42,670 research outputs found

    Evaluation of economic loss caused by Indian crested porcupine (Hystrix indica) in agricultural land of district Muzaffarabad, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan

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    The Indian crested porcupine (Hystrix indica) is a vertebrate pest of agricultural lands and forest. The study was aimed to report the damage to local crops by the Indian crested porcupine (Hystrix indica) in the Muzaffarabad District. A survey was conducted to identify the porcupine-affected areas and assess the crop damage to the local farmers in district Muzaffarabad Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) from May 2017 to October 2017. Around 19 villages were surveyed, and a sum of 191 semi-structured questionnaires was distributed among farmers. Crop damage was found highest in village Dhanni where a porcupine destroyed 175 Kg/Kanal of the crops. Regarding the total magnitude of crop loss, village Danna and Koomi kot were the most affected areas. More than half (51.8%) of the respondents in the study area suffered the economic loss within the range of 101-200,and(29.8, and (29.8%) of the people suffered losses in the range of 201-300 annually. Among all crops, maize (Zea mays) was found to be the most damaged crop ranging between 1-300 Kg annually. In the study area, porcupine also inflicted a lot of damages to some important vegetables, including spinach (Spinacia oleracea), potato (Solanum tuberosum) and onion (Allium cepa). It was estimated that, on average, 511Kg of vegetables are destroyed by porcupine every year in the agricultural land of Muzaffarabad. It was concluded that the Indian crested porcupine has a devastating effect on agriculture which is an important source of income and food for the local community. Developing an effective pest control strategy with the help of the local government and the Wildlife department could help the farmers to overcome this problem

    The development of the Kent coalfield 1896-1946

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    One of the unique features of the Kent Coalfield is that it is entirely concealed by newer rocks. The existence of a coalfield under southern England, being a direct link between those of South Wales, Somerset and Bristol in the west and the Ruhr, Belgium. and northern France in the east, was predicted by the geologist R. A. C. Godwin-Austen as early as 1856. It was, however, only the rapid increase in demand for Britain's coal in the last quarter of the nineteenth century that made it worth considering testing this hypothesis. The first boring was made in the years 1886-90, and although it discovered coal, this did not in itself prove the existence of a viable coalfield. This could be done only by incurring the heavy cost of boring systematically over a wide area. As the financial returns from such an undertaking were uncertain, it was not surprising that in the early years, around the turn of the century, a dominant role was played by speculators, who were able to induce numerous small investors to risk some of their savings in the expectation of high profits. As minerals in Britain were privately owned, the early pioneer companies not only had to meet the cost of the exploratory borines, but also, if they were not to see the benefit of their work accrue to others, lease beforehand the right to mine coal from local landowners in as much of the surrounding area as possible. This policy was pursued most vigorously by Arthur Burr, a Surrey land specula tor, who raised capital by creating the Kent Coal Conoessions Ltd. and then floating a series of companies allied to it. Burr's enterprise would probably have been. successful had it not been for the water problems encountered at depth in -v- the coalfield. As a result, the Concessions group found itself in control of most of the coalfield, but without the necessary capital to sink and adequately equip its 01ffi collieries. By 1910, however, the discovery of iron ore deposits in east Kent, coupled with the fact that Kent coal was excellent for coking purposes, began to attract the large steel firms of Bolckow, Vaughan Ltd. and Dorman, Long & Co. Ltd. in to the area. The First World War intervened, however, to delay their plans, and to provide an extended lease of life to the Concessions group, which, by the summer of 1914, was facing financial collapse. By the time Dorman, Lone & Co, in alliance with Weetman Pearson (Lord Cowdray), had acquired control over the greater part of the coalfield from the Concessions group, not only was the country's coal industry declining, but so was its steel industry, which suffered an even more severe rate of contraction during the inter-war years. As a result, Pearson and Dorman Long Ltd. was forced to concentrate just on coal production, and this in turn was hampered not only by the water problems, but also by labour shortages and the schemes introduced by the government in 1930 to restrict the country's coal output, in an attempt to maintain prices and revenue in the industry. Nevertheless, production did show a substantial increase between 1927 and 1935, after which it declined as miners left the coalfield to return to their former districts, where employment opportunities were improving in the late thirties. Supporting roles were played in the inter-war years by Richard Tilden Smith, a share underwriter turned industrialist with long standing interests in the coalfield, who acquired one of the Concessions group's two collieries, and by the Powell Duffryn Steam Coal Co. Ltd., which through subsidiary companies, took over the only colliery to be developed by a pioneer company outside the Concessions group. The impossibility of Kent coal, because of its nature, ever gaining more than token access to the more lucrative household market, and then the failure of the local steel industry to materialise meant that the -vi- companies had to develop alternative outlets for their growing outputs. Although nearness to industrial markets in the south-east of England did confer certain advantages were poor consolation for the hoped for developments of either the early pioneers or the later industrialists. Instead of the expected profits, the companies mostly incurred losses, and only the company acquired by Powell Duffryn ever paid a dividend to its shareholders in the years before nationalisation. From the point of view of the Kent miners, the shortage of labour in the coalfield, particularly in the years 1914-20 and 1927-35, was to an important extent responsible for their being amongst the highest paid in the industry. At the same time the more favourable employment opportunities prevailing in Kent compared with other mining districts enabled the Kent Nine Workers Association to develop into a well organised union, which on the whole was able to look after the interests of its members fairly successfully. Throughout the period 1896 to 1946 the Kent Coalfield existed very much at the margin of the British coal industry. Its failure to develop substantially along the lines envisaged by either the early pioneers or by the later industrialists meant that its importance in national terms always remained small

