Science.gov

Sample records for agricultural ecological environment

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Wensheng; Chen, Hongfu; Wang, Mingsheng

    2009-07-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

    2014-04-05

    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.

  6. 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

  7. 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)

  8. Ecology, Pollution, Environment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Turk, Amos; And Others

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

  9. Agricultural applications of insect ecological genomics

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agricultural entomology is poised to benefit from the application of ecological genomics, in particular the fields of biofuels generation and pest insect control. Metagenomic methods can characterize microbial communities of termites, wood-boring beetles and other insects, and transcriptomic approa...

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

    PubMed

    Yamashita, Masamichi; Ishikawa, Yoji; Oshima, Tairo

    2005-03-01

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

  11. 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…

  12. 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.

  13. Biotic interactions, ecological knowledge and agriculture.

    PubMed

    Shennan, Carol

    2008-02-27

    This paper discusses biotic interactions in agroecosystems and how they may be manipulated to support crop productivity and environmental health by provision of ecosystem services such as weed, pest and disease management, nutrient cycling and biodiversity conservation. Important elements for understanding biotic interactions include consideration of the effects of diversity, species composition and food web structure on ecosystem processes; the impacts of timing, frequency and intensity of disturbance; and the importance of multitrophic interactions. All of these elements need to be considered at multiple scales that depend in part on the range of the movement of the organisms involved. These issues are first discussed in general, followed by an examination of the application of these concepts in agricultural management. The potential for a greater use of ecological management approaches is high; however, owing to the nature of complex interactions in ecosystems, there is some inherent unpredictability about responses to management interventions under different conditions. Such uncertainty needs to be accommodated in the development of recommendations for farm management. This requires an increased emphasis on the effective synthesis of complex and often apparently contradictory information and on field-based adaptive research, monitoring and social learning by farmer/researcher collaborations.

  14. 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".

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. An ecological perspective on U.S. industrial poultry production: the role of anthropogenic ecosystems on the emergence of drug-resistant bacteria from agricultural environments.

    PubMed

    Davis, Meghan F; Price, Lance B; Liu, Cindy Meng-Hsin; Silbergeld, Ellen K

    2011-06-01

    The industrialization of food animal production, specifically the widespread use of antimicrobials, not only increased pressure on microbial populations, but also changed the ecosystems in which antimicrobials and bacteria interact. In this review, we argue that industrial food animal production (IFAP) is appropriately defined as an anthropogenic ecosystem. This paper uses an ecosystem perspective to frame an examination of these changes in the context of U.S. broiler chicken production. This perspective emphasizes multiple modes by which IFAP has altered microbiomes and also suggests a means of generating hypotheses for understanding and predicting the ecological impacts of IFAP in terms of the resistome and the flow of resistance within and between microbiomes.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. [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.

  2. [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.

  3. Ecological determinants of health: food and environment on human health.

    PubMed

    Li, Alice M L

    2015-11-10

    Human health and diseases are determined by many complex factors. Health threats from the human-animal-ecosystems interface (HAEI) and zoonotic diseases (zoonoses) impose an increasing risk continuously to public health, from those emerging pathogens transmitted through contact with animals, food, water and contaminated environments. Immense challenges forced on the ecological perspectives on food and the eco-environments, including aquaculture, agriculture and the entire food systems. Impacts of food and eco-environments on human health will be examined amongst the importance of human interventions for intended purposes in lowering the adverse effects on the biodiversity. The complexity of relevant conditions defined as factors contributing to the ecological determinants of health will be illuminated from different perspectives based on concepts, citations, examples and models, in conjunction with harmful consequential effects of human-induced disturbances to our environments and food systems, together with the burdens from ecosystem disruption, environmental hazards and loss of ecosystem functions. The eco-health literacy should be further promoting under the "One Health" vision, with "One World" concept under Ecological Public Health Model for sustaining our environments and the planet earth for all beings, which is coincidentally echoing Confucian's theory for the environmental ethics of ecological harmony.

  4. [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…

  5. Ecology and the Environment: A Dissertation Bibliography.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    1978

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

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

    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.

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Cleaver, K; Schreiber, G

    1992-06-01

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

  10. Adapting genomics to study the evolution and ecology of agricultural systems.

    PubMed

    Friesen, Maren L; von Wettberg, Eric J

    2010-04-01

    In the face of global change, agriculture increasingly requires germplasm with high yields on marginal lands. Identifying pathways that are adaptive under marginal conditions is increasingly possible with advances at the intersection of evolutionary ecology, population genetics, and functional genomics. Trait-based (reverse ecology) approaches have connected flowering time in Arabidopsis thaliana to single alleles with environment-specific effects. Similarly, genetic dissection of rice flooding tolerance enabled the production of near-isogenic lines exhibiting tolerance and high yields. An alternative gene-forward (forward ecology) approach identified candidate genes for local adaptation of Arabidopsis lyrata to heavy-metal rich soils. A global perspective on plant adaptation and trait correlations provides a foundation for breeding tolerant crops and suggests populations adapted to marginal habitats be conservation priorities.

  11. 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.

  12. Nuclear technologies and agricultural production sphere (prospects of application, ecological aspects)

    SciTech Connect

    Alexakhin, R.M.

    1993-12-31

    Issues involved with the application of ionizing radiation to agricultural products are described in this paper. Many sides of agricultural application are alternative. However, nuclear technology is the most safe ecologically of the food preservation techniques.

  13. 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.

  14. NASA's Contributions to Controlled Environment Agriculture

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wheeler, Raymond M.

    2016-01-01

    It may come as a surprise, but NASA has been a long-standing sponsor of controlled environment agriculture (CEA) research. This is based on the potential for using plants (crops) for life support systems in space. Through photosynthesis, crops could produce food and oxygen for humans, while removing CO2. In addition, plant transpiration could help purify waste water. NASAs interest in bioregenerative life support dates back to the late 1950s. At that time, much of the testing focused on algae, but over the years moved toward higher plants as CEA techniques improved. Throughout the 1980s and 90s, extensive testing was carried out at different universities to gather horticultural data for a range of crops, including wheat, soybean, lettuce, potato, sweet potato, cowpea, rice and more. These studies examined different electric light sources, mineral nutrition, recirculating hydroponics, effects of CO2, temperature, photosynthetic photon flux (PPF), and photoperiod on the crops, and identified cultivars that would be useful for space. Findings from these studies were then used to conduct large scale (20 sq m), closed atmosphere tests at Kennedy Space Center, and later at NASA Johnson Space Center, where plant growth chambers were linked to human habitats. Results showed that with high light input and careful horticultural management, about 20-25 sq m of crops under continuous cultivation could produce the O2 for one person, and about 40-50 sq m could produce enough dietary calories. The ability to sustain these production levels and accurately assess system costs and failures needs further study. In all likelihood, the use of plants for life support will evolve, where for early missions like the International Space Station, crops will be grown in small chambers to provide supplemental fresh foods. As mission durations and distances increase, the systems could expand to assume more of the life support burden. But the constraints of space travel require that these

  15. Applications of CELSS technology to controlled environment agriculture

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bates, Maynard E.; Bubenheim, David L.

    1991-01-01

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

  16. 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

  17. 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 ...

  18. [Strategies and approaches of ecological and economical construction in the ecotone between agriculture and animal husbandry of north China].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Lifeng

    2003-11-01

    After a century's exploitation on agriculture, the agroecosystem in the ecotone between agriculture and animal husbandry of North China has gone on a close and consumptive state, and the soil resources has suffered from desertization, alkalization and degradation. The deterioration of soil resources and eco-environment has threatened the ecological security of the regions in Beijing, Tianjin and North China. The strategies of promoting the ecological and economical development in the ecotone should include building up an opening production structure of agriculture and animal husbandry to input artificial energy from the social system, and organizing a cooperative production on agriculture and animal husbandry by exchanging products between the close regions to gain their profits. Based on the various objectives of the local farmers and the nation in the ecological rehabilitation, and the adverse succession of the ecosystem and economics, some technological approaches for making a breakthrough of economic and ecological construction were put forward, e.g., building up a suitable pattern of arbor or shrub intercropped with artificial pasture to protect soil against wind erosion, developing vegetable production adapted to the cold climate, and raising live stocks with corn residues from agricultural zone of North China, etc..

  19. [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).

  20. 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…

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Mapping ecological states in a complex environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  4. Agricultural Structural Change: Impact on the Rural Environment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Knickel, Karlheim

    1990-01-01

    Examines indicators and impacts of agricultural change on environment. Links environmental quality to farm structure and size, and rural cultural values. Examines correlation between part-time farming and land structure and quality. Examines policies' effect on agricultural change. Recommends incorporation of environmental policies into…

  5. 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

    2016-02-22

    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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. An ecological perspective on nanomaterial impacts in the environment.

    PubMed

    Bernhardt, Emily S; Colman, Benjamin P; Hochella, Michael F; Cardinale, Bradley J; Nisbet, Roger M; Richardson, Curtis J; Yin, Liyan

    2010-01-01

    Growing concerns over the potential for unintended, adverse consequences of engineered nanoparticles (ENPs) in the environment have generated new research initiatives focused on understanding the ecological effects of ENPs. Almost nothing is currently known about the fate and transport of ENPs in environmental waters, soils, and sediments or about the biological impacts of ENPs in natural environments, and the bulk of modern nanotoxicogical research is focused on highly controlled laboratory studies with single species in simple media. In this paper, we provide an ecological perspective on the current state of knowledge regarding the likely environmental impacts of nanomaterials and propose a strategy for making rapid progress in new research in ecological nanoscience.

  10. "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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  12. Ecological traits affect the sensitivity of bees to land-use pressures in European agricultural landscapes.

    PubMed

    De Palma, Adriana; Kuhlmann, Michael; Roberts, Stuart P M; Potts, Simon G; Börger, Luca; Hudson, Lawrence N; Lysenko, Igor; Newbold, Tim; Purvis, Andy

    2015-12-01

    Bees are a functionally important and economically valuable group, but are threatened by land-use conversion and intensification. Such pressures are not expected to affect all species identically; rather, they are likely to be mediated by the species' ecological traits.Understanding which types of species are most vulnerable under which land uses is an important step towards effective conservation planning.We collated occurrence and abundance data for 257 bee species at 1584 European sites from surveys reported in 30 published papers (70 056 records) and combined them with species-level ecological trait data. We used mixed-effects models to assess the importance of land use (land-use class, agricultural use-intensity and a remotely-sensed measure of vegetation), traits and trait × land-use interactions, in explaining species occurrence and abundance.Species' sensitivity to land use was most strongly influenced by flight season duration and foraging range, but also by niche breadth, reproductive strategy and phenology, with effects that differed among cropland, pastoral and urban habitats. Synthesis and applications. Rather than targeting particular species or settings, conservation actions may be more effective if focused on mitigating situations where species' traits strongly and negatively interact with land-use pressures. We find evidence that low-intensity agriculture can maintain relatively diverse bee communities; in more intensive settings, added floral resources may be beneficial, but will require careful placement with respect to foraging ranges of smaller bee species. Protection of semi-natural habitats is essential, however; in particular, conversion to urban environments could have severe effects on bee diversity and pollination services. Our results highlight the importance of exploring how ecological traits mediate species responses to human impacts, but further research is needed to enhance the predictive ability of such analyses.

  13. 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.

  14. 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...

  15. Environment-dependent inbreeding depression: its ecological and evolutionary significance.

    PubMed

    Cheptou, Pierre-Olivier; Donohue, Kathleen

    2011-01-01

    Inbreeding depression is a major evolutionary and ecological force that influences population dynamics and the evolution of inbreeding-avoidance traits such as mating systems and dispersal. There is now compelling evidence that inbreeding depression is environment-dependent. Here, we discuss ecological and evolutionary consequences of environment-dependent inbreeding depression. The environmental dependence of inbreeding depression may be caused by environment-dependent phenotypic expression, environment-dependent dominance, and environment-dependent natural selection. The existence of environment-dependent inbreeding depression challenges classical models of inbreeding as caused by unconditionally deleterious alleles, and suggests that balancing selection may shape inbreeding depression in natural populations; loci associated with inbreeding depression in some environments may even contribute to adaptation to others. Environment-dependent inbreeding depression also has important, often neglected, ecological and evolutionary consequences: it can influence the demography of marginal or colonizing populations and alter adaptive optima of mating systems, dispersal, and their associated traits. Incorporating the environmental dependence of inbreeding depression into theoretical models and empirical studies is necessary for understanding the genetic and ecological basis of inbreeding depression and its consequences in natural populations.

  16. Westinghouse's Environment School: Combining Business with Ecology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Southwick, Thomas P.

    1970-01-01

    Describes the four week Westinghouse School for Environmental Management, attended by executives of public and private power utilities. The school provided a comprehensive course in environmental problems with an emphaiss on the relation of power production to the environment. (EB)

  17. 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; Levine, Rachel; Zhang, Yun; Sallach, J Brett

    2015-10-01

    A total of 43 papers published in 2014 were reviewed ranging from detailed descriptions of analytical methods, to fate and occurrence studies, to measuring and predicting biological effects for a wide variety of emerging contaminants likely to occur in agricultural environments. New methods and studies on veterinary pharmaceuticals, natural and synthetics steroids, and 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, Occurrence and Fate, Antibiotic Resistance Genes, and Risk Assessment.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kern County Superintendent of Schools, Bakersfield, CA.

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Talla, R

    1994-12-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  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.

  5. 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…

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

    Ramaswamy, Sai K; Mosher, Gretchen A

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  9. Gene–environment interactions influence ecological consequences of transgenic animals

    PubMed Central

    Sundström, L. F.; Lõhmus, M.; Tymchuk, W. E.; Devlin, Robert H.

    2007-01-01

    Production of transgenic animals has raised concern regarding their potential ecological impact should they escape or be released to the natural environment. This concern has arisen mainly from research on laboratory-reared animals and theoretical modeling exercises. In this study, we used biocontained naturalized stream environments and conventional hatchery environments to show that differences in phenotype between transgenic and wild genotypes depend on rearing conditions and, critically, that such genotype-by-environment interactions may influence subsequent ecological effects in nature. Genetically wild and growth hormone transgenic coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) were reared from the fry stage under either standard hatchery conditions or under naturalized stream conditions. When reared under standard hatchery conditions, the transgenic fish grew almost three times longer than wild conspecifics and had (under simulated natural conditions) stronger predation effects on prey than wild genotypes (even after compensation for size differences). In contrast, when fish were reared under naturalized stream conditions, transgenic fish were only 20% longer than the wild fish, and the magnitude of difference in relative predation effects was much reduced. These data show that genotype-by-environment interactions can influence the relative phenotype of transgenic and wild-type organisms and that extrapolations of ecological consequences from phenotypes developed in the unnatural laboratory environment may lead to an overestimation or underestimation of ecological risk. Thus, for transgenic organisms that may not be released to nature, the establishment of a range of highly naturalized environments will be critical for acquiring reliable experimental data to be used in risk assessments. PMID:17360448

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  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. Plants, viruses and the environment: Ecology and mutualism.

    PubMed

    Roossinck, Marilyn J

    2015-05-01

    Since the discovery of Tobacco mosaic virus nearly 120 years ago, most studies on viruses have focused on their roles as pathogens. Virus ecology takes a different look at viruses, from the standpoint of how they affect their hosts׳ interactions with the environment. Using the framework of symbiotic relationships helps put the true nature of viruses into perspective. Plants clearly have a long history of relationships with viruses that have shaped their evolution. In wild plants viruses are common but usually asymptomatic. In experimental studies plant viruses are sometimes mutualists rather than pathogens. Virus ecology is closely tied to the ecology of their vectors, and the behavior of insects, critical for transmission of many plant viruses, is impacted by virus-plant interactions. Virulence is probable not beneficial for most host-virus interactions, hence commensal and mutualistic relationships are almost certainly common, in spite of the paucity of literature on beneficial viruses.

  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.

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. 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 ...

  18. Ecological and agricultural applications of synchrotron IR microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raab, T. K.; Vogel, J. P.

    2004-10-01

    The diffraction-limited spot size of synchrotron-based IR microscopes provides cell-specific, spectrochemical imaging of cleared leaf, stem and root tissues of the model genetic organism Arabidopsis thaliana, and mutant plants created either by T-DNA insertional inactivation or chemical mutagenesis. Spectra in the wavelength region from 6 to 12 μm provide chemical and physical information on the cell wall polysaccharides of mutants lacking particular biosynthetic enzymes ("Cellulose synthase-like" genes). In parallel experiments, synchrotron IR microscopy delineates the role of Arabidopsis cell wall enzymes as susceptibility factors to the fungus Erysiphe cichoracearum, a causative agent of powdery mildew disease. Three genes, pmr4, pmr5, and pmr6 have been characterized by these methods, and biochemical relations between two of the genes suggested by IR spectroscopy and multivariate statistical techniques could not have been inferred through classical molecular biology. In ecological experiments, live plants can also be imaged in small microcosms with mid-IR transmitting ZnSe windows. Small exudate molecules may be spatially mapped in relation to root architecture at diffraction-limited resolution, and the effect of microbial symbioses on the quantity and quality of exudates inferred. Synchrotron IR microscopy provides a useful adjunct to molecular biological methods and underground observatories in the ongoing assessment of the role of root-soil-microbe communication.

  19. Insect chemical ecology research in the United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service.

    PubMed

    Aldrich, Jeffrey R; Bartelt, Robert J; Dickens, Joseph C; Knight, Alan L; Light, Douglas M; Tumlinson, James H

    2003-01-01

    This multi-author paper reviews current work by USDA-ARS scientists in the field of chemical ecology. Work with pheromones, the discovery and development of the codling moth kairomone, studies on insect-plant interactions and chemically mediated tritrophic plant-insect interactions have led to practical methods for control of important insect pests.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  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. 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.

  4. 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…

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

    González-Zorn, Bruno; Escudero, José A

    2012-09-01

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

  10. Drought prediction and sustainable development of the ecological environment.

    PubMed

    Xu, X H; Lv, Z Q; Zhou, X Y; Jiang, N

    2016-01-25

    In the 1990s ecological early warning research began with the aim of elucidating the effect of drought in dry regions of the world. Drought has been a prevalent natural disaster, ravaging the Yun'nan province of China for over 5 years since 2009. Due to the extensive range, depth and devastating losses, the drought has reached a once-in-a-century severity. Yun'nan province suffered particularly badly from the drought, which took its toll on both the ecological environment and the sustainable economic development of the province. We chose to study Pu'er city in Yun'nun province for this research, and analysed the drought traits of Pu'er city utilizing geographic information technology. We applied the Mann-Kendall test for trend, linear tendency estimation and percentage of precipitation anomalies, as well as using combinations of monthly data searches of meteorological reports from 1980-2010. The results showed that except for a small rise in spring precipitation, the overall rainfall of Pu'er city showed a decreasing trend. The results of this study can provide an adequate and reliable theoretical basis and technological methods for use in government decision making, and promote research into early warning ecology.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McNamee, Abigail S.

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

  15. 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

  16. 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

    2015-09-11

    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.

  17. 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

  18. [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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Coutts, Christopher; Forkink, Annet; Weiner, Jocelyn

    2014-01-10

    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.

  2. Standing crops and ecology of aquatic invertebrates in agricultural drainwater ponds in California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Euliss, N.H.; Jarvis, R.L.; Gilmer, D.S.

    1991-01-01

    We examined standing crops and ecology of aquatic invertebrates in agricultural drainwater evaporation ponds in California from October 1982 to March 1983 and September 1983 to March 1984. Evaporation ponds supported low diversities but high standing crops of aquatic invertebrates. A water boatman (Trichocorixa reticulata) and a midge (Tanypus grodhausi) were the most abundant invertebrates, constituting 44.9% and 51.4% of total macroinvertebrate biomass. Regression models indicated that of 6 environmental variables measured, only electrical conductivity (EC) and Julian date affected biomass and density of water boatmen. EC was the only significant correlate of midge biomass in evaporation ponds.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-04-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Reybrouck, Mark

    2014-12-23

    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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. [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.

