Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 218

Search results for: ecology

38 Spatial Variability of Renieramycin-M Production in the Philippine Blue Sponge, Xestospongia Sp.

Authors: Geminne Manzano, Clairecynth Yu, Lilibeth Salvador-Reyes, Viviene Santiago, Porfirio AliñO


Many marine benthic organisms produce secondary metabolites that serve as ecological roles to different biological and environmental factors. The secondary metabolites found in these organisms like algae, sponges, tunicates and worms exhibit variation at different scales. Understanding the chemical variation can be essential in deriving the evolutionary and ecological function of the secondary metabolites that may explain their patterns. Ecological surveys were performed on two collection sites representing from two Philippine marine biogeographic regions – in Oriental Mindoro located on the West Philippine Sea (WPS) and in Zamboanga del Sur located at Celebes Sea (CS), where a total of 39 Xestospongia sp. sponges were collected using SCUBA. The sponge samples were transported to the laboratory for taxonomic identification and chemical analysis. Biological and environmental factors were investigated to determine their relation to the abundance and distribution patterns and its spatial variability of their secondary metabolite production. Extracts were subjected to thin-layer chromatography and anti-proliferative assays to confirm the presence of Renieramycin-M and to test its cytotoxicity. The blue sponges were found to be more abundant on the WPS than in CS. Both the benthic community and the fish community in Oriental Mindoro, WPS and Zamboanga del Sur, CS sites are characterized by high species diversity and abundance and a very high biomass category. Environmental factors like depth and monsoonal exposure were also compared showing that wave exposure and depth are associated with the abundance and distribution of the sponges. Renieramycin-M presence using the TLC profiles between the sponge extracts from WPS and from CS showed differences in the Reniermycin-M presence and the presence of other functional groups were observed between the two sites. In terms of bioactivity, different responses were also exhibited by the sponge extracts coming from the different region. Different responses were also noted on its bioactivity depending on the cell lines tested. Exploring the influence of ecological parameters on the chemical variation can provide deeper chemical ecological insights in the knowledge and their potential varied applications at different scales. The results of this study provide further impetus in pursuing studies into patterns and processes of the chemical diversity of the Philippine blue sponge, Xestospongia sp. and the chemical ecological significance of the coral triangle.

Keywords: Chemical Ecology, Xestospongia sp, spatial variability, Porifera, Renieramycin-M

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37 Training 'Green Ambassadors' in the Community-Action Learning Course

Authors: Friman Hen, Banner Ifaa, Shalom-Tuchin Bosmat, Einav Yulia


The action learning course is an academic course which involves academic learning and social activities. The courses deal with processes and social challenges, reveal different ideologies, and develop critical thinking and pragmatic ideas. Students receive course credits and a grade for being part of such courses. Participating students enroll in courses that involve action and activities to engage in the experiential learning process, thereby creating a dialogue and cross-fertilization between being taught in the classroom and experiencing the reality in the real world. A learning experience includes meeting with social organizations, institutions, and state authorities and carrying out practical work with diverse populations. Through experience, students strengthen their academic skills, formulate ethical attitudes toward reality, develop professional and civilian perspectives, and realize how they can influence their surrounding in the present and the hereafter. Under the guidance and supervision of Dr. Hen Friman, H.I.T. has built an innovative course that combines action and activities to increase the awareness and accessibility of the community in an experiential way. The end goal is to create Green Ambassadors—children with a high level of environmental awareness. This course is divided into two parts. The first part, focused on frontal teaching, delivers knowledge from extensive environmental fields to students. These areas include introduction to ecology, the process of electricity generation, air pollution, renewable energy, water economy, waste and recycling, and energy efficiency (first stage). In addition to the professional content in the environment field, students learn the method of effective and experiential teaching to younger learners (4 to 8 years old). With the attainment of knowledge, students are divided into operating groups. The second part of the course shows how the theory becomes practical and concrete. At this stage, students are asked to introduce to the first- and second-graders of ‘Revivim’ School in Holon a lesson of 90 minutes focused on presenting the issues and their importance during the course (second stage). This course is the beginning of a paradigm shift regarding energy usage in the modern society in Israel. The objective of the course is to expand worldwide and train the first and second-graders, and even pre-schoolers, in a wide scope to increase population awareness rate, both in Israel and all over the world, for a green future.

Keywords: Renewable Energy, Air Pollution, Recycling, green ambassador

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36 Periurban Landscape as an Opportunity Field to Solve Ecological Urban Conflicts

Authors: Cristina Galiana Carballo, Ibon Doval Martínez


Urban boundaries often result in a controversial limit between countryside and city in Europe. This territory is normally defined by the very limited land uses and the abundance of open space. The dimension and dynamics of peri-urbanization in the last decades have increased this land stock, which has influenced/impacted in several factors in terms of economic costs (maintenance, transport), ecological disturbances of the territory and changes in inhabitant´s behaviour. In an increasingly urbanised world and a growing urban population, cities also face challenges such as Climate Change. In this context, new near-future corrective trends including circular economies for local food supply or decentralised waste management became key strategies towards more sustainable urban models. Those new solutions need to be planned and implemented considering the potential conflict with current land uses. The city of Vitoria-Gasteiz (Basque Country, Spain) has triplicated land consumption per habitant in 10 years, resulting in a vast extension of low-density urban type confronting rural land and threatening agricultural uses, landscape and urban sustainability. Urban planning allows managing and optimum use allocation based on soil vocation and socio-ecosystem needs, while peri-urban space arises as an opportunity for developing different uses which do not match either within the compact city, not in open agricultural lands, such as medium-size agrocomposting systems or biomass plants. Therefore, a qualitative multi-criteria methodology has been developed for Vitoria-Gasteiz city to assess the spatial definition of peri-urban land. Therefore, a qualitative multi-criteria methodology has been developed for Vitoria-Gasteiz city to assess the spatial definition of peri-urban land. Climate change and circular economy were identified as frameworks where to determine future land, soil vocation and urban planning requirements which eventually become estimations of required local food and renewable energy supply along with alternative waste management system´s implementation. By means of it, it has been developed an urban planning proposal which overcomes urban-non urban dichotomy in Vitoria-Gasteiz. The proposal aims to enhance rural system and improve urban sustainability performance through the normative recognition of an agricultural peri-urban belt.

Keywords: Urban Planning, Landscape ecology, land-use management, periurban

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35 Response of Local Cowpea to Intra Row Spacing and Weeding Regimes in Yobe State, Nigeria

Authors: I. Alhassan, A. G. Gashua, T. T. Bello, K. K. Gwiokura


Weeds are known to interfere seriously with crop growth, thereby affecting the productivity and quality of crops. Crops are also known to compete for natural growth resources if they are not adequately spaced, also affecting the performance of the growing crop. Farmers grow cowpea in mixtures with cereals and this is known to affect its yield. For this reason, a field experiment was conducted at Yobe State College of Agriculture Gujba, Damaturu station in the 2014 and 2015 rainy seasons to determine the appropriate intra row spacing and weeding regime for optimum growth and yield of cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L.) in pure stand in Sudan Savanna ecology. The treatments consist of three levels of spacing within rows (20 cm, 30 cm and 40 cm) and four weeding regimes (none, once at 3 weeks after sowing (WAS), twice at 3 and 6WAS, thrice at 3WAS, 6WAS and 9WAS); arranged in a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) and replicated three times. The variety used was the local cowpea variety (white, early and spreading) commonly grown by farmers. The growth and yield data were collected and subjected to analysis of variance using SAS software, and the significant means were ranked by Students Newman Keul’s test (SNK). The findings of this study revealed better crop performance in 2015 than in 2014 despite poor soil condition. Intra row spacing significantly influenced vegetative growth especially the number of main branches, leaves and canopy spread at 6WAS and 9WAS with the highest values obtained at wider spacing (40 cm). The values obtained in 2015 doubled those obtained in 2014 in most cases. Spacing also significantly affected the number of pods in 2015, seed weight in both years and grain yield in 2014 with the highest values obtained when the crop was spaced at 30-40 cm. Similarly, weeding regime significantly influenced almost all the growth attributes of cowpea with higher values obtained from where cowpea was weeded three times at 3-week intervals, though statistically similar results were obtained even from where cowpea was weeded twice. Weeding also affected the entire yield and yield components in 2015 with the highest values obtained with increase weeding. Based on these findings, it is recommended that spreading cowpea varieties should be grown at 40 cm (or wider spacing) within rows and be weeded twice at three-week intervals for better crop performance in related ecologies.

