The grey mangrove (Avicennia marina (Forsk.) Vierh.) in per-arid areas on the Red Sea coast is characterized by its tree morphology, as branches tend to extend laterally rather than upward and often carry adventitious roots on their main axis. To test the hypothesis that such branch morphology is linked with the water-use characteristics in leaves, the relationships between morphological parameters of branch and carbon isotope ratio of leaf organic matter at the branch top (δ13Com) were examined in 12 trees growing in a 5 × 10 m plot on the shoreline fringe of a stand at Hamata, Egypt. The δ13Com was significantly correlated with the sloped branch length between the base and the tip (L) and the adventitious roots and the tip (Lr) when L or Lr < 700 cm, but not with the vertical height of the branch (H). Furthermore, the δ13Com was more strongly correlated with Lr than with L. These results suggest that the intrinsic water-use efficiency of leaves can be linked to the actual path length of water transport from water absorptive roots to leaves and that the leaves of these A. marina trees can enhance intrinsic water-use efficiency in response to decreasing hydraulic conductivity of xylem by elongating branches. Moreover, lateral branches with adventitious roots may also act to improve the hydraulic conductivity of xylem. These two factors account for the survival of A. marina trees growing in per-arid areas along the Red Sea coast.
Juniperus sabina L. is an evergreen shrub with prostrate life form that may effectively stabilize sand dunes and moving sand. Therefore, it serves as an important woody species for revegetation in semiarid areas of China. The main root system of J. sabina can reach deep into soil while adventitious roots mostly extend into surface soil. To evaluate water movement between different soil-layers these root systems that is associated with rainfall-induced vertical heterogeneity in soil moisture, we measured changes in sap flow and soil moisture content as well as atmospheric temperature and humidity. The patch radius of twenty-four patches was also measured for 7 years to monitor changes in growth rate. Nighttime sap flow between the main root system and adventitious roots during periods of no rainfall was measured; nighttime sap flow decreased or disappeared after rainfall. The annual growth rate of the patch radius was significantly correlated with the annual deposition rate of sand and the amount of annual precipitation. It was suggested that water movement occurs from the deeper moist soil layer to dry surface soil layer via the main root system and adventitious roots by hydraulic redistribution (HR). This movement increased with the progression of drought in the surface soil layer after a rain event. J. sabina can effectively use both subsoil water during periods of drought and rainwater in surface soil layer after an occasional rain event through the HR. This allows the plant to survive and continuously grow under water-limited conditions and in a mobile sand environment in semiarid areas.
Sandy soils are low in nutrient content and water holding capacity leading to frequent application of both nutrients and water to meet crop requirements. One of the best ways to improve soil properties and prevent nutrient losses is to improve soil quality through the use of organic amendments and minimizing the use of fertilizers. In order to achieve this we conducted a green house experiment using ten treatments with three replicates setting up a randomized block design to investigate integrated effects of chemical fertilizer, compost, bio-fertilizer and biochar on maize crop productivity and improvement in nutrient availability. The study revealed that application of compost and biochar did not impair plant growth and showed no signs of stress or nutrient deficiency. The results showed 19 % increase in plant height and 29% increase in the fresh biomass when biochar was used with the chemical fertilizer (T8) compared to where only chemical fertilizer was applied (T3). It was also found that when half of the chemical fertilizer than was applied in combination with bio-fertilizer and biochar (T10), a similar increase (19.6 %) in plant height and fresh biomass was found compared to when chemical fertilizer was added alone (T3). Cation exchange capacity and organic carbon content increased by 48-52 % and 9-15% in T8 and T10 compared to T3 in the postharvest soil respectively
Deficiency of potable and irrigation quality water severely affects quality of life in arid and desert areas. This precarious situation can be at least partially mitigated by extensive use of solar desalination technology, which is technically well matured. Development of solar desalination relied on increasing efficiency, which needs to be shifted to appropriate design of the system. In this paper a novel design of low cost maintenance free hemispherical solar still is proposed for desalination in remote areas with low literacy rate. In field condition, hemispherical solar still of area 0.65m2 is evaluated. Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE) sheet of 400 micron thickness replaces expensive and difficult to maintain glass and acrylic top cover. A separate arrangement is included for analyzing the wick effect in still. Various parameters are recorded. Distillate yield was typically found to be 2.2 liters/m2, much less than 3.5 liters/m2 but robustness of design and the low cost makes it more appropriate for remote areas.
