The Failure of Present Estuarine Management from Ignoring Ecohydrology

Throughout the world, estuaries and coastal waters have experienced environmental degradation. Present proposed remedial measures based on engineering and technological fix have been unable to restore the ecological processes of a healthy, robust estuary and, as such, will not reinstate the full beneficial functions of the estuary ecosystem. The successful management of estuaries and coastal waters requires ecological engineering, that is, an ecohydrology-based, basin-wide, approach....

Multispecies Metapopulation Models

Metapopulation Models

An important question in ecology is whether species that cannot coexist locally because of competitive exclusion (i.e., within a single patch at the organism scale) can nevertheless coexist within a spatial mosaic or network Figure 5 Transient chaos of five species competing for three essential resources. Aperiodic chaotic oscillations occur for a long time before the disappearance of two species and the installation of periodic oscillations among the three remaining species. The outcome of the...

Canada

An interdisciplinary team of scientists from the University of New Brunswick in Saint John and from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans in St. Andrews has been working together on an Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) kelp (Saccharina latissima and Alaria esculenta) blue mussel (Mytilus edulis) IMTA project in the Bay of Fundy since 2001 (Figures 4 and 5). The project, initially supported by AquaNet, the Canadian Network of Centres of Excellence for Aquaculture, is now moving from the R& D...

Population Dynamics of Birds in Relation to Generation Time

Population Dynamics

This general definition of density dependence (eqn 1 ) facilitates comparison of population dynamics across species with different types of life history. Here the author illustrates this approach by comparing the stochastic density-dependent population dynamics of different bird species. We assume that the expected adult annual variance 2 in relation to (a) clutch size, (b) adult survival rate s, survival and fecundity rates are independent of age, that density dependence is exerted by the...

IMTA as an Ecological Engineering Approach

With the intention of reducing the inputs of wastes from aquaculture to the environment, four main approaches have been developed. The first considers isolating an operation from the surrounding environment by developing enclosed systems at sea. These 'bag' techniques have been developed and tested over the recent decades, but costs and technological issues, especially in regions of strong tidal regimes, have prevented their development and adoption at commercial scale. The second approach is...

Effect on Carbon Cycle Organic carbon

Dissolved Organic Carbon Degradation

Classical Swedish studies some 70 years ago, already noticed that oxygen is undersaturated in the epilimnion of humic-rich lakes. Approximately 40 years later, it has been suggested that an increased degradation of dissolved Figure 6 Photolysis of chromophoric organic substances as source of inorganic nutrients in aquatic ecosystems (particularly phosphorus and nitrogen) and organic substrates (small organic acids, amino acids, amines), which sustain net-heterotrophy in noneutrophicated...

Environmental Control Parameters

Water, irradiance, and carbon dioxide (CO2) are the dominating environmental control parameters in the physiological ecology of photosynthesis and frequently stress limitations are due to water supply and high irradiance. The interaction of these factors can be assessed using Figure 3 and will be discussed below. Figure 4 Scalar levels of structures (in a one-dimensional notation of meters) and time constants of functions (in seconds) in relation to photosynthesis and dependent processes....

Adsorption in Ecology

Elements cycle in the ecosphere following different pathways through the different sphere biosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and lithosphere. These cycles play a fundamental role in ecology because they permit, for instance, the supply of nutrients to life, contribute to the homeostasis of the system, and allow the continuous flux of matter that sustains an ecosystem. Adsorption is one important process that contributes to the accumulation of the elements in the lithosphere thanks to this...

Immediate Causes of Death

Mortality (from Latin mors, death) is one of the major ecological processes that affect the population dynamics of living organisms and is an important component of population systems. Although most multicellular organisms are genetically programmed to die after the end of reproduction period, death often occurs earlier which may negatively affect population numbers in future generations. Major immediate causes of death include inimical agents, competition, shortage of energy or other...

The Physical and Chemical Setting

Woody Detritus Streams

Stream and river biota evolved in response to, and in concert with, the physical and chemical setting. Although traditionally the domain of hydrologists, geo-morphologists, and chemists, study of processes driving the physical and chemical templates have been embraced by stream ecologists for interpreting patterns in organis-mic distributions and lotic ecosystem structure and function. From a purely physical perspective, the primary function of rivers is to transfer runoff and move weathering...

Population Level Variation in Dispersion Patterns

As noted above, the behavioral life styles of animals determine their distribution. While some animals, such as the wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus), live in groups that migrate over large areas or restrict their dispersal to extended home ranges, many others are territorial, dividing the available habitat into separate areas which are defended against the intrusion of conspecifics. In addition, different members of a population may exhibit widely different patterns of dispersion, resulting...

Landscape Evaluation and Landscape Indicators

The evaluation of nature is an inseparable part of the process of environmental landscape planning, management, and decision making. In recent decades, its importance has reached the global level. At local and regional levels, landscape assessment for planning and decision-making processes is a key issue in sustainable landscape management. One of the well-known conceptual frameworks for ecological environmental indicators is the driving forces (drivers) pressures state impact responses (DPSIR)...

Industrial Ecology Human Activities and Global Ecosystems

The field of 'industrial ecology' was created to inform purposive human decision making about industrial production processes, especially as they impact the environment, by taking advantage of knowledge about the functioning of healthy ecosystems. These ecosystems are characterized by their vigor, maintenance of diversity, resilience, and relative stability over time. Other ecosystem properties seen as potentially desirable in industrial systems include minimal use of virgin materials and...

