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. [Agriculture, ecology and development].

    PubMed

    Dufumier, M

    1993-01-01

    This work is based in part on the papers concerning agriculture, ecology, and development contained in this issue of the Revue Tiers-Monde. It provides an overview of changing international attitudes toward environmental damage, examines 3 specific types of damage affecting developing countries in particular, and discusses the shortcomings of existing environmental projects and the prerequisites for a lasting control over environmental damage. It has become increasingly evident that pollution and environmental damage cannot be the concern exclusively of developed countries. The 1992 UN Conference on the Environment and Development in rio de Janeiro focused most of its attention on problems evident at the planetary level such as the greenhouse effect and extinction of species. Problems resulting from the impact of harmful agricultural practices on developing country ecological environments were noted somewhat in passing. The examples of tropical deforestation, the degradation of savannahs and steppes, and cultivation of new fields on steep mountainsides demonstrate the complexity and gravity of environmental problems in developing countries. The poverty of peasants and their inability to obtain the inputs that would enable them to practice a more stable type of agriculture are important factors in the damage done. A common problem is that immediate production or consumption is favored with little regard for longterm consequences. Certain agricultural practices such as the use of cultivars selected for their high yields under optimal conditions contribute to the progressive disappearance of varieties with special properties such as resistance to disease or insects that may be needed in the future. Excessive use of herbicides, pesticides, or fertilizer may bring problems of pollution and toxicity. Numerous development projects sponsored by donors from the developed countries have been designed to pursue short term objectives with insufficient attention to longterm

  3. Attention must be paid to the protection of agricultural ecological environment while developing rural commune and brigade-run industries

    SciTech Connect

    Liu Yaru

    1983-01-01

    This article proposes that attention must be paid to the protection of agricultural ecology while developing rural commune and brigade-run industries in China. Great amounts of pesticides are applied in the process of agricultural production which destroy the natural ecological balance, lower the quality of agricultural, livestock and aquatic products and contaminate them. When agricultural environment is polluted, different pollutants go through various channels, directly or through the food chain, and may enter the human body. Over 200 electroplating plants of different sizes have been set up in 10 suburban counties of Shanghai, with more than 3 million tons of effluents discharged yearly, and over half of which is discharged into the agricultural environment without any treatment. Commune and brigade-run kilns, small-scale phosphate fertilizer plants and smelteries are operated indiscriminately regardless of farming seasons, discharging great amounts of toxic gas and smoke. Some small-scale fertilizer plants use waste acid containing trichloroethanol (or trichloroacetic acid) from chemical plants, thus contaminating crops and seedlings. It is proposed that rural commune and brigade-run enterprises can lower pollution through the policy of ''first planting, second breeding, third processing and fourth service''.

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

    PubMed

    Rands, Sean A

    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.

  5. 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

  6. The ecology of Huli subsistence agriculture.

    PubMed

    Wood, Andrew W

    2002-01-01

    A detailed study of the ecology of subsistence agriculture in the Tari Basin was conducted to investigate the stability of intensive agroecosystems in the highlands of Papua New Guinea. The highly intensive agricultural systems that have evolved in the wetland environments in the lowest parts of the basin were found to be extremely stable and capable of further intensification. Both soil fertility and sweet potato yields showed no signs of degradation even though some areas had been under continuous cultivation for hundreds of years. In the dryland environments with volcanic ash soils there was evidence of ecological instability in the form of declining soil fertility and sweet potato yields over time and the progressive replacement of forest vegetation with grasslands having a much lower biomass and nutrient content. Higher altitude dryland environments were the most susceptible to degradation due to lower fertility soils, higher rainfall and higher rates of soil loss by erosion. The Huli people have responded to these differences in ecological stability by concentrating their agricultural activities increasingly on to the more fertile wetland areas. Much of this movement into the lower parts of the basin is thought to have occurred in the period since European contact, over the last 50 years. These findings have implications for much of the Papua New Guinea highlands where volcanic ash soils occur. Although these soils are highly suitable for growing sweet potato and have been able to support large rural populations with their pigs, they are unable to remain productive under continuous cultivation even though the cropping practices of most highland groups are well adjusted to conserving soil fertility and maximizing crop yields. The chemical fertility of volcanic ash soils is being progressively depleted and much greater efforts are needed to promote the restoration of soil fertility during the fallow period. Much greater emphasis is needed on improving fallow

  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. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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,…

  11. 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)

  12. [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

  13. [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

  14. 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…

  15. [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

  16. [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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Biology, ecology, and control of elaterid beetles in agricultural land.

    PubMed

    Traugott, Michael; Benefer, Carly M; Blackshaw, Rod P; van Herk, Willem G; Vernon, Robert S

    2015-01-01

    Wireworms, the larvae of click beetles (Coleoptera: Elateridae), have had a centuries-long role as major soil insect pests worldwide. With insecticidal control options dwindling, research on click beetle biology and ecology is of increasing importance in the development of new control tactics. Methodological improvements have deepened our understanding of how larvae and adults spatially and temporarily utilize agricultural habitats and interact with their environment. This progress, however, rests with a few pest species, and efforts to obtain comparable knowledge on other economically important elaterids are crucial. There are still considerable gaps in our understanding of female and larval ecology; movement of elaterids within landscapes; and the impact of natural enemies, cultivation practices, and environmental change on elaterid population dynamics. This knowledge will allow generation of multifaceted control strategies, including cultural, physical, and chemical measures, tailored toward species complexes and crops across a range of appropriate spatial scales. PMID:25341096

  20. 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".

  1. 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

  2. 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…

  3. 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.

  4. Ecological issues related to ozone: agricultural issues.

    PubMed

    Fuhrer, Jürg; Booker, Fitzgerald

    2003-06-01

    Research on the effects of ozone on agricultural crops and agro-ecosystems is needed for the development of regional emission reduction strategies, to underpin practical recommendations aiming to increase the sustainability of agricultural land management in a changing environment, and to secure food supply in regions with rapidly growing populations. Major limitations in current knowledge exist in several areas: (1) Modelling of ozone transfer and specifically stomatal ozone uptake under variable environmental conditions, using robust and well-validated dynamic models that can be linked to large-scale photochemical models lack coverage. (2) Processes involved in the initial reactions of ozone with extracellular and cellular components after entry through the stomata, and identification of key chemical species and their role in detoxification require additional study. (3) Scaling the effects from the level of individual cells to the whole-plant requires, for instance, a better understanding of the effects of ozone on carbon transport within the plant. (4) Implications of long-term ozone effects on community and whole-ecosystem level processes, with an emphasis on crop quality, element cycling and carbon sequestration, and biodiversity of pastures and rangelands require renewed efforts. The UNECE Convention on Long Range Trans-boundary Air Pollution shows, for example, that policy decisions may require the use of integrated assessment models. These models depend on quantitative exposure-response information to link quantitative effects at each level of organization to an effective ozone dose (i.e., the balance between the rate of ozone uptake by the foliage and the rate of ozone detoxification). In order to be effective in a policy, or technological context, results from future research must be funnelled into an appropriate knowledge transfer scheme. This requires data synthesis, up-scaling, and spatial aggregation. At the research level, interactions must be

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. [Ecological significance of arbuscular mycorrhiza biotechnology in modern agricultural system].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yong; Zeng, Ming; Xiong, Bingquan; Yang, Xiaohong

    2003-04-01

    Mycorrhiza plays a key role in nutrient cycling in ecosystem, and protects host plant against environmental stress. Under natural condition, plant's mycorrhizal structure is a normal phenomenon, and arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM) association is the commonest mycorrhizal type. If well mycorrhizal structure can be formed during plant root system developing process, the quantity and quality of plant production will be improved in large. Because of its effects on plant growth and health, it is accepted that AM symbiosis can reduce chemical fertilizer and pesticide inputs. Consequently, this will lead to a reduction in harmful chemical substance impact on environment. The key effects of AM symbiosis can be summarized as follows: (1) improving rooting and plant establishment; (2) improving uptake of low mobile ions; (3) improving nutrient cycling; (4) enhancing plant tolerance to (biotic and abiotic) stress; (5) improving quality of soil structure; and (6) enhancing plant community diversity. In this paper, the ecological characteristic of arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi (AMF), effects of AM on host plant, and ecologic significance of AM biotechnology in agricultural system were reviewed.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. [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.

  11. [Ecological agriculture: future of Good Agriculture Practice of Chinese materia medica].

    PubMed

    Guo, Lan-ping; Zhou, Liang-yun; Mo, Ge; Wang, Sheng; Huang, Lu-qi

    2015-09-01

    Based on the ecological and economic problems in Good Agriculture Practice (GAP) of Chinese material medica, we introduced the origin, concept, features and operative technology of eco-agriculture worldwide, emphasizing its modes on different biological levels of landscape, ecosystem, community, population, individual and gene in China. And on this basis, we analyzed the background and current situation of eco-agriculture of Chinese materia medica, and proposed its development ideas and key tasks, including: (1) Analysis and planning of the production pattern of Chinese material medica national wide. (2) Typical features extraction of regional agriculture of Chinese materia medica. (3) Investigation of the interaction and its mechanism between typical Chinese materia medica in each region and the micro-ecology of rhizosphere soil. (4) Study on technology of eco-agriculture of Chinese materia medica. (5) Extraction and solidification of eco-agriculture modes of Chinese materia medica. (6) Study on the theory of eco-agriculture of Chinese materia medica. Also we pointed out that GAP and eco-agriculture of Chinese material medica are both different and relative, but they are not contradictory with their own features. It is an irresistible trend to promote eco-agriculture in the GAP of Chinese material medica and coordinate ecological and economic development.

  12. 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…

  13. [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…

  14. 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

  15. Earth environment and Closed Ecology Experiment Facilities.

    PubMed

    Nitta, K

    1994-07-01

    The Closed Ecology Experiment Facilities, CEEF, one of the Environmental Time Machine, is now planning to be constructed in the northern part of Japan with an eye to study the effect of atomic power industries on the local environment. This CEEF can be used not only for investigating the environmental problems related with atomic power industries but also for various environmental problems such as the habitation in lunar & Mars bases and the development of mathematical model to predict the change and change rate of earth parameters. Researches on earth environment and earth system science are discussed with use of CEEF. Preliminary experiments using a small growth chamber showed different results from those estimated by Simple Biosphere Model being used in the climate estimation. PMID:11539517

  16. Agriculture and snakebite in Bahia, Brazil - An ecological study.

    PubMed

    Mise, Yukari F; Lira-da-Silva, Rejâne M; Carvalho, Fernando M

    2016-07-15

    This study investigated the correlation between the incidence of snakebite and indicators of agricultural development in municipal districts of the State of Bahia, Brazil. An ecological study was conducted with the 27,347 cases of snakebite poisoning reported to the Reportable Diseases National Information System in municipalities from the State of Bahia, Brazil, 2000-2009. The unit of analysis was each one of the 417 State municipalities, and the outcome variable was the average annual incidence of snakebite. Data were analyzed by multiple linear regression technique. The average annual incidence of snakebite ranged from zero to 221.96 per 100,000 inhabitants, according to the municipalities. The incidence of snakebite was positively and strongly associated with municipality characteristics: planted areas of cocoa and coffee, and the size of domestic bred chicken and bovine livestocks. It was concluded that several characteristics related to municipal agricultural profile were strongly associated with the incidence of snakebite. PMID:27660860

  17. Evolutionary analysis of herbivorous insects in natural and agricultural environments.

    PubMed

    Gassmann, Aaron J; Onstad, David W; Pittendrigh, Barry R

    2009-11-01

    Herbivorous insects offer a remarkable example of the biological diversity that formed the foundation for Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection. The ability of insects to evolve resistance rapidly to insecticides and host-plant resistance present a continual challenge for pest management. This paper considers the manner in which genetic constraints, host-plant availability and trade-offs affect the evolution of herbivorous insects in natural and agricultural environments, and the extent to which lessons learned from studying natural systems may be applied to improve insect resistance management in agricultural systems. Studies on the genetic architecture of adaptation by herbivores to host plants and to insecticides are reviewed. The genetic basis of resistance is an important component of simulation models that predict the evolution of resistance. These models often assume monogenic resistance, but available data suggest that this assumption may be overly narrow and that modeling of resistance as oligogenic or polygenic may be more appropriate. As omics (e.g. genomics and proteomics) technologies become more accessible, a better understanding of the genetic basis of resistance will be possible. Trade-offs often accompany adaptations by herbivores. Trade-offs arise when the benefit of a trait, such as the ability to feed on a novel host plant or to survive in the presence of an insecticide, is counterbalanced by fitness costs that decrease fitness in the absence of the selective agent. For resistance to insecticides, and resistance to insecticidal transgenic crops in particular, fitness costs may act as an evolutionary constraint and delay or prevent the evolution of resistance. An important observation is that certain ecological factors such as host plants and entomopathogens can magnify fitness costs, which is termed ecological negative cross-resistance. The application of omics technologies may allow for more efficient identification of factors that

  18. Ecological constraints on the ability of precision agriculture to improve the environmental performance of agricultural production systems.

    PubMed

    Groffman, P M

    1997-01-01

    In this paper, I address three topics relevant to the ability of precision agriculture to improve the environmental performance of agricultural production systems. First, I describe the fundamental ecological factors that influence the environmental performance of these systems and address how precision agriculture practices can or cannot interact with these factors. Second, I review the magnitude of the ecological processes that we hope to manage with precision agriculture relative to agricultural inputs to determine whether managing these processes can significantly affect system environmental performance. Finally, I address scale incongruencies between ecological processes and precision agriculture techniques that could limit the ability of these techniques to manage variability in these processes. The analysis suggests that there are significant ecological constraints on the ability of precision agriculture techniques to improve the environmental performance of agricultural production systems. The primary constraint is that these techniques do not address many of the key factors that cause poor environmental performance in these systems. Further, the magnitude of the ecological processes that we hope to manage with precision agriculture are quite small relative to agricultural inputs and, finally, these processes vary on scales that are incongruent with precision management techniques.

  19. [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.

  20. African land ecology: opportunities and constraints for agricultural development.

    PubMed

    Voortman, Roelf L; Sonneveld, Ben G J S; Keyzer, Michiel A

    2003-08-01

    Compared to other continents, the economic growth performance of Sub-Saharan Africa has been poor over the last four decades. Likewise, progress in agricultural development has been limited and the Green Revolution left Africa almost untouched. The question raised in the literature is whether the poor performance is a question of poor policies or of an unfavorable biophysical environment (policy versus destiny). This paper, with a broad perspective, analyzes adaptation of current land use to environmental conditions in Africa and compares the physical resource base of Africa with Asia. In doing so, we search for unifying principles that can have operational consequences for agricultural development. We argue that some specificities of the natural resource base, namely local homogeneity and spatial diversity of the predominant Basement Complex soils, imply that simple fertilizer strategies may not produce the yield increases obtained elsewhere.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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 ...

  4. [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).

  5. 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…

  6. Controlled ecological life support systems (CELSS) in high pressure environments.

    PubMed

    Thompson, B G

    1989-05-01

    Future space habitats may be constructed in high pressure environments. The biological components of any controlled ecological life support systems (CELSS) used in these habitats will have to be able to grow and metabolize normally for the CELSS to operate.

  7. Agricultural modifications of hydrological flows create ecological surprises.

    PubMed

    Gordon, Line J; Peterson, Garry D; Bennett, Elena M

    2008-04-01

    Agricultural expansion and intensification have altered the quantity and quality of global water flows. Research suggests that these changes have increased the risk of catastrophic ecosystem regime shifts. We identify and review evidence for agriculture-related regime shifts in three parts of the hydrological cycle: interactions between agriculture and aquatic systems, agriculture and soil, and agriculture and the atmosphere. We describe the processes that shape these regime shifts and the scales at which they operate. As global demands for agriculture and water continue to grow, it is increasingly urgent for ecologists to develop new ways of anticipating, analyzing and managing nonlinear changes across scales in human-dominated landscapes.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Reverse Ecology: from systems to environments and back.

    PubMed

    Levy, Roie; Borenstein, Elhanan

    2012-01-01

    The structure of complex biological systems reflects not only their function but also the environments in which they evolved and are adapted to. Reverse Ecology-an emerging new frontier in Evolutionary Systems Biology-aims to extract this information and to obtain novel insights into an organism's ecology. The Reverse Ecology framework facilitates the translation of high-throughput genomic data into large-scale ecological data, and has the potential to transform ecology into a high-throughput field. In this chapter, we describe some of the pioneering work in Reverse Ecology, demonstrating how system-level analysis of complex biological networks can be used to predict the natural habitats of poorly characterized microbial species, their interactions with other species, and universal patterns governing the adaptation of organisms to their environments. We further present several studies that applied Reverse Ecology to elucidate various aspects of microbial ecology, and lay out exciting future directions and potential future applications in biotechnology, biomedicine, and ecological engineering.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. The Ecology of Home Environments. Final Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Altman, Irwin; And Others

    This empirical study, concerned with man-environment relationships in the home, identifies similarities and differences among family types; develops a body of normative, descriptive, baseline data about the home environments of a sample of lower middle class American families; and, gathers information regarding patterns of spatial behavior across…

  15. 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.

  16. "What we need is a crop ecologist": ecology and agricultural science in Progressive-era America.

    PubMed

    Hersey, Mark D

    2011-01-01

    Though they are often seen as foils for each other, ecology and agricultural science co-evolved. With shared roots in late nineteenth-century botany, ecologists and agronomists fostered important connections during the Progressive era that have been largely overlooked despite a number of finely nuanced studies of ecology's origins. But if 'applied ecology' once effectively meant agriculture, over the course of the first decades of the twentieth century the relationship between ecology and scientific agriculture grew strained. Agriculturists narrowed their focus to increasing yields, and ecologists sought to establish their discipline as a distant theoretical science and so distanced themselves from its agricultural applications. By the end of World War I, the process of disciplinary specialization was well underway. In time, the two disciplines diverged so completely that the once vital connections between them were obscured and forgotten.

  17. Primate dental ecology: How teeth respond to the environment.

    PubMed

    Cuozzo, Frank P; Ungar, Peter S; Sauther, Michelle L

    2012-06-01

    Teeth are central for the study of ecology, as teeth are at the direct interface between an organism and its environment. Recent years have witnessed a rapid growth in the use of teeth to understand a broad range of topics in living and fossil primate biology. This in part reflects new techniques for assessing ways in which teeth respond to, and interact with, an organism's environment. Long-term studies of wild primate populations that integrate dental analyses have also provided a new context for understanding primate interactions with their environments. These new techniques and long-term field studies have allowed the development of a new perspective-dental ecology. We define dental ecology as the broad study of how teeth respond to, or interact with, the environment. This includes identifying patterns of dental pathology and tooth use-wear, as they reflect feeding ecology, behavior, and habitat variation, including areas impacted by anthropogenic disturbance, and how dental development can reflect environmental change and/or stress. The dental ecology approach, built on collaboration between dental experts and ecologists, holds the potential to provide an important theoretical and practical framework for inferring ecology and behavior of fossil forms, for assessing environmental change in living populations, and for understanding ways in which habitat impacts primate growth and development. This symposium issue brings together experts on dental morphology, growth and development, tooth wear and health, primate ecology, and paleontology, to explore the broad application of dental ecology to questions of how living and fossil primates interact with their environments.

