ResearchPad - environmental-impacts https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Reassessing the observational evidence for nitrogen deposition impacts in acid grassland: spatial Bayesian linear models indicate small and ambiguous effects on species richness]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_12822 Nitrogen deposition (Ndep) is considered a significant threat to plant diversity in grassland ecosystems around the world. The evidence supporting this conclusion comes from both observational and experimental research, with “space-for-time” substitution surveys of pollutant gradients a significant portion of the former. However, estimates of regression coefficients for Ndep impacts on species richness, derived with a focus on causal inference, are hard to locate in the observational literature. Some influential observational studies have presented estimates from univariate models, overlooking the effects of omitted variable bias, and/or have used P-value-based stepwise variable selection (PSVS) to infer impacts, a strategy known to be poorly suited to the accurate estimation of regression coefficients. Broad-scale spatial autocorrelation has also generally been unaccounted for. We re-examine two UK observational datasets that have previously been used to investigate the relationship between Ndep and plant species richness in acid grasslands, a much-researched habitat in this context. One of these studies (Stevens et al., 2004, Science, 303: 1876–1879) estimated a large negative impact of Ndep on richness through the use of PSVS; the other reported smaller impacts (Maskell et al., 2010, Global Change Biology, 16: 671–679), but did not explicitly report regression coefficients or partial effects, making the actual size of the estimated Ndep impact difficult to assess. We reanalyse both datasets using a spatial Bayesian linear model estimated using integrated nested Laplace approximation (INLA). Contrary to previous results, we found similar-sized estimates of the Ndep impact on plant richness between studies, both with and without bryophytes, albeit with some disagreement over the most likely direction of this effect. Our analyses suggest that some previous estimates of Ndep impacts on richness from space-for-time substitution studies are likely to have been over-estimated, and that the evidence from observational studies could be fragile when confronted with alternative model specifications, although further work is required to investigate potentially nonlinear responses. Given the growing literature on the use of observational data to estimate the impacts of pollutants on biodiversity, we suggest that a greater focus on clearly reporting important outcomes with associated uncertainty, the use of techniques to account for spatial autocorrelation, and a clearer focus on the aims of a study, whether explanatory or predictive, are all required.

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<![CDATA[Fear and stressing in predator–prey ecology: considering the twin stressors of predators and people on mammals]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_12770 Predators induce stress in prey and can have beneficial effects in ecosystems, but can also have negative effects on biodiversity if they are overabundant or have been introduced. The growth of human populations is, at the same time, causing degradation of natural habitats and increasing interaction rates of humans with wildlife, such that conservation management routinely considers the effects of human disturbance as tantamount to or surpassing those of predators. The need to simultaneously manage both of these threats is particularly acute in urban areas that are, increasingly, being recognized as global hotspots of wildlife activity. Pressures from altered predator–prey interactions and human activity may each initiate fear responses in prey species above those that are triggered by natural stressors in ecosystems. If fear responses are experienced by prey at elevated levels, on top of responses to multiple environmental stressors, chronic stress impacts may occur. Despite common knowledge of the negative effects of stress, however, it is rare that stress management is considered in conservation, except in intensive ex situ situations such as in captive breeding facilities or zoos. We propose that mitigation of stress impacts on wildlife is crucial for preserving biodiversity, especially as the value of habitats within urban areas increases. As such, we highlight the need for future studies to consider fear and stress in predator–prey ecology to preserve both biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, especially in areas where human disturbance occurs. We suggest, in particular, that non-invasive in situ investigations of endocrinology and ethology be partnered in conservation planning with surveys of habitat resources to incorporate and reduce the effects of fear and stress on wildlife.

