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Cecilia Saldías, Stijn Speelman, Pay Drechsel, Guido Van Huylenbroeck
Most cities in developing countries fail to treat their wastewater comprehensively. Consequently, farmers downstream use poor-quality water for irrigation. This practice implies risks for farmers, consumers and the environment. Conversely, this water supply supports the livelihood of these farmers and other stakeholders along the value chains. Linking safer options for wastewater management with irrigation could therefore be a win-win solution: removing the risks for society and maintaining the benefits for farmers...
October 24, 2016: Ambio
Anna Oldén, Atte Komonen, Kaisa Tervonen, Panu Halme
Wood-pastures are threatened biotopes in which trees and livestock grazing maintain high conservation values. However, browsing may threaten tree regeneration, whereas abandonment leads to tree encroachment. We studied the regeneration of trees in a grazed and abandoned boreal wood-pastures. In grazed sites, the density of young spruces (Picea abies) was high, while the density of young birches (Betula spp.) was very low. Sprucification can be prevented only by removing spruces. The number of young birches and pines (Pinus sylvestris) was correlated with the number of junipers (Juniperus communis), probably because thorny junipers protect palatable seedlings from browsing...
October 4, 2016: Ambio
Gurutze Calvo-Ugarteburu, Serge Raemaekers, Christina Halling
Along the coast of South Africa, marine resources play a significant role in supporting livelihoods and contributing to food security in impoverished rural communities. Post-apartheid fisheries laws and policies have begun to address traditional fishing rights and development needs, and new management arrangements are being implemented. One such initiative has been the Mussel Rehabilitation Project in Coffee Bay, which piloted a resource rehabilitation technique at several over-exploited fishing sites. Mussel stocks in these exploited areas had dropped to under 1 % mussel cover, and during the project period, stocks increased to >80 % cover, supporting a sustainable harvest well above national daily bag limits...
September 29, 2016: Ambio
Mario S Di Bitetti, Julián A Ferreras
There is a tendency for non-native English scientists to publish exclusively in English, assuming that this will make their articles more visible and cited. We tested this hypothesis by comparing the effect of language on the number of citations of articles published in six natural sciences journals from five countries that publish papers in either English or other languages. We analyzed the effect of language (English vs non-English), paper length, and year of publication on the number of citations. The articles published in English have a higher number of citations than those published in other languages, when the effect of journal, year of publication, and paper length are statistically controlled...
September 29, 2016: Ambio
Bo G Eriksson
New vegetation in barren areas offers possibilities for sequestering carbon in the soil. Arid and semi-arid areas (ASAs) are candidates for new vegetation. The possibility of agriculture in ASAs is reviewed, revealing the potential for cultivation by covering the surface with a layer of organic fibres. This layer collects more water from humidity in the air than does the uncovered mineral surface, and creates a humid environment that promotes microbial life. One possibility is to use large amounts of organic fibres for soil enhancement in ASAs...
September 24, 2016: Ambio
Louise S L Teh, Allison Witter, William W L Cheung, U Rashid Sumaila, Xueying Yin
Governance of South China Sea (SCS) fisheries remains weak despite acknowledgement of their widespread overexploitation for the past few decades. This review incorporates unreported fish catches to provide an improved baseline of the current status and societal contribution of SCS marine fisheries, so that the socio-economic and ecological consequences of continued fisheries unsustainability may be understood. Potential fisheries contribution to food and livelihoods include 11-17 million t in fisheries catch and USD 12-22 × 10(9) in fisheries landed value annually in the 2000s, and close to 3 million jobs...
September 23, 2016: Ambio
Luciana L Porfirio, David Newth, Ian N Harman, John J Finnigan, Yiyong Cai
We study changes in crop cover under future climate and socio-economic projections. This study is not only organised around the global and regional adaptation or vulnerability to climate change but also includes the influence of projected changes in socio-economic, technological and biophysical drivers, especially regional gross domestic product. The climatic data are obtained from simulations of RCP4.5 and 8.5 by four global circulation models/earth system models from 2000 to 2100. We use Random Forest, an empirical statistical model, to project the future crop cover...