Keywords: Nigeria, intra-row spacing, local cowpea, weeding

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34 Environmental Interactions in Riparian Vegetation Cover in an Urban Stream Corridor: A Case Study of Duzce Asar Suyu

Authors: Engin Eroğlu, Oktay Yıldız, Necmi Aksoy, Akif Keten, Mehmet Kıvanç Ak, Şeref Keskin, Elif Atmaca, Sertaç Kaya


Nowadays, green spaces in urban areas are under threat and decreasing their percentages in the urban areas because of increasing population, urbanization, migration, and some cultural changes in quality. An important element of the natural landscape water and water-related natural ecosystems are exposed to corruption due to these pressures. A landscape has owned many different types of elements or units, a more dominant structure than other landscapes as good or bad perceptible extent different direction and variable reveals a unique structure and character of the landscape. Whereas landscapes deal with two main groups as urban and rural according to their location on the world, especially intersection areas of urban and rural named semi-urban or semi-rural present variety landscape features. The main components of the landscape are defined as patch-matrix-corridor. The corridors include quite various vegetation types such as riparian, wetland and the others. In urban areas, natural water corridors are an important elements of the diversity of the riparian vegetation cover. In particular, water corridors attract attention with a natural diversity and lack of fragmentation, degradation and artificial results. Thanks to these features, without a doubt, water corridors are the important component of all cities in the world. These corridors not only divide the city into two separate sides, but also assured the ecological connectivity between the two sides of the city. The main objective of this study is to determine the vegetation and habitat features of urban stream corridor according to environmental interactions. Within this context, this study will be realized that 'Asar Suyu' is an important component of the city of Düzce. Moreover, the riparian zone touched contiguous area borders of the city and overlaid the urban development limits of the city, determining of characteristics of the corridor will be carried out as floristic and habitat analysis. Consequently, vegetation structure and habitat features which play an important role between riparian zone vegetation covers and environmental interaction will be determined. This study includes first results of The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK-116O596; 'Determining of Landscape Character of Urban Water Corridors as Visual and Ecological; A Case Study of Asar Suyu in Duzce').

Keywords: Landscape ecology, corridor, Duzce, riparian vegetation

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33 The Impact of CSR Satisfaction on Employee Commitment

Authors: Silke Bustamante, Andrea Pelzeter, Andreas Deckmann, Rudi Ehlscheidt, Franziska Freudenberger


Many companies increasingly seek to enhance their attractiveness as an employer to bind their employees. At the same time, corporate responsibility for social and ecological issues seems to become a more important part of an attractive employer brand. It enables the company to match the values and expectations of its members, to signal fairness towards them and to increase its brand potential for positive psychological identification on the employees’ side. In the last decade, several empirical studies have focused this relationship, confirming a positive effect of employees’ CSR perception and their affective organizational commitment. The current paper aims to take a slightly different view by analyzing the impact of another factor on commitment: the weighted employee’s satisfaction with the employer CSR. For that purpose, it is assumed that commitment levels are rather a result of the fulfillment or disappointment of expectations. Hence, instead of merely asking how CSR perception affects commitment, a more complex independent variable is taken into account: a weighted satisfaction construct that summarizes two different factors. Therefore, the individual level of commitment contingent on CSR is conceptualized as a function of two psychological processes: (1) the individual significance that an employee ascribes to specific employer attributes and (2) the individual satisfaction based on the fulfillment of expectation that rely on preceding perceptions of employer attributes. The results presented are based on a quantitative survey that was undertaken among employees of the German service sector. Conceptually a five-dimensional CSR construct (ecology, employees, marketplace, society and corporate governance) and a two-dimensional non-CSR construct (company and workplace) were applied to differentiate employer characteristics. (1) Respondents were asked to indicate the importance of different facets of CSR-related and non-CSR-related employer attributes. By means of a conjoint analysis, the relative importance of each employer attribute was calculated from the data. (2) In addition to this, participants stated their level of satisfaction with specific employer attributes. Both indications were merged to individually weighted satisfaction indexes on the seven-dimensional levels of employer characteristics. The affective organizational commitment of employees (dependent variable) was gathered by applying the established 15-items Organizational Commitment Questionnaire (OCQ). The findings related to the relationship between satisfaction and commitment will be presented. Furthermore, the question will be addressed, how important satisfaction with CSR is in relation to the satisfaction with other attributes of the company in the creation of commitment. Practical as well as scientific implications will be discussed especially with reference to previous results that focused on CSR perception as a commitment driver.

Keywords: Corporate Social Responsibility, organizational commitment, employee expectations, employee attitudes/satisfaction, employer brand

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32 Functional Dimension of Reuse: Use of Antalya Kaleiçi Traditional Dwellings as Hotel

Authors: Dicle Aydın, Süheyla Büyükşahin Sıramkaya


Conservation concept gained importance especially in 19th century, it found value with the change and developments lived globally. Basic values in the essence of the concept are important in the continuity of historical and cultural fabrics which have character special to them. Reuse of settlements and spaces carrying historical and cultural values in the frame of socio-cultural and socio-economic conditions is related with functional value. Functional dimension of reuse signifies interrogation of the usage potential of the building with a different aim other than its determined aim. If a building carrying historical and cultural values cannot be used with its own function because of environmental, economical, structural and functional reasons, it is advantageous to maintain its reuse from the point of environmental ecology. By giving a new function both a requirement of the society is fulfilled and a culture entity is conserved because of its functional value. In this study, functional dimension of reuse is exemplified in Antalya Kaleiçi where has a special location and importance with its natural, cultural and historical heritage characteristics. Antayla Kaleiçi settlement preserves its liveliness as a touristic urban fabric with its almost fifty thousand years of past, traditional urban form, civil architectural examples of 18th–19th century reflecting the life style of the region and monumental buildings. The civil architectural examples in the fabric have a special character formed according to Mediterranean climate with their outer sofa (open or closed), one, two or three storey, courtyards and oriels. In the study reuse of five civil architectural examples as boutique hotel by forming a whole with their environmental arrangements is investigated, it is analyzed how the spatial requirements of a boutique hotel are fulfilled in traditional dwellings. Usage of a cultural entity as a boutique hotel is evaluated under the headlines of i.functional requirement, ii.satisfactoriness of spatial dimensions, iii.functional organization. There are closed and open restaurant, kitchen, pub, lobby, administrative offices in the hotel with 70 bed capacity and 28 rooms in total. There are expansions to urban areas on second and third floors by the means of oriels in the hotel surrounded by narrow streets in three directions. This boutique hotel, formed by unique five different dwellings having similar plan scheme in traditional fabric, is different with its structure opened to outside and connected to each other by the means of courtyards, and its outside spaces which gained mobility because of the elevation differences in courtyards.

Keywords: Adaptive Reuse, reuse, traditional dwellings, functional dimension of reuse

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31 Reproductive Behaviour of the Red Sea Immigrant Lagocephalus sceleratus (Gmelin, 1789) from the Mediterranean Coast, Egypt

Authors: Mahmoud Farrag, Alaa Elhaweet, El-Sayed Akel, Mohsen Moustafa


The present work aimed to study the reproductive strategy of the common lesspsian puffer fish Lagocephalus sceleratus (Gmeln, 1879) from the Egyptian Mediterranean Waters. It is a famous migratory species plays an important role in the field of fisheries and ecology of aquatic ecosystem. The obtained results illustrated seven maturity stages of gonads as; I- Thread like stage: II- Immature stage (Virgin stage), III- Maturing stage (Developing Virgin and recovering spent), IV - Nearly ripe stage, V- Fully ripe; VI-Spawning stage, VII- Spent stage. Sex ratio, exhibited males had higher number than females representing 52.44 % of the total fishes with sex ratio 1: 0.91. Fish length corresponding to 50% maturation was 38.5 cm for males and 41 cm for females. The corresponding ages (age at first maturity) are equal to 2.14 and 2.27 years for male and female respectively. The gonado somatic index (GSI) increased from April for both sexes with peak in June (8.567±4.729) for males and May (6.769±4.662) for females, then the sharp decrease was observed in October showing prolong spawning season from April to September for both sexes. The hepato somatic indices (HSI) for males were lower values than those of females, it were high from December to early spawning (April & May), with the peak in April (5.217 ± 2.167) for males, and in March (5.453± 1.792) for females, then these values started to decrease towards the end of spawning period. The ova diameter ranged from 0.02 to 0.85mm, the mature ova ranged from 0.16 to 0.85mm and showed progressive increase from April towards September during spawning period introducing one peak of mature and ripe eggs. The absolute fecundity increased as the fish grew in weight and length; it was ranged from 260288 to 2372931 for fish weight and ranged from 698 to 3285 cm for length with an average of 1449522±720975. The relative fecundity ranged from 373 to 722 for fish weight with an average of 776±231, while it range from 5784 to 32957 for fish length groups ranged from 43-45 to 70-72 cm with an average of 24478 ±10011 eggs. Histological characters of gonads during the year of study indicating this fish species has prolonged spawning season from April to September where ripe oocytes were observed during this period. This species is considered totally or uni spawner with synchronous group as it contained one to two developmental stages at the same gonad and releases its ripe ova in one batch during the spawning season. These results illustrated more adaptation of this species in new habitat.

