao, Xiaoming; Cheng, Jiaan; Zhu, Zengrong; Catindig, Josie Lynn; Villareal, Sylvia; Van Chien, Ho; Cuong, Le Quoc; Channoo, Chairat; Chengwattana, Nalinee; Lan, La Pham; Hai, Le Huu; Chaiwong, Jintana; Nicol, Helen I; Perovic, David J; Wratten, Steve D; Heong, Kong Luen

    2016-01-01

    Global food security requires increased crop productivity to meet escalating demand(1-3). Current food production systems are heavily dependent on synthetic inputs that threaten the environment and human well-being(2,4,5). Biodiversity, for instance, is key to the provision of ecosystem services such as pest control(6,7), but is eroded in conventional agricultural systems. Yet the conservation and reinstatement of biodiversity is challenging(5,8,9), and it remains unclear whether the promotion of biodiversity can reduce reliance on inputs without penalizing yields on a regional scale. Here we present results from multi-site field studies replicated in Thailand, China and Vietnam over a period of four years, in which we grew nectar-producing plants around rice fields, and monitored levels of pest infestation, insecticide use and yields. Compiling the data from all sites, we report that this inexpensive intervention significantly reduced populations of two key pests, reduced insecticide applications by 70%, increased grain yields by 5% and delivered an economic advantage of 7.5%. Additional field studies showed that predators and parasitoids of the main rice pests, together with detritivores, were more abundant in the presence of nectar-producing plants. We conclude that a simple diversification approach, in this case the growth of nectar-producing plants, can contribute to the ecological intensification of agricultural systems. PMID:27249349

  1. ECOLOGICAL ALTERATIONS OF IOWA PRAIRIE-AGRICULTURAL STREAMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Water quality, habitat structure, and macroinvertebrate and fish communities were surveyed in 1979-1980 in ten headwater streams of the Cedar River basin. All streams are affected by moderate to intensive agricultural land use in their watersheds, and the purpose of the study was...

  2. Evolutionary ecology of mycorrhizal functional diversity in agricultural systems.

    PubMed

    Verbruggen, Erik; Toby Kiers, E

    2010-09-01

    The root systems of most agronomic crops are colonized by diverse assemblages of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), varying in the functional benefits (e.g. nutrient transfer, pathogen protection, water uptake) provided to hosts. Little is known about the evolutionary processes that shape the composition of these fungal assemblages, nor is it known whether more diverse assemblages are beneficial to crop productivity. In this review we aim to identify the evolutionary selection pressures that shape AMF diversity in agricultural systems and explore whether promotion of AMF diversity can convincingly be linked to increases in agricultural productivity and/or sustainability. We then ask whether farmers can (and should) actively modify evolutionary selection pressures to increase AMF functioning. We focus on three agriculturally imposed selection regimes: tillage, fertilization, and continuous monoculture. We find that the uniform nature of these practices strongly selects for dominance of few AMF species. These species exhibit predictable, generally non-beneficial traits, namely heavy investment in reproduction at the expense of nutrient scavenging and transfer processes that are beneficial for hosts. A number of focus-points are given based on empirical and theoretical evidence that could be utilized to slow down negative selection pressures on AMF functioning, therein increasing crop benefit. PMID:25567946

  3. Evolutionary ecology of mycorrhizal functional diversity in agricultural systems

    PubMed Central

    Verbruggen, Erik; Toby Kiers, E

    2010-01-01

    The root systems of most agronomic crops are colonized by diverse assemblages of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), varying in the functional benefits (e.g. nutrient transfer, pathogen protection, water uptake) provided to hosts. Little is known about the evolutionary processes that shape the composition of these fungal assemblages, nor is it known whether more diverse assemblages are beneficial to crop productivity. In this review we aim to identify the evolutionary selection pressures that shape AMF diversity in agricultural systems and explore whether promotion of AMF diversity can convincingly be linked to increases in agricultural productivity and/or sustainability. We then ask whether farmers can (and should) actively modify evolutionary selection pressures to increase AMF functioning. We focus on three agriculturally imposed selection regimes: tillage, fertilization, and continuous monoculture. We find that the uniform nature of these practices strongly selects for dominance of few AMF species. These species exhibit predictable, generally non-beneficial traits, namely heavy investment in reproduction at the expense of nutrient scavenging and transfer processes that are beneficial for hosts. A number of focus-points are given based on empirical and theoretical evidence that could be utilized to slow down negative selection pressures on AMF functioning, therein increasing crop benefit. PMID:25567946

  4. Associations between conservation practices and ecology: ecological responses of agricultural streams and lakes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Conservation Effects Assessment Program (CEAP) Watershed Assessment Study goals are to quantify the environmental benefits of conservation practices at the watershed scale. Currently, a critical knowledge gap exists in linking conservation practices and their ecological effects on aquatic ecosy...

  5. Perceptions of Agricultural College Students on the Relationship between Quality and Safety in Agricultural Work Environments.

    PubMed

    Ramaswamy, Sai K; Mosher, Gretchen A

    2015-01-01

    Agriculture is a high-hazard industry that employs a large number of young workers below the age of 25. Recent studies have documented a strong positive correlation between quality management in agriculture and occupational safety as perceived by agricultural workers. Younger workers have been found to be at higher risk for occupational injuries and fatalities in agriculture. Furthermore, college students in agriculture have minimal exposure to safety and quality management principles in their coursework and thus may not be aware that the two concepts are associated Little research has studied how young workers perceive the relationship between safety and quality and how these perceptions vary based on demographic characteristics. This study builds on prior research that measured the interactions between employee perceptions of safety and quality in an agricultural work environment. Data were collected using a survey instrument adapted from a previously validated instrument. Analysis of 1017 responses showed that students perceived a high impact of quality practices on the reduction of safety hazards and safety incidents. Students' perceptions of quality and safety in agricultural work environments varied by gender, with female students perceiving the relationship between the two at a higher level than males. No significant difference in perceptions was observed based on students' academic classification, age group, field of study, or childhood environment. This study demonstrates that despite limited academic training in safety and quality, pre-professionals perceive the implementation of quality management as a very important factor in mitigating safety hazards and safety incidents. In addition, this study suggests that current academic training in these disciplines must be modified, since no differences in students' perceptions were observed based on academic classification or field of study. PMID:26211353

  6. Ecological responses to simulated agricultural runoff in a riverine backwater wetland

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Riverine backwater wetlands within river floodplains provide valuable ecological functions such as acting as filters for suspended sediment, nutrients and pesticides entering from adjacent agricultural fields, as well as habitat and refugia for aquatic biota. A 500 m long, 20 m wide riverine backwa...

  7. ECOLOGICAL AND ECONOMIC DYNAMICS OF THE SHUNDE AGRICULTURAL SYSTEM UNDER CHINA'S SMALL CITY DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY

    EPA Science Inventory

    The development of small cities has been adopted as the main strategy to make full use of extra labor in the rural areas of China. The ecological and economic consequences of this development will affect over 100 million people and change the organization of agricultural systems ...

  8. Closing the prediction gap between agricultural nutrient losses and riparian zone ecology

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The ecological health of the Chesapeake Bay is an ongoing concern and, as the more obvious and direct contributors are mitigated, focus is moving upstream to the agricultural headwaters of the basin. TMDLs and Watershed Implementation Plans (WIPs) have been developed by all states in the basin to co...

  9. A multi-criteria index for ecological evaluation of tropical agriculture in southeastern Mexico.

    PubMed

    Huerta, Esperanza; Kampichler, Christian; Ochoa-Gaona, Susana; De Jong, Ben; Hernandez-Daumas, Salvador; Geissen, Violette

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study was to generate an easy to use index to evaluate the ecological state of agricultural land from a sustainability perspective. We selected environmental indicators, such as the use of organic soil amendments (green manure) versus chemical fertilizers, plant biodiversity (including crop associations), variables which characterize soil conservation of conventional agricultural systems, pesticide use, method and frequency of tillage. We monitored the ecological state of 52 agricultural plots to test the performance of the index. The variables were hierarchically aggregated with simple mathematical algorithms, if-then rules, and rule-based fuzzy models, yielding the final multi-criteria index with values from 0 (worst) to 1 (best conditions). We validated the model through independent evaluation by experts, and we obtained a linear regression with an r2 = 0.61 (p = 2.4e-06, d.f. = 49) between index output and the experts' evaluation. PMID:25405980

  10. A Multi-Criteria Index for Ecological Evaluation of Tropical Agriculture in Southeastern Mexico

    PubMed Central

    Huerta, Esperanza; Kampichler, Christian; Ochoa-Gaona, Susana; De Jong, Ben; Hernandez-Daumas, Salvador; Geissen, Violette

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study was to generate an easy to use index to evaluate the ecological state of agricultural land from a sustainability perspective. We selected environmental indicators, such as the use of organic soil amendments (green manure) versus chemical fertilizers, plant biodiversity (including crop associations), variables which characterize soil conservation of conventional agricultural systems, pesticide use, method and frequency of tillage. We monitored the ecological state of 52 agricultural plots to test the performance of the index. The variables were hierarchically aggregated with simple mathematical algorithms, if-then rules, and rule-based fuzzy models, yielding the final multi-criteria index with values from 0 (worst) to 1 (best conditions). We validated the model through independent evaluation by experts, and we obtained a linear regression with an r2 = 0.61 (p = 2.4e-06, d.f. = 49) between index output and the experts’ evaluation. PMID:25405980

  11. Luobei graphite mines surrounding ecological environment monitoring based on high-resolution satellite data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Lifeng; Liu, Xiaosha; Wan, Huawei; Liu, Xiaoman

    2014-11-01

    Graphite is one of the important industrial mineral raw materials, but the high content of heavy metals in tailings may cause soil pollution and other regional ecological environmental problems. Luobei has already become the largest production base of graphite. To find out the ecological situation in the region, further ecological risk analysis has been carried out. Luobei graphite mine which is located in Yabdanhe basin has been selected as the study area, SVM classifiers method with the support of GF-1 Satellite remote sensing data has been used, which is the first high-resolution earth observation satellite in China. The surrounding ecological environment was monitored and its potential impact on the ecological environment was analyzed by GIS platform. The results showed that the Luobei graphite mine located Yadanhe basin covers an area of 499.65 km2, the main types of forest ecosystems ( 44.05% of the total basin area ), followed by agricultural area( 35.14% ), grass area( 15.52% ), residential area ( 4.34% ), mining area ( 0.64% ) and water area( 0.30% ). By confirming the classification results, the total accuracy is 91.61%, the Kappa coefficient is 0.8991. Overall, GF-1 Satellite data can obtain regional ecosystems quickly, and provide a better data support for regional ecological resource protection zone. For Luobei graphite mines area, farmland and residential areas within its watershed are most vulnerable to mining, the higher proportion of farmland in duck river basin. The regulatory tailings need to be strengthened in the process of graphite mining processing.

  12. Sensor architecture and task classification for agricultural vehicles and environments.

    PubMed

    Rovira-Más, Francisco

    2010-01-01

    The long time wish of endowing agricultural vehicles with an increasing degree of autonomy is becoming a reality thanks to two crucial facts: the broad diffusion of global positioning satellite systems and the inexorable progress of computers and electronics. Agricultural vehicles are currently the only self-propelled ground machines commonly integrating commercial automatic navigation systems. Farm equipment manufacturers and satellite-based navigation system providers, in a joint effort, have pushed this technology to unprecedented heights; yet there are many unresolved issues and an unlimited potential still to uncover. The complexity inherent to intelligent vehicles is rooted in the selection and coordination of the optimum sensors, the computer reasoning techniques to process the acquired data, and the resulting control strategies for automatic actuators. The advantageous design of the network of onboard sensors is necessary for the future deployment of advanced agricultural vehicles. This article analyzes a variety of typical environments and situations encountered in agricultural fields, and proposes a sensor architecture especially adapted to cope with them. The strategy proposed groups sensors into four specific subsystems: global localization, feedback control and vehicle pose, non-visual monitoring, and local perception. The designed architecture responds to vital vehicle tasks classified within three layers devoted to safety, operative information, and automatic actuation. The success of this architecture, implemented and tested in various agricultural vehicles over the last decade, rests on its capacity to integrate redundancy and incorporate new technologies in a practical way. PMID:22163522

  13. Sensor Architecture and Task Classification for Agricultural Vehicles and Environments

    PubMed Central

    Rovira-Más, Francisco

    2010-01-01

    The long time wish of endowing agricultural vehicles with an increasing degree of autonomy is becoming a reality thanks to two crucial facts: the broad diffusion of global positioning satellite systems and the inexorable progress of computers and electronics. Agricultural vehicles are currently the only self-propelled ground machines commonly integrating commercial automatic navigation systems. Farm equipment manufacturers and satellite-based navigation system providers, in a joint effort, have pushed this technology to unprecedented heights; yet there are many unresolved issues and an unlimited potential still to uncover. The complexity inherent to intelligent vehicles is rooted in the selection and coordination of the optimum sensors, the computer reasoning techniques to process the acquired data, and the resulting control strategies for automatic actuators. The advantageous design of the network of onboard sensors is necessary for the future deployment of advanced agricultural vehicles. This article analyzes a variety of typical environments and situations encountered in agricultural fields, and proposes a sensor architecture especially adapted to cope with them. The strategy proposed groups sensors into four specific subsystems: global localization, feedback control and vehicle pose, non-visual monitoring, and local perception. The designed architecture responds to vital vehicle tasks classified within three layers devoted to safety, operative information, and automatic actuation. The success of this architecture, implemented and tested in various agricultural vehicles over the last decade, rests on its capacity to integrate redundancy and incorporate new technologies in a practical way. PMID:22163522

  14. Particles, environments, and possible ecologies in the Jovian atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sagan, C.; Salpeter, E. E.

    1976-01-01

    The possible existence of indigenous Jovian organisms is investigated by characterizing the relevant physical environment of Jupiter, discussing the chromophores responsible for the observed coloration of the planet, and analyzing some permissible ecological niches of hypothetical organisms. Values of the eddy diffusion coefficent are estimated separately for the convective troposphere and the more stable mesosphere, and equilibrium condensation is studied for compounds containing Na, Cl, or both. The photoproduction of chromophores and nonequilibrium organic molecules is analyzed, and the motion of hypothetical organisms is examined along with the diffusion of metabolites and the consequent growth of organisms. Four kinds of organisms are considered: primary photosynthetic autotrophs ('sinkers'), larger autotrophs or heterotrophs that actively maintain their pressure level ('floaters'), organisms that seek out others ('hunters'), and organisms that live at almost pyrolytic depths ('scavengers'). It is concluded that ecological niches for sinkers, floaters, and hunters appear to exist in the Jovian atmosphere.

  15. Ecology of antimicrobial resistance: humans, animals, food and environment.

    PubMed

    González-Zorn, Bruno; Escudero, José A

    2012-09-01

    Antimicrobial resistance is a major health problem. After decades of research, numerous difficulties in tackling resistance have emerged, from the paucity of new antimicrobials to the inefficient contingency plans to reduce the use of antimicrobials; consequently, resistance to these drugs is out of control. Today we know that bacteria from the environment are often at the very origin of the acquired resistance determinants found in hospitals worldwide. Here we define the genetic components that flow from the environment to pathogenic bacteria and thereby confer a quantum increase in resistance levels, as resistance units (RU). Environmental bacteria as well as microbiomes from humans, animals, and food represent an infinite reservoir of RU, which are based on genes that have had, or not, a resistance function in their original bacterial hosts. This brief review presents our current knowledge of antimicrobial resistance and its consequences, with special focus on the importance of an ecologic perspective of antimicrobial resistance. This discipline encompasses the study of the relationships of entities and events in the framework of curing and preventing disease, a definition that takes into account both microbial ecology and antimicrobial resistance. Understanding the flux of RU throughout the diverse ecosystems is crucial to assess, prevent and eventually predict emerging scaffolds before they colonize health institutions. Collaborative horizontal research scenarios should be envisaged and involve all actors working with humans, animals, food and the environment. PMID:23847814

  16. Transition Pathways towards a Robust Ecologization of Agriculture and the Need for System Redesign. Cases from Organic Farming and IPM

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lamine, Claire

    2011-01-01

    The growing criticism of intensive agricultural practices that lead to a deterioration of natural resources and a decrease of biodiversity has progressively led to more environmental constraints being put on agricultural activities through an "ecologization" of agricultural policies. The aims of these policies have been to protect environmentally…

  17. Ecology of plant and free-living nematodes in natural and agricultural soil.

    PubMed

    Neher, Deborah A

    2010-01-01

    Nematodes are aquatic organisms that depend on thin water films to live and move within existing pathways of soil pores of 25-100 mum diameter. Soil nematodes can be a tool for testing ecological hypotheses and understanding biological mechanisms in soil because of their central role in the soil food web and linkage to ecological processes. Ecological succession is one of the most tested community ecology concepts, and a variety of nematode community indices have been proposed for purposes of environmental monitoring. In contrast, theories of biogeography, colonization, optimal foraging, and niche partitioning by nematodes are poorly understood. Ecological hypotheses related to strategies of coexistence of nematode species sharing the same resource have potential uses for more effective biological control and use of organic amendments to foster disease suppression. Essential research is needed on nematodes in natural and agricultural soils to synchronize nutrient release and availability relative to plant needs, to test ecological hypotheses, to apply optimal foraging and niche partitioning strategies for more effective biological control, to blend organic amendments to foster disease suppression, to monitor environmental and restoration status, and to develop better predictive models for land-use decisions. PMID:20455699

  18. An Underground Revolution: Biodiversity and Soil Ecological Engineering for Agricultural Sustainability.

    PubMed

    Bender, S Franz; Wagg, Cameron; van der Heijden, Marcel G A

    2016-06-01

    Soil organisms are an integral component of ecosystems, but their activities receive little recognition in agricultural management strategies. Here we synthesize the potential of soil organisms to enhance ecosystem service delivery and demonstrate that soil biodiversity promotes multiple ecosystem functions simultaneously (i.e., ecosystem multifunctionality). We apply the concept of ecological intensification to soils and we develop strategies for targeted exploitation of soil biological traits. We compile promising approaches to enhance agricultural sustainability through the promotion of soil biodiversity and targeted management of soil community composition. We present soil ecological engineering as a concept to generate human land-use systems, which can serve immediate human needs while minimizing environmental impacts. PMID:26993667

  19. Energy and environment: A political ecology of woodfuels in Senegal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pires, E. Mark

    This study examines relationships between energy use and the exploitation of woodland natural resources in the West African nation of Senegal. As in many other countries in the developing world, the majority of the population in Senegal depend on woodfuels, i.e., firewood and charcoal, to satisfy most of their household energy needs. Consequences of this situation include added pressure on the country's limited natural resource base, and increased socioeconomic hardship, particularly for women, as woodfuel resources become increasingly scarce. Woodfuel energy problems in developing countries are typically described in terms of an imbalance between supply and demand that is driven by rapid population growth. However, recent research suggests that a number of other factors should be explored in order to achieve a more thorough understanding of the relationship between woodfuel energy and forest resource management. This study attempts to determine what some of these factors are, and to explain how they inform the energy-environment situation in the case of Senegal. In addition, I examine the scope for addressing Senegal's woodfuel problem through greater local community participation in managing energy and natural resources, a current thrust in many international initiatives designed to help the country cope with this persistent problem. A relatively new conceptual framework for the analysis of human-environment relationships---viz. political ecology---is employed in this study. I attempt to show how political ecology can contribute to the resolution of Senegal's energy-environment dilemma by considering a more inclusive suite of social, economic, political, and environmental variables than has been explored by previous approaches. Findings from the research demonstrate the ability of the political ecology approach to capture many heretofore unexplored factors related to the energy-environment nexus in Senegal. A detailed matrix is generated that illustrates the

  20. The Environment and the Microbial Ecology of Human Skin

    PubMed Central

    McBride, Mollie E.; Duncan, W. Christopher; Knox, J. M.

    1977-01-01

    Microbial flora of the skin of three human population groups representing different natural environments was examined quantitatively and qualitatively to determine whether environmental differences in temperature and humidity can influence the microbial flora of normal skin. Five anatomical skin sites - hands, back, axillae, groin, and feet - were sampled from 10 subjects working in a high-humidity, high-temperature environment, 10 subjects from a low-temperature, high-humidity environment, and 10 subjects working in a moderate-temperature and low-humidity environment. Bacterial populations were significantly larger from the back, axillae, and feet in individuals from the high-temperature and high-humidity environment as compared to the moderate-temperature, low-humidity environment. High humidity and low temperature had no significant effect on total populations, but this group showed a higher frequency of isolation of fungi, and gram-negative bacteria from the back and feet. Although there was an indication that increase in the environmental humidity could result in an increased frequency of isolation of gram-negative bacteria, there was no evidence that an increase in either temperature or humidity altered the relative proportions of gram-negative bacteria in the predominantly gram-positive microbial flora found on normal skin. It was concluded that, although climatic changes may cause fluctation in microbial populations from certain sites, they are not a major influence on the ecology of the microbial flora of normal skin in the natural environment. The variables introduced by studying individuals in their natural environment and the influence of these on the results are discussed. PMID:16345214

  1. Emergy analysis of a farm biogas project in China: A biophysical perspective of agricultural ecological engineering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, S. Y.; Zhang, B.; Cai, Z. F.

    2010-05-01

    This paper aims to present a biophysical understanding of the agricultural ecological engineering by emergy analysis for a farm biogas project in China as a representative case. Accounting for the resource inputs into and accumulation within the project, as well as the outputs to the social system, emergy analysis provides an empirical study in the biophysical dimension of the agricultural ecological engineering. Economic benefits and ecological economic benefits of the farm biogas project indicated by market value and emergy monetary value are discussed, respectively. Relative emergy-based indices such as renewability (R%), emergy yield ratio (EYR), environmental load ratio (ELR) and environmental sustainability index (ESI) are calculated to evaluate the environmental load and local sustainability of the concerned biogas project. The results show that the farm biogas project has more reliance on the local renewable resources input, less environmental pressure and higher sustainability compared with other typical agricultural systems. In addition, holistic evaluation and its policy implications for better operation and management of the biogas project are presented.

  2. Ecological Caring: A Developmental Perspective on the Person/Environment Relationship.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McNamee, Abigail S.

    Ecology is the relationship between persons and their environment. A caring ecological relationship is dynamic, able to be affected by the internal environment of the person and by the people/animal/plant/object external environmental surround in which a person lives. This paper attempts to examine the nature of ecology and how to facilitate the…

  3. Optional water development strategies for the Yellow River Basin: Balancing agricultural and ecological water demands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cai, Ximing; Rosegrant, Mark W.

    2004-08-01

    The Yellow River Basin is of the utmost importance for China in terms of food production, natural resources management, and socioeconomic development. Water withdrawals for agriculture, industry, and households in the past decade have seriously depleted environmental and ecological water requirements in the basin. This study presents a modeling scenario analysis of some water development strategies to harmonize water withdrawal demand and ecological water demand in the Yellow River Basin through water savings and interbasin water transfers. A global water and food analysis model including the Yellow River Basin as one of the modeling units is applied for the analysis. The model demonstrates that there is little hope of resolving the conflict between agriculture water demand and ecological water demand in the basin if the current water use practices continue. Trade-offs exist between irrigation water use and ecological water use, and these trade-offs will become more intense in future years with population growth, urbanization, and industrial development as well as growing food demand. Scenario analysis in this study concludes that increasing basin water use efficiency to 0.67 first and then supplementary water availability by interbasin water transfer through the South-North Water Transfer Project may provide a solution to water management of the Yellow River Basin in the next 25 years.

  4. Research Progress on the use of Plant Allelopathy in Agriculture and the Physiological and Ecological Mechanisms of Allelopathy.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Fang; Cheng, Zhihui

    2015-01-01

    Allelopathy is a common biological phenomenon by which one organism produces biochemicals that influence the growth, survival, development, and reproduction of other organisms. These biochemicals are known as allelochemicals and have beneficial or detrimental effects on target organisms. Plant allelopathy is one of the modes of interaction between receptor and donor plants and may exert either positive effects (e.g., for agricultural management, such as weed control, crop protection, or crop re-establishment) or negative effects (e.g., autotoxicity, soil sickness, or biological invasion). To ensure sustainable agricultural development, it is important to exploit cultivation systems that take advantage of the stimulatory/inhibitory influence of allelopathic plants to regulate plant growth and development and to avoid allelopathic autotoxicity. Allelochemicals can potentially be used as growth regulators, herbicides, insecticides, and antimicrobial crop protection products. Here, we reviewed the plant allelopathy management practices applied in agriculture and the underlying allelopathic mechanisms described in the literature. The major points addressed are as follows: (1) Description of management practices related to allelopathy and allelochemicals in agriculture. (2) Discussion of the progress regarding the mode of action of allelochemicals and the physiological mechanisms of allelopathy, consisting of the influence on cell micro- and ultra-structure, cell division and elongation, membrane permeability, oxidative and antioxidant systems, growth regulation systems, respiration, enzyme synthesis and metabolism, photosynthesis, mineral ion uptake, protein and nucleic acid synthesis. (3) Evaluation of the effect of ecological mechanisms exerted by allelopathy on microorganisms and the ecological environment. (4) Discussion of existing problems and proposal for future research directions in this field to provide a useful reference for future studies on plant

  5. Research Progress on the use of Plant Allelopathy in Agriculture and the Physiological and Ecological Mechanisms of Allelopathy

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Fang; Cheng, Zhihui

    2015-01-01

    Allelopathy is a common biological phenomenon by which one organism produces biochemicals that influence the growth, survival, development, and reproduction of other organisms. These biochemicals are known as allelochemicals and have beneficial or detrimental effects on target organisms. Plant allelopathy is one of the modes of interaction between receptor and donor plants and may exert either positive effects (e.g., for agricultural management, such as weed control, crop protection, or crop re-establishment) or negative effects (e.g., autotoxicity, soil sickness, or biological invasion). To ensure sustainable agricultural development, it is important to exploit cultivation systems that take advantage of the stimulatory/inhibitory influence of allelopathic plants to regulate plant growth and development and to avoid allelopathic autotoxicity. Allelochemicals can potentially be used as growth regulators, herbicides, insecticides, and antimicrobial crop protection products. Here, we reviewed the plant allelopathy management practices applied in agriculture and the underlying allelopathic mechanisms described in the literature. The major points addressed are as follows: (1) Description of management practices related to allelopathy and allelochemicals in agriculture. (2) Discussion of the progress regarding the mode of action of allelochemicals and the physiological mechanisms of allelopathy, consisting of the influence on cell micro- and ultra-structure, cell division and elongation, membrane permeability, oxidative and antioxidant systems, growth regulation systems, respiration, enzyme synthesis and metabolism, photosynthesis, mineral ion uptake, protein and nucleic acid synthesis. (3) Evaluation of the effect of ecological mechanisms exerted by allelopathy on microorganisms and the ecological environment. (4) Discussion of existing problems and proposal for future research directions in this field to provide a useful reference for future studies on plant

  6. Agro-ecology, household economics and malaria in Uganda: empirical correlations between agricultural and health outcomes

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background This paper establishes empirical evidence relating the agriculture and health sectors in Uganda. The analysis explores linkages between agricultural management, malaria and implications for improving community health outcomes in rural Uganda. The goal of this exploratory work is to expand the evidence-base for collaboration between the agricultural and health sectors in Uganda. Methods The paper presents an analysis of data from the 2006 Uganda National Household Survey using a parametric multivariate Two-Limit Tobit model to identify correlations between agro-ecological variables including geographically joined daily seasonal precipitation records and household level malaria risk. The analysis of agricultural and environmental factors as they affect household malaria rates, disaggregated by age-group, is inspired by a complimentary review of existing agricultural malaria literature indicating a gap in evidence with respect to agricultural management as a form of malaria vector management. Crop choices and agricultural management practices may contribute to vector control through the simultaneous effects of reducing malaria transmission, improving housing and nutrition through income gains, and reducing insecticide resistance in both malaria vectors and agricultural pests. Results The econometric results show the existence of statistically significant correlations between crops, such as sweet potatoes/yams, beans, millet and sorghum, with household malaria risk. Local environmental factors are also influential- daily maximum temperature is negatively correlated with malaria, while daily minimum temperature is positively correlated with malaria, confirming trends in the broader literature are applicable to the Ugandan context. Conclusions Although not necessarily causative, the findings provide sufficient evidence to warrant purposefully designed work to test for agriculture health causation in vector management. A key constraint to modeling the

  7. Design of a solar controlled environment agriculture system (SCEAS)

    SciTech Connect

    Landstrom, D.K.; Stickford, G.H.; Talbert, S.G.; Wilkinson, W.H.

    1983-06-01

    The overall objective of the SCEAS project was to integrate advanced greenhouse agriculture technology with various energy sources and innovative cooling/ventilation concepts to demonstrate technical and economic feasibility of these facilities in several climatic regions where conventional greenhouse technology will not permit yearround growing of certain crops. The designed facility is capable of high yields of practically any crop, even temperaturesensitive vegetables such as lettuce, in extremely hostile external environments. The recirculation and ventilation system provides considerable flexibility in precise control of temperature and humidity throughout the year and in reducing water and energy consumption.

  8. SOLERAS solar-energy controlled-environment agriculture project

    SciTech Connect

    Luft, W.; Froechtenigt, J.; Falatah, A.

    1982-05-01

    Three commercial-size (5-ha), solar-powered, controlled-environment agriculture systems for hot, dry climates are described. The systems use brackish well water for cooling. The well water is desalinated for irrigation using reverse osmosis. Produce output ranges from 44 to 78 kg/m/sup 2/.yr with an overall water consumption of 8 to 139 L/kg produce and electric energy consumption of 111 to 790 Wh/kg produce. The levelized cost ranges from $1.14 to $8.07 per kg of produce.

  9. Research priorities for the environment, agriculture and infectious diseases of poverty.

    PubMed

    2013-01-01

    This report reviews the connections between environmental change, modern agricultural practices and the occurrence of infectious diseases - especially those of poverty; proposes a multi-criteria decision analysis approach to determining the key research priorities; and explores the benefits and limitations of a more systems-based approach to conceptualizing and investigating the problem. The report is the output of the Thematic Reference Group on Environment, Agriculture and Infectious Diseases of Poverty (TRG 4), part of an independent think tank of international experts, established and funded by the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) to identify key research priorities through review of research evidence and input from stakeholder consultations. The report concludes that mitigating the outcomes on human health will require far-reaching strategies - spanning the environment, climate, agriculture, social-ecological, microbial and public-health sectors; as well as inter-disciplinary research and intersectoral action. People will also need to modify their way of thinking and engage beyond their own specialities, since the challenges are systemic and are amplified by the increasing inter-connectedness of human populations. This is one of a series of disease and thematic reference group reports that have come out of the TDR Think Tank, all of which have contributed to the development of the Global Report for Research on Infectious Diseases of Poverty, available at www.who.int/tdr/capacity/global_report. PMID:23687800

  10. Ecological Risk of Heavy Metals and a Metalloid in Agricultural Soils in Tarkwa, Ghana

    PubMed Central

    Bortey-Sam, Nesta; Nakayama, Shouta M. M.; Akoto, Osei; Ikenaka, Yoshinori; Baidoo, Elvis; Mizukawa, Hazuki; Ishizuka, Mayumi

    2015-01-01

    Heavy metals and a metalloid in agricultural soils in 19 communities in Tarkwa were analyzed to assess the potential ecological risk. A total of 147 soil samples were collected in June, 2012 and analyzed for As, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Hg, Ni, Pb and Zn. Mean concentrations (mg/kg dw) of heavy metals in the communities decreased in order of Zn (39) ˃ Cr (21) ˃ Pb (7.2) ˃ Cu (6.2) ˃ As (4.4) ˃ Ni (3.7) ˃ Co (1.8) ˃ Hg (0.32) ˃ Cd (0.050). Correlations among heavy metals and soil properties indicated that soil organic matter could have substantial influence on the total contents of these metals in soil. From the results, integrated pollution (Cdeg) in some communities such as, Wangarakrom (11), Badukrom (13) and T–Tamso (17) indicated high pollution with toxic metals, especially from As and Hg. Potential ecological risk (RI) indices indicated low (Mile 7) to high risks (Wangarakrom; Badukrom) of metals. Based on pollution coefficient (Cif), Cdeg, monomial ecological risk (Eir) and RI, the investigated soils fall within low to high contamination and risk of heavy metals to the ecological system especially plants, soil invertebrates and/or mammalian wildlife. This represented moderate potential ecological risk in the study area, and mining activities have played a significant role. PMID:26378563

  11. Ecological prevalence, genetic diversity, and epidemiological aspects of Salmonella isolated from tomato agricultural regions of the Virginia Eastern Shore

    PubMed Central

    Bell, Rebecca L.; Zheng, Jie; Burrows, Erik; Allard, Sarah; Wang, Charles Y.; Keys, Christine E.; Melka, David C.; Strain, Errol; Luo, Yan; Allard, Marc W.; Rideout, Steven; Brown, Eric W.

    2015-01-01

    Virginia is the third largest producer of fresh-market tomatoes in the United States. Tomatoes grown along the eastern shore of Virginia are implicated almost yearly in Salmonella illnesses. Traceback implicates contamination occurring in the pre-harvest environment. To get a better understanding of the ecological niches of Salmonella in the tomato agricultural environment, a 2-year study was undertaken at a regional agricultural research farm in Virginia. Environmental samples, including tomato (fruit, blossoms, and leaves), irrigation water, surface water and sediment, were collected over the growing season. These samples were analyzed for the presence of Salmonella using modified FDA-BAM methods. Molecular assays were used to screen the samples. Over 1500 samples were tested. Seventy-five samples tested positive for Salmonella yielding over 230 isolates. The most commonly isolated serovars were S. Newport and S. Javiana with pulsed-field gel electrophoresis yielding 39 different patterns. Genetic diversity was further underscored among many other serotypes, which showed multiple PFGE subtypes. Whole genome sequencing (WGS) of several S. Newport isolates collected in 2010 compared to clinical isolates associated with tomato consumption showed very few single nucleotide differences between environmental isolates and clinical isolates suggesting a source link to Salmonella contaminated tomatoes. Nearly all isolates collected during two growing seasons of surveillance were obtained from surface water and sediment sources pointing to these sites as long-term reservoirs for persistent and endemic contamination of this environment. PMID:25999938

  12. [Interception Effect of Ecological Ditch on Nitrogen Transport in Agricultural Runoff in Subtropical China].

    PubMed

    Wang, Di; Li, Hong-fang; Liu, Feng; Wang, Yi; Zhong, Yuan-chun; He, Yang; Xiao, Run-fin; Wu, Jin-shui

    2016-05-15

    Interception effects of an ecological ditch, used to control agricultural non-point source pollution in subtropical China, on nitrogen transport in surface runoff were studied by monthly measuring the runoff volume and concentrations of ammonium nitrogen (NH₄⁺-N), nitrate nitrogen (NO₃⁻-N) and total nitrogen (TN) at the ditch inlet and outlet from 2013 to 2014. In addition, differences of NH₄⁺-N, NO₃⁻-N and TN removal were compared between 2013 and 2014. The results showed that the study ecological ditch worked effectively in N removal with average NH₄⁺-N, NO₃⁻-N and TN removal rates of 77.8%, 58.3%, and 48.7%; and their interception rates were 38.4, 59.6, and 171.1 kg · a⁻¹, respectively. The average proportion of NH₄⁺-N and NO₃⁻-N in TN was 47.5% at inlet, and 33.6% at outlet, which was significantly lower than that at inlet (P < 0.01). All hydrophytes in the ecological ditch were replaced by Myriophyllum aquaticum in 2014, which led to the increased average NO₃⁻-N and TN removal rates of 30.5% and 18.2%, respectively, Compared to in 2013. The vegetation of Myriophyllum aquaticum was beneficial to the improvement of N interception in ecological ditch. These findings clearly demonstrated that ecological ditch can substantially reduce N loss from surface runoff and be used as an important technique to prevent agricultural non-point N pollution. PMID:27506024

  13. Ecology of aerobic anoxygenic phototrophs in aquatic environments.

    PubMed

    Koblížek, Michal

    2015-11-01

    Recognition of the environmental role of photoheterotrophic bacteria has been one of the main themes of aquatic microbiology over the last 15 years. Aside from cyanobacteria and proteorhodopsin-containing bacteria, aerobic anoxygenic phototrophic (AAP) bacteria are the third most numerous group of phototrophic prokaryotes in the ocean. This functional group represents a diverse assembly of species which taxonomically belong to various subgroups of Alpha-, Beta- and Gammaproteobacteria. AAP bacteria are facultative photoheterotrophs which use bacteriochlorophyll-containing reaction centers to harvest light energy. The light-derived energy increases their bacterial growth efficiency, which provides a competitive advantage over heterotrophic species. Thanks to their enzymatic machinery AAP bacteria are active, rapidly growing organisms which contribute significantly to the recycling of organic matter. This chapter summarizes the current knowledge of the ecology of AAP bacteria in aquatic environments, implying their specific role in the microbial loop. PMID:26139241

  14. The ecology of Dunaliella in high-salt environments.

    PubMed

    Oren, Aharon

    2014-12-01

    Halophilic representatives of the genus Dunaliella, notably D. salina and D. viridis, are found worldwide in salt lakes and saltern evaporation and crystallizer ponds at salt concentrations up to NaCl saturation. Thanks to the biotechnological exploitation of D. salina for β-carotene production we have a profound knowledge of the physiology and biochemistry of the alga. However, relatively little is known about the ecology of the members of the genus Dunaliella in hypersaline environments, in spite of the fact that Dunaliella is often the main or even the sole primary producer present, so that the entire ecosystem depends on carbon fixed by this alga. This review paper summarizes our knowledge about the occurrence and the activities of different Dunaliella species in natural salt lakes (Great Salt Lake, the Dead Sea and others), in saltern ponds and in other salty habitats where members of the genus have been found. PMID:25984505

  15. [Effects of biochar on microbial ecology in agriculture soil: a review].

    PubMed

    Ding, Yan-Li; Liu, Jie; Wang, Ying-Ying

    2013-11-01

    Biochar, as a new type of soil amendment, has been obtained considerable attention in the research field of environmental sciences worldwide. The studies on the effects of biochar in improving soil physical and chemical properties started quite earlier, and already covered the field of soil microbial ecology. However, most of the studies considered the soil physical and chemical properties and the microbial ecology separately, with less consideration of their interactions. This paper summarized and analyzed the interrelationships between the changes of soil physical and chemical properties and of soil microbial community after the addition of biochar. Biochar can not only improve soil pH value, strengthen soil water-holding capacity, increase soil organic matter content, but also affect soil microbial community structure, and alter the abundance of soil bacteria and fungi. After the addition of biochar, the soil environment and soil microorganisms are interacted each other, and promote the improvement of soil microbial ecological system together. This review was to provide a novel perspective for the in-depth studies of the effects of biochar on soil microbial ecology, and to promote the researches on the beneficial effects of biochar to the environment from ecological aspect. The methods to improve the effectiveness of biochar application were discussed, and the potential applications of biochar in soil bioremediation were further analyzed. PMID:24564164

  16. The portrayal of natural environment in the evolution of the ecological public health paradigm.

    PubMed

    Coutts, Christopher; Forkink, Annet; Weiner, Jocelyn

    2014-01-01

    This paper explores the conceptualization of the natural environment in an evolving ecological public health paradigm. The natural environment has long been recognized as essential to supporting life, health, and wellbeing. Our understanding of the relationship between the natural environment and health has steadily evolved from one of an undynamic environment to a more sophisticated understanding of ecological interactions.  This evolution is reflected in a number of ecological public health models which demonstrate the many external and overlapping determinants of human health. Six models are presented here to demonstrate this evolution, each model reflecting an increasingly ecological appreciation for the fundamental role of the natural environment in supporting human health. We conclude that after decades of public health's acceptance of the ecological paradigm, we are only now beginning to assemble knowledge of sophisticated ecological interdependencies and apply this knowledge to the conceptualization and study of the relationship between the natural environment and the determinants of human health. PMID:24434596

  17. [Human ecology: an overview of man-environment relationships].

    PubMed

    Begossi, A

    1993-01-01

    Cultural ecology, ethnobiology, sociobiology, models of subsistence and of cultural transmission, and applied ecology as parts of human ecology have a common denominator: they all present an ecological basis as continued biological force. Both the concepts and analytical models of ecology are necessary for understanding the relationship between man and nature. Cultural ecology studies the influence of environmental variables on the behavior of human cultures; sociobiology studies the biological bases of behavior; and ethnobiology studies classification systems of nature. The disciplines of anthropology, geography, sociology, and psychology represent specific branches of human ecology. Cultural ecology or ecological anthropology arise from the interaction of ecology (evolution of systems) with anthropology. Sociobiology evolved since the early 1970s, and it includes the disciplines of classical ethnology, evolutive ecology, and genetics. The interaction of evolutive ecology with ethology helped create sociology. In Brazil the study of human ecology on indigenous human populations (in particular in the Amazon basin) deals with cultural ecology, ethnology, and models of subsistence (goal model, models of decision, the theory of players, linear programming, central place foraging). Recent work includes that of Neves (1989), Moran (1983), and Fearnside (1986) who studies acculturated Brazilian half-breed Indians, fishermen, and migrants. Ethnobiology is well represented in Brazilian studies of indigenous populations. The works of Posey (1983) about ethnobotanics, ethnoentemology, and ethnoecology with Kayapo Indians are distinguished. Studies about littoral populations and other fishermen and agriculturists include such ecological aspects as territoriality (Forman 1970), diversity, and subsistence models (Begossi 1992, Begossi and Richerson 1993), ethnoichthyology (Marques 1991), and food taboos (Begossi 1992). In the social, environmental, and conservationist context

  18. Intensification through diversified resource use: the human ecology of a successful agricultural industry in Indonesian Borneo

    SciTech Connect

    Vondal, P.J.

    1987-03-01

    The success of an agricultural industry in commercial duck egg production in the swamplands of South Kalimantan (Borneo) is examined through the utilization of a human ecology framework. Seasonality of resource availability and human population growth are identified as two major constraints to production faced by farmers. Population increases in the urban sectors of southeastern Borneo also present economic opportunities for farmers because of the growing demand for poultry products. Farmers have responded by developing an intensification strategy in egg production based on the use of diversified resources for duck feed. The long-term consequences of these and other innovations in duck farming are discussed; and diversity-stability theory is examined for its applicability to this case of agricultural development and for rural development theory and practice.

  19. SALSA: a simulation tool to assess ecological sustainability of agricultural production.

    PubMed

    Eriksson, Ingrid Strid; Elmquist, Helena; Nybrant, Thomas

    2005-06-01

    In order to assess the ecological sustainability of agricultural production systems, there is a need for effective tools. We describe an environmental systems analysis tool called SALSA (Systems Ana/ysis for Sustainable Agriculture). It consists of substance/material flow models in which the simulation results are interpreted with life-cycle assessment methodology. The application of SALSA is demonstrated in a case study in which three different ways of producing pigs are compared with respect to energy input and the environmental impacts of global warming, eutrophication, and acidification. The scenario that combined a low-protein diet without soy meal with an improved manure-management technique with low nitrogen losses was the best for all impact categories studied. The strength of the SALSA models was their capacity to capture consequences of management options that had an influence on several processes on a farm, which enabled the type of complex studies we describe. PMID:16092274

  20. Potential ecological and economic consequences of climate-driven agricultural and silvicultural transformations in central Siberia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tchebakova, Nadezhda M.; Zander, Evgeniya V.; Pyzhev, Anton I.; Parfenova, Elena I.; Soja, Amber J.

    2014-05-01

    Increased warming predicted from general circulation models (GCMs) by the end of the century is expected to dramatically impact Siberian forests. Both natural climate-change-caused disturbance (weather, wildfire, infestation) and anthropogenic disturbance (legal/illegal logging) has increased, and their impact on Siberian boreal forest has been mounting over the last three decades. The Siberian BioClimatic Model (SiBCliM) was used to simulate Siberian forests, and the resultant maps show a severely decreased forest that has shifted northwards and a changed composition. Predicted dryer climates would enhance the risks of high fire danger and thawing permafrost, both of which challenge contemporary ecosystems. Our current goal is to evaluate the ecological and economic consequences of climate warming, to optimise economic loss/gain effects in forestry versus agriculture, to question the relative economic value of supporting forestry, agriculture or a mixed agro-forestry at the southern forest border in central Siberia predicted to undergo the most noticeable landcover and landuse changes. We developed and used forest and agricultural bioclimatic models to predict forest shifts; novel tree species and their climatypes are introduced in a warmer climate and/or potential novel agriculture are introduced with a potential variety of crops by the end of the century. We applied two strategies to estimate climate change effects, motivated by forest disturbance. One is a genetic means of assisting trees and forests to be harmonized with a changing climate by developing management strategies for seed transfer to locations that are best ecologically suited to the genotypes in future climates. The second strategy is the establishment of agricultural lands in new forest-steppe and steppe habitats, because the forests would retreat northwards. Currently, food, forage, and biofuel crops primarily reside in the steppe and forest-steppe zones which are known to have favorable

  1. [Ecological management model of agriculture-pasture ecotone based on the theory of energy and material flow--a case study in Houshan dryland area of Inner Mongolia].

    PubMed

    Fan, Jinlong; Pan, Zhihua; Zhao, Ju; Zheng, Dawei; Tuo, Debao; Zhao, Peiyi

    2004-04-01

    The degradation of ecological environment in the agriculture-pasture ecotone in northern China has been paid more attentions. Based on our many years' research and under the guide of energy and material flow theory, this paper put forward an ecological management model, with a hill as the basic cell and according to the natural, social and economic characters of Houshan dryland farming area inside the north agriculture-pasture ecotone. The input and output of three models, i.e., the traditional along-slope-tillage model, the artificial grassland model and the ecological management model, were observed and recorded in detail in 1999. Energy and material flow analysis based on field test showed that compared with traditional model, ecological management model could increase solar use efficiency by 8.3%, energy output by 8.7%, energy conversion efficiency by 19.4%, N output by 26.5%, N conversion efficiency by 57.1%, P output by 12.1%, P conversion efficiency by 45.0%, and water use efficiency by 17.7%. Among the models, artificial grassland model had the lowest solar use efficiency, energy output and energy conversion efficiency; while the ecological management model had the most outputs and benefits, was the best model with high economic effect, and increased economic benefits by 16.1%, compared with the traditional model. PMID:15334949

  2. Community ecology in a changing environment: Perspectives from the Quaternary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jackson, Stephen T.; Blois, Jessica L.

    2015-04-01

    Community ecology and paleoecology are both concerned with the composition and structure of biotic assemblages but are largely disconnected. Community ecology focuses on existing species assemblages and recently has begun to integrate history (phylogeny and continental or intercontinental dispersal) to constrain community processes. This division has left a "missing middle": Ecological and environmental processes occurring on timescales from decades to millennia are not yet fully incorporated into community ecology. Quaternary paleoecology has a wealth of data documenting ecological dynamics at these timescales, and both fields can benefit from greater interaction and articulation. We discuss ecological insights revealed by Quaternary terrestrial records, suggest foundations for bridging between the disciplines, and identify topics where the disciplines can engage to mutual benefit.

  3. Community ecology in a changing environment: Perspectives from the Quaternary.

    PubMed

    Jackson, Stephen T; Blois, Jessica L

    2015-04-21

    Community ecology and paleoecology are both concerned with the composition and structure of biotic assemblages but are largely disconnected. Community ecology focuses on existing species assemblages and recently has begun to integrate history (phylogeny and continental or intercontinental dispersal) to constrain community processes. This division has left a "missing middle": Ecological and environmental processes occurring on timescales from decades to millennia are not yet fully incorporated into community ecology. Quaternary paleoecology has a wealth of data documenting ecological dynamics at these timescales, and both fields can benefit from greater interaction and articulation. We discuss ecological insights revealed by Quaternary terrestrial records, suggest foundations for bridging between the disciplines, and identify topics where the disciplines can engage to mutual benefit. PMID:25901314

  4. Community ecology in a changing environment: Perspectives from the Quaternary

    PubMed Central

    Jackson, Stephen T.; Blois, Jessica L.

    2015-01-01

    Community ecology and paleoecology are both concerned with the composition and structure of biotic assemblages but are largely disconnected. Community ecology focuses on existing species assemblages and recently has begun to integrate history (phylogeny and continental or intercontinental dispersal) to constrain community processes. This division has left a “missing middle”: Ecological and environmental processes occurring on timescales from decades to millennia are not yet fully incorporated into community ecology. Quaternary paleoecology has a wealth of data documenting ecological dynamics at these timescales, and both fields can benefit from greater interaction and articulation. We discuss ecological insights revealed by Quaternary terrestrial records, suggest foundations for bridging between the disciplines, and identify topics where the disciplines can engage to mutual benefit. PMID:25901314

  5. Music as Environment: An Ecological and Biosemiotic Approach

    PubMed Central

    Reybrouck, Mark

    2014-01-01

    This paper provides an attempt to conceive of music in terms of a sounding environment. Starting from a definition of music as a collection of vibrational events, it introduces the distinction between discrete-symbolic representations as against analog-continuous representations of the sounds. The former makes it possible to conceive of music in terms of a Humboldt system, the latter in terms of an experiential approach. Both approaches, further, are not opposed to each other, but are complementary to some extent. There is, however, a distinction to be drawn between the bottom-up approach to auditory processing of environmental sounds and music, which is continuous and proceeding in real time, as against the top-down approach, which is proceeding at a level of mental representation by applying discrete symbolic labels to vibrational events. The distinction is discussed against the background of phylogenetic and ontogenetic claims, with a major focus on the innate auditory capabilities of the fetus and neonate and the gradual evolution from mere sensory perception of sound to sense-making and musical meaning. The latter, finally, is elaborated on the basis of the operational concepts of affordance and functional tone, thus bringing together some older contributions from ecology and biosemiotics. PMID:25545707

  6. Microbes in Beach Sands: Integrating Environment, Ecology and Public Health

    PubMed Central

    Whitman, Richard; Harwood, Valerie J.; Edge, Thomas A.; Nevers, Meredith; Byappanahalli, Muruleedhara; Vijayavel, Kannappan; Brandão, João; Sadowsky, Michael J.; Alm, Elizabeth Wheeler; Crowe, Allan; Ferguson, Donna; Ge, Zhongfu; Halliday, Elizabeth; Kinzelman, Julie; Kleinheinz, Greg; Przybyla-Kelly, Kasia; Staley, Christopher; Staley, Zachery; Solo-Gabriele, Helena M.

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Beach sand is a habitat that supports many microbes, including viruses, bacteria, fungi and protozoa (micropsammon). The apparently inhospitable conditions of beach sand environments belie the thriving communities found there. Physical factors, such as water availability and protection from insolation; biological factors, such as competition, predation, and biofilm formation; and nutrient availability all contribute to the characteristics of the micropsammon. Sand microbial communities include autochthonous species/phylotypes indigenous to the environment. Allochthonous microbes, including fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) and waterborne pathogens, are deposited via waves, runoff, air, or animals. The fate of these microbes ranges from death, to transient persistence and/or replication, to establishment of thriving populations (naturalization) and integration in the autochthonous community. Transport of the micropsammon within the habitat occurs both horizontally across the beach, and vertically from the sand surface and ground water table, as well as at various scales including interstitial flow within sand pores, sediment transport for particle-associated microbes, and the large-scale processes of wave action and terrestrial runoff. The concept of beach sand as a microbial habitat and reservoir of FIB and pathogens has begun to influence our thinking about human health effects associated with sand exposure and recreational water use. A variety of pathogens have been reported from beach sands, and recent epidemiology studies have found some evidence of health risks associated with sand exposure. Persistent or replicating populations of FIB and enteric pathogens have consequences for watershed/beach management strategies and regulatory standards for safe beaches. This review summarizes our understanding of the community structure, ecology, fate, transport, and public health implications of microbes in beach sand. It concludes with recommendations for future

  7. Microbes in Beach Sands: Integrating Environment, Ecology and Public Health.

    PubMed

    Whitman, Richard; Harwood, Valerie J; Edge, Thomas A; Nevers, Meredith; Byappanahalli, Muruleedhara; Vijayavel, Kannappan; Brandão, João; Sadowsky, Michael J; Alm, Elizabeth Wheeler; Crowe, Allan; Ferguson, Donna; Ge, Zhongfu; Halliday, Elizabeth; Kinzelman, Julie; Kleinheinz, Greg; Przybyla-Kelly, Kasia; Staley, Christopher; Staley, Zachery; Solo-Gabriele, Helena M

    2014-09-01

    Beach sand is a habitat that supports many microbes, including viruses, bacteria, fungi and protozoa (micropsammon). The apparently inhospitable conditions of beach sand environments belie the thriving communities found there. Physical factors, such as water availability and protection from insolation; biological factors, such as competition, predation, and biofilm formation; and nutrient availability all contribute to the characteristics of the micropsammon. Sand microbial communities include autochthonous species/phylotypes indigenous to the environment. Allochthonous microbes, including fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) and waterborne pathogens, are deposited via waves, runoff, air, or animals. The fate of these microbes ranges from death, to transient persistence and/or replication, to establishment of thriving populations (naturalization) and integration in the autochthonous community. Transport of the micropsammon within the habitat occurs both horizontally across the beach, and vertically from the sand surface and ground water table, as well as at various scales including interstitial flow within sand pores, sediment transport for particle-associated microbes, and the large-scale processes of wave action and terrestrial runoff. The concept of beach sand as a microbial habitat and reservoir of FIB and pathogens has begun to influence our thinking about human health effects associated with sand exposure and recreational water use. A variety of pathogens have been reported from beach sands, and recent epidemiology studies have found some evidence of health risks associated with sand exposure. Persistent or replicating populations of FIB and enteric pathogens have consequences for watershed/beach management strategies and regulatory standards for safe beaches. This review summarizes our understanding of the community structure, ecology, fate, transport, and public health implications of microbes in beach sand. It concludes with recommendations for future work in

  8. Resolving Conflicts between Agriculture and the Natural Environment

    PubMed Central

    Tanentzap, Andrew J.; Lamb, Anthony; Walker, Susan; Farmer, Andrew

    2015-01-01

    Agriculture dominates the planet. Yet it has many environmental costs that are unsustainable, especially as global food demand rises. Here, we evaluate ways in which different parts of the world are succeeding in their attempts to resolve conflict between agriculture and wild nature. We envision that coordinated global action in conserving land most sensitive to agricultural activities and policies that internalise the environmental costs of agriculture are needed to deliver a more sustainable future. PMID:26351851

  9. The ecology of micro-organisms in a closed environment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fox, L.

    1971-01-01

    Microorganisms under closed environmental ecological conditions with reference to astronauts infectious diseases, discussing bacteria growth in Biosatellite 2 and earth based closed chamber experiments

  10. The Design of Flower Ecological Environment Monitoring System Based on ZigBee Technology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, Xiaoqing; Xiang, Xinjian

    Ecological environment is the key point of improving the flower's quality and quantity. Due to China's flower production management at a lower level, there is no scientific method in real-time monitoring of the flower's ecological environment. In order to solve the problem such as high costs; poor monitoring point scalability, poor mobility and other issues in traditional flower basement's data acquisition system, this paper devises a wireless real-time system based on ZigBee technology for the monitoring of flower's ecological environment. By the analysis of ZigBee technology's characteristics, it focuses on the design of wireless gateway with S3C4510B; wireless sensor node control module AT89S51 and the communication module CC2430; analyses the Zigbee protocol stack network's formation and designs data acquisition and communication procedures. By monitoring every flower's ecological environment indicators in practice, this system can meet the needs of the real-time monitoring for flower's ecological environment.

  11. ECOLOGIC STUDY OF MESOSCALE ENVIRONMENTS WITH EXCESS DISEASE PREVALENCE

    EPA Science Inventory

    This work employs an ecologic epidemiological approach to assess the relationship between environmental stressors and excess disease prevalence in small communities. Specifically, the childhood leukemia cluster in Fallon Nevada is used as an example; heavy metals (tungsten and c...

  12. Ecological impacts of ocean acidification in coastal marine environments (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harley, C.; Crim, R.; Gooding, R.; Nienhuis, S.; Tang, E.

    2010-12-01

    Rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations are driving rapid and potentially unprecedented reductions in pH and carbonate ion availability in coastal marine environments. This process, known as ocean acidification (OA), has far-reaching implications for the performance and survival of marine organisms, particularly those with calcified shells and skeletons. Here, we highlight the ways in which OA impacts plants and animals in a coastal benthic food web, with an emphasis on what we know and what we don’t know about the ways in which the responses of individual organisms will scale up to long-term changes in community structure. Our system of interest is the rocky shore benthic community that is broadly represented from Alaska through California. Ecologically important species include producers (micro- and macro-algae), grazers (urchins and gastropods), filter feeders (mussels), and predators (sea stars). Although the direct effects of OA on coastal phytoplankton and kelps remain poorly understood, it appears as though elevated CO2 will increase the doubling rate of benthic diatoms. Small changes in food supply, however, may pale in comparison to the direct effects of OA on heavily calcified grazers and filter feeders. Sea urchin and mussel growth are both reduced by increased CO2 in the lab, and decadal-scale reductions in pH are associated with reduced turban snail growth in the field. Although adult abalone growth appears to be unaffected by CO2, larval development is impaired and larval survival is significantly reduced in acidified conditions. In contrast to the negative effects of OA on heavily calcified herbivores and filter feeders, lightly calcified sea stars actually grow faster when CO2 is experimentally increased. The acidification-induced changes described here are likely to result in substantial shifts in the benthic ecosystem. Increasing predation pressure may further reduce the abundance of grazers and filter feeders that are already suffering

  13. The accumulation of heavy metals in agricultural land and the associated potential ecological risks in Shenzhen, China.

