WorldWideScience

Sample records for biosphere assessment influence

  1. Assessing biosphere feedbacks on Earth System Processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    McElwain, Jennifer

    2016-04-01

    The evolution and ecology of plant life has been shaped by the direct and indirect influence of plate tectonics. Climatic change and environmental upheaval associated with the emplacement of large igneous provinces have triggered biosphere level ecological change, physiological modification and pulses of both extinction and origination. This talk will investigate the influence of large scale changes in atmospheric composition on plant ecophysiology at key intervals of the Phanerozoic. Furthermore, I will assess the extent to which plant ecophysiological response can in turn feedback on earth system processes such as the global hydrological cycle and biogeochemical cycling of nitrogen and carbon. Palaeo-atmosphere simulation experiments, palaeobotanical data and recent historical (last 50 years) data-model comparison will be used to address the extent to which plant physiological responses to atmospheric CO2 can modulate global climate change via biosphere level feedback.

  2. Work in support of biosphere assessments for solid radioactive waste disposal. 2. biosphere FEP list and biosphere modelling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Egan, M.J.; Maul, P.R.; Watkins, B.M.; Venter, A. [QuantiSci Ltd., Henley-on-Thames (United Kingdom)

    2001-10-01

    In order to assist SSI in its reappraisal of the SFR safety case, QuantiSci has been appointed to develop a systematic framework within which to conduct the review of SKB's post-closure performance assessment (PA). The biosphere FEP list presented here was developed for use as reference material in conducting the review. SSI wishes to develop an independent PA capability for a time-dependent biosphere in preparation for the examination of the revised SFR safety case. This report documents the model development that has been undertaken by QuantiSci using the Amber computer code.

  3. Spanish methodological approach for biosphere assessment of radioactive waste disposal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agüero, A; Pinedo, P; Cancio, D; Simón, I; Moraleda, M; Pérez-Sánchez, D; Trueba, C

    2007-10-01

    The development of radioactive waste disposal facilities requires implementation of measures that will afford protection of human health and the environment over a specific temporal frame that depends on the characteristics of the wastes. The repository design is based on a multi-barrier system: (i) the near-field or engineered barrier, (ii) far-field or geological barrier and (iii) the biosphere system. Here, the focus is on the analysis of this last system, the biosphere. A description is provided of conceptual developments, methodological aspects and software tools used to develop the Biosphere Assessment Methodology in the context of high-level waste (HLW) disposal facilities in Spain. This methodology is based on the BIOMASS "Reference Biospheres Methodology" and provides a logical and systematic approach with supplementary documentation that helps to support the decisions necessary for model development. It follows a five-stage approach, such that a coherent biosphere system description and the corresponding conceptual, mathematical and numerical models can be built. A discussion on the improvements implemented through application of the methodology to case studies in international and national projects is included. Some facets of this methodological approach still require further consideration, principally an enhanced integration of climatology, geography and ecology into models considering evolution of the environment, some aspects of the interface between the geosphere and biosphere, and an accurate quantification of environmental change processes and rates.

  4. Influence of geoengineered climate on the terrestrial biosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naik, Vaishali; Wuebbles, Donald J; Delucia, Evan H; Foley, Jonathan A

    2003-09-01

    Various geoengineering schemes have been proposed to counteract anthropogenically induced climate change. In a previous study, it was suggested that a 1.8% reduction in solar radiation incident on the Earth's surface could noticeably reduce regional and seasonal climate change from increased atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2). However, the response of the terrestrial biosphere to reduced solar radiation in a CO2-rich climate was not investigated. In this study, we hypothesized that a reduction in incident solar radiation in a Doubled CO2 atmosphere will diminish the net primary productivity (NPP) of terrestrial ecosystems, potentially accelerating the accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere. We used a dynamic global ecosystem model, the Integrated Biosphere Simulator (IBIS), to investigate this hypothesis in an unperturbed climatology. While this simplified modeling framework effectively separated the influence of CO2 and sunlight on the terrestrial biosphere, it did not consider the complex feedbacks within the Earth's climate system. Our analysis indicated that compared to a Doubled CO2 scenario, reduction in incident solar radiation by 1.8% in a double CO2 world will have negligible impact on the NPP of terrestrial ecosystems. There were, however, spatial variations in the response of NPP-engineered solar radiation. While productivity decreased by less than 2% in the tropical and boreal forests as hypothesized, it increased by a similar percentage in the temperate deciduous forests and grasslands. This increase in productivity was attributed to an approximately 1% reduction in evapotranspiration in the Geoengineered scenario relative to the Doubled CO2 scenario. Our initial hypothesis was rejected because of unanticipated effects of engineered solar radiation on the hydrologic cycle. However, any geoengineering approaches that reduce incident solar radiation need to be thoroughly analyzed in view of the implications on ecosystem productivity and the hydrologic cycle.

  5. Models for dose assessments. Modules for various biosphere types

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bergstroem, U.; Nordlinder, S.; Aggeryd, I. [Studsvik Eco and Safety AB, Nykoeping (Sweden)

    1999-12-01

    The main objective of this study was to provide a basis for illustrations of yearly dose rates to the most exposed individual from hypothetical leakages of radionuclides from a deep bedrock repository for spent nuclear fuel and other radioactive waste. The results of this study will be used in the safety assessment SR 97 and in a study on the design and long-term safety for a repository planned to contain long-lived low and intermediate level waste. The repositories will be designed to isolate the radionuclides for several hundred thousands of years. In the SR 97 study, however, hypothetical scenarios for leakage are postulated. Radionuclides are hence assumed to be transported in the geosphere by groundwater, and probably discharge into the biosphere. This may occur in several types of ecosystems. A number of categories of such ecosystems were identified, and turnover of radionuclides was modelled separately for each ecosystem. Previous studies had focused on generic models for wells, lakes and coastal areas. These models were, in this study, developed further to use site-specific data. In addition, flows of groundwater, containing radionuclides, to agricultural land and peat bogs were considered. All these categories are referred to as modules in this report. The forest ecosystems were not included, due to a general lack of knowledge of biospheric processes in connection with discharge of groundwater in forested areas. Examples of each type of module were run with the assumption of a continuous annual release into the biosphere of 1 Bq for each radionuclide during 10 000 years. The results are presented as ecosystem specific dose conversion factors (EDFs) for each nuclide at the year 10 000, assuming stationary ecosystems and prevailing living conditions and habits. All calculations were performed with uncertainty analyses included. Simplifications and assumptions in the modelling of biospheric processes are discussed. The use of modules may be seen as a step

  6. Post-closure biosphere assessment modelling: comparison of complex and more stylised approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walke, Russell C; Kirchner, Gerald; Xu, Shulan; Dverstorp, Björn

    2015-10-01

    Geological disposal facilities are the preferred option for high-level radioactive waste, due to their potential to provide isolation from the surface environment (biosphere) on very long timescales. Assessments need to strike a balance between stylised models and more complex approaches that draw more extensively on site-specific information. This paper explores the relative merits of complex versus more stylised biosphere models in the context of a site-specific assessment. The more complex biosphere modelling approach was developed by the Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Co (SKB) for the Formark candidate site for a spent nuclear fuel repository in Sweden. SKB's approach is built on a landscape development model, whereby radionuclide releases to distinct hydrological basins/sub-catchments (termed 'objects') are represented as they evolve through land rise and climate change. Each of seventeen of these objects is represented with more than 80 site specific parameters, with about 22 that are time-dependent and result in over 5000 input values per object. The more stylised biosphere models developed for this study represent releases to individual ecosystems without environmental change and include the most plausible transport processes. In the context of regulatory review of the landscape modelling approach adopted in the SR-Site assessment in Sweden, the more stylised representation has helped to build understanding in the more complex modelling approaches by providing bounding results, checking the reasonableness of the more complex modelling, highlighting uncertainties introduced through conceptual assumptions and helping to quantify the conservatisms involved. The more stylised biosphere models are also shown capable of reproducing the results of more complex approaches. A major recommendation is that biosphere assessments need to justify the degree of complexity in modelling approaches as well as simplifying and conservative assumptions. In light of

  7. Review of Project SAFE: Comments on biosphere conceptual model description and risk assessment methodology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Klos, Richard; Wilmot, Roger [Galson Sciences Ltd (United Kingdom)

    2002-09-01

    The Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Company's (SKB's) most recent assessment of the safety of the Forsmark repository for low-level and intermediate-level waste (Project SAFE) is currently undergoing review by the Swedish regulators. As part of its review, the Swedish Radiation Protection Institute (SSI) identified that two components of SAFE require more detailed review: (i) the conceptual model description of the biosphere system, and (ii) SKB's risk assessment methodology. We have reviewed the biosphere system interaction matrix and how this has been used in the identification, justification and description of biosphere models for radiological assessment purposes. The risk assessment methodology has been reviewed considering in particular issues associated with scenario selection, assessment timescale, and the probability and risk associated with the well scenario. There is an extensive range of supporting information on which biosphere modelling in Project SAFE is based. However, the link between this material and the biosphere models themselves is not clearly set out. This leads to some contradictions and mis-matches between description and implementation. One example concerns the representation of the geosphere-biosphere interface. The supporting description of lakes indicates that interaction between groundwaters entering the biosphere through lake bed sediments could lead to accumulations of radionuclides in sediments. These sediments may become agricultural areas at some time in the future. In the numerical modelling of the biosphere carried out in Project SAFE, the direct accumulation of contaminants in bed sediments is not represented. Application of a more rigorous procedure to ensure numerical models are fit for purpose is recommended, paying more attention to issues associated with the geosphere-biosphere interface. A more structured approach to risk assessment would be beneficial, with a better explanation of the difference

  8. Biosphere modelling for dose assessments of radioactive waste repositories. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Klos, R. [Paul Scherrer Inst., Wuerenlingen (Switzerland)] [and others

    1996-09-01

    The aims of the Complementary Studies Working Group were: to investigate and explain differences which exist between contemporary models with respect to how, for a given test case, they represent the modelled Features, Events and Processes (FEPs) and how the nature of these representations affects the calculational end-points; to determine the most appropriate ways of representing key FEPs; to identify where knowledge needs to be improved to give better representations of these key FEPs in the future and where simplifications of existing formulations might be possible; to show that the modelling undertaken is suitable for purpose, in that it is robust and that it is unlikely that the radiological consequences calculated by the models would be underestimated (so that any conservative bias in the models is justified); to build confidence in the available modelling tools; to extend the work undertaken in the first phase of BIOMOVS to include consideration of radiological dose. Ten modelling groups from Western Europe and Canada have participated, revealing a variety of representations of radionuclide transport processes and techniques for calculating dose. The exercise has focused on the ways in which key FEPs are represented with the intention of determining the robustness or otherwise of existing representations. This has been achieved by applying a well defined dataset representative of a Central European inland valley. Human habits and lifestyle are chosen to be representative of a subsistence agricultural community. Climatic conditions are those of the present day. Many of the conclusions have relevance beyond the immediate concerns of the Central European biospheres and, although care should be exercised when terms of reference differ greatly from the system detailed here, much has been learned which has wider applicability. The exercise has successfully compared not only the behaviour of biosphere models for waste disposal assessments, but has also provided the

  9. Biosphere modeling for safety assessment of high-level radioactive waste geological disposal

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Baba, T.; Ishihara, Y.; Ishiguro, K. [Japan Nuclear Cycle Development Inst., Waste Management and Fuel Cycle Research Center, Tokai Works, Tokai, Ibaraki (Japan); Suzuki, Y. [Nuclear Energy System Incorporated, Tokyo (Japan); Naito, M. [Japan Nuclear Cycle Development Inst., Geological Isolation Research Project, Tokai, Ibaraki (Japan); Ikeda, T. [Japan Gas Corporation, Tokyo (Japan); Little, R. [QuantiSci Ltd, Henley-on-Thames, Oxon (United Kingdom)

    1999-11-01

    In the safety assessment of a high-level radioactive waste disposal system, it is required to estimate future radiological impacts on human beings. Consideration of living habits and the human environment in the future involves a large degree of uncertainty. To avoid endless speculation aimed at reducing such uncertainty, an approach is applied for identifying and justifying a 'reference biosphere' for use in safety assessment in Japan. Considering a wide range of Japanese geological environments, some specific reference biospheres' are developed using an approach consistent with the BIOMOVS II reference biosphere methodology. The models represent the components of the surface environment using compartments between which fluxes of materials (solid/water) and radionuclides are defined by transfer factors. A range of exposure pathways via which such radionuclides enter the food-chain, along with uptake and concentration factors, are also defined. The response to a step function of unit flux from the geosphere is determined for each model. The results show that it is reasonable to use steady-state biosphere responses to a unit-input flux to define nuclide-dependent factors for converting fluxes from the geosphere to doses. This simplifies safety assessment calculations, which then require only look-up tables for such flux to dose conversion rather than fully coupled biosphere models. (author)

  10. Recent developments in assessment of long-term radionuclide behavior in the geosphere-biosphere subsystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, G M; Smith, K L; Kowe, R; Pérez-Sánchez, D; Thorne, M; Thiry, Y; Read, D; Molinero, J

    2014-05-01

    Decisions on permitting, controlling and monitoring releases of radioactivity into the environment rely on a great variety of factors. Important among these is the prospective assessment of radionuclide behavior in the environment, including migration and accumulation among and within specific environmental media, and the resulting environmental and human health impacts. Models and techniques to undertake such assessments have been developed over several decades based on knowledge of the ecosystems involved, as well as monitoring of previous radionuclide releases to the environment, laboratory experiments and other related research. This paper presents developments in the assessment of radiation doses and related research for some of the key radionuclides identified as of potential significance in the context of releases to the biosphere from disposal facilities for solid radioactive waste. Since releases to the biosphere from disposal facilities involve transfers from the geosphere to the biosphere, an important aspect is the combined effects of surface hydrology, near-surface hydrogeology and chemical gradients on speciation and radionuclide mobility in the zone in which the geosphere and biosphere overlap (herein described as the geosphere-biosphere subsystem). In turn, these aspects of the environment can be modified as a result of environmental change over the thousands of years that have to be considered in radioactive waste disposal safety assessments. Building on the experience from improved understanding of the behavior of the key radionuclides, this paper proceeds to describe development of a generic methodology for representing the processes and environmental changes that are characteristic of the interface between the geosphere and the biosphere. The information that is provided and the methodology that is described are based on international collaborative work implemented through the BIOPROTA forum, www.bioprota.org.

  11. Project SAFE. Update of the SFR-1 safety assessment. Phase 1. Appendix A6: Biosphere

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kautsky, U. [Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Co., Stockholm (Sweden); Bergstroem, U. [Studsvik Eco and Safety AB, Nykoeping (Sweden)

    1998-10-01

    There has been a considerable development of models used for describing the turnover of radionuclides or other pollutants in the biosphere. New regulations require realistic assessments and description of effects on fauna and flora. Thus the use of trophic transfer models will be a more appropriate way to model the biosphere. These models take all accumulations of radio-nuclides in the ecosystem into account, not only direct pathways to man. Thus these models must be developed for this area. Moreover the turnover of loose deposits needs to be modelled. To be able to use these models there is a need to collect data on sediment composition, ecosystem structure and potential changes due e.g. sea-level fluctuations. These data will be collected from literature and where it is necessary complemented with field surveys. In some cases new models need to be developed. The integration of the geosphere and biosphere models is identified as an important issue 32 refs, 4 figs

  12. Developments in radiological assessment and biosphere modelling studies to support radioactive waste disposal in Spain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Perez-Sanchez, D. [Centro de Investigaciones Energeticas, Medioambientales y Tecnologicas - CIEMAT (Spain); Thorne, M. [Mike Thorne and Associates Limited (United States)

    2014-07-01

    Long-term safety assessments for the disposal of radioactive waste in Spain involve the demonstration that annual radiation doses to humans due to potential releases of radionuclides from the waste disposal facility into the biosphere will satisfy the regulatory criteria. For several years, CIEMAT has been developing, for ENRESA, a conceptual approach and tool to support modelling of the migration and accumulation of radionuclides within environmental media once those radionuclides have been released to some component of the biosphere (atmosphere, water bodies or soils). The CIEMAT modelling approach calculates the concentrations of radionuclides in different components of the biosphere and then the calculated radionuclide concentrations are used to estimate the radiation doses to humans due to various exposure paths. In this paper, we not only describe the methodology and modelling approach, we also describe recent developments of that approach to better quantify the resultant doses to humans. First, we present recent developments in the mathematical model for the behaviour of {sup 79}Se and {sup 238}U-series radionuclides in soils and their uptake by plants, taking into account seasonal variations in soil hydrology in Spain. Initial studies with the model that are reported here demonstrate that it is a powerful tool for exploring the behaviour of redox-sensitive radionuclides and {sup 238}U decay chain members in soil-plant systems under different hydrological regimes. In particular, it permits studies of the degree to which secular equilibrium assumptions are appropriate when modelling the {sup 238}U decay chain. Further studies are currently being undertaken examining sensitivities of model results to input parameter values and also applying the model to sites contaminated with {sup 238}U-series radionuclides. It is anticipated that results from these studies will also be reported. A particular interest in biosphere safety assessment is how environmental

  13. A comparative radiological assessment of five European biosphere systems in the context of potential contamination of well water from the hypothetical disposal of radioactive waste.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olyslaegers, G; Zeevaert, T; Pinedo, P; Simon, I; Pröhl, G; Kowe, R; Chen, Q; Mobbs, S; Bergström, U; Hallberg, B; Katona, T; Eged, K; Kanyar, B

    2005-12-01

    In the framework of the BioMoSA project for the development of biosphere assessment models for radioactive waste disposal the Reference Biosphere Methodology developed in the IAEA programme BIOMASS was applied to five locations, situated in different European countries. Specific biosphere models were applied to assess the hypothetical contamination of a range of agricultural and environmental pathways and the dose to individuals, following contamination of well water. The results of these site-specific models developed by the different BioMoSA partners, and the individual normalised dose to the exposure groups were compared against each other. Ingestion of drinking water, fruit and vegetables were found to be among the most important pathways for almost all radionuclides. Stochastic calculations revealed that consumption habits, transfer factors, irrigation rates and distribution coefficients (Kd(s)) were the most important parameters that influence the end results. Variations in the confidence intervals were found to be higher for sorbing elements (e.g. (36)Cl, (237)Np, (99)Tc, (238)U, (129)I) than for mobile elements (e.g. (226)Ra, (79)Se, (135)Cs, (231)Pa, (239)Pu). The influence of daughter products, for which the distribution into the biosphere was calculated individually, was also shown to be important. This paper gives a brief overview of the deterministic and stochastic modelling results and the parameter sensitivity. A screening methodology was introduced to identify the most important pathways, simplify a generic biosphere tool and refine the existing models.

  14. Biosphere modelling for dose assessments of radioactive waste repositories. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Klos, R. [Paul Scherrer Inst., Wuerenlingen (Switzerland)] [and others

    1996-09-01

    differences in model structure and representations of FEPs. Where model structure has the greatest influence, it is on the time-evolution of the model responses. An important goal of Complementary Studies has been to investigate the possibility of simplifying biosphere models for waste disposal assessments. Opportunities for revisions are indicated as a result of the study, but radical simplification does not appear to be a realistic option. In general, the level of detail in models can only be reduced when there are good grounds for believing that the pathways are limited or there are few dominant radionuclides. This can only be achieved by performing scoping calculations based on more detailed generic models.

  15. Biosphere analyses for the safety assessment SR-Site - synthesis and summary of results

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Saetre, Peter (comp.)

    2010-12-15

    This report summarises nearly 20 biosphere reports and gives a synthesis of the work performed within the SR-Site Biosphere project, i.e. the biosphere part of SR-Site. SR-Site Biosphere provides the main project with dose conversion factors (LDFs), given a unit release rate, for calculation of human doses under different release scenarios, and assesses if a potential release from the repository would have detrimental effects on the environment. The intention of this report is to give sufficient details for an overview of methods, results and major conclusions, with references to the biosphere reports where methods, data and results are presented and discussed in detail. The philosophy of the biosphere assessment was to make estimations of the radiological risk for humans and the environment as realistic as possible, based on the knowledge of present-day conditions at Forsmark and the past and expected future development of the site. This was achieved by using the best available knowledge, understanding and data from extensive site investigations from two sites. When sufficient information was not available, uncertainties were handled cautiously. A systematic identification and evaluation of features and processes that affect transport and accumulation of radionuclides at the site was conducted, and the results were summarised in an interaction matrix. Data and understanding from the site investigation was an integral part of this work, the interaction matrix underpinned the development of the radionuclide model used in the biosphere assessment. Understanding of the marine, lake and river and terrestrial ecosystems at the site was summarized in a conceptual model, and relevant features and process have been characterized to capture site specific parameter values. Detailed investigations of the structure and history of the regolith at the site and simulations of regolith dynamics were used to describe the present day state at Forsmark and the expected development of

  16. Analysis of Critical Issues in Biosphere Assessment Modelling and Site Investigation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Egan, M.J.; Thorne, M.C.; Little, R.H.; Pasco, R.F. [Quintessa Limited, Henley-on-Thames (United Kingdom)

    2003-07-01

    The aim of this document is to present a critical review of issues concerned with the treatment of the biosphere and geosphere-biosphere interface in long-term performance assessment studies for nuclear waste disposal in Sweden. The review covers three main areas of investigation: a review of SKB's plans for undertaking site investigations at candidate locations for the development of a deep geological repository for spent fuel; identification of critical uncertainties associated with SKB's treatment of the geosphere-biosphere interface in recent performance assessments; and a preliminary modelling investigation of the significance of features, events and processes in the near-surface environment in terms of their effect on the accumulation and redistribution of radionuclides at the geosphere-biosphere interface. Overall, SKB's proposals for site investigations are considered to be comprehensive and, if they can be carried out to the specification presented, will constitute a benchmark that other waste management organisations will have to work hard to emulate. The main concern is that expertise for undertaking the investigations and reporting the results could be stretched very thin. The authors have also identified weaknesses in the documentation concerning the collection of evidence for environmental change and on developing scenarios for future environmental change. A fundamental assumption adopted in the renewed assessment of the SFR 1 repository, which is not discussed or justified in any of the documentation that has been reviewed, is that radionuclides enter the water column of the coastal and lake models directly, without passing first through the bed sediments. The modelling study reported herein suggests that SKB's models are robust to range of alternative conceptual descriptions relating to the geosphere-biosphere interface. There are however situations, in which contaminated groundwater is released via sediment rather than directly

  17. Post-closure biosphere assessment modelling: comparison of complex and more stylised approaches

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Walke, Russell C. [Quintessa Limited, The Hub, 14 Station Road, Henley-on-Thames (United Kingdom); Kirchner, Gerald [University of Hamburg, ZNF, Beim Schlump 83, 20144 Hamburg (Germany); Xu, Shulan; Dverstorp, Bjoern [Swedish Radiation Safety Authority, SE-171 16 Stockholm (Sweden)

    2014-07-01

    Geological facilities are the preferred option for disposal of high-level radioactive waste, due to their potential to provide isolation from the surface environment (biosphere) on very long time scales. Safety cases developed in support of geological disposal include assessment of potential impacts on humans and wildlife in order to demonstrate compliance with regulatory criteria. As disposal programmes move from site-independent/generic assessments through site selection to applications for construction/operation and closure, the degree of understanding of the present-day site increases, together with increased site-specific information. Assessments need to strike a balance between simple models and more complex approaches that draw more extensively on this site-specific information. This paper explores the relative merits of complex versus more stylised biosphere models in the context of a site-specific assessment. The complex biosphere model was developed by the Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Co (SKB) for the Formark candidate site for a spent nuclear fuel repository in Sweden. SKB's model is built on a landscape evolution model, whereby radionuclide releases to distinct hydrological basins/sub-catchments (termed 'objects') are represented as they evolve through land rise and climate change. The site is located on the Baltic coast with a terrestrial landscape including lakes, mires, forest and agriculture. The land at the site is projected to continue to rise due to post-glacial uplift leading to ecosystem transitions in excess of ten thousand years. The simple biosphere models developed for this study include the most plausible transport processes and represent various types of ecosystem. The complex biosphere models adopt a relatively coarse representation of the near-surface strata, which is shown to be conservative, but also to under-estimate the time scale required for potential doses to reach equilibrium with radionuclide fluxes

  18. Consideration of climate changes in biosphere modelling for performance assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Semioshkina, Nathascha; Staudt, Christian; Kaiser, Christian [Helmholtz Zentrum Muenchen Deutsches Forschungszentrum fuer Gesundheit und Umwelt GmbH, Neuherberg (Germany); Proehl, Gerhard; Fahrenholz, Christine; Noseck, Ulrich [Gesellschaft fuer Anlagen- und Reaktorsicherheit mbH (GRS), Koeln (Germany)

    2012-12-15

    The assessment of the long-term safety of a repository for radioactive or hazardous waste and therewith the development of a safety case requires a comprehensive system understanding, a continuous development of the methods of a safety case and capable and qualified numerical tools. The objective of the project ''Scientific basis for the assessment of the long-term safety of repositories'', identification number 02 E 10548, was to follow national and international developments in this area, to evaluate research projects, which contribute to knowledge, model approaches and data, and to perform specific investigations to improve the methodologies of the safety case and the long-term safety assessment.

  19. Safety case for the disposal of spent nuclear fuel at Olkiluoto. Surface and near-surface hydrological modelling in the biosphere assessment BSA-2012

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Karvonen, T. [WaterHope, Helsinki (Finland)

    2013-05-15

    and climate scenario A2). The fluxes computed in the Reference Case and in the Terr{sub M}axAgri Case show that the biggest difference in the results is related to precipitation throughfall and horizontal fluxes out of the biosphere object whereas interception and transpiration do not differ very much from each other in the Reference Case and Terr{sub M}axAgri Case. Influence of shallow wells on water fluxes in biosphere objects were taken into account by assuming that pumping rate is 500 m{sup 3}/a, which is the amount of water needed to sustain a single household. The sensitivity runs carried out indicate that the uncertainty involved in predicting the yearly precipitation rate for the period of next 10 000 years is the input data that has the biggest influence on vertical and horizontal fluxes in the biosphere objects during the safety assessment period. (orig.)

  20. Radiological risk assessment and biosphere modelling for radioactive waste disposal in Switzerland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brennwald, M S; van Dorp, F

    2009-12-01

    Long-term safety assessments for geological disposal of radioactive waste in Switzerland involve the demonstration that the annual radiation dose to humans due to the potential release of radionuclides from the waste repository into the biosphere will not exceed the regulatory limit of 0.1 mSv. Here, we describe the simple but robust approach used by Nagra (Swiss National Cooperative for the Disposal of Radioactive Waste) to quantify the dose to humans as a result to time-dependent release of radionuclides from the geosphere into the biosphere. The model calculates the concentrations of radionuclides in different terrestrial and aquatic compartments of the surface environment. The fluxes of water and solids within the environment are the drivers for the exchange of radionuclides between these compartments. The calculated radionuclide concentrations in the biosphere are then used to estimate the radiation doses to humans due to various exposure paths (e.g. ingestion of radionuclides via drinking water and food, inhalation of radionuclides, external irradiation from radionuclides in soils). In this paper we also discuss recent new achievements and planned future work.

  1. Soil-to-Plant Concentration Ratios for Assessing Food Chain Pathways in Biosphere Models

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Napier, Bruce A.; Fellows, Robert J.; Krupka, Kenneth M.

    2007-10-01

    This report describes work performed for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s project Assessment of Food Chain Pathway Parameters in Biosphere Models, which was established to assess and evaluate a number of key parameters used in the food-chain models used in performance assessments of radioactive waste disposal facilities. Section 2 of this report summarizes characteristics of samples of soils and groundwater from three geographical regions of the United States, the Southeast, Northwest, and Southwest, and analyses performed to characterize their physical and chemical properties. Because the uptake and behavior of radionuclides in plant roots, plant leaves, and animal products depends on the chemistry of the water and soil coming in contact with plants and animals, water and soil samples collected from these regions of the United States were used in experiments at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to determine radionuclide soil-to-plant concentration ratios. Crops and forage used in the experiments were grown in the soils, and long-lived radionuclides introduced into the groundwater provide the contaminated water used to water the grown plants. The radionuclides evaluated include 99Tc, 238Pu, and 241Am. Plant varieties include alfalfa, corn, onion, and potato. The radionuclide uptake results from this research study show how regional variations in water quality and soil chemistry affect radionuclide uptake. Section 3 summarizes the procedures and results of the uptake experiments, and relates the soil-to-plant uptake factors derived. In Section 4, the results found in this study are compared with similar values found in the biosphere modeling literature; the study’s results are generally in line with current literature, but soil- and plant-specific differences are noticeable. This food-chain pathway data may be used by the NRC staff to assess dose to persons in the reference biosphere (e.g., persons who live and work in an area potentially affected by

  2. The biosphere at Laxemar. Data, assumptions and models used in the SR-Can assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Karlsson, Sara; Kautsky, Ulrik; Loefgren, Anders; Soederbaeck, Bjoern (eds.)

    2006-10-15

    This is essentially a compilation of a variety of reports concerning the site investigations, the research activities and information derived from other sources important for the safety assessment. The main objective is to present prerequisites, methods and data used, in the biosphere modelling for the safety assessment SR-Can at the Laxemar site. A major part of the report focuses on how site-specific data are used, recalculated or modified in order to be applicable in the safety assessment context; and the methods and sub-models that are the basis for the biosphere modelling. Furthermore, the assumptions made as to the future states of surface ecosystems are mainly presented in this report. A similar report is provided for the Forsmark area. This report summarises the method adopted for safety assessment following a radionuclide release into the biosphere. The approach utilises the information about the site as far as possible and presents a way of calculating risk to humans. A central tool in the work is the description of the topography, where there is good understanding of the present conditions and the development over time is fairly predictable. The topography affects surface hydrology, sedimentation, size of drainage areas and the characteristics of ecosystems. Other parameters are human nutritional intake, which is assumed to be constant over time, and primary production (photosynthesis), which also is a fairly constant parameter over time. The Landscape Dose Factor approach (LDF) gives an integrated measure for the site and also resolves the issues relating to the size of the group with highest exposure. If this approach is widely accepted as method, still some improvements and refinement are necessary in collecting missing site data, reanalysing site data, reviewing radionuclide specific data, reformulating ecosystem models and evaluating the results with further sensitivity analysis.

  3. Biosphere analyses for the safety assessment SR-Site - synthesis and summary of results

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Saetre, Peter (comp.)

    2010-12-15

    This report summarises nearly 20 biosphere reports and gives a synthesis of the work performed within the SR-Site Biosphere project, i.e. the biosphere part of SR-Site. SR-Site Biosphere provides the main project with dose conversion factors (LDFs), given a unit release rate, for calculation of human doses under different release scenarios, and assesses if a potential release from the repository would have detrimental effects on the environment. The intention of this report is to give sufficient details for an overview of methods, results and major conclusions, with references to the biosphere reports where methods, data and results are presented and discussed in detail. The philosophy of the biosphere assessment was to make estimations of the radiological risk for humans and the environment as realistic as possible, based on the knowledge of present-day conditions at Forsmark and the past and expected future development of the site. This was achieved by using the best available knowledge, understanding and data from extensive site investigations from two sites. When sufficient information was not available, uncertainties were handled cautiously. A systematic identification and evaluation of features and processes that affect transport and accumulation of radionuclides at the site was conducted, and the results were summarised in an interaction matrix. Data and understanding from the site investigation was an integral part of this work, the interaction matrix underpinned the development of the radionuclide model used in the biosphere assessment. Understanding of the marine, lake and river and terrestrial ecosystems at the site was summarized in a conceptual model, and relevant features and process have been characterized to capture site specific parameter values. Detailed investigations of the structure and history of the regolith at the site and simulations of regolith dynamics were used to describe the present day state at Forsmark and the expected development of

  4. The Biosphere: A Decadal Vision

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, David L.; Curran, Paul J.; Mlynzcak, Marty; Miller, Richard

    2003-01-01

    This paper focuses on biosphere-climate interactions including the influences of human activities. Recognizing this is only one aspect of biospheric processes, this places an emphasis of those biogeochemical processes that have a profound effect on numerous other aspects of the biosphere and the services it provides, services which are critical to sustaining life on Earth. And, the paper will focus on the various scientific aspects of assessing the availability of fresh water, including its sensitivity to climate variance and land use changes. Finally, this paper hopes to emphasize the potential role that greatly expanded space observations and interactive modeling can play in developing our understanding of Earth and its the living systems.

  5. Biosphere Model Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    D.W. Wu; A.J. Smith

    2004-11-08

    The purpose of this report is to document the biosphere model, the Environmental Radiation Model for Yucca Mountain, Nevada (ERMYN), which describes radionuclide transport processes in the biosphere and associated human exposure that may arise as the result of radionuclide release from the geologic repository at Yucca Mountain. The biosphere model is one of the process models that support the Yucca Mountain Project (YMP) Total System Performance Assessment (TSPA) for the license application (LA), TSPA-LA. The ERMYN provides the capability of performing human radiation dose assessments. This report documents the biosphere model, which includes: (1) Describing the reference biosphere, human receptor, exposure scenarios, and primary radionuclides for each exposure scenario (Section 6.1); (2) Developing a biosphere conceptual model using site-specific features, events, and processes (FEPs) (Section 6.2), the reference biosphere (Section 6.1.1), the human receptor (Section 6.1.2), and approximations (Sections 6.3.1.4 and 6.3.2.4); (3) Building a mathematical model using the biosphere conceptual model (Section 6.3) and published biosphere models (Sections 6.4 and 6.5); (4) Summarizing input parameters for the mathematical model, including the uncertainty associated with input values (Section 6.6); (5) Identifying improvements in the ERMYN compared with the model used in previous biosphere modeling (Section 6.7); (6) Constructing an ERMYN implementation tool (model) based on the biosphere mathematical model using GoldSim stochastic simulation software (Sections 6.8 and 6.9); (7) Verifying the ERMYN by comparing output from the software with hand calculations to ensure that the GoldSim implementation is correct (Section 6.10); (8) Validating the ERMYN by corroborating it with published biosphere models; comparing conceptual models, mathematical models, and numerical results (Section 7).

  6. Application of the Spanish methodological approach for biosphere assessment to a generic high-level waste disposal site.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agüero, A; Pinedo, P; Simón, I; Cancio, D; Moraleda, M; Trueba, C; Pérez-Sánchez, D

    2008-09-15

    A methodological approach which includes conceptual developments, methodological aspects and software tools have been developed in the Spanish context, based on the BIOMASS "Reference Biospheres Methodology". The biosphere assessments have to be undertaken with the aim of demonstrating compliance with principles and regulations established to limit the possible radiological impact of radioactive waste disposals on human health and on the environment, and to ensure that future generations will not be exposed to higher radiation levels than those that would be acceptable today. The biosphere in the context of high-level waste disposal is defined as the collection of various radionuclide transfer pathways that may result in releases into the surface environment, transport within and between the biosphere receptors, exposure of humans and biota, and the doses/risks associated with such exposures. The assessments need to take into account the complexity of the biosphere, the nature of the radionuclides released and the long timescales considered. It is also necessary to make assumptions related to the habits and lifestyle of the exposed population, human activities in the long term and possible modifications of the biosphere. A summary on the Spanish methodological approach for biosphere assessment are presented here as well as its application in a Spanish generic case study. A reference scenario has been developed based on current conditions at a site located in Central-West Spain, to indicate the potential impact to the actual population. In addition, environmental change has been considered qualitatively through the use of interaction matrices and transition diagrams. Unit source terms of (36)Cl, (79)Se, (99)Tc, (129)I, (135)Cs, (226)Ra, (231)Pa, (238)U, (237)Np and (239)Pu have been taken. Two exposure groups of infants and adults have been chosen for dose calculations. Results are presented and their robustness is evaluated through the use of uncertainty and

  7. Comparative assessment of public opinion on the landscape quality of two biosphere reserves in Europe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sowińska-Świerkosz, Barbara; Chmielewski, Tadeusz J

    2014-09-01

    The European Landscape Convention (2000) obligates European Union countries to identify and implement landscape quality objectives (LQOs) understood as the specification of public expectations and preferences concerning the landscape of a given area, expressed by competent public authorities. The convention emphasizes the important role of local community representatives in this field. In Poland, the implementation of the LQO concept was first undertaken in two regions with radically different landscape characteristics: (1) the West Polesie Biosphere Reserve and (2) the selected protected areas of the Roztocze-Solska Forest, nominated to the rank of a biosphere reserve. The first stage of the presented study was the recognition of public opinion on the quality of key features of landscape, based on a questionnaire (n = 470). The primary objective of the study was to provide an answer to the following questions: (1) Whether similar social expectations regarding landscape quality exist in spite of radically different landscape characteristics of the regions investigated (landscape quality is understood as spatial arrangement, scenic beauty, and lack of environmental pollution); (2) which landscape features are considered to be most preservation worthy by the representatives of both local communities; and (3) What processes or development impacts pose the greatest threat to the landscape quality of both regions according to the public opinion? The conducted comparative assessment revealed that it is possible to define a set of features fundamental to the quality of both areas and that representatives of local communities pointed out the same threats to the natural and cultural values of both regions investigated.

  8. Comparative Assessment of Public Opinion on the Landscape Quality of Two Biosphere Reserves in Europe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sowińska-Świerkosz, Barbara; Chmielewski, Tadeusz J.

    2014-09-01

    The European Landscape Convention (2000) obligates European Union countries to identify and implement landscape quality objectives (LQOs) understood as the specification of public expectations and preferences concerning the landscape of a given area, expressed by competent public authorities. The convention emphasizes the important role of local community representatives in this field. In Poland, the implementation of the LQO concept was first undertaken in two regions with radically different landscape characteristics: (1) the West Polesie Biosphere Reserve and (2) the selected protected areas of the Roztocze-Solska Forest, nominated to the rank of a biosphere reserve. The first stage of the presented study was the recognition of public opinion on the quality of key features of landscape, based on a questionnaire ( n = 470). The primary objective of the study was to provide an answer to the following questions: (1) Whether similar social expectations regarding landscape quality exist in spite of radically different landscape characteristics of the regions investigated (landscape quality is understood as spatial arrangement, scenic beauty, and lack of environmental pollution); (2) which landscape features are considered to be most preservation worthy by the representatives of both local communities; and (3) What processes or development impacts pose the greatest threat to the landscape quality of both regions according to the public opinion? The conducted comparative assessment revealed that it is possible to define a set of features fundamental to the quality of both areas and that representatives of local communities pointed out the same threats to the natural and cultural values of both regions investigated.

  9. Biosphere Modeling for the Dose Assessment of a HLW Repository: Development of ACBIO

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, Youn Myoung; Hwang, Yong Soo; Kang, Chul Hyung

    2006-01-15

    For the purpose of evaluating a dose rate to an individual due to a long-term release of nuclides from a HLW repository, a biosphere assessment model and an implemented code, ACBIO, based on the BIOMASS methodology have been developed by utilizing AMBER, a general compartment modeling tool. To demonstrate its practicability and usability as well as to observe the sensitivity of the compartment scheme, the concentration, the activity in the compartments as well as the annual flux between the compartments at their peak values, were calculated and investigated. For each case when changing the structure of the compartments and GBIs as well as varying selected input Kd values, all of which seem very important among the others, the dose rate per nuclide release rate is calculated separately and analyzed. From the maximum dose rates, the flux to dose conversion factors for each nuclide were derived, which are used for converting the nuclide release rate appearing from the geosphere through various GBIs to dose rates (Sv/y) for an individual in a critical group. It has also been observed that the compartment scheme, the identification of a possible exposure group and the GBIs could all be highly sensitive to the final consequences in a biosphere modeling.

  10. A biosphere modeling methodology for dose assessments of the potential Yucca Mountain deep geological high level radioactive waste repository.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watkins, B M; Smith, G M; Little, R H; Kessler, J

    1999-04-01

    Recent developments in performance standards for proposed high level radioactive waste disposal at Yucca Mountain suggest that health risk or dose rate limits will likely be part of future standards. Approaches to the development of biosphere modeling and dose assessments for Yucca Mountain have been relatively lacking in previous performance assessments due to the absence of such a requirement. This paper describes a practical methodology used to develop a biosphere model appropriate for calculating doses from use of well water by hypothetical individuals due to discharges of contaminated groundwater into a deep well. The biosphere model methodology, developed in parallel with the BIOMOVS II international study, allows a transparent recording of the decisions at each step, from the specification of the biosphere assessment context through to model development and analysis of results. A list of features, events, and processes relevant to Yucca Mountain was recorded and an interaction matrix developed to help identify relationships between them. Special consideration was given to critical/potential exposure group issues and approaches. The conceptual model of the biosphere system was then developed, based on the interaction matrix, to show how radionuclides migrate and accumulate in the biosphere media and result in potential exposure pathways. A mathematical dose assessment model was specified using the flexible AMBER software application, which allows users to construct their own compartment models. The starting point for the biosphere calculations was a unit flux of each radionuclide from the groundwater in the geosphere into the drinking water in the well. For each of the 26 radionuclides considered, the most significant exposure pathways for hypothetical individuals were identified. For 14 of the radionuclides, the primary exposure pathways were identified as consumption of various crops and animal products following assumed agricultural use of the contaminated

  11. Management Effectiveness and Land Cover Change in Dynamic Cultural Landscapes - Assessing a Central European Biosphere Reserve

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bettina Ohnesorge

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Protected areas are a central pillar of efforts to safeguard biodiversity and ecosystem services, but their contribution to the conservation and management of European cultural landscapes that have complex spatial-temporal dynamics is unclear. The conservation strategy of biosphere reserves aims at integrating biodiversity and ecosystem service conservation with economic development by designating zones of differing protection and use intensities. It is applied worldwide to protect and manage valuable cultural landscapes. Using the example of a German biosphere reserve, we developed a framework to assess the effectiveness of Central European reserves in meeting their land cover related management goals. Based on digital biotope maps, we defined and assessed land cover change processes that were relevant to the reserve management's goals over a period of 13 years. We then compared these changes in the reserve's core, buffer, and transition zones and in a surrounding reference area by means of a geographical information system. (Un-desirable key processes related to management aims were defined and compared for the various zones. We found that - despite an overall land cover persistence of approximately 85% across all zones - differences in land cover changes can be more prominent across zones inside the reserve than between the areas inside and outside of it. The reserve as a whole performed better than the surrounding reference area when using land cover related management goals as a benchmark. However, some highly desirable targets, such as the conversion of coniferous plantations into seminatural forests or the gain of valuable biotope types, affected larger areas in the nonprotected reference area than in the transition zone.

  12. Geospatial assessment and monitoring of historical forest cover changes (1920-2012) in Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, Western Ghats, India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Satish, K V; Saranya, K R L; Reddy, C Sudhakar; Krishna, P Hari; Jha, C S; Rao, P V V Prasada

    2014-12-01

    Deforestation in the biosphere reserves, which are key Protected Areas has negative impacts on biodiversity, climate, carbon fluxes and livelihoods. Comprehensive study of deforestation in biosphere reserves is required to assess the impact of the management effectiveness. This article assesses the changes in forest cover in various zones and protected areas of Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, the first declared biosphere reserve in India which forms part of Western Ghats-a global biodiversity hotspot. In this study, we have mapped the forests from earliest available topographical maps and multi-temporal satellite data spanning from 1920's to 2012 period. Mapping of spatial extent of forest cover, vegetation types and land cover was carried out using visual interpretation technique. A grid cell of 1 km × 1 km was generated for time series change analysis to understand the patterns in spatial distribution of forest cover (1920-1973-1989-1999-2006-2012). The total forest area of biosphere reserve was found to be 5,806.5 km(2) (93.8 % of total geographical area) in 1920. Overall loss of forest cover was estimated as 1,423.6 km(2) (24.5 % of the total forest) with reference to 1920. Among the six Protected Areas, annual deforestation rate of >0.5 was found in Wayanad wildlife sanctuary during 1920-1973. The deforestation in Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve is mainly attributed to conversion of forests to plantations and agriculture along with submergence due to construction of dams during 1920 to 1989. Grid wise analysis indicates that 851 grids have undergone large-scale negative changes of >75 ha of forest loss during 1920-1973 while, only 15 grids have shown >75 ha loss during 1973-1989. Annual net rate of deforestation for the period of 1920 to 1973 was calculated as 0.5 followed by 0.1 for 1973 to 1989. Our analysis shows that there was large-scale deforestation before the declaration of area as biosphere reserve in 1986; however, the deforestation has drastically

  13. Cosmic rays and other space weather effects influenced on satellite operation, technologies, biosphere and people health

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lev, Dorman

    2016-07-01

    Satellite anomalies (or malfunctions), including total distortion of electronics and loose of some satellites cost for Insurance Companies billions dollars per year. During especially active periods the probability of big satellite anomalies and their loosing increased very much. Now, when a great number of civil and military satellites are continuously worked for our practice life, the problem of satellite anomalies became very important. Many years ago about half of satellite anomalies were caused by technical reasons (for example, for Russian satellites Kosmos), but with time with increasing of production quality, this part became smaller and smaller. The other part, which now is dominated, caused by different space weather effects (energetic particles of CR and generated/trapped in the magnetosphere, and so on). We consider only satellite anomalies not caused by technical reasons: the total number of such anomalies about 6000 events, and separately for high and low altitude orbit satellites (5000 and about 800 events, correspondingly for high and low altitude satellites). No relation was found between low and high altitude satellite anomalies. Daily numbers of satellite anomalies, averaged by a superposed epoch method around sudden storm commencements and solar proton event onsets for high (>1500 km) and low (account under developing of the anomaly frequency models and forecasting. We consider also influence of CR on frequency of gene mutations and evolution of biosphere (we show that if it will be no CR, the Earth's civilization will be start only after milliards years later, what will be too late), CR role in thunderstorm phenomena and discharges, space weather effects on space technologies and radiation effects from solar and galactic CR in dependence of cutoff rigidities and altitude, influence magnetic storms accompanied by CR Forbush-effects on people health (increasing frequency of infarct myocardial and brain strokes), increasing frequency of car

  14. RECREATION MONITORING OF RESOURCE CONDITIONS IN THE KRONOTSKY STATE NATURAL BIOSPHERE PRESERVE (KAMCHATKA: AN INITIAL ASSESSMENT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Zavadskaya

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The paper describes assessment and monitoring program which has been designed and initiated for monitoring recreational impacts in some wildernesses areas of Kamchatka. The framework of the recreational assessment was tested through its application in a case study conducted during the summer 2008 in the Kronotsky State Natural Biosphere Preserve (the Kamchatka peninsula, Russia. The overall objective of the case study was to assess the existing campsite and trail recreation impacts and to establish a network of key sites for the subsequent long-term impact monitoring. The detailed assessment of different components of natural complexes of the Kronotsky State Natural Preserve and the obtained maps of their ecological conditions showed that some sites had been highly disturbed. The results of these works have given rise to a concern that the intensive use of these areas would make an unacceptable impact on the nature. Findings of our initial work corroborate the importance of founding wilderness management programs on knowledge about the trail and campsite impacts and emphasize the necessity of adopting the recreational assessment and monitoring framework to the practice of decision-making.

  15. The biosphere at Forsmark. Data, assumptions and models used in the SR-Can assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Karlsson, Sara; Kautsky, Ulrik; Loefgren, Anders; Soederbaeck, Bjoern (eds.)

    2006-10-15

    This report summarises the method adopted for safety assessment following a radionuclide release into the biosphere. The approach utilises the information about the site as far as possible and presents a way of calculating risk to humans. The parameters are topography, where there is good understanding of the present conditions and the development over time is fairly predictable. The topography affects surface hydrology, sedimentation, size of drainage areas and the characteristics of ecosystems. Other parameters are human nutritional intake, which is assumed to be constant over time, and primary production (photosynthesis), which also is a fairly constant parameter over time. The Landscape Dose Factor approach (LDF) gives an integrated measure for the site and also resolves the issues relating to the size of the group with highest exposure. If this approach is widely accepted as method, still some improvements and refinement are necessary, e.g. collecting missing site data, reanalysing site data, reviewing radionuclide specific data, reformulating ecosystem models and evaluating the results with further sensitivity analysis. The report presents descriptions and estimates not presented elsewhere, as well as summaries of important steps in the biosphere modelling that are presented in more detail in separate reports. The intention is to give the reader a coherent description of the steps taken to calculate doses to biota and humans, including a description of the data used, the rationale for a number of assumptions made during parameterisation, and of how the landscape context is applied in the modelling, and also to present the models used and the results obtained.

  16. Assessment of Food Chain Pathway Parameters in Biosphere Models: Annual Progress Report for Fiscal Year 2004

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Napier, Bruce A.; Krupka, Kenneth M.; Fellows, Robert J.; Cataldo, Dominic A.; Valenta, Michelle M.; Gilmore, Tyler J.

    2004-12-02

    This Annual Progress Report describes the work performed and summarizes some of the key observations to date on the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s project Assessment of Food Chain Pathway Parameters in Biosphere Models, which was established to assess and evaluate a number of key parameters used in the food-chain models used in performance assessments of radioactive waste disposal facilities. Section 2 of this report describes activities undertaken to collect samples of soils from three regions of the United States, the Southeast, Northwest, and Southwest, and perform analyses to characterize their physical and chemical properties. Section 3 summarizes information gathered regarding agricultural practices and common and unusual crops grown in each of these three areas. Section 4 describes progress in studying radionuclide uptake in several representative crops from the three soil types in controlled laboratory conditions. Section 5 describes a range of international coordination activities undertaken by Project staff in order to support the underlying data needs of the Project. Section 6 provides a very brief summary of the status of the GENII Version 2 computer program, which is a “client” of the types of data being generated by the Project, and for which the Project will be providing training to the US NRC staff in the coming Fiscal Year. Several appendices provide additional supporting information.

  17. Hiking trails and tourism impact assessment in protected area: Jiuzhaigou Biosphere Reserve, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Wenjun; Ge, Xiaodong; Liu, Chunyan

    2005-09-01

    More and more visitors are attracted to protected areas nowadays, which not only bring about economic increase but also seriously adverse impacts on the ecological environment. In protected areas, trails are linkage between visitors and natural ecosystem, so they concentrate most of the adverse impacts caused by visitors. The trampling problems on the trails have been received attentions in the tremendous researches. However, few of them have correlated the environmental impacts to trail spatial patterns. In this project, the trails were selected as assessment objective, the trampling problems trail widening, multiple trail, and root exposure were taken as assessment indicators to assess ecological impacts in the case study area Jiuzhaigou Biosphere Reserve, and two spatial index, connectivity and circularity, were taken to indicate the trail network spatial patterns. The research results showed that the appearing frequency of the trampling problems had inverse correlation with the circularity and connectivity of the trail network, while the problem extent had no correlation with the spatial pattern. Comparing with the pristine trails, the artificial maintenance for the trails such as wooden trails and flagstone trails could prohibit vegetation root from exposure effectively. The research finds will be useful for the future trail design and tourism management.

  18. The Biosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cloud, Preston

    1983-01-01

    Discusses the earth's biosphere, considering how the microbial, animal and plant life (which make up the biosphere) are sustained by the earth's lithosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere. Also considers how these three earth features have powerfully shaped the evolution of these organisms. (JN)

  19. The Biosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cloud, Preston

    1983-01-01

    Discusses the earth's biosphere, considering how the microbial, animal and plant life (which make up the biosphere) are sustained by the earth's lithosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere. Also considers how these three earth features have powerfully shaped the evolution of these organisms. (JN)

  20. Biosphere Process Model Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    J. Schmitt

    2000-05-25

    To evaluate the postclosure performance of a potential monitored geologic repository at Yucca Mountain, a Total System Performance Assessment (TSPA) will be conducted. Nine Process Model Reports (PMRs), including this document, are being developed to summarize the technical basis for each of the process models supporting the TSPA model. These reports cover the following areas: (1) Integrated Site Model; (2) Unsaturated Zone Flow and Transport; (3) Near Field Environment; (4) Engineered Barrier System Degradation, Flow, and Transport; (5) Waste Package Degradation; (6) Waste Form Degradation; (7) Saturated Zone Flow and Transport; (8) Biosphere; and (9) Disruptive Events. Analysis/Model Reports (AMRs) contain the more detailed technical information used to support TSPA and the PMRs. The AMRs consists of data, analyses, models, software, and supporting documentation that will be used to defend the applicability of each process model for evaluating the postclosure performance of the potential Yucca Mountain repository system. This documentation will ensure the traceability of information from its source through its ultimate use in the TSPA-Site Recommendation (SR) and in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analysis processes. The objective of the Biosphere PMR is to summarize (1) the development of the biosphere model, and (2) the Biosphere Dose Conversion Factors (BDCFs) developed for use in TSPA. The Biosphere PMR does not present or summarize estimates of potential radiation doses to human receptors. Dose calculations are performed as part of TSPA and will be presented in the TSPA documentation. The biosphere model is a component of the process to evaluate postclosure repository performance and regulatory compliance for a potential monitored geologic repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The biosphere model describes those exposure pathways in the biosphere by which radionuclides released from a potential repository could reach a human receptor

  1. Berlengas Biosphere Reserve - Plan for the assessment of ecosystem services and functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergio Miguel Leandro

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available The project Berlengas Biosphere Reserve - Plan for the Assessment of Ecosystem Services and Functions arises from the need to identify and assess ecosystem services, promoting sustainable uses of the services in the Reserve. The high degradation rate currently observed in the natural systems, thus reducing the level and quality of ecosystem services, is reflected in a negative effect on environmental quality, human well-being and in some economic activities. Thus, it becomes inevitable to promote the need to convey the importance of these services to society. It is also essential to contribute to the development of innovative and environmentally sustainable practices which will maintain the functioning of the local ecosystem and the sustainability of the services. Thus, the main goals of this project are i to identify and analyse the impacts and dependencies on ecosystem services in the Reserve; ii to analyse the trends of the priority services, iii to identify the risks and opportunities associated with these services; iv to evaluate their value and ultimately iv to disseminate the results improving conservation and management. Based on the results to be obtained through the evaluation and maintenance of these services it is expected an improvement on the environment in the region and the development of efficient mechanisms for the management of resources. Started in February 2014, over the past 3 months much research has already been conducted, with emphasis for the identification of services and opportunities in the Reserve. Ecosystem services in Berlengas can range from simply providing essential goods or support (e.g. fish to cultural services (e.g. field trips, diving. Work is also being done to develop, define and optimize the methods to assess ecosystems services trends and values.

  2. A biosphere assessment of high-level radioactive waste disposal in Sweden.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kautsky, Ulrik; Lindborg, Tobias; Valentin, Jack

    2015-04-01

    Licence applications to build a repository for the disposal of Swedish spent nuclear fuel have been lodged, underpinned by myriad reports and several broader reviews. This paper sketches out the technical and administrative aspects and highlights a recent review of the biosphere effects of a potential release from the repository. A comprehensive database and an understanding of major fluxes and pools of water and organic matter in the landscape let one envisage the future by looking at older parts of the site. Thus, today's biosphere is used as a natural analogue of possible future landscapes. It is concluded that the planned repository can meet the safety criteria and will have no detectable radiological impact on plants and animals. This paper also briefly describes biosphere work undertaken after the review. The multidisciplinary approach used is relevant in a much wider context and may prove beneficial across many environmental contexts.

  3. Disruptive Event Biosphere Dose Conversion Factor Analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    M. Wasiolek

    2004-09-08

    This analysis report is one of the technical reports containing documentation of the Environmental Radiation Model for Yucca Mountain, Nevada (ERMYN), a biosphere model supporting the total system performance assessment (TSPA) for the license application (LA) for the Yucca Mountain repository. This analysis report describes the development of biosphere dose conversion factors (BDCFs) for the volcanic ash exposure scenario, and the development of dose factors for calculating inhalation dose during volcanic eruption. A graphical representation of the documentation hierarchy for the ERMYN is presented in Figure 1-1. This figure shows the interrelationships among the products (i.e., analysis and model reports) developed for biosphere modeling and provides an understanding of how this analysis report contributes to biosphere modeling. This report is one of two reports that develop biosphere BDCFs, which are input parameters for the TSPA model. The ''Biosphere Model Report'' (BSC 2004 [DIRS 169460]) describes in detail the ERMYN conceptual model and mathematical model. The input parameter reports, shown to the right of the Biosphere Model Report in Figure 1-1, contain detailed descriptions of the model input parameters, their development and the relationship between the parameters and specific features, events and processes (FEPs). This report describes biosphere model calculations and their output, the BDCFs, for the volcanic ash exposure scenario. This analysis receives direct input from the outputs of the ''Biosphere Model Report'' (BSC 2004 [DIRS 169460]) and from the five analyses that develop parameter values for the biosphere model (BSC 2004 [DIRS 169671]; BSC 2004 [DIRS 169672]; BSC 2004 [DIRS 169673]; BSC 2004 [DIRS 169458]; and BSC 2004 [DIRS 169459]). The results of this report are further analyzed in the ''Biosphere Dose Conversion Factor Importance and Sensitivity Analysis''. The objective of this

  4. Reviewing Biosphere Reserves globally: effective conservation action or bureaucratic label?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coetzer, Kaera L; Witkowski, Edward T F; Erasmus, Barend F N

    2014-02-01

    The Biosphere Reserve (BR) model of UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere Programme reflects a shift towards more accountable conservation. Biosphere Reserves attempt to reconcile environmental protection with sustainable development; they explicitly acknowledge humans, and human interests in the conservation landscape while still maintaining the ecological values of existing protected areas. Conceptually, this model is attractive, with 610 sites currently designated globally. Yet the practical reality of implementing dual 'conservation' and 'development' goals is challenging, with few examples successfully conforming to the model's full criteria. Here, we review the history of Biosphere Reserves from first inception in 1974 to the current status quo, and examine the suitability of the designation as an effective conservation model. We track the spatial expansion of Biosphere Reserves globally, assessing the influence of the Statutory Framework of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves and Seville strategy in 1995, when the BR concept refocused its core objectives on sustainable development. We use a comprehensive range of case studies to discuss conformity to the Programme, the social and ecological consequences associated with implementation of the designation, and challenges in aligning conservation and development. Given that the 'Biosphere Reserve' label is a relatively unknown designation in the public arena, this review also provides details on popularising the Biosphere Reserve brand, as well as prospects for further research, currently unexploited, but implicit in the designation.

  5. Nuclide documentation. Element specific parameter values used in the biospheric models of the safety assessments SR 97 and SAFE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Karlsson, Sara; Bergstroem, Ulla [Studsvik Eco and Safety AB, Nykoeping (Sweden)

    2002-05-01

    In this report the element and nuclide specific parameter values used in the biospheric models of the safety assessments SR 97 and SAFE are presented. The references used are presented and where necessary the process of estimation of data is described. The parameters treated in this report are distribution coefficients in soil, organic soil and suspended matter in freshwater and brackish water, root uptake factors for pasturage, cereals, root crops and vegetables, bioaccumulation factors for freshwater fish, brackish water fish, freshwater invertebrates and marine water plants, transfer coefficients for transfer to milk and meat, translocation factors and dose coefficients for external exposure, ingestion (age-dependent values) and inhalation (age-dependent values). The radionuclides treated are those which could be of interest in the two safety assessments. Physical data such as half-lives and type of decay are also presented.

  6. Biosphere reserves: Attributes for success.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Cuong, Chu; Dart, Peter; Hockings, Marc

    2017-03-01

    Biosphere reserves established under the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Program aim to harmonise biodiversity conservation and sustainable development. Concerns over the extent to which the reserve network was living up to this ideal led to the development of a new strategy in 1995 (the Seville Strategy) to enhance the operation of the network of reserves. An evaluation of effectiveness of management of the biosphere reserve network was called for as part of this strategy. Expert opinion was assembled through a Delphi Process to identify successful and less successful reserves and investigate common factors influencing success or failure. Ninety biosphere reserves including sixty successful and thirty less successful reserves in 42 countries across all five Man and the Biosphere Program regions were identified. Most successful sites are the post-Seville generation while the majority of unsuccessful sites are pre-Seville that are managed as national parks and have not been amended to conform to the characteristics that are meant to define a biosphere reserve. Stakeholder participation and collaboration, governance, finance and resources, management, and awareness and communication are the most influential factors in the success or failure of the biosphere reserves. For success, the biosphere reserve concept needs to be clearly understood and applied through landscape zoning. Designated reserves then need a management system with inclusive good governance, strong participation and collaboration, adequate finance and human resource allocation and stable and responsible management and implementation. All rather obvious but it is difficult to achieve without commitment to the biosphere reserve concept by the governance authorities. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. BIOPROTA Key Issues in Biosphere Aspects of Assessment of the Long-term Impact of Contaminant Releases Associated with Radioactive Waste Management Theme 2: Task 7:Modelling Processes in the Geosphere Biosphere Interface Zone

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pinedo, P.; Smith, G.; Aguero, A.; Albrecht, A.; Bath, A.; Benhabderrahmane, H.; Van Dorp, F.; Kautsky, U.; Klos, R.; Laciok, A.; Milodowski, T.; Selroos, J.O.; Simon, I.; Texier, D.; Thorne, M.; Willans, M.

    2005-07-01

    This document reports on BIOPROTA Theme 2, task 7 which investigated modelling processes in the geosphere- biosphere interface zone (GBIZ) during performance assessments. Modelling issues in the treatment of the GBIZ are identified. A large proportion of the identified issues concern modelling radionuclide behaviour in near surface aquifers which are subject to relatively high gradients in chemical and other conditions. Other key issues concern transfer of radionuclides through the unsaturated zone above aquifers, bearing in mind the scope for erosion and variations in the level of the phreatic surface and also the consideration of environmental change. A number of research areas are highlighted that are aimed at addressing each of the identified issues in the treatment of GBIZ. These include (i) Developing of a current statement of continuing problems, and hence clarify and justify the need to do more; (ii) Conducting a review of site investigations as they have been done already, and determine whether they meet performance assessment requirements; (iii) Identifying scenarios and FEPs considered in current treatments; and, (iv) Conducting source-pathway-receptor analysis to demonstrate comprehensiveness of the overall scenario identification process. The objectives of these activities would be to determine the potential to reduce uncertainties and/or conservative assumptions in assessment of radionuclide transfer from the geosphere to biosphere domains, taking account of environmental change; and to develop guidance on site-characterisation needs at different types of site, as regards the near-surface features. (Author) 23 refs.

  8. SR-CAN - a safety assessment of a repository of spent nuclear fuel: canister performance and effects on the biosphere

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kautsky, U.; Kumblad, L. [Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Co. (SKB), Stockholm (Sweden)

    2004-07-01

    During the next few years the Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Co. (SKB) performs site investigations at two sites in Sweden for a future repository of spent nuclear fuel. Parallel an encapsulation plant is planned to encapsulate the spent fuel in copper canisters according to the KBS-3 method. The purpose of the SR-CAN safety assessment is to show the performance of the canister isolations at different sites for a repository at 500 meters depth in crystalline rock. Moreover, SR-CAN provides an example how the site specific safety assessment of a deep repository will be made in year 2006-2008. To be able to calculate dose and risk for humans and the environment, new assessment methods were developed for the biosphere. These methods were based on a system ecological approach and used knowledge from landscape ecology to provide an integrated approach with hydrology and geology considering the discharges in a watershed and calculating consequences in terrestrial and aquatic (freshwater and marine) ecosystems. A range of methods and tools were developed in GIS and Matlab/Simulink to be able to model and understand the important processes in the landscape today and during the next few thousands of years. In this paper, an overview of the program and the novel methods are presented, as well as some examples from performance calculations from a watershed in the Forsmark area considering effects on humans and ecosystems. (author)

  9. The Greatest Legacy of the Large Scale Biosphere Atmosphere Experiment in Amazonia (LBA): A Bibliometric Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller, M. M.

    2015-12-01

    The Large Scale Biosphere Atmosphere Experiment in Amazonia (LBA) is an international continental scale effort led by Brazil to understand how land use change and climate change affects the role of Amazonia in the Earth system. During the first decade of studies (1998-2007), LBA researchers generated new understanding of Amazonia and published over 1000 papers. However, most LBA participants agree that training and education of a large cohort of scientists, especially students from Brazil, was the greatest contribution of LBA. I analyzed bibliographic data from the NASA supported component project known as LBA-ECO. This component covered a large cross-section of the LBA subject areas highlighting land use and land cover change, carbon cycling, nutrient cycling and other aspects of terrestrial and aquatic ecology. I reviewed the complete bibliography of peer-reviewed papers reported by LBA-ECO researchers (http://www.lbaeco.org/cgi-bin/web/investigations/lbaeco_refs.pl). The researchers reported 691 contributions from 1996 through 2013 of which 24 were theses that were removed them from further analysis. Of 667 papers and book chapters, I tallied the first authors separating categories for Brazilians, all students, and Brazilian students. Numerically, LBA-ECO production of papers peaked in 2004. Publication by Brazilians, students, and Brazilian students generally followed the same pattern as publication in general. However, student and Brazilian student contributions as first authors showed clearly increasing proportions of the papers from project initiation through peak publication. Brazilian student participation as first authors averaged more than 20% of all publications from 2003 to 2010 and more than half of all student publications had Brazilians as first authors. Foreign researchers, some initially reluctant to invest in Brazilian students, almost universally adapted the belief that the greatest legacy of LBA would be the contribution to building a cadre of

  10. Modeling the impact of climate change in Germany with biosphere models for long-term safety assessment of nuclear waste repositories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Staudt, C; Semiochkina, N; Kaiser, J C; Pröhl, G

    2013-01-01

    Biosphere models are used to evaluate the exposure of populations to radionuclides from a deep geological repository. Since the time frame for assessments of long-time disposal safety is 1 million years, potential future climate changes need to be accounted for. Potential future climate conditions were defined for northern Germany according to model results from the BIOCLIM project. Nine present day reference climate regions were defined to cover those future climate conditions. A biosphere model was developed according to the BIOMASS methodology of the IAEA and model parameters were adjusted to the conditions at the reference climate regions. The model includes exposure pathways common to those reference climate regions in a stylized biosphere and relevant to the exposure of a hypothetical self-sustaining population at the site of potential radionuclide contamination from a deep geological repository. The end points of the model are Biosphere Dose Conversion factors (BDCF) for a range of radionuclides and scenarios normalized for a constant radionuclide concentration in near-surface groundwater. Model results suggest an increased exposure of in dry climate regions with a high impact of drinking water consumption rates and the amount of irrigation water used for agriculture. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Chapter 14. New tools to assess nitrogen management for conservation of our biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    There are several tools that can be used to assess the effects of management on nitrogen (N) losses to the environment. The Nitrogen Loss and Environmental Assessment Package (NLEAP) is an improved and renamed version of the DOS program that was called the Nitrate Leaching and Economic Analysis Pack...

  12. Biosphere dose conversion Factor Importance and Sensitivity Analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    M. Wasiolek

    2004-10-15

    This report presents importance and sensitivity analysis for the environmental radiation model for Yucca Mountain, Nevada (ERMYN). ERMYN is a biosphere model supporting the total system performance assessment (TSPA) for the license application (LA) for the Yucca Mountain repository. This analysis concerns the output of the model, biosphere dose conversion factors (BDCFs) for the groundwater, and the volcanic ash exposure scenarios. It identifies important processes and parameters that influence the BDCF values and distributions, enhances understanding of the relative importance of the physical and environmental processes on the outcome of the biosphere model, includes a detailed pathway analysis for key radionuclides, and evaluates the appropriateness of selected parameter values that are not site-specific or have large uncertainty.

  13. Interpretation of Biosphere Reserves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merriman, Tim

    1994-01-01

    Introduces the Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB) to monitor the 193 biogeographical provinces of the Earth and the creation of biosphere reserves. Highlights the need for interpreters to become familiar or involved with MAB program activities. (LZ)

  14. Studies on the radiological assessment and modeling of the biosphere in radioactive waste management in Spain; Estudio sobre la evaluacion radiologica y modelizacion de la biosfera en la gestion de residuos radioactivos en Espna

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Perez-Sanchez, D.; Trueba, C.; Robles, B.

    2011-07-01

    Assessments of long-term safety in radioactive waste management means that the annual radiation dose due to the possible release of radionuclides to the biosphere does not exceed regulatory limits for members of the public. To quantify these doses should first develop models that describe the behavior of radionuclides in the environment that could also calculate the concentrations in different compartments of the biosphere, then estimated radiation doses to humans and the environment through the different routes of exposure. This paper describes recent results obtained by developing projects related to safety assessment of the biosphere, which include several studies.

