90 research outputs found

    The Influence of short-term land use change on soil evolution in the centre-south coastal areas of Sardinia

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    The land use change in short-term (time and space) in the Mediterranean context can be induced by phenomena like destruction of the autochthonous plant species, land abandonment, overgrazing, fire, urbanization (above all for touristic purpose), etc. These phenomena can lead to soil’s degradation conditions causing a loss of physical and biological productivity and the consequent emphasis in desertification processes. Desertification is considered one of the biggest environmental problems in Mediterranean areas (ICCD, 1994), and Sardinia is one of the most affected regions in Europe (UNEP, 1992; Imeson and Emmer, 1992). In Sardinia changes happened during the last decades (such as industrialization, coastal urban areas expansion, etc.) have often resulted in repercussions on the environmental ecosystems and foremost on soils. An important decrease of fertile lands and a consequent increase of marginal and unproductive areas have been observed; this fact has taken to manifest environmental and economic repercussions. In Sardinia such degradation phenomena are particularly evident in coastal areas, where the uncontrolled urbanization and the natural touristic vocation represent relevant impact types. In fact, in 1897 km of coastal lands (500 km are represented by dunal systems) 40% is subjected to deep erosion phenomena, that often are caused by wrong management actions. For these reasons the knowledge of their nature and expansion is of primary importance to carry out correct choices in land use. This work shows an example of a comparative investigation on coastal ecosystems particularly under human pressure. The investigated areas are located along the Centre–North coast of Sardinia. Particularly they concern: a) soils on limestone formations, forestry live oak cover and pasture land use (goat and swine); b) soils on fixed dunes, reforestation with pine and touristic-recreational land use foremost. In the areas several soil profiles have been realized to investigate the influence of the land use change, occurring in short-term in both places, on the evolution and degradation processes of soils

    A Quali-quantitative evaluation approach to pedodiversity by multivariate analysis: introduction to the concept of "pedocharacter"

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    A model has been developed for the interpretation of the complexity of pedological systems; this is referred to as “pedocharacter”. The main aim of the model was to reduce the variables able to define soils and their relationships with the environment through the following quali-quantitative approach: i) definition of a fair number of qualitative characters; and ii) development of an analytic function, defined as “Land Relevance of the Factor”

    The Intangible Heritage of the Anthropocene: The Toponymic Revolution in the Human Age

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    Although the Anthropocene has been approached from numerous perspectives, scholars have not as yet considered an interesting point of view. Indeed, one of the most important intangible inheritances of the Anthropocene is detectable in the deep influence on a very common, though extremely complex, "performative practice" that each one of us regularly and (often) unconsciously enacts in everyday life. Place names or toponyms are the final repository of an impressive accumulation of knowledge acquired by indigenous peoples, through long histories of conflict and interaction with their surrounding environment. During the Anthropocene, a massive toponymic revolution has modified and still characterizes several places in the world due to the considerable environmental and socio-economic changes imposed by human activities. Some worldwide cases will be presented and discussed to illustrate the importance, intensity, and pervasiveness of these Anthropocene-related human activities, as driving forces determining this unexpected and underrated revolution

    Categorizing basic factors driving soil genesis, pedovariability and plant assemblages in Mediterranean Temporary Wetlands (TWs)

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    A research was carried out in six Temporary Wetlands (TWs), located in north-western Sardinia (Italy), with the aim to categorize the basic factors driving and linking soil genesis and plant assemblages in Mediterranean basin

    Pedotechniques strategies to improve soil resilience against the impact of irrigation by municipal wastewater: using zeolitized tuffs as soil amendments

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    A research was started aiming at evaluating the possible use of natural zeolites as exchange conditioners to improve and make durable the soil resilience against the adverse effects of the use of anomalous wastewater, for irrigation purposes. To satisfy such aims, two zeolitized tuffs (ZTs), viz. a Neapolitan yellow tuff (NYT) and a clinoptilolite bearing tuff (ZCL), were tested as pedotechnical materials to improve soil resilience against the impact of treatment by a ‘dirty’ municipal wastewater (DMW)

    Zeolitized tuffs in pedotechnique for quarry restoration: evaluation of phytonutritional efficiency in ^AUP model horizons

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    A study was started aiming at assessing the suitability of zeolitized tuff as optimal mineral Human Transported Materials (HTMs) in pedotechnologies for quarry restoration

    Soybean Seed Enrichment with Cobalt and Molybdenum as an Alternative to Conventional Seed Treatment

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    Biological nitrogen fixation in soybean is enhanced when seed is treated with cobalt (Co) and molybdenum (Mo) prior to planting. In this study, our objective was to verify if Co and Mo application during the reproductive phase of the crop increases seed Co and Mo concentration without adverse effects on seed quality. Two experiments were conducted. First, we investigated foliar and soil Co and Mo application under greenhouse conditions. Next, we validated the results obtained in the first study. The treatments for both experiments consisted of Co doses combined with Mo, and a control without Co and Mo application. The foliar application was more efficient in producing enriched Co and Mo seed; meanwhile, as Co doses increased so did Co and Mo concentrations in the seed. There were no adverse effects on nutrition, development, quality, and yield of parent plants and seed when these micronutrients were applied. The seed showed higher germination, vigor, and uniformity for the development of soybean seedlings. We concluded that the application of 20 g ha−1 Co and 800 g ha−1 Mo via foliar application at the reproductive stage of soybean increased germination rate and achieved the best growth and vigor index of enriched seed

