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The construction of power lines has significant visual impacts on the landscape, gaining increasing significance with the planned grid extensions. It is one of the key aspects for the evaluation of the effects on nature and landscape to identify the areas which are affected visually by the power lines, i.e. those areas which have an unobstructed sight-of-line to the power line. In practice, these investigations regularly focus on the pylons as visually dominant objects, usually ignoring the “wiring” of the landscape by the cables. The investigation analyses the effects of integrating the cables (which can only perceived from a smaller distance) into the identification of the area affected visually, using different modelling approaches of the cables in geographic information systems. The calculation results of the visibility of both pylons and wires were compared to analyses only focusing on pylons. Using the example of the city of Dortmund the results showed that the area affected by power lines has regularly been underestimated by more than 7 % if the wires were not considered. Based on these findings, the study gives recommendations for future planning practice. © 2015, Verlag Eugen Ulmer. All rights reserved. Source

Krueger K.,University of Regensburg | Krueger K.,Nuertingen-Geislingen University | Farmer K.,University of St. Andrews | Heinze J.,University of Regensburg
Animal Cognition

Social learning is said to meet the demands of complex environments in which individuals compete over resources and cooperate to share resources. Horses (Equus caballus) were thought to lack social learning skills because they feed on homogenously distributed resources with few reasons for conflict. However, the horse's social environment is complex, which raises the possibility that its capacity for social transfer of feeding behaviour has been underestimated. We conducted a social learning experiment using 30 socially kept horses of different ages. Five horses, one from each group, were chosen as demonstrators, and the remaining 25 horses were designated observers. Observers from each group were allowed to watch their group demonstrator opening a feeding apparatus. We found that young, low-ranking and more exploratory horses learned by observing older members of their own group, and the older the horse, the more slowly it appeared to learn. Social learning may be an adaptive specialisation to the social environment. Older animals may avoid the potential costs of acquiring complex and potentially disadvantageous feeding behaviours from younger group members. We argue that horses show social learning in the context of their social ecology and that research procedures must take such contexts into account. Misconceptions about the horse's sociality may have hampered earlier studies. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Source

Ringel M.,Nuertingen-Geislingen University | Schlomann B.,Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research | Krail M.,Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research | Rohde C.,Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research
Applied Energy

Energy efficiency policies play a key role in the transformation to a 'green energy economy'. In this paper, we take stock of the impacts of the existing energy efficiency policy instruments in Germany and review the energy, environmental and socioeconomic impacts of the country's latest energy efficiency and climate strategies for the year 2020. We find evidence supporting the findings of other studies that enhanced green energy policies will trigger tangible economic benefits in terms of GDP growth and new jobs even in the short term. Whereas policy makers have already acknowledged and implemented this conclusion in the case of renewable energies, our paper shows that striving for more ambitious energy efficiency policies represents a similar win-win strategy, which should be exploited to a much larger extent. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Within the frame of a biological monitoring for ecosystem assessment at Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz plant in Rastatt lichen mappings were carried out in 2000 and 2008 as an indicator of air quality in the vicinity of the plant. In 2008 the monitoring also included the determination of the lichen surface area to allow an ecological evaluation of the local conditions by using rating values of the occurring species. With regard to the increasing occurrence of lichen species favoured by nitrogenous compounds and dusts or other pollutants with eutrophicating effects, the concentration of nitrogen oxide (NO, NO 2) and ammonia (NH 3) was randomly measured with diffusive samplers at six sites. It was possible to detect zones of different air quality and to show the temporal development of air quality in the Rastatt area. At about two thirds of the mapping sites a partially substantial decrease of air quality and an increasing influence of eutrophic pollutants was detected. The rating values of the lichens supported the differentiated assessment of the measured surfaces. In some areas the impact of eutrophicating substances on tree bark was clearly above the average, resulting in a corresponding effect on the occurrence of lichens. The use of diffusive samplers resulted in information about the ambient air concentration of NO, NO 2 and NH 3 in the Rastatt area, their possible sources and their effects on lichens. Relations between the location of the sites, their utilization, the effects of traffic in urban areas, the influence of agriculture and farming, local climatic effects and air quality could be documented. Besides local emissions it must be assumed that there is also a (supra-)regional impact of eutrophicating substances. Source

Pereira G.,Oxford Brookes University | Ganser R.,Nuertingen-Geislingen University | Wood G.,Oxford Brookes University | De Conto S.M.,University of Caxias do Sul
Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal

This paper investigates the implementation and enforcement of environmental licensing and environmental impact assessment (EIA) regulations and decisions in the context of the Rio 2007 Pan American Games in Brazil. The methodology includes detailed case study analysis involving document analysis and interviews with key stakeholders. The results demonstrate that implementation and enforcement of EIA and environmental licensing still have a long way to go in terms of being fully effective in Brazil. Despite this, in the scope of the case study, the results showed that implementation and enforcement of environmental licensing and EIA regulations and decisions seem to be undertaken according to relevant regulations in the context of the Pan American Village. Finally, recommendations for major sports events and for the Brazilian context to strengthen its regulatory framework for environmental licensing and EIA are developed. © 2014 © 2013 IAIA. Source

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