Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 290

World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology

[Biological and Ecological Engineering]

Online ISSN : 1307-6892

290 Wildfires Assessed By Remote Sensed Images And Burned Land Monitoring

Authors: Maria da Conceição Proença


This case study implements the evaluation of burned areas that suffered successive wildfires in Portugal mainland during the summer of 2017, killing more than 60 people. It’s intended to show that this evaluation can be done with remote sensing data free of charges in a simple laptop, with open-source software, describing the not-so-simple methodology step by step, to make it available for county workers in city halls of the areas attained, where the availability of information is essential for the immediate planning of mitigation measures, such as restoring road access, allocate funds for the recovery of human dwellings and assess further restoration of the ecological system. Wildfires also devastate forest ecosystems having a direct impact on vegetation cover and killing or driving away from the animal population. The economic interest is also attained, as the pinewood burned becomes useless for the noblest applications, so its value decreases, and resin extraction ends for several years. The tools described in this paper enable the location of the areas where took place the annihilation of natural habitats and establish a baseline for major changes in forest ecosystems recovery. Moreover, the result allows the follow up of the surface fuel loading, enabling the targeting and evaluation of restoration measures in a time basis planning.

Keywords: image processing, remote sensing, wildfires, burned areas evaluation, sentinel-2

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289 Mapping of Urban Green Spaces Towards a Balanced Planning in a Coastal Landscape

Authors: Rania Ajmi, Faiza Allouche Khebour, Aude Nuscia Taibi, Sirine Essasi


Urban green spaces (UGS) as an important contributor can be a significant part of sustainable development. A spatial method was employed to assess and map the spatial distribution of UGS in five districts in Sousse, Tunisia. Ecological management of UGS is an essential factor for the sustainable development of the city; hence the municipality of Sousse has decided to support the districts according to different green spaces characters. And to implement this policy, (1) a new GIS web application was developed, (2) then the implementation of the various green spaces was carried out, (3) a spatial mapping of UGS using Quantum GIS was realized, and (4) finally a data processing and statistical analysis with RStudio programming language was executed. The intersection of the results of the spatial and statistical analyzes highlighted the presence of an imbalance in terms of the spatial UGS distribution in the study area. The discontinuity between the coast and the city's green spaces was not designed in a spirit of network and connection, hence the lack of a greenway that connects these spaces to the city. Finally, this GIS support will be used to assess and monitor green spaces in the city of Sousse by decision-makers and will contribute to improve the well-being of the local population.

Keywords: distributions, GIS, green space, imbalance, spatial analysis

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288 Identification of Shark Species off The Nigerian Coast Using DNA Barcoding

Authors: O. O. Fola-Matthews, O. O. Soyinka, D. N. Bitalo


Nigeria is one of the major shark fishing nations in Africa, but its fisheries managers still record catch data in aggregates ‘sharks’ with no species-specific details. This is because most of the shark specimens look identical in morphology, and field identification of some closely related species is tricky. This study uses DNA barcoding as a method to identify shark species from five different landing areas off the Nigerian Coast. 100 dorsal fins were sampled in order to provide a Chondrichthyan sequence that would be matched to reference specimens in a DNA barcode database

Keywords: BOLD, DNA barcoding, nigeria, sharks

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287 WHSS: A Platform for Designing Water Harvesting Systems for Multiple Purposes

Authors: Ignacio Sanchez Cohen, Aurelio Pedroza Sandoval, Ricardo Trejo Calzada


Water harvesting systems (WHS) has become the unique alternative that farmers in dry areas accounts for surviving dry periods. Nevertheless, technicians, agronomists, and users, in general, have to cope with the difficulty of finding suitable technology for optimal design of WHS. In this paper, we describe a user-friendly computer program that uses readily available information for the design of multiple WHS depending upon the water final use (agriculture, household, conservation, etc). The application (APP) itself contains several links to help the user complete the input requirements. It is not a prerequisite to have any computer skills for the use of the APP. Outputs of the APP are the dimensions of the WHS named terraces, micro-catchments, cisterns, and small household cisterns for roof water catchment. The APP also provides guidance on crops for backyard agriculture. We believe that this tool may guide users to better optimize WHS for multiple purposes and to widen the possibility of copping with dry spells in arid lands.

Keywords: rainfall-catchment, models, computer aid, arid lands

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286 Exploring Forest Biomass Changes in Romania in the Last Three Decades

Authors: Remus Pravalie, Georgeta Bandoc


Forests are crucial for humanity and biodiversity, through the various ecosystem services and functions they provide all over the world. Forest ecosystems are vital in Romania as well, through their various benefits, known as provisioning (food, wood, or fresh water), regulating (water purification, soil protection, carbon sequestration or control of climate change, floods, and other hazards), cultural (aesthetic, spiritual, inspirational, recreational or educational benefits) and supporting (primary production, nutrient cycling, and soil formation processes, with direct or indirect importance for human well-being) ecosystem services. These ecological benefits are of great importance in Romania, especially given the fact that forests cover extensive areas countrywide, i.e. ~6.5 million ha or ~27.5% of the national territory. However, the diversity and functionality of these ecosystem services fundamentally depend on certain key attributes of forests, such as biomass, which has so far not been studied nationally in terms of potential changes due to climate change and other driving forces. This study investigates, for the first time, changes in forest biomass in Romania in recent decades, based on a high volume of satellite data (Landsat images at high spatial resolutions), downloaded from the Google Earth Engine platform and processed (using specialized software and methods) across Romanian forestland boundaries from 1987 to 2018. A complex climate database was also investigated across Romanian forests over the same 32-year period, in order to detect potential similarities and statistical relationships between the dynamics of biomass and climate data. The results obtained indicated considerable changes in forest biomass in Romania in recent decades, largely triggered by the climate change that affected the country after 1987. Findings on the complex pattern of recent forest changes in Romania, which will be presented in detail in this study, can be useful to national policymakers in the fields of forestry, climate, and sustainable development.

Keywords: forests, biomass, climate change, trends, romania

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285 Coupling of Hydrological and Carbon Fluxes Models for Simulating Dissolved Organic Carbon Fluxes in Forests under Different Rainfall Regimes

