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Thirty-six polychlorinated biphenylols (OH-PCBs) congeners were characterized in Fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis) eggs collected from the Faroe Islands. The seven most abundant congeners were quantified in 19 samples, and the ΣOH-PCB concentrations ranged between 0.92 and 4.0 ng g−1 fresh weight (f.w.). These eggs constitute a part of the traditional diet for at least a part of the population on the Faroe Islands and may contribute to the high levels of these contaminants found in the blood of pregnant Faroese women. Because the metabolites are present in the nonhatched fulmar egg, it is concluded that the OH-PCBs are transferred to the egg before laying. High levels, 3300–18 000 ng g–1 l.w., of Σpolychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) were determined in the fulmar eggs, which are a considerable source for human exposure. The high PCB levels are a source for metabolic formation of hydroxylated PCBs.
Drawing reliable conclusions on changes in the trophic state of various subareas of the Baltic Sea is problematic, in large part because the monitoring of productivity parameters exhibiting high natural variability is based on sparse sampling. This emphasizes the importance of long-term data sets. Here we present a 30-year chlorophyll α data set from the western Gulf of Finland. The trophic state of the study area showed an increasing trend in the 1970s and 1980s manifested mainly as strengthened vernal blooms. This trend did not continue in the 1990s, and the seasonal phytoplankton biomass maxima since then has begun to show some bias toward the late summer. The changes in seasonal maxima of phytoplankton blooms probably reflect i) decreased availability of N suppressing the magnitude of the vernal bloom, which increases the P reserves for the summer, and ii) enhanced internal P loading, which further increases the summer P reserves.
Lake Apopka is a shallow, hypereutrophic lake in north-central Florida that experienced an abrupt shift in primary producer community structure (PPCS) in 1947. The PPCS shift was so abrupt anecdotal accounts report that dominant, submersed aquatic vegetation was uprooted by a hurricane in 1947 and replaced by phytoplankton within weeks. Here we propose two hypotheses to explain the sudden shift to phytoplankton. First, hydrologic modification of the drainage basin in the late 1800s lowered the lake level ca. 1.0 m, allowing the ecosystem to accommodate moderate, anthropogenic nutrient enrichment through enhanced production in the macrophyte community. Second, additional hydrologic changes and large-scale agricultural development of floodplain wetlands began in 1942 and altered the pattern and scale of phosphorus loading to the lake that triggered the rapid shift to phytoplankton dominance in 1947. Historic land-use changes and paleolimnological data on biological responses to nutrient loading support these hypotheses.
Agricultural development is a leading cause of habitat destruction that increasingly threatens global biodiversity. To help understand the likelihood and implications of agricultural expansion in areas of high conservation importance, this article examines agricultural suitability in forested portions of biodiversity hotspots and tropical wilderness areas, regions with especially rich concentrations of species found nowhere else. The study employs geographic information system technology to examine suitability for six crop categories in selected conservation localities worldwide: those portions of regions containing high biodiversity, protected areas (e.g. national parks) within these regions, and 10-km bands around the protected areas that are dominated by forest. Analyses reveal low suitability for most crop categories under both commercial and subsistence scenarios, with a few exceptions. In most cases, adequate planning can enable the coexistence of agriculture and biodiversity without compromising either.
Coca, once grown for local consumption in the Andes, is now produced for external markets, often in areas with armed conflict. Internationally financed eradication campaigns force traffickers and growers to constantly relocate, making drug-related activities a principal cause of forest loss. The impact on biodiversity is known only in general terms, and this article presents the first regional analysis to identify areas of special concern, using bird data as proxy. The aim of conserving all species may be significantly constrained in the Santa Marta and Perijá mountains, Darién, some parts of the Central Andes in Colombia, and between the middle Marañón and middle Huallaga valleys in Peru. Solutions to the problem must address the root causes: international drug markets, long-lasting armed conflict, and lack of alternative income for the rural poor.
The giant Amazon river turtle (Podocnemis expansa) nests on extensive sand bars on the margins and interior of the channel during the dry season. The high concentration of nests in specific points of certain beaches indicates that the selection of nest placement is not random but is related to some geological aspects, such as bar margin inclination and presence of a high, sandy platform. The presence of access channels to high platform points or ramp morphology are decisive factors in the choice of nesting areas. The eroded and escarped margins of the beaches hinder the Amazon river turtle arriving at the most suitable places for nesting. Through the years, changes in beach morphology can alter nest distribution.