  18. Primate dental ecology: How teeth respond to the environment.

    PubMed

    Cuozzo, Frank P; Ungar, Peter S; Sauther, Michelle L

    2012-06-01

    Teeth are central for the study of ecology, as teeth are at the direct interface between an organism and its environment. Recent years have witnessed a rapid growth in the use of teeth to understand a broad range of topics in living and fossil primate biology. This in part reflects new techniques for assessing ways in which teeth respond to, and interact with, an organism's environment. Long-term studies of wild primate populations that integrate dental analyses have also provided a new context for understanding primate interactions with their environments. These new techniques and long-term field studies have allowed the development of a new perspective-dental ecology. We define dental ecology as the broad study of how teeth respond to, or interact with, the environment. This includes identifying patterns of dental pathology and tooth use-wear, as they reflect feeding ecology, behavior, and habitat variation, including areas impacted by anthropogenic disturbance, and how dental development can reflect environmental change and/or stress. The dental ecology approach, built on collaboration between dental experts and ecologists, holds the potential to provide an important theoretical and practical framework for inferring ecology and behavior of fossil forms, for assessing environmental change in living populations, and for understanding ways in which habitat impacts primate growth and development. This symposium issue brings together experts on dental morphology, growth and development, tooth wear and health, primate ecology, and paleontology, to explore the broad application of dental ecology to questions of how living and fossil primates interact with their environments. PMID:22610891

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. 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

  2. Ecological population genomics in the marine environment.

    PubMed

    Crawford, Douglas L; Oleksiak, Marjorie F

    2016-09-01

    Marine species live in a wide diversity of environments and yet, because of their pelagic life stages, are thought to be well-connected: they have high migration rates that inhibit significant population structure. Recent innovations in sequencing technologies now provide information on nucleotide polymorphisms at thousands to tens of thousands of loci based on whole genomes, reduced representative portions of genomes (0.1-1%) or a majority of expressed mRNAs. Data from these genomic approaches are used to define and quantify single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). These SNP data tend to agree with data from older technologies (allozymes or microsatellites), which support well-connected populations with few genetic differences among populations. However, these studies also find few percentages of SNPs (1-5%) that readily distinguish genetic differences among populations on relatively small geographic scales. The magnitudes of the genetic differences (FST values) suggest that hundreds of loci with significant differences are due to positive selective pressures. Thus, these data suggest that natural selection is effectively altering allele frequencies at 100s of loci in marine populations. In this manuscript, we provide examples of these studies, the strengths and weaknesses of different genomic approaches as well as important technical aspects associated with genomic approaches.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Natural cycles and agricultural inputs: a farm gate Ecological Footprint analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Passeri, Nicolo; Blasi, Emanuele; Borucke, Michael; Galli, Alessandro; Franco, Silvio

    2014-05-01

    Land suitability for different crops depends on soil, water and climate conditions, as well as farmers' cultivation choices. Moreover, the use of agricultural inputs affects the natural cycles of crops and impacts their production. By assessing the ecological performance of farms as influenced by crop types, cultivation choices and land suitability one can therefore evaluate the effectiveness of agricultural practices and governance's options. Ecological Footprint accounts can be used to measure such ecological performance. These accounts track human demand for natural resources and ecological services and compare this demand with nature ability to regenerate these resource and services. This regenerative capacity is called biocapacity. Both demand (Footprint) and supply (biocapacity) are expressed in global hectares. Farming different from most other human activities, not only uses natural resources, but also enhances or erodes ecological supply. It therefore affects all factors that determine both Footprint and biocapacity. Climate, farmers' skills and choices (fertilizers, pesticides, machines) determine crop productivity, and to what extent crops preserve or compromise soils. The aim of this work is to evaluate how farmer's choices affect resources overexploitation. The study analysed how the use of inputs influences natural cycles within farm boundaries. This result from a pilot case study will show how particular farming practices affect both the farm's biocapacity and Ecological Footprint. Such analysis is relevant for informing involved stakeholders, namely the farmers on more sustainable agricultural practices and the policy makers on more suitable agricultural policies.

  6. 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

  7. 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…

  8. 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

  9. 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

    2016-02-22

    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.

  10. 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

  11. Ecologically sustainable chemical recommendations for agricultural pest control?

    PubMed

    Thomson, Linda J; Hoffmann, Ary A

    2007-12-01

    Effective pest control remains an essential part of food production, and it is provided both by chemicals and by natural enemies within agricultural ecosystems. These methods of control are often in conflict because of the negative impact of chemicals on natural enemies. There are already well-established approaches such as those provided by the International Organization for Biological and Integrated Control-Pesticides and Beneficial Organisms for testing, collecting, and publishing information on responses of natural enemies to chemicals based on laboratory responses of specific organisms; however, these tests do not assess the cumulative impact of chemical inputs across an entire season or consider impacts on the complex communities of natural enemies that can provide effective pest control on a farm. Here, we explore the potential of different approaches for assessing the impact of chemicals on agricultural ecosystems and we propose a simple metric for sustainable chemical use on farms that minimizes overall impact on beneficial groups. We suggest ways in which the effectiveness of metrics can be extended to include persistence and habitat features. Such metrics can assist farmers in developing targets for sustainable chemical use as demonstrated in the viticultural industry.

  12. Ecologically sustainable chemical recommendations for agricultural pest control?

    PubMed

    Thomson, Linda J; Hoffmann, Ary A

    2007-12-01

    Effective pest control remains an essential part of food production, and it is provided both by chemicals and by natural enemies within agricultural ecosystems. These methods of control are often in conflict because of the negative impact of chemicals on natural enemies. There are already well-established approaches such as those provided by the International Organization for Biological and Integrated Control-Pesticides and Beneficial Organisms for testing, collecting, and publishing information on responses of natural enemies to chemicals based on laboratory responses of specific organisms; however, these tests do not assess the cumulative impact of chemical inputs across an entire season or consider impacts on the complex communities of natural enemies that can provide effective pest control on a farm. Here, we explore the potential of different approaches for assessing the impact of chemicals on agricultural ecosystems and we propose a simple metric for sustainable chemical use on farms that minimizes overall impact on beneficial groups. We suggest ways in which the effectiveness of metrics can be extended to include persistence and habitat features. Such metrics can assist farmers in developing targets for sustainable chemical use as demonstrated in the viticultural industry. PMID:18232389

  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. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. 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 ...

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Effective and ecological half-lives of 137Cs in cow's milk in alpine agriculture.

    PubMed

    Lettner, Herbert; Hubmer, Alexander; Bossew, Peter; Strebl, Friederike; Steinhäusler, Friedrich

    2009-02-01

    In the mountainous "Hohe Tauern" region of Salzburg (Austria), milk samples have been collected in a long-term montitoring programme since 1988, at eight alpine sites used for extensive, seasonal stock farming. For this alpine environment with its acidic soils developed on silicate bedrock, high soil-to-plant transfer factors and long-lasting (137)Cs contamination levels in milk--the main product of seasonal agriculture at elevated altitudes--are characteristic features. The decrease in (137)Cs concentration in milk measured since 1988 turned out to be best described by one or two effective half-lives. For the period from 1993 to 2007, which can be modelled with one effective half-life for all sites, effective half-lives between 3.7 and 15.0 years (ecological half-lives: 4.3-29.9 years) were obtained. The effective half-life increases with mean altitude of the investigated graze pastures, probably due to reduced migration velocities of (137)Cs and low (137)Cs half-value depths of a few centimetres in the soil.

  4. Molecular Ecology of Carboxylic Acids in Hydrothermal Environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matsuno, K.

    2005-12-01

    Hydrothermal environments in the primitive ocean on the Earth must have played an important role for harnessing a molecular ecology processing various carbon through-flows in the pre-RNA world. Even carboxylic acids alone could have maintained a primitive evolutionary ecology near hot vents on the seafloor. We examined whether the citric acid cycle could run in a simulated hydrothermal environment with the aid of neither reducing agents nor enzymes of biological origin under the premise that pyruvate was already available. When the major carboxylic acid molecules constituting the citric acid cycle including pyruvate were prepared in a flow reactor and the reaction fluid was circulated between hot and cold regions in a cyclic manner, the member molecules of the cycle were found to increase with the operation of the reactor. The cycle was found robust enough to synthesize the member molecules from within even in the face of adverse or hostile disturbances from the outside. The cycle was oxidative instead of being reductive, and the effective oxidant was water molecules. Underlying the operation of a molecular ecology running on the oxidative citric acid cycle is the physical pruning principle of the faster temperature drop going with the greater stored latent heat applied to any reactants crossing sharp temperature gradients.

  5. Examining the ecological validity of the Talent Development Environment Questionnaire.

    PubMed

    Martindale, Russell J J; Collins, Dave; Douglas, Carl; Whike, Ally

    2013-01-01

    It is clear that high class expertise and effective practice exists within many talent development environments across the world. However, there is also a general consensus that widespread evidence-based policy and practice is lacking. As such, it is crucial to develop solutions which can facilitate effective dissemination of knowledge and promotion of evidence-based talent development systems. While the Talent Development Environment Questionnaire (Martindale et al., 2010 ) provides a method through which this could be facilitated, its ecological validity has remained untested. As such, this study aimed to investigate the real world applicability of the questionnaire through discriminant function analysis. Athletes across ten distinct regional squads and academies were identified and separated into two broad levels, 'higher quality' (n = 48) and 'lower quality' (n = 51) environments, based on their process quality and productivity. Results revealed that the Talent Development Environment Questionnaire was able to discriminate with 77.8% accuracy. Furthermore, in addition to the questionnaire as a whole, two individual features, 'quality preparation' (P < 0.01) and 'understanding the athlete' (P < 0.01), were found to be significant discriminators. In conclusion, the results indicate robust structural properties and sound ecological validity, allowing the questionnaire to be used with more confidence in applied and research settings.

  6. 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.

  7. 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…

  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. Soleras solar energy controlled-environment agriculture project

    SciTech Connect

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

    1982-08-01

    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.

  10. 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.

  11. Looking for Rhizobacterial Ecological Indicators in Agricultural Soils Using 16S rRNA metagenomic Amplicon Data

    PubMed Central

    Gullón, Sonia; Pérez Mellado, Rafael

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Biological communities present in soil are essential to sustainable and productive agricultural practices; however, an accurate determination of the ecological status of agricultural soils remains to date an elusive task. An ideal indicator should be pervasive, play a relevant role in the ecosystem, show a rapid and proportional answer to external perturbations and be easily and economically measurable. Rhizobacteria play a major role in determining soil properties, becoming an attractive candidate for the detection of ecological indicators. The application of massive sequencing technologies to metagenomic analysis is providing an increasingly more precise view of the structure and composition of soil communities. In this work, we analyse soil rhizobacterial composition under various stress levels to search for potential ecological indicators. General Biodiversity Indicators Our results suggest that the Shannon index requires observation of a relatively large number of individuals to be representative of the true population diversity, and that the Simpson index may underestimate rare taxa in rhizobacterial environments. Taxonomical Classification Methods Detection of indicator taxa requires comparison of taxonomical classification of sequences. We have compared RDP classifier, RTAX and similarity-based taxonomical classification and selected the latter for taxonomical assignment because it provides larger detail. Taxonomy-Based Ecological Indicators The study of significant variations in common, clearly identified, taxa, using paired datasets allows minimization of non-treatment effects and avoidance of false positives. We have identified taxa associated to specific perturbations as well as taxa generally affected in treated soils. Changes in these taxa, or combinations of them, may be used as ecological indicators of soil health. The overall number and magnitude of changes detected in taxonomic groups does also increase with stress. These changes

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

    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 (C(deg)) 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 (C(i)(f)), C(deg), monomial ecological risk (E(i)(r)) 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.

  4. 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

  5. Ecologically rational choice and the structure of the environment.

    PubMed

    Pleskac, Timothy J; Hertwig, Ralph

    2014-10-01

    In life, risk is reward and vice versa. Unfortunately, the big rewards people desire are relatively unlikely to occur. This relationship between risk and reward or probabilities and payoffs seems obvious to the financial community and to laypeople alike. Yet theories of decision making have largely ignored it. We conducted an ecological analysis of life's gambles, ranging from the domains of roulette and life insurance to scientific publications and artificial insemination. Across all domains, payoffs and probabilities proved intimately tied, with payoff magnitudes signaling their probabilities. In some cases, the constraints of the market result in these two core elements of choice being related via a power function; in other cases, other factors such as social norms appear to produce the inverse relationship between risks and rewards. We offer evidence that decision makers exploit this relationship in the form of a heuristic--the risk-reward heuristic--to infer the probability of a payoff during decisions under uncertainty. We demonstrate how the heuristic can help explain observed ambiguity aversion. We further show how this ecological relationship can inform other aspects of decision making, particularly the approach of using monetary lotteries to study choice under risk and uncertainty. Taken together, these findings suggest that theories of decision making need to model not only the decision process but also the environment to which the process is adapted.

  6. Pharmaceutical metabolites in the environment: analytical challenges and ecological risks.

    PubMed

    Celiz, Mary D; Tso, Jerry; Aga, Diana S

    2009-12-01

    The occurrence of human and veterinary pharmaceuticals in the environment has been a subject of concern for the past decade because many of these emerging contaminants have been shown to persist in soil and water. Although recent studies indicate that pharmaceutical contaminants can pose long-term ecological risks, many of the investigations regarding risk assessment have only considered the ecotoxicity of the parent drug, with very little attention given to the potential contributions that metabolites may have. The scarcity of available environmental data on the human metabolites excreted into the environment or the microbial metabolites formed during environmental biodegradation of pharmaceutical residues can be attributed to the difficulty in analyzing trace amounts of previously unknown compounds in complex sample matrices. However, with the advent of highly sensitive and powerful analytical instrumentations that have become available commercially, it is likely that an increased number of pharmaceutical metabolites will be identified and included in environmental risk assessment. The present study will present a critical review of available literature on pharmaceutical metabolites, primarily focusing on their analysis and toxicological significance. It is also intended to provide an overview on the recent advances in analytical tools and strategies to facilitate metabolite identification in environmental samples. This review aims to provide insight on what future directions might be taken to help scientists in this challenging task of enhancing the available data on the fate, behavior, and ecotoxicity of pharmaceutical metabolites in the environment.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. [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

  11. [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.

  12. Pesticide distribution in an agricultural environment in Argentina.

    PubMed

    Loewy, Ruth M; Monza, Liliana B; Kirs, Veronica E; Savini, Monica C

    2011-01-01

    An assessment of the off-site migration of pesticides from agricultural activity into the environment in the Neuquen River Valley was performed. The aim of this study was to evaluate the distribution of pesticides in several compartments of a small agricultural sub-catchment. Soil, surface water, shallow groundwater and drift deposition were analyzed for pesticide residues. Results showed the presence of some pesticide residues in soil, surface water and shallow groundwater compartments. The highest detection frequencies in water (surface and subsurface) were found for azinphos-methyl and chlorpyrifos (>70%). In terms of concentration, the highest levels were observed in shallow groundwater for azinphos methyl (22.5 μg/L) and carbaryl (45.7 μg/L). In the soil, even before the application period had started, accumulation of residues was present. These residues increased during the period studied. Spray drift during pesticide application was found to be a significant pathway for the migration of pesticide residues in surface water, while leaching and preferential flows were the main transport routes contributing to subsurface contamination.

  13. The Portrayal of Natural Environment in the Evolution of the Ecological Public Health Paradigm

    PubMed Central

    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

  14. [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.

  15. Implication of soil C sequestration on sustainable agriculture and environment.

    PubMed

    Mondini, C; Sequi, P

    2008-01-01

    Soil organic matter (SOM) is the largest C stock of the continental biosphere with 1550Pg. The size of C reservoir in the soil and environmental concerns on climate change have recently attracted the attention of scientist and politicians on C sequestration as an effective strategy to tackle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It has been estimated that the potential for C storage in world cropland is relevant (about 0.6-1.2PgCy(-1)). However, there are several constraints of C sequestration that raise concern about its effectiveness as a strategy to offset climate change. C sequestration is finite in quantity and time, reversible, and can be further decreased by socio-economic restrictions. Given these limitations, C sequestration can play only a minor role in the reduction of emissions (2-5% of total GHG emission under the highest emission scenarios). Yet, C sequestration is still attractive for two main reasons: it is likely to be particularly effective in reducing atmospheric CO2 levels in the first 20-30yr of its implementation and presents ancillary benefits for environment and sustainability that make it a real win-win strategy. These beneficial implications are discussed in this paper with emphasis on the need of C sequestration not only to offset climatic changes, but also for the equilibria of the environment and for the sustainability of agriculture and of entire human society.

  16. Sulfur and primary production in aquatic environments: an ecological perspective.

    PubMed

    Norici, Alessandra; Hell, Ruediger; Giordano, Mario

    2005-12-01

    Sulfur is one of the critical elements in living matter, as it participates in several structural, metabolic and catalytic activities. Photosynthesis is an important process that entails the use of sulfur during both the light and carbon reactions. Nearly half of global photosynthetic carbon fixation is carried out by phytoplankton in the aquatic environment. Aquatic environments are very different from one another with respect to sulfur content: while in the oceans sulfate concentration is constantly high, freshwaters are characterized by daily and seasonal variations and by a wide range of sulfur concentration. The strategies that algal cells adopt for energy and resource allocation often reflect these differences. In the oceans, the amount and chemical form of sulfur has changed substantially during the course of the Earth's history; it is possible that sulfur availability played a role in the evolution of marine phytoplankton communities and it may continue to have appreciable effects on global biogeochemistry and ecology. Phytoplankton is also the main biogenic source of sulfur; sulfur can be released into the atmosphere by algal cells as dimethylsulfide, with possibly important repercussions on global climate. These and related matters are discussed in this review.

  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. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Resolving Conflicts between Agriculture and the Natural Environment.

    PubMed

    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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Music as environment: an ecological and biosemiotic approach.

    PubMed

    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

  7. Chemometric analysis of ecological toxicants in petrochemical and industrial environments.

    PubMed

    Olawoyin, Richard; Heidrich, Brenden; Oyewole, Samuel; Okareh, Oladapo T; McGlothlin, Charles W

    2014-10-01

    The application of chemometrics in the assessment of toxicants, such as heavy metals (HMs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) potentially derived from petrochemical activities in the microenvironment, is vital in providing safeguards for human health of children and adults residing around petrochemical industrial regions. Several multivariate statistical methods are used in geosciences and environmental protection studies to classify, identify and group prevalent pollutants with regard to exhibited trends. Chemometrics can be applied for toxicant source identification, estimation of contaminants contributions to the toxicity of sites of interest, the assessment of the integral risk index of an area and provision of mitigating measures that limit or eliminate the contaminants identified. In this study, the principal component analysis (PCA) was used for dimensionality reduction of both organic and inorganic substances data in the environment, which are potentially hazardous. The high molecular weight (HMW) PAHs correlated positively with stronger impact on the model than the lower molecular weight (LMW) PAHs, the total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPHs), PAHs and BTEX correlate positively in the F1 vs F2 plot indicating similar source contributions of these pollutants in the environmental material. Cu, Cr, Cd, Fe, Zn and Pb all show positive correlation in the same space indicating similar source of contamination. Analytical processes involving environmental assessment data obtained in the Niger Delta area of Nigeria, confirmed the usefulness of chemometrics for comprehensive ecological evaluation.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

  12. 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

  13. Projecting Future Nitrous Oxide Emissions From Agriculture: Importance of Ecological Feedbacks and the Environmental Benefits of Improved Nitrogen Use Efficiency

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kanter, D.; Zhang, X.; Shevliakova, E.; Malyshev, S.; Mauzerall, D. L.

