ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0343.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Immunology And Allergy Keywords: Awake Bruxism, Self-Report, Ecological Momentary Assessment, Smartphone Application
Online: 12 March 2021 (15:45:57 CET)
Diagnosis of Awake Bruxism (AB) is problematic due to the inability to use continuous recordings during daytime activities. Recently, a new semi-instrumental approach was suggested, viz., an Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA), with the use of a smartphone application. With the application subjects are requested to report, at least 12 times per day, the status of their masticatory muscle activity (relaxed muscles, jaw bracing without tooth contact, teeth contact, teeth clenching or teeth grinding). The aim of the present study was to compare the EMA to the assessment of AB as defined by a single point self-report. The most frequent condition recorded by the EMA was relaxed muscles (ca. 60%) and the least frequent one - Teeth grinding (0.6 %). The relaxed muscle condition also showed the lowest coefficient of variance over a 7day period of report. Additionally, only the relaxed muscles and the Jaw bracing conditions presented an acceptable ability to discriminate between AB positive and AB negative subjects, as defined by single point self-report questions. The combination between self-report and EMA may have a potential to promote our ability to diagnose AB. We suggest to re-consider the conditions of Teeth contact and Teeth grinding while using EMA to evaluate AB.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0505.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Food Science And Technology Keywords: affect; pregnancy; food intake; body mass index; ecological momentary assessment
Online: 30 August 2022 (04:33:53 CEST)
Background: Affective states play a role in dietary behaviors. Yet, little research has studied within-subjects associations between affect and diet during pregnancy. We examined the acute bidirectional relationships between affect and food intake and moderation by pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI) in low-income, Hispanic pregnant women using ecological momentary assessment (EMA). Methods: Women (N=57) completed four days of EMA during their first trimester. Women responded to five random prompts per day about their current affect and past two-hour food intake. Results: Higher positive affect (PA) or lower negative affect (NA) predicted greater likelihood of fruit/vegetable consumption in the next two hours in women with lower pre-pregnancy BMI and lower likelihood in women with higher pre-pregnancy BMI. Higher PA predicted less likelihood of fast food consumption in the next two hours in women with lower pre-pregnancy BMI and slightly higher likelihood in women with higher pre-pregnancy BMI. Women with lower pre-pregnancy BMI had higher PA when they reported consuming chips/fries in the past two hours, and women with higher pre-pregnancy BMI had lower PA when they reported consumption of chips/fries in the past two hours. Conclusions: Results showed differential relationships between affect and food intake as a function of pre-pregnancy BMI.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0286.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Behavior Sciences Keywords: ICT; EMI; worker well-being; perceived stress; ecological study
Online: 15 December 2022 (15:05:30 CET)
Based on ICT, specifically smartphones and their mobile apps, this exploratory study questions the impact of EMIs on employees’ perceived stress during work days. A sample of 15 workers, working at least 3 days a week - divided into one control groups (n=5) and one experimental group (n=10) - have used an EMI application “Mon Sherpa” for one-week length. Participants responded to two questionnaires at the beginning of the study: a sociodemographic questionnaire and the PSM-9 (Psychological Stress Measure). They completed the PSM-9 once again in the middle and at the end of the experiment, to compare the score’s evolution depending on the formed groups. Additionally, semi-structured interviews have been conducted with participants of the experimental group (n=9) to identify their application’s perception. Statistics results indicate no effects of the EMIs. However, interviews indicated somatic, behavioral, and cognitive evolutions throughout the experiment in the field of stress, anxiety, and invasive thoughts. These conflicting results might be explained by an immediate but not lasting effect of EMI’s on work-related stress. It may also be partly explained by some limitations of the study. More cross-disciplinary and larger research is required.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.0060.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Other Keywords: Ecological Momentary Assessment; Stress; Well-being; Health; Mood; Social safety; Energy; Present-focus; Burnout; EMA
Online: 2 October 2023 (09:26:26 CEST)
Despite great interest in how dynamic fluctuations in psychological states such as mood, social safety, energy, present-focused attention, and burnout impact stress, well-being, and health, most studies examining these constructs use retrospective assessments. Here, we discuss how ecological momentary assessments (EMAs) address methodological issues associated with retrospective reports, able to reveal dynamic associations between psychological states at small timescales that are often missed in stress and health research. In addition to helping researchers characterize daily and within-day fluctuations and temporal dynamics between different health-relevant processes, EMAs can elucidate mechanisms through which interventions reduce stress and enhance well-being. EMAs can also be used to identify changes that precede critical health events, which can in turn be used to inform the delivery of ecological momentary interventions (EMIs of just-in-time interventions) that prevent such events from occurring. To enable this work, this narrative review provides examples of scales and single-item questions used in EMA studies, makes concrete recommendations for researchers seeking to employ EMAs in their research, and discusses limitations of EMA methods. In doing so, we aim to encourage the use of these methods in research given that, when used carefully, EMA methods are well-poised to greatly advance our understanding of how intrapersonal dynamics affect stress levels, well-being, and human health.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0740.v1
Subject: Engineering, Control And Systems Engineering Keywords: coastal resilience; climate change; indicators; social-ecological system
Online: 28 April 2021 (10:18:36 CEST)
Accompanied by increasing population growth and urban sprawl, most coastal cities are unprecedentedly vulnerable to climate change and its impacts, such as sea level rise, increasing extreme storm events, and coastal flooding. Coastal resilience and sustainable development are antidotes to vulnerability; they aim to enhance the adaptive capability of absorbing disturbances and resisting uncertainty. This study explores building a quantitative assessment framework to measure resilience and provide an objective and comparable method to understand the strengths and weaknesses in a given region. The proposed 25 resilience indicators incorporate the aspects of essential livelihood protection, infrastructure and natural resource maintenance, emergency facilities and institutions, floodplain management regulations, and adaptive planning process. Each indicator is assigned the resilience quality that includes robustness, resourcefulness, redundancy, and rapidity. The aggregated resilience quality scoring reflects the systematic performance of the city to cope with the coastal hazards. The innovative part of this framework is combining hazard mitigation measures, climate adaptation strategies, and sustainable development goals together to achieve a comprehensive assessment method. In the case of New Haven, the resilience assessment is taken as a practical monitoring tool and decision-making support.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0328.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: finfish; shellfish; biodiversity indices, ecological pollution; Payra river
Online: 22 October 2021 (11:58:21 CEST)
The Payra River is one of the large coastal rivers in Bangladesh which supports incredible fish species and has been affected by extensive human disturbance due to huge fishing pressure. The present study provides information about the temporal diversity of finfish and shellfish concerning climatological variables and ecological pollution along with threat assessment in the Payra River, Patuakhali. During the entire study, a total of 61 fish species including 56 finfish and 5 shellfish species were recorded under 22 families belonging to 11 orders. The order-wise fish species availability showed that the Perciformes (29.49%) was the dominant order based on species richness. Among them, 4 endangered, 6 vulnerable, 4 near threatened, 42 least concern, and 5 data deficient species were found. During the study period, the average Shannon-Weaver diversity index value was (3.33±0.12) indicates a good spread of fish population in the Payra river. Average Margalef richness index value was found (7.60±0.32), Pielou's evenness index (0.48±0.05), and Simpson dominance index (0.93±0.02) in Payra river. Dominance and Richness index value indicates clear water environment to slight pollution in the Payra river. Ten different kinds of fishing gears were identified under 3 major groups including 5 nets, 3 hooks and lines, and 2 traps. The phytoplanktonic genus and species revealed moderate pollution. Canonical correspondence analysis ordination plot showed that rainfall was the most influencing driving force among the meteorological parameters. The cluster analysis based on the Bray-Curtis similarity matrix showed that the winter season formed a separate cluster. In the recapitulation, the Payra River is a highly productive system that provides a favorable environment for a large variety of finfish and shellfish species assemblages. Findings of the conducted study are expected to be helpful for the respective researchers, policymakers, managers, and conservationists for the sustainable management of this water body and the interconnected surrounding neighboring countries.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.0426.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: Cold temperate zone; moose; habitat; landscape pattern; landscape ecological risk
Online: 6 July 2023 (11:45:21 CEST)
The change of habitat pattern is one of the key factors affecting the survival of moose population. The study of habitat landscape pattern is the key to protect Chinese cold temperate forest moose population and monitor the global distribution of moose. By means of MaxEnt model, landscape index calculation and ecological risk assessment model, combined with field survey and infrared camera monitoring data from April 2014 to January 2023, the author evaluated the habitat suitability of moose population in Nanwenghe National Nature Reserve of the Great Khingan Mountains, and divided the range of moose habitat based on the logical threshold of the model. The landscape pattern index of moose habitat was calculated by Fragstats software and a landscape ecological risk assessment model was established to analyze the landscape pattern and ecological risk dynamic changes of moose habitat in 2015 and 2020. The results showed that under the premise of global warming, the habitat landscape contagion index decreased by 4.53 and the split index increased by 4.86 from 2015 to 2020. In terms of ecological risk: the area of low ecological risk areas increased by 0.88%; the area of medium ecological risk areas decreased by 1.11%; and the area of higher ecological risk areas increased by 0.23%. The fragmentation risk of landscape pattern of moose habitat tends to increase, the preferred patch type is dispersed, the degree of aggregation is low, and the risk of patch type transformation increases. And the middle and high ecological risk areas are mainly concentrated in the river area and its nearby forests, showing a fine and scattered distribution. Under the interference of global warming and human activities, the fragmenta-tion trend of moose habitat in the study area is increasing, and the habitat quality is declining, which is likely to cause moose population migration. For this reason, the author believes that the whole cold temperate forest is likely to face the risk of increasing the transformation trend of dominant patch types in the cold temperate coniferous forest region mainly caused by global warming, resulting in an in-crease in the risk of habitat fragmentation. While the distribution range of moose is reduced, it has a significant impact on the diversity and ecological integrity of the whole cold temperate forest ecosystem. This study is helpful for human beings to strengthen their awareness of forest and river protection, avoid further intervention in more human activities, and formulate a reasonable plan for forest protec-tion and sustainable development in cold temperate zones. to provide theoretical reference for effective monitoring and protection of cold temperate forest and moose population dynamics.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0544.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: ecological restoration; illegal mining; Clean Development Mechanism; carbon sequestration; carbon credits
Online: 30 April 2020 (17:24:36 CEST)
Ghana has had a long-standing problem of illegal gold mining that has led to the destruction of the environment. The government of Ghana is taking steps to not only curb illegal mining but also to restore destroyed lands that resulted from illegal mining. The government intends to spend financially in the area of ecological restoration to returned disturbed lands to their natural states possible, but the question remains whether restoring those disturbed lands will be beneficial to the country. The study was undertaken in Bekwai Municipal Area in the Ashanti region of Ghana where most locals are farmers. The research studies whether the benefits of ecological restoration outweigh the cost of ecological restoration? The research deployed a quantitative data collection. The data collected was analyzed using benefit-Cost ratio. The result shows that the benefit of ecological restoration outweighs the cost incurred as dependent on the land use as a carbon sequestration project. In conclusion, investment in ecological restoration is a step in the right direction for a country endowed with gold resources. This will spur growth and at the same time improve and protect the country’s natural resources and environment.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0188.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: ecological sensitivity; ecological sensitivity evaluation; land consolidation; ecological value; Guanling
Online: 9 October 2018 (14:35:04 CEST)
Land consolidation engineering inevitably interferes with terrestrial ecosystems, leading to natural capital loss. Therefore, conducting an ecological sensitivity evaluation of a project area before consolidation engineering is very important for reducing unnecessary human interference. Conservation of terrestrial ecosystems and the biodiversity therein to the greatest possible extent is urgently needed. This research analyzes the interference by human activities caused by land consolidation engineering in terrestrial ecosystems. GIS technology, ecological values, landscape pattern indexes, and an ecological risk evaluation were used to construct an ecological sensitivity evaluation index. The coefficient of variation method and a comprehensive sensitivity rating evaluation were used to calculate the weights and results. The project area was divided into sensitivity zones according to the results, and the results and suggestions are as follows: In the highly eco-sensitive zone, where bare rocks, gravel, and grass-covered areas compose the main landscape type, vegetation should be restored, and forests should be planted. In the medium eco-sensitivity zone, where irrigated paddy fields and arid land compose the main landscape type, land parcels should be merged, and agricultural infrastructure should be constructed or improved. In the low eco-sensitivity zone, where forests compose the main landscape type, roads should be closed, natural habitat should be restored, and buffer zones should be created. This study provides suggestions for future land management decisions.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0554.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Psychology Keywords: Instrumented Toys; Ecological Behavioural Assessment; Executive Function Development; Inertial Motion Detection; Barometric Force Sensing; 3D Printing
Online: 29 December 2022 (04:16:43 CET)
The first years of an infant’s life represent a sensitive period for neurodevelopment and see the emergence of nascent forms of executive function (EF), which are required to support complex cognition. Few tests exist for measuring EF during infancy, and the available tests require painstaking manual coding of infant behaviour. In modern clinical and research practice, human coders collect data on EF performance by manually labelling video recordings of infant behaviour during toy or social interaction. Besides being extremely time-consuming, video annotation is known to be rater-dependent and subjective. To address these issues, starting from existing cognitive flexibility research protocols, we developed instrumented toys as a new task instrumentation and data collection tool suitable for infant use. A commercially available device comprising a Barometer and Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) embedded in a 3D-printed lattice structure was used to detect when and how the infant interacts with the toy. The data collected using the instrumented toys provides a rich dataset describing the sequence of toy interaction and individual toy interaction patterns, from which EF-relevant aspects of infant cognition may be inferred. Such a tool potentially provides an objective, reliable, and scalable method of collecting early developmental data in socially interactive contexts.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201905.0100.v1
Subject: Engineering, Control And Systems Engineering Keywords: Dual-Miller cycle; thermodynamic analysis; power; ecological coefficient of performance; thermal efficiency; entropy generation; multi-objective optimization
Online: 9 May 2019 (11:27:49 CEST)
Although different assessments and evaluations of Dual-Miller cycle performed, specified output power and thermal performance associated with engine determined. Besides, multi objective optimization of thermal efficiency, Ecological Coefficient of performance ( ) and Ecological function ( ) by the mean of NSGA-II technique and thermodynamic analysis performed. The Pareto optimal frontier obtaining the best optimum solution is chosen by fuzzy Bellman-Zadeh, LINMAP, and TOPSIS decision-making techniques. Based on the results, performances of dual-Miller cycles and their optimization are improved.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201808.0041.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: human ecological footprint; traditional ecological knowledge; biocultural restoration; social-ecological system; Hawaiian islands
Online: 2 August 2018 (08:55:49 CEST)
Pre-Western contact Hawaiʻi stands as a quintessential sustainability example of a large human population that practiced intensive agriculture, yet minimally displaced native habitats that comprised the foundation of its vitality. An explicit geospatial footprint of human-transformed areas across the pre-contact Hawaiian archipelago comprised less than 15% of total land area, yet provided 100% of human needs, supporting a thriving Polynesian society. A post-contact history of disruption of traditional Hawaiian land-use and its supplanting by Western land tenure and agriculture based on ranching, sugarcane, and pineapple, culminated in a landscape, in which over 50% of native habitats have been lost, while self-sufficiency has plummeted to 15% or less. Recapturing the ʻāina momona (productive lands) of ancient times can be accomplished through study of pre-contact agriculture, assessment of biological and ecological changes imposed on Hawaiian social-ecological systems, and conscious planned efforts to increase self-sufficiency and reduce importation. Impediments include the current tourism-based economy, competition from habitat-modifying introduced species, a suite of agricultural pests severely limiting traditional agriculture, and changes in climate rendering some pre-contact agricultural centers suboptimal. Modified agricultural methods will be required to counteract these limitations, and diversified agriculture to broaden the production base, without contributing to further degradation of native habitats.
CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints201704.0103.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Psychology Keywords: suicide prevention; e-mental health; implementation; fundamental research; ecological momentary assessment; experience sampling; network analysis
Online: 18 April 2017 (03:24:13 CEST)
Suicidal behaviour remains difficult to predict and prevent, even for experienced mental health care professionals. The known distal risk factors for suicidal behaviour are not sufficiently specific to fully understand the complex dynamic processes that precede a suicide attempt. Real-time mobile monitoring data can be used to analyse proximal risk mechanisms within the suicidal process. At the same time smartphone-based safety planning and self-monitoring may enhance a patient’s self-management skills thereby increasing their capacity to respond to a suicidal crisis and to become more aware of crisis symptoms. The current paper describes the theoretical and conceptual rationale for the CASPAR study which applies an innovative approach to the study of suicidal processes. It uses basic science approaches to inform the implementation of an innovative suicide prevention intervention. We aim to develop and implement mobile safety plan in conjunction with real-time monitoring in order to both directly implement suicide prevention interventions and to study the ongoing dynamics of individual suicidal behaviour by applying network analysis.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.0708.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: ecological stability, landscape, climate change, soil erosion, ecological coefficient, physically-based model
Online: 9 August 2023 (09:50:19 CEST)
Among the main elements that contribute to climate change are degradation processes and the ecological level of the landscape. These two topics have been discussed and researched for many years and many studies have been conducted. The idea of the article is to determine the correlation between the ecological stability of the territory and the intensity of degradation processes and find out how the ecological stability affects the intensity of soil erosion and vice versa. The ecological stability was calculated based on various methods during the years analyzed, i.e., 1990, 2006, 2012, and 2018. The soil water erosion was performed for the same period in order to identify the relationship between the ecological stability and intensity of soil erosion. The investigated area is located in the Slovak Republic while each year reflects different management of the territory reflecting the current situation in the catchment according to the year evaluated. The intensity of the erosion process was conducted using a phycially-based EROSION-3D model and based on the precipitation derived using Community Land Model (the CLM model). In addition to identifying the relationship between the level of ecological stability and the intensity of erosion, this study also describes the development the ecological stability during the evaluated period together with changes in soil erosion processes.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0542.v2
Subject: Chemistry And Materials Science, Analytical Chemistry Keywords: Cyclic voltammograms; Chronoamperometric; Cyclic ketones structure; Environment ecological aspects ferrocene; Ecological aspects
Online: 25 January 2023 (04:01:22 CET)
Ferrocene and its derivatives have ecologically effective antidetane properties. In this regard, ferrocene reacts with cyclic ketones and ferrosenylcarbinols are synthesized. It should be noted that ferrocene enters into electrophilic reactions and the process takes place in an acidic environment. In addition, the yield of the new product was small compared to the reactions of ferrocene with non-cyclic ketones. This is due to the spatial structures of molecules. The elemental analysis of obtained compounds was carried out; the structures were researched by cyclic voltammograms and Chronoamperometric.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0578.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Psychology Keywords: ecological footprint calculator; ecological footprint; environmental knowledge; environmental education; environmental values; carbon footprint calculator; carbon footprint; ecological behaviour; pro-environmental behaviour
Online: 25 February 2021 (12:00:10 CET)
Ecological footprint calculators are digital tools that help individuals calculate their environmental or climate impact, with the aim of stimulating pro-environmental behaviour change. These footprint calculators typically take an information-provision approach, but this strategy assumes that increased levels of knowledge result in increased levels of pro-environmental behaviour (i.e., a reduced footprint). This is not a given – existing literature on the relationship between environmental knowledge and pro-environmental behaviour is inconclusive, and this relationship may be different from that of environmental knowledge and ecological footprint. As such, we investigated the relationship between environmental knowledge and ecological footprint as estimated by a footprint calculator. 448 Dutch participants completed an online survey, including an ecological footprint calculator. We found no evidence for a relationship between environmental knowledge and ecological footprint calculator outcome. Rather, an exploratory analysis of our data showed that environmental values were more important predictors of ecological footprint. The finding that increased levels of knowledge are not related to a reduced ecological footprint suggests that calculators would do well to move beyond information provision, and employ additional behaviour change strategies. Based on our exploratory analysis, we provide several concrete examples of potential strategies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0408.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: Chironomidae; freshwaters; macroinvertebrates; ecological indicators
Online: 24 August 2022 (04:33:02 CEST)
Chironomids are the species richest family among macroinvertebrates and are often used as indicators of ecological condition in inland waters. High taxonomic expertise is needed for identification and new species are still described even in the well-known West Palaearctic region. Data were filed in a Microsoft Access relational database and analysed using the R environment. Our database comprises data on Chironomid species collected in rivers and lakes in Italy and some other European countries over a period of about 50 years, often associated with physical-chemical data, but in some cases only benthic macroinvertebrates are available with no associated environmental data. In this case, the possibility of estimating water quality with only species composition available is discussed. Traits summarizing the species response to environmental variables were evaluated, with emphasis on natural and man influenced factors: current velocity, water temperature, conductivity, dissolved oxygen, nutrients. Traits calculations was possible using the subset of database including both environmental data and Chironomid abundances. The relations between sites, species and traits were evaluated using correspondence analysis and other multivariate methods. The response of species showed an interaction among different factors, with the possibility to order species along a single environmental gradient, extending from cold running waters to warm standing waters, with few exceptions. The utility and limits of the use of ecological traits are discussed.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0520.v2
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: Biotic interactions; Ecological modeling; Plant facilitation; Plant community ecology; Spatial ecology; Theoretical ecology.
Online: 15 January 2021 (12:37:06 CET)
Ecologists use the net biotic interactions among plants as a major factor to predict other ecosystem features, such as species diversity, community structure, or plant atmospheric carbon uptake. By adopting this approach, ecologists have built a giant body of theory founded on observational evidence. However, growing evidence points out that this may not be the right approach. The literature addressing the biophysical mechanisms underlying the plant interactions is much scarcer. A rising number of scientists claim the need for a mechanistic understanding of plant interactions due to the limitations that a phenomenological approach raises both in empirical and theoretical studies. Scattered studies have recently taken such a mechanistic approach, but we still lack a general theoretical framework to study mechanistically plant interactions. In this review, we first recapitulate the elementary units of plant interactions, i.e., all the known biophysical processes affected by the presence of an influencing plant and the possible phenotypic responses of plants influenced by those processes. Second, we discuss how a net interaction between two plants emerges from the simultaneous effect of these elementary units. Third, we touch upon the spatial and temporal variability of the net interaction and discuss the links between this variability and the underlying biophysical processes. We conclude by discussing how to integrate these processes into a mechanistic framework for plant interactions that must necessarily focus on the individual scale and explicitly incorporate the spatial structure of the community and environmental factors: the plant interaction models (PIM). A PIM incorporates a pair or few plants interacting with their physical environment so that the biotic interaction is not imposed but emerges from the model. This type of model can provide concise, mechanistic hypotheses to be tested empirically. This review calls for a paradigm shift in the ecology of plant interactions, from the classic species interaction study towards a more mechanistic individual-level approach. It also presents a comprehensive foundation for studying the mechanisms underpinning the net interaction between two plants.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.2051.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Food Science And Technology Keywords: ecological system; pork composition; TBARS; antioxidant
Online: 30 May 2023 (05:18:07 CEST)
The aim of the study was to evaluate the impact of different rearing systems (organic, conventional and traditional) on the physicochemical properties and oxidation states of pork meat. Samples (M.biceps femoris) were obtained from producers directly 3 days after slaughtering. Chemical composition (dry matter, protein, collagen, fat, ash), colour (L*, a*, b*) and oxidation state (Thiobarbituric acid reactive substances -TBARS, free fatty acid -FFA and antioxidant capacity-2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl) of the meat samples were determined. The results indicated that the rearing system affects most of the evaluated parameters. The significant difference (P < 0.05) was observed in colour parameter L* and b*, where the conventional pork was darker and the organic pork yellower. Total protein content in meat of conventional pigs was higher, whereas the fat content in the meat of organically reared pigs was higher than the meat of pigs from both other rearing systems. Organic pork was more susceptible to oxidation process due to its higher TBARS and FFA values and lower antioxidant capacity, which may result in inferior technological properties of meat.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0086.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Anatomy And Physiology Keywords: ecological firewalls; synthetic microbiomes; mutualism; cooperation
Online: 4 March 2022 (21:50:53 CET)
While rapidly becoming a main thread in the development of new therapies, the rise of synthetic biology is also tied to concerns about the potential impact on ecosystems. That is particularly relevant in the of deployment in natural habitats, including the human microbiome. These concerns have boosted the analysis of diverse strategies of containment, from engineered cell death to xenobiology to the creation of Xeno nucleic acids. However, little attention has been paid to the potential containment implicit in nonlinear ecological interactions and the lessons provided by the population dynamics models used in community ecology. If we consider synthetic strains as some class of "species" embedded within an ecological context, it is possible to show that some network interaction patterns and their associated nonlinear responses can offer a reliable source of containment. Here we present and discuss some simple examples of these "ecological firewalls" that could help provide a self-regulating biocontainment. Our firewall designs can help to ensure that engineered organisms have a limited spread while, when required, preventing their extinction. The basic synthetic designs and their dynamical behaviour are presented, each one inspired in a given ecological class of interaction. Their possible applications are discussed and the broader connection with invasion ecology outlined.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.1606.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: Urban trees diversity; ecosystem services; ecological importance; species abundance; urban ecological planning; climate adaptation; Conservation planning; Cotonou
Online: 22 June 2023 (11:35:19 CEST)
Rapid urbanization and climate change effects may cause dramatic change of ecosystem functions in cities, thereby inevitably affecting the growth performance of ancient trees. Few studies have explored species diversity and spatial differentiation in Benin urban area. Here, we took Cotonou city to do that. The objective of the study conducted in the city of Cotonou, was to determine the predominant level of plant diversity in the city's land-use units. The urban green frame was subdivided into six land use units, namely establishments, residences, green spaces, commercial areas, administrative areas, and roads. The forest inventories were carried out in 149 plots with surfaces evaluated at 2500 m2 each. A total of 62 tree species in 55 genera and 27 families were recorded. The results show that the flora of the city of Cotonou is characterized by a strong preponderance of exotic species. The most abundant species with high ecological importance (IVI) in the different type of land use of the city are Terminalia catappa (IVI=121.47%), Terminalia mentally (IVI=90.50%), Mangifera indica (IVI=64.06%) and Khaya senegalensis (IVI=151.16%). This study shows that a directed development of this urban vegetation could improve the resilience of urban life to climate hazards through the provision of urban ecosystem services, potential ecological infrastructure foundations and urban nature-based solutions.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1717.v2
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: Ecological networks; bioengineering; synthetic biology; invasion dynamics
Online: 24 October 2023 (16:46:07 CEST)
The possibility of abrupt transitions threatens to poise ecosystems into irreversibly degraded states. Recently, it has been proposed the use of engineered microbiomes in endangered ecosystems to prevent them to cross tipping points and avoid collapse. Potential targets for such interventions include some of the most prominent life-support systems in the biosphere: drylands and coral reefs. Since engineering can require the introduction of microorganisms not present in resident communities, how can we weight the potential outcomes? One way is to use general models of species interactions where the "synthetic" strain is incorporated into a standard multispecies model. Here we follow this approach by modelling a resource-consumer community where one of the species is a modified one that acts by preserving some key resource. We show how the indirect effect of damping the decay of shared resources results in biodiversity increase, and last but not less, the successful incorporation of the synthetic within the ecological network. Further extensions and implications for future restoration and terraformation strategies are discussed.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.1770.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: Afforestation; Water resource; Ecological risk; Inner Mongolia
Online: 26 September 2023 (10:21:54 CEST)
In recent years, a large-scale afforestation campaign has taken place in Inner Mongolia, China, to control desertification and soil erosion. However, the water consumption associated with large-scale afforestation significantly impacts the water resources in Inner Mongolia, resulting in a substantial ecological risk. This study aimed to evaluate the ecological risk of water resources caused by afforestation in the region. In this study, based on land cover data, Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data, and meteorological data, used trend analysis, water balance equation, and Water resources Security Index (WSI) index to analyze the ecological risks of water resources caused by afforestation in Inner Mongolia from 2000 to 2020. The results show that:(1) The afforestation area in Inner Mongolia was 5.37×104 km2 in 2000-2020; (2) Afforestation in arid and semi-arid areas leads to the reduction of water resources. (3) Afforestation reduces water resources in the study area by 0.76×108m3/year; (4) ~76% of afforestation regions face ecological risks of water resources.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.0902.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: ecosystems; conservation; vegetation; phytocoenoses; association; ecological characterization
Online: 11 August 2023 (07:58:00 CEST)
The purpose of this paper is to develop a phytosociological, ecological, cytogenetic, eco-protective and economic study of the vegetation of the wetland ecosystems in the Vlădeasa Massif built by the phytocoenoses of the association Carici echinatae-Sphagnetum (Balázs 1942) Soó 1955. In order to attain the aim and objectives put forward we carried out 10 phytocoenological surveys (surveys) in the phytocoenoses of the ecosystems during the optimal vegetation periods related to the summer-serotinal season in the timeframe 2020-2021. The taxonomically inventoried species were included in an association table by the criteria of their belonging to the basic coenotaxa of the association, alliance, order, vegetation class. The outcomes of the phytocoenosis research of the vegetation of the wetland ecosystems were processed, analysed, interpreted based on tables, histograms, diagrams, regarding the numerical and percentage weight of the species in the ecological categories of bioforms, phytogeographic elements (geoelements) and cytogenetic elements. The ecological behaviour of the species confined in ecosystems was also analysed by their relationship with ecological factors, edaphic soil moisture, air temperature and chemical reaction of the soil. The current state of ecosystems, potential threats, sustainable conservation of biodiversity, dynamics of phytocenoses, economic and scientific relevance were also subjected to research. The results obtained in the surveyed territory were analysed and compared numerically and as percentage with the data provided by two reference scientific works belonging to authors who independently carried out research with a similar topic in two different geographical regions of the Western Carpathians.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.2124.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: wetland restoration; biodiversity; post-evaluation; ecological monitoring
Online: 1 August 2023 (03:34:04 CEST)
Post-evaluation of ecological redevelopment is a good method for its achievements. The eco-engineering technologies and achievements of landscape water reconstructed from aquaculture ponds in Shanghai Chenshan Botanical Garden have been introduced in this study. The sediments and water quality were also sampled and tested for basic physicochemical parameters and heavy metal concentration. The ecological redevelopment of landscape water reconstructed from aquaculture ponds was evaluated using the Nemero comprehensive pollution index method. The results shown that nutrients including organic matter, organic nitrogen and their ratio of sediment were found to be in a state of moderate pollution, while their ecological risk of heavy metals was low. Although total nitrogen and total phosphorus of water quality was really higher than that of other indexes, the decline trends of ammonia nitrogen, total nitrogen and total phosphorus was obvious presented over time. In general, this is a good example that redevelopment of water ecosystems from aquaculture ponds using eco-engineering technologies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0116.v2
Subject: Social Sciences, Gender And Sexuality Studies Keywords: sex ratio; prenatal stress; demography; ecological stress
Online: 6 April 2021 (14:57:54 CEST)
While sex ratios at birth (SRB) have been shown to vary within and across populations, after over a century of research, explanations have remained elusive. A variety of ecological, demographic, economic, and social variables have been evaluated, yet their association with SRB has been equivocal. Here, in an attempt to shed light on this unresolved topic within the literature, we approach the question of what drives variation in SRB using detailed longitudinal data spanning the frontier-era to the early 20th century in a US population. Using several measures of environmental harshness, we find that fewer boys are born during challenging times. However, these results hold only for the frontier-era and not into a period of rapid industrialization. We argue that the mixed state of the literature may result from the impact and frequency of exogenous stressors being dampened in post-industrial societies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201806.0372.v1
