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Steffek R.,Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety | Reisenzein H.,Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety | Strauss G.,Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety | Leichtfried T.,Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety | And 11 more authors.
Bulletin of Insectology | Year: 2011

Climate warming allows invasive pests to establish in areas where they have not been recognized before. Since its introduction in the 1950's in southern France, grapevine 'flavescence dorée', a quarantine disease of grapevines, has spread significantly in Europe and has first been detected in Austria in the southeast of Styria in autumn 2009, which currently marks the Northeastern border of its extension. VitisCLIM, a project funded by the Austrian Climate and Energy Fund, started in April 2011 and aims to model the current and future potential distribution of the disease and its vector, the leafhopper Scaphoideus titanus, in Europe under the influence of climate change. Vine growing areas of high risk in Austria will be defined. Based on scientific literature and empiric studies, an epidemiological model will simulate the temporal and spatial dynamics of the spread of the disease and its vector. Sensitivity analysis will determine critical parameters, including different management strategies which have an impact on the dynamics of the spread. The spread model, together with the results of a survey on direct and indirect costs will then be used in Input-Output Analysis to model the potential economic impact of 'flavescence dorée' to Austrian viticulture and related economic sectors. The results of the project will be communicated to stakeholders, risk managers, policy makers.


Pircher M.,ABES Consulting International GmbH | Wagner J.,ABES Consulting International GmbH | Lechner B.,Kompetenzzentrum Das virtuelle Fahrzeug Forschungsgesellschaft mbH | Kammersberger A.,Amt der Steiermarkischen Landesregierung
Life-Cycle and Sustainability of Civil Infrastructure Systems - Proceedings of the 3rd International Symposium on Life-Cycle Civil Engineering, IALCCE 2012 | Year: 2012

An investigation of the damage caused by road traffic was performed on a reinforced concrete bridge called the Weizbach Bridge in the province of Styria in Austria. This study was undertaken with a focus on the determination of the damage induced by heavy vehicles in relation to the damage caused by average everyday traffic. A damage model based on fatigue of reinforcement bars was employed. Heavy traffic was shown to cause a disproportionate high portion of the overall damage on this bridge. The Weizbach Bridge is a three-span span reinforced structure constructed in 1969 with spans of 10+20+10m and a double-Tee cross-section carrying two lanes. This bridge is due for rehabilitation in mid-2012, two years after completion of the described study. The rehabilitation brief had several objectives, one of them being the reduction of ongoing accumulating damage due to heavy traffic. The present paper reports on the findings of the damage study as well as the proposed measures to reduce traffic-related damage after rehabilitation.


Pircher M.,ABES Consulting International GmbH | Lechner B.,Kompetenzzentrum Das Virtuelle Fahrzeug Forschungsgesellschaft mbH | Mariani O.,Kompetenzzentrum Das Virtuelle Fahrzeug Forschungsgesellschaft mbH | Kammersberger A.,Amt der Steiermarkischen Landesregierung
Engineering Structures | Year: 2011

An investigation of the damage caused by road traffic on three reinforced concrete bridges was performed. This study was performed with a focus on the determination of the damage induced by heavy vehicles in relation to the damage caused by average everyday traffic. A damage model based on fatigue of reinforcement bars was employed. The stress cycles in the reinforcement bars were determined using measurements of the crack widths under traffic loading. Stress cycles were analyzed using the Rainflow Method and Miner's Rule was employed to gain a measurement for the damage. Monitoring systems were installed on each of the three bridges and operated for several weeks continuously to collect input data for the damage model. Computer software was developed to process the monitoring data in the sense of the damage model. The described methodology was developed and used for the first time in the described project. Heavy traffic was shown to cause a disproportionate high portion of the overall damage on all three bridges. The obtained results indicated that the damage caused by singular events, such as the passage of a heavy vehicle, in relation to the damaging effects of every-day traffic differed significantly between the considered bridges. For one of the bridges the greatest damage from singular traffic events was computed for passages of special transport vehicles. The same bridge was also found to display the highest damage by a single passage in relation to average everyday traffic. Passages of short and heavy trucks with four and five axles were identified as the most detrimental traffic events on the other two bridges. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


Schatzl R.,Amt der Steiermarkischen Landesregierung | Stoffler R.,Amt der Steiermarkischen Landesregierung | Holzer H.-J.,Amt der Steiermarkischen Landesregierung
WasserWirtschaft | Year: 2015

The hydrographical service of the Styrian Government runs international flood forecasting systems for the bigger rivers in Styria (Mur together with Slovenia and Hungary, Raab together with Hungary) as well as the most important tributaries. Furthermore, a flood warning system for small catchments (>100 km2) is currently developed, which will be extended step by step to whole Styria. In the following paper, the experiences in the operation of the models in the international context and the related challenges are highlighted.


Hornich R.,Amt der Steiermarkischen Landesregierung | Adelwohrer R.,Amt der Steiermarkischen Landesregierung
Geomechanik und Tunnelbau | Year: 2010

At the end of June 2009, a period of heavy rainfall set in the Aus- trian state of Steiermark (Styria), which in addition to widespread flooding on the scale of a disaster also caused an unusually large number of landslides. These mass movements affected southeast Styria worst. This was not only due to the concentration of pre- cipitation in the area, but also the particular geological condi- tions, which are especially favourable for landslides. The land- slides severely affected not only agricultural areas but also trans- port and utility infrastructure so that in the Feldbach district, lo- cated in the middle of this area, a state of emergency had to be declared and maintained for several weeks. © 2010 Ernst & Sohn Verlag für Architektur und technische Wissenschaften GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin.


