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Abstract

The paper analyses certain aspects of organic agriculture and emphasises the need for an integrated approach in its research. The necessity of using ecologically safe agricultural production as a component of the development of modern civilized states is pointed out in the paper. The method of direct conductometry has been used to study the total mineral composition of plowed soils, which is considered as a component of “green” chemistry methods. The electrical conductivity of aqueous extracts of arable soils, in which mineral and organic fertilizers are applied, is measured. The obtained data vary between 10 and 220 μS. In the paper, for the first time, the regularities of fluctuations of the data of electrical conductivity of aqueous extracts of arable soils, in which various plant cultures had been grown, were revealed and mineral nitrogen fertilizers or organic fertilizers were introduced. Lower data of electrical conductivity are characteristic of plowed soils, in which mineral fertilizers are applied, which indirectly indicates their depletion. The advantage of using organic fertilizers as a necessary component of organic agriculture has been confirmed. It is noted that a promising area of the research is a complete use of an integrated approach to the organic agriculture being farmed in various European countries.

Summary

A prototype for pest development stages forecasting is developed in Kazakhstan exploiting data from the geoinformation technologies and using codling moth as a model pest in apples. The basic methodology involved operational thermal map retrieving based on MODIS land surface temperature products and weather stations data, their recalculation into accumulated degree days maps and then into maps of the phases of the codling moth population dynamics. The validation of the predicted dates of the development stages according to the in-situ data gathered in the apple orchards showed a good predictivity of the forecast maps. Predictivity of the prototype can be improved by using daily satellite sensor datasets and their calibration with data received from a network of weather stations installed in the orchards.

Summary

The mite fauna in foliage and litter of a sprayed alfalfa hay field with the acaricide-insecticide bifenthrin, was studied based on monthly samplings from foliage and litter in Central Greece between 2008–2009. Potential differentiations between this field and two adjacent alfalfa hay fields, which were not subjected to pesticide applications and were managed with different number of cuttings, were also evaluated in terms of population fluctuation over time, population density, species richness, diversity and spatial distribution. The sprayed field hosted 50 and 68 species and morphospecies in foliage and litter respectively, depicting high relative abundance of oribatid and prostigmatic mites. Neoseiulus aristotelisi Papadoulis, Emmanouel and Kapaxidi, was a new record for alfalfa, previously found in rice in Macedonia, Greece. The seasonal fluctuation of mites, particularly in foliage, was similar in all fields. The spatial distribution of a Zygoribatula species, which was common and dominant in all fields, was also aggregated. Finally, the sprayed field shared similar mite diversity with the two non-sprayed fields, but not similar species richness.

Abstract

The hilly regions of India have suffered many disasters, both natural and anthropogenic. In the hilly state like Uttarakhand, the hazards like flash flood, forest fires, and landslide affect the community at the large scale. These hazards cause severe physical injuries, loss of life, and at large scale property damage. To understand the impact of such natural hazards, we need to examine vulnerability of the society, so that we can define vulnerability as the status of a community to prevent, mitigate, prepare for or respond to a natural and a man-made hazard. The absence of coping strategies, which is also known as resilience, has altered the vulnerability of a community. Thus, vulnerability index of a community has to be calculated considering physical, social, economic and environmental factors associated with the community. This research paper tries to find out an integrated social vulnerability factor. The proposed integrated social vulnerability factor is determined by considering various factors, such as physical, social, economic, and environmental. All these factors increase the susceptibility of a community to the impact of hazards. Poverty, occupation, child population, literacy rate, disability, marginalization, and inequities in wealth distribution of a society or community will also change the social vulnerability. Proposed Integrated social vulnerability index for the hilly terrain of Uttarakhand incorporated local technical knowledge insight and skills, so that local people and local administration are able to identify problems and can offer a solution to resist future emergencies i.e. the proposed social vulnerability indicator will support state, local, and traditional disaster management officials to determine areas of the most sensitive populations and better mitigation operation can be performed in case of disaster.

Abstract

The importance of the honey bee lays in its huge role in pollination and, as a result, maintaining the flora of the environment and also increasing agricultural production. Temperature is the most important element of the atmosphere affecting beekeeping. Results of stationary conclusions are generalized to the area of Fars province by using geographical information system (GIS) according to direct relationship between elevation changes and temperature variations. A beekeeping capability map was then drawn for the Fars province by months of the year. The results showed that heat conditions in four months of the year, from December to March, are not suitable in most of the northern and eastern parts of the province. The southern regions with an altitude of less than 1100 meters above sea level are considered as a suitable place for deployment, wintering and beginning of bee colony activities. The most optimal months of the year for honey bee activities are May and October. For fixed beekeeping, the central strip of the province with an average height of 1500 meters above sea level is the most suitable places.