    Identifying and responding to people with mild learning disabilities in the probation service

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    It has long been recognised that, like many other individuals, people with learningdisabilities find their way into the criminal justice system. This fact is not disputed. Whathas been disputed, however, is the extent to which those with learning disabilities arerepresented within the various agencies of the criminal justice system and the ways inwhich the criminal justice system (and society) should address this. Recently, social andlegislative confusion over the best way to deal with offenders with learning disabilities andmental health problems has meant that the waters have become even more muddied.Despite current government uncertainty concerning the best way to support offenders withlearning disabilities, the probation service is likely to continue to play a key role in thesupervision of such offenders. The three studies contained herein aim to clarify the extentto which those with learning disabilities are represented in the probation service, toexamine the effectiveness of probation for them and to explore some of the ways in whichprobation could be adapted to fit their needs.Study 1 and study 2 showed that around 10% of offenders on probation in Kent appearedto have an IQ below 75, putting them in the bottom 5% of the general population. Study 3was designed to assess some of the support needs of those with learning disabilities in theprobation service, finding that many of the materials used by the probation service arelikely to be too complex for those with learning disabilities to use effectively. To addressthis, a model for service provision is tentatively suggested. This is based on the findings ofthe three studies and a pragmatic assessment of what the probation service is likely to becapable of achieving in the near future

    Consent and the Construction of the Volunteer: Institutional Settings of Experimental Research on Human Beings in Britain during the Cold War

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    This study challenges the primacy of consent in the history of human experimentation and argues that privileging the cultural frameworks adds nuance to our understanding of the construction of the volunteer in the period 1945 to 1970. Historians and bio-ethicists have argued that medical ethics codes have marked out the parameters of using people as subjects in medical scientific research and that the consent of the subjects was fundamental to their status as volunteers. However, the temporality of the creation of medical ethics codes means that they need to be understood within their historical context. That medical ethics codes arose from a specific historical context rather than a concerted and conscious determination to safeguard the well-being of subjects needs to be acknowledged. The British context of human experimentation is under-researched and there has been even less focus on the cultural frameworks within which experiments took place. This study demonstrates, through a close analysis of the Medical Research Council's Common Cold Research Unit (CCRU) and the government's military research facility, the Chemical Defence Experimental Establishment, Porton Down (Porton), that the `volunteer' in human experiments was a subjective entity whose identity was specific to the institution which recruited and made use of the subject. By examining representations of volunteers in the British press, the rhetoric of the government's collectivist agenda becomes evident and this fed into the institutional construction of the volunteer at the CCRU. In contrast, discussions between Porton scientists, staff members, and government officials demonstrate that the use of military personnel in secret chemical warfare experiments was far more complex. Conflicting interests of the military, the government and the scientific imperative affected how the military volunteer was perceived

    Elite perceptions of the Victorian and Edwardian past in inter-war England

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    It is often argued by historians that members of the cultivated Elite after 1918 rejected the pre-war past. or at least subjected it to severe denigration. This thesis sets out to challenge such a view. Above all, it argues that inter-war critics of the Victorian and Edwardian past were unable to reject it even if that was what they felt inclined to do. This was because they were tied to those periods by the affective links of memory, family, and the continually unfolding consequences of the past in the present. Even the severest critics of the pre-war world, such as Lytton Strachey, were less frequently dismissive of history than ambivalent towards it. This ambivalence, it is argued, helped to keep the past alive and often to humanise it. The thesis also explores more positive estimation of Victorian and Edwardian history between the wars. It examines nostalgia for the past, as well as instances of continuity of practice and attitude. It explores the way in which inter-war society drew upon aspects of Victorian and Edwardian history both as illuminating parallels to contemporary affairs and to understand directly why the present was shaped as it was. Again, this testifies to the enduring power of the past after 1918. There are three parts to this thesis. Part One outlines the cultural context in which writers contemplated the Victorian and Edwardian past. Part Two explores some of the ways in which history was written about and used by inter-war society. Part Three examines the ways in which biographical depictions of eminent Victorians after 1918 encouraged emotional negotiation with the pas

