ISSN / EISSN : 2416-2140 / 2416-2140
Published by: Ecocycles (10.19040)
Total articles ≅ 144
Latest articles in this journal
Ecocycles, Volume 8, pp 1-3; https://doi.org/10.19040/ecocycles.v8i2.228
This Editorial paper is to introduce the two Research Articles in this issue of Ecocycles. The first one is an edited and annotated translation of the study originally published by Dr. Boldizsar Nagy (a young scientist working at the Plant Protection Research Institute of the Ministry of Agriculture of Hungary) in 1957. Unfortunately, the paper appeared in Hungarian in a relatively obscure local journal that existed for less than 15 years. As you will see in the excellent English translation of the article (translated, edited, and annotated by Bela Darvas and Andras Szekacs), Nagy's ideas were revolutionary and way ahead of their time. He suggested moving plant protection away from spraying with pesticides to the direction of biology and ecology. His paper is excellent reading, and I would like to use this Editorial to strongly recommend it to anyone interested in plants and protecting plants against harmful pests.
Ecocycles, Volume 8, pp 23-36; https://doi.org/10.19040/ecocycles.v8i2.235
Demographic transformation, characterized by the aging of the population, is causing an increasing problem in developed countries. This change involves a significant increase in the number of chronic diseases, the health damage generated by which causes loss of life years due to deteriorating health and impairs quality of life. Among chronic diseases, the increasing frequency of musculoskeletal disorders has become characteristic of an aging society, which causes the greatest loss of life years in Hungary due to limitations. These problems mean increasing social, economic, and administrative pressure on the population and pose solution challenges for the spa town leaders and health decision-makers. There are several therapies available in the medical and health sciences to prevent and treat musculoskeletal disorders, with increasing emphasis on conservative therapies as the role of health increases. In Hungary, among these procedures, medicinal water treatment services based on natural healing factors available in spa towns play a key role, which is also the basis of medical tourism and part of the health care system. To solve the problems caused by musculoskeletal disorders, it is essential to know the occurrence of the disease and the treatment-use attitude of the patients, mainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, the main goal of our research is to assist spa towns leaders and health decision-makers in the implementation of medical tourism developments and more optimal patient care. One of the part-aims of our research is to reveal the regional differences of the most common musculoskeletal diseases in Hungary based on secondary data. Our other research-part objective is to determine the impact of socio-demographic characteristics, health status, type of musculoskeletal disease, pain, and commitment to bath medicine care system on the future use of medicinal water treatment in patients with musculoskeletal disorders. Based on our results, we declare that the health status of the Hungarian population in terms of the most frequently occurring locomotor diseases is worst in Central Hungary, the greater part of the Southern Great Plain, and the northeastern part of the country. In terms of territory, we concluded that the incidence of musculoskeletal disorders is relatively low, and moderate inequality in Hungary. It also follows from our results that the indicators measuring regional differences selected can be successfully applied to examine the territorial inequalities of musculoskeletal diseases concerning medical tourism. We also found that the respondents' level of family income, place of residence by region, state of health, the degree of commitment to medicinal water treatment/service was found, furthermore the cost of treatment, and the cost of accommodation /travel, significantly affect the planned use of the medicinal water treatment in the future. Our results promote the implementation of more targeted medical tourism and health industry developments in spa towns.
Ecocycles, Volume 8, pp 16-26; https://doi.org/10.19040/ecocycles.v8i1.217
Biomass is a highly versatile renewable energy source used on a global scale. The paper discusses the current state of biomass energy use in the EU and Slovakia. Residual biomass was found as a key feedstock for the European bioeconomy. Slovakia is one of the most forested and rural countries in the EU. Therefore, biomass energy has the highest technical potential from all renewables in Slovakia. The main objective of the paper was to evaluate the phytomass production of the selected crops and their energy potential in individual self-governing regions of Slovakia. It is focused on the production of usable post-harvest residues theoretically used for energy purposes from the following studied main crops: wheat, rye, oats, barley, maize, potatoes, oilseed rape and sugar beet. The results show the estimated production of usable post-harvest residues of the selected crops and their energy potential in individual self-governing regions in Slovakia in 2019. The total production of usable post-harvest residues from the studied crops was 4,854,017 t and their estimated energy potential was 68 PJ. This amount of energy would cover 10% of the total energy consumption in Slovakia. The top three productive crops were maize, wheat, and sugar beet. Maize had the highest energy potential of 28.1 PJ, followed by wheat at 19 PJ and sugar beet at 14.2 PJ. The highest yields of post-harvest residues, as well as energy potential, were found in the Nitra region.
