Indigenous and Campesinos From 15 Countries Reject GMOs – teleSUR English

teleSUR English

Indigenous and Campesinos From 15 Countries Reject GMOs
teleSUR English
Indigenous and campesino organizations from 15 countries from the Americas issued a declaration Thursday firmly rejecting transgenic cultivations and agricultural monopolies, while promoting a “campesino-Indigenous agro-ecology” in order to “respond to …

Guest Blog: Pollinators & the rigged neonic seed market

Farmers are no different from any buyer – they want to know what they’re buying, how much it costs and its expected performance. But in the brave new world of agricultural seeds, where multiple traits and technology are stacked like Microsoft’s operating system, it’s becoming more and more difficult for farmers to separate out what is really needed and discover how much each piece is costing them. In the case of neonicotinoid (neonic) seed coatings used as a pesticide, both the effectiveness and costs are somewhat of a mystery, according to a new paper published by IATP today.

As farm income is expected to drop more than 30 percent from last year, farmers are carefully examining all input costs to see where they can save. With their financial cost and actual effectiveness unclear, neonic seed coatings may be one of those places to cut costs. But the real cost of neonics likely goes well beyond the input price. A growing body of science directly implicates neonicotinoid (neonic) pesticides as a contributor to the significant decline of bees and other pollinators. Neonics are applied in multiple ways in agriculture and horticulture but are most prevalent as a seed coating material for commodity crops like corn and soybeans. Based on convincing and mounting evidence, beekeepers, scientists and other individuals concerned about pollinators are working together to spur regulatory action and shifts in the marketplace to reduce the use of neonics.

In May 2015, the White House issued an interagency National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and other Pollinators.  The strategy focuses on efforts to restore honey bee loss, increase monarch butterfly populations and restore pollinator habitats. But the White House plan virtually ignores the on-the-ground farm economics that directly contribute to rising neonic use in seed coatings – specifically the role of a few large companies that have a stranglehold on the seed market. This concentrated market power in the seed industry has allowed a few multi-billion dollar companies like Bayer, Syngenta and Monsanto to significantly limit U.S. farmers’ choices around seed coating.

In most cases the seed is coated with neonics whether wanted or not and our paper found that this lack of choice has made it difficult for farmers and their advisors to assess the actual value of these pesticides in crop production, or to understand their true financial and environmental costs. Most farmers understand the value of pollinators to plant growth and the food system and would not intentionally harm them.  However, without credible information on the risks or the freedom to choose their seed coating, farmers are left with little choice but to accept what their seed company delivers.   

The good news is that there are independent seed companies and dealers able today to provide farmers with information and choice around seed coatings. Representing a small segment of a highly consolidated industry, independent seed producers and dealers are able and willing to respond to market changes and farmer preferences associated with not only neonics, but also other areas of market interest, such as non-genetically modified organisms (GMOs), certified organic, cover and specialty crops. But a farmer’s ability to choose what kind of seed coatings they want as part of their crop management system should be the rule, not the exception, in the seed market. 

One of the most basic and necessary aspects of a free market is available and accurate information about products and their efficacy, cost and benefits. It should go without saying, then, that in a competitive marketplace, farmers should receive accurate, up-to-date information from researchers and other farmers at field days about the costs and benefits of neonics and other seed coatings related to both crop production and the environment, including pollinators. Yet, this isn’t happening with neonics or other seed coating ingredients today. We need credible, farmer-led field trials that compare different seed coatings and traits, and that information should be shared with other farmers. And those findings should be compared with the effectiveness and costs of other pest control approaches, such as integrated pest management (IPM), that have proven benefits and economic returns. Only with complete information and choice – about neonics and other crop management tools – can farmers make smart choices that allow them to produce crops and take care of pollinators and the environment.

You can read the full paper: Unknown Benefits, Hidden Costs: Neonicotinoid seed coatings, crop yields and pollinators.

– See more at:

Farmers are no different from any buyer – they want to know what they’re buying, how much it costs and its expected performance. But in the brave new world of agricultural seeds, where multiple traits and technology are stacked like Microsoft’s operating system, it’s becoming more and more difficult for farmers to separate out what is really needed and discover how much each piece is costing them.

In the case of neonicotinoid (neonic) seed coatings used as a pesticide, both the effectiveness and costs are somewhat of a mystery, according to a new paper published by IATP today.

read more

Project to reduce risk of harmful algal blooms in ponds and lakes

A new project to help identify and remediate harmful algal blooms could make Pennsylvania ponds and lakes safer for people and animals. With a grant from the Penn State-based Pennsylvania Water Resources Research Center, trained Penn State Extension educators will collect data to help determine the abundance of these blooms and conduct workshops and other outreach activities to educate and assist pond and lake owners.

Impacts of hydroelectric power stations on Trichoptera assemblages in four rivers in NW Spain

Publication date: Available online 23 May 2015
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters
Author(s): Romina Álvarez-Troncoso , Cesar João Benetti , Amadou Babacar Sarr , Amaia Pérez-Bilbao , Josefina Garrido
In this work, we studied Trichoptera assemblages in different rivers in NW Spain affected by hydroelectric power stations, and assessed the influence of environmental variables on the distribution of species. Twenty sites in four rivers were sampled during eight sampling campaigns (2001-2002). The fauna was collected with a quantitative Surber sampler. In addition, several physical, chemical and habitat variables were measured at each site. A distance-based redundancy analysis (dbRDA) was done to investigate the relationship between the assemblages and the environmental variables. Assemblage composition was analyzed by non-metric Multi-Dimensional Scaling (NMDS) and differences between groups were tested using the analysis of similarity (ANOSIM) considering two grouping variables, the river basin and the position of the site (location). The SIMPER routine was used to verify species contribution to dissimilarity. A total of 53 taxa of Trichoptera belonging to 16 families were found, 52% of which were Iberian endemics. The dbRDA revealed that altitude, conductivity, total suspended solids, temperature and location were the variables that most influenced the studied fauna. According to the NMDS analysis, significant differences in faunal composition were recorded between up and downstream sites and between river basins. The fauna seems to respond to a longitudinal gradient, but also to the impact of hydropower stations. The main effects we observed were variations in water temperature and changes in fauna composition, which may be due to the presence of hydropower stations.

Benthic macroinvertebrates based new biotic score “ETHbios” for assessing ecological conditions of highland streams and rivers in Ethiopia

Publication date: May 2015
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters, Volume 52
Author(s): Aschalew L. , Otto Moog
The study describes the development of a macroinvertebrate based biotic score system (ETHbios) for assessing the ecological status of rivers in the Ethiopian highlands. The ETHbios is basically developed on the principle of the BMWP approach (version of the South African Scoring System) but excludes taxa that don’t occur in Ethiopia and includes some of Ethiopian fauna. Macroinvertebrates were collected from 104 sites distributed in a total area about 98,000 square kilometers in the upper Awash, Rift-Valley, Wabi-Shebele and Genale basins. A sensitivity score was assigned to 59 taxa based on guide score, taxon distribution across river quality classes, reference score and autecological knowledge. To define the ranges of the five river quality classes (high, good, moderate, poor and bad), the ETHbios values of sites were correlated with the corresponding ecological status of the sites derived by the Ethiopian Multimetric Index. The validation procedure was done by comparing the ETHbios with selected environmental parameters (conductivity, dissolved oxygen, biological oxygen demand and total phosphorus); the analysis showed significantly high correlations ( r > 0.5; p < 0.05). ETHbios can be considered as rapid, inexpensive but scientifically sound monitoring method that can be used to evaluate the ecological conditions of running waters in the highlands of Ethiopia.

Temporal abiotic variability structures invertebrate communities in agricultural drainage ditches

Publication date: May 2015
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters, Volume 52
Author(s): Merrin H. Whatley , J. Arie Vonk , Harm G. van der Geest , Wim Admiraal
Abiotic variability is known to structure lotic invertebrate communities, yet its influence on lentic invertebrates is not clear. This study tests the hypothesis that variability of nutrients and macro-ions are structuring invertebrate communities in agricultural drainage ditches. This was determined by investigating invertebrate adaptations to disturbance using insect life-history strategies. Many low-lying agricultural areas contain drainage ditches which potentially provide suitable habitat for aquatic invertebrates. In the province of North Holland (The Netherlands) the extensive network of eutrophic ditches are hydrologically managed, creating seasonal variability of water quality arising from agricultural run-off and the inlet of mineral rich, river derived water. This temporal variability was analysed from monitoring data, collected over a 7 month period (February till August) and covering 84 ditches in three soil regions; sand, clay and peat. Invertebrate diversity was determined as local ( α diversity), regional ( γ diversity) and species-turnover ( β diversity). We ran canonical correspondence analysis and linear mixed models to determine correlations between invertebrate diversity, functional community composition and specific abiotic parameters, including variability (expressed as the Median Absolute Deviation). Invertebrate α diversity was positively correlated to variability in water transparency and negatively correlated to average pH, with the two parameters reflecting a water quality gradient in the environment. Insect life-history strategies expressed adaptations to abiotic variability and harsh (eutrophic) conditions. These adaptations were mainly achieved through good dispersal abilities and developmental trade-offs. The results support measures to reduce influxes of excess nutrients to this network of ditches.

Permaculture In Practice: ‘Damriddle’ planned for Gila River – Santa Fe New

Permaculture In Practice: 'Damriddle' planned for Gila River
Santa Fe New
I pondered, Googled and even Facebooked it, but no synonyms for boondoggle exist. In the interest of our language and its blessed diversity, herein I hereby coin the first synonym for boondoggle. The New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission's plan to …

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Offsetters Climate Solutions Ponders Forest Assets Acquisition – SmallCap Network

Offsetters Climate Solutions Ponders Forest Assets Acquisition
SmallCap Network
ForestFinest has developed and managed all of ForestFinance's projects to date and is the leading consultancy service for sustainable land use projects in the sustainably managed forest and agroforestry sector. Forest Finance Switzerland develops …

Report from Veracruz, Mexico

3 February 2015: The coffee leaf rust (la roya) has reached the Central Highlands of Veracruz, Mexico and small-scale coffee farming families are working to quickly respond to the blight before it further impacts their livelihoods. As the Mexican government promotes a host of new agrochemicals, CAN’s partner VIDA A.C. is steadfast in its promotion of agroecological practices to replant coffee fields and is distributing seeds of the Geisha varietal, which is tolerant of leaf rust and also considered to be of excellent quality among coffee buyers. Geisha is hailed by specialty coffee roasters around the world as a vibrant cup with distinct notes of jasmine and bergamot; however, on-farm processing is crucial to achieving its famed profile.

During the last week of January 2015, AgroEco® coffee producers in Veracruz attended a three-day course on the improvement of on-farm coffee processing practices for export standards. Led by Engineer Clemente Santiago Paz—former organic certifier for CertiMex—this workshop highlighted the importance of quality control at every step of the process from picking to fermentation.