Keywords: Reproductive Biology, Histology, Egypt, Lagocephalus sceleratus, Mediterranean Sea

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30 Effect of Climate Changing Pattern on Aquatic Biodiversity of Bhimtal Lake at Kumaun Himalaya (India)

Authors: Davendra S. Malik


Bhimtal lake is located between 290 21’ N latitude and 790 24’ E longitude, at an elevation of 1332m above mean sea level in the Kumaun region of Uttarakhand of Indian subcontinent. The lake surface area is decreasing in water area, depth level in relation to ecological and biological characteristics due to climatic variations, invasive land use pattern, degraded forest zones and changed agriculture pattern in lake catchment basin. The present study is focused on long and short term effects of climate change on aquatic biodiversity and productivity of Bhimtal lake. The meteorological data of last fifteen years of Bhimtal lake catchment basin revealed that air temperature has been increased 1.5 to 2.1oC in summer, 0.2 to 0.8 C in winter, relative humidity increased 4 to 6% in summer and rainfall pattern changed erratically in rainy seasons. The surface water temperature of Bhimtal lake showed an increasing pattern as 0.8 to 2.6 C, pH value decreased 0.5 to 0.2 in winter and increased 0.4 to 0.6 in summer. Dissolved oxygen level in lake showed a decreasing trend as 0.7 to 0.4mg/l in winter months. The mesotrophic nature of Bhimtal lake is changing towards eutrophic conditions and contributed for decreasing biodiversity. The aquatic biodiversity of Bhimtal lake consisted mainly phytoplankton, zooplankton, benthos and fish species. In the present study, a total of 5 groups of phytoplankton, 3 groups of zooplankton, 11 groups of benthos and 15 fish species were recorded from Bhimtal lake. The comparative data of biodiversity of Bhimtal lake since January, 2000 indicated the changing pattern of phytoplankton biomass were decreasing as 1.99 and 1.08% of Chlorophyceae and Bacilleriophyceae families respectively. The biomass of Cynophyceae was increasing as 0.45% and contributing the algal blooms during summer season in lake. The biomass of zooplankton and benthos were found decreasing in winter season and increasing during summer season. The endemic fish species (18 no.) were found in year 2000-05, as while the fish species (15 no.) were recorded in present study. The relative fecundity of major fish species were observed decreasing trends during their breeding periods in lake. The natural and anthropogenic factors were identified as ecological threats for existing aquatic biodiversity of Bhimtal lake. The present research paper emphasized on the effect of changing pattern of different climatic variables on species composition, biomass of phytoplankton, zooplankton, benthos, and fishes in Bhimtal lake of Kumaun region. The present research data will be contributed significantly to assess the changing pattern of aquatic biodiversity and productivity of Bhimtal lake with different time scale.

Keywords: Climate Change, Aquatic Biodiversity, Bhimtal lake, lake ecology

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29 Engineering Photodynamic with Radioactive Therapeutic Systems for Sustainable Molecular Polarity: Autopoiesis Systems

Authors: Moustafa Osman Mohammed


The paper is introduced Luhmann’s autopoietic social systems starting with the original concept of autopoiesis by Maturana/Varela and modification of general systems based on social medicine system. The specific type of autopoietic system is explained in the three existing types of systems ecology: societal system, interaction scientific, and medical system. The hypothesis model, nevertheless, has a nonlinear interaction with its nature environment ‘interactional cycle’ for exchange of photon energy with molecular without changes in topology. The external forces in the systems environment might concomitant with natural fluctuations influence (e.g., radioactive radiation, electromagnetic waves). The cantilever sensor is deployed insights the future chip processor for prevention of social metabolic systems. Thus, the circuits with resonant electric and optical properties are prototyped on board as an intra-chip inter-chip transmission for producing electromagnetic energy approximately ranges from 1.7 mA at 3.3V to service the detection in locomotion with the least significant power losses. Nowadays, therapeutic systems are assimilated materials from embryonic stem cell to aggregate multiple functions of the vessel nature de-cellular structure for replenishment. While, the interior actuators are deploying base-pair complementarity of nucleotides for symmetric arrangement the natural production of the sequence cycle and create physical double-stranded DNA strings, the exterior actuators have the ability in sensing different variations in the corresponding patterns of beat-to-beat heart rate variability (HRV) for spatial autocorrelation of molecular, which consists of human electromagnetic, piezoelectric, electrostatic and electrothermal to monitor and transfer the dynamic changes of all the cantilevers simultaneously in real-time workspace with high precision. A prototype-enabled dynamic energy sensor has been investigated in the laboratory for inclusion nanoscale devices in the architecture with a fuzzy logic control for detection thermal and electrostatic changes with optoelectronic devices to interpret uncertainty associated with signal interference. Ultimately, the controversial aspect of molecular frictional properties is adjusted to each other and forms its unique spatial structure modules for providing the environment mutual contribution in the investigation of mass temperature changes due to pathogenic.

Keywords: Nanoparticles, Quantum Photonics, Autopoiesis, portable energy, photonic structure, photodynamic therapeutic system

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28 The Effects of Above-Average Precipitation after Extended Drought on Phytoplankton in Southern California Surface Water Reservoirs

Authors: Margaret K. Spoo-Chupka


The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWDSC) manages surface water reservoirs that are a source of drinking water for more than 19 million people in Southern California. These reservoirs experience periodic planktonic cyanobacteria blooms that can impact water quality. MWDSC imports water from two sources – the Colorado River (CR) and the State Water Project (SWP). The SWP brings supplies from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta that are characterized as having higher nutrients than CR water. Above average precipitation in 2017 after five years of drought allowed the majority of the reservoirs to fill. Phytoplankton was analyzed during the drought and after the drought at three reservoirs: Diamond Valley Lake (DVL), which receives SWP water exclusively, Lake Skinner, which can receive a blend of SWP and CR water, and Lake Mathews, which generally receives only CR water. DVL experienced a significant increase in water elevation in 2017 due to large SWP inflows, and there were no significant changes to total phytoplankton biomass, Shannon-Wiener diversity of the phytoplankton, or cyanobacteria biomass in 2017 compared to previous drought years despite the higher nutrient loads. The biomass of cyanobacteria that could potentially impact DVL water quality (Microcystis spp., Aphanizomenon flos-aquae, Dolichospermum spp., and Limnoraphis birgei) did not differ significantly between the heavy precipitation year and drought years. Compared to the other reservoirs, DVL generally has the highest concentration of cyanobacteria due to the water supply having greater nutrients. Lake Mathews’ water levels were similar in drought and wet years due to a reliable supply of CR water and there were no significant changes in the total phytoplankton biomass, phytoplankton diversity, or cyanobacteria biomass in 2017 compared to previous drought years. The biomass of cyanobacteria that could potentially impact water quality at Lake Mathews (L. birgei and Microcystis spp.) did not differ significantly between 2017 and previous drought years. Lake Mathews generally had the lowest cyanobacteria biomass due to the water supply having lower nutrients. The CR supplied most of the water to Lake Skinner during drought years, while the SWP was the primary source during 2017. This change in water source resulted in a significant increase in phytoplankton biomass in 2017, no significant change in diversity, and a significant increase in cyanobacteria biomass. Cyanobacteria that could potentially impact water quality at Skinner included: Microcystis spp., Dolichospermum spp., and A.flos-aquae. There was no significant difference in Microcystis spp. biomass in 2017 compared to previous drought years, but biomass of Dolichospermum spp. and A.flos-aquae were significantly greater in 2017 compared to previous drought years. Dolichospermum sp. and A. flos-aquae are two cyanobacteria that are more sensitive to nutrients than Microcystis spp., which are more sensitive to temperature. Patterns in problem cyanobacteria abundance among Southern California reservoirs as a result of above-average precipitation after more than five years of drought were most closely related to nutrient loading.

Keywords: Reservoirs, Cyanobacteria, Drought, and phytoplankton ecology

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27 Spatial Distribution of Land Use in the North Canal of Beijing Subsidiary Center and Its Impact on the Water Quality

Authors: Alisa Salimova, Jiane Zuo, Christopher Homer


The objective of this study is to analyse the North Canal riparian zone land use with the help of remote sensing analysis in ArcGis using 30 cloudless Landsat8 open-source satellite images from May to August of 2013 and 2017. Land cover, urban construction, heat island effect, vegetation cover, and water system change were chosen as the main parameters and further analysed to evaluate its impact on the North Canal water quality. The methodology involved the following steps: firstly, 30 cloudless satellite images were collected from the Landsat TM image open-source database. The visual interpretation method was used to determine different land types in a catchment area. After primary and secondary classification, 28 land cover types in total were classified. Visual interpretation method was used with the help ArcGIS for the grassland monitoring, US Landsat TM remote sensing image processing with a resolution of 30 meters was used to analyse the vegetation cover. The water system was analysed using the visual interpretation method on the GIS software platform to decode the target area, water use and coverage. Monthly measurements of water temperature, pH, BOD, COD, ammonia nitrogen, total nitrogen and total phosphorus in 2013 and 2017 were taken from three locations of the North Canal in Tongzhou district. These parameters were used for water quality index calculation and compared to land-use changes. The results of this research were promising. The vegetation coverage of North Canal riparian zone in 2017 was higher than the vegetation coverage in 2013. The surface brightness temperature value was positively correlated with the vegetation coverage density and the distance from the surface of the water bodies. This indicates that the vegetation coverage and water system have a great effect on temperature regulation and urban heat island effect. Surface temperature in 2017 was higher than in 2013, indicating a global warming effect. The water volume in the river area has been partially reduced, indicating the potential water scarcity risk in North Canal watershed. Between 2013 and 2017, urban residential, industrial and mining storage land areas significantly increased compared to other land use types; however, water quality has significantly improved in 2017 compared to 2013. This observation indicates that the Tongzhou Water Restoration Plan showed positive results and water management of Tongzhou district had been improved.

