California, situated on the Pacific coast of the USA, is the third largest state of the United States in land area and most populous state. The 2009 population...
PlantLast Updated on 2014-10-19 16:48:46
A plant is any one of the vast number of organisms within the biological kingdom Plantae; in general, these species are considered of limited motility and generally manufacture their own food. They include a host of familiar organisms including trees, forbs, shrubs, grasses, vines, ferns, and mosses. Conventionally the term plant implies a taxon with characteristics of multicellularity, cell structure with walls containing cellulose, and organisms capable of photosynthesis. Modern classification schemes are driven by somewhat rigid categorizations inherent in DNA and common ancestry.
Throughout most of the history of science from Aristotle to Linnaeus and into the 20th century, species were divided into two kingdoms: animals and plants. Driven by DNA characterizations and other modern analysis, fungi and bacteria have now been removed to separate kingdoms; in particular,... More »
BiomassLast Updated on 2014-09-30 22:09:21
Biomass is a term in ecology for the mass of living organisms in a given ecosystem. Biomass can refer to the living stock of species in a given habitat, but can also refer to a harvested subset or to a decaying subset (especially in the case of forest floor detritus). Biomass may refer to the total mass of all species within the study area, and is thus sometimes called community biomass; but biomass may also refer to a taxonomic subset. Biomass can be expressed as the average mass per unit area or unit volume, or simply as the total mass in the community. Plants characteristically comprise the greatest part of the biomass of terrestrial system. In the animal kingdom, iIronically, the smallest creatures in an ecosystem typically represent the largest quantity of its biomass. It is important to note that the relative biomass species mix may change considerably from season... More »
Food Biodiversity Challenges From a Global PerspectiveLast Updated on 2014-07-25 14:03:15
Food collection or gathering has been an important part of human endeavors towards establishing civilization across the long history of human evolution. Humans have demonstrated their ingenuity in identifying and locating new and novel food sources located in their immediate surrounding and during their migration across the planet. Humans have become more successful than other species because of their better foraging abilities and coordinated group work in identifying and locating novel food sources over time. This trial and error approach has enabled humans over time to identify suitable food sources from their local environments. Over time, humans have identified more species that are edible or could be made edible using primitive to modern day recipes and cooking techniques. These long years of trial and errors have generated a wide range of food sources for... More »
VermicompostLast Updated on 2014-06-19 16:05:40
Vermicomposting, which is composting using worms, can be a faster alternative for organic waste treatment, with the added advantage of better quality fertilizer with nutrients in the slow-release form. Vermicomposting also adds valuable soil microbes into compost and digestive fluids of worms can also be beneficial. Vermicomposting is the breakdown of organic material that, in contrast to microbial composting, involves the joint action of different species of earthworms (not all earthworms are composting worms) and microorganisms and does not involve a thermophilic (i.e., high heat) stage. Because the matrix contains many different organisms, this can be considered as an anthropogenic ecosystem. As the agents of turning, fragmentation and aeration, the worms consume organic wastes such as food waste, animal wastes and sewage sludge to produce a soil conditioner. Vermicomposting may... More »
Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP): Status and IssuesLast Updated on 2014-06-11 15:55:19Summary
The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-246, 2008 Farm Bill) created the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP). The two main purposes of BCAP are: (1) to support the establishment and production of eligible crops for conversion to bioenergy in selected areas: and (2) to assist agricultural and forest land owners and operators with collection, harvest, storage, and transportation of eligible material for use in a biomass conversion facility. BCAP is intended to assist with the bioenergy industry’s hurdle of continuous biomass availability.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) implemented one portion of BCAP—the Collection, Harvest, Storage, and Transportation (CHST) matching payment program—on June 11, 2009, through a Notice of Funds Availability in the Federal Register. The partial implementation... More »
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