Browsing by Subject "SOUTH-AFRICA"

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  • Osemwowa, Etinosa; Omoruyi, Iyekhoetin Matthew; Kurittu, Paula; Heikinheimo, Annamari; Fredriksson-Ahomaa, Maria (2021)
    Beef can easily be contaminated with bacteria during the meat production chain. In this work, we studied the contamination levels of mesophilic aerobic bacteria (MAB) and thermotolerant coliform bacteria (TCB) on raw beef surfaces from small shops in Helsinki, Finland and meat markets in Benin City, Nigeria. We also investigated the prevalence of Salmonella, Campylobacter, Yersinia, Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC), Listeria, and cephalosporin-resistant E. coli (CREC). In total, one hundred unpacked raw beef samples from Finland and Nigeria were collected in 2019. The median MAB and TCB counts were significantly (P < 0.001) higher on beef from Nigeria than from Finland. The median MAB and TCB counts in Nigeria were 7.5 and 4.0 log10 cfu/cm2, respectively, and 6.5 and 2.8 log10 cfu/cm2 in Finland, respectively. Most (94%) Nigerian samples were unacceptable according to limits set by the EU. Beef samples from meat markets in Benin City were significantly (P < 0.05) more frequently contaminated with Salmonella, STEC, and CREC than beef samples from small shops in Helsinki. Salmonella, STEC, and CREC were isolated from 30, 36, and 96% of Nigerian samples, respectively, and from
  • Luttinen, Arto V. (2018)
    In the Karoo large igneous province, the geochemical assessment of mantle source variability and structure is hampered by probable crustal contamination overprinting of compositionally diverse flood basalts. Mantle source characteristics have been defined only for exceptional, primitive rock types. Here I use a compiled dataset for over 800 samples to demonstrate that the abundance of Nb relative to Zr, Ti, and Y provides a useful geochemical tracer of mantle sources for variably contaminated rock types of the Karoo province. Variations in the relative abundance of Nb reveal emplacement of distinctive, Nb-undepleted and Nb-depleted magmas in the North Karoo and South Karoo sub-provinces, respectively, and clarify correlation between flood basalts and previously proposed mantle source components. Judging from plate tectonic reconstructions and the compositions of plausible mantle source components, the geochemical bilateral asymmetry in Karoo may reflect tapping of contrasting plume and upper mantle reservoirs in the two sub-provinces.
  • Piiroinen, Rami; Fassnacht, Fabian Ewald; Heiskanen, Janne; Maeda, Eduardo; Mack, Benjamin; Pellikka, Petri (2018)
    Eucalyptus spp. and Acacia mearnsii are common exotic tree species in eastern Africa that have shown (strong) invasive behavior in some regions. Acacia mearnsii is considered a highly invasive species that is replacing native species and Eucalyptus spp. are known to consume high amounts of groundwater with suspected effects on native flora. Mapping the occurrence of these species in the Taita Hills, Kenya (part of the Eastern Arc Mountains Biodiversity Hotspot) is important as there is lack of knowledge on their occurrence and ecological impact in the area. Mapping methods that require a lot of fieldwork are impractical in areas like the Taita Hills, where the terrain is rugged and the infrastructure is poor. Our aim was hence to map the occurrence of these tree species in a 100 km(2) area using airborne imaging spectroscopy and laser scanning. We used a one class biased support vector machine (BSVM) classifier as it needs labeled training data only for the positive classes (A. mearnsii and Eucalyptus spp.), which potentially reduces the amount of required fieldwork. We also introduce a new approach for parameterizing and setting the threshold level simultaneously for the BSVM classifier. The second aim was to link the occurrence of these species to selected environmental variables. The results showed that the BSVM classifier is suitable for mapping Acacia mearnsii and Eucalyptus spp., holding the potential to improve the efficiency of field data collection. The introduced parametrization/threshold selection method performed better than other commonly used approaches. The crown level Fl-score was 0.76 for Eucalyptus spp. and 0.78 for A. mearnsii. We show that Eucalyptus spp. and A. mearnsii trees cover 0.8% and 1.6% of the study area, respectively. Both species are particularly located on steeper slopes and higher altitudes. Both species have significant occurrences in areas close to the biggest remaining native forest patch (Ngangao) in the study area. Nonetheless, follow-up studies are needed to evaluate their impact on the native flora and fauna, as well as their impact on the water resources. The maps created in this study in combination with such follow-up studies could serve as base data to generate guidelines that authorities can use to take action in handling the problems these species are causing.
