The world population will grow more rapidly during the few coming years. This must be accompanied by a parallel increase in the agricultural production to secure adequate food. Sustainability considerations mandate that alternatives to chemical nitrogen fertilizers must be urgently sought. Biological nitrogen (N2) fixation, a microbiological process which converts atmospheric N2 into a plant-usable form, offers this alternative. Among these renewable sources, N2-fixing legumes offer an economically attractive and ecologically sound means of reducing external inputs and improving internal resources. Environmental factors such as drought, elevated temperature, salinity, soil acidity and rising CO2 are known to dramatically affect the symbiotic process and thus play a part in determining the actual amount of nitrogen fixed by a given legume in the field. Understanding how nodule N2 fixation responds to the environment is crucial for improving legume production and maintaining sustainability in the context of global change. In this thoughtful and provocative new Brief, we provide critical information on how current and projected future changes in the environment will affect legume growth and their symbiotic N2 fixing capabilities. Each section reviews the main drivers of environmental change on the legume performance that include drought, elevated temperature, salinity and rising CO2, and soil acidity. Importantly we discuss the molecular approaches to the analysis of the stress response in legumes and the possible biotechnological strategies to overcome their detrimental effects.
The purpose of this collection of essays is to shed some light on the complex relationship between environmental quality and the distribution of income. Are the preferences of the poor towards a cleaner environment really different from those of the rich?
Environmental economists have traditionally focused on efficiency issues. In their analyses the quality of the environment is usually related to aggregate or average variables, like per capita income; policy recommendations are usually formulated considering efficiency with no regard for equity and also the predicted effects of policies are evaluated in aggregate terms.
The essays collected in this volume go into the problem of the relationship between environmental quality and income distribution. The book's opening essay shows how different theories of economic growth and environmental quality seem to suggest that the higher the level of income the higher is the value of environmental protection. The essays that follow, a mix of already published papers and of papers solicited for this book, analyse the relationship between environmental quality and income distribution from different perspectives (both micro and macro) and on the basis of more than one methodology.
This book highlights that the preferences of the poor towards a cleaner environment may differ from those of the rich, but income is also very likely to represent only one factor affecting them. The essays consider other relevant factors affecting preferences for environmental quality. What clearly emerges is that the distribution of costs and benefits of environmental policies is the key for their successful implementation, and that further research is needed to both address the distributional effects themselves and the strategies to mitigate them.
International concern in scientific, industrial, and governmental commumtIes over traces of xenobiotics in foods and in both abiotic and biotic environments has justified the present triumvirate of specialized publications in this field: comprehensive reviews, rapidly published research papers and progress reports, and archival documentations. These three international publications are inteÂ grated and scheduled to provide the coherency essential for nonduplicative and current progress in a field as dynamic and complex as environmental contaminaÂ tion and toxicology. This series is reserved exclusively for the diversified literaÂ ture on "toxic" chemicals in our food, our feeds, our homes, recreational and working surroundings, our domestic animals, our wildlife and ourselves. TreÂ mendous efforts worldwide have been mobilized to evaluate the nature, presÂ ence, magnitude, fate, and toxicology of the chemicals loosed upon the earth. Among the sequelae of this broad new emphasis is an undeniable need for an articulated set of authoritative publications, where one can find the latest imporÂ tant world literature produced by these emerging areas of science together with documentation of pertinent ancillary legislation. Research directors and legislative or administrative advisers do not have the time to scan the escalating number of technical publications that may contain articles important to current responsibility. Rather, these individuals need the background provided by detailed reviews and the assurance that the latest inforÂ mation is made available to them, all with minimal literature searching.
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