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[en] Bio-charcoal (Biochar) is produced by the combustion of bio wastes in the 400 - 500 C temperature range and without oxygen. Bio-charcoal withstands decay and its incorporation in the soil would release less greenhouse gases than the natural decay of vegetal wastes. Bio-charcoal is considered as an efficient way to trap carbon in the ground for several hundreds years while improving the agronomic features of the soil. Recent studies challenge the green quality of bio-charcoal. It appears that the pyrolysis releases toxic by-products that could be trapped in the bio-charcoal itself and that the use of bio-charcoal might increase the impermeability of the soil as a long term effect. (A.C.)
[en] A scheme of monitoring and conservation of Kazakstan soils is proposed in the article. This methodic was worked out on base of developed countries experience analysis and was taken into consideration the specific peculiarities of Kazakhstan territory environmental conditions. Soil monitoring has being planed to organize on base of 5 complex background stations. The project of National program of soil conservation in the framework of sustainable agriculture development is proposed. (author)
[en] Study on the identification of Important Plant Areas (IPAs) was conducted in seven valleys of Hindukush-Himalayas mountainous ranges of Pakistan during 2005 and 2006. The principal aim of the study is to search new avenues for the conservation and sustainable utilization of threatened medicinal and economic plants and their habitats in IPAs. IPAs are sites of tremendous ecological and economic values that still exist in the world and are being managed on specific sites to study wild plant diversity. Several of such plants are used in the traditional medicines that are being used since the dawn of history to provide basic healthcare to people the world over. According to WHO, 80% of the human population of Africa still use medicinal plants in their primary healthcare. The popularity of herbal drugs is on the constant rise in many developed countries of the world, while in developing countries like Pakistan; medicinal plants contribute significantly to the income sources of people living in remote areas. Keeping such importance in view, the World Health Organization (WHO) launched a global vision in the form of 'Global Strategy for Plant Conservation' having various targets and mile stones. Target 5 of the strategy required for the global integration of the herbal medicine in health care system with proper identification of medicinal plants and the conservation of sites where such plants are found naturally, as its basic elements. In order to contribute to the specified target, WHO advised the relevant institutions to develop research plans and conservation programmes that are focused on the Global strategy in general and target 5 in specific. While complementing the appeal and contributing to its vision, a study was conducted in various eco-systems of the Pakistan's Hindukush-Himalayas region, identifying Important Plant Areas (IPAs) for their subsequent conservation and uses for scientific purposes. Site selection for the study was based on: 1). Exceptional vegetation richness for the representative bio-geographic zone; 2). Presence of naturally occurring medicinal herbs with species of global or regional concern, and (3). Threatened habitats that are supporting plant species of medicinal and economic values. Apart from various values of the selected sites such as their scientific and economic importance, the selected sites had a treasure of indigenous knowledge related to the wise uses and conservation of medicinal plants. The study also focused on exploring the complex natural interactions between plants and other organisms; their dependence under various environmental parameters; traditional knowledge of the local inhabitants; and the significance of the landscape to Conserve such plants on long-term basis. (author)
[en] Despite of the fact that many soil erosion models have been developed in the past more than 5 decades including empirical based models like USLE and RUSLE and many process based soil erosion and sediment transport models like WEPP, EUROSEM and SHETRAN, the application of these models to regional scales remained questionable. To address the problem, a process-based soil erosion and sediment transport model has been developed to estimate the soil erosion, deposition, transport and sediment yield at regional scale. The soil erosion processes are modeled as the detachment of soil by the raindrop impact over the entire grid and detachment of soil due to overland flow only within the equivalent channels, whereas sediment is routed to the forward grid considering the transport capacity of the flow. The loss of heterogeneity in the spatial information of the topography due to slope averaging effect is reproduced by adapting a Fractal analysis approach. The model has been calibrated for Nan river basin (N.13A) and validated to the Yom river basin (Y.6) and Nam Mae Klang river basin (P.24A) of Thailand, simulated results show good agreements with the observed sediment discharge data. The developed model with few new components can also be applied for predicting the sediment discharges of the river Indus. (author)
[en] Phosphate-solubilizing bacteria (PSB) have the ability to solubilize insoluble phosphorus (P) and release soluble P. Extensive research has been performed with respect to PSB isolation from the rhizospheres of various plants, but little is known about the prevalence of PSB in the grapevine rhizosphere. In this study, we aimed to isolate and identify PSB from the grapevine rhizosphere in five vineyards of Northwest China, to characterize their plant-growth-promoting (PGP) traits, evaluate the effect of stress on their phosphate-solubilizing activity (PSA), and test their ability to stimulate the growth of Vitis vinifera L. cv. Cabernet Sauvignon. From the vineyard soils, 66 PSB isolates were screened, and 10 strains with high PSA were identified by 16S rRNA sequencing. Sequence analysis revealed that these 10 strains belonged to 4 genera and 5 species: Bacillus aryabhattai, B. megaterium, Klebsiella variicola, Stenotrophomonas rhizophila, and Enterobacter aerogenes. The selected PSB strains JY17 (B. aryabhattai) and JY22 (B. aryabhattai) were positive for multiple PGP traits, including nitrogen fixation and production of indole acetic acid (IAA), siderophores, 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate (ACC) deaminase, chitinase, and protease. JY17 and JY22 showed strong PSA under stress conditions of high pH, high salt, and high temperature. Therefore, these two isolates can be used as biofertilizers in saline-alkaline soils. The inoculation with PSB significantly facilitated the growth of V. vinifera cv. Cabernet Sauvignon under greenhouse conditions. Use of these PSB as biofertilizers will increase the available P content in soils, minimize P-fertilizer application, reduce environmental pollution, and promote sustainable agriculture.
