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chemical ecology

Rocío Carmona, Cristina Linares, Cristina Ortiz, Blanca Vázquez, Julio Díaz
BACKGROUND: Although the effects of noise on population morbidity and mortality have been observed both in the short and long term, the morbidity and mortality indicators used to date have not enabled information on such health effects to be accessed in real time. At an international level, there are relatively few studies, mostly recent, which have considered an alternative indicator, such as the demand for medical attention provided by emergency services, taking into account environmental factors other than noise...
October 19, 2016: Environmental Research
Hans-Uwe Dahms, Eun-Ji Won, Hui-Su Kim, Jeonghoon Han, Heum Gi Park, Sami Souissi, Sheikh Raisuddin, Jae-Seong Lee
Aquatic invertebrates contribute significantly to environmental impact assessment of contaminants in aquatic ecosystems. Much effort has been made to identify viable and ecologically relevant invertebrate test organisms to meet rigorous regulatory requirements. Copepods, which are ecologically important and widely distributed in aquatic organisms, offer a huge opportunity as test organisms for aquatic toxicity testing. They have a major role not only in the transfer of energy in aquatic food chains, but also as a medium of transfer of aquatic pollutants across the tropic levels...
October 14, 2016: Aquatic Toxicology
Siyao Wang, Yuewu Pu, Cheng Wei
The aim of this study was to characterize the pollutant removal efficiency and the microbial communities that arose in a newly designed waterfall biofilm reactor (WFBR) at different chemical oxygen demand/total nitrogen (COD/TN) ratios. The reactor was operated continuously for 28 days at different COD/TN ratios, and its efficiency was evaluated. Results showed that as the thickness of the biofilm increased, the structure of the biofilm encouraged anaerobic-aerobic, anoxic-anaerobic, and fully anaerobic conditions in one reactor...
October 21, 2016: Journal of Environmental Science and Health. Part A, Toxic/hazardous Substances & Environmental Engineering
Kun Zhong, Yi-Yong Luo, Zheng-Song Wu, Qiang He, Xue-Bin Hu, Qi-Wu Jie, Yan-Ting Li, Shao-Jie Wang
A vertical flow constructed wetland was combined with a biological aerated filter to develop an ecological filter, and to obtain the optimal operating parameters: The hydraulic loading was 1.55 m(3)/(m(2)·d), carbon-nitrogen ratio was 10, and gas-water ratio was 6. The experimental results demonstrated considerable removal efficiency of chemical oxygen demand (COD), ammonia nitrogen (NH4(+)-N), total nitrogen (TN), and total phosphorus (TP) in wastewater by the ecological filter, with average removal rates of 83...
October 2016: Water Science and Technology: a Journal of the International Association on Water Pollution Research
Siavash Isazadeh, Shameem Jauffur, Dominic Frigon
Effect of ecological variables on community assembly of heterotrophic bacteria at eight full-scale and two pilot-scale activated sludge wastewater treatment plants (AS-WWTPs) were explored by pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA gene amplicons. In total, 39 samples covering a range of abiotic factors spread over space and time were analyzed. A core bacterial community of 24 families detected in at least six of the eight AS-WWTPs was defined. In addition to the core families, plant-specific families (observed at <50% AS-WWTPs) were found to be also important in the community structure...
October 19, 2016: MicrobiologyOpen
Silvia Echeverría-Sáenz, Freylan Mena, María Arias-Andrés, Seiling Vargas, Clemens Ruepert, Paul J Van den Brink, Luisa E Castillo, Jonas S Gunnarsson
The River Madre de Dios (RMD) and its lagoon is a biodiversity rich watershed formed by a system of streams, rivers, channels, and a coastal lagoon communicating with the Caribbean Sea. This basin sustains a large area of agricultural activity (mostly banana, rice, and pineapple) with intensive use of pesticides, continually detected in water samples. We investigated in situ the toxicological effects caused by pesticide runoff from agriculture and the relation of pesticide concentrations with different biological organization levels: early responses in fish biomarkers (sub-organismal), acute toxicity to Daphnia magna (organismal), and aquatic macroinvertebrate community structure...
October 18, 2016: Environmental Science and Pollution Research International
Aaron P Roberts, Matthew M Alloy, James T Oris
Solar radiation is a vital component of ecosystem function. However, sunlight can also interact with certain xenobiotic compounds in a phenomenon known as photo-induced, photo-enhanced, photo-activated, or photo-toxicity. This phenomenon broadly refers to an interaction between a chemical and sunlight resulting in increased toxicity. Because most aquatic ecosystems receive some amount of sunlight, co-exposure to xenobiotic chemicals and solar radiation is likely to occur in the environment, and photo-induced toxicity may be an important factor impacting aquatic ecosystems...
