Ayobami A. Akanmu, Umar O. Salisu, Simeon O. Fasina and Samuel A. Okunubi
Efforts to liberate the populace, most especially rural communities, from the shackles of poverty, have been ongoing through several approaches since the independent era in Nigeria. The most recent is the Local Empowerment and Environmental Management Programme (LEEMP) which is tailored to undertake projects capable of alleviating poverty. This study assessed the LEEMP projects in Itesiwaju Local Government Area of Oyo State in Nigeria. Data collection methods were through a questionnaire survey and an interview. A random sampling technique was employed to sample 152 residents from the study population of 30,400 and the results were analysed using both descriptive and inferential statistics. A binary logistics regression was used to determine the influence of the LEEMP projects on the socio-economic status of residents. The findings revealed that: LEEMP projects were mostly the initiatives of both the community and LEEMP officials (72%); over 80% of the respondents observed that community involvement was mainly about land provision and the labour force, justifying over 70% active involvement of the community in the project execution and maintenance. Inferentially, the prediction model was able to classify 83% of the cases correctly, indicating that the predictors contribute significantly to prediction power of the logistic regression model (p<0.000). The Pseudo R-Square of Cox & Snell’s R-square (28%) and Nagelkerke’s R (42%) also show that the model was relevant in predicting the influence of the LEEMP projects on the residents’ socio-economic status. However, age (p=0.000), household size (p=0.019), average monthly income (p=0.033), and educational status (p=0.038) predictors best contributed to the model prediction. The study, however, recommended among others, that the LEEMP projects should be extended extensively within the country accompanied by an injection of adequate funding and a project monitoring mechanism for continuous functionality and sustainability.
Olexander Zhukov, Olga Kunah, Yulia Dubinina, Yulia Zhukova and Dmytro Ganzha
The tree species composition can influence the dynamics of herbaceous species and enhance the spatial heterogeneity of the soil. But there is very little evidence on how both overstorey structure and soil properties affect the spatial variation of the herb layer. The aim of this study is to evaluate the factors of the soil and overstorey structure by which it is possible to explain the fine-scale variation of herbaceous layer communities in an Eastern European poplar-willow forest. The research was conducted in the “Dnipro-Orils’kiy” Nature Reserve (Ukraine). The research polygon (48°30′51″N, 34°49″02″E) was laid in an Eastern European poplar-willow forest in the floodplain of the River Protich, which is a left inflow of the River Dnipro. The site consists of 7 transects. Each transect was made up of 15 test points. The distance between rows in the site was 3 m. At the site, we established a plot of 45×21 m, with 105 subplots of 3×3 m organized in a regular grid. The adjacent subplots were in close proximity. Vascular plant species lists were recorded at each 3×3 m subplot along with visual estimates of species cover using the nine-degree Braun-Blanquet scale. Within the plot, all woody stems ≥ 1 cm in diameter at breast height were measured and mapped. Dixon’s segregation index was calculated for tree species to quantify their relative spatial mixing. Based on geobotanical descriptions, a phytoindicative assessment of environmental factors according to the Didukh scale was made. The redundancy analysis was used for the analysis of variance in the herbaceous layer species composition. The geographic coordinates of sampling locations were used to generate a set of orthogonal eigenvector-based spatial variables. Two measurements of the overstorey spatial structure were applied: the distances from the nearest tree of each species and the distance based on the evaluation of spatial density of point objects, which are separate trees. In both cases, the distance matrix of sampling locations was calculated, which provided the opportunity to generate eigenvector-based spatial variables. A kernel smoothed intensity function was used to compute the density of the trees’ spatial distribution from the point patterns’ data. Gaussian kernel functions with various bandwidths were used. The coordinates of sampling locations in the space obtained after the conversion of the trees’ spatial distribution densities were used to generate a set of orthogonal eigenvector-based spatial variables, each of them representing a pattern of particular scale within the extent of the bandwidth area structured according to distance and reciprocal placement of the trees. An overall test of random labelling reveals the total nonrandom distribution of the tree stems within the site. The unexplained variation consists of 43.8%. The variation explained solely by soil variables is equal to 15.5%, while the variation explained both by spatial and soil variables is 18.0%. The measure of the overstorey spatial structure, which is based on the evaluation of its density enables us to obtain different estimations depending on the bandwidth. The bandwidth affects the explanatory capacity of the tree stand. A considerable part of the plant community variation explained by soil factors was spatially structured. The orthogonal eigenvector-based spatial variables (dbMEMs) approach can be extended to quantifying the effect of forest structures on the herbaceous layer community. The measure of the overstorey spatial structure, which is based on the evaluation of its density, was very useful in explaining herbaceous layer community variation.
