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Control Study of Siret River Quality in Pascani County Area and Estimation of Its Pollution Level

Abstract

The study presents some authors’ experimental results for determination of some quality indicators (few general, specific and toxic physical-chemical indicators) analyzed at the beginning of summer season (June, 2013), in three control sections of Siret River in Pascani town area (i.e. Lunca-Pascani entrance, 1 km-upstream, and 1 km-downstream of Pascani bridge, respectively). The real pollution status of Siret River in Pascani town area is also estimated by the global pollution index (I* GP), and corresponds to values between 3.215-3.891 indicating ‘an aquatic environment modified by domestic and economic activities alongside the river with generation of stress effect against life forms’.

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Efficiency of Water Quality Index Approach as an Evaluation Tool

Abstract

This study aimed to demonstrate efficiency of documented index method “universal water quality index-UWQI” to evaluate surface water quality and investigate seasonal and temporal changes, in the case of Gediz River Basin Turkey. UWQI expressed results relative to levels according to criteria specified in European legislation (75-440 EEC). The method produced a unitless number ranging from 1 to 100 and a higher number was indicator of better water quality. Water quality is classified into five classes and index scores between 95-100 represent excellent and lower than 24 represent poor quality. In the study, dissolved oxygen-DO, pH, mercury-Hg, cadmium-Cd, total phosphorus-TP, biochemical oxygen demand- BOD and nitrate nitrogen-NO3-N have been chosen as index determinants. Samples analyzed for these variables were collected from five stations on monthly basis along two years. Based on UWQI classification scheme, water quality at sampling stations had scores below 40 and assigned to “marginal” which is between fair and poor quality class. On the other hand sub-indices of water quality determinants showed seasonal differences for some parameters. Cd concentrations were higher in “high flow” and lower values were observed in “low flow” periods. This was explained by negative impact of urban runoff on water quality. On the other hand DO concentrations were higher in “high flow” period. Under “low flow” conditions water quality at upstream stations (where the industrial density is low) was comparably better than downstream part. The study showed that index approach can be efficient tool to: a) evaluate water quality, b) investigate spatial and seasonal variations and finally, c) extract required information from complex data sets that is understandable by non-technical people.

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Attitudinal Reactance: Another Response to Influence Attempts in Websites

Abstract

The use of behavioural change systems in providing interventions for people is common in this present era of information technology. Many people depend on these systems for many reasons like safe driving, healthy food consumption, energy conservation, etc. Some of these systems have been successful in making people change positively while a larger percentage have not been successful due to many issues that were not addressed during the development of such systems. One of them is psychological reactance, a motivational state that is aroused when a person’s freedom is threatened or eliminated. It has major focus restoring any freedom that has been threatened. This forms the motivation for this work and it starts with a brief study of the theory of psychological reactance with a new view of accessing it from perceived usability perspective. To study reactance in people, a survey was conducted. It focussed on accessing reactance through attitudes to forced compliance in a persuasive website in the context of meal-planning. Results from this study showed that participants with high freedom text had better attitude to the website in terms of anger and perceived usability than participants with low-freedom text. This work confirmed the social agency proposition that the presence of social cues in a multimedia message can stimulate the social interaction pattern in people’s learning. Once this social interaction pattern is initiated, there is a high possibility for pupils to act as if they are interacting with another individual. Therefore, to some degree, social convention of human-to-human interaction sets in as participants with high freedom message had a lower anger score than participants with high freedom plus social message.

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Application of the micronucleus assay performed by different scorers in case of large-scale radiation accidents

References 1. Van del Kogel, A., & Joiner, M. (2009). Basic clinical radiobiology. United Kingdom: Hodder Education. 2. Fenech, M., Holland, N., Chang, W. P., Zeiger, E., & Bonassi, S. (2003). HUMN project: detailed description of the scoring criteria for the cytokinesis-block micronucleus assay using isolated human lymphocyte cultures. Mutat. Res., 534, 65-75. 3. IAEA. (2001). Cytogenetic analysis for radiation dose assessment. A manual. Vienna: International Atomic Energy Agency. (Technical Reports Series no