October 15, 2016: Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology. Toxicology & Pharmacology: CBP
Hannah B Vander Zanden, Alan B Bolten, Anton D Tucker, Kristen M Hart, Margaret M Lamont, Ikuko Fujisaki, Kimberly J Reich, David S Addison, Katherine L Mansfield, Katrina F Phillips, Mariela Pajuelo, Karen A Bjorndal
Assessments of large-scale disasters, such as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, are problematic because while measurements of post-disturbance conditions are common, measurements of pre-disturbance baselines are only rarely available. Without adequate observations of pre-disaster organismal and environmental conditions, it is impossible to assess the impact of such catastrophes on animal populations and ecological communities. Here, we use long-term biological tissue records to provide pre-disaster data for a vulnerable marine organism...
October 2016: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
Habteab Habtom, Sandrine Demanèche, Lorna Dawson, Chen Azulay, Ofra Matan, Patrick Robe, Ron Gafny, Pascal Simonet, Edouard Jurkevitch, Zohar Pasternak
The ubiquity and transferability of soil makes it a resource for the forensic investigator, as it can provide a link between agents and scenes. However, the information contained in soils, such as chemical compounds, physical particles or biological entities, is seldom used in forensic investigations; due mainly to the associated costs, lack of available expertise, and the lack of soil databases. The microbial DNA in soil is relatively easy to access and analyse, having thus the potential to provide a powerful means for discriminating soil samples or linking them to a common origin...
October 6, 2016: Forensic Science International. Genetics
Anthony C Umeh, Luchun Duan, Ravi Naidu, Kirk T Semple
Risk-based approaches to managing contaminated land, rather than approaches based on complete contaminant removal, have gained acceptance as they are likely to be more feasible and cost effective. Risk-based approaches aim to minimise risks of exposure of a specified contaminant to humans. However, adopting a risk-based approach over alternative overly-conservative approaches requires that associated uncertainties in decision making are understood and minimised. Irrespective of the nature of contaminants, a critical uncertainty is whether there are potential risks associated with exposure to the residual contaminant fractions in soil to humans and other ecological receptors, and how they should be considered in the risk assessment process...
October 13, 2016: Environment International
Xiutang Yuan, Xiaolong Yang, Anguo Zhang, Xindong Ma, Hui Gao, Guangshui Na, Humin Zong, Guize Liu, Yongguang Sun
Spatial distribution, source apportionment, and potential ecological risks of sixteen polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and seven endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) in the intertidal sediment at the Shuangtaizi Estuary, Bohai Sea of China were analyzed. Results showed that the total PAH concentrations ranged from 28.79ngg(-1) dw to 281.97ngg(-1) dw (mean: 115.92ngg(-1) dw) and the total EDC concentrations from 0.52ngg(-1) dw to 126.73ngg(-1) dw (mean: 37.49ngg(-1) dw). The distribution pattern for the PAHs was generally different from that of the EDCs possibly due to their distinct sources and n-octanol-/water partition coefficients (KOW)...
October 10, 2016: Marine Pollution Bulletin
Isabella Bertani, Cara E Steger, Daniel R Obenour, Gary L Fahnenstiel, Thomas B Bridgeman, Thomas H Johengen, Michael J Sayers, Robert A Shuchman, Donald Scavia
Cyanobacteria blooms are a major environmental issue worldwide. Our understanding of the biophysical processes driving cyanobacterial proliferation and the ability to develop predictive models that inform resource managers and policy makers rely upon the accurate characterization of bloom dynamics. Models quantifying relationships between bloom severity and environmental drivers are often calibrated to an individual set of bloom observations, and few studies have assessed whether differences among observing platforms could lead to contrasting results in terms of relevant bloom predictors and their estimated influence on bloom severity...
October 12, 2016: Science of the Total Environment
Rachael A Smith, Michael St J Warne, Kerrie Mengersen, Ryan D R Turner
Pollutant loads are a means for assessing regulatory compliance and setting targets to reduce pollution entering receiving waterbodies. However, a pollutant load is often comprised of multiple chemicals, which may exert joint toxicity on biota. When the ultimate goal for assessing pollutant loads is to protect ecosystems from adverse effects of toxicants, then the total pollutant load needs to be calculated based on the principles of mixture toxicology. In this paper, an improved method is proposed to convert a pollutant load to a toxicity-based load (toxic load) using a modified toxic equivalency factor (TEF) derivation method...