Suraya Arlsan, Technology Trainer for this year’s Youth Leadership & Food Sovereignty Project (YLFS) evaluation, is currently in the region with our partner VIDA, A.C. In addition to attending workshops with coffee producers, she is working to train VIDA, A.C. staff and youth leaders in CAN’s Youth Leadership & Food Sovereignty Project in the use of portable tablets and Excel in data collection, to improve youth leaders’ capacity to monitor changes in their communities. The group is working to create uniform and accessible definitions for fertilizer and soil conservation practices in order to increase the accuracy and consistency of the data collected this year. In the process, they are increasing their knowledge of methods that could further the health of the soil and in turn, producer families’ livelihoods. The data collected by youth leaders in the annual evaluation will work to identify the strengths of the beneficiary families as well as the areas where CAN and VIDA A.C.can further support them as they face the additional threat of la roya.

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.

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.

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.

Responding to Climate Change from the Grassroots Up – Independent European Daily Express

Responding to Climate Change from the Grassroots Up
Independent European Daily Express
"I plan to mobilise at least 10,000 households in climate action that involves waste diversion, composting and diversified ecological farming,†said Weekes, who heads the Aquaponics, Aquaculture and Agro-Ecology Society of Antigua and Barbuda.

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Responding to Climate Change from the Grassroots Up – Inter Press Service

Inter Press Service

Responding to Climate Change from the Grassroots Up
Inter Press Service
“I plan to mobilise at least 10,000 households in climate action that involves waste diversion, composting and diversified ecological farming,” said Weekes, who heads the Aquaponics, Aquaculture and Agro-Ecology Society of Antigua and Barbuda. She said …

As it happened: World leaders pledge climate action in New York – Responding to Climate Change

Responding to Climate Change

As it happened: World leaders pledge climate action in New York
Responding to Climate Change
The world's climate scientists have said that farmers advancing our agroecology solutions not only cool the planet but feed the planet. So why are we being pushed off our lands by more genetically modified crops or complex and risky soil carbon markets.

Application of the new multimetric MMI_PL index for biological water quality assessment in reference and human-impacted streams (Poland, the Slovak Republic)

Publication date: Available online 16 September 2014
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters
Author(s): Iga Lewin , Szymon Jusik , Krzysztof Szoszkiewicz , Izabela Czerniawska-Kusza , Agnieszka Ewa Ławniczak
A new multimetric MMI_PL index, which is based on the macroinvertebrate composition and combines six single key metrics, has already been implemented in Poland according to the requirements of the EU Water Framework Directive. The objectives of our survey were to assess the biological water quality using the new multimetric MMI_PL index in both reference and human-impacted streams, to analyse whether the values of the new multimetric index properly reflect the ecological status of the water in upland and mountain streams as well as to determine which environmental factors influence the distribution of benthic macroinvertebrates and the values of the metrics. The study was carried out from 2007 to 2010 in three Ecoregions that were established by the EU WFD. A total of 60 sampling sites: 36 reference sites that were situated in the headwaters of mountain streams at mid- and high altitudes and 24, human-impacted sampling sites were selected. The benthic macroinvertebrate surveys were supported by both a hydromorphological and macrophyte assessment according to the River Habitat Survey (RHS) and to the Macrophyte Methods for Rivers. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) showed that the values of the Habitat Quality Assessment (HQA) index, conductivity, pH and altitude were the parameters most associated (statistically significant) with the distribution of benthic macroinvertebrate taxa and the values of the metrics in both the reference and human-impacted (impaired) sections of the streams in Ecoregions 9, 10 and 14. The new MMI_PL index was useful for biological water quality assessment and was also important for separating both the reference and impaired sections of streams. The MMI_PL index and some key metrics performed contrary to what was expected in relation to the reference high-altitude siliceous streams (the High Tatra Mts., Ecoregion 10). Low values of multimetric index and key metrics did not properly reflect their high ecological status and pristine character as reflected by the hydromorphological (RHS) and macrophyte surveys or the physical and chemical parameters of the water.

Effects of internal phosphorus loading on nutrient limitation in a eutrophic reservoir

Publication date: Available online 6 September 2014
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters
Author(s): Stephen J. Nikolai , Andrew R. Dzialowski
While lake and reservoir management has historically focused on controlling external nutrient loads to improve water quality, internal mechanisms can also contribute to the processes of eutrophication. We assessed how the release of phosphorus (P) from anoxic sediments in the hypolimnion of a eutrophic reservoir affected epilimnetic nutrient concentrations and ratios. We also conducted nutrient bioassay experiments to determine if water column total nitrogen:total P (TN:TP) ratios could be used to predict nutrient limitation in the reservoir. We estimated that anoxic sediments from the lacustrine zone of the reservoir released 7.1 mg P/m2/day into the reservoir during stratification. This internal load was an important source of P to the epilimnion of the reservoir that helped to lower TN:TP ratios and create N limiting conditions following thermocline erosion. With respect to the enrichment bioassays, we found that nutrient limitation varied both spatially and temporally in the reservoir with observed periods of no nutrient limitation, N limitation, P limitation, and N and P co-limitation. However, corresponding water column TN:TP ratios correctly identified the limiting nutrient in less than 50% of the nutrient bioassays. As such, total nutrient ratios should be used with caution when trying to predict nutrient limitation in individual systems.

Does grazing change algal communities from grassland and pine afforested streams?: A laboratory approach

Publication date: Available online 27 August 2014
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters
Author(s): Luciana Cibils Martina , Javier Márquez , Romina Principe , Noemí Gari , Ricardo Albariño
Drastic changes in the composition and physiognomy of riparian vegetation, such as the conversion of grassland to forest, are expected to alter interactions among light availability, primary producers and herbivores. Our aim was to examine in laboratory the influence of a ubiquitous grazer on periphyton grown in a grassland unshaded stream (reference) vs. periphyton from a nearby pine afforested stream. Besides, we evaluated how the community responds to the removal of grazing. Given that grassland streams are exposed to higher light intensity and grazers are more abundant compared to afforested streams, we proposed that if biofilm grown in the afforested stream are dominated by grazing-vulnerable algal species, grazing pressure by Helicopsyche sp. should be stronger. In addition, if biofilm from the afforested stream has low quality or is less abundant as food for consumers, the effects of Helicopsyche sp. may be stronger or weaker depending on their feeding decisions. Helicopsyche sp. caused a decrease in richness and diversity in periphyton grown in the grassland stream and its net grazing effect on chlorophyll a (Chl a ) was higher. Algal community composition from grassland stream was strongly changed after grazing, with a decrease in the proportion of overstory algae. In contrast, algal community structure of periphyton from the afforested stream was neither affected by grazing nor by grazing exclusion. Helicopsyche sp. produced significant changes in a short time in structural attributes of algal communities, mainly in periphyton from the grassland stream suggesting that herbivory, as a functional factor, is diminished following afforestation.

Come on CA, how long will it take?

We’ve come to know that getting California’s Department of Pesticide Regulations (DPR) to take action is an exercise in patience. But communities across California ran out of patience last week. They have been waiting for years for DPR to take action on the brain harming pesticide chlorpyrifos, with few results.

In January, over 60 groups from across the state sent a letter urging DPR to protect California’s kids from exposure to chlorpyrifos. We also delivered a petition with over 12,000 signatures in March, urging the agency to take action on this issue. But DPR didn't respond, and took no action. In frustration, these groups — including PAN — sent another letter last week with renewed urgency, urging the state to protect children from the neurotoxic pesticide chlorpyrifos. Join us in this call for action!

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XV Annual International Agroecology Shortcourse | La Pita Community Visit Wrap-Up

La Pita Community Visit Wrap-Up

Our two-day visit to Denis Guiterrez Cooperative in the community of La Pita felt as though we had traveled to another world where campesino families opened their homes and their lives to us. Steve (Gliessman) and I had been here 18 months ago with the AgroEco® Coffee Tour and we were so impressed with the multitude of changes that have taken place since then. The crisis of “la roya” killing the coffee plants has deepened, but the community is responding with resilience. Not only are they replanting their coffee parcels, but the women’s group is making their own fertilizer to rebuild the soil. As part of CAN’s Food Security Project, youth leaders are working with the women’s group to plant home gardens to feed the families and to sell extra produce in a monthly Farmers Market.

There is a feeling of hope growing in La Pita as the families are improving their land and diversifying their crops and their income sources.

See photos.


A floodplain-scale lake classification based on characteristics of macroinvertebrate assemblages and corresponding environmental properties

Publication date: Available online 20 July 2014
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters
Author(s): Baozhu Pan , Hongzhu Wang , Haijun Wang
Floodplain lakes have been experiencing great pressures by human activities, and ecological functions in different types of lakes show different degrees of degradation. For facilitating conservation and management of different types of floodplain lakes, it is necessary to classify the lakes into similar groups according to certain standards. In this study, on basis of consideration of macroinvertebrate assemblages and corresponding environmental properties, the Yangtze floodplain lakes were classified into three major types grouping five groups of lakes: 1) river-disconnected lakes (algal lakes, macrophytic-algal transition lakes, and macrophytic lakes), 2) semi-connected lakes (oxbow lakes), 3) river-connected lakes. The classification of floodplain lakes mainly reflects the gradients of trophic and hydrological connectivity. The key factors structuring macroinvertebrate assemblages in the Yangtze floodplain lakes were mainly hydrological (connectivity rating, water depth), trophic (total phosphorus, macrophytes biomass) and morphometric (development of lake shoreline). Among the floodplain lakes, ecological status of river-connected lakes, where biodiversity, biomass and production of macroinvertebrates reached maxima, has been confirmed to be the best. From the view of conservation and management of the entire floodplain lakes, it is suggested that protecting the remnants of river-connected lakes, controlling eutrophication and linking disconnected lakes freely with the mainstream are crucial.

Can recently-hatched crayfish cling to moving ducks and be transported during flight?

Publication date: Available online 9 July 2014
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters
Author(s): M. Águas , F. Banha , M. Marques , P.M. Anastácio
The red swamp crayfish ( Procambarus clarkii ) is a freshwater invasive species which has become a worldwide problem. Recent work on ectozoochory of freshwater macrocrustacean species indicated that there might be a possibility of transport of recently-hatched crayfish by birds. In this context, we applied a new set of methods to quantify the probability of transport of recently-hatched crayfish, namely with moving animal vectors. First, we tested the desiccation resistance of crayfish and the capacity of crayfish to cling to mallard’s feet, depending on the standing time of the feet. We also determined the ability of recently-hatched crayfish to cling to an artificially moving freshly dead mallard ( Anas platyrhynchos ) and finally, we determined the time required for the death of 50% and 90% of the individuals of recently-hatched crayfish under conditions similar to those of mallard flight. Recently-hatched crayfish were able to survive up to 225 minutes out of water, withstanding longer at a lower temperature and therefore transport does not seem to be limited by desiccation survival. The duration of the standing period of duck’s feet positively affected the probability of transport of crayfish. Recently-hatched crayfish were able to cling to a moving duck and the probability of clinging was significantly affected by the water depth, being lower at greater depths. Moreover, when transported on a freshly dead duck under flight simulation conditions the time required for the death of 50% and 90% of the individuals were 2 min 14 sec and 4 min 53 sec respectively. These flight durations correspond to transport distances of 2.8 km and 6.1 km respectively, which is enough for transport to another aquatic system. The results demonstrate that passive transport of recently hatched P. clarkii by actively moving waterbirds is possible, and therefore it will likely enhance the local process of invasion.

