Open AccessArticle
Comparison of Geometrical Layouts for a Multi-Box Aerosol Model from a Single-Chamber Dispersion Study
Environments 2018, 5(5), 52; doi:10.3390/environments5050052 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Models are increasingly used to estimate and pre-emptively calculate the occupational exposure of airborne released particulate matter. Typical two-box models assume instant and fully mixed air volumes, which can potentially cause issues in cases with fast processes, slow air mixing, and/or large volumes.
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Models are increasingly used to estimate and pre-emptively calculate the occupational exposure of airborne released particulate matter. Typical two-box models assume instant and fully mixed air volumes, which can potentially cause issues in cases with fast processes, slow air mixing, and/or large volumes. In this study, we present an aerosol dispersion model and validate it by comparing the modelled concentrations with concentrations measured during chamber experiments. We investigated whether a better estimation of concentrations was possible by using different geometrical layouts rather than a typical two-box layout. A one-box, two-box, and two three-box layouts were used. The one box model was found to underestimate the concentrations close to the source, while overestimating the concentrations in the far field. The two-box model layout performed well based on comparisons from the chamber study in systems with a steady source concentration for both slow and fast mixing. The three-box layout was found to better estimate the concentrations and the timing of the peaks for fluctuating concentrations than the one-box or two-box layouts under relatively slow mixing conditions. This finding suggests that industry-relevant scaled volumes should be tested in practice to gain more knowledge about when to use the two-box or the three-box layout schemes for multi-box models. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Consumption-Based Blockchain Accounting of Telecoupled Global Land Resource Debtors and Creditors
Environments 2018, 5(5), 51; doi:10.3390/environments5050051 -
Open AccessArticle
A Multi-Criteria Analysis Model for Investment Projects in Smart Cities
Environments 2018, 5(4), 50; doi:10.3390/environments5040050 -
Abstract
A city plays a central role in the processes of economic, social, and environmental development, becoming the core of policy makers’ strategies. Thus, it is essential to optimize the use of monetary resources available by means of integrated decision-support approaches, able to pursue
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A city plays a central role in the processes of economic, social, and environmental development, becoming the core of policy makers’ strategies. Thus, it is essential to optimize the use of monetary resources available by means of integrated decision-support approaches, able to pursue an increasingly “instrumented, interconnected and intelligent” cities prototype. In this perspective, the Smart City paradigm addresses the challenges of sustainable development through the implementation of new spatial planning schemes, which require the selection of projects on the basis of multi-criteria economic evaluation logics, namely financial and extra-financial criteria. The purpose of the work is to define an innovative model of economic analysis for the choice of investments in a Smart City, useful for both public operators and private investors. The evaluation protocol is written in the A Mathematical Programming Language (AMPL) through the optimization algorithms of Discrete Linear Programming (DLP). The effectiveness, adaptability, and operational simplicity of the investigative tool are tested on a case study. The model’s limitations and research perspectives are highlighted in the conclusions of the work. Full article
Open AccessArticle
U.S. Inland Pacific Northwest Wheat Farmers’ Perceived Risks: Motivating Intentions to Adapt to Climate Change?
