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Paul W Kachapulula, Juliet Akello, Ranajit Bandyopadhyay, Peter J Cotty
AIMS: Quantify aflatoxins, the potent carcinogens associated with stunting and immune suppression, in maize and groundnut across Zambia's three agroecologies and determine vulnerability to aflatoxin increases after purchase. METHODS AND RESULTS: Aflatoxin concentrations were determined for 334 maize and groundnut samples from 27 districts using lateral-flow immunochromatography. Seventeen percent of crops from markets contained aflatoxin concentrations above allowable levels in Zambia (10 μg kg(-1) )...
March 16, 2017: Journal of Applied Microbiology
Joern Fischer, David J Abson, Arvid Bergsten, Neil French Collier, Ine Dorresteijn, Jan Hanspach, Kristoffer Hylander, Jannik Schultner, Feyera Senbeta
Given the serious limitations of production-oriented frameworks, we offer here a new conceptual framework for how to analyze the nexus of food security and biodiversity conservation. We introduce four archetypes of social-ecological system states corresponding to win-win (e.g., agroecology), win-lose (e.g., intensive agriculture), lose-win (e.g., fortress conservation), and lose-lose (e.g., degraded landscapes) outcomes for food security and biodiversity conservation. Each archetype is shaped by characteristic external drivers, exhibits characteristic internal social-ecological features, and has characteristic feedbacks that maintain it...
March 8, 2017: Trends in Ecology & Evolution
Nicholas E Williams, Amanda Carrico
Climate change is increasing water scarcity in Sri Lanka. Whether these changes will undermine national-level food security depends upon the ability of the small-scale farmers that dominate rice production and the institutions that support them to overcome the challenges presented by changing water availability. Analyzing household survey data, this research identifies household, institutional, and agroecological factors that influence how water-stressed farmers are working to adapt to changing conditions and how the strategies they employ impact rice yields...
February 16, 2017: Ambio
Chushu Zhang, Jonathan Nimal Selvaraj, Qingli Yang, Yang Liu
Peanut pods are easily infected by aflatoxin-producing Aspergillus sp.ecies from field soil. To assess the aflatoxin-producing Aspergillus sp. in different peanut field soils, 344 aflatoxin-producing Aspergillus strains were isolated from 600 soil samples of four agroecological zones in China (the Southeast coastal zone (SEC), the Yangtze River zone (YZR), the Yellow River zone (YR) and the Northeast zone (NE)). Nearly 94.2% (324/344) of strains were A. flavus and 5.8% (20/344) of strains were A. parasiticus...
January 20, 2017: Toxins
Cong Dang, Zengbin Lu, Long Wang, Xuefei Chang, Fang Wang, Hongwei Yao, Yufa Peng, David Stanley, Gongyin Ye
Transgenic Bt rice expressing the insecticidal proteins derived from Bacillus thuringiensis Berliner (Bt) have been developed since 1989. Their ecological risks toward non-target organisms have been investigated, however, these studies were conducted individually, yielding uncertainty regarding potential agroecological risks associated with large-scale deployment of Bt rice lines. Here, we developed a meta-analysis of existing literature to synthesize current knowledge of the impacts of Bt rice on functional arthropod guilds, including herbivores, predators, parasitoids and detritivores in laboratory and field studies...
January 23, 2017: Plant Biotechnology Journal
Anukesh Krishnankutty Ambika, Brian Wardlow, Vimal Mishra
India is among the countries that uses a significant fraction of available water for irrigation. Irrigated area in India has increased substantially after the Green revolution and both surface and groundwater have been extensively used. Under warming climate projections, irrigation frequency may increase leading to increased irrigation water demands. Water resources planning and management in agriculture need spatially-explicit irrigated area information for different crops and different crop growing seasons...
December 20, 2016: Scientific Data
Hanson Nyantakyi-Frimpong, Joseph Kangmennaang, Rachel Bezner Kerr, Isaac Luginaah, Laifolo Dakishoni, Esther Lupafya, Lizzie Shumba, Mangani Katundu
This paper assesses the relationship between agroecology, food security, and human health. Specifically, we ask if agroecology can lead to improved food security and human health among vulnerable smallholder farmers in semi-humid tropical Africa. The empirical evidence comes from a cross-sectional household survey (n=1,000) in two districts in Malawi, a small country in semi-humid, tropical Africa. The survey consisted of 571 agroecology-adoption and 429 non-agroecology-adoption households. Ordered logistics regression and average treatment effects models were used to determine the effect of agroecology adoption on self-reported health...
