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  • Author: Anna Kowalska x
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Precipitation chemistry in a forested study area of the Chojnów Forest District in the years 2004-2007

Analyses of precipitation in the forest environment were conducted in the years 2004-2007 in a premanent observation plot established in a pine forest stand growing in a mixed fresh coniferous forest habitat in the Chojnów Forest District. The amount and chemistry of atmospheric precipitation in the open field and under canopies were analysed. Electrical conductivity, pH, and concentrations of Ca, Mg, Cl, NO3, SO4, Na, K, Fe, Mn, Al, NH4, PO4, Zn, Cd, Cu and Pb were determined in collected samples.

Mean annual precipitation in the open field for the years 2004-2007 was 443 mm. Mean pH (volume weighted) in this period equalled 4.8 and electrical conductivity - 47 μS·cm-1. Mean precipitation under trees crowns (411 mm·y-1) was lower than bulk precipitation. Throughfall was characterised by lower pH (mean 4.2) and higher conductivity (62 μS·cm-1). Throughfall was enriched, mostly in hydrogen ions, Mn, K, Al, Mg, and Ca ions with respective enrichment factors of: 67, 20, 9, 5, 4 and 2.

Ionic deposition and chemistry of soil solutions in a forested study area in the Chojnów Forest District in the years 2004-2007

The study was carried out in the years 2004-2007 in a permanent observation plot established in a pine tree stand growing in a mixed fresh coniferous forest habitat of the Chojnów Forest District. Analyses pertained to the deposition of mineral compounds delivered to soil with bulk precipitation in the open field and throughfall and to chemical compositions of soil solution at a depth of 25 cm and 50 cm. pH, electrical conductivity and concentrations of Ca, Mg, Cl, NO3, SO4, Na, K, Fe, Mn, NH4, PO4, Zn, Cd, Cu, and Pb were analysed in precipitation and in soil solution samples.

Total load of ions under the canopy of pine trees ranged between 47 and 61 kg·ha-1·year-1. Acidifying ions (N + S + Cl) contributed in 51% to the total ionic load (in molc·ha-1·year-1) while base ions (Ca + Mg + Na + K) in only 36%. Respective percentage contribution in bulk precipitation was 69% and 19%.

No relationship was found between the chemical composition of soil solutions (at both depths) and the chemical composition of precipitation waters. Analysed soil solutions were acidic (average pH at the depth of 25 cm and 50 cm was 4.3 and 4.4, respectively) and the molar ratio of the sum of base cations (Ca, Mg, and K) to Al in the majority of examined samples from the upper soil layer, was much lower than 1. This is the evidence of low buffering capacities of analysed soil in relation to acidifying loads and indicates a potential threat for the pine stand stability.

Biological Value of Red Beets in Relation to Nitrogen Fertilization

Effects of nitrogen fertilizer and fertilization method on biological value of red beet roots (cv. Boro F1) were studied in pot experiments conducted in 2005 and 2006 years. Pre-sowing nitrogen fertilizers were either UAN (urea-ammonium nitrate solution) or ENTEC 26 (nitrogen fertilizer containing nitrification inhibitor). For both fertilizers the following methods of application were studied: pre-sowing superficially 90 kg N·ha-1 (S-100%), pre-sowing superficially 67.5 kg N·ha-1 with additional foliar nitrogen application during vegetation (S-75%+F), pre-sowing localized 67.5 kg N·ha-1 (L-75%) and pre-sowing localized 67.5 kg N·ha-1 with additional foliar nitrogen application during vegetation (L-75%+F). In harvested roots the contents of dry matter, sugars, phenols, NO3 -, NH4 +, N-protein and P, K, Mg and Ca were determined.

Type of nitrogen fertilizer had no effect on dry matter, NH4 +, N-protein, sugars, phenols, Ca and Mg contents in both years and on K in 2005 year. ENTEC 26 reduced nitrates content, particularly in 2005 year. The effect of fertilization method was not univocal, particularly for NO3 - content. In 2005 the lowest NO3 - content was found in treatment S-100% roots, whereas in 2006 in L-75%. In both years the highest sugars content was observed in L-75% roots, and the lowest N-protein in S-100% roots. In both years the method of fertilization had no effect on dry matter, NH4 + and phenols contents. The effect of fertilization method of on mineral composition was apparent only in 2006 year.