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Ecosytem Services: A Rapid Assessment Method Tested at 35 Sites of the LTER-Europe Network

Abstract

The identification of parameters to monitor the ecosystem services delivered at a site is fundamental to the concept’s adoption as a useful policy instrument at local, national and international scales. In this paper we (i) describe the process of developing a rapid comprehensive ecosystem service assessment methodology and (ii) test the applicability of the protocol at 35 long-term research (LTER) sites across 14 countries in the LTER-Europe network (www.lter-europe.net) including marine, urban, agricultural, forest, desert and conservation sites. An assessment of probability of occurrence with estimated confidence score using 83 ecosystem service parameters was tested. The parameters were either specific services like food production or proxies such as human activities which were considered surrogates for cultural diversity and economic activity. This initial test of the ecosystem service parameter list revealed that the parameters tested were relatively easy to score by site managers with a high level of certainty (92% scored as either occurring or not occurring at the site with certainty of over 90%). Based on this assessment, we concluded that (i) this approach to operationalise the concept of ecosystem services is practical and applicable by many sectors of civil society as a first screen of the ecosystem services present at a site, (ii) this study has direct relevance to land management and policy decision makers as a transparent vehicle to focus testing scenarios and target data gathering, but (iii) further work beyond the scale investigated here is required to ensure global applicability.

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Assessing of landscape potential for water management regarding its surface water (using the example of the micro-region Minčol)

Abstract

The presence of water is one of the decisive factors of landscape’s natural potential. Water affects landscape’s predisposition for agricultural production, water supply available to the wide population and industry (the most important is the yield of water resources). Ponds, lakes and other water areas are zones of recreation and relaxation. Near sources mineral water, several world-famous spas were build. Waterways are also used to generate electricity. Geothermal underground water represents a very significant landscape potential. Determining hydrological potential of the area is important for the regional development. This paper assesses the landscape potential for water management regarding its surface waters in the micro-region Minčol. The micro-region was divided by a square grid, and for each square, we determined the appropriateness of this potential based on score points. The determining evaluation criteria were static reserves of surface water, waterway ranking and annual average discharge. First, we determined the significance (value) of individual criteria (classification characteristics), and then we calculated the values of individual classifiers, which were then multiplied by the value of the individual classifier intervals. The summary of points in each square belongs to a particular degree of suitability for water management based on surface waters. The potential was divided into five degrees (intervals): very unfavourable potential, unfavourable potential, moderately favourable potential, favourable potential and very favourable potential.

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Small terrestrial mammals living along streams acting as natural landscape barriers

Abstract

Riparian stands along streams are important landscape elements – biocorridors, allowing the dispersal of many small terrestrial mammals. Streams are, however, also barriers limiting dispersal, which leads to isolation and population-genetic changes. Communities of small terrestrial mammals (Eulipotyphla, Rodentia) were studied in 2004 to 2006 on five watercourses of varying widths in Central European cultural landscape situated in South Bohemia (Czech Republic). In total, 547 individuals from 10 species were captured by the Capture-Mark-Recapture method (CMR). Yellow-necked mouse (Apodemus flavicollis) and bank voles (Myodes glareolus) were eu-dominant species at all locations. Species diversity and equitability rose with the degree of the barrier – proportional to the width of the stream.

The terrestrial mobility of selected species was also assessed. Apodemus flavicollis indicated overall highest values of mobility, and Myodes glareolus males also scored higher values, however, the width of the stream did not correlate with mobility in these species. The animals crossed water-courses on the order of tens of meters wide in the period of 3 months. The frequency of crossing of Apodemus flavicollis decreased exponentially with the width of the stream and was dependent on population density.