Authors: Sandra P. Mena, Patrick Willems


The omission or lack of representation of certain processes such as carbon losses by leaching and the temporal/spatial distribution of carbon fluxes contribute to uncertainties in soil carbon fluxes simulations. It is also known that dissolved organic carbon (DOC) export is strongly affected by hydrological processes. These fluxes are usually not limited to plot or field scale but occur at larger spatial scales; they need thus to be considered in simulations. In the last years, several efforts have been made to tackle these limitations and reproduce DOC dynamics. However, most of these models are detailed physically based, being computationally expensive, or they are empirically based. Therefore, the aim of this study is to use conceptual modeling to represent the spatial and temporal distribution of DOC fluxes as a response to rainfall regimes and variability of landscape features. This should allow us to quantify DOC export specifically at two ICOS experimental sites (Brasschaat and Vielsalm forest areas in Belgium) as part of a catchment system where water interactions occur. This approach pursues performing relatively fast calculations while considering the interaction between atmosphere, biosphere, and aquatic components in a simplified manner. The main hypothesis of this study is that rainfall regimes, together with phenology, are the main drivers of DOC export. For accomplishing our goal, we proceed with the coupling of hydrological and soil organic carbon (SOC) models using PCRASTER software. The hydrological spatially distributed model is based on disaggregation of lumped parameters based on landscape characteristics. This model includes a multilayer soil moisture module and a rainfall runoff module (VHM). The soil organic carbon is simulated based on the RothC scheme, and the DOC is simulated based on the JULES-DOCM and ORCHIDEE-SOM conceptualization. We consider production and decomposition processes of SOC and DOC, as well as DOC leaching per user-defined layer. Carbon dynamics are simulated up to 2 m depth, considering the global available data per depth, such as soil texture and root distribution. The model does not include a dynamic vegetation model but accounts for the seasonal and vertical distribution of plant residues based on literature values. Preliminary results show that the spatial patterns of SOC, from which DOC is derived, are in accordance with SOC patterns observed for regional and global maps, such as SoilGrids. Furthermore, results for Brasschaat show that the magnitude and seasonal distribution of heterotrophic respiration, actual evapotranspiration, and, in some degree, soil moisture are in accordance with field observations. Based on the further implementation of the DOC module, we will analyze the interactions with DOC export and hydrology and the potential influence of future rainfall events in the context of climate change scenarios in these fluxes.

Keywords: dissolved organic carbon fluxes (DOC), extreme rainfall events, hydrological modelling, PCRASTER, RothC, soil organic carbon (SOC)

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284 Development of a Research Platform to Revitalize People-Forest Relationship Through a Cycle of Architectural Embodiments

Authors: Hande Ünlü, Yu Morishita


The total area of forest land in Japan accounts for 67% of the national land; however, despite this wealth and hundred years history of silviculture, today Japanese forestry faces socio-economic stagnation in forestry. While the growing gap in the people-forest relationship causes the depopulation of many forest villages, this paper introduces a methodology aiming to develop a place-specific approach in revitalizing this relationship. The paper focuses on a case study from Taiki town in the Hokkaido region to analyze the place's specific socio-economic requirements through interviews and workshops with the local experts, researchers, and stakeholders. Based on the analyzed facts, a master outline of design requirements is developed to produce locally sourced architectural embodiments that aim to act as a unifying element between the forests and the people of Taiki town. In parallel, the proposed methodology aims to generate a cycle of research feed and a researcher retreat, a definition given by Memu Earth Lab to the researchers' stay at Memu in Taiki town for a defined period to analyze local resources, for the continuous improvement of the introduced methodology to revitalize the interaction between people and forest through architecture.

Keywords: architecture, Japanese forestry, local timber, people-forest relationship, research platform

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283 The Potential Effect of Sexual Selection on the Distal Genitalia Variability of the Simultaneously Hermaphroditic Land Snail Helix aperta in Bejaia/Kabylia/Algeria

Authors: Benbellil-Tafoughalt Saida, Tababouchet Meriem


Sexual selection is the most supported explanation for genital extravagance occurring in animals. In promiscuous species, population density, as well as climate conditions, may act on the sperm competition intensity, one of the most important mechanism of post-copulatory sexual selection. The present study is empirical testing of sexual selection's potential role on genitalia variation in the simultanuously hermaphroditic land snail Helixaperta (Pulmonata, Stylommatophora). The purpose was to detect the patterns as well as the origin of the distal genitalia variability and especially to test the potential effect of sexual selection. The study was performed on four populations, H. aperta, different in habitat humidity regimes and presenting variable densities, which were mostly low. The organs of interest were those involved in spermatophore production, reception, and manipulation. We examined whether the evolution of those organs is connected to sperm competition intensity which is traduced by both population density and microclimate humidity. We also tested the hypothesis that those organs evolve in response to shell size. The results revealed remarkable differences in both snails’ size and organs lengths between populations. In most cases, the length of genitalia correlated positively to snails’ body size. Interestingly, snails from the more humid microclimate presented the highest mean weight and shell dimensions comparing to those from the less humid microclimate. However, we failed to establish any relation between snail densities and any of the measured genitalia traits.

Keywords: fertilization pouch, helix aperta, land snails, reproduction, sperm storage, spermatheca

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282 Paradigms of Assessment, Valuation and Quantification to Trade Ecosystem Services: A Review Focusing on Mangroves and Wetlands

Authors: Rama Seth, Luise Noring, Pratim Majumdar


Based on an extensive literature review, this paper presents distinct approaches to value, quantify and trade ecosystem services, with particular emphasis on services provided by mangroves and wetlands. Building on diverse monetary and market-based systems for the improved allocation of natural resources, such trading and exchange-based methods can help tackle the degradation of ecosystem services in a more targeted and structured manner than achievable with stand-alone policy and administrative regulations. Using various threads of literature, the paper proposes a platform that serves as the skeletal foundation for developing an efficient global market for ecosystem services trading. The paper bridges a significant research and practice gap by recommending how to establish an equilibrium in the biosphere via trading mechanisms while also discovering other research gaps and future research potential in the domain of ecosystem valuation.

Keywords: environment, economics, mangroves, wetlands, markets, ESG, global capital, climate investments, valuation, ecosystem services

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281 Acute Toxicity and the Effects of dichromate potassium (K2Cr2O7) in sobaity seabream (Sparidebtex hasta)

Authors: Elnaz Erfani, Elahe Erfni


In this study, 96h LC50 values of dichromate potassium (K2Cr2O7), a highly toxicant heavy metal on sobaity seabream, Sparidebtex hasta of average weight mean weight 3.24 g; mean length 5.35cm was determined. At first, for rang finding test, fish were exposed to K2Cr2O7 at several selected concentrations 5, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60 mg/L, then fish exposed to five concentrations control, 40, 45, 50 and 55 mg/L of K2Cr2O7 for LC50-96h. The experiment was carried out in triplicate, and 21 fish per each treatment, Physicochemical properties of water were measured continuously throughout the experiment. The temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen and salinity were 26 ◦c, 7.05, 8.84 mgO2 L-1 and 37.5 ppt, respectively. A number of mortality and behavioral responses of fish were recorded after 24, 48, 72 and 96 h. LC50 values were determined with probate analysis. The 96 hour LC50 value of K2Cr2O7 to the fish was found to be 48.82 ppm. In addition, behavioural changes increased with increased concentration. The results obtained in this study clearly revealed the fact that it is necessary to control the use of a heavy metal such as dichromate potassium.

