Life in Senegal: Excerpts from the Blog of Peace Corps Worker Abby Augarten – Scarsdale10583.com

Life in Senegal: Excerpts from the Blog of Peace Corps Worker Abby Augarten
Scarsdale10583.com
Our group is sixty volunteers in agroforestry, urban agriculture, and sustainable agriculture (that's me!). Everyone has tons of stories to tell and laughs to share, which has made for a fantastic first week; it's a little bit like summer camp. It has

Fine sediment deposition affects biodiversity and density of benthic macroinvertebrates: 1: A case study in the freshwater pearl mussel river Waldaist (Upper Austria)

Publication date: Available online 29 December 2014
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters
Author(s): P. Leitner , C. Hauer , T. Ofenböck , F. Pletterbauer , A. Schmidt-Kloiber , W. Graf
Fine sediment deposition in stream beds frequently generated by certain land use practices has become an increasing stressor for rivers throughout the world. In this study, the role of fine sediment deposition and its impact on the benthic macro-invertebrate assemblages was investigated in a low mountain freshwater pearl mussel stream, the Waldaist. Communities of unaffected sites and sites under high fine sediment deposition were compared. Distinct reactions of benthic assemblages in fine gravelly habitats were ascertained demonstrating a severe but still underestimated threat for invertebrate biodiversity.

These Graduates of a Plant Breeding Academy Are Primed to Reduce World … – TakePart


TakePart

These Graduates of a Plant Breeding Academy Are Primed to Reduce World
TakePart
The APBA's program, hosted by the World Agroforestry Centre, takes place over three two-week sessions in a year and is championed by the University of California, Davis. Some of the world's most renowned plant breeders teach at the academy, explaining …

101 Global Food Organizations to Watch in 2015 – The Women’s International Perspective

101 Global Food Organizations to Watch in 2015
The Women’s International Perspective
World Agroforestry Centre – ICRAF is an international institute headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, that specializes in generating and using science-based knowledge about the diverse roles of trees in agricultural landscapes to advance the practice of …

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Peterborough/Wilton Education in the wild – Monadnock Ledger Transcript


Monadnock Ledger Transcript

Peterborough/Wilton Education in the wild
Monadnock Ledger Transcript
Here's another: Starting a hike up an Ecuadorian volcano in the dark of the night to experience daybreak at the peak, high above the clouds, as part of a 14-week experience learning wilderness education, permaculture and sustainable farming. That was

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The Future Is Local, The Future Is Not Monsanto – RINF Alternative News

The Future Is Local, The Future Is Not Monsanto
RINF Alternative News
According to Daniel Maingi of Growth Partners for Africa, the solution ultimately lies in taking capitalism and business out of farming and investing in indigenous knowledge, agroecology, education and infrastructure and standing in solidarity with the

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Natural variation of macrophyte vegetation of lowland streams at the regional level

Publication date: Available online 27 December 2014
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters
Author(s): Gerhard Wiegleb , Wolfgang Herr , Bärbel Zander , Udo Bröring , Holger Brux , Klaus van de Weyer
In the present study, we present a synopsis of two macrophyte surveys of physiographic units in northwest Germany carried out over one decade. Data were used to test a set of hypotheses on macrophyte distribution at the regional level. Rank-frequency curves resembled the broken stick model. Twenty-one species of the 59 most frequent species occurred at high frequencies above 15 percent. Helophytes made up a high percentage (12 of 21) of the frequent species. Phalaris arundinacea was the most frequent species in both sampling periods. Most species showed no considerable change in frequency over time, among them the core hydrophytes. Spatial variation of species frequencies among physiographical units showed a unimodal distribution in relation to frequency. Spatial variation of frequencies of functional groups was significantly lower. Most uneven distribution among physiographical units was found in cryptogams. DCA ordinations of physiographical units showed a spatial gradient from alluvial plains to higher grounds units, which remained constant over time. CCA ordination of physiographical units in relation to environmental parameters identified two main axes, an altitudinal gradient and an alkalinity gradient. Species composition of units corresponded to the main landscape pattern of alluvial plains, glacial lowlands, and higher grounds on Mesozoic rock. Species diversity showed a complex behavior. Diverse units were found both in alluvial plains and glacial lowlands of intermediate elevation. The study may help defining regionally differentiated reference states for stream management, benchmarking indicator scores of species and avoiding application of assessment methods outside their range of applicability.

Franklin property owner leads ambitious effort to remake struggling city into … – Concord Monitor

Franklin property owner leads ambitious effort to remake struggling city into
Concord Monitor
He has that in permaculture, but he acknowledges he's not out to please everyone. He's out to catch the attention of the Millennial Generation, those born between roughly 1980 and 2000, who care more about having an iPhone than a car. Millennials move

The many dimensions of sustainability as defined by Senegal official – Farm and Ranch Guide

The many dimensions of sustainability as defined by Senegal official
Farm and Ranch Guide
Listening to Ba's presentation were 100 international experts in sustainable farming; permaculture; agroforestry; carbon neutral energy; and community leadership including community, traditional and religious leaders. Also in the audience were 250 …

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Agroecology for Health and Nutrition: An Interview with Dr. Daphne Miller – The Daily Meal

Agroecology for Health and Nutrition: An Interview with Dr. Daphne Miller
The Daily Meal
Dr. Daphne Miller is bringing the worlds of medicine, nutrition and agroecology ever closer. An author, practicing physician and public speaker, Dr. Miller studied medical anthropology at Brown University before receiving her medical degree from

What a year!

