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Open access

Eva Maria Prem, Nadine Praeg, Katrin Hofmann, Andreas Otto Wagner and Paul Illmer

Summary

Five differently developed soils aged 6, 35, 80, 150, and >5000 years with the same bedrock and the same (current) climate conditions were chosen to assess abiotic and enzymatic properties as well as methanogenic and methanotrophic activities. Most abiotic properties (dry weight, pH, soil organic matter, and ammonium content), enzyme activities (dehydrogenase [DH] activity, ammonification [AM] rate, dimethylsulfoxide reduction), and potential methane oxidation (PoMO) per gram of dry weight (DW) increased with soil age. In contrast, potential methane production (PoMP) as well as the nitrate content per gram of DW and most enzymatic properties per gram of soil organic matter (SOM) did not increase with soil age but reached its maximum in the middle-aged soils (80–150 years). Our results show that (i) microbial activity does not consequently increase with SOM content/soil age; (ii) methane production can be measured in undeveloped soils, whereas methane oxidation is more restricted to fully developed soils; and (iii) certain soil modifications (change in water content, ammonium addition) could influence potential methane production/oxidation. When considering the concurrent release of raw soil because of the melting of perpetual ice, these data could help to better understand and assess the consequences of global change.

Open access

Anna Lenart-Boroń, Tadeusz Zając, Piotr Mateusz Boroń and Agnieszka Klimek-Kopyra

Summary

The bacterial nodulation (nod) genes are essential in the formation process of root nodules. This study was aimed to verify the occurrence of nodule-associated bacteria in two pea varieties (“Tarchalska” and “Klif ”) inoculated with Rhizobium inoculants – Nitragine™ and a noncommercial one produced by the Polish Institute of Soil Science and Plant Cultivation (IUNG). The number of colonies isolated on yeast extract mannitol (YEM) agar from the nodules of “Klif ” inoculated with IUNG inoculants was significantly higher than the number of colonies isolated from other variants. Species identification was based on sequencing of 16S rDNA, which revealed that despite careful sterilization of nodules, sequences of other bacterial species were detected. Among them, one sequence belonged to Rhizobium leguminosarum (isolated from IUNG inoculant). To assess the presence of nodulation-capable Rhizobium, amplification of the nodC gene was performed, which revealed that of 29 samples, 19 were positive. The remaining isolates, including reference strain and bacteria isolated from Nitragine™, lacked this gene. The results show that pea nodules harbor a very diverse community of bacteria. The lack of nodC gene in some strains isolated from plants inoculated with Nitragine™ and with IUNG inoculant proves that even if R. leguminosarum are abundant, they may not be efficient in nodulation.

Open access

Giovanni Peratoner and Erich M. Pötsch

Summary

In terms of botanical composition, grassland vegetation in experimental plots and field studies can be described by means of different parameters (plant density, cover, frequency or yield proportion). Each parameter describes different features, which under certain circumstances may be correlated one to each other to some extent, but are not fully equivalent. The choice of the parameter to be assessed depends therefore, in first instance, on the specific aim of the investigation. For the assessment of the chosen parameter, many methods are available that differ from each other in terms of subjectivity, precision, effort and requirement for technical equipment. The choice of method depends mainly on the required precision, the affordable effort and on the available resources.

Open access

Amrei Voelkner, Charlotte Diercks and Rainer Horn

Summary

Digestates and compost are used as valuable fertilizers in agriculture because of their benefits for plant nutrition and carbon sequestration potential. These amendments are also suspected to interfere negatively with the soil. To compare their relevance for priming effect and hydrophobicity of soils, two amounts of digestate or compost, respectively, were mixed with a homogenized cambic Luvisol and a Podzol. The basal respiration rate (BAS), the repellency index (RI) and organic carbon content (Corg) of pre-dried mixtures were investigated. The podsolic mixture showed quantitative reduction of Corg and increased BAS (this effect was not statistically significant) due to priming effect through microbial stimulation. As a result of enhanced organic substance (OS) protection in the cambic Luvisol mixture, constant amounts of Corg and declined BAS could be detected. The wettability was reduced in both soils: either directly by the supply of amphiphilic components or indirectly by increased incorporation of microbial exudates. This reduction was not statistically significant. Higher contents of available organic compounds in digestates and higher amounts of hydrophobic humic acids in the compost could be assumed to be decisive for generation of hydrophobicity. Also the soil texture controlled the microbial decomposition by higher incorporation of OS in finer pores and contributed to the protection against microbial decay.