Reductionism and Holism

According to the Gleason-Ramenskii continuum individualistic concept (reductionism), there are no necessary bases for the initiation of spatial cells as relatively discrete formations without any additional conditions. The existence of such cells is the basis of Clements's organism concept (holism). It is worthwhile to note that, strictly speaking, Clements may not be its original author. Even at the dawn of the development of geography, in 1811, Butte stated that none ofthe scientists had any...

Alteration of Community Composition and Ecosystem Dynamics through the Stoichiometry of Recycling

When we place these specific stoichiometric recycling effects into the context of complete, complex ecosystems, a variety of interesting dynamics result. For example, as we just saw, terrestrial plant species that produce low-nutrient litter will have a depressive effect on mineralization rates in their vicinity. A low mineralization rate will reduce primary productivity, lower plant biomass, and raise light nutrient ratios. These conditions in turn will favor particular plant species that are...

Landscape Functions

Traditionally, the concept of landscape functions has been considered in the landscape planning system of Germany and German-speaking countries. According to that concept, landscape has the following functions (1) Production (economic) functions (biomass production, water supply, suitability of nonrenewable resources) (2) Regulatory (ecological) functions (regulation of material and energy fluxes, hydrological and meteorological functions, regulation and regeneration of populations and...

Ecological Macrosystems

The term 'biosphere' was proposed (in the present sense) by E. Suess (1831-1914) in 1875. The author said that the term expresses ideas of C. Darwin and J. B. Lamarck about the unity of life. A great contribution to the development of the biosphere theory was made by V. I. Vernadsky (1863-1945). A. Humboldt (1769-1859) in his book Cosmos (1848) first viewed the Earth as a whole. The modern version of the idea is known as the science of Gaia. Biosphere is separated from environment much better...

Water Supply Water Environment

Whether a terrestrial or aquatic ecosystem is planned, the supply and internal transfer of water is critical. Air- and water-handling systems need to be carefully designed to prevent water contamination. Since water sequestration and loss is more or less inevitable, the water quality of both initial water and later top-ups must be carefully controlled. Rarely would tap water be acceptable. Water is the universal solvent, whether in liquid or gaseous form, and often 'sequesters' gases. Most...

Water Resources of the World

Water is the most abundant substance at the Earth's surface, with most (almost all) of it contained in the oceans, which cover nearly 71 of the surface area of the Earth. Oceans are by far the Earth's largest reservoir, but their water is salty (with salinity from 33 to 37 g kg ). If evenly distributed on the Earth-sized uniform sphere, water would form a layer of a depth of 2.7 km. The global water resources constitute approximately 1.385 billion km3 (Figure 1). This makes up 0.17 of Earth's...

Water Resources

Throughout the world, serious water deficits are emerging. Irrigation demand for crops is one of the prime causes of heavy water demand worldwide. In the US 80 of the water used is for irrigation and worldwide it is 70 . All living organisms require significant amounts of freshwater to sustain themselves. At present the 'total' amount of water made available by the world hydrologic cycle is sufficient to provide the current world population with adequate freshwater. Yet, world water supplies...

Alpine Ecosystem Processes

Almost everything gets slower when it gets cold, but slow production of biomass and slow recycling of dead biomass (litter) go hand in hand, so that the carbon and nutrient cycles remain in balance. Recycling of organic debris is responsible for most of the steady-state nutrient provision and thus controls vigor of growth. When mineral nutrients are added, all alpine vegetation tested had shown immediate growth stimulation, but this holds for most of the world's biota and is not specific to...

Local Communities Competition

Interspecific competition generally leads to a reduction of the contribution of poor competitors to the community, whereas superior competitors are able to gain dominance. Thus, competition is a process strongly increasing dominance. The degree of competitive dominance depends on two factors (1) on the asymmetry of the competition and (2) the time for superior species to develop their dominance (see further below). The former aspect depends on the distribution of traits in an assemblage of...

Modern Agriculture

During the last 50-60 years, worldwide agricultural practices have been characterized by high inputs, high yields, unsustainable practices, and ecosystem damage. This production method, often termed 'substitution agriculture', relies on inputs of fertilizers and agrochemicals to maintain and enhance soil fertility and manage weeds, pests, and diseases. These chemicals damage the environment, reduce biodiversity and ecosystem function, and are increasingly becoming ineffective due to pest...

Density Independent Mortality

Density-independent mortality is defined as a population-limiting process that is often caused by environmental stochasticity and not influenced by the density of the population. The most dramatic form of density-independent mortality occurs from natural catastrophes such as hurricanes, floods, or wild fires. Less dramatic forms of environmental stochasticity occur from seasonal variation in weather patterns, habitat quality, and fluctuating generalist predators. An example of...

Plant Phenolics as Antioxidants

Teas would not be much good without natural phenolics, and volumes have been written about the antioxidant properties of phenolics in teas, grapes (especially the skins), cranberries, and blueberries, and vegetables such as broccoli, onions, spinach, and kale. Dietary supplements of plant-derived phenolics are prevalent, and reported to function at least in part as antioxidants. In this capacity, they are presumed to react with, and deactivate, free radicals (a molecule containing an unpaired...

