International Science Index

International Journal of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

Effect of Zinc-Lysine on Growth, Photosynthesis, Oxidative Stress and Antioxidant System and Chromium Uptake in Rice under Cr Stress
Chromium (Cr) is one of the widespread and toxic trace elements present in the agricultural land. Chromium can enter into the food chain mainly through agricultural crops grown on Cr-contaminated soils such as rice (Oryza sativa L.). The current study was done to evaluate the effects of increasing concentrations foliar applied zinc (Zn) chelated with lysine (Zn-lys) (0, 10, 20, and 30 mg L⁻¹) on rice biomass, photosynthesis, oxidative stress, key antioxidant enzyme activities and Cr uptake under increasing levels of Cr in the soil (0, 100, 500 mg kg⁻¹). Cr-induced toxicity reduced the height of plants, biomass, chlorophyll contents, gas exchange parameters, and antioxidant enzyme activities while increased the Cr concentrations and oxidative stress (malondialdehyde, electrolyte leakage, and H₂O₂) in shoots and roots than control plants. Foliar application of Zn-lys increased the plant growth, photosynthesis, Zn concentrations, and enzyme activities in rice seedlings. In addition, Zn-lys reduced the Cr concentrations and oxidative stress compared to the respective Cr treatments alone. The present results indicate that foliar Zn-lys stimulates the antioxidant defense system in rice, increase the rice growth while reduced the Cr concentrations in plants by promoting the Zn uptake and photosynthesis. Taken together, foliar spray of Zn-lys chelate can efficiently be employed for improving plant growth and Zn contents while reducing Cr concentration in rice grown in Cr-contaminated and Zn-deficient soils.
Calculation of the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index and the Spectral Signature of Coffee Crops: Benefits of Image Filtering on Mixed Crops
Crop monitoring has shown to reduce vulnerability to spreading plagues and pathologies in crops. Remote sensing with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) has made crop monitoring more precise, cost-efficient and accessible. Nowadays, remote monitoring involves calculating maps of vegetation indices by using different software that takes either Truecolor (RGB) or multispectral images as an input. These maps are then used to segment the crop into management zones. Finally, knowing the spectral signature of a crop (the reflected radiation as a function of wavelength) can be used as an input for decision-making and crop characterization. The calculation of vegetation indices using software such as Pix4D has high precision for monoculture plantations. However, this paper shows that using this software on mixed crops may lead to errors resulting in an incorrect segmentation of the field. Within this work, authors propose to filter all the elements different from the main crop before the calculation of vegetation indices and the spectral signature. A filter based on the Sobel method for border detection is used for filtering a coffee crop. Results show that segmentation into management zones changes with respect to the traditional situation in which a filter is not applied. In particular, it is shown how the values of the spectral signature change in up to 17% per spectral band. Future work will quantify the benefits of filtering through the comparison between in situ measurements and the calculated vegetation indices obtained through remote sensing.
Exergy as a Theoretical Framework for Detecting Nitrogen Stress in Agricultural Crops
The aim of this paper is to investigate the utilization of the exergy destruction principle in precision agriculture by identifying early nitrogen stress in crop plants using thermal remote sensing methods. Exergy is defined as the maximum useful to the dead state work and the amount of available energy that can be used. Exergy gives an indication about how large the gradients are, how far the situation is from equilibrium, and the potential to do something useful. Most of the up-to-date studies focused on the use of thermal imaging to detect water stress through canopy temperature measurements. To the best of our knowledge, no previous study has investigated the use of thermal remote sensing to detect other forms of stress, such as weed and nitrogen stress. This paper introduces a new method to detect such types of stresses using crop plant surface temperature measurements. Two hypotheses were developed related to the exergy destruction principle. First, it is hypothesized that less stressed plants have lower surface temperature compared to stressed plants. And secondly, more phenologically developed plants have lower surface temperature compared to less phenologically developed plants. These two hypotheses were tested under field conditions at Elora Research Station, ON, Canada in the summer of 2016 and 2017. Surface and whorl temperatures were measured using FLIR T620 thermal camera and type t ungrounded thermocouples, respectively. Surface temperature and yield data collected from the field trials were statistically analyzed to study the correlation and significance between these variables. This research should serve as a base for future studies in the precision agriculture field and the utilization of thermal remote sensing to detect nitrogen stress in crop plants. It also will increase the production, decrease the cost of inputs, and the harmful impacts from over applications of nitrogen fertilizer on the environment. As a conclusion, the results obtained from the statistical analysis of the experimental data showed a consistent significant decrease in the surface temperature with the increase of the nitrogen rate. It also showed a significant increase of grain yield with a nitrogen rate increase. These results support our two hypotheses. However, more research using controlled trials is needed to study the effect of different variables on surface temperature directly or indirectly that create a wide range of variability in the field, such as air temperature, soil moisture, soil temperature, and many other variables that need to be monitored continuously in order to obtain an accurate temperature measurements.
On-Farm Evaluation of Fast and Slow Growing Genotypes for Organic and Pasture Poultry Production Systems
Organic poultry production is becoming increasingly popular in the United States with approximately 17% increase in the sales of organic meat and poultry in 2016. As per the National Organic Program (NOP), organic poultry production system should operate according to specific standards, including access to outdoors. In the United States, organic poultry farmers are raising both fast growing and slow growing genotypes for alternative productive systems. Even though heritage breed birds grow much slower compared to commercial breeds, many free range producers believe that they are better suited for outdoor production systems. We conducted an on-farm trial on a working pasture poultry farm to compare the performance and meat quality characteristics of a slow-growing heritage breed (Freedom Rangers, FR), and two commonly used fast growing types of chickens (Cornish cross, CC and Naked Neck, NN), raised on pasture, in side by side pens segregated by breed (n=70/breed). CC and NN group birds were reared for eight weeks whereas FR group birds were reared for 10 weeks and all the birds were commercially processed. By the end of the rearing period, the final body weight of FR group birds was significantly lower than both the fast growing genotypes (CC and NN). Both CC and NN birds showed significantly higher live weight, carcass weight as well as fillet, tender and leg yield (P < 0.05). There was no difference in the wing and rack yield among the different groups. Color of the meat was measured using CEILAB method and expressed as lightness (L), redness (a*) and yellowness (b*). The breast meat from FR birds was much redder (higher a* values) and less yellow (lesser b* values) compared to both the fast growing type of chickens (P < 0.05). Overall, fast growing genotypes produced higher carcass weight and meat yield compared to slow growing genotypes and appear to be an economical option for alternative production systems.