Environments 2018, 5(4), 49; doi:10.3390/environments5040049 -
Abstract
The Regional Approaches to Climate Change for the Pacific Northwest Agriculture (REACCH PNA) project was a USDA-National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) funded effort aimed at taking a comprehensive and interdisciplinary approach to understanding the implications of climate change on wheat and
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The Regional Approaches to Climate Change for the Pacific Northwest Agriculture (REACCH PNA) project was a USDA-National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) funded effort aimed at taking a comprehensive and interdisciplinary approach to understanding the implications of climate change on wheat and other cereal crop production in the inland Pacific Northwest (iPNW). As part of this project, two comprehensive surveys of wheat producers were conducted in 2012/13 and 2015/16, which included questions concerning production practices, risk perception, and attitudes towards climate change adaptation and mitigation. This paper explores farmers’ anticipated adaptive responses to climate change across five different adaptation strategies, including, cropping system, crop rotation, tillage practices, soil conservation practices, and crop insurance. This research examines whether farmers anticipate making little to no change or moderate to big changes to their production system in response to climate change and whether perceived economic and environmental risks motivate farmers’ intentions to adapt to climate change. I found that a small percentage (18–28%) of respondents intend on taking moderate to big action in response to predicted climate change, across both surveys and all five adaptation strategies. Further, high levels of perceived economic and environmental risks, associated with climate change and positive attitudes towards adaptation, are motivating intentions to adapt. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Trace Metal Modelling of a Complex River Basin Using the Suite of Models Integrated in the OpenMI Platform
Environments 2018, 5(4), 48; doi:10.3390/environments5040048 -
Abstract
Modelling trace metal dynamics is essential in an integrated modelling framework as trace metals have the potential to be fatal, even when present at low concentrations. Since the degree of bioavailability of a metal depends on its presence in the dissolved phase, it
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Modelling trace metal dynamics is essential in an integrated modelling framework as trace metals have the potential to be fatal, even when present at low concentrations. Since the degree of bioavailability of a metal depends on its presence in the dissolved phase, it is necessary to keep track of both the dissolved and particulate phase of metals. In general, the well-known partitioning coefficient approach is widely used for trace metal speciation. As such, we applied a parametric approach to relate the partitioning coefficient to several environmental variables. These environmental variables are made available by a suite of physically based models (a hydrologic and diffuse pollution model, Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT); a hydraulic model, Storm Water Management Model (SWMM); a stream temperature model; an in-stream water quality conversion model; and a sediment transport model) integrated using the Open Modelling Interface (OpenMI). For trace metal speciation, two regression techniques, (a) the multi-linear regression (MLR) and (b) the principle component regression (PCR), were used. It is then tested in the Zenne river basin, Belgium, to simulate four trace metals (copper, cadmium, zinc and lead) dynamics. We demonstrated the usefulness of the OpenMI platform to link different model components for integrated trace metal transport modelling of a complex river basin. It was found that the integrated model simulated different metals with ‘satisfactory’ accuracy. The MLR- and PCR-based model results were also comparable. From a management perspective, the river is not heavily polluted except for the level of dissolved zinc. We believe that the availability of such a model will allow for a better understanding of trace metal dynamics, which could be utilized to improve the present condition of the river. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Efficient Bacteria Inactivation by Ultrasound in Municipal Wastewater
Environments 2018, 5(4), 47; doi:10.3390/environments5040047 -
Abstract
The reuse of treated wastewaters could contribute to reducing water stress. In this research, ultrasound application on bacterial inactivation in municipal wastewater (MWW) was evaluated. Total and fecal coliforms were used as standard fecal indicators; volatile suspended solids (VSS) were analyzed too. Samples
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The reuse of treated wastewaters could contribute to reducing water stress. In this research, ultrasound application on bacterial inactivation in municipal wastewater (MWW) was evaluated. Total and fecal coliforms were used as standard fecal indicators; volatile suspended solids (VSS) were analyzed too. Samples were taken from the effluent of secondary clarifiers. In addition, inactivation tests were carried out on pure cultures of E. coli (EC) and B. subtilis (BS). Sonication was performed at 20 kHz, 35% amplitude and 600 W/L for 15, 30 and 45 min. After 15 min of sonication, bacterial density was reduced by 1.85 Log10 MPN/100 mL for EC and 3.16 Log10 CFU/mL for BS. After 30 min, no CFU/mL of BS were observed in MWW and, after 45 min, the reduction of total and fecal coliforms was practically 6.45 Log10 MPN/100mL. Inactivation mechanism was made by cavitation, which causes irreversible damage to the cell wall. Although high bacterial densities were employed, percentages of inactivation >99% were reached at 45 min. This research contributes to the implementation of ultrasound as a disinfection technique with high potential due to its high efficiency without producing byproducts. In fact, the water meets the guidelines for reuse in direct human contact services. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Hepatobiliary-Related Outcomes in US Adults Exposed to Lead