Wolf R.,Amt der Steiermarkischen Landesregierung | Wolf R.,University of Calgary | Orsel K.,University of Calgary | De Buck J.,University of Calgary | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Dairy Science | Year: 2016

Mycobacterium avium ssp. paratuberculosis (MAP) causes Johne's disease, a production-limiting disease in cattle. Detection of infected herds is often done using environmental samples (ES) of manure, which are collected in cattle pens and manure storage areas. Disadvantages of the method are that sample accuracy is affected by cattle housing and type of manure storage area. Furthermore, some sampling locations (e.g., manure lagoons) are frequently not readily accessible. However, sampling socks (SO), as used for Salmonella spp. testing in chicken flocks, might be an easy to use and accurate alternative to ES. The objective of the study was to assess accuracy of SO for detection of MAP in dairy herds. At each of 102 participating herds, 6 ES and 2 SO were collected. In total, 45 herds had only negative samples in both methods and 29 herds had ≥1 positive ES and ≥1 positive SO. Furthermore, 27 herds with ≥1 positive ES had no positive SO, and 1 herd with no positive ES had 1 positive SO. Bayesian simulation with informative priors on sensitivity of ES and MAP herd prevalence provided a posterior sensitivity for SO of 43.5% (95% probability interval = 33-58), and 78.5% (95% probability interval = 62-93) for ES. Although SO were easy to use, accuracy was lower than for ES. Therefore, with improvements in the sampling protocol (e.g., more SO per farm and more frequent herd visits), as well as improvements in the laboratory protocol, perhaps SO would be a useful alternative for ES. © 2016 American Dairy Science Association.


Odour emissions from animal husbandry carry a high risk for annoying neighbours. Since the amendment of Styria's building law in 2008, which calls for further investigations by the administration if neighbours are complaining about odours, the number of such cases is increasing constantly. Basis for the judgement by health professionals are computed odour hours. When practicing all-in/all-out methods, annual odour emissions are not constant in time, but increase until the final weight of animals is reached. In literature, different methods to account for this circumstance are published. However, all of these carry some statistical uncertainty. In this work a new way for computing odour hours for all-in/all-out systems is presented, which overcomes this shortage, but on the other hand requires higher computation times. For the concrete test case investigated in this work, differences in computed annual odour hours were not extremely high for the various methods. Nevertheless, one should not generalize these results as only one single case was considered here.


Nachtnebel M.,Amt der Steiermarkischen Landesregierung | Ottl D.,Amt der Steiermarkischen Landesregierung | Pongratz T.,Amt der Steiermarkischen Landesregierung
Gefahrstoffe Reinhaltung der Luft | Year: 2015

The estimation of fugitive dust emissions in the frame of licencing procedures is still challenging for experts. Issued in 1999, Austrians Technical Guideline to estimate fugitive dust emissions is out-of-date in the meantime. During the revision of the guideline comprehensive measurements were carried out to evaluate existing formulas for calculating dust emissions from resuspension from unpaved roads. In addition, abatement measures such as spraying water or Calcium-Magnesium-Acetate (CMA+) were investigated. It was demonstrated that the latest formulas according to US EPA AP-42 are in good agreement with observations. For this reason these equations are also recommended in the new Austrian Technical guideline. Due to practical problems in determining dust loads on unpaved roads, a value of 5.2% is recommended. Water spraying (1.4 l/m2) was proven to be an adequate abatement measure. However, after 2 to 2.5 hours no reduction effects regarding dust emissions were found anymore. It should be stated that measurements took place in the summer season. Quite a similar reduction effect was found for CMA+, though, the amount of 70 ml/m2 applied was much lower than that of water. Estimating fugitive dust emissions by wind erosion is often quite complicate. Therefore, a much simpler method has been developed based on existing algorithms of the US EPA AP-42, which requires solely the average annual wind speed as input parameter.


Wolf R.,Amt der Steiermarkischen Landesregierung | Wolf R.,University of Calgary | Barkema H.W.,University of Calgary | De Buck J.,University of Calgary | Orsel K.,University of Calgary
Journal of Dairy Science | Year: 2016

Mycobacterium avium ssp. paratuberculosis (MAP), the causative agent of Johne's disease, is present on most dairy farms in Alberta, causing economic losses and presenting a potential public health concern. The objective of this cross-sectional study was to identify risk factors for Alberta dairy herds being MAP-positive based on environmental samples (ES). Risk assessments were conducted and ES were collected on 354 Alberta dairy farms (62% of eligible producers) voluntarily participating in the Alberta Johne's Disease Initiative. In univariate logistic regression, risk factors addressing animal and pen hygiene, as well as the use of feeding equipment to remove manure and manure application on pastures, were all associated with the number of positive ES. Furthermore, based on factor analysis, risk factors were clustered and could be summarized as 4 independent factors: (1) animal, pen, and feeder contamination; (2) shared equipment and pasture contamination; (3) calf diet; and (4) cattle purchase. Using these factor scores as independent variables in multivariate logistic regression models, a 1-unit increase in animal, pen, and feeder contamination resulted in 1.31 times higher odds of having at least 1 positive ES. Furthermore, a 1-unit increase in cattle purchase also resulted in 1.31 times the odds of having at least 1 positive ES. Finally, a 100-cow increase in herd size resulted in an odds ratio of 2.1 for having at least 1 positive ES. In conclusion, cleanliness of animals, pens, and feeders, as well as cattle purchase practices, affected risk of herd infection with MAP. Therefore, improvements in those management practices should be the focus of effective tools to control MAP on dairy farms. © 2016 American Dairy Science Association.

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