A Study to Evaluate Some Physical and Mechanical Properties, Relevant in Estimating Energy Requirements in Grinding the Palm Kernel and Coconut Shells
Based on the need to modify palm kernel shell (PKS) and coconut shell (CNS) for some engineering applications, the study evaluated some physical characteristics and fracture resistance, relevant in estimating energy requirements in comminution of the nutshells. The shells, obtained from local processing mills, were washed, sun-dried and sorted to remove kernels, nuts and other extraneous materials. Experiments were then conducted to determine the thickness, density, moisture content, and hardness of the shells. Fracture resistances were characterised by the average compressive load, stiffness and toughness at bio-yield point of specially prepared section of the shells, under quasi-static compression loading. The densities of the dried PKS at 7.12% and the CNS at 6.47% (wb) moisture contents were 1291.20 and 1247.40 kg/m3, respectively. The corresponding Brinnel Hardness Numbers were 58.40 ± 1.91 and 56.33 ± 4.33. Close shells thickness of both PKS and CNS exhibited identical physical properties although; CNS is relatively larger in physical dimensions than PKS. The findings further showed that both shell types exhibited higher resistance with compression along the longitudinal axes than the transverse axes. With compressions along the longitudinal axes, the fracture force were 1.41 ± 0.11 and 3.62 ± 0.09 kN; bio-stiffness; 934.70 ± 67.03 kN/m and 1980.74 ± 8.92 kN/m; and toughness, 2.17 ± 0.16 and 6.51 ± 0.15 KN mm for the PKS and CNS, respectively. With the estimated toughness of CNS higher than that of PKS, the study showed the requirement of higher comminution energy for CNS.
The Green Consumer Identity Formation Process: The Context of Organic Food Consumption
In recent decades the organic conventionalization and mainstream agro-food sector are more interested in its commercial value than in its original vision, raising the question of whether these products are truly organic. Accordingly, this research based on 31 phenomenological interviews with committed organic consumers in urban and rural areas of Portugal, aims to analyse how ethical motivations and ecological awareness are related to organic food consumption. A qualitative approach based on consumer narratives covered three main areas of research: (1) to understand organic consumer motivations and cultural meanings represented by organic; (2) to identify how environmental concerns and ethical behaviour influence organic consumption; (3) to identify the main constraint and barriers in accessing and consuming organic products. The thematic analysis points up aspects related to society and environmental concerns. In personal perspective, it was stressed the importance of internal coherence, peace of mind and balance that these consumers find in the consumption of organic products. For these consumers, organic products consumption made significant changes in their lives, contributing to the constructing of a green identity, and involves a 'life philosophy' perspective. This vision of organic is based on a livelihood perspective grounded in a political and ecological, beyond the usual organic definition, as a 'post-organic' era. The paper contributes to better understand how an ideological environmental discourse and allows to highlight the relation between consumers’ environmental concerns and the politics of food, resulting in a possible transition to new sustainable consumption practices.
Community Participation in Natural Resources Management Programs: A Case Study from Iran
During the last years, natural resources in Iran have suffered severe degradation. For the sustainable and better management of these resources, various policies have been devised, the most promising of which is the management of land and water resources through participation of the local and beneficiary communities. In recent years government of Iran has developed this approach in the management of these resources in several rural areas. Hableh-Rud program is one of these participatory programs to sustainable management of land and water resource. However, it has proven difficult to involve local people in natural resources management activities. Therefore there is a great necessitate to know the reason for the low level of participation by the local communities and explore the factors which make participation efforts successful. This study was designed to discover the factors that influence local people participation in such programs. The data for this study were gathered from 200 respondents from three villages in Hableh-Rud basin in Iran through personal interview. Descriptive analysis, Factor analysis, Parsons Product moment correlation and regression analysis was used to analyze the data in this study. The findings of the study showed that level of participation in program was moderate to low; however, people preferred more involvement in social rather than economic and environmental activities. Correlation analysis showed that five factors: satisfaction of prior programs, attitude toward the program, and knowledge of the program, alternative income and met expectations of the program have a positive and significant relationship with the level of participation. Regression analysis discovered that these factors provided the best prediction for the level of participation in the program and explained 45 % of the variation.
A Close Study on the Nitrate Fertilizer Use and Environmental Pollution for Human Health in Iran
Nitrogen accumulates in soils during the process of fertilizer addition to promote the plant growth. When the organic matter decomposes, the form of available nitrogen produced is in the form of nitrate, which is highly mobile. The most significant health effect of nitrate ingestion is methemoglobinemia in infants under six months of age (blue baby syndrome). The mobile nutrients, like nitrate nitrogen, are not stored in the soil as the available forms for the long periods and in large amounts. It depends on the needs of the crops such as vegetables. On the other hand, the vegetables will compete actively for nitrate nitrogen as a mobile nutrient and water. The mobile nutrients must be shared. The fewer the plants, the larger this share is for each plant. Also, this nitrate nitrogen is poisonous for the people who use these vegetables. Nitrate is converted to nitrite by the existing bacteria in the stomach and the Gastro-Intestinal (GI) tract. When nitrite is entered into the blood cells, it converts the hemoglobin to methemoglobin, which causes the anoxemia and cyanosis. The increasing use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers, especially the fertilizers with nitrates compounds, which have been common for the increase production of agricultural crops, have caused the nitrate pollution in the (soil, water, and environment). They have caused a lot of damage to humans and animals. In this research, the nitrate accumulation in different kind of vegetables such as; green pepper, tomatoes, eggplants, watermelon, cucumber, and red pepper were observed in the suburbs of Mashhad, Neisabour, and Sabzevar cities. In some of these cities, the information forms of agronomical practices collected were such as; different vegetable crops fertilizer recommendations, varieties, pesticides, irrigation schedules, etc., which were filled out by some of our colleagues in the research areas mentioned above. Analysis of the samples was sent to the soil and water laboratory in our department in Mashhad. The final results from the chemical analysis of samples showed that the mean levels of nitrates from the samples of the fruit crops in the mentioned cities above were all lower than the critical levels. These fruit crop samples were in the order of (35.91, 8.47, 24.81, 6.03, 46.43, 2.06) mg/kg dry matter, for the following crops such as; tomato, cucumber, egg plant, watermelon, green pepper, and red pepper. Even though this study was conducted with limited samples and by considering the mean levels, the use of these crops from the nutritional point of view will not cause the poisoning of humans. Although, if it’s daily consumption is at low levels, and if the vegetables used were steam cooked for any possible reasons, therefore boiling the vegetables will remove some of the nitrate amount.