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<![CDATA[Stomatal conductance bears no correlation with transpiration rate in wheat during their diurnal variation under high air humidity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_11279 A good understanding of the response of photosynthesis rate (PN) and transpiration rate (Tr) to stomatal alteration during the diurnal variations is important to cumulative photosynthetic production and water loss of crops. Six wheat genotypes were studied for 2 years with pot cultivation in rain-shelter. Among different genotypes, stomatal conductance (gs) was significantly correlated with both PN and Tr. But for each genotype, though gs was significantly correlated with PN regardless of relative air humidity (RH) status and it was also significantly correlated with Tr under lower RH (LRH, 15.4%) and moderate RH (MRH, 28.3%), it was not correlated with Tr under higher RH (HRH, 36.7%) during the diurnal changes. The conditional correlation between gs and Tr of wheat evoked new thinking on the relationships among gs, PN and Tr. Path analysis was further carried out to clarify the correlations of gs with the four atmospheric factors, that of Tr with gs and the four factors and the direct and indirect effects of the factors, during their diurnal dynamic variation. The effects of these factors on gs or Tr were related to RH. All the four factors had a much higher correlation with gs under HRH than that under LRH and MRH. Air temperature (T) had a rather higher direct effect than RH and photosynthetically active radiation (PAR). Also, the other factors had a much higher indirect effect on gs through vapor pressure deficit (VPD) and T. Transpiration rate was highly correlated with gs under LRH and MRH, with gs having a higher direct effect on it. In comparison, Tr was not correlated with gs under HRH but highly correlated with the atmospheric factors, with T, RH, and PAR having a higher indirect effect through VPD.

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<![CDATA[Estimation of soil salt content by combining UAV-borne multispectral sensor and machine learning algorithms]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N794eaa1f-1abe-45a2-a5c3-7892b7f2c9aa

Soil salinization is a global problem closely related to the sustainable development of social economy. Compared with frequently-used satellite-borne sensors, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) equipped with multispectral sensors provide an opportunity to monitor soil salinization with on-demand high spatial and temporal resolution. This study aims to quantitatively estimate soil salt content (SSC) using UAV-borne multispectral imagery, and explore the deep mining of multispectral data. For this purpose, a total of 60 soil samples (0–20 cm) were collected from Shahaoqu Irrigation Area in Inner Mongolia, China. Meanwhile, from the UAV sensor we obtained the multispectral data, based on which 22 spectral covariates (6 spectral bands and 16 spectral indices) were constructed. The sensitive spectral covariates were selected by means of gray relational analysis (GRA), successive projections algorithm (SPA) and variable importance in projection (VIP), and from these selected covariates estimation models were built using back propagation neural network (BPNN) regression, support vector regression (SVR) and random forest (RF) regression, respectively. The performance of the models was assessed by coefficient of determination (R2), root mean squared error (RMSE) and ratio of performance to deviation (RPD). The results showed that the estimation accuracy of the models had been improved markedly using three variable selection methods, and VIP outperformed GRA and GRA outperformed SPA. However, the model accuracy with the three machine learning algorithms turned out to be significantly different: RF > SVR > BPNN. All the 12 SSC estimation models could be used to quantitatively estimate SSC (RPD > 1.4) while the VIP-RF model achieved the highest accuracy (Rc2 = 0.835, RP2 = 0.812, RPD = 2.299). The result of this study proved that UAV-borne multispectral sensor is a feasible instrument for SSC estimation, and provided a reference for further similar research.

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<![CDATA[Estimation of nitrogen leaching load from agricultural fields in the Puck Commune with an interactive calculator]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Na6c604bb-8649-4c15-a748-d3f79bf681dc

Background

Nutrient leaching from agricultural fields is one of the main causes of pollution and eutrophication of the Baltic Sea. The quantity of nitrogen (N) leached from a particular field can be very different from the amount of N leached from other fields in a given region or even within a single farm. Therefore, it is necessary to estimate the quantity of N leached for each field separately.

Methods

An opinion poll has been conducted on 31 farms within the Puck Commune, which is approximately 3.6% of all farms located in this commune. Farmers provided data on the manner of fertilizing and cultivating crops on all their farms. For each field individually, on the basis of collected data, an estimated amount of the N leaching from the field has been determined.

Results

An interactive calculator to assist farmers in determining the quantity of N leaching from the agricultural field has been developed. The influence of factors shaping the amount of N leaching from a single field has been analyzed, and it has been determined that autumn plowing (specifically its absence) and the type of cultivated soil had the greatest average influence on this value in the studied sample.

Discussion

Due to the possible ways of reducing N leaching from agricultural fields, most of the studied fields were fertilized in an appropriate manner. However, in the studied sample there were fields for which the fertilization intensity significantly exceeded the recommended doses. In this context, a tool in the form of an interactive, easy-to-use N leaching calculator should help farmers to select appropriate doses and optimal fertilization practices.