October 28, 2016: Acta Tropica
Paula Fernandes de Brito, Marcia Gomide da Silva Mello
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
December 1, 2016: Cadernos de Saúde Pública
(no author information available yet)
Medicinal plants provide indigenous and peasant communities worldwide with means to meet their healthcare needs. Homegardens often act as medicine cabinets, providing easily accessible medicinal plants for household needs. Social structure and social exchanges have been proposed as factors influencing the species diversity that people maintain in their homegardens. Here, we assess the association between the exchange of medicinal knowledge and plant material and medicinal plant richness in homegardens. Using Tsimane' Amazonian homegardens as a case study, we explore whether social organization shapes exchanges of medicinal plant knowledge and medicinal plant material...
March 2016: Ecology and Society: a Journal of Integrative Science for Resilience and Sustainability
Nigussie Haregeweyn, Atsushi Tsunekawa, Jean Poesen, Mitsuru Tsubo, Derege Tsegaye Meshesha, Ayele Almaw Fenta, Jan Nyssen, Enyew Adgo
In the drought-prone Upper Blue Nile River (UBNR) basin of Ethiopia, soil erosion by water results in significant consequences that also affect downstream countries. However, there have been limited comprehensive studies of this and other basins with diverse agroecologies. We analyzed the variability of gross soil loss and sediment yield rates under present and expected future conditions using a newly devised methodological framework. The results showed that the basin generates an average soil loss rate of 27...
September 10, 2016: Science of the Total Environment
Graeme D Coles, Stephen D Wratten, John R Porter
Human food security requires the production of sufficient quantities of both high-quality protein and dietary energy. In a series of case-studies from New Zealand, we show that while production of food ingredients from crops on arable land can meet human dietary energy requirements effectively, requirements for high-quality protein are met more efficiently by animal production from such land. We present a model that can be used to assess dietary energy and quality-corrected protein production from various crop and crop/animal production systems, and demonstrate its utility...
2016: PeerJ
Hanson Nyantakyi-Frimpong, Faith Nankasa Mambulu, Rachel Bezner Kerr, Isaac Luginaah, Esther Lupafya
This article shares results from a long-term participatory agroecological research project in northern Malawi. Drawing upon a political ecology of health conceptual framework, the paper explores whether and how participatory agroecological farming can improve food security and nutrition among HIV-affected households. In-depth interviews were conducted with 27 farmers in HIV-affected households in the area near Ekwendeni Trading Centre in northern Malawi. The results show that participatory agroecological farming has a strong potential to meet the food, dietary, labour and income needs of HIV-affected households, whilst helping them to manage natural resources sustainably...
September 2016: Social Science & Medicine
Mariana Vallejo-Ramos, Ana I Moreno-Calles, Alejandro Casas
Transformation of natural ecosystems into intensive agriculture is a main factor causing biodiversity loss worldwide. Agroforestry systems (AFS) may maintain biodiversity, ecosystem benefits and human wellbeing, they have therefore high potential for concealing production and conservation. However, promotion of intensive agriculture and disparagement of TEK endanger their permanence. A high diversity of AFS still exist in the world and their potentialities vary with the socio-ecological contexts. We analysed AFS in tropical, temperate, and arid environments, of the Tehuacan Valley, Mexico, to investigate how their capacity varies to conserve biodiversity and role of TEK influencing differences in those contexts...
July 22, 2016: Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine
Ji Yang, Wen-Rong Li, Feng-Hua Lv, San-Gang He, Shi-Lin Tian, Wei-Feng Peng, Ya-Wei Sun, Yong-Xin Zhao, Xiao-Long Tu, Min Zhang, Xing-Long Xie, Yu-Tao Wang, Jin-Quan Li, Yong-Gang Liu, Zhi-Qiang Shen, Feng Wang, Guang-Jian Liu, Hong-Feng Lu, Juha Kantanen, Jian-Lin Han, Meng-Hua Li, Ming-Jun Liu
Global climate change has a significant effect on extreme environments and a profound influence on species survival. However, little is known of the genome-wide pattern of livestock adaptations to extreme environments over a short time frame following domestication. Sheep (Ovis aries) have become well adapted to a diverse range of agroecological zones, including certain extreme environments (e.g., plateaus and deserts), during their post-domestication (approximately 8-9 kya) migration and differentiation. Here, we generated whole-genome sequences from 77 native sheep, with an average effective sequencing depth of ∼5× for 75 samples and ∼42× for 2 samples...