A Crop Growth Subroutine for Watershed Resources Management (WRM) Model
Vegetation has a marked effect on runoff and has become an important component in hydrologic model. The watershed Resources Management (WRM) model, a process-based, continuous, distributed parameter simulation model developed for hydrologic and soil erosion studies at the watershed scale lack a crop growth component. As such, this model assumes a constant parameter values for vegetation and hydraulic parameters throughout the duration of hydrologic simulation. Our approach is to develop a crop growth algorithm based on the original plant growth model used in the Environmental Policy Integrated Climate Model (EPIC) model. This paper describes the development of a single crop growth model which has the capability of simulating all crops using unique parameter values for each crop. Simulated crop growth processes will reflect the vegetative seasonality of the natural watershed system. An existing model was employed for evaluating vegetative resistance by hydraulic and vegetative parameters incorporated into the WRM model. The improved WRM model will have the ability to evaluate the seasonal variation of the vegetative roughness coefficient with depth of flow and further enhance the hydrologic model’s capability for accurate hydrologic studies
Acid Soil Amelioration Using Coal Bio-Briquette Ash and Waste Concrete in China
The decrease in agricultural production due to soil deterioration has been an urgent task. Soil acidification is a potentially serious land degradation issue and it will have a major impact on agricultural productivity and sustainable farming systems. In China, acid soil is mainly distributed in the southern part, the decrease in agricultural production and heavy metal contamination are serious problems. In addition, not only environmental and health problems due to the exhaust gas such as mainly sulfur dioxide (SO₂) but also the generation of a huge amount of construction and demolition wastes with the accelerating urbanization has emerged as a social problem in China. Therefore, the need for the recycling and reuse of both desulfurization waste and waste concrete is very urgent and necessary. So we have investigated the effectiveness as acid soil amendments of both coal bio-briquette ash and waste concrete. In this paper, acid soil (AS1) in Nanjing (pH=6.0, EC=1.6dSm-1) and acid soil (AS2) in Guangzhou (pH=4.1, EC=0.2dSm-1) were investigated in soil amelioration test. Soil amendments were three coal bio-briquette ashes (BBA1, BBA2 and BBA3), the waste cement fine powders (CFP) ( < 200µm (particle diameter)), waste concrete particles (WCP) ( < 4.75mm ( < 0.6mm, 0.6-1.0mm, 1.0-2.0mm, 2.0-4.75mm)), and six mixtures with two coal bio-briquette ashes (BBA2 and BBA3), CFP, WCP( < 0.6mm) and WCP(2.0-4.75mm). In acid soil amelioration test, the three BBAs, CFP and various WCPs based on exchangeable calcium concentration were added to two acid soils. The application rates were from 0 wt% to 3.5 wt% in AS1 test and from 0 wt% to 6.0 wt% in AS2 test, respectively. Soil chemical properties (pH, EC, exchangeable and soluble ions (Na, Ca, Mg, K)) before and after mixing with soil amendments were measured. In addition, Al toxicity and the balance of salts (CaO, K₂O, MgO) in soil after amelioration was evaluated. The order of pH and exchangeable Ca concentration that is effective for acid soil amelioration was WCP(0.6mm) > CFP > WCP(2.0-4.25mm) > BB1 > BB2 > BB3. In all AS 1 and AS 2 amelioration tests using three BBAs, the pH and EC increased slightly with the increase of application rate and reached to the appropriate value range of both pH and EC in BBA1 only. Because BBA1 was higher value in pH and exchangeable Ca. After that, soil pH and EC with the increase in the application rate of BBA2, BBA3 and by using CFP, WC( < 0.6mm), WC(2.0-4.75mm) as soil amendment reached to each appropriate value range, respectively. In addition, the mixture amendments with BBA2, BBA3 CFP, WC( < 0.6mm), and WC(2.0-4.75mm) could ameliorate at a smaller amount of application rate in case of BBA only. And the exchangeable Al concentration decreased drastically with the increase in pH due to soil amelioration and was under the standard value. Lastly, the heavy metal (Cd, As, Se, Ni, Cr, Pb, Mo, B, Cu, Zn) contents in new soil amendments were under control standard values for agricultural use in China. Thus we could propose a new acid soil amelioration method using coal bio-briquette ash and waste concrete in China.
Flood Predicting in Karkheh River Basin Using Stochastic ARIMA Model
Floods have huge environmental and economic impact. Therefore, flood prediction is given a lot of attention due to its importance. This study analysed the annual maximum streamflow (discharge) (AMS or AMD) of Karkheh River in Karkheh River Basin for flood predicting using ARIMA model. For this purpose, we use the Box-Jenkins approach, which contains four stages method model identification, parameter estimation, diagnostic checking and forecasting (predicting). The main tool used in ARIMA modelling was the SAS and SPSS softwares. Model identification was done by visual inspection on the ACF and PACF. SAS software computed the model parameters using the ML, CLS and ULS methods. The diagnostic checking tests, AIC criterion, RACF graph and RPACF graphs, used for selected model verification. In this study, The best ARIMA models for Annual Maximum Discharge (AMD) time series was (4,1,1) with their AIC value of 88.87. The RACF and RPACF showed residuals’ independence. To forecast AMD for ten future years with this model showed the ability of the model to predict flood of the river under study in Karkheh River Basin. Model accuracy was checked by comparing between the predicted and observation series by coefficient of determination (R²).
