Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 7

Search results for: Mnqobi L. Mamba

7 Inconsistent Effects of Landscape Heterogeneity on Animal Diversity in an Agricultural Mosaic: A Multi-Scale and Multi-Taxon Investigation

Authors: Chevonne Reynolds, Robert J. Fletcher, Jr, Celine M. Carneiro, Nicole Jennings, Alison Ke, Michael C. LaScaleia, Mbhekeni B. Lukhele, Mnqobi L. Mamba, Muzi D. Sibiya, James D. Austin, Cebisile N. Magagula, Themba’alilahlwa Mahlaba, Ara Monadjem, Samantha M. Wisely, Robert A. McCleery

Abstract:

A key challenge for the developing world is reconciling biodiversity conservation with the growing demand for food. In these regions, agriculture is typically interspersed among other land-uses creating heterogeneous landscapes. A primary hypothesis for promoting biodiversity in agricultural landscapes is the habitat heterogeneity hypothesis. While there is evidence that landscape heterogeneity positively influences biodiversity, the application of this hypothesis is hindered by a need to determine which components of landscape heterogeneity drive these effects and at what spatial scale(s). Additionally, whether diverse taxonomic groups are similarly affected is central for determining the applicability of this hypothesis as a general conservation strategy in agricultural mosaics. Two major components of landscape heterogeneity are compositional and configurational heterogeneity. Disentangling the roles of each component is important for biodiversity conservation because each represents different mechanisms underpinning variation in biodiversity. We identified a priori independent gradients of compositional and configurational landscape heterogeneity within an extensive agricultural mosaic in north-eastern Swaziland. We then tested how bird, dung beetle, ant and meso-carnivore diversity responded to compositional and configurational heterogeneity across six different spatial scales. To determine if a general trend could be observed across multiple taxa, we also tested which component and spatial scale was most influential across all taxonomic groups combined, Compositional, not configurational, heterogeneity explained diversity in each taxonomic group, with the exception of meso-carnivores. Bird and ant diversity was positively correlated with compositional heterogeneity at fine spatial scales < 1000 m, whilst dung beetle diversity was negatively correlated to compositional heterogeneity at broader spatial scales > 1500 m. Importantly, because of these contrasting effects across taxa, there was no effect of either component of heterogeneity on the combined taxonomic diversity at any spatial scale. The contrasting responses across taxonomic groups exemplify the difficulty in implementing effective conservation strategies that meet the requirements of diverse taxa. To promote diverse communities across a range of taxa, conservation strategies must be multi-scaled and may involve different strategies at varying scales to offset the contrasting influences of compositional heterogeneity. A diversity of strategies are likely key to conserving biodiversity in agricultural mosaics, and we have demonstrated that a landscape management strategy that only manages for heterogeneity at one particular scale will likely fall short of management objectives.

Keywords: agriculture, biodiversity, composition, configuration, heterogeneity

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6 Surface Modified Polyvinylidene Fluoride Membranes for Potential Use in Membrane Distillation

Authors: Lebea Nthunya, Arne Verliefde, Bhekie Mamba, Sabelo Mhlanga

Abstract:

A study aimed at developing membrane distillation (MD) processes that can be used for brackish/saline water purification will be presented. MD is a membrane-based technology that presents a possibility to counteract challenges associated with pressure driven membranes at high separation efficiencies. Membrane distillation membranes (MDM) are affected by wettability and fouling. Wetting inside the pores of the membrane is elevated by the hydrophilic characteristic of the membrane, while fouling is mostly induced by the hydrophobic-hydrophobic interaction of pollutants and the surface of the hydrophobic membranes, hence block the pores of the membranes. These properties are not desirable. As such, a carefully designed polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) MDM composed of a super-hydrophobic modified backbone and a super-hydrophilic thin layer has been developed to concurrently overcome these challenges. The membranes were characterized using contact angle measurements to confirm their hydrophobicity/hydrophilicity. SEM and SAXS were used to study the morphology and pore distribution on the surface of the membrane. The contact angles of the active surface ≤ 30º and that of the backbone ≥ 140º has thus revealed that the active surface was highly hydrophilic while the backbone was highly hydrophobic. The SEM and the SAXS results have also confirmed that the membranes are highly porous. These materials demonstrated a potential to remove salts from water at high efficiencies.