    PubMed

    Wu, Jiansheng; Song, Jing; Li, Weifeng; Zheng, Maokun

    2016-01-01

    Accumulation of heavy metals in agricultural land and their ecological risks are key issues in soil security studies. This study investigated the concentrations of six heavy metals--copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), lead (Pb), nickel (Ni), and chromium (Cr) in Shenzhen's agricultural lands and examined the potential hazards and possible sources of these metals. Eighty-two samples from agricultural topsoil were collected. Potential ecological risk index was used to calculate the potential risk of heavy metals. Principal component analysis (PCA) was applied to explore pollution sources of the metals. Finally, Kriging was used to predict the spatial distribution of the metals' potential ecological risks. The concentrations of the heavy metals were higher than their background values. Most of them presented little potential ecological risk, except for the heavy metal cadmium (Cd). Four districts (Longgang, Longhua, Pingshan, and Dapeng) exhibited some degree of potential risk, which tended to have more industries and road networks. Three major sources of heavy metals included geochemical processes, industrial pollutants, and traffic pollution. The heavy metal Cd was the main contributor to the pollution in agricultural land during the study period. It also poses the potential hazard for the future. High potential risk is closely related to industrial pollution and transportation. Since the 1980s, the sources of heavy metals have evolved from parent rock weathering, erosion, degradation of organics, and mineralization to human disturbances resulting in chemical changes in the soil. PMID:26370814

  14. Ecology and behavior of Anopheles arabiensis in relation to agricultural practices in central Kenya.

    PubMed

    Muturi, Ephantus J; Mwangangi, Joseph M; Beier, John C; Blackshear, Millon; Wauna, James; Sang, Rosemary; Mukabana, Wolfgang R

    2013-09-01

    Ecological changes associated with anthropogenic ecosystem disturbances can influence human risk of exposure to malaria and other vector-borne infectious diseases. This study in Mwea, Kenya, investigated the pattern of insecticide use in irrigated and nonirrigated agroecosystems and association with the density, survival, and blood-feeding behavior of the malaria vector Anopheles arabiensis. The parity rates of adult An. arabiensis from randomly selected houses were determined by examining their ovaries for tracheal distension, and polymerase chain reaction was used to identify the host blood meals. In addition, structured questionnaires were used to generate data on insecticide use. Anopheles arabiensis densities were highest in irrigated rice agroecosystems, intermediate in irrigated French beans agroecosystems, and lowest in the nonirrigated agroecosystem. Anopheles arabiensis adult survivorship was significantly lower in irrigated rice agroecosystems than in irrigated French beans agroecosystems. The human blood index (HBI) was significantly higher in the nonirrigated agroecosystem compared to irrigated agroecosystems. Moreover, there was marked variation in HBI among villages in irrigated agroecosystems with significantly lower HBI in Kangichiri and Mathangauta compared to Kiuria, Karima, and Kangai. The proportion of mosquitoes with mixed blood meals varied among villages ranging from 0.25 in Kangichiri to 0.83 in Kiuria. Sumithion, dimethoate, and alpha cypermethrin were the most commonly used insecticides. The 1st was used mostly in irrigated rice agroecosystems, and the last 2 were used mostly in irrigated French beans agroecosystems. These findings indicate that agricultural practices may influence the ecology and behavior of malaria vectors and ultimately the risk of malaria transmission. PMID:24199496

  15. Ecological risks associated with the application of sewage sludge to non-agricultural ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Efroymson, R.A.; Sample, B.E.; Luxmoore, R.J.; Tharp, M.L.; Barnthouse, L.W.; Daniel, F.B.

    1995-12-31

    The Clean Water Act of 1977 directed EPA to establish standards for use and disposal of sewage sludge (biosolids). The application of biosolids to non-agricultural lands is becoming increasingly important as a method of waste disposal. Ecological endpoints at the population, community, and/or ecosystem level have not previously been emphasized in the development of regulatory standards for municipal sewage sludge. This risk assessment focuses on terrestrial endpoints in four ecosystem types to which substantial quantities of sludge have been applied or are expected to be applied in the future: northwest Douglas-fir forest, southeastern loblolly pine plantation, eastern deciduous forest, and semi-arid rangeland. Conceptual models suitable for all ecosystems were developed that depict the links among assessment endpoints. Estimates of risks to wildlife from contaminants and simulations of impacts of nitrogen in sewage sludge on the structure and function of forest communities are presented in detail elsewhere at this conference. This project overview integrates these two assessment components and adds contaminant risks to plants, soil invertebrates, and microbial processes and risk of leaching and erosion altered by biosolids application. Management practices and empirical measures of bioavailability are considered for each ecosystem. Concentrations of constitutents of sewage sludge used for the analyses have been obtained from the 1988 USEPA National Sewage Sludge Survey. Existing regulatory standards that are primarily human health-based are also evaluated for the adequacy of protection of ecological systems and populations. Predicted impacts of sewage sludge applications are presented, even if they may be regarded as benefits rather than risks.

  16. Plant breeding for harmony between agriculture and the environment

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Crop improvements made since the 1950’s coupled with inexpensive agronomic inputs (fertilizers, herbicides, etc.) have resulted in agricultural production that has kept pace with population growth. Breeding programs primarily focus on improving a crop’s environmental adaptability and biotic stress t...

  17. Environment, agriculture, and settlement patterns in a marginal Polynesian landscape

    PubMed Central

    Kirch, P. V.; Hartshorn, A. S.; Chadwick, O. A.; Vitousek, P. M.; Sherrod, D. R.; Coil, J.; Holm, L.; Sharp, W. D.

    2004-01-01

    Beginning ca. A.D. 1400, Polynesian farmers established permanent settlements along the arid southern flank of Haleakala Volcano, Maui, Hawaiian Islands; peak population density (43-57 persons per km2) was achieved by A.D. 1700-1800, and it was followed by the devastating effects of European contact. This settlement, based on dryland agriculture with sweet potato as a main crop, is represented by >3,000 archaeological features investigated to date. Geological and environmental factors are the most important influence on Polynesian farming and settlement practices in an agriculturally marginal landscape. Interactions between lava flows, whose ages range from 3,000 to 226,000 years, and differences in rainfall create an environmental mosaic that constrained precontact Polynesian farming practices to a zone defined by aridity at low elevation and depleted soil nutrients at high elevation. Within this productive zone, however, large-scale agriculture was concentrated on older, tephra-blanketed lava flows; younger flows were reserved for residential sites, small ritual gardens, and agricultural temples. PMID:15210963

  18. Environment, agriculture, and settlement patterns in a marginal Polynesian landscape

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kirch, P.V.; Hartshorn, A.S.; Chadwick, O.A.; Vitousek, P.M.; Sherrod, D.R.; Coil, J.; Holm, L.; Sharp, W.D.

    2004-01-01

    Beginning ca. A.D. 1400, Polynesian farmers established permanent settlements along the arid southern flank of Haleakala Volcano, Maui, Hawaiian Islands; peak population density (43-57 persons per km2) was achieved by A.D. 1700-1800, and it was followed by the devastating effects of European contact. This settlement, based on dryland agriculture with sweet potato as a main crop, is represented by >3,000 archaeological features investigated to date. Geological and environmental factors are the most important influence on Polynesian farming and settlement practices in an agriculturally marginal landscape. Interactions between lava flows, whose ages range from 3,000 to 226,000 years, and differences in rainfall create an environmental mosaic that constrained precontact Polynesian farming practices to a zone defined by aridity at low elevation and depleted soil nutrients at high elevation. Within this productive zone, however, large-scale agriculture was concentrated on older, tephra-blanketed lava flows; younger flows were reserved for residential sites, small ritual gardens, and agricultural temples.

  19. Ecology of agricultural monocultures: Some consequences for biodiversity in biomass energy farms

    SciTech Connect

    Hoffman, W.; Beyea, J.; Cook, J.H.

    1995-11-01

    Most developmental work on biomass crops has involved extensive monocultures of genetically uniform crops. We review the relevant ecology of agricultural monocultures, and some consequences of monocultural methods for the biomass industry. Monocultures can have very high primary productivity; indeed biomass crops are selected for high productivity. The seasonal tempo of productivity is often more punctuated in monocultures than in multispecies system, leaving temporal productivity gaps. In turn, folivorous insect diversity and abundance tends to track the foliage productivity. The productivity gaps may produce bottlenecks in herbivore abundance and diversity. Herbivore population dynamics tend to be less stable in monocultures, driving fluctuations in predator abundance and diversity. These bottlenecks and fluctuations can increase the frequency and severity of pest problems, for herbivorous insects usually respond to productivity increases faster than their predators. The spatial scaling of structural complexity is also critical to habitat value, particularly for vertebrates. At micro scales structural complexity is a function of plant structure. At meso scales, agricultural monocultures tend to be very uniform, compared to multispecies systems, and provide poorer habitat for species needing meso-scale diversity. We suggest three strategies to enhance or restore biodiversity while developing biomass crops. First, tailor the scale of plantings to the needs of wildlife in the system. Second, manage the deployment of the biomass plantings to be complementary to other landscape features. For example, concentrate biomass plantings on the most favorable sites in the landscape, and develop complementary habitat inclusions on poorer microsites. Third, develop crops and crop combinations to benefit wildlife as well as to provide high yields. Select and deploy crops and clones to bridge productivity gaps.

  20. Identifying and Quantifying Ecological Changes in Channel Bank Systems in a Small California Agricultural Watershed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Florsheim, J. L.; Nichols, A. L.; Ustin, S.; Lay, M.

    2011-12-01

    Vigorous channel bank ecotones include dynamic biogeomorphic features such as a variable topographic surface that reflects patterns of erosion and sedimentation, established riparian vegetation of diverse ages and species, and woody debris. Together these elements create habitat that is subject to exogenous perturbations such as episodic floods or agricultural activities. Around the mid-1800's, the onset of agricultural landuses significantly altered sediment and vegetation dynamics in Walker Creek, a ~194 km2 agricultural watershed that drains to Tomales Bay in central California. Here, we identify and quantify ecological changes during the period between 1942 and 2005 using remote sensing and detailed mapping. We utilize GIS to aid identification and quantification of changes in the spatial distribution and extent of bank erosion and riparian vegetation over this 63 year period, and explore statistical methods to express longitudinal variation. At the watershed scale, preliminary data suggest that the area occupied by riparian vegetation within riparian segments between tributaries in 2005 is about twice the area of vegetation in 1942, with 25% of the vegetation present in 2005 new (not present in 1942). All of the subbasins show a trend of increased riparian growth during the period between 1942 and 2005; however, within each subbasin, some channel reaches completely lack riparian vegetation. Although there has been a significant decrease in the extent of bank erosion between 1942 and 2005, the proportion of actively eroding to non-eroding channels is still large, ~16% in main channels and ~35% in tributaries. Using riparian vegetation as an indicator of recovery combines natural rates of vegetation re-establishment with managed restoration planting. Field reconnaissance suggests that channel bank erosion is prevalent in reaches devoid of riparian vegetation and in incised reaches. Recovering channel bank habitat is subject to exogenous perturbations such as

  1. New oilseed crops for fuels and chemicals: ecological and agricultural considerations

    SciTech Connect

    Draper, H.M. III

    1982-01-01

    A new approach to agriculture involving oilseed crops for fuels and chemicals is proposed. Such an approach to biomass energy would be designed to benefit the limited-resource farmer in the United States and the Third World, while at the same time not aggravating global ecological problems such as deforestation and desertification. Since food versus fuel conflicts arise when plants are grown for industrial uses on good lands, productivity questions are examined, with the conclusion that fundamental biological constraints will limit yields on marginal lands. Conventional vegetable oil crops are limited in their climatic requirements or are not well adapted to limited-resource farming; therefore, new oilseeds more adaptable to small farming are proposed. Such plants would be for specialty chemicals or to meet local energy needs. Chemicals produced would be low-volume, labor-intensive, and possibly high-priced. A list of 281 potential new oilseeds is provided, and each is classified according to potential, multiple product potential, and vegetative characteristics. Using climatic data which are available for most areas, a method of making rough productivity estimates for unconventional wild plant oilseeds is proposed, and example resource estimates are provided for the southeastern United States.

  2. Development paths of China's agricultural Pharmaceutical industry under Eco-agriculture background.

    PubMed

    Li, Jinkai; Gong, Liutang; Ji, Xi; Zhang, Jin; Miao, Pei

    2014-07-01

    Using pesticides has double effects. On one hand, it contributes to pests control and regulates the growth of crops; On the other hand, it does harm to the environment. To develop ecological agriculture should not only emphasize the output level of agriculture to pursuit of economic efficiency, but also need to keep the ecological environment protected and focus on the social benefits during the development of the industry. As a large agricultural country in the world, China is vigorously promoting the development of ecological agriculture, which is bound to put forward to developing the pesticide industry and green ecological development requirements to promote the transformation and upgrading of agricultural pharmaceutical industry. This paper discusses the mechanism of pesticide pollution on the ecological environment and analyzes China's agricultural problems in the pharmaceutical industry. Then study on the development of Chinese green pesticides and try to find the proper paths of agricultural pharmaceutical to achieve industrial upgrading. PMID:25016265

  3. Ecological validity of virtual environments to assess human navigation ability

    PubMed Central

    van der Ham, Ineke J. M.; Faber, Annemarie M. E.; Venselaar, Matthijs; van Kreveld, Marc J.; Löffler, Maarten

    2015-01-01

    Route memory is frequently assessed in virtual environments. These environments can be presented in a fully controlled manner and are easy to use. Yet they lack the physical involvement that participants have when navigating real environments. For some aspects of route memory this may result in reduced performance in virtual environments. We assessed route memory performance in four different environments: real, virtual, virtual with directional information (compass), and hybrid. In the hybrid environment, participants walked the route outside on an open field, while all route information (i.e., path, landmarks) was shown simultaneously on a handheld tablet computer. Results indicate that performance in the real life environment was better than in the virtual conditions for tasks relying on survey knowledge, like pointing to start and end point, and map drawing. Performance in the hybrid condition however, hardly differed from real life performance. Performance in the virtual environment did not benefit from directional information. Given these findings, the hybrid condition may offer the best of both worlds: the performance level is comparable to that of real life for route memory, yet it offers full control of visual input during route learning. PMID:26074831

  4. Restoring abandoned agricultural lands in arid environments: the tradeoffs between water availability and exotic species

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Background/Question/Methods On a global basis, the area of abandoned agricultural land is growing. Modification of the environment for agriculture often results in degradation of the original ecosystem processes and a loss of the biotic and abiotic legacies necessary for recovery of the ecosystem. ...

  5. A Bibliography of Popular Books on the Marine Environment and Wetlands Ecology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schweitzer, James P.

    This is an annotated bibliography of popular books on the marine environment and wetlands ecology, published by the Marine Environment Curriculum Study at the University of Delaware. The bibliography resulted from the work of a special review panel consisting of a professional biologist, a professor of science education, and 15 teachers.…

  6. The Ecology of Volunteerism among College Women: Identifying Campus Environments That Inform Volunteering Behaviors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Axlund McBride, RaeLyn; Lott, Joe L.

    2015-01-01

    This study explores the relationship between campus environments, female college student peer culture, and the tendency to volunteer while in college. The authors used Bronfenbrenner's ecological model of human development (1977, 2005) as a framework to (a) identify one multi-faceted campus environment that is linked to volunteerism among college…

  7. The occurrence and ecological risk assessment of phthalate esters (PAEs) in urban aquatic environments of China.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Lulu; Liu, Jingling; Liu, Huayong; Wan, Guisheng; Zhang, Shaowei

    2015-07-01

    Phthalate esters (PAEs) are widely used in the manufacturing of plastics, and the demand for PAEs has grown rapidly, especially in China. This trend will lead to much more environmental PAE contamination. PAEs are listed as priority substances in the European Union and are therefore subject to ecological risk assessments. This paper reviews the literature concerning the pollution status of PAEs and their ecological risk to aquatic environments. Risk quotients (RQs) based on the predicted no effect concentration and PAE concentrations in aquatic environments demonstrated significant (10 ≤ RQ < 100) or expected (RQ ≥ 100) potential adverse effects for algae, Daphnia, and fish in aquatic environments near PAE-based industrial and urban areas. Thus, the ecological risk of PAEs in Chinese aquatic environments should be considered, especially in areas where commercial plastics are produced. PMID:25847103

  8. Integrating Agricultural and Ecological Goals into the Management of Species-Rich Grasslands: Learning from the Flowering Meadows Competition in France.

    PubMed

    Magda, Danièle; de Sainte Marie, Christine; Plantureux, Sylvain; Agreil, Cyril; Amiaud, Bernard; Mestelan, Philippe; Mihout, Sarah

    2015-11-01

    Current agri-environmental schemes for reconciling agricultural production with biodiversity conservation are proving ineffective Europe-wide, increasing interest in results-based schemes (RBSs). We describe here the French "Flowering Meadows" competition, rewarding the "best agroecological balance" in semi-natural grasslands managed by livestock farmers. This competition, which was entered by about a thousand farmers in 50 regional nature parks between 2007 and 2014, explicitly promotes a new style of agri-environmental scheme focusing on an ability to reach the desired outcome rather than adherence to prescriptive management rules. Building on our experience in the design and monitoring of the competition, we argue that the cornerstone of successful RBSs is a collective learning process in which the reconciliation of agriculture and environment is reconsidered in terms of synergistic relationships between agricultural and ecological functioning. We present the interactive, iterative process by which we defined an original method for assessing species-rich grasslands in agroecological terms. This approach was based on the integration of new criteria, such as flexibility, feeding value, and consistency of use, into the assessment of forage production performance and the consideration of biodiversity conservation through its functional role within the grassland ecosystem, rather than simply noting the presence or abundance of species. We describe the adaptation of this methodology on the basis of competition feedback, to bring about a significant shift in the conventional working methods of agronomists and conservationists (including researchers).The potential and efficacy of RBSs for promoting ecologically sound livestock systems are discussed in the concluding remarks, and they relate to the ecological intensification debate. PMID:26092049

  9. Integrating Agricultural and Ecological Goals into the Management of Species-Rich Grasslands: Learning from the Flowering Meadows Competition in France

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Magda, Danièle; de Sainte Marie, Christine; Plantureux, Sylvain; Agreil, Cyril; Amiaud, Bernard; Mestelan, Philippe; Mihout, Sarah

    2015-11-01

    Current agri-environmental schemes for reconciling agricultural production with biodiversity conservation are proving ineffective Europe-wide, increasing interest in results-based schemes (RBSs). We describe here the French "Flowering Meadows" competition, rewarding the "best agroecological balance" in semi-natural grasslands managed by livestock farmers. This competition, which was entered by about a thousand farmers in 50 regional nature parks between 2007 and 2014, explicitly promotes a new style of agri-environmental scheme focusing on an ability to reach the desired outcome rather than adherence to prescriptive management rules. Building on our experience in the design and monitoring of the competition, we argue that the cornerstone of successful RBSs is a collective learning process in which the reconciliation of agriculture and environment is reconsidered in terms of synergistic relationships between agricultural and ecological functioning. We present the interactive, iterative process by which we defined an original method for assessing species-rich grasslands in agroecological terms. This approach was based on the integration of new criteria, such as flexibility, feeding value, and consistency of use, into the assessment of forage production performance and the consideration of biodiversity conservation through its functional role within the grassland ecosystem, rather than simply noting the presence or abundance of species. We describe the adaptation of this methodology on the basis of competition feedback, to bring about a significant shift in the conventional working methods of agronomists and conservationists (including researchers).The potential and efficacy of RBSs for promoting ecologically sound livestock systems are discussed in the concluding remarks, and they relate to the ecological intensification debate.

  10. Applying Adaptive Agricultural Management & Industrial Ecology Principles to Produce Lower- Carbon Ethanol from California Energy Beets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alexiades, Anthy Maria

    The life cycle assessment of a proposed beet-to-ethanol pathway demonstrates how agricultural management and industrial ecology principles can be applied to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, minimize agrochemical inputs and waste, provide ecosystem services and yield a lower-carbon fuel from a highly land-use efficient, first-generation feedstock cultivated in California. Beets grown in California have unique potential as a biofuel feedstock. A mature agricultural product with well-developed supply chains, beet-sugar production in California has contracted over recent decades, leaving idle production capacity and forcing growers to seek other crops for use in rotation or find a new market for beets. California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) faces risk of steeply-rising compliance costs, as greenhouse gas reduction targets in the transportation sector were established assuming commercial volumes of lower-carbon fuels from second-generation feedstocks -- such as residues, waste, algae and cellulosic crops -- would be available by 2020. The expected shortfall of cellulosic ethanol has created an immediate need to develop lower-carbon fuels from readily available feedstocks using conventional conversion technologies. The life cycle carbon intensity of this ethanol pathway is less than 28 gCO2e/MJEthanol: a 72% reduction compared to gasoline and 19% lower than the most efficient corn ethanol pathway (34 gCO2e/MJ not including indirect land use change) approved under LCFS. The system relies primarily on waste-to-energy resources; nearly 18 gCO2e/MJ are avoided by using renewable heat and power generated from anaerobic digestion of fermentation stillage and gasification of orchard residues to meet 88% of the facility's steam demand. Co-products displace 2 gCO2e/MJ. Beet cultivation is the largest source of emissions, contributing 15 gCO 2e/MJ. The goal of the study is to explore opportunities to minimize carbon intensity of beet-ethanol and investigate the potential

  11. Altered Breast Development in Young Girls from an Agricultural Environment

    PubMed Central

    Guillette, Elizabeth A.; Conard, Craig; Lares, Fernando; Aguilar, Maria Guadalupe; McLachlan, John; Guillette, Louis J.

    2006-01-01

    In several human populations, the age at which female breast development begins is reported to have declined over the last five decades. Much debate has occurred over whether this reported decline has actually occurred and what factors contribute to it. However, geographical patterns reflecting earlier developmental onset in some human populations suggest environmental factors influence this phenomenon. These factors include interactions between genetic makeup, nutrition, and possible cumulative exposure to estrogens, both endogenous as well as environmental beginning during in utero development. We examined the onset of breast development in a group of peripubertal girls from the Yaqui Valley of Sonora, Mexico. We observed that girls from valley towns, areas using modern agricultural practices, exhibited larger breast fields than those of girls living in the foothills who exhibited similar stature [e.g., weight, height, body mass index (BMI)], and genetic background. Further, girls from valley towns displayed a poorly defined relationship between breast size and mammary gland development, whereas girls from the Yaqui foothills, where traditional ranching occurs, show a robust positive relationship between breast size and mammary size. The differences noted were obtained by a medically based exam involving morphometric analysis and palpation of tissues, in contrast to visual staging alone. In fact, use of the Tanner scale, involving visual staging of breast development for puberty, detected no differences between the study populations. Mammary tissue, determined by palpation, was absent in 18.5% of the girls living in agricultural areas, although palpable breast adipose tissue was present. No relationship was seen between mammary diameter and weight or BMI in either population. These data suggest that future in-depth studies examining mammary tissue growth and fat deposition in breast tissue are required if we are to understand environmental influences on these

  12. The change of nature and the nature of change in agricultural landscapes: Hydrologic regime shifts modulate ecological transitions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foufoula-Georgiou, Efi; Takbiri, Zeinab; Czuba, Jonathan A.; Schwenk, Jon

    2015-08-01

    Hydrology in many agricultural landscapes around the world is changing in unprecedented ways due to the development of extensive surface and subsurface drainage systems that optimize productivity. This plumbing of the landscape alters water pathways, timings, and storage, creating new regimes of hydrologic response and driving a chain of environmental changes in sediment dynamics, nutrient cycling, and river ecology. In this work, we nonparametrically quantify the nature of hydrologic change in the Minnesota River Basin, an intensively managed agricultural landscape, and study how this change might modulate ecological transitions. During the growing season when climate effects are shown to be minimal, daily streamflow hydrographs exhibit sharper rising limbs and stronger dependence on the previous-day precipitation. We also find a changed storage-discharge relationship and show that the artificial landscape connectivity has most drastically affected the rainfall-runoff relationship at intermediate quantiles. Considering the whole year, we show that the combined climate and land use change effects reduce the inherent nonlinearity in the dynamics of daily streamflow, perhaps reflecting a more linearized engineered hydrologic system. Using a simplified dynamic interaction model that couples hydrology to river ecology, we demonstrate how the observed hydrologic change and/or the discharge-driven sediment generation dynamics may have modulated a regime shift in river ecology, namely extirpation of native mussel populations. We posit that such nonparametric analyses and reduced complexity modeling can provide more insight than highly parameterized models and can guide development of vulnerability assessments and integrated watershed management frameworks.

  13. Stimulating innovation for global monitoring of agriculture and its impact on the environment in support of GEOGLAM

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bydekerke, Lieven; Gilliams, Sven; Gobin, Anne

    2015-04-01

    There is an urgent need to ensure food supply for a growing global population. To enable a sustainable growth of agricultural production, effective and timely information is required to support decision making and to improve management of agricultural resources. This requires innovative ways and monitoring methods that will not only improve short-term crop production forecasts, but also allow to assess changes in cultivation practices, agricultural areas, agriculture in general and, its impact on the environment. The G20 launched in June 2011 the "GEO Global Agricultural Monitoring initiative (GEOGLAM), requesting the GEO (Group on Earth Observations) Agricultural Community of Practice to implement GEOGLAM with the main objective to improve crop yield forecasts as an input to the Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS), in order to foster stabilisation of markets and increase transparency on agricultural production. In response to this need, the European Commission decided in 2013 to fund an international partnership to contribute to GEOGLAM and its research agenda. The resulting SIGMA project (Stimulating Innovation for Global Monitoring of Agriculture), a partnership of 23 globally distributed expert organisations, focusses on developing datasets and innovative techniques in support of agricultural monitoring and its impact on the environment in support of GEOGLAM. SIGMA has 3 generic objectives which are: (i) develop and test methods to characterise cropland and assess its changes at various scales; (ii) develop and test methods to assess changes in agricultural production levels; and; (iii) study environmental impacts of agriculture. Firstly, multi-scale remote sensing data sets, in combination with field and other ancillary data, will be used to generate an improved (global) agro-ecological zoning map and crop mask. Secondly, a combination of agro-meteorological models, satellite-based information and long-term time series will be explored to assess crop

  14. Late Quaternary environments, vegetation and agriculture in northern New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horrocks, M.; Nichol, S. L.; Augustinus, P. C.; Barber, I. G.

    2007-03-01

    A sedimentological and plant microfossil history of the Late Quaternary is preserved in two sediment cores from early Polynesian ditch systems on southern Aupouri Peninsula. The study places human activities into a geomorphological and ecological context and allows comparison of natural and anthropogenic effects on two different geological settings: a floodplain and a relatively closed peat swamp. The data fill part of the current gap in the environmental record from northern New Zealand, namely MIS 3 (57k-26k yr BP). There is evidence for an increase in fire frequency in the region after 40k 14C yr BP, suggesting a shift to drier (and cooler) conditions. Pollen records show that conifer-hardwood forest dominated by podocarps (especially Dacrydium) prevailed prior to Polynesian arrival and deforestation within the last millennium, with Fuscopsora insignificant throughout. Both cores show sections with gaps in deposition or preservation, possible flood-stripping of peat during the pre-Holocene and mechanical disturbance by early Polynesians. The identification of prehistoric starch grains and other microremains of introduced Colocasia esculenta (taro) in both cores supports indirect evidence that the ditch systems of far northern New Zealand were used for the extensive cultivation of this crop. Copyright

  15. Ecological Constraints on Hydrology in Early Hominid Environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Magill, C.; Ashley, G. M.; Freeman, K. H.

    2010-12-01

    Paleoclimate studies increasingly apply the hydrogen isotopic composition of individual biomarkers as a proxy for the composition of environmental waters. However, the environmental, physical and ecologic influences on hydrologic signatures are complex. Here, we separate the influences of climate and physiology on the hydrogen isotopic compositions of plant and algae lipids in order to reconstruct ancient precipitation and lake waters in semi-arid East Africa using Plio-Pleistocene lake sediments from Olduvai Gorge (2°48'S, 35°06'E). We measured bulk organic δ13C and molecular δ13C and δD from perennial lacustrine sediments dated between ~1.79 and 1.95 million years ago, a time slice with recognized hominid diversification events. During this interval, bulk organic δ13C varies ~10‰ and correlates strongly with molecular δ13C signatures of alkane biomarkers derived from terrestrial plants (n-C31), which range between -20‰ and -36‰ (PDB). Molecular δD signatures of n-C31 range between ~-125‰ and -165‰ (SMOW). The δD of algal biomarkers (n-C17) range between ~-85‰ and -135‰ (SMOW). To account for physiological effects, we used the δ13C of n-C31 to estimate relative C4 monocot versus C3 dicot abundance in the Olduvai watershed, establishing a mixing line for deuterium fractionation between rainwater and plant lipids. This approach is based on models of modern ecologic succession in East Africa, where C4 monocots and C3 dicots dominate landscape biomass. In the present day, the isotopic composition of mean annual precipitation in East Africa is controlled by the ‘amount effect.’ Olduvai currently receives ~550 mm yr-1 of precipitation and δD = -10‰, with an average ‘amount effect’ of 32 mm per 7‰ change in δD, albeit based on sparse sampling. Using these constraints and assuming negligible evapotranspiration, we conservatively calculate that Olduvai experienced ~440 mm of precipitation during arid times and nearly 800 mm during

  16. Use of treated wastewater in agriculture: effects on soil environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levy, Guy J.; Lado, Marcos

    2014-05-01

    Disposal of treated sewage, both from industrial and domestic origin (herein referred to as treated wastewater [TWW]), is often considered as an environmental hazard. However, in areas afflicted by water scarcity, especially in semi-arid and arid regions, where the future of irrigated agriculture (which produces approximately one third of crop yield and half the return from global crop production) is threatened by existing or expected shortage of fresh water, the use of TWW offers a highly effective and sustainable strategy to exploit a water resource. However, application of TWW to the soil is not free of risks both to organisms (e.g., crops, microbiota) and to the soil. Potential risks may include reduction in biological activity (including crop yield) due to elevated salinity and specific ion toxicity, migration of pollutants towards surface- and ground-water, and deterioration of soil structure. In recent years, new evidence about the possible negative impact of long-term irrigation with TWW on soil structure and physical and chemo-physical properties has emerged, thus putting the sustainability of irrigation with TWW in question. In this presentation, some aspects of the effects of long-term irrigation with TWW on soil properties are shown.

  17. Sole-Source Lighting for Controlled-Environment Agriculture

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mitchell.Cary; Stutte, Gary W.

    2015-01-01

    Since plants on Earth evolved under broad-spectrum solar radiation, anytime they are grown exclusively under electric lighting that does not contain all wavelengths in similar proportion to those in sunlight, plant appearance and size could be uniquely different. Nevertheless, plants have been grown for decades under fluorescent (FL) (1) + incandescent (IN) (2) lamps as a sole source of lighting (SSL), and researchers have become comfortable that, in certain proportions of FL + IN for a given species, plants can appear "normal" relative to their growth outdoors. The problem with using such traditional SSLs for commercial production typically is short lamp lifespans and not obtaining enough photosynthetically active radiation (PAR, 400-700 nm) when desired. These limitations led to supplementation of FL + IN lamp outputs with longer-lived, high-intensity discharge (HID) lamps in growth chambers (3). As researchers became comfortable that mixes of orange-biased high-pressure sodium (HPS) and blue-biased metal halide (MH) HIDs together also could give normal plant growth at higher intensities, growth chambers and phytotrons subsequently were equipped mainly with HID lamps, with their intense thermal output filtered out by ventilated light caps or thermal-controlled water barriers. For the most part, IN and HID lamps have found a home in commercial protected horticulture, usually for night-break photoperiod lighting (IN) or for seasonal supplemental lighting (mostly HPS) in greenhouses. However, lack of economically viable options for SSL have held back aspects of year-round indoor agriculture from taking off commercially.

  18. Agricultural Knowledge in Urban and Resettled Communities: Applications to Social-Ecological Resilience and Environmental Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shava, Soul; Krasny, Marianne E.; Tidball, Keith G.; Zazu, Cryton

    2010-01-01

    In light of globalising trends toward urbanisation and resettlement, we explore how agricultural knowledges may be adapted and applied among relocated people. Although indigenous and related forms of practice-based knowledge may be temporarily lost as people adopt commercial agricultural practices and switch to non-agricultural livelihoods, they…

  19. Ecological Engineering: Reshaping Our Environments to Achieve Our Goals.

    PubMed

    Levy, Neil

    2012-12-01

    Human beings are subject to a range of cognitive and affective limitations which interfere with our ability to pursue our individual and social goals. I argue that shaping our environment to avoid triggering these limitations or to constrain the harms they cause is likely to be more effective than genetic or pharmaceutical modifications of our capacities because our limitations are often the flip side of beneficial dispositions and because available enhancements seem to impose significant costs. I argue that carefully selected environmental interventions respect agents' autonomy and are consistent with democratic decision making. PMID:23396750

  20. Effects of Stratospheric Ozone Depletion the Environment and Agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ali, S. M.; Dash, Nutan Ku; Pradhan, Arjyadhara; Mishra, Sthita Prajna

    2012-09-01

    Ozone depletion results in greater amounts of UV-B radiation that had an impact on terrestrial and aquatic biogeochemical systems. Biogeochemical cycles were the complex interactions of physical, chemical, geological and biological processes that control the transport and transformation of substances in the natural environment and therefore the conditions that humans experience in Earth's system. The increased UV-B radiation impinging on terrestrial and aquatic systems, due to ozone depletion, results in changes in the trace gas exchange between the continents, oceans and the atmosphere. This had result in complex alterations to atmospheric chemistry, the global elemental cycles such as the carbon cycle, and had an impact on the survival and health of all organisms on Earth, including humans.

  1. NASA's Controlled Environment Agriculture Testing for Space Habitats

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wheeler, Raymond M.

    2014-01-01

    NASA and other space agencies have an interest in using plants for human life support in space. The plants could provide food and O2 for the humans, while removing CO2 and helping purify wastewater. Studies to date have shown that a wide range of crops can be grown in controlled environment conditions envisioned for space. Light is a critical factor both for crop productivity and system power costs, and recent improvements in LEDs make them a preferred lighting option for space. Because space systems would be tightly closed, issues such as ethylene build-up and management must be considered. Ultimately, the costs and reliability of biological life support options must be compared with more conventional life support approaches. Findings to date suggest that about 20-25 sq. meters of crops could supply the O2 for one human, while about 50 sq. meters would be required for food (dietary calories).

  2. Comprehensive Evaluation of Urban Sprawl on Ecological Environment Using Multi-Source Data: a Case Study of Beijing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Hao; Ning, Xiaogang; Zhu, Weiwei; Li, Fei

    2016-06-01

    With urban population growing and urban sprawling, urban ecological environment problems appear. Study on spatiotemporal characteristics of urban sprawl and its impact on ecological environment is useful for ecological civilization construction. Although a lot of work has been conducted on urban sprawl and its impact on ecological environment, resolution of images to extract urban boundary was relatively coarse and most studies only focused on certain indicators of ecological environment, rather than comprehensive evaluation of urban ecological environmental impact. In this study, high-resolution remote sensing images of Beijing from aerial photography in 2002 and 2013 respectively are employed to extract urban boundary with manual interpretation. Fractional Vegetation Coverage (FVC), Water Density (WD), Impervious Surfaces Coverage (ISC), Net Primary Production (NPP), and Land Surface Temperature (LST) are adopted to represent ecological environment. The ecological environment indicators are measured with some general algorithms by combining Landsat images, GIS data and metrological data of 243 day, 2001 and 244 day, 2013. In order to evaluate the impact of urban sprawl on ecological environment, pseudo changes due to metrological variation and other noise in this time period are removed after images calibration. The impact of urban sprawl on ecological environment is evaluated at different scales of urban extent, Beijing ring road and watershed. Results show that Beijing had been undergoing a rapid urbanization from 2002 to 2013, with urban area increase from 600 square kilometres to 987 square kilometres. All ecological environment indicators except LST became terrible in urban sprawl region, with carbon reduction of approximate 40508 tons. The Beiyun River watershed of Beijing degraded seriously since ISC increased to 0.59. Gratifyingly, ecological environment indicators including NDVI, NPP, and LST inside of 4th Ring Road became well.

  3. The Ecological Areawide Management (TEAM) of leafy spurge program of the United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Gerald L; Prosser, Chad W; Wendel, Lloyd E; Delfosse, Ernest S; Faust, Robert M

    2003-01-01

    The Ecological Areawide Management (TEAM) of Leafy Spurge program was developed to focus research and control efforts on a single weed, leafy spurge, and demonstrate the effectiveness of a coordinated, biologically based, integrated pest management program (IPM). This was accomplished through partnerships and teamwork that clearly demonstrated the advantages of the biologically based IPM approach. However, the success of regional weed control programs horizontally across several states and provinces also requires a vertical integration of several sectors of society. Awareness and education are the essential elements of vertical integration. Therefore, a substantial effort was made to produce a wide variety of information products specifically designed to educate different segments of society. During its tenure, land managers and agency decision makers have seen the potential of using the TEAM approach to accelerate the regional control of leafy spurge. The example set by the TEAM organization and participants is viewed as a model for future weed-control efforts. PMID:12846310

  4. Recommendations from the Workshop: Environment, Ecology and Sustainable Development ICAE 7th World Assembly

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Viezzer, Moema L.

    2006-01-01

    One of the workshops presented at the 7th International Council for Adult Education (ICAE) Assembly was focused on environment, ecology, and sustainable development. The workshop had participants from Asia, Africa, Europe, South America, North America and the South Pacific. This article presents a list of recommendations from the workshop.

  5. Effects of Conceptual Change Text Based Instruction on Ecology, Attitudes toward Biology and Environment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Çetin, Gülcan; Ertepinar, Hamide; Geban, Ömer

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of the conceptual change text based instruction on ninth grade students' understanding of ecological concepts, and attitudes toward biology and environment. Participants were 82 ninth grade students in a public high school in the Northwestern Turkey. A treatment was employed over a…

  6. Man in the Living Environment. A Report on Global Ecological Problems.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Inger, Robert F.; And Others

    The findings of four groups of ecologists are synthesized in chapter I of this report on global ecological problems prepared as a data base for the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment. The other chapters contain the reports of each group. In "Cycles of Elements" the biologically important elements, phosphorus, sulfur, and nitrogen,…

  7. [Assessment of ecological environment benefits of reclaimed water reuse in Beijing].

    PubMed

    Fan, Yu-Peng; Chen, Wei-Ping

    2014-10-01

    With the rapid development of the social economy and the sustained growth of population, China is facing increasingly serious water problems, and reclaimed water utilization has become an effective measure to solve water shortage problem and to control further deterioration of the ecological environment. Reclaimed water utilization can not only save a lot of fresh water, but also reduce the environmental impact of wastewater discharge, and thus has great ecological environmental benefits, including resource, environmental and human health benefits and so on. This study used the opportunity cost method to construct an evaluation system for ecological environmental benefits of reclaimed water utilization, and Beijing was taken as an example to conduct an estimation of ecological environmental benefits of reclaimed water utilization. Research results indicated that the reclaimed water utilization in Beijing had considerable environmental benefits for ¥ 1.2 billion in 2010, in which replacement of fresh water accounted for the largest share. The benefits of environmental improvement and groundwater recharge were large, while the other benefits were small or negative. The ecological environment benefits of reclaimed water utilization in Beijing was about 1.8 times that of its direct economic benefits, showing that reclaimed water utilization was in accordance with sustainable development. Related methods and results will provide scientific basis to promote the development of reclaimed water utilization in our country. PMID:25693414

  8. Agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agriculture within the United States is varied and produces a large value ($200 billion in 2002) of production across a wide range of plant and animal production systems. Because of this diversity, changes in climate will likely impact agriculture throughout the United States. Climate affects crop, ...

  9. Integrating NASA Satellite Data Into USDA World Agricultural Outlook Board Decision Making Environment To Improve Agricultural Estimates

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Teng, William; Shannon, Harlan; deJeu, Richard; Kempler, Steve

    2012-01-01

    The USDA World Agricultural Outlook Board (WAOB) is responsible for monitoring weather and climate impacts on domestic and foreign crop development. One of WAOB's primary goals is to determine the net cumulative effect of weather and climate anomalies on final crop yields. To this end, a broad array of information is consulted. The resulting agricultural weather assessments are published in the Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin, to keep farmers, policy makers, and commercial agricultural interests informed of weather and climate impacts on agriculture. The goal of the current project is to improve WAOB estimates by integrating NASA satellite precipitation and soil moisture observations into WAOB's decision making environment. Precipitation (Level 3 gridded) is from the TRMM Multi-satellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA). Soil moisture (Level 2 swath and Level 3 gridded) is generated by the Land Parameter Retrieval Model (LPRM) and operationally produced by the NASA Goddard Earth Sciences Data and Information Services Center (GBS DISC). A root zone soil moisture (RZSM) product is also generated, via assimilation of the Level 3 LPRM data by a land surface model (part of a related project). Data services to be available for these products include GeoTIFF, GDS (GrADS Data Server), WMS (Web Map Service), WCS (Web Coverage Service), and NASA Giovanni. Project benchmarking is based on retrospective analyses of WAOB analog year comparisons. The latter are between a given year and historical years with similar weather patterns and estimated crop yields. An analog index (AI) was developed to introduce a more rigorous, statistical approach for identifying analog years. Results thus far show that crop yield estimates derived from TMPA precipitation data are closer to measured yields than are estimates derived from surface-based precipitation measurements. Work is continuing to include LPRM surface soil moisture data and model-assimilated RZSM.

  10. Implementation of Wireless Sensor Networks Based Pig Farm Integrated Management System in Ubiquitous Agricultural Environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hwang, Jeonghwan; Lee, Jiwoong; Lee, Hochul; Yoe, Hyun

    The wireless sensor networks (WSN) technology based on low power consumption is one of the important technologies in the realization of ubiquitous society. When the technology would be applied to the agricultural field, it can give big change in the existing agricultural environment such as livestock growth environment, cultivation and harvest of agricultural crops. This research paper proposes the 'Pig Farm Integrated Management System' based on WSN technology, which will establish the ubiquitous agricultural environment and improve the productivity of pig-raising farmers. The proposed system has WSN environmental sensors and CCTV at inside/outside of pig farm. These devices collect the growth-environment related information of pigs, such as luminosity, temperature, humidity and CO2 status. The system collects and monitors the environmental information and video information of pig farm. In addition to the remote-control and monitoring of the pig farm facilities, this system realizes the most optimum pig-raising environment based on the growth environmental data accumulated for a long time.

  11. A Whole-System Approach to Understanding Agricultural Chemicals in the Environment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    U.S. Geological Survey

    2009-01-01

    The effects of the use of agricultural chemicals and other practices associated with agriculture on the quality of streams and groundwater is well known; however, less is known about how those effects may vary across different geographic regions of the Nation. Scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) are conducting studies on the transport and fate of agricultural chemicals in diverse agricultural settings across the country using comparable and consistent methodology and study designs (fig. 1; Capel and others, 2004; Capel and others, 2008). Assessments in five study areas have been completed, and the results highlight how environmental processes and agricultural practices interact to affect the movement and transformation of agricultural chemicals in the environment. The studies address major environmental compartments, including surface water, groundwater, the unsaturated zone, the streambed, and the atmosphere, as well as the pathways that interconnect these compartments. The study areas represent major agricultural settings, such as irrigated diverse cropping in the West and corn and soybean row cropping in the Midwest and, therefore, findings are relevant throughout much of the Nation.

  12. Characterization of phosphorus in the sedimentary environments of inundated agricultural soils around the Huainan Coal Mines, Anhui, China.

    PubMed

    Yi, Qitao; Xie, Kai; Sun, Pengfei; Kim, Youngchul

    2014-02-15

    Extensive coal mining in the Huainan Coal Mines, Anhui China, in light of the local hydrology and geology, has resulted in extensive land subsidence and submergence around the mines. This has led to the formation of large (>100 km(2)) lakes. Three representative lakes were selected to study the mechanisms of phosphorus (P) unavailability for primary production from the perspective of sedimentary environments, which in turn owe their formation to permanently inundated agricultural soils. Two important issues were considered: (1) potential of P transport from the cultivated soil column toward surface sediments and (2) characterization of P behavior in view of regional ecological rehabilitation and conservation. Accordingly, we conducted field sediment analyses, combined with simulation experiments of soil column inundation/submergence lasting for four months. Enrichment of Fe-(hydr)oxides in surface sediments was verified to be the main reason for limitations in regional P availability in water bodies. Iron (Fe), but not its bound P, moved upward from the submerged soil column to the surface. However, an increasing upward gradient in the contents of organic matter (OM), total nitrogen (N), total phosphorus (TP), and different P fractions was caused by spatial heterogeneity in soil properties. Phosphorus was unable to migrate upward toward the surface sediments as envisioned, because of complex secondary reactions within soil minerals. Phosphorus bound to Fe and/or Al comprised over 50% of TP, which has important implications for local ecological rehabilitation and water conservation. PMID:24317161

  13. A Survey for the Prevalence of Salmonella in the California Agricultural and Wildlife Environments

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A survey for the prevalence of Salmonella enterica was done as part of an ongoing study to assess the prevalence of enteric foodborne pathogens in California agricultural and wildlife environments. A total of 2431 enrichment cultures derived from samples of soil, sediment, water, growing leafy prod...

  14. Second biomass conference of the Americas: Energy, environment, agriculture, and industry. Proceedings

    SciTech Connect

    1995-01-01

    This volume provides the proceedings for the Second Biomass Conference of the Americas: Energy, Environment, Agriculture, and Industry which was held August 21-24, 1995. The volume contains copies of full papers as provided by the researchers. Individual papers were separately indexed and abstracted for the database.

  15. Ecological risk assessment of water environment for Luanhe River Basin based on relative risk model.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jingling; Chen, Qiuying; Li, Yongli

    2010-11-01

    The relative risk model (RRM) was applied in regional ecological risk assessments successfully. In this study, the RRM was developed through increasing the data of risk source and introducing the source-stressor-habitat exposure filter (SSH), the endpoint-habitat exposure filter (EH) and the stressor-endpoint effect filter (SE) to reflect the meaning of exposure and effect more explicit. Water environment which include water quality, water quantity and aquatic ecosystems was selected as the ecological risk assessment endpoints. The Luanhe River Basin located in the North China was selected as model case. The results showed that there were three low risk regions, one medium risk region and two high risk regions in the Luanhe River Basin. The results also indicated habitat destruction was the largest stressor with the risk scores as high as 11.87 for the Luanhe water environment, the second was oxygen consuming organic pollutants (9.28) and the third was nutrients (7.78). So these three stressors were the main influencing factors of the ecological pressure in the study area. Furthermore, animal husbandry was the biggest source with the risk scores as high as 20.38, the second was domestic sewage (14.00), and the third was polluting industry (9.96). For habitats, waters and farmland were enduring the bigger pressure and should be taken considerable attention. Water deterioration and ecological service values damaged were facing the biggest risk pressure, and secondly was biodiversity decreased and landscape fragmentation. PMID:20683654

  16. Ecology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Audubon Society, New York, NY.

    This set of teaching aids consists of nine Audubon Nature Bulletins, providing teachers and students with informational reading on various ecological topics. The bulletins have these titles: Schoolyard Laboratories, Owls and Predators, The Forest Community, Life in Freshwater Marshes, Camouflage in the Animal World, Life in the Desert, The…

  17. Ecologically asynchronous agricultural practice erodes sustainability of the Loess Plateau of China.

    PubMed

    Wang, Tianming; Wu, Jianguo; Kou, Xiaojun; Oliver, Chadwick; Mou, Pu; Ge, Jianping

    2010-06-01

    Sustainability of agricultural landscapes depends largely on land-use practices. As one of the most productive and widespread agricultural soils, loess is often deep and easily eroded, posing grand challenges for environmental sustainability around the world. One prime example is the Loess Plateau of China, which has been cultivated for more than 7500 years. Based on long-term data sets, this study demonstrates that the dominant agricultural practice, winter wheat cropping, continues to be the primary driver for the massive soil erosion and landscape modifications on the Loess Plateau. This traditional farming system is asynchronous with the dynamic rhythm between natural vegetation and climate in the region. In particular, the long summer fallow period for winter wheat fields is concurrent with the heavy-rainstorm season, which greatly accelerates soil erosion. Our finding indicates that common land-use practices that have lasted for thousands of years in China are not environmentally sustainable. Agriculture in this region has relied primarily on the continuous "mining" of the soil for the past several thousand years but does not have a one-thousand-year future because of myriad environmental and socioeconomic factors associated with soil erosion. To contain soil erosion and promote sustainability on the Loess Plateau, therefore, a change in the agricultural regime is needed to make sure that current and future agricultural practices follow the vegetation-climate rhythm. In addition, to achieve environmental, economic, and social sustainability in this region, multifunctional land-use planning is required to increase landscape diversity and functions (e.g., proper arrangement of crop fields, orchards, and protected areas). PMID:20597295

  18. Assessing the importance of agricultural management practices to reduce the ecological risk of pesticides

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The use of pesticides in agriculture, their potential to be transported beyond the intended target, and their possible risk to human and environmental health has been of public concern for many years. We utilized 5 years of field data from 3 vegetable production systems to evaluate the ability of ag...

  19. The environmental consequences of nuclear war (SCOPE 28), Vol. 2: Ecological, agricultural, and human effects

    SciTech Connect

    Harwell, M.A.; Hutchinson, T.C.

    1986-01-01

    Offerred in this book is an appraisal of the possible environmental consequences of nuclear war. It presents a consensus among leading scientists of the effects on climate, ecosystems, and food supply. Volume 2 reviews ecosystems structure and function relevant to nuclear war effects, plant and animal responses and recovery, agricultural productivity, vulnerability of world food production and storage, estimated population affected, and research needs.

  20. Gene flow in the green mirid, Creontiades dilutus (Hemiptera: Miridae), across arid and agricultural environments with different host plant species

    PubMed Central

    Hereward, J P; Walter, G H; DeBarro, P J; Lowe, A J; Riginos, C

    2013-01-01

    Creontiades dilutus (Stål), the green mirid, is a polyphagous herbivorous insect endemic to Australia. Although common in the arid interior of Australia and found on several native host plants that are spatially and temporally ephemeral, green mirids also reach pest levels on several crops in eastern Australia. These host-associated dynamics, distributed across a large geographic area, raise questions as to whether (1) seasonal fluctuations in population size result in genetic bottlenecks and drift, (2) arid and agricultural populations are genetically isolated, and (3) the use of different host plants results in genetic differentiation. We sequenced a mitochondrial COI fragment from individuals collected over 24 years and screened microsatellite variation from 32 populations across two seasons. The predominance of a single COI haplotype and negative Tajima D in samples from 2006/2007 fit with a population expansion model. In the older collections (1983 and 1993), a different haplotype is most prevalent, consistent with successive population contractions and expansions. Microsatellite data indicates recent migration between inland sites and coastal crops and admixture in several populations. Altogether, the data suggest that long-distance dispersal occurs between arid and agricultural regions, and this, together with fluctuations in population size, leads to temporally dynamic patterns of genetic differentiation. Host-associated differentiation is evident between mirids sampled from plants in the genus Cullen (Fabaceae), the primary host, and alternative host plant species growing nearby in arid regions. Our results highlight the importance of jointly assessing natural and agricultural environments in understanding the ecology of pest insects. PMID:23610626

  1. Cancer: an emergent property of disturbed resource-rich environments? Ecology meets personalized medicine

    PubMed Central

    Ducasse, Hugo; Arnal, Audrey; Vittecoq, Marion; Daoust, Simon P; Ujvari, Beata; Jacqueline, Camille; Tissot, Tazzio; Ewald, Paul; Gatenby, Robert A; King, Kayla C; Bonhomme, François; Brodeur, Jacques; Renaud, François; Solary, Eric; Roche, Benjamin; Thomas, Frédéric

    2015-01-01

    For an increasing number of biologists, cancer is viewed as a dynamic system governed by evolutionary and ecological principles. Throughout most of human history, cancer was an uncommon cause of death and it is generally accepted that common components of modern culture, including increased physiological stresses and caloric intake, favor cancer development. However, the precise mechanisms for this linkage are not well understood. Here, we examine the roles of ecological and physiological disturbances and resource availability on the emergence of cancer in multicellular organisms. We argue that proliferation of ‘profiteering phenotypes’ is often an emergent property of disturbed, resource-rich environments at all scales of biological organization. We review the evidence for this phenomenon, explore it within the context of malignancy, and discuss how this ecological framework may offer a theoretical background for novel strategies of cancer prevention. This work provides a compelling argument that the traditional separation between medicine and evolutionary ecology remains a fundamental limitation that needs to be overcome if complex processes, such as oncogenesis, are to be completely understood. PMID:26136819

  2. Interplay between environment, agriculture and infectious diseases of poverty: case studies in China.

    PubMed

    Yang, Guo-Jing; Utzinger, Jürg; Zhou, Xiao-Nong

    2015-01-01

    Changes in the natural environment and agricultural systems induced by economic and industrial development, including population dynamics (growth, urbanization, migration), are major causes resulting in the persistence, emergence and re-emergence of infectious diseases in developing countries. In the face of rapid demographic, economic and social transformations, the People's Republic of China (P.R. China) is undergoing unprecedented environmental and agricultural change. We review emerging and re-emerging diseases such as schistosomiasis, dengue, avian influenza, angiostrongyliasis and soil-transmitted helminthiasis that have occurred in P.R. China due to environmental and agricultural change. This commentary highlights the research priorities and the response strategies, namely mitigation and adaptation, undertaken to eliminate the resurgence of those infectious diseases. PMID:23906612

  3. Analysis agriculture's impact in a system of lakes on a karst environment with tropical climate.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olea Olea, Selene; Escolero Fuentes, Oscar

    2015-04-01

    This paper has as main object to analyze the impact of agriculture in the water quality of the "Lagos de Montebello" area; which is located in the Southeast of Mexico. This area is prominent by its tropical climate and a karstic environment. The issue arises in a lake system affected by pollution in the later years, which has turned its former clear water into a highly sedimented muddy water in the topographically lower terrains while no polluted on the higher ones; therefore it is intended to determine if the rise in agricultural activity in the lower terrains has induced this phenomenon. The impact of agriculture has been historically studied in temperate climates with karstic environments; nevertheless it has not been very well studied in tropical climates; which are the reason of this proposal to perform a study to analyze the impact of the intensive agriculture running in the area. To develop this project we studied the area regarding to the types of crops that has being established in the zone, being mostly tomato, corn, and bean; and the fertilizers and pesticides applied to them. A groundwater monitoring plan was designed with a variety of phases such as: piezometers building, measurement of groundwater levels, measurement of field parameters, with a two months intervals (Ph, temperature, electric conductivity, total dissolved solids), and water samplings for laboratory analysis (major ions, nutrients, total organic carbon, pesticides) at twice a year, once during rainy season and then on drought. The rates of pollution agents infiltration depends on the type of soil retention and volume of water. The materials found in the soil by the piezometers are clay, silt, sand and variations between them. We determined that the geochemical qualities of the groundwater vary from calcic bicarbonate to calcic sulfated. The results reached with this monitoring provides a preliminary diagnosis on the possible causes and other implications that intensive agriculture in a

  4. Perennial grasses for energy and conservation: Evaluating some ecological agricultural, and economic issues

    SciTech Connect

    Downing, M.; Walsh, M.; McLaughlin, S.

    1995-11-01

    Perennial prairie grasses offer many advantages to the developing biofuels industry. High yielding varieties of native prairie grasses such as switchgrass, which combine lower levels of nutrient demand, diverse geographical growing range, high net energy yields and high soil and water conservation potential indicate that these grasses could and should supplement annual row crops such as corn in developing alternative fuels markets. Favorable net energy returns, increased soil erosion prevention, and a geographically diverse land base that can incorporate energy grasses into conventional farm practices will provide direct benefits to local and regional farm economies and lead to accelerated commercialization of conversion technologies. Displacement of row crops with perennial grasses will have major agricultural, economic, sociologic and cross-market implications. Thus, perennial grass production for biofuels offers significant economic advantages to a national energy strategy which considers both agricultural and environmental issues.

  5. Specific and sensitive detection of Alcaligenes species from an agricultural environment.

    PubMed

    Nakano, Miyo; Niwa, Masumi; Nishimura, Norihiro

    2013-03-01

    A quantitative real-time PCR assay to specifically detect and quantify the genus Alcaligenes in samples from the agricultural environment, such as vegetables and farming soils, was developed. The minimum detection sensitivity was 106 fg of pure culture DNA, corresponding to DNA extracted from two cells of Alcaligenes faecalis. To evaluate the detection limit of A. faecalis, serially diluted genomic DNA from this organism was mixed with DNA extracted from soil and vegetables and then a standard curve was constructed. It was found that Alcaligenes species are present in the plant phytosphere at levels 10(2)-10(4) times lower than those in soil. The approach presented here will be useful for tracking or quantifying species of the genus Alcaligenes in the agricultural environment. PMID:23489084

  6. Regional estimates of ecological services derived from U.S. Department of Agriculture conservation programs in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Faulkner, Stephen P.; Baldwin, Michael J.; Barrow, Wylie C.; Waddle, Hardin; Keeland, Bobby D.; Walls, Susan C.; James, Dale; Moorman, Tom

    2010-01-01

    The degree to which these conservation practices can restore ecosystem functions and services is not well known. This project was initiated to quantify existing ecological services derived from USDA conservation practices in the MAV as part of the USDA Conservation Effects Assessment Project, Wetlands Component (CEAP-Wetlands). The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in collaboration with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, the USDA Farm Service Agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Ducks Unlimited, collected data on soils, vegetation, nitrogen cycling, migratory birds, and amphibians from 88 different sites between 2006 and 2008. Results from restored WRP sites were compared to baseline data from active agricultural cropland (AG) to evaluate changes in ecosystem services.

  7. The use of body condition and haematology to detect widespread threatening processes in sleepy lizards (Tiliqua rugosa) in two agricultural environments

    PubMed Central

    Smyth, Anita K.; Smee, Elizabeth; Godfrey, Stephanie S.; Crowther, Mathew; Phalen, David

    2014-01-01

    Agricultural practices, including habitat alteration and application of agricultural chemicals, can impact wildlife resulting in their decline. Determining which of these practices are contributing to declines is essential if the declines are to be reversed. In this study, the health of two geographically separated sleepy lizard (Tiliqua rugosa) populations was compared between a rangeland environment and cropping environment using linear body size index (LBSI) and haematology. Animals in the cropping site were smaller, suggesting genetic differences as the result of geographical isolation. The animals in the cropping site had a lower LBSI and many were experiencing a regenerative anaemia. The anaemia was postulated to be the cause of the low LBSI. The anaemia appeared to be the result of haemolysis and was likely to be caused by exposure to agricultural chemicals applied in the cropping site but not the rangeland site. Elevated white blood cell counts in lizards in the rangeland site suggested that they were experiencing an inflammatory disease of possible ecological significance. Together, these results demonstrate the value of combining physical and haematological parameters when studying the impact of agricultural practices on wildlife. They also show that reptiles may be useful as sentinel species for livestock and humans. PMID:26064571

  8. Ground-Based Robotic Sensing of an Agricultural Sub-Canopy Environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burns, A.; Peschel, J.