This paper evaluated the effect of irrigation with treated municipal wastewater on the accumulation of heavy metals (Cu, Zn, Fe and Cr) in soils and food crops and potential health risks to human via consumption of these food crops. The highest concentrations of Fe, Cu and Cr were found in lettuce, radish and carrots, respectively. Bioaccumulation factors (BAF) for heavy metals in different vegetables showed a trend in the order: Fe>Zn>Cu>Cr. The trends of estimated dietary intake (EDIs) for adults were in the order of Fe>Zn>Cr>Cu. The highest levels of total coliforms were recorded in spinach, followed by radish, eggplant, tomatoes and lettuce. The low uptake of heavy metals by vegetables shows that the health risks for human are insignificant. The results suggest that human health risk to heavy metal contamination can be significantly reduced by selecting appropriate crops.
When Hardin introduced the Tragedy of the Commons, he used grazing on public lands in the western USA as an example of a system that inevitably contributed to land degradation and ruin. Public land use is especially relevant to the state of Nevada, where 87% of land is managed by federal agencies. Public lands were intended to serve multiple uses, including grazing, recreation, energy development, and habitat for wildlife and horses. Competing views on the proper balance among uses are often based on emotion rather than sound science. These have led to several politically charged debates over 1) water, 2) wildfire, 3) invasive species, and 4) endangered species, all of which are intimately connected to agriculture. Frequently disagreements are litigated in federal courts, which is a slow and expensive method of conflict resolution that rarely furthers the goals of sustainable land management. An alternative model is presented based on systems-based research that includes scientists, federal agencies, land owners, and diverse stakeholders, including environmentalists. In the alternative, more participatory model, communities focus on long term collaborative solutions to reduce habitat-related conflicts. A landscape- and watershed- approach is taken to land management, which includes several elements of indigenous or local knowledge. Remote sensing is an increasingly invaluable tool to monitor land degradation, and simulation modeling can be used to guide decision-making. Both can be used to better inform discussion and debate surrounding public land use.
Nanotechnology offers a number of highly efficient and less costly techniques that could work to immobilize contaminants. Nano-particles; nano scale zero valent iron “nZVI”, nZVI-bentonite, nanoalginite, and nano carbon; are used as a potential sorbents to immobilize Cd and Pb in polluted soils. These nano-particles are prepared in lab either using top-down or bottom-up methods, then characterized using transmission electron microscope (TEM). The prepared nano-particles proved to have very small size (less than 70 nm), high surface area (194.2-259.7 m2/g) and cation exchange capacity (42.5-47.7 Cmolc/kg). Also, the prepared nano-particles proved high adsorption capacity for Pb and Cd, and high retention for the adsorbate metal. The maximum adsorption capacity of nano-particles ranged from 37450-93450 and 17850-25970 mg kg-1 for Pb and Cd, respectively. Moreover, except for nano carbon, only small quantities represent 10.8-33.4% and 13.7-35.6% of the previously adsorbed Cd and Pb, respectively, were desorbed. The tested nano particles proved high efficiency in immobilizing Cd and Pb in polluted soils. The plant available Pb and Cd as extracted using DTPA extract in polluted soils treated with nano particles decreased to levels lower than those (0.06 and 2.88 mg/kg, for Cd and Pb, respectively) reported for non-polluted soils of Egypt.
Charcoal filters were prepared from PVC pipes of Dout 90 mm, Din 84 mm, L 100 cm provided with groove near bottom. Constant gravel depth of 20, 40, 60 and 80 cm was used as bed below the charcoal. Water containing heavy metals Cu+2, Fe+2, Cd+2 and Pb+2 of different concentrations 100, 200, 300 and 400 mg/L were used. In Combinations of charcoal with depths indicated above for charcoal and contact times 20, 40, 60, 80, 100 and 120 min were applied. Removal efficiency of the heavy metals were determined using laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS), Q-switched Nd:YAG, Max. Energy 450 mJ, pulse duration 6ns, Rate 1-20 Hz. With respect to the effect of the contact time on the removal efficiency % the results illustrated that the more contact time produced more removal efficiency until reaching certain value Rmax, for each heavy metal after that a constant graph obtained this is due to an equilibrium condition which was reached at different times as following: the contact time needed to reach such equilibrium conditions for Fe, Cu, Pb were 40 min whereas for Cd was 20 min at 100 mg/L and 20 cm depth of charcoal. The filter combinations (FC) can be arranged in the following order FC1 (400 mg/L, 80 cm and 120 min) > FC2 (300 mg/L, 60 cm and 100 min > FC3 (100 mg/L, 40 cm and 60 min) the removal efficiency values were 92.73, 86.70 and 79.20, respectively.