Keywords: membrane distillation, modification, energy efficiency, desalination

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5 Exploring RQ-EQ Relatons among Psychology Majors

Authors: Maria T. Mamba, Febe Marl G. Paat

Abstract:

The illustrious estimation that psychology majors, psychologists and allied psychology practitioners as expert behavior analysts, if not, “life enthusiasts” spurred two essentially linked endeavors. First, the reconsideration of the time-honored ingenuity and expectations from psychologists such as the ability to perceive ways to undertake a range of difficulties, the ability to apply psychology in order to self-regulate and to display personal integrity, and among others. Second, is to ascertain solid support to uphold aforesaid expectations. This study achieved its goals by having explored how two burgeoning constructs- RQ and EQ play parts in the lives of psychology people. Having involved the total population of psychology majors in Cagayan State University along with the use of Emotional Quotient Test and Resilience Assessment Questionnaire, the study provides a précis of how perceived “champions” of psychological well-being respond emotionally to different situations and deal effectively with and even thrive on the demands of frequently changing environmental circumstances. Significant findings about how the major variables correlated with the population’s demographic profile (e.g. age, sex, and year level) were also accounted. To realize a more academic concept with the present study, significant connections between RQ (self-assurance, personal vision, flexible and adaptable, organized, problem solver, interpersonal competence, socially connected, and active) and EQ (e.g. emotional maturity, emotional sensitivity, and emotional competency) dimensions were uncovered.

Keywords: emotional quotient, resilience quotient, psychology majors, exploring

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4 Antimicrobial Activity of Ethnobotanically Selected Medicinal Plants Used in the Treatment of Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Authors: Thilivhali Emmanuel Tshikalange, Phiwokuhle Mamba

Abstract:

Ten medicinal plants used traditionally in the treatment of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and urinary tract infections (UTIs) were selected from an ethnobotanical database developed in Mpumalanga. The plants were investigated for their antimicrobial activity against five bacterial strains (Escherichia coli, Klebsiella oxytoca, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Staphylococcus aureus) and one fungal strain (Candida albicans). Eight of the plants inhibited the growth of all microorganisms at a concentration range of 0.4 mg/ml to 12.5 mg/ml. Acacia karroo showed the most promising antimicrobial activity, with a minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of 0.4 mg/ml on Staphylococcus aureus and 0.8 mg/ml on Neisseria gonorrhoeae. All ten plants were further investigated for their antioxidant activities using the DPPH scavenging method. Acacia karroo and Rhoicissus tridentata subsp. cuneifolia showed good antioxidant activity with IC50 values of 0.83 mg/ml and 0.06 mg/ml, respectively. The toxicity of plants was determined using the XTT reduction method against Vero cells. None of the ten plants showed toxicity on the cells. The obtained results confirmed that Acacia karroo and possibly Rhoicissus tridentata subsp. cuneifolia have the potential of being used as antimicrobial agents in the treatment of STDs and UTIs. These results support and validate traditional use of medicinal plants studied.

Keywords: antimicrobial, antioxidant, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, sexually transmitted diseases

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3 Nitrogen/Platinum Co-Doped TiO₂ for Enhanced Visible Light Photocatalytic Degradation of Brilliant Black

Authors: Sarre Nzaba, Bulelwa Ntsendwana, Bekkie Mamba, Alex Kuvarega

Abstract:

Elimination of toxic organic compounds from wastewater is currently one of the most important subjects in water pollution control. The discharge of azo dyes such as Brilliant black (BB) into the water bodies has carcinogenic and mutagenic effects on humankind and the ecosystem. Conventional water treatment techniques fail to degrade these dyes completely thereby posing more problems. Advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) are promising technologies in solving the problem. Anatase type nitrogen-platinum (N,Pt) co-doped TiO₂ photocatalyts were prepared by a modified sol-gel method using amine terminated polyamidoamine generation 1 (PG1) as a template and source of nitrogen. SEM/ EDX, TEM, XRD, XPS, TGA, FTIR, RS, PL and UV-Vis were used to characterize the prepared nanomaterials. The synthesized photocatalysts exhibited lower band gap energies as compared to the commercial TiO₂ revealing a shift in band gap towards the visible light absorption region. Photocatalytic activity of N,Pt co-doped TiO₂ was measured by the reaction of photocatalytic degradation of BB dye. Enhanced photodegradation efficiency of BB was achieved after 180 min reaction time with initial concentration of 50 ppm BB solution. This was attributed to the rod-like shape of the materials, larger surface area, and enhanced absorption of visible light induced by N,Pt co-doping. The co-doped N,Pt also exhibited pseudo-first order kinetic behaviour with half-life and rate constant of 0.37 min 0.1984 min⁻¹ and respectively. N doped TiO₂ and N,Pt co-doped TiO₂ exhibited enhanced photocatalytic performances for the removal of BB from water.