  15. Detecting Biosphere anomalies hotspots

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guanche-Garcia, Yanira; Mahecha, Miguel; Flach, Milan; Denzler, Joachim

    2017-04-01

    The current amount of satellite remote sensing measurements available allow for applying data-driven methods to investigate environmental processes. The detection of anomalies or abnormal events is crucial to monitor the Earth system and to analyze their impacts on ecosystems and society. By means of a combination of statistical methods, this study proposes an intuitive and efficient methodology to detect those areas that present hotspots of anomalies, i.e. higher levels of abnormal or extreme events or more severe phases during our historical records. Biosphere variables from a preliminary version of the Earth System Data Cube developed within the CAB-LAB project (http://earthsystemdatacube.net/) have been used in this study. This database comprises several atmosphere and biosphere variables expanding 11 years (2001-2011) with 8-day of temporal resolution and 0.25° of global spatial resolution. In this study, we have used 10 variables that measure the biosphere. The methodology applied to detect abnormal events follows the intuitive idea that anomalies are assumed to be time steps that are not well represented by a previously estimated statistical model [1].We combine the use of Autoregressive Moving Average (ARMA) models with a distance metric like Mahalanobis distance to detect abnormal events in multiple biosphere variables. In a first step we pre-treat the variables by removing the seasonality and normalizing them locally (μ=0,σ=1). Additionally we have regionalized the area of study into subregions of similar climate conditions, by using the Köppen climate classification. For each climate region and variable we have selected the best ARMA parameters by means of a Bayesian Criteria. Then we have obtained the residuals by comparing the fitted models with the original data. To detect the extreme residuals from the 10 variables, we have computed the Mahalanobis distance to the data's mean (Hotelling's T^2), which considers the covariance matrix of the joint

  16. Regional assimilation of CO2 and δ13C surface data to assess terrestrial biosphere models under drought stress

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Velde, I. R.; Miller, J. B.; Alden, C. B.; Andrews, A. E.; Schaefer, K. M.; Peters, W.; Tans, P. P.; Vaughn, B. H.; White, J. W. C.

    2016-12-01

    Observed atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) and the ratios of its stable isotopologue 13CO2/12CO2 (δ13C) contain unique signals of large-scale drought stress that affect the biosphere. When plants experience physiological stress due to heat and drought at leaf level they respond by closing their stomata. This is a safety mechanism that prevents excessive water loss at the expense of carbon uptake, and it changes the overall water-use efficiency. During photosynthesis, 12CO2 is preferentially assimilated over 13CO2, leaving the atmosphere enriched in 13CO2. Water stress slightly changes the ratio of 13CO2 and 12CO2 molecules being removed from the atmosphere, i.e., a reduction of canopy isotope discrimination (Δ), and its changes are evident in atmospheric δ13C.To improve our understanding of the coupled vegetation-atmosphere system we are developing an ensemble Kalman filter assimilation of high precision measurements of CO2 and δ13C from air samples collected over North America. It uses footprints provided by WRF-STILT that allows for efficient atmospheric transport simulations on a much higher horizontal resolution than with a global Eulerian transport model. To force consistency with atmospheric CO2 and δ13C observations we will optimize regional net terrestrial CO2 exchange (NEE) and Δ from a terrestrial biosphere model. We will carefully evaluate the sensitivity of the optimized parameters to uncertainties in the terrestrial biosphere fluxes, observations, time/space aggregation methods, and boundary conditions. Our main questions are: (i) what signal-to-noise in the data, as interpreted by the model, is large enough to robustly estimate Δ and NEE? and (ii) how do the optimized NEE and Δ that are based on the atmospheric constraint compare with the predicted NEE and Δ that are based on biophysical parameterizations? Our ability to accurately predict the responses of the terrestrial biosphere to changing humidity and soil moisture regimes is currently

  17. The Earth's Biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    2002-01-01

    In the last five years, scientists have been able to monitor our changing planet in ways never before possible. The Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-View Sensor (SeaWiFS), aboard the OrbView-2 satellite, has given researchers an unprecedented view of the biological engine that drives life on Earth-the countless forms of plants that cover the land and fill the oceans. 'There is no question the Earth is changing. SeaWiFS has enabled us, for the first time, to monitor the biological consequences of that change-to see how the things we do, as well as natural variability, affect the Earth's ability to support life,' said Gene Carl Feldman, SeaWiFS project manager at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. SeaWiFS data, based on continuous daily global observations, have helped scientists make a more accurate assessment of the oceans' role in the global carbon cycle. The data provide a key parameter in a number of ecological and environmental studies as well as global climate-change modeling. The images of the Earth's changing land, ocean and atmosphere from SeaWiFS have documented many previously unrecognized phenomena. The image above shows the global biosphere from June 2002 measured by SeaWiFS. Data in the oceans is chlorophyll concentration, a measure of the amount of phytoplankton (microscopic plants) living in the ocean. On land SeaWiFS measures Normalized Difference Vegetation Index, an indication of the density of plant growth. For more information and images, read: SeaWiFS Sensor Marks Five Years Documenting Earth'S Dynamic Biosphere Image courtesy SeaWiFS project and copyright Orbimage.

  18. Anthropogenic transformation of the terrestrial biosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellis, Erle C

    2011-03-13

    Human populations and their use of land have transformed most of the terrestrial biosphere into anthropogenic biomes (anthromes), causing a variety of novel ecological patterns and processes to emerge. To assess whether human populations and their use of land have directly altered the terrestrial biosphere sufficiently to indicate that the Earth system has entered a new geological epoch, spatially explicit global estimates of human populations and their use of land were analysed across the Holocene for their potential to induce irreversible novel transformation of the terrestrial biosphere. Human alteration of the terrestrial biosphere has been significant for more than 8000 years. However, only in the past century has the majority of the terrestrial biosphere been transformed into intensively used anthromes with predominantly novel anthropogenic ecological processes. At present, even were human populations to decline substantially or use of land become far more efficient, the current global extent, duration, type and intensity of human transformation of ecosystems have already irreversibly altered the terrestrial biosphere at levels sufficient to leave an unambiguous geological record differing substantially from that of the Holocene or any prior epoch. It remains to be seen whether the anthropogenic biosphere will be sustained and continue to evolve.

  19. Methodological Tools for the Assessment of Ecological and Socio-Economic Environment in the Region within the Limits of the Sustainability of Biosphere

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aleksey Yuryevich Davankov

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The article is devoted to the study of ecological and socio-economic environment as well as the development of effective methodological tool for the assessment of its stability. This tool allows to ascertain the level of economic activity of the regions within the limits of the sustainability of biosphere. In the article, the regional system is considered as the total of industrial enterprises, social infrastructure and natural environment creating a specific territorial ecological and socio-economic environment, whose stability depends on the level of economic activity measured by the capacity of territorial ecosystem. The use of a technique for the comparative assessment of the energy indicators of economic activity creating a specific ecological and socio-economic environment of the region as well as of the indicator of the ecological capacity of the territory is proved. The ecological capacity of the territory enables to better estimate the level of the sustainability of the region within the limits of sustainability of biosphere. This method allows to forecast the development of the studied territory by the measurement of general energy flow on the basis of closed material and energy flows. The research revealed an indicator of the sustainability of ecological and socio-economic environment of Ural Federal District. Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District is the most stable, the Chelyabinsk region is the least stable, which is associated with both natural conditions and the specificities of economic structure. The labour productivity indicator, expressed in energy units, has revealed regions with rich natural resources. It was found that in these regions, there are significant material flows in the electricity industry that leads to a large proportion of greenhouse gas emissions. The assessment of the demographic capacity fully correlates with the calculations of the stability indicator of the regional system and the analysis of labour

  20. Validation of Traditional Therapeutic Claims through Phytochemical Screening and Antibacterial Assessment: A Study on Mahakaal (Trichosanthes tricuspidata L. From Similipal Biosphere Reserve Forest, Odisha, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Prakash Kumar Tripathy

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Similipal Biosphere Reserve forest is situated in the district Mayurbhanj, Odisha, enriched with the different types of vegetations along with aboriginals. These aboriginals have unique skills in using traditional therapeutic medicines. They use wild plant and their parts in traditional herbal formulations to cure different diseases. Trichosanthes tricuspidata, locally known as Mahakaal is very common to be used as herbal medicine. Fruits of Mahakaal have sound traditional therapeutic values, they have been used against asthma, skin infections, muscular pain and killing the head lice. Phytochemical screening of fruit extracts revealed the presence of major bioactive compounds such as Tannin, Saponin, Flavonoids, Phenolic compounds, Terpenoids etc which indicate its sound pharmacological properties. Antibacterial assessment of fruit extracts also showed excellent activity against two Gram-positive and three Gram-negative bacteria. Methanol extracts showed highest zone of inhibition (1.51 cm against Streptococcus pyogenes caused skin infections. The experimental works validate the traditional therapeutic claims.

  1. Nominal Performance Biosphere Dose Conversion Factor Analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    M.A. Wasiolek

    2005-04-28

    This analysis report is one of the technical reports containing documentation of the Environmental Radiation Model for Yucca Mountain, Nevada (ERMYN), a biosphere model supporting the Total System Performance Assessment (TSPA) for the license application (LA) for the Yucca Mountain repository. This analysis report describes the development of biosphere dose conversion factors (BDCFs) for the groundwater exposure scenario, and the development of conversion factors for assessing compliance with the groundwater protection standards. A graphical representation of the documentation hierarchy for the ERMYN is presented in Figure 1-1. This figure shows the interrelationships among the products (i.e., analysis and model reports) developed for biosphere modeling and provides an understanding of how this analysis report contributes to biosphere modeling. This report is one of two reports that develop BDCFs, which are input parameters for the TSPA-LA model. The ''Biosphere Model Report'' (BSC 2004 [DIRS 169460]) describes in detail the ERMYN conceptual model and mathematical model. The input parameter reports, shown to the right of the ''Biosphere Model Report'' in Figure 1-1, contain detailed description of the model input parameters, their development, and the relationship between the parameters and specific features events and processes (FEPs). This report describes biosphere model calculations and their output, the BDCFs, for the groundwater exposure scenario. This analysis receives direct input from the outputs of the ''Biosphere Model Report'' (BSC 2004 [DIRS 169460]) and the five analyses that develop parameter values for the biosphere model (BSC 2005 [DIRS 172827]; BSC 2004 [DIRS 169672]; BSC 2004 [DIRS 169673]; BSC 2004 [DIRS 169458]; BSC 2004 [DIRS 169459]). The results of this report are further analyzed in the ''Biosphere Dose Conversion Factor Importance and Sensitivity Analysis

  2. Assessing Undue Influence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plotkin, Daniel A; Spar, James E; Horwitz, Howard L

    2016-09-01

    A claim of undue influence (UI) often figures prominently in will and trust contests and in other legal matters. Mental health professionals (MHPs) are frequently asked to provide expert opinions on UI, but the task is challenging, because of the lack of a clear definition of UI, and conflicting and contradictory recommendations in the literature on the specific conduct of the MHP in rendering opinions on UI. Recently, however, a California statutory scheme on UI applicable in will, trust, conservatorship, and financial elder abuse cases was adopted, bringing greater clarity to the meaning of the construct. The clarification provides an opportunity to review the concern, and to recommend a set of principles to guide MHPs in the role of expert in such litigation. © 2016 American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law.

  3. Earth's early biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Des Marais, D. J.

    1998-01-01

    Understanding our own early biosphere is essential to our search for life elsewhere, because life arose on Earth very early and rocky planets shared similar early histories. The biosphere arose before 3.8 Ga ago, was exclusively unicellular and was dominated by hyperthermophiles that utilized chemical sources of energy and employed a range of metabolic pathways for CO2 assimilation. Photosynthesis also arose very early. Oxygenic photosynthesis arose later but still prior to 2.7 Ga. The transition toward the modern global environment was paced by a decline in volcanic and hydrothermal activity. These developments allowed atmospheric O2 levels to increase. The O2 increase created new niches for aerobic life, most notably the more advanced Eukarya that eventually spawned the megascopic fauna and flora of our modern biosphere.

  4. Components, processes and interactions in the biosphere

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    2010-12-15

    This report describes the processes and interactions between components in the biosphere that may be important in a safety assessment for radioactive waste disposal. The processes are general, i.e. they can be used in all safety analyses for underground repositories and are not specific to a particular method or location. Processes related to the geosphere and specific repository types (e.g. the KBS-3 method) can be found in /Skagius et al. 1995, SKB 2001, 2006, 2010a/. This report describes a biosphere interaction matrix that has been used in support of SR-Site and that can be used in future safety assessments. The work of defining and characterising processes in the biosphere is ongoing and many persons from different disciplines have been involved in the identification and characterisation of processes

  5. Ecology and exploration of the rare biosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lynch, Michael D J; Neufeld, Josh D

    2015-04-01

    The profound influence of microorganisms on human life and global biogeochemical cycles underlines the value of studying the biogeography of microorganisms, exploring microbial genomes and expanding our understanding of most microbial species on Earth: that is, those present at low relative abundance. The detection and subsequent analysis of low-abundance microbial populations—the 'rare biosphere'—have demonstrated the persistence, population dynamics, dispersion and predation of these microbial species. We discuss the ecology of rare microbial populations, and highlight molecular and computational methods for targeting taxonomic 'blind spots' within the rare biosphere of complex microbial communities.

  6. Environmental Transport Input Parameters for the Biosphere Model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    M. Wasiolek

    2004-09-10

    This analysis report is one of the technical reports documenting the Environmental Radiation Model for Yucca Mountain, Nevada (ERMYN), a biosphere model supporting the total system performance assessment for the license application (TSPA-LA) for the geologic repository at Yucca Mountain. A graphical representation of the documentation hierarchy for the ERMYN is presented in Figure 1-1. This figure shows relationships among the reports developed for biosphere modeling and biosphere abstraction products for the TSPA-LA, as identified in the ''Technical Work Plan for Biosphere Modeling and Expert Support'' (BSC 2004 [DIRS 169573]) (TWP). This figure provides an understanding of how this report contributes to biosphere modeling in support of the license application (LA). This report is one of the five reports that develop input parameter values for the biosphere model. The ''Biosphere Model Report'' (BSC 2004 [DIRS 169460]) describes the conceptual model and the mathematical model. The input parameter reports, shown to the right of the Biosphere Model Report in Figure 1-1, contain detailed description of the model input parameters. The output of this report is used as direct input in the ''Nominal Performance Biosphere Dose Conversion Factor Analysis'' and in the ''Disruptive Event Biosphere Dose Conversion Factor Analysis'' that calculate the values of biosphere dose conversion factors (BDCFs) for the groundwater and volcanic ash exposure scenarios, respectively. The purpose of this analysis was to develop biosphere model parameter values related to radionuclide transport and accumulation in the environment. These parameters support calculations of radionuclide concentrations in the environmental media (e.g., soil, crops, animal products, and air) resulting from a given radionuclide concentration at the source of contamination (i.e., either in groundwater or in volcanic ash). The analysis

  7. Assessment of climate-carbon feedbacks from terrestrial biosphere and identification of an emerging constraint using remote-sensing data of soil moisture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magand, Claire; Cadule, Patricia; Dufresne, Jean-Louis

    2016-04-01

    on the land carbon cycle, and thus to calculate the land carbon-climate feedback. This feedback is analysed in terms of sensitivity of the biospheric carbon sink to soil moisture change. The comparison of sensitivities between models shows large contrasts regionally. These contrasts can be explained by many differences in the models. For instance, according to all models, allocation of carbon is globally higher in soils than in vegetation but these allocations strongly vary in terms of proportions and spatial distribution between the ESMs. Differences of sensitivities also reflect different parameterisations of biogeochemical processes (photosynthesis and respirations). As investigating all differences of the different models is a huge task that requires time and scientific developments, the relationship between the model soil moisture simulation performances and the sensitivity of the biogeochemical processes to this same variable can help, by reducing the dispersion between models, to assess more accurately the land carbon-climate feedback.

  8. Influence of prevailing disturbances on soil biology and biochemistry of montane habitats at Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve, India during wet and dry seasons

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Singh, S.K.; Singh, Anoop; Rai, J.P.N.

    2011-01-01

    The impact of prevailing disturbances in montane habitats of Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve (NDBR) was studied on soil microbial population, biomass, soil respiration and enzyme activities during wet and dry seasons. The physico-chemical characteristics of soils exhibited conspicuous variation in t...

  9. Geospatial risk assessment and trace element concentration in reef associated sediments, northern part of Gulf of Mannar biosphere reserve, Southeast Coast of India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krishnakumar, S; Ramasamy, S; Simon Peter, T; Godson, Prince S; Chandrasekar, N; Magesh, N S

    2017-08-21

    Fifty two surface sediments were collected from the northern part of the Gulf of Mannar biosphere reserve to assess the geospatial risk of sediments. We found that distribution of organic matter and CaCO3 distributions were locally controlled by the mangrove litters and fragmented coral debris. In addition, Fe and Mn concentrations in the marine sediments were probably supplied through the riverine input and natural processes. The Geo-accumulation of elements fall under the uncontaminated category except Pb. Lead show a wide range of contamination from uncontaminated-moderately contaminated to extremely contaminated category. The sediment toxicity level of the elements revealed that the majority of the sediments fall under moderately to highly polluted sediments (23.07-28.84%). The grades of potential ecological risk suggest that predominant sediments fall under low to moderate risk category (55.7-32.7%). The accumulation level of trace elements clearly suggests that the coral reef ecosystem is under low to moderate risk. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  10. Nominal Performance Biosphere Dose Conversion Factor Analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    M. Wasiolek

    2004-09-08

    This analysis report is one of the technical reports containing documentation of the Environmental Radiation Model for Yucca Mountain, Nevada (ERMYN), a biosphere model supporting the Total System Performance Assessment (TSPA) for the license application (LA) for the Yucca Mountain repository. This analysis report describes the development of biosphere dose conversion factors (BDCFs) for the groundwater exposure scenario, and the development of conversion factors for assessing compliance with the groundwater protection standard. A graphical representation of the documentation hierarchy for the ERMYN is presented in Figure 1-1. This figure shows the interrelationships among the products (i.e., analysis and model reports) developed for biosphere modeling and provides an understanding of how this analysis report contributes to biosphere modeling. This report is one of two reports that develop biosphere BDCFs, which are input parameters for the TSPA-LA model. The ''Biosphere Model Report'' (BSC 2004 [DIRS 169460]) describes in detail the ERMYN conceptual model and mathematical model. The input parameter reports, shown to the right of the ''Biosphere Model Report'' in Figure 1-1, contain detailed description of the model input parameters, their development, and the relationship between the parameters and specific features events and processes (FEPs). This report describes biosphere model calculations and their output, the BDCFs, for the groundwater exposure scenario. The objectives of this analysis are to develop BDCFs for the groundwater exposure scenario for the three climate states considered in the TSPA-LA as well as conversion factors for evaluating compliance with the groundwater protection standard. The BDCFs will be used in performance assessment for calculating all-pathway annual doses for a given concentration of radionuclides in groundwater. The conversion factors will be used for calculating gross alpha particle

  11. Reconnecting to the biosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Folke, Carl; Jansson, Asa; Rockström, Johan; Olsson, Per; Carpenter, Stephen R; Chapin, F Stuart; Crépin, Anne-Sophie; Daily, Gretchen; Danell, Kjell; Ebbesson, Jonas; Elmqvist, Thomas; Galaz, Victor; Moberg, Fredrik; Nilsson, Måns; Osterblom, Henrik; Ostrom, Elinor; Persson, Asa; Peterson, Garry; Polasky, Stephen; Steffen, Will; Walker, Brian; Westley, Frances

    2011-11-01

    Humanity has emerged as a major force in the operation of the biosphere, with a significant imprint on the Earth System, challenging social-ecological resilience. This new situation calls for a fundamental shift in perspectives, world views, and institutions. Human development and progress must be reconnected to the capacity of the biosphere and essential ecosystem services to be sustained. Governance challenges include a highly interconnected and faster world, cascading social-ecological interactions and planetary boundaries that create vulnerabilities but also opportunities for social-ecological change and transformation. Tipping points and thresholds highlight the importance of understanding and managing resilience. New modes of flexible governance are emerging. A central challenge is to reconnect these efforts to the changing preconditions for societal development as active stewards of the Earth System. We suggest that the Millennium Development Goals need to be reframed in such a planetary stewardship context combined with a call for a new social contract on global sustainability. The ongoing mind shift in human relations with Earth and its boundaries provides exciting opportunities for societal development in collaboration with the biosphere--a global sustainability agenda for humanity.

  12. Inhalation Exposure Input Parameters for the Biosphere Model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    K. Rautenstrauch

    2004-09-10

    This analysis is one of 10 reports that support the Environmental Radiation Model for Yucca Mountain, Nevada (ERMYN) biosphere model. The ''Biosphere Model Report'' (BSC 2004 [DIRS 169460]) describes in detail the conceptual model as well as the mathematical model and its input parameters. This report documents development of input parameters for the biosphere model that are related to atmospheric mass loading and supports the use of the model to develop biosphere dose conversion factors (BDCFs). The biosphere model is one of a series of process models supporting the total system performance assessment (TSPA) for a Yucca Mountain repository. Inhalation Exposure Input Parameters for the Biosphere Model is one of five reports that develop input parameters for the biosphere model. A graphical representation of the documentation hierarchy for the ERMYN is presented in Figure 1-1. This figure shows the interrelationships among the products (i.e., analysis and model reports) developed for biosphere modeling, and the plan for development of the biosphere abstraction products for TSPA, as identified in the Technical Work Plan for Biosphere Modeling and Expert Support (BSC 2004 [DIRS 169573]). This analysis report defines and justifies values of mass loading for the biosphere model. Mass loading is the total mass concentration of resuspended particles (e.g., dust, ash) in a volume of air. Mass loading values are used in the air submodel of ERMYN to calculate concentrations of radionuclides in air inhaled by a receptor and concentrations in air surrounding crops. Concentrations in air to which the receptor is exposed are then used in the inhalation submodel to calculate the dose contribution to the receptor from inhalation of contaminated airborne particles. Concentrations in air surrounding plants are used in the plant submodel to calculate the concentrations of radionuclides in foodstuffs contributed from uptake by foliar interception.

  13. Characteristics of the Receptor for the Biosphere Model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    M.A. Wasiolek; K.R. Rautenstrauch

    2003-06-27

    This analysis report is one of the technical reports containing documentation of the Environmental Radiation Model for Yucca Mountain Nevada (ERMYN), a biosphere model supporting the Total System Performance Assessment (TSPA) for the geologic repository at Yucca Mountain. A graphical representation of the documentation hierarchy for the ERMYN is presented in Figure 1-1. This figure shows relationships among the products (i.e., analysis and model reports) developed for biosphere modeling and biosphere abstraction products for TSPA, as identified in the ''Technical Work Plan: for Biosphere Modeling and Expert Support'' (TWP) (BSC 2003). Some documents identified in Figure 1-1 may be under development and not available at the time this report is issued. This figure is included to provide an understanding of how this analysis report contributes to biosphere modeling in support of the license application, and access to the listed documents is not required to understand the contents of this report. This report is one of the reports that develop input parameter values for the biosphere model. The ''Biosphere Model Report'' (BSC 2003), describes the conceptual model as well as the mathematical model and its input parameters. The purpose of this analysis report is to define values for biosphere model parameters that are related to the dietary, lifestyle, and dosimetric characteristics of the receptor. The biosphere model, consistent with the licensing rule at 10 CFR Part 63, uses a hypothetical person called the reasonably maximally exposed individual (RMEI) to represent the potentially exposed population. The parameters that define the RMEI are based on the behaviors and characteristics of the Amargosa Valley population, consistent with the requirements of 10 CFR 63.312. Amargosa Valley is the community, located in the direction of the projected groundwater flow path, where most of the farming in the area occurs. The parameter values

  14. Biosphere models for safety assesment of radioactive waste disposal

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Proehl, G.; Olyslaegers, G.; Zeevaert, T. [SCK/CEN, Mol (Belgium); Kanyar, B. [University of Veszprem (Hungary). Dept. of Radiochemistry; Pinedo, P.; Simon, I. [Centro de Investigaciones Energeticas Medioambientales y Tecnologicas (CIEMAT), Madrid (Spain); Bergstroem, U.; Hallberg, B. [Studsvik Ecosafe, Nykoeping (Sweden); Mobbs, S.; Chen, Q.; Kowe, R. [NRPB, Chilton, Didcot (United Kingdom)

    2004-07-01

    The aim of the BioMoSA project has been to contribute in the confidence building of biosphere models, for application in performance assessments of radioactive waste disposal. The detailed objectives of this project are: development and test of practical biosphere models for application in long-term safety studies of radioactive waste disposal to different European locations, identification of features, events and processes that need to be modelled on a site-specific rather than on a generic base, comparison of the results and quantification of the variability of site-specific models developed according to the reference biosphere methodology, development of a generic biosphere tool for application in long term safety studies, comparison of results from site-specific models to those from generic one, Identification of possibilities and limitations for the application of the generic biosphere model. (orig.)

  15. Management effectiveness and land cover change in dynamic cultural landscapes-assessing a central European biosphere reserve

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ohnesorge, B.; Plieninger, Tobias; Hostert, P.

    2013-01-01

    to assess the effectiveness of Central European reserves in meeting their land cover related management goals. Based on digital biotope maps, we defined and assessed land cover change processes that were relevant to the reserve management's goals over a period of 13 years. We then compared these changes...... 85% across all zones-differences in land cover changes can be more prominent across zones inside the reserve than between the areas inside and outside of it. The reserve as a whole performed better than the surrounding reference area when using land cover related management goals as a benchmark...... in the reserve's core, buffer, and transition zones and in a surrounding reference area by means of a geographical information system. (Un-)desirable key processes related to management aims were defined and compared for the various zones. We found that-despite an overall land cover persistence of approximately...

  16. Deep sequencing of 16S rRNA gene to efficiently assess bacterial richness and the rare biosphere in soils

    OpenAIRE

    Terrat, Sébastien; Dequiedt, Samuel; Bachar, Dipankar; Christen, Richard; Mougel, Christophe; Lelievre, Mélanie; Maron, Pierre-Alain; Plassart, Pierre; Wincker, Patrick; Cruaud, C; Jolivet, Claudy; Arrouays, Dominique; Bispo, Antonio; Lemanceau, Philippe; Ranjard, Lionel

    2012-01-01

    Soil is one of the most important reservoirs of microbiological diversity on our planet and, above all, one of the last bastions of such biodiversity. Since two decades, numerous molecular tools have been developed to assess accurately this huge diversity directly from soil DNA. In this context, 16S rRNA gene is widely used to study microbial community taxonomic diversity, as it can be easily amplified by PCR, and large databases are available relating obtained sequences to bacteria...

  17. Using observations to evaluate biosphere-atmosphere interactions in models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Julia; Konings, Alexandra G.; Alemohammad, Seyed H.; Gentine, Pierre

    2017-04-01

    Biosphere-atmosphere interactions influence the hydrologic cycle by altering climate and weather patterns (Charney, 1975; Koster et al., 2006; Seneviratne et al., 2006), contributing up to 30% of precipitation and radiation variability in certain regions (Green et al., 2017). They have been shown to contribute to the persistence of drought in Europe (Seneviratne et al., 2006), as well as to increase rainfall in the Amazon (Spracklen et al., 2012). Thus, a true representation of these feedbacks in Earth System Models (ESMs) is crucial for accurate forecasting and planning. However, it has been difficult to validate the performance of ESMs since often-times surface and atmospheric flux data are scarce and/or difficult to observe. In this study, we use the results of a new global observational study (using remotely sensed solar-induced fluorescence to represent the biosphere flux) (Green et al., 2017) to determine how well a suite of 13 ESMs capture biosphere-atmosphere feedbacks. We perform a Conditional Multivariate Granger Causality analysis in the frequency domain with radiation, precipitation and temperature as atmospheric inputs and GPP as the biospheric input. Performing the analysis in the frequency domain allows for separation of feedbacks at different time-scales (subseasonal, seasonal or interannual). Our findings can be used to determine whether there is agreement between models, as well as, to pinpoint regions or time-scales of model bias or inaccuracy, which will provide insight on potential improvement. We demonstrate that in addition to the well-known problem of convective parameterization over land in models, the main issue in representing feedbacks between the land and the atmosphere is due to the misrepresentation of water stress. These results provide a direct quantitative assessment of feedbacks in models and how to improve them. References: Charney, J.G. Dynamics of deserts and drought in the Sahel. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological

  18. Humans and ecosystems over the coming millennia: overview of a biosphere assessment of radioactive waste disposal in Sweden.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kautsky, Ulrik; Lindborg, Tobias; Valentin, Jack

    2013-05-01

    This is an overview of the strategy used to describe the effects of a potential release from a radioactive waste repository on human exposure and future environments. It introduces a special issue of AMBIO, in which 13 articles show ways of understanding and characterizing the future. The study relies mainly on research performed in the context of a recent safety report concerning a repository for spent nuclear fuel in Sweden (the so-called SR-Site project). The development of a good understanding of on-site processes and acquisition of site-specific data facilitated the development of new approaches for assessment of surface ecosystems. A systematic and scientifically coherent methodology utilizes the understanding of the current spatial and temporal dynamics as an analog for future conditions. We conclude that future ecosystem can be inferred from a few variables and that this multidisciplinary approach is relevant in a much wider context than radioactive waste.

  19. The biosphere rules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Unruh, Gregory C

    2008-02-01

    Sustainability, defined by natural scientists as the capacity of healthy ecosystems to function indefinitely, has become a clarion call for business. Leading companies have taken high-profile steps toward achieving it: Wal-Mart, for example, with its efforts to reduce packaging waste, and Nike, which has removed toxic chemicals from its shoes. But, says Unruh, the director of Thunderbird's Lincoln Center for Ethics in Global Management, sustainability is more than an endless journey of incremental steps. It is a destination, for which the biosphere of planet Earth--refined through billions of years of trial and error--is a perfect model. Unruh distills some lessons from the biosphere into three rules: Use a parsimonious palette. Managers can rethink their sourcing strategies and dramatically simplify the number and types of materials their companies use in production, making recycling cost-effective. After the furniture manufacturer Herman Miller discovered that its leading desk chair had 200 components made from more than 800 chemical compounds, it designed an award-winning successor whose far more limited materials palette is 96% recyclable. Cycle up, virtuously. Manufacturers should design recovery value into their products at the outset. Shaw Industries, for example, recycles the nylon fiber from its worn-out carpet into brand-new carpet tile. Exploit the power of platforms. Platform design in industry tends to occur at the component level--but the materials in those components constitute a more fundamental platform. Patagonia, by recycling Capilene brand performance underwear, has achieved energy costs 76% below those for virgin sourcing. Biosphere rules can teach companies how to build ecologically friendly products that both reduce manufacturing costs and prove highly attractive to consumers. And managers need not wait for a green technological revolution to implement them.

  20. An assessment of metal contamination risk in sediments of Hara Biosphere Reserve, southern Iran with a focus on application of pollution indicators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zarei, Iman; Pourkhabbaz, Alireza; Khuzestani, Reza Bashiri

    2014-10-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the pollution status of metals in sediments of Hara Biosphere Reserve using pollution indicators. For this purpose, sediment samples from nine locations were collected and characterized for metal content (Pb, Cr, Zn, Cu, and Fe) using the total digestion technique. Comparison of metal concentrations with that of sediment quality guidelines (SQGs) demonstrated no association with negative biological effects for Cu and Zn, while the values of Pb and Cr mainly illustrated to have association with negative biological effects. The results of the geo-accumulation index (Igeo) indicated no contamination for Cr, Cu, Zn, and Fe, while the values of Pb demonstrated to have moderate contamination based on I geo values. The analysis of the enrichment factor (EF) showed no enrichment for Cu and Zn and minor enrichment for Pb and Cr. Similar results were also found for quantification of contamination (QoC) analysis, where the values of Cu and Zn demonstrated to have a geogenic source of contamination, while the values of Pb and Cr mainly illustrated to have an anthropogenic source of contamination. According to EF and QoC calculations, the values of Cu and Zn were derived mainly from natural processes and exposure of material from the earth's crust, while the values for Pb and Cr were enriched by anthropogenic activities. The results of the contamination factor (Cf(i)) demonstrated low contamination levels for Fe, Cr, Zn, and Cu and moderate contamination levels for Pb. The pollution load index (PLI), showing the overall contamination of metals, demonstrated moderate pollution status in the study area.

  1. Characteristics of the Receptor for the Biosphere Model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    M. Wasiolek; K. Rautenstrauch

    2004-09-09

    This analysis report is one of a series of technical reports that document the Environmental Radiation Model for Yucca Mountain, Nevada (ERMYN), a biosphere model supporting the total system performance assessment (TSPA) for the geologic repository at Yucca Mountain. This report is one of the five biosphere reports that develop input parameter values for the biosphere model. The ''Biosphere Model Report'' (BSC 2004 [DIRS 169460]) describes the conceptual model, as well as the mathematical model and its input parameters. Figure 1-1 is a graphical representation of the documentation hierarchy for the ERMYN. This figure shows relationships among the products (i.e., scientific analyses and model reports) developed for biosphere modeling and biosphere abstraction products for TSPA, as identified in the ''Technical Work Plan: for Biosphere Modeling and Expert Support'' (BSC 2004 [DIRS 169573]). The purpose of this analysis report is to define values for biosphere model parameters that are related to the dietary, lifestyle, and dosimetric characteristics of the receptor. The biosphere model, consistent with the licensing rule at 10 CFR Part 63 [DIRS 156605], uses a hypothetical person called the reasonably maximally exposed individual (RMEI) to represent the potentially exposed population. The parameters that define the RMEI are based on the behaviors and characteristics of the residents of the unincorporated town of Amargosa Valley, consistent with the requirements of 10 CFR 63.312 [DIRS 156605]. The output of this report is used as direct input in the two analyses identified in Figure 1-1 that calculate the values of biosphere dose conversion factors (BDCFs) for the groundwater and volcanic ash exposure scenarios. The parameter values developed in this report are reflected in the TSPA through the BDCFs. The analysis was performed in accordance with AP-SIII.9Q, ''Scientific Analyses'', and the technical work

  2. Natural releases from contaminated groundwater, Example Reference Biosphere 2B

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Simon, I. [CIEMAT/PIRA, Avda Complutense 22, 28040 Madrid (Spain)]. E-mail: isc@csn.es; Naito, M. [Nuclear Waste Management Organization of Japan (NUMO), 4-1-23 Shiba, Minato-ku, Tokyo, 108-0014 (Japan); Thorne, M.C. [Mike Thorne and Associates Limited, Abbotsleigh, Kebroyd Mount, Ripponden, Halifax, West Yorkshire HX6 3JA (United Kingdom); Walke, R. [Enviros QuantiSci, Building D5, Culham Science Centre, Culham, Oxfordshire OX14 3DB (United Kingdom)

    2005-07-01

    Safety assessment is a tool which, by means of an iterative procedure, allows the evaluation of the performance of a disposal system and its potential impact on human health and the environment. Radionuclides from a deep geological disposal facility may not reach the surface environment until many tens of thousands of years after closure of the facility. The BIOMASS Programme on BIOsphere Modelling and ASSessment developed Examples of 'Reference Biospheres' to illustrate the use of the methodology and to demonstrate how biosphere models can be developed and justified as being fit for purpose. The practical examples are also intended to be useful in their own right. The Example Reference Biosphere 2B presented here involves the consideration of alternative types of geosphere-biosphere interfaces and calculation of doses to members of hypothetical exposure groups arising from a wide range of exposure pathways within agricultural and semi-natural environments, but without allowing for evolution of the corresponding biosphere system. The example presented can be used as a generic analysis in some situations although it was developed around a relatively specific conceptual model. It should be a useful practical example, but the above numerical results are not intended to be understood as prescribed biosphere 'conversion factors'.

  3. Biosphere 2: The True Story.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Keeffe, Michael

    1992-01-01

    Discusses the history and current developments of the Biosphere 2 Project, a prototype for enclosed self-sustaining structures for space colonization built in the Arizona Desert. Biosphere 2 was created to educate and provide solutions to environmental problems and revenue from research. (MCO)

  4. Biosphere 2: The True Story.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Keeffe, Michael

    1992-01-01

    Discusses the history and current developments of the Biosphere 2 Project, a prototype for enclosed self-sustaining structures for space colonization built in the Arizona Desert. Biosphere 2 was created to educate and provide solutions to environmental problems and revenue from research. (MCO)

  5. Development of a reference biospheres methodology for radioactive waste disposal. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dorp, F. van [NAGRA (Switzerland)] [and others

    1996-09-01

    detail by the Working Group assumes a requirement to calculate annual individual doses arising from long term release of radionuclides in groundwater at an inland site. Though to a degree limited, this context is broadly relevant to many assessments and so the FEP List may be useful as a generic starting point for new model development or for auditing existing biosphere assessments. An example illustration of how to apply the methodology has been provided, based on the case description of the Complementary Studies Working Group of BIOMOVS II. (The results of the Complementary Studies exercise are provided in a separate BIOMOVS II Technical Report.) The application of the International FEP List to the Complementary Studies case description has been examined. A major component of the methodology is the development of a conceptual model from the available information about processes and the related data. Several approaches are discussed, including 'process influence diagrams', 'event trees', and the Rock Engineering System (RES) Interaction Matrix Methodology. The latter was tested in some depth by the Working Group and found to be effective at helping to distinguish the more and less important FEPs, and in identifying the important interactions between components of the system being modelled. An interesting feature of the interaction matrix methodology is that the FEP List applied to the matrix construction process can be developed independently from the matrix. If the matrix were to be developed by the same people as the FEP List then there could be legitimate criticism that the matrix, and hence the conceptual models, had been designed in a closed loop of assessment modelers. However, any issue can be introduced by any interested party through the FEP List. The auditing step allows these other issues to be introduced in model development and so forces the assessment team to explain how the issues are to be dealt with. At the same time, previous

  6. Inhalation Exposure Input Parameters for the Biosphere Model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    M. Wasiolek

    2006-06-05

    This analysis is one of the technical reports that support the Environmental Radiation Model for Yucca Mountain, Nevada (ERMYN), referred to in this report as the biosphere model. ''Biosphere Model Report'' (BSC 2004 [DIRS 169460]) describes in detail the conceptual model as well as the mathematical model and its input parameters. This report documents development of input parameters for the biosphere model that are related to atmospheric mass loading and supports the use of the model to develop biosphere dose conversion factors (BDCFs). The biosphere model is one of a series of process models supporting the total system performance assessment (TSPA) for a Yucca Mountain repository. ''Inhalation Exposure Input Parameters for the Biosphere Model'' is one of five reports that develop input parameters for the biosphere model. A graphical representation of the documentation hierarchy for the biosphere model is presented in Figure 1-1 (based on BSC 2006 [DIRS 176938]). This figure shows the interrelationships among the products (i.e., analysis and model reports) developed for biosphere modeling and how this analysis report contributes to biosphere modeling. This analysis report defines and justifies values of atmospheric mass loading for the biosphere model. Mass loading is the total mass concentration of resuspended particles (e.g., dust, ash) in a volume of air. Mass loading values are used in the air submodel of the biosphere model to calculate concentrations of radionuclides in air inhaled by a receptor and concentrations in air surrounding crops. Concentrations in air to which the receptor is exposed are then used in the inhalation submodel to calculate the dose contribution to the receptor from inhalation of contaminated airborne particles. Concentrations in air surrounding plants are used in the plant submodel to calculate the concentrations of radionuclides in foodstuffs contributed from uptake by foliar interception. This

  7. The Biosphere as a Living System. On Peculiarities of the Evolutionary Process on the Biosphere Level

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexej Yablokov

    2016-10-01

    sovereign (“suprime” living system. The main functional feature of the biosphere is almost a vicious turnover of the matters; a phytomass becomes zoomass and mikrobiomass, and after their dying off both become a nekromass (mineral mass. Photosynthesis transforms of mineral mass again into a phytomass. This turnover of matter based on the division of all living organisms on the producers (autotrophs, of consumers (heterotrophs, and decomposers (reducents. Before the Anthropocene the degree of closure of the turnover of matter in the Earth’ ecosystem have reached, apparently, extreme values in 90–99%. This was due to more efficient utilization of waste of each of the trophic level, thanks to the growth of a biodiversity. During evolution of the biosphere intensity of turnover of chemical elements on the planet grew. The turnover rate in warm-blooded animals hundreds times higher than in cold-blooded ones. Although most of the biomass is turn into nekromass, a small portion turn into the propaguls (seeds, spores, eggs, etc., transferred by the arrow of time and providing the self-renewal of ecosystems. Its nonlinearity was essential feature of evolution of the biosphere – the periods of smooth development were replaced accelerated (including under the influence of the astrophysical factors. Maintenance of life on the planet was the main functional imperative of the biosphere at all stages of its evolution to an Anthropocene. A "memory" of the biosphere (the results of its evolution as in the form of the morphological and functional differentiation of biosystems, as soon as in forms of biogenous changes of a lithosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere canalizes occurring in the biosphere subsequent changes. This a "memory" allows to multiply successful evolutionary discoveries (which are, in fact, the technologies of survival of ecosystems, and resulted of the emergence of more and more complex forms of life. The basis of the matter turnover is the trophic chain (transfer

  8. Implications of Biospheric Energization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Budding, Edd; Demircan, Osman; Gündüz, Güngör; Emin Özel, Mehmet

    2016-07-01

    Our physical model relating to the origin and development of lifelike processes from very simple beginnings is reviewed. This molecular ('ABC') process is compared with the chemoton model, noting the role of the autocatalytic tuning to the time-dependent source of energy. This substantiates a Darwinian character to evolution. The system evolves from very simple beginnings to a progressively more highly tuned, energized and complex responding biosphere, that grows exponentially; albeit with a very low net growth factor. Rates of growth and complexity in the evolution raise disturbing issues of inherent stability. Autocatalytic processes can include a fractal character to their development allowing recapitulative effects to be observed. This property, in allowing similarities of pattern to be recognized, can be useful in interpreting complex (lifelike) systems.

  9. Terrestrial Biosphere Dynamics in the Climate System: Past and Future

    Science.gov (United States)

    Overpeck, J.; Whitlock, C.; Huntley, B.

    2002-12-01

    The paleoenvironmental record makes it clear that climate change as large as is likely to occur in the next two centuries will drive change in the terrestrial biosphere that is both large and difficult to predict, or plan for. Many species, communities and ecosystems could experience rates of climate change, and "destination climates" that are unprecedented in their time on earth. The paleorecord also makes it clear that a wide range of possible climate system behavior, such as decades-long droughts, increases in large storm and flood frequency, and rapid sea level rise, all occurred repeatedly in the past, and for poorly understood reasons. These types of events, if they were to reoccur in the future, could have especially devastating impacts on biodiversity, both because their timing and spatial extent cannot be anticipated, and because the biota's natural defenses have been compromised by land-use, reductions in genetic flexibility, pollution, excess water utilization, invasive species, and other human influences. Vegetation disturbance (e.g., by disease, pests and fire) will undoubtedly be exacerbated by climate change (stress), but could also speed the rate at which terrestrial biosphere change takes place in the future. The paleoenvironmental record makes it clear that major scientific challenges include an improved ability to model regional biospheric change, both past and future. This in turn will be a prerequisite to obtaining realistic estimates of future biogeochemical and biophysical feedbacks, and thus to obtaining better assessments of future climate change. These steps will help generate the improved understanding of climate variability that is needed to manage global biodiversity. However, the most troubling message from the paleoenvironmental record is that unchecked anthropogenic climate change could make the Earth's 6th major mass extinction unavoidable.

  10. Agricultural and Environmental Input Parameters for the Biosphere Model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    K. Rasmuson; K. Rautenstrauch

    2004-09-14

    This analysis is one of 10 technical reports that support the Environmental Radiation Model for Yucca Mountain Nevada (ERMYN) (i.e., the biosphere model). It documents development of agricultural and environmental input parameters for the biosphere model, and supports the use of the model to develop biosphere dose conversion factors (BDCFs). The biosphere model is one of a series of process models supporting the total system performance assessment (TSPA) for the repository at Yucca Mountain. The ERMYN provides the TSPA with the capability to perform dose assessments. A graphical representation of the documentation hierarchy for the ERMYN is presented in Figure 1-1. This figure shows the interrelationships between the major activities and their products (the analysis and model reports) that were planned in ''Technical Work Plan for Biosphere Modeling and Expert Support'' (BSC 2004 [DIRS 169573]). The ''Biosphere Model Report'' (BSC 2004 [DIRS 169460]) describes the ERMYN and its input parameters.

  11. The deep subterranean biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pedersen, Karsten

    1993-08-01

    The main purpose with this review is to summarise present research on the microbiology of deep subterranean environments, deeper than 50-100 m. Included are mainly studies where drilling, excavation, core sampling and ground water sampling have been made for research. Studies done in environments penetrated for commercial purposes, such as water wells, mining, oil recovery etc., have been dismissed because of the obvious risk for contamination during the penetration. Different measures that can be applied to reduce the risk of microbial contamination of sampled specimens by the access operations are discussed. The requirement for reliable estimations of the present microbial biomass, its activity and diversity in subterranean ecosystems, is fundamental. An array of different methods to achieve this goal are presented. The depth limit for subterranean life is suggested to be set by temperature, provided there is energy available for microbial life. If so, it should be possible to enrich thermophilic bacteria from deep hot ground waters which also has been done. There are only a few sites where the subterranean microbiology has been studied in multidisiplinary programs including chemistry and geology. The two most extensively published sites are the sediments of the Atlantic coastal plain of South Carolina, USA, studied in a subsurface program, initiated and sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, and crystalline bed-rock in Sweden studied in a program concerning the safety of future underground repositories for nuclear waste. This review presents an array of independent reports suggesting that microbial life is widespread at depth in the crust of earth—the deep subterranean biosphere. The obvious consequences is that microbes may be involved in many subterranean geochemical processes, such as diagenesis, weathering, precipitation, and in oxidation or reduction reactions of metals, carbon, nitrogen and sulfur—just as they are in most terranean environments.

  12. Characteristics of the Receptor for the Biosphere Model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    M.A. Wasiolek

    2005-04-05

    This analysis report is one of a series of technical reports that document the Environmental Radiation Model for Yucca Mountain, Nevada (ERMYN), a biosphere model supporting the total system performance assessment (TSPA) for the geologic repository at Yucca Mountain. This report is one of the five biosphere reports that develop input parameter values for the biosphere model. The ''Biosphere Model Report'' (BSC 2004 [DIRS 169460]) describes the conceptual model, as well as the mathematical model and its input parameters. Figure 1-1 is a graphical representation of the documentation hierarchy for the ERMYN. This figure shows relationships among the products (i.e., scientific analyses and model reports) developed for biosphere modeling and biosphere abstraction products for TSPA, as identified in the ''Technical Work Plan for Biosphere Modeling and Expert Support'' (BSC 2005 [DIRS 172782]). The purpose of this analysis report is to define values for biosphere model parameters that are related to the dietary, lifestyle, and dosimetric characteristics of the receptor. The biosphere model, consistent with the licensing rule at 10 CFR Part 63 [DIRS 173164], uses a hypothetical person called the reasonably maximally exposed individual (RMEI) to represent the potentially exposed population. The parameters that define the RMEI are based on the behaviors and characteristics of the residents of the unincorporated town of Amargosa Valley, consistent with the requirements of 10 CFR 63.312 [DIRS 173164]. The output of this report is used as direct input in the two analyses identified in Figure 1-1 that calculate the values of biosphere dose conversion factors (BDCFs) for the groundwater and volcanic ash exposure scenarios. The parameter values developed in this report are reflected in the TSPA through the BDCFs. The analysis was performed in accordance with LP-SIII.9Q-BSC, ''Scientific Analyses'', and the technical work

  13. Environmental Transport Input Parameters for the Biosphere Model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    M. A. Wasiolek

    2003-06-27

    This analysis report is one of the technical reports documenting the Environmental Radiation Model for Yucca Mountain Nevada (ERMYN), a biosphere model supporting the total system performance assessment (TSPA) for the geologic repository at Yucca Mountain. A graphical representation of the documentation hierarchy for the ERMYN is presented in Figure 1-1. This figure shows relationships among the reports developed for biosphere modeling and biosphere abstraction products for the TSPA, as identified in the ''Technical Work Plan: for Biosphere Modeling and Expert Support'' (TWP) (BSC 2003 [163602]). Some documents in Figure 1-1 may be under development and not available when this report is issued. This figure provides an understanding of how this report contributes to biosphere modeling in support of the license application (LA), but access to the listed documents is not required to understand the contents of this report. This report is one of the reports that develops input parameter values for the biosphere model. The ''Biosphere Model Report'' (BSC 2003 [160699]) describes the conceptual model, the mathematical model, and the input parameters. The purpose of this analysis is to develop biosphere model parameter values related to radionuclide transport and accumulation in the environment. These parameters support calculations of radionuclide concentrations in the environmental media (e.g., soil, crops, animal products, and air) resulting from a given radionuclide concentration at the source of contamination (i.e., either in groundwater or volcanic ash). The analysis was performed in accordance with the TWP (BSC 2003 [163602]). This analysis develops values of parameters associated with many features, events, and processes (FEPs) applicable to the reference biosphere (DTN: M00303SEPFEPS2.000 [162452]), which are addressed in the biosphere model (BSC 2003 [160699]). The treatment of these FEPs is described in BSC (2003 [160699

  14. Work in support of biosphere assessments for solid radioactive waste disposal. 1. performance assessments, requirements and methodology; criteria for radiological environmental protection

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Egan, M.J.; Loose, M.; Smith, G.M.; Watkins, B.M. [QuantiSci Ltd., Henley-on-Thames (United Kingdom)

    2001-10-01

    The first part of this report is intended to assess how the recent Swedish regulatory developments and resulting criteria impose requirements on what should be included in a performance assessment (PA) for the SFR low and medium level waste repository and for a potential deep repository for high level waste. The second part of the report has been prepared by QuantiSci as an input to the development of SSI's PA review methodology. The aim of the third part is to provide research input to the development of radiological protection framework for the environment, for use in Sweden. This is achieved through a review of various approaches used in other fields.

  15. Evolution of Earth-like Extrasolar Planetary Atmospheres: Assessing the Atmospheres and Biospheres of Early Earth Analog Planets with a Coupled Atmosphere Biogeochemical Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gebauer, S.; Grenfell, J. L.; Stock, J. W.; Lehmann, R.; Godolt, M.; von Paris, P.; Rauer, H.

    2017-01-01

    Understanding the evolution of Earth and potentially habitable Earth-like worlds is essential to fathom our origin in the Universe. The search for Earth-like planets in the habitable zone and investigation of their atmospheres with climate and photochemical models is a central focus in exoplanetary science. Taking the evolution of Earth as a reference for Earth-like planets, a central scientific goal is to understand what the interactions were between atmosphere, geology, and biology on early Earth. The Great Oxidation Event in Earth's history was certainly caused by their interplay, but the origin and controlling processes of this occurrence are not well understood, the study of which will require interdisciplinary, coupled models. In this work, we present results from our newly developed Coupled Atmosphere Biogeochemistry model in which atmospheric O2 concentrations are fixed to values inferred by geological evidence. Applying a unique tool (Pathway Analysis Program), ours is the first quantitative analysis of catalytic cycles that governed O2 in early Earth's atmosphere near the Great Oxidation Event. Complicated oxidation pathways play a key role in destroying O2, whereas in the upper atmosphere, most O2 is formed abiotically via CO2 photolysis. The O2 bistability found by Goldblatt et al. (2006) is not observed in our calculations likely due to our detailed CH4 oxidation scheme. We calculate increased CH4 with increasing O2 during the Great Oxidation Event. For a given atmospheric surface flux, different atmospheric states are possible; however, the net primary productivity of the biosphere that produces O2 is unique. Mixing, CH4 fluxes, ocean solubility, and mantle/crust properties strongly affect net primary productivity and surface O2 fluxes. Regarding exoplanets, different "states" of O2 could exist for similar biomass output. Strong geological activity could lead to false negatives for life (since our analysis suggests that reducing gases remove O2 that

  16. Biospheric feedback effects in a synchronously coupled model of human and Earth systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Thornton, Peter E.; Calvin, Katherine; Jones, Andrew D.; Di Vittorio, Alan V.; Bond-Lamberty, Ben; Chini, Louise; Shi, Xiaoying; Mao, Jiafu; Collins, William D.; Edmonds, Jae; Thomson, Allison; Truesdale, John; Craig, Anthony; Branstetter, Marcia L.; Hurtt, George

    2017-06-12

    Fossil fuel combustion and land-use change are the first and second largest contributors to industrial-era increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration, which is itself the largest driver of present-day climate change1. Projections of fossil fuel consumption and land-use change are thus fundamental inputs for coupled Earth system models (ESM) used to estimate the physical and biological consequences of future climate system forcing2,3. While empirical datasets are available to inform historical analyses4,5, assessments of future climate change have relied on projections of energy and land use based on energy economic models, constrained using historical and present-day data and forced with assumptions about future policy, land-use patterns, and socio-economic development trajectories6. Here we show that the influence of biospheric change – the integrated effect of climatic, ecological, and geochemical processes – on land ecosystems has a significant impact on energy, agriculture, and land-use projections for the 21st century. Such feedbacks have been ignored in previous ESM studies of future climate. We find that synchronous exposure of land ecosystem productivity in the economic system to biospheric change as it develops in an ESM results in a 10% reduction of land area used for crop cultivation; increased managed forest area and land carbon; a 15-20% decrease in global crop price; and a 17% reduction in fossil fuel emissions for a low-mid range forcing scenario7. These simulation results demonstrate that biospheric change can significantly alter primary human system forcings to the climate system. This synchronous two-way coupling approach removes inconsistencies in description of climate change between human and biosphere components of the coupled model, mitigating a major source of uncertainty identified in assessments of future climate projections8-10.

  17. A summary of biospheric research 1975-1997

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Edlund, O.; Bergstroem, U.; Hallberg, B.; Karlsson, Sara [Studsvik Eco and Safety AB, Nykoeping (Sweden)

    1999-12-01

    The aim of this study is to present a summary of the work performed within the frame of SKB's biosphere programme during 1975 - 1997. The studies focused on field studies and theoretical model development. Important problems identified during this time period are pointed out. Summaries of the biospheric parts of the safety analyses performed since 1977 are given. Models are described as well as basic assumptions. Already the first analysis had an overall approach including dispersion from local to global zones with multiple exposure pathways. Compartment models have been used whereby the rate constants in the first assessments were mostly based on observed redistribution of radionuclides in nature. During the years emphasis has been laid on the description of processes mathematically and additional processes have been included in the models. In general, standard biospheres with constant environmental conditions were applied with focus on releases of radionuclides to wells, lakes and coastal areas. Drinking water has shown to be an important exposure pathway but not always the dominant one. Some screening calculations performed showed that peat bogs may be important recipients when doses to humans are concerned. The field studies initially focused on the naturally existing isotopes of U and Ra. A lot of studies were performed to gain data concerning the levels of these radionuclides in soils and waters. The studies also obtained information about back-ground values and the distribution between various biospheric components which was used to support model assumptions. A special sampling programme with the purpose to outline influence of drying up of lakes on the dose to individuals of critical group was also performed. The dose calculations showed that the doses could increase two orders of magnitude for immobile elements when the lake had dried up. Investigations of the natural abundance of radionuclides in soil and flora were performed later. After the

  18. LIMITS OF THE EARTH BIOSPHERE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karel KUDRNA

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Evaluation of the state of CO2 accumulation in the atmosphere demands knowledge on possibilities of the biosphere – its photosynthetizing apparatus, conditions and limits of absorption. A decisive precondition is to determine relation of CO2 accumulation by photosynthesis in dependence on the water balance, especially on its control quantity – transpiration, which is stabilized by supporting of underground waters.

  19. Evolution of Earth-like Extrasolar Planetary Atmospheres: Assessing the Atmospheres and Biospheres of Early Earth Analog Planets with a Coupled Atmosphere Biogeochemical Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gebauer, S; Grenfell, J L; Stock, J W; Lehmann, R; Godolt, M; von Paris, P; Rauer, H

    2017-01-01

    Understanding the evolution of Earth and potentially habitable Earth-like worlds is essential to fathom our origin in the Universe. The search for Earth-like planets in the habitable zone and investigation of their atmospheres with climate and photochemical models is a central focus in exoplanetary science. Taking the evolution of Earth as a reference for Earth-like planets, a central scientific goal is to understand what the interactions were between atmosphere, geology, and biology on early Earth. The Great Oxidation Event in Earth's history was certainly caused by their interplay, but the origin and controlling processes of this occurrence are not well understood, the study of which will require interdisciplinary, coupled models. In this work, we present results from our newly developed Coupled Atmosphere Biogeochemistry model in which atmospheric O2 concentrations are fixed to values inferred by geological evidence. Applying a unique tool (Pathway Analysis Program), ours is the first quantitative analysis of catalytic cycles that governed O2 in early Earth's atmosphere near the Great Oxidation Event. Complicated oxidation pathways play a key role in destroying O2, whereas in the upper atmosphere, most O2 is formed abiotically via CO2 photolysis. The O2 bistability found by Goldblatt et al. ( 2006 ) is not observed in our calculations likely due to our detailed CH4 oxidation scheme. We calculate increased CH4 with increasing O2 during the Great Oxidation Event. For a given atmospheric surface flux, different atmospheric states are possible; however, the net primary productivity of the biosphere that produces O2 is unique. Mixing, CH4 fluxes, ocean solubility, and mantle/crust properties strongly affect net primary productivity and surface O2 fluxes. Regarding exoplanets, different "states" of O2 could exist for similar biomass output. Strong geological activity could lead to false negatives for life (since our analysis suggests that reducing gases remove O2 that

  20. Soil-Related Input Parameters for the Biosphere Model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    A. J. Smith

    2004-09-09

    This report presents one of the analyses that support the Environmental Radiation Model for Yucca Mountain Nevada (ERMYN). The ''Biosphere Model Report'' (BSC 2004 [DIRS 169460]) describes the details of the conceptual model as well as the mathematical model and the required input parameters. The biosphere model is one of a series of process models supporting the postclosure Total System Performance Assessment (TSPA) for the Yucca Mountain repository. A schematic representation of the documentation flow for the Biosphere input to TSPA is presented in Figure 1-1. This figure shows the evolutionary relationships among the products (i.e., analysis and model reports) developed for biosphere modeling, and the biosphere abstraction products for TSPA, as identified in the ''Technical Work Plan for Biosphere Modeling and Expert Support'' (TWP) (BSC 2004 [DIRS 169573]). This figure is included to provide an understanding of how this analysis report contributes to biosphere modeling in support of the license application, and is not intended to imply that access to the listed documents is required to understand the contents of this report. This report, ''Soil-Related Input Parameters for the Biosphere Model'', is one of the five analysis reports that develop input parameters for use in the ERMYN model. This report is the source documentation for the six biosphere parameters identified in Table 1-1. The purpose of this analysis was to develop the biosphere model parameters associated with the accumulation and depletion of radionuclides in the soil. These parameters support the calculation of radionuclide concentrations in soil from on-going irrigation or ash deposition and, as a direct consequence, radionuclide concentration in other environmental media that are affected by radionuclide concentrations in soil. The analysis was performed in accordance with the TWP (BSC 2004 [DIRS 169573]) where the governing procedure

  1. Development of a reference biospheres methodology for radioactive waste disposal. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dorp, F. van [NAGRA (Switzerland)] [and others

    1996-09-01

    detail by the Working Group assumes a requirement to calculate annual individual doses arising from long term release of radionuclides in groundwater at an inland site. Though to a degree limited, this context is broadly relevant to many assessments and so the FEP List may be useful as a generic starting point for new model development or for auditing existing biosphere assessments. An example illustration of how to apply the methodology has been provided, based on the case description of the Complementary Studies Working Group of BIOMOVS II. (The results of the Complementary Studies exercise are provided in a separate BIOMOVS II Technical Report.) The application of the International FEP List to the Complementary Studies case description has been examined. A major component of the methodology is the development of a conceptual model from the available information about processes and the related data. Several approaches are discussed, including 'process influence diagrams', 'event trees', and the Rock Engineering System (RES) Interaction Matrix Methodology. The latter was tested in some depth by the Working Group and found to be effective at helping to distinguish the more and less important FEPs, and in identifying the important interactions between components of the system being modelled. An interesting feature of the interaction matrix methodology is that the FEP List applied to the matrix construction process can be developed independently from the matrix. If the matrix were to be developed by the same people as the FEP List then there could be legitimate criticism that the matrix, and hence the conceptual models, had been designed in a closed loop of assessment modelers. However, any issue can be introduced by any interested party through the FEP List. The auditing step allows these other issues to be introduced in model development and so forces the assessment team to explain how the issues are to be dealt with. At the same time, previous

  2. Evaluation of Features, Events, and Processes (FEP) for the Biosphere Model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    M. Wasiolek; P. Rogers

    2004-10-27

    The purpose of this analysis report is to evaluate and document the inclusion or exclusion of biosphere features, events, and processes (FEPs) with respect to modeling used to support the total system performance assessment (TSPA) for the license application (LA). A screening decision, either ''Included'' or ''Excluded'', is given for each FEP along with the corresponding technical basis for the excluded FEPs and the descriptions of how the included FEPs were incorporated in the biosphere model. This information is required by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) regulations at 10 CFR 63.114 (d, e, and f) [DIRS 156605]. The FEPs addressed in this report concern characteristics of the reference biosphere, the receptor, and the environmental transport and receptor exposure pathways for the groundwater and volcanic ash exposure scenarios considered in biosphere modeling. This revision provides the summary of the implementation of included FEPs in TSPA-LA, (i.e., how the FEP is included); for excluded FEPs, this analysis provides the technical basis for exclusion from TSPA-LA (i.e., why the FEP is excluded). This report is one of the 10 documents constituting the biosphere model documentation suite. A graphical representation of the documentation hierarchy for the biosphere model is presented in Figure 1-1. This figure shows the interrelationships among the products (i.e., analysis and model reports) developed for biosphere modeling. The ''Biosphere Model Report'' describes in detail the biosphere conceptual model and mathematical model. The input parameter reports shown to the right of the ''Biosphere Model Report'' contain detailed descriptions of the model input parameters and their development. Outputs from these six reports are used in the ''Nominal Performance Biosphere Dose Conversion Factor Analysis and Disruptive Event Biosphere Dose Conversion Factor Analysis

  3. Disruptive Event Biosphere Doser Conversion Factor Analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    M. Wasiolek

    2000-12-28

    The purpose of this report was to document the process leading to, and the results of, development of radionuclide-, exposure scenario-, and ash thickness-specific Biosphere Dose Conversion Factors (BDCFs) for the postulated postclosure extrusive igneous event (volcanic eruption) at Yucca Mountain. BDCF calculations were done for seventeen radionuclides. The selection of radionuclides included those that may be significant dose contributors during the compliance period of up to 10,000 years, as well as radionuclides of importance for up to 1 million years postclosure. The approach documented in this report takes into account human exposure during three different phases at the time of, and after, volcanic eruption. Calculations of disruptive event BDCFs used the GENII-S computer code in a series of probabilistic realizations to propagate the uncertainties of input parameters into the output. The pathway analysis included consideration of different exposure pathway's contribution to the BDCFs. BDCFs for volcanic eruption, when combined with the concentration of radioactivity deposited by eruption on the soil surface, allow calculation of potential radiation doses to the receptor of interest. Calculation of radioactivity deposition is outside the scope of this report and so is the transport of contaminated ash from the volcano to the location of the receptor. The integration of the biosphere modeling results (BDCFs) with the outcomes of the other component models is accomplished in the Total System Performance Assessment (TSPA), in which doses are calculated to the receptor of interest from radionuclides postulated to be released to the environment from the potential repository at Yucca Mountain.

  4. Nominal Performance Biosphere Dose Conversion Factor Analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    M. Wasiolek

    2000-12-21

    The purpose of this report was to document the process leading to development of the Biosphere Dose Conversion Factors (BDCFs) for the postclosure nominal performance of the potential repository at Yucca Mountain. BDCF calculations concerned twenty-four radionuclides. This selection included sixteen radionuclides that may be significant nominal performance dose contributors during the compliance period of up to 10,000 years, five additional radionuclides of importance for up to 1 million years postclosure, and three relatively short-lived radionuclides important for the human intrusion scenario. Consideration of radionuclide buildup in soil caused by previous irrigation with contaminated groundwater was taken into account in the BDCF development. The effect of climate evolution, from the current arid conditions to a wetter and cooler climate, on the BDCF values was evaluated. The analysis included consideration of different exposure pathway's contribution to the BDCFs. Calculations of nominal performance BDCFs used the GENII-S computer code in a series of probabilistic realizations to propagate the uncertainties of input parameters into the output. BDCFs for the nominal performance, when combined with the concentrations of radionuclides in groundwater allow calculation of potential radiation doses to the receptor of interest. Calculated estimates of radionuclide concentration in groundwater result from the saturated zone modeling. The integration of the biosphere modeling results (BDCFs) with the outcomes of the other component models is accomplished in the Total System Performance Assessment (TSPA) to calculate doses to the receptor of interest from radionuclides postulated to be released to the environment from the potential repository at Yucca Mountain.

  5. Drivers and patterns of land biosphere carbon balance reversal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller, Christoph; Stehfest, Elke; van Minnen, Jelle G.; Strengers, Bart; von Bloh, Werner; Beusen, Arthur H. W.; Schaphoff, Sibyll; Kram, Tom; Lucht, Wolfgang

    2016-04-01

    The carbon balance of the land biosphere is the result of complex interactions between land, atmosphere and oceans, including climatic change, carbon dioxide fertilization and land-use change. While the land biosphere currently absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, this carbon balance might be reversed under climate and land-use change (‘carbon balance reversal’). A carbon balance reversal would render climate mitigation much more difficult, as net negative emissions would be needed to even stabilize atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations. We investigate the robustness of the land biosphere carbon sink under different socio-economic pathways by systematically varying climate sensitivity, spatial patterns of climate change and resulting land-use changes. For this, we employ a modelling framework designed to account for all relevant feedback mechanisms by coupling the integrated assessment model IMAGE with the process-based dynamic vegetation, hydrology and crop growth model LPJmL. We find that carbon balance reversal can occur under a broad range of forcings and is connected to changes in tree cover and soil carbon mainly in northern latitudes. These changes are largely a consequence of vegetation responses to varying climate and only partially of land-use change and the rate of climate change. Spatial patterns of climate change as deduced from different climate models, substantially determine how much pressure in terms of global warming and land-use change the land biosphere will tolerate before the carbon balance is reversed. A reversal of the land biosphere carbon balance can occur as early as 2030, although at very low probability, and should be considered in the design of so-called peak-and-decline strategies.

  6. Life span of the biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovelock, J. E.; Whitfield, M.

    1982-04-01

    Since main sequence stars appear to increase their burning rate as they age, the sun may be thought to have increased its output by 30% since the earth's origin 4.5 billion years ago. Due to the requirement for some means of planetary thermostasis in the maintenance of an equable climate since life began, possible links are considered between the biological, Gaia hypothesis of Lovelock and Margulis (1974) for climate control, and Walker et al's (in press) model of automatic thermostasis, in which the abundance of such atmospheric greenhouse gases as CO2 adjusts to resist the warming tendency of the increased solar flux. It is concluded that, since atmospheric CO2 is now close to its partial pressure lower limit, the biosphere will on a geological time-scale be soon exposed, without protection, to the predicted solar luminosity increases.

  7. The Sword of Damocles and the Biosphere

    OpenAIRE

    Cairns, John

    2011-01-01

    The tale of the sword of Damocles can be used to describe the sword hanging by a thread over humankind with the damage it is doing to the present biosphere. The sixth biosphere, or the current biosphere, is experiencing a significant reduction in species caused by human-related activities. The signs of risk have markedly increased by the signs differ considerably from one are to another, and people tend do discount global change because it is unnoticeable in their local area. If humans begin...

  8. Preliminary Feasibility Study of a Hybrid Solar and Modular Pumped Storage Hydro System at Biosphere 2

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lansey, Kevin [Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ (United States); Hortsman, Chris [Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ (United States)

    2016-10-01

    In this study, the preliminary feasibility of a hybrid solar and modular pumped storage system designed for high energy independence at Biosphere 2 is assessed. The system consists of an array of solar PV panels that generate electricity during the day to power both Biosphere 2 and a pump that sends water through a pipe to a tank at a high elevation. When solar power is not available, the water is released back down the pipe towards a tank at a lower elevation, where it passes through a hydraulic water turbine to generate hydroelectricity to power Biosphere 2. The hybrid system is sized to generate and store enough energy to enable Biosphere 2 to operate without a grid interconnection on an average day.

  9. Biospheric Aspects of the Hydrological Cycle : (Dutch National Research Programme on Global Air Pollution and Climate Change

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kabat, P.; Claussen, M.; Dirmeyer, P.A.; Gash, J.H.C.; Bravo de Guenni, L.; Meybeck, M.; Pielke Sr., R.A.; Vörösmarty, C.J.; Hall, F.; Hutjes, R.W.A.; Lütkemeier, S.; Feddes, R.A.; Veraart, J.A.

    2002-01-01

    A briefly review on the current knowledge of the influence of the terrestrial vegetation and soils within the climate system, especially the interactions between the terrestrial biosphere and atmosphere via the hydrological cycle

  10. Ciliates and the rare biosphere: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunthorn, Micah; Stoeck, Thorsten; Clamp, John; Warren, Alan; Mahé, Frédéric

    2014-01-01

    Here we provide a brief review of the rare biosphere from the perspective of ciliates and other microbial eukaryotes. We trace research on rarity from its lack of much in-depth focus in morphological and Sanger sequencing projects, to its central importance in analyses using high throughput sequencing strategies. The problem that the rare biosphere is potentially comprised of mostly errors is then discussed in the light of asking community-comparative, novel-diversity, and ecosystem-functioning questions.