Insects

Conservation biological control has been the least-studied area of all biological control techniques and has been dominated by arthropod pest systems. This technique adds plant biodiversity to agricultural systems through the provision of shelter and nonprey food, especially in high-value crops such as wine grapes. One of the most successful conservation biological control techniques has been 'beetle banks' which were developed by the Game Conservancy Trust and the University of Southampton in...

Copper Toxicity

Excessive concentrations of copper are toxic, and even lethal. Ingestion, inhalation, or skin absorption of large amounts ofcopper can cause a metallic taste in the mouth, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, headache, and shock. As little as 11 mg kg _ is regarded as a minimally toxic dose to humans. Large quantities have been lethal. Damage to brain, kidney, liver, and digestive tract may also result from acute toxicity. However, absorption of copper by mouth and skin is fairly low...

Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals with Antiandrogenic Activity

Epidemiological Studies of Phthalates Diesters of phthalic acid, commonly referred to as phthalates, are widely used in industry and commerce, including in personal care products (such as makeup, shampoo and soaps), plastics, medical tubing and medication coatings, paints and some pesticide formulations. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic cannot be made without adding phthalate plasticizers, which act as softeners. Phthalates are not chemically bonded to PVC, so the phthalates readily migrate out...

Empirical Generalization Method

There are two components in Vernadsky's concept of the biosphere. The first is the proper biosphere concept, which can be called a verbal model of the biosphere. The second component is the method of study of such a complex system as the biosphere, which he called the 'empirical generalization method' (EGM). Vernadsky opposes the reliance on mere hypotheses, repeatedly insisting that the better suited method for a scientist is the Baconian system of accumulation of facts, as the generalizations...

Grazing in Grasslands

Grazing is a form of herbivory in which most of the leaves or other plant parts (small roots and root hairs) are consumed by herbivores. Grazing, both above- and belowground, is an important process in all grasslands. The long association of grazers and grasslands has prompted the hypothesis that grasses and their megaher-bivore grazers are a highly coevolved system, but, as mentioned above, there is some more recent evidence that this might not be the case. However, there is no disagreement...

Construction and Operation of a Bridge

The second example is an EIA for the construction and operation of a bridge. Again there are impacts which are similar all around the world while constructing a bridge, Table 1 Factors to be considered when determining environmental sustainability of a hydro project Involuntary resettlements Hydro projects sometime necessitate the relocation of people. The less that people are affected, the Biodiversity Biodiversity should not decline as a result of the project and obviously no extinction of...

Evolution of Biogeochemical Cycling

Structural Peculiarities of Biogeochemical Cycles' Development Although ecological systems can be considered as the next level of matter self-organization after the biological one, it is quite probable that biogeochemical cycling preceded the origin of separate organisms. First, the cyclic chemical reactions, including both synthetic and decomposing processes, were formed in the ocean. Then their main links were shaped as separate self-reproduced organisms. The formation of the biological...

Nitrogen Export by Rivers

Water is a carrier of N from pollution source to river outlet. The fraction that ultimately reaches the outlet depends on amount of runoff and distribution between different runoff components. Time delay between inputs at the soil surface and inputs to surface water additionally depends on groundwater residence times. The natural water quality of a river will be determined primarily by the catchment soil type and underlying geology to which water, falling on the catchment as rain, is exposed as...

Plant Pathogens

Conservation biological control of plant pathogens is in the early stages of development but the technology Figure 1 Severity of botrytis bunch rot in grape vines at harvest, under different mulch treatments over two consecutive seasons in Seresin Estate Vineyard, Marlborough, New Zealand. Three of the mulch treatments bring botrytis bunch rot below the economic threshold in the second year.

Operational Real Time Air Quality Modeling

Air quality modeling and AQMs predict air quality based on emissions, meteorological conditions, topography, and other factors. To do this, AQMs imitate the physical and chemical processes that take place in the atmosphere. The term 'air quality modeling' is a fairly generic term, and often includes studies of ozone levels, concentrations of particulate matter (PM), acid rain deposition, and the like. Most often, however, AQMs seem to be concerned with ozone concentrations and the very real...

Definition Eco Exergy

In ecology, technological exergy is not so useful because the reference state, the environment, would be the adjacent ecosystem and we would like to find an expression that can measure how developed an ecosystem is, that is, how far it is from thermodynamic equilibrium. For a reservoir or reference state, it is therefore advantageous in ecology to select the same system but at thermodynamic equilibrium, that is, that all components are inorganic and at the highest oxidation state, if sufficient...

Support to the Maximum Eco Exergy Hypothesis

Eight supporting arguments for the hypothesis presented above. More evidence has been provided but the eight supporting evidences presented here give a good idea of the theoretical support for the hypothesis. 1. The exergy-storage hypothesis might be taken as a generalized version of 'Le Chatelier's Principle.' Biomass synthesis can be expressed as a chemical reaction Energy + nutrients molecules with more free energy (exergy) and organization + dissipated energy According to Le Chatelier's...

Universal Energy Flow Model

Universal Energy Flow Model

A universal energy flow model is applicable to any living component, whether it be plant, animal, microorganism, individual, population, or trophic group, as shown in Figure 1. Figure 1 Components of a model of ecological energy flow. I, input(or ingestion) NA, not assimilated energy P, production R, respiration G, growth and reproduction B, standing crop biomass S, stored energy and E, excreted energy. Linked together, such graphic models can depict food chains or the bioenergetics of an...