    2015-12-01

    Airborne remote sensing is a useful method for measuring agricultural crop parameters over large areas; however, the approach becomes limited to above-canopy characterization as a crop matures due to reduced visual access of the sub-canopy environment. During the growth cycle of an agricultural crop, such as soybeans, the micrometeorology of the sub-canopy environment can significantly impact pod development and reduced yields may result. Larger-scale environmental conditions aside, the physical structure and configuration of the sub-canopy matrix will logically influence local climate conditions for a single plant; understanding the state and development of the sub-canopy could inform crop models and improve best practices but there are currently no low-cost methods to quantify the sub-canopy environment at a high spatial and temporal resolution over an entire growth cycle. This work describes the modification of a small tactical and semi-autonomous, ground-based robotic platform with sensors capable of mapping the physical structure of an agricultural row crop sub-canopy; a soybean crop is used as a case study. Point cloud data representing the sub-canopy structure are stored in LAS format and can be used for modeling and visualization in standard GIS software packages.

  9. SOLERAS - Solar Controlled Environment Agriculture Project. Final report, Volume 1. Project summary

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1985-12-30

    A summary of the Solar Controlled Environment Agriculture Project is presented. The design of the greenhouses include transparent double pane glass roof with channels for fluid between the panes, inner pane tinted and double pane extruded acrylic aluminized mylar shade and diffuser. Solar energy technologies provide power for water desalination, for pumping irrigation water, and for cooling and heating the controlled environment space so that crops can grow in arid lands. The project is a joint effort between the United States and Saudi Arabia. (BCS)

  10. Implications of Transgenic Corn Cultivation on the Ecology of Agricultural Streams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vantull, L.; Swan, C.

    2005-05-01

    Corn has been genetically-modified by introducing a gene that codes for a toxic protein from a bacterium, Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), into corn DNA. Genetically-modified crops provide internal resistance to herbivorous pests like the European Corn Borer (Ostrina nubilalis). With the use of transgenic crops on the rise, research is being done to consider its environmental effects on non-target taxa and ecosystems. Stream ecosystems occupy topographic low points in the landscape and thus are affected by agricultural land use. In many temperate streams, the main energy source is from terrestrial organic detritus, mostly in the form of dead leaves and wood, delivered via wind or natural leaf fall. Stream insects consume this material, contributing to organic matter breakdown and creating biomass for predators. With the heightened practice of no-till agriculture, crop detritus remaining on fields as a by-product of harvesting has been documented to enter adjacent streams. Given insect larvae are critical to the transformation of energy from detritus to higher trophic levels, we explored the implications of detritus containing Bt on both insect performance and litter decay in six streams. The presence of Bt in senesced corn leaf litter resulted in significant reductions in both insect feeding rate and organic matter breakdown. Furthermore, colonization of corn litter containing Bt by detritivorous insects was significantly reduced when compared to non-Bt isoline litter controls. We conclude that detritus generated from harvesting transgenic corn negatively impacts insect feeding behavior and colonization dynamics, and may contribute substantially to the reduction of organic matter breakdown rates in agricultural streams.

  11. Agricultural and ecological implications of interspecific social behavioral plasticity in entomopathogenic nematodes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Entomopathogenic nematodes, effective biocontrol agents of subterranean insect pests, are obligate lethal parasitoids of insect larvae that navigate a chemically complex belowground environment while interacting with their insect hosts, plants, and each other. Exposure to constitutive and herbivore ...

  12. Ants in the Hospital Environment: Ecological Parameters as Support for Future Management Strategies.

    PubMed

    de Castro, M M; Almeida, M; Fernandes, E F; Prezoto, F

    2016-06-01

    Urban ants cause many losses to human society, and they represent a potential threat to public health in hospital environments due to their ability to transport pathogenic organisms. We evaluated several ecological parameters (richness, abundance, constancy, and evenness), their fluctuation during the seasons, and identified species that occur outside the natural range of the ant fauna of a hospital environment, as support for future management strategies. Ant sampling was held every 2 months by using attractive bait traps in the morning and evening, leading to the sampling of 10,342 individuals belonging to six subfamilies and 26 species. Myrmicinae showed higher richness (n = 12) and abundance (n = 7336), with Pheidole susannae Forel being the most abundant species. The most constant species (100%) were P. susannae and Tetramorium simillimum (Smith). Among the most abundant species, Monomorium floricola (Jerdon) and Tapinoma melanocephalum (Fabricius) are considered as species that occur outside the natural range. No difference was observed between species richness and abundance. The Shannon (2.247), dominance (0.1395) and evenness indices (0.6897) indicated a stability of the community throughout the year with high diversity and low dominance of species. The sampled data constitute a new series of information on a long-term ecological approach to support future management strategies in hospital environments and allow for more efficient pest control. PMID:26883447

  13. Adaptation Options for Land Drainage Systems Towards Sustainable Agriculture and Environment: A Czech Perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kulhavý, Zbyněk; Fučík, Petr

    2015-04-01

    In this paper, issues of agricultural drainage systems are introduced and discussed from the views of their former, current and future roles and functioning in the Czech Republic (CR). A methodologically disparate survey was done on thirty-nine model localities in CR with different intensity and state of land drainage systems, aimed at description of commonly occurred problems and possible adaptations of agricultural drainage as perceived by farmers, land owners, landscape managers or by protective water management. The survey was focused on technical state of drainage, fragmentation of land ownership within drained areas as well as on possible conflicts between agricultural and environmental interests in a landscape. Achieved results confirmed that there is obviously an increasing need to reassess some functions of prevailingly single-purpose agricultural drainage systems. Drainage intensity and detected unfavourable technical state of drainage systems as well as the risks connected with the anticipated climate change from the view of possible water scarcity claims for a complex solution. An array of adaptation options for agricultural drainage systems is presented, aiming at enhancement of water retention time and improvement of water quality. It encompasses additional flow-controlling measures on tiles or ditches, or facilities for making selected parts of a drainage system inoperable in order to retain or slow down the drainage runoff, to establish water accumulation zones and to enhance water self-cleaning processes. However, it was revealed that the question of landowner parcels fragmentation on drained land in CR would dramatically complicate design and realization of these measures. Presented solutions and findings are propounded with a respect to contemporary and future state policies and international strategies for sustainable agriculture, water management and environment.

  14. Utilization of farm animal genetic resources in a changing agro-ecological environment in the Nordic countries.

    PubMed

    Kantanen, Juha; Løvendahl, Peter; Strandberg, Erling; Eythorsdottir, Emma; Li, Meng-Hua; Kettunen-Præbel, Anne; Berg, Peer; Meuwissen, Theo

    2015-01-01

    Livestock production is the most important component of northern European agriculture and contributes to and will be affected by climate change. Nevertheless, the role of farm animal genetic resources in the adaptation to new agro-ecological conditions and mitigation of animal production's effects on climate change has been inadequately discussed despite there being several important associations between animal genetic resources and climate change issues. The sustainability of animal production systems and future food security require access to a wide diversity of animal genetic resources. There are several genetic questions that should be considered in strategies promoting adaptation to climate change and mitigation of environmental effects of livestock production. For example, it may become important to choose among breeds and even among farm animal species according to their suitability to a future with altered production systems. Some animals with useful phenotypes and genotypes may be more useful than others in the changing environment. Robust animal breeds with the potential to adapt to new agro-ecological conditions and tolerate new diseases will be needed. The key issue in mitigation of harmful greenhouse gas effects induced by livestock production is the reduction of methane (CH4) emissions from ruminants. There are differences in CH4 emissions among breeds and among individual animals within breeds that suggest a potential for improvement in the trait through genetic selection. Characterization of breeds and individuals with modern genomic tools should be applied to identify breeds that have genetically adapted to marginal conditions and to get critical information for breeding and conservation programs for farm animal genetic resources. We conclude that phenotyping and genomic technologies and adoption of new breeding approaches, such as genomic selection introgression, will promote breeding for useful characters in livestock species. PMID:25767477

  15. Utilization of farm animal genetic resources in a changing agro-ecological environment in the Nordic countries

    PubMed Central

    Kantanen, Juha; Løvendahl, Peter; Strandberg, Erling; Eythorsdottir, Emma; Li, Meng-Hua; Kettunen-Præbel, Anne; Berg, Peer; Meuwissen, Theo

    2015-01-01

    Livestock production is the most important component of northern European agriculture and contributes to and will be affected by climate change. Nevertheless, the role of farm animal genetic resources in the adaptation to new agro-ecological conditions and mitigation of animal production’s effects on climate change has been inadequately discussed despite there being several important associations between animal genetic resources and climate change issues. The sustainability of animal production systems and future food security require access to a wide diversity of animal genetic resources. There are several genetic questions that should be considered in strategies promoting adaptation to climate change and mitigation of environmental effects of livestock production. For example, it may become important to choose among breeds and even among farm animal species according to their suitability to a future with altered production systems. Some animals with useful phenotypes and genotypes may be more useful than others in the changing environment. Robust animal breeds with the potential to adapt to new agro-ecological conditions and tolerate new diseases will be needed. The key issue in mitigation of harmful greenhouse gas effects induced by livestock production is the reduction of methane (CH4) emissions from ruminants. There are differences in CH4 emissions among breeds and among individual animals within breeds that suggest a potential for improvement in the trait through genetic selection. Characterization of breeds and individuals with modern genomic tools should be applied to identify breeds that have genetically adapted to marginal conditions and to get critical information for breeding and conservation programs for farm animal genetic resources. We conclude that phenotyping and genomic technologies and adoption of new breeding approaches, such as genomic selection introgression, will promote breeding for useful characters in livestock species. PMID:25767477

  16. Analysis of Ecological Quality of the Environment and Influencing Factors in China during 2005–2010

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Shi-Xin; Yao, Yao; Zhou, Yi

    2014-01-01

    Since the twentieth century, China has been facing various kinds of environmental problems. It is necessary to evaluate and analyze the ecological status of the environment over China, which is of great importance for environmental protection measures. In this article, an Eco-environmental Quality Index (EQI) model is established using national remote sensing land-use data, NDVI data from MODIS and other statistical data. The model is used to evaluate the ecological status over China during 2005, 2008 and 2010, and spatial and temporal variations in EQI are analyzed during the period 2005–2010. We also discuss important factors affecting ecological quality, with special emphasis on meteorological conditions (including rainfall and sunshine duration) and anthropogenic factors (including normalized population and gross domestic product densities). The results show that, EQIs in northwestern China are generally lower than those in the southeast of the country, presenting a ladder-like distribution. There is significant correlation between EQI, rainfall and sunshine duration. Population density and GDP also have some relation to EQI. On the whole, the environmental quality results showed little variation during 2005–2010, with national average EQIs of 54.86, 55.07 and 54.43 in 2005, 2008 and 2010, respectively. During 2005–2010, differences in EQI were observed at the local level, but those at the provincial level were small. PMID:24487456

  17. Analysis of ecological quality of the environment and influencing factors in China during 2005-2010.

    PubMed

    Wang, Shi-Xin; Yao, Yao; Zhou, Yi

    2014-02-01

    Since the twentieth century, China has been facing various kinds of environmental problems. It is necessary to evaluate and analyze the ecological status of the environment over China, which is of great importance for environmental protection measures. In this article, an Eco-environmental Quality Index (EQI) model is established using national remote sensing land-use data, NDVI data from MODIS and other statistical data. The model is used to evaluate the ecological status over China during 2005, 2008 and 2010, and spatial and temporal variations in EQI are analyzed during the period 2005-2010. We also discuss important factors affecting ecological quality, with special emphasis on meteorological conditions (including rainfall and sunshine duration) and anthropogenic factors (including normalized population and gross domestic product densities). The results show that, EQIs in northwestern China are generally lower than those in the southeast of the country, presenting a ladder-like distribution. There is significant correlation between EQI, rainfall and sunshine duration. Population density and GDP also have some relation to EQI. On the whole, the environmental quality results showed little variation during 2005-2010, with national average EQIs of 54.86, 55.07 and 54.43 in 2005, 2008 and 2010, respectively. During 2005-2010, differences in EQI were observed at the local level, but those at the provincial level were small. PMID:24487456

  18. agINFRA: a research data hub for agriculture, food and the environment

    PubMed Central

    Drakos, Andreas; Protonotarios, Vassilis; Manouselis, Nikos

    2015-01-01

    The agINFRA project (www.aginfra.eu) was a European Commission funded project under the 7th Framework Programme that aimed to introduce agricultural scientific communities to the vision of open and participatory data-intensive science. agINFRA has now evolved into the European hub for data-powered research on agriculture, food and the environment, serving the research community through multiple roles. Working on enhancing the interoperability between heterogeneous data sources, the agINFRA project has left a set of grid- and cloud- based services that can be reused by future initiatives and adopted by existing ones, in order to facilitate the dissemination of agricultural research, educational and other types of data. On top of that, agINFRA provided a set of domain-specific recommendations for the publication of agri-food research outcomes. This paper discusses the concept of the agINFRA project and presents its major outcomes, as adopted by existing initiatives activated in the context of agricultural research and education. PMID:26339472

  19. Reusable Software and Open Data Incorporate Ecological Understanding To Optimize Agriculture and Improveme Crops.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    LeBauer, D.

    2015-12-01

    Humans need a secure and sustainable food supply, and science can help. We have an opportunity to transform agriculture by combining knowledge of organisms and ecosystems to engineer ecosystems that sustainably produce food, fuel, and other services. The challenge is that the information we have. Measurements, theories, and laws found in publications, notebooks, measurements, software, and human brains are difficult to combine. We homogenize, encode, and automate the synthesis of data and mechanistic understanding in a way that links understanding at different scales and across domains. This allows extrapolation, prediction, and assessment. Reusable components allow automated construction of new knowledge that can be used to assess, predict, and optimize agro-ecosystems. Developing reusable software and open-access databases is hard, and examples will illustrate how we use the Predictive Ecosystem Analyzer (PEcAn, pecanproject.org), the Biofuel Ecophysiological Traits and Yields database (BETYdb, betydb.org), and ecophysiological crop models to predict crop yield, decide which crops to plant, and which traits can be selected for the next generation of data driven crop improvement. A next step is to automate the use of sensors mounted on robots, drones, and tractors to assess plants in the field. The TERRA Reference Phenotyping Platform (TERRA-Ref, terraref.github.io) will provide an open access database and computing platform on which researchers can use and develop tools that use sensor data to assess and manage agricultural and other terrestrial ecosystems. TERRA-Ref will adopt existing standards and develop modular software components and common interfaces, in collaboration with researchers from iPlant, NEON, AgMIP, USDA, rOpenSci, ARPA-E, many scientists and industry partners. Our goal is to advance science by enabling efficient use, reuse, exchange, and creation of knowledge.

  20. Childhood cancer and agricultural pesticide use: an ecologic study in California.

    PubMed Central

    Reynolds, Peggy; Von Behren, Julie; Gunier, Robert B; Goldberg, Debbie E; Hertz, Andrew; Harnly, Martha E

    2002-01-01

    We analyzed population-based childhood cancer incidence rates throughout California in relation to agricultural pesticide use. During 1988-1994, a total of 7,143 cases of invasive cancer were diagnosed among children under 15 years of age in California. Building on the availability of high-quality population-based cancer incidence information from the California Cancer Registry, population data from the U.S. Census, and uniquely comprehensive agricultural pesticide use information from California's Department of Pesticide Regulation, we used a geographic information system to assign summary population, exposure, and outcome attributes at the block group level. We used Poisson regression to estimate rate ratios (RRs) by pesticide use density adjusted for race/ethnicity, age, and sex for all types of childhood cancer combined and separately for the leukemias and central nervous system cancers. We generally found no association between pesticide use density and childhood cancer incidence rates. The RR for all cancers was 0.95 [95% confidence interval (CI), 0.80-1.13] for block groups in the 90th percentile and above for use of pesticides classified as probable carcinogens, compared to the block groups with use of < 1 lb/mi(2). The RRs were similar for leukemia and central nervous system cancers. Childhood leukemia rates were significantly elevated (RR = 1.48; 95% CI, 1.03-2.13) in block groups with the highest use of propargite, although we saw no dose-response trend with increasing exposure categories. Results were unchanged by further adjustment for socioeconomic status and urbanization. PMID:11882484

  1. The effects of the environment and ecology projects on lake management and water quality.

    PubMed

    Koç, Cengiz

    2008-11-01

    In this study, the characteristics, benefits, and effects of the environment and ecology project, which has been implemented in Turkey for the first time to restore the natural life that has been spoilt and the ecological balance of Lake Bafa located in Great Meander Basin, are searched. Moreover, the water samples taken from the stations that were spotted in the lake have been analyzed for the physical and chemical changes taking place in water quality before and after the project. The water cycle occurring as a result of giving water that was raised in Great Meander River by the Rubber regulator, which is the most important element of the project, through the Serçin inlet and feeder channel; and draining the saline and low-quality water to the river bed of the Great Meander, will improve the water quality, the natural life, and the ecological balance of the lake in time. Thanks to the water given to the lake within the scope of project, the salinity of the lake water decreased from 25,500 to 22,500 mmhos cm( - 1). The electrical conductivity, Na+, Mg+2, Ca+2, Cl(-), CO3(-2), HCO3(-), and the amount of the organic substances were found as over the appropriate values for fishery. Besides, the decreases in the amounts of NO3(-), HN3(-) and PO4(-3) affect the living beings in the lake negatively. In addition, the measures to take are specified, so that the natural life of the Lake and the ecological balance can renew themselves within a short time. PMID:18604633

  2. Ecological intensification of cereal production systems: Yield potential, soil quality, and precision agriculture

    PubMed Central

    Cassman, Kenneth G.

    1999-01-01

    Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), rice (Oryza sativa L.), and maize (Zea mays L.) provide about two-thirds of all energy in human diets, and four major cropping systems in which these cereals are grown represent the foundation of human food supply. Yield per unit time and land has increased markedly during the past 30 years in these systems, a result of intensified crop management involving improved germplasm, greater inputs of fertilizer, production of two or more crops per year on the same piece of land, and irrigation. Meeting future food demand while minimizing expansion of cultivated area primarily will depend on continued intensification of these same four systems. The manner in which further intensification is achieved, however, will differ markedly from the past because the exploitable gap between average farm yields and genetic yield potential is closing. At present, the rate of increase in yield potential is much less than the expected increase in demand. Hence, average farm yields must reach 70–80% of the yield potential ceiling within 30 years in each of these major cereal systems. Achieving consistent production at these high levels without causing environmental damage requires improvements in soil quality and precise management of all production factors in time and space. The scope of the scientific challenge related to these objectives is discussed. It is concluded that major scientific breakthroughs must occur in basic plant physiology, ecophysiology, agroecology, and soil science to achieve the ecological intensification that is needed to meet the expected increase in food demand. PMID:10339523

  3. Protection of the environment: how to position radioprotection in an ecological risk assessment perspective.

    PubMed

    Bréchignac, François

    2003-05-20

    The development of a system capable of ensuring adequate protection of the environment from the harmful effects of ionising radiation is at present particularly debated. This need comes both from a restrictive consideration of the environment in the so far existing system for human radioprotection, and the planetary-wide growing concerns about man's technogenic influence on his environment which have yielded 'sustainability' and 'precaution' as guiding principles for environmental protection. Whilst evolving from the field of human radioprotection, the radioprotection of the environment needs to be discussed in a wider perspective, with particular emphasis on the most advanced concepts which emerge from the efforts to deriving improved approaches to Ecological Risk Assessment. For the sake of protection, the environment is traditionally addressed through its biota since these are the sensitive components of ecosystems. Similarities between man and biotas reflect the ubiquitous mechanistic effects of radiation on life which disrupt molecules. However, important differences also arise in a number of perspectives, from the large spectrum of different species of biotas to their hierarchical self-organisation as interacting populations within ecosystems. Altogether, these aspects are prone to promote complex arrays of different responses to stress which lie beyond the scope of human radioprotection due to its focus on individuals of a single species. By means of selected illustrations, this paper reviews and discusses the current challenges faced in proper identification of measurable effect endpoints (stochastic/deterministic, individual/population- or ecosystem-relevant), dose limits in chronic exposure (or levels of concern), and their consideration according to radiation type (RBE) and interactions with other contaminants (synergies/antagonisms) which represent critical gaps in knowledge. The system of human radioprotection has conceptually been targeted at limiting

  4. Sediment characteristics and benthic ecological status in contrasting marine environments of subtropical Hong Kong.

    PubMed

    Chan, Alice K Y; Xu, Wen-Zhe; Liu, Xiao-Shou; Cheung, Siu Gin; Shin, Paul K S

    2016-02-15

    Sediment characteristics and benthic communities on a finer sampling scale in four contrasting environments in subtropical Hong Kong were analyzed in summer and winter 2012. In two harbour habitats which suffered from historic sewage pollution or hypoxic events, organic carbon, nutrient and trace metal content in the sediment were significantly higher than that in an offshore area and a marine reserve. The relatively low organic and nutrient content in the offshore habitat could be resulted from enhanced resuspension of such materials from the seabed owing to intense water mixing and disturbance caused by bottom trawling. The biotic indices AMBI and M-AMBI were shown to be useful in assessing the benthic ecological status of these habitats. Such indices can also be more sensitive than sediment physico-chemical parameters in differentiating the response of macrofauna to seasonal changes in the benthic environment. PMID:26749224

  5. Occurrence and Distribution of Agricultural Pesticides and Transport Modeling in Surface and Subsurface Environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chu, X.; Marino, M. A.

    2007-12-01

    The use of a variety of pesticides has increased dramatically during the past decades to improve agricultural efficiency and productivity. However, these agricultural chemicals are often washed to surface waters by runoff and leached through the vadose zone to ground water, thereby polluting waters and threatening human health as well as aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. It is of particular importance to develop effective modeling tools to assess the induced nonpoint source pollution, to regulate the use of agricultural pesticides, and to circumvent further deterioration in water quality. Different physically-based pesticide transport models, ranging from simple analytical models to semidiscrete and more rigorous numerical models, are discussed. In particular, the effects of use of pesticides on their occurrence and distribution in surface and subsurface environments are examined in this study. A windows-based integrated pesticide transport model (IPTM) is used to simulate three-phase pesticide transport and transformation and quantify spatial and temporal distributions in a coupled canopy-soil system as well as pesticide loading potential to the adjacent surface water through surface runoff and erosion. Five different pesticides (diazinon, 2,4-D acid, DBCP, simazine, and lindane) are examined. It is found that occurrence and distribution of pesticides in the environment are closely related to their use and determined by a series of pesticide transport and transformation processes. The occurrence and use of pesticides follow extremely complex and dynamic patterns that are affected by numerous factors related to their use and properties, hydrology, and agricultural activities. It is also found that changes in pesticide use (application quantity, frequency, timing, and method) may result in distinct environmental fate of pesticides in terms of their occurrence extent as well as spatial and temporal distributions.

  6. Exploring the co-evolution of marine ecology and environment in silico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ridgwell, A.

    2015-12-01

    Species do not live in isolation, but adapt and ultimately, evolve, in relationship with other species as well as with their chemical and physical environment. In the marine environment, this interaction is intimately two-way - the surface biogeochemical environment modulates the makeup of the pelagic ecosystem, yet at the same time, the ecosystem assemblage, by setting the strength of the biological pump and ultimately, in regulating the carbon and nutrient inventory of the ocean and atmospheric pCO2, influences the surface geochemical environment. Feedbacks, both negative and positive, must therefore exist between plankton ecology and global biogeochemical cycles. This has implications for understanding the geological record and particularly the response and recovery of marine ecosystems following major environmental perturbation, but also complicates making projections of future ocean changes. To address a coupled system such as this, new numerical tools are needed as traditional 'functional type' marine ecosystem models are generally incapable of accounting for short-term adaptation, let alone long-term evolution. What is needed is the combination of a plankton model able to simulate a highly diverse ecology plus 'genetic' mutation (changes in trait value(s)) and extinction, *and* an Earth system model capable of simulating long-term evolution of the climatology and geochemistry of the ocean. The Earth system model 'cGENIE' - http://mycgenie.seao2.org generally fills the second criteria, so for this presentation I will focus on the structure of the ecosystem model, the associated methodology, and numerical techniques for dealing with what will turn out to be an exceptionally large number of ocean tracers. If you are really lucky, there may even be some preliminary results :)

  7. Integrating mechanistic organism--environment interactions into the basic theory of community and evolutionary ecology.

    PubMed

    Baskett, Marissa L

    2012-03-15

    This paper presents an overview of how mechanistic knowledge of organism-environment interactions, including biomechanical interactions of heat, mass and momentum transfer, can be integrated into basic theoretical population biology through mechanistic functional responses that quantitatively describe how organisms respond to their physical environment. Integrating such functional responses into simple community and microevolutionary models allows scaling up of the organism-level understanding from biomechanics both ecologically and temporally. For community models, Holling-type functional responses for predator-prey interactions provide a classic example of the functional response affecting qualitative model dynamics, and recent efforts are expanding analogous models to incorporate environmental influences such as temperature. For evolutionary models, mechanistic functional responses dependent on the environment can serve as fitness functions in both quantitative genetic and game theoretic frameworks, especially those concerning function-valued traits. I present a novel comparison of a mechanistic fitness function based on thermal performance curves to a commonly used generic fitness function, which quantitatively differ in their predictions for response to environmental change. A variety of examples illustrate how mechanistic functional responses enhance model connections to biologically relevant traits and processes as well as environmental conditions and therefore have the potential to link theoretical and empirical studies. Sensitivity analysis of such models can provide biologically relevant insight into which parameters and processes are important to community and evolutionary responses to environmental change such as climate change, which can inform conservation management aimed at protecting response capacity. Overall, the distillation of detailed knowledge or organism-environment interactions into mechanistic functional responses in simple population

  8. Yanomamo ecology, population control, and their relationship to slash and burn agriculture.

    PubMed

    Owl, M Y

    1976-01-01

    Population control among the Yanomamo tribe of the Amazonian tropical rainforest is studied. 25% of male deaths are due to warfare. A male-female balance is achieved by the practice of infantcide, especially among female infants. The male:female ratio among the under-15 age group is 135:100, belying the tribe's contention that neither sex is more likely to be killed than the other. The major population controlffactor, however, is disease with about 54.2% of adult deaths due to malaria, and other communicable disease accounting for 11.7%. Other population controls are abortion and postnatal sex taboos, although the latter is for the most part overruled by the practice of infanticide for any child born while a previous child is still nursing. The intense intervillage warfare is increased by the shortage of women, resulting from female infanticide combined with polygamy and marriage alliances in which even unborn females are promised. Because there is war, male children are preferred and the cycle continues. Other observers, however, feel that the constant warfare is part of the need for new garden sites brought about by reliance on slash and burn agriculture. The author believes the shortage of women is just a side effect of population control occasioned by a protein shortage. PMID:12334855

  9. Object Detection for Agricultural and Construction Environments Using an Ultrasonic Sensor.

    PubMed

    Dvorak, J S; Stone, M L; Self, K P

    2016-04-01

    This study tested an ultrasonic sensor's ability to detect several objects commonly encountered in outdoor agricultural or construction environments: a water jug, a sheet of oriented strand board (OSB), a metalfence post, a human model, a wooden fence post, a Dracaena plant, a juniper plant, and a dog model. Tests were performed with each target object at distances from 0.01 to 3 m. Five tests were performed with each object at each location, and the sensor's ability to detect the object during each test was categorized as "undetected," "intermittent," "incorrect distance," or "good." Rigid objects that presented a larger surface area to the sensor, such as the water jug and OSB, were better detected than objects with a softer surface texture, which were occasionally not detected as the distance approached 3 m. Objects with extremely soft surface texture, such as the dog model, could be undetected at almost any distance from the sensor. The results of this testing should help designers offuture systems for outdoor environments, as the target objects tested can be found in nearly any agricultural or construction environment. PMID:27373060

  10. CosmoBon for studying wood formation under exotic gravitational environment for future space agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tomita-Yokotani, Kaori; Baba, Keiichi; Suzuki, Toshisada; Funada, Ryo; Nakamura, Teruko; Hashimoto, Hirofumi; Yamashita, Masamichi; Cosmobon, Jstwg

    We are proposing to raise woody plants in space for several applications and plant science. Japanese flowering cherry tree is one of a candidate for these studies. Mechanism behind sensing gravity and controlling shape of tree has been studied quite extensively. Even molecular mechanism for the response of plant against gravity has been investigated quite intensively for various species, woody plants are left behind. Morphology of woody branch growth is different from that of stem growth in herbs. Morphology in tree is strongly dominated by the secondary xylem formation. Nobody knows the tree shape grown under the space environment. If whole tree could be brought up to space as research materials, it might provide important scientific knowledge. Furthermore, trees produce excess oxygen, wooden materials for living cabin, and provide biomass for cultivating mushroom and insect as for the space agriculture. Excellent tree shapes which would be deeply related to wood formation improve quality of life under stressful environment in outer space. The serious problem would be their size. Bonsai is one of the Japanese traditional arts. We can study secondly xylem formation, wood formation, under exotic gravitational environment using Bonsai. "CosmoBon" is the small tree Bonsai for our space experiment. It has been recognized that the reaction wood in CosmoBon is formed similar to natural trees. Our goal is to examine feasibility to grow various species of trees in space as bioresource for space agriculture.

  11. Soil ecology and agricultural technology; An integrated approach towards improved soil management for sustainable farming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pulleman, Mirjam; Pérès, Guénola; Crittenden, Stephen; Heddadj, Djilali; Sukkel, Wijnand

    2014-05-01

    Intensive arable food production systems are in need of smart solutions that combine ecological knowledge and farm technology to maximize yields while protecting natural resources. The huge diversity of soil organisms and their interactions is of crucial importance for soil functions and ecosystem services, such as organic matter incorporation and break down, nutrient mineralization, soil structure formation, water regulation and disease and pest control. Soil management decisions that take into account the soil biodiversity and associated functions are thus essential to (i) maintain soil productivity in the long term, (ii) reduce the dependency on external inputs and non-renewables such as fossil fuels, and (iii) make agroecosystems more resilient against biotic and abiotic stresses. Organic farming systems and reduced tillage systems are two approaches that aim to increase soil biodiversity and general soil quality, through improved management of organic matter but differ in their emphasis on the use of chemical inputs for crop protection or soil disturbance, respectively. In North-western Europe experience with and knowledge of reduced tillage systems is still scarce, both in conventional and organic farming. Our study targeted both conventional and organic farming and aimed at 1) documenting reduced tillage practices within different agroecological contexts in NW Europe; 2) evaluating the effects of reduced tillage systems on soil biodiversity and soil ecosystem services; 3) increase understanding of agroecological factors that determine trade-offs between different ecosystem services. Earthworm species and nematode taxa were selected as indicator organisms to be studied for their known response to soil management and effects on soil functions. Additionally, soil organic matter, physical soil parameters and processes, and crop yields have been measured across multiple sites. Data have been collected over several cropping seasons in long term field experiments

  12. The New Learning Ecology of One-to-One Computing Environments: Preparing Teachers for Shifting Dynamics and Relationships

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Spires, Hiller A.; Oliver, Kevin; Corn, Jenifer

    2012-01-01

    Despite growing research and evaluation results on one-to-one computing environments, how these environments affect learning in schools remains underexamined. The purpose of this article is twofold: (a) to use a theoretical lens, namely a new learning ecology, to frame the dynamic changes as well as challenges that are introduced by a one-to-one…

  13. Emerging pollutants in the environment: present and future challenges in biomonitoring, ecological risks and bioremediation.

    PubMed

    Gavrilescu, Maria; Demnerová, Kateřina; Aamand, Jens; Agathos, Spiros; Fava, Fabio

    2015-01-25

    Emerging pollutants reach the environment from various anthropogenic sources and are distributed throughout environmental matrices. Although great advances have been made in the detection and analysis of trace pollutants during recent decades, due to the continued development and refinement of specific techniques, a wide array of undetected contaminants of emerging environmental concern need to be identified and quantified in various environmental components and biological tissues. These pollutants may be mobile and persistent in air, water, soil, sediments and ecological receptors even at low concentrations. Robust data on their fate and behaviour in the environment, as well as on threats to ecological and human health, are still lacking. Moreover, the ecotoxicological significance of some emerging micropollutants remains largely unknown, because satisfactory data to determine their risk often do not exist. This paper discusses the fate, behaviour, (bio)monitoring, environmental and health risks associated with emerging chemical (pharmaceuticals, endocrine disruptors, hormones, toxins, among others) and biological (bacteria, viruses) micropollutants in soils, sediments, groundwater, industrial and municipal wastewaters, aquaculture effluents, and freshwater and marine ecosystems, and highlights new horizons for their (bio)removal. Our study aims to demonstrate the imperative need to boost research and innovation for new and cost-effective treatment technologies, in line with the uptake, mode of action and consequences of each emerging contaminant. We also address the topic of innovative tools for the evaluation of the effects of toxicity on human health and for the prediction of microbial availability and degradation in the environment. Additionally, we consider the development of (bio)sensors to perform environmental monitoring in real-time mode. This needs to address multiple species, along with a more effective exploitation of specialised microbes or enzymes

  14. SOLERAS - Solar Controlled Environment Agriculture Project. Final report, Volume 6. Science Applications, Incorporated system analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1985-01-01

    This report summarizes the results of the systems analysis task for the conceptual design of a commercial size, solar powered, controlled environment agriculture system. The baseline greenhouse system consists of a 5-hectare growing facility utilizing an innovative fluid roof filter concept to provide temperature and humidity control. Fresh water for the system is produced by means of a reverse osmosis desalination unit and energy is provided by means of a solar photovoltaic array in conjunction with storage batteries and a power conditioning unit. The greenhouse environment is controlled via circulation of brackish groundwater in a closed system, which permits water recovery during dehumidification as well as CO/sub 2/ enrichment for increased crop productivity.

  15. Mussel farming in Maliakos Gulf and quality indicators of the marine environment: Good benthic below poor pelagic ecological status.

    PubMed

    Dimitriou, Panagiotis D; Karakassis, Ioannis; Pitta, Paraskevi; Tsagaraki, Tatiana Margo; Apostolaki, Eugenia T; Magiopoulos, Iordanis; Nikolioudakis, Nikolaos; Diliberto, Santi; Theodorou, John A; Tzovenis, Ioannis; Kagalou, Ifigenia; Beza, Paraskevi; Tsapakis, Manolis

    2015-12-30

    Biological and geochemical variables in the water column and sediments were monitored along a transect of a mussel farm located in a transitional environment in Maliakos Gulf, a semi-enclosed gulf in eastern Mediterranean. Analyses of water, sediment and macrofauna samples were used to calculate ecological status indicators in the context of the European Water Framework Directive. The water column ecological status was "Poor" or "Bad" showing little change with distance from the farm, but the ecological status of the benthic communities was found to be "Good," although there were quantitative changes in macrofaunal indices with distance from the farm. PMID:26478459

  16. Non-stationarity of "Nature's Limit" - Implications for Agriculture in Semi-arid Environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tozer, C.; Kiem, A.; Verdon-Kidd, D.

    2014-12-01

    "Rain follows the plow" was a theory that encouraged agricultural settlement in dryland areas in both the United States of America and Australia during the mid-1800s. Supporters of the theory believed that humans could master nature and alter the climate through cultivation of the soil. An opponent of this theory was George W. Goyder, who used vegetation in South Australia as an indicator to mark out the extent of the area's severe 1865 drought, effectively establishing "nature's limit" to reliable agriculture in South Australia. This limit became known as Goyder's Line and demarked the boundary between land suitable for agricultural pursuits (i.e. cropping) to the south and land only suitable for grazing in the State's arid north. Current cropping areas however extend north beyond this line, suggesting that either a) the line is not well defined, b) cropping is occurring on land considered 'non-viable' according to Goyder's Line or c) the line distinguishing where cropping is and is not viable varies on interannual to multidecadal timescales. In this study, the 220 mm growing season (April to October) rainfall isohyet is used as a proxy for Goyder's Line in order to assess its temporal and spatial variability. Using indices of the El Niño/Southern Oscillation, Indian Ocean variability, Southern Annular Mode and the Subtropical Ridge, it is shown that climate state significantly influences the location of the 220 mm growing season rainfall isohyet. This implies that the boundary between viable and non-viable cropping areas (i.e. Goyder's Line or "nature's limit") is non-stationary. These results also indicate the key influences on South Australia's climate and have important implications globally for agricultural practices operating in or bordering semi-arid environments.

  17. Genetic Diversity of Native Bradyrhizobia Isolated from Soybeans (Glycine max L.) in Different Agricultural-Ecological-Climatic Regions of India▿

    PubMed Central

    Appunu, Chinnaswamy; N′Zoue, Angèle; Laguerre, Gisèle

    2008-01-01

    Fifty isolates from root nodules of soybean plants sampled in five agricultural-ecological-climatic regions of India were analyzed by PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis of the 16S rRNA gene, the intergenic spacer region between the 16S and 23S rRNA genes (IGS), and the nifH and nodC genes. Eight haplotypes assigned to the Bradyrhizobium genus were identified, and the genetic diversity was conserved across regions. Sequence analyses of the IGS and the dnaK, glnII, recA, and nifH genes revealed three groups. One of them (26% of isolates) was assigned to Bradyrhizobium liaoningense. A second group (36% of isolates) was identified as B. yuanmingense but likely forms a new biovar able to nodulate soybean plants. The third lineage (38% of isolates) was different from all described Bradyrhizobium species but showed the same symbiotic genotype as B. liaoningense and B. japonicum bv. glycinearum. PMID:18676699

  18. Darkness-enhanced startle responses in ecologically valid environments: a virtual tunnel driving experiment.

    PubMed

    Mühlberger, Andreas; Wieser, Matthias J; Pauli, Paul

    2008-01-01

    Using the startle reflex methodology, researchers have shown that darkness, a phylogenetically relevant aversive context for humans, elicits fear responses. The present study replicated these findings in an ecologically valid situation, a virtual tunnel drive. Furthermore, the study focused on the question whether the darkness-enhanced startle response is modulated by an additional task involvement of the participants. Startle responses were assessed during virtual tunnel drives with darker and brighter sections. Participants once actively drove the virtual car and once passively sat in the car as a passenger. We found more negative feelings during darker parts of the virtual tunnel and during active driving. However, facilitated startle reactions in darkness were restricted to passive drives. Furthermore, correlation analyses revealed that darkness-enhanced startle modulation was more pronounced in participants with lower state anxiety. These results extend earlier findings in an experimental paradigm using ecologically valid virtual environments. Further research should use virtual reality paradigms to address context-dependent research questions. PMID:17950519

  19. Evidence for ecological matching of whole AM fungal communities to the local plant-soil environment.

    PubMed

    Ji, Baoming; Bentivenga, Stephen P; Casper, Brenda B

    2010-10-01

    The range of ecological roles exhibited by arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi depends on functional differences among naturally occurring local assemblages of AM species. While functional differences have been demonstrated among AM fungal species and among geographic isolates of the same species, almost nothing is known about functional differences among whole communities of naturally occurring AM fungi. In the greenhouse, we reciprocally transplanted whole AM fungal communities between plant-soil systems representing a serpentine grassland and a tallgrass prairie, using as hosts two grasses common to both systems. For Sorghastrum nutans, native fungi consistently enhanced plant growth more than fungi switched from the alternate system. For Schizachyrium scoparium, foreign and native fungi promoted plant growth similarly in both the serpentine and prairie systems. Thus, the use of foreign inoculum in restoration could change the relative performance, and potentially the competitive abilities, of co-occurring plant species. Moving AM fungal inocula into foreign environments also caused changes in the taxonomic composition of the resultant spore communities, demonstrating their response to environmental influences. These results provide strong evidence for functional differences among naturally occurring AM communities and suggest that a particular AM fungal community may be better matched ecologically to its local habitat than communities taken from other locations. PMID:21058563

  20. Improving World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates by Integrating NASA Remote Sensing Soil Moisture Data into USDA World Agricultural Outlook Board Decision Making Environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teng, W. L.; de Jeu, R. A.; Doraiswamy, P. C.; Kempler, S. J.; Shannon, H. D.

    2009-12-01

    A primary goal of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is to expand markets for U.S. agricultural products and support global economic development. The USDA World Agricultural Outlook Board (WAOB) supports this goal by developing monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) for the U.S. and major foreign producing countries. Because weather has a significant impact on crop progress, conditions, and production, WAOB prepares frequent agricultural weather assessments, in a GIS-based, Global Agricultural Decision Support Environment (GLADSE). The main objective of this project, thus, is to improve WAOB's estimates by integrating NASA remote sensing soil moisture observations and research results into GLADSE. Soil moisture is a primary data gap at WAOB. Soil moisture data, generated by the Land Parameter Retrieval Model (LPRM, developed by NASA GSFC and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) and customized to WAOB's requirements, will be directly integrated into GLADSE, as well as indirectly by first being integrated into USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS)'s Environmental Policy Integrated Climate (EPIC) crop model. The LPRM-enhanced EPIC will be validated using three major agricultural regions important to WAOB and then integrated into GLADSE. Project benchmarking will be based on retrospective analyses of WAOB's analog year comparisons. The latter are between a given year and historical years with similar weather patterns. WAOB is the focal point for economic intelligence within the USDA. Thus, improving WAOB's agricultural estimates by integrating NASA satellite observations and model outputs will visibly demonstrate the value of NASA resources and maximize the societal benefits of NASA investments.

  1. The Sensory Ecology of Ant Navigation: From Natural Environments to Neural Mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Knaden, Markus; Graham, Paul

    2016-03-11

    Animals moving through the world are surrounded by potential information. But the components of this rich array that they extract will depend on current behavioral requirements and the animal's own sensory apparatus. Here, we consider the types of information available to social hymenopteran insects, with a specific focus on ants. This topic has a long history and much is known about how ants and other insects use idiothetic information, sky compasses, visual cues, and odor trails. Recent research has highlighted how insects use other sensory information for navigation, such as the olfactory cues provided by the environment. These cues are harder to understand because they submit less easily to anthropomorphic analysis. Here, we take an ecological approach, considering first what information is available to insects, then how different cues might interact, and finally we discuss potential neural correlates of these behaviors. PMID:26527301

  2. Nocturnal light environments and species ecology: implications for nocturnal color vision in forests.

    PubMed

    Veilleux, Carrie C; Cummings, Molly E

    2012-12-01

    Although variation in the color of light in terrestrial diurnal and twilight environments has been well documented, relatively little work has examined the color of light in nocturnal habitats. Understanding the range and sources of variation in nocturnal light environments has important implications for nocturnal vision, particularly following recent discoveries of nocturnal color vision. In this study, we measured nocturnal irradiance in a dry forest/woodland and a rainforest in Madagascar over 34 nights. We found that a simple linear model including the additive effects of lunar altitude, lunar phase and canopy openness successfully predicted total irradiance flux measurements across 242 clear sky measurements (r=0.85, P<0.0001). However, the relationship between these variables and spectral irradiance was more complex, as interactions between lunar altitude, lunar phase and canopy openness were also important predictors of spectral variation. Further, in contrast to diurnal conditions, nocturnal forests and woodlands share a yellow-green-dominant light environment with peak flux at 560 nm. To explore how nocturnal light environments influence nocturnal vision, we compared photoreceptor spectral tuning, habitat preference and diet in 32 nocturnal mammals. In many species, long-wavelength-sensitive cone spectral sensitivity matched the peak flux present in nocturnal forests and woodlands, suggesting a possible adaptation to maximize photon absorption at night. Further, controlling for phylogeny, we found that fruit/flower consumption significantly predicted short-wavelength-sensitive cone spectral tuning in nocturnal mammals (P=0.002). These results suggest that variation in nocturnal light environments and species ecology together influence cone spectral tuning and color vision in nocturnal mammals. PMID:22899522

  3. Derivation of Ecological Protective Concentration using the Probabilistic Ecological Risk Assessment applicable for Korean Water Environment: (I) Cadmium

    PubMed Central

    Nam, Sun-Hwa; Lee, Woo-Mi

    2012-01-01

    Probabilistic ecological risk assessment (PERA) for deriving ecological protective concentration (EPC) was previously suggested in USA, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Netherland. This study suggested the EPC of cadmium (Cd) based on the PERA to be suitable to Korean aquatic ecosystem. First, we collected reliable ecotoxicity data from reliable data without restriction and reliable data with restrictions. Next, we sorted the ecotoxicity data based on the site-specific locations, exposure duration, and water hardness. To correct toxicity by the water hardness, EU’s hardness corrected algorithm was used with slope factor 0.89 and a benchmark of water hardness 100. EPC was calculated according to statistical extrapolation method (SEM), statistical extrapolation methodAcute to chronic ratio (SEMACR), and assessment factor method (AFM). As a result, aquatic toxicity data of Cd were collected from 43 acute toxicity data (4 Actinopterygill, 29 Branchiopoda, 1 Polychaeta, 2 Bryozoa, 6 Chlorophyceae, 1 Chanophyceae) and 40 chronic toxicity data (2 Actinopterygill, 23 Branchiopoda, 9 Chlorophyceae, 6 Macrophytes). Because toxicity data of Cd belongs to 4 classes in taxonomical classification, acute and chronic EPC (11.07 μg/l and 0.034 μg/l, respectively) was calculated according to SEM technique. These values were included in the range of international EPCs. This study would be useful to establish the ecological standard for the protection of aquatic ecosystem in Korea. PMID:24278601

  4. Ecology and Transmission of Listeria monocytogenes Infecting Ruminants and in the Farm Environment

    PubMed Central

    Nightingale, K. K.; Schukken, Y. H.; Nightingale, C. R.; Fortes, E. D.; Ho, A. J.; Her, Z.; Grohn, Y. T.; McDonough, P. L.; Wiedmann, M.

    2004-01-01

    A case-control study involving 24 case farms with at least one recent case of listeriosis and 28 matched control farms with no listeriosis cases was conducted to probe the transmission and ecology of Listeria monocytogenes on farms. A total of 528 fecal, 516 feed, and 1,012 environmental soil and water samples were cultured for L. monocytogenes. While the overall prevalence of L. monocytogenes in cattle case farms (24.4%) was similar to that in control farms (20.2%), small-ruminant (goat and sheep) farms showed a significantly (P < 0.0001) higher prevalence in case farms (32.9%) than in control farms (5.9%). EcoRI ribotyping of clinical (n = 17) and farm (n = 414) isolates differentiated 51 ribotypes. L. monocytogenes ribotypes isolated from clinical cases and fecal samples were more frequent in environmental than in feed samples, indicating that infected animals may contribute to L. monocytogenes dispersal into the farm environment. Ribotype DUP-1038B was significantly (P < 0.05) associated with fecal samples compared with farm environment and animal feedstuff samples. Ribotype DUP-1045A was significantly (P < 0.05) associated with soil compared to feces and with control farms compared to case farms. Our data indicate that (i) the epidemiology and transmission of L. monocytogenes differ between small-ruminant and cattle farms; (ii) cattle contribute to amplification and dispersal of L. monocytogenes into the farm environment, (iii) the bovine farm ecosystem maintains a high prevalence of L. monocytogenes, including subtypes linked to human listeriosis cases and outbreaks, and (iv) L. monocytogenes subtypes may differ in their abilities to infect animals and to survive in farm environments. PMID:15294773

  5. Changes of permafrost and ecological environments in the sources of the Yellow River

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Q.; Jin, H.; Cheng, G.; Wang, S.

    2008-12-01

    The sources of the Yellow River (SYR) are located in the marginal areas of the permafrost regions on the northeastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, where seasonally frozen ground, and isolated patchy, sporadic and discontinuous permafrost coexist. Vertically, permafrost is either detached or connected from the overlying active layer. The detached permafrost can be further categorized into shallowly- and deeply-buried-, and double-layered permafrost. The SYR has been warming at an average rate of about 0.2 degree Celsius per decade. The impacts of human activities have been increasing rapidly. They have resulted in significant permafrost degradation. This is evidenced by the 50 to 80 m elevation of the lower limit of permafrost, and about 0.5 to 0.7 degree Celsius rising of shallow ground water temperatures. The general trend of permafrost degradation is from discontinuous to isolated patches, shrinking in areal extent and thinning in thickness of permafrost, and expanding taliks. Some permafrost islands have been converted to seasonally frozen ground. The permafrost degradation has led to lowering of ground water table, shrinking lakes and wetlands, succession of alpine wetlands, meadow, and steppes. The degradation of alpine ecological environments would eventually result in desertification or other deterioration of permafrost environments.

  6. Cannabis (Cannabis sativa or C. indica) agriculture and the environment: a systematic, spatially-explicit survey and potential impacts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Butsic, Van; Brenner, Jacob C.

    2016-04-01

    Cannabis agriculture is a multi-billion dollar industry in the United States that is changing rapidly with policy liberalization. Anecdotal observations fuel speculation about associated environmental impacts, and there is an urgent need for systematic empirical research. An example from Humboldt County California, a principal cannabis-producing region, involved digitizing 4428 grow sites in 60 watersheds with Google Earth imagery. Grows were clustered, suggesting disproportionate impacts in ecologically important locales. Sixty-eight percent of grows were >500 m from developed roads, suggesting risk of landscape fragmentation. Twenty-two percent were on steep slopes, suggesting risk of erosion, sedimentation, and landslides. Five percent were <100 m from threatened fish habitat, and the estimated 297 954 plants would consume an estimated 700 000 m3 of water, suggesting risk of stream impacts. The extent and magnitude of cannabis agriculture documented in our study demands that it be regulated and researched on par with conventional agriculture.

  7. SOLERAS - Solar Controlled Environment Agriculture Project. Final report, Volume 5. Science Applications, Incorporated system requirements definition

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1985-01-01

    This report sets forth the system requirements for a Solar Controlled-Environment Agriculture System (SCEAS) Project. In the report a conceptual baseline system description for an engineering test facility is given. This baseline system employs a fluid roof/roof filter in combination with a large storage tank and a ground water heat exchanger in order to provide cooling and heating as needed. Desalination is accomplished by pretreatment followed by reverse osmosis. Energy is provided by means of photovoltaics and wind machines in conjunction with storage batteries. Site and climatic data needed in the design process are given. System performance specifications and integrated system design criteria are set forth. Detailed subsystem design criteria are presented and appropriate references documented.

  8. Microbiology of sugar-rich environments: diversity, ecology and system constraints.

    PubMed

    Lievens, Bart; Hallsworth, John E; Pozo, Maria I; Belgacem, Zouhaier Ben; Stevenson, Andrew; Willems, Kris A; Jacquemyn, Hans

    2015-02-01

    Microbial habitats that contain an excess of carbohydrate in the form of sugar are widespread in the microbial biosphere. Depending on the type of sugar, prevailing water activity and other substances present, sugar-rich environments can be highly dynamic or relatively stable, osmotically stressful, and/or destabilizing for macromolecular systems, and can thereby strongly impact the microbial ecology. Here, we review the microbiology of different high-sugar habitats, including their microbial diversity and physicochemical parameters, which act to impact microbial community assembly and constrain the ecosystem. Saturated sugar beet juice and floral nectar are used as case studies to explore the differences between the microbial ecologies of low and higher water-activity habitats respectively. Nectar is a paradigm of an open, dynamic and biodiverse habitat populated by many microbial taxa, often yeasts and bacteria such as, amongst many others, Metschnikowia spp. and Acinetobacter spp., respectively. By contrast, thick juice is a relatively stable, species-poor habitat and is typically dominated by a single, xerotolerant bacterium (Tetragenococcus halophilus). A number of high-sugar habitats contain chaotropic solutes (e.g. ethyl acetate, phenols, ethanol, fructose and glycerol) and hydrophobic stressors (e.g. ethyl octanoate, hexane, octanol and isoamyl acetate), all of which can induce chaotropicity-mediated stresses that inhibit or prevent multiplication of microbes. Additionally, temperature, pH, nutrition, microbial dispersion and habitat history can determine or constrain the microbiology of high-sugar milieux. Findings are discussed in relation to a number of unanswered scientific questions. PMID:25041632

  9. Ecological limitations on aquatic mosquito predator colonization in the urban environment

    PubMed Central

    Carlson, John; Keating, Joseph; Mbogo, Charles M.; Kahindi, Samuel; Beier, John C.

    2013-01-01

    Urban malaria cases are becoming common in Africa as more people move into cities and industrialization proceeds. While many species of Anopheles mosquitoes vector malaria in rural areas, only a few are found within cities. The success of anthropophilic species in cities, such as members of the An. gambiae complex, may be explained by limitations on colonization by predator species in urban environments. Habitats that are temporal or structurally simple have lower predator survivorship in a variety of ecosystems, but these have not been investigated previously in an urban area. Areas within and around the Kenyan coastal town of Malindi were previously sampled for the presence of standing water using a geographic sampling strategy with probability proportional to size sampling of planned well-drained, unplanned poorly-drained, planned poorly-drained, unplanned well-drained, and peri-urban locations. Standing aquatic habitats in these areas were reassessed. During monthly sampling, presence/absence of mosquitoes and predator taxa were noted, as were ecological habitat variables: structural complexity and presence of water. Lambda statistics were calculated to associate predator guilds, habitat types, location variables, and ecological variables. All predator guilds found in habitats were strongly associated with habitat type, as were the structural complexity and temporal nature of the habitats. Types of habitat were heterogeneously distributed throughout Malindi, with swimming pools as a common habitat type in planned urban areas and tire track pools a common habitat type in peri-urban areas of Malindi. Predator colonization of aquatic habitats in Malindi was strongly influenced by habitat type, and not associated with location characteristics. Ecological variables were affected by the type of habitats, which are co-associated with planning and drainage in Malindi. While habitat types are distributed heterogeneously within Malindi, habitats with low predation

  10. Ecological limitations on aquatic mosquito predator colonization in the urban environment.

    PubMed

    Carlson, John; Keating, Joseph; Mbogo, Charles M; Kahindi, Samuel; Beier, John C

    2004-12-01

    Urban malaria cases are becoming common in Africa as more people move into cities and industrialization proceeds. While many species of Anopheles mosquitoes vector malaria in rural areas, only a few are found within cities. The success of anthropophilic species in cities, such as members of the An. gambiae complex, may be explained by limitations on colonization by predator species in urban environments. Habitats that are temporal or structurally simple have lower predator survivorship in a variety of ecosystems, but these have not been investigated previously in an urban area. Areas within and around the Kenyan coastal town of Malindi were previously sampled for the presence of standing water using a geographic sampling strategy with probability proportional to size sampling of planned well-drained, unplanned poorly-drained, planned poorly-drained, unplanned well-drained, and peri-urban locations. Standing aquatic habitats in these areas were reassessed. During monthly sampling, presence/absence of mosquitoes and predator taxa were noted, as were ecological habitat variables: structural complexity and presence of water. Lambda statistics were calculated to associate predator guilds, habitat types, location variables, and ecological variables. All predator guilds found in habitats were strongly associated with habitat type, as were the structural complexity and temporal nature of the habitats. Types of habitat were heterogeneously distributed throughout Malindi, with swimming pools as a common habitat type in planned urban areas and tire track pools a common habitat type in peri-urban areas of Malindi. Predator colonization of aquatic habitats in Malindi was strongly influenced by habitat type, and not associated with location characteristics. Ecological variables were affected by the type of habitats, which are co-associated with planning and drainage in Malindi. While habitat types are distributed heterogeneously within Malindi, habitats with low predation

  11. Fluxes of carbon dioxide and methane from diverse aquatic environments in an agricultural landscape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stanley, E. H.; Crawford, J. T.; Loken, L. C.; Casson, N. J.; Gubbins, N. J.; Oliver, S. K.

    2014-12-01

    The contribution of aquatic environments to landscape carbon cycling is particularly apparent in carbon- and water-rich regions. Such areas arguably represent an end member in terms of the relative significance of aquatic carbon cycling, while dry, carbon-poor zones are the likely opposing end member. Not surprisingly, most limnological attention has focused on these former regions, leaving open questions as to how aquatic systems in other locales influence larger-scale carbon dynamics. This includes human-dominated landscapes where agricultural and urban land uses can fundamentally alter carbon dynamics. Surveys of streams, ponds, and lakes in a southern Wisconsin landscape highlight three findings relevant to understanding the role of these aquatic systems in larger-scale carbon dynamics. First, streams and ponds had unexpectedly high summertime concentrations in and fluxes of CO2 and CH4. These values were approximately an order of magnitude greater than for less disturbed, forest and wetland-dominated landscapes in northern Wisconsin. Second, while mean C gas concentrations in lakes were lower than in streams and ponds, detailed spatial measurements demonstrate variability in surface water CO2 (43-1090 ppm pCO2) and CH4 (6-839 ppm pCH4) within a lake on a single day is similar to that observed among 25 streams included in our survey (260-6000 ppm pCO2; 50-600 ppm pCH4). This small-scale heterogeneity highlights a basic challenge for upscaling site-specific data collected at one or a few points to the whole lake and across lakes. Third, while agricultural and urban ecosystems are not necessarily carbon-rich environments, area-specific carbon storage in streams and ponds is substantial (up to 3000-5000 g C per m2). Further, carbon storage was strongly related to CH4 concentrations in streams, as C-rich sediments provided both an environment and substrate to fuel methanogenesis. The picture that emerges of C processing in aquatic environments throughout this human

  12. An ecological public health approach to understanding the relationships between sustainable urban environments, public health and social equity.