Role of Arbuscular Mycorrhiza in Heavy Metal Tolerance in Sweet Basil Plants
The effects of phosphorus amendments and arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi Glomus intraradices on the sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum L.), chemical composition and percent of volatile oil, and metal accumulation in plants and its availability in soil were investigated in field experiment at two seasons 2012 and 2013 under contaminated soil with Pb and Cu. The content of essential oil and shoot and root dry weights of sweet basil was increased by the application of mineral phosphorus as compared to control. Inoculation with AM fungi reduced the metal concentration in shoot, recording a lowest value of (33.24, 18.60 mg/kg) compared to the control (46.49, 23.46 mg/kg) for Pb and Cu, respectively. Availability of Pb and Cu in soil were decreased after cultivation in all treatments compared to control. However, metal root concentration increased with the inoculation, with highest values of (30.15, 39.25 mg/kg)compared to control (22.01, 33.57mg/kg) for Pb and Cu, respectively. The content of linalool and methyl chavicol in basil oil was significantly increased in all treatments compared to control. We can thus conclude that the AM-sweet basil symbiosis could be employed as an approach to bioremediate polluted soils and enhance the yield and maintain the quality of volatile oil of sweet basil plants.
Influence of Litter Materials on Organs' Relative Weights, Meat Quality, Breast and Footpad Dermatitis of Broiler Chickens under Hot Humid Climate
Wood shavings are the most common materials used as litter in commercial broiler production in many areas in Nigeria. A study was conducted to determine the effects of litter materials on organ weights, meat quality, footpad, and breast dermatitis of broiler chickens under hot humid climate. One hundred and eighty broiler chicks of marshal strains were randomly assigned to three treatments of wood shavings, maize cobs and chopped Panicum maximum as litter materials replicated four (4) times with 15 birds each in a completely randomized design. Data were collected on the relative body weights, meat quality, breast and foot pad dermatitis. The result showed that birds reared on chopped Panicum maximum had higher relative weight on the liver than those reared on wood shavings and maize cobs. Spleen and bursa of Fabricius were not significantly affected by litter materials. There was no significant effect of litter materials on meat quality. The relative weight of thigh of birds reared on chopped Panicum maximum, and Maize cobs were similar but higher than those reared on Wood shavings. Fresh breast weight of birds reared on wood shavings was higher than those reared on chopped Panicum maximum and maize cobs. It was concluded that chopped Panicum maximum could serve as a replacement for wood shavings as a litter material for broiler chickens.
Effect of Phenolic Acids on Human Saliva: Evaluation by Diffusion and Precipitation Assays on Cellulose Membranes
Phenolic compounds are secondary metabolites present in some foods, such as wine. Polyphenols comprise two main groups: flavonoids (anthocyanins, flavanols, and flavonols) and non-flavonoids (stilbenes and phenolic acids). Phenolic acids are low molecular weight non flavonoid compounds that are usually grouped into benzoic (gallic, vanillinic and protocatechuic acids) and cinnamic acids (ferulic, p-coumaric and caffeic acids). Likewise, tannic acid is an important polyphenol constituted mainly by gallic acid. Phenolic compounds are responsible for important properties in foods and drinks, such as color, aroma, bitterness, and astringency. Astringency is a drying, roughing, and sometimes puckering sensation that is experienced on the various oral surfaces during or immediately after tasting foods. Astringency perception has been associated with interactions between flavanols present in some foods and salivary proteins. Despite the quantitative relevance of phenolic acids in food and beverages, there is no information about its effect on salivary proteins and consequently on the sensation of astringency. The objective of this study was assessed the interaction of several phenolic acids (gallic, vanillinic, protocatechuic, ferulic, p-coumaric and caffeic acids) with saliva. Tannic acid was used as control. Thus, solutions of each phenolic acids (5 mg/mL) were mixed with human saliva (1:1 v/v). After incubation for 5 min at room temperature, 15-μL aliquots of the mixtures were dotted on a cellulose membrane and allowed to diffuse. The dry membrane was fixed in 50 g/L trichloroacetic acid, rinsed in 800 mL/L ethanol and stained for protein with Coomassie blue for 20 min, destained with several rinses of 73 g/L acetic acid and dried under a heat lamp. Both diffusion area and stain intensity of the protein spots were semiqualitative estimates for protein-tannin interaction (diffusion test). The rest of the whole saliva-phenol solution mixtures of the diffusion assay were centrifuged and fifteen-μL aliquots of each supernatant were dotted on a cellulose membrane, allowed to diffuse and processed for protein staining, as indicated above. In this latter assay, reduced protein staining was taken as indicative of protein precipitation (precipitation test). The diffusion of the salivary protein was restricted by the presence of each phenolic acids (anti-diffusive effect), while tannic acid did not alter diffusion of the salivary protein. By contrast, phenolic acids did not provoke precipitation of the salivary protein, while tannic acid produced precipitation of salivary proteins. In addition, binary mixtures (mixtures of two components) of various phenolic acids with gallic acid provoked a restriction of saliva. Similar effect was observed by the corresponding individual phenolic acids. Contrary, binary mixtures of phenolic acid with tannic acid, as well tannic acid alone, did not affect the diffusion of the saliva but they provoked an evident precipitation. In summary, phenolic acids showed a relevant interaction with the salivary proteins, thus suggesting that these wine compounds can also contribute to the sensation of astringency.
Sediment Delivery from Hillslope Cultivation in Northwest Vietnam
Cultivating on hillslopes in Northwest Vietnam induced soil erosion that reduce overall soil fertility, capacity of water bodies and drainage ditches or channels, and enhance the risk of flooding, even obstruct traffics and create 'mud flooding or landslide’. This study aimed at assessing the magnitude of erosion under maize monocropping and perennial teak plantation on a rainstorm basic over two years 2010-2011 using double sediment fences installed at convergent point of catchments (slope inclination of 27-74%). Mean annual soil erosion under maize cultivation was 4.39 kg.m⁻², being far greater than that under teak plantation 1.65 kg.m⁻². Intensive tillage in maize monocropping and clearance of land before sowing was most probably the causes induced such effect as no tillage was performed in teak plantation during monitored period. Larger sediment generated across two land use types in year 2010 (4.11 kg.m⁻²) compared to year 2011 (1.87 kg.m⁻²) was attributed to higher amount and intensity of precipitation in the first year (1448 mm) as compared to the latter year (1299 mm). Reducing tillage and establishing good cover for maize monocropping on steep slopes, therefore, are necessary to reduce soil erosion and control sediment delivery to downstream.