Open access
Composition of microbial PLFAs and correlations with topsoil characteristics in the rare active travertine spring-fed fen

Abstract

We studied soil PLFAs composition and specific soil properties among transect of small-scale fen in Stankovany, Slovakia. The aim of this study was to determine potential differences in the microbial community structure of the fen transect and reveal correlations among PLFAs and specific soil characteristics. PCA analyses of 43 PLFAs showed a separation of the samples along the axis largely influenced by i14:0, 16:1ω5, br17:0, 10Me16:0, cy17:0, cy17:1, br18:0 and 10Me17:0. We measured a high correlation of sample scores and distance from fen edge (Kendall’s test τ = 0.857, P < 0.01). Kendall’s test showed a negative correlation of PLFAs content (mol%) and distance from the fen border for Gram (+) bacteria, Actinomycetes, mid-chain branched saturated PLFAs and total PLFAs. The redundancy analysis of the PLFA data set for the eight samples using PLFAs as species and 21 environmental variables identified soil properties significantly associated with the PLFA variables, as tested by Monte Carlo permutation showing most significant environmental variables including dichlormethan extractables, water extractables, Klason lignin, acid-soluble lignin, holocellulose, total extractables, organic matter content, total PLFA amount, bacterial PLFA and total nitrogen negatively correlated to axis 1 and dry weight and carbonate carbon positively correlated to axis 1. The amounts of Klason lignin, acid-soluble lignin, holocellulose total extractables, total PLFA, bacterial PLFA and total nitrogen were significantly correlated positively to the distance from fen border while moisture and total carbonate carbon were correlated negatively.

Open access
Landscape Capacity for Ecosystem Services Provision Based on Expert Knowledge and Public Perception (Case Study from the Northwest Slovakia)

Abstract

Landscape represents appropriate spatial dimension for a study of ecosystems, especially due to ability to translate scientific knowledge into proper guidance for land use practice and enhancing the inclusion of local stakeholders in decision-making procedures. We tested social preferences method to reach initial and raw overview of the ecosystem services (ES) distribution and their values in the study areas. Perception of experts and local residents about capacities of relevant CORINE land cover (CLC) types to provide various ES was linked with Geographic Information System databases. We quantified the results on the basis of the mean values for each CLC type and the ES groups and these were interpreted also in spatial context. The expectation about perceptible capacities of forest to provide goods and services was fulfilled by responses of the experts, as was the expected difficulty to assess capacities of transitional woodland shrub or complex cultivation patterns. However, additional land cover types in question are meadows and pastures or discon-tinuous urban fabric. Mostly middle ranking values prevail in responses of local residents and uncertainty in the background is much greater comparing to the experts. On the other hand, rural people may better recognise diversified fow of services due to their everyday close connection to more ES. Large variation in the scores of some valued CLC classes in responses of the local residents and also experts seems resulting from lack of knowledge in the background and differences in viewpoint and appreciation. We understand the gaps in evaluating ES by the experts and resident population as good experience and key challenge for the further steps and fine-tuning of the research methods.

Open access
Life table estimates of the invasive snail Physa acuta Draparnaud, 1805, occurring in India

Abstract

The life table characteristics of the invasive snail Physa acuta were assessed in the laboratory using the individuals occurring in a newly colonised area in Burdwan, West Bengal, India. Using the changes in the shell length and the body weight of the snails as surrogate, the population growth of the snails was estimated along with longevity and the fecundity schedule. The cohort of P. acuta lived for a maximum of 22 weeks with a life expectancy (ex) of 7.27 weeks and the age-specific survivorship being 0.825. Increment of the shell length of the snails complied with the von Bertalanffy growth equation, lt = 11.75(1 − exp−0.17(t−0.06)), and the observed and the expected data of the length at time t (lt) did not vary significantly (z score = 0.230; P = 0.818; n=20 pairs). Following attainment of sexual maturity between 28 and 42 days, oviposition continued till 20 weeks time, with 0.1-10 eggs laid by each individual. The eggs present per capsule remained between 01 and 11, whilst the net reproductive rate (R0), intrinsic rate of increase (rm) and the finite rate of increase (λ) were 116.07, 0.1 and 1.11, respectively. The observations are similar to those made earlier on the same species but from African and South American continents. The results of the present observation are pioneer in providing the initial studies about the life history of the invasive snail P. acuta in Indian context. Using the present information as a basis, further studies including long-term population monitoring should be initiated to understand the effects of the invasive snail P. acuta in the freshwater ecosystem of West Bengal, India.

Open access