Next Issue
Previous Issue

Table of Contents

Environments, Volume 4, Issue 2 (June 2017)

  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Readerexternal link to open them.
Cover Story Extensive deforestation and forest fragmentation in the Garhwal Himalaya (India) have caused [...] Read more.
View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-19
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review, Other

Open AccessArticle Sustainability Assessment of the Bui Hydropower System
Environments 2017, 4(2), 25; doi:10.3390/environments4020025
Received: 3 November 2016 / Revised: 13 February 2017 / Accepted: 22 February 2017 / Published: 23 March 2017
PDF Full-text (2941 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sustainable hydroelectric projects are judged by their contribution to sustainable development, long-term viability, and ability to integrate sustainability goals. This paper analyses the Bui hydroelectric dam in Ghana vis-à-vis these expectations using sustainability indices. A multi-criteria analysis tool, APIS (Aggregated Preference Indices System),
[...] Read more.
Sustainable hydroelectric projects are judged by their contribution to sustainable development, long-term viability, and ability to integrate sustainability goals. This paper analyses the Bui hydroelectric dam in Ghana vis-à-vis these expectations using sustainability indices. A multi-criteria analysis tool, APIS (Aggregated Preference Indices System), is used to build indices for Bui dam for four hydrologic seasons. An analysis of the indicators used revealed that environmental indicators are weightiest and economic indicators have the least weight. Comparative analysis of the Bui dam project shows 40%, 36%, 18%, and 6% priority for technical, economic, social, and environmental criteria, respectively, during its implementation stages. Per estimation of this work, the general sustainability index of the Bui dam is between 0.4 and 0.6 on a scale of 0 to 1. The impact of seasonal climate change will reduce the index to below 0.5 for three hydrologic seasons. The results show that Bui dam has an average but weak index of sustainability. Multi-criteria analysis offers quality assessment of energy projects, which is valuable for analyzing proposed or existing energy projects. This paper shows the possibility of using multi-criteria analysis approach to assess the sustainability of a hydroelectric dam. The approach offers a quantitative and qualitative assessment of a hydroelectric dam via a suitable choice of indicators. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Modelling of Urban Near-Road Atmospheric PM Concentrations Using an Artificial Neural Network Approach with Acoustic Data Input
Environments 2017, 4(2), 26; doi:10.3390/environments4020026
Received: 23 February 2017 / Revised: 17 March 2017 / Accepted: 23 March 2017 / Published: 26 March 2017
PDF Full-text (5153 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Air quality assessment is an important task for local authorities due to several adverse health effects that are associated with exposure to e.g., urban particle concentrations throughout the world. Based on the consumption of costs and time related to the experimental works required
[...] Read more.
Air quality assessment is an important task for local authorities due to several adverse health effects that are associated with exposure to e.g., urban particle concentrations throughout the world. Based on the consumption of costs and time related to the experimental works required for standardized measurements of particle concentration in the atmosphere, other methods such as modelling arise as integrative options, on condition that model performance reaches certain quality standards. This study presents an Artificial Neural Network (ANN) approach to predict atmospheric concentrations of particle mass considering particles with an aerodynamic diameter of 0.25–1 μm (PM(0.25–1)), 0.25–2.5 μm (PM(0.25–2.5)), 0.25–10 μm (PM(0.25–10)) as well as particle number concentrations of particles with an aerodynamic diameter of 0.25–2.5 μm (PNC(0.25–2.5)). ANN model input variables were defined using data of local sound measurements, concentrations of background particle transport and standard meteorological data. A methodology including input variable selection, data splitting and an evaluation of their performance is proposed. The ANN models were developed and tested by the use of a data set that was collected in a street canyon. The ANN models were applied furthermore to a research site featuring an inner-city park to test the ability of the approach to gather spatial information of aerosol concentrations. It was observed that ANN model predictions of PM(0.25–10) and PNC(0.25–2.5) within the street canyon case as well as predictions of PM(0.25–2.5), PM(0.25–10) and PNC(0.25–2.5) within the case study of the park area show good agreement to observations and meet quality standards proposed by the European Commission regarding mean value prediction. Results indicate that the ANN models proposed can be a fairly accurate tool for assessment in predicting particle concentrations not only in time but also in space. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Pollution Control)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Spatial and Temporal Variability Patterns of the Urban Heat Island in São Paulo
Environments 2017, 4(2), 27; doi:10.3390/environments4020027
Received: 18 January 2017 / Revised: 11 March 2017 / Accepted: 22 March 2017 / Published: 29 March 2017
PDF Full-text (12247 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The spatial and temporal variability patterns of the urban heat island (UHI) in the metropolitan area of Sao Paulo (MASP) were investigated using hourly temperature observations for a 10-year period from January 2002 to December 2011. The empirical orthogonal function (EOF) and cluster
[...] Read more.
