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Environmental Sciences Europe

Hye Kyung Lee, Hwan Yong Kim
Background: Sprawl has been named as one of the critical reasons for the latest social problems in many parts of the world. This is particularly true for developing countries, as their national status largely depends on economic stability and interacts with the rise and decline of major cities. This study focuses on a detailed notion on environmental impact of physical expansion and answers how to specifically estimate the ecological impact of sprawl using the GIS and ecological valuation method...
2018: Environmental Sciences Europe
Maximilian E Müller, Beate I Escher, Marc Schwientek, Martina Werneburg, Christiane Zarfl, Christian Zwiener
Background: Rivers receive water and associated organic micropollutants from their entire catchment, including from urban, agricultural and natural sources, and constitute an important environmental component for catalyzing pollutant turnover. Environmental removal processes were extensively investigated under laboratory conditions in the past but there is still a lack of information on how organic micropollutants attenuate on the catchment scale. The aim of this study was to describe the chemical and toxicological profile of a 4th order river and to characterize in-stream processes...
2018: Environmental Sciences Europe
Elisa Classen, Holger Schüttrumpf
Water is an essential element and highly valuable resource in life. Between the priorities of environment, people and economy, it is of increasing importance to fully understand the fundamental force of water to be capable of handling waterborne events-such as flooding-manage and ensure water quality and availability, and utilize hydraulic energy. The Institute of Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources Management (IWW) at RWTH Aachen University has a long research tradition in this field. Going back to the founding year of the university in 1870, the chair is based on the work of civil engineer Otto Intze, who is best known for his pioneering contributions in construction of dams and elevated water tanks...
2018: Environmental Sciences Europe
T T Awet, Y Kohl, F Meier, S Straskraba, A-L Grün, T Ruf, C Jost, R Drexel, E Tunc, C Emmerling
Background: The increasing production of nanoplastics and the fragmentation of microplastics into smaller particles suggest a plausible yet unclear hazard in the natural environment, such as soil. We investigated the short-term effects (28 days) of polystyrene nanoparticles (PS-NPs) on the activity and biomass of soil microbiota, and the functional diversity of soil enzymes at environmental relevant low levels in an incubation experiment. Results: Our results showed a significant decrease in microbial biomass in treatments of 100 and 1000 ng PS-NP g-1 DM throughout the incubation period...
2018: Environmental Sciences Europe
Mona Schweizer, Andreas Dieterich, Núria Corral Morillas, Carla Dewald, Lukas Miksch, Sara Nelson, Arne Wick, Rita Triebskorn, Heinz-R Köhler
Background: Although the crucial importance of sediments in aquatic systems is well-known, sediments are often neglected as a factor in the evaluation of water quality assessment. To support and extend previous work in that field, this study was conducted to assess the impact of surface water and sediment on fish embryos in the case of a highly anthropogenically influenced river catchment in Central Hesse, Germany. Results: The results of 96 h post fertilisation fish embryo toxicity test with Danio rerio (according to OECD Guideline 236) revealed that river samples comprising both water and sediment exert pivotal effects in embryos, whereas surface water alone did not...
2018: Environmental Sciences Europe
Karl Theo von der Trenck, Rainer Konietzka, Annegret Biegel-Engler, Jan Brodsky, Andrea Hädicke, Arnold Quadflieg, Rudolf Stockerl, Thorsten Stahl
Background: Per- and polyfluorinated chemicals (PFC) do not occur naturally in the environment and are, therefore, of anthropogenic origin. As a consequence of their wide range of everyday applications and their extreme persistence in the environment, PFC have become ubiquitous in nature and can, therefore, be detected in groundwater as well as in many other environmental matrices. The German States' Water and Soil Consortia have compiled 'significance thresholds' (GFS) to assess groundwater contaminated with PFC...
2018: Environmental Sciences Europe
Johannes Ranke, Janina Wöltjen, Stefan Meinecke
Background: For evaluating the fate of xenobiotics in the environment, a variety of degradation or environmental metabolism experiments are routinely conducted. The data generated in such experiments are evaluated by optimizing the parameters of kinetic models in a way that the model simulation fits the data. No comparison of the main software tools currently in use has been published to date. This article shows a comparison of numerical results as well as an overall, somewhat subjective comparison based on a scoring system using a set of criteria...