    PubMed

    Bentley, Michael

    2014-09-01

    The environmental determinants of public health and social equity present many challenges to a sustainable urbanism-climate change, water shortages and oil dependency to name a few. There are many pathways from urban environments to human health. Numerous links have been described but some underlying mechanisms behind these relationships are less understood. Combining theory and methods is a way of understanding and explaining how the underlying structures of urban environments relate to public health and social equity. This paper proposes a model for an ecological public health, which can be used to explore these relationships. Four principles of an ecological public health-conviviality, equity, sustainability and global responsibility-are used to derive theoretical concepts that can inform ecological public health thinking, which, among other things, provides a way of exploring the underlying mechanisms that link urban environments to public health and social equity. Theories of more-than-human agency inform ways of living together (conviviality) in urban areas. Political ecology links the equity concerns about environmental and social justice. Resilience thinking offers a better way of coming to grips with sustainability. Integrating ecological ethics into public health considers the global consequences of local urban living and thus attends to global responsibility. This way of looking at the relationships between urban environments, public health and social equity answers the call to craft an ecological public health for the twenty-first century by re-imagining public health in a way that acknowledges humans as part of the ecosystem, not separate from it, though not central to it. PMID:23661624

  13. Monitoring the condition of the Canadian forest environment: The relevance of the concept of 'ecological indicators'.

    PubMed

    Kimmins, J P

    1990-11-01

    The Canadian forest environment is characterized by high spatial and temporal variability, especially in the west. Our forests vary according to climate, landform, and surficial geology, and according to the type, intensity, extent of, and the time since the last disturbance. Most Canadian forests have had a history of repeated acute, episodic disturbance from fire, insects, wind, diseases and/or logging, with a frequency of disturbance varying from a few decades to many centuries. These sources of variability have resulted in a complex and continually changing mosaic of forest conditions and stages of successional development.Monitoring the 'quality' of this dynamic forested landscape mosaic is extremely difficult, and in most cases the concept of a relatively simple index of forest ecosystem quality or condition (i.e. an 'ecological indicator') is probably inappropriate. Such ecological indicators are better suited for monitoring chronic anthropogenically induced disturbances that are continuous in their effect (e.g. 'acid rain', heavy metal pollution, air pollution, and the 'greenhouse effect') in ecosystems that, in the absence of such chronic disturbance, exhibit very slow directional change (e.g. lakes, higher order streams and rivers). Monitoring the effects of a chronic anthropogenic disturbance to forest ecosystems to determine if it is resulting in a sustained, directional alteration of environmental 'quality' will require a definition of the expected pattern of episodic disturbance and recovery therefrom (i.e. patterns of secondary succession in the absence of the chronic disturbance). Only when we have such a 'temporal fingerprint' of forest ecosystem condition for 'normal' patterns of disturbance and recovery can we determine if the ecosystem condition is being degraded by chronic human-induced alteration of the environment. Thus, degradation is assessed in terms of deviations from the expected temporal pattern of conditions rather than in terms of an

  14. Ecology and the Environment. Language Arts around the World, Volume V. Cross-Curricular Activities for Grades 4-6.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McAllister, Elizabeth A.; Hildebrand, Joan M.; Ericson, Joann H.

    Suggesting that students in the intermediate grades can explore the world around them and practice valuable skills in spelling, reading, writing, communication, and language, this book presents cross-curricular units designed to integrate language-arts activities into the study of ecology and the environment. The units in the book reach diverse…

  15. Pacific Northwest Laboratory annual report for 1980 to the DOE Assistant Secretary for Environment. Part 2 supplement, ecological sciences

    SciTech Connect

    Vaughan, B.E.

    1981-06-01

    This supplement replaces the list of Publications and Presentations in the Pacific Northwest Laboratory Annual Report for 1980 to the Assistant Secretary for Environment, PNL-3700 PT2, Ecological Sciences. The listings in the report as previously distributed were incomplete owing to changeovers in the bibliographic-tracking system.

  16. Experimental learning projects address contemporary issues related to energy, environment, and sustainable agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The “Bio-Fuel, sustainability, and geospatial information technologies to enhance experiential learning paradigm for precision agriculture project”, recently funded by USDA extends the environmental stewardship archetype of the preceding project titled “Environmentally conscious precision agricultur...

  17. Ecological environment changes in Daya Bay, China, from 1982 to 2004.

    PubMed

    Wang, You-Shao; Lou, Zhi-Ping; Sun, Cui-Ci; Sun, Song

    2008-11-01

    Data collected from 12 marine monitoring stations in Daya Bay from 1982 to 2004 reveal a substantial change in the ecological environment of this region. The average N/P ratio increased from 1.377 in 1985 to 49.09 in 2004. Algal species changed from 159 species of 46 genera in 1982 to 126 species of 44 genera in 2004. Major zooplankton species went from 46 species in 1983 to 36 species in 2004. The annual mean biomass of benthic animals was recorded at 123.10 g m(-2) in 1982 and 126.68 g m(-2) in 2004. Mean biomass and species of benthic animals near nuclear power plants ranged from 317.9 g m(-2) in 1991 to 45.24 g m(-2) in 2004 and from 250 species in 1991 to 177 species in 2004. A total of 12-19 species of hermatypic corals and 13 species of mangrove plants were observed in Daya Bay from 1984 to 2002. PMID:18783802

  18. Drivers of nitrogen dynamics in ecologically based agriculture revealed by long-term, high-frequency field measurements.

    PubMed

    Finney, Denise M; Eckert, Sara E; Kaye, Jason P

    2015-12-01

    Nitrogen (N) loss from agriculture impacts ecosystems worldwide. One strategy to mitigate these losses, ecologically based nutrient management (ENM), seeks to recouple carbon (C) and N cycles to reduce environmental losses and supply N to cash crops. However, our capacity to apply ENM is limited by a lack of field-based high-resolution data on N dynamics in actual production contexts. We used data from a five-year study of organic cropping systems to investigate soil inorganic N (SIN) variability and nitrate (NO3-) leaching in ENM. Four production systems initiated in 2007 and 2008 in central Pennsylvania varied in crop rotation, timing and intensity of tillage, inclusion of fallow periods, and N inputs. Extractable SIN was measured fortnightly from March through November throughout the experiment, and NO3- N concentration below the rooting zone was sampled with lysimeters during the first year of the 2008 start. We used recursive partitioning models to assess the importance of management and environmental factors to SIN variability and NO3- leaching and identify interactions between influential variables. Air temperature and tillage were the most important drivers of SIN across systems. The highest SIN concentrations occurred when the average air temperature three weeks prior to measurement was above 21 degrees C. Above this temperature and within 109 days of moldboard plowing, average SIN concentrations were 22.1 mg N/kg soil; 109 days or more past plowing average SIN dropped to 7.7 mg N/kg soil. Other drivers of SIN dynamics were N available from manure and cover crops. Highest average leachate NO3- N concentrations (15.2 ppm) occurred in fall and winter when SIN was above 4.9 mg/kg six weeks prior to leachate collection. Late season tillage operations leading to elevated SIN and leachate NO3- N concentrations were a strategy to reduce weeds while meeting consumer demand for organic products. Thus, while tillage that incorporates organic N inputs preceding cash

  19. Occurrence and ecological risks from fipronil in aquatic environments located within residential landscapes.

    PubMed

    Wu, Jun; Lu, Jian; Lu, Hai; Lin, Youjian; Wilson, P Chris

    2015-06-15

    This study investigated the occurrence of fipronil and its metabolites in aquatic environments in residentially-developed landscapes, including five canals and three retention ponds. Fipronil was detected at four of the sites, with concentrations of 0.5-207.3 ng L(-1). Fipronil sulfone and fipronil sulfide were detected at three sampling sites, with concentrations ranging from 0.46 to 57.75 and 0.40-26.92 ng L(-1), respectively. Multiple risk assessment methods were performed to characterize potential ecological risks, including deterministic screening and probabilistic risk assessment techniques. The deterministic method indicated no risk to certain biotic groups (i.e. aquatic plants, fish, molluscs, and algae-moss-fungi), but did indicate risks to larval insects and crustaceans. Results from the probabilistic risk assessment indicated significant ecological risks (acute and chronic) ranging from 0.75 to 58.9% and 3.9-35.0% when organisms were exposed to the maximum and median concentrations detected, respectively. The potentially affected fraction of species (PAF) likely to be acutely impacted ranged from 4.6 to 8.1% (fipronil), 0.2-1.6% (fipronil sulfone), and 1.9-3.1% (fipronil sulfide) in the ponds with frequent detectable concentrations. The PAF likely to be impacted at chronic toxicity levels ranged from 16.5 to 23.8% for fipronil. Joint probability curve analysis indicated that concentrations exceeded the LC50 of the most sensitive 5% of species 8.5-18.8% of the time at two of the sites with the most frequent detections. Using the more conservative NOEC/LOEC values, there was a 75-78% probability that concentrations were high enough to negatively affect the most sensitive 5% of species at the same two sites, indicating significant risks for chronic toxicity. JPCs indicated a ≤2.6% probability of fipronil sulfone exceeding the LC50 concentrations for the most sensitive 5% of species at the same two sites; and a 4.3-6.8% probability of fipronil sulfide

  20. Predicted distribution and ecological risk assessment of a "segregated" hydrofluorrother in the Japanese environment.

    PubMed

    Newsted, John L; Nakanishi, Junko; Cousins, Ian; Werner, Kurt; Giesy, John P

    2002-11-15

    An assessment of HFE-7500, a 'segregated' hydrofluoroether, was conducted to evaluate the potential for exposure to and subsequent effects on humans and wildlife in Japan. The segregated hydrofluoroethers belong to a class of fluorochemicals currently being proposed as replacements for traditional fluorochemicals (CFCs and PFCs) that are currently being used in several industries, in particular, the semiconductor industry. These traditional compounds have been implicated as ozone-depleting or potent "greenhouse gases". The segregated hydrofluoroethers have useful physical and chemical properties, but do not contribute to ozone depletion and have lower "global warming potential" (GWP) indices. Although the physical properties of these materials (low H2O solubility and high vapor pressure) suggest there would be a very low level of risk to aquatic systems, a thorough analysis had not been previously performed. Predicted environmental concentrations (PECs) of HFE-7500 in Japan were determined with the Higashino model, a Gausian puff and plume model that used an approximation of environmental releases to the atmosphere as input to the model. Allowable concentrations to protect aquatic life, wildlife, and humans from noncancer effects were determined as detailed in USEPA's final Water Quality Guidance for the Great Lakes Systems. Potential risk to ecological receptors and humans was determined by calculating hazard quotients and margins of safety. The results of the risk assessment indicate that HFE-7500 poses no significant risk to either aquatic or terrestrial wildlife species or humans living in the Japanese environment. The least margin of safety for any ecological receptor was 100,000, and a margin of safety greater than 100,000,000 for most receptors indicated that HFE-7500 poses no threat to human health. Because of a scarcity of toxicity and exposure data, the risk assessment was based on very conservative assumptions. Therefore, the actual margins of safety for

  1. Developing ecosystem services-based assessment endpoints for determining ecological risks to estuarine environments

    EPA Science Inventory

    Current U.S. EPA ecological risk assessment (ERA) guidance defines an assessment endpoint (AE) as an explicit expression of the environmental value that is to be protected, and recommends that AEs are selected based on ecological relevance, susceptibility to known or potential st...

  2. Ecological Dynamics as a Theoretical Framework for Development of Sustainable Behaviours towards the Environment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brymer, Eric; Davids, Keith

    2013-01-01

    This paper proposes how the theoretical framework of ecological dynamics can provide an influential model of the learner and the learning process to pre-empt effective behaviour changes. Here we argue that ecological dynamics supports a well-established model of the learner ideally suited to the environmental education context because of its…

  3. The impact of cattle access on ecological water quality in streams: Examples from agricultural catchments within Ireland.

    PubMed

    Conroy, E; Turner, J N; Rymszewicz, A; O'Sullivan, J J; Bruen, M; Lawler, D; Lally, H; Kelly-Quinn, M

    2016-03-15

    Unrestricted cattle access to rivers and streams represent a potentially significant localised pressure on freshwater systems. However there is no consensus in the literature on the occurrence and extent of impact and limited research has examined the effects on aquatic biota in the humid temperate environment examined in the present study. Furthermore, this is one of the first times that research consider the potential for cattle access impacts in streams of varying water quality in Northern Europe. We investigated the effects of cattle access on macroinvertebrate communities and deposited fine sediment levels, in four rivers of high/good and four rivers of moderate water quality status which drain, low gradient, calcareous grassland catchments in Ireland. We assessed the temporal variability in macroinvertebrates communities across two seasons, spring and autumn. Site specific impacts were evident which appeared to be influenced by water quality status and season. All four high/good water status rivers revealed significant downstream changes in community structure and at least two univariate metrics (total richness and EPT richness together with taxon, E and EPT abundance). Two of the four moderate water status rivers showed significant changes in community structure, abundance and richness metrics and functional feeding groups driven in the main by downstream increases in collectors/gatherers, shredders and burrowing taxa. These two moderate water status rivers had high or prolonged livestock activity. In view of these findings, the potential for some of these sites to achieve at least high/good water quality status, as set out in the EU Water Framework Directive, may be compromised. The results presented highlight the need for additional research to further define the site specific factors and livestock management practices, under different discharge conditions, that increase the risk of impact on aquatic ecology due to these cattle-river interactions. PMID

  4. Microbial diversity and biogeochemistry in glacier forefields: assessment of ecological stability in high alpine environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meola, M.; Lazzaro, A.; Zeyer, J.

    2012-04-01

    Microbial communities inhabiting recently deglaciated, unvegetated, high alpine soils (e.g. glacier forefields) need to be adapted to fluctuating environmental conditions, such as strong daily and seasonal humidity and temperature variations. Soil-related characteristics (e.g. oligotrophy, pH, water holding capacity, nutrient concentration) may in addition determine the presence of locally adapted microbial communities. Currently little is known on the ecological stability (resistance and resilience) of such an environment. In this project, we aim at understanding ecological stability of microbial communities of alpine glacier forefields through a reciprocal soil transplantation experiment. The study consists in i) determining bacterial phylotypes that may respond to environmental changes and ii) relating biological, chemical and physical data to observed microbial responses. We selected two different glacier forefields located in the Swiss Alps (approximately at 2500 m.a.s.l.) The Griessen forefield (Canton Obwalden) is characterized by a calcareous bedrock, while the Tiefen forefield (Canton Uri) is of siliceous composition. The sites are well characterized in terms of their geography (e.g. exposure, slope) and climatic fluctuations (Lazzaro et al. 2009, Lazzaro et al. 2011). At each site, we incubated stainless steel pots with four different soil treatments (autochthonous untreated, autochthonous sterilized, allochthonous untreated and allochthonous sterilized). The setup was repeated in quadruplicate. Soil temperature and soil moisture at 10 cm depth were measured every hour by Decagon EM 50 sensors (Decagon Devices Inc.). In July (D0), August (D1) and September (D2) 2011, soil aliquots were sampled from the pots for analysis. We plan to further extend the sampling for at least three snow-free seasons (2011-2013). Chemical analysis of the soil encompassed soluble ions, pH and DOC. Bacterial community analysis included microbial biomass (DAPI cell counts), basal

  5. SOLERAS - Solar Controlled Environment Agriculture Project. Final report, Volume 4. Saudi Engineering Solar Energy Applications System Design Study

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1985-01-01

    Literature summarizing a study on the Saudi Arabian solar controlled environment agriculture system is presented. Specifications and performance requirements for the system components are revealed. Detailed performance and cost analyses are used to determine the optimum design. A preliminary design of an engineering field test is included. Some weather data are provided for Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (BCS)

  6. A comparative ecological risk assessment of Orimulsion and Fuel Oil No. 6 in the coastal marine environment

    SciTech Connect

    Harwell, M.; Ault, J.; Gentile, J.

    1995-12-31

    The conduct of comparative ecological risk assessments (CERA) resulting from the release of anthropogenic stressors into coastal marine environments requires theoretical and methodological innovations to integrate contaminant exposure with populations at risk over time and space scales. Consequently, predicted risks must be scaled to allow comparisons of relative ecological impacts in three physical dimensions plus time. This study was designed to compare the risks from hypothetical spills of Orimulsion and Fuel Oil No. 6 into the Tampa Bay ecosystem. The CERA framework used in this study integrates numerical hydrodynamic and transport-and-fate, toxicological, and biological models with extensive spatially explicit databases that describe the distributions of critical species and habitats. The presentation of the comparative ecological risks is facilitated by visualization and GIS techniques to allow realistic comparisons of toxicant exposures and their co-occurrence with key biological resources over time and across the seascape. A scaling methodology is presented that uses toxicological data as scalars for graphically representing the ecological effects associated with exposure levels for each scenario simulation. The CERA model serves as an interactive tool for assessing the relative ecological consequences of a range of potential exposure scenarios and for forecasting the longer-term productivity of critical biological resources and habitats that are key to ecosystem structure and function.

  7. [Influence of Marine Aquaculture Around Coal Power Plant on Mercury Species Change in Auuatic Ecological Environment].

    PubMed

    Liang, Peng; Wang, Yuan-na; You, Qiong-zhi; Gao, Xue-fei; He, Shan-shan

    2015-08-01

    To investigate the influence of marine aquaculture around coal power plant on Hg species change in aquatic ecological environment, the fish farming area in Xiangshan Harbor, Zhejiang province, was studied. The concentrations of different Hg species in sea water collected from marine aquaculture sites (MS) and references sites (RS) were measured. The result showed that the total mercury (THg) concentration in the surface water reached 83.0 pmol x L(-1) +/- 97.1 pmol x L(-1). Dissolved Hg (DHg) in pore water of core sediment decreased with the increasing depth. Meanwhile, the DHg content in pore water above 10 cm was significantly higher (P < 0.001) than that below 10 cm, which confirmed the influence of coal-fired power plants on the surrounding areas. THg concentration in MS (96.5 pmol x L(-1) +/- 133 pmol x L(-1)) was higher than that in RS (69.5 pmol x L(-1) +/- 39.4 pmol x L(-1)), which was mainly resulted from the accumulation of sewage discharge by the employees and fish feed material in sediments during breeding that were further released to the overlying water. Methylmercury concentration in pore water of MS (24.0 pmol x L(-1) +/- 16.7 pmol x L(-1)) was also significantly higher than that in RS (6.60 pmol x L(-1) +/- 5.11 pmol x L(-1)), which demonstrated that marine aquaculture activities promoted the methylmercury production by increasing the accumulation of organic matter in sediment. PMID:26592015

  8. Enhancing continental-scale understanding of agriculture: Integrating the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) with existing research networks to address global change.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kelly, G.

    2015-12-01

    Over the past decade, there has been a resurgence of interest in the sustainability of the world's food system and its contributions to feeding the world's population as well as to ensuring environmental sustainability of the planet. The elements of this grand challenge are by now well known. Analysis of agricultural sustainability is made more challenging by the fact that the local responses to these global drivers of change are extremely variable in space and time due to the biophysical and geopolitical heterogeneity across the United States, and the world. Utilizing research networks allows the scientific community to leverage existing knowledge, models and data to develop a framework for understanding the interplay between global change drivers, regional, and continental sustainability of US agriculture. For example, well-established instrumented and calibrated research networks will allow for the examination of the potential tradeoffs between: 1) crop production, 2) land use and carbon emissions and sequestration, 3) groundwater depletion, and 4) nitrogen dynamics. NEON represents a major investment in scientific infrastructure in support of ecological research at a continental scale and is intended to address multiple ecological grand challenges. NEON will collect data from automated sensors and sample organisms and ecological variables in 20 eco-climatic domains. We will provide examples of how NEON's full potential can be realized when these data are combined with long term experimental results and other sensor networks [e.g., Ameriflux, Fluxnet, the Long-term Ecological Research Program (LTER), the Long-term Agroecosystem Research Network (LTAR)], Critical Zone Observatory (CZO).

  9. Grassland agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agriculture in grassland environments is facing multiple stresses from: shifting demographics, declining and fragmented agricultural landscapes, declining environmental quality, variable and changing climate, volatile and increasing energy costs, marginal economic returns, and globalization. Degrad...

  10. Managing Our Environment, A Report on Ways Agricultural Research Fights Pollution.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC.

    A report on the ways agricultural research attempts to fight pollution is presented in this series of articles covering some of the major challenges facing scientists and regulatory officials working in agricultural research. Improved resource management is stressed with the use of advanced technologies as the avenue to solving environmental…

  11. Thermal sharpening in agricultural environments and the utility of high resolution HyspIRI thermal data

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Many agricultural fields in Europe and developing countries are relatively small on the order of 1- 10 hectares, and even though in the U.S. agricultural fields tend to be larger, the resolution of thermal-infrared temperature (TIR) sensors from operational satellites are still generally too coarse...

  12. Agricultural Exports and the Environment: A Cross-National Study of Fertilizer and Pesticide Consumption

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Longo, Stefano; York, Richard

    2008-01-01

    The mass consumption of agrochemicals, including manufactured fertilizers and pesticides, by industrialized agricultural systems worldwide threatens human health and the health of ecosystems. The production of these agricultural inputs is a highly energy- and capital-intensive process, and their application contributes to a variety of direct and…

  13. Antimicrobial Resistance Profiles of Salmonella spp. from Agricultural Environments in Fruit Production Systems.

    PubMed

    Gomba, Annancietar; Chidamba, Lizyben; Korsten, Lise

    2016-09-01

    Foodborne disease outbreaks involving fresh produce have increased in recent years. The risk of infection from contaminated food is worsened by the increased prevalence of antibiotic-resistant strains. This study evaluated the prevalence of antibiotic resistance in Salmonella isolates (n = 263) from agricultural production systems through to the final packed product. Salmonella isolates were preliminarily identified by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time-of-flight mass spectroscopy (MALDI-TOF MS) and API 20E and identities confirmed by invA gene polymerase chain reaction. Antimicrobial susceptibility was performed with 15 antimicrobial agents using the Kirby-Bauer disk diffusion test. Of the 263 Salmonella isolates assessed, 59.3% were resistant to one or more antimicrobials. The most frequently detected resistance was against chloramphenicol and kanamycin (46.7%), trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (28%), and streptomycin (14%), and the less frequently detected resistance was toward ampicillin (1.14%), amikacin (0.76%), and amoxicillin-clavulanic acid (0.38%). Multiple antimicrobial resistance (MAR) (resistance to ≥3 antibiotics) was found in 48.7% (76/156) isolates. The most common MAR phenotype was to chloramphenicol and trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole-kanamycin (43.6%). Resistance to chloramphenicol, kanamycin, or trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole was only observed in MAR phenotypes. All isolates were susceptible to ceftiofur, cefoxitin, ceftriaxone, ciprofloxacin, nalidixic acid, gentamicin, and tetracycline. This study confirms the importance of fresh produce production environments as potential reservoirs and fresh produce as carriers of antibiotic-resistant Salmonella spp. with significant clinical importance. Further studies to evaluate the actual level of health risk from these pathogens should include characterization of the antibiotic resistance determinant genes among the isolates. PMID:27294335

  14. Genetic monogamy despite variable ecological conditions and social environment in the cooperatively breeding apostlebird

    PubMed Central

    Warrington, Miyako H; Rollins, Lee Ann; Raihani, Nichola J; Russell, Andrew F; Griffith, Simon C

    2013-01-01

    Mating strategies may be context-dependent and may vary across ecological and social contexts, demonstrating the role of these factors in driving the variation in genetic polyandry within and among species. Here, we took a longitudinal approach across 5 years (2006–2010), to study the apostlebird (Struthidea cinerea), an Australian cooperatively breeding bird, whose reproduction is affected by ecological “boom and bust” cycles. Climatic variation drives variation in the social (i.e., group sizes, proportion of males and females) and ecological (i.e., plant and insect abundance) context in which mating occurs. By quantifying variation in both social and ecological factors and characterizing the genetic mating system across multiple years using a molecular parentage analysis, we found that the genetic mating strategy did not vary among years despite significant variation in rainfall, driving primary production, and insect abundance, and corresponding variation in social parameters such as breeding group size. Group sizes in 2010, an ecologically good year, were significantly smaller (mean = 5.8 ± 0.9, n = 16) than in the drought affected years, between 2006 and 2008, (mean = 9.1 ± 0.5, n = 63). Overall, apostlebirds were consistently monogamous with few cases of multiple maternity or paternity (8 of 78 nests) across all years. PMID:24363896

  15. Distribution and mobility of heavy elements in floodplain agricultural soils along the Ibar River (Southern Serbia and Northern Kosovo). Chemometric investigation of pollutant sources and ecological risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Barać, Nemanja; Škrivanj, Sandra; Bukumirić, Zoran; Živojinović, Dragana; Manojlović, Dragan; Barać, Milan; Petrović, Rada; Ćorac, Aleksandar

    2016-05-01

    This work investigates the influence of a high-magnitude flood event on heavy elements (HEs) pollution and mobility in the agricultural soils along Ibar River in Southern Serbia and Northern Kosovo. The study area was one of the most important Pb/Zn industrial regions in Europe. Soil samples (n = 50) collected before and after the floods in May 2014 were subjected to the sequential extraction procedure proposed by the Community Bureau of Reference (BCR). The results indicated that the floods significantly increased not only the pseudo total concentrations of HEs in the soil but also their mobile and potentially bioavailable amounts. Moreover, higher concentrations (both pseudo total and potentially bioavailable) were found in the agricultural soils closer to the industrial hotspots. Principal component analysis and hierarchical cluster analysis successfully grouped the analyzed elements according to their anthropogenic or natural origin. The floods significantly increased the potential ecological risk of HEs associated with Pb/Zn industrial activities in the study area. The potential ecological risk of Cd after the floods was highest and should be of special concern. PMID:26822217

  16. POTENTIAL ECOLOGICAL AND NONTARGET EFFECTS OF TRANSGENIC PLANT GENE PRODUCTS ON AGRICULTURE, SILVICULTURE, AND NATURAL ECOSYSTEMS: GENERAL INTRODUCTION

    EPA Science Inventory

    A symposium was held at the University of Maryland Nov. 30 - Dec. 2, 1992, to discuss transgenic plant risk assessment issues for measurement and identification of potential ecological and nontarget organism effects. he goal was to identify available scientific information and hi...

  17. Effects on environment and agriculture of geothermal wastewater and boron pollution in great Menderes basin.

    PubMed

    Koç, Cengiz

    2007-02-01

    Boron toxicity is an important disorder that can be limit plant growth on soils of arid and semi arid environments through the world. High concentrations of Boron may occur naturally in the soil or in groundwater, or be added to the soil from mining, fertilizers, or irrigation water. Off all the potential resources, irrigation water is the most important contributor to high levels of soil boron, boron is often found in high concentrations in association with saline soil and saline well water. Although of considerable agronomic importance, our understanding of Boron toxicity is rather fragment and limited. In this study, Boron content of Great Menderes River and Basin was researched. Great Menderes Basin is one of the consequence basins having agricultural potential, aspect of water and soil resources in Turkey. Great Menderes River, water resource of the basin was to be polluted by geothermal wastewater and thermal springs including Boron element. Great Menderes Basin has abundant geothermal water resources which contain high amounts of Boron and these ground water are brought to surface and used for various purposes such as power generation, heating or thermal spring and than discharged to Great Menderes River. In order to prevent Boron pollution and hence unproductively in soils, it is necessary not to discharged water with Boron to irrigation water. According to results, it was obtained that Boron content of River was as high in particular Upper Basin where there was a ground thermal water reservoir. Boron has been accumulated more than plant requirement in this area irrigated by this water. Boron content of River was relatively low in rainy months and irrigation season while it was high in dry season. Boron concentration in the River was to decrease from upstream to downstream. If it is no taken measure presently, about 130,000 ha irrigation areas which was constructed irrigation scheme in the Great Menderes basin will expose the Boron pollution and salinity

  18. The development of ecological environment in China based on the system dynamics method from the society, economy and environment perspective.

    PubMed

    Guang, Yang; Ge, Song; Han, Liu

    2016-01-01

    The harmonious development in society, economy and environment are crucial to regional sustained boom. However, the society, economy and environment are not respectively independent, but both mutually promotes one which, or restrict mutually complex to have the long-enduring overall process. The present study is an attempt to investigate the relationship and interaction of society, economy and environment in China based on the data from 2004 to 2013. The principal component analysis (PCA) model was employed to identify the main factors effecting the society, economy and environment subsystems, and SD (system dynamics) method used to carry out dynamic assessment for future state of sustainability from society, economy and environment perspective with future indicator values. Sustainable development in China was divided in the study into three phase from 2004 to 2013 based competitive values of these three subsystems. According to the results of PCA model, China is in third phase, and the economy growth is faster than the environment development, while the social development still maintained a steady and rapid growth, implying that the next step for sustainable development in China should focus on society development, especially the environment development. PMID:26930874

  19. ECOLOGICAL CONSIDERATIONS RELATED TO THE RELEASE OF GENETICALLY ENGINEERED MICROORGANISMS TO THE ENVIRONMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    The results of these studies show that GEMs (Genetically Engineered Microorganisms) have the potential to survive, to transfer their novel genetic information, and to affect some microbe-mediated ecological processes in soil. he magnitude of these phenomena in soil in situ, howev...

  20. Urban Environmental Education: Leveraging Technology and Ecology to Engage Students in Studying the Environment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barnett, Michael; Vaughn, Meredith Houle; Strauss, Eric; Cotter, Lindsey

    2011-01-01

    In this paper, we describe the outcomes of the first year of an intensive, urban ecology focused, summer program for urban high school youth. Students in our program conduct scientific investigations of their urban ecosystems while exploring potential career options in science and technology fields. In conducting their investigations, the students…

  1. Using the Urban Environment to Engage Youths in Urban Ecology Field Studies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barnett, Michael; Lord, Charles; Strauss, Eric; Rosca, Camelia; Langford, Heather; Chavez, Dawn; Deni, Leah

    2006-01-01

    Recent science education reform proponents explicitly put forward the idea that all students, regardless of culture, gender, race, or socioeconomic status, are capable of understanding and doing science. To address this need, the authors have developed and implemented a field-based urban ecology science program to engage traditionally…

  2. MMOGs as Learning Environments: An Ecological Journey into "Quest Atlantis" and "The Sims Online"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Young, Michael; Schrader, P. G.; Zheng, Dongping

    2006-01-01

    Michael Young, P. G. Schrader, and Dongping Zheng use the concepts of ecological psychology to examine how massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs) promote specific learning processes in their players. In their analysis they identify and define nine principles of learning that allow such games to have valuable potential as tools for educators:…

  3. Understanding the Game of the Environment. Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 426.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Houston, David R.

    This guide is intended to provide stimuli for discussion and review of ecological principles and their relevance to daily human existence. The illustrations, purposefully detailed and complex, are intended to provide a basis for in-depth discussion. The bulletin is intended to supplement classroom materials and also to serve non-classroom…

  4. Evaluation of Management Practices to Mitigate Pesticide Transport and Ecological Risk of Runoff from Agricultural and Turf Systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Highly managed biotic systems such as agricultural crops and golf courses often require multiple applications of pesticides that may be transported with runoff to surrounding surface waters. Pesticides have been detected in surface waters of rural and urban watersheds invoking concern of their sour...

  5. The illuminating role of laser scanning digital elevation models in precision agriculture experimental designs - an agro-ecology perspective

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Laser scanning data streams, when linked with multi-spectral, hyperspectral, apparent soil electro-conductivity (ECa), or other kinds of geo-referenced data streams, aid in the creation of maps that allow useful applications in agricultural systems. These combinations of georeferenced information p...

  6. Interactive Agricultural Ecological Atlas of Russia and Neighboring Countries:Economic Plants and their Diseases, Pests and Weeds.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The AgroAtlas is a comprehensive on-line bilingual reference on the geographic distribution of economic plants, their diseases, pests and weeds, and environmental factors that influence agricultural production through out the Former Soviet Union. Online users can read about and examine maps and ima...

  7. Aquatic microphylla Azolla: a perspective paradigm for sustainable agriculture, environment and global climate change.

    PubMed

    Kollah, Bharati; Patra, Ashok Kumar; Mohanty, Santosh Ranjan

    2016-03-01

    This review addresses the perspectives of Azolla as a multifaceted aquatic resource to ensure ecosystem sustainability. Nitrogen fixing potential of cyanobacterial symbiont varies between 30 and 60 kg N ha(-1) which designates Azolla as an important biological N source for agriculture and animal industry. Azolla exhibits high bioremediation potential for Cd, Cr, Cu, and Zn. Azolla mitigates greenhouse gas emission from agriculture. In flooded rice ecosystem, Azolla dual cropping decreased CH4 emission by 40 % than did urea alone and also stimulated CH4 oxidation. This review highlighted integrated approach using Azolla that offers enormous public health, environmental, and cost benefits. PMID:26697861

  8. Pacific Northwest Laboratory annual report for 1979 to the DOE Assistant Secretary for Environment. Part 2. Ecological sciences

    SciTech Connect

    Vaughan, B.E.

    1980-02-01

    Research in Environment, Health, and Safety conducted during fiscal year 1979 is reported. This volume consists of project reports from the Ecological Sciences research department. The reports are grouped under the following subject areas: National Environmental Research Park and land use; Alaskan resource research; shale oil; synfuels; nuclear waste; fission; marine research programs; statistical development of field research; nuclear fusion; pumped storage and hydroelectric development; pathways modelling, assessment and Hanford project support; electric field and microwave research; and energy research for other agencies. (ACR)

  9. Aquatic plants: Ecology and environment. (Latest citations from the Selected Water Resources Abstracts database). Published Search

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1993-09-01

    The bibliography contains citations concerning growth and ecology of aquatic flora in lakes, rivers, and coastal areas. Effects of domestic sewage, industrial wastes, and oil spills on aquatic ecosystems are discussed. Algal population growth in rivers and polluted areas is considered, and use of benthic algae as biological indicators of water quality is also discussed. (Contains a minimum of 90 citations and includes a subject term index and title list.)

  10. Contrasting nutrient mitigation and denitrification potential of agricultural drainage environments with different emergent aquatic macrophytes.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Remediation of excess nitrogen (N) in agricultural runoff can be enhanced by establishing wetland vegetation but the role of denitrification in N removal is not well understood in drainage ditches. We quantified differences in N retention during experimental runoff events followed by stagnant period...

  11. Application of the precision agricultural landscape modeling system in semiarid environments

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Precision Agricultural Landscape Modeling System (PALMS) is a terrain and weather driven, distributed parameter hydrological-biophysical model primarily used in the Midwestern United States. Recently, research was started to evaluate the effectiveness of PALMS on irrigated and on dryland croppin...

  12. Farming in an Urban Environment. Agriculture in Illinois: Alternative Futures for the 1980s.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fliegel, Frederick C.; And Others

    This report is concerned with the climate of opinion prevailing among Illinois farm, rural non-farm, and urban residents in 1978 and the implications of these opinions for agriculture and rural communities in the 1980's. A sample of more than 8,000 adult Illinois residents were questioned about land use, government regulatory programs, and local…

  13. Current developments in soil water sensing for climate, environment, hydrology and agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Knowledge of the four dimensional spatio-temporal status and dynamics of soil water content is becoming indispensable to solutions of agricultural, environmental, climatological and engineering problems at all scales. In agronomy alone, science is severely limited by scant or inaccurate knowledge of...

  14. AGRICULTURAL WATER CONSERVATION POLICY IN AN URBANIZING ENVIRONMENT: THE ARIZONA BMP PROGRAM

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Arizona legislature authorized in 2002 an agricultural water conservation program based on best management practices. The program is voluntary and an alternative to one based on allotments that have been in operation since 1980. The program requires the farmers to adopt conservation practices f...

  15. MAPPING AND SCOUTING CORN PEST INFESTATIONS IN A PRODUCTION AGRICULTURE ENVIRONMENT USING REMOTE SENSING.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Hyperspectral imagery was acquired three times during the 2006 agricultural growing season (late July to mid-September) over 35 corn fields in east central Illinois. The imagery was processed with an emphasis on rapid image product development (turnabround time of less than 24 ho...

  16. Evaluation of current state of agricultural land using problem-oriented fuzzy indicators in GIS environment

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Current state of agricultural lands is defined under influence of processes in soil, plants and atmosphere and is described by observation data, complicated models and subjective opinion of experts. Problem-oriented indicators summarize this information in useful form for decision of the same specif...

  17. Food and Environment. A Teachers' Resource Guide to California Valley Agriculture.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Railton, Esther, Comp.

    Presented is a compilation of teaching resources prepared by teachers enrolled in a graduate-level environmental education course at California State University, Hayward. The emphasis of these materials is upon agriculture and related environmental practices in California's San Joaquin Valley. Following a description of course logistics are six…

  18. Risk characterisation and management of sewage sludge on agricultural land--implications for the environment and the food-chain.

    PubMed

    Ross, A D; Lawrie, R A; Keneally, J P; Whatmuff, M S

    1992-08-01

    The disposal of sewage wastes may cause severe environmental problems as was graphically demonstrated with pollution on Sydney's ocean beaches in recent years. Sewage sludges contain valuable plant nutrients and organic matter which can improve the fertility and structure of the soil. However, human parasites, pathogenic micro-organisms and chemicals capable of causing soil contamination, phytotoxicity and residues in animal products may also be present. Although sewage sludge is frequently spread on agricultural land overseas, it is not common in Australia and most states do not have specific regulations to minimise risk and promote good practice. A sludge-to-land program began in the Sydney region in 1990. It follows guidelines written by NSW Agriculture to encourage beneficial agricultural use of sludge by adoption of environmentally sustainable practices. This article describes the major risks to the food-chain and the environment, which may be associated with applying sewage sludge to agricultural land. It summarises how the risks are managed, and where further research data are required. PMID:1530551

  19. Development of virtual research environment for regional climatic and ecological studies and continuous education support

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gordov, Evgeny; Lykosov, Vasily; Krupchatnikov, Vladimir; Bogomolov, Vasily; Gordova, Yulia; Martynova, Yulia; Okladnikov, Igor; Titov, Alexander; Shulgina, Tamara

    2014-05-01

    Volumes of environmental data archives are growing immensely due to recent models, high performance computers and sensors development. It makes impossible their comprehensive analysis in conventional manner on workplace using in house computing facilities, data storage and processing software at hands. One of possible answers to this challenge is creation of virtual research environment (VRE), which should provide a researcher with an integrated access to huge data resources, tools and services across disciplines and user communities and enable researchers to process structured and qualitative data in virtual workspaces. VRE should integrate data, network and computing resources providing interdisciplinary climatic research community with opportunity to get profound understanding of ongoing and possible future climatic changes and their consequences. Presented are first steps and plans for development of VRE prototype element aimed at regional climatic and ecological monitoring and modeling as well as at continuous education and training support. Recently developed experimental software and hardware platform aimed at integrated analysis of heterogeneous georeferenced data "Climate" (http://climate.scert.ru/, Gordov et al., 2013; Shulgina et al., 2013; Okladnikov et al., 2013) is used as a VRE element prototype and approach test bench. VRE under development will integrate on the base of geoportal distributed thematic data storage, processing and analysis systems and set of models of complex climatic and environmental processes run on supercomputers. VRE specific tools are aimed at high resolution rendering on-going climatic processes occurring in Northern Eurasia and reliable and found prognoses of their dynamics for selected sets of future mankind activity scenaria. Currently the VRE element is accessible via developed geoportal at the same link (http://climate.scert.ru/) and integrates the WRF and «Planet Simulator» models, basic reanalysis and instrumental

  20. Quantifying Ecological Memory of Plant and Ecosystem Processes in Variable Environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ogle, K.; Barron-Gafford, G. A.; Bentley, L.; Cable, J.; Lucas, R.; Huxman, T. E.; Loik, M. E.; Smith, S. D.; Tissue, D.

    2010-12-01

    Precipitation, soil water, and other factors affect plant and ecosystem processes at multiple time scales. A common assumption is that water availability at a given time directly affects processes at that time. Recent work, especially in pulse-driven, semiarid systems, shows that antecedent water availability, averaged over several days to a couple weeks, can be just as or more important than current water status. Precipitation patterns of previous seasons or past years can also impact plant and ecosystem functioning in many systems. However, we lack an analytical framework for quantifying the importance of and time-scale over which past conditions affect current processes. This study explores the ecological memory of a variety of plant and ecosystem processes. We use memory as a metaphor to describe the time-scale over which antecedent conditions affect the current process. Existing approaches for incorporating antecedent effects arbitrarily select the antecedent integration period (e.g., the past 2 weeks) and the relative importance of past conditions (e.g., assign equal or linearly decreasing weights to past events). In contrast, we utilize a hierarchical Bayesian approach to integrate field data with process-based models, yielding posterior distributions for model parameters, including the duration of the ecological memory (integration period) and the relative importance of past events (weights) to this memory. We apply our approach to data spanning diverse temporal scales and four semiarid sites in the western US: leaf-level stomatal conductance (gs, sub-hourly scale), soil respiration (Rs, hourly to daily scale), and net primary productivity (NPP) and tree-ring widths (annual scale). For gs, antecedent factors (daily rainfall and temperature, hourly vapor pressure deficit) and current soil water explained up to 72% of the variation in gs in the Chihuahuan Desert, with a memory of 10 hours for a grass and 4 days for a shrub. Antecedent factors (past soil water

  1. Investigations in Ecology: Looking Into Earth's Life Systems and Man's Impact on Environment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schultz, Beth; Marcuccio, Phyllis

    An exploration of earth's life systems and man's impact on his environment are provided in this boxed set of 70 skill cards for upper elementary and high school students. The core idea of the subject matter is that nothing exists in isolation, with both the man-dominated environment and natural habitats used to illustrate the importance of…

  2. Annotated Bibliography on the Effects of the Physical Environment Upon Education. Ecological Theory of Teaching.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McDonnell, Thomas; Becker, Franklin

    This annotated bibliography focuses on the effects of the physical environment on education. Topics covered include school size, architectural design, seating arrangement, environmental stressors, alternative learning environments, enhancing learning through environmental change, and special groups of students within the school. The first section…

  3. Conceptualizing the Counseling Training Environment Using Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Theory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lau, Jared; Ng, Kok-Mun

    2014-01-01

    While learning environment research has been growing in popularity over the past few decades, little attention has been given towards the learning environment of graduate students, and virtually no attention has been given specifically towards graduate counseling and related programs such as professional counseling, clinical and counseling…

  4. Sense of Place in the Prairie Environment: Settlement and Ecology in Rural Geary County, Kansas.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Veregge, Nina

    1995-01-01

    Describes the historical development of the spatial order of human settlement in Geary County, Kansas. Geary County's sense of place derives from the integration of physical and human environments--patterns of association between daily human activities and natural environment that have produced a particular cultural landscape. (SV)

  5. The Ecology of Learning: A Comparison of Alternative Elementary School Learning Environments.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hoaglund, Mary; And Others

    This paper is the first-year report of a three-year project in Edina, Minnesota, developing a system for measuring differences among classroom environments and organizational patterns. Dimensions measured include teacher preferences for classroom structure, student perceptions of learning environments and classmate behavior, student attitudes,…

  6. Socio-Ecological School Environments and Children's Health and Wellbeing Outcomes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    John-Akinola, Yetunde O.; Gabhainn, Saoirse Nic

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: Attention to improving the school environment is a common activity in school health promotion. The role of the school environment in supporting improved health and wellbeing has a theoretical base, but has rarely been directly investigated empirically. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the associations between school…

  7. Understanding the ecological background of rice agriculture on the Ningshao Plain during the Neolithic Age: pollen evidence from a buried paddy field at the Tianluoshan cultural site

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Chunhai; Zheng, Yunfei; Yu, Shiyong; Li, Yongxiang; Shen, Huadong

    2012-03-01

    The progressive rise of atmospheric CH4 level since 5 ka has been hypothesized to result from human agricultural activities that turned forested lands, which would otherwise be a carbon sink, into paddy fields. Increasing numbers of Neolithic cultural sites unearthed in coastal eastern China, providing unique opportunities to test this hypothesis. Here, we present detailed pollen data from a buried paddy field at Tianluoshan cultural site on the Ningshao Plain, eastern China, to reconstruct the ecological conditions associated with the establishment of paddy fields. Stratigraphic data, radiocarbon ages, and pollen analyses show that vegetation underwent six phases of evolution and paddy fields were developed from 7000 to 4200 cal. yr BP. We found no evidence of slash-and-burn agriculture at the study site. Together with no presence of the irrigation system, our pollen data suggest the paddy fields at this site originated from wetlands. Hence, our findings do not support the hypothesis that anthropogenic-induced deforestation play ed a significant role in the rise of the atmospheric CH4 rise since the middle Holocene.

  8. Quality of Agricultural Products and Protection of the Environment: Training, Knowledge Dissemination and Certification. Synthesis Report of a Study in Five European Countries. CEDEFOP Reference Series.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Papadaki-Klavdianou, A.; Menkisoglou-Spiroudi, O.; Tsakiridou, E.

    This book examines existing European environmental education and agricultural practices friendly to the environment. Focus is on studies conducted in five countries Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain--that aimed to define new knowledge qualifications related to environmental issues in producing alternative agricultural products…

  9. Sensitivity Analysis in Agent-Based Models of Socio-Ecological Systems: An Example in Agricultural Land Conservation for Lake Water Quality Improvement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ligmann-Zielinska, A.; Kramer, D. B.; Spence Cheruvelil, K.; Soranno, P.

    2012-12-01

    Socio-ecological systems are dynamic and nonlinear. To account for this complexity, we employ agent-based models (ABMs) to study macro-scale phenomena resulting from micro-scale interactions among system components. Because ABMs typically have many parameters, it is challenging to identify which parameters contribute to the emerging macro-scale patterns. In this paper, we address the following question: What is the extent of participation in agricultural land conservation programs given heterogeneous landscape, economic, social, and individual decision making criteria in complex lakesheds? To answer this question, we: [1] built an ABM for our model system; [2] simulated land use change resulting from agent decision making, [3] estimated the uncertainty of the model output, decomposed it and apportioned it to each of the parameters in the model. Our model system is a freshwater socio-ecological system - that of farmland and lake water quality within a region containing a large number of lakes and high proportions of agricultural lands. Our study focuses on examining how agricultural land conversion from active to fallow reduces freshwater nutrient loading and improves water quality. Consequently, our ABM is composed of farmer agents who make decisions related to participation in a government-sponsored Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) managed by the Farm Service Agency (FSA). We also include an FSA agent, who selects enrollment offers made by farmers and announces the signup results leading to land use change. The model is executed in a Monte Carlo simulation framework to generate a distribution of maps of fallow lands that are used for calculating nutrient loading to lakes. What follows is a variance-based sensitivity analysis of the results. We compute sensitivity indices for individual parameters and their combinations, allowing for identification of the most influential as well as the insignificant inputs. In the case study, we observe that farmland

  10. Behavior of complex mixtures in aquatic environments: a synthesis of PNL ecological research

    SciTech Connect

    Fickeisen, D.H.; Vaughan, B.E.

    1984-06-01

    The term complex mixture has been recently applied to energy-related process streams, products and wastes that typically contain hundreds or thousands of individual organic compounds, like petroleum or synthetic fuel oils; but it is more generally applicable. A six-year program of ecological research has focused on four areas important to understanding the environmental behavior of complex mixtures: physicochemical variables, individual organism responses, ecosystems-level determinations, and metabolism. Of these areas, physicochemical variables and organism responses were intensively studied; system-level determinations and metabolism represent more recent directions. Chemical characterization was integrated throughout all areas of the program, and state-of-the-art methods were applied. 155 references, 35 figures, 4 tables.

  11. Microbial ecology of extreme environments: Antarctic dry valley yeasts and growth in substrate-limited habitats

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vishniac, H. S.

    1982-01-01

    The success of the Antarctic Dry Valley yeasts presumeably results from adaptations to multiple stresses, to low temperatures and substrate-limitation as well as prolonged resting periods enforced by low water availability. Previous investigations have suggested that the crucial stress is substrate limitation. Specific adaptations may be pinpointed by comparing the physiology of the Cryptococcus vishniacii complex, the yeasts of the Tyrol Valley, with their congeners from other habitats. Progress was made in methods of isolation and definition of ecological niches, in the design of experiments in competition for limited substrate, and in establishing the relationships of the Cryptococcus vishniacii complex with other yeasts. In the course of investigating relationships, a new method for 25SrRNA homology was developed. For the first time it appears that 25SrRNA homology may reflect parallel or convergent evolution.

  12. Mycotoxins in the environment: I. Production and emission from an agricultural test field.

    PubMed

    Schenzel, Judith; Forrer, Hans-Rudolf; Vogelgsang, Susanne; Hungerbühler, Konrad; Bucheli, Thomas D

    2012-12-18

    Mycotoxins are secondary metabolites that are naturally produced by fungi which infest and contaminate agricultural crops and commodities (e.g., small grain cereals, fruits, vegetables, and organic soil material). Although these compounds have extensively been studied in food and feed, only little is known about their environmental fate. Therefore, we investigated over nearly two years the occurrence of various mycotoxins in a field cropped with winter wheat of the variety Levis, which was artificially inoculated with Fusarium spp., as well as their emission via drainage water. Mycotoxins were regularly quantified in whole wheat plants (0.1-133 mg/kg(dry weight), for deoxynivalenol), and drainage water samples (0.8 ng/L to 1.14 μg/L, for deoxynivalenol). From the mycotoxins quantified in wheat (3-acetyl-deoxynivalenol, deoxynivalenol, fusarenone-X, nivalenol, HT-2 toxin, T-2 toxin, beauvericin, and zearalenone), only the more hydrophilic ones or those prevailing at high concentrations were detected in drainage water. Of the total amounts produced in wheat plants (min: 2.3; max: 292 g/ha/y), 0.5-354 mg/ha/y, i.e. 0.002-0.12%, were emitted via drainage water. Hence, these compounds add to the complex mixture of natural and anthropogenic micropollutants particularly in small rural water bodies, receiving mainly runoff from agricultural areas. PMID:23145781

  13. Evolution of ecological dominance of yeast species in high-sugar environments

    PubMed Central

    Williams, Kathryn M.; Liu, Ping; Fay, Justin C.

    2016-01-01

    In budding yeasts, fermentation in the presence of oxygen evolved around the time of a whole genome duplication (WGD) and is thought to confer dominance in high-sugar environments because ethanol is toxic to many species. While there are many fermentative yeast species, only Saccharomyces cerevisiae consistently dominates wine fermentations. In this study, we use co-culture experiments and intrinsic growth rate assays to examine the relative fitness of non-WGD and WGD yeast species across environments to assess when S. cerevisiae’s ability to dominate high-sugar environments arose. We show that S. cerevisiae dominates nearly all other non-WGD and WGD species except for its sibling species S. paradoxus in both grape juice and a high-sugar rich medium. Of the species we tested, S. cerevisiae and S. paradoxus have evolved the highest ethanol tolerance and intrinsic growth rate in grape juice. However, the ability of S. cerevisiae and S. paradoxus to dominate certain species depends on the temperature and the type of high-sugar environment. Our results indicate that dominance of high-sugar environments evolved much more recently than the WGD, most likely just prior to or during the differentiation of Saccharomyces species, and that evolution of multiple traits contributes to S. cerevisiae’s ability to dominate wine fermentations. PMID:26087012

  14. Evolution of ecological dominance of yeast species in high-sugar environments.

    PubMed

    Williams, Kathryn M; Liu, Ping; Fay, Justin C

    2015-08-01

    In budding yeasts, fermentation in the presence of oxygen evolved around the time of a whole genome duplication (WGD) and is thought to confer dominance in high-sugar environments because ethanol is toxic to many species. Although there are many fermentative yeast species, only Saccharomyces cerevisiae consistently dominates wine fermentations. In this study, we use coculture experiments and intrinsic growth rate assays to examine the relative fitness of non-WGD and WGD yeast species across environments to assess when S. cerevisiae's ability to dominate high-sugar environments arose. We show that S. cerevisiae dominates nearly all other non-WGD and WGD species except for its sibling species S. paradoxus in both grape juice and a high-sugar rich medium. Of the species we tested, S. cerevisiae and S. paradoxus have evolved the highest ethanol tolerance and intrinsic growth rate in grape juice. However, the ability of S. cerevisiae and S. paradoxus to dominate certain species depends on the temperature and the type of high-sugar environment. Our results indicate that dominance of high-sugar environments evolved much more recently than the WGD, most likely just prior to or during the differentiation of Saccharomyces species, and that evolution of multiple traits contributes to S. cerevisiae's ability to dominate wine fermentations. PMID:26087012

  15. Activity and ecological implications of maize-expressed transgenic endo-1,4-β-D-glucanase in agricultural soils.

    PubMed

    Kenny, Adam J; Wolt, Jeffrey D

    2014-09-01

    Plant expression of thermostable endoglucanase (E1) has been proposed for improved conversion of lignocellulose to ethanol for fuel production. Residues of E1-expressing maize may affect ecological services (e.g., C mineralization and biogeochemical cycling) on soils where they occur. Therefore, the activity of residual E1 was investigated using soils amended with bacterial and plant-solubilized E1 compared with soil endogenous activity and residual activity from a mesostable cellulase (Aspergillus and Trichoderma spp.). An optimized analytical method involving a carboxymethyl cellulose substrate and dinitrosalicylic acid detection effectively assayed endoglucanase activity in amended and unamended soils and was used for determining E1 activity in 3 representative soils. The effect of E1 on soil carbon mineralization was determined by comparing CO(2) evolution from soils amended with transgenic E1-expressing and wild-type maize tissue. Extraction and recovery of the mesostable comparator, bacterial E1, and plant-soluble E1 showed nearly complete loss of exogenous endoglucanase activity within a 24-h period. Carbon mineralization indicated no significant difference between soils amended with either the transgenic E1 or wild-type maize tissue. These results indicate that maize residues expressing up to 30 µg E1/g tissue negligibly affect soil endoglucanase activity and CO(2) respiration for representative soils where transgenic E1 maize may be grown. PMID:24863456

  16. Assessment of ecological and human health risks of heavy metal contamination in agriculture soils disturbed by pipeline construction.

    PubMed

    Shi, Peng; Xiao, Jun; Wang, Yafeng; Chen, Liding

    2014-03-01

    The construction of large-scale infrastructures such as nature gas/oil pipelines involves extensive disturbance to regional ecosystems. Few studies have documented the soil degradation and heavy metal contamination caused by pipeline construction. In this study, chromium (Cr), cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), nickel (Ni), lead (Pb) and zinc (Zn) levels were evaluated using Index of Geo-accumulation (Igeo) and Potential Ecological Risk Index (RI) values, and human health risk assessments were used to elucidate the level and spatial variation of heavy metal pollution risks. The results showed that the impact zone of pipeline installation on soil heavy metal contamination was restricted to pipeline right-of-way (RoW), which had higher Igeo of Cd, Cu, Ni and Pb than that of 20 m and 50 m. RI showed a declining tendency in different zones as follows: trench > working zone > piling area > 20 m > 50 m. Pipeline RoW resulted in higher human health risks than that of 20 m and 50 m, and children were more susceptible to non-carcinogenic hazard risk. Cluster analysis showed that Cu, Ni, Pb and Cd had similar sources, drawing attention to the anthropogenic activity. The findings in this study should help better understand the type, degree, scope and sources of heavy metal pollution from pipeline construction to reduce pollutant emissions, and are helpful in providing a scientific basis for future risk management. PMID:24590049

  17. Assessment of Ecological and Human Health Risks of Heavy Metal Contamination in Agriculture Soils Disturbed by Pipeline Construction

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Peng; Xiao, Jun; Wang, Yafeng; Chen, Liding

    2014-01-01

    The construction of large-scale infrastructures such as nature gas/oil pipelines involves extensive disturbance to regional ecosystems. Few studies have documented the soil degradation and heavy metal contamination caused by pipeline construction. In this study, chromium (Cr), cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), nickel (Ni), lead (Pb) and zinc (Zn) levels were evaluated using Index of Geo-accumulation (Igeo) and Potential Ecological Risk Index (RI) values, and human health risk assessments were used to elucidate the level and spatial variation of heavy metal pollution risks. The results showed that the impact zone of pipeline installation on soil heavy metal contamination was restricted to pipeline right-of-way (RoW), which had higher Igeo of Cd, Cu, Ni and Pb than that of 20 m and 50 m. RI showed a declining tendency in different zones as follows: trench > working zone > piling area > 20 m > 50 m. Pipeline RoW resulted in higher human health risks than that of 20 m and 50 m, and children were more susceptible to non-carcinogenic hazard risk. Cluster analysis showed that Cu, Ni, Pb and Cd had similar sources, drawing attention to the anthropogenic activity. The findings in this study should help better understand the type, degree, scope and sources of heavy metal pollution from pipeline construction to reduce pollutant emissions, and are helpful in providing a scientific basis for future risk management. PMID:24590049

  18. Dispersal strategies of phytophagous insects at a local scale: adaptive potential of aphids in an agricultural environment

    PubMed Central

    Lombaert, Eric; Boll, Roger; Lapchin, Laurent

    2006-01-01

    Background The spread of agriculture greatly modified the selective pressures exerted by plants on phytophagous insects, by providing these insects with a high-level resource, structured in time and space. The life history, behavioural and physiological traits of some insect species may have evolved in response to these changes, allowing them to crowd on crops and to become agricultural pests. Dispersal, which is one of these traits, is a key concept in evolutionary biology but has been over-simplified in most theoretical studies. We evaluated the impact of the local-scale dispersal strategy of phytophagous insects on their fitness, using an individual-based model to simulate population dynamics and dispersal between leaves and plants, by walking and flying, of the aphid Aphis gossypii, a major agricultural pest, in a melon field. We compared the optimal values for dispersal parameters in the model with the corresponding observed values in experimental trials. Results We show that the rates of walking and flying disperser production on leaves were the most important traits determining the fitness criteria, whereas dispersal distance and the clustering of flying dispersers on the target plant had no effect. We further show that the effect of dispersal parameters on aphid fitness depended strongly on plant characteristics. Conclusion Parameters defining the dispersal strategies of aphids at a local scale are key components of the fitness of these insects and may thus be essential in the adaptation to agricultural environments that are structured in space and time. Moreover, the fact that the effect of dispersal parameters on aphid fitness depends strongly on plant characteristics suggests that traits defining aphid dispersal strategies may be a cornerstone of host-plant specialization. PMID:17014710

  19. Lead: Aspects of its ecology and environmental toxicity. [physiological effects of lead compound contamination of environment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Siegel, S. M.

