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Agriculture as a social-ecological system embraces many disciplines. This book breaks through the silos of individual disciplines to bring ecologists and economists together to consider agriculture through the lens of resilience. It explores the economic, environmental and social uncertainties that influence the behaviour of agricultural producers and their subsequent farming approach, highlighting the importance of adaptability, innovation and capital reserves in enabling agriculture to persist under climate change and market volatility. The resilience concept and its relation to complexity theory is explained and the characteristics that foster resilience in agricultural systems, including the role of biodiversity and ecosystem services, are explored. The book discusses modelling tools, metrics and approaches for assessing agricultural resilience, highlighting areas where interdisciplinary thinking can enhance the development of resilience. It is suitable for those researching sustainable agriculture or those engaged in agricultural policy decisions and analysis, as well as students of ecology, agriculture and socioeconomics.
To investigate a Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) outbreak event involving multiple healthcare facilities in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; to characterize transmission; and to explore infection control implications.
Cases presented in 4 healthcare facilities in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: a tertiary-care hospital, a specialty pulmonary hospital, an outpatient clinic, and an outpatient dialysis unit.
Contact tracing and testing were performed following reports of cases at 2 hospitals. Laboratory results were confirmed by real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) and/or genome sequencing. We assessed exposures and determined seropositivity among available healthcare personnel (HCP) cases and HCP contacts of cases.
In total, 48 cases were identified, involving patients, HCP, and family members across 2 hospitals, an outpatient clinic, and a dialysis clinic. At each hospital, transmission was linked to a unique index case. Moreover, 4 cases were associated with superspreading events (any interaction where a case patient transmitted to ≥5 subsequent case patients). All 4 of these patients were severely ill, were initially not recognized as MERS-CoV cases, and subsequently died. Genomic sequences clustered separately, suggesting 2 distinct outbreaks. Overall, 4 (24%) of 17 HCP cases and 3 (3%) of 114 HCP contacts of cases were seropositive.
We describe 2 distinct healthcare-associated outbreaks, each initiated by a unique index case and characterized by multiple superspreading events. Delays in recognition and in subsequent implementation of control measures contributed to secondary transmission. Prompt contact tracing, repeated testing, HCP furloughing, and implementation of recommended transmission-based precautions for suspected cases ultimately halted transmission.
Using remotely sensed land-cover data in 1994 and 2014, and cross-sectional survey data in 2014, this study examines the association between land use and cover change and agricultural productivity in northern Ghana. We document a significant expansion of crop land and settlements (productive use) at the expense of natural vegetation cover. Land areas converted from natural cover to productive use have higher maize yield (0.17 tons per hectare) and harvest value (1,021 Ghanaian Cedi) compared with those converted from bare soil to productive cover. Moreover, areas that were covered by shrubs or savannah in 1994 were more productive in 2014 relative to bare soils in 1994. Although our data do not allow us to establish causality, the evidence suggests the importance of past land-cover conditions in affecting current agricultural performance, especially in resource-stricken settings where conservation and restoration practices are not as common.
Genetic parameters and genetic trends for growth, reproduction, milk production and composition traits were estimated for Syrian (S) and Turkish (T) Awassi sheep and their crosses maintained at the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas Tal Hadya station, Aleppo, Syria (now in Terbol station in Lebanon). The data were spread over 9 years. The individual breed additive effects of T were positive and significant (P<0.05) for birth weight (BW). However, the values for weaning weight (WW) and pre-weaning weight gain (WG) were negative, even though they were significant (P<0.05). These estimates were positive and significant (P<0.05) for all reproduction and milk traits, except for litter weight at birth (LWB). The additive contributions of T were 60.72±0.94 days, 1.643±0.359 kg, 13.09±0.89 days, 16.13±0.89 kg, 1.12±0.44 kg, 0.71±0.26 kg, 2.80±0.72 kg and 0.83±0.32 kg for lambing interval (LI), litter weight at weaning (LWW), lactation length, milk yield, fat yield, protein yield, total solids yield and lactose yield, respectively. The heterosis effects, both individual and maternal, were non-significant (P>0.05) for most growth traits. Crossing of T with S, however, resulted in desirable and significant (P<0.05) individual heterosis effects for all the reproduction, milk production and constituent yields. The heritability (h²) estimates, both direct and maternal, were low for BW, WW, WG and all reproductive traits indicating major influence of environmental factors, whereas milk yield and composition had medium values. Birth weight had moderate genetic correlation with WW and WG. The genetic correlation between WW and WG was high (0.724±0.951). Lambing interval had large negative genetic correlation with LWB and LWW. However, LI had medium significant correlations with all the milk production and composition traits. Larger litter weights at birth had high and negative influence on milk yield of the dam and its constituents. Genetic changes over years for all traits were non-significant. The lack of genetic change in the studied traits calls for systematic and organized selection scheme.