  11. Earth's Early Biosphere and the Biogeochemical Carbon Cycle

    Science.gov (United States)

    DesMarais, David

    2004-01-01

    Our biosphere has altered the global environment principally by influencing the chemistry of those elements most important for life, e g., C, N, S, O, P and transition metals (e.g., Fe and Mn). The coupling of oxygenic photosynthesis with the burial in sediments of photosynthetic organic matter, and with the escape of H2 to space, has increased the state of oxidation of the Oceans and atmosphere. It has also created highly reduced conditions within sedimentary rocks that have also extensively affected the geochemistry of several elements. The decline of volcanism during Earth's history reduced the flow of reduced chemical species that reacted with photosynthetically produced O2. The long-term net accumulation of photosynthetic O2 via biogeochemical processes has profoundly influenced our atmosphere and biosphere, as evidenced by the O2 levels required for algae, multicellular life and certain modem aerobic bacteria to exist. When our biosphere developed photosynthesis, it tapped into an energy resource that was much larger than the energy available from oxidation-reduction reactions associated with weathering and hydrothermal activity. Today, hydrothermal sources deliver globally (0.13-1.1)x10(exp l2) mol yr(sup -1) of reduced S, Fe(2+), Mn(2+), H2 and CH4; this is estimated to sustain at most about (0.2-2)xl0(exp 12)mol C yr(sup -1) of organic carbon production by chemautotrophic microorganisms. In contrast, global photosynthetic productivity is estimated to be 9000x10(exp 12) mol C yr(sup -1). Thus, even though global thermal fluxes were greater in the distant geologic past than today, the onset of oxygenic photosynthesis probably increased global organic productivity by some two or more orders of magnitude. This enormous productivity materialized principally because oxygenic photosynthesizers unleashed a virtually unlimited supply of reduced H that forever freed life from its sole dependence upon abiotic sources of reducing power such as hydrothermal emanations

  12. Earth's Early Biosphere and the Biogeochemical Carbon Cycle

    Science.gov (United States)

    DesMarais, David

    2004-01-01

    Our biosphere has altered the global environment principally by influencing the chemistry of those elements most important for life, e g., C, N, S, O, P and transition metals (e.g., Fe and Mn). The coupling of oxygenic photosynthesis with the burial in sediments of photosynthetic organic matter, and with the escape of H2 to space, has increased the state of oxidation of the Oceans and atmosphere. It has also created highly reduced conditions within sedimentary rocks that have also extensively affected the geochemistry of several elements. The decline of volcanism during Earth's history reduced the flow of reduced chemical species that reacted with photosynthetically produced O2. The long-term net accumulation of photosynthetic O2 via biogeochemical processes has profoundly influenced our atmosphere and biosphere, as evidenced by the O2 levels required for algae, multicellular life and certain modem aerobic bacteria to exist. When our biosphere developed photosynthesis, it tapped into an energy resource that was much larger than the energy available from oxidation-reduction reactions associated with weathering and hydrothermal activity. Today, hydrothermal sources deliver globally (0.13-1.1)x10(exp l2) mol yr(sup -1) of reduced S, Fe(2+), Mn(2+), H2 and CH4; this is estimated to sustain at most about (0.2-2)xl0(exp 12)mol C yr(sup -1) of organic carbon production by chemautotrophic microorganisms. In contrast, global photosynthetic productivity is estimated to be 9000x10(exp 12) mol C yr(sup -1). Thus, even though global thermal fluxes were greater in the distant geologic past than today, the onset of oxygenic photosynthesis probably increased global organic productivity by some two or more orders of magnitude. This enormous productivity materialized principally because oxygenic photosynthesizers unleashed a virtually unlimited supply of reduced H that forever freed life from its sole dependence upon abiotic sources of reducing power such as hydrothermal emanations

  13. Swansong Biospheres II: The final signs of life on terrestrial planets near the end of their habitable lifetimes

    CERN Document Server

    O'Malley-James, Jack T; Greaves, Jane S; Raven, John A

    2013-01-01

    The biosignatures of life on Earth do not remain static, but change considerably over the planet's habitable lifetime. Earth's future biosphere, much like that of the early Earth, will consist of predominantly unicellular microorganisms due to the increased hostility of environmental conditions caused by the Sun as it enters the late stage of its main sequence evolution. Building on previous work, the productivity of the biosphere is evaluated during different stages of biosphere decline between 1 Gyr and 2.8 Gyr from present. A simple atmosphere-biosphere interaction model is used to estimate the atmospheric biomarker gas abundances at each stage and to assess the likelihood of remotely detecting the presence of life in low-productivity, microbial biospheres, putting an upper limit on the lifetime of Earth's remotely detectable biosignatures. Other potential biosignatures such as leaf reflectance and cloud cover are discussed.

  14. Probabilistic assessment of the influence of lake properties in long-term radiation doses to humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pohjola, Jari; Turunen, Jari; Lipping, Tarmo; Ikonen, Ari T K

    2016-11-01

    The assessment processes concerning the safety of nuclear waste repositories include the modelling of radionuclide transport in biosphere and the evaluation of the doses to the most affected humans. In this paper, a scenario, in which a contaminated lake is the water source for drinking water, irrigation water and watering of livestock, is presented. The objective of the paper is to probabilistically study the influence of lake properties as parameters in the assessment scenario. The properties of the lake are a result of previously conducted probabilistic studies, where the land uplift of the terrain surrounding the repositories and the formation of water bodies were studied in a 10,000-year time span using Monte Carlo simulation. The lake is formed at 3000 years from present day and the changing properties of the lake have been used in the study. The studied radionuclides (36)Cl, (135)Cs, (129)I, (237)Np, (90)Sr, (99)Tc and (238)U enter the lake with a rate of 1 Bq/year. The transport process from the lake water to humans is described and the doses (dose conversion factors) to adult humans are evaluated based on a study on average food consumption. Sensitivity analysis is used for identifying the parameters having the most influence on the outcome of the dose. Based on the results from the sensitivity analysis, the volumetric outflow rate of the lake and the volume of the lake were taken into closer consideration. The results show the influence of probabilistically derived geomorphic lake input parameters on the dose. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Illustrative probabilistic biosphere model for Yucca Mountain individual risk calculations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wilems, R.E. [Del Mar Consulting, Corpus Christi, TX (United States)

    1994-12-31

    The proposed EPA Standards for the disposal of spent fuel, high-level and transuranic radioactive waste prescribe future biosphere--one in which no sustained human activity occurs inside the controlled zone, yet sustained use of groundwater occurs just outside the controlled zone boundary. Performance assessments have generally assumed a person at this location extracts all his water needs directly from the projected contaminated plume for all of his life. Dose to this maximally-exposed individual is too conservative a measure of performance for a nuclear waste repository and does not reflect the isolation characteristics of a site. A better measure is individual risk in which uncertainties in biosphere characteristics for the longer periods of performance, for a site like Yucca Mountain only those characteristics associated with well water scenarios need be prescribed. Such a prescription of the biosphere is appropriate because the goal of the regulations is to provide indicators of future performance so the regulators can make a responsible decision regarding reasonable assurance of public health and safety.

  16. Changing Practices: Influences on Classroom Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tierney, Robin D.

    2006-01-01

    The pedagogical potential of classroom assessment to support student learning has increasingly been evidenced in research over the past decade. Constructive classroom assessment has been championed by assessment specialists, and endorsed by professional organizations. In practice, however, the process of changing classroom assessment from its…

  17. Past and Future of the Anthropogenic Biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellis, E. C.

    2010-12-01

    Human populations and their use of land have now transformed most of the terrestrial biosphere into anthropogenic biomes (anthromes). As anthromes have emerged as the dominant global forms of ecological pattern and process, human interactions with terrestrial ecosystems have become a key earth system process, determining the structure and functioning of the biosphere. This presentation explores Ester Boserup’s land use intensification theories as models for understanding the emergence and dynamics of anthromes and their ecological processes, including their biogeochemistry and community structure, from the mostly wild biosphere of the Holocene to the primarily anthropogenic biosphere of the present and future. Existing global models and data for human population growth and land use over the Holocene differ in their portrayal of the global transition to a mostly anthropogenic biosphere. Yet there is little doubt that human populations have continued to grow over the long term and that anthromes have been increasingly important global ecological systems for millennia. This is conclusive evidence that human interactions with ecosystems can be sustained over the long-term, albeit under conditions that may no longer be realizable by either Earth or human systems. The classic Malthusian paradigm, in which human population growth outstrips natural resources leading to population collapse is unsupported by historical observations at global scale. Boserupian intensification is the better model, providing a robust theoretical foundation in which socio-ecological systems evolve as human populations increase, towards increasingly efficient use of limiting natural resources and enhanced production of anthropogenic ecological services such as food. This is not a story of technical advance, but rather of the forced adoption of ever more energy-intensive technical solutions in support of ever increasing population demands. And it does explain historical changes in the biosphere

  18. Monitoring recreational impacts in wilderness of Kamchatka (on example of Kronotsky State Natural Biosphere Preserve)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anya V. Zavadskaya

    2011-01-01

    This paper describes an assessment and monitoring program that was designed and initiated for monitoring recreational impacts in a wilderness in Kamchatka. The framework of the recreational assessment was tested through its application to a case study conducted during the summers of 2008 and 2009 in the Kronotsky State Natural Biosphere Preserve (Kamchatka peninsula,...

  19. Application Biosphere Compatibility Concept To Evaluate The Quality Of Urban Environment By Bioindication Methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vorobyov, S.

    2017-01-01

    This article focuses on the application of methods biondisation different types of urban green areas to assess the quality of urban environment from the standpoint of compatibility biosphere concept. To assess urban environmental quality, we used a variety of areas of the city of Orel with different levels of human impact.

  20. The legacy of Biosphere 2 for the study of biospherics and closed ecological systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, J P; Nelson, M; Alling, A

    2003-01-01

    The unprecedented challenges of creating Biosphere 2, the world's first laboratory for biospherics, the study of global ecology and long-term closed ecological system dynamics, led to breakthrough developments in many fields, and a deeper understanding of the opportunities and difficulties of material closure. This paper will review accomplishments and challenges, citing some of the key research findings and publications that have resulted from the experiments in Biosphere 2. Engineering accomplishments included development of a technique for variable volume to deal with pressure differences between the facility and outside environment, developing methods of atmospheric leak detection and sealing, while achieving new standards of closure, with an annual atmospheric leakrate of less than 10%, or less than 300 ppm per day. This degree of closure permitted detailed tracking of carbon dioxide, oxygen, and trace gases such as nitrous oxide and ethylene over the seasonal variability of two years. Full closure also necessitated developing new approaches and technologies for complete air, water, and wastewater recycle and reuse within the facility. The development of a soil-based highly productive agricultural system was a first in closed ecological systems, and much was learned about managing a wide variety of crops using non-chemical means of pest and disease control. Closed ecological systems have different temporal biogeochemical cycling and ranges of atmospheric components because of their smaller reservoirs of air, water and soil, and higher concentration of biomass, and Biosphere 2 provided detailed examination and modeling of these accelerated cycles over a period of closure which measured in years. Medical research inside Biosphere 2 included the effects on humans of lowered oxygen: the discovery that human productivity can be maintained with good health with lowered atmospheric oxygen levels could lead to major economies on the design of space stations and

  1. The legacy of biosphere 2 for the study of biospherics and closed ecological systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, J. P.; Nelson, M.; Alling, A.

    The unprecedented challenges of creating Biosphere 2, the world's first laboratory for biospherics, the study of global ecology and long-term closed ecological system dynamics, led to breakthrough developments in many fields, and a deeper understanding of the opportunities and difficulties of material closure. This paper will review accomplishments and challenges, citing some of the key research findings and publications that have resulted from the experiments in Biosphere 2. Engineering accomplishments included development of a technique for variable volume to deal with pressure differences between the facility and outside environment, developing methods of atmospheric leak detection and sealing, while achieving new standards of closure, with an annual atmospheric leakrate of less than 10%, or less than 300 ppm per day. This degree of closure permitted detailed tracking of carbon dioxide, oxygen, and trice gases such as nitrous oxide and ethylene over the seasonal variability of two years. Full closure also necessitated developing new approaches and technologies for complete air, water, and wastewater recycle and reuse within the facility. The development of a soil-based highly productive agricultural system was a first in closed ecological systems, and much was learned about managing a wide variety of crops using non-chemical means of pest and disease control. Closed ecological systems have different temporal biogeochemical cycling and ranges of atmospheric components because of their smaller reservoirs of air, water and soil, and higher concentration of biomass, and Biosphere 2 provided detailed examination and modeling of these accelerated cycles over a period of closure which measured in years. Medical research inside Biosphere 2 included the effects on humans of lowered oxygen: the discovery that human productivity can be maintained with good health with lowered atmospheric oxygen levels could lead to major economies on the design of space stations and

  2. Sensitivity of global greenhouse gas budgets to tropospheric ozone pollution mediated by the biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Bin; Shugart, Herman H.; Lerdau, Manuel T.

    2017-08-01

    Tropospheric ozone (O3), a harmful secondary air pollutant, can affect the climate via direct radiative forcing and by modifying the radiative forcing of aerosols through its role as an atmospheric oxidant. Moreover, O3 exerts a strong oxidative pressure on the biosphere and indirectly influences the climate by altering the materials and energy exchange between terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere. However, the magnitude by which O3 affects the global budgets of greenhouse gases (GHGs: CO2, CH4, and N2O) through altering the land-atmosphere exchange is largely unknown. Here we assess the sensitivity of these budgets to tropospheric O3 pollution based on a meta-analysis of experimental studies on the effects of elevated O3 on GHG exchange between terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere. We show that across ecosystems, elevated O3 suppresses N2O emissions and both CH4 emissions and uptake, and has little impact on stimulation of soil CO2 emissions except at relatively high concentrations. Therefore, the soil system would be transformed from a sink into a source of GHGs with O3 levels increasing. The global atmospheric budget of GHGs is sensitive to O3 pollution largely because of the carbon dioxide accumulation resulting from suppressed vegetation carbon uptake; the negative contributions from suppressed CH4 and N2O emissions can offset only ˜10% of CO2 emissions from the soil-vegetation system. Based on empirical data, this work, though with uncertainties, provides the first assessment of sensitivity of global budgets of GHGs to O3 pollution, representing a necessary step towards fully understanding and evaluating O3-climate feedbacks mediated by the biosphere.

  3. Latest developments on the modeling of the biosphere in the management of radioactive waste in Spain; Ultimos desarrollos sobre la modelizacion de la biosfera en la gestion de residuos radiactivos en Espana

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Perez Sanchez, D.; Trueba Alonso, C.

    2013-07-01

    In recent years, the CIEMAT has developed for ENRESA a methodology and tools for safety assessment of the biosphere in the management of radioactive waste. This methodology includes modeling of migration and accumulation of radionuclides in the biosphere to allow the assessment of the radiological impact of the distribution of radionuclides in the environment. The working group is developing projects related to the safety assessment of the biosphere, which comprise several studies. In this paper the latest results obtained are described. (Author)

  4. The World Campaign for the Biosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barman, Charles R.

    1984-01-01

    Lists and discusses goals of The World Campaign for the Biosphere and strategies designed to achieve these goals. Also lists eight suggestions for science teachers to help incorporate the goals into school curricula and programs. These include organizing assemblies which present information about environmental problems and presenting environmental…

  5. The World Campaign for the Biosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barman, Charles R.

    1984-01-01

    Lists and discusses goals of The World Campaign for the Biosphere and strategies designed to achieve these goals. Also lists eight suggestions for science teachers to help incorporate the goals into school curricula and programs. These include organizing assemblies which present information about environmental problems and presenting environmental…

  6. Patterns of new versus recycled primary production in the terrestrial biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) availability regulate plant productivity throughout the terrestrial biosphere, influencing the patterns and magnitude of net primary production (NPP) by land plants both now and into the future. These nutrients enter ecosystems via geologic and atmospheric pathways, a...

  7. Ecological research in the large-scale biosphere-atmosphere experiment in Amazonia: early results

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Keller, M.; Alencar, A.; Asner, G.P.; Braswell, B.; Bustamante, M.; Davidson, E.; Feldpausch, T.; Fernandes, E.; Goulden, M.; Kabat, P.; Kruijt, B.; Luizão, F.; Miller, S.; Markewitz, D.; Nobre, A.D.; Nobre, C.A.; Priante Filho, N.; Rocha, da H.; Silva Dias, P.; Randow, von C.; Vourlitis, G.L.

    2004-01-01

    The Large-scale Biosphere-Atmosphere Experiment in Amazonia (LBA) is a multinational, interdisciplinary research program led by Brazil. Ecological studies in LBA focus on how tropical forest conversion, regrowth, and selective logging influence carbon storage,. nutrient dynamics, trace gas fluxes, a

  8. Multistable states in the biosphere-climate system: towards conceptual models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartsev, S.; Belolipetskii, P.; Degermendzhi, A.

    2017-02-01

    Forecasting response of the biosphere and regional ecosystems to observed and expected climate change is the fundamental problem with obvious practical significance. Fundamental non-linearity of the climate system and biosphere makes feasible implementing multiple states and threshold processes in the biosphere-climate system (BCS) in response to gradually increasing influence factor (greenhouse gas concentrations growth). Really time series analysis of global temperature and other global and local parameters indicates the presence of abrupt transitions between stationary states. Identification of the switching mechanisms using general circulation models of the atmosphere and the ocean is associated with the obvious difficulties due to their complexity. Understanding the nature of such switches at qualitative level can be achieved by using a conceptual small-scale models. Some variants of possible mechanisms capable of generating these shifts and simultaneously supporting quasi-stationary periods between them are discussed.

  9. The terrestrial biosphere in the SFR region

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jerling, L.; Isaeus, M. [Stockholm Univ. (Sweden). Dept. of Botany; Lanneck, J. [Stockholm Univ. (Sweden). Dept. of Physical Geography; Lindborg, T.; Schueldt, R. [Danish Nature Council, Copenhagen (Denmark)

    2001-03-01

    This report is a part of the SKB project 'SAFE' (Safety Assessment of the Final Repository of Radioactive Operational Waste). The aim of project SAFE is to update the previous safety analysis of SFR-1.SFR-1 is a facility for disposal of low and intermediate level radioactive waste, which is situated in bedrock beneath the Baltic Sea, one km off the coast near the Forsmark nuclear power plant in Northern Uppland. A part of the SAFE-analysis aims at analysing the transport of radionuclides in the ecosystems.To do so one has to build a model that includes a large amount of information concerning the biosphere.The first step is to collect and compile descriptions of the biosphere.This report is a first attempt to characterise the terrestrial environment of the SFR area of Forsmark. In the first part of the report the terrestrial environment, land class distribution and production of the area is described. The primary production in different terrestrial ecosystems is estimated for a model area in the Forsmark region. The estimations are based on the actual land class distribution and the values for the total primary production (d.w. above ground biomass)and the amount carbon produced, presented as g/m{sup 2} for each land class respectively. An important aspect of the biosphere is the vegetation and its development. The future development of vegetation is of interest since production,decomposition and thus storage of organic material, vary strongly among vegetation types and this has strong implications for the transport of radionuclides.Therefore an attempt to describe the development of terrestrial vegetation has been made in the second part. Any prediction of future vegetation is based on knowledge of the past together with premises for the future development.The predictions made, thus, becomes marred with errors enforced by the assumptions and incomplete information of the past. The assumptions made for the predictions in this report are crude and results

  10. The terrestrial biosphere in the SFR region

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jerling, L.; Isaeus, M. [Stockholm Univ. (Sweden). Dept. of Botany; Lanneck, J. [Stockholm Univ. (Sweden). Dept. of Physical Geography; Lindborg, T.; Schueldt, R. [Danish Nature Council, Copenhagen (Denmark)

    2001-03-01

    This report is a part of the SKB project 'SAFE' (Safety Assessment of the Final Repository of Radioactive Operational Waste). The aim of project SAFE is to update the previous safety analysis of SFR-1.SFR-1 is a facility for disposal of low and intermediate level radioactive waste, which is situated in bedrock beneath the Baltic Sea, one km off the coast near the Forsmark nuclear power plant in Northern Uppland. A part of the SAFE-analysis aims at analysing the transport of radionuclides in the ecosystems.To do so one has to build a model that includes a large amount of information concerning the biosphere.The first step is to collect and compile descriptions of the biosphere.This report is a first attempt to characterise the terrestrial environment of the SFR area of Forsmark. In the first part of the report the terrestrial environment, land class distribution and production of the area is described. The primary production in different terrestrial ecosystems is estimated for a model area in the Forsmark region. The estimations are based on the actual land class distribution and the values for the total primary production (d.w. above ground biomass)and the amount carbon produced, presented as g/m{sup 2} for each land class respectively. An important aspect of the biosphere is the vegetation and its development. The future development of vegetation is of interest since production,decomposition and thus storage of organic material, vary strongly among vegetation types and this has strong implications for the transport of radionuclides.Therefore an attempt to describe the development of terrestrial vegetation has been made in the second part. Any prediction of future vegetation is based on knowledge of the past together with premises for the future development.The predictions made, thus, becomes marred with errors enforced by the assumptions and incomplete information of the past. The assumptions made for the predictions in this report are crude and results

  11. The Legacy of Biosphere 2 for Biospherics and Closed Ecological System Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, J.; Alling, A.; Nelson, M.

    The unprecedented challenges of creating Biosphere 2, the world's first laboratory for biospherics, the study of global ecology and long-term closed ecological system dynamics led to breakthrough developments in many fields, and a deeper understanding of the opportunities and difficulties of material closure. This paper will review these accomplishments and challenges, citing some of the key research accomplishments and publications which have resulted from the experiments in Biosphere 2. Engineering accomplishments included development of a technique for variable volume to deal with pressure differences between the facility and outside environment, developing methods of leak detection and sealing, and achieving new standards of closure, with an annual atmospheric leakrate of less than 10%, or less than 300 ppm per day. This degree of closure permitted detailed tracking of carbon dioxide, oxygen, and trace gases such as nitrous oxide and ethylene over the seasonal variability of two years. Full closure also necessitated developing new approaches and technologies for complete air, water, and wastewater recycle and reuse within the facility. The development of a soil-based highly productive agricultural system was a first in closed ecological systems, and much was learned about managing a wide variety of crops using non-chemical means of pest and disease control. Closed ecological systems have different temporal b ogeochemical cycling and ranges ofi atmospheric components because of their smaller reservoirs of air, water and soil, and higher concentration of biomass, and Biosphere 2 provided detailed examination and modeling of these accelerated cycles over a period of closure which measured in years. Medical research inside Biosphere 2 included the effects on humans of lowered oxygen: the discovery that human productivity can be maintained down to 15% oxygen could lead to major economies on the design of space stations and planetary/lunar settlements. The improved

  12. Climate change and the biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    F. Stuart Chapin

    2008-01-01

    Scientific assessments now clearly demonstrate the ecologic and societal consequences of human induced climate change, as detailed by the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report. Global warming spells danger for Earth's biomes, which in turn play an important role in climate change. On the following pages, you will read about some of...

  13. Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve (Biscay, Spain): Conservation against development?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castillo-Eguskitza, Nekane; Rescia, Alejandro J; Onaindia, Miren

    2017-08-15

    The protected area approach has extended from conserving biodiversity to improving human well-being. However, the relationship between conservation and socioeconomic and cultural development continues to be controversial. This paper combines land use variables with socioeconomic and cultural variables through multivariate ordination analysis and evaluates their evolution in two areas inside and outside a Biosphere Reserve since the approval of the Governance Plan for Use and Management in the Reserve. The results indicate a similar tendency in the two areas, from the abandonment of traditional rural activities and decline in pine plantations to naturalness, urban sprawl and the growth of the tertiary economic sector, welfare indicators and sustainability index. However, it can be broadly observed that the region included inside the protected area presents better conservation features (native forest) and rural systems (forestry and primary economic sector) than the region outside the protected area while maintaining similar socioeconomic and cultural conditions. We suggest that the designation of the Biosphere Reserve does not influence the local population negatively but does safeguard its conservation, which could have enhanced socioeconomic and cultural development. Thus, even though certain changes must be made to replace the conifer plantations and encourage agricultural activities, the designation of the protected area fulfills its sustainability goal and enhances the local population's quality of life. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Impact disruption and recovery of the deep subsurface biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cockell, Charles S.; Voytek, Mary A.; Gronstal, Aaron L.; Finster, Kai; Kirshtein, Julie D.; Howard, Kieren; Reitner, Joachim; Gohn, Gregory S.; Sanford, Ward E.; Horton, J. Wright; Kallmeyer, Jens; Kelly, Laura; Powars, David S.

    2012-01-01

    Although a large fraction of the world's biomass resides in the subsurface, there has been no study of the effects of catastrophic disturbance on the deep biosphere and the rate of its subsequent recovery. We carried out an investigation of the microbiology of a 1.76 km drill core obtained from the ~35 million-year-old Chesapeake Bay impact structure, USA, with robust contamination control. Microbial enumerations displayed a logarithmic downward decline, but the different gradient, when compared to previously studied sites, and the scatter of the data are consistent with a microbiota influenced by the geological disturbances caused by the impact. Microbial abundance is low in buried crater-fill, ocean-resurge, and avalanche deposits despite the presence of redox couples for growth. Coupled with the low hydraulic conductivity, the data suggest the microbial community has not yet recovered from the impact ~35 million years ago. Microbial enumerations, molecular analysis of microbial enrichment cultures, and geochemical analysis showed recolonization of a deep region of impact-fractured rock that was heated to above the upper temperature limit for life at the time of impact. These results show how, by fracturing subsurface rocks, impacts can extend the depth of the biosphere. This phenomenon would have provided deep refugia for life on the more heavily bombarded early Earth, and it shows that the deeply fractured regions of impact craters are promising targets to study the past and present habitability of Mars.

  15. Monitoring atmospheric pollutants in the biosphere reserve Wienerwald by a combined approach of biomonitoring methods and technical measurements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krommer, Viktoria; Zechmeister, Harald G; Roder, Ingrid; Scharf, Sigrid; Hanus-Illnar, Andrea

    2007-05-01

    In this study a combined approach of bioindication results correlated with an extensive set of data on air pollution and climate was used to assess the pollution status of the Man and Biosphere Reserve Wienerwald (Austria). Bryophytes served as impact indicators (via the Index of Atmospheric Purity-method IAP) at 30 sites as well as accumulation monitors for airborne trace elements (Al, Pb, V, S, Zn, Fe, Cu, Cr, Ni, Co, Mo, Cd, As, Sb and 16 EPA-PAHs) at 10 sites within the reserve. The results of these bioindication methods were subsequently correlated with further pollution (NO(2), SO(2) and dust) and climate data (precipitation, temperature and humidity). The findings obtained clearly indicate the following: Bryophyte distribution is solely influenced by the status of air quality, without interference by climatic or site-related factors, which is in contrast to several previous investigations. IAP-values correlated significantly with NO(2) (0.553; P=0.004), SO(2) winter values (0.511; P=0.013) and PM10 (dust) (0.561; P=0.013). The results obtained via chemical analyses revealed a strong correlation with data derived from the IAP methodology. In terms of the overall air quality within the biosphere reserve Wienerwald, the north-eastern part appears to be the most affected one with a most likely pollution contribution emitted by the capital city Vienna, agriculture and neighbouring countries.

  16. Gene expression in the deep biosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orsi, William D; Edgcomb, Virginia P; Christman, Glenn D; Biddle, Jennifer F

    2013-07-11

    Scientific ocean drilling has revealed a deep biosphere of widespread microbial life in sub-seafloor sediment. Microbial metabolism in the marine subsurface probably has an important role in global biogeochemical cycles, but deep biosphere activities are not well understood. Here we describe and analyse the first sub-seafloor metatranscriptomes from anaerobic Peru Margin sediment up to 159 metres below the sea floor, represented by over 1 billion complementary DNA (cDNA) sequence reads. Anaerobic metabolism of amino acids, carbohydrates and lipids seem to be the dominant metabolic processes, and profiles of dissimilatory sulfite reductase (dsr) transcripts are consistent with pore-water sulphate concentration profiles. Moreover, transcripts involved in cell division increase as a function of microbial cell concentration, indicating that increases in sub-seafloor microbial abundance are a function of cell division across all three domains of life. These data support calculations and models of sub-seafloor microbial metabolism and represent the first holistic picture of deep biosphere activities.

  17. Harvesting the biosphere: the human impact.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smil, Vaclav

    2011-01-01

    The human species has evolved to dominate the biosphere: global anthropomass is now an order of magnitude greater than the mass of all wild terrestrial mammals. As a result, our dependence on harvesting the products of photosynthesis for food, animal feed, raw materials, and energy has grown to make substantial global impacts. During the past two millennia these harvests, and changes of land use due to deforestation and conversions of grasslands and wetlands, have reduced the stock of global terrestrial plant mass by as much as 45 percent, with the twentieth-century reduction amounting to more than 15 percent. Current annual harvests of phytomass have been a significant share of the global net primary productivity (NPP, the total amount of new plant tissues created by photosynthesis). Some studies put the human appropriation of NPP (the ratio of these two variables) as high as 40 percent but the measure itself is problematic. Future population growth and improved quality of life will result in additional claims on the biosphere, but options to accommodate these demands exist without severely compromising the irreplaceable biospheric services.

  18. Was there a late Archean biospheric explosion?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindsay, John F

    2008-08-01

    There is a growing body of evidence which suggests that the evolution of the planet drives the evolution of the biosphere. There have been 2 significant stages in Earth history when atmospheric oxygen levels rose rapidly, and both appear to be associated with supercontinent cycles. The earlier biospheric event, which extends across the Archean-Proterozoic boundary (ca. 3.0-2.2 Ga), has received little attention and is the focus of this study. Recent work on the Pilbara Craton of Western Australia has shown that concretion formed by microbial activity during the diagenesis of these sediments are absent from early Archean sediments but abundant in late Archean and early Paleoproterozoic successions of the Hamersley Basin, appearing abruptly in sedimentary rocks younger than 2.7 Ga. This study suggests that their internal architecture may have been defined by the diffusion of humic acids and the formation of polymer gels during diagenesis. The data imply that the biosphere expanded suddenly shortly after 3.0 Ga and may have begun to raise the oxygen levels of the oceanic water column earlier than thought-possibly as much as 300 my earlier.

  19. Linguistic Factors Influencing Speech Audiometric Assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coene, Martine; Krijger, Stefanie; Meeuws, Matthias; De Ceulaer, Geert; Govaerts, Paul J

    2016-01-01

    In speech audiometric testing, hearing performance is typically measured by calculating the number of correct repetitions of a speech stimulus. We investigate to what extent the repetition accuracy of Dutch speech stimuli presented against a background noise is influenced by nonauditory processes. We show that variation in verbal repetition accuracy is partially explained by morpholexical and syntactic features of the target language. Verbs, prepositions, conjunctions, determiners, and pronouns yield significantly lower correct repetitions than nouns, adjectives, or adverbs. The reduced repetition performance for verbs and function words is probably best explained by the similarities in the perceptual nature of verbal morphology and function words in Dutch. For sentences, an overall negative effect of syntactic complexity on speech repetition accuracy was found. The lowest number of correct repetitions was obtained with passive sentences, reflecting the cognitive cost of processing a noncanonical sentence structure. Taken together, these findings may have important implications for the audiological practice. In combination with hearing loss, linguistic complexity may increase the cognitive demands to process sentences in noise, leading to suboptimal functional hearing in day-to-day listening situations. Using test sentences with varying degrees of syntactic complexity may therefore provide useful information to measure functional hearing benefits.

  20. Cumulative assessment : Strategic choices to influence students' study effort

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kerdijk, Wouter; Tio, Rene A.; Mulder, B. Florentine; Cohen-Schotanus, Janke

    2013-01-01

    Background: It has been asserted that assessment can and should be used to drive students' learning. In the current study, we present a cumulative assessment program in which test planning, repeated testing and compensation are combined in order to influence study effort. The program is aimed at hel

  1. Climate biomonitoring. Assessing climate change and its impacts on the biosphere. New focus of the working group bioindication/assessment of effects; Klima-Biomonitoring: Nachweis des Klimawandels und dessen Folgen fuer die belebte Umwelt. Neuer Schwerpunkt des Arbeitskreises Bioindikation/Wirkungsermittlung

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gebhardt, Harald [Landesanstalt fuer Umwelt, Messungen und Naturschutz Baden-Wuerttemberg, Karlsruhe (Germany); Rammert, Uwe [Landesamt fuer Landwirtschaft, Umwelt und laendliche Raeume Schleswig-Holstein, Flintbek (Germany); Schroeder, Winfried [Hochschule Vechta (Germany). Lehrstuhl fuer Landschaftsoekologie; Wolf, Helmut [Hessisches Landesamt fuer Umwelt und Geologie, Wiesbaden (Germany)

    2010-02-15

    Background, aim and scope: The use of biomonitoring is proposed for the identification, assessment and documentation of climate change impacts on the biosphere as requested in the German 'National Adaptation Strategy' (BMU 2009), because - this method succeeds to present climatic changes in especially sensitive areas of Germany including their habitats, ecosystems, and species; - it can reveal relevant information about the migration and dispersal of new pests and diseases threatening humans, animals and plants; - it can provide politicians with information, documents and a basis for decision support to assess climate change impacts and - it is possible to develop new and to evaluate the effectiveness of existing adaptive measures. It is proposed to use the term 'climate biomonitoring' for biomonitoring methods that are able to indicate climate change effects. For several reasons (e.g. unified methods, common data basis, cost reduction) all federal states should participate in it. Today, bioindication is an indispensable method for the early detection of changes in the biosphere, giving information about special hazards (early warning system). Climate biomonitoring preferably makes use of already existing monitoring systems and data collections. Materials and methods: Climate biomonitoring refers back to accepted and tested methods of bioindication to assess environmental changes. Existing methods are enhanced and supplemented in order to meet the particular needs for the indication of climate change conditions. On the basis of an evaluation of relevant and actual monitoring programs on state and national level we identify relevant impacts of climate change and programs providing relevant data, and we propose evaluation methods. Additionally, other data sources are described, that may enable further in depth assessments. Results: An overview table systematically lists the monitoring programs on national and state level and shows their relevance

  2. The Anthropocene: a conspicuous stratigraphical signal of anthropogenic changes in production and consumption across the biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Mark; Zalasiewicz, Jan; Waters, Colin N.; Edgeworth, Matt; Bennett, Carys; Barnosky, Anthony D.; Ellis, Erle C.; Ellis, Michael A.; Cearreta, Alejandro; Haff, Peter K.; Ivar do Sul, Juliana A.; Leinfelder, Reinhold; McNeill, John R.; Odada, Eric; Oreskes, Naomi; Revkin, Andrew; Richter, Daniel deB; Steffen, Will; Summerhayes, Colin; Syvitski, James P.; Vidas, Davor; Wagreich, Michael; Wing, Scott L.; Wolfe, Alexander P.; Zhisheng, An

    2016-03-01

    Biospheric relationships between production and consumption of biomass have been resilient to changes in the Earth system over billions of years. This relationship has increased in its complexity, from localized ecosystems predicated on anaerobic microbial production and consumption to a global biosphere founded on primary production from oxygenic photoautotrophs, through the evolution of Eukarya, metazoans, and the complexly networked ecosystems of microbes, animals, fungi, and plants that characterize the Phanerozoic Eon (the last ˜541 million years of Earth history). At present, one species, Homo sapiens, is refashioning this relationship between consumption and production in the biosphere with unknown consequences. This has left a distinctive stratigraphy of the production and consumption of biomass, of natural resources, and of produced goods. This can be traced through stone tool technologies and geochemical signals, later unfolding into a diachronous signal of technofossils and human bioturbation across the planet, leading to stratigraphically almost isochronous signals developing by the mid-20th century. These latter signals may provide an invaluable resource for informing and constraining a formal Anthropocene chronostratigraphy, but are perhaps yet more important as tracers of a biosphere state that is characterized by a geologically unprecedented pattern of global energy flow that is now pervasively influenced and mediated by humans, and which is necessary for maintaining the complexity of modern human societies.

  3. Biospheric Cooling and the Emergence of Intelligence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwartzman, David; Middendorf, George

    The long-term cooling history of the Earth's biosphere implies a temperature constraint on the timing of major events in biologic evolution, e.g., emergence of cyanobacteria, eucaryotes and Metazoa apparently occurred at times when temperatures were near their upper growth limits. Could biospheric cooling also have been a necessary condition for the emergence of veterbrates and their encephalization? The upper temperature limit for vertebrate growth is about 10 degrees below the limit for Metazoa (50 degrees C). Heterothermy followed by full homeothermy was likely a necessary condition for greater encephalization because of the energy requirement of larger brains. The temperature differential between an animal and a cooler environment, all other factors equal, will increase the efficiency of heat loss from the brain, but too large a differential will shift metabolic energy away from the brain to the procurement of food. Encephalization has also entailed the evolution of internal cooling mechanisms to avoid overheating the brain. The two periods of pronounced Phanerozoic cooling, the PermoCarboniferous and late Cenozoic, corresponded to the emergence of mammal-like reptiles and hominids respectively, with a variety of explanations offered for the apparent link. The origin of highly encephalized whales, dolphins and porpoises occurred with the drop in ocean temperatures 25-30 mya. Of course, other possible paths to encephalization are conceivable, with radically different solutions to the problem of heat dissipation. But the intrinsic requirements for information processing capacity necessary for intelligence suggest our terrestrial pattern may resemble those of alien biospheres given similar histories.

  4. The water cycle in closed ecological systems: Perspectives from the Biosphere 2 and Laboratory Biosphere systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Mark; Dempster, W. F.; Allen, J. P.

    2009-12-01

    To achieve sustainable, healthy closed ecological systems requires solutions to challenges of closing the water cycle - recycling wastewater/irrigation water/soil medium leachate and evaporated water and supplying water of required quality as needed for different needs within the facility. Engineering Biosphere 2, the first multi-biome closed ecological system within a total airtight footprint of 12,700 m 2 with a combined volume of 200,000 m 3 with a total water capacity of some 6 × 10 6 L of water was especially challenging because it included human inhabitants, their agricultural and technical systems, as well as five analogue ecosystems ranging from rainforest to desert, freshwater ecologies to saltwater systems like mangrove and mini-ocean coral reef ecosystems. By contrast, the Laboratory Biosphere - a small (40 m 3 volume) soil-based plant growth facility with a footprint of 15 m 2 - is a very simplified system, but with similar challenges re salinity management and provision of water quality suitable for plant growth. In Biosphere 2, water needs included supplying potable water for people and domestic animals, irrigation water for a wide variety of food crops, and recycling and recovering soil nutrients from wastewater. In the wilderness biomes, providing adequately low salinity freshwater terrestrial ecosystems and maintaining appropriate salinity and pH in aquatic/marine ecosystems were challenges. The largest reservoirs in Biosphere 2 were the ocean/marsh with some 4 × 10 6 L, soil with 1 to 2 × 10 6 l, primary storage tank with 0 to 8 × 10 5 L and storage tanks for condensate and soil leachate collection and mixing tanks with a capacity of 1.6 × 10 5 L to supply irrigation for farm and wilderness ecosystems. Other reservoirs were far smaller - humidity in the atmosphere (2 × 10 3 L), streams in the rainforest and savannah, and seasonal pools in the desert were orders of magnitude smaller (8 × 10 4 L). Key technologies included condensation from

  5. Vulnerable Earthworm Species Identified from Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E.V. Ramasamy

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Diversity of earthworms at Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve is less known even though it is one among the biodiversity hot spots. Unless an authentic record of available earthworm species is made, the consequences of human alternation or climate change on the earthworm species diversity cannot be assessed. In this regard, the present study is relevant. Earthworms were collected from twenty three sites of NBR. The findings of this study showed that out of the total earthworm species identified from selected areas of NBR, 83.4% are native species and 16.6% are exotic. This indicates the predominance of native species in the study area possibly due to low level of disturbance in the area. Among the species identified from Mukurthi, Priodichaeta pellucida (Bourne which is listed as vulnerable and has not been encountered since its discovery about 100 years ago.

  6. Climate controls on the residence time of terrestrial biospheric carbon in river basins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eglinton, T.; Galy, V.; Feng, X.; Drenzek, N.; Dickens, A.; Ponton, C.; Giosan, L.; Schefuss, E.; Voss, B.; Vonk, J.; Gustafsson, O.; Montlucon, D.; Wu, Y.

    2012-04-01

    Our current understanding of the timescales over which terrestrial biospheric carbon is transferred from source to sedimentary sink, and of the factors that control these timescales, remains limited. Such information is crucial for developing a mechanistic understanding organic matter cycling on the continents and the dynamics of terrestrial carbon delivery to the oceans. Radiocarbon is increasingly being used to examine the "age" of organic constituents in the dissolved and particulate phase. Based on such measurements, there is growing evidence to suggest that land-ocean organic matter transfer via rivers may be rapid (years, decades) or may take place over centuries to millennia. How do these ages relate to drainage basin properties and biospheric carbon dynamics within continental drainage basins? This presentation seeks to explore the factors that influence radiocarbon ages of specific components of terrestrial biospheric carbon carried and exported by rivers to the ocean. Molecular-level radiocarbon measurements on vascular plant biomarkers (plant leaf waxes and lignin-derived phenols) have been made on particulate matter collected from a range of river systems globally, as well as on sediment cores collected near the mouths of rivers. Additional molecular isotopic (stable carbon and hydrogen isotopes) measurements of the plant wax markers provides complementary information on the provenance of the vegetation signals and on regional environmental conditions. The measurements reveal that two primary controls on apparent storage time of terrestrial biospheric carbon are regional temperature and aridity. The former is most apparent in contrasts between low and high latitude rivers, with colder regional climates resulting in longer residence times. Evidence for aridity as a control on storage times is evident from relationships between the stable carbon isotopic and/or hydrogen isotopic composition of vascular plant markers and their radiocarbon age, with dryer

  7. Native Language Influence in Learners' Assessment of English Focus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia Lecumberri, M. L.

    2001-01-01

    Studies the possible influence of Spanish on native speakers of that language during their assessment of marked iconicity in English. Looks at discrimination by Spanish learners of English of information focus as signaled by placement of nuclear tones in sentence initial and medial positions. (Author/VWL)

  8. Influence of expertise on rockfall hazard assessment using empirical methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delonca, Adeline; Verdel, Thierry; Gunzburger, Yann

    2016-07-01

    To date, many rockfall hazard assessment methods still consider qualitative observations within their analysis. Based on this statement, knowledge and expertise are supposed to be major parameters of rockfall assessment. To test this hypothesis, an experiment was carried out in order to evaluate the influence of knowledge and expertise on rockfall hazard assessment. Three populations were selected, having different levels of expertise: (1) students in geosciences, (2) researchers in geosciences and (3) confirmed experts. These three populations evaluated the rockfall hazard level on the same site, considering two different methods: the Laboratoire des Ponts et Chaussées (LPC) method and a method partly based on the "slope mass rating" (SMR) method. To complement the analysis, the completion of an "a priori" assessment of the rockfall hazard was requested of each population, without using any method. The LPC method is the most widely used method in France for official hazard mapping. It combines two main indicators: the predisposition to instability and the expected magnitude. Reversely, the SMR method was used as an ad hoc quantitative method to investigate the effect of quantification within a method. These procedures were applied on a test site divided into three different sectors. A statistical treatment of the results (descriptive statistical analysis, chi-square independent test and ANOVA) shows that there is a significant influence of the method used on the rockfall hazard assessment, whatever the sector. However, there is a non-significant influence of the level of expertise of the population the sectors 2 and 3. On sector 1, there is a significant influence of the level of expertise, explained by the importance of the temporal probability assessment in the rockfall hazard assessment process. The SMR-based method seems highly sensitive to the "site activity" indicator and exhibits an important dispersion in its results. However, the results are more similar

  9. The Biosphere as a Living System. On the Harmonization of Human and Biosphere Relationship

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexey Yablokov

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available The evolution of the biosphere has led to creation of astrophysical and telluric stable perfect system biotic regulation, which based on a high degree of closure of natural cycles. The development of human beings as bio-social, beyond the biological patterns, break these closed cycles, and dramatically broke the biotic regulation of the biosphere. As results — sustainable biosphere has become unsustainable anthroposphere. As with the origin of life physico-chemical regularities of the structure of matter turned out to be “mastered” life, as soon as with the emergence of anthroposphere physical-chemicalbiological regularities of evolution are complemented by social ones (including technology development and of the technosphere — as the essential content of anthroposphere. The result of the violation of natural biotic regulation broke a global environmental crisis that boomerang begins it is dangerous to human. It is theoretically possible to overcome this ecological crisis by the transition from the Neolithic paradigm of “nature conquest”, to the organization of “crisis management” of the biosphere (world system governance by the activity of the society restore and “repair” the damaged processes in the biosphere. This requires a new organization in all areas of human activity, i.e., a fundamentally new paradigm of human behavior on the planet. Development within the paradigm of the Neolithic culture (extensive use of natural resources, is inevitably associated with different kinds of wars in their redistribution, leads to an increasing accumulation of non-degradable waste (tertiary anthropogenic products, determines the fatal instability of anthroposphere and, therefore, unsustainable development of civilization. It is a mistake to assume that human’s dependence on nature is reduced — it takes a different form. The forces of human as an intelligence being, “recollecting himself”, about the offense with lifesupporting

  10. Investigations into the impact of astronomical phenomena on the terrestrial biosphere and climate

    CERN Document Server

    Feng, Fabo

    2015-01-01

    This thesis assesses the influence of astronomical phenomena on the Earth's biosphere and climate. I examine in particular the relevance of both the path of the Sun through the Galaxy and the evolution of the Earth's orbital parameters in modulating non-terrestrial mechanisms. I build models to predict the extinction rate of species, the temporal variation of the impact cratering rate and ice sheet deglaciations, and then compare these models with other models within a Bayesian framework. I find that the temporal distribution of mass extinction events over the past 550 Myr can be explained just as well by a uniform random distribution as by other models, such as variations in the stellar density local to the Sun arising from the Sun's orbit. Given the uncertainties in the Galaxy model and the Sun's current phase space coordinates, as well as the errors in the geological data, it is not possible to draw a clear connection between terrestrial extinction and the solar motion. In a separate study, I find that the...

  11. Cultural Influences on the Assessment of Children’s Pain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G Allen Finley

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Culture is commonly regarded as a factor in pain behaviour and experience, but the meaning of the term is often unclear. There is little evidence that pain perception is modified by cultural or ethnic factors, but pain expression by children and interpretation by caregivers may be affected by the culture of the patient or the caregiver. The present paper examines some of the research regarding cultural influences on children’s pain assessment, and addresses directions for future research. A focus on cultural influences should not distract clinicians from the need to be sensitive to individual beliefs and attitudes.

  12. Precambrian paleontology and acrochrons of the biosphere evolution: On the theory of the expanding biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sokolov, B. S.

    2012-04-01

    What is pre-life? We have no idea, since it is hidden in chemical molecules that conceal its future genetic potential. From the biological standpoint, a prokaryotic cyanobacteria cell represents a culmination of biochemical evolution. Its appearance on the Earth marked the starting point of the formation of the first biogeocoenosis on the planet, i.e., the onset of its biosphere. After having started, approximately 4.0-3.7 Ga ago, biosphere evolution has continued uninterrupted on the Earth. Its whole course is reflected in the geochronological record of the stratisphere, the stratified shell of the Earth. In the stratigraphic sense, this record comprises the Archean, Proterozoic (i.e., Karelian and Riphean), and Phanerozoic (i.e., Paleozoic, Mesozoic, and Cenozoic). They correspond to acrochrons, i.e., the main stages in biosphere evolution. According to the Precambrian paleontology, the first three acrochrons represent a pre-Vendian stage in the evolution of unicellular prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms that terminated in the Riphean with the appearance of their colonial communities. The true metacellular structure of tissue Metaphyta and Metazoa started forming only in the Late Neoproterozoic (Late Riphean). The Vendian Period was marked by a radiation of macrotaxonomic diversity with the appearance of the main multicellular types of the Phanerozoic organization level. Therefore, the last acrochron (lasting from approximately 650 Ma ago) should be considered as corresponding to the Vendian-Phanerozoic period. The Cambrian explosion corresponds to the mass expansion of skeletal Metazoa.

  13. Regionally strong feedbacks between the atmosphere and terrestrial biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Julia K.; Konings, Alexandra G.; Alemohammad, Seyed Hamed; Berry, Joseph; Entekhabi, Dara; Kolassa, Jana; Lee, Jung-Eun; Gentine, Pierre

    2017-06-01

    The terrestrial biosphere and atmosphere interact through a series of feedback loops. Variability in terrestrial vegetation growth and phenology can modulate fluxes of water and energy to the atmosphere, and thus affect the climatic conditions that in turn regulate vegetation dynamics. Here we analyse satellite observations of solar-induced fluorescence, precipitation, and radiation using a multivariate statistical technique. We find that biosphere-atmosphere feedbacks are globally widespread and regionally strong: they explain up to 30% of precipitation and surface radiation variance in regions where feedbacks occur. Substantial biosphere-precipitation feedbacks are often found in regions that are transitional between energy and water limitation, such as semi-arid or monsoonal regions. Substantial biosphere-radiation feedbacks are often present in several moderately wet regions and in the Mediterranean, where precipitation and radiation increase vegetation growth. Enhancement of latent and sensible heat transfer from vegetation accompanies this growth, which increases boundary layer height and convection, affecting cloudiness, and consequently incident surface radiation. Enhanced evapotranspiration can increase moist convection, leading to increased precipitation. Earth system models underestimate these precipitation and radiation feedbacks mainly because they underestimate the biosphere response to radiation and water availability. We conclude that biosphere-atmosphere feedbacks cluster in specific climatic regions that help determine the net CO2 balance of the biosphere.

  14. A simplified biosphere model for global climate studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xue, Y.; Sellers, P. J.; Kinter, J. L.; Shukla, J.

    1991-01-01

    A comprehensive analysis of the simple biosphere model (SIB) of Sellers et al. (1986) is performed in an effort to bridge the gap between the typical hydrological treatment of the land surface biosphere and the conventional general circulation model treatment, which is specified through a single parameter. Approximations are developed that stimulate the effects of reduced soil moisture more simply, maintaining the essence of the biophysical concepts utilized in SIB. Comparing the reduced parameter biosphere with those from the original formulation in a GCM and a zero-dimensional model shows the simplified version to reproduce the original results quite closely.

  15. Analysis specifications for the CC3 biosphere model biotrac

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Szekely, J.G.; Wojciechowski, L.C.; Stephens, M.E.; Halliday, H.A.

    1994-12-01

    The CC3 (Canadian Concept, generation 3) model BIOTRAC (Biosphere Transport and Consequences) describes the movement in the biosphere of releases from an underground disposal vault, and the consequent radiological dose to a reference individual. Concentrations of toxic substances in different parts of the biosphere are also calculated. BIOTRAC was created specifically for the postclosure analyses of the Environmental Impact Statement that AECL is preparing on the concept for disposal of Canada`s nuclear fuel waste. The model relies on certain assumptions and constraints on the system, which are described by Davis et al. Accordingly, great care must be exercised if BIOTRAC is used for any other purpose.

  16. Environmental Consequences of an Emerging Biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    DesMarais, David J.

    2003-01-01

    It seems feasible to detect biological signatures ("biosignatures") in other planetary systems using the tools of astronomy. There are at least two types of biosignatures; spectral and/or polarization features created by biological products, and electromagnetic signals created by technology. The latter example of a biosignature requires SETI-like searches. This presentation addresses only spectral signatures of biological products and properties of habitable planets. Spectral biosignatures are indeed promising targets for near-term exploration. They can arise from organic constituents (e.g., vegetation) and/or inorganic products (e.g., atmospheric O2). Features originating from a planet's surface are likely to be localized in specific regions, whereas gaseous biosignatures can become globally distributed by atmospheric circulation. Biosignatures should be most abundant within environments that are, or once were, habitable. We currently believe that habitable environments necessarily provide Liquid water and biochemically useful energy. However, we do not yet fully comprehend the diversity of features that might arise within these environments that are non-biological in origin, yet mimic biosignatures. For example, atmospheres reflect the events leading to their origins as well as a host of ongoing planetary processes that might include biological activity. We are persuaded that abundant atmospheric oxygen in an environment with abundant liquid water constitutes definitive evidence of life. However, our own early biosphere thrived for more than a billion years in the absence of abundant atmospheric oxygen. The production of other, more reduced, gaseous biomarkers of "young" and/or anaerobic biospheres has not been systematically studied. Biological gas production is strongly controlled by the structure and function of microbial ecosystems. Investigations of microbial ecosystems that are close analogs of ancient communities offer multiple benefits. Such studies can

  17. Marine biosphere reserves - Need of the 21st century

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Dhargalkar, V.K.; Untawale, A.G.

    Worldwide awareness for the creation of Marine Biosphere Reserves has increased considerably due to the human depredation in many coastal areas and natural changes. Many important and unique plant and animal species have been extinct and whatever...

  18. Global carbon export from the terrestrial biosphere controlled by erosion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galy, Valier; Peucker-Ehrenbrink, Bernhard; Eglinton, Timothy

    2015-05-14

    Riverine export of particulate organic carbon (POC) to the ocean affects the atmospheric carbon inventory over a broad range of timescales. On geological timescales, the balance between sequestration of POC from the terrestrial biosphere and oxidation of rock-derived (petrogenic) organic carbon sets the magnitude of the atmospheric carbon and oxygen reservoirs. Over shorter timescales, variations in the rate of exchange between carbon reservoirs, such as soils and marine sediments, also modulate atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. The respective fluxes of biospheric and petrogenic organic carbon are poorly constrained, however, and mechanisms controlling POC export have remained elusive, limiting our ability to predict POC fluxes quantitatively as a result of climatic or tectonic changes. Here we estimate biospheric and petrogenic POC fluxes for a suite of river systems representative of the natural variability in catchment properties. We show that export yields of both biospheric and petrogenic POC are positively related to the yield of suspended sediment, revealing that POC export is mostly controlled by physical erosion. Using a global compilation of gauged suspended sediment flux, we derive separate estimates of global biospheric and petrogenic POC fluxes of 157(+74)(-50) and 43(+61)(-25) megatonnes of carbon per year, respectively. We find that biospheric POC export is primarily controlled by the capacity of rivers to mobilize and transport POC, and is largely insensitive to the magnitude of terrestrial primary production. Globally, physical erosion rates affect the rate of biospheric POC burial in marine sediments more strongly than carbon sequestration through silicate weathering. We conclude that burial of biospheric POC in marine sediments becomes the dominant long-term atmospheric carbon dioxide sink under enhanced physical erosion.

  19. Comets, carbonaceous meteorites, and the origin of the biosphere

    OpenAIRE

    2006-01-01

    International audience; The Biosphere is considered to represent the Earth's crust, atmosphere, oceans, and ice caps and the living organisms that survive within this habitat. This paper considers the significance of comets and carbonaceous meteorites to the origin and evolution of the Biosphere and presents new Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope (FESEM) images of indigenous microfossils in the Orgueil and Murchison meteorites. The discovery of microbial extremophiles in deep crustal...

  20. High Performance Geostatistical Modeling of Biospheric Resources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pedelty, J. A.; Morisette, J. T.; Smith, J. A.; Schnase, J. L.; Crosier, C. S.; Stohlgren, T. J.

    2004-12-01

    We are using parallel geostatistical codes to study spatial relationships among biospheric resources in several study areas. For example, spatial statistical models based on large- and small-scale variability have been used to predict species richness of both native and exotic plants (hot spots of diversity) and patterns of exotic plant invasion. However, broader use of geostastics in natural resource modeling, especially at regional and national scales, has been limited due to the large computing requirements of these applications. To address this problem, we implemented parallel versions of the kriging spatial interpolation algorithm. The first uses the Message Passing Interface (MPI) in a master/slave paradigm on an open source Linux Beowulf cluster, while the second is implemented with the new proprietary Xgrid distributed processing system on an Xserve G5 cluster from Apple Computer, Inc. These techniques are proving effective and provide the basis for a national decision support capability for invasive species management that is being jointly developed by NASA and the US Geological Survey.

  1. Chronotype and sleep duration: the influence of season of assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allebrandt, Karla V; Teder-Laving, Maris; Kantermann, Thomas; Peters, Annette; Campbell, Harry; Rudan, Igor; Wilson, James F; Metspalu, Andres; Roenneberg, Till

    2014-06-01

    Little is known about human entrainment under natural conditions, partly due to the complexity of human behavior, torn between biological and social time and influenced by zeitgebers (light-dark cycles) that are progressively "polluted" (and thereby weakened) by artificial light. In addition, data about seasonal variations in sleep parameters are scarce. We, therefore, investigated seasonal variation in cross-sectional assessments of sleep/wake times of 9765 subjects from four European populations (EGCUT = Estonian Genome Centre, University of Tartu in Estonia; KORA = Cooperative Health Research in the Region of Augsburg in Germany; KORCULA = The Korcula study in Croatia; and ORCADES = The Orkney Complex Disease Study in Scotland). We identified time-of-year dependencies for the distribution of chronotype (phase of entrainment assessed as the mid-sleep time point on free days adjusted for sleep deficit of workdays) in cohorts from Estonia (EGCUT) and Germany (KORA). Our results indicate that season (defined as daylight saving time - DST and standard zonetime periods - SZT) specifications of photoperiod influence the distribution of chronotype (adjusted for age and sex). Second, in the largest investigated sample, from Estonia (EGCUT; N = 5878), we could detect that seasonal variation in weekly average sleep duration was dependent on individual chronotype. Later chronotypes in this cohort showed significant variation in their average sleep duration across the year, especially during DST (1 h advance in social time from the end of March to end of October), while earlier chronotypes did not. Later chronotypes not only slept less during the DST period but the average chronotype of the population assessed during this period was earlier than during the SZT (local time for a respective time zone) period. More in detail, hierarchical multiple regression analyses showed that, beyond season of assessment (DST or SZT), social jetlag (SJl; the discrepancy

  2. Life in a dark biosphere: a review of circadian physiology in "arrhythmic" environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beale, Andrew David; Whitmore, David; Moran, Damian

    2016-12-01

    Most of the life with which humans interact is exposed to highly rhythmic and extremely predictable changes in illumination that occur with the daily events of sunrise and sunset. However, while the influence of the sun feels omnipotent to surface dwellers such as ourselves, life on earth is dominated, in terms of biomass, by organisms isolated from the direct effects of the sun. A limited understanding of what life is like away from the sun can be inferred from our knowledge of physiology and ecology in the light biosphere, but a full understanding can only be gained by studying animals from the dark biosphere, both in the laboratory and in their natural habitats. One of the least understood aspects of life in the dark biosphere is the rhythmicity of physiology and what it means to live in an environment of low or no rhythmicity. Here we describe methods that may be used to understand rhythmic physiology in the dark and summarise some of the studies of rhythmic physiology in "arrhythmic" environments, such as the poles, deep sea and caves. We review what can be understood about the adaptive value of rhythmic physiology on the Earth's surface from studies of animals from arrhythmic environments and what role a circadian clock may play in the dark.

  3. The nonlinear effects of evolutionary innovation biospheric feedbacks on qualitative environmental change: from the microbial to metazoan world.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kennedy, Martin

    2013-05-01

    The biomass of living organisms hosts only a small portion of the elemental abundance at the surface of the Earth, yet biology plays a defining role in the composition and stability of the biosphere by acting on sensitive geochemical feedbacks controlling global element cycles. This type of influence is evident in a class of evolutionary innovations that have a profoundly disproportionate effect on the biosphere, referred to here as evolutionary innovation biospheric feedbacks (EIBFs). A particular biological innovation need not be complex, rather its influence is amplified by its effect on geochemical feedbacks controlling elemental cycling. The lead-up to the metazoan radiation (~585 million years ago) provides an example of such an EIBF. While commonly attributed to an increase in free oxygen concentration, the reason for this step increase in O2 almost 2 billion years after the advent of oxygenic photosynthesis is traced to a seemingly unrelated evolutionary innovation resulting in a critical by-product of the first soils: secondary clay minerals. Detrital clay minerals deposited in continental margin sediments sequester organic carbon compounds and thus prevent consumption of atmospheric oxygen produced during photosynthesis. The transition from the abiotic to biotic land surface at the end of the Precambrian shifted biogeochemical cycling to this terrestrial-dominated modern mode that enabled sufficient oxygenation of the biosphere to trigger the metazoan radiation.

  4. Water Resources Vulnerability Assessment Accounting for Human Influence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mehran, A.; AghaKouchak, A.

    2014-12-01

    Reservoirs are one of the main infrastructures that provide resilience against extremes (e.g., floods and droughts) and they play a key role in water resources management. Based on International Commission of Large Dams (ICOLD 2003) records, the total volume of reservoirs is over 6200 km3, which is twice larger than the global annual water use estimated as 3000 km3. Just a simple comparison of the two numbers indicates the importance of reservoirs and their role in providing resilience for water security. On the other hand, man-made reservoirs change the water distribution throughout the year. Most climate change impact studies ignore the role of reservoirs in water availability studies. However, water availability cannot be properly assessed without a thorough assessment of reservoir conditions. By combining classical methods for climate variability assessment (top-down approach) and influence assessment (bottom-up approach), this study offers a hybrid framework that integrates different drivers of water storage vulnerability. Final index is termed as the Multivariate Standardized Reliability and Resilience Index (MSRRI). This index investigates the adaptive capacity of the reservoir and exposure of the system to variable conditions. MSRRI has been investigated over several major reservoirs in Australia and California, United States. This presentation reviews recent findings and discusses reservoir conditions in Australia and California using MSRRI under different climatic change scenarios.

  5. Biosphere reserves in action: Case studies of the American experience

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    1995-06-26

    For nearly 20 years, biosphere reserves have offered a unique framework for building the knowledge, skills, and attitudes required for conservation and sustainable use of ecosystems. The 12 case studies in this volume chronicle many of the cooperative efforts to implement the biosphere reserve concept in the United States. Considered together, these efforts involve more than 20 types of protected areas, and the participation of all levels of government, and many private organizations, academic institutions, citizens groups, and individuals. Biosphere reserves are multi-purpose areas that are nominated by the national committee of the Man and the Biosphere Program (MAB) and designated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to serve as demonstration areas for cooperation in building harmonious relationships between human activities and the conservation of ecosystems and biological diversity. Each biosphere reserve exemplifies the characteristic ecosystems of one of the worlds biogeographical regions. It is a land or coas%arine area involving human communities as integral components and including resources managed for objectives ranging from complete protection to intensive, yet sustainable development. A biosphere reserve is envisioned as a regional ''landscape for learning'' in which monitoring, research, education, and training are encouraged to support sustainable conservation of natural and managed ecosystems. It is a framework for regional cooperation involving government decisionmakers, scientists, resource managers, private organizations and local people (i.e., the biosphere reserve ''stakeholders''). Finally, each biosphere reserve is part of a global network for sharing information and experience to help address complex problems of conservation and development. The 12 case studies presented in this report represent only a few of the possible evolutions of a biosphere reserve in

  6. A real-time assessment of factors influencing medication events.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dollarhide, Adrian W; Rutledge, Thomas; Weinger, Matthew B; Fisher, Erin Stucky; Jain, Sonia; Wolfson, Tanya; Dresselhaus, Timothy R

    2014-01-01

    Reducing medical error is critical to improving the safety and quality of healthcare. Physician stress, fatigue, and excessive workload are performance-shaping factors (PSFs) that may influence medical events (actual administration errors and near misses), but direct relationships between these factors and patient safety have not been clearly defined. This study assessed the real-time influence of emotional stress, workload, and sleep deprivation on self-reported medication events by physicians in academic hospitals. During an 18-month study period, 185 physician participants working at four university-affiliated teaching hospitals reported medication events using a confidential reporting application on handheld computers. Emotional stress scores, perceived workload, patient case volume, clinical experience, total sleep, and demographic variables were also captured via the handheld computers. Medication event reports (n = 11) were then correlated with these demographic and PSFs. Medication events were associated with 36.1% higher perceived workload (p sleep (p = .10). These results confirm the effect of factors influencing medication events, and support attention to both provider and hospital environmental characteristics for improving patient safety.

  7. Pharmaceutical Residues Affecting the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Kristianstads Vattenrike Wetlands: Sources and Sinks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Björklund, Erland; Svahn, Ola; Bak, Søren; Bekoe, Samuel Oppong; Hansen, Martin

    2016-10-01

    This study is the first to investigate the pharmaceutical burden from point sources affecting the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Kristianstads Vattenrike, Sweden. The investigated Biosphere Reserve is a >1000 km(2) wetland system with inflows from lakes, rivers, leachate from landfill, and wastewater-treatment plants (WWTPs). We analysed influent and treated wastewater, leachate water, lake, river, and wetland water alongside sediment for six model pharmaceuticals. The two WWTPs investigated released pharmaceutical residues at levels close to those previously observed in Swedish monitoring exercises. Compound-dependent WWTP removal efficiencies ranging from 12 to 100 % for bendroflumethiazide, oxazepam, atenolol, carbamazepine, and diclofenac were observed. Surface-water concentrations in the most affected lake were ≥100 ng/L for the various pharmaceuticals with atenolol showing the highest levels (>300 ng/L). A small risk assessment showed that adverse single-substance toxicity on aquatic organisms within the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve is unlikely. However, the effects of combinations of a large number of known and unknown pharmaceuticals, metals, and nutrients are still unknown.

  8. Dating the Anthropocene: Towards an empirical global history of human transformation of the terrestrial biosphere

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erle C. Ellis

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Human use of land is a major cause of the global environmental changes that define the Anthropocene. Archaeological and paleoecological evidence confirm that human populations and their use of land transformed ecosystems at sites around the world by the late Pleistocene and historical models indicate this transformation may have reached globally significant levels more than 3000 years ago. Yet these data in themselves remain insufficient to conclusively date the emergence of land use as a global force transforming the biosphere, with plausible dates ranging from the late Pleistocene to AD 1800. Conclusive empirical dating of human transformation of the terrestrial biosphere will require unprecedented levels of investment in sustained interdisciplinary collaboration and the development of a geospatial cyberinfrastructure to collate and integrate the field observations of archaeologists, paleoecologists, paleoenvironmental scientists, environmental historians, geoscientists, geographers and other human and environmental scientists globally from the Pleistocene to the present. Existing field observations may yet prove insufficient in terms of their spatial and temporal coverage, but by assessing these observations within a spatially explicit statistically robust global framework, major observational gaps can be identified, stimulating data gathering in underrepresented regions and time periods. Like the Anthropocene itself, building scientific understanding of the human role in shaping the biosphere requires both sustained effort and leveraging the most powerful social systems and technologies ever developed on this planet.

  9. Estimation of Pre-industrial Nitrous Oxide Emission from the Terrestrial Biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, R.; Tian, H.; Lu, C.; Zhang, B.; Pan, S.; Yang, J.

    2015-12-01

    Nitrous oxide (N2O) is currently the third most important greenhouse gases (GHG) after methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2). Global N2O emission increased substantially primarily due to reactive nitrogen (N) enrichment through fossil fuel combustion, fertilizer production, and legume crop cultivation etc. In order to understand how climate system is perturbed by anthropogenic N2O emissions from the terrestrial biosphere, it is necessary to better estimate the pre-industrial N2O emissions. Previous estimations of natural N2O emissions from the terrestrial biosphere range from 3.3-9.0 Tg N2O-N yr-1. This large uncertainty in the estimation of pre-industrial N2O emissions from the terrestrial biosphere may be caused by uncertainty associated with key parameters such as maximum nitrification and denitrification rates, half-saturation coefficients of soil ammonium and nitrate, N fixation rate, and maximum N uptake rate. In addition to the large estimation range, previous studies did not provide an estimate on preindustrial N2O emissions at regional and biome levels. In this study, we applied a process-based coupled biogeochemical model to estimate the magnitude and spatial patterns of pre-industrial N2O fluxes at biome and continental scales as driven by multiple input data, including pre-industrial climate data, atmospheric CO2 concentration, N deposition, N fixation, and land cover types and distributions. Uncertainty associated with key parameters is also evaluated. Finally, we generate sector-based estimates of pre-industrial N2O emission, which provides a reference for assessing the climate forcing of anthropogenic N2O emission from the land biosphere.