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<![CDATA[The impact of pesticides used at the agricultural land of the Puck commune on the environment of the Puck Bay]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N3bc6d126-d710-45c4-a143-fb0b412ac1d1

Background

The Puck commune is one of the largest agricultural regions in the Pomeranian Voivodship that due to the pollution of the coastal zone negatively affects the functioning of the Puck Bay, including health of its inhabitants, and causes decrease in tourism as well as in overall economic value of the region. The objective of the undertaken study was to assess the extent of risk to the environment posed by the pesticides used in agricultural production in the coastal area of the Puck commune.

Methods

The study focused on organochlorine insecticides (DDT and its metabolites: α, β, ϒ, δ-HCH, aldrin, dieldrin, endrin, isodrine), glyphosate and its metabolite AMPA, and 309 active substances used as pesticides. Analyses were carried out using GC-MS, GC-MS/MS and LC-MS/MS techniques. The undertaken novel approach included “tracking” of a large number of substances in multiple environmental matrices (surface water, groundwater, seawater, soil, sediment and fish), along with examination of their transport routes from the pesticides application locality to the Puck Bay.

Results

Glyphosate and its metabolite AMPA, anthraquinone, boscalid, chlorpyrifos-ethyl, dimethachlor, diflufenican, difenoconazole, epoxiconazole, fluopicolide and metazachlor were found in soil samples and surface water samples collected from drainage ditches surrounding the studied agricultural plots. In the samples of seawater and fish taken from the Puck Bay no studied pesticides were found.

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<![CDATA[Element concentrations in pelagic Sargassum along the Mexican Caribbean coast in 2018-2019]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Neeb2be8b-f16f-48a3-94ce-cf36cfe31d5b

The massive influx of pelagic Sargassum spp. (sargasso) into the Mexican Caribbean Sea has caused major deterioration of the coastal environment and has affected the tourism industry as well as livelihoods since 2015. Species of Sargassum have high capacity to absorb metals; thus, leachates of sargasso may contribute to contamination by potentially toxic metals when they drain into the sea and into the groundwater when dumped in inadequate land deposits. Valorization of sargasso would contribute to sustainable management; therefore, knowledge on potentially toxic metal content is necessary to define possible uses of the algae. We present concentrations of 28 elements measured using a non-destructive X-ray fluorescence analyzer (XRF) in 63 samples of sargasso collected between August 2018 and June 2019 from eight localities along ∼370 km long coastline of the Mexican Caribbean Sea. The sargasso tissues contained detectable concentrations of Al, As, Ca, Cl, Cu, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, Mo, P, Pb, Rb, S, Si, Sr, Th, U, V, and Zn. The element concentration in sargasso varied on spatial and temporal scales, which likely depended on the previous trajectory of the pelagic masses, and whether these had (or had not) passed through contaminated areas. Total arsenic concentration varied between 24–172 ppm DW, exceeding the maximum limit for seaweed intended as animal fooder (40 ppm DW) in 86% of the samples. For valorization, we recommend analyses of metal contents as a mandatory practice or avoiding uses for nutritional purposes. The high arsenic content is also of concern for environmental contamination of the sea and aquifer.

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<![CDATA[Campsites, forest fires, and entry point distance affect earthworm abundance in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nbbd3995f-7eaf-400e-9460-5e77a2eca2d5

Factors controlling the spread of invasive earthworms in Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness are poorly known. Believed to have been introduced by anglers who use them as bait, invasive earthworms can alter the physical and chemical properties of soil and modify forest plant communities. To examine factors influencing earthworm distribution and abundance, we sampled 38 islands across five lakes to assess the effects of campsites, fire and entry point distance on earthworm density, biomass and species richness. We hypothesized that all three parameters would be greater on islands with campsites, lower on burned islands and would decrease with distance from the wilderness entry point. In addition to sampling earthworms, we collected soil cores to examine soil organic matter and recorded ground and vegetation cover. Campsite presence was the single most important factor affecting sampled earthworm communities; density, biomass and species richness were all higher on islands having campsites. Fire was associated with reduced earthworm density, but had no direct effects on earthworm biomass or species richness. Fire influenced earthworm biomass primarily through its negative relationship to groundcover and through an interaction with entry point distance. Entry point distance itself affected earthworm density and biomass. For islands with campsites, earthworm biomass increased with distance from the entry point.

