State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry
Recent publications
Natural sharkskin features staggered‐overlapped and multilayered architectures of riblet‐textured anisotropic microdenticles, exhibiting drag reduction and providing a flexible yet strong armor. However, the artificial fabrication of three‐dimensional (3D) sharkskin with these unique functionalities and mechanical integrity is a challenge using conventional techniques. In this study, we report on the facile microfabrication of multilayered 3D sharkskin through the magnetic actuation of polymeric composites and subsequent chemical shape fixation by casting thin polymeric films. The fabricated hydrophobic sharkskin, with geometric symmetry breaking, achieves anisotropic drag reduction in frontal and backward flow directions against the riblet‐textured microdenticles. For mechanical integrity, hard‐on‐soft multilayered mechanical properties are realized by coating the polymeric sharkskin with thin layers of zinc oxide and platinum, which have higher hardness and recovery behaviors than the polymer. This multilayered hard‐on‐soft sharkskin exhibits friction anisotropy, mechanical robustness, and structural recovery. Furthermore, coating the MXene nanosheets provides the fabricated sharkskin with a low electrical resistance of ≈5.3 Ω, which leads to high Joule heating (≈229.9°C at 2.75 V). The proposed magnetomechanical actuation‐assisted microfabrication strategy is expected to facilitate the development of devices requiring multifunctional microtextures. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved
Mammals play important ecological roles in terrestrial ecosystems, with their particular niches and their impacts on energy flow and nutrient cycling being strongly influenced by one of their most fundamental traits—their body size. Body size influences nearly all of the physiological, behavioral, and ecological traits of mammals, and thus, shifts in body size often serve as key mechanisms of adaptation to variation in environmental conditions over space and time. Along with shifts in phenology and distributions, declining body size has been purported to be one of the three universal responses to anthropogenic climate change, yet few studies have been conducted at the spatial and temporal scales appropriate to test this claim. Here, we report that in response to warming of terrestrial ecosystems across North America over the past century, small mammals are decreasing in body size. We further estimate that by 2100 (when global temperatures may have risen some 2.5 to 5.5 °C since 1880), the total anthropogenic decline in body mass of these ecologically and economically important species may range from 10 to 21%. Such shifts in body size of the great multitudes of small mammal populations are, in turn, likely to have major impacts on the structural and functional diversity of terrestrial assemblages across the globe.
This study investigated the capability of remote sensing soil moisture (SM) datasets to estimate in-situ SM over the Lake Urmia Basin in Iran. A novel meta-estimating approach, called Voting Regression (VR), was used to combine the Gradient Boosting (GB) and Support Vector Regression (SVR) algorithms for developing a new hybrid predictive model named GB-SVR. Six SM products from the Global Land Data Assimilation System (GLDAS), Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer 2 (AMSR2), and Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) were used to predict SM at 40 in-situ SM sampling locations. The performance of the proposed novel forecasting technique was evaluated using Correlation Coefficient (CC), Root Mean Square Error (RMSE), and Mean Absolute Error (MAE). The results showed the superiority of GB-SVR compared to GB and SVR, with an average improvement of 17%, 10%, and 13% in CC, RMSE, and MAE, respectively, in predicting in-situ SM. The model performance in different climates, soil textures, and land covers showed its better prediction accuracy in croplands \(({R}^{2}=0.86)\), loam soil \(({R}^{2}=0.74)\) and cold climate \(\left({R}^{2}=0.71\right)\), while the least in clay soil and barren lands. Besides, the in-situ SM prediction using remote sensing SM data performed better than that obtained using in-situ air and soil temperature. The proposed methodology can be used for accurate SM prediction in regions lacking in-situ SM data.
Issues of interest, identity and values intertwine in environmental conflicts, creating challenges that cannot generally be overcome using rationalities grounded in generalised argumentation and abstraction. To address the growing need to engage interests and identities along with plural values in the conservation of biodiversity and ecological systems, we introduce the concept of ‘appropriateness of actions’ and ground it in a relational understanding of environmental ethics. A determination of appropriateness for actions comes from combining outputs from value elicitation with those of interest and identity negotiation in ways that are salient to specific people and their relationships to specific places. Drawing on the Blue Mountain Forest Partnership in the Pacific Northwest, we propose factors of success for supporting appropriate actions: 1) understanding context and identifying key stakeholders; 2) surfacing a diversity of interests and building system-level trust; 3) building empathy for different identities grounded in specific places; 4) eliciting diverse values and seeking to understand their links to worldviews and knowledge systems and; 5) seeking out appropriate actions.