Environments 2018, 5(4), 46; doi:10.3390/environments5040046 -
Abstract
The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to investigate hepatobiliary-related clinical markers in Unites States adults (aged ≥ 20) exposed to lead using the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2007–2008 and 2009–2010 datasets. Clinical markers and occupation were evaluated in 4
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The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to investigate hepatobiliary-related clinical markers in Unites States adults (aged ≥ 20) exposed to lead using the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2007–2008 and 2009–2010 datasets. Clinical markers and occupation were evaluated in 4 quartiles of exposure—0–2 μg/dL, 2–5 μg/dL, 5–10 μg/dL, and 10 μg/dL and over—to examine how the markers and various occupations manifested in the quartiles. Linear regression determined associations, and binary logistic regression predicted the likelihood of elevated clinical makers using binary degrees of exposure set at (2 μg/dL, 5 μg/dL, and 10 μg/dL). Clinical makers, and how they manifested between exposed and less-exposed occupations, were explored in addition to how duration of exposure altered these clinical markers. In regression analysis, Gamma-Glutamyl Transferase (GGT), total bilirubin, and Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP) were positively and significantly associated with Blood lead level (BLL). Using binary logistic regression models, at the binary 2 μg/dL level ALP, and GGT were more likely to be elevated in those exposed. At 5 μg/dL level, it was ALP and GGT that were more likely to be elevated in those exposed whereas at 10 μg/dL level, it was GGT that were more likely to be elevated in those exposed. In the occupational analysis, Aspartate Aminotransferase (AST), Alanine Aminotransferase (ALT), GGT, and ALP showed differences between populations in the exposed and less-exposed occupations. Regarding Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing, duration of exposure altered AST, ALP, and total bilirubin significantly (p < 0.05) while ALT and GGT were altered moderately significantly (p < 0.10). With mining, duration of exposure altered AST and GGT moderately significantly, whereas in construction duration in occupation altered AST, and GGT significantly, and total bilirubin moderately significantly. The study findings are evidence of occupational exposure to lead playing a significant role in initiating and promoting adverse hepatobiliary clinical outcomes in United States adults. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Geometric Factor as the Characteristics of the Three-Dimensional Process of Volume Changes of Heavy Soils
Environments 2018, 5(4), 45; doi:10.3390/environments5040045 -
Abstract
During simulation of a water regime of heavy soils, it is necessary to know the isotropy parameters of any volume changes. Volume changes appear in both vertical and horizontal directions. In vertical directions, they appear as a topsoil movement, and in horizontal directions
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During simulation of a water regime of heavy soils, it is necessary to know the isotropy parameters of any volume changes. Volume changes appear in both vertical and horizontal directions. In vertical directions, they appear as a topsoil movement, and in horizontal directions as the formation of a crack network. The ratio between horizontal and vertical change is described using the geometric factor, rs. In the present paper, the distribution of volume changes to horizontal and vertical components is characterized by the geometric factor, in selected soil profiles, in the East Slovakian Lowland. In this work the effect of soil texture on the value of the geometric factor and thus, on the distribution of volume changes to vertical and horizontal components was studied. Within the hypothesis, the greatest influence of the clay soil component was shown by the geometric factor value. New information is obtained on the basis of field and laboratory measurements. Results will be used as inputs for numerical simulation of a water regime for heavy soils in the East Slovakian Lowland. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
An Exploratory Analysis of Sound Field Characteristics using the Impulse Response in a Car Cabin
Environments 2018, 5(4), 44; doi:10.3390/environments5040044 -
Abstract
Sound environments in cars are becoming quieter and receiving attention because of the prevalence of low-noise engines such as hybrid and electric engines and the manifestation of automated driving. Although the car cabin has potential as a listening space, its acoustic quality has
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Sound environments in cars are becoming quieter and receiving attention because of the prevalence of low-noise engines such as hybrid and electric engines and the manifestation of automated driving. Although the car cabin has potential as a listening space, its acoustic quality has not been examined in detail. The present study investigated sound field characteristics in the car cabin using acoustic parameters obtained by impulse response analysis. In particular, effects of the passenger position, open windows and the use of an air conditioner on acoustic parameters were investigated. The passenger position affected the sound strength at low frequencies. Rear seats, except for the rear central seat, had lower interaural correlation than the front seats, suggesting that rear seats have more diffused sound fields. The opening of windows and use of air conditioners attenuated the ratio of early- and late-arriving energy at high frequencies, suggesting a loss of clarity for music. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Comprehensive Instrumental Odor Analysis Using SIFT-MS: A Case Study
Environments 2018, 5(4), 43; doi:10.3390/environments5040043 -
Abstract
Instrumental analysis of odor is challenging due to the chemical diversity of many important odorants, the high sensitivity required to achieve human odor thresholds, and the dynamic nature of the odor itself. Conventional sensor-based and chromatographic technologies are poorly suited to the task.