The K to Ca+Mg Ratio Effect on Potassium Availability for Plants: 'Splitting Soil' from Plant-Related Interactions
The energy of K⁺ to (Ca²⁺ + Mg²⁺) exchange in soils, expressed as ∆F, represents the intensity factor in plant K nutrition. To elucidate whether the ratio K⁺/(Ca²⁺ + Mg²⁺) affects K nutrition of plants through plant physiological interactions, such as competition, or through soil-related interactions, the influence of various ratios of K concentration to (Ca+Mg) concentration on the growth and K uptake of tomato (Lycopersicum esculentum Mill.) plants was examined in soil, perlite, and hydroponic culture. Nutrient solutions with six combinations of four ∆F values (-3500 to -2000 cal mol⁻¹) and three K concentrations (0.2 to 1.8 mM) were used in a hydroponic experiment. Fertigation with three ΔF levels (-3600 to -3324 cal mol⁻¹) at a fixed K concentration (0.66 mM) and with three K concentrations (0.51 to 1.53 mM) at a fixed ΔF value (-3324 cal mol⁻¹) were used in a soilless perlite experiment. In the soil culture, a clayey soil (62% clay) with ∆F values of -5037, -3600 and -3200 cal mol⁻¹ and a sandy soil (92% sand) with ∆F values of -3200, -2834 and -2200 cal mol⁻¹ were used with N and P but no K fertigation during plant 30-days growth period. The two soils largely differed in their potential buffer capacity (PBC) for K availability, with PBC of 21.4 to 34.2 meq kg⁻¹ (Ca+Mg)⁰⋅⁵ (K)⁻¹ for the clayey soil and 1.1 to 1.7 meq kg⁻¹ (Ca+Mg)⁰⋅⁵ (K)⁻¹ for the sandy soil. In hydroponic culture, at a constant ∆F level, biomass yield and K uptake increased significantly (P ≤ 0.01) with increasing K concentration in the nutrient solution, but varying ∆F value at a constant K concentration did not result in any significant impact on yield or K uptake by the plants. In the perlite culture, increasing K concentrations in the nutrient solution resulted in a higher K concentration in the youngest mature leaves (p ≤ 0.05), regardless of the ΔF value of the solution, whilst decreasing ΔF of the solution had no significant impact on plant K concentration or plant growth. In contrast to the hydroponic and soilless culture, for both soils shoot K concentration and shoot dry weight were significantly correlated with the soil ∆F level and were affected by soil PBC. It is concluded that K uptake by tomato plants strongly depends on K concentration in the soil solution while the rather large root selectivity for K⁺ probably results in rather small effect of the competing cations Ca²⁺ and Mg²⁺. On the contrary, in soils, ∆F represents the soil-related energy needed for releasing K⁺ from its exchangeable positions in the soil. The energy needed for K⁺ extraction from the soil is ultimately invested by the plant and is related to the ratio between K⁺ and (Ca²⁺ + Mg²⁺) in the soil solution.
Effect of Slag Application to Soil Chemical Properties and Rice Yield on Acid Sulphate Soils with Different Pyrite Depth
The expansion of marginal soil such as acid sulphate soils for the development of staple crops, including rice was unavoidable. However, acid sulphate soils were less suitable for rice field due to the low fertility and the threats of pyrite oxidation. An experiment using Randomized Complete Block Design was designed to investigate the effect of slag in stabilizing soil reaction (pH), improving soil fertility and rice yield. Experiments were conducted in two locations with different pyrite depth. The results showed that slag application was able to decrease the exchangeable Al and available iron (Fe) as well as increase the soil pH, available-P, soil exchangeable Ca2+, Mg2+, and K+. Furthermore, the slag application increased the plant nutrient uptakes, particularly N, P, K, followed by the increasing of rice yield significantly. Nutrients availability, nutrient uptake, and rice yield were higher in the shallow pyrite soil instead of the deep pyrite soil. In addition, slag application was economically feasible due to the ability to reduce standard fertilizer requirements.
Issues and Challenges for Plantation Agriculture in Cameron Highlands: Interpretations from Socio-Anthropological Viewpoints
Cameron Highlands (4°28’N, 101°23’E) is an attractive mountainous region with steep slopes located in the state of Pahang, Malaysia stretching between 1070 and 1830 m above sea level with a total land area of 71,218ha. It is one of the few places in Malaysia that has a tropical highland climate as the mean annual temperature of it is 18 °C (64 °F) thus making the atmosphere perfect for specialized agriculture. Being ecologically suitable, Cameron Highlands has recently been identified as a very strategic farming area, producing multifarious vegetables, flowers, and tea with a commercial motive of marketing them to Singapore and all over the urban areas of Malaysia to meet the domestic and international demands. The main intricacies of this plantation agriculture are fully dependent on the policies formulated by a group of emerging entrepreneurs who employ foreign labourers to make these agricultural activities a success in the agrarian sector in Malaysia. Based on the socio-anthropological perspective, the paper entirely relies on empirical field data generated by interviewing 10 farm owners and 200 foreign workers to find out the intricacies of this plantation agriculture which makes the research innovative and pragmatically significant. The paper deals with important issues relating to this productive plantation agriculture of Cameron Highlands and as such narrates the various exceptional and holistic skills adopted for this type of farming.
Comparison of Fat Soluble Vitamins, Carotenoids and Cholesterol Content in Mytilus galloprovincialis, Rapana venosa and Ulva rigida from the Black Sea
Many studies suggest that marine mollusks are healthy food, characterized by low fat and high digestible proteins content. They are one of the most important dietary sources of fat soluble vitamins. The most common species of mollusks in the Bulgarian Black Sea waters are the black mussel (Mytilus galloprovincialis) and the sea snail Rapana (Rapana venosa). One of the main problems of the region is the lack of information about chemical composition of these important marine species. Due to these facts, the aim of the present work was to determine the fat soluble vitamins A, D2, D3, and E, carotenoids–β-carotene and astaxanthin, and total cholesterol contents of mollusk samples and compare them to sample of green algae (Ulva rigida). Samples were collected during autumn from north region of the Black Sea coast, and their wet tissues were used for evaluation of vitamins A, D2, D3, and E, astaxanthin, β-carotene and cholesterol compositions. All fat soluble analytes were simultaneously analyzed by RP- HPLC/UV/FL system. The results were calculated as milligrams per gram total lipid (mg.g-1TL). Alpha-tocopherol and b-carotene were most abundant in algae samples, while mussel samples presented the highest amounts of vitamin D3 (several times higher than the recommended daily intake in Bulgaria (Ordinance № 23 / 19.07.2005)). In all samples, cholesterol content was significantly low, which falls within recommendation of the same ordinance (upper daily consumption should not exceed 300 mg per day). From data, it can be concluded that all samples were characterized as beneficial sources of biologically active compounds.