Looking back at 2014, I'm proud of the progress we've made on some of our long-standing issues. And, in light of the country's renewed conversations about fairness and justice, it's good to be reminded of how much we can accomplish when we're committed to listening, learning and working together. 

Our movement is powered by a diverse, energized network of allies who coalesce around specific values and actions, often over the course of several years. Some of our work moves quickly, and some more slowly than we'd like. But either way, we're clearly making progress.

read more

MASTER GARDENER: Frankincense, myrrh part of Christmas lore – The Daily News Online


The Daily News Online

MASTER GARDENER: Frankincense, myrrh part of Christmas lore
The Daily News Online
Resources for this article include: Kew Royal Botanical Gardens, University of Georgia, Middle East Institute and the World Agroforestry Centre. Need more gardening information? Contact the Cornell Cooperative Extension Genesee County Master …

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Farm Show visitors to learn gardening from the ‘masters’

If you enjoy gardening and then preserving the fruits of your labor for consumption year-round, you may want to visit the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences exhibit at the Pennsylvania Farm Show, Jan. 10-17 in Harrisburg. The college will offer a series of daily presentations, many featuring the expertise of Penn State Master Gardeners, who will offer tips and advice for maximizing the productivity of vegetable and flower gardens.

5th Odisha Environment Congress kicked off at Bhubaneswar – Orissadiary.com


Orissadiary.com

5th Odisha Environment Congress kicked off at Bhubaneswar
Orissadiary.com
Report by Odisha Diary bureau, Bhubaneswar: Simply tolerate or prevent, these are two options left to face the negative effects of climate change,” observed Dr Virendra Pal Singh, Senior Advisor of World Agroforestry Centre, South East Asia while

Africa Learns To Feed Itself From A New Era of Plant Breeders – Justmeans (blog)

Africa Learns To Feed Itself From A New Era of Plant Breeders
Justmeans (blog)
The Academy, a program of the African Orphan Crops Consortium, is based at the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) in Nairobi, and is designed to increase food security and helps eliminate malnutrition and stunting among Africa's youth. A total of 250

What we can learn from Cuba’s agroecology – Minneapolis Star Tribune


Minneapolis Star Tribune

What we can learn from Cuba's agroecology
Minneapolis Star Tribune
But as one era ends and another begins, let's not forget that socialist Cuba has been a bastion for the science of agroecology — the study of ecology in farming systems. Sadly, the opening of many socialist states to the West has signaled the demise

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Influence of host fish age on a mussel parasite differs among rivers: Implications for conservation

Publication date: Available online 24 November 2014
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters
Author(s): E. Martin Österling
Unionoid mussels are obligate parasites on one or more fish species. The objective was to compare growth and survival of encysted mussel larvae of the freshwater pearl mussel ( Margaritifera margaritifera ) on young-of-the-year (YOY) versus one-year old brown trout ( Salmo trutta ). YOY and one-year old trout from the Brattefors and Lärje Rivers, Sweden, were infested with mussel larvae from their home river. The mass-normalized encystment abundance was higher on YOY trout than on one-year old trout. The proportional decrease in mass-normalized encystment abundance was larger on YOY brown trout from the Brattefors River than on YOY brown trout from the Lärje River. Encystment per individual fish was higher on YOY trout than on one-year old trout from the Brattefors River, whereas this relationship was reversed for trout from the Lärje River. Larval growth was higher on YOY trout than on one-year old trout. There was a larger difference in larval growth between YOY trout and one-year old trout from the Brattefors River than on the brown trout from the Lärje River. The ability to use both YOY and older fish, such as in the Lärje River, may increase the reproduction potential of mussel populations, compared to a reduced ability to use more than one year class, such as in the Brattefors River. This may also affect the dispersal of mussels, as older brown trout often move and migrate to a higher degree within and between rivers. The dispersal potential of mussels may therefore be relatively high in the Lärje River, but low in the Brattefors River. In rivers where the mussels have to rely on YOY brown trout, it could be worth facilitating passage through migration obstacles for YOY brown trout. Infested YOY brown trout could be artificially re-distributed within rivers, to places with former mussel distributions. It could also be worth testing the suitability of brown trout of different age classes when starting breeding programs.

Farmers Market manager, executive director for Bread Riot hired – Salisbury Post


Salisbury Post

Farmers Market manager, executive director for Bread Riot hired
Salisbury Post
Bowen, of Durham, a 2007 graduate of N.C. State University, has a degree in natural resources with a minor in agroecology. He received his master's in ecology from Colorado State University in 2013 and founded goMarketNC, an online farmers' market.

