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Organic farmers use of wild food plants and fungi in a hilly area in Styria (Austria). 📎

Abstract Title: Organic farmers use of wild food plants and fungi in a hilly area in Styria (Austria). Abstract Source: J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2010 ;6:17. Epub 2010 Jun 21. PMID: 20565945 Abstract Author(s): Christoph Schunko, Christian R Vogl Article Affiliation: Working Group: Knowledge Systems and Innovations, Division of Organic Farming, Department for Sustainable Agricultural Systems, University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences (BOKU), Gregor-Mendel Strasse 33, 1180 Vienna, Austria. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Abstract: BACKGROUND: Changing lifestyles have recently caused a severe reduction of the gathering of wild food plants. Knowledge about wild food plants and the local environment becomes lost when plants are no longer gathered. In Central Europe popular scientific publications have tried to counter this trend. However, detailed and systematic scientific investigations in distinct regions are needed to understand and preserve wild food uses. This study aims to contribute to these investigations. METHODS: Research was conducted in the hill country east of Graz, Styria, in Austria. Fifteen farmers, most using organic methods, were interviewed in two distinct field research periods between July and November 2008. Data gathering was realized through freelisting and subsequent semi-structured interviews. The culinary use value (CUV) was developed to quantify the culinary importance of plant species. Hierarchical cluster analysis was performed on gathering and use variables to identify culture-specific logical entities of plants. The study presented was conducted within the framework of the master's thesis about wild plant gathering of the first author. Solely data on gathered wild food species is presented here. RESULTS: Thirty-nine wild food plant and mushroom species were identified as being gathered, whereas 11 species were mentioned by at least 40 percent of the respondents. Fruits and mushrooms are listed frequently, while wild leafy vegetables are gathered rarely. Wild foods are mainly eaten boiled, fried or raw. Three main clusters of wild gathered food species were identified: leaves (used in salads and soups), mushrooms (used in diverse ways) and fruits (eaten raw, with milk (products) or as a jam). CONCLUSIONS: Knowledge about gathering and use of some wild food species is common among farmers in the hill country east of Graz. However, most uses are known by few farmers only. The CUV facilitates the evaluation of the culinary importance of species and makes comparisons between regions and over time possible. The classification following gathering and use variables can be used to better understand how people classify the elements of their environment. The findings of this study add to discussions about food heritage, popularized by organizations like Slow Food, and bear significant potential for organic farmers. Article Published Date : Jan 01, 2010
Therapeutic Actions Organic Farming

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Biochar additions alter phosphorus and nitrogen availability in agricultural ecosystems: A meta-analysis.

Related Articles Biochar additions alter phosphorus and nitrogen availability in agricultural ecosystems: A meta-analysis. Sci Total Environ. 2018 Nov 09;654:463-472 Authors: Gao S, DeLuca TH, Cleveland CC Abstract Biochar is a carbon (C) rich product of thermochemical conversion of organic material that is used as a soil amendment due to its resistance to decomposition and its influence on nutrient dynamics; however, individual studies on biochar effects on phosphorus (P) and nitrogen (N) have proven inconsistent. Herein, we performed a meta-analysis of 124 published studies to evaluate the influence of biochar on available P, microbial biomass P (MBP), and inorganic N (NO3--N and NH4+-N) in global agricultural ecosystems. Overall, the results showed that biochar applications significantly increased surface soil available P by 45% and MBP by 48% across the full range of biochar characteristics, soil type, or experimental conditions. By contrast, biochar addition to soil reduced NO3--N concentrations by 12% and NH4+-N by 11%, but in most cases biochar added in combination with organic fertilizer significantly increased soil NH4+-N compared to controls. Biochar C:N ratio and biochar source (feedstock) strongly influenced soil P availability response to biochar where inorganic N was most influenced by biochar C:N ratio and soil pH. Biochar made from manure or other low C:N ratio materials, generated at low temperatures, or applied at high rates were generally more effective at enhancing soil available P. It is important, however, to note that most negative results were observed in short-term (<6 months) where long-term studies (>12 months) tended to result in neutral to modest positive effects on both P and N. This meta-analysis indicates that biochar generally enhances soil P availability when added to soils alone or in combination with fertilizer. These findings provide a scientific basis for developing more rational strategies toward widespread adoption of biochar as a soil amendment for agricultural P and N management. PMID: 30447585 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Fate of pharmaceuticals in a spray-irrigation system: From wastewater to groundwater.

