Science.gov

Sample records for environmental indicators

  1. ENVIRONMENTAL PUBLIC HEALTH INDICATORS

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  2. ENVIRONMENTAL PUBLIC HEALTH INDICATORS

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  3. Thermodynamic indicators for environmental certification.

    PubMed

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

    2002-09-01

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

  4. EJSCREEN Environmental Indicators 2015 Public

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    There are eight EJ Indexes in EJSCREEN reflecting the 8 environmental indicators. The eight EJ Index names are: Particulate Matter (PM2.5), Ozone Traffic Proximity and Volume, Lead Paint Indicator, Proximity to Risk Management Plan Sites, Proximity to National Priorities List Sites, Proximity to Treatment Storage and Disposal Facilities, and Proximity to Major Direct Water Dischargers.

  5. Spider webs as environmental indicators.

    PubMed

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

    2002-01-01

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

  6. Mute swans: Natural (?) environmental indicators

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Day, D.; Perry, Matthew C.

    2004-01-01

    The rapid expansion of the Chesapeake Bay's population of feral mute swans (Cygnus olar), coupled with a dramatic Bay-wide decline in submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV), has fueled much of the current debate surrounding the need for a management plan to protect the aquatic food resources that are critical to many species native to the Bay. Crucial to this decision process is a sound understanding of the ecological ramifications of having the year-round presence of a large, nonnative, aquatic herbivore on the Bay. Ultimately, this will require a quantitative assessment of the ecological harm currently posed by mute swans before a biologically defensible management strategy can be developed. Unfortunately, very little new information specific to the Bay's mute swan population has been gathered since Reese first studied them in the late 1960s and 1970s. While the debate over what to do about the rapidly expanding mute swan population continues, there is much that can be gained from study of this beautiful intruder. Several recent studies of the feeding habits of mute swans have shown that mutes can provide a unique barometer, or indicator, of environmental conditions. Because of their reliance on SAV as a primary food source, monitoring the density of swans utilizing a particular area can give some indication of the status of the area's grass beds. This phenomenon was clearly demonstrated during the summer of 1999 when there was a dramatic decline in the number of swans observed around the Eastern Neck NWR, a traditional population stronghold. The shift in bird use was precipitated by a rapid, large-scale collapse of the area's aquatic grass beds, possibly the result of a prolonged drought. During the winter of 2000/2001, a similar ecological assessment was conducted by comparing body weights of swans collected from Tangier Sound, an area with relatively abundant grass beds, and swans from the waters adjacent to Eastern Neck Island. Swans weights tended to reflect the

  7. GENETIC INDICATORS IN ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  8. GENETIC INDICATORS IN ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  9. Cuticular features as indicators of environmental pollution

    Treesearch

    G. K. Sharma

    1976-01-01

    Several leaf cuticular features such as stomatal frequency, stomatal size, trichome length, type, and frequency, and subsidiary cell complex respond to environmental pollution in different ways and hence can be used as indicators of environmental pollution in an area. Several modifications in cuticular features under polluted environments seem to indicate ecotypic or...

  10. Recreation trends: indicators of environmental quality

    Treesearch

    Roy Feuchter

    1980-01-01

    As you probably know, tomorrow is Earth Day-80, the 10th anniversary of the original Earth Day, so it is certainly appropriate that we talk these next few days about environmental quality and the relationship of outdoor recreation to that quality. However, perhaps the title should be more of a question such as: Are recreation trends indicators of environmental quality...

  11. Environmental indicators of intra-urban hetererogeneity.

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-01

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

  12. ENVIRONMENTAL PUBLIC HEALTH INDICATORS AT UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

    EPA Science Inventory

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) has recently published two different indicators reports, America's Children and the Environment (ACE) and the Draft Report on the Environment (see: http://www.epa.gov/indicators/ and http://www.epa.gov/envirohealth/children/). ACE...

  13. Indicators of recent environmental change in Alaska

    SciTech Connect

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

    1997-12-31

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

  14. Environmental policy indicators: A systems model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cummings, Leslie Edwards; Cayer, N. Joseph

    1993-09-01

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

  15. An economic approach to environmental indices

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  16. An economic approach to environmental indices

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  17. Environmental indicators for human norovirus outbreaks.

    PubMed

    Shamkhali Chenar, Shima; Deng, Zhiqiang

    2017-02-01

    Norovirus is the most common cause of outbreaks of non-bacterial gastroenteritis in human. While the winter seasonality of norovirus outbreaks has been widely reported, the association between norovirus outbreak epidemics and environmental factors remains not fully understood. This literature review is intended to improve understanding of environmental factors governing norovirus outbreaks and how the factors affect norovirus transmission. To that end, a large number of studies (67) from countries around the world were critically reviewed and discussed. Results of the literature review show that temperature, humidity, and rainfall are the most important environmental variables governing the norovirus epidemic cycle. It was found that low temperature between -6.6 and 20 °C, relative humidity between 10 and 66 %, and rainfall from 1 day to 3 months before an outbreak are effective ranges of the environmental factors, which favor the prevalence of norovirus. Some other environmental factors might have an association with the cycle of norovirus epidemics. However, further investigations are needed to understand effects of the other factors on norovirus incidence. The findings of this literature review improve our understanding of the relationship between norovirus outbreaks and environmental factors and provide the direction for future research on norovirus outbreaks.

  18. Environmental variability and indicators: a few observations

    Treesearch

    William F. Laudenslayer

    1991-01-01

    Abstract The environment of the earth is exceedingly complex and variable. Indicator species are used to reduce thaf complexity and variability to a level that can be more emily understood. In recent years, use of indicators has increased dramatically. For the Forest Service, as an example, regulations that interpret the National Forest Management Act require the use...

  19. Chrysophyte cysts as potential environmental indicators

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Adam, David P.; Mahood, Albert D.

    1981-01-01

    Many Chrysophyte algae produce morphologically distinctive, siliceous, microscopic cysts during a resting stage of their life cycles; these cysts are often preserved in sediments. Scanning electron microscopy and Nomarski optics permit much more detailed observation of these cysts than was heretofore possible. We have used an ecologic and biogeographic approach to study the distribution of cyst forms in sediments and have established that many cyst types are found only in specific habitats, such as montane lakes, wet meadows, ephemeral ponds, and Sphagnum bogs. In the samples we have studied, cysts seem to be most common in fluctuating fresh-water habitats of low to moderate pH and some winter freezing. Numerous taxonomic problems have yet to be resolved. We believe that chrysophyte cysts have the potential to become a useful tool for both modern environmental assessments and paleoecological studies of Cenozoic fresh-water lacustrine deposits.

  20. Chrysophyte cysts as potential environmental indicators.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1981-01-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  7. Developing an environmental indicator system for sustainable development in China: Two case studies of selected indicators.

    PubMed

    Tong, Chuan; Ye, Wen-Hu; Hou, Baohong

    2006-10-01

    Environmental indicator systems are a fundamental tool in quantifying the environmental component of sustainable development. They are useful because they quantify the status and trends of key environmental parameters and provide information on the environment that allows authorities and communities to make informed decisions. This article analyzes the basic framework for Chinese environmental indicator systems and presents a "core" set of environmental indicators. In our research, we used a theme approach to develop the environmental indicator systems. We performed two case studies of selected indicators. In the first, we used an urban ambient air pollution composite index and an urban ambient air pollution indicator for three main pollutants to examine trends in urban air pollution in China from 1990 to 2000 at regional and national levels. The results indicate that China has made some progress towards controlling urban air pollution, but must do more in order to reach acceptable pollution levels. We think that an aggregated index and disaggregated indicators have important complementary roles in the policy-making processes. In the second case study, we developed and constructed a grassland degradation index that aggregates information on the extent and severity of grassland degradation. Taking the Xilinhaote region of Inner Mongolia as the study area, we calculated this index by combining remote-sensing data, a geographical information system (GIS), and field investigation. Based on these results, we provide recommendations regarding further development and measurement of environmental indicators in China.

  8. Indicators to support environmental sustainability of bioenergy systems

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-01-01

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

  9. Environmental indices for common Michigan trees and shrubs.

    Treesearch

    Gary J. Brand

    1985-01-01

    Plants are indicators of environmental factors like moisture, nutrients, heat, and light. Semi-quantitative indices for these four factors were developed for 90 Michigan trees and shrubs. The indices and a tally of species present provide a simple evaluation of the environment of a forest stand and a useful management aid.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bradbury, J. Platt

    1999-01-01

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

  11. Study of environmental health problems in Korea using integrated environmental health indicators.

    PubMed

    Heo, Seulkee; Lee, Jong-Tae

    2013-07-25

    We have investigated the usefulness of environmental health indicators for the evaluation of environmental health in Korea. We also assessed the association between environmental contamination and health outcomes by integrating indicators into a composite measure. We selected health-related environmental indicators and environment-related health status indicators. The data were obtained from published statistical data from the period 2008-2009. Both synthesized measures of environmental indicators and health status indicators were calculated using Strahll's taxonometric methods. The range of values determined by this method is 0-1, with higher values representing a better situation in the given area. The study area consisted of 16 large administrative areas within Korea. The arithmetic mean of the synthesized measure of environmental indicators was 0.348 (SD = 0.151), and that of the synthesized measure of health status indicators was 0.708 (SD = 0.107). The correlation coefficient between the synthesized measures of environmental indicators and health status indicators was 0.69 (95% CI: 0.28-0.88). Comparisons between local communities based on integrated indicators may provide useful information for decision-makers, allowing them to identify priorities in pollutant mitigation policies or in improvement actions for public health. Integrated indicators are also useful to describe the relationships between environmental contamination and health effects.

  12. Opportunities for web-based indicators in environmental sciences.

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  13. Opportunities for Web-Based Indicators in Environmental Sciences

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-01-01

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

  15. [Environmental health and inequalities: building indicators for sustainable development].

    PubMed

    Carneiro, Fernando Ferreira; Franco Netto, Guilherme; Corvalan, Carlos; de Freitas, Carlos Machado; Sales, Luiz Belino Ferreira

    2012-06-01

    Despite its progress in terms of socio-economic indicators, Brazil is still unequal, which is due to an unequal and exclusionary historical process. In this paper we selected the Human Development Index - HDI and other social, economic, environmental and health indicators to exemplify this situation. We selected the municipalities that had the lowest HDI in the country in 2000 comparing their evolution over time between 2000 and 2010 by means of indicators linked to the economic, environmental and social pillars of sustainable development. These municipalities have an HDI classified as low (<0.500), and correspond to countries such as Laos, Yemen, Haiti and Madagascar. At national level, data for the decade show a significant improvement in economic indicators (decrease from 23% to 8.9% of people living on less than a quarter of the minimum wage); social indicators (increase from 86.5% to 90.2% of literacy in women), and the environmental indicator associated with access to the water grid, which also improved to a lesser extent (increase from 81% to 85%). It was concluded that in order to achieve sustainable development with quality of life, the improvement of sanitation and education indicators should be a priority for Brazil.

  16. [Bio-indicating function of soil protozoa to environmental pollution].

    PubMed

    Song, Xueying; Song, Yufang; Sun, Tieheng; Zhang, Wei; Zhou, Qixing

    2004-10-01

    Due to the abundant species and huge biomass, soil protozoa play an important role in soil ecosystem. As a bio-indicator, soil protozoa have many advantages over other soil animals. Studies on the community structures, quantities, and dynamic variations of biodiversity of soil protozoa could provide powerful means to evaluate natural environmental changes and to monitor the environmental pollution brought by anthropic activities. Based on the current study at home and abroad, this paper gave a review on the function of soil protozoa in ecosystems, their advantages as bio-indicator, and their responses to environmental factors, soil contaminants and the change of atmospheric CO2. The application prospect of soil protozoa in eco-toxicity diagnosis was also discussed.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

  18. Environmental health problems and indicators in tabriz, iran.

    PubMed

    Ghozikali, Mohammad Ghanbari; Mosaferi, Mohammad; Naddafi, Kazem

    2013-01-01

    Environmental Health Indicators (EHIs) are the most important criteria for evaluation of efficiency and effectiveness of the activities of the health sector. The operations and situation of the health system can be analyzed through surveying the indicators and comparing them during different times. The present study aimed to study the EHIs of Tabriz, using the common environmental health processes and national EHIs of the Ministry of Health. The required information for determination of EHIs was collected from different sources, including mainly the Environmental Health Department of the Health Center of East Azerbaijan Province, Iran and other organizations. We found some important desirable and undesirable EHIs in Tabriz,including high percentage of households with access to safe and reliable drinking water, high safety in microbiological and chemical quality of drinking water, acceptable level of BOD5 and COD in the effluent of wastewater treatment plants (WTP), lack of complete municipal wastewater collection and treatment, relatively poor sanitation and health of food markets and public places, undesirable collection,transportation and disposal of municipal solid waste, low EHIs of some school classrooms, unacceptable disposal of medical waste in some hospitals, and finally high level of noise pollution in the city. Considering the poor condition of some EHIs of Tabriz, implementing proper actions for promotion of the indicators especially development of municipal wastewater collection, improvement of solid waste management,environmental health of some schools and mosques, and finally the noise pollution level of the city is recommended.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-01

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

  20. Environmental indicators for sustainable production of algal biofuels

    SciTech Connect

    Efroymson, Rebecca A.; Dale, Virginia H.

    2014-10-01

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

  1. Environmental indicators for sustainable production of algal biofuels

    DOE PAGES

    Efroymson, Rebecca A.; Dale, Virginia H.

    2014-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  4. Environmental health indicators of climate change for the United States: findings from the State Environmental Health Indicator Collaborative.

    PubMed

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

    2009-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Henri, Jean-François; Journeault, Marc

    2008-04-01

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

  6. Biomarkers and community indices as complementary tools for environmental safety.

    PubMed

    Vasseur, Paule; Cossu-Leguille, Carole

    2003-03-01

    Research on biomarkers as early bioindicators of perturbation in populations and individuals has been gaining ground over the last decade. This ecotoxicological approach relies on the fact that changes occur at low levels of organization before the community is affected and thus they can be monitored to assess environmental safety. Changes may concern behavior, physiology, biochemistry, or genomic structure and functioning, and may impair population dynamics in the long-term. Ecotoxicity studies based on biomarkers allow us to measure the impact of environmental stressors and to easily follow the evolution of the systems towards degradation or restoration. Over and above their use as simple indices of exposure to specific pollutants, biomarkers can give an insight into ecosystem health. The results of our experience in field studies involving ecotoxicologists and ecologists will be presented in order to illustrate the relevance of such an integrating strategy for environmental quality assessment.

  7. Comparing Environmental Conditions Using Indicators of Pollution Hazard

    PubMed

    Turner; Ruffio; Roberts

    1997-07-01

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

  8. Environmental indicators of oyster norovirus outbreaks in coastal waters.

    PubMed

    Shamkhali Chenar, Shima; Deng, Zhiqiang

    2017-09-01

    This paper presents an artificial intelligence-based approach to identifying environmental indicators of oyster norovirus outbreaks in coastal waters. It was found that oyster norovirus outbreaks are generally linked to the extreme combination of antecedent environmental conditions characterized by low water temperature, low solar radiation, low gage height, low salinity, strong wind, and heavy precipitation. Among the six environmental indicators, the most important three indicators, including water temperature, solar radiation and gage height, are capable of explaining 77.7% of model-predicted oyster norovirus outbreaks while the extremely low temperature alone may explain 37.2% of oyster norovirus outbreaks. It is, therefore, recommended that water temperature in oyster harvesting areas be monitored in the cold season and particularly the extremely low temperature during a low gage height be used as the primary indicator of oyster norovirus outbreaks. The findings are of profound significance to reducing the public health risk of norovirus outbreaks associated with consumption of oysters. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. [Dengue, geoprocessing, and socioeconomic and environmental indicators: a review].

    PubMed

    Flauzino, Regina Fernandes; Souza-Santos, Reinaldo; Oliveira, Rosely Magalhães

    2009-05-01

    To further understand the disease behavior of dengue by analyzing studies on dengue and geoprocessing, as well as socioeconomic and environmental indicators. MEDLINE, SciELO, and Lilacs databases, as well as the CAPES dissertation databank, were searched using the following key words: dengue, geographic information system, spatial analysis, geoprocessing, remote sensing, and socioenvironmental indicators. A manual search of the bibliographies of select articles was also performed. All studies published in English, Portuguese, or Spanish, through December 2007, that focused on dengue, geoprocessing, and socioeconomic and environmental indicators were included. The relevant articles were grouped according to type (serologic surveys or secondary data analyses) and spatial analysis unit (municipality, health district, neighborhood, administrative region, census tracts, and city blocks). Twenty-two studies from Latin America (19 from Brazil) were evaluated. Six were serologic surveys and 16 employed secondary data. Geographic information systems were employed in one survey, and 11 used secondary data analyses. Spatial clustering was similar in both types of studies. Poverty was not a major risk factor for the disease. Spatial heterogeneity of living conditions and incidence was reported by 15 of 16 studies with secondary data. Since the complexity of dengue is closely tied to the ecological characteristics of the environment, studies based on spatial clusters plus local environmental determinants provide a more comprehensive view of the disease. These studies also allow for the identification of spatial heterogeneity, shown to be a key to understanding how dengue epidemics develop.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-15

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Greene, D.L.

    1997-07-01

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

  12. Mercury enrichment indicates volcanic triggering of Valanginian environmental change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Charbonnier, Guillaume; Morales, Chloé; Duchamp-Alphonse, Stéphanie; Westermann, Stéphane; Adatte, Thierry; Föllmi, Karl B.

    2017-01-01

    The Valanginian stage (Early Cretaceous) includes an episode of significant environmental changes, which are well defined by a positive δ13C excursion. This globally recorded excursion indicates important perturbations in the carbon cycle, which has tentatively been associated with a pulse in volcanic activity and the formation of the Paraná-Etendeka large igneous province (LIP). Uncertainties in existing age models preclude, however, its positive identification as a trigger of Valanginian environmental changes. Here we report that in Valanginian sediments recovered from a drill core in Wąwał (Polish Basin, Poland), and from outcrops in the Breggia Gorge (Lombardian Basin, southern Switzerland), and Orpierre and Angles (Vocontian Basin, SE France), intervals at or near the onset of the positive δ13C excursion are significantly enriched in mercury (Hg). The persistence of the Hg anomaly in Hg/TOC, Hg/phyllosilicate, and Hg/Fe ratios shows that organic-matter scavenging and/or adsorbtion onto clay minerals or hydrous iron oxides only played a limited role. Volcanic outgassing was most probably the primary source of the Hg enrichments, which demonstrate that an important magmatic pulse triggered the Valanginian environmental perturbations.

  13. Mercury enrichment indicates volcanic triggering of Valanginian environmental change

    PubMed Central

    Charbonnier, Guillaume; Morales, Chloé; Duchamp-Alphonse, Stéphanie; Westermann, Stéphane; Adatte, Thierry; Föllmi, Karl B.

    2017-01-01

    The Valanginian stage (Early Cretaceous) includes an episode of significant environmental changes, which are well defined by a positive δ13C excursion. This globally recorded excursion indicates important perturbations in the carbon cycle, which has tentatively been associated with a pulse in volcanic activity and the formation of the Paraná-Etendeka large igneous province (LIP). Uncertainties in existing age models preclude, however, its positive identification as a trigger of Valanginian environmental changes. Here we report that in Valanginian sediments recovered from a drill core in Wąwał (Polish Basin, Poland), and from outcrops in the Breggia Gorge (Lombardian Basin, southern Switzerland), and Orpierre and Angles (Vocontian Basin, SE France), intervals at or near the onset of the positive δ13C excursion are significantly enriched in mercury (Hg). The persistence of the Hg anomaly in Hg/TOC, Hg/phyllosilicate, and Hg/Fe ratios shows that organic-matter scavenging and/or adsorbtion onto clay minerals or hydrous iron oxides only played a limited role. Volcanic outgassing was most probably the primary source of the Hg enrichments, which demonstrate that an important magmatic pulse triggered the Valanginian environmental perturbations. PMID:28106091

  14. Mercury enrichment indicates volcanic triggering of Valanginian environmental change.

    PubMed

    Charbonnier, Guillaume; Morales, Chloé; Duchamp-Alphonse, Stéphanie; Westermann, Stéphane; Adatte, Thierry; Föllmi, Karl B

    2017-01-20

    The Valanginian stage (Early Cretaceous) includes an episode of significant environmental changes, which are well defined by a positive δ(13)C excursion. This globally recorded excursion indicates important perturbations in the carbon cycle, which has tentatively been associated with a pulse in volcanic activity and the formation of the Paraná-Etendeka large igneous province (LIP). Uncertainties in existing age models preclude, however, its positive identification as a trigger of Valanginian environmental changes. Here we report that in Valanginian sediments recovered from a drill core in Wąwał (Polish Basin, Poland), and from outcrops in the Breggia Gorge (Lombardian Basin, southern Switzerland), and Orpierre and Angles (Vocontian Basin, SE France), intervals at or near the onset of the positive δ(13)C excursion are significantly enriched in mercury (Hg). The persistence of the Hg anomaly in Hg/TOC, Hg/phyllosilicate, and Hg/Fe ratios shows that organic-matter scavenging and/or adsorbtion onto clay minerals or hydrous iron oxides only played a limited role. Volcanic outgassing was most probably the primary source of the Hg enrichments, which demonstrate that an important magmatic pulse triggered the Valanginian environmental perturbations.

  15. Using oligochaeta assemblages as an indicator of environmental changes.

    PubMed

    Behrend, R D L; Takeda, A M; Gomes, L C; Fernandes, S E P

    2012-11-01

    We designed a field survey (the entire river length; not dammed: First and Second plateaus; dammed: Third Plateau) to test the hypothesis that the cascade of reservoirs promoted a reduction in species richness and changed the composition of Oligochaeta assemblage along the Iguaçu River. Changes in environmental variables and in richness and composition of Oligochaeta were summarized by Canonic Correspondence Analysis. Along the Iguaçu River, conductivity, and altitude decreased, whereas temperature increased. Oligochaeta composition showed a significant spatial variation, with higher abundances of the family Tubificidae and the genus Dero (Naididae) occurring in the First Plateau. In the Second and Third plateaus, few species were dominant, with increases in the presence of species of Naididae below dams. We found a clear decrease in species richness along the Iguaçu River. Moreover, we found that Oligochaeta assemblage was influenced by some environmental variables such as altitude, conductivity, substrate type and temperature, and by anthropogenic activities (human occupation and damming). The results supported the use of Oligochaeta as surrogate taxa to predict environmental changes along impacted (dammed and eutrophic) rivers. The validity of this was indicated by the strong and significant gradient registered, from the headwater to mouth of the Iguaçu River.

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-01-01

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

  18. Environmental indicators for communication of life cycle impact assessment results and their applications.

    PubMed

    Lim, Seong-Rin; Park, Jong Moon

    2009-08-01

    Life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) is performed to quantitatively evaluate all environmental impacts from products, systems, processes and services. However, LCIA does not always provide valuable information for choosing among alternatives with different specifications, functionalities and lifetimes. The objectives of this study are (1) to propose environmental indicators to evaluate environmental efficiency and value qualitatively and quantitatively on the basis of analogies to financial and economic indicators, and (2) to present the application of the indicators. Incremental evaluation using a reference is employed to obtain the environmental indicators. The environmental efficiency indicators are conceptually based on the ratios of reduced environmental burdens returned to environmental burdens required: environmental return on investment, environmental payback period and environmental internal rate of return. The environmental value indicator is the sum of all reduced and required environmental burdens: i.e., environmental net present value. All the environmental indicators can be used to compare and rank the environmental efficiencies or values of alternatives. The environmental efficiency indicators can be applied to a new environmental labeling. The concept of eco-efficiency labeling is developed by combining the environmental efficiency indicators with financial indicators. A case study is performed to illustrate the necessity and importance of the environmental indicators. These environmental indicators can help easily communicate LCIA results in the field of environmental management.

  19. Measuring environmental efficiency of agricultural water use: a Luenberger environmental indicator.

    PubMed

    Azad, Md A S; Ancev, Tihomir

    2014-12-01

    Irrigated agriculture creates substantial environmental pressures by withdrawing large quantities of water, leaving rivers and wetlands empty and unable to support the valuable ecosystems that depend on the water resource. The key challenge facing society is that of balancing water extractions for agricultural production and other uses with provision of appropriate environmental flow to maintain healthy rivers and wetlands. Measuring tradeoffs between economic gain of water use in agriculture and its environmental pressures can contribute to constructing policy instruments for improved water resource management. The aim of this paper is to develop a modelling framework to measure these tradeoffs. Using a new approach - Luenberger environmental indicator - the study derives environmental efficiency scores for various types of irrigation enterprises across seventeen natural resource management regions within the Murray-Darling Basin, Australia. Findings show that there is a substantial variation in environmental performance of irrigation enterprises across the regions. Some enterprises were found to be relatively environmentally efficient in some regions, but they were not efficient in others. The environmental efficiency scores could be used as a guideline for formulating regional policy and strategy to achieve sustainable water use in the agricultural sector. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Fine-Scale Environmental Indicators of Public Health and Well ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Urban ecosystem services contribute to public health and well-being by buffering natural and man-made hazards, and by promoting healthful lifestyles that include physical activity, social interaction, and engagement with nature. As part of the EnviroAtlas online mapping tool, EPA and its research partners have identified urban environmental features that have been linked in the scientific literature to specific aspects of public health and well-being. Examples of these features include tree cover along walkable roads, overall neighborhood green space, green window views, and proximity to parks. Associated aspects of health and well-being include physical fitness, social capital, school performance, and longevity. In many previous studies, stronger associations were observed in disproportionately vulnerable populations such as children, the elderly, and those of lower socioeconomic status.EnviroAtlas researchers have estimated and mapped a suite of urban environmental features by synthesizing newly-generated one-meter resolution landcover data, downscaled census population data, and existing datasets such as roads and waterways. Resulting geospatial metrics represent health-related indicators of urban ecosystem services supply and demand at the census block-group and finer. They have been developed using consistent methods to facilitate comparisons between neighborhoods and across multiple U.S. communities. Demographic overlays, also available in EnviroAtl

  1. Fine-Scale Environmental Indicators of Public Health and Well ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Urban ecosystem services contribute to public health and well-being by buffering natural and man-made hazards, and by promoting healthful lifestyles that include physical activity, social interaction, and engagement with nature. As part of the EnviroAtlas online mapping tool, EPA and its research partners have identified urban environmental features that have been linked in the scientific literature to specific aspects of public health and well-being. Examples of these features include tree cover along walkable roads, overall neighborhood green space, green window views, and proximity to parks. Associated aspects of health and well-being include physical fitness, social capital, school performance, and longevity. In many previous studies, stronger associations were observed in disproportionately vulnerable populations such as children, the elderly, and those of lower socioeconomic status.EnviroAtlas researchers have estimated and mapped a suite of urban environmental features by synthesizing newly-generated one-meter resolution landcover data, downscaled census population data, and existing datasets such as roads and waterways. Resulting geospatial metrics represent health-related indicators of urban ecosystem services supply and demand at the census block-group and finer. They have been developed using consistent methods to facilitate comparisons between neighborhoods and across multiple U.S. communities. Demographic overlays, also available in EnviroAtl

  2. The use of mosses as environmental metal pollution indicators.

    PubMed

    Aceto, Maurizio; Abollino, Ornella; Conca, Raffaele; Malandrino, Mery; Mentasti, Edoardo; Sarzanini, Corrado

    2003-01-01

    The possibility of using mosses as environmental indicators of metal pollution has been investigated. Mosses of the species Bryum argenteum were collected from different parts of Piedmont (Italy), ranging from highly polluted areas to nearly uncontaminated mountain areas. Periodical samplings were planned in every site on a monthly base, in order to check variations of metal uptake throughout one year; correlations with pluviometric and thermal patterns were investigated for all sampling stations. On every moss sample 20 elements, ranging from major (K, P, Al, Ca, Fe and Mg) to minor (Mn, Na, Ti and Zn) and trace (As, Ba, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Li, Ni, Pb and Sr), were quantitatively determined by inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectrometry or graphite furnace-atomic absorption spectrometry, depending on the needed sensitivity. Statistical analyses, carried out with principal component analysis and cluster analysis methods, revealed that a good correlation exists between metal content in mosses and pollution degree in the areas sampled.

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

    PubMed

    Klemas, V V

    2001-01-01

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

  4. An international environmental scan of quality indicators for cardiovascular care.

    PubMed

    Abrahamyan, Lusine; Boom, Nicole; Donovan, Linda R; Tu, Jack V

    2012-01-01

    Quality indicators (QIs) are increasingly being used to measure and improve the quality of cardiac care. We conducted an international environmental scan to identify and critically appraise published QI development initiatives addressing cardiovascular disease (CVD). A review of the peer-reviewed and grey English-language literature was conducted to identify published CVD QI development initiatives. The quality of identified studies was assessed using a modified version of the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation (AGREE) II QI tool-an instrument originally developed for the assessment of the quality of clinical practice guidelines. An initial literature search identified 2314 potentially relevant abstracts of peer-reviewed articles. After a review of the abstracts, 120 full text articles were retrieved and reviewed. Of these, 20 articles and 1 peer-reviewed monograph were selected for critical appraisal (n = 21). Most of the initiatives were conducted in North America (76%) and were published after 2005 (62%). The majority (5 of 6) of the AGREE II QI domain scores were skewed toward higher values, including the median score for the 'overall quality' rating (83.3%). Of the CVD categories addressed within the 21 initiatives, heart failure was the most common (n = 10 QI indicator sets), followed by acute coronary syndromes (n = 8). Considerable variation was observed in the methods utilized and the degree of scientific rigour applied in the published international CVD QI development initiatives. Adoption of standardized methods could help improve the quality of QI development initiatives.

  5. Mercury enrichment indicates volcanic triggering of the Valanginian environmental change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Charbonnier, Guillaume; Morales, Chloé; Duchamp-Alphonse, Stéphanie; Westermann, Stéphane; Adatte, Thierry; Föllmi, Karl

    2017-04-01

    The Valanginian stage (Early Cretaceous, ˜137-132 Ma) recorded an episode of pronounced palaeoenvironmental change, which is marked by a globally recorded positive δ13C excursion of 1.5 to 2‰ amplitude, also known as the "Weissert event or episode". Its onset near the early/late Valanginian boundary (B. campylotoxus-S. verrucosum ammonite Zones) coincides with a phase of warmer climate conditions associated with enhanced humidity, major changes in the evolution of marine plankton, and the drowning of tropical and subtropical marine shallow-water carbonate ecosystems. The globally recorded excursion indicates important transformations in the carbon cycle, which have tentatively been associated with Paraná-Etendeka large igneous province (LIP) volcanic activity. Incertainties in existing age models preclude, however, its positive identification as a trigger of Valanginian environmental change. Since very recently, mercury (Hg) chemostratigraphy offers the possibly to evaluate the role of LIP activity during major palaeoenvironmental perturbations. In this study we investigate the distribution of Hg contents in four Valanginian reference sections located in pelagic and hemipelagic environments in the Central Tethyan Realm (Lombardian Basin, Breggia section), the northern Tethyan margin (Vocontian Basin, Orpierre and Angles sections), and the narrow seaway connecting the Tethyan and Boreal Oceans (Polish Basin, Wawal core). All records show an enrichment in Hg concentrations at or near the onset of the Weissert Episode, with maximal values of 70.5 ppb at Angles, 59.5 ppb at Orpierre, 69.9 ppb at Wawal, and 17.0 ppb at Breggia. The persistence of the Hg anomaly in Hg/TOC and Hg/phyllosilicate ratios shows that organic-matter scavenging and/or adsorbtion onto clay minerals only played a limited role.We propose that volcanic outgassing was the primary source of the Hg enrichment and conclude that an important magmatic pulse triggered the Valanginian environmental

  6. Fish tapeworm Khawia sinensis: an indicator of environmental microcystins?

    PubMed

    Palikova, Miroslava; Adamovsky, Ondrej; Blaha, Ludek; Mares, Jan; Kopp, Radovan; Navratil, Stanislav; Cutakova, Zdenka; Soukupova, Zdenka; Pikula, Jiri

    2013-01-01

    Parasites have recently been recognized as accumulation indicators that take up and bio-concentrate substances from environmental pollution. Interestingly, helminths of fish are known to accumulate metals from the ambient environment and to contain several orders of magnitude higher concentrations than hosts. While the majority of reports mention inorganic toxin accumulation in parasites, studies concerning effects of organic pollution are infrequent and little is known about the potential of parasites to bio-accumulate microcystins. The parasite-host system of tapeworm Khawia sinensis and common carp (Cyprinus carpio) was used to address this issue. Both the tapeworms and livers were dissected from experimental carps orally exposed to cyanobacterial biomass for 20 days. The total dose of microcystins amounted to 27 mg/kg of feed, i.e., 0.4 mg/kg of fish mass a day. Microcystin concentrations in tapeworms and carp liver tissues were measured using the LC-MS/MS method. Considering the three measured microcystin variants LR, YR and RR, only MC-RR was detected and its concentrations in tapeworms and carp liver tissue amounted to 5.78±3.78 ng/g and 2.11±0.74 ng/g fresh weight (p<0.05), respectively. Here we show accumulation of microcystin MC-RR in the tapeworm Khawia sinensis, a parasite of common carp (Cyprinus carpio). As this is the first report addressing this issue, further studies will be necessary to examine this specific parasite-host system.

  7. Environmental vulnerability indicators for environmental planning and decision-making: guidelines and applications.

    PubMed

    Villa, Ferdinando; McLeod, Helena

    2002-03-01

    Environmental decision-making and policy-making at all levels refers necessarily to synthetic, approximate quantification of environmental properties such as vulnerability, conservation status, and ability to recover after perturbation. Knowledge of such properties is essential to informed decision-making, but their definition is controversial and their precise characterization requires investments in research, modeling, and data collection that are only possible in the most developed countries. Environmental agencies and governments worldwide have increasingly requested numerical quantification or semiquantitative ranking of such attributes at the ecosystem, landscape, and country level. We do not have a theory to guide their calculation, in general or specific contexts, particularly with the amount of resources usually available in such cases. As a result, these measures are often calculated with little scientific justification and high subjectivity, and such doubtful approximations are used for critical decision-making. This problem applies particularly to countries with weak economies, such as small island states, where the most precious environmental resources are often concentrated. This paper discusses frameworks for a "least disappointing," approximate quantification of environmental vulnerability. After a review of recent research and recent attempts to quantify environmental vulnerability, we discuss models and theoretical frameworks for obtaining an approximate, standardizable vulnerability indicator of minimal subjectivity and maximum generality. We also discuss issues of empirical testing and comparability between indicators developed for different environments. To assess the state of the art, we describe an independent ongoing project developed in the South Pacific area and aimed to the comparative evaluation of the vulnerability of arbitrary countries.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-04-03

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  11. Meeting report: development of environmental health indicators in Brazil and other countries in the americas.

    PubMed

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

    2006-09-01

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

  12. ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH INDICATORS: STATE OF THE ENVIRONMENT REPORT

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  13. ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH INDICATORS: STATE OF THE ENVIRONMENT REPORT

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  14. Environmental stability of PAH source indices in pyrogenic tars

    SciTech Connect

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

    2006-04-15

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  17. An environmental generalised Luenberger-Hicks-Moorsteen productivity indicator and an environmental generalised Hicks-Moorsteen productivity index.

    PubMed

    Abad, A

    2015-09-15

    The purpose of this paper is to introduce an environmental generalised productivity indicator and its ratio-based counterpart. The innovative environmental generalised total factor productivity measures inherit the basic structure of both Hicks-Moorsteen productivity index and Luenberger-Hicks-Moorsteen productivity indicator. This methodological contribution shows that these new environmental generalised total factor productivity measures yield the earlier standard Hicks-Moorsteen index and Luenberger-Hicks-Moorsteen indicator, as well as environmental performance index, as special cases. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. EPA Releases Updated Environmental and Public Health Indicators in Online Database

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    WASHINGTON - Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released updated environmental and public health indicators in an online database, making information about the current and historical condition of the nation's environment and human

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1988-01-01

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

  3. BENTHIC MACROINVERTEBRATES AS INDICATORS OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITION IN THREE GREAT LAKES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Biological, physical, and chemical data were collected from surficial sediments of Lakes Ontario, Michigan, and Superior to examine benthic macroinvertebrate community structure as an indicator of environmental condition.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-03-01

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

  10. Development of composite indices to measure the adoption of pro-environmental behaviours across Canadian provinces.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  12. USEPA Environmental Quality Index (EQI) and Associated Domain Indices by County for the United States

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    This map service displays the results data from the EPA's Environmental Quality Index. The US Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory (NHEERL) in the Environmental Public Health Division (EPHD) is currently engaged in research aimed at developing a measure that estimates overall environmental quality at the county level for the United States. This work is being conducted as an effort to learn more about how various environmental factors simultaneously contribute to health disparities in low-income and minority populations, and to better estimate the total environmental and social context to which humans are exposed. This dataset contains the finalized Environmental Quality Index (EQI), and an index for each of the associated domains (air, water, land, built environment, and sociodemographic environment). Indices are at the county level for all counties in the United States.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-08-01

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

  14. USEPA Environmental Quality Index (EQI) and Associated Domain Indices by County for the United States

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The US Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory (NHEERL) in the Environmental Public Health Division (EPHD) is currently engaged in research aimed at developing a measure that estimates overall environmental quality at the county level for the United States. This work is being conducted as an effort to learn more about how various environmental factors simultaneously contribute to health disparities in low-income and minority populations, and to better estimate the total environmental and social context to which humans are exposed. This dataset contains the finalized Environmental Quality Index (EQI), and an index for each of the associated domains (air, water, land, built environment, and sociodemographic environment). Indices are at the county level for all counties in the United States.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-05

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

  8. Policy and environmental indicators for heart disease and stroke prevention: data sources in two states.

    PubMed

    Pluto, Delores M; Phillips, Martha M; Matson-Koffman, Dyann; Shepard, Dennis M; Raczynski, James M; Brownstein, J Nell

    2004-04-01

    Investigators in South Carolina and Alabama assessed the availability of data for measuring 31 policy and environmental indicators for heart disease and stroke prevention. The indicators were intended to determine policy and environmental support for adopting heart disease and stroke prevention guidelines and selected risk factors in 4 settings: community, school, work site, and health care. Research teams used literature searches and key informant interviews to explore the availability of data sources for each indicator. Investigators documented the following 5 qualities for each data source identified: 1) the degree to which the data fit the indicator; 2) the frequency and regularity with which data were collected; 3) the consistency of data collected across time; 4) the costs (time, money, personnel) associated with data collection or access; and 5) the accessibility of data. Among the 31 indicators, 11 (35%) have readily available data sources and 4 (13%) have sources that could provide partial measurement. Data sources are available for most indicators in the school setting and for tobacco control policies in all settings. Data sources for measuring policy and environmental indicators for heart disease and stroke prevention are limited in availability. Effort and resources are required to develop and implement mechanisms for collecting state and local data on policy and environmental indicators in different settings. The level of work needed to expand data sources is comparable to the extensive work already completed in the school setting and for tobacco control.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2006-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-02-01

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

  11. Evaluation of the environmental impact of apple pest control strategies using pesticide risk indicators.

    PubMed

    Ioriatti, Claudio; Agnello, Arthur M; Martini, Fabrizio; Kovach, Joseph

    2011-10-01

    Various pesticide risk indicators have been developed for estimating pesticide impact on human health and the environment. The present work applied a pesticide risk indicator to estimate change in pesticide risk in apple production between 2001 and 2009. The "Environmental Impact Quotient" was used, which evaluates potential impacts of pesticide active ingredients on farm workers, consumers, and nontarget organisms. A modified Environmental Impact Quotient was also tested, which accounts for all ingredients in the formulation presenting a health or environmental hazard, as identified in the Security Data Sheet. Irrespective of the rating system applied, an overall average improvement in environmental impact of apple protection strategies was indicated ranging from 23 to 24%. Hazard reduction was more significant when estimated per treatment, and was higher for acaricides and insecticides than for fungicides. Improvement appeared to be a consequence of using more selective and more effective active ingredients, applying alternative pest control techniques, compulsory periodic sprayer calibration, and wider use of dwarfing orchards. The modified Environmental Impact Quotient does not overcome all limitations regarding accuracy of pesticide risk indicators, but its ease of use in relying on official, easily accessible data, and the consistency of its results, makes it a good candidate for monitoring the success of reduced risk policies. Copyright © 2011 SETAC.