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Instrumental analysis of odor is challenging due to the chemical diversity of many important odorants, the high sensitivity required to achieve human odor thresholds, and the dynamic nature of the odor itself. Conventional sensor-based and chromatographic technologies are poorly suited to the task. In this paper, we apply a novel direct mass spectrometric technique—selected ion flow tube mass spectrometry (SIFT-MS)—to the chemical analysis of odor. The SIFT-MS technique provides comprehensive real-time odor analysis through detection and quantitation of all odorants, including aldehydes, amines, organosulfur compounds, and volatile fatty acids. In the case study described, SIFT-MS is utilized to monitor specific odor compounds at a gelatin factory in Christchurch, New Zealand. Odor composition from various steps in the gelatin manufacturing process was determined using SIFT-MS in scan mode. Over a period of several years, the gelatin manufacturer made improvements to their plant to reduce fugitive odors, and sources were re-analyzed. In this investigation, SIFT-MS analysis was utilized to evaluate the effectiveness of an odor neutralization technology based on UV photolysis at the plant. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Adaptation to Climate Change in Panchase Mountain Ecological Regions of Nepal
Environments 2018, 5(3), 42; doi:10.3390/environments5030042 -
Abstract
Rural mountain communities in developing countries are considered particularly vulnerable to environmental change, including climate change. Forests and agriculture provide numerous ecosystem goods and services (EGS) to local communities and can help people adapt to the impacts of climate change. There is however
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Rural mountain communities in developing countries are considered particularly vulnerable to environmental change, including climate change. Forests and agriculture provide numerous ecosystem goods and services (EGS) to local communities and can help people adapt to the impacts of climate change. There is however poor documentation on the role of EGS in people’s livelihood and adaptation practices. This study in the rural Panchase Mountain Ecological Region of Nepal identifies practices being used to adapt to a changing environment through key informant interviews and focus group discussions. At the household level, livelihood diversification, changes in cropping patterns and farming practices, use of multipurpose plant species and income-generation activities were identified as adaptation strategies. Among major strategies at the community level were community forestry-based climate adaptation plans of action for forest and water resource management. Landscape-level adaptation strategies were large-scale collaborative projects and programs, such as Ecosystem-based Adaptation and Chitwan Annapurna Landscape conservation; which had implications at both the local and landscape-level. A proper blending and integration of adaptation strategies from individual households through to the community and to the landscape level is needed for implementing effective adaptation in the region. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Management Recommendations for Improving Decentralized Wastewater Treatment by the Food and Beverage Industries in Nigeria
Environments 2018, 5(3), 41; doi:10.3390/environments5030041 -
Abstract
The main aim of this study was to identify the enabling conditions that can lead to better wastewater management by industries (non-oil and gas sector) in Nigeria. The relevant data and information’s required for this study were obtained through semi-structured interviews with different
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The main aim of this study was to identify the enabling conditions that can lead to better wastewater management by industries (non-oil and gas sector) in Nigeria. The relevant data and information’s required for this study were obtained through semi-structured interviews with different stakeholders in the Nigerian environmental sector. The lack of financial capability, technical expertise, and environmental awareness was envisaged as the main reason for non-compliance. According to the results, the enabling conditions that can lead to better decentralized wastewater management are government support, improved legal and regulatory framework, increased capacity, and skills of the regulators and financial arrangements for implementing environmental policies and treatment technologies in polluting facilities. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Adapting to Climate Change: Lessons from Farmers and Peri-Urban Fringe Residents in South Australia
Environments 2018, 5(3), 40; doi:10.3390/environments5030040 -
Abstract