  10. Commonness and rarity in the marine biosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connolly, Sean R; MacNeil, M Aaron; Caley, M Julian; Knowlton, Nancy; Cripps, Ed; Hisano, Mizue; Thibaut, Loïc M; Bhattacharya, Bhaskar D; Benedetti-Cecchi, Lisandro; Brainard, Russell E; Brandt, Angelika; Bulleri, Fabio; Ellingsen, Kari E; Kaiser, Stefanie; Kröncke, Ingrid; Linse, Katrin; Maggi, Elena; O'Hara, Timothy D; Plaisance, Laetitia; Poore, Gary C B; Sarkar, Santosh K; Satpathy, Kamala K; Schückel, Ulrike; Williams, Alan; Wilson, Robin S

    2014-06-10

    Explaining patterns of commonness and rarity is fundamental for understanding and managing biodiversity. Consequently, a key test of biodiversity theory has been how well ecological models reproduce empirical distributions of species abundances. However, ecological models with very different assumptions can predict similar species abundance distributions, whereas models with similar assumptions may generate very different predictions. This complicates inferring processes driving community structure from model fits to data. Here, we use an approximation that captures common features of "neutral" biodiversity models--which assume ecological equivalence of species--to test whether neutrality is consistent with patterns of commonness and rarity in the marine biosphere. We do this by analyzing 1,185 species abundance distributions from 14 marine ecosystems ranging from intertidal habitats to abyssal depths, and from the tropics to polar regions. Neutrality performs substantially worse than a classical nonneutral alternative: empirical data consistently show greater heterogeneity of species abundances than expected under neutrality. Poor performance of neutral theory is driven by its consistent inability to capture the dominance of the communities' most-abundant species. Previous tests showing poor performance of a neutral model for a particular system often have been followed by controversy about whether an alternative formulation of neutral theory could explain the data after all. However, our approach focuses on common features of neutral models, revealing discrepancies with a broad range of empirical abundance distributions. These findings highlight the need for biodiversity theory in which ecological differences among species, such as niche differences and demographic trade-offs, play a central role.

  11. FRamework Assessing Notorious Contributing Influences for Error (FRANCIE).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haney, L N

    2000-09-01

    FRamework Assessing Notorious Contributing Influences for Error (FRANCIE) is a framework and methodology for the systematic analysis, characterization, and prediction of human error. It was developed in a NASA Advanced Concepts Project by Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory, NASA Ames Research Center, Boeing, and America West Airlines, with input from United Airlines and Idaho State University. It was hypothesized that development of a comprehensive taxonomy of error-type and contributing-influences, in a framework and methodology addressing issues important for error analysis, would result in a useful tool for human error analysis. The development method included capturing expertise of human factors and domain experts in the framework, and ensuring that the approach addressed issues important for future human error analysis. This development resulted in creation of a FRANCIE taxonomy for airline maintenance, and a FRANCIE framework and approach that addresses important issues: proactive and reactive, comprehensive error-type and contributing-influences taxonomy, meaningful error reduction strategies, multilevel analyses, multiple user types, compatible with existing methods, applied in design phase or throughout system life cycle, capture of lessons learned, and ease of application. FRANCIE was designed to apply to any domain, given taxonomy refinement. This is demonstrated by its application for an aviation operations scenario for a new precision landing aid. Representative error-types and contributing-influences, two example analyses, and a case study are presented. In conclusion, FRANCIE is useful for analysis of human error, and the taxonomy is a starting point for development of taxonomies allowing application to other domains, such as spacecraft maintenance, operations, medicine, process control, and other transportation industries.

  12. Does a Rater's Professional Background Influence Communication Skills Assessment?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Artemiou, Elpida; Hecker, Kent G; Adams, Cindy L; Coe, Jason B

    2015-01-01

    There is increasing pressure in veterinary education to teach and assess communication skills, with the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) being the most common assessment method. Previous research reveals that raters are a large source of variance in OSCEs. This study focused on examining the effect of raters' professional background as a source of variance when assessing students' communication skills. Twenty-three raters were categorized according to their professional background: clinical sciences (n=11), basic sciences (n=4), clinical communication (n=5), or hospital administrator/clinical skills technicians (n=3). Raters from each professional background were assigned to the same station and assessed the same students during two four-station OSCEs. Students were in year 2 of their pre-clinical program. Repeated-measures ANOVA results showed that OSCE scores awarded by the rater groups differed significantly: (F(matched_station_1) [2,91]=6.97, p=.002), (F(matched_station_2) [3,90]=13.95, p=.001), (F(matched_station_3) [3,90]=8.76, p=.001), and ((Fmatched_station_4) [2,91]=30.60, p=.001). A significant time effect between the two OSCEs was calculated for matched stations 1, 2, and 4, indicating improved student performances. Raters with a clinical communication skills background assigned scores that were significantly lower compared to the other rater groups. Analysis of written feedback provided by the clinical sciences raters showed that they were influenced by the students' clinical knowledge of the case and that they did not rely solely on the communication checklist items. This study shows that it is important to consider rater background both in recruitment and training programs for communication skills' assessment.

  13. BIOPROTA: Key issues in biosphere aspects of assessment of the long-term impact of contaminant releases associated with radioactive waste management. Theme 2 Task 1: Model review and comparison for spray irrigation pathway

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bergstroem, U.; Albrecht, A.; Kanyar, B.; Smith, G.; Thorne, M.C.; Yoshida, H.; Wasiolek, M.

    2006-04-15

    The objective of Task 1 within Theme 2 was to investigate the modelling of the concentrations of radionuclides on vegetation arising from interception by growing crops using contaminated irrigation water and the consequent contamination of the food consumed by humans. This Task 1 report includes model descriptions provided by participants and the specification and results of model test calculations designed to investigate the significance of the different model assumptions. A significant array of modelling methods has been presented and explained. The equations used and the data adopted have also been presented. This compilation may be useful for future reference. Although the methods vary, most assessment results are within a factor of ten of each other. This is not a large range given the generic nature of the assessment question asked. This is generally due to compensating effects. For example, a high initial assumed retention factor is compensated for when weathering and translocation are then taken into account. That is to say, while different modelling approaches are taken, each conceptual model is internally consistent. Overall, the results lend considerable confidence to the assessment community's ability to assess doses as a result of food contamination due to the direct effects of irrigation. The biggest reasons for discrepancies in results are associated with the treatment of weathering and translocation, post deposition. Values for translocation vary considerably between the participants and there are different interpretations of weathering and translocation data. Another significant reason for differences in models and in results concerns the different irrigation practices used in different areas. These are largely climate driven. Overall it appears that relatively simple models provide very similar results to the more process orientated and data demanding models. Further consideration of the adequacy of the data for assessment purposes will

  14. Space for action: How practitioners influence environmental assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kågström, Mari, E-mail: mari.kagstrom@slu.se [Department of Urban and Rural Development, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (Sweden); Richardson, Tim, E-mail: tim.richardson@nmbu.no [Department of Landscape Architecture and Spatial Planning, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Frederik A Dahls vei 15, KA-bygningen, Ås (Norway)

    2015-09-15

    Highlights: • The concept of ‘space for action’ offers an important new lens on EA practice. • Focuses on the relation between practitioner's understanding and their actions • Environmental assessment practice is decisively shaped by practitioners. • Practitioners may underestimate their potential to make a difference. • Contributes to understanding change in the environmental assessment field. This article contributes to understanding of how change occurs in the field of environmental assessment (EA). It argues that the integration of new issues in EA, such as human health, is significantly influenced by how practitioners' understandings shape their actions, and by what happens when those, possibly different, interpretations of appropriate action are acted out. The concept of space for action is developed as a means of investigating this relation between understanding and action. Frame theory is also used, to develop a sharper focus on how ‘potential spaces for action’ are created, what these imply for (individuals') preferred choices and actions in certain situations, and what happens in practice when these are acted out and ‘actual spaces for action’ are created. This novel approach is then applied in a Swedish case study of transport planning. The analysis reveals the important work done by practitioners, revealing just how EA practice is decisively shaped by practitioners. Analysis of practice using the lens of spaces for action offers an important new perspective in understanding how the field adapts to new challenges.

  15. Assessment of factors influencing the biomethane yield of maize silages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayer, Frédéric; Gerin, Patrick A; Noo, Anaïs; Foucart, Guy; Flammang, Jos; Lemaigre, Sébastien; Sinnaeve, Georges; Dardenne, Pierre; Delfosse, Philippe

    2014-02-01

    A large set of maize silage samples was produced to assess the major traits influencing the biomethane production of this crop. The biomass yield, the volatile solids contents and the biochemical methane potential (BMP) were measured to calculate the biomethane yield per hectare (average=7266m(3)ha(-1)). The most influential factor controlling the biomethane yield was the cropping environment. The biomass yield had more impact than the anaerobic digestibility. Nevertheless, the anaerobic digestibility of maize silages was negatively affected by high VS content in mature maize. Late maturing maize varieties produced high biomass yield with high digestibility resulting in high biomethane yield per hectare. The BMP was predicted with good accuracy using solely the VS content.

  16. Multidimensional spatial characterization of plant invasions in 'El Pinacate y Gran Desierto de Altar' Biosphere Reserve

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanchez Flores, Erick

    Invasive species are considered an agent of ecological change with more significant effects than global warming. Exotic plant invasions threaten biodiversity and ecosystem viability worldwide. Their effects in the Sonoran Desert ecosystems are a growing concern among ecologists and land managers. We hypothesized that highly dynamic desert environments are unstable, therefore more vulnerable to invasion by exotic plant species. To test this hypothesis we used a multidimensional approach to assess the spatial distribution of two exotic species: Brassica tournefortii (Saharan mustard) and Schismus arabicus (Arabian grass), in a portion of 'El Pinacate y Gran Desierto de Altar' Biosphere Reserve (PBR) in northwestern Sonora, Mexico. This approach combined genetic algorithms, geographic information systems, field methods, statistical analysis, and remote sensing modeling at multiple spatial and temporal scales to predict and test the current and potential distribution of the invasives over dynamic landscapes. Predicted probability of invasion was influenced strongly by human factors: Road networks were the strongest predictors of presence, revealing the potential importance of humans as vectors of invasiveness. Dynamic landscapes, associated mostly with vegetation losses, were detected spectrally in the eastern portion of the study area, very likely associated with past agricultural and current grazing activity. Combined models of high probability for invasion by B. tournefortii and S. arabicus over dynamic landscapes were tested against confirmed locations of the invasives and land cover types associated with invasion. Results confirmed the hypothesis of the study and suggest that more dynamic landscapes are more prone to invasion by these two exotic plants in the PBR. B. tournefortii was found associated mostly with landscapes occupied by microphyllous desert scrub and grassland, as well as sarcocaulescent desert scrub. S. arabicus was found more abundantly in the

  17. Venus and Mars as Failed Biospheres

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grinspoon, D.

    2014-04-01

    What kinds of planets can support life? A widely held belief is that to support life, a planet should have stable bodies of liquid surface water. This assumption has in turn led to the conventional notion of a habitable zone (HZ) as a range of distances from a star where water can exist on the surface of a solid planet for biologically relevant timescales. As our understanding of terrestrial planet evolution has increased, the importance of water abundance as a substance controlling many evolutionary factors has become increasingly clear. This is true of biological evolution, as the presence of liquid water is widely regarded as the key to the possibility of finding "life as we know it" on other worlds. It is also true of geological and climatic evolution. Water is among the most important climatically active atmospheric gasses on the terrestrial planets. It is also a controlling variable for tectonic style and geologic processes, as well as a mediator of surface-atmosphere chemical reactions. Of the three local terrestrial planets, two have lost their oceans either to a subsurface cryosphere or to space, and one has had liquid oceans for most of its history. It is likely that planetary desiccation in one form or another is common among extrasolar terrestrial planets near the edges of their habitable zones. Thus, understanding the sources and sinks for surface water and characterizing the longevity of oceans and the magnitude of loss mechanisms on terrestrial planets of differing size, composition and proximity to stars of various stellar types, as well as the range of physical parameters which facilitates plate tectonics, is key to defining stellar habitable zones. The global biosphere of Earth has greatly altered many physical properties of the planet, and it is unclear to what extent the long-term habitability of Earth is the result of its inhabitation. Only comparative planetology, eventually including comparison with other inhabited planets, will answer this

  18. An Estimate of the Total DNA in the Biosphere.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hanna K E Landenmark

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Modern whole-organism genome analysis, in combination with biomass estimates, allows us to estimate a lower bound on the total information content in the biosphere: 5.3 × 1031 (±3.6 × 1031 megabases (Mb of DNA. Given conservative estimates regarding DNA transcription rates, this information content suggests biosphere processing speeds exceeding yottaNOPS values (1024 Nucleotide Operations Per Second. Although prokaryotes evolved at least 3 billion years before plants and animals, we find that the information content of prokaryotes is similar to plants and animals at the present day. This information-based approach offers a new way to quantify anthropogenic and natural processes in the biosphere and its information diversity over time.

  19. An Estimate of the Total DNA in the Biosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landenmark, Hanna K E; Forgan, Duncan H; Cockell, Charles S

    2015-06-01

    Modern whole-organism genome analysis, in combination with biomass estimates, allows us to estimate a lower bound on the total information content in the biosphere: 5.3 × 1031 (±3.6 × 1031) megabases (Mb) of DNA. Given conservative estimates regarding DNA transcription rates, this information content suggests biosphere processing speeds exceeding yottaNOPS values (1024 Nucleotide Operations Per Second). Although prokaryotes evolved at least 3 billion years before plants and animals, we find that the information content of prokaryotes is similar to plants and animals at the present day. This information-based approach offers a new way to quantify anthropogenic and natural processes in the biosphere and its information diversity over time.

  20. The biosphere today and tomorrow in the SFR area

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kautsky, Ulrik (ed.)

    2001-06-01

    This report is a compilation of the work done mainly in the SAFE project for the biosphere from about 14 reports. The SAFE project is the updated safety analysis of SFR-1, the LLW and ILW repository at Forsmark. The aim of the report is to summarize the available information about the present-day biosphere in the area surrounding SFR and to use this information, together with information about the previous development of the biosphere, to predict the future development of the area in a more comparable way than the underlying reports. The data actually used for the models have been taken from the original reports which also justify or validate the data. The report compiles information about climate, oceanography, landscape, sedimentation, shoreline displacement, marine, lake and terrestrial ecosystems.

  1. Evolution of Photosynthesis and Biospheric Oxygenation Contingent Upon Nitrogen Fixation?

    CERN Document Server

    Grula, J W

    2006-01-01

    How photosynthesis by Precambrian cyanobacteria oxygenated Earth's biosphere remains incompletely understood. Here it is argued that the oxic transition, which took place between approximately 2.3 and 0.5 Gyr ago, required a great proliferation of cyanobacteria, and this in turn depended on their ability to fix nitrogen via the nitrogenase enzyme system. However, the ability to fix nitrogen was not a panacea, and the rate of biospheric oxygenation may still have been affected by nitrogen constraints on cyanobacterial expansion. Evidence is presented for why cyanobacteria probably have a great need for fixed nitrogen than other prokaryotes, underscoring the importance of their ability to fix nitrogen. The connection between nitrogen fixation and the evolution of photosynthesis is demonstrated by the similarities between nitrogenase and enzymes critical for the biosynthesis of (bacterio)chlorophyll. It is hypothesized that biospheric oxygenation would not have occurred if the emergence of cyanobacteria had not ...

  2. Culturing captures members of the soil rare biosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shade, Ashley; Hogan, Clifford S; Klimowicz, Amy K; Linske, Matthew; McManus, Patricia S; Handelsman, Jo

    2012-09-01

    The ecological significance of rare microorganisms within microbial communities remains an important, unanswered question. Microorganisms of extremely low abundance (the 'rare biosphere') are believed to be largely inaccessible and unknown. To understand the structure of complex environmental microbial communities, including the representation of rare and prevalent community members, we coupled traditional cultivation with pyrosequencing. We compared cultured and uncultured bacterial members of the same agricultural soil, including eight locations within one apple orchard and four time points. Our analysis revealed that soil bacteria captured by culturing were in very low abundance or absent in the culture-independent community, demonstrating unexpected accessibility of the rare biosphere by culturing.

  3. Remote sensing of the earth's biosphere - A tool for studies of the global atmospheric environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartlett, David S.; Harriss, Robert C.; Bartlett, Karen B.

    1987-01-01

    Recent advances in remote sensing technology and its use for global studies of the biospheric processes are described. Special consideration is given to research related to two issues: (1) quantifying the impacts of natural vegetation and its changing patterns of occurrence on the atmospheric CO2 budget and (2) assessing wetlands (such as the swamps and marshes of Florida's Everglades) as sources of atmospheric CH4. The results include the data from NOAA-AVHRR sensors and from experiments in remote detection of plant growth rate.

  4. Selection of biosphere reserves for the Californian Biogeographical Province : Final report

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Completion of the biosphere reserve network within the United States is a major objective of the United States Man and the Biosphere Program (US MAS). Toward this...

  5. Follow the Methane: The Search for Deep Biospheres on Mars and Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parnell, J.; Boyce, A. J.

    2010-03-01

    Methane seepages indicate gas pathways that could fuel microbial sulfate reduction at depth. Sulfur isotope studies can indicate microbial activity in the ancient deep biosphere on Earth, and could be applied to seek ancient deep biosphere on Mars.

  6. On Detecting Biospheres from Chemical Thermodynamic Disequilibrium in Planetary Atmospheres.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krissansen-Totton, Joshua; Bergsman, David S; Catling, David C

    2016-01-01

    Atmospheric chemical disequilibrium has been proposed as a method for detecting extraterrestrial biospheres from exoplanet observations. Chemical disequilibrium is potentially a generalized biosignature since it makes no assumptions about particular biogenic gases or metabolisms. Here, we present the first rigorous calculations of the thermodynamic chemical disequilibrium in Solar System atmospheres, in which we quantify the available Gibbs energy: the Gibbs free energy of an observed atmosphere minus that of atmospheric gases reacted to equilibrium. The purely gas phase disequilibrium in Earth's atmosphere is mostly attributable to O2 and CH4. The available Gibbs energy is not unusual compared to other Solar System atmospheres and smaller than that of Mars. However, Earth's fluid envelope contains an ocean, allowing gases to react with water and requiring a multiphase calculation with aqueous species. The disequilibrium in Earth's atmosphere-ocean system (in joules per mole of atmosphere) ranges from ∼20 to 2 × 10(6) times larger than the disequilibria of other atmospheres in the Solar System, where Mars is second to Earth. Only on Earth is the chemical disequilibrium energy comparable to the thermal energy per mole of atmosphere (excluding comparison to Titan with lakes, where quantification is precluded because the mean lake composition is unknown). Earth's disequilibrium is biogenic, mainly caused by the coexistence of N2, O2, and liquid water instead of more stable nitrate. In comparison, the O2-CH4 disequilibrium is minor, although kinetics requires a large CH4 flux into the atmosphere. We identify abiotic processes that cause disequilibrium in the other atmospheres. Our metric requires minimal assumptions and could potentially be calculated from observations of exoplanet atmospheres. However, further work is needed to establish whether thermodynamic disequilibrium is a practical exoplanet biosignature, requiring an assessment of false positives, noisy

  7. State-Led Ecotourism Development and Nature Conservation: a Case Study of the Changbai Mountain Biosphere Reserve, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qingli Wang

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Faced with fiscal constraints and enormous population pressures, 80% of Chinese nature reserves have employed ecotourism as a support and development strategy. Assessing the actual effects of ecotourism at a nature reserve that has a relatively long history of ecotourism development experience may be instructive for other reserves. Therefore, we take Changbai Mountain Biosphere Reserve (CMBR in northeastern China as a case study, for it is one of the pioneers in embracing ecotourism in China. Personal interviews and informal group discussions were employed to understand local residents’ attitudes toward conservation. Factors affecting their attitudes were then analyzed using logistic regression. Results indicate that attitudes held by most farmers are not favorable toward the conservation of the CMBR. It is not ecotourism but rather income from collection of forest products, household crop lands, and migrant labor that actually influences their attitudes. We found that the 1-day-sightseeing tour style, the limited tourism period, and the low level of education and extreme poverty of the local residents, together with existing institutions and lagging regulations make it very difficult for ecotourism to engender local residents’ support. We concluded that institutional measures to guarantee local people’s sharing in the revenue generated by the reserve, as well as regulations to ensure involvement of the local community in the decision-making process are preconditions for ecotourism to engender local support in China. Providing educational opportunities for children and vocational training for young local residents can also contribute indirectly to enhanced conservation.

  8. Solid phase evolution in the Biosphere 2 hillslope experiment as predicted by modeling of hydrologic and geochemical fluxes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Dontsova

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available A reactive transport geochemical modeling study was conducted to help predict the mineral transformations occurring over a ten year time-scale that are expected to impact soil hydraulic properties in the Biosphere 2 (B2 synthetic hillslope experiment. The modeling sought to predict the rate and extent of weathering of a granular basalt (selected for hillslope construction as a function of climatic drivers, and to assess the feedback effects of such weathering processes on the hydraulic properties of the hillslope. Flow vectors were imported from HYDRUS into a reactive transport code, CrunchFlow2007, which was then used to model mineral weathering coupled to reactive solute transport. Associated particle size evolution was translated into changes in saturated hydraulic conductivity using Rosetta software. We found that flow characteristics, including velocity and saturation, strongly influenced the predicted extent of incongruent mineral weathering and neo-phase precipitation on the hillslope. Results were also highly sensitive to specific surface areas of the soil media, consistent with surface reaction controls on dissolution. Effects of fluid flow on weathering resulted in significant differences in the prediction of soil particle size distributions, which should feedback to alter hillslope hydraulic conductivities.

  9. Coupled modeling of hydrologic and geochemical fluxes for prediction of solid phase evolution in the Biosphere 2 hillslope experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dontsova, K.; Steefel, C. I.; Desilets, S.; Thompson, A.; Chorover, J.

    2009-06-01

    A reactive transport geochemical modeling study was conducted to help predict the mineral transformations occurring over a ten year time-scale that are expected to impact soil hydraulic properties in the Biosphere 2 (B2) synthetic hillslope experiment. The modeling sought to predict the rate and extent of weathering of a granular basalt (selected for hillslope construction) as a function of climatic drivers, and to assess the feedback effects of such weathering processes on the hydraulic properties of the hillslope. Flow vectors were imported from HYDRUS into a reactive transport code, CrunchFlow2007, which was then used to model mineral weathering coupled to reactive solute transport. Associated particle size evolution was translated into changes in saturated hydraulic conductivity using Rosetta software. We found that flow characteristics, including velocity and saturation, strongly influenced the predicted extent of incongruent mineral weathering and neo-phase precipitation on the hillslope. Results were also highly sensitive to specific surface areas of the soil media, consistent with surface reaction controls on dissolution. Effects of fluid flow on weathering resulted in significant differences in the prediction of soil particle size distributions, which should feedback to alter hillslope hydraulic conductivities.

  10. Solid phase evolution in the Biosphere 2 hillslope experiment as predicted by modeling of hydrologic and geochemical fluxes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dontsova, K.; Steefel, C. I.; Desilets, S.; Thompson, A.; Chorover, J.

    2009-12-01

    A reactive transport geochemical modeling study was conducted to help predict the mineral transformations occurring over a ten year time-scale that are expected to impact soil hydraulic properties in the Biosphere 2 (B2) synthetic hillslope experiment. The modeling sought to predict the rate and extent of weathering of a granular basalt (selected for hillslope construction) as a function of climatic drivers, and to assess the feedback effects of such weathering processes on the hydraulic properties of the hillslope. Flow vectors were imported from HYDRUS into a reactive transport code, CrunchFlow2007, which was then used to model mineral weathering coupled to reactive solute transport. Associated particle size evolution was translated into changes in saturated hydraulic conductivity using Rosetta software. We found that flow characteristics, including velocity and saturation, strongly influenced the predicted extent of incongruent mineral weathering and neo-phase precipitation on the hillslope. Results were also highly sensitive to specific surface areas of the soil media, consistent with surface reaction controls on dissolution. Effects of fluid flow on weathering resulted in significant differences in the prediction of soil particle size distributions, which should feedback to alter hillslope hydraulic conductivities.

  11. Solid phase evolution in the Biosphere 2 hillslope experiment as predicted by modeling of hydrologic and geochemical fluxes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dontsova, K.; Steefel, C.I.; Desilets, S.; Thompson, A.; Chorover, J.

    2009-07-15

    A reactive transport geochemical modeling study was conducted to help predict the mineral transformations occurring over a ten year time-scale that are expected to impact soil hydraulic properties in the Biosphere 2 (B2) synthetic hillslope experiment. The modeling sought to predict the rate and extent of weathering of a granular basalt (selected for hillslope construction) as a function of climatic drivers, and to assess the feedback effects of such weathering processes on the hydraulic properties of the hillslope. Flow vectors were imported from HYDRUS into a reactive transport code, CrunchFlow2007, which was then used to model mineral weathering coupled to reactive solute transport. Associated particle size evolution was translated into changes in saturated hydraulic conductivity using Rosetta software. We found that flow characteristics, including velocity and saturation, strongly influenced the predicted extent of incongruent mineral weathering and neo-phase precipitation on the hillslope. Results were also highly sensitive to specific surface areas of the soil media, consistent with surface reaction controls on dissolution. Effects of fluid flow on weathering resulted in significant differences in the prediction of soil particle size distributions, which should feedback to alter hillslope hydraulic conductivities.

  12. Comparative assessment of two agriculturally-influenced estuaries

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Lemley, DA

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available This study compared the spatio-temporal dynamics in two agriculturally-influenced South African estuaries - Gamtoos and Sundays - to investigate how contrasting hydrological alterations influence physical, chemical and biological responses...

  13. Acetogenesis in the energy-starved deep biosphere - a paradox?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lever, Mark

    2012-01-01

    Under anoxic conditions in sediments, acetogens are often thought to be outcompeted by microorganisms performing energetically more favorable metabolic pathways, such as sulfate reduction or methanogenesis. Recent evidence from deep subseafloor sediments suggesting acetogenesis in the presence of...... to be taken into account to understand microbial survival in the energy-depleted deep biosphere....

  14. Evidence for an active rare biosphere within freshwater protists community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Debroas, Didier; Hugoni, Mylène; Domaizon, Isabelle

    2015-03-01

    Studies on the active rare biosphere at the RNA level are mainly focused on Bacteria and Archaea and fail to include the protists, which are involved in the main biogeochemical cycles of the earth. In this study, the richness, composition and activity of the rare protistan biosphere were determined from a temporal survey of two lakes by pyrosequencing. In these ecosystems, the always rare OTUs represented 77.2% of the total OTUs and 76.6% of the phylogenetic diversity. From the various phylogenetic indices computed, the phylogenetic units (PUs) constituted exclusively by always rare OTUs were discriminated from the other PUs. Therefore, the rare biosphere included mainly taxa that are distant from the reference databases compared to the dominant ones. In addition, the rarest OTUs represented 59.8% of the active biosphere depicted by rRNA and the activity (rRNA:rDNA ratio) increased with the rarity. The high rRNA:rDNA ratio determined in the rare fraction highlights that some protists were active at low abundances and contribute to ecosystem functioning. Interestingly, the always rare and active OTUs were characterized by seasonal changes in relation with the main environmental parameters measured. In conclusion, the rare eukaryotes represent an active, dynamic and overlooked fraction in the lacustrine ecosystems.

  15. Ecology of the rare microbial biosphere of the Arctic Ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galand, Pierre E; Casamayor, Emilio O; Kirchman, David L; Lovejoy, Connie

    2009-12-29

    Understanding the role of microbes in the oceans has focused on taxa that occur in high abundance; yet most of the marine microbial diversity is largely determined by a long tail of low-abundance taxa. This rare biosphere may have a cosmopolitan distribution because of high dispersal and low loss rates, and possibly represents a source of phylotypes that become abundant when environmental conditions change. However, the true ecological role of rare marine microorganisms is still not known. Here, we use pyrosequencing to describe the structure and composition of the rare biosphere and to test whether it represents cosmopolitan taxa or whether, similar to abundant phylotypes, the rare community has a biogeography. Our examination of 740,353 16S rRNA gene sequences from 32 bacterial and archaeal communities from various locations of the Arctic Ocean showed that rare phylotypes did not have a cosmopolitan distribution but, rather, followed patterns similar to those of the most abundant members of the community and of the entire community. The abundance distributions of rare and abundant phylotypes were different, following a log-series and log-normal model, respectively, and the taxonomic composition of the rare biosphere was similar to the composition of the abundant phylotypes. We conclude that the rare biosphere has a biogeography and that its tremendous diversity is most likely subjected to ecological processes such as selection, speciation, and extinction.

  16. Putting the Deep Biosphere and Gas Hydrates on the Map

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sikorski, Janelle J.; Briggs, Brandon R.

    2016-01-01

    Microbial processes in the deep biosphere affect marine sediments, such as the formation of gas hydrate deposits. Gas hydrate deposits offer a large source of natural gas with the potential to augment energy reserves and affect climate and seafloor stability. Despite the significant interdependence between life and geology in the ocean, coverage…

  17. Terrestrial biosphere change over the last 120 kyr

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hoogakker, B.A.A.; Smith, R.A.; Singarayer, J.S.; Marchant, R.; Prentice, I.C.; Allen, J.R.M.; Anderson, R.S.; Bhagwat, S.A.; Behling, H.; Borisova, O.; Bush, M.; Correa-Metrio, A.; de Vernal, A.; Finch, J.M.; Fréchette, B.; Lozano-Garcia, S.; Gosling, W.D.; Granoszewski, W.; Grimm, E.C.; Grüger, E.; Hanselman, J.; Harrison, S.P.; Hill, T.R.; Huntley, B.; Jiménez-Moreno, G.; Kershaw, P.; Ledru, M.-P.; Magri, D.; McKenzie, M.; Müller, U.; Nakagawa, T.; Novenko, E.; Penny, D.; Sadori, L.; Scott, L.; Stevenson, J.; Valdes, P.J.; Vandergoes, M.; Velichko, A.; Whitlock, C.; Tzedakis, C.

    2016-01-01

    A new global synthesis and biomization of long (> 40 kyr) pollen-data records is presented and used with simulations from the HadCM3 and FAMOUS climate models and the BIOME4 vegetation model to analyse the dynamics of the global terrestrial biosphere and carbon storage over the last glacial-intergla

  18. Terrestrial biosphere change over the last 120 kyr

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hoogakker, B.A.A.; Smith, R.S.; Singarayer, J.S.; Marchant, R.; Prentice, I.C.; Allen, J.R.M.; Anderson, R.S.; Bhagwat, S.A.; Behling, H.; Borisova, O.; Bush, M.; Correa-Metrio, A.; de Vernal, A.; Finch, J.M.; Fréchette, B.; Lozano-Garcia, S.; Gosling, W.D.; Granoszewski, W.; Grimm, E.C.; Grüger, E.; Hanselman, J.; Harrison, S.P.; Hill, T.R.; Huntley, B.; Jiménez-Moreno, G.; Kershaw, P.; Ledru, M.-P.; Magri, D.; McKenzie, M.; Müller, U.; Nakagawa, T.; Novenko, E.; Penny, D.; Sadori, L.; Scott, L.; Stevenson, J.; Valdes, P.J.; Vandergoes, M.; Velichko, A.; Whitlock, C.; Tzedakis, C.

    2016-01-01

    A new global synthesis and biomization of long (> 40 kyr) pollen-data records is presented and used with simulations from the HadCM3 and FAMOUS climate models and the BIOME4 vegetation model to analyse the dynamics of the global terrestrial biosphere and carbon storage over the last

  19. Farmers' Perceptions of a Mountain Biosphere Reserve in Austria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adelheid Humer-Gruber

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available This study explored farmers’ perceptions of a biosphere reserve in the Austrian Alps with the goal of promoting better understanding among different stakeholders involved in the agricultural sector in a biosphere reserve. Biosphere reserves have a variety of functions and serve as models of sustainable regional development and involve stakeholders in decision-making on and development of protected areas. In the Alpine biosphere reserve selected for this study, the conservation of cultural landscapes plays a major role; therefore, farmers feature prominently, and this study focuses on their points of view. Farmers rely heavily on natural resources, but structural changes in agriculture determine their work to a large degree, and they often refuse to support protected area management. This situation calls for a closer integration of social-scientific knowledge in regional development programs. Qualitative research methods based on grounded theory can help identify sources of conflict and social strengths. The study found substantial support for the reserve but also a noticeable lessening of the original excitement about it, pointing to the need for further outreach and to the importance, when establishing future reserves, of handling the start-up phase with heightened sensitivity.

  20. Impact disruption and recovery of the deep subsurface biosphere

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cockell, Charles S.; Voytek, Mary A.; Gronstal, Aaaron L

    2012-01-01

    Although a large fraction of the world's biomass resides in the subsurface, there has been no study of the effects of catastrophic disturbance on the deep biosphere and the rate of its subsequent recovery. We carried out an investigation of the microbiology of a 1.76 km drill core obtained from t...

  1. Terrestrial acidification during the end-Permian biosphere crisis?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sephton, Mark A.; Jiao, Dan; Engel, Michael H.; Looy, Cindy V.; Visscher, Henk

    2015-01-01

    Excessive acid rainfall associated with emplacement of the Siberian Traps magmatic province is increasingly accepted as a major contributing factor to the end-Permian biosphere crisis. However, direct proxy evidence of terrestrial acidification is so far not available. In this paper, we seek to dete

  2. 10 CFR 63.305 - Required characteristics of the reference biosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 10 Energy 2 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Required characteristics of the reference biosphere. 63... Standards § 63.305 Required characteristics of the reference biosphere. (a) Features, events, and processes that describe the reference biosphere must be consistent with present knowledge of the conditions in...

  3. Implementation of the Biosphere Compatibility Principle in Urban Planning: How to Train Next-Generation Specialists

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivanova, Zinaida Ilyinichna; Yudenkova, Olga Valeryevna; Ishkov, Aleksandr Dmitrievich; Shnyrenkov, Evgeny Anatolyevich

    2015-01-01

    The co-authors address the relevant issues concerning the need to implement the principle of the biosphere compatibility as the core prerequisite for the symbiotic co-existence of man and nature. Caring treatment of the biosphere, termination of its excessive exploitation, analysis of the ratio between the biospheric potential of specific areas…

  4. Viral infections as controlling factors for the deep biosphere? (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engelen, B.; Engelhardt, T.; Sahlberg, M.; Cypionka, H.

    2009-12-01

    The marine deep biosphere represents the largest biotope on Earth. Throughout the last years, we have obtained interesting insights into its microbial community composition. However, one component that was completely overlooked so far is the viral inventory of deep-subsurface sediments. While viral infections were identified to have a major impact on the benthic microflora of deep-sea surface sediments (Danavaro et al. 2008), no studies were performed on deep-biosphere samples, so far. As grazers probably play only a minor role in anoxic and highly compressed deep sediments, viruses might be the main “predators” for indigenous microorganisms. Furthermore, the release of cell components, called “the viral shunt”, could have a major impact on the deep biosphere in providing labile organic compounds to non-infected microorganisms in these generally nutrient depleted sediments. However, direct counting of viruses in sediments is highly challenging due to the small size of viruses and the high background of small particles. Even molecular surveys using “universal” PCR primers that target phage-specific genes fail due to the vast phage diversity. One solution for this problem is the lysogenic viral life cycle as many bacteriophages integrate their DNA into the host genome. It is estimated that up to 70% of cultivated bacteria contain prophages within their genome. Therefore, culture collections (Batzke et al. 2007) represent an archive of the viral composition within the respective habitat. These prophages can be induced to become free phage particles in stimulation experiments in which the host cells are set under certain stress situations such as a treatment with UV exposure or DNA-damaging antibiotics. The study of the viral component within the deep biosphere offers to answer the following questions: To which extent are deep-biosphere populations controlled by viral infections? What is the inter- and intra-specific diversity and the host-specific viral

  5. Group dynamics challenges: Insights from Biosphere 2 experiments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Mark; Gray, Kathelin; Allen, John P

    2015-07-01

    Successfully managing group dynamics of small, physically isolated groups is vital for long duration space exploration/habitation and for terrestrial CELSS (Controlled Environmental Life Support System) facilities with human participants. Biosphere 2 had important differences and shares some key commonalities with both Antarctic and space environments. There were a multitude of stress factors during the first two year closure experiment as well as mitigating factors. A helpful tool used at Biosphere 2 was the work of W.R. Bion who identified two competing modalities of behavior in small groups. Task-oriented groups are governed by conscious acceptance of goals, reality-thinking in relation to time and resources, and intelligent management of challenges. The opposing unconscious mode, the "basic-assumption" ("group animal") group, manifests through Dependency/Kill the Leader, Fight/Flight and Pairing. These unconscious dynamics undermine and can defeat the task group's goal. The biospherians experienced some dynamics seen in other isolated teams: factions developing reflecting personal chemistry and disagreements on overall mission procedures. These conflicts were exacerbated by external power struggles which enlisted support of those inside. Nevertheless, the crew evolved a coherent, creative life style to deal with some of the deprivations of isolation. The experience of the first two year closure of Biosphere 2 vividly illustrates both vicissitudes and management of group dynamics. The crew overrode inevitable frictions to creatively manage both operational and research demands and opportunities of the facility, thus staying 'on task' in Bion's group dynamics terminology. The understanding that Biosphere 2 was their life support system may also have helped the mission to succeed. Insights from the Biosphere 2 experience can help space and remote missions cope successfully with the inherent challenges of small, isolated crews.

  6. Group dynamics challenges: Insights from Biosphere 2 experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Mark; Gray, Kathelin; Allen, John P.

    2015-07-01

    Successfully managing group dynamics of small, physically isolated groups is vital for long duration space exploration/habitation and for terrestrial CELSS (Controlled Environmental Life Support System) facilities with human participants. Biosphere 2 had important differences and shares some key commonalities with both Antarctic and space environments. There were a multitude of stress factors during the first two year closure experiment as well as mitigating factors. A helpful tool used at Biosphere 2 was the work of W.R. Bion who identified two competing modalities of behavior in small groups. Task-oriented groups are governed by conscious acceptance of goals, reality-thinking in relation to time and resources, and intelligent management of challenges. The opposing unconscious mode, the "basic-assumption" ("group animal") group, manifests through Dependency/Kill the Leader, Fight/Flight and Pairing. These unconscious dynamics undermine and can defeat the task group's goal. The biospherians experienced some dynamics seen in other isolated teams: factions developing reflecting personal chemistry and disagreements on overall mission procedures. These conflicts were exacerbated by external power struggles which enlisted support of those inside. Nevertheless, the crew evolved a coherent, creative life style to deal with some of the deprivations of isolation. The experience of the first two year closure of Biosphere 2 vividly illustrates both vicissitudes and management of group dynamics. The crew overrode inevitable frictions to creatively manage both operational and research demands and opportunities of the facility, thus staying 'on task' in Bion's group dynamics terminology. The understanding that Biosphere 2 was their life support system may also have helped the mission to succeed. Insights from the Biosphere 2 experience can help space and remote missions cope successfully with the inherent challenges of small, isolated crews.

  7. Land-Atmosphere Interactions in Cold Environments (LATICE): The role of Atmosphere - Biosphere - Cryosphere - Hydrosphere interactions in a changing climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burkhart, J. F.; Tallaksen, L. M.; Stordal, F.; Berntsen, T.; Westermann, S.; Kristjansson, J. E.; Etzelmuller, B.; Hagen, J. O.; Schuler, T.; Hamran, S. E.; Lande, T. S.; Bryn, A.

    2015-12-01

    Climate change is impacting the high latitudes more rapidly and significantly than any other region of the Earth because of feedback processes between the atmosphere and the underlying surface. A warmer climate has already led to thawing of permafrost, reducing snow cover and a longer growing season; changes, which in turn influence the atmospheric circulation and the hydrological cycle. Still, many studies rely on one-way coupling between the atmosphere and the land surface, thereby neglecting important interactions and feedbacks. The observation, understanding and prediction of such processes from local to regional and global scales, represent a major scientific challenge that requires multidisciplinary scientific effort. The successful integration of earth observations (remote and in-situ data) and model development requires a harmonized research effort between earth system scientists, modelers and the developers of technologies and sensors. LATICE, which is recognized as a priority research area by the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences at the University of Oslo, aims to advance the knowledge base concerning land atmosphere interactions and their role in controlling climate variability and climate change at high northern latitudes. The consortium consists of an interdisciplinary team of experts from the atmospheric and terrestrial (hydrosphere, cryosphere and biosphere) research groups, together with key expertise on earth observations and novel sensor technologies. LATICE addresses critical knowledge gaps in the current climate assessment capacity through: Improving parameterizations of processes in earth system models controlling the interactions and feedbacks between the land (snow, ice, permafrost, soil and vegetation) and the atmosphere at high latitudes, including the boreal, alpine and artic zone. Assessing the influence of climate and land cover changes on water and energy fluxes. Integrating remote earth observations with in-situ data and

  8. WEB-DHM: A distributed biosphere hydrological model developed by coupling a simple biosphere scheme with a hillslope hydrological model

    Science.gov (United States)

    The coupling of land surface models and hydrological models potentially improves the land surface representation, benefiting both the streamflow prediction capabilities as well as providing improved estimates of water and energy fluxes into the atmosphere. In this study, the simple biosphere model 2...

  9. Online assessment: what influences students to engage with feedback?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stone, Alan

    2014-07-01

    The intention of giving written feedback is to close the gap between the standard achieved and the standard desired, but students do not always read it. Web-based marking tools are increasingly being used in assessment practices to deliver the feedback. What motivates students to read the feedback provided, especially since the advent of these online marking tools, is poorly understood. This research looked at the factors likely to influence a medical student's engagement with written feedback delivered through an online marking tool (grademark by Turnitin). What motivates students to read the feedback provided Third-year medical students on a UK undergraduate medical course submitted an assignment online. A questionnaire was distributed to a cohort of them following the release of their results and feedback, allowing quantitative and qualitative data collection. Software recorded whether they opened their feedback. Previous examination performance figures were also collated. Online feedback is accessible and acceptable to the majority of students. Personal demographics, computer literacy, previous course performance, or personal motivational drivers did not predict those who did or did not read it. Some students reported seeing little value in feedback because of their previous negative experiences. A minority found feedback hurtful, and were likely to show avoidance behaviours. This research found that feedback provided through an online marking tool overcame many of the problems associated with handwritten feedback, but alone was not enough to ensure universal engagement. Feedback dialogues are proposed as a method to overcome negative student experiences, enhance tutor performance and encourage future student engagement. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  10. The effects of recreation experience, environmental attitude, and biospheric value on the environmentally responsible behavior of nature-based tourists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Tsung Hung; Jan, Fen-Hauh

    2015-07-01

    The scientific understanding of the recreation experience and the environmentally responsible behavior of nature-based tourists is limited. This study examines the relationship among the recreation experience, environmental attitude, biospheric value, and the general and site-specific environmentally responsible behavior of nature-based tourists in Taomi, Liuqiu Island, and Aowanda and Najenshan in Taiwan. A total of 1342 usable questionnaires were collected for this study. The empirical results indicate that the recreation experience influences biospheric value and environmental attitude; subsequently, it then indirectly influences the general and site-specific environmentally responsible behavior of nature-based tourists. Our theoretical behavioral model elucidates previously proposed but unexamined behavioral models among nature-based tourists, and it offers a theoretical framework for researchers, decision makers, managers, and tourists in the field of nature-based tourism. We conclude that when an individual participates in nature-based tourism as described here, these recreation experiences strengthen their environmental attitude and biospheric value, and consequently increase their engagement in both general and site-specific environmentally responsible behaviors.

  11. An Empirical Assessment of the "Above the Influence" Advertising Campaign

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheier, Lawrence M.; Grenard, Jerry L.; Holtz, Kristen D.

    2011-01-01

    This study evaluated the efficacy of "Above the Influence" (ATI), a national media-based health persuasion campaign to deter youth drug use. The campaign uses public service anti-drug prevention messages and targets youth between the ages of 14 and 16, a period of heightened susceptibility to peer influences. The evaluation utilized mall…

  12. [A phylogenetic analysis of plant communities of Teberda Biosphere Reserve].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shulakov, A A; Egorov, A V; Onipchenko, V G

    2016-01-01

    Phylogenetic analysis of communities is based on the comparison of distances on the phylogenetic tree between species of a community under study and those distances in random samples taken out of local flora. It makes it possible to determine to what extent a community composition is formed by more closely related species (i.e., "clustered") or, on the opposite, it is more even and includes species that are less related with each other. The first case is usually interpreted as a result of strong influence caused by abiotic factors, due to which species with similar ecology, a priori more closely related, would remain: In the second case, biotic factors, such as competition, may come to the fore and lead to forming a community out of distant clades due to divergence of their ecological niches: The aim of this' study Was Ad explore the phylogenetic structure in communities of the northwestern Caucasus at two spatial scales - the scale of area from 4 to 100 m2 and the smaller scale within a community. The list of local flora of the alpine belt has been composed using the database of geobotanic descriptions carried out in Teberda Biosphere Reserve at true altitudes exceeding.1800 m. It includes 585 species of flowering plants belonging to 57 families. Basal groups of flowering plants are.not represented in the list. At the scale of communities of three classes, namely Thlaspietea rotundifolii - commumties formed on screes and pebbles, Calluno-Ulicetea - alpine meadow, and Mulgedio-Aconitetea subalpine meadows, have not demonstrated significant distinction of phylogenetic structure. At intra level, for alpine meadows the larger share of closely related species. (clustered community) is detected. Significantly clustered happen to be those communities developing on rocks (class Asplenietea trichomanis) and alpine (class Juncetea trifidi). At the same time, alpine lichen proved to have even phylogenetic structure at the small scale. Alpine (class Salicetea herbaceae) that

  13. Predicting ecosystem dynamics at regional scales: an evaluation of a terrestrial biosphere model for the forests of northeastern North America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medvigy, David; Moorcroft, Paul R

    2012-01-19

    Terrestrial biosphere models are important tools for diagnosing both the current state of the terrestrial carbon cycle and forecasting terrestrial ecosystem responses to global change. While there are a number of ongoing assessments of the short-term predictive capabilities of terrestrial biosphere models using flux-tower measurements, to date there have been relatively few assessments of their ability to predict longer term, decadal-scale biomass dynamics. Here, we present the results of a regional-scale evaluation of the Ecosystem Demography version 2 (ED2)-structured terrestrial biosphere model, evaluating the model's predictions against forest inventory measurements for the northeast USA and Quebec from 1985 to 1995. Simulations were conducted using a default parametrization, which used parameter values from the literature, and a constrained model parametrization, which had been developed by constraining the model's predictions against 2 years of measurements from a single site, Harvard Forest (42.5° N, 72.1° W). The analysis shows that the constrained model parametrization offered marked improvements over the default model formulation, capturing large-scale variation in patterns of biomass dynamics despite marked differences in climate forcing, land-use history and species-composition across the region. These results imply that data-constrained parametrizations of structured biosphere models such as ED2 can be successfully used for regional-scale ecosystem prediction and forecasting. We also assess the model's ability to capture sub-grid scale heterogeneity in the dynamics of biomass growth and mortality of different sizes and types of trees, and then discuss the implications of these analyses for further reducing the remaining biases in the model's predictions.

  14. The Influence of Formative Assessment on the English Learning of Secondary Schools

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    陈玟伊

    2008-01-01

    This article studies the influence of formative assessment on English learning of secondary schools.First,it introduces two chief types of classroom assessment:summative assessment and formative assessment,and compares their differences.it also reviews three rationales of formative assessment,and presents its different forms.Then it reports the design and implementation of an experiment with formative assessment through five forms.Finally,the article offers a conclusion of the study.

  15. Exploring frontiers of the deep biosphere through scientific ocean drilling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inagaki, F.; D'Hondt, S.; Hinrichs, K. U.

    2015-12-01

    Since the first deep biosphere-dedicated Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Leg 201 using the US drill ship JOIDES Resolution in 2002, scientific ocean drilling has offered unique opportunities to expand our knowledge of the nature and extent of the deep biosphere. The latest estimate of the global subseafloor microbial biomass is ~1029cells, accounting for 4 Gt of carbon and ~1% of the Earth's total living biomass. The subseafloor microbial communities are evolutionarily diverse and their metabolic rates are extraordinarily slow. Nevertheless, accumulating activity most likely plays a significant role in elemental cycles over geological time. In 2010, during Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Expedition 329, the JOIDES Resolutionexplored the deep biosphere in the open-ocean South Pacific Gyre—the largest oligotrophic province on our planet. During Expedition 329, relatively high concentrations of dissolved oxygen and significantly low biomass of microbial populations were observed in the entire sediment column, indicating that (i) there is no limit to life in open-ocean sediment and (ii) a significant amount of oxygen reaches through the sediment to the upper oceanic crust. This "deep aerobic biosphere" inhabits the sediment throughout up to ~37 percent of the world's oceans. The remaining ~63 percent of the oceans is comprised of higher productivity areas that contain the "deep anaerobic biosphere". In 2012, during IODP Expedition 337, the Japanese drill ship Chikyu explored coal-bearing sediments down to 2,466 meters below the seafloor off the Shimokita Peninsula, Japan. Geochemical and microbiological analyses consistently showed the occurrence of methane-producing communities associated with the coal beds. Cell concentrations in deep sediments were notably lower than those expected from the global regression line, implying that the bottom of the deep biosphere is approached in these beds. Taxonomic composition of the deep coal-bearing communities profoundly

  16. Factors Influencing Assessment Quality in Higher Vocational Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baartman, Liesbeth; Gulikers, Judith; Dijkstra, Asha

    2013-01-01

    The development of assessments that are fit to assess professional competence in higher vocational education requires a reconsideration of assessment methods, quality criteria and (self)evaluation. This article examines the self-evaluations of nine courses of a large higher vocational education institute. Per course, 4-11 teachers and 3-10…

  17. Factors influencing assessment quality in higher vocational education

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Baartman, L.; Gulikers, J.T.M.; Dijkstra, A.

    2013-01-01

    The development of assessments that are fit to assess professional competence in higher vocational education requires a reconsideration of assessment methods, quality criteria and (self)evaluation. This article examines the self-evaluations of nine courses of a large higher vocational education inst

  18. Predicting land cover changes in the Amazon rainforest: An ocean-atmosphere-biosphere problem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira, Marcos Paulo Santos; Malhado, Ana Cláudia Mendes; Costa, Marcos Heil

    2012-05-01

    Accurate studies of the impacts of climate change on the distribution of major vegetation types are essential for developing effective conservation and land use policy. Such studies require the development of models that accurately represent the complex and interacting biophysical factors that influence regional patterns of vegetation. Here we investigate the impacts of Sea Surface Temperature (SST) on the vegetation of the Amazon, testing the hypothesis that changes in Amazonian vegetation structure are a consequence of an ocean-atmosphere-biosphere interaction. We design a numerical experiment in which we force a coupled climate-biosphere model by 10 SST patterns produced by different IPCC AR4 models, for the A2 scenario for the period 2000-2050. Simulations for 2011-2050 show that certain patterns of SST are likely to decrease the ensemble for tropical evergreen rainforest and savanna, and that these areas will be occupied mainly by tropical deciduous rainforest, emitting an average of 0.53 Pg-C.yr-1 during the transition.

  19. Patterns of new versus recycled primary production in the terrestrial biosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cleveland, Cory C; Houlton, Benjamin Z; Smith, W Kolby; Marklein, Alison R; Reed, Sasha C; Parton, William; Del Grosso, Stephen J; Running, Steven W

    2013-07-30

    Nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) availability regulate plant productivity throughout the terrestrial biosphere, influencing the patterns and magnitude of net primary production (NPP) by land plants both now and into the future. These nutrients enter ecosystems via geologic and atmospheric pathways and are recycled to varying degrees through the plant-soil-microbe system via organic matter decay processes. However, the proportion of global NPP that can be attributed to new nutrient inputs versus recycled nutrients is unresolved, as are the large-scale patterns of variation across terrestrial ecosystems. Here, we combined satellite imagery, biogeochemical modeling, and empirical observations to identify previously unrecognized patterns of new versus recycled nutrient (N and P) productivity on land. Our analysis points to tropical forests as a hotspot of new NPP fueled by new N (accounting for 45% of total new NPP globally), much higher than previous estimates from temperate and high-latitude regions. The large fraction of tropical forest NPP resulting from new N is driven by the high capacity for N fixation, although this varies considerably within this diverse biome; N deposition explains a much smaller proportion of new NPP. By contrast, the contribution of new N to primary productivity is lower outside the tropics, and worldwide, new P inputs are uniformly low relative to plant demands. These results imply that new N inputs have the greatest capacity to fuel additional NPP by terrestrial plants, whereas low P availability may ultimately constrain NPP across much of the terrestrial biosphere.

  20. Is the genetic landscape of the deep subsurface biosphere affected by viruses?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Rika E; Brazelton, William J; Baross, John A

    2011-01-01

    Viruses are powerful manipulators of microbial diversity, biogeochemistry, and evolution in the marine environment. Viruses can directly influence the genetic capabilities and the fitness of their hosts through the use of fitness factors and through horizontal gene transfer. However, the impact of viruses on microbial ecology and evolution is often overlooked in studies of the deep subsurface biosphere. Subsurface habitats connected to hydrothermal vent systems are characterized by constant fluid flux, dynamic environmental variability, and high microbial diversity. In such conditions, high adaptability would be an evolutionary asset, and the potential for frequent host-virus interactions would be high, increasing the likelihood that cellular hosts could acquire novel functions. Here, we review evidence supporting this hypothesis, including data indicating that microbial communities in subsurface hydrothermal fluids are exposed to a high rate of viral infection, as well as viral metagenomic data suggesting that the vent viral assemblage is particularly enriched in genes that facilitate horizontal gene transfer and host adaptability. Therefore, viruses are likely to play a crucial role in facilitating adaptability to the extreme conditions of these regions of the deep subsurface biosphere. We also discuss how these results might apply to other regions of the deep subsurface, where the nature of virus-host interactions would be altered, but possibly no less important, compared to more energetic hydrothermal systems.

  1. The impact of protest responses in choice experiments: an application to a Biosphere Reserve Management Program

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Barrio

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Aim of study: To identify protest responses and compute welfare estimates with and without the inclusion of such responses using follow-up statements in a choice experiment exercise. To our knowledge, this is one of the first empirical applications that, following the conventional treatment used in contingent valuation methodology, explicitly deals with the treatment and identification of protest responses in choice experiments.Area of study: the Eo, Oscos y Terras de Burón Biosphere Reserve sited between the regions of Galicia and Asturias. We are interested in the influence of such responses on preference elicitation for alternative management actions in this Reserve.Materials and methods: A face-to-face survey conducted in a sample of residents and non-residents of this Reserve. In total, more than 450 surveys were collected.Main results show that protest responses are fairly common in choice experiments, and their analysis affects the statistical performance of the empirical models as well as the valuation estimates. In fact, when the sample is corrected by protest responses, its size decreases to 303 individuals. Furthermore, we can observe that protest responses are triggered by a less positive attitude towards the wolf.Research highlight: Protest responses are a common issue in choice experiments and, therefore, future exercises should consider them explicitly, as earlier contingent valuation studies have.Key words: Biosphere Reserve; choice experiments; protest responses; willingness to pay.

  2. Is the genetic landscape of the deep subsurface biosphere affected by viruses?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rika E Anderson

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Viruses are powerful manipulators of microbial diversity, biogeochemistry, and evolution in the marine environment. Viruses can directly influence the genetic capabilities and the fitness of their hosts through the use of fitness factors and through horizontal gene transfer. However, the impact of viruses on microbial ecology and evolution is often overlooked in studies of the deep subsurface biosphere. Subsurface habitats connected to hydrothermal vent systems are characterized by constant fluid flux, dynamic environmental variability and high microbial diversity. In such conditions, high adaptability would be an evolutionary asset, and the potential for frequent host-virus interactions would be high, increasing the likelihood that cellular hosts could acquire novel functions. Here, we review evidence supporting this hypothesis, including data indicating that microbial communities in subsurface hydrothermal fluids are exposed to a high rate of viral infection, as well as viral metagenomic data suggesting that the vent viral assemblage is particularly enriched in genes that facilitate horizontal gene transfer and host adaptability. Therefore, viruses are likely to play a crucial role in facilitating adaptability to the extreme conditions of these regions of the deep subsurface biosphere. We also discuss how these results might apply to other regions of the deep subsurface, where the nature of virus-host interactions would be altered, but possibly no less important, compared to more energetic hydrothermal systems.

  3. Assessment of risk factors that influence pregnancy outcomes in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Keywords: Pregnancy outcome, low birth weight, Apgar score, maternal age, Tanzania ... (2006) reported that, several risk factors influence neonatal mortality. ..... which is the lowest cut off point for the classification of normal blood pressure.

  4. Information in the Biosphere: Biological and Digital Worlds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillings, Michael R; Hilbert, Martin; Kemp, Darrell J

    2016-03-01

    Evolution has transformed life through key innovations in information storage and replication, including RNA, DNA, multicellularity, and culture and language. We argue that the carbon-based biosphere has generated a cognitive system (humans) capable of creating technology that will result in a comparable evolutionary transition. Digital information has reached a similar magnitude to information in the biosphere. It increases exponentially, exhibits high-fidelity replication, evolves through differential fitness, is expressed through artificial intelligence (AI), and has facility for virtually limitless recombination. Like previous evolutionary transitions, the potential symbiosis between biological and digital information will reach a critical point where these codes could compete via natural selection. Alternatively, this fusion could create a higher-level superorganism employing a low-conflict division of labor in performing informational tasks.

  5. Lunar subsurface architecture enhanced by artificial biosphere concepts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klassi, Jason D.; Rocha, Carlos J.; Carr, Charles A.

    1992-01-01

    The integration of artificial biosphere technology with subselene architecture can create a life-enhancing, productive habitat that is safe from solar radiation and extreme temperature fluctuations while maximizing resources brought from Earth and derived from lunar regolith. In the short term, the resulting biotectural (biosphere and architectural) designs will not only make the structures more habitable, productive, and manageable, but will ultimately provide the self-sufficiency factors necessary for the mature lunar settlement. From a long-term perspective, this biotecture approach to astronautics and extraterrestrial development (1) helps reduce mass lift requirements, (2) contributes to habitat self-sufficiency, and (3) actualizes at least one philosophy of solar system exploration, which is to exploit nonterrestrial resources in an effort to conserve our natural resources on this planet.

  6. A Hot Climate on Early Earth: Implications to Biospheric Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwartzman, D. W.; Knauth, L. P.

    2009-12-01

    There is now robust evidence for a much warmer climate on the early Earth than now. Both oxygen and silicon isotopes in sedimentary chert and the compelling case for a near constant isotopic oxygen composition of seawater over geologic time support thermophilic surface temperatures until about 1.5-2 billion years ago, aside from a glacial episode in the early Proterozoic. This temperature scenario has important implications to biospheric evolution, including a temperature constraint that held back the emergence of major organismal groups, starting with phototrophs. A geophysiology of biospheric evolution raises the potential of similar coevolutionary relationships of life and its environment on Earth-like planets around Sun-like stars.

  7. USA: Glacier National Park, Biosphere Reserve and GLORIA Site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fagre, Daniel B.; Lee, Cathy; Schaaf, Thomas; Simmonds, Paul

    2004-01-01

    The National Park Service of the United States has 388 designated protected areas and parks that include historic and cultural sites as well as ‘natural resource’ parks set aside for their unique and outstanding natural features. Early efforts to create parks were focused on areas of beauty or unusual features but later efforts increasingly aimed to protect biodiversity and intact ecosystems. Protected areas in the National Park Service are found in nearly all the fifty states from Florida to Alaska, with examples of preserved natural environments ranging from coral reefs to the icy summit of Mt. McKinley in Alaska, at 6,187 m. Many of the larger parks have been designated as Biosphere Reserves under the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Man and the Biosphere Programme.

  8. The biosphere at Aberg, Beberg and Ceberg - a description based on literature concerning climate, physical geography, ecology, land use and environment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lindborg, T.; Schueldt, R. [NaturRaadet, (Sweden)

    1998-12-01

    The current safety analysis, SR 97, compares three sites in Sweden. This report compares the biosphere for the three areas, Aespoe, Finnsjoen and Gideaa, which have been studied to describe the conditions at three hypothetical sites, Aberg, Beberg and Ceberg. Data from these sites will be used in analysis and to make realistic models of the biosphere development. The report is based on a literature study considering climate, physical geography, vegetation, ecology, land use, environment and population. Data from each site is presented separately and is compared for present conditions and from a future perspective. The locations of the sites along the south-north gradient influences the climate, temperature, vegetation period and precipitation. Aberg has a more humid climate with a longer vegetation period, a higher mean temperature, a higher diversity and a faster turn-over time than Beberg and Ceberg. There is also a difference in land use, where Beberg has the greatest potential for agriculture, because of the soil types and topography. Abergs location in the archipelago makes it very exposed to shore level displacement, compared to Beberg and Ceberg with a higher elevation. The highest population density is found in Aberg, but Beberg has the highest potential for increase. Simplified models made from present and future biosphere conditions, show that the sites have different prerequisite concerning biosphere factors. The parameters that may affect the ecosystem and the biosphere over time are more likely to change in Aberg due to position above sea level, climate, sea level displacement and land use. Biosphere changes are however in a long time perspective hard to predict. The models used in this report are a suggestion on how to evaluate biological data in a more thorough study. 99 refs, 14 figs, 31 tabs

  9. Developing Starlight connections with UNESCO sites through the Biosphere Smart

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marin, Cipriano

    2015-08-01

    The large number of UNESCO Sites around the world, in outstanding sites ranging from small islands to cities, makes it possible to build and share a comprehensive knowledge base on good practices and policies on the preservation of the night skies consistent with the protection of the associated scientific, natural and cultural values. In this context, the Starlight Initiative and other organizations such as IDA play a catalytic role in an essential international process to promote comprehensive, holistic approaches on dark sky preservation, astronomical observation, environmental protection, responsible lighting, sustainable energy, climate change and global sustainability.Many of these places have the potential to become models of excellence to foster the recovery of the dark skies and its defence against light pollution, included some case studies mentioned in the Portal to the Heritage of Astronomy.Fighting light pollution and recovering starry sky are already elements of a new emerging culture in biosphere reserves and world heritage sites committed to acting on climate change and sustainable development. Over thirty territories, including biosphere reserves and world heritage sites, have been developed successful initiatives to ensure night sky quality and promote sustainable lighting. Clear night skies also provide sustainable income opportunities as tourists and visitors are eagerly looking for sites with impressive night skies.Taking into account the high visibility and the ability of UNESCO sites to replicate network experiences, the Starlight Initiative has launched an action In cooperation with Biosphere Smart, aimed at promoting the Benchmark sites.Biosphere Smart is a global observatory created in partnership with UNESCO MaB Programme to share good practices, and experiences among UNESCO sites. The Benchmark sites window allows access to all the information of the most relevant astronomical heritage sites, dark sky protected areas and other places

  10. Evolution of the Early Earth and Its Biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    DesMarais, David J.

    1996-01-01

    The history of life on Earth is a rich tapestry of adaptation and innovation which was shaped, at least in part, by the changing surface environment of our planet. To the extent that all rocky planets have followed similar evolutionary paths, studies of our own biosphere can guide us in our search for extraterrestrial life. Understanding the nature, timing, and causes of long-term changes in the global environment is a key objective.

  11. SeaWiFS Third Anniversary Global Biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    2002-01-01

    September 18,2000 is the third anniversary of the start of regular SeaWiFS operations of this remarkable planet called Earth. This SeaWiFS image is of the Global Biosphere depicting the ocean's long-term average phytoplankton chlorophyll concentration acquired between September 1997 and August 2000 combined with the SeaWiFS-derived Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) over land during July 2000.

  12. Building capital through bioregional planning and biosphere reserves

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Brunckhorst

    2001-02-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT: The need to implement innovative approaches to sustainability is now more critical than ever. This discussion draws on parts of the puzzle that must be assembled to achieve integrated, cross-tenure and jurisdictional management of whole regions and their peoples for a sustainable future. A regional, landscape ecology approach helps us to move on from theory and historical lessons to boldly design and adaptively develop novel on-ground models. To take an entirely different approach from conventional thinking, I draw from Common Property Resource (CPR theory and experience, together with practical experience from the Bookmark Biosphere project. The characteristics of successful enduring Common Property regimes are identified and discussed in light of critical needs to maintain and restore social and ecological capital. I then highlight the concepts and logistical objectives behind the 30-year-old UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Program, which appears to have great potential as an operational framework within which these changes can be made. The Biosphere Reserve Program is maturing through integration of cultural needs and aspirations for quality of life, while conserving natural values and ecosystem processes. In particular, progress is being made through bioregional planning and management incorporating a variety of IUCN protected area types with novel, sustainable, resource-use diversification. The novel arrangements, experience and lessons from one developing model, Bookmark Biosphere Reserve in South Australia, are described as an example. I wish to encourage more models like the Bookmark experiment to evolve through even greater creativity and engagement with public and private partners. On-ground models that demonstrate innovative alternative land use management in the rangelands or integration across the coastal-marine interface are especially needed.

  13. Tourism environmental attitudes in Berlengas Biosphere Reserve, Portugal

    OpenAIRE

    Santos, Nelson; Vasconcelos, João; Lopes, Maria Sofia; Mouga, Teresa

    2014-01-01

    Berlengas archipelago is located in the Atlantic Ocean, on the Portuguese continental shelf, on the western side of Iberian Peninsula. Berlengas is a marine reserve since 1981, a marine protected area since 1998 and, in 2011, it was included into the World Network of Biosphere Reserves (WNBR). As Berlengas is a relatively accessible archipelago from the west coast, it attracts all sorts of visitors during summer period. As a consequence, Berlengas has been facing a stronger demand for tour...

  14. Impact craters as biospheric microenvironments, Lawn Hill Structure, Northern Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindsay, John; Brasier, Martin

    2006-04-01

    Impact craters on Mars act as traps for eolian sediment and in the past may have provided suitable microenvironments that could have supported and preserved a stressed biosphere. If this is so, terrestrial impact structures such as the 18-km-diameter Lawn Hill Structure, in northern Australia, may prove useful as martian analogs. We sampled outcrop and drill core from the carbonate fill of the Lawn Hill Structure and recorded its gamma-log signature. Facies data along with whole rock geochemistry and stable isotope signatures show that the crater fill is an outlier of the Georgina Basin and was formed by impact at, or shortly before, approximately 509-506 million years ago. Subsequently, it was rapidly engulfed by the Middle Cambrian marine transgression, which filled it with shallow marine carbonates and evaporites. The crater formed a protected but restricted microenvironment in which sediments four times the thickness of the nearby basinal succession accumulated. Similar structures, common on the martian surface, may well have acted as biospheric refuges as the planet's water resources declined. Low-pH aqueous environments on Earth similar to those on Mars, while extreme, support diverse ecologies. The architecture of the eolian crater fill would have been defined by long-term ground water cycles resulting from intermittent precipitation in an extremely arid climate. Nutrient recycling, critical to a closed lacustrine sub-ice biosphere, could be provided by eolian transport onto the frozen water surface.

  15. Biosphere Compatibility as a Principle of Sustainable Urban Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivanova Zinaida

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The article covers safety and environmental issues, as well as the sustainable interaction between man and nature in the context of present-day cities. An important task, according to the authors, is the study of scientific approaches and practical achievements in this field, and then the detection of the most urgent critical issues. The coauthors provide an overview of numerous research projects on the treatment of nature, the anthropogenic load, the biosphere as a geological body, the noosphere, and ratios characterizing the condition of the biosphere. The coauthors believe that ecological management, aimed to reverse the treatment of nature, must be integrative. New legislation, effective control of its execution, new disciplines to be introduced at the level of secondary, vocational, and higher education, development of ecological schools of thought and advanced green standards and materials applicable to any construction operations may comprise an effective solution. The authors offer their vision of the challenges and outline the primary steps, including immediate implementation of urban planning solutions to be developed in accordance with the biosphere compatibility principles, with calculations of humanitarian balances of the bio-technosphere. The coauthors also consider the innovative approaches to the use of eco-friendly materials in construction projects.

  16. Low marine sulphate and protracted oxygenation of the Proterozoic biosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kah, Linda C; Lyons, Timothy W; Frank, Tracy D

    2004-10-14

    Progressive oxygenation of the Earth's early biosphere is thought to have resulted in increased sulphide oxidation during continental weathering, leading to a corresponding increase in marine sulphate concentration. Accurate reconstruction of marine sulphate reservoir size is therefore important for interpreting the oxygenation history of early Earth environments. Few data, however, specifically constrain how sulphate concentrations may have changed during the Proterozoic era (2.5-0.54 Gyr ago). Prior to 2.2 Gyr ago, when oxygen began to accumulate in the Earth's atmosphere, sulphate concentrations are inferred to have been oxygen and thus sulphate levels may have risen significantly. Here we report large stratigraphic variations in the sulphur isotope composition of marine carbonate-associated sulphate, and use a rate-dependent model for sulphur isotope change that allows us to track changes in marine sulphate concentrations throughout the Proterozoic. Our calculations indicate sulphate levels between 1.5 and 4.5 mM, or 5-15 per cent of modern values, for more than 1 Gyr after initial oxygenation of the Earth's biosphere. Persistence of low oceanic sulphate demonstrates the protracted nature of Earth's oxygenation. It links biospheric evolution to temporal patterns in the depositional behaviour of marine iron- and sulphur-bearing minerals, biological cycling of redox-sensitive elements and availability of trace metals essential to eukaryotic development.