Effect of Modification on the Properties of Blighia sapida (Ackee) Seed Starch
Blighia sapida (Ackee) seed is a neglected and under-utilised crop. The fruit is cultivated for the aril which is used as meat substitute in soup while the seed is discarded. The seed is toxic due to the presence of hypoglycin which causes vomiting and death. The seed is shining black and bigger than the legume seeds. The seed contains high starch content which could serve as a cheap source of starch hereby reducing wastage of the crop during its season. Native starch had limitation in their use; therefore, modification of starch had been reported to improve the functional properties of starches. Therefore, this work determined the effect of modification on the properties of Blighia sapida seed starch. Blighia sapida seed was dehulled manually, milled and the starch extracted using standard method. The starch was subjected to modification using four methods (acid, alkaline, oxidized and acetylated methods). The morphological structure, form factor, granule size, amylose, swelling power, hypoglycin and pasting properties of the starches were determined. The structure of Blighia sapida using light microscope showed that the seed starch demonstrated an oval, round, elliptical, dome-shaped and also irregular shape. The form factors of the starch ranged from 0.32-0.64. Blighia sapida seed starches were smaller in granule sizes ranging from 2-6 µm. Acid modified starch had the highest amylose content (24.83%) and was significantly different ( < 0.05) from other starches. Blighia sapida seed starches showed a progressive increase in swelling power as temperature increased in native, acidified, alkalized, oxidized and acetylated starches but reduced with increasing temperature in pregelatinized starch. Hypoglycin A ranged from 3.89 to 5.74 mg/100 g with pregelatinized starch having the lowest value and alkalized starch having the highest value. Hypoglycin B ranged from 7.17 to 8.47 mg/100 g. Alkali-treated starch had higher peak viscosity (3973 cP) which was not significantly different (p > 0.05) from the native starch. Alkali-treated starch also was significantly different (p > 0.05) from other starches in holding strength value while acetylated starch had higher breakdown viscosity (1161.50 cP). Native starch was significantly different (p > 0.05) from other starches in final and setback viscosities. Properties of Blighia sapida modified starches showed that it could be used as a source of starch in food and other non-food industries and the toxic compound found in the starch was very low when compared to lethal dosage.
Proximate Composition, Colour and Sensory Properties of Akara egbe Prepared from Bambara Groundnut
Bambara groundnut is an underutilised leguminous crop that has a similar composition to cowpea. Hence, it could be used in making traditional snack usually produced from cowpea paste. In this study, akara egbe, a traditional snack was prepared from Bambara groundnut flour or paste. Cowpea was included as the reference sample. The proximate composition and functional properties of the flours were studies as well as the proximate composition and sensory properties of the resulting akara egbe. Protein and carbohydrate were the main components of Bambara groundnut and cowpea grains. Ash, fat and fiber contents were low. Bambara groundnut flour had higher protein content (23.71%) than cowpea (19.47%). In terms of functional properties, the oil absorption capacity (0.75 g oil/g flour) of Bambara groundnut flour was significantly (p ≤ 0.05) lower than that of the cowpea (0.92 g oil/g flour), whereas, Cowpea flour absorbed more water (1.59 g water/g flour) than Bambara groundnut flour (1.12 g/g). The packed bulk density (0.92 g/mL) of Bambara groundnut was significantly (p ≤ 0.05) higher than cowpea flour (0.82 g/mL). Akara egbe prepared from Bambara groundnut flour showed significantly (p ≤ 0.05) higher protein content (23.41%) than the sample made from Bambara groundnut paste (19.35%). Akara egbe prepared from cowpea paste had higher ratings in aroma, colour, taste, crunchiness and overall acceptability than those made from cowpea flour or Bambara groundnut paste or flour. Bambara groundnut can produce akara egbe with comparable nutritional and sensory properties to that made from cowpea.
Heavy Metal Contamination of a Dumpsite Environment as Assessed with Pollution Indices
Indiscriminate refuse dumping in and around Ado-Ekiti, combined with improper management of few available dumpsites such as Ilokun dumpsite posed threat of heavy metals pollution in the surrounding soils and underground water that needs assessment using pollution indices. Surface soils (0-15 cm) were taken from the centre of Ilokun dumpsite (0 m) and the environs at different directions and distances during the dry and wet seasons and a background sample at 1000 m away, adjacent to the dumpsite at Ilokun, Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria. The concentration of heavy metals used to calculate the pollution indices for the soils was determined using Atomic Adsorption Spectrophotometer. The soils recorded high concentrations of all the heavy metals above the background concentrations irrespective of the season with highest concentrations at the 0 m except Ni and Fe at 50 m during the dry and wet season respectively. The heavy metals concentration were in the order of Ni > Mn > Pb > Cr > Cu > Cd > Fe during the dry season, and Fe > Cr > Cu > Pb > Ni > Cd > Mn during the wet season. Using the Contamination Factor (CF), the soils were classified to be moderately contaminated with Cd and Fe to very high contamination with other metals during the dry season and low Cd contamination (0.87), moderate contamination with Fe, Pb, Mn and Ni and very high contamination with Cr and Cu during the wet season. At both seasons, Pollution Load Index (PLI) indicates the soils to be generally polluted with heavy metals and the Geoaccumulation Index (Igeo) calculated shown the soils to be in unpolluted to moderately polluted levels. Enrichment Factor (EF) implied the soils to be deficiently enriched with all the heavy metals except Cr (7.90) and Cu (6.42) that were at significantly enrichment levels during the wet season. Modified Degree of Contamination (mCd) recorded, indicated the soils to be of very high to extremely high degree of contamination during the dry season and moderate degree of contamination during the wet season except 0 m with a high degree of contamination. The concentration of heavy metals in the soils combined with some of the pollution indices indicated the soils in and around the Ilokun Dumpsite are being polluted with heavy metals from anthropogenic sources constituted by the indiscriminate refuse dumping.