New Aquaculture Development Opens Up Fish Export Markets For Brazil –

New Aquaculture Development Opens Up Fish Export Markets For Brazil
… for fish farming ponds. According to Secretary of Agroforestry Extension and Family Production (SEAPROF) Mamed Dankar, 4,200 ponds have been excavated, providing 1,900 hectares of water, which, with proper management, should yield 22,000 of fish.

The influence of biotope on invertebrate assemblages in lentic environments: a study of two perennial alkaline wetlands in the Western Cape, South Africa

Publication date: Available online 2 June 2014
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters
Author(s): Matthew S. Bird , Jenny A. Day , Heather L. Malan
As a step towards the biological assessment of wetlands in South Africa, this study investigates the influence of biotope characteristics on the spatial distribution of aquatic invertebrates. The aim was to assess whether different wetland biotopes support significantly different invertebrate assemblages in terms of the composition and abundance of microcrustaceans and macroinvertebrate taxa. During October 2006, three different biotopes were sampled within Verlorenvlei and Wave’s Edge wetlands (Western Cape, South Africa) using a long-handled sweep net. Composition and abundance of invertebrate assemblages were compared between and within sites for each of the wetlands. Assemblage composition generally differed among biotopes within each wetland, as revealed by cluster analysis and MDS plots. At Verlorenvlei, biotopes formed distinctive clusters with low site-specific variability. Assemblage composition at Wave’s Edge revealed coarser groupings with clusters distinguishing between vegetated and non-vegetated biotopes only. Biotopes within each wetland differed significantly in terms of taxon richness, Shannon diversity and mean total invertebrate biomass (g.m−3), whilst mean total density (ind.m−3) differed only between biotopes in Verlorenvlei. Considerable shifts in invertebrate assemblage structure corresponded to differences in conductivity among sites at Verlorenvlei. For large physico-chemically heterogeneous wetlands such as Verlorenvlei, it is suggested that smaller physico-chemically homogenous zones should be identified a priori and within these areas vegetated biotopes should be sampled over the broadest possible spatial scale, whilst open-water biotopes can be sampled more narrowly. For small, reasonably homogenous wetlands such as Wave’s Edge, we suggest a less broad spatial representation of biotopes and instead one should concentrate on increasing the number of sample repetitions per site.

Impact of epilimnetic phosphorus supply and food web structure on phosphorus binding forms in settling material and sediments in a thermally stratified lake

Publication date: Available online 8 February 2014
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters
Author(s): Rychła Anna , Gonsiorczyk Thomas , Hupfer Michael , Kasprzak Peter
Knowledge about the contribution of food web structure and nutrient concentration in lakes to phosphorus (P) sedimentation and remobilization at the sediment surface is still poor. Using four large enclosures placed in a eutrophic, thermally stratifying lake, we studied the effects of the structure of the planktonic food web (with and without planktivorous fish, ±F treatments) and nutrient concentration (with and without fertilisation, ±N treatments) on P sedimentation. We investigated the total P content and P binding forms in settling material (TP SM ) and of the uppermost 1 cm sediment layer (TP Sed ) during three consecutive stratification periods (2005–2007). Additionally, epilimnetic P (SRP Epi , TP Epi ), chlorophyll a and biomass of total crustacean and Daphnia were measured. On a seasonal scale, Daphnia biomass tended to negatively influence chlorophyll a, sedimentation rate of total particulate matter and of P, but the latter two criteria did not differ significantly between treatments due to large fluctuations within each enclosure. The contents of TP SM and loosely adsorbed P in settling material decreased in the following order:–F/ + N > +F/ + N > –F/–N > +F/–N, indicating greater effects of nutrient addition than of food web structure. In sediments, organically bound P was 9–23% higher in–F variants compared to the corresponding +F treatments, thus indicating an effect of food web structure. Furthermore, positive correlations between SRP Epi , TP Epi , TP SM , TP Sed , sediment reductant-soluble P and calcite bound P revealed an effect of the epilimnetic P concentration on P sedimentation and specific P binding forms. Compared to the composition of different P binding forms in the settling material, a considerable decrease of loosely adsorbed P (12–26%) and reductant-soluble P (14–21%), as well as an increase of organic P (14–26%) were observed in the uppermost 1cm-layer of the sediments in all treatments. We conclude that both nutrient enrichment (+N) and food web structure (–F) enhance the P sedimentation and P content at the sediment surface. However, in addition to food web effects on organic P content in settling matter and sediments, factors like iron concentration and calcite precipitation might be of importance for P sedimentation and storage in sediments in complex systems such as lakes.

Effects of limnoecological changes on the Ostracoda (Crustacea) community in a shallow lake (Lake Çubuk, Turkey)

Publication date: Available online 30 January 2014
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters
Author(s): Okan Külköylüoğlu , Necmettin Sarı , Muzaffer Dügel , Şükran Dere , Nurhayat Dalkıran , Cem Aygen , Sırma Çapar Dinçer
We sampled Lake Çubuk, a shallow lake in Bolu (Turkey), for 26 months to investigate the effect of limnoecological changes on the composition of ostracod species. Seventeen ostracod species were identified from the six stations sampled between 2008 and 2010. Numbers of species and individuals were both significantly reduced during 2010, which corresponded to a 3 m water level increase. Ostracod Watch Model (OWM) displayed distinct seasonal occurrences of five species (Candona neglecta, Cypria ophtalmica, Cypridopsis vidua, Limnocythere inopinata, Fabaeformiscandona cf. japonica) when Physocypria kraepelini was the only species encountered all year round. Approximately 77.2% of the relationship between species and environmental variables was expressed by the first two axes of Canonical Correspondence analyses (CCA). Electrical conductivity and water temperature (P = 0.002) were the most influential variables on species. There was a significant negative correlation of seven species to conductivity. Of those, (F. cf. japonica and C. vidua) showed a significant positive correlation to water temperature, while C. candida was negatively correlated to water temperature (P < 0.05). Candona neglecta was the only species to show a positive correlation to dissolved oxygen. Tolerance limits for the most common species were higher than the mean water temperatures, but lower than mean levels of electrical conductivity. Finding the ratio of noncosmopolitan to cosmopolitan species “pseudorichness” as 1.13 suggested significant role of cosmopolitan species to species diversity.

Key drivers for phytoplankton composition and biomass in an Ethiopian highland Lake

Publication date: Available online 14 December 2013
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters
Author(s): Tadesse Fetahi , Michael Schagerl , Seyoum Mengistou
We studied the temporal phytoplankton community pattern of the deep crater lake Hayq in the highlands of Ethiopia from October 2007 to October 2008. Earlier sporadic surveys indicated that the phytoplankton community was predominantly characterized by heavy diatoms, which characteristically suffer from rapid sedimentation. The trophic status of Lake Hayq was reported to have changed from oligotrophic to eutrophic in 1992. The present study addresses the potential reasons for the diatom dominance as well as causes of the trophic change. Net and integrated water samples were used for determination of physico-chemical parameters and phytoplankton biovolumes. Our results revealed that diatoms and chlorophytes dominated during most of the study period in Lake Hayq and seem to be favored by the mixing regime of the water body, which can be described as partial atelomixis with daily mixing of the epilimnion maintaining the algae within the euphotic depth via regular re-suspension. However, the epilimnion may be decoupled from the hypolimnion by a seasonal chemocline. Nutrients were not limiting in the lake with an overall mean concentration of soluble reactive phosphorus of 22 μg L−1 and total phosphorus of 58 μg L−1 and of dissolved inorganic nitrogen of 305 μg L−1, with ammonium being the primary form. In the 1940-ies only diatoms were reported, but since the 1990’s other phytoplankton groups and taxa have become relevant. Canonical correspondence analysis showed that chlorophytes were mainly associated with nutrients and rainfall, euglenophytes with elevated alkalinity and the diatoms with silica and zooplankton. Chlorophyll a as measure of total phytoplankton biomass was significantly influenced by seasonality and underwater light supply, reflecting the significant role of atelomixis in persistent occurrence of heavy taxa in the epilimnion. The lake is still categorized as a eutrophic system, demonstrating that the trophic change reported in 1992 was not short-lived. In addition to changes in the catchment the eutrophication process was probably primarily triggered by a previous introduction of Tilapia in the lake, causing a cascading effect in the food-web interactions. This implied that the phytoplankton composition and biomass of this tropical deep tropical lake can be controlled through biomanipulation, as has been demonstrated for temperate lakes.

Flight distance of mosquitoes (Culicidae): A metadata analysis to support the management of barrier zones around rewetted and newly constructed wetlands

Publication date: Available online 20 November 2013
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters
Author(s): Piet F.M. Verdonschot , Anna A. Besse-Lototskaya
Society responds to changes in climate and land use via mitigation measures, including rainwater retention and storage in rewetted and newly constructed wetlands. Humans living close to these wetlands express concerns about future mosquito nuisance situations, and request the necessary distance between human occupation and wetlands to avoid such problems. Wetland managers need to know the distance required, as well as the type of management needed for such buffer or barrier zones. Here we performed an extensive literature survey to collect quantitative information on mosquito flight distance and the relevant environmental conditions. Mosquitoes have an average maximum flight distance of between 50 m to 50 km, depending on the species. Long-distance or migratory flights are strongly related to species ecological preferences and physiology, are survived by few specimens, and do not relate to nuisance situations. Nuisance-related or non-oriented flights are also species-specific and cover much shorter distances-between 25 m and 6 km for the 23 species analyzed. Based on these results, we made regression-based estimations of the percentages of the population that cross certain distances. A 90% reduction in breeding site population density would require minimal distances of 56 m for Anopheles saperoi and 8.6 km for Anopheles sinensis, and much greater distances for Aedes vexans, Culex quinquefasciatus, and Culiseta morsitans. Little useful information was available regarding the environmental conditions under which non-oriented flights took place. Qualitatively, the review showed that flight capacity was influenced by landscape structure, meteorological conditions (temperature, humidity, and illumination), and species physiology (energy available for flight). Overall, our findings suggest that predictions regarding the construction of barrier zones around breeding sites can be made based on mosquito and host density and human nuisance perception, and that barrier zone usefulness strongly depends on the mosquito species involved. Additional quantitative research is needed to better document the non-oriented dispersal patterns of the mosquitoes that populate rewetted and newly constructed wetlands, and the effects of vegetation types in barrier zones on mosquito densities.