  17. The Economic Impact of Labeled Regional Products: The Experience of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Entlebuch

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florian Knaus

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Protected area management bodies are increasingly required to address economic development alongside the original goal of conservation. This is especially true for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO biosphere reserves, which are expected to function as models for sustainable development. Economic development has been achieved in many places through nature-based tourism. Sale of products labeled as coming from protected areas is considered promising in this respect too, especially in Europe, but their economic impact has not been assessed so far. This study estimated the gross added value generated by labeled products from the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Entlebuch—a rural, mountainous region in Switzerland. After a management-guided phase of building up credibility, identity, and innovations, labeled products generated a remarkable gross added value of US$ 5.8 million in 2014, 13 years after the product label was introduced. This corresponds to 4% of the jobs in agriculture and forestry and 1% of all jobs in the region. Given potential synergies with biodiversity, tourism, individual well-being, and other assets, labeled products can be true advantages for protected areas and their managers.

  18. Characterization of Reconstructed Ancestral Proteins Suggests a Change in Temperature of the Ancient Biosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akanuma, Satoshi

    2017-08-06

    Understanding the evolution of ancestral life, and especially the ability of some organisms to flourish in the variable environments experienced in Earth's early biosphere, requires knowledge of the characteristics and the environment of these ancestral organisms. Information about early life and environmental conditions has been obtained from fossil records and geological surveys. Recent advances in phylogenetic analysis, and an increasing number of protein sequences available in public databases, have made it possible to infer ancestral protein sequences possessed by ancient organisms. However, the in silico studies that assess the ancestral base content of ribosomal RNAs, the frequency of each amino acid in ancestral proteins, and estimate the environmental temperatures of ancient organisms, show conflicting results. The characterization of ancestral proteins reconstructed in vitro suggests that ancient organisms had very thermally stable proteins, and therefore were thermophilic or hyperthermophilic. Experimental data supports the idea that only thermophilic ancestors survived the catastrophic increase in temperature of the biosphere that was likely associated with meteorite impacts during the early history of Earth. In addition, by expanding the timescale and including more ancestral proteins for reconstruction, it appears as though the Earth's surface temperature gradually decreased over time, from Archean to present.

  19. Wrinkles in the rare biosphere: Pyrosequencing errors can lead to artificial inflation of diversity estimates

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kunin, Victor; Engelbrektson, Anna; Ochman, Howard; Hugenholtz, Philip

    2009-08-01

    Massively parallel pyrosequencing of the small subunit (16S) ribosomal RNA gene has revealed that the extent of rare microbial populations in several environments, the 'rare biosphere', is orders of magnitude higher than previously thought. One important caveat with this method is that sequencing error could artificially inflate diversity estimates. Although the per-base error of 16S rDNA amplicon pyrosequencing has been shown to be as good as or lower than Sanger sequencing, no direct assessments of pyrosequencing errors on diversity estimates have been reported. Using only Escherichia coli MG1655 as a reference template, we find that 16S rDNA diversity is grossly overestimated unless relatively stringent read quality filtering and low clustering thresholds are applied. In particular, the common practice of removing reads with unresolved bases and anomalous read lengths is insufficient to ensure accurate estimates of microbial diversity. Furthermore, common and reproducible homopolymer length errors can result in relatively abundant spurious phylotypes further confounding data interpretation. We suggest that stringent quality-based trimming of 16S pyrotags and clustering thresholds no greater than 97% identity should be used to avoid overestimates of the rare biosphere.

  20. Biospheric feedback effects in a synchronously coupled model of human and Earth systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thornton, Peter E.; Calvin, Katherine; Jones, Andrew D.; di Vittorio, Alan V.; Bond-Lamberty, Ben; Chini, Louise; Shi, Xiaoying; Mao, Jiafu; Collins, William D.; Edmonds, Jae; Thomson, Allison; Truesdale, John; Craig, Anthony; Branstetter, Marcia L.; Hurtt, George

    2017-07-01

    Fossil fuel combustion and land-use change are the two largest contributors to industrial-era increases in atmospheric CO 2 concentration. Projections of these are thus fundamental inputs for coupled Earth system models (ESMs) used to estimate the physical and biological consequences of future climate system forcing. While historical data sets are available to inform past and current climate analyses, assessments of future climate change have relied on projections of energy and land use from energy-economic models, constrained by assumptions about future policy, land-use patterns and socio-economic development trajectories. Here we show that the climatic impacts on land ecosystems drive significant feedbacks in energy, agriculture, land use and carbon cycle projections for the twenty-first century. We find that exposure of human-appropriated land ecosystem productivity to biospheric change results in reductions of land area used for crops; increases in managed forest area and carbon stocks; decreases in global crop prices; and reduction in fossil fuel emissions for a low-mid-range forcing scenario. The feedbacks between climate-induced biospheric change and human system forcings to the climate system--demonstrated here--are handled inconsistently, or excluded altogether, in the one-way asynchronous coupling of energy-economic models to ESMs used to date.

  1. The Effect of Global Change on Surface Ozone and Reactive Nitrogen Concentrations: Implications for the Biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hess, P. G.; Murazaki, K.; Emmons, L.; Lamarque, J.

    2005-12-01

    We simulated two ten year periods using the global chemical transport model MOZART-2 (Model of Ozone and Related chemical Tracers version 2): 1990-2000 and 2090-2100. In each case MOZART-2 is driven by meteorology from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) coupled Climate Systems Model (CSM) 1.0 forced with the (SRES) A1 scenario. Profound future changes in the summertime climate over the U.S. are found including changes in temperature, water vapor and clouds and the frequency of synoptic venting of the boundary layer. Even allowing for no changes in emissions in the future, the changes in climate alone drive a significant increase in the ozone concentration over the eastern U.S. (up to 5 ppbv on average) and an increase in the persistence of pollution events. Implications of these changes on the biosphere are assessed with and without allowing for the impact of climate on biogenic emissions. Furthermore the changes in climate alone cause large changes in the partitioning of NOy, decreasing PAN by over 20% over the U.S. Coupled with changes in precipitation; this induces significant changes in the deposition of nitrogen species to the biosphere in a future climate.

  2. Chronotype and sleep duration : The influence of season of assessment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Allebrandt, Karla V; Teder-Laving, Maris; Kantermann, Thomas; Peters, Annette; Campbell, Harry; Rudan, Igor; Wilson, James F; Metspalu, Andres; Roenneberg, Till

    Little is known about human entrainment under natural conditions, partly due to the complexity of human behavior, torn between biological and social time and influenced by zeitgebers (light-dark cycles) that are progressively "polluted" (and thereby weakened) by artificial light. In addition, data

  3. Chronotype and sleep duration : The influence of season of assessment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Allebrandt, Karla V; Teder-Laving, Maris; Kantermann, Thomas; Peters, Annette; Campbell, Harry; Rudan, Igor; Wilson, James F; Metspalu, Andres; Roenneberg, Till

    2014-01-01

    Little is known about human entrainment under natural conditions, partly due to the complexity of human behavior, torn between biological and social time and influenced by zeitgebers (light-dark cycles) that are progressively "polluted" (and thereby weakened) by artificial light. In addition, data a

  4. Understanding How a Case-Based Assessment Instrument Influences Student Teachers' Learning Approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Segers, Mien; Martens, Rob; Van den Bossche, Piet

    2008-01-01

    In order to stimulate student teachers to thoroughly comprehend the main variables influencing their work, teaching and assessment strategies in teacher education have changed significantly. One of the changes in the assessment of student teachers in teacher education programs is the use of case-based assessment instruments. Such instruments…

  5. Influence of Experience, Grade Level, and Subject Area on Teachers' Assessment Practices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bol, Linda; Stephenson, Patricia L.; O'Connell, Ann A.; Nunnery, John A.

    1998-01-01

    Explored teachers' self-reported assessment practices and the influence of teaching experience, grade level, and subject area on those practices. Surveys of 893 teachers in 34 schools indicated that they used observational assessment and performance tasks more frequently than traditional assessment. Experienced teachers, elementary teachers, and…

  6. Factors that influence doctors in the assessment of applicants for ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... to South African citizens and bona fide refugees who have debility that results in ... These included the mood of the doctors, emotions such as anger and ... The assessment of applicants for a disability grant is a subjective and emotional task.

  7. Neuropsychological Assessment of Testamentary Capacity and Undue Influence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mart, Eric G

    2016-09-01

    Neuropsychologists are increasingly requested to perform assessments of testamentary capacity. This article provides an overview of the psycho-legal context in which such assessments are performed. Suggestions for an evaluative methodology for performing these evaluations with both living and deceased testators are provided. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  8. Assessment of regional-scale primary production in terrestrial ecosystems to estimate the possible influence of future climate change on biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noda, Hibiki; Nishina, Kazuya; Ito, Akihiko

    2015-04-01

    In recent decades, climate change including global warming has progressed worldwide and their influences on ecosystem structure and function that provide various goods and services to humans' well-being are of the greatest concerns. The ecosystem function and services are tightly coupled with the biodiversity particularly via food web and biogeochemical cycles, and here carbon is one of the central elements that also affect atmospheric CO2 concentration. Therefore mechanistic and quantitative understandings of the consequences among on-going climate change, ecosystem function, and biodiversity are urgent issues for seeking a better adaptation strategy. In order to tackle such tasks in the current environmental and ecological sciences, efforts have been made by numerous scientists and/or organizations to clarify the current status of and threats to biodiversity, responses of biogeochemical cycles to meteorological variables, and to construct climate change scenarios considering economic activities. However, to gain insights into the possible influence of climate change on biodiversity via altered ecosystem functions over broad temporal and spatial scales ranging from past to near-future periods and from landscape to global scales, further efforts to find the consequences are required, since the assessment of the influence of climate change on biodiversity is straightforward but difficult. For decades in climate change science, carbon flux between the atmosphere and terrestrial ecosystems has attracted intensive attention as it connects the atmosphere and biosphere. Carbon flux in the biosphere is not only a process of biogeochemical material flux but also is an element to drive biological and ecological processes in ecosystems via food web beginning from photosynthetic carbon fixation by plants. Therefore focusing on photosynthetic production by plants, i.e. primary production of the ecosystem, may help us to estimate the possible influence of climate change on

  9. Minimization of the negative influence on the biosphere in heavy oil extraction and ecologically clean technology for the injection of the steam with supercritical parameters in oil strata on the basis of new ecologically clean tubing pipes with heat-resistant coatings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Komkov, M. A.; Moiseev, V. A.; Tarasov, V. A.; Timofeev, M. P.

    2015-12-01

    Some ecological problems related to heavy-oil extraction and ways for minimizing the negative impacts of this process on the biosphere are discussed. The ecological hazard of, for example, frequently used multistage hydraulic fracturing of formation is noted and the advantages and perspectives of superheated steam injection are considered. Steam generators of a new type and ecologically clean and costeffective insulating for tubing pipes (TPs) are necessary to develop the superheated steam injection method. The article is devoted to solving one of the most important and urgent tasks, i.e., the development and usage of lightweight, nonflammable, environmentally safe, and cost-effective insulating materials. It is shown that, for tubing shielding operating at temperatures up to 420°C, the most effective thermal insulation is a highly porous material based on basalt fiber. The process of filtration deposition of short basalt fibers with a bunch of alumina thermal insulation tubing pipe coatings in the form of cylinders and cylindrical shells from liquid pulp is substantiated. Based on the thermophysical characteristics of basalt fibers and on the technological features of manufacturing highly porous coating insulation, the thickness of a tubing pipe is determined. During the prolonged pumping of the air at an operating temperature of 400°C in the model sample of tubing pipes with insulation and a protective layer, we find that the surface temperature of the thermal barrier coating does not exceed 60°C. Introducing the described technology will considerably reduce the negative impact of heavy-oil extraction on the biosphere.

  10. NATIVE LANGUAGE INFLUENCE IN LEARNERS'. ASSESSMENT OF ENGLISH FOCUS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. L. Garcia Lecumberri

    2001-06-01

    Full Text Available Accentual focus is a frequent linguistic device in English which may also be used in Spanish but less widely and less frequently. Given this disparity, it was expected that native language influence would manifest itself in FL leamers' focus assessrnents as cornpared to native English speakers. Other factors were also expected to account of listener perceptions, such as task type and linguistic competence. Two focus domains were used to test hypotheses: utterance initial and utterance medial focus. Focus identification was tested using two tasks which differed in their cognitive demands: multiple choice and open questions. Acceptability was estirnated by asking listeners to rate utterances on a five point scale. English NL listeners displayed better focus identification rates as cornpared to FL learners. This result may be understood both as an effect of native competence advantage and also as a reflection of native language influence. Both listener groups found utterance initial focus easier to identi@ and considered it to be more acceptable than medial focus. Both groups showed worse results in the open test, which is interpreted as a consequence of this task being more demanding on listeners' explicit knowledge. These trends were much more pronounced amongst FL leamers. It is suggested that the potential ambiguity of English medial focus is partly responsible for the bias against it. Additionally, Spanish listeners results show the their NL influence in this bias as well as in the good results for initial focus and acceptability estirnations.

  11. Seasonal Variation of Eutrophication in Some Lakes of Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Török, Liliana; Török, Zsolt; Carstea, Elfrida M; Savastru, Dan

    2017-01-01

      To understand the trophic state of lakes, this study aims to determine the dynamics of phytoplankton assemblages and the main factors that influence their seasonal variation. Sampling campaigns were carried out in three lakes from the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve. Spectral analysis of specific phytoplankton pigments was applied as a diagnostic marker to establish the distribution and composition of phytoplankton taxonomic groups. Fluorescence spectroscopy was used to quantify changes in dissolved organic matter (DOM). The relative contribution of the main phytoplankton groups to the total phytoplankton biomass and the trend of development during succession of the seasons showed that cyanobacteria could raise potential ecological or human health problems. Moreover, fluorescence spectroscopy revealed that Cryptophyta and cyanobacteria were the main contributors to the protein-like components of DOM. It was concluded that fluorescence could be used to provide a qualitative evaluation of the eutrophication degree in Danube Delta lakes.

  12. How close are we to a predictive science of the biosphere?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moorcroft, Paul R

    2006-07-01

    In just 20 years, the field of biosphere-atmosphere interactions has gone from a nascent discipline to a central area of modern climate change research. The development of terrestrial biosphere models that predict the responses of ecosystems to climate and increasing CO2 levels has highlighted several mechanisms by which changes in ecosystem composition and function might alter regional and global climate. However, results from empirical studies suggest that ecosystem responses can differ markedly from the predictions of terrestrial biosphere models. As I discuss here, the challenge now is to connect terrestrial biosphere models to empirical ecosystem measurements. Only by systematically evaluating the predictions of terrestrial biosphere models against suites of ecosystem observations and experiments measurements will a true predictive science of the biosphere be achieved.

  13. HERPETOFAUNA OF THE CAMİLİ BIOSPHERE REZERVE AREA (BORÇKA, ARTVİN, TURKEY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Murat AFSAR

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available In this study, 15 amphibian and reptile species were recorded from 12 different localities in the Camili Biosphere Reserve, known as the first biosphere site of Turkey. Two of these species are urodelan, four are anuran, four are Lacertilia and five are Ophidia. Two black coloured Natrix specimens collected from biosphere rezerve area are compered with literature data belongs to N. megalocephala. Moreover, the population and habitat status of threatened species were investigated, required conservation measures were explained.

  14. Influence of mental disorders on working ability assessment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Novaković Milan

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Background/Aim. There is an increasing need for evaluation of working ability due to lower level of social protection of workers and growing number of patients with mental diseases in Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H. The aim of this study was to establish the influence of mental diseases on the occurrence of disability of I and III categories in B&H during the period from January 1st 2005 to December 31st 2006. Methods. This study involved 1 792 examinees with the complete loss of working ability (I disability category (n = 921. Disability category III consisted of persons with limited working ability (n = 871. The instruments of research in this multricentric and retrospective study were the forms P-6 and D-2 for the years of service in B&H, and the form IN for persons with years of service abroad and personal features questionnaire (EPQ. Results. The study included 1 494 men (78.5% and 298 women (21.5%. Univariant analysis represented very high statistical significance (p = 0.001 concerning: age (χ2 = 65.428, years of service (χ2=28.438, drinking (χ2 = 33.234, smoking (χ2=70.880, father’s education (χ2 = 58.124, migrations (χ2 = 14.874, sick leave (χ2 = 29.190, medical treatment (χ2 = 95.073 and rehabilitation (χ2 = 29.453. Multivariant analysis represented the influence on disability category I by parameters such as: years of service, sick leave, psychoticism and depression (p = 0.001. Hospital treatment and fatigation had influence on disability in both groups. Mental diseases are the leading cause in disability category I in 14.98% and in disability category III in 9.3% persons. Leading diseases in both disability categories were depression and schizophrenia followed by alcoholism, anxiety, brain organ psychosyndrome (BOPS and other diseases. Conclusion. The following parameters have highest influence on the disability category: the years of service, sick leave, psychoticism, depression, and long-lasting disease, medical treatments

  15. An empirical assessment of the Above the Influence advertising campaign.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheier, Lawrence M; Grenard, Jerry L; Holtz, Kristen D

    2011-01-01

    This study evaluated the efficacy of Above the Influence (ATI), a national media-based health persuasion campaign to deter youth drug use. The campaign uses public service anti-drug prevention messages and targets youth between the ages of 14 and 16, a period of heightened susceptibility to peer influences. The evaluation utilized mall intercepts from geographically dispersed regions of the country. Theoretical impetus for the campaign combines elements of the theory of reasoned action (TRA), persuasion theory, and the health belief model. A series of structural equation models were tested with four randomly drawn cross-validation samples (N = 3,000). Findings suggest that awareness of ATI is associated with greater anti-drug beliefs, fewer drug use intentions, and less marijuana use. Congruent with the TRA, changes in beliefs and intentions are intermediate steps linking campaign awareness with behavior. This study provides further evidence of positive campaign effects and may strengthen reliance on mass media health persuasion campaigns as a useful adjunct to other programs targeting youth.

  16. Influence choreographic readiness to gymnasts final assessment of performance skills

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    Omelichyk-Ziurkalova O.A.

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Purpose : to provide a quantitative assessment and expert choreographic preparedness gymnasts. Material : the study involved eight gymnasts competition finalists in the floor exercise - female members of the Ukrainian national team in gymnastics. Results : the quantitative indicators of acrobatic and dance elements to determine the baseline assessment. Defined methods complications composition on the floor exercise by reducing the number of acrobatic lines and diagonals and increase the number of gymnastic elements. The theoretical performance of the composite sequence is improved structure and increases the difficulty of the exercise. Conclusions : in the process of composition complications need to pay more attention to the technique of performing gymnastic elements. In improving exercise choreography element replace (in some cases acrobatic element. Based on the results is planned future direction of research in order to improve the training process in gymnastics.

  17. Evolving Phytoplankton Stoichiometry Fueled Diversification of the Marine Biosphere

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    Antonietta Quigg

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available The availability of nutrients and the quantity and quality of food at the base of food webs have largely been ignored in discussions of the Phanerozoic record of biodiversity. We examine the role of nutrient availability and phytoplankton stoichiometry (the relative proportions of inorganic nutrients to carbon in the diversification of the marine biosphere. Nutrient availability and phytoplankton stoichiometry played a critical role in the initial diversification of the marine biosphere during the Neoproterozoic. Initial biosphere expansion during this time resulted in the massive sequestration of nutrients into biomass which, along with the geologically slow input of nutrients from land, set the stage for severe nutrient limitation and relatively constant marine biodiversity during the rest of the Paleozoic. Given the slow nutrient inputs from land and low recycling rates, the growth of early-to-middle Paleozoic metazoans remained limited by their having to expend energy to first “burn off” (respire excess carbon in food before the associated nutrients could be utilized for growth and reproduction; the relative equilibrium in marine biodiversity during the Paleozoic therefore appears to be real. Limited nutrient availability and the consequent nutrient imbalance may have delayed the appearance of more advanced carnivores until the Permo-Carboniferous, when widespread orogeny, falling sea level, the spread of forests, greater weathering rates, enhanced ocean circulation, oxygenation, and upwelling all combined to increase nutrient availability. During the Meso-Cenozoic, rising oxygen levels, the continued nutrient input from land, and, especially, increasing rates of bioturbation, enhanced nutrient availability, increasing the nutrient content of phytoplankton that fueled the diversification of the Modern Fauna.

  18. The deep, hot biosphere: Twenty-five years of retrospection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colman, Daniel R; Poudel, Saroj; Stamps, Blake W; Boyd, Eric S; Spear, John R

    2017-07-03

    Twenty-five years ago this month, Thomas Gold published a seminal manuscript suggesting the presence of a "deep, hot biosphere" in the Earth's crust. Since this publication, a considerable amount of attention has been given to the study of deep biospheres, their role in geochemical cycles, and their potential to inform on the origin of life and its potential outside of Earth. Overwhelming evidence now supports the presence of a deep biosphere ubiquitously distributed on Earth in both terrestrial and marine settings. Furthermore, it has become apparent that much of this life is dependent on lithogenically sourced high-energy compounds to sustain productivity. A vast diversity of uncultivated microorganisms has been detected in subsurface environments, and we show that H2, CH4, and CO feature prominently in many of their predicted metabolisms. Despite 25 years of intense study, key questions remain on life in the deep subsurface, including whether it is endemic and the extent of its involvement in the anaerobic formation and degradation of hydrocarbons. Emergent data from cultivation and next-generation sequencing approaches continue to provide promising new hints to answer these questions. As Gold suggested, and as has become increasingly evident, to better understand the subsurface is critical to further understanding the Earth, life, the evolution of life, and the potential for life elsewhere. To this end, we suggest the need to develop a robust network of interdisciplinary scientists and accessible field sites for long-term monitoring of the Earth's subsurface in the form of a deep subsurface microbiome initiative.

  19. Cosmic rays and the biosphere over 4 billion years

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Svensmark, Henrik

    2006-01-01

    Variations in the flux of cosmic rays (CR) at Earth during the last 4.6 billion years are constructed from information about the star formation rate in the Milky Way and the evolution of the solar activity. The constructed CR signal is compared with variations in the Earths biological productivity...... as recorded in the isotope delta C-13, which spans more than 3 billion years. CR and fluctuations in biological productivity show a remarkable correlation and indicate that the evolution of climate and the biosphere on the Earth is closely linked to the evolution of the Milky Way....

  20. Tracing the microbial biosphere into the Messinian Salinity Crisis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Natalicchio, Marcello; Dela Pierre, Francesco; Birgel, Daniel; Lozar, Francesca; Peckmann, Jörn

    2016-04-01

    The Messinian salinity crisis (MSC), one of the largest environmental crises in Earth history, occurred in the Mediterranean Basin about 6 Ma ago. The isolation of the Mediterranean from the Atlantic Ocean caused the transformation of the Mediterranean sea into a giant salina. The establishment of harsh conditions (hypersalinity and anoxia) in the water mass had a strong impact on the aquatic biosphere, resulting in the apparent disappearance of many marine biota. This aspect is however controversial, mostly because of the finding of fossils of biota that actually survived the onset of the MSC. To trace the response of life to this catastrophic event, we studied the microbial biosphere (both body fossils and molecular fossils) archived in the sediments straddling the MSC onset (shales, carbonates and sulphates) from marginal subbasins (Piedmont Basin, northern Italy, and Nijar Basin, southern Spain). Despite the significant reduction of calcareous plankton, the progressive rise of other microorganisms (prokaryotes and eukaryotes) is documented in the studied sediments at the MSC onset. These microorganisms include remains of euryhaline and stenohaline diatoms and filamentous microfossils interpreted as vacuolated sulphide-oxidizing bacteria. This fossil assemblage, which typifies both marginal (gypsum) and more distal (carbonates and shale) deposits, indicates conditions of high primary productivity in the surface waters, favoured by increased nutrient influx in the course of high riverine runoff. Molecular fossils allow tracing of the microbial biosphere into the geological past. The rise of algal compounds (e.g. dinosterol) in the basal MSC deposits (gypsum, carbonate and shales), accompanied by the simultaneous increase of terrigenous organic material (n-alkanes), agree with the eutrophication of the basin. In addition, the MSC deposits show an instant and significant increase of archaeal biomarkers, including the archaeal membrane lipids archaeol and extended

  1. Effects of Gamma Ray Bursts in Earth Biosphere

    CERN Document Server

    Martin, Osmel; Guimaraes, Mayrene; Penate, Liuba; Horvath, Jorge; Galante, Douglas

    2009-01-01

    We continue former work on the modeling of potential effects of Gamma Ray Bursts on Phanerozoic Earth. We focus on global biospheric effects of ozone depletion and show a first modeling of the spectral reduction of light by NO2 formed in the stratosphere. We also illustrate the current complexities involved in the prediction of how terrestrial ecosystems would respond to this kind of burst. We conclude that more biological field and laboratory data are needed to reach even moderate accuracy in this modeling

  2. Comets, carbonaceous meteorites, and the origin of the biosphere

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    r. b. Hoover

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available The Biosphere is considered to represent the Earth's crust, atmosphere, oceans, and ice caps and the living organisms that survive within this habitat. This paper considers the significance of comets and carbonaceous meteorites to the origin and evolution of the Biosphere and presents new Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope (FESEM images of indigenous microfossils in the Orgueil and Murchison meteorites. The discovery of microbial extremophiles in deep crustal rocks, hydrothermal vents and ancient ice has established that the biosphere is far more extensive than previously recognized. Chemical and molecular biomarkers and microfossils in Archaean rocks indicate that life appeared very early on the primitive Earth and the origin of the biosphere is closely linked with the emergence of life. The role of comets, carbonaceous meteorites, interstellar dust and asteroids in the delivery of water, organics and prebiotic chemicals to Earth during the Hadean (4.5–3.8 Ga period of heavy bombardment has become more widely recognized. Spacecraft observations of the chemical compositions and characteristics of the nuclei of several comets (Halley, Borrelly, Wild 2, and Tempel 1 have established that comets contain complex organic chemicals; that water is the predominant volatile; and that high temperatures (~400 K can be reached on the black (albedo~0.03 nuclei when near perihelion. The microscopic dust particles in the Tempel 1 ejecta are similar in size to the particulates of the Orgueil meteorite and evidence is mounting that comets may represent the parent bodies of the CI meteorites. Impact craters and pinnacles on comet Wild 2 suggest a thick crust. Episodic outbursts and jets of Halley, Borrelly, Wild 2 and Tempel 1 near perihelion indicate that localized regimes of liquid water may periodically exist beneath the thick crust of many comets. This increases the possibility that microbial life might survive in comets and therefore the

  3. Image quality influences the assessment of left ventricular function

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grossgasteiger, Manuel; Hien, Maximilian D; Graser, Bastian;

    2014-01-01

    divided by the total endocardial border. These ratings were used to generate groups of poor (0%-40%), fair (41%-70%), and good (71%-100%) image quality. The ejection fraction (EF), end-diastolic volume, and end-systolic volume were analyzed by the Simpson method of disks (biplane and monoplane), eyeball......Objectives: Transesophageal echocardiography has become a standard tool for eval uating left ventricular function during cardiac surgery. However, the image quality varies widely between patients and examinations. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of the image quality on 5...... commonly used 2-dimensional methods. Methods: Transesophageal real-time 3-dimensional echocardiography (3DE) served as a reference. Left ventricular function was evaluated in 63 patients with sufficient real-time 3DE image quality. The image quality was rated using the ratio of the visualized border...

  4. A physically based approach to modelling radionuclide transport in the biosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parkin, G; Anderton, S P; Ewen, J; O'Donnell, G M; Thorne, M C; Crossland, I G

    1999-12-01

    Calculations of radiological risk are required to assess the safety of any potential future UK deep underground repository for intermediate-level and certain low-level solid radioactive wastes. In support of such calculations, contaminant movement and dilution in the terrestrial biosphere is investigated using the physically based modelling system SHETRAN. Two case studies are presented involving modelling of contaminants representing long-lived poorly sorbed radionuclides in the near-surface aquifers and surface waters of hypothetical catchments. The contaminants arise from diffuse sources at the base of the modelled aquifers. The catchments are characterised in terms of detailed spatial data for topography, the river network, soils and vegetation. Simulations are run for temperate and boreal climates representing possible future conditions at a repository site. Results are presented in terms of the concentration of contaminants in the aquifer, in soils and in surface waters; these are used to support the simpler models used in risk calculations.

  5. Organochlorines in the Vaccarès Lagoon trophic web (Biosphere Reserve of Camargue, France).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roche, H; Vollaire, Y; Persic, A; Buet, A; Oliveira-Ribeiro, C; Coulet, E; Banas, D; Ramade, F

    2009-01-01

    During a decade (1996-2006), ecotoxicological studies were carried out in biota of the Vaccarès Lagoon (Biosphere Reserve in Rhone Delta, France). A multicontamination was shown at all levels of the trophic web due to a direct bioconcentration of chemical from the medium combined with a food transfer. Here, the pollutants investigated were organochlorines, among which many compounds banned or in the course of prohibition (or restriction) (PCB, lindane, pp'-DDE, dieldrin, aldrin, heptachlor, endosulfan...) and some substances likely still used in the Rhone River basin (diuron, fipronil). The results confirmed the ubiquity of contamination. It proves to be chronic, variable and tends to regress; however contamination levels depend on the trophic compartment. A biomagnification process was showed. A comparison of investigation methods used in other Mediterranean wetlands provides basis of discussion, and demonstrates the urgent need of modelling to assess the ecotoxicological risk in order to improve the management of such protected areas.

  6. Modeling Impact of Urbanization in US Cities Using Simple Biosphere Model SiB2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Ping; Bounoua, Lahouari; Thome, Kurtis; Wolfe, Robert

    2016-01-01

    We combine Landsat- and the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS)-based products, as well as climate drivers from Phase 2 of the North American Land Data Assimilation System (NLDAS-2) in a Simple Biosphere land surface model (SiB2) to assess the impact of urbanization in continental USA (excluding Alaska and Hawaii). More than 300 cities and their surrounding suburban and rural areas are defined in this study to characterize the impact of urbanization on surface climate including surface energy, carbon budget, and water balance. These analyses reveal an uneven impact of urbanization across the continent that should inform upon policy options for improving urban growth including heat mitigation and energy use, carbon sequestration and flood prevention.

  7. Social structure of lions (Panthera leo) is affected by management in Pendjari Biosphere Reserve, Benin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sogbohossou, Etotépé A; Bauer, Hans; Loveridge, Andrew; Funston, Paul J; De Snoo, Geert R; Sinsin, Brice; De Iongh, Hans H

    2014-01-01

    Lion populations have undergone a severe decline in West Africa. As baseline for conservation management, we assessed the group structure of lions in the Pendjari Biosphere Reserve in Benin. This reserve, composed of one National Park and two Hunting Zones, is part of the WAP transboundary complex of protected areas. Overall mean group size was 2.6±1.7 individuals (n = 296), it was significantly higher in the National Park (2.7±1.7, n = 168) than in the Hunting Zones (2.2±1.5, n = 128). Overall adult sex ratio was even, but significantly biased towards females (0.67) in the National Park and towards males (1.67) in the Hunting Zones. Our results suggest that the Pendjari lion population is affected by perturbations, such as trophy hunting.

  8. Changing glacial lakes and associated outburst floods risks in Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve, Indian Himalaya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mal, S.; Singh, R. B.

    2014-09-01

    Glacial lakes and associated outburst floods (GLOFs) have increased in the Himalayan region due to climate change during the last century that has led to huge losses to society. Therefore, the present study was undertaken to map glacial lakes, their increasing extent, and associated damage potential in Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve (NDBR), Indian Himalaya. The glacial lakes were mapped on Landsat TM (3 November, 2009 and 6 November 2010) and Landsat MSS satellite images (15 November 1976 and 26 October 1979) to assess their changing area. Potential GLOFs sites have been identified and studied for their damage potentials using site characteristics and past occurrence of GLOFs. A total of 35 lakes were mapped, of which 14 lakes are located at more than 4500 m. The size and damage potentials of lakes have increased. Some lakes grew so much that they merged to form a big lake. All of these are potential GLOFs and can cause severe damage to society.

  9. Social structure of lions (Panthera leo is affected by management in Pendjari Biosphere Reserve, Benin.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Etotépé A Sogbohossou

    Full Text Available Lion populations have undergone a severe decline in West Africa. As baseline for conservation management, we assessed the group structure of lions in the Pendjari Biosphere Reserve in Benin. This reserve, composed of one National Park and two Hunting Zones, is part of the WAP transboundary complex of protected areas. Overall mean group size was 2.6±1.7 individuals (n = 296, it was significantly higher in the National Park (2.7±1.7, n = 168 than in the Hunting Zones (2.2±1.5, n = 128. Overall adult sex ratio was even, but significantly biased towards females (0.67 in the National Park and towards males (1.67 in the Hunting Zones. Our results suggest that the Pendjari lion population is affected by perturbations, such as trophy hunting.

  10. Preindustrial nitrous oxide emissions from the land biosphere estimated by using a global biogeochemistry model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Rongting; Tian, Hanqin; Lu, Chaoqun; Pan, Shufen; Chen, Jian; Yang, Jia; Zhang, Bowen

    2017-07-01

    To accurately assess how increased global nitrous oxide (N2O) emission has affected the climate system requires a robust estimation of the preindustrial N2O emissions since only the difference between current and preindustrial emissions represents net drivers of anthropogenic climate change. However, large uncertainty exists in previous estimates of preindustrial N2O emissions from the land biosphere, while preindustrial N2O emissions on the finer scales, such as regional, biome, or sector scales, have not been well quantified yet. In this study, we applied a process-based Dynamic Land Ecosystem Model (DLEM) to estimate the magnitude and spatial patterns of preindustrial N2O fluxes at the biome, continental, and global level as driven by multiple environmental factors. Uncertainties associated with key parameters were also evaluated. Our study indicates that the mean of the preindustrial N2O emission was approximately 6.20 Tg N yr-1, with an uncertainty range of 4.76 to 8.13 Tg N yr-1. The estimated N2O emission varied significantly at spatial and biome levels. South America, Africa, and Southern Asia accounted for 34.12, 23.85, and 18.93 %, respectively, together contributing 76.90 % of global total emission. The tropics were identified as the major source of N2O released into the atmosphere, accounting for 64.66 % of the total emission. Our multi-scale estimates provide a robust reference for assessing the climate forcing of anthropogenic N2O emission from the land biosphere

  11. Assessing the influence of consanguinity on congenital heart disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alan H Bittles

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Numerous articles have been published linking consanguineous marriage to an elevated prevalence of congenital heart disease, with ventricular septal defects and atrial septal defects the most commonly cited disorders. While initially persuasive, on closer examination many of these studies have fundamental shortcomings in their design and in the recruitment of study subjects and controls. Improved matching of cases and controls, to include recognition of the long-established community boundaries within which most marriages are contracted, and the assessment of consanguinity within specific levels and types of marital union would improve and help to focus the study outcomes. At the same time, major discrepancies between studies in their reported prevalence and types of congenital heart disease suggest an urgent need for greater standardization in the classification and reporting of these disorders.

  12. The Influence of Test Mode and Visuospatial Ability on Mathematics Assessment Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Logan, Tracy

    2015-01-01

    Mathematics assessment and testing are increasingly situated within digital environments with international tests moving to computer-based testing in the near future. This paper reports on a secondary data analysis which explored the influence the mode of assessment--computer-based (CBT) and pencil-and-paper based (PPT)--and visuospatial ability…

  13. PRELIMINARY ASSESSMENTS OF SPATIAL INFLUENCES IN THE AMBOS NOGALES REGION OF THE US-MEXICAN BORDER

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ambient air measurements collected from 1994 to 1995 were used in a preliminary assessment of potential source and spatial influences in the Ambos Nogales border region (Nogales, Arizona, USA and Nogales, Sonora, Mexico). In this assessment, volatile organic compounds (VOC) and...

  14. Assessing sustainability in university curricula: exploring the influence of student numbers and course credits

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lozano, R.; Young, W.

    2013-01-01

    As more universities become interested in, and engaged with, sustainability, there has been a growing need to assess how their curricula addresses sustainable development and its myriad issues. Different tools and assessment exercises have looked at course descriptors; however, the influence of the

  15. A comparison between the example reference biosphere model ERB 2B and a process-based model: simulation of a natural release scenario.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almahayni, T

    2014-12-01

    The BIOMASS methodology was developed with the objective of constructing defensible assessment biospheres for assessing potential radiological impacts of radioactive waste repositories. To this end, a set of Example Reference Biospheres were developed to demonstrate the use of the methodology and to provide an international point of reference. In this paper, the performance of the Example Reference Biosphere model ERB 2B associated with the natural release scenario, discharge of contaminated groundwater to the surface environment, was evaluated by comparing its long-term projections of radionuclide dynamics and distribution in a soil-plant system to those of a process-based, transient advection-dispersion model (AD). The models were parametrised with data characteristic of a typical rainfed winter wheat crop grown on a sandy loam soil under temperate climate conditions. Three safety-relevant radionuclides, (99)Tc, (129)I and (237)Np with different degree of sorption were selected for the study. Although the models were driven by the same hydraulic (soil moisture content and water fluxes) and radiological (Kds) input data, their projections were remarkably different. On one hand, both models were able to capture short and long-term variation in activity concentration in the subsoil compartment. On the other hand, the Reference Biosphere model did not project any radionuclide accumulation in the topsoil and crop compartments. This behaviour would underestimate the radiological exposure under natural release scenarios. The results highlight the potential role deep roots play in soil-to-plant transfer under a natural release scenario where radionuclides are released into the subsoil. When considering the relative activity and root depth profiles within the soil column, much of the radioactivity was taken up into the crop from the subsoil compartment. Further improvements were suggested to address the limitations of the Reference Biosphere model presented in this paper.

  16. 'Rare biosphere' bacteria as key phenanthrene degraders in coastal seawaters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sauret, Caroline; Séverin, Tatiana; Vétion, Gilles; Guigue, Catherine; Goutx, Madeleine; Pujo-Pay, Mireille; Conan, Pascal; Fagervold, Sonja K; Ghiglione, Jean-François

    2014-11-01

    By coupling DNA-SIP and pyrosequencing approaches, we identified Cycloclasticus sp. as a keystone degrader of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) despite being a member of the 'rare biosphere' in NW Mediterranean seawaters. We discovered novel PAH-degrading bacteria (Oceanibaculum sp., Sneathiella sp.) and we identified other groups already known to possess this function (Alteromonas sp., Paracoccus sp.). Together with Cycloclasticus sp., these groups contributed to potential in situ phenanthrene degradation at a rate >0.5 mg l(-1) day(-1), sufficient to account for a considerable part of PAH degradation. Further, we characterized the PAH-tolerant bacterial communities, which were much more diverse in the polluted site by comparison to unpolluted marine references. PAH-tolerant bacteria were also members of the rare biosphere, such as Glaciecola sp. Collectively, these data show the complex interactions between PAH-degraders and PAH-tolerant bacteria and provide new insights for the understanding of the functional ecology of marine bacteria in polluted waters.

  17. Microbial activity in the marine deep biosphere: progress and prospects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orcutt, Beth N; Larowe, Douglas E; Biddle, Jennifer F; Colwell, Frederick S; Glazer, Brian T; Reese, Brandi Kiel; Kirkpatrick, John B; Lapham, Laura L; Mills, Heath J; Sylvan, Jason B; Wankel, Scott D; Wheat, C Geoff

    2013-01-01

    The vast marine deep biosphere consists of microbial habitats within sediment, pore waters, upper basaltic crust and the fluids that circulate throughout it. A wide range of temperature, pressure, pH, and electron donor and acceptor conditions exists-all of which can combine to affect carbon and nutrient cycling and result in gradients on spatial scales ranging from millimeters to kilometers. Diverse and mostly uncharacterized microorganisms live in these habitats, and potentially play a role in mediating global scale biogeochemical processes. Quantifying the rates at which microbial activity in the subsurface occurs is a challenging endeavor, yet developing an understanding of these rates is essential to determine the impact of subsurface life on Earth's global biogeochemical cycles, and for understanding how microorganisms in these "extreme" environments survive (or even thrive). Here, we synthesize recent advances and discoveries pertaining to microbial activity in the marine deep subsurface, and we highlight topics about which there is still little understanding and suggest potential paths forward to address them. This publication is the result of a workshop held in August 2012 by the NSF-funded Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations (C-DEBI) "theme team" on microbial activity (www.darkenergybiosphere.org).

  18. Microbial activity in the marine deep biosphere: Progress and prospects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beth N Orcutt

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available The vast marine deep biosphere consists of microbial habitats within sediment, pore waters, upper basaltic crust and the fluids that circulate throughout it. A wide range of temperature, pressure, pH, and electron donor and acceptor conditions exists – all of which can combine to affect carbon and nutrient cycling and result in gradients on spatial scales ranging from millimeters to kilometers. Diverse and mostly uncharacterized microorganisms live in these habitats, and potentially play a role in mediating global scale biogeochemical processes. Quantifying the rates at which microbial activity in the subsurface occurs is a challenging endeavor, yet developing an understanding of these rates is essential to determine the impact of subsurface life on Earth's global biogeochemical cycles, and for understanding how microorganisms in these "extreme" environments survive (or even thrive. Here, we synthesize recent advances and discoveries pertaining to microbial activity in the marine deep subsurface, and we highlight topics about which there is still little understanding and suggest potential paths forward to address them. This publication is the result of a workshop held in August 2012 by the NSF-funded Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations (C-DEBI "theme team" on microbial activity (www.darkenergybiosphere.org.

  19. Basic Research in Human–Computer–Biosphere Interaction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hill Hiroki Kobayashi

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available In this study, we present a vision of how a human–computer–biosphere interaction (HCBI can facilitate a sustainable society. HCBI extends and transforms the subject of human–computer interaction from countable people, objects, pets, and plants into an auditory biosphere that is an uncountable, a complex, and a non-linguistic soundscape. As an example, utilizing HCBI to experience forest soundscapes can help us feel one with nature, without physically being present in nature. The goal of HCBI is to achieve ecological interactions between humans and nature through computer systems without causing environmental destruction. To accomplish this, information connectivity must be created despite the physical separation between humans and the environment. This combination should also ensure ecological neutrality. In this paper, we present an overview of an HCBI concept, related work, methodologies, and developed interfaces. We used pre-recorded animal calls to enable a bio-acoustical feedback from the target wildlife. In this study, we primarily focus on the design and evaluation of a bio-acoustic interaction system utilizing tracking collars, microphones, speakers, infrared cameras, infrared heat sensors, micro-climate sensors, radio-tracking devices, GPS devices, radio clocks, embedded Linux boards, high-capacity batteries, and high-speed wireless communication devices. Our experiments successfully demonstrated bio-acoustic interactions between wildlife—more specifically, an endangered species of a wild cat—and human beings via a computer system, thus validating the HCBI concept.

  20. Omora Ethnobotanical Park and the UNESCO Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Harold Mooney

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available The biocultural conservation and research initiative of Omora Ethnobotanical Park and the UNESCO Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve was born in a remote part of South America and has rapidly expanded to attain regional, national, and international relevance. The park and the biosphere reserve, led by Ricardo Rozzi and his team, have made significant progress in demonstrating the way academic research supports local cultures, social processes, decision making, and conservation. It is a dynamic hive of investigators, artists, writers, students, volunteers, and friends, all exploring ways to better integrate academia and society. The initiative involves an informal consortium of institutions and organizations; in Chile, these include the University of Magallanes, the Omora Foundation, and the Institute of Ecology and Biodiversity, and in the United States, the University of North Texas, the Omora Sub-Antarctic Research Alliance, and the Center for Environmental Philosophy at the University of North Texas. The consortium intends to function as a hub through which other institutions and organizations can be involved in research, education, and biocultural conservation. The park constitutes one of three long-term socio-ecological research sites in Chile of the Institute of Ecology and Biodiversity.

  1. A computational framework for a database of terrestrial biosphere models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Metzler, Holger; Müller, Markus; Ceballos-Núñez, Verónika; Sierra, Carlos A.

    2016-04-01

    Most terrestrial biosphere models consist of a set of coupled ordinary first order differential equations. Each equation represents a pool containing carbon with a certain turnover rate. Although such models share some basic mathematical structures, they can have very different properties such as number of pools, cycling rates, and internal fluxes. We present a computational framework that helps analyze the structure and behavior of terrestrial biosphere models using as an example the process of soil organic matter decomposition. The same framework can also be used for other sub-processes such as carbon fixation or allocation. First, the models have to be fed into a database consisting of simple text files with a common structure. Then they are read in using Python and transformed into an internal 'Model Class' that can be used to automatically create an overview stating the model's structure, state variables, internal and external fluxes. SymPy, a Python library for symbolic mathematics, helps to also calculate the Jacobian matrix at possibly given steady states and the eigenvalues of this matrix. If complete parameter sets are available, the model can also be run using R to simulate its behavior under certain conditions and to support a deeper stability analysis. In this case, the framework is also able to provide phase-plane plots if appropriate. Furthermore, an overview of all the models in the database can be given to help identify their similarities and differences.

  2. Phosphorus cycling in the deep subseafloor biosphere at North Pond

    Science.gov (United States)

    Defforey, D.; Paytan, A.

    2013-12-01

    Phosphorus is a macronutrient involved both in functional and structural components of all living cells. This makes it an essential nutrient for life, including microbial life in the deep subseafloor habitat. Phosphorus availability in this environment is limited since it is thought to be mainly present in refractory mineral phases. However, recent estimates suggest that the deep biosphere may contain up to 1% of Earth's total biomass, which implies that microorganisms may possess mechanisms to harvest recalcitrant phosphorus compounds in this environment. This study sheds light on those mechanisms by investigating phosphorus cycling in deep open-ocean sediments using stable oxygen isotope ratios in phosphate. Furthermore, this study provides insight into changes in phosphorus bioavailability and mobility under a range of natural environmental conditions within the deep biosphere. Sediment samples were collected from four boreholes drilled during the IODP Expedition 336 to North Pond, an isolated sediment pond on the western flank of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Sedimentary phosphorus compounds are characterized using sequential extractions (SEDEX), which separate them into five distinct pools. Phosphate from the various extracts are then concentrated, purified through a series of steps, then converted to silver phosphate, which is pyrolyzed and analyzed by continuous-flow isotope ratio mass spectrometry (CF-IRMS). The isotopic signatures and/or fractionations associated with many of the potential reactions and transformations operating in the P cycle have been determined, and provide the basis for interpreting isotopic data that are obtained from the phosphate extracts.

  3. Prospects for the study of evolution in the deep biosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biddle, Jennifer F; Sylvan, Jason B; Brazelton, William J; Tully, Benjamin J; Edwards, Katrina J; Moyer, Craig L; Heidelberg, John F; Nelson, William C

    2011-01-01

    Since the days of Darwin, scientists have used the framework of the theory of evolution to explore the interconnectedness of life on Earth and adaptation of organisms to the ever-changing environment. The advent of molecular biology has advanced and accelerated the study of evolution by allowing direct examination of the genetic material that ultimately determines the phenotypes upon which selection acts. The study of evolution has been furthered through examination of microbial evolution, with large population numbers, short generation times, and easily extractable DNA. Such work has spawned the study of microbial biogeography, with the realization that concepts developed in population genetics may be applicable to microbial genomes (Martiny et al., 2006; Manhes and Velicer, 2011). Microbial biogeography and adaptation has been examined in many different environments. Here we argue that the deep biosphere is a unique environment for the study of evolution and list specific factors that can be considered and where the studies may be performed. This publication is the result of the NSF-funded Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations (C-DEBI) theme team on Evolution (www.darkenergybiosphere.org).

  4. Prospects for the study of evolution in the deep biosphere

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer F Biddle

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Since the days of Darwin, scientists have used the framework of the theory of evolution to explore the interconnectedness of life on Earth and adaptation of organisms to the ever-changing environment. The advent of molecular biology has advanced and accelerated the study of evolution by allowing direct examination of the genetic material that ultimately determines the phenotypes upon which selection acts. The study of evolution has been furthered through examination of microbial evolution, with large population numbers, short generation times and easily extractable DNA. Such work has spawned the study of microbial biogeography, with the realization that concepts developed in population genetics may be applicable to microbial genomes (Manhes et al. 2011, Martiny et al. 2006. Microbial biogeography and adaptation has been examined in many different environments. Here we argue that the deep biosphere is a unique environment for the study of evolution and list specific factors that can be considered and where the studies may be performed. This publication is the result of the NSF-funded Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations (C-DEBI theme team on Evolution (www.darkenergybiosphere.org.

  5. The response of the terrestrial biosphere to urbanization: land cover conversion, climate, and urban pollution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Trusilova

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available Although urban areas occupy a relatively small fraction of land, they produce major disturbances of the carbon cycle through land use change, climate modification, and atmospheric pollution. In this study we quantify effects of urban areas on the carbon cycle in Europe. Among urbanization-driven environmental changes, which influence carbon sequestration in the terrestrial biosphere, we account for: (1 proportion of land covered by impervious materials, (2 local urban meteorological conditions, (3 urban high CO2 concentrations, and (4 elevated atmospheric nitrogen deposition. We use the terrestrial ecosystem model BIOME-BGC to estimate fluxes of carbon exchange between the biosphere and the atmosphere in response to these urban factors.

    We analysed four urbanization-driven changes individually, setting up our model in such a way that only one of the four was active at a time. From these model simulations we found that fertilization effects from the elevated CO2 and the atmospheric nitrogen deposition made the strongest positive contributions to the carbon uptake (0.023 Pg C year−1 and 0.039 Pg C year−1, respectively, whereas, the impervious urban land and local urban meteorological conditions resulted in a reduction of carbon uptake (−0.005 Pg C year−1 and −0.007 Pg C year−1, respectively. The synergetic effect of the four urbanization-induced changes was an increase of the carbon sequestration in Europe of 0.058 Pg C year−1.

  6. Assessing meteorological key factors influencing crop invasion by pollen beetle (

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jürgen Junk

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The pollen beetle, Meligethes aeneus F. (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae, is a severe pest of winter oilseed rape. A phenological model to forecast the first spring invasion of crops in Luxembourg by M. aeneus was developed in order to provide a tool for improving pest management and for assessing the potential effects of climate change on this pest. The model was derived using long-term, multi-site observational datasets of pollen beetle migration and meteorological data, as the timing of crop invasion is determined mainly by meteorological variables. Daily values of mean air and soil temperature, accumulated sunshine duration and precipitation were used to create a threshold-based model to forecast crop invasion. Minimising of the root mean squared error (RMSE of predicted versus observed migration dates was used as the quality criterion for selecting the optimum combination of threshold values for meteorological variables. We identified mean air temperature 8.0 °C, mean soil temperature 4.6 °C, and sunshine duration of 3.4 h as the best threshold values, with a cut-off of 1 mm precipitation and with no need for persistence of those conditions for more than one day (RMSE=9.3days$RMSE=9.3\\,\\text{days}$. Only in six out of 30 cases, differences between observed and predicted immigration dates were >5$>5$ days. In the future, crop invasion by pollen beetles will probably be strongly affected by changes in air temperature and precipitation related to climate change. We used a multi-model ensemble of 15 regional climate models driven by the A1B emission scenario to assess meteorological changes in two 30‑year future periods, near future (2021–2050 and far future (2069–2098 in comparison with the reference period (1971–2000. Air temperature and precipitation were predicted to increase in the first three months of each year, both in the near future and the far future. The pollen beetle migration model indicated that this change would

  7. Assessment Model of Atmosphere Transmitting Influence on High-resolution Airborne SAR Stereo Positioning

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHENG Zhaoqing; PANG Lei; CHEN Xuexing

    2008-01-01

    The influence derived from atmosphere transmitting of radar wave, in the application of high-resolution airborne Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) stereo positioning, may produce some phase errors, and eventually be intro-duced into positioning model. This paper described the principle of airborne SAR stereo positioning and the error sources of stereo positioning accuracy that arose from atmosphere transmitting, established a corresponding assess-ment model of atmosphere transmitting influence, and testified the model and the assessment principle taking the 1-m resolution airborne SAR images of Zigong City, Sichuan Province in China, as the test dataset. The test result has proved that the assessment model is reliable and reasonable. And, it has shown that the phase error arisen from time delay is the main error source during the atmosphere transmitting, which has much more influences on cross-track di-rection and introduces a stereo positioning error of about eight meters, but less on the along-track direction.

  8. Assessment of Clinical Alarms Influencing Nurses' Perceptions of Alarm Fatigue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petersen, Emalie M; Costanzo, Cindy L

    Excessive clinical alarms have inundated health care for years. Multiple governing bodies, organizations, and facilities have deemed alarm management a priority. Alarm management is a multifaceted problem that affects all health care organizations and clinical staff, especially those in critical care units. Ultimately, the lack of knowledge regarding nurses' perceptions to alarm management and alarm fatigue creates patient safety chiasms. The purpose of this quality improvement project was to understand nurses' perceptions of alarm fatigue (utilizing the Healthcare Technology Foundation's Clinical Alarms Committee Survey) while implementing interventions that improve patient safety. The design of this qualitative study is an electronically distributed survey to 31 nurses who work in critical care. The Healthcare Technology Foundation clinical alarms survey has 36 questions with various answering strategies distributed (with permission) via e-mail access by BlueQ through Creighton University. Twenty-six respondents (n = 26) completed the survey, with 42% being intensive care unit nurses and 58% being progressive care unit nurses. The majority of nurses (n = 23, 88%) agreed that nuisance alarms occur frequently and disrupt patient care (n = 25, 96%). A lack of standardized method was noted to alarm management and parameter changes. Multiple patterns emerged that initiated the need for further examination and improvement. Following the survey, themes emerged, and changes were implemented including the following: an alarm management policy was created, tools were provided to staff for easy usage, staff were educated using hands-on practice at an annual training summit, and sustainability was created through continuation of alarm management assessment and improvement.

  9. Uncertainties in global terrestrial biosphere modeling: 1. A comprehensive sensitivity analysis with a new photosynthesis and energy balance scheme

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Knorr, Wolfgang; Heimann, Martin

    2001-01-01

    Modeling the terrestrial biosphere's carbon exchanges constitutes a key tool for investigation of the global carbon cycle, which has lead to the recent development of numerous terrestrial biosphere models...

  10. Value orientations and environmental beliefs in five countries - Validity of an instrument to measure egoistic, altruistic and biospheric value orientations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Groot, Judith I. M.; Steg, Linda

    2007-01-01

    Various scholars argue that egoistic, altruistic, and biospheric value orientations are important for understanding environmental beliefs and behavior. However, little empirical evidence has been provided for the distinction between altruistic and biospheric values. This study examines whether this

  11. Value orientations and environmental beliefs in five countries - Validity of an instrument to measure egoistic, altruistic and biospheric value orientations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Groot, Judith I. M.; Steg, Linda

    2007-01-01

    Various scholars argue that egoistic, altruistic, and biospheric value orientations are important for understanding environmental beliefs and behavior. However, little empirical evidence has been provided for the distinction between altruistic and biospheric values. This study examines whether this

  12. Value orientations to explain beliefs related to environmental significant behavior : How to measure egoistic, altruistic, and biospheric value orientations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Groot, Judith I. M.; Steg, Linda

    2008-01-01

    In environmental literature it is argued that three different value orientations may be relevant for understanding environmental beliefs and intentions: egoistic, altruistic, and biospheric. Until now, the distinction between altruistic and biospheric value orientations has hardly been supported emp

  13. Review on Eco-tourism Development Modes of Biosphere Reserves in China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CUI Xianghui; CHU Jianmin; ZHU Xueling

    2006-01-01

    Based on the analysis of the current situation and existing problems in the development of eco-tourism carried out by biosphere reserves in China, this paper discussed the development of global biosphere reserve and a set of development criteria about eco-tourism. According to the current tourism development of Baotianman Biosphere Reserve, a development mode for eco-tourism was gotten , in which such aspects as the function division, development process, establishment of facility, constitution of organization, community participation and sustainable management of biosphere reserve were taken into account, and the establishment of public education and environmental protection facility were considered as a vital characteristic of eco-tourism of biosphere reserves.

  14. A quantitative approach for comparing modeled biospheric carbon flux estimates across regional scales

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. N. Huntzinger

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Given the large differences between biospheric model estimates of regional carbon exchange, there is a need to understand and reconcile the predicted spatial variability of fluxes across models. This paper presents a set of quantitative tools that can be applied for comparing flux estimates in light of the inherent differences in model formulation. The presented methods include variogram analysis, variable selection, and geostatistical regression. These methods are evaluated in terms of their ability to assess and identify differences in spatial variability in flux estimates across North America among a small subset of models, as well as differences in the environmental drivers that appear to have the greatest control over the spatial variability of predicted fluxes. The examined models are the Simple Biosphere (SiB 3.0, Carnegie Ames Stanford Approach (CASA, and CASA coupled with the Global Fire Emissions Database (CASA GFEDv2, and the analyses are performed on model-predicted net ecosystem exchange, gross primary production, and ecosystem respiration. Variogram analysis reveals consistent seasonal differences in spatial variability among modeled fluxes at a 1°×1° spatial resolution. However, significant differences are observed in the overall magnitude of the carbon flux spatial variability across models, in both net ecosystem exchange and component fluxes. Results of the variable selection and geostatistical regression analyses suggest fundamental differences between the models in terms of the factors that control the spatial variability of predicted flux. For example, carbon flux is more strongly correlated with percent land cover in CASA GFEDv2 than in SiB or CASA. Some of these factors can be linked back to model formulation, and would have been difficult to identify simply by comparing net fluxes between models. Overall, the quantitative approach presented here provides a set of tools for comparing predicted grid-scale fluxes across

  15. A systematic approach for comparing modeled biospheric carbon fluxes across regional scales

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. N. Huntzinger

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Given the large differences between biospheric model estimates of regional carbon exchange, there is a need to understand and reconcile the predicted spatial variability of fluxes across models. This paper presents a set of quantitative tools that can be applied to systematically compare flux estimates despite the inherent differences in model formulation. The presented methods include variogram analysis, variable selection, and geostatistical regression. These methods are evaluated in terms of their ability to assess and identify differences in spatial variability in flux estimates across North America among a small subset of models, as well as differences in the environmental drivers that best explain the spatial variability of predicted fluxes. The examined models are the Simple Biosphere (SiB 3.0, Carnegie Ames Stanford Approach (CASA, and CASA coupled with the Global Fire Emissions Database (CASA GFEDv2, and the analyses are performed on model-predicted net ecosystem exchange, gross primary production, and ecosystem respiration. Variogram analysis reveals consistent seasonal differences in spatial variability among modeled fluxes at a 1° × 1° spatial resolution. However, significant differences are observed in the overall magnitude of the carbon flux spatial variability across models, in both net ecosystem exchange and component fluxes. Results of the variable selection and geostatistical regression analyses suggest fundamental differences between the models in terms of the factors that explain the spatial variability of predicted flux. For example, carbon flux is more strongly correlated with percent land cover in CASA GFEDv2 than in SiB or CASA. Some of the differences in spatial patterns of estimated flux can be linked back to differences in model formulation, and would have been difficult to identify simply by comparing net fluxes between models. Overall, the systematic approach presented here provides a set of tools for comparing

  16. Biodiversity, biosphere reserves, and the Big Apple: a study of the New York Metropolitan Region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solecki, William D; Rosenzweig, Cynthia

    2004-06-01

    The objectives of this article were to assess the dimensions of biodiversity-urban society interactions within the New York Metropolitan Region, a 31-county area with a population of 21.5 million, and to explore pathways to reconcile dysfunctional relationships between these two ever-entwined systems. The article builds on the premise that urban biodiversity exists at a crucial nexus of ecological and societal interactions, linking local, regional, and global scales, and that urban ecologies are projected to become even more dynamic in the future, particularly as a result of global climate change. The pathway proposed to reconcile the biodiversity-urban society relationships is the incorporation of biosphere reserve strategies into regional environmental planning efforts focused on the New York/New Jersey Harbor/Estuary specifically and on the greater New York Metropolitan Region in general. The concepts of the "ecological footprint" and vulnerability to global environmental change are used to analyze the current interactions between biodiversity and urban society, and to evaluate the efficacy of adopting biosphere reserve strategies in the region. New York has long been at the forefront of American environmentalism and landscape planning. Coupled with this history is a still small but growing interest in regional environmental planning efforts (e.g., the U.S. EPA Harbor Estuary Program) and green infrastructure (e.g., the 2002 Humane Metropolis Conference organized by the Ecological Cities Project). The research presented here aims to contribute to these nascent activities. As a megacity, New York may serve as a model for other major cities of the world.

  17. Data report for the safety assessment SR-Site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    2010-12-15

    This report compiles, documents, and qualifies input data identified as essential for the long-term safety assessment of a KBS-3 repository, and forms an important part of the reporting of the safety assessment project SR-Site. The input data concern the repository system, broadly defined as the deposited spent nuclear fuel, the engineered barriers surrounding it, the host rock, and the biosphere in the proximity of the repository. The input data also concern external influences acting on the system, in terms of climate related data. Data are provided for a selection of relevant conditions and are qualified through traceable standardised procedures

  18. Consideration of environmental change in performance assessments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinedo, P; Thorne, M; Egan, M; Calvez, M; Kautsky, U

    2005-01-01

    Depending on the particular circumstances in which a post-closure performance assessment of a radioactive waste repository is made, it may be appropriate to follow simple or more complex approaches in characterising the biosphere. Several different Example Reference Biospheres were explored in BIOMASS Theme 1 to address a range of issues that arise. Here, consideration is given to Example Reference Biospheres relevant to representing the implications of changes that may occur within the biosphere system during the period over which releases of radionuclides from a disposal facility might take place. Mechanisms of change considered include those extrinsic and intrinsic to the system of interest. An overall methodology for incorporating environmental change into assessments is proposed. This includes screening of primary mechanisms of change; identification of possible time sequences of change; development of a coherent description of the regional landscape response for each time sequence; integration of source term and geosphere-biosphere interface information; identification and description of one or more time series of assessment biospheres; and evaluation of the advantages and disadvantages of simulating the effects of sequences of biosphere systems and the transitions between them, or of defining a set of biosphere systems to be represented individually in a non-sequential analysis. The usefulness of the methodology is explored in two site-specific examples and one generic example.

  19. Comets, Carbonaceous Meteorites, and the Origin of the Biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoover, Richard B.

    2005-01-01

    The biosphere comprises the Earth s crust, atmosphere, oceans, and ice caps and the living organisms that survive within this habitat. The discoveries of barophilic chemolithoautotrophic thermophiles living deep within the crust and in deep-sea hydrothermal vents, and psychrophiles in permafrost and deep within the Antarctic Ice Sheet indicate the Earth s biosphere is far more extensive than previously recognized. Molecular biomarkers and Bacterial Paleontology provide evidence that life appeared very early on the primitive Earth and the origin of the biosphere is closely linked with the emergence of life. The role of comets, meteorites, and interstellar dust in the delivery of water, organics and prebiotic chemicals has long been recognized. Deuterium enrichment of seawater and comets indicates that comets delivered oceans to the early Earth. Furthermore, the similarity of the D/H ratios and the chemical compositions of CI carbonaceous meteorites and comets indicate that the CI meteorites may be remnants of cometary nuclei with most volatiles removed. Comets, meteorites, and interstellar dust also contain complex organic chemicals, amino acids, macromolecules, and kerogen-like biopolymers and may have played a crucial role in the delivery of complex organics and prebiotic chemicals during the Hadean (4.5-3.8 Gyr) period of heavy bombardment. The existence of indigenous microfossils of morphotypes of cyanobacteria in the CI and CM carbonaceous meteorites suggests that the paradigm that life originated endogenously in the primitive oceans of early Earth may require re-consideration. Recent data on the hot (300-400 K) black crust on comet P/Halley and Stardust images of P/Wild 2 showing depressions, tall cliffs, and pinnacles, indicate the presence of thick, durable, dark crusts on comets. If cavities within the ice and crust sustain vapor pressures in excess of 10 millibar, then localized pools of liquid water and brines could exist within the comet. Since life

  20. Trends and future challenges in sampling the deep terrestrial biosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilkins, Michael J; Daly, Rebecca A; Mouser, Paula J; Trexler, Ryan; Sharma, Shihka; Cole, David R; Wrighton, Kelly C; Biddle, Jennifer F; Denis, Elizabeth H; Fredrickson, Jim K; Kieft, Thomas L; Onstott, Tullis C; Peterson, Lee; Pfiffner, Susan M; Phelps, Tommy J; Schrenk, Matthew O

    2014-01-01

    Research in the deep terrestrial biosphere is driven by interest in novel biodiversity and metabolisms, biogeochemical cycling, and the impact of human activities on this ecosystem. As this interest continues to grow, it is important to ensure that when subsurface investigations are proposed, materials recovered from the subsurface are sampled and preserved in an appropriate manner to limit contamination and ensure preservation of accurate microbial, geochemical, and mineralogical signatures. On February 20th, 2014, a workshop on "Trends and Future Challenges in Sampling The Deep Subsurface" was coordinated in Columbus, Ohio by The Ohio State University and West Virginia University faculty, and sponsored by The Ohio State University and the Sloan Foundation's Deep Carbon Observatory. The workshop aims were to identify and develop best practices for the collection, preservation, and analysis of terrestrial deep rock samples. This document summarizes the information shared during this workshop.

  1. Trends and Future Challenges in Sampling the Deep Terrestrial Biosphere

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wilkins, Michael J.; Daly, Rebecca; Mouser, Paula J.; Trexler, Ryan; Sharma, Shihka; Cole, David R.; Wrighton, Kelly C.; Biddle , Jennifer F.; Denis, Elizabeth; Fredrickson, Jim K.; Kieft, Thomas L.; Onstott, T. C.; Peterson, Lee; Pfiffner, Susan M.; Phelps, Tommy J.; Schrenk, Matthew O.

    2014-09-12

    Research in the deep terrestrial biosphere is driven by interest in novel biodiversity and metabolisms, biogeochemical cycling, and the impact of human activities on this ecosystem. As this interest continues to grow, it is important to ensure that when subsurface investigations are proposed, materials recovered from the subsurface are sampled and preserved in an appropriate manner to limit contamination and ensure preservation of accurate microbial, geochemical, and mineralogical signatures. On February 20th, 2014, a workshop on “Trends and Future Challenges in Sampling The Deep Subsurface” was coordinated in Columbus, Ohio by The Ohio State University and West Virginia University faculty, and sponsored by The Ohio State University and the Sloan Foundation’s Deep Carbon Observatory. The workshop aims were to identify and develop best practices for the collection, preservation, and analysis of terrestrial deep rock samples. This document summarizes the information shared during this workshop.

  2. Exploring the dark energy biosphere, 15 seconds at a time

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petrone, C.; Tossey, L.; Biddle, J.

    2016-12-01

    Science communication often suffers from numerous pitfalls including jargon, complexity, ageneral lack of (science) education of the audience, and short attention spans. With the Center for Dark EnergyBiosphere Investigations (C-DEBI), Delaware Sea Grant is expanding its collection of 15 Second Science videos, whichdeliver complex science topics, with visually stimulating footage and succinct audio. Featuring a diverse cast of scientistsand educators in front of the camera, we are expanded our reach into the public and classrooms. We're alsoexperimenting with smartphone-based virtual reality, for a more immersive experience into the deep! We will show youthe process for planning, producing, and posting our #15secondscience videos and VR segments, and how we areevaluating effectiveness.

  3. On detecting biospheres from thermodynamic disequilibrium in planetary atmospheres

    CERN Document Server

    Krissansen-Totton, Joshua; Catling, David C

    2015-01-01

    Atmospheric chemical disequilibrium has been proposed as a method for detecting extraterrestrial biospheres from exoplanet observations. Chemical disequilibrium is potentially a generalized biosignature since it makes no assumptions about particular biogenic gases or metabolisms. Here, we present the first rigorous calculations of the thermodynamic chemical disequilibrium in the atmospheres of Solar System planets, in which we quantify the difference in Gibbs free energy of an observed atmosphere compared to that of all the atmospheric gases reacted to equilibrium. The purely gas phase disequilibrium in Earth's atmosphere, as measured by this available Gibbs free energy, is not unusual by Solar System standards and smaller than that of Mars. However, Earth's atmosphere is in contact with a surface ocean, which means that gases can react with water, and so a multiphase calculation that includes aqueous species is required. We find that the disequilibrium in Earth's atmosphere-ocean system (in joules per mole o...

  4. The Mojave vadose zone: a subsurface biosphere analogue for Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbey, William; Salas, Everett; Bhartia, Rohit; Beegle, Luther W

    2013-07-01

    If life ever evolved on the surface of Mars, it is unlikely that it would still survive there today, but as Mars evolved from a wet planet to an arid one, the subsurface environment may have presented a refuge from increasingly hostile surface conditions. Since the last glacial maximum, the Mojave Desert has experienced a similar shift from a wet to a dry environment, giving us the opportunity to study here on Earth how subsurface ecosystems in an arid environment adapt to increasingly barren surface conditions. In this paper, we advocate studying the vadose zone ecosystem of the Mojave Desert as an analogue for possible subsurface biospheres on Mars. We also describe several examples of Mars-like terrain found in the Mojave region and discuss ecological insights that might be gained by a thorough examination of the vadose zone in these specific terrains. Examples described include distributary fans (deltas, alluvial fans, etc.), paleosols overlain by basaltic lava flows, and evaporite deposits.