Fjords are representative marine ecosystems that play an important role in regulating coastal carbon cycling. As fingerprints of the dissolved organic matter (DOM) pool, fluorescent DOM (FDOM) is widely used to study the ocean carbon cycle. Here, we report on 1‐year of weekly observations of FDOM (from May 2018 to May 2019) in the Bedford Basin, a well‐studied northwestern Atlantic fjord. Results showed that differences in FDOM indices (biological index, fluorescence index, and humification indices) between the euphotic and aphotic layers changed during the investigation period, suggesting that classical definitions of these indices may not apply consistently. Spearman rank correlations showed that the surface FDOM was affected by physical and biological factors, while water mass renewal was the major control for the deeper layer. Humic‐like FDOM (FDOM H ) changed following the Atlantic deep‐water intrusion, indicating that FDOM H may be used to trace water mass movements in this region. FDOM H shows a significantly positive linear correlation with apparent oxygen utilization (AOU). Their slopes were higher than those from the open ocean, suggesting that the Bedford Basin is a hotspot of RDOM production. Hence, we proposed a possible carbon sequestration mechanism that fjords play as “RDOM producing hot spots” and that the produced RDOM is then transported to the open ocean via water mass movement and finally stored in the ocean for extended periods of time. The proposed biogeochemical processes may also occur, more generally, in the global coastal ocean.
Human influences on natural environments are now ubiquitous but manifest in multiple and unique ways depending on local environments and communities. Attempts to control, or mediate, local pests to residences or to agriculture can impart important negative consequences on systems. Secondary exposure to anticoagulant rodenticides (ARs) can cause numerous adverse effects on wild carnivores including death. No studies have quantified AR prevalence, investigated their pathway of exposure, or associations with specific location types in the northeastern U.S. We hypothesized that ARs would be found in the mesocarnivore community throughout Pennsylvania and have the greatest detection rate in highly urbanized or agricultural landscapes. From 2019 through early 2022 we collected carcasses to obtain liver samples (n=265) from three species of carnivores: bobcats (Lynx rufus (Schreber, 1777)), fishers (Pekania pennanti (Erxleben, 1777)), and river otters (Lontra canadensis (Schreber, 1777)). We used generalized linear models to test for differences in AR detection rated among species and spatial scales including the six Pennsylvania Game Commission regions and 23 Wildlife Management Units. We detected ARs in all species (44.2% collectively), but detection rates differed among species. Our study is the first to document ARs within North American river otters.
Offshore aquaculture is a growing industry, but a lack of social acceptance is limiting development, including within the USA. We used the Gulf Coast of Florida, where there has been industry and government interest in development, as a case study to explore offshore aquaculture potential and methods for integrating stakeholder concerns into offshore aquaculture development. We assessed (1) social acceptance of offshore aquaculture in the Florida Gulf Coast using public comments; (2) site suitability for offshore development using social, biological, and technical data; and (3) potential impacts of offshore aquaculture on communities using socioeconomic vulnerability indices. We found that many stakeholders distrust policymakers and industry and have concerns about potential environmental impacts. We created species-specific suitability maps for red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus) and almaco jack (Seriola rivoliana), demonstrating that large areas of the Gulf are suitable for offshore aquaculture development. We show that many coastal and fishing-reliant communities have existing vulnerabilities that aquaculture development could affect, but the public comments did not reflect these. To gain social acceptance, industry and government agencies will need to better incorporate public feedback into planning processes in a meaningful way. Consulting local communities and adapting projects in response to their concerns can help to secure social license for offshore aquaculture.
Bioenergy utilizing carbon-neutral biomass is significant for power generation. For economic feasibility and to avoid food vs. energy issues, various types of waste biomass have been studied as renewable feedstock. Herein, medium-density fiberboard (MDF) and particle board (PB), which are main components of waste furniture, were used for steam explosion torrefaction. The optimum torrefaction conditions were controlled by the severity index (R o ), resulting in an optimum R o of 3.72 and 4.01 for MDF and PB, respectively. Additionally, steam explosion torrefied MDF and PB were suitable for Bio-Solid Refuse Fuel (SRF) quality standard, thereby indicating that steam explosion-torrefied MDF and PB can use for solid-type biofuel. This is the first report presenting the potential of waste furniture as a biofuel source for power generation. The results provide insights on the valorization of municipal waste (e.g., waste furniture) and suggest strategies to address recent climate crisis by providing solutions for waste management.
