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Topic review
Updated time: 22 Jul 2021
Submitted by: Cristian Villagra
Definition: Pollinator biodiversity is greatly affected by industrialized agriculture practices. Agroecological alternatives for food production must be implemented.
Entry Collection : Environmental Sciences
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Topic review
Updated time: 12 May 2021
Submitted by: GOMATHY SETHURAMAN
Definition: Transformative agroecology has been recognized as a stepping stone to achieving several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), due to its great potential to build climate change-resilient farming systems while enhancing ecosystem services and reducing biodiversity loss. Understanding the agroecological elements that underlie the sustainability of an agroecosystem is an urgent matter, serving as the foundation for designing a truly transformative agroecosystem.
Entry Collection : Environmental Sciences
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Topic review
Updated time: 03 Oct 2021
Submitted by: Francesca Mariani
Definition: Mediterranean wild edible plants (MWEPs) and their antimicrobial properties have been known from ancient times, and nowadays, a growing number of people have rediscovered them as natural remedies for common infections. One of the problems concerning their use is the heterogeneity of the protocols used to extract and analyze the properties of their active principles; such heterogeneity still marks the overall set of scientific studies on MWEPs, not to mention the enormous heterogeneity that characterizes the properties of plants at the outset. We reviewed the current literature on medicinal value of Mediterranean native edible plants trying to emphasize both the weaknesses and the opportunities of these plants. The majority of the reviewed MWEPs can inhibit both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria, and fungi.
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Topic review
Updated time: 22 Sep 2021
Submitted by: Zoran ┼Żlabravec
Definition: The herpesvirus partial DNA polymerase gene was detected using polymerase chain reaction in oropharyngeal swabs of 16 out of 170 owls examined that were captured in or near nest boxes. Herpesvirus was detected in Ural owls (Strix uralensis), in both adults and young, but not in tawny owls (Strix aluco). In yellow-necked mice (Apodemus flavicollis), as the main prey of tawny owls and Ural owls in the area, herpesvirus was detected in the organs of 2 out of 40 mice captured at the same locations as the owls. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the herpesvirus sequences detected in the Ural owls differed from the herpesvirus sequences detected in the yellow-necked mice. The results indicate that herpesvirus infection exists in the breeding wild Ural owl population. However, herpesvirus-infected owls did not show any clinical or productivity deviances and, based on a phylogenetic comparison of detected herpesvirus sequences and sequences obtained from Genbank database, it seems that mice and other rodents are not the source of owl infections. The most probable transmission pathway is intraspecific, especially from adults to their chicks, but the origin of herpesvirus in owls remains to be investigated.
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Topic review
Updated time: 20 Oct 2021
Submitted by: Murat Bilecenoglu
Definition: Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are one of the most effective conservation tools in the management of marine ecosystem alterations around the world, by maintaining natural ecological processes, increasing ecosystem resilience, preserving genetic diversity, ensuring the sustainable utilization of species and ecosystems, restoring the biomass and structure of species assemblages, and providing socio-economic benefits. The majority of Mediterranean MPAs are at a high risk of invasion and their boundaries offer almost no protection from many high-impact invasive species.
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Topic review
Updated time: 13 Oct 2021
Submitted by: Amira Abubakar
Definition: Biofilms comprising aggregates of microorganisms or multicellular communities have been a major issue as they cause resistance against antimicrobial agents and biofouling. To date, numerous biofilm-forming microorganisms have been identified, which have been shown to result in major effects including biofouling and biofilm-related infections. Quorum sensing (which describes the cell communication within biofilms) plays a vital role in the regulation of biofilm formation and its virulence. As such, elucidating the various mechanisms responsible for biofilm resistance (including quorum sensing) will assist in developing strategies to inhibit and control the formation of biofilms in nature. Employing biological control measures (such as the use of bioactive compounds) in targeting biofilms is of great interest since they naturally possess antimicrobial activity among other favorable attributes and can also possibly act as potent antibiofilm agents.
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Topic review
Updated time: 22 Sep 2021
Submitted by: Yosr Ferchichi
Definition: Medicago tunetana (Murb.) A.W. Hill, a perennial endemic pastoral species, grows at the canopy of Pinus halepensis Mill. plantations forest of the Tunisian Dorsal. Although M. tunetana is an interested pasture legume with its abiotic stress tolerance rhizome production, it is a rare species and threatened to disappear because of overgrazing. Whereas, it could contribute in the agro-pastoral systems development in its native regions of Tunisian ridge.
Entry Collection : Environmental Sciences
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Topic review
Updated time: 24 May 2021
Submitted by: Noreen Khalid
Definition: Wetlands are viable sinks for nitrate and have also been identified as a source of nitrous oxide, a product of two microbially regulated processes: nitrification and denitrification. Anthropogenic expansion of nitrogen is a leading cause of the eutrophication of water bodies and may also contribute to the deterioration of the ozone layer in the stratosphere. Wetlands ameliorate the quality of water percolating through them, by retaining nutrients and sequestering carbon, and simultaneously enhancing the flora and fauna diversity of these landscapes. Among the many services these wetlands provide, they also alleviate nitrate pollution by attenuating reactive nitrogen from agricultural drainage and ensure the effective reclamation of the wastewater.
Entry Collection : Environmental Sciences
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Topic review
Updated time: 01 Jul 2021
Submitted by: Diederik van Liere
Definition: We researched whether the behavior of young migrating wolves (loners), after they leave the pack, resembles parent pack (PP) behavior. Fourteen loners entering the Netherlands could be identified and genetically linked to their PPs. Like their PPs, some young wolves killed sheep and were near humans, others killed sheep and did not approach humans, while two loners were unproblematic, they did not kill sheep nor were they in proximity to humans. Thus, the PP behavior did predict loner’s behavior and human-wildlife conflicts may be similar between young wolves and their PPs. However, conflicts need not arise. To achieve that, new prevention methods are proposed to teach wolves in the PP not to approach sheep and humans. As a result, new generations may not be problematic when leaving the PP.
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Topic review
Updated time: 15 Jul 2021
Submitted by: Maria Giulia Lionetto
Definition: Marine biodiversity is threatened by several anthropogenic pressures. Pollution deriving from the discharge of chemical contaminants in the sea represents one of the main threats to the marine environment, influencing the health of organisms, their ability to recover their homeostatic status, and in turn endangering biodiversity. Molecular and cellular responses to chemical pollutants, known as biomarkers, are effect-based methodologies useful for detecting exposure and for assessing the effects of pollutants on biota in environmental monitoring. Pollution biomarkers can be useful tools for monitoring and assessment of pollution threats to marine biodiversity, both in the environmental quality monitoring of protected areas and the assessment of the health status of species at risk.
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