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Lamia H.,Institute National Of Recherches En Genie Rural | et Larbi K.M.,Institute National Of Recherches En Genie Rural | Mohsen H.,Center de Biotechnologie de la Technopole de Borj-Cedria
Botany | Year: 2010

The salinity tolerance and development of diverse myrtle ecotypes were evaluated in relation to salinity, at the germination and plantlet stages. Six myrtle ecotypes (Tébaba, Jbel Abderahmane, Diar Ferjan, Ain Bacouche, Ain Dhebla, and Ouchetata) were used to conduct germination tests, as well as cultivation to the plantlet stage. Disinfected seeds were germinated in a controlled growth chamber (RH, 80%; temperature, 25 °C) using different saline treatments (0, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 g·L1 NaCl. Seedlings were cultivated in a greenhouse, in boxes filled with perlite. The seedlings were given Knop's nutrient solution, up to the four-leaf stage. Thereafter, the saline stress treatments were applied as increasing concentrations of NaCl added to the Knop solution. The effects of salinity on germination varied with ecotype and concentration of NaCl. A progressive decrease in the rate of germination for myrtle was observed with increasing concentration of NaCl. Moreover, germination was delayed by salinity, especially with susceptible ecotypes. Ecotypes from Ouchetata and Diar Ferjan germinated better in presence of salt than did the Jbel Abderahmane ecotype. The growth of myrtle plantlets cultivated under salt stress was also variable according to ecotype and salt concentrations. Growth of aerial, as well as root parts, was reduced by NaCl concentrations higher than 6 g·L1. The number of leaves was also affected by salinity; a reduction of five leaves was observed for most ecotypes when increasing NaCl from 0 to 12 g·L1. It is concluded that development of myrtle under saline stress differs according to the development stage (germination, plantlet), and that the ecotypes tested can germinate and grow in the presence of 12 g·L1 NaCl. This salt tolerance, observed at early stages, remains to be confirmed for the adult plants. This work was conducted as an essential preliminary step in preparing to cultivate myrtle in saline soils or soils irrigated with salt water, for prospective commercial exploitation of the essential oils of this species.

Amri I.,University of Carthage | Amri I.,Institute National Of Recherches En Genie Rural | Gargouri S.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research | Hamrouni L.,Institute National Of Recherches En Genie Rural | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Pest Science | Year: 2012

The chemical composition of essential oils isolated by hydrodistillation from the aerial parts of Tunisian Pinus pinea Linn. was analyzed by GC and GC/MS. Sixty-six compounds were identified, representing 98. 5% of total oil, which was found to be rich in monoterpene hydrocarbons (73. 1%) particularly limonene (54. 1%), α-pinene (7. 7%), and β-pinene (3. 4%). The yield and the physico-chemical properties were determined. Results of the antifungal activity study by in vitro contact assay showed that P. pinea oil significantly inhibited the growth of ten plant pathogenic fungi. Moreover, herbicidal properties of the oil, tested on Sinapis arvensis L., Lolium rigidum Gaud., and Raphanus raphanistrum L., indicated that the oil completely inhibited the seed germination at a high concentration, while at low doses the oil acted by decreasing and delaying the germination and inhibiting the seedling growth of all tested weeds unlike the commercial herbicide. Our results showed that P. pinea essential oil could be valorized as bioproduct for biocontrol of weeds and fungal plant diseases. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: SiS.2013.1.2-1 | Award Amount: 3.56M | Year: 2013

Sustainable water management under climate change is an urgent challenge for the Euro-Mediterranean region. Future climate change projections estimate an increase in water scarcity and droughts in the region, causing substantial socioeconomic losses and environmental impacts. In this context, efforts are needed to strengthen public participation and embed a sense of responsibility within the society concerning water management and adaptation towards these threats. The combination of improved awareness, mutual learning processes and shared responsibility of the civil society and stakeholders are key to ensuring successful adaptation strategies and their implementation, leading to increased resilience of the social-ecological system of a river basin. BEWATER addresses the above challenges by promoting dialogue and collaboration between science and society. The project aims at launching a transition from a technologically-focused river basin management approach to a stakeholder driven planning and management process that allows a pro active response to emerging climatic changes and related pressures. Based on a bottom-up approach, the multidirectional and multi-sectoral knowledge transfer throughout the project will raise awareness, feed ownership and ultimately lead to effective adaptation policies. BEWATER proposes, with tests in case study river basins across the Mediterranean, a process of building resilience based on the engagement of a wide group of stakeholders, with the goal of achieving a sustainable and adaptive management at river basin scale. It is an iterative process of mutual learning between society and science, which identifies water management options and works out adaptation plans. It leads to innovation as a result of effective integration of local experience and research. The results will be translated into generic adaptation guidelines that can be adopted in other river basins and results will be disseminated in a targeted and strategic way.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: REGPOT-2009-2 | Award Amount: 1.19M | Year: 2010