    Addressing DRIS (Diagnosis and Recommendation Integrated System) norms with potentially toxic elements for assessing the nutritional status of Eucalyptus amended with sewage sludge

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    Background: The Diagnosis and Recommendation Integrated System (DRIS) gave valuable indices of the nutritional status of Eucalyptus amended with sewage sludge (SS). Aims: Our objective was to establish a DRIS norms and analytical method for Eucalyptus under SS application, by verifying in particular, the influence of potentially toxic elements (PTEs) on the nutritional and plant development. Method: Data on mean annual increment, nutrient, and PTE concentration were obtained in an experiment at 22, 44, 54, and 76 months after planting Eucalyptus amended with SS. Results: Our results indicated that DRIS can give valuable data on the nutritional balance indices, in which it was possible to verify that Ba was the most limiting element due to its excess present both in the low and high yielding subpopulations, ranging from 10 to 40% of the populations with excess of Ba. The nutritional diagnosis in agreement with the DRIS model ranged from 60 to 98% among the populations. When modeling the DRIS functions with inclusion of PTEs, a consistent evaluation of the Eucalyptus nutritional status was observed, which generated more reliable indices that were able to rank the limiting elements for the Eucalyptus productivity. Conclusion: The new approach proved to be an effective tool for interpreting DRIS indices, by presenting reliable data when PTEs are included. Thus, the inclusion of PTEs in DRIS functions can provide valuable information, by determining which element can cause more damage to the plants. The need for specific norms for each region, plant age and sludge management are highlighted

    Resource recovery of biological residues from the Brazilian poultry industry in mitigating environmental impacts: A life cycle assessment (LCA) approach

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    Poultry farming is often associated with negative environmental impacts, such as water quality degradation and greenhouse gas emissions. This study covers important gaps in the geographic scope of poultry farming using Life Cycle Assessment analysis. Data on animal feed, energy, packaging, and waste were collected from the poultry industry in Rondônia, Brazil. The life cycle inventory included all inflows and outflows of feed production, poultry housing, slaughter, processing, the retail market, and the functional unit of “1 kg chicken meat with 0.22 kg protein”. The ReCiPe Midpoint (H) method was used for seven categories of impact. The results showed that emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG, CO2, N2O and CH4) during the feed production phase was dominant, totaling 2.0 kg CO2-eq per kg of live weight produced. This stage was most relevant in six of seven categories of impacts assessed. During the poultry housing stage, terrestrial acidification was dominated by emissions of NH3, P and N2O from one-day-old chicks (hatching eggs, poultry house litter, and feed). The total environmental impact of producing broilers in Brazil amounted to 3.37 kg CO2-eq per kg of meat at the consumer market gate. The LPG gas and biological waste from slaughterhouses was dominant in this phase. The retail stage revealed contributions above 43% in all impact categories due to high consumption of electricity (0.11 kWh (0.39 MJ) per kg of meat). Three scenarios were proposed and demonstrated, using biological residues as a source of nutrients for feed composition. The results showed that using poultry viscera meal led to better environmental outcomes for all impacted categories

    Constructed Technosols as a Soil Rebuilding Technique to Reclaim Abandoned Limestone Quarries in the Mediterranean Region: A Field Study

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    Soil rebuilding represents a major challenge in the recovery of abandoned quarries. In this study, we explored the possibility of using reconstructed Technosols, to achieve soil rebuilding goals at an abandoned quarry site. We first investigated the use of a mixture containing commercial manure and limestone debris (LD) as pedotechnomaterials for an “ad hoc” (re)constructed Technosol (CT), for the recovery of an opencast limestone quarry in one of most concentrated quarry areas in the world. In a field experiment, we tested and monitored different pedotechnosystems (PTSs) made up of constructed Technosol + pasture species + different Mediterranean plant species. Specifically, a control (CT, without any additional treatments) was compared to treatments with organic amendment (CTOA) and conventional fertilizers (CTCF). Data were collected over a 12-month period and included crop performance, plant nutritional state, soil physical-chemical parameters, and metabolites. Analysis of variance compared differences among treatments, while factor analysis (FA) interpreted multiple relationships while explaining observed variability. Results showed that CTOA had better soil physical-chemical properties, greater plant growth, and overall superior agronomic performances compared to all other treatments due to the improved substrate conditions. According to FA, these results appear related to the creation of fertile soil conditions, with most of the investigated metabolites (i) playing a pivotal role in observed outcomes, together with (ii) a clear potential in being considered as a reliable fingerprint for investigating plant responses in constructed PTSs. The proposed pedotechniques in CTOA development show a great potential for the full recovery of abandoned limestone quarries in degraded Mediterranean areas by providing an excellent medium for plant growth, facilitating environmental reclamation
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