African swine fever (ASF) is the most important disease of pigs due to its rapid spread and high mortality. ASF has been enzootic in Nigeria since its introduction in 1997, and understanding the spatial spread of the disease is important for devising effective control measures. Hence, this study assessed the spatial extent of ASF spread in selected States of Nigeria, namely: Adamawa, Benue, Cross-River, Delta, Kaduna, Lagos, Ogun, Plateau, and Taraba States. This assessment was based on three aspects: (i) ASF prevalence using tissue and sera collected from pig farms and abattoirs/slaughter slabs (ii) data collection from veterinary authorities and pig farmers using interviews, and (iii) field observation of farmer practices in relation to ASF spread. The results of tissue samples analyzed by polymerase chain reaction revealed an overall ASF prevalence of 10.21% (100/979), with the highest State-level prevalence recorded in Plateau (32.09%), followed by Cross River (25.47%), Kaduna (6.25%), and lowest in Benue (4.26%) States. Farms under the extensive husbandry system (6.98%) had a higher prevalence compared to farms under intensive husbandry system (2.09%). Abattoir samples had a higher positivity rate (16.70%) compared to pig farm samples (4.58%). Analyzed sera revealed an ASF seroprevalence of 17.03% (87/511), with the highest seroprevalence in Benue (42.9%), followed by Lagos (36.69%), Taraba (34.8%). Plateau (10.25%) and the lowest in Ogun (5.9%) State. Husbandry system-wise, a higher seroprevalence was recorded in extensive husbandry systems (20.74%), compared to intensive systems (14.29%). Data collected from veterinary authorities and farmers revealed mixed results. In some States, ASF was alluded to be major concern, while in others, they stated otherwise. Finally, unregulated pig movement and pigs with clinical signs suggestive of ASF were observed in majority of the States during this study. In conclusion, based on the three aspects of this study, ASF may be widespread in Nigeria.
Biodiversity loss is a major global challenge and minimizing extinction rates is the goal of several multilateral environmental agreements. Policy decisions require comprehensive, spatially explicit information on species’ distributions and threats. We present an analysis of the conservation status of 14,669 European terrestrial, freshwater and marine species (ca. 10% of the continental fauna and flora), including all vertebrates and selected groups of invertebrates and plants. Our results reveal that 19% of European species are threatened with extinction, with higher extinction risks for plants (27%) and invertebrates (24%) compared to vertebrates (18%). These numbers exceed recent IPBES (Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services) assumptions of extinction risk. Changes in agricultural practices and associated habitat loss, overharvesting, pollution and development are major threats to biodiversity. Maintaining and restoring sustainable land and water use practices is crucial to minimize future biodiversity declines.
Human food foraging in community forests offers extensive and expandable sources of food and high-quality nutrition that support chronic disease prevention and management and are underrepresented in US diets. Despite severe gaps in non-commercial “wild food” data, research in Syracuse, NY, identified substantial amounts of five key antioxidant phytochemicals in locally available, forageable foods with the potential to augment local dietary diversity and quality. Findings endorse the need for micro- and macro-nutrient research on an expanded range of forageable foods, community nutrition education on those foods, an expanded study on antioxidant phytochemical function, and the inclusion of forageables in the food system definition.
Successional, second-growth forests dominate much of eastern North America, thus patterns of biomass accumulation in standing trees and downed wood are of great interest for forest management and carbon accounting. The timing and magnitude of biomass accumulation in later stages of forest development are not fully understood. We applied a “chronosequence with resampling” approach to characterize live and dead biomass accumulation in sixteen northern hardwood stands in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Live aboveground biomass increased rapidly and leveled off at about 350 Mg/ha by 145 years. Downed wood biomass fluctuated between 10 and 35 Mg/ha depending on disturbances. The species composition of downed wood varied predictably with overstory succession, and total mass of downed wood increased with stand age and the concomitant production of larger material. Fine woody debris peaked at 30-50 years during the self-thinning of early-successional species, notably pin cherry. Our data support a model of northern hardwood forest development wherein live tree biomass accumulates asymptotically and begins to level off at ~140-150 years. Still, 145-year-old second-growth stands differed from old-growth forests in their live (p = 0.09) and downed tree diameter distributions (p = 0.06). These patterns of forest biomass accumulation would be difficult to detect without a time series of repeated measurements of stands of different ages.
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1,378 members
William Thomas Winter
  • Department of Chemistry
David Newman
  • Department of Forest and Natural Resources Management
Bandaru Ramarao
  • Department of Paper and Bioprocess Engineering
Chang Geun Yoo
  • Department of Chemical Engineering
1 Forestry Drive, 13210, Syracuse, New York, United States
Head of institution
David C. Amberg, Ph.D.