The Western Desert of Egypt is enriched with natural phenomena as oases and protected areas e.g. White desert of Farafra Oasis. These protected areas are composed of rocks naturally weathered forming an attractive forms, also, it has several archaeological sites started in age from early dynasties in the Egyptian history, e.g. Temples of Karnak and Luxor in Luxor City, to the Greco-Roman time as those spread on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The severe dry hot climate of this desert results in physical rock’s weathering that can be noted on micro-scale using scanning electron microscope and mega-scale through field observations. Kharga Oasis, in the heart of the Western Desert, is enriched with number of highly ranked archaeological sites e.g. Hibis Temple having a unique design and historical rank. It suffers salt weathering with diagnostic features e.g. salt efflorescence, scaling, pitting, cracking etc. So, the current study aims to examine and quantification of this weathering on mega-scale and micro-scale using suitable equipment(s) e.g. field recording of weathering forms’ types and dimensions; Transmitting Polarizing Microscope “TPM”, Scanning Electron Microscope “SEM”, X-ray diffraction “XRD”, Ultrasonic waves. Also, this study examines the durability of the reconstruction rock used at some parts of this site using Age Accelerating Chamber “AAC”. This is to find out the suitability of this rock for reconstruction at such hot dry region suffering salt weathering. This study can be used as a guide for further studies on archaeological sites at such environment to keep them preserved for longer centuries for the coming generations.
This study investigates the potentials and limitations of the chance of becoming self-sustaining of women using the traditional handicraft of in the collaboration with our university, National Museum in Khiva, and non-governmental organizations in Uzbekistan. A wide gap exists in the standard of living between rural area and the cities in Uzbekistan. Therefore, eradicating poverty in rural area is one of the top priorities of the government.
Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology has been collaborating with Business Women Association of Uzbekistan (BWA) on two projects, under the partner-type grass-root technical cooperation scheme of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The initial project was titled “Revitalization of the Silk-Road Silk Industry in Uzbekistan - Developing a Rural Income Generation Model by the Improved Sericulture in Fergana Valley” (September 2009-August 2012), and the second one is “Technical Cooperation Project for Promotion of the Silk-Road Industry in Uzbekistan - Developing a Technical Transfer Model to Increase Sideline Income of Remote Villages” (April 2013-September 2015).
The beautiful “Atlas” or the “king of silk” ikat weaving technique has been inherited through generations among local women in Uzbekistan. These vibrant textiles are created using a resist-dyeing process with tie-dye on the warp, weft or both threads prior to being woven (Zerrnickel, 1997). In these projects, we decided to co-develop with BWA products using traditional silk “Atlas” and Adlas in order to increase the income of rural women. Many Uzbeks believe in Islam and many rural women stay at home. Women hesitated to work outside as required by Islamic culture in many cases. Under these circumstances, our aim was to assist women to become self-reliant by making extra income from work that can be done at home. The authors tried to expand the traditional silk “Atlas” in these projects by collaborating with the BWA on product development.
The Republic of Uzbekistan has a history of several thousands of years as a relay station on the Silk Road. Since the economic dislocation after the independence from the former Soviet Union, the sericultural industry in Uzbekistan has declined, resulting in lack of international competitiveness in production of raw silk and silk goods. However, traditional industries of sericulture, silk reeling and textile manufacture have been unbrokenly passed down until today. Since the dissociation of Soviet Union, technical progress of sericulture and silk reeling has been stagnant, and raw silk or silk goods that have international competitiveness have not been produced. Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology started a program entitled “Promotion of the silk-road silk industry in Uzbekistan - Developing a technology transfer model to increase sideline income of remote villages” in September 2012.
If it possible to rear silkworms in Khorezm Region in the western area of Uzbekistan, where the climate is harsh, it will be possible to rear silkworms in all parts of Uzbekistan. Rearing of Japanese silkworm strains that produce high-quality cocoons and raw silk was tested in Khorezm Region. From the test, it was found possible to rear the Japanese silkworm strains even in Khorezm Region, where the climate is harsh (hot and arid). Moreover, cocoons of higher quality than the strains imported from China were obtained at a higher yield.
Two heterocystous cyanobacteria strains, belonging to the genera Anabaena and Nostoc isolated from sandy and clay soil samples, soils were collected from superficial surface crust at El-Ismailia Research Farm, El-Ismailia Governorate, (30°35’41.901’’N, 32°16’45.834’’E) and Sids Res. Farm Beni Sweif Governorate, (29°4’54.349’’N, 31°5’25.775’’E), Agric. Res. Center, Egypt. Cyanobacteria strains were tested for their ability to form tight associations with the roots of wheat seedlings (15 days old) under Lab. conditions. Both Nostoc muscorum and Anabaena variabilis and /or their mixed culture were inoculated to wheat seedlings. Nostoc muscorum was able to form close associations with wheat plants, and was able to enter through root hairs and penetrate the epidermal layer of wheat roots. While, Anabaena variabilis formed loose association with wheat seedling roots. The mixture of both cyanobacteria strains formed weak association with root of wheat seedlings. The tight association of Nostoc muscorum with the roots of wheat seedling resulted in the accumulation of Chlorophyll a in wheat roots and also exhibited nitrogenase activity by the roots. The tight association of Nostoc muscorum increased significantly the dry weight of seedlings plants. In contrast, Anabaena variabilis formed loose association against weak association for the mixture of both Nostoc muscorum and Anabaena variabilis.