Storage pests cause considerable damage to stored grains in Eritrea. A study on storage pest control was conducted at room temperature (25 °C) and 57% relative humidity, to evaluate the efficacy of botanicals and sodium chloride (table salt) against Zabrotes subfasciatus Boheman on field pea (Pisum sativum L.). The experiment was conducted in a completely randomized design (CRD) in three replications. The treatments used were: neem (Azadirachta indica), red pepper (Capsicum frutescens L.), sesame (Sesamum indicum L.) oil, datura (Datura stramonium L.), eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus Labill), table salt (sodium chloride) and a control without pesticide. Data collected were weight loss, damage percent and germination percent of field pea grain, and also adult mortality of Z. subfasciatus. Rates of application for all the treatments were 3% w/w and an untreated control. Results of the study showed that E. globulus leaf powder caused 88.89% mortality of Z. subfasciatus and sesame oil caused 100% mortality, three days after treatment. The other treatments were less effective in causing mortality of the insect. After five months of storage, the lowest weight loss was observed in grain treated with sesame oil (1.81%) and neem (4.02%) compared with the control that had 16.68% loss. Grain weight loss was 7.45% for treatment with table salt, 8.11% for eucalyptus, 9.62% for red pepper and 15.29% for datura. Grain damage and weight loss increased as storage time increased. Moreover, these plant materials and table salt had no effect on the germination capacity of field pea. In general, the results obtained indicate that these plant materials and table salt can be used for the control of Z. subfasciatus.
Two-step, solar-driven thermochemical fuel production offers the potential of efficient conversion of solar energy into dispatchable chemical fuel. Success relies on the availability of materials that readily undergo redox reactions in response to changes in environmental conditions. Those with a low enthalpy of reduction can typically be reduced at moderate temperatures, important for practical operation. However, easy reducibility has often been accompanied by surprisingly poor fuel production kinetics. Using the La1−xSrxMnO3 series of perovskites as an example, we show that poor fuel production rates are a direct consequence of the diminished enthalpy. Thus, material development efforts will need to balance the countering thermodynamic influences of reduction enthalpy on fuel production capacity and fuel production rate.
To describe: household dietary diversity across four zones in Ethiopia; the relationship between household dietary diversity and consumption of vitamin A-rich foods; and the relationship between household dietary diversity and food security status.
This was a cross-sectional survey. Data were collected using structured questionnaires in the local language. Household dietary diversity scores measured types of foods households consumed, and households were classified by food security status using a modified version of the Household Food Insecurity Access Scale. An ordinal logistics regression model was created to assess the relationship between three tiers of dietary diversity (low, medium and high) and food security while controlling for agricultural zone, educational variables and household characteristics.
Rural households in Tigray, Ethiopia.
Three hundred households in Tigray, Ethiopia, were interviewed.
Of the households, 23, 47 and 30 % had low, medium and high dietary diversity, respectively. Among households with high dietary diversity, eggs and fruit were the most common foods added to the diet. In the fully adjusted model, participants who reported being food secure had 1·8 increased odds of greater dietary diversity (95 % CI 1·0, 3·2) compared with participants who were food insecure.
Food security was positively associated with dietary diversity. In order to enhance health, interventions that improve dietary diversity and vitamin A consumption should remain important areas of focus for health leaders in the region.