Utilization of Na-Bentonite to Improve pH-Buffering Capacity of Acid Sulfate Soils in Natural Gas Transmission Pipeline Rights-of-Way, Thailand
Commercialization and urbanization need sufficient energy supply. The energy can be generated from petroleum sources such as fossil fuels and natural gas. Currently, the construction of natural gas transmission pipeline in Thailand has been widely expanded for energy supply. Nevertheless, the pipeline construction by horizontal direction drill method usually uses Na-bentonite as a drilling mud which may or may not be beneficial to the environment. Na-bentonite that was used from construction activity is an alkaline material. Therefore this property may improve severe acidic conditions of major agricultural acid sulfate soils in natural gas transmission pipeline rights-of-way (RoW). This study mainly focused on the effects of Na-bentonite on pH buffering capacity (pHBC) of acid sulfate soils. Knowing pHBC is effectively useful for estimating the appropriate rate of Na-bentonite. Five major acid sulfate soils in former coastal plain of Thailand were collected and classified as Typic Sulfaquepts, Sulfic Endoaquepts, and Typic Endoaquepts. These soils were prepared and incubated with incremental amount of 0.4 M Ca(OH)2 and 0.4 M HCl for 24 hours prior to measure their pH. The slopes of linear regressions from each titration curve were used as a measure of pHBC. Alkalinity derived from each pHBC was used to define the rate of Na-bentonite that was equivalent to moles of OH at pH 6.0. The Na-bentonite was mixed with different ratios (soil:Na-bentonite) of 1:0.1, 1:0.15, 1:0.2, 1:0.3, 1:0.4, 1:0.5, 1:1 to examine the Na-bentonite efficiency in changing soil pH. The results showed that the studied soils had low pH change respect to the added amount of OH-, indicating high pHBC. Moreover, soil pH increased with the increasing rate of Na-bentonite. Na-bentonite can effectively decrease pHBC of acid sulfate soils, thereby facilitating further liming. Our findings imply that drilling Na-bentonite benefit to acid sulfate soils in the natural gas transmission pipeline RoW, Thailand.
Characterization of Phenolic Compounds from Carménère Wines during Aging with Oak Wood (Staves, Chips and Barrels)
Wine is an important source of polyphenols. Red wines show important concentrations of nonflavonoid (gallic acid, ellagic acid, caffeic acid and coumaric acid) and flavonoid compounds [(+)-catechin, (-)-epicatechin, (+)-gallocatechin and (-)-epigallocatechin]. However, a significant variability in the quantitative and qualitative distribution of chemical constituents in wine has to be expected depending on an array of important factors, such as the varietal differences of Vitis vinifera and cultural practices. It has observed that Carménère grapes present a differential composition and evolution of phenolic compounds when compared to other varieties and specifically with Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. Likewise, among the cultural practices, the aging in contact with oak wood is a high relevance factor. Then, the extraction of different polyphenolic compounds from oak wood into wine during its ageing process produces both qualitative and quantitative changes. Recently, many new techniques have been introduced in winemaking. One of these involves putting new pieces of wood (oak chips or inner staves) into inert containers. It offers some distinct and previously unavailable flavour advantages, as well as new options in wine handling. To our best knowledge, there is not information about the behaviour of Carménère wines (Chilean emblematic cultivar) in contact with oak wood. In addition, the effect of aging time and wood product (barrels, chips or staves) on the phenolic composition in Carménère wines has not been studied. This study aims at characterizing the condensed and hydrolyzable tannins from Carménère wines during the aging with staves, chips and barrels from French oak wood. The experimental design was completely randomized with two independent assays: aging time (0-12 month) and different formats of wood (barrel, chips and staves). The wines were characterized by spectrophotometric (total tannins and fractionation of proanthocyanidins into monomers, oligomers and polymers) and HPLC-DAD (ellagitannins) analysis. The wines in contact with different products of oak wood showed a similar content of total tannins during the study, while the control wine (without oak wood) presented a lower content of these compounds. In addition, it was observed that the polymeric proanthocyanidin fraction was the most abundant, while the monomeric fraction was the less abundant fraction in all treatments in two sample. However, significative differences in each fractions were observed between wines in contact from barrel, chips, and staves in two sample dates. Finally, the wine from barrels presented the highest content of the ellagitannins from the fourth to the last sample date. In conclusion, the use of alternative formats of oak wood affects the chemical composition of wines during aging, and these enological products are an interesting alternative to contribute with tannins to wine.
Effect of Different Chemical Concentrations on Control of Dodder (Cuscuta campestris Yunck.) in Vitex (Agnus castus)
Pot experiment was conducted at the landscape unit of Modibbo Adama University of Technology, Yola in 2015 and 2016 to determine the effect of some chemicals namely glyphosate, salt and detergent on Golden dodder (Cuscuta campestris Yunk). The experiment was laid in a completely randomized design (CRD) with three replications. The treatments include the following: glyphosate-T0= (control),(Og a.i/ha-1) T1=35g a.i/ha-1, T2=70g a.i/ha-1, T3=105g a.i/ha-1, T4=140 a.i/ha-1 and T5=175g a.i/ha-1: Salt (T0=control O mole/ha-1 T1=1mole/ha-1 T2=2mole/ha-1, T3=3mole/ha-1 , T4=4mole/ha-1 and T5=5mole/ha-1:washing detergent T0=Og/ha-1(control), T1=30ml detergent +70ml distilled water T2=45ml detergent+65ml distilled water T3=60ml detergent+40ml distilled water, T4=75ml detergent+25ml distilled water and T5=90ml detergent +10mldistilled water, the treatments were replicated three times. Data were collected include: plant height, number of leaves, leaf area, leaf area index and Cuscuta cover score at 3,6,9and 12 weeks after sprouting(WAS). Biomas of Vitex was also collected at the end of the experiment. Data collected were analyzed using software Genstat version 8.0. Results showed that glyphosate gave the least Cuscuta cover score and the tallest Vitex plant. However, detergent mildly controlled Cuscuta, while salt has no effect on Cuscuta campestris indicating that glyphosate could be used in the control of parasitic dodder (Cuscuta campestris) on Vitex plant.