In order to avoid an irreversible situation for Mediterranean forests in MPCs, a coordinated approach throughout the Mediterranean basin to improve forest management and policy-making based on reliable information and tools is required . AGORA will update and enlarged the scientific knowledge on the sustainable management of forests in selected MPCs through scientific cooperation and networking and targeted capacity building that uses efficiently the existing multidisciplinary knowledge and resources available in different European forest research institutions of the Mediterranean region. Coordinated forest research partnerships between centres of excellence (located in EU and an associated country) and MPCs entities with the highest research potential will be developed. This will be realised by improving scientific relationships, networking and exchanging of know-how and experience as well as by upgrading the research capacities of the MPCs forest research entities. In addition, the forest scientific strategies of the MPCs research entities will be adjusted based on upgraded capacities.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: KBBE-2008-1-2-01 | Award Amount: 3.92M | Year: 2009

Organic and low-input farming systems have been shown to benefit farmland biodiversity although a generic indicator system to assess these benefits at the European level is lacking. The BIOBIO project will therefore pursue the following objectives: 1. Conceptualization of criteria for a scientifically-based selection of biodiversity indicators for organic/low-input farming systems; 2. Assessment and validation of a set of candidate biodiversity indicators in representative case studies across Europe (and in ICPC countries); 3. Preparation of guidelines for the implementation of biodiversity indicators for organic/low-input farming systems for Europe and beyond. Existing indirect farm management indicators as well as direct indicators for genetic, species and habitat diversity will be assessed for their scientific soundness, practicality, geographic scope and usefulness for stakeholders. Candidate indicators will be tested in a standardised design in twelve case studies across Europe and later in three ICPC countries. Case study regions will include pannonian, alpine, boreal, Atlantic and Mediterranean grassland systems (both organic and/or low-input), rain fed organic farms under temperate and Mediterranean conditions, mixed organic farming, organic special crops and low-input tree/agroforestry systems. Plot, farm and regional scales (where applicable) will be addressed. The investigation will include new agricultural practices, e.g. soil conservation, crop rotation management, seed and crop mixtures and economic issues relating to the costs of indicator measurement and to benefits of biodiversity as perceived by different groups of the population. Stakeholders (farming communities, conservation NGOs, administrators) will be integrated at critical stages of the indicator selection process. A handbook with factsheets will be produced for validated indicators and a sampling design for biodiversity monitoring in organic and low-input farming systems across Europe.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: ENV.2009. | Award Amount: 8.23M | Year: 2010

Fire regimes result from interactions between climate, land-use and land-cover (LULC), and socioeconomic factors, among other. These changed during the last decades, particularly around the Mediterranean. Our understanding of how they affected fire regime in the past is limited. During this century temperatures, drought and heat waves will very likely increase, and rainfall decrease. These and further socioeconomic change will affect LULC. Additional areas will be abandoned due to being unsuitable for agriculture or other uses. Fire danger and fire hazard are very likely to increase, affecting fire regimes. FUME will learn from the past to understand future impacts. Mod. 1 we will study how LULC and socioeconomics changed and how climate and weather affected fire in dynamically changing landscapes. Fires will be mapped throughout Europe to determine hazard burning functions for LULC types. Since climate has changed, an attempt to attribute (sensu IPCC) fire regime change to climate, differentiating it from socioeconomic change, will be made. Mod. 2 will produce scenarios of change (climate, including extremes, land-use land-cover, socioeconomics, vegetation) for various emissions pathways and three time-slices during this century. With these and results from Mod.1, models and field experiments projected impacts on fire-regime and vegetation vulnerabilities will be calculated, including climate extremes (drought, heat-waves). Mod. 3 will investigate adaptation options in fire- and land-management, including restoration. Fire prevention and fire fighting protocols will be tested/developed under the new conditions to mitigating fire risks. A company managing fire will be a key player. Costs and policy impacts of changes in fire will be studied. Research will focus on old and new fire areas, the rural interface, whole Europe and the Mediterranean, including all Mediterranean countries of the world. Users will be involved in training and other activities.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP-SICA | Phase: KBBE.2010.1.2-03 | Award Amount: 4.94M | Year: 2011

EAU4Food seeks to address the need for new approaches to increase food production in irrigated areas in Africa, while ensuring healthy and resilient environments. Potential pitfalls of introducing innovations in local farming systems, like limited adoption by farmers and trade-off effects to other (environmental) systems are overcome by, respectively, i) utilizing a true transdisciplinary approach, which involves the active participation of all stakeholders in all relevant disciplines, and ii) by determining and respecting so called sustainable production thresholds. EAU4Food is executed in four irrigated areas in Africa, viz. Southern Africa (Mozambique and South-Africa), Tunisia, Mali and Ethiopia to fully benefit from the potential of cross distributing promising strategies and innovations. At each site, key indicators, risk factors, farm strategies and biophysical parameters are monitored for identification of current constraints to food production and to evaluate agro-ecological and socio-economic impacts of improved practices and/or innovations after implementation. Results of EAU4Food are distilled into tailor made support tables and guidelines for different user groups. These support tables and guidelines support decision making processes at local level by overseeing short-term and long-term effects of alternative practices and improved strategies. EAU4Food is expected to have significant positive impacts on agricultural production at farm level for many years to come, and on wider policy processes at national and trans-national levels. To enlarge and maintain the impact of EAU4Food, capacity building programmes are developed at different levels, going from farmer to farmer exchange up to exchange of scientific personnel. Moreover, further exploitation of the results of EAU4Food is supported via other mediums such as songs of success, documentaries, school programmes, policy briefs, fact-books and scientific publications and presentations.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: INCO.2013-9.1 | Award Amount: 834.23K | Year: 2013

