Ecological status

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Biomonitoring ecological status of two reservoirs of the Brazilian semi-arid using phytoplankton assemblages (Q index)

Biomonitoring ecological status of two reservoirs of the Brazilian semi-arid using phytoplankton assemblages (Q index)

In Brazil, Crossetti & Bicudo (2008) conducted a pioneering study applying the Q index to evaluate water quality in a eutrophic reservoir and indicated that phytoplankton could be successfully used as an indicator of the ecological status of the system in monitoring processes. Therefore, studies applying the approach of assembly index (Q) for assessment of water quality in reservoirs of the Brazilian semiarid region constitute the base of the discussion to support biomonitoring areas susceptible to various impacts, making this a fundamental research because show the use of phytoplankton as a discriminator of ecological status. This paper examines the application of the Q index as a tool to assess the ecological status in two Brazilian semiarid tropical reservoirs, based on the approach of the functional groups of phytoplankton.
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Macrophyte-Based Assessment of the Ecological Status  of Lakes in Bulgaria

Macrophyte-Based Assessment of the Ecological Status of Lakes in Bulgaria

Abstract. The aquatic macrophytes of lakes, situated in the whole territory of Bulgaria, were monitored during 2009. Six lake groups were established using differences in characteristics reflecting altitude, high calcium content and salinity, and altered hydromorphology and/or artificial origin. Abundance and species composition were assessed at each lake according to the requirements of the EU Water Framework Directive, using the assessment procedure of macrophyte-based assessment system, proposed by the Bavarian Environment Agency. The procedure included calculation of the ‘ecological quality ratio’ (EQR) for each of 78 water bodies, based on transect monitoring data. For 31 of these lakes, a macrophyte assessment system was applied, for the remaining 47 lakes macrophyte quantity was insufficient or depopulation was assessed. Ecological status classification of lakes is based on the calculation of a Reference Index value. The Reference Index quantifies the deviation of species composition and abundance from reference conditions and classifies sites as one of the five possible ecological quality classes specified in the Directive. The EQR indicating Good and High (Maximum) Ecological Status/Potential for macrophytes was achieved in 12 of the 31 lakes which fulfilled the criteria for assessment. The water quality parameters in lake types were discussed.
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Typology and monitoring of ecological status of moving waters of Serbia

Typology and monitoring of ecological status of moving waters of Serbia

P. Caki}, M. Paunovi}, V. Djukanovi}, D. Jakov~ev-Todorovi}, V. Simi}, Z. Kuli{i} The paper presents work carried out with the objective of the implementation of the European Union Water Framework Directive. The data on communities of water or- ganisms, together with the abiotic parameters, are used to define the typology, the type of specifical reference conditions and the ecological status index, which present a basis for establishing a system of monitoring the ecological status/potential of the waters in Serbia. The results of the obtained investigations are used also in the continuation of this work in making a database on the biodiversity of landlocked bodies of water in the territory of Ser- bia. The investigations include phytoplankton, phytobenthos, aquatic macroinvertebrate, and ichthyofauna, as well as the biological elements used in the process of the implemen- tation of the EU Water Framework Directive. Furthermore, fish parasites are a subject of in- vestigations for the reason that the level of parasite presence could have a significant effect on the structure of the community, and can consequently be used as a biological parame- ter for the ecological status/potential. The study covers all types of moving water. Field re- search is conducted with the aim of compiling complete data on certain biological compo- nents of moving waters.
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Assessing the ecological status of plankton in Anjos Bay: a flow cytometry approach

Assessing the ecological status of plankton in Anjos Bay: a flow cytometry approach

The ultimate goal in coastal ecology is to use information about ecosystem processes to manage and preserve natural resources and water quality. Because these sys- tems are somewhat resistant to external impacts and disturbances on a wide range of temporal and spatial scales, it is essential to define “good” ecological status and establish impact thresholds. In this context, ecological status is a synonym for quality.