Keywords: N, Pt co-doped TiO₂, dendrimer, photodegradation, visible-light

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2 Remediation of Dye Contaminated Wastewater Using N, Pd Co-Doped TiO₂ Photocatalyst Derived from Polyamidoamine Dendrimer G1 as Template

Authors: Sarre Nzaba, Bulelwa Ntsendwana, Bekkie Mamba, Alex Kuvarega

Abstract:

The discharge of azo dyes such as Brilliant black (BB) into the water bodies has carcinogenic and mutagenic effects on humankind and the ecosystem. Conventional water treatment techniques fail to degrade these dyes completely thereby posing more problems. Advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) are promising technologies in solving the problem. Anatase type nitrogen-platinum (N, Pt) co-doped TiO₂ photocatalysts were prepared by a modified sol-gel method using amine terminated polyamidoamine generation 1 (PG1) as a template and source of nitrogen. The resultant photocatalysts were characterized by X‐ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X‐ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), UV‐Vis diffuse reflectance spectroscopy, photoluminescence spectroscopy (PL), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), Raman spectroscopy (RS), thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA). The results showed that the calcination atmosphere played an important role in the morphology, crystal structure, spectral absorption, oxygen vacancy concentration, and visible light photocatalytic performance of the catalysts. Anatase phase particles ranging between 9- 20 nm were also confirmed by TEM, SEM, and analysis. The origin of the visible light photocatalytic activity was attributed to both the elemental N and Pd dopants and the existence of oxygen vacancies. Co-doping imparted a shift in the visible region of the solar spectrum. The visible light photocatalytic activity of the samples was investigated by monitoring the photocatalytic degradation of brilliant black dye. Co-doped TiO₂ showed greater photocatalytic brilliant black degradation efficiency compared to singly doped N-TiO₂ or Pd-TiO₂ under visible light irradiation. The highest reaction rate constant of 3.132 x 10-2 min⁻¹ was observed for N, Pd co-doped TiO₂ (2% Pd). The results demonstrated that the N, Pd co-doped TiO₂ (2% Pd) sample could completely degrade the dye in 3 h, while the commercial TiO₂ showed the lowest dye degradation efficiency (52.66%).

Keywords: brilliant black, Co-doped TiO₂, polyamidoamine generation 1 (PAMAM G1), photodegradation

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1 Dendrimer-Encapsulated N, Pt Co-Doped TiO₂ for the Photodegration of Contaminated Wastewater

Authors: S. K. M. Nzaba, H. H. Nyoni, B. Ntsendwana, B. B. Mamba, A. T. Kuvarega

Abstract:

Azo dye effluents, released into water bodies are not only toxic to the ecosystem but also pose a serious impact on human health due to the carcinogenic and mutagenic effects of the compounds present in the dye discharge. Conventional water treatment methods such as adsorption, flocculation/coagulation and biological processes are not effective in completely removing most of the dyes and their natural degradation by-products. Advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) have proven to be effective technologies for complete mineralization of these recalcitrant pollutants. Therefore, there is a need for new technology that can solve the problem. Thus, this study examined the photocatalytic degradation of an azo dye brilliant black (BB) using non-metal/metal codoped TiO₂. N, Pt co-doped TiO₂ photocatalysts were prepared by a modified sol-gel method using amine-terminated polyamidoamine dendrimer generation 0 (PAMAM G0), amine-terminated polyamidoamine dendrimer generation 1 ( PAMAM G1) and hyperbranched polyethyleneimine (HPEI) as templates and source of nitrogen. Structural, morphological, and textural properties were evaluated using scanning electron microscopy coupled to energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM/EDX), high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM), X-ray diffraction spectroscopy (XRD), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA), Fourier- transform infrared (FTIR), Raman spectroscopy (RS), photoluminescence (PL) and ultra-violet /visible spectroscopy (UV-Vis). The synthesized photocatalysts exhibited lower band gap energies as compared to the Degussa P-25 revealing a red shift in band gap towards the visible light absorption region. Photocatalytic activity of N, Pt co-doped TiO₂ was measured by the reaction of photocatalytic degradation of brilliant black (BB) dye. The N, metal codoped TiO₂ containing 0.5 wt. % of the metal consisted mainly of the anatase phase as confirmed by XRD results of all three samples, with a particle size range of 13–30 nm. The particles were largely spherical and shifted the absorption edge well into the visible region. Band gap reduction was more pronounced for the N, Pt HPEI (Pt 0.5 wt. %) codoped TiO₂ compared to PAMAM G0 and PAMAM G1. Consequently, codoping led to an enhancement in the photocatalytic activity of the materials for the degradation of brilliant black (BB).

Keywords: codoped TiO₂, dendrimer, photodegradation, wastewater

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