Keywords: marin fish- lc50, dicromat potassium, lc50, mortality

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280 Blackcurrant-Associated Rhabdovirus: New Pathogen for Blackcurrants in the Baltic Sea Region

Authors: Gunta Resevica, Nikita Zrelovs, Ivars Silamikelis, Ieva Kalnciema, Helvijs Niedra, Gunārs Lācis, Inga Moročko-Bičevska, Andris Zeltins, Ina Balke


Newly discovered viruses provide novel knowledge for basic phytovirus research, serve as tools for biotechnology and can be helpful in identification of epidemic outbreaks. Blackcurrant-associated rhabdovirus (BCaRV) have been discovered in USA germplasm collection samples from Russia and France. As it was reported in one accession originating from France it is unclear whether the material was already infected when it entered in the USA or it became infected while in collection in the USA. Due to that BCaRV was definite as non-EU viruses. According to ICTV classification BCaRV is representative of Blackcurrant betanucleorhabdovirus specie in genus Betanucleorhabdovirus (family Rhabdoviridae). Nevertheless, BCaRV impact on the host, transmission mechanisms and vectors are still unknown. In RNA-seq data pool from Ribes plants resistance gene study by high throughput sequencing (HTS) we observed differences between sample group gene transcript heat maps. Additional analysis of the whole data pool (total 393660492 of 150 bp long read pairs) by rnaSPAdes v 3.13.1 resulted into 14424 bases long contig with an average coverage of 684x with shared 99.5% identity to the previously reported first complete genome of BCaRV (MF543022.1) using EMBOSS Needle. This finding proved BCaRV presence in EU and indicated that it might be relevant pathogen. In this study leaf tissue from twelve asymptomatic blackcurrant cv. Mara Eglite plants (negatively tested for blackcurrant reversion virus (BRV)) from Dobele, Latvia (56°36'31.9"N, 23°18'13.6"E) was collected and used for total RNA isolation with RNeasy Plant Mini Kit with minor modifications, followed by plant rRNA removal by a RiboMinus Plant Kit for RNA-Seq. HTS libraries were prepared using MGI Easy RNA Directional Library Prep Set for 16 reactions to obtain 150 bp pair-end reads. Libraries were pooled, circularized and cleaned and sequenced on DNBSEQ-G400 using PE150 flow cell. Additionally, all samples were tested by RT-PCR, and amplicons were directly sequenced by Sanger-based method. The contig representing the genome of BCaRV isolate Mara Eglite was deposited at European Nucleotide Archive under accession number OU015520. Those findings indicate a second evidence on the presence of this particular virus in the EU and further research on BCaRV prevalence in Ribes from other geographical areas should be performed. As there are no information on BCaRV impact on the host this should be investigated, regarding the fact that mixed infections with BRV and nucleorhabdoviruses are reported.

Keywords: BCaRV, Betanucleorhabdovirus, Ribes, RNA-seq

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279 Agroforestry in Cameroon: Its Perceptions, Advantages and Limits

Authors: Djouhou Fowe Michelle Carole


In the last few decades, there have been considerable efforts by the international community to develop strategies that reduce global poverty and hunger. Despite the modest success in reducing food insecurity, there are still around 795 million people worldwide who remain undernourished, the majority of whom are in sub-Saharan Africa. In many of these impoverished communities, agriculture still remains one of the most important sectors in driving economic growth and reducing poverty. For the growing population, with higher food demand and fixed agricultural land, sustainable intensification is proposed as an important strategy to respond to the challenges of low yields, environmental degradation, and adaptation to climate change. Adoption of agroforestry technologies is increasingly being promoted as a promising solution. This study was conducted to determine the perceptions of the Cameroonian population and farmers on agroforestry. The methodology used was based on a survey to determine their knowledge level of agroforestry, their representation of its advantages and disadvantages, and the reasons that might motivate them whether or not to adopt agroforestry. Participants were randomly selected and received a questionnaire. Data were subjected to a descriptive analysis using SPSS software. The obtained results showed that less than 50% of the general population had already heard about agroforestry at least once; they have basic knowledge about this concept and its advantages. Farmers had been particularly sensitive to tree's food production function and seemed to value their environmental assets. However, various constraints could affect the possible adoption of agroforestry techniques.

Keywords: agroforestry, quality and sustainable agriculture, perceptions, advantages, limits

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278 The Impact of CO2 on Learning and Memory Duration of Bombus terrestris

Authors: Gholizadeh F.F., Goldansaz S.H., Bandani AR., A. Ashouri


This study aimed to investigate the direct effects of increasing carbon dioxide (CO₂) concentration on the behavior of Bombus terrestris bumblebees in laboratory conditions to understand the outcomes of the augmentation of this gas in the Earth's atmosphere on the decline of populations of these pollinators. Learning and memory duration of bumblebees were evaluated as two main behavioral factors in social insects at different concentrations of CO₂. In both series of experiments, the behavior of bees under the influence of CO₂ changes compared to the control. Insects kept at high CO₂ concentrations learn less than control bees and spend more time identifying and navigating to discover their food source and access time (nectar consumption). These results showed that bees maybe lose some of their food resources due to poorer identification and act weaker on searching due to less memory and avoiding the enemy in higher CO₂ concentration. Therefore, CO₂ increasing concentration can be one of the reasons for the decline of these pollinating insects' populations by negatively affecting their fitness.

Keywords: Bombus terrestris, CO₂, learning, memory duration

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277 Juvenile Fish Associated with Pondweed and Charophyte Habitat: A Case Study Using Upgraded Pop-up Net in the Estuarine Part of the Curonian Lagoon

Authors: M. Bučas, A. Skersonas, E. Ivanauskas, J. Lesutienė, N. Nika, G. Srėbalienė, E. Tiškus, J. Gintauskas, A.Šaškov, G. Martin


Submerged vegetation enhances heterogeneity of sublittoral habitats; therefore, macrophyte stands are essential elements of aquatic ecosystems to maintain a diverse fish fauna. Fish-habitat relations have been extensively studied in streams and coastal waters, but in lakes and estuaries are still underestimated. The aim of this study is to assess temporal (diurnal and seasonal) patterns of fish juvenile assemblages associated with common submerged macrophyte habitats, which have significantly spread during the recent decade in the upper littoral part of the Curonian Lagoon. The assessment was performed by means of an upgraded pop-up net approach resulting in much precise sampling versus other techniques. The optimal number of samples (i.e., pop-up nets) required to cover>80% of the total number of fish species depended on the time of the day in both study sites: at least 7and 9 nets in the evening (18-24 pm) in the Southern and Northern study sites, respectively. In total, 14 fish species were recorded, where perch and roach dominated (respectively 48% and 24%). From multivariate analysis, water salinity and seasonality (temperature or sampling month) were primary factors determining fish assemblage composition. The southern littoral area, less affected by brackish water conditions, hosted a higher number of species (13) than in the Northern site (8). In the latter site, brackish water tolerant species (three-spined and nine-spined sticklebacks, spiny loach, roach, and round goby) were more abundant than in the Southern site. Perch and ruffe dominated in the Southern site. Spiny loach and nine-spined stickleback were more frequent in September, while ruffe, perch, and roach occurred more in July. The diel dynamics of the common species such as perch, roach, and ruffe followed the general pattern, but it was species specific and depended on the study site, habitat, and month. The species composition between macrophyte habitats did not significantly differ; however, it differed from the results obtained in 2005 at both study sites indicating the importance of expanded charophyte stands during the last decade in the littoral zone.