This paper reports on results from two major research projects conducted in South Australia. The first investigates adaptation to climate change in two of the state’s major grain and sheep farming regions, using semi-structured interviews and focus groups. The second uses a postal
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This paper reports on results from two major research projects conducted in South Australia. The first investigates adaptation to climate change in two of the state’s major grain and sheep farming regions, using semi-structured interviews and focus groups. The second uses a postal questionnaire and an internet-based survey of residents in the peri-urban fringes of Adelaide, the state capital, to examine knowledge of and attitudes to climate change and resulting adaptations, especially in the context of increasing risk of wildfires. The research on adaptation to climate change in agriculture focused on formal institutions (e.g., government agencies) and communities of practice (e.g., farm systems groups). Both groups noted that farmers autonomously adapt to various risks, including those induced by climate variability. The types and levels of adaptation varied among individuals partly because of barriers to adaptation, which included limited communication and engagement processes established between formal institutions and communities of practice. The paper discusses possibilities for more effective transfers of knowledge and information on climate change among formal institutions, communities of practice, trusted individual advisors and farmers. Research in the peri-urban fringe revealed that actions taken by individuals to mitigate and/or adapt to climate change were linked to the nature of environmental values held (or ecological worldview) and place attachment. Individuals with a strong place attachment to the study area (the Adelaide Hills) who possessed knowledge of and/or beliefs in climate change were most likely to take mitigating actions. This was also linked to previous experience of major risk from wildfires. The paper concludes by discussing prospects for developing co-management for reducing the impact of climate change across multiple groups in rural and peri-urban areas. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Method to Estimate Students’ Exposure to Road Traffic Noise Events
Environments 2018, 5(3), 39; doi:10.3390/environments5030039 -
Abstract
The correlation between exposure to traffic noise and students’ performance and annoyance has been investigated in literature mainly considering the relationship between indoor equivalent A-weighted sound pressure level (LAeq) and students’ cognitive impairment. Annoyance is frequently related to the effect of
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The correlation between exposure to traffic noise and students’ performance and annoyance has been investigated in literature mainly considering the relationship between indoor equivalent A-weighted sound pressure level (LAeq) and students’ cognitive impairment. Annoyance is frequently related to the effect of short-duration noise events characterized by high sound pressure levels, such as those due to aircraft fly-over and pass-by of buses, heavy trucks, motorcycles, or street sweepers. These noise events are often described, over specific measurement periods, in terms of maximum A-weighted sound pressure level, LAmax, or statistical levels, such as LA1 or LA10. This aspect is not considered in the noise maps drawn in accordance with the European Environmental Noise Directive, as they provide the LAeq only, determined over day, evening, and night periods. In this paper, students’ exposure to road traffic noise is analyzed by means of regression equations obtained by the authors between LAeq and A-weighted maximum and statistical levels due to road traffic noise. The traffic noise of 28 urban streets was monitored during the opening period of Italian schools. A method is described to estimate students’ exposure to noise from data made available on noise maps by the municipalities of metropolitan areas. The application of this method to the case study of Florence shows that almost 60% of students from municipal primary and lower secondary schools could be exposed to the maximum sound pressure level (SPL) inside the classroom greater than 55 dB(A) every hour, probably exceeding the typical background noise in classrooms by more than 10 dB. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Gardening the City: Addressing Sustainability and Adapting to Global Warming through Urban Agriculture
Environments 2018, 5(3), 38; doi:10.3390/environments5030038 -
Abstract
This article envisions urban agriculture as a solution to address global warming by decreasing the urban heat island effect while also addressing many other urban sustainability issues, such as multi-functionality, creating new commons, amenities and ecosystem services, reinventing urbanity, encouraging community building by
