Mehreteab Tesfai

Research Scientist

(+47) 998 76 368
mehreteab.tesfai@nibio.no

Place
Ås F20

Visiting address
Fredrik A. Dahls vei 20, 1430 Ås

Abstract

This report gives a comprehensive review of current knowledge on nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions from mineral soils with special reference to the Norwegian agriculture and some research results from other countries. The report starts by highlighting the importance of N2O followed by descriptions of the pathways to N2O production and factors affecting N2O emissions from agricultural soils and measurement techniques and modelling N2O emissions. This is followed by reviewing and discussing research results on the effects of soil management practices including fertilizer application, soil compaction, soil tillage, effects of soil moisture and drainage conditions, effects of soil pH, freezing-thawing effects and effects of soil drying and rewetting on N2O emissions. Furthermore, some relevant mitigation measures to reduce N2O emissions are presented. The report concludes by suggesting future research needs to measure and mitigate soil N2O emissions.

To document

Abstract

Biophysical restoration or rehabilitation measures of land have demonstrated to be effective in many scientific projects and small-scale environmental experiments. However circumstances such as poverty, weak policies, or inefficient scientific knowledge transmission can hinder the effective upscaling of land restoration and the long term maintenance of proven sustainable use of soil and water. This may be especially worrisome in lands with harsh environmental conditions. This review covers recent efforts in landscape restoration and rehabilitation with a functional perspective aiming to simultaneously achieve ecosystem sustainability, economic efficiency, and social wellbeing. Water management and rehabilitation of ecosystem services in croplands, rangelands, forests, and coastlands are reviewed. The joint analysis of such diverse ecosystems provides a wide perspective to determine: (i) multifaceted impacts on biophysical and socio-economic factors; and (ii) elements influencing effective upscaling of sustainable land management practices. One conclusion can be highlighted: voluntary adoption is based on different pillars, i.e. external material and economic support, and spread of success information at the local scale to demonstrate the multidimensional benefits of sustainable land management. For the successful upscaling of land management, more attention must be paid to the social system from the first involvement stage, up to the long term maintenance.

To document

Abstract

A total of 967 students (males and females) from four secondary schools in Vysocina region of Czechia were interviewed via 24‐question Likert‐type questionnaire to assess student’s environmental awareness and perceptions. The generalized linear models were used to test if (and to what extent) student perceptions related to environment are/ or not influenced by various factors including gender, age, place of residence, educational level, and specialization. The results showed that students’ age, place of residence, education level and their specialization did not significantly affect (p<0.05) their environmental perceptions. However, gender appeared to be statistically significant (p<0.05) influencing student environmental perceptions and also showed linkages to basic environmental education, attitudes and engagement of students in science-related activities. Our results strongly support the need for more environmental education, awareness campaigns in the schools and engaging students in outdoor environment related activities. Future research should include detail environmental surveys targeting school students across Czechia.

Abstract

In Norway, water quality of small streams draining agricultural catchments has been monitored since 1993 by the Agricultural and Environmental Monitoring Program. This article attempted to examine the concentration levels, temporal dynamics and long-term trends (1993–2009 and 1996–2009) of Al, Fe, Cu, Mn and Zn in streams draining the catchment areas of Skuterud (4.5 km2) and Mørdre (6.8 km2), located in south-east Norway. In the Mørdre stream, Al, Fe, Cu, Mn and Zn all showed statistically significant downward trends (p<0.05), whilst in the Skuterud stream only Al and Fe showed statistically downward significance (p<0.05). The general declining trends of metal concentrations are most likely associated with reduction of acid rain deposition in southern Norway. In spite of this declining trends, over the 14–17 years of monitoring mean monthly concentrations of total Al (2.0–3.2 mg L−1), Fe (1.3–2.5 mg L−1) and Cu (8.9–26.1 µg L−1) in Skuterud and Mørdre streams, respectively exceeded the limits of the Norwegian Water Framework Directives, whereas the concentrations of Mn (22.3–40.8 µg L−1) and Zn (13.1–99.4 µg L−1) fell within the range of desired limits. Of the total water samples analysed from Skuterud (n=370) and Mørdre streams (n=255), nearly 80–84%, 70–87% and 79–96% were above the desired limits for Al (0.2 mg L−1), Fe (0.3 mg L−1) and Cu (3 µg L−1), respectively. In 2011, water analysis from drainage of forest soils (in Skuterud catchment) measured total Al: 0.42–0.79 mg L−1 and total Fe: 0.84–1.0 mg L−1 which were two to three folds greater than the desired limits. In general, weak correlations between runoff and concentrations of the metals in the streams were noted. Future research should focus on identifying the sources of Al, Fe and Cu and management interventions of elevated metal inputs to Skuterud and Mørdre streams.