Ecocycles, Volume 8, pp 1-7; https://doi.org/10.19040/ecocycles.v8i1.198
The current article provides an overview of the benefits provided by urban green infrastructure (GI), as well as the application of the concept of total economic value and the relevance of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Afterward, environmental valuation methods that can be used to calculate the benefits in monetary units are presented, highlighting the potential problems or biases. The relevance of cost-based, revealed, and stated preference methods are discussed. It is concluded that several case studies are available, however, the abundance of services provided and differences in measuring the GI services in natural units make monetary valuation ambiguous or challenging. Still, the growing number of people living in urban neighbourhoods makes it more and more expected to measure and valuate the benefits.
Ecocycles, Volume 8, pp 40-50; https://doi.org/10.19040/ecocycles.v8i1.213
Plant immune systems rely on their ability to recognize enemy molecules, carry out signal transduction, and respond defensively through pathways involving many genes and their products. This Perspective paper aims to explore current views on the vaccination (immunization) of plants against diseases caused by microorganisms and their (macro)molecular components, paying special attention to practical applications. We conclude that the technique of vaccination to control plant disease needs to be further investigated, developed, and considered for wider implementation in plant protection practice.
Ecocycles, Volume 8, pp 51-60; https://doi.org/10.19040/ecocycles.v8i1.219
The Harvesting Memories project aims to investigate the historical landscape dynamics in an inner area of the Sicani Mountains district in Western Sicily (Contrada Castro, Corleone-Palermo). The interdisciplinary approach of the project allowed us to combine and integrate methods from different disciplines such as historical ecology, landscape archaeology, archaeobotany and GIS-based spatial analysis. In this paper some results have been summarized. The comparison between land mosaic change during the last 60 years, the relationship between site catchment area and land suitability and the correlation between archaeobotanical and phytosociological data. This approach underlined the relevance of the historical ecology for understanding landscape trajectories and planning strategy of suitable development of rural areas.
Ecocycles, Volume 8, pp 27-39; https://doi.org/10.19040/ecocycles.v8i1.216
Understanding the roles of natural drivers in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of arable fields is crucial for adequate agricultural management. This study investigated the combined effect of two tillage treatments (NT - no-tillage; CT - tillage with mouldboard ploughing) and environmental (air pressure, air temperature) and soil factors (total organic carbon, gravimetric water content and soil penetration resistance) on soil carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in maize in 2020 and 2021. The soil tubes required for the laboratory measurement were derived from three different altitudes of the two differently cultivated fields from Fejér county, Hungary. The typical soil type was Chernozem in both fields. At the time of soil sampling, soil penetration resistance was measured with a 06.15SA Penetrologger in 10 repetitions. To preserve the moisture content of the soil columns during the investigation, moisture replenishment was performed equal to the degree of weekly theoretical evapotranspiration. Emissions measurements of soil columns were performed by close chamber technique for five weeks from sampling, 15 times, in 3 repetitions in laboratory conditions. The data were evaluated by two-way ANOVA, followed by the Tukey HSD multiple comparison test and two-tailed Student’s T-test at a significance level of p<0.05. The combined effect of environmental factors on soil carbon dioxide emissions was investigated using stepwise multiple linear regression. It has been proved that the observed difference between soil penetration resistance and soil carbon dioxide emissions was significant between CT and NT cultivation at different stages of the growing season. The analysis of the interaction of the experimental factors revealed that the combined effect of soil penetration resistance, total organic carbon and moisture content in tillage system (adjusted R2=0.92 at a significance level of p=0.05) in 2020, while the combined effect of moisture content and air temperature in the no-tillage system (adjusted R2=0.79 at a significance level of p=0.085) has the most significant effect on soil CO2 emissions in 2020. In 2021, the air temperature for the tillage system (adjusted R2=0.74 at a significance level of p=0.05) and the combined effect of air temperature and pressure for no-tillage systems (adjusted R2=0.69 at a significance level of p=0.1) played an important role in soil CO2 emissions. These observations highlight that different soil and environmental factors of different tillage significantly impact the soil carbon dioxide emissions in different years.