  19. [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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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...

  3. 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

  4. [Occupational dermatitis in the agriculture-food industry environment].

    PubMed

    Tripodi, Dominique; Géraut, Christian

    2002-09-01

    The agricultural and food professions are those that touch agriculture, but also the restoration, the kitchens, and the employees of slaughterhouses. Various occupational skin diseases touch these salaried employees or craftsmen: eczemas or contact hives with plants or meats and fleshes of animals and all chemical substances that are added: pesticides, food additives and various preservatives. Irritation contact dermatitis or real skin burns are observed with housekeeping products imposed by the sanitary norms, increasingly powerful, but as increasingly caustic. Infectious illnesses transmitted from the animal to the man are sometimes observed especially among the breeders and employees of slaughterhouses.

  5. 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.

  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. Plant breeding for harmony between agriculture and the environment

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2004-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. Quantitative evaluation of regional vegetation ecological environment quality by using remotely sensed data over Qingjiang, Hubei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Cheng; Sun, Yan; Li, Lijun; Zhang, Qiuwen

    2007-11-01

    Vegetation cover is an important component and the best indication to the region ecological environment. The paper adopts a new method of integrating remote sensing technology and composite index appraisal model based multiple linear regression for quantitatively evaluating the regional vegetation ecological environment quality(VEEQ). This method is different to the traditional ecological environment research methods. It fully utilizes the advantages of quantitatively remote sensing technology, directly extracts the key influencing factors of VEEQ, such as vegetation indices (RVI, NDVI, ARVI, TMG), humidity indices(NDMI, MI, TMW), soil and landform indices(NDSI, TMB, GRABS) as the evaluating parameters from data the Landsat 5/TM remotely sensed images, and then puts these factors mentioned above into the multiple linear regression evaluating model. Ultimately we obtain the VEEQ evaluation rank figure of the experimental field-part of Qingjiang region. The handy multiple linear regression model, is proved to be well fit the experimental field for the vegetation ecological environment evaluation research.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. [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.

  15. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Draper, H.M. III

    1982-01-01

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

  17. [Work environment and health status of agricultural aviation personnel].

    PubMed

    Marks, E; Karpińska, B; Swiecicki, W

    1983-01-01

    The morbidity rate and present health status of flying agricultural aviation personnel under health care of the Main Military Medical Committee for aviation workers were analysed and compared with another group of helicopter pilots. A detailed clinical examination of 77 "Agro" pilots indicated more trauma cases than idiopathic diseases cases, some of those trauma cases were due to professional work. Analysis of the present health status indicated the predominance of pilots with just one health disturbance, pilots with no health disturbances taking the second position in the comparison. The health deviations did not differ from those in other populations, as classified by pilots' age. On the other hand, their percentage was higher than in helicopters pilots control group. Average age of "Agro" pilots was relatively high and number of hours spent in air considerable, too.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Agriculture

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The EPA Agriculture Resource Directory offers comprehensive, easy-to-understand information about environmental stewardship on farms and ranches; commonsense, flexible approaches that are both environmentally protective and agriculturally sound.

  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. 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…

  6. 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.…

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alexiades, Anthy Maria

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

  11. 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.

  12. [Unique ecosystem characters and ecological principles for development in the ecotones between agriculture and pasture in north China].

    PubMed

    Cheng, Xu

    2002-11-01

    Based on the fact that its ecological deterioration, a rethinking on the former definition of 'transitional zone between agriculture and grassland' was proposed. It was recognized that this zone has been gradually and dynamically formed under the specific circumstances of history and anthroponomy in China. It should thus be re-defined as 'ecotone between agriculture and pasture', instead of just focusing on its features of geography, ecology, and vegetation separately, as well as its character of transition. More attention should be put on its nature of complex system of ecology, society and economy, and then, derive relevant abating measures. Boreal ecotone has the functions of life support for a relatively dense population, as well as ecosystem services. Under the premise of unable copying the models for arid and semiarid areas in abroad, in particular developed countries, an unique strategy of capable of compromising both above-mentioned functions, as well as ecological reconstruction, which is embodied in readjusting agro-structure, rationally utilizing and conserving resources, and establishing 'polar' industries, such as grasses and livestock, should be the center of an interdisciplinary study approach.

  13. Effects of Stratospheric Ozone Depletion the Environment and Agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-09-01

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

  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. Comprehensive evaluation and analysis of ecological environment quality ofLaoshan Natural Reservebased on Remote Sensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cui, Wenlian; Liu, Shanwei; Liu, Yan; Wang, Yanling; Zhang, Naixin

    2016-11-01

    We used the remote sensing images of 2001, 2005 and 2010, statistics of reservoir water quality, air quality data, precipitation data and population data to evaluate and analyze the ecological environment quality of Laoshan Natural Reserve. In this decade, the ecological environment of tourism scenic area in Laoshan Natural Reserve becomes significantly better than that of the surrounding area, and it is the urban sprawl and increase of cultivated land area that resulted in the reduction of the scenic plants; Reservoir water quality was stable, but PH value and total nitrogen content still did not meet the standards because of the use of the sewage and pesticide fertilizer in the neighborhood; Air quality decreased slightly, however, the situation of acid rain had improved; Residential population continued to grow in Laoshan district and scenic tourists have increased, so human activity has become the main impacting factor of ecological environment of Laoshan Natural Reserve.

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

    Levy, Neil

    2012-12-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. The aqueous photodegradation of fenitrothion under various agricultural plastics: implications for pesticide longevity in agricultural 'micro-environments'.

    PubMed

    Weber, Jan; Halsall, Crispin J; Wargent, Jason J; Paul, Nigel D

    2009-06-01

    Plastic cladding is increasingly used in agriculture to create micro-environments to improve crop yield/growth. Many of these plastics can alter the solar light spectrum by inhibiting or reducing the transmittance of certain parts of the solar spectrum. In this study, we investigated the aqueous photolysis of fenitrothion, under a selection of different plastic films commonly used in agriculture. Three different grades of polyethylene film were used: 'standard', 'transparent' and 'opaque'. The transmittance of light wavelengths in the UV region (290-400 nm), measured with a spectroradiometer, was found to decrease in the order of transparent>standard>opaque. Fenitrothion, an organophosphorothioate insecticide possesses molar absorptivity in the solar wavelength range of 290-400 nm. Aqueous first order degradation rate constants for fenitrothion determined over a 12 h period were found to be considerably less for those experiments conducted under the standard and opaque plastic films, compared to the transparent film and no-film control. The experiments were conducted in an Atlas Suntest solar simulator using a UV-filtered Xenon arc lamp to simulate sunlight. The first order half-life for fenitrothion was 100 and 250 h under the standard and opaque films, respectively, compared to approximately 10 h for the transparent film and no-film experiments. Our results suggest that pesticide longevity could be greatly extended within these plastic micro-environments, especially for those chemicals which may degrade/transform via photolytic or photochemical pathways.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Agricultural land abandonment in Mediterranean environment provides ecosystem services via soil carbon sequestration.

    PubMed

    Novara, Agata; Gristina, Luciano; Sala, Giovanna; Galati, Antonino; Crescimanno, Maria; Cerdà, Artemi; Badalamenti, Emilio; La Mantia, Tommaso

    2017-01-15

    Abandonment of agricultural land leads to several consequences for ecosystem functions. Agricultural abandonment may be a significant and low cost strategy for carbon sequestration and mitigation of anthropogenic CO2 emissions due to the vegetation recovery and increase in soil organic matter. The aim of this study was to: (i) estimate the influence of different Soil Regions (areas characterized by a typical climate and parent material association) and Bioclimates (zones with homogeneous climatic regions and thermotype indices) on soil organic carbon (SOC) dynamics after agricultural land abandonment; and (ii) to analyse the efficiency of the agri-environment policy (agri-environment measures) suggested by the European Commission in relation to potential SOC stock ability in the Sicilian Region (Italy). In order to quantify the effects of agricultural abandonment on SOC, a dataset with original data that was sampled in Sicily and existing data from the literature were analysed according to the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) methodology. Results showed that abandonment of cropland soils increased SOC stock by 9.03MgCha(-1) on average, ranging from 5.4MgCha(-1) to 26.7MgCha(-1) in relation to the Soil Region and Bioclimate. The estimation of SOC change after agricultural use permitted calculation of the payments for ecosystem service (PES) of C sequestration after agricultural land abandonment in relation to environmental benefits, increasing in this way the efficiency of PES. Considering the 14,337ha of abandoned lands in Sicily, the CO2 emission as a whole was reduced by 887,745Mg CO2. Therefore, it could be concluded that abandoned agricultural fields represents a valid opportunity to mitigate agriculture sector emissions in Sicily.

  6. Homeostasis of Complementary Pair Theory: Ecological Comparisons in Diverse Universal Design for Learning Environments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ianneo, Brittany

    2014-01-01

    Accommodation~assimilation relations were theorized by Kelso and Engstrom (2006) as independent and dependent complementary pairs. This study defined relationships between organisms that experienced complementary interactions of accommodation~assimilation in diverse ecologies designed with universal design for learning environments (UDLE) compared…

  7. 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.

  8. 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,…

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. The ecological effects of trichloroacetic acid in the environment.

    PubMed

    Lewis, T E; Wolfinger, T F; Barta, M L

    2004-10-01

    Trichloroacetic acid (TCAA) is a member of the family of compounds known as chloroacetic acids, which includes mono-, di- and trichloroacetic acid. The significant property these compounds share is that they are all phytotoxic. TCAA once was widely used as a potent herbicide. However, long after TCAA's use as a herbicide was discontinued, its presence is still detected in the environment in various compartments. Methods for quantifying TCAA in aqueous and solid samples are summarized. Concentrations in various environmental compartments are presented, with a discussion of the possible formation of TCAA through natural processes. Concentrations of TCAA found to be toxic to aquatic and terrestrial organisms in laboratory and field studies were compiled and used to estimate risk quotients for soil and surface waters. TCAA levels in most water bodies not directly affected by point sources appear to be well below toxicity levels for the most sensitive aquatic organisms. Given the phytotoxicity of TCAA, aquatic plants and phytoplankton would be the aquatic species to monitor for potential effects. Given the concentrations of TCAA measured in various soils, there appears to be a risk to terrestrial organisms. Soil uptake of TCAA by plants has been shown to be rapid. Also, combined uptake of TCAA from soil and directly from the atmosphere has been shown. Therefore, risk quotients derived from soil exposure may underestimate the risk TCAA poses to plants. Moreover, TCE and TCA have been shown to be taken up by plants and converted to TCAA, thus leading to an additional exposure route. Mono- and di-chloroacetic acids can co-occur with TCAA in the atmosphere and soil and are more phytotoxic than TCAA. The cumulative effects of TCAA and compounds with similar toxic effects found in air and soil must be considered in subsequent terrestrial ecosystem risk assessments.

  12. Sustainable agriculture: how to sustain a production system in a changing environment.

    PubMed

    Wagner, W C

    1999-01-01

    During the past 10-15 years, sustainable agriculture has progressed from a focus primarily on a low-input, organic farming approach with a major emphasis on small fruit or vegetable production farms, often described as Low Input Sustainable Agriculture, to the current situation where sustainability is an important part of mainstream animal and plant production units. The US Department of Agriculture programmes cover a broad range of activities, including conserving the natural resource base, enhancing environmental quality, and sustaining productivity of the nation's farms. The use of Geographic Information Systems technology to direct application of fertilisers, pesticides, and herbicides is one example of a rapidly emerging technology that can reduce use of external inputs, protect the agricultural environment, and improve economic returns. This Geographic Information Systems technology also is being used to localise animal pest and disease problems, assist in regulatory or control measures, and identify high risk areas that might need different management systems or should be avoided as sites for animal production. Use of intensive grazing systems also has increased markedly over the past 5-6 years. These systems will allow longer grazing seasons in southern parts of the USA, provide more efficient use of the forages being produced and reduce labour costs in the typical dairy operation. Major animal and plant production agriculture-oriented programmes at the US Department of Agriculture focus on integrated production systems, use of Integrated Pest Management techniques, and development of alternative methods to manage pests and diseases that reduce or avoid the use of drugs and chemicals. The US Department of Agriculture has a programme for sustainable agriculture, the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education programme, which emphasises alternative approaches for animal and plant production systems.

  13. [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.

  14. Uptake and impact of natural diet-derived small RNA in invertebrates: Implications for ecology and agriculture.

    PubMed

    Chan, Stephen Y; Snow, Jonathan W

    2016-10-20

    The putative transfer and gene regulatory activities of diet-derived small RNAs (sRNAs) in ingesting animals are still debated. The existence of natural uptake of diet-derived sRNA by invertebrate species could have significant implication for our understanding of ecological relationships and could synergize with efforts to use RNA interference (RNAi) technology in agriculture. Here, we synthesize information gathered from studies in invertebrates using natural or artificial dietary delivery of sRNA and from studies of sRNA in vertebrate animals and plants to review our current understanding of uptake and impact of natural diet-derived sRNA on invertebrates. Our understanding has been influenced and sometimes confounded by the diversity of invertebrates and ingested plants studied, our limited insights into how gene expression may be modulated by dietary sRNAs at the mechanistic level, and the paucity of studies focusing directly on natural uptake of sRNA. As such, we suggest 2 strategies to investigate this phenomenon more comprehensively and thus facilitate the realization of its potentially broad impact on ecology and agriculture in the future.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Nakano, Miyo; Niwa, Masumi; Nishimura, Norihiro

    2013-03-01

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

  20. Sustainable smallholder poultry interventions to promote food security and social, agricultural, and ecological resilience in the Luangwa Valley, Zambia.

    PubMed

    Dumas, Sarah E; Lungu, Luke; Mulambya, Nathan; Daka, Whiteson; McDonald, Erin; Steubing, Emily; Lewis, Tamika; Backel, Katherine; Jange, Jarra; Lucio-Martinez, Benjamin; Lewis, Dale; Travis, Alexander J

    2016-06-01

    In Zambia's Luangwa Valley, highly variable rainfall and lack of education, agricultural inputs, and market access constrain agricultural productivity, trapping smallholder farmers in chronic poverty and food insecurity. Human and animal disease (e.g. HIV and Newcastle Disease, respectively), further threaten the resilience of poor families. To cope with various shocks and stressors, many farmers employ short-term coping strategies that threaten ecosystem resilience. Community Markets for Conservation (COMACO) utilizes an agribusiness model to alleviate poverty and food insecurity through conservation farming, market development and value-added food production. COMACO promotes household, agricultural and ecological resilience along two strategic lines: improving recovery from shocks (mitigation) and reducing the risk of shock occurrence. Here we focus on two of COMACO's poultry interventions and present data showing that addressing health and management constraints within the existing village poultry system resulted in significantly improved productivity and profitability. However, once reliable productivity was achieved, farmers preferred to sell chickens rather than eat either the birds or their eggs. Sales of live birds were largely outside the community to avoid price suppression; in contrast, the sale of eggs from community-operated, semi-intensive egg production facilities was invariably within the communities. These facilities resulted in significant increases in both producer income and community consumption of eggs. This intervention therefore has the potential to improve not only producers' economic resilience, but also resilience tied to the food security and physical health of the entire community.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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)

  4. 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

  5. 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…

  6. Time of farmers' exposure to biological factors in agricultural working environment.

    PubMed

    Mołocznik, Anna

    2004-01-01

    Working time in conditions of exposure to hazardous factors is an important element indispensable for the evaluation of human exposure in the working environment. Agricultural work is accompanied by co-occurrence of many risk factors threatening farmers' health, e.g. dust, elements of the thermal environment, noise, vibration, chemical and biological agents. Biological factors cause diseases with contagious, allergic or immuno-toxic backgrounds which constitute the majority of farmers' occupational diseases registered in Poland. Exposure to hazardous factors in agricultural working environment is due to contact with plants, animals and organic wastes, more precisely--with microbes, plant and animal particles present in aerogenic agricultural dust, as well as pathogens of contagious and invasive diseases present in contaminated soil, water and plants. Data concerning the duration of farmers' exposure to biological and other factors of the working environment were obtained with the use of the Private Farmer Work Chart. Time-schedule observations concerned an annual work cycle. The study covered 30 farms with the following production profiles: plant (Group A), animal (Group B) and mixed production (Group C). The total working time was: in Group A - from 106-163 % of the legal working time; in Group B - from 75-147 %; in Group C - from 136-167 %. Among 48 work activities contributing to the full working cycle among the farmers examined, 15 activities were accompanied by 5 factors. These were mainly field activities which covered plant harvesting and fertilizing, chemical plant protection, as well as cultivation activities. Agricultural dust and elements of the thermal environment were the environmental factors most frequently accompanying agricultural work, followed by contact with biological factors, noise, vibration, and chemical agents. Biological factors are a specific element associated with 19 work activities, mainly the spreading of manure, animal breeding and

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Generating an agricultural risk map based on limited ecological information: A case study using Sicyos angulatus.

    PubMed

    Osawa, Takeshi; Okawa, Shigenori; Kurokawa, Shunji; Ando, Shinichiro

    2016-12-01

    In this study, we propose a method for estimating the risk of agricultural damage caused by an invasive species when species-specific information is lacking. We defined the "risk" as the product of the invasion probability and the area of potentially damaged crop for production. As a case study, we estimated the risk imposed by an invasive weed, Sicyos angulatus, based on simple cellular simulations and governmental data on the area of crop that could potentially be damaged in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan. Simulation results revealed that the current distribution range was sufficiently accurate for practical purposes. Using these results and records of crop areas, we present risk maps for S. angulatus in agricultural fields. Managers will be able to use these maps to rapidly establish a management plan with minimal cost. Our approach will be valuable for establishing a management plan before or during the early stages of invasion.

  11. Interaction between Allee effects caused by organism-environment feedback and by other ecological mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Feng; Wang, Wanxiong; Song, Weixin

    2017-01-01

    Understanding Allee effect has crucial importance for ecological conservation and management because it is strongly related to population extinction. Due to various ecological mechanisms accounting for Allee effect, it is necessary to study the influence of multiple Allee effects on the dynamics and persistence of population. We here focus on organism-environment feedback which can incur strong, weak, and fatal Allee effect (AE-by-OEF), and further examine their interaction with the Allee effects caused by other ecological mechanisms (AE-by-OM). The results show that multiple Allee effects largely increase the extinction risk of population either due to the enlargement of Allee threshold or the change of inherent characteristic of Allee effect, and such an increase will be enhanced dramatically with increasing the strength of individual Allee effects. Our simulations explicitly considering spatial structure also demonstrate that local interaction among habitat patches can greatly mitigate such superimposed Allee effects as well as individual Allee effect. This implies that spatially structurized habitat could play an important role in ecological conservation and management. PMID:28333974

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Drakos, Andreas; Protonotarios, Vassilis; Manouselis, Nikos

    2015-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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 ...

  18. 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.

  19. Derivation of ecological criteria for copper in land-applied biosolids and biosolid-amended agricultural soils.

    PubMed

    Lu, Tao; Li, Jumei; Wang, Xiaoqing; Ma, Yibing; Smolders, Erik; Zhu, Nanwen

    2016-12-01

    The difference in availability between soil metals added via biosolids and soluble salts was not taken into account in deriving the current land-applied biosolids standards. In the present study, a biosolids availability factor (BAF) approach was adopted to investigate the ecological thresholds for copper (Cu) in land-applied biosolids and biosolid-amended agricultural soils. First, the soil property-specific values of HC5add (the added hazardous concentration for 5% of species) for Cu(2+) salt amended were collected with due attention to data for organisms and soils relevant to China. Second, a BAF representing the difference in availability between soil Cu added via biosolids and soluble salts was estimated based on long-term biosolid-amended soils, including soils from China. Third, biosolids Cu HC5input values (the input hazardous concentration for 5% of species of Cu from biosolids to soil) as a function of soil properties were derived using the BAF approach. The average potential availability of Cu in agricultural soils amended with biosolids accounted for 53% of that for the same soils spiked with same amount of soluble Cu salts and with a similar aging time. The cation exchange capacity was the main factor affecting the biosolids Cu HC5input values, while soil pH and organic carbon only explained 24.2 and 1.5% of the variation, respectively. The biosolids Cu HC5input values can be accurately predicted by regression models developed based on 2-3 soil properties with coefficients of determination (R(2)) of 0.889 and 0.945. Compared with model predicted biosolids Cu HC5input values, current standards (GB4284-84) are most likely to be less protective in acidic and neutral soil, but conservative in alkaline non-calcareous soil. Recommendations on ecological criteria for Cu in land-applied biosolids and biosolid-amended agriculture soils may be helpful to fill the gaps existing between science and regulations, and can be useful for Cu risk assessments in soils

  20. 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.