  5. Trends and Future Challenges in Sampling the Deep Terrestrial Biosphere

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael J Wilkins

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Research in the deep terrestrial biosphere is driven by interest in novel biodiversity and metabolisms, biogeochemical cycling, and the impact of human activities on this ecosystem. As this interest continues to grow, it is important to ensure that when subsurface investigations are proposed, materials recovered from the subsurface are sampled and preserved in an appropriate manner to limit contamination and ensure preservation of accurate microbial, geochemical, and mineralogical signatures. On February 20th, 2014, a workshop on Trends and Future Challenges in Sampling The Deep Subsurface was coordinated in Columbus, Ohio by The Ohio State University and West Virginia University faculty, and sponsored by The Ohio State University and the Sloan Foundation’s Deep Carbon Observatory. The workshop aims were to identify and develop best practices for the collection, preservation, and analysis of terrestrial deep rock samples. This document summarizes the information shared during this workshop.

  6. Europa the ocean moon : search for an alien biosphere

    CERN Document Server

    Greenberg, Richard

    2004-01-01

    Europa - The Ocean Moon tells the story of the Galileo spacecraft probe to Jupiter's moon, Europa. It provides a detailed description of the physical processes, including the dominating tidal forces that operate on Europa, and includes a comprehensive tour of Europa using images taken by Galileo's camera. The book reviews and evaluates the interpretative work carried out to date, providing a philosophical discussion of the scientific process of analyzing results and the pitfalls that accompany it. It also examines the astrobiological constraints on this possible biosphere, and implications for future research, exploration and planetary biological protection. Europa - The Ocean Moon provides a unique understanding of the Galileo images of Europa, discusses the theory of tidal processes that govern its icy ridged and disrupted surface, and examines in detail the physical setting that might sustain extra-terrestrial life in Europa's ocean and icy crust.

  7. Factors responsible for a stable biosphere of silicon utilizing organisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitra, D.; Das, S.

    2012-12-01

    Silicon utilizing microorganisms are defined as micro-organisms with high silicon content (≥ 1% dry weight) and the capability to metabolize silicon with or without demonstrable silicon transporter genes (SIT). Important characteristics found in these microorganisms, on account of having high silicon concentration in their body, include increased autotrophic activity, ability to encounter metal toxicities (including iron toxicity), increased mechanical strength, ability to prevent infections, capacity to survive in nutritionally compromised states and in high and low pressure zones, higher light transmission and reduced salinity stress. They can also grow in the dark for at least three months even in the absence of any organic substrate. In living cells, silicon helps in cell wall formation, regulates citric acid cycle (acting on an isoenzyme of isocitrate dehydrogenase), synthesizes special proteins for chromosomes and chloroplasts, and regulates chlorophyll synthesis. Silicon metabolism also requires 30% less energy than carbon and that might be one of the reasons why it was not abandoned in over 100 million years of evolution; even in the presence of a well advanced and dominating carbon world. Additionally, silicon utilizing organisms have undergone resistance and capacity adaptations during their long existence on the Earth. Their inherent ability to tolerate a wide variety of stress was manifested by their exceptional survival during periods of extinction on Earth. The phenomenon of 'selective survival' of the biosphere shaped by these organisms across major extinction boundaries in the geologic past is very prominent. Approximately 46% of diatom species, the most important silicon utilizing organisms, survived the transition from the Cretaceous to the Upper Paleocene period, suggesting their significant turnover across the K-Pg boundary. Another important silicon utilizing organism, radiolarian, also showed no evidence of mass extinction across the K

  8. On COBACC (COntinental Biosphere-Aerosol-Cloud-Climate) feedback

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kulmala, Markku

    2016-04-01

    Anthropogenic emissions of GHGs have increased substantially during the past century. Elevated concentrations of CO2 and methane are the most important forcing agents causing global warming. However, it is not straightforward to attribute or predict the climate change in detail, as the internal variability of climate is only partially understood, aerosol forcings are still highly uncertain, and there are many feedback mechanisms that are difficult to quantify. It has been recognized for decades that the biosphere plays an important role in climate. For example, Kulmala et al. (2004) suggested a negative climate feedback mechanism whereby higher temperatures and CO2-levels boost continental biomass production, leading to increased biogenic secondary organic aerosol (BSOA) and cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) concentrations, tending to cause cooling. This COBACC (COntinental Biosphere-Aerosol-Cloud-Climate) feedback is similar to the so-called CLAW-hypothesis by Charlson et al. (1987) which connects the ocean biochemistry and climate via a negative feedback loop involving CCN production due to sulphur emissions from plankton. The first quantification of the COBACC feedback loop (Kulmala et al. 2014) was based on continuous comprehensive observations at SMEAR II (Station for Measuring Forest Ecosystem-Atmosphere Relations) station in Hyytiälä, Finland, and showed that a 10 ppm increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration leads to a significant (several percent) increase in both carbon sink and aerosol source. These effects operate through changes in gross primary production, volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions and secondary aerosol formation associated with atmospheric oxidation of VOCs. Here we will describe the present knowledge from processes level understanding to whole COBACC feedback including some hints on biogenic and anthropogenic contributions to global aerosol number load. References: Charlson, R. J. et al. Nature 326, 655 1987 Kulmala, M. et al. Atmos

  9. Regulator's Workshop on The Role of Future Society and Biosphere in Demonstrating Compliance with High-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Standards and Regulations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Avila, R. [Swedish Radiation Protection Authority, Stockholm (Sweden); Blommaert, W. [Agence Federale de Controle Nucleaire, Bruxelles (Belgium); Clark, R. [US Environmental Protection Agency (United States)] [and others

    2002-09-01

    This report summarizes the proceedings of a workshop, co-sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) and the Swedish Radiation Protection Authority (SSI). The invitations to participate in the Workshop were primarily extended to authorities in countries with major nuclear waste programs involving geological disposal and using performance assessment methodology. The main objective of the Workshop was to develop a common understanding among regulators of the role of society and the biosphere in demonstrating compliance with regulations.

  10. Ciliates and the rare biosphere-community ecology and population dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weisse, Thomas

    2014-01-01

    Application of deep sequencing technologies to environmental samples and some detailed morphological studies suggest that there is a vast, yet unexplored rare ciliate biosphere, tentatively defined in terms of operational taxonomic units. However, very few studies complemented molecular and phylogenetic data with morphological and ecological descriptions of the species inventory. This is mainly because the sampling effort increases strongly with decreasing species abundance. In spite of this limited knowledge, it is clear that species that are rare under certain environmental conditions (temporal rare biosphere) may become abundant when the physical, chemical, and biological variables of their habitat change. Furthermore, some species may always be present in low numbers if their dispersal rates are exceedingly high (accidental rare biosphere). An intriguing question is whether there are some species that are always rare, i.e., in every suitable environment. This permanent rare biosphere is conceptually different from the temporal rare biosphere. This review characterizes typical aquatic habitats of the rare ciliate biosphere, portrays different scenarios under which some or even many species may be permanently rare (background fauna), and identifies some fundamental questions that need to be addressed to achieve a better understanding of the population dynamics of the rare ciliate biosphere.

  11. Indicators' role: How do they influence Strategic Environmental Assessment and Sustainable Planning - The Chinese experience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Jingjing; Christensen, Per; Kørnøv, Lone

    2017-03-14

    As an information carrier and communication medium, indicators provide useful decision-making assistance in setting process goals and effectively reaching the goals. The main focus of this article is to investigate indicators' role in influencing planning through Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) especially related to Chinese experiences. From the perspective of planning and decision-making theory, the influence on planning is studied as influence of planning structure and influence of planning actors. Such a conceptual framework is applied in order to demonstrate how the use of indicators can influence planning through a SEA process. The study holds two empirical levels. On a general level, based on an online survey, this article investigates SEA practitioners' experiences in using indicators. On a case level, two urban plans are selected to provide more detailed experiences. The case level investigation is based on a documentary study and individual interviews with SEA practitioners/planners. By exploring how indicators influence planning through the structure of and the actors within SEA, this study tries to provide an overview of indicators' role in SEA. The results indicate that indicators are perceived as a useful tool in the Chinese SEA system. By improving and simplifying the procedures of SEA, the indicators exert more structural influence on SEA and on plan making. On the other hand, indicators are also shown to have more influence through political actors than found among technical actors.

  12. Exchange processes at geosphere-biosphere interface. Current SKB approach and example of coupled hydrological-ecological approach

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Woerman, Anders [Swedish Univ. of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala (Sweden). Dept. of Biometry and Technology

    2003-09-01

    The design of the repository for final disposal of spent nuclear fuel proposed by SKB is based on a multi-barrier system, in which the geosphere and biosphere are the utmost barrier surrounding the engineer barriers. This report briefly reviews the current approach taken by SKB to account for hydrological and ecological processes at the geosphere-biosphere interface (GBI) and their future plans in this area. A simple analysis was performed to shift the focus of performance assessment involving geosphere-biosphere interface modelling from the very simplistic assumption that the quaternary sediments are bypassed to one in which a more detailed model for sub-surface flows is included. This study indicated that, for many assumed ecosystem descriptions, the presence of the GBI leads to lower maximum doses to individual humans compared to a case when the GBI is neglected. This effect is due to the additional 'barrier' offered by the GBI. The main exposure pathways were assumed to occur through the food web. However, particularly the leakage on land through the stream-network and lakes can lead to higher doses due to ecosystem interaction with arable land. A scenario that gives particularly long duration of doses occurs due to land rise and with the transformation of the former bay and lake bed sediments into agricultural land. This effect is due to the significant retention or accumulation in aquatic sediment, which causes high activities to build up with time. Particularly, in combination with changing conditions in climate, humans life-style or geographic conditions (land rise, deforestation,etc.) doses to individual humans can be large.

  13. Influencing Public School Policy in the United States: The Role of Large-Scale Assessments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, William H.; Burroughs, Nathan A.

    2016-01-01

    The authors review the influence of state, national and international large-scale assessments (LSAs) on education policy and research. They distinguish between two main uses of LSAs: as a means for conducting research that informs educational reform and LSAs as a tool for implementing standards and enforcing accountability. The authors discuss the…

  14. Assessing the open method of coordination: institutional design and national influence of EU social policy coordination

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Barcevičius, E.; Weishaupt, J.T.; Zeitlin, J.

    2014-01-01

    Based on the findings of a large-scale, comparative research project, this book systematically assesses the institutional design and national influence of the Open Method of Coordination (OMC) on Social Inclusion and Social Protection, at the European Union (EU) level and in ten EU Member States.

  15. Influence of Type of Assessment and Stress on the Learning Outcome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tetteh, Godson Ayertei; Sarpong, Frederick Asafo-Adjei

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore the influence of constructivism on assessment approach, where the type of question (true or false, multiple-choice, calculation or essay) is used productively. Although the student's approach to learning and the teacher's approach to teaching are concepts that have been widely researched, few…

  16. Interest groups: a survey of empirical models that try to assess their influence

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Potters, J.J.M.; Sloof, R.

    1996-01-01

    Substantial political power is often attributed to interest groups. The origin of this power is not quite clear, though, and the mechanisms by which influence is effectuated are not yet fully understood. The last two decades have yielded a vast number of studies which use empirical models to assess

  17. Assessment of Groups Influence on Management Style as Related to University Governance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irtwange, S. V.; Orsaah, S.

    2010-01-01

    The study was undertaken with the objective of assessing groups influence on management style as related to University governance with University of Agriculture, Makurdi as a case study from academic staff perspective. The management style of the Vice Chancellor of the University of Agriculture, Makurdi between the period September 3, 1996 to…

  18. Assessment of Groups Influence on Management Style as Related to University Governance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irtwange, S. V.; Orsaah, S.

    2010-01-01

    The study was undertaken with the objective of assessing groups influence on management style as related to University governance with University of Agriculture, Makurdi as a case study from academic staff perspective. The management style of the Vice Chancellor of the University of Agriculture, Makurdi between the period September 3, 1996 to…

  19. Preliminary assessments of spatial influences in the Ambos Nogales region of the US-Mexican border

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Smith, L.A. [ManTech Environmental Technology Inc., P.O. Box 12313, 27709 Research Triangle Park, NC (United States); Mukerjee, S. [US Environmental Protection Agency, National Exposure Research Laboratory, MD-47, 27711 Research Triangle Park, NC (United States); Monroy, G.J. [Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, 400 West Congress St., Suite 433, 85701 Tucson, AZ (United States); Keene, F.E. [Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, 3033 North Central Ave., 85012 Phoenix, AZ (United States)

    2001-08-10

    Ambient air measurements collected from 1994 to 1995 were used in a preliminary assessment of potential source and spatial influences in the Ambos Nogales border region (Nogales, Arizona, USA and Nogales, Sonora, Mexico). In this assessment, volatile organic compounds (VOC) and particulate matter (PM) species were used from four sites, two on either side of the border. An examination of median levels and principal component analysis indicated the dominance of soil dusts and mobile sources. Pairwise comparisons of sites for VOCs associated with mobile sources revealed statistically significant differences between sites in the central Nogales area vs. the two sites furthest from the border. Particulate lead at Mexican sites was higher and significantly different vs. US sites. Although further analyses are necessary, findings suggest that local and immediate mobile/other anthropogenic and soil dust influences are present throughout Nogales, with particulate lead from leaded motor vehicle exhaust or soldering operations being a possible influence on the Mexican side.

  20. The biosphere: Problems and solutions; Proceedings of the Miami International Symposium on the Biosphere, Miami Beach, FL, April 23, 24, 1984

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veziroglu, T. N.

    The objective of the Miami International Symposium on the Biosphere was to provide a forum for the presentation of the latest research findings on the environmental effects of human activities. The topics discussed are related to biosphere reserves, environmental aspects of hydrocarbon fuels, radioactivity and nuclear waste, land management, acid rains, water quality, water resources, coastal resources management, the pollution of rivers, industrial waste, economic development and the environment, health hazards and solutions, endangered species, environmentally compatible systems, space pollution, and global considerations. Attention is given to questions regarding global security and sustainable development, environethics as a global strategy for environmental quality, a gestalt approach to the environment, potential indicators for monitoring biosphere reserves, a review of regional impacts associated with the development of U.S. synthetic fuel resources, water resources in the Soviet Union, and pollution-free pesticides.

  1. An evaluation of factors influencing the assessment time in a nurse practitioner-led anaesthetic pre-operative assessment clinic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawes, R H; Andrzejowski, J C; Goodhart, I M; Berthoud, M C; Wiles, M D

    2016-03-01

    Elective patients undergoing anaesthetic pre-operative assessment are usually allocated the same period of time with a nurse practitioner, leading to potential inefficiencies in patient flow through the clinic. We prospectively collected data on 8519 patients attending a pre-operative assessment clinic. The data set were split into derivation and validation cohorts. Standard multiple regressions were used to construct a model in the derivation cohort, which was then tested in the validation cohort. Due to missing data, 2457 patients were not studied, leaving 5892 for analysis (3870 in the derivation cohort and 2022 in the validation cohort). The mean (SD) pre-operative assessment time was 46 (12) min. Age, ASA physical status, nurse practitioner and surgical specialty all influenced the time spent in pre-operative assessment. The predictive equations calculated using the derivation cohort, based on age and ASA physical status, correctly estimated duration of consultation to within 20% of the maximum predicted time in 74.2% of the validation cohort. We conclude that if age and ASA physical status are known before the pre-operative assessment consultation, it could allow appointment times to be allocated more accurately.

  2. Development and evaluation of an ozone deposition scheme for coupling to a terrestrial biosphere model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franz, Martina; Simpson, David; Arneth, Almut; Zaehle, Sönke

    2017-01-01

    Ozone (O3) is a toxic air pollutant that can damage plant leaves and substantially affect the plant's gross primary production (GPP) and health. Realistic estimates of the effects of tropospheric anthropogenic O3 on GPP are thus potentially important to assess the strength of the terrestrial biosphere as a carbon sink. To better understand the impact of ozone damage on the terrestrial carbon cycle, we developed a module to estimate O3 uptake and damage of plants for a state-of-the-art global terrestrial biosphere model called OCN. Our approach accounts for ozone damage by calculating (a) O3 transport from 45 m height to leaf level, (b) O3 flux into the leaf, and (c) ozone damage of photosynthesis as a function of the accumulated O3 uptake over the lifetime of a leaf. A comparison of modelled canopy conductance, GPP, and latent heat to FLUXNET data across European forest and grassland sites shows a general good performance of OCN including ozone damage. This comparison provides a good baseline on top of which ozone damage can be evaluated. In comparison to literature values, we demonstrate that the new model version produces realistic O3 surface resistances, O3 deposition velocities, and stomatal to total O3 flux ratios. A sensitivity study reveals that key metrics of the air-to-leaf O3 transport and O3 deposition, in particular the stomatal O3 uptake, are reasonably robust against uncertainty in the underlying parameterisation of the deposition scheme. Nevertheless, correctly estimating canopy conductance plays a pivotal role in the estimate of cumulative O3 uptake. We further find that accounting for stomatal and non-stomatal uptake processes substantially affects simulated plant O3 uptake and accumulation, because aerodynamic resistance and non-stomatal O3 destruction reduce the predicted leaf-level O3 concentrations. Ozone impacts on GPP and transpiration in a Europe-wide simulation indicate that tropospheric O3 impacts the regional carbon and water cycling less

  3. Evaluating the Carbon Cycle of a Coupled Atmosphere-Biosphere Model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Delire, C; Foley, J A; Thompson, S

    2002-08-21

    We investigate how well a coupled biosphere-atmosphere model, CCM3-IBIS, can simulate the functioning of the terrestrial biosphere and the carbon cycling through it. The simulated climate is compared to observations, while the vegetation cover and the carbon cycle are compared to an offline version of the biosphere model IBIS forced with observed climatic variables. The simulated climate presents some local biases that strongly affect the vegetation (e.g., a misrepresentation of the African monsoon). Compared to the offline model, the coupled model simulates well the globally averaged carbon fluxes and vegetation pools. The zonal mean carbon fluxes and the zonal mean seasonal cycle are also well represented except between 0{sup o} and 20{sup o}N due to the misrepresentation of the African monsoon. These results suggest that, despite regional biases in climate and ecosystem simulations, this coupled atmosphere-biosphere model can be used to explore geographic and temporal variations in the global carbon cycle.

  4. BAYESIAN LOCAL INFLUENCE ASSESSMENTS IN A GROWTH CURVE MODEL WITH GENERAL COVARIANCE STRUCTURE

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2000-01-01

    The objective of this paper is to present a Bayesian approach based on Kullback Leibler divergence for assessing local influence in a growth curve model with general covariance structure.Under certain prior distribution assumption,the Kullback-Leibler divergence is used to measure the influence of some minor perturbation on the posterior distribution of unknown parameter.This leads to the diagnostic statistic for detecting which response is locally influential.As an application,the common covariance-weighted perturbation scheme is thoroughly considered.

  5. Biosphere of the earth as a life-support system (LSS) for mankind

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pechurkin, Nickolay

    As a component of biosphere the mankind became the most powerful and active link recently. Exponential growth of human population number and of some technological indicators of its development becomes menacing for steady (stationary or close-to-stationary) functioning of biosphere as single whole. Anyway, we should be able to estimate quantitatively limits of pos-sible anthropogenic impact on functional parameters of biosphere. Considering biosphere as a natural LSS, we can receive the helpful information for working out and creation of artificial LSS of various types. Big biotic cycle induced with flows of a solar energy, is a basis of func-tioning of biosphere and its basic cells -ecosystems. In comparison with the majority natural ecosystems, the biosphere has very high factor of closure of substance circulation, especially limiting biogenic elements: nitrogen and phosphorus. Voluntarily or not, the mankind interferes in big biotic cycle and modifies it. For example, extracting mineral fertilizers for cultivation of agricultural crops, we return in circulation lost before substances, type nitric, potassic, phos-phoric salts. Burning fossils of organic carbon (oil, gas, coal), we raise concentration of carbon dioxide in atmosphere. The melting of a permafrost connected with activity of mankind, is capable to lead to excretion of other greenhouse gases, in particular, methane. It's possible to summarize briefly the main functional properties of the biosphere: Integrity, Closure, Substance cycling, Steady state, Energy dependence. These properties of the biosphere, as a LSS, ensure potentially everlasting life under the conditions of a limited quantity of substrate suitable for the life on the planet. But the selfish mankind is able to destroy harmonic adjustment of this unique natural mechanism

  6. Quaternary climate - Terrestrial Biosphere Interaction: amplifying or stabilizing?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Claussen, Martin

    2016-04-01

    According to the Gaia hypothesis, interaction between climate and biological processes tend to homeostatically maintain, on a global scale, conditions favourable for life. Does the idea of homeostatic interaction between terrestrial biosphere and climate hold for the Quaternary glacial - interglacial changes? Interpretation of palaeoclimate and palaeobotanic evidence by using climate and Earth system models yields an interesting picture. The synergy between the sea-ice albedo - climate feedback and the taiga-tundra - climate feedback is suggested to amplify the orbitally forced climatic precession. This effect seems to be strong at regional scale, but small at global scale. Various simulations indicate that biogeophysical processes amplify the difference of some 4 to 6 K in global mean temperature between glacial and interglacial climate by some 10 percent. The combined effect of biogeophysical and biogeochemical processes, i.e. processes with involve carbon stored in biomass and soil, is less clear. Theoretical studies suggest that in pre-industrial, interglacial climate, a reduction in boreal and extratropical forests tend to cool the climate and a reduction in tropical forest, to warm the climate. Recent estimates in changes in organic carbon stored under ice sheets and in permafrost point at the possibility that the sum of all terrestrial biogeochemical processes might almost "carbon neutral" to the climate system. If corroborated, this observation would favour the assumption of a dominance of biogeophysical processes amplifying orbitally forced Quaternary climate variations.

  7. Acetogenesis in the energy-starved deep biosphere - a paradox?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lever, Mark Alexander

    2011-01-01

    Under anoxic conditions in sediments, acetogens are often thought to be outcompeted by microorganisms performing energetically more favorable metabolic pathways, such as sulfate reduction or methanogenesis. Recent evidence from deep subseafloor sediments suggesting acetogenesis in the presence of sulfate reduction and methanogenesis has called this notion into question, however. Here I argue that acetogens can successfully coexist with sulfate reducers and methanogens for multiple reasons. These include (1) substantial energy yields from most acetogenesis reactions across the wide range of conditions encountered in the subseafloor, (2) wide substrate spectra that enable niche differentiation by use of different substrates and/or pooling of energy from a broad range of energy substrates, (3) reduced energetic cost of biosynthesis among acetogens due to use of the reductive acetyl CoA pathway for both energy production and biosynthesis coupled with the ability to use many organic precursors to produce the key intermediate acetyl CoA. This leads to the general conclusion that, beside Gibbs free energy yields, variables such as metabolic strategy and energetic cost of biosynthesis need to be taken into account to understand microbial survival in the energy-depleted deep biosphere.

  8. Decapod larvae dynamics on Berlengas Biosphere Reserve (UNESCO - Portugal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lénia Da Fonseca Alexandre Rato

    2014-05-01

    Total decapoda abundance ranged from 0,06 ind.m-3 in May 2011 to 64,28ind.m-3 in August 2012, and significantly different between summer/winter and winter/spring months (P(perm≤0,05. The data obtained on this study revealed that Infraorders Brachyura, Anomura and Caridea are the most common. All three are significantly different between months (P(perm≤0,05 but not between sampling stations (P(perm>0,05. Brachyuran abundance was significantly affected by the Oceanograhic Conditions (P(perm≤0,05. Abundances were higher in spring and summer months, when Chlorophyl a values (mg.m-3, Temperature (ºC and Salinity (ppt were also higher. Decapoda community is directly affected by the surrounding environmental conditions in Berlengas Biosphere Reserve and abundance might also be related with specific larvae release throughout the year. Each sampling station was considered a replica from the study area. The ecological importance of Berlengas was also verified by the presence of non-frequent larvae of Achelata and Stomatopoda.

  9. Novel N4 Bacteriophages Prevail in the Cold Biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhan, Yuanchao; Buchan, Alison

    2015-01-01

    Coliphage N4 is a lytic bacteriophage discovered nearly half a century ago, and it was considered to be a “genetic orphan” until very recently, when several additional N4-like phages were discovered to infect nonenteric bacterial hosts. Interest in this genus of phages is stimulated by their unique genetic features and propagation strategies. To better understand the ecology of N4-like phages, we investigated the diversity and geographic patterns of N4-like phages by examining 56 Chesapeake Bay viral communities, using a PCR-clone library approach targeting a diagnostic N4-like DNA polymerase gene. Many new lineages of N4-like phages were found in the bay, and their genotypes shift from the lower to the upper bay. Interestingly, signature sequences of N4-like phages were recovered only from winter month samples, when water temperatures were below 4°C. An analysis of existing metagenomic libraries from various aquatic environments supports the hypothesis that N4-like phages are most prolific in colder waters. In particular, a high number of N4-like phages were detected in Organic Lake, Antarctica, a cold and hypersaline system. The prevalence of N4-like phages in the cold biosphere suggests these viruses possess yet-to-be-determined mechanisms that facilitate lytic infections under cold conditions. PMID:26025897

  10. Novel N4 Bacteriophages Prevail in the Cold Biosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhan, Yuanchao; Buchan, Alison; Chen, Feng

    2015-08-01

    Coliphage N4 is a lytic bacteriophage discovered nearly half a century ago, and it was considered to be a "genetic orphan" until very recently, when several additional N4-like phages were discovered to infect nonenteric bacterial hosts. Interest in this genus of phages is stimulated by their unique genetic features and propagation strategies. To better understand the ecology of N4-like phages, we investigated the diversity and geographic patterns of N4-like phages by examining 56 Chesapeake Bay viral communities, using a PCR-clone library approach targeting a diagnostic N4-like DNA polymerase gene. Many new lineages of N4-like phages were found in the bay, and their genotypes shift from the lower to the upper bay. Interestingly, signature sequences of N4-like phages were recovered only from winter month samples, when water temperatures were below 4°C. An analysis of existing metagenomic libraries from various aquatic environments supports the hypothesis that N4-like phages are most prolific in colder waters. In particular, a high number of N4-like phages were detected in Organic Lake, Antarctica, a cold and hypersaline system. The prevalence of N4-like phages in the cold biosphere suggests these viruses possess yet-to-be-determined mechanisms that facilitate lytic infections under cold conditions. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  11. Urban design against the background of biosphere and social processes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivanova Zinaida

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available In this article, the co-authors tackle the problem of the social sense and mission of the projects developed by urban planners and architects. The co-authors address the key issue of the present-day architectonics, that is, the ability and willingness of urban designers to give consideration to the environment, or the local landscape, to assure the harmonious co-existence of the biosphere and the needs of the society in Smart city. The co-authors compare the spatial organization principles of eastern and western cultures; they also track the patterns of their implementation in the present-day architectonics. The co-authors provide the findings of the public opinion pollabout the urban environment layout. Students of the Moscow State University of Civil Engineering (Russia acted as the respondents. The co-authors employed the findings of the document analysis and the opinion poll to develop recommendations for architects and urban designers in respect of social and ecological needs of urban residents.

  12. Origin of Homochirality of Amino Acids in the Biosphere

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shosuke Kojo

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Discussions are made concerning realistic mechanisms for the origin of L-amino acids in the biosphere. As the most plausible mechanism, it is proposed that a mixture of racemic amino acids in the prebiotic sea caused spontaneous and effective optical resolution through self crystallization, even if asymmetric synthesis of a single amino acid has never occurred without the aid of an optically active molecule. This hypothesis is based on recrystallization of a mixture of D,L-amino acids in the presence of excess of D,L-asparagine (Asn. The enantiomeric excess (ee of each amino acid in the resulting crystals indicates that crystallization of co-existing amino acids with the configuration same as that of Asn took place, although it was incidental whether the enrichment occurred in L- or D-amino acids. In addition, the resulting ee was sufficiently high (up to 100% to account for the predominance of L-amino acids on the earth.

  13. Water quality monitoring in the Paul do Boquilobo Biosphere Reserve

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baptista, C.; Santos, L.

    2016-08-01

    The Paul do Boquilobo is an important wetland ecosystem classified by Unesco as a MAB Biosphere reserve also awarded Ramsar site status, representing one of the most important habitats for the resident nesting colony of Cattle Egret (Bulbucus ibis). Yet owing to its location, it suffers from human induced impacts which include industrial and domestic effluent discharges as well as agricultural land use which have negatively impacted water quality. The current study reports the results obtained from the introductory monitoring programme of surface water quality in the Nature Reserve to emphasize the detrimental impact of the anthropogenic activities in the water quality of such an important ecosystem. The study involved physicochemical and biotic variables, microbial parameters and biological indicators. Results after 3 years of monitoring bring to evidence a poor water quality further impaired by seasonal patterns. Statistical analysis of data attributed water quality variation to 3 main parameters - pH, dissolved oxygen and nitrates, indicating heavy contamination loads from both organic and agricultural sources. Seasonality plays a role in water flow and climatic conditions, where sampling sites presented variable water quality data, suggesting a depurative function of the wetland.

  14. Patterns of new versus recycled primary production in the terrestrial biosphere (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cleveland, C. C.; Houlton, B. Z.; Smith, W. K.; Marklein, A. R.; Reed, S.; Parton, W. J.; Del Grosso, S.; Running, S. W.

    2013-12-01

    Nutrients like nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) regulate plant productivity throughout the terrestrial biosphere, and will continue to influence the patterns and magnitude of net primary production (NPP) by land plants in the future. For example, increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations might be predicted to stimulate NPP, but only if sufficient quantities of nutrients are available to fuel additional growth. New inputs of N and P enter ecosystems from the weathering of rocks, from atmospheric deposition, or through biological pathways like N fixation, but nutrients are also recycled in plants and microbes through soil and organic matter decomposition processes. Yet, the proportion of global NPP that can be attributed to new nutrient inputs versus recycled nutrients is unresolved, as are the large-scale patterns of variation across terrestrial ecosystems. Here, we combined satellite imagery, biogeochemical modeling and empirical observations to identify previously unknown patterns of new versus recycled nutrient (N and P) productivity on land. Our analysis shows that the vast majority (~90%) of current NPP is fueled by highly efficient nutrient recycling via plant nutrient resorption and nutrient mineralization, processes that combine to provide a fundamental global ecosystem service. However, our analysis also points to the tropical forest biome as a hotspot of new NPP fueled by new N inputs (accounting for 45% of total new NPP globally), much higher than previous estimates from temperate and high latitude regions. The large fraction of tropical forest NPP resulting from new N inputs is driven by the high capacity for N fixation, although rates of N fixation vary considerably within this diverse biome. By contrast, the contribution of new N to primary productivity is much lower outside the tropics. Globally, N deposition explains a much smaller proportion of new NPP, accounting for <3% of NPP from new nutrients globally, and new P inputs are uniformly

  15. Do Images Influence Assessment in Anatomy? Exploring the Effect of Images on Item Difficulty and Item Discrimination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vorstenbosch, Marc A. T. M.; Klaassen, Tim P. F. M.; Kooloos, Jan G. M.; Bolhuis, Sanneke M.; Laan, Roland F. J. M.

    2013-01-01

    Anatomists often use images in assessments and examinations. This study aims to investigate the influence of different types of images on item difficulty and item discrimination in written assessments. A total of 210 of 460 students volunteered for an extra assessment in a gross anatomy course. This assessment contained 39 test items grouped in…

  16. A landscape in three biospheres: biological rock weathering in a model ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Presler, J. K.

    2012-12-01

    Biological rock weathering is the process by which life breaks down minerals into forms that are readily available for creation of an ecosystem. In order to test how microbes, plants and mycorrhizal communities interact with bedrock to initiate a primary ecosystem that will eventually lead to soil formation, we developed a modular experiment in the desert biome of Biosphere-2. In this presentation we present selected phases in the development of the experimental setup. Briefly, we aimed to replicate a large-scale primordial landscape in a closed, mesocosm system involving six carefully designed, identical chambers, each containing 48 experimental columns, 30cm long. The rocks used, i.e. basalt, rhyolite, granite and schist, represent four prevalent rock types in the natural landscape. The biotic communities are represented by combinations of rock microbial communities, plants and their associated mycorrhizae. Bacterial inoculum was optimized for each rock type. Each model was created to remain completely separated from outside influence. We expect that this experiment will provide crucial knowledge about primary interactions between rock and biota on Earth. Experimental Modules

  17. Biosphere 2: a prototype project for a permanent and evolving life system for Mars base.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, M; Allen, J P; Dempster, W F

    1992-01-01

    As part of the ground-based preparation for creating long-term life systems needed for space habitation and settlement, Space Biospheres Ventures (SBV) is undertaking the Biosphere 2 project near Oracle, Arizona. Biosphere 2, currently under construction, is scheduled to commence its operations in 1991 with a two-year closure period with a crew of eight people. Biosphere 2 is a facility which will be essentialy materially-closed to exchange with the outside environment. It is open to information and energy flow. Biosphere 2 is designed to achieve a complex life-support system by the integration of seven areas or "biomes"--rainforest, savannah, desert, marsh, ocean, intensive agriculture and human habitat. Unique bioregenerative technologies, such as soil bed reactors for air purification, aquatic waste processing systems, real-time analytic systems and complex computer monitoring and control systems are being developed for the Biosphere 2 project. Its operation should afford valuable insight into the functioning of complex life systems necessary for long-term habitation in space. It will serve as an experimental ground-based prototype and testbed for the stable, permanent life systems needed for human exploration of Mars.

  18. Conch, Cooperatives, and Conflict: Conservation and Resistance in the Banco Chinchorro Biosphere Reserve

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David M Hoffman

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available In theory, biosphere reserves link biodiversity conservation with development, primarily through sustainable resource utilisation, and alternative, conservation-compatible economies in the buffer and transition zones outside the core area. Successful management should reduce pressure on natural resources within its core area as well as enable local communities to participate in the management of buffer zone resources in a sustainable manner. The Banco Chinchorro Biosphere Reserve was declared in 1996 to protect coral reefs and marine biodiversity, while also enabling fishing cooperatives to maintain their livelihoods based upon the sustainable extraction of lobster, conch, and scalefish. In 2004, eight years after the Reserve′s declaration, Mexican authorities struggled to control marine resource use in the reserve, especially the extraction of queen conch (Strombus gigas. This article provides an overview of the long struggle to conserve queen conch populations in the area. Particular attention is paid to describing the various forms of resistance fishermen employed to counter the increasing regulation and vigilance that accompanied the creation of the Banco Chinchorro Biosphere Reserve. This case chronicles the resistance to regulation and interpersonal violence that erupts when entrenched attitudes and practices are confronted with increasing surveillance. Thus, what was observed in the Banco Chinchorro Biosphere Reserve parallels other research that depicts the forms of resistance to conservation that local people enact when confronted with conservation interventions. Finally, the plight of queen conch in the Banco Chinchorro Biosphere Reserve clearly reflects the conflicts and difficulties found across Mexico in the implementation of the biosphere reserve model.

  19. Historical View of the Influences of Measurement and Writing Theories on the Practice of Writing Assessment in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behizadeh, Nadia; Engelhard, George, Jr.

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to examine the interactions among measurement theories, writing theories, and writing assessments in the United States from an historical perspective. The assessment of writing provides a useful framework for examining how theories influence, and in some cases fail to influence actual practice. Two research traditions…

  20. Revision Vodcast Influence on Assessment Scores and Study Processes in Secondary Physics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marencik, Joseph J.

    A quasi-experimental switching replications design with matched participants was employed to determine the influence of revision vodcasts, or video podcasts, on students' assessment scores and study processes in secondary physics. This study satisfied a need for quantitative results in the area of vodcast influence on students' learning processes. Thirty-eight physics students in an urban Ohio public high school participated in the study. The students in one Physics class were paired with students in another Physics class through the matching characteristics of current student cumulative test score mean and baseline study process as measured by the Study Process Questionnaire (SPQ). Students in both classes were given identical pedagogic treatment and access to traditional revision tools except for the supplemental revision vodcasts given to the experimental group. After students in the experimental group viewed the revision vodcast for a particular topic, the assessment scores of the students in the experimental group were compared to the assessment scores of the control group through the direct-difference, D, test to determine any difference between the assessment score means of each group. The SPQ was given at the beginning of the experiment and after each physics assessment. The direct-difference method was again used to determine any difference between the SPQ deep approach scores of each group. The SPQ was also used to determine any correlative effects between study process and revision vodcast use on students' assessment scores through descriptive statistics and an analysis of variance (ANOVA) test. Analysis indicated that revision vodcast use significantly increased students' assessment scores (p.05). There were no significant correlative effects of revision vodcast use and study processes on students' assessment scores (p>.05). This study offers educators the empirical support to devote the necessary effort, time, and resources into developing successful

  1. Swansong Biospheres: Refuges for life and novel microbial biospheres on terrestrial planets near the end of their habitable lifetimes

    CERN Document Server

    O'Malley-James, J T; Raven, J A; Cockell, C S

    2012-01-01

    The future biosphere on Earth (as with its past) will be made up predominantly of unicellular microorganisms. Unicellular life was probably present for at least 2.5 Gyr before multicellular life appeared and will likely be the only form of life capable of surviving on the planet in the far future, when the ageing Sun causes environmental conditions to become more hostile to more complex forms of life. Therefore, it is statistically more likely that habitable Earth-like exoplanets we discover will be at a stage in their habitable lifetime more conducive to supporting unicellular, rather than multicellular life. The end stage of habitability on Earth is the focus of this work. A simple, latitude-based climate model incorporating eccentricity and obliquity variations is used as a guide to the temperature evolution of the Earth over the next 3 Gyr. This allows inferences to be made about potential refuges for life, particularly in mountains and cold-trap (ice) caves and what forms of life could live in these envi...

  2. Sensitivity of the Biosphere-Atmosphere Transfer Scheme (BATS) to the Inclusion of Variable Soil Characteristics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, M. F.; Henderson-Sellers, A.; Dickinson, R. E.; Kennedy, P. J.

    1987-03-01

    The soils data of Wilson and Henderson-Sellers have been incorporated into the land-surface parameterization scheme of the NCAR Community Climate Model after Dickinson. A stand-alone version of this land-surface scheme, termed the Biosphere-Atmosphere Transfer Scheme (BATS), has been tested in a series of sensitivity experiments designed to assess the sensitivity of the scheme to the inclusion of variable soil characteristics. The cases investigated were for conditions designed to represent a low-latitude, evergreen forest; a low-latitude sand desert; a high-latitude coniferous forest; high-latitude tundra; and prairie grasslands, each for a specified time of year. The tundra included spring snowmelt and the grassland incorporated snow accumulation. The sensitivity experiments included varying the soil texture from a coarse texture typical of sand through a medium texture typical of loam to a fine texture typical of clay. The sensitivity of the formulation to the specified total and upper soil column depth and the response to altering the parameterization of the soil albedo dependence upon soil wetness and snow-cover were also examined. The biosphere-atmosphere transfer scheme showed the greatest sensitivity to the soil texture variation, particularly to the associated variation in the hydraulic conductivity and diffusivity parameters. There was only a very small response to the change in the soil albedo dependence on wetness and, although the sensitivity to the snow-covered soil albedo via the response to roughness length/snow-masking depth was significant, the results were predictable. Changing the total depth of the active soil column produced a much smaller response than altering the depth of the upper soil layer, primarily because the degree of saturation of the upper layer plays an important role in the parameterized hydrology. Soil moisture responses can also be initiated by changes in vegetation characteristics such as the stomatal resistance through

  3. On the uncertainty of phenological responses to climate change, and implications for a terrestrial biosphere model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Migliavacca

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Phenology, the timing of recurring life cycle events, controls numerous land surface feedbacks to the climate system through the regulation of exchanges of carbon, water and energy between the biosphere and atmosphere.

    Terrestrial biosphere models, however, are known to have systematic errors in the simulation of spring phenology, which potentially could propagate to uncertainty in modeled responses to future climate change. Here, we used the Harvard Forest phenology record to investigate and characterize sources of uncertainty in predicting phenology, and the subsequent impacts on model forecasts of carbon and water cycling. Using a model-data fusion approach, we combined information from 20 yr of phenological observations of 11 North American woody species, with 12 leaf bud-burst models that varied in complexity.

    Akaike's Information Criterion indicated support for spring warming models with photoperiod limitations and, to a lesser extent, models that included chilling requirements.

    We assessed three different sources of uncertainty in phenological forecasts: parameter uncertainty, model uncertainty, and driver uncertainty. The latter was characterized running the models to 2099 using 2 different IPCC climate scenarios (A1fi vs. B1, i.e. high CO2 emissions vs. low CO2 emissions scenario. Parameter uncertainty was the smallest (average 95% Confidence Interval – CI: 2.4 days century−1 for scenario B1 and 4.5 days century−1 for A1fi, whereas driver uncertainty was the largest (up to 8.4 days century−1 in the simulated trends. The uncertainty related to model structure is also large and the predicted bud-burst trends as well as the shape of the smoothed projections varied among models (±7.7 days century−1 for A1fi, ±3.6 days century−1 for B1. The forecast sensitivity of bud-burst to temperature (i.e. days bud-burst advanced per

  4. Modeling Surface Climate in US Cities Using Simple Biosphere Model Sib2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Ping; Bounoua, Lahouari; Thome, Kurtis; Wolfe, Robert; Imhoff, Marc

    2015-01-01

    We combine Landsat- and the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS)-based products in the Simple Biosphere model (SiB2) to assess the effects of urbanized land on the continental US (CONUS) surface climate. Using National Land Cover Database (NLCD) Impervious Surface Area (ISA), we define more than 300 urban settlements and their surrounding suburban and rural areas over the CONUS. The SiB2 modeled Gross Primary Production (GPP) over the CONUS of 7.10 PgC (1 PgC= 10(exp 15) grams of Carbon) is comparable to the MODIS improved GPP of 6.29 PgC. At state level, SiB2 GPP is highly correlated with MODIS GPP with a correlation coefficient of 0.94. An increasing horizontal GPP gradient is shown from the urban out to the rural area, with, on average, rural areas fixing 30% more GPP than urbans. Cities built in forested biomes have stronger UHI magnitude than those built in short vegetation with low biomass. Mediterranean climate cities have a stronger UHI in wet season than dry season. Our results also show that for urban areas built within forests, 39% of the precipitation is discharged as surface runoff during summer versus 23% in rural areas.

  5. Analysis of the Effect of a Marine Energy Farm to Protect a Biosphere Reserve

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rusu Eugen

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Sacalin Peninsula in the Black Sea is a new land located south of the Saint George branch of the Danube. Since 1938 this area became a biosphere reserve since many rare species of animals and plants are to be found there. The generation of this new peninsula is due to the sedimentary process induced by the Danube River outflow and it was started more than 150 years ago. In the winter of 2013 this environment was seriously affected by some very strong storms putting in real danger this ecosystem. From this perspective, the objective of the present work is to evaluate the protection that might be offered to this area by a marine energy farm that would be deployed in front of the peninsula. In order to assess the coastal protection offered by the proposed solution, simulations with the SWAN (Simulating Waves Nearshore wave model have been performed for the most relevant storm patterns. The results show that a marine energy farm can provide a real sheltering effect to the ecological reserve. Such approach seems to be also economically viable since this coastal environment represents a real hot spot in the Black Sea from the point of view of marine energy resources.

  6. Organochlorines in the Vaccares Lagoon trophic web (Biosphere Reserve of Camargue, France)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Roche, H., E-mail: helene.roche@u-psud.f [Ecologie, Systematique et Evolution, UMR8079 CNRS, Universite Paris-Sud, AgroParisTech, F91405 Orsay Cedex (France); Vollaire, Y.; Persic, A.; Buet, A. [Ecologie, Systematique et Evolution, UMR8079 CNRS, Universite Paris-Sud, AgroParisTech, F91405 Orsay Cedex (France); Oliveira-Ribeiro, C. [Departamento de Biologia Celular, Universidade Federal do Parana, Caixa Postal 19031, CEP: 81.531-990, Curitiba, PR (Brazil); Coulet, E. [Nature Reserve of Camargue, La Capeliere, F13200 Arles (France); Banas, D.; Ramade, F. [Ecologie, Systematique et Evolution, UMR8079 CNRS, Universite Paris-Sud, AgroParisTech, F91405 Orsay Cedex (France)

    2009-08-15

    During a decade (1996-2006), ecotoxicological studies were carried out in biota of the Vaccares Lagoon (Biosphere Reserve in Rhone Delta, France). A multicontamination was shown at all levels of the trophic web due to a direct bioconcentration of chemical from the medium combined with a food transfer. Here, the pollutants investigated were organochlorines, among which many compounds banned or in the course of prohibition (or restriction) (PCB, lindane, pp'-DDE, dieldrin, aldrin, heptachlor, endosulfan...) and some substances likely still used in the Rhone River basin (diuron, fipronil). The results confirmed the ubiquity of contamination. It proves to be chronic, variable and tends to regress; however contamination levels depend on the trophic compartment. A biomagnification process was showed. A comparison of investigation methods used in other Mediterranean wetlands provides basis of discussion, and demonstrates the urgent need of modelling to assess the ecotoxicological risk in order to improve the management of such protected areas. - The Vaccares Lagoon trophic web biomagnifies organochlorine pollutants.

  7. Comets, Asteroids, and the Origin of the Biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoover, Richard B.

    2006-01-01

    During the past few decades, the role of comets in the delivery of water, organics, and prebiotic chemicals to the Biosphere of Earth during the Hadean (4.5-3.8 Ga) period of heavy bombardment has become more widely accepted. However comets are still largely regarded as frigid, pristine bodies of protosolar nebula material that are entirely devoid of liquid water and consequently unsuitable for life in any form. Complex organic compounds have been observed comets and on the water rich asteroid 1998 KY26, which has color and radar reflectivity similar to the carbonaceous meteorites. Near infrared observations have indicated the presence of crystalline water ice and ammonia hydrate on the large Kuiper Belt object (50000) Quaoar with resurfacing that may indicate cryovolcanic outgassing and the Cassini spacecraft has detected water-ice geysers on Saturn s moon Enceladus. Spacecraft observations of the chemical compositions and characteristics of the nuclei of several comets (Halley, Borrelly, Wild 2, and Tempel 1) have now firmly established that comets contain a suite of complex organic chemicals; water is the predominant volatile; and that extremely high temperatures (approx.350-400 K) can be reached on the surface of the very black (albedo-0.03) nuclei when the comets are with 1.5 AU from the Sun. Impact craters and pinnacles observed on comet Wild 2 suggest a thick crust and episodic outbursts and jets observed on the nuclei of several comets are interpreted as indications that localized regimes of liquid water and water vapor can periodically exist beneath the crust of some comets. The Deep Impact observations indicate that the temperature on the nucleus of of comet Tempel 1 at 1.5 AU varied from 330K on the sunlit side to a minimum of 280+/-8 K. It is interesting that even the coldest region of the comet surface was slightly above the ice/liquid water phase transition temperature. These results suggest that pools and films of liquid water can exist in a wide

  8. Comets, Asteroids, Meteorites, and the Origin of the Biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoover, Richard B.

    2006-01-01

    During the past few decades, the delivery of water, organics, and prebiotic chemicals to the Biosphere of Earth during the Hadean (4.5-3.8 Ga) period of heavy bombardment by comets and asteroids has become more widely accepted. Comets are still largely regarded as frigid, pristine bodies of protosolar nebula material that are devoid of liquid water and therefore unsuitable for life. Complex organic compounds have been observed in comets and on the water-rich asteroid 1998 KY26 and near IR observations have indicated the presence of crystalline water ice and ammonia hydrate on the large Kuiper Belt object (50000) Quaoar that has resurfacing suggesting cryovolcanic outgassing. Spacecraft observations of the chemical compositions and characteristics of the nuclei of several comets (Halley, Borrelly, Wild 2, and Tempel 1) have shown that comets contain complex organic chemicals; that water is the predominant volatile; and that extremely high temperatures (approx. 350-400 K) can be reached on the surfae of the very black (albedo approx. 0.03) nuclei of comets when they approach the Sun. Impact craters and pinnacles observed on comet Wild 2 suggest a thick crust. Episodic outbursts and jets from the nuclei of several comets indicate that localized regimes of liquid water and water vapor can periodically exist beneath the comet crust. The Deep Impact mission found the temperature of the nucleus of comet Tempel 1 at 1.5 AU varied from a minimum of 280 plus or minus 8 K the 330K (57 C) on the sunlit side. In this paper it is argued that that pools and films of liquid water exist (within a wide range of temperatures) in cavities and voids just beneath the hot, black crust. The possibility of liquid water existing over a wide range of temperatures significantly enhances the possibility that comets might contain niches suitable for the growth of microbial communities and ecosystems. These regimes would be ideal for the growth of psychrophilic, mesophilic, and thermophilic

  9. Comets, Asteroids, and the Origin of the Biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoover, Richard B.

    2006-01-01

    During the past few decades, the role of comets in the delivery of water, organics, and prebiotic chemicals to the Biosphere of Earth during the Hadean (4.5-3.8 Ga) period of heavy bombardment has become more widely accepted. However comets are still largely regarded as frigid, pristine bodies of protosolar nebula material that are entirely devoid of liquid water and consequently unsuitable for life in any form. Complex organic compounds have been observed comets and on the water rich asteroid 1998 KY26, which has color and radar reflectivity similar to the carbonaceous meteorites. Near infrared observations have indicated the presence of crystalline water ice and ammonia hydrate on the large Kuiper Belt object (50000) Quaoar with resurfacing that may indicate cryovolcanic outgassing and the Cassini spacecraft has detected water-ice geysers on Saturn s moon Enceladus. Spacecraft observations of the chemical compositions and characteristics of the nuclei of several comets (Halley, Borrelly, Wild 2, and Tempel 1) have now firmly established that comets contain a suite of complex organic chemicals; water is the predominant volatile; and that extremely high temperatures (approx.350-400 K) can be reached on the surface of the very black (albedo-0.03) nuclei when the comets are with 1.5 AU from the Sun. Impact craters and pinnacles observed on comet Wild 2 suggest a thick crust and episodic outbursts and jets observed on the nuclei of several comets are interpreted as indications that localized regimes of liquid water and water vapor can periodically exist beneath the crust of some comets. The Deep Impact observations indicate that the temperature on the nucleus of of comet Tempel 1 at 1.5 AU varied from 330K on the sunlit side to a minimum of 280+/-8 K. It is interesting that even the coldest region of the comet surface was slightly above the ice/liquid water phase transition temperature. These results suggest that pools and films of liquid water can exist in a wide

  10. Response of Termite (Blattodea: Termitoidae) Assemblages to Lower Subtropical Forest Succession: A Case Study in Dinghushan Biosphere Reserve, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Zhi-Qiang; Ke, Yun-Ling; Zeng, Wen-Hui; Zhang, Shi-Jun; Wu, Wen-Jing

    2016-02-01

    Termite (Blattodea: Termitoidae) assemblages have important ecological functions and vary in structure between habitats, but have not been studied in lower subtropical forests. To examine whether differences in the richness and relative abundance of termite species and functional groups occur in lower subtropical regions, termite assemblages were sampled in Dinghushan Biosphere Reserve, China, among pine forest, pine and broad-leaved mixed forest (mixed forest), and monsoon evergreen broad-leaved forest (monsoon forest). The dominant functional group was wood-feeding termites (family Termitidae), and the mixed forest hosted the greatest richness and relative abundance. Soil-feeding termites were absent from the lower subtropical system, while humus-feeding termites were sporadically distributed in mixed forest and monsoon forest. The species richness and functional group abundance of termites in our site may be linked to the forest succession. Altitude, soil temperature, air temperature, surface air relative humidity, and litter depth were significant influences on species and functional group diversity.

  11. Terrestrial biosphere changes over the last 120 kyr and their impact on ocean δ 13C

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. A. A. Hoogakker

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available A new global synthesis and biomization of long (>40 kyr pollen-data records is presented, and used with simulations from the HadCM3 and FAMOUS climate models to analyse the dynamics of the global terrestrial biosphere and carbon storage over the last glacial–interglacial cycle. Global modelled (BIOME4 biome distributions over time generally agree well with those inferred from pollen data. The two climate models show good agreement in global net primary productivity (NPP. NPP is strongly influenced by atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2 concentrations through CO2 fertilization. The combined effects of modelled changes in vegetation and (via a simple model soil carbon result in a global terrestrial carbon storage at the Last Glacial Maximum that is 210–470 Pg C less than in pre-industrial time. Without the contribution from exposed glacial continental shelves the reduction would be larger, 330–960 Pg C. Other intervals of low terrestrial carbon storage include stadial intervals at 108 and 85 ka BP, and between 60 and 65 ka BP during Marine Isotope Stage 4. Terrestrial carbon storage, determined by the balance of global NPP and decomposition, influences the stable carbon isotope composition (δ13C of seawater because terrestrial organic carbon is depleted in 13C. Using a simple carbon-isotope mass balance equation we find agreement in trends between modelled ocean δ13C based on modelled land carbon storage, and palaeo-archives of ocean δ13C, confirming that terrestrial carbon storage variations may be important drivers of ocean δ13C changes.

  12. Exploring the Readability of Assessment Tasks: The Influence of Text and Reader Factors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Wray

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Readability is the degree to which a text is matched to its intended and actual reader. The factors influencing readability, both text factors and reader factors, have been widely researched from the standpoint of attempts to maximise reader understanding of texts. The application of understandings in the area has not, however, always been applied systematically to the design and writing of assessment tasks and consequently test items are sometimes less accessible to the intended test takers than they might be.This paper is an attempt to provide a wide ranging review of literature which bears on the task of the assessment designer in ensuring that assessment items measure what they are supposed to measure, and not just the reading abilities of the test takers.

  13. Influence of Wave State Uncertainties on Probabilistic Reliability Assessments of Wave Energy Devices

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ambühl, Simon; Kofoed, Jens Peter; Sørensen, John Dalsgaard

    2013-01-01

    Probabilistic reliability assessments of wave energy devices (WEDs) need to consider, among others, uncertainties related to the wave states, which are often defined by the significant wave height HS and the peak period TP or the mean crossing wave period TZ or the energy period Te. Based...... on the JONSWAP spectrum and white noise filtering, wave elevation time series are generated and uncertainties related to the wave states are estimated. In this paper, uncertainties regarding the time series length used to characterize a certain wave state, uncertainties related to the JONSWAP spectrum parameters...... and the influence on wave state discretization in a scatter diagram are assessed. The estimated uncertainties are then implemented in two generic structural reliability assessments with focus on fatigue and extreme failure modes. The resulting reliability indices are compared with related industries like offshore...

  14. Unintended outcomes of farmers' adaptation to climate variability: deforestation and conservation in Calakmul and Maya biosphere reserves

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudia Rodriguez-Solorzano

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Minimizing the impact of climate change on farmer livelihoods is crucial, but adaptation efforts may have unintended consequences for ecosystems, with potential impacts on farmers' welfare. Unintended outcomes of climate adaptation strategies have been widely discussed, however, empirical exploration has been neglected. Grounded in scholarship on climate adaptation, environmental governance, social-ecological systems, and land-use change, this paper studies whether farmers' climate adaptation contributes to deforestation or forest conservation. The paper draws on interviews with 353 farmers from 46 communities in Calakmul Biosphere Reserve in Mexico and Maya Biosphere Reserve in Guatemala. Farmers in the area of study have implemented adaptation strategies that people around the world have used for centuries, including migration, diversification, savings, and pooling. The findings show that climate adaptation can increase deforestation or support forest conservation depending on the type of adaptation strategy farmers implement. Saving, based on cattle ranching, is a deforestation-driving strategy. The choice of this strategy is influenced by distance to the commercial and administrative center and cash benefits from the forest. Deforestation can have a negative impact on farmers' welfare, as well as harm biodiversity and contribute to increased climate change. Thus, deforestation-driving adaptation strategies may be ineffective. However, diversification, based on off-farm jobs and operating provision shops, is a conservation-driving strategy influenced by distance as well as by family size. Farmers who choose diversification to adapt may contribute to a virtuous circle in which livelihood improvement in the short term leads to enhanced social-ecological resilience in the longer term. The need for farmers to implement adaptation strategies thus represents great risk but also opportunities.

  15. Microbial metagenomes from three aquifers in the Fennoscandian shield terrestrial deep biosphere reveal metabolic partitioning among populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Xiaofen; Holmfeldt, Karin; Hubalek, Valerie; Lundin, Daniel; Åström, Mats; Bertilsson, Stefan; Dopson, Mark

    2016-05-01

    Microorganisms in the terrestrial deep biosphere host up to 20% of the earth's biomass and are suggested to be sustained by the gases hydrogen and carbon dioxide. A metagenome analysis of three deep subsurface water types of contrasting age (from 86% coverage. The populations were dominated by Proteobacteria, Candidate divisions, unclassified archaea and unclassified bacteria. The estimated genome sizes of the biosphere. The data were finally used to create a combined metabolic model of the deep terrestrial biosphere microbial community.

  16. Care managers' view of family influence on needs assessment of older people.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janlöv, Ann-Christin; Hallberg, Ingalill Rahm; Petersson, Kerstin

    2011-06-01

    Research has shown that families experience poor involvement in needs assessment of older people while little is known about municipal care managers' views of family participation. The aim was to explore how municipal care managers view families' participation in and influence on needs assessment of older people receiving public home help. Individual interviews (n=26) were conducted with care managers (n=5) about their previously conducted needs assessments (n=5-6). As a complement, a focus group interview with care managers (n=9) from nine different municipalities was conducted. All interviews were analysed using a qualitative content analysis. The results revealed the overarching category, 'Having to establish boundaries towards family influence and at the same time use them as a resource', which encompassed five principal categories. How family participation was viewed and handled during the needs assessment process seemed determined by the way care managers set boundaries for their professional responsibility. Their views revealed both distancing and strengthening attitudes. The distancing attitude dominated, in particular towards family members who were not perceived as having any legal rights to be considered, even though their participation was an important resource. To follow legislation and municipal guidelines of allocation of public home help to avoid reprimands caused a need for self-protection. The care managers seemed pressed by demands from organizations and families, and in this competition, the family lost out. Adherence to organizational developed patterns of handling legislation and guidelines were prioritized. Because family members often are older and assist in providing care, family participation in the needs assessment of older help recipients needs further societal support. © 2010 The Authors. Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences © 2010 Nordic College of Caring Science.

  17. Understanding local community's values, worldviews and perceptions in the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere Reserve, Scotland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernes, Maya I; Metzger, Marc J

    2017-01-15

    Biosphere reserves have been studied around the world, but methods to elicit community's values, worldviews and perceptions are missing. A greater understanding of these can help avoid tension and improve successful management. This paper used a mixed-methods survey to elicit local community's environmental values, ecological world views and perceptions of the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere Reserve (GSABR). Over three weeks, forty participants from three communities of the GSABR responded to a semi-structured mixed-methods survey. The survey revealed that residents of the GSABR greatly value wildlife and beauty of nature, and that the majority of the respondents showed concern for the environment from an ecocentric worldview. Results also revealed that the most influential tested socio-demographic characteristic affecting people's relationship to their environment is their professional affiliation. Tourism and recreation were seen as major benefits of the recent biosphere designation. Results did highlight contrasting benefits from the designation for different stakeholder groups, which could potentially lead to tensions and should be considered in the reserve management. Given the community's supportive world views and perceptions, greater participation in the biosphere's management in likely to be welcomed and should be used to avoid or mediate any conflicts. The mixed-method survey developed for this study, proved successful in eliciting these themes in the GSABR. We recommend other biosphere reserves replicate this research, to gain better understanding of local communities and increase their support and participation in reserve management. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Confronting terrestrial biosphere models with forest inventory data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lichstein, Jeremy W; Golaz, Ni-Zhang; Malyshev, Sergey; Shevliakova, Elena; Zhang, Tao; Sheffield, Justin; Birdsey, Richard A; Sarmiento, Jorge L; Pacala, Stephen W

    2014-06-01

    Efforts to test and improve terrestrial biosphere models (TBMs) using a variety of data sources have become increasingly common. Yet, geographically extensive forest inventories have been under-exploited in previous model-data fusion efforts. Inventory observations of forest growth, mortality, and biomass integrate processes across a range of timescales, including slow timescale processes such as species turnover, that are likely to have important effects on ecosystem responses to environmental variation. However, the large number (thousands) of inventory plots precludes detailed measurements at each location, so that uncertainty in climate, soil properties, and other environmental drivers may be large. Errors in driver variables, if ignored, introduce bias into model-data fusion. We estimated errors in climate and soil drivers at U.S. Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) plots, and we explored the effects of these errors on model-data fusion with the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory LM3V dynamic global vegetation model. When driver errors were ignored or assumed small at FIA plots, responses of biomass production in LM3V to precipitation and soil available water capacity appeared steeper than the corresponding responses estimated from FIA data. These differences became nonsignificant if driver errors at FIA plots were assumed to be large. Ignoring driver errors when optimizing LM3V parameter values yielded estimates for fine-root allocation that were larger than biometric estimates, which is consistent with the expected direction of bias. To explore whether complications posed by driver errors could be circumvented by relying on intensive study sites where driver errors are small, we performed a power analysis. To accurately quantify the response of biomass production to spatial variation in mean annual precipitation within the eastern United States would require at least 40 intensive study sites, which is larger than the number of sites typically available

  19. Cadmium Isotope Fractionation in Cigarette Smoke and in the Biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, K.; Shafer, M. M.; Adams, S.

    2016-12-01

    .47, 1.35 for main stream and -0.286, -0.060, -0.080, -0.117 for side stream, respectively. We are also applying these methods to many potentially significant dietary sources of Cd in order to ascertain whether or not they share a common isotopic fingerprint and provide some of the first data on Cd isotope fractionation in the biosphere.

  20. Capturing Vegetation Diversity in the Ent Terrestrial Biosphere Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiang, N. Y.; Haralick, R. M.; Cook, B.; Aleinov, I. D.

    2013-12-01

    We present preliminary results from data mining to develop parameter sets and global vegetation structure datasets to set boundary conditions for the Ent Terrestrial Biosphere Model (Ent TBM) for improved representation of diversity and to propagate uncertainty in simulations of land carbon dynamics in the 20th century and under future climate change. The Ent TBM is the only dynamic global vegetation model (DGVM) developed for coupling with general circulation models (GCMs) to account for the height structure of mixed canopies, including a canopy radiative transfer scheme that accounts for foliage clumping in dynamically changing canopies. It is flexibly programmed to incorporate any number of "plant functional types" (PFTs). It is now a coupled component of the ModelE2 version of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) general circulation model (GCM). We demonstrate a data mining method, linear manifold clustering, to be used with several very recently compiled large databases of plant traits and phenology combined with climate and satellite data, to identify new PFT groupings, and also conduct customized parameter fits of PFT traits already defined in Ent. These parameter sets are used together with satellite-derived global forest height structure and land cover derived from a combination of satellite and inventory sources and bioclimatic relations to provide a new estimate and uncertainty bounds on vegetation biomass carbon stocks. These parameter sets will also be used to reproduce atmospheric CO2 time series over the flask observational period, to evaluate the impact of improved representation of vegetation dynamics on soil carbon stocks, and finally to produce a projection of the land carbon sink under future climate change. This research is timely in taking advantage of new, globally ranging vegetation databases, satellite-derived forest heights, and the advanced framework of the Ent TBM. It will advance understanding of and reduce uncertainty in

  1. Biospheric and petrogenic organic carbon flux along southeast Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cui, Xingqian; Bianchi, Thomas S.; Jaeger, John M.; Smith, Richard W.

    2016-10-01

    Holocene fjords store ca. 11-12% of the total organic carbon (OC) buried in marine sediments with fjords along southeast (SE) Alaska possibly storing half of this OC (Smith et al., 2015). However, the respective burial of biospheric (OCbio) and petrogenic OC (OCpetro) remains poorly constrained, particularly across glaciated versus non-glaciated systems. Here, we use surface sediment samples to quantify the sources and burial of sedimentary OC along SE Alaska fjord-coastal systems, and conduct a latitudinal comparison across a suite of fjords and river-coastal systems with distinctive OC sources. Our results for SE Alaska show that surface sediments in northern fjords (north of Icy Strait) with headwater glaciers are dominated by OCpetro, in contrast to marine and terrestrially-derived fresh OC in non-glaciated southern fjords. Along the continental shelf of the Gulf of Alaska, terrestrial OC is exported from rivers. Using end-member mixing models, we determine that glaciated fjords have significantly higher burial rates of OCpetro (∼ 1.1 ×103 gOC m-2yr-1) than non-glaciated fjords and other coastal systems, making SE Alaska potentially the largest sink of OCpetro in North America. In contrast, non-glaciated fjords in SE Alaska are effective in burying marine OC (OCbio-mari) (13-82 g OC m-2yr-1). Globally, OC in fjord sediments are comprised of a mixture of OCpetro and fresh OCbio, in contrast to the pre-aged OC from floodplain river-coastal systems. We find that there may be a general latitudinal trend in the role of fjords in processing OC, where high-latitude temperate glacial fjords (e.g., Yakutat Bay, SE Alaska) rebury OCpetro and non-glacial mid-latitude fjords (e.g., Doubtful Sound, Fiordland) sequester CO2 from phytoplankton and/or temperate forests. Overall, we propose that fjords are effective in sequestering OCbio and re-burying OCpetro. Based on our study, we hypothesize that climate change will have a semi-predictable impact on fjords' OC cycling in

  2. Trends in deforestation and forest degradation after a decade of monitoring in the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vidal, Omar; López-García, José; Rendón-Salinas, Eduardo

    2014-02-01

    We used aerial photographs, satellite images, and field surveys to monitor forest cover in the core zones of the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in Mexico from 2001 to 2012. We used our data to assess the effectiveness of conservation actions that involved local, state, and federal authorities and community members (e.g., local landowners and private and civil organizations) in one of the world's most iconic protected areas. From 2001 through 2012, 1254 ha were deforested (i.e., cleared areas had social and economic problems remain, and they must be addressed to ensure the reserve's long-term conservation. The monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) overwintering colonies in Mexico-which engage in one of the longest known insect migrations-are threatened by deforestation, and a multistakeholder, regional, sustainable-development strategy is needed to protect the reserve.

  3. Quality of synthetic speech perceptual dimensions, influencing factors, and instrumental assessment

    CERN Document Server

    Hinterleitner, Florian

    2017-01-01

    This book reviews research towards perceptual quality dimensions of synthetic speech, compares these findings with the state of the art, and derives a set of five universal perceptual quality dimensions for TTS signals. They are: (i) naturalness of voice, (ii) prosodic quality, (iii) fluency and intelligibility, (iv) absence of disturbances, and (v) calmness. Moreover, a test protocol for the efficient indentification of those dimensions in a listening test is introduced. Furthermore, several factors influencing these dimensions are examined. In addition, different techniques for the instrumental quality assessment of TTS signals are introduced, reviewed and tested. Finally, the requirements for the integration of an instrumental quality measure into a concatenative TTS system are examined.

  4. The Influence of Clinical Experience and Photographic Presentation on Age Assessment of Women

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Barbara Rubek; Linneberg, Allan; Christensen, Kaare

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Epidemiological studies have reported that a higher perceived age is associated with poor health and higher mortality. However, the method used for the assessment of perceived age differs between studies with regard to age, gender, the number and occupation of assessors as well...... as the presentation of participants. OBJECTIVE: It is not known whether the clinical experience of the assessor or photographic presentation have an influence on the assessment of perceived age, which the present study aimed to investigate. METHODS: In a cross-sectional study of 460 women aged 25-93 years, 10...... consultants and 10 residents were asked to estimate the age of each participant using three different photographic presentations: facial photograph, whole-body photograph, and combined facial and whole-body photographs. Data were analyzed by means of summary statistics and linear mixed models. RESULTS...

  5. Assessment of factors influencing surface roughness on the machining of Al/SiC particulate composites

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Palanikumar, K. [Department of Mechanical and Production Engineering, Sathyabama Institute of Science and Technology, Deemed University, Chennai 600 119, Tamilnadu (India)]. E-mail: palanikumar_k@yahoo.com; Karthikeyan, R. [Department of Manufacturing Engineering, Annamalai University, Chidambaram 608001 (India)

    2007-07-01

    The utilization of Al/SiC particulate composite materials in many different engineering fields has undergone a tremendous increase. Accordingly, the need for accurate machining of composites has increased enormously. In the present study, an attempt has been made to assess the factors influencing surface roughness on the machining of Al/SiC particulate composites. Experimental design concept has been used for experimentation. The machining experiments were conducted on lathe using tungsten carbide tool inserts (K10) with two levels of factors. The factors considered were: % volume fraction of SiC, cutting speed, depth of cut and feed rate. A procedure has been developed to assess and optimize the chosen factors to attain minimum surface roughness by incorporating: (i) response table and response graph, (ii) normal probability plot (iii) interaction graphs and (iv) analysis of variance (ANOVA) technique.

  6. Physical activity and quality of life: assessing the influence of activity frequency, intensity, volume, and motives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lustyk, M Kathleen B; Widman, Laura; Paschane, Amy A E; Olson, Karen C

    2004-01-01

    In the present study, the authors investigated the impact of exercise frequency, intensity, and volume along with exercise motives on quality of life (QOL) reports. The authors assessed exercise habits with the Godin Leisure Time Activity Scale and measured exercise motives with the Reasons for Exercise Inventory. The Quality of Life Inventory assessed satisfaction in 16 domains including health, work, and recreation. High-frequency exercisers reported significantly higher health, helping, and community-related QOL than those who exercised less frequently. The authors noted significantly higher health-related QOL in the heavy volume group compared with the other volume groups. Multiple regression tests revealed that activity intensity and exercise motives significantly predicted QOL reports. The strongest bivariate correlations with QOL existed for mild activity and exercising for fitness and health reasons. Thus, high-frequency activity of mild intensity that produces high kcal utilization and is performed to improve health and fitness has the strongest influence on QOL reports.