Related Articles Fate of pharmaceuticals in a spray-irrigation system: From wastewater to groundwater. Sci Total Environ. 2018 Nov 06;654:197-208 Authors: Kibuye FA, Gall HE, Elkin KR, Ayers B, Veith TL, Miller M, Jacob S, Hayden KR, Watson JE, Elliott HA Abstract Land application of wastewater effluent is beneficial for recharging groundwater aquifers and avoiding direct pollutant discharges to surface waters. However, the fate of non-regulated organic wastewater pollutants, such as pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs), in such wastewater reuse systems is understudied. Here, a 14-month study (October 2016 through December 2017) was conducted to evaluate the fate and potential risks of seven commonly used PPCPs in a local wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) and from 13 groundwater monitoring wells at a spray-irrigation site where effluent has been spray-irrigated since the early 1980s. Acetaminophen and trimethoprim were the most frequently detected (93%) PPCPs in WWTP influent, while in the effluent, caffeine and trimethoprim were detected most frequently (70%). Wastewater treatment generally reduced concentrations of acetaminophen and caffeine by >88%; however, some compounds had low removal or were present at higher concentrations in the effluent compared with influent (e.g. naproxen, sulfamethoxazole, trimethoprim and ofloxacin). Seasonal trends were observed, with higher PPCP concentrations in the WWTP influent and effluent in the winter. Risk calculations conducted on the wastewater effluent suggest that the risk posed by PPCPs that persisted in the effluent are medium to high to aquatic organisms. Detection frequencies of PPCPs were lower in groundwater samples compared to the effluent, with sulfamethoxazole (40%) and caffeine (32%) as the most frequently detected compounds. Similarly, average concentrations of PPCPs in groundwater were found to be nearly two orders of magnitude lower than concentrations in the effluent. Minimal seasonal influence was observed for groundwater samples. Human health risk assessments indicate that concentrations in groundwater, which is used as a drinking water source, appear to pose minimal risk. PMID: 30445321 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Analysis of glycerophospholipid metabolism after exposure to PCB153 in PC12 cells through targeted lipidomics by UHPLC-MS/MS.

Related Articles Analysis of glycerophospholipid metabolism after exposure to PCB153 in PC12 cells through targeted lipidomics by UHPLC-MS/MS. Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2018 Nov 13;169:120-127 Authors: Wang X, Xu Y, Song X, Jia Q, Zhang X, Qian Y, Qiu J Abstract Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are persistent organic pollutants (POPs) that have neurotoxicity, reproductive toxicity, hepatotoxicity and immunotoxicity in both animals and humans. Few studies have focused on the changes to endogenous glycerophospholipid metabolism caused by PCB153. To evaluate the relationships between exposure to PCB153 and specific endogenous glycerophospholipid metabolism, an ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS/MS) method was implemented in this study. Twenty-two endogenous glycerophospholipids in PC12 cells were analyzed after exposure to PCB153 at dosages of 0.05 μg mL-1, 0.5 μg mL-1 or 20 μg mL-1 for 120 h. PC(14:0/14:0), PE(16:0/18:1), PE(16:0/18:2), PS(18:0/18:1) and PI(16:0/18:1) were identified as potential biomarkers under the rules of t-test (P) value < 0.05 and variable importance at projection (VIP) value > 1. It was also found that the alterations at 0.05 μg mL-1 and 20 μg mL-1 PCB153 were similar at 120 h, while 0.5 μg mL-1 PCB153 presented an opposite trend. Additionally, significant upregulation of PC, PE and PS with the same fatty acid chains of 18:0/18:2 was found after exposure to 0.05 μg mL-1 and 20 μg mL-1 PCB153 at 120 h. This study revealed that PCB153 exposure modulated 22 endogenous glycerophospholipids in PC12 cells and provided the basis for the further study of PCB153 on the effects of glycerophospholipids on PC12 cells. PMID: 30445242 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Net energy of oat bran, wheat bran, and palm kernel expellers fed to growing pigs using indirect calorimetry.