Sea Level in the Mesozoic and Cenozoic

The ongoing process of land expansion and increase of its average elevation accompanied by the reduction of the ocean area and increase of its average depth was typical for the Cenozoic. For example, the Tethys Sea, which separated Europe and Asia from Africa, became dry during the Alpine orogeny. Long-continued subsidence of the ocean floor could be of particular importance for the development of sea regressions. Thus, the present-day occurrence of shallow sea facies and evaporates at the...

Schrodinger Ratio Assessment The RB Ratio

Howard Odum interpreted the Schrodinger ratio from an entropy point of view, considering that exportation of entropy produced by metabolic processes (respiration) enabled maintenance of the low-entropy content of biological systems (their incorporated biomass). Thus, the Schrodinger ratio was calculated in terms of entropy production and entropy content. Case studies in the literature have regarded respiration of ecosystems as the major dissipative process (generation dissipation entropy...

South Africa

Abalone (Haliotis midae) aquaculture in South Africa is an example in which IMTA is practiced at a large scale. These systems have evolved from both the 'trial and error' approach and small-scale scientific experiments. It is still in its early stage but the potential is high as South Africa is the largest producer of cultured abalone outside Asia. Abalone is cultured in land-based flow-through tank systems and fed kelps (Ecklonia maxima) or pellet feeds. Over 6000 tonnes of kelps are harvested...

Ecological Applications of Cycle Analysis

The recycling of energy-matter is an important process that occurs in every ecosystem. Cycling is believed to be a buffering mechanism that allows ecosystems to face shortage of nutrient inflows. This process, however, has been neglected in many theoretical models, which concentrated on communities rather than ecosystems, and which usually comprised just a few species due to constraints of modeling techniques. Food web ecologists always had an ambivalent attitude toward cycling. For example,...

Mechanisms of Plutonium Toxicity

Mechanisms of plutonium toxicity may be attributed to its chemical and or radioactive properties, although to date, no thorough distinction between the two has been made because the chemical toxicity is thought to be unimportant relative to the radiological toxicity. The toxicologically relevant decay products of plutonium isotopes are alpha emissions. This highly ionizing radiation usually causes the greatest effects in the immediate vicinity of plutonium contamination due to the short...

Human Use of Primary Production

As humankind entered the twenty-first century, approximately 50 (estimates of this kind are difficult to make and are subject to revision) of terrestrial net production and most aquatic net production remain for life support, goods, and services, and to support all organisms with which we share the Earth. In 2000, the estimated 6.1 billion people in the world each required about 1 million kcalyr-1 or a total of 6 x 1015 kcal of food energy needed to support the human biomass. The food estimated...

Liebigs Principle

Justus Liebig (1803-73) carried out numerous analyses in plants and soils and he also came to the conclusion that plants feed from inorganic nutrients. According to his statement the first sources of plant nutrients are exclusively of inorganic nature. Liebig integrated his statement in a greater context as he speculated that plants in nature play a unique role in transferring chemical elements into organic plant matter. This organic matter when brought back into the soil is decomposed - in...

World Cropland Resources

More than 99 of human food comes from the terrestrial environment while less than 1 comes from the oceans and other aquatic ecosystems. Worldwide, there are a total of 13 billion hectares of land area on Earth. The percentages in use are cropland, 11 pasture land, 27 forest land, 32 urban, 9 and others 21 . Most of the remaining land area (21 ) is considered unsuitable for crops, pasture, and or forests. This is because the soil is too infertile or shallow to support plant growth, or the...

Agroforestry in Practice

A large number of traditional agroforestry systems have been recognized from different parts of the world. Each is a specific local example of the association or combination of the components, characterized by the plant species and their arrangement and management, and environmental and socioeconomic factors thus, location specificity is an important characteristic of these systems. The major practices that constitute the multitude of location-specific systems in the tropical and temperate...

Biogeocoenosis and the Biosphere

The system that specifies the biogeocoenosis concept is rigorously introduced in works by Vernadsky, who was not only a naturalist, but also a physicist and chemist he possessed knowledge in thermodynamics and ther-mostatics. In complete accordance with concepts of thermostatics, he determined an object and its elements in the following way ''I will call a set of organisms participating in geochemical processes living matter. Organisms composing this set will be elements of living matter. With...

Flux of Matter

The limnological study of standing waters has always been dominated by a conceptual model of closed ecosystems, in Coarse particulate organic matter Dissolved organic matter Figure 3 Conceptual model of invertebrate functional feeding groups and their food resources in a small, forested stream ecosystem. Modified from Cummins KW (1974) Structure and function of stream ecosystems. Bioscience 24 631-641. Figure 3 Conceptual model of invertebrate functional feeding groups and their food resources...

Age or Stage Based Models

The simple production model described in the previous sections assumes that all individuals in the population are more or less equals (e.g., the mean egg production per individual does not change over time, or the mean weight of each individual landed in the fishery does not change over time). In reality, there are additional demographic affects associated with the population age- or size-structure that could influence the dynamics of a given population. For example, older, larger fish...

Ecological Pest Control

Successful ecological pest control needs to address the complex interactions between the pest and the abiotic and biotic environment of the ecosystem. For agroecosystems, interactions between pest species and the environment are further complicated by the diversity of cropping systems (i.e., monoculture vs. crop rotations) and surrounding habitats (e.g., pasture systems, forests, riparian areas, etc.) that influence effective pest management strategies. A further consideration in assessing...