It can be concluded that by using the fertilizer with inhibitor of nitrification the biological value of red beets assessed by nitrate content can be improved. The effect of method of fertilizer application on the biological value of red beets is not univocal and may depend on the year of cultivation.

Abstract

PE-HD water pipes are exposed to adverse environmental conditions, both during production and their subsequent use in the civil engineering. Several organic compounds migrating into water may lead to deterioration of water quality, especially its taste and odour. Commonly used antioxidant BHT and its products of degradation are leached into water as a result of degradation of the PE-HD pipes material. This paper presents the results of laboratory tests of BHT concentration changes in water circulating in the PE-HD close loop pipe of 30 m length as well as of numerical studies based on data obtained by the laboratory measurements. Numerical calculations were performed using the commercial software Fluent, Ansys Inc., based on the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) principles. The analysis of water samples confirmed the migration of the antioxidant from the pipe material into the water. The results of numerical analysis gave good agreement with the measured values.

Abstract

The aim of our study was to quantify the differences in the regeneration-degeneration processes in pine and mixed oak-pine forest habitats in the Kampinos Forest (central Poland). We investigated whether the regeneration rate depends on habitat type, whether there is a relationship between the bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) cover and the degree of community deformation, and which habitat type has been most invaded by alien plant species. Our results indicate that the constant loss of pine forest habitats, which has been observed since the 1970s, is continuing. The less deformed communities generally have more bilberry coverage, the stands in pine forest habitats are older and less deformed, and the stands in mixed oak-pine forest habitats are more susceptible to the spread of alien species, but are able to regenerate faster after a disturbance. These results are in line with observations from other parts of Poland and other European countries.

Abstract

Compounds from the group of cationic surfactants are widely applied in household, industrial, cleaning, disinfectant, cosmetic and pharmaceutical products as their specific properties (antimicrobial, emulsifying, anticorrosion, softening). After use, cationic surfactants are disposed to wastewater-treatment plants and finally with effluent water to surface waters due to their incomplete degradation. Moreover, they can freely circulate in different environmental compartments including living organisms. It becomes indispensable to recognize in more detail behavior, fate and biological effects of cationic surfactants. This analytical problem can be solved with use sensitive and reliable analytical techniques at sample preparation step and final determination step. In recent years, during isolation analytes from environmental samples mainly were used liquid-liquid extraction (LLE) - liquid matrices or solid-liquid extraction (SLE) - solid matrices. This technique involves application of toxic solvents (chloroform), is time-consuming and interferences are co-extracted. Nowadays, in scientific centers are carried out research to replace this traditional technique. So far, the following techniques were applied: solid-phase extraction (SPE) or it modification (HF-LPME) - liquid samples; accelerated solvent extraction (ASE) and supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) - solid samples. During the determination of total content of cationic surface active agents in environmental samples were used a traditional spectrophotometry technique and potentiometric titration technique. But those techniques are susceptible of interferences on analysis results (anionic and non-ionic compounds). The chromatographic technique (liquid chromatography) applied at the final determination step gives possibility to determine individual cationic surfactants in solvent extracts of environmental samples. The LC systems coupled with mass spectrometers are most powerful tools during such analysis.

Abstract

Non-ionic surface active agents are a diverse group of chemicals which have an uncharged polar head and a non-polar tail. They have different properties due to amphiphilic structure of their molecules. Commercial available non-ionic surfactants consist of the broadest spectrum of compounds in comparison with other types of such agents. Typically, non-ionic compounds found applications in households and industry during formulation of cleaning products, cosmetics, paints, preservative coatings, resins, textiles, pulp and paper, petroleum products or pesticides. Their are one of the most common use class of surfactants which can be potential pollution sources of the different compartment of environment (because of they widely application or discharging treated wastewaters to surface water and sludge in agricultural). It is important to investigate the behavior, environmental fate of non-ionic surfactants and their impact on living organisms (they are toxic and/or can disrupt endocrine functions). To solve such problems should be applied appropriated analytical tools. Sample preparation step is one of the most critical part of analytical procedures in determination of different compounds in environmental matrices. Traditional extraction techniques (LLE - for liquid samples; SLE - for solid samples) are time and solvent-consuming. Developments in this field result in improving isolation efficiency and decreasing solvent consumption (eg SPE and SPME - liquid samples or PLE, SFE and MAE - solid samples). At final determination step can be applied spectrophotometric technique, potentiometric titrametration or tensammetry (determination total concentration of non-ionic surfactants) or chromatographic techniques coupled with appropriated detection techniques (individual analytes). The literature data concerning the concentrations of non-ionic surfactants in the different compartments of the environment can give general view that various ecosystems are polluted by those compounds.