Related Articles Net energy of oat bran, wheat bran, and palm kernel expellers fed to growing pigs using indirect calorimetry. Anim Sci J. 2018 Nov 15;: Authors: Lyu Z, Huang B, Li Z, Wang Z, Chen Y, Zhang S, Lai C Abstract The objectives of this experiment were to (a) determine the effects of fiber increase in diets on heat production (HP), (b) determine the net energy (NE) of oat bran (OB), wheat bran (WB), and palm kernel expellers (PKE) fed to growing pigs using indirect calorimetry (IC). Twenty-four growing barrows (29.2 ± 2.6 kg) were randomly allotted to one of four diets with six replicate pigs per diet. Diets included a corn-soybean meal basal diet and three test diets containing 30% OB, WB or PKE, respectively. During each period, pigs were individually housed in metabolism crates for 20 days, including 14 days to adapt to the diets. On day (d) 15, pigs were transferred to the open-circuit respiration chambers for determination of daily total HP and were fed one of the four diets at 2.3MJ ME/kg body weight (BW)0.6 /day. Total feces and urine were collected for the determination of digestible energy (DE) and metabolizable energy (ME) and daily total HP was measured from d 15 to d 19 and fasted on day 20 for the measurement of fasting heat production (FHP). The apparent total tract digestibility (ATTD) of dry matter (DM), gross energy (GE), and organic matter (OM) were greater (p < 0.01) in pigs fed the basal diet compared with those fed the test diets. The ATTD of neutral detergent fiber (NDF) was lower (p < 0.01) in pigs fed the WB diet compared with those fed the basal, OB, or PKE diets. The ATTD of ether extract (EE) in pigs fed the PKE diet was greater (p < 0.01) compared with those fed the other diets. The average total HP and FHP in pigs fed the four diets were 1261 and 787 kJ/kg BW0.6 /d, respectively, and were not significantly affected by diet characteristics. The NE:ME ratio for diets ranged from 78.1 to 80.9%. The NE contents of OB, WB, and PKE were 10.93, 7.47, and 8.71 MJ/kg DM, respectively. PMID: 30444062 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Safety of Safety Evaluation of Pesticides: developmental neurotoxicity of chlorpyrifos and chlorpyrifos-methyl.

Related Articles Safety of Safety Evaluation of Pesticides: developmental neurotoxicity of chlorpyrifos and chlorpyrifos-methyl. Environ Health. 2018 Nov 16;17(1):77 Authors: Mie A, Rudén C, Grandjean P Abstract Authorization of pesticides for market release requires toxicity testing on animals, typically performed by test laboratories on contract with the pesticide producer. The latter provides the results and summary to the regulatory authorities. For the commonly used pesticide chlorpyrifos, an industry-funded toxicity study concludes that no selective effects on neurodevelopment occur even at high exposures. In contrast, the evidence from independent studies points to adverse effects of current exposures on cognitive development in children. We reviewed the industry-funded developmental neurotoxicity test data on chlorpyrifos and the related substance chlorpyrifos-methyl. We noted treatment-related changes in a brain dimension measure for chlorpyrifos at all dose levels tested, although not been reported in the original test summary. We further found issues which inappropriately decrease the ability of the studies to reveal true effects, including a dosage regimen that resulted in too low exposure of the nursing pups for chlorpyrifos and possibly for chlorpyrifos-methyl, and a failure to detect any neurobehavioral effects of lead nitrate used as positive control in the chlorpyrifos study. Our observations thus suggest that conclusions in test reports submitted by the producer may be misleading. This discrepancy affects the ability of regulatory authorities to perform a valid and safe evaluation of these pesticides. The difference between raw data and conclusions in the test reports indicates a potential existence of bias that would require regulatory attention and possible resolution. PMID: 30442131 [PubMed - in process]

Degradation of Triclosan and Carbamazepine in Two Agricultural and Garden Soils with Different Textures Amended with Composted Sewage Sludge.