Summary

The aim of WEQUAL project (WEb service centre for QUALity multidimensional design and tele-operated monitoring of Green Infrastructures) is the development of a system that is able to support a quick environmental monitoring of riparian areas subjected to the realization of new green infrastructures (GI). The Wequal’s idea is to organize a service center able to manage both the Web Platform and the whole data collection and analysis processes. Through a personal account, the final user (designer, technician, researcher) can get access to the service and requires the evaluation of alternatives GI projects. On the Web Platform, a set of algorithms runs in order to calculate, through automatic procedures, all the ecological criteria required to evaluate a quality environmental index that describes the eco-morphological value of the monitored riparian areas. For this aim, the WEQUI index was developed, which uses 15 indicators that are easy to monitor. In this paper, the approach for environmental data collection and the procedures to perform the automatic assessment of two of the ecological criteria are described. For the computation, the implemented algorithms use data including the vegetation indexes, Digital Terrain Model (DTM), Digital Surface Model (DSM) and a 3D point cloud classification. All the raw data are collected by UAVs (Unmanned Aircraft Vehicle) equipped with a 3D Lidar, multispectral camera and RGB camera. Interpreting all the raw data collected by these sensors, using a multi-attribute approach, the WEQUI index is assessed. The computed ecological index is then used to assess the riparian environmental quality at ex-ante and ex-post river stabilization works. This index, integrated with additional not-technical or not-ecological indicators such as investment required, maintenance costs or social acceptance, can be used in multicriteria analyses in order to evaluate the intervention from a wider point of view. The platform is expected to be attractive for GI designers and policy makers by providing a shared environment, which is able to integrate the method of detection and evaluation of complex indexes and a multidimensional evaluation supported by an expert guide.

Summary

This work aims to develop an automatic system capable of providing objective information about the bloom charge in an apple orchard in order to manage flower-thinning activities. The article presents and discusses the use of a mobile lab (ByeLab) equipped with several optical sensors to carry out a site-specific bloom charge assessment in apple trees. The data collected by the sensors were processed by a specific algorithm implemented in MatLab®. Investigations of the flower reflectance signature indicated that the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) is the most suitable parameter to distinguish leaves from flowers. Pure flowers produce NDVI values slightly negative or at least very near to 0. Despite the homogeneous behavior of the NDVI flower response, OptRx™ sensors, which provide an average assessment of an area, were not able to highlight a significant correlation between the number of flowers and the NDVI values. In the future, further studies will be conducted to assess if other techniques based on image analyses can provide better and more sensitive results regarding the bloom charge assessment. Such results could then be used as a reference in automating machines for thinning operations according to a site-specific approach.

Summary

Multiple runs of a river basin model produced information about water allocation under different users’ priorities, creating a set of allocation scenarios as possible decision alternatives. To identify the most desired scenario that will, expectedly, be more readily accepted and implemented, involvement of stakeholders and reaching the consensus among them in evaluating scenarios are essential. This article describes methodology for integrating multi-criteria optimization as an efficient tool for the evaluation of scenarios in a group context, with river basin simulation-optimization models. Methodology was developed within the scope of the bilateral project Serbia–Portugal, and it consisted of five phases: defining the preference schemes of allocation, running the ACQUANET model, evaluating the criteria and strategies with analytic hierarchy process, aggregation and initial search for consensus in subgroups, and obtaining the final consensus converged result (best management strategy). The approach was tested on the water allocation problem in the Nadela watershed in Vojvodina Province in Serbia, with participation of 23 stakeholders. Promising results recommended the approach for the testing in different conditions in the area near Bragança in northeast Portugal (Sabor watershed).

Abstract

To date according to the registration work, the number of the Russian desman determined actually is 588 individuals in Mordovia. Based on extrapolation, the total desman population in Mordovia is about 1,400 individuals. We may assume that the most of the desman population is concentrated on floodplain lakes and reclamation canals. The highest density of the desman population in Mordovia was recorded in Krasnoslobodsky and Temnikovsky Districts (10.5 and 8.2 burrows per km, respectively). About 400 animals may live on the shore of the rivers Vad, Partsa, Yavas, Vindrey, Nuluy, and Kundybolka. The mean value of density of the desman population on the rivers was 0.9 burrows per km of the coastline, which corresponded to habitat quality class IV (0.5–5 burrows per km). The distribution of habitats across river basins is extremely uneven. The main part of the desman population is restricted to the Moksha basin (more than 1,350 individuals), and in the Alatyr basin (left tributary of the Sura River) just twenty individuals were recorded.

Abstract

The effects of fall and spring prescribed fires on large seedlings (0.3 to 1.3 m height) of oak and other hardwood species three years after a shelterwood harvest were examined in Richland Furnace and Zaleski State Forests in southern Ohio. Fall and spring burns appeared to be more deleterious to red oaks (Quercus rubra L., Q. velutina Lam., Q. coccinea Muenchh.) than white oaks (Q. alba L., Q. prinus L.). Red oak experienced reductions in numbers and canopy volume after spring burns, and canopy reductions after fall burns. White oak experienced small increases in numbers of stems after both fall and spring burns, and an increase in the canopy volume after fall burns, but a slight decrease after spring burns. Yellow-poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera L.), a major oak competitor prior to fire, experienced dramatic reductions in the number of regenerating stems and canopy volume after both fall and spring burns. On the other hand, red maple (Acer rubrum L.) experienced large increases in the number of regenerating stems and canopy volume after both fall and spring burns. Based on importance value, the oak species remained relatively unchanged after both fall and spring burns. Yellow-poplar became the least dominant species after spring burns and the second to last dominant species after fall burns.