Individual Susceptibility to Noise-Induced Hearing Loss: Choosing an Optimal Method of Retrospective Classification of Workers into Noise-Susceptible and Noise-Resistant Groups

Objectives: Individual susceptibility to noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) depends on the interaction between intrinsic and environmental factors. To proceed with the study on NIHL susceptibility genes an appropriate selection of workers susceptible and resistant to noise is crucial. The aim of the study was to compare four different methods of subject classification by the susceptibility to NIHL in a group of 949 workers of an electric power plant exposed to steady-state noise at the workplace. Materials and Methods: One method based the classification of the workers on the international reference standard ISO 1999:1990; from the entire group of workers, 10% of the subjects with the worst hearing thresholds (HT) in the model were categorized as susceptible to NIHL, whereas 10% of the subjects with the best HT were categorized as resistant to noise. According to three other methods, the entire group of workers was first divided into subgroups by age, duration of employment and the level of noise, and then 10% of the subjects at each HT extreme were selected. Results: The first classification allowed to achieve an excellent separation between HT of the susceptible and resistant subgroups. The susceptible subgroup was significantly younger than the resistant one, showed a shorter duration of employment and a lower level of noise exposure, which is in line with the definition of increased vulnerability to NIHL. The three other methods produced poorer separation of HT with smaller or no gap between HT values in subgroups. Conclusions: The selection of subjects from the entire worker population of a given industry based on the ISO 1999:1990 standard can be regarded as the most reliable method of classification of noise-susceptible and noise-resistant workers to be used in the future genetic studies on NIHL susceptibility genes.

Influence of Copper Ions on the Plant Material Obtained from the Anther Culture of Carrot (Daucus carota L.)

The influence of copper ions on the regeneration of carrot (Daucus carota L.) androgenic embryos, accumulation of copper in rosettes, soluble esterbound phenolic acids and some parameters of oxidative stress were investigated. Two carrots: cv. Feria and 1014 breeding line were subjected to 1 μM, 10 μM and 100 μM Cu stress for 16 and 24 weeks. Under this stress, better growth, lower lipid peroxidation (TBARS level) and higher phenolic acid contents were observed in the cv. Feria. The rosettes of 1014 line accumulated less copper and produced smaller amount of TBARS after 24 weeks of incubation than after 16 weeks. Chlorogenic and caffeic acids were the main phenolic acids in both cultures. In the Feria rosettes the application of 10 μM Cu caused relatively high level of chlorogenic acid combined with low accumulation of copper in the tissues and unchanged levels of TBARS after both 16 and 24 weeks of incubation. On the other hand, despite the dose-dependent decline of chlorogenic acid in the rosettes of 1014 line, decrease in TBARS content was also observed after 24 weeks. The obtained results might suggest that the Feria carrot culture was able to develop more effective protection system/strategy against Cu excess in comparison to the 1014 line.

Abstract

Analysis of the physicochemical properties of fresh eggs (raw material for caviar production) of the Salmonidae [sea trout (Salmo trutta L. 1758) and rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss, Walbaum 1792)] and the acipenseridae [siberian sturgeon (Acipenser baeri Brandt, 1869)], as well as sturgeon hybrids (Acipenser baeri Brandt, 1869 × Acipenser gueldenstaedti Brandt & Ratzeburg, 1833), included determination of basic physicochemical parameters (pH, dry weight, content of protein, fat, fiber and ash), amino acid composition and fatty acid profile. Compared to the Acipenseridae, Salmonidae eggs yielded a 22.5% higher total protein content, a 40.0% higher level of essential amino acids (EAA) and a 57.5% lower crude fat content. The sea trout eggs showed also a completely different fatty acids profile and hence values of lipid indices (lowest PUFA value – 11.72%, highest SFA value – 39.86%). The rainbow trout and sturgeon eggs had a similar fatty acid profile, and were characterized by a high nutritional and dietary value.