The spatial and temporal variability patterns of the urban heat island (UHI) in the metropolitan area of Sao Paulo (MASP) were investigated using hourly temperature observations for a 10-year period from January 2002 to December 2011. The empirical orthogonal function (EOF) and cluster analysis (CA) techniques for multivariate analysis were used to determine the dominant modes of UHI variability and to identify the homogeneity between the temperature observations in the MASP. The EOF method was used to obtain the spatial patterns (T-mode EOF) and to define temporal variability (S-mode EOF). In the T-mode, three main modes of variability were recognized. The first EOF explained 66.7% of the total variance in the air temperature, the second explained 24.0%, and the third explained 7.8%. The first and third EOFs were associated with wind movement in the MASP. The second EOF was considered the most important mode and was found to be related to the level of urbanization in the MASP, the release of heat stored in the urban canopy and the release of heat by anthropogenic sources, thus representing the UHI pattern in the MASP. In the S-mode, two modes of variability were found. The first EOF explained 49.4% of the total variance in the data, and the second explained 30.9%. In the S-mode, the first EOF represented the spatial pattern of the UHI and was similar to the second EOF in the T-mode. CA resulted in the identification of six homogeneous groups corresponding to the EOF patterns observed. The standard UHI according to the scale and annual seasons for the period from 2002 to 2010 presented maximum values between 14:00 and 16:00 local time (LT) and minimum values between 07:00 and 09:00 LT. Seasonal analysis revealed that spring had the highest maximum and minimum UHI values relative to the other seasons. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Linking Soil Properties to Climate Change Mitigation and Food Security in Nepal
Environments 2017, 4(2), 29; doi:10.3390/environments4020029
Received: 31 December 2016 / Revised: 21 March 2017 / Accepted: 28 March 2017 / Published: 2 April 2017
PDF Full-text (770 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Crop productivity is directly dependent on soil fertility. High organic carbon content in soil is vital as it leads to improved soil quality, increased productivity, and stable soil aggregates. In addition, with the signing of the climate agreement, there is growing interest in
[...] Read more.
Crop productivity is directly dependent on soil fertility. High organic carbon content in soil is vital as it leads to improved soil quality, increased productivity, and stable soil aggregates. In addition, with the signing of the climate agreement, there is growing interest in carbon sequestration in landscapes. This paper looks at how soil organic carbon (SOC) can be increased so that it contributes not only to the reduction of atmospheric CO2, but also translates to the increased food production, thereby enhancing food security. This synergy between climate change mitigation and enhancing food security is even more relevant for mountain landscapes of the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region where there remains huge potential to increase CO2 sequestration and simultaneously address food security in the chronic food deficit villages. Soil samples were collected from seven transects each in Bajhang and Mustang and from four land use types in each transect. Samples of soils were taken from two depths in each plot: 0–15 cm and 15–30 cm below the soil surface to compare the top soil and subsoil dynamics of the soil nutrients. The lab analysis was performed to assess the soil texture, soil acidity in “power of hydrogen” (pH), and macro-nutrients reflecting soil fertility. Secondary data was used to analyze the level of food deficit in the villages. The pH value of soil from Bajhang ranged from 5.3 to 9.1. The pH value of soil ranged from 5.7 to 8.8 in Mustang. SOC contents of sampled soils from Bajhang ranged from 0.20% to 7.69% with a mean amount of 2.47% ± 0.17%. SOC contents of sampled soils from Mustang ranged from 0.51% to 8.56% with a mean amount of 2.60% ± 0.25%. By land use type, forest land had the highest carbon (C) content of 53.61 t·ha−1 in Bajhang, whereas in Mustang, agricultural land had the highest C content of 52.02 tons·ha−1. Based on these data, we can say that there is potential for increasing SOC through improved soil health and crop production holistic soil management should be practiced for higher productivity, and incorporating livestock for farmyard manure would fertilize cultivated soils, which increases soil productivity. Increasing productivity would aid in enhancing the access and availability of food in these mountain villages. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mountains in the Changing World)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle A Facile Approach to Preparing Molecularly Imprinted Chitosan for Detecting 2,4,6-Tribromophenol with a Widely Linear Range
Environments 2017, 4(2), 30; doi:10.3390/environments4020030
Received: 12 February 2017 / Revised: 30 March 2017 / Accepted: 30 March 2017 / Published: 2 April 2017
PDF Full-text (2897 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The environmental pollution of 2,4,6-tribromophenol (TBP) has attracted attention. Based on an urgent need for the better provision of clean water, in situ determination of TBP is of great importance. Here, a facile and effective approach for detecting TBP is developed, based on
[...] Read more.