Recently, a great attention is paid for establishing concept of the associations between wheat plants and a variety of N2-fixing microorganisms. This phenomenon has entered the scientific scene arising from the prospects and the possibilities of their potential application. In this work, cyanobacteria inoculation (Cyano) was applied to wheat cultivated in either clay (alluvial) or sandy soil in a greenhouse experiment under different nitrogen rates to explore their influence after 30 and 65 days from sowing on wheat plant growth, NPK uptake and nitrogen use efficiency. Also, their effect on nitrogen fixing capacity (nitrogenase activity of wheat rhizosphere soil), rhizosphere soil biological activity in terms of dehydrogenase activity (DHA) and CO2 evolution and some soil chemical properties for both clay and sandy soils. Results revealed that the dry weight of wheat plants attained due to the treatment of 75 % N + Cyano was not significantly different from those recorded by the treatment of 100 % N. In both clay and sandy soils, the treatments inoculated with cyanobacteria combined with reduced nitrogen amount (50 and 75 % N) gave higher nitrogen use efficiency by wheat plants percentages compared to those given by the recommended nitrogen rate (100% N). The treatment of 75% N + Cyano gave the highest values of N, P & K wheat plants uptake compared to other tested treatments. The highest nitrogenase activity values could be attributed to the treatment of 75 % N + Cyano in both tested soils compared to those recorded by any of 100 % N for 50 % N + Cyano treatments. The highest values of the soil available N, P & K were due to the treatment of 75 % N + Cyano in both sandy and clay soils at 30 and 65 days. In both tested soils, the treatment of 75 % N + Cyano achieved the highest values of DHA and CO2 evolution at 30 and 65 days. Generally, it is concluded that cyanobacteria can support wheat growth and enhance the soil fertility; reduce the amount of the mineral nitrogen required for wheat cultivation by 25 %, thus the technology of cyanobacteria inoculation can be considered as eco-friendly process.
A field trial was conducted to determine the effect of nitrogen fertilizer rates and dates of added on the yield, fruit quality and oil of “Manzanillo” olive trees in a private orchard at Cairo-Alexandria desert road (about 50 Km from Cairo), Egypt. The application of ammonium sulphate at the rate of 1 kg /tree in each of February, May, June and August increased significantly yield, fruit quality (weight, size, diameter and pulp/seed ratio) and oil content in fruit.
This study was conducted during two successive seasons 2009 and 2010 on ten years old “Manzanillo” olive trees, planted at 5 × 5 m grown in sandy soil in a private orchard at Cairo-Alexandria desert road (about 50 km from Cairo), Egypt. The investigation aimed to study the effect of dates of ammonium sulphate 20.6%N applications as nitrogen fertilization source and minimize the rate of added annually amounts by 20% on vegetative growth and photosynthetic pigments of “Manzanillo” olive trees. The obtained results indicated that the application with ammonium sulphate at 1 kg/tree in each of February, May, June and August increased significantly vegetative growth; leaf area, leaf dry weight and specific leaf weight and photosynthetic pigments.
Phytochemical investigation of the mangrove plant Lumnitzera racemosa WILLD (Fam: Combretaceae) has resulted in the isolation of 8 compounds by various chromatographic techniques (silica gel, ODS column chromatography and HPLC). The structures of these compounds were determined by spectrometric analysis (UV, IR, HR-ESI-MS, 1D and 2D-NMR). All the isolated compounds were evaluated for their hepatoprotective activity. The Compound number 8 showed high hepatoprotective activity against acetoaminophen and compound 1 showed moderate activity compared to glycyrrhizin as the positive control using human Hep G2 cell line. The Compounds number 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8 showed the highest DPPH radical scavenging activity (IC50: 14.74±5.66, 18.88±3.56, 5.93±2.1, 7.17±0.42, 7.38±1.03 and 15.72±1.18 µM, respectively), while compounds 1 and 7 showed lowest DPPH radical scavenging activity comparable with the standard trolox (IC50: 5.93±2.19 μM).