    2014-12-01

    Nitrous oxide (N2O) presents a triple threat to the global environment: it is the third most important anthropogenic greenhouse gas, the largest remaining anthropogenic contributor to stratospheric ozone depletion, and an important component of the nitrogen (N) cascade - where one atom of N can interconvert between a number of forms, each with a unique set of environmental impacts. Here we use a dynamic vegetation model (Princeton-Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Lab (GFDL) LM3 - the interactive land component of the GFDL Earth System Model) to assess how changes in future climate, land-use, and global fertilizer and manure application are projected to affect global N2O emissions from agriculture by 2050. Agricultural land is defined in this study as the sum of cropland and pasture. In a baseline scenario assuming little improvement in global N use efficiency (NUE) by 2050, the model projects a 24-31% increase in global agricultural N2O emissions (with the uncertainty range stemming from differences in climate forcing, land-use and fertilizer and manure consumption between RCP2.6 and RCP8.5, the two climate scenarios used in this study) - rising from 2.9 Tg N2O-N yr-1 in 1990-2000 to 3.6-3.8 Tg N2O-N yr-1 in 2040-2050. This emission increase is considerably less than the projected increases in global fertilizer and manure consumption (42-44%) and previously published projections of global agricultural N2O emission increases (38-75% - again, the uncertainty range reflecting the differences between the climate scenarios used). This disparity appears to be a result of ecological feedbacks captured by the model, where a considerable portion of the increase in fertilizer and manure use is absorbed by agricultural plant biomass rather than lost to the environment. In addition to this dynamic, the model projects that improvements in global NUE of 20-50% could reduce global N2O emissions significantly, delivering important climate and stratospheric ozone benefits over the period

  14. 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.

  15. Ecological effectiveness of French grassland agri-environment schemes for farmland bird communities.

    PubMed

    Princé, Karine; Jiguet, Frédéric

    2013-05-30

    Agri-environment schemes (AES) have been implemented to cope with the loss of farmland biodiversity due to agricultural intensification over the last decades. In France, grassland measures (more closely linked to extensive grazing) are the most widely implemented within the French AES, and are presumably those whose effectiveness can be better assessed. In this paper, we have evaluated the effectiveness of French grassland agri-environmental measures (gAES) to enhance farmland bird diversity on a national scale, using local abundances of 19 farmland breeding birds within 463 Small Agricultural Regions (SAR) covering France during 2001-2008. We modeled responses of species abundances and estimated species richness to five categories of grassland AES, accounting for the characteristics of local production systems. Extensive management of grasslands had a positive effect on species richness. Despite mixed results on the effectiveness of the different grassland AES categories, our results are optimistic in terms of the ability of some French AES to provide benefits to birds. It seems that some grassland AES have achieved their objectives while meeting species ecological requirements. Moreover, this study highlights the fact that some of these grassland AES have the potential to enhance the population dynamics of declining species. Finally, although they all aim at benefitting biodiversity, it cannot be assumed that grassland measures lead to uniform conservation benefits.

  16. [Coupling situation of agriculture-ecology-economic system in Zhifanggou watershed of Loess hilly and gully region].

    PubMed

    Liu, Jia; Wang, Ji-Jun

    2010-06-01

    Based on the investigations in the Zhifanggou Watershed of Loess hilly and gully region from 1938 to 2007, and the establishment of eco-environmental and socio-economic comprehensive evaluation indices and coupling model, this paper analyzed the coupling situation of the agriculture-ecology-economic system in the watershed. During the study period, the agriculture-ecology-economic system in the watershed had gone through the coupling processes of economic system vs. ecosystem initial regenesis-consumption-promotion-coordination, and of ecosystem vs. economic system primary response-lag behind-recovery-coordination. According to the coupling degree fitting curves and the coupling type classification, the current agriculture-ecology-economic system in the watershed was still in the situation of coupling, and would be well coordinated.

  17. Lemur traits and Madagascar ecology: coping with an island environment.

    PubMed

    Wright, P C

    1999-01-01

    The last decade's lemur research includes successes in discovering new living and extinct species and learning about the distribution, biogeography, physiology, behavior, and ecology of previously little-studied species. In addition, in both the dry forest and rain forest, long-term studies of lemur demography, life history, and reproduction, have been completed in conjunction with data on tree productivity, phenology, and climate. Lemurs contrast with anthropoids in several behavioral features, including female dominance, targeted female-female aggression, lack of sexual dimorphism regardless of mating system, sperm competition coupled with male-male aggression, high infant mortality, cathemerality, and strict seasonal breeding. Hypotheses to explain these traits include the "energy conservation hypothesis" (ECH) suggesting that harsh and unpredictable climate factors on the island of Madagascar have affected the evolution of female dominance, and the "evolutionary disequilibrium hypotheses" (EVDH) suggesting that the recent megafauna extinctions have influenced lemurs to become diurnal. These hypotheses are compared and contrasted in light of recent empirical data on climate, subfossils, and lemur behavior. New data on life histories of the rain forest lemurs at Ranomafana National Park give further support to the ECH. Birth seasons are synchronized within each species, but there is a 6-month distribution of births among species. Gestation and lactation lengths vary among sympatric lemurs, but all lemur species in the rain forest wean in synchrony at the season most likely to have abundant resources. Across-species weaning synchrony seen in Ranomafana corroborates data from the dry forest that late lactation and weaning is the life history event that is the primary focus of the annual schedule. Lemur adaptations may assure maximum offspring survival in this environment with an unpredictable food supply and heavy predation. In conclusion, a more comprehensive

  18. [Assessment of ecological environment effects of coastal development in Hebei Province, China].

    PubMed

    Cui, Li-Tuo; Li, Zhi-Wei

    2014-07-01

    Through the analysis of the development activities and the ecological environment in coastal of Hebei Province, China, an index system for evaluating the ecological environment effect, composed of 28 indices, was set up by the pressure, state and response subsystems. Using the comprehensive index evaluation method, the integrated effects of ecological environment index (EI) was calculated and its grading criterion was founded. The results showed that the ecological environment effect of Hebei Province coastal development varied from being relatively small, normal and then relatively large from 1984 to 2010, and its acceptance degree evolved from being acceptable to being unacceptable. Because the resource and environment pressures caused by coastal development were serious and a delay existed in the state relative to the response, the improvement of various measures in the response subsystem did not show a positive effect on the state, and the environmental quality of ocean showed a degrading trend. Due to the differences in coastal development pattern and strength, the ecological environment effect of development activities showed some spatial differences. The ecological environment effect of Qinhuangdao coastal development was the minimum, followed by Cangzhou and Tangshan. Cangzhou and Tangshan had reached unacceptable levels and needed to further strengthen the restoration and protection of ecological environment.

  19. 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...

  20. 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

  1. Potential sources of and ecological risks from heavy metals in agricultural soils, Daye City, China.

    PubMed

    Du, Ping; Xie, Yunfeng; Wang, Shijie; Zhao, Huanhuan; Zhang, Zhuo; Wu, Bin; Li, Fasheng

    2015-03-01

    Concentrations of eight heavy metals (arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), mercury (Hg), nickel (Ni), lead (Pb), and zinc (Zn)) were measured in 92 topsoil samples collected from agricultural areas in Daye City to (1) assess the distribution of these heavy metals, (2) discriminate natural and anthropic contributions, and (3) identify possible sources of pollution. Mean concentrations of As, Cd, Cu, and Zn in the investigated soils were 23.8, 1.41, 105, and 159 mg kg(-1), respectively. These values were higher, in some cases by several orders of magnitude, than their corresponding background values. Estimated ecological risks, based on contamination factors and potential ecological risk indexes, were mostly low, but were considerable for As and Cd. A range of basic and multivariate statistical analyses (Pearson's correlation analysis, hierarchical cluster analysis, and principal component analysis) clearly revealed two distinct metal groups, comprising As/Cd/Cu/Zn and Cr/Ni/Hg/Pb, whose concentrations were closely associated with the distribution and pollution characteristics of industries in and around the city. Results demonstrated that As/Cd/Cu/Zn were indicators of anthropic pollution, while Cr/Hg/Ni/Pb were from parent materials. Maps of pollutant distribution compiled for the entire arable area further indicated that non-ferrous metal smelting and mining is the main source of diffuse pollution, and also showed the contribution of point source pollution to metal concentrations in agricultural topsoil. Results of this study will be useful for planning, risk assessment, and decision making by environmental managers in this region. PMID:25242589

  2. Physical and ecological thresholds for deposited sediments in streams in agricultural landscapes.

    PubMed

    Benoy, Glenn A; Sutherland, Andrew B; Culp, Joseph M; Brua, Robert B

    2012-01-01

    Excessive sedimentation in streams and rivers remains a pervasive problem for the protection of aquatic habitat and the sustainability of aquatic communities. Whereas water quality criteria have been determined for suspended sediments in many jurisdictions across North America, comparably little has been done for deposited (also known as bedded) sediments. Through Canada's National Agri-Environmental Standards Initiative, assessment techniques and analytical tools were developed for estimating environmental thresholds for deposited sediments in agricultural watersheds in New Brunswick (NB) and Prince Edward Island (PEI) in the Atlantic Maritimes of Canada. Physical thresholds were developed through assessment of geomorphic metrics, which were then analyzed using y-intercept and 25th percentile approaches. For NB, there was strong agreement in physical thresholds for both analytical approaches (e.g., percent fines <2 mm were 7.5 for y-intercept and 6.9 for 25th percentile approaches). In contrast, physical thresholds for PEI differed considerably between approaches (e.g., percent fines <2 mm were 6.1 for y-intercept and 19.6 for 25th percentile approaches), likely due to a narrower range in agricultural land cover. Cross-calibration of our provisional physical thresholds for NB with ecological (i.e., benthic macroinvertebrate) assessments show that ecological thresholds, calculated as change-points in relationships between Ephemeroptera-Plecoptera-Trichoptera relative abundance or Modified Family Biotic Index and geomorphic criteria, were more liberal than physical thresholds. These results suggest that provisional thresholds developed using geomorphic criteria should demarcate change from the least disturbed condition and reduce the risk of sedimentation degrading benthic ecosystems.

  3. Potential sources of and ecological risks from heavy metals in agricultural soils, Daye City, China.

    PubMed

    Du, Ping; Xie, Yunfeng; Wang, Shijie; Zhao, Huanhuan; Zhang, Zhuo; Wu, Bin; Li, Fasheng

    2015-03-01

    Concentrations of eight heavy metals (arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), mercury (Hg), nickel (Ni), lead (Pb), and zinc (Zn)) were measured in 92 topsoil samples collected from agricultural areas in Daye City to (1) assess the distribution of these heavy metals, (2) discriminate natural and anthropic contributions, and (3) identify possible sources of pollution. Mean concentrations of As, Cd, Cu, and Zn in the investigated soils were 23.8, 1.41, 105, and 159 mg kg(-1), respectively. These values were higher, in some cases by several orders of magnitude, than their corresponding background values. Estimated ecological risks, based on contamination factors and potential ecological risk indexes, were mostly low, but were considerable for As and Cd. A range of basic and multivariate statistical analyses (Pearson's correlation analysis, hierarchical cluster analysis, and principal component analysis) clearly revealed two distinct metal groups, comprising As/Cd/Cu/Zn and Cr/Ni/Hg/Pb, whose concentrations were closely associated with the distribution and pollution characteristics of industries in and around the city. Results demonstrated that As/Cd/Cu/Zn were indicators of anthropic pollution, while Cr/Hg/Ni/Pb were from parent materials. Maps of pollutant distribution compiled for the entire arable area further indicated that non-ferrous metal smelting and mining is the main source of diffuse pollution, and also showed the contribution of point source pollution to metal concentrations in agricultural topsoil. Results of this study will be useful for planning, risk assessment, and decision making by environmental managers in this region.

  4. Study on an agricultural environment monitoring server system using Wireless Sensor Networks.

    PubMed

    Hwang, Jeonghwan; Shin, Changsun; Yoe, Hyun

    2010-01-01

    This paper proposes an agricultural environment monitoring server system for monitoring information concerning an outdoors agricultural production environment utilizing Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) technology. The proposed agricultural environment monitoring server system collects environmental and soil information on the outdoors through WSN-based environmental and soil sensors, collects image information through CCTVs, and collects location information using GPS modules. This collected information is converted into a database through the agricultural environment monitoring server consisting of a sensor manager, which manages information collected from the WSN sensors, an image information manager, which manages image information collected from CCTVs, and a GPS manager, which processes location information of the agricultural environment monitoring server system, and provides it to producers. In addition, a solar cell-based power supply is implemented for the server system so that it could be used in agricultural environments with insufficient power infrastructure. This agricultural environment monitoring server system could even monitor the environmental information on the outdoors remotely, and it could be expected that the use of such a system could contribute to increasing crop yields and improving quality in the agricultural field by supporting the decision making of crop producers through analysis of the collected information.

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-06-29

    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 km(2)) 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Tetracycline and Phenicol Resistance Genes and Mechanisms: Importance for Agriculture, the Environment, and Humans.

    PubMed

    Roberts, Marilyn C; Schwarz, Stefan

    2016-03-01

    Recent reports have speculated on the future impact that antibiotic-resistant bacteria will have on food production, human health, and global economics. This review examines microbial resistance to tetracyclines and phenicols, antibiotics that are widely used in global food production. The mechanisms of resistance, mode of spread between agriculturally and human-impacted environments and ecosystems, distribution among bacteria, and the genes most likely to be associated with agricultural and environmental settings are included. Forty-six different tetracycline resistance () genes have been identified in 126 genera, with (M) having the broadest taxonomic distribution among all bacteria and (B) having the broadest coverage among the Gram-negative genera. Phenicol resistance genes are organized into 37 groups and have been identified in 70 bacterial genera. The review provides the latest information on tetracycline and phenicol resistance genes, including their association with mobile genetic elements in bacteria of environmental, medical, and veterinary relevance. Knowing what specific antibiotic-resistance genes (ARGs) are found in specific bacterial species and/or genera is critical when using a selective suite of ARGs for detection or surveillance studies. As detection methods move to molecular techniques, our knowledge about which type of bacteria carry which resistance gene(s) will become more important to ensure that the whole spectrum of bacteria are included in future surveillance studies. This review provides information needed to integrate the biology, taxonomy, and ecology of tetracycline- and phenicol-resistant bacteria and their resistance genes so that informative surveillance strategies can be developed and the correct genes selected.

  9. [Identification of coupling relationship between urbanization and ecological environment in Jilin from entropy change perspective].

    PubMed

    Sun, Ping-Jun; Xiu, Chun-Liang; Zhang, Tian-Jiao

    2014-03-01

    By using the entropy change equation of the second law of thermodynamics, entropy method and PSE model, this article made an analysis on coupling relationship between urbanization and ecological environment in Jilin Province from 2001 to 2011. In the study period, the urbanization development had been out of normal evolution track: The economic urbanization and space urbanization dominated the whole urbanization process, while population urbanization was neglected too seriously, with an apparent characteristic of extensive and inefficient input of resources (especially land resource). According to the levels of ecological environment on the basis of PSE model, not only the pressure index, sensitivity index and the elasticity index, but also the comprehensive index showed considerable growth with obvious stage characteristics: ascending-descending-ascending. The total entropy values of the urbanization were less than zero during the time, which meant an unstable rising curve. While the total trophy values of the ecological environment varied below and above zero, and 2003, 2006, 2010 and 2011 were the "turning points", reflecting the instability of the ecological environment. The coupling total entropy values between urbanization and ecological environment had the same characteristics with the ecological environment: the same "turning points" and shape of the curve, in which, the "turning points" corresponded to the type of antagonistic evolution pattern, while the rest of years responded to the type of coordination evolution pattern.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Isotopes and radiation in agricultural sciences: Animals, plants, food and the environment. Volume 2

    SciTech Connect

    L'Annunziata, M.F.; Legg, J.O.

    1984-01-01

    This book concentrates on techniques used in studies of the biochemistry of living systems important to agriculture, the preservation of food, and the environment. Topics considered include animals, radiopreservation, biochemistry, plants, radioisotopes, and food processing.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Establishing and Maintaining Health Environments: Toward a Social Ecology of Health Promotion.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stokols, Daniel

    1992-01-01

    Offers a social ecological analysis of health promotive environments, emphasizing the transactions between individual or collective behavior and the health resources and constraints that exist in specific environmental settings. Directions for future research on the creation and maintenance of health promotive environments also are examined. (JB)

  18. 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…

  19. 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.…

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. ASSESSING ECOLOGICAL RISK OF THE ANDROGEN TRENBOLONE IN THE ENVIRONMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    Endocrine disrupting chemicals in the environment can cause changes in reproductive development and characteristics of fish and other aquatic organisms. Since the early 90s, the effects of environmental estrogens have been seen in waste water treatment plant effluents in Europe a...

  9. The ecological roles of Bacillus thuringiensis within phyllosphere environments.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiaoxian; Xue, Yarong; Han, Meizhe; Bu, Yuanqing; Liu, Changhong

    2014-08-01

    Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) is one of the most used bio-control agents to control plant insects, but little is known about its effect on the microbial population and communities on plant leaves. With the culture dependent method, it has been observed that the dynamics of Bt within the phyllosphere varied dependent on both the doses of Bt sprayed on the leaves and the plant species, however, Bt's population size kept stable at about 1000 cfu g(-1) after 15 d since inoculation. By comparing the bacterial abundances and community structures within the phyllosphere of three plant species, we confirmed that Bt at the doses of 1.5×10(7) and 1.5×10(9) cfu mL(-1) respectively did not significantly influence the natural bacterial population size on the leaf surfaces based on culture dependent assay. However, based on culture independent denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE), Shannon-Wiener index (H') and Unweighted Pair Group Method with Arithmetic Mean (UPGMA) analysis, Bt has a significant influence on the bacterial communities within the phyllosphere of amaranth and cotton, but not rice. These results indicate that Bt exhibits different behaviors and ecological roles on the microbial diversity within the phyllosphere, and its environmental safety has to be concerned and evaluated in the future. PMID:24534157

  10. Concentrations, distribution, sources, and ecological risk assessment of heavy metals in agricultural topsoil of the Three Gorges Dam region, China.

    PubMed

    Liu, Minxia; Yang, Yuyi; Yun, Xiaoyan; Zhang, Miaomiao; Wang, Jun

    2015-03-01

    Concentrations, distribution, sources, and ecological risk of seven heavy metals including chromium (Cr), nickel (Ni), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), and mercury (Hg) in agricultural topsoil samples of the Three Gorges Dam region, China were investigated in this study. Among seven heavy metals, Zn had the highest mean concentration (149 mg kg(-1)) in the agricultural topsoil, followed by Cr (66 mg kg(-1)), Cu (52.2 mg kg(-1)), Pb (13.0 mg kg(-1)), Ni (8.5 mg kg(-1)), Cd (0.29 mg kg(-1)), and Hg (0.08 mg kg(-1)). Enrichment factor (EF) values of Zn, Cu, Cd, and Hg were higher than 1.5, indicating that Zn, Cu, Cd, and Hg were the major pollutants in this study area. The average potential ecological risk index (RI) value was 147, suggesting that heavy metals in the agricultural topsoil in the study area had a low ecological risk. The result of factor analysis (FA) and correlation analysis showed that long-term use of chemical fertilizer and pesticides, natural rock weathering, and atmospheric deposition were the several main sources of seven heavy metals in agricultural topsoil of the Three Gorges Dam region. Factor analysis-multiple linear regression (FA-MLR) results indicated that the most important source in this area was long-term use of chemical fertilizer and pesticides, which contributed 70 % for Cu and Zn, 62 % for Cd, and 72 % for Hg. More attention must be paid to the extensive use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides containing heavy metals which have been accumulated in the agricultural soil. PMID:25716527

  11. Concentrations, distribution, sources, and ecological risk assessment of heavy metals in agricultural topsoil of the Three Gorges Dam region, China.