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This article envisions urban agriculture as a solution to address global warming by decreasing the urban heat island effect while also addressing many other urban sustainability issues, such as multi-functionality, creating new commons, amenities and ecosystem services, reinventing urbanity, encouraging community building by growing local food, and enhanced water management. This article examines how urban design and planning can promote this solution to reconfigure more sustainable and resilient cities. A crucial aspect is that urban planning should evolve from its traditional prescriptive form to adaptive planning. An important point in adaptive planning is that anybody concerned should be associated with the decision-making process, which requires the involvement of citizens in the decisions that affect them. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Integrated Approach to Sustainable Land Use Management
Environments 2018, 5(3), 37; doi:10.3390/environments5030037 -
Abstract
This article presents the integrated approach to sustainable land use management based on the assessment of land use and related land cover changes. Land use changes are conditioned by human activities producing changes in landscape cover and initiating processes which cause many environmental
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This article presents the integrated approach to sustainable land use management based on the assessment of land use and related land cover changes. Land use changes are conditioned by human activities producing changes in landscape cover and initiating processes which cause many environmental problems. It is therefore important to determine the drivers and causality of landscape changes which can then be negated to ensure sustainable land use management. The integrated landscape research approach is based on understanding landscape as a geo-ecosystem with natural, human, cultural, and historical potential. Our aim is to define the aspects of land use management which can regulate social development. The proposal for optimal land use is based on the interaction between natural capital, represented by the supply of natural regional resources and environmental conditions as well as demand represented by community need for development. The conflict between the supply of natural capital and demands lacking respect for landscape resources is an important determining factor in environmental and human problems. The integrated approach is focused on long-term rational utilization of the natural and cultural-historical resources, urban development, and the elimination of current environmental and socioeconomic problems as well as the prevention of new ones. Multi-criteria analysis is required for final environmental decision-making. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluating Presence Data versus Expert Opinions to Assess Occurrence, Habitat Preferences and Landscape Permeability: A Case Study of Butterflies
Environments 2018, 5(3), 36; doi:10.3390/environments5030036 -
Abstract
We explored how presence data and expert opinions performed with respect to identifying the ecological preferences and the spatial needs of six butterfly species in the Federal State of Saxony, Germany. We used presence records and a land-cover map. In parallel we used
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We explored how presence data and expert opinions performed with respect to identifying the ecological preferences and the spatial needs of six butterfly species in the Federal State of Saxony, Germany. We used presence records and a land-cover map. In parallel we used expert responses to evaluate the 40 land-cover types occurring in the map, in terms of both suitability and permeability for the six species. Presence data were translated into preferences through Ivlev’s electivity indices (IEI). Visual analysis of preference maps based on IEI showed a distinct pattern of suitable versus less suitable areas. Similarly, spatial analyses found that presence-points were closer to suitability areas based on IEI than those that were based on expert data. However, in case of mismatches between expert and presence-based evaluations, independent experts identified the expert evaluation as better and considered IEI outcomes as wrong. We found a medium to high correlation between land-cover class suitability and permeability based on expert opinions for all species. This indicates that expert evaluation of permeability is affiliated with habitat suitability. Integration of species-presence data and expert-knowledge about species could enhance our capabilities to understand and potentially map suitability while gathering information about suitability and permeability separately can improve species conservation planning. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Alkali-Activated Mortars for Sustainable Building Solutions: Effect of Binder Composition on Technical Performance
Environments 2018, 5(3), 35; doi:10.3390/environments5030035 -