The environmental pollution of 2,4,6-tribromophenol (TBP) has attracted attention. Based on an urgent need for the better provision of clean water, in situ determination of TBP is of great importance. Here, a facile and effective approach for detecting TBP is developed, based on coupling molecular imprinting technique with electrodeposition of chitosan (CS) on the gold electrode. The TBP imprinting CS film was fabricated by using CS as functional material and TBP as template molecule. The experiments show that the morphologies and electrochemical properties of the imprinted film sensor was different from non-imprinted film electrode. The current of the imprinted film was linearly proportional to the TBP concentration, with a wide linear range of 1.0 × 10−7 mol•L−1 to 1.0 × 10−3 mol•L−1. By selecting drop-coating method as a reference for controlled trials with the same functional material, the results illustrated that the electrodeposition enjoyed a widely linear range advantage. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Ultrasound-Assisted Extraction of Polyphenolic Antioxidants from Olive (Olea europaea) Leaves Using a Novel Glycerol/Sodium-Potassium Tartrate Low-Transition Temperature Mixture (LTTM)
Environments 2017, 4(2), 31; doi:10.3390/environments4020031
Received: 16 March 2017 / Revised: 1 April 2017 / Accepted: 2 April 2017 / Published: 5 April 2017
PDF Full-text (2768 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Olive leaves (OLL) represent a major waste generated during the production of olive oil, but there is a great potential for their valorization, because they provide important content in polyphenolic phytochemicals, which possess several bioactivities. In spite of the high number of studies
[...] Read more.
Olive leaves (OLL) represent a major waste generated during the production of olive oil, but there is a great potential for their valorization, because they provide important content in polyphenolic phytochemicals, which possess several bioactivities. In spite of the high number of studies dealing with polyphenol recovery from olive leaves, green processes involving environmentally benign solvents are scarce. In this study, a novel renewable natural low-transition temperature mixture (LTTM), composed of glycerol and sodium-potassium tartrate, was tested for its efficient ability to extract polyphenolic substances from OLL. The extraction process was optimised by using response surface methodology and the maximum yield in total polyphenols was 26.75 ± 3.22 mg caffeic acid equivalents per g dry weight, achieved with 50% (v/v) aqueous LTTM, liquid-to-solid ratio of 45 mL g−1 and at 73 °C. The LTTM was proven to be equally effective with 60% aqueous methanol, but it displayed inferior antioxidant properties. Liquid chromatography-diode array-mass spectrometry analyses revealed no significant qualitative differences between the LTTM and the aqueous methanolic extract. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessCommunication From Open Data to Open Analyses—New Opportunities for Environmental Applications?
Environments 2017, 4(2), 32; doi:10.3390/environments4020032
Received: 22 February 2017 / Revised: 29 March 2017 / Accepted: 4 April 2017 / Published: 8 April 2017
PDF Full-text (49106 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
In this study, we explore the potential of open and accessible data in combination with interactive cloud-processing capabilities for applications in environmental monitoring and policies. During the last few years, the amount of open Earth observation and open national data has increased substantially.
[...] Read more.