  1. In an interconnected world: joint research priorities for the environment, agriculture and infectious disease.

    PubMed

    Brijnath, Bianca; Butler, Colin D; McMichael, Anthony J

    2014-01-28

    In 2008 the UNICEF/UNDP/World Bank/WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) commissioned ten think-tanks to work on disease-specific and thematic reference groups to identify top research priorities that would advance the research agenda on infectious diseases of poverty, thus contributing to improvements in human health. The first of the thematic reference group reports - on environment, agriculture and infectious diseases of poverty - was recently released. In this article we review, from an insider perspective, the strengths and weaknesses of this thematic reference group report and highlight key messages for policy-makers, funders and researchers.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Probabilistic ecological risk assessment of copper in Chinese offshore marine environments from 2005 to 2012.

    PubMed

    Jin, Xiaowei; Liu, Fang; Wang, Yeyao; Zhang, Lingsong; Li, Zhao; Wang, Zijian; Giesy, John P; Wang, Zhen

    2015-05-15

    The objective of the present study was to conduct a probabilistic assessment of risk posed by copper found in the coastal marine environment of China from 2005 to 2012. This was achieved by applying a tiered ecological risk assessment (ERA) approach for characterization of risks of concentrations of copper from nationwide marine water monitoring program. The results show that from 2005 to 2012 the overall trend of hazard quotients (HQs) in the coastal marine environment of China the proportion of locations that exceed a HQ of 1.0 decreased from 64% in 2005 to 31% in 2012. While this indicates an overall improvement of the environment, there still have potential ecological risks in the most of the area, especially for the major gulfs of Liaodong and Bohai Bays and Yellow River Estuary. In addition, probabilities of exceeding the toxicity threshold for 5% of species were 27.6%, 5.4%, 4.9%, 0.8%, 0.4%, 1.0%, 1.8% and 0.12% annually between 2005 and 2012, respectively.

  5. 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

  6. Explosives: fate, dynamics, and ecological impact in terrestrial and marine environments.

    PubMed

    Juhasz, Albert L; Naidu, Ravendra

    2007-01-01

    An explosive or energetic compound is a chemical material that, under the influence of thermal or chemical shock, decomposes rapidly with the evolution of large amounts of heat and gas. Numerous compounds and compositions may be classified as energetic compounds; however, secondary explosives, such as TNT, RDX, and HMX pose the largest potential concern to the environment because they are produced and used in defense in the greatest quantities. The environmental fate and potential hazard of energetic compounds in the environment is affected by a number of physical, chemical, and biological processes. Energetic compounds may undergo transformation through biotic or abiotic degradation. Numerous organisms have been isolated with the ability to degrade/transform energetic compounds as a sole carbon source, sole nitrogen source, or through cometabolic processes under aerobic or anaerobic conditions. Abiotic processes that lead to the transformation of energetic compounds include photolysis, hydrolysis, and reduction. The products of these reactions may be further transformed by microorganisms or may bind to soil/sediment surfaces through covalent binding or polymerization and oligomerization reactions. Although considerable research has been performed on the fate and dynamics of energetic compounds in the environment, data are still gathering on the impact of TNT, RDX, and HMX on ecological receptors. There is an urgent need to address this issue and to direct future research on expanding our knowledge on the ecological impact of energetic transformation products. In addition, it is important that energetic research considers the concept of bioavailability, including factors influencing soil/sediment aging, desorption of energetic compounds from varying soil and sediment types, methods for modeling/predicting energetic bioavailability, development of biomarkers of energetic exposure or effect, and the impact of bioavailability on ecological risk assessment.

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-30

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

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Bréchignac, François

    2003-05-20

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

  11. 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.

  12. Evaluation of land ecological environment in Zhoushan Islands by remotely sensed impervious surfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Xiaoping; Pan, Delu; Chen, Jianyu; Chen, Peng; Jia, Yonghong

    2013-10-01

    Coastal islands are located in a transitional environment where land and ocean interact. During the past 20 years, large areas of the natural landscape of Zhoushan islands have been replaced by human features. There is limited research detailing the amount of impervious surface growth in the Zhoushan islands and trends in the land environment using remotely sensed technologies. The purpose of this paper is to assess the influences of anthropogenic activities on land ecological environment in Zhoushan islands based on remotely sensed impervious surfaces. First the impervious surfaces information of 1986, 1995 and 2006 were estimated using Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) images, and then an integrated state indicator was built. The results reveal that imperious surfaces areas (ISA) of Zhoushan islands remarkably increased from 19.2 km2 (2.73%) in 1986 to 29.5 km2 (4.20%) in 1995, and to 58.2 km2 (8.27%) in 2006. The average state value for the total area was 0.70, 0.65, and 0.55 respectively for 1986, 1995, and 2006. Of the surrounding islands, the Lujiazhi, Xiaogan, Panzhi, and Cezi suffered the most land disturbance intensity from human activities, followed by the Jintang, Xiushan, and Damao, and the Changbai and Changzhi had the lowest disturbance values. It indicates that the land ecological environment of Zhoushan islands was variously disturbed by growing human activities over time. Further, we found that the topography, island size, spatial location from Zhoushan Island and economic policy had an influence on change of impervious surfaces for each island.

  13. 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 :)

  14. Ecological risk assessment for aquatic invertebrate communities exposed to imidacloprid as a result of labeled agricultural and nonagricultural uses in the United States.

    PubMed

    Whitfield-Aslund, Melissa; Winchell, Michael; Bowers, Lisa; McGee, Sean; Tang, Jane; Padilla, Lauren; Greer, Colleen; Knopper, Loren; Moore, Dwayne R J

    2016-10-18

    A probabilistic ecological risk assessment (ERA) was conducted to determine the potential effects of acute and chronic exposure of aquatic invertebrate communities to imidacloprid arising from labeled agricultural and nonagricultural uses in the United States. Aquatic exposure estimates were derived using a higher-tier refined modeling approach that accounts for realistic variability in environmental and agronomic factors. Toxicity was assessed using refined acute and chronic community-level effect metrics for aquatic invertebrates (i.e., species or taxon sensitivity distributions) developed using the best available data. Acute and chronic probabilistic risk estimates were derived by integrating the exposure distributions for different use patterns with the applicable species or taxon sensitivity distributions to generate risk curves, which plot cumulative probability of exceedance versus the magnitude of effect. Overall, the results of this assessment indicated that the aquatic invertebrate community is unlikely to be adversely affected by acute or chronic exposure to imidacloprid resulting from currently registered uses of imidacloprid in the United States. Environ Toxicol Chem 2016;9999:1-14. © 2016 SETAC.

  15. Haloacetic acids in the aquatic environment. Part II: ecological risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Hanson, Mark L; Solomon, Keith R

    2004-08-01

    Haloacetic acids (HAAs) are environmental contaminants found in aquatic ecosystems throughout the world as a result of both anthropogenic and natural production. The ecological risk posed by these compounds to organisms in freshwater environments, with a specific focus on aquatic macrophytes, was characterized. The plants evaluated were Lemna gibba, Myriophyllum spicatum and M. sibiricum and the HAAs screened were monochloroacetic acid (MCA), dichloroacetic acid (DCA), trichloroacetic acid (TCA), trifluoroacetic acid (TFA) and chlorodifluoroacetic acid (CDFA). Laboratory toxicity data formed the basis of the risk assessment, but field studies were also utilized. The estimated risk was calculated using hazard quotients (HQ), as well as effect measure distributions (EMD) in a modified probabilistic ecological risk assessment. EMDs were used to estimate HAA thresholds of toxicity for use in HQ assessments. This threshold was found to be a more sensitive measure of low toxicity than the no observed effect concentrations (NOEC) or the effective concentration (EC10). Using both deterministic and probabilistic methods, it was found that HAAs do not pose a significant risk to freshwater macrophytes at current environmental concentrations in Canada, Europe or Africa for both single compound and mixture exposures. Still, HAAs are generally found as mixtures and their potential interactions are not fully understood, rendering this phase of the assessment uncertain and justifying further effects characterization. TCA in some environments poses a slight risk to phytoplankton and future concentrations of TFA and CDFA are likely to increase due to their recalcitrant nature, warranting continued environmental surveillance of HAAs.

  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. 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…

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Evaluating the fate of three HCHs in the typically agricultural environment of Liaoning Province, China.

    PubMed

    Liu, Zhenyu; Chen, Shuo; Quan, Xie; Yang, Fenglin

    2009-08-01

    The LRBPOP model has been developed to calculate the long-term fate of alpha-, beta-, and gamma-hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) in the lower reach of Liaohe River basin, a typically agricultural environment in Liaoning Province, China. For this purpose, seasonally existent crop compartment, time-variant emission rates, and seasonal model parameters are provided in the model calculation. Besides, crop processing factor (PF) is also introduced to calculate the concentration in foodstuff produced by crop. The fate of three HCHs from 1952 to 2011 is calculated. Sensitivity analysis, uncertainty analysis, and model comparison are conducted to evaluate the model. The sensitivity analysis indicates that the LRBPOP model is most sensitive to air and water advection, HCHs applied rate, and reaction half-life in soil. Model comparison shows that absolute levels, partitioning between media, temporal trends, and ratios between HCHs reproduce well within an order of magnitude, often within a factor of 3. The predicted results indicate that the study area has been subject to severe contamination of HCHs in the early of 1980s, and the residues of three HCHs decrease largely with different vanishing rates after 1983. According to modeling results, the 97.5th percentiles of SigmaHCH residues in surface water, agricultural soil, and crop food are lower than the corresponding maximum residue limits (MRLs) in 2008, 2005, and 2005, respectively.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Local food environment and fruit and vegetable consumption: An ecological study.

    PubMed

    Menezes, Mariana Carvalho; Costa, Bruna Vieirade Lima; Oliveira, Cláudia Di Lorenzo; Lopes, Aline Cristine Souza

    2017-03-01

    Ecological studies are essential for understanding the environment-diet relationship. The purpose of this study was to describe environmental conditions and their relationship with fruit and vegetable (FV) consumption among Brazilian public health service users in the city of Belo Horizonte. We evaluated food stores contained within 1600 m buffer zones at 18 Health Academy Programme sites, from 2013 to 2014. Variables at the community (density, proximity and type) and the consumer (sectional location of FV; availability, quality, variety, price and advertising of FV and ultra-processed foods) nutrition environment were measured by direct observation, while aggregate data from users (income and FV consumption) were obtained by interview. Data were analysed using the Kernel intensity estimator, average nearest neighbour value and Local Moran's Index for local spatial autocorrelation. We interviewed 3414 users and analysed 336 food stores. Major geographical variations in the FV consumption were identified. Average consumption was higher (site 2A: 410.5 ± 185.7 g vs. site 4B: 311.2 ± 159.9 g) in neighbourhoods with higher income and concentration of food stores, and better index of access to healthy foods. Sites with poor FV consumption had the most stores with poor access to healthy foods (index in the first tertile, ≤ 10). In conclusion, negative characteristics of the food environment, as seen in the present study, may contribute to low FV consumption, suggesting the need for the development and consolidation of public policies aimed at creating healthy environments through built environment interventions that increase access to and consumption of healthy foods like FV.

  7. An ecology of love: aspects of music therapy in the pediatric oncology environment.

    PubMed

    Aasgaard, T

    2001-01-01

    This paper explores how music therapy can assist patients and relatives in the processes of making friendship and love audible in a child cancer ward. Four short patient histories are presented to illustrate a health-oriented, ecological music therapy practice. Two histories describe how texts, made by patients, become songs, and how the songs are performed and used. Another two histories deal with musical communication with dying children and their parents. The paper indicates that these interventions may involve more than palliation (making a disease less severe and unpleasant without removing its cause). Not least, such activities can make it possible for the sick child to expand from being "just a patient" into playing, if only for a moment, a more active social role. The processes of artistic interplay, in- and outside the sickroom, influence various relationships in the child's social environment.

  8. Reflexivity, knowledge and ecological awareness: premises for responsible action in the hospital work environment.

    PubMed

    Camponogara, Silviamar; Ramos, Flávia Regina Sousa; Kirchhof, Ana Lucia Cardoso

    2009-01-01

    The article aims to analyze the interface of reflexivity, knowledge and ecologic awareness in the context of hospital work, based on data collected in a qualitative case study carried out at a public hospital. Field observation data and interviews are discussed in the light of sociologic and philosophic references. Workers expressed the interface between knowledge and action, in which there is a cycle of lack of knowledge, automatism in the actions and lack of environmental awareness, posing limits to individual awareness and to responsibility towards environmental preservation. Increased debate and education, including the environmental issue, are needed in the context of hospital work. Although hospital work is reflexively affected by the environmental problem, that does not guarantee the reorientation of practices and responsible action towards the environment.

  9. Ecological risk of pesticide residues in the British Columbia environment: 1973-2012.

    PubMed

    Wan, Michael T

    2013-01-01

    An updated ecological risk assessment was conducted to re-evaluate and review the overall risk of pesticide residues to certain aquatic life. The focus was the impact on offsite non-target, freshwater organisms of pesticide operational sprays in British Columbia from 1973 until 2012. The values of risk quotients for pesticides of selected indicator organisms were determined to measure the effect. When compared with organophosphorus, carbamate, and other miscellaneous pesticides, this risk assessment analysis suggests that the historical use of persistent and highly toxic organochlorine pesticides posed, and continue to pose, a deleterious ecological risk. The risk is both short-term acute and long-term sub-acute, chronic toxicity to offsite, non-target aquatic invertebrates and juvenile salmonid fish. Data indicated that these organisms were, and remain, subjected to harmful effects of pesticide residues to varying degrees. Most vulnerable were, and also are, benthic organisms inhabiting bottom sediments. This substrate is the natural sink for persistent pesticide residues, predominantly organochlorine pesticides from historical use, as well as dioxins, furans, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons from wood preservatives, and other sources. Environment Canada's main aquatic protection strategy was a 10 metre no-treatment buffer zone, augmented with an additional appropriate setback along shorelines of fishery and wildlife resource-sensitive water bodies. This study discusses why this guideline was necessary, useful and effective, but was only partially successful. The physical-chemical properties of pesticide residues, from either an individual compound or different compounds in combination, also influence the nature of biological impacts on non-target, aquatic organisms. Few studies have been conducted in British Columbia aquatic environments to investigate the significance of this aspect.

  10. [Ecological environment of cultivated Astragali radix and market specification of prepared slices].

    PubMed

    Yu, Kunzi; Liu, Jing; Hong, Hao; Guo, Baolin; Cai, Shaoqing; Chen, Hubiao

    2010-05-01

    Astragali Radix is derived from roots of Astragalus membranaceus var. mongholicus and A. membranaceus. The exhaustion of wild Astragali Radix has made cultivated Astragali Radix possess the commercial market of Astragali Radix. So the ecological environment of cultivated Astragali Radix should be investigated through field survey. Through investigation, we found that A. membranaceus var. mongholicus are cultivated in Hengshan mountain of Shanxi province, Longnan of Gansu province, south of Inner Mongolia and Qinghai provinces. A. membranaceus var. mongholicus is almost planted on the plain, except in Shanxi province it grows on the sunny side of the mountain. What is more, soil type, elevation, annual temperature and annual rainfall of these locations are different. So the ecological environments of cultivated location of Astragali Radix are different from each other. A. membranaceus is wild in Heilongjiang and northeast of Inner Mongolia, but the resource is drying up. It is also planted in few places of the provinces of Shanxi, Shandong, Hebei, Gansu, but cultivated scope of A. membranaceus is smaller than A. membranaceus var. mongholicus.. So A. membranaceus var. mongholicus possesses large part of Astragali Radix market. In market, there exists no unified specification fro slices of Astragali Radix, and specification of prepared slices will influence the contents of chemical components. Through investigation, different kind of prepared slices can be collected and compared, this provides evidences for quality control of prepared slices. Through investigation, five different specifications of prepared slices were found in market. The distributions of some specification of prepared slices are specified, like transverseprepared slices prepared from A. membranaceus only found in Heilongjiang province. Transverse prepared slices possess half part of prepared slice market, and can be used to identify original plant of Astragali Radix. So transverse prepared slices

  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.

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

    Nam, Sun-Hwa; Lee, Woo-Mi; An, Youn-Joo

    2012-06-01

    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.

  14. 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...

  15. Causes and ecological effects of resuspended contaminated sediments (RCS) in marine environments.

    PubMed

    Roberts, David A

    2012-04-01

    Sediments act as a net sink for anthropogenic contaminants in marine ecosystems and contaminated sediments may have a range of toxicological effects on benthic fauna and associated species. When resuspended, however, particulate-bound contaminants may be remobilised into the water column and become bioavailable to an additional assemblage of species. Such resuspension occurs through a range of natural and anthropogenic processes each of which may be thought of as pulsed disturbances resulting in pulsed exposures to contaminants. Thus, it is important to understand not only the toxicological responses of organisms to resuspended contaminated sediments (RCS), but also the frequency, magnitude and duration of sediment disturbance events. Such information is rarely collected together with toxicological data. Rather, the majority of published studies (>50% of the articles captured in this review) have taken the form of fixed-duration laboratory-based exposures with individual species. While this research has clearly demonstrated that resuspension of contaminated sediments can liberate sediment-bound contaminants leading to toxicity and bioaccumulation under controlled conditions, the potential for ecological effects in the field is often unclear. Monitoring studies suggest that recurrent natural disturbances such as tides and waves may cause the majority of contaminant release in many environments. However, various processes also act to limit the spatial and temporal scales across which contaminants are remobilised to the most toxic dissolved state. Various natural and anthropogenic disturbances of contaminated sediments have been linked to both community-level and sub-lethal responses in exposed populations of invertebrates and fish in the field. Together these findings suggest that resuspension of contaminated sediments is a frequently recurring ecological threat in contaminated marine habitats. Further consideration of how marine communities respond to temporally

  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. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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…

  20. 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)

  1. Antimicrobial resistance in healthcare, agriculture and the environment: the biochemistry behind the headlines.

    PubMed

    Venter, Henrietta; Henningsen, Michael L; Begg, Stephanie L

    2017-02-28

    The crisis of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one of the most serious issues facing us today. The scale of the problem is illustrated by the recent commitment of Heads of State at the UN to coordinate efforts to curb the spread of AMR infections. In this review, we explore the biochemistry behind the headlines of a few stories that were recently published in the public media. We focus on examples from three different issues related to AMR: (i) hospital-acquired infections, (ii) the spread of resistance through animals and/or the environment and (iii) the role of antimicrobial soaps and other products containing disinfectants in the dissemination of AMR. Although these stories stem from three very different settings, the underlying message in all of them is the same: there is a direct relationship between the use of antimicrobials and the development of resistance. In addition, one type of antimicrobial could select for cross-resistance to another type and/or for multidrug resistance. Therefore, we argue the case for increased stewardship to not only cover clinical use of antibiotics, but also the use of antimicrobials in agriculture and stewardship of our crucially important biocides such as chlorhexidine.

  2. [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.

  3. 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

  4. [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.

  5. 'Everything is everywhere: but the environment selects': ubiquitous distribution and ecological determinism in microbial biogeography.