Keywords: Remote Sensing, Land Use, riparian vegetation, North Canal, river ecology

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26 Reproductive Behavior of the Red Sea Immigrant Lagocephalus sceleratus (Gmelin, 1789) from the Mediterranean Coast, Egypt

Authors: Mohsen A. Moustafa, Mahmoud M. S. Farrag, Alaa A. K. Elhaweet, El-Sayed Kh. A. Akel


The present work aimed to study the reproductive strategy of the common lessepsian puffer fish Lagocephalus sceleratus (Gmelin, 1879) from the Egyptian Mediterranean Waters. It is a famous migratory species plays an important role in the field of fisheries and ecology of aquatic ecosystem. The specimens were collected monthly from the landing centers along the Egyptian Mediterranean coast during 2012. Six maturity stages were recorded: (I) Thread like stage, (II) Immature stage (Virgin stage), (III) Maturing stage (Developing Virgin and recovering spent), (IV) Nearly ripe stage, (V) Fully ripe, (VI) Spawning stage, (VII) Spent stage. According to sex ratio, males exhibited higher number than females representing 52.44 % of the total fishes with sex ratio 1: 0.91. Fish length corresponding to 50% maturation was 38.5 cm for males and 41 cm for females. The corresponding ages (age at first maturity) are equal to 2.14 and 2.27 years for male and female respectively. The ova diameter ranged from 0.02mm to 0.85mm, the mature ova ranged from 0.16mm to 0.85mm and showed progressive increase from April towards September. Also, the presences of ova diameter in one peak of mature and ripe eggs in the ovaries were observed during spawning period. The relationship between gutted weight and absolute fecundity indicated that that fecundity increased as the fish grew in weight. The absolute fecundity ranged from 260288 to 2372931 for fish weight ranged from 698 to 3285 cm with an average of 1449522±720975. The relative fecundity ranged from 373 to 722 for fish weight ranged from 698 to 3285 cm with an average of 776±231. The spawning season of L. sceleratus was investigated from the data of gonado-somatic index and monthly distribution of maturity stages along the year as well as sequence of ova diameter for mature stages and exhibited a relatively prolong spawning season extending from April for both sexes and ends in August for male while ends in September for female. Fish releases its ripe ova in one batch during the spawning season. Histologically, the ovarian cycle of L. sceleratus was classified into six stages and the testicular cycle into five stages. Histological characters of gonads of L. sceleratus during the year of study had confirmed the previous results of distribution of maturity stages, gonado-somatic index and ova diameter, indicating this fish species has prolonged spawning season from April to September. This species is considered totally or uni spawner with synchronous group as it contained one to two developmental stages at the same gonad.

Keywords: Reproductive Biology, Histology, Oogenesis, Lagocephalus sceleratus

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25 Social and Economic Challenges of Adopting Sustainable Urban Development in Developing Economy: A Stakeholder's Perception

Authors: Raed Fawzi Mohammed Ameen, Haider I. Alyasari, Maryam Altaweel


Due to rapid urbanization, developing countries faced significant urban challenges that accompanied the population growth such as the inability to provide adequate housing; sustain human and community's health and wellbeing; ensure the safety in urban areas; the prevalence corruption; lack of jobs; and a shortage of investment. The destruction, degradation, and lack of planning are acute in countries such as Iraq that have suffered for more than four decades because of war and international sanctions, resulting in severe damages to the ecology sector, social utilities, housing, infrastructure, as well as the disruption of the economic sector. Many of significant urban development, housing, and regeneration projects are currently underway in different regions in Iraq, labelled as a means to reform the environmental, social, and economic sectors. However, most often with absence of public participation. Hence, there is an urgent need for understanding public perception, especially of urban socio-economic challenges, which represents a crucial concern for many planners, designers, and policy-makers in order to develop effective policies in addition to increasing their participation. The aim of this study is to investigate stakeholder perceptions of the socio-economic challenges of urban development and their priorities in the all Iraqi provinces. A nationwide questionnaire has been conducted (N = 643) across Iraq, using 19- item structured questionnaire where the stakeholder’s perspectives were collected on a 5-point Likert-type scale. The indicators were identified through deep investigation in previous studies. Principal component analysis (PCA) and statistical tests were utilized to the collected responses in order to investigate the linkage between the perceptions of socio- economic challenges and demographic factors. A high value of internal consistency and reliability of the instrument has been achieved (Cronbach’s alpha= 0.867). Five principal components have been identified, namely: economic, cultural aspects, design context, employment, security and housing demands. The item ‘safety of public places' was ranked as the most important, followed by the items 'minimize unplanned housing', and ‘provision of affordable housing’, respectively. Promote high-rise housing from the housing demands group, was ranked the lowest component between all indicators. 'Using sustainable local materials in construction' item had the second lowest mean score. The results also illustrate a link between deficiencies in the social and economic infrastructure because of the destruction and degradation caused by political instability in Iraq in the last few decades.

Keywords: Urban development, Urban Sustainability, public participation in development, socio-economic challenges

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24 An Empirical Analysis of Farmers Field Schools and Effect on Tomato Productivity in District Malakand Khyber Pakhtunkhwa-Pakistan

Authors: Mahmood Iqbal, Khalid Nawab, Tachibana Satoshi


Farmer Field School (FFS) is constantly aims to assist farmers to determine and learn about field ecology and integrated crop management. The study was conducted to examine the change in productivity of tomato crop in the study area; to determine increase in per acre yield of the crop, and find out reduction in per acre input cost. A study of tomato crop was conducted in ten villages namely Jabban, Bijligar Colony, Palonow, Heroshah, Zara Maira, Deghar Ghar, Sidra Jour, Anar Thangi, Miangano Korona and Wartair of district Malakand. From each village 15 respondents were selected randomly on the basis of identical allocation making sample size of 150 respondents. The research was based on primary as well as secondary data. Primary data was collected from farmers while secondary data were taken from Agriculture Extension Department Dargai, District Malakand. Interview schedule was planned and each farmer was interviewed personally. The study was based on comparison of cost, yield and income of tomato before and after FFS. Paired t-test and Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) was used for analysis; outcome of the study show that integrated pest management project has brought a positive change in the attitude of farmers of the project area through FFS approach. In district Malakand 66.0% of the respondents were between the age group of 31-50 years, 11.3% of respondents had primary level of education, 12.7% of middle level, 28.7% metric level, 3.3% of intermediate level and 2.0% of graduate level of education while 42.0% of respondents were illiterate and have no education. Average land holding size of farmers was 6.47 acres, cost of seed, crop protection from insect pest and crop protection from diseases was reduced by Rs. 210.67, Rs. 2584.43 and Rs. 3044.16 respectively, the cost of fertilizers and cost of farm yard manure was increased by Rs.1548.87 and Rs. 1151.40 respectively while tomato yield was increased by 1585.03 kg/acre from 7663.87 to 9248.90 kg/acre. The role of FFS initiate by integrated pest management project through department of agriculture extension for the development of agriculture was worth mentioning. It has brought enhancement in crop yield of tomato and their income through FFS approach. On the basis of results of the research studies, integrated pest management project should spread their developmental activities for maximum participation of the complete rural masses through participatory FFS approach.