    Building body identities - exploring the world of female bodybuilders

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    This thesis explores how female bodybuilders seek to develop and maintain a viable sense of self despite being stigmatized by the gendered foundations of what Erving Goffman (1983) refers to as the 'interaction order'; the unavoidable presentational context in which identities are forged during the course of social life. Placed in the context of an overview of the historical treatment of women's bodies, and a concern with the development of bodybuilding as a specific form of body modification, the research draws upon a unique two year ethnographic study based in the South of England, complemented by interviews with twenty-six female bodybuilders, all of whom live in the U.K. By mapping these extraordinary women's lives, the research illuminates the pivotal spaces and essential lived experiences that make up the female bodybuilder. Whilst the women appear to be embarking on an 'empowering' radical body project for themselves, the consequences of their activity remains culturally ambivalent. This research exposes the 'Janus-faced' nature of female bodybuilding, exploring the ways in which the women negotiate, accommodate and resist pressures to engage in more orthodox and feminine activities and appearances

    Patterns and driving factors of leaf C, N, and P stoichiometry in two forest types with different stand ages in a mid-subtropical zone

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    Background: Carbon (C), nitrogen (N), and phosphorus (P) stoichiometry is a key indicator of nutrient utilization in plants, and C/N/P ratios are related to the life histories and adaptation strategies of tree species. However, no consensus has been reached on how leaf stoichiometric characteristics are affected by forest type and stand ages. The relationships between leaf stoichiometry and geographical, meteorological, and soil factors also remain poorly understood. Methods: Leaf and soil were sampled from forest stands of different age groups (young, middle-aged, near-mature, and mature) in two forest types (Chinese fir (Cunninghamia lanceolata) forests and evergreen broadleaved forests). The relationships between leaf C, N, and P stoichiometric parameters and geographical, meteorological, and soil factors were analysed by using redundancy analysis (RDA) and stepwise linear regression analysis. Results: Leaf C concentrations peaked in the near-mature stands with increasing age irrespective of forest type. Leaf N and P concentrations fluctuated with a rising trend in Chinese fir forests, while decreased first and increased later from young to mature phases in natural evergreen broadleaved forests. Chinese fir forests were primarily limited by N and P, while natural evergreen broadleaved forests were more susceptible to P limitation. Leaf C, N, and P stoichiometric characteristics in Chinese fir forests were mainly affected by the soil total P concentration (SP), longitude (LNG), growing season precipitation (GSP) and mean temperature in July (JUT). The leaf C concentration was mainly affected by GSP and JUT; leaf N and P concentrations were both positively correlated with LNG; and leaf P was positively correlated with SP. In evergreen broadleaved forests, however, leaf stoichiometric parameters displayed significant correlations with latitude (LAT) and mean annual precipitation (MAP). Conclusions: Leaf stoichiometry differed among forest stands of different age groups and forest types. Leaf C, N, and P stoichiometry was primarily explained by the combinations of SP, LNG, GSP and JUT in Chinese fir forests. LAT and MAP were the main controlling factors affecting the variations in the leaf C, N, and P status in natural evergreen broadleaved forests, which supports the temperature-plant physiological hypothesis. These findings improve the understanding of the distribution patterns and driving mechanisms of leaf stoichiometry linked with stand age and forest type

    Globalisation and pollinators: pollinator declines are an economic threat to global food systems

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    1. Trade in animal-pollinated crops plays an important role in global food systems: in many low-income countries, export of pollinated crops such as coffee and cocoa plays a significant role in livelihoods, while food systems in many higher income nations depend on international trade in these crops to satisfy their local demands. Losses of pollination services therefore pose a significant risk to economies beyond the area directly affected. 2. Using a simple extension of a common economic model, we explore which countries are most affected by a loss of pollination services in three case study groups of 25 countries that are vulnerable to different risks: pesticide use, natural disasters and economic debts. 3. In all three cases, large, developed economies such as the United Kingdom, Germany and Japan, are estimated to suffer the greatest economic losses, even if pollinator losses only affect smaller, less-developed economies. 4. In cases where higher income countries are affected by pollinator losses, there is a significant shift in the value of global pollinated crop production towards other large, unaffected countries. 5. Our findings highlight the need for richer countries to invest in pollinator conservation beyond their own borders to maintain resilient food systems. We provide suggestions for further economic research to better understand and identify system vulnerabilities to pollinator losses