    PubMed

    Liu, Minxia; Yang, Yuyi; Yun, Xiaoyan; Zhang, Miaomiao; Wang, Jun

    2015-03-01

    Concentrations, distribution, sources, and ecological risk of seven heavy metals including chromium (Cr), nickel (Ni), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), and mercury (Hg) in agricultural topsoil samples of the Three Gorges Dam region, China were investigated in this study. Among seven heavy metals, Zn had the highest mean concentration (149 mg kg(-1)) in the agricultural topsoil, followed by Cr (66 mg kg(-1)), Cu (52.2 mg kg(-1)), Pb (13.0 mg kg(-1)), Ni (8.5 mg kg(-1)), Cd (0.29 mg kg(-1)), and Hg (0.08 mg kg(-1)). Enrichment factor (EF) values of Zn, Cu, Cd, and Hg were higher than 1.5, indicating that Zn, Cu, Cd, and Hg were the major pollutants in this study area. The average potential ecological risk index (RI) value was 147, suggesting that heavy metals in the agricultural topsoil in the study area had a low ecological risk. The result of factor analysis (FA) and correlation analysis showed that long-term use of chemical fertilizer and pesticides, natural rock weathering, and atmospheric deposition were the several main sources of seven heavy metals in agricultural topsoil of the Three Gorges Dam region. Factor analysis-multiple linear regression (FA-MLR) results indicated that the most important source in this area was long-term use of chemical fertilizer and pesticides, which contributed 70 % for Cu and Zn, 62 % for Cd, and 72 % for Hg. More attention must be paid to the extensive use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides containing heavy metals which have been accumulated in the agricultural soil.

  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. 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

  14. 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).

  15. 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…

  16. Oxidative stress in marine environments: biochemistry and physiological ecology.

    PubMed

    Lesser, Michael P

    2006-01-01

    Oxidative stress-the production and accumulation of reduced oxygen intermediates such as superoxide radicals, singlet oxygen, hydrogen peroxide, and hydroxyl radicals-can damage lipids, proteins, and DNA. Many disease processes of clinical interest and the aging process involve oxidative stress in their underlying etiology. The production of reactive oxygen species is also prevalent in the world's oceans, and oxidative stress is an important component of the stress response in marine organisms exposed to a variety of insults as a result of changes in environmental conditions such as thermal stress, exposure to ultraviolet radiation, or exposure to pollution. As in the clinical setting, reactive oxygen species are also important signal transduction molecules and mediators of damage in cellular processes, such as apoptosis and cell necrosis, for marine organisms. This review brings together the voluminous literature on the biochemistry and physiology of oxidative stress from the clinical and plant physiology disciplines with the fast-increasing interest in oxidative stress in marine environments.

  17. APPLYING ECOLOGICAL PRINCIPLES TO LAND-USE DECISION MAKING IN AGRICULTURAL WATERSHEDS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Ecological Society of America on sustainable Land Use has put together a set of ecological principles and guidelines to help in land-use decision making. The practical application of these principles and the associated guidelines to planning efforts in real landscapes will r...

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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,…

  2. 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.

  3. Kindergarten Readiness: Ecological Analysis of the Effects of SES, Parental Beliefs, and the Home Environment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Poresky, Robert H.; Morris, Bette M.

    The ecological perspective suggests that distal socioeconomic status (SES) actually affects young children via the more proximate influences of parental beliefs and the quality of their home environments. A diverse sample of 189 kindergarten children, their families, and their schools provided data on SES indices, parental beliefs, the quality of…

  4. 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…

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    ,

    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.

  6. [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

  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.

  8. 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.

  9. Solar energy controlled-environment agriculture in the United States and in Saudi Arabia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luft, W.; Froechtenigt, J.

    1981-11-01

    Greenhouse designs proposed for use in hot climates to reduce the temperature by essentially passive means are illustrated. The project plans of the SOLERAS, solar powered, controlled environment agriculture are outlined. The water desalination technology being evaluated is reverse osmosis. The solar collection technologies include flat plate thermal collectors, solar ponds, photovoltaics and wind turbines.

  10. Agri-environment schemes do not effectively protect biodiversity in Dutch agricultural landscapes.

    PubMed

    Kleijn, D; Berendse, F; Smit, R; Gilissen, N

    2001-10-18

    Roughly 20% of the European Union's farmland is under some form of agri-environment scheme to counteract the negative impacts of modern agriculture on the environment. The associated costs represent about 4% (1.7 billion euros) of the European Union's total expenditure on the Common Agricultural Policy and are expected to rise to 10% in the near future. Although agri-environment schemes have been implemented in various countries for well over a decade, to date no reliable, sufficiently replicated studies have been performed to test whether such measures have the presumed positive effects on biodiversity. Here we present the results of a study evaluating the contribution of agri-environment schemes to the protection of biodiversity in intensively used Dutch agricultural landscapes. We surveyed plants, birds, hover flies and bees on 78 paired fields that either had agri-environment schemes in the form of management agreements or were managed conventionally. Management agreements were not effective in protecting the species richness of the investigated species groups: no positive effects on plant and bird species diversity were found. The four most common wader species were observed even less frequently on fields with management agreements. By contrast, hover flies and bees showed modest increases in species richness on fields with management agreements. Our results indicate that there is a pressing need for a scientifically sound evaluation of agri-environment schemes.

  11. Soil nitrogen balance assessment and its application for sustainable agriculture and environment.

    PubMed

    Roy, Rabindra Nath; Misra, Ram Vimal

    2005-12-01

    Soil nitrogen balance assessment (SNBA) serves as an effective tool for estimating the magnitude of nitrogen loss/gain of the agro-eco systems and to appraise their sustainability. SNBA brings forth awareness of soil fertility problems, besides providing information relating to the resultant release of nitrogen into the environment consequent to agricultural practices. Quantitative information relating to nitrogen escape into the environment through such exercises can be gainfully utilized for identification of causative factors, enhancing fertilizer use efficiency and formulating programmes aimed at plugging N leakages. An overview of nitrogen balance approaches and methodologies is presented. A deeper understanding and insight into the agro-eco systems provided by the SNBA exercises can lay the basis for the formulation of effective agronomic interventions and policies aimed at promoting sustainable agriculture and a benign environment. PMID:16512206

  12. Soil nitrogen balance assessment and its application for sustainable agriculture and environment.

    PubMed

    Roy, Rabindra Nath; Misra, Ram Vimal

    2005-09-01

    Soil nitrogen balance assessment (SNBA) serves as an effective tool for estimating the magnitude of nitrogen loss/gain of the agro-eco systems and to appraise their sustainability. SNBA brings forth awareness of soil fertility problems, besides providing information relating to the resultant release of nitrogen into the environment consequent to agricultural practices. Quantitative information relating to nitrogen escape into the environment through such exercises can be gainfully utilized for identification of causative factors, enhancing fertilizer use efficiency and formulating programmes aimed at plugging N leakages. An overview of nitrogen balance approaches and methodologies is presented. A deeper understanding and insight into the agro-eco systems provided by the SNBA exercises can lay the basis for the formulation of effective agronomic interventions and policies aimed at promoting sustainable agriculture and a benign environment. PMID:20549439

  13. Declining biodiversity in agricultural landscapes and the effectiveness of agri-environment schemes.

    PubMed

    Berendse, Frank; Chamberlain, Dan; Kleijn, David; Schekkerman, Hans

    2004-12-01

    Agricultural intensification, greatly accelerated as a result of the EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), has led to drastic reductions in the populations of many wild plant and animal species that used to be characteristic of farmland. In 1992, the EU provided the member states with its Agri-environment Regulation 2078/92 to help member states reverse these developments by means of agri-environment schemes. The question is: will the implementation of these schemes be sufficient to restore the biological diversity on farmland? Most studies that have examined the effectiveness of agri-environment schemes have focussed on farmland birds in Great Britain and The Netherlands. So far, the positive effects appear to be limited. Continuous evaluation and adaptation of these schemes is needed to enable the biodiversity on farmland to recover from the EU's former policy.

  14. Soil nitrogen balance assessment and its application for sustainable agriculture and environment.

    PubMed

    Roy, Rabindra Nath; Misra, Ram Vimal

    2005-09-01

    Soil nitrogen balance assessment (SNBA) serves as an effective tool for estimating the magnitude of nitrogen loss/gain of the agro-eco systems and to appraise their sustainability. SNBA brings forth awareness of soil fertility problems, besides providing information relating to the resultant release of nitrogen into the environment consequent to agricultural practices. Quantitative information relating to nitrogen escape into the environment through such exercises can be gainfully utilized for identification of causative factors, enhancing fertilizer use efficiency and formulating programmes aimed at plugging N leakages. An overview of nitrogen balance approaches and methodologies is presented. A deeper understanding and insight into the agro-eco systems provided by the SNBA exercises can lay the basis for the formulation of effective agronomic interventions and policies aimed at promoting sustainable agriculture and a benign environment.

  15. Soil nitrogen balance assessment and its application for sustainable agriculture and environment.

    PubMed

    Roy, Rabindra Nath; Misra, Ram Vimal

    2005-12-01

    Soil nitrogen balance assessment (SNBA) serves as an effective tool for estimating the magnitude of nitrogen loss/gain of the agro-eco systems and to appraise their sustainability. SNBA brings forth awareness of soil fertility problems, besides providing information relating to the resultant release of nitrogen into the environment consequent to agricultural practices. Quantitative information relating to nitrogen escape into the environment through such exercises can be gainfully utilized for identification of causative factors, enhancing fertilizer use efficiency and formulating programmes aimed at plugging N leakages. An overview of nitrogen balance approaches and methodologies is presented. A deeper understanding and insight into the agro-eco systems provided by the SNBA exercises can lay the basis for the formulation of effective agronomic interventions and policies aimed at promoting sustainable agriculture and a benign environment.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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).

  20. Assessing the potential for using wetlands as intermediary storages to conjunctively maintain ecological values and support agricultural demands.

    PubMed

    Ning, Nathan S P; Watkins, Susanne C; Gawne, Ben; Nielsen, Daryl L

    2012-09-30

    Water sharing to meet both agricultural and environmental demands is a critical issue affecting the health of many floodplain river systems around the world. This study explored the potential for using wetlands as temporary off-river storages to conjunctively maintain ecological values and support agricultural demands by assessing the effects of artificial drawdown on wetland aquatic plant communities. An initial experiment was undertaken in outdoor mesocosms in which four different treatments were compared over a 131 day duration: (1) natural drawdown where the water was left to drawdown naturally via evaporation; (2) partial drawdown where approximately half of the volume of water was pumped out after 42 days; (3) stepped drawdown where approximately half of the volume of water pumped out after 42 days, and then the remaining volume of water was pumped out after 117 days; and (4) total drawdown where all of the of water was pumped out after 117 days. A complementary field study was subsequently undertaken where two wetlands were left to drawdown naturally and two were partially drawn down artificially (i.e. had approximately half of their volume removed by pumping). Results from both of these studies indicated that neither aquatic plant abundance nor taxon richness were adversely affected by partial drawdown. Rather, both studies showed that aquatic plant communities subjected to a partial drawdown treatment became more species rich and diverse than communities subjected to a natural drawdown treatment. This suggests that it may be possible to use wetlands as intermediary storages for the dual purposes of maintaining ecological values and supporting agricultural demands.

  1. 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

  2. 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…

  3. 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.

  4. Danish policy measures to reduce diffuse nitrogen emissions from agriculture to the aquatic environment.

    PubMed

    Grant, R; Blicher-Mathiesen, G

    2004-01-01

    In Denmark, the first Action Plan for the Aquatic Environment (I) was introduced in 1987. The target was a 50% reduction in nitrogen emissions to the aquatic environment by 1993. Measures were directed towards the individual farmer and included the establishment of slurry tanks with 9 month storage capacity and obligations to grow winter crops on 65% of the area. In the early 1990s, it was obvious that agricultural practice had not changed towards a more efficient use of manure and fertilisers. Therefore, the Action Plan for Sustainable Agriculture was adopted in 1991, the reduction target being postponed until 2000. The plan set out restrictions on the actual utilisation of fertilisers and manure, obligations for the farmers to submit nitrogen accounts to the Ministry of Agriculture, and a levy system. However, the implemented measures were still insufficient to reach the reduction target. A second Action Plan for the Aquatic Environment (II) was adopted in 1998 and the reduction target was again postponed until 2003. This plan contained a range of measures, including reduced nitrogen standards for crops. The results from the Danish action plans confirm the need for an effective control body, and a continuous monitoring and evaluation programme. PMID:15053103

  5. 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.

  6. Danish policy measures to reduce diffuse nitrogen emissions from agriculture to the aquatic environment.

    PubMed

    Grant, R; Blicher-Mathiesen, G

    2004-01-01

    In Denmark, the first Action Plan for the Aquatic Environment (I) was introduced in 1987. The target was a 50% reduction in nitrogen emissions to the aquatic environment by 1993. Measures were directed towards the individual farmer and included the establishment of slurry tanks with 9 month storage capacity and obligations to grow winter crops on 65% of the area. In the early 1990s, it was obvious that agricultural practice had not changed towards a more efficient use of manure and fertilisers. Therefore, the Action Plan for Sustainable Agriculture was adopted in 1991, the reduction target being postponed until 2000. The plan set out restrictions on the actual utilisation of fertilisers and manure, obligations for the farmers to submit nitrogen accounts to the Ministry of Agriculture, and a levy system. However, the implemented measures were still insufficient to reach the reduction target. A second Action Plan for the Aquatic Environment (II) was adopted in 1998 and the reduction target was again postponed until 2003. This plan contained a range of measures, including reduced nitrogen standards for crops. The results from the Danish action plans confirm the need for an effective control body, and a continuous monitoring and evaluation programme.

  7. 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)

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

    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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

    2015-07-01

    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

  12. 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.

  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. Human and ecosystem health: the environment-agriculture connection in developing countries.

    PubMed

    Graber, D R; Jones, W J; Johnson, J A

    1995-01-01

    It is posited that farming methods and activities are both affected by and have an impact on local and global environmental ecosystems. This article discusses regional and global trends that affect the environment and the health and survival of rural agricultural populations. Political, social, and environmental factors that "underlie and generate" medical issues are identified for developing countries with large rural populations dependent upon the land for survival. Although food production appears to have kept pace with population growth in macro statistics, 35% of the population in sub-Saharan Africa, 22% of the Asian population, and 22% of developing market economies were estimated to be malnourished in the mid-1980s. The Green Revolution involved the widespread use of chemicals in agriculture that had adverse environmental impacts. The interrelationships between water resources, erosion, pesticides and fertilizers, deforestation, population pressure, and biodiversity, and farmers are individually addressed. It is argued that a new perspective may be necessary in order to preserve agriculture and other ecosystems and human health. A universal formula for environmentally sensitive and productive agriculture is not possible. However, it is likely that some approaches may involve traditional practices, such as crop rotation and natural pest management, combined with the tools of the Green Revolution (pesticides, fertilizers, and intensive irrigation). An increasing number of people are aware that creative and locally rational farming methods are the best option, and that the costs of chemical-intensive farming in developing countries are too high. National policies that promote cultivation of non-food cash crops and favor the land-wealthy elite have serious consequences for the small farmer and national food availability. The World Bank has the greatest potential to guide agricultural reforms that promote protective practices engendered in local controls over

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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 ...

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Ecology and management of rodents in no-till agriculture in Washington, USA.

    PubMed

    Witmer, Gary; Sayler, Rodney; Huggins, David; Capelli, Jason

    2007-09-01

    No-till farming is an important approach to sustainable agriculture because it can conserve soil and water resources. Unfortunately, rodent populations can thrive under no-till conditions because burrow systems are not disrupted by annual plowing and plant residues build-up on the surface, providing cover and insulation. This can result in substantial crop damage. We assessed rodent populations, habitat use, food habits, and crop damage in a no-till cropping system in Washington, USA. We also conducted preliminary trials of methods to reduce rodent populations and crop damage. In the fall, many more rodents were captured in fields with unharvested crops than in fields containing only plant stubble, suggesting that rodents leave fields after crop harvest, providing that suitable habitats are nearby, even when adequate cover is still available in harvested crop fields. By spring, the number of voles captured was much lower relative to fall. Despite this, capture rates were much higher in surrounding permanent grass areas than in crop (barley, wheat, pea) fields, suggesting that these grassy areas serve as refugia for rodents. Furthermore, the permanent grass cover type was the landscape variable most associated with rodent capture rates. In three winter pea fields, rodents removed 5-15% of the pea plants over winter. Examination of stomach contents revealed that voles mainly fed on grain plants in spring, but that their diet was more diversified in fall. Deer mice fed heavily on grain plants in both spring and fall, but also used insects as food. Metal barrier exclosures (9 m × 9 m), extending above and below ground, did not prevent access by rodents. Rodent populations in areas treated with zinc phosphide on grain were comparable to untreated areas 1 year after application of the rodenticide, perhaps because of immigration and recruitment, suggesting that baiting does not provide a long-term solution to rodent damage in no-till agricultural fields.

  7. Britain's genetically modified crop controversies: the Agriculture and Environment Biotechnology Commission and the negotiation of 'uncertainty'.

    PubMed

    Grove-White, Robin

    2006-01-01

    The genetically modified crop controversies in Britain between 1997 and 2004 involved tensions surrounding the role of science in policy. The author of the paper was a member of the Agriculture and Environment Biotechnology Commission, a novel government advisory body created in 2000, which played a central role in negotiating new policy frameworks. The commission was also a key influence in the creation and execution of the three-pronged official 'GM dialogue' in 2002 and 2003. New understandings of 'uncertainty', both scientific and social, emerged as a result. The outcomes have relevance for the future political handling of other technological fields, including human genetics.

  8. Ecological intensification of cereal production systems: yield potential, soil quality, and precision agriculture.

    PubMed

    Cassman, K G

    1999-05-25

    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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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 :)

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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…

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Ecological environment of the proposed site for the Compact Ignition Tokamak at Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1987-12-01

    This report gives a description of the exological environment of D-site and the surrounding area at Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) near Princeton, New Jersey. D-site at PPL is the proposed location for construction of a new fusion test facility, the Compact Ignition Tokamak (CIT). This report was prepared as supplemental information for an Environmental Assessment for the proposed CIT at PPL. The report characterizes the vegetation and wildlife occuring at and near the site and describes the water quality and aquatic ecology of Bee Brook. No threatened or endangered plant or animal species are known to occur in the area, although suitable habitat exists for some species. The occurrence of a forested wetland north of the site is discussed. 9 refs., 2 figs.

  2. Ecology of sand flies in a low-density residential rural area, with mixed forest/agricultural exploitation, in north-eastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Miranda, Débora Elienai de Oliveira; Sales, Kamila Gaudêncio da Silva; Faustino, Maria Aparecida da Gloria; Alves, Leucio Câmara; Brandão-Filho, Sinval Pinto; Dantas-Torres, Filipe; de Carvalho, Gílcia Aparecida

    2015-06-01

    Cutaneous leishmaniasis caused by Leishmania braziliensis is endemic in Brazil, where Lutzomyia whitmani is the most important vector involved in the transmission to humans, particularly in the peridomestic environment. Herein, we assessed the ecology of sand flies, including Lu. whitmani, in a low-density residential rural area with mixed forest/agricultural exploitation in north-eastern Brazil, where cutaneous leishmaniasis is endemic. Particularly, we hypothesized that sand fly abundance was correlated with climatic variables. Sand fly collections were carried out monthly from August 2013 to August 2014, using seven CDC light traps, for three consecutive nights, in three kinds of environments: indoor, peridomicile and forest. Collected sand flies were identified based on morphology and females of Lu. whitmani (n=169), Lu. amazonensis (n=134) and Lu. complexa (n=21) were selected and tested by PCR for Leishmania (Viannia) spp. In total, 5167 sand flies belonging to 19 species were identified, being that Lu. choti (43.2%) was the most frequent species, followed by Lu. amazonensis (16.6%), Lu. whitmani (15.8%), Lu. sordellii (10.7%) and Lu. quinquefer (5.8%), which together represented over 90% of the collected sand flies. All females tested by PCR were negative. The number of sand flies collected daily was positively correlated with temperature and negatively correlated with rainfall and relative humidity. Furthermore, there was a positive correlation between daily number of sand flies and daily average saturation deficit. This study points out that the number of sand flies captured daily is correlated to climatic variables, including saturation deficit, which may represent a useful parameter for monitoring sand fly populations in leishmaniasis-endemic areas.