Ecocycles, Volume 8, pp 86-98; https://doi.org/10.19040/ecocycles.v8i1.225
This study monitors the forest ecology in Himchari National Park, Teknaf Wildlife Sanctuary, and between the areas in Cox's Bazar district, Bangladesh. The area has a rich biodiversity, including globally endangered species such as Asian Elephants (Elephas maximus) and Boilam Trees (Anisoptera scaphula), which are threatened by anthropogenic development, newly refugees’ unplanned settlements and their use of domestic energy. Geographic Information System (GIS) and Landsat satellite images are used to monitor forest coverage for 1995–2018. The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) is applied to quantify forest area. Focus group discussions and questionnaire surveys were conducted to reveal stakeholder perceptions about their dependency on forest resources as ecosystem services. Close to the refugee camp areas, the forest coverage changes to grassland due to the unsustainable forest resource extraction. Despite the free of charge supply of Liquefied Petroleum Gas, the refugees burn 2,380 metric tons of firewood every month to satisfy energy for cooking. Besides, 200,000 households frequently use bamboo, small trees, and shrubs to maintain their dwellings' structure. Thus, deforestation caused by immigration between 2017–2018 is similar to that caused by the effect of climate change, including severe tropical cyclones in 1994–1995. This research identifies domestic energy supply deficiency and impacts, and the need for comparatively durable housing materials to reduce stress on forest resources and health hazards.
Ecocycles, Volume 8, pp 1-8; https://doi.org/10.19040/ecocycles.v8i2.221
Animal populations living on one or more plants, as well as the parasitic and predatory populations built around them, and those living from the carcass, waste, and other populations of all these plants constitute a life-changer held together by specific laws. It is therefore essential that the ratio between plant protection products, on the one hand, and entomological ecological research, on the other hand, should very soon change. Only agrocoenologists are capable to carry out the research task, which is very closely related to plant protection already that examines the immediate and more distant effects of the broad variety of protection methods, particularly those by chemical control. We allude to the agronomist, familiar with biology and not changing his farmland exceedingly often; who can gradually, year after year, compile the building blocks of experience; who can keep an eye on the major alterations in wildlife upon the anthropogenic activities that transform nature; who can record changes in the bulk of pests, their disappearance and reemergence; and who could observe the impacts of plant protection work with a critical eye. We must strive to find processes based on biological-ecological research, practically pest by pest, that allow the greatest use of natural limiting factors by restraining chemical treatments to the narrowest and most appropriate schedule. In our article, we describe some methods and principles of the implementation of a biological approach and ecological plant protection.
Ecocycles, Volume 8, pp 12-22; https://doi.org/10.19040/ecocycles.v8i2.222
Current agroecology is often categorized into three facets, science, practice, and movement. While the latter two aspects currently play significant and varying roles in different regions of the world, the fundamental aspect is the first one, the scientific approach that subsequently provided the possibility of the birth of the other two. The concept of integrated plant protection i.e., the emphasis on ecological considerations in chemical pest control emerged as a revolutionary novel concept in the middle of the last century. Among the priority principles, there are several similarities between ecological plant protection suggested by the pioneering Hungarian researcher Barnabás Nagy in 1957 and integrated pest management (IPM) initiated by US scientists Stern et al. in 1959, in given aspects such as the use of natural enemies, forecasting, and environmentally friendly strategies. In turn, the principles of ecological plant protection and IPM overlap on numerous points, but differences are also apparent. Neither of these strategies, however, emphases with due vigor the significance of persistence, pesticide residues, and chronic health-damaging effects. By today, properly assessing the environmental fate, behavior and chronic side effects of pesticides have become as important as taking the rapidly changing composition of local communities into consideration by the above three aspects of agroecology. The current pesticide re-registration strategy of the European Union focuses on prolonged changes from chronic effects. Ecological plant protection and IPM set preferences of sustainability e.g., the use of mechanical or biological protection methods and lowering the rate of agrochemical protection, but they have failed to establish transparent sustainability requirements that are easy to comprehend by general consumers. In contrast, ecological (organic) agriculture managed to formulate such clear regulations (a complete ban on synthetic pesticides), which is well-reflected in their rising preference by consumers but failed to prove that observed health benefits of organic produce is indeed due to the lack of the residues of those pesticides banned. In turn, the ecological approach currently has a strong presence in the form of the determined agroecological objectives of the European Green Deal. In retrospect, it is particularly impressive to observe the path of IPM, sustainable agriculture and all three aspects agroecology all rooted in the establishment of the ecological initiatives in the late fifties as their common historical scientific starting point.