Industrial Pollution in Bay of Havana Down 76% – Latin American Herald Tribune

Industrial Pollution in Bay of Havana Down 76%
Latin American Herald Tribune
Among those measures he mentioned programs of agroforestry, environmental and energy education, and an ecological theme park for the restoration of the natural landscape that will also feature children's installations, a seaside resort and a lookout

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Industrial Pollution in Bay of Havana Down 76 Percent – Latin American Herald Tribune

Industrial Pollution in Bay of Havana Down 76 Percent
Latin American Herald Tribune
Among those measures he mentioned programs of agroforestry, environmental and energy education, and an ecological theme park for the restoration of the natural landscape that will also feature children's installations, a seaside resort and a lookout

and more »

Agroecology should embrace GMOs and focus on sustainablity, not ideology – Genetic Literacy Project

Agroecology should embrace GMOs and focus on sustainablity, not ideology
Genetic Literacy Project
Agroecology is a both a movement and a science—a fuzziness that leads to confusion over what the term really means. The movement resists any affiliation with agribusinesses and large scale agriculture and the negative implications (often exaggerated), …

Industrial pollution in Bay of Havana down 76 pct – GlobalPost


GlobalPost

Industrial pollution in Bay of Havana down 76 pct
GlobalPost
Among those measures he mentioned programs of agroforestry, environmental and energy education, and an ecological theme park for the restoration of the natural landscape that will also feature children's installations, a seaside resort and a lookout

and more »

Industrial pollution in Bay of Havana down 76 pct – Fox News Latino

Industrial pollution in Bay of Havana down 76 pct
Fox News Latino
Among those measures he mentioned programs of agroforestry, environmental and energy education, and an ecological theme park for the restoration of the natural landscape that will also feature children's installations, a seaside resort and a lookout

and more »

To Cool a Warming Planet, Give Developing Countries a Voice (Op-Ed) – Yahoo News UK

To Cool a Warming Planet, Give Developing Countries a Voice (Op-Ed)
Yahoo News UK
For example, agroforestry as practiced in much of Africa and Asia since the beginning of agriculture is an approach that combines agriculture with forestry and horticulture. It has proven time and again to be a sustainable method for watershed

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To Cool a Warming Planet, Give Developing Countries a Voice (Op-Ed) – Yahoo News

To Cool a Warming Planet, Give Developing Countries a Voice (Op-Ed)
Yahoo News
For example, agroforestry as practiced in much of Africa and Asia since the beginning of agriculture is an approach that combines agriculture with forestry and horticulture. It has proven time and again to be a sustainable method for watershed

and more »

Treedom Trees – The Perfect Christmas Gift! “Watching Memories Grow – One … – Ticker Report

Treedom Trees – The Perfect Christmas Gift! “Watching Memories Grow – One
Ticker Report
The tree you choose will become a part of several agroforestry projects in locations like Argentina, Cameroon, Haiti, Italy, Kenya, Malawi, and Senegal, all which share Treedom's mission. For help in choosing a suitable tree to make it truly personal

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Cuban Parliament Studies Environmental Recovery of Havana Bay – Prensa Latina

Cuban Parliament Studies Environmental Recovery of Havana Bay
Prensa Latina
The measures include agroforestry development, environmental education and energy,as well as an ecological theme park for natural landscape reconstruction with an area for water, soil and forestry management besides primary school student facilities, …

Coffee co-operatives championing grassroots sustainability in Nicaragua – The Guardian

Coffee co-operatives championing grassroots sustainability in Nicaragua
The Guardian
Agro-ecology: Farmers at the Danilo González co-operative are experimenting with a novel bio-fertilizer based on decomposed leaves mixed with molasses sugar, ground rice, grass and water. The mixture is left for a month to ferment before cow manure and …

Tropical Countries Vow to Fight Deforestation at Lima Climate Conference – Triple Pundit (blog)


Triple Pundit (blog)

Tropical Countries Vow to Fight Deforestation at Lima Climate Conference
Triple Pundit (blog)
Seven Latin American and Caribbean countries launched Initiative20x20 to restore 20 million hectares of degraded land to a combination forest, agroforestry and plantation by 2020, and that's just the beginning, say the organizers. To get an idea how …

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UN-backed project to help Colombian farmers move away from illicit crops … – UN News Centre


UN News Centre

UN-backed project to help Colombian farmers move away from illicit crops
UN News Centre
Founded in 2007, Montebravo unites 10 farmers associations which manage some 1,200 hectares of cacao and also provides for other income-generating activities tied to forestry and agroforestry production, such as sustainable forest management and forest …

Pennsylvania Agronomic Education Society creates Trustee Matching Scholarship

The Pennsylvania Agronomic Education Society has provided a $50,000 gift to create a scholarship endowment that will support students in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences who have demonstrated financial need. First preference for the Pennsylvania Agronomic Education Society Trustee Scholarship will go to students who enroll in the Crop Production option of the plant sciences major.

