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Ahmed W.,Dep. of Environment and Resource Management | Wan C.,Dep. of Environment and Resource Management | Goonetilleke A.,Queensland University of Technology | Gardner T.,Dep. of Environment and Resource Management
Journal of Environmental Quality | Year: 2010

In this study, the host-sensitivity and host-specificity of JC virus (JCV) and BK virus (BKV) polyomaviruses were evaluated by testing wastewater and fecal samples from nine host groups in Southeast Queensland, Australia. The JCV and BKV polyomaviruses were detected in 63 human wastewater samples collected from primary and secondary effluent, suggesting high sensitivity of these viruses in human wastewater. In the 81 animal wastewater and fecal samples tested, 80 were polymerase chain reaction (PCR) negative for the JCV and BKV markers. Only one sample (out of 81 animal wastewater and fecal samples) from pig wastewater was positive. Nonetheless, the overall host-specificity of these viruses to differentiate between human and animal wastewater and fecal samples was 0.99. To our knowledge, this is the first study in Australia that reports on the high specificity of JCV and BKV polyomaviruses. To evaluate the field application of these viral markers for detecting human fecal pollution, 20 environmental samples were collected from a coastal river. In the 20 samples tested, 15% (3/20) and 70% (14/20) samples exceeded the regulatory guidelines for Escherichia coli and enterococci levels for marine waters. In all, five (25%) samples were PCR positive for JCV and BKV, indicating the presence of human fecal pollution in the coastal river investigated. The results suggest that JCV and BKV detection using PCR could be a useful tool for identifying human-sourced fecal pollution in coastal waters. Copyright © 2010 by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America. All rights reserved. Source

Dalal R.C.,Dep. of Environment and Resource Management | Dalal R.C.,University of Queensland | Wang W.,Dep. of Environment and Resource Management | Allen D.E.,Dep. of Environment and Resource Management | And 2 more authors.
Soil Science Society of America Journal | Year: 2011

Land-use change from perennial grasslands to cultivated croplands leads to reduced soil organic C (SOC) and total N. Among other factors, introduction of annual crops and soil disturbance by tillage may account for reduced amounts of SOC and total N. However, agricultural practices of no-till and N fertilizer application may maintain soil N in cropped soils. We measured soil N changes and N-use efficiency in a fi eld experiment initiated in 1968, consisting of completely randomized tillage practices (conventional mechanical till [CT], and no-till [NT]), crop residue management (residue burned [RB], and residue retained [RR]), and N fertilization (0, 30, and 90 kg N ha -1) on a Vertisol (Ustic Pellusert) over 40 yr. Crops grown were mainly wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) except for fi ve barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) crops early in the experiment. Significant effects of treatments on soil total N were primarily confined to the top 0.1-m depth. Soil total N exponentially declined in all treatments even though apparent fertilizer N recoveries during this period (1969-2008) were only 46 and 59% of N applied at 90 and 30 kg N ha -1, respectively. Mineral N in the soil profi le (0-1.2 m) ranged from 68 to 496 kg N ha -1. Nitrogen-use efficiency was similar (P = 0.13) under CT and NT in this Vertisol. However, crop residue retention and a low rate of N application had greater N-use efficiency (35-40%) than RB and a high rate of N application (21-25%) under the annual cereal grain cropping system. If perennial grasslands are considered ecological benchmarks for agricultural sustainability, primarily through large root biomass that utilizes water and nutrients efficiently, then the challenge remains to develop cropping systems that successfully mimic grassland ecosystems. © Soil Science Society of America, 5585 Guilford Rd., Madison WI 53711 USA. All rights reserved. Source

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