In this study, we explore the potential of open and accessible data in combination with interactive cloud-processing capabilities for applications in environmental monitoring and policies. During the last few years, the amount of open Earth observation and open national data has increased substantially. In parallel, access to analysis capabilities for such data has improved. The search and extraction of data from larger Earth observations archives and the processing of larger amounts of data have hitherto been an obstacle for many potential users. With the availability of new cloud solutions such as Google Earth Engine, NASA Earth Exchange, or ESA Cloud Toolbox, accessing and processing of large datasets have become easier for a wider range of users. In this communication, we briefly summarize these recent trends and illustrate their potential by four application showcases from terrestrial and aquatic environmental monitoring. We accessed and processed data from US and European Earth observation satellite archives with Google Earth Engine. As a complement, we also used open Swedish national data and open source desktop tools. We hope that our positive user experiences can encourage other environmental data users to further explore the new opportunities for easy access to open data and cloud-based processing capabilities. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Enhanced Adsorption of Organic Compounds over an Activated Carbon Cloth by an External-Applied Electric Field
Environments 2017, 4(2), 33; doi:10.3390/environments4020033
Received: 1 March 2017 / Revised: 3 April 2017 / Accepted: 10 April 2017 / Published: 12 April 2017
PDF Full-text (1525 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Adsorption of pollutants on activated carbon is an effective air pollution control technique. In this study, a strong and non-uniform electric field was applied over an activated carbon fiber cloth. The adsorption kinetic of several organic compounds (Acetone, Acetaldehyde, Benzene, Cyclohexane, Ethanol, Methyl
[...] Read more.
Adsorption of pollutants on activated carbon is an effective air pollution control technique. In this study, a strong and non-uniform electric field was applied over an activated carbon fiber cloth. The adsorption kinetic of several organic compounds (Acetone, Acetaldehyde, Benzene, Cyclohexane, Ethanol, Methyl Ethyl Ketone, Toluene, 1-Propanol) on the activated carbon cloth was evaluated in the presence and in the absence of an electric field. Results suggest that its application enhances the adsorptive process. A linear correlation was found between such enhancement and the specific heat of liquefaction of the organic compounds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Pollution Control)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Assessment of Land-Use/Land-Cover Change and Forest Fragmentation in the Garhwal Himalayan Region of India
Environments 2017, 4(2), 34; doi:10.3390/environments4020034
Received: 10 March 2017 / Revised: 12 April 2017 / Accepted: 17 April 2017 / Published: 19 April 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (4389 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Garhwal Himalaya has experienced extensive deforestation and forest fragmentation, but data and documentation detailing this transformation of the Himalaya are limited. The aim of this study is to analyse the observed changes in land cover and forest fragmentation that occurred between 1976
[...] Read more.
The Garhwal Himalaya has experienced extensive deforestation and forest fragmentation, but data and documentation detailing this transformation of the Himalaya are limited. The aim of this study is to analyse the observed changes in land cover and forest fragmentation that occurred between 1976 and 2014 in the Garhwal Himalayan region in India. Three images from Landsat 2 Multispectral Scanner System (MSS), Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper (TM), and Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI) were used to extract the land cover maps. A cross-tabulation detection method in the geographic information system (GIS) module was used to detect land cover changes during the 1st period (1976–1998) and 2nd period (1998–2014). The landscape fragmentation tool LFT v2.0 was used to construct a forest fragmentation map and analyse the forest fragmentation pattern and change during the 1st period (1976–1998) and 2nd period (1998–2014). The overall annual rate of change in the forest cover was observed to be 0.22% and 0.27% in the 1st period (1976–1998) and 2nd period (1998–2014), respectively. The forest fragmentation analysis shows that a large core forest has decreased throughout the study period. The total area of forest patches also increased from 1976 to 2014, which are completely degraded forests. The results indicate that anthropogenic activities are the main causes of the loss of forest cover and forest fragmentation, but that natural factors also contributed. An increase in the area of scrub and barren land also contributed to the accumulation of wasteland or non-forest land in this region. Determining the trend and the rate of land cover conversion is necessary for development planners to establish a rational land use policy. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Determination of Water Quality Degradation Due to Industrial and Household Wastewater in the Galing River in Kuantan, Malaysia Using Ion Chromatograph and Water Quality Data
Environments 2017, 4(2), 35; doi:10.3390/environments4020035
Received: 20 January 2017 / Revised: 29 March 2017 / Accepted: 18 April 2017 / Published: 23 April 2017
PDF Full-text (3594 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Water quality of the Galing River in Kuantan, Malaysia was examined to understand the anthropogenic environmental load in each administrative section, using water quality monitoring data and land use pattern. The National Physical Plan 2005 identified Kuantan as one of the country’s future
[...] Read more.