Keywords: Agriculture, tomato, Farmers field schools, extension education

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23 Road Systems as Environmental Barriers: An Overview of Roadways in Their Function as Fences for Wildlife Movement

Authors: Rachael Bentley, Callahan Gergen, Brodie Thiede


Roadways have a significant impact on the environment in so far as they function as barriers to wildlife movement, both through road mortality and through resultant road avoidance. Roads have an im-mense presence worldwide, and it is predicted to increase substantially in the next thirty years. As roadways become even more common, it is important to consider their environmental impact, and to mitigate the negative effects which they have on wildlife and wildlife mobility. In a thorough analysis of several related studies, a common conclusion was that roads cause habitat fragmentation, which can lead split populations to evolve differently, for better or for worse. Though some populations adapted positively to roadways, becoming more resistant to road mortality, and more tolerant to noise and chemical contamination, many others experienced maladaptation, either due to chemical contamination in and around their environment, or because of genetic mutations from inbreeding when their population was fragmented too substantially to support a large enough group for healthy genetic exchange. Large mammals were especially susceptible to maladaptation from inbreed-ing, as they require larger areas to roam and therefore require even more space to sustain a healthy population. Regardless of whether a species evolved positively or negatively as a result of their proximity to a road, animals tended to avoid roads, making the genetic diversity from habitat fragmentation an exceedingly prevalent issue in the larger discussion of road ecology. Additionally, the consideration of solu-tions, such as overpasses and underpasses, is crucial to ensuring the long term survival of many wildlife populations. In studies addressing the effectiveness of overpasses and underpasses, it seemed as though animals adjusted well to these sorts of solutions, but strategic place-ment, as well as proper sizing, proper height, shelter from road noise, and other considerations were important in construction. When an underpass or overpass was well-built and well-shielded from human activity, animals’ usage of the structure increased significantly throughout its first five years, thus reconnecting previously divided populations. Still, these structures are costly and they are often unable to fully address certain issues such as light, noise, and contaminants from vehicles. Therefore, the need for further discussion of new, crea-tive solutions remains paramount. Roads are one of the most consistent and prominent features of today’s landscape, but their environmental impacts are largely overlooked. While roads are useful for connecting people, they divide landscapes and animal habitats. Therefore, further research and investment in possible solutions is necessary to mitigate the negative effects which roads have on wildlife mobility and to pre-vent issues from resultant habitat fragmentation.

Keywords: Roadways, fences, habitat fragmentation, wildlife mobility

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22 Training Manual of Organic Agriculture Farming for the Farmers: A Case Study from Kunjpura and Surrounding Villages

Authors: Rishi Pal Singh


In Indian Scenario, Organic agriculture is growing by the conscious efforts of inspired people who are able to create the best promising relationship between the earth and men. Nowadays, the major challenge is its entry into the policy-making framework, its entry into the global market and weak sensitization among the farmers. But, during the last two decades, the contamination in environment and food which is linked with the bad agricultural potential/techniques has diverted the mind set of farmers towards the organic farming. In the view of above concept, a small-scale project has been installed to promote the 20 farmers from the Kunjura and surrounding villages for organic farming. This project is working since from the last 3 crops (starting from October, 2016) and found that it can meet both demands and complete development of rural areas. Farmers of this concept are working on the principles such that the nature never demands unreasonable quantities of water, mining and to destroy the microbes and other organisms. As per details of Organic Monitor estimates, global sales reached in billion in the present analysis. In this initiative, firstly, wheat and rice were considered for farming and observed that the production of crop has grown almost 10-15% per year from the last crop production. This is not linked only with the profit or loss but also emphasized on the concept of health, ecology, fairness and care of soil enrichment. Several techniques were used like use of biological fertilizers instead of chemicals, multiple cropping, temperature management, rain water harvesting, development of own seed, vermicompost and integration of animals. In the first year, to increase the fertility of the land, legumes (moong, cow pea and red gram) were grown in strips for the 60, 90 and 120 days. Simultaneously, the mixture of compost and vermicompost in the proportion of 2:1 was applied at the rate of 2.0 ton per acre which was enriched with 5 kg Azotobacter and 5 kg Rhizobium biofertilizer. To complete the amount of phosphorus, 250 kg rock phosphate was used. After the one month, jivamrut can be used with the irrigation water or during the rainy days. In next season, compost-vermicompost mixture @ 2.5 ton/ha was used for all type of crops. After the completion of this treatment, now the soil is ready for high value ordinary/horticultural crops. The amount of above stated biofertilizers, compost-vermicompost and rock phosphate may be increased for the high alternative fertilizers. The significance of the projects is that now the farmers believe in cultural alternative (use of disease-free their own seed, organic pest management), maintenance of biodiversity, crop rotation practices and health benefits of organic farming. This type of organic farming projects should be installed at the level of gram/block/district administration.

Keywords: Organic Farming, compost, Kunjpura, bio-fertilizers

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21 The Political Economy of the Global Climate Change Adaptation Initiatives: A Case Study on the Global Environmental Facility

Authors: Anar Koli


After the Paris agreement in 2015, a comprehensive initiative both from the developed and developing countries towards the adaptation to climate change is emerging. The Global Environmental Facility (GEF), which is financing a global portfolio of adaptation projects and programs in over 124 countries is playing a significant role to a new financing framework that included the concept of “climate-resilient development”. However, both the adaptation and sustainable development paradigms remain continuously contested, especially the role of the multilateral institutions with their technical and financial assistance to the developing world. Focusing on the adaptation initiatives of the GEF, this study aims to understand to what extent the global multilateral institutions, particularly the GEF is contributing to the climate-resilient development. From the political ecology perspective, the argument of this study is that the global financial framework is highly politicized, and understanding the contribution of the global institutions of the global climate change needs to be related both from the response and causal perspectives. A holistic perspective, which includes the contribution of the GEF as a response to the climate change and as well the cause of global climate change, are needed to understand the broader environment- political economic relation. The study intends to make a critical analysis of the way in which the political economy structure and the environment are related along with the social and ecological implications. It does not provide a narrow description of institutional responses to climate change, rather it looks at how the global institutions are influencing the relationship of the global ecologies and economies. This study thus developed a framework combining the global governance and the political economy perspective. This framework includes environment-society relation, environment-political economy linkage, global institutions as the orchestra, and division between the North and the South. Through the analysis of the GEF as the orchestra of the global governance, this study helps to understand how GEF is coordinating the interactions between the North and the South and responding the global climate resilient development. Through the other components of the framework, the study explains how the role of the global institutions is related to the cause of the human induced global climate change. The study employs a case study based on both the quantitative and qualitative data. Along with the GEF reports and data sets, this study draws from an eclectic range of literature from a range of disciplines to explain the broader relation of the environment and political economy. Based on a case study on GEF, the study found that the GEF has positive contributions in bringing developing countries’ capacity in terms of sustainable development goal, local institutional development. However, through a critical holistic analysis, this study found that this contribution to the resilient development helps the developing countries to conform the fossil fuel based capitalist political economy. The global governance institution is contributing both to the pro market based environment society relation and, to the consequences of this relation.

Keywords: Political Economy, Climate Change Adaptation, global environmental facility (GEF), the north -south relation

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20 Ecological and Historical Components of the Cultural Code of the City of Florence as Part of the Edutainment Project Velonotte International

Authors: Natalia Zhabo, Sergey Nikitin, Marina Avdonina, Mariya Nikitina


The analysis of the activities of one of the events of the international educational and entertainment project Velonotte is provided: an evening bicycle tour with children around Florence. The aim of the project is to develop methods and techniques for increasing the sensitivity of the cycling participants and listeners of the radio broadcasts to the treasures of the national heritage, in this case, to the historical layers of the city and the ecology of the Renaissance epoch. The block of educational tasks is considered, and the issues of preserving the identity of the city are discussed. Methods. The Florentine event was prepared during more than a year. First of all the creative team selected such events of the history of the city which seem to be important for revealing the specifics of the city, its spirit - from antiquity to our days – including the forums of Internet with broad public opinion. Then a route (seven kilometers) was developed, which was proposed to the authorities and organizations of the city. The selection of speakers was conducted according to several criteria: they should be authors of books, famous scientists, connoisseurs in a certain sphere (toponymy, history of urban gardens, art history), capable and willing to talk with participants directly at the points of stops, in order to make a dialogue and so that performances could be organized with their participation. The music was chosen for each part of the itinerary to prepare the audience emotionally. Cards for coloring with images of the main content of each stop were created for children. A site was done to inform the participants and to keep photos, videos and the audio files with speakers’ speech afterward. Results: Held in April 2017, the event was dedicated to the 640th Anniversary of the Filippo Brunelleschi, Florentine architect, and to the 190th anniversary of the publication of Florence guide by Stendhal. It was supported by City of Florence and Florence Bike Festival. Florence was explored to transfer traditional elements of culture, sometimes unfairly forgotten from ancient times to Brunelleschi and Michelangelo and Tschaikovsky and David Bowie with lectures by professors of Universities. Memorable art boards were installed in public spaces. Elements of the cultural code are deeply internalized in the minds of the townspeople, the perception of the city in everyday life and human communication is comparable to such fundamental concepts of the self-awareness of the townspeople as mental comfort and the level of happiness. The format of a fun and playful walk with the ICT support gives new opportunities for enriching the city's cultural code of each citizen with new components, associations, connotations.