  12. Environmental health indicators and a case study of air pollution in Latin American cities.

    PubMed

    Bell, Michelle L; Cifuentes, Luis A; Davis, Devra L; Cushing, Erin; Telles, Adriana Gusman; Gouveia, Nelson

    2011-01-01

    Environmental health indicators (EHIs) are applied in a variety of research and decision-making settings to gauge the health consequences of environmental hazards, to summarize complex information, or to compare policy impacts across locations or time periods. While EHIs can provide a useful means of conveying information, they also can be misused. Additional research is needed to help researchers and policy-makers understand categories of indicators and their appropriate application. In this article, we review current frameworks for environmental health indicators and discuss the advantages and limitations of various forms. A case study EHI system was developed for air pollution and health for urban Latin American centers in order to explore how underlying assumptions affect indicator results. Sixteen cities were ranked according to five indicators that considered: population exposed, children exposed, comparison to health-based guidelines, and overall PM(10) levels. Results indicate that although some overall patterns in rankings were observed, cities' relative rankings were highly dependent on the indicator used. In fact, a city that was ranked best under one indicator was ranked worst with another. The sensitivity of rankings, even when considering a simple case of a single pollutant, highlights the need for clear understanding of EHIs and how they may be affected by underlying assumptions. Careful consideration should be given to the purpose, assumptions, and limitations of EHIs used individually or in combination in order to minimize misinterpretation of their implications and enhance their usefulness.

  13. Use of geographic indicators of healthcare, environment and socioeconomic factors to characterize environmental health disparities.

    PubMed

    Padilla, Cindy M; Kihal-Talantikit, Wahida; Perez, Sandra; Deguen, Severine

    2016-07-22

    An environmental health inequality is a major public health concern in Europe. However just few studies take into account a large set of characteristics to analyze this problematic. The aim of this study was to identify and describe how socioeconomic, health accessibility and exposure factors accumulate and interact in small areas in a French urban context, to assess environmental health inequalities related to infant and neonatal mortality. Environmental indicators on deprivation index, proximity to high-traffic roads, green space, and healthcare accessibility were created using the Geographical Information System. Cases were collected from death certificates in the city hall of each municipality in the Nice metropolitan area. Using the parental addresses, cases were geocoded to their census block of residence. A classification using a Multiple Component Analysis following by a Hierarchical Clustering allow us to characterize the census blocks in terms of level of socioeconomic, environmental and accessibility to healthcare, which are very diverse definition by nature. Relation between infant and neonatal mortality rate and the three environmental patterns which categorize the census blocks after the classification was performed using a standard Poisson regression model for count data after checking the assumption of dispersion. Based on geographic indicators, three environmental patterns were identified. We found environmental inequalities and social health inequalities in Nice metropolitan area. Moreover these inequalities are counterbalance by the close proximity of deprived census blocks to healthcare facilities related to mother and newborn. So therefore we demonstrate no environmental health inequalities related to infant and neonatal mortality. Examination of patterns of social, environmental and in relation with healthcare access is useful to identify census blocks with needs and their effects on health. Similar analyzes could be implemented and considered

  14. An Approach to Developing Local Climate Change Environmental Public Health Indicators in a Rural District

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    Climate change represents a significant and growing threat to population health. Rural areas face unique challenges, such as high rates of vulnerable populations; economic uncertainty due to their reliance on industries that are vulnerable to climate change; less resilient infrastructure; and lower levels of access to community and emergency services than urban areas. This article fills a gap in public health practice by developing climate and health environmental public health indicators for a local public health department in a rural area. We adapted the National Environmental Public Health Tracking Network's framework for climate and health indicators to a seven-county health department in Western Kentucky. Using a three-step review process, we identified primary climate-related environmental public health hazards for the region (extreme heat, drought, and flooding) and a suite of related exposure, health outcome, population vulnerability, and environmental vulnerability indicators. Indicators that performed more poorly at the county level than at the state and national level were defined as “high vulnerability.” Six to eight high vulnerability indicators were identified for each county. The local health department plans to use the results to enhance three key areas of existing services: epidemiology, public health preparedness, and community health assessment. PMID:28352286

  15. An Approach to Developing Local Climate Change Environmental Public Health Indicators in a Rural District.

    PubMed

    Houghton, Adele; Austin, Jessica; Beerman, Abby; Horton, Clayton

    2017-01-01

    Climate change represents a significant and growing threat to population health. Rural areas face unique challenges, such as high rates of vulnerable populations; economic uncertainty due to their reliance on industries that are vulnerable to climate change; less resilient infrastructure; and lower levels of access to community and emergency services than urban areas. This article fills a gap in public health practice by developing climate and health environmental public health indicators for a local public health department in a rural area. We adapted the National Environmental Public Health Tracking Network's framework for climate and health indicators to a seven-county health department in Western Kentucky. Using a three-step review process, we identified primary climate-related environmental public health hazards for the region (extreme heat, drought, and flooding) and a suite of related exposure, health outcome, population vulnerability, and environmental vulnerability indicators. Indicators that performed more poorly at the county level than at the state and national level were defined as "high vulnerability." Six to eight high vulnerability indicators were identified for each county. The local health department plans to use the results to enhance three key areas of existing services: epidemiology, public health preparedness, and community health assessment.

  16. Environmental risks in the developing world: exposure indicators for evaluating interventions, programmes, and policies

    PubMed Central

    Ezzati, M.; Utzinger, J.; Cairncross, S.; Cohen, A.; Singer, B.

    2005-01-01

    Background: Monitoring and empirical evaluation are essential components of evidence based public health policies and programmes. Consequently, there is a growing interest in monitoring of, and indicators for, major environmental health risks, particularly in the developing world. Current large scale data collection efforts are generally disconnected from micro-scale studies in health sciences, which in turn have insufficiently investigated the behavioural and socioeconomic factors that influence exposure. Study design: A basic framework is proposed for development of indicators of exposure to environmental health risks that would facilitate the (a) assessment of the health effects of risk factors, (b) design and evaluation of interventions and programmes to deliver the interventions, and (c) appraisal and quantification of inequalities in health effects of risk factors, and benefits of intervention programmes and policies. Specific emphasis is put on the features of environmental risks that should guide the choice of indicators, in particular the interactions of technology, the environment, and human behaviour in determining exposure. The indicators are divided into four categories: (a) access and infrastructure, (b) technology, (c) agents and vectors, and (d) behaviour. The study used water and sanitation, indoor air pollution from solid fuels, urban ambient air pollution, and malaria as illustrative examples for this framework. Conclusions: Organised and systematic indicator selection and monitoring can provide an evidence base for design and implementation of more effective and equitable technological interventions, delivery programmes, and policies for environmental health risks in resource poor settings. PMID:15598721

  17. Alterations in morphometric and organosomatic indices and histopathological analyses indicative of environmental contamination in Mullet, Mugil liza, from Southeastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Hauser-Davis, R A; Lavandier, R C; Bastos, F F; Oliveira, T F; Ribeiro, C A Oliveira; Ziolli, R L; de Campos, R C

    2012-12-01

    Mullet (Mugil liza) were sampled in five different areas along the Guanabara Bay, southeastern Brazil, classified as non-contaminated, moderately contaminated and contaminated. Morphometric (Fulton condition factor, relative condition factor and weight to length scaling coefficient) and organosomatic (hepatosomatic index) indices of environmental stress were analysed. Fish from the differentially contaminated areas show statistically different Fulton and relative condition factors and hepatosomatic indices, but not the weight to length scaling coefficient. The Kn and the FCF followed the same trend, with fish from São Gonçalo (1.07 ± 0.04 and 0.89 ± 0.03), Itaipu (0.84 ± 0.01 and 0.86 ± 0.01) and the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon (1.03 ± 0.01 and 0.87 ± 0.20) showing higher FCFs than fish from Magé (0.96 ± 0.01 and 0.81 ± 0.01). Fish from Itaipu showed significantly higher HSI values than the other sampling sites (1.68 ± 0.07), with fish from Olaria and Ipiranga showing the lowest (1.56 ± 0.12 and 1.60 ± 0.07, respectively).

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2002-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

  20. Testing the environmental Kuznets curve hypothesis with bird populations as habitat-specific environmental indicators: evidence from Canada.

    PubMed

    Lantz, Van; Martínez-Espiñeira, Roberto

    2008-04-01

    The traditional environmental Kuznets curve (EKC) hypothesis postulates that environmental degradation follows an inverted U-shaped relationship with gross domestic product (GDP) per capita. We tested the EKC hypothesis with bird populations in 5 different habitats as environmental quality indicators. Because birds are considered environmental goods, for them the EKC hypothesis would instead be associated with a U-shaped relationship between bird populations and GDP per capita. In keeping with the literature, we included other variables in the analysis-namely, human population density and time index variables (the latter variable captured the impact of persistent and exogenous climate and/or policy changes on bird populations over time). Using data from 9 Canadian provinces gathered over 37 years, we used a generalized least-squares regression for each bird habitat type, which accounted for the panel structure of the data, the cross-sectional dependence across provinces in the residuals, heteroskedasticity, and fixed- or random-effect specifications of the models. We found evidence that supports the EKC hypothesis for 3 of the 5 bird population habitat types. In addition, the relationship between human population density and the different bird populations varied, which emphasizes the complex nature of the impact that human populations have on the environment. The relationship between the time-index variable and the different bird populations also varied, which indicates there are other persistent and significant influences on bird populations over time. Overall our EKC results were consistent with those found for threatened bird species, indicating that economic prosperity does indeed act to benefit some bird populations.

  1. Application of an indicator based on taxonomic relatedness of ciliated protozoan assemblages for marine environmental assessment.

    PubMed

    Xu, Henglong; Jiang, Yong; Al-Rasheid, Khaled A S; Al-Farraj, Saleh A; Song, Weibo

    2011-08-01

    Ciliated protozoa play important roles in aquatic ecosystems especially regarding their functions in micro-food web and have many advantages in environmental assessment compared with most other eukaryotic organisms. The aims of this study were focused on analyzing the application of an indicator based on taxonomic relatedness of ciliated protozoan assemblages for marine environmental assessment. The spatial taxonomic patterns and diversity measures in response to physical-chemical variables were studied based on data from samples collected during 1-year cycle in the semi-enclosed Jiaozhou Bay, northern China. The spatial patterns of ciliate communities were significantly correlated with the changes of environmental status. The taxonomic distinctness (Δ*) and the average taxonomic distinctness (Δ+) were significantly negatively correlated with the changes of nutrients (e.g., nitrate nitrogen and soluble active phosphate; P<0.05). Pairwise indices of Δ+ and the variation in taxonomic distinctness (Λ+) showed a decreasing trend of departure from the expected taxonomic breadth in response to the eutrophication stress and anthropogenic impact. The taxonomic relatedness (especially the pairwise Δ+ and Λ+) indices of ciliate communities are robust as an indicator with scientifically operational value in marine environmental assessment.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Does national scale economic and environmental indicators spur logistics performance? Evidence from UK.

    PubMed

    Khan, Syed Abdul Rehman; Qianli, Dong

    2017-09-27

    The aim of this study is to examine the association between national economic and environmental indicators with green logistics performance in a time series data of UK since 1981 to 2016. The research used autoregressive distributed lag method to understand the long-run and short-run relationships of national scale economic (foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows, per capita income) and environmental indicators (total greenhouse gases, fossil fuel, and renewable energy) on green logistics. In the short run, the research findings indicate that the green logistics and renewable energy have positive relationship, while fossil fuel is negatively correlated with green logistics operations. On the other hand, in the long run, the results show that FDI inflows, renewable energy sources, and per capita income have statistically significant and positive association with green logistics activities, while foreign investments attracted by environmental friendly policies and practices adopted in global logistics operations, which not only increase the environmental sustainability but also enhance economic activities with greater export opportunities in the region.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Panzieri, Margherita; Marchettini, Nadia; Ridolfi, Roberto

    2003-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  8. Indicators' role: How do they influence Strategic Environmental Assessment and Sustainable Planning - The Chinese experience.

    PubMed

    Gao, Jingjing; Christensen, Per; Kørnøv, Lone

    2017-03-14

    As an information carrier and communication medium, indicators provide useful decision-making assistance in setting process goals and effectively reaching the goals. The main focus of this article is to investigate indicators' role in influencing planning through Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) especially related to Chinese experiences. From the perspective of planning and decision-making theory, the influence on planning is studied as influence of planning structure and influence of planning actors. Such a conceptual framework is applied in order to demonstrate how the use of indicators can influence planning through a SEA process. The study holds two empirical levels. On a general level, based on an online survey, this article investigates SEA practitioners' experiences in using indicators. On a case level, two urban plans are selected to provide more detailed experiences. The case level investigation is based on a documentary study and individual interviews with SEA practitioners/planners. By exploring how indicators influence planning through the structure of and the actors within SEA, this study tries to provide an overview of indicators' role in SEA. The results indicate that indicators are perceived as a useful tool in the Chinese SEA system. By improving and simplifying the procedures of SEA, the indicators exert more structural influence on SEA and on plan making. On the other hand, indicators are also shown to have more influence through political actors than found among technical actors.

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

    PubMed Central

    Wcislo, Eleonora; Dutkiewicz, Tadeusz; Konczalik, Jerzy

    2002-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1993-10-01

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

  11. Nitrogen and phosphorus flux from the production of Nile tilapia through the application of environmental indicators.

    PubMed

    Osti, J A S; Moraes, M A B; Carmo, C F; Mercante, C T J

    2017-07-10

    We aimed in this study utilize environmental indicators as a quantitative method to evaluate and discuss the nitrogen (TN) and phosphorus (TP) flux by a production stage grow-out (termination) of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) in fishpond. The TN and TP load, the mass balance, the input of TN and TP via feed and the converted nutrients in fish biomass are the environmental indicators applied in this study. During the production cycle (128 days), the system exported 15,931 g TN and 4,189 g TP that were related to the amount of feed supplied (r Pearson = 0.8825 and r = 0.8523, respectively), corroborated by the feed conversion ratio (1.61:1). The indicators showed that 26% TN and 45% TP were reversed into fish biomass, 62% TN and 40% TP were retained in the fishpond, and 12% TN and 15% TP were exported via effluent. The largest contribution of nutrients generated by the system and exported via effluent was observed in phase III and IV. This result is supported by the feed conversion ratio 2.14 and 2.21:1 obtained at this phase, a fact explained by the amount of feed offered and the fish metabolism. Application of environmental indicators showed to be an efficient tool to quantify flux of TN and TP produced during the grow-out period of Nile tilapia and therefore, guide management practices more sustainable. Concerning the environmental sustainability of the activity the implementation of best management practices such as the better control of the feed amount offered would lead to a smaller loss of TN and TP to the water. Furthermore, the use of better quality feeds would allow greater nutrient assimilation efficiency.

  12. Genomic selection using indicator traits to reduce the environmental impact of milk production.

    PubMed

    Axelsson, H Hansen; Fikse, W F; Kargo, M; Sørensen, A C; Johansson, K; Rydhmer, L

    2013-08-01

    The aim of this simulation study was to test the hypothesis that phenotype information of specific indicator traits of environmental importance recorded on a small-scale can be implemented in breeding schemes with genomic selection to reduce the environmental impact of milk production. A stochastic simulation was undertaken to test alternative breeding strategies. The breeding goal consisted of milk production, a functional trait, and environmental impact (EI). The indicator traits (IT) for EI were categorized as large-, medium-, or small-scale, depending on how the traits were recorded. The large-scale traits were stayability and stature; the medium-scale traits were live weight and methane in the breath of the cow measured during milking; and the small-scale traits were residual feed intake and methane recorded in a respiration chamber. Simulated scenarios considered information for just one IT in addition to information for milk production and functional traits. The annual monetary genetic gain was highest in the large-scale scenario that included stayability as IT. The annual monetary gain in the scenarios with medium- or small-scale IT varied from €50.5 to 47.5. The genetic gain improvement in EI was, however, best in the scenarios where the genetic correlation between IT and EI was ≥0.30 and the accuracy of direct genomic value was ≥0.40. The genetic gain in EI was 26 to 34% higher when indicator traits such as greenhouse gases in the breath of the cow and methane recorded in respiration chamber were used compared with a scenario where no indicator trait was included. It is possible to achieve increased genetic gain in EI by using a highly correlated indicator trait, but it requires that the established reference population for the indicator trait is large enough so that the accuracy of direct genomic values will be reasonably high. Copyright © 2013 American Dairy Science Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Evaluating farm performance using agri-environmental indicators: recent experiences for nitrogen management in The Netherlands.

    PubMed

    Langeveld, J W A; Verhagen, A; Neeteson, J J; van Keulen, H; Conijn, J G; Schils, R L M; Oenema, J

    2007-02-01

    Intensive agriculture, characterized by high inputs, has serious implications on the environment. Monitoring and evaluation of projects aiming at designing, testing and applying more sustainable practices require instruments to asses agronomic as well as environmental performance. Guidelines for Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) or Good Farming Practice (GFP) define sustainable practices but give limited insight into their environmental performance. Agri-environmental indicators (AEIs) provide information on environmental as well as agronomic performance, which allows them to serve as analytical instruments in research and provide thresholds for legislation purposes. Effective AEIs are quantifiable and scientifically sound, relevant, acceptable to target groups, easy to interpret and cost-effective. This paper discusses application of four AEIs for nitrogen (N) management in three Dutch research projects: 'De Marke', 'Cows and Opportunities' and 'Farming with a future'. 'De Marke' applied Nitrogen Surplus and Groundwater Nitrate Concentration in the design and testing of environmentally sound dairy systems. 'Cows and Opportunities', testing and disseminating dairy systems designed at 'De Marke', mainly applied Nitrogen Surplus, while 'Farming with a future' used Nitrogen Surplus, Groundwater Nitrate Concentration and Residual Mineral Soil Nitrogen to support arable farmers in complying with Dutch legislation (MINAS). Nitrogen Surplus is quantifiable, appealing and easy to interpret, but lacks scientific soundness or a good relationship with groundwater quality. Nitrogen Use Efficiency is sensitive to changes in management, while Residual Mineral Soil Nitrogen is appealing and cheap, but has difficulties in scaling. Groundwater Nitrate Concentration lacks clear rules for sampling, is labor consuming, expensive and mainly used in combination with other indicators. AEIs enhanced improvements in N management by facilitating (i) definition of project goals, (ii) design

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

    PubMed Central

    Koivula, Matti J.

    2011-01-01

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

  15. III: Use of biomarkers as Risk Indicators in Environmental Risk Assessment of oil based discharges offshore.

    PubMed

    Sanni, Steinar; Lyng, Emily; Pampanin, Daniela M

    2017-06-01

    Offshore oil and gas activities are required not to cause adverse environmental effects, and risk based management has been established to meet environmental standards. In some risk assessment schemes, Risk Indicators (RIs) are parameters to monitor the development of risk affecting factors. RIs have not yet been established in the Environmental Risk Assessment procedures for management of oil based discharges offshore. This paper evaluates the usefulness of biomarkers as RIs, based on their properties, existing laboratory biomarker data and assessment methods. Data shows several correlations between oil concentrations and biomarker responses, and assessment principles exist that qualify biomarkers for integration into risk procedures. Different ways that these existing biomarkers and methods can be applied as RIs in a probabilistic risk assessment system when linked with whole organism responses are discussed. This can be a useful approach to integrate biomarkers into probabilistic risk assessment related to oil based discharges, representing a potential supplement to information that biomarkers already provide about environmental impact and risk related to these kind of discharges. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Geospatial Modeling of Watershed Quality as an Indicator for Environmental Health

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Archer, R.

    2016-12-01

    The impact of urbanization of rural Tennessee counties on environmental quality and human health and wellbeing has not been well studied, especially in the context of water quality. Between 2015 and 2025, Williamson County, TN is projected to see the strongest rate of population growth in the region, expanding by 33.7 percent. Water quality directly affects the condition of soils, vegetation, and other life forms that depend on water for survival, and therefore is a valid indicator of environmental health. Current reliable data is available on less than half (47%) of waterways in Tennessee. GIS is applied to model the impact of urbanization on rural communities within the Mill Creek watershed in Williamson County, Tennessee. Water quality measurements are integrated with data identifying urbanization and other land development influences assessed over a previous decades in order to identify influences of environmental change impacts on the watershed. The study examines the threat of urbanization to soils, vegetation and other related natural resources as well as the distance of farm areas, pasture grazing, cattle access and manure runoff, construction and landscaping to collection systems leading into the watershed. Combining spatial analysis with water quality interpretation helped to identify and display potential causes and sources of Mill Creek Watershed pollution as well as vulnerable locations susceptible to risk of declining environmental health.

  17. Breakeven prices for recording of indicator traits to reduce the environmental impact of milk production.

    PubMed

    Hansen Axelsson, H; Thomasen, J R; Sørensen, A C; Rydhmer, L; Kargo, M; Johansson, K; Fikse, W F

    2015-02-01

    A breeding scheme using genomic selection and an indicator trait for environmental impact (EI) was studied to find the most effective recording strategy in terms of annual monetary genetic gain and breakeven price for the recording of indicator traits. The breakeven price shows the investment space for developing a recording system for an indicator trait. The breeding goal consisted of three traits – milk production, functional trait and environmental impact – with economic values of €83, €82 and €-83, respectively. The first scenario included only breeding goal traits and no indicator traits (NoIT). The other scenarios included all three breeding goal traits and one indicator trait (IT) for EI. The indicator traits were recorded on a large scale (stayability after first lactation and stature), medium scale (live weight and greenhouse gases (GHG) measured in the breath of the cow during milking) or small scale (residual feed intake and total enteric methane measured in a respiration chamber). In the scenario with stayability, the genetic gain in EI was over 11% higher than it was in NoIT. The breakeven price of recording stayability was €8 per record. Stayability is easy to record in the national milk recording system, and its use as an indicator trait for EI would not generate any additional recording costs. Therefore, stayability would be a good indicator trait to use to mitigate EI. The highest genetic gain in EI (23% higher compared to NoIT) was achieved when the GHG measured in the breath of the cow was used as indicator trait. The breakeven price for this indicator trait was €29 per record in the reference population. Ideally the recording of a specific indicator trait for EI would take place when: (i) the genetic correlation between the IT and EI is high; and (ii) the number of phenotypic records for the indicator trait is high enough to achieve a moderately high reliability of direct genomic values. © 2014 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-02-15

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

  19. Connecting the Dots: Linking Environmental Justice Indicators to Daily Dose Model Estimates

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Hongtai; Barzyk, Timothy M.

    2016-01-01

    Many different quantitative techniques have been developed to either assess Environmental Justice (EJ) issues or estimate exposure and dose for risk assessment. However, very few approaches have been applied to link EJ factors to exposure dose estimate and identify potential impacts of EJ factors on dose-related variables. The purpose of this study is to identify quantitative approaches that incorporate conventional risk assessment (RA) dose modeling and cumulative risk assessment (CRA) considerations of disproportionate environmental exposure. We apply the Average Daily Dose (ADD) model, which has been commonly used in RA, to better understand impacts of EJ indicators upon exposure dose estimates and dose-related variables, termed the Environmental-Justice-Average-Daily-Dose (EJ-ADD) approach. On the U.S. nationwide census tract-level, we defined and quantified two EJ indicators (poverty and race/ethnicity) using an EJ scoring method to examine their relation to census tract-level multi-chemical exposure dose estimates. Pollutant doses for each tract were calculated using the ADD model, and EJ scores were assigned to each tract based on poverty- or race-related population percentages. Single- and multiple-chemical ADD values were matched to the tract-level EJ scores to analyze disproportionate dose relationships and contributing EJ factors. We found that when both EJ indicators were examined simultaneously, ADD for all pollutants generally increased with larger EJ scores. To demonstrate the utility of using EJ-ADD on the local scale, we approximated ADD levels of lead via soil/dust ingestion for simulated communities with different EJ-related scenarios. The local-level simulation indicates a substantial difference in exposure-dose levels between wealthy and EJ communities. The application of the EJ-ADD approach can link EJ factors to exposure dose estimate and identify potential EJ impacts on dose-related variables. PMID:28036053

  20. Relating sardine Sardinops sagax abundance to environmental indices in northern Benguela [review article

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daskalov, G. M.; Boyer, D. C.; Roux, J. P.

    2003-10-01

    Most attempts to define relationships between the environment and Sardinops sagax recruitment success in the northern Benguela have focused on regional indices. This study used a large-scale perspective and proposed two new indices: one based on the sea surface temperature in the tropical Atlantic, and the other on coastal wind stress. The proposed indices were not only consistent with empirical evidence but were also based on current understanding of the processes underlying environmental variability and pelagic fish recruitment dynamics. Prior to the mid-1980s, sardine recruitment strength was positively correlated with SST and negatively with wind. Subsequently, these relationships reversed, recruitment being negatively correlated with SST and positively correlated with wind. GAM models incorporating recruitment, spawning stock biomass and environmental indices were built and compared, and two hypotheses were formulated to explain the reversal of the environment-fish relationships. The first addressed a switch between two environmental regimes: the first (prior to the mid-1980s) characterised by weak stratification and strong enrichment, and the second (late 1980s and the 1990s) characterised by frequent warm events, stronger stratification, and reduced enrichment and productivity. The second hypothesis suggested that the reversal can be attributed to changed population structure, distribution and migration behaviour of the severely overfished sardine stock resulting in a shift from the optimal spawning area in the vicinity of Walvis Bay to the a less favourable spawning habitat in the north. The present depressed state of the stock does not allow firm conclusions to be drawn about the effect of the environment on its population dynamics, nor to consider the implications for management. However, it is argued that an appreciation of how such relationships may change through time is important in further understanding and modelling oceanic and fisheries systems in

  1. Connecting the Dots: Linking Environmental Justice Indicators to Daily Dose Model Estimates.

    PubMed

    Huang, Hongtai; Barzyk, Timothy M

    2016-12-28

    Many different quantitative techniques have been developed to either assess Environmental Justice (EJ) issues or estimate exposure and dose for risk assessment. However, very few approaches have been applied to link EJ factors to exposure dose estimate and identify potential impacts of EJ factors on dose-related variables. The purpose of this study is to identify quantitative approaches that incorporate conventional risk assessment (RA) dose modeling and cumulative risk assessment (CRA) considerations of disproportionate environmental exposure. We apply the Average Daily Dose (ADD) model, which has been commonly used in RA, to better understand impacts of EJ indicators upon exposure dose estimates and dose-related variables, termed the Environmental-Justice-Average-Daily-Dose (EJ-ADD) approach. On the U.S. nationwide census tract-level, we defined and quantified two EJ indicators (poverty and race/ethnicity) using an EJ scoring method to examine their relation to census tract-level multi-chemical exposure dose estimates. Pollutant doses for each tract were calculated using the ADD model, and EJ scores were assigned to each tract based on poverty- or race-related population percentages. Single- and multiple-chemical ADD values were matched to the tract-level EJ scores to analyze disproportionate dose relationships and contributing EJ factors. We found that when both EJ indicators were examined simultaneously, ADD for all pollutants generally increased with larger EJ scores. To demonstrate the utility of using EJ-ADD on the local scale, we approximated ADD levels of lead via soil/dust ingestion for simulated communities with different EJ-related scenarios. The local-level simulation indicates a substantial difference in exposure-dose levels between wealthy and EJ communities. The application of the EJ-ADD approach can link EJ factors to exposure dose estimate and identify potential EJ impacts on dose-related variables.

  2. Tracing fecal pollution sources in karst groundwater by Bacteroidales genetic biomarkers, bacterial indicators, and environmental variables.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ya; Kelly, Walton R; Panno, Samuel V; Liu, Wen-Tso

    2014-08-15

    Fecal contamination in Midwestern karst regions was evaluated by simultaneously measuring traditional bacterial indicators (coliforms and Escherichia coli), Bacteroidales-based biomarkers, and environmental variables. Water samples from springs and wells were collected from karst regions in Illinois (IL), Wisconsin (WI), Kentucky (KY), and Missouri (MO). Quantitative PCR (Q-PCR) with seven primer sets targeting different members of Bacteroidales was used to determine the origin of fecal contamination (i.e., from human waste, livestock waste, or both). Most samples were contaminated by both human and animal waste, with a few samples showing pollution solely by one or the other. Spring water tended to have higher levels of contamination than well water, and higher concentrations of fecal biomarkers were detected in urban springs compared to rural spring systems. However, there were discrepancies on contamination profile determined by Bacteroidales-based biomarkers and by traditional bacterial indicators. Among all the environmental parameters examined, E. coli, sulfate, total dissolved solids (TDS), and silicon were significantly correlated (p<0.05) with the level of Bacteroidales-based fecal indicators. A rapid screening method using total nitrogen (TN) and chloride (Cl(-)) concentrations to determine fecal contamination was shown to be effective and correlated well with Bacteroidales-based MST. The results suggest that human and livestock feces co-contaminated a large portion of karst groundwater systems in Midwestern regions, and the inclusion of traditional bacterial indicators, environmental variables, and Bacteroidales-based MST is an effective approach for identifying fecal contamination in karst regions. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Sustainability and the Spanish port system. Analysis of the relationship between economic and environmental indicators.

    PubMed

    Laxe, Fernando González; Bermúdez, Federico Martín; Palmero, Federico Martín; Novo-Corti, Isabel

    2016-12-15

    Research into the methodological development of alternative systems of sustainability measures is recent. In understanding sustainable development in a multi-dimensional sense, one of the most significant advances was the construction of Synthetic Indexes, applicable to different spatial spheres or to organisations, businesses, institutions, etc. The Spanish port system of general interest comprises 46 ports integrated in 28 Port Authorities, which in 2014 moved 482,000,000t of goods and more than 28 million passengers. This gives an idea of its importance for the Spanish economy. Using a derivation of the procedure used to calculate the Port Sustainability Synthetic Index, in this research the analysis of the relationship that exists between the findings obtained for the economic and environmental dimensions is used. This enables the existence of links between ports and economic and environmental indicators for a sample of 16 Port Authorities of Spain to be verified.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

  5. [Environmental indicators in ten Italian cities (2001-2005): the air quality data for epidemiological surveillance].

    PubMed

    Berti, Giovanna; Chiusolo, Monica; Grechi, Daniele; Grosa, Mauro; Rognoni, Magda; Tessari, Roberta; Pacelli, Barbara; Scarnato, Corrado; Mallone, Sandra; Vigotti, Maria Angela; Stafoggia, Massimo; Primerano, Roberto; Accetta, Gabriele; Dessì, Maria Patrizia; Cernigliaro, Achille; De'Donato, Francesca; Zanini, Gabriele; Forastiere, Francesco

    2009-01-01

    to produce environmental indicators suitable for an epidemiological surveillance in 10 Italian cities part of the EpiAir Project (2001-2005). the environmental parameters that correlate to relevant health effects are the particles with diameters less than or equal to 10 micrometers (PM10), the nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and the ozone (O3). The necessary meteorological data are: temperature, relative humidity, barometric pressure and apparent temperature.We have identified some criteria to select monitoring stations and have taken standard methods of calculation to produce environmental indicators starting from the daily data available after closely evaluating the completeness of the existing data. Furthermore, we have checked the homogeneity of the selected data to ensure that it represents the population's exposure. close examination of descriptive statistics shows a critical situation of the considered pollutants. The analysis of the yearly state underlines for PM10 values higher than 40 microg/m3 in the area of Mestre-Venice and in Milan, Turin, Bologna e Taranto. For NO2, values are consistently above 40 microg/m3 in Milan, Turin, Bologna, Florence, Rome and Palermo. For ozone, the concentrations were stable, with the exception of Summer 2003 when we recorded, on average, an increase of 13% compared to the mean value estimated for the ten cities during the study period, especially in Mestre-Venice, Turin and Palermo. it is important to ensure the consistency of the methods and instruments in environmental monitoring. To evaluate health effects and perform interventions over the longterm, it is therefore fundamental that the data be homogenous, especially during the periodic reorganizations and rationalizations of air quality management. It is also necessary to include daily meteorological data that influence pollutant dispersion and population health status.

  6. Environmental and Genetic Contributions to Indicators of Oral Malodor in Twins

    PubMed Central

    Bretz, Walter A.; Biesbrock, A.; Corby, P. M; Corby, A. L.; Bretz, W. G.; Wessel, J.; Schork, N. J.

    2011-01-01

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

  7. The white mullet (Mugil curema) as biological indicator to assess environmental stress in tropical coastal lagoons.

    PubMed

    García-Gasca, Alejandra; Ríos-Sicairos, Julián; Hernández-Cornejo, Rubí; Cunha, Isabel; Gutiérrez, Jesús N; Plascencia-González, Héctor; de la Parra, Luz María García; Abad-Rosales, Selene; Betancourt-Lozano, Miguel

    2016-12-01

    Several coastal lagoons and estuaries in Mexico receive untreated domestic and industrial discharges which contain complex mixtures of contaminants. In order to assess the effects of chemical contamination, we used the White mullet (Mugil curema) as biological indicator. We worked in two estuaries located in Northwest Mexico: Urias (highly polluted) and Teacapan (less polluted, therefore used as reference site). We measured several endpoints at different levels of biological organization: vitellogenin transcription in males as biomarker of estrogenic contamination, as well as reproductive, morphological (deformities), morphometric, and meristic parameters. Total RNA was isolated from the liver, and a partial sequence of the mullet vitellogenin gene was obtained; gene expression was analyzed by quantitative PCR. At the same time, gonad samples were analyzed by histologic techniques to determine sex ratios and the reproductive cycle stage. The reproductive season was detected from February to June in both sites, but the gonadosomatic index was consistently higher in Teacapan. Sex ratios were female-biased in both estuaries, and one intersex gonad and several malformations were found in fish from Urias. Vitellogenin gene transcription in males was detected in both sites, although gene expression was slightly higher in Urias. The results obtained in this study indicate that biological effects of contamination are evident in fish, environmental estrogens may be present in both estuaries, and the white mullet is useful as biological indicator to identify and characterize environmental stressors in tropical coastal ecosystems.

  8. Pre-Convective Environmental Conditions Indicative of Non-Tornadic Severe Thunderstorm Winds over Southeast Florida.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1987-05-01

    EhEEEEEEEEMhhE mMhhEEEEEMhhhE [EOMOEEE L 6 II125 Am Vl P)COPY RESOI UTION TEST CHART DIlCEiIE COPY PRE-CONVECTIVE ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS INDICATIVE...twelve dates selected by the initial model had reports of severe thunderstorm activity, but independent testing using data from May through September...implications for hail suppression. Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 102, 499-533. Burpee , R.W., 1979: Peninsula-scale convergence in the south Florida

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-08-15

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-05-01

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

  11. Heavy metals in human teeth dentine: A bio-indicator of metals exposure and environmental pollution.

    PubMed

    Asaduzzaman, Khandoker; Khandaker, Mayeen Uddin; Binti Baharudin, Nurul Atiqah; Amin, Yusoff Bin Mohd; Farook, Mohideen Salihu; Bradley, D A; Mahmoud, Okba

    2017-06-01

    With rapid urbanization and large-scale industrial activities, modern human populations are being increasingly subjected to chronic environmental heavy metal exposures. Elemental uptake in tooth dentine is a bioindicator, the uptake occurring during the formation and mineralization processes, stored to large extent over periods of many years. The uptake includes essential elements, most typically geogenic dietary sources, as well as non-essential elements arising through environmental insults. In this study, with the help of the Dental Faculty of the University of Malaya, a total of 50 separate human teeth were collected from dental patients of various ethnicity, age, gender, occupation, dietary habit, residency, etc. Analysis was conducted using inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), most samples indicating the presence of the following trace elements, placed in order of concentration, from least to greatest: As, Mn, Ba, Cu, Cr, Pb, Zn, Hg, Sb, Al, Sr, Sn. The concentrations have been observed to increase with age. Among the ethnic groups, the teeth of ethnic Chinese showed marginally greater metal concentrations than those of the Indians and Malays, the teeth dentine of females generally showing greater concentrations than that of males. Greater concentrations of Hg, Cu and Sn were found in molars while Pb, Sr, Sb and Zn were present in greater concentrations in incisors. With the elevated concentration levels of heavy metals in tooth dentine reflecting pollution from industrial emissions and urbanization, it is evident that human tooth dentine can provide chronological information on exposure, representing a reliable bio-indicator of environmental pollution.