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An overview of ecological status, vulnerability and future perspectives of European large shallow, semi-enclosed coastal systems, lagoons and transitional waters

An overview of ecological status, vulnerability and future perspectives of European large shallow, semi-enclosed coastal systems, lagoons and transitional waters

The issues to be analysed when assessing eutrophication are complex and cannot be resolved by considering only simple vari- ables and linear relationships. Nevertheless, a set of basic variables that are indicative of ecosystem properties and functions (state) can be easily measured and are suited for classi fication and assessment of sensitivity to external stressors (Viaroli and Christian, 2003; Viaroli et al., 2004). Basic morphometric parame- ters, hydrological variables, sediment characteristics and biological elements have been extensively applied and validated in deep aquatic ecosystems. Nevertheless, applications to shallow coastal lagoons require ad hoc calibration and further validations using the weight-of-evidence approach. In order to bring together informa- tion from multiple indicators, metrics that allow integration or combination of multiple variables will also greatly improve the capacity of representing ecological status or sensitivity to a given stressor (Viaroli et al., 2004). The mean depth is an indicator of the development of the wateresediment interface with respect to the water volume. The ratio of freshwater discharge to recipient vol- umes could be either a measure of freshwater flushing or a proxy of sensitivity to pressures from watershed. According to Vollenweider (1992), the combination of hydrological variables with loading es- timates gives an assessment of the lagoon sensitivity to eutrophi- cation. However, this approach is more appropriate for deep aquatic ecosystems, dominated by phytoplankton communities. Water budgets and nutrient loadings have been widely used for assessing the net ecosystem metabolism (NEM) of coastal lagoons with a wide array of primary producer communities (Giordani et al., 2005, 2008). Basically, NEM is calculated with the LOICZ biogeo- chemical model from P loadings; thus NEM gives a measure of the trophic status and of its dependency on nutrient delivery from the
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Shorebirds assemblages as indicators of ecological status and sediment quality in the Ria Formosa lagoon

Shorebirds assemblages as indicators of ecological status and sediment quality in the Ria Formosa lagoon

Wetlands and coasts are of essential importance for support of population of many bird species and also biological diversity of other taxa. For this reason, Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (1971) was one of the first international environmental agreements to be developed and one of its main focuses is protection and conservation of bird populations. In the European Union the Directive 79/409/EEC on the protection of wild birds (Birds Directive), Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC), Directive on the Conservation of Natural Habitats (92/43/EEC) form a legislation framework arranged to organize the nature conservation measures at all levels, especially on the level of decision-making. Management of many coastal territories declared a Ramsar site and Natura 2000 sites requires knowledge about bird communities and their response to various human activities. The knowledge of bird communities’ response to human impact should be a basis for implementing the EU Directive on Birds and Habitat Directive at the level of decision making. As per Council Directive 92/43/EEC (Habitats Directive), 1992, “conservation status of a natural habitat means the sum of the influences acting on a natural habitat and its typical species that may affect its long-term natural distribution, structure and functions as well as the long-term survival of its typical species”.
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Feeding diversity in macroinvertebrate communities: a contribution to estimate the ecological status in shallow waters

Feeding diversity in macroinvertebrate communities: a contribution to estimate the ecological status in shallow waters

In stressed environments subjected either to anthropogenic action or natural physical stress, it is expected that the diversity of feeding groups decreases. This decrease is perhaps attributable to changes in dominance of the feeding groups, with the presence of all types or the absence of some types. In communities from locations with good ecological conditions presumably all the feeding groups will occur. In sandy sediments the community will be dominated by suspension-feeders, and in muddy sediments by detritus feeders. In seagrasses beds, which are very common in healthy estuarine or lagoonal locations (Kemp, 2000), the species richness is usually high and the community might be dominated by detritus feeders, as these locals act as sediment traps, accumulating fine sediments and organic matter.
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Assessment of the non-indigenous species in Ria Formosa

Assessment of the non-indigenous species in Ria Formosa

In addition, Ria Formosa has been proposed as a reference site for coastal waters benthic invertebrates, and has two intercalibration points for the boundaries between the classes of ecological status. Non-indigenous species are not included in the biological parameter to classify the biological status of a water body. However, the assessment scheme of coastal water benthic invertebrate also includes both disturbance taxa and taxa indicative of pollution (European Commission, 2000). NIS could be included in these parameters as species that show disturbance of the water body by human activities. If future measures are taken in that way, this would have more implications for the RF lagoon which is proposed as reference point for benthic invertebrates in other water bodies. It means that the conditions of the Ria Formosa lagoon are considered in good status, including number of NIS and the actual composition and structure of the benthic community. Other areas of the North East Atlantic that have more number of introduced species would be compared with RF lagoon in the WFD process.
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Three main stressors acting on the Ria Formosa lagoonal system (Southern Portugal): physical stress, organic matter pollution and the land–ocean gradient