  3. Ecology of sand flies in a low-density residential rural area, with mixed forest/agricultural exploitation, in north-eastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Miranda, Débora Elienai de Oliveira; Sales, Kamila Gaudêncio da Silva; Faustino, Maria Aparecida da Gloria; Alves, Leucio Câmara; Brandão-Filho, Sinval Pinto; Dantas-Torres, Filipe; de Carvalho, Gílcia Aparecida

    2015-06-01

    Cutaneous leishmaniasis caused by Leishmania braziliensis is endemic in Brazil, where Lutzomyia whitmani is the most important vector involved in the transmission to humans, particularly in the peridomestic environment. Herein, we assessed the ecology of sand flies, including Lu. whitmani, in a low-density residential rural area with mixed forest/agricultural exploitation in north-eastern Brazil, where cutaneous leishmaniasis is endemic. Particularly, we hypothesized that sand fly abundance was correlated with climatic variables. Sand fly collections were carried out monthly from August 2013 to August 2014, using seven CDC light traps, for three consecutive nights, in three kinds of environments: indoor, peridomicile and forest. Collected sand flies were identified based on morphology and females of Lu. whitmani (n=169), Lu. amazonensis (n=134) and Lu. complexa (n=21) were selected and tested by PCR for Leishmania (Viannia) spp. In total, 5167 sand flies belonging to 19 species were identified, being that Lu. choti (43.2%) was the most frequent species, followed by Lu. amazonensis (16.6%), Lu. whitmani (15.8%), Lu. sordellii (10.7%) and Lu. quinquefer (5.8%), which together represented over 90% of the collected sand flies. All females tested by PCR were negative. The number of sand flies collected daily was positively correlated with temperature and negatively correlated with rainfall and relative humidity. Furthermore, there was a positive correlation between daily number of sand flies and daily average saturation deficit. This study points out that the number of sand flies captured daily is correlated to climatic variables, including saturation deficit, which may represent a useful parameter for monitoring sand fly populations in leishmaniasis-endemic areas. PMID:25792416

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Influence of Environment and Mitochondrial Heritage on the Ecological Characteristics of Fish in a Hybrid Zone

    PubMed Central

    Stolzenberg, Nicolas; Nguyen The, Bénédicte; Salducci, Marie Dominique; Cavalli, Laurent

    2009-01-01

    Background Ecological characteristics (growth, morphology, reproduction) arise from the interaction between environmental factors and genetics. Genetic analysis of individuals' life history traits might be used to improve our understanding of mechanisms that form and maintain a hybrid zone. Methodology/Principal Findings A fish hybrid zone was used to characterize the process of natural selection. Data were collected during two reproductive periods (2001 and 2002) and 1117 individuals (nase, Chondrostama nasus nasus, sofie C. toxostoma toxostoma and hybrids) were sampled. Reproductive dates of the two parental species overlapped at sympatric sites. The nase had an earlier reproductive period than the sofie; males had longer reproductive periods for both species. Hybridisation between female nase and male sofie was the most likely. Hybrids had a reproductive period similar to the inherited parental mitochondrial type. Growth and reproductive information from different environments has been synthesised following a bayesian approach of the von Bertalanffy model. Hybrid life history traits appear to link with maternal heritage. Hybrid size from the age of two and size at first maturity appeared to be closer to the size of the maternal origin species (nase or sofie). Median growth rates for hybrids were similar and intermediate between those of the parental species. We observed variable life history traits for hybrids and pure forms in the different parts of the hybrid zone. Geometrical analysis of the hybrid fish shape gave evidence of two main morphologies with a link to maternal heritage. Conclusions/Significance Selective mating seemed to be the underlying process which, with mitochondrial heritage, could explain the evolution of the studied hybrid zone. More generally, we showed the importance of studies on hybrid zones and specifically the study of individuals' ecological characteristics, to improve our understanding of speciation. PMID:19536286

  11. Ecological and health risk-based characterization of agricultural soils contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the vicinity of a chemical plant in China.

    PubMed

    Liu, Geng; Niu, Junjie; Guo, Wenjiong; An, Xiangsheng; Zhao, Long

    2016-11-01

    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) from chemical plants can cause serious pollution of surrounding agricultural soils. A comprehensive study of agricultural soils was conducted in the vicinity of a chemical plant in China to characterize the soil PAH concentration, as well as their composition and sources. Human health and a screening-level ecological risk assessment were conducted for PAH contamination in agricultural soils. The results showed that the total concentrations of 16 priority PAHs ranged from 250.49 to 9387.26 ng g(-1), with an average of 2780.42 ng g(-1). High molecular weight PAHs (four to six rings) were the dominant component, accounting for more than 60% of all PAHs. Principal component analysis (PCA) and positive matrix factorization model (PMF) suggested that diesel emissions, coal combustion, coke ovens, and fuel combustion and gasoline emissions were the main sources of PAHs in agricultural soils. The ecological risk assessment results based on the effects range-low (ERL), the effects range-median (ERM), and the ecological screening levels (ESL) indicated that the exposure to ∑PAH16 was >ERL, >ERM, and ≥ERL and ESL at 78.1% of the soil sampling stations, and could induce biological effects in mammals. The Bapeq concentrations posed a potential carcinogenic risk to humans. Further risk management and control of soil PAHs in these agricultural soils is required to ensure the safety of the biocoenosis and human health. PMID:27565314

  12. 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...

  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. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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…

  19. [Ecology and ecologies].

    PubMed

    Valera, Luca

    2011-01-01

    Ecology (from the Greek words οιχοσ, "house" and λογια "study of") is the science of the "house", since it studies the environments where we live. There are three main ways of thinking about Ecology: Ecology as the study of interactions (between humans and the environment, between humans and living beings, between all living beings, etc.), Ecology as the statistical study of interactions, Ecology as a faith, or rather as a science that requires a metaphysical view. The history of Ecology shows us how this view was released by the label of "folk sense" to gain the epistemological status of science, a science that strives to be interdisciplinary. So, the aim of Ecology is to study, through a scientific methodology, the whole natural world, answering to very different questions, that arise from several fields (Economics, Biology, Sociology, Philosophy, etc.). The plurality of issues that Ecology has to face led, during the Twentieth-century, to branch off in several different "ecologies". As a result, each one of these new approaches chose as its own field a more limited and specific portion of reality.

  20. [Breeding ecology of Chinese Bulbul in the urban environment of Hangzhou, China].

    PubMed

    Lan, Si-Si; Zhang, Qin; Huang, Qin; Chen, Shui-Hua

    2013-06-01

    The Chinese Bulbul, Pycnonotus sinensis, is one of the most abundant and widely distributed birds of south China, settling even in dense urban areas. From March-July 2012, we surveyed the Chinese Bulbul in the urban environment of Hangzhou, China, to gain a clearer perspective on their breeding ecology. Totally, 117 nests were found, mainly on the trees of Osmanthus fragrans (84.6%, n=117) in residential areas,street tree strips, and green belt. Our results include several noteworthy observations: nest height from the ground was 3.16±0.91 m (n=117); egg-laying begins in early April with peak times from April 11-25; and the nesting period was 11.85±1.12 days (n=47). In terms of fertility and reproduction, we also observed that the average incubation period was 11.34±1.12 days (n=32); average clutch size was 3.37±0.48 eggs (n=103); hatching success 68.3%, fledging rate 52.1%, and the total breeding success 35.58% (n=117). The main causes of breeding failure included egg and fledgling predation, as well as human disturbance.

  1. [Breeding ecology of Chinese Bulbul in the urban environment of Hangzhou, China].

    PubMed

    Lan, Si-Si; Zhang, Qin; Huang, Qin; Chen, Shui-Hua

    2013-06-01

    The Chinese Bulbul, Pycnonotus sinensis, is one of the most abundant and widely distributed birds of south China, settling even in dense urban areas. From March-July 2012, we surveyed the Chinese Bulbul in the urban environment of Hangzhou, China, to gain a clearer perspective on their breeding ecology. Totally, 117 nests were found, mainly on the trees of Osmanthus fragrans (84.6%, n=117) in residential areas,street tree strips, and green belt. Our results include several noteworthy observations: nest height from the ground was 3.16±0.91 m (n=117); egg-laying begins in early April with peak times from April 11-25; and the nesting period was 11.85±1.12 days (n=47). In terms of fertility and reproduction, we also observed that the average incubation period was 11.34±1.12 days (n=32); average clutch size was 3.37±0.48 eggs (n=103); hatching success 68.3%, fledging rate 52.1%, and the total breeding success 35.58% (n=117). The main causes of breeding failure included egg and fledgling predation, as well as human disturbance. PMID:23775993

  2. [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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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)

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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…

  12. 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...

  13. Predicted no-effect concentrations for mercury species and ecological risk assessment for mercury pollution in aquatic environment.

    PubMed

    Du, Meng; Wei, Dongbin; Tan, Zhuowei; Lin, Aiwu; Du, Yuguo

    2015-02-01

    Mercury (Hg) exists in different chemical forms presenting varied toxic potentials. It is necessary to explore an ecological risk assessment method for different mercury species in aquatic environment. The predicted no-effect concentrations (PNECs) for Hg(II) and methyl mercury (MeHg) in the aqueous phase, calculated using the species sensitivity distribution method and the assessment factor method, were 0.39 and 6.5×10(-3)μg/L, respectively. The partition theory of Hg between sediment and aqueous phases was considered, along with PNECs for the aqueous phase to conduct an ecological risk assessment for Hg in the sediment phase. Two case studies, one in China and one in the Western Black Sea, were conducted using these PNECs. The toxicity of mercury is heavily dependent on their forms, and their potential ecological risk should be respectively evaluated on the basis of mercury species. PMID:25662241

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. 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...

  19. Evaluation of Handwriting Movement Kinematics: From an Ecological to a Magnetic Resonance Environment

    PubMed Central

    Bisio, Ambra; Pedullà, Ludovico; Bonzano, Laura; Ruggeri, Piero; Brichetto, Giampaolo; Bove, Marco

    2016-01-01

    Writing is a means of communication which requires complex motor, perceptual, and cognitive skills. If one of these abilities gets lost following traumatic events or due to neurological diseases, handwriting could deteriorate. Occupational therapy practitioners provide rehabilitation services for people with impaired handwriting. However, to determine the effectiveness of handwriting interventions no studies assessed whether the proposed treatments improved the kinematics of writing movement or had an effect at the level of the central nervous system. There is need to find new quantitative methodologies able to describe the behavioral and the neural outcomes of the rehabilitative interventions for handwriting. In the present study we proposed a combined approach that allowed evaluating the kinematic parameters of handwriting movements, acquired by means of a magnetic resonance-compatible tablet, and their neural correlates obtained simultaneously from a functional magnetic resonance imaging examination. Results showed that the system was reliable in term of reproducibility of the kinematic data during a test/re-test procedure. Further, despite the modifications with respect to an ecological writing movement condition, the kinematic parameters acquired inside the MR-environment were descriptive of individuals’ movement features. At last, the imaging protocol succeeded to show the activation of the cerebral regions associated with the production of writing movement in healthy people. From these findings, this methodology seems to be promising to evaluate the handwriting movement deficits and the potential alterations in the neural activity in those individuals who have handwriting difficulties. Finally, it would provide a mean to quantitatively assess the effect of a rehabilitative treatment. PMID:27746727

  20. [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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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).

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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…

  9. 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.

  10. Agricultural legacies in forest environments: tree communities, soil properties, and light availability.

    PubMed

    Flinn, Kathryn M; Marks, P L

    2007-03-01

    Temperate deciduous forests across much of Europe and eastern North America reflect legacies of past land use, particularly in the diversity and composition of plant communities. Intense disturbances, such as clearing forests for agriculture, may cause persistent environmental changes that continue to shape vegetation patterns as landscapes recover. We assessed the long-term consequences of agriculture for environmental conditions in central New York forests, including tree community structure and composition, soil physical and chemical properties, and light availability. To isolate the effects of agriculture, we compared 20 adjacent pairs of forests that were never cleared for agriculture (primary forests) and forests that established 85-100 years ago on plowed fields (secondary forests). Tree communities in primary and secondary forests had similar stem density, though secondary forests had 14% greater basal area. Species composition differed dramatically between the two forest types, with primary forests dominated by Acer saccharum and Fagus grandifolia and secondary forests by Acer rubrum and Pinus strobus. Primary and secondary forests showed no consistent differences in soil physical properties or in the principal gradient of soil fertility associated with soil pH. Within stands, however, soil water content and pH were more variable in primary forests. Secondary forest soils had 15% less organic matter, 16% less total carbon, and 29% less extractable phosphorus in the top 10 cm than adjacent primary stands, though the ranges of the forest types mostly overlapped. Understory light availability in primary and secondary forests was similar. These results suggest that, within 100 years, post-agricultural stands have recovered conditions comparable to less disturbed forests in many attributes, including tree size and number, soil physical properties, soil chemical properties associated with pH, and understory light availability. The principal legacies of

  11. 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.

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. Reforming agricultural nonpoint pollution policy in an increasingly budget-constrained environment.

    PubMed

    Shortle, James S; Ribaudo, Marc; Horan, Richard D; Blandford, David

    2012-02-01

    Agricultural nonpoint source water pollution has long been recognized as an important contributor to U.S. water quality problems and the subject of an array of local, state, and federal initiatives to reduce the problem. A "pay-the-polluter" approach to getting farmers to adopt best management practices has not succeeded in improving water quality in many impaired watersheds. With the prospects of reduced funding for the types of financial and technical assistance programs that have been the mainstay of agricultural water quality policy, alternative approaches need to be considered. Some changes to the way current conservation programs are implemented could increase their efficiency, but there are limits to how effective a purely voluntary approach can be. An alternative paradigm is the "polluter pays" approach, which has been successfully employed to reduce point source pollution. A wholesale implementation of the polluter-pays approach to agriculture is likely infeasible, but elements of the polluter-pays approach could be incorporated into agricultural water quality policy.

  15. 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...

  16. 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…

  17. Agriculture, Environment and Higher Education--A Personal View of the Past, Present and Future

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Morris, Dick

    2004-01-01

    Agricultural and environmental higher education has changed greatly over the past four decades. This article provides a personal review of the factors influencing this change. Economics, social attitudes and developments in technology and in theories of learning have all affected both what and how students need to learn. This is illustrated with…

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  20. 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…

  1. 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...

  2. Development of a relative risk model for evaluating ecological risk of water environment in the Haihe River Basin estuary area.

    PubMed

    Chen, Qiuying; Liu, Jingling; Ho, Kin Chung; Yang, Zhifeng

    2012-03-15

    Ecological risk assessment for water environment is significant to water resource management of basin. Effective environmental management and systems restoration such as the Haihe River Basin require holistic understanding of the relative importance of various stressor-related impacts throughout the basin. As an effective technical tool for evaluating the ecological risk, relative risk model (RRM) was applied in regional scale successfully. In this study, the risk transfer from upstream of basin was considered and the RRM was developed through 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 includes water quality, water quantity and aquatic ecosystems was selected as the assessment endpoints. We created a conceptual model which depicting potential and effect pathways from source to stressor to habitat to endpoint. The Haihe River Basin estuary (HRBE) was selected as the model case. The results showed that there were two low risk regions, one medium risk region and two high risk regions in the HRBE. The results also indicated that urbanization was the biggest source, the second was shipping and the third was industry, their risk scores are 5.65, 4.71 and 3.68 respectively. Furthermore, habitat destruction was the largest stressor with the risk scores (2.66), the second was oxygen consuming organic pollutants (1.75) and the third was pathogens (1.75). So these three stressors were the main influencing factors of the ecological pressure in the study area. For habitats, open waters (9.59) and intertidal mudflat were enduring the bigger pressure and should be taken considerable attention. Ecological service values damaged (30.54) and biodiversity decreased were facing the biggest risk pressure.

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. [Concept of system productivity and its significance in ecological reconstruction of pasture and agriculture transitional zone in China].

    PubMed

    Cheng, Xu; Mao, Liuxi

    2003-12-01

    In recent years, the debate on the strategies of developing Loess Plateau has been ended with a consensus, i.e., instead of traditional grain production, grass/livestock industries together with some other specific industries such as fruits and forests ought to be the "polar" industries in this area. However, such a new pattern has not appeared. Enlightened by the basic principles of ecology, the intrinsic contradiction between output and maintenance/repair of agro-ecosystem, in terms of energy requirement, could not be well coordinated and resolved just by raising the primary productivity or secondary productivity, which is particularly the case for such a ecologically fragile area as Loess Plateau. In this paper, a new concept of system productivity was proposed as a possible way that could use pluses and bypass minuses in ingeniously fitting the natural conditions and fully and rationally utilizing natural resources, especially the superiorities of climate resources, and centered on the selection and utilization of plant germplasms with higher water use efficiency, better coverage effect, and maximum biomass potential for fodder, i.e., cultivating fodder/feed-oriented plants for new livestock industry, thus finding an unprecedented approach that can harmonize the ecological reconstruction and development of vital industries.

  6. Consuming the forest in an environment of crisis: nature tourism, forest conservation and neoliberal agriculture in south India.

    PubMed

    Münster, Daniel; Münster, Ursula

    2012-01-01

    This article engages ethnographically with the neoliberalization of nature in the spheres of tourism, conservation and agriculture. Drawing on a case study of Wayanad district, Kerala, the article explores a number of themes. First, it shows how a boom in domestic nature tourism is currently transforming Wayanad into a landscape for tourist consumption. Second, it examines how tourism in Wayanad articulates with projects of neoliberalizing forest and wildlife conservation and with their contestations by subaltern groups. Third, it argues that the contemporary commodification of nature in tourism and conservation is intimately related to earlier processes of commodifying nature in agrarian capitalism. Since independence, forest land has been violently appropriated for intensive cash-cropping. Capitalist agrarian change has transformed land into a (fictitious) commodity and produced a fragile and contested frontier of agriculture and wildlife. When agrarian capitalism reached its ecological limits and entered a crisis of accumulation, farming became increasingly speculative, exploring new modes of accumulation in out-of-state ginger cultivation. In this scenario nature and wildlife tourism emerges as a new prospect for accumulation in a post-agrarian economy. The neoliberalization of nature in Wayanad, the authors argue, is a process driven less by new modes of regulation than by the agrarian crisis and new modes of speculative farming.

  7. 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.)

  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. [Ecological validity and multitasking environments in the evaluation of the executive functions].