September 23, 2016: Ambio
Holger Kirchmann, Gunnar Börjesson, Thomas Kätterer, Yariv Cohen
The composition of municipal wastewater and sewage sludge reflects the use and proliferation of elements and contaminants within society. In Sweden, official statistics show that concentrations of toxic metals in municipal sewage sludge have steadily decreased, by up to 90 %, since the 1970s, due to environmental programmes and statutory limits on metals in sludge and soil. Results from long-term field experiments show that reduced metal pollution during repeated sewage sludge application has reversed negative trends in soil biology...
September 20, 2016: Ambio
Salvatore Di Falco, Elisavet Zoupanidou
This paper analyzes the interplay between soil fertility, crop biodiversity, and farmers' revenues. We use a large, original, farm-level panel dataset. Findings indicate that both crop biodiversity and soil fertility have positive effects on farmers' revenues. It is also shown that crop biodiversity and soil fertility may act as substitutes. These results provide evidence for the important role of diversity in the resilience of agroecosystems. Crop diversification can be a potential strategy to support productivity when soils are less fertile...
September 17, 2016: Ambio
Nozomi Kawarazuka, Catherine Locke, Cynthia McDougall, Paula Kantor, Miranda Morgan
The demand for gender analysis is now increasingly orthodox in natural resource programming, including that for small-scale fisheries. Whilst the analysis of social-ecological resilience has made valuable contributions to integrating social dimensions into research and policy-making on natural resource management, it has so far demonstrated limited success in effectively integrating considerations of gender equity. This paper reviews the challenges in, and opportunities for, bringing a gender analysis together with social-ecological resilience analysis in the context of small-scale fisheries research in developing countries...
September 10, 2016: Ambio
Miguel Delibes-Mateos
Rumours associated with wildlife are frequent, although they have received little attention in the scientific literature. Studying rumours is important because of their relevance not only in a broad theoretical sense but also in environmental management. The goal of this study is to explore the complexity of the relationships between humans and wildlife through a thematic analysis of rumours associated with allegedly introduced European rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) that cause crop damage in Spain. For this purpose, potential rumours were identified using the Google search engine...
September 9, 2016: Ambio
Hideaki Shibata, James N Galloway, Allison M Leach, Lia R Cattaneo, Laura Cattell Noll, Jan Willem Erisman, Baojing Gu, Xia Liang, Kentaro Hayashi, Lin Ma, Tommy Dalgaard, Morten Graversgaard, Deli Chen, Keisuke Nansai, Junko Shindo, Kazuyo Matsubae, Azusa Oita, Ming-Chien Su, Shin-Ichiro Mishima, Albert Bleeker
Nitrogen (N) management presents a sustainability dilemma: N is strongly linked to energy and food production, but excess reactive N causes environmental pollution. The N footprint is an indicator that quantifies reactive N losses to the environment from consumption and production of food and the use of energy. The average per capita N footprint (calculated using the N-Calculator methodology) of ten countries varies from 15 to 47 kg N capita(-1) year(-1). The major cause of the difference is the protein consumption rates and food production N losses...
September 6, 2016: Ambio
Laura Vang Rasmussen, Andreas E Christensen, Finn Danielsen, Neil Dawson, Adrian Martin, Ole Mertz, Thomas Sikor, Sithong Thongmanivong, Pheang Xaydongvanh
Ecosystem research focuses on goods and services, thereby ascribing beneficial values to the ecosystems. Depending on the context, however, outputs from ecosystems can be both positive and negative. We examined how provisioning services of wild animals and plants can switch between being services and disservices. We studied agricultural communities in Laos to illustrate when and why these switches take place. Government restrictions on land use combined with economic and cultural changes have created perceptions of rodents and plants as problem species in some communities...