Three main stressors acting on the Ria Formosa lagoonal system (Southern Portugal): physical stress, organic matter pollution and the land–ocean gradient

The high species richness and high diversity values observed at most of the stations or groups of stations indicate a good ecological status, with the exception of the sewage-impacted areas and the physically stressed areas. It was possible to define three main stressors acting on the Ria Formosa. The most important is the physical stress imposed by the limited water renewal in some areas of the Ria Formosa. The second is the nutrient and organic matter pollution that is limited to the vicinity of the sewage outfall stations and to some locations of the Ria Formosa. This is due to the dual effects of the low residence time of water, but also due to a degradation of water quality in places of relatively restricted water circulation but with high primary production, symptoms of eutrophication. The third stressor is the natural land-ocean gradient, denoting the influence of seawater exchanges and emersion time, attenuated by the high water exchange rates of Ria Formosa.
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Feeding diversity index as complementary information in the assessment of ecological quality status

Feeding diversity index as complementary information in the assessment of ecological quality status

The results obtained with BAT and the feeding diversity index methodologies indicated, in general, the same tendencies regarding the ecological status of the Mondego estuary stations. However, some discrepancies were observed. Occasionally, in stations with average species richness, all individuals were assigned to only one or two feeding groups, and the feeding diversity was low. Even if these taxa were included in the first two or three AMBI ecological groups, which would indicate a possible Good ecological status (EQS), they all perform the same trophic function, for example, they are all omnivorous or herbivorous. In these cases, the trophic functioning of the system is reduced to only one or two levels, and the lower trophic levels are missing, such as the suspension-feeders and the decomposers or deposit-feeders. This was observed in station 2, in 1992, where the largest difference was found. BAT points out to a Good EQS while the feeding diversity index points out to a Bad EQS. Seven species were found, the majority carnivorous / scavengers, with a small proportion represented by a suspension feeder. Although most species were assigned to AMBI ecological groups I and II, indicating a Good ecological condition, their presence might be due to a local accumulation of carrion. Four trophic groups were missing from the food web. On the contrary, a highly diverse trophic assemblage may be found, but composed of taxa assigned to AMBI ecological groups II to IV, thus indicating a Moderate ecological condition, while the feeding diversity would indicate it to be high. This has been observed, for example, in station 3, in 2000.
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Structural control of ecological and biological networks

Structural control of ecological and biological networks

In this work, ENC has been further expanded to incorporate the structural control of any kind of ecological and biological network. The rationale behind Structural ENC is that sometimes it could result rather difficult to quantitatively control stocks and flows in order to drive the ecological or biological network towards the desired state (Fig. 1). In these cases, similar results can be achieved using a more parsimonious approach based on the inhibition of one or several nodes and edges.

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Assessing global marine biodiversity status within a coupled socio-ecological perspective.

Assessing global marine biodiversity status within a coupled socio-ecological perspective.

People value the existence of a variety of marine species and habitats, many of which are negatively impacted by human activities. The Convention on Biological Diversity and other international and national policy agreements have set broad goals for reducing the rate of biodiversity loss. However, efforts to conserve biodiversity cannot be effective without comprehensive metrics both to assess progress towards meeting conservation goals and to account for measures that reduce pressures so that positive actions are encouraged. We developed an index based on a global assessment of the condition of marine biodiversity using publically available data to estimate the condition of species and habitats within 151 coastal countries. Our assessment also included data on social and ecological pressures on biodiversity as well as variables that indicate whether good governance is in place to reduce them. Thus, our index is a social as well as ecological measure of the current and likely future status of biodiversity. As part of our analyses, we set explicit reference points or targets that provide benchmarks for success and allow for comparative assessment of current conditions. Overall country-level scores ranged from 43 to 95 on a scale of 1 to 100, but countries that scored high for species did not necessarily score high for habitats. Although most current status scores were relatively high, likely future status scores for biodiversity were much lower in most countries due to negative trends for both species and habitats. We also found a strong positive relationship between the Human Development Index and resilience measures that could promote greater sustainability by reducing pressures. This relationship suggests that many developing countries lack effective governance, further jeopardizing their ability to maintain species and habitats in the future.
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ECOLOGIC AGRICULTURE – ROMANIA’S EFFORTS FOR THE FUTURE’S AGRICULTURE