    PubMed

    Bombín-González, Igor; Cifuentes-Rodríguez, Alicia; Climent-Martínez, Gema; Luna-Lario, Pilar; Cardas-Ibáñez, Jaione; Tirapu-Ustárroz, Javier; Díaz-Orueta, Unai

    2014-07-16

    Evaluation of executive functions is a major issue of neuropsychological assessment, due to the role displayed by these on a cognitive, behavioural and emotional level, and the implication of these functions in daily life functioning. In order to perform a reliable assessment, the strategy traditionally followed for the evaluation of executive functions has been their atomization in different cognitive subprocesses, which is useful in a clinical or a research context. However, in clinical practice it is frequently artificial to disintegrate a global and complex cognitive process, such as executive functions, in a variety of related components; thus, tests designed according to these theoretical processes have low value in clinical procedures (diagnosis, rehabilitation design) due to their poor correspondence with the subject's or patient's clinical reality. The aims of the present work are to revise the concept of ecological validity applied to the evaluation of executive functions, and to perform a critical review of executive functions assessment by means of multitask paradigms as a way to increase the ecological validity and predictive value of the subject's functional performance. After a historical journey around the (low) ecological validity of single-task tests, and the bet in favour of a multitask paradigm for the evaluation of executive functions, up-to-date existing multitask tests are presented meticulously (with their respective advantages and disadvantages). Finally, concrete recommendations about how to develop multitask tests in the future are presented, attending to concrete parameters related to the context, tasks, objectives, rules and scoring.

  10. The responding relationship between plants and environment is the essential principle for agricultural sustainable development on the globe.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Yi; Shao, Hong-Bo

    2008-04-01

    The mutual-responding relationship between plants and environment is involved in all life processes, which are the essential bases for different types of sustainable development on the globe, particularly the critical basis for agricultural sustainable development. How to regulate the above relationship between plants and the corresponding environment (in particular soil environment) is the key problem to modern sustainable agriculture development under global climate change, which is one of the hot topics in the field of plant biology. Detailed dissection of this responding relationship is also important for conducting global eco-environmental restoration and construction. Although powerful methodology and dataset related to genomics, post-genomics, and metabolomics have provided some insights into this relationship, crop physiological measures are also critical for crop full performance in field. With the increase of tested plants (including model plants) and development of integrated molecular biology, a complete understanding of the relationship at different scales under biotic and abiotic stresses will be accelerated. In the current paper, we will cover some important aspects in combination with the recent work from our laboratory and related advances reflected by international academic journals, as follows: plant physiological function performance under natural condition, plant gene regulatory network system under abiotic stresses, gene regulatory network system and drought resistance improvement, summary of the related work from our laboratory, conclusions, and acknowledgement.

  11. Environment, Complexity and Professional Training in Agriculture. "Turning Local Learning into Global Knowledge."

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Prevost, P.

    1994-01-01

    Training farmers to care for the environment must address the complex relationship between farming and the environment. The example of maize weeding in France demonstrates the process of decision making on a farm and the need for teaching about complexity and adopting a pragmatic approach to training. (SK)

  12. 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…

  13. 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

  14. Plant-herbivorous beetle networks: molecular characterization of trophic ecology within a threatened steppic environment.

    PubMed

    Kajtoch, Ł; Kubisz, D; Heise, W; Mazur, M A; Babik, W

    2015-08-01

    DNA barcoding facilitates many evolutionary and ecological studies, including the examination of the dietary diversity of herbivores. In this study, we present a survey of ecological associations between herbivorous beetles and host plants from seriously threatened European steppic grasslands. We determined host plants for the majority (65%) of steppic leaf beetles (55 species) and weevils (59) known from central Europe using two barcodes (trnL and rbcL) and two sequencing strategies (Sanger for mono/oligophagous species and Illumina for polyphagous taxa). To better understand the ecological associations between steppic beetles and their host plants, we tested the hypothesis that leaf beetles and weevils differ in food selection as a result of their phylogenetic relations (within genera and between families) and interactions with host plants. We found 224 links between the beetles and the plants. Beetles belonging to seven genera feed on the same or related plants. Their preferences were probably inherited from common ancestors and/or resulted from the host plant's chemistry. Beetles from four genera feed on different plants, possibly reducing intrageneric competition and possibly due to an adaptation to different plant chemical defences. We found significant correlations between the numbers of leaf beetle and weevil species feeding on particular plants for polyphagous taxa, but not for nonpolyphagous beetles. Finally, we found that the previous identifications of host plants based on direct observations are generally concordant with host plant barcoding from insect gut. Our results expand basic knowledge about the trophic relations of steppic beetles and plants and are immediately useful for conservation purposes.

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Experience from use of GMOs in Argentinian agriculture, economy and environment.

    PubMed

    Burachik, Moisés

    2010-11-30

    Argentina is the second largest grower of genetically modified (GM) crops. This high level of adoption of this new agricultural technology is the result of a complex combination of circumstances. We can identify four main causes that led to this: political support (from agriculture officials), ability to solve prevalent farmers' needs, economic and environmental factors and an early implementation of effective regulations. The political willingness to study this new technology and crops as well as the recruitment of sound professionals and scientists to perform the task was crucial. These professionals, with very diverse backgrounds, created the necessary regulatory framework to work with these new crops. Farmers played a decisive role, as adopting this new technology solved some of their agronomic problems, helped them perform more sustainable agronomic practices and provided economic benefits. Nonetheless, all these advancements had not been possible without a rational, science-based and flexible regulatory framework that would make sure that the GM crops were safe for food, feed and processing.

  1. 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.

  2. Direct and indirect effects of light environment generate ecological trade-offs in herbivore performance and parasitism.

    PubMed

    Stoepler, Teresa M; Lill, John T

    2013-10-01

    A variety of ecological factors influence host use by parasitoids, including both abiotic and biotic factors. Light environment is one important abiotic parameter that differs among habitats and influences a suite of plant nutritional and resistance traits that in turn affect herbivore performance. However, the extent to which these bottom-up effects "cascade up" to affect higher trophic levels and the relative importance of direct and indirect effects of sunlight on tritrophic interactions are unclear. The objective of this study was to test how light environment (light gap vs. shaded forest understory) and leaf type (sun vs. shade leaves) affect the performance and incidence of parasitism of two species of moth larvae, Euclea delphinii and Acharia stimulea (Limacodidae). We manipulated the leaf phenotype of potted white oak saplings by growing them in either full sun or full shade throughout leaf expansion to produce sun and shade leaves, respectively. These saplings were then placed in light gap and adjacent shaded understory habitats in the forest in a full-factorial design, and stocked with sentinel larvae that were exposed to parasitism ("exposed" experiments). We reared additional larvae in sleeve cages (protected from parasitism) to isolate light environment and leaf phenotype treatment effects on larval performance in the absence of enemies ("bagged" experiments). In the exposed experiments, light environment strongly affected the likelihood of parasitism, while leaf phenotype did not. Euclea delphinii larvae were up to 6.6 times more likely to be parasitized in light gaps than in shaded understory habitats. This pattern was consistent for both tachinid fly and wasp parasitoids across two separate experiments. However, the larval performance of both species in the bagged experiments was maximized in the shade-habitat/sun-leaf treatment, a habitat/leaf-type combination that occurs infrequently in nature. Taken together, our results suggest that the direct

  3. Evaluation of wavelength groups for discrimination of agricultural cover types. [remote sensing of environment in INDIANA

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kumar, R.

    1978-01-01

    Multispectral scanner data in twelve spectral channels, in the wavelength range 0.46 to 11.7 mm, acquired in July 1971 for three flightlines, were analyzed by applying automatic pattern recognition techniques. These twelve spectral channels were divided into four wavelength groups (W1, W2, W3 and W4), each consisting of three wavelength channels -- with respect to their estimated probability of correct classification (P sub c) in discriminating agricultural cover types. The same analysis was also done for the data acquired in August, to investigate the effect of time on these results. The effect of deletion of each of the wavelength groups on P sub C in the subsets of one to nine channels, is given. Values of P sub C for all possible combinations of wavelength groups, in the subsets of one to eleven channels are also given.

  4. [Strategy of grain yield stability cooperated with harmonious water environment quality of small agricultural watershed].

    PubMed

    Zeng, Zhao-xia; Liu, Xiao-li; Wang, Ke-lin; Zeng, Fu-ping; Song, Tong-qing; Song, Xi-juan

    2010-08-01

    This paper investigated the spatial variability of the correlations between grain yields and fertilization quantity within the selected agricultural watershed, in the typical black soil region, and then optimized the fertilization quantity at different landscape farmlands within the watershed based on the regression equations. Study simulated the surface runoff water quality before and after fertilization spatial adjustment with the achieved parameters by Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model. The results showed that watershed scale fertilization adjustment is possible and necessary according to the spatial heterogeneity about fertilization and grain yields. Based on grain yield stability, spatial adjustment of fertilization reduced the whole watershed total N fertilization quantity by 1.88%, and the total non-point nutrients load reduction of NH4+ -N and NO3- -N was 9.7%, 5.6%, respectively.

  5. 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.

  6. Towards quantitative ecological risk assessment of elevated carbon dioxide levels in the marine environment.

    PubMed

    de Vries, Pepijn; Tamis, Jacqueline E; Foekema, Edwin M; Klok, Chris; Murk, Albertinka J

    2013-08-30

    The environmental impact of elevated carbon dioxide (CO2) levels has become of more interest in recent years. This, in relation to globally rising CO2 levels and related considerations of geological CO2 storage as a mitigating measure. In the present study effect data from literature were collected in order to conduct a marine ecological risk assessment of elevated CO2 levels, using a Species Sensitivity Distribution (SSD). It became evident that information currently available from the literature is mostly insufficient for such a quantitative approach. Most studies focus on effects of expected future CO2 levels, testing only one or two elevated concentrations. A full dose-response relationship, a uniform measure of exposure, and standardized test protocols are essential for conducting a proper quantitative risk assessment of elevated CO2 levels. Improvements are proposed to make future tests more valuable and usable for quantitative risk assessment.

  7. 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.

  8. White-faced monkey (Cebus capucinus) ecology and management in neotropical agricultural landscapes during the dry season.

    PubMed

    Williams, H E; Vaughan, C

    2001-01-01

    Habitat use by a C. capucinus troop was studied in an agricultural landscape during late dry season (March-April 1994) in northwest Costa Rica. Riparian forests, palm canals and living fence rows accounted for 82% of observations, significantly more than the other six habitats present. The study troop consumed 24 species of plants and five animals. Feeding concentrated on the introduced African oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) (33.6%) and mango (Mangifera indica) (27.2%), found mostly in palm canals and mango orchards respectively. The troop rested between 0930-1330 hr and fed and moved between 0530-0930 hr and 1330-1730 hr. Living fence rows were used as travel routes or corridors and less intensively for other activities.

  9. 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

  10. Evolution of ecological dominance of yeast species in high‐sugar environments

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Ecology-based selective environments as solution to contamination in microalgal cultivation.

    PubMed

    Mooij, Peter R; Stouten, Gerben R; van Loosdrecht, Mark C M; Kleerebezem, Robbert

    2015-06-01

    Large-scale production of energetic storage compounds by microalgae is hampered by competition and evolution. Both phenomena result in contamination and arise due to a mismatch between the desired productive microalgal strain and the constructed environment. The prevailing approach to solve this issue involves increasing the survival potential of the desired strain, for example by working in closed systems or at extreme conditions. We advocate adjusting the environment in such a way that lipid production, or any other desired characteristic, gives a competitive advantage. Competition and evolution become a value rather than a threat to processes in which the desired characteristic is ensured by a selective environment. Research and cultivation efforts will benefit from this approach as it harnesses the microalgal diversity in nature. PMID:25445547

  13. 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.

  14. 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

    2014-02-28

    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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Impacts of rainfall events on runoff water quality in an agricultural environment in temperate areas.

    PubMed

    Delpla, Ianis; Baurès, Estelle; Jung, Aude-Valérie; Thomas, Olivier

    2011-04-01

    Since a rise in dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations has been observed for surface waters at least over the last two decades, a change in weather conditions (temperature and precipitations) has been proposed to partly explain this increase. While the majority of DOC delivery from soils to stream occurs during rainfall events, a better understanding of the rainfall influence on DOC release is needed. This study has been conducted in Brittany, western France, on agricultural experimental plots receiving either cattle manure (CM) or pig slurry (PS) as fertilizers in accordance with local practices. Each plot was instrumented with a flow meter and an auto sampler for runoff measurements. The results show that export of DOC during high intensity events is higher than during lower intensity rainfalls. Fertilization has a noticeable impact on total organic carbon (TOC) fluxes with an increase of five to seven folds for PS and CM respectively. If TOC shock load occurs shortly after the rainfall peak, DOC maximum appears with the first flush of the event. Organic carbon (OC) is mainly under colloidal (41.2%) and soluble (23.9%) forms during the first stage of a rainfall event and a control of rainfall intensity on OC colloidal transport is suggested. These findings highlight the potential risk of receiving water quality degradation due to the increase of heavier rainfall events with climate change in temperate areas.

  18. 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

  19. 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, ...

  20. 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…

  1. 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.

  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. Ecological Affordance and Anxiety in an Oral Asynchronous Computer-Mediated Environment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McNeil, Levi

    2014-01-01

    Previous research suggests that the affordances (van Lier, 2000) of asynchronous computer-mediated communication (ACMC) environments help reduce foreign language anxiety (FLA). However, FLA is rarely the focus of these studies and research has not adequately addressed the relationship between FLA and the affordances that students use. This study…

  4. Potential ecological risks of thermal-treated waste recombination DNA discharged into an aquatic environment.

    PubMed

    Fu, Xiao H; Wang, Lei; Li, Meng N; Zeng, Xiao F; Le, Yi Q

    2011-01-01

    It has been shown that thermal-treatment at 100 ° C can denature deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), yet this does not cause it to break down completely. To clarify the risk of gene pollution from thermal-treated recombinant DNA, the renaturation characteristics of thermal-denatured plasmid pET-28b and its persistence in aquatic environments were investigated. The results revealed that the double-stranded structure and transforming activity of the thermal-treated plasmid DNA could be recovered even if the thermal-treatment was conducted at 120 ° C. The presence of sodium chloride (NaCl) and ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA) led to the increase of renaturation efficiency of the denatured DNA. When thermal-treated plasmid DNA was discharged into simulated aquatic environments with pH values from 5 to 9, it showed a longer persistence at pH 7 and 8 than that at 5, 6 and 9; however, the denatured plasmid DNA could persist for more than 33 min at any pH. Moreover, a higher ionic strength further protected the thermal-denatured plasmids from degradation in the simulated aquatic environment. These results indicated that when the thermal-treated DNA was discharged into an aquatic environment, it might not break down completely in a short period. Therefore, there is the potential for the discarded DNA to renature and transform, which might result in gene pollution.

  5. 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)

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  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.

  13. National Parks in Savannah Africa: Ecological requirements of parks must be balanced against socioeconomic constraints in their environs.

    PubMed

    Myers, N

    1972-12-22

    A national park is as integral to its regional environment as it is to the nation. Whether one wants to manage it that way or not, a park is dependent on the resources-human and physiobiological-of the environs, just as the environs are modified by the park's existence. This view may not jibe with the spirit of those who strive to protect a patch of old-time Africa as a refuge of serenity and stability in a world of tumult and change. But the park has its own ecology, just as does any creature within it, although the park's, being more abstract, is more difficult to discern. Planned or not, a park's future is even more enmeshed with the region's future than with the nation's. The ramifications of this relationship, especially the socioeconomic ones, are not always recognized, with the result that the enmeshing process sometimes sounds like a crunching of the gears. The worlds on both sides of the park boundary would get along better if there were a clear indication of what each can do for the other. By contrast, if they spend their energy resisting one another, there is little doubt as to which must be the ultimate "winner."

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Assessing the Ecological Response of Dung Beetles in an Agricultural Landscape Using Number of Individuals and Biomass in Diversity Measures.

    PubMed

    Cultid-Medina, C A; Escobar, F

    2016-04-01

    The global increase in demand for productive land requires us to increase our knowledge of the value of agricultural landscapes for the management and conservation of biodiversity, particularly in tropical regions. Thus, comparative studies of how different community attributes respond to changes in land use under different levels of deforestation intensity would be useful. We analyzed patterns of dung beetle diversity in an Andean region dominated by sun-grown coffee. Diversity was estimated using two measures of species abundance (the number of individuals and biomass) and was compared among four types of vegetation cover (forest, riparian forest, sun-grown coffee, and pastures) in three landscape plots with different degrees of deforestation intensity (low, intermediate, and high). We found that dung beetle diversity patterns differed between types of vegetation cover and degree of deforestation, depending on whether the number of individuals or biomass was used. Based on biomass, inequality in the dung beetle community was lowest in the forest, and increased in the sun-grown coffee and pastures across all levels of deforestation, particularly for the increasing dominance of large species. The number of beetles and biomass indicate that the spatial dominance of sun-grown coffee does not necessarily imply the drastic impoverishment of dung beetle diversity. In fact, for these beetles, it would seem that the landscape studied has not yet crossed "a point of no return." This system offers a starting point for exploring biodiversity management and conservation options in the sun-grown coffee landscapes of the Colombian Andes. PMID:26803806

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  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. 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

  4. Ecological interactions among phlebotomines (Diptera: Psychodidae) in an agroforestry environment of northeast Brazil.

    PubMed

    Pinheiro, Marcos Paulo Gomes; Silva, José Hilário Tavares; Cavalcanti, Katrine Bezerra; de Azevedo, Paulo Roberto Medeiros; de Melo Ximenes, Maria de Fátima Freire

    2013-12-01

    Phlebotomine vectors transmit parasites and can cause visceral leishmaniasis (VL) or cutaneous leishmaniasis (TL). Phlebotomine females are hematophagous but need to ingest carbohydrates, possibly promoting the development of protozoan parasites in their digestive tract. The present study evaluated the species composition and abundance across several habitats in a metropolitan landscape, as well as associations among phlebotomines, plants, and local climatic parameters. Three consecutive monthly collections were carried out in an Atlantic Forest fragment, using CDC light traps in peridomestic areas and cashew, coconut, and mango tree. plantations. Eight species of phlebotomine were captured: Evandromyia evandroi, Lutzomyia longipalpis, Psathyromyia shannoni, Sciopemyia sordellii, Evandromyia walkeri, Psychodopygus wellcomei, Nyssomyia whitmani, and Nyssomyia intermedia, primarily from the forest environment. L. longipalpis was confirmed as a species adapted to anthropic environments, while P. wellcomei was shown to be predominately forest-dwelling. Phlebotomines exhibited diversified food consumption patterns in relation to carbohydrate sources. They fed on both native and exotic species of arboreal and shrubby vegetables and gramineous plants.

  5. Microbial ecology of corals, sponges, and algae in mesophotic coral environments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Olson, Julie B.; Kellogg, Christina A.

    2010-01-01

    Mesophotic coral ecosystems that occur at depths from 30 to 200 m have historically been understudied and yet appear to support a diverse biological community. The microbiology of these systems is particularly poorly understood, especially with regard to the communities associated with corals, sponges, and algae. This lack of information is partly due to the problems associated with gaining access to these environments and poor reproducibility across sampling methods. To summarize what is known about the microbiology of these ecosystems and to highlight areas where research is urgently needed, an overview of the current state of knowledge is presented. Emphasis is placed on the characterization of microbial populations, both prokaryotic and eukaryotic, associated with corals, sponges, and algae and the factors that influence microbial community structure. In topic areas where virtually nothing is known from mesophotic environments, the knowledge pertaining to shallow-water ecosystems is summarized to provide a starting point for a discussion on what might be expected in the mesophotic zone.

  6. 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.

  7. Ecological interactions among phlebotomines (Diptera: Psychodidae) in an agroforestry environment of northeast Brazil.