Extractive reserves constitute an innovative approach to match conservation and development objectives, which were originally envisaged as part of a land struggle by forest dwellers in Brazil. In spite of the idea's popularity and the attempts to apply the concept to different tropical regions, there has been little analysis of the combined conservation and development performance of extractive reserve programs. We present a detailed analysis of deforestation and demographic and socioeconomic changes in Alto Juruá, the first extractive reserve created in Brazil in 1990. Forest cover has remained fairly stable. Population has declined slightly, with some internal displacements. The cash economy base has shifted from the original rubber production to a diversified portfolio of agriculture and livestock, and there has been a dramatic rise in nonagrarian income. We conclude that the Reserve represents a very dynamic setting with positive conservation and development outcomes during its first decade.
Costs of reforestation projects determine their competitiveness with alternative measures to mitigate rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations. We quantify carbon sequestration in above-ground biomass and soils of plantation forests and secondary forests in two countries in South America—Ecuador and Argentina—and calculate costs of temporary carbon sequestration. Costs per temporary certified emission reduction unit vary between 0.1 and 2.7 USD Mg−1 CO2 and mainly depend on opportunity costs, site suitability, discount rates, and certification costs. In Ecuador, secondary forests are a feasible and cost-efficient alternative, whereas in Argentina reforestation on highly suitable land is relatively cheap. Our results can be used to design cost-effective sink projects and to negotiate fair carbon prices for landowners.
This study demonstrates the use of globally available Earth system science data sets for water assessment in otherwise information-poor regions of the world. Geospatial analysis at 8 km resolution shows that 64% of Africans rely on water resources that are limited and highly variable. Where available, river corridor flow is critical in augmenting local runoff, reducing impacts of climate variability, and improving access to freshwater. A significant fraction of cropland resides in Africa's driest regions, with 39% of the irrigation nonsustainable. Chronic overuse and water stress is high for 25% of the population with an additional 13% experiencing drought-related stress once each generation. Paradoxically, water stress for the vast majority of Africans typically remains low, reflecting poor water infrastructure and service, and low levels of use. Modest increases in water use could reduce constraints on economic development, pollution, and challenges to human health. Developing explicit geospatial indicators that link biogeophysical, socioeconomic, and engineering perspectives constitutes an important next step in global water assessment.
Despite political efforts, diffuse pollution from agriculture continues to be the single largest source of nitrogen (N) emissions into the aquatic environment in many countries and regions. This fact, and the recent enactment of a new Swedish environmental code, led to the design of a study targeted at the evaluation of new N pollution abatement strategies. An actor game was chosen as the key component of the study, with a focus on four major goals: to test the implementability of legally binding environmental quality standards for nitrate concentration in groundwater and N transport to the sea, to find sets of agriculturally feasible and cost-effective measures to decrease N loads, to investigate the possibilities for collective action through negotiated and institutionalized actor cooperation, and to investigate the role of mathematical modeling in environmental N management. Characteristics from the agriculturally dominated catchment of Genevadsån (224 km2) on the southwest coast of Sweden served as the playing field for the actor game. The most noteworthy result from the study was that it appeared to be possible to meet ambitious environmental N standards with less economically drastic measures than anticipated by most of the participants. The actor game was shown to be a good method for learning about the new Swedish environmental code and its application and for gaining deeper insight into the issues of N management. In addition, the actor game functioned as an arena for gaining a more thorough understanding of the views of different stakeholders.
In 1998, the Vietnamese National Assembly approved a Five Million Hectare Reforestation Program, (5MHRP) 1998-2010. It would increase forest cover by some 45%, use barren hills, produce wood, and generate socioeconomic development. It would, however, also put demands on Vietnamese planning. Experiences from a former development project and two case studies from a commune and village are used as a basis for analyzing the planning system. The study describes the objectives and strategies of government and farmers in one commune and one village and analyzes how planning data influence scenarios on future development. Official planning data do not reflect reality but are derived through negotiations. In the commune and village studied, it would be difficult for the 5MHRP to materialize, as most of the forest land, officially not yet used, is actually used for food production. The approach and method used by the study offers alternatives to current planning practices.
The last century's environmental pollution has created health problems, acidification of ground and lakes, and serious damage to our cultural heritage. Outdoor monuments suffer from this pollution, but so do buried archaeological remains. However, research on the deterioration of archaeological artifacts underground has so far been limited, and it is important to draw attention to this neglected field. This article presents results obtained at the Swedish National Heritage Board on the degradation of archaeological objects of bronze and iron and of bones from prehistoric graves, materials of which seem to be most affected by pollutants. The investigation methods, which were employed, are described. Other relevant studies are briefly reviewed. It is obvious that the deterioration rate of archaeological artifacts, especially of inorganic materials, has accelerated in recent years, and that this increased deterioration to a large part can be attributed to anthropogenic pollution. Regions that might be endangered are exemplified.