    The Grapes of Wrath: An Artful Jurisprudence

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    By documenting the harsh realities of the era, The Grapes of Wrath (‘GOW’) calls to mind those distressing UN Country Reports that both describe and denounce avoidable landscapes of poverty, hunger, homelessness, and dispossession. Steinbeck embeds the novel’s harrowing images within an unforgiving framework of human rights violations, most of which flow directly from human greed. The novel’s prescient yet timeless warnings speak not only to the various humanitarian crises brought about by climate change and unethical commercial practices, but also to many ongoing, perennial global atrocities: corrupt political regimes, gendered injustices, ethnic cleansing, and displacement of entire populations. It is landscapes such as these that still serve to both spark and underpin refugee existence: the need for a compassionate system of asylum-granting, firmly grounded in human rights law, clearly remains as urgent now as it was in Steinbeck’s time. As witnesses to such chronic disregard for human dignity, readers of the novel are not only tasked with judging those responsible: we must also evaluate the perennial failings of the various global and domestic systems that have enabled and perpetuated such egregious rights violations. The final scene, drenched in symbolism, still serves as a quasi-courtroom: before the bared breast of a Lady Justice figure we become jurists, and cannot help apportioning blame for all that has been witnessed over the course of the Joad’s journeying. A close reading now, almost a century later, serves as a timely reminder that similar atrocities continue: migrant and refugee populations remain especially vulnerable, not least where they have been displaced by poverty or political crises from all that was once familiar. This article argues that the novel’s central focus on “social realism” demands much in the way of “moral and emotional effort” (Benson, 9) from the reader: we should leave the book with nothing less than a highly “active compassion for the dispossessed” (Wyatt, 12). It is perhaps best viewed as a collection of first-hand witness testimonies, akin to those gathered and collated by the United Nations (UN) various Committees and which serve to reveal, record, and address the horrendously fine detail of abject human rights violations and their impacts upon the most vulnerable. It is Steinbeck’s “consistently catchy eyewitness quality” (De Mott, xiii) which both brings and retains this timeless sense of urgency and immediacy, without directing any clear response: it is up to the conscience of the individual reader to determine how best to process or address the various challenges presented

    Biocontrol as a key component to manage brown rot on cherry

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    Brown rot, caused by Monilinia spp., is one of the most important diseases in stone fruits worldwide. Brown rot can cause blossom wilts and fruit rots in the orchard as well as latent infections of fruit, leading to post-harvest fruit decaying. Current control methods rely on scheduled spraying of fungicides. However, the continuing pressure to reduce fungicide use has seen an increase in research into alternative management methods, such as biological control. NIAB EMR recently identified two microbes that significantly reduced sporulation of Monilinia laxa under laboratory conditions. These two isolates were a bacterial species Bacillus subtilis (B91) and yeast-like fungus Aureobasidium pullulans (Y126) and are currently being formulated into commercial products. We are investigating how to optimise the use of these two potential biocontrol products in practice, in terms of suppressing Monilinia sporulation on overwintered mummies and preventing infection of blossoms and fruits. When applied to mummified fruits in winter Y126’s population was stable through the winter but at a low concentration. The B91 survived a little longer with the population reaching that of the control group by week 4. Neither Biological control (BCA) treatments had an affected the population of M. laxa when compared to the control treatment of sterile distilled water. The interaction time between the BCAs and M. laxa showed the longer the interaction time the lower the spore count of M. laxa. Another study was performed looking into the ability of our BCAs to colonise and survive on blossoms. B91 did not survive well on blossoms but could survive on fruits. However, its antagonistic compounds need to be in relatively high concentration to be effective against M. laxa. Therefore, it is best used as a fungicide, ensuring the antagonistic compounds are at a high concentration when applied in the field. Y126 can persist throughout the season and was marginally, though not statistically significantly, more effective at long term reduction in M. laxa. This could be because Y126 works through competition, therefore the interaction time with the pathogen could be important for efficacy and something worth investigating further. The difference between the BCAs highlights the need to understand each BCA’s ecology to ensure maximum efficacy. In a latent infection experiment, we inoculated trees with M. laxa and then treated them with the two biocontrol isolates two weeks before harvest. Post-harvest disease development was assessed after four days of storage in 2019 and two weeks in 2020. There was a significant reduction in rot incidence (p < 0.001) of 29% (Y126) and 27% (B91) in 2019 and 62 % (Y126) and 80 % (B91) in 2020 when the harvested fruit was stored at cold store levels. With new products to be introduced into the environment, it's important to understand the effects they may have on the plant's microbiome. Using next-generation sequencing techniques, we looked at the impact B91 and Y126 has on the blossom and cherry microbiomes. There was a treatment effect in both the bacterial and fungal communities on the blossom and ripe cherry. But the biggest variability was between blocks (Geographical effect) and between the years in which we experimented (p < 0.0001). This research will assist in the development of management strategies, especially spray timings for brown rot on stone fruit, integrating BCAs with other management practices
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