    PubMed

    Pinheiro, Marcos Paulo Gomes; Silva, José Hilário Tavares; Cavalcanti, Katrine Bezerra; de Azevedo, Paulo Roberto Medeiros; de Melo Ximenes, Maria de Fátima Freire

    2013-12-01

    Phlebotomine vectors transmit parasites and can cause visceral leishmaniasis (VL) or cutaneous leishmaniasis (TL). Phlebotomine females are hematophagous but need to ingest carbohydrates, possibly promoting the development of protozoan parasites in their digestive tract. The present study evaluated the species composition and abundance across several habitats in a metropolitan landscape, as well as associations among phlebotomines, plants, and local climatic parameters. Three consecutive monthly collections were carried out in an Atlantic Forest fragment, using CDC light traps in peridomestic areas and cashew, coconut, and mango tree. plantations. Eight species of phlebotomine were captured: Evandromyia evandroi, Lutzomyia longipalpis, Psathyromyia shannoni, Sciopemyia sordellii, Evandromyia walkeri, Psychodopygus wellcomei, Nyssomyia whitmani, and Nyssomyia intermedia, primarily from the forest environment. L. longipalpis was confirmed as a species adapted to anthropic environments, while P. wellcomei was shown to be predominately forest-dwelling. Phlebotomines exhibited diversified food consumption patterns in relation to carbohydrate sources. They fed on both native and exotic species of arboreal and shrubby vegetables and gramineous plants. PMID:24581360

  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

    2016-01-13

    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.

  9. 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

  10. 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…

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  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

    2015-03-10

    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.

  14. 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.

  15. Daphnia hybridization along ecological gradients in pelagic environments: the potential for the presence of hybrid zones in plankton.

    PubMed

    Petrusek, Adam; Seda, Jaromir; Machácek, Jiri; Ruthova, Stepánka; Smilauer, Petr

    2008-09-12

    The relative homogeneity of pelagic environments has been regarded as the reason for the absence of hybrid zones for hybridizing planktonic Daphnia (Crustacea: Cladocera); occasional dominance of interspecific hybrids over parental species was explained by their temporal superiority in fluctuating environments. However, water bodies with spatially varying environmental conditions might facilitate the formation of hybrid zones in plankton. We studied the distribution of species and hybrids of the Daphnia longispina complex in 11 canyon-shaped reservoirs, localities characterized by horizontal environmental gradients (particularly of food supply and size-selective predation); we also analysed patterns of carapace size and fecundity among coexisting taxa. Spatial distribution of taxa agreed with their ecological characteristics; those showing different affinities along longitudinal reservoir profiles differed in size according to the presumed fish predation gradient. Only hybrids of Daphnia galeata with Daphnia cucullata and D. longispina (=hyalina) were recorded. The latter two species preferred opposite ends of gradients, such spatial segregation probably explaining the absence of their hybrids. Distributional patterns were relatively stable in two consecutive summers, apart from a substantial decline of D. galeata X cucullata in the second year. The observed pattern of a hybrid-dominated zone in intermediate conditions suggests that local Daphnia hybrid zones may indeed form within reservoirs.

  16. [The applicability of the ecology of knowledge in health and environment and its permeability in the scientific literature].

    PubMed

    Giatti, Leandro Luiz; Landin, Rubens; de Toledo, Renata Ferraz

    2014-10-01

    A new epistemology makes it imperative for different knowledge to be incorporated in order to understand and interact with the complex problems that affect humanity, especially those associated with health and the environment. The study aims to explore the applicability of the ecology of knowledge in the midst of traditional scientific literature, focusing on participatory approaches to questions of health and the environment. The methodology involved a bibliographic review of an international scientific database, with the inclusion of 170 papers that were classified by their participatory approaches as: timely; multi-tool; and ongoing/cyclic. Although timely and multi-tool approaches may be effective in terms of aggregating popular knowledge, which is systematically marginalized by traditional science, it is in the ongoing/cyclic approaches that a higher level of potential dialogue is achieved, since it is possible to identify aspects inherent to more symmetric participation processes, with the prospect of empowerment of the social actors and legitimate incorporation of subjectivity and diversity. This corresponds to the premise that promoting global cognitive justice is indispensable for achieving global social justice. PMID:25272118

  17. Integrated modeling environment for statewide assessment of groundwater vulnerability from pesticide use in agriculture.

    PubMed

    Eason, Audra; Tim, U Sunday; Wang, Xixi

    2004-08-01

    Atrazine, a herbicide widely used for corn production in the Midwest, has been detected in groundwater of several states, and has been identified as a possible human carcinogen. With the widespread use of pesticides in crop production, and the frequent detection of these chemicals in groundwater, large-scale risk assessments would help water resource managers to identify areas that are more susceptible to contamination and implement practices to ameliorate the problem. This paper presents an integrated, visual and interactive system for predicting potential environmental risks associated with pesticide contamination at spatial scales ranging from fields to landscapes and regions. The interactive system extends the predictive ability of the Pesticide Root Zone Model Release 2.0 (PRZM-2) to a landscape and statewide scale through integration with a geographic information system (GIS), graphical user interface and environmental databases. Predictions of statewide (Iowa) vulnerability of groundwater from atrazine leaching below the unsaturated zone were made to demonstrate the utility of the system, and the results were used in risk assessment. In the example application, atrazine fate and transport were evaluated using long-term climatic data (1980--1989) in combination with several environmental databases (eg STATSGO soils database) and exposure risks were expressed in terms of the probability of the predicted pesticide concentrations exceeding the maximum contaminant level (MCL) for drinking water. The results indicate that the predicted pesticide concentrations were significantly lower than the EPA-established MCL. In addition to providing an interactive environment for landscape-level assessment of potential risks from pesticide leaching, the system significantly reduces the time and resources needed to organize and manipulate data for use with PRZM-2, and provides an analytical framework for evaluating groundwater-leaching impacts of pesticide management

  18. 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.

  19. Polychlorinated biphenyls in agricultural soils from the Yangtze River Delta of China: Regional contamination characteristics, combined ecological effects and human health risks.

    PubMed

    Sun, Jianteng; Pan, Lili; Tsang, Daniel C W; Zhan, Yu; Liu, Wenxin; Wang, Xilong; Zhu, Lizhong; Li, Xiangdong

    2016-11-01

    The current contamination status of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) was studied in the agricultural soils of the Yangtze River Delta (YRD), one of the largest economic zones in China. The concentrations of PCBs ranged from <0.1 to 130 ng/g dry weight. Higher concentrations of PCBs were observed in the 0-30 cm surface layers relative to the subsurface soils. A distinct spatial distribution was observed with a declining concentration gradient from the northwest to the southeast of the region. The composition of PCBs in the soils was consistent with the Chinese commercial PCB mixtures, but different from the compositions in global background soil. Local sources including large-scale use and disposal of PCB-containing products were the main potential sources to soil. The ecological effects and human health risks associated with combined persistent organic pollutants, including PCBs, organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), phthalate esters (PAEs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), were further estimated. The four toxic organic compounds and seven physicochemical parameters together could only explain 12.7% of the variation in microbial community composition, suggesting the soil ecosystem function was not strongly influenced by the combined pollution at low concentrations. However, the potential health risks to residents via multiple pathways were notably higher for PCBs than other chemicals. The potential risks were mainly derived from PCB-126, 81, and 169. PMID:27565309

  20. Polychlorinated biphenyls in agricultural soils from the Yangtze River Delta of China: Regional contamination characteristics, combined ecological effects and human health risks.

    PubMed

    Sun, Jianteng; Pan, Lili; Tsang, Daniel C W; Zhan, Yu; Liu, Wenxin; Wang, Xilong; Zhu, Lizhong; Li, Xiangdong

    2016-11-01

    The current contamination status of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) was studied in the agricultural soils of the Yangtze River Delta (YRD), one of the largest economic zones in China. The concentrations of PCBs ranged from <0.1 to 130 ng/g dry weight. Higher concentrations of PCBs were observed in the 0-30 cm surface layers relative to the subsurface soils. A distinct spatial distribution was observed with a declining concentration gradient from the northwest to the southeast of the region. The composition of PCBs in the soils was consistent with the Chinese commercial PCB mixtures, but different from the compositions in global background soil. Local sources including large-scale use and disposal of PCB-containing products were the main potential sources to soil. The ecological effects and human health risks associated with combined persistent organic pollutants, including PCBs, organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), phthalate esters (PAEs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), were further estimated. The four toxic organic compounds and seven physicochemical parameters together could only explain 12.7% of the variation in microbial community composition, suggesting the soil ecosystem function was not strongly influenced by the combined pollution at low concentrations. However, the potential health risks to residents via multiple pathways were notably higher for PCBs than other chemicals. The potential risks were mainly derived from PCB-126, 81, and 169.

  1. Microbial Community Composition and Ecology of an Acidic Aquatic Environment: The Tinto River, Spain.

    PubMed

    López-Archilla, A.I.; Marin, I.; Amils, R.

    2001-01-01

    We studied the correlation between physicochemical and biological characteristics of an acidic river, the Tinto River, in Southwestern Spain. The Tinto River is an extreme environment characterized by its low pH (mean of 2.2) and high concentrations of heavy metals (Fe 2.3 g/L, Zn 0.22 g/L, Cu 0.11 g/L). These extreme conditions are the product of the metabolic activity of chemolithotrophic microorganisms, including iron- and sulfur-oxidizing bacteria, that can be found in high concentrations in its waters. The food chain in the river is very constrained and exclusively microbial. Primary productivity in the Tinto River is the sum of photosynthetic and chemolithotrophic activity. Heterotrophic bacteria and fungi are the major decomposers and protists are the major predators. A correlation analysis including the physicochemical and biological variables suggested a close relationship between the acidic pH values and abundance of both chemolithotrophic bacteria and filamentous fungi. Chemolithotrophic bacteria correlated with the heavy metals found in the river. A principal component analysis of the biotic and abiotic variables suggested that the Tinto River ecosystem can be described as a function of three main groups of variables: pH values, metal concentrations, and biological productivity.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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 ...

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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…

  8. [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.

  9. 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 ...

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Modeling the fate of Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella enterica in the agricultural environment: current perspective.

    PubMed

    Ongeng, Duncan; Haberbeck, Leticia U; Mauriello, Gianluigi; Ryckeboer, Jaak; Springael, Dirk; Geeraerd, Annemie H

    2014-04-01

    The significance of fresh vegetable consumption on human nutrition and health is well recognized. Human infections with Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella enterica linked to fresh vegetable consumption have become a serious public health problem inflicting a heavy economic burden. The use of contaminated livestock wastes such as manure and manure slurry in crop production is believed to be one of the principal routes of fresh vegetable contamination with E. coli O157:H7 and S. enterica at preharvest stage because both ruminant and nonruminant livestock are known carriers of E. coli O157:H7 and S. enterica in the environment. A number of challenge-testing studies have examined the fate of E. coli O157:H7 and S. enterica in the agricultural environment with the view of designing strategies for controlling vegetable contamination preharvest. In this review, we examined the mathematical modeling approaches that have been used to study the behavior of E. coli O157:H7 and S. enterica in the manure, manure-amended soil, and in manure-amended soil-plant ecosystem during cultivation of fresh vegetable crops. We focused on how the models have been applied to fit survivor curves, predict survival, and assess the risk of vegetable contamination preharvest. The inadequacies of the current modeling approaches are discussed and suggestions for improvements to enhance the applicability of the models as decision tools to control E. coli O157:H7 and S. enterica contamination of fresh vegetables during primary production are presented.

  14. 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.

  15. 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…

  16. 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%.

  17. SOLERAS - Solar Controlled Environment Agriculture Project. Final report, Volume 3. Battelle Columbus Laboratories pilot plant preliminary design and Phase 2 definition study

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1985-01-01

    A preliminary design for an engineering field test project of a solar controlled environment agriculture system with 0.37 hectare of growing area is presented. Specifications and requirements of system components are outlined as are the instrumentation and control systems. System support facilities are briefly discussed. The program management plan and an economic analysis are included. (BCS)

  18. 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.

  19. Ecological Momentary Assessment of Affect, Stress, and Binge-Purge Behaviors: Day of Week and Time of Day Effects in the Natural Environment

    PubMed Central

    Smyth, Joshua M.; Wonderlich, Stephen A.; Sliwinski, Martin J.; Crosby, Ross D.; Engel, Scott G.; Mitchell, James E.; Calogero, Rachel M.

    2010-01-01

    Objective The present study examined ecological momentary assessments of binge/vomit behavior, mood, and type and severity of stressors in a sample of 133 women with bulimia nervosa. Method Participants completed an ecological momentary assessment protocol for a period of 2 weeks. Results Mixed-effects and multilevel logistic models revealed significant variation across time of day and day of the week in the occurrence of binging, vomiting, positive and negative affect, and the severity and types of stressful events. Discussion These findings explicate how momentary and daily experiences vary in the natural environments of women with bulimia nervosa, and document critical time periods for intervention. PMID:19115371

  20. Ecology, Environment, and Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tanner, R. Thomas

    Reviewed are the philosophy and status of environmental education and some examples of environmental education programs and materials. The introduction poses problems facing mankind and discusses the role of the environmental educator in their solution. Two chapters are devoted to discussion of issues in environmental education. Among the issues…

  1. 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.

  2. The Scientific and Technical Service Function of Agricultural Digital Library in Countryside Informatization Development and Construction Under Network Environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, Xichuan

    By analyzing internet popularization in rural China and open questions in rural information service, together with service function of agricultural digital library in rural informatization construction, this article makes a study of how to give full play to agricultural digital library's various advantages, in order to make even greater contributions to our country's rural informatization construction.

  3. 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

  4. Comprehensive monitoring of synthetic musk compounds from freshwater to coastal environments in Korea: with consideration of ecological concerns and bioaccumulation.

    PubMed

    Lee, In-Seok; Kim, Un-Jung; Oh, Jeong-Eun; Choi, Minkyu; Hwang, Dong-Woon

    2014-02-01

    This study investigated the concentration levels of synthetic musk compounds (SMCs), including HHCB (1,3,4,6,7,8-hexahydro-4,6,6,7,8,8-hexamethylcyclopenta-(g)-2-benzopyran), AHTN (7-acetyl-1,1,3,4,4,6-hexamethyl-1,2,3,4-tetrahydronaphthalene), MK (Musk ketone), and MX (Musk xylene), in freshwater, freshwater and coastal sediments, and coastal bivalves from freshwater to coastal environments. The levels in freshwater close to sewage treatment plants (STPs) showed higher contamination and suggested a medium to high ecological risk, especially posed by MK making more than 65% contribution to the combined risk by the total SMCs. STP effluent discharge points showed higher SMC concentrations in freshwater and coastal sediments. Predominant HHCB contributions regardless of sample types such as abiota and biota were consistent with the greater usage of HHCB than AHTN and MK in Korea. However, the higher contributions of AHTN than those predicted from AHTN consumption in Korea indicate the need for further research on the characteristic properties of individual SMCs, including partitioning, biomagnification, degradation, and metabolism for a realistic risk characterization. With respect to the highest HHCB levels in coastal bivalves reported, we determined the biota-sediment accumulation factor (BSAF) to understand the bioaccumulation of SMCs between coastal sediment and bivalves. The calculated BSAF values suggested that SMCs in bivalves were not biomagnified via the food chain but mostly partitioned from sediment. To our knowledge, this is the first study to measure BSAF values of SMCs, especially HHCB, AHTN, and MK, in coastal bivalve samples.

  5. Connecting Urban Youth with their Environment: The Impact of an Urban Ecology Course on Student Content Knowledge, Environmental Attitudes and Responsible Behaviors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hashimoto-Martell, Erin A.; McNeill, Katherine L.; Hoffman, Emily M.

    2012-10-01

    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 environment. We interviewed 12 students to better understand their beliefs. Although student responses showed they had learned discrete content knowledge, they lacked any ecological understanding of the environment and had mixed perceptions of the course's relevance in their lives. Students reported doing pro-environmental behaviors, but overwhelmingly contributed such actions to influences other than the urban ecology course. Analyses indicated a disconnect between the course, the environment, and the impact on the students' lives. Consequently, this suggests the importance of recognizing the implications of context, culture, and identity development of urban youth. Perhaps by providing explicit connections and skills in urban environmental programs through engaging students in environmental scientific investigations that stem from their own issues and questions can increase student engagement, motivation, and self-efficacy of environmental issues.

  6. Ecology of mesophilic Aeromonas spp. in aquatic environments of a temperate region and relationship with some biotic and abiotic environmental parameters.

    PubMed

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

    1990-10-01

    The Ecology of mesophilic Aeromonas species has been investigated since January 1988 to examine their occurrence and distribution in aquatic environments of Okayama Prefecture. Water and plankton samples were quantitatively as well as qualitatively analyzed throughout the seasons from five selected stations including fresh, brackish, and saline environments. Analysis of variance and correlation coefficients among the biotic and abiotic parameters were sought. The organisms were found in all the environs with high densities through all the seasons. Plankton samples yielded higher counts of Aeromonas than the water samples in all the environs. Water temperature seemed to play a significant role on their growth during the winter months, however, no significant seasonal variation nor any correlation with fecal pollution were observed in most of the environments. A reciprocal relationship was seen with salt concentration in the saline environment. Among the currently recognized mesophilic species; A. caviae, A. hydrophila, A. sobria, and A. media were isolated with the predominance of anaerobic biovar. The present study reveals that Aeromonas are widely distributed in fresh, brackish and saline environments of this region. The study also reveals that Aeromonas are autochthonous members in aquatic ecosystems and are indigenous to these environs. Aeromonas species isolated from our environments were found to exhibit drug resistance potential which differed from that of isolates from diverse geographical locales. The high incidence of clinically significant Aeromonas species in this aquatic region could be of public health significance for the inhabitants of this region, as well as a challenge to their dependence on aquatic resources.

  7. [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.

  8. 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.…

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. [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.

  12. 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...

  13. 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…

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.)

  3. 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.

  4. 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.…

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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.

  8. Relictual physiological ecology in the threatened land snail Codringtonia helenae: A cause for decline in a changing environment?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giokas, Sinos; Karkoulis, Panayiotis; Pafilis, Panayiotis; Valakos, Efstratios

    2007-11-01

    Land snails often exhibit intra-annual cycles of activity interspersed by periods of dormancy (hibernation/aestivation), accompanied by a range of behavioural and physiological adaptations to ensure their survival under adverse environmental conditions. These adaptations are useful to understand species-specific habitat requirements and to predict their response to environmental changes. We examined the seasonal physiological and biochemical composition patterns of the threatened land snail Codringtonia helenae, endemic to Greece, in relation to its behavioural ecology and climatic conditions. Fuel reserves (glycogen, lipids, proteins) and water were accumulated prior to aestivation, but subsequently were rapidly depleted. LDH exhibited substantial rise during aestivation, suggesting that anaerobic pathways may provide additional energy. The major outcome of our study was the unambiguous discrimination of the four life-cycle periods. Most remarkable was the clear distinction of the aestivation period, with hibernation, the other dormancy period, showing similarity with the two active periods but not with aestivation. We observed disassociation between behavioural and physiological responses and climatic conditions. The physiological responses of C. helenae were effective during hibernation, but only partly compensate the effect of adverse conditions during aestivation, since its aestivating behaviour is occasional and time limited. Perhaps, the behavioural ecology of Codringtonia is relictual and shaped during past environmental conditions. This constitutes an important extinction threat considering the current climatic trends and the deterioration of the habitat of that species due to human activities.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Ecological engineering: An introduction to ecotechnology

    SciTech Connect

    Mitsch, W.J.; Joergensen, S.E.