Living and Nonliving Matter Their Interaction and Cosmogonic View

The first step toward changing the world's picture, as natural scientists see it now, was the introduction of the concept of living matter by Vernadsky, and the second step was considering it as a cosmoplanetary phenomenon. Vernadsky has defined the living matter as ''the existing at present time unity of organisms with the mass, chemical composition and energy'' connected with its environment by constant processes such as breathing, feeding, and procreation, but we shall further address it...

Definition Exergy

Exergy is defined as the amount of work ( entropy-free energy) a system can perform when it is brought into thermodynamic equilibrium with its environment (Figure 1). The considered system is characterized by the extensive state variables S, U, V, N1, N2, N3, , where S is the entropy, U is the energy, V is the volume, and Ni, N2, N3, . are moles of various chemical compounds, and by the intensive state variables, T, p, , , , , where T is the temperature, p the pressure, and m symbolizes the...

The Net Carbon Balance and Anthropogenic Emissions

The importance of CO2 balance assessment is related to the proven capacity of this gas to cause global warming and climate change. Carbon dioxide is the greenhouse gas most responsible for global warming by virtue of its atmospheric residence time of 50-200 years. Although natural transfers of carbon dioxide are approximately 20 times greater than those due to human activity, natural transfers balance, the magnitude of carbon sources closely matching that of carbon sinks. Before the Industrial...

Global Ecology Unique Perspectives from Space Based Satellite Sensors Instruments

Satellite remote sensing instruments provide unique global observational perspectives on the state of the biospheres occupying the land surface, coastal zones, the oceans, and the snow ice-covered mountains and *The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not reflect that of any agency or program. polar caps. They also provide detailed global observations of both natural and anthropogenically induced changes in land surface, atmospheric and climatic drivers that often determine...

Bogs

At least in the Northern Hemisphere, they have ground layers dominated by the bryophyte genus Sphagnum (Figure 4). Sedges (Carex spp.) are absent or nearly so. The shrub layer is well developed and trees may or may not be present. Nearly, all of the vascular plants have associations with mycorrhizal fungi. Microrelief of raised mounds (hummocks) and depressions (hollows) is generally well developed. The peat column consists of a deep anaerobic layer (the...

Production and Uses of Compost

Just about any organic material that originated from plant or animal material can be composted, including yard waste, municipal solid waste, waste paper, food waste, land-clearing debris, sewage sludge, and wood-products waste. Unfortunately, the source material for compost is thus highly variable in physical and chemical properties depending on type, location, and season. Thus, compost can also be variable in characteristics, particularly if the composting process is not closely controlled or...

Releaser Pheromones Sex pheromones

The term sex pheromone is generally used for compounds that modulate mating or increase the likelihood of sexual interactions between different individuals. Sexual communication via chemicals is probably the most prevalent type of chemical signaling and can be found in nearly all taxonomic groups ranging from bacteria to higher mammals. Due to the overwhelming diversity of mating systems and reproductive strategies among these organisms, compounds that are summarized as sex pheromones can...

The Lotka Volterra Model

Why did a complete closure of fishery during World War I cause an increase in predatory fish and a decrease in prey fish in the Adriatic Sea This was the question that led Vito Volterra to formulate a mathematical conceptualization of prey-predator population dynamics. In his endeavor to explain mechanisms by which predators regulate their prey, he constructed a mathematical model that describes temporal changes in prey and predator abundances. The model makes several simplifying assumptions...

The System of Axioms

What kind of empirical generalizations lies at the base of Vernadsky's biosphere In this case we will call this system of axioms 'Vernadsky's biosphere' however, these axioms will be presented in slightly more formal way than in Vernadsky's original work. 1. During all geological periods on Earth, living organisms have never been created directly from inorganic matter. This is the homogeneity axiom. Note that in mathematics the operators that transform a zero into zero are called homogeneous,...

Dry Deposition of Particles to Vegetative Canopies

Three transport processes of fine particles need to be considered when modeling the dry deposition of fine particles to vegetative canopies the aerodynamic transport, boundary layer transport with collection of particles by canopy elements, and surface interactions including particle rebound. The aerodynamic transport of fine particles occurs by turbulent diffusion and gravitational sedimentation with minor influence of Brownian diffusion. The turbulent diffusion coefficient of a given chemical...

Ecological Footprint and Biocapacity Accounting

Ecological Footprint analysis examines the size of society's metabolism with a specific research question how much of the regenerative capacity of the biosphere is being occupied by human activities To answer this question, footprint analysis measures how much biologically productive land and water area an individual, a city, a country, a region, or humanity uses to produce the resources it consumes and to absorb the waste it generates, using prevailing technology and resource management...

Biodegradability

During the past 70 years, a wide variety of synthetic organic compounds have been produced. While some of these compounds were similar to naturally occurring compounds and were slowly degraded by microorganisms, others had molecular structures microorganisms were never exposed to before and were not recognized by then. These synthetic organic chemicals called xeno-biotics (foreign to biological systems) are also resistant to degradation and accumulate in the environment. Chemical structure of a...

Classification of Ecotechnology

Ecological engineering may be based on one or more of the following four classes of ecotechnology 1. Ecosystems are used to reduce or solve a pollution problem that otherwise would be (more) harmful to other ecosystems. A typical example is the use of wetlands for wastewater treatment. 2. Ecosystems are imitated or copied to reduce or solve a pollution problem, leading to constructed ecosystems. Examples are fishponds and constructed wetlands for treating wastewater or diffuse pollution...