September 2, 2016: Ambio
Kelsey Richardson, David Haynes, Anthony Talouli, Michael Donoghue
Fisheries observer data recorded between 2003 and 2015 on-board purse seine and longline vessels operating in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean reported more than 10 000 pollution incidents within the exclusive economic zones (EEZs) of 25 Pacific countries and territories, and in international waters. A majority of the reported purse seine pollution incidents related to dumping of plastics waste. Other common pollution incidents related to oil spillages and to abandoned, lost or dumped fishing gear. Data analysis highlighted the need for increased monitoring, reporting, and enforcement of pollution violations by all types of fishing vessels operating in the Pacific region; a regional outreach and compliance assistance programme on marine pollution prevention and improvements in Pacific port waste reception facilities...
August 27, 2016: Ambio
Stefan Gelcich, Camila Vargas, Maria Jose Carreras, Juan Carlos Castilla, C Josh Donlan
Biodiversity offsets are becoming increasingly common across a portfolio of settings: national policy, voluntary programs, international lending, and corporate business structures. Given the diversity of ecological, political, and socio-economic systems where offsets may be applied, place-based information is likely to be most useful in designing and implementing offset programs, along with guiding principles that assure best practice. We reviewed the research on biodiversity offsets to explore gaps and needs...
August 16, 2016: Ambio
Tong Wu, Charles Perrings, Ann Kinzig, James P Collins, Ben A Minteer, Peter Daszak
Three interrelated world trends may be exacerbating emerging zoonotic risks: income growth, urbanization, and globalization. Income growth is associated with rising animal protein consumption in developing countries, which increases the conversion of wild lands to livestock production, and hence the probability of zoonotic emergence. Urbanization implies the greater concentration and connectedness of people, which increases the speed at which new infections are spread. Globalization-the closer integration of the world economy-has facilitated pathogen spread among countries through the growth of trade and travel...
August 4, 2016: Ambio
Margit Eero, Helén C Andersson, Elin Almroth-Rosell, Brian R MacKenzie
Reducing anthropogenic nutrient inputs is a major policy goal for restoring good environmental status of coastal marine ecosystems. However, it is unclear to what extent reducing nutrients would also lower fish production and fisheries yields. Empirical examples of changes in nutrient loads and concurrent fish production can provide useful insights to this question. In this paper, we investigate to what extent a multi-fold increase in nutrient loads from the 1950s to 1980s enhanced forage fish production in the Baltic Sea...
October 2016: Ambio
C G Madhusoodhanan, K G Sreeja, T I Eldho
Climate change is a major concern in the twenty-first century and its assessments are associated with multiple uncertainties, exacerbated and confounded in the regions where human interventions are prevalent. The present study explores the challenges for climate change impact assessment on the water resources of India, one of the world's largest human-modified systems. The extensive human interventions in the Energy-Land-Water-Climate (ELWC) nexus significantly impact the water resources of the country. The direct human interventions in the landscape may surpass/amplify/mask the impacts of climate change and in the process also affect climate change itself...
October 2016: Ambio
Linda Laikre, Carina Lundmark, Eeva Jansson, Lovisa Wennerström, Mari Edman, Annica Sandström
Genetic diversity is needed for species' adaptation to changing selective pressures and is particularly important in regions with rapid environmental change such as the Baltic Sea. Conservation measures should consider maintaining large gene pools to maximize species' adaptive potential for long-term survival. In this study, we explored concerns regarding genetic variation in international and national policies that governs biodiversity and evaluated if and how such policy is put into practice in management plans governing Baltic Sea Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in Sweden, Finland, Estonia, and Germany...
October 2016: Ambio
Jenny Ask, Owen Rowe, Sonia Brugel, Mårten Strömgren, Pär Byström, Agneta Andersson
In this study, we measured depth-dependent benthic microalgal primary production in a Bothnian Bay estuary to estimate the benthic contribution to total primary production. In addition, we compiled data on benthic microalgal primary production in the entire Baltic Sea. In the estuary, the benthic habitat contributed 17 % to the total annual primary production, and when upscaling our data to the entire Bothnian Bay, the corresponding value was 31 %. This estimated benthic share (31 %) is three times higher compared to past estimates of 10 %...
October 2016: Ambio
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