Impact of deforestation on pearl mussel habitats in the Russian section of the Baltic Sea basin

Publication date: Available online 1 November 2014
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters
Author(s): Igor Popov
Changes in the vegetation cover associated with intensive forest extermination may have a strong effect on the riverine environment, including the chances of survival for bivalve mollusc populations in small streams and rivers. In order to check this hypothesis, drainage area properties of the rivers with extinct and existing pearl mussel populations in the Russian section of the Baltic Sea basin were compared. Preservation of forest vegetation along the river banks of the studied rivers was correlated with the presence of pearl mussel populations. Traditional agriculture turned out to be, in some cases, more harmful for river ecosystems than urbanization and industrialization.

Fish distribution patterns and habitat availability in lakes Moreno Este and Moreno Oeste, Patagonia, Argentina

Publication date: November 2014
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters, Volume 49
Author(s): Magalí Rechencq , Pablo Horacio Vigliano , Patricio Jorge Macchi , Gustavo Enrique Lippolt
Andean Patagonian lakes are ultraoligotrophic and deep, have simple food webs and low fish diversity and abundance. In this work the distributional abundance data of fish was studied in two interconnected Andean Patagonian lakes with varying proportions of contrasting habitat types. Hydroacoustic data (120 kHz) were used to analyze fish abundance and habitat use during the mixis and stratification periods. Three types of habitat (near shore, surface pelagic and deep pelagic) and two groups of fish, based on size (Big Fish >12 cm total length and Fish Larvae and Small Fish <12 cm total length) were defined. The distribution of both fish groups in these lakes revealed differences in habitat use for each lake and period. Fish group abundance was related to the availability of habitat types, according to the morphology of each lake. The Big Fish group showed preference for the near shore habitat during lake stratification and always appeared as individual targets. The Fish Larvae and Small Fish group used mainly the pelagic habitat during mixis, where they formed dense sound scattering layers. However, during lake stratification many individual targets from this group were found both in pelagic and near shore habitats, which would seem to indicate a change in distributional behavior. This is possibly associated with niche changes in the Galaxiids ( Galaxias spp), a key component of Northern Patagonian lake food webs. Lakes like Moreno Oeste, which are morphologically and structurally more complex, could have more diverse fish ensembles with higher abundances. In contrast, lakes of simple morphology with low development of near shore habitats and ample deep zones, like Lake Moreno Este, could present lower Big Fish abundance. The contrasting habitat availability between lakes accounts for the abundances and distribution patterns of each fish group. While in these lakes fish assemblage species composition could depends on the environmental filter, the particular structure of a fish assemblage in terms of the proportional abundances of species depends on proportional habitat type availability. We can speculate that in Andean Patagonian lakes Galaxiids mediate a habitat coupling process critical for the transfer of energy and matter in oligotrophic lakes. We may also consider that the Small Puyen in this type of lake is a keystone prey species that relieves predation pressure on other potential prey. The existence of deep pelagic habitats in numerous deep lakes in the Northern Patagonian Andean region provides not only daytime refuge for Galaxiids, which allows them to maintain their high numbers in the lakes, but could also, in the long term, act as a Galaxiid source for other water bodies.

Small leaf breakdown in a Savannah headwater stream

Publication date: Available online 11 November 2014
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters
Author(s): Elisa Araújo Cunha Carvalho Alvim , Adriana de Oliveira Medeiros , Renan Souza Rezende , José Francisco Gonçalves Jr.
The chemical nature and nutritional quality of leaves influence microbial colonization, microbial activity and consequently leaf breakdown rates. In the present study, we compared the decomposition of Baccharis concinna and Baccharis dracunculifolia leaves and the influence of leaf quality on the microbial activity during the decomposition process. This investigation was conducted in a Brazilian savanna headwater stream with a riparian zone composed predominantly of herbaceous and shrubs. The breakdown coefficient was higher in B. dracunculifolia than in B. concinna ; for both species, increases in leaf mass were observed after the 60th day. The secondary compounds were quickly leached in the first seven days, but the structural compounds persisted longer and served as the main carbon source for the detritus-associated microorganisms. The highest values of ergosterol were observed in the final stages of leaf breakdown and indicated the difficulty of colonization on the detritus; these values were related to the increase in leaf mass. The ATP content increased without corresponding increase in ergosterol content, suggesting a biofilm formation during leaf breakdown. These results indicated that the total microbial biomass can assimilate organic compounds released from detritus by the enzymatic action of fungi, demonstrating the importance of this group for releasing the energy stored in small leaves.