Keywords: Cycling, Edutainment, cultural code, sensitization Florence

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19 Urban Design as a Tool in Disaster Resilience and Urban Hazard Mitigation: Case of Cochin, Kerala, India

Authors: Vinu Elias Jacob, Manoj Kumar Kini


Disasters of all types are occurring more frequently and are becoming more costly than ever due to various manmade factors including climate change. A better utilisation of the concept of governance and management within disaster risk reduction is inevitable and of utmost importance. There is a need to explore the role of pre- and post-disaster public policies. The role of urban planning/design in shaping the opportunities of households, individuals and collectively the settlements for achieving recovery has to be explored. Governance strategies that can better support the integration of disaster risk reduction and management has to be examined. The main aim is to thereby build the resilience of individuals and communities and thus, the states too. Resilience is a term that is usually linked to the fields of disaster management and mitigation, but today has become an integral part of planning and design of cities. Disaster resilience broadly describes the ability of an individual or community to 'bounce back' from disaster impacts, through improved mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. The growing population of the world has resulted in the inflow and use of resources, creating a pressure on the various natural systems and inequity in the distribution of resources. This makes cities vulnerable to multiple attacks by both natural and man-made disasters. Each urban area needs elaborate studies and study based strategies to proceed in the discussed direction. Cochin in Kerala is the fastest and largest growing city with a population of more than 26 lakhs. The main concern that has been looked into in this paper is making cities resilient by designing a framework of strategies based on urban design principles for an immediate response system especially focussing on the city of Cochin, Kerala, India. The paper discusses, understanding the spatial transformations due to disasters and the role of spatial planning in the context of significant disasters. The paper also aims in developing a model taking into consideration of various factors such as land use, open spaces, transportation networks, physical and social infrastructure, building design, and density and ecology that can be implemented in any city of any context. Guidelines are made for the smooth evacuation of people through hassle-free transport networks, protecting vulnerable areas in the city, providing adequate open spaces for shelters and gatherings, making available basic amenities to affected population within reachable distance, etc. by using the tool of urban design. Strategies at the city level and neighbourhood level have been developed with inferences from vulnerability analysis and case studies.

Keywords: Disaster Management, Resilience, Spatial planning, spatial transformations

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18 Evaluation of Oral Biofilm Suppression by Carribean Herbal Extracts

Authors: Ravi Teja Chitturi Suryaprakash, Chandrashekhar Unakal, Haytham Al-Bayaty, Duraisamy Saravanakumar


Background and significance: Oral biofilm formation is a well-known causative factor for caries and periodontal diseases. Scientists over the years have been trying to find a solution against the formation of oral biofilms. Though several advances have been made to understand the microbial ecology and how the bio film survives, it is still an enigma to researchers to find a chemical product that not only can inhibit the formation of oral bio film but also not disturb the oral micro flora required for oral health and not to cause damage to the cells of the oral cavity. One such product that has never been investigated much are herbal preparations. Some of the microorganisms important in the formation of biofilm are Streptococcus mutans, Actinomyces naeslundi, Streptococuss oralis and Prevotella intermedia. The aim of this study was to study the antimicrobial property of some herbal extracts available in Trinidad and Tobago against these pathogens. The significance of this study is that identification of biologically effective plant extracts can result in indigenous development of mouth rinses and tooth pastes that the people can benefit from to not only develop effective but also a cheap solution. Methodology: The extracts from the leaves of Plectranthus ambonicus, Ocmium tenuiflorum, Azadirchata indica, Anacardium occidentale, Psidium guajava were prepared by dissolving them in water. The extracts from the roots of Curcuma longa were prepared similarly and the antimicrobial activity of these six plant extracts was determined by the agar well diffusion method using minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) against Streptococcus mutans, Actinomyces naeslundi, Streptococuss oralis and Prevotella intermedia and compared with chlorhexidine. Results: The six plant extracts showed variable effect on the oral micro-organisms. Ocmium tenuiflorum (16.66 ± 0.44, 14 ± 0.58, 13.33 ± 0.88, 12.83 ± 0.60), Azadirchata indica (17.5 ± 0.28, 14.83 ± 0.17, 15 ± 0.58, 12.83 ± 0.6) and Curcuma longa (16.16 ± 0.44, 13.66 ± 0.88, 12.33 ± 0.88, 11.33 ± 0.67) were found to have highest inhibitory activity against all the four pathogens (Streptococcus mutans, Streptococuss oralis, Actinomyces naeslundi, and Prevotella intermedia) respectively. Conclusion: Although the extracts were not pure compounds we obtained antimicrobial results which determine that they are potent antimicrobial agents. Further derivation of pure compounds from these extracts could be lucrative as it might lead to the development of a cost effective and biologically safe medicine to act against oral biofilms. Acknowledgement: The authors would like to acknowledge the Campus Research and Publication Fund Committee, The University of the West Indies for funding this study and would also like to acknowledge Dr. Leonette Cox, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science and Technology, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus, Trinidad and Tobago for helping to prepare the plant extracts.

Keywords: minimum inhibitory concentration, herbal extracts, agar well diffusion method, oral biofilm forming microorganisms

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17 Food Sovereignty as Local Resistance to Unequal Access to Food and Natural Resources in Latin America: A Gender Perspective

Authors: Ana Alvarenga De Castro


Food sovereignty has been brought by the international peasants’ movement, La Via Campesina, as a precondition to food security, speaking about the right of each nation to keep its own supply of foods respecting cultural, sustainable practices and productive diversity. The political conceptualization nowadays goes beyond saying that this term is about achieving the rights of farmers to control the food systems according to local specificities, and about equality in the access to natural resources and quality food. The current feminization of agroecosystems and of food insecurity identified by researchers and recognized by international agencies like the UN and FAO has enhanced the feminist discourse into the food sovereignty movement, considering the historical inequalities that place women farmers in subaltern positions inside the families and rural communities. The current tendency in many rural areas of more women taking responsibility for food production and still facing the lack of access to natural resources meets particular aspects in Latin America due to the global economic logic which places the Global South in the position of raw material supplier for the industrialized North, combined with regional characteristics. In this context, Latin American countries play the role of commodities exporters in the international labor division, including among exported items grains, soybean paste, and ores, to the expense of local food chains which provide domestic quality food supply under more sustainable practices. The connections between gender inequalities and global territorial inequalities related to the access and control of food and natural resources are pointed out by feminist political ecology - FPE - authors, and are linked in this article to the potentialities and limitations of women farmers to reproduce diversified agroecosystems in the tropical environments. The work brings the importance of local practices held by women farmers which are crucial to maintaining sustainable agricultural systems and their results on seeds, soil, biodiversity and water conservation. This work presents an analysis of documents, releases, videos and other publicized experiences launched by some peasants’ organizations in Latin America which evidence the different technical and political answers that meet food sovereignty from peasants’ groups that are attributed to women farmers. They are associated with articles presenting the empirical analysis of women farmers' practices in Latin America. The combination drove to discuss the benefits of peasants' conceptions about food systems and their connections with local realities and the gender issues linked to the food sovereignty conceptualization. Conclusion meets that reality on the field cannot reach food sovereignty's ideal homogeneously and that agricultural sustainable practices are dependent on rights' achievement and social inequalities' eradication.

Keywords: Gender, Food Sovereignty, diversified agricultural systems, access to natural resources

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16 Generic Early Warning Signals for Program Student Withdrawals: A Complexity Perspective Based on Critical Transitions and Fractals

Authors: Sami Houry


Complex systems exhibit universal characteristics as they near a tipping point. Among them are common generic early warning signals which precede critical transitions. These signals include: critical slowing down in which the rate of recovery from perturbations decreases over time; an increase in the variance of the state variable; an increase in the skewness of the state variable; an increase in the autocorrelations of the state variable; flickering between different states; and an increase in spatial correlations over time. The presence of the signals has management implications, as the identification of the signals near the tipping point could allow management to identify intervention points. Despite the applications of the generic early warning signals in various scientific fields, such as fisheries, ecology and finance, a review of literature did not identify any applications that address the program student withdrawal problem at the undergraduate distance universities. This area could benefit from the application of generic early warning signals as the program withdrawal rate amongst distance students is higher than the program withdrawal rate at face-to-face conventional universities. This research specifically assessed the generic early warning signals through an intensive case study of undergraduate program student withdrawal at a Canadian distance university. The university is non-cohort based due to its system of continuous course enrollment where students can enroll in a course at the beginning of every month. The assessment of the signals was achieved through the comparison of the incidences of generic early warning signals among students who withdrew or simply became inactive in their undergraduate program of study, the true positives, to the incidences of the generic early warning signals among graduates, the false positives. This was achieved through significance testing. Research findings showed support for the signal pertaining to the rise in flickering which is represented in the increase in the student’s non-pass rates prior to withdrawing from a program; moderate support for the signals of critical slowing down as reflected in the increase in the time a student spends in a course; and moderate support for the signals on increase in autocorrelation and increase in variance in the grade variable. The findings did not support the signal on the increase in skewness of the grade variable. The research also proposes a new signal based on the fractal-like characteristic of student behavior. The research also sought to extend knowledge by investigating whether the emergence of a program withdrawal status is self-similar or fractal-like at multiple levels of observation, specifically the program level and the course level. In other words, whether the act of withdrawal at the program level is also present at the course level. The findings moderately supported self-similarity as a potential signal. Overall, the assessment of the signals suggests that the signals, with the exception with the increase of skewness, could be utilized as a predictive management tool and potentially add one more tool, the fractal-like characteristic of withdrawal, as an additional signal in addressing the student program withdrawal problem.