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

    PubMed

    Manca, Sara; Fornara, Ferdinando

    2015-09-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Follicular apoptosis in the mussel (Mytella strigata) as potential indicator of environmental stress in coastal ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Garcia-Gasca, Alejandra; Leal-Tarin, Beatriz; Rios-Sicairos, Julian; Hernandez-Cornejo, Rubi; Aguilar-Zarate, Gabriela; Betancourt-Lozano, Miguel

    2010-01-01

    Follicular apoptosis in the tropical mussel Mytella strigata was assessed in three coastal lagoons located in the southern Gulf of California, Mexico. Mussels were collected from three coastal lagoons associated with different scenarios of anthropogenic stress during one year. The gonad of each mussel was dissected, weighed, and sampled for histology and apoptosis analysis by TUNEL labeling. Two apoptotic indices were used: the apoptotic index of cells (AIC) based on the number of follicular cells in apoptosis in one thousand cells counted per gonad, and the apoptotic index of follicles (AIF) based on the number of follicular cells per follicle per gonad. Both indices showed high association with each other for all developmental stages, although AIF seemed to better discriminate among sites. Higher AIF and AIC were observed at the Urias Estuary (1.6 and 1.5 respectively) ranked as highly polluted, followed by Ensenada del Pabellon (0.82 and 0.95 respectively), ranked as moderately polluted, and the Teacapan Estuary (0.57 and 0.76 respectively) ranked as slightly polluted. Our data indicate that the apoptotic index in tropical mussels could be a useful indicator of environmental stress in coastal ecosystems; however, the ecological relevance of follicular apoptosis in polluted environments needs further investigation.

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

    PubMed Central

    Habibi, Peymaneh; Momeni, Reza; Dehghan, Habibollah

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

    Ecological studies on phenotypic plasticity illustrate the relevance of this phenomenon in nature. Conditions of biota reflect environmental changes, highlighting the adaptability of resident species that can be used as bioindicators of such changes. We report the morpho-anatomical plasticity of leaves of Avicennia schaueriana Stapf & Leechm. ex Moldenke, Laguncularia racemosa (L.) C.F.Gaertn. and Rhizophora mangle L., evaluated in three estuaries (Vitória bay, Santa Cruz and Itaúnas River; state of Espírito Santo, Brazil), considering five areas of mangrove ecosystems with diverse environmental issues. Two sampling sites are part of the Ecological Station Lameirão Island in Vitória bay, close to a harbor. A third sampling site in Cariacica (Vitória bay) is inside the Vitória harbor and also is influenced by domestic sewage. The fourth studied area (Santa Cruz) is part of Piraquê Mangrove Ecological Reservation, while the fifth (Itaúnas River) is a small mangrove, with sandy sediment and greater photosynthetically active radiation, also not strongly influenced by anthropic activity. Results pointed out the morpho-anatomical plasticity in studied species, showing that A. schaueriana and L. racemosa might be considered the most appropriate bioindicators to indicate different settings and environmental conditions. Particularly, the dry mass per leaf area (LMA) of A. schaueriana was the main biomarker measured. In our study, LMA of A. schaueriana was positively correlated with salinity (Spearman 0.71), Mn content (0.81) and pH (0.82) but negatively correlated with phosphorus content (-0.63). Thus, the evaluation of modification in LMA of A. schaueriana pointed out changes among five studied sites, suggesting its use to reflect changes in the environment, which could be also useful in the future to evaluate the climate change. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. Limits of propidium iodide as a cell viability indicator for environmental bacteria.

    PubMed

    Shi, Lei; Günther, Susanne; Hübschmann, Thomas; Wick, Lukas Y; Harms, Hauke; Müller, Susann

    2007-08-01

    Viability measurements of individual bacteria are applied in various scopes of research and industry using approaches where propidium iodide (PI) serves as dead cell indicator. The reliability of PI uptake as a cell viability indicator for dead (PI permeable) and viable (PI impermeable) bacteria was tested using two soil bacteria, the gram(-) Sphingomonas sp. LB126 and the gram(+) Mycobacterium frederiksbergense LB501T. Bacterial proliferation activities observed viaDAPI and Hoechst 33342 staining were linked to the energy charge and the proportion of dead cells as obtained by diOC(6) (3)-staining and PI-uptake, respectively. Calibration and verification experiments were performed using batch cultures grown on different substrates. PI uptake depended on the physiological state of the bacterial cells. Unexpectedly, up to 40% of both strains were stained by PI during early exponential growth on glucose when compared to 2-5% of cells in the early stationary phase of growth. The results question the utility of PI as a universal indicator for the viability of (environmental) bacteria. It rather appears that in addition to nonviable cells, PI also stains growing cells of Sphingomonas sp. and M. frederiksbergense during a short period of their life cycle. Copyright 2007 International Society for Analytical Cytology.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Hambling, Tammy; Weinstein, Philip; Slaney, David

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Hambling, Tammy; Weinstein, Philip; Slaney, David

    2011-07-01

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

  4. Evaluation of lichen diversity as an indicator of environmental quality in the North Adriatic submediterranean region.

    PubMed

    Castello, Miris; Skert, Nicola

    2005-01-05

    In 2000, a standardized sampling protocol was developed by a group of European researchers to provide a repeatable and objective strategy for mapping lichen diversity as an indicator of environmental changes; this protocol is nowadays adopted in the guidelines to air quality bioindication in Italy. The present paper shows the results of a study of epiphytic lichen diversity performed according to both the new protocol and the standard methodology previously used in Italy; diversity values are based on frequency counts of all lichen species within particular sampling grids positioned on the trunks and divided in subunits. The survey was carried out in 61 sampling sites of two areas of the Friuli Venezia Giulia region (Italy) and Slovenia, characterized by similar climatic conditions and a wide range of anthropic pressure. Biodiversity values obtained following the two sampling methods are highly statistically correlated; this suggests an interpretative continuity of lichen diversity data for biomonitoring purposes. Lichen communities and diversity values occurring in natural areas, far from heavy human influences, are investigated by means of multivariate analysis of floristic releves of 11 sites. Diversity values scored in natural areas are rather variable, and are mainly influenced by the different vegetation types, Parmelion communities having lower diversity values than communities with Xanthorion elements. Evaluation scales of environmental alteration based on lichen diversity in the North Adriatic submediterranean bioclimatic area are provided. Some critical aspects of the sampling strategies are discussed.

  5. Environmental indicators of the combustion of prospective coal water slurry containing petrochemicals.

    PubMed

    Dmitrienko, Margarita A; Nyashina, Galina S; Strizhak, Pavel A

    2017-09-15

    Negative environmental impact of coal combustion has been known to humankind for a fairly long time. Sulfur and nitrogen oxides are considered the most dangerous anthropogenic emissions. A possible solution to this problem is replacing coal dust combustion with that of coal water slurry containing petrochemicals (CWSP). Coal processing wastes and used combustible liquids (oils, sludge, resins) are promising in terms of their economic and energy yield characteristics. However, no research has yet been conducted on the environmental indicators of fuels based on CWSP. The present work contains the findings of the research of CO, CO2, NOx, SOx emissions from the combustion of coals and CWSPs produced from coal processing waste (filter cakes). It is demonstrated for the first time that the concentrations of dangerous emissions from the combustion of CWSPs (carbon oxide and dioxide), even when combustible heavy liquid fractions are added, are not worse than those of coal. As for the concentration of sulfur and nitrogen oxides, it is significantly lower for CWSPs combustion as compared to coals. The presented research findings illustrate the prospects of the wide use of CWSPs as a fuel that is cheap and beneficial, in terms of both energy output and ecology, as compared to coal. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Longwell, A.C. )

    1988-10-01

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

  7. Environmental profiles and hazard indices for constituents of municipal sludge: DDT/DDE/DDD. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1985-06-01

    The document is one of a series of preliminary assessments dealing with chemicals of potential concern in municipal sewage sludge. The purpose of these documents is to: (1) summarize the available data for the constituents of potential concern; (2) identify the key environmental pathways for each constituent related to a reuse and disposal option (based on hazard indices); and (3) evaluate the conditions under which such a pollutant may pose a hazard. Each document provides a scientific basis for making an initial determination of whether a pollutant, at levels currently observed in sludges, poses a likely hazard to human health or the environment when sludge is disposed of by any of several methods. The methods include landspreading on food chain or nonfood chain crops, distribution and marketing programs, landfilling, incineration and ocean disposal.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Fairburn, Jon; Maier, Werner; Braubach, Matthias

    2016-07-26

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Fairburn, Jon; Maier, Werner; Braubach, Matthias

    2016-01-01

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

  12. [Criteria for definition of environmental contamination indicators related to solid waste from health care facilities: a proposal for evaluation].

    PubMed

    Silva, Aída Cristina do Nascimento; Bernardes, Ricardo Silveira; Moraes, Luiz Roberto Santos; Reis, Joana D'Arc Parente dos

    2002-01-01

    The objective of this study was to identify target microorganisms as indicators of environmental contamination. The study evaluates the main environmental aspects and epidemiological chain related to such agents. Microorganisms were selected through key information about microbiological characterization of health care facilities' solid waste and evaluation of risk of infection from discarded sharps. The form of evaluation proposed for criteria adopted in the selection of contamination indicators included prior submission of a structured questionnaire to a network of specialists from the Federal District of Brazil. The specialists' multidisciplinary background, including professionals from the health field and an environmental microbiologist, helped define environmental contamination indicators by consensus. Pathogens such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis and hepatitis A and B viruses were specifically identified as capable of environmental survival or resistance.

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2008-01-01

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

  15. Evaluating rRNA as an indicator of microbial activity in environmental communities: limitations and uses

    PubMed Central

    Blazewicz, Steven J; Barnard, Romain L; Daly, Rebecca A; Firestone, Mary K

    2013-01-01

    Microbes exist in a range of metabolic states (for example, dormant, active and growing) and analysis of ribosomal RNA (rRNA) is frequently employed to identify the ‘active' fraction of microbes in environmental samples. While rRNA analyses are no longer commonly used to quantify a population's growth rate in mixed communities, due to rRNA concentration not scaling linearly with growth rate uniformly across taxa, rRNA analyses are still frequently used toward the more conservative goal of identifying populations that are currently active in a mixed community. Yet, evidence indicates that the general use of rRNA as a reliable indicator of metabolic state in microbial assemblages has serious limitations. This report highlights the complex and often contradictory relationships between rRNA, growth and activity. Potential mechanisms for confounding rRNA patterns are discussed, including differences in life histories, life strategies and non-growth activities. Ways in which rRNA data can be used for useful characterization of microbial assemblages are presented, along with questions to be addressed in future studies. PMID:23823491

  16. Protozoa ciliates community structure in urban streams and their environmental use as indicators.

    PubMed

    Debastiani, C; Meira, B R; Lansac-Tôha, F M; Velho, L F M; Lansac-Tôha, F A

    2016-01-01

    The objective of this work was to investigate the patterns of diversity and abundance of ciliates protozoa community in three tropical urban streams and verify which species can be considered bioindicators of water quality. In each stream, three regions (headwater, middle and mouth) were sampled in two years, in the rainy and dry seasons. The abiotic factors (dissolved oxygen, pH, temperature, turbidity, width, depth, flow and conductivity) and biotic factors (total coliforms, bacterioplankton, chlorophyll and flagellates) were analyzed using appropriate methods and ciliates were identified and counted through specialized literature. We identified 84 species distributed into 24 orders. Peniculida was the most representative order followed by Prorodontida. The RDA scores showed a spatial difference between streams. On the other hand, regarding the temporal variation, there was no separation of the sampled data. The Indval analysis showed ten species indicators, such as Coleps hirtus, Euplotes moebiusi and Tintinidium pusillum. The Cluster analysis per stream versus period showed a greater distinction of the streams in the dry season. On the other hand, a low similarity was observed between sections within the same stream. In summary, the results indicated that the ciliates can be used as important tools as bioindicators in lotic environments affected by different degrees of pollution, due to the fact that they have short life cycle, allowing the detection of impacts on a small time scale, as well as by having direct answers to environmental changes and high sensitivity to contaminants.

  17. Assessing estuarine environmental quality using fish-based indices: performance evaluation under climatic instability.

    PubMed

    Martinho, F; Viegas, I; Dolbeth, M; Leitão, R; Cabral, H N; Pardal, M A

    2008-11-01

    The seasonal variation of five selected multimetric indices for the determination of the Ecological Quality Status (EQS) of transitional waters was evaluated, as well as the indices' responses to an extreme drought event that occurred in 2005. The database used regards the Mondego River estuary, which was sampled from June 2003 to August 2006 on a monthly basis. Among the selected indices (EBI-Deegan et al. [Deegan, L., Finn, J.T., Ayvazlan, S.G., Ryder-Kieffer, C.A., Buonaccoesi, J., 1997. Development and validation of an Estuarine Biotic Integrity Index. Estuaries 30(3), 601-617], EDI-Borja et al. [Borja, A., Franco, J., Valencia, V., Bald, J., Muxika, I., Belzunce, M.J., Solaun, O., 2004. Implementation of the European Water Framework Directive from the Basque Country (northern Spain): a methodological approach. Marine Pollution Bulletin 48(3-4), 209-218], EFCI-Harrison and Whitfield [Harrison, T.D., Whitfield, A.K., 2004. A multi-metric fish index to assess the environmental condition of estuaries. Journal of Fish Biology 65, 683-710], EBI-Breine et al. [Breine, J.J., Maes, J., Quataert, P., Van den Bergh, E., Simoens, I., Van Thuyne, G., Belpaire, C., 2007. A fish-based assessment tool for the ecological quality of the brackish Scheldt estuary in Flanders (Belgium). Hydrobiologia 575, 141-159] and TFCI - Coates et al. [Coates, S., Waugh, A., Anwar, A., Robson, M., 2007. Efficacy of a multi-metric fish index as an analysis tool for the transitional fish component of the Water Framework Directive. Marine Pollution Bulletin 55, 225-240]), the EBI by Breine et al. (2007) was the only that evidenced clear interannual and seasonal variations. The EQS by the several indices ranged from "Low" to "High", depending on the index considered, evidencing the high level of mismatch between indices. The results are discussed in the scope of the EU Water Framework Directive, regarding monitoring strategies, application of indices and EQS assessment.

  18. Connecting the dots: Linking quantifiable environmental justice indicators to exposure assessment methodologies

    EPA Science Inventory

    Cumulative risk assessment (CRA) offers a unique context for addressing Environmental Justice (EJ) issues from scientific perspectives, especially when it comes to examining combined effects of multiple environmental stressors1. Not only chemical stressors (e.g. radon, toluene an...

  19. Connecting the dots: Linking quantifiable environmental justice indicators to exposure assessment methodologies

    EPA Science Inventory

    Cumulative risk assessment (CRA) offers a unique context for addressing Environmental Justice (EJ) issues from scientific perspectives, especially when it comes to examining combined effects of multiple environmental stressors1. Not only chemical stressors (e.g. radon, toluene an...

  20. The Construction of an Environmental Management Model Based on Sustainability Indicators on a Higher Education Institution in Mexico

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nieblas-Ortiz, Efrain C.; Arcos-Vega, José L.; Sevilla-García, Juan J.

    2017-01-01

    Without depreciating the importance of environmental regulations directed to university environmental managements systems in this country, nowadays, the instruments of international importance like the Sustainable Development Goals or ONU's 2030 Agenda; as well as those of domestic nature, like sustainability indicators proposed by the Mexican…

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parise, Mario; Mazzei, Marianna

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

  3. Development of histopathological indices in a commercial marine bivalve (Ruditapes decussatus) to determine environmental quality.

    PubMed

    Costa, Pedro M; Carreira, Sara; Costa, Maria H; Caeiro, Sandra

    2013-01-15

    Bivalve histopathology is an acknowledged tool in environmental toxicology studies, however geographically restricted, limited to a few species and still lacking the degree of detail needed to develop effective (semi)quantitative approaches. A first-time detailed histopathological screening was performed on grooved carpet shell clams collected from commercial shellfish beds in distinct coastal ecosystems of the Southern Portuguese coast: two parted sites within an impacted estuary (S(1) and S(2)), an inlet channel of a fish farm at a considered pristine estuary (site M) and a site allocated in a clean coastal lagoon (A). A total of thirty histopathological lesions and alterations were analysed in the gills and digestive glands following a weighted condition indices approach, including inflammation-related responses, necrosis, neoplastic diseases and parasites. Digestive glands were consistently more damaged than gills, except for animals collected from site M, where the most severe lesions were found in both organs, immediately followed by S(2). Clams from sites S(1) and A were overall the least damaged. Neoplastic diseases were infrequent in all cases. Inflammation-related traits were some of the most common alterations progressing in animals enduring severe lesions such as digestive tubule (diverticula) and intertubular tissue necrosis. Some alterations, such as lipofuscin aggregates within digestive tubule cells, did not relate to histological lesions. Granulocytomas only occurred in heavily infected tissues. Animals from M and A presented the highest infections in the digestive gland, especially by protozoa. Gill infections were more similar between sites. Still, the level of infection does not account for all histopathological lesions in either organ. Overall, the results are in accordance with environmental parameters, such as distance to pollution sources, sediment type and hydrodynamics, and show that the combination of multiple histopathological features

  4. Weather and environmental factors associated with F+ coliphages and fecal indicator bacteria in beach sand at two recreational marine beaches

    EPA Science Inventory

    Studies have demonstrated that fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) and pathogens may be present in beach sand and suggest an increased risk of enteric illness among beachgoers contacting sand. During the 2007 National Epidemiological and Environmental Assessment of Recreational (NEEAR...

  5. Weather and environmental factors associated with F+ coliphages and fecal indicator bacteria in beach sand at two recreational marine beaches

    EPA Science Inventory

    Studies have demonstrated that fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) and pathogens may be present in beach sand and suggest an increased risk of enteric illness among beachgoers contacting sand. During the 2007 National Epidemiological and Environmental Assessment of Recreational (NEEAR...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, C. Y.

    2014-12-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Baron, Jill S.

    2005-01-01

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

  8. Siliceous microfossils as late Quaternary paleo-environmental indicators at Braamhoek wetland, South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Finné, M.; Norström, E.; Risberg, J.; Scott, L.

    2009-04-01

    A core from a peat-sequence covering the last 16 ka (16,000 calibrated years before present) from the Braamhoek wetland, eastern South Africa, produced siliceous microfossils, SiO2, (phytoliths and diatoms). Phytoliths are minute silica particles precipitated within or between plant cells and can be found among many plant families. They are, however, particularly common in the Grass family (Poaceae). The peat core was rich in phytoliths, while diatoms were less prominent, probably due to degradation during wetland plant growth associated with silica uptake. The Braamhoek wetland is located in the grassland biome of southern Africa and the vast majority of the phytoliths found in the Braamhoek wetland are interpreted as being derived from grasses growing in and around the wetland. Phytolith analysis presents a possibility to extract more detailed information regarding grass sub-family/species distribution than other methods to date and can thus be used to gain new insights to ecological and climatological changes in grass dominated environments. Of the twelve Poaceae sub-families, eight are present in South Africa. We focussed on phytolith morphology and paleo-environmental applications of especially three of them, viz. Pooideae (C3), Panicoideae (mainly C4) and Chloridoideae (C4). These sub-families create rather distinct morphological phytoliths and all have different climatic preferences. The high abundance of grasses from the Arundinoideae (C3) sub-family in the Braamhoek wetland, however, called for a new approach to phytolith methodology in our study. Further, a small-scale phytolith study of modern soil samples yielded additional information of how to interpret fossil assemblages in terms of moisture availability. With this study we present the first continuous phytolith and diatom record from South Africa for the late Pleistocene and Holocene. The phytolith assemblages indicate a clear dominance of C3-grasses within the wetland throughout the sequence. Two

  9. Paradigm Diagnostics Salmonella Indicator Broth (PDX-SIB) for detection of Salmonella on selected environmental surfaces.

    PubMed

    Olstein, Alan; Griffith, Leena; Feirtag, Joellen; Pearson, Nicole

    2013-01-01

    The Paradigm Diagnostics Salmonella Indicator Broth (PDX-SIB) is intended as a single-step selective enrichment indicator broth to be used as a simple screening test for the presence of Salmonella spp. in environmental samples. This method permits the end user to avoid multistep sample processing to identify presumptively positive samples, as exemplified by standard U.S. reference methods. PDX-SIB permits the outgrowth of Salmonella while inhibiting the growth of competitive Gram-negative and -positive microflora. Growth of Salmonella-positive cultures results in a visual color change of the medium from purple to yellow when the sample is grown at 37 +/- 1 degree C. Performance of PDX-SIB has been evaluated in five different categories: inclusivity-exclusivity, methods comparison, ruggedness, lot-to-lot variability, and shelf stability. The inclusivity panel included 100 different Salmonella serovars, 98 of which were SIB-positive during the 30 to 48 h incubation period. The exclusivity panel included 33 different non-Salmonella microorganisms, 31 of which were SIB-negative during the incubation period. Methods comparison studies included four different surfaces: S. Newport on plastic, S. Anatum on sealed concrete, S. Abaetetuba on ceramic tile, and S. Typhimurium in the presence of 1 log excess of Citrobacter freundii. Results of the methods comparison studies demonstrated no statistical difference between the SIB method and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration-Bacteriological Analytical Manual reference method, as measured by the Mantel-Haenszel Chi-square test. Ruggedness studies demonstrated little variation in test results when SIB incubation temperatures were varied over a 34-40 degrees C range. Lot-to-lot consistency results suggest no detectable differences in manufactured goods using two reference Salmonella serovars and one non-Salmonella microorganism.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johann, R. M.

    2015-07-01

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

  11. Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory radiological control performance indicator report -- Second quarter, calendar year 1998

    SciTech Connect

    Hinckley, F.L.

    1998-08-01

    This document provides a report and an analysis of the Radiological Control Program through the second quarter of Calendar Year 1998 (CY-98) for Lockheed Martin Idaho Technologies Company (LMITCO). LMITCO is the prime contractor at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL). This Performance Indicator Report is provided in accordance with Article 133 of the INEEL Radiological Control Manual. The INEEL collective occupational radiation deep dose is 30.757 person-rem year to date, compared to a year to date goal of 47.0 person-rem. Overall, the site dose goal has been reduced. This is mainly due to work scope reductions at the Idaho Nuclear Technologies and Engineering Center (INTEC). However, due to unforeseen increases in shipments to the Radioactive Waste Management Complex, their goal has been raised to 9.60 person-rem to accommodate the increase in dose. The RWMC increase results in an increase to the LMITCO goal to 100.76f person-rem. The goal is not plotted in a linear fashion since work scope varies from quarter to quarter.

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

    SciTech Connect

    1997-11-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1986-08-01

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

  14. A study of assessment indicators for environmental sustainable development of science parks in Taiwan.

    PubMed

    Chen, Han-Shen; Chien, Li-Hsien; Hsieh, Tsuifang

    2013-08-01

    This study adopted the ecological footprint calculation structure to calculate the ecological footprints of the three major science parks in Taiwan from 2008 to 2010. The result shows that the ecological footprints of the Hsinchu Science Park, the Central Taiwan Science Park, and the Southern Taiwan Science Park were about 3.964, 2.970, and 4.165 ha per capita. The ecological footprint (EF) of the Central Taiwan Science Park was the lowest, meaning that the influence of the daily operations in the Central Taiwan Science Park on the environment was rather low. Secondly, the population density was relatively high, and the EF was not the highest of the Hsinchu Science Park, meaning that, while consuming ecological resources, the environmental management done was effective. In addition, the population density in Southern Taiwan Science Park is 82.8 units, lower than that of Hsinchu Science Park, but its ecological footprint per capita is 0.201 units, higher than Hsinchu, implying its indicator management has space for improvement. According to the analysis result above, in the science parks, the percentages of high-energy-consuming industries were rather high. It was necessary to encourage development of green industries with low energy consumption and low pollution through industry transformation.

  15. Methodology for analyzing environmental quality indicators in a dynamic operating room environment.

    PubMed

    Gormley, Thomas; Markel, Troy A; Jones, Howard W; Wagner, Jennifer; Greeley, Damon; Clarke, James H; Abkowitz, Mark; Ostojic, John

    2017-04-01

    Sufficient quantities of quality air and controlled, unidirectional flow are important elements in providing a safe building environment for operating rooms. To make dynamic assessments of an operating room environment, a validated method of testing the multiple factors influencing the air quality in health care settings needed to be constructed. These include the following: temperature, humidity, particle load, number of microbial contaminants, pressurization, air velocity, and air distribution. The team developed the name environmental quality indicators (EQIs) to describe the overall air quality based on the actual measurements of these properties taken during the mock surgical procedures. These indicators were measured at 3 different hospitals during mock surgical procedures to simulate actual operating room conditions. EQIs included microbial assessments at the operating table and the back instrument table and real-time analysis of particle counts at 9 different defined locations in the operating suites. Air velocities were measured at the face of the supply diffusers, at the sterile field, at the back table, and at a return grille. The testing protocol provided consistent and comparable measurements of air quality indicators between institutions. At 20 air changes per hour (ACH), and an average temperature of 66.3°F, the median of the microbial contaminants for the 3 operating room sites ranged from 3-22 colony forming units (CFU)/m(3) at the sterile field and 5-27 CFU/m(3) at the back table. At 20 ACH, the median levels of the 0.5-µm particles at the 3 sites were 85,079, 85,325, and 912,232 in particles per cubic meter, with a predictable increase in particle load in the non-high-efficiency particulate air-filtered operating room site. Using a comparison with cleanroom standards, the microbial and particle counts in all 3 operating rooms were equivalent to International Organization for Standardization classifications 7 and 8 during the mock surgical

  16. Nitrogen surplus: An environmental performance indicator for sustainable food supply chains

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Nitrogen pollution and negative impacts on human and environmental health are embodied in crop commodities traded domestically and internationally. Food supply chain companies can play a catalytic role in reducing that burden by helping to decrease the environmental nitrogen load from agriculture. T...

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1992-11-03

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-01-01

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

  19. The canary in the coalmine; bee declines as an indicator of environmental health.

    PubMed

    Goulson, Dave; Nicholls, Elizabeth

    2016-09-01

    Bee declines have received much attention of late, but there is considerable debate and confusion as to the extent, significance and causes of declines. In part, this reflects conflation of data for domestic honeybees, numbers of which are largely driven by economic factors, with those for wild bees, many of which have undergone marked range contractions but for the majority of which we have no good data on population size. There is no doubt that bees are subject to numerous pressures in the modern world. The abundance and diversity of flowers has declined along with availability of suitable nest sites, bees are chronically exposed to cocktails of agrochemicals, and they are simultaneously exposed to novel parasites and pathogens accidentally spread by humans. Climate change is likely to exacerbate these problems in the future, particularly for cool- climate specialists such as bumblebees. Stressors do not act in isolation; for example pesticide exposure can impair both detoxification mechanisms and immune responses, rendering bees more susceptible to parasites. It seems certain that chronic exposure to multiple, interacting stressors is driving honeybee colony losses and declines of wild pollinators. Bees have a high profile and so their travails attract attention, but these same stressors undoubtedly bear upon other wild organisms, many of which are not monitored and have few champions. Those wild insects for which we do have population data (notably butterflies and moths) are overwhelmingly also in decline. We argue that bee declines are indicators of pervasive and ongoing environmental damage that is likely to impact broadly on biodiversity and the ecosystem services it provides.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1990-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  9. Using sustainable development indicators as a supplementary measure for the integrated management of environmental information system in Taiwan.

    PubMed

    Chang, I C; Yu, Y H

    2001-01-01

    Environmental Information System (EIS) transfers environmental data and information to audiences in any field of knowledge or activity interested in environmental problems. Currently, numerous conventional EISs or Environmental Databases (EDs) are available in Taiwan. However, they fail to adequately address the strong correlations among the environmental, social and economic components. Notably, Sustainable Development Indicators (SDIs) combine environmental, social and economic dimensions, as well as illustrate the links among systems. Subsequently, developing a set of SDIs will provide an excellent opportunity to systematically consolidate the information scattered among many archives, as well as promoting an integrated EIS. This work presents an experimental model referred to as the 'Sustainable Development Information System of the Island Taiwan' (SDISIT). This system was developed to assist the integrated management of either EIS or ED. The Factor Analysis Method (FAM) is one tool that may prove useful in easing the developing process. Furthermore, by examining the correlations between the indicators, this method can apply existing SDIs to identify the structure of interrelationships among indicators.

  10. [Pteridophytes that indicate environmental alteration in the temperate forest of San Jerónimo Amanalco, Texcoco, Mexico].

    PubMed

    Lucía Rodríguez, Romero; Pacheco, Leticia; Zavala Hurtado, José Alejandro

    2008-06-01

    Pteridophytes that indicate environmental alteration in the San Jer6nimo Amanalco temperate forest, Texcoco, Mexico. The patterns of distribution of 26 pteridophyte species were studied as possible indicators of environmental alteration in the temperate forest of San Jer6nimo Amanalco, Texcoco, State of Mexico. The presence and abundance of the pteridoflora was studied in relation to edaphic, topographic and vegetation variables in 100 sampling locations within an area of 494 hectares. The relationship between these variables was studied using Canonical Correspondence Analysis. Five landscapes were recognized in the study zone according to the degree of deterioration: severe erosion, erosion, mountain with moderate reversible deterioration, mountain with no evident deterioration, and canyon with no evident deterioration. Cheilanthes bonariensis and Pellaea ternifolia are indicators of environmental degradation. The taxa that only grow in landscapes without apparent alteration are Adiantum andicola, Adiantum poiretii, Argyrochosma incana, Asplenium blepharophorum, Dryopteris pseudo filix-mas, Equisetum hyemale and Pteris cretica.

  11. Parasite fauna of Epinephelus coioides (Hamilton, 1822) (Epinephelidae) as environmental indicator under heavily polluted conditions in Jakarta Bay, Indonesia.

    PubMed

    Neubert, Kilian; Yulianto, Irfan; Theisen, Stefan; Kleinertz, Sonja; Palm, Harry W

    2016-09-30

    The objective of this study was to assess the environmental conditions of a heavily polluted marine habitat using descriptors of fish parasites. Epinephelus coioides from Jakarta Bay as well as off Jakarta Bay was studied for metazoan parasites. Based on 70 fish and considering previous studies (230 fish), an environmental indicator system was designed. Including the recent study, a total of 51 parasite species have been recorded for E. coioides in Indonesian waters. Seven of them combined with five parasitological indices are useful descriptors for the environmental status of marine ecosystems. The results are visualized in a star graph. A significant different parasite infection between nine analyzed localities demonstrates the negative influence of the megacity Jakarta onto the coastal environment. We herewith complete a parasite based indicator system for Indonesian coastal waters, and suggest that it can be used in other marine habitats as well as for further epinephelids.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Powers, Catherine M.; Bottjer, David J.

    2007-11-01

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

  15. Polychaetes as indicators of environmental disturbance on subarctic tidal flats, Iqaluit, Baffin Island, Nunavut Territory.

    PubMed

    Samuelson, G M

    2001-09-01

    The polychaetes of the tidal flats near the town of Iqaluit, Baffin Island were analysed along gradients of environmental disturbance resulting from human activity. Sources of environmental disturbance include a sewage lagoon, garbage sites; and an area of the tidal flat that is cleared by bulldozer. Sampling of the tidal flats included 300 biological sediment cores taken from 75 sites along seven transects. Environmental disturbance has resulted in four zones of polychaete communities with increasing distance. The heavily disturbed zone is closest to the disturbances and is devoid of polychaetes. The disturbed zone follows and is characterized by low diversity the result of increased densities of a few opportunistic species such as, Capitella 'capitata' sp. The moderately disturbed zone is characterized by increased species diversity due to organic enrichment from the disturbances. The undisturbed zone, located the furthest from the sources of disturbance, is characterized by moderate levels of diversity compared to the other three zones.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-09-01

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

  17. Combining HPLC pigment markers and ecological similarity indices to assess phytoplankton community structure: an environmental tool for eutrophication?

    PubMed

    Sherrard, N J; Nimmo, M; Llewellyn, C A

    2006-05-15

    A new tool combining the use of HPLC pigment markers with ecological similarity indices, to provide a fast and effective environmental tool for monitoring water quality, was investigated. HPLC pigment concentrations from a 4-year time series data set (2000-2003) from the western English Channel were used to calculate six similarity indices to assess changes in phytoplankton community structure. Indices obtained from HPLC data were compared with those produced from the corresponding phytoplankton biomass derived from microscopic analysis. Multivariate RELATE analyses (P<0.001) suggested that there was little loss of information when species biomass data were grouped into higher taxonomic levels, thereby providing justification for the use of pigment markers. To test the proposed methodology, product moment (r) and Spearman's rank (r(s)) correlation analyses were performed. Highly significant correlations (P<0.01, Canberra Metric: P<0.05) between percentage similarities derived from phytoplankton class biomass and pigment markers were found for all indices when data were pooled (n=104). A Mann-Whitney U-test suggested that indices were more sensitive to changes in relative biomass than pigment concentrations; however, pigment data also produced statistically significant findings (P<0.05). Combining HPLC pigment markers and ecological similarity indices to assess phytoplankton community structure has advantages over microscopy in that it is rapid, reproducible and better suited to large-scale environmental monitoring. We present a basic protocol for implementing this new tool using a suite of similarity indices into environmental monitoring of phytoplankton communities.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2005-01-01

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

  19. Connecting the Dots: Linking Environmental Justice Indicators to Daily Dose Model Estimates

    EPA Science Inventory

    Many different quantitative techniques have been developed to either assess Environmental Justice (EJ) issues or estimate exposure and dose for risk assessment. However, very few approaches have been applied to link EJ factors to exposure dose estimate and identify potential impa...

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2005-01-01

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

  2. Indicators for the Evaluation of Environmental Education, Interpretation and Information in Protected Areas

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sureda, Jaume; Oliver, Miquel F.; Castells, Margalida

    2004-01-01

    By petition of the regional government of the Balearic Islands (Spain), the authors of this article evaluated activities of environmental education, interpretation, and information carried out in the most important protected areas of these islands. The following is a presentation of the model of the evaluation that was developed. Based on the…

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  6. Indicators for the Evaluation of Environmental Education, Interpretation and Information in Protected Areas

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sureda, Jaume; Oliver, Miquel F.; Castells, Margalida

    2004-01-01

    By petition of the regional government of the Balearic Islands (Spain), the authors of this article evaluated activities of environmental education, interpretation, and information carried out in the most important protected areas of these islands. The following is a presentation of the model of the evaluation that was developed. Based on the…

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  10. Biotesting of modeled drilling mud as an indicator of environmental risk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mushunina, A. S.; Azarova, S. V.; Yazikov, E. G.; Parygina, I. A.

    2016-09-01

    In the system of environmental monitoring, biomonitoring plays an important and independent role. The essence of the method determining the toxicants’ effect consists in the specially selected organisms under standard conditions and recording different behavioral, physiological and biochemical factors. The paper studies the biological influence of modeled drilling mud components. The research results have shown the toxic effect of investigated muds. The obtained data confirm that biotesting can be applied for drilling fluids certification by the complex assessment of hazardous substances.

  11. [Environmental and occupational factors in skin carcinogenesis. Indications for therapy and prevention].

    PubMed

    Montemari, G; Sturla, M; Seccia, A

    1983-03-31

    The authors review the environmental and occupational factors in cutaneous cancerogenesis, group them according to their characteristics, and in particular distinguish between factors of physical and chemical nature. The authors also discuss the influence of predisposing factors related to the somatic makeup (xeroderma pigmentosus) and to work environment. Particular emphasis is given to skin precancerous and therefore to the importance of a mass screening and an effective health education. The authors illustrate the disorder with their clinical pictures.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fanariotu, Ioanna; Skuras, Dimitris

    2004-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fanariotu, Ioanna; Skuras, Dimitris

    2004-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1987-01-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  2. Establishment and applied research on environmental sustainability assessment indicators in Taiwan.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yung Kun; Chen, Chia-Yon; Hsieh, Tsui Fang

    2009-08-01

    The study utilizes the method of Material Flow, Ecological Footprint Model and other related indicators to establish the Indicator System of Sustainable Development. Principal Component Analysis is used to abstract the representative factors in order to estimate the indicators of ecological sustainable development during 1998~2005 in Taiwan, as well as to make policy recommendations. The research indicates following results: (1) The Direct Material Input (DMI) of Taiwan shows constant instability and depends on heavy import activity. The annual increase of considerable greenhouse gas emission leads to a comparative growth of the Domestic Process Output (DOP). The both material consumption and inventory formation of the economy are unsteady. In addition, the Physical Trade Balance (PTB) indicates that supply exceeds demand, as well as the occasional shortage of building materials. (2) The 2005 per capita Ecological Demand footprint in Taiwan is 6.5392 hm(2), making the Ecological Deficit per capita 4.8569 hm(2). The figures reflect that productivity and life intensity of residents have exceeded the carrying capacity of Taiwan's ecological economic system. (3) The overall Synthetic Trend Indicators of Sustainable Development in Taiwan are decreasing. Therefore, if proper measures are not adopted in time, the current weak sustainability will lead into the vicious circle which departs from sustainable development.