Subject: Arts And Humanities, Architecture Keywords: delta project; university living lab; ecological corridor
Online: 25 June 2018 (07:59:08 CEST)
The University of Guayaquil, which shares the same name as the city where it is located, faces the challenge of transforming its image for the XXI century. It was deemed necessary to identify details about the urban evolution of the historic link with the city, in relation to the changes produced by the project’s siting and its direct area of influence. The goal is to integrate the main university campus within a framework which guarantees sustainability and allows innovation in the living lab. To achieve this, the action research method was applied, focused on participation and the logic framework. For the diagnosis, proposal, and management model, integrated working groups were organized with internal users such as professors, students, and university authorities, and external actors such as residents, the local business community, Guayaquil city council, and the Governorate of Guayas. As result of the diagnosis, six different analysis dimensions were established which correspond to the new urban agenda for the future campus: compactness, inclusiveness, resilience, sustainability, safety and participation. As a proposal, the urban design integrates the analysis dimensions whose financing and execution are given by the Town Hall, at the same time the Governorate integrates the campus with its network of community police headquarters.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201802.0066.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Cardiac And Cardiovascular Systems Keywords: cardiovascular diseases; risk factors; nutrition; ecological study
Online: 8 February 2018 (03:22:54 CET)
The aim of this study was a large-scale ecological analysis of nutritional and other environmental factors potentially associated with the incidence of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) in the global context. Indicators of CVDs from 158 countries were compared with the statistics of mean intake (supply) of 60 food items between 1993 and 2011, obesity rates, health expenditure and life expectancy. This comparison shows that the relationship between CVD indicators (raised blood pressure, CVD mortality, raised blood glucose) and independent variables in the global context is influenced by various factors such as short life expectancy, religiously conditioned dietary customs, the imprecision of some statistics and undernutrition. However, regardless of the statistical method used, the results always show very similar trends and identify high carbohydrate consumption (mainly in the form of cereals and wheat in particular) as a dietary factor most consistently associated with the risk of CVDs. These findings are in line with the changing view of the causes of CVDs. Because only the statistics of raised blood glucose include people using medications and reflect true prevalence that is independent of healthcare, more objective data on the prevalence of CVDs are needed to confirm these observed trends.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201812.0335.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: tropical reservoir; water quality index (WQI); trophic state index (TSI); ecological risk index (ERI); ecological risk assessment (ERA)
Online: 28 December 2018 (06:47:30 CET)
A study of the water quality of the Adolfo López Mateos Reservoir (ALMD) was developed through different indicators from a spatial and seasonal perspective. Variables related to the general characteristics of water quality, trophic level and ecological risk were assessed through the water Quality Index (WQINSF-BROWN), Trophic State Index (TSICARLSON) and the Ecological Risk Index (RIHAKANSON). Using data from physical, chemical and biological parameters obtained from four sampling points in the ALMD, the water quality was assessed in each model used. The results indicated that the reservoir presents a water quality classified as “medium” (WQINSF-BROWN = 70), where significant variations in the concentrations of some parameters are observed. The reservoir showed a general trophic state classified as “Mesotrophic” (TSIGENERAL-AVERAGE = 43.04). The ecological risk analysis achieved the best classification of the methodology, discarding contamination by heavy metals in surface waters. Through this type of applied methodologies will help as decision making tools in the dam, as well as for application in other dams in the region.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.1001.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Area Studies Keywords: territory space; ecological products; integrated protection; systematic governance
Online: 16 November 2023 (02:34:58 CET)
Territory space is an ecological resource carrier and place for human development. Human activities and ecological systems are the basis of ecological product supply. Promoting territory spatial protection and governance by improving the ecological products supply is very important. In this study, we established an ecological products supply capacity evaluation index system involving three types of ecological products, i.e., ecological environmental products, ecological material products, and ecological cultural products. For the case of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, we comprehensively used principal component analysis, equivalent factor method, and entropy method to evaluate the supply capacity of the ecological products from 2011 to 2021. Then, we analyzed the spatio-temporal pattern combining the natural breakpoint and quantile classification methods and analyzed the obstacle factors using the obstacle degree model of ecological supply. The results show that the supply capacity of different ecological product in each city are closely related to ecological resource endowment. The supply capacity of ecological products exhibited an upward trend, with the highest ecological environmental products supply, relatively smaller ecological material product supply, and the largest growth rate for ecological cultural product supply. The supply capacity of different ecological products varied across cities over time and displayed noticeable spatial differentiation. The main obstacle factors included eco-land, eco-tourism, eco-leisure, park green space, and fishery products, although there were variations among cities. Finally, based on the level, spatial-temporal pattern, and obstacle factors of ecological product supply, we proposed strategies for territory spatial protection and governance from the perspectives of integrated protection of elements, structural regulation, and systematic governance. The results reflected the ecological functional heterogeneity of territory space, which can provide spatial planning guidance for sustainable development.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.0995.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Economics Keywords: digital economy; ecological environment; coupled coordination; driving force
Online: 17 October 2023 (09:29:53 CEST)
Based on the panel data from 31 provinces in China from 2012 to 2020, this paper uses the TOPSIS method to measure the development level of the digital economy and environmental quality. Then, a coupled coordination degree model is used to analyse the relationship between the digital economy and environmental quality. Kernel density estimation and the Dagum Gini coefficient method were used to reveal the dynamic evolution trend of the coupled coordination level between the digital economy and environmental quality and the regional trends of coupled indicators. Finally, the dynamics of the above relations were explored with an econometric model. The results show that the coupled coordination degree of the digital economy and environmental quality displays obvious regional heterogeneity, and the national coordination level exhibits dynamic convergence characteristics. The heterogeneity of the coupled coordination degree of the two systems in the eastern region has decreased year by year, except in the western region, the central region and the northeast region, where an upwards trend is observed. Overall, the Gini coefficient of the coupled coordination degree between the digital economy and environmental quality displays a certain downwards trend. The level of economic development, technological innovation level, industrial structure, degree of opening to the outside world, degree of environmental regulation, marketization index and financial development level have a positive influence on the coupled coordination of the digital economy and environmental quality. Environmental regulation is the core driver of the coupling of the two systems, and the economic development level, technological innovation level, industrial structure and degree of openness are the other major drivers. Therefore, in the processes of digital economy transformation and environmental governance, all regions should focus on balanced development between regions to optimize the overall efficiency of the two systems, consider external influence, enhance internal capabilities, and promote the coordination and co-development of the two systems.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.1810.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Business And Management Keywords: border areas; tourism ecological security; spatial evolution; drivers
Online: 27 July 2023 (09:40:17 CEST)
Tourism activities generally have a ∩-type lock on the level of tourism ecological security in an area, but when applied to the border areas of China, there are certain specificities in the spatial evolution of tourism ecological security (TES) compared to traditional findings. This paper measures tourism ecological security in China’s border areas from 2009 to 2020 by using the DPSIR model with the superefficient SBM-DEA and analyzes the spatial differences, evolutionary characteristics, and driving factors of tourism ecological security in border areas by using Pearson’s correlation coefficients, center of gravity models, and geographic probes: (1) The overall tourism ecological security index of China’s border provinces is relatively good. Tourism activities do not completely affect the traditional “∩ lock” of the border provinces. The tourism ecological security level of the border provinces presents three spatial-temporal changes (“∩” type, “U” type, “\” type) and four evolution trends (“high–high–high”, “middle–middle–medium”, “medium–low–low”, and “low–low–low”). (2) The overall tourism ecological security level in border areas is polarized between high and low levels, and the ecological security efficiency of the three large areas is spatially characterized as “Southwest Area > Northeast Area > Northwest Area”, and the center of gravity of ecological security is mostly concentrated in Xinjiang, Tibet, and Neimenggu, where the ecological security level is higher. (3) Social and environmental factors are the main factors that influence tourism ecological security in border areas, while economic factors account for a smaller proportion. Accordingly, this thesis also proposes the driving mechanism of the ecological security of tourism sites in border areas in China with a view to providing theoretical support for policy formulation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0444.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Soil Science Keywords: soil indicators; vegetation indicators; iron mining; ecological restoration
Online: 8 May 2023 (04:45:53 CEST)
Many ecosystems are being severely degraded, leading the United Nations to deem 2021-2030 as the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. To be successful, this effort requires robust monitoring tools to assess land reclamation practices. Our study aimed to evaluate the quality of recovery efforts in mined areas by developing a Recovery Quality Index (RQI) based on soil and vegetation indicators. Using the heavily mined Iron Quadrangle region of Brazil as an example, we selected four local, undisturbed reference areas as restoration goals: Atlantic Forest (AF); ferruginous rupestrian grassland with dense vegetation (FRGD); ferruginous rupestrian grassland with sparse vegetation (FRGS); and quartzite rupestrian grassland (QRG). We also selected four areas that were directly or indirectly affected by mining, including an environmental compensation area set aside 5 years prior to the study (COMP-5), two sterile piles that had undergone recovery for 15 and 20 years (SP-20 and SP-15), and a cave area with 15 years of recovery (CAVE-15). The four recovery areas were grouped together with each individual reference area (making four combinations of sites), and measurements of 2 vegetation parameters and 34 soil attributes were used in a Principal Component Analysis (PCA) for each grouping. We determined the RQI for each group by summing weighted PCA scores for responsive indicators. Vegetative parameters had the lowest RQI weights in all four groups. Soil physical indicators tended to be the most important, except in AF, where chemical indicators were most relevant. RQI values were also lowest when AF was used as the reference, showing that the forest was a unique ecosystem, and the CAVE-15 site had lower RQI scores than the other restored sites, indicating the high degree of disturbance that occurred in that low-lying area. The SP-20 site tended to have higher RQI values than the SP-15, and similar values to the less disturbed COMP-5 areas, potentially indicating greater recovery of native soil properties during the longer recovery period. This RQI-based approach has excellent potential for robust assessment of the recovery of areas degraded by mining and can support decision-making during monitoring.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0088.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: ecological corridors; green infrastructure; protected areas; landscape components
Online: 7 May 2022 (03:21:34 CEST)
An important set of Ecosystem services (ES) provided by Green infrastructures (GI) consists of habitats and species protection and improvement, which coincides with biodiversity conservation and enhancement. From this perspective, one of the most outstanding features of GI is its attitude towards addressing the negative impacts of habitat fragmentation on the supply of ES related to biodiversity by strengthening the effectiveness of connections between protected areas. Building on a methodological approach defined in previous studies by Cannas, published in a set of articles between 2017 and 2018 [1–4], this study identifies ecological corridors (EC) with reference to the spatial layout of a set of protected areas. Moreover, such methodological approach is implemented into the context of the Sardinian region to map EC, which form, together with protected areas, a network representing the spatial framework of a regional GI. Finally, the relation between the EC and the spatial taxonomy of the landscape components featured by environmental relevance (LCFER), identified by the Regional Landscape Plan is analyzed, in order to assess if, and to what extent, the present regional spatial zoning code can be used as a basis to implement regulations aimed at protecting EC.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0606.v2
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Otolaryngology Keywords: tinnitus; acupressure; self-help; ecological momentary assessment; stress
Online: 9 August 2021 (11:45:41 CEST)
Tinnitus is a phantom sound perception in the ears or head and can arise from many different medical disorders. Currently, there is no standard treatment for tinnitus that reliably reduces tinnitus. Individual patients reported that acupressure at various points around the ear can help to reduce tinnitus, which was investigated here. With this longitudinal observational study, we report a systematic evaluation of auricular acupressure on 39 tinnitus sufferers, combined with a self-help smartphone app. The participants were asked to report about tinnitus, stress, mood, neck and jaw muscle tensions twice a day using an ecological momentary assessment study design for six weeks. On average, 123.6 questionnaires per person were provided and used for statistical analysis. The treatment responses of the participants were heterogeneous. On average, we ob-served significant negative trends for tinnitus loudness (Cohen’s d effect size: -.861), tinnitus dis-tress (d = -.478), stress (d = -.675), and tensions in the neck muscles (d = -.356). Comparison with a matched control group revealed significant improvements for tinnitus loudness (p = .027) and self-reported stress level (p = .003). The positive results of the observational study motivate fur-ther research including a randomized clinical trial and long-term assessment of the clinical im-provement.
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Epidemiology And Infectious Diseases Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; zoonoses; ecological; epistemology
Online: 4 June 2020 (17:36:28 CEST)
The probability of zoonoses, such as the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), emerging is strongly related to remediable factors such as habitat encroachment and trade in wild animals. Tackling these underlying determinants is important to prevent future pandemics from the approximately 700,000 viruses with the potential to cause zoonoses. Reversing habitat destruction is also vital to halt the accelerating rate of extinction of a wide array of life forms - with all the adverse consequences these extinctions will have for human health. These insights depend on viewing health and disease from within an ecological theoretical framework. We therefore argue that preventing future zoonotic outbreaks as well as dealing with a range of contemporary health issues would be facilitated by grounding our health sciences in more a more explicitly ecological conceptual framework.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201908.0066.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Geography, Planning And Development Keywords: Anthropocene; resilience; social-ecological systems; sustainability; transitions; wilderness
Online: 6 August 2019 (03:36:20 CEST)
Since the late 1980s the idea of sustainable development has been gaining widespread recognition as a guiding framework for policies on development and the environment. However, the concept of sustainable development has received a number of criticisms, including its over-emphasis on meeting human needs through economic growth, as well as its failure to recognize dynamic human-environment interactions. In response to these shortfalls, the concepts of resilience and adaptive governance have emerged as alternative perspectives for pursuing sustainable development. Resilience in social-ecological systems emphasizes the capacity of coupled human-environment systems to deal with change while continuing to develop. Adaptive governance relies on diverse and nested institutional mechanisms for connecting actors across multiple scales to manage conflicts and uncertainties in ecosystem management processes. However, the ethical dimensions of resilience and adaptive governance have not received enough attention. A promising ethical perspective for guiding policies on human-environment interactions is the philosophy of deep ecology which highlights the need for recognition of the intrinsic values of all living things, as well as the nurturing of ecological and cultural diversity. We argue that an integration of the principles of deep ecology and adaptive governance provides a complementary set of ethical principles and institutional attributes that offers better prospects for pursuing sustainable development in the era of the Anthropocene. The implications of this integrative agenda include: adoption of a holistic conception of dynamic human-environment interactions; recognition of diverse knowledge systems through an anti-reductionist approach to knowledge; promotion of long term sustainability through respect for ecological and cultural diversity; and embracing decentralization and local autonomy. We further illustrate this integrative agenda using the management of protected areas as a case study.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201905.0085.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Economics Keywords: ecological economics; markets; embeddedness; justice; sustainability; efficiency; values
Online: 8 May 2019 (09:03:23 CEST)
Markets dominate the world’s food systems. Today’s food systems fail to realize the normative foundations of ecological economics: justice, sustainability, efficiency, and value pluralism. I argue that markets, as an institution for governing food systems, hinder the realization of these objectives. Markets allocate food toward money, not hunger. They encourage shifting costs on others, including nonhuman nature. They rarely signal unsustainability, and in many ways cause it. They do not resemble the efficient markets of economic theory. They organize food systems according to exchange value at the expense of all other social, cultural, spiritual, moral, and environmental values. I argue that food systems can approach the objectives of ecological economics roughly to the degree that they subordinate market mechanisms to social institutions that embody those values. But such “embedding” processes, whether through creating state policy or alternative markets, face steep barriers and can only partially remedy food markets’ inherent shortcomings. Thus, ecological economists should also study, promote, and theorize non-market food systems.