Abstract
There is a growing interest in the construction sector in the use of sustainable binders as an alternative to ordinary Portland cement, the production of which is highly impacting on the environment, due to high carbon dioxide emissions and energy consumption. Alkali-activated binders,
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There is a growing interest in the construction sector in the use of sustainable binders as an alternative to ordinary Portland cement, the production of which is highly impacting on the environment, due to high carbon dioxide emissions and energy consumption. Alkali-activated binders, especially those resulting from low-cost industrial by-products, such as coal fly ash or metallurgical slag, represent a sustainable option for cement replacement, though their use is more challenging, due to some technological issues related to workability or curing conditions. This paper presents sustainable alkali-activated mortars cured in room conditions and based on metakaolin, fly ash, and furnace slag (both by-products resulting from local sources) and relevant blends, aiming at their real scale application in the building sector. The effect of binder composition—gradually adjusted taking into consideration technical and environmental aspects (use of industrial by-products in place of natural materials in the view of resources saving)—on the performance (workability, compressive strength) of different mortar formulations, is discussed in detail. Some guidelines for the design of cement-free binders are given, taking into consideration the effect of each investigated alumino-silicate component. The technical feasibility to produce the mortars with standard procedures and equipment, the curing in room conditions, the promising results achieved in terms of workability and mechanical performance (from 20.0 MPa up to 52.0 MPa), confirm the potential of such materials for practical applications (masonry mortars of class M20 and Md). The cement-free binders resulting from this study can be used as reference for the development of mortars and concrete formulations for sustainable building materials production. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Blockchain with Artificial Intelligence to Efficiently Manage Water Use under Climate Change
Environments 2018, 5(3), 34; doi:10.3390/environments5030034 -
Abstract
Assessments may underestimate the annual global water scarcity, driven by seasonal water availability and consumption distribution heterogeneity[...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
Contamination of Plants from Amazonia by Environmental Pollution
Environments 2018, 5(3), 33; doi:10.3390/environments5030033 -
Abstract
Analytical data concerning the contamination on three officinal plants due to Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), as organochlorine pesticides, are reported and discussed. Analyzed vegetation—“Graviola” (Annona muricata), “Mullaca” (Physalis angulata) and “Balsamina” (Impatiens balsamina)—comes from the Peruvian Amazonian
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Analytical data concerning the contamination on three officinal plants due to Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), as organochlorine pesticides, are reported and discussed. Analyzed vegetation—“Graviola” (Annona muricata), “Mullaca” (Physalis angulata) and “Balsamina” (Impatiens balsamina)—comes from the Peruvian Amazonian forest, and are well known for their numerous therapeutic properties. A portion of each vegetable sample (leaves) was submitted to extraction procedure with hexane-acetone (1:1, v/v) solution by using a continuous solid-liquid extraction. The extracts were analyzed by Gas Chromatography-Tandem Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS/MS) and Multi Reaction Monitoring (MRM) techniques. Obtained results show the presence of DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane) and its breakdown products, as DDD (dichlorodiphenyldichloroethane) and DDE (dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene), while the hexachlorobenzene was found only in the “Graviola” (0.041 ng/g of dry weight (d.w.) net matter). The total POPs quantities were detected in the concentration range of ppb, varying from 0.349 and 0.614 ng/g d.w. for “Mullaca” and “Graviola”, respectively, up to 1.329 ng/g d.w. in the case of “Balsamina”. Recorded concentration trace values in the case of hexachlorobenzene could be an indication of a contamination of plants due to a probable short-range atmospheric transport pollution. The DDT contamination could be due to the use of DDT against malaria during the years 1992–1997 or to a probable usage of dicoflos and rothane insecticide in the harvesting area. Our analytical determinations exclude the presence of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in all three investigated plant materials. Full article
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