  3. Cumulative impacts on seabed habitats: an indicator for assessments of good environmental status.

    PubMed

    Korpinen, Samuli; Meidinger, Manuel; Laamanen, Maria

    2013-09-15

    The European seas are under anthropogenic pressures impacting the state of water quality, benthic habitats and species. The EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) requires the Member States to assess the impacts of pressures and make a programme of measures leading to good environmental status (GES) by 2020. This study presents a method for assessing the quantity and distribution of anthropogenic impacts on benthic habitats in the Baltic Sea by using spatial data of human pressures and benthic habitats. The southern sub-basins were more extensively impacted than the northern sub-basins. Over the entire sea area, deep sea habitats were more impacted than shallower infralittoral and circalittoral habitats. Sand and coarse sediments were the seabed types relatively most impacted in the Baltic Sea scale. A comparison against tentative thresholds for GES showed that in the sub-basin scale only one third of the habitat types was in GES. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-02-01

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

  5. Biochemical leaf traits as indicators of tolerance potential in tree species from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest against oxidative environmental stressors.

    PubMed

    Brandão, Solange E; Bulbovas, Patricia; Lima, Marcos E L; Domingos, Marisa

    2017-01-01

    The tolerance potential against the oxidative injury in native plants from forest ecosystems affected by environmental stressors depends on how efficiently they keep their pro-oxidant/antioxidant balance. Great variations in plant tolerance are expected, highlighting the higher relevance of measuring biochemical leaf trait indicators of oxidative injury in species with similar functions in the forest than in single species. The use of this functional approach seems very useful in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest because it still holds high plant diversity and was the focus of this study. We aimed at determining the tolerance potential of tree species from the Atlantic Forest remnants in SE Brazil against multiple oxidative environmental stressors. We assumed that pioneer tree species are more tolerant against oxidative stress than non-pioneer tree species and that their tolerance potential vary spatially in response to distinct combined effects of oxidative environmental stressors. The study was carried out in three Atlantic Forest remnants, which differ in physiognomy, species composition, climatic characteristics and air pollution exposure. Leaves of three pioneer and three non-pioneer species were collected from each forest remnant during wet (January 2015) and dry periods (June 2015), for analyses of non-enzymatic and enzymatic antioxidants and oxidative injury indicators. Both hypotheses were confirmed. The pioneer tree species displayed biochemical leaf traits (e.g. high levels of ascorbic acid, glutathione and carotenoids and lower lipid peroxidation) that indicate their higher potential tolerance against oxidative environmental stressors than non-pioneer species. The biochemical leaf traits of both successional groups of species varied between the forest remnants, in response to a linear combination of oxidative environmental stressors, from natural (relative humidity and temperature) and anthropogenic sources (ozone and nitrogen dioxide).

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  7. DNA damage in earthworms (Eisenia spp.) as an indicator of environmental stress in the industrial zone of Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, Mexico.

    PubMed

    Espinosa-Reyes, Guillermo; Ilizaliturri, Cesar A; Gonzalez-Mille, Donaji J; Costilla, Rogelio; Diaz-Barriga, Fernando; Carmen Cuevas, Maria Del; Martinez, Miguel Angel; Mejia-Saavedra, Jesus

    2010-01-01

    Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz is one of the major industrial areas of Mexico. Presently, the Coatzacoalcos River and the areas surrounding the industrial complex are considered by various authors to be some of most polluted sites in Mexico. The objective of this study was to determine if earthworms could be used as indicators of environmental stress in the Coatzacoalcos industrial zone. Often, detritivores and decomposers such as earthworms are the first to be affected when the soil is contaminated. We collected soil samples to be used for persistent organic pollutants (POPs) quantification by gas chromatography. Concentrations of hexachlorobenzene, lindane and total polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in the soil were above the maximum permissible limits of the Canadian Environmental Quality Guidelines (CEQG). Comet assay was conducted in coelomocytes of wild earthworms collected in Coatzacoalcos and compared with the control earthworms. We found DNA damage in earthworms from Coatzacoalcos that was significantly higher (P < 0.05) in comparison to laboratory earthworms. Earthworms are an appropriate organism to use as an indicator of environmental impact in contaminated sites. DNA damage recorded in the earthworms provides clear evidence of environmental impacts by the chemical industry on the wildlife of this region.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. Spatio-temporal activation of caspase revealed by indicator that is insensitive to environmental effects

    PubMed Central

    Takemoto, Kiwamu; Nagai, Takeharu; Miyawaki, Atsushi; Miura, Masayuki

    2003-01-01

    Indicator molecules for caspase-3 activation have been reported that use fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) between an enhanced cyan fluorescent protein (the donor) and enhanced yellow fluorescent protein (EYFP; the acceptor). Because EYFP is highly sensitive to proton (H+) and chloride ion (Cl−) levels, which can change during apoptosis, this indicator's ability to trace the precise dynamics of caspase activation is limited, especially in vivo. Here, we generated an H+- and Cl−-insensitive indicator for caspase activation, SCAT, in which EYFP was replaced with Venus, and monitored the spatio-temporal activation of caspases in living cells. Caspase-3 activation was initiated first in the cytosol and then in the nucleus, and rapidly reached maximum activation in 10 min or less. Furthermore, the nuclear activation of caspase-3 preceded the nuclear apoptotic morphological changes. In contrast, the completion of caspase-9 activation took much longer and its activation was attenuated in the nucleus. However, the time between the initiation of caspase-9 activation and the morphological changes was quite similar to that seen for caspase-3, indicating the activation of both caspases occurred essentially simultaneously during the initiation of apoptosis. PMID:12527749

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1972-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

    A complex framework of chemical, biological and oceanographic activities was immediately activated after the Costa Concordia shipwreck, to assess possible contamination events and the environmental impact during both emergency and wreck removal operations. In the present paper, we describe the results obtained with caged mussels, Mytilus galloprovincialis, chosen as bioindicator organisms to detect variations of bioavailability and the early onset of molecular and cellular effects (biomarkers). Seven translocation experiments were carried out during the first year from the incident, with organisms deployed at 2 depths in 3 different sites. After 4-6 weeks, tissue concentrations were measured for the main classes of potentially released chemicals (trace metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, volatile and aliphatic hydrocarbons, polychlorinated biphenyls, halogenated pesticides, organotin compounds, brominated flame retardants, anionic surfactants); a wide battery of biomarkers covered responses indicative of exposure, detoxification, oxidative stress, cell damage and genotoxic effects. Results excluded serious contamination events or a consistent increase of environmental pollution although some episodic spills with reversible effects were detected. Data were elaborated within a quantitative weight of evidence (WOE) model which provided synthetic hazard indices for each typology of data, before their overall integration in an environmental risk index, which generally ranged from slight to moderate. The proposed WOE model was confirmed a useful tool to summarize large datasets of complex data in integrative indices, and to simplify the interpretation for stakeholders and decision makers, thus supporting a more comprehensive process of "site-oriented" management decisions. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

    Multimetric approaches are commonly used to evaluate the ecological status of aquatic ecosystems. However, it has been recommended that the sensitivity of existing methods be improved through the investigation of the potential of new metrics to detect environmental disturbances. In this study we tested the effectiveness of two community indices (Taxonomic distinctness index (TDI) and Abundance biomass comparison (ABC) method), primarily proposed for marine ecosystems, to identify sites with different levels of environmental degradation in lotic systems using fish community data. Fish samples were collected over the period 2003-2011 at 131 sampling stations. To generate water and habitat quality classes, a self-organizing map (SOM) based on environmental data was applied. Gradients over the SOM map were investigated for the values of the TDI and ABC indices. The results of this study reveal that the values of both the TDI and ABC indices are highly correlated with water and habitat quality gradients. However, despite the observed correlation, the utility of TDI as a potential metric in bioassessment programs is rather limited, due to its lack of discriminatory power. In contrast, the ABC method could be proposed as a novel metric, but can only be applied in type-specific multimetric approaches. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  19. Multitemporal floristic analysis on a humid area in Rome's archaeological site as indicator for environmental change.

    PubMed

    Ceschin, Simona; Salerno, Giovanni; Caneva, Giulia

    2009-02-01

    A multitemporal analysis on a humid area in Rome's archaeological site is presented; the floristic data are used as bioindicators for main environmental changes over the last 50 years. By comparing the structural, biogeographical and ecological features of today's florula with the ones of a 1955 survey, and by assessing the new, the rare and the locally disappeared species, it was possible to define and analyse the main floristic changes and their ecological meaning for this site. Our results show that the floristic richness of the area did not differ significantly from 1955. However, the species composition has changed considerably: over 40% of the species have disappeared. More than half of these were rare and typical of humid environments. Approximately the same number of species has appeared but these are mainly ruderal and widespread entities, with the overall result being a progressive and general vulgarization of the local flora. Finally, we analyse the main reasons, linked for the most part to human activities, which led to the reported floristic changes.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1980-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Kleinertz, S; Palm, H W

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Carbon footprint as an environmental sustainability indicator for the particleboard produced in Pakistan.

    PubMed

    Hussain, Majid; Naseem Malik, Riffat; Taylor, Adam

    2017-05-01

    This study quantified the carbon footprint of particleboard production in Pakistan using a cradle-to-gate life cycle assessment approach. The system boundary comprised raw materials acquisition, transport, particleboard manufacture and finished product distribution. Primary data were collected through surveys and meetings with particleboard manufacturers. Secondary data were taken from the literature. Greenhouse gas emissions from off-site industrial operations of the particleboard industry represented 52% of the total emissions from the production of 1.0m(3) of particleboard in Pakistan. The on-site industrial operations cause direct greenhouse gas emissions and accounted for 48% of the total emissions. These operations included energy consumption in stationary sources, the company-owned vehicle fleet, and the distribution and marketing of the finished product. The use of natural gas combustion in the stationary and mobile sources, raw material transport and urea-formaldehyde resin production chain accounted for the highest emissions from the particleboard production chain in Pakistan. The identification of the major hotspots in the particleboard production chain can assist the wood panel industry to improve their environmental profile. More efforts are needed to investigate the urea-formaldehyde resin production chain and substitution of roundwood with wood and agri-residues to assess the potential improvements. In addition, renewable energy sources should be encouraged to avoid greenhouse gas emissions by substituting fossil energy. This study also provides a benchmark for future research work to formulate comprehensive greenhouse gas emissions reduction plans, because no previous research work is available on the carbon footprint of particleboard production in Pakistan.

  3. Inter-annual dynamics of the Barents Sea red king crab (Paralithodes camtschaticus) stock indices in relation to environmental factors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dvoretsky, Alexander G.; Dvoretsky, Vladimir G.

    2016-12-01

    Knowledge of relationships between environmental variables and biological processes can greatly improve fisheries assessment and management in commercially important species. We analyzed the effects of environmental factors (climatic indices and water temperature) on the stock characteristics (total population number, number of pre-recruits and number of legal males) of the red king crab (Paralithodes camtschaticus), an introduced species in the Barents Sea. Stock trends in red king crab appear to be related to decadal climate shifts. Abundances were negatively related to the North Atlantic Oscillation index (NAO) in August and positively related to water temperature in late winter-early summer. Total and commercial stock abundance were negatively correlated with the lag-1 Arctic Oscillation index (AO) in August and the lag-2 winter NAO index. The total number of P. camtschaticus was most strongly associated with water temperature in spring and summer and NAO/AO indices in April and May. Lagged NAO indices in February and August (9 or 10 yr) had a positive relationship to the commercial stock of P. camtschaticus. These findings suggest that temperature conditions of current and previous year affect natural mortality of larvae and juvenile red king crabs. Warmer temperature conditions lead to increased biomass of red king crab food items. Negative correlations between climatic indices and the red king crab stocks may be associated with predator pressure on juvenile red king crabs or higher mortality because of predator or parasite pressure and diseases. The associations between stock indices and environmental variables could help better predict recruitment patterns of P. camtschaticus.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1974-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-11-15

    One of the main challenges in water management is to determine how the current water use can condition its availability to future generations and hence its sustainability. This study proposes the use of the Water Footprint (WF) indicator to assess the environmental sustainability in water resources management at the river basin level. The current study presents the methodology developed and applies it to a case study. The WF is a relatively new indicator that measures the total volume of freshwater that is used as a production factor. Its application is ever growing in the evaluation of water use in production processes. The calculation of the WF involves water resources (blue), precipitation stored in the soil (green) and pollution (grey). It provides a comprehensive assessment of the environmental sustainability of water use in a river basin. The methodology is based upon the simulation of the anthropised water cycle, which is conducted by combining a hydrological model and a decision support system. The methodology allows the assessment of the environmental sustainability of water management at different levels, and/or ex-ante analysis of how the decisions made in water planning process affect sustainability. The sustainability study was carried out in the Segura River Basin (SRB) in South-eastern Spain. The SRB is among the most complex basins in Europe, given its special peculiarities: competition for the use, overexploitation of aquifers, pollution, alternative sources, among others. The results indicate that blue water use is not sustainable due to the generalised overexploitation of aquifers. They also reveal that surface water pollution, which is not sustainable, is mainly caused by phosphate concentrations. The assessment of future scenarios reveals that these problems will worsen if no additional measures are implemented, and therefore the water management in the SRB is environmentally unsustainable in both the short- and medium-term. Copyright © 2016

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1990-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  9. Uranium bone content as an indicator of chronic environmental exposure from drinking water.

    PubMed

    Larivière, Dominic; Tolmachev, Sergei Y; Kochermin, Vera; Johnson, Sonia

    2013-07-01

    Uranium (U) is an ubiquitous radioelement found in drinking water and food. As a consequence of its prevalence, most humans ingest a few micrograms (μg) of this element daily. It is incorporated in various organs and tissues. Several studies have demonstrated that ingested U is deposited mainly in bones. Therefore, U skeletal content could be considered as a prime indicator for low-level chronic intake. In this study, 71 archived vertebrae bone samples collected in seven Canadian cities were subjected to digestion and U analysis by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. These results were correlated with U concentrations in municipal drinking water supplies, with the data originating from historical studies performed by Health Canada. A strong relationship (r(2) = 0.97) was observed between the averaged U total skeletal content and averaged drinking water concentration, supporting the hypothesis that bones are indeed a good indicator of U intake. Using a PowerBASIC compiler to process an ICRP systemic model for U (ICRP, 1995a), U total skeletal content was estimated using two gastrointestinal tract absorption factors (ƒ1 = 0.009 and 0.03). Comparisons between observed and modelled skeletal contents as a function of U intake from drinking water tend to demonstrate that neither of the ƒ1 values can adequately estimate observed values. An ƒ1value of 0.009 provides a realistic estimate for intake resulting from food consumption only (6.72 μg) compared to experimental data (7.4 ± 0.8 μg), whereas an ƒ1value of 0.03 tends to better estimate U skeletal content at higher levels of U (1-10 μg L(-1)) in drinking water. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Houghton, Adele; English, Paul

    2014-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2000-04-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1994-01-01

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

  14. Fecal indicator organism modeling and microbial source tracking in environmental waters: Chapter 3.4.6

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nevers, Meredith; Byappanahalli, Muruleedhara; Phanikumar, Mantha S.; Whitman, Richard L.

    2016-01-01

    Mathematical models have been widely applied to surface waters to estimate rates of settling, resuspension, flow, dispersion, and advection in order to calculate movement of particles that influence water quality. Of particular interest are the movement, survival, and persistence of microbial pathogens or their surrogates, which may contaminate recreational water, drinking water, or shellfish. Most models devoted to microbial water quality have been focused on fecal indicator organisms (FIO), which act as a surrogate for pathogens and viruses. Process-based modeling and statistical modeling have been used to track contamination events to source and to predict future events. The use of these two types of models require different levels of expertise and input; process-based models rely on theoretical physical constructs to explain present conditions and biological distribution while data-based, statistical models use extant paired data to do the same. The selection of the appropriate model and interpretation of results is critical to proper use of these tools in microbial source tracking. Integration of the modeling approaches could provide insight for tracking and predicting contamination events in real time. A review of modeling efforts reveals that process-based modeling has great promise for microbial source tracking efforts; further, combining the understanding of physical processes influencing FIO contamination developed with process-based models and molecular characterization of the population by gene-based (i.e., biological) or chemical markers may be an effective approach for locating sources and remediating contamination in order to protect human health better.

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

    PubMed Central

    Haron, Noorma Wati; Chew, Ming Yee

    2012-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Hinckley, F.L.

    1999-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  18. Flow analysis techniques as effective tools for the improved environmental analysis of organic compounds expressed as total indices.

    PubMed

    Maya, Fernando; Estela, José Manuel; Cerdà, Víctor

    2010-04-15

    The scope of this work is the accomplishment of an overview about the current state-of-the-art flow analysis techniques applied to the environmental determination of organic compounds expressed as total indices. Flow analysis techniques are proposed as effective tools for the quick obtention of preliminary chemical information about the occurrence of organic compounds on the environment prior to the use of more complex, time-consuming and expensive instrumental techniques. Recently improved flow-based methodologies for the determination of chemical oxygen demand, halogenated organic compounds and phenols are presented and discussed in detail. The aim of the present work is to demonstrate the highlight of flow-based techniques as vanguard tools on the determination of organic compounds in environmental water samples.

  19. Environmental Origins of Methylmercury Accumulated in Subarctic Estuarine Fish Indicated by Mercury Stable Isotopes.

    PubMed

    Li, Miling; Schartup, Amina T; Valberg, Amelia P; Ewald, Jessica D; Krabbenhoft, David P; Yin, Runsheng; Balcom, Prentiss H; Sunderland, Elsie M

    2016-11-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) exposure can cause adverse reproductive and neurodevelopmental health effects. Estuarine fish may be exposed to MeHg produced in rivers and their watersheds, benthic sediment, and the marine water column, but the relative importance of each source is poorly understood. We measured stable isotopes of mercury (δ(202)Hg, Δ(199)Hg, and Δ(201)Hg), carbon (δ(13)C), and nitrogen (δ(15)N) in fish with contrasting habitats from a large subarctic coastal ecosystem to better understand MeHg exposure sources. We identify two distinct food chains exposed to predominantly freshwater and marine MeHg sources but do not find evidence for a benthic marine MeHg signature. This is consistent with our previous research showing benthic sediment is a net sink for MeHg in the estuary. Marine fish display lower and less variable Δ(199)Hg values (0.78‰ to 1.77‰) than freshwater fish (0.72‰ to 3.14‰) and higher δ(202)Hg values (marine: 0.1‰ to 0.57‰; freshwater: -0.76‰ to 0.15‰). We observe a shift in the Hg isotopic composition of juvenile and adult rainbow smelt (Osmerus mordax) when they transition between the freshwater and marine environment as their dominant foraging territory. The Hg isotopic composition of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) indicates they receive most of their MeHg from the marine environment despite a similar or longer duration spent in freshwater regions. We conclude that stable Hg isotopes effectively track fish MeHg exposure sources across different ontogenic stages.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-02-01

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

  1. Diatom assemblages in surface sediments from the South China Sea as environmental indicators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Rui; Gao, Yahui; Fang, Qi; Chen, Changping; Lan, Binbin; Sun, Lin; Lan, Dongzhao

    2013-01-01

    We studied diatom distribution from 62 samples from the uppermost 1 cm of sediment in the South China Sea (SCS), using grabs or box corers in three cruises between 2001-2007. Fifty six genera, 256 species and their varieties were identified. Dominating species included Coscinodiscus africanus, Coscinodiscus nodulifer, Cyclotella stylorum, Hemidiscus cuneiformis, Melosira sulcata, Nitzschia marina, Roperia tesselata, Thalassionema nitzschioides, Thalassiosira excentrica, and Thalassiothrix longissima. Most surface sediments in the SCS were rich in diatoms, except for a few coarse samples. Average diatom abundance in the study area was 104 607 valve/g. In terms of the abundance, ecology, and spatial distribution, seven diatom zones (Zones 1-7) were recognized. Zone 1 (northern continental shelf) is affected by warm currents, SCS northern branch of the Kuroshio, and northern coastal currents; Zone 2 (northwestern continental shelf) is affected by intense coastal currents; Zone 3 (Xisha Islands sea area) is a bathyal environment with transitional water masses; Zone 4 (sea basin) is a bathyal-to-deep sea with stable and uniform central water masses in a semi-enclosed marginal sea; Zone 5 (Nansha Islands marine area) is a pelagic environment with relatively high surface temperature; Zone 6 (northern Sunda Shelf) is a tropical shelf environment; and Zone 7 (northern Kalimantan Island shelf area) is affected by warm waters from the Indian Ocean and coastal waters. The data indicate that these diatom zones are closely related to topography, hydrodynamics, temperature, nutrients and especially the salinity. Better understanding of the relationship between diatom distribution and the oceanographic factors would help in the reconstruction of the SCS in the past.

  2. [Eco-environmental quality assessment of Luoyuan Bay, Fujian province of East China based on biotic indices].

    PubMed

    Wu, Hai-Yan; Chen, Ke-Liang; Zhang, Ping; Fu, Shi-Feng; Hou, Jian-Ping; Chen, Qing-Hui

    2013-03-01

    In this paper, two types of eco-environmental quality assessment indices that have been successively applied abroad, i.e., the AZTI marine biotic index (AMBI) and BENTIX index based on the ecological sensitivity of benthos and the multivariate-AMBI (M-AMBI), a multivariate index integrating AMBI, Shannon Index H', and species richness, were applied to assess the eco-environmental quality of Luoyuan Bay, Fujian Province of East China, and the assessment results were compared with those by the H', an index based on community structure, which is often applied in China, aimed to test the applicability of these indices to the Bay, and to provide reference in selecting the indices for assessing our coastal eco-environment quality. Similar assessment results were obtained by applying AMBI and BENTIX index, and M-AMBI and H'. At most stations (13 of 16), the assessment results by applying AMBI and BENTIX index, M-AMBI and H' were coincident, respectively; while at the other 3 stations, the assessment grade was high or good based on AMBI and BENTIX index, but moderate based on M-AMBI and H'. Taking account of the richness, individual abundance, and ecological group composition of the benthos in Luoyuan Bay, the assessment results based on M-AMBI and H' could be more reasonable. It was suggested that for the Luoyuan Bay which has a high level of eutrophication and low organic matter enrichment in sediment and is dominated by sensitive benthos species, M-AMBI and H' could be more applicative and objective than AMBI and BENTIX index in assessing its eco-environmental quality.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Y.; Kong, I.

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  5. Environmental temperature and thermal indices: what is the most effective predictor of heat-related mortality in different geographical contexts?

    PubMed

    Morabito, Marco; Crisci, Alfonso; Messeri, Alessandro; Capecchi, Valerio; Modesti, Pietro Amedeo; Gensini, Gian Franco; Orlandini, Simone

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study is to identify the most effective thermal predictor of heat-related very-elderly mortality in two cities located in different geographical contexts of central Italy. We tested the hypothesis that use of the state-of-the-art rational thermal indices, the Universal Thermal Climate Index (UTCI), might provide an improvement in predicting heat-related mortality with respect to other predictors. Data regarding very elderly people (≥ 75 years) who died in inland and coastal cities from 2006 to 2008 (May-October) and meteorological and air pollution were obtained from the regional mortality and environmental archives. Rational (UTCI) and direct thermal indices represented by a set of bivariate/multivariate apparent temperature indices were assessed. Correlation analyses and generalized additive models were applied. The Akaike weights were used for the best model selection. Direct multivariate indices showed the highest correlations with UTCI and were also selected as the best thermal predictors of heat-related mortality for both inland and coastal cities. Conversely, the UTCI was never identified as the best thermal predictor. The use of direct multivariate indices, which also account for the extra effect of wind speed and/or solar radiation, revealed the best fitting with all-cause, very-elderly mortality attributable to heat stress.

  6. Environmental Temperature and Thermal Indices: What Is the Most Effective Predictor of Heat-Related Mortality in Different Geographical Contexts?

    PubMed Central

    Morabito, Marco; Crisci, Alfonso; Messeri, Alessandro; Capecchi, Valerio; Modesti, Pietro Amedeo; Gensini, Gian Franco; Orlandini, Simone

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study is to identify the most effective thermal predictor of heat-related very-elderly mortality in two cities located in different geographical contexts of central Italy. We tested the hypothesis that use of the state-of-the-art rational thermal indices, the Universal Thermal Climate Index (UTCI), might provide an improvement in predicting heat-related mortality with respect to other predictors. Data regarding very elderly people (≥75 years) who died in inland and coastal cities from 2006 to 2008 (May–October) and meteorological and air pollution were obtained from the regional mortality and environmental archives. Rational (UTCI) and direct thermal indices represented by a set of bivariate/multivariate apparent temperature indices were assessed. Correlation analyses and generalized additive models were applied. The Akaike weights were used for the best model selection. Direct multivariate indices showed the highest correlations with UTCI and were also selected as the best thermal predictors of heat-related mortality for both inland and coastal cities. Conversely, the UTCI was never identified as the best thermal predictor. The use of direct multivariate indices, which also account for the extra effect of wind speed and/or solar radiation, revealed the best fitting with all-cause, very-elderly mortality attributable to heat stress. PMID:24523657

  7. Indication of spatial variations in annual cycles of functional groups of planktonic ciliates to environmental change in marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Xu, Henglong; Jiang, Yong; Xu, Guangjian; Warren, Alan

    2017-03-15

    The indication of spatial variations in annual cycles of functional groups of planktonic ciliates to environmental changes was studied in a bay, northern Yellow Sea. Samples were biweekly collected at five stations with different hydrographic conditions during a 1-year cycle. The second-stage-matrix-based multivariate approach was used to summarize the internal interactions of the ciliate functional groups among five stations during a 1-year period. The functional groups of the ciliates represented a clear spatial variation in annual cycle among five stations. Mantel analysis demonstrated that the spatial variation in annual cycles of the ciliate functional groups were significantly correlated with the changes nutrients (mainly soluble reactive phosphates and nitrates), alone or in combination with salinity among five stations. Based the results, it is suggested that the spatial variation in annual cycles of functional groups of planktonic ciliates may indicated the changes of hydrographic conditions.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-10-01

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

  13. The impact of energy, agriculture, macroeconomic and human-induced indicators on environmental pollution: evidence from Ghana.

    PubMed

    Asumadu-Sarkodie, Samuel; Owusu, Phebe Asantewaa

    2017-01-12

    In this study, the impact of energy, agriculture, macroeconomic and human-induced indicators on environmental pollution from 1971 to 2011 is investigated using the statistically inspired modification of partial least squares (SIMPLS) regression model. There was evidence of a linear relationship between energy, agriculture, macroeconomic and human-induced indicators and carbon dioxide emissions. Evidence from the SIMPLS regression shows that a 1% increase in crop production index will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 0.71%. Economic growth increased by 1% will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 0.46%, which means that an increase in Ghana's economic growth may lead to a reduction in environmental pollution. The increase in electricity production from hydroelectric sources by 1% will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 0.30%; thus, increasing renewable energy sources in Ghana's energy portfolio will help mitigate carbon dioxide emissions. Increasing enteric emissions by 1% will increase carbon dioxide emissions by 4.22%, and a 1% increase in the nitrogen content of manure management will increase carbon dioxide emissions by 6.69%. The SIMPLS regression forecasting exhibited a 5% MAPE from the prediction of carbon dioxide emissions.

  14. Use of two indicators for the socio-environmental risk analysis of Northern Mexico under three climate change scenarios.

    PubMed

    López-Santos, Armando; Martínez-Santiago, Santos

    The aims of this study were to (1) find critical areas susceptible to the degradation of natural resources according to local erosion rates and aridity levels, which were used as environmental quality indicators, and (2) identify areas of risk associated with the presence of natural hazards according to three climate change scenarios defined for Mexico. The focus was the municipality of Lerdo, Durango (25.166° to 25.783° N and 103.333° to 103.983° W), which has dry temperate and very dry climates (BSohw and BWhw). From the Global Circulation Models, downscaling techniques for the dynamic modeling of environmental processes using climate data, historical information, and three regionalized climate change scenarios were applied to determine the impacts from laminar wind erosion rates (LWER) and aridity indices (AI). From the historic period to scenario A2 (ScA2, 2010-2039), regarding greenhouse gas emissions, the LWER was predicted to reach 147.2 t ha(-1) year(-1), representing a 0.5 m thickness over nearly 30 years and a change in the AI from 9.3 to 8.7. This trend represents an increase in drought for 70.8 % of the study area and could affect 90 % of the agricultural activities and approximately 80 % of the population living in the southeastern Lerdense territory.

  15. Environmental indicators in effluent assessment of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) reared in raceway system through phosphorus and nitrogen.

    PubMed

    Moraes, M A B; Carmo, C F; Tabata, Y A; Vaz-Dos-Santos, A M; Mercante, C T J

    2016-01-01

    The phosphorus and nitrogen discharge via effluent of intensive trout farming system was quantified through the use of environmental indicators. The nutrient loads, the mass balance, the estimated amount of nutrients in feed and the amount of nutrients converted in fish biomass were calculated based on the concentrations of phosphorus (P) and nitrogen (N) in the feed and in the water. Of the offered feed, 24.75 kg were available as P and 99.00 kg as N, of these, 9.32 kg P (38%) and 29.12 kg N (25%) were converted into fish biomass and 15.43 kg P (62%) and 69.88 kg N (75%) were exported via effluent. The loads and the mass balance show the excessive discharge of nutrients via effluent, corroborated by the feed conversion ratio (2.12:1) due to the low efficiency of feed utilization, therefore, it is proposed the use of this zootechnical parameter as environmental indicator. In addition, feed management practices are not adequate, highlighting the low frequency of feeding during the day, excessive amount and low quality of feed offered. These results demonstrate the need for adequate feed management and the need for careful monitoring of effluent.

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

    PubMed

    Ni, Zhaokui; Wang, Shengrui; Zhang, Mianmian

    2016-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-05-01

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

  19. Contamination of Fresh Produce by Microbial Indicators on Farms and in Packing Facilities: Elucidation of Environmental Routes.

    PubMed

    Bartz, Faith E; Lickness, Jacquelyn Sunshine; Heredia, Norma; Fabiszewski de Aceituno, Anna; Newman, Kira L; Hodge, Domonique Watson; Jaykus, Lee-Ann; García, Santos; Leon, Juan S

    2017-06-01

    To improve food safety on farms, it is critical to quantify the impact of environmental microbial contamination sources on fresh produce. However, studies are hampered by difficulties achieving study designs with powered sample sizes to elucidate relationships between environmental and produce contamination. Our goal was to quantify, in the agricultural production environment, the relationship between microbial contamination on hands, soil, and water and contamination on fresh produce. In 11 farms and packing facilities in northern Mexico, we applied a matched study design: composite samples (n = 636, equivalent to 11,046 units) of produce rinses were matched to water, soil, and worker hand rinses during two growing seasons. Microbial indicators (coliforms, Escherichia coli, Enterococcus spp., and somatic coliphage) were quantified from composite samples. Statistical measures of association and correlations were calculated through Spearman's correlation, linear regression, and logistic regression models. The concentrations of all microbial indicators were positively correlated between produce and hands (ρ range, 0.41 to 0.75; P < 0.01). When E. coli was present on hands, the handled produce was nine times more likely to contain E. coli (P < 0.05). Similarly, when coliphage was present on hands, the handled produce was eight times more likely to contain coliphage (P < 0.05). There were relatively low concentrations of indicators in soil and water samples, and a few sporadic significant associations were observed between contamination of soil and water and contamination of produce. This methodology provides a foundation for future field studies, and results highlight the need for interventions surrounding farmworker hygiene and sanitation to reduce microbial contamination of farmworkers' hands.IMPORTANCE This study of the relationships between microbes on produce and in the farm environment can be used to support the design of targeted interventions to prevent or

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

    SciTech Connect

    Sexton, L.

    2012-06-06

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

  1. Using performance indicators to evaluate an environmental education program in artisanal gold mining communities in the Brazilian Amazon.

    PubMed

    Sousa, Rodolfo N; Veiga, Marcello M

    2009-02-01

    The Tapajos River Basin in the Brazilian Amazon is the location of one of the largest concentrations of artisanal and small-scale miners in the world. Today, 40,000 miners produce 8 t of gold annum(-1) and at least double this amount of mercury is released into the environment. This region was selected under the Global Mercury Project, a United Nations program that aims to reduce the environmental and health impacts caused by mercury through the application of cleaner technologies and increased awareness. A group of educators provided support to miners, training 4200 people in 141 mining locations. The effectiveness of this training was evaluated based on 20 performance indicators. After 120 days of training, an absolute improvement of approximately 29% had been achieved. As a result of this training, it is estimated that annual mercury emissions in Tapajos have been reduced by 1762 kg or around 10% of the total mercury released in the region.

  2. Assessing environmental impacts of treated wastewater through monitoring of fecal indicator bacteria and salinity in irrigated soils.

    PubMed

    McLain, Jean E T; Williams, Clinton F

    2012-03-01

    To assess the potential for treated wastewater irrigation to impact levels of fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) and salinity in irrigated soils, levels of Escherichia coli, Enterococcus, and environmental covariates were measured in a treated wastewater holding pond (irrigation source water), water leaving the irrigation system, and in irrigated soils over 2 years in a municipal parkland in Arizona. Higher E. coli levels were measured in the pond in winter (56 CFU 100 mL(-1)) than in summer (17 CFU 100 mL(-1)); however, in the irrigation system, levels of FIB decreased from summer (26 CFU 100 mL(-1)) to winter (4 CFU 100 mL(-1)), possibly related to low winter water use and corresponding death of residual bacteria within the system. For over 2 years, no increase in FIB was found in irrigated soils, though highest E. coli levels (700 CFU g(-1) soil) were measured in deeper (20-25 cm) soils during summer. Measurements of water inputs vs. potential evapotranspiration indicate that irrigation levels may have been sufficient to generate bacterial percolation to deeper soil layers during summer. No overall increase in soil salinity resulting from treated wastewater irrigation was detected, but distinct seasonal peaks as high as 4 ds m(-1) occurred during both summers. The peaks significantly declined in winter when surface ET abated and more favorable water balances could be maintained. Monitoring of seasonal shifts in irrigation water quality and/or factors correlated with increases and decreases in FIB will aid in identification of any public health or environmental risks that could arise from the use of treated wastewater for irrigation.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-18

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

  4. Environmental heterogeneity, genotype-by-environment interactions and the reliability of sexual traits as indicators of mate quality.

    PubMed

    Higginson, A D; Reader, T

    2009-03-22

    Exaggerated sexual displays are often supposed to indicate the indirect benefits females may receive from sexual reproduction with displaying males, but empirical evidence for positive relationships between the genetic quality and sexual trait quality is scant. The explanation for this might lie in the fact that mixing of reproductive individuals whose development has been influenced by genotype-by-environment interactions (GEIs) can blur the relationship between the individual male genetic quality and phenotype as perceived by females. Strong GEIs can generate an ecological crossover, where different genotypes are superior in environments that are separated either in space or time. Here, we use a stochastic simulation model to show that even a weak GEI, which does not generate an obvious ecological crossover, can neutralize or even reverse the relationship between genetic quality and sexual trait size in the presence of environmental heterogeneity during development. Our model highlights the importance of developmental selection in evolution of traits and allows us to predict the situations in which sexual displays might not be reliable indicators of genetic quality.

  5. An UV-sensitive anuran species as an indicator of environmental quality of the Southern Atlantic Rainforest.

    PubMed

    Lipinski, Victor Mendes; Santos, Tiago Gomes Dos; Schuch, André Passaglia

    2016-12-01

    The Southern Atlantic rainforest is continuously suffering from wood extraction activity, which results in the increase of clearings within the forest. Although the direct impacts of deforestation on landscape are already well described, there is an absence of studies focused on the evaluation of its indirect effects, such as the increase of solar UV radiation levels inside forest environment and its consequences for forest specialist anuran species. The results presented in this work clearly show that the threatened tree frog species Hypsiboas curupi presents severe traits of sensitivity to UV wavelengths of sunlight, making it a vulnerable species to this environmental stressor, as well as a biological indicator of the quality of forest canopy coverage. In addition, the measurement of solar UVB and UVA radiation incidence upon H. curupi breeding site and the analyses of a 20-year dataset of satellite images regarding the management of canopy coverage indicate that the photoprotection provided by trees of the Southern Atlantic rainforest is critical for the conservation of this forest specialist anuran species. Therefore, this work demonstrates that the deforestation process enhances the exposure of H. curupi embryos to solar UVB and UVA radiation, negatively affecting their embryonic development, inducing mortality and population decline. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

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

    2000-03-20

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  9. Ichnological assemblages as depositional environmental indicators in McMurray Formation: Athabasca oil sands of northeastern Alberta

    SciTech Connect

    Mattison, B.W.; Pemberton, S.G.

    1987-05-01

    Detailed study of over 100 drill core from an area of extreme core control within the surface mining area of the McMurray Formation of the Athabasca oil sands reveals that trace fossil assemblages may be extremely useful both in interpreting the depositional history of the deposits and ultimately in developing an effective mining strategy based on the prediction of high-grade reservoir trends. Distinct trace fossil suites characterize distinct environmental facies within all but the lowermost sections of the McMurray Formation and indicate deposition within a marginal marine setting. The formation itself may be divided into three members, reflecting a depositional evolution from primarily paludal and fluviatile into estuarine (containing intimately associated estuarine channel, channel margin, and tidal flat sediments) and finally into highly bioturbated shoreface sediments. Environmental microfacies breakdown of this broad three-fold division is based primarily on an understanding of trace fossil dynamics in tidally influenced marginal marine depositional systems. Highest-grade reservoirs are restricted to the middle unit of the McMurray within estuarine channels. Prediction of the trends of these channels is accomplished through highly detailed mapping made possible by close core control. In this way, the channelized reservoirs may be exploited with the mining of as little waste rock (typically channel margin and tidal flat silts and muds) as possible. An understanding of trace fossils (which may at first glance seem to be rather innocuous structures) may thus prove to be an extremely powerful aid in the delineation and profitable development of this immensely important resource.

  10. Stable isotope signatures and element stoichiometry of Fucus vesiculosus as indicators for environmental conditions in the Kiel Bight, Baltic Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Winde, Vera; Mahler, Annika; Voss, Maren; Böttcher, Michael E.