Influence of host fish (Salmo trutta) age on a mussel (Margaritifera margaritifera) parasite differs among rivers: Implications for conservation

Publication date: Available online 24 November 2014
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters
Author(s): E. Martin Österling
Unionoid mussels are obligate parasites on one or more fish species. The objective was to compare growth and survival of encysted mussel larvae of the freshwater pearl mussel ( Margaritifera margaritifera ) on young-of-the-year (YOY) versus one-year old brown trout ( Salmo trutta ). YOY and one-year old trout from the Brattefors and Lärje Rivers, Sweden, were infested with mussel larvae from their home river. Larval encystment was higher on YOY trout than on one-year old trout. The proportional decrease in mass-normalized encystment abundance was larger on YOY brown trout from the Brattefors River than on YOY brown trout from the Lärje River. Encystment per individual fish was higher on YOY trout than on one-year old trout from the Brattefors River, whereas this relationship was reversed for trout from the Lärje River. Larval growth was higher on YOY trout than on one-year old trout. There was a larger difference in larval growth between YOY trout and one-year old trout from the Brattefors River than on the brown trout from the Lärje River. The ability to use both YOY and older fish, such as in the Lärje River, may increase the reproduction potential of mussel populations, compared to a reduced ability to use more than one year class, such as in the Brattefors River. This may also affect the dispersal of mussels, as older brown trout often move and migrate to a higher degree within and between rivers. The dispersal potential of mussels may therefore be relatively high in the Lärje River, but low in the Brattefors River. In rivers where the mussels have to rely on YOY brown trout, it could be worth facilitating passage through migration obstacles for YOY brown trout. Infested YOY brown trout could be artificially re-distributed within rivers, to places with former mussel distributions. It could also be worth testing the suitability of brown trout of different age classes when starting breeding programs.

The status of freshwater pearl mussel in the Czech Republic: several successfully rejuvenated populations but the absence of natural reproduction

Publication date: Available online 24 November 2014
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters
Author(s): Ondřej P. Simon , Ivana Vaníčková , Michal Bílý , Karel Douda , Hana Patzenhauerová , Jaroslav Hruška , Alena Peltánová
The freshwater pearl mussel was historically abundant in many streams and rivers in the Elbe, Oder and Danube Basins in the Czech Republic, Central Europe. By the 21st century, the mussels had become extinct in the lower and middle altitudes, and current populations are only present near the upper limit of their natural range. The current population of this mussel is estimated to be only 1% of the historical abundance. The population decline was related to the negative impacts of pollution from industry, intense agriculture, forestry and sewage water. The freshwater pearl mussel habitat has also been impacted by watercourse regulations and has been fragmented by dams and weirs. All of these impacts have resulted in failure of the reproductive cycle; the last significant cohort of juveniles settled approximately 30-40 years ago. Therefore, this species is considered critically endangered, and an action plan was developed to conserve the populations in the Czech Republic. Special measures were conducted between 1984 and 2005 to improve the age structure of elderly populations. Fish infected with millions of glochidia were released in two locations, and over 50,000 captive-bred juveniles that were three to five years old were released in 7 locations. Only the latter approach resulted in a small number of subadults that gradually emerged from the substratum to the bottom surface, as confirmed by monitoring efforts. Despite simultaneous efforts to restore mussel habitat over the last 25 years, natural reproduction still does not occur in the Czech Republic. Therefore, complete restoration of oligotrophic streams is the key to the future presence and natural reproduction of freshwater pearl mussels in the Czech Republic.

Review of Hydro-morphological management Criteria on a river basin scale For preservAtion and restoration of freshwater pearl mussel habitats

Publication date: Available online 25 November 2014
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters
Author(s): C. Hauer
Increases in the fine sediment supply and fine sediment deposits have been highlighted as one of the main pressures affecting the ongoing degradation of Freshwater Pearl Mussel Margaritifera margaritifera (L.) (FWPM) habitats. Those impacts, however, have been mostly investigated on a local scale without considering catchment scale boundaries that might decisively influence sediment production over the short to the long term. Hence, the aim of this review study was to reveal the importance of scaling sedimentological and morphological processes especially in terms of the preservation and restoration of freshwater pearl mussel habitats. The focus was on the Austrian territory, where the crystalline catchments of the Mühl- and Waldviertel exhibited site specific characteristics of sediment production and sediment transport. The importance of the variability in the grain size distribution as well as the variability in river morphology for evaluating freshwater pearl mussel habitats are reviewed, especially in terms of the implementation of possible mitigation measures. For evaluating FWPM rivers, a revised sedimentary link concept is discussed, considering the main driving processes to be an increase in the fine sediment supply from tributaries. As possible mitigation measures, structural measures, such as transversal obstructions or boulder placement, and non-structural measures, such as initiation of the overbank deposition of fines and land use changes, are presented. The validation of mitigation is discussed based on monitoring the results of boulder placements and overbank deposits of tributaries after a 10-year flood in 2013. Based on a review of habitat needs of FWPM and the variability of the abiotic environment, it could be concluded that it is necessary to consider the catchment scale approach in the preservation and restoration of freshwater pearl mussel rivers, linked from the headwater tributaries to the selected habitats over the mid to the long term.