2018: Environmental Sciences Europe
Dieter Hennecke, Angela Bauer, Monika Herrchen, Erik Wischerhoff, Friedhelm Gores
Background: Cationic polyacrylamide copolymers (PAMs) are used for sludge dewatering in municipal waste water treatment and might enter the environment by spreading of the sludge on agricultural land. Concern has been expressed since little is known about the degradation of PAMs in soils. To obtain detailed information on the polymer's fate in the soil compartment, the degradation of 14 C-radiolabelled PAM in an outdoor lysimeter was studied. Results: No plant uptake and leaching of radioactivity was observed...
2018: Environmental Sciences Europe
Inge Werner
The Swiss Centre for Applied Ecotoxicology (Ecotox Centre) was created in recognition of the urgent societal need to provide expertise, education and tools for assessing the risks and effects of anthropogenic chemicals in the environment. Founded in 2008, the Ecotox Centre conducts applied, practice-oriented research in the areas of aquatic (water and sediment) and terrestrial (with focus on soil) ecotoxicology, and provides further education and consulting services to its stakeholders. To date, its most important activities focus on (1) the validation and standardization of bioassays for use in monitoring of water, sediment or soil quality and (2) the development of tools for retrospective risk assessment, including approaches to assess mixture risk...
2018: Environmental Sciences Europe
Nicole Bandow, Stefan Gartiser, Outi Ilvonen, Ute Schoknecht
Construction products are in contact with water (e.g., rain, seepage water) during their service lifetime and may release potentially harmful compounds by leaching processes. Monitoring studies showed that compounds attributed to construction products are found in storm water and the receiving bodies of water and that the release of biocides in urban areas can be comparable to the input of pesticides from agricultural uses. Therefore, a prospective risk assessment of such products is necessary. Laboratory leaching tests have been developed by the Technical Committee CEN/TC 351 and are ready to use...
2018: Environmental Sciences Europe
Frederic Gallo, Cristina Fossi, Roland Weber, David Santillo, Joao Sousa, Imogen Ingram, Angel Nadal, Dolores Romano
Persistent plastics, with an estimated lifetime for degradation of hundreds of years in marine conditions, can break up into micro- and nanoplastics over shorter timescales, thus facilitating their uptake by marine biota throughout the food chain. These polymers may contain chemical additives and contaminants, including some known endocrine disruptors that may be harmful at extremely low concentrations for marine biota, thus posing potential risks to marine ecosystems, biodiversity and food availability. Although there is still need to carry out focused scientific research to fill the knowledge gaps about the impacts of plastic litter in the marine environment (Wagner et al...
2018: Environmental Sciences Europe
Maximilian Strer, Nikolai Svoboda, Antje Herrmann
Background: Understanding the abundance of adverse environmental conditions e.g. frost, drought, and heat during critical crop growth stages, which are assumed to be altered by climate change, is crucial for an accurate risk assessment for cropping systems. While a lengthening of the vegetation period may be beneficial, higher frequencies of heat or frost events and drought spells are generally regarded as harmful. The objective of the present study was to quantify shifts in maize and wheat phenology and the occurrence of adverse environmental conditions during critical growth stages for four regions located in the North German Plain...
2018: Environmental Sciences Europe
Tobias Frische, Sina Egerer, Steffen Matezki, Christina Pickl, Jörn Wogram
This position paper intends to stimulate a profound rethinking of contemporary agricultural practice. We criticise the current intensity of chemical plant protection in Germany as ecologically unsustainable and thus threatening the achievement of key targets of environmental protection and nature conservation policies. In the first part of the paper, we provide background information on the use of plant protection products (PPP) in German agriculture, the role of agricultural policy, European pesticide legislation, the principles of and framework for environmental risk assessment and risk management of PPP, as well as environmental effects of PPP...
2018: Environmental Sciences Europe
Valeria Dulio, Bert van Bavel, Eva Brorström-Lundén, Joop Harmsen, Juliane Hollender, Martin Schlabach, Jaroslav Slobodnik, Kevin Thomas, Jan Koschorreck
In 2005, the European Commission funded the NORMAN project to promote a permanent network of reference laboratories and research centers, including academia, industry, standardization bodies, and NGOs. Since then, NORMAN has (i) facilitated a more rapid and wide-scope exchange of data on the occurrence and effects of contaminants of emerging concern (CECs), (ii) improved data quality and comparability via validation and harmonization of common sampling and measurement methods (chemical and biological), (iii) provided more transparent information and monitoring data on CECs, and (iv) established an independent and competent forum for the technical/scientific debate on issues related to emerging substances...