    2014-05-01

    In the frame of the BMBF project BIOACID II we aim for an understanding of the natural distribution and variation of isotopic composition and C-N-S stoichiometry in Fucus vesiculosus growing around the coast line of the Kiel fjord (part of the Kiel bight). Environmental conditions (aquatic chemistry, temperature, salinity) were monitored, too. Some changes in aquatic chemistry are related to stress factors like human activity (e.g., waste input) and further factors leading to specific changes in the composition of Fucus vesiculosus. Sampling was carried out at different stations at the west and east coast of the Kiel Fjord. For each sampling station the aquatic chemistry (TA, pH, salinity, d13C(DIC), main and trace elements and nutrients) as well as the composition of the Fucus organic tissues (stoichiometry and stable isotope composition of carbon, nitrogen) are analysed. The Fucus tissue was sampled in three size classes (small, medium, large). It is shown, that Fucus vesiculosus indicates clear differences in the N contents and stable isotopes between the west and the east site of the Kiel Fjord. Stable nitrogen isotope signatures in Fucus vesiculosus, are useful proxies to identify the influence factors in the Fucus habitat. From the data it is obtained that the influence of human activity (wastewater treatment plant, harbour), small stream and drainage channels, which flow from the near coastal area into the bight, leads to different Fucus vesiculosus compositions. In future work, it is intended to extend the investigation to trace element signatures to further estimate environmental impacts.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hobson, Anne Carrie Hickey

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

  12. Oxygen and carbon stable isotopes of modern land snail shells as environmental indicators from a low-latitude oceanic island

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yanes, Yurena; Romanek, Christopher S.; Delgado, Antonio; Brant, Heather A.; Noakes, John E.; Alonso, María R.; Ibáñez, Miguel

    2009-07-01

    indicate lower temperatures, lower δ 18O rain values and possibly, higher rainfall totals. A positive correlation between the mean δ 13C values of shells (δ 13C shell) and plants by site suggests that shells potentially record information about the surrounding vegetation. The δ 13C shell values varied between -15.7 and -0.6‰ (VPDB), indicating that snails consumed C 3 and C 4/CAM plants, where more negative δ 13C shell values probably reflects the preferential consumption of C 3 plants which are favored under wetter conditions. Individuals with more positive δ 13C shell values consumed a larger percentage of C 4 plants (other potential factors such as carbonate ingestion or atmospheric CO 2 contribution were unlikely) that were more common at lower elevations of the hotter and drier south facing transect. The relatively wide range of shell isotope values within a single site requires the analysis of numerous shells for meaningful paleoclimatic studies. Although small differences were observed in isotope composition among snail species collected at a single sampling site, they were not significant, suggesting that isotope signatures extracted from multi-taxa snail data sets may be used to infer environmental conditions over a broad range of habitats.

  13. Assessment of Environmental Determinants of Physical Activity: a Study of Built Environment Indicators in Brno, Czech Republic.

    PubMed

    Brázdová, Zuzana Derflerová; Klimusová, Helena; Hruška, Dalibor; Prokopová, Alice; Burjanek, Aleš; Wulff, Krauff Rainer Schwanhaeuser

    2015-11-01

    Research on physical activity in relation to obesity gradually becomes more focused on environmental determinants, which can potentially influence people's health choices. The present article addresses the topic of physical activity from a wider sociological perspective. Our pilot study was designed with the objective of testing the applicability of a method included in the EC 6th Framework Programme EURO-PREVOB, in the Czech context. The method examines specific determinants of the built environment that can have an impact on physical activity at the population level. In addition, the study aims to analyze possible differences in built environment indicators and their relation to the physical activity of people living in neighbourhoods with areas of varying socioeconomic status. The field study was carried out in the city of Brno, Czech Republic, in 5 neighbourhood quintiles, i.e. areas divided according to the socioeconomic status of local residents. In each quintile, we evaluated the quality of the built environment according to the quality, aesthetics and safety of segregated cycle facilities, playgrounds/playing areas, public open spaces, marked road crossings and pavements as well as signs of incivilities and devastation. Between the five quintiles, significant differences were found in the quality of parks and playgrounds/playing areas, pavements, marking of pedestrian crossings, and in general aesthetics, i.e. signs of incivilities and devastation of the built environment. No differences were found in the quality and use of cycle facilities. The method we used for the evaluation of the built environment proved highly applicable in Czech populated areas. Monitoring of built environment indicators in the Czech Republic should provide a basis for health maps, showing potential associations between the prevalence of high-incidence, non-infectious diseases and various social determinants of physical activity. This information might help in achieving an

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

    SciTech Connect

    MacLeod, Matthew; McKone, Thomas E.

    2003-06-01

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

  15. A follow-up study of lead absorption in cows as an indicator of environmental lead pollution

    SciTech Connect

    Prpic-Majic, D.; Karacic, V.; Skender, Lj. )

    1990-07-01

    In a previous study, lead absorption in cows grazing in the vicinity of a lead smeltery and in a control area was presented for two periods. The first period was in 1976, two years before the installation of an effective gas cleaning system in the lead smeltery, and the second period was in 1982, four years after the sanitation. The results obtained in the lead smeltery area revealed a highly significant improvement of all biochemical indicators of lead absorption intensity in cows during 1982 in comparison with the same findings during 1976. However, in spite of the lower lead absorption in 1982, blood lead concentration and {sigma}-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase activity in 1982 were still highly significantly different from the same findings in cows from the control area. Consequently the study was continued in 1984 and 1988 under identical conditions. The main object of the paper is a critical evaluation of the results obtained in relation to environmental monitoring in the same lead smeltery area.

  16. Land-Use Change and the Billion Ton 2016 Resource Assessment: Understanding the Effects of Land Management on Environmental Indicators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kline, K. L.; Eaton, L. M.; Efroymson, R.; Davis, M. R.; Dunn, J.; Langholtz, M. H.

    2016-12-01

    The federal government, led by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), quantified potential U.S. biomass resources for expanded production of renewable energy and bioproducts in the 2016 Billion-Ton Report: Advancing Domestic Resources for a Thriving Bioeconomy (BT16) (DOE 2016). Volume 1 of the report provides analysis of projected supplies from 2015 to2040. Volume 2 (forthcoming) evaluates changes in environmental indicators for water quality and quantity, carbon, air quality, and biodiversity associated with production scenarios in BT16 volume 1. This presentation will review land-use allocations under the projected biomass production scenarios and the changes in land management that are implied, including drivers of direct and indirect LUC. National and global concerns such as deforestation and displacement of food production are addressed. The choice of reference scenario, input parameters and constraints (e.g., regarding land classes, availability, and productivity) drive LUC results in any model simulation and are reviewed to put BT16 impacts into context. The principal LUC implied in BT16 supply scenarios involves the transition of 25-to-47 million acres (net) from annual crops in 2015 baseline to perennial cover by 2040 under the base case and 3% yield growth case, respectively. We conclude that clear definitions of land parameters and effects are essential to assess LUC. A lack of consistency in parameters and outcomes of historic LUC analysis in the U.S. underscores the need for science-based approaches.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  19. Environmental improvement of product supply chains: proposed best practice techniques, quantitative indicators and benchmarks of excellence for retailers.

    PubMed

    Styles, David; Schoenberger, Harald; Galvez-Martos, Jose-Luis

    2012-11-15

    Retailers are strategically positioned to leverage environmental improvement over product supply chains through actions targeted at suppliers and consumers. Informed by scientific evidence on environmental hotspots and control points across 14 priority product groups, and a review of 25 major European retailers' actions, this paper proposes a framework to guide and assess retailer best practice in supply chain environmental improvement. Commonly used product standards and improvement measures are classified into "basic" or "good" levels of environmental protection. A hierarchy of eight Best Environmental Management Practices (BEMPs) is proposed to systematically identify and improve the most environmentally damaging supply chains across retail assortments. Widespread third party environmental certification is the most transparent and verifiable mechanism of improvement but may not be appropriate for some supply chains. The enforcement of retailer-defined environmental requirements, and supplier improvement programmes based on performance benchmarking and dissemination of better management practices, are alternative BEMPs that may be used in combination with third party certification. Facilitating consumer selection of frontrunner ecological products is a lower priority BEMP owing to the well documented limitations of this approach. From available data, the highest current or credible-target sales shares of products improved according to the highest priority BEMP and environmental protection level were used to derive "benchmarks of excellence" for each of the 14 product groups. The assessment framework is demonstrated through application to three retailers.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  2. Subject Indicators to Present the Nature and Limit of Environmental Studies in U.S. Graduate Schools.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kim, H. S.; Dixon, James P.

    1993-01-01

    Examines the lack of interdisciplinary communication in environmental education programs in U.S. graduate schools. Following comparative historical reviews of environmental protection activities, presents a computer-developed curriculum model base containing 15 subject areas: philosophy, politics, economics, architecture, sociology, biology,…

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Nayak, Bina; Weidhaas, Jennifer

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Groundwater mixing and mineralization processes in a mountain-oasis-desert basin, northwest China: hydrogeochemistry and environmental tracer indicators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ma, Bin; Jin, Menggui; Liang, Xing; Li, Jing

    2017-09-01

    Hydrogeochemistry and environmental tracers (2H, 18O, 87Sr/86Sr) in precipitation, river and reservoir water, and groundwater have been used to determine groundwater recharge sources, and to identify mixing characteristics and mineralization processes in the Manas River Basin (MRB), which is a typical mountain-oasis-desert ecosystem in arid northwest China. The oasis component is artificial (irrigation). Groundwater with enriched stable isotope content originates from local precipitation and surface-water leakage in the piedmont alluvial-oasis plain. Groundwater with more depleted isotopes in the north oasis plain and desert is recharged by lateral flow from the adjacent mountains, for which recharge is associated with high altitude and/or paleo-water infiltrating during a period of much colder climate. Little evaporation and isotope exchange between groundwater and rock and soil minerals occurred in the mountain, piedmont and oasis plain. Groundwater δ2H and δ18O values show more homogeneous values along the groundwater flow direction and with well depths, indicating inter-aquifer mixing processes. A regional contrast of groundwater allows the 87Sr/86Sr ratios and δ18O values to be useful in a combination with Cl, Na, Mg, Ca and Sr concentrations to distinguish the groundwater mixing characteristics. Two main processes are identified: groundwater lateral-flow mixing and river leakage in the piedmont alluvial-oasis plain, and vertical mixing in the north oasis plain and the desert. The 87Sr/86Sr ratios and selected ion ratios reveal that carbonate dissolution and mixing with silicate from the southern mountain area are primarily controlling the strontium isotope hydrogeochemistry.

  7. Can red deer antlers be used as an indicator of environmental and edible tissues' trace element contamination?

    PubMed

    Giżejewska, Aleksandra; Szkoda, Józef; Nawrocka, Agnieszka; Żmudzki, Jan; Giżejewski, Zygmunt

    2017-03-21

    Venison is an attractive product for consumers concerned with healthy lifestyle; however, it can contain high levels of toxic elements, and therefore, it is a possible source of hazardous contaminants in human diet. Antlers are suitable bioindicators of environmental metal contamination, and herein, we assessed the ability of trace element levels in antlers to indicate levels in edible soft tissues. We determined the concentrations of lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), mercury (Hg), arsenic (As), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), and iron (Fe) in the liver, kidney, muscle, and antlers of 14 free-ranging red deer (Cervus elaphus) from northeastern Poland using atomic absorption spectrometry. We found the highest concentrations of Pb (0.321 ± 0.165 mg/kg), As (0.045 ± 0.074 mg/kg), Zn (105.31 ± 16.33 mg/kg), and Fe (220.92 ± 117.18 mg/kg) in antlers; of Cd (4.974 ± 1.90 mg/kg) and Hg (0.048 ± 0.102 mg/kg) in kidney; and of Cu (7.29 ± 7.02 mg/kg) in the liver. A positive relationship between concentrations in antlers and muscle was found only for Cu (p = 0.001), and it therefore appears that red deer antlers cannot be used as an index for element concentrations in soft tissues. While our results confirm that the Mazury region is little polluted, consumption of red deer offal from this area should be limited according to extant legal limits set for livestock consumption.

  8. DNA bulky adducts in a Mediterranean population correlate with environmental ozone concentration, an indicator of photochemical smog.

    PubMed

    Palli, Domenico; Saieva, Calogero; Grechi, Daniele; Masala, Giovanna; Zanna, Ines; Barbaro, Antongiulio; Decarli, Adriano; Munnia, Armelle; Peluso, Marco

    2004-03-01

    Ozone (O(3)), the major oxidant component in photochemical smog, mostly derives from photolysis of nitrogen dioxide. O(3) may have biologic effects directly and/or via free radicals reacting with other primary pollutants and has been reported to influence daily mortality and to increase lung cancer risk. Although DNA damage may be caused by ozone itself, only other photochemical reaction products (as oxidised polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) may form bulky DNA adducts, a reliable biomarker of genotoxic damage and cancer risk, showing a seasonal trend. In a large series consisting of 320 residents in the metropolitan area of Florence, Italy, enrolled in a prospective study for the period 1993-1998 (206 randomly sampled volunteers, 114 traffic-exposed workers), we investigated the correlation between individual levels of DNA bulky adducts and a cumulative O(3) exposure score. The average O(3) concentrations were calculated for different time windows (0-5 to 0-90 days) prior to blood drawing for each participant, based on daily measurements provided by the local monitoring system. Significant correlations between DNA adduct levels and O3 cumulative exposure scores in the last 2-8 weeks before enrollment emerged in never smokers. Correlations were highest in the subgroup of never smokers residing in the urban area and not occupationally exposed to vehicle traffic pollution, with peak values for average concentrations 4-6 weeks before enrollment (r = 0.34). Our current findings indicate that DNA adduct formation may be modulated by individual characteristics and by the cumulative exposure to environmental levels of ozone in the last 4-6 weeks, possibly through ozone-associated reactive pollutants.

  9. The National Environmental Public Health Tracking Network Access to Parks Indicator: A National County-Level Measure of Park Proximity.

    PubMed

    Ussery, Emily Neusel; Yngve, Leah; Merriam, Dee; Whitfield, Geoffrey; Foster, Stephanie; Wendel, Arthur; Boehmer, Tegan

    2016-01-01

    Parks and recreation departments and public health organizations both work to improve the well-being of their communities. Measuring residential proximity to parks could be a specific area of shared interest, given that proximity to parks is needed for walking access, and the use of parks is, in turn, associated with many physical, social, and mental health benefits. The CDC's publicly available National Environmental Public Health Tracking Network (NEPHTN) Access to Parks Indicator (API) focuses on one major component of access, residential proximity to parks. The API uses a commercial parks database and U.S. Census data to estimate the number and percentage of individuals in the U.S. that live within a half-mile of a park boundary, a measure commonly used to represent park proximity. The API is calculated at the state and county levels and is available for all states and counties in the U.S. Using estimates from the API, we examined the distribution of residential proximity to parks by geography and race/ethnicity. Additionally, we evaluated differences in park proximity by rural/urban status of counties. In 2010, 39% of the total U.S. population lived within a half-mile of a park. This percentage varied widely between states, ranging from 9% in West Virginia to 67% in Hawaii and 88% in the District of Columbia (DC). Park proximity was lowest among non-Hispanic whites (34.2%) and highest among individuals belonging to the non-Hispanic other race category (52.0%). Metropolitan counties had the highest percentage of residents living within a half-mile of a park (43.3%); the percentage was lower in non-metropolitan counties adjacent to a metropolitan county (15.0%) and non-metropolitan counties not adjacent to a metropolitan county (18.5%). Park proximity was higher in metropolitan counties with a larger population size and in non-metropolitan counties with a higher degree of urbanization. The NEPHTN Access to Parks Indicator provides an opportunity to understand

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2010-01-01

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

  14. Bottom up and top down: analysis of participatory processes for sustainability indicator identification as a pathway to community empowerment and sustainable environmental management.

    PubMed

    Fraser, Evan D G; Dougill, Andrew J; Mabee, Warren E; Reed, Mark; McAlpine, Patrick

    2006-01-01

    The modern environmental management literature stresses the need for community involvement to identify indicators to monitor progress towards sustainable development and environmental management goals. The purpose of this paper is to assess the impact of participatory processes on sustainability indicator identification and environmental management in three disparate case studies. The first is a process of developing partnerships between First Nations communities, environmental groups, and forestry companies to resolve conflicts over forest management in Western Canada. The second describes a situation in Botswana where local pastoral communities worked with development researchers to reduce desertification. The third case study details an on-going government led process of developing sustainability indicators in Guernsey, UK, that was designed to monitor the environmental, social, and economic impacts of changes in the economy. The comparative assessment between case studies allows us to draw three primary conclusions. (1) The identification and collection of sustainability indicators not only provide valuable databases for making management decisions, but the process of engaging people to select indicators also provides an opportunity for community empowerment that conventional development approaches have failed to provide. (2) Multi-stakeholder processes must formally feed into decision-making forums or they risk being viewed as irrelevant by policy-makers and stakeholders. (3) Since ecological boundaries rarely meet up with political jurisdictions, it is necessary to be flexible when choosing the scale at which monitoring and decision-making occurs. This requires an awareness of major environmental pathways that run through landscapes to understand how seemingly remote areas may be connected in ways that are not immediately apparent.

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  17. USE OF BIOMARKERS TO INDICATE EXPOSURE OF CHILDREN TO ORGANOPHOSPATE PESTICIDES: IMPLICATIONS FOR A LONGITUDINAL STUDY OF CHILDREN'S ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH

    EPA Science Inventory

    Because of their widespread use in the U.S. and unkown long-term health effects, planning for the National Children's Study (NCS) includes consideration of organophosphate pestcides (OPs) as a chemical class of interest in a longitudinal study of children's environmental health...

  18. Microphytobenthos as an indicator of environmental quality status in intertidal flats: Case study of coastal ecosystem in Pertuis Charentais, France

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Du, GuoYing; Yan, HongMei; Dupuy, Christine

    2017-09-01

    Microphytobenthos communities of different sediment types were investigated in intertidal flats of the coastal area around La Rochelle (Pertuis Charentais, France) in July 2014 and January 2015. Biotic variables of biomass, abundance and species composition of microphytobenthos were evaluated together with environmental variables, including irradiance, sediment temperature, grains size, pore water salinity, pH, nutrients, organic matter, water content and heavy metal concentrations in the sediment. The relationships between biotic and environmental parameters showed that: (1) the microphytobenthos biomass and community structures showed significant differences among different sediment types; (2) variation in the microphytobenthos communities were significantly correlated with environmental variables, especially with the heavy metals, grain size, irradiance, pore water salinity, organic matter and concentration of PO43+ and Si(OH)4; (3) the species number and richness were both significantly correlated with organic matter, and (4) the species Entomoneis corrugate, Navicula aitchelbee and Gyrosigma cf.limosum were positively correlated to heavy metals, and so were N. phylleptosoma, Surirella brebissonii to Si(OH)4 and NH4+ concentrations, and G. acuminatum and S. brebissonii to PO43+ and NH4+. It is suggested that the spatial variation in biodiversity of microphytobenthos may reflect environmental quality status in coastal intertidal ecosystems.

  19. Assessing the risk of pesticide environmental impact in several Argentinian cropping systems with a fuzzy expert indicator.

    PubMed

    Arregui, María C; Sánchez, Daniel; Althaus, Rafael; Scotta, Roberto R; Bertolaccini, Isabel

    2010-07-01

    The introduction of transgenic soybean (Glycine max, L.) varieties resistant to glyphosate (GR soybeans) has rapidly expanded in Argentina, increasing pesticide use where only grasslands were previously cultivated. The authors compared an estimate of environmental risk for different crops and active ingredients using the IPEST index, which is based on a fuzzy-logic expert system. For IPEST calculations, four modules are defined, one reflecting the rate of application, the other three reflecting the risk for groundwater, surface water and air. The input variables are pesticide properties, site-specific conditions and characteristics of the pesticide application. The expert system calculates the value of modules according to the degree of membership of the input variables to the fuzzy subsets F (favourable) and U (unfavourable), and they can be aggregated following sets of decision rules. IPEST integrated values of >or= 7 reflect low environmental risk, and values of < 7 reflect high risk. Alfalfa, soybean and wheat showed IPEST values over 7 (low risk), while maize had the lowest IPEST values (high risk). Comparing active ingredients applied in annual and perennial crops, atrazine and acetochlor gave the highest risks of environmental contamination, and they are mainly used in maize. Groundwater was the most affected compartment. Fuzzy logic provided an easy tool combining different environmental components with pesticide properties to give a simple and accessible risk assessment. These findings provide information about active ingredients that should be replaced in order to protect water and air from pesticide contamination. Copyright (c) 2010 Society of Chemical Industry.

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  4. A multi-objective assessment of an air quality monitoring network using environmental, economic, and social indicators and GIS-based models.

    PubMed

    Pope, Ronald; Wu, Jianguo

    2014-06-01

    In the United States, air pollution is primarily measured by Air Quality Monitoring Networks (AQMN). These AQMNs have multiple objectives, including characterizing pollution patterns, protecting the public health, and determining compliance with air quality standards. In 2006, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a directive that air pollution agencies assess the performance of their AQMNs. Although various methods to design and assess AQMNs exist, here we demonstrate a geographic information system (GIS)-based approach that combines environmental, economic, and social indicators through the assessment of the ozone (O3) and particulate matter (PM10) networks in Maricopa County, Arizona. The assessment was conducted in three phases: (1) to evaluate the performance of the existing networks, (2) to identify areas that would benefit from the addition of new monitoring stations, and (3) to recommend changes to the AQMN. A comprehensive set of indicators was created for evaluating differing aspects of the AQMNs' objectives, and weights were applied to emphasize important indicators. Indicators were also classified according to their sustainable development goal. Our results showed that O3 was well represented in the county with some redundancy in terms of the urban monitors. The addition of weights to the indicators only had a minimal effect on the results. For O3, urban monitors had greater social scores, while rural monitors had greater environmental scores. The results did not suggest a need for adding more O3 monitoring sites. For PM10, clustered urban monitors were redundant, and weights also had a minimal effect on the results. The clustered urban monitors had overall low scores; sites near point sources had high environmental scores. Several areas were identified as needing additional PM10 monitors. This study demonstrates the usefulness of a multi-indicator approach to assess AQMNs. Network managers and planners may use this method to assess the

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1992-11-03

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

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

    PubMed

    Donaldson, Margaret P; Stephens, William E

    2010-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  8. Use of multiple indicators to assess the environmental quality of urbanized aquatic surroundings in San Luis, Argentina.

    PubMed

    Calderon, Mirian R; González, Patricia; Moglia, Marta; Gonzáles, Soledad Oliva; Jofré, Mariana

    2014-07-01

    Urbanization can cause significant changes in the integrity of fluvial ecosystems, which makes it necessary to assess environmental conditions of areas where population growth rates are high. A study of the environmental quality of Chorrillos River (San Luis-Argentina) and its tributaries was carried out in order to evaluate the potential effect of an urbanization gradient. Six sites were sampled along the main course and tributaries of the river. Urbanization variables were measured and included to calculate an Urbanization Index. Physical–chemical analyses were performed in water samples to evaluate water quality through the use of a simplified index of water quality (SIWQ). Plants, macroinvertebrates, and amphibians metrics were used to assess the biological state of the studied sites. The Urbanization Index varied significantly between sites and was significantly correlated to the SIWQ. However, no significant correlations were found between SIWQ and macroinvertebrates and amphibians variables. Water quality of Chorrillos River and its tributaries is good, but it is affected by anthropic influences as reflected by the declining of SIWQ values. Although biological sampling constitutes an important tool in the assessment of water quality of rivers, in this report biological results were not conclusive.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

  10. The quantitative response of wheat vernalization to environmental variables indicates that vernalization is not a response to cold temperature.

    PubMed

    Allard, Vincent; Veisz, Ottó; Kõszegi, Béla; Rousset, Michel; Le Gouis, Jacques; Martre, Pierre

    2012-01-01

    The initiation of flowering is a crucial trait that allows temperate plants to flower in the favourable conditions of spring. The timing of flowering initiation is governed by two main mechanisms: vernalization that defines a plant's requirement for a prolonged exposure to cold temperatures; and photoperiod sensitivity defining the need for long days to initiate floral transition. Genetic variability in both vernalization and photoperiod sensitivity largely explains the adaptability of cultivated crop plants such as bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) to a wide range of climatic conditions. The major genes controlling wheat vernalization (VRN1, VRN2, and VRN3) and photoperiod sensitivity (PPD1) have been identified, and knowledge of their interactions at the molecular level is growing. However, the quantitative effects of temperature and photoperiod on these genes remain poorly understood. Here it is shown that the distinction between the temperature effects on organ appearance rate and on vernalization sensu stricto is crucial for understanding the quantitative effects of the environmental signal on wheat flowering. By submitting near isogenic lines of wheat differing in their allelic composition at the VRN1 locus to various temperature and photoperiod treatments, it is shown that, at the whole-plant level, the vernalization process has a positive response to temperature with complex interactions with photoperiod. In addition, the phenotypic variation associated with the presence of different spring homoeoalleles of VRN1 is not induced by a residual vernalization requirement. The results demonstrate that a precise definition of vernalization is necessary to understand and model temperature and photoperiod effects on wheat flowering. It is suggested that this definition should be used as the basis for gene expression studies and assessment of functioning of the wheat flowering gene network, including an explicit account of the quantitative effect of environmental

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

    PubMed

    Byappanahalli, Muruleedhara N; Przybyla-Kelly, Katarzyna; Shively, Dawn A; Whitman, Richard L

    2008-11-01

    The enterococcal surface protein (esp) gene found in Enterococcus faecalis and E. faecium has recently been explored as a marker of sewage pollution in recreational waters but its occurrence and distribution in environmental enterococci has not been well-documented. If the esp gene is found in environmental samples, there are potential implications for microbial source tracking applications. In the current study, a total of 452 samples (lake water, 100; stream water, 129; nearshore sand, 96; and backshore sand, 71; Cladophora sp. (Chlorophyta), 41; and periphyton (mostly Bacillariophyceae), 15) collected from the coastal watersheds of southern Lake Michigan were selectively cultured for enterococci and then analyzed for the esp gene by PCR, targeting E. faecalis/ E. faecium (esp(fs/fm)) and E. faecium (esp(fm)). Overall relative frequencies for esp(fs/fm) and esp(fm) were 27.4 and 5.1%. Respective percent frequency for the esp(fs/fm) and esp(fm) was 36 and 14% in lake water, 38.8 and 2.3% in stream water, 24 and 6.3% in nearshore sand; 0% in backshore sand; 24.4 and 0% in Cladophora sp.; and 33.3 and 0% in periphyton. The overall occurrence of both esp(fs/fm) and esp(fm) was significantly related (chi2 = 49, P < 0.0001). Post-rain incidence of esp(fs/fm) increased in lake and stream water and nearshore sand. Further, E. coli and enterococci cell densities were significant predictors for esp(fs/fm) occurrence in post-rain lake water, but esp(fm) was not F+ coliphage densities were not significant predictors for esp(fm) or esp(fs/fm) gene incidence. In summary, the differential occurrence of the esp gene in the environment suggests that it is not limited to human fecal sources and thus may weaken its use as a reliable tool in discriminating contaminant sources (i.e., human vs. nonhuman).

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2008-01-01

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

  13. Linking environmental gradients, species composition, and vegetation indicators of sugar maple health in the northeastern United States

    Treesearch

    Stephen B. Horsley; Scott W. Bailey; Todd E. Ristau; Robert P. Long; Richard A. Hallett

    2008-01-01

    Sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marsh.) decline has occurred throughout its range over the past 50 years, although decline symptoms are minimal where nutritional thresholds of Ca, Mg, and Mn are met. Here, we show that availability of these elements also controls vascular plant species composition in northern hardwood stands and we identify indicator...

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  16. Polychaete/amphipod ratio as an indicator of environmental impact related to offshore oil and gas production along the Norwegian continental shelf.

    PubMed

    Andrade, Hector; Renaud, Paul E

    2011-12-01

    Benthic faunal data is regularly collected worldwide to assess the ecological quality of marine environments. Recently, there has been renewed interest in developing biological indices able to identify environmental status and potential anthropogenic impacts. In this paper we evaluate the performance of a general polychaete/amphipod ratio along the Norwegian continental shelf as an environmental indicator for offshore oil and gas impacts. Two main trends are apparent: first, a contamination gradient is discernible from where production takes place compared to stations 10,000 m away. Second, the quality of the marine environment has improved over time. These results are consistent with monitoring reports employing a combination of uni- and multi-variate statistics. Thus, we consider this ratio as a relatively simple, useful and potentially cost-effective complement to other more demanding assessment techniques. Because of its strong theoretical basis, it may also be useful for detecting ecological change as a result of other activities.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2006-01-01

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

  18. [Effects of land use and environmental factors on the variability of soil quality indicators in hilly Loess Plateau region of China].

    PubMed

    Xu, Ming-Xiang; Liu, Guo-Bin; Zhao, Yun-Ge

    2011-02-01

    Classical statistics methods were adopted to analyze the soil quality variability, its affecting factors, and affecting degree at a regional scale (700 km2) in the central part of hilly Loess Plateau region of China. There existed great differences in the variability of test soil quality indicators. Soil pH, structural coefficient, silt content, specific gravity, bulk density, total porosity, capillary porosity, and catalase activity were the indicators with weak variability; soil nutrients (N, P, and K) contents, CaCO3 content, cation exchange capacity (CEC), clay content, micro-aggregate mean mass diameter, aggregate mean mass diameter, water-stable aggregates, respiration rate, microbial quotient, invertase and phosphatase activities, respiratory quotient, and microbial carbon and nitrogen showed medium variation; while soil labile organic carbon and phosphorus contents, erosion-resistance, permeability coefficient, and urease activity were the indicators with strong variability. The variability of soil CaCO3, total P and K, CEC, texture, and specific gravity, etc. was correlated with topography and other environmental factors, while the variability of dynamic soil quality indicators, including soil organic matter content, nitrogen content, water-stable aggregates, permeability, microbial biomass carbon and nitrogen, enzyme activities, and respiration rate, was mainly correlated with land use type. Overall, land use pattern explained 97% of the variability of soil quality indicators in the region. It was suggested that in the evaluation of soil quality in hilly Loess Plateau region, land use type and environmental factors should be fully considered.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2003-01-01

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

  1. Nicotine and surface of particulates as indicators of exposure to environmental tobacco smoke in public places in Austria.

    PubMed

    Moshammer, Hanns; Neuberger, Manfred; Nebot, Manel

    2004-09-01

    As part of a Europe-wide project the amount of exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) in public places like schools, restaurants, and public transport facilities was investigated. Three methods were applied: nicotine passive samplers (with a filter treated with sodium bisulphate), the same filters with an active sampling device, and the measurement of fine particles' active surface by unipolar diffusion charging. Settings were selected where either high or low ETS concentrations were expected and where non-smokers would have to stay or at least to pass by. Highest ETS concentrations were found in discos (mean nicotine concentration 154.4 maximum 487.1 microg/m3) and intermediate concentrations in restaurants with no significant difference between smoking (21.3 +/- 6.1 microg/m3) and non-smoking areas (23.3 +/- 15.9 microg/m3) but on average higher values in restaurants with no separation between smoking and non-smoking areas (38.0 +/- 60.6 microg/m3). Concentrations usually below 10 microg/m3 were found in transport facilities (8.9 +/- 8.0 microg/m3, maximum 20.6 in the restaurant section of a railway station's waiting room) and in schools (3.0 +/- 4.6 microg/m3). In hospitals "problem spots" were sought and so concentrations from very low to as high as 45.1 microg/m3 next to a smoking area with no physical barrier or separation and 47.7 microg/m3 inside a smoking room could be documented (21.4 +/- 39.3 microg/m3). The fine particle's surface correlated well with the nicotine concentration (r = 0.8; p < 0.001). Only in one instance (in a pizza restaurant on a busy road with heavy duty diesel traffic and the sampling spot next to the pizza stove) high concentration of fine particles was detected without high nicotine. Tobacco smoke is a key source of indoor fine particles. Health policy must intervene to change the situation found at present in many public places in Austria.

  2. Non-Linear Analysis Indicates Chaotic Dynamics and Reduced Resilience in Model-Based Daphnia Populations Exposed to Environmental Stress

    PubMed Central

    Ottermanns, Richard; Szonn, Kerstin; Preuß, Thomas G.; Roß-Nickoll, Martina

    2014-01-01

    In this study we present evidence that anthropogenic stressors can reduce the resilience of age-structured populations. Enhancement of disturbance in a model-based Daphnia population lead to a repression of chaotic population dynamics at the same time increasing the degree of synchrony between the population's age classes. Based on the theory of chaos-mediated survival an increased risk of extinction was revealed for this population exposed to high concentrations of a chemical stressor. The Lyapunov coefficient was supposed to be a useful indicator to detect disturbance thresholds leading to alterations in population dynamics. One possible explanation could be a discrete change in attractor orientation due to external disturbance. The statistical analysis of Lyapunov coefficient distribution is proposed as a methodology to test for significant non-linear effects of general disturbance on populations. Although many new questions arose, this study forms a theoretical basis for a dynamical definition of population recovery. PMID:24809537

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-28

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

  4. Sulphate and arsenate minerals as environmental indicators in the weathering zones of selected ore deposits, Western Sudetes, Poland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parafiniuk, Jan; Siuda, Rafał; Borkowski, Andrzej

    2016-09-01

    The results of a complex investigation of the sulphate and arsenate assemblages forming in the weathering zone of selected ore deposits in the Sudetes are presented. The development of the weathering zone has been characterised in the polymetallic ore deposits at Miedzianka-Ciechanowice and Radzimowice, and the pyrite deposit at Wieściszowice, which differ in the chemical compositions of the ore and barren minerals and the hydrological conditions. Secondary sulphate and arsenate mineral assemblages vary significantly among the ore deposits under study. Their crystallization is discussed, taking into consideration the stability of particular minerals and the paths of their transformation. It is shown that these minerals have great potential as indicators of weathering processes. A significant role for microorganisms in the formation of the weathering zone of the ore deposits under study is also proven.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2002-01-01

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

  6. Tracers and constituents indicating the nature of organic fluxes, their origin and the effect of environmental conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gadel, F.; Puigbó, A.; Alcan˜iz, J. M.; Charrière, B.; Serve, L.

    1990-09-01

    The nature of particulate organic matter was studied in suspended material sampled by bottles, particles collected by sediment traps and deposits from deltaic and open sea ecosystems of the northwestern Mediterranean. Elemental analyses were combined with pyrolysis-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and with analysis of individual compounds such as phenols separated by high-performance liquid chromatography. In the Rhoˆne delta, a multilayered system was observed. The surficial turbid layer was enriched with fresh material of river origin. Organic matter was more altered and richer in phenols in the bottom nepheloid layer. The river regime determined the nature and quantity of suspended material: when in spate, degraded organic matter previously deposited in the river bed was transported to the sea, thereby inducing an increase of pyrolysis derived aromatic hydrocarbons. On the other hand, phenolic aldehydes increased in the bottom nepheloid layer. When water level was low, organic matter seemed to be of more local origin. The content of phenols and nitrogen-containing compounds increased. The influence of the Rhoˆne River decreased off the mouth, when terrestrial markers were diluted by products deriving from phytoplanktonic activity. Compared with suspended material, trapped organic matter was coarser, more degraded and contained more aromatic hydrocarbons. It was different in nature and size, indicating that it was trapped over a longer period. Deposits contained altered organic matter resulting from degrading processes in the water column. Sediments showed a double trend off the mouth of the river; an increase in nitrogen-containing compounds, indicating a more marine character, and a decrease in phenols and carbohydrates deriving from the terrestrial ligno-cellulosic complex. In the southwestern part of the Gulf of Lions, in the Teˆt prodelta, organic matter from sediment traps was fresher than in the Rhoˆne delta. Phenols and some carbohydrates rapidly

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1987-04-01

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

  9. Earth Observation and Indicators Pertaining to Determinants of Health- An Approach to Support Local Scale Characterization of Environmental Determinants of Vector-Borne Diseases

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kotchi, Serge Olivier; Brazeau, Stephanie; Ludwig, Antoinette; Aube, Guy; Berthiaume, Pilippe

    2016-08-01

    Environmental determinants (EVDs) were identified as key determinant of health (DoH) for the emergence and re-emergence of several vector-borne diseases. Maintaining ongoing acquisition of data related to EVDs at local scale and for large regions constitutes a significant challenge. Earth observation (EO) satellites offer a framework to overcome this challenge. However, EO image analysis methods commonly used to estimate EVDs are time and resource consuming. Moreover, variations of microclimatic conditions combined with high landscape heterogeneity limit the effectiveness of climatic variables derived from EO. In this study, we present what are DoH and EVDs, the impacts of EVDs on vector-borne diseases in the context of global environmental change, the need to characterize EVDs of vector-borne diseases at local scale and its challenges, and finally we propose an approach based on EO images to estimate at local scale indicators pertaining to EVDs of vector-borne diseases.

  10. [Study of self-reported health of people living near point sources of environmental pollution: a review. First part: health indicators].

    PubMed

    Daniau, C; Dor, F; Eilstein, D; Lefranc, A; Empereur-Bissonnet, P; Dab, W

    2013-08-01

    Epidemiological studies have investigated the health impacts of local sources of environmental pollution using as an outcome variable self-reported health, reflecting the overall perception interviewed people have of their own health. This work aims at analyzing the advantages and the results of this approach. A first step focused on describing the indicators. The literature on indicators of self-reported health was reviewed, leading to a discussion on data collection, selection of health effects, data processing, and construction of indicators. The literature review concerned 51 articles. The use of self-reported health indicators allowed the studies to take into account the health concerns and complaints of populations exposed to environmental pollution. Various indicators of self-reported health were used in the studies. They measured physical, psychological and general dimensions of health. Standardized questionnaires were used less often than ad hoc questionnaires (78% of studies) developed to fit the needs of a given study. Three standardized questionnaires were used more frequently: the MOS Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36) to measure general health perceptions, the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ), and the Symptoms Checklist (SCL-90) to measure psychological distress. The choice of self-reported health indicators is a compromise between specificity of the studied health issues within a given environment and standardization of the questionnaires used to measure them. Such standardization is necessary to ensure the validity and the reliability of the information collected across time and situations. The psychometric properties of the measuring questionnaires are rarely estimated or verified when they are used. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2002-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Implementation of compulsory hazard analysis critical control point system and its effect on concentrations of carcass and environmental surface bacterial indicators in United Kingdom red meat slaughterhouses.