Study of Receiving Opportunity of Water Soluble and Non-Ballast Micro Fertilizer on the Base of Manganese-Containing Materials
From the raw material base existed in Georgia (manganese ores, manganese containing mud), particularly, within the point of view of production availability, especial interest is paid to micro- fertilizers containing manganese. As a result of conducted investigation, there was established receiving of such manganese containing materials on the basis of manganese raw-material base (ore, mud) existed in Georgia, which shall be able to maximally provide assimilation ability of manganese, as microelement, in the desired period of time. And also, determinant of effectiveness and competitiveness of received materials with new composition shall become high content (more than 30%) of microelements in them (in comparison with existed similar products), when the total sum of useful components presented in them (active i.e. assimilated) is more than 50-70%, i.e. received materials belong to the materials having low-ballast and functionally revealed possibilities.
Aromatic and Medicinal Plants in Morocco: Diversity and Socio-Economic Role
Morocco, with its richness and diversity in aromatic and medicinal plants, is among the countries in Africa and the world which has accumulated over the years very important traditional knowledge in the use of aromatic and medicinal plants. This ancestral knowledge has been preserved over the centuries. In effect, the poverty of riparian, especially mountain populations have greatly contributed to the development of traditional pharmacopeia in Morocco. The analysis of the bibliographic data showed that a large number of plants in Morocco are exploited for aromatic and medicinal purposes and several of them are commercialized internationally. Currently, Morocco is ranked the 12th exporter of aromatic and medicinal plants in the world and still has great potential to expand towards a global market. However, these potentialities of aromatic and medicinal plants are currently subjected to very bad pressures by local populations which hinder their development. These pressures will have a serious impact on plants that are exploited for their roots, on plants with very limited areas and rare and endemic plants.
Effect of Climatic Change on the Life Activities of Schistocerca Graria from Thar Desert, Sindh, Pakistan
Pakistan has the sandy Thar Desert in the eastern area, which share border line with India and has exotic fauna and flora, the livelihood of native people rely on livestock and rain fed cultivated fields. The climate of Thar Desert is very harsh and stressful due to frequent drought and very little rainfall, which may occur during monsoon season in the months of July to October and temperature is high, and wind speed also increases in April to June. Schistocerca gregaria is a destructive pest of vegetation from Mauritania to the border line of Pakistan and India. Sometimes they produce swarms which consume all plant where ever they land down and cause the loss in agro-economy of the world. During the recent study, we observed that vegetation was not unique throughout the Thar Desert in the year 2015, because the first spell of rainfall showered over all areas of the Thar Desert in July. However, the second and third spell of rain was confined to village Mahandre jo par and surroundings from August to October. Consequently, vegetation and cultivated crops grew up specially bajra crop (Pennistum glaucum). The climate of Mahandre jo par and surroundings became favorable for S.gregaria, and remaining areas of Thar Desert went hostile. Therefore desert locust attracted to the pleasant area (Mahandre jo par and surroundings) and gradually concentrated, increased reproductive activities, but did not gregarize due to the harvest of bajra crop and the onset of the winter season with an immediate decrease in temperature. An outbreak was near to come into existence, and thereupon conditions become stressful for hoppers to continue further development. Afore mentioned was one reason behind hurdle to the outbreak, another reason might be that migration and concentration of desert locust took place at the end of the season, so climate becomes unfavorable for hoppers, due to dryness of vegetation. Soils also become dry, because rainfall was not showered in end of the season, that’s why eggs that were deposited in late summer were desiccated. This data might be proved fruitful to forecast any outbreak update in future.
A Perceptive Study on Oviposition Behavior and Selection of Host Plant for Egg Laying in Schistocerca gregaria
Desert Locust is a critical pest of crop and non-crop plants throughout the old world including Pakistan. Geographically, this pest invades 31 million km2 in about 60 countries during the gregarious phase which may bring calamity. The present study is carried out in order to conduct field observations on oviposition behavior from Thar Desert, Pakistan. Females preferred loose soil for oviposition rather than packed or hard soil. The depth of egg pods inside the soil was measured up to 8.996±1.40 cm, and duration of egg laying was measured up to 105.9±26.4 min. Besides this, an insightful recognition has been made that the solitary females oviposited predominantly in the vicinity of pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum) and guar or cluster bean (Cyamopsis tetragonoloba) crops in cultivated fields while in uncultivated land preferred the surroundings of bekar grass (Indigofera caerulea) and snow bush (Aerva javanica). It was also observed that nymphs preferred to feed on these host plants. Furthermore, experimental outcomes indicated that gravid females oviposited on the bottom of perforated plastic cages while, they did not find suitable soil for oviposition.
Assessment of Tolerance Mechanisms in African and European Honeybees against Varroa destructor
Varroa destructor is the greatest threat to honeybee health especially in Europe and North America. The mite feeds on the fat body of honeybees while transmitting deadly pathogens to these bees, thereby causing serious physical and physiological injuries. Contrary to their European counterparts, African honeybees can survive mite infestations without miticide treatment. The underlying mechanisms responsible for the tolerance of African honeybees to mite attack are unknown. We carried out a comparative assessment of behavioral mechanisms such as adult mite infestation levels, daily mite fall per colony and percentage mite damage (as an indicator of adult grooming behavior) and brood removal rate (as an indicator of hygienic behavior) in the African savannah honeybee Apis mellifera scutellata in Kenya and A. mellifera hybrids of European origin in Florida, USA against the mite. Two undescribed types of damages to the mite were found in colonies of both honeybee subspecies. Brood removal rate, adult grooming rate, and daily natural mite fall were statistically similar in both honeybee subspecies despite the fact that adult mite infestation level was approximately three-fold higher in A. mellifera hybrids of European origin than in A. m. scutellata. Unlike A. mellifera hybrids of European origin, there was no correlation between brood removal rate, adult grooming rate with mite infestation levels on adult worker honeybee of A. m. scutellata though they were more aggressive towards the mites than their European counterparts. Our findings provide valuable information into the tolerance mechanisms that contribute to the survival of A. m. scutellata against the mite.