Chalara outbreak is a ‘wake-up’ call and needs an innovative response – Irish Independent

Irish Independent

Chalara outbreak is a 'wake-up' call and needs an innovative response
Irish Independent
This disease outbreak is a wake-up call which we must respond to. Perhaps subsidising trials on farms of alternative forestry systems such as using natural regeneration could be initiated. Agro forestry, where individual trees are grown at wide

Libraries give open-shelf browsing access to more than 7,000 DVDs

Visitors to Pattee Library can now browse the collection of more than 7,000 DVDs in the Walter and Doris Goldstein Music and Media Center, Pattee Library, floor 2, west. Responding to patron requests, the DVDs have been moved to publicly accessible shelves and are arranged in Library of Congress call number order. DVDs can be checked out for seven days and renewed, if needed longer.

In Their Own Words: News from La Pita and the Denis Gutierrez Cooperative


Update received on September 24, 2013

Translated by Heather Putnam

Well, Daniel and Xiomara (the community guides) have been busy as always studying at the university — Daniel just finished his studies there and is only waiting to defend his thesis to finally get his degree in Tourism Management! Xiomara reports that she decided to change her university schedule from only studying on the weekends in Matagalpa to attending daily classes there. Both Daniel and Xiomara continue helping their families with their coffee and milpa, as well as being youth leaders in the cooperative and taking care of tourists as guides in the tourism program there.

As far as the homestay families in the community, they are busy working on the food security and sovereignty project which has motivated them to continue organizing their efforts around the vegetable gardens and the school garden. They are also still receiving tourists in their homes, but have been working with the UCA San Ramon to find new markets for the tourism project in La Pita, since backpacker tourists seem to be the only ones showing nowadays, and this kind of tourist does not motivate the families to continue working with tourism. In general, all of the families are fine, but the fact is that La Roya is something that is affecting all of the families emotionally since it is their principal source of subsistence. Tourism can be an alternative while the cooperative renovates their coffee fields, and the UCA SR is helping to investigate ways to increase tourism traffic in the community. 

The impact of La Roya in La Pita is severe to say the least — the coffee leaf rust heavily affected last year’s harvest and will definitely have an equally negative affect on this year’s harvest.  In the meantime the cooperative is implementing management practices, including “recepo,” which is cutting the plants down to the stalk to allow new, healthy branches to grow out of the root stalk. There are, thankfully, still areas within the cooperative that have not been affected by La Roya yet, so a total  recepo of all of the cooperative’s coffee fields has not been necessary. 

It has been difficult to respond to La Roya due to the lack of assistance or guidance from government institutions. But we as a cooperative now understand that this is an opportunity for us to make great efforts to produce our coffee without chemical inputs, and to increase the types of sustainable practices we use to produce coffee. One alternative we are exploring right now with the guidance of the staff at the UCA San Ramon and the assistance of CAN and GMCR, is to build an collective artisanal compost plant within the cooperative that would produce enough compost not only for our home gardens but also to apply t our coffee plants four times per year, which is the amount necessary to make the plants strong enough to resist the infestation of La Roya, or at least survive it. We are currently developing a full proposal outlining the costs and management plan for the composting plant, as well as the other sustainable coffee management practices we want to implement, and will deliver it to the UCA San Ramon on September 30. 

We can now quantify the impact of La Roya on our coffee yields; we know that this year we will be able to deliver 100 quintales (11lb bags) of green coffee, and as we work over the next few years to replant our coffee fields with caturra variety coffee, we expect the yields to slowly go up, as detailed below:


2013–2014                100 quintales (perhaps more) (about 65 sacks)

2014–2015                150 quintales

2014–2015                200 quintales

2015–2016                250 quintales

2016–2017                300 quintales

2017–2018                400 quintales


The estimations could be larger, since many cooperative members are already replanting their coffee on their own independent efforts, and also because of the prospect of a new government program that will subsidize coffee field renovation next year, which will increase yields over time.

In La Pita the food security and sovereignty project continues at full speed. So far seven home gardens have been established and are currently in production season, with one more planned for the next planting season. The school garden continues being developed — recently a seedling bed was established with seeds for parsley, lettuce, onions, and creole tomatoes, and this week the schoolchildren are transplanting the seedlings into the garden bed. They have also planted plantains, and naranjilla tree seedlings, as well as other fruit tree grafts in the fruit tree area of the school garden. All of the activities in the school garden are coordinated with the teacher, and the parents of the students assist in the workdays as well. Everyone has two wishes for the school garden: first, to build a small ranchito, or shade structure in the schoolyard, to be able to do garden work, workshops, and meetings there; second, to install a small greenhouse to be able to produce seedlings in a protected environment that would serve for the home gardens as well as the school garden. 

Another exciting development within the project is that the youth group in La Pita is working collectively to build a tree and plant nursery within the cooperative, which would house plant seedlings, and fruit, ornamental, and reforestation tree seedlings, the idea being to produce the seedlings to sell to generate income for themselves in a collective youth business. For now, the youth are looking for funds to help pay for the materials needed to install the basic infrastructure for the nursery.


* New investors join to support troubled Sri Lanka agro-forestry investment firm – Colombo Page

* New investors join to support troubled Sri Lanka agro-forestry investment firm
Colombo Page
Sept 30, Colombo: Sri Lanka's troubled agro-forestry investment firm, Touchwood Investments today announced in a stock market disclosure that new investors have joined to support the firm which has lately faced certain liquidity problems. Responding to

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Ingestion of bacteria in a eutrophic subtropical reservoir pond with food web mainly controlled by zooplankton grazing

Publication date: Available online 25 September 2013
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters
Author(s): Karina Ferreira Hisatugo , Adrislaine Silva Mansano , Luciana Hitomi Hayashi , Mirna Helena Regali-Seleghim
This study evaluated the zooplanktonic bacterivory at a eutrophic subtropical reservoir pond by the quantification of the bacterial grazing and clearance rates of the protozooplanktonic (ciliates and nanoplankton) and metazooplanktonic (rotifers, cladocerans and copepods) populations during one year period. For this purpose, in situ experiments with fluorescently labeled bacteria (FLB) were carried out every two months on the sub-surface of the reservoir pond. Considering the individual grazing and clearance rates, the metazooplanktonic organisms showed the highest consumption of bacteria. However, in terms of population and considering all the zooplanktonic community, the heterotrophic nanoplanktonic organisms (HNP) accounted for 73% of the total bacteria ingested, being the most important bacterial consumers in the reservoir, due to their high population densities. Among them, the HNP smaller than 5 μm showed the highest population grazing rates, also due to their high abundance. These organisms were the main responsible for bacteria regulation by grazing in the reservoir. Among the metazooplanktonic organisms, the highest ingestion of bacteria occurred by the copepods (10%) during the wet season, and by the rotifers (22%) during the dry season. Thus, the metazooplanktonic population grazing rates were significantly different over the year, between the cold/dry and hot/rainy season. These seasonal differences were not observed in the density and biomass of picoplankton nor in the population grazing rates of ciliates and HNP. Nevertheless, the protozoa (ciliates and HNP) were directly responsible for most of the predation on bacteria, while the metazooplanktonic populations were indirectly responsible for it by the consumption of protozoa in a cascading effect.

Vivienne Westwood opens fashion show with ‘climate change dance’ – Responding to Climate Change

Responding to Climate Change

Vivienne Westwood opens fashion show with 'climate change dance'
Responding to Climate Change
Research: When natural forests are threatened by deforestation or climate change, the best hope for the survival of certain at risk tree species may be to include them in agroforestry plots managed by small farmers, according to new research. (CIFOR).

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Pressure-specific and multiple pressure response of fish assemblages in European running waters

Publication date: Available online 3 July 2013
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters
Author(s): Rafaela Schinegger , Clemens Trautwein , Stefan Schmutz
We classified homogenous river types across Europe and searched for fish metrics qualified to show responses to specific pressures (hydromorphological pressures or water quality pressures) vs. multiple pressures in these river types. We analysed fish taxa lists from 3105 sites in 16 ecoregions and 14 countries. Sites were pre-classified for 15 selected pressures to separate unimpacted from impacted sites. Hierarchical cluster analysis was used to split unimpacted sites into four homogenous river types based on species composition and geographical location. Classification trees were employed to predict associated river types for impacted sites with four environmental variables. We defined a set of 129 candidate fish metrics to select the best reacting metrics for each river type. The candidate metrics represented tolerances/intolerances of species associated with six metric types: habitat, migration, water quality sensitivity, reproduction, trophic level and biodiversity. The results showed that 17 uncorrelated metrics reacted to pressures in the four river types. Metrics responded specifically to water quality pressures and hydromorphological pressures in three river types and to multiple pressures in all river types. Four metrics associated with water quality sensitivity showed a significant reaction in up to three river types, whereas 13 metrics were specific to individual river types. Our results contribute to the better understanding of fish assemblage response to human pressures at a pan-European scale. The results are especially important for European river management and restoration, as it is necessary to uncover underlying processes and effects of human pressures on aquatic communities.

Serving locally-grown nutritious foods is not only healthier, also saves money – SaportaReport (blog)

Serving locally-grown nutritious foods is not only healthier, also saves money
SaportaReport (blog)
The bright food services managers of the future will respond to these challenges with sustainable best practices, emphasizing areas such as resource conservation, food science, nutrition, agro-ecology, as well as essential business skills and abilities.

Optical remote sensing of submerged aquatic vegetation: Opportunities for shallow clearwater streams

Publication date: Available online 24 June 2013
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters
Author(s): Fleur Visser , Caroline Wallis , Anne M. Sinnott
Remote sensing has rarely been used as a tool to map and monitor submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) in rivers, due to a combination of insufficient spatial resolution of available image data and strong attenuation of light in water through absorption and scattering. The latter process reduces the possibility to use spectral reflectance information to accurately classify submerged species. However, increasing availability of very high resolution (VHR) image data may enable the use of shape and texture features to help discriminate between species by taking an object based image analysis (OBIA) approach, and overcome some of the present limitations. This study aimed to investigate the possibility of using optical remote sensing for the detection and mapping of SAV. It firstly looked at the possibilities to discriminate submerged macrophyte species based on spectral information only. Reflectance spectra of three macrophyte species were measured in situ across a range of submergence depths. The results showed that water depth will be a limiting factor for the classification of species from remote sensing images. Only Spiked Water Milfoil ( Myriophyllum spicatum ) was indicated as spectrally distinct through ANOVA analysis, but subsequent Jeffries–Matusita distance analysis did not confirm this. In particular Water Crowfoot ( Ranunculus fluitans ) and Pondweed ( Potamogeton pectinatus ) could not be discriminated at 95% significance level. Spectral separability of these two species was also not possible without the effect of an overlying water column. Secondly, the possibility to improve species discrimination, using spatial and textural information was investigated for the same SAV species. VHR image data was acquired with a Near Infrared (NIR) sensitive DSLR camera from four different heights including a telescopic pole and a Helikite UAS. The results show that shape and texture information can improve the detection of the spectrally similar Pondweed and Water Crowfoot from VHR image data. The best performing feature ‘length/width ratio of sub-objects’ was obtained through expert knowledge. All of the shape and texture based features performed better at species differentiation than the spectrally based features. In conclusion this study has shown that there is considerable potential for the combination of VHR data and OBIA to map SAV in shallow stream environments, which can benefit species monitoring and management.