    PubMed

    Hutchison, Michael L; Thomas, D John I; Small, Alison H; Buncic, Sava; Howell, Mary

    2007-07-01

    Statutory microbiological test results were collected from British meat plants over a 4-year period from June 2002 to May 2006. A total of 49,074 carcass test results from 19,409 cattle, 14,706 sheep, and 14,959 pig swabs and 95,179 environmental test results from surface swabs were obtained. These test results were donated by 94 slaughterhouses, which process about two thirds of the British national annual throughput of cattle, sheep, and pig carcasses. The data were collectively analyzed to determine any historical trends for numbers of total aerobes and Enterobacteriaceae. Significant reductions were observed in the numbers of indicator organisms on carcasses for all three species between 2002 and 2006. Reductions were also observed for numbers of aerobes on environmental and food contact surfaces. There were seasonal differences in bacterial numbers isolated from carcasses. Cattle and sheep carcasses had significantly higher numbers of total aerobes and Enterobacteriaceae in late summer and early autumn, whereas numbers of total aerobes on pig carcasses were higher in winter. Bacterial numbers on environmental surfaces were not influenced by the month that the swab samples were collected. Possible reasons for the observed reductions in bacterial numbers on carcasses and surfaces and the implications for carcass testing for process control purposes are discussed.

  14. Assessing environmental health using ecological indices for soft bottom in sewage-affected rocky shores: The case of the largest seaside resort of SW Atlantic.

    PubMed

    Garaffo, G V; Jaubet, M L; Becherucci, M E; Elías, R

    2017-02-15

    Efficient ecological indices can reflect the differences between impacted and nonimpacted sites, leading to significant variations at the contamination spatial scale. Here, we evaluated the spatial-temporal variability of 3 ecological indices (AMBI, M-AMBI, and BENTIX) in response to the distinct levels of sewage contamination. The indices were evaluated in two different ways: including Brachidontes rodriguezii (IBR) and excluding B. rodriguezii (EBR). The fact that mussel beds create a secondary infaunal habitat allows us to test these indices for soft bottoms in areas with rocky bottoms. The effectiveness and the level of agreement of these indices were increased when they were calculated with EBR. BENTIX and M-AMBI produced under- and overestimations of the ecological status of the studied sites. AMBI (EBR) seems to be better suited for environmental quality assessment in the study area. This index reduces the processing time of samples; thus, the AMBI (EBR) index could be used as a robust management tool for monitoring programs in areas with hard substrate.

  15. Assessment of environmental injustice in Korea using synthetic air quality index and multiple indicators of socioeconomic status: A cross-sectional study.

    PubMed

    Choi, Giehae; Heo, Seulkee; Lee, Jong-Tae

    2016-01-01

    Despite the existence of the universal right to a healthy environment, the right is being violated in some populations. The objective of the current study is to verify environmental discrimination associated with socioeconomic status in Korea, using synthetic air quality index and multiple indicators of socioeconomic status. The concentrations of NO₂(nitrogen dioxide), CO (carbon monoxide), SO₂(sulfur dioxide), PM10 (particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter <10 μm), and O₃(ozone) in ambient air were integrated into a synthetic air quality index. Socioeconomic status was measured at individual level (income, education, number of household members, occupation, and National Basic Livelihood status) and area level (neighborhood index). The neighborhood index was calculated in the finest administrative unit (municipality) by performing standardization and integration of municipality-level data of the following: number of families receiving National Basic Livelihood, proportion of people engaged in an elementary occupation, population density, and number of service industries. Each study participant was assigned a neighborhood index value of the municipality in which they reside. Six regression models were generated to analyze the relationship between socioeconomic status and overall air pollution. All models were adjusted with sex, age, and smoking status. Stratification was conducted by residency (urban/rural). Moran's I was calculated to identify spatial clusters, and adjusted regression analysis was conducted to account for spatial autocorrelation. Results showed that people with higher neighborhood index, people living with smaller number of family members, and people with no education lived in municipalities with better overall air quality. The association differed by residency in some cases, and consideration of spatial autocorrelation altered the association. This study gives strength to the idea that environmental discrimination exists in some

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-06-01

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

  17. Microbial Communities as Environmental Indicators of Ecological Disturbance in Restored Carbonate Fen-Results of 10 Years of Studies.

    PubMed

    Mieczan, Tomasz; Tarkowska-Kukuryk, Monika

    2017-08-01

    Interactions between bacteria and protists are essential to the ecosystem ecology of fens. Until now, however, there has been almost no information on how restoration procedures in carbonate fens affect the functioning of microbial food webs. Changes in vegetation patterns resulting from restoration may take years to be observed, whereas microbial processes display effects even after short-term exposure to changes in environmental conditions caused by restoration. Therefore, microbial processes and patterns can be used as sensitive indicators of changes in environmental conditions. The present study attempts to verify the hypothesis that the species richness and abundance of microbial loop components would differ substantially before and after restoration. The effect of restoration processes on the functioning of the food web was investigated for a 10 years in a carbonate-rich fen, before and after restoration. The restoration procedure (particularly the improvement in hydrological conditions) distinctly modified the taxonomic composition and functioning of microbial food webs. This is reflected in the increased abundance and diversity of testate amoeba, i.e. top predators, within the microbial food web and in the pronounced increase in the abundance of bacteria. This study suggests potential use of microbial loop components as bio-indicators and bio-monitoring tools for hydrological status of fens and concentrations of nutrients. Better understanding of what regulates microbial populations and activity in fens and unravelling of these fundamental mechanisms are particularly critical in order to more accurately predict how fens will respond to global change or anthropogenic disturbances.

  18. Rapid detection of ciprofloxacin effects on Fusarium graminearum and F. avenaceum cells in modulating environmental pH using a reactive, non-toxic food-dye indicator.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Xiakun; Goh, Yit Kheng; Low, Nicholas; Vujanovic, Vladimir

    2011-09-01

    The objective of the study was to assess the effect of ciprofloxacin antibiotic on the physiological or phenotypic characteristics of food-borne toxigenic Fusarium graminearum and F. avenaceum molds under in vitro conditions. In the presence of ciprofloxacin, Fusarium mycelia growth and morphology were altered based on the antibiotic concentration range used. Results showed that ciprofloxacin in concentrations ≥40μg/mL induced chlamydospore formation in Fusaria and as such, this antibiotic should be considered as an important abiotic stress factor and growth inhibitor. A novel method was investigated to correlate chlamydospore formation with the colour changes observed in FD&C Green Number 3, a common water soluble food dye. The antibiotic-treated F. graminearum and F. avenaceum isolates produced chamydospores, which in turn altered environmental pH with concomitant changes in the colour and intensity of the dye. The colour changes observed as a function of environmental pH were supported by instrumental methods (pH meter and spectroscopy), and a commercial pH indicator (thymol blue) results. In conclusion, we propose that FD&C Green Number 3 can be used as an accurate indicator for the rapid assessment of Fusarium molds when grown on ciprofloxacin antibiotic-containing substrate. Special emphasis should be given to an indirect risk assessment of antibiotic effects on toxic molds.

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

    PubMed

    Oliveira, Cristiana; Vilares, Pedro; Guilhermino, Lúcia

    2015-04-01

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

  20. [Nonattendance to medical specialists’ appointments and its relation to regional environmental and socioeconomic indicators in the Chilean public health system].

    PubMed

    Rebolledo, Elizabeth Angélica Salinas; Mesía, Rolando De la Cruz; Silva, Gabriel Bastías

    2014-10-16

    Medical care provided by medical specialists is one of the scarcest resources in the public system. It is costly and difficult to access for the general population. Availability and accessibility of specialized care is related to economic, social and cultural aspects that vary among geographical areas. An aggravating factor for this situation is patients’ failure to appear on the date of their appointment, which is defined as the nonattendance of patients to medical specialist appointments without notice. To measure and analyze the phenomenon of nonattendance of patients to medical appointments with specialists in the public healthcare system of Chile and its relationship with environmental and socioeconomic regional indicators. Ecological design study, using medical care records in the public system and environmental and socioeconomic regional indicators potentially related to the absence of patients, between the years 2005-2010. Poisson regression models with random components were used for assessing associations. There is 16.5% of nonattendance of patients, with a range between regions from 8.8 to 20.2%. Nonattendance is higher in the specialties of dermatology, geriatrics and nutrition (20.0%), in children (3.1% more than in adults), in areas with highest indigenous population (RR=1.3), in areas with low diversity of specialties (RR=1.1) and in the months of February, July, November and December (RR>1.1). In Chile, socioeconomic factors and the management of healthcare resources have greater influence on the nonattendance of patients to medical specialists’ appointments than environmental factors; therefore, this phenomenon may be avoidable.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-02-01

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

  2. [Relation of socioeconomic and environmental indicators to the nutritional status of preschool children in a community of Sierra Norte de Puebla, México].

    PubMed

    Pérez-Gil, S E; Cifuentes, E

    1986-03-01

    A brief discussión on "the social" approach in nutritional research is presented. The relevance that socioeconomic factors have acquired in recent years for this type of studies, is also discussed. The main purpose of our communication was to identify and validate some socioeconomic and environmental indicators and their association with the nutritional status of preschool children in a Mexican indigenous community (Sierra Norte de Puebla). A total of 89 children below five years of age were studied and classified according to their nutritional status. A socioeconomic questionnaire was applied to their parents. Results revealed ample correlation between the degree of malnutrition of the preschool child and the following indicators: housing conditions, father's main occupation, land tenure, income, etc. It is argued that the analysis of these indicators is relevant, emphasizing the importance that the combination of anthropometrical, food consumption and socioeconomic data have for detecting population groups vulnerable to malnutrition. The obtention of these indicators is therefore highly recommended, but should not imply great obstacles; on the contrary, they should be highly sensitive and easy to detect.

  3. Check dam sediments: an important indicator of the effects of environmental changes on soil erosion in the Loess Plateau in China.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yafeng; Chen, Liding; Fu, Bojie; Lü, Yihe

    2014-07-01

    Check dam sediments document the process of soil erosion for a watershed. The main objectives of this research are as follows: first, to determine whether the sediments trapped in check dams can provide useful information about local erosion and the environment, and second, to obtain the extent to which they can be stratigraphically interpreted and correlated to the land use history of an area controlled by check dams. Particle size and the concentration of (137)Cs in sediments are the indicators used to study the effects of environmental changes on soil erosion in the Loess Plateau, China. A total of 216 soil samples were collected from four sediment profile cores at the Yangjuangou watershed check dam constructed in 1955 and fully silted with sediments by 1965. The results indicated that (137)Cs dating and sediment particle size can characterize the sediment deposition process. Silt makes up more than 50 % of the sediment; both the clay and silt sediment fractions decrease gradually in the upstream direction. The sediment profiles are characterized by three depositional layers. These layers suggest changes in the land use. The top layer showed tillage disturbance, with moderate sediments and new soil mixed from 0 to 20 cm. A transition stage from wetlands (characterized by vegetation such as bulrush) to cropland is inferred from sediments at depths of 20-85 cm. Below 85 cm, sedimentary layering is obvious and there is no tillage disturbance. At the downstream site, A0, the average rate of sediment deposition from 1958 to 1963 was approximately 6,125.4 t year(-1) km(-2). Because of their high time resolution, check dam sediments indicate the effects of environmental changes on soil erosion, and they can provide a multiyear record of the soil erosion evolution at the local scale in the middle reaches of the Yellow River.

  4. Fluctuating asymmetry rather than oxidative stress in Bufo raddei can be an accurate indicator of environmental pollution induced by heavy metals.

    PubMed

    Guo, Rui; Zhang, Wenya; Ai, Shiwei; Ren, Liang; Zhang, Yingmei

    2017-06-01

    Oxidative stress (OS) and fluctuating asymmetry (FA) as risk markers for environmental stress are widely used to predict changes in the health and fitness of many animals exposed to pollutants. However, from the perspective of protecting declining amphibians, it remains to be verified which one would be a reliable indicator for amphibians exposed to long-term heavy metal pollution under natural conditions. In this study, the OS and FA of Bufo raddei exposed to natural heavy metal pollution were analyzed to determine which marker is more accurate for indicating heavy metal-induced stress. Three years of data were collected during the breeding season of B. raddei from Baiyin (BY), which has been mainly contaminated with Cu, Zn, Pb, and Cd compounds for a long period, and from Liujiaxia (LJX), which is a relatively unpolluted area. Unexpectedly, although significant accumulation of the four heavy metals was found in the kidney and liver of B. raddei from BY, the levels of superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, and malondialdehyde in these two organs were found to be irregular, with low repeatability in both BY and LJX. However, significant differences in the levels of FA were observed in B. raddei populations from these two areas over the past 3 years (P < 0.01). The degrees of FA in B. raddei populations from BY and LJX were assessed as degree 4 and 1, respectively. In short, this study suggested that FA was a more reliable and effective indicator than OS to monitor and predict long-term environmental stress on anuran amphibians.

  5. The Relationship between Personality Dimensions and Resiliency to Environmental Stress in Orange-Winged Amazon Parrots (Amazona amazonica), as Indicated by the Development of Abnormal Behaviors.

    PubMed

    Cussen, Victoria A; Mench, Joy A

    2015-01-01

    Parrots are popular companion animals, but are frequently relinquished because of behavioral problems, including abnormal repetitive behaviors like feather damaging behavior and stereotypy. In addition to contributing to pet relinquishment, these behaviors are important as potential indicators of diminished psychological well-being. While abnormal behaviors are common in captive animals, their presence and/or severity varies between animals of the same species that are experiencing the same environmental conditions. Personality differences could contribute to this observed individual variation, as they are known risk factors for stress sensitivity and affective disorders in humans. The goal of this study was to assess the relationship between personality and the development and severity of abnormal behaviors in captive-bred orange-winged Amazon parrots (Amazona amazonica). We monitored between-individual behavioral differences in enrichment-reared parrots of known personality types before, during, and after enrichment deprivation. We predicted that parrots with higher scores for neurotic-like personality traits would be more susceptible to enrichment deprivation and develop more abnormal behaviors. Our results partially supported this hypothesis, but also showed that distinct personality dimensions were related to different forms of abnormal behavior. While neuroticism-like traits were linked to feather damaging behavior, extraversion-like traits were negatively related to stereotypic behavior. More extraverted birds showed resiliency to environmental stress, developing fewer stereotypies during enrichment deprivation and showing lower levels of these behaviors following re-enrichment. Our data, together with the results of the few studies conducted on other species, suggest that, as in humans, certain personality types render individual animals more susceptible or resilient to environmental stress. Further, this susceptibility/resiliency can have a long

  6. The Relationship between Personality Dimensions and Resiliency to Environmental Stress in Orange-Winged Amazon Parrots (Amazona amazonica), as Indicated by the Development of Abnormal Behaviors

    PubMed Central

    Cussen, Victoria A.; Mench, Joy A.

    2015-01-01

    Parrots are popular companion animals, but are frequently relinquished because of behavioral problems, including abnormal repetitive behaviors like feather damaging behavior and stereotypy. In addition to contributing to pet relinquishment, these behaviors are important as potential indicators of diminished psychological well-being. While abnormal behaviors are common in captive animals, their presence and/or severity varies between animals of the same species that are experiencing the same environmental conditions. Personality differences could contribute to this observed individual variation, as they are known risk factors for stress sensitivity and affective disorders in humans. The goal of this study was to assess the relationship between personality and the development and severity of abnormal behaviors in captive-bred orange-winged Amazon parrots (Amazona amazonica). We monitored between-individual behavioral differences in enrichment-reared parrots of known personality types before, during, and after enrichment deprivation. We predicted that parrots with higher scores for neurotic-like personality traits would be more susceptible to enrichment deprivation and develop more abnormal behaviors. Our results partially supported this hypothesis, but also showed that distinct personality dimensions were related to different forms of abnormal behavior. While neuroticism-like traits were linked to feather damaging behavior, extraversion-like traits were negatively related to stereotypic behavior. More extraverted birds showed resiliency to environmental stress, developing fewer stereotypies during enrichment deprivation and showing lower levels of these behaviors following re-enrichment. Our data, together with the results of the few studies conducted on other species, suggest that, as in humans, certain personality types render individual animals more susceptible or resilient to environmental stress. Further, this susceptibility/resiliency can have a long

  7. The Environmental ``Risky'' Region: Identifying Land Degradation Processes Through Integration of Socio-Economic and Ecological Indicators in a Multivariate Regionalization Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salvati, Luca; Zitti, Marco

    2009-11-01

    Although several studies have assessed Land Degradation (LD) states in the Mediterranean basin through the use of composite indices, relatively few have evaluated the impact of specific LD drivers at the local scale. In this work, a computational strategy is introduced to define homogeneous areas at risk and the main factors acting as determinants of LD. The procedure consists of three steps and is applied to a set of ten environmental indicators available at the municipality scale in Latium, central Italy. A principal component analysis extracting latent patterns and simplifying data complexity was carried out on the original data matrix. Subsequently, a k-means cluster analysis was applied on a restricted number of meaningful, latent factors extracted by PCA in order to produce a classification of the study area into homogeneous regions. Finally, a stepwise discriminant analysis was performed to determine which indicators contributed the most to the definition of homogeneous regions. Three classes of “risky” regions were identified according to the main drivers of LD acting at the local scale. These include: (i) soil sealing (coupled with landscape fragmentation, fire risk, and related processes), (ii) soil salinization due to agricultural intensification, and (iii) soil erosion due to farmland depopulation and land abandonment in sloping areas. Areas at risk for LD covered 56 and 63% of the investigated areas in 1970 and 2000, respectively.

  8. The environmental "risky" region: identifying land degradation processes through integration of socio-economic and ecological indicators in a multivariate regionalization model.

    PubMed

    Salvati, Luca; Zitti, Marco

    2009-11-01

    Although several studies have assessed Land Degradation (LD) states in the Mediterranean basin through the use of composite indices, relatively few have evaluated the impact of specific LD drivers at the local scale. In this work, a computational strategy is introduced to define homogeneous areas at risk and the main factors acting as determinants of LD. The procedure consists of three steps and is applied to a set of ten environmental indicators available at the municipality scale in Latium, central Italy. A principal component analysis extracting latent patterns and simplifying data complexity was carried out on the original data matrix. Subsequently, a k-means cluster analysis was applied on a restricted number of meaningful, latent factors extracted by PCA in order to produce a classification of the study area into homogeneous regions. Finally, a stepwise discriminant analysis was performed to determine which indicators contributed the most to the definition of homogeneous regions. Three classes of "risky" regions were identified according to the main drivers of LD acting at the local scale. These include: (i) soil sealing (coupled with landscape fragmentation, fire risk, and related processes), (ii) soil salinization due to agricultural intensification, and (iii) soil erosion due to farmland depopulation and land abandonment in sloping areas. Areas at risk for LD covered 56 and 63% of the investigated areas in 1970 and 2000, respectively.

  9. Moving beyond green: exploring the relationship of environment type and indicators of perceived environmental quality on emotional well-being following group walks.

    PubMed

    Marselle, Melissa R; Irvine, Katherine N; Lorenzo-Arribas, Altea; Warber, Sara L

    2014-12-23

    Against the backdrop of increasing interest in the relationship between Nature and health, this study examined the effect of perceived environment type and indicators of perceived environmental quality on short-term emotional well-being following outdoor group walks. Participants (n = 127) of a national group walk program completed pre- and post-walk questionnaires for each walk attended (n = 1009) within a 13-week study period. Multilevel linear modelling was used to examine the main and moderation effects. To isolate the environmental from the physical activity elements, analyses controlled for walk duration and perceived intensity. Analyses revealed that perceived restorativeness and perceived walk intensity predicted greater positive affect and happiness following an outdoor group walk. Perceived restorativeness and perceived bird biodiversity predicted post-walk negative affect. Perceived restorativeness moderated the relationship between perceived naturalness and positive affect. Results suggest that restorative quality of an environment may be an important element for enhancing well-being, and that perceived restorativeness and naturalness of an environment may interact to amplify positive affect. These findings highlight the importance of further research on the contribution of environment type and quality on well-being, and the need to control for effects of physical activity in green exercise research.

  10. Experimental Investigations of the Energy and Environmental Indices of Operation of a Low-Capacity Combined Gas Producer and Hot-Water Boiler

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bodnar, L. A.; Stepanov, D. V.; Dovgal‧, A. N.

    2015-07-01

    It has been shown that the introduction of combined gas producers and boilers on renewable energy sources is a pressing issue. A structural diagram of a low-capacity combined gas producer and boiler on renewable energy sources has been given; a bench and procedures for investigation and processing of results have been developed. Experimental investigations of the energy and environmental indices of a 40-kW combined gas producer and hotwater boiler burning wood have been carried out. Results of the experimental investigations have been analyzed. Distinctive features have been established and a procedure of thermal calculation of the double furnace of a lowcapacity combined gas producer and boiler burning solid fuel has been proposed. The calculated coefficients of heat transfer from the gases in the convection bank have been compared with the obtained experimental results. A calculation dependence for the heat transfer from the gases in convection banks of low-capacity hot-water boilers has been proposed. The quantities of harmful emissions from the combined gas producer and boiler on renewable energy sources have been compared with the existing Ukrainian and foreign standards. It has been established that the environmental efficiency of the boiler under study complies with most of the standard requirements of European countries.

  11. Large-Scale Glycomics of Livestock: Discovery of Highly Sensitive Serum Biomarkers Indicating an Environmental Stress Affecting Immune Responses and Productivity of Holstein Dairy Cows.

    PubMed

    Rehan, Ibrahim F; Ueda, Koichiro; Mitani, Tomohiro; Amano, Maho; Hinou, Hiroshi; Ohashi, Tetsu; Kondo, Seiji; Nishimura, Shin-Ichiro

    2015-12-09

    Because various stresses strongly influence the food productivity of livestock, biomarkers to indicate unmeasurable environmental stress in domestic animals are of increasing importance. Thermal comfort is one of the basic principles of dairy cow welfare that enhances productivity. To discover sensitive biomarkers that monitor such environmental stresses in dairy cows, we herein performed, for the first time, large-scale glycomics on 336 lactating Holstein cow serum samples over 9 months between February and October. Glycoblotting combined with MALDI-TOF/MS and DMB/HPLC allowed for comprehensive glycomics of whole serum glycoproteins. The results obtained revealed seasonal alterations in serum N-glycan levels and their structural characteristics, such as an increase in high-mannose type N-glycans in spring, the occurrence of di/triantennary complex type N-glycans terminating with two or three Neu5Gc residues in summer and autumn, and N-glycans in winter dominantly displaying Neu5Ac. A multivariate analysis revealed a correlation between the serum expression levels of these season-specific glycoforms and productivity.

  12. Aqueous and lipid nuclear magnetic resonance metabolomic profiles of the earthworm Aporrectodea caliginosa show potential as an indicator species for environmental metabolomics.

    PubMed

    Brown, Jeffrey N; Samuelsson, Linda; Bernardi, Giuliana; Gooneratne, Ravi; Larsson, D G Joakim

    2014-10-01

    The common pasture earthworm Aporrectodea caliginosa has often been neglected in environmental metabolomics in favor of species easily bred in the laboratory. The present study assigns aqueous metabolites in A. caliginosa using high-resolution 1- and 2-dimensional nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. In total, 51 aqueous metabolites were identified, including typical amino acids (alanine, leucine, asparagine, phenylalanine), sugars (maltose, glucose), the dominant earthworm-specific 2-hexyl-5-ethyl-furansulfonate, and several previously unreported metabolites (oxoglutarate, putrescine). Examining the lesser-known earthworm lipid metabolome showed various lipid fatty acyl chains, cholesterol, and phosphatidylcholine. To briefly test if the NMR metabolomic techniques could differentiate A. caliginosa from different sites, earthworms were collected from 2 adjacent farms. Orthogonal partial least squares discriminant analysis detected metabolomic differences, suggesting the worms from the 2 sites differed in their energy metabolism, as indicated by altered levels of alanine, glutamine, glutamate, malate, fumarate, and lipids. Evidence of greater utilization of lipid energy reserves and onset of protein catabolism was also present. While the precise cause of the metabolomic differences could not be determined, the results show the potential of this species for further environmental metabolomic studies.

  13. CO{sub 2} exchange environmental productivity indices, and productivity of agaves and cacti under current and elevated atmospheric CO{sub 2} concentrations. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Nobel, P.S.

    1994-12-31

    The research described in the proposal investigated net CO{sub 2} uptake and biomass accumulation for an extremely productive CAM plant, the prickly pear cactus Opuntia ficus-indica, under conditions of elevated CO{sub 2} concentrations for relatively long periods. The influences of soil water status, air temperature, and the photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) on net CO{sub 2} uptake over 24-h periods were evaluated to enable predictions to be made based on an Environmental Productivity Index (EPI). Specifically, EPI predicts the fraction of maximal daily net CO{sub 2} uptake based on prevailing environmental conditions. It is the product of indices for temperature, soil water, and intercepted PPF, each of which range from 0.00 when that index factor completely inhibits net CO{sub 2} uptake to 1.00 when no limitation occurs. For instance, the Water Index is 1.00 under wet conditions and decreases to 0.00 during prolonged drought. Although the major emphasis of the research was on net C0{sub 2} uptake and the resulting biomass production for O. ficus-indica, effects of elevated CO{sub 2} concentrations on root: shoot ratios and on the activities of the two carboxylating enzymes were also investigated. Moreover, experiments were also done on other CAM plants, including Agave deserti, Agave salmiana, and Hylocereus undatus, and Stenocereus queretaroensis.

  14. CO{sub 2} exchange, environmental productivity indices, and productivity of Agaves and Cacti under current and elevated atmospheric CO{sub 2} concentrations. Terminal report

    SciTech Connect

    1995-06-01

    The research described in the proposal investigated net CO{sub 2} uptake and biomass accumulation for an extremely productive CAM plant, the prickly pear cactus Opuntia ficus-indica, under conditions of elevated CO{sub 2} concentrations for relatively long periods. The influences of soil water status, air temperature, and the photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) on net CO{sub 2} uptake over 24-h periods were evaluated to enable predictions to be made based on an Environmental Productivity Index (EPI). Specifically, EPI predicts the fraction of maximal daily net CO{sub 2} uptake based on prevailing environmental conditions. It is the product of indices for temperature, soil water, and intercepted PPF, each of which range from 0.00 when that index factor completely inhibits net CO{sub 2} uptake to 1.00 when no limitation occurs. For instance, the Water Index is 1.00 under wet conditions and decreases to 0.00 during prolonged drought. Although the major emphasis of the research was on net CO{sub 2} uptake and the resulting biomass production for O. ficus-indica, effects of elevated CO{sub 2} concentrations on root: shoot ratios and on the activities of the two carboxylating enzymes were also investigated. Moreover, experiments were also done on other CAM plants, including Agave deserti, Agave salmiana, and Hylocereus undatus, and Stenocereus queretaroensis.

  15. Moving beyond Green: Exploring the Relationship of Environment Type and Indicators of Perceived Environmental Quality on Emotional Well-Being following Group Walks

    PubMed Central

    Marselle, Melissa R.; Irvine, Katherine N.; Lorenzo-Arribas, Altea; Warber, Sara L.

    2014-01-01

    Against the backdrop of increasing interest in the relationship between Nature and health, this study examined the effect of perceived environment type and indicators of perceived environmental quality on short-term emotional well-being following outdoor group walks. Participants (n = 127) of a national group walk program completed pre- and post-walk questionnaires for each walk attended (n = 1009) within a 13-week study period. Multilevel linear modelling was used to examine the main and moderation effects. To isolate the environmental from the physical activity elements, analyses controlled for walk duration and perceived intensity. Analyses revealed that perceived restorativeness and perceived walk intensity predicted greater positive affect and happiness following an outdoor group walk. Perceived restorativeness and perceived bird biodiversity predicted post-walk negative affect. Perceived restorativeness moderated the relationship between perceived naturalness and positive affect. Results suggest that restorative quality of an environment may be an important element for enhancing well-being, and that perceived restorativeness and naturalness of an environment may interact to amplify positive affect. These findings highlight the importance of further research on the contribution of environment type and quality on well-being, and the need to control for effects of physical activity in green exercise research. PMID:25546275

  16. Season, Transport Duration and Trailer Compartment Effects on Blood Stress Indicators in Pigs: Relationship to Environmental, Behavioral and Other Physiological Factors, and Pork Quality Traits

    PubMed Central

    Sommavilla, Roberta; Faucitano, Luigi; Gonyou, Harold; Seddon, Yolande; Bergeron, Renée; Widowski, Tina; Crowe, Trever; Connor, Laurie; Scheeren, Marina Bergoli; Goumon, Sébastien; Brown, Jennifer

    2017-01-01

    Simple Summary Factors, such as ambient conditions, travel duration and vehicle design/compartment location have an impact on the welfare of pigs during transport, carcass bruises and meat quality. Based on this, we aimed to assess the effects of these factors on blood creatine kinase, lactate and cortisol concentrations in 384 pigs and assess their relationships with trailer temperature, and pigs’ heart rate and gastrointestinal tract temperature, behavior, carcass damage scores and meat quality. Although increased blood cortisol and creatine-kinase levels appear to indicate a physical stress condition in transported pigs, the weak to moderate correlations with environmental and other animal welfare indicators suggest that blood stress parameters can only be used as a complementary measurement in the assessment of the pigs’ response to transport stress. Abstract The objective of this study was to assess the effects of the season, travel duration and trailer compartment location on blood creatine-kinase (CK), lactate and cortisol concentrations in 384 pigs and assess their relationships with trailer temperature, heart rate and gastrointestinal tract temperature (GTT), behavior, carcass damage scores and meat quality. Blood CK was greater in pigs transported in summer (p = 0.02), after 18 h transportation (p < 0.001) and in pigs located in C4, C5 and C10 (p = 0.002). In winter, the concentration of blood lactate was higher (p = 0.04) in pigs transported for 6 h in C5. Pigs located in C10 showed higher (p = 0.01) concentration of cortisol than those transported for 18h in C4 in summer. The highest correlations were between blood cortisol and GTT (r = 0.53; p < 0.001), and between blood CK and GTT (r = 0.41; p < 0.001), truck temperature (r = 0.42; p < 0.001), and pHu in the longissimus muscle (r = 0.41; p < 0.001). In conclusion, although increased blood cortisol and CK levels appear to indicate a physical stress condition in transported pigs, the weak to

  17. A Conserved Core of Programmed Cell Death Indicator Genes Discriminates Developmentally and Environmentally Induced Programmed Cell Death in Plants1[OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Van Bel, Michiel; Van Hautegem, Tom; Fendrych, Matyáš; Simaskova, Maria; van Durme, Matthias; Buscaill, Pierre; Rivas, Susana; S. Coll, Nuria; Maere, Steven

    2015-01-01

    A plethora of diverse programmed cell death (PCD) processes has been described in living organisms. In animals and plants, different forms of PCD play crucial roles in development, immunity, and responses to the environment. While the molecular control of some animal PCD forms such as apoptosis is known in great detail, we still know comparatively little about the regulation of the diverse types of plant PCD. In part, this deficiency in molecular understanding is caused by the lack of reliable reporters to detect PCD processes. Here, we addressed this issue by using a combination of bioinformatics approaches to identify commonly regulated genes during diverse plant PCD processes in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). Our results indicate that the transcriptional signatures of developmentally controlled cell death are largely distinct from the ones associated with environmentally induced cell death. Moreover, different cases of developmental PCD share a set of cell death-associated genes. Most of these genes are evolutionary conserved within the green plant lineage, arguing for an evolutionary conserved core machinery of developmental PCD. Based on this information, we established an array of specific promoter-reporter lines for developmental PCD in Arabidopsis. These PCD indicators represent a powerful resource that can be used in addition to established morphological and biochemical methods to detect and analyze PCD processes in vivo and in planta. PMID:26438786

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

    PubMed

    Kalkan, Samet; Altuğ, Gülşen

    2015-06-15

    In this study bio-indicator bacteria and environmental variable parameters were investigated in the coastal areas of the Güllük Bay, Aegean Sea, Turkey. The seawater samples which were taken from surface (0-30cm) were tested regarding total and fecal coliform, streptococci and nutrients from May to February in 2012-2013. The primary hydrographic parameters were recorded using multiparameter (YSI 556) in situ at the sampling stations. The highest fecal pollution stress and indicator bacteria values were observed in the period between June and August. The finding showed that bacterial pollution sources of the study area, especially in the summer season, under the control of increasing anthropogenic activities. The finding showed that terrestrial pollution sources carry a potential risk for public and ecosystem health and the sustainable use of living sources. Precautions should be formulated and put into action immediately in order to protect the region from bacteriological risks. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. PAH contamination in Beijing’s topsoil: A unique indicator of the megacity’s evolving energy consumption and overall environmental quality

    PubMed Central

    Li, Jinguo; Zheng, Yi; Luo, Xiaolin; Lin, Zhongrong; Zhang, Wei; Wang, Xuejun

    2016-01-01

    To improve its air quality, Beijing, the capital of China, has implemented high-cost pollution control measures mainly focused on shifting its energy mix. However, the effectiveness of these measures has long been questioned, especially given the recent problem of severe haze. The main study objectives are to achieve independent, although indirect, information on Beijing’s air pollution by measuring the level of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) contamination in topsoil and to examine how soil contamination reflects energy consumption. Soil sampling data from two years, 2004 and 2013, were used. The key findings are as follows: 1) although the total PAH content in the topsoil did not significantly decrease from 2004 to 2013, the composition changed considerably; 2) as of 2013, vehicle emissions replaced coal combustion as the leading source of soil PAHs, which validates the existing policy measures regarding vehicle purchasing and traffic volume; 3) the regional transport of atmospheric pollutants, as indicated by the contribution of coking sources in 2013, is not negligible; and 4) appropriate policy measures are needed to control the growing practice of burning biomass. Overall, this study demonstrates that the PAH contamination in topsoil represents an informative indicator of Beijing’s energy consumption and overall environmental quality. PMID:27633056

  20. Structural features of humic acid of the coastal sediment in Ariake Sea tidelands: use of humic acid as an environmental indicator for river basins and coastal regions.

    PubMed

    Yamauchi, Noriaki; Toyodome, Wakana; Umeda, Kiyomi; Nishida, Noriyoshi; Murae, Tatsushi

    2004-10-01

    The structural features of humic acid (HA) at the sediment surface of the tideland at the Hayatsuegawa-river mouth at the Ariake Sea were investigated for the utilization of HA toward an environmental indicator of the features of the river basin and coastal region. 1H NMR analysis revealed a high-content hydrocarbon residue with a similar type of terrigenous HA. Direct and methylation-pyrolysis-GC analysis suggested the incorporation of long-chain carboxylate in HA in the tidelands. The incorporation of branched-chain carboxylate residues in HA is the result of the microbial decomposition of detritus; these residues could be one of the characteristic structural features of HA in this area, which is rich in biodiversity and microbial activity. Because the structural features of coastal zone HA appear to reveal the characteristics and activities of the biological environment, these findings suggest the possibility of becoming an indicator of the detailed analysis of the structural features of coastal zone HA.

  1. PAH contamination in Beijing’s topsoil: A unique indicator of the megacity’s evolving energy consumption and overall environmental quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Jinguo; Zheng, Yi; Luo, Xiaolin; Lin, Zhongrong; Zhang, Wei; Wang, Xuejun

    2016-09-01

    To improve its air quality, Beijing, the capital of China, has implemented high-cost pollution control measures mainly focused on shifting its energy mix. However, the effectiveness of these measures has long been questioned, especially given the recent problem of severe haze. The main study objectives are to achieve independent, although indirect, information on Beijing’s air pollution by measuring the level of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) contamination in topsoil and to examine how soil contamination reflects energy consumption. Soil sampling data from two years, 2004 and 2013, were used. The key findings are as follows: 1) although the total PAH content in the topsoil did not significantly decrease from 2004 to 2013, the composition changed considerably; 2) as of 2013, vehicle emissions replaced coal combustion as the leading source of soil PAHs, which validates the existing policy measures regarding vehicle purchasing and traffic volume; 3) the regional transport of atmospheric pollutants, as indicated by the contribution of coking sources in 2013, is not negligible; and 4) appropriate policy measures are needed to control the growing practice of burning biomass. Overall, this study demonstrates that the PAH contamination in topsoil represents an informative indicator of Beijing’s energy consumption and overall environmental quality.

  2. Towards validating use of self reported health (SRH) for community-based studies: Impact of environmental chemicals, sociodemographic variables, depression, and clinical indicators of health and nutrition

    EPA Science Inventory

    Environmental health impact assessment (HIA) studies, should consider social, behavioral, nutritional, dietary, environmental exposure and health risk factors at both the individual and community levels. Chemicals measured in blood or urine are often evaluated in relation to one ...

  3. Towards validating use of self reported health (SRH) for community-based studies: Impact of environmental chemicals, sociodemographic variables, depression, and clinical indicators of health and nutrition

    EPA Science Inventory

    Environmental health impact assessment (HIA) studies, should consider social, behavioral, nutritional, dietary, environmental exposure and health risk factors at both the individual and community levels. Chemicals measured in blood or urine are often evaluated in relation to one ...

  4. Utilization of protein expression profiles as indicators of environmental impairment of smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu) from the Shenandoah River, Virginia, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ripley, J.; Iwanowicz, L.; Blazer, V.; Foran, C.