    PubMed

    O'Malley, Maureen A

    2008-09-01

    Recent discoveries of geographical patterns in microbial distribution are undermining microbiology's exclusively ecological explanations of biogeography and their fundamental assumption that 'everything is everywhere: but the environment selects'. This statement was generally promulgated by Dutch microbiologist Martinus Wilhelm Beijerinck early in the twentieth century and specifically articulated in 1934 by his compatriot, Lourens G. M. Baas Becking. The persistence of this precept throughout twentieth-century microbiology raises a number of issues in relation to its formulation and widespread acceptance. This paper will trace the conceptual history of Beijerinck's claim that 'everything is everywhere' in relation to a more general account of its theoretical, experimental and institutional context. His principle also needs to be situated in relationship to plant and animal biogeography, which, this paper will argue, forms a continuum of thought with microbial biogeography. Finally, a brief overview of the contemporary microbiological research challenging 'everything is everywhere' reveals that philosophical issues from Beijerinck's era of microbiology still provoke intense discussion in twenty-first century investigations of microbial biogeography.

  6. [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.

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. 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…

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  11. 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…

  12. 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.

  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.

  14. 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

  15. 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...

  16. 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…

  17. 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).

  18. Toward refined environmental scenarios for ecological risk assessment of down-the-drain chemicals in freshwater environments.

    PubMed

    Franco, Antonio; Price, Oliver R; Marshall, Stuart; Jolliet, Olivier; Van den Brink, Paul J; Rico, Andreu; Focks, Andreas; De Laender, Frederik; Ashauer, Roman

    2017-03-01

    Current regulatory practice for chemical risk assessment suffers from the lack of realism in conventional frameworks. Despite significant advances in exposure and ecological effect modeling, the implementation of novel approaches as high-tier options for prospective regulatory risk assessment remains limited, particularly among general chemicals such as down-the-drain ingredients. While reviewing the current state of the art in environmental exposure and ecological effect modeling, we propose a scenario-based framework that enables a better integration of exposure and effect assessments in a tiered approach. Global- to catchment-scale spatially explicit exposure models can be used to identify areas of higher exposure and to generate ecologically relevant exposure information for input into effect models. Numerous examples of mechanistic ecological effect models demonstrate that it is technically feasible to extrapolate from individual-level effects to effects at higher levels of biological organization and from laboratory to environmental conditions. However, the data required to parameterize effect models that can embrace the complexity of ecosystems are large and require a targeted approach. Experimental efforts should, therefore, focus on vulnerable species and/or traits and ecological conditions of relevance. We outline key research needs to address the challenges that currently hinder the practical application of advanced model-based approaches to risk assessment of down-the-drain chemicals. Integr Environ Assess Manag 2017;13:233-248. © 2016 SETAC.

  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. 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.

  1. Study Design for Assessing Species Environment Relationships and Developing Indicator Systems for Ecological Changesin Floodplains - The Approach of the RIVA Project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Henle, Klaus; Dziock, Frank; Foeckler, Francis; Volker, Klaus; Hüsing, Volker; Hettrich, Anke; Rink, Marcus; Stab, Sabine; Scholz, Mathias

    2006-08-01

    In this article the study design and data sampling of the RIVA project - Development and Testing of a Robust Indicator System for Ecological Changes in Floodplain Systems - are described. The project was set up to improve existing approaches to study species environment relationships as a basis for the development of indicator systems and predictive models. Periodically flooded grassland was used as a model system. It is agriculturally used at a level of intermediate intensity and is the major habitat type along the Middle Elbe, Germany. We chose a main study area to analyse species environment relationships and two reference sites for testing the transferability of the results. Using a stratified random sampling scheme, we distributed 36 study plots across the main study site and 12 plots each within the reference sites. In each of the study plots, hydrological and soil variables were measured and plants, molluscs, and carabid beetles were sampled. Hoverflies were collected on a subset of the sampling plots. A brief summary of first results is then provided.

  2. Study on the spatial distribution of ecological environment in Songhuajing watershed based on land use and its change: Harbin region as example

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gong, Wenfeng; Liu, Tiedong

    2011-02-01

    The Index system of land eco-environmental status evaluation was constructed from Landsat TM images of 1996 and 2005a, based on RS. Supported by the function of GIS special analysis and geological statistical, the mini-watersheds was used as evaluation units(5×5km) based on the land use and its changes, the land eco-environmental status index (EI) model was used to evaluate. The changes in results of EI were studied. The result shown that: the total land ecoenvironmental status in 2005 was general, the tendency was better compared with 1996, the area of slightly and basically better accounted for 21.39% of the total area, this region was mountains and hills and the conversion of from cultivated land to forestland was the main track, the proportion of unchanged region was 78.17%,which occupied the dominant position and was the major section for the activities of people living and agriculture, the proportion of slightly worse region was lowest, the region was the fragile of hills and plains and its ecological environment was sensitive. Therefore, this study's result had noticeable significance to the regional land eco-environment protection and its improvements.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    1992-08-01

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

  7. 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...

  8. 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...

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-02-07

    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.

  10. 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...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. 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...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2006-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. Amphibians and agricultural chemicals: review of the risks in a complex environment.

    PubMed

    Mann, Reinier M; Hyne, Ross V; Choung, Catherine B; Wilson, Scott P

    2009-11-01

    Agricultural landscapes, although often highly altered in nature, provide habitat for many species of amphibian. However, the persistence and health of amphibian populations are likely to be compromised by the escalating use of pesticides and other agricultural chemicals. This review examines some of the issues relating to exposure of amphibian populations to these chemicals and places emphasis on mechanisms of toxicity. Several mechanisms are highlighted, including those that may disrupt thyroid activity, retinoid pathways, and sexual differentiation. Special emphasis is also placed on the various interactions that may occur between different agro-chemicals and between chemicals and other environmental factors. We also examine the indirect effects on amphibian populations that occur when their surrounding pond communities are altered by chemicals.

  3. 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.

  4. 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…

  5. 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)

  6. An Examination of Usability of a Virtual Environment for Students Enrolled in a College of Agriculture

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Murphrey, Theresa Pesl; Rutherford, Tracy A.; Doerfert, David L.; Edgar, Leslie D.; Edgar, Don W.

    2014-01-01

    Educational technology continues to expand with multi-user virtual environments (e.g., Second Life™) being the latest technology. Understanding a virtual environment's usability can enhance educational planning and effective use. Usability includes the interaction quality between an individual and the item being assessed. The purpose was to assess…

  7. Ecology of Pseudallescheria and Scedosporium species in human-dominated and natural environments and their distribution in clinical samples.

    PubMed

    Kaltseis, J; Rainer, J; De Hoog, G S

    2009-06-01

    This study aims to determine the occurrence of Pseudallescheria and Scedosporium species in natural and human-dominated environments. Habitats (136 sampling sites) in a transect with increasing human impact were investigated (natural areas, agricultural soils, urban playgrounds, industrial areas). Physico-chemical parameters were measured to characterize the different areas included in this investigation. Fungal identification was performed by morphology and sequence data analysis. Comparative description of virulence was largely based on the database of the ECMM/ISHAM Working Group on Pseudallescheria/Scedosporium Infections. Pseudallescheria and Scedosporium species were most abundant in industrial areas, followed by urban playgrounds and agricultural areas. None of the species were isolated from natural habitats. The abundance of Pseudallescheria and Scedosporium species could be correlated with increasing nitrogen concentrations (P<0.01) and decreasing pH (P<0.05) within a pH range of 6.1-7.5. In general, frequency of the different Pseudallescheria and Scedosporium species in the environment is strongly enhanced by human activities, and largely differs from species distribution in clinical settings, suggesting that these species have different degrees of virulence. Pseudallescheria boydii is relatively frequently found as agent of human disease, while Scedosporium dehoogii is found almost exclusively in the environment. Scedosporium apiospermum is responsible for the majority of infections and is found at comparable frequency in the environment; S. aurantiacum and P. minutispora showed similar spectra, but at much lower frequencies.

  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. Identifying ecological barriers in marine environment: The case study of Dasyatis marianae.

    PubMed

    Costa, Tiego L A; Pennino, M Grazia; Mendes, Liana F

    2017-04-01

    Ecological barriers are important determinants of the evolution and distributions marine organisms, and a challenge for evolutionary ecologists seeking to understand population structure in the sea. Dasyatis marianae is an endemic Brazilian species that indicates certain restrictions on its distribution probably due to marine barriers. In this study, Bayesian hierarchical spatial models, jointly with environmental and occurrence species data, are used to identify, which elements could generate these barriers on Dasyatis marianae distribution. Results show that salinity and temperature are the most important drivers that play an essential role to limit the distribution of this species. Indeed, low salinity values restrict Dasyatis marianae distribution in the north of the Brazilian coast, while in the south are colder temperatures. These results highlight the need to better define the distribution of marine species, especially for the ones affected by ecological barriers that are more sensitive to environmental changes.

  10. [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.

  11. 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.

  12. Improving basin water use in linked agricultural, ecological and urban systems: seeking new flow paths and avoiding dead ends.

    PubMed

    Molden, D; Bos, M G

    2005-01-01

    In many river basins, patterns of water withdrawals, deliveries, depletion, return flows, and reuse are prevalent. These cascading systems, often misunderstood, provide opportunities, but also threats to livelihoods and environment. Different ways of thinking about these cascading systems are required.

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

    PubMed

    Nakano, Miyo; Niwa, Masumi; Nishimura, Norihiro

    2014-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. Ecological risk assessment of pharmaceuticals in the receiving environment of pharmaceutical wastewater in Pakistan.

    PubMed

    Ashfaq, Muhammad; Nawaz Khan, Khujasta; Saif Ur Rehman, Muhammad; Mustafa, Ghulam; Faizan Nazar, Muhammad; Sun, Qian; Iqbal, Javed; Mulla, Sikandar I; Yu, Chang-Ping

    2017-02-01

    The pharmaceutical industry of Pakistan is growing with an annual growth rate of 10%. Besides this growth, this industry is not complying with environmental standards, and discharging its effluent into domestic wastewater network. Only limited information is available about the occurrence of pharmaceutical compounds (PCs) in the environmental matrices of Pakistan that has motivated us to aim at the occurrence and ecological risk assessment of 11 PCs of different therapeutic classes in the wastewater of pharmaceutical industry and in its receiving environmental matrices such as sludge, solid waste and soil samples near the pharmaceutical formulation units along Shiekhupura road, Lahore, Pakistan. Target PCs (paracetamol, naproxen, diclofenac, ibuprofen, amlodipine, rosuvastatin, ofloxacin, ciprofloxacin, moxifloxacin, sparfloxacin and gemifloxacin) were quantified using in-house developed HPLC-UV. Ibuprofen (1673µg/L, 6046µg/kg, 1229µg/kg and 610µg/kg), diclofenac (836µg/L, 4968µg/kg, 6632µg/kg and 257µg/kg) and naproxen (464µg/L, 7273µg/kg, 4819µg/kg and 199µg/kg) showed the highest concentrations among 11 target PCs in wastewater, sludge, solid waste and soil samples, respectively. Ecological risk assessment, in terms of risk quotient (RQ), was also carried out based on the maximum measured concentration of PCs in wastewater. The maximum RQ values obtained were with paracetamol (64 against daphnia), naproxen (177 against fish), diclofenac (12,600 against Oncorhynchus mykiss), ibuprofen (167,300 against Oryzias latipes), ofloxacin (81,000 against Pseudomonas putida) and ciprofloxacin (440 against Microcystis aeruginosa). These results show a high level of ecological risk due to the discharge of untreated wastewater from pharmaceutical units. This risk may further lead to food web contamination and drug resistance in pathogens. Thus, further studies are needed to detect the PCs in crops as well as the government should strictly enforce environmental

  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. 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…

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Pharmaceutical contamination in residential, industrial, and agricultural waste streams: risk to aqueous environments in Taiwan.

    PubMed

    Lin, Angela Yu-Chen; Yu, Tsung-Hsien; Lin, Cheng-Fang

    2008-12-01

    This is a comprehensive study of the occurrence of antibiotics, hormones and other pharmaceuticals in water sites that have major potential for downstream environmental contamination. These include residential (hospitals, sewage treatment plants, and regional discharges), industrial (pharmaceutical production facilities), and agricultural (animal husbandries and aquacultures) waste streams. We assayed 23 Taiwanese water sites for 97 targeted compounds, of which a significant number were detected and quantified. The most frequently detected compounds were sulfamethoxazole, caffeine, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen, followed closely by cephalexin, ofloxacin, and diclofenac, which were detected in >91% of samples and found to have median (maximum) concentrations of 0.2 (5.8), 0.39 (24.0), 0.02 (100.4), 0.41 (14.5), 0.15 (31.4), 0.14 (13.6) and 0.083 (29.8) microg/L, respectively. Lincomycin and acetaminophen had high measured concentrations (>100 microg/L), and 35 other pharmaceuticals occurred at the microg/L level. These incidence and concentration results correlate well with published data for other worldwide locations, as well as with Taiwanese medication usage data, suggesting a human contamination source. Many pharmaceuticals also occurred at levels exceeding predicted no-effect concentrations (PNEC), warranting further investigation of their occurrence and fate in receiving waters, as well as the overall risks they pose for local ecosystems and human residents. The information provided here will also be useful for development of strategies for regulation and remediation.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

    2014-01-03

    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

  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. 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.

  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. Thermal and Starvation Stress Response of Escherichia coli O157:H7 Isolates Selected from Agricultural Environments.

    PubMed

    Adhikari, Achyut; Bary, Andy; Cogger, Craig; James, Caleb; Ünlü, Gülhan; Killinger, Karen

    2016-10-01

    Pathogens exposed to agricultural production environments are subject to multiple stresses that may alter their survival under subsequent stress conditions. The objective of this study was to examine heat and starvation stress response of Escherichia coli O157:H7 strains isolated from agricultural matrices. Seven E. coli O157:H7 isolates from different agricultural matrices-soil, compost, irrigation water, and sheep manure-were selected, and two ATCC strains were used as controls. The E. coli O157:H7 isolates were exposed to heat stress (56°C in 0.1% peptone water for up to 1 h) and starvation (in phosphate-buffered saline at 37°C for 15 days), and their survival was examined. GInaFiT freeware tool was used to perform regression analyses of the surviving populations. The Weibull model was identified as the most appropriate model for response of the isolates to heat stress, whereas the biphasic survival curves during starvation were fitted using the double Weibull model, indicating the adaptation to starvation or a resistant subpopulation. The inactivation time during heating to achieve the first decimal reduction time (δ) calculated with the Weibull parameters was the highest (45 min) for a compost isolate (Comp60A) and the lowest (28 min) for ATCC strain 43895. Two of the nine isolates (ATCC 43895 and a manure isolate) had β < 1, indicating that surviving populations adapted to heat stress, and six strains demonstrated downward concavity (β > 1), indicating decreasing heat resistance over time. The ATCC strains displayed the longest δ2 (>1,250 h) in response to starvation stress, compared with from 328 to 812 h for the environmental strains. The considerable variation in inactivation kinetics of E. coli O157:H7 highlights the importance of evaluating response to stress conditions among individual strains of a specific pathogen. Environmental isolates did not exhibit more robust response to stress conditions in this study compared with ATCC strains.

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

    PubMed

    Lachowski, Stanisław; Lachowska, Bogusława

    2007-01-01

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

  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. 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

  15. Response of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) to salinity in the early growth stages for agricultural cultivation in saline environments.

    PubMed

    Akinci, Sermin; Yilmaz, Kadir; Akinci, Irfan Ersin

    2004-07-01

    Salinity is a serious environmental problem. Growing of plants like tomato can be solution for coping with soil salinity. For this purpose, response of tomato to salinity has been tested in the early growth stages. Characteristics of germination (percentage and period; length and fresh-dry weight of radicle and hypcotyl) and seedling (length and fresh-dry weight of root, shoot and whole plant; leaf number and area based on Relative Growth Rate); Na+ and K+ content of leaf; K+/Na+ rate of leaf has been studied at the 0, 50, 100 and 150 mM NaCl levels. Thus, it determined that tomato can be indicator for agricultural cultivation at the salinity environments at the early growth stages.

  16. 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.

  17. 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…

  18. 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.

  19. 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…

  20. 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, ...

  1. 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…

  2. 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

  3. 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."

  4. Ecological immunology in a fluctuating environment: an integrative analysis of tree swallow nestling immune defense

    PubMed Central

    Pigeon, Gabriel; Bélisle, Marc; Garant, Dany; Cohen, Alan A; Pelletier, Fanie

    2013-01-01

    Evolutionary ecologists have long been interested by the link between different immune defenses and fitness. Given the importance of a proper immune defense for survival, it is important to understand how its numerous components are affected by environmental heterogeneity. Previous studies targeting this question have rarely considered more than two immune markers. In this study, we measured seven immune markers (response to phytohemagglutinin (PHA), hemolysis capacity, hemagglutination capacity, plasma bactericidal capacity, percentage of lymphocytes, percentage of heterophils, and percentage of eosinophils) in tree swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) nestlings raised in two types of agro-ecosystems of contrasted quality and over 2 years. First, we assessed the effect of environmental heterogeneity (spatial and temporal) on the strength and direction of correlations between immune measures. Second, we investigated the effect of an immune score integrating information from several immune markers on individual performance (including growth, mass at fledging and parasite burden). Both a multivariate and a pair-wise approach showed variation in relationships between immune measures across years and habitats. We also found a weak association between the integrated score of nestling immune function and individual performance, but only under certain environmental conditions. We conclude that the ecological context can strongly affect the interpretation of immune defenses in the wild. Given that spatiotemporal variations are likely to affect individual immune defenses, great caution should be used when generalizing conclusions to other study systems. PMID:23610646

  5. 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.

  6. Bark functional ecology: evidence for tradeoffs, functional coordination, and environment producing bark diversity.

    PubMed

    Rosell, Julieta A; Gleason, Sean; Méndez-Alonzo, Rodrigo; Chang, Yvonne; Westoby, Mark

    2014-01-01

    The causes underlying bark diversity are unclear. Variation has been frequently attributed to environmental differences across sites. However, variation may also result from tradeoffs and coordination between bark's multiple functions. Bark traits may also covary with wood and leaf traits as part of major dimensions of plant variation. To assess hypotheses regarding tradeoffs and functional coordination, we measured bark traits reflecting protection, storage, mechanics, and photosynthesis in branches of 90 species spanning a wide phylogenetic and environmental range. We also tested associations between bark, wood, and leaf traits. We partitioned trait variation within species, and within and across communities to quantify variation associated with across-site differences. We observed associations between bark mechanics and storage, density and thickness, and thickness and photosynthetic activity. Increasing bark thickness contributed significantly to stiffer stems and greater water storage. Bark density, water content, and mechanics covaried strongly with the equivalent wood traits, and to a lesser degree with leaf size, xylem conductivity, and vessel diameter. Most variation was observed within sites and had low phylogenetic signal. Compared with relatively minor across-site differences, tradeoffs and coordination among functions of bark, leaves, and wood are likely to be major and overlooked factors shaping bark ecology and evolution.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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…

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  11. Airpower and the Environment: The Ecological Implications of Modern Air Warfare

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-07-01

    mission along the lines of Operation Desert Fox against Iraq in December 1998. Indeed, Pen- tagon spokesman Kenneth Bacon announced on the eve of the rst...International Peace Research Institute. Warfare in a Fragile World: Military Impact on the Human Environment. London: Taylor & Francis Group, Inc... Francis A. Schiermeier, 741–43. New York: Springer Publishing, 2001. Wall, Robert, and Douglas Barrie. “US, UK Eye Upgrades to Newest Weapons.” Aviation

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Ecological fitness and virulence features of Vibrio parahaemolyticus in estuarine environments.