Jana Urminská, Tomáš Tóth, Renáta Benda Prokeinová and Peter Ondrišík
Soil is a sensitive ecological factor. Biodegradable materials from the environment can also be used to deal with serious ecological problems. Soil affecting by remediation medium - garden compost - was analysed for toxic cadmium (Cd) in terms of environmental protection. The objective of this research was to analyse soil and compost at foothill locality of the Tribeč Mountains (Southwestern Slovakia) in the years 2015−2017 to determine Cd contents in soil and compost, pH and to assess Cd bioavailability. The analyses were carried out using the Atomic Absorption Spectrometry with seven-step Selective Sequential Extraction methods. The results obtained were evaluated statistically using the SAS 9.4 software method by Spearman’s correlation coefficient. The results showed that Cd contents in soil had reached 2.96 mg kg−1 and soil with compost (the ratio 1:1) 2.71 mg kg−1 dry matter. Cd contents in the soil exceeded maximum allowed limit of 196%. And deceased by 25% after adding compost. The pH in soil with compost varied from 6.78 to 7.98. The pH prevented the mobility of Cd about 8.3% in average. Statistical dependence was high, which was demonstrated for relationship between Cd in soil, pH and compost. Available Cd forms in soil were 53.3% and soil with compost were 45% in average. The garden compost as a remediation medium reduced Cd bioavailability.
Aneesha Satya Bandi, Shashi Meshapam and Pratap Deva
Dense urbanization leading to uncontrolled transformations within settlements result in flash flooding with overflowing drains leading to a greater inconvenience for the public and damage to private properties. Hence mapping of flash floods would be useful in identifying the high-risk flood zones for disaster response and urban services, during emergencies with rainfall events of high intensity. This article aims to prepare a flood hazard map of Warangal Municipal Corporation (WMC) in Telangana State, India. WMC is chronically affected due to a rise in water levels resulting in flash floods, with an increase in encroachments. The factors considered in this study are rainfall (curve number), surface slope and surface roughness, type of soil, and distance to main channel, drainage density, and land use cover. To decide the relative weight of the impact of each flood causative factors an Analytical Hierarchical Process (AHP) was used. Accordingly, a composite Flood Hazard Index (FHI) has been derived by using the multiple-criteria decision-making tools by integrating these into a Geographical Information System (GIS). The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) in Quantum GIS (QGIS), which is a hydrological model, was used to evaluate the projection of streamflow over the water basin and model parameters were optimized using water balance equations during calibration and validation periods.
Najum us Saqib, Asim Yaqub, Gomal Amin, Imran Khan, Faridullah, Huma Ajab, Iftikhar Zeb and Didar Ahmad
The northern area of Pakistan, Gilgit Baltistan (GB), has huge tourist potential due to its exotic mountain beauty. According to the GB Tourism Department, a large number of tourists (around 200651) visit GB every year from across the country. Due to a large influx of tourists in the area both positive and negative impacts have been felt especially on the environment and on the local communities. The environmental impacts of tourism were investigated in this research in two districts of GB. Three villages were selected from each of the districts of Hunza and Diamer as the basis of this research. This study was based on the perceptions and attitudes of the respondents. The total number of questionnaires completed was 340 filled from different respondent categories. Results showed that deforestation, loss of biodiversity, generation of solid waste, water, air and noise pollution, damage cultural and heritage sites and are the main environmental issues caused by tourism activities in the villages in these districts. About 42% of respondents said that deforestation and loss of biodiversity were high in the Diamer district while in Hunza 39% of respondents said that solid waste generation was high. Similarly, 21% respondents in Hunza and 14% respondents in Diamer agreed that water pollution is caused by tourism activities. Microbial analysis of water confirmed the presence of Salmonella typhi, E. coli and Enterobacter sp. There were positive impacts of tourism with results revealing that 87% of villagers and 98% of businessmen responded that tourism had provided them with jobs and business during the peak tourism season. Hotels and restaurants are the main source of jobs in GB mainly as porters and guides. According to the data collected dry fruits, medicinal herbs, gemstones and handicrafts provided considerable attractions for tourists. It is recommended that a combined effort be made by the local communities, tourism departments and other Govt. Agencies to ensure the cleanliness of tourist attractions.
The study of aquatic vegetation in the littoral of the dimictic water bodies of taiga is of particular interest in case of long-term observations carried out under conditions of climate fluctuations. During the low-water period, drying of the littoral with a decrease in the water level leads to the changes in phytomass of macrophytes, as well as in the composition of species and their distribution by depth. The area of littoral covered with ice in winter is also large in the low-water period; it affects the growth of perennial plants. When the water level decreases, the sand beach replaces the sand and pebble beach; it leads to the disappearance of epilithon and the predominance of rooting plants. The features of vegetation were determined for each period of water content. The low-water period is characterised mostly by grass-type vegetation; the high-water period is characterised by vegetation of mixed type.