ECOLOGIC AGRICULTURE – ROMANIA’S EFFORTS FOR THE FUTURE’S AGRICULTURE

The new organic conception of agriculture is considerably increasing its way lately. While benefiting from a recent international recognition, organic farming presents undeniable potential for development, representing an increasingly convincing alternative for the industrial conventional agriculture. Developed countries have become more aware of the modern technologies potential, the fragility of the environment and of the human capacity to damage it. More and more governments are concerned and deeply involved in this matter and significant financial funds are allocated for the promotion of the organic farming. According to the purposes of the EU rules, the organic would be defined as a system of farm management, implying significantly restricting the fertilizers and thorough control of the pest chemicals, ensured at all stages of production and marketing. The terminology used to define the concept varies in different languages as follows: biologic farming French, )talian, Portuguese, Greek, Dutch , ecological German, Spanish, Danish , organic English .
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Activity patterns of mammals at Quedas do Rio Bonito Ecological Park, Lavras City, Minas Gerais State, Brazil

Activity patterns of mammals at Quedas do Rio Bonito Ecological Park, Lavras City, Minas Gerais State, Brazil

Studies that seek to understand the activity patterns and sharing time of mamals have not been the focus in recent decades (KRONFELD-SCHOR; DAYAN, 2003). Therefore, this paper aimed to determine the activity patterns of medium and large mammals, and also to contribute to the knowledge of species composition at an ecological park. It is hypothesized that, since the study area is preserved, the species can modify their activity patterns when compared with other published studies.

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AVALIAÇÃO DO POTENCIAL DA CHUVA DE SEMENTES COMO ALTERNATIVA PARA RESTAURAÇÃO FLORESTAL EM ÁREAS DE PRESERVAÇÃO PERMANENTE

AVALIAÇÃO DO POTENCIAL DA CHUVA DE SEMENTES COMO ALTERNATIVA PARA RESTAURAÇÃO FLORESTAL EM ÁREAS DE PRESERVAÇÃO PERMANENTE

ABSTRACT – The ecological restoration of degraded areas using seeds collected in forest remnants has shown significant results. This study was developed to verify the potential of seed rain to regenerate forest fragments of a Permanent Preservation Area (PPA) in the Apa River Basin which is located in the southwestern portion of the Mato Grosso do Sul state, Brazil. To develop the study, we installed 25 collectors measuring 1 m 2 each, which were systematically distributed on an area of 1.5ha. Seed gathering

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Cad. Saúde Pública  vol.12 número1

Cad. Saúde Pública vol.12 número1

Abst ract A prospective ecological evaluation of mortality from common malignancies with di- etary risk factors and alcohol consumption was carried out among 10 state capitals of Brazil. Re- gression analysis was used to examine the association of dietary intake with mortality rates of the most common cancers among adults age 30 years and older. Age-adjusted cancer mortality rates varied 2.4 to 3.3 fold across the state capitals. A positive relationship was observed between energy intake and colon, lung, and esophageal cancer (p≤0.02 for each). Colon cancer mortality was positively associated with consumption of total fat, eggs, alcohol, mate tea, cereals, and veg- etables (p≤0.01). Lung cancer was positively associated with mate and cereal intake (p<0.05). Stomach cancer was associated with consumption of eggs (p=0.04); and negatively associated with consumption of high fiber foods, fruits, and vitamin A and C (p≤0.05). Esophageal cancer was positively associated with fat intake, mate and cereals (p≤0.05) and negatively associated with vitamin A (p=0.02); prostate cancer was negatively associated with vitamin C (p=0.007). Breast cancer was not associated with any of the factors studied. The marked variation in cancer mortality rates in Brazil may be partially related to the high variation in dietary components or other diet associated factors.
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Ecological niche modeling of Bacillus anthracis on three continents: evidence for genetic-ecological divergence?