The Biotic Enhancement of Weathering and the Long Term Carbon Cycle

Carbonate Silicate Cycle

The biotic enhancement of weathering (BEW) is defined as how much faster the silicate weathering carbon sink is under biotic conditions than under abiotic conditions at the same atmospheric pCO2 level and surface temperature. If BEW is significantly greater than 1, on an abiotic Earth the steady state would occur with higher atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and surface temperatures doing the 'work' generating an equal flux as the outgas-sing flux, than the biotic cover on land does at lower...

Emergy Sustainability and Its Indicators

Unlike classical energy and economic analyses that only consider items that can be quantified in energy or money terms, thus omitting most free inputs from the environment, emergy analysis is a thermodynamic methodology which considers both the economic and environmental aspects of a system by converting all inputs, flows, and outputs to the common denominator of solar energy, the basic energy behind all the processes of the biosphere. This is a primary factor because, although the market only...

Strategies to Cope with Unpredictable Water Resources

A wealth of adaptations arose in desert organisms that allows them to utilize the pronounced spatiotemporal stochasticity of water availability typical to deserts. As detailed before, mobile organisms are able to use spatially patchy water sources that are not available to less-mobile organisms. These sessile organisms often have dormant dispersal units that can reach good microsites where they can establish, reproduce, and eventually send their own diaspores onto other favorable microsites....

What Is Landscape Ecology

Landscape ecology has been defined in various ways partly because the word 'landscape' means quite different things to people with different scientific and cultural backgrounds. Landscapes are spatial mosaics of interacting biophysical and socioeconomic components (Figure 1). Just as in other ecological disciplines, a spectrum of views exists as to the relative salience or prominence of the two aspects of landscapes. The diversity of perspectives can often be related to the philosophical...

Uptake and Metabolism of Benzene

P450 Catechol Oxidation

Although benzene readily penetrates biological membranes, it does not seem to accumulate appreciably in plants, fish, and birds. With a bioconcentration factor of 1.1-2.0, it is unlikely that benzene will accumulate in the food chain, such that most concern for oral exposure would be from drinking of contaminated water. Benzene may become incorporated into plants, the majority of which is believed to occur by air-to-leaf transfer rather than root uptake. Vegetative contamination of exposed food...

Strategies for Coping with Drought

All life originated in the sea and all organisms that have left their ancestral home depend on an 'inner sea', high internal water content. This phylogenetic inheritage restricts life in many habitats, and obviously deserts are among the harshest in this respect. Even though deserts are not only water limited (they are also low in nutrients and energy resources), adaptations to cope with the spatiotemporal scarcity of water are predominant of most (if not all) true desert organisms. All desert...

Plant Interactions

Creosote Allelopathy

Interactions between plants are one of the driving forces controlling plant community structure. The nature, importance, and demonstration of these interactions generate considerable discussion amongst ecologists. Interaction between plants resulting in increased plant growth is called facilitation, which is most frequently viewed as one species making the environment less harsh to which the second species responds favorably. An example of facilitation is hydraulic lift. In arid environments...

Attempts to Manage and Reduce Waste Discharges

Since the early development of modern aquaculture in Western countries (i.e., culture of high-trophic high-value species using artificial feeds), several attempts to reduce waste discharges have been tested. The first approach to reduce environmental effects of fish waste is Figure 2 Model comparing main biogeochemical processes between (a) unpolluted and (b) organically enriched sediments beneath intensive fish farms. (a) Normal biogeochemical processes involved in the degradation of...

Radioactive Contaminants in Human Food Chains

Studies such as those described above are particularly important in the case of plants and or animals which may enter the human food chain. An initial and still primary concern has been for agricultural systems such as the classic case of radioactive fallout being taken up and concentrated through the grass-cow-milk pathway leading to human intake of radioactive elements such as strontium-90 which, as a chemical analog of calcium, tends to be taken up and concentrated in bone where it shows...

Levels and Steps in Landscape Planning

Typically, landscape planning provides information about the existing qualities of the landscape and nature, which are considered to be nature or landscape potentials, and their value as well as their sensitivity to impacts, the existing and potential impacts on these potentials, and the objectives and guidelines for the development ofthe landscape and nature, upon which proposed measures and development plans can be measured. With this information, landscape planning provides evaluation...

Halogenated Aliphatic Hydrocarbons

Large amounts of halogenated hydrocarbons (HHCs), including vinyl halides, are produced in massive amounts in the USA (Table 2). These HHCs can include alkyl halides, namely haloalkanes, haloalkenes, and haloalkynes. Some of the unsaturated aliphatic and ali-cyclic HHCs are used (Table 2) as industrial solvents, others as chemical intermediates (vinyl chloride, phosgene, hexachlorocyclopentadiene, chlorohydrins, etc.) in the synthesis of other economical compounds. Still others are used in the...

Basic Concepts

Population Dynamics Concept Map

It is necessary to understand a few basic remote-sensing concepts before we begin discussing how remotely sensed imagery can be used in ecological modeling. The electromagnetic spectrum (EMS) includes wavelengths of EM radiation ranging from short-wavelength (high-frequency) gamma rays to long-wavelength (low-frequency) radio waves. We focus on the region of the spectrum starting in the ultraviolet and continuing through the microwave wavelengths. Optical sensors are used to measure...