  • Purkamo, Lotta; Bomberg, Malin; Kietäväinen, Riikka; Salavirta, Heikki; Nyyssonen, Mari; Nuppunen-Puputti, Maija; Ahonen, Lasse; Kukkonen, Ilmo; Itavaara, Merja (2016)
    The bacterial and archaeal community composition and the possible carbon assimilation processes and energy sources of microbial communities in oligotrophic, deep, crystalline bedrock fractures is yet to be resolved. In this study, intrinsic microbial communities from groundwater of six fracture zones from 180 to 2300aEuro-m depths in Outokumpu bedrock were characterized using high-throughput amplicon sequencing and metagenomic prediction. Comamonadaceae-, Anaerobrancaceae- and Pseudomonadaceae-related operational taxonomic units (OTUs) form the core community in deep crystalline bedrock fractures in Outokumpu. Archaeal communities were mainly composed of Methanobacteriaceae-affiliating OTUs. The predicted bacterial metagenomes showed that pathways involved in fatty acid and amino sugar metabolism were common. In addition, relative abundance of genes coding the enzymes of autotrophic carbon fixation pathways in predicted metagenomes was low. This indicates that heterotrophic carbon assimilation is more important for microbial communities of the fracture zones. Network analysis based on co-occurrence of OTUs revealed possible "keystone" genera of the microbial communities belonging to Burkholderiales and Clostridiales. Bacterial communities in fractures resemble those found in oligotrophic, hydrogen-enriched environments. Serpentinization reactions of ophiolitic rocks in Outokumpu assemblage may provide a source of energy and organic carbon compounds for the microbial communities in the fractures. Sulfate reducers and methanogens form a minority of the total microbial communities, but OTUs forming these minor groups are similar to those found in other deep Precambrian terrestrial bedrock environments.
  • Jalava, Katri; Rintala, Hanna; Ollgren, Jukka; Maunula, Leena; Gomez-Alvarez, Vicente; Revez, Joana; Palander, Marja; Antikainen, Jenni; Kauppinen, Ari; Räsänen, Pia; Siponen, Sallamaari; Nyholm, Outi; Kyyhkynen, Aino; Hakkarainen, Sirpa; Merentie, Juhani; Pärnänen, Martti; Loginov, Raisa; Ryu, Hodon; Kuusi, Markku; Siitonen, Anja; Miettinen, Ilkka; Domingo, Jorge W. Santo; Hänninen, Marja-Liisa; Pitkänen, Tarja (2014)
  • Bibi, Faysal; Pante, Michael; Souron, Antoine; Stewart, Kathlyn; Varela, Sara; Werdelin, Lars; Boisserie, Jean-Renaud; Fortelius, Mikael; Hlusko, Leslea; Njau, Jackson; de la Torre, Ignacio (2018)
    Eight years of excavation work by the Olduvai Geochronology and Archaeology Project (OGAP) has produced a rich vertebrate fauna from several sites within Bed II, Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania. Study of these as well as recently re-organized collections from Mary Leakey's 1972 HWK EE excavations here provides a synthetic view of the faunal community of Olduvai during Middle Bed II at similar to 1.7-1.4 Ma, an interval that captures the local transition from Oldowan to Acheulean technology. We expand the faunal list for this interval, name a new bovid species, clarify the evolution of several mammalian lineages, and record new local first and last appearances. Compositions of the fish and large mammal assemblages support previous indications for the dominance of open and seasonal grassland habitats at the margins of an alkaline lake. Fish diversity is low and dominated by cichlids, which indicates strongly saline conditions. The taphonomy of the fish assemblages supports reconstructions of fluctuating lake levels with mass die-offs in evaporating pools. The mammals are dominated by grazing bovids and equids. Habitats remained consistently dry and open throughout the entire Bed II sequence, with no major turnover or paleoecological changes taking place. Rather, wooded and wet habitats had already given way to drier and more open habitats by the top of Bed I, at 1.85-1.80 Ma. This ecological change is close to the age of the Oldowan-Acheulean transition in Kenya and Ethiopia, but precedes the local transition in Middle Bed II. The Middle Bed II large mammal community is much richer in species and includes a much larger number of large-bodied species (>300 kg) than the modern Serengeti. This reflects the severity of Pleistocene extinctions on African large mammals, with the loss of large species fitting a pattern typical of defaunation or 'downsizing' by human disturbance. However, trophic network (food web) analyses show that the Middle Bed II community was robust, and comparisons with the Serengeti community indicate that the fundamental structure of food webs remained intact despite Pleistocene extinctions. The presence of a generalized meateating hominin in the Middle Bed II community would have increased competition among carnivores and vulnerability among herbivores, but the high generality and interconnectedness of the Middle Bed II food web suggests this community was buffered against extinctions caused by trophic interactions. (C) 2017 Published by Elsevier Ltd.