The valuation of non–marketed goods and services of beaches in developing nations is rarely conducted; thus, lax management efforts at these resource–rich places often lead to degradation. In an attempt to resolve this issue the research used the travel cost valuation method and incorporated the use of geographic information system to estimate a never-before-done non-market valuation of the area visited by respondents at the beach of Patenga of Chittagong, Bangladesh. The uniqueness of the research stems from defining the area enjoyed by the survey respondents, via mapping, which helped assign the value generated to that particular part of Patenga and not the rest; this significantly decreased the underestimation problem of the travel cost methodology. The research used secondary sources and collected responses and geographical data from surveys conducted over a seven day period in March of 2018, from 277 respondents. A value of at least 14,331,044BDT/USD1.71million was estimated for 2018 for only 9% of Patenga. Furthermore, the Willingness to Pay approach was used to propose an entry fee of 15BDT/USD0.18 which would yield a revenue of more than 6,750,000BDT/USD79,882 around the year. The authors believe, these results will push the policy-makers and encourage stakeholder participation to better implement and monitor environmental management measures at Patenga.
Raouia El Guemri, Wahbi Jaouadi, Kaouther Mechergui, Moodi Alsubeie, Souheila Naghmouchi, Sabri El Ouellani and Mohamed Larbi Khouja
For several decades, forest management policies have encouraged land cover changes, with the establishment of tree cover such as Aleppo pine in natural or degraded ecosystems for soil protection and the firewood production. In order to investigate the importance of Aleppo pine trees in the ecosystem, this study was conducted in the reforestation of the Aleppo pine of Northeastern Tunisia. The production of wood, cones and seeds of Aleppo pine in the 6 date reforestation in Northeastern Tunisia were surveyed using 6 plots (20 tree/plot) spread over 6 different location. Our hypothesis was to determine the characteristics that can be decisive in estimating the production of Aleppo pine in reforestation in Tunisia using terrestrial and spatial measurements including (i) age, (ii) dendrometric characteristics, (iii) silvicultural treatments, (iv) stationary data and/ or (v) remote sensing parameter (NDVI: Normalized Difference Vegetation Index). We found that the Aleppo pine in Northeastern Tunisia and at young age trees (14–35 years) were more productive than the regeneration or reforestation stand, either young or old, in Northwest of Tunisia. Wood, cone and seed productions were significantly different amongst the plots (p <0.05). The NDVI was positively correlated with the production of wood, cones and seeds. Stand age, exposure and longitude were also positively correlated with the production. However, longitude and altitude were negatively correlated with the production, showing a negative effect on the morphological traits of trees and, subsequently, their growth. The regression analysis indicates that NDVI and age were the most determinant factors of seed production. This research suggests that reforestation planning, particularly the choice of altitude and latitude, may result in improved tree morphology that may increase Aleppo pine wood seed and cone crops.
The article presents an attempt to analyse population changes and to measure the strength of the impact of factors causing these changes in former voivodeship (province) cities in Poland. In view of the ongoing processes of suburbanisation, the discussion also concerns the areas surrounding the city, i.e. those creating urban systems together with the city. These zones were delineated, calling them demographic influence zones, because only demographic factors were involved in defining them. The research was conducted in the period between1999–2015, and took into account the administrative reform of the country that degraded 31 cities from voivodeship (NUTS-2) capitals to poviat (LAU-1) cities. The main aim of the study was to find an answer to the question: do the directions and the strength of population changes confirm a hypothesis of the destructive impact of the loss of administrative function on settlement units. The results of the study only partially confirmed this hypothesis. Although a decrease in the population is overwhelmingly predominant in the city core, in the case of the demographic influence zone, it has already increased. Counting both parts together, it was found that in half of the cases there was a decline and in the other half a growth of the population.
The paper studies the influence of industrial pollution on bio-ecological characteristics of the one-year shoot of Robinia pseudoacacia L. in the conditions of the city of Dnipro, Ukraine. It analyses the state of biometric parameters of the shoot and anatomic indices of the stem of the studied species exposed to toxic gases. It was found that there are adaptive changes in the histological structure of the stem of R. pseudoacacia under the conditions of technogenesis. The study revealed that bio-ecological characteristics of the black locust are highly resistant to industrial emissions with big shares of SO2 and NO2. It was suggested to use R. pseudoacacia for greening of the technogenic territories.