    PubMed

    Lovell, Charles R

    2017-03-01

    Vibrio parahaemolyticus is a commonly encountered and highly successful organism in marine ecosystems. It is a fast-growing, extremely versatile copiotroph that is active over a very broad range of conditions. It frequently occurs suspended in the water column (often attached to particles or zooplankton), and is a proficient colonist of submerged surfaces. This organism is an important pathogen of animals ranging from microcrustaceans to humans and is a causative agent of seafood-associated food poisoning. This review examines specific ecological adaptations of V. parahaemolyticus, including its broad tolerances to temperature and salinity, its utilization of a wide variety of organic carbon and energy sources, and its pervasive colonization of suspended and stationary materials that contribute to its success and ubiquity in temperate and tropical estuarine ecosystems. Several virulence-related features are examined, in particular the thermostable direct hemolysin (TDH), the TDH-related hemolysin (TRH), and the type 3 secretion system, and the possible importance of these features in V. parahaemolyticus pathogenicity is explored. The impact of new and much more effective PCR primers on V. parahaemolyticus detection and our views of virulent strain abundance are also described. It is clear that strains carrying the canonical virulence genes are far more common than previously thought, which opens questions regarding the role of these genes in pathogenesis. It is also clear that virulence is an evolving feature of V. parahaemolyticus and that novel combinations of virulence factors can lead to emergent virulence in which a strain that is markedly more pathogenic evolves and propagates to produce an outbreak. The effects of global climate change on the frequency of epidemic disease, the geographic distribution of outbreaks, and the human impacts of V. parahaemolyticus are increasing and this review provides information on why this ubiquitous human pathogen has

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Olson, Julie B; Kellogg, Christina A

    2010-07-01

    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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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 ...

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Ecological consequences of dredged material disposal in the marine environment: a holistic assessment of activities around the England and Wales coastline.

    PubMed

    Bolam, S G; Rees, H L; Somerfield, P; Smith, R; Clarke, K R; Warwick, R M; Atkins, M; Garnacho, E

    2006-04-01

    This study provides a holistic perspective on the ecological effects of dredged material disposal, both intertidally and subtidally. A number of numerical techniques (univariate, distributional, multivariate and meta-analysis) were used to assess impacts at 18 different disposal sites. The analyses revealed that ecological effects associated with dredged material disposal were dependent on the numerical techniques used, and that impacts were disposal-site specific. Disposal-site communities were generally faunistically impoverished to varying degrees, and impacts following intertidal placement were comparable to those of subtidal placement. We conclude that any assessment of the consequences of dredged material disposal to the coastal environment must take account of site-specific variation in prevailing hydrographic regimes and in ecological status, along with information on the disposal activity itself (mode, timing, quantity, frequency and type of material). As would be expected, variability in the latter presents a significant challenge in attempts to generalise about environmental and ecological impacts.

  8. Ecology of Triatoma rubrovaria (Hemiptera, Triatominae) in wild and peridomestic environments of Uruguay.

    PubMed

    Salvatella, R; Rosa, R; Basmadjian, Y; Puime, A; Calegari, L; Guerrero, J; Martinez, M; Mendaro, G; Briano, D; Montero, C

    1995-01-01

    This paper describes population structure, spatial distribution and habitat selection of wild and peridomestic populations of Triatoma rubrovaria (Blanchard, 1843). Field studies were carried out at Las Piedras and La Bolsa in the Northern Department of Artigas, Uruguay. A semicircular sampling area, divided in seven or eight triangular sectors was sequentially examined from October 1990 to November 1991. At Las Piedras (typical wild habitat) 1063 T. rubrovaria bugs were collected from 84% of the rocky outcroops ("pedregales"). Abundance varied by season peaking in October-November (spring). Throughout the year, most of the population was made up of third, fourth and fifth instar nymphs; adults were found from October to March. In the peridomestic environment of La Bolsa, however T. rubrovaria was less common and showed a more irregular instar distribution. Colonized ecotopes, were those close to houses. In both sites T. rubrovaria was mainly associated with the geckonid Homonota uruguayensis and the cockroach Blaptica dubia.

  9. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-08-01

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

  11. Competitive Oxidation Kinetics and Microbial Ecology: Intermediate Sulfur Transformations in Acid Mine Drainage Environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Druschel, G. K.; Hamers, R. J.; Banfield, J. F.

    2001-12-01

    Experimental studies have demonstrated that oxidation of pyrite proceeds through several intermediate sulfur species, notably elemental sulfur, thiosulfate, and polythionates (Schippers et al., 1996). However, detailed sampling and analysis of flowing waters and pore waters failed to detect intermediate sulfur species in the 5-way area of the Richmond metal sulfide deposit at the Iron Mountain Mine in northern California. Potential energy available from the oxidation of intermediate sulfur species is considerable, so microbial activity may explain absence of intermediate sulfur compounds at the site. However, the abundance of sulfur-oxidizing microorganisms in areas of active pyrite oxidation at the 5-way is generally low (Bond et al. 2000). Rapid inorganic oxidation rates may prevent microorganisms from utilizing these intermediate sulfur species, thus shaping the structure of microbial communities in acid mine drainage (AMD) environments. Rates and mechanisms of oxidation for tetrathionate and elemental sulfur have been experimentally determined. Batch and flow-through experiments have indicated very slow oxidation of elemental sulfur in inorganic solutions analogous to AMD environments. Results for tetrathionate indicate the importance of non-metabolic and inorganic processes, including surface catalysis and the generation of hydroxyl radicals. Surface catalysis occurs through trithionate on iron oxide surfaces. Hydroxyl radicals may be formed directly by microbes living in proximity to pyrite surfaces, or at pyrite surfaces undergoing wetting and drying cycles. Further experiments investigating the importance of organic compounds associated with iron-oxidizing microorganisms acting as electron transport shuttles and/or wetting agents and ab initio calculations of the electronic structure of potential reactants and intermediates are currently being performed. It is suggested that inorganic processes involved with seasonal wetting and drying of pyritic sediment

  12. 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 ...

  13. 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.

  14. Indirect photochemical transformations of acyclovir and penciclovir in aquatic environments increase ecological risk.

    PubMed

    An, Jibin; Li, Guiying; An, Taicheng; Nie, Xiangping

    2016-03-01

    Acyclovir and penciclovir, 2 antiviral drugs, are increasingly detected in aquatic environments. The present study explores the natural photochemical transformation mechanisms and fate of these drugs, examining direct and indirect photochemical transformation under simulated sunlight irradiation. The 2 antiviral drugs are photostable under certain conditions but significantly degrade in the presence of chromophoric dissolved organic matter (DOM). The degradation rate associated with the drugs' indirect photochemical transformation scaled with chromophoric DOM concentration. Quenchers and sensitizers were used to identify indirect photochemical transformation mechanism. Results suggested that both pharmaceuticals could be transformed by reacting with (1)O2, (•)OH, and excited chromophoric DOM. The (1)O2 played an important role in indirect photochemical transformation. Furthermore, the reaction kinetics between their substructural molecules, guanine, isocytosine, and imidazole, with different reactive oxygen species were evaluated to determine which substrate functionalities were most susceptible to singlet oxygenation. Imidazole was identified as the reaction site for (1)O2, and preliminary (1)O2 oxidation mechanisms were further evaluated based on liquid chromatographic-tandem mass spectrometric results. Finally, aquatic ecotoxicity assessment of phototransformed solutions revealed that the degradation of acyclovir and penciclovir may not ultimately diminish environmental risk because of either formation of more toxic intermediates than parent pharmaceuticals or some synergistic effects existing between the intermediates.

  15. 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…

  16. 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.

  17. [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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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%.

  3. 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…

  4. Agricultural Waste.

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  5. Quantitative analysis on the ecological impact of large-scale water transfer project on water resource area in a changing environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yan, D. H.; Wang, H.; Li, H. H.; Wang, G.; Qin, T. L.; Wang, D. Y.; Wang, L. H.

    2011-11-01

    The interbasin long-distance water transfer project is a key support for the reasonable allocation of water resources in a large-scale area, which can optimize the spatiotemporal change of water resources to reinforce the guarantee of the access of water resources. And large-scale water transfer projects have a deep influence on ecosystems; besides, global climate change causes the uncertainty and additive effect of the ecological impact of water transfer projects. Therefore, how to assess the ecological and environmental impact of large-scale water transfer projects in both construction and operation has triggered a lot of attention. The water-output area of the western route of China's South-North Water Transfer Project was taken as the study area of the present article. According to relevant evaluation principles and on the basis of background analysis on the eco-environment of the study area, the influence factors were identified and evaluation indexes were established. The climate-hydrology-ecology coupled simulation model was used to imitate the laws of ecological and environmental change of the water resource area in a changing climate. The emphasis of influence analysis and quantitative evaluation was placed on the reservoir construction and operation scheduling, representative river corridors and wetlands, natural reserves and the water environment of river basins below the dam sites. In the end, an overall influence evaluation of the impact of the project on the water circulation and ecological evolution of the water resource area was conducted. The research results were as follows: the environmental impacts of the western route project in the water resource area were concentrated on two aspects, i.e. the permanent destruction of vegetation during the phase of dam construction and river impoundment, and the significant influence on the hydrological situation of natural river corridor after the implementation of water transfer. Its impact on local climate

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fisher, Charles R.

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

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-04-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. Invasive species in agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agricultural production of food, feed, fiber or fuel is a local human activity with global ecological impacts, including the potential to foster invasions. Agriculture plays an unusual role in biological invasions, in that it is both a source of non-indigenous invasive species (NIS) and especially s...

  11. Report: Results of Technical Network Vulnerability Assessment: EPA’s National Health & Environment Effects Research Laboratory, Western Ecology Division

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Report #11-P-0429, August 3, 2011. Vulnerability testing of EPA’s NHEERL Western Ecology Division network conducted in March 2011 identified Internet Protocol addresses with numerous high-risk and medium-risk vulnerabilities.

  12. Joint application of the satellite altimetry and radiometry data for the solution of a problem of ecological monitoring of a marine environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lebedev, S.

    Ecological monitoring of a marine environment of last years has shown, that alongside with processes of a destruction and deposition of pollutants not last role is played by dynamics of a marine surface, as the basic mass transfer. The models, existing on the present time, of calculation of currents usually use oceanographic and meteorological data obtained by the contact measurement methods. The apparent successes in development of ocean remote sensing methods open a path to creation of operating systems of ecological monitoring of a marine environment. The sea surface or dynamic topography calculated by satellite altimetry data, allows to analyze dynamics of the surface currents, which are not having brightly expressed thermal nature, as for instance, strong jet streams. In turn sea surface temperature, obtained by the satellite radiometry data, was used for more precise count of destruction processes of pollutants. Time-space scale of the satellite data from a ocean surface allow actively to use them in different models, that enables with a split-hair accuracy to make the physically reasonable forecast. Surface temperature and dynamic topography data sharing realized in the automated system "Regional Ecological Monitoring of a Marine Environment -- Black Sea", which basis by model of pollutant propagation. The research was undertaken with partial support from the Russian Basic Research Foundation (Project ? 01-07-90106).

  13. Joint Application of The Satellite Altimetry and Radiometry Data For Solution of A Problem of Ecological Monitoring of A Marine Environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lebedev, S. A.

    Ecological monitoring of a marine environment of last years has shown, that along- side with processes of a destruction and deposition of pollutants not last role is played by dynamics of a marine surface, as the basic mass transfer. The models, existing on the present time, of calculation of currents usually use oceanographic and meteoro- logical data obtained by the contact measurement methods. The apparent successes in development of ocean remote sensing methods open a path to creation of operating systems of ecological monitoring of a marine environment. The sea surface or dy- namic topography calculated by satellite altimetry data, allows to analyze dynamics of the surface currents, which are not having brightly expressed thermal nature, as for instance, strong jet streams. In turn sea surface temperature, obtained by the satellite radiometry data, was used for more precise count of destruction processes of pollu- tants. Time-space scale of the satellite data from a ocean surface allow actively to use them in different models, that enables with a split-hair accuracy to make the physically reasonable forecast. Surface temperature and dynamic topography data sharing real- ized in the automated system SRegional Ecological Monitoring of a Marine Environment U Black SeaT, which basis by model of pollutant propagation. The research was undertaken with partial support from the Russian Basic Research Foundation (Project #01-07-90106).

  14. 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.

  15. 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.…

  16. [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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Nutrition ecology: the contribution of vegetarian diets.

    PubMed

    Leitzmann, Claus

    2003-09-01

    Nutrition ecology is an interdisciplinary scientific discipline that encompasses the entire nutrition system, with special consideration of the effects of nutrition on health, the environment, society, and the economy. Nutrition ecology involves all components of the food chain, including production, harvesting, preservation, storage, transport, processing, packaging, trade, distribution, preparation, composition, and consumption of food, as well as disposal of waste materials. Nutrition ecology has numerous origins, some of which go back to antiquity. The introduction of industrialized agriculture and mass animal production gave rise to various negative influences on the environment and health. Food quality is determined in part by the quality of the environment. The environment, in turn, is influenced by food consumption habits. Research shows that vegetarian diets are well suited to protect the environment, to reduce pollution, and to minimize global climate changes. To maximize the ecologic and health benefits of vegetarian diets, food should be regionally produced, seasonally consumed, and organically grown. Vegetarian diets built on these conditions are scientifically based, socially acceptable, economically feasible, culturally desired, sufficiently practicable, and quite sustainable.

  20. [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.

  1. The eco-evolutionary impacts of domestication and agricultural practices on wild species.

    PubMed

    Turcotte, Martin M; Araki, Hitoshi; Karp, Daniel S; Poveda, Katja; Whitehead, Susan R

    2017-01-19

    Agriculture is a dominant evolutionary force that drives the evolution of both domesticated and wild species. However, the various mechanisms of agriculture-induced evolution and their socio-ecological consequences are not often synthetically discussed. Here, we explore how agricultural practices and evolutionary changes in domesticated species cause evolution in wild species. We do so by examining three processes by which agriculture drives evolution. First, differences in the traits of domesticated species, compared with their wild ancestors, alter the selective environment and create opportunities for wild species to specialize. Second, selection caused by agricultural practices, including both those meant to maximize productivity and those meant to control pest species, can lead to pest adaptation. Third, agriculture can cause non-selective changes in patterns of gene flow in wild species. We review evidence for these processes and then discuss their ecological and sociological impacts. We finish by identifying important knowledge gaps and future directions related to the eco-evolutionary impacts of agriculture including their extent, how to prevent the detrimental evolution of wild species, and finally, how to use evolution to minimize the ecological impacts of agriculture.This article is part of the themed issue 'Human influences on evolution, and the ecological and societal consequences'.

  2. 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...

  3. Ecological network analysis of China's societal metabolism.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yan; Liu, Hong; Li, Yating; Yang, Zhifeng; Li, Shengsheng; Yang, Naijin

    2012-01-01

    Uncontrolled socioeconomic development has strong negative effects on the ecological environment, including pollution and the depletion and waste of natural resources. These serious consequences result from the high flows of materials and energy through a socioeconomic system produced by exchanges between the system and its surroundings, causing the disturbance of metabolic processes. In this paper, we developed an ecological network model for a societal system, and used China in 2006 as a case study to illustrate application of the model. We analyzed China's basic metabolic processes and used ecological network analysis to study the network relationships within the system. Basic components comprised the internal environment, five sectors (agriculture, exploitation, manufacturing, domestic, and recycling), and the external environment. We defined 21 pairs of ecological relationships in China's societal metabolic system (excluding self-mutualism within a component). Using utility and throughflow analysis, we found that exploitation, mutualism, and competition relationships accounted for 76.2, 14.3, and 9.5% of the total relationships, respectively. In our trophic level analysis, the components were divided into producers, consumers, and decomposers according to their positions in the system. Our analyses revealed ways to optimize the system's structure and adjust its functions, thereby promoting healthier socioeconomic development, and suggested ways to apply ecological network analysis in future socioeconomic research.

  4. 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…

  5. Advanced agricultural biotechnologies and sustainable agriculture.

    PubMed

    Lyson, Thomas A

    2002-05-01

    Agricultural biotechnologies are anchored to a scientific paradigm rooted in experimental biology, whereas sustainable agriculture rests on a biological paradigm that is best described as ecological. Both biotechnology and sustainable agriculture are associated with particular social science paradigms: biotechnology has its foundation in neoclassical economics, but sustainability is framed by an emerging community-centered, problem-solving perspective. Fundamentally, biotechnology and neoclassical economics are reductionist in nature. Sustainability and community problem-solving, however, are nonreductionist. Given these differences, we might see the development of two rather distinct systems of food production in the near future.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Nutritional and ecological evaluation of dairy farming systems based on concentrate feeding regimes in semi-arid environments of Jordan.

    PubMed

    Alqaisi, Othman; Hemme, Torsten; Hagemann, Martin; Susenbeth, Andreas

    2014-01-01

    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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Environment

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-01-01

    biodiversity . Consequently, the major environmental challenges facing us in the 21st century include: global climate change, energy, population and food...combustion of fossil fuels and deforestation .14 Expectations are that continued 7 accumulation of greenhouse gases is expected to lead to rising...primary ecological services coastal ecosystems provide are biodiversity both on land and underwater and pollutant filtering. Coastal wetlands, mangroves

  14. 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.…

  15. 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.

  16. 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)…

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Ecological Considerations in Producing and Formulating Fungal Entomopathogens for Use in Insect Biocontrol

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Insect pests persist in a wide variety of agricultural, arboreal, and urban environments. Effective control with fungal entomopathogens using inundation biocontrol requires an understanding of the ecology of the target insect, fungal pathogen, and the insect-pathogen interaction. Historically, the...

  3. Ecological Considerations in Producing and Formulating Fungal Entomopathogens for Use in Insect Biocontrol

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Insect pests persist in a wide-variety of agricultural, arboreal, and urban environments. Effective control with fungal entomopathogens using inundation biocontrol requires an understanding of the ecology of the target insect, fungal pathogen, and the insect-pathogen interaction. Historically, the d...

  4. Fate and agricultural consequences of leachable elements added to the environment from the 2011 Cordón Caulle tephra fall

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stewart, Carol; Craig, Heather M.; Gaw, Sally; Wilson, Thomas; Villarosa, Gustavo; Outes, Valeria; Cronin, Shane; Oze, Christopher

    2016-11-01

    The June 2011 eruption of Cordón Caulle volcano, Chile, dispersed tephra over 350,000 km2, including productive agricultural land. This resulted in the death of nearly one million livestock. Two distinct environments were affected: a proximal temperate Andean setting, and the semi-arid Argentine steppe farther from the volcano. The purpose of this study was to better understand the fate and agricultural consequences of leachable elements added to the environment by this large silicic tephra fall. Tephra, soil and surface water samples across the depositional area were collected both immediately after the eruption (tephra and water) and nine months afterwards (tephra, soil and water). Tephra samples were analysed following a new hazard assessment protocol developed by the International Volcanic Health Hazard Network (IVHHN). Water-extractable element concentrations in freshly-collected tephra were very low to low compared to other eruptions, and showed no trends with distance from the volcano. Surface water analyses suggested short-term changes to water composition due to the release of elements from tephra. No effect on the fertility of soils underlying tephra was apparent after nine months. Water-extractable fluorine (F) in freshly-collected tephra ranged from 12 to 167 mg/kg, with a median value of 67 mg/kg. Based on parallels with the 11-12 October 1995 eruption of Ruapehu volcano, New Zealand, we conclude that F toxicity was a possible contributing factor to the large-scale livestock deaths as well as to chronic fluorosis widely reported in wild deer populations across the Cordón Caulle tephra depositional area. Finally, we recommend that effective response to widespread tephra fall over agricultural areas should include: (1) rapid, statistically representative field sampling of tephra, soils, surface water supplies and forage crops; (2) analysis using appropriate and reliable laboratory methods; (3) modelling both short and long-term impacts on the ecosystem

  5. Transfer of multidrug-resistant bacteria between intermingled ecological niches: the interface between humans, animals and the environment.