Keywords: Fractals, critical transitions, generic early warning signals, program student withdrawal

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15 Defining the Tipping Point of Tolerance to CO₂-Induced Ocean Acidification in Larval Dusky Kob Argyrosomus japonicus (Pisces: Sciaenidae)

Authors: Pule P. Mpopetsi, Warren M. Potts, Nicola James, Amber Childs


Increased CO₂ production and the consequent ocean acidification (OA) have been identified as one of the greatest threats to both calcifying and non-calcifying marine organisms. Traditionally, marine fishes, as non-calcifying organisms, were considered to have a higher tolerance to near-future OA conditions owing to their well-developed ion regulatory mechanisms. However, recent studies provide evidence to suggest that they may not be as resilient to near-future OA conditions as previously thought. In addition, earlier life stages of marine fishes are thought to be less tolerant than juveniles and adults of the same species as they lack well-developed ion regulatory mechanisms for maintaining homeostasis. This study focused on the effects of near-future OA on larval Argyrosomus japonicus, an estuarine-dependent marine fish species, in order to identify the tipping point of tolerance for the larvae of this species. Larval A. japonicus in the present study were reared from the egg up to 22 days after hatching (DAH) under three treatments. The three treatments, (pCO₂ 353 µatm; pH 8.03), (pCO₂ 451 µatm; pH 7.93) and (pCO₂ 602 µatm; pH 7.83) corresponded to levels predicted to occur in year 2050, 2068 and 2090 respectively under the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Representative Concentration Pathways (IPCC RCP) 8.5 model. Size-at-hatch, growth, development, and metabolic responses (standard and active metabolic rates and metabolic scope) were assessed and compared between the three treatments throughout the rearing period. Five earlier larval life stages (hatchling – flexion/post-flexion) were identified by the end of the experiment. There were no significant differences in size-at-hatch (p > 0.05), development or the active metabolic (p > 0.05) or metabolic scope (p > 0.05) of fish in the three treatments throughout the study. However, the standard metabolic rate was significantly higher in the year 2068 treatment but only at the flexion/post-flexion stage which could be attributed to differences in developmental rates (including the development of the gills) between the 2068 and the other two treatments. Overall, the metabolic scope was narrowest in the 2090 treatment but varied according to life stage. Although not significantly different, metabolic scope in the 2090 treatment was noticeably lower at the flexion stage compared to the other two treatments, and the development appeared slower, suggesting that this could be the stage most prone to OA. The study concluded that, in isolation, OA levels predicted to occur between 2050 and 2090 will not negatively affect size-at-hatch, growth, development, and metabolic responses of larval A. japonicus up to 22 DAH (flexion/post-flexion stage). The present study also identified the tipping point of tolerance (where negative impacts will begin) in larvae of the species to be between the years 2090 and 2100.

Keywords: Climate Change, Marine, Ecology, Ocean acidification

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14 Green Space and Their Possibilities of Enhancing Urban Life in Dhaka City, Bangladesh

Authors: Ummeh Saika, Toshio Kikuchi


Population growth and urbanization is a global phenomenon. As the rapid progress of technology, many cities in the international community are facing serious problems of urbanization. There is no doubt that the urbanization will proceed to have significant impact on the ecology, economy and society at local, regional, and global levels. The inhabitants of Dhaka city suffer from lack of proper urban facilities. The green spaces are needed for different functional and leisure activities of the urban dwellers. Again growing densification, a number of green space are transferred into open space in the Dhaka city. As a result greenery of the city's decreases gradually. Moreover, the existing green space is frequently threatened by encroachment. The role of green space, both at community and city level, is important to improve the natural environment and social ties for future generations. Therefore, it seems that the green space needs to be more effective for public interaction. The main objective of this study is to address the effectiveness of urban green space (Urban Park) of Dhaka City. Two approaches are selected to fulfill the study. Firstly, analyze the long-term spatial changes of urban green space using GIS and secondly, investigate the relationship of urban park network with physical and social environment. The case study site covers eight urban parks of Dhaka metropolitan area of Bangladesh. Two aspects (Physical and Social) are applied for this study. For physical aspect, satellite images and aerial photos of different years are used to find out the changes of urban parks. And for social aspect, methods are used as questionnaire survey, interview, observation, photographs, sketch and previous information of parks to analyze about the social environment of parks. After calculation of all data by descriptive statistics, result is shown by maps using GIS. According to physical size, parks of Dhaka city are classified into four types: Small, Medium, Large and Extra Large parks. The observed result showed that the physical and social environment of urban parks varies with their size. In small size parks physical environment is moderate by newly tree plantation and area expansion. However, in medium size parks physical environment are poor, example- tree decrease, exposed soil increase. On the other hand, physical environment of large size and extra large size parks are in good condition, because of plenty of vegetation and well management. Again based on social environment, in small size parks people mainly come from surroundings area and mainly used as waiting place. In medium-size parks, people come to attend various occasion from different places. In large size and extra large size parks, people come from every part of the city area for tourism purpose. Urban parks are important source of green space. Its influence both physical and social environment of urban area. Nowadays green space area gradually decreases and transfer into open space. The consequence of this research reveals that changes of urban parks influence both physical and social environment and also impact on urban life.

Keywords: Social Environment, Physical Environment, Urban Parks, Urban Life

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13 Seasonal Variability of Picoeukaryotes Community Structure Under Coastal Environmental Disturbances

Authors: Benjamin Glasner, Carlos Henriquez, Fernando Alfaro, Nicole Trefault, Santiago Andrade, Rodrigo De La Iglesia


A central question in ecology refers to the relative importance that local-scale variables have over community composition, when compared with regional-scale variables. In coastal environments, strong seasonal abiotic influence dominates these systems, weakening the impact of other parameters like micronutrients. After the industrial revolution, micronutrients like trace metals have increased in ocean as pollutants, with strong effects upon biotic entities and biological processes in coastal regions. Coastal picoplankton communities had been characterized as a cyanobacterial dominated fraction, but in recent years the eukaryotic component of this size fraction has gained relevance due to their high influence in carbon cycle, although, diversity patterns and responses to disturbances are poorly understood. South Pacific upwelling coastal environments represent an excellent model to study seasonal changes due to a strong influence in the availability of macro- and micronutrients between seasons. In addition, some well constrained coastal bays of this region have been subjected to strong disturbances due to trace metal inputs. In this study, we aim to compare the influence of seasonality and trace metals concentrations, on the community structure of planktonic picoeukaryotes. To describe seasonal patterns in the study area, satellite data in a 6 years time series and in-situ measurements with a traditional oceanographic approach such as CTDO equipment were performed. In addition, trace metal concentrations were analyzed trough ICP-MS analysis, for the same region. For biological data collection, field campaigns were performed in 2011-2012 and the picoplankton community was described by flow cytometry and taxonomical characterization with next-generation sequencing of ribosomal genes. The relation between the abiotic and biotic components was finally determined by multivariate statistical analysis. Our data show strong seasonal fluctuations in abiotic parameters such as photosynthetic active radiation and superficial sea temperature, with a clear differentiation of seasons. However, trace metal analysis allows identifying strong differentiation within the study area, dividing it into two zones based on trace metals concentration. Biological data indicate that there are no major changes in diversity but a significant fluctuation in evenness and community structure. These changes are related mainly with regional parameters, like temperature, but by analyzing the metal influence in picoplankton community structure, we identify a differential response of some plankton taxa to metal pollution. We propose that some picoeukaryotic plankton groups respond differentially to metal inputs, by changing their nutritional status and/or requirements under disturbances as a derived outcome of toxic effects and tolerance.