    2008-01-01

    The Shenandoah River (VA, USA), the largest tributary of the Potomac River (MD, USA) and an important source of drinking water, has been the site of extensive fish kills since 2004. Previous investigations indicate environmental stressors may be adversely modulating the immune system of smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu) and other species. Anterior kidney (AK) tissue, the major site of blood cell production in fish, was collected from smallmouth bass at three sites along the Shenandoah River. The tissue was divided for immune function and proteomics analyses. Bactericidal activity and respiratory burst were significantly different between North Fork and mainstem Shenandoah River smallmouth bass, whereas South Fork AK tissue did not significantly differ in either of these measures compared with the other sites. Cytotoxic cell activity was highest among South Fork and lowest among North Fork AK leukocytes. The composite two-dimension gels of the North Fork and mainstem smallmouth bass AK tissues contained 584 and 591 spots, respectively. South Fork smallmouth bass AK expressed only 335 proteins. Nineteen of 50 proteins analyzed by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight were successfully identified. Three of the four identified proteins with increased expression in South Fork AK tissue were involved in metabolism. Seven proteins exclusive to mainstem and North Fork smallmouth bass AK and expressed at comparable abundances serve immune and stress response functions. The proteomics data indicate these fish differ in metabolic capacity of AK tissue and in the ability to produce functional leukocytes. The variable responses of the immune function assays further indicate disruption to the immune system. Our results allow us to hypothesize underlying physiological changes that may relate to fish kills and suggest relevant contaminants known to produce similar physiological disruption. ?? 2008 SETAC.

  5. Utilization of protein expression profiles as indicators of environmental impairment of smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu) from the Shenandoah River, Virginia, USA.

    PubMed

    Ripley, Jennifer; Iwanowicz, Luke; Blazer, Vicki; Foran, Christy

    2008-08-01

    The Shenandoah River (VA, USA), the largest tributary of the Potomac River (MD, USA) and an important source of drinking water, has been the site of extensive fish kills since 2004. Previous investigations indicate environmental stressors may be adversely modulating the immune system of smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu) and other species. Anterior kidney (AK) tissue, the major site of blood cell production in fish, was collected from smallmouth bass at three sites along the Shenandoah River. The tissue was divided for immune function and proteomics analyses. Bactericidal activity and respiratory burst were significantly different between North Fork and mainstem Shenandoah River smallmouth bass, whereas South Fork AK tissue did not significantly differ in either of these measures compared with the other sites. Cytotoxic cell activity was highest among South Fork and lowest among North Fork AK leukocytes. The composite two-dimension gels of the North Fork and mainstem smallmouth bass AK tissues contained 584 and 591 spots, respectively. South Fork smallmouth bass AK expressed only 335 proteins. Nineteen of 50 proteins analyzed by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight were successfully identified. Three of the four identified proteins with increased expression in South Fork AK tissue were involved in metabolism. Seven proteins exclusive to mainstem and North Fork smallmouth bass AK and expressed at comparable abundances serve immune and stress response functions. The proteomics data indicate these fish differ in metabolic capacity of AK tissue and in the ability to produce functional leukocytes. The variable responses of the immune function assays further indicate disruption to the immune system. Our results allow us to hypothesize underlying physiological changes that may relate to fish kills and suggest relevant contaminants known to produce similar physiological disruption.

  6. Assessing the impact of environmental forcing on the condition of anchovy larvae in the Cadiz Gulf using nucleic acid and fatty acid-derived indices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teodósio, M. A.; Garrido, S.; Peters, J.; Leitão, F.; Ré, P.; Peliz, A.; Santos, A. M. P.

    2017-02-01

    Understanding the environmental processes affecting fish larvae survival is critical for population dynamics, conservation purposes and to ecosystem-based fishery management. Using anchovies (Engraulis encrasicolus) of the Cadiz Gulf as a study case and considering the "Ocean Triad" hypothesis, we investigate the larval ecophysiological status and potential survival in relation to oceanographic variables. Therefore, this study aims to describe the nutritional condition of anchovy larvae during spawning season (peak in summer) through nucleic acid- and fatty acid (FA)-derived indices and to analyze the effects of the major environmental parameters (Depth, Temperature, Salinity, Plankton biomass) on anchovy survival potential at early phases. Fish larvae were collected in August from 30 m to 400 m depth at 35 stations off the southern Iberian coast. A previous upwelling event influenced the oceanographic conditions of the more western stations off Cape São Vicente (CSV). Along the coast, the water became warmer from west to the east through Cape Santa Maria (CSM) ending at Guadiana estuary, where easterly winds originated the development of a counter current. The standardized RNA/DNA (sRD) of anchovy larvae decreased throughout larval ontogeny, reflecting a reduction of growth during the development. Essential FA concentrations also decreased, but docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in particular was highly conserved even after the reduction of total FA concentration in anchovy larvae related to the onset of swimming abilities (post-flexion phase). The oceanographic conditions (west upwelling, east counter current, and stratification) led to a nearshore aggregation of plankton and anchovy larvae with good ecophysiological conditions in the central area of the southern coast, where an optimal range of temperature and chlorophyll, as an indirect food proxy for anchovy larval development, were registered. The study proves that the oceanographic conditions of the study area are

  7. Calculation of enviromental indices

    SciTech Connect

    1995-10-01

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

  8. Stable carbon isotope of black carbon in lake sediments as an indicator of terrestrial environmental changes: an evaluation on paleorecord from Daihai Lake, Inner Mongolia, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cui, L.; Wang, X.

    2012-12-01

    We measured the carbon isotope ratio of black carbon (BC) from the Daihai Lake sediment core (DH99a) in north-central China with an objective to examine the effectiveness and sensitivity of the δ13C values of BC (δ13CBC) as a potential indicator of terrestrial environmental changes. We first performed a statistical study on the available data regarding carbon isotope fractionation (CIF) during the conversion of C3 and C4 vegetation to BC and observed that the mean CIF for BC produced from C3 plants is -0.2‰, whereas that for BC from C4 plants is -1.5‰. This result provides a solid reference for reconstructing vegetation and environmental changes using the δ13CBC values. The δ13CBC record in the DH99a sediment core spanning the last ca 10,000 years displayed large variations from -23.69‰ to -29.18‰, which suggests that C3 plants dominantly occupied the Daihai Lake region during the Holocene. The most negative δ13CBC peaks coincided with high values of tree percentages and grain sizes, which occurred under relatively wetter climatic conditions during the middle Holocene (ca 6500-3200 cal. yr BP) and an interval between 1700 and 1350 cal. yr BP. In contrast, the least negative δ13CBC values corresponded to low values of tree percentages and grain sizes during relatively drier phases of the early and late Holocene. The negative correlation of the δ13CBC values with the tree percentages and grain sizes was thought to reflect a negative correlation of the δ13CBC values with the monsoon precipitation. This correlation is consistent with the response of carbon isotope in modern C3 plants to precipitation in north China. Therefore, we developed a computational model to reconstruct the changes in annual precipitation over the Daihai Lake region using the δ13CBC values. The results indicated that the annual precipitation was highly variable, ranging from 220 mm lower to 280 mm higher than present during the middle Holocene, whereas the annual precipitation

  9. Human impact, geomorphological and bio-environmental indicators for mapping and monitoring of a Mediterranean urban-beach with Posidonia oceanica (Gulf of Cagliari-Sardinia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Muro, Sandro; Pusceddu, Nicola; Frongia, Paolo; Buosi, Carla; Passarella, Marinella; Ibba, Angelo

    2016-04-01

    This work describes the human conditioned evolution (medium term) and the short term dynamics (mainly sediment transport) in southern Sardinia beach (between Giorgino and Cala d'Orri, about 11km), composed of fine to coarse quartz sand, backed by dune ridges and lagoons. The study was founded by NEPTUNE Project, Tender6 (L n. 7/2007). Geomorphological and bio-environmental indicators as: urbanization and coastal defence expansion, dune and beach changes, biotic indices (benthic foraminifera and Posidonia meadow) have been used. Medium-term evolution, over a period of 60 years, was carried out by ortho-images (1954-2015) for reconstructing coastline changes at this temporal scale. The main modifications were the building of the canal harbor, the consequent loss of 2.5km of beach, and the construction of several coastal defense structures, which caused asymmetric accumulations (lee zones) and erosion areas. Short-term variations have been periodically monitored (2014-2015) during 5 different field surveys (DGPS and Echo-sounder data) obtaining topo-bathymetric digital models. Sedimentary and hydrodynamic characteristics have been studied. Wave propagation, coastal currents and sediment transport, have been simulated through numerical models within Delft3D software. The results obtained allowed to visualize the response of the beach to wave stress, forced from SW, S, SE (Cagliari buoy and weather data). The comparison between data collected, thematic maps and models allowed to identify the main controlling factors and distribution mechanisms of the sedimentary paths on the shoreface. Those human modifications (e.g. building of the canal harbour and jetties, lagoon mouths stabilization, the consequent modified hydrodynamics and bottom trawling) have direct influence on the Posidonia oceanica and on its upper limit. In 2002, the Italian Environment Office reported a wide area (between -4m and -20m) of degraded Posidonia and dead matte in front of the study beach

  10. Relationships (II) of International Classification of High-resolution Computed Tomography for Occupational and Environmental Respiratory Diseases with ventilatory functions indices for parenchymal abnormalities.

    PubMed

    Tamura, Taro; Suganuma, Narufumi; Hering, Kurt G; Vehmas, Tapio; Itoh, Harumi; Akira, Masanori; Takashima, Yoshihiro; Hirano, Harukazu; Kusaka, Yukinori

    2015-01-01

    The International Classification of High-Resolution Computed Tomography (HRCT) for Occupational and Environmental Respiratory Diseases (ICOERD) is used to screen and diagnose respiratory illnesses. Using univariate and multivariate analysis, we investigated the relationship between subject characteristics and parenchymal abnormalities according to ICOERD, and the results of ventilatory function tests (VFT). Thirty-five patients with and 27 controls without mineral-dust exposure underwent VFT and HRCT. We recorded all subjects' occupational history for mineral dust exposure and smoking history. Experts independently assessed HRCT using the ICOERD parenchymal abnormalities (Items) grades for well-defined rounded opacities (RO), linear and/or irregular opacities (IR), and emphysema (EM). High-resolution computed tomography showed that 11 patients had RO; 15 patients, IR; and 19 patients, EM. According to the multiple regression model, age and height had significant associations with many indices ventilatory functions such as vital capacity, forced vital capacity, and forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1). The EM summed grades on the upper, middle, and lower zones of the right and left lungs also had significant associations with FEV1 and the maximum mid-expiratory flow rate. The results suggest the ICOERD notation is adequate based on the good and significant multiple regression modeling of ventilatory function with the EM summed grades.

  11. Exposure to persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and DNA damage as an indicator of environmental stress in fish of different feeding habits of Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, Mexico.

    PubMed

    González-Mille, Donaji J; Ilizaliturri-Hernández, César A; Espinosa-Reyes, Guillermo; Costilla-Salazar, Rogelio; Díaz-Barriga, Fernando; Ize-Lema, Irina; Mejía-Saavedra, Jesús

    2010-10-01

    The region of Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz hosts one of the largest and most important industrial areas of Mexico and Latin America. Industrial development and rapid population growth, have triggered a severe impact on aquatic ecosystems of the region. The aim of this study was to determine the levels of POPs in sediment and in muscle tissue of five fish species from different trophic levels in downstream residents of the Coatzacoalcos River, and their integration with DNA damage in the fish, evaluated with the comet assay in whole blood as a biological indicator of stress, in order to obtain a baseline of the ecological condition of the region. The compounds detected in sediment and in muscle tissue were hexachlorobenzene (HCB), α-, β-, γ-hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH), dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE), mirex and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Sediment concentrations of these pollutants (except for mirex) exceeded the values of protection provided by international guidelines, suggesting a potential risk to aquatic life in the region. DNA damage recorded in the fish species is evidence of exposure to a mix of genotoxic pollutants, which combined with exposure to POPs, reflects the degree of environmental stress of aquatic organisms in the region. The results of this study show the importance of determining the presence of contaminants in the environment, the bioaccumulation in tissues and their effects on exposed organisms, providing an integrated approach in assessing the health of aquatic ecosystems.

  12. Environmental logistics performance indicators affecting per capita income and sectoral growth: evidence from a panel of selected global ranked logistics countries.

    PubMed

    Khan, Syed Abdul Rehman; Qianli, Dong; SongBo, Wei; Zaman, Khalid; Zhang, Yu

    2017-01-01

    The objective of the study is to examine the long-run and causal relationship between environmental logistics performance indicators (ELPI) and growth-specific factors in a panel of 15 selected global ranked logistics countries over a period of 2007-2015. This study is exclusive as we utilized a number of LPI factors including logistics performance, logistics competence, and logistics infrastructure with mediation of sustainable factors, i.e., carbon dioxide (CO2), fossil fuel, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in a region. The results show that the per capita income, industry, manufacturing, and service share to GDP is affected by CO2 emissions and GHG emissions. Logistics competence and infrastructure promote economic growth and sectoral value added, while energy demand and FDI inflows both are prerequisite for sustainable agriculture in a region. The causal relationships confirm that more energy demand results in an increase in economic growth, industry value added, and the service sector (i.e., feedback hypothesis), while the sustainable supply chain system improves energy demand, FDI inflows, economic growth, and sectoral growth (i.e., conservation hypothesis) in a panel of countries.

  13. Relationships (II) of International Classification of High-resolution Computed Tomography for Occupational and Environmental Respiratory Diseases with ventilatory functions indices for parenchymal abnormalities

    PubMed Central

    TAMURA, Taro; SUGANUMA, Narufumi; HERING, Kurt G.; VEHMAS, Tapio; ITOH, Harumi; AKIRA, Masanori; TAKASHIMA, Yoshihiro; HIRANO, Harukazu; KUSAKA, Yukinori

    2015-01-01

    The International Classification of High-Resolution Computed Tomography (HRCT) for Occupational and Environmental Respiratory Diseases (ICOERD) is used to screen and diagnose respiratory illnesses. Using univariate and multivariate analysis, we investigated the relationship between subject characteristics and parenchymal abnormalities according to ICOERD, and the results of ventilatory function tests (VFT). Thirty-five patients with and 27 controls without mineral-dust exposure underwent VFT and HRCT. We recorded all subjects’ occupational history for mineral dust exposure and smoking history. Experts independently assessed HRCT using the ICOERD parenchymal abnormalities (Items) grades for well-defined rounded opacities (RO), linear and/or irregular opacities (IR), and emphysema (EM). High-resolution computed tomography showed that 11 patients had RO; 15 patients, IR; and 19 patients, EM. According to the multiple regression model, age and height had significant associations with many indices ventilatory functions such as vital capacity, forced vital capacity, and forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1). The EM summed grades on the upper, middle, and lower zones of the right and left lungs also had significant associations with FEV1 and the maximum mid-expiratory flow rate. The results suggest the ICOERD notation is adequate based on the good and significant multiple regression modeling of ventilatory function with the EM summed grades. PMID:25810443

  14. The scope for using the volatile profiles of Pinus caribaea var. bahamensis as indicators of susceptibility to pine tortoise scale and as predictors of environmental stresses.

    PubMed

    Green, Paul W C; Hamilton, Martin A; Sanchez, Michele D; Corcoran, Marcella R; Manco, Bryan N; Malumphy, Chris P

    2015-04-01

    Climate change, unseasonal fire and urbanization are contributing to the decline of Pinus caribaea var. bahamensis populations in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI). Infestation of pines with the invasive pine tortoise scale (PTS, Toumeyella parvicornis) is accelerating this decline. Pine trees in the Bahamas are larger and healthier and are not infested with PTS although they are subject to some of the same environmental pressures as the trees in TCI. Volatile compounds were collected from wild and nursery-reared P. caribaea var. bahamensis from TCI and the Bahamas and characterized using GC/MS analysis, to look for differences between the compounds detected in insect-infested pines of TCI and the healthy pines of the Bahamas. Ten compounds contributing at least 1% of the total detected peak areas in any one of the samples were selected for further study. Eight of these compounds were identified using authentic standards and mass spectral libraries. The main constituents in the samples were α- and β-pinene as well as β-phellandrene, and, together with β-myrcene, their contents varied the most between samples collected at different locations. Principal-component analysis showed that the two structural isomers of pinene, together with β-myrcene and β-phellandrene, contributed 98.4% of the variance between samples. There was a positive relationship between the concentrations of the two structural isomers of pinene and between levels of β-myrcene and β-phellandrene. The results are discussed in relation to the biology and adaptations of invasive scale insects, the importance of monoterpenes in pine as a defense against insect predation, whether these compounds can be used as indicators of tree health, and future directions for research into conserving the Caicos pine. Copyright © 2015 Verlag Helvetica Chimica Acta AG, Zürich.

  15. [Characterization of soil microbial community function and structure in rhizosphere of typical tree species and the meaning for environmental indication in the Loess Plateau].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Hai-han; Tang, Ming; Chen, Hui

    2009-08-15

    Determination of the soil microbial community structure in rhizosphere of typical tree species in the Loess Plateau can be of great theoretical significance for correctly assessing the characteristics of soil ecological rehabilitation of the Loess Plateau. In this study,spore density analysis, microbial cultivation and BIOLOG were employed to evaluate the AMF spore density and soil microbial community diversity under four tree species with vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizae in ecological rehabilitation area of the Loess Plateau, north Shaanxi Province. The results show that the different tree species differed significantly in both soil microbial number and microbial functional diversity, AMF spore density of Hippophae rhamnoides soil is 2.24 times than that of the Robinia pseudoacacia soil,and the rank as following order: Hippophae rhamnoides > Sophora viciifolia > Caragana microphylla > Robinia pseudoacacia . The statistical significant are detected in the bacteria and actinomyces numbers, however, there is no statistical significance in fungi number among the treatments. The principle component analyses indicates that scatter of Caragana microphylla and Hippophae rhamnoides are smaller than that of Sophora viciifolia and Robinia pseudoacacia, these results suggest that the soil community structure strongly varied among the different tree species. Numbers of carbon sources related to the first two components are 14 and 8. Correlation analysis shows that the AMF spore density appeared extremely significantly and positively correlated with the number of bacteria,and the metabolic of amino acids,amines and aromatic compounds, respectively. Moreover,AMF spore density positively correlated with the average well color development (AWCD), nevertheless, no correlations are found among AMF spore density, carboxylic acids,carbohydrates and polymers. These results suggest that AMF spore density is shown to be an important environmental biology parameter used in correctly

  16. First compound-specific chlorine-isotope analysis of environmentally-bioaccumulated organochlorines indicates a degradation-relatable kinetic isotope effect for DDT.

    PubMed

    Holmstrand, Henry; Mandalakis, Manolis; Zencak, Zdenek; Andersson, Per; Gustafsson, Orjan

    2007-11-01

    Compound-specific chlorine-isotope analysis (CSIA-Cl) of 1,1,1-trichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethane (p,p'-DDT) and 1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethene (p,p'-DDE) in blubber from Baltic Grey seal (Halichoerus grypus) was performed in order to investigate if a kinetic isotope effect (KIE) could be observed concomitant to environmental degradation of DDT. The delta(37)Cl of p,p'-DDT and p,p'-DDE were -0.69 +/- 0.21 per thousand and -2.98 +/- 0.57 per thousand (1s igma, n = 3), respectively. Both samples were enriched relative to the hypothesized initial isotope composition (-4.34 per thousand), thus indicating a composite KIE associated with the degradation mechanisms pertaining to DDT. An isotope fractionation factor for degradation of dichloromethane, from the literature, was adapted and modified for use in the calculation of DDT degradation. A subsequent simplified Rayleigh distillation model of the DDT chlorine-isotope composition yielded an estimated fraction (f) of 7 +/- 2% of released DDT presently remaining as undegraded compound in the environment. The consistency between the result of the Rayleigh model (f approximately 7%) and the use of the DDT/(DDT + DDE) ratio as a measure of DDT degradation ( approximately 10% undegraded DDT) suggests that the KIE of DDT degradation may be significant, and that the novel approach of CSIA-Cl may be a valuable tool for degradation/persistence studies of lipophilic organochlorines in the environment.

  17. Disease prevalence in flounder (Platichthys flesus) from the Dutch Wadden Sea as indicator of environmental quality: A summary of 1988-2005 surveys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vethaak, A. D.

    2013-09-01

    In 1988, epizootics of ulcer disease in the flatfish flounder in the Dutch Wadden Sea were reported near freshwater drainage sluices of IJsselmeer Lake, locally affecting up to 38.9% of fish. Other diseases such as fin rot and lymphocystis were less frequent, but followed a similar pattern. Results of follow-up surveys in the Wadden Sea in 1994-2005 confirm previous findings and also show significantly elevated ulcer prevalences at other smaller drainage works. The most likely stress factors that contributed to the development of the epizootics at these sites include osmotic stress, adverse water quality conditions including chemical contaminants, nutritional deficiencies, and obstruction to fish migration. It was shown that discharges of IJsselmeer Lake freshwater in 1988-96 had a wide effect on the prevalence and distribution of ulcers and lymphocystis in the western Wadden Sea. A general reduction in disease prevalence in flounder in the entire Dutch Wadden Sea was observed during 1988-2005, which was most likely due to a general improvement in water quality and locally improved habitat conditions for flounder near drainage sluices. Ulcer prevalences outside the two IJsselmeer Lake sluices (Den Oever and Kornwerderzand) declined in this period from approximately 30% to 10% for medium-sized fish. Other skin diseases have also displayed a downward trend at both sites in recent years, with prevalences falling sharply to below 1%. Elsewhere in the Wadden Sea and the Ems-Dollard estuary, disease prevalences have declined towards natural background levels (< 1%). It is concluded that skin diseases, especially ulcers, are useful indicators of environmental quality in the Wadden Sea.

  18. An indicator for effects of organic toxicants on lotic invertebrate communities: Independence of confounding environmental factors over an extensive river continuum.

    PubMed

    Beketov, Mikhail A; Liess, Matthias

    2008-12-01

    Distinguishing between effects of natural and anthropogenic environmental factors on ecosystems is a fundamental problem in environmental science. In river systems the longitudinal gradient of environmental factors is one of the most relevant sources of dissimilarity between communities that could be confounded with anthropogenic disturbances. To test the hypothesis that in macroinvertebrate communities the distribution of species' sensitivity to organic toxicants is independent of natural longitudinal factors, but depends on contamination with organic toxicants, we analysed the relationship between community sensitivity SPEAR(organic) (average community sensitivity to organic toxicants) and natural and anthropogenic environmental factors in a large-scale river system, from alpine streams to a lowland river. The results show that SPEAR(organic) is largely independent of natural longitudinal factors, but strongly dependent on contamination with organic toxicants (petrochemicals and synthetic surfactants). Usage of SPEAR(organic) as a stressor-specific longitude-independent measure will facilitate detection of community disturbance by organic toxicants.

  19. Evaluation of meso fauna soil as bio-indicator of environmental quality in forests remnants in the city of São Paulo - Preliminary Results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patucci, Natalia; Oliveira, Deborah

    2014-05-01

    Soil quality is particularly through composition and structure, as well as by, measured by physical and chemical indicators, as well as by living organisms contained therein, which play the most varied ecological functions. The abundance and diversity of soil macrofauna in ecosystems can be affected by many factors, precisely because these organisms are sensitive to environmental changes, whether induced or natural. Thus, soil populations can be measured as bioindicators, since changes in the community may indicate possible changes in soil functioning. This research aims to survey the biodiversity of meso soil fauna environments with remaining Atlantic Forest (Fontes do Ipiranga park, Cantareira park and Jaraguá park) in order to detect specific features and significant changes in ecological function performed by these soil communities. The project aims to develop an overview of multivariate understanding about soil, especially the relation of variation of pedofauna with the occurring physical and chemical modifications in order to be able to prove the adaptation of soil fauna with variations in temperature, humidity, sunshine, influence of vegetation, soil genesis and topographic gradient. According to Lavelle & Spain (2001), the temperature and humidity are the main factors that activate the metabolic regulation in subjects of soil fauna, which ultimately determine their spatial distribution, periods of increased activity, peculiarities and significant changes, the function of these communities in the substrate. Two combining sampling will be performed, one in the rainy season, in January, and another in the dry season, in July, with the purpose of measuring the diversity of populations according to seasonality. Invertebrates associated soil interface - burlap (Moreira et al, 2010) will be caught by pitfall traps, which will be distributed in three installments by park, containing a sampling gride with nine equidistant points 30 meters of each other. Through

  20. TRI Relative Risk-Based Environmental Indicators: Summary of Comments Received on the Draft 1992 Methodology and Responses to Comment, May 1997

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    This document contains general comments on the original Indicators methodology, the toxicity weighting, the chronic ecological indicator and other issues. OPPT's responses and proposed changes are also discussed.

  1. An initial assessment of spatial relationships between respiratory cases, soil metal content, air quality and deprivation indicators in Glasgow, Scotland, UK: relevance to the environmental justice agenda.

    PubMed

    Morrison, S; Fordyce, F M; Scott, E Marian

    2014-04-01

    There is growing interest in links between poor health and socio-environmental inequalities (e.g. inferior housing, crime and industrial emissions) under the environmental justice agenda. The current project assessed associations between soil metal content, air pollution (NO2/PM10) and deprivation and health (respiratory case incidence) across Glasgow. This is the first time that both chemical land quality and air pollution have been assessed citywide in the context of deprivation and health for a major UK conurbation. Based on the dataset 'averages' for intermediate geography areas, generalised linear modelling of respiratory cases showed significant associations with overall soil metal concentration (p = 0.0367) and with deprivation (p < 0.0448). Of the individual soil metals, only nickel showed a significant relationship with respiratory cases (p = 0.0056). Whilst these associations could simply represent concordant lower soil metal concentrations and fewer respiratory cases in the rural versus the urban environment, they are interesting given (1) possible contributions from soil to air particulate loading and (2) known associations between airborne metals like nickel and health. This study also demonstrated a statistically significant correlation (-0.213; p < 0.05) between soil metal concentration and deprivation across Glasgow. This highlights the fact that despite numerous regeneration programmes, the legacy of environmental pollution remains in post-industrial areas of Glasgow many decades after heavy industry has declined. Further epidemiological investigations would be required to determine whether there are any causal links between soil quality and population health/well-being. However, the results of this study suggest that poor soil quality warrants greater consideration in future health and socio-environmental inequality assessments.

  2. Indicators: Fish Assemblage

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Fish assemblage refers to the variety and abundance of fish species in a given waterbody. Fish are sensitive indicators of physical and chemical habitat degradation, environmental contamination, migration barriers, and overall ecosystem productivity.

  3. Comparative environmental impact assessment of herbicides used on genetically modified and non-genetically modified herbicide-tolerant canola crops using two risk indicators.

    PubMed

    Oliver, Danielle P; Kookana, Rai S; Miller, Rosalind B; Correll, Raymond L

    2016-07-01

    Canola (Brassica napus L.) is the third largest field crop in Australia by area sown. Genetically modified (GM) and non-GM canola varieties released or being developed in Australia include Clearfield® (imidazolinone tolerant), TT (triazine tolerant), InVigor® (glufosinate-ammonium tolerant), Roundup Ready® - RR® (glyphosate tolerant) and Hyola® RT® (tolerant to both glyphosate and triazine). We used two risk assessment approaches - the Environmental Impact Quotient (EIQ) and the Pesticide Impact Rating Index (PIRI) - to compare the environmental risks associated with herbicides used in the canola varieties (GM and non-GM) that are currently grown or may be grown in the future. Risk assessments found that from an environmental impact viewpoint a number of herbicides used in the production of TT canola showed high relative risk in terms of mobility and ecotoxicity of herbicides. The EIQ field use rating values for atrazine and simazine in particular were high compared with those for glyphosate and trifluralin. Imazapic and imazapyr, which are only used in Clearfield® canola, had extremely low EIQ field use rating values, likely reflecting the very low application rates used for these chemicals (0.02 to 0.04kg/ha) compared with those used for atrazine and simazine (1.2 to 1.5kg/ha). The PIRI assessment showed that irrespective of the canola variety grown, trifluralin posed a high toxicity risk to fish (Rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss), algae and Daphnia sp. While the replacement of trifluralin with propyzamide had little effect on the mobility score, it greatly decreased the ecotoxicity score to fish, algae and Daphnia sp. due to the lower LC50 values for propyzamide compared with trifluralin. This study has shown that based on likelihood of off-site transport of herbicides in surface water and potential toxicity to non-target organisms, the GM canola varieties have no advantage over non-herbicide tolerant (non HT) or Clearfield® canola.

  4. Using Heavy Metal Content and Lipid Peroxidation Indicators in the Tissues of the Mussel Crenomytilus grayanus for Pollution Assessment After Marine Environmental Remediation.

    PubMed

    Belcheva, Nina; Istomina, Alexandra; Dovzhenko, Nadezhda; Lishavskaya, Tatiana; Chelomin, Victor

    2015-10-01

    We examined the effects of environmental remediation on the heavy metal concentration and lipid peroxidation activity in the digestive gland and gills of the marine mussel Crenomytilus grayanus. Changes in heavy metal concentrations and lipid peroxidation biomarkers in the tissues of mussels collected at a contaminated site were compared with those obtained from a reference site. Prior to remediation the concentration of Pb, Cu, Cd, Fe and Zn and the levels of malondialdehyde, conjugated dienes and lipofuscin in mussels collected from the contaminated site were significantly increased compared with those obtained from the reference site. Three years after remediation, these parameters did not significantly exceed the reference site parameters, except Pb, whose concentration, though markedly decreased, yet was much higher than in tissues of mussels from the reference site.

  5. Environmental resilience of rangeland ecosystems: assessment drought indices and vegetation trends on arid and semi-arid zones of Central Asia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aralova, Dildora; Toderich, Kristina; Jarihani, Ben; Gafurov, Dilshod; Gismatulina, Liliya; Osunmadewa, Babatunde A.; Rahamtallah Abualgasim, Majdaldin

    2016-10-01

    The Central Asian (CA) rangelands is a part of the arid and semi-arid ecological zones and spatial extent of drylands in CA (Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Turkmenistan) is vast. Projections averaged across a suite of climate models, as measured between 1950-2012 by Standardised Precipitation-Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI) estimated a progressively increasing drought risks across rangelands (Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan) especially during late summer and autumn periods, another index: Potential Evapotranspiration (PET) indicated drought anomalies for Turkmenistan and partly in Uzbekistan (between 1950-2000). On this study, we have combined a several datasets of drought indices ( SPIE, PET, temperature_T°C and precipitation_P) for better estimation of resilience/non-resilience of the ecosystems after warming the temperature in the following five countries, meanwhile, warming of climate causing of increasing rating of degradations and extension of desertification in the lowland and foothill zones of the landscape and consequently surrounding experienced of a raising balance of evapotranspiration (ET0). The study concluded, increasing drought anomalies which is closely related with raising (ET0) in the lowland and foothill zones of CA indicated on decreasing of NDVI indices with occurred sandy and loamy soils it will resulting a loss of vegetation diversity (endangered species) and raising of wind speeds in lowlands of CA, but on regional level especially towards agricultural intensification (without rotation) it indicated no changes of greenness index. It was investigated to better interpret how vegetation feedback modifies the sensitivity of drought indices associated with raising tendency of air temperature and changes of cold and hot year seasons length in the territory of CA.

  6. Environmental change indicated by grain-size variations and trace elements: An example from the sandy-loess sediments from the Doroshivtsy site (Ukraine)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lehmkuhl, Frank; Schulte, Philipp; Loibl, Christa; Klasen, Nicole; Hauck, Thomas; Kels, Holger

    2014-05-01

    The recently discovered loess section of Doroshivtsy became famous due to archeological findings of the Gravettian. The profile represents a about 9 m sequence of sandy loess, intercalated by more humic horizons. It is situated in a flat gully and at an undercut slope of the Dniester River close to the village Doroshivtsy in the south-western Ukraine. Radiocarbon dating and luminescence ages are conclusive within the expected age range of the Gravettian period (22-28 ka). The loess section is composed mainly of sandy silt and covers the time span from about 26 to 16 ka. This is one of the very few sections in Europe which provides a high resolution sedimentary record including prehistoric finds of the cooling maximum of the last glacial cycle. Based on the field description and the grain size distribution obtained by Laser Diffraction Particle Size Analyzer (Beckman Coulter LS 13 320 PIDS), the profile can be divided into three main genetic units representing changes during the deposition. The upper part (1-3 m) of the profile is characterized by aeolian loess and sand deposition intercalated with a few gravel lines. The middle part (3-6.5 m) of the profile is influenced by aeolian, denudative and weak soil forming processes. The lower part (6.5-9 m) of the section represents a combination of aeolian loess, re-deposited slope material. Additionally, the whole part is affected by hydromorphic conditions. As the sediment is rather homogeneous sandy silt U-ratio and GSI did not show any distinct variations. However, calculations with different grain-size ratios show that a fine silt to fine sand ratio (SiS-ratio) of 3.5 to 8.1 µm and 69.6 to 161.1 µm provide clear peaks. These variations of the SiS-ratio represent environmental changes which are also observed by structures and weak soil formations in the section during field work and fit also to the different archeological layers. In addition, geochemical analysis show comparable results to the SiS-ratio and provide

  7. Combined use of Daphnia magna in situ bioassays, biomarkers and biological indices to diagnose and identify environmental pressures on invertebrate communities in two Mediterranean urbanized and industrialized rivers (NE Spain).

    PubMed

    Damásio, Joana; Tauler, Romà; Teixidó, Elisabeth; Rieradevall, Maria; Prat, Narcis; Riva, Maria Carmen; Soares, Amadeu M V M; Barata, Carlos

    2008-05-30

    Environmental factors affecting aquatic invertebrate communities were assessed using Daphnia magna in situ bioassays and biological indices based on community assemblages of benthic macroinvertebrates. Investigations were carried out in two heavily industrialized and urbanized river basins from the NE of Spain (Llobregat and Besós). Measures of energy consumption (i.e. algal grazing), and of specific biochemical responses (biomarkers) were conducted on individuals transplanted upstream and downstream from effluent discharges of sewage treatment plants. In both rivers there was a clear deterioration of the ecological water quality parameters and benthic communities towards downstream reaches. In all but one of the 19 locations studied, transplanted organisms were affected in at least one of the five measured responses. In three of them, significant effects were detected in most of the traits considered. Principal Component and Partial Least Square Projections to Latent Structures regression analyses indicated that the measured responses in D. magna in situ bioassays and those of macroinvertebrate assemblages were affected by distinct environmental factors. From up to 20 environmental variables considered, seven of them including habitat degradation, suspended solids, nitrogenous and conductivity related parameters affected macroinvertebrate assemblages. On the other hand, levels of organophosphorus compounds and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons were high enough to trigger the responses of D. magna in situ bioassays. These results emphasize the importance of combining biological indices with biomarkers and more generalized and ecologically relevant (grazing) in situ responses to identify ecological effects of effluent discharges from sewage treatment plants in surface waters.

  8. [The effect of environmental factors on the concentration of tumor markers in the blood serum and on the indices characterizing thyroid function].

    PubMed

    Shishkina, V V; Chebotareva, E D; Zamiatin, S S; Siniuta, B F; Nikolenko, L N; Vlasenko, O O; Iugrinova, L G

    1994-01-01

    Combined versus separate exposure of male organism to cesium-137 and chemical agents results in a more pronounced hyperferritinemia in the former case. In female chemists the ferritin level is dependent to a considerable extent on the menstrual cycle showing a tendency for the iron-containing protein level to decrease because of the action of a number of chemical agents. The rise of the level of cancer embryonic antigen is more readily seen in persons with high levels of cesium-137. Concentrations of carbohydrate antigen (CA-125) and mucin-like antigen are appreciably higher in female chemists incorporating cesium-137, and in those within the 30-km radius of the ChNPP. The level of thyroglobulin was raised in the chemists having a background incorporation of cesium, the liquidators of the aftermaths, and particularly in those happened to be in the 30-km zone. Each of the unfavourable factors taken separately (chemical agent or cesium-137) had lesser effect on the degree of elevation of TG content and hormone-forming function of the thyroid gland. An additional information has been obtained concerning the risk groups, which, however, serves as an indirect measure of carcinogenic effect various environmental factors exert on the organism.

  9. Assessment of microbial biomarkers with environmental genomics: a comparison of biochemical and phylogenetic indicators of microbial diversity in Yellowstone National Park

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kopf, S.; Gomes, M. L.; McAnena, A.; Vuillemin, A.; Sessions, A. L.; Spear, J. R.; International Geobiology Course 2010

    2010-12-01

    Hot spring microbial communities in Yellowstone National Park utilize diverse biochemical pathways to produce energy and survive in “simple” to “complex” systems. It has been hypothesized that these hydrothermal environments share several key attributes with environments of the Early Earth. Therefore, the characterization of microbial diversity in Yellowstone microbial mats is relevant to both modern and ancient microbial ecosystem studies. For decades, lipid biomarkers have been used to infer what microorganisms are present in microbial ecosystems. More recently, 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequencing has been utilized as the primary method to characterize microbial diversity in any environment. However, lipid biomolecules may be preserved through advanced stages of diagenesis when phylogenetic indicators are long gone. In order to better use lipid biomarkers as indicators of ancient microbial communities, it is important to understand how these biomarkers reflect modern microbial diversity as characterized by 16S rRNA gene sequences. In this study, we assessed the validity and scope of established lipid biomarkers by analyzing lipid extracts and 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequences from microbial mats at Imperial Geyser (Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming). Phyla detected in both 16S rRNA sequences and lipid biomarkers are Cholorobi, Deinococcus-Thermus, Chloroflexi, Aquificae, and Cyanobacteria. In many cases 16S rRNA data revealed the presence of a phylum without any of its diagnostic lipids being found in the respective biomarker dataset. Conversely, Cyanobacteria lipids were occasionally identified where no 16S rRNA sequences related to Cyanobacteria were detected. Most of the identified lipid biomarkers were indicative of organisms capable of autotrophy, and only few diagnostic of heterotrophic organisms, even though 16S rRNA data indicated the presence of numerous heterotrophs. Biomarkers of higher plants were also detected, indicating that allochthonous

  10. Seasonal assessment of biological indices, bioaccumulation, and bioavailability of heavy metals in sea urchins Paracentrotus lividus from Algerian west coast, applied to environmental monitoring.