Related Articles Degradation of Triclosan and Carbamazepine in Two Agricultural and Garden Soils with Different Textures Amended with Composted Sewage Sludge. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018 Nov 14;15(11): Authors: Shao Y, Yang K, Jia R, Tian C, Zhu Y Abstract Composted sewage sludge (CSS) has been extensively used in agriculture and landscaping, offering a practical solution for waste disposal. However, some pharmaceutical and personal care products (PPCPs) like triclosan (TCS) and carbamazepine (CBZ) have restricted its land application. In this study, CSS was added to agricultural soil and garden soil at 0%, 5%, 10%, and 25% (w/w soil), and 4 mL of TCS and CBZ stock solution (1000 mg/L in methanol) was spiked into soil amended with CSS of each bottle to arrive at the concentration of 10 mg/kg. Samples were then collected after incubation for 120 days and analyzed for concentrations and half-life (t1/2) of TCS and CBZ, and soil physicochemical properties, together with enzyme activities. The results showed that TCS was degraded completely during the incubation period. In contrast, only about 5.82⁻21.43% CBZ was degraded. CSS amendment inhibited TCS and CBZ degradation and prolonged t1/2 compared to the control, and the t1/2 of TCS and CBZ increased with CSS addition amount in all treatments except for CBZ in the garden soil amended with 10% CSS. Correlation studies showed a significantly positive relationship between t1/2 of TCS and CBZ and total organic carbon (TOC), while a significantly negative relationship between t1/2 of the two PPCPs and pH was observed. Alkaline phosphatase showed a significantly negative relationship with the Ct/C₀ of TCS in garden soil amended with 25% CSS and CBZ in the control. The urease activity was negatively correlated with the Ct/C₀ of TCS in 10% and 25% CSS treatments and CBZ in 10% CSS treatment for garden soil. PMID: 30441878 [PubMed - in process]

Sediment starvation destroys New York City marshes' resistance to sea level rise.

Related Articles Sediment starvation destroys New York City marshes' resistance to sea level rise. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 10 09;115(41):10281-10286 Authors: Peteet DM, Nichols J, Kenna T, Chang C, Browne J, Reza M, Kovari S, Liberman L, Stern-Protz S Abstract New York City (NYC) is representative of many vulnerable coastal urban populations, infrastructures, and economies threatened by global sea level rise. The steady loss of marshes in NYC's Jamaica Bay is typical of many urban estuaries worldwide. Essential to the restoration and preservation of these key wetlands is an understanding of their sedimentation. Here we present a reconstruction of the history of mineral and organic sediment fluxes in Jamaica Bay marshes over three centuries, using a combination of density measurements and a detailed accretion model. Accretion rate is calculated using historical land use and pollution markers, through a wide variety of sediment core analyses including geochemical, isotopic, and paleobotanical analyses. We find that, since 1800 CE, urban development dramatically reduced the input of marsh-stabilizing mineral sediment. However, as mineral flux decreased, organic matter flux increased. While this organic accumulation increase allowed vertical accumulation to outpace sea level, reduced mineral content causes structural weakness and edge failure. Marsh integrity now requires mineral sediment addition to both marshes and subsurface channels and borrow pits, a solution applicable to drowning estuaries worldwide. Integration of marsh mineral/organic accretion history with modeling provides parameters for marsh preservation at specific locales with sea level rise. PMID: 30249641 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Identification of Chemotaxis Compounds in Root Exudates and Their Sensing Chemoreceptors in Plant-Growth-Promoting Rhizobacteria Bacillus amyloliquefaciens SQR9.