    PubMed

    da Costa, Paulo Martins; Loureiro, Luís; Matos, Augusto J F

    2013-01-14

    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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Detection of Cryptosporidium and Giardia in agricultural and water environments in the Qinghai area of China by IFT and PCR.

    PubMed

    Ma, Liqing; Sotiriadou, Isaia; Cai, Qigang; Karanis, Gabriele; Wang, Geping; Wang, Guanghua; Lu, Yan; Li, Xiuping; Karanis, Panagiotis

    2014-09-01

    Qinghai Province in northwest China is strongly influenced by agricultural activities and is an important source of food and drinking water. Here, we present findings regarding the occurrence and molecular epidemiology of Cryptosporidium and Giardia species based on a large-scale investigation of areas of Qinghai Province. The diagnosis and molecular detection of Cryptosporidium oocysts and Giardia cysts was carried out using immunofluorescence microscopy (IFT), whereas nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in fecal smears and water samples was used for the detection and molecular characterization of the species. In total, 561 samples (260 water samples and 301 fecal samples from animals) were collected and analyzed. Of the 260 water samples, 66 samples were Cryptosporidium-positive by IFT and 71 samples were positive by nested PCR; in addition, 39 samples were Giardia-positive by IFT and 40 samples were positive by nested PCR. Of the 301 fecal samples from animals, 98 samples were Cryptosporidium-positive by IFT and 61 samples were positive by nested PCR, whereas 52 samples were Giardia-positive by IFT and 31 samples were positive by nested PCR. We showed that the water supplies and animals investigated contained Cryptosporidium and Giardia (oo)cysts. Thus, we recommend that the Chinese Government and Chinese health authorities undertake control measures to protect the food and drinking water sources in Qinghai from these pathogenic protozoa.

  9. A probabilistic approach for estimating the spatial extent of pesticide agricultural use sites and potential co-occurrence with listed species for use in ecological risk assessments.

    PubMed

    Budreski, Katherine; Winchell, Michael; Padilla, Lauren; Bang, JiSu; Brain, Richard A

    2016-04-01

    A crop footprint refers to the estimated spatial extent of growing areas for a specific crop, and is commonly used to represent the potential "use site" footprint for a pesticide labeled for use on that crop. A methodology for developing probabilistic crop footprints to estimate the likelihood of pesticide use and the potential co-occurrence of pesticide use and listed species locations was tested at the national scale and compared to alternative methods. The probabilistic aspect of the approach accounts for annual crop rotations and the uncertainty in remotely sensed crop and land cover data sets. The crop footprints used historically are derived exclusively from the National Land Cover Database (NLCD) Cultivated Crops and/or Pasture/Hay classes. This approach broadly aggregates agriculture into 2 classes, which grossly overestimates the spatial extent of individual crops that are labeled for pesticide use. The approach also does not use all the available crop data, represents a single point in time, and does not account for the uncertainty in land cover data set classifications. The probabilistic crop footprint approach described herein incorporates best available information at the time of analysis from the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) Cropland Data Layer (CDL) for 5 y (2008-2012 at the time of analysis), the 2006 NLCD, the 2007 NASS Census of Agriculture, and 5 y of NASS Quick Stats (2008-2012). The approach accounts for misclassification of crop classes in the CDL by incorporating accuracy assessment information by state, year, and crop. The NLCD provides additional information to improve the CDL crop probability through an adjustment based on the NLCD accuracy assessment data using the principles of Bayes' Theorem. Finally, crop probabilities are scaled at the state level by comparing against NASS surveys (Census of Agriculture and Quick Stats) of reported planted acres by crop. In an example application of the new method, the probabilistic

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Practising pastoralism in an agricultural environment: An isotopic analysis of the impact of the Hunnic incursions on Pannonian populations

    PubMed Central

    Evans, Jane; Chapman, Hazel; Fóthi, Erzsébet

    2017-01-01

    We conducted a multi-isotope study of five fifth-century AD cemeteries in modern-day Hungary to determine relationships between nomadic-pastoralist incomers—the historically documented Huns and other nomadic groups—and the sedentary agricultural population of the late Roman province of Pannonia. Contemporary historical sources describe this relationship as adversarial and destructive for the late Roman population, but archaeological evidence indicates high levels of hybridity between different groups. We undertook carbon, nitrogen, strontium and oxygen isotope analyses of bone collagen, dentine and tooth enamel at Keszthely-Fenékpuszta, Hács-Béndekpuszta, Győr-Széchenyi Square, Mözs and Szolnok-Szanda to examine these relationships through past subsistence practices. The patterns at all sites indicate medium to high animal protein consumption with little evidence for a significant contribution of aquatic resources. All populations relied to a great extent on C4 plants, most likely millet. Within each population, diet was heterogeneous, with significant variations in terms of animal protein and C3 and C4 plant consumption. High levels of intra-population and individual variability suggest that populations made use of a range of subsistence strategies, with many individuals exhibiting significant changes over their lifetimes. Rather than being characterised only by violence, the historically-documented influx of nomadic populations appears to have led to widespread changes in subsistence strategies of populations in the Carpathian basin. Nomadic-pastoralist groups may have switched to smaller herds and more farming, and, conversely, local populations may have integrated with a new economic system based on animal herding. PMID:28328951

  13. Potentials for win-win alliances among animal agriculture and forest products industries: application of the principles of industrial ecology and sustainable development.

    PubMed

    Cowling, Ellis B; Furiness, Cari S

    2005-09-01

    Commercial forests in many parts of the world are deficient in nitrogen and phosphorus. These nutrient-deficient forests often exist in close proximity to large animal feeding operations, meat processing and other food, textile, or other biomass-processing plants, and municipal waste treatment facilities. Many of these facilities produce large surpluses of nitrogen, phosphorus, and organic matter as gaseous ammonia, urea, uric acid, phosphorus compounds, bacterial sludges, and partially treated municipal wastewaters. These co-existing and substantial nutrient deficiencies and surpluses offer ready-made opportunities for discovery, demonstration, and commercial development of science-based, technology-facilitated, environmentally sound, economically viable, and socially acceptable "win-win alliances" among these major industries based on the principles of industrial ecology and sustainable development. The major challenge is to discover practical means to capture the surplus nutrients and put them to work in forest stands from which value-added products can be produced and sold at a profit.

  14. Potentials for win-win alliances among animal agriculture and forest products industries: application of the principles of industrial ecology and sustainable development.

    PubMed

    Cowling, Ellis B; Furiness, Carl S

    2005-12-01

    Commercial forests in many parts of the world are deficient in nitrogen and phosphorus. These nutrient-deficient forests often exist in close proximity to large animal feeding operations, meat processing and other food, textile, or other biomass-processing plants, and municipal waste treatment facilities. Many of these facilities produce large surpluses of nitrogen, phosphorus, and organic matter as gaseous ammonia, urea, uric acid, phosphorus compounds, bacterial sludges, and partially treated municipal wastewaters. These co-existing and substantial nutrient deficiencies and surpluses offer ready-made opportunities for discovery, demonstration, and commercial development of science-based, technology-facilitated, environmentally sound, economically viable, and socially acceptable "win-win alliances" among these major industries based on the principles of industrial ecology and sustainable development. The major challenge is to discover practical means to capture the surplus nutrients and put them to work in forest stands from which value-added products can be produced and sold at a profit.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. A critical analysis of the environment impact assessment report of the 2000 MW lower subansiri hydroelectric project with special reference to the down stream ecology and people's livelihood.

    PubMed

    Baruah, Debojit; Dutta, Ranjit; Hazarika, Lakhi Prasad; Sarmah, Sarada Kanta

    2011-10-01

    The Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) report of the 2000 MW Lower Subansiri Hydroelectric Project prepared by the WAPCOS (Water and Power Consultancy Service, 2003) indicates that downstream survey was done only up to 7 km from the dam site without giving much importance to the actual scenario and avoiding some most crucial ecological aspects. In the report, insufficient records of terrestrial flora, phytoplanktons and fish diversity are given. No records of aquatic macrophytes, riparian flora, zooplanktons, avian fauna, floodplain crops, besides peoples' livelihood and diverse habitat provided by the river in its downstream are presented in the report. Especially the wetlands, associated and influenced by the unregulated Subansiri River did not find any place in the EIA report. Interestingly, no mention of the Ganges Dolphin--Platanista gangetica gangetica Roxb. could be found in the report, whereas the river provides a healthy habitat for a good number of this critically endangered fresh water dolphin. From our pre-impact study, it is clear that rich downstream ecology of the river with its present and existing environmental scenario will be adversely affected due to the construction and operation of the proposed project, and there will be distinct possibilities of elimination of other native species. In addition, people's livelihood will be affected largely through alteration of the flow regime of the river. In-depth study with comprehensive documentation of all biotic and abiotic parameters is obligatory before taking any decision about the operation of the 2000 MW Lower Subansiri Hydroelectric Project.

  18. 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.

  19. 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…

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Microsatellites reveal extensive geographical, ecological and genetic contacts between invasive and indigenous whitefly biotypes in an insular environment.

    PubMed

    Delatte, H; David, P; Granier, M; Lett, J M; Goldbach, R; Peterschmitt, M; Reynaud, B

    2006-04-01

    Human-mediated bioinvasions provide the opportunity to study the early stages of contact between formerly allopatric, divergent populations of a species. However, when invasive and resident populations are morphologically similar, it may be very difficult to assess their distribution in the field, as well as the extent of ecological overlap and genetic exchanges between invasive and resident populations. We here illustrate the use of data obtained from a set of eight microsatellite markers together with Bayesian clustering methods to document invasions in a group of major tropical pests, Bemisia tabaci, which comprises several morphologically indistinguishable biotypes with different agronomic impacts. We focus on the island of La Réunion, where an invasive biotype (B) has recently been introduced and now interacts with the resident biotype (Ms). The temporal and spatial distribution, host-plant range and genetic structure of both biotypes are investigated. We showed (i) that, without prior information, clustering methods separate two groups of individuals that can safely be identified as the B and Ms biotypes; (ii) that the B biotype has invaded all regions of the island, and showed no signs of genetic founder effect relative to the Ms biotype; (iii) that the B and Ms biotypes coexist in sympatry throughout most of their geographical ranges, although they tend to segregate into different host plants; and finally (iv) that asymmetrical and locus-specific introgression occurs between the two biotypes when they are in syntopy.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Man-Made Closed Ecological Systems as Model of Natural Ecosystems and as Means to Provide High Quality of Human Life in Adverse Environment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gitelson, I. I.; Harper, Lynn (Technical Monitor)

    1994-01-01

    For its more than thirty year long history, the experimental creation of closed ecological systems has from its very sources been distinctly and strongly motivated by the development of human life-support systems for space. As the trend developed its fundamental significance and broad opportunities of terrestrial applications of the technologies under development were coming to the foreground. Nowadays, it can be argued that development of closed ecosystems is experimental foundation of a new branch of ecology biospherics, the goal of which is to comprehend the regularities of existence of the biosphere as a unique in the Universe (in that part of it that we know, at least) closed ecosystem. Closed technologies can be implemented in life-support systems under adverse conditions of life on the Earth - in Arctic and Antarctic latitudes, deserts, high mountains or deep in the ocean, as well as under the conditions of polluted water and air. In space where the environment is hostile for life all around the cell of life should be sealed and the life-support system as close to the ideally closed cyclic turnover of the matter as possible. Under terrestrial conditions designers should strive for maximum closure of the limiting factor: water - in deserts, oxygen - in high mountains, energy - in polar latitudes, etc. Essential closure of a life-support systems withstands also pollution of the environment by the wastes of human vital activity. This is of particular importance for the quarantine of visited planets, and on the Earth under the conditions of deficient heat in high latitudes and water in and areas. The report describes experimental ecosystem 'BIOS' and exohabitats being designed on its basis, which are adapted to various conditions, described capacities of the Center for Closed Ecosystems in Drasnoyarsk for international collaboration in research and education in this field.

  6. New Frontiers in Nematode Ecology

    PubMed Central

    Ferris, Howard

    1993-01-01

    Future areas of emphasis for research and scholarship in nematode ecology are indicated by pressing agricultural and environmental issues, by new directions in applied nematology, and by current technological advances. Studies in nematode ecology must extend beyond observation, counting, and simple statistical analysis. Experimentation and the testing of hypotheses are needed for understanding the biological mechanisms of ecological systems. Opportunities for fruitful experimentation in nematode ecology are emerging at the ecosystem, community, population, and individual levels. Nematode ecologists will best promote their field of study by closely monitoring and participating in the advances, initiatives, developments, and directions in the larger field of ecology. PMID:19279783

  7. 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...

  8. 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…

  9. Systems assessment of water savings impact of controlled environment agriculture (CEA) utilizing wirelessly networked Sense•Decide•Act•Communicate (SDAC) systems.

    SciTech Connect

    Campbell, Jonathan T.; Baynes, Edward E., Jr.; Aguirre,Carlos; Jordan, Jon; Giacomelli, Gene; Waggoner, Justin; Loest, Clint; Szumel, Leo; Nakaoka, Tyler; Pate, Ronald C.; Berry, Nina M.; Pohl, Phillip Isabio; Aguirre, Francisco Luis; Aguilar, Jose; Gupta, Vipin P.; Ochoa, Juan; Davis, Jesse Zehring; Ramos, Damian

    2005-02-01

    Reducing agricultural water use in arid regions while maintaining or improving economic productivity of the agriculture sector is a major challenge. Controlled environment agriculture (CEA, or, greenhouse agriculture) affords advantages in direct resource use (less land and water required) and productivity (i.e., much higher product yield and quality per unit of resources used) relative to conventional open-field practices. These advantages come at the price of higher operating complexity and costs per acre. The challenge is to implement and apply CEA such that the productivity and resource use advantages will sufficiently outweigh the higher operating costs to provide for overall benefit and viability. This project undertook an investigation of CEA for livestock forage production as a water-saving alternative to open-field forage production in arid regions. Forage production is a large consumer of fresh water in many arid regions of the world, including the southwestern U.S. and northern Mexico. With increasing competition among uses (agriculture, municipalities, industry, recreation, ecosystems, etc.) for limited fresh water supplies, agricultural practice alternatives that can potentially maintain or enhance productivity while reducing water use warrant consideration. The project established a pilot forage production greenhouse facility in southern New Mexico based on a relatively modest and passive (no active heating or cooling) system design pioneered in Chihuahua, Mexico. Experimental operations were initiated in August 2004 and carried over into early-FY05 to collect data and make initial assessments of operational and technical system performance, assess forage nutrition content and suitability for livestock, identify areas needing improvement, and make initial assessment of overall feasibility. The effort was supported through the joint leveraging of late-start FY04 LDRD funds and bundled CY2004 project funding from the New Mexico Small Business Technical

  10. 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.

  11. [Ecological characteristic of benthic epipelic algae and the characteristic of water environment quality in heavily polluted river in city].

    PubMed

    Zhao, Zhen-hua; Ruan, Xiao-hong; Xing, Ya-nan; Ni, Li-xiao; Gao, Li-cun

    2009-12-01

    The water quality and algae community of Nanyuan Water System in the old city area of Suzhou were monitored for a year. Results showed that the water pollution in the studied area was mainly related to nitrogen (NH4+ -N and TN). Sometimes, they even exceeded the Environmental Quality Standards for Surface Water (GB 3838-2002, PRC) more than 5 times. 34 species of benthic epipelic algae were observed by microscope, and the species amount of diatom algae, green algae and blue algae are more than others. Their abundance and biomass are far higher than that of the pelagic algae in the same sites,and reach 2 145.5 x 10(4) cells/mL and 3.524 mg/mL,respectively. The dominant species of benthic epipelic algae in Nanyuan's water system are diatom algae and blue algae, most of which belong to the heterotrophic type or bi-trophic type algae, the typical genera include: Oscillaria amphibian (affiliated to Cyanophyta), Cyclotella sp., Melosira sp., Stephanodiscus hantzschii, Navicula sp., Nitzschia sp., Gomphonema (affiliated to Bacillariophyta) and so on. And their distribution of species and abundance are very nonuniform in different reach of heavily polluted city river, which relates to the pollutant characteristics of the river. The seasonal variety trend of the abundance for benthic algae showed that:summer > autumn > spring > winter, and that of biomass for benthic algae showed that: the biomass in winter is the most of four seasons and change extent of the biomass is not obvious in spring, summer and autumn. The research results can provide reference for the ecology restoration of city heavily polluted river.

  12. 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…

  13. 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

  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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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...

  20. 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.

  1. [Residential colonization of orbital complex "Mir" environment by penicillium chrysogenum and problem of ecological safety in long-term space flight].

    PubMed

    Viktorov, A N; Novikova, N D; Deshevaia, E A; Bragina, M P; Shnyreva, A V; Sizova, T P; D'iakov, Iu T

    1998-01-01

    Results of many years of the survey of highly specific evolution of quantitative and species composition of microflora of the MIR environment are reviewed. Analysis of the data enabled listing of microorganisms-declinous fungi with the ability of residential colonization of structural materials of the interior and equipment of habitable modules of the space station. Results of the studies of variability and level of similarity/affinity on the basis of DNA, polymorphism of strains isolated in space flight, convincingly confirmed this characteristic in the Penicillium chrysogenum cultures. In view of the common origin determined from the signs of genetic alliance, the P. chrysogenum strains isolated on MIR in 1995 can be considered descendants of the cultures found at the beginning of the MIR operation. This ecological expansion of P. chrysogenum in the space station environment gains in prominence due to the fact that representative of this particular species known for its active biodestructive nature were, as a rule, detected in the areas where structural materials of the SALYUT and MIR space stations incurred biological degradation.

  2. 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)

  3. 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.

  4. [Landscape changes of ecotone of temperate and sub-tropical zone and its ecological importance].

    PubMed

    Hou, X

    2001-04-01

    The change process of ecotone of temperate and subtropical zone and its effect on development, transformation and permeation of chinese agriculture and techniques were discussed in this paper from the viewpoint of landscape ecology. In historical time, the boundary of the ecotone changed northward and southward as climate changed, which changed southward 1-2 latitude in cold period and northward 1-2 latitude in warm period. The ecotone had an obvious environment diversity and strong sensibility, and played important role as a landscape conduit and barrier in aspects of chinese agricultural heterogeneous permeation and heterogeneity creation of agricultural techniques and cultures.

  5. The ecology of algal biodiesel production.

    PubMed

    Smith, Val H; Sturm, Belinda S M; Denoyelles, Frank J; Billings, Sharon A

    2010-05-01

    Sustainable energy production represents one of the most formidable problems of the 21st century, and plant-based biofuels offer significant promise. We summarize the potential advantages of using pond-grown microalgae as feedstocks relative to conventional terrestrial biofuel crop production. We show how pond-based algal biofuel production, which requires significantly less land area than agricultural crop-based biofuel systems, can offer additional ecological benefits by reducing anthropogenic pollutant releases to the environment and by requiring much lower water subsidies. We also demonstrate how key principles drawn from the science of ecology can be used to design efficient pond-based microalgal systems for the production of biodiesel fuels.

  6. 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)

  7. Phylogeny and ecology of the ubiquitous saprobe Cladosporium sphaerospermum, with descriptions of seven new species from hypersaline environments

    PubMed Central

    Zalar, P.; de Hoog, G.S.; Schroers, H.-J.; Crous, P.W.; Groenewald, J.Z.; Gunde-Cimerman, N.