October 15, 2016: Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management
Sibongile Mafu, Emil Fischer, Bennett Addisson, Isabel Riberio Barbosana, Philipp Zerbe
Diterpenes form a vast and diverse class of natural products that is of both ecological and economic importance. The family of class II diterpene synthase (diTPS) enzymes controls the committed biosynthetic reactions underlying diterpene chemical diversity. Integrating homology modelling and site-directed mutagenesis in the horehound (Marrubium vulgare) class II diTPS peregrinol diphosphate synthase (MvCPS1) identified two active site residues, select substitutions of which abolished the unique MvCPS1-catalyzed water capture reaction at C9 and redirected enzyme activity toward formation of an alternate product verified as halima-5(10),13-dienyl diphosphate...
October 13, 2016: Chembiochem: a European Journal of Chemical Biology
David R Smith
Foods of animal origin, including beef and dairy products, are nutritious and important to global food security. However, there are important risks to human health from hazards that are introduced to beef and dairy products on the farm. Food safety hazards may be chemical, biological, or physical in nature. Considerations about protecting the safety of beef and dairy products must begin prior to harvest because some potential food safety hazards introduced at the farm (e.g., chemical residues) cannot be mitigated by subsequent postharvest food processing steps...
August 2016: Microbiology Spectrum
Françoise Vernier, Odile Leccia-Phelpin, Jean-Marie Lescot, Sébastien Minette, André Miralles, Delphine Barberis, Charlotte Scordia, Vanessa Kuentz-Simonet, Jean-Philippe Tonneau
Non-point source pollution is a cause of major concern within the European Union. This is reflected in increasing public and political focus on a more sustainable use of pesticides, as well as a reduction in diffuse pollution. Climate change will likely to lead to an even more intensive use of pesticides in the future, affecting agriculture in many ways. At the same time, the Water Framework Directive (WFD) and associated EU policies called for a "good" ecological and chemical status to be achieved for water bodies by the end of 2015, currently delayed to 2021-2027 due to a lack of efficiency in policies and timescale of resilience for hydrosystems, especially groundwater systems...
October 10, 2016: Environmental Science and Pollution Research International
Ahmed Amine Azzaz, Salah Jellali, Hanene Akrout, Aymen Amine Assadi, Latifa Bousselmi
The present study investigates the alkaline modification of raw orange tree sawdust (ROS) for an optimal removal of methylene blue (MB), as a cationic dye model, from synthetic solutions. The effects of operating parameters, namely, sodium hydroxide (NaOH) concentrations, ROS doses in NaOH solutions, stirring times, and initial MB concentrations on dye removal efficiency, were followed in batch mode. The process optimization was performed through the response surface methodology approach (RSM) by using Minitab17 software...
October 10, 2016: Environmental Science and Pollution Research International
Hai-Zhu Zhang, Da-Hui Liu, Ding-Kun Zhang, Yan-Hui Wang, Gang Li, Gui-Lin Yan, Li-Juan Cao, Xiao-He Xiao, Lu-Qi Huang, Jia-Bo Wang
Panax notoginseng (Burk.) F.H. Chen, called Sanqi in China, is a perennial herb that has been used as a medicinal herb in traditional Chinese medicine for more than 400 years. Because notoginseng is included in many proprietary Chinese medicines, the quality of notoginseng directly affects its efficacy and safety. However, considering the complex and special growth environment requirements of notoginseng, it is insufficient to evaluate its quality based solely on the analysis of marker chemicals. Thus, in this study, we tried to evaluate the quality of notoginseng with integrated indicators: (1) the concentration of five marker chemicals, notoginsenoside R1, ginsenoside Rg1, ginsenoside Re, ginsenoside Rb1 and ginsenoside Rd; (2) the anticoagulant activity (ACA); and (3) twenty-one ecological factors (e...
2016: PloS One
Nosaibeh Nosrati-Ghods, Mehdi Ghadiri, Wolf-Gerrit Früh
Shipping is a vital industry for the global economy. Stability of ships, provided by ballast water, is a crucial factor for cargo loading and unloading processes. Ballast water treatment has practical significance in terms of environmental issues, ecosystem, and human health, because ships discharge this water into the environment before loading their cargos. This study reviews the common methods for ballast water management - exchange, heating, filtration, ultrasonic treatment, ultraviolet irradiation, chemicals, and gas supersaturation - to select the best one...
October 5, 2016: Marine Pollution Bulletin
Antoine Boullis, Claire Detrain, Frédéric Francis, François J Verheggen
Understanding how climate change will affect species interactions is a challenge for all branches of ecology. We have only limited understanding of how increasing temperature and atmospheric CO2 and O3 levels will affect pheromone-mediated communication among insects. Based on the existing literature, we suggest that the entire process of pheromonal communication, from production to behavioural response, is likely to be impacted by increases in temperature and modifications to atmospheric CO2 and O3 levels...
October 2016: Current Opinion in Insect Science
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