Water quality of the Galing River in Kuantan, Malaysia was examined to understand the anthropogenic environmental load in each administrative section, using water quality monitoring data and land use pattern. The National Physical Plan 2005 identified Kuantan as one of the country’s future growth centers, which has resulted in rapid development and environmental degradation in the past decade. Multiple water quality indexes used by the Department of Environment, Malaysia and concentrations of several ionic species were examined to assess the river’s water quality. The following inferences were drawn in this study: (1) Cl and Na+ concentrations indicated that the basin area near the eastern urbanized area was subject to lesser human influence and lower environmental burden; (2) the Western side of the Galing River was subject to higher anthropogenic influence and indicated lower class levels of ammoniacal nitrogen, chemical oxygen demand, and dissolved oxygen, compared to the eastern side; (3) Class V or near class V pH values were obtained upstream at the western side of the Galing River in the industrial area; (4) Two types of environmental burden were identified in the western side of the Galing River, namely, inflow of industrial wastewater upstream on the western side and the effect of household wastewater or untreated raw sewage wastewater. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil and Water Contamination, Remediation and Conservation)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle The By-products and Emissions from Manufacturing Torrefied Solid Fuel Using Waste Bamboo Chopsticks
Environments 2017, 4(2), 36; doi:10.3390/environments4020036
Received: 28 February 2017 / Revised: 20 April 2017 / Accepted: 23 April 2017 / Published: 11 May 2017
PDF Full-text (2468 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Although the main purpose of the torrefaction of biomass is to produce high quality solid bio-fuel, the by-products, including liquid and gas products, are worth investigating to know their effects on the environment and the reusable possibility. Consequently, after torrefying waste bamboo chopsticks
[...] Read more.
Although the main purpose of the torrefaction of biomass is to produce high quality solid bio-fuel, the by-products, including liquid and gas products, are worth investigating to know their effects on the environment and the reusable possibility. Consequently, after torrefying waste bamboo chopsticks (WBCs) for producing solid bio-fuel, the liquid and gas products were examined in this study. The torrefaction target was set to produce torrefied waste bamboo chopsticks (WBCT) retaining about 70 wt %. A proper torrefaction temperature (Tr) and torrefaction time (tr) were found at 563 K and 40 min, respectively, for carrying out the torrefaction in a tubular furnace with carrier nitrogen. These conditions gave a solid yield (YS) of 69 wt % of WBCT relative to the original WBC, and 31 wt % of by-products were produced. The liquid products were composed of water as high as 62 wt %, along with some organic acids. Some medicine components were also found in the liquid products, representing potential medicine applications. During torrefaction, CO, NOx, SO2, and CO2 emissions were largely discharged from 10 to 20 min of torrefaction time. O2, CO2, and H2O are the major compounds in the total gas products collected. Some combustible gases of C1 to C6 hydrocarbons were also produced. Moreover, the gas volume balances were computed and evaluated. The information obtained in this study is useful for the proper design, operation, pollution control, and utilization of the products. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Establishment of an Aseptic Culture System and Analysis of the Effective Growth Conditions for Eleocharis acicularis Ramets for Use in Phytoremediation
Environments 2017, 4(2), 40; doi:10.3390/environments4020040
Received: 7 April 2017 / Revised: 20 May 2017 / Accepted: 30 May 2017 / Published: 3 June 2017
PDF Full-text (8693 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Eleocharis acicularis, an aquatic macrophyte of the Cyperaceae family, has been shown to accumulate multiple heavy metals and has great potential for use in the phytoremediation of contaminated soil and water. To investigate the mechanism of accumulation of heavy metals in E.
[...] Read more.