The Mediterranean region will become one of the most vulnerable areas in Europe to global change. While in European Mediterranean countries the combination of climate change and land abandonment is promoting new unmanaged forest cover, increasing fire and pest risks, in the south of the basin forest intensification results in desertification as the principal threat. Forest management strategies must be directed to promoting mitigation of the effects of global change, and to guaranteeing the sustainable use of ecosystem goods and services in order to achieve a resource efficient, low-carbon economy. In fact, the defense of regional natural resources should be part of the aims in the agenda to escape from financial dependency to sustainable development. We posit that spatial analysis tools from the north could help stopping deforestation while obtaining economical benefits of landscape management in the south, and traditional knowledge from the south may help decreasing land abandonment in the north by developing eco-innovative business. In such context, the knowledge of the main technologies and techniques available and the interconnection between forestry research and business in both sides of the Mediterranean are two of the best ways to increase efficiency under the available budget. The Mediterranean Network of Forestry Research and Innovation (MENFRI) would like to become a dialogue and action platform in forestry, encouraging scientific and technological collaboration within the Mediterranean. The main goal of the project is therefore to create a favourable environment for the development of an innovative and job creating business sector in this region while facing climate change. The project will help bridging the gap between research and innovation by improving performance in managing, transferring and using the knowledge resulting from ecological research and forest management and by better aligning both research and economic objectives to societal needs.

Slimane B.B.,Institute Superieur Des Science Et Technologies Of Lenvironnement Of Borj Cedria | Ezzine O.,Institute National Of Recherches En Genie Rural | Dhahri S.,Institute National Of Recherches En Genie Rural | Jamaa M.L.,Institute National Of Recherches En Genie Rural
Biological research | Year: 2014

BACKGROUND: Essential oils extracted from aromatic and medicinal plants have many biological properties and are therefore an alternative to the use of synthetic products. The chemical composition of essential oils from two medicinal plants (Eucalyptus globulus and E. lehmannii) was determined and, their insecticidal effects on the third and fourth larval stages of Orgyia trigotephras were assessed.RESULTS: Larvae were collected from Jebel Abderrahmane (North-East of Tunisia), conserved in groups of 50/box (21 × 10 × 10 cm) at a temperature of 25°C. Larvae were tested for larvicidal activities of essential oils. Each oil was diluted in ethanol (96%) to prepare 3 test solutions (S1 = 0.05%, S2 = 0.10% and S3 = 0.50%). Essential oils were used for contact, ingestion and Olfactory actions and compared to reference products (Bacillus thuringiensis and Decis). Olfactory action of essential oils shows that larvae mortality is higher than contact action, lower than ingestion action. MTM and FTM of S3 of E. lehmannii were respectively 1 h 32 min and 1 h 39 min are higher than those of E. globulus (MTM = 51 min and FTM = 1 h 22 min 34 sec). Contact action of E. lehmannii oil shows low insecticidal activity compared to E. globulus. MTM are respectively (1 min 52 sec and 1 min 7 sec), FTM are (2 min 38 sec, 1 min 39 sec), are the shortest recorded for S3, on the third stage of larvae. The fourth stage of larvae, MTM are (2 min 20 sec and 2 min 9 sec), FTM are (3 min 25 sec, 3 min 19 sec). Ingestion action of essential oils is longer than the contact action, since the time of death exceeds 60 minutes for all species.CONCLUSION: Results shows that essential oils have a toxic action on nerves leading to a disruption of vital system of insects. High toxic properties make these plant-derived compounds suitable for incorporation in integrated pest management programs.

Ayari A.,Institute National Of Recherches En Genie Rural | Khouja M.L.,Institute National Of Recherches En Genie Rural
Tree Physiology | Year: 2014

The most interesting factors associated with seed and cone production of Aleppo pine were largely reviewed to identify broad patterns and potential effectiveness of reforestation efforts and planning. Aleppo pine cone production and seed yields are relatively variable, with differences between spatial and temporal influences. These differences are considered, mainly between (i) year, (ii) stand characteristics and (iii) individual tree measurements. Annual variability among populations was recorded for cone production per tree, based on influencing factors such as genetic characteristics, wetness, nutrient availability, insect pests and disease. In addition, some factors may affect Aleppo pine tree growth directly but may be affecting seed and cone production indirectly. Therefore, reduced stand density results in less competition among Aleppo pine trees and accompanying understory flora, which subsequently increases the stem diameter and other tree dimensions, including seed production. This review suggests that reforestation planning, particularly thinning, will result in improved tree morphology that will increase Aleppo pine seed and cone crops. Wildfire intensity and stand conditions such as light and soil nutrient status are also examined. © 2014 The Author. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

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