    2007-01-01

    Saprobic Cladosporium isolates morphologically similar to C. sphaerospermum are phylogenetically analysed on the basis of DNA sequences of the ribosomal RNA gene cluster, including the internal transcribed spacer regions ITS1 and ITS2, the 5.8S rDNA (ITS) and the small subunit (SSU) rDNA as well as β-tubulin and actin gene introns and exons. Most of the C. sphaerospermum-like species show halotolerance as a recurrent feature. Cladosporium sphaerospermum, which is characterised by almost globose conidia, is redefined on the basis of its ex-neotype culture. Cladosporium dominicanum, C. psychrotolerans, C. velox, C. spinulosum and C. halotolerans, all with globoid conidia, are newly described on the basis of phylogenetic analyses and cryptic morphological and physiological characters. Cladosporium halotolerans was isolated from hypersaline water and bathrooms and detected once on dolphin skin. Cladosporium dominicanum and C. velox were isolated from plant material and hypersaline water. Cladosporium psychrotolerans, which grows well at 4 °C but not at 30 °C, and C. spinulosum, having conspicuously ornamented conidia with long digitate projections, are currently only known from hypersaline water. We also newly describe C. salinae from hypersaline water and C. fusiforme from hypersaline water and animal feed. Both species have ovoid to ellipsoid conidia and are therefore reminiscent of C. herbarum. Cladosporium langeronii (= Hormodendrum langeronii) previously described as a pathogen on human skin, is halotolerant but has not yet been recorded from hypersaline environments. PMID:18490999

  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. 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.

  10. Ecology and bioprospecting.

    PubMed

    Beattie, Andrew J; Hay, Mark; Magnusson, Bill; de Nys, Rocky; Smeathers, James; Vincent, Julian F V

    2011-05-01

    Bioprospecting is the exploration of biodiversity for new resources of social and commercial value. It is carried out by a wide range of established industries such as pharmaceuticals, manufacturing and agriculture as well as a wide range of comparatively new ones such as aquaculture, bioremediation, biomining, biomimetic engineering and nanotechnology. The benefits of bioprospecting have emerged from such a wide range of organisms and environments worldwide that it is not possible to predict what species or habitats will be critical to society, or industry, in the future. The benefits include an unexpected variety of products that include chemicals, genes, metabolic pathways, structures, materials and behaviours. These may provide physical blueprints or inspiration for new designs. Criticism aimed at bioprospecting has been addressed, in part, by international treaties and legal agreements aimed at stopping biopiracy and many activities are now funded by agencies that require capacity-building and economic benefits in host countries. Thus, much contemporary bioprospecting has multiple goals, including the conservation of biodiversity, the sustainable management of natural resources and economic development. Ecologists are involved in three vital ways: first, applying ecological principles to the discovery of new resources. In this context, natural history becomes a vast economic database. Second, carrying out field studies, most of them demographic, to help regulate the harvest of wild species. Third, emphasizing the profound importance of millions of mostly microscopic species to the global economy.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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...

  14. Protective effect of ipratropium bromide on bronchoconstriction induced by sulfur dioxide exposure during apricot sufurization processes that causes asthma-like syndrome in agricultural environment.

    PubMed

    Yildirim, Zeki; Kilic, Talat; Koksal, Nurhan; Kotuk, Mahir

    2005-05-01

    We previously showed that apricot sulfurization workers are exposed to high concentrations of sulfur dioxide (SO2), resulting in an asthma-like syndrome. The aim of this study was to investigate whether pre-treatment of ipratropium bromide protects bronchoconstriction induced by SO2 exposure during apricot sulfurization processes that causes asthma-like syndrome. Firstly, pulmonary function tests were measured before and immediately after SO2 exposure due to processes of apricot sulfurization in 21 healthy volunteer apricot sulfurization workers who did not use any medication in apricot farms. One week later, same measurements were repeated in the same workers when they were working in same farm but they were administered two puffs of ipratropium bromide (20 microg per dose) before 30 min second SO2 exposure for protection of SO2-induced bronchoconstriction. Occupational SO2 exposure caused significant decrement in forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume (FEV1) and forced mid-expiratory flow rate (FEF25-75%) in the worker and these decrements were prevented by ipratropium bromide given 30 min before SO2 exposure. This result suggests that pre-treatment of ipratropium bromide protects SO2-induced bronchoconstriction in healthy worker during apricot sulfurization processes that causes asthma-like syndrome in agricultural environment.

  15. [Ecological monitoring in agro-ecological systems].

    PubMed

    Baĭkov, B D

    1983-01-01

    The fundamental principles of the ecologic monitoring in the antropogenic ecosystems are dealt with. Analyzed are the structure and function of the agroecologic systems, and, on the basis of the particular aspects established a concept is developed of the ecologic control at autoecologic and biocoenologic level. An analysis is likewise made of the ecologic sequelae resulting from the chemical war launched by the American aggressors in Vietnam and the specific trends therefrom in the substantiation of the ecologic monitoring. Stated is the necessity of profound investigations to establish the bioaccumulation of dioxine, a poisonous agent which was contained in herbicides and defoliants used in the war, and which was distinguished by exclusively high toxicity, producing teratogenic and cancerogenic effects and possessing high resistance in the environment.

  16. Witnessing Substance Use and Same-Day Antisocial Behavior among At-Risk Adolescents: Gene-Environment Interaction in a 30-Day Ecological Momentary Assessment Study

    PubMed Central

    Russell, Michael A.; Wang, Lin; Odgers, Candice L.

    2017-01-01

    Many young adolescents are embedded in neighborhoods, schools, and homes where alcohol and drugs are frequently used. However, little is known about (a) how witnessing others’ substance use affects adolescents in their daily lives and (b) which adolescents will be most affected. The current study used ecological momentary assessment with 151 young adolescents (ages 11–15) to examine the daily association between witnessing substance use and antisocial behavior across 38 consecutive days. Results from multilevel logistic regression models indicated that adolescents were more likely to engage in antisocial behavior on days when they witnessed others using substances—an association that held both when substance use was witnessed inside the home as well as outside the home (e.g., at school or in their neighborhoods). A significant gene-by-environment interaction suggested that the same-day association between witnessing substance use and antisocial behavior was significantly stronger among adolescents with, versus without, with the DRD4-7R allele. The implications of our findings for theory and research related to adolescent antisocial behavior are discussed. PMID:26648004

  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. [Problems in development of agriculture-animal husbandry ecotone and its countermeasures].

    PubMed

    Baoyin, Taogetao; Bai, Yongfei

    2004-02-01

    Problems in development of Duolun, a typical agriculture-animal husbandry ecotone, and its countermeasures were discussed in this paper. Economic structure was not rational in Duolun, and it should develop industry and commerce, limit the scope of agriculture and animal husbandry, and actively increase efficiency of agriculture and animal husbandry. The structure of land use was not rational, and the main countermeasures were to increase area of forestland and grassland, and decrease cultivated area. On resources use, the main countermeasures were to exploit water resource rationally and bring into play resource superiority of mutually benefits on agriculture and animal husbandry. The ecological environment construction was the foundation of the national economy for sustainable development in agriculture-animal husbandry ecotone.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Agricultural expansion and its impacts on tropical nature.

    PubMed

    Laurance, William F; Sayer, Jeffrey; Cassman, Kenneth G

    2014-02-01

    The human population is projected to reach 11 billion this century, with the greatest increases in tropical developing nations. This growth, in concert with rising per-capita consumption, will require large increases in food and biofuel production. How will these megatrends affect tropical terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and biodiversity? We foresee (i) major expansion and intensification of tropical agriculture, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa and South America; (ii) continuing rapid loss and alteration of tropical old-growth forests, woodlands, and semi-arid environments; (iii) a pivotal role for new roadways in determining the spatial extent of agriculture; and (iv) intensified conflicts between food production and nature conservation. Key priorities are to improve technologies and policies that promote more ecologically efficient food production while optimizing the allocation of lands to conservation and agriculture.

  2. 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.

  3. Environmental Protection Tools in Agricultural Management Works

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glowacka, Agnieszka; Taszakowski, Jaroslaw; Janus, Jaroslaw; Bozek, Piotr

    2016-10-01

    Land consolidation is a fundamental instrument for agricultural management. It facilitates comprehensive changes in the agricultural, social, and ecological domains. Consolidation and post-consolidation development-related investments are an opportunity to improve living conditions in rural areas, and simultaneously ensure its positive impact on the environment. One of the primary goals of consolidation, directly specified in the Act on land consolidation, is to improve farming conditions. In Poland, consolidation is possible due to EU funds: RDP 2007-2013 and RDP 2014-2020. In order for individual villages to be granted EU funds for consolidation and post-consolidation development under the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, their consolidation has to implement actions with positive impact on the environment and the landscape. The goal of this paper is to analyse documentation in the form of assumptions for a land consolidation project enclosed to an RDP 2014-2020 grant application and project information sheets as the basis for environmental impact assessment in the context of detailed presentation of environmental protection solutions that ensure a positive impact of the project on the environment and landscape. The detailed study involved 9 villages in the Malopolskie Voivodeship, which applied for EU grants for land consolidation in the current financial perspective. The paper specifies the existing state of the analysed villages as regards the natural environment, lists agricultural management instruments that have a positive impact on the environment, and demonstrates that planning of actions aimed at environmental protection is a necessary element of assumptions for land consolidation projects.

  4. Is rangeland agriculture sustainable?

    PubMed

    Heitschmidt, R K; Vermeire, L T; Grings, E E

    2004-01-01

    The objective of this paper is to examine the sustainability of rangeland agriculture (i.e., managed grazing) on a world-wide basis, with a focus on North America. Sustainability is addressed on three fronts: 1) ecological, 2) economic, and 3) social acceptance. Based on previous and on-going research, we suggest that employment of science-based rangeland grazing management strategies and tactics can ensure ecological sustainability. The formidable challenge in employing such technology centers around the need to balance efficiency of solar energy capture and subsequent harvest efficiencies across an array of highly spatially and temporally variable vegetation growing conditions using animals that graze selectively. Failure to meet this fundamental challenge often accelerates rangeland desertification processes, and in some instances, enhances rate and extent of the invasion of noxious weeds. We also suggest that the fundamental reason that ecologically sound grazing management technologies are often not employed in the management of grazed ecological systems is because social values drive management decisions more so than ecological science issues. This is true in both well-developed societies with substantial economic resources and in less-developed societies with few economic resources. However, the social issues driving management are often entirely different, ranging from multiple-use issues in developed countries to human day-to-day survival issues in poorly developed countries. We conclude that the long-term sustainability of rangeland agriculture in 1) developed societies depends on the ability of rangeland agriculturalists to continually respond in a dynamic, positive, proactive manner to ever-changing social values and 2) less-developed societies on their ability to address the ecological and social consequences arising from unsustainable human populations before the adoption of science-based sustainable rangeland management technologies.

  5. Agriculture: Newsroom

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Agriculture Newsroom. News releases, reports, and other documents from around EPA that are of interest or direct importance to the environmental management or compliance efforts of the agricultural community.

  6. Seasonal detection of atrazine and atzA in man-made waterways receiving agricultural runoff in a subtropical, semi-arid environment (Hidalgo County, Texas, USA).

    PubMed

    Cortez, Ibdanelo; Vitek, Christopher J; Persans, Michael W; Lowe, Kristine L

    2017-02-01

    Atrazine is a widely-used herbicide that can impact non-target organisms in the environment but can be biologically degraded by several types of microorganisms. In this study, the gene atzA, which encodes for the initial step in bacterially-mediated atrazine degradation, was used as an indicator of atrazine pollution in agricultural canals located in Hidalgo County, Texas, USA. The concentration of atrazine and atzA were monitored once per month for 12 months during 2010-2011. Atrazine was measured using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay; atzA abundance was monitored using Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (Q-PCR) analyses. Abundance of atrazine and atzA were compared with rainy versus dry months and during planting versus non-planting months. Results showed that atrazine levels varied from below detection to 0.43 ppb and were not influenced by precipitation or planting season. Concentrations of the gene atzA were significantly different in rainy versus dry months; during planting versus non-planting times of the year; and in the interaction of precipitation and planting season. The highest concentration of atzA, approx. 4.57 × 10(8) gene copies ml(-1), was detected in July 2010-a rainy, planting month in Hidalgo County, South Texas. However, atrazine was below detection during that month. We conclude that Q-PCR using atzA as an indicator gene is a potential method for monitoring low levels of atrazine pollution in environmental samples.

  7. Ecological Misconceptions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Munson, Bruce H.

    1994-01-01

    Presents a summary of the research literature on students' ecological conceptions and the implications of misconceptions. Topics include food webs, ecological adaptation, carrying capacity, ecosystem, and niche. (Contains 35 references.) (MKR)

  8. The ecological roles of bacterial populations in the surface sediments of coastal lagoon environments in Japan as revealed by quantification and qualification of 16S rDNA.

    PubMed

    Tsuboi, Shun; Amemiya, Takashi; Seto, Koji; Itoh, Kiminori; Rajendran, Narasimmalu

    2013-05-01

    Based on quantification and qualification of bacterial 16S rDNA, we verified the bacterial ecological characteristics of surface sediments of Lakes Shinji and Nakaumi, which are representative of coastal lagoons in Japan. Quantification and qualification of the 16S rDNA sequences was carried out using real time polymerase chain reaction and polymerase chain reaction denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and non-metric multidimensional scaling, respectively. The results revealed that the copy number per gram of sediment ranged from 8.33 × 10(8) (Lake Nakaumi) to 1.69 × 10(11) (Honjo area), suggesting that bacterial carbon contributed only 0.05-9.64 % of the total carbon content in the samples. Compared with other aquatic environments, these results indicate that sedimentary bacteria are not likely to be important transporters of nutrients to higher trophic levels, or to act as carbon sinks in the lagoons. The bacterial compositions of Lake Shinji and Lake Nakaumi and the Honjo area were primarily influenced by sediment grain sizes and salinity, respectively. Statistical comparisons of the environmental properties suggested that the areas that were oxygen-abundant (Lake Shinji) and at a higher temperature (Honjo area) presented efficient organic matter degradation. The 16S rDNA copy number per gram of carbon and nitrogen showed the same tendency. Consequently, the primary roles of bacteria were degradation and preservation of organic materials, and this was affected by oxygen and temperature. These roles were supported by the bacterial diversity rather than the differences in the community compositions of the sedimentary bacteria in these coastal lagoons.

  9. Irrigated Agriculture, Saudi Arabia

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

    In Saudi Arabia, center-pivot, swing-arm irrigated agriculture complexes such as the one imaged at Jabal Tuwayq (20.5N, 45.0 E) extract deep fossil water reserves to achieve food crop production self sufficiency in this desert environment. The significance of the Saudi expanded irrigated agriculture is that the depletion of this finite water resource is a short term solution to a long term need that will still exist when the water has been extracted.

  10. Ecology for a changing earth

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, J.H. ); Roughgarden, J. )

    1990-02-06

    To forecast the ecological impact of global change, research initiatives are needed on the explicit role of humans in ecological systems, and on how ecological processes functioning at different spatial and temporal scales are coupled. Furthermore, to synthesize the results of ecological research for Congress, policymakers, and the general public, a new agency, called the United States Ecological Survey (USES) is urgently required. Also, a national commitment to environmental health, as exemplified by establishing a National Institutes of the Environment (NIE), should be a goal.

  11. Backyard Ecology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Elser, Monica; Musheno, Birgit; Saltz, Charlene

    2003-01-01

    Describes the Ecology Explorers, the community education component of Arizona State University's Central Arizona Phoenix Long-Term Ecological Research project, which offers teacher internship programs that link university researchers, K-12 teachers, and students in studying urban ecology. Explains that student neighborhoods are dynamic ecosystems…

  12. Capturing illicit drug use where and when it happens: an ecological momentary assessment of the social, physical and activity environment of using versus craving illicit drugs

    PubMed Central

    Linas, Beth S.; Latkin, Carl; Westergaard, Ryan P.; Chang, Larry W.; Bollinger, Robert C.; Genz, Andrew; Kirk, Gregory D.

    2015-01-01

    Aims To understand the environmental and contextual influences of illicit cocaine and heroin use and craving using mobile health (mHealth) methods. Design Interactive mHealth methods of ecological momentary assessment (EMA) were utilized in the Exposure Assessment in Current Time (EXACT) study to assess drug use and craving among urban drug users in real time. Participants were provided with mobile devices and asked to self-report every time they either craved (without using) or used heroin or cocaine for 30 days from November 2008 through May 2013. Setting Baltimore, MD, USA. Participants A total of 109 participants from the AIDS Linked to the IntraVenous Experience (ALIVE) study. Measurements For each drug use or craving event, participants answered questions concerning their drug use, current mood and their social, physical and activity environments. Odds ratios (OR) of drug use versus craving were obtained from logistic regression models with generalized estimating equations of all reported events. Findings Participants were a median of 48.5 years old, 90% African American, 52% male and 59% HIV-infected. Participants were significantly more likely to report use rather than craving drugs if they were with someone who was using drugs [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 1.45, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.13, 1.86), in an abandoned space (aOR = 6.65, 95% CI = 1.78, 24.84) or walking/wandering (aOR = 1.68, 95% CI = 1.11, 2.54). Craving drugs was associated with being with a child (aOR = 0.26, 95% CI = 0.12, 0.59), eating (aOR = 0.54, 95% CI = 0.34, 0.85) or being at the doctor’s office (aOR = 0.31, 95% CI = 0.12, 0.80). Conclusions There are distinct drug using and craving environments among urban drug users, which may provide a framework for developing real-time context-sensitive interventions. PMID:25311241

  13. The life history of Pseudomonas syringae: linking agriculture to earth system processes.

    PubMed

    Morris, Cindy E; Monteil, Caroline L; Berge, Odile

    2013-01-01

    The description of the ecology of Pseudomonas syringae is moving away from that of a ubiquitous epiphytic plant pathogen to one of a multifaceted bacterium sans frontières in fresh water and other ecosystems linked to the water cycle. Discovery of the aquatic facet of its ecology has led to a vision of its life history that integrates spatial and temporal scales spanning billions of years and traversing catchment basins, continents, and the planet and that confronts the implication of roles that are potentially conflicting for agriculture (as a plant pathogen and as an actor in processes leading to rain and snowfall). This new ecological perspective has also yielded insight into epidemiological phenomena linked to disease emergence. Overall, it sets the stage for the integration of more comprehensive contexts of ecology and evolutionary history into comparative genomic analyses to elucidate how P. syringae subverts the attack and defense responses of the cohabitants of the diverse environments it occupies.

  14. Draft Genome Sequence of Burkholderia cordobensis Type Strain LMG 27620, Isolated from Agricultural Soils in Argentina

    PubMed Central

    Draghi, Walter Omar; Mancini Villagra, Ulises M.; Wall, Luis Gabriel

    2015-01-01

    Bacteria of the genus Burkholderia are commonly found in diverse ecological niches in nature. We report here the draft genome sequence of Burkholderia cordobensis type strain LMG 27620, isolated from agricultural soil in Córdoba, Argentina. This strain harbors several genes involved in chitin utilization and phenol degradation, which make it an interesting candidate for biocontrol purposes and xenobiotic degradation in polluted environments. PMID:26494680

  15. Listeria floridensis sp. nov., Listeria aquatica sp. nov., Listeria cornellensis sp. nov., Listeria riparia sp. nov. and Listeria grandensis sp. nov., from agricultural and natural environments.

    PubMed

    den Bakker, Henk C; Warchocki, Steven; Wright, Emily M; Allred, Adam F; Ahlstrom, Christina; Manuel, Clyde S; Stasiewicz, Matthew J; Burrell, Angela; Roof, Sherry; Strawn, Laura K; Fortes, Esther; Nightingale, Kendra K; Kephart, Daniel; Wiedmann, Martin

    2014-06-01

    Sampling of agricultural and natural environments in two US states (Colorado and Florida) yielded 18 Listeria-like isolates that could not be assigned to previously described species using traditional methods. Using whole-genome sequencing and traditional phenotypic methods, we identified five novel species, each with a genome-wide average BLAST nucleotide identity (ANIb) of less than 85% to currently described species. Phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA gene sequences and amino acid sequences of 31 conserved loci showed the existence of four well-supported clades within the genus Listeria; (i) a clade representing Listeria monocytogenes, L. marthii, L. innocua, L. welshimeri, L. seeligeri and L. ivanovii, which we refer to as Listeria sensu stricto, (ii) a clade consisting of Listeria fleischmannii and two newly described species, Listeria aquatica sp. nov. (type strain FSL S10-1188(T) = DSM 26686(T) = LMG 28120(T) = BEI NR-42633(T)) and Listeria floridensis sp. nov. (type strain FSL S10-1187(T) = DSM 26687(T) = LMG 28121(T) = BEI NR-42632(T)), (iii) a clade consisting of Listeria rocourtiae, L. weihenstephanensis and three novel species, Listeria cornellensis sp. nov. (type strain TTU A1-0210(T) = FSL F6-0969(T) = DSM 26689(T) = LMG 28123(T) = BEI NR-42630(T)), Listeria grandensis sp. nov. (type strain TTU A1-0212(T) = FSL F6-0971(T) = DSM 26688(T) = LMG 28122(T) = BEI NR-42631(T)) and Listeria riparia sp. nov. (type strain FSL S10-1204(T) = DSM 26685(T) = LMG 28119(T) = BEI NR- 42634(T)) and (iv) a clade containing Listeria grayi. Genomic and phenotypic data suggest that the novel species are non-pathogenic.