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<![CDATA[Holistic Environmental Approaches and Aichi Biodiversity Targets: accomplishments and perspectives for marine ecosystems]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N02cf04e4-8823-442e-aadb-c7b55a396ab1

In order to help safeguard biodiversity from global changes, the Conference of the Parties developed a Strategic Plan for Biodiversity for the period 2011–2020 that included a list of twenty specific objectives known as the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. With the end of that timeframe in sight, and despite major advancements in biodiversity conservation, evidence suggests that the majority of the Targets are unlikely to be met. This article is part of a series of perspective pieces from the 4th World Conference on Marine Biodiversity (May 2018, Montréal, Canada) to identify next steps towards successful biodiversity conservation in marine environments. We specifically reviewed holistic environmental assessment studies (HEA) and their contribution to reaching the Targets. Our analysis was based on multiple environmental approaches which can be considered as holistic, and we discuss how HEA can contribute to the Aichi Biodiversity Targets in the near future. We found that only a few HEA articles considered a specific Biodiversity Target in their research, and that Target 11, which focuses on marine protected areas, was the most commonly cited. We propose five research priorities to enhance HEA for marine biodiversity conservation beyond 2020: (i) expand the use of holistic approaches in environmental assessments, (ii) standardize HEA vocabulary, (iii) enhance data collection, sharing and management, (iv) consider ecosystem spatio-temporal variability and (v) integrate ecosystem services in HEA. The consideration of these priorities will promote the value of HEA and will benefit the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity.

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<![CDATA[Assessment of crusting effects on interrill erosion by laser scanning]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N25193321-a373-4487-8fd6-751980ad45ce

Background

Crust formation affects soil erosion by raindrop impacted flow through changing particle size and cohesion between particles on the soil surface, as well as surface microtopography. Therefore, changes in soil microtopography can, in theory, be employed as a proxy to reflect the complex and dynamic interactions between crust formation and erosion caused by raindrop-impacted flow. However, it is unclear whether minor variations of soil microtopography can actually be detected with tools mapping the crust surface, often leaving the interpretation of interrill runoff and erosion dynamics qualitative or even speculative.

Methods

In this study, we used a laser scanner to measure the changes of the microtopography of two soils placed under simulated rainfall in experimental flumes and crusting at different rates. The two soils were of the same texture, but under different land management, and thus organic matter content and aggregate stability. To limit the amount of scanning and data analysis in this exploratory study, two transects and four subplots on each experimental flume were scanned with a laser in one-millimeter interval before and after rainfall simulations.

Results

While both soils experienced a flattening, they displayed different temporal patterns of crust development and associated erosional responses. The laser scanning data also allowed to distinguish the different rates of developments of surface features for replicates with extreme erosional responses. The use of the laser data improved the understanding of crusting effects on soil erosional responses, illustrating that even limited laser scanning provides essential information for quantitatively exploring interrill erosion processes.

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<![CDATA[Effects of silver-graphene oxide on seed germination and early growth of crop species]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N6979c4e1-9258-4a55-9249-c51160d2bd26

Due to its excellent material properties, silver-graphene oxide (Ag-GO) is being studied for diverse applications, such as antimicrobial agents, catalysts and absorbents. Such use of Ag-GO may lead to its release into terrestrial ecosystems, but little is known about the impact of Ag-GO on plants. In the present study, we determined the effects of Ag-GO on seed germination and early growth of crop species by analyzing the germination rate, growth of roots and shoots, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) accumulation, and the uptake of Ag in alfalfa, radish and cucumber treated with 0.2–1.6 mg mL−1 of Ag-GO. Ag-GO treatment increased the shoot growth of radish at 0.2–1.6 mg mL−1 but decreased that of cucumber at 0.8 mg mL−1. In addition, Ag-GO enhanced the root elongation of radish at 0.2 mg mL−1 but inhibited that of alfalfa at 0.2, 0.8 and 1.6 mg mL−1. Ag-GO treatment induced H2O2 production in alfalfa, radish and cucumber in a concentration-dependent manner. Larger amounts of Ag accumulated in the seedlings as the concentration of Ag-GO increased, and such accumulation suggests that Ag may be transferred to higher trophic levels when plants are exposed to Ag-GO in ecosystems. Our study can, thus, serve as an important basis for setting guidelines for the release of nanomaterials into the environment.