    1973-01-01

    An analysis of lead toxicity in the Hawaiian environment was conducted. It was determined that lead enters the environment as an industrial contaminant resulting from the combustion of leaded gasoline. The amount of lead absorbed by the plants in various parts of the Hawaiian Islands is reported. The disposition of lead in the sediments of canals and yacht basins was investigated. The methods for conducting the surveys of lead content are described. Possible consequences of continued environmental pollution by burning leaded gasoline are discussed.

  20. Development of a PCR-based method for monitoring the status of Alcaligenes species in the agricultural environment.

    PubMed

    Nakano, Miyo; Niwa, Masumi; Nishimura, Norihiro

    2014-01-01

    To analyze the status of the genus Alcaligenes in the agricultural environment, we developed a PCR method for detection of these species from vegetables and farming soil. The selected PCR primers amplified a 107-bp fragment of the 16S rRNA gene in a specific PCR assay with a detection limit of 1.06 pg of pure culture DNA, corresponding to DNA extracted from approximately 23 cells of Alcaligenes faecalis. Meanwhile, PCR primers generated a detectable amount of the amplicon from 2.2×10(2) CFU/ml cell suspensions from the soil. Analysis of vegetable phylloepiphytic and farming soil microbes showed that bacterial species belonging to the genus Alcaligenes were present in the range from 0.9×10(0) CFU per gram (or cm(2)) (Japanese radish: Raphanus sativus var. longipinnatus) to more than 1.1×10(4) CFU/g (broccoli flowers: Brassica oleracea var. italic), while 2.4×10(2) to 4.4×10(3) CFU/g were detected from all soil samples. These results indicated that Alcaligenes species are present in the phytosphere at levels 10-1000 times lower than those in soil. Our approach may be useful for tracking or quantifying species of the genus Alcaligenes in the agricultural environment. PMID:24670615

  1. Effects of ecological and conventional agricultural intensification practices on maize yields in sub-Saharan Africa under potential climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Folberth, Christian; Yang, Hong; Gaiser, Thomas; Liu, Junguo; Wang, Xiuying; Williams, Jimmy; Schulin, Rainer

    2014-04-01

    Much of Africa is among the world’s regions with lowest yields in staple food crops, and climate change is expected to make it more difficult to catch up in crop production in particular in the long run. Various agronomic measures have been proposed for lifting agricultural production in Africa and to adapt it to climate change. Here, we present a projection of potential climate change impacts on maize yields under different intensification options in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) using an agronomic model, GIS-based EPIC (GEPIC). Fallow and nutrient management options taken into account are (a) conventional intensification with high mineral N supply and a bare fallow, (b) moderate mineral N supply and cowpea rotation, and (c) moderate mineral N supply and rotation with a fast growing N fixing tree Sesbania sesban. The simulations suggest that until the 2040s rotation with Sesbania will lead to an increase in yields due to increasing N supply besides improving water infiltration and soils’ water holding capacity. Intensive cultivation with a bare fallow or an herbaceous crop like cowpea in the rotation is predicted to result in lower yields and increased soil erosion during the same time span. However, yields are projected to decrease in all management scenarios towards the end of the century, should temperature increase beyond critical thresholds. The results suggest that the effect of eco-intensification as a sole means of adapting agriculture to climate change is limited in Sub-Saharan Africa. Highly adverse temperatures would rather have to be faced by improved heat tolerant cultivars, while strongly adverse decreases in precipitation would have to be faced by expanding irrigation where feasible. While the evaluation of changes in agro-environmental variables like soil organic carbon, erosion, and soil humidity hints that these are major factors influencing climate change resilience of the field crop, no direct relationship between these factors, crop yields, and

  2. Ecology at Home. How Your Housekeeping Habits Can Help Save Our Environment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Killeen, Jacqueline

    This booklet describes common household habits which can be altered to reduce man's pressure upon the environment. Ideas range from conserving cooking fuel by using a Chinese steamer to turning old stockings into rugs. Also included is information on national recycling programs, making gifts from garbage, organic gardening, cooking without…

  3. Mercury: Aspects of its ecology and environmental toxicity. [physiological effects of mercury compound contamination of environment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Siegel, S. M.

    1973-01-01

    A study was conducted to determine the effects of mercury pollution on the environment. The possible sources of mercury contamination in sea water are identified. The effects of mercury on food sources, as represented by swordfish, are analyzed. The physiological effects of varying concentrations of mercury are reported. Emphasis is placed on the situation existing in the Hawaiian Islands.

  4. Openings for Researching Environment and Place in Children's Literature: Ecologies, Potentials, Realities and Challenges

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reid, Alan; Payne, Phillip G.; Cutter-Mackenzie, Amy

    2010-01-01

    This not quite "final" ending of this special issue of "Environmental Education Research" traces a series of hopeful, if somewhat difficult and at times challenging, openings for researching experiences of environment and place through children's literature. In the first instance, we draw inspiration from the contributors who have authored, often…

  5. The effects of chromium and its compounds released to the Canadian environment: An ecological assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Breton, R.L.; Doyle, P.; Nriagu, J.

    1994-12-31

    Chromium is a naturally occurring element that is present principally in the trivalent or hexavalent forms in small amounts throughout the Canadian environment. Chromium ore is not currently mined in Canada; however, approximately 74,000 tonnes of various chromium-containing materials were imported into Canada in 1991. Both trivalent and hexavalent forms of chromium are released into the Canadian environment. Typical concentrations of dissolved hexavalent chromium in Lake Ontario and Lake Erie, and in rivers and streams in parts of British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec are 5 to 15 times greater than the effects threshold estimated for the most sensitive aquatic species. Average concentrations of chromium in soils contaminated with dissolved hexavalent chromium at several Canadian wood preservation facilities are 19 to 1,700 times greater than levels of hexavalent chromium reported to harm some plants and microbial communities. Based on these considerations, it is concluded that dissolved and soluble forms of hexavalent chromium are likely entering the environment in concentrations that are having harmful effects on sensitive species in the Canadian environment. Although trivalent chromium is likely the dominant chromium species in most sediments, soils, and biological tissues, there is insufficient information to determine whether organisms are adversely affected by exposure to trivalent chromium in Canada.

  6. Language Planning and Sociolinguistic Environment in East Timor: Colonial Practice and Changing Language Ecologies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hajek, John

    2000-01-01

    Provides an overview of language planning and the sociolinguistic environment in East Timor. Suggests that those with responsibility for planning show no interest in any holistic or global approach that might take into account all the indigenous languages of the region. (Author/VWL)

  7. Reducing the Ecological Footprint of Pharmaceutical Usage: Linkages Between Healthcare Practices and the Environment

    EPA Science Inventory

    The design of pharmaceuticals and the practices surrounding the lifecycle of their manufacture and usage are central to minimize their impacts on the environment and increase the sustainability of healthcare. Cradle-to-cradle design, as conceptualized by McDonough and Braungart, ...

  8. How do animals communicate in complex hydrodynamic environments? Linking hydraulics and ecology in rivers.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, Matthew; Rice, Stephen

    2015-04-01

    Animals make decisions about the suitability of habitat and their reaction to other organisms based on the sensory information that they first obtain from the environment and other organisms within that environment. Sensory information, such as sounds, scents, vibrations and visual cues, is transported, transmitted, masked and filtered by fluvial processes, such as turbulent flow. Despite the fundamental importance of this information in dictating how animals interact with the environment, only limited attention has been paid to the environmental controls on the propagation of sensory signals and cues through fluvial systems. Aquatic animals use and respond to hydraulic characteristics when navigating their environment and selecting habitat. There is evidence that some animals can also sense the presence of other organisms from the hydraulic characteristics of their wake. This implies that at least some aquatic animals can differentiate between the turbulent flow generated by the presence of living organisms and ambient turbulence generated by the environment. We investigate whether there are specific flow characteristics, distinct from the ambient environment, that potentially flag the presence of organisms to other animals. Acoustic Doppler and Particle Image Velocimetry measurements in a series of laboratory flume experiments quantified the flow around living Signal Crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus) and two inanimate objects of equivalent shape and size. Experiments were repeated across a gradient of turbulence intensities generated over nine combinations of flow velocity and relative submergence. Flows downstream of living crayfish were distinct from inanimate objects, with greater turbulent intensities, higher energy in low- to intermediate frequencies, and flow structures that were less coherent in comparison to those measured downstream of inanimate objects. However, the hydrodynamic signature of crayfish became masked as the intensity of ambient

  9. Exploring the evolutionary ecology of fungal endophytes in agricultural systems: using functional traits to reveal mechanisms in community processes

    PubMed Central

    Saunders, Megan; Glenn, Anthony E; Kohn, Linda M

    2010-01-01

    All plants, including crop species, harbor a community of fungal endophyte species, yet we know little about the biotic factors that are important in endophyte community assembly. We suggest that the most direct route to understanding the mechanisms underlying community assembly is through the study of functional trait variation in the host and its fungal consortium. We review studies on crop endophytes that investigate plant and fungal traits likely to be important in endophyte community processes. We focus on approaches that could speed detection of general trends in endophyte community assembly: (i) use of the ‘assembly rules’ concept to identify specific mechanisms that influence endophyte community dynamics, (ii) measurement of functional trait variation in plants and fungi to better understand endophyte community processes and plant–fungal interactions, and (iii) investigation of microbe–microbe interactions, and fungal traits that mediate them. This approach is well suited for research in agricultural systems, where pair-wise host–fungus interactions and mechanisms of fungal–fungal competition have frequently been described. Areas for consideration include the possibility that human manipulation of crop phenotype and deployment of fungal biocontrol species can significantly influence endophyte community assembly. Evaluation of endophyte assembly rules may help to fine-tune crop management strategies. PMID:25567944

  10. Exploring the evolutionary ecology of fungal endophytes in agricultural systems: using functional traits to reveal mechanisms in community processes.

    PubMed

    Saunders, Megan; Glenn, Anthony E; Kohn, Linda M

    2010-09-01

    All plants, including crop species, harbor a community of fungal endophyte species, yet we know little about the biotic factors that are important in endophyte community assembly. We suggest that the most direct route to understanding the mechanisms underlying community assembly is through the study of functional trait variation in the host and its fungal consortium. We review studies on crop endophytes that investigate plant and fungal traits likely to be important in endophyte community processes. We focus on approaches that could speed detection of general trends in endophyte community assembly: (i) use of the 'assembly rules' concept to identify specific mechanisms that influence endophyte community dynamics, (ii) measurement of functional trait variation in plants and fungi to better understand endophyte community processes and plant-fungal interactions, and (iii) investigation of microbe-microbe interactions, and fungal traits that mediate them. This approach is well suited for research in agricultural systems, where pair-wise host-fungus interactions and mechanisms of fungal-fungal competition have frequently been described. Areas for consideration include the possibility that human manipulation of crop phenotype and deployment of fungal biocontrol species can significantly influence endophyte community assembly. Evaluation of endophyte assembly rules may help to fine-tune crop management strategies. PMID:25567944

  11. Agricultural biodiversity as a link between traditional food systems and contemporary development, social integrity and ecological health.

    PubMed

    Johns, Timothy; Powell, Bronwen; Maundu, Patrick; Eyzaguirre, Pablo B

    2013-11-01

    Traditional food systems offer a key link between the social and economic resilience of smallholder farmers and pastoralists and the sustainable food and nutrition security of global populations. This paper addresses issues related to socio-cultural diversity and the continuing complex engagement of traditional and modern communities with the plants and animals that sustain them. In light of some of the unhealthful consequences of the 'nutrition transition' to globalized modern diets, the authors define and propose a process for a more successful food system transition that balances agro-biodiversity and processed commodities to support diet diversity, health and social equity alongside sustainable economic growth. We review empirical research in support of practice and policy changes in agriculture, economic development and health domains as well as cross-sectoral and community-based innovation. High-value food crops within domestic and global value chains can be an entry point for smallholders' participation as contributors and beneficiaries of development, while sustainable small farms, as purveyors of environmental and public health services, diversify global options for long-term adaptation in the face of environmental uncertainty. PMID:23963831

  12. Climate and atmosphere simulator for experiments on ecological systems in changing environments.

    PubMed

    Verdier, Bruno; Jouanneau, Isabelle; Simonnet, Benoit; Rabin, Christian; Van Dooren, Tom J M; Delpierre, Nicolas; Clobert, Jean; Abbadie, Luc; Ferrière, Régis; Le Galliard, Jean-François

    2014-01-01

    Grand challenges in global change research and environmental science raise the need for replicated experiments on ecosystems subjected to controlled changes in multiple environmental factors. We designed and developed the Ecolab as a variable climate and atmosphere simulator for multifactor experimentation on natural or artificial ecosystems. The Ecolab integrates atmosphere conditioning technology optimized for accuracy and reliability. The centerpiece is a highly contained, 13-m(3) chamber to host communities of aquatic and terrestrial species and control climate (temperature, humidity, rainfall, irradiance) and atmosphere conditions (O2 and CO2 concentrations). Temperature in the atmosphere and in the water or soil column can be controlled independently of each other. All climatic and atmospheric variables can be programmed to follow dynamical trajectories and simulate gradual as well as step changes. We demonstrate the Ecolab's capacity to simulate a broad range of atmospheric and climatic conditions, their diurnal and seasonal variations, and to support the growth of a model terrestrial plant in two contrasting climate scenarios. The adaptability of the Ecolab design makes it possible to study interactions between variable climate-atmosphere factors and biotic disturbances. Developed as an open-access, multichamber platform, this equipment is available to the international scientific community for exploring interactions and feedbacks between ecological and climate systems. PMID:24955649

  13. Distributed temperature sensing (DTS) as an ecological assessment tool in stream environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hatch, C. E.; Tyler, S. W.; Boughton, D.; Belica, L.

    2009-12-01

    Temperature has long been used as an indicator of ecosystem health and suitability for aquatic species, particularly in sensitive areas crucial to the survival of declining important fish populations. Typically, temperature surveys are of long duration but very limited in spatial extent. In recent years, considerable attention has been paid to assessing the ecology, and particularly the thermal regimes, of remaining near-pristine headwater catchments. These studies hope to assess habitats for native species restoration and identify key stream reaches where reproduction takes place, as well as seasonal thermal refugia supporting species survival and local thermal heterogeneities in larger stream systems that allow migratory pathways to persist. Raman-spectra distributed temperature sensing (DTS) along fiber-optic cables provides a unique opportunity to measure continuous longitudinal stream temperatures for hundreds of meters, allowing researchers to assess groundwater inflows, thermal refugia, and temperature heterogeneities at an extremely detailed spatial scale. In this compilation of studies, we present data from three semi-arid catchments (Strawberry Creek in the Great Basin, Squaw Creek the Sierra Nevada, and Horse Creek in the coastal range of California) to investigate seasonal and diurnal thermal behavior, the feedback between hydrology, geology and ecosystem function, and most importantly, the identification and spatial variability of thermal refugia.

  14. [Water environment adaptability and ecological groups of hydroidomedusae in East China Sea].

    PubMed

    Xu, Zhao-li

    2009-01-01

    Based on the data of four seasonal oceanographic censuses in East China Sea (23 degrees 30' - 33 degrees 00' N, 118 degrees 30' - 128 degrees 00' E) in 1997-2000, the optimal water temperature and salinity and the ecological groups of Hydroidomedusae were studied by curve fitting, mathematical model forming, and geographic distribution analyzing. The results showed that Hydroidomedusae could live in the waters with different temperature and salinity. 15 species of Hydroidomedusae had an optimal water temperature of <20 degrees C, 8 species at 20 degrees C - 25 degrees C, 12 species at 22.5 degrees C - 25 degrees C, and 17 species at > or =25 degrees C. 32 species of Hydroidomedusae had an optimal salinity of 32-34, 13 species at 34, 6 species at 30-32, and only 2 species at <30. The weak adaptability of most Hydroidomedusae species to the variation of water salinity made them have low density and limited distribution in East China Sea. Sugiura chengshanense and Clytia hemisphaerica were of nearshore warm temperate water species, Cunina octonaria and other 12 species were of offshore warm temperate water species, 8 species represented by Ectopleura latitaeniata were of nearshore subtropical water species, 5 species represented by Aglaura hemistoma showed some oceanic tropical features, while 25 species represented by Liriope tetraphylla were of offshore subtropical species. Some Hydroidomedusae species could be used as an important bio-indicator of water mass in East China Sea. PMID:19449583

  15. A social ecology of hyperactive boys: medication effects in structured classroom environments.

    PubMed Central

    Whalen, C K; Henker, B; Collins, B E; Finck, D; Dotemoto, S

    1979-01-01

    Hyperactive boys on methylphenidate (Ritalin), hyperactive boys on placebo, and comparison boys were observed in quasi-naturalistic classroom settings. Ambient stimulation (quiet versus noisy conditions) and source of regulation (self-paced versus other-paced activities) were varied in a 2 x 2 design. Compared to their peers, hyperactive boys on placebo showed lower rates of task attention and higher rates of gross motor movement, regular and negative verbalization, noise-making, physical contact, social initiation, disruption, and acts that were perceived as energetic, inappropriate, or unexpected. Self-paced activities resulted in increased rates of verbalization, social initiation, and high-energy episodes. High ambient noise levels reduced task attention and increased the rates of many other behaviors including verbalization, physical contact, gross motor movement, and high-energy acts. Medication-by-situation interactions emerged for both classroom dimensions, with hyperactive boys on placebo being readily distinguishable from their peers under some classroom conditions and indistinguishable under other conditions. Moderate relationships were found between teacher ratings and many individual behavior categories. Discussion focused on (a) the merits and limitations of a social ecological research perspective, and (b) the implications of these findings for the design of intervention strategies. PMID:468749

  16. Sensory-motor system identification of active perception in ecologically valid environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abbott, William; Thomik, Andreas; Faisal, A. Aldo

    2015-03-01

    The brain is a dynamical system mapping sensory inputs to motor actions. This relationship has been widely characterised by reductionist controlled experiments. Here we present work moving out of the lab ``into the wild'' to capture, rather than constrain, sensory inputs and motor outputs, by recording 90% of sensory inputs using head mounted eye-tracking, scene camera and microphone as well as recording 95% of skeletal motor outputs by motion tracking 51 degrees of freedom in the body and a total of 40 degrees of freedom from the hands. We can thus begin to systematically characterise the perception-action loop through system identification. This enables use to evaluate classical relationships in ecologically valid settings and behaviours including 3 daily scenarios: breakfast in the kitchen, evening chores and activities and in-door ambulation . This level of data richness (97 DOF, 60Hz), coupled with the extensive recordings of natural perceptual and behavioural data (total > 30 hrs, 10 subjects) enables us to answer general questions of how lab tasks and protocols will produce systematically different results from those found in daily life.

  17. The role of a fertilizer trial in reconciling agricultural expectations and landscape ecology requirements on an opencast coal site in South Wales, United Kingdom

    SciTech Connect

    Humphries, C.E.L.; Humphries, R.N.; Wesemann, H.

    1999-07-01

    Since the 1940s the restoration of opencast coal sites in the UK has been predominantly to productive agriculture and forestry. With new UK government policies on sustainability and biodiversity such land uses may be no longer be acceptable or appropriate in the upland areas of South Wales. A scheme was prepared for the upland Nant Helen site with the objective of restoring the landscape ecology of the site; it included acid grassland to provide the landscape setting and for grazing. The scheme met with the approval of the planning authority. An initial forty hectares (about 13% of the site) was restored between 1993 and 1996. While the approved low intensity grazing and low fertilizer regime met the requirements of the planning authority and the statutory agencies, it was not meeting the expectations of the grazers who had grazing rights to the land. To help reconcile the apparent conflict a fertilizer trial was set up. The trial demonstrated that additional fertilizer and intensive grazing was required to meet the nutritional needs of sheep. It also showed typical upland stocking densities of sheep could be achieved with the acid grassland without the need for reseeding with lowland types. However this was not acceptable to the authority and agencies as such fertilizer and grazing regimes would be detrimental to the landscape and ecological objectives of the restoration scheme. A compromise was agreed whereby grazing intensity and additional fertilizer have been zoned. This has been implemented and is working to the satisfaction of all parties. Without the fertilizer trial it is unlikely that the different interests could have been reconciled.

  18. Patterns of ecological specialization among microbial populations in the Red Sea and diverse oligotrophic marine environments.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Luke R; Field, Chris; Romanuk, Tamara; Ngugi, David; Siam, Rania; El Dorry, Hamza; Stingl, Ulrich

    2013-06-01

    Large swaths of the nutrient-poor surface ocean are dominated numerically by cyanobacteria (Prochlorococcus), cyanobacterial viruses (cyanophage), and alphaproteobacteria (SAR11). How these groups thrive in the diverse physicochemical environments of different oceanic regions remains poorly understood. Comparative metagenomics can reveal adaptive responses linked to ecosystem-specific selective pressures. The Red Sea is well-suited for studying adaptation of pelagic-microbes, with salinities, temperatures, and light levels at the extreme end for the surface ocean, and low nutrient concentrations, yet no metagenomic studies have been done there. The Red Sea (high salinity, high light, low N and P) compares favorably with the Mediterranean Sea (high salinity, low P), Sargasso Sea (low P), and North Pacific Subtropical Gyre (high light, low N). We quantified the relative abundance of genetic functions among Prochlorococcus, cyanophage, and SAR11 from these four regions. Gene frequencies indicate selection for phosphorus acquisition (Mediterranean/Sargasso), DNA repair and high-light responses (Red Sea/Pacific Prochlorococcus), and osmolyte C1 oxidation (Red Sea/Mediterranean SAR11). The unexpected connection between salinity-dependent osmolyte production and SAR11 C1 metabolism represents a potentially major coevolutionary adaptation and biogeochemical flux. Among Prochlorococcus and cyanophage, genes enriched in specific environments had ecotype distributions similar to nonenriched genes, suggesting that inter-ecotype gene transfer is not a major source of environment-specific adaptation. Clustering of metagenomes using gene frequencies shows similarities in populations (Red Sea with Pacific, Mediterranean with Sargasso) that belie their geographic distances. Taken together, the genetic functions enriched in specific environments indicate competitive strategies for maintaining carrying capacity in the face of physical stressors and low nutrient availability. PMID

  19. Patterns of ecological specialization among microbial populations in the Red Sea and diverse oligotrophic marine environments

    PubMed Central

    Thompson, Luke R; Field, Chris; Romanuk, Tamara; Ngugi, David; Siam, Rania; El Dorry, Hamza; Stingl, Ulrich

    2013-01-01

    Large swaths of the nutrient-poor surface ocean are dominated numerically by cyanobacteria (Prochlorococcus), cyanobacterial viruses (cyanophage), and alphaproteobacteria (SAR11). How these groups thrive in the diverse physicochemical environments of different oceanic regions remains poorly understood. Comparative metagenomics can reveal adaptive responses linked to ecosystem-specific selective pressures. The Red Sea is well-suited for studying adaptation of pelagic-microbes, with salinities, temperatures, and light levels at the extreme end for the surface ocean, and low nutrient concentrations, yet no metagenomic studies have been done there. The Red Sea (high salinity, high light, low N and P) compares favorably with the Mediterranean Sea (high salinity, low P), Sargasso Sea (low P), and North Pacific Subtropical Gyre (high light, low N). We quantified the relative abundance of genetic functions among Prochlorococcus, cyanophage, and SAR11 from these four regions. Gene frequencies indicate selection for phosphorus acquisition (Mediterranean/Sargasso), DNA repair and high-light responses (Red Sea/Pacific Prochlorococcus), and osmolyte C1 oxidation (Red Sea/Mediterranean SAR11). The unexpected connection between salinity-dependent osmolyte production and SAR11 C1 metabolism represents a potentially major coevolutionary adaptation and biogeochemical flux. Among Prochlorococcus and cyanophage, genes enriched in specific environments had ecotype distributions similar to nonenriched genes, suggesting that inter-ecotype gene transfer is not a major source of environment-specific adaptation. Clustering of metagenomes using gene frequencies shows similarities in populations (Red Sea with Pacific, Mediterranean with Sargasso) that belie their geographic distances. Taken together, the genetic functions enriched in specific environments indicate competitive strategies for maintaining carrying capacity in the face of physical stressors and low nutrient availability. PMID

  20. Perceptions of work environment priorities: Are there any differences by company size? An ecological study

    PubMed Central

    Nordlöf, Hasse; Wijk, Katarina; Westergren, Karl-Erik

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Earlier studies suggest that the quality of handling occupational health and safety (OHS) activities differs between companies of different sizes. Company size is a proxy variable for other variables affecting OHS performance. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to investigate if there is an association between company size and perceptions of work environment prioritizations. METHODS: Data from 106 small- and medium-sized Swedish manufacturing companies was collected. One manager and one safety delegate at each company rated different aspects of their companies’ work environment prioritizations with a 43-item questionnaire. Ratings were aggregated to a summary statistic for each company before analysis. RESULTS: No significant differences in perceptions of priority were found to be associated with company sizes. This is in contrast to earlier studies of objective differences. The respondents in small companies, however, showed significantly greater consensus in their ratings. CONCLUSIONS: Company size does not appear to be associated with perceptions of work environment prioritizations. Company size is an important proxy variable to study in order to understand what factors enable and obstruct safe and healthy workplaces. The work presented here should be viewed as an initial exploration to serve as direction for future academic work. PMID:26409368

  1. Where Have All the Flowers Gone? A Reference Guide and Sourcebook to Ecological Literature.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    1970

    Published as a reference guide and sourcebook to ecological literature, this anthology includes books, magazine articles, children's books, and films pertinent to ecology and the environment. A one paragraph annotation is provided for books and films, and all items are cross-indexed within 24 categories: agriculture, air pollution, animals and…

  2. The Importance of Considering the Temporal Distribution of Climate Variables for Ecological-Economic Modeling to Calculate the Consequences of Climate Change for Agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plegnière, Sabrina; Casper, Markus; Hecker, Benjamin; Müller-Fürstenberger, Georg

    2014-05-01

    The basis of many models to calculate and assess climate change and its consequences are annual means of temperature and precipitation. This method leads to many uncertainties especially at the regional or local level: the results are not realistic or too coarse. Particularly in agriculture, single events and the distribution of precipitation and temperature during the growing season have enormous influences on plant growth. Therefore, the temporal distribution of climate variables should not be ignored. To reach this goal, a high-resolution ecological-economic model was developed which combines a complex plant growth model (STICS) and an economic model. In this context, input data of the plant growth model are daily climate values for a specific climate station calculated by the statistical climate model (WETTREG). The economic model is deduced from the results of the plant growth model STICS. The chosen plant is corn because corn is often cultivated and used in many different ways. First of all, a sensitivity analysis showed that the plant growth model STICS is suitable to calculate the influences of different cultivation methods and climate on plant growth or yield as well as on soil fertility, e.g. by nitrate leaching, in a realistic way. Additional simulations helped to assess a production function that is the key element of the economic model. Thereby the problems when using mean values of temperature and precipitation in order to compute a production function by linear regression are pointed out. Several examples show why a linear regression to assess a production function based on mean climate values or smoothed natural distribution leads to imperfect results and why it is not possible to deduce a unique climate factor in the production function. One solution for this problem is the additional consideration of stress indices that show the impairment of plants by water or nitrate shortage. Thus, the resulting model takes into account not only the ecological

  3. Airborne molds and mycotoxins associated with handling of corn silage and oilseed cakes in agricultural environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lanier, Caroline; Richard, Estelle; Heutte, Natacha; Picquet, Rachel; Bouchart, Valérie; Garon, David

    2010-05-01

    In agricultural areas, the contamination of feedstuffs with molds and mycotoxins presents major environmental and health concerns. During cattle feeding, fungi and mycotoxins were monitored in corn silage, oilseed cakes and bioaerosols collected in Normandy. Most of the corn silages were found to be contaminated by deoxynivalenol (mean concentration: 1883 μg kg -1) while a few of oilseed cakes were contaminated by alternariol, fumonisin B 1 or gliotoxin. In ambient bioaerosols, the values for fungi per cubic meter of air varied from 4.3 × 10 2 to 6.2 × 10 5 cfu m -3. Seasonal variations were observed with some species like Aspergillus fumigatus which significantly decreased between the 2 seasons ( P = 0.0186) while the Penicillium roqueforti group significantly increased during the second season ( P = 0.0156). In the personal bioaerosols, the values for fungi per cubic meter of air varied from 3.3 10 3 to 1.7 10 6 cfu m -3 and the number of A. fumigatus spores significantly decreased between the 2 seasons ( P = 0.0488). Gliotoxin, an immunosuppressive mycotoxin, was quantified in 3 personal filters at 3.73 μg m -3, 1.09 μg m -3 and 2.97 μg m -3.

  4. An overview of dredging operations in the Chesapeake Bay. [environment effects and coastal ecology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Silver, R. H.

    1978-01-01

    Maintenance of the Baltimore and the Newport News/Norfolk harbors as well as of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal is accomplished by different dredging operations which depend on the amount and type of material to be moved, water depth, and location of disposal sites. Methods for determining the physical or chemical-biological interactive effects of these activities on the environment and on the shellfish and finfish industries on the Bay are discussed. The types of dredges used are classed according to their mode of operation.

  5. Extended spectrum ß-lactamase- and constitutively AmpC-producing Enterobacteriaceae on fresh produce and in the agricultural environment.

    PubMed

    Blaak, Hetty; van Hoek, Angela H A M; Veenman, Christiaan; Docters van Leeuwen, Arieke E; Lynch, Gretta; van Overbeek, Wendy M; de Roda Husman, Ana Maria

    2014-01-01

    The attribution of fresh produce to the overall community-associated exposure of humans to ESBL- or AmpC-producing bacteria is currently unknown. To address this issue, the prevalence of ESBL- and AmpC-producing Enterobacteriaceae on fresh produce produced in the Netherlands was determined. Seven vegetable types that are consumed raw were selected: blanched celery, bunched carrots, chicory, endive, iceberg lettuce, mushrooms, and radish. The vegetables were mostly obtained from supermarkets. To determine whether the agricultural environment is the source of ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae on fresh produce, iceberg lettuce was also obtained directly from three farms, in conjunction with soil and irrigation water. ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae isolated from vegetables and environment were all environmental species: Rahnella aquatilis (n = 119), Serratia fonticola (n = 45) and Pantoea agglomerans (n = 1). ESBL genes of R. aquatilis and S. fonticola were identified as blaRAHN-1 and blaRAHN-2 and blaFONA-1, blaFONA-2, blaFONA-3/6 and blaFONA-5, respectively. For R. aquatilis and S. fonticola, different prevalence numbers were observed using different isolation methods, which could at least partially be explained by an inverse correlation between the level of cefotaxime resistance of these species and incubation temperature. R. aquatilis was isolated from 0 to 46% of soil samples and 11 to 83% of vegetable samples, and S. fonticola from 2 to 60% of soil samples and 0 to 1.3% of vegetable samples. Third generation cephalosporin-resistant faecal Enterobacteriaceae were isolated from 2.7%, 1.3% and 1.1% of supermarket vegetables, iceberg lettuce from farms, and agricultural soil respectively. Faecal Enterobacteriaceae were all identified as Citrobacter and Enterobacter species and, with the exception of one Citrobacter koseri strain, all had phenotypes indicative of constitutive AmpC production. Comparison of fresh produce and its agricultural environment indicates

  6. Environment and ecology of East Asian dinosaurs during the Early Cretaceous inferred from stable oxygen and carbon isotopes in apatite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amiot, Romain; Wang, Xu; Zhou, Zhonghe; Wang, Xiaolin; Lécuyer, Christophe; Buffetaut, Eric; Fluteau, Frédéric; Ding, Zhongli; Kusuhashi, Nao; Mo, Jinyou; Philippe, Marc; Suteethorn, Varavudh; Wang, Yuanqing; Xu, Xing

    2015-02-01

    During the cold Late Barremian-Early Albian interval, terrestrial environments in East Asia were populated by rich and diverse vertebrate faunas characterized by a strong provincialism. The latitudinal gradient of temperature and the existence of geographic barriers likely accounted for some aspects of this heterogeneous distribution of faunas. Other factors, however, such as local environmental conditions and interactions within vertebrate communities, which could have influenced their distribution, have not yet been fully identified and understood. Therefore, new and published oxygen and carbon isotope compositions of apatite from Chinese and Thai reptiles (dinosaurs, crocodilians and turtles) have been analyzed and interpreted in terms of ecology, local air temperature and precipitation amounts. Differences in carbon and oxygen isotope compositions between various groups of sympatric plant-eating dinosaurs (sauropods, ornithopods and ceratopsians) indicate food resources partitioning among them most likely to avoid competition. Mid-latitude environments, where the Jehol Biota flourished, were submitted to cool temperate climatic conditions with Mean Air Temperature (MAT) of 10 ± 4 °C and Mean Annual Precipitations (MAP) of about 600 mm/yr compatible with the existence of forest environments. By contrast, sub-tropical regions, characterized by MAT of about 20-25 °C were either submitted to high amounts of seasonal precipitations (of about 1200 mm/yr in Thailand) or to significant aridity (MAP of about 400 mm/yr in South China). This difference in precipitation regime between Thailand and South China may be attributed to the occurrence of the Coastal Cordillera extending along the East margin of the South China block. These mountain ranges likely prevented humid air masses from the Pacific to penetrate some parts of South China, thus generating a "rain shadow effect". Mosaic environments characterizing East Asia during the Late Early Cretaceous may have acted

  7. The ecology of elk in an arid environment: An overview of the Hanford elk project

    SciTech Connect

    McCorquodale, S.M . Wildlife Resource Management); Eberhardt, L.E. )

    1990-08-01

    We studied elk (Cerves elaphus) in Washington's shrub-steppe region from 1982 to the present. The population originated from a small number of colonizers that took up residence on the Hanford Site in winter 1972--73. Rapid population growth was facilitated by high reproductive and survival rates. Elk showed strong preferences for bedding in sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) stands, the only vegetative cover available. Foraging elk typically selected previously burned habitats that no longer supported sagebrush. Elk limited their major diurnal activity, favoring dusk-to-dawn foraging with relatively high nocturnal activity levels. Elk diets were dominated by grasses from winter through early summer and by forbs during the summer drought period. High reproductive success and survival and superior antler growth relative to elk occupying more mesic environments suggested that these elk were effectively utilizing the shrub-steppe environment. Mild, short winters in the shrub-steppe were hypothesized to contribute to reduced winter energy deficits common in temperate herbivores, partly facilitating the observed high fitness. We also hypothesize that in the absence of a significant overstory, the proportion of the range of these elk that would be considered foraging habitat exceeded that typical of elk occupying coniferous forests. Thus, the quantity of foraging areas may have compensated for reduced productivity typical of this region. 29 refs., 3 figs., 2 tabs.

  8. Natural environments, nature relatedness and the ecological theater: connecting satellites and sequencing to shinrin-yoku.

    PubMed

    Craig, Jeffrey M; Logan, Alan C; Prescott, Susan L

    2016-01-01

    Recent advances in research concerning the public health value of natural environments have been remarkable. The growing interest in this topic (often housed under terms such as green and/or blue space) has been occurring in parallel with the microbiome revolution and an increased use of remote sensing technology in public health. In the context of biodiversity loss, rapid urbanization, and alarming rates of global non-communicable diseases (many associated with chronic, low-grade inflammation), discussions of natural vis-a-vis built environments are not merely fodder for intellectual curiosity. Here, we argue for increased interdisciplinary collaboration with the aim of better understanding the mechanisms-including aerobiological and epigenetic-that might help explain some of the noted positive health outcomes. It is our contention that some of these mechanisms are related to ecodiversity (i.e., the sum of biodiversity and geodiversity, including biotic and abiotic constituents). We also encourage researchers to more closely examine individual nature relatedness and how it might influence many outcomes that are at the interface of lifestyle habits and contact with ecodiversity. PMID:26763049

  9. Mental wellbeing of children engaged in agricultural work activities and quality of family environment.

    PubMed

    Lachowski, Stanisław; Lachowska, Bogusława

    2007-01-01

    A considerable percentage of Polish children from agricultural families are engaged by their parents in performing work activities on farms. The performance of these tasks arouses various emotional reactions in children, from the feeling of threat, fear and anxiety, to the feeling of satisfaction, being contented and proud. The subjective feeling of happiness and life satisfaction is an extremely important factor affecting the mental health and functioning of a human being. The objective of the study was to show to what extent the quality of communication between children and parents, and the level of family cohesion and adaptability according to the Circumplex Model by D. H. Olson et al., modifies children's emotional reactions associated with the tasks performed. The study covered 192 children aged 12-13, whose parents were running a family farm. Growing up in a healthy family characterised by a balanced level of cohesion, adaptability and good communication with the father and mother, favours the occurrence in children of pleasant emotions in reaction to work which they undertake on behalf of their parents on a farm. In such families, more often than in families with bad communication and dysfunctional families (disengaged, rigid), children experience satisfaction, have a feeling of deepening bonds with their parents, and the feeling of being more adult and preparing themselves well for adult life. Family characteristics which are evidence of disorders in its functioning (lack of good communication with the father, mother, lack of bonds between family members, rigid, chaos in a family) co-occur with the child experiencing unpleasant emotional states in associated with the work performed, there occur feelings of dissatisfaction, unhappiness, unpleasantness, the feeling that it would be better to learn than to work. PMID:17655188

  10. Agricultural sustainability: concepts, principles and evidence.

    PubMed

    Pretty, Jules

    2008-02-12

    Concerns about sustainability in agricultural systems centre on the need to develop technologies and practices that do not have adverse effects on environmental goods and services, are accessible to and effective for farmers, and lead to improvements in food productivity. Despite great progress in agricultural productivity in the past half-century, with crop and livestock productivity strongly driven by increased use of fertilizers, irrigation water, agricultural machinery, pesticides and land, it would be over-optimistic to assume that these relationships will remain linear in the future. New approaches are needed that will integrate biological and ecological processes into food production, minimize the use of those non-renewable inputs that cause harm to the environment or to the health of farmers and consumers, make productive use of the knowledge and skills of farmers, so substituting human capital for costly external inputs, and make productive use of people's collective capacities to work together to solve common agricultural and natural resource problems, such as for pest, watershed, irrigation, forest and credit management. These principles help to build important capital assets for agricultural systems: natural; social; human; physical; and financial capital. Improving natural capital is a central aim, and dividends can come from making the best use of the genotypes of crops and animals and the ecological conditions under which they are grown or raised. Agricultural sustainability suggests a focus on both genotype improvements through the full range of modern biological approaches and improved understanding of the benefits of ecological and agronomic management, manipulation and redesign. The ecological management of agroecosystems that addresses energy flows, nutrient cycling, population-regulating mechanisms and system resilience can lead to the redesign of agriculture at a landscape scale. Sustainable agriculture outcomes can be positive for food

  11. The Use of Remote Sensing for Monitoring, Prediction, and Management of Hydrologic, Agricultural, and Ecological Processes in the Northern Great Plains

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Farwell, Sherry O.; DeTroye, Diane (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    The NASA-EPSCoR program in South Dakota is focused on the enhancement of NASA-related research in earth system science and corresponding infrastructure development to support this theme. Hence, the program has adopted a strategy that keys on research projects that: a) establish quantitative links between geospatial information technologies and fundamental climatic and ecosystem processes in the Northern Great Plains (NGP) and b) develop and use coupled modeling tools, which can be initialized by data from combined satellite and surface measurements, to provide reliable predictions and management guidance for hydrologic, agricultural, and ecological systems of the NGP. Building a partnership network that includes both internal and external team members is recognized as an essential element of the SD NASA-EPSCoR program. Hence, promoting and tracking such linkages along with their relevant programmatic consequences are used as one metric to assess the program's progress and success. This annual report first summarizes general activities and accomplishments, and then provides progress narratives for the two separate, yet related research projects that are essential components of the SD NASA-EPSCoR program.

  12. Ecological evaluation of Oakland Harbor Phase 3-38-foot composites relative to the Alcatraz Island Environs (R-AM)

    SciTech Connect

    Mayhew, H.L.; Kohn, N.P.; Ward, J.A.; Word, J.Q.; Pinza, M.R.

    1992-01-01

    The Water Resources Development Act of 1986 (Public Law 99--662) authorized the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) San Francisco District, to deepen and widen the navigational channels of the Oakland Inner Harbors to accommodate deeper-draft vessels. Battelle/Marine Sciences Laboratory (MSL) conducted a study for USACE to determine whether potential dredged sediments in Oakland Inner Harbor were suitable for open-water disposal, following the guidelines of the Draft Ecological Evaluation of Proposed Discharge of Dredged Material into Ocean Waters, otherwise known as the implementation Manual (EPA/USACE 1990). This report summarizes the collection, chemical analysis, toxicity testing, and bioaccumulation analysis of sediments collected to {minus}38 ft relative to mean lower low water from Oakland Inner Harbor. Six dredged material composite samples (COMPs) were compared to reference sediment from the area surrounding Alcatraz Island and its dredged material disposal site, designated the Alcatraz Island Environs (R-AM). Examination of the results of toxicity tests and bioaccumulation analysis will assist USACE in determining the effects of in-bay disposal of the Oakland Inner Harbor dredged material on the Alcatraz Island Environs.

  13. Natural environments, ancestral diets, and microbial ecology: is there a modern "paleo-deficit disorder"? Part II.

    PubMed

    Logan, Alan C; Katzman, Martin A; Balanzá-Martínez, Vicent

    2015-01-01

    Famed microbiologist René J. Dubos (1901-1982) was an early pioneer in the developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD) construct. In the 1960s, he conducted groundbreaking research concerning the ways in which early-life experience with nutrition, microbiota, stress, and other environmental variables could influence later-life health outcomes. He recognized the co-evolutionary relationship between microbiota and the human host. Almost 2 decades before the hygiene hypothesis, he suggested that children in developed nations were becoming too sanitized (vs. our ancestral past) and that scientists should determine whether the childhood environment should be "dirtied up in a controlled manner." He also argued that oft-celebrated growth chart increases via changes in the global food supply and dietary patterns should not be equated to quality of life and mental health. Here in the second part of our review, we reflect the words of Dubos off contemporary research findings in the areas of diet, the gut-brain-axis (microbiota and anxiety and depression) and microbial ecology. Finally, we argue, as Dubos did 40 years ago, that researchers should more closely examine the relevancy of silo-sequestered, reductionist findings in the larger picture of human quality of life. In the context of global climate change and the epidemiological transition, an allergy epidemic and psychosocial stress, our review suggests that discussions of natural environments, urbanization, biodiversity, microbiota, nutrition, and mental health, are often one in the same. PMID:25889196

  14. Microbial ecology of extreme environments: Antarctic yeasts and growth in substrate-limited habitats

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vishniac, H. S.

    1984-01-01

    An extreme environment is by definition one with a depauperate biota. While the Ross Desert is by no means homogeneous, the most exposed and arid habitats, soils in the unglaciated high valleys, do indeed contain a very sparse biota of low diversity. So sparse that the natives could easily be outnumbered by airborne exogenous microbes. Native biota must be capable of overwintering as well as growing in the high valley summer. Tourists may undergo a few divisions before contributing their enzymes and, ultimately, elements to the soil - or may die before landing. The simplest way to demonstrate the indigenicity of a particular microbe is therefore to establish unique distribution; occurrence only in the habitat in question precludes foreign origin.

  15. A review of the ecological and taphonomic controls on foraminiferal assemblage development in intertidal environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berkeley, A.; Perry, C. T.; Smithers, S. G.; Horton, B. P.; Taylor, K. G.

    2007-08-01

    Intertidal foraminifera from surface sediments are commonly used as a high-resolution indicator of sea-level change. The integrity of this approach is based upon the assumption that surface assemblages are similar in composition to their buried, fossil counterparts. This assumption may, in some cases, be inappropriate due to subsurface (or infaunal) production and taphonomic alteration. Here, we review the current understanding of foraminiferal production and taphonomic loss in intertidal environments, and examine the extent to which these processes can affect the development of foraminiferal assemblages in intertidal environments. As a sediment layer undergoes burial, dead tests are added at a rate proportionate to the standing crop at that depth. As a consequence, test accumulation within the layer is proportionate to the depth-integrated standing crop. Depending on the nature of its vertical living distribution, the upper 1 cm of sediment may therefore not adequately characterise a given species total input. Instead, a comparison of each species contribution to the entire, depth-integrated living community may offer a better a priori estimate of relative input to the sediment column. This provides an improved base-line for identifying 'true' taphonomic trends downcore. The potential for infauna to create discrepancies between surface and subsurface assemblages may be minimised however, where: (1) reproduction is concentrated near to the sediment surface, transforming an apparent infaunal standing crop into an effective epifaunal production; (2) the living fauna is composed similarly at all depths of production; and/or (3) intense bioturbation homogenises the upper sediment layers. The likely decline in the intensity of taphonomic processes with depth may mean that the foraminiferal production from different depths may not experience taphonomic processes uniformly. Consequently, in addition to their possible gradual enrichment due to subsurface production

  16. Agricultural management and environment controls long-term soil nitrous oxide fluxes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gelfand, I.; Shcherbak, I.; Robertson, G. P.

    2013-12-01

    Nitrous oxide (N2O) is an important greenhouse gas with a long atmospheric half-life. Understanding the controls on soil nitrous oxide fluxes is vital for the development of mitigation opportunities and for understanding their climatic impact. The spatial and temporal variability of soil nitrous oxide fluxes, however, makes it difficult to predict such fluxes. We examined the longest available dataset, 22 years of continues measurements, which contains biweekly measurements of soil nitrous oxide emissions together with measurements of an array of environmental and management parameters from eleven ecosystems, including four corn-soybean-wheat rotations under different management (conventional, no-till, biological, and reduced input), one perennial alfalfa system, two tree plantations, three successional systems, and one deciduous forest. This dataset was used to assess the effect of different agricultural and land management practices on soil N2O emissions. Using statistical and correlation analyses, we found that, in general, annual crops emitted 2-3 times more N2O annually than did perennial crops. Among the annual crops, there were no differences in the annual emissions among the cropping systems; the conventional, no-till, reduced input, and biologically managed systems emitted similar amounts of N2O with very different emission patterns. Among the perennial crops, alfalfa emitted 2 times more N2O than did poplar, approximately 1.6 times more than did the coniferous plantation, and ~3 times more than did the unmanaged successional communities and the deciduous forest, which emitted similar amounts. Within the annual crop rotation phases, the wheat phase of the conventionally and no-till-managed rotations emitted approximately twice as much N2O than did the reduced input- and biologically managed systems, largely due to the length of the bare soil fallow. The corn and soybean phases of the conventionally managed rotation emitted between 70 and 100% less N2O than

  17. Urban microbiomes and urban ecology: how do microbes in the built environment affect human sustainability in cities?

    PubMed

    King, Gary M

    2014-09-01

    Humans increasingly occupy cities. Globally, about 50% of the total human population lives in urban environments, and in spite of some trends for deurbanization, the transition from rural to urban life is expected to accelerate in the future, especially in developing nations and regions. The Republic of Korea, for example, has witnessed a dramatic rise in its urban population, which now accounts for nearly 90% of all residents; the increase from about 29% in 1955 has been attributed to multiple factors, but has clearly been driven by extraordinary growth in the gross domestic product accompanying industrialization. While industrialization and urbanization have unarguably led to major improvements in quality of life indices in Korea and elsewhere, numerous serious problems have also been acknowledged, including concerns about resource availability, water quality, amplification of global warming and new threats to health. Questions about sustainability have therefore led Koreans and others to consider deurbanization as a management policy. Whether this offers any realistic prospects for a sustainable future remains to be seen. In the interim, it has become increasingly clear that built environments are no less complex than natural environments, and that they depend on a variety of internal and external connections involving microbes and the processes for which microbes are responsible. I provide here a definition of the urban microbiome, and through examples indicate its centrality to human function and wellbeing in urban systems. I also identify important knowledge gaps and unanswered questions about urban microbiomes that must be addressed to develop a robust, predictive and general understanding of urban biology and ecology that can be used to inform policy-making for sustainable systems. PMID:25224504

  18. Preliminary ecological risk assessment of butylparaben and benzylparaben -2. Fate and partitioning in aquatic environments.

    PubMed

    Yamamoto, Hiroshi; Watanabe, Mikako; Katsuki, Shota; Nakamura, Yuki; Moriguchi, Shigemi; Nakamura, Yudai; Sekizawa, Jun

    2007-01-01

    Butylparaben and benzylparaben, used as preservatives mainly in cosmetic products, have recently been shown to be weakly estrogenic. Batch sunlight photolysis and river water biodegradation experiments were conducted to determine the persistence of these compounds in aquatic environments. As a result, benzylparaben was found to be moderately photodegradable whereas both n-butylparaben and i-butylparaben were highly stable against sunlight. Both benzylparaben and butylparabens were relatively biodegradable in the river water but the degradability was dependent on the sampling site and time. Batch sorption experiments were also conducted to determine the coefficients of sorption into river sediments and a model soil sample. The determined coefficients were slightly higher for benzylparaben than the two butylparabens and comparable to that of the natural estrogen 17beta-estradiol. The coefficients were also higher for sediment/soil with a higher organic content and the organic-carbon-based sorption coefficient (log K oc) shows a moderate linear correlation with the octanol-water partition coefficient (log K ow). These results suggest that hydrophobic interaction plays a predominant role in sorption at neutral pH. PMID:18382418

  19. Seeing the Wood for the Trees: Applying the Dual-Memory System Model to Investigate Expert Teachers' Observational Skills in Natural Ecological Learning Environments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stolpe, Karin; Bjorklund, Lars

    2012-01-01

    This study aims to investigate two expert ecology teachers' ability to attend to essential details in a complex environment during a field excursion, as well as how they teach this ability to their students. In applying a cognitive dual-memory system model for learning, we also suggest a rationale for their behaviour. The model implies two…

  20. Physiological Ecology of Mesozoic Polar Forests in a High CO2 Environment

    PubMed Central

    BEERLING, D. J.; OSBORNE, C. P.

    2002-01-01

    Fossils show that coniferous forests extended into polar regions during the Mesozoic, a time when models and independent palaeo‐CO2 indicators suggest that the atmospheric CO2 concentration was at least double that of the present day. Consequently, such polar forests would have experienced high CO2 interacting with an extreme variation in light. Here we describe an experiment investigating this plant–environment interaction for extant tree species that were important components of polar forests, and give results from the first year of treatment. Specifically, we tested the hypotheses that growth in elevated CO2 (1) stimulates photosynthesis; (2) reduces photoinhibition during the polar summer; and (3) reduces respiration of above‐ and below‐ground plant organs. Our results indicate that CO2 fertilization generally does not affect photosynthesis under continuous daylight characteristic of the polar summer but does increase it when the period of illumination is shorter. Growth in elevated CO2 did not alter the potential for photoinhibition. CO2 enrichment significantly reduced leaf and root respiration rates by 50 and 25 %, respectively, in a range of evergreen taxa. Incorporating these observed CO2 effects into numerical simulations using a process‐based model of coniferous forest growth indicates that a high palaeo‐CO2 concentration would have increased the productivity of Cretaceous conifer forests in northern Alaska. This results from decreased respiratory costs that more than compensate for the absence of high CO2–high temperature interactions during the polar summer. The longer‐term effects of CO2 enrichment on seasonal changes in the above‐ and below‐ground carbon balance of trees are discussed. PMID:12096745

  1. Benthic foraminiferal micro-ecology and the geochemical environments they sample

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jacobsen, Brittani; Loubere, Paul; Yavorska, Iryna; Klitgaard-Kristensen, Dorthe; Jernas, Patrycja

    2010-05-01

    Benthic foraminifera inhabit, and are adapted to, microenvironments ranging from within the water column to centimeters into the sediments. These influence the geochemistry of the foraminiferal shell, and the paleoceanographic tracers we extract from that geochemistry. For a number of proxies it is important to know what geochemical environments the foraminifera are calcifying in, and whether species are consistent in the habitats they select for calcification. We examine these issues by sampling pore water chemistry and living species distributions on the microscale that the foraminifera themselves experience. We maintained cores from the Norwegian margin under in-situ conditions while measuring oxygen microprofiles and small scale sampling for foraminifera using rose Bengal and cell tracker green staining. In addition we sampled cores for porosity and pore water carbon isotopes using two extraction techniques so as to measure isotope profiles and degree of sediment irrigation via infaunal structures. The primary forcing variable we examined was changing labile organic carbon flux to the seabed. Under moderate to higher fluxes we found evidence for extensive bio-irrigation which influenced the composition of pore waters and microhabitats available to foraminifera. Macro-meiofaunal burrows and tubes produced a mosaic of pore water geochemical conditions rather than smooth gradients from the sediment-water interface. We found species adapted to particular conditions living at various subsurface depths, where their preferred conditions existed. We also found evidence that foraminiferal species responded to larger organism activities (feeding activities) and products (fecal deposits). It appears that taxa select for particular conditions rather than simply living at specific subsurface depths, recording whatever geochemistry happens to exist at that level.

  2. Impacts of anthropogenic activity on the ecology of class 1 integrons and integron-associated genes in the environment

    PubMed Central

    Gaze, William H; Zhang, Lihong; Abdouslam, Nouradin A; Hawkey, Peter M; Calvo-Bado, Leo; Royle, Jeremy; Brown, Helen; Davis, Susan; Kay, Paul; Boxall, Alistair B A; Wellington, Elizabeth M H

    2011-01-01

    The impact of human activity on the selection for antibiotic resistance in the environment is largely unknown, although considerable amounts of antibiotics are introduced through domestic wastewater and farm animal waste. Selection for resistance may occur by exposure to antibiotic residues or by co-selection for mobile genetic elements (MGEs) which carry genes of varying activity. Class 1 integrons are genetic elements that carry antibiotic and quaternary ammonium compound (QAC) resistance genes that confer resistance to detergents and biocides. This study aimed to investigate the prevalence and diversity of class 1 integron and integron-associated QAC resistance genes in bacteria associated with industrial waste, sewage sludge and pig slurry. We show that prevalence of class 1 integrons is higher in bacteria exposed to detergents and/or antibiotic residues, specifically in sewage sludge and pig slurry compared with agricultural soils to which these waste products are amended. We also show that QAC resistance genes are more prevalent in the presence of detergents. Studies of class 1 integron prevalence in sewage sludge amended soil showed measurable differences compared with controls. Insertion sequence elements were discovered in integrons from QAC contaminated sediment, acting as powerful promoters likely to upregulate cassette gene expression. On the basis of this data, >1 × 1019 bacteria carrying class 1 integrons enter the United Kingdom environment by disposal of sewage sludge each year. PMID:21368907

  3. [Evaluation of the impact of a hemodialysis center on environment and local ecology].

    PubMed

    Jabrane, Marouane; Fadili, Wafaa; Kennou, Bouchra; Labaali, Asmaa; Zahlane, Karima; Laouad, Inass

    2013-12-01

    The prevalence of chronic kidney disease continues to increase worldwide, especially in our country with a consequent increase in patients requiring renal replacement therapy by hemodialysis, either temporarily or for life in the absence of a solid draft kidney transplant in the future. However, hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis treatment are very expensive, very demanding in resources such as water and electricity and generate a large amount of waste. The objective of our work is to put the item in the environmental aspects of dialysis and its impact on the environment. This is a descriptive cross-sectional study conducted in the department of nephrology dialysis. Our hemodialysis center has 13 generators with a private water treatment (mono osmosis). Our annual water consumption for a single hemodialysis generator for 10hours per day and 6days per week is estimated at 93.6m(3). The production volume of water discharged from the reverse osmosis system (concentrate rejected) is 12m(3)/day (66% of the volume of water treated by reverse osmosis) with physico-chemical and bacteriological parameters remaining in the standards of WHO/FAO irrigation potential. The living water treatment as well as our 13 generators need more than 156 KW/day for work. The waste generated is about 23.5 tons/year, classified as high risk because of the high rates of hepatitis C in our center (48%) and severity of bacterial flora that we have identified in the post-generator dialysate thrown directly into sewers. Our natural resources are valuable especially that we are among the world exposed to water shortages in the near future (Haut-Commissariat des eaux et forêts et à la désertification du Maroc, 2009), which leads us to develop new programs to recycle waste and rejected in order to concentrate the reuse in various areas (irrigation, watering, sanitation, sterilization of surgical instruments), and to encourage the use of solar energy especially in a sunny country like ours. PMID

  4. The ecological cultivation system construction of cucurbits and vegetables in Hainan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Ziji; Yang, Yan

    The application amount of fertilizer and pesticide overall showed rising trends in Hainan. The excessive application of chemical fertilizer and pesticide can cause higher production costs and greater pressure on the ecological environment. The sown area of cucurbits and vegetables showed an increasing trend to a certain extent, safety and pollution-free production of cucurbits and vegetables has become one of the principal contradictions restricting the development of cucurbits and vegetables in Hainan. In this study, the ecological cultivation system of cucurbits and vegetables was constructed combining ecology, ecological economics, and vegetable cultivation principles, which had an important significance for maintaining ecological balance and sustainable development of agriculture.

  5. Impact of energy prices and cellulosic biomass supply on agriculture, energy, and the environment: An integrated modeling approach

    EPA Science Inventory

    The accelerated growth in biofuels markets has both created and reinforced linkages between agricultural and energy markets. This study investigates the dynamics in agricultural and biofuel markets under alternative price scenarios for both crude oil and natural gas. Two energy ...

  6. Spatial distribution and ecological environment analysis of great gerbil in Xinjiang Plague epidemic foci based on remote sensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, Mengxu; Li, Qun; Cao, Chunxiang; Wang, Juanle

    2014-03-01

    Yersinia pestis (Plague bacterium) from great gerbil was isolated in 2005 in Xinjiang Dzungarian Basin, which confirmed the presence of the plague epidemic foci. This study analysed the spatial distribution and suitable habitat of great gerbil based on the monitoring data of great gerbil from Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as the ecological environment elements obtained from remote sensing products. The results showed that: (1) 88.5% (277/313) of great gerbil distributed in the area of elevation between 200 and 600 meters. (2) All the positive points located in the area with a slope of 0-3 degree, and the sunny tendency on aspect was not obvious. (3) All 313 positive points of great gerbil distributed in the area with an average annual temperature from 5 to 11 °C, and 165 points with an average annual temperature from 7 to 9 °C. (4) 72.8% (228/313) of great gerbil survived in the area with an annual precipitation of 120-200mm. (5) The positive points of great gerbil increased correspondingly with the increasing of NDVI value, but there is no positive point when NDVI is higher than 0.521, indicating the suitability of vegetation for great gerbil. This study explored a broad and important application for the monitoring and prevention of plague using remote sensing and geographic information system.