Sustainable catchment restoration for reintroduction of captive bred freshwater pearl mussels Margaritifera margaritifera

Publication date: Available online 25 November 2014
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters
Author(s): Mark Horton , Alan Keys , Lisa Kirkwood , Francis Mitchell , Rebecca Kyle , Dai Roberts
The Ballinderry River, Co. Tyrone (SAC), is one of only six rivers in Northern Ireland that still supports a population of the globally endangered freshwater pearl mussel, Margaritifera margaritifera . Fewer than 1000 individuals still exist in the river; without intervention it is predicted the Ballinderry pearl mussel will be extinct by 2098. This paper aims to identify key catchment pressures on remaining mussel stocks and prioritise tributaries within the catchment for remediation work to ensure effective targeting of limited resources. A combination of redox assessment, river surveys and SCIMAP modelling was used to rank tributaries, taking into consideration their size and proximity to the main mussel population at the “sanctuary site”. Diffuse and point sources of sediment were identified within the prioritised catchment. The Tulnacross tributary was selected as the highest priority tributary and has been used in a pilot remediation study. A number of different hard and soft engineering techniques have been used for remediation as well as replacing cattle drinkers with pasture pumps and fencing alongside the river. Initial observations suggest river substrate is cleaner. This study is an example of how to tackle problems within a large-scale catchment with limited resources with participation of local stakeholders and riparian landowners.

Test of the host fish species of a unionoid mussel: A comparison between natural and artificial encystment

Publication date: Available online 27 November 2014
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters
Author(s): E. Martin Österling , Niklas Wengström
Many of the unionoid mussel species are threatened, and to be able to develop strategies for effective conservation, one of the needs is to distinguish host fish species from non-host fish species using reliable methods. Margaritifera margaritifera lives as a parasite on brown trout ( Salmo trutta ) and/or Atlantic salmon ( Salmo salar ). The aim was to compare the reliability of two methods measuring the host specificity of M. margaritifera in two rivers that flow out into Skagerrak in the Atlantic Ocean. A second aim was to compare the time- and cost-efficiency of the two methods. The methods were (1) natural encystment abundances on fish in their native streams using electrofishing, and (2) encystment abundances from controlled artificial infestation in aquaria, on fish that were sacrificed. In both rivers, young-of-the-year (YOY), but not older brown trout, were naturally infested with relatively low loads of glochidia larvae, while the Atlantic salmon was not infested at all. When using artificial infestation, both YOY and older brown had encysted glochidia larvae on their gills, while glochidia larvae were not able to develop in Atlantic salmon at all. Here, the encystment was higher on the brown trout from the Lärje River, and older brown trout from the Lärje River did not seem to have as strong immunity response compared to older brown trout from the Brattefors River. In summary, brown trout is the only host fish for M. margaritifera in these rivers. Both methods can be used to discriminate between host fish species, but the method measuring natural encystment seems most time- and cost-efficient. In addition, natural encystment can be measured using a non-destructive photo-method, and is therefore suggested to be used when discriminating between host fish species for M. margaritifera .

A new fish-based multi-metric assessment index for cyprinid streams in the Iranian Caspian Sea Basin

Publication date: Available online 1 December 2014
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters
Author(s): Hossein Mostafavi , Rafaela Schinegger , Andreas Melcher , Karl Moder , Carina Mielach , Stefan Schmutz
A major issue for water resource management is the assessment of environmental degradation of lotic ecosystems. The overall aim of this study is to develop a multi-metric fish index for the cyprinid streams of the Caspian Sea Basin (MMICS) in Iran. As species diversity and composition as well as population structure in the studied streams are different to other regions, there is a substantial need to develop a new fish index. We sampled fish and environmental data of 102 sites in medium sized streams. We analysed human pressures at different spatial scales and determined applicable fish metrics showing a response to human pressures. In total, five structural and functional types of metrics (i.e. biodiversity, habitat, reproduction, trophic level and water quality sensitivity) were considered. In addition, we used 29 criteria describing major anthropogenic human pressures at sampling sites and generated a regional pressure index (RPI) that accounted for potential effects of multiple human pressures. For the MMICS development, we first defined reference sites (least disturbed) and secondly quantified differences of fish metrics between reference and impaired sites. We used a Generalized Linear Model (GLM) to describe metric responses to natural environmental differences in least disturbed conditions. By including impaired sites, the residual distributions of these models described the response range of each metric to human pressures, independently of natural environmental influence. Finally, seven fish metrics showed the best ability to discriminate between impaired and reference sites. The multi-metric fish index performed well in discriminating human pressure classes, giving a significant negative linear response to a gradient of the RPI. These methods can be used for further development of a standardised monitoring tool to assess the ecological status and trends in biological condition for streams of the whole country, considering its complex and diverse geology and climate.