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<![CDATA[Analysis and prediction of vegetation dynamics under the background of climate change in Xinjiang, China]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Ne0ba72e6-0c27-427b-bc7e-351cd98443bf

Background

Vegetation dynamics is defined as a significant indictor in regulating terrestrial carbon balance and climate change, and this issue is important for the evaluation of climate change. Though much work has been done concerning the correlations among vegetation dynamics, precipitation and temperature, the related questions about relationships between vegetation dynamics and other climatic factors (e.g., specific humidity, net radiation, soil moisture) have not been thoroughly considered. Understanding these questions is of primary importance in developing policies to address climate change.

Methods

In this study, the least squares regression analysis method was used to simulate the trend of vegetation dynamics based on the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) from 1981 to 2018. A partial correlation analysis method was used to explore the relationship between vegetation dynamics and climate change; and further,the revised greyscale model was applied to predict the future growth trend of natural vegetation.

Results

The Mann-Kendall test results showed that th e air temperature rose sharply in 1997 and had been in a state of high fluctuations since then. Strong changes in hydrothermal conditions had major impact on vegetation dynamics in the area. Specifically, the NDVI value of natural vegetation showed an increasing trend from 1981 to 2018, and the same changes occurred in the precipitation. From 1981 to 1997, the values of natural vegetation increased at a rate of 0.0016 per year. From 1999 to 2009, the NDVI value decreased by an average rate of 0.0025 per year. From 2010 to 2018, the values began an increasing trend and reached a peak in 2017, with an average annual rate of 0.0033. The high vegetation dynamics areas were mainly concentrated in the north and south slopes of the Tianshan Mountains, the Ili River Valley and the Altay area. The greyscale prediction results showed that the annual average NDVI values of natural vegetation may present a fluctuating increasing trend. The NDVI value in 2030 is 0.0196 higher than that in 2018, with an increase of 6.18%.

Conclusions

Our results indicate that: (i) the variations of climatic factors have caused a huge change in the hydrothermal conditions in Xinjiang; (ii) the vegetation dynamics in Xinjiang showed obvious volatility, and then in the end stage of the study were higher than the initial stage the vegetation dynamics in Xinjiang showed a staged increasing trend; (iii) the vegetation dynamics were affected by many factors,of which precipitation was the main reason; (iv) in the next decade, the vegetation dynamics in Xinjiang will show an increasing trend.

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<![CDATA[Predicting hedgehog mortality risks on British roads using habitat suitability modelling]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N6416bb54-f0e0-42b2-a3ad-ebaa08a0daa0

Road vehicle collisions are likely to be an important contributory factor in the decline of the European hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus) in Britain. Here, a collaborative roadkill dataset collected from multiple projects across Britain was used to assess when, where and why hedgehog roadkill are more likely to occur. Seasonal trends were assessed using a Generalized Additive Model. There were few casualties in winter—the hibernation season for hedgehogs—with a gradual increase from February that reached a peak in July before declining thereafter. A sequential multi-level Habitat Suitability Modelling (HSM) framework was then used to identify areas showing a high probability of hedgehog roadkill occurrence throughout the entire British road network (∼400,000 km) based on multi-scale environmental determinants. The HSM predicted that grassland and urban habitat coverage were important in predicting the probability of roadkill at a national scale. Probabilities peaked at approximately 50% urban cover at a one km scale and increased linearly with grassland cover (improved and rough grassland). Areas predicted to experience high probabilities of hedgehog roadkill occurrence were therefore in urban and suburban environments, that is, where a mix of urban and grassland habitats occur. These areas covered 9% of the total British road network. In combination with information on the frequency with which particular locations have hedgehog road casualties, the framework can help to identify priority areas for mitigation measures.