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Computer Science Keywords: Brain; Borsuk-Ulam theorem; sensation; environment; ecological theory
Online: 26 March 2019 (10:12:37 CET)
During the exploration of the surrounding environment, the brain links together external inputs, giving rise to perception of a persisting object. During imaginative processes, the same object can be recalled in mind even if it is out of sight. Here, topological theory of shape provides a mathematical foundation for the notion of persistence perception. In particular, we focus on ecological theories of perception, that account for our knowledge of world objects by borrowing a concept of invariance in topology. We show how a series of transformations can be gradually applied to a pattern, in particular to the shape of an object, without affecting its invariant properties, such as boundedness of parts of a visual scene. High-level representations of objects in our environment are mapped to simplified views (our interpretations) of the objects, in order to construct a symbolic representation of the environment. The representations can be projected continuously to an environmental object that we have seen and continue to see, thanks to the mapping from shapes in our memory to shapes in Euclidean space.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.1354.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: Urbanization; Green infrastructure; Urban forestry; Biological invasion; Ecological restoration
Online: 22 November 2023 (07:46:31 CET)
With the liberalization of the mining sector, a considerable demographic explosion is witnessed in Lubumbashi city (southeastern of the D.R. Congo). The resulting spatial urban expansion is unplanned, reducing the vegetation cover abundance within and around the city. To address this situation, Acacia auriculiformis, an alien species, has been planted without planning and monitoring. We quantify the spatio-temporal pattern dynamics of A. auriculiformis along the urban-rural gradient from the digitisation of Google Earth images from 2006, 2014 and 2021, and evaluate tree diversity through floristic inventory. Results showed that the plantation of A. auriculiformis, belonging to park, street trees and green spaces-types, increased in patch number and acreage, mostly in urban zone. The values of the patch which were highest in 2006 decreased in 2021, especially in the urban zone. Thirty-nine trees species were founded on A. auriculiformis plantations, with Albizia lebbeck, Albizia alba and Leucaena leucocephala being the most common. However, results showed that 20 species out of 39 species found are exotic, half of which are invasive species. However, 19 trees species are indigenous, mainly found in peri-urban zones. Although most tree species were observed in urban zones, the average diameters were greater in the peri-urban zone. Overall, obtained results appear to suggest that the sustainability of A. auriculiformis within the urban and peri-urban zones of Lubumbashi city appears uncertain since a considerable number of attracted species are found to be alien invasive trees that pose a threat to biodiversity conservation. There is an urgent need for adoption of a master plan for sustainable integration and monitoring of trees plantations for limiting erosion of indigenous phytodiversity and the spread of alien invasive species populations in the adjacent rural area.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.1646.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: Scaling laws; biodiversity; habitat loss; ecological networks; tipping points
Online: 26 October 2023 (03:41:36 CEST)
Preserving and restoring biodiversity is becoming a great challenge as we face a world where planetary boundaries will likely be crossed over the following decades. Such challenge needs to consider multiple scales of complexity, both in space and time. A common thread in most cases is the presence of nonlinear phenomena generating shifts among alternative states. These breaking points imply a new perception of risk and different management strategies. A broad range of phenomena affect the preservation of healthy communities and constrain the ways to deal with conservation, from local features associated with habitat loss or facilitation to mesoscale or global network-level ecological complexity and the role played by extreme events. How are these scales connected? How can the emergent properties associated with ecosystem dynamics be exploited? Here a synthesis of ideas is presented, with a complex systems view of the different scales involved, the emergent phenomena separating them, and the universal properties that allow defining simple models on each scale.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.1416.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: ecosystem services; ecological risk; spatial relationships; driving factors; Chongqing
Online: 21 August 2023 (08:08:56 CEST)
The rapid development of the regional economy in China has led to the rise of local ecological risks. It is very important to provide enjoyable ecosystem services to residents while reducing ecological risks. In order to understand spatial relationships between ecosystem services and ecological risks, we took Chongqing as an example in this study to assess the spatial relationship between ecosystem services and ecological risks at the county scale based on the ES-DPSIR system. The main findings include: (1) significant variation in the spatial distribution of the comprehensive ecosystem service index, where the lowest ecosystem service index (0.013) was found in the main urban area of Chongqing and the scores gradually increased outward from this center, reaching 0.689 in the outermost areas, (2) the increase of the comprehensive ecological risk index from east to west, ranging from -0.134 to 0.333, (3) the spatial relationship between ecosystem services and ecological risks was prominent, with 52.63% of the districts and counties being imbalanced or mild imbalanced, and (4) the significant differences between development trends of ecosystem services-ecological risks, including 60.53% being imbalanced districts and 30.47% mildly balanced. Overall, it was necessary to improve the relationship between ecosystem services and ecological risks in Chongqing by reducing ecological risks., and these research results could provide effective approaches and technical support for improving regional ecological security and enhancing ecosystem service capabilities.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.0595.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Geography Keywords: the Indochina Peninsula; the production-living-ecological spaces; GTWR
Online: 8 August 2023 (04:10:43 CEST)
Influenced by historical background, regional economic development, and the frequent occurrence of armed conflict, the human–earth relationship in the Central and Southern Peninsula, which is located in a "fragmented zone", is characteristic of the region. The Indochina Peninsula has now become an area of interest for the study of spatial changes in production–living–ecological spaces (PLES). Taking the Indochina Peninsula as the study area, this paper explores the evolution of the spatio-temporal patterns of PLES and its driving mechanism in the Central and Southern Peninsula, from 2010 to 2020, based on the grid scale. Methods such as the land-use transition matrix, land-use dynamics index, and Geographically and Temporally Weighted Regression (GTWR) were used in our model. Our results show that, from 2010 to 2020, ecological space dominated the PLES pattern on the Indochina Peninsula but its area gradually decreased, accompanied by a sharp increase in the areas of productive and living spaces. The area of PLES interconversion on the Indochina Peninsula in 2010–2020 was 212818.70 km2, and it is characterized by the conversion of ecological space into productive space, as well as the interconversion of woodland ecological and grassland ecological spaces. In addition, the intertransfer of production and ecological spaces was distributed in a network-like manner throughout the Indochina Peninsula, while the transfer of living space was distributed in a point-like manner. The migration path of the center of gravity of PLES on the In-dochina Peninsula demonstrates a significant directional difference. The PLES’s pattern evolution was affected by the degree of multiple factors, with a significant spatial and temporal heterogeneity. The positive and negative feedback effects of the factors were distributed in different areas and in different transfer directions.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0876.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Other Keywords: Planetary Health; Muslim Religious Leaders; Islam; Anthropocene; Ecological crises
Online: 25 April 2023 (03:50:32 CEST)
The Anthropocene epoch marks a critical phase in the history of humanity, where anthropogenic activities have significantly impacted our planet. Along the unpreceedendent ecological crises, the Anthropocene worldview has raised existential questions with a cultural and ethical discourse that recognises intrinsic value and calls for more responsible sustainable living. To address these challenges collectively, a broader perspective is required, guided by a unified sense of purpose towards personal and planetary health. In this context, the role of religious leaders in shaping the social and environmental worldviews of their followers cannot be underestimated. Religious teachings provide a moral framework for promoting climate action, global ethics, indigenous people, peace, and justice, and many other aspects of planetary health. By assessing the global ecological crises through the lens of Islam; Religion of Nature, or Din al-Fitra, and its environmental teachings across all realms, we can gain insights into humanity’s connection to the fabric of creation and its interaction with this world. These value-leden principles are integrated with accountability; thus, the role of Muslim religious leaders considering the planetary-scale threats warrant further elucidation; recognizing that many other faiths and faith leaders can similarly contribute together for common good.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0008.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: Anthropocene; Ecological system; Human impacts; Artificial intelligence; Machine learning
Online: 3 April 2023 (05:17:10 CEST)
The current epoch, known as the Anthropocene, is characterized by significant human impact on the global ecological system, including altered species survival and distribution patterns due to global warming resulting from industrialization. Accurately quantifying and assessing the extent of human impact on the environment is of utmost importance. To this end, four primary methods have been developed to measure human impact: (1) ecological footprint, (2) Human appropriation of net primary production (HANPP), (3) Planetary boundary, and (4) Living Planet Index. In this paper, we aim to provide a comprehensive understanding of these methods, including their strengths and weaknesses, to evaluate their efficacy in accurately assessing the impact of human activities on the global ecosystem. Furthermore, we explore the potential of utilizing novel machine learning modelling for future predictions in this area. By analyzing and comparing these methods, we can gain insight into the ways in which human activities impact the environment and use this knowledge to inform future policies and practices to mitigate negative effects.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0360.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: Dispersal range; nesting habitat; reproduction; caste system; ecological dominance
Online: 20 December 2022 (08:40:04 CET)
This review discusses the distribution pattern, nesting style, mating behavior, and colony structure of the Asian weaver ants (Oecophylla smaragdina) in Asia. Recent findings suggested that weaver ant occurrences are not only limited to tropical rainforests biome, agroforestry and large monoculture fields, but have encroached human rural habitation including densely populated urban areas. Comparatively, O. longinoda and O. smaragdina are taxonomically classified as two distinct species, but the main differences between them are strongly dependent on the allopatric nature or geographical speciation of their distribution. Although weaver ants are dominant ubiquitous and conspicuous arboreal insects with a predilection for habitation in trees canopies, viable nests colonies on the ground have been reported in Thailand. O. smaragdina usually construct their polydomous nests (multiple satellites nests arrangement within a single host but diverse plants species) by weaving tree-leaves using their larval silk. Knowledge on mating behavior is rudimentary; hence more studies are needed especially in understanding how weather parameters affect nuptial flight swarming act. At the colony organization level, comprehensive reports about minor and major workers contrasts with the poorly documented but significant intermediate size of workers caste. The versatile impact of Asian Oecophylla is offering important ecological subsistence services to both the nature and humans. This is by combining positive economic implications to food security concern with a provision of organic nutrients for host plants and highly healthful diet enhancer (nourishing-medicinal). Despite its wide presence in large oil palms monoculture, only one report had exposed weaver ants’ potential positive ecological impact (i.e. predation on bagworms Pteroma pendula) in Southeast Asia.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202211.0549.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Psychiatry And Mental Health Keywords: air pollution; PM2.5; depression; inflammation; ecological analysis; climate; gender
Online: 29 November 2022 (10:12:54 CET)
Several studies have identified a relationship between air pollution and depression, particularly in relation to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) exposure. However, the strength of this association appears to be moderated by variables such as age, gender, genetic vulnerability, physical activity and climatic conditions, and has not been assessed at a cross-national level to date. The current study examines the association between the prevalence of depression in each country, based on the most recent Global Burden of Disease Study data, and the average national level of PM2.5 based on the World Health Organization’s database. The observed associations were adjusted for age, gender, level of physical activity, income, education, population density, climate, and type of depression. It was observed that there was a modest but significant positive correlation between PM2.5 level and the prevalence of depression even after adjusting for the above confounders. This association was more marked above a certain threshold and applied chiefly to major depressive episodes. These findings are of significant public health importance in terms of preventive strategies aimed at reducing the population-level burden of depression.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202210.0088.v1
Subject: Engineering, Civil Engineering Keywords: Circular City Index; Urban Regeneration; Energy and Ecological Transition
Online: 8 October 2022 (03:06:49 CEST)
Cities consume over 75% of natural resources, produce over 50% of global waste and emit 60 - 80% of greenhouse gases. The scenario that by 2050 two thirds of the world population will live in cities, highlights how cities are still responsible of the growing consumption characterized by linear economy processes, with the production of various types of waste. In this unsustainable framework, the Circular Economy offers the opportunity to shape the urban system by means of rethinking the possibility to produce and use goods and services exploring new ways to ensure long-term prosperity. The Circular City paradigm contains in fact all the principles of the Circular Economy: recovery, recycling and sharing. In particular, Circular City also introduces actions related to the development of renewable energy communities, use of green materials, CO2 absorption approaches and Proximity Cities. The aim of this work is to develop a methodology to build a composite index (Circular City Index) capable of measuring the degree of implementation of urban policies that enable the territory to initiate an ecological transition of public assets. The city of Cagliari (Sardinia, Italy) represents the case study to apply circular urban policies in public properties, for civil and military use.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0351.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Immunology And Microbiology Keywords: oral microbiota; gut microbiota; networks analysis; ecological niche; newborns
Online: 21 September 2021 (09:13:34 CEST)
The onset and progression of the salivary and gut microbiota, the transmission and the impact of the salivary microbiota on the development of early fecal microbial communities was herein explored. We characterized the microbiota of 82 faecal and 80 salivary samples, collected from 82 healty newborns at birth, 7, 15, 30, 90 and 180 days of life, by 16S rRNA targeted-metagenomics approach. Correlation heat-maps and co-occurrence networks were used to investigate microbial taxa relationship in saliva, gut and between the two ecosystems. In saliva microbiota, Streptococcus and Staphylococcus appeared as early commensals, dominating this ecosystem through the time, while Fusobacterium, Prevotella, Porphyromonas, Granulicatella and Veillonella were late colonizers. anaerobes as Enterobacteriace, Staphylococcus and Streptococcus, were gut microbiota pioneers, followed by the anaerobic Bifidobacterium, Veillonella, Eggerthella and Bacteroides. Streptococcus, Staphylococcus and Veillonella were shared by gut and saliva ecosystems (core microbiota). Early saliva and gut microbiota seem to evolve independently driven by local adaptation strategies, with the only exception for the oral Streptococcus and Veillonella genera, involved in gut microbiota development as seeding species. A more comprehensive knowledge of how oral microbiota may impact pathophysiological conditions of gut microbiota may open new avenues on the design of postbiotics.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201801.0187.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Geography, Planning And Development Keywords: mountainous areas; urbanization; ecological footprint; Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture
Online: 19 January 2018 (14:46:38 CET)
The rapid urbanization has exerted tremendous pressure on natural systems in mountains. As a measure of sustainable use of natural resources, ecological footprint is an important basis for judging whether the development of a country or region is within the biocapacity. Taking Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture as an example, this study comprehensively analyzes the impact of human activities on mountain resources and environment from the three aspects of urbanization, land use and ecological carrying capacity. The results show that Dali Prefecture with the urbanization rate of 33% is still in the accelerated stage of urbanization. The urban space presents the core-periphery feature, and the central city is the focus of human existence and living activities. The per capita ecological footprint is 1.14 hm2/person higher than the ecological carrying capacity, meaning Dali Prefecture is in an ecological deficit state. This indicates that there is an uncoordinated state between urbanization and environment. Arable land is the main source of per capita ecological footprint in the prefecture. However, the urban expansion overly occupies the arable land in the plain sub-region, leading the arable land to an ecological deficit state. In the future, the development of the mountainous area should focus on the protection of arable land and choose a new sustainable path.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.0479.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Animal Science, Veterinary Science And Zoology Keywords: Nutria; ecological impact; health status; public health; Toxoplasma gondii; zoonoses.