Related Articles Identification of Chemotaxis Compounds in Root Exudates and Their Sensing Chemoreceptors in Plant-Growth-Promoting Rhizobacteria Bacillus amyloliquefaciens SQR9. Mol Plant Microbe Interact. 2018 10;31(10):995-1005 Authors: Feng H, Zhang N, Du W, Zhang H, Liu Y, Fu R, Shao J, Zhang G, Shen Q, Zhang R Abstract Chemotaxis-mediated response to root exudates, initiated by sensing-specific ligands through methyl-accepting chemotaxis proteins (MCP), is very important for root colonization and beneficial functions of plant-growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR). Systematic identification of chemoattractants in complex root exudates and their sensing chemoreceptors in PGPR is helpful for enhancing their recruitment and colonization. In this study, 39 chemoattractants and 5 chemorepellents, including amino acids, organic acids, and sugars, were identified from 98 tested components of root exudates for the well-studied PGPR strain Bacillus amyloliquefaciens SQR9. Interestingly, mutant stain SQR9Δ8mcp, with all eight putative chemoreceptors completely deleted, lost the chemotactic responses to those 44 compounds. Gene complementation, chemotaxis assay, and isothermal titration calorimetry analysis revealed that McpA was mainly responsible for sensing organic acids and amino acids, while McpC was mostly for amino acids. These two chemoreceptors may play important roles in the rhizosphere chemotaxis of SQR9. In contrast, the B. amyloliquefaciens-unique chemoreceptor McpR was specifically responsible for arginine, and residues Tyr-78, Thr-131, and Asp-162 were critical for arginine binding. This study not only deepened our insights into PGPR-root interaction but also provided useful information to enhance the rhizosphere chemotaxis mobility and colonization of PGPR, which will promote their application in agricultural production. PMID: 29714096 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Polychlorinated Biphenyls in Surface Soil from North-East India: Implication for Sources Apportionment and Health-Risk Assessment.

Related Articles Polychlorinated Biphenyls in Surface Soil from North-East India: Implication for Sources Apportionment and Health-Risk Assessment. Arch Environ Contam Toxicol. 2018 Oct;75(3):377-389 Authors: Devi NL, Yadav IC, Chakraborty P, Shihua Q Abstract Although India never manufactured polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), evidence suggests the prevalence of PCBs in multi-environmental matrices. Despite the high level of PCBs that has been detailed in the major urban areas of India, little is known about the fate and sources of PCBs in Northeast India (NEI). This motivated us to investigate the contamination level and sources of PCBs in the surface soil. In this study, the environmental concentration and sources of 25 PCBs were investigated in surface soil (n = 60) from three states of NEI (lower Assam, Manipur, and Tripura). Additionally, the relationship between soil organic carbon (SOC) and PCBs was studied to investigate the role of SOC in the distribution of PCBs. Overall, the concentration of ∑25PCBs ranged from 2950 to 16,700 pg/g dw (median 7080 pg/g dw), 3580-21,100 pg/g dw (median 11,500 pg/g dw), and 2040-11,000 pg/g dw (median 4270 pg/g dw) in Assam, Manipur, and Tripura, respectively. Low-chlorinated PCBs were more prevalent than highly chlorinated PCBs. PCB-49 was identified as the most abundant in soil, followed by PCB-52, and accounted for 13% and 12.9% of ∑25PCBs, respectively. With respect to land use categories, high ∑25PCBs were related to grassland areas and proximity to the roadside soil. The principal component analysis indicated emissions from technical PCB mixtures, combustion of municipal wastes/residential wood, incineration of hospital wastes, and e-waste recycling/disposal sites are the real sources of PCBs. Marginally, a moderate-to-weak correlation of SOC with ∑25PCBs (R2 = 0.144, p < 0.05) and their homologs (R2 = 0.280-0.365, p < 0.05) indicated the little role of SOC in the dispersion of PCBs. The estimated toxic equivalency of dioxin-like PCBs suggested that PCB-126 is the most toxic contaminant to endanger the human population. PMID: 29713743 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Spatial distributions of hexachlorobutadiene in agricultural soils from the Yangtze River Delta region of China.