  7. In situ Detection of Microbial Life in the Deep Biosphere in Igneous Ocean Crust.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salas, Everett C; Bhartia, Rohit; Anderson, Louise; Hug, William F; Reid, Ray D; Iturrino, Gerardo; Edwards, Katrina J

    2015-01-01

    The deep biosphere is a major frontier to science. Recent studies have shown the presence and activity of cells in deep marine sediments and in the continental deep biosphere. Volcanic lavas in the deep ocean subsurface, through which substantial fluid flow occurs, present another potentially massive deep biosphere. We present results from the deployment of a novel in situ logging tool designed to detect microbial life harbored in a deep, native, borehole environment within igneous oceanic crust, using deep ultraviolet native fluorescence spectroscopy. Results demonstrate the predominance of microbial-like signatures within the borehole environment, with densities in the range of 10(5) cells/mL. Based on transport and flux models, we estimate that such a concentration of microbial cells could not be supported by transport through the crust, suggesting in situ growth of these communities.

  8. Analysis of Low-Biomass Microbial Communities in the Deep Biosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morono, Y; Inagaki, F

    2016-01-01

    Over the past few decades, the subseafloor biosphere has been explored by scientific ocean drilling to depths of about 2.5km below the seafloor. Although organic-rich anaerobic sedimentary habitats in the ocean margins harbor large numbers of microbial cells, microbial populations in ultraoligotrophic aerobic sedimentary habitats in the open ocean gyres are several orders of magnitude less abundant. Despite advances in cultivation-independent molecular ecological techniques, exploring the low-biomass environment remains technologically challenging, especially in the deep subseafloor biosphere. Reviewing the historical background of deep-biosphere analytical methods, the importance of obtaining clean samples and tracing contamination, as well as methods for detecting microbial life, technological aspects of molecular microbiology, and detecting subseafloor metabolic activity will be discussed.

  9. In-situ detection of microbial life in the deep biosphere in igneous ocean crust

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Everett Cosio Salas

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available The deep biosphere is a major frontier to science. Recent studies have shown the presence and activity of cells in deep marine sediments and in the continental deep biosphere. Volcanic lavas in the deep ocean subsurface, through which substantial fluid flow occurs, present another potentially massive deep biosphere. We present results from the deployment of a novel in-situ logging tool designed to detect microbial life harbored in a deep, native, borehole environment within igneous oceanic crust, using deep ultraviolet native fluorescence spectroscopy. Results demonstrate the predominance of microbial-like signatures within the borehole environment, with densities in the range of 105 cells/mL. Based on transport and flux models, we estimate that such a concentration of microbial cells could not be supported by transport through the crust, suggesting in situ growth of these communities.

  10. Integrative Approach to Quality Assessment of Medical Journals Using Impact Factor, Eigenfactor, and Article Influence Scores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rizkallah, Jacques; Sin, Don D.

    2010-01-01

    Background Impact factor (IF) is a commonly used surrogate for assessing the scientific quality of journals and articles. There is growing discontent in the medical community with the use of this quality assessment tool because of its many inherent limitations. To help address such concerns, Eigenfactor (ES) and Article Influence scores (AIS) have been devised to assess scientific impact of journals. The principal aim was to compare the temporal trends in IF, ES, and AIS on the rank order of leading medical journals over time. Methods The 2001 to 2008 IF, ES, AIS, and number of citable items (CI) of 35 leading medical journals were collected from the Institute of Scientific Information (ISI) and the http://www.eigenfactor.org databases. The journals were ranked based on the published 2008 ES, AIS, and IF scores. Temporal score trends and variations were analyzed. Results In general, the AIS and IF values provided similar rank orders. Using ES values resulted in large changes in the rank orders with higher ranking being assigned to journals that publish a large volume of articles. Since 2001, the IF and AIS of most journals increased significantly; however the ES increased in only 51% of the journals in the analysis. Conversely, 26% of journals experienced a downward trend in their ES, while the rest experienced no significant changes (23%). This discordance between temporal trends in IF and ES was largely driven by temporal changes in the number of CI published by the journals. Conclusion The rank order of medical journals changes depending on whether IF, AIS or ES is used. All of these metrics are sensitive to the number of citable items published by journals. Consumers should thus consider all of these metrics rather than just IF alone in assessing the influence and importance of medical journals in their respective disciplines. PMID:20419115

  11. Crustal fluid and ash alteration impacts on the biosphere of Shikoku Basin sediments, Nankai Trough, Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres, M E; Cox, T; Hong, W-L; McManus, J; Sample, J C; Destrigneville, C; Gan, H M; Gan, H Y; Moreau, J W

    2015-11-01

    We present data from sediment cores collected from IODP Site C0012 in the Shikoku Basin. Our site lies at the Nankai Trough, just prior to subduction of the 19 Ma Philippine Sea plate. Our data indicate that the sedimentary package is undergoing multiple routes of electron transport and that these differing pathways for oxidant supply generate a complex array of metabolic routes and microbial communities involved in carbon cycling. Numerical simulations matched to pore water data document that Ca(2+) and Cl(1-) are largely supplied via diffusion from a high-salinity (44.5 psu) basement fluid, which supports the presence of halophile Archean communities within the deep sedimentary package that are not observed in shallow sediments. Sulfate supply from basement supports anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) at a rate of ~0.2 pmol cm(-3) day(-1) at ~400 mbsf. We also note the disappearance of δ-Proteobacteria at 434 mbsf, coincident with the maximum in methane concentration, and their reappearance at 463 mbsf, coinciding with the observed deeper increase in sulfate concentration toward the basement. We did not, however, find ANME representatives in any of the samples analyzed (from 340 to 463 mbsf). The lack of ANME may be due to an overshadowing effect from the more dominant archaeal phylotypes or may indicate involvement of unknown groups of archaea in AOM (i.e., unclassified Euryarchaeota). In addition to the supply of sulfate from a basement aquifer, the deep biosphere at this site is also influenced by an elevated supply of reactive iron (up to 143 μmol g(-1)) and manganese (up to 20 μmol g(-1)). The effect of these metal oxides on the sulfur cycle is inferred from an accompanying sulfur isotope fractionation much smaller than expected from traditional sulfate-reducing pathways. The detection of the manganese- and iron-reducer γ-Proteobacteria Alteromonas at 367 mbsf is consistent with these geochemical inferences.

  12. Does learning style influence academic performance in different forms of assessment?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilkinson, Tracey; Boohan, Mairead; Stevenson, Michael

    2014-03-01

    Educational research on learning styles has been conducted for some time, initially within the field of psychology. Recent research has widened to include more diverse disciplines, with greater emphasis on application. Although there are numerous instruments available to measure several different dimensions of learning style, it is generally accepted that styles differ, although the qualities of more than one style may be inherent in any one learner. But do these learning styles have a direct effect on student performance in examinations, specifically in different forms of assessment? For this study, hypotheses were formulated suggesting that academic performance is influenced by learning style. Using the Honey and Mumford Learning Style Questionnaire, learning styles of a cohort of first year medical and dental students at Queen's University Belfast were assessed. Pearson correlation was performed between the score for each of the four learning styles and the student examination results in a variety of subject areas (including anatomy) and in different types of assessments - single best answer, short answer questions and Objective Structured Clinical Examinations. In most of the analyses, there was no correlation between learning style and result and in the few cases where the correlations were statistically significant, they generally appeared to be weak. It seems therefore from this study that although the learning styles of students vary, they have little effect on academic performance, including in specific forms of assessment. © 2013 Anatomical Society.

  13. Disaggregating Fossil Fuel Emissions from Biospheric Fluxes: Methodological Improvements for Inverse Methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yadav, V.; Shiga, Y. P.; Michalak, A. M.

    2012-12-01

    The accurate spatio-temporal quantification of fossil fuel emissions is a scientific challenge. Atmospheric inverse models have the capability to overcome this challenge and provide estimates of fossil fuel emissions. Observational and computational limitations limit current analyses to the estimations of a combined "biospheric flux and fossil-fuel emissions" carbon dioxide (CO2) signal, at coarse spatial and temporal resolution. Even in these coarse resolution inverse models, the disaggregation of a strong biospheric signal form a weaker fossil-fuel signal has proven difficult. The use of multiple tracers (delta 14C, CO, CH4, etc.) has provided a potential path forward, but challenges remain. In this study, we attempt to disaggregate biospheric fluxes and fossil-fuel emissions on the basis of error covariance models rather through tracer based CO2 inversions. The goal is to more accurately define the underlying structure of the two processes by using a stationary exponential covariance model for the biospheric fluxes, in conjunction with a semi-stationary covariance model derived from nightlights for fossil fuel emissions. A non-negativity constraint on fossil fuel emissions is imposed using a data transformation approach embedded in an iterative quasi-linear inverse modeling algorithm. The study is performed for January and June 2008, using the ground-based CO2 measurement network over North America. The quality of disaggregation is examined by comparing the inferred spatial distribution of biospheric fluxes and fossil-fuel emissions in a synthetic-data inversion. In addition to disaggregation of fluxes, the ability of the covariance models derived from nightlights to explain the fossil-fuel emissions over North America is also examined. The simple covariance model proposed in this study is found to improve estimation and disaggregation of fossil-fuel emissions from biospheric fluxes in the tracer-based inverse models.

  14. Fifty-year spatiotemporal analysis of landscape changes in the Mont Saint-Hilaire UNESCO Biosphere Reserve (Quebec, Canada).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Béliveau, Marc; Germain, Daniel; Ianăş, Ana-Neli

    2017-05-01

    Diachronic analysis with a GIS-based classification of land-use changes based on aerial photographs, orthophotos, topographic maps, geotechnical reports, urban plans, and using landscape metrics has permitted insight into the driving forces responsible for landscape fragmentation in the Mont Saint-Hilaire (MSH) Biosphere Reserve over the period 1958-2015. Although the occurrence of exogenous factors, such as extreme weather and fires, can have a significant influence on the fragmentation of the territory in time and space, the accelerated development of the built environment (+470%) is nevertheless found to be primarily responsible for landscape fragmentation and the loss of areas formerly occupied by orchards, agriculture, and woodlands. The landscape metrics used corroborate these results, with a simplification of the shape of polygons, and once again reveal the difficulties of harmonizing different land uses. MSH has become somewhat of a forest island in a sea of residential development and agriculture. To counter this isolation of fragmented habitat components, forest corridors have been proposed and developed for the Biosphere Reserve and particularly for the core area. Two corridors, to the north and south, are used to connect the protected area and other wooded areas at the regional scale, in order to promote genetic exchange between populations of various species. In that regard, the forest buffer zone around the hill continues to play a key role and has great ecological value for species and ecological preservation and conservation. However, appropriate management and landscape preservation actions should recognize and focus on landscape composition and the associated geographical configuration.

  15. Factors Influencing Quantification of in Vivo Bioluminescence Imaging: Application to Assessment of Pancreatic Islet Transplants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John Virostko

    2004-10-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study is to determine and characterize factors influencing in vivo bioluminescence imaging (BLI and apply them to the specific application of imaging transplanted pancreatic islets. Noninvasive quantitative assessment of transplanted pancreatic islets poses a formidable challenge. Murine pancreatic islets expressing firefly luciferase were transplanted under the renal capsule or into the portal vein of nonobese diabetic–severe combined immunodeficiency mice and the bioluminescence was quantified with a cooled charge coupled device camera and digital photon image analysis. The important, but often neglected, effects of wound healing, mouse positioning, and transplantation site on bioluminescence measurements were investigated by imaging a constant emission, isotropic light-emitting bead (λ = 600 implanted at the renal or hepatic site. The renal beads emitted nearly four times more light than hepatic beads with a smaller spot size, indicating that light absorption and scatter are greatly influenced by the transplant site and must be accounted for in BLI measurements. Detected luminescence decreased with increasing angle between the mouse surface normal and optical axis. By defining imaging parameters such as postsurgical effects, animal positioning, and light attenuation as a function of transplant site, this study develops BLI as a useful imaging modality for quantitative assessment of islets post-transplantation.

  16. Systematic approach to assess and mitigate longwall subsidence influences on surface structures

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LUO Yi

    2008-01-01

    The surface subsidence process associated with Iongwall mining operations isoften capable of causing disturbances to various surface structures. Inadequate consid-erations of the subsidence influences could result in poor public relation with local resi-dents and regulatory agencies, uneconomic operations, hazardous conditions, etc. A sys-tematic approach to assess and mitigate influences caused by Iongwall subsidence hadbeen developed and adopted to minimize the severity of these potential problems. Theapproach included accurate prediction of final and dynamic surface movements and de-formations, assessment of the severities and locations of the potential disturbances, anddesign and implementation of proper mitigation measures. The approach had been suc-cessfully applied at many Iongwall mining companies on numerous and various residential,farming, public and industrial structures. As a matter of fact, the state of Pennsylvania, thestate with largest number of Iongwall mines and highest Iongwall production in U.S., wouldlike to use such approach as the standards in dealing with Iongwall subsidence cases.

  17. Assessing the Influence of Sleep-Wake Variables on Body Mass Index (BMI in Adolescents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christoph Randler

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Recent work has established an association between overweight/obesity and sleep duration, suggesting that short sleep duration and timing of sleeping may lead to overweight. Most of these studies considered sleep-length rather than any other aspects associated with the sleep and wake rhythm, e.g. chronotype, which is a measure of timing of sleeping (‘when to sleep’; based on the midpoint of sleep. The objective of this study was to assess the influence of different factors of the sleep-wake cycle and of co-variates on the Body Mass Index in a cross-sectional questionnaire study. Nine hundred and thirteen pupils (406 boys, 507 girls from Southwestern Germany participated in this study. Mean age was 13.7 ± 1.5 (SD years and range was between 11 – 16 years. We found that chronotype (β = .079 and social jetlag (β = .063 showed a significant influence on Body Mass Index (BMI, while sleep duration did not. Social jetlag is the absolute difference between mid-sleep time on workdays and free days. Further, screen time (in front of TV, computer, β = .13 was positively related with BMI. Self-efficacy on nutrition (β = -.11, a psychological variable important in health-behaviour models, showed an influence with high scores on self-efficacy related to lower BMI. A high BMI was correlated with low fast-food consumption (β = -.12 suggesting that adolescents with high BMI may exert some control over their eating.

  18. Faunal diversity of rotifers (Rotifera: Eurotatoria of Nokrek Biosphere Reserve, Meghalaya, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B.K. Sharma

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Plankton samples collected from the Nokrek Biosphere Reserve of Meghalaya (Northeast India revealed 70 species of Rotifera belonging to 24 genera and 15 families. Eight species are new records from the state of Meghalaya. The Oriental Lecane blachei and the palaeotropical L. unguitata are biogeographically interesting elements. The Rotifera taxocoenosis of Nokrek Biosphere Reserve is characterized by a distinct richness of the tropic-centered genus Lecane, paucity of Brachionus species, greater diversity of littoral-periphytonic elements and a general tropical character with cosmopolitan (71.4% > tropicopolitan (17.1 % species.

  19. The mediation of environmental assessment's influence: What role for power?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cashmore, Matthew, E-mail: cashmore@plan.aau.dk [Danish Centre for Environmental Assessment, Department of Development and Planning, Aalborg University Copenhagen, A.C. Meyers Vaenge 15, DK-2450 Copenhagen SV (Denmark); Axelsson, Anna [Naturskyddsforeningen, Box 4625, 116 91 Stockholm (Sweden)

    2013-02-15

    Considerable empirical research has been conducted on why policy tools such as environmental assessment (EA) often appear to have 'little effect' (after Weiss) on policy decisions. This article revisits this debate but looks at a mediating factor that has received limited attention to-date in the context of EA - political power. Using a tripartite analytical framework, a comparative analysis of the influence and significance of power in mediating environmental policy integration is undertaken. Power is analysed, albeit partially, through an exploration of institutions that underpin social order. Empirically, the research examines the case of a new approach to policy-level EA (essentially a form of Strategic Environmental Assessment) developed by the World Bank and its trial application to urban environmental governance and planning in Dhaka mega-city, Bangladesh. The research results demonstrate that power was intimately involved in mediating the influence of the policy EA approach, in both positive (enabling) and negative (constraining) ways. It is suggested that the policy EA approach was ultimately a manifestation of a corporate strategy to maintain the powerful position of the World Bank as a leading authority on international development which focuses on knowledge generation. Furthermore, as constitutive of an institution and reflecting the worldviews of its proponents, the development of a new approach to EA also represents a significant power play. This leads us to, firstly, emphasise the concepts of strategy and intentionality in theorising how and why EA tools are employed, succeed and fail; and secondly, reflect on the reasons why power has received such limited attention to-date in EA scholarship. - Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Conducts empirical research on the neglected issue of power. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Employs an interpretation of power in which it is viewed as a productive phenomenon. Black

  20. Assessing the Fate of Terrigenous Dissolved Organic Carbon in River-influenced Ocean Margins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fichot, C. G.; Benner, R. H.

    2014-12-01

    The mineralization of terrigenous dissolved organic carbon (tDOC) discharged by rivers can impact nutrient and trace metal cycling, biological productivity, net ecosystem metabolism, and air-sea CO2 exchange in ocean margins. The extreme heterogeneity of river-influenced ocean margins represents a major challenge for quantitative assessments of tDOC transformations and thereby obscures the role of tDOC in biogeochemical cycles. Here, we demonstrate how a lignin-based optical proxy for tDOC and a shelf-wide mass balance approach can be used to quantitatively assess the fate of tDOC discharged on a river-influenced ocean margin. Such a mass balance was carried out in the northern Gulf of Mexico and revealed that ~40% of the tDOC discharged by Mississippi-Atchafalaya River System between March 2009 and March 2010 was mineralized to CO2 on the Louisiana shelf, with two thirds of the mineralization taking place in the mixed layer. A strong seasonality in tDOC mineralization was observed, with mineralization rates severalfold higher during summer than during winter. Independent assessments of specific mineralization processes indicated biomineralization accounted for ~94% of the tDOC mineralization on an annual basis, and suggested that photochemical transformations of tDOC enhanced biomineralization by ~50% in the mixed layer. Direct photomineralization accounted for a relatively small fraction (~6%) of the tDOC mineralization on an annual basis. This quantitative assessment provides direct evidence confirming ocean margins are major sinks of the tDOC discharged by rivers, and indicates that tDOC mineralization rates in the shelf mixed layer are sufficiently large to influence whether the Louisiana shelf is a net sink or source of atmospheric CO2. In this presentation, we also demonstrate how the remote sensing of ocean color can be used to trace tDOC and its cross-shelf export and further advance our understanding of the fate of tDOC in ocean margins.

  1. A Network Method of Measuring Affiliation-Based Peer Influence: Assessing the Influences of Teammates' Smoking on Adolescent Smoking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujimoto, Kayo; Unger, Jennifer B.; Valente, Thomas W.

    2012-01-01

    Using a network analytic framework, this study introduces a new method to measure peer influence based on adolescents' affiliations or 2-mode social network data. Exposure based on affiliations is referred to as the "affiliation exposure model." This study demonstrates the methodology using data on young adolescent smoking being influenced by…

  2. Plumes and Earth's Dynamic History : from Core to Biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Courtillot, V. E.

    2002-12-01

    The last half century has been dominated by the general acceptance of plate tectonics. Although the plume concept emerged early in this story, its role has remained ambiguous. Because plumes are singularities, both in space and time, they tend to lie dangerously close to catastrophism, as opposed to the calm uniformitarian view of plate tectonics. Yet, it has become apparent that singular events and transient phenomena are of great importance, even if by definition they cover only a small fraction of geological time, in diverse observational and theoretical fields such as 1) magnetic reversals and the geodynamo, 2) tomography and mantle convection, 3) continental rifting and collision, and 4) evolution of the fluid envelopes (atmospheric and oceanic "climate"; evolution of species in the biosphere). I will emphasize recent work on different types of plumes and on the correlation between flood basalts and mass extinctions. The origin of mantle plumes remains a controversial topic. We suggest that three types of plumes exist, which originate at the three main discontinuities in the Earth's mantle (base of lithosphere, transition zone and core-mantle boundary). Most of the hotspots are short lived (~ 10Ma) and seem to come from the transition zone or above. Important concentrations occur above the Pacific and African superswells. Less than 10 hotspots have been long lived (~ 100Ma) and may have a very deep origin. In the last 50 Ma, these deep-seated plumes in the Pacific and Indo-Atlantic hemispheres have moved slowly, but motion was much faster prior to that. This change correlates with major episodes of true polar wander. The deeper ("primary") plumes are thought to trace global shifts in quadrupolar convection in the lower mantle. These are the plumes that were born as major flood basalts or oceanic plateaus (designated as large igneous provinces or LIPs). Most have an original volume on the order or in excess of 2.5 Mkm3. In most provinces, volcanism lasted on

  3. The impact of solar UV radiation on the early biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horneck, G.

    2007-08-01

    sensing mechanisms; (ii) application of external shielding, such as covering by mud, sand or rock material; (iii) development of intrinsic UV screening pigments, such as tanning, inductive flavonoid production of plants, intracellular mycosporin production in cyanobacteria, (iv) accumulation of antioxidants and quenching substances. However, if UV damage has been induced - in spite of all avoidance efforts, organisms may restore their functionality by numerous repair processes. Repair pathways of a rich diversity and functional universality include (i) direct repair with the reversal of photochemical abnormalities, e.g. in the DNA; (ii) recombination repair removing the UV-induced abnormality by homologous recombination; and (iii) excision repair, where the section of the DNA strand containing the abnormality is removed and a repair patch is synthesized using the intact strand as a template. In addition to efficient repair systems for radiation-induced DNA injury, life has developed a variety of defense mechanisms, such as the increase in the production of stress proteins and the activation of the immune defence system. Some of these capacities have certainly already been evolved in the early biosphere, when it was exposed to the extended UV-spectrum of the sun. Only since the early Proterozoic, due to a rapid rise in the atmospheric oxygen concentration and consequently a photochemical built up of the stratospheric ozone layer, a more moderate UV radiation climate prevailed with wavelengths shorter than 295 nm being effectively cut off.

  4. Exploring the deep biosphere through ophiolite-associated surface springs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer-Dombard, D. R.; Cardace, D.; Woycheese, K. M.; Vallalar, B.; Arcilla, C. A.

    2013-12-01

    potential to yield energy for metabolism in these ecosystems. Media were diluted with filtered spring fluid to the desired concentration on location, and inoculated immediately. We found positive growth in cultures from all sample locations (seven in all), at temperatures ranging from 28-48C under both aerobic and anaerobic conditions. Growth on complex organic media was successful in five samples, and media including sugars or organic acids in two and four samples, respectively. Heterotrophic sulfate reduction was seen in six samples, and autotrophic sulfate reduction in only three samples. Four locations yielded heterotrophic iron reducers, and five locations host organisms capable of autotrophic iron reduction. This variety of positive growth indicates a metabolically flexible community, complementing data obtained from previously reported communities in serpentinizing systems. We begin to obtain a picture of community dynamics and functional diversity in these ecosystems that bridge the subsurface and surface biospheres.

  5. Access: A Directory of Contacts, Environmental Data Bases, and Scientific Infrastructure on 175 Biosphere Reserves in 32 Countries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Department of State, Washington, DC. Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs.

    Following the EuroMAB meeting in Strasbourg, France (September 1991) and on an initiative of the Man and the Biosphere National Committee of the United States, a decision was made to create a research network from information available in biosphere reserves in 30 European countries, Canada and the United States. This Directory of EuroMAB Biosphere…

  6. Environmental values in post-socialist Hungary : Is it useful to distinguish egoistic, altruistic and biospheric values?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Groot, Judith. I. M.; Steg, Linda; Keizer, Martijn; Farsang, Andrea; Watt, Alan

    2012-01-01

    In this article the authors examine whether the significance of biospheric values as a separate cluster next to egoistic and altruistic values is mainly a Western European phenomenon or whether biospheric values are also endorsed as a value in its own right in post-socialist Hungary. In two differen

  7. Governing Portable Conservation and Development Landscapes: Reconsidering Evidence in the Context of the Mbaracayú Biosphere Reserve

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elgert, Laureen

    2014-01-01

    Conservation-with-development landscapes, such as UNESCO's Man and Biosphere Reserves, differentiate between areas of "nature" and "society". In Paraguay's Mbaracayú Biosphere Reserve, as elsewhere, this model has been used to support governance that focuses on conservation in the "core area" and sustainable…

  8. Environmental values in post-socialist Hungary : Is it useful to distinguish egoistic, altruistic and biospheric values?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Groot, Judith. I. M.; Steg, Linda; Keizer, Martijn; Farsang, Andrea; Watt, Alan

    2012-01-01

    In this article the authors examine whether the significance of biospheric values as a separate cluster next to egoistic and altruistic values is mainly a Western European phenomenon or whether biospheric values are also endorsed as a value in its own right in post-socialist Hungary. In two differen

  9. Exploring the influence of cultural orientations on assessment of communication behaviours during patient-practitioner interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilby, Kyle J; Govaerts, Marjan J B; Austin, Zubin; Dolmans, Diana H J M

    2017-03-21

    good or poor performances but borderline performance was influenced by cultural orientation. Contrary to current practices of assessor and assessment instrument standardization, findings support the use of multiple assessors for patient-practitioner interactions and development of qualitative assessment tools to capture these varying, yet valid, interpretations of performance.

  10. Influence of education and diagnostic modes on glaucoma assessment by optometrists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshioka, Nayuta; Wong, Elizabeth; Kalloniatis, Michael; Yapp, Michael; Hennessy, Michael P; Agar, Ashish; Healey, Paul R; Hayen, Andrew; Zangerl, Barbara

    2015-11-01

    To evaluate the influence of different clinical examination techniques, including optic nerve head (ONH) photography, visual field tests, and adjunct imaging on the diagnosis of glaucoma by Australian and New Zealand optometrists. The effect of a short-term, didactic teaching module on these is also explored. Clinical data of 30 patients previously seen at the Centre for Eye Health was collected and compiled into glaucoma diagnostic assessment modules. Each of six modules contained different combinations of clinical examination results and required a classification of the cases as normal, suspicious or glaucoma. A cohort of 54 Australian and New Zealand optometrists were recruited for the study and allocated into two cohorts. The intervention group completed a glaucoma training course prior to the assessment while the control group completed the assessment without additional training. Diagnostic accuracy was compared between modules and optometrist groups. High false negative rates were observed with ONH photography, which were drastically reduced with the addition of visual field, albeit at the cost of increased false positive rates. Addition of adjunct imaging techniques partially compensated for the increase in the false positive rate from the visual field, but had limited effect on false negative rate. Educational intervention resulted in larger improvement in the diagnostic ability when multiple imaging modalities were provided. The study highlighted the importance of combining both structural and functional assessments in glaucoma. Current imaging technology demonstrated limited usefulness for event diagnosis due to the persistent difficulties of defining structural and functional loss in glaucoma, thus highlighting the need for new glaucoma assessment techniques. Short-term didactic teaching programs may only result in limited improvement of glaucoma diagnostic ability in optometrists, and hence, it may need to be combined with long-term and/or non

  11. Modeling the biophysical impacts of global change in mountain biosphere reserves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bugmann, H.K.M.; Bjornsen, F. Ewert; Haeberli, W.; Guisan, A.; Fagre, Daniel B.; Kaab, A.

    2007-01-01

    Mountains and mountain societies provide a wide range of goods and services to humanity, but they are particularly sensitive to the effects of global environmental change. Thus, the definition of appropriate management regimes that maintain the multiple functions of mountain regions in a time of greatly changing climatic, economic, and societal drivers constitutes a significant challenge. Management decisions must be based on a sound understanding of the future dynamics of these systems. The present article reviews the elements required for an integrated effort to project the impacts of global change on mountain regions, and recommends tools that can be used at 3 scientific levels (essential, improved, and optimum). The proposed strategy is evaluated with respect to UNESCO's network of Mountain Biosphere Reserves (MBRs), with the intention of implementing it in other mountain regions as well. First, methods for generating scenarios of key drivers of global change are reviewed, including land use/land cover and climate change. This is followed by a brief review of the models available for projecting the impacts of these scenarios on (1) cryospheric systems, (2) ecosystem structure and diversity, and (3) ecosystem functions such as carbon and water relations. Finally, the cross-cutting role of remote sensing techniques is evaluated with respect to both monitoring and modeling efforts. We conclude that a broad range of techniques is available for both scenario generation and impact assessments, many of which can be implemented without much capacity building across many or even most MBRs. However, to foster implementation of the proposed strategy, further efforts are required to establish partnerships between scientists and resource managers in mountain areas.

  12. Including Tropical Croplands in a Terrestrial Biosphere Model: Application to West Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berg, A.; Sultan, B.; de Noblet, N.

    2008-12-01

    Studying the large-scale relationships between climate and agriculture raises two different issues: the impact of climate on crops, and the potential feedbacks to climate from croplands. A relevant framework to consistently address this twofold issue is to extend existing Dynamic Global Vegetation Models, which can be coupled to climate models, in order to explicitly account for croplands. Here we present the first results of such a strategy applied to tropical croplands over West Africa. We introduce directly into the terrestrial biosphere model ORCHIDEE (IPSL) adequate processes and parametrizations taken from the crop model SARRAH (CIRAD), which is calibrated for millet over this region. The resulting model, ORCH-mil, realistically simulates the growth and yield of millet when tested on an experimental station in Senegal. The model is then applied over West Africa using a 36-year climate reanalysis dataset. First the model is tested in terms of yield simulation, against national millet yields from the FAO database. The ability of the model to reproduce the spatial and temporal variability of millet yields is assessed. Then, the effects on land surface fluxes of explicitly accounting for croplands are examined, by comparison between ORCH-mil and ORCHIDEE. These first simulations show consistent results, but underline the need for some further development and validation of the model if it is to simulate yields accurately. In terms of land surface fluxes, significant differences between ORCH-mil and ORCHIDEE appear, mainly via changes in evaporation and albedo. The potential impact on the west African monsoon system of such differences needs to be investigated by coupling ORCH-mil to a climate model: first results from such an experiment will be presented.

  13. Intracultural variation of knowledge about wild plant uses in the Biosphere Reserve Grosses Walsertal (Austria)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Background Leading scholars in ethnobiology and ethnomedicine continuously stress the need for moving beyond the bare description of local knowledge and to additionally analyse and theorise about the characteristics and dynamics of human interactions with plants and related local knowledge. Analyses of the variation of local knowledge are thereby perceived as minimal standard. In this study we investigate the distribution and variation of wild plant knowledge in five domains: food, drinks, human medicine, veterinary medicine and customs. We assess relations between the wild plant knowledge of informants and their socio-demographic as well as geographic background. Method Research was conducted in the Biosphere Reserve Grosses Walsertal, Austria. Structured questionnaires were used to inquire wild plant knowledge from 433 informants with varying socio-demographic and geographic background. Children assisted in the data collection. Data was analysed using descriptive statistics and generalized linear models. Results and discussion A majority of respondents is familiar with wild plant uses, however to varying degrees. Knowledge variations depend on the socio-demographic and geographic background of the informants as well as on the domains of knowledge under investigation: women, older informants and homegardeners report more human medicinal applications and applications in drinks than men, younger informants and non-homegardeners; farmers know a greater variety of veterinary medicinal applications than non-farmers; the place of residence relates significantly to food and veterinary uses. Customs are difficult to investigate in standardized matrices. The household-related distribution of work and the general socio-cultural context are especially helpful in order to explain intracultural variation of knowledge in the Grosses Walsertal. Conclusions Research on the intracultural variation of local knowledge exposes cultural characteristics and highlights the cultural

  14. A model of the CO2 exchanges between biosphere and atmosphere in the tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Labgaa, Rachid R.; Gautier, Catherine

    1992-01-01

    A physical model of the soil thermal regime in a permafrost terrain has been developed and validated with soil temperature measurements at Barrow, Alaska. The model calculates daily soil temperatures as a function of depth and average moisture contents of the organic and mineral layers using a set of five climatic variables, i.e., air temperature, precipitation, cloudiness, wind speed, and relative humidity. The model is not only designed to study the impact of climate change on the soil temperature and moisture regime, but also to provide the input to a decomposition and net primary production model. In this context, it is well known that CO2 exchanges between the terrestrial biosphere and the atmosphere are driven by soil temperature through decomposition of soil organic matter and root respiration. However, in tundra ecosystems, net CO2 exchange is extremely sensitive to soil moisture content; therefore it is necessary to predict variations in soil moisture in order to assess the impact of climate change on carbon fluxes. To this end, the present model includes the representation of the soil moisture response to changes in climatic conditions. The results presented in the foregoing demonstrate that large errors in soil temperature and permafrost depth estimates arise from neglecting the dependence of the soil thermal regime on soil moisture contents. Permafrost terrain is an example of a situation where soil moisture and temperature are particularly interrelated: drainage conditions improve when the depth of the permafrost increases; a decrease in soil moisture content leads to a decrease in the latent heat required for the phase transition so that the heat penetrates faster and deeper, and the maximum depth of thaw increases; and as excepted, soil thermal coefficients increase with moisture.

  15. Controlling factors of biosphere-atmosphere ammonia exchange at a semi-natural peatland site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brummer, C.; Richter, U.; Smith, J. J.; Delorme, J. P.; Kutsch, W. L.

    2014-12-01

    Recent advancements in laser spectrometry offer new opportunities to investigate net biosphere-atmosphere exchange of ammonia. During a three month field campaign from February to May 2014, we tested the performance of a quantum cascade laser within an eddy-covariance setup. The laser was operated at a semi-natural peatland site that is surrounded by highly fertilized agricultural land and intensive livestock production (~1 km distance). Ammonia concentrations were highly variable between 2 and almost 100 ppb with an average value of 15 ppb. Different concentration patterns could be identified. The variability was closely linked to the timing of management practices and the prevailing local climate, particularly wind direction, temperature and surface wetness with the latter indicating higher non-stomatal uptake under wet conditions leading to decreased concentrations. Average ammonia fluxes were around -15 ng N m-2 s-1 at the beginning of the campaign in February and shifted towards a neutral average exchange regime of -1 to 0 ng N m-2 s-1 in April and May. Intriguingly, during the time of decreasing ammonia uptake, concentrations were considerably rising, which clearly indicated N saturation in the predominant vegetation such as bog heather, purple moor-grass, and cotton grass. The cumulative net uptake for the period of investigation was ~300 g N ha-1. This stresses the importance of a thorough method inter-comparison, e.g. with denuder systems in combination with dry deposition modeling. As previous results from the latter methods showed an annual uptake of ~9 kg N ha-1 for the same site, the implementation of adequate ammonia compensation point parameterizations become crucial in surface-atmosphere exchange schemes for bog vegetation. Through their high temporal resolution, robustness and continuous measurement mode, quantum cascade lasers will help assessing the effects of atmospheric N loads to vulnerable N-limited ecosystems such as peatlands.

  16. Intracultural variation of knowledge about wild plant uses in the Biosphere Reserve Grosses Walsertal (Austria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schunko Christoph

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Leading scholars in ethnobiology and ethnomedicine continuously stress the need for moving beyond the bare description of local knowledge and to additionally analyse and theorise about the characteristics and dynamics of human interactions with plants and related local knowledge. Analyses of the variation of local knowledge are thereby perceived as minimal standard. In this study we investigate the distribution and variation of wild plant knowledge in five domains: food, drinks, human medicine, veterinary medicine and customs. We assess relations between the wild plant knowledge of informants and their socio-demographic as well as geographic background. Method Research was conducted in the Biosphere Reserve Grosses Walsertal, Austria. Structured questionnaires were used to inquire wild plant knowledge from 433 informants with varying socio-demographic and geographic background. Children assisted in the data collection. Data was analysed using descriptive statistics and generalized linear models. Results and discussion A majority of respondents is familiar with wild plant uses, however to varying degrees. Knowledge variations depend on the socio-demographic and geographic background of the informants as well as on the domains of knowledge under investigation: women, older informants and homegardeners report more human medicinal applications and applications in drinks than men, younger informants and non-homegardeners; farmers know a greater variety of veterinary medicinal applications than non-farmers; the place of residence relates significantly to food and veterinary uses. Customs are difficult to investigate in standardized matrices. The household-related distribution of work and the general socio-cultural context are especially helpful in order to explain intracultural variation of knowledge in the Grosses Walsertal. Conclusions Research on the intracultural variation of local knowledge exposes cultural characteristics and

  17. Lithosphere-biosphere interaction at a shallow-sea hydrothermal vent site; Hot Lake, Panarea, Italy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Chia-I.; Amann, Rudolf; Amend, Jan P.; Bach, Wolfgang; Brunner, Benjamin; Meyerdierks, Anke; Price, Roy E.; Schubotz, Florence; Summons, Roger; Wenzhöfer, Frank

    2010-05-01

    Deep-Sea hydrothermal systems are unique habitats for microbial life with primary production based on chemosynthesis and are considered to be windows to the subsurface biosphere. It is often overlooked, however, that their far more accessible shallow-sea counterparts are also valuable targets to study the effects of hydrothermal activity on geology, seawater chemistry and finally, on microbial life. Such an area of shallow marine hydrothermal venting is observed approximately 2.5 km east of Panarea Island (Sicily, Italy). This system is characterized by fluid temperatures of up to 135° C, gas emissions dominated by CO2 and precipitation of elemental sulfur on the seafloor. In an interdisciplinary project to investigate the influence of geofuels on marine microbiota, sediment cores and pore fluids were sampled for geological and geochemical analyses. An attempt was made to link these geochemical data with a characterization of the microbial community. One of the investigated sites (Lago Caldo, Hot Lake) is an oval-shaped (~10 by 6 meters) shallow (~2.5 m deep) depression covered by elemental sulfur. The sediments in this depression are strongly affected by hydrothermal activity: the pH of pore fluids is in a range between 5 and 6; the salinity is approximately two times higher than seawater. In situ temperatures of 36° C and 74° C (10 cm sediment depth) at two different locations within Hot Lake indicate variability in hydrothermal flux. The sediment surface layer is anoxic, and with increasing depth from the sediment-water interface, sulfate concentrations decrease from ~30 mM to less than 10 mM, whereas sulfide concentrations increase from less than 50 μm to ~1000 μm at 25 cm sediment depth, thus suggesting a higher potential for energy gain based on sulfur disequilibrium. As indicated by the variability in the sediment temperatures at 10 cm, fluid fluxes and mixing with seawater is not found to be uniform at Hot Lake. This is reflected in variability of the

  18. Exploring the Validity of Assessment in Anatomy: Do Images Influence Cognitive Processes Used in Answering Extended Matching Questions?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vorstenbosch, Marc A. T. M.; Bouter, Shifra T.; van den Hurk, Marianne M.; Kooloos, Jan G. M.; Bolhuis, Sanneke M.; Laan, Roland F. J. M.

    2014-01-01

    Assessment is an important aspect of medical education because it tests students' competence and motivates them to study. Various assessment methods, with and without images, are used in the study of anatomy. In this study, we investigated the use of extended matching questions (EMQs). To gain insight into the influence of images on the…

  19. Exploring the Validity of Assessment in Anatomy: Do Images Influence Cognitive Processes Used in Answering Extended Matching Questions?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vorstenbosch, Marc A. T. M.; Bouter, Shifra T.; van den Hurk, Marianne M.; Kooloos, Jan G. M.; Bolhuis, Sanneke M.; Laan, Roland F. J. M.

    2014-01-01

    Assessment is an important aspect of medical education because it tests students' competence and motivates them to study. Various assessment methods, with and without images, are used in the study of anatomy. In this study, we investigated the use of extended matching questions (EMQs). To gain insight into the influence of images on the…

  20. Community - based management in two biosphere reserves in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    N.V.M. Fritz-Vietta, C. Roettger, S. Stoll-Kleemann

    institutions in this context are defined as rules of game, the. “commonly understood ... beliefs, and social behaviors, which also have great influence .... productivities, local rural infrastructure, animal husbandry, ...... In: Handbook of Theory and.

  1. How do local government associations influence policy? Assessing conditions for policy influence of interest groups in Brazil and the Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    A. Macedo de Jesus (Anderson)

    2010-01-01

    markdownabstract__Abstract__ In recent years a considerable number of studies have been undertaken concerning the impact of interest groups' influence in the European and North American policy-making process.

  2. International Co-ordinating Council of the Programme on Man and the Biosphere (MAB). Final Report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, Paris (France).

    Man and the Biosphere Program is an interdisciplinary program of research which emphasizes an ecological approach to the study of interrelationships between man and the environment. It is concerned with subjects of global or major regional significance which require international cooperation. This final report discusses areas in which…

  3. Modeling the global society-biosphere-climate system : Part 2: Computed scenarios

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Alcamo, J.; Van Den Born, G.J.; Bouwman, A.F.; De Haan, B.J.; Klein Goldewijk, K.; Klepper, O.; Krabec, J.; Leemans, R.; Olivier, J.G.J.; Toet, A.M.C.; De Vries, H.J.M.; Van Der Woerd, H.J.

    1994-01-01

    This paper presents scenarios computed with IMAGE 2.0, an integrated model of the global environment and climate change. Results are presented for selected aspects of the society-biosphere-climate system including primary energy consumption, emissions of various greenhouse gases, atmospheric concent

  4. 1988 Pilot Institute on Global Change on trace gases and the biosphere

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Eddy, J.A.; Moore, B. III

    1998-07-01

    This proposal seeks multi-agency funding to conduct an international, multidisciplinary 1988 Pilot Institute on Global Change to take place from August 7 through 21, 1988, on the topic: Trace Gases and the Biosphere. The institute, to be held in Snowmass, Colorado, is envisioned as a pilot version of a continuing series of institutes on Global Change (IGC). This proposal seeks support for the 1988 pilot institute only. The concept and structure for the continuing series, and the definition of the 1988 pilot institute, were developed at an intensive and multidisciplinary Summer Institute Planning Meeting in Boulder, Colorado, on August 24--25, 1987. The theme for the 1988 PIGC, Trace Gases and the Biosphere, will focus a concerted, high-level multidisciplinary effort on a scientific problem central to the Global Change Program. Dramatic year-to-year increases in the global concentrations of radiatively-active trace gases such as methane and carbon dioxide are now well documented. The predicted climatic effects of these changes lend special urgency to efforts to study the biospheric sources and sinks of these gases and to clarify their interactions and role in the geosphere-biosphere system.

  5. Direct Measurement of Biosphere-Atmosphere Isotopic Exchange Using the Eddy Covariance Technique

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quantifying isotopic CO2 exchange between the biosphere and atmosphere presents a significant measurement challenge, but has the potential to provide important constraints on local, regional, and global carbon cycling. Past approaches have indirectly estimated isotopic CO2 exchange using relaxed edd...

  6. The large scale biosphere-atmosphere experiment in Amazonia (LBA); concise experimental plan

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    LBAScience Planning Group (Cachoeira Paulista),

    1996-01-01

    The large-scale biosphere-atmosphere experiment in Amazonia (LBA) aims at enhancing knowledge of the climatological, ecological, biogeochemical, and hydrological functioning of Amazonia. It will address the effects of changes in land use and climate on these functions, including also the

  7. Modeling the global society-biosphere-climate system : Part 2: Computed scenarios

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Alcamo, J.; Van Den Born, G.J.; Bouwman, A.F.; De Haan, B.J.; Klein Goldewijk, K.; Klepper, O.; Krabec, J.; Leemans, R.; Olivier, J.G.J.; Toet, A.M.C.; De Vries, H.J.M.; Van Der Woerd, H.J.

    1994-01-01

    This paper presents scenarios computed with IMAGE 2.0, an integrated model of the global environment and climate change. Results are presented for selected aspects of the society-biosphere-climate system including primary energy consumption, emissions of various greenhouse gases, atmospheric

  8. Europe's terrestrial biosphere absorbs 7 to 12% of European anthropogenic CO2 emissions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Janssens, I.A.; Freibauer, A.; Ciais, P.; Smith, P.; Nabuurs, G.J.; Folberth, G.; Schlamadinger, B.; Hutjes, R.W.A.; Ceulemans, R.; Schulze, E.D.; Valentini, R.; Dolman, A.J.

    2003-01-01

    Most inverse atmospheric models report considerable uptake of carbon dioxide in Europe's terrestrial biosphere. In contrast, carbon stocks in terrestrial ecosystems increase at a much smaller rate, with carbon gains in forests and grassland soils almost being offset by carbon losses from cropland

  9. Numerical study of surface energy partitioning on the Tibetan plateau: comparative analysis of two biosphere models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Hong

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available The Tibetan Plateau is a critical region in the research of biosphere-atmosphere interactions on both regional and global scales due to its relation to Asian summer monsoon and El Niño. The unique environment on the Plateau provides valuable information for the evaluation of the models' surface energy partitioning associated with the summer monsoon. In this study, we investigated the surface energy partitioning on this important area through comparative analysis of two biosphere models constrained by the in-situ observation data. Indeed, the characteristics of the Plateau provide a unique opportunity to clarify the structural deficiencies of biosphere models as well as new insight into the surface energy partitioning on the Plateau. Our analysis showed that the observed inconsistency between the two biosphere models was mainly related to: 1 the parameterization for soil evaporation; 2 the way to deal with roughness lengths of momentum and scalars; and 3 the parameterization of subgrid velocity scale for aerodynamic conductance. Our study demonstrates that one should carefully interpret the modeling results on the Plateau especially during the pre-monsoon period.

  10. On the design of an interactive biosphere for the GLAS general circulation model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mintz, Y.; Sellers, P. J.; Willmott, C. J.

    1983-01-01

    Improving the realism and accuracy of the GLAS general circulation model (by adding an interactive biosphere that will simulate the transfers of latent and sensible heat from land surface to atmosphere as functions of the atmospheric conditions and the morphology and physiology of the vegetation) is proposed.

  11. Studying biosphere-atmosphere exchange of CO2 through Carbon-13 stable isotopes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Velde, van der I.R.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Thesis ‘Studying biosphere-atmosphere exchange of CO2 through carbon-13 stable isotopes’ Ivar van der Velde Making predictions of future climate is difficult, mainly due to large uncertainties in the carbon cycle. The rate at which carbon is stored in the oceans and terrestrial

  12. Self-organization of the earth's biosphere-geochemical or geophysiological?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwartzman, David W.; Shore, Steven N.; Volk, Tyler; Mcmenamin, Mark

    1994-01-01

    We explore the implications of indicating the biosphere's self-organization by the trend over time of the net entropic flow from the Earth's surface, the actual physical boundary of virtually all biotic mass. This flow, derived from the radiative surface entropy budget, is approximately inversely related to the surface temperature when the solar incident flux remains constant. In the geophysiological ('gaian') interpretation, biospheric self-organization has increased with the progressive colonization of the continents and evolutionary developments in the land biota, as a result of surface cooling arising from biotic enhancement of weathering. The key site for this self-organization is at the interface between land and atmosphere, the soil, where carbon is sequestered by its reaction (as carbonic and organic acids) with calcium magnesium silicates. Along with disequilibrium (steady-state) levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the occurrence of differentiated soil is the critical material evidence for biospheric self-organization, whether it be geophysiological or geochemical (ie., purely result of inorganic reactions). The computed equilibrium levels of carbon dioxide and corresponding equilibrium temperatures in the past are dramatically different from the steady-state levels. With future solar luminosity increase, the biospheric capacity for climatic regulation will decrease, leading to the ending of self-organization some two billion years from now. The Earth's surface will then approach chemical equilibrium with respect to the carbonate-silicate cycle.

  13. Numerical study of surface energy partitioning on the Tibetan Plateau: comparative analysis of two biosphere models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Hong

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available The Tibetan Plateau is a critical region in the research of biosphere-atmosphere interactions on both regional and global scales due to its relation to Asian summer monsoon and El Niño. The unique environment on the Plateau provides valuable information for the evaluation of the models' surface energy partitioning associated with the summer monsoon. In this study, we investigated the surface energy partitioning on this important area through comparative analysis of two biosphere models constrained by the in-situ observation data. Indeed, the characteristics of the Plateau provide a unique opportunity to clarify the structural deficiencies of biosphere models as well as new insight into the surface energy partitioning on the Plateau. Our analysis showed that the observed inconsistency between the two biosphere models was mainly related to: 1 the parameterization for soil evaporation; 2 the way to deal with roughness lengths of momentum and scalars; and 3 the parameterization of subgrid velocity scale for aerodynamic conductance. Our study demonstrates that one should carefully interpret the modeling results on the Plateau especially during the pre-monsoon period.

  14. Distribution and characteristics of feral horses in biosphere reserve “Rostovsky”

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. A. Minoransky

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available The paper contains information about the origin and distribution of feral horses in different continents. The data on population dynamics and behavior of these animals in biosphere reserve “Rostovsky” are discussed. The article presents the factors which limit feral horse livestock.

  15. "Biosphere Reserve"--The Actual Research Subject of the Sustainable Development Process"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khasaev, Gabibulla R.; Sadovenko, Marina Yu.; Isaev, Roman O.

    2016-01-01

    The relevance of the analyzed issue is caused by the growing slippage of research funds of sustainable development in its practice. The purpose of the article is the theoretical basis of the biosphere reserve as a scientific research subject that is relevant to rules of the scientific activity. The leading approach to the study of this issue is…

  16. Earth applications of closed ecological systems: Relevance to the development of sustainability in our global biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, M.; Allen, J.; Ailing, A.; Dempster, W. F.; Silverstone, S.

    The parallels between the challenges facing bioregenerative life support in artificial closed ecological systems and those in our global biosphere are striking. At the scale of the current global technosphere and expanding human population, it is increasingly obvious that the biosphere can no longer safely buffer and absorb technogenic and anthropogenic pollutants. The loss of biodiversity, reliance on non-renewable natural resources, and conversion of once wild ecosystems for human use with attendant desertification/soil erosion, has led to a shift of consciousness and the widespread call for sustainability of human activities. For researchers working on bioregenerative life support in closed systems, the small volumes and faster cycling times than in the Earth's biosphere make it starkly clear that systems must be designed to ensure renewal of water and atmosphere, nutrient recycling, production of healthy food, and safe environmental methods of maintaining technical systems. The development of technical systems that can be fully integrated and supportive of living systems is a harbinger of new perspectives as well as technologies in the global environment. In addition, closed system bioregenerative life support offers opportunities for public education and consciousness changing of how to live with our global biosphere.

  17. “My assessment didn’t seem real”: The Influence of Field Experiences on Preservice Teachers’ Agency and Assessment Literacy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Spencer Clark

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available To date, there is little or no research that specifically examines assessment literacy in social studies education, or the relationship between preservice teachers assessment literacy and their thinking about their own agency. This article focuses on three preservice social studies teachers who demonstrated a high degree of assessment literacy in their lesson plans, by developing assessments that supported their purpose for teaching social studies and their instructional decisions. The preservice teachers’ thinking about their assessment decisions in their field experience classrooms was examined through artifacts, interviews, and reflections. The preservice teachers’ thinking demonstrated that their assessment literacy was distinct based upon their views of the teaching profession. The findings from this case study highlight the ways that the authoritative discourses of assessment can influence the agency of preservice teachers. The discussion of findings highlights several implications for social studies teacher education.

  18. On the uncertainty of phenological responses to climate change and its implication for terrestrial biosphere models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Migliavacca

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Phenology, the timing of recurring life cycle events, controls numerous land surface feedbacks to the climate systems through the regulation of exchanges of carbon, water and energy between the biosphere and atmosphere. Land surface models, however, are known to have systematic errors in the simulation of spring phenology, which potentially could propagate to uncertainty in modeled responses to future climate change. Here, we analyzed the Harvard Forest phenology record to investigate and characterize the sources of uncertainty in phenological forecasts and the subsequent impacts on model forecasts of carbon and water cycling in the future. Using a model-data fusion approach, we combined information from 20 yr of phenological observations of 11 North American woody species with 12 phenological models of different complexity to predict leaf bud-burst.

    The evaluation of different phenological models indicated support for spring warming models with photoperiod limitations and, though to a lesser extent, to chilling models based on the alternating model structure.

    We assessed three different sources of uncertainty in phenological forecasts: parameter uncertainty, model uncertainty, and driver uncertainty. The latter was characterized running the models to 2099 using 2 different IPCC climate scenarios (A1fi vs. B1, i.e. high CO2 emissions vs. low CO2 emissions scenario. Parameter uncertainty was the smallest (average 95% CI: 2.4 day century−1 for scenario B1 and 4.5 day century−1 for A1fi, whereas driver uncertainty was the largest (up to 8.4 day century−1 in the simulated trends. The uncertainty related to model structure is also large and the predicted bud-burst trends as well as the shape of the smoothed projections varied somewhat among models (±7.7 day century−1 for A1fi, ±3.6 day century−1 for B1. The forecast sensitivity of bud-burst to

  19. Spanish and Chilean Standardizations of the Personality Assessment Inventory: the Influence of Sex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortiz-Tallo, Margarita; Cardenal, Violeta; Ferragut, Marta; Santamaría, Pablo

    2015-01-01

    There is growing interest in the adaptation of psychological questionnaires in different countries, due to the need for cross-cultural research using the same tests adapted to diverse populations. This paper presents the standardization of the Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI; Morey, 1991, 2007) in Spain and Chile (both Spanish-speaking countries). The Spanish sample was made up of 940 people (461 men and 479 women), and the Chilean sample of 569 people (231 men and 338 women). Results revealed that the Chilean means were higher than those of the Spanish sample at confidence level 99.9%, although the associated effect sizes were generally small to moderate (partial eta-square between 0.008 and 0.187). Sex differences in the variables evaluated were commented on, and the importance of cross-cultural research and the influence of sex on personality and psychopathology variables were discussed.

  20. Vegetation assessment in a pipeline influence area: the case study of PETROBRAS ammonia pipeline

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Basbaum, Marcos A.; Porciano, Patricia P.; Bonafini, Fabio L. [SEEBLA - Servicos de Engenharia Emilio Baumgart Ltda., Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil)], e-mail: mbasbaum.seebla@petrobras.com.br, e-mail: patriciapp.seebla@petrobras.com.br, e-mail: bonafini.seebla@petrobras.com.br; Guimaraes, Ricardo Z.P.; Torggler, Bianca F.; Fernandes, Renato; Vieira, Elisa D.R. [PETROBRAS S.A., Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil)], e-mail: rzaluar@petrobras.com.br, e-mail: torggler@petrobras.com.br, e-mail: renatofer@petrobras.com.br, e-mail: elisav@petrobras.com.br

    2009-12-19

    This ammonia pipeline is about 30 km long and links the Fertilizer Plant (FAFEN-BA) to the Urea Marine Terminal (TMU) at the Port of Aratu in Candeias (Bahia State, Brazil). In this study, we characterize the remnants of vegetation and quantify the Permanent Preservation Areas. Furthermore, we propose areas and techniques for their recovery and / or management. The methodology was based on the Rapid Ecological Assessment, which combines selection of areas through remote sensing image analysis, with rapid field campaigns in the selected points. This methodology, successfully applied in PETROBRAS refineries, is first applied in a pipeline influence area. During these campaigns, the main aspects of vegetation, such as phyto physiognomy and ecological succession stages, were registered in field data sheets prepared for this purpose. The most representative remnants of vegetation that could be quantified were Atlantic Forest fragments, as well as those in the Permanent Preservation Areas. (author)

  1. Robotic assessment of the influence of age on upper-limb sensorimotor function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Llinares, Ana; Badesa, Francisco Javier; Morales, Ricardo; Garcia-Aracil, Nicolas; Sabater, J M; Fernandez, Eduardo

    2013-01-01

    This paper examines the influence of age on several attributes of sensorimotor performance while performing a reaching task. Our hypothesis, based on previous studies, is that aged persons will show differences in one or more of the attributes of sensorimotor performance. Fifty-one subjects (aged 20-80 years) with no known neuromotor disorders of the upper limbs participated in the study. Subjects were asked to grasp the end-effector of a pneumatic robotic device with two degrees of freedom in order to reach peripheral targets (1.0 cm radius), "quickly and accurately", from a centrally located target (1.0 cm radius). Subjects began each trial by holding the hand within the central target for 2000 milliseconds. Afterwards, a peripheral target was illuminated. Then participants were given 3000 milliseconds to complete the movement. When a target was reached, the participant had to return to the central target in order to start a new trial. A total of 64 trials were completed and each peripheral target was illuminated in a random block design. SUBJECTS WERE DIVIDED INTO THREE GROUPS ACCORDING TO AGE: group 1 (age 20-40 years), group 2 (age 41-60 years), and group 3 (age 61-80 years). The Kruskal-Wallis test showed significant differences (P 0.05). These results suggest that age introduces significant differences in upper-limb motor function. Our findings show that there are objective differences in sensorimotor function due to age, and that these differences are greater for the dominant arm. Therefore for the assessment of upper-limb function, we should take into account the influence of age. Moreover, these results suggest that robotic systems can provide a new and effective approach in the assessment of sensorimotor function.

  2. Real time heart rate variability assessment from Android smartphone camera photoplethysmography: Postural and device influences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guede-Fernandez, F; Ferrer-Mileo, V; Ramos-Castro, J; Fernandez-Chimeno, M; Garcia-Gonzalez, M A

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this paper is to present a smartphone based system for real-time pulse-to-pulse (PP) interval time series acquisition by frame-to-frame camera image processing. The developed smartphone application acquires image frames from built-in rear-camera at the maximum available rate (30 Hz) and the smartphone GPU has been used by Renderscript API for high performance frame-by-frame image acquisition and computing in order to obtain PPG signal and PP interval time series. The relative error of mean heart rate is negligible. In addition, measurement posture and the employed smartphone model influences on the beat-to-beat error measurement of heart rate and HRV indices have been analyzed. Then, the standard deviation of the beat-to-beat error (SDE) was 7.81 ± 3.81 ms in the worst case. Furthermore, in supine measurement posture, significant device influence on the SDE has been found and the SDE is lower with Samsung S5 than Motorola X. This study can be applied to analyze the reliability of different smartphone models for HRV assessment from real-time Android camera frames processing.

  3. Procedure for quantifiable assessment of nutritional parameters influencing nisin production by Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chandrapati, S; O'Sullivan, D J

    1998-08-27

    A modified rapid plate assay procedure was developed, that allowed quantifiable measurement of nisin production by Lactococcus lactis growing directly on agar media. Using this direct plate assay, several nutritional parameters were assessed for their influence on nisin production (as distinct from their influence on growth) by L. lactis subsp. lactis ATCC 11454 growing on standard M17 based media over 3 and 6 h incubation periods. Glucose was found to be the optimal carbon source tested, with glycerol having the greatest suppressive effect. The addition of salts suppressed nisin production on a per cell basis, except MnCl2. This direct plate method proved to be a good pilot assay for rapidly and quantifiably investigating the initial effects of different parameters on nisin production by L. lactis, prior to conducting more intensive broth batch culture assays. The data obtained in this study indicate that certain nutritional parameters can impose a repressive effect on nisin production. Elucidation of how these parameters control the amount of nisin produced will provide further insight into the regulation of nisin biosynthesis in L. lactis.

  4. Assessment of patients' awareness and factors influencing patients' demands for sedation in endodontics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huh, Yoo Kyeom; Montagnese, Thomas A; Harding, Jarrod; Aminoshariae, Anita; Mickel, Andre

    2015-02-01

    Endodontic therapy is perceived by many as a procedure to be feared. Many studies have reported that fear and anxiety are major deterrents to seeking dental care in general, but only a few deal with the use of sedation in endodontic therapies. The purpose of this study was to assess patients' awareness of and factors influencing the potential demand for sedation in endodontics. We hypothesized that there is an association between demographic factors and the demand for sedation in endodontics. A survey consisting of 24 questions was given to patients 18 years and older who presented to the graduate endodontic clinic. Results were collected and statistically analyzed. Thirty-six percent of patients reported that their perception of sedation was being put to sleep, and 27% perceived it as related to or reducing pain. Concerns associated with endodontic therapy were the fear of pain (35%), fear of needles (16%), difficulty getting numb (10%), and anxiety (7%). The 2 major demographic factors that influenced the demand for sedation were cost and the level of anxiety (P endodontic therapy if the option of sedation was available. The demand for sedation in endodontics is high. Patients' understanding of sedation varies. More patients would consider having endodontic procedures if sedation was available. The provision of sedation by endodontists could result in more patients accepting endodontic therapies. Copyright © 2015 American Association of Endodontists. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Toward Reducing Uncertainties in Biospheric Carbon Uptake in the American West: An Atmospheric Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, J. C.; Stephens, B. B.; Mallia, D.; Wu, D.; Jacobson, A. R.

    2015-12-01

    Despite the need for an understanding of terrestrial biospheric carbon fluxes to account for carbon cycle feedbacks and predict future CO2 concentrations, knowledge of such fluxes at the regional scale remains poor. This is particularly true in mountainous areas, where lack of observations combined with difficulties in their interpretation lead to significant uncertainties. Yet mountainous regions are also where significant forest cover and biomass are found—areas that have the potential to serve as carbon sinks. In particular, understanding carbon fluxes in the American West is of critical importance for the U.S. carbon budget, as the large area and biomass indicate potential for carbon sequestration. However, disturbances such as drought, insect outbreak, and wildfires in this region can introduce significant perturbations to the carbon cycle and thereby affect the amount of carbon sequestered by vegetation in the Rockies. To date, there have been few atmospheric CO2 observations in the American Rockies due to a combination of difficulties associated with logistics and interpretation of the measurements in the midst of complex terrain. Among the few sites are those associated with NCAR's Regional Atmospheric Continuous CO2 Network in the Rocky Mountains (Rocky RACCOON). As CO2 observations in mountainous areas increase in the future, it is imperative that they can be properly interpreted to yield information about biospheric carbon fluxes. In this paper, we will present CO2 observations from RACCOON, along with atmospheric simulations that attempt to extract information about biospheric carbon fluxes in the Western U.S. from these observations. We show that atmospheric models can significantly misinterpret the CO2 observations, leading to large errors in the retrieved biospheric fluxes, due to erroneous atmospheric flows. Recommendations for ways to minimize such errors and properly link the CO2 concentrations to biospheric fluxes are discussed.

  6. Changing feedbacks in the climate-biosphere system

    Science.gov (United States)

    F. Stuart Chapin; James T. Randerson; A. David McGuire; Jonathan A. Foley; Christopher B. Field

    2008-01-01

    Ecosystems influence climate through multiple pathways, primarily by changing the energy, water, and greenhouse-gas balance of the atmosphere. Consequently, efforts to mitigate climate change through modification of one pathway, as with carbon in the Kyoto Protocol, only partially address the issue of ecosystem-climate interactions. For example, the cooling of climate...

  7. Influence of anesthesia technique at cesarean section on newborn state assessment and on uterus contraction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Олексій Олегович Волков

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Anesthetics and anesthesia in whole have an influence on intrauterine state of fetus. All substances that are injected to a pregnant for anesthesia penetrate in organism of fetus in some quantity. It is considered that halogened inhalation anesthetics can moderate the birth activity of uterus and its tonus in quiescence depending on concentration.Aim of research: to study the techniques of anesthesia (inhalation, total intravenous, spinal of cesarean section for assess the state of newborn and uterus contraction.Materials and methods. There were examined 95 women on term of pregnancy 37–42 weeks in 2013–2014 years who underwent cesarean section. They were divided into 3 groups depending on technique of anesthesia. I group (n=30 included women who underwent inhalation anesthesia. The second one (n=34 included women who underwent the total intravenous anesthesia. The third group – the random women (n=31 who underwent the spinal anesthesia. The state of newborns was detected on Apgar score on 1 and 5 minutes after birth. The quality of postnatal uterus contraction was assessed depending on the need of an amount of injected oxytocin and necessity to add another uterotonic preparation after fetus extraction.Results and discussion. At analysis of the state of newborn on Apgar score on 1 minute in 1 group were received 7,73±0,09 point, in 2 group this indicator was 7,4±0,14 point without statistic difference with 1 group (р=0,06. In 3 group points reached 7,55±0,17, without statistic difference with both (р=0,36, and 2 groups (р=0,50. At analysis of the state of newborn on Apgar on 5 minute statistic difference between the groups also was not established. In the 1 group this indicator reached 8,69±0,9 point, in 2 group – 8,47±0,12point, the difference with the first group was unreliable (р=0,16. In 3 group an assessment on Apgar on 5 minute was 8,64±0,12, without statistic difference with 1 and 2 groups (р=0,76 and р=0

  8. Examining the influence of urban definition when assessing relative safety of drinking-water in Nigeria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christenson, Elizabeth; Bain, Robert; Wright, Jim; Aondoakaa, Stephen; Hossain, Rifat; Bartram, Jamie

    2014-08-15

    Reducing inequalities is a priority from a human rights perspective and in water and public health initiatives. There are periodic calls for differential national and global standards for rural and urban areas, often justified by the suggestion that, for a given water source type, safety is worse in urban areas. For instance, initially proposed post-2015 water targets included classifying urban but not rural protected dug wells as unimproved. The objectives of this study were to: (i) examine the influence of urban extent definition on water safety in Nigeria, (ii) compare the frequency of thermotolerant coliform (TTC) contamination and prevalence of sanitary risks between rural and urban water sources of a given type and (iii) investigate differences in exposure to contaminated drinking-water in rural and urban areas. We use spatially referenced data from a Nigerian national randomized sample survey of five improved water source types to assess the extent of any disparities in urban-rural safety. We combined the survey data on TTC and sanitary risk with map layers depicting urban versus rural areas according to eight urban definitions. When examining water safety separately for each improved source type, we found no significant urban-rural differences in TTC contamination and sanitary risk for groundwater sources (boreholes and protected dug wells) and inconclusive findings for piped water and stored water. However, when improved and unimproved source types were combined, TTC contamination was 1.6 to 2.3 times more likely in rural compared to urban water sources depending on the urban definition. Our results suggest that different targets for urban and rural water safety are not justified and that rural dwellers are more exposed to unsafe water than urban dwellers. Additionally, urban-rural analyses should assess multiple definitions or indicators of urban to assess robustness of findings and to characterize a gradient that disaggregates the urban-rural dichotomy

  9. The influence of physical and physiological cues on atomic force microscopy-based cell stiffness assessment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu-Wei Chiou

    Full Text Available Atomic force microscopy provides a novel technique for differentiating the mechanical properties of various cell types. Cell elasticity is abundantly used to represent the structural strength of cells in different conditions. In this study, we are interested in whether physical or physiological cues affect cell elasticity in Atomic force microscopy (AFM-based assessments. The physical cues include the geometry of the AFM tips, the indenting force and the operating temperature of the AFM. All of these cues show a significant influence on the cell elasticity assessment. Sharp AFM tips create a two-fold increase in the value of the effective Young's modulus (E(eff relative to that of the blunt tips. Higher indenting force at the same loading rate generates higher estimated cell elasticity. Increasing the operation temperature of the AFM leads to decreases in the cell stiffness because the structure of actin filaments becomes disorganized. The physiological cues include the presence of fetal bovine serum or extracellular matrix-coated surfaces, the culture passage number, and the culture density. Both fetal bovine serum and the extracellular matrix are critical for cells to maintain the integrity of actin filaments and consequently exhibit higher elasticity. Unlike primary cells, mouse kidney progenitor cells can be passaged and maintain their morphology and elasticity for a very long period without a senescence phenotype. Finally, cell elasticity increases with increasing culture density only in MDCK epithelial cells. In summary, for researchers who use AFM to assess cell elasticity, our results provide basic and significant information about the suitable selection of physical and physiological cues.