Online: 8 November 2023 (08:34:24 CET)
Myocastor coypus is a pest animal present in Africa, Europe, North America, and Asia that causes agricultural and ecological damages. Moreover, it has to be considered as a potential risk for public health. Forty-four Nutrias from the “Parco Naturale La Mandria” (Piedmont region, Northwest Italy) have been analysed. A complete necropsy and a whole histological evaluation of liver, kidney and lung have been carried out on all the animals. Moreover, the positivity to Hepatitis E Virus (HEV), Encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV), Francisella spp., Toxoplasma gondii and Neospora caninum have been investigated. None of the animal resulted positive for HEV, EMCV, Francisella spp. or Neospora caninum. Two animals tested positive for Toxoplasma gondii. A high presence of histological lesions has been identified in different organs, suggesting that lesions could be induced by different pathogens. As previously reported, Nutria can act as a host for several pathogens, including important agents for human and animal health, and surveillance is necessary, to fully understand the biological role and the importance of coypu as a disease reservoir in our country.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.0929.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: biogeography; climate change; ecological niche modeling; geographic range; relict plant
Online: 11 August 2023 (12:08:10 CEST)
The high-mountain and arctic plants are considered especially sensitive to the climate changes because of close adaptations to the cold environment. Kalmia procumbens, the typical arctic-alpine species reaches southernmost European localities in the Pyrenees and Carpathians. The aim of the study was the assessment and comparison of K. procumbens current potential niche areas in the Pyrenees and Carpathians and their possible reduction due to climate change, depending on the scenario. Realized niches of K. procumbens in the Pyrenees are compact while in the Carpathians dispersed. In both mountain chains, the species occurs in the alpine and subalpine vegetation belts, going down to elevations of about 1500-1600 m, while the most elevated localities in the Pyrenees are at ca 3000 m, about 500 m higher than in the Carpathians. The localities of K. procumbens in the Carpathians have a more continental climate than in the Pyrenees, with lower precipitation and temperatures but higher seasonality of temperature and of precipitation. The species covered a larger area of geographic distribution during Last Glacial, and reduced area during mid Holocene. Due to the climate warming, the strong reduction of potential area of occurrence to 2100 is expected in the Carpathians and moderate reduction in in the Pyrenees.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.2217.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: Climate change effects; nutraceutical species; distribution; Ecological niche model; Mesoamerica
Online: 4 July 2023 (03:15:59 CEST)
Dioscorea composita is a plant native to México and Central America with a high concentration of diosgenin precursors. Currently, México is one of the two most important countries producers of this yam; however, climate change is altering the environmental conditions of its natural habits, threatening its preservation and productivity. This is why this research was focused to characterize the eco-geography of D. composita and predict its potential geographic distribution under climate change scenarios in México-Central America. A collection of 408 geo-referenced accessions was used to determine its climatic adaptation, ecological descriptors, and the current and future potential geographic distribution, which was modeled with MaxEnt model through the Kuenm R-package. For future climate scenarios, an ensemble of the GCMs HadGEM-ES and CCSM4 was used. Results showed that D. composita adapts to warm humid and very humid agro-climates and that the most contributing variables for its presence are annual and seasonal moisture availability indices, seasonal photoperiod, annual thermal range, Bio14 and Bio11. The year 2050 RCP 4.5 climate scenario would contract the potential distribution of D. composita, whilst the 2050 RCP 8.5 scenario would expand it, indicating that this species could be a good crop option under this scenario of emissions.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0442.v2
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Animal Science, Veterinary Science And Zoology Keywords: bison; restoration; socio-ecological processes; indigenous harvest; maximum entropy modelling
Online: 29 September 2022 (10:58:10 CEST)
The historic western edge of bison (Bison bison) range and the ecological processes that caused its formation are frequently debated with important implications for bison restoration across North America. We test the hypothesis that a combination of bottom-up habitat suitability and top-down harvest pressure from humans were important processes in forming the western edge of bison distribution. Using 9,384 historical journal observations from 1691 – 1928, we employ MaxEnt ecological niche modelling to identify suitable bison habitat across the Western Cordillera from bottom-up climatic, land cover, and topographic factors. We then use mixed-effect logistic regression to test if bison occurrence in journal records can be in part explained by the abundance of Indigenous humans, wolves, or grizzly bears, in addition to MaxEnt-derived habitat suitability. We find support for our hypothesis because of the limited suitable habitat in the Rocky Mountains that likely prevented westward bison dispersal from core habitat, and there was a negative relationship between bison occurrence and human harvest pressure. On this basis, we propose that intensive human harvest from large populations in the Western Cordillera, subsidized by other wildlife, salmon, and vegetation resources, is an underappreciated socioecological process that needs to be restored alongside bison populations. Co-managing bison with Indigenous people will also mitigate the adverse effects of overabundant bison and maximize the ecological and cultural benefits of bison restoration.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0392.v2
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: forest management methods; adaptive forest management; climate change; ecological norm
Online: 27 July 2022 (04:40:00 CEST)
The compelling effects of climate change on forests may have been underestimated in the past few decades in practical forestry. Although the first attempts to draw attention to this complex problem appeared almost half a century ago, the debate has been conceptual rather than experimental and applicative. At first glance, the con-cerns were mainly related to sustainable forest management (SFM) issues, which obviously needed attention. Over time, the effects of climate change have been mainly considered in the context of the SFM; they started from various and somewhat different scales and goals. Over time, more research and awareness of the im-portance of SFM under the pressure of climate change have led to the development of a clearer field that can be defined as ‘adaptive forest management’ - to climate change. One of the characteristics of this discipline is to be featured by the absence of univocal methods and / or objectives to be pursued but to identify, verify, and adapt methods to the various climatic and forest types and conditions found in the field. Therefore, this work shows some phases of forest planning and management concepts and criteria over time and recalls some innovative and / or adaptive methods related to the approach to forest planning and management under climate change
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0173.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Economics Keywords: Tarim river; ecological service function value; river ecosystem; evaluation indicators
Online: 13 June 2022 (09:33:56 CEST)
The estimation of ecological service system value of water resources in Tarim river basin is of great significance for resource allocation management and ecological protection. However, there is still no unified and complete evaluation method for ecological service system value of inland river in China. Based on the perspective of the whole value chain, the study classifies its ecological service functions, and divides 11 sub-categories into 4 categories (supply, regulation, culture and support) as evaluation indicators to carry out quantitative evaluation. The results showed that the total value of ecological service system in Tarim river basin in 2018 was 4156.5247×108 Yuan, and the value of regulating function, cultural function, supporting function and supply function were successively from high to low, which were as follows: 2565.6825×108 Yuan, 1009.5471×108 Yuan, 884.0770×108 Yuan, 20.3350×108 Yuan, among which the value of regulation function is dominant.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202202.0102.v1
Subject: Arts And Humanities, Architecture Keywords: Design Morphology; Ecosystem Thinking and Methods; Ecological Environment; Form Community
Online: 7 February 2022 (16:31:36 CET)
As an emerging discipline, Design Morphology, with the advantage of "Form Study", has been integrated with many disciplines, and gradually formed its collaborative innovation paradigm. The inclusion of "Ecology" into Design Morphology is expected to promote the research of Design Morphology with the help of the systematic thinking and methods of ecology. The ecosystem of Design Morphology includes the natural ecosystem and the quasi-ecosystem closely related to human beings, and also put forward the concept of "Form Community" for the first time in the design field. In fact, this is exactly the research scope of Design Morphology. Advocating the ecological view of Design Morphology, can not only help to design researchers improve their values and world view, with new thinking and method to engage in "Form Study", but also contribute to the theoretical construction and thinking expansion of Design Morphology, and play a positive role in promoting interdisciplinary collaborative innovation led by Design Morphology. In addition, it can be used to evaluate the overall research and future development trend of Design Morphology, and provide the new research ideas and approaches for the development of design.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0469.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Psychology Keywords: tinnitus; self-help; ecological momentary assessment; ehealth; smart-phone; intervention
Online: 31 January 2022 (14:00:09 CET)
Tinnitus is an auditory phantom perception in the ears or head in the absence of a corresponding external stimulus. There is currently no effective treatment available that reliably reduces tinnitus. Educative counseling is a treatment approach that aims to educate patients and inform them about possible coping strategies. For this feasability study, we implemented educational material and self-help advice in a smartphone app. Participants used the educational smartphone unsupervised during their daily routine over a period of 4 months. Comparing the tinnitus outcome measures before and after smartphone-guided treatment, we measured changes in the tinnitus-related distress, but not in tinnitus loudness. Improvements on the Tinnitus Severity numeric rating scale reached an effect size of .408, while the improvements on the THI were much smaller with an effect size of .168. Analysis on the user behavior showed that frequent and intensive use of the app is a crucial factor for treatment success: participants that used the app more often and interacted with the app intensively, reported a stronger improvement of the tinnitus. Between study allocation and final assessment, 26 of 52 participants dropped out of the study. Reasons for the dropouts and lessons for future studies are discussed in this paper.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0375.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: multi-pond saltern; salinity gradients; microbial community; assembly; ecological processes
Online: 25 January 2022 (09:58:30 CET)
Salinity acts as a critical environmental filter on microbial communities in natural systems, negatively affecting microbial diversity. However, how salinity affects the community assembly remains unclear. This study used Wendeng multi-pond saltern as a model to evaluate the prokaryotic community composition and diversity and quantify the relative importance of ecological processes across salinity gradients. Results showed that low saline salterns (45-80 g/L) exhibited higher bacterial diversity than those in high saline salterns (175-265 g/L). The relative abundance of taxa assigned to Halanaerobiaceae, Haloferacaceae, Desulfohalobiaceae, Phormidiaceae, Rohodobacteraceae, and Nitrococcaceae was higher with increasing salinity. Salinity and pH were the primary environmental factors that directly or indirectly determined the composition and diversity of prokaryotic communities. Microbial co-occurrence network dynamics were more complex in the sediment than in water of salterns. An infer Community Assembly Mechanisms by Phylogenetic-bin-based null model analysis (iCAMP) showed that microbial community assembly in sediment and water differed. Our findings provide more information about microbial community structure and the importance of various ecological processes in controlling microbial community diversity and succession along salinity gradients in water and sediment environments.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0502.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Anatomy And Physiology Keywords: invasive species; ecological niche models; species distribution models; vector surveillance
Online: 21 December 2020 (10:50:19 CET)
Aedes scapularis is a neotropical mosquito known to transmit pathogens of medical and veterinary importance. Its recent establishment in southeastern Florida has potential public health implications. We used an ecological niche modeling approach to predict the abiotic environmental suitability for Ae. scapularis across much of the Americas and Caribbean Islands. Georeferenced occurrence data obtained from the Global Biodiversity Inventory Facility and recent collection records of Ae. scapularis from southern Florida served as input for model calibration. Environmental layers included bioclimatic variables provided in 2000 to 2010 average Modern Era Retrospective-analysis for Research and Applications climatic (MERRAclim) data. Models were run in the software program Maxent. Isothermality values found often in costal environments contributed strongest to model performance. Model projections suggested areas predicted suitable for Ae. scapularis across portions of the Amazon Basin, the Yucatán Peninsula, the Florida Peninsula, and multiple Caribbean Islands. Additionally, model predictions suggested connectivity of highly suitable or relatively suitable environments spanning the United States Gulf Coast, which may facilitate geographic expansion of this species. At least sixteen Florida counties were predicted highly suitable for Ae. scapularis, suggesting vigilance is needed by vector control and public health agencies to recognize further spread of this vector.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0290.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: hormesis; developmental toxicity; endocrine disruptor; herbicide; ecological risk assessment (ERA)
Online: 13 September 2020 (15:33:58 CEST)
Some herbicides exert hormetic or biphasic non-monotonic dose-response (NMDR), which is one of the major challenges for ecological risk assessment (ERA) of pesticides pollution. In this study, fish embryo toxicity test (FET) with Javanese medaka (Oryzias javanicus) to sublethal concentration of diuron was determined. Inverted U-shape heart rate was observed at 3 days post-exposure (dpe) and 7 dpe. However, at 13 dpe the heart rate (104 ± 2.90 heartbeat/min.) decreased in 10.00 mg.L-1 exposed-embryos. At 20 dpe, hatchability and survival rate were reduced in 5.00 mg.L-1 and 10.00 mg.L-1 exposed groups. Hormetic developmental deformities were observed in embryo-larvae of Javanese medaka. The results revealed a biphasic effect of low concentrations of diuron on some morphological and physiological features of Javanese medaka embryo-larvae, which might be attributed to endocrine disruption of this herbicide. Further studies to support these effects were recommended.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201909.0332.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Economics Keywords: ecological efficiency; collaborative innovation; global-malmquist; gravity model; system-gmm
Online: 29 September 2019 (10:42:11 CEST)
Taking capital, manpower, and natural resources as inputs, regional GDP as expected output, and industrial pollution as undesired output, this study measures the ecological efficiency of various regions in China through the Global-Malmquist model. The results show a trend of an initial sharp decline in ecological efficiency followed by a gradual increase in the time dimension, but there is no significant correlation in the spatial dimension. Using the gravity model to quantify the attractiveness of the regions’ capital and human resources for collaborative innovation, it estimates the impact of collaborative innovation on eco-efficiency through the system-Generalized Method of Moments (GMM) model. The results show that technological innovation capital in other regions has a negative “U” relationship with local ecological efficiency, while scientific and technological innovation human resources have a positive “U” relationship. In addition, government financial support in science and technology and the ecological efficiency of the previous period serve as promoting factors of the current local ecological efficiency, while the introduction of foreign technological innovation is likely to inhibit improvements in ecological efficiency. Based on these findings, this study puts forward corresponding policy recommendations for local governments to advance their development agendas alongside their environmental priorities in line with their specific circumstances.
CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0724.v2
Subject: Social Sciences, Political Science Keywords: Social-Ecological System; Water security; Governance; Institution; Learning; Data-Cube
Online: 22 November 2018 (14:47:31 CET)
The Social-Ecological Systems (SES) framework serves as a valuable framework to explore and understand social and ecological interactions, and pathways in water governance. Yet, it lacks a robust understanding of change. We argue an analytical and methodological approach to engaging global changes in SES is critical to strengthening the scope and relevance of the SES framework. Relying on SES and resilience thinking, we propose an institutional and cognitive model of change that institutions and natural resources systems co-evolve to provide a dynamic understanding of SES that stands on three causal mechanisms: institutional complexity trap, rigidity trap, and learning processes. We illustrate how Data Cube technology could overcome current limitations and offer reliable avenues to test hypothesis about the dynamics of social-ecological systems and water security by offering to combine spatial and time data with no major technical requirements for users.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201712.0073.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Economics Keywords: demand-led growth; downshifting; Kaleckian-Harrodian; post-Keynesian; ecological economics
Online: 12 December 2017 (08:34:41 CET)
If the world’s countries seriously tackle the climate targets agreed in Paris, their citizens are likely to experience substantial changes in production, consumption and employment. We present a long-run post-Keynesian model for studying the potential implications of a major transition on macroeconomic stability and employment. It is a demand-led model in which firms have considerable but not absolute freedom to administer prices, while household consumption exhibits inertia. Firms continually seek input-saving technological improvements that, in the aggregate, tie technological progress to firms' cost structure. Together with firm pricing strategies and wage setting, the productivities of different inputs determine the functional income distribution. Saving and investment, and production and purchase of consumption goods, are undertaken by different economic actors, driven by income and capacity utilization, with the possibility that productive capacity exceeds, or falls short of, effective demand. The model produces business cycles and long waves driven by technological change. We present results for a “downshifting” scenario in which households voluntarily withdraw labor and discuss the implications of downshifting for stability, growth, and employment. We contrast the downshifting scenario with ones in which households reduce consumption without withdrawing from the labor pool.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201609.0098.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Probability And Statistics Keywords: ecological niche model; environment; overdispersion; negative binomial; leishmaniasis; infectious disease
Online: 27 September 2016 (10:17:31 CEST)
Leishmaniasis is the third most common vector-borne disease and a very important protozoan infection. Cutaneous leishmaniasis is one of the most common types of leishmaniasis infectious diseases with up to 2 million occurrences of new cases each year worldwide. A dynamic transmission multivariate time series model was applied to the data to account for overdispersion and evaluate the effects of three environmental layers as well as seasonality in the data. Furthermore, ecological niche modeling was used to investigate the geographical suitable conditions for cutaneous leishmaniasis using temperature, precipitation and altitude as environmental layers, together with the leishmaniasis presence data. A retrospective analysis of the cutaneous leishmaniasis spatial data in Afghanistan between 2003 and 2009 indicates a steady increase from 2003 to 2007, a small decrease in 2008, then another increase in 2009. An upward trend and regularly repeating patterns of highs and lows was observed related to the months of the year which suggests seasonality effect in the data. Two peaks were observed in the disease occurrence-- January to March and September to December -- which coincide with the cold period. Ecological niche modelling indicates that precipitation has the greatest contribution to the potential distribution of leishmaniasis.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202312.0146.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: heavy metals; pollution; urban dust; Ecological Risk Index; traffic intensity; hostspots
Online: 4 December 2023 (06:48:37 CET)
In the present work, a study has been carried out on the contamination of heavy metals in urban dust deposited on the roads of the city of Cartagena (Spain), in order to know the content of metals such as Ni, Zn, Pb, Cd, Cr and Cu. Likewise, the possible relationship of the concentration of heavy metals with the color of the sample, level of magnetism and traffic density was studied. Contamination was evaluated using several indices such as contamination factor (CF), enrichment factor (EF), geoacumulation index (Igeo), pollutant load index (PLI) and ecological risk index (RI). A total of 88 samples were taken in the urban area of Cartagena, and the metals were determined by acid digestion and measured by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. The concentration of heavy metals in urban dust from Cartagena was Zn (672 mg/kg) > Cu (248.9 mg/kg) > Pb (227 mg/kg) > Cr (82.7 mg/kg) > Ni (47.7 mg/kg) > Cd (4.1 mg/kg). Contamination levels were high in Pb, Zn, Cd and Cu, according to environmental indices. A correlation was found between magnetism and metal concentration, which was repeated for all metals except Cd. Dark-colored samples contained higher metal concentrations than light-colored samples. Meanwhile, streets with medium and low traffic intensity were found to have higher concentrations of heavy metals. This study's objective was to identify pollution hotspots caused by heavy metals in dust in the urban ecosystem of Cartagena city.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.1129.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: Agriculture; Agro-ecological zone; Adaptive capacity; Least Developed Countries; Paris Agreement
Online: 17 November 2023 (15:29:45 CET)
Climate change impacts threaten sustainable development efforts. The magnitude of the impacts, however, varies with socio-ecological characteristics of locations. This is the reason there is con-sensus on the necessity for climate change adaptive capacity building that is country driven, based on and responsive to local needs. However, information on context specific capacity building needs in developing countries is not readily available. The objective of this study was to establish location specific awareness, training, educational, research and technology capacity building needs for climate change adaptation among small-holder farmers in Uganda. Structured interviews were undertaken with 465 households from five agro-ecological zones selected based on the level of vulnerability of agricultural systems to the main climate variation and change hazards. Results reveal substantial capacity building needs in all the zones. Majority of the farmers needed capacity building for interventions on soil water conservation practices for adapting to drought and un-predictable rainfall. For all zones, education, research, and technology were perceived as key needs. However, the needs varied among zones. These results demonstrate the importance of context specificity in adaptation efforts. The study provides agro-ecological and social system specific in-formation for climate change adaptation planning and policy interventions for effective capacity building
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.1574.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Other Keywords: Keywords; Early childhood; ecological systems theory; prevalent; risk factors; protective factors
Online: 25 October 2023 (07:35:58 CEST)
It is essential to consider the factors that affect early childhood development because doing so can help identify potential risks and window of opportunity for intervention to improve outcomes for children. However, identifying risk and protective factors in early childhood requires careful consideration of several challenges and an integrated approach that recognises the complex and dynamic nature of development. The purpose of this study was to identify and describe the prevalent psychosocial risk and protective factors in the early childhood development phase, using an ecological perspective. The study employed a quantitative cross-sectional study using a random sampling technique. The final sample consisted of 505 caregivers of children aged 5 years old and younger. This study revealed that the most prevalent protective factors include child self-regulation, parent-child warmth, family management and collective efficacy but more importantly social support. While risk factors may exist this is mitigated by social support as it moderates and buffers against the effects of risk factors, as indicated by the various research studies cited.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.0628.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Artificial Intelligence And Machine Learning Keywords: Solid waste management; waste classification; capacitive sensor; Machine Learning; ecological point.
Online: 10 October 2023 (10:57:35 CEST)
The management and classification of solid waste is one of the most important challenges around the world, in order to sustain economic growth and preserve the environment. The objective is to propose the use of Smart Ecological Points as a strategy to address the problem related to the solid waste management system at the source, which has become one of the biggest problems globally and Colombia is no exception. The article describes the current state of the problem in the country and in turn, presents the possibility of developing a prototype corresponding to a low-cost Smart Ecological Point supported by the use of an experimental capacitive sensor and Machine Learning algorithms, which will reduce the time necessary for the classification of recyclable and non recyclable waste, minimizing the health risks and increasing the percentage of waste that can be reused, by reducing the probability of being contaminated at the source, an aspect that is very common when done manually. According to the results obtained, it was evident that the proposed prototype made an adequate classification of waste, generating the possibility of being manufactured with existing technology in the environment, in order to promote adequate waste classification at the source.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.0331.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Animal Science, Veterinary Science And Zoology Keywords: aquaculture; disease control; Monogenea; Plathyelminths; population dynamics; ecological study; sampling effort
Online: 9 October 2023 (04:34:00 CEST)
This work focused on Diplectanum aequans, a gill parasite of Dicentrarchus labrax. Analyzes allowed us to detect factors regulating parasites distribution on Corsican fish-farms, and to highlight the ecological structure of D. aequans communities on gills of fish. The study of parasite distribution showed that bigger fish appear more parasitized and that the infection dynamics of D. aequans can be explained by several factors such as biotic factors or farm environment conditions. The study of gill repartition of D. aequans showed that parasites tend to have a homogeneous distribution with no statistically significant difference in infection between two sides on each fish. However, the distribution of the number of parasites on gill arches varies according to the total number of parasites. Results differ depending on infection degree and host weight. When parasites are numerous, the individuals are distributed on the gill arches according to an antero-posterior gradient, while with low rates of infection, the parasites are randomly distributed on the 4 arches. The spatial distribution of D. aequans appears to be determined by the differential action of water flow through gill arch and the size of anterior arches. We also proposed a tool in order to reduce the sampling effort and allow optimal exploitation for fish farmers.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.0149.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: Dioscorea remotiflora; Mexican endemic species; Niche modeling; Ecological descriptors; Climatic adaptation
Online: 4 September 2023 (08:41:55 CEST)
Dioscorea remotiflora, a perennial climbing herbaceous plant wild and native to México, bears tubers of important ethnobotanical and nutritional value. However, the information for its production and use is precarious. The objective of this research was to characterize the adaptation habitats of D. remotiflora in order to determine its ecological descriptors and current distribution, as well as to model its potential distribution. A comprehensive database encompassing 481 geo-referenced accessions was assembled. Using the Agroclimatic Information System for México and Central America (SIAMEXCA), 42 environmental variables were formulated. The MaxEnt model within the Kuenm R-package was employed to predict the species distribution. The findings reveal a greater presence of D. remotiflora in harsh environments, characterized by arid to semi-arid conditions, poor soils, and hot climates with long dry periods. The plant's nutritional and medicinal attributes, combined with its ecological adaptability, suggest its viability within evolving regional cropping systems under the influence of climate change. Niche modeling revealed that seven key variables determine the geographical distribution of D. remotiflora: precipitation of the warmest quarter, precipitation of the driest month, minimum temperature of the coldest month, November-April solar radiation, annual mean relative humidity, annual moisture availability index, and May-October mean temperature. Favorable regions for D. remotiflora coincide with its current presence sites, while other suitable areas, such as the Yucatan Peninsula, Northeast region, and Gulf of México, offer potential expansion opportunities for the species distribution. The characterization obtained for D. remotiflora, together with the description of its edaphic and climatic adaptation habitats, will enable an efficient design of strategies for its use and conservation in the near future.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.1604.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: Interspecific competition; Spatial ecological niche; Ensemble model; Habitat selection; Xinlong County
Online: 25 July 2023 (03:24:10 CEST)
Large terrestrial carnivores play a crucial role in top-down control within terrestrial ecosystems, maintaining ecosystem stability and biodiversity. However, intense interspecific competition often arises among sympatric large carnivores, leading to population reductions or even extinctions. Spatial partitioning through divergent habitat selection helps mitigate such competition. In Xinlong County, Sichuan Province, we used 293 infrared cameras for monitoring from September to May 2016 and March to October 2022. By employing the Generalized Linear Model (GLM) and the Maximum Entropy Model (MaxEnt), we developed an ensemble model predicting the suitable habitat distribution of leopards (Panthera pardus) and wolves (Canis lupus). We analyzed the main environmental factors influencing habitat selection and the fragmentation of suitable habitats. We found that suitable habitat distribution differed significantly between them. Both species preferred areas with gentle slopes close to settlements. While leopards' habitat selection primarily depended on the distance from settlements, the slope was predominant for wolves. Suitable habitats displayed aggregation, yet wolves exhibited higher fragmentation and more complex patch shapes, indicating greater susceptibility to human activities. These results suggest that sympatric large carnivores, such as leopards and wolves, can reduce spatial competition intensity and promote spatial partitioning by selecting divergent suitable habitats, thereby facilitating species coexistence.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0241.v1
Subject: Engineering, Civil Engineering Keywords: Ecological concrete; Cement/cementitious materials; Durability-related properties; Carbonation; Chloride; Diffusion
Online: 14 December 2022 (02:03:05 CET)
The durability of ecological concrete in a marine environment was studied. Specimens of a six-year-old submerged ecological concrete from a breakwater located in the East Mediterranean sea were analyzed for their biological carbonate deposition cover, chloride effective diffusion, carbonation, and mineralogy. About 57% of the surface was found to be covered by biogenic-deposited carbonates. The effective chloride diffusion coefficient and the carbonation rate were found to be reduced proportionally to the biogenic-carbonate cover. Most of the aluminates were found in non-crystalline minerals. No evidence of a sulfate attack was found.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202210.0370.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Political Science Keywords: socio-ecological systems; sustainability; adaptive cycle; panarchy; commodity frontiers; world-ecology.
Online: 25 October 2022 (02:03:32 CEST)
This article investigates the dynamics of socio-ecological systems (SESs) unsustainability. By adopting a theoretical standpoint grounded in systems’ theory, the analysis shows how SESs’ teleology (or final cause) is of the utmost relevance for understanding unsustainability and how it is pivotal for envisioning possible evolutionary trajectories towards sustainability. Building on the contributions of both system and social scientists, the study argues that SES’s teleology is determined by dominant social ontologies that require a dialectical lens to be properly dealt with. The article therefore proposes the adoption of the adaptive cycle heuristic complemented by an historical-geographical approach based on world-ecology theory as a means to dynamically model of SESs’ behaviour. Such a perspective allows for the direct comparison between the four stages of the panarchy cycle (reorganization, exploitation, conservation, and release) and the four stages theorized by the world-ecology dialectics (expansion, appropriation, capitalization, crisis). In conclusion, the article claims that both system and social scientists would benefit from including in their analysis concepts and definitions from the other field, since both provide valuable insights about SESs' processes of change and both are necessary to envision transition pathways towards sustainability.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0061.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Health Policy And Services Keywords: sustainability; digital transformation; suitable for aging; service ecological theory; health service
Online: 6 May 2022 (07:45:20 CEST)
The ageing transformation of digital health services faces issues of how to distinguish influencing factors, redesign services, and effectively promote measures and policies. In this study, in-depth interviews are conducted and grounded theory applied to open coding, main axis coding, and selective coding to form concepts and categories. Trajectory equifinality modeling clarified the evolution logic of digital transformation. Based on the theory of service ecology, a digital health service ageing model is constructed from the "macro-medium-micro" stages and includes governance, service, and technology transformation paths. The macro stage relies on organizational elements to promote the institutionalization of management and guide the transformation of governance for value realization, including the construction of three categories: mechanism, indemnification, and decision-making. The meso stage relies on service elements to promote service design and realize service transformation suitable for aging design, including the construction of three categories: organization, resources, and processes. The micro stage relies on technical elements to practice experiencing humanization, including the construction of three categories: target, methods, and evaluation. These results deepen the understanding of the main behaviors and roles of macro-organizational, meso-service, and micro-technical elements in digital transformation practice and have positive significance for health administrative agencies to implement action strategies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0534.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Anatomy And Physiology Keywords: governance; social-ecological system; tropical cyclone; urban forest; urban tree canopy
Online: 23 July 2021 (10:31:50 CEST)
Urban Tree Canopy (UTC) greatly enhances the livability of cities by reducing urban heat buildup, mitigating stormwater runoff, and filtering airborne particulates, among other ecological services. These benefits, combined with the relative ease of measuring tree cover from aerial imagery, have led many cities to adopt management strategies based on UTC goals. In this study, we conducted canopy analyses for the 300 largest cities in Florida to assess the impacts of development practices, urban forest ordinances, and hurricanes on tree cover. Within the cities sampled, UTC canopy ranged from 5.9% to 68.7% with a median canopy coverage of 32.3% Our results indicate that the peak gust speeds recorded during past hurricanes events were a significant predictor of canopy coverage (P-value = <0.001) across the sampled cities. As peak gust speeds increased from 152 km/h (i.e., a lower-intensity Category 1 storm) to 225 km/h (lower-intensity Category 4 and the maximum gusts captured in our data), predicted canopy in developed urban areas decreased by 7.7%. Beyond the impacts of hurricanes and tropical storms, we found that historic landcover and two out of eight urban forest ordinances were significant predictors of existing canopy coverage (P-landcover <0.001; P-tree preservation ordinance = 0.02, P-heritage tree ordinance = 0.03). Results indicate that local policies and tree protections can protect or enhance urban tree canopy, even in the face of rapid development and periodic natural disturbances.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0470.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: heavy metals; surface sediment; Manila Bay; pollution; multivariate analysis; ecological risk
Online: 18 June 2021 (08:32:18 CEST)
Recent work on heavy metal pollution in Manila Bay suggests elevated concentration in the surface sediments. It is critical to identify the sources of these heavy metals to effectively rehabilitate the bay. Our study investigated the sources of the heavy metal pollution that ended up in Manila Bay and the risks associated with these toxic metals based on a recent survey conducted. Surface sediment samples with higher heavy metal concentrations were found in the upper to middle parts of the bay while lower concentrations were in the southeast areas. Multivariate analyses such as hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA), principal component analysis (PCA), and Pearson correlation analysis were used to identify the sources of the heavy metals. The heavy metal pollution in Manila Bay is attributed to several rivers draining northeast of Manila Bay, particularly the Marilao-Meycauayan-Obando River System (MMORS) which is cited as one of the 30 dirtiest river systems in the world. The ecological risks associated with heavy metals in the sediments found higher incidences of toxicity in north and middle parts of Manila Bay. Cu and Cr posed the highest risks of toxicities than any other heavy metals. Based on our analysis, the counterclockwise water gyre of the bay can explain the distribution and ecological risks associated with the heavy metals as supported by the findings of the PCA. Given the high priority by the Philippine government to rehabilitate the bay, our study strongly shows that efforts to restore the ecological status of Manila Bay will only succeed if the pollution from major rivers draining to it will be properly addressed.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0595.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Psychology Keywords: pathological gambling; social ecological model; adolescents; emerging adults; internet; online communities