Keywords: Seasonal Patterns, Trace Metals, Picoeukaryotes, plankton communities

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12 Assessing the Plant Diversity's Quality, Threats and Opportunities for the Support of Sustainable City Development of the City Raipur, India

Authors: Debashis Sanyal, Katharina Lapin


Worldwide urban areas are growing. Urbanization has a great impact on social and economic development and ecosystem services. This global trend of urbanization also has significant impact on habitat and biodiversity. The impact of urbanization on the biodiversity of cities in Europe and North America is well studied, while there is a lack of data from cities in currently fast growing urban areas. Indian cities are expanding. The scientific community and the governmental authorities are facing the ongoing urbanization process as an opportunity for the environment. This case study supports the evaluation of urban biodiversity of the city Raipur in the North-West of India. The aim of this study is to assess the overview of the environmental and ecological implications of urbanization. The collected data and analysis was used to discuss the challenges for the sustainable city development. Vascular plants were chosen as an appropriate indicator for the assessment of local biodiversity changes. On the one hand, the vegetation cover is sensible to anthropogenic influence, and in the other hand, the local species composition is comparable to changes at the regional and national scale, using the plant index of India. Further information of abiotic situation can be gathered with the determination of indicator species. In order to calculate the influence of urbanization on the native plant diversity, the Shannon diversity index H´ was chosen. The Pielou`s pooled quadrate method was used for estimating diversity when a random sample is not expected. It was used to calculate the Pilou´s index of evenness. The estimated species coverage was used for calculating the H´ and J. Pearson correlation was performed to test the relationship between urbanization pattern and plant diversity. Further, a SWOT analysis was used in for analyzing internal and external factors impinging on a decision making process. The city of Raipur (21.25°N 81.63°E) has a population of 1,010,087 inhabitants living in an urban area of 226km², in the district of the Indian state of Chhattisgarh. Within the last decade, the urban area of Raipur increased. The results show that various novel ecosystems exist in the urban area of Raipur. The high amount of native flora is mainly to find at the shore of urban lakes and along the river Karun. These areas of high Biodiversity Index are to protect as urban biodiversity hot spots. The governmental authorities are well informed about the environmental challenges for the sustainable development of the city. Together with the scientific community of the Technical University of Raipur many engineering solutions are discussed for implementation of the future. The case study helped to point out the importance environmental measures that support the ecosystem services of green infrastructure. The fast process of urbanization is difficult to control. Uncontrolled creation of urban housing leads to difficulties in unsustainable use of natural resources. This is the major threat for the urban biodiversity.

Keywords: Plant diversity, Urban ecology, India, novel ecosystems

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11 DNA Barcoding for Identification of Dengue Vectors from Assam and Arunachal Pradesh: North-Eastern States in India

Authors: Jitendra Sharma, Monika Soni, Shovonlal Bhowmick, Chandra Bhattacharya, Prafulla Dutta, Jagadish Mahanta


Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus are considered as two major vectors to transmit dengue virus. In North-east India, two states viz. Assam and Arunachal Pradesh are known to be high endemic zone for dengue and Chikungunya viral infection. The taxonomical classification of medically important vectors are important for mapping of actual evolutionary trends and epidemiological studies. However, misidentification of mosquito species in field-collected mosquito specimens could have a negative impact which may affect vector-borne disease control policy. DNA barcoding is a prominent method to record available species, differentiate from new addition and change of population structure. In this study, a combined approach of a morphological and molecular technique of DNA barcoding was adopted to explore sequence variation in mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) gene within dengue vectors. The study has revealed the map distribution of the dengue vector from two states i.e. Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, India. Approximate five hundred mosquito specimens were collected from different parts of two states, and their morphological features were compared with the taxonomic keys. The analysis of detailed taxonomic study revealed identification of two species Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. The species aegypti comprised of 66.6% of the specimen and represented as dominant dengue vector species. The sequences obtained through standard DNA barcoding protocol were compared with public databases, viz. GenBank and BOLD. The sequences of all Aedes albopictus have shown 100% similarity whereas sequence of Aedes aegypti has shown 99.77 - 100% similarity of COI gene with that of different geographically located same species based on BOLD database search. From dengue prevalent different geographical regions fifty-nine sequences were retrieved from NCBI and BOLD databases of the same and related taxa to determine the evolutionary distance model based on the phylogenetic analysis. Neighbor-Joining (NJ) and Maximum Likelihood (ML) phylogenetic tree was constructed in MEGA6.06 software with 1000 bootstrap replicates using Kimura-2-Parameter model. Data were analyzed for sequence divergence and found that intraspecific divergence ranged from 0.0 to 2.0% and interspecific divergence ranged from 11.0 to 12.0%. The transitional and transversional substitutions were tested individually. The sequences were deposited in NCBI: GenBank database. This observation claimed the first DNA barcoding analysis of Aedes mosquitoes from North-eastern states in India and also confirmed the range expansion of two important mosquito species. Overall, this study insight into the molecular ecology of the dengue vectors from North-eastern India which will enhance the understanding to improve the existing entomological surveillance and vector incrimination program.

Keywords: Phylogenetics, molecular identification, COI, dengue vectors, DNA barcoding, North-east India

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10 Multi-Criteria Decision Making Network Optimization for Green Supply Chains

Authors: Bandar A. Alkhayyal


Modern supply chains are typically linear, transforming virgin raw materials into products for end consumers, who then discard them after use to landfills or incinerators. Nowadays, there are major efforts underway to create a circular economy to reduce non-renewable resource use and waste. One important aspect of these efforts is the development of Green Supply Chain (GSC) systems which enables a reverse flow of used products from consumers back to manufacturers, where they can be refurbished or remanufactured, to both economic and environmental benefit. This paper develops novel multi-objective optimization models to inform GSC system design at multiple levels: (1) strategic planning of facility location and transportation logistics; (2) tactical planning of optimal pricing; and (3) policy planning to account for potential valuation of GSC emissions. First, physical linear programming was applied to evaluate GSC facility placement by determining the quantities of end-of-life products for transport from candidate collection centers to remanufacturing facilities while satisfying cost and capacity criteria. Second, disassembly and remanufacturing processes have received little attention in industrial engineering and process cost modeling literature. The increasing scale of remanufacturing operations, worth nearly $50 billion annually in the United States alone, have made GSC pricing an important subject of research. A non-linear physical programming model for optimization of pricing policy for remanufactured products that maximizes total profit and minimizes product recovery costs were examined and solved. Finally, a deterministic equilibrium model was used to determine the effects of internalizing a cost of GSC greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions into optimization models. Changes in optimal facility use, transportation logistics, and pricing/profit margins were all investigated against a variable cost of carbon, using case study system created based on actual data from sites in the Boston area. As carbon costs increase, the optimal GSC system undergoes several distinct shifts in topology as it seeks new cost-minimal configurations. A comprehensive study of quantitative evaluation and performance of the model has been done using orthogonal arrays. Results were compared to top-down estimates from economic input-output life cycle assessment (EIO-LCA) models, to contrast remanufacturing GHG emission quantities with those from original equipment manufacturing operations. Introducing a carbon cost of $40/t CO2e increases modeled remanufacturing costs by 2.7% but also increases original equipment costs by 2.3%. The assembled work advances the theoretical modeling of optimal GSC systems and presents a rare case study of remanufactured appliances.

Keywords: Industrial Ecology, Circular economy, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, extended producer responsibility, low carbon logistics, green supply chains

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9 Human Behavioral Assessment to Derive Land-Use for Sustenance of River in India

Authors: Juhi Sah


Habitat is characterized by the inter-dependency of environmental elements. Anthropocentric development approach is increasing our vulnerability towards natural hazards. Hence, manmade interventions should have a higher level of sensitivity towards the natural settings. Sensitivity towards the environment can be assessed by the behavior of the stakeholders involved. This led to the establishment of a hypothesis: there exists a legitimate relationship between the behavioral sciences, land use evolution and environment conservation, in the planning process. An attempt has been made to establish this relationship by reviewing the existing set of knowledge and case examples pertaining to the three disciplines under inquiry. Understanding the scarce & deteriorating nature of fresh-water reserves of earth and experimenting the above concept, a case study of a growing urban center's river flood plain is selected, in a developing economy, India. Cases of urban flooding in Chennai, Delhi and other mega cities of India, imposes a high risk on the unauthorized settlement, on the floodplains of the rivers. The issue addressed here is the encroachment of floodplains, through psychological enlightenment and modification through knowledge building. The reaction of an individual or society can be compared to a cognitive process. This study documents all the stakeholders' behavior and perception for their immediate natural environment (water body), and produce various land uses suitable along a river in an urban settlement as per different stakeholder's perceptions. To assess and induce morally responsible behavior in a community (small scale or large scale), tools of psychological inquiry is used for qualitative analysis. The analysis will deal with varied data sets from two sectors namely: River and its geology, Land use planning and regulation. Identification of a distinctive pattern in the built up growth, river ecology degradation, and human behavior, by handling large quantum of data from the diverse sector and comments on the availability of relevant data and its implications, has been done. Along the whole river stretch, condition and usage of its bank vary, hence stakeholder specific survey questionnaires have been prepared to accurately map the responses and habits of the rational inhabitants. A conceptual framework has been designed to move forward with the empirical analysis. The classical principle of virtues says "virtue of a human depends on its character" but another concept defines that the behavior or response is a derivative of situations and to bring about a behavioral change one needs to introduce a disruption in the situation/environment. Owing to the present trends, blindly following the results of data analytics and using it to construct policy, is not proving to be in favor of planned development and natural resource conservation. Thus behavioral assessment of the rational inhabitants of the planet is also required, as their activities and interests have a large impact on the earth's pre-set systems and its sustenance.

Keywords: Land Use Planning, Behavioral Assessment, flood plain encroachment, river sustenance

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