Abstract: Within the context of the Water Framework Directive, the need to identify new monitoring tools in support of the traditional chemical monitoring process is emerging. Chemical characterization by itself does not provide specific biological information about potential hazards to organisms, in particular when facing cocktails of contaminants. Therefore, ecotoxicity tests can represent a useful tool supporting the chemical information. In the present work, the value of ecotoxicity tests as an effect-based tool for monitoring freshwater and sediment quality of the south-western basin of Lake Como (Northern Italy) was evaluated, assessing the potential risk of pollutants. Results obtained from D. magna toxicity tests showed a temporal variation of toxic response in relation to the variability of organic micropollutant load characteristics of urban rivers. Sediment ecotoxicity test data showed the spatial variability of the sediments’ contamination within the lake, confirmed by chemical analysis of two classes of pollutants (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) and polychlorobiphenyls (PCB)). The observed effects on organisms in laboratory tests caused by a mixture of almost unknown chemicals underline the importance of integrating effect-based tools into monitoring efforts.
Abstract: Agricultural intensification in America has replaced native warm-season grasses (NWSG) with introduced forages causing wildlife habitat loss and population declines for the northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) and similar ground-nesting birds. Reintroducing NWSGs onto managed grasslands to reverse grassland bird population declines lacks information about appropriate multi-purpose management. Post-season nesting habitat quality of mixed NWSGs (indiangrass (IG, Sorghastrum nutans), big bluestem (BB, Andropogon gerardii) andlittle bluestem (LB, Schizachyrium scoparium)) responding to previous-year(s) harvest intervals (treatments, 30-, 40-, 60-, 90 or 120-d) and duration (years in production), were assessed on late-spring-early-summer re-growths. Yearly phased harvestings were initiated in May on sets of randomized plots, ≥90-cm apart, in five replications (blocks) to produce one-, two-, and three-year old stands by the third year. Sward heights and canopy closure were recorded a day before harvest, followed a week after by visual estimates of ground cover of plant species and litter. Harvesting increased post-season grass cover and reduced forbs following a high rainfall year. Harvested plot swards showed no treatment differences, but were shorter and intercepted more sunlight. Similarly, harvest duration increased grass cover with no year effect but reduced forbs following a high rainfall year. One- or two-year full-season harvesting of similar stands may not compromise subsequent bobwhite nesting-cover provided post-season harvesting starts after the breeding cycle is completed.
Abstract: The impact of increasing amendments of two particle sizes of biochar (≤2 mm and 3–7 mm), applied at 0%, 0.01%, 0.1% and 1% concentrations, on the development of indigenous phenanthrene catabolism was investigated in two soils with different soil organic matter contents. Mineralisation of 14C-phenanthrene was measured after 1, 20, 60 and 100 d soil-phenanthrene-biochar aging period. The presence of biochar in the pasture soil (low OM) resulted in a decrease in the lag phase of 14C-phenanthrene mineralisation, with higher maximum rates of mineralisation following 20 d aging. Higher extents of 14C-phenanthrene mineralisation were observed in the Kettering loam soil (high OM), which was more prominent with 0.01% biochar amendments (p < 0.05) at 61.2% and 64.9% in ≤2 mm and 3–7 mm biochar amended soils, respectively. This study illustrates the potential role for biochar to enhance microbial catabolic activity to degrade common petroleum contaminants. It however depends on contaminant concentration, aging period, and soil properties.
Abstract: A linear regression model of particle pollution and an ordered logistic regression model of the relevant index were selected for observations in the US city of Los Angeles, California. Models were used to forecast Air Quality Index (AQI) from a sample, and were compared and contrasted. Methods are comparable overall but markedly different in their powers to predict certain categories. Linear regression models of AQI through particle pollution are more favored to predict moderate air quality; ordered logistic regression models of AQI directly are more favored to predict good air quality.
Abstract: In this study, to reduce the amount of pollutant PAH and soot in the flame, we examined the burner system equipped with a center air injection. For this purpose, by using PAH-LIF and soot LII, we evaluated relative PAH and soot amounts in both the triple port burner and the conventional co-axial burner (double port burner) to discuss effects of center air injection on the formation of PAH and soot. The fuel was propane. In the triple port burner, two different blue flames are observed near the burner rim, followed by bright luminous flames with soot. The flame length is longer when the fuel flow velocity is increased. On the other hand, the flame length is shorter with an increase in internal air flow velocity. As for PAH and soot, these amounts of the triple port burner are much smaller than those of the double port burner. For the triple port burner, due to the center air injection, the fuel consumption occurs in both inner and outer flames. On the other hand, for the double port burner, the oxygen is supplied from one side air, and as a result, the fuel consumption rate is relatively lower. Hence, by the center air injection, the fuel consumption is largely accelerated, resulting in the reduction of PAH and soot.
Abstract: This study focused on identifying vegetation characteristics associated with erosion control at nine roadside sites in mid-West Sweden. A number of vegetation characteristics such as cover, diversity, plant functional type, biomass and plant community structure were included. Significant difference in cover between eroded and non-eroded sub-sites was found in evergreen shrubs, total cover, and total above ground biomass. Thus, our results support the use of shrubs in order to stabilize vegetation and minimize erosion along roadsides. However, shrubs are disfavored by several natural and human imposed factors. This could have several impacts on the long-term management of roadsides in boreal regions. By both choosing and applying active management that supports native evergreen shrubs in boreal regions, several positive effects could be achieved along roadsides, such as lower erosion rate and secured long-term vegetation cover. This could also lead to lower costs for roadside maintenance as lower erosion rates would require less frequent stabilizing treatments and mowing could be kept to a minimum in order not to disfavor shrubs.