    1989-01-01

    The authors define ecological engineering and ecotechnology as the design of human society with its natural environment for the benefit of both. It is engineering in the sense that it involves the design of this natural environment using quantitative approaches and basing their approaches on basic science. It is a technology with the primary tool being self-designing ecosystems. The components are all of the biological species of the world. H.T. Odum in his book Environment, Power, and Society (1971, John Wiley and Sons, New York) is acknowledged as the developer of this concept. Part 1 of Ecological Engineering consists of seven chapters in which basic concepts are discussed. Four of these chapters deal with examples, principles and underlying theory. The other three chapters discuss ecological modeling, ecological economics and sustainable agriculture. Part 2 of this book presents a series of twelve case studies which are intended to illustrate applications of the principles. Of five case reported four are ongoing and the fifth was a study of the use of estuarine ponds for wastewater treatment. Three other cases, reported by Chinese scientists deal with wastewater treatment, the use of Spartina plantations for land reclamation, and aquaculture. The remaining case studies are either theoretical discussions or reviews.

  14. 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

  15. 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)…

  16. Ecology of Listeria monocytogenes in the environment of raw poultry meat and raw pork meat processing plants.

    PubMed

    Chasseignaux, Elise; Gérault, Pascale; Toquin, Marie-Thérèse; Salvat, Gilles; Colin, Pierre; Ermel, Gwennola

    2002-05-01

    The zoonotic Listeria monocytogenes is mainly transmitted to humans by the food-borne route. This bacterium was often found in the environment of food processing plants. Therefore the aims of this study were (i) the identification of environmental factors associated with L. monocytogenes contamination on working and non-working surfaces in poultry or pork processing plants and (ii) the understanding of its survival in such environments. The physicochemical risk profiles showed that a surface in resin or plastic, rather than uneven, with organic residues, with a neutral pH, a low temperature and a high hygrometry was associated with L. monocytogenes contamination.

  17. 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

  18. [Mercury technogenic pollution of the environment--a priority ecological hygiene problem (a review of the literature)].

    PubMed

    Trakhtenberg, I M; Korshun, M N

    1993-04-01

    The authors analyze distribution of mercury in the contaminated zone depending on the chemical formula of mercury and routes of entry, enumerate the norm rating and indices to be used in ecologo-hygienic evaluation of the hazards degrees of the actual level of mercury in the water, atmospheric air and soil, describe numerous sources of technical solutions of reducing mercury entry to environment from technogenous sources. Modern achievements of science and technology make it possible to exclude entry of mercury and its compounds into the environment.

  19. 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...

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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…

  3. Feeding ecology of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) inhabiting a forest-mangrove-savanna-agricultural matrix at Caiquene-Cadique, Cantanhez National Park, Guinea-Bissau.

    PubMed

    Bessa, Joana; Sousa, Cláudia; Hockings, Kimberley J

    2015-06-01

    With rising conversion of "natural" habitat to other land use such as agriculture, nonhuman primates are increasingly exploiting areas influenced by people and their activities. Despite the conservation importance of understanding the ways in which primates modify their behavior to human pressures, data are lacking, even for well-studied species. Using systematically collected data (fecal samples, feeding traces, and direct observations), we examined the diet and feeding strategies of an unhabituated chimpanzee community (Pan troglodytes verus) at Caiquene-Cadique in Guinea-Bissau that inhabit a forest-savanna-mangrove-agricultural mosaic. The chimpanzees experienced marked seasonal variations in the availability of plant foods, but maintained a high proportion of ripe fruit in the diet across months. Certain wild species were identified as important to this community including oil-palm (Elaeis guineensis) fruit and flower. Honey was frequently consumed but no other insects or vertebrates were confirmed to be eaten by this community. However, we provide indirect evidence of possible smashing and consumption of giant African snails (Achatina sp.) by chimpanzees at this site. Caiquene-Cadique chimpanzees were confirmed to feed on nine different agricultural crops, which represented 13.6% of all plant species consumed. Consumption of fruit and nonfruit crops was regular, but did not increase during periods of wild fruit scarcity. Crop consumption is an increasing and potentially problematic behavior, which can impact local people's tolerance toward wildlife. To maximize the potential success of any human-wildlife coexistence strategy (e.g., to reduce primate crop feeding), knowledge of primate behavior, as well as multifaceted social dimensions of interactions, is critical. PMID:25800459

  4. Feeding ecology of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) inhabiting a forest-mangrove-savanna-agricultural matrix at Caiquene-Cadique, Cantanhez National Park, Guinea-Bissau.

    PubMed

    Bessa, Joana; Sousa, Cláudia; Hockings, Kimberley J

    2015-06-01

    With rising conversion of "natural" habitat to other land use such as agriculture, nonhuman primates are increasingly exploiting areas influenced by people and their activities. Despite the conservation importance of understanding the ways in which primates modify their behavior to human pressures, data are lacking, even for well-studied species. Using systematically collected data (fecal samples, feeding traces, and direct observations), we examined the diet and feeding strategies of an unhabituated chimpanzee community (Pan troglodytes verus) at Caiquene-Cadique in Guinea-Bissau that inhabit a forest-savanna-mangrove-agricultural mosaic. The chimpanzees experienced marked seasonal variations in the availability of plant foods, but maintained a high proportion of ripe fruit in the diet across months. Certain wild species were identified as important to this community including oil-palm (Elaeis guineensis) fruit and flower. Honey was frequently consumed but no other insects or vertebrates were confirmed to be eaten by this community. However, we provide indirect evidence of possible smashing and consumption of giant African snails (Achatina sp.) by chimpanzees at this site. Caiquene-Cadique chimpanzees were confirmed to feed on nine different agricultural crops, which represented 13.6% of all plant species consumed. Consumption of fruit and nonfruit crops was regular, but did not increase during periods of wild fruit scarcity. Crop consumption is an increasing and potentially problematic behavior, which can impact local people's tolerance toward wildlife. To maximize the potential success of any human-wildlife coexistence strategy (e.g., to reduce primate crop feeding), knowledge of primate behavior, as well as multifaceted social dimensions of interactions, is critical.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Seeing the Wood for the Trees: Applying the dual-memory system model to investigate expert teachers' observational skills in natural ecological learning environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stolpe, Karin; Björklund, 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 separate memory systems: the implicit, non-conscious, non-declarative system and the explicit, conscious, declarative system. This model provided the starting point for the research design. However, it was revised from the empirical findings supported by new theoretical insights. The teachers were video and audio recorded during their excursion and interviewed in a stimulated recall setting afterwards. The data were qualitatively analysed using the dual-memory system model. The results show that the teachers used holistic pattern recognition in their own identification of natural objects. However, teachers' main strategy to teach this ability is to give the students explicit rules or specific characteristics. According to the dual-memory system model the holistic pattern recognition is processed in the implicit memory system as a non-conscious match with earlier experienced situations. We suggest that this implicit pattern matching serves as an explanation for teachers' ecological and teaching observational skills. Another function of the implicit memory system is its ability to control automatic behaviour and non-conscious decision-making. The teachers offer the students firsthand sensory experiences which provide a prerequisite for the formation of implicit memories that provides a foundation for expertise.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Sustainable agriculture: possible trajectories from mutualistic symbiosis and plant neodomestication.

    PubMed

    Duhamel, Marie; Vandenkoornhuyse, Philippe

    2013-11-01

    Food demand will increase concomitantly with human population. Food production therefore needs to be high enough and, at the same time, minimize damage to the environment. This equation cannot be solved with current strategies. Based on recent findings, new trajectories for agriculture and plant breeding which take into account the belowground compartment and evolution of mutualistic strategy, are proposed in this opinion article. In this context, we argue that plant breeders have the opportunity to make use of native arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) symbiosis in an innovative ecologically intensive agriculture.

  11. A new HLA-based distributed control architecture for agricultural teams of robots in hybrid applications with real and simulated devices or environments.

    PubMed

    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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Impacts of ground water over exploitation on agricultural development and environment using RS & GIS case study (Garabolli area North west of Libya )

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shbeli, E.

    Impacts of Grownd water-over exploitation on agricultural development and Environment in nort-west Libya (Garabolli area) using R.S AND GIS. This study was carried out in Garabolli area nort-west of Libya which is east of Tripoli about 60km. This study reviews the development of grownd water abstraction in the area and displays its impacts on the aquifer water levels and salinity . Satellite data were used to produce land use land cover and soil maps scale 1:50000. Each soil mapping units investigated in the field and the soils were characterized and classified. The comparison between 2 different dates spot multispectral images were applied in this paper. GIS techniques were used to produce different maps and some statistics tables shows in the report.

  15. 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…

  16. 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...

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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…

  3. 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

  4. 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

    2015-01-31

    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.

  5. 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

  6. 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…

  7. 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

  8. 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)

  9. WEIGHING THE EVIDENCE OF ECOLOGICAL RISK OF CHEMICAL CONTAMINATION IN THE ESTUARINE ENVIRONMENT ADJACENT TO THE PORTSMOUTH NAVAL SHIPYARD, KITTERY, MAINE, USA

    EPA Science Inventory

    In characterizing ecological risks, considerable consensus building and professional judgments are required to develop conclusions about risk. This is because how to evaluate all the factors that determine ecological risk is not well defined and is subject to interpretation. Here...

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Occurrence of organic chlorinated pesticides and their ecological effects on soil protozoa in the agricultural soils of North Western Beijing, China.

    PubMed

    Shi, Yajuan; Lu, Yonglong; Meng, Fanqiao; Guo, Feifan; Zheng, Xiaoqi

    2013-06-01

    The occurrence of ∑HCHs, ∑DDTs, protozoa abundance and their community structure in surface soils of orchards, vegetable lands, and barren lands in northern west outskirts of Beijing were detected in order to investigate the protozoa responses to low dose organic chlorinated Pesticides (OCPs) after long-term field-based exposure. Significant differences in total concentrations of HCHs and DDTs were found among the three general groups ranking in decreasing order of concentration from orchard>vegetable lands >barren lands. Ciliate was the rare group in surface soils of all the sampling groups. The abundance of flagellate, ciliate, and amoebae in vegetable soils were significantly higher than those in orchard soils. The abundance of all the taxa of protozoa was strongly negative correlated with the residue level of ∑HCHs and ∑DDTs (P<0.05) in agricultural soils. However, no negative correlation between the residue levels of OCPs and protozoa abundance was shown in both the orchard and the barren soils. This field study demonstrated a considerable long-term impact of the OCPs residue on the abundance of protozoa in soils, and that the abundance of soil protozoa was much more influenced by land use type in association with different soil properties. PMID:23582133

  15. 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

  16. Occurrence of organic chlorinated pesticides and their ecological effects on soil protozoa in the agricultural soils of North Western Beijing, China.

    PubMed

    Shi, Yajuan; Lu, Yonglong; Meng, Fanqiao; Guo, Feifan; Zheng, Xiaoqi

    2013-06-01

    The occurrence of ∑HCHs, ∑DDTs, protozoa abundance and their community structure in surface soils of orchards, vegetable lands, and barren lands in northern west outskirts of Beijing were detected in order to investigate the protozoa responses to low dose organic chlorinated Pesticides (OCPs) after long-term field-based exposure. Significant differences in total concentrations of HCHs and DDTs were found among the three general groups ranking in decreasing order of concentration from orchard>vegetable lands >barren lands. Ciliate was the rare group in surface soils of all the sampling groups. The abundance of flagellate, ciliate, and amoebae in vegetable soils were significantly higher than those in orchard soils. The abundance of all the taxa of protozoa was strongly negative correlated with the residue level of ∑HCHs and ∑DDTs (P<0.05) in agricultural soils. However, no negative correlation between the residue levels of OCPs and protozoa abundance was shown in both the orchard and the barren soils. This field study demonstrated a considerable long-term impact of the OCPs residue on the abundance of protozoa in soils, and that the abundance of soil protozoa was much more influenced by land use type in association with different soil properties.

  17. 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

  18. 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)

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Ecological network analysis of an urban water metabolic system: model development, and a case study for Beijing.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yan; Yang, Zhifeng; Fath, Brian D

    2010-09-15

    Using ecological network analysis, we analyzed the network structure and ecological relationships in an urban water metabolic system. We developed an ecological network model for the system, and used Beijing as an example of analysis based on the model. We used network throughflow analysis to determine the flows among components, and measured both indirect and direct flows. Using a network utility matrix, we determined the relationships and degrees of mutualism among six compartments--1) local environment, 2) rainwater collection, 3) industry, 4) agriculture, 5) domestic sector, and 6) wastewater recycling--which represent producer, consumer, and reducer trophic levels. The capacity of producers to provide water for Beijing decreased from 2003 to 2007, and consumer demand for water decreased due to decreasing industrial and agricultural demand; the recycling capacity of reducers also improved, decreasing the discharge pressure on the environment. The ecological relationships associated with the local environment or the wastewater recycling sector changed little from 2003 to 2007. From 2003 to 2005, the main changes in the ecological relationships among components of Beijing's water metabolic system mostly occurred between the local environment, the industrial and agricultural sectors, and the domestic sector, but by 2006 and 2007, the major change was between the local environment, the agricultural sector, and the industrial sector. The other ecological relationships did not change during the study period. Although Beijing's mutualism indices remained generally stable, the ecological relationships among compartments changed greatly. Our analysis revealed ways to further optimize this system and the relationships among compartments, thereby optimizing future urban water resources development.

  3. Ecosystems, sustainability, and animal agriculture.

    PubMed

    Heitschmidt, R K; Short, R E; Grings, E E

    1996-06-01

    The long-term sustainability of animal agriculture is examined in an ecological context. As an aid to defining agriculture, animal agriculture, and sustainable agriculture, a broad overview of the structural and functional aspects of ecosystems is presented. Energy output/cultural energy input ratios were then calculated for 11 beef cattle management systems as relative measures of their long-term sustainability. Energy output was estimated by direct conversion of whole body mass of steers to caloric values. Cultural energy inputs were estimated using published forage and cereal grain production budgets in combination with estimated organic matter intakes. Cultural energy inputs included raw materials, manufacturing, distribution, maintenance, and depreciation of all equipment and products used in a 250-animal cow-calf farm/ranch operation. Management systems evaluated included 1) spring calving with slaughter beginning at either weaning (age of calf approximately 6 mo) or after 84, 168, or 252 d in postweaning finishing lot; 2) spring calving with slaughter beginning at about 18 mo of age after either 0, 42, 84, or 126 d in finishing lot; and 3) fall calving with slaughter beginning at about 14 mo of age after either 63, 126, or 189 d in finishing lot. Estimated efficiencies were < 1.0 in all treatments, even when assumed marketed calf crop was 100%. Product energy output/cultural energy input ratios ranged from a high of .40 in the spring calving--stocker--126 d in finishing lot treatment to a low of .23 in the spring calving--slaughter at weaning treatment. The low levels of efficiency were found to be largely the result of the interaction effects of the high levels of cultural energy required to maintain a productive cow herd and grow and finish calves in the rather harsh environment of the Northern Great Plains. Results pointedly reveal the high level of dependency of the U.S. beef cattle industry on fossil fuels. These findings in turn bring into question the

  4. Ecosystems, sustainability, and animal agriculture.

    PubMed

    Heitschmidt, R K; Short, R E; Grings, E E

    1996-06-01

    The long-term sustainability of animal agriculture is examined in an ecological context. As an aid to defining agriculture, animal agriculture, and sustainable agriculture, a broad overview of the structural and functional aspects of ecosystems is presented. Energy output/cultural energy input ratios were then calculated for 11 beef cattle management systems as relative measures of their long-term sustainability. Energy output was estimated by direct conversion of whole body mass of steers to caloric values. Cultural energy inputs were estimated using published forage and cereal grain production budgets in combination with estimated organic matter intakes. Cultural energy inputs included raw materials, manufacturing, distribution, maintenance, and depreciation of all equipment and products used in a 250-animal cow-calf farm/ranch operation. Management systems evaluated included 1) spring calving with slaughter beginning at either weaning (age of calf approximately 6 mo) or after 84, 168, or 252 d in postweaning finishing lot; 2) spring calving with slaughter beginning at about 18 mo of age after either 0, 42, 84, or 126 d in finishing lot; and 3) fall calving with slaughter beginning at about 14 mo of age after either 63, 126, or 189 d in finishing lot. Estimated efficiencies were < 1.0 in all treatments, even when assumed marketed calf crop was 100%. Product energy output/cultural energy input ratios ranged from a high of .40 in the spring calving--stocker--126 d in finishing lot treatment to a low of .23 in the spring calving--slaughter at weaning treatment. The low levels of efficiency were found to be largely the result of the interaction effects of the high levels of cultural energy required to maintain a productive cow herd and grow and finish calves in the rather harsh environment of the Northern Great Plains. Results pointedly reveal the high level of dependency of the U.S. beef cattle industry on fossil fuels. These findings in turn bring into question the

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. What is dental ecology?

    PubMed

    Cuozzo, Frank P; Sauther, Michelle L

    2012-06-01

    Teeth have long been used as indicators of primate ecology. Early work focused on the links between dental morphology, diet, and behavior, with more recent years emphasizing dental wear, microstructure, development, and biogeochemistry, to understand primate ecology. Our study of Lemur catta at the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar, has revealed an unusual pattern of severe tooth wear and frequent tooth loss, primarily the result of consuming a fallback food for which these primates are not dentally adapted. Interpreting these data was only possible by combining our areas of expertise (dental anatomy [FC] and primate ecology [MS]). By integrating theoretical, methodological, and applied aspects of both areas of research, we adopted the term "dental ecology"-defined as the broad study of how teeth respond to the environment. Specifically, we view dental ecology as an interpretive framework using teeth as a vehicle for understanding an organism's ecology, which builds upon earlier work, but creates a new synthesis of anatomy and ecology that is only possible with detailed knowledge of living primates. This framework includes (1) identifying patterns of dental pathology and tooth use-wear, within the context of feeding ecology, behavior, habitat variation, and anthropogenic change, (2) assessing ways in which dental development and biogeochemical signals can reflect habitat, environmental change and/or stress, and (3) how dental microstructure and macro-morphology are adapted to, and reflect feeding ecology. Here we define dental ecology, provide a short summary of the development of this perspective, and place our new work into this context.

  9. Evolutionary-thinking in agricultural weed management.

    PubMed

    Neve, Paul; Vila-Aiub, Martin; Roux, Fabrice

    2009-12-01

    Agricultural weeds evolve in response to crop cultivation. Nevertheless, the central importance of evolutionary ecology for understanding weed invasion, persistence and management in agroecosystems is not widely acknowledged. This paper calls for more evolutionarily-enlightened weed management, in which management principles are informed by evolutionary biology to prevent or minimize weed adaptation and spread. As a first step, a greater knowledge of the extent, structure and significance of genetic variation within and between weed populations is required to fully assess the potential for weed adaptation. The evolution of resistance to herbicides is a classic example of weed adaptation. Even here, most research focuses on describing the physiological and molecular basis of resistance, rather than conducting studies to better understand the evolutionary dynamics of selection for resistance. We suggest approaches to increase the application of evolutionary-thinking to herbicide resistance research. Weed population dynamics models are increasingly important tools in weed management, yet these models often ignore intrapopulation and interpopulation variability, neglecting the potential for weed adaptation in response to management. Future agricultural weed management can benefit from greater integration of ecological and evolutionary principles to predict the long-term responses of weed populations to changing weed management, agricultural environments and global climate.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Collaboration in Agricultural Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Peterson, Roland L.; And Others

    1995-01-01

    Theme articles discuss environment, food, agriculture, and renewal resources as they relate to science education, learning partnerships, collaboration in Kyrghyzstan, leadership development, opportunities for collaboration, networking, and the creation of a shared course between agribusiness and biology. (JOW)

  13. 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

  14. 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...

  15. Ecology and Human Values.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    1970

    "Ecology and Human Values" is an interdisciplinary course designed for senior year high school students in social studies and/or science. Its main thrust is the investigation of human values as they relate to the environment, although rooted in the natural sciences as a means of understanding the complexities inherent in the environment. Use is…

  16. Predictive systems ecology.

    PubMed

    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

    2013-11-22

    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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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