- University of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany.
- Title:Maximizing Nature Driven Legume Crop pollination and Pest Regulation for Improved Yields and Food Security in Changing African landscapes
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Legumes are among the most important food security crops cultivated by smallholder farmers and consumed for their proteins and other essential nutrients by millions of people, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. Most legumes depend on insect pollination and natural pest regulation for sufficient yields. However, there is emerging evidence that yield gaps caused by lack of pollination and pest pressure may be common. We undertook a systematic review of the literature to evaluate pollinators and natural enemies’ contributions to legume crop yields and the factors driving the diversity and efficiency of these beneficial organisms in changing African landscapes. Our review identified the critical role played by pollinators and natural enemies in legume crop production in Africa and the important contributions of these organisms to food security. The review found agricultural intensification and population growth as the key drivers changing the landscapes used by beneficial organisms and threatening their future existence. We propose the use of ecological intensification in safeguarding the legume pollinators and pests’ natural enemies. The application of ecological intensification through practices such as effective habitat management or establishment of boundary features, fallows, etc., in legume cropping systems, can restore or maintain semi-natural and natural habitats suitable for beneficial insects. These habitats provide the much-needed connectivity required by beneficial organisms within legume agricultural landscapes to sustain viable and ecologically functioning populations.
Mark Otieno is a Research Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation at the University of Wuerzburg, Germany and a Lecturer in the Department of Agricultural Resource Management at the University of Embu, Kenya. He previously undertook postdoctoral research on crop pollination under the Integrated Crop Pollination project at Pennsylvania State University, USA. He completed his Ph.D. at the University of Reading, UK, writing his thesis on pigeon pea crop pollination and natural pest control. As the recipient of numerous awards, prizes, and mentions at high profile professional and global meetings, he has successfully led many agroecological programs – especially involving ecosystem services in legume crops.
- Afe Babalola University, Nigeria
- Title:Hydrochemical Analysis of Groundwater Quality Along the Coastal Aquifers in Part of Ogun Waterside, Ogun State, Southwestern Nigeria
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Hydrochemical investigation of groundwater was carried out on the coastal aquifers of Ogun Waterside, Southwestern Nigeria. Groundwater samples were collected and assayed for physicochemical parameters during wet season (August, 2016) and dry season (March, 2017). The analysed data were further subjected to correlation analysis (CA), principal component analysis (PCA), hydrochemical facies and descriptive statistics. Results revealed that the groundwater is slightly acidic with fresh to saline character. The CA showed very strong associations between TDS, EC and Cl concentrations in both wet and dry seasons. PCA confirmed the main factor influencing the groundwater chemistry in the study area to be component I (salinity component). Piper plots also revealed that the aquifer is mainly of Na-Cl water type. Schoeller and Stiff diagrams showed that the groundwater comprises relative abundance of major ions in the following order: Na^+>K^+>Mg^(2+)>Ca^(2+) for the cations and Cl^->HCO_3^->SO_4^(2-)for the anions. Thus, the primary process influencing the hydrochemistry of the study area is saltwater invasion while mineral dissolution and rainwater infiltration play less significant roles. Most parameters fall within the permissible limit proposed by the World Health Organization (2011) and Nigerian Standard for Drinking Water Quality (2007). However, higher concentrations of chloride and bicarbonate ions observed towards the southern flank of the study area suggest signs of impairment. Assessment of the sampled water for agricultural purposes with respect to salinity hazard, Total Hardness (TH), percentage sodium (%Na) and Sodium Adsorption Ratio (SAR) revealed that the water is suitable for agricultural activities.
Dr. Ganiyu Badmus is a lecturer in the Department of Mathematical and Physical Sciences at Afe Babalola University with a specialization in Solid Earth Physics. His research interests include Groundwater Geophysics, Environmental Geophysics and Earthquake Seismology. More specifically, his current research looks at Delineation of suitable zones for artificial recharge of groundwater using integrated GIS-based AHP and CSI techniques in Southwestern Nigeria.
After receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in Physics Science at Lagos State University in 2007, Badmus obtained his Master of Science degree in Physics at the University of Ibadan in 2011 and bagged his Doctoral Degree in Environmental Geophysics at the Centre of Excellence in Agricultural Development and Sustainable Environment (CEADESE), Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria in 2019. His doctoral dissertation examines “Assessment of seasonal variation of saltwater intrusion using integrated geophysical, hydrochemical and GIS/remote sensing methods in Ogun Waterside, Ogun State, Nigeria”. He has 17 research articles published in peer reviewed local and international journals.
Dr. Badmus is a member of professional bodies such as the Nigerian Institute of Physics (NIP), Society of Exploration Geophysics (SEG) and African Geophysical Society.
Phone No: +234 7033509958
- Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China.
- Title:Experimental Study on Heating Performance of a CO2 Heat Pump System for an Electric Bus
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The heating performance of a heat pump system for an electric bus by using carbon dioxide (CO2) as refrigerant in cold climate was investigated. The effects of the outdoor and indoor air temperatures, indoor air flow rate, compressor speed, and the opening step of electronic expansion valve on system performance are examined. The results show that at air temperatures of –20 °C/20 °C (an outdoor temperature of –20 °C and indoor temperature of 20 °C), the system had a heating capacity of 15.3 kW and a coefficient of performance (COP) of 1.78, which shows that the heat pump system for the electric bus can deliver satisfactory heating performance in a cold climate by using CO2 as refrigerant. The heating capacity and COP increased with the indoor air flow rate and decreased as the indoor air temperature increased. Compared with the indoor air flow rate, the optimum high pressure of the system was influenced more by the indoor air temperature. An equation was also derived to relate the temperature of CO2 at the outlet of the gas cooler with the optimum high pressure of the heat pump system for the electric bus, which can be used as the optimum high-pressure control algorithm to maximize the COP.
Xia Song is currently a Ph.D candidate in the School of Mechanical Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China. She received a BSc degree in School of Energy and Environment from Southeast University of China in 2019. She has published about 7 international journal papers in the areas of liquid desiccant dehumidification, air handling process and CO2 heat pump and air-conditioning system.
- Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia.
- Title:Application of Response Surface Methodology to Optimize Removal Efficiency of Water Turbidity by Low-Cost Natural Coagulant (Odaracha soil) from Saketa District, Ethiopia.
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Turbidity removal is a meaningful activity in the water treatment system, and it is an indicator of water quality. With this, natural coagulants are desirable and economical ways of removing water turbidity. The purpose of this study was to investigate the turbidity removal efficiency of Odaracha soil from river water. A coagulation experiment was carried out using a standard procedure for a jar test. 300 mL of water sample was added into a beaker by adjusting the water pH to the desired value. Different coagulant doses are added and mixed for 2 minutes by 250 rpm, then agitated for 10 minutes by 45 rpm. Finally, the sample was unflustered for different settling times. Response surface methodology (RSM) was also applied to optimize the process and estimate the interaction influence of the operating variables. According to the experimental result of this study, at the optimum condition (pH 7, 0.5 hrs. settling time, and 3 g/L of coagulant dose), the turbidity removal efficiency of Odaracha was 88.13%. In contrast, the predicted turbidity removal efficiency was 90.54%, which indicates the consistency between the actual and the anticipated results. Correspondingly the R2 value (0.9922) confirmed a high correlation between the real and predicted values. Generally, the quadratic model’s actual and predicted results confirmed the turbidity removal capability of Odaracha and the significant effects of all the individual parameters and their interaction effects (except the interaction between the dose and settling time).
Yohanis Birhanu is a lecturer in the applied chemistry department of Jigjiga University, Ethiopia. Yohanis was awarded his Master’s degree in the field of Environmental Science at Ambo University in 2012. Currently, he is a Ph.D. candidate prepared to defend his Ph.D. dissertation at the Center for Environmental Science, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia. Yohanis Birhanu was the general manager of Knowledge Excellence Center (KEC) from Sept 2017 to Jan 2019. Yohanis’s research focuses on water quality management, sustainable waste management, resource recovery, and environmental analysis. He published several research articles in reputable international journals.