Open access

Anneka Mordhorst, Heiner Fleige, Iris Zimmermann, Bernd Burbaum, Marek Filipinski, Eckhard Cordsen and Rainer Horn

Zusammenfassung

Gegenwärtig diskutierte Phänomene, wie häufig auftretender Oberflächenabfluss, vermehrte Bodenerosion und verringerte Ertragssicherheit, lassen sich ansatzweise über Bodenstruktureigenschaften und eine daraus hervorgehende, räumlich unterschiedlich gesättigte Wasserleitfähigkeit des Bodens erklären. Hierzu wurden Datensätze aus 766 Profilen unter Acker- und Grünlandnutzung in den vier Hauptnaturräumen Schleswig Holsteins (Östliches Hügelland, Niedere und Hohe Geest sowie Marsch) zur gesättigten Wasserleitfähigkeit (kf) in vertikaler und horizontaler Richtung und damit deren Richtungsabhängigkeit (Anisotropie) bis in eine Tiefe von 60 cm untersucht. Die Ergebnisse zeigen eine verstärkte Anisotropie der kf in horizontaler Richtung an, die jedoch in Abhängigkeit vom geologischen Ausgangsgestein, Bodentyp und Tongehalt sowie von der Landnutzung variiert. Unter Ackernutzung weisen die Unterböden aller Hauptnaturräume im Mittel eine horizontale Anisotropie auf, die unterhalb der Pflugsohle (≤ 40 cm Tiefe) am stärksten ausgeprägt ist und auf Plattenstrukturbildungen als Folge der Bodenbewirtschaftung hindeuten. Unter Grünlandnutzung zeigen besonders die Oberböden eine horizontale Anisotropie, wobei diese in den beiden Geestregionen mit einem hohen Anteil an Viehwirtschaft auch im Unterboden sehr ausgeprägt ist. Anisotropieeffekte, insbesondere im Unterboden unter Ackernutzung, deuten sich auch bodentypspezifisch für Kolluvisole, Pseudogley-Parabraunerden und Pseudogleye an. Deren hohe Empfindlichkeit gegenüber anthropogenen Strukturänderungen (Plattenbildung) spiegelt sich im zeitlichen Verlauf der horizontalen kf wider, die über die letzten 30 Jahre im Östlichen Hügelland signifikant zugenommen hat.

Open access

Andrzej Pytlik

Abstract

At present, the suspended monorail systems constitute a very common means of transportation in the Polish hard coal mines. The main advantages of the suspended monorail include the independence of the route from the working floor surface irregularities and the possibility to transport cargo of significant mass and size.

The masses and dimensions of machines and devices transported via monorail have increased considerably in recent times. This particularly concerns the transport of longwall system elements. In Poland, the maximum speed of suspended monorail travel is 2 m/s. Due to the fact that preparations are currently underway to increase the maximum speed above 2 m/s, it is necessary to inspect what influence it will have on work safety and mining support stability.

Current operational experience and tests have shown that dynamic loads induced by the suspended monorail transportation have a significant influence on the roadway support stability, working protection durability and on the monorail operators. This is particularly true during the emergency braking of a suspended monorail by means of a braking trolley, where the overloads reach 3g.

Bench tests of the selected steel arch and rock bolt support elements utilised in the Polish hard coal mines were conducted in order to determine the resistance of steel arch and rock bolt supports to static and dynamic loads.

The article presents the results of the tests conducted on a steel arch support in the form of the sliding joints of an ŁP/V29 yielding roadway support, which is commonly employed in the Polish hard coal mines. Tests of elements of the threaded bolts with trapezoidal threads over the entire rod length were conducted as well.

The conducted strength tests of steel arch and rock bolt support elements under static and dynamic loading have shown that dynamic loading has decisive influence on the support’s retaining of its stability. Support element stability decreases along with the increase of the impact velocity. This concerns both the steel arch support and the rock bolt support.