Serving locally-grown nutritious foods is not only healthier, also saves money – SaportaReport

Serving locally-grown nutritious foods is not only healthier, also saves money
The bright food services managers of the future will respond to these challenges with sustainable best practices, emphasizing areas such as resource conservation, food science, nutrition, agro-ecology, as well as essential business skills and abilities.

New York: UN chief urges global action to increase response to drought – Afrique en Ligue

Voice of America

New York: UN chief urges global action to increase response to drought
Afrique en Ligue
The UN official also pointed to the achievements of the village of Batodi in Niger, where 5 million hectares of land were restored through agro-forestry, which he described as an example of progress. 'As a result of the restoration, the water table
United Nations calls for global action on drought

Ban Ki Moon urges governments to take drought threat seriously Responding to Climate Change
7,8 million tonnes of soil nutrients lost yearly — Nhema The Zimbabwe Standard

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Global Action Needed to Increase Response to Drought – (press release)

Voice of America

Global Action Needed to Increase Response to Drought (press release)
Mr. Gnacadja pointed to the achievements of the village of Batodi in Niger, where 5 million hectares of land were restored through agroforestry, as an example of progress. As a result of the restoration, the water table rose by 14 metres. “The most
United Nations calls for global action on drought

Ban Ki Moon urges governments to take drought threat seriously Responding to Climate Change
7,8 million tonnes of soil nutrients lost yearly — Nhema The Zimbabwe Standard

all 32 news articles »

Ban Ki Moon urges governments to take drought threat seriously – Responding to Climate Change

Ban Ki Moon urges governments to take drought threat seriously
Responding to Climate Change
Gnacadja hailed the achievements of the village of Batodi in Niger, where he said five million hectares of land were restored through agroforestry, resulting in a rise of the water table by 14 metres. “The most affected communities are not standing by

UN drought chief: ‘famine dehumanizes us, but it is not a fate’ – Responding to Climate Change

UN drought chief: 'famine dehumanizes us, but it is not a fate'
Responding to Climate Change
While we pondered and planned the actions to take in the Sahel, for instance, affected communities in Niger and Burkina Faso invested in agroforestry and protected over 5 million hectares of farmland from 1975. In the latter half of this period

UNCCD chief: droughts dehumanize us all, but they are not a fate – Responding to Climate Change

Responding to Climate Change

UNCCD chief: droughts dehumanize us all, but they are not a fate
Responding to Climate Change
While we pondered and planned the actions to take in the Sahel, for instance, affected communities in Niger and Burkina Faso invested in agroforestry and protected over 5 million hectares of farmland from 1975. In the latter half of this period

Environmental determinants of leech assemblage patterns in lotic and lenitic habitats

Publication date: Available online 9 June 2013
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters
Author(s): N. Kubová , J. Schenková , M. Horsák
Leeches (Clitellata: Hirudinida) are abundant predators or ecto-parasites inhabiting various freshwater habitats; however many biotic and abiotic drivers of their assemblage patterns have been deduced rather than directly tested. To study species richness and composition changes in leech assemblages, 109 sites of running and stagnant water bodies were sampled in three regions of the Czech Republic in 2007–2010, together with several explanatory variables that are known or expected to be important predictors of leech distribution. In total, 17 species of leeches were recorded, varying between 0–7 and 0–9 species in lotic and lenitic sites, respectively. These differences in species richness of lotic and lenitic sites were highly significant, contrary to the abundances, which varied between 0–283 and 0–295 individuals. The main change in species composition was controlled by water temperature and morphological characteristics (e.g. substrate and cover of macrophytes), mostly reflecting the differences between lotic and lenitic habitats. We found the density of benthos (i.e. prey availability) to be the best predictor of species composition in both lotic and lenitic sites, together with the percentage of canopy cover. However, the other significant predictors (i.e. the substrate and water conductivity found to be significant in lotic sites, and the mean annual temperature and PO 4 3− in lenitic sites), differed between these habitats. Other than mean annual temperature and water temperature, which had different effects on species richness in lotic and lenitic sites, there were no other differences between lotic and lenitic sites in terms of how species richness and abundance responded to all other analyzed predictors. Our results stress the importance of prey availability and canopy for leech distribution patterns. Differences in the significant predictors of leech assemblage patterns between lotic and lenitic sites raise fundamental questions about the underlying mechanisms and ecological constraints to leech distribution in these main types of aquatic systems.

EU flags another bee-harming pesticide

Regulators across the pond are keeping up the momentum to protect the pollinators, with a new report from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) adding fipronil to the list of pesticides that pose a threat to honey bees.

EFSA made similar declarations about three other bee-harming insecticides earlier this year, and the EU responded with a two-year ban on the use of those chemicals. We have yet to see if fipronil will be added to the list of restricted pesticides, but EFSA's conclusion signals that protections for bees are more likely.

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Temperature increase and respiratory performance of macroinvertebrates with different tolerances to organic pollution

Publication date: Available online 29 May 2013
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters
Author(s): Lennie Rotvit , Dean Jacobsen
Respiration rates (mg O 2 g−1 AFDW h−1) of Leuctra hippopus , Sericostoma personatum , Helodes minuta , Gammarus pulex and Asellus aquaticus were studied across an oxygen gradient at 2.8 and 6.3 °C, corresponding to an expected 3.5 °C increase in Danish winter stream temperature. Species were selected from the Danish Stream Fauna Index (DSFI), representing an expected hierarchy of tolerance towards water quality degradation. We expected that low-ranking, tolerant species (i.e. indicators of bad water quality) would have the capacity to regulate their oxygen uptake relatively independently of oxygen availability (oxy-regulators) and high-ranking, sensitive species (i.e. indicators of good water quality) would be less able to do so (oxy-conformers). For all species respiration rate was higher (although non-significantly) at 6.3 °C. The species’ oxy-regulatory capacity did not consistently reflect their DSFI ranking. As expected, and in accordance with its DSFI ranking, A. aquaticus had the highest oxy-regulatory capacity with the ability to regulate O 2 uptake until an oxygen saturation of only 20%, which did not change with increasing temperature, emphasizing the robustness of A. aquaticus towards changes in the environment. S. personatum , H. minuta and G. pulex revealed no oxy-regulatory capacity. In contrast, the plecopteran L. hippopus did display an unexpected oxy-regulatory capacity. Though an increase in temperature changed L. hippopus ’ capacity to oxy-regulate (the critical limit increased from 32.5 to 43.5% oxygen), respiration rates did not change significantly in spite of the temperature increase. This result contradicts the general belief that stoneflies, because of their affinity to well oxygenated habitats, are conformers. Our findings call for further studies on the respiratory conformer–regulator concept and its role as an eco-physiological trait for bio-assessment.

Can REDD+ drive change in DR Congo? – TrustLaw

Responding to Climate Change

Can REDD+ drive change in DR Congo?
This research is carried out as part of the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry and was supported by the Department for International Development (DFID), AusAid, the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) and
Mangroves under threat as Cameroonians move toward coast Reuters AlertNet (blog)

all 9 news articles »

Mangroves under threat as Cameroonians move toward coast – Reuters AlertNet (blog)

Responding to Climate Change

Mangroves under threat as Cameroonians move toward coast
Reuters AlertNet (blog)
This work forms part of the Congo Basin Forest and Climate Change Adaptation (CoFCCA) project and the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry. It was supported by the Canadian International Development Research Center (IDRC),
Could radio help mitigate climate change in the Congo Basin? TrustLaw

all 9 news articles »

Forests hold key to feeding Earth’s growing population – Responding to Climate Change

Responding to Climate Change

Forests hold key to feeding Earth's growing population
Responding to Climate Change
We need to scale up these success stories and good practices and design new policies and business models to attract investments that enable agroforestry and other sustainable land management practices contribute to building food-energy-water security

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Webinar to cover land-use planning around renewable energy projects

Penn State Extension will offer a Web-based seminar focusing on the potential pros and cons of land-use planning related to renewable energy projects. To be presented at noon and 7 p.m. on March 20, “Renewable Energy Implementation and Land Use Regulations — Is There Conflict?” will give participants a look at the different categories of typical renewable energy projects, zoning and permitting challenges, and how municipalities have been responding.

Several projects set for Kalabugao Plain – Philippine Information Agency

Several projects set for Kalabugao Plain
Philippine Information Agency
One is the economic sector where livelihood, organic agriculture production, agro forestry, irrigation canal, animal dispersal, fisheries or fishponds among others, are seen to provide sustainable income to community members. Second is the environment

Climate resilient rice offers hope to Indian farmers – Responding to Climate Change

Responding to Climate Change

Climate resilient rice offers hope to Indian farmers
Responding to Climate Change
Changing the way rice is grown, from planting it in flooded paddy fields to drier soil cultivation, is dramatically increasing yields and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The results of trials in eleven countries show that yields increased by an

Key environmental variables affecting the ichthyofaunal composition of groyne fields in the middle Elbe River, Germany

Available online 8 February 2013
Publication year: 2013
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters

During its development into an important waterway the middle Elbe River underwent many anthropogenic influences, all of which strongly impacted the fish fauna assemblage. Both the river morphology and hydrology were affected by groyne field construction, with consequential changes of fish habitats along river banks. Variables in the ichthyofaunal composition of middle Elbe River groyne field areas and types were analyzed for their environmental influence based on data using a random point-abundance-sampling-strategy with an electrofishing device. Altogether 22 fish species and hybrids of cyprinids from eight families, mostly cyprinids and percids, were found. Habitat guilds were dominated by eurytopic fish species (40%), followed by the oligorheophilic guild (24%). The reproductive guilds were represented mainly by phyto-lithophils (36%) and phytophils (28%). The feeding guilds were dominated by benthivorous species (32%), followed by omnivorous and piscivorous species (each 24%). Most frequent were roach ( Rutilus rutilus , 32.6%), perch ( Perca fluviatilis , 29.7%), and ide ( Leuciscus idus , 25.6%). The canonical correspondence analysis indicated that substrate, slope, and vegetation cover were the most important factors affecting the entire fish assemblage, including all age groups. The types of groyne fields were found to be mostly of minor importance with regard to differences in the ichthyofaunal structure. Fish assemblage at groyne heads and surrounding areas were compared to those in the siltation and static flow areas, whereby rheophilic fish species occurred most often at the groyne head and surrounding areas. The greatest temporal changes within the young-of-the-year (YOY) fish fauna were during the summer months June to August, where habitat shifts among the groyne field areas were a result of changes in YOY habitat requirements throughout the year. Hence, this study indicates that groyne fields are used as alternative habitats by a high number of different fish species and life stages and could therefore contribute to sustain a species-reach fish fauna in regulated lowland rivers.

EU steps up for bees & U.S. backtracks

Last week, the European Commission announced its position against the use of bee-harming neonicotinoid insecticides, urging nations within the European Union (EU) to impose a two-year suspension on their use. Great news for bees across the pond.