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<![CDATA[Roles of phytohormone changes in the grain yield of rice plants exposed to heat: a review]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nb2db63fa-012c-435e-b285-b2622e85b88f

During its reproductive phase, rice is susceptible to heat stress. Heat events will occur at all stages during the reproductive phase of rice as a result of global warming. Moreover, rice yield traits respond differently to heat stress during panicle initiation, flowering and grain filling. The reduction in the number of spikelets per panicle of heat-stressed plants is due to the attenuated differentiation of secondary branches and their attached florets as well as the promotion of their degradation during the panicle-initiation stage but is not affected by heat stress thereafter. Spikelet sterility as a result of heat stress is attributed not only to physiological abnormalities in the reproductive organs during the flowering stage but also to structural and morphological abnormalities in reproductive organs during the panicle-initiation stage. The reduced grain weight of heat-stressed plants is due to a reduction in nonstructural carbohydrates, undeveloped vascular bundles, and a reduction in glume size during the panicle-initiation stage, while a shortened grain-filling duration, reduced grain-filling rate, and decreased grain width contribute to reduced grain weight during the grain-filling stage. Thus, screening and breeding rice varieties that have comprehensive tolerance to heat stress at all time points during their reproductive stage may be possible to withstand unpredictable heat events in the future. The responses of yield traits to heat stress are regulated by phytohormone levels, which are determined by phytohormone homeostasis. Currently, the biosynthesis and transport of phytohormones are the key processes that determine phytohormone levels in and grain yield of rice under heat stress. Studies on phytohormone homeostatic responses are needed to further reveal the key processes that determine phytohormone levels under heat conditions.

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<![CDATA[Wolbachia Enhances West Nile Virus (WNV) Infection in the Mosquito Culex tarsalis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da83ab0ee8fa60b9b5de

Novel strategies are required to control mosquitoes and the pathogens they transmit. One attractive approach involves maternally inherited endosymbiotic Wolbachia bacteria. After artificial infection with Wolbachia, many mosquitoes become refractory to infection and transmission of diverse pathogens. We evaluated the effects of Wolbachia (wAlbB strain) on infection, dissemination and transmission of West Nile virus (WNV) in the naturally uninfected mosquito Culex tarsalis, which is an important WNV vector in North America. After inoculation into adult female mosquitoes, Wolbachia reached high titers and disseminated widely to numerous tissues including the head, thoracic flight muscles, fat body and ovarian follicles. Contrary to other systems, Wolbachia did not inhibit WNV in this mosquito. Rather, WNV infection rate was significantly higher in Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes compared to controls. Quantitative PCR of selected innate immune genes indicated that REL1 (the activator of the antiviral Toll immune pathway) was down regulated in Wolbachia-infected relative to control mosquitoes. This is the first observation of Wolbachia-induced enhancement of a human pathogen in mosquitoes, suggesting that caution should be applied before releasing Wolbachia-infected insects as part of a vector-borne disease control program.

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<![CDATA[Galvanic Manufacturing in the Cities of Russia: Potential Source of Ambient Nanoparticles]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daa5ab0ee8fa60ba7307

Galvanic manufacturing is widely employed and can be found in nearly every average city in Russia. The release and accumulation of different metals (Me), depending on the technology used can be found in the vicinities of galvanic plants. Under the environmental protection act in Russia, the regulations for galvanic manufacturing do not include the regulations and safety standards for ambient ultrafine and nanosized particulate matter (PM). To assess whether Me nanoparticles (NP) are among environmental pollutants caused by galvanic manufacturing, the level of Me NP were tested in urban snow samples collected around galvanic enterprises in two cities. Employing transmission electronic microscopy, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, and a laser diffraction particle size analyzer, we found that the size distribution of tested Me NP was within 10–120 nm range. This is the first study to report that Me NP of Fe, Cr, Pb, Al, Ni, Cu, and Zn were detected around galvanic shop settings.

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<![CDATA[Effect of Off-Season Flooding on Growth, Photosynthesis, Carbohydrate Partitioning, and Nutrient Uptake in Distylium chinense]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da36ab0ee8fa60b866e0

Distylium chinense is an evergreen shrub used for the vegetation recovery of floodplain and riparian areas in Three Gorges Reservoir Region. To clarify the morphological and physiological responses and tolerance of Distylium chinense to off-season flooding, a simulation flooding experiment was conducted during autumn and winter. Results indicated that the survival rate of seedlings was 100%, and that plant height and stem diameter were not significantly affected by flooding. Adventitious roots and hypertrophic lenticels were observed in flooded seedlings after 30 days of flooding. Flooding significantly reduced the plant biomass of roots, net photosynthetic rate (Pn), stomatal conductance (gs), transpiration rate (Tr), maximum photochemical efficiency (Fv/Fm), photochemical quenching (qP), and electron transport rate (ETR) in leaves, and also affected the allocation and transport of carbohydrate and nutrients. However, D. chinense was able to maintain stable levels of Pn, Fv/Fm, qP, ETR, and nutrient content (N and P) in leaves and to store a certain amount of carbohydrate in roots over prolonged durations of flooding. Based on these results, we conclude that there is a high flooding tolerance in D. chinense, and the high survival rate of D. chinense may be attributable to a combination of morphological and physiological responses to flooding.