[en] Aim of study: To assess the effectiveness for improving early seedling performance of the individual and combined application of (i) various doses of an innovative soil conditioner including polyacrylamide-free super-absorbent polymers, fertilizers, root precursors and humic acids; and (ii) innovative mulches based on renewable-biodegradable or recycled raw materials. The assessment was carried out in comparison with reference (commercial) soil conditioners and mulches. Area of study: Upper montane afforestation site located at 1,430 m altitude in the southern Pyrenees (NE Spain). Material and methods: We studied the effect of 15 treatments (various combinations of soil conditioners and mulches) on mountain ash (Fraxinus excelsior L.), testing survival, diameter and height growth and water and nutrient status during two growing seasons (2014-2015). We also assessed mulch durability during 2014-2016. Main results: The innovative soil conditioner improved diameter and height seedling growth (92% and 72% respectively) and water and nutrient status. The 40 g/seedling dosage was more cost-effective than the 20 and 80 g/seedling doses. The new formulation performed better in general than the commercial formulation. Mulches led to slight gains compared to control seedlings, and there were no major differences between the mulch models. The combined application of soil conditioners and mulches was not of particular interest. Research highlights: Soil conditioners consisting of synergic mixtures of water super-absorbent polymers, fertilizers, root growth precursors and humic acids can improve early seedling performance in coarse-textured, stony soils in montane conditions. Small mulches may be only of limited interest as long as weed competitiveness is poor.
[en] The main objective referred in this report is to develop and pilot test appropriate small scale irrigation systems (methods and related water/nutrient management practices) for increasing yield, quality of high value crops and income to improved livelihood). The specific objectives are: 1) Introduce and pilot test appropriate small- scale irrigation technologies suitable for enhancing crop production and income, 2) Building capacity of farmers and extension workers on irrigation techniques, 3) Improve Nitrogen use efficiency for onions, rice and tomato. Also, the report recommend to continue this programme which is very important for developing countries. Indeed, It helps their laboratories to get equipments, and allow researchers and technicians to be aware of the new developments of technologies.
[en] Aim of the study: To investigate terrestrial bryophyte and lichen species richness and environmental factors affecting the composition of species. Area of the study: Four Boreal zone fixed dunes were selected in the coastal area of the Baltic Sea in southwest Estonia. Material and methods: Non-metric multidimensional scaling was performed to analyse distribution patterns and environmental factors like canopy cover, photosynthetically active radiation, soil organic horizon thickness and decomposition rates, soil volumetric water content, soil pH and electrical conductivity and soil nutrients correlated with bryophyte and lichen species composition. Main results: Thirty bryophytes and 22 lichens were found on 232 sample plots, the most frequent species were Pleurozium schreberi (Willd. ex Brid.) Mitt., Hylocomium splendens (Hedw.) Schimp., Dicranum polysetum Sw. ex anon., Cladonia arbuscula (Wallr.) Flot. and Cladonia furcata (Huds.) Schrad. The lichen species richness was highest on the slopes of the dunes and decreased towards the bottoms and tops; bryophyte species richness was higher on the bottoms and decreased towards the tops of the dunes. Research highlights: The composition of bryophytes and lichens is significantly influenced by the aspect and the location on the dune, light conditions, soil pH, soil salinity (measured as electrical conductivity) and volumetric water content, thickness of moderately decomposed organic horizon and vascular plant species cover.