  • Heikinheimo-Connell, Terttu; Chimbayo, Daniel; Kumwenda, Johnstone J.; Kampondeni, Sam; Allain, Theresa J. (2012)
  • Englund, William F.; Njoroge, Laban; Biström, Olof; Miller, Kelly B.; Bilton, David T.; Bergsten, Johannes (2020)
    We revise the Afrotropical Agabus raffrayi species group, motivated by the discovery of new diversity in Kenya and South Africa. Whilst Agabus is mainly a holarctic genus, the Agabus raffrayi group is restricted to high altitude regions of eastern Africa and temperate parts of South Africa, from where we describe the southernmost Agabus in the world. The following new species are introduced: Agabus anguluverpus sp. nov. from Mount Kenya in central Kenya, Agabus austellus sp. nov. a widespread species in South Africa, Agabus riberae sp. nov. from the Kamiesberg and northeastern Cederberg ranges in the Northern and Western Cape Provinces of South Africa and Agabus agulhas sp. nov. from the Agulhas Plain, Western Cape Province, South Africa. We provide a distribution map, a determination key for males, quantitative measurements of diagnostic characters, habitus photos and detailed photos of male genitalia for all described species in the group, as well as images of diagnostic characters and habitats. The presence or absence of an elongated section between the subapical broadening and the base of the apical and subapicalteeth of the male aedeagus is a useful novel character, first revealed by our study. In contrast with the most recent revision of Afrotropical Agabus, we show that Agabus ruwenzoricus Guignot, 1936 is restricted to eastern Africa; South African records of this species having been based on misidentifications, no species of the group being common to southern and eastern Africa. We speculate that the raffrayi group may display phylogenetic niche conservatism, being restricted, as an originally temperate taxon, to higher elevations in tropical eastern Africa, but occurring at lower altitudes in temperate South Africa.
  • Niskanen, Ville-Pekka; Rask, Mikko; Raisio, Harri (2021)
    The theory of wicked problems, originating from Western academic discussion, has evolved since the 2000s toward a universal diagnostic of societal challenges. In this article, we employ a systematic literature review to investigate the application of the concept of wicked problems in studies focusing on the African context. Our aim is to understand the additional value and limitations of using the concept in a non-Western frame of reference. We conclude that the concept remains underutilized in studies concentrating on Africa; moreover, when it is used, it is mainly by academics of Western or Anglophone origin. Overall, the concept of wicked problems is mainly applied descriptively rather than theoretically. Based on the analysis of the themes and issues characterized as wicked, we elaborate toward a typology that takes account of the concrete "manifestations" (e.g., health issues such as AIDS/HIV and its treatment history) and "mechanisms" (e.g., historical path dependency) that condition the presence of wicked problems in the African context. The article contributes to the theory of wicked problems by developing a typology that distinguishes between interlinked and contextual problems (often characterized through the concept of "dual wickedness"), and proposes that problems can become exacerbated when the two dimensions are simultaneously present.