Eleocharis acicularis, an aquatic macrophyte of the Cyperaceae family, has been shown to accumulate multiple heavy metals and has great potential for use in the phytoremediation of contaminated soil and water. To investigate the mechanism of accumulation of heavy metals in E. acicularis while excluding biotic and abiotic environmental effects and to acquire homogenous and sufficient populations of E. acicularis, we established an aseptic culture system and analyzed the applicability of this species for phytoremediation. Young ramet bases and stolon tips of E. acicularis grown in the field were sterilized, cultured, and established in an aseptic culture system, and the effective growth conditions of isolated ramets were determined. Isolated ramets grew remarkably well in a medium of pH 4.8 to 5.7 with 0.25 mg/L kinetin as a plant hormone. Furthermore, capacity for the accumulation of heavy metals was examined using E. acicularis subcultured with or without Si. Aseptically cultured E. acicularis showed a sufficient capacity for Cs and Zn accumulation and exceeded the criteria for hyperaccumulator plants in accumulating Pb, Cd, and In regardless of the addition or not of Si during its subculture. The aseptic culture of E. acicularis enhances its capacity for the accumulation of heavy metals and its applicability for phytoremediation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bio-Degradation and Bio-Remediation of Environmental Pollutants)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Elevated Blood Lead Levels in Children Associated with Living near Mining Waste Sites in Guerrero/Mexico
Environments 2017, 4(2), 41; doi:10.3390/environments4020041
Received: 26 March 2017 / Revised: 2 June 2017 / Accepted: 8 June 2017 / Published: 12 June 2017
PDF Full-text (627 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Blood lead levels (BLL) in children are associated with lead in soil and represent a major public health problem; however, there are few reports of lead contamination related to mining waste sites in Mexico. Therefore, we conducted a cross-sectional study in the State
[...] Read more.
Blood lead levels (BLL) in children are associated with lead in soil and represent a major public health problem; however, there are few reports of lead contamination related to mining waste sites in Mexico. Therefore, we conducted a cross-sectional study in the State of Guerrero to identify the association between proximity of residence to mining site waste and BLL in children. The impact of the different variables related to BLL were analyzed with logistic regression. Geometric mean BLL was 13.6 μg/dL, 15.9 μg/dL in communities proximal to waste sites and 5.5 μg/dL in a distant control community. Children living in communities near the mining waste have higher BLL that children living in communities far away from the waste. Our results are similar to studies in other countries and indicate that mining waste sites remain an active source of BLL contamination that affect children’s health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Exposure to Environmental Contaminants)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Leaf Wetness Evaluation Using Artificial Neural Network for Improving Apple Scab Fight
Environments 2017, 4(2), 42; doi:10.3390/environments4020042
Received: 29 April 2017 / Revised: 8 June 2017 / Accepted: 10 June 2017 / Published: 13 June 2017
PDF Full-text (17463 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Precision agriculture represents a promising technological trend in which governments and local authorities are increasingly investing. In particular, optimising the use of pesticides and having localised models of plant disease are the most important goals for the farmers of the future. The Trentino
[...] Read more.
Precision agriculture represents a promising technological trend in which governments and local authorities are increasingly investing. In particular, optimising the use of pesticides and having localised models of plant disease are the most important goals for the farmers of the future. The Trentino province in Italy is known as a strong national producer of apples. Apple production has to face many issues, however, among which is apple scab. This disease depends mainly on leaf wetness data typically acquired by fixed sensors. Based on the exploitation of artificial neural networks, this work aims to spatially extend the measurements of such sensors across uncovered areas (areas deprived of sensors). Achieved results have been validated comparing the apple scab risk of the same zone using either real leaf wetness data and estimated data. Thanks to the proposed method, it is possible to get the most relevant parameter of apple scab risk in places where no leaf wetness sensor is available. Moreover, our method permits having a specific risk evaluation of apple scab infection for each orchard, leading to an optimization of the use of chemical pesticides. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Are Protected Forests of Bangladesh Prepared for the Implementation of REDD+? A Forest Governance Analysis from Rema-Kalenga Wildlife Sanctuary
Environments 2017, 4(2), 43; doi:10.3390/environments4020043
Received: 30 March 2017 / Revised: 29 May 2017 / Accepted: 11 June 2017 / Published: 13 June 2017
PDF Full-text (4624 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The present study investigates the forest governance structure for REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) implementation in a protected forest of Bangladesh, namely Rema-Kalenga Wildlife Sanctuary (RKWS). The study analyses the key aspects of forest governance, focusing on drivers of deforestation
[...] Read more.