2018: Environmental Sciences Europe
Stephan Brendel, Éva Fetter, Claudia Staude, Lena Vierke, Annegret Biegel-Engler
Background: Short-chain PFASs (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are widely used as alternatives to long-chain PFASs. Long-chain PFASs become gradually regulated under REACH (EC No. 1907/2006) and other international regulations, due to having persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic properties and/or being toxic for reproduction. The increasingly used short-chain PFASs are assumed to have a lower bioaccumulation potential. Nonetheless, they have other properties of concern and are already widely distributed in the environment, also in remote regions...
2018: Environmental Sciences Europe
Naicheng Wu, Claas Faber, Uta Ulrich, Nicola Fohrer
Background: The separation of runoff components within a model simulation is of great importance for a successful implementation of management measures. Diatoms could be a promising indicator for tile drainage flow due to their diverse preferences to different aquatic habitats. In this study, we collected diatom samples of 9 sites (4 tile drainage, TD, and 5 river sites, Ri) in a German lowland catchment at a weekly or biweekly time step from March to July 2013 with the aim of testing the suitability of diatoms for tile drainage flow, which is typical for lowland catchment...
2018: Environmental Sciences Europe
Sebastian Kühr, Stefanie Schneider, Boris Meisterjahn, Karsten Schlich, Kerstin Hund-Rinke, Christian Schlechtriem
Background: Increasing amounts of engineered nanoparticles (NPs) in wastewater can reach the aquatic environment by passing through the sewage treatment plant (STP). NPs can induce ecotoxicological effects due to their specific chemical properties. However, their bioavailability and toxicity are potentially influenced by transformation processes caused by substances present in the STP, e.g., humic acids or sulfides. Due to the lack of a test system allowing to test NPs under realistic environmental conditions, we coupled two existing test systems, the activated sludge simulation test (OECD TG 303A 2001) and the chronic exposure test with the freshwater amphipod Hyalella azteca (Environment Canada 2013), to gain a test scenario that allows to consider the altered behavior and fate of NPs induced by the STP process...
2018: Environmental Sciences Europe
Mirco Bundschuh, Juliane Filser, Simon Lüderwald, Moira S McKee, George Metreveli, Gabriele E Schaumann, Ralf Schulz, Stephan Wagner
Nanoparticles serve various industrial and domestic purposes which is reflected in their steadily increasing production volume. This economic success comes along with their presence in the environment and the risk of potentially adverse effects in natural systems. Over the last decade, substantial progress regarding the understanding of sources, fate, and effects of nanoparticles has been made. Predictions of environmental concentrations based on modelling approaches could recently be confirmed by measured concentrations in the field...
2018: Environmental Sciences Europe
Anja Coors, Pia Vollmar, Jennifer Heim, Frank Sacher, Anja Kehrer
Background: Biocidal products are mixtures of one or more active substances (a.s.) and a broad range of formulation additives. There is regulatory guidance currently under development that will specify how the combined effects of the a.s. and any relevant formulation additives shall be considered in the environmental risk assessment of biocidal products. The default option is a component-based approach (CBA) by which the toxicity of the product is predicted from the toxicity of 'relevant' components using concentration addition...
2018: Environmental Sciences Europe
Daisy A Martinez, Ulrich E Loening, Margaret C Graham
Based on experimental data from laboratory and field, numerous authors have raised concern that exposure to glyphosate-based herbicides (GBHs) may pre-dispose crops to damage by microbial pathogens. In this review, we distinguish and evaluate two principal pathways by which GBHs may affect the susceptibility of crops to disease: pathway 1-via disruptions to rhizosphere microbial ecology, and pathway 2-via restriction of nutrients to crops. We conclude that GBHs have the potential to undermine crop health in a number of ways, including: (i) impairment of the innate physiological defences of glyphosate-sensitive (GS) cultivars by interruption of the shikimic acid pathway; (ii) impairment of physiological disease defences has also been shown to occur in some glyphosate-resistant (GR) cultivars, despite their engineered resistance to glyphosate's primary mode of action; (iii) interference with rhizosphere microbial ecology (in particular, GBHs have the potential to enhance the population and/or virulence of some phytopathogenic microbial species in the crop rhizosphere); and finally, (iv) the as yet incompletely elucidated reduction in the uptake and utilisation of nutrient metals by crops...
2018: Environmental Sciences Europe
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