Open access

Krzysztof Skrzypkowski, Waldemar Korzeniowski, Krzysztof Zagórski, Ireneusz Dominik and Krzysztof Lalik

Abstract

This paper discusses the pull-out laboratory tests and the monitoring of expansion-shell bolts with a length of 1.82 m. The bolts comprised the KE-3W expansion shell, a rod with a diameter of 0.0183 m and a profiled, circular plate with a diameter of 0.14 m, and a gauge of 0.006 m. The bolts were installed in a concrete block with a compressive strength of 75 MPa. The tests were conducted on a state-of-the-art test stand owned by the Department of Underground Mining of the AGH University of Science and Technology. The test stand can be used to test roof bolts on a geometric scale of 1:1 under static and rapidly varying loads. Also, the stand is suitable for testing rods measuring 5.5 m in length. The stand has a special feature of providing the ongoing monitoring of bolt load, displacement and deformation. The primary aim of the study was to compare the results recorded by two different measurement systems with the innovative Self-Excited Acoustic System (SAS) for measuring stress variations in roof bolts. In order to use the SAS, a special handle equipped with an accelerometer and exciter mounted to the nut or the upset end of the rod was designed at the Faculties of Mining and Geoengineering and Mechanical Engineering and Robotics of the AGH University of Science and Technology. The SAS can be used for nondestructive evaluation of performance of bolts around mining workings and in tunnels. Through laboratory calibration tests, roof bolt loads can be assessed using the in-situ non-destructive method.

Open access

S M Yasir Arafat, Konstantinos Papadopoulos, Mohammad S I Mullick and Md. Saleh Uddin

Abstract

Life is full of stressors, which have to be confronted efficiently to grow up. However, reaction to stressors is personalized, complex and coordinated. Vulnerable persons adjust poorly to stressors and express inappropriate responses, while resilient persons practice adaptive physiological and psychological responses. Promotion of resiliency is an intricated issue, which demands strategies at both macro and micro-level. Microlevel strategies are focused on the community, family and individual level, while macrolevel strategies formulate the principles. Nevertheless, prediction of vulnerability and resiliency is really a challenge, as different persons facing same stressors react differently. Some are growing as resilient and others as vulnerable. We aimed to discuss resiliency, vulnerability, importance in relation to health outcome, promotion of resiliency and controversies of vulnerability and resiliency.

Open access

Pedro J. Llanos, Kristina Andrijauskaite, Vijay V. Duraisamy, Francisco Pastrana, Erik L. Seedhouse, Sathya Gangadharan, Leonid Bunegin and Mariel Rico

Abstract

Cell Research Experiment In Microgravity (CRExIM) was launched aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard suborbital vehicle on Tuesday, December 12, 2017, from the West Texas Launch Site in Van Horn, Texas. One of the aims of this science experiment was to assess the effects of microgravity on murine T-cells during suborbital flight. These cells were placed in a NanoLab with a data logger that sensed the acceleration, temperature, and relative humidity during preflight, flight, and postflight operations. Some discrepancies in sensor measurement were noticed, and these errors were attributed partly to the difference in sampling rates and partly to the different locations of the sensors, which made it difficult to obtain highly accurate measurements of the accelerations and to correlate both sets of data. This paper discusses the setbacks and lessons learned, which made our team find new alternatives while meeting all milestones as mandated by NanoRacks and Blue Origin. This manuscript highlights these alternatives that led to the success of the mission and gives recommendations that will enable customers to alleviate some of these challenges in future flights.

Open access

John Mingers and Eren Kaymaz

Abstract

Purpose

To design and test a method for normalizing book citations in Google Scholar.

Design/methodology/approach

A hybrid citing-side, cited-side normalization method was developed and this was tested on a sample of 285 research monographs. The results were analyzed and conclusions drawn.

Findings

The method was technically feasible but required extensive manual intervention because of the poor quality of the Google Scholar data.

Research limitations

The sample of books was limited and also all were from one discipline —business and management. Also, the method has only been tested on Google Scholar, it would be useful to test it on Web of Science or Scopus.

Practical limitations

Google Scholar is a poor source of data although it does cover a much wider range citation sources that other databases.

Originality/value

This is the first method that has been developed specifically for normalizing books which have so far not been able to be normalized.