Related Articles Spatial distributions of hexachlorobutadiene in agricultural soils from the Yangtze River Delta region of China. Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2018 Feb;25(4):3378-3385 Authors: Sun J, Pan L, Zhan Y, Zhu L Abstract Hexachlorobutadiene (HCBD) is one of the persistent organic pollutants (POPs) listed by the Stockholm Convention and poses potential risks to human health and ecosystems. To reveal the regional-scale pollution status of HCBD in agricultural soils from fast-developing areas, an extensive investigation was conducted in the core Yangtze River Delta (YRD), China. The detectable concentrations of HCBD in 241 soil samples ranged from 0.07 to 8.47 ng g-1 dry weight, with an average value of 0.32 ng g-1 and a detection rate of 59.3%. Industrial emissions and intensive agricultural activities were the potential source of HCBD. The concentrations of HCBD were highly associated with the soil physicochemical properties such as organic matter contents. Higher concentrations of HCBD were found in paddy fields than other land-use types. The concentrations of HCBD were much lower than those of organochlorine pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls. Significant positive correlations were found between HCBD and most organochlorine pesticides. HCBD was not found in ten vegetable samples due to its low concentration and detection rate. A positive relationship was observed between the level of HCBD and the biomass of fungi, indicating that the fungi in soils might be influenced by the existence of HCBD. The potential risks of HCBD to ecosystems and health of inhabitants were estimated to be negligible. The finding from this study provides an important basis for soil quality assessment and risk management of HCBD in China. PMID: 29151187 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

[Characteristics of Soil Respiration and Soil Organic Carbon in Fava Bean Farmland Under Ridge Tillage and Straw Mulching in Southwest China].

Related Articles [Characteristics of Soil Respiration and Soil Organic Carbon in Fava Bean Farmland Under Ridge Tillage and Straw Mulching in Southwest China]. Huan Jing Ke Xue. 2017 May 08;38(5):2102-2110 Authors: Xiong Y, Wang LC, Du J, Zhao LL, Zhou Q, Zhang S Abstract Soil respiration is an important process for carbon emission. A field study was conducted with four treatments including T (traditional tillage+straw mulching level 0 kg·hm-2), R (ridge tillage+straw mulching level 0 kg·hm-2), RS1 (ridge tillage+straw mulching level 3750 kg·hm-2), and RS2 (ridge tillage+straw mulching level 7500 kg·hm-2), so as to probe the effects of ridge tillage and straw mulching amount on soil respiration and soil organic carbon(SOC) and the relationships of soil respiration rate with soil temperature and water content (SWC) during the growth period of fava bean in the triple intercropping system of fava bean/maize/sweat pomato in dryland region of southwest China known as the purple hilly region. The changes of soil respiration rate were in accordance with crop growing, being firstly increased and then decreased during the whole growth period of fava bean, and there were significant differences in soil respiration rate among different treatments, which could be ranked as RS2[3.365 g·(m2·d)-1] > RS1[2.935 g·(m2·d)-1] > T[2.683 g·(m2·d)-1] > R[2.263 g·(m2·d)-1]. Ridge tillage reduced soil respiration in fava bean farmland, whereas straw mulching treatment increased it, whose variation trend was in accordance with that of straw mulching levels. There was a significant exponential relationship between soil respiration and soil temperature at 5 cm and 10 cm depth, and the exponential model at 10 cm produced better fitness than that at 5 cm. The temperature sensitivity (Q10) at 10 cm could be ranked as RS2 > RS1 > R > T, being 1.751,1.665,1.616, and 1.35, respectively. The combined exponential model indicated that soil temperature and water content (SWC) could jointly explain 68%(R), 79%(RS1) and 76%(RS2) of variation in soil respiration. This study results suggested that ridge tillage and straw mulching significantly increased SOC of 0-5 cm, 5-10 cm, 10-20 cm and 20-30 cm soil layers, and the increase of SOC was in accordance with that of straw mulching levels. The SOC was significantly increased in 5-10 cm and 10-20 cm soil layers, which could be ranked as RS2 > RS1 > R > T, and the increases in SOC at 5-10 cm were especially notable. The weighted average of particulate organic carbon (POC) at 0-30 cm was significantly increased, but the proportion of POC in SOC did not show significant influence. PMID: 29965119 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]