Human waterborne protozoan parasites in freshwater bivalves (Anodonta anatina and Unio tumidus) as potential indicators of fecal pollution in urban reservoir

Publication date: Available online 6 December 2014
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters
Author(s): Anna Słodkowicz-Kowalska , Anna C. Majewska , Piotr Rzymski , Łukasz Skrzypczak , Anna Werner
The presence of environmentally robust dispersive stages of intestinal protozoan parasites in waters represents an important public health threat since these pathogens have caused numerous outbreaks related to either drinking or recreational waters. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the presence of Cryptosporidium oocysts, Giardia and Blastocystis cysts, and microsporidian spores in mussels collected from municipal reservoir, Lake Malta (Poland, Europe). Two species of freshwater bivalves ( Anodonta anatina and Unio tumidus ) were tested for the enteropathogens. A direct wet smear and smears stained with chromotrope 2R, Ziehl-Neelsen and iron hematoxylin made from each pellet of the hemolymph, gills and gastrointestinal homogenates of mussels were examined microscopically. In the study the immunofluorescence antibody test kit MERIFLUOR Cryptosporidium/Giardia was also used for all bivalve samples. None of investigated parasites were found in U. tumidus . In A. anatina , Cryptosporidium oocysts and Blastocystis cysts were detected in 15.4 and 5.1% of mussel samples, respectively. The present results indicate contamination of Lake Malta with Cryptosporidium and Blastocystis , which is important from the point of view of public health threats because of different human uses of studied reservoir.

New data on the zoogeography of Aphanius sophiae (Teleostei: Cyprinodontidae) in the Central Zagros (Southwest Iran)

Publication date: Available online 12 December 2014
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters
Author(s): Zeinab Gholami , Hamid Reza Esmaeili , Bettina Reichenbacher
The clade of the Iranian freshwater Aphanius species from endorheic and exorheic drainage basins contains three subclades, of which the A. sophiae subclade with seven species is the most specious one. Recently, two previously not known populations of Aphanius were discovered in two isolated basins; one in the Arjan Wetland (Helleh subbasin), and the other in the Semirom spring (Karun Basin), both are located in the Central Zagros Mountains (SW Iran). The objective of this study is to investigate their taxonomic status, to elucidate their phylogenetic relationships and to contribute to future conservation strategies and habitat management of the freshwater species of Aphanius in Iran. Methods include analysis of genetic data based on mtDNA ( cyt b ), combined with meristics, morphometrics, scale sizes (J-indices) and otolith data. The results based on cyt b clearly indicate that two species are present in the Arjan Wetland, one is closely related to A. sophiae (currently thought to be restricted to the Kor Basin), the other represents A. shirini (previously only known from its type locality Paselari spring). However, significant phenotypic differences are not present between these two species. The second population from the Semirom spring is sister to A. sophiae (Kor Basin) according to cyt b data, but differs significantly from this species with regard to the phenotype. The presence of A. shirini in the Arjan Wetland is most likely be explained by man-made introduction because of the recent droughts. The similarity of the two species present in the Arjan Wetland may be due to phenotypic plasticity, but also hybridization could have played a role. The isolation of populations of A. sophiae is discussed in the context of the active geological history and climate change, and it is likely that their divergence happened in the Early or Middle Holocene (c. 11,700–4,000 y. ago). The presence of A. sophiae in the Helleh subbasin and Karun Basin extends the currently known zoogeographic range of this species, which previously has only been reported from the Kor Basin. Such knowledge is important for future conservation strategies and habitat management.

Experimental assessment of predation by native and exotic fish on stream invertebrates in Northern Patagonia

Publication date: March 2015
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters, Volume 51
Author(s): Domink Geray , Ricardo Albariño , Daniela Milano
During the last decades invasive species became a matter of concern all over the world. Established salmonid populations make sport fishery in Patagonia one of the top in the world, but there is increasing evidence that these populations have negative impacts on native ecosystems. Predation rates and feeding preferences of native catfish Hatcheria macraei and invasive trout Oncorhynchus mykiss were compared by exposing three stream benthic invertebrate species with contrasting ecological roles to direct predation. Secondly, feeding and escaping behaviours of the mayfly Meridialaris chiloeensis belonging to either non-naive or naive populations to predators were investigated in the presence of predation chemical cues, i.e. non direct predator access. Total predation by trout was 2–3 times higher than by native catfish. Trout had clear prey preferences while catfish changed its preferences with shifting prey composition. Invertebrate species showed different responses to predation by native and exotic fish due to the different strategies of fish and invertebrates which resulted from the combination of predator efficiency and prey vulnerability. Feeding activity of non-naive nymphs was significantly lower than that of naive nymphs. In addition, mayfly nymphs from both populations showed higher emigration rates in presence of trout chemical cues than in presence of catfish cues or in fishless treatment. Consequently, the reduced feeding activity observed in non-naive mayflies exposed to rainbow trout cues resulted from their inactivity in channels, as both nymph populations had similar emigration rates. Due to high predation rates, prey preferences (i.e. high potential to exploit prey resources) and induced strong predation avoidance behaviour of prey, invasive trout may have a stronger influence on the abundance and species composition of native macroinvertebrates than native catfish. In just about one century, invertebrate species such as the ubiquitous M. chiloeensis show behavioural adaptations to this exotic predator.