  7. Toward an appreciation of hydrothennal-vent animals: Their environment, physiological ecology, and tissue stable isotope values

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fisher, Charles R.

    In the last few years several comprehensive reviews of the biology of hydrothermal vent organisms and communities have been published. In this contribution I will not attempt to exhaustively review the literature, list the fauna, or the known sites, but rather present a conceptual basis for understanding the relation between the dominant metazoan "primary producers" in hydrothermal vent communities and their environment. In addition to the other chapters in this volume, interested readers are encouraged to consult the following reviews for a more detailed discussion of particular aspects of vent biology. The community ecology of hydrothermal vents is reviewed by Grassle [1986], Tunnicliffe [1991], and Lutz and Kennish [1993]. Tunnicliffe [1991] contains the most complete species lists and general site descriptions currently available. Fisher [1990] reviews the literature on chemoautotrophic symbioses and presents species lists of the hosts to chemoautotrophic symbionts known at that time. Those lists are updated in Nelson and Fisher [1995] and the physiology of the associations reviewed from a distinctly bacterial (symbiont) viewpoint. The 1992 review by Childress and Fisher takes a detailed look at the physiology of vent fauna, with a full coverage of subjects such as rate processes, blood function, and chemical composition, which are not covered in depth in the other reviews, but are of special relevance to this contribution. Uses (and abuses) of stable isotopes are discussed in several of the above reviews, and are also reviewed specifically by Conway et al. [1994], Fiala-Médioni et al. [1993], and Kennicutt et al. [1992].

  8. Lutte biologique pour l’agriculture et l’environnement américains Biological Control for American Agriculture and the Environment

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The European Biological Control Laboratory (EBCL), located on the Agropolis Campus, is operated by the United States Department of Agriculture to conduct research on biological control of invasive arthropods and plants. Many of the target species originated in Europe, Asia or Africa, so we explore ...

  9. ECOLOGICAL TREND ASSESSMENT USING A SPATIAL DECISION SUPPORT GIS

    EPA Science Inventory

    This project is using geospatial techniques to develop analytical tools to combine individually- collected data sets for assessing the effects of long-term ecological changes on the environment. Pilot assessments will focus on the issues of urban sprawl, suburban agricultural lan...

  10. Feasibility of Mating Disruption for Agricultural Pest Eradication in an Urban Environment: Light Brown Apple Moth (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) in Perth.

    PubMed

    Soopaya, Rajendra; Woods, Bill; Lacey, Ian; Virdi, Amandip; Mafra-Neto, Agenor; Suckling, David Maxwell

    2015-08-01

    Eradication technologies are needed for urban and suburban situations, but may require different technologies from pest management in agriculture. We investigated mating disruption of a model moth species recently targeted for eradication in Californian cities, by applying dollops of SPLAT releasing a two-component sex pheromone of the light brown apple moth in 2-ha plots in low-density residential Perth, Australia. The pheromone technology was applied manually at ∼1.5 m height to street and garden trees, scrubs, and walls at 500 dollops per hectare of 0.8 g containing ∼80 mg active two-component pheromone. Catches of male moths were similar among all plots before treatment, but in treated areas (six replicates) pheromone trap catches were substantially reduced for up to 29 wk posttreatment, compared with untreated control plot catches (three replicates). The treatment with pheromone reduced catch to virgin females by 86% (P < 0.001) and reduced the occurrence of mating by 93%, compared with three equivalent untreated control plot catches (P < 0.001). Eradication programs are following an upward trend with globalization and the spread of invasive arthropods, which are often first detected in urban areas. Eradication requires a major increase in the communication distance between individuals, but this can be achieved using sex pheromone-based mating disruption technology, which is very benign and suitable for sensitive environments. The need for new socially acceptable tools for eradication in urban environments is likely to increase because of increasing need for eradications. PMID:26470337

  11. Integrated Modeling to Assess the Ecological and Air Quality Trade-offs of Agricultural Burning in the Flint Hills of Eastern Kansas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barnhart, B. L.; Mckane, R.; Brookes, A.; Schumaker, N.; Papenfus, M.; Pettus, P.; Halama, J.; Powers, B.; Djang, K.; Groskinsky, B.; Grier, G.; Hawkins, A.; Tapp, J.; Watson, D.; Gross, T.; Goodin, D.; Mohler, R.

    2015-12-01

    The Flint Hills of eastern Kansas and northern Oklahoma is home to the largest remaining contiguous grassland prairie in the United States. Throughout the prairie, burning is a common practice used to preserve the prairie from encroachment of woody species such as eastern Red Cedar, and to enhance the quantity and quality of the grass grown for cattle grazing in the region. However, widespread annual burning in early spring has led to air quality exceedances and pollution impacts in urban areas such as Kansas City, Topeka, and Wichita. Our research effort focuses on developing a modelling environment that simulates the effects of burning in the Flint Hills using an integrated modeling system, including an eco-hydrological model, an air quality and dispersion model, an economic and health effects model, and a terrestrial-species model. Using this integrated system, we can model historical burning practices as well as hypothetical variations in timing and quantity of burns. Then, we can investigate the relative trade-offs between farm productivity, ecological effects, urban health effects, and habitat diversity for terrestrial species given different burning scenarios. The results from this systems approach will provide land managers with information about the relative trade-offs associated with burning considering multiple elements of sustainability throughout the Flint Hills.

  12. Science of Agricultural Environment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Murdock, Ashleigh Barbee, Ed.

    2010-01-01

    Secondary vocational-technical education programs in Mississippi are faced with many challenges resulting from sweeping educational reforms at the national and state levels. Schools and teachers are increasingly being held accountable for providing true learning activities to every student in the classroom. This accountability is measured through…

  13. SELECTED METHODS FOR THE DETECTION AND ASSESSMENT OF ECOLOGICAL EFFECTS RESULTING FROM THE RELEASE OF GENETICALLY ENGINEERED MICROORGANISMS TO THE TERRESTRIAL ENVIRONMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    The use of microorganisms as alternatives to traditional chemical and physical technologies is being explored in such areas as agriculture, pest control, and bioremediation of toxic wastes. he potential risks to public health and the environment from a deliberate or accidental re...

  14. SOLERAS - Solar Controlled Environment Agriculture Project. Final report, Volume 9. Science Applications, Incorporated Phase 2 - definition study

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1985-01-01

    This report describes the effort required to implement the design of the Solar Controlled Environment Agriculture Engineering Test Facility, SCEA-ETF. This report is a basic blueprint for the Phase 2 activities which have as a goal the construction of the ETF. These activities have been broken down into five major tasks, namely Project Management; Engineering and Design; Procurement/Fabrication; Construction, Installation and Checkout; and Operation and Maintenance. The type of activities required under each of these tasks are described followed by a detailed work breakdown structure. The Phase 2 project organization is discussed. A 13 month schedule for the total project is also given. Lastly, two appendices discuss cost adjustment factors for an ETF located in the KSA, and an update of the commercial system cost estimate based on preliminary cost quotations for the ETF. The results show a 63% cost increase for the KSA ETF primarily due to higher construction costs and greater well depth. The commercial system cost required an adjustment upwards of 7.7%.

  15. The Sophia-Antipolis Conference: General presentation and basic documents. [remote sensing for agriculture, forestry, water resources, and environment management in France

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1980-01-01

    The procedures and techniques used in NASA's aerospace technology transfer program are reviewed for consideration in establishing priorities and bases for joint action by technicians and users of remotely sensed data in France. Particular emphasis is given to remote sensing in agriculture, forestry, water resources, environment management, and urban research.

  16. Advances in Taxonomy, Ecology, and Biogeography of Dirivultidae (Copepoda) Associated with Chemosynthetic Environments in the Deep Sea

    PubMed Central

    Gollner, Sabine; Ivanenko, Viatcheslav N.; Arbizu, Pedro Martínez; Bright, Monika

    2010-01-01

    Background Copepoda is one of the most prominent higher taxa with almost 80 described species at deep-sea hydrothermal vents. The unique copepod family Dirivultidae with currently 50 described species is the most species rich invertebrate family at hydrothermal vents. Methodology/Principal Findings We reviewed the literature of Dirivultidae and provide a complete key to species, and map geographical and habitat specific distribution. In addition we discuss the ecology and origin of this family. Conclusions/Significance Dirivultidae are only present at deep-sea hydrothermal vents and along the axial summit trough of midocean ridges, with the exception of Dirivultus dentaneus found associated with Lamellibrachia species at 1125 m depth off southern California. To our current knowledge Dirivultidae are unknown from shallow-water vents, seeps, whale falls, and wood falls. They are a prominent part of all communities at vents and in certain habitat types (like sulfide chimneys colonized by pompei worms) they are the most abundant animals. They are free-living on hard substrate, mostly found in aggregations of various foundation species (e.g. alvinellids, vestimentiferans, and bivalves). Most dirivultid species colonize more than one habitat type. Dirivultids have a world-wide distribution, but most genera and species are endemic to a single biogeographic region. Their origin is unclear yet, but immigration from other deep-sea chemosynthetic habitats (stepping stone hypothesis) or from the deep-sea sediments seems unlikely, since Dirivultidae are unknown from these environments. Dirivultidae is the most species rich family and thus can be considered the most successful taxon at deep-sea vents. PMID:20838422

  17. Agricultural Waste.

    PubMed

    Shu, Huajie; Zhang, Panpan; Chang, Chein-Chi; Wang, Renqing; Zhang, Shuping

    2015-10-01

    The management and disposal of agricultural waste are drawn more and more attention because of the increasing yields and negative effects on the environment. However, proper treatments such as converting abundant biomass wastes into biogas through anaerobic digestion technology, can not only avoid the negative impacts, but also convert waste into available resources. This review summarizes the studies of nearly two hundred scholars from the following four aspects: the characterization, reuse, treatment, and management of agricultural waste. PMID:26420088

  18. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities in sub-Saharan savannas of Benin, West Africa, as affected by agricultural land use intensity and ecological zone.

    PubMed

    Tchabi, Atti; Coyne, Danny; Hountondji, Fabien; Lawouin, Louis; Wiemken, Andres; Oehl, Fritz

    2008-04-01

    The rapid decline of soil fertility of cultivated lands in the sub-Saharan savannas of West Africa is considered to be the main cause of the increasingly severe constraints of food production. The soils in this tropical area are highly fragile, and crop yields are limited by characteristically low levels of available phosphorus. Under such preconditions, the multiple benefits of the arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) symbiosis are likely to play a pivotal role for maintaining natural soil fertility by enhancing plant nutrient use efficiency, plant health, and stabilization of a favorable soil structure. Thus, it is important to explore the impact of the commonly applied farming practices on the native AM fungal community. In the present study, we determined the AM fungal species composition in three ecological zones differing by an increasingly prolonged dry season from South to North, from the Southern Guinea Savanna (SG), to the Northern Guinea Savanna (NG), to the Sudan Savanna (SU). In each zone, four "natural" and four "cultivated" sites were selected. "Natural" sites were three natural forest savannas (at least 25-30 years old) and a long-term fallow (6-7 years old). "Cultivated" sites comprised a field with yam (Dioscorea spp.) established during the first year after forest clearance, a field under mixed cropping with maize (Zea mays) and peanut (Arachis hypogaea), a field under peanut, and a field under cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) which was the most intensively managed crop. Soil samples were collected towards the end of the wet season in each zone. AM fungal spores were extracted and morphologically identified. Soil subsamples were used to inoculate AM fungal trap cultures using Stylosanthes guianensis and Brachiaria humidicola as host plants to monitor AM root colonization and spore formation over 10 and 24 months, respectively. A total of 60 AM fungal species were detected, with only seven species sporulating in the trap cultures. Spore density and species

  19. [Dynamic monitoring of ecological environment in loess hilly and gully region of Loess Plateau based on remote sensing: A case study on Fuxian County in Shaanxi Province. Northwest China].

    PubMed

    Li, Fen-ling; Chang, Qin-rui; Shen, Jian; Liu, Jing

    2015-12-01

    Based on the principal component analysis (PCA), four ecological evaluation indicators including vegetation index, wet index, land surface temperature and soil index were combined to evaluate the ecological environment quality of Fuxian County in hilly and gully area of Loess Plateau from year 1995 to 2014. The results showed that the RSEI integrated RS and PCA method could reveal regional ecological changes objectively and quantitatively. The level of overall regional ecological status in Fuxian County was good with a high vegetation fraction and rich biodiversity. The synthetical ecological environment quality index increased from 3.17 to 3.53 indicating the ecological environment had been improved greatly in recent 20 years. The area with best ecological environment quality was located in Niuwu town. The magnitude of change increased progressively from northwest to southeast, and the biggest change occurred in Jiaodao and Nandaode towns. From 1995 to 2014, the areas with decreased and increased ecological environment quality were 16.7% and 42.7% of the study area, respectively, and the improved regions were mainly distributed in plateau and hilly area in the center, rocky low mountainous area in northeast and the Ziwuling Nature Reserve area in southwest of the county. PMID:27112023

  20. Crop Farmers' Willingness to Pay for Agricultural Extension Services in Bangladesh: Cases of Selected Villages in Two Important Agro-Ecological Zones

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Uddin, Ektear MD.; Gao, Qijie; Mamun-Ur-Rashid, MD.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: Globally, many extension professionals and policy-makers are advocating fee based services, in addressing the fund shortage and sustainable provision of agricultural advisory services. Hence, the article attempts to expose the farmers' willingness to pay (WTP) as agricultural extension in Bangladesh is experiencing chronic fund crisis.…

  1. Nutrition ecology: the contribution of vegetarian diets.

    PubMed

    Leitzmann, Claus

    2003-09-01

    Nutrition ecology is an interdisciplinary scientific discipline that encompasses the entire nutrition system, with special consideration of the effects of nutrition on health, the environment, society, and the economy. Nutrition ecology involves all components of the food chain, including production, harvesting, preservation, storage, transport, processing, packaging, trade, distribution, preparation, composition, and consumption of food, as well as disposal of waste materials. Nutrition ecology has numerous origins, some of which go back to antiquity. The introduction of industrialized agriculture and mass animal production gave rise to various negative influences on the environment and health. Food quality is determined in part by the quality of the environment. The environment, in turn, is influenced by food consumption habits. Research shows that vegetarian diets are well suited to protect the environment, to reduce pollution, and to minimize global climate changes. To maximize the ecologic and health benefits of vegetarian diets, food should be regionally produced, seasonally consumed, and organically grown. Vegetarian diets built on these conditions are scientifically based, socially acceptable, economically feasible, culturally desired, sufficiently practicable, and quite sustainable. PMID:12936962

  2. Use of sediment risk and ecological/conservation value for strategic management of estuarine environments: Sydney estuary, Australia.

    PubMed

    Birch, Gavin F; Hutson, Philip

    2009-10-01

    Sediment mantling the floor of Sydney estuary contains a wide range of chemicals at highly elevated concentrations over extensive areas. Appropriate sediment management decisions are urgently required to prevent further degradation of sediment quality and to minimize resulting adverse ecological effects. The objective of the present work was to provide a systematic, estuary-wide assessment of sediment risk and ecological/conservation value throughout the harbor to guide sediment management decisions. Sediment risk is the likelihood of sediment chemistry causing adverse biological effects to bottom-dwelling animals and was conducted using national sediment quality guidelines (SQGs) for single contaminants and the mean SQG quotient approach to assess chemical mixtures. Sediment risk was negligible at the mouth of the estuary, but increased strongly landwards. The ecological/conservation value assessment was conducted to identify sites that warrant different levels of protection and was conducted using the value of ecological communities and priority waterway use. Consideration of these two parameters combined enabled the estuary to be prioritized for management attention. The prioritization and identification of appropriate management strategies were determined through the use of management matrices also based on sediment risk and ecological/conservation value. A computer package is being developed to provide managers with information on sediment risk, ecological/conservation value, the urgency and the type of management intervention required for any location in Sydney estuary, in real-time. This approach to estuarine management is unique and will greatly improve effective management of Sydney estuary, and other harbors in urgent need of management action and protection. PMID:19705195

  3. Use of Sediment Risk and Ecological/Conservation Value for Strategic Management of Estuarine Environments: Sydney Estuary, Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Birch, Gavin F.; Hutson, Philip

    2009-10-01

    Sediment mantling the floor of Sydney estuary contains a wide range of chemicals at highly elevated concentrations over extensive areas. Appropriate sediment management decisions are urgently required to prevent further degradation of sediment quality and to minimize resulting adverse ecological effects. The objective of the present work was to provide a systematic, estuary-wide assessment of sediment risk and ecological/conservation value throughout the harbor to guide sediment management decisions. Sediment risk is the likelihood of sediment chemistry causing adverse biological effects to bottom-dwelling animals and was conducted using national sediment quality guidelines (SQGs) for single contaminants and the mean SQG quotient approach to assess chemical mixtures. Sediment risk was negligible at the mouth of the estuary, but increased strongly landwards. The ecological/conservation value assessment was conducted to identify sites that warrant different levels of protection and was conducted using the value of ecological communities and priority waterway use. Consideration of these two parameters combined enabled the estuary to be prioritized for management attention. The prioritization and identification of appropriate management strategies were determined through the use of management matrices also based on sediment risk and ecological/conservation value. A computer package is being developed to provide managers with information on sediment risk, ecological/conservation value, the urgency and the type of management intervention required for any location in Sydney estuary, in real-time. This approach to estuarine management is unique and will greatly improve effective management of Sydney estuary, and other harbors in urgent need of management action and protection.

  4. [Using ecology thinking reconstructing traditional agronomy: role of production ecology].

    PubMed

    Wang, Song-Liang

    2012-08-01

    Traditional agronomy, as a discipline or specialty, is originated from the reductionism thinking of neoteric experimental sciences and motivated by the great success of industrialized revolution, but loses the ensemble grasp of the relationships between agricultural organisms and their resources and environment, i.e., agroecosystem mechanism. Moreover, due to the excessively relying on exogenous fossil energy input and the monoculture with a few highly productive crop cultivars, the agricultural interior sustainability has unceasingly lost, making our mankind facing the double crises of grain security and food safety. Therefore, it is imperative to reconstruct the traditional agronomy and its educational system. In this paper, the author proposed to link traditional agronomy with ecology, establishing agroecology as the core subject and agroecosystem management as the core applied system, and in particular, establishing 'production ecology' to fill up the wide gap between the crop cultivation and farming system and the crop genetics and breeding, the two second grade disciplines under agronomy. Ideologically and methodologically, this proposal could provide disciplinary, scientific, and educational bases to authentically implement the strategy of sustainable development of agriculture. PMID:23189675

  5. The Tragedy and Triumph of Minamata: A Paradigm for Understanding Ecological, Human-Environment and Culture-Technology Interactions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Allchin, Douglas

    1999-01-01

    Contends that the example of mercury poisoning in Minamata, Japan can be used as a paradigm for teaching ecology and science-and-society issues. Discusses the history and science of the pollution and poisoning, and considers the social and cultural consequences of the incident, some aspects of causation and responsibility, and some aspects of…

  6. THE DEVELOPMENT OF EMPIRICAL LOAD-ECOLOGICAL RESPONSE MODELS TO DETERMINE NITROGEN LIMITS IN THE COASTAL ENVIRONMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    The U.S. EPA Atlantic Ecology Division (AED) has initiated a multi-year research program to develop empirical nitrogen load-response models. Our research on embayments in southern New England is part of a multi-regional effort to develop cause-effect models for the Gulf of Mexic...

  7. A cost-effective and practical polybenzanthrone-based fluorescent sensor for efficient determination of palladium (II) ion and its application in agricultural crops and environment.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ge; Wen, Yangping; Guo, Chaoqun; Xu, Jingkun; Lu, Baoyang; Duan, Xuemin; He, Haohua; Yang, Jun

    2013-12-17

    A highly selective and sensitive fluorescent chemosensor suitable for practical measurement of palladium ion (Pd(2+)) in agricultural crops and environment samples has been successfully fabricated using polybenzanthrone (PBA). PBA was facilely electrosynthesized in the mixed electrolyte of acetonitrile and boron trifluoride diethyl etherate. The fluorescence intensity of PBA showed a linear response to Pd(2+) in the concentration range of 5 nM-0.12 mM with a detection limit of 0.277 nM and quantification limit of 0.925 nM. Different compounds existing in agricultural crops and environment such as common metal ions, anions, natural amino acids, carbohydrates, and organic acids were used to examine the selectivity of the as-fabricated sensor, and no obvious fluorescence change could be observed in these interferents and their mixtures. A possible mechanism was proposed that the coordination of PBA and Pd(2+) enhance the aggregation of polymer chains, which led to a significant quenching of PBA emission, and this was further confirmed by absorption spectra monitoring and transmission electron microscopy. The excellent performance of the proposed sensor and satisfactory results of the Pd(2+) determination in practical samples suggested that the PBA-based fluorescent sensor for the determination of Pd(2+) will be a good candidate for application in agriculture and environment. PMID:24296147

  8. Evaluating abiotic influences on soil salinity of inland managed wetlands and agricultural croplands in a semi-arid environment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fowler, D.; King, Sammy L.; Weindorf, David C.

    2014-01-01

    Agriculture and moist-soil management are important management techniques used on wildlife refuges to provide adequate energy for migrant waterbirds. In semi-arid systems, the accumulation of soluble salts throughout the soil profile can limit total production of wetland plants and agronomic crops and thus jeopardize meeting waterbird energy needs. This study evaluates the effect of distinct hydrologic regimes associated with moist-soil management and agricultural production on salt accumulation in a semi-arid floodplain. We hypothesized that the frequency of flooding and quantity of floodwater in a moist-soil management hydroperiod results in a less saline soil profile compared to profiles under traditional agricultural management. Findings showed that agricultural croplands differed (p-value < 0.001, df = 9) in quantities of total soluble salts (TSS) compared to moist-soil impoundments and contained greater concentrations (TSS range = 1,160-1,750 (mg kg-1)) at depth greater than 55 cm below the surface of the profile, while moist-soil impoundments contained lower concentrations (TSS range = 307-531 (mg kg-1)) at the same depths. Increased salts in agricultural may be attributed to the lack of leaching afforded by smaller summer irrigations while larger periodic flooding events in winter and summer flood irrigations in moist-soil impoundments may serve as leaching events.

  9. Several problems on a rational structure for agricultural production and the agro-ecology of the Tai region of Tiangsu province

    SciTech Connect

    Ma Xiangyong

    1983-08-01

    This article presents a method of determining whether the output value structure, the soil structure, and the labor force structure are relatively balanced in an agricultural region of a Chinese province. Topics covered include several rational agricultural production structures for different types of soil, and several problems in setting up a rational agricultural production structure. A rational agricultural production structure is a consequence of the integrated development of farming, forestry, animal husbandry, sideline occupations, fisheries, and industry. The Tai Region has nine distinct types of soil. It is indicated that the level of grain production directly bears on the size and speed of development of economic diversification. Tables are presented on the output value structure of several representative communes and brigades, and soil nutrient content.

  10. Nutritional and ecological evaluation of dairy farming systems based on concentrate feeding regimes in semi-arid environments of Jordan

    PubMed Central

    Alqaisi, Othman; Hemme, Torsten; Hagemann, Martin; Susenbeth, Andreas

    2013-01-01

    The objective of this study was to evaluate the nutritional and ecological aspects of feeding systems practiced under semi-arid environments in Jordan. Nine dairy farms representing the different dairy farming systems were selected for this study. Feed samples (n = 58), fecal samples (n = 108), and milk samples (n = 78) were collected from the farms and analysed for chemical composition. Feed samples were also analysed for metabolisable energy (ME) contents and in vitro organic matter digestibility according to Hohenheim-Feed-Test. Furthermore, fecal nitrogen concentration was determined to estimate in vivo organic matter digestibility. ME and nutrient intakes were calculated based on the farmer’s estimate of dry matter intake and the analysed composition of the feed ingredients. ME and nutrient intakes were compared to recommended standard values for adequate supply of ME, utilizable crude protein, rumen undegradable crude protein (RUCP), phosphorus (P), and calcium (Ca). Technology Impact Policy Impact Calculation model complemented with a partial life cycle assessment model was used to estimate greenhouse gas emissions of milk production at farm gate. The model predicts CH4, N2O and CO2 gases emitted either directly or indirectly. Average daily energy corrected milk yield (ECM) was 19 kg and ranged between 11 and 27 kg. The mean of ME intake of all farms was 184 MJ/d with a range between 115 and 225 MJ/d. Intake of RUCP was lower than the standard requirements in six farms ranging between 19 and 137 g/d, was higher (32 and 93 g/d) in two farms, and matched the requirements in one farm. P intake was higher than the requirements in all farms (mean oversupply = 19 g/d) and ranged between 3 and 30 g/d. Ca intake was significantly below the requirements in small scale farms. Milk nitrogen efficiency N-eff (milk N/intake N) varied between 19% and 28% and was mainly driven by the level of milk yield. Total CO2 equivalent (CO2 equ) emission ranged

  11. Effective monitoring of agriculture.

    PubMed

    Lindenmayer, David B; Likens, Gene E

    2011-06-01

    An opinion piece published in Nature proposed a global network for agricultural monitoring [J. Sachs, R. Remans, S. Smukler, L. Winowiecki, S. J. Andelman, K. G. Cassman, D. Castle, R. DeFries, G. Denning, J. Fanzo, L. E. Jackson, R. Leemans, J. Leemans, J. C. Milder, S. Naeem, G. Nziguheba, C. A. Palm, J. P. Reganold, D. D. Richter, S. J. Scherr, J. Sircely, C. Sullivan, T. P. Tomich and P. A. Sanchez, Nature, 2010, 466, 558-560.]. Whilst we agree with Sachs et al. that monitoring of agricultural systems is a critically important activity of global significance, especially given increasing problems with global food security and the potential impacts of agriculture on the environment [J. Cribb, The Coming Famine. The Global Food Crisis and What We Can Do to Avoid It, CSIRO Publishing and University of California Press, Melbourne and Oakland, 2010.], we argue in this paper that their generic, mandated monitoring framework has a high probability of failure or at best will be highly inefficient. We base this conclusion on our recently published examination of the factors influencing the success or failure of monitoring programs worldwide [D. B. Lindenmayer and G. E. Likens, Effective Ecological Monitoring, CSIRO Publishing and Earthscan, Melbourne and London, 2010.]. We briefly outline what we believe are three serious flaws in the monitoring framework proposed by Sachs et al. We then suggest an alternative approach that we argue would be more effective, more efficient, and have a greater chance of successfully addressing key issues in sustainable agriculture. PMID:21479312

  12. Addressing ecological effects of radiation on populations and ecosystems to improve protection of the environment against radiation: Agreed statements from a Consensus Symposium☆

    PubMed Central

    Bréchignac, François; Oughton, Deborah; Mays, Claire; Barnthouse, Lawrence; Beasley, James C.; Bonisoli-Alquati, Andrea; Bradshaw, Clare; Brown, Justin; Dray, Stéphane; Geras’kin, Stanislav; Glenn, Travis; Higley, Kathy; Ishida, Ken; Kapustka, Lawrence; Kautsky, Ulrik; Kuhne, Wendy; Lynch, Michael; Mappes, Tapio; Mihok, Steve; Møller, Anders P.; Mothersill, Carmel; Mousseau, Timothy A.; Otaki, Joji M.; Pryakhin, Evgeny; Rhodes, Olin E.; Salbu, Brit; Strand, Per; Tsukada, Hirofumi

    2016-01-01

    This paper reports the output of a consensus symposium organized by the International Union of Radioecology in November 2015. The symposium gathered an academically diverse group of 30 scientists to consider the still debated ecological impact of radiation on populations and ecosystems. Stimulated by the Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters’ accidental contamination of the environment, there is increasing interest in developing environmental radiation protection frameworks. Scientific research conducted in a variety of laboratory and field settings has improved our knowledge of the effects of ionizing radiation on the environment. However, the results from such studies sometimes appear contradictory and there is disagreement about the implications for risk assessment. The Symposium discussions therefore focused on issues that might lead to different interpretations of the results, such as laboratory versus field approaches, organism versus population and ecosystemic inference strategies, dose estimation approaches and their significance under chronic exposure conditions. The participating scientists, from across the spectrum of disciplines and research areas, extending also beyond the traditional radioecology community, successfully developed a constructive spirit directed at understanding discrepancies. From the discussions, the group has derived seven consensus statements related to environmental protection against radiation, which are supplemented with some recommendations. Each of these statements is contextualized and discussed in view of contributing to the orientation and integration of future research, the results of which should yield better consensus on the ecological impact of radiation and consolidate suitable approaches for efficient radiological protection of the environment. PMID:27058410

  13. Addressing ecological effects of radiation on populations and ecosystems to improve protection of the environment against radiation: Agreed statements from a Consensus Symposium.

    PubMed

    Bréchignac, François; Oughton, Deborah; Mays, Claire; Barnthouse, Lawrence; Beasley, James C; Bonisoli-Alquati, Andrea; Bradshaw, Clare; Brown, Justin; Dray, Stéphane; Geras'kin, Stanislav; Glenn, Travis; Higley, Kathy; Ishida, Ken; Kapustka, Lawrence; Kautsky, Ulrik; Kuhne, Wendy; Lynch, Michael; Mappes, Tapio; Mihok, Steve; Møller, Anders P; Mothersill, Carmel; Mousseau, Timothy A; Otaki, Joji M; Pryakhin, Evgeny; Rhodes, Olin E; Salbu, Brit; Strand, Per; Tsukada, Hirofumi

    2016-07-01

    This paper reports the output of a consensus symposium organized by the International Union of Radioecology in November 2015. The symposium gathered an academically diverse group of 30 scientists to consider the still debated ecological impact of radiation on populations and ecosystems. Stimulated by the Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters' accidental contamination of the environment, there is increasing interest in developing environmental radiation protection frameworks. Scientific research conducted in a variety of laboratory and field settings has improved our knowledge of the effects of ionizing radiation on the environment. However, the results from such studies sometimes appear contradictory and there is disagreement about the implications for risk assessment. The Symposium discussions therefore focused on issues that might lead to different interpretations of the results, such as laboratory versus field approaches, organism versus population and ecosystemic inference strategies, dose estimation approaches and their significance under chronic exposure conditions. The participating scientists, from across the spectrum of disciplines and research areas, extending also beyond the traditional radioecology community, successfully developed a constructive spirit directed at understanding discrepancies. From the discussions, the group has derived seven consensus statements related to environmental protection against radiation, which are supplemented with some recommendations. Each of these statements is contextualized and discussed in view of contributing to the orientation and integration of future research, the results of which should yield better consensus on the ecological impact of radiation and consolidate suitable approaches for efficient radiological protection of the environment. PMID:27058410

  14. Analyzing the Food-Fuel-Environment Tri-Lemma Facing World Agriculture: Global Land Use in the Coming Century

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hertel, T. W.; Steinbuks, J.

    2011-12-01

    The number of people which the world must feed is expected to increase by another 3 billion people by 2100. When coupled with significant nutritional improvements for the 2.1 billion people currently living on less than $2/day, this translates into a very substantial rise in the demand for agricultural production. At the same time, the growing use of biomass for energy generation has introduced an important new source of industrial demand in agricultural markets. To compound matters, water, a key input into agricultural production, is rapidly diminishing in availability in large parts of the world and many soils are degrading. In addition, agriculture and forestry are increasingly envisioned as key sectors for climate change mitigation policy. Any serious attempt to reduce land-based emissions will involve changes in the way farming is conducted, as well as placing limits on the expansion of farming - particularly in the tropics, where most of the agricultural land conversion has come at the expense of forests, either directly, or indirectly via a cascading of land use requirements with crops moving into pasture and pasture into forest. Finally, agriculture and forestry are likely to be the economic sectors whose productivity is most sharply affected by climate change. In light of these challenges facing the global farm and food system, this paper will review the main sources of supply and demand for the world's cropland, and then provide a quantitative assessment of the impact of these forces on global land use over the coming century. The model incorporates forward looking behavior and examines competition between land used for ecosystem services, forestry, food and fuel. Explicit account is taken of emissions associated with both the intensive and extensive margins of agricultural expansion, as well as carbon sequestration and energy combustion. Key findings include: (a) energy prices and environmental policies will be increasingly important drivers of land use

  15. Lake Urmia (Iran): can future socio-ecologically motivated river basin management restore lake water levels in an arid region with extensive agricultural development?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fazel, Nasim; Berndtsson, Ronny; Bertacchi Uvo, Cintia; Klove, Bjorn; Madani, Kaveh

    2015-04-01

    Lake Urmia, one of the world's largest hyper saline lakes located in northwest of Iran, is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and Ramsar site, protected as a national park and, supports invaluable and unique biodiversity and related ecosystem services for the region's 6.5 million inhabitants. Due to increased development of the region's water resources for agriculture and industry and to a certain extent climate change, the lake has started to shrink dramatically since 1995 and now is holding less than 30 percent of its volume. Rapid development in agricultural sector and land-use changes has resulted in immense construction of dams and water diversions in almost all lake feeding rivers, intensifying lake shrinking, increasing salinity and degrading its ecosystem. Recently, lake's cultural and environmental importance and social pressure has raised concerns and brought government attention to the lake restoration plans. Along with poor management, low yield agriculture as the most water consuming activity in the region with, rapid, insufficient development is one of the most influential drivers in the lake desiccation. Part of the lake restoration plans in agricultural sector is to restrict the agricultural areas in the main feeding river basins flowing mostly in the southern part of the lake and decreasing the agricultural water use in this area. This study assess the efficiency and effectiveness of the proposed plans and its influence on the lake level rise and its impacts on economy in the region using a system dynamics model developed for the Lake consist of hydrological and agro-economical sub-systems. The effect of decrease in agricultural area in the region on GDP and region economy was evaluated and compared with released water contribution in lake level rise for a five year simulation period.

  16. Aquatic plants: Ecology and environment. (Latest citations from the Selected Water Resources Abstracts data base). Published Search

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-08-01

    The bibliography contains citations concerning growth and ecology of aquatic flora in lakes, rivers, and coastal areas. Effects of domestic sewage, industrial wastes, and oil spills on aquatic ecosystems are discussed. Algal population growth in rivers and polluted areas is considered, and use of benthic algae as biological indicators of water quality is also discussed. (Contains a minimum of 86 citations and includes a subject term index and title list.)

  17. Applied manure research—looking forward to the benign roles of animal manure in agriculture and the environment

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    By definition, animal manure is discarded animal excreta and bedding materials usually applied to soils as a fertilizer for agricultural production. However, the impact of manure generation and disposal is far more than the role of organic fertilizers, even though the fertilizer function of animal m...

  18. Monitoring the impacts of urbanization and industrialization on the agricultural land and environment of the Torbali, Izmir region, Turkey.

    PubMed

    Kurucu, Yusuf; Chiristina, Nilüfer Küçükyilmaz

    2008-01-01

    The aim of this research is to determine agricultural land loss and environmental pollution caused by industrialization and urban sprawl using the Geographical Information System (GIS) and Remote Sensing technique (RS). Remotely sensed data is the most powerful tool for monitoring land use changes and GIS is the best way to store and reproduce various kinds of integrated data. Considering the rapid increase of population the loss of fertile agricultural soils is a very dangerous situation for the future of the country. Thus, people are living in the cities in (with adverse) conditions of insufficient drinking water, infrastructure problems, inadequate landscape and many unsolved (extreme) environmental problems. During the last 36 years, unplanned urbanization and industrialization have led to the use of agricultural areas for non-agricultural purposes in the Torbali (Izmir) region, which has the most fertile soils of the Aegean Region. Within this study, a database was created on the parameters of land loss and environmental pollution by means of field observation, interpretation of satellite images (ASTER), aerial photos(1/25.000 scale), topographic map, soil map, and 1/5.000 scale cadastral map. Results of previous researches and the archives of Torbali municipality were used as ancillary data. In the research, urbanization and industrialization of the town was studied by (using) GIS and RS between 1965 and 2001. Since 1965, 4,742,357 m2 agricultural land, mostly of first and second land use capability classes, has been lost due to unplanned urban and industrial developments. Urbanization and industrialization involved an area of which 58% was being used as irrigated lands, 25 % rain feed (rain fed lands)and 17 % for olive growing. PMID:17370130

  19. Ecology, Microbial

    SciTech Connect

    Konopka, Allan

    2009-03-19

    Microbial ecology is a relatively young discipline within the field of microbiology. Its modern history spans just the past 60 years, and the field is defined by its emphasis on understanding the interactions of microbes with their environment, rather than their behavior under artificial laboratory conditions. Because microbes are ubiquitous, microbial ecologists study a broad diversity of habitats that range from aquatic to terrestrial to plant- or animal-associated. This has made it a challenge to identify unifying principles within the field. One approach is to recognize that although the activity of microbes in nature have effects at the macroscale, they interact with their physical, chemical and biological milieu at a scale of micrometers. At this scale, several different microbial ecosystems can be defined, based upon association with particles, the presence of environmental gradients and the continuous availability of water. Principles applicable to microbial ecology reflect not only their population ecology and physiological ecology, but also their broad versatility and quantitative importance in the biosphere as biogeochemical catalysts and capacity for rapid physiological and evolutionary responses.

  20. Ecology, Microbial

    SciTech Connect

    Konopka, Allan

    2009-05-15

    Microbial ecology is a relatively young discipline within the field of microbiology. Its modern history spans just the past 60 years, and the field is defined by its emphasis on understanding the interactions of microbes with their environment, rather than their behavior under artificial laboratory conditions. Because microbes are ubiquitous, microbial ecologists study a broad diversity of habitats that range from aquatic to terrestrial to plant- or animal-associated. This has made it a challenge to identify unifying principles within the field. One approach is to recognize that although the activity of microbes in nature have effects at the macroscale, they interact with their physical, chemical and biological milieu at a scale of micrometers. At this scale, several different microbial ecosystems can be defined, based upon association with particles, the presence of environmental gradients and the continuous availability of water. Principles applicable to microbial ecology reflect not only their population ecology and physiological ecology, but also their broad versatility and quantitative importance in the biosphere as biogeochemical catalysts and capacity for rapid physiological and evolutionary responses.

  1. Nonmicrowave health and ecological effects: Overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    White, M. R.

    1980-01-01

    The potential environmental impacts due to the operation and construction of the Satellite Power System are discussed. The nonmicrowave health and ecological effects encompass impacts on the public, the terrestrial worker, the space worker, the ecology, and agriculture.

  2. Project CHOICE: #170. A Career Education Unit for Grades 1 and 2. We Work with Animals. (Agriculture and Ecological Studies Career Cluster).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kern County Superintendent of Schools, Bakersfield, CA.

    This teaching unit on working with animals is part of the Agriculture and Biological Studies Career Cluster included in a series of career guidebooks developed by Project CHOICE (Children Have Options in Career Education). The units are designed to provide the classroom teacher with a source of career-related activities linking first and second…

  3. Project CHOICE: #111-A. A Career Unit for Grades 3 and 4. Introduction to Fishing. (Agriculture and Ecological Studies Career Cluster).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kern County Superintendent of Schools, Bakersfield, CA.

    This teaching unit, Introduction to Fishing, is one in a series of career guides developed by Project CHOICE (Children Have Options in Career Education) to provide the classroom teacher with a source of career-related activities linking third and fourth grade elementary classroom experiences with the world of work. Part of the Agriculture and…

  4. Efficacy of management practices to mitigate the off-site movement and ecological risk of pesticides transported with runoff from agricultural and turf systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Highly managed biotic systems, such as agricultural crops and managed turf, often require multiple applications of pesticides that may be transported with runoff to areas beyond the intended target site. Pesticides have been detected in surface waters of rural and urban watersheds raising questions ...

  5. Ecological Modelling of Individual and Contextual Influences: A Person-in-Environment Framework for Hypothetico-Deductive Information Behaviour Research

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sin, Sei-Ching Joanna

    2015-01-01

    Introduction: This paper discusses the person-in-environment framework, which proposes the inclusion of environmental factors, alongside personal factors, as the explanatory factors of individual-level information behaviour and outcome. Method: The paper first introduces the principles and schematic formulas of the person-in-environment framework.…

  6. A systematic comparison of different object-based classification techniques using high spatial resolution imagery in agricultural environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Manchun; Ma, Lei; Blaschke, Thomas; Cheng, Liang; Tiede, Dirk

    2016-07-01

    Geographic Object-Based Image Analysis (GEOBIA) is becoming more prevalent in remote sensing classification, especially for high-resolution imagery. Many supervised classification approaches are applied to objects rather than pixels, and several studies have been conducted to evaluate the performance of such supervised classification techniques in GEOBIA. However, these studies did not systematically investigate all relevant factors affecting the classification (segmentation scale, training set size, feature selection and mixed objects). In this study, statistical methods and visual inspection were used to compare these factors systematically in two agricultural case studies in China. The results indicate that Random Forest (RF) and Support Vector Machines (SVM) are highly suitable for GEOBIA classifications in agricultural areas and confirm the expected general tendency, namely that the overall accuracies decline with increasing segmentation scale. All other investigated methods except for RF and SVM are more prone to obtain a lower accuracy due to the broken objects at fine scales. In contrast to some previous studies, the RF classifiers yielded the best results and the k-nearest neighbor classifier were the worst results, in most cases. Likewise, the RF and Decision Tree classifiers are the most robust with or without feature selection. The results of training sample analyses indicated that the RF and adaboost. M1 possess a superior generalization capability, except when dealing with small training sample sizes. Furthermore, the classification accuracies were directly related to the homogeneity/heterogeneity of the segmented objects for all classifiers. Finally, it was suggested that RF should be considered in most cases for agricultural mapping.

  7. Transfer of Multidrug-Resistant Bacteria between Intermingled Ecological Niches: The Interface between Humans, Animals and the Environment

    PubMed Central

    da Costa, Paulo Martins; Loureiro, Luís; Matos, Augusto J. F.

    2013-01-01

    The use of antimicrobial agents has been claimed to be the driving force for the emergence and spread of microbial resistance. However, several studies have reported the presence of multidrug-resistant bacteria in populations exposed to low levels of antimicrobial drugs or even never exposed. For many pathogens, especially those organisms for which asymptomatic colonization typically precedes infection (e.g., Enterococcus spp. and Escherichia coli), the selective effects of antimicrobial use can only be understood if we considerer all biological and environmental pathways which enable these bacteria, and the genes they carry, to spread between different biomes. This ecological framework provides an essential perspective for formulating antimicrobial use policies, precisely because it encompasses the root causes of these problems rather than merely their consequences. PMID:23343983

  8. Modeling groundwater quality in an arid agricultural environment in the face of an uncertain climate: the case of Mewat District, India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weber, M. C.; Ward, A. S.; Muste, M.

    2014-12-01

    The salinization of groundwater resources is a widespread problem in arid agricultural environments. In Mewat District (Haryana, India), groundwater salinity has rendered much of the accessible supply unfit for human consumption or agriculture. Historically, this closed basin retained fresh pockets of water at the foothills of the Aravalli Hills, where monsoonal precipitation runoff from the mountains was recharged through infiltration or facilitated by man-made structures. To date, an increasing number of pumps supply the region with fresh water for consumption and agriculture leading to shrinking the freshwater zone at an accelerated pace. The potential for increased human consumption corroborated with the effects of climate change bring uncertainty about the future of water security for the Mewat communities, most of them critically bound to the existence of local water. This study addresses the sustainability of the freshwater supply under a range of land interventions and climate scenarios, using a 2-D groundwater flow and transport model. Our results quantify potential futures for this arid, groundwater-dependent location, using numerical groundwater modeling to quantify interactions between human water use, infrastructure, and climate. Outcomes of this modeling study will inform an NGO active in the area on sustainable management of groundwater resources.

  9. Evaluation of vegetable production management practices to reduce the ecological risk of pesticides

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The ability of agricultural management practices to reduce the ecological risks of pesticides was evaluated. Risk quotients, a mathematical description of the relationship between exposure and toxicity, and hazard ratings, a rank of potential risk of pesticides to aquatic environments, were calculat...

  10. Ecological Considerations in Producing and Formulating Fungal Entomopathogens for Use in Insect Biocontrol

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Insect pests persist in a wide-variety of agricultural, arboreal, and urban environments. Effective control with fungal entomopathogens using inundation biocontrol requires an understanding of the ecology of the target insect, fungal pathogen, and the insect-pathogen interaction. Historically, the d...

  11. Ecological Considerations in Producing and Formulating Fungal Entomopathogens for Use in Insect Biocontrol

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Insect pests persist in a wide variety of agricultural, arboreal, and urban environments. Effective control with fungal entomopathogens using inundation biocontrol requires an understanding of the ecology of the target insect, fungal pathogen, and the insect-pathogen interaction. Historically, the...

  12. The Living Soil: Exploring Soil Science and Sustainable Agriculture with Your Guide, The Earthworm. Unit I.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weber, Eldon C.; And Others

    This instructional packet introduces students to soil biology, ecology, and specific farming practices that promote sustainable agriculture. It helps students to discover the role of earthworms in improving the environment of all other soil-inhabiting organisms and in making the soil more fertile. The activities (classroom as well as outdoor)…

  13. Ecological and cosmological coexistence thinking in a hypervariable environment: causal models of economic success and failure among farmers, foragers, and fishermen of southwestern Madagascar

    PubMed Central

    Tucker, Bram; Tsiazonera; Tombo, Jaovola; Hajasoa, Patricia; Nagnisaha, Charlotte

    2015-01-01

    A fact of life for farmers, hunter-gatherers, and fishermen in the rural parts of the world are that crops fail, wild resources become scarce, and winds discourage fishing. In this article we approach subsistence risk from the perspective of “coexistence thinking,” the simultaneous application of natural and supernatural causal models to explain subsistence success and failure. In southwestern Madagascar, the ecological world is characterized by extreme variability and unpredictability, and the cosmological world is characterized by anxiety about supernatural dangers. Ecological and cosmological causes seem to point to different risk minimizing strategies: to avoid losses from drought, flood, or heavy winds, one should diversify activities and be flexible; but to avoid losses caused by disrespected spirits one should narrow one’s range of behaviors to follow the code of taboos and offerings. We address this paradox by investigating whether southwestern Malagasy understand natural and supernatural causes as occupying separate, contradictory explanatory systems (target dependence), whether they make no categorical distinction between natural and supernatural forces and combine them within a single explanatory system (synthetic thinking), or whether they have separate natural and supernatural categories of causes that are integrated into one explanatory system so that supernatural forces drive natural forces (integrative thinking). Results from three field studies suggest that (a) informants explain why crops, prey, and market activities succeed or fail with reference to natural causal forces like rainfall and pests, (b) they explain why individual persons experience success or failure primarily with supernatural factors like God and ancestors, and (c) they understand supernatural forces as driving natural forces, so that ecology and cosmology represent distinct sets of causes within a single explanatory framework. We expect that future cross-cultural analyses

  14. Ecological and cosmological coexistence thinking in a hypervariable environment: causal models of economic success and failure among farmers, foragers, and fishermen of southwestern Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Tucker, Bram; Tsiazonera; Tombo, Jaovola; Hajasoa, Patricia; Nagnisaha, Charlotte

    2015-01-01

    A fact of life for farmers, hunter-gatherers, and fishermen in the rural parts of the world are that crops fail, wild resources become scarce, and winds discourage fishing. In this article we approach subsistence risk from the perspective of "coexistence thinking," the simultaneous application of natural and supernatural causal models to explain subsistence success and failure. In southwestern Madagascar, the ecological world is characterized by extreme variability and unpredictability, and the cosmological world is characterized by anxiety about supernatural dangers. Ecological and cosmological causes seem to point to different risk minimizing strategies: to avoid losses from drought, flood, or heavy winds, one should diversify activities and be flexible; but to avoid losses caused by disrespected spirits one should narrow one's range of behaviors to follow the code of taboos and offerings. We address this paradox by investigating whether southwestern Malagasy understand natural and supernatural causes as occupying separate, contradictory explanatory systems (target dependence), whether they make no categorical distinction between natural and supernatural forces and combine them within a single explanatory system (synthetic thinking), or whether they have separate natural and supernatural categories of causes that are integrated into one explanatory system so that supernatural forces drive natural forces (integrative thinking). Results from three field studies suggest that (a) informants explain why crops, prey, and market activities succeed or fail with reference to natural causal forces like rainfall and pests, (b) they explain why individual persons experience success or failure primarily with supernatural factors like God and ancestors, and (c) they understand supernatural forces as driving natural forces, so that ecology and cosmology represent distinct sets of causes within a single explanatory framework. We expect that future cross-cultural analyses may

  15. Life-history evolution in guppies. VII. The comparative ecology of high- and low-predation environments.

    PubMed

    Reznick, D; Butler Iv, M J; Rodd, H

    2001-02-01

    Prior research has demonstrated a strong association between the species of predators that co-occur with guppies and the evolution of guppy life histories. The evolution of these differences in life histories has been attributed to the higher mortality rates experienced by guppies in high-predation environments. Here, we evaluate whether there might be indirect effects of predation on the evolution of life-history patterns and whether there are environmental differences that are correlated with predation. To do so, we quantified features of the physical and chemical environment and the population biology of guppies from seven high- and low-predation localities. We found that high-predation environments tend to be larger streams with higher light levels and higher primary productivity, which should enhance food availability for guppies. We also found that guppy populations from high-predation environments have many more small individuals and fewer large individuals than those from low-predation environments, which is caused by their higher birth rates and death rates. Because of these differences in size distribution, guppies from high-predation environments have only one-fourth of the biomass per unit area, which should also enhance food availability for guppies in these localities. Guppies from high-predation sites allocate more resources to reproduction, grow faster, and attain larger asymptotic sizes, all of which are consistent with higher levels of resource availability. We conclude that guppies from high-predation environments experience higher levels of resource availability in part because of correlated differences in the environment (light levels, primary productivity) and in part as an indirect consequence of predation (death rates and biomass density). These differences in resource availability can, in turn, augment the effect of predator-induced mortality as factors that shape the evolution of guppy life-history patterns. We found no differences in the

  16. Industrial ecology.

    PubMed

    Patel, C K

    1992-02-01

    Industrial ecology addresses issues that will impact future production, use, and disposal technologies; proper use of the concept should reduce significantly the resources devoted to potential remediation in the future. This cradle-to-reincarnation production philosophy includes industrial processes that are environmentally sound and products that are environmentally safe during use and economically recyclable after use without adverse impact on the environment or on the net cost to society. This will require an industry-university-government round table to set the strategy and agenda for progress. PMID:11607254

  17. Agriculture Education. Agriculture Structures.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stuttgart Public Schools, AR.

    This curriculum guide is designed for group instruction of secondary agricultural education students enrolled in one or two semester-long courses in agriculture structures. The guide presents units of study in the following areas: (1) shop safety, (2) identification and general use of hand tools, (3) power tools, (4) carpentry, (5) blueprint…

  18. Improving food and agriculture productivity and the environment: Canadian initiatives in methyl bromide alternatives and emission control technologies. Revised edition

    SciTech Connect

    Marcotte, M.; Tibelius, C.

    1998-12-31

    Methyl bromide, a fumigant used in the agricultural sector, was listed as an ozone-depleting substance under the Montreal Protocol and is scheduled for phasing out in Canada. This report begins with a review of the joint industry/government approach being taken to plan and manage this phase-out. It then reviews alternative solutions that have been formulated and tested as replacements for the use of methyl bromide in greenhouse cultivation, soil fumigation, strawberry transplant production, tobacco production, grain production, and food processing facilities. Contact names and addresses are provided for those seeking further information. The final sections describe activities in methyl bromide recovery and recycling and list industry and government organizations that have expertise in methyl bromide alternatives.

  19. Alcohol environment, gender and nonfatal injuries in young people. An ecological study of fourteen Swedish municipalities (2000–2005)

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Sweden has had a restrictive alcohol policy, but there are gender and geographical differences in alcohol consumption and injury rates within the country. Whether and how the Swedish alcohol environment influences gender differences in injuries in young people is still unclear. Thus, the aim of this study was to analyse the associations between the local alcohol environment and age- and gender-specific nonfatal injury rates in people up to 24 years in Sweden. Methods The local alcohol environment from 14 municipalities was studied using indicators of alcohol access, alcohol consumption and alcohol-related crimes. A comprehensive health care register of nonfatal injuries was used to estimate mean annual rates of nonfatal injuries by gender and age group (2000–2005). Pearson’s correlation coefficients were used to analyse linear associations. Results Associations were shown for both alcohol access and alcohol consumption with injury rates in boys aged 13–17 years; no other associations were observed between alcohol access or per capita alcohol consumption and nonfatal childhood injuries. The prevalence of crimes against alcohol laws was associated with injury rates in children of both genders aged 6–17 years. Conclusions This study found no strong area-level associations between alcohol and age and gender specific nonfatal injuries in young people. Further, the strength of the area-level associations varied by age, gender and type of indicator used to study the local alcohol environment. PMID:22908846

  20. Educational Virtual Environments as a Lens for Understanding both Precise Repeatability and Specific Variation in Learning Ecologies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zuiker, Steven J.

    2012-01-01

    As a global cyberinfrastructure, the Internet makes authentic digital problem spaces like educational virtual environments (EVEs) available to a wide range of classrooms, schools and education systems operating under different circumstantial, practical, social and cultural conditions. And yet, if the makers and users of EVEs both have a hand in…

  1. ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Ecological Soil Screening Level (Eco-SSL) Work Group, composed of scientists and risk assessors from EPA, Environment Canada, DOE, Army, Navy, Air Force, states, industry, academia, and consulting companies, has been working on the development of scientifically sound, ecologi...

  2. Ecological Inventory Exemplars.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sobsey, Dick, Ed.

    The document contains 20 ecological inventories (developed at the University of Minnesota and the University of Alberta) to help severely disabled students learn functional living skills. The ecological approach is designed to uncover the functions critical for success in specific environments which the student frequently encounters. Matching the…

  3. Administrative Ecology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McGarity, Augustus C., III; Maulding, Wanda

    2007-01-01

    This article discusses how all four facets of administrative ecology help dispel the claims about the "impossibility" of the superintendency. These are personal ecology, professional ecology, organizational ecology, and community ecology. Using today's superintendency as an administrative platform, current literature describes a preponderance of…

  4. Optimal egg size in a suboptimal environment: reproductive ecology of female Sonora mud turtles (Kinosternon sonoriense) in central Arizona, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Madrak, Sheila V.; Drost, Charles A.; Monatesti, Anthony J.; Casper, Dennis; Znari, Mohammed

    2012-01-01

    We studied the reproductive ecology of female Sonora mud turtles (Kinosternon sonoriense) at Montezuma Well, a chemically-challenging natural wetland in central Arizona, USA. Females matured between 115.5 and 125 mm carapace length (CL) and 36-54% produced eggs each year. Eggs were detected in X-radiographs from 23 April-28 September (2007-2008) and the highest proportion (56%) of adult females with eggs occurred in June and July. Clutch frequency was rarely more than once per year. Clutch size was weakly correlated with body size, ranged from 1-8 (mean = 4.96) and did not differ significantly between years. X-ray egg width ranged from 17.8-21.7 mm (mean 19.4 mm) and varied more among clutches than within. Mean X-ray egg width of a clutch did not vary significantly with CL of females, although X-ray pelvic aperture width increased with CL. We observed no evidence of a morphological constraint on egg width. In addition, greater variation in clutch size, relative to egg width, suggests that egg size is optimized in this hydrologically stable but chemically-challenging habitat. We suggest that the diversity of architectures exhibited by the turtle pelvis, and their associated lack of correspondence to taxonomic or behavioral groupings, explains some of the variation observed in egg size of turtles.

  5. Man-Made Closed Ecological Systems as Model of Natural Ecosystems and as Means to Provide High Quality of Human Life in Adverse Environment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gitelson, I. I.; Harper, Lynn (Technical Monitor)

    1994-01-01

    For its more than thirty year long history, the experimental creation of closed ecological systems has from its very sources been distinctly and strongly motivated by the development of human life-support systems for space. As the trend developed its fundamental significance and broad opportunities of terrestrial applications of the technologies under development were coming to the foreground. Nowadays, it can be argued that development of closed ecosystems is experimental foundation of a new branch of ecology biospherics, the goal of which is to comprehend the regularities of existence of the biosphere as a unique in the Universe (in that part of it that we know, at least) closed ecosystem. Closed technologies can be implemented in life-support systems under adverse conditions of life on the Earth - in Arctic and Antarctic latitudes, deserts, high mountains or deep in the ocean, as well as under the conditions of polluted water and air. In space where the environment is hostile for life all around the cell of life should be sealed and the life-support system as close to the ideally closed cyclic turnover of the matter as possible. Under terrestrial conditions designers should strive for maximum closure of the limiting factor: water - in deserts, oxygen - in high mountains, energy - in polar latitudes, etc. Essential closure of a life-support systems withstands also pollution of the environment by the wastes of human vital activity. This is of particular importance for the quarantine of visited planets, and on the Earth under the conditions of deficient heat in high latitudes and water in and areas. The report describes experimental ecosystem 'BIOS' and exohabitats being designed on its basis, which are adapted to various conditions, described capacities of the Center for Closed Ecosystems in Drasnoyarsk for international collaboration in research and education in this field.

  6. SOIL BIOLOGY AND ECOLOGY

    EPA Science Inventory

    The term "Soil Biology", the study of organism groups living in soil, (plants, lichens, algae, moss, bacteria, fungi, protozoa, nematodes, and arthropods), predates "Soil Ecology", the study of interactions between soil organisms as mediated by the soil physical environment. oil ...

  7. An analysis of selected elements of the environment in the outflow model compared with measurements of agricultural basin in central Poland.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tyszkowski, S.; Bartczak, A.; Glazik, R.