Online: 28 January 2021 (16:16:00 CET)
Problem gambling among young people is an emerging trend globally. The online environment in particular offers various possibilities for gambling engagement. This is the first cross-national survey study using the social ecological model to analyze problem gambling, especially in the online context. The aim was to analyze how different social ecological spheres explain problem gambling. Participants were young people aged 15–25 in the United States (n = 1,212), South Korea (n = 1,192), Spain (n = 1,212), and Finland (n = 1,200). The South Oaks Gambling Screen (SOGS) instrument was used as a measure for problem gambling. Regression models predicted problem gambling with measures of intrapersonal, interpersonal, organizational, and societal spheres. Spanish participants had the highest SOGS score for problem gambling. Out of the spheres, organizational-sphere measures best explained the variation in problem gambling in all countries (26%) when compared to the societal (3%), interpersonal (5%) and intrapersonal (11%) spheres. In the full model, organizational-sphere measures had strong associations with problem gambling. These included consumer debt, online gambling community participation, online casino participation, and exposure to online pop-up advertisements. Other robust predictors of problem gambling included conformity to group norms in the interpersonal sphere and male gender and impulsivity in the intrapersonal sphere. Cross-national results were similar in different countries. The online context plays a major role in problem gambling behavior. The social ecological model is a useful tool by which to tackle problem gambling and develop preventative measures.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202011.0155.v1
Subject: Engineering, Energy And Fuel Technology Keywords: environmental efficiency; energy; economic; PV installation; modernization; economic analysis; ecological effect,
Online: 3 November 2020 (14:13:39 CET)
The paper addresses an analysis of the efficiency and profitability of the operation of a photovoltaic installation located in the geometric centre of Europe (near Białystok, Poland), where the intensity of solar irradiation is not too high compared to other European countries. It is calculated that in that place average solar irradiation being lower even by approx. 26 kWh than that for the whole Europe, which results in a 26% drop in the economic potential of the utilisation of solar energy for its conversion. A case study and an economic analysis show that without minimum funding amounting to 50% of the investment costs paid for the modernisation of a central heating system assisted by PV cells, the time of return of pecuniary expenditures exceeds 7 years. Apart from the Simple Pay-Back Time SPBT, discount indicators determined in the paper also include the net present value NPV and the internal rate of return IRR. Moreover, a direct ecological effect has been determined for such an investment.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0368.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Geography, Planning And Development Keywords: Boom bust economy; Resilience; Single industry; Social ecological system; Sustainable development
Online: 17 September 2020 (03:29:07 CEST)
This paper reports on the changing dynamics of a small town’s social-ecological system (SES) concerning oil and gas industry boom-bust economic cycles and both the vulnerability and resilience of the town over the past 30 years. With the goal to understand how resource-based single industry impact social-ecological systems, we developed indicators of human and environmental well-being and assessed them. Seven indicators include labor force distribution, education, oil price, household income, water quality, air quality, and land cover land use. Over this period, Drayton Valley, Canada quadrupled in size, with more than 20% of the population working in the oil and gas sector. Median income rose to 42% above the national average despite the population lagging national benchmarks for educational attainment. There have also been dramatic fluctuations in levels of fluoride, phosphorus, and other chemicals in water quality samples, implying a correlation with fossil fuel extractive activities over this period. Land cover land use change analysis shows a decreased area of water bodies, wetland, and forests, and increased built capital and agricultural land. While economic boom cycles have led to cash inflows, an exclusive focus on the benefits of the oil and gas industry may leave those dependent on the industry vulnerable to social and environmental risk factors during bust cycles that are beyond their control in the everchanging global oil economy. This phenomenon which has been referred to as the “resource curse” suggests the need to anticipate cyclical (or more sustained) periods of low levels of oil and gas production. These results suggest that single boom-bust economies impact every aspect of social-ecological systems. Therefore, a sustainable development plan that comprehensively considers not only economic growth, but also diversification, environment protection, and strategic land use planning is indispensable to ensure the long-term development of communities that depend upon extractive industries.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0386.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: Geoethics; social-ecological systems; ethical imperatives; COVID-19 pandemic; responsible science
Online: 18 August 2020 (11:15:13 CEST)
Geoscientists developed geoethics, an intra-disciplinary field of applied philosophical studies, during the last decade. Reaching beyond the sphere of professional geosciences, it led to professional, cultural, and philosophical approaches to handle the social-ecological structures of our planet ‘wherever human activities interact with the Earth system’. Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 and considering geoscientists’ experiences dealing with disasters (related to hazards like tsunamis, floods, climate changes.), this essay (1) explores the geoethical approach, (2) re-casts geoethics within western philosophical systems, such as the Kantian imperatives, Kohlberg scale of moral adequacy, Jonas’ imperative of responsibility, and (3) advances a ‘geoethical thesis’. The latter takes the form of a hypothesis of a much broader scope of geoethics than initially envisioned. That hypothesis appears by suspecting a relationship between the relative successes in the COVID-19 battle with the positioning of agents (individual, collective, institutional) into ethical frameworks. The turmoil caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, calls for the transfer of experiences between different disciplinary domains to further sustainable governance, hence generalising the geoethical approach. It is emphasized that only when behaving as responsible and knowledgeable citizens, then people of any trade (including [geo-]scientists) can transgress the boundaries of ordinary governance practices with legitimacy.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0148.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Accounting And Taxation Keywords: degradation; dependence; local ecological knowledge; Lower Gangetic Floodplains; Ramsar Convention; wetland
Online: 8 July 2020 (11:21:50 CEST)
Unplanned urbanisation and industrialisation have severely degraded natural ecosystems, particularly wetlands. The Ganges-Brahmaputra Basin support 630 million inhabitants; yet continue to be altered rapidly, jeopardizing the region’s social and ecological integrity. By conducting qualitative interviews and participant observation in a wetland dependent village located in the Lower Gangetic Floodplains we investigated how degrading wetlands in sub-urban landscapes were affecting socio-ecological systems. Not only did the wetlands provide livelihood options, mainly fishing and farming, but also provided prestige and autonomy. Vulnerable sections of the society across class, age and gender were solely dependent on the wetland. In absence of political will to safeguard wetland health, industries emerged by altering wetlands, which hampered local community’s livelihood and lifestyle. Further, our study demonstrated that local ecological knowledge could provide qualitative baseline information for fast-tracking identification of important wetlands and creating inventories to initiate wetland conservation and management. Finally, we recommend local governance structures should be strongly tied to international or national wetland policies so that wetland functions along with human health and well-being could be sustained. We strongly advocate that contradictions in policies be resolved to strengthen efforts to conserve wetlands which provide resilience to marginal communities in the face of calamities.
Subject: Social Sciences, Ethnic And Cultural Studies Keywords: indigenous peoples; local communities; resilience; cultural heritage; socio-ecological systems; networks
Online: 31 May 2020 (15:57:36 CEST)
Global environmental and societal changes threaten the cultures of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (IPLC). Despite the importance of IPLC worldviews and knowledge systems to human well-being and biodiversity, risks to these cultural resources are commonly simplified or neglected in environmental impact assessments, in part because cultural impacts are often indirect and therefore difficult to demonstrate. Here, we show that dependency of a culture on the environment can be mapped through human connections with biophysical elements in their environment. We illustrate a rich variety of cultural values that connect an indigenous Māori tribe in New Zealand with their local environment, then evaluate the resilience of this socio-environmental value system to environmental changes. Our results detail how loss of access to key environmental elements can have extensive direct and cascading impacts on multiple facets of indigenous cultural heritage. Consequently, considering only direct effects of environmental change on cultural heritage, or treating the richness of IPLC environmental relations simplistically, can severely underestimate the seriousness of environmental impacts on IPLC culture. Thus, protecting Earth’s cultural and biological diversity requires inclusion of human-environment relationships in environmental impact assessments.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202002.0224.v2
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: soil; groundwaters; polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs); industrial complex; ecological risk; contamination
Online: 8 March 2020 (16:24:28 CET)
Research subjects of this study are four representative locations in the industrial complex, in the city of Banja Luka, Republic of Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina. 16 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) (∑16PAHs), humus and pH were determined. The main objective of the paper is to determine the concentration levels, to assess the probable sources of PAHs contamination in soil and groundwater and to determine the ecological risk. The ∑16PAHs in soil (at depths of 30 cm, 100 cm, 200 cm, 300 cm and 400 cm) ranged from 0.99 to 2.24 mg/kg, from 0.34 to 0.46, from 0.24 to 0.32, from 0.13 to 0.27 and from 0.13 to 0.47, with mean values of 1.70 mg/kg, 0.40 mg/kg, 0.28 mg/kg, 0.20 mg/kg and 0.26 mg/kg, respectively. The ∑16PAHs in groundwater ranged from 0.23 to 4.50 mg/m3, with a mean value of 1.42 mg/m3. Surface soil and groundwater are heavily contaminated. All values of ∑PAHs in soil layers were lower in the depths of the soil. Factor analysis indicates three sources of contamination, i.e. principal component (PC) PC1 (pyrogenic), PC2 (petrogenic) and PC3 (biomass), with 52.39%, 26.14% and 8.46% of the total variance, respectively. ∑PAH and PAHs indicate high ecological risk for most PAHs, which decreases with soil depth.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201906.0305.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: biological invasions; invasive species, status, ecological niche, invasive niche, Ulex europaeus
Online: 29 June 2019 (10:38:29 CEST)
This study analyzes the natural and social factors influencing the emergence and publicization of the invasive status of a fast growing bush, gorse (Ulex europaeus), by comparison between countries on a global scale. We used documents collected on the web in a standardized way. The results show that in all the countries studied, there are several public statuses attributed to gorse. The invasive status is the one that is most shared. The other most frequently encountered status are those of noxious weed, and of economically useful. The invasive status is publicized in nearly all countries, including those where gorse is almost absent. We quantified the publicization of the invasive gorse status of gorse by an indicator with 5 levels, and then performed a multivariate analysis that combines natural and social explanatory variables. The results lead us to propose the concept of invasive niche: the set of natural and social parameters that allow a species to be considered invasive in a given socio-ecosystem.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201905.0197.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Sociology Keywords: pro-environmental behavior, social-ecological systems, conservation, social networks, landscape structure
Online: 15 May 2019 (12:24:16 CEST)
Conservation of natural habitats in human-dominated landscapes is critical for halting biodiversity loss. Maintaining habitat quantity and connectivity requires landscape-level collective action, which results from environmental decisions made by individual land owners. We investigate how individual decision making in a rural collective translates into quantitative differences in landscape-level environmental outcomes. Behavioral science has become a critical domain of knowledge in conservation, but little attention has been paid to how multiple behavioral drivers determine the success of collective environmental action. We developed a social-ecological model for landscape-level conservation using a detailed data set of 600 land owners in New Zealand. With the model, we tested whether the effect of social influence networks on collective conservation action was altered by their interplay with land owners’ personal characteristics, connections to cross-scale actors and local environmental contexts. Interactions between multiple behavioral drivers determined the environmental outcomes of collective action in unexpected ways by modifying, muting or amplifying the effects of single drivers. Importantly, we detected a social-ecological mechanism for rapid change in the extent of protected habitats, which can explain highly successful or failed environmental outcomes of collective conservation. Further, when environmentally desirable and undesirable behaviors spread simultaneously through the social network, homophily and network cohesion hinder desirable environmental outcomes. This effect can be modified by other drivers such as social responses to local environmental change. Thus, understanding how the antagonistic and synergistic effects of behavioral drivers can be best utilized in conservation will benefit biodiversity and ensure benefits that humans obtain from biodiversity.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201807.0151.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: ecological footprint; biocapacity; resource consumption; grazing land; carbon emission; renewable energy
Online: 9 July 2018 (14:05:23 CEST)
Urbanization and industrialization processes in Mongolia have been significant and rapid for the last half-century. During this period, changes in political and economic systems, growth in the population, and the occasional harsh climate conditions were subject to fluctuations in the natural resource usage. The total Ecological Footprint (EF) in Mongolia has increased from 6.8 million global hectares (gha) in 1961 to 14.6 million gha in 2012. However, Biocapacity (BC) has decreased from 50.6 million gha in 1961 to 39.0 million gha in 2012. The study shows that grazing land Footprint and carbon uptake land Footprint are the two major contributors of the recent intensified use of biological resources. To ensure stable economic development and sustainable use of natural resources, environmental planning is required to consider both the population’s pressure on the environment and the ecosystem’s regeneration capacity, simultaneously. We have proposed a few possible strategies for sustainable utilization of grazing land Footprint and carbon Footprint. For grazing land Footprint, efficient management of both herding practice and number of animals should be considered. In case of carbon Footprint, it is estimated that with the improved combustion efficiencies of coal-based power plants and the maximum use of renewable energy, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in Mongolia can be reduced up to 30% compared to the base line business as usual case in 2030.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201704.0186.v2
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: biodiversity; connectivity; ecological integrity; Mountain Treasures; protected areas; Southern Appalachian Mountains
Online: 29 May 2017 (10:58:00 CEST)
Conservation scientists recognize that additional protected areas are needed to maintain biological diversity and ecological processes. As regional conservation planners embark on recommending additional areas for protection in formal conservation reserves, it is important to evaluate candidate lands for their role in building a resilient protected areas system of the future. Here, we evaluate North Carolina’s Mountain Treasures with respect to their (i) ecological integrity, (ii) role in connecting existing core protected areas, (iii) potential to diversify the ecosystem representation of reserves, and (iv) role in maintaining hotspots of biologically-rich areas not well protected. Mountain Treasures represent a citizen inventory of roadless areas and serve as candidates for elevated levels of conservation protection on U.S. federal lands. We compared Mountain Treasures to other candidate lands throughout the country to evaluate their potential national significance. While the Mountain Treasures tended to be more impacted by human modifications than other roadless areas, they are as important as other roadless areas with respect to their role in connecting existing protected areas and diversifying representation of ecosystems in conservation reserves. However, Mountain Treasures tended to have a much higher biodiversity priority index than other roadless areas leading to an overall higher composite score compared to other roadless areas. Our analysis serves as an example of how using broad-scale datasets can help conservation planners assess the national significance of local areas.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.1811.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: sustainability; social-ecological system; natural capital; ecosystem services; biodiversity agent-based model
Online: 29 November 2023 (02:11:36 CET)
At the Rio Conference in 1992, the sustainable development agenda promised a new era for natural resource management, where the well-being of human society would be enhanced through the sustainable use of natural capital. Several decades on, economic growth continues unabated at the expense of natural capital, as evidenced by biodiversity loss, climate change and further environmental issues. Why is this happening and what can be done about it? In this research, we present three Agent-Based Models that explore the social, economic and governance factors driving (un)sustainability in complex social-ecological systems. Our modelling results reinforce the idea that the current economic system does not protect the natural capital on which it depends. This is due to a disjunction between the economic and environmental elements upon which the sustainable development paradigm is founded. Additionally, various factors appear to enhance social-ecological system unsustainability: the role of financial entities and monetary debt; economic speculation; technological development and efficiency; lack of long-term views and late government interventions; inefficient tipping point management; and the absence of strong top-down and bottom-up conservation forces. Interestingly, alternative scenarios showed that these same factors could be redirected to enhance sustainable development. The current economic system may, therefore, not be inherently unsustainable, but rather specific economic mechanisms, agents’ decision-making, and the kinds of links between economic and natural systems could be at the root of the problem. We argue that short- and medium-term sustainability can be enhanced by implementing mechanisms that shift capitalist forces to support environmental conservation. Long-term sustainability, however, requires further paradigm change: where the economy integrates, and fully accounts for, externalities and recognises the actual value of natural capital.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.0263.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: Brick kiln emission; Ecological & environmental impacts; Human health impacts; Socio-economic consequences
Online: 3 November 2023 (16:29:42 CET)
The brick manufacturing sector in Bangladesh is experiencing rapid growth, leading to notable environmental and health concerns. The primary objective of this research is to examine the Savar Upazila, a region of significant economic significance owing to its favorable brick manufacturing conditions and proximity to Dhaka city. Brick kilns, among other sources, constitute significant contributors to air pollution. The study utilized primary and secondary data to examine brick kiln emissions' effects on the surrounding area's environment and public health. The collection of primary data was conducted in multiple zones within Savar Upazila, which is home to a significant number of brick kilns. The utilization of secondary data provided valuable insights regarding the toxic pollutants discharged by these kilns and the corresponding health risks they pose. The participants provided accounts of various health ailments, such as dermatological conditions, optical difficulty, and respiratory complications, further aggravated by brick kilns' incidents. The prevalence of crop losses, soil degradation, and reduced agricultural yields was confirmed by 74% of the respondents. The trees and crops in the surrounding area experienced adverse effects due to the deposition of dust particles. During periods of inactivity, the concentrations of sulfur oxide (SOx) were between 6 and 9 times lower compared to periods of operation. Similarly, nitrogen oxide (NOx) levels were observed to be 4 to 6 times lower during non-operational phases. The degradation of water quality in adjacent bodies has been attributed to the deposition of dust and ash originating from brickfields, resulting in substantial repercussions on aquaculture. A significant proportion of participants indicated experiencing diverse health issues, notwithstanding the employment prospects generated by brick kilns, thereby underscoring the adverse consequences on both the environment and the local economy.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.0851.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Marketing Keywords: Covert Marketing, Overt Marketing, Guerrilla Marketing, Brand Evangelism, Ecological Consciousness, Food Industry.