The present study investigates the forest governance structure for REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) implementation in a protected forest of Bangladesh, namely Rema-Kalenga Wildlife Sanctuary (RKWS). The study analyses the key aspects of forest governance, focusing on drivers of deforestation and forest degradation, governance deficit, institutions and social networks, co-benefits, and opportunities and challenges of REDD+ in RKWS. Focus group discussions and key informant interviews were used for primary data collection from different forest stakeholders, including forest-dependent communities, Forest Department (FD) and co-management project staffs. The survey revealed that REDD+ not only on technical issues but even more on how the evolving mechanism is governed on various levels, ranging from local to international. Although a majority (69.5%) of the respondents were motivated to engage in REDD+, indigenous communities were less interested in fear of loss of access to and use of land and forest resources, ownership and rights, and traditional customs and knowledge. There remained a degree of ambiguity of FD, community and co-management projects in field operations, which conflicted with the notions of cooperation, transparency, and accountability of the overall initiatives. Moreover, there is a strong local power structure that has major control over the community, locality and even over a local administration that is a crucial issue to the RKWS authority. However, REDD+ will open up the opportunity to manage the RKWS’s forest resources in a sustainable way, increase the level of protection, and expand the area protected, hence REDD+ must align with the interests of all stakeholders to fulfil its goal. Further research is necessary to inform the governance of REDD+ in Bangladesh to better understand the interplay, interactions and linkages between existing institutions, actors and policy processes. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Review

Jump to: Research, Other

Open AccessReview Do Tick Attachment Times Vary between Different Tick-Pathogen Systems?
Environments 2017, 4(2), 37; doi:10.3390/environments4020037
Received: 30 March 2017 / Revised: 1 May 2017 / Accepted: 4 May 2017 / Published: 9 May 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (260 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Improvements to risk assessments are needed to enhance our understanding of tick-borne disease epidemiology. We review tick vectors and duration of tick attachment required for pathogen transmission for the following pathogens/toxins and diseases: (1) Anaplasma phagocytophilum (anaplasmosis); (2) Babesia microti (babesiosis); (3) Borrelia
[...] Read more.
Improvements to risk assessments are needed to enhance our understanding of tick-borne disease epidemiology. We review tick vectors and duration of tick attachment required for pathogen transmission for the following pathogens/toxins and diseases: (1) Anaplasma phagocytophilum (anaplasmosis); (2) Babesia microti (babesiosis); (3) Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme disease); (4) Southern tick-associated rash illness; (5) Borrelia hermsii (tick-borne relapsing fever); (6) Borrelia parkeri (tick-borne relapsing fever); (7) Borrelia turicatae (tick-borne relapsing fever); (8) Borrelia mayonii; (9) Borrelia miyamotoi; (10) Coxiella burnetii (Query fever); (11) Ehrlichia chaffeensis (ehrlichiosis); (12) Ehrlichia ewingii (ehrlichiosis); (13) Ehrlichia muris; (14) Francisella tularensis (tularemia); (15) Rickettsia 364D; (16) Rickettsia montanensis; (17) Rickettsia parkeri (American boutonneuse fever, American tick bite fever); (18) Rickettsia ricketsii (Rocky Mountain spotted fever); (19) Colorado tick fever virus (Colorado tick fever); (20) Heartland virus; (21) Powassan virus (Powassan disease); (22) tick paralysis neurotoxin; and (23) Galactose-α-1,3-galactose (Mammalian Meat Allergy-alpha-gal syndrome). Published studies for 12 of the 23 pathogens/diseases showed tick attachment times. Reported tick attachment times varied (<1 h to seven days) between pathogen/toxin type and tick vector. Not all studies were designed to detect the duration of attachment required for transmission. Knowledge of this important aspect of vector competence is lacking and impairs risk assessment for some tick-borne pathogens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Exposure to Environmental Contaminants)
Open AccessReview Recycling of Rolling Stocks
Environments 2017, 4(2), 39; doi:10.3390/environments4020039
Received: 1 April 2017 / Revised: 12 May 2017 / Accepted: 14 May 2017 / Published: 25 May 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (7378 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This review paper highlights feasible and practicable approaches for managing end-of-life rolling stocks. It aims to promote and enable sustainable procurement policy for rolling stocks. Firstly, it demonstrates that modern rolling stocks can potentially gain the environmental benefits since almost all of their
[...] Read more.