Keywords: diel dynamics, charophytes, pondweeds, herbivorous and benthivorous fishes, littoral, nursery habitat, shelter

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276 Optimization and Retrofitting for an Egyptian Refinery Water Network

Authors: Mohamed Mousa


Sacristies in the supply of freshwater, strict regulations on discharging wastewater and the support to encourage sustainable development by water minimization techniques leads to raise the interest of water reusing, regeneration, and recycling. Water is considered a vital element in chemical industries. In this study, an optimization model will be developed to determine the optimal design of refinery’s water network system via source interceptor sink that involves several network alternatives, then a Mixed-Integer Non-Linear programming (MINLP) was used to obtain the optimal network superstructure based on flowrates, the concentration of contaminants, etc. The main objective of the model is to reduce the fixed cost of piping installation interconnections, reducing the operating cots of all streams within the refiner’s water network, and minimize the concentration of pollutants to comply with the environmental regulations. A real case study for one of the Egyptian refineries was studied by GAMS / BARON global optimization platform, and the water network had been retrofitted and optimized, leading to saving around 195 m³/ hr. of freshwater with a total reduction reaches to 26 %.

Keywords: freshwater minimization, modelling, GAMS, BARON, water network design, wastewater reudction

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275 A Vision-Based Early Warning System to Prevent Elephant-Train Collisions

Authors: Shanaka Gunasekara, Maleen Jayasuriya, Nalin Harischandra, Lilantha Samaranayake, Gamini Dissanayake


One serious facet of the worsening Human-Elephant conflict (HEC) in nations such as Sri Lanka involves elephant-train collisions. Endangered Asian elephants are maimed or killed during such accidents, which also often result in orphaned or disabled elephants, contributing to the phenomenon of lone elephants. These lone elephants are found to be more likely to attack villages and showcase aggressive behaviour, which further exacerbates the overall HEC. Furthermore, Railway Services incur significant financial losses and disruptions to services annually due to such accidents. Most elephant-train collisions occur due to a lack of adequate reaction time. This is due to the significant stopping distance requirements of trains, as the full braking force needs to be avoided to minimise the risk of derailment. Thus, poor driver visibility at sharp turns, nighttime operation, and poor weather conditions are often contributing factors to this problem. Initial investigations also indicate that most collisions occur in localised “hotspots” where elephant pathways/corridors intersect with railway tracks that border grazing land and watering holes. Taking these factors into consideration, this work proposes the leveraging of recent developments in Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) technology to detect elephants using an RGB/infrared capable camera around known hotspots along the railway track. The CNN was trained using a curated dataset of elephants collected on field visits to elephant sanctuaries and wildlife parks in Sri Lanka. With this vision-based detection system at its core, a prototype unit of an early warning system was designed and tested. This weatherised and waterproofed unit consists of a Reolink security camera which provides a wide field of view and range, an Nvidia Jetson Xavier computing unit, a rechargeable battery, and a solar panel for self-sufficient functioning. The prototype unit was designed to be a low-cost, low-power and small footprint device that can be mounted on infrastructures such as poles or trees. If an elephant is detected, an early warning message is communicated to the train driver using the GSM network. A mobile app for this purpose was also designed to ensure that the warning is clearly communicated. A centralized control station manages and communicates all information through the train station network to ensure coordination among important stakeholders. Initial results indicate that detection accuracy is sufficient under varying lighting situations, provided comprehensive training datasets that represent a wide range of challenging conditions are available. The overall hardware prototype was shown to be robust and reliable. We envision a network of such units may help contribute to reducing the problem of elephant-train collisions and has the potential to act as an important surveillance mechanism in dealing with the broader issue of human-elephant conflicts.

Keywords: computer vision, deep learning, human-elephant conflict, wildlife early warning technology

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274 Land Use, Land Cover Changes and Woody Vegetation Status of Tsimur Saint Gebriel Monastery, in Tigray Region, Northern Ethiopia

Authors: Abraha Hatsey, Nesibu Yahya, Abeje Eshete


Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church has a long tradition of conserving the Church vegetation and is an area treated as a refugee camp for many endangered indigenous tree species in Northern Ethiopia. Though around 36,000 churches exist in Ethiopia, only a few churches have been studied so far. Thus, this study assessed the land use land cover change of 3km buffer (1986-2018) and the woody species diversity and regeneration status of Tsimur St. Gebriel monastery in Tigray region, Northern Ethiopia. For vegetation study, systematic sampling was used with 100m spacing between plots and between transects. Plot size was 20m*20m for the main plot and 2 subplots (5m*5m each) for the regeneration study. Tree height, diameter at breast height(DBH) and crown area were measured in the main plot for all trees with DBH ≥ 5cm. In the subplots, all seedlings and saplings were counted with DBH < 5cm. The data was analyzed on excel and Pass biodiversity software for diversity and evenness analysis. The major land cover classes identified include bare land, farmland, forest, shrubland and wetland. The extents of forest and shrubland were declined considerably due to bare land and agricultural land expansions within the 3km buffer, indicating an increasing pressure on the church forest. Regarding the vegetation status, A total of 19 species belonging to 13 families were recorded in the monastery. The diversity (H’) and evenness recorded were 2.4 and 0.5, respectively. The tree density (DBH ≥ 5cm) was 336/ha and a crown cover of 65%. Olea europaea was the dominant (6.4m2/ha out of 10.5m2 total basal area) and a frequent species (100%) with good regeneration in the monastery. The rest of the species are less frequent and are mostly confined to water sources with good site conditions. Juniperus procera (overharvested) and the other indigenous species were with few trees left and with no/very poor regeneration status. The species having poor density, frequency and regeneration (Junperus procera, Nuxia congesta Fersen and Jasminium abyssinica) need prior conservation and enrichment planting. The indigenous species could also serve as a potential seed source for the reproduction and restoration of nearby degraded landscapes. The buffer study also demonstrated expansion of agriculture and bare land, which could be a threat to the forest of the isolated monastery. Hence, restoring the buffer zone is the only guarantee for the healthy existence of the church forest.

Keywords: church forests, regeneration, land use change, vegetation status

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273 Co-management Organizations: A Way to Facilitate Sustainable Management of the Sundarbans Mangrove Forests of Bangladesh