    2012-04-01

    Due to the supra-regional importance of areas of intensive agriculture, it is important to identify factors, that are affecting the size of the drainage basin. One of the methods that will allow to determine relations is the spatial valorization of environmental elements, that affect the circulation of water. Such analysis was performed for highly agricultural region in the central part of Poland (52° 30'N, 18° 50'E). The study area was Zglowiaczka basin, which covers an area of 1.495,6 km2.With the help of GIS methods and tools, there have been designated from thematic maps these factors of natural environment elements, that influence the size of the outflow. Basing on topographic maps at 1:25000 scale, river network, river length has been calculated, hydrographic objects such as lakes, swamps, marshes have been inventoried and the land use has been partly assessed. For the evaluation of the terrain there has been used a DTM in the form of a raster, that was created on the base of analyzing photogrametric materials. Its accuracy is similar to topographic maps at 1:10000 scale, with 1m vertical resolution. It was mainly used to determine the slopes, and watersheds deletion. It was also required to determine the length of some contours of the catchment's - the material needed for the expected value of runoff in the model. To determine the land use - mainly for agricultural use of crop type, Corine Land Cover 2000 was used. To determine the lithology and as a result - the infiltration, there were used both geological and soil maps. These elements formed the background, on which the spatial variation of river streamflow was marked and compared. Zglowiaczka basin was divided into several sub-basins. The analysis was performed for the entire basin in general and using the same methods for sub-basins as well. Each time model data was compared with the actual values gained from the field work (flow measurements and from recorders. The poster presents the comparison of

  8. The putative functional ecology and distribution of archaeal communities in sponges, sediment and seawater in a coral reef environment.

    PubMed

    Polónia, Ana R M; Cleary, Daniel F R; Freitas, Rossana; de Voogd, Nicole J; Gomes, Newton C M

    2015-01-01

    Archaea play crucial roles in a number of key ecological processes including nitrification and methanogenesis. Although several studies have been conducted on these organisms, the roles and dynamics of coral reef archaeal communities are still poorly understood, particularly in host and nonhost biotopes and in high (HMA) and low microbial abundance (LMA) sponges. Here, archaeal communities detected in six distinct biotopes, namely, sediment, seawater and four different sponge species Stylissa carteri, Stylissa massa, Xestospongia testudinaria and Hyrtios erectus from the Spermonde Archipelago, SW Sulawesi, Indonesia were investigated using 454-pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA genes (OTU cut-off 97%). Archaeal communities from sediment and sponges were dominated by Crenarchaeota, while the seawater community was dominated by Euryarchaeota. The biotope explained almost 75% of the variation in archaeal composition, with clear separation between microbial assemblages from sediment, X. testudinaria and H. erectus (HMA). In contrast, samples from seawater and both Stylissa species (LMA) showed considerable overlap in the ordination and, furthermore, shared most abundant OTUs with the exception of a single dominant OTU specifically enriched in both Stylissa species. Predicted functional gene content in archaeal assemblages also revealed significant differences among biotopes. Different ammonia assimilation strategies were exhibited by the archaeal communities: X. testudinaria, H. erectus and sediment archaeal communities were enriched for glutamate dehydrogenase with mixed specificity (NAD(P)(+) ) pathways, while archaeal planktonic communities were enriched for specific glutamate dehydrogenase (NADP(+) ) and glutamate synthase pathways. Archaeal communities in Stylissa had intermediate levels of enrichment. Our results indicate that archaeal communities in different biotopes have distinct ecophysiological roles. PMID:25438824

  9. Chemical ecology of fungi.

    PubMed

    Spiteller, Peter

    2015-07-01

    Fungi are widespread in nature and have conquered nearly every ecological niche. Fungi occur not only in terrestrial but also in freshwater and marine environments. Moreover, fungi are known as a rich source of secondary metabolites. Despite these facts, the ecological role of many of these metabolites is still unknown and the chemical ecology of fungi has not been investigated systematically so far. This review intends to present examples of the various chemical interactions of fungi with other fungi, plants, bacteria and animals and to give an overview of the current knowledge of fungal chemical ecology. PMID:26038303

  10. A geo-referenced modeling environment for ecosystem risk assessment: organophosphate pesticides in an agriculturally dominated watershed.

    PubMed

    Luo, Yuzhou; Zhang, Minghua

    2009-01-01

    A geo-referenced modeling system was developed in this study to investigate the spatiotemporal variability of pesticide distributions and associated ecosystem risks. In the modeling system, pesticide fate and transport processes in soil-canopy system were simulated at field scale by the pesticide root zone model (PRZM). Edge-of-field mass fluxes were up-scaled with a spatially distributed flow-routing model to predict pesticide contaminations in surface water. The developed model was applied to the field conditions of the Orestimba Creek watershed, an agriculturally-dominated area in California's Central Valley during 1990 through 2006, with the organophosphate insecticides diazinon and chlorpyrifos as test agents. High concentrations of dissolved pesticides were predicted at the watershed outlet during the irrigation season of April through November, due to the intensive pesticide use and low stream flow. Concentration violations, according to the California aquatic life criteria, were observed for diazinon before 2001, and for chlorpyrifos during the entire simulation period. Predicted pesticide exposure levels showed potential adverse effects on certain genera of sensitive aquatic invertebrates in the ecosystem of the Orestimba Creek. Modeling assessments were conducted to identify the factors governing spatial patterns and seasonal trends on pesticide distribution and contamination potentials to the studied aquatic ecosystem. Areas with high pesticide yields to surface water were indicated for future research and additional studies focused on monitoring and mitigation efforts within the watershed. Improved irrigation techniques and management practices were also suggested to reduce the violations of pesticide concentrations during irrigation seasons. PMID:19244487

  11. Targeting allergenic fungi in agricultural environments aids the identification of major sources and potential risks for human health.

    PubMed

    Weikl, F; Radl, V; Munch, J C; Pritsch, K

    2015-10-01

    Fungi are, after pollen, the second most important producers of outdoor airborne allergens. To identify sources of airborne fungal allergens, a workflow for qPCR quantification from environmental samples was developed, thoroughly tested, and finally applied. We concentrated on determining the levels of allergenic fungi belonging to Alternaria, Cladosporium, Fusarium, and Trichoderma in plant and soil samples from agricultural fields in which cereals were grown. Our aims were to identify the major sources of allergenic fungi and factors potentially influencing their occurrence. Plant materials were the main source of the tested fungi at and after harvest. Amounts of A. alternata and C. cladosporioides varied significantly in fields under different management conditions, but absolute levels were very high in all cases. This finding suggests that high numbers of allergenic fungi may be an inevitable side effect of farming in several crops. Applied in large-scale studies, the concept described here may help to explain the high number of sensitization to airborne fungal allergens. PMID:26022406

  12. Ecological Economics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Common, Michael; Stagl, Sigrid

    2005-10-01

    Taking as its starting point the interdependence of the economy and the natural environment, this book provides a comprehensive introduction to the emerging field of ecological economics. The authors, who have written extensively on the economics of sustainability, build on insights from both mainstream economics and ecological sciences. Part I explores the interdependence of the modern economy and its environment, while Part II focuses mainly on the economy and on economics. Part III looks at how national governments set policy targets and the instruments used to pursue those targets. Part IV examines international trade and institutions, and two major global threats to sustainability - climate change and biodiversity loss. Assuming no prior knowledge of economics, this textbook is well suited for use on interdisciplinary environmental science and management courses. It has extensive student-friendly features including discussion questions and exercises, keyword highlighting, real-world illustrations, further reading and website addresses. A comprehensive introduction to a developing field which will interest students from science, economics and management backgrounds A global approach to the problems of sustainability and sustainable development, issues which are increasingly prominent in political debate and policy making Filled with student-friendly features including focus areas for each chapter, keyword highlighting, real-world illustrations, discussion questions and exercises, further reading and website addresses

  13. Green Road: an ecological road construction method for the preservation of mountain environment and landscape in Nepal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sudan Acharya, Madhu

    2013-04-01

    Road is the only viable means of transportation and an important infrastructure for the economic development of a mountainous country like Nepal. The construction and maintenance of hill and mountain roads in Nepal are often challenged by its topography with very steep slopes, fragile geological conditions and a strong monsoon rain for a longer duration. Under such topographic and climatic conditions, the conventional approach of road construction on hills with cut and throw method with the use of machines has caused substantial increase in post construction landslides, mass wastage of soil material, shear failures on the downhill slope due to additional surcharge from tipped soil, loss of vegetation on slopes and environmental degradation. To overcome these environmental problems, a concept called "Green Road" has emerged in hill road construction practices in Nepal. This concept was evolved from the lesson learnt in the past and decade long experiences in hill road constructions and maintenance. This is an environment-friendly and labour-based construction technique which utilizes mass balancing approach. It is a low cost solution which focuses on the use of locally available materials and techniques in a sustainable way by maintaining the existing landscapes. Appropriate soil bioengineering techniques are applied to stabilize the roadside slopes and to reduce soil erosion. This paper provides some basics of green road approach, its advantages and its contribution to preserve natural environment. This paper examines the magnitude of direct mass wasting of materials due to excess excavation and compares the loss of masses in both conventional as well as green road approach of road construction. Recommendations are also made for minimizing the mass wastage and to preserve the fragile mountain environment by using appropriate soil bioengineering methods.

  14. Ground level environmental protein concentrations in various ecuadorian environments: potential uses of aerosolized protein for ecological research

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Staton, Sarah J.R.; Woodward, Andrea; Castillo, Josemar A.; Swing, Kelly; Hayes, Mark A.

    2014-01-01

    Large quantities of free protein in the environment and other bioaerosols are ubiquitous throughout terrestrial ground level environments and may be integrative indicators of ecosystem status. Samples of ground level bioaerosols were collected from various ecosystems throughout Ecuador, including pristine humid tropical forest (pristine), highly altered secondary humid tropical forest (highly altered), secondary transitional very humid forest (regrowth transitional), and suburban dry montane deforested (suburban deforested). The results explored the sensitivity of localized aerosol protein concentrations to spatial and temporal variations within ecosystems, and their value for assessing environmental change. Ecosystem specific variations in environmental protein concentrations were observed: pristine 0.32 ± 0.09 μg/m3, highly altered 0.07 ± 0.05 μg/m3, regrowth transitional 0.17 ± 0.06 μg/m3, and suburban deforested 0.09 ± 0.04 μg/m3. Additionally, comparisons of intra-environmental differences in seasonal/daily weather (dry season 0.08 ± 0.03 μg/m3 and wet season 0.10 ± 0.04 μg/m3), environmental fragmentation (buffered 0.19 ± 0.06 μg/m3 and edge 0.15 ± 0.06 μg/m3), and sampling height (ground level 0.32 ± 0.09 μg/m3 and 10 m 0.24 ± 0.04 μg/m3) demonstrated the sensitivity of protein concentrations to environmental conditions. Local protein concentrations in altered environments correlated well with satellite-based spectral indices describing vegetation productivity: normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) (r2 = 0.801), net primary production (NPP) (r2 = 0.827), leaf area index (LAI) (r2 = 0.410). Moreover, protein concentrations distinguished the pristine site, which was not differentiated in spectral indices, potentially due to spectral saturation typical of highly vegetated environments. Bioaerosol concentrations represent an inexpensive method to increase understanding of environmental changes, especially in densely vegetated

  15. Ecological Schoolyards.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Danks, Sharon Gamson

    2000-01-01

    Presents design guidelines and organizational and site principles for creating schoolyards where students can learn about ecology. Principles for building schoolyard ecological systems are described. (GR)

  16. Exploring ecological modelling to investigate factors governing the colonization success in nosocomial environment of Candida albicans and other pathogenic yeasts.

    PubMed

    Corte, Laura; Roscini, Luca; Colabella, Claudia; Tascini, Carlo; Leonildi, Alessandro; Sozio, Emanuela; Menichetti, Francesco; Merelli, Maria; Scarparo, Claudio; Meyer, Wieland; Cardinali, Gianluigi; Bassetti, Matteo

    2016-01-01

    Two hundred seventy seven strains from eleven opportunistic species of the genus Candida, isolated from two Italian hospitals, were identified and analyzed for their ability to form biofilm in laboratory conditions. The majority of Candida albicans strains formed biofilm while among the NCAC species there were different level of biofilm forming ability, in accordance with the current literature. The relation between the variables considered, i.e. the departments and the hospitals or the species and their ability to form biofilm, was tested with the assessment of the probability associated to each combination. Species and biofilm forming ability appeared to be distributed almost randomly, although some combinations suggest a potential preference of some species or of biofilm forming strains for specific wards. On the contrary, the relation between biofilm formation and species isolation frequency was highly significant (R(2) around 0.98). Interestingly, the regression analyses carried out on the data of the two hospitals separately were rather different and the analysis on the data merged together gave a much lower correlation. These findings suggest that, harsh environments shape the composition of microbial species significantly and that each environment should be considered per se to avoid less significant statistical treatments. PMID:27246511

  17. Natural environments, ancestral diets, and microbial ecology: is there a modern "paleo-deficit disorder"? Part I.

    PubMed

    Logan, Alan C; Katzman, Martin A; Balanzá-Martínez, Vicent

    2015-01-01

    Famed microbiologist René J. Dubos (1901-1982) was an early pioneer in the developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD) construct. In the 1960s, he conducted groundbreaking experimental research concerning the ways in which early-life experience with nutrition, microbiota, stress, and other environmental variables could influence later-life health outcomes. He also wrote extensively on potential health consequences of a progressive loss of contact with natural environments (now referred to as green or blue space), arguing that Paleolithic experiences have created needs, particularly in the mental realm, that might not be met in the context of rapid global urbanization. He posited that humans would certainly adapt to modern urban landscapes and high technology, but there might be a toll to be paid in the form of higher psychological distress (symptoms of anxiety and depression) and diminished quality of life. In particular, there might be an erosion of humanness, exemplified by declines in altruism/empathy. Here in the first of a two-part review, we examine contemporary research related to natural environments and question to what extent Dubos might have been correct in some of his 50-year-old assertions. PMID:25636731

  18. Exploring ecological modelling to investigate factors governing the colonization success in nosocomial environment of Candida albicans and other pathogenic yeasts

    PubMed Central

    Corte, Laura; Roscini, Luca; Colabella, Claudia; Tascini, Carlo; Leonildi, Alessandro; Sozio, Emanuela; Menichetti, Francesco; Merelli, Maria; Scarparo, Claudio; Meyer, Wieland; Cardinali, Gianluigi; Bassetti, Matteo

    2016-01-01

    Two hundred seventy seven strains from eleven opportunistic species of the genus Candida, isolated from two Italian hospitals, were identified and analyzed for their ability to form biofilm in laboratory conditions. The majority of Candida albicans strains formed biofilm while among the NCAC species there were different level of biofilm forming ability, in accordance with the current literature. The relation between the variables considered, i.e. the departments and the hospitals or the species and their ability to form biofilm, was tested with the assessment of the probability associated to each combination. Species and biofilm forming ability appeared to be distributed almost randomly, although some combinations suggest a potential preference of some species or of biofilm forming strains for specific wards. On the contrary, the relation between biofilm formation and species isolation frequency was highly significant (R2 around 0.98). Interestingly, the regression analyses carried out on the data of the two hospitals separately were rather different and the analysis on the data merged together gave a much lower correlation. These findings suggest that, harsh environments shape the composition of microbial species significantly and that each environment should be considered per se to avoid less significant statistical treatments. PMID:27246511

  19. A New HLA-Based Distributed Control Architecture for Agricultural Teams of Robots in Hybrid Applications with Real and Simulated Devices or Environments

    PubMed Central

    Nebot, Patricio; Torres-Sospedra, Joaquín; Martínez, Rafael J.

    2011-01-01

    The control architecture is one of the most important part of agricultural robotics and other robotic systems. Furthermore its importance increases when the system involves a group of heterogeneous robots that should cooperate to achieve a global goal. A new control architecture is introduced in this paper for groups of robots in charge of doing maintenance tasks in agricultural environments. Some important features such as scalability, code reuse, hardware abstraction and data distribution have been considered in the design of the new architecture. Furthermore, coordination and cooperation among the different elements in the system is allowed in the proposed control system. By integrating a network oriented device server Player, Java Agent Development Framework (JADE) and High Level Architecture (HLA), the previous concepts have been considered in the new architecture presented in this paper. HLA can be considered the most important part because it not only allows the data distribution and implicit communication among the parts of the system but also allows to simultaneously operate with simulated and real entities, thus allowing the use of hybrid systems in the development of applications. PMID:22163853

  20. Understanding the Environment. Ag Ed Environmental Education Series.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tulloch, Rodney W.

    The document is a student resource unit to be used in teaching high school vocational agriculture students about the environment. The relationship between ecology and changes in the ecosystems induced by man are discussed. The kinds of environmental problems treated are pollution, land use, and natural resources. Some causes of environmental…

  1. Unraveling the decolourizing ability of yeast isolates from dye-polluted and virgin environments: an ecological and taxonomical overview.

    PubMed

    Pajot, Hipólito F; Delgado, Osvaldo D; de Figueroa, Lucía I C; Fariña, Julia I

    2011-03-01

    Microcosm assays with dye-amended culture media under a shot-feeding strategy allowed us to obtain 100 yeast isolates from the wastewater outfall channel of a dyeing textile factory in Tucumán (Argentina). Meanwhile, 63 yeast isolates were obtained from Phoebe porphyria (Laurel del monte) samples collected from Las Yungas rainforest (Tucumán), via a classical isolation scheme. Isolated yeasts, both from dye-polluted and virgin environments, were compared for their textile dye decolourization ability when cultured on solid and liquid media. Nine isolates from wastewater and 17 from Las Yungas showed the highest decolourization potential on agar plates containing six different reactive dyes, either alone or as a mixture. Five yeasts from each environment were further selected on the basis of their high dye removal rate in Vilmafix(®) Red 7B-HE- or Vilmafix(®) Blue RR-BB-amended liquid cultures. Yeasts from wastewater showed slightly higher decolourization percentages after 36 h of culture than yeasts from Las Yungas (98-100% vs. 91-95%, respectively). However, isolates from Las Yungas exhibited higher specific decolourization rates than isolates from effluents (1.8-3.0 vs. 0.9-1.3 mg g(-1)h(-1), respectively). All selected isolates were first grouped according to microsatellite-PCR analysis and representative isolates from each group were subsequently identified based on the 26S rRNA gene sequence analysis. Yeasts from wastewater were identified as the ascomycetous Pichia kudriavzevii (100%) and closely related to Candida sorbophila (99.8%), whilst yeasts from Las Yungas were identified as the basidiomycetous Trichosporon akiyoshidainum and Trichosporon multisporum. It is suggested that findings concerning yeast selection during screening programs for dye-decolourizing yeasts may be explained in the light of the copiotroph-oligotroph microorganisms rationale. PMID:20730563

  2. SOLERAS - Solar Controlled Environment Agriculture Project. Final report, Volume 7. Science Applications, Incorporated field test facility preliminary design

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1985-01-01

    This report contains the preliminary design of an SCEAS Engineering Test Facility (ETF). The ETF is a 3600 m/sup 2/ fluid roof greenhouse with an inflated plastic film roof to maintain a clean environment for the fluid roof and to protect the inner glazing from hail and other small missiles. The objective of the design was the faithful scaling of the commercial facility to ensure that the ETF results could be extrapolated to a commercial facility of any size. Therefore, all major features, including the photovoltaic power system, an integral water desalination system and even the basic structural module have been retained. The design is described in substantial detail in the body of this report, with appendices giving the drawings and specifications.

  3. Utility of a Two-source Energy Balance Approach for Daily Mapping of Landsat-scale Fluxes Over Irrigated Agriculture in a Desert Environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Houborg, R.; McCabe, M. F.; Rosas Aguilar, J.; Anderson, M. C.; Hain, C.

    2014-12-01

    The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is an area characterized by limited fresh water resources, an often inefficient use of these, and relatively poor in-situ monitoring as a result of sparse meteorological observations. Enhanced satellite-based monitoring systems are needed for aiding local water resource and agricultural management activities in these data poor arid environments. A multi-sensor and multi-scale land-surface flux monitoring capacity is being implemented over parts of MENA in order to provide meaningful decision support at relevant spatiotemporal scales. The integrated modeling system uses the Atmosphere-Land Exchange Inverse (ALEXI) model and associated flux disaggregation scheme (DisALEXI), and the Spatial and Temporal Adaptive Reflectance Fusion Model (STARFM) in conjunction with model reanalysis data and remotely sensed data from polar orbiting (Landsat and MODIS; MODerate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) and geostationary (MSG; Meteosat Second Generation) satellite platforms to facilitate daily estimates of land surface fluxes down to sub-field scale (i.e. 30 m). Within this modeling system, thermal infrared satellite data provide information about the sub-surface moisture status and plant stress, obviating the need for precipitation input and error-prone soil surface characterizations. In this study, the integrated ALEXI-DisALEXI-STARFM framework is applied over an irrigated agricultural region in Saudi Arabia, and the daily estimates of Landsat scale water, energy and carbon fluxes are evaluated against available flux tower observations and other independent in-situ and satellite-based records. The study addresses the challenges associated with time-continuous sub-field scale mapping of land-surface fluxes in a harsh desert environment, and looks into the optimization of model descriptions and parameterizations and meteorological forcing and vegetation inputs for application over these regions.

  4. Root–root interactions: extending our perspective to be more inclusive of the range of theories in ecology and agriculture using in-vivo analyses

    PubMed Central

    Faget, Marc; Nagel, Kerstin A.; Walter, Achim; Herrera, Juan M.; Jahnke, Siegfried; Schurr, Ulrich; Temperton, Vicky M.

    2013-01-01

    Background There is a large body of literature on competitive interactions among plants, but many studies have only focused on above-ground interactions and little is known about root–root dynamics between interacting plants. The perspective on possible mechanisms that explain the outcome of root–root interactions has recently been extended to include non-resource-driven mechanisms (as well as resource-driven mechanisms) of root competition and positive interactions such as facilitation. These approaches have often suffered from being static, partly due to the lack of appropriate methodologies for in-situ non-destructive root characterization. Scope Recent studies show that interactive effects of plant neighbourhood interactions follow non-linear and non-additive paths that are hard to explain. Common outcomes such as accumulation of roots mainly in the topsoil cannot be explained solely by competition theory but require a more inclusive theoretical, as well as an improved methodological framework. This will include the question of whether we can apply the same conceptual framework to crop versus natural species. Conclusions The development of non-invasive methods to dynamically study root–root interactions in vivo will provide the necessary tools to study a more inclusive conceptual framework for root–root interactions. By following the dynamics of root–root interactions through time in a whole range of scenarios and systems, using a wide variety of non-invasive methods, (such as fluorescent protein which now allows us to separately identify the roots of several individuals within soil), we will be much better equipped to answer some of the key questions in root physiology, ecology and agronomy. PMID:23378521

  5. Microbial ecology overview during anaerobic codigestion of dairy wastewater and cattle manure and use in agriculture of obtained bio-fertilisers.

    PubMed

    Toumi, Jihen; Miladi, Baligh; Farhat, Amel; Nouira, Said; Hamdi, Moktar; Gtari, Maher; Bouallagui, Hassib

    2015-12-01

    The anaerobic co-digestion of dairy wastewater (DW) and cattle manure (CM) was examined and associated with microbial community's structures using Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (DGGE). The highest volatile solids (VS) reduction yield of 88.6% and biogas production of 0.87 L/g VS removed were obtained for the C/N ratio of 24.7 at hydraulic retention time (HRT) of 20 days. The bacterial DGGE profile showed significant abundance of Uncultured Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes and Synergistetes bacterium. The Syntrophomonas strains were discovered in dependent association to H2-using bacteria such as Methanospirillum sp., Methanosphaera sp. and Methanobacterium formicicum. These syntrophic associations are essential in anaerobic digesters allow them to keep low hydrogen partial pressure. However, high concentrations of VFA produced from dairy wastes acidification allow the growth of Methanosarcina species. The application of the stabilised anaerobic effluent on the agriculture soil showed significant beneficial effects on the forage corn and tomato plants growth and crops. PMID:26386416

  6. Assessing the Control of Preservational Environment on Taphonomic and Ecological Patterns in an Oligocene Mammal Fauna from Badlands National Park, South Dakota.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Paige K; Moore, Jason R

    2016-01-01

    Comparisons of paleofaunas from different facies are often hampered by the uncertainty in the variation of taphonomic processes biasing the paleoecological parameters of interest. By examining the taphonomic patterns exhibited by different facies in the same stratigraphic interval and area, it is possible to quantify this variation, and assess inter-facies comparability. The fossil assemblages preserved in Badlands National Park (BNP), South Dakota, have long been a rich source for mammalian faunas of the White River Group. To investigate the influence of the variation of taphonomic bias with lithology whilst controlling for the influence of changes in patterns of taphonomic modification with time, taphonomic and paleoecological data were collected from four mammal-dominated fossil assemblages (two siltstone hosted and two sandstone hosted) from a narrow stratigraphic interval within the Oligocene Poleslide Member of the Brule Formation, in the Palmer Creek Unit of BNP. Previous work in the region confirmed that the two major lithologies represent primarily aeolian- and primarily fluvial-dominated depositional environments, respectively. A suite of quantifiable taphonomic and ecological variables was recorded for each of the more than 800 vertebrate specimens studied here (857 specimens were studied in the field, 9 specimens were collected and are reposited at BNP). Distinctly different patterns of taphonomic biasing were observed between the aeolian and fluvial samples, albeit with some variability between all four sites. Fluvial samples were more heavily weathered and abraded, but also contained fewer large taxa and fewer tooth-bearing elements. No quantifiable paleofaunal differences in generic richness or evenness were observed between the respective facies. This suggests that while large vertebrate taxonomic composition in the region did vary with paleodepositional environment, there is no evidence of confounding variation in faunal structure, and therefore

  7. Assessing the Control of Preservational Environment on Taphonomic and Ecological Patterns in an Oligocene Mammal Fauna from Badlands National Park, South Dakota

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Comparisons of paleofaunas from different facies are often hampered by the uncertainty in the variation of taphonomic processes biasing the paleoecological parameters of interest. By examining the taphonomic patterns exhibited by different facies in the same stratigraphic interval and area, it is possible to quantify this variation, and assess inter-facies comparability. The fossil assemblages preserved in Badlands National Park (BNP), South Dakota, have long been a rich source for mammalian faunas of the White River Group. To investigate the influence of the variation of taphonomic bias with lithology whilst controlling for the influence of changes in patterns of taphonomic modification with time, taphonomic and paleoecological data were collected from four mammal-dominated fossil assemblages (two siltstone hosted and two sandstone hosted) from a narrow stratigraphic interval within the Oligocene Poleslide Member of the Brule Formation, in the Palmer Creek Unit of BNP. Previous work in the region confirmed that the two major lithologies represent primarily aeolian- and primarily fluvial-dominated depositional environments, respectively. A suite of quantifiable taphonomic and ecological variables was recorded for each of the more than 800 vertebrate specimens studied here (857 specimens were studied in the field, 9 specimens were collected and are reposited at BNP). Distinctly different patterns of taphonomic biasing were observed between the aeolian and fluvial samples, albeit with some variability between all four sites. Fluvial samples were more heavily weathered and abraded, but also contained fewer large taxa and fewer tooth-bearing elements. No quantifiable paleofaunal differences in generic richness or evenness were observed between the respective facies. This suggests that while large vertebrate taxonomic composition in the region did vary with paleodepositional environment, there is no evidence of confounding variation in faunal structure, and therefore

  8. Phylogeny and ecology of the ubiquitous saprobe Cladosporium sphaerospermum, with descriptions of seven new species from hypersaline environments.

    PubMed

    Zalar, P; de Hoog, G S; Schroers, H-J; Crous, P W; Groenewald, J Z; Gunde-Cimerman, N

    2007-01-01

    Saprobic Cladosporium isolates morphologically similar to C. sphaerospermum are phylogenetically analysed on the basis of DNA sequences of the ribosomal RNA gene cluster, including the internal transcribed spacer regions ITS1 and ITS2, the 5.8S rDNA (ITS) and the small subunit (SSU) rDNA as well as beta-tubulin and actin gene introns and exons. Most of the C. sphaerospermum-like species show halotolerance as a recurrent feature. Cladosporium sphaerospermum, which is characterised by almost globose conidia, is redefined on the basis of its ex-neotype culture. Cladosporium dominicanum, C. psychrotolerans, C. velox, C. spinulosum and C. halotolerans, all with globoid conidia, are newly described on the basis of phylogenetic analyses and cryptic morphological and physiological characters. Cladosporium halotolerans was isolated from hypersaline water and bathrooms and detected once on dolphin skin. Cladosporium dominicanum and C. velox were isolated from plant material and hypersaline water. Cladosporium psychrotolerans, which grows well at 4 degrees C but not at 30 degrees C, and C. spinulosum, having conspicuously ornamented conidia with long digitate projections, are currently only known from hypersaline water. We also newly describe C. salinae from hypersaline water and C. fusiforme from hypersaline water and animal feed. Both species have ovoid to ellipsoid conidia and are therefore reminiscent of C. herbarum. Cladosporium langeronii (= Hormodendrum langeronii) previously described as a pathogen on human skin, is halotolerant but has not yet been recorded from hypersaline environments. PMID:18490999

  9. Systems assessment of water savings impact of controlled environment agriculture (CEA) utilizing wirelessly networked Sense•Decide•Act•Communicate (SDAC) systems.

    SciTech Connect

    Campbell, Jonathan T.; Baynes, Edward E., Jr.; Aguirre,Carlos; Jordan, Jon; Giacomelli, Gene; Waggoner, Justin; Loest, Clint; Szumel, Leo; Nakaoka, Tyler; Pate, Ronald C.; Berry, Nina M.; Pohl, Phillip Isabio; Aguirre, Francisco Luis; Aguilar, Jose; Gupta, Vipin P.; Ochoa, Juan; Davis, Jesse Zehring; Ramos, Damian

    2005-02-01

    Reducing agricultural water use in arid regions while maintaining or improving economic productivity of the agriculture sector is a major challenge. Controlled environment agriculture (CEA, or, greenhouse agriculture) affords advantages in direct resource use (less land and water required) and productivity (i.e., much higher product yield and quality per unit of resources used) relative to conventional open-field practices. These advantages come at the price of higher operating complexity and costs per acre. The challenge is to implement and apply CEA such that the productivity and resource use advantages will sufficiently outweigh the higher operating costs to provide for overall benefit and viability. This project undertook an investigation of CEA for livestock forage production as a water-saving alternative to open-field forage production in arid regions. Forage production is a large consumer of fresh water in many arid regions of the world, including the southwestern U.S. and northern Mexico. With increasing competition among uses (agriculture, municipalities, industry, recreation, ecosystems, etc.) for limited fresh water supplies, agricultural practice alternatives that can potentially maintain or enhance productivity while reducing water use warrant consideration. The project established a pilot forage production greenhouse facility in southern New Mexico based on a relatively modest and passive (no active heating or cooling) system design pioneered in Chihuahua, Mexico. Experimental operations were initiated in August 2004 and carried over into early-FY05 to collect data and make initial assessments of operational and technical system performance, assess forage nutrition content and suitability for livestock, identify areas needing improvement, and make initial assessment of overall feasibility. The effort was supported through the joint leveraging of late-start FY04 LDRD funds and bundled CY2004 project funding from the New Mexico Small Business Technical

  10. Ecology and bioprospecting

    PubMed Central

    HAY, MARK; MAGNUSSON, BILL; de NYS, ROCKY; SMEATHERS, JAMES; VINCENT, JULIAN F. V.

    2012-01-01

    Bioprospecting is the exploration of biodiversity for new resources of social and commercial value. It is carried out by a wide range of established industries such as pharmaceuticals, manufacturing and agriculture as well as a wide range of comparatively new ones such as aquaculture, bioremediation, biomining, biomimetic engineering and nanotechnology. The benefits of bioprospecting have emerged from such a wide range of organisms and environments worldwide that it is not possible to predict what species or habitats will be critical to society, or industry, in the future. The benefits include an unexpected variety of products that include chemicals, genes, metabolic pathways, structures, materials and behaviours. These may provide physical blueprints or inspiration for new designs. Criticism aimed at bioprospecting has been addressed, in part, by international treaties and legal agreements aimed at stopping biopiracy and many activities are now funded by agencies that require capacity-building and economic benefits in host countries. Thus, much contemporary bioprospecting has multiple goals, including the conservation of biodiversity, the sustainable management of natural resources and economic development. Ecologists are involved in three vital ways: first, applying ecological principles to the discovery of new resources. In this context, natural history becomes a vast economic database. Second, carrying out field studies, most of them demographic, to help regulate the harvest of wild species. Third, emphasizing the profound importance of millions of mostly microscopic species to the global economy. PMID:22737038

  11. Ecology and bioprospecting.

    PubMed

    Beattie, Andrew J; Hay, Mark; Magnusson, Bill; de Nys, Rocky; Smeathers, James; Vincent, Julian F V

    2011-05-01

    Bioprospecting is the exploration of biodiversity for new resources of social and commercial value. It is carried out by a wide range of established industries such as pharmaceuticals, manufacturing and agriculture as well as a wide range of comparatively new ones such as aquaculture, bioremediation, biomining, biomimetic engineering and nanotechnology. The benefits of bioprospecting have emerged from such a wide range of organisms and environments worldwide that it is not possible to predict what species or habitats will be critical to society, or industry, in the future. The benefits include an unexpected variety of products that include chemicals, genes, metabolic pathways, structures, materials and behaviours. These may provide physical blueprints or inspiration for new designs. Criticism aimed at bioprospecting has been addressed, in part, by international treaties and legal agreements aimed at stopping biopiracy and many activities are now funded by agencies that require capacity-building and economic benefits in host countries. Thus, much contemporary bioprospecting has multiple goals, including the conservation of biodiversity, the sustainable management of natural resources and economic development. Ecologists are involved in three vital ways: first, applying ecological principles to the discovery of new resources. In this context, natural history becomes a vast economic database. Second, carrying out field studies, most of them demographic, to help regulate the harvest of wild species. Third, emphasizing the profound importance of millions of mostly microscopic species to the global economy. PMID:22737038

  12. Ecology and Biogeography of Free-Living Nematodes Associated with Chemosynthetic Environments in the Deep Sea: A Review

    PubMed Central

    Vanreusel, Ann; De Groote, Annelies; Gollner, Sabine; Bright, Monika

    2010-01-01

    Background Here, insight is provided into the present knowledge on free-living nematodes associated with chemosynthetic environments in the deep sea. It was investigated if the same trends of high standing stock, low diversity, and the dominance of a specialized fauna, as observed for macro-invertebrates, are also present in the nematodes in both vents and seeps. Methodology This review is based on existing literature, in combination with integrated analysis of datasets, obtained through the Census of Marine Life program on Biogeography of Deep-Water Chemosynthetic Ecosystems (ChEss). Findings Nematodes are often thriving in the sulphidic sediments of deep cold seeps, with standing stock values ocassionaly exceeding largely the numbers at background sites. Vents seem not characterized by elevated densities. Both chemosynthetic driven ecosystems are showing low nematode diversity, and high dominance of single species. Genera richness seems inversely correlated to vent and seep fluid emissions, associated with distinct habitat types. Deep-sea cold seeps and hydrothermal vents are, however, highly dissimilar in terms of community composition and dominant taxa. There is no unique affinity of particular nematode taxa with seeps or vents. Conclusions It seems that shallow water relatives, rather than typical deep-sea taxa, have successfully colonized the reduced sediments of seeps at large water depth. For vents, the taxonomic similarity with adjacent regular sediments is much higher, supporting rather the importance of local adaptation, than that of long distance distribution. Likely the ephemeral nature of vents, its long distance offshore and the absence of pelagic transport mechanisms, have prevented so far the establishment of a successful and typical vent nematode fauna. Some future perspectives in meiofauna research are provided in order to get a more integrated picture of vent and seep biological processes, including all components of the marine ecosystem. PMID

  13. Ecology and distribution of a new biomarker linked to 1,2-dichloropropane dechlorination in subsurface environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Padilla-Crespo, E.; Loeffler, F. E.

    2011-12-01

    of dehalospiring populations in subsurface environments.

  14. Ecological Success of a Group of Saccharomyces cerevisiae/Saccharomyces kudriavzevii Hybrids in the Northern European Wine-Making Environment

    PubMed Central

    Erny, C.; Raoult, P.; Alais, A.; Butterlin, G.; Delobel, P.; Matei-Radoi, F.; Casaregola, S.

    2012-01-01

    The hybrid nature of lager-brewing yeast strains has been known for 25 years; however, yeast hybrids have only recently been described in cider and wine fermentations. In this study, we characterized the hybrid genomes and the relatedness of the Eg8 industrial yeast strain and of 24 Saccharomyces cerevisiae/Saccharomyces kudriavzevii hybrid yeast strains used for wine making in France (Alsace), Germany, Hungary, and the United States. An array-based comparative genome hybridization (aCGH) profile of the Eg8 genome revealed a typical chimeric profile. Measurement of hybrids DNA content per cell by flow cytometry revealed multiple ploidy levels (2n, 3n, or 4n), and restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis of 22 genes indicated variable amounts of S. kudriavzevii genetic content in three representative strains. We developed microsatellite markers for S. kudriavzevii and used them to analyze the diversity of a population isolated from oaks in Ardèche (France). This analysis revealed new insights into the diversity of this species. We then analyzed the diversity of the wine hybrids for 12 S. cerevisiae and 7 S. kudriavzevii microsatellite loci and found that these strains are the products of multiple hybridization events between several S. cerevisiae wine yeast isolates and various S. kudriavzevii strains. The Eg8 lineage appeared remarkable, since it harbors strains found over a wide geographic area, and the interstrain divergence measured with a (δμ)2 genetic distance indicates an ancient origin. These findings reflect the specific adaptations made by S. cerevisiae/S. kudriavzevii cryophilic hybrids to winery environments in cool climates. PMID:22344648

  15. Ecological success of a group of Saccharomyces cerevisiae/Saccharomyces kudriavzevii hybrids in the northern european wine-making environment.

    PubMed

    Erny, C; Raoult, P; Alais, A; Butterlin, G; Delobel, P; Matei-Radoi, F; Casaregola, S; Legras, J L

    2012-05-01

    The hybrid nature of lager-brewing yeast strains has been known for 25 years; however, yeast hybrids have only recently been described in cider and wine fermentations. In this study, we characterized the hybrid genomes and the relatedness of the Eg8 industrial yeast strain and of 24 Saccharomyces cerevisiae/Saccharomyces kudriavzevii hybrid yeast strains used for wine making in France (Alsace), Germany, Hungary, and the United States. An array-based comparative genome hybridization (aCGH) profile of the Eg8 genome revealed a typical chimeric profile. Measurement of hybrids DNA content per cell by flow cytometry revealed multiple ploidy levels (2n, 3n, or 4n), and restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis of 22 genes indicated variable amounts of S. kudriavzevii genetic content in three representative strains. We developed microsatellite markers for S. kudriavzevii and used them to analyze the diversity of a population isolated from oaks in Ardèche (France). This analysis revealed new insights into the diversity of this species. We then analyzed the diversity of the wine hybrids for 12 S. cerevisiae and 7 S. kudriavzevii microsatellite loci and found that these strains are the products of multiple hybridization events between several S. cerevisiae wine yeast isolates and various S. kudriavzevii strains. The Eg8 lineage appeared remarkable, since it harbors strains found over a wide geographic area, and the interstrain divergence measured with a (δμ)(2) genetic distance indicates an ancient origin. These findings reflect the specific adaptations made by S. cerevisiae/S. kudriavzevii cryophilic hybrids to winery environments in cool climates. PMID:22344648

  16. Ecological risks of home and personal care products in the riverine environment of a rural region in South China without domestic wastewater treatment facilities.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Nai-Sheng; Liu, You-sheng; Van den Brink, Paul J; Price, Oliver R; Ying, Guang-Guo

    2015-12-01

    Home and personal care products (HPCPs) including biocides, benzotriazoles (BTs) and ultraviolet (UV) filters are widely used in our daily life. After use, they are discharged with domestic wastewater into the receiving environment. This study investigated the occurrence of 29 representative HPCPs, including biocides, BTs and UV filters, in the riverine environment of a rural region of South China where no wastewater treatment plants were present, and assessed their potential ecological risks to aquatic organisms. The results showed the detection of 11 biocides and 4 BTs in surface water, and 9 biocides, 3 BTs and 4 UV filters in sediment. In surface water, methylparaben (MeP), triclocarban (TCC), and triclosan (TCS) were detected at all sites with median concentrations of 9.23 ng/L, 2.64 ng/L and 5.39 ng/L, respectively. However, the highest median concentrations were found for clotrimazole (CLOT), 5-methyl-1H-benzotriazole (MBT) and carbendazim (CARB) at 55.6 ng/L, 33.7 ng/L and 13.8 ng/L, respectively. In sediment, TCC, TCS, and UV-326 were detected with their maximum concentrations up to 353 ng/g, 155 ng/g, and 133 ng/g, respectively. The concentrations for those detected HPCPs in surface water and sediment were generally lower in the upper reach (rural area) of Sha River than in the lower reach of Sha River with close proximity to Dongjiang River (Pt-test<0.05), indicating other input sources of HPCPs in the lower reach. Biocides showed significantly higher levels in surface water in the wet season than in the dry and intermediate seasons. Preliminary risk assessment demonstrated that the majority of HPCPs monitored represented low risk in surface waters. There are potentially greater risks to aquatic organisms from the use of TCS and TCC in the wet season than in dry and intermediate seasons in surface waters. This preliminary assessment also indicates potential concerns associated with TCC, TCS, DEET, CARB, and CLOT in sediments, although additional data

  17. Environment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    White, Gilbert F.

    1980-01-01

    Presented are perspectives on the emergence of environmental problems. Six major trends in scientific thinking are identified including: holistic approaches to examining environments, life support systems, resource management, risk assessment, streamlined methods for monitoring environmental change, and emphasis on the global framework. (Author/SA)

  18. Phenazines in the environment: microbes, habitats, and ecological relevance. In: Chincholkar, S., Thomashow, L., editors. Microbial phenazines: biosynthesis, agriculture and health. New York, NY; Springer

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Phenazines, the pigmented, redox-active metabolites produced by certain fluorescent pseudomonads, streptomycetes, and members of a few other bacterial genera, have long been recognized for their broad-spectrum antibiotic activity. Much has been learned in recent years about the synthesis of these co...

  19. Predictive systems ecology

    PubMed Central

    Evans, Matthew R.; Bithell, Mike; Cornell, Stephen J.; Dall, Sasha R. X.; Díaz, Sandra; Emmott, Stephen; Ernande, Bruno; Grimm, Volker; Hodgson, David J.; Lewis, Simon L.; Mace, Georgina M.; Morecroft, Michael; Moustakas, Aristides; Murphy, Eugene; Newbold, Tim; Norris, K. J.; Petchey, Owen; Smith, Matthew; Travis, Justin M. J.; Benton, Tim G.

    2013-01-01

    Human societies, and their well-being, depend to a significant extent on the state of the ecosystems that surround them. These ecosystems are changing rapidly usually in response to anthropogenic changes in the environment. To determine the likely impact of environmental change on ecosystems and the best ways to manage them, it would be desirable to be able to predict their future states. We present a proposal to develop the paradigm of predictive systems ecology, explicitly to understand and predict the properties and behaviour of ecological systems. We discuss the necessary and desirable features of predictive systems ecology models. There are places where predictive systems ecology is already being practised and we summarize a range of terrestrial and marine examples. Significant challenges remain but we suggest that ecology would benefit both as a scientific discipline and increase its impact in society if it were to embrace the need to become more predictive. PMID:24089332

  20. Ecological Decision Scaling: A Framework For Incorporating Ecological Principles in Water Management Decision Making

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grantham, T.; Poff, L.; Spence, C. M.; Matthews, J.; Brown, C. M.; Palmer, M.; Hondula, K. L.; Baeza Castro, C.

    2014-12-01

    Large water infrastructure projects have fueled the economies of developed countries and led to the widespread degradation of freshwater ecosystems. Proposed dams promise to similarly transform the economies and environment of developing countries. Yet with rapidly changing climate, traditional water infrastructure design carries with it an increased risk of failure if climate conditions shift beyond design parameters. Environmental concerns have long been at the periphery of water management decision-making. However, the destabilizing effect of climate change on traditional engineering practices, coupled with increased societal interest in sustainable water management, now present an opportunity to better integrate ecological principles in water infrastructure planning and design. Here we operationalize sustainable water management by incorporating ecological performance metrics with traditional engineering performance criteria in a decision-analysis framework. We adapt the decision-scaling risk assessment approach to evaluate ecological consequences of water management decisions and quantify tradeoffs and synergies among economic and environmental objectives. We apply the framework to the Iowa River system, where recent changes in flood intensity have prompted managers to consider alternative flood control strategies, including new infrastructure and reservoir operation rules. The system was modeled to quantify flood damages (to Iowa City and agricultural lands) and the ecological benefits of river floodplain inundation under alternative management and climate scenarios. We found that raising levees substantially reduced economic damages under wetter and more variable climate futures, but provided limited ecological benefits relative to the status quo. In contrast, changes in reservoir operations did not reduce the risk of catastrophic flood damage, but provided significant ecological benefits associated with increased floodplain inundation. The management option

  1. Ecological Misconceptions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Munson, Bruce H.

    1994-01-01

    Presents a summary of the research literature on students' ecological conceptions and the implications of misconceptions. Topics include food webs, ecological adaptation, carrying capacity, ecosystem, and niche. (Contains 35 references.) (MKR)

  2. Backyard Ecology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Elser, Monica; Musheno, Birgit; Saltz, Charlene

    2003-01-01

    Describes the Ecology Explorers, the community education component of Arizona State University's Central Arizona Phoenix Long-Term Ecological Research project, which offers teacher internship programs that link university researchers, K-12 teachers, and students in studying urban ecology. Explains that student neighborhoods are dynamic ecosystems…

  3. Ecology for a changing earth

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, J.H. ); Roughgarden, J. )

    1990-02-06

    To forecast the ecological impact of global change, research initiatives are needed on the explicit role of humans in ecological systems, and on how ecological processes functioning at different spatial and temporal scales are coupled. Furthermore, to synthesize the results of ecological research for Congress, policymakers, and the general public, a new agency, called the United States Ecological Survey (USES) is urgently required. Also, a national commitment to environmental health, as exemplified by establishing a National Institutes of the Environment (NIE), should be a goal.

  4. Protective effect of ipratropium bromide on bronchoconstriction induced by sulfur dioxide exposure during apricot sufurization processes that causes asthma-like syndrome in agricultural environment.

    PubMed

    Yildirim, Zeki; Kilic, Talat; Koksal, Nurhan; Kotuk, Mahir

    2005-05-01

    We previously showed that apricot sulfurization workers are exposed to high concentrations of sulfur dioxide (SO2), resulting in an asthma-like syndrome. The aim of this study was to investigate whether pre-treatment of ipratropium bromide protects bronchoconstriction induced by SO2 exposure during apricot sulfurization processes that causes asthma-like syndrome. Firstly, pulmonary function tests were measured before and immediately after SO2 exposure due to processes of apricot sulfurization in 21 healthy volunteer apricot sulfurization workers who did not use any medication in apricot farms. One week later, same measurements were repeated in the same workers when they were working in same farm but they were administered two puffs of ipratropium bromide (20 microg per dose) before 30 min second SO2 exposure for protection of SO2-induced bronchoconstriction. Occupational SO2 exposure caused significant decrement in forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume (FEV1) and forced mid-expiratory flow rate (FEF25-75%) in the worker and these decrements were prevented by ipratropium bromide given 30 min before SO2 exposure. This result suggests that pre-treatment of ipratropium bromide protects SO2-induced bronchoconstriction in healthy worker during apricot sulfurization processes that causes asthma-like syndrome in agricultural environment. PMID:15749463

  5. Fields of dreams: Agriculture, economy and nature in Midwest United States biofuel production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gillon, Sean Thomas

    This work explores the social and ecological dimensions of recent biofuel production increases in the United States (US), focusing on the case of Iowa. Biofuels are proposed to mitigate the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change, improve US energy security, and support rural economies. Little research has examined how increased US Midwestern biofuels production will change social and ecological outcomes at farm and regional levels or interact with broader governance processes at the nexus of agriculture, energy and environment. These broad questions guide my research: (1) How does biofuel production reconfigure agricultural practice and landscapes in Iowa? (2) What are the costs, benefits and risks of increased biofuels production as seen by farmers and rural residents, and how do these factors influence farmer decisions about agriculture and conservation practice? (3) How and with what effects are biofuels initiatives constituted as a form of environmental governance through scientific knowledge and practice and political economic dynamics? To address these questions, this research integrates both qualitative and quantitative methods, drawing on a political ecological approach complemented by agroecological analysis and theoretical insights from geographical analyses of nature-society relations. Quantitative analysis focuses on changing land use patterns in agriculture and conservation practice in Iowa. Qualitative methods include extensive interviews, participant observation, and policy and document analyses. Fieldwork focused on Northeastern Iowa to understand regional changes in agricultural and conservation practice, the renegotiated position of farmers in agriculture and biofuel production, and biofuel industry development. I find that biofuel production presents significant social and ecological challenges for rural places of production. Longstanding, unequal political economic relations in industrialized agriculture limit rural economic benefits

  6. Moving GIS Research Indoors: Spatiotemporal Analysis of Agricultural Animals

    PubMed Central

    Daigle, Courtney L.; Banerjee, Debasmit; Montgomery, Robert A.; Biswas, Subir; Siegford, Janice M.

    2014-01-01

    A proof of concept applying wildlife ecology techniques to animal welfare science in intensive agricultural environments was conducted using non-cage laying hens. Studies of wildlife ecology regularly use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to assess wild animal movement and behavior within environments with relatively unlimited space and finite resources. However, rather than depicting landscapes, a GIS could be developed in animal production environments to provide insight into animal behavior as an indicator of animal welfare. We developed a GIS-based approach for studying agricultural animal behavior in an environment with finite space and unlimited resources. Concurrent data from wireless body-worn location tracking sensor and video-recording systems, which depicted spatially-explicit behavior of hens (135 hens/room) in two identical indoor enclosures, were collected. The spatial configuration of specific hen behaviors, variation in home range patterns, and variation in home range overlap show that individual hens respond to the same environment differently. Such information could catalyze management practice adjustments (e.g., modifying feeder design and/or location). Genetically-similar hens exhibited diverse behavioral and spatial patterns via a proof of concept approach enabling detailed examinations of individual non-cage laying hen behavior and welfare. PMID:25098421

  7. Moving GIS research indoors: spatiotemporal analysis of agricultural animals.

    PubMed

    Daigle, Courtney L; Banerjee, Debasmit; Montgomery, Robert A; Biswas, Subir; Siegford, Janice M

    2014-01-01

    A proof of concept applying wildlife ecology techniques to animal welfare science in intensive agricultural environments was conducted using non-cage laying hens. Studies of wildlife ecology regularly use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to assess wild animal movement and behavior within environments with relatively unlimited space and finite resources. However, rather than depicting landscapes, a GIS could be developed in animal production environments to provide insight into animal behavior as an indicator of animal welfare. We developed a GIS-based approach for studying agricultural animal behavior in an environment with finite space and unlimited resources. Concurrent data from wireless body-worn location tracking sensor and video-recording systems, which depicted spatially-explicit behavior of hens (135 hens/room) in two identical indoor enclosures, were collected. The spatial configuration of specific hen behaviors, variation in home range patterns, and variation in home range overlap show that individual hens respond to the same environment differently. Such information could catalyze management practice adjustments (e.g., modifying feeder design and/or location). Genetically-similar hens exhibited diverse behavioral and spatial patterns via a proof of concept approach enabling detailed examinations of individual non-cage laying hen behavior and welfare. PMID:25098421

  8. Capturing illicit drug use where and when it happens: an ecological momentary assessment of the social, physical and activity environment of using versus craving illicit drugs

    PubMed Central

    Linas, Beth S.; Latkin, Carl; Westergaard, Ryan P.; Chang, Larry W.; Bollinger, Robert C.; Genz, Andrew; Kirk, Gregory D.

    2015-01-01

    Aims To understand the environmental and contextual influences of illicit cocaine and heroin use and craving using mobile health (mHealth) methods. Design Interactive mHealth methods of ecological momentary assessment (EMA) were utilized in the Exposure Assessment in Current Time (EXACT) study to assess drug use and craving among urban drug users in real time. Participants were provided with mobile devices and asked to self-report every time they either craved (without using) or used heroin or cocaine for 30 days from November 2008 through May 2013. Setting Baltimore, MD, USA. Participants A total of 109 participants from the AIDS Linked to the IntraVenous Experience (ALIVE) study. Measurements For each drug use or craving event, participants answered questions concerning their drug use, current mood and their social, physical and activity environments. Odds ratios (OR) of drug use versus craving were obtained from logistic regression models with generalized estimating equations of all reported events. Findings Participants were a median of 48.5 years old, 90% African American, 52% male and 59% HIV-infected. Participants were significantly more likely to report use rather than craving drugs if they were with someone who was using drugs [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 1.45, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.13, 1.86), in an abandoned space (aOR = 6.65, 95% CI = 1.78, 24.84) or walking/wandering (aOR = 1.68, 95% CI = 1.11, 2.54). Craving drugs was associated with being with a child (aOR = 0.26, 95% CI = 0.12, 0.59), eating (aOR = 0.54, 95% CI = 0.34, 0.85) or being at the doctor’s office (aOR = 0.31, 95% CI = 0.12, 0.80). Conclusions There are distinct drug using and craving environments among urban drug users, which may provide a framework for developing real-time context-sensitive interventions. PMID:25311241

  9. Agricultural land usage transforms nitrifier population ecology.

    PubMed

    Bertagnolli, Anthony D; McCalmont, Dylan; Meinhardt, Kelley A; Fransen, Steven C; Strand, Stuart; Brown, Sally; Stahl, David A

    2016-06-01

    Application of nitrogen fertilizer has altered terrestrial ecosystems. Ammonia is nitrified by ammonia and nitrite-oxidizing microorganisms, converting ammonia to highly mobile nitrate, contributing to the loss of nitrogen, soil nutrients and production of detrimental nitrogen oxides. Mitigating these costs is of critical importance to a growing bioenergy industry. To resolve the impact of management on nitrifying populations, amplicon sequencing of markers associated with ammonia and nitrite-oxidizing taxa (ammonia monooxygenase-amoA, nitrite oxidoreductase-nxrB, respectively) was conducted from long-term managed and nearby native soils in Eastern Washington, USA. Native nitrifier population structure was altered profoundly by management. The native ammonia-oxidizing archaeal community (comprised primarily by Nitrososphaera sister subclusters 1.1 and 2) was displaced by populations of Nitrosopumilus, Nitrosotalea and different assemblages of Nitrososphaera (subcluster 1.1, and unassociated lineages of Nitrososphaera). A displacement of ammonia-oxidizing bacterial taxa was associated with management, with native groups of Nitrosospira (cluster 2 related, cluster 3A.2) displaced by Nitrosospira clusters 8B and 3A.1. A shift in nitrite-oxidizing bacteria (NOB) was correlated with management, but distribution patterns could not be linked exclusively to management. Dominant nxrB sequences displayed only distant relationships to other NOB isolates and environmental clones. PMID:26526405

  10. Is rangeland agriculture sustainable?

    PubMed

    Heitschmidt, R K; Vermeire, L T; Grings, E E

    2004-01-01

    The objective of this paper is to examine the sustainability of rangeland agriculture (i.e., managed grazing) on a world-wide basis, with a focus on North America. Sustainability is addressed on three fronts: 1) ecological, 2) economic, and 3) social acceptance. Based on previous and on-going research, we suggest that employment of science-based rangeland grazing management strategies and tactics can ensure ecological sustainability. The formidable challenge in employing such technology centers around the need to balance efficiency of solar energy capture and subsequent harvest efficiencies across an array of highly spatially and temporally variable vegetation growing conditions using animals that graze selectively. Failure to meet this fundamental challenge often accelerates rangeland desertification processes, and in some instances, enhances rate and extent of the invasion of noxious weeds. We also suggest that the fundamental reason that ecologically sound grazing management technologies are often not employed in the management of grazed ecological systems is because social values drive management decisions more so than ecological science issues. This is true in both well-developed societies with substantial economic resources and in less-developed societies with few economic resources. However, the social issues driving management are often entirely different, ranging from multiple-use issues in developed countries to human day-to-day survival issues in poorly developed countries. We conclude that the long-term sustainability of rangeland agriculture in 1) developed societies depends on the ability of rangeland agriculturalists to continually respond in a dynamic, positive, proactive manner to ever-changing social values and 2) less-developed societies on their ability to address the ecological and social consequences arising from unsustainable human populations before the adoption of science-based sustainable rangeland management technologies. PMID:15471792

  11. Metabolic ecology.

    PubMed

    Humphries, Murray M; McCann, Kevin S

    2014-01-01

    Ecological theory that is grounded in metabolic currencies and constraints offers the potential to link ecological outcomes to biophysical processes across multiple scales of organization. The metabolic theory of ecology (MTE) has emphasized the potential for metabolism to serve as a unified theory of ecology, while focusing primarily on the size and temperature dependence of whole-organism metabolic rates. Generalizing metabolic ecology requires extending beyond prediction and application of standardized metabolic rates to theory focused on how energy moves through ecological systems. A bibliometric and network analysis of recent metabolic ecology literature reveals a research network characterized by major clusters focused on MTE, foraging theory, bioenergetics, trophic status, and generalized patterns and predictions. This generalized research network, which we refer to as metabolic ecology, can be considered to include the scaling, temperature and stoichiometric models forming the core of MTE, as well as bioenergetic equations, foraging theory, life-history allocation models, consumer-resource equations, food web theory and energy-based macroecology models that are frequently employed in ecological literature. We conclude with six points we believe to be important to the advancement and integration of metabolic ecology, including nomination of a second fundamental equation, complementary to the first fundamental equation offered by the MTE. PMID:24028511

  12. The life history of Pseudomonas syringae: linking agriculture to earth system processes.

    PubMed

    Morris, Cindy E; Monteil, Caroline L; Berge, Odile

    2013-01-01

    The description of the ecology of Pseudomonas syringae is moving away from that of a ubiquitous epiphytic plant pathogen to one of a multifaceted bacterium sans frontières in fresh water and other ecosystems linked to the water cycle. Discovery of the aquatic facet of its ecology has led to a vision of its life history that integrates spatial and temporal scales spanning billions of years and traversing catchment basins, continents, and the planet and that confronts the implication of roles that are potentially conflicting for agriculture (as a plant pathogen and as an actor in processes leading to rain and snowfall). This new ecological perspective has also yielded insight into epidemiological phenomena linked to disease emergence. Overall, it sets the stage for the integration of more comprehensive contexts of ecology and evolutionary history into comparative genomic analyses to elucidate how P. syringae subverts the attack and defense responses of the cohabitants of the diverse environments it occupies. PMID:23663005

  13. Civic Ecology: Linking Social and Ecological Approaches in Extension

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Krasny, Marianne E.; Tidball, Keith G.