This review paper highlights feasible and practicable approaches for managing end-of-life rolling stocks. It aims to promote and enable sustainable procurement policy for rolling stocks. Firstly, it demonstrates that modern rolling stocks can potentially gain the environmental benefits since almost all of their materials used in the rolling stock manufacturing can be recycled and reused. In this study, a brief definition and concept of various train types are introduced and discussed, accompanied by some demonstrative illustrations. Then, component analyses, recovery rates and percent proportion of each material in various rolling stock assemblies have been evaluated. The estimation of material quantities that can potentially be recycled has been carried out using industry data sources. The suitable management procedures for end-of-life rail vehicles are then discussed, together with the life cycle of the key materials in which the recyclability criteria take into account the environmental risks and the best and safest approaches to deal with them. The aim of this study is to increase the awareness of the public, train manufacturers and rail industries on the benefits to the environment from rolling stock recycling, which could result in sustainable society and urban livings. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Other

Jump to: Research, Review

Open AccessCommentary Addressing Environmental Health Problems in Ogoniland through Implementation of United Nations Environment Program Recommendations: Environmental Management Strategies
Environments 2017, 4(2), 28; doi:10.3390/environments4020028
Received: 30 December 2016 / Revised: 14 March 2017 / Accepted: 26 March 2017 / Published: 30 March 2017
PDF Full-text (765 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
On 4 August 2011, United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) submitted an unprecedented, scientific, groundbreaking environmental assessment report (EAR) on Ogoniland to the Nigerian government. This was the outcome of a 14-month intensive evaluation of the extent of pollution. The intention was that UNEP’s
[...] Read more.
On 4 August 2011, United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) submitted an unprecedented, scientific, groundbreaking environmental assessment report (EAR) on Ogoniland to the Nigerian government. This was the outcome of a 14-month intensive evaluation of the extent of pollution. The intention was that UNEP’s recommendations would be implemented to restore the devastated environment, on the one hand, and on the other, counteract the numerous environmental health issues that have for decades, plagued Ogoniland. However, five years post-EAR, and despite the seriousness of the situation, no significant resolution has occurred on the part of the government or the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) or Shell. To date, millions of Niger Delta residents particularly those living in the oil-bearing communities, continue to suffer severe consequences. Although the assessment was conducted in Ogoniland, other communities in the Niger Delta are also affected. This article explores prevailing issues in the Niger Delta, using Ogoniland (a microcosm of the Niger Delta) as an example. A multidisciplinary approach for sustainable mitigation of environmental health risks in the Niger Delta is paramount, and environmental management tools offer valuable strategies. Adopting the UNEP’s recommendations for addressing environmental health problems requires implementing the environmental management/environmental management system (EM/EMS) model. However, the persistent lack of political will on the part of the Nigerian government, and the grossly nonchalant attitude by Shell remain major obstacles towards executing UNEP’s recommendations. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessEssay Climate Change and Food In/Security: A Critical Nexus
Environments 2017, 4(2), 38; doi:10.3390/environments4020038
Received: 22 February 2017 / Revised: 27 April 2017 / Accepted: 16 May 2017 / Published: 19 May 2017
PDF Full-text (237 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The issue of climate change has been gaining widespread attention and concern as it has the ability to directly/indirectly affect our standard of living and quality of life. It has often been postulated that changes in climate would have a vast effect on
[...] Read more.
The issue of climate change has been gaining widespread attention and concern as it has the ability to directly/indirectly affect our standard of living and quality of life. It has often been postulated that changes in climate would have a vast effect on food production systems and that food security might be threatened due to increasing climate change. However, it seems that research on climate change and food in/security has often been one-sided; with climate change being identified as the cause of food insecurity and not how the systems in place to ensure food security have exacerbated the issue of climate change. This paper thus seeks to give a more balanced view and thus understanding of the complex relationship between climate change and food security by critically examining both systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Risk and Climate Change)
Back to Top