But here in the U.S., policymakers aren't stepping up. EPA officials are continuing to ignore the emerging body of science that point to pesticides, and especially neonicotinoid insecticides, as a critical factor in bee declines. What's worse, the agency is poised to approve yet another bee-harming pesticide.

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14th Annual International Agroecology Shortcourse | July 7-20, 2013

14th Annual International Agroecology Shortcourse:
Agroecological Approaches for Climate Change and Food Systems Resilience

July 7-20, 2013

Burlington, Vermont

What is agriculture’s role in contributing to climate change? What are opportunities within agriculture to mitigate or adapt to a changing climate? When we talk about agriculture, do we mean smallholder farmers, industrial agriculture, or both? The theme of the 14th Annual International Agroecology Shortcourse is the application of agroecological approaches to support resilience to climate change and promote robust, sustainable food systems. Farmers are constantly innovating in their daily practice, and much can be learned by identifying and analyzing existing agricultural management strategies that have the potential to adapt to and/or mitigate climate changes. By integrating ecological and social sciences with farmers’ knowledge, agroecologists believe it is possible to both design and manage more sustainable agri-food systems and address global environmental change. This year’s setting in Vermont will allow participants to learn about one of the strongest locally-based food systems in the United States, while observing case studies of various approaches to responding to the effects and threats of a changing climate. We will also learn from similar models of action from around the world.

Download the course announcement for more information.

Details for the Shortcourse will be updated on and

For additional information please contact: Martha Caswell, Course Coordinator at:


Incorporating the hyporheic zone within the river discontinuum: Longitudinal patterns of subsurface copepod assemblages in an Alpine stream

Available online 22 January 2013
Publication year: 2013
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters

At coarse spatial scales, Alpine streams are patchy discontinuum environments from headwaters to mouth. This condition may have profound implications on the structure and function of the hyporheic ecotone. This study was aimed at assessing whether meiofaunal copepod assemblages displayed a longitudinal zonation corresponding to discontinuities along an Alpine stream profile determined by changes of geology and alternating canyon and floodplain segments. Moreover, the study aimed at testing, at a regional scale, the potential role of copepods as describers of surface–subsurface hydrological exchanges in the hyporheic zone. The results indicated that copepod assemblage compositions changed according to geomorphological and physicochemical stream longitudinal discontinuities. The headwater upwelling sector of the stream predominantly harboured stygobiotic species; the intermediate sector, where stream water is in hydrodynamic equilibrium with ground water, was characterised by the highest species richness and abundances both of stygobiotic and non-stygobiotic species; the downstream alluvial fan, where downwelling occurred, was defined by high non-stygobiotic species richness along with low occurrence of stygobionts. The different distribution of stygobiotic and non-stygobiotic species in gaining and losing sectors of this Alpine stream suggested the role of copepods as describers of the hydrological flowpaths in the hyporheic zone at the catchment scale.

Two techniques of ostracod (Ostracoda, Crustacea) extraction from organic detritus-rich sediments

Available online 9 January 2013
Publication year: 2013
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters

The performance of two simple techniques of ostracod (Ostracoda, Crustacea) extraction from detritus-rich bottom sediment: sediment aeration and sedimentary environment deterioration, was tested on samples collected in a large lowland river (River Odra, western part of Poland). The aeration technique, applied to preserved samples, involved bubbling air into the sediment sample overlain with water. The animals would adhere to the bubble surface, whereby they would be brought to the water layer and cling to the water surface. The environment deterioration technique, applied to unpreserved sediment (assumed to contain live ostracods), involved placing a sediment-filled hour glass in a water-filled vessel overnight. At night, meiobenthic animals would leave the sediment and move to the aqueous phase from which they could be easily collected. Compared to hand sorting, both techniques substantially (by an average of about 87% in aeration and about 70% in deterioration) reduced extraction time. In terms of efficiency, performance of both techniques was species-dependent. The aeration technique was found to be selective towards smooth-carapace species, and performed satisfactorily (extraction efficiency of more than 80% in most cases) due to the preponderance of smooth-carapace species in the area of study. The deterioration technique, too, showed significant between-species differences in amenability to extraction; those species supposedly less tolerant to deteriorating conditions and possessing swimming setae would be preferentially extracted. The ostracod assemblage in this study was dominated by species capable of swimming and supposed to have low tolerance to deteriorating conditions, for which reason the technique, in most cases, performed with efficiency exceeding 60%.

Management effects on water quality, sediments and fish production in extensive fish ponds in the Dombes region, France

Available online 20 December 2012
Publication year: 2012
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters

In aquaculture, management practices such as supplementary feeding or fertilisation of water are generally considered to improve fish yield in ponds or shallow lakes. Nevertheless, in semi-natural systems where many ponds or lakes are situated in a cultural landscape, this is much less evident for certain fish farmers because fish production systems are often quite extensive, and fish production is only one economic activity among others for these fish farmers. In this paper we analyse the influence of different management practices on fish yield and nutrient status of fish ponds’ water and sediments, and we have an additional regard on potential implications of this in the perspective of the European Water Framework Directive. This directive demands that artificial water bodies such as fish ponds have to attain a good ecological potential in 2015, and thus to adapt water body management to achieve this. In total, 83 fish ponds were studied from 2007 to 2009 in the Dombes region, France. This region is characterised by 1100 nutrient rich fish ponds located in a heterogeneous agricultural landscape with cropping, animal husbandry and forestry. Different water parameters (PO 4 3−, NO 3 , total P, total N, NH4+, chlorophyll-a) were analysed from April to October in each year. Sediments were sampled in March and October and analysed for available P, total N, organic matter and Ca concentration. Data about pond management practices such as fertilisation of pond water, supplementary feeding as well as fertilisation and liming of pond grounds when they are emptied and let dried out during a year, and harvested fish were collected by interviewing pond owners and pond managers. The main results found are that the combination of the annual management practices supplementary feeding and fertilisation, increased significantly the fish yields. When combining the annual with the non-annual management practices fertilisation of pond grounds and liming of pond grounds during a year when ponds are emptied, highest yield were obtained. Using only the non-annual practices, yields could be positively influenced. Lowest yields were found when no management practice was applied. Significant, but contrasting effects of pond management practices on water or sediment parameters were only found for available P of sediments and NO 3 for the management practices supplementary feeding, fertilisation of water, or liming of the pond ground. Whereas available P of sediments showed higher values with the three practices, NO 3 in the water showed lower values. Although only few significant differences were found, means of parameters showed a certain trend as they were in many cases, besides for total N and NO 3 , higher with the management practice. Our results show that there is a limited effect of pond management practices on the chemical status of the pond water and sediments. This also suggests a limited potential to change management practices to respond to the demand of the European Water Framework Directive for good water quality and ecological potential.

What’s the buzz in Britain?

Across the pond, the buzz is all about the impacts of pesticides on bees. Both the U.S. EPA, and its British counterpart, Defra, have been slow to act on the growing body of scientific evidence that would protect bees. But a series of important hearings may signal important changes afoot in that country.

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COP18: Climate proofing agriculture through agroforestry – Responding to Climate Change

COP18: Climate proofing agriculture through agroforestry
Responding to Climate Change
COP18 (01/12/12) – Dr Cheikh Mbow, Senior Scientist at the World Agroforestry Centre talks about the need to achieve adaptation to climate change for the small holder farming system with the use of trees. He says he aims to encourage people to use

COP18: Biodiversity must be considered for reforestation projects – Responding to Climate Change

COP18: Biodiversity must be considered for reforestation projects
Responding to Climate Change
COP18 (04/12/12) – Dietrich Schmidt-Vogt, Senior Scientist at the World Agroforestry Centre talks about the importance of protecting biodiversity in East Asia. While he agrees that many countries look to increase their forest cover, often a highly

COP18: Developing climate smart agriculture in South Asia – Responding to Climate Change

COP18: Developing climate smart agriculture in South Asia
Responding to Climate Change
COP18 (04/12/12) – Virendra Pal Singh, Director of South Asia Region at the World Agroforestry Centre talks about the common problems facing livelihoods and communities across the South Asia region. He says food security, hunger, poverty and low

Metal accumulation and distribution in the organs of Typha latifolia L. (cattail) and their potential use in bioindication

Available online 5 December 2012
Publication year: 2012
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters

The content of Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu, Cd, Pb, Ni, Co and Cr in different organs of Typha latifolia L., from 14 sites selected within five small ponds near Olesno in southwest Poland, were determined by atomic absorption spectrometry. Three groups of metals, each with different accumulation pattern within the plant were distinguished in this study. Pb, Cu, Co and Zn were found to be the least mobile and shown the following accumulation scheme: roots > rhizomes > lower leave part > top leave part > stems. By contrast Mn, a metal which is easily transported in plants exhibited the following accumulation scheme: roots > top leave part > lower leave part > rhizomes > stems. Ni, Cr and Fe were accumulated by the cattail as follows: roots > rhizomes > top leave part > lower leave part > stems. A detectable concentration of Cd was found in the organs of the plant showing the following distribution pattern: roots > rhizomes > stems. The fact that T. latifolia had the highest proportion of all the metals studied in its roots suggests an existence of some kind of protection barrier preventing toxic compounds from permeating to rhizomes and aerial parts of the plant from its roots. T. latifolia can be used in bioindication of Mn, Zn, Cd, Pb, Ni, Cu and Co.

COP18: Indonesia provides model for REDD implementation – Responding to Climate Change

COP18: Indonesia provides model for REDD implementation
Responding to Climate Change
COP18 (29/11/12) – Meine Van Noordwijk, Principal Scientist and Chief Scientific Advisor at the World Agroforestry Centre, explains the work undertaken by his organisation since the creation of the REDD program in Bali. Noordwijk explains that actually

Morphological and life-history shifts of the exotic cladoceran Daphnia exilis in response to predation risk and food availability

Publication year: 2012
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters
Mauricio J. Carter, Patricia Silva-Flores, J. Pablo Oyanedel, Rodrigo Ramos-Jiliberto
The zooplankter Daphnia exilis was found recently in reservoirs of central Chile. This species has been described as being tolerant to osmotic stress and chemical pollution, although the available information about its ecological properties is limited. Motivated by likelihood of being witnesses to a biological invasion, in this study we contribute to expand the knowledge of this exotic species through evaluating its ability to respond phenotypically to two major ecological factors: predation risk and food availability. Specifically, we analysed shifts in life-history and morphological traits of D. exilis in response to fish-released infochemicals, at different food densities. Our results revealed that the organisms were affected in their temporal trajectories of body size and shape, as well as in maturation time and fertility, in response to both predator cues and food availability. The presence of fish kairomones led to a decrease of age at maturity, and an increase of reproduction size and fecundity, especially at lower levels of resources. Our analyses indicated that asymptotic body size was affected only by food level, but the rate of increase in body size was sensitive to both fish kairomones and food level. The relative length of the tail spine decreased during early ontogenetic states, reaching a minimum around the age at maturity. This pattern was significantly enhanced in the presence of fish kairomones. However, our results did not match completely the typical responses of daphnids to fish kairomones.