Ecological niche modeling of Bacillus anthracis on three continents: evidence for genetic-ecological divergence?

This study tested whether ecological niche models of the B. anthracis MLVA-8 defined A1.a sublineage can be used to predict the distribution of the same sublineage on novel landscapes. Our native models reasonably predicted the occurrence points in our experiments, and furthermore the native Italian model predicted a region in Italy where the A1.a sublineage has been isolated, but due to lack of spatial data was not included in the occurrence dataset. Transferred models, however, failed to accurately predict documented anthrax occurrence points and tended to over-predict or under- predict presence on the non-native landscapes. Where transferred models were successful in predicting areas of known persistence, model agreement tended to be low. Both over-prediction and under-prediction of transferred models are considered failures, although these failures have different practical consequences for public health applications. When areas suitable for pathogen presence are not predicted by a model, the failure to incorporate this area into surveillance programs will result in cases of disease being overlooked. Over-prediction by a model, on the other hand, hinders epidemiologic investigations of cases by misallocating Figure 2. Predicted distribution of Bacillus anthracis by native and transferred projections. Native models were built for (A) the United States, (B) Italy and (C) Kazakhstan. Color ramp indicates the level of model agreement from zero (no models predict presence) to ten (all models in the best subset predict presence).
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A new fuzzy algorithm for ecological ranking

A new fuzzy algorithm for ecological ranking

Ecological ranking is a prerequisite to many kinds of environmental decisions. It requires a set of “objects” (e.g., competing sites for species reintroduction, or competing alternatives of environmental management) to be evaluated on the basis of multiple weighted criteria, and then ranked from the best to the worst, or vice versa. The resulting ranking is then used to choose the course of an action (e.g., the optimal sites where a species can be reintroduced, or the optimal management scenario for a protected area).

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THE ECOLOGICAL CONTEXT AND CHALLENGE

THE ECOLOGICAL CONTEXT AND CHALLENGE

Nevertheless, the attention that the media has been pro- viding to environmental issues – despite often in a sensa- tionalist and decontextualized way – and their subsequent globalization and mediatisation phenomena, are ultimately translated in the growth of a collective environmen- tal awareness. The beginning of the new millennium was marked by aggravated experiences of confrontation with the global environmental damage, followed by an increas- ing public concern about new ecological problems, above the usual environmental concerns such as pollution, extinc- tion of species or deforestation. Global Warming stood out from other environmental concerns and it was generalized the notion that it would induce further systemic impacts, bringing severe consequences to most of the world popu- lation. Suddenly, the global environmental problem turned into a ‘glocal’ socio-ecological problem that affects every- one’s individual and collective sphere, being now perceived as a threat to our health and well-being, to our safety and prosperity, and even to our chance of survival – especial- ly that of future generations. The turn of the millennium corresponded to a moment of decisive change in the way how environmental issues were acknowledged all over the world. It stressed the need to pay close regard to the more complex aspects of the environment and it was definitely a ‘tipping point’ in our collective ecological awareness. At the same time, ‘ecology’ – even if subverted or reduced to en- vironmentalism – quickly became one of the main themes of the 21 st century, and has been subject of the most pro-
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Temporal trends in the nutritional status of women and children under five years of age in sub-Saharan African countries: ecological study

Temporal trends in the nutritional status of women and children under five years of age in sub-Saharan African countries: ecological study

Africa will not follow the pattern already established in most of the world’s other regions. In sub-Saharan Africa, women of childbear- ing age are an important target population for efforts to improve the nutritional status of future generations, since they are the key to better nutrition during fetal life and, through breastfeeding, in early childhood. For children under five years of age, growth mon- itoring and immunization campaigns can boost efforts to main- tain balanced nutrition. Development of nutritional programs to provide better information to families about healthy eating and the importance of preventing noncommunicable diseases is also a key necessity. 30,33 Policies to combat economic inequality and
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