Online: 13 October 2023 (07:55:20 CEST)
Traditional marketing tactics have been significantly challenged by marketers, especially in the food sector. Companies have been engaging in covert and overt advertisements as an emerging marketing communication strategy to circumvent customer skepticism, build a good image, and create value for the brand. But there is a lack of literature regarding integrating traditional and new marketing tactics in building intention and ecologically conscious consumer behavior. Therefore, the purpose of the present study is to provide empirical evidence concerning the integration of different marketing tactics, i.e., Green Product Features, Green Pricing, Covert Advertisement, Overt Advertisement and Guerrilla Marketing, and their effects on Purchase Intention and Ecologically Conscious Consumer Behavior. The study also employs moderation of Brand Evangelism, Environmental Knowledge and Habitat Attitude between intention and behavior building. A visual appraisal technique was used by showing a video or picture as a sample of covert or overt marketing tactics before filling out a close-ended questionnaire to get accurate responses. The data from 568 customers of the frozen food industry were analyzed using the co-variance-based structure equation modeling technique with the help of AMOS. The findings of the study elaborate that parallel to the significant impact of conventional marketing mix tactics, covert, overt and guerrilla marketing are strong antecedents for intention building, which eventually develops Ecologically Conscious Consumer Behavior (ECCB). The results also affirm that intention can lead to ECCB significantly through brand evangelism and environmental knowledge. These findings reflect the importance of shifting marketers from conventional marketing tactics to novel hidden marketing techniques.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.1027.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: shifting agriculture; logging; remote sensing; land-use change; resilience; social-ecological system
Online: 15 September 2023 (13:47:10 CEST)
Anthropogenic disturbances interacting with natural disturbances, ecological and socio-economic factors can provoke forest degradation and modulate ecosystem resilience. In Haiti, protected areas recently created to reduce forest loss, require studies about forest dynamics and land use to assure the development of sustainable management policies. We combine field interview with Landsat satellite images of the Macaya National Park collected between 1985 and 2021 to investigate: 1) how much of the original forest area has been converted into agricultural or logged area since 1985; and 2) how do elevation and slope influence the expansion of human-induced land-use changes. Our results indicate an increase of 11.36% in forest cover and a reduction of 75.34% in agriculture class cover, despite the passage of seven hurricanes in the region. Forest recovery was apparently unrelated to elevation and slope, and likely reflected the implementation of new environmental laws and policies with the creation of the Macaya National Park in 1983. Restoration and protection programs contributed to ensure access to financial resources, technical assistance and new technology, thus promoting a shift into a more resilient forest system. This study brings hope for forest conservation in Haiti by showing that positive results can be achieved through inclusive collaboration.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.1798.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Life Sciences Keywords: Ecological ice temperature; chilling stress; anhydrous live preservation; regulation mechanism; Patinopecten yessoensis
Online: 26 June 2023 (10:57:27 CEST)
In this paper, the quality change of scallop (Patinopecten yessoensis) in the process of anhydrous storage and transportation after cold-acclimation and induced dormancy was studied, and the regulation mechanism of quality degradation in the storage and transportation in the process of gradient chilling stress and drying exposure was further explored. The results show that while being transferred from anhydrous storage and transportation from hydrous storage and transportation, the breathing pattern of scallops were changed from aerobic to anaerobic. Their gill filaments were altered, and the apparent vitality was constantly declining, which was reflected by the edge shrinkage of pallium and the direct proportion between the edge reduction rate and the stimulus response period. After being in the anhydrous state for 4d, the AEC value dropped to 67.59%. At this time, if they were under hydration again, they would resume a nice growth state. By virtue of proteomics, it was revealed from the analysis that cold acclimation and dry exposure mainly led to changes in biological functions and pathways such as mitochondrial inner membrane and ATP hydrolysis activity. In addition, it can be seen from the functional annotation and enrichment analysis of the metabolite KEGG that cold acclimation promoted the purine metabolism of scallops, while dry exposure inhibited the metabolism of saturated fatty acids. Besides, in this study, the infrared sensing mode was used for the first time to record the heart rate changes of the scallops during circulation, which provides feasibility for the nondestructive vitality monitoring of Lamellibranchia.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.0151.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Other Keywords: forest landowner; management willingness; forest ecological products; minority regions; Sustainable Livelihoods Framework
Online: 2 June 2023 (08:00:27 CEST)
Forest resources are an important material basis for ecological protection and economic devel-opment, and are responsible for the dual mission of guaranteeing national ecological safety and grain safety. Forest land is an important carrier of forest resources, and forest landowner is a direct component of forest land management. Forest landowners’ willingness to engage in forest man-agement affects whether the important value function of forest resources can be implemented. Are there differences in the willingness and behavior of forest management between ethnic minority foresters and ordinary foresters? How to stimulate the forest management willingness and behavior of forest farmers in ethnic minority areas?These questions will be about the realization of the value of forest resources. Through the analysis of 185 questionnaires in Yunnan Province, this paper clarifies the current situation of forest management of forest farmers in minority areas. Then, using the Sustainable Livelihoods Framework, we select three indicators including the socio-economic at-tributes of individual farmers, the cognition and experience of forest landowners, and policy guidance. And we use the binary logistic regression model to analyze the factors affecting the willingness of forester to participate in forest management. Through the above analysis, we find that: (1) Forest landowners' willingness to engage in forest management in minority regions is relatively high, at 71.98%. (2) Individual farmers’ socioeconomic attributes have the most significant degree of influence on willingness to engage in forest management, while forest landowners' cognitive and related experiences, policy guidance and other related variables influence willingness to engage in forest management at the macro level. (3) Literacy has a significant positive contribution to man-agement intentions, while forest land area, living standard, whether they are compensated by public welfare forest, and whether they participate in the project of returning farmland to forest and grass have a significant negative effect on management intentions. (4) There are significant differences between forest landowners' willingness to engage in forest management and the influencing factors between minority regions and non-minority regions. Finally, we suggest to improve the willingness to engage in forest management and forestry industry development in minority regions through innovative management methods, concentrated and continuous large-scale management, en-couraging capital investment and driving forest landowners to "nearby employment", optimizing the logging quota system and raising the compensation standard for public welfare forests. This study has important practical significance for promoting the realization of forest ecological products value, consolidating the achievement of poverty alleviation in forest areas and realizing rural re-vitalization in China.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.0028.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: Ecological connectivity; brachyura larvae; diel vertical migration; Pelagic Life Duration; Adriatic Sea
Online: 1 June 2023 (04:48:32 CEST)
Among Crustacea, Decapoda Brachyura represent a good candidate for studies on the dispersal capability of coastal benthos by means of larvae. One oceanographic cruise allowed us to describe larvae dispersal routes in the South Adriatic Sea thanks to a multidisciplinary approach. In May 2013 a swarm of zoeae (11 Brachyura taxa, mostly at first instar, with Xantho granulicarpus at 87%) was recorded in the neuston of the Italian side of the basin. Complementary collections of zooplankton, in the same cruise, demonstrated that Decapoda larvae were not abundant below the neuston and concentrated in the first 20-30 m surface layer, with which probably they drift together. The availability of four satellite-tracked surface drifters in the same area and period of the larvae presence, represented a possibility to discuss the geographic dispersal of larvae on the basis of the surface circulation in successive days. During the studied period, only one drifter crossed the south Adriatic passing from the Italian to the Balkan neritic area, employing about 40 days. The daily vertical migration of larvae suggest that they can only employ more time to cross the basin, subtracting and re-entering the surface moving waters. The actual genetic homogeneity of populations of many Brachyura coastal species on the opposite sides of the Adriatic Sea suggests the existence of a genetic connection which, however, should not rely exclusively upon larvae circulation and needs to be fueled by additional strategies of biological communication.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0403.v2
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: Nature-based solutions; climate change adaptation; climate change vulnerability; social-ecological systems
Online: 20 September 2022 (12:35:06 CEST)
Nature-based solutions (NbS) - working with and enhancing nature to address societal challenges - are increasingly being featured in climate change adaptation policy and plans. While there is growing evidence that NbS can reduce vulnerability to climate change impacts in general, there is a lack of understanding on the mechanisms through which this can be achieved, particularly in the Global South. To address this, we analyse 85 nature-based interventions in rural areas across the Global South, and factors mediating their effectiveness, based on a systematic map of peer-reviewed studies encompassing a wide diversity of ecosystems, climate impacts, and intervention types. We develop and apply an analytical framework of people’s social-ecological vulnerability to climate change, in terms of six pathways of vulnerability reduction: social and ecological exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity. Most cases (95%) report a reduction in vulnerability, primarily by lowering ecosystem sensitivity to climate impacts (73% of interventions), followed by reducing social sensitivity (52%), reducing ecological exposure (36%), increasing social adaptive capacity (31%), increasing ecological adaptive capacity (19%) and/or reducing social exposure (14%). An analysis of mediating factors shows that social dimensions are equally important as technical factors in NbS to achieving equitable and effective outcomes. Attention to the distinct social and ecological pathways through which vulnerability is reduced helps to harness the multiple benefits of working with nature in a warming world.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0401.v1
Subject: Engineering, Civil Engineering Keywords: ecological cement; cementitious system; thermodynamic; calcium silicate hydrate; tricalcium silicate; GEM-Selektor
Online: 30 May 2022 (11:41:13 CEST)
Ecological ternary cements (ECP) were perpared with powders of phosphogypsum (PG), fly ash (FA) and portland cement (PC). The evolution mechanism of the hydration product structure was characterized through macro and micro experiments.The thermodynamic characteristics of solid phase, solid solution phase and aqueous solution in process of hydration about phosphogypsum-fly ash-cement ternary cementitious system were studied based on the Gibbs-free-energy C-S-H thermodynamic model and GEM-Selektor software, and compared with experimental results. The results show that in the hydration reaction the thermodynamic interaction between mineral single-phase and hydration products plays an important role in the spatio-temporal distribution of ions in the cementitious system. The values of CaO、SiO2Hand H2Ohyd gradually increased with the increase of Ca/Si ratio, while the values of CaOext and H2OOH showed a positive proportional relationship, and the values of SiO2H and SiO2 showed an inverse proportional relationship. GEM-Selektor is accurate in the simulation calculation of the total amount of AFt and AFm mineral phases which quantitatively analysis the correlation between C-S-H gels formation and C3S with complex decomposition ion groups.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0171.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: national park; social-ecological system; ecosystem services; tea cultivation; protected area management
Online: 11 March 2022 (14:47:43 CET)
A healthy park-people relation depends essentially on the fair and sustainable maintenance of rural livelihood. When protected area is designated, rural people may face restrictions of access to land and resource use for multiple ecosystem services. In Wuyishan of China, we analysed the role of traditional tea cultivation during consistent protected area management to find ways to maintain stability of this social-ecological system in the new national park era. We used an intensive social survey to investigate tea’s role, perception of ecosystem services and impacts on tea cultivation from consistent conservation policies. Results showed that tea cultivation brought major household income and associated with multiple culture services. Protected area management affected land use and conservation outcomes were more obvious to farmers than economic and social ones. From the perspective of a social-ecological system, tea cultivation in national should be conservation-compatible activities from which the potentially lost economic value is remedied by ecological and cultural valorisation. To sustain the resilience of the social-ecological system, we proposed a three-scale management framework to regulate biophysical elements at land plot scale, to link production and market at the mountain level, and to secure tenure and encourage community participation at the landscape level.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202202.0035.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Insect Science Keywords: Aedes albopictus; ovitrap; regularized logistic regression; ecological niche model; environmental factors; surveillance
Online: 2 February 2022 (13:18:11 CET)
Background: In Switzerland, Aedes albopictus is well established in Ticino, south of the Alps, where surveillance and control are implemented. The mosquito has also been observed in Swiss cities north of the Alps. Decision-making tools are urgently needed by the local authorities in order to optimize surveillance and control. Methods: A regularized logistic regression was used to link the long-term dataset of Ae. albopictus occurrence in Ticino with socio-environmental predictors. The probability of establishment of Ae. albopictus was extrapolated to Switzerland and more finely to the cities of Basel and Zurich. Results: The model performed well, with an AUC of 0.86. Ten so-cio-environmental predictors were selected as informative, including the road-based distance in minutes of travel by car from the nearest cell established in the previous year. The risk maps showed high suitability for Ae. albopictus establishment in the Central Plateau, the area of Basel and the lower Rhone Valley in the Canton of Valais. Conclusions: The areas identified as suitable for Ae. albopictus establishment are consistent with the actual current findings of tiger mosquito. Our approach provides a useful tool to prompt authorities’ intervention in the areas where there is higher risk of introduction and establishment of Ae. albopictus.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0035.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: Climate change; Ecological dynamics; Mathematical programming; Optimization; Spatial analysis; Systematic Conservation Planning
Online: 2 December 2021 (11:59:43 CET)
Biodiversity conservation questions human practices towards biodiversity and, therefore, largely conflicts with ordinary societal aspirations. Decisions on the location of protected areas, one of the most convincing conservation tools, reflect such a competitive endeavor. Operations Research (OR) brings a set of analytical models and tools capable of resolving the conflicting interests between ecology and economy. Recent technological advances have boosted the size and variety of data available to planners, thus challenging conventional approaches bounded on optimized solutions. New models and methods are requested to use such a massive amount of data in integrative schemes addressing a large variety of concerns. Here, we provide an overview on the past, present and future challenges that characterize spatial conservation models supported by OR. By enlarging the spatial, temporal, taxonomic and societal horizons of biodiversity conservation planners navigate around multiple bio-socioeconomic equilibria and are able to decide on cost-effective strategies to improve biodiversity persistence.