Eel attacks—A new tool for assessing European eel (Anguilla anguilla) abundance and distribution patterns with gillnet sampling

Publication year: 2012
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters
Marie Prchalová, Jan Kubečka, Milan Říha, Martin Čech, Tomáš Jůza, Henk A.M. Ketelaars, Michal Kratochvíl, Tomáš Mrkvička, Jiří Peterka, Mojmír Vašek, Arco J. Wagenvoort
Because of its complex life cycle, cryptic behavior, body shape, ability to excrete mucus and excellent maneuvering, the European eel ( Anguilla anguilla ) is difficult to monitor. During many years of gillnetting in Dutch and Czech freshwaters, we registered characteristic involutions of gillnet netting with a partially eaten fish inside. We concluded that these involutions were the result of eels attacking fish caught in gillnets and called the occurrences eel attacks. When we compared the abundance of eel attacks in gillnets with the abundances of eels recorded using active gears (beach seining and trawling), we found a positive and significant correlation (partial Spearman R = 0.640) that can be used for rough eel-abundance assessment. The most frequently attacked fishes were young individuals of abundant species ( Perca fluviatilis , Sander lucioperca , Rutilus rutilus and Osmerus eperlanus ) and small species ( Gymnocephalus cernua ) up to 100 mm standard length. The eels preferred pikeperch and avoided roach and smelt. The reason for prey species preferences was most likely prey species distribution rather than size selectivity. The eels attacked fishes in gillnets during the night, most likely after midnight. The eel attacks were not distributed homogenously among the studied reservoirs, geographical areas and years. The frequency of eel attacks was higher in benthic than in pelagic habitats. Eel attacks were more frequent in Dutch than in Czech reservoirs, corresponding to a general decline of eel densities with increasing distance from the sea. The number of eel attacks also declined significantly from 1998 to 2008. The present study showed that eel attacks can be successfully used as a new, simple and nonintrusive tool for monitoring eel abundance using gillnets. Gillnets are widely used in fish monitoring, and hence, gillnet sampling performed throughout Europe has a great potential for eel-abundance assessment.

Distribution patterns of subsurface copepods and the impact of environmental parameters

Publication year: 2012
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters, Volume 42, Issue 2
Ioana Nicoleta Meleg, Frank Fiers, Marius Robu, Oana Teodora Moldovan
The ecosystem dynamics in the vadose zone, the unsaturated layer between the surface and the groundwater table, was studied in five caves located in northwestern Romania. Hypogean and epigean copepod assemblages collected in drip water and in the associated pools were analyzed over a period of 12 and 7 months, respectively. The temporal variation of fauna in both habitats was related to a series of environmental parameters (pH, temperature, electrical conductivity, forest cover, precipitation, type of limestone, hydrographic basin, substrate and volume of the pools). Canonical Correspondence Analysis was used to explore the relationships. Over the year, total abundances in pools were much lower than the abundances observed in drips and showed steep raising values in December only. It is shown that forest cover might be one of the most important driving factor influencing the copepod diversity and abundance. Occurrence of epigean species underground was influenced by precipitation and drip rates. The occurrence of hypogean species was related to electrical conductivity, as an indicator of residence time of water in the vadose zone. Pools on limestone harbored a more diverse and abundant fauna than those with clay sediments. Pools with calcite precipitation were preferred by hypogean species.

Measuring ecological change of aquatic macrophytes in Mediterranean rivers

Publication year: 2012
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters, Volume 42, Issue 2
Ian Dodkins, Francisca Aguiar, Rui Rivaes, António Albuquerque, Patricia Rodríguez-González, Maria Teresa Ferreira
A metric was developed for assessing anthropogenic impacts on aquatic macrophyte ecology by scoring macrophyte species along the main gradient of community change. A measure of ecological quality was then calculated by Weighted Averaging (WA) of these species scores at a monitoring site, and comparison to a reference condition score. This metric was used to illustrate the difficulties of developing aquatic macrophyte indices based on indicator species in Mediterranean rivers. The response of the metric to a nutrient gradient was examined within two different river typologies: the national typology designed for the Water Framework Directive and a typology that segregates the environmental variables to produce maximum species similarity within a river type. Both typologies showed the strong north–south climatic divide in Portugal, with southern rivers having long periods without rainfall and often without flowing water in the summer. Overall, the metric responded well to nutrient impacts however it performed poorly in some southern lowland river types. This was thought to be due to low numbers of aquatic macrophytes in temporary rivers. Non-aquatic species that establish in the river channel of temporary rivers may have to be included in indices to improve performance. Also, simple Weighted Averaging (WA) metrics may be insensitive to abundance changes and loss of rarer indicators in lowland Mediterranean rivers. More sophisticated methods of using WA are suggested, as well as further research into developing assessment methods specific to the character of Mediterranean rivers.

Hydrological seasonality of the river affecting fish community structure of oxbow lakes: A limnological approach on the Amapá Lake, southwestern Amazon

Publication year: 2012
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters
Maralina Torres da Silva, Jardely de Oliveira Pereira, Lisandro Juno Soares Vieira, Ana Cristina Petry
The hydrological regime represents the driver of ecological function and biodiversity in tropical river floodplains. This study aimed to document the species composition and evaluate the effect of the flood pulse on the fish community of Amapá Lake, an oxbow lake temporarily connected to the Acre River. Between October 2008 and September 2009, fish were sampled monthly with gill nets, and seven physical–chemical variables were recorded at three sampling stations along the lake. The fish community structure and physical–chemical variables were compared among the hydrological phases of pre-flooding, minor and major flood and post-flooding, and the degree of association between the limnological characteristics and species composition was explored with a canonical correspondence analysis. A total of 2131 specimens belonging to 53 species were captured. The numerical abundance and biomass of fish and water temperature were higher in the pre and post-flooding phases. Samples of the pre-flooding phase comprised more than 40% of the overall numerical abundance (115 ind. 1000 m2 24 h−1 ± 16 se) and biomass (9949 g 1000 m2 24 h−1 ± 1.816 se) due to the greater dominance of few species, mainly small (the Siluriformes Hypoptopoma gulare ) to medium sized (the Characiformes Triportheus curtus ) during low waters. With the onset of the minor flood, conductivity decreased and depth increased in the lake, whereas total phosphorous and pH reduced significantly at major flood. The composition and abundance of fish community changed more among hydrological phases than species richness and 26% of this annual variability in the biotic component was shaped exclusively by the physical–chemical variables. As fish community and physical-chemistry of the Amapá Lake undergo to the hydrological cycle of the Acre River, these results reinforce the general pattern of predictable seasonal alterations in the functioning of tropical floodplains. Based on the general decrease in dominance during the long flood pulse and the occurrence of piscivorous migrators among the five most abundant species, we conclude that the seasonal variation in the hydrometric level of the Acre River plays an important role in maintaining the high fish diversity observed in the Amapá Lake all year round.

Phenology of the aquatic fern Salvinia natans (L.) All. in the Vistula Delta in the context of climate warming

Publication year: 2012
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters
Agnieszka Gałka, Józef Szmeja
We determined the phenology and architecture of Salvinia natans life stages by observing permanent plots in the Vistula Delta (Baltic Sea Region, N Poland) biweekly from 2006 to 2010. Germination of macro- and microspores was initiated at 12.4 ± 0.2 °C water temperature corresponding to early-April water temperature in the Vistula Delta. Early development of the female gametophyte took place at 14.2 ± 0.4 °C, and late development, with fertilization, at 18.3 ± 1.5 °C (April/May). Gametophyte development required about 35 days. During the study years the density of early gametophyte populations was 2522 ± 3327/0.25 m2, but only 437 ± 326/0.25 m2 for late-stage populations. The drop in density was due to ground frost in April. Due to climate warming in the Baltic Sea Region, ground frost occurs less frequently than previously, leading to the expansion of Salvinia natans in the Vistula Delta. Sporophyte development required about 170 days. The early juvenile sporophyte (J a ) consists of a floating leaf and a submerged leaf rudiment. Its development took about three weeks at 16.8 ± 1.2 °C. The late juvenile sporophyte (J b ) has a fully developed submerged leaf and lasts about four weeks at 18.4 ± 0.7 °C. The density of J a populations was 432.7 ± 413.4/0.25 m2, but only 9.6 ± 12.9/0.25 m2 for J b populations. The density drop in J b populations was caused by spring ground frost. A mature individual consists of 2.1 ± 1.1 modules (structural units of a clone), 6.8 ± 4.5 modules for a spore-producing one. Senile individuals disintegrated into modules and died at 2.0 ± 1.1 °C. For about 160 days from autumn to early spring, Salvinia natans was found at the bottom of watercourses in the form of spores.

How do early successional patterns in man-made wetlands differ between cold temperate and Mediterranean regions?

Publication year: 2012
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters
Albert Ruhí, Jan Herrmann, Stéphanie Gascón, Jordi Sala, Dani Boix
The early stages of succession in newly created wetlands should be impacted by the region in which the wetland is located, since climate may have filtered the dominant biological strategies of the taxa leading this process and may condition their dynamics. We studied the early successional patterns of macroinvertebrates within man made ponds, located in cold temperate (Scandinavian Peninsula) and Mediterranean regions (Iberian Peninsula), during the first three years following their creation. We predicted (1) non random subsets of the regional species pool (deterministic assembly) guiding the successional process in cold temperate wetlands, and random (stochastic) assembly in the Mediterranean region; (2) higher successional rates in Mediterranean ponds than in the cold temperate ponds, with contrary episodes of highest and lowest change throughout the year; and (3) a significant difference in the composition of biological traits between regions, due to the dominance of traits adapted to hydrological variability in the Mediterranean region. Hypotheses on community structure (1) and the composition of dominant biological traits (3) were mostly supported – deterministic assembly mechanisms in the cold temperate ponds and stochastic assembly in the Mediterranean ponds; and a dominance of different biological traits between regions, explained by the need to overcome hydrological disturbances in the Mediterranean ponds. The dynamics of succession (2) were explained by climatic factors in the cold temperate region but not in the Mediterranean ponds. We suggest that the intrinsic hydrological variability of Mediterranean lentic systems may be a major factor driving community changes in man-made wetlands in this region. In order to generalize the observed patterns, we performed a meta-analysis of the temporal trends of taxonomic distinctness parameters of other successional studies across a latitudinal gradient in Europe, which supported the differences we had observed between latitudinal extremes.