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<![CDATA[A Critical Assessment of Marine Aquarist Biodiversity Data and Commercial Aquaculture: Identifying Gaps in Culture Initiatives to Inform Local Fisheries Managers]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da2cab0ee8fa60b82cfd

It is widely accepted that if well managed, the marine aquarium trade could provide socio-economic stability to local communities while incentivising the maintenance of coral reefs. However, the trade has also been implicated as having potentially widespread environmental impacts that has in part driven developments in aquaculture to relieve wild collection pressures. This study investigates the biodiversity in hobbyist aquaria (using an online survey) and those species currently available from an aquaculture source (commercial data and hobbyist initiatives) in the context of a traffic light system to highlight gaps in aquaculture effort and identify groups that require fisheries assessments. Two hundred and sixty nine species including clown fish, damsels, dotty backs, angelfish, gobies, sea horses and blennies, have reported breeding successes by hobbyists, a pattern mirrored by the European and US commercial organisations. However, there is a mismatch (high demand and low/non-existent aquaculture) for a number of groups including tangs, starfish, anemones and hermit crabs, which we recommend are priority candidates for local stock assessments. Hobbyist perception towards the concept of a sustainable aquarium trade is also explored with results demonstrating that only 40% of respondents were in agreement with industry and scientists who believe the trade could be an exemplar of a sustainable use of coral reefs. We believe that a more transparent evidence base, including the publication of the species collected and cultured, will go some way to align the concept of a sustainable trade across industry stakeholders and better inform the hobbyist when purchasing their aquaria stock. We conclude by proposing that a certification scheme established with government support is the most effective way to move towards a self-regulating industry. It would prevent industry “greenwashing” from multiple certification schemes, alleviate conservation concerns, and, ultimately, support aquaculture initiatives alongside well managed ornamental fisheries.

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<![CDATA[Simultaneous Simulations of Uptake in Plants and Leaching to Groundwater of Cadmium and Lead for Arable Land Amended with Compost or Farmyard Manure]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da1dab0ee8fa60b7da27

The water budget of soil, the uptake in plants and the leaching to groundwater of cadmium (Cd) and lead (Pb) were simulated simultaneously using a physiological plant uptake model and a tipping buckets water and solute transport model for soil. Simulations were compared to results from a ten-year experimental field study, where four organic amendments were applied every second year. Predicted concentrations slightly decreased (Cd) or stagnated (Pb) in control soils, but increased in amended soils by about 10% (Cd) and 6% to 18% (Pb). Estimated plant uptake was lower in amended plots, due to an increase of Kd (dry soil to water partition coefficient). Predicted concentrations in plants were close to measured levels in plant residues (straw), but higher than measured concentrations in grains. Initially, Pb was mainly predicted to deposit from air into plants (82% in 1998); the next years, uptake from soil became dominating (30% from air in 2006), because of decreasing levels in air. For Cd, predicted uptake from air into plants was negligible (1–5%).

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<![CDATA[Seasonal and Long-Term Changes in Relative Abundance of Bull Sharks from a Tourist Shark Feeding Site in Fiji]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dae4ab0ee8fa60bbcd0d

Shark tourism has become increasingly popular, but remains controversial because of major concerns originating from the need of tour operators to use bait or chum to reliably attract sharks. We used direct underwater sampling to document changes in bull shark Carcharhinus leucas relative abundance at the Shark Reef Marine Reserve, a shark feeding site in Fiji, and the reproductive cycle of the species in Fijian waters. Between 2003 and 2009, the total number of C. leucas counted on each day ranged from 0 to 40. Whereas the number of C. leucas counted at the feeding site increased over the years, shark numbers decreased over the course of a calendar year with fewest animals counted in November. Externally visible reproductive status information indicates that the species' seasonal departure from the feeding site may be related to reproductive activity.

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