  10. Validation of the Intrapersonal Technology Integration Scale: Assessing the Influence of Intrapersonal Factors that Influence Technology Integration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niederhauser, Dale S.; Perkmen, Serkan

    2008-01-01

    Teachers' beliefs about their self-efficacy for integrating technology, their outcome expectations for integrating technology, and their interest in using technology to support student learning influence their intentions for incorporating technology into their instructional practices. To date, instruments developed to examine the relationships…

  11. Developing a global mixed-canopy, height-variable vegetation structure dataset for estimating global vegetation albedo by a clumped canopy radiative transfer scheme in the NASA Ent Terrestrial Biosphere Model and GISS GCM

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montes, Carlo; Kiang, Nancy Y.; Ni-Meister, Wenge; Yang, Wenze; Schaaf, Crystal; Aleinov, Igor; Jonas, Jeffrey A.; Zhao, Feng; Yao, Tian; Wang, Zhuosen; Sun, Qingsong; Carrer, Dominique

    2016-04-01

    Processes determining biosphere-atmosphere coupling are strongly influenced by vegetation structure. Thus, ecosystem carbon sequestration and evapotranspiration affecting global carbon and water balances will depend upon the spatial extent of vegetation, its vertical structure, and its physiological variability. To represent this globally, Dynamic Global Vegetation Models (DGVMs) coupled to General Circulation Models (GCMs) make use of satellite and/or model-based vegetation classifications often composed by homogeneous communities. This work aims at developing a new Global Vegetation Structure Dataset (GVSD) by incorporating varying vegetation heights for mixed plant communities to be used as boundary conditions to the Analytical Clumped Two-Stream (ACTS) canopy radiative transfer scheme (Ni-Meister et al., 2010) incorporated into the NASA Ent Terrestrial Biosphere Model (TBM), the DGVM coupled to the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) GCM. Information sources about land surface and vegetation characteristics obtained from a number of earth observation platforms and algorithms include the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) land cover and plant functional types (PFTs) (Friedl et al., 2010), soil albedo derived from MODIS (Carrer et al., 2014), along with vegetation height from the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) on board ICESat (Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite) (Simard et al., 2011; Tang et al., 2014). Three widely used Leaf Area Index (LAI) products are compared as input to the GVSD and ACTS forcing in terms of vegetation albedo: Global Data Sets of Vegetation (LAI)3g (Zhu et al. 2013), Beijing Normal University LAI (Yuan et al., 2011), and MODIS MOD15A2H product (Yang et al., 2006). Further PFT partitioning is performed according to a climate classification utilizing the Climate Research Unit (CRU; Harris et al., 2013) and the NOAA Global Precipitation Climatology Centre (GPCC; Scheider et al., 2014) data. Final

  12. Assessing the influence of Environmental Impact Assessments on science and policy: an analysis of the Three Gorges Project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tullos, Desiree

    2009-07-01

    The need to understand and minimize negative environmental outcomes associated with large dams has both contributed to and benefited from the introduction and subsequent improvements in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process. However, several limitations in the EIA process remain, including those associated with the uncertainty and significance of impact projections. These limitations are directly related to the feedback between science and policy, with information gaps in scientific understanding discovered through the EIA process contributing valuable recommendations on critical focus areas for prioritizing and funding research within the fields of ecological conservation and river engineering. This paper presents an analysis of the EIA process for the Three Gorges Project (TGP) in China as a case study for evaluating this feedback between the EIA and science and policy. For one of the best-studied public development projects in the world, this paper presents an investigation into whether patterns exist between the scientific interest (via number of publications) in environmental impacts and (a) the identification of impacts as uncertain or priority by the EIA, (b) decisions or political events associated with the dam, and (c) impact type. This analysis includes the compilation of literature on TGP, characterization of ecosystem interactions and responses to TGP through a hierarchy of impacts, coding of EIA impacts as "uncertain" impacts that require additional study and "priority" impacts that have particularly high significance, mapping of an event chronology to relate policies, institutional changes, and decisions about TGP as "events" that could influence the focus and intensity of scientific investigation, and analysis of the number of publications by impact type and order within the impact hierarchy. From these analyses, it appears that the availability and consistency of scientific information limit the accuracy of environmental impact

  13. Does relative body fat influence the Movement ABC-2 assessment in children with and without developmental coordination disorder?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faught, Brent E; Demetriades, Stephen; Hay, John; Cairney, John

    2013-12-01

    Developmental coordination disorder (DCD) is a condition that results in an impairment of gross and/or fine motor coordination. Compromised motor coordination contributes to lower levels of physical activity, which is associated with elevated body fat. The impact of elevated body fat on motor coordination diagnostic assessments in children with DCD has not been established. The purpose of this study was to determine if relative body fat influences performance on the Movement Assessment Battery for Children, 2nd Edition (MABC-2) test items in children with and without DCD. A nested case-control, design was conducted within the Physical Health Activity Study Team longitudinal cohort study. The MABC-2 was used to assess motor coordination to categorize cases and matched controls. Relative body fat was assessed using whole body air displacement plethysmography. Relative body fat was negatively associated with the MABC-2 "balance" subcategory after adjusting for physical activity and DCD status. Relative body fat did not influence the subcategories of "manual dexterity" or "aiming and catching". Item analysis of the three balance tasks indicated that relative body fat significantly influences both "2-board balance" and "zig-zag hopping", but not "walking heel-toe backwards". Children with higher levels of relative body fat do not perform as well on the MABC-2, regardless of whether the have DCD or not. Dynamic balance test items are most negatively influenced by body fat. Health practitioners and researchers should be aware that body fat can influence results when interpreting MABC-2 test scores.

  14. An influence diagram for urban flood risk assessment through pluvial flood hazards under non-stationary conditions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Åström, Helena Lisa Alexandra; Friis Hansen, P.; Garrè, Luca

    2014-01-01

    non-stationary conditions using an influence diagram (ID) which is a Bayesian network (BN) extended with decision and utility nodes. Non-stationarity is considered to be the influence of climate change where extreme precipitation patterns change over time. The overall risk is quantified in monetary...... terms expressed as expected annual damage. The network is dynamic in as much as it assesses risk at different points in time. The framework provides means for decision-makers to assess how different decisions on flood adaptation affect the risk now and in the future. The result from the ID was extended...... for flooding increases over time, and the benefits of implementing flood adaptation measures....

  15. Robotic assessment of the influence of age on upper-limb sensorimotor function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    LLinares A

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Ana LLinares, Francisco Javier Badesa, Ricardo Morales, Nicolas Garcia-Aracil, JM Sabater, Eduardo Fernandez Biomedical Neuroengineering, Universidad Miguel Hernández de Elche, Elche, Spain Purpose: This paper examines the influence of age on several attributes of sensorimotor performance while performing a reaching task. Our hypothesis, based on previous studies, is that aged persons will show differences in one or more of the attributes of sensorimotor performance. Patients and methods: Fifty-one subjects (aged 20–80 years with no known neuromotor disorders of the upper limbs participated in the study. Subjects were asked to grasp the end-effector of a pneumatic robotic device with two degrees of freedom in order to reach peripheral targets (1.0 cm radius, "quickly and accurately", from a centrally located target (1.0 cm radius. Subjects began each trial by holding the hand within the central target for 2000 milliseconds. Afterwards, a peripheral target was illuminated. Then participants were given 3000 milliseconds to complete the movement. When a target was reached, the participant had to return to the central target in order to start a new trial. A total of 64 trials were completed and each peripheral target was illuminated in a random block design. Results: Subjects were divided into three groups according to age: group 1 (age 20–40 years, group 2 (age 41–60 years, and group 3 (age 61–80 years. The Kruskal–Wallis test showed significant differences (P < 0.05 between groups, except for the variables postural speed in the dominant arm, and postural speed and initial deviation in the non-dominant arm (P > 0.05. These results suggest that age introduces significant differences in upper-limb motor function. Conclusion: Our findings show that there are objective differences in sensorimotor function due to age, and that these differences are greater for the dominant arm. Therefore for the assessment of upper-limb function, we should

  16. Assessing Embayed Equilibrium State, Beach Rotation and Environmental Forcing Influences; Tenby Southwest Wales, UK

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tony Thomas

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available The morphological change of a headland bay beach—Tenby, West Wales, UK—was analysed over a 73-year period (1941–2014. Geo-referenced aerial photographs were used to extract shoreline positions which were subsequently compared with wave models based on storm event data. From the 1941 baseline, results showed shoreline change rates reduced over time with regression models enabling a prediction of shoreline equilibrium circa 2061. Further temporal analyses showed southern and central sector erosion and northern accretion, while models identified long-term plan-form rotation, i.e., a negative phase relationship between beach extremities and a change from negative to positive correlation within the more stable central sector. Models were then used in conjunction with an empirical 2nd order polynomial equation to predict the 2061 longshore equilibrium shoreline position under current environmental conditions. Results agreed with previous regional research which showed that dominant south and southwesterly wave regimes influence south to north longshore drift with counter drift generated by less dominant easterly regimes. The equilibrium shoreline was also used to underpin flood and inundation assessments, identifying areas at risk and strategies to increase resilience. UK shoreline management plans evaluate coastal vulnerability based upon temporal epochs of 20, 50 and 100 years. Therefore, this research evaluating datasets spanning 73 years has demonstrated the effectiveness of linear regression in integrating temporal and spatial consequences of sea level rise and storms. The developed models can be used to predict future shoreline positions aligned with shoreline management plan epochs and inform embayed beach shoreline assessments at local, regional and international scales, by identifying locations of vulnerability and enabling the development of management strategies to improve resilience under scenarios of sea level rise and climate

  17. When product diversification influences life cycle impact assessment: A case study of canned anchovy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laso, Jara; Margallo, María; Fullana, Pére; Bala, Alba; Gazulla, Cristina; Irabien, Ángel; Aldaco, Rubén

    2017-03-01

    The anchovy canning industry is one of the most important economic resources of the Cantabria region in Spain. However, environmental, economic and social problems over the past years have forced companies to apply marketing strategies, develop product diversification, create new products and introduce them in new "green markets". Launching Cantabrian canned anchovies into more sustainable markets requires measuring the environmental performance using Product Category Rules (PCRs) and Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs). EPDs and PCRS include the environmental profile of a range of similar products, such as all of the available canned anchovy products. The great variety of anchovy canned products depends on three process variables: the origin of the anchovy (Cantabria, Argentina and Chile or Peru), the type of oil (refined olive oil, extra virgin olive oil and sunflower oil) and the packaging (aluminum, tinplate, glass and plastic). This work aims to assess the environmental impact from cradle to grave of canned anchovies in oil using the life cycle assessment methodology (LCA). Moreover, the paper evaluates the influence of the above-mentioned three product variables in the LCA results. The results show that out of all of the alternatives, Chilean and Peruvian anchovies have the highest environmental burdens due to the transportation by ship. The production of anchovies in sunflower oil is a less environmentally friendly oil process due to the low yield per hectare of sunflower cultivation. Finally, the use of aluminum as the packaging material has the largest environmental impact out of almost all of the impact categories. Moreover, because the LCA results can be significantly affected by the allocation procedure, a sensitivity analysis comparing system expansion, mass and economic allocation is performed. In this case, the system expansion approach presents the highest environmental impacts followed by the mass allocation.

  18. Building a Complex Scorecard on the Basis of Assessment of Influence of Socio-economic Factors of Enterprise Development

    OpenAIRE

    Verbitska Tetiana V.

    2014-01-01

    The goal of the article lies in building a complex scorecard used for assessment of influence of socio-economic factors of enterprise development. The article specifies such groups of socio-economic factors as factors of organisational and managerial impact; workers potential and their professional development; social protection of workers; labour protection and healthcare; and social infrastructure. Having analysed and compared concepts and approaches to assessment of enterprise activity, th...

  19. Influence of human nail etching for the assessment of topical onychomycosis therapies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Repka, Michael A; Mididoddi, Praveen K; Stodghill, Steven P

    2004-09-10

    The purpose of this investigation was to study the physico-chemical properties of hot-melt extruded films containing ketoconazole and to determine the influence of 'nail etching' on film bioadhesion and drug permeability for the assessment of topical onychomycosis therapies. Hot-melt extrusion (HME) was used to prepare films containing 20% w/w ketoconazole. Ketoconazole 0.125% gel was also prepared using Carbopol 974P NF. Films were processed at a temperature range of 115-120 degrees C utilizing a Killion extruder (KLB-100), and were evaluated for post-extrusion drug content, content uniformity, bioadhesion, thermal behavior and nail drug permeation. The extruded films demonstrated excellent content uniformity and post-processing drug content. Tensile and peel tests were recorded to determine the bioadhesive profiles. In this study, work of adhesion and peak adhesive force determinations using the peel tests provided more sensitive results for evaluating the bioadhesivity of the HME films than the tensile tests. The in vitro permeability profiles have demonstrated, that nail samples treated with an 'etchant' demonstrated a significant increase in drug permeability compared to control. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) thermograms indicated that ketoconazole was in solid solution within the HME films. These findings are encouraging for the future design and formulation of novel drug delivery systems for the topical treatment of onychomycosis.

  20. Degradation of Thiamethoxam in aqueous solution by ozonation: Influencing factors, intermediates, degradation mechanism and toxicity assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Qinghua; Ge, Yanan; Zuo, Peng; Shi, Dong; Jia, Shouhua

    2016-03-01

    This paper focuses on the degradation of Thiamethoxam (THIA) in aqueous solution by ozonation. Four influencing factors: pH, THIA initial concentration, ozone concentration and temperature were investigated in order to optimize the conditions, and pH showed the greatest impact; the removal efficiency reached up to 71.19% under the condition of pH 5-11, THIA initial concentration 50-300 mg L(-1), the ozone concentration 10-22.5 mg L(-1) at 293-308 K after 90 min. Four main intermediates were separated and identified and the possible degradation mechanism was proposed. The luminous intensity of photobacteria and the chemical oxygen demand (COD) were measured to assess the changes of toxicity and mineralization in ozonation process, and results showed that the inhibition rate decreased by 60% and 76% of COD was removed after 180 min with the THIA initial concentration was 200 mg L(-1). Our study powerfully demonstrates that the degradation of THIA in aqueous solution by ozonation is a promising technology.

  1. On the Science-Policy Bridge: Do Spatial Heat Vulnerability Assessment Studies Influence Policy?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolf, Tanja; Chuang, Wen-Ching; McGregor, Glenn

    2015-10-23

    Human vulnerability to heat varies at a range of spatial scales, especially within cities where there can be noticeable intra-urban differences in heat risk factors. Mapping and visualizing intra-urban heat vulnerability offers opportunities for presenting information to support decision-making. For example the visualization of the spatial variation of heat vulnerability has the potential to enable local governments to identify hot spots of vulnerability and allocate resources and increase assistance to people in areas of greatest need. Recently there has been a proliferation of heat vulnerability mapping studies, all of which, to varying degrees, justify the process of vulnerability mapping in a policy context. However, to date, there has not been a systematic review of the extent to which the results of vulnerability mapping studies have been applied in decision-making. Accordingly we undertook a comprehensive review of 37 recently published papers that use geospatial techniques for assessing human vulnerability to heat. In addition, we conducted an anonymous survey of the lead authors of the 37 papers in order to establish the level of interaction between the researchers as science information producers and local authorities as information users. Both paper review and author survey results show that heat vulnerability mapping has been used in an attempt to communicate policy recommendations, raise awareness and induce institutional networking and learning, but has not as yet had a substantive influence on policymaking or preventive action.

  2. Birthing school – patient’s assessment on the influence of classes on parturition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wdowiak Artur

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Pregnancy is a woman’s physiological state, covering the period from conception to birth. It is an important time in the life of every woman and the child’s father. Often, the parents-to-be find the new situation difficult. Childbirth classes may prove helpful during pregnancy and childbirth for mothers and fathers. The aim of the study was to evaluate the effect of antenatal classes on parturition, according to the assessment of patients. The study was conducted at the Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski Provincial Specialist University Hospital in Lublin at the maternity ward on a group of 155 patients by means of diagnostic survey. The survey, by which the research material was collected, has been developed with the author’s own method. It has been shown that education and age of the participants influence the decision to use the services of childbirth education classes. Furthermore, the knowledge of breathing techniques, the use of birthing facilities, development of a plan for parturition and knowledge of methods of pain relief of childbirth have no impact on its duration. It was also shown that it is important to use relevant childbirth positions.

  3. Genetics blogs as a public health tool: assessing credibility and influence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, L; Paquin, R; Persky, S

    2012-01-01

    The Internet is becoming an important source of information about genetics and holds promise for public health applications. However, the public has concerns about the credibility of online genetics information. We conducted a content analysis of genetics blogs (n = 94). Specifically, we assessed the prevalence of various genetics-related topics and perceived credibility indicators. The relationship between content indicators, credibility indicators, and blog influence, measured as links between blogs, was evaluated. Coverage of issues related to health or self-knowledge (31%) and life science (26%) was most common among genetics blogs. In terms of credibility indicators, most blogs disclosed authors' full names (81%) and biographical information (67%). Many blog authors reported having genetics (67%) or life science expertise (59%). However, only 7% of blogs were affiliated with educational or medical institutions. Overall, blogs that focused on ancestry, that had authors with life science expertise, and that posted more frequently tended to be more influential. Findings suggest that life scientists and those who blog frequently may figure more centrally in shaping the genetics information available to the public via blogs. There is room for institutions that are likely to be perceived as credible sources of genetics information to assume a greater presence through blogs.

  4. Experimental assessment of the influence of bedforms on coupled hyporheic flow and heat transport

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norman, F. A.; Chan, W. S.; Cardenas, M. B.

    2011-12-01

    Hyporheic flow influences both biogeochemical cycling in streambeds as well as streambed ecology. Biogeochemical processes may be temperature dependent, whereas heat transport may also be controlled by hyporheic flow, thereby providing feedback. We separately and experimentally assess the effects of hyporheic flow due to bed topography on thermal dynamics in the sediment using a custom, tilting flume with temperature controls. Diel temperature cycles of 6° C were imposed in the flume and propagation of temperature signals into the sediment was examined for different bed morphologies (plane bed, pool-riffle-pool, and rippled bed), channel flow rates, and sediment grain size. Temperature fields in the sediment were monitored using an array of embedded thermistors, and this data was used to identify zones of upwelling and downwelling within the hyporheic zone. Results suggest that bedforms do induce substantially deeper downwelling upstream and downstream of the bedforms, with upwelling near the crest. This in turn leads to substantial advective heat transport and distinct thermal patterns in the sediment. These results corroborate existing theoretical models of coupled hyporheic exchange and heat transport under bedforms. Hyporheic flow therefore affects thermal patchiness in sediment, which may in turn exert a control on biogeochemical reaction rates, and form thermal refugia for fauna.

  5. On the Science-Policy Bridge: Do Spatial Heat Vulnerability Assessment Studies Influence Policy?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tanja Wolf

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Human vulnerability to heat varies at a range of spatial scales, especially within cities where there can be noticeable intra-urban differences in heat risk factors. Mapping and visualizing intra-urban heat vulnerability offers opportunities for presenting information to support decision-making. For example the visualization of the spatial variation of heat vulnerability has the potential to enable local governments to identify hot spots of vulnerability and allocate resources and increase assistance to people in areas of greatest need. Recently there has been a proliferation of heat vulnerability mapping studies, all of which, to varying degrees, justify the process of vulnerability mapping in a policy context. However, to date, there has not been a systematic review of the extent to which the results of vulnerability mapping studies have been applied in decision-making. Accordingly we undertook a comprehensive review of 37 recently published papers that use geospatial techniques for assessing human vulnerability to heat. In addition, we conducted an anonymous survey of the lead authors of the 37 papers in order to establish the level of interaction between the researchers as science information producers and local authorities as information users. Both paper review and author survey results show that heat vulnerability mapping has been used in an attempt to communicate policy recommendations, raise awareness and induce institutional networking and learning, but has not as yet had a substantive influence on policymaking or preventive action.

  6. Examining the influence of urban definition when assessing relative safety of drinking-water in Nigeria

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Christenson, Elizabeth; Bain, Robert [The Water Institute at UNC, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC (United States); Wright, Jim [Geography and Environment, University of Southampton, Southampton (United Kingdom); Aondoakaa, Stephen [Geography and Environmental Management, University of Abuja, Abuja (Nigeria); School of Geography, University of Nottingham, Nottingham (United Kingdom); Hossain, Rifat [World Health Organization, Geneva (Switzerland); Bartram, Jamie, E-mail: jbartram@unc.edu [The Water Institute at UNC, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC (United States)

    2014-08-15

    Reducing inequalities is a priority from a human rights perspective and in water and public health initiatives. There are periodic calls for differential national and global standards for rural and urban areas, often justified by the suggestion that, for a given water source type, safety is worse in urban areas. For instance, initially proposed post-2015 water targets included classifying urban but not rural protected dug wells as unimproved. The objectives of this study were to: (i) examine the influence of urban extent definition on water safety in Nigeria, (ii) compare the frequency of thermotolerant coliform (TTC) contamination and prevalence of sanitary risks between rural and urban water sources of a given type and (iii) investigate differences in exposure to contaminated drinking-water in rural and urban areas. We use spatially referenced data from a Nigerian national randomized sample survey of five improved water source types to assess the extent of any disparities in urban–rural safety. We combined the survey data on TTC and sanitary risk with map layers depicting urban versus rural areas according to eight urban definitions. When examining water safety separately for each improved source type, we found no significant urban–rural differences in TTC contamination and sanitary risk for groundwater sources (boreholes and protected dug wells) and inconclusive findings for piped water and stored water. However, when improved and unimproved source types were combined, TTC contamination was 1.6 to 2.3 times more likely in rural compared to urban water sources depending on the urban definition. Our results suggest that different targets for urban and rural water safety are not justified and that rural dwellers are more exposed to unsafe water than urban dwellers. Additionally, urban–rural analyses should assess multiple definitions or indicators of urban to assess robustness of findings and to characterize a gradient that disaggregates the urban

  7. Coupled Climate-Economy-Biosphere (CoCEB) model - Part 1: Abatement share and investment in low-carbon technologies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogutu, K. B. Z.; D'Andrea, F.; Ghil, M.; Nyandwi, C.; Manene, M. M.; Muthama, J. N.

    2015-04-01

    The Coupled Climate-Economy-Biosphere (CoCEB) model described herein takes an integrated assessment approach to simulating global change. By using an endogenous economic growth module with physical and human capital accumulation, this paper considers the sustainability of economic growth, as economic activity intensifies greenhouse gas emissions that in turn cause economic damage due to climate change. Different types of fossil fuels and different technologies produce different volumes of carbon dioxide in combustion. The shares of different fuels and their future evolution are not known. We assume that the dynamics of hydrocarbon-based energy share and their replacement with renewable energy sources in the global energy balance can be modeled into the 21st century by use of logistic functions. Various climate change mitigation policy measures are considered. While many integrated assessment models treat abatement costs merely as an unproductive loss of income, we consider abatement activities also as an investment in overall energy efficiency of the economy and decrease of overall carbon intensity of the energy system. The paper shows that these efforts help to reduce the volume of industrial carbon dioxide emissions, lower temperature deviations, and lead to positive effects in economic growth.

  8. The impact of human frequentation on coastal vegetation in a biosphere reserve.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerbiriou, Christian; Leviol, Isabelle; Jiguet, Frédéric; Julliard, Romain

    2008-09-01

    We aimed to assess the impacts of recreational trampling on rare species, plant communities and landscape structure in the Iroise Biosphere Reserve (western France). Focusing on coastal grasslands, we first identified indicators discriminating human-induced short grasslands (i.e. maintained short by intensive trampling) from natural short grasslands (i.e. maintained by environmental constraints): the presence of lichens and succulent or woody species, which are known to be highly sensitive to trampling, as well as a shallow soil were good indicators of natural short grasslands. Recreational activities affected the majority of plots containing rare species, but one third of rare species (according to their habitat preference) appeared currently not threatened by recreational activities. The other rare species were found in grasslands with low trampling intensity and were not found in grasslands with greater trampling intensity. One lichen species (Teloshistes flavicans) was not affected by trampling intensity, while two plants species (Scilla verna and Ophioglossum lusitanicum) showed higher abundances when trampling was low to medium. When it occurs in natural short grasslands, tourist trampling reduced drastically plant species richness. However, when considering maritime high grasslands, we observed that species richness was higher under low trampling vs. no trampling, but decreased at higher trampling intensity. At a landscape scale, the mean annual rate of path creation was about 1.6% and tourist trampling has already completely destroyed 3.5 ha of natural coastal vegetation. Trampling of maritime-high grassland has also created 31 ha of short grasslands, which represent 50.8% of the whole short grassland habitat of the island. Moreover trampling affected respectively, 41% and 15% of natural short grasslands and maritime-high grasslands. One of the main suggestions for managers to minimise trampling impacts should be to protect areas of rocky soil covered by

  9. Advances in understanding, models and parameterizations of biosphere-atmosphere ammonia exchange

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. R. Flechard

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Atmospheric ammonia (NH3 dominates global emissions of total reactive nitrogen (Nr, while emissions from agricultural production systems contribute about two-thirds of global NH3 emissions; the remaining third emanates from oceans, natural vegetation, humans, wild animals and biomass burning. On land, NH3 emitted from the various sources eventually returns to the biosphere by dry deposition to sink areas, predominantly semi-natural vegetation, and by wet and dry deposition as ammonium (NH4+ to all surfaces. However, the land/atmosphere exchange of gaseous NH3 is in fact bi-directional over unfertilized as well as fertilized ecosystems, with periods and areas of emission and deposition alternating in time (diurnal, seasonal and space (patchwork landscapes. The exchange is controlled by a range of environmental factors, including meteorology, surface layer turbulence, thermodynamics, air and surface heterogeneous-phase chemistry, canopy geometry, plant development stage, leaf age, organic matter decomposition, soil microbial turnover, and, in agricultural systems, by fertilizer application rate, fertilizer type, soil type, crop type, and agricultural management practices. We review the range of processes controlling NH3 emission and uptake in the different parts of the soil-canopy-atmosphere continuum, with NH3 emission potentials defined at the substrate and leaf levels by different [NH4+] / [H+] ratios (Γ. Surface/atmosphere exchange models for NH3 are necessary to compute the temporal and spatial patterns of emissions and deposition at the soil, plant, field, landscape, regional and global scales, in order to assess the multiple environmental impacts of airborne and deposited NH3 and NH4+. Models of soil/vegetation/atmosphere NH3 exchange are reviewed from the substrate and leaf scales to the global scale. They range from simple steady-state, "big leaf" canopy resistance models, to dynamic, multi-layer, multi-process, multi

  10. Advances in understanding, models and parameterisations of biosphere-atmosphere ammonia exchange

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. R. Flechard

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Atmospheric ammonia (NH3 dominates global emissions of total reactive nitrogen (Nr, while emissions from agricultural production systems contribute about two thirds of global NH3 emissions; the remaining third emanates from oceans, natural vegetation, humans, wild animals and biomass burning. On land, NH3 emitted from the various sources eventually returns to the biosphere by dry deposition to sink areas, predominantly semi-natural vegetation, and by wet and dry deposition as ammonium (NH4+ to all surfaces. However, the land/atmosphere exchange of gaseous NH3 is in fact bi-directional over unfertilized as well as fertilized ecosystems, with periods and areas of emission and deposition alternating in time (diurnal, seasonal and space (patchwork landscapes. The exchange is controlled by a range of environmental factors, including meteorology, surface layer turbulence, thermodynamics, air and surface heterogeneous-phase chemistry, canopy geometry, plant development stage, leaf age, organic matter decomposition, soil microbial turnover, and, in agricultural systems, by fertilizer application rate, fertilizer type, soil type, crop type, and agricultural management practices. We review the range of processes controlling NH3 emission and uptake in the different parts of the soil-canopy-atmosphere continuum, with NH3 emission potentials defined at the substrate and leaf levels by different [NH4+] / [H+] ratios (Γ. Surface/atmosphere exchange models for NH3 are necessary to compute the temporal and spatial patterns of emissions and deposition at the soil, plant, field, landscape, regional and global scales, in order to assess the multiple environmental impacts of air-borne and deposited NH3 and NH4+. Models of soil/vegetation/atmosphereem NH3 exchange are reviewed from the substrate and leaf scales to the global scale. They range from simple steady-state, "big leaf" canopy resistance models, to dynamic, multi-layer, multi

  11. Interpretations and Implementation of the Regulations on the Protection of Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dorin Matei

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve, part of the UNESCO world patrimony since 1992, enjoys an enhanced legislative protection regarding the protection of fauna and flora. In Romania we find the legislation in the field of traffic regulations on ships and boats on the Danube, on canals and inland lakes in the Danube Delta area, and in fisheries and protection of animals and plants. The state of the environment in the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve is constantly analyzed, achieving annual public reports. The aim of the paper is the interpretation of legal provisions both in the field, making proposals de lege ferenda for the smooth running of traffic and environmental protection in the Delta.

  12. Contribution to the pteridophytic flora of India: Nokrek Biosphere Reserve, Meghalaya

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. Singh

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Nokrek National Park, located approximately 40km from Tura town in West Garo Hills district of Meghalaya, India, was added to the list of Biosphere Reserves by UNESCO in May 2009. Since there is no previous report from this area, the pteridophytes of the Nokrek Biosphere Reserve are catalogued in the present study. The checklist consists of 113 taxa (98 ferns, 15 fern allies, of which 25 species are newly reported for the Meghalaya State (Selaginella involvens, Selaginella semicordata, Selaginella subdiaphana, Selaginella tenuifolia, Asplenium gueinzianum, Asplenium perakanse, Microlepia hancei, Microlepia rhomboidea, Dicranopteris linearis, Coniogramme procera, Bolbitis sinensis, Loxogramme chinensis, Lygodium microphyllum, Lemmaphyllum microphyllum, Lemmaphyllum rostratum, Pleopeltis macrosphaera, Pyrrosia lanceolata, Pyrrosia longifolia, Pteris biaurita ssp. walkeriana, Pteris grevilleana, Tectaria fuscipes, Cyclosorus crinipes, Pseudocyclosorus falcilobus, Diplazium apicisorum and Diplazium pseudosetigerum and 43 species are new for all the three Garo Hill districts of the Garo Hills in the Meghalaya State.

  13. Engaging stakeholders in global change risk and vulnerability planning: a case study of the Kruger to Canyons Biosphere Region

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Davis, C

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Understanding climatic changes and their possible impacts on society is essential in critical sectors in South Africa in order to improve strategic adaptation responses. The study presented here, based in the Kruger to Canyons Biosphere Region, aims...

  14. Turnover of microbial lipids in the deep biosphere and growth of benthic archaeal populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Sitan; Lipp, Julius S; Wegener, Gunter; Ferdelman, Timothy G; Hinrichs, Kai-Uwe

    2013-04-01

    Deep subseafloor sediments host a microbial biosphere with unknown impact on global biogeochemical cycles. This study tests previous evidence based on microbial intact polar lipids (IPLs) as proxies of live biomass, suggesting that Archaea dominate the marine sedimentary biosphere. We devised a sensitive radiotracer assay to measure the decay rate of ([(14)C]glucosyl)-diphytanylglyceroldiether (GlcDGD) as an analog of archaeal IPLs in continental margin sediments. The degradation kinetics were incorporated in model simulations that constrained the fossil fraction of subseafloor IPLs and rates of archaeal turnover. Simulating the top 1 km in a generic continental margin sediment column, we estimated degradation rate constants of GlcDGD being one to two orders of magnitude lower than those of bacterial IPLs, with half-lives of GlcDGD increasing with depth to 310 ky. Given estimated microbial community turnover times of 1.6-73 ky in sediments deeper than 1 m, 50-96% of archaeal IPLs represent fossil signals. Consequently, previous lipid-based estimates of global subseafloor biomass probably are too high, and the widely observed dominance of archaeal IPLs does not rule out a deep biosphere dominated by Bacteria. Reverse modeling of existing concentration profiles suggest that archaeal IPL synthesis rates decline from around 1,000 pg⋅mL(-1) sediment⋅y(-1) at the surface to 0.2 pg⋅mL(-1)⋅y(-1) at 1 km depth, equivalent to production of 7 × 10(5) to 140 archaeal cells⋅mL(-1) sediment⋅y(-1), respectively. These constraints on microbial growth are an important step toward understanding the relationship between the deep biosphere and the carbon cycle.

  15. Novelty and uniqueness patterns of rare members of the soil biosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elshahed, Mostafa S; Youssef, Noha H; Spain, Anne M; Sheik, Cody; Najar, Fares Z; Sukharnikov, Leonid O; Roe, Bruce A; Davis, James P; Schloss, Patrick D; Bailey, Vanessa L; Krumholz, Lee R

    2008-09-01

    Soil bacterial communities typically exhibit a distribution pattern in which most bacterial species are present in low abundance. Due to the relatively small size of most culture-independent sequencing surveys, a detailed phylogenetic analysis of rare members of the community is lacking. To gain access to the rarely sampled soil biosphere, we analyzed a data set of 13,001 near-full-length 16S rRNA gene clones derived from an undisturbed tall grass prairie soil in central Oklahoma. Rare members of the soil bacterial community (empirically defined at two different abundance cutoffs) represented 18.1 to 37.1% of the total number of clones in the data set and were, on average, less similar to their closest relatives in public databases when compared to more abundant members of the community. Detailed phylogenetic analyses indicated that members of the soil rare biosphere either belonged to novel bacterial lineages (members of five novel bacterial phyla identified in the data set, as well as members of multiple novel lineages within previously described phyla or candidate phyla), to lineages that are prevalent in other environments but rarely encountered in soil, or were close relatives to more abundant taxa in the data set. While a fraction of the rare community was closely related to more abundant taxonomic groups in the data set, a significant portion of the rare biosphere represented evolutionarily distinct lineages at various taxonomic cutoffs. We reason that these novelty and uniqueness patterns provide clues regarding the origins and potential ecological roles of members of the soil's rare biosphere.

  16. Dark Matter of the Biosphere: the Amazing World of Bacteriophage Diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatfull, Graham F

    2015-08-01

    Bacteriophages are the most abundant biological entities in the biosphere, and this dynamic and old population is, not surprisingly, highly diverse genetically. Relative to bacterial genomics, phage genomics has advanced slowly, and a higher-resolution picture of the phagosphere is only just emerging. This view reveals substantial diversity even among phages known to infect a common host strain, but the relationships are complex, with mosaic genomic architectures generated by illegitimate recombination over a long period of evolutionary history.

  17. Turnover of microbial lipids in the deep biosphere and growth of benthic archaeal populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Sitan; Lipp, Julius S.; Wegener, Gunter; Ferdelman, Timothy G.; Hinrichs, Kai-Uwe

    2013-01-01

    Deep subseafloor sediments host a microbial biosphere with unknown impact on global biogeochemical cycles. This study tests previous evidence based on microbial intact polar lipids (IPLs) as proxies of live biomass, suggesting that Archaea dominate the marine sedimentary biosphere. We devised a sensitive radiotracer assay to measure the decay rate of ([14C]glucosyl)-diphytanylglyceroldiether (GlcDGD) as an analog of archaeal IPLs in continental margin sediments. The degradation kinetics were incorporated in model simulations that constrained the fossil fraction of subseafloor IPLs and rates of archaeal turnover. Simulating the top 1 km in a generic continental margin sediment column, we estimated degradation rate constants of GlcDGD being one to two orders of magnitude lower than those of bacterial IPLs, with half-lives of GlcDGD increasing with depth to 310 ky. Given estimated microbial community turnover times of 1.6–73 ky in sediments deeper than 1 m, 50–96% of archaeal IPLs represent fossil signals. Consequently, previous lipid-based estimates of global subseafloor biomass probably are too high, and the widely observed dominance of archaeal IPLs does not rule out a deep biosphere dominated by Bacteria. Reverse modeling of existing concentration profiles suggest that archaeal IPL synthesis rates decline from around 1,000 pg⋅mL−1 sediment⋅y−1 at the surface to 0.2 pg⋅mL−1⋅y−1 at 1 km depth, equivalent to production of 7 × 105 to 140 archaeal cells⋅mL−1 sediment⋅y−1, respectively. These constraints on microbial growth are an important step toward understanding the relationship between the deep biosphere and the carbon cycle. PMID:23530229

  18. Atribacteria from the Subseafloor Sedimentary Biosphere Disperse to the Hydrosphere through Submarine Mud Volcanoes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoshino, Tatsuhiko; Toki, Tomohiro; Ijiri, Akira; Morono, Yuki; Machiyama, Hideaki; Ashi, Juichiro; Okamura, Kei; Inagaki, Fumio

    2017-01-01

    Submarine mud volcanoes (SMVs) are formed by muddy sediments and breccias extruded to the seafloor from a source in the deep subseafloor and are characterized by the discharge of methane and other hydrocarbon gasses and deep-sourced fluids into the overlying seawater. Although SMVs act as a natural pipeline connecting the Earth's surface and subsurface biospheres, the dispersal of deep-biosphere microorganisms and their ecological roles remain largely unknown. In this study, we investigated the microbial communities in sediment and overlying seawater at two SMVs located on the Ryukyu Trench off Tanegashima Island, southern Japan. The microbial communities in mud volcano sediments were generally distinct from those in the overlying seawaters and in the well-stratified Pacific margin sediments collected at the Peru Margin, the Juan de Fuca Ridge flank off Oregon, and offshore of Shimokita Peninsula, northeastern Japan. Nevertheless, in-depth analysis of different taxonomic groups at the sub-species level revealed that the taxon affiliated with Atribacteria, heterotrophic anaerobic bacteria that typically occur in organic-rich anoxic subseafloor sediments, were commonly found not only in SMV sediments but also in the overlying seawater. We designed a new oligonucleotide probe for detecting Atribacteria using the catalyzed reporter deposition-fluorescence in situ hybridization (CARD-FISH). CARD-FISH, digital PCR and sequencing analysis of 16S rRNA genes consistently showed that Atribacteria are abundant in the methane plumes of the two SMVs (0.58 and 1.5 × 10(4) cells/mL, respectively) but not in surrounding waters, suggesting that microbial cells in subseafloor sediments are dispersed as "deep-biosphere seeds" into the ocean. These findings may have important implications for the microbial transmigration between the deep subseafloor biosphere and the hydrosphere.

  19. Territorialisation, Conservation, and Neoliberalism in the Tehuacán-Cuicatlán Biosphere Reserve, Mexico

    OpenAIRE

    Alison Elizabeth Lee

    2014-01-01

    The territorialisation of a botanical garden and the Tehuacán-Cuicatlán Biosphere Reserve (TCBR) in southern Mexico is examined from the perspective of local residents of one rural town and the biologists whose professional careers involved extensive research in the region. While there were brief periods of conflict between residents and outsiders over the use of local lands for conservation, the cumulative effects demonstrate a general acceptance of the conservation paradigm. Local residents...

  20. Subsistence fisheries in the Sierra Manantlán Biosphere Reserve (Jalisco/Colima, Mexico)

    OpenAIRE

    Norman Mercado-Silva; Eduardo Santana-Castellón; Luis Manuel Martínez Rivera; John Lyons; Timothy Moermond

    2011-01-01

    Biosphere reserves are charged with the challenging dual objectives of protecting exemplary ecosystems and providing local communities with opportunities for development. Small-scale, subsistence fisheries occur in many protected areas in Mexico, but little is known about their characteristics. Additionally, subsistence fishermen rarely have the possibility to express their opinions on the quality of the ecosystems they depend on for survival. We used surveys to describe the Ayuquila River (J...

  1. Earth Applications of Closed Ecological Systems: Relevance to the Development of Sustainability in our Global Biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dempster, W.; van Thillo, M.; Alling, A.; Allen, J.; Silverstone, S.; Nelson, M.

    The parallels between the challenges facing bioregenerative life support and closed ecological systems and those in our global biosphere are striking. At the scale of the current global technosphere and human population, it is increasingly obvious that the biosphere can no longer be counted on to be vast enough to safely buffer and absorb technogenic and anthropogenic pollutants. With an increasing percentage of the world's natural resources and primary productivity being dictated by, and directed to, humans, our species is starting to appreciate its survival and quality of life depends on regulating its activities, and insuring that crucial biogeochemical cycles continue to function. This shift of consciousness has led to the widespread call for moving towards the sustainability of human activities. For researchers working on bioreenerative life support, the small volumes and faster cycling times have made it obvious that systems must be created in to ensure renewal of water and atmosphere, nutrient recycling, and where all technical systems can be safely integrated with the maintenance of safe environmental conditions. The development of technical systems that can be fully integrated with the living systems that they support should be a harbinger of new perspectives in the global environment. The paper will review some of these environmental technologies which are emerging from bioregenerative life support system research such as high-yield intensive agricultural methods, waste treatment and nutrient recycling, air purification, modeling, sensor and control systems and their potential applications in the global biosphere. In addition, a review of the human experience in closed ecological systems shows that these can offer opportunities for public education and consciousness-changing of how humans regard our global biosphere.

  2. Procedural Influence on Internal and External Assessment Scores of Undergraduate Vocational and Technical Education Research Projects in Nigerian Universities

    Science.gov (United States)

    A. C., John; Manabete, S. S.

    2015-01-01

    This study sought to determine the procedural influence on internal and external assessment scores of undergraduate research projects in vocational and technical education programmes in the university under study. A survey research design was used for the conduct of this study. The population consisted of 130 lecturers and 1,847 students in the…

  3. Searching for a shadow biosphere on Earth as a test of the 'cosmic imperative'.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, P C W

    2011-02-13

    Estimates for the number of communicating civilizations in the galaxy, based on the so-called Drake equation, are meaningless without a plausible estimate for the probability that life will emerge on an Earth-like planet. In the absence of a theory of the origin of life, that number can be anywhere from 0 to 1. Distinguished scientists have been known to argue that life on Earth is a freak accident, unique in the observable universe and, conversely, that life is almost bound to arise in the course of time, given Earth-like conditions. De Duve, adopting the latter position, coined the phrase that 'life is a cosmic imperative'. De Duve's position would be immediately verified if we were to discover a second sample of life that we could be sure arose from scratch independently of known life. Given the current absence of evidence for life beyond Earth, the best way to test the hypothesis of the cosmic imperative is to see whether terrestrial life began more than once. If it did, it is possible that descendants of a second genesis might be extant, forming a sort of 'shadow biosphere' existing alongside, or perhaps interpenetrating, the known biosphere. I outline a strategy to detect the existence of such a shadow biosphere.

  4. Integration of Deep Biosphere Research into the International Continental Scientific Drilling Program

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jens Kallmeyer

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available An international workshop on the Integration of Deep Biosphere Research into the International Continental Scientific Drilling Program (ICDP was held on 27–29 September 2009 in Potsdam. It was organized by the Helmholtz Centre Potsdam GFZ German Research Centrefor Geosciences and the University of Potsdam (Germany. Financial support was provided by ICDP. This workshop brought together the expertise of thirty-three microbiologists, biogeochemists, and geologists from seven countries (Finland, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Sweden, U.K., U.S.A.. Over the last two decades, microbiological and biogeochemical investigations have demonstrated the occurrence of microbial life widely disseminated within the deep subsurface of the Earth (Fredrickson and Onstott, 1996; Parkes et al., 2000; Pedersen, 2000; Sherwood Lollar et al., 2006. Considering the large subsurface pore space available as a life habitat, it has been estimated that the biomass of the so-called deep biosphere might be equal to or even larger than that of the surface biosphere (Whitman et al., 1998.

  5. Man in Biosphere Reserve: a Remote Sensing Study in Similipal, Orissa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biswal, A.; Mukherjee, S.; Jeyaram, A.; Krishna Murthy, Y. V. N.

    2011-08-01

    The Similipal is a densely forested hill-range in the heart of Mayurbhanj district,Orissa, lying close to the eastern-most end of the Easternghats. Similipal Biosphere Reserve is located in the Mahanadian Biogeographical Region and within the Biotic Province, Chhotanagpur Plateau.There are 4 villages in the core and 61 villages in the buffer area of the biosphere reserve .Agriculture is not well developed and employment opportunities are very poor , most of the people derive their income from collection of NTFP and sale of firewood and timber. A collaborative work is carried out by Regional Remote Sensing Centre(East) and Anthropological survey of India,Kolkata to study the impact of those four villages in the core area of SBR on the conservation of natural resources over the decades.Change in vegetation density as measured by NDVI over the decades is analysed to study the impact of these villages on the core area of Similipal Biosphere Reserve.

  6. MAN IN BIOSPHERE RESERVE: A REMOTE SENSING STUDY IN SIMILIPAL, ORISSA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Biswal

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available The Similipal is a densely forested hill-range in the heart of Mayurbhanj district,Orissa, lying close to the eastern-most end of the Easternghats. Similipal Biosphere Reserve is located in the Mahanadian Biogeographical Region and within the Biotic Province, Chhotanagpur Plateau.There are 4 villages in the core and 61 villages in the buffer area of the biosphere reserve .Agriculture is not well developed and employment opportunities are very poor , most of the people derive their income from collection of NTFP and sale of firewood and timber. A collaborative work is carried out by Regional Remote Sensing Centre(East and Anthropological survey of India,Kolkata to study the impact of those four villages in the core area of SBR on the conservation of natural resources over the decades.Change in vegetation density as measured by NDVI over the decades is analysed to study the impact of these villages on the core area of Similipal Biosphere Reserve.

  7. Optimization of a prognostic biosphere model for terrestrial biomass and atmospheric CO2 variability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Saito

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available This study investigates the capacity of a prognostic biosphere model to simulate global variability in atmospheric CO2 concentrations and vegetation carbon dynamics under current environmental conditions. Global data sets of atmospheric CO2 concentrations, above-ground biomass (AGB, and net primary productivity (NPP in terrestrial vegetation were assimilated into the biosphere model using an inverse modeling method combined with an atmospheric transport model. In this process, the optimal physiological parameters of the biosphere model were estimated by minimizing the misfit between observed and modeled values, and parameters were generated to characterize various biome types. Results obtained using the model with the optimized parameters correspond to the observed seasonal variations in CO2 concentration and their annual amplitudes in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. In simulating the mean annual AGB and NPP, the model shows improvements in estimating the mean magnitudes and probability distributions for each biome, as compared with results obtained using prior simulation parameters. However, the model is less efficient in its simulation of AGB for forest type biomes. This misfit suggests that more accurate values of input parameters, specifically, grid mean AGB values and seasonal variabilities in physiological parameters, are required to improve the performance of the simulation model.

  8. Land Cover and Landscape Diversity Analysis in the West Polesie Biosphere Reserve

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chmielewski, Szymon; Chmielewski, Tadeusz J.; Tompalski, Piotr

    2014-04-01

    The aim of this research was to present the land cover structure and landscape diversity in the West Polesie Biosphere Reserve. The land cover classification was performed using Object Based Image Analysis in Trimble eCognition Developer 8 software. The retrospective land cover changes analysis in 3 lake catchments (Kleszczów, Moszne, Bia³eW³odawskie Lakes)was performed on the basis of archival aerial photos taken in 1952, 1971, 1984, 1992, 2007 and one satellite scene from 2003 (IKONOS).On the basis of land cover map structure, Shannon diversity index was estimated with the moving window approach enabled in Fragstats software. The conducted research has shown that the land cover structure of the West Polesie Biosphere Reserve is diverse and can be simply described by selected landscape metrics. The highest level of land cover diversity, as showed by Shannon Diversity Index, was identified in the western part of the West Polesie Biosphere Reserve, which is closely related to the agricultural character of land cover structure in those regions. The examples of three regional retrospective land cover analyses demonstrated that the character of land cover structure has changed dramatically over the last 40 years.

  9. Environmental gradients regulate the spatio-temporal variability of phytoplankton assemblages in the Can Gio Mangrove Biosphere Reserve, Vietnam

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pham, Thanh-Luu

    2017-07-01

    This paper covers spatial and temporal variation in phytoplankton communities and physico-chemical variables in the Can Gio Mangrove Biosphere Reserve (CGMBR), Vietnam, based on field measurement conducted monthly at nine stations during February 2009 to January 2010. Species diversity, richness and phytoplankton abundance were calculated. Canonical Correspondence Analysis (CCA) was used to investigate the relationship between environmental factors and phytoplankton community. A total of 126 species were recorded with a clear dominance of Bacillariophyceae, which formed about 76.4% of the total phytoplankton counts with an annual average of 44.900 cells/L. Other algal classes like Dinophyceae, Cyanophyceae and Chrysophyceae sustained low counts, forming collectively about 14% of the total abundance of phytoplankton. Although Chaetoceros and Coscinodiscus were the most dominant genera, Schroederella and Skeletonema showed high abundance during the studied period. Among the nine environmental parameters tested in this study, salinity, nitrate and ammonium were found to be significantly different between two seasons. On the other hand, no significant difference was found between stations for the studied variables. Results of CCA indicated that phytoplankton assemblage in the CGMBR was influenced by salinity, nitrate and phosphate concentration. This is the first study simultaneously investigating the phytoplankton communities and their environment in this area and it is essential in order to set up the baseline of future studies.

  10. Ninth Workshop 'Solar Influences on the Magnetosphere, Ionosphere and Atmosphere'

    Science.gov (United States)

    Georgieva, Kayta; Kirov, Boian; Danov, Dimitar

    2017-08-01

    The 9th Workshop "Solar Influences on the Magnetosphere, Ionosphere and Atmosphere" is an international forum for scientists working in the fields of: Sun and solar activity, Solar wind-magnetosphere-ionosphere interactions, Solar influences on the lower atmosphere and climate, Solar effects in the biosphere, Instrumentation for space weather monitoring and Data processing and modelling.

  11. Statistical approach for assessing the influence of synoptic and meteorological conditions on ozone concentrations over Europe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otero, Noelia; Butler, Tim; Sillmann, Jana

    2015-04-01

    Air pollution has become a serious problem in many industrialized and densely-populated urban areas due to its negative effects on human health, damages agricultural crops and ecosystems. The concentration of air pollutants is the result of several factors, including emission sources, lifetime and spatial distribution of the pollutants, atmospheric properties and interactions, wind speed and direction, and topographic features. Episodes of air pollution are often associated with stationary or slowly migrating anticyclonic (high-pressure) systems that reduce advection, diffusion, and deposition of atmospheric pollutants. Certain weather conditions facilitate the concentration of pollutants, such as the incidence of light winds that contributes to the increasing of stagnation episodes affecting air quality. Therefore, the atmospheric circulation plays an important role in air quality conditions that are affected by both, synoptic and local scale processes. This study assesses the influence of the large-scale circulation along with meteorological conditions on tropospheric ozone in Europe. The frequency of weather types (WTs) is examined under a novel approach, which is based on an automated version of the Lamb Weather Types catalog (Jenkinson and Collison, 1977). Here, we present an implementation of such classification point-by-point over the European domain. Moreover, the analysis uses a new grid-averaged climatology (1°x1°) of daily surface ozone concentrations from observations of individual sites that matches the resolution of global models (Schnell,et al., 2014). Daily frequency of WTs and meteorological conditions are combined in a multiple regression approach for investigating the influence on ozone concentrations. Different subsets of predictors are examined within multiple linear regression models (MLRs) for each grid cell in order to identify the best regression model. Several statistical metrics are applied for estimating the robustness of the

  12. Response of the rare biosphere to environmental stressors in a highly diverse ecosystem (Zodletone spring, OK, USA).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coveley, Suzanne; Elshahed, Mostafa S; Youssef, Noha H

    2015-01-01

    Within highly diverse ecosystems, the majority of bacterial taxa are present in low abundance as members of the rare biosphere. The rationale for the occurrence and maintenance of the rare biosphere, and the putative ecological role(s) and dynamics of its members within a specific ecosystem is currently debated. We hypothesized that in highly diverse ecosystems, a fraction of the rare biosphere acts as a backup system that readily responds to environmental disturbances. We tested this hypothesis by subjecting sediments from Zodletone spring, a sulfide- and sulfur-rich spring in Southwestern OK, to incremental levels of salinity (1, 2, 3, 4, and 10% NaCl), or temperature (28°, 30°, 32°, and 70 °C), and traced the trajectories of rare members of the community in response to these manipulations using 16S rRNA gene analysis. Our results indicate that multiple rare bacterial taxa are promoted from rare to abundant members of the community following such manipulations and that, in general, the magnitude of such recruitment is directly proportional to the severity of the applied manipulation. Rare members that are phylogenetically distinct from abundant taxa in the original sample (unique rare biosphere) played a more important role in the microbial community response to environmental disturbances, compared to rare members that are phylogenetically similar to abundant taxa in the original sample (non-unique rare biosphere). The results emphasize the dynamic nature of the rare biosphere, and highlight its complexity and non-monolithic nature.

  13. Assessment of terrain slope influence in SWAT modeling of Andean watersheds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yacoub, C.; Pérez-Foguet, A.

    2009-04-01

    Hydrological processes in the Andean Region are difficult to model. Large range of altitudes involved (from over 4000 meters above sea level, masl, to zero) indicates the high variability of rainfall, temperature and other climate variables. Strong runoff and extreme events as landslides and floods are the consequence of high slopes of terrain, especially in the upper part of the basins. Strong seasonality of rain and complex ecosystems (vulnerable to climate changes and anthropogenic activities) helps these processes. Present study focuses in a particular watershed from Peruvian Andes, the Jequetepeque River. The distributed watershed simulation model, Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) is applied to model run-off and sediments transport through the basin with data from 1997 to 2006. Specifically, the study focuses in the assessment of the influence of considering terrain slope variation in the definition of Hydrographical Response Units within SWAT. The Jequetepeque watershed (4 372.5 km2) is located in the north part of Peru. River flows east to west, to the Pacific Ocean. Annual average precipitation ranges from 0 to 1100 mm and altitude from 0 to 4188 masl. The "Gallito Ciego" reservoir (400 masl) separates upper-middle part from lower part of the watershed. It stores water for supplying the people from the big cities on the coast and for extensive agriculture uses. Upper-middle part of the watershed covers 3564.8 km2. It ranges from 400 to 4188 masl in no more that 80 km, with slopes up to 20%. Main activities are agricultural and livestock and mining and about 80% of the population are rural. Annual mean temperature drops from 25.4 °C at the reservoir to less than 4 °C in the upper part. Also the highest rainfall variability is found in the upper-middle part of the watershed. Erosion produced by extreme events like 1997/98 "el Niño" Phenomenon is silting the reservoir faster than expected. Moreover, anthropogenic activities like agriculture and

  14. Quantitative assessment of upstream source influences on total gaseous mercury observations in Ontario, Canada

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    D. Wen

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Hourly total gaseous mercury (TGM concentrations at three monitoring sites (receptors in Ontario were predicted for four selected periods at different seasons in 2002 using the Stochastic Time-Inverted Lagrangian Transport (STILT model, which transports Lagrangian air parcels backward in time from the receptors to provide linkages to the source region in the upwind area. The STILT model was modified to deal with Hg deposition and high stack Hg emissions. The model-predicted Hg concentrations were compared with observations at three monitoring sites. Estimates of transport errors (uncertainties in simulated concentrations due to errors in wind fields are also provided that suggest such errors can reach approximately 10% of simulated concentrations. Results from a CMAQ chemical transport model (CTM simulation in which the same emission and meteorology inputs were used are also reported. The comparisons show that STILT-predicted Hg concentrations usually agree better with observations than CMAQ except for a subset of cases that are subject to biases in the coarsely resolved boundary conditions. STILT captures high frequency concentration variations better than the Eulerian CTM, due to its ability to account for near-field influences that are not resolved by typical grid sizes in Eulerian CTMs. Thus it is particularly valuable for the interpretation of plumes (short-term concentration variations that require complex sub-grid treatments in Eulerian models. We report quantitative assessments of the relative importance of different upstream sources for the selected episodes, based on emission fluxes and STILT footprints. The STILT simulations indicate that natural sources (which include re-emission from historical anthropogenic activities contribute much more than current-day anthropogenic emissions to the Hg concentrations observed at the three sites.

  15. The influence of sampling interval on the accuracy of trail impact assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leung, Y.-F.; Marion, J.L.

    1999-01-01

    Trail impact assessment and monitoring (IA&M) programs have been growing in importance and application in recreation resource management at protected areas. Census-based and sampling-based approaches have been developed in such programs, with systematic point sampling being the most common survey design. This paper examines the influence of sampling interval on the accuracy of estimates for selected trail impact problems. A complete census of four impact types on 70 trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park was utilized as the base data set for the analyses. The census data were resampled at increasing intervals to create a series of simulated point data sets. Estimates of frequency of occurrence and lineal extent for the four impact types were compared with the census data set. The responses of accuracy loss on lineal extent estimates to increasing sampling intervals varied across different impact types, while the responses on frequency of occurrence estimates were consistent, approximating an inverse asymptotic curve. These findings suggest that systematic point sampling may be an appropriate method for estimating the lineal extent but not the frequency of trail impacts. Sample intervals of less than 100 m appear to yield an excellent level of accuracy for the four impact types evaluated. Multiple regression analysis results suggest that appropriate sampling intervals are more likely to be determined by the type of impact in question rather than the length of trail. The census-based trail survey and the resampling-simulation method developed in this study can be a valuable first step in establishing long-term trail IA&M programs, in which an optimal sampling interval range with acceptable accuracy is determined before investing efforts in data collection.

  16. Noosphere as Optimal Control. Part 1. Control Theory, Geosphere and Biosphere

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    Boris Balter

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The conceptual system developed in optimal control theory for technical purposes is used as a philosophical instrument applied to cyclic information processes, which are expected to be the basis of noosphere. Noosphere was perceived by the founding fathers of this concept, Vladimir Vernadsky, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, e.a. as an outgrowth of the evolutionary process, which begins with cosmogenesis and proceeds through geosphere and biosphere. We attempt to apply the optimal control concepts to all three levels — geospheric, biospheric, and noospheric — due to their having a common structure of information processes (or entropic processes considered as proto-information. These processes include homeostasis, accumulation and expenditure of information, formation of hierarchical information structures, evolution involving the breaks of homeostasis etc. In noosphere, controlled system may have the same informational capabilities as controlling system, so that the term “dialog” is more adequate; in this case, we extend optimal control description to game theory. The cyclic, feedback logic of optimal control seems better adapted to noospheric processes than usual cause-eff ect logic. The fi rst part of the paper considers the geospheric and biospheric level. We introduce the basic notions characterizing optimal control cycle: duality of observation and control, hierarchy of models, active sounding, balance of information infl ow and outfl ow, optimized criterion, networked (distributed control, etc. Then, natural homeostases at the geospheric level are considered as a form of self-regulation having specifi c optimized criteria. The constitutive feature of this level is the absence of information processing in the strict sense: its place is taken by entropic processes. Therefore, no goal can exist at this level, and we consider it as a part of cosmogenesis, which is allegedly goalless/meaningless. We discuss the anthropic principle as a means

  17. Terrestrial deep biosphere observatory: the Soudan Iron Mine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toner, B. M.; Sheik, C.; Bonis, B.; Briscoe, L.; Alexander, S. C.; Alexander, E. C.; Dick, G.; Gralnick, J.

    2012-12-01

    sulfate in borehole waters implies these alternate terminal electron accepting processes may be utilized; however, low abundance of potential nitrate and sulfate reducing bacteria suggests that these processes are likely constrained by electron donor availability or organic carbon substrates. Clear community separation is evident between horizontal boreholes of lower conductivity water versus downward drilled deep-bore hole brines (higher conductivity waters). It is not yet known whether the shield brine communities are influenced by surface processes. Variance in community species composition amongst geographically adjacent deep boreholes is also evident and supports the idea that subtle changes in borehole chemistry may influence the structure of these microbial communities. These results provide evidence for heterogeneously distributed, low diversity habitats with geochemical properties (such as salinity and redox potential) that change over relatively short spatial scales (e.g. meters).

  18. Assessment of Influence of Magnetic Forces on Aggregation of Zero-valent Iron Nanoparticles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosická Dana

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Aggregation of zero-valent nanoparticles in groundwater is influenced by several physical phenomena. The article shortly introduces preceding works in modeling of aggregation of small particles including influence of sedimentation, velocity profile of water, heat fluctuations, and surface electric charge. A brief description of inclusion of magnetic forces into the model of aggregation follows. Rate of influence of the magnetic forces on the aggregation depends on the magnitude of magnetization of the particles, radius of nanoparticles, size of the aggregates, and their concentration in the solution. Presented results show that the magnetic forces have significant influence on aggregation especially of the smallest iron particles.

  19. Assessment of Influence of Magnetic Forces on Aggregation of Zero-valent Iron Nanoparticles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosická, Dana; Šembera, Jan

    2011-12-01

    Aggregation of zero-valent nanoparticles in groundwater is influenced by several physical phenomena. The article shortly introduces preceding works in modeling of aggregation of small particles including influence of sedimentation, velocity profile of water, heat fluctuations, and surface electric charge. A brief description of inclusion of magnetic forces into the model of aggregation follows. Rate of influence of the magnetic forces on the aggregation depends on the magnitude of magnetization of the particles, radius of nanoparticles, size of the aggregates, and their concentration in the solution. Presented results show that the magnetic forces have significant influence on aggregation especially of the smallest iron particles.

  20. The influence of age, gender and education on the performance of healthy individuals on a battery for assessing limb apraxia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joana Mantovani-Nagaoka

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Introduction: Apraxia is defined as a disorder of learned skilled movements, in the absence of elementary motor or sensory deficits and general cognitive impairment, such as inattention to commands, object-recognition deficits or poor oral comprehension. Limb apraxia has long been a challenge for clinical assessment and understanding and covers a wide spectrum of disorders, all involving motor cognition and the inability to perform previously learned actions. Demographic variables such as gender, age, and education can influence the performance of individuals on different neuropsychological tests. Objective: The present study aimed to evaluate the performance of healthy subjects on a limb apraxia battery and to determine the influence of gender, age, and education on the praxis skills assessed. Methods: Forty-four subjects underwent a limb apraxia battery, which was composed of numerous subtests for assessing both the semantic aspects of gestural production as well as motor performance itself. The tasks encompassed lexical-semantic aspects related to gestural production and motor activity in response to verbal commands and imitation. Results: We observed no gender effects on any of the subtests. Only the subtest involving visual recognition of transitive gestures showed a correlation between performance and age. However, we observed that education level influenced subject performance for all sub tests involving motor actions, and for most of these, moderate correlations were observed between education level and performance of the praxis tasks. Conclusion: We conclude that the education level of participants can have an important influence on the outcome of limb apraxia tests.

  1. Challenges in quantifying biosphere-atmosphere exchange of nitrogen species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutton, M A; Nemitz, E; Erisman, J W; Beier, C; Bahl, K Butterbach; Cellier, P; de Vries, W; Cotrufo, F; Skiba, U; Di Marco, C; Jones, S; Laville, P; Soussana, J F; Loubet, B; Twigg, M; Famulari, D; Whitehead, J; Gallagher, M W; Neftel, A; Flechard, C R; Herrmann, B; Calanca, P L; Schjoerring, J K; Daemmgen, U; Horvath, L; Tang, Y S; Emmett, B A; Tietema, A; Peñuelas, J; Kesik, M; Brueggemann, N; Pilegaard, K; Vesala, T; Campbell, C L; Olesen, J E; Dragosits, U; Theobald, M R; Levy, P; Mobbs, D C; Milne, R; Viovy, N; Vuichard, N; Smith, J U; Smith, P; Bergamaschi, P; Fowler, D; Reis, S

    2007-11-01

    Recent research in nitrogen exchange with the atmosphere has separated research communities according to N form. The integrated perspective needed to quantify the net effect of N on greenhouse-gas balance is being addressed by the NitroEurope Integrated Project (NEU). Recent advances have depended on improved methodologies, while ongoing challenges include gas-aerosol interactions, organic nitrogen and N(2) fluxes. The NEU strategy applies a 3-tier Flux Network together with a Manipulation Network of global-change experiments, linked by common protocols to facilitate model application. Substantial progress has been made in modelling N fluxes, especially for N(2)O, NO and bi-directional NH(3) exchange. Landscape analysis represents an emerging challenge to address the spatial interactions between farms, fields, ecosystems, catchments and air dispersion/deposition. European up-scaling of N fluxes is highly uncertain and a key priority is for better data on agricultural practices. Finally, attention is needed to develop N flux verification procedures to assess compliance with international protocols.

  2. Challenges in quantifying biosphere-atmosphere exchange of nitrogen species

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sutton, M.A. [Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH), Edinburgh Research Station, Bush Estate, Penicuik, EH26 0QB (United Kingdom)], E-mail: ms@ceh.ac.uk; Nemitz, E. [Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH), Edinburgh Research Station, Bush Estate, Penicuik, EH26 0QB (United Kingdom); Erisman, J.W. [ECN, Clean Fossil Fuels, PO Box 1, 1755 ZG Petten (Netherlands); Beier, C. [Riso National Laboratory, PO Box 49, DK-4000 Roskilde (Denmark); Bahl, K. Butterbach [Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research, Atmos. Environ. Research (IMK-IFU), Research Centre Karlsruhe GmbH, Kreuzeckbahnstr. 19, 82467 Garmisch-Partenkirchen (Germany); Cellier, P. [INRA Unite Mixte de Recherche, 78850 Thiverval-Grignon (France); Vries, W. de [Alterra, Green World Research, PO Box 47, 6700 AA Wageningen (Netherlands); Cotrufo, F. [Dip. Scienze Ambientali, Seconda Universita degli Studi di Napoli, via Vivaldi 43, 81100 Caserta (Italy); Skiba, U.; Di Marco, C.; Jones, S. [Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH), Edinburgh Research Station, Bush Estate, Penicuik, EH26 0QB (United Kingdom); Laville, P.; Soussana, J.F.; Loubet, B. [INRA Unite Mixte de Recherche, 78850 Thiverval-Grignon (France); Twigg, M.; Famulari, D. [Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH), Edinburgh Research Station, Bush Estate, Penicuik, EH26 0QB (United Kingdom); Whitehead, J.; Gallagher, M.W. [School of Earth, Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, University of Manchester, Williamson Building, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PL (United Kingdom); Neftel, A.; Flechard, C.R. [Agroscope FAL Reckenholz, Federal Research Station for Agroecology and Agriculture, PO Box, CH 8046 Zurich (Switzerland)] (and others)

    2007-11-15

    Recent research in nitrogen exchange with the atmosphere has separated research communities according to N form. The integrated perspective needed to quantify the net effect of N on greenhouse-gas balance is being addressed by the NitroEurope Integrated Project (NEU). Recent advances have depended on improved methodologies, while ongoing challenges include gas-aerosol interactions, organic nitrogen and N{sub 2} fluxes. The NEU strategy applies a 3-tier Flux Network together with a Manipulation Network of global-change experiments, linked by common protocols to facilitate model application. Substantial progress has been made in modelling N fluxes, especially for N{sub 2}O, NO and bi-directional NH{sub 3} exchange. Landscape analysis represents an emerging challenge to address the spatial interactions between farms, fields, ecosystems, catchments and air dispersion/deposition. European up-scaling of N fluxes is highly uncertain and a key priority is for better data on agricultural practices. Finally, attention is needed to develop N flux verification procedures to assess compliance with international protocols. - Current N research is separated by form; the challenge is to link N components, scales and issues.

  3. Assessment of regional influence from a petrochemical complex by modeling and fingerprint analysis of volatile organic compounds (VOCs)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Yuan-Chang; Chen, Sheng-Po; Tong, Yu-Huei; Fan, Chen-Lun; Chen, Wei-Hao; Wang, Jia-Lin; Chang, Julius S.

    2016-09-01

    This study aimed to demonstrate a strategy to investigate the influence of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) on its neighboring districts from a gigantic petrochemical complex. Monitoring of the VOCs in the region was achieved by a nine-station network, dubbed photochemical assessment measurement stations (PAMS), which produced speciated mixing ratios of 54 non-methane hydrocarbons (NMHCs) to represent VOCs with an hourly resolution within a 20 km radius. One-year (2013/10/1-2014/9/30) worth of PAMS data from the network were used in forms of total NMHCs (called PAMS-TNMHC) and speciated mixing ratios. Three dimensional modeling coupled with PAMS measurements successfully elucidated how the study domain was affected by the petrochemical complex and distant sources under three typical seasonal wind patterns: northeast monsoonal, southwest monsoonal, and local-circulation. More exquisite analysis of influence on the neighboring districts was permitted with the use of speciated mixing ratios of VOCs provided by the PAMS network. The ratios of ethylene/acetylene (E/A) > 3 and propylene/acetylene (P/A) > 1.5 were used as indicators to reveal the PAMS sites affected by the petrochemical emissions. Consequently, the hourly speciated data from the nine PAMS sites enabled a finer assessment of the districts affected by the complex to calculate the percent time of influence (dubbed TI%) for all the sites (districts). It was found that the region was more affected by the complex under both the northeast monsoonal and the local-circulation wind types with some of the PAMS sites greater than 5% for the TI%. By contrast, influence on the region was found minimal under the southwest monsoonal flow with the TI% small than 1.5% across all sites. This study successfully devised a method of assessment with the use of speciated measurements of selected VOCs and modeling to assess the influence of a prominent source on the neighboring districts by filtering out irrelevant sources under

  4. Building ties: social capital network analysis of a forest community in a biosphere reserve in Chiapas, Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis Rico García-Amado

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Governance of the commons depends on the capacity to generate collective action. Networks and rules that foster that collective action have been defined as social capital. However, their causal link is still not fully understood. We use social network analysis to assess social capital, decision-making, and collective action in a forest-based common pool resource management in La Sepultura Biosphere Reserve (Chiapas, Mexico. Our research analyzes the productive networks and the evolution of coffee groups in one community. The network shows some centrality, with richer landholders tending to occupy core positions and poorer landless peasants occupying peripheral ones. This has fostered the community's environmentally oriented development but has also caused internal conflicts. Market requirements have shaped different but complementary productive networks, where organic coffee commercialization is the main source of bridging ties, which has resulted in more connectivity and resilience. Conservation attitudes, along with the institutional setting of the community, have promoted collective action. The unresolved conflicts, however, still leave some concerns about governance in the future.

  5. Measurement and Modeling on Flow Hydrodynamics in Crushed Basalt in Support of Constructed Hillslopes in Biosphere 2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaap, M. G.; Gallo, P.

    2009-12-01

    The University of Arizona has recently acquired Biosphere 2 (B2) as an environmental research and environmental facility. As part of a ten year management plan 3 hillslopes (12x30x1 meters) will be constructed within one of the B2 greenhouses. The general objective is to carry out ground-breakin