Authors: Md. Wasiul Islam, Md. Jamius Shams Sowrov


The Sundarbans is the largest single tract of mangrove forest in the world. This is located in the southwest corner of Bangladesh. This is a unique ecosystem which is a great breeding and nursing ground for a great biodiversity. It supports the livelihood of about 3.5 million coastal dwellers and also protects the coastal belt and inland areas from various natural calamities. Historically, the management of the Sundarbans was controlled by the Bangladesh Forest Department following top-down approach without the involvement of local communities. Such fence and fining-based blue-print approach was not effective to protect the forest which caused Sundarbans to degrade severely in the recent past. Fifty percent of the total tree cover has been lost in the last 30 years. Therefore, local multi-stakeholder based bottom-up co-management approach was introduced at some of the parts of the Sundarbans in 2006 to improve the biodiversity status by enhancing the protection level of the forest. Various co-management organizations were introduced under co-management approach where the local community people could actively involve in various activities related to the management and welfare of the Sundarbans including the decision-making process to achieve the goal. From this backdrop, the objective of the study was to assess the performance of co-management organizations to facilitate sustainable management of the Sundarbans mangrove forests. The qualitative study followed face-to-face interview to collect data using two sets of semi-structured questionnaires. A total of 40 respondents participated in the research that was from eight villagers under two forest ranges. 32 representatives from the local communities as well as 8 official representatives involved in co-management approach were interviewed using snowball sampling technique. The study shows that the co-management approach improved governance system of the Sundarbans through active participation of the local community people and their interactions with the officials via the platform of co-management organizations. It facilitated accountability and transparency system to some extent through following some formal and informal rules and regulations. It also improved the power structure of the management process by fostering local empowerment process particularly the women. Moreover, people were able to learn from their interactions with and within the co-management organizations as well as interventions improved environmental awareness and promoted social learning. The respondents considered good governance as the most important factor for achieving the goal of sustainable management and biodiversity conservation of the Sundarbans. The success of co-management planning process also depends on the active and functional participation of different stakeholders including the local communities where co-management organizations were considered as the most functional platform. However, the governance system was also facing various challenges which resulted in barriers to the sustainable management of the Sundarbans mangrove forest. But still there were some members involved in illegal forest operations and created obstacles against sustainable management of the Sundarbans. Respondents recommended greater patronization from the government, financial and logistic incentives for alternative income generation opportunities with effective participatory monitoring and evaluation system to improve sustainable management of the Sundarbans.

Keywords: Bangladesh, co-management approach, co-management organizations, governance, Sundarbans, sustainable management

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272 Imputation of Incomplete Large-Scale Monitoring Count Data via Penalized Estimation

Authors: Mohamed Dakki, Genevieve Robin, Marie Suet, Abdeljebbar Qninba, Mohamed A. El Agbani, Asmâa Ouassou, Rhimou El Hamoumi, Hichem Azafzaf, Sami Rebah, Claudia Feltrup-Azafzaf, Nafouel Hamouda, Wed a.L. Ibrahim, Hosni H. Asran, Amr A. Elhady, Haitham Ibrahim, Khaled Etayeb, Essam Bouras, Almokhtar Saied, Ashrof Glidan, Bakar M. Habib, Mohamed S. Sayoud, Nadjiba Bendjedda, Laura Dami, Clemence Deschamps, Elie Gaget, Jean-Yves Mondain-Monval, Pierre Defos Du Rau


In biodiversity monitoring, large datasets are becoming more and more widely available and are increasingly used globally to estimate species trends and con- servation status. These large-scale datasets challenge existing statistical analysis methods, many of which are not adapted to their size, incompleteness and heterogeneity. The development of scalable methods to impute missing data in incomplete large-scale monitoring datasets is crucial to balance sampling in time or space and thus better inform conservation policies. We developed a new method based on penalized Poisson models to impute and analyse incomplete monitoring data in a large-scale framework. The method al- lows parameterization of (a) space and time factors, (b) the main effects of predic- tor covariates, as well as (c) space–time interactions. It also benefits from robust statistical and computational capability in large-scale settings. The method was tested extensively on both simulated and real-life waterbird data, with the findings revealing that it outperforms six existing methods in terms of missing data imputation errors. Applying the method to 16 waterbird species, we estimated their long-term trends for the first time at the entire North African scale, a region where monitoring data suffer from many gaps in space and time series. This new approach opens promising perspectives to increase the accuracy of species-abundance trend estimations. We made it freely available in the r package ‘lori’ ( and recommend its use for large- scale count data, particularly in citizen science monitoring programmes.

Keywords: biodiversity monitoring, high-dimensional statistics, incomplete count data, missing data imputation, waterbird trends in North-Africa

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271 Linking the Genetic Signature of Free-Living Soil Diazotrophs with Process Rates under Land Use Conversion in the Amazon Rainforest

Authors: Rachel Danielson, Brendan Bohannan, S.M. Tsai, Kyle Meyer, Jorge L.M. Rodrigues


The Amazon Rainforest is a global diversity hotspot and crucial carbon sink, but approximately 20% of its total extent has been deforested- primarily for the establishment of cattle pasture. Understanding the impact of this large-scale disturbance on soil microbial community composition and activity is crucial in understanding potentially consequential shifts in nutrient or greenhouse gas cycling, as well as adding to the body of knowledge concerning how these complex communities respond to human disturbance. In this study, surface soils (0-10cm) were collected from three forests and three 45-year-old pastures in Rondonia, Brazil (the Amazon state with the greatest rate of forest destruction) in order to determine the impact of forest conversion on microbial communities involved in nitrogen fixation. Soil chemical and physical parameters were paired with measurements of microbial activity and genetic profiles to determine how community composition and process rates relate to environmental conditions. Measuring both the natural abundance of 15N in total soil N, as well as incorporation of enriched 15N2 under incubation has revealed that conversion of primary forest to cattle pasture results in a significant increase in the rate of nitrogen fixation by free-living diazotrophs. Quantification of nifH gene copy numbers (an essential subunit encoding the nitrogenase enzyme) correspondingly reveals a significant increase of genes in pasture compared to forest soils. Additionally, genetic sequencing of both nifH genes and transcripts shows a significant increase in the diversity of the present and metabolically active diazotrophs within the soil community. Levels of both organic and inorganic nitrogen tend to be lower in pastures compared to forests, with ammonium rather than nitrate as the dominant inorganic form. However, no significant or consistent differences in total, extractable, permanganate-oxidizable, or loss-on-ignition carbon are present between the two land-use types. Forest conversion is associated with a 0.5- 1.0 unit pH increase, but concentrations of many biologically relevant nutrients such as phosphorus do not increase consistently. Increases in free-living diazotrophic community abundance and activity appear to be related to shifts in carbon to nitrogen pool ratios. Furthermore, there may be an important impact of transient, low molecular weight plant-root-derived organic carbon on free-living diazotroph communities not captured in this study. Preliminary analysis of nitrogenase gene variant composition using NovoSeq metagenomic sequencing indicates that conversion of forest to pasture may significantly enrich vanadium-based nitrogenases. This indication is complemented by a significant decrease in available soil molybdenum. Very little is known about the ecology of diazotrophs utilizing vanadium-based nitrogenases, so further analysis may reveal important environmental conditions favoring their abundance and diversity in soil systems. Taken together, the results of this study indicate a significant change in nitrogen cycling and diazotroph community composition with the conversion of the Amazon Rainforest. This may have important implications for the sustainability of cattle pastures once established since nitrogen is a crucial nutrient for forage grass productivity.