  16. Issues of sustainable irrigated agriculture in the San Joaquin Valley of California in a changing regulatory environment concerning water quality and protection of wildlife

    SciTech Connect

    Quinn, N.W.T.; Delamore, M.L.

    1994-06-01

    Since the discovery of selenium toxicosis in the Kesterson Reservoir in the San Joaquin Valley, California, public perception of irrigated agriculture as a benign competitor for California`s developed water supply has been changed irrevocably. Subsurface return flows from irrigated agriculture were implicated as the source of selenium which led to incidents of reproductive failure in waterfowl and threatened survival of other fish and wildlife species. Stringent water quality objectives were promulgated to protect rivers, tributaries, sloughs and other water bodies receiving agricultural discharges from selenium contamination. Achieving these objectives was left to the agricultural water districts, federal and state agencies responsible for drainage and water quality enforcement in the San Joaquin Basin. This paper describes some of the strategies to improve management of water resources and water quality in response to these new environmental objectives. Similar environmental objectives will likely be adopted by other developed and developing countries with large regions of arid zone agriculture and susceptible wildlife resources. A series of simulation models have been developed over the past four years to evaluate regional drainage management strategies such as: irrigation source control; drainage recycling; selective retirement of agricultural land; regional shallow ground water pumping; coordination of agricultural drainage, wetland and reservoir releases; and short-term ponding of drainage water. A new generation of Geographic Information Service-based software is under development to bridge the gap between planning and program implementation. Use of the decision support system will allow water districts and regulators to continuously monitor drainage discharges to the San Joaquin River in real-time and to assess impacts of management strategies that have been implemented to take advantage of the River`s assimilative capacity for trace elements and salts.

  17. Socioeconomic environment

    SciTech Connect

    1995-10-01

    This portion of the Energy vision 2020 draft report discusses the socioeconomic environment of the Tennessee Valley region. It describes the region and mentions geographical factors, current economy, the agricultural sector, and future trends in the economy of the region.

  18. Assessing the ecological security of the Tibetan plateau: methodology and a case study for Lhaze County.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Yan-Zhi; Zou, Xue-Yong; Cheng, Hong; Jia, Hai-Kun; Wu, Yong-Qiu; Wang, Gui-Yong; Zhang, Chun-Lai; Gao, Shang-Yu

    2006-07-01

    A system for assessing the ecological security of Lhaze County in China's Tibetan Autonomous Region was developed using a pressure-state-response model and the analytic hierarchy process. We then used this model to comprehensively evaluate the status of ecological security in Lhaze County. Our results showed that the ecological environment in Lhaze County has deteriorated from an 'early stages of damage status' in the 1980s to 'moderately damaged status' today. This deterioration has become a major barrier to local economic development and social advancement. Natural and social aspects related to the population explosion, resource exploitation, and climate change that led to this ecological deterioration are discussed. Furthermore, we have suggested proposals for improving the ecological environment that include controlling population growth and enhancing the system of laws that protect the environment, upgrading 3 882.6 ha of low-yield farmland, planting 2 425.8, 548.8, and 1 207.4 ha of shelter belts for farmland protection, soil and water conservation, and fuelwood, respectively, and seeding 2 358.1 ha of artificial grassland. In the meantime, we propose strengthening the controls that limit soil and water loss, and optimizing industrial sectors that aspire to achieve high-efficiency, ecologically responsible agriculture.

  19. Civic Ecology: Linking Social and Ecological Approaches in Extension

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Krasny, Marianne E.; Tidball, Keith G.

    2010-01-01

    Civic ecology refers to the philosophy and science of community forestry, community gardening, watershed enhancement, and other volunteer-driven restoration practices in cities and elsewhere. Such practices, although often viewed as initiatives to improve a degraded environment, also foster social attributes of resilient social-ecological systems,…

  20. Chemical Pesticides and Human Health: The Urgent Need for a New Concept in Agriculture

    PubMed Central

    Nicolopoulou-Stamati, Polyxeni; Maipas, Sotirios; Kotampasi, Chrysanthi; Stamatis, Panagiotis; Hens, Luc

    2016-01-01

    The industrialization of the agricultural sector has increased the chemical burden on natural ecosystems. Pesticides are agrochemicals used in agricultural lands, public health programs, and urban green areas in order to protect plants and humans from various diseases. However, due to their known ability to cause a large number of negative health and environmental effects, their side effects can be an important environmental health risk factor. The urgent need for a more sustainable and ecological approach has produced many innovative ideas, among them agriculture reforms and food production implementing sustainable practice evolving to food sovereignty. It is more obvious than ever that the society needs the implementation of a new agricultural concept regarding food production, which is safer for man and the environment, and to this end, steps such as the declaration of Nyéléni have been taken. PMID:27486573

  1. Chemical Pesticides and Human Health: The Urgent Need for a New Concept in Agriculture.

    PubMed

    Nicolopoulou-Stamati, Polyxeni; Maipas, Sotirios; Kotampasi, Chrysanthi; Stamatis, Panagiotis; Hens, Luc

    2016-01-01

    The industrialization of the agricultural sector has increased the chemical burden on natural ecosystems. Pesticides are agrochemicals used in agricultural lands, public health programs, and urban green areas in order to protect plants and humans from various diseases. However, due to their known ability to cause a large number of negative health and environmental effects, their side effects can be an important environmental health risk factor. The urgent need for a more sustainable and ecological approach has produced many innovative ideas, among them agriculture reforms and food production implementing sustainable practice evolving to food sovereignty. It is more obvious than ever that the society needs the implementation of a new agricultural concept regarding food production, which is safer for man and the environment, and to this end, steps such as the declaration of Nyéléni have been taken.

  2. Agricultural Wastes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jewell, W. J.; Switzenbaum, M. S.

    1978-01-01

    Presents a literature review of agricultural wastes, covering publications of 1976-77. Some of the areas covered are: (1) water characteristics and impacts; (2) waste treatment; (3) reuse of agricultural wastes; and (4) nonpoint pollution sources. A list of 150 references is also presented. (HM)

  3. VOCATIONAL AGRICULTURE.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    California State Dept. of Education, Sacramento. Research Coordinating Unit.

    TO ASSIST THOSE WHO MAKE DECISIONS RELATING TO EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS IN AGRICULTURE, RECENT RESEARCH IN VOCATIONAL AGRICULTURE IS SUMMARIZED. A 1963 STUDY TREATS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN WORK EXPERIENCE AND STUDENT CHARACTERISTICS, PLANS, AND ASPIRATIONS. STUDIES ON POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION CONCERN GUIDELINES FOR TECHNICIAN PROGRAMS, JUSTIFICATION…

  4. [Ecological protection and sustainable utilization of Erhai Lake, Yunnan].

    PubMed

    Yan, Chang-Zhou; Jin, Xiang-Can; Zhao, Jing-Zhu; Shen, Bing; Li, Ning-Bo; Huang, Chang-Zhu; Xiong, Zhong-Hua

    2005-09-01

    Economic development and increase of population pressure have caused a series of ecological environmental problems of Erhai Lake. These problems include: (1) Quickening of eutrophication process, (2) Decrease of water level and water resources, (3) Habitat deterioration of lakeside zone, and (4) Overfishing and slow depletion of aboriginal fish. Pollutant loading of Erhai Lake is as follows: COD(Cr) 3 008 t x a(-1), TP 137.31 t x a(-1), TN 1 426.35 t x a(-1). According to the mestrophic target of water quality, loading of nitrogen and phosphorus is far above environmental capacity of Erhai Lake. Erhai Lake is now in a pivotal and hypersensitive period of trophic states change, and the position is very critical. Therefore, some countermeasures to solve the problems are presented as follows: (1) Defining the dominant functions of Erhai Lake, (2) Paying attention to the adjustment of the industrial structure and distribution in the course of urbanization, (3) Setting up lakeside zone reserve, (4) Strengthening the control of tourism pollution, (5) Properly adjusting the water level of Erhai Lake, and (6) Some ecological engineering measures for water resources protection in the basin should be taken through collecting and treating of urban sewages, ecological rehabilitating of the main inflowing rivers, constructing of ecological agricultures and improving of rural environment, ecological restoring of aquatic ecosystem, and soil and water conservation.

  5. Coastal Adaptation and Ecological Engineering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheong, S. M.

    2014-12-01

    Ecological engineering combines ecology and engineering to sustain coastal environment and facilitate adaptation to climate change. This paper discusses how the cases of mangroves, oyster reefs, and marshes help mainstream climate change with ecosystem conservation. It demonstrates the benefits of combining strategies to combat changing climate given the financial and political constraints.

  6. Molecular ecology of aquatic microbes

    SciTech Connect

    1994-12-31

    Abstracts of reports are presented from a meeting on Molecular Ecology of Aquatic Microbes. Topics included: opportunities offered to aquatic ecology by molecular biology; the role of aquatic microbes in biogeochemical cycles; characterization of the microbial community; the effect of the environment on aquatic microbes; and the targeting of specific biological processes.

  7. Family Wellness: An Ecological Perspective.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fannin, Ronald A.

    Bronfenbrenner's (1979) concept of human ecology emphasizes the effect of the environment, both physical and psychological, on individual development. Bronfenbrenner's contexts which affect the development of the individual (microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem, macrosystem) can also be defined for the family in an ecological model of family…

  8. Agriculture-related anaemias.

    PubMed

    Fleming, A F

    1994-12-01

    Man evolved as a hunter-gatherer, and the invention and spread of agriculture was followed by changes in diet, the environment and population densities which have resulted in globally high prevalences of anaemias due to nutritional deficiencies of iron, folate and (locally) vitamin B12, to infestations by hookworm and schistosomes, to malaria, and to the natural selection for the genes for sickle-cell diseases, beta-thalassaemias, alpha-thalassaemias, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency, ovalocytosis and possibly (locally) elliptocytosis. The present explosion of population is driving an expansion of agriculture, especially the cultivation of rice, and this has led often to disastrous increases of transmission of malaria, schistosomiasis and other diseases, to widespread chemical pollution, and to degradation of the environment. Anaemia, as the commonest manifestation of human disease, is a frequent consequence. The urgent need for increased food production is matched by the urgent need for assessment and control of the health impact of agricultural development.

  9. History and Ecological Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cherif, Abour H.

    1988-01-01

    Discusses the main objectives of ecohistory and sources of information for this study. Details five themes that are important for students to know about the history of ecology including the history of Earth, fauna and flora, the human species, human civilization, and changes in the human environment. (CW)

  10. Ecology in a Jar.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Corner, Thomas R.

    1992-01-01

    In a hands-on experiment to illustrate the concept of cycles in ecology, students use the Winogradsky column to explore the operation of the sulfur cycle and the interrelatedness of organisms in an environment. Lesson plans include materials needed and class procedures. (MDH)

  11. Eco-environment contribution of agroforestry to agriculture development in the plain area of China--Huai' an Prefecture, Jiangsu Province as the case study area.

    PubMed

    Ren, Hong-chang; Lu, Yong-long; Liu, Can; Meng, Qing-hua; Shi, Ya-juan

    2005-01-01

    For improving the environmental quality and ensuring supply of wood and non-timber forest products, many forests have been planted in plain areas of China. Scientists have studied their benefits, almost all of the approaches were based on fixed-point data, and few was considered on the non-efficient factors and temporal scale effects. This paper studies the positive and negative benefits at a large temporal scale, and the effects of plain afforestation on stockbreeding and rural economy. The benefits of plain afforestation, correlation coefficiency of agroforestry and production factors are analyzed via stochastic frontier modeling in Huanghuaihai Plain Area of China; elastic coefficient of agroforestry, husbandry, farming, and total output of agricultural sector are calculated through adopting partial differential equation. Some conclusions can be drawn that, plain forests have an important effect on the development of plain agriculture. But shelterbelts and small-scale forests have different effect on the development of agricultural economy. Shelterbelts have negative effect on the industries, but small-scale forest has positive effect. On the whole, contribution of forest resource to value of animal husbandry and gross production value of agriculture is positive, and to the value of farming is negative.

  12. Evaluation of phosphorus and nitrogen balances as an indicator for the impact of agriculture on environment a comparison of case studies from Poland and the Mississippi US

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The objective of the research was to quantify the changes of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) balances in Poland and Mississippi (MS). Nutrient balances were calculated as difference between input and output in the agricultural system according to Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development...

  13. Agricultural Energy Practices. Agriculture Energy.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crank, Ron

    This instructional unit is one of 10 developed by students on various energy-related areas that deals specifically with agricultural energy practices. Its objective is for the student to be able to discuss energy use and conservation of resources in the production of agricultural products. Some topics covered are basic uses of direct energy in…

  14. Agriculture Education. Agricultural Metal Working.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stuttgart Public Schools, AR.

    This curriculum guide is designed for group instruction of secondary agricultural education students enrolled in one or two semester-long courses in agricultural metal working. The guide presents units of study in the following areas: (1) oxyacetylene welding, (2) arc welding, (3) sheet metal, (4) blueprint reading for welders and (5) job…

  15. [Basic theory and research method of urban forest ecology].

    PubMed

    He, Xingyuan; Jin, Yingshan; Zhu, Wenquan; Xu, Wenduo; Chen, Wei

    2002-12-01

    With the development of world economy and the increment of urban population, the urban environment problem hinders the urban sustainable development. Now, more and more people realized the importance of urban forests in improving the quality of urban ecology. Therefore, a new subject, urban forest ecology, and correlative new concept frame in the field formed. The theoretic foundation of urban forest ecology derived from the mutual combination of theory relating to forest ecology, landscape ecology, landscape architecture ecology and anthrop-ecology. People survey the development of city from the view of ecosystem, and regard the environment, a colony of human, animals and plants, as main factors of the system. The paper introduces systematically the urban forest ecology as follows: 1) the basic concept of urban forest ecology; 2) the meaning of urban forest ecology; 3) the basic principle and theoretic base of urban forest ecology; 4) the research method of urban forest ecology; 5) the developmental expectation of urban forest ecology.

  16. The roles and values of wild foods in agricultural systems

    PubMed Central

    Bharucha, Zareen; Pretty, Jules

    2010-01-01

    Almost every ecosystem has been amended so that plants and animals can be used as food, fibre, fodder, medicines, traps and weapons. Historically, wild plants and animals were sole dietary components for hunter–gatherer and forager cultures. Today, they remain key to many agricultural communities. The mean use of wild foods by agricultural and forager communities in 22 countries of Asia and Africa (36 studies) is 90–100 species per location. Aggregate country estimates can reach 300–800 species (e.g. India, Ethiopia, Kenya). The mean use of wild species is 120 per community for indigenous communities in both industrialized and developing countries. Many of these wild foods are actively managed, suggesting there is a false dichotomy around ideas of the agricultural and the wild: hunter–gatherers and foragers farm and manage their environments, and cultivators use many wild plants and animals. Yet, provision of and access to these sources of food may be declining as natural habitats come under increasing pressure from development, conservation-exclusions and agricultural expansion. Despite their value, wild foods are excluded from official statistics on economic values of natural resources. It is clear that wild plants and animals continue to form a significant proportion of the global food basket, and while a variety of social and ecological drivers are acting to reduce wild food use, their importance may be set to grow as pressures on agricultural productivity increase. PMID:20713393

  17. The expansion of intensive agriculture and ranching in Brazilian Amazonia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walker, Robert; DeFries, Ruth; del Carmen Vera-Diaz, Maria; Shimabukuro, Yosio; Venturieri, Adriano

    Agriculture in Amazonia has often provoked controversy, given the tremendous ecological value of the region's environment. First with ranching, and now with the soybean boom, tractors and cattle have marched across lands that for millennia supported only closed moist forest, resident ecosystems, and dispersed indigenous peoples. The present chapter considers this expansion, focusing on the Brazilian portion of the basin. Its premise is that effective Amazonian policy must be grounded on an understanding of the region's agriculture. The chapter pursues its objectives by first addressing the development initiatives that created the preconditions for Amazonia's current agricultural economy. The region is remote and has therefore required sustained government intervention to release its potential. The policy discussion is followed by descriptions of cattle ranching and soy farming. For each, market settings and trajectories of expansion are presented. Although these sectoral descriptions are data rich, they do not provide a conceptual framework for analyzing the environmental impacts of evolving market conditions. To accomplish this, the chapter invokes the classical land use model of von Thünen to explain Amazonian land cover dynamics in relation to soy-cattle linkages. It addresses these dynamics with remote sensing data from Mato Grosso, Pará, and Rondônia, and then discusses scenarios of agricultural advances on the forest. Conclusions follow, considering possible policy responses to deforestation, and the social context of agricultural intensification, with special attention to the issues of land tenure security and distributional equity.

  18. Soil Ecology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Killham, Ken

    1994-04-01

    Soil Ecology is designed to meet the increasing challenge faced by today's environmental scientists, ecologists, agriculturalists, and biotechnologists for an integrated approach to soil ecology. It emphasizes the interrelations among plants, animals, and microbes, by first establishing the fundamental physical and chemical properties of the soil habitat and then functionally characterizing the major components of the soil biota and some of their most important interactions. The fundamental principles underpinning soil ecology are established and this then enables an integrated approach to explore and understand the processes of soil nutrient (carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus) cycling and the ecology of extreme soil conditions such as soil-water stress. Two of the most topical aspects of applied soil ecology are then selected. First, the ecology of soil pollution is examined, focusing on acid deposition and radionuclide pollution. Second, manipulation of soil ecology through biotechnology is discussed, illustrating the use of pesticides and microbial inocula in soils and pointing toward the future by considering the impact of genetically modified inocula on soil ecology.

  19. Problems in the introduction of genetically engineered microorganisms into the environment.

    PubMed

    Gorlach, K

    1994-01-01

    The use and release of genetically engineered microorganisms (GEMs) into the environment, usually the agricultural environment, is increasing exponentially. Potential applications of GEMs include crop production, pest management, degradation of environmental pollutants, mining and mineral recovery, and others. Several strategies of molecular and cellular biotechnology, such as recombinant DNA techniques, nuclear microinjection and cell fusion may be used to modify bacteria and fungi for useful purposes. The benefits expected from release of genetically engineered microorganisms, if safely applied, might be substantial in various fields. However, a safe introduction of GEMs into the environment requires full environmental and ecological risks assessment. Because of the wide scope of genetic engineering targets this review will focus on the application of GEMs potentially useful in agricultural practices (crop nutrition, pest and disease control) and ecological problems associated with the introduction of alien microorganisms into the environment.

  20. A Catalog of Educational Resources in Communication Arts, Cultural Ecology, and Environmental Studies for the Small High School Teacher. Curriculum Resources for the Alaskan Environment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Madsen, Eric; And Others

    A catalog of semi-annotated topical listings of curriculum resources, published between 1960 and 1980, for use by educators in small Alaska high schools, contains sections on communication arts (108 items), cultural ecology (269 items), and environmental studies (363 items). Listings are presented on pages ruled into grids; for each item the…