The conservation of small water reservoirs in the Krajeńskie Lakeland (North-West Poland)

Publication year: 2012
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters
Barbara Waldon
This study comprised an inventory of vascular plants in 450 small water reservoirs (up to 1 ha in size). Most water bodies (76%) in the study area (Krajeńskie Lakeland, NW, Poland) were located in an agricultural landscape, typical of the region. A total of 576 species of vascular plants were recorded. Of these, about 76% were native species, 34 taxa were listed as legally protected in Poland and endangered in the region (Western Pomerania) or in Poland. 201 plant communities were identified, including 128 associations. Depending on the surrounding habitat, the following groups of ponds were identified: (1) mid-forest ponds; (2) mid-wetland ponds; ponds between arable fields, including (3) water basins with wide, well developed ecotone zones and (4) ponds with narrow or disturbed contact zones; and (5) ponds in urban areas. 30 ponds of each type were compared in detail. Differentiation and plant species richness of small water reservoirs was dependent on landscape type. The richest ponds were located within fields but isolated from their surroundings by a natural belt of rushes or trees, whilst mid-forest ponds were the poorest. Valorization was based on the presence of valuable flora (e.g. native, rare, and endangered species) and plant communities. This revealed that mid-forest and mid-wetland ponds were the most natural, while ponds in urban areas were the most strongly transformed. Ponds in the study area ( n = 450) were also analysed for anthropogenic impacts. Anthropogenic stressors were observed in 51% of ponds. The most serious threats to the ponds of the Krajeńskie Lakeland were deterioration due to drainage and eutrophication. Over 35% of ponds were connected to a network of drainage ditches, with the highest percentage (57.1%) found in mid-forest ponds type.

Re-establishment of zooplankton communities in temporary ponds after autumn flooding: Does restoration age matter?

Publication year: 2012
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters
Carla Olmo, Xavier Armengol, Raquel Ortells
In temporary ponds, reestablishment of zooplankton communities depends on recruitment from the egg bank, the arrival of dispersers from within the region, and on successful establishment of newly arrived species following interaction with local abiotic and biotic factors. When the ponds dry up, zooplankton species may survive as dormant eggs, and since not all eggs hatch in the next season, eggs will accumulate in the sediment over time, representing an archive of the pond’s historical biodiversity. To study the effect of “restoration age” (the time since a water body was restored), we studied groups of ponds that were restored in different years (1998, 2003 and 2007). The restoration process involved extensive dredging of sediments which were used to bury the ponds in the 1960s. Our expectation was that the oldest ponds would have the richest zooplankton community, as they have been accumulating biodiversity over a longer time period. We took weekly quantitative samples of zooplankton during four consecutive weeks after flooding to compare taxon richness and zooplankton community composition between ponds of different restoration age during an early stage of zooplankton community re-establishment. Taxon richness was high and similar to regional levels in all the ponds under investigation, suggesting restoration success and unlimited dispersal. Although cumulative richness at the end of the period was not significantly different between ponds, we observed temporal changes within the study period and certain age-related trends in relation to differences in zooplankton composition. These results suggest a difference in the succession of zooplankton communities depending on restoration age (which could be due to historical or local factors) and that this effect becomes evident from the beginning of the pond hydroperiod.

Eutrophication and retention time affecting spatial heterogeneity in a tropical reservoir

Publication year: 2012
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters, Volume 42, Issue 3
Maria Carolina S. Soares, Marcelo M. Marinho, Sandra M.O.F. Azevedo, Christina W.C. Branco, Vera L.M. Huszar
Longitudinal heterogeneity in reservoirs is especially related to increase in sedimentation and water transparency along the river/dam axis. Consequently, primary production tends to reach higher values in intermediate regions where there is a balance between the availability of the main resources (light and nutrients) suitable for phytoplankton growth. Many factors such as reservoir morphometry, retention time, thermal stratification and geographical location can affect the boundaries between these regions. The tropical Funil Reservoir (Brazil), despite a low retention time, has experienced severe eutrophication in recent decades, with persistent cyanobacteria blooms. During the course of 1 year, samples were collected at four stations along the reservoir (fluvial, intermediate and lentic compartments) to evaluate if spatial heterogeneity could affect the occurrence and distribution of these blooms along the reservoir. Although the reservoir has a short annual retention time (mean 41.5 days), the typical zonation pattern was observed for the main abiotic variables and phytoplankton abundance. However, higher biomass occurred in the lentic compartment rather than in the intermediate zone. Despite the peculiar heterogeneity in total biomass, the phytoplankton composition and seasonal variability were very similar along the entire reservoir, with a few marked differences only in the fluvial zone. Phytoplankton total biomass in Funil Reservoir was high, even in periods of lower seasonal retention time (around 15 days), and was especially related to high input of nutrients. Moreover, retention time directly affects the spatial heterogeneity of phytoplankton biomass, since strong variability was only observed during the cold–dry season, corresponding to periods of longer retention time (around 80 days). While high availability of nutrients promoted high cyanobacterial biomass in the entire system, the few periods of heterogeneous spatiality seemed to be related to changes in retention time.

Allochthonous individuals in managed populations of the fire-bellied toad Bombina bombina: Genetic detection and conservation implications

Publication year: 2012
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters
Christiane Schröder, Ina Pokorny, Nicola Dolgener, Christoph Herden, Hauke Drews, Ralph Tiedemann
The ongoing global amphibian decline calls for an increase of habitat and population management efforts. Pond restoration and construction is more and more accompanied by breeding and translocation programs. However, the appropriateness of translocations as a tool for conservation has been widely debated, as it can cause biodiversity loss through genetic homogenization and can disrupt local adaptation, eventually leading to outbreeding depression. In this study, we investigated the genetic structure of two translocated populations of the critically endangered fire-bellied toad Bombina bombina at its north western distribution edge using supposedly neutral genetic markers (variation in the mitochondrial control region and microsatellites) as well as a marker under selection (major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes). While one of the newly established populations showed the typical genetic composition of surrounding populations, the other was extremely diverged without clear affinity to its putative source. In this population we detected a profound impact of allochthonous individuals: 100% of the analyzed individuals exhibited a highly divergent mitochondrial haplotype which was otherwise found in Austria. 83% of them were also assigned to Austria by the analysis of microsatellites. Interestingly, for the adaptive marker (MHC) local alleles were predominant in this population, while only very few alleles were shared with the Austrian population. Probably Mendelian inheritance has reshuffled genotypes such that adaptive local alleles are maintained (here, MHC), while presumably neutral allochthonous alleles dominate at other loci. The release of allochthonous individuals generally increased the genetic variability of the affected population without wiping out locally adaptive genotypes. Thus, outbreeding depression might be less apparent than sometimes thought and natural selection appears strong enough to maintain locally adaptive alleles, at least in functionally important immune system genes.

Diversity and conservation status of large branchiopods (Crustacea) in ponds of western Poland

Publication year: 2012
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters
Bartłomiej Gołdyn, Rafał Bernard, Michał Jan Czyż, Anna Jankowiak
A survey on temporary ponds has been conducted in search for large branchiopod crustaceans (Anostraca, Notostraca, Spinicaudata and Laevicaudata) in Wielkopolska province (western Poland). 728 pools have been studied and large branchiopods have been found in 221 of them. Seven species have been recorded, including three anostracans: Branchipus schaefferi , Chirocephalus shadini and Eubranchipus grubii ; two notostracans: Lepidurus apus and Triops cancriformis ; one spinicaudatan, Cyzicus tetracerus and one laevicaudatan, Lynceus brachyurus . According to the analysis of co-occurrence, the species form three groups, differing in habitat preferences and conservation status. The number of species shows that the diversity of globally threatened large branchiopods is still relatively high in the region. On the other hand, their conservation status is highly diverse and in most species unfavourable. Distribution of all species is highly clustered: large branchiopods have been generally found in 33 UTM squares (10 × 10 km) of 96 squares studied. However, only two species, i.e. E. grubii and L. apus occurred in more than five such squares and could be assessed as moderately widespread. Most water bodies inhabited by large branchiopods occur in groups forming patches of suitable habitats which are dispersed among prevailing seemingly unsuitable areas. Sustaining the existence of large metapopulations seems, therefore, to be essential for conservation of branchiopod species diversity. Field observations also bring some examples of human activities unintentionally supporting the branchiopod conservation.

What governs macrophyte species richness in kettle hole types? A case study from Northeast Germany

Publication year: 2012
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters
M. Pätzig, T. Kalettka, M. Glemnitz, G. Berger
Kettle holes are small, pond-like, depressional wetlands in young moraine landscapes. They mostly undergo a wet-dry cycle and have a high potential for biological species diversity. However, their biodiversity and habitat function is often greatly impacted by surrounding intensive agricultural land use practices. In this study, we used statistical analysis of a large data set from the federal state of Brandenburg (Northeast Germany) to characterise the macrophyte species richness of kettle holes in an interregional context and to determine the factors that influence macrophyte occurrence. We proposed that (1) specific environmental factors, (2) hydrogeomorphic kettle hole types and (3) the regional topography have a major impact on macrophyte species richness. The evaluation of the data was performed using the General Linear Model (GLM) and Canonical Correspondence Analysis (CCA). Each of the analysed factors addresses different parts of the macrophyte species richness, including the target variables overall species richness, plant life and growth forms as well as Red List species. None of the analysis showed effects of the tested environmental factors on overall macrophytes species richness, but on the richness of plant life and growth forms as well as on Red List species. We identified hydroperiod, depth, shore width, kettle hole area, pH, electric conductivity, carbonate hardness and oxygen as key factors for the prediction of species richness of plant life and growth forms. Furthermore, we demonstrate that hydrogeomorphic kettle hole types account for relevant parts of variation in species richness and are useful interregional and integrative indicators to identify kettle holes with protection priority for macrophytes.

Chemical and biological benefits in a stormwater wetland in Kalmar, SE Sweden

Publication year: 2012
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters
Jan Herrmann
A manmade stormwater wetland in Kalmar, SE Sweden, sized 1 ha and receiving water from residential and road areas, was monitored over the first years after inundation with respect to chemistry and biology. Water flow and chemistry was analysed in years 2–4, mainly on a monthly basis, but, in the final year, every second month. This revealed that total nitrogen, according to the Swedish Environmental Quality Criteria (EQC), typically showed moderate or high concentrations, whereas total phosphorous levels were very high or extremely high. Metal (Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb and Zn) concentrations were low or moderate in terms of EQC. Yearly average reduction of nitrogen was 173 kg ha−1 y−1, tending to increase over time, and for phosphorous 12.1 kg ha−1 y−1, tending to decrease. Vegetation analysis was performed in years 1–4 by noting all species in 27 consecutive zones around the wetland system. This showed that one year after filling with water, the vegetation was already well established with >30 plant species in the entire pond system, and this increased only slightly. After four years, the shoreline vegetation cover had become denser, especially with larger graminoids such as common reed ( Phragmites australis ) and sea club-rush ( Bolboschoenus maritimus ), and submersed vegetation almost disappeared. There was a tendency for common species to become more dominant, and for less common species to become rarer. Using sweep net sampling of benthic invertebrates during years 0–2, ca 50 species/higher taxa were observed during the first year, largely because of the appearance of many beetles, especially dytiscids. However, these decreased the following years. Apart from these animals, in the first few months the invertebrate colonisation was dominated by chironomids and corixids, whereas later prominent increases were noticed for the isopod Asellus aquaticus , the snail Physa fontinalis , and the mayfly nymph Cloeon dipterum . The results are discussed in terms of wetland values for biodiversity and nutrient reduction, suggesting that these objectives seem possible to combine in stormwater wetlands.