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Topic review
Updated time: 16 Apr 2021
Submitted by: Ille Gebeshuber
Definition: Acid rain has an acidity that is higher than that of normal rainwater. Normal rainwater is not neutral (which would be pH 7) but slightly acidic (it has a pH < 5.5), because some of the carbon dioxide CO2 dissolved in the water is present as carbonic acid H2CO3. In acid rain, chemicals from pollution and natural causes such as volcanic eruptions and emissions from vegetation increase the acidity of the water to as low as pH 4.4 to 4 (as measured in the 1990s in various places). Such acidic rainwater is dangerous for people, vegetation, water bodies including the oceans and its inhabitants, buildings and soil. Since the pH scale is logarithmic, a change from 5.5 to 4.5 means a tenfold increase in acidity. The three main pollutants that cause acid rain are the nitric oxides NO and NO2 (summarized as NOx) and sulfur dioxide SO2. These substances react with water to nitric acid HNO3 and sulfuric acid H2SO4. In the 1980s, in nearly all of Northern Europe and in the Northern United States, suddenly and unexpectedly, whole forests began to die (this effect got to be known as forest dieback). German forests especially experienced severe damage: from 8% in 1982 it increased to 50% in 1984, and stayed as such till 1987. The damage occurred amongst various tree species. Researchers established connections of this damage to acid rain. The mandatory installment of sulfur filters in coal power plants and of catalytic converters in cars in various industrialized countries reduced air pollution with the chemicals related to the formation of acid rain, and, although the forests are still not in perfect shape (about 20% are heavily impaired) a complete death was prevented.
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Topic review
Updated time: 16 Apr 2021
Submitted by: Camila Rodrigues
Definition: Monitoring the microbial quality of water used in agriculture is important to reduce the likelihood of produce contamination and possible future foodborne outbreaks. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has established the Produce Safety Rule as part of the Food Safety Modernization Act to improve the safety of produce that is normally consumed raw during growing, harvesting, packing and holding activities. In order to comply with the rule, growers need to follow some standards for the microbial quality of water that is used on the produce field, however, more information on the water microbial profile is necessary in order to improve the accuracy of the testing.
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Topic review
Updated time: 20 Nov 2020
Definition: Alpha-emitting radioisotopes are the most radiotoxic nuclides among all radionuclides. Especially medium- and long-living isotopes that enter the body, are hazardous metals of the greatest importance from the human life point of view. This review focuses on the most common natural and anthropogenic origin alpha-emitting radionuclides in wild mushrooms around the world. Mushrooms are considered as suitable bioindicators of environmental pollution with some metallic elements, for the reason they bioaccumulate a range of mineral ionic constituents including radioactive elements at different levels. Various species have different retain capacities of individual radionuclides. In turn, wild edible mushrooms are food products, mostly consumed regionally and also traded at an international scale. Mushrooms under pollution events situation might cause a risk to consumers due to exposure to highly radiotoxic decay particles produced by alpha emitters.
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Topic review
Updated time: 27 Oct 2020
Submitted by: CLAUDIA COLEINE
Definition: The Antarctic cryptoendolithic communities are self-supporting assemblages of phototrophic and heterotrophic microorganisms, including bacteria, Cyanobacteria, Chlorophyta and both free-living and lichen-forming fungi. These are among the most stress-resistant organisms known to date, constantly living to the edge of their physiological adaptability.
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Topic review
Updated time: 15 Dec 2020
Submitted by: Nurhasliza Zolkefli
Definition: Researchers are continuously rallying to enhance the detection of causal source for water pollution through either conventional or mostly advanced approaches focusing on spectrometry, high-throughput sequencing, and flow cytometry technology among others. From this review’s perspective, each pollution evaluation technology has its own advantages and it would be beneficial for several aspects of pollutants assessments to be combined and established as a complementary package for a better aquatic environmental management in the long run.
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Topic review
Updated time: 27 Oct 2020
Submitted by: Tomas Rivas-Garcia
Definition: Aquaponics is an alternative method of food production that confers advantages of biological and economic resource preservations. Nonetheless, one of the main diculties related to aquaponics systems could be the outbreak and dissemination of pathogens. The present review summarized the principal plant pathogens, the conventional and alternative BCA treatments on aquaponics systems, while considering related research on aquaculture and soilless systems (i.e., hydroponic) for its applicability to aquaponics and future perspectives related to biological control.
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Topic review
Updated time: 09 Apr 2021
Submitted by: Abdul Gafur
Definition: Plant biostimulants are an important tool for modern agriculture as part of an integrated crop management (ICM) system, helping make agriculture more sustainable and resilient. Plant biostimulants contain substance(s) and/or microorganisms whose function when applied to plants or the rhizosphere is to stimulate natural processes to enhance plant nutrient uptake, nutrient use efficiency, tolerance to abiotic stress, biocontrol, and crop quality.
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Topic review
Updated time: 21 Oct 2020
Submitted by: Yujie Fan
Definition: Bank Stabilization Structures of Yangtze-River are ecological revetment structures that have been carried out in the Yangtze River with a focus on preventing bed-shape evolution, river-width adjustment, and lateral channel migration, which are woody planting and combined applications of planting and artificial structures. The most widely used in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River are steel wire mesh gabions bank stabilization and chain-type bricks bank stabilization.
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Topic review
Updated time: 24 Sep 2020
Submitted by: Carla Viegas
Definition: The exposure to particles and bioaerosols has been associated with the increase in health e ects in children. The objective of this study was to assess the indoor exposure to bioburden in the indoor microenvironments more frequented by children. Air particulate matter (PM) and settled dust were sampled in 33 dwellings and four schools with a medium volume sampler and with a passive method using electrostatic dust collectors (EDC), respectively. Settled dust collected by EDC was analyzed by culture-based methods (including azole resistance profile) and using qPCR.Results showed that the PM2.5 and PM10 concentrations in classrooms were higher than in homes and highly exceeded the limit values established by the Portuguese legislation for indoor air quality. The fungal species most commonly found in bedrooms was Penicillium sp. (91.79%), whereas, in living rooms, it was Rhizopus sp. (37.95%). Aspergillus sections with toxigenic potential were found in bedrooms and living rooms and were able to grow on VOR.
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Topic review
Updated time: 28 Oct 2020
Submitted by: Manfred Lübken
Definition: Biochar as a stable carbon-rich material shows incredible potential to handle water/wastewater contaminants. Its application is gaining increasing interest due to the availability of feedstock, the simplicity of the preparation methods, and their enhanced physico-chemical properties. The efficacy of biochar to remove organic and inorganic pollutants depends on its surface area, pore size distribution, surface functional groups, and the size of the molecules to be removed, while the physical architecture and surface properties of biochar depend on the nature of feedstock and the preparation method/conditions. For instance, pyrolysis at high temperatures generally produces hydrophobic biochars with higher surface area and micropore volume, allowing it to be more suitable for organic contaminants sorption, whereas biochars produced at low temperatures own smaller pore size, lower surface area, and higher oxygen-containing functional groups and are more suitable to remove inorganic contaminants. In the field of water/wastewater treatment, biochar can have extensive application prospects. Biochar have been widely used as an additive/support media during anaerobic digestion and as filter media for the removal of suspended matter, heavy metals and pathogens. Biochar was also tested for its efficiency as a support-based catalyst for the degradation of dyes and recalcitrant contaminants. The current review discusses on the different methods for biochar production and provides an overview of current applications of biochar in wastewater treatment.
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