Food Web Model Application

Food-web bioaccumulation models have been applied in a number of different ways. However, in terms of assessing ecotoxicological risks, two main methods of application should be emphasized. The first method, referred to as the 'forward calculation', uses observed distributions in measured chemical concentrations in the water and sediments as the starting point of the model (i.e., the external variable or forcing function) to calculate the anticipated corresponding concentration in the wildlife...

Biological Cycling

Geochemical turnovers can circulate without participation of biological compartments, but their rate is much higher because of such participation. For calcium circulation it is especially right, since mainly the sedimentation of calcium salts is a result of calcium absorption and accumulation in animal and plant bodies (skeletons of corals and higher animals, shells of mollusks, etc.), which are concentrated on the seabed after the organisms' death. The influence of living organisms is not so...

Entropy and Biology Photosynthesis

To live and reproduce, plants and animals need a continuous flow of energy. The energy of the biosphere which originates in the luminous energy of the Sun, is captured by plants and passes from one living form to another along the food chain. The luminous energy captured by chlorophyll, the green pigment in plants, is stored in carbohydrates, molecules rich in energy, by a process called photosynthesis, a term that means 'to make things with light'. This radiant pathway that provides us with...

Levins Model

The Levins model has a special significance for metapopulation ecology, as it was with this model that Richard Levins introduced the metapopulation concept in two papers published in 1969 and 1970. The Levins model represents a completely different approach to metapopulation modeling in comparison with the two-population model. The assumptions of the Levins model are (1) The suitable habitat occurs in infinitely many patches that are equally large and of the same quality. (2) The patches have...

Grazing and Indirect Interactions among Species

Indirect interactions occur when the presence or activities of one species influence the interactions among other species. There are, in general, two major types of indirect interactions (1) an interactive chain or (2) a modifying interaction. Grazing can be involved in either of these. An interactive chain is the situation where one species of plant (A) is a superior competitor for space or light or nutrients compared with a second plant (B). Left to their own devices, A would outcompete B in...

Ecological Engineering for Eutrophication Management in Coastal Zones

Upwelling zones, which receive infusions of nutrients from deep ocean waters, support some of the most productive marine ecosystems. However, anthropogenic eutrophication of estuaries and coastal zones has been a growing problem since the latter half of the twentieth century. The main drivers for this have been the increasing proportion of the population moving to the coastal zones, an increase in the burning of fossil fuels, the increase in the use of synthetic fertilizers and the increase in...

The Role of Organisms in Soil Functions and Processes

Formation Food Chain Ecosystem

Soil organisms play key roles in ecosystems through their effects on physical properties and processes, and the biological contributions to carbon and energy fluxes and cycling of nutrients. The importance of soil fauna for soil physical Macro- and megafauna 2 mm 20 mm 2 4 8 16 32 64 128 256 512 1024 2 4 8 16 32 64 Pore formation Litt r fragment.ation, M- Pore formation Pore formation Litt r fragment.ation, M- Pore formation Figure 3 (a) Size classification of soil organisms by body width. (b)...

Large Systems Dynamics through Remote Sensing

Remote sensing has become a valuable tool and a proven methodology for ecosystem scientists to monitor and understand major disturbance events and their historical regimes at regional and global scale. Retrospective analysis applied at time series of remote-sensed imageries focuses primarily in quantifying systems' properties both from a spatial and temporal perspective so that the evolutionary trajectory of a system can be defined according to the spatial, temporal, and qualitative nature of...

Nitrogen Ecotoxicity in Terrestrial Ecosystems

Nitrogen applications to many managed systems are made to increase production and yield, and effects on biodiversity and ecosystem function in such systems are of lower concern. Atmospheric nitrogen deposition is the total of dry and wet deposition from the air and, in areas with little direct fertiliser nitrogen input to soils and waters, accounts for the majority of the annual nitrogen input. Dry deposition consists of gases, such as NO2 and NH 3, and fine particles (including fine particle...

Emergy and Transformity

As stated above energy decreases along transformation chains, therefore along a chain or a web, transformities increase and emergy, following 'memorization' laws, may remain constant or grow down-chain. Figure 2 is useful for evaluating emergy and transformity at different steps in an energy flow sequence. If the producers are forage plants and the consumers (C) are cows, the sun transfers energy to the plants from the boundary of the system, the plants use it by photosynthesis and...

Physical Principles of Life

Mill (1806-73), laws of life cannot be something other than laws of behavior of molecules, interacting as parts of a living organism. But, because of emergence of biological systems, it is not easy to reduce biological laws to physical ones. Such a way, called 'reductionism', does not always give practical results, but it is important as the theoretical basis for searching borders of the possible for living objects. It is not easy to predict fundamental consequences from...

Global Phosphate Consumption

The phosphate rock is initially converted to phosphoric acid (P2O5) by reaction with sulfuric acid. The phosphoric acid is further processed to produce fertilizers, food-grade and feed-grade additives, and detergents. Other marginal applications include metal surface treatment, corrosion inhibition, flame retardants, water treatment, and ceramic production. Despite such widespread use, the latter applications represented only 3 of the total consumption of various phosphates in the 1990s. The...