Keywords: free-living diazotrophs, land use change, metagenomic sequencing, nitrogen fixation

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270 Analysing Time Series for a Forecasting Model to the Dynamics of Aedes Aegypti Population Size

Authors: Flavia Cordeiro, Fabio Silva, Alvaro Eiras, Jose Luiz Acebal


Aedes aegypti is present in the tropical and subtropical regions of the world and is a vector of several diseases such as dengue fever, yellow fever, chikungunya, zika etc. The growth in the number of arboviruses cases in the last decades became a matter of great concern worldwide. Meteorological factors like mean temperature and precipitation are known to influence the infestation by the species through effects on physiology and ecology, altering the fecundity, mortality, lifespan, dispersion behaviour and abundance of the vector. Models able to describe the dynamics of the vector population size should then take into account the meteorological variables. The relationship between meteorological factors and the population dynamics of Ae. aegypti adult females are studied to provide a good set of predictors to model the dynamics of the mosquito population size. The time-series data of capture of adult females of a public health surveillance program from the city of Lavras, MG, Brazil had its association with precipitation, humidity and temperature analysed through a set of statistical methods for time series analysis commonly adopted in Signal Processing, Information Theory and Neuroscience. Cross-correlation, multicollinearity test and whitened cross-correlation were applied to determine in which time lags would occur the influence of meteorological variables on the dynamics of the mosquito abundance. Among the findings, the studied case indicated strong collinearity between humidity and precipitation, and precipitation was selected to form a pair of descriptors together with temperature. In the techniques used, there were observed significant associations between infestation indicators and both temperature and precipitation in short, mid and long terms, evincing that those variables should be considered in entomological models and as public health indicators. A descriptive model used to test the results exhibits a strong correlation to data.

Keywords: Aedes aegypti, cross-correlation, multicollinearity, meteorological variables

Procedia PDF Downloads 43
269 The Importance of Fruit Trees for Prescribed Burning in a South American Savanna

Authors: Rodrigo M. Falleiro, Joaquim P. L. Parime, Luciano C. Santos, Rodrigo D. Silva


The Cerrado biome is the most biodiverse savanna on the planet. Located in central Brazil, its preservation is seriously threatened by the advance of intensive agriculture and livestock. Conservation Units and Indigenous Lands are increasingly isolated and subject to mega wildfires. Among the characteristics of this savanna, we highlight the high rate of primary biomass production and the reduced occurrence of large grazing animals. In this biome, the predominant fauna is more dependent on the fruits produced by the dicotyledonous species in relation to other tropical savannas. Fire is a key element in the balance between mono and dicotyledons or between the arboreal and herbaceous strata. Therefore, applying fire regimes that maintain the balance between these strata without harming fruit production is essential in the conservation strategies of Cerrado's biodiversity. Recently, Integrated Fire Management has started to be implemented in Brazilian protected areas. As a result, management with prescribed burns has increasingly replaced strategies based on fire exclusion, which in practice have resulted in large wildfires, with highly negative impacts on fruit and fauna production. In the Indigenous Lands, these fires were carried out respecting traditional knowledge. The indigenous people showed great concern about the effects of fire on fruit plants and important animals. They recommended that the burns be carried out between April and May, as it would result in a greater production of edible fruits ("fruiting burning"). In other tropical savannas in the southern hemisphere, the preferential period tends to be later, in the middle of the dry season, when the grasses are dormant (June to August). However, in the Cerrado, this late period coincides with the flowering and sprouting of several important fruit species. To verify the best burning season, the present work evaluated the effects of fire on flowering and fruit production of theByrsonima sp., Mouriri pusa, Caryocar brasiliense, Anacardium occidentale, Pouteria ramiflora, Hancornia speciosa, Byrsonima verbascifolia, Anacardium humille and Talisia subalbens. The evaluations were carried out in the field, covering 31 Indigenous Lands that cover 104,241.18 Km², where 3,386 prescribed burns were carried out between 2015 and 2018. The burning periods were divided into early (carried out during the rainy season), modal or “fruiting” (carried out during the transition between seasons) and late (carried out in the middle of the dry season, when the grasses are dormant). The results corroborate the traditional knowledge, demonstrating that the modal burns result in higher rates of reproduction and fruit production. Late burns showed intermediate results, followed by early burns. We conclude that management strategies based mainly on forage production, which are usually applied in savannas populated by grazing ungulates, may not be the best management strategy for South American savannas. The effects of fire on fruit plants, which have a particular phenologicalsynchronization with the fauna cycle, also need to be observed during the prescription of burns.

Keywords: cerrado biome, fire regimes, native fruits, prescribed burns

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268 Analyses of Extent of Effects of Siting Boreholes Nearby Open Landfill Dumpsite at Obosi Anambra Southeast of Nigeria

Authors: George Obinna Akuaka


Solid waste disposal techniques in Nigeria pose an environmental threat to the environment and to nearby resident. The presence of microbial physical and chemical concentration in boreholes samples nearby dumpsite implies that groundwater is normally contaminated by leachate infiltration from an open landfill dumpsite. In this study, the physicochemical and microbial analyses of water samples from hand dug well in the site and boreholes were carried out around the active landfill and from different distances (50 m to 200 m). leachate samples collected were used to ascertain the effect or extent of contamination on the groundwater quality. A total of 5 leachate samples and 5 samples of groundwater were collected, and all samples were analyzed for various physical and chemical parameters according to the standard methods. These include pH, Electrical conductivity, Total dissolved solid, BOD, OD, Temperature, major cations such as Mg²+ Ca²+, Fe²+ Cu²+, major anions NO³-, Cl-,SO⁴- PO⁴-, Zn, Ar, Cd, Cr, Hg, Pb, Ni are the heavy metals and metalloids. The mean values of the physical and chemical parameters obtained from both sites were compared with the established of the World Health Organization (WHO). The leachate samples were found to be higher in the concentration of the results obtained than that of the boreholes water, and the recorded mean values of heavy metals were above approved standard minimum limits. The results indicated that mercury and copper were not found in all the borehole water samples. Microbial analyses showed that total heterotrophic bacteria mean count ranged from 10.6 X10⁷ cfu/ml to 2.04x10⁷cfu/ml and 9.5 X 10⁷ cfu/ml to 18.9 X 10⁷ cfu/ml in leachate and borehole samples respectively. It also revealed that almost at the bacteria isolated in the leachate were also found in the water samples. This results indicated that heavy pollution in all the samples with most physicochemical parameters and microbes showed traceable pollution, which occurred as a result of leachate infiltration into the ground water.

Keywords: physicochemical, landfill dumpsite, microbial, leachate, groundwater

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267 Alleviation of Thermal Stress in Pinus ponderosa by Plant-Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria Isolated from Mixed-Conifer Forests

Authors: Kelli G. Thorup, Kristopher A. Blee


Climate change enhances the occurrence of extreme weather: wildfires, drought, rising summer temperatures, all of which dramatically decline forest growth and increase tree mortality in the mixed-conifer forests of Sierra Nevada, California. However, microbiota living in mutualistic relations with plant rhizospheres have been found to mitigate the effects of suboptimal environmental conditions. The goal of this research is to isolate native beneficial bacteria, plant-growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR), that can alleviate heat stress in Pinus ponderosa seedlings. Bacteria were isolated from the rhizosphere of Pinus ponderosa juveniles located in mixed-conifer stand and further characterized for PGP potential based on their ability to produce key growth regulatory phytohormones including auxin, cytokinin, and gibberellic acid. Out of ten soil samples taken, sixteen colonies were isolated and qualitatively confirmed to produce indole-3-acetic acid (auxin) using Salkowski’s reagent. Future testing will be conducted to quantitatively assess phytohormone production in bacterial isolates. Furthermore, bioassays will be performed to determine isolates abilities to increase tolerance in heat-stressed Pinus ponderosa seedlings. Upon completion of this research, a PGPR could be utilized to support the growth and transplantation of conifer seedlings as summer temperatures continue to rise due to the effects of climate change.