October 2016: Molecular Biology and Evolution
Erin Biehl, Rolf D W Klemm, Swetha Manohar, Patrick Webb, Devendra Gauchan, Keith P West
BACKGROUND: In Nepal, limited availability and affordability of nutritious foods contribute to malnutrition. OBJECTIVES: To identify nutrient deficiencies in commonly consumed diets and model lowest cost changes that could improve diet quality in 3 agroecological zones of Nepal. METHODS: In August to September 2014, we collected market price and women's food frequency data from 3 representative villages in Nepal's mountains (Mahat Gaun, Jumla, n = 181 households), hills (Sitapur, Arghakhanchi, n = 166), and terai (Saigaun, Banke, n = 232) and verified local diets during women's group discussions...
July 3, 2016: Food and Nutrition Bulletin
Zoe Pearson
BACKGROUND: A strain of Fusarium oxysporum fungus is killing coca plants in the Chapare coca growing region of Bolivia. Coca farmers are already constrained in the amount of coca they can grow under the government's community-based coca control approach, "social control." Coca leaf is the main ingredient in cocaine, but it is also a traditional medicine and food, is economically vital to household incomes, and is a political symbol of the current government administration. Bolivia's approach to coca control, now administered without any United States military intervention, is an innovative example of experimentation with drug policy reform...
July 2016: International Journal on Drug Policy
Delia M Pinto-Zevallos, Martín Pareja, Bianca G Ambrogi
Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) is one of the most important staple crops worldwide. It constitutes the major source of carbohydrates for millions of low-income people living in rural areas, as well as a cash crop for smallholders in tropical and sub-tropical regions. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations predicts that cassava plantations will increase and production systems will intensify in the future, highlighting the need for developing strategies that improve the sustainability of production...
October 2016: Phytochemistry
Kevin Li, John H Vandermeer, Ivette Perfecto
Spatial patterns in ecology can be described as reflective of environmental heterogeneity (exogenous), or emergent from dynamic relationships between interacting species (endogenous), but few empirical studies focus on the combination. The spatial distribution of the nests of Azteca sericeasur, a keystone tropical arboreal ant, is thought to form endogenous spatial patterns among the shade trees of a coffee plantation through self-regulating interactions with controlling agents (i.e. natural enemies). Using inhomogeneous point process models, we found evidence for both types of processes in the spatial distribution of A...
May 2016: Royal Society Open Science
F Phocas, C Belloc, J Bidanel, L Delaby, J Y Dourmad, B Dumont, P Ezanno, L Fortun-Lamothe, G Foucras, B Frappat, E González-García, D Hazard, C Larzul, S Lubac, S Mignon-Grasteau, C R Moreno, M Tixier-Boichard, M Brochard
Agroecology uses ecological processes and local resources rather than chemical inputs to develop productive and resilient livestock and crop production systems. In this context, breeding innovations are necessary to obtain animals that are both productive and adapted to a broad range of local contexts and diversity of systems. Breeding strategies to promote agroecological systems are similar for different animal species. However, current practices differ regarding the breeding of ruminants, pigs and poultry...
November 2016: Animal: An International Journal of Animal Bioscience
Jennifer Himmelstein, Adrian Ares, Emily van Houweling
Sustainable intensification (SI) is a term increasingly used to describe a type of approach applied to international agricultural projects. Despite its widespread use, there is still little understanding or knowledge of the various facets of this composite paradigm. A review of the literature has led to the formalization of three principles that convey the current characterization of SI, comprising a whole system, participatory, agroecological approach. Specific examples of potential bottlenecks to the SI approach are cited, in addition to various technologies and techniques that can be applied to overcome these obstacles...
December 2016: Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture
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