Further Reading

Botkin DB (1990) Discordant Harmonies A New Ecology for the Twenty-First Century. New York Oxford University Press. Botkin DB and Beveridge CE (1997) Cities as environments. Urban Ecosystems 1 3-19. Duchhart I (2007) Designing for Sustainable Landscapes - From Experience to Theory. Wageningen Wageningen University. Forman RTT (1995) Land Mosaics The Ecology of Landscapes and Regions. Cambridge Cambridge University Press. Marten GG (2001) Human Ecology Basic Concepts for Sustainable Development....

Application of Assimilative Capacity to the TMDL Process

The derivation of the amount of nutrients, sediments, pathogens, or other stressors that can be added to the waterbody without exceeding the criteria depends upon a number of factors (Figure 1). Without man-derived (anthropogenic) inputs, there will still be a variety of inputs to the receiving water from the watershed and atmospheric deposition. Nutrients (manure and decomposition products), pathogens, and naturally derived toxins are derived from biological processes. Runoff from the...

Sources of Copper Pollution

As one of the great metals of commerce, it is not surprising that copper released by humans into the environment is in significant excess over what might be found naturally. Copper (and other) pollution has occurred in the vicinity of copper mines and smelting operations since mankind began the activity several millennia ago. The excavation of Cu-containing earth at open pit copper mines can produce copper rich dusts which are spread in the wind around the mine site. Most of these ores are...

Systems Ecology Ten Tentative Fundamental Laws An Attempt to Formulate an Ecosystem Theory

Ecosystem Stability Resistance

A tentative ecosystem theory consisting of eight basic laws has previously been presented, but it seems to be an advantage to split one of the laws into three due to some recent results, which are presented below with a few comments. 1. All ecosystems are open systems embedded in an environment from which they receive energy (matter) input and discharge energy (matter) output. From a thermodynamic viewpoint, this principle is a prerequisite for ecological processes. If ecosystems could be...

Solar Radiation Flow in the Earths Surface Atmosphere System

As it propagates through the atmosphere, solar radiation undergoes scattering and absorption by gases, aerosol, and clouds. The fraction of solar radiation that survives and reaches the surface is partly reflected back to the atmosphere. The remainder is absorbed by the surface. The scattered (or diffused) radiation can undergo many acts of scattering and reflection until it is either reflected back to the space or absorbed by the Earth's surface-atmosphere system. Absorption of solar...

PBMs and the Simulation of Plant Growth

Plant Growth Simulation Software

The goal is to assess the crop production per square meter based on environmental Figure 9 Simulations of geometrical plant models simulated with AMAPsim software (J. F. Barczi, CIRAD) (a) wild cherry tree (Fournier), (b) zelkova tree (Barthelemy), (c) young Aleppo pine (Carraglio), (d) coffee tree (de Reffye), (e) cotton plant (de Reffye), (f) ornamental tobacco plant (Rey). The parameters for plant development and geometry have been assessed from measurements...

Agroforestry An Integrated Science and Practice

Today, agroforestry is recognized as an integrated applied science that has the potential for addressing many of the land management and environmental problems found in both developing and industrialized nations. The essence of agroforestry can be expressed in four key 'I' words intentional, intensive, interactive, and integrative. The term 'intentional' implies that systems are intentionally designed and managed as whole unit, and 'intensive' means that the systems are intensively managed for...

Case Studies on Nutrient Budgets in Riparian Buffer Zones

In the following, the results of the studies of the efficiency of riparian buffers carried out in the Porijogi River basin and the Viiratsi area, which is heavily loaded with pig slurry application, both of which are located in south Estonia, will be highlighted. For the intensive field studies in 1994-98, two transects were established on the thalwegs of slopes adjacent to streams and crossing different riparian plant communities. Transects had similar biophysical conditions with similar plant...

Definition and Scope of Biological Control

Biological control is a form of pest control that uses living organisms (parasitoids, predators, or herbivorous arthropods) to suppress a pest's density to lower levels. There are four kinds of biological control, two of which - classical biological control and augmentative biological control - are discussed in this article and two others - conservation biological control and biopesticides - that are discussed in Biological Control Models. Classical biological control is the deliberate...

Energy Subsidy

High rates of production in both natural and cultivated ecosystems occur when physical factors, such as water, nutrients, and climate, are favorable, and especially when energy subsidies (such as fertilizers) from outside the system enhance growth or rates of reproduction within the system. Secondary energy that supplements the sun and allows plants to store and pass on more photosynthate is called auxiliary energy flow or energy subsidy. Such energy subsidies may also be the work of wind and...

Nitrogen Cycle

The nitrogen cycle represents one of the most important nutrient cycles found in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Nitrogen is used by living organisms to produce a number of complex organic molecules like amino acids, proteins, and nucleic acids. Terrestrial, aquatic, and atmospheric ecosystems receive nitrogen inputs through natural processes and human activities. The Earth's atmosphere contains about 78 nitrogen. Nitrogen in the atmosphere is abundant but not in the right chemical form...

Case Study Hawaii Food

The main energy sources in Hawaiian lava tube ecosystems are tree roots, which penetrate the lava for several decameters organic matter, which washes in with percolating rainwater and accidentals, which are surface and soil animals blundering into the cave. Both living and dead roots are utilized, and this source is probably the most important. Furthermore, both rainwater and accidentals often use the same channels as roots to enter caves, so that root patches often provide food for a wide...