Keywords: conifer, heat-stressed, phytohormones, Pinus ponderosa, plant-growth promoting rhizobacteria

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266 Physico-Mechanical Properties of Wood-Plastic Composites Produced from Polyethylene Terephthalate Plastic Bottle Wastes and Sawdust of Three Tropical Hardwood Species

Authors: Amos Olajide Oluyege, Akpanobong Akpan Ekong, Emmanuel Uchechukwu Opara, Sunday Adeniyi Adedutan, Joseph Adeola Fuwape, Olawale John Olukunle


This study was carried out to evaluate the influence of wood species and wood plastic ratio on the physical and mechanical properties of wood plastic composites (WPCs) produced from polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic bottle wastes and sawdust from three hardwood species, namely, Terminalia superba, Gmelina arborea, and Ceiba pentandra. The experimental WPCs were prepared from sawdust particle size classes of ≤ 0.5, 0.5 – 1.0, and 1.0 – 2.0 mm at wood/plastic ratios of 40:60, 50:50 and 60:40 (percentage by weight). The WPCs for each study variable combination were prepared in 3 replicates and laid out in a randomized complete block design (RCBD). The physical properties investigated water absorption (WA), linear expansion (LE) and thickness swelling (TS) while the mechanical properties evaluated were Modulus of Elasticity (MOE) and Modulus of Rupture (MOR). The mean values for WA, LE and TS ranged from 1.07 to 34.04, 0.11 to 1.76 and 0.11 to 4.05 %, respectively. The mean values of the three physical properties increased with decrease in wood plastic ratio. Wood plastic ratio of 40:60 at each particle size class generally resulted in the lowest values while wood plastic ratio of 60:40 had the highest values for each of the three species. For each of the physical properties, T. superba had the least mean values followed by G. arborea, while the highest values were observed C. pentandra. The mean values for MOE and MOR ranged from 458.17 to 1875.67 and 2.64 to 18.39 N/mm2, respectively. The mean values of the two mechanical properties decreased with increase in wood plastic ratio. Wood plastic ratio of 40:60 at each wood particle size class generally had the highest values while wood plastic ratio of 60:40 had the least values for each of the three species. For each of the mechanical properties, C. pentandra had the highest mean values followed by G. arborea, while the least values were observed T. superba. There were improvements in both the physical and mechanical properties due to decrease in sawdust particle size class with the particle size class of ≤ 0.5 mm giving the best result. The results of the Analysis of variance revealed significant (P < 0.05) effects of the three study variables – wood species, sawdust particle size class and wood/plastic ratio on all the physical and mechanical properties of the WPCs. It can be concluded from the results of this study that wood plastic composites from sawdust particle size ≤ 0.5 and PET plastic bottle wastes with acceptable physical and mechanical properties are better produced using 40:60 wood/plastic ratio, and that at this ratio, all the three species are suitable for the production of wood plastic composites.

Keywords: polyethylene terephthalate plastic bottle wastes, wood plastic composite, physical properties, mechanical properties

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265 Durability of Cement Bonded Particleboards Produced from Terminalia superba and Gmelina arborea against Subterranean Termite Attack

Authors: Amos Olajide Oluyege, Emmanuel Uchechukwu Opara, Sunday Adeniyi Adedutan, Joseph Adeola Fuwape


This study was conducted to determine the durability of wood-cement particleboards when exposed to attack by subterranean termites, Macrotermes subhylinus. The boards were made from Terminalia superba and Gmelina arborea wood sawdust at nominal board densities (BD) of 1000, 900, and 800 kg/m³ using wood-cement mixing ratios (MR) of 3:1, 2.5:1, 2:1, and 1:1. Above ground durability tests against termite attack were carried out according to ASTM D 2017 for 14 weeks. Results of visual assessment of the wood cement particleboards show that all the board samples had a visual rating that was not less than 7 (i.e., moderate attack) for both species irrespective of the MR and BD. T. superba boards were found to have higher resistance to termite attack compared to their G. arborea counterparts. The mean values for weight loss following exposure ranged from 1.93 to 6.13% and 3.24 to 12.44%. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) results of the weight loss assessment revealed a significant (p < 0.05) effect of species and mixing ratio on the weight loss of the boards due to termite attack with F(₁,₇₂) = 92.890 and P = 0.000 and F(₃,₇₂) = 8.318 and p = 0.000, while board density did not have any significant effect (p > 0.05) with F (₂,₇₂) = 1.307 and p = 0.277. Thus, boards made from a higher mixing ratio had better resistance against termite attacks. Thus, it can be concluded that the durability of cement-bonded particleboards when exposed to subterranean termite attack is not only dependent on the quality of the wood raw material (species) but also on the enhanced protection imparted by the cement matrix; the protection increased with increase in cement/wood mixing ratio.

Keywords: cement-bonded particleboard, mixing ratio, board density, Gmelina arborea, Terminalia superba

Procedia PDF Downloads 55
264 The Potential of Rhizospheric Bacteria for Mycotoxigenic Fungi Suppression

Authors: Vanja Vlajkov, Ivana PajčIn, Mila Grahovac, Marta Loc, Dragana Budakov, Jovana Grahovac