    PubMed

    Rouane-Hacene, Omar; Boutiba, Zitouni; Benaissa, Meriem; Belhaouari, Benkhedda; Francour, Patrice; Guibbolini-Sabatier, Marielle E; Faverney, Christine Risso-De

    2017-04-10

    The aim of the present work was to extend our knowledge on the variability of trace metals in sea urchin tissues, focusing on seasonal fluctuations (2010 February for "winter," May for "spring," August for "summer," November for "autumn") in the three different sampling sites of Algerian west coast (Oran Harbor (S1), Ain Defla (S2), and Hadjaj (belonging to Mostaganem City S3)). For this purpose, the bioavailability (metal indices) and bioaccumulation (metal concentrations in soft tissues) of heavy metals (Zn, Cu, Pb, and Cd), the physiological characteristics (e.g., biological indices such as condition index (CI), repletion index (RI), gonad index (GI)), and the biometric parameters (diameter (D) and the height (H)) of sea urchins Paracentrotus lividus were assessed and related to seasons and sites. To investigate the metal bioavailability to sea urchins more precisely, the metal indices were used as a reliable tool in the present work, instead of the metal concentrations only. The interest to standardize metal concentrations with the weight of the urchin test is to overcome the metal burden variations in the soft tissues of urchin related to the seasonal weight changes of the soft body of animal. We evidence that the most contaminated sites were S1 and S2. Furthermore, it should be noted that the bioavailability of metals, corresponding to the values of metal indices, is also more pronounced in S1 and S2 compared to that measured in S3. Thus, a correlation is observed between seasonal metal content in urchin tissues from the three sites and the corresponding metal indices. The high metal concentrations were obtained during the period when RI and CI were highest. So, it appears that the bioaccumulation of metals in sea urchins of the three sites studied is significantly influenced by the reproductive cycle and diet, feeding activity, and physiological state of these organisms. We noticed that the sea urchins from the sites S1 and S2 were small in size. It is

  11. Environmental setting, water quality, and ecological indicators of surface-water quality in the Mermentau River Basin, southwestern Louisiana, 1998-2001

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Skrobialowski, Stanley C.; Mize, Scott V.; Demcheck, Dennis K.

    2004-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey collected data from 29 wells and 24 surface-water sites in the Mermentau River Basin, 1998-2001, to better understand ground-water and surface-water quality; aquatic invertebrate communities; and habitat conditions, in relation to land use. This study was apart of the National Water-Quality Assessment Program, which was designed to assess water quality as it relates to various land uses. Water-quality data were evaluated with criteria established for the protection of drinking water and aquatic life, and bed-sediment data were compared to aquatic life criteria. Water-quality and ecological data were analyzed statistically in relation to drainage area and agricultural land-use integrity. Concentrations of nutrients and major inorganic ions in ground water and surface water generally were highest in the southeastern part of the study area where soils contain thick loess deposits. Peak concentrations of nutrients in surface water occurred March-may at two sites with high agricultural intensity; the lowest concentrations occurred August-January. The greatest potential for eutrophic conditions in surface water, based on nutrient concentrations, existed March-May, at about the same time or shortly after ricefields were drained. Secondary Maximum Contaminant Levels established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) were exceeded for sulfate, chloride, iron, or manganese in samples from 20 wells, and for iron or manganese in samples from all surface-water sites. Fewer pesticides were detected in ground water than in surface water. In 11 of of the 29 wells sampled, at least one pesticide or pesticide degradation product was detected. The most frequently detected pesticides or pesticide degradation products in ground water were the herbicides benzaton and atrazine. Concentrations of 47 pesticides and degradation products were detected in surface water. At least 3 pesticides were detected in all surface-water samples. In 72 percent of

  12. Use of Water-Quality Indicators and Environmental Tracers to Determine the Fate and Transport of Recycled Water in Angeles County, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anders, Robert A.; Schroeder, Roy A.

    2003-01-01

    Tertiary-treated municipal wastewater (recycled water) has been used to replenish the Central Basin in Los Angeles County for over 40 years. Therefore, this area provides an excellent location to investigate (1) the fate and transport of wastewater constituents as they travel from the point of recharge to points of withdrawal, and (2) the long-term effects that artificial recharge using recycled water has on the quality of the ground-water basin. The U.S. Geological Survey has been conducting such investigations in this area for about 10 years, beginning in 1992. For this investigation, a variety of inorganic, organic, and isotopic constituents were analyzed in samples from 23 production wells within 500 feet of the San Gabriel and Rio Hondo Coastal Basin Spreading Grounds, and tritium/helium-3, chlorofluorocarbons, dissolved gases, and nitrogen isotopes were analyzed in five multiple-well monitoring sites along a 10-mile flow path extending from just upgradient of the spreading grounds southward through the Central Basin. Spearman rank-order correlation coefficients and level of significance calculated for about 40 water-quality indicators and several physical features show significant correlations between numerous inorganic and organic constituents that indicate the presence of wastewater. On the basis of a simple two-member mixing model, chloride, boron, ultraviolet absorbance at 254 nanometers, and excitation-emission fluorescence yielded the most reasonable estimates of wastewater percentages in the production wells. Tritium/helium-3 age determinations indicated that samples of ground water tested range in age from less than 2 to more than 50 years. Chloride and boron concentrations, along with tritium/helium-3 age determinations, indicate more rapid recharge and (or) displacement of pre-existing ground water at the San Gabriel Coastal Basin Spreading Grounds than at the Rio Hondo Coastal Basin Spreading Grounds. Nitrogen-15 enrichment of the ground

  13. Temporal variation on environmental variables and pollution indicators in marine sediments under sea Salmon farming cages in protected and exposed zones in the Chilean inland Southern Sea.

    PubMed

    Urbina, Mauricio A

    2016-12-15

    The impacts of any activity on marine ecosystems will depend on the characteristics of the receptor medium and its resilience to external pressures. Salmon farming industry develops along a constant gradient of hydrodynamic conditions in the south of Chile. However, the influence of the hydrodynamic characteristics (weak or strong) on the impacts of intensive salmon farming is still poorly understood. This one year study evaluates the impacts of salmon farming on the marine sediments of both protected and exposed marine zones differing in their hydrodynamic characteristics. Six physico-chemical, five biological variables and seven indexes of marine sediments status were evaluated under the salmon farming cages and control sites. Our results identified a few key variables and indexes necessary to accurately evaluate the salmon farming impacts on both protected and exposed zones. Interestingly, the ranking of importance of the variables and the temporality of the observed changes, varied depending on the hydrodynamic characteristics. Biological variables (nematodes abundance) and environmental indexes (Simpson's dominance, Shannon's diversity and Pielou evenness) are the first to reflect detrimental impacts under the salmon farming cages. Then the physico-chemical variables such as redox, sulphurs and phosphorus in both zones also show detrimental impacts. Based on the present results we propose that the hydrodynamic regime is an important driver of the magnitude and temporality of the effects of salmon farming on marine sediments. The variables and indexes that best reflect the effects of salmon farming, in both protected and exposed zones, are also described. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  14. Reproductive strategies and seasonal changes in the somatic indices of seven small-bodied fishes in Atlantic Canada in relation to study design for environmental effects monitoring.

    PubMed

    Barrett, Timothy J; Brasfield, Sandra M; Carroll, Leslie C; Doyle, Meghan A; van den Heuvel, Michael R; Munkittrick, Kelly R

    2015-05-01

    Small-bodied fishes are more commonly being used in environmental effects monitoring (EEM) studies. There is a lack of understanding of the biological characteristics of many small-bodied species, which hinders study designs for monitoring studies. For example, 72% of fish population surveys in Canada's EEM program for pulp and paper mills that used small-bodied fishes were conducted outside of the reproductive period of the species. This resulted in an inadequate assessment of the EEM program's primary effect endpoint (reproduction) for these studies. The present study examined seasonal changes in liver size, gonad size, and condition in seven freshwater and estuarine small-bodied fishes in Atlantic Canada. These data were used to examine differences in reproductive strategies and patterns of energy storage among species. Female gonadal recrudescence in all seven species began primarily in the 2-month period in the spring before spawning. Male gonadal development was concurrent with females in five species; however, gonadal recrudescence began in the fall in male three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) and slimy sculpin (Cottus cognatus). The spawning period for each species was estimated from the decline in relative ovary size after its seasonal maximum value in spring. The duration of the spawning period reflected the reproductive strategy (single vs multiple spawning) of the species. Optimal sampling periods to assess reproductive impacts in each species were determined based on seasonal changes in ovary size and were identified to be during the prespawning period when gonads are developing and variability in relative gonad size is at a minimum.

  15. Analysis and Characterization of Dissolved Organic Matter in Ice Cores as Indicators of Past Environmental Conditions Using High Resolution FTICR-MS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boschi, V.; Grannas, A. M.; Willoughby, A. S.; Catanzano, V.; Hatcher, P.

    2015-12-01

    With rapid changes in global temperatures, research aimed at better understanding past climatic events in order to predict future trends is an area of growing importance. Carbonaceous gases stored in ice cores are known to correlate with temperature change and provide evidence of such events. However, more complex forms of carbon preserved in ice cores such as dissolved organic matter (DOM) can provide additional information relating to changes in environmental conditions over time. The examination of ice core samples presents unique challenges including detection of ultra-low concentrations of organic material and extremely limited sample amounts. In this study, solid phase extraction techniques combined with ultra-high resolution electrospray ionization Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (ESI FTICR-MS) were utilized to successfully extract, concentrate and analyze the low concentrations of DOM in only 100 mL of ice core samples originating from various regions of Antarctica and Greenland. We characterize the DOM composition in each sample by evaluating elemental ratios, molecular formula distribution (CHO, CHON, CHOS and CHNOS) and compound class composition (lignin, tannin, lipid, condensed aromatic, protein and unsaturated hydrocarbon content). Upon characterization, we identified molecular trends in ice core DOM chemistry that correlated with past climatic events in addition to observing possible photochemical and microbial influences affecting DOM chemistry. Considering these samples range in age from 350-1175 years old, thus being formed during the Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age, we observed that DOM properties reflected anticipated changes in composition as influenced by warming and cooling events occurring during that time period.

  16. Wild birds as biological indicators of environmental pollution: antimicrobial resistance patterns of Escherichia coli and enterococci isolated from common buzzards (Buteo buteo).

    PubMed

    Radhouani, Hajer; Poeta, Patrícia; Gonçalves, Alexandre; Pacheco, Rui; Sargo, Roberto; Igrejas, Gilberto

    2012-06-01

    A total of 36 Escherichia coli and 31 enterococci isolates were recovered from 42 common buzzard faecal samples. The E. coli isolates showed high levels of resistance to streptomycin and tetracycline. The following resistance genes were detected: bla(TEM) (20 of 22 ampicillin-resistant isolates), tet(A) and/or tet(B) (16 of 27 tetracycline-resistant isolates), aadA1 (eight of 27 streptomycin-resistant isolates), cmlA (three of 15 chloramphenicol-resistant isolates), aac(3)-II with/without aac(3)-IV (all seven gentamicin-resistant isolates) and sul1 and/or sul2 and/or sul3 [all eight sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim-resistant (SXT) isolates]. intI1 and intI2 genes were detected in four SXT-resistant isolates. The virulence-associated genes fimA (type 1 fimbriae), papC (P fimbriae) and aer (aerobactin) were detected in 61.1, 13.8 and 11.1% of the isolates, respectively. The isolates belonged to phylogroups A (47.2%), B1 (8.3%), B2 (13.9%) and D (30.5%). For the enterococci isolates, Enterococcus faecium was the most prevalent species (48.4%). High levels of tetracycline and erythromycin resistance were found among our isolates (87 and 81%, respectively). Most of the tetracycline-resistant strains carried the tet(M) and/or tet(L) genes. The erm(B) gene was detected in 80% of erythromycin-resistant isolates. The vat(D) and/or vat(E) genes were found in nine of the 17 quinupristin-dalfopristin-resistant isolates. The enterococcal isolates showing high-level resistance for kanamycin, gentamicin and streptomycin contained the aph(3')-IIIa, aac(6')-aph(2″) and ant(6)-Ia genes, respectively. This report reveals that common buzzards seem to represent an important reservoir, or at least a source, of multi-resistant E. coli and enterococci isolates, and consequently may represent a considerable hazard to human and animal health by transmission of these isolates to waterways and other environmental sources via their faecal deposits.

  17. Combined use of GIS and environmental indicators for assessment of chemical, physical and biological soil degradation in a Spanish Mediterranean region.

    PubMed

    de Paz, José-Miguel; Sánchez, Juan; Visconti, Fernando

    2006-04-01

    Soil is one of the main non-renewable natural resources in the world. In the Valencian Community (Mediterranean coast of Spain), it is especially important because agriculture and forest biomass exploitation are two of the main economic activities in the region. More than 44% of the total area is under agriculture and 52% is forested. The frequently arid or semi-arid climate with rainfall concentrated in few events, usually in the autumn and spring, scarcity of vegetation cover, and eroded and shallow soils in several areas lead to soil degradation processes. These processes, mainly water erosion and salinization, can be intense in many locations within the Valencian Community. Evaluation of soil degradation on a regional scale is important because degradation is incompatible with sustainable development. Policy makers involved in land use planning require tools to evaluate soil degradation so they can go on to develop measures aimed at protecting and conserving soils. In this study, a methodology to evaluate physical, chemical and biological soil degradation in a GIS-based approach was developed for the Valencian Community on a 1/200,000 scale. The information used in this study was obtained from two different sources: (i) a soil survey with more than 850 soil profiles sampled within the Valencian Community, and (ii) the environmental information implemented in the Geo-scientific map of the Valencian Community digitised on an Arc/Info GIS. Maps of physical, chemical and biological soil degradation in the Valencian Community on a 1/200,000 scale were obtained using the methodology devised. These maps can be used to make a cost-effective evaluation of soil degradation on a regional scale. Around 29% of the area corresponding to the Valencian Community is affected by high to very high physical soil degradation, 36% by high to very high biological degradation, and 6% by high to very high chemical degradation. It is, therefore, necessary to draw up legislation and to

  18. Genetic and environmental influences on the continuous scales of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator: an analysis based on twins reared apart.

    PubMed

    Bouchard, T J; Hur, Y M

    1998-04-01

    The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator was administered to a sample of 61 monozygotic twins reared apart (MZA), 49 dizygotic twins reared apart (DZA), and 92 spouses, who participated in the Minnesota Study of Twins Reared Apart (MISTRA) from 1979 to 1995. Twins' scores on the continuous scales were subjected to behavior genetic model-fitting procedures. Extraversion-Introversion and Thinking-Feeling yielded heritabilities of about .60, consisting largely of nonadditive genetic variance. Sensing-Intuition and Judgment-Perception yielded heritabilities of about .40, consisting largely of additive genetic variance. Spouse correlations for three of the four scales were near zero and not statistically significant; one spouse correlation (Sensing-Intuition) was modestly positive and statistically significant.

  19. Community indicators

    PubMed Central

    Flynn, Andrea; Wells, Samantha

    2014-01-01

    Community indicators are used to assess the impact of alcohol on communities. This article reviews the main data sources for community indicators, discusses their strengths and limitations, and discusses indicators used in reference to four main topics relating to alcohol use and problems at the community level: alcohol use, patterns, and problems; alcohol availability; alcohol-related health outcomes/trauma; and alcohol-related crime and enforcement. It also reviews the challenges associated with collecting community indicator data, along with important innovations in the field that have contributed to better knowledge of how to collect and analyze community-level data on the impact of alcohol. PMID:24881322

  20. Walking Behavior of Zoo Elephants: Associations between GPS-Measured Daily Walking Distances and Environmental Factors, Social Factors, and Welfare Indicators

    PubMed Central

    Holdgate, Matthew R.; Meehan, Cheryl L.; Hogan, Jennifer N.; Miller, Lance J.; Soltis, Joseph; Andrews, Jeff; Shepherdson, David J.

    2016-01-01

    Research with humans and other animals suggests that walking benefits physical health. Perhaps because these links have been demonstrated in other species, it has been suggested that walking is important to elephant welfare, and that zoo elephant exhibits should be designed to allow for more walking. Our study is the first to address this suggestion empirically by measuring the mean daily walking distance of elephants in North American zoos, determining the factors that are associated with variations in walking distance, and testing for associations between walking and welfare indicators. We used anklets equipped with GPS data loggers to measure outdoor daily walking distance in 56 adult female African (n = 33) and Asian (n = 23) elephants housed in 30 North American zoos. We collected 259 days of data and determined associations between distance walked and social, housing, management, and demographic factors. Elephants walked an average of 5.3 km/day with no significant difference between species. In our multivariable model, more diverse feeding regimens were correlated with increased walking, and elephants who were fed on a temporally unpredictable feeding schedule walked 1.29 km/day more than elephants fed on a predictable schedule. Distance walked was also positively correlated with an increase in the number of social groupings and negatively correlated with age. We found a small but significant negative correlation between distance walked and nighttime Space Experience, but no other associations between walking distances and exhibit size were found. Finally, distance walked was not related to health or behavioral outcomes including foot health, joint health, body condition, and the performance of stereotypic behavior, suggesting that more research is necessary to determine explicitly how differences in walking may impact elephant welfare. PMID:27414411

  1. The correlation of Acanthamoeba from the ventilation system with other environmental parameters in commercial buildings as possible indicator for indoor air quality

    PubMed Central

    OOI, Soo Shen; MAK, Joon Wah; CHEN, Donald K.F.; AMBU, Stephen

    2016-01-01

    The free-living protozoan Acanthamoeba is an opportunistic pathogen that is ubiquitous in our environment. However, its role in affecting indoor air quality and ill-health of indoor occupants is relatively unknown. The present study investigated the presence of Acanthamoeba from the ventilation system and its correlation with other indoor air quality parameters, used in the industry code of practice and its potential as an indicator for indoor air quality. Indoor air quality assessments were carried out in nine commercial buildings with approval from the building management, and the parameters assessed were as recommended by the Department of Occupational Safety and Health. The presence of Acanthamoeba was determined through dust swabs from the ventilation system and indoor furniture. Logistic regression was performed to study the correlation between assessed parameters and occupants’ complaints. A total of 107 sampling points were assessed and 40.2% of the supplying air diffuser and blowing fan and 15% of the furniture were positive for cysts. There was a significant correlation between Acanthamoeba detected from the ventilation system with ambient total fungus count (r=0.327; p=0.01) and respirable particulates (r=0.276; p=0.01). Occupants’ sick building syndrome experience also correlated with the presence of Acanthamoeba in the ventilation system (r=0.361; p=0.01) and those detected on the furniture (r=0.290; p=0.01). Logistic regression showed that there was a five-fold probability of sick building syndrome among occupants when Acanthamoeba was detected in the ventilation system. PMID:27476379

  2. Effects of environmental factors on MSP21-25 aggregation indicate the roles of hydrophobic and electrostatic interactions in the aggregation process.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xuecheng; Dong, Yuanqiu; Yu, Jigang; Tu, Xiaoming

    2014-01-01

    Merozoite surface protein 2 (MSP2), one of the most abundant proteins on the merozoite surface of Plasmodium falciparum, is recognized to be important for the parasite's invasion into the host cell and is thus a promising malaria vaccine candidate. However, mediated mainly by its conserved N-terminal 25 residues (MSP21-25), MSP2 readily forms amyloid fibril-like aggregates under physiological conditions in vitro, which impairs its potential as a vaccine component. In addition, there is evidence that MSP2 exists in aggregated forms on the merozoite surface in vivo. To elucidate the aggregation mechanism of MSP21-25 and thereby understand the behavior of MSP2 in vivo and find ways to avoid the aggregation of relevant vaccine in vitro, we investigated the effects of agitation, pH, salts, 1-anilinonaphthalene-8-sulfonic acid (ANS), trimethylamine N-oxide dihydrate (TMAO), urea, and sub-micellar sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) on the aggregation kinetics of MSP21-25 using thioflavin T (ThT) fluorescence. The results showed that MSP21-25 aggregation was accelerated by agitation, while repressed by acidic pHs. The salts promoted the aggregation in an anion nature-dependent pattern. Hydrophobic surface-binding agent ANS and detergent urea repressed MSP21-25 aggregation, in contrast to hydrophobic interaction strengthener TMAO, which enhanced the aggregation. Notably, sub-micellar SDS, contrary to its micellar form, promoted MSP21-25 aggregation significantly. Our data indicated that hydrophobic interactions are the predominant driving force of the nucleation of MSP21-25 aggregation, while the elongation is controlled mainly by electrostatic interactions. A kinetic model of MSP21-25 aggregation and its implication were also discussed.

  3. Environmental changes and microbiological health risks. Satellite-derived turbidity: an indicator of "health hazard" for surface water in West Africa (Bagre lake, Burkina Faso).

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robert, E.; Grippa, M.; Kergoat, L.; Martinez, J.; Pinet, S.; Gal, L.; Soumaguel, N.

    2015-12-01

    A significant correlation exists between the concentration of parasites, bacteria and some water quality parameters including surface suspended solids (SSS) and turbidity. Suspended particles can carry viruses and pathogenic bacteria affecting human health and foster their development. High SSS, associated with high turbidity, can therefore be considered as a vector of microbiological contaminants, causing diarrheal diseases. Few studies have focused on the turbidity parameter in rural Africa, while many cases of intestinal parasitic infections are due to the consumption of unsafe water from ponds, lakes, and rivers. Monitoring turbidity may therefore contribute to health hazard monitoring. Turbidity refers to the optical properties of water and is known to impact water reflectance in the visible and near-infrared domain. Ideally, its spatial and temporal variability requires the use of high temporal resolution (MODIS) and spatial resolution (Landsat, SPOT, Sentinel-2). Here we investigate turbidity in West-Africa. Various algorithms and indices proposed in the literature for inland waters are applied to MODIS series and to Landsat 7 and 8 CDR images, and SPOT5 images. The data and algorithms are evaluated with field measurements: turbidity, SSS, and hyperspectral ground radiometry. We show that turbidity of the Bagre Lake displays a strong increase over 2000-2015, associated with the corresponding increase of the red and NIR reflectances, as well as a reduction of the seasonal variations. Water level derived from the Jason 2 altimeter does not explain such variations. The most probable hypothesis is a change in land use (increase in bare and degraded soils), that leads to an increase in the particles transported by surface runoff to the lake. Such an increase in turbidity reinforces the health risk. We will discuss the link between turbidity and health in view of data from health centers on diarrheal diseases as well as data on practices and uses of populations.

  4. Long-term decrease in satellite vegetation indices in response to environmental variables in an iconic desert riparian ecosystem: the Upper San Pedro, Arizona, United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nguyen, Uyen; Glenn, Edward P.; Nagler, Pamela L.; Scott, Russell L.

    2015-01-01

    The Upper San Pedro River is one of the few remaining undammed rivers that maintain a vibrant riparian ecosystem in the southwest United States. However, its riparian forest is threatened by diminishing groundwater and surface water inputs, due to either changes in watershed characteristics such as changes in riparian and upland vegetation, or human activities such as regional groundwater pumping. We used satellite vegetation indices to quantify the green leaf density of the groundwater-dependent riparian forest from 1984 to 2012. The river was divided into a southern, upstream (mainly perennial flow) reach and a northern, downstream (mainly intermittent and ephemeral flow) reach. Pre-monsoon (June) Landsat normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) values showed a 20% drop for the northern reach (P < 0·001) and no net change for the southern reach (P > 0·05). NDVI and enhanced vegetation index values were positively correlated (P < 0·05) with river flows, which decreased over the study period in the northern reach, and negatively correlated (P < 0·05) with air temperatures in both reaches, which have increased by 1·4 °C from 1932 to 2012. NDVI in the uplands around the river did not increase from 1984 to 2012, suggesting that increased evapotranspiration in the uplands was not a factor in reducing river flows. Climate change, regional groundwater pumping, changes in the intensity of monsoon rain events and lack of overbank flooding are feasible explanations for deterioration of the riparian forest in the northern reach.

  5. Walking Behavior of Zoo Elephants: Associations between GPS-Measured Daily Walking Distances and Environmental Factors, Social Factors, and Welfare Indicators.

    PubMed

    Holdgate, Matthew R; Meehan, Cheryl L; Hogan, Jennifer N; Miller, Lance J; Soltis, Joseph; Andrews, Jeff; Shepherdson, David J

    2016-01-01

    Research with humans and other animals suggests that walking benefits physical health. Perhaps because these links have been demonstrated in other species, it has been suggested that walking is important to elephant welfare, and that zoo elephant exhibits should be designed to allow for more walking. Our study is the first to address this suggestion empirically by measuring the mean daily walking distance of elephants in North American zoos, determining the factors that are associated with variations in walking distance, and testing for associations between walking and welfare indicators. We used anklets equipped with GPS data loggers to measure outdoor daily walking distance in 56 adult female African (n = 33) and Asian (n = 23) elephants housed in 30 North American zoos. We collected 259 days of data and determined associations between distance walked and social, housing, management, and demographic factors. Elephants walked an average of 5.3 km/day with no significant difference between species. In our multivariable model, more diverse feeding regimens were correlated with increased walking, and elephants who were fed on a temporally unpredictable feeding schedule walked 1.29 km/day more than elephants fed on a predictable schedule. Distance walked was also positively correlated with an increase in the number of social groupings and negatively correlated with age. We found a small but significant negative correlation between distance walked and nighttime Space Experience, but no other associations between walking distances and exhibit size were found. Finally, distance walked was not related to health or behavioral outcomes including foot health, joint health, body condition, and the performance of stereotypic behavior, suggesting that more research is necessary to determine explicitly how differences in walking may impact elephant welfare.

  6. ENVIRONMENTAL AUDITING: Change in Fish Fauna as Indication of Aquatic Ecosystem Condition in Río Grande de Morelia-Lago de Cuitzeo Basin, Mexico.

    PubMed

    Soto-Galera; Paulo-Maya; López-López; Serna-Hernández

    1999-07-01

    / The Río Grande de Morelia-Lago de Cuitzeo basin in west central Mexico has experienced major increases in water pollution from a rapidly growing human population. We examined changes in the long-term distribution of fishes in relation to water quality and quantity in order to assess the condition and health of aquatic ecosystems inthe basin. Sampling between 1985 and 1993 revealed that five (26%) of the 19 native fish species known from the basin had been extirpated. Two of these were endemics, Chirostoma charari and C. compressum, and they are presumed extinct. Twelve (63%) of the remaining species had declines in distribution. Sixteen (80%) of the 20 localities sampled had lost species. The greatest declines occurred in Lago de Cuitzeo proper and in the lower portion of the Río Grande de Morelia watershed. Species losses from the lake were attributable to drying and hypereutrophication of the lake because of substantial reductions in the amount and quality of tributary inputs, whereas losses from the Río Grande de Morelia watershed were the result of pollution from agricultural, municipal, and industrial sources, especially in the region around the city of Morelia. Three localities in the upper portion of the Río Grande de Morelia watershed-Cointzio reservoir, La Mintzita spring, and Insurgente Morelos stream-contained most of the remaining fish species diversity in the basin and deserve additional protection. Fish faunal changes indicated major declines in the health of aquatic ecosystems in the Morelia-Cuitzeo basin.KEY WORDS: Fish distribution; Río Lerma; Ecosystem health; Water quality; Chirostoma; Threatened and endangered specieshttp://link.springer-ny.com/link/service/journals/00267/bibs/24n1p133.html

  7. Performance, bioenergetic status, and indicators of oxidative stress of environmentally heat-loaded Holstein cows in response to diets inducing milk fat depression.

    PubMed

    Kargar, S; Ghorbani, G R; Fievez, V; Schingoethe, D J

    2015-07-01

    substantiated increased susceptibility of plasma lipoperoxidation when cows were fed fish oil. Plasma concentration of malondialdehyde was positively correlated with plasma aspartate aminotransferase (r=0.38; n=32), which is an indicator of liver function in heat-loaded cows. Results suggest that in heat-loaded cows fed diets supplemented with soybean oil versus fish oil, biosynthesis in the mammary gland was prioritized over anabolism and oxidation in peripheral adipose and muscle tissues regardless of type of grain used. Copyright © 2015 American Dairy Science Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Indicators of Ecological Change

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-03-03

    monitoring biodiversity : a hierarchical approach. Conservation 36 Biology 4:355-364. 37 Nuzzo, V. A., W. McClain, and T. Strole. 1996. Fire impact on...Ecological indicators can play an important role in the management process by providing feedback on the impacts that training has on environmental...habitats for species that these cover types support. Landscape patterns, therefore, are important indicators of land-use impacts , past and present, upon

  9. Indicators of Ecological Change

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-03-01

    J. D. Laffite, and C. Moares. 2002. Irreversible impact of past land use on forest soils and biodiversity . Ecology 83:2978-2984. Ebert, D. W., and...indicators can play an important role in the management process by providing feedback on the impacts that training has on environmental characteristics...that these cover types support. Landscape patterns, therefore, are important indicators of land-use impacts , past and present, upon the landscape

  10. Lichen indicator [Section 4

    Treesearch

    Paul L. Patterson; Susan Will-Wolf; Marie T. Trest

    2009-01-01

    Lichens are very responsive to environmental stressors in forests, including changes in forest structure, air quality, and climate. Each lichen species on a plot is an indicator of how lichen communities respond to ecological conditions. Individual lichen species occur erratically and even common species are often absent from plots with suitable habitat. The combined...

  11. Biota and biological parameters as environmental indicators

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Greeson, Phillip E.

    1981-01-01

    This is the third of several compilations of briefing papers on water quality by the U.S. Geological Survey. Each briefing paper is prepared in a simple, nontechnical, easy-to-understand manner. This U.S. Geological Survey Circular contains papers on selected organic substances in water. Briefing papers are included on ' Why study organic substances in water. ', ' Taste and odor in water ', and ' Classification and fractionation of organic solutes in natural waters'. (USGS)

  12. Report: Evaluation of Superfund Environmental Indicators

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Report #2002-P-3, December 27, 2001. Overall, the draft Superfund EIs were suitable because they measure a state of the environment, instead of marking the completion of an administrative step in the Superfund cleanup process.

  13. Incorporation of Environmental Impact Indices into Noisemap

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1981-11-01

    the Biodynamic Environment Branch, Biodynamics and Bioengineering Division. Funding for this effort was provided by the Air Force Engineering and...25.21 OPERTIVS 477 18.21 MEDIAN £2087P $35-50 143 12.41 LABORER 105 4.0% 550 * 57 4.91 FARM 9 0.31 TOTAL 1156 SERVICE 301 11,52 RENT PRIVATE 13 0.52 0

  14. Biomonitoring of Environmental Status and Trends (BEST) Program: Environmental contaminants, health indicators, and reproductive biomarkers in fish from the Mobile, Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint, Savannah, and Pee Dee River Basins

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hinck, Jo Ellen; Blazer, Vicki; Denslow, Nancy D.; Echols, Kathy R.; Gale, Robert W.; May, Tom W.; Claunch, Rachael; Wieser, Carla; Anderson, Patrick J.; Coyle, James J.; Gross, Timothy S.; Tillitt, Donald E.

    2007-01-01

    Largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) and common carp (Cyprinus carpio) were collected from 13 sites in 4 river basins in the southeastern United States to document spatial trends in accumulative contaminants, health indicators, and reproductive biomarkers. Organochlorine residues, 2,3,7,8- tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin-like activity (TCDD-EQ), and elemental contaminants were measured in composite samples of whole fish, grouped by species and gender, from each site. Fish were field-examined for external and internal anomalies, selected organs were weighed to compute somatic indices, and tissue and fluid samples were preserved for fish health and reproductive biomarker analyses. Mercury concentrations in bass samples from all sites exceeded toxicity thresholds for mammals [>0.1 micrograms per gram wet weight (ug/g ww)], fish (>0.2 ug/g ww), and birds (>0.3 ug/g ww) and were greatest (>0.5 ug/g ww) in samples from the Alabama River at Eureka Landing, Alabama; the Mobile River at Bucks, Alabama; the Apalachicola River at Blountstown, Florida; the Savannah River at Sylvania, Georgia; and the Pee Dee River at Bucksport, South Carolina. Selenium concentrations were relatively high (>0.75 ug/g ww) in fish from the Tombigbee River at Lavaca, Alabama; the Mobile River at Bucks; and the Chattahoochee River at Omaha, Georgia compared to those from other sites. Concentrations of 2,2-bis (p-chlorophenyl)- 1,1-dichloroethylene (p,p'-DDE) were high in fish from the Chattahoochee River at Omaha and the Mobile River near Bucks, which was near a 2,2-bis (p-chlorophenyl)-1,1- dichloroethylene (DDT) formulating facility that historically discharged into the lower Mobile River. Toxaphene concentrations in fish from the Flint River near Albany, Georgia (60-100 nanograms per gram (ng/g) ww) may pose a risk to fish. Concentrations of other formerly used (total chlordanes, dieldrin, endrin, aldrin, mirex, and hexachlorobenzene) and currently used (pentachlorobenzene, pentachloroanisole

  15. Chemical Indicators.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Prombain, Dorothy R.; And Others

    This science sourcebook was written for intermediate grade teachers to provide guidance in teaching a specially developed unit on chemical indicators. Directions and suggestions for guiding student science activities are given. Some of the activities concern soil testing, crystals, and household powders such as sugar and salt. A list of necessary…

  16. LANDSCAPE SCALE INDICATORS OF MINING ACTIVITY

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecological indicators of stress are used by the Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program (EMAP) to quantify the status, trends and changes of ecological goods and services. The purpose of developing landscape indicators of stress is to identify environmental and ecological...

  17. Environmental Epigenetics

    PubMed Central

    Bollati, Valentina; Baccarelli, Andrea

    2011-01-01

    Purpose of the review Epigenetics investigates heritable changes in gene expression occurring without changes in DNA sequence. Several epigenetic mechanisms, including DNA methylation and histone modifications, can change genome function under exogenous influence. We review current evidence indicating that epigenetic alterations mediate effects from exposure to environmental toxicants. Recent findings Results from animal models indicate that in-utero or early-life environmental exposures produce effects that can be inherited transgenerationally and are accompanied by epigenetic alterations. The search for human equivalents of the epigenetic mechanisms identified in animal models is under way. Recent investigations have identified a number of environmental toxicants that cause altered methylation of human repetitive elements or genes. Some exposures can alter epigenetic states and the same and/or similar epigenetic alterations can be found in patients with the disease of concern. Based on current evidence, we propose possible models for the interplay between environmental exposures and the human epigenome. Summary Several investigations have examined the relation between exposure to environmental chemicals and epigenetics, and identified toxicants that modify epigenetic states. Whether environmental exposures have transgenerational epigenetic effects in humans remains to be elucidated. In spite of the current limitations, available evidence supports the concept that epigenetics holds substantial potential for furthering our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of environmental toxicants, as well as for predicting health-related risks due to conditions of environmental exposure and individual susceptibility. PMID:20179736

  18. Social indicators.

    PubMed

    Sheldon, E B; Parke, R

    1975-05-16

    The notions of social indicators and social accounting, expressed by analogy with the national economic accounts, generated excitement in the 1960's, and the interest continues to grow if we may judge from governmental activity and the publication of programmatic and research papers. But the concepts which focused much of the early enthusiasm gave exaggerated promise of policy applications and provided an unproductive basis for research. The essential theoretical prerequisites for developing a system of social accounts-defining the variables and the interrelationships among them-are missing. It is now realized that evaluation research, particularly experimentation, must be relied on for evaluation of government programs. Through the development and analysis of descriptive time series and the modeling of social processes, we will be able to describe the state of the society and its dynamics and thus improve immensely our ability to state problems in a productive fashion, obtain clues as to promising lines of endeavor, and ask good questions. But these activities cannot measure program effectiveness. Finally, we must be skeptical about definitions of the social indicators enterprise which confine it to social engineering efforts. The issue is not whether social indicators are useful for policy but, rather, how this usefulness comes about. The interest in social indicators has stimulated a revival of interest in quantitative, comparative, social analysis (60), in the analysis of social change, in conceptual and measurement work on such topics as prejudice, crime, and learning, and in the development of models of social processes. The fruit of these efforts will be more directly a contribution to the policy-maker's cognition than to his decisions. Decision emerges from a mosaic of inputs, including valuational and political, as well as technical components. The work we have described deals with only one type of input; it is a contribution to the intellectual mapping

  19. Corporate environmentalism and environmental innovation.

    PubMed

    Chang, Ching-Hsing; Sam, Abdoul G

    2015-04-15

    Several papers have explored the effect of tighter environmental standards on environmental innovation. While mandatory regulation remains the central tenet of US environmental policy, the regulatory landscape has changed since the early 1990s with the increased recourse by federal and state agencies to corporate environmentalism--voluntary pollution prevention (P2) by firms--to achieve environmental improvements. We therefore estimate the effects of voluntary P2 activities on the patenting of environmental technologies by a sample of manufacturing firms. With our panel data of 352 firms over the 1991-2000 period, we adopt an instrumental variable Poisson framework to account for the count nature of patents and the endogeneity of the P2 adoption decision. Our results indicate that the adoption of voluntary P2 activities in the manufacturing sector has led to a statistically and economically significant increase in the number of environmental patents, suggesting that corporate environmentalism can act as a catalyst for investments in cleaner technologies. Our findings are internationally relevant given the increasing ubiquity of corporate environmentalism in both developed and developing economies. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Indicators: Wetland Vegetation (Introduced Species)

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Introduced plants are indicators of the ecological integrity of waters and evidence of increased human-caused disturbance in the watershed. Introduced species that cause economic or environmental harm, or harm to human health, are called invasive species.

  1. The radon indicator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Samuelsson, L.

    2005-11-01

    The radon indicator is an efficient instrument for measuring the radon daughter concentrations in a house or dwelling. Physics or environmental science students could build a radon indicator as a student project. Another possibility would be to use a radon indicator in a student investigation of radon levels in different houses. Finally the radon indicator is an excellent device for producing a radioactive source, free of charge, for the study of α-, β- and γ-radiation. The half-life of the activity collected is approximately 40 min. The radon indicator makes use of an electrostatic method by which charged particles are drawn to a small aluminium plate with a high negative voltage (-5 kV), thus creating a strong electric field between the plate and a surrounding copper wire. The radioactivity on the plate is subsequently measured by a GM-counter and the result calculated in Bq m-3. The collecting time is just 5.5 min and therefore the instrument is only suitable for use in a short-time method for indicating the radon concentration. An improved diagram, ground-radon and/or wall-radon in houses, is presented on the basis of the author's measurements recorded with the radon indicator over many years. This diagram is very useful when discussing how to reduce radiation levels in homes.