Changes in the epipelic diatom assemblage in nutrient rich streams due to the variations of simultaneous stressors

Publication date: March 2015
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters, Volume 51
Author(s): Joaquín Cochero , Magdalena Licursi , Nora Gómez
Benthic diatoms are often used for assessing environmental conditions, such as water quality and habitat conditions in stream and river systems. Although laboratory experiments have shown that each diatom species have different levels of tolerance to different stressors, few studies have been conducted in laboratory settings that analyze the responses of the diatom assemblage to the effects of multiple simultaneous variables. The aim of this study was to evaluate some structural responses (such as species composition and diversity) of the diatom assemblage on a short time scale to the effects of the simultaneous increase in four variables that are directly linked to the environmental changes affecting the Pampean streams: turbidity, nutrients (phosphorous and nitrogen), water velocity and temperature. To this end we conducted a five-week laboratory experiment using artificial channels where we simulated two environmental conditions (LOW and HIGH) employing epipelic biofilm from a mesotrophic stream. The results obtained in the experiment show that the structure of the diatom assemblage in the epipelic biofilm is affected by the simultaneous modification of temperature, water velocity, nutrient concentration and turbidity. These modifications in the assemblage included moderate decreases in diversity, small decreases in the proportion of species sensitive to eutrophication and saprobity, moderate increases in the IDP (Pampean Diatom Index) values and moderate changes in the percentages of the stalked growth-forms. The relative abundance of species such as Luticola mutica, Navicula cryptocephala and Navicula lanceolata were negatively affected by both treatments; other species such as Planothidium lanceolatum, Caloneis bacillum, Encyonema minutum, Humidophila contenta, Luticola kotschyi, Nitzschia amphibia, Navicula veneta, Pinnularia subcapitata var . subcapitata were positively affected by the HIGH treatment; and Nitzschia fonticola was positively affected by both treatments. The results suggest that, in the very short term of the bioassay conducted, the diatom assemblage can modify its structure to respond in a sensitive manner to the abrupt changes in multiple physical–chemical variables.

Contrasting decay rates of freshwater bivalves’ shells: Aquatic versus terrestrial habitats

Publication date: March 2015
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters, Volume 51
Author(s): M.I. Ilarri , A.T. Souza , R. Sousa
Freshwater flow regimes are particularly vulnerable to global climate change with changes to the volume and regime of water contributing to global declines in freshwater biodiversity. Droughts or floods can cause massive mortalities of freshwater bivalves, facilitating the accumulation of shells in the aquatic but also in adjacent terrestrial habitats. In order to fully understand the long term impact of these massive mortality events, it is important to assess how bivalve shells persist in the environment. Given that, the present study aimed at studying the shell decays of four different bivalve species ( Anodonta anatina , Corbicula fluminea , Potomida littoralis and Unio delphinus ) in aquatic (i.e. river) versus terrestrial (i.e. sand soil) habitats. Shell decay rates were significantly different among species and habitats. In the aquatic habitat the shell decay rates varied among species, with the native species A . anatina , which have the largest and thinnest shell, showing the highest decay rate. Alternatively, in the terrestrial habitat the shell decay rates were more even among species and not related to a particular shell feature or morphology, with the native U . delphinus showing the fastest decay. The shell decay rates were 6 to 12 times higher in aquatic than in the terrestrial habitat. These results suggest that bivalve shells can persist for long periods of time on both habitats (but mainly in terrestrial), which may perhaps trigger significant changes on the ecosystem structure and functioning.

Aquatic prey subsidies to riparian spiders in a stream with different land use types

Publication date: March 2015
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters, Volume 51
Author(s): Bonny Krell , Nina Röder , Moritz Link , René Gergs , Martin H. Entling , Ralf B. Schäfer
Land use related habitat degradation in freshwater ecosystems has considerably increased over the past decades, resulting in effects on the aquatic and the riparian communities. Previous studies, mainly in undisturbed systems, have shown that aquatic emergent insects contribute substantially to the diet of riparian predators. To evaluate the effect of land use on aquatic prey subsidies of riparian spiders, we performed a longitudinal study from June to August 2012 along a first order stream (Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany) covering three land use types: forest, meadow and vineyard. We determined the contribution of aquatic and terrestrial resources to the diet of web-weaving (Tetragnathidae spp.) and ground-dwelling ( Pardosa sp.) riparian spiders using stable isotope analyses of aquatic emergent insects and terrestrial arthropods. The contribution of aquatic and terrestrial sources differed between Tetragnathidae spp. and Pardosa sp. as well as among land use types. Tetragnathidae spp. consumed 80–100% of aquatic insects in the meadows and 45–65% in the forest and vineyards. Pardosa sp. consumed 5–15% of aquatic insects in the forest, whereas the proportions of aquatic and terrestrial sources were approximately 50% in the meadow and vineyard. Thus, aquatic emergent insects are an important subsidy to riparian spiders and land use is likely to affect the proportion of aquatic sources in the spider diet.

How are trees good for us? ‘Sentinels’ may hold the answer – Forests News, Center for International Forestry Research (blog)


Forests News, Center for International Forestry Research (blog)

How are trees good for us? 'Sentinels' may hold the answer
Forests News, Center for International Forestry Research (blog)
“What we hope to achieve is to find out when trees in landscapes lead to better livelihoods, better nutrition, better income, happier people,” said Anja Gassner, a researcher with the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF). Gassner leads the Sentinel