The rhizosphere soil refers to the plant roots' dynamic environment characterized by their inhabitants' high biological activity. Rhizospheric bacteria are recognized as effective biocontrol agents and considered cardinal in alternative strategies for securing ecological plant diseases management. The need to suppress fungal pathogens is an urgent task, not only because of the direct economic losses caused by infection but also due to their ability to produce mycotoxins with harmful effects on human health. Aspergillus and Fusarium species are well-known producers of toxigenic metabolites with a high capacity to colonize crops and enter the food chain. The bacteria belonging to the Bacillus genus has been conceded as a plant beneficial species in agricultural practice and identified as plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR). Besides incontestable potential, the full commercialization of microbial biopesticides is in the preliminary phase. Thus, there is a constant need for estimating the suitability of novel strains to be used as a central point of viable bioprocess leading to market-ready product development. In the present study, 76 potential producing strains were isolated from the rhizosphere soil, sampled from different localities in the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina, Republic of Serbia. The selective isolation process of strains started by resuspending 1 g of soil samples in 9 ml of saline and incubating at 28° C for 15 minutes at 150 rpm. After homogenization, thermal treatment at 100° C for 7 minutes was performed. Dilution series (10-1-10-3) were prepared, and 500 µl of each was inoculated on nutrient agar plates and incubated at 28° C for 48 h. The pure cultures of morphologically different strains indicating belonging to the Bacillus genus were obtained by the spread-plate technique. The cultivation of the isolated strains was carried out in an Erlenmeyer flask for 96 h, at 28 °C, 170 rpm. The antagonistic activity screening included two phytopathogenic fungi as test microorganisms: Aspergillus sp. and Fusarium sp. The mycelial growth inhibition was estimated based on the antimicrobial activity testing of cultivation broth by the diffusion method. For the Aspergillus sp., the highest antifungal activity was recorded for the isolates Kro-4a and Mah-1a. In contrast, for the Fusarium sp., following 15 isolates exhibited the highest antagonistic effect Par-1, Par-2, Par-3, Par-4, Kup-4, Paš-1b, Pap-3, Kro-2, Kro-3a, Kro-3b, Kra-1a, Kra-1b, Šar-1, Šar-2b and Šar-4. One-way ANOVA was performed to determine the antagonists' effect statistical significance on inhibition zone diameter. Duncan's multiple range test was conducted to define homogenous groups of antagonists with the same level of statistical significance regarding their effect on antimicrobial activity of the tested cultivation broth against tested pathogens. The study results have pointed out the significant in vitro potential of the isolated strains to be used as biocontrol agents for the suppression of the tested mycotoxigenic fungi. Further research should include the identification and detailed characterization of the most promising isolates and mode of action of the selected strains as biocontrol agents. The following research should also involve bioprocess optimization steps to fully reach the selected strains' potential as microbial biopesticides and design cost-effective biotechnological production.

Keywords: Bacillus, biocontrol, bioprocess, mycotoxigenic fungi

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263 A Comparative Analysis of Geometric and Exponential Laws in Modelling the Distribution of the Duration of Daily Precipitation

Authors: Mounia El Hafyani, Khalid El Himdi


Precipitation is one of the key variables in water resource planning. The importance of modeling wet and dry durations is a crucial pointer in engineering hydrology. The objective of this study is to model and analyze the distribution of wet and dry durations. For this purpose, the daily rainfall data from 1967 to 2017 of the Moroccan city of Kenitra’s station are used. Three models are implemented for the distribution of wet and dry durations, namely the first-order Markov chain, the second-order Markov chain, and the truncated negative binomial law. The adherence of the data to the proposed models is evaluated using Chi-square and Kolmogorov-Smirnov tests. The Akaike information criterion is applied to assess the most effective model distribution. We go further and study the law of the number of wet and dry days among k consecutive days. The calculation of this law is done through an algorithm that we have implemented based on conditional laws. We complete our work by comparing the observed moments of the numbers of wet/dry days among k consecutive days to the calculated moment of the three estimated models. The study shows the effectiveness of our approach in modeling wet and dry durations of daily precipitation.

Keywords: Markov chain, rainfall, truncated negative binomial law, wet and dry durations

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262 Brown-Spot Needle Blight: An Emerging Threat Causing Loblolly Pine Needle Defoliation in Alabama, USA

Authors: Debit Datta, Jeffrey J. Coleman, Scott A. Enebak, Lori G. Eckhardt


Loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) is a leading productive timber species in the southeastern USA. Over the past three years, an emerging threat is expressed by successive needle defoliation followed by stunted growth and tree mortality in loblolly pine plantations. Considering economic significance, it has now become a rising concern among landowners, forest managers, and forest health state cooperators. However, the symptoms of the disease were perplexed somewhat with root disease(s) and recurrently attributed to invasive Phytophthora species due to the similarity of disease nature and devastation. Therefore, the study investigated the potential causal agent of this disease and characterized the fungi associated with loblolly pine needle defoliation in the southeastern USA. Besides, 70 trees were selected at seven long-term monitoring plots at Chatom, Alabama, to monitor and record the annual disease incidence and severity. Based on colony morphology and ITS-rDNA sequence data, a total of 28 species of fungi representing 17 families have been recovered from diseased loblolly pine needles. The native brown-spot pathogen, Lecanosticta acicola, was the species most frequently recovered from unhealthy loblolly pine needles in combination with some other common needle cast and rust pathogen(s). Identification was confirmed using morphological similarity and amplification of translation elongation factor 1-alpha gene region of interest. Tagged trees were consistently found chlorotic and defoliated from 2019 to 2020. The current emergence of the brown-spot pathogen causing loblolly pine mortality necessitates the investigation of the role of changing climatic conditions, which might be associated with increased pathogen pressure to loblolly pines in the southeastern USA.

Keywords: brown-spot needle blight, loblolly pine, needle defoliation, plantation forestry

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261 Conceptual Methods of Mitigating Matured Urban Tree Roots Surviving in Conflicts Growth within Built Environment: A Review

Authors: Mohd Suhaizan Shamsuddin


Urbanization exacerbates the environment quality and pressures of matured urban trees' growth and development in changing environment. The growth of struggled matured urban tree-roots by spreading within the existences of infrastructures, resulting in large damage to the structured and declined growth. Many physiological growths declined or damages by the present and installations of infrastructures within and nearby root zone. Afford to remain both matured urban tree and infrastructures as a service provider causes damage and death, respectively. Inasmuch, spending more expenditure on fixing both or removing matured urban trees as risky to the future environment as the mitigation methods to reduce the problems are unconcerned. This paper aims to explain mitigation method practices of reducing the encountered problems of matured urban tree-roots settling and infrastructures while modified urban soil to sustain at an optimum level. Three categories capturing encountered conflicts growth of matured urban tree-roots growth within and nearby infrastructures by mitigating the problems of limited soil spaces, poor soil structures and soil space barrier installations and maintenance. The limited soil space encountered many conflicts and identified six methods that mitigate the survival tree-roots, such as soil volume/mounding, soil replacement/amendment for the radial trench, soil spacing-root bridge, root tunneling, walkway/pavement rising/diverted, and suspended pavement. The limited soil spaces are mitigation affords of inadequate soil-roots and spreading root settling and modification of construction soil media since the barrier existed and installed in root trails or zones. This is the reason for enabling tree-roots spreading and finds adequate sources (nutrients, water uptake and oxygen), spaces and functioning to stability stand of root anchorage since the matured tree grows larger. The poor soil structures were identified as three methods to mitigate soil materials' problems, and fewer soil voids comprise skeletal soil, structural soil, and soil cell. Mitigation of poor soil structure is altering the existing and introducing new structures by modifying the quantities and materials ratio allowing more voids beneath for roots spreading by considering the above structure of foot and vehicle traffics functioning or load-bearing. The soil space barrier installations and maintenance recognized to sustain both infrastructures and tree-roots grown in limited spaces and its benefits, the root barrier installations and root pruning are recommended. In conclusion, these recommended methods attempt to mitigate the present problems encountered at a particular place and problems among tree-roots and infrastructures exist. The combined method is the best way to alleviates the conflicts since the recognized conflicts are between tree-roots and man-made while the urban soil is modified. These presenting methods are most considered to sustain the matured urban trees' lifespan growth in the urban environment.

Keywords: urban tree-roots, limited soil spaces, poor soil structures, soil space barrier and maintenance

Procedia PDF Downloads 51