    2010-01-01

    Civic ecology refers to the philosophy and science of community forestry, community gardening, watershed enhancement, and other volunteer-driven restoration practices in cities and elsewhere. Such practices, although often viewed as initiatives to improve a degraded environment, also foster social attributes of resilient social-ecological systems,…

  14. Book review: Darwinian agriculture: How understanding evolution can improve agriculture by R. Ford Dennison

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agricultural research continually seeks to increase productivity while protecting soil, water and genetic resources. The book Darwinian Agriculture: How Understanding Evolution Can Improve Agriculture, by R. Ford Dennison, delivers a thought-provoking view of how principles of ecology and evolution ...

  15. Agricultural Production.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lehigh County Area Vocational-Technical School, Schnecksville, PA.

    This brochure describes the philosophy and scope of a secondary-level course in agricultural production. Addressed in the individual units of the course are the following topics: careers in agriculture and agribusiness, animal science and livestock production, agronomy, agricultural mechanics, supervised occupational experience programs, and the…

  16. Assessing the ecological security of the Tibetan plateau: methodology and a case study for Lhaze County.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Yan-Zhi; Zou, Xue-Yong; Cheng, Hong; Jia, Hai-Kun; Wu, Yong-Qiu; Wang, Gui-Yong; Zhang, Chun-Lai; Gao, Shang-Yu

    2006-07-01

    A system for assessing the ecological security of Lhaze County in China's Tibetan Autonomous Region was developed using a pressure-state-response model and the analytic hierarchy process. We then used this model to comprehensively evaluate the status of ecological security in Lhaze County. Our results showed that the ecological environment in Lhaze County has deteriorated from an 'early stages of damage status' in the 1980s to 'moderately damaged status' today. This deterioration has become a major barrier to local economic development and social advancement. Natural and social aspects related to the population explosion, resource exploitation, and climate change that led to this ecological deterioration are discussed. Furthermore, we have suggested proposals for improving the ecological environment that include controlling population growth and enhancing the system of laws that protect the environment, upgrading 3 882.6 ha of low-yield farmland, planting 2 425.8, 548.8, and 1 207.4 ha of shelter belts for farmland protection, soil and water conservation, and fuelwood, respectively, and seeding 2 358.1 ha of artificial grassland. In the meantime, we propose strengthening the controls that limit soil and water loss, and optimizing industrial sectors that aspire to achieve high-efficiency, ecologically responsible agriculture. PMID:16338056

  17. Coastal Adaptation and Ecological Engineering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheong, S. M.

    2014-12-01

    Ecological engineering combines ecology and engineering to sustain coastal environment and facilitate adaptation to climate change. This paper discusses how the cases of mangroves, oyster reefs, and marshes help mainstream climate change with ecosystem conservation. It demonstrates the benefits of combining strategies to combat changing climate given the financial and political constraints.

  18. Molecular ecology of aquatic microbes

    SciTech Connect

    1994-12-31

    Abstracts of reports are presented from a meeting on Molecular Ecology of Aquatic Microbes. Topics included: opportunities offered to aquatic ecology by molecular biology; the role of aquatic microbes in biogeochemical cycles; characterization of the microbial community; the effect of the environment on aquatic microbes; and the targeting of specific biological processes.

  19. Education and Our Ecological Crisis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Klimas, John

    1970-01-01

    Discusses causes of our ecological crisis and suggests that in order to overcome the crisis we have to sprinkle our teaching with a sense of wonder, impress upon the youth that there is nothing difficult or mysterious about the ecological viewpoint, give youth an awareness of the diversity of things in our environment, stress interrelationships…

  20. Irrigated Agriculture, Saudi Arabia

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

    In Saudi Arabia, center-pivot, swing-arm irrigated agriculture complexes such as the one imaged at Jabal Tuwayq (20.5N, 45.0 E) extract deep fossil water reserves to achieve food crop production self sufficiency in this desert environment. The significance of the Saudi expanded irrigated agriculture is that the depletion of this finite water resource is a short term solution to a long term need that will still exist when the water has been extracted.

  1. Ecology in a Jar.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Corner, Thomas R.

    1992-01-01

    In a hands-on experiment to illustrate the concept of cycles in ecology, students use the Winogradsky column to explore the operation of the sulfur cycle and the interrelatedness of organisms in an environment. Lesson plans include materials needed and class procedures. (MDH)

  2. Agricultural Waste.

    PubMed

    Xue, Ling; Zhang, Panpan; Shu, Huajie; Chang, Chein-Chi; Wang, Renqing; Zhang, Shuping

    2016-10-01

    In recent years, the quantity of agricultural waste has been rising rapidly all over the world. As a result, the environmental problems and negative impacts of agricultural waste are drawn more and more attention. Therefore, there is a need to adopt proper approaches to reduce and reuse agricultural waste. This review presented about 200 literatures published in 2015 relating to the topic of agricultural waste. The review examined research on agricultural waste in 2015 from the following four aspects: the characterization, reuse, treatment, and management. Researchers highlighted the importance to reuse agricultural waste and investigated the potential to utilize it as biofertilizers, cultivation material, soil amendments, adsorbent, material, energy recycling, enzyme and catalyst etc. The treatment of agricultural waste included carbonization, biodegradation, composting hydrolysis and pyrolysis. Moreover, this review analyzed the differences of the research progress in 2015 from 2014. It may help to reveal the new findings and new trends in this field in 2015 comparing to 2014. PMID:27620093

  3. Ecological Consultancy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilson, Scott McG.; Tattersfield, Peter

    2004-01-01

    This is the first of a new regular feature on careers, designed to provide those who teach biology with some inspiration when advising their students. In this issue, two consultant ecologists explain how their career paths developed. It is a misconception that there are few jobs in ecology. Over the past 20 or 30 years ecological consultancy has…

  4. Vocational Agriculture Education. Agricultural Mechanics.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Eddie; And Others

    To assist teachers in agricultural mechanics in providing comprehensive instruction to their students, this curriculum guide treats both the mechanical skills and knowlege necessary for this specialized area. Six sections are included, as follow: orientation and safety; agricultural mechanics skills; agricultural power and machinery; agricultural…

  5. [Ecological protection and sustainable utilization of Erhai Lake, Yunnan].

    PubMed

    Yan, Chang-Zhou; Jin, Xiang-Can; Zhao, Jing-Zhu; Shen, Bing; Li, Ning-Bo; Huang, Chang-Zhu; Xiong, Zhong-Hua

    2005-09-01

    Economic development and increase of population pressure have caused a series of ecological environmental problems of Erhai Lake. These problems include: (1) Quickening of eutrophication process, (2) Decrease of water level and water resources, (3) Habitat deterioration of lakeside zone, and (4) Overfishing and slow depletion of aboriginal fish. Pollutant loading of Erhai Lake is as follows: COD(Cr) 3 008 t x a(-1), TP 137.31 t x a(-1), TN 1 426.35 t x a(-1). According to the mestrophic target of water quality, loading of nitrogen and phosphorus is far above environmental capacity of Erhai Lake. Erhai Lake is now in a pivotal and hypersensitive period of trophic states change, and the position is very critical. Therefore, some countermeasures to solve the problems are presented as follows: (1) Defining the dominant functions of Erhai Lake, (2) Paying attention to the adjustment of the industrial structure and distribution in the course of urbanization, (3) Setting up lakeside zone reserve, (4) Strengthening the control of tourism pollution, (5) Properly adjusting the water level of Erhai Lake, and (6) Some ecological engineering measures for water resources protection in the basin should be taken through collecting and treating of urban sewages, ecological rehabilitating of the main inflowing rivers, constructing of ecological agricultures and improving of rural environment, ecological restoring of aquatic ecosystem, and soil and water conservation. PMID:16366467

  6. The ChemEcology Portfolio.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wygoda, Linda J.

    1996-01-01

    Presents activities based on readings from ChemEcology that incorporate student writing with thinking skills as part of a reading/writing portfolio. Helps students to develop a broader understanding of chemistry, the chemical industry, and the environment. (JRH)

  7. Reproductive ecology of predaceous Heteroptera

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Reproductive ecology entails relating the physiology and behavior of an organism to its environment and the community in which it lives. Terrestrial predatory Heteroptera (including Anthocoridae, Geocoridae, Miridae, Nabidae, Pentatomidae, Phymatidae, and Reduviidae) display a wide range of reproduc...

  8. Connecting Urban Youth with Their Environment: The Impact of an Urban Ecology Course on Student Content Knowledge, Environmental Attitudes and Responsible Behaviors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hashimoto-Martell, Erin A.; McNeill, Katherine L.; Hoffman, Emily M.

    2012-01-01

    This study explores the impact of an urban ecology program on participating middle school students' understanding of science and pro-environmental attitudes and behaviors. We gathered pre and post survey data from four classes and found significant gains in scientific knowledge, but no significant changes in student beliefs regarding the…

  9. The Regional Marine Science Project of the Carteret County, North Carolina, Public Schools. Experiments in the Use of Field Ecology as an Approach to Understanding Coastal Environments.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hon, Will

    The development of the Regional Marine Science Project in Carteret County, North Carolina, is portrayed in this booklet. Established with Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Title III funds in 1966, the project has evolved from one high school course in marine ecology to numerous courses and activities at all levels, primary through…

  10. Issues of sustainable irrigated agriculture in the San Joaquin Valley of California in a changing regulatory environment concerning water quality and protection of wildlife

    SciTech Connect

    Quinn, N.W.T.; Delamore, M.L.

    1994-06-01

    Since the discovery of selenium toxicosis in the Kesterson Reservoir in the San Joaquin Valley, California, public perception of irrigated agriculture as a benign competitor for California`s developed water supply has been changed irrevocably. Subsurface return flows from irrigated agriculture were implicated as the source of selenium which led to incidents of reproductive failure in waterfowl and threatened survival of other fish and wildlife species. Stringent water quality objectives were promulgated to protect rivers, tributaries, sloughs and other water bodies receiving agricultural discharges from selenium contamination. Achieving these objectives was left to the agricultural water districts, federal and state agencies responsible for drainage and water quality enforcement in the San Joaquin Basin. This paper describes some of the strategies to improve management of water resources and water quality in response to these new environmental objectives. Similar environmental objectives will likely be adopted by other developed and developing countries with large regions of arid zone agriculture and susceptible wildlife resources. A series of simulation models have been developed over the past four years to evaluate regional drainage management strategies such as: irrigation source control; drainage recycling; selective retirement of agricultural land; regional shallow ground water pumping; coordination of agricultural drainage, wetland and reservoir releases; and short-term ponding of drainage water. A new generation of Geographic Information Service-based software is under development to bridge the gap between planning and program implementation. Use of the decision support system will allow water districts and regulators to continuously monitor drainage discharges to the San Joaquin River in real-time and to assess impacts of management strategies that have been implemented to take advantage of the River`s assimilative capacity for trace elements and salts.

  11. About Ecology, Deep Ecology, and the Meaning of Life: A Talk to Teens.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Prochaska, Victor

    1994-01-01

    This talk on ecology and deep ecology addresses the interconnectedness of all things in the environment, the Gaia Hypothesis, as well as social inequity, lack of social and environmental harmony, and the adoption of globally sustainable lifestyles. (LZ)

  12. Ecological Inference

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    King, Gary; Rosen, Ori; Tanner, Martin A.

    2004-09-01

    This collection of essays brings together a diverse group of scholars to survey the latest strategies for solving ecological inference problems in various fields. The last half-decade has witnessed an explosion of research in ecological inference--the process of trying to infer individual behavior from aggregate data. Although uncertainties and information lost in aggregation make ecological inference one of the most problematic types of research to rely on, these inferences are required in many academic fields, as well as by legislatures and the Courts in redistricting, by business in marketing research, and by governments in policy analysis.

  13. Agriculture, summary

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baldwin, R.

    1975-01-01

    Applications of remotely sensed data in agriculture are enumerated. These include: predictions of forage for range animal consumption, forest management, soil mapping, and crop inventory and management.

  14. Chemical Pesticides and Human Health: The Urgent Need for a New Concept in Agriculture.

    PubMed

    Nicolopoulou-Stamati, Polyxeni; Maipas, Sotirios; Kotampasi, Chrysanthi; Stamatis, Panagiotis; Hens, Luc

    2016-01-01

    The industrialization of the agricultural sector has increased the chemical burden on natural ecosystems. Pesticides are agrochemicals used in agricultural lands, public health programs, and urban green areas in order to protect plants and humans from various diseases. However, due to their known ability to cause a large number of negative health and environmental effects, their side effects can be an important environmental health risk factor. The urgent need for a more sustainable and ecological approach has produced many innovative ideas, among them agriculture reforms and food production implementing sustainable practice evolving to food sovereignty. It is more obvious than ever that the society needs the implementation of a new agricultural concept regarding food production, which is safer for man and the environment, and to this end, steps such as the declaration of Nyéléni have been taken. PMID:27486573

  15. Chemical Pesticides and Human Health: The Urgent Need for a New Concept in Agriculture

    PubMed Central

    Nicolopoulou-Stamati, Polyxeni; Maipas, Sotirios; Kotampasi, Chrysanthi; Stamatis, Panagiotis; Hens, Luc

    2016-01-01

    The industrialization of the agricultural sector has increased the chemical burden on natural ecosystems. Pesticides are agrochemicals used in agricultural lands, public health programs, and urban green areas in order to protect plants and humans from various diseases. However, due to their known ability to cause a large number of negative health and environmental effects, their side effects can be an important environmental health risk factor. The urgent need for a more sustainable and ecological approach has produced many innovative ideas, among them agriculture reforms and food production implementing sustainable practice evolving to food sovereignty. It is more obvious than ever that the society needs the implementation of a new agricultural concept regarding food production, which is safer for man and the environment, and to this end, steps such as the declaration of Nyéléni have been taken. PMID:27486573

  16. Ecological Education in Rural China: Rediscovering Traditional Knowledge

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liu, Yan

    2008-01-01

    This article has implications for the ecological sustainability crisis now looming in China and what this portends for the practice of education. Chemical agriculture, although improving agricultural production, harms ecological systems in rural communities. The author presents research on a group of intellectuals and social activists in 1…

  17. Agricultural Wastes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jewell, W. J.; Switzenbaum, M. S.

    1978-01-01

    Presents a literature review of agricultural wastes, covering publications of 1976-77. Some of the areas covered are: (1) water characteristics and impacts; (2) waste treatment; (3) reuse of agricultural wastes; and (4) nonpoint pollution sources. A list of 150 references is also presented. (HM)

  18. VOCATIONAL AGRICULTURE.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    California State Dept. of Education, Sacramento. Research Coordinating Unit.

    TO ASSIST THOSE WHO MAKE DECISIONS RELATING TO EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS IN AGRICULTURE, RECENT RESEARCH IN VOCATIONAL AGRICULTURE IS SUMMARIZED. A 1963 STUDY TREATS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN WORK EXPERIENCE AND STUDENT CHARACTERISTICS, PLANS, AND ASPIRATIONS. STUDIES ON POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION CONCERN GUIDELINES FOR TECHNICIAN PROGRAMS, JUSTIFICATION…

  19. Eco-environment contribution of agroforestry to agriculture development in the plain area of China--Huai' an Prefecture, Jiangsu Province as the case study area.

    PubMed

    Ren, Hong-chang; Lu, Yong-long; Liu, Can; Meng, Qing-hua; Shi, Ya-juan

    2005-01-01

    For improving the environmental quality and ensuring supply of wood and non-timber forest products, many forests have been planted in plain areas of China. Scientists have studied their benefits, almost all of the approaches were based on fixed-point data, and few was considered on the non-efficient factors and temporal scale effects. This paper studies the positive and negative benefits at a large temporal scale, and the effects of plain afforestation on stockbreeding and rural economy. The benefits of plain afforestation, correlation coefficiency of agroforestry and production factors are analyzed via stochastic frontier modeling in Huanghuaihai Plain Area of China; elastic coefficient of agroforestry, husbandry, farming, and total output of agricultural sector are calculated through adopting partial differential equation. Some conclusions can be drawn that, plain forests have an important effect on the development of plain agriculture. But shelterbelts and small-scale forests have different effect on the development of agricultural economy. Shelterbelts have negative effect on the industries, but small-scale forest has positive effect. On the whole, contribution of forest resource to value of animal husbandry and gross production value of agriculture is positive, and to the value of farming is negative. PMID:16295915

  20. Evaluation of phosphorus and nitrogen balances as an indicator for the impact of agriculture on environment a comparison of case studies from Poland and the Mississippi US

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The objective of the research was to quantify the changes of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) balances in Poland and Mississippi (MS). Nutrient balances were calculated as difference between input and output in the agricultural system according to Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development...

  1. Feed Your Mind: Cultivating Ecological Community Literacies with Permaculture

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wade, Stephanie

    2015-01-01

    This article proposes permaculture, an ecological alternative to industrial agriculture, as a way to design first-year composition and community literacy classes. First, the paper connects permaculture with post-humanism to describe ecological community literacies--the type of knowledge that ecological theorists say we need to navigate the end of…

  2. The expansion of intensive agriculture and ranching in Brazilian Amazonia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walker, Robert; DeFries, Ruth; del Carmen Vera-Diaz, Maria; Shimabukuro, Yosio; Venturieri, Adriano

    Agriculture in Amazonia has often provoked controversy, given the tremendous ecological value of the region's environment. First with ranching, and now with the soybean boom, tractors and cattle have marched across lands that for millennia supported only closed moist forest, resident ecosystems, and dispersed indigenous peoples. The present chapter considers this expansion, focusing on the Brazilian portion of the basin. Its premise is that effective Amazonian policy must be grounded on an understanding of the region's agriculture. The chapter pursues its objectives by first addressing the development initiatives that created the preconditions for Amazonia's current agricultural economy. The region is remote and has therefore required sustained government intervention to release its potential. The policy discussion is followed by descriptions of cattle ranching and soy farming. For each, market settings and trajectories of expansion are presented. Although these sectoral descriptions are data rich, they do not provide a conceptual framework for analyzing the environmental impacts of evolving market conditions. To accomplish this, the chapter invokes the classical land use model of von Thünen to explain Amazonian land cover dynamics in relation to soy-cattle linkages. It addresses these dynamics with remote sensing data from Mato Grosso, Pará, and Rondônia, and then discusses scenarios of agricultural advances on the forest. Conclusions follow, considering possible policy responses to deforestation, and the social context of agricultural intensification, with special attention to the issues of land tenure security and distributional equity.

  3. The roles and values of wild foods in agricultural systems

    PubMed Central

    Bharucha, Zareen; Pretty, Jules

    2010-01-01

    Almost every ecosystem has been amended so that plants and animals can be used as food, fibre, fodder, medicines, traps and weapons. Historically, wild plants and animals were sole dietary components for hunter–gatherer and forager cultures. Today, they remain key to many agricultural communities. The mean use of wild foods by agricultural and forager communities in 22 countries of Asia and Africa (36 studies) is 90–100 species per location. Aggregate country estimates can reach 300–800 species (e.g. India, Ethiopia, Kenya). The mean use of wild species is 120 per community for indigenous communities in both industrialized and developing countries. Many of these wild foods are actively managed, suggesting there is a false dichotomy around ideas of the agricultural and the wild: hunter–gatherers and foragers farm and manage their environments, and cultivators use many wild plants and animals. Yet, provision of and access to these sources of food may be declining as natural habitats come under increasing pressure from development, conservation-exclusions and agricultural expansion. Despite their value, wild foods are excluded from official statistics on economic values of natural resources. It is clear that wild plants and animals continue to form a significant proportion of the global food basket, and while a variety of social and ecological drivers are acting to reduce wild food use, their importance may be set to grow as pressures on agricultural productivity increase. PMID:20713393

  4. Ecology of prokaryotic viruses.

    PubMed

    Weinbauer, Markus G

    2004-05-01

    The finding that total viral abundance is higher than total prokaryotic abundance and that a significant fraction of the prokaryotic community is infected with phages in aquatic systems has stimulated research on the ecology of prokaryotic viruses and their role in ecosystems. This review treats the ecology of prokaryotic viruses ('phages') in marine, freshwater and soil systems from a 'virus point of view'. The abundance of viruses varies strongly in different environments and is related to bacterial abundance or activity suggesting that the majority of the viruses found in the environment are typically phages. Data on phage diversity are sparse but indicate that phages are extremely diverse in natural systems. Lytic phages are predators of prokaryotes, whereas lysogenic and chronic infections represent a parasitic interaction. Some forms of lysogeny might be described best as mutualism. The little existing ecological data on phage populations indicate a large variety of environmental niches and survival strategies. The host cell is the main resource for phages and the resource quality, i.e., the metabolic state of the host cell, is a critical factor in all steps of the phage life cycle. Virus-induced mortality of prokaryotes varies strongly on a temporal and spatial scale and shows that phages can be important predators of bacterioplankton. This mortality and the release of cell lysis products into the environment can strongly influence microbial food web processes and biogeochemical cycles. Phages can also affect host diversity, e.g., by 'killing the winner' and keeping in check competitively dominant species or populations. Moreover, they mediate gene transfer between prokaryotes, but this remains largely unknown in the environment. Genomics or proteomics are providing us now with powerful tools in phage ecology, but final testing will have to be performed in the environment. PMID:15109783

  5. Martha Muchow: Precursor to Ecological Psychology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schoggen, Phil

    1985-01-01

    Shows how Martha Muchow's observations of urban children's use of environment and her close attention to relevant features of the physical environment at a molar level, anticipate many recent developments in ecological psychology. (Author/SO)

  6. Differential Distribution of Type II CRISPR-Cas Systems in Agricultural and Nonagricultural Campylobacter coli and Campylobacter jejuni Isolates Correlates with Lack of Shared Environments

    PubMed Central

    Pearson, Bruce M.; Louwen, Rogier; van Baarlen, Peter; van Vliet, Arnoud H.M.

    2015-01-01

    CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced palindromic repeats)-Cas (CRISPR-associated) systems are sequence-specific adaptive defenses against phages and plasmids which are widespread in prokaryotes. Here we have studied whether phylogenetic relatedness or sharing of environmental niches affects the distribution and dissemination of Type II CRISPR-Cas systems, first in 132 bacterial genomes from 15 phylogenetic classes, ranging from Proteobacteria to Actinobacteria. There was clustering of distinct Type II CRISPR-Cas systems in phylogenetically distinct genera with varying G+C%, which share environmental niches. The distribution of CRISPR-Cas within a genus was studied using a large collection of genome sequences of the closely related Campylobacter species Campylobacter jejuni (N = 3,746) and Campylobacter coli (N = 486). The Cas gene cas9 and CRISPR-repeat are almost universally present in C. jejuni genomes (98.0% positive) but relatively rare in C. coli genomes (9.6% positive). Campylobacter jejuni and agricultural C. coli isolates share the C. jejuni CRISPR-Cas system, which is closely related to, but distinct from the C. coli CRISPR-Cas system found in C. coli isolates from nonagricultural sources. Analysis of the genomic position of CRISPR-Cas insertion suggests that the C. jejuni-type CRISPR-Cas has been transferred to agricultural C. coli. Conversely, the absence of the C. coli-type CRISPR-Cas in agricultural C. coli isolates may be due to these isolates not sharing the same environmental niche, and may be affected by farm hygiene and biosecurity practices in the agricultural sector. Finally, many CRISPR spacer alleles were linked with specific multilocus sequence types, suggesting that these can assist molecular epidemiology applications for C. jejuni and C. coli. PMID:26338188

  7. A conceptual model of root hair ideotypes for future agricultural environments: what combination of traits should be targeted to cope with limited P availability?

    PubMed Central

    Brown, L. K.; George, T. S.; Dupuy, L. X.; White, P. J.

    2013-01-01

    Background Phosphorus (P) often limits crop production and is frequently applied as fertilizer; however, supplies of quality rock phosphate for fertilizer production are diminishing. Plants have evolved many mechanisms to increase their P acquisition, and an understanding of these traits could result in improved long-term sustainability of agriculture. This Viewpoint focuses on the potential benefits of root hairs to sustainable production. Scope First the various root-related traits that could be deployed to improve agricultural sustainability are catalogued, and their potential costs and benefits to the plant are discussed. A novel mathematical model describing the effects of length, density and longevity of root hairs on P acquisition is developed, and the relative benefits of these three root-hair traits to plant P nutrition are calculated. Insights from this model are combined with experimental data to assess the relative benefits of a range of root hair ideotypes for sustainability of agriculture. Conclusions A cost–benefit analysis of root traits suggests that root hairs have the greatest potential for P acquisition relative to their cost of production. The novel modelling of root hair development indicates that the greatest gains in P-uptake efficiency are likely to be made through increased length and longevity of root hairs rather than by increasing their density. Synthesizing this information with that from published experiments we formulate six potential ideotypes to improve crop P acquisition. These combine appropriate root hair phenotypes with architectural, anatomical and biochemical traits, such that more root-hair zones are produced in surface soils, where P resources are found, on roots which are metabolically cheap to construct and maintain, and that release more P-mobilizing exudates. These ideotypes could be used to inform breeding programmes to enhance agricultural sustainability. PMID:23172412

  8. Differential Distribution of Type II CRISPR-Cas Systems in Agricultural and Nonagricultural Campylobacter coli and Campylobacter jejuni Isolates Correlates with Lack of Shared Environments.

    PubMed

    Pearson, Bruce M; Louwen, Rogier; van Baarlen, Peter; van Vliet, Arnoud H M

    2015-09-01

    CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced palindromic repeats)-Cas (CRISPR-associated) systems are sequence-specific adaptive defenses against phages and plasmids which are widespread in prokaryotes. Here we have studied whether phylogenetic relatedness or sharing of environmental niches affects the distribution and dissemination of Type II CRISPR-Cas systems, first in 132 bacterial genomes from 15 phylogenetic classes, ranging from Proteobacteria to Actinobacteria. There was clustering of distinct Type II CRISPR-Cas systems in phylogenetically distinct genera with varying G+C%, which share environmental niches. The distribution of CRISPR-Cas within a genus was studied using a large collection of genome sequences of the closely related Campylobacter species Campylobacter jejuni (N = 3,746) and Campylobacter coli (N = 486). The Cas gene cas9 and CRISPR-repeat are almost universally present in C. jejuni genomes (98.0% positive) but relatively rare in C. coli genomes (9.6% positive). Campylobacter jejuni and agricultural C. coli isolates share the C. jejuni CRISPR-Cas system, which is closely related to, but distinct from the C. coli CRISPR-Cas system found in C. coli isolates from nonagricultural sources. Analysis of the genomic position of CRISPR-Cas insertion suggests that the C. jejuni-type CRISPR-Cas has been transferred to agricultural C. coli. Conversely, the absence of the C. coli-type CRISPR-Cas in agricultural C. coli isolates may be due to these isolates not sharing the same environmental niche, and may be affected by farm hygiene and biosecurity practices in the agricultural sector. Finally, many CRISPR spacer alleles were linked with specific multilocus sequence types, suggesting that these can assist molecular epidemiology applications for C. jejuni and C. coli. PMID:26338188

  9. Ecological and evolutionary traps

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schlaepfer, Martin A.; Runge, M.C.; Sherman, P.W.

    2002-01-01

    Organisms often rely on environmental cues to make behavioral and life-history decisions. However, in environments that have been altered suddenly by humans, formerly reliable cues might no longer be associated with adaptive outcomes. In such cases, organisms can become 'trapped' by their evolutionary responses to the cues and experience reduced survival or reproduction. Ecological traps occur when organisms make poor habitat choices based on cues that correlated formerly with habitat quality. Ecological traps are part of a broader phenomenon, evolutionary traps, involving a dissociation between cues that organisms use to make any behavioral or life-history decision and outcomes normally associated with that decision. A trap can lead to extinction if a population falls below a critical size threshold before adaptation to the novel environment occurs. Conservation and management protocols must be designed in light of, rather than in spite of, the behavioral mechanisms and evolutionary history of populations and species to avoid 'trapping' them.

  10. Agricultural Microbiology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brill, Winston J.

    1981-01-01

    Elucidates strategies for applying microbiological techniques to traditional agricultural practices. Discusses the manipulation of microorganisms that live with plants and also the problems involved in the introduction of new genes into crop plants by recombinant DNA methods. (CS)

  11. Agricultural Geophysics

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The four geophysical methods predominantly used for agricultural purposes are resistivity, electromagnetic induction, ground penetrating radar (GPR), and time domain reflectometry (TDR). Resistivity and electromagnetic induction methods are typically employed to map lateral variations of apparent so...

  12. Building Ecology & School Design. Technical Bulletin.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maryland State Dept. of Education, Baltimore.

    To better understand construction's impact, an overview of building ecology as a concept and as a decision-making model for school systems is provided. "Building ecology" is defined as the interrelationships among people, the built environment, and the natural environment. It has special relevance for school design because most of the users are…

  13. Ecological niche

    SciTech Connect

    Shugart, H.H.

    1980-01-01

    The ecological niche of an organism is the set of environmental conditions under which the particular functions of the organism could be expected to assure its survival. It comprises both the set of conditions where the organism lives (often termed the habitat of the organism) and the functional role of the organism in the ecosystem. Recent works in niche theory have enabled ecologists to develop predictions and actual applications. The history of the niche concept, applications of niche theory, and ecological differences between similar species are discussed.

  14. Landscape ecological risk assessment study in arid land

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gong, Lu; Amut, Aniwaer; Shi, Qingdong; Wang, Gary Z.

    2007-09-01

    The ecosystem risk assessment is an essential decision making system for predicting the reconstruction and recovery of a damaged ecosystem after intensive mankind activities. The sustainability of environment and resources of the lake ecosystem in arid districts have been paid close attention to by international communities as well as numerous experts and scholars. The ecological risk assessment offered a scientific foundation for making the decision and execution of ecological risk management. Bosten Lake, the largest inland freshwater lake in China, is the main water source of the industrial and agricultural production as well as the local residence in Yanqi basin, Kuara city and Yuri County in the southern Xinjiang. Bosten Lake also provides a direct water source for emergency transportation in the Lower Reaches of Tarim River. However, with the intensive utilizations of water and soil resources, the environmental condition in the Bosten Lake has become more and more serious. In this study, the theory and method of landscape ecological risk assessment has been practiced using 3S technologies combined with the frontier theory of landscape ecology. Defining the mainly risk resource including flood, drought, water pollution and rich nutrition of water has been evaluated based on the ecosystem risk assessment system. The main process includes five stages: regional natural resources analysis, risk receptor selection, risk sources evaluation, exposure and hazard analysis, and integrated risk assessment. Based on the risk assessment results, the environmental risk management countermeasure has been determined.

  15. The Bacterial Community Structure of Hydrocarbon-Polluted Marine Environments as the Basis for the Definition of an Ecological Index of Hydrocarbon Exposure

    PubMed Central

    Lozada, Mariana; Marcos, Magalí S.; Commendatore, Marta G.; Gil, Mónica N.; Dionisi, Hebe M.

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study was to design a molecular biological tool, using information provided by amplicon pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA genes, that could be suitable for environmental assessment and bioremediation in marine ecosystems. We selected 63 bacterial genera that were previously linked to hydrocarbon biodegradation, representing a minimum sample of the bacterial guild associated with this process. We defined an ecological indicator (ecological index of hydrocarbon exposure, EIHE) using the relative abundance values of these genera obtained by pyrotag analysis. This index reflects the proportion of the bacterial community that is potentially capable of biodegrading hydrocarbons. When the bacterial community structures of intertidal sediments from two sites with different pollution histories were analyzed, 16 of the selected genera (25%) were significantly overrepresented with respect to the pristine site, in at least one of the samples from the polluted site. Although the relative abundances of individual genera associated with hydrocarbon biodegradation were generally low in samples from the polluted site, EIHE values were 4 times higher than those in the pristine sample, with at least 5% of the bacterial community in the sediments being represented by the selected genera. EIHE values were also calculated in other oil-exposed marine sediments as well as in seawater using public datasets from experimental systems and field studies. In all cases, the EIHE was significantly higher in oiled than in unpolluted samples, suggesting that this tool could be used as an estimator of the hydrocarbon-degrading potential of microbial communities. PMID:24964812

  16. Influence of herbaceous riparian buffers on physical habitat, water chemistry, and stream communities within channelized agricultural headwater streams

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Herbaceous riparian buffers are a widely used agricultural conservation practice in the United States for reducing nutrient, pesticide, and sediment loadings in agricultural streams. The ecological impacts of herbaceous riparian buffers on the channelized agricultural headwater streams that are comm...

  17. Defending Ecology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Margolis, Brian

    2000-01-01

    Explains how non-native species' problems in the ecosystem can introduce fundamental ecological principles in the classroom. Provides background information on damages caused by non-native species. Discusses how educators can use this environmental issue in the classroom and gives the example of zebra mussels. Lists instructional strategies for…

  18. Trash Ecology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lind, Georgia J.

    2004-01-01

    A hands on activity involving density, frequency and biomass using transects, quadrats and a local good deed by cleaning up the neighborhood while practicing important techniques in ecology is detailed. The activity is designed for KCC-STEP, whose primary goal is to expand the scientific knowledge and research experiences of their students, who…

  19. Proceedings: Agricultural Technology Alliance

    SciTech Connect

    1997-09-01

    This report is a compilation of field trip overviews, presentations and committee reports from the EPRI-ATA meeting held in Boise, Idaho, May 28-30, 1997. The field trips consisted of an Agriculture and Aquaculture Tour, a tour of Idaho as America's Seed Supplier, and a Production of Milk, Cheese and Electricity tour. Presentations and committee reports include the following: (1) Idaho Seed Industry; (2) Controlled Environment Agriculture; (3) Irrigation in the North West: An Overview; (4) Drip Irrigation; (5) Sprinkler Irrigation; (6) Current Status of the ATA; (7) ATA Office Report; (8) Committee Reports; (9) Steering Committee Minutes.

  20. Balancing the Need to Develop Coastal Areas with the Desire for an Ecologically Functioning Coastal Environment: Is Net Ecosystem Improvement Possible?

    SciTech Connect

    Thom, Ronald M.; Williams, Greg D.; Diefenderfer, Heida L.

    2005-03-01

    The global human population is growing exponentially, a majority lives and works near the coast, and coastal commerce and development are critical to the economies of many nations. Hence, coastal areas will continue to be a major focus of development and economic activity. People want and need the economics provided by coastal development but they also want and need the fisheries and social commodities supported by estuarine and coastal ecosystems. Because of these facts, we view the challenge of balancing coastal development with enhancing nearshore marine and estuarine ecosystems (i.e., net ecosystem improvement) as the top priority for coastal researchers in this century. Our restoration research in Pacific Northwest estuaries and participation in the design and mitigation of nearshore structures has largely dealt with these competing goals. To this end, we have applied conceptual models, comprehensive assessment methods, and principles of restoration ecology, conservation biology and adaptive management to incorporate science into decisions about use of estuarine systems. Case studies of Bainbridge Island and the Columbia River demonstrate the use of objective, defensible methods to prioritize estuarine areas for preservation, conservation and restoration. Case studies of Clinton, WA and Port Townsend, WA demonstrate the incorporation of an ecological perspective and technological solutions into design projects that affect the nearshore. Adaptive management has allowed coastal development and restoration uncertainties to be better evaluated, with the information used to improve management decisions. Although unproven on a large scale, we think that these kinds of methods can contribute to the net improvement of already degraded ecosystems. The challenges include applied science to understand the issues, education, incentives, empirical data (not rehashing of reviews), cumulative impact analysis, and an effective adaptive management program. Because the option

  1. Assessment of Heavy Metal Accumulation in the Golden Jackal (Canis aureus) as a Possible Bioindicator in an Agricultural Environment in Bulgaria.

    PubMed

    Markov, Georgi; Kocheva, Maria; Gospodinova, Milena

    2016-04-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the residues of heavy metals as an indicator of environmental pollution in internal organs of golden jackal (Canis aureus) from an agricultural region in Bulgaria. It was demonstrated that the golden jackal has high potential for specific accumulation of heavy metals, thus implying that this species may serve as a biological indicator of their presence in the agricultural regions, which it inhabits. The concentrations of the targeted elements (mean [mg/kg of dried tissue] ± SD) were respectively: Cu-57.62 ± 10.76; Zn-141.45 ± 11.33; Ni-0.28 ± 0.19; Co-0.46 ± 0.30; Pb-6.88 ± 1.67 and Cd-0.58 ± 0.16 in liver and Cu-17.67 ± 5.01; Zn-58.28 ± 10.81; Ni-0.51 ± 0.4; Co-0.52 ± 0.29; Pb-4.03 ± 1.32 and Cd-1.41 ± 0.22 in kidney samples. The concentrations we found revealed the specific accumulation of these metals in golden jackal and provide values, within which negative effects on the advancement of its populations should not be expected. PMID:26894493

  2. Multifunctionality assessment of urban agriculture in Beijing City, China.

    PubMed

    Peng, Jian; Liu, Zhicong; Liu, Yanxu; Hu, Xiaoxu; Wang, An

    2015-12-15

    As an important approach to the realization of agricultural sustainable development, multifunctionality has become a hot spot in the field of urban agriculture. Taking 13 agricultural counties of Beijing City as the assessing units, this study selects 10 assessing index from ecological, economic and social aspects, determines the index weight using Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) method, and establishes an index system for the integrated agricultural function. Based on standardized data from agricultural census and remote sensing, the integrated function and multifunctionality of urban agriculture in Beijing City are assessed through the index grade mapping. The results show that agricultural counties with the highest score in ecological, economic, and social function are Yanqing, Changping, and Miyun, respectively; and the greatest disparity among those counties is economic function, followed by social and ecological function. Topography and human disturbance may be the factors that affect integrated agricultural function. The integrated agricultural function of Beijing rises at the beginning then drops later with the increase of mean slope, average altitude, and distance from the city. The whole city behaves balance among ecological, economic, and social functions at the macro level, with 8 out of the 13 counties belonging to ecology-society-economy balanced areas, while no county is dominant in only one of the three functions. On the micro scale, however, different counties have their own functional inclination: Miyun, Yanqing, Mentougou, and Fengtai are ecology-society dominant, and Tongzhou is ecology-economy dominant. The agricultural multifunctionality in Beijing City declines from the north to the south, with Pinggu having the most significant agricultural multifunctionality. The results match up well with the objective condition of Beijing's urban agriculture planning, which has proved the methodological rationality of the assessment to a certain extent

  3. The Autoimmune Ecology

    PubMed Central

    Anaya, Juan-Manuel; Ramirez-Santana, Carolina; Alzate, Maria A.; Molano-Gonzalez, Nicolas; Rojas-Villarraga, Adriana

    2016-01-01

    Autoimmune diseases (ADs) represent a heterogeneous group of disorders that affect specific target organs or multiple organ systems. These conditions share common immunopathogenic mechanisms (i.e., the autoimmune tautology), which explain the clinical similarities they have among them as well as their familial clustering (i.e., coaggregation). As part of the autoimmune tautology, the influence of environmental exposure on the risk of developing ADs is paramount (i.e., the autoimmune ecology). In fact, environment, more than genetics, shapes immune system. Autoimmune ecology is akin to exposome, that is all the exposures – internal and external – across the lifespan, interacting with hereditary factors (both genetics and epigenetics) to favor or protect against autoimmunity and its outcomes. Herein, we provide an overview of the autoimmune ecology, focusing on the immune response to environmental agents in general, and microbiota, cigarette smoking, alcohol and coffee consumption, socioeconomic status (SES), gender and sex hormones, vitamin D, organic solvents, and vaccines in particular. Inclusion of the autoimmune ecology in disease etiology and health will improve the way personalized medicine is currently conceived and applied. PMID:27199979

  4. The Autoimmune Ecology.

    PubMed

    Anaya, Juan-Manuel; Ramirez-Santana, Carolina; Alzate, Maria A; Molano-Gonzalez, Nicolas; Rojas-Villarraga, Adriana

    2016-01-01

    Autoimmune diseases (ADs) represent a heterogeneous group of disorders that affect specific target organs or multiple organ systems. These conditions share common immunopathogenic mechanisms (i.e., the autoimmune tautology), which explain the clinical similarities they have among them as well as their familial clustering (i.e., coaggregation). As part of the autoimmune tautology, the influence of environmental exposure on the risk of developing ADs is paramount (i.e., the autoimmune ecology). In fact, environment, more than genetics, shapes immune system. Autoimmune ecology is akin to exposome, that is all the exposures - internal and external - across the lifespan, interacting with hereditary factors (both genetics and epigenetics) to favor or protect against autoimmunity and its outcomes. Herein, we provide an overview of the autoimmune ecology, focusing on the immune response to environmental agents in general, and microbiota, cigarette smoking, alcohol and coffee consumption, socioeconomic status (SES), gender and sex hormones, vitamin D, organic solvents, and vaccines in particular. Inclusion of the autoimmune ecology in disease etiology and health will improve the way personalized medicine is currently conceived and applied. PMID:27199979

  5. Ecology for a changing earth. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, J.H.; Roughgarden, J.

    1990-02-06

    To forecast the ecological impact of global change, research initiatives are needed on the explicit role of humans in ecological systems, and on how ecological processes functioning at different spatial and temporal scales are coupled. Furthermore, to synthesize the results of ecological research for Congress, policymakers, and the general public, a new agency, called the United States Ecological Survey (USES) is urgently required. Also, a national commitment to environmental health, as exemplified by establishing a National Institutes of the Environment (NIE), should be a goal.

  6. [Ecological compensation based on farmers' willingness: A case study of Jingsan County in Hubei Province, China].

    PubMed

    Yu, Liang-liang; Cai, Yin-ying

    2015-01-01

    Farmland protection is a pressing issue in China' s major agricultural regions because of the strategic importance of these regions for national food security. This study quantified the appropriate ecological compensation criteria for farmland protection by way of estimating farmers' opportunity cost and willingness to adopt environment-friendly farming practices. Based on survey data collected from Jingsan County, Hubei Province, a Tobit model was constructed to identify factors affecting farmers' willingness to accept (WTA). The result showed that with appropriate economic compensation for farmland protection, 77.1% and 64.7% of the surveyed households were willing to reduce usage of fertilizers and pesticides. When the reduced rates of fertilizer and pesticide increased from <10% to >50%, farmers' opportunity costs of production respectively increased from 1198 and 5850 yuan to 9698 and 9750 yuan per hectare per year, and their WTA increased from 4750 and 7313 yuan to 9781 and 12393 yuan per hectare per year. Farmers' opportunity cost and WTA in reducing pesticide inputs were larger than those in reducing the same rate of fertilizer inputs, and in each case farmers' WTA was greater than their opportunity cost. A farm' s distance from township, farmers' knowledge about the ecology of farmland, and their expectation to improve the ecological environment of farmland had positive, significant effect on the farmers' WTA to reducing fertilization, while farmers' education level and the overall economic condition of the village had significantly negative effect. The proportion of agriculture income, farmers' knowledge about the ecology of farmland, and their expectation to improve the ecological environment of farmland had positive, significant effect on the farmers' WTA to reducing pesticide, while household' cash income and the overall economic condition of the village had significantly negative effect. PMID:25985673

  7. Mitonuclear Ecology

    PubMed Central

    Hill, Geoffrey E.

    2015-01-01

    Eukaryotes were born of a chimeric union between two prokaryotes—the progenitors of the mitochondrial and nuclear genomes. Early in eukaryote evolution, most mitochondrial genes were lost or transferred to the nucleus, but a core set of genes that code exclusively for products associated with the electron transport system remained in the mitochondrion. The products of these mitochondrial genes work in intimate association with the products of nuclear genes to enable oxidative phosphorylation and core energy production. The need for coadaptation, the challenge of cotransmission, and the possibility of genomic conflict between mitochondrial and nuclear genes have profound consequences for the ecology and evolution of eukaryotic life. An emerging interdisciplinary field that I call “mitonuclear ecology” is reassessing core concepts in evolutionary ecology including sexual reproduction, two sexes, sexual selection, adaptation, and speciation in light of the interactions of mitochondrial and nuclear genomes. PMID:25931514

  8. The role of ruminants in reducing agriculture's carbon footprint in North America

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    To ensure the long-term sustainability and ecological resilience of natural resources, agricultural production needs to be guided by policies and regenerative management protocols that support ecologically healthy and resilient arable and pastoral ecosystems and mitigate anthropogenic greenhouse gas...

  9. The Impact of Policy and Institutional Environment on Costs and Benefits of Sustainable Agricultural Land Uses: The Case of the Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rasul, Golam; Thapa, Gopal B.

    2007-08-01

    As in other mountain regions of Asia, agricultural lands in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) of Bangladesh are undergoing degradation due primarily to environmentally incompatible land-use systems such as shifting cultivation ( jhum) and annual cash crops. The suitable land-use systems such as agroforestry and timber tree plantation provide benefit to the society at large, but they might not provide attractive economic benefits to farmers, eventually constraining a wide-scale adoption of such land-use systems. Therefore, it is essential to evaluate agricultural land-use systems from both societal and private perspectives in the pursuit of promoting particularly environmentally sustainable systems. This article evaluated five major land-use systems being practiced in CHT, namely jhum, annual cash crops, horticulture, agroforestry, and timber plantation. The results of the financial analysis revealed the annual cash crops as the most attractive land use and jhum as the least attractive of the five land-use systems considered under the study. Horticulture, timber plantation, and agroforestry, considered to be suitable land-use systems particularly for mountainous areas, held the middle ground between these two systems. Annual cash crops provided the highest financial return at the cost of a very high rate of soil erosion. When the societal cost of soil erosion is considered, annual cash crops appear to be the most costly land-use system, followed by jhum and horticulture. Although financially less attractive compared to annual cash crops and horticulture, agroforestry and timber plantation are the socially most beneficial land-use systems. Findings of the alternative policy analyses indicate that there is a good prospect for making environmentally sustainable land-use systems, such as agroforestry and timber plantation, attractive for the farmers by eliminating existing legal and institutional barriers, combined with the provision of necessary support services and

  10. Vulnerability to coastal cholera ecology.

    PubMed

    Collins, Andrew E

    2003-10-01

    The battle to completely control cholera continues. Multiple strains, high levels of morbidity in some regions of the world, and a complex of influences on its distribution in people and the environment are accompanied by only rough resolution prediction of outbreaks. Uncertainty as to the most effective array of interventions for one of the most researched infectious diseases thwarts further progress in providing cost-effective solutions. Progress on the research front consistently points towards the importance of disease ecology, coastal environments, and the sea. However, evaluation of the link between cholera in people and environment can only be effective with analysis of human vulnerability to variable coastal cholera ecologies. As there are some clear links between the organism, cholera incidence and the sea, it is appropriate that cholera research should examine the nature of coastal population vulnerability to the disease. The paper reviews the cholera risks of human-environment interactions in coastal areas as one component of the evaluation of cholera management. This points to effective intervention through integrative knowledge of changing human and environmental ecologies, requiring improved detection, but also an acceptance of complex causality. The challenge is to identify indicators and interventions for case specific ecologies in variable locales of human vulnerability and disease hazard. Further work will therefore aim to explore improved surveillance and intervention across the socio-behavioural and ecological spectrum. Furthermore, the story of cholera continues to inform us about how we should more effectively view emergent and resurgent infectious disease hazards more generally. PMID:12927470

  11. Agricultural Biodiversity.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Postance, Jim

    1998-01-01

    The extinction of farm animals and crops is rarely brought up during discussions of endangered species and biodiversity; however, the loss of diversity in crops and livestock threatens the sustainability of agriculture. Presents three activities: (1) "The Colors of Diversity"; (2) "Biodiversity among Animals"; and (3) "Heirloom Plants." Discusses…

  12. AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    FARQUHAR, R.N.

    AUSTRALIAN AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION HAS LONG EMPHASIZED TECHNICAL ADVISORY SERVICE AT THE EXPENSE OF THE SOCIOECONOMIC ASPECTS OF FARM PRODUCTION AND FARM LIFE. ONLY IN TASMANIA HAS FARM MANAGEMENT BEEN STRESSED. DEMANDS FOR THE WHOLE-FARM APPROACH HAVE PRODUCED A TREND TOWARD GENERALISM FOR DISTRICT OFFICERS IN MOST STATES. THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT,…

  13. AGRICULTURAL EDUCATION.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    DEALTON, ERNEST L.

    TODAY'S SUCCESSFUL FARMER MUST POSSESS THE SKILLS OF A BUSINESSMAN, SCIENTIST, AND MECHANIC TO SURVIVE COMPETITION IN AGRICULTURE, THE LARGEST INDUSTRY IN THE UNITED STATES. THIS COMPETITION HAS CAUSED AN INCREASE IN THE SIZE OF FARMS AND RANCHES IN AN ATTEMPT TO CURTAIL OPERATIONAL EXPENSES AND TO INCREASE PRODUCTION. WITH THE SCIENTIFIC…

  14. Pesticide use and biodiversity conservation in the Amazonian agricultural frontier

    PubMed Central

    Schiesari, Luis; Waichman, Andrea; Brock, Theo; Adams, Cristina; Grillitsch, Britta

    2013-01-01

    Agricultural frontiers are dynamic environments characterized by the conversion of native habitats to agriculture. Because they are currently concentrated in diverse tropical habitats, agricultural frontiers are areas where the largest number of species is exposed to hazardous land management practices, including pesticide use. Focusing on the Amazonian frontier, we show that producers have varying access to resources, knowledge, control and reward mechanisms to improve land management practices. With poor education and no technical support, pesticide use by smallholders sharply deviated from agronomical recommendations, tending to overutilization of hazardous compounds. By contrast, with higher levels of technical expertise and resources, and aiming at more restrictive markets, large-scale producers adhered more closely to technical recommendations and even voluntarily replaced more hazardous compounds. However, the ecological footprint increased significantly over time because of increased dosage or because formulations that are less toxic to humans may be more toxic to other biodiversity. Frontier regions appear to be unique in terms of the conflicts between production and conservation, and the necessary pesticide risk management and risk reduction can only be achieved through responsibility-sharing by diverse stakeholders, including governmental and intergovernmental organizations, NGOs, financial institutions, pesticide and agricultural industries, producers, academia and consumers. PMID:23610177

  15. Pesticide use and biodiversity conservation in the Amazonian agricultural frontier.

    PubMed

    Schiesari, Luis; Waichman, Andrea; Brock, Theo; Adams, Cristina; Grillitsch, Britta

    2013-06-01

    Agricultural frontiers are dynamic environments characterized by the conversion of native habitats to agriculture. Because they are currently concentrated in diverse tropical habitats, agricultural frontiers are areas where the largest number of species is exposed to hazardous land management practices, including pesticide use. Focusing on the Amazonian frontier, we show that producers have varying access to resources, knowledge, control and reward mechanisms to improve land management practices. With poor education and no technical support, pesticide use by smallholders sharply deviated from agronomical recommendations, tending to overutilization of hazardous compounds. By contrast, with higher levels of technical expertise and resources, and aiming at more restrictive markets, large-scale producers adhered more closely to technical recommendations and even voluntarily replaced more hazardous compounds. However, the ecological footprint increased significantly over time because of increased dosage or because formulations that are less toxic to humans may be more toxic to other biodiversity. Frontier regions appear to be unique in terms of the conflicts between production and conservation, and the necessary pesticide risk management and risk reduction can only be achieved through responsibility-sharing by diverse stakeholders, including governmental and intergovernmental organizations, NGOs, financial institutions, pesticide and agricultural industries, producers, academia and consumers. PMID:23610177

  16. Hydrology and Conservation Ecology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Narayanan, M.

    2006-12-01

    Responses to change in the behavior of ecological systems are largely governed by interactions at different levels. Research is essential and is to be necessarily designed to gain insights into various interactions at the community level. Sustainable resource management is only possible if conservation of biodiversity can be accomplished by properly using the knowledge discovered. It is well known that the United States Department of Agriculture provides technical information, resources, and data necessary to assist the researchers in addressing their conservation needs. Conservation aims to protect, preserve and conserve the earth's natural resources. These include, but not limited to the conservation of soil, water, minerals, air, plants and all living beings. The United States Department of Agriculture also encourages farmers and ranchers to voluntarily address threats to soil and water. Protection of wetlands and wildlife habitat has been on the radar screen of conservation experts for a very long time. The main objective has always been to help farmers and landowners conform and comply with federal and state environmental laws. During the implementation phase, farmers should be encouraged to make beneficial, cost-effective changes to methods of irrigation systems. In some cases, the hydrologic regime of the project area can be thought of as principally an issue of river flow regimes for floodplain forests. In this presentation, the author tries to focus on the impact of hydrology and conservation ecology on global warming. He also discusses the impact of hydrology and conservation ecology global air concerns such as greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. References: Chow, V. T, D. R. Maidment, and L. W. Mays. 1988. Applied Hydrology. McGraw-Hill, Inc. U.S. Soil Conservation Service. Technical Release 55: Urban Hydrology for Small Watersheds. USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture). June 1986. Lehner, B. and P. Döll (2004). Development and validation

  17. Plant genetics, sustainable agriculture and global food security.

    PubMed

    Ronald, Pamela

    2011-05-01

    The United States and the world face serious societal challenges in the areas of food, environment, energy, and health. Historically, advances in plant genetics have provided new knowledge and technologies needed to address these challenges. Plant genetics remains a key component of global food security, peace, and prosperity for the foreseeable future. Millions of lives depend upon the extent to which crop genetic improvement can keep pace with the growing global population, changing climate, and shrinking environmental resources. While there is still much to be learned about the biology of plant-environment interactions, the fundamental technologies of plant genetic improvement, including crop genetic engineering, are in place, and are expected to play crucial roles in meeting the chronic demands of global food security. However, genetically improved seed is only part of the solution. Such seed must be integrated into ecologically based farming systems and evaluated in light of their environmental, economic, and social impacts-the three pillars of sustainable agriculture. In this review, I describe some lessons learned, over the last decade, of how genetically engineered crops have been integrated into agricultural practices around the world and discuss their current and future contribution to sustainable agricultural systems. PMID:21546547

  18. Plant Genetics, Sustainable Agriculture and Global Food Security

    PubMed Central

    Ronald, Pamela

    2011-01-01

    The United States and the world face serious societal challenges in the areas of food, environment, energy, and health. Historically, advances in plant genetics have provided new knowledge and technologies needed to address these challenges. Plant genetics remains a key component of global food security, peace, and prosperity for the foreseeable future. Millions of lives depend upon the extent to which crop genetic improvement can keep pace with the growing global population, changing climate, and shrinking environmental resources. While there is still much to be learned about the biology of plant–environment interactions, the fundamental technologies of plant genetic improvement, including crop genetic engineering, are in place, and are expected to play crucial roles in meeting the chronic demands of global food security. However, genetically improved seed is only part of the solution. Such seed must be integrated into ecologically based farming systems and evaluated in light of their environmental, economic, and social impacts—the three pillars of sustainable agriculture. In this review, I describe some lessons learned, over the last decade, of how genetically engineered crops have been integrated into agricultural practices around the world and discuss their current and future contribution to sustainable agricultural systems. PMID:21546547

  19. Occurrence, fate and ecological risk of five typical azole fungicides as therapeutic and personal care products in the environment: A review.

    PubMed

    Chen, Zhi-Feng; Ying, Guang-Guo

    2015-11-01

    Azole fungicides are widely used to treat fungal infection in human. After application, these chemicals may reach to the receiving environment via direct or indirect discharge of wastewaters, thus posing potential risks to non-target organisms. We aimed to review the occurrence, fate and toxicological effects of some representative household azole fungicides in the environment. Azole fungicides were widely detected in surface water and sediment of the aquatic environment due to their incomplete removal in wastewater treatment plants. These chemicals are found resistant to microbial degradation, but can undergo photolysis under UV irradiation. Due to different physiochemical properties, azole fungicides showed different environmental behaviors. The residues of azole fungicides could cause toxic effects on aquatic organisms such as algae and fish. The reported effects include regulation changes in expression of cytochrome P450-related genes and alteration in CYP450-regulated steroidogenesis causing endocrine disruption in fish. Further studies are essential to investigate the removal of azole fungicides by advanced treatment technologies, environmental fate such as natural photolysis, and toxic pathways in aquatic organisms. PMID:26277639

  20. Instantaneous and daily values of the surface energy balance over agricultural fields using remote sensing and a reference field in an arid environment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kustas, W.P.; Moran, M.S.; Jackson, R. D.; Gay, L.W.; Duell, L.F.W.; Kunkel, K.E.; Matthias, A.D.

    1990-01-01

    Remotely sensed surface temperature and reflectance in the visible and near infrared wavebands along with ancilliary meteorological data provide the capability of computing three of the four surface energy balance components (i.e., net radiation, soil heat flux, and sensible heat flux) at different spatial and temporal scales. As a result, under nonadvective conditions, this enables the estimation of the remaining term (i.e., the latent heat flux). One of the practical applications with this approach is to produce evapotranspiration (ET) maps for agricultural regions which consist of an array of fields containing different crops at varying stages of growth and soil moisture conditions. Such a situation exists in the semiarid southwest at the University of Arizona Maricopa Agricultural Center, south of Phoenix. For one day (14 June 1987), surface temperature and reflectance measurements from an aircraft 150 m above ground level (agl) were acquired over fields from zero to nearly full cover at four times between 1000 MST and 1130 MST. The diurnal pattern of the surface energy balance was measured over four fields, which included alfalfa at 60% cover, furrowed cotton at 20% and 30% cover, and partially plowed what stubble. Instantaneous and daily values of ET were estimated for a representative area around each flux site with an energy balance model that relies on a reference ET. This reference value was determined with remotely sensed data and several meteorological inputs. The reference ET was adjusted to account for the different surface conditions in the other fields using only remotely sensed variables. A comparison with the flux measurements suggests the model has difficulties with partial canopy conditions, especially related to the estimation of the sensible heat flux. The resulting errors for instantaneous ET were on the order of 100 W m-2 and for daily values of order 2 mm day-1. These findings suggest future research should involve development of methods to