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(Wolverhampton Intellectual Repository and E-Theses)
WIRE is an open access repository for the research publications and other outputs from postgraduate students and staff at the University of Wolverhampton.
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Can social protection tackle emerging risks from climate change, and how? A framework and a critical reviewClimate change is transforming the risks individuals and households face, with potentially profound socioeconomic consequences including increased poverty, inequality, and social instability. Social protection is a policy tool that governments have used to help individuals and households manage risks linked to income and livelihoods, and to achieve societal outcomes such as reducing poverty and inequality. Despite its potential as a policy response to climate change, the integration of social protection within the climate policy agenda is currently limited. While the concept of risk is key to both sectors, different understandings of the nature and scope of climate change impacts, their implications, and of the adequacy of social protection instruments to address them, contribute to the lack of policy and practice integration. Our goal is to bridge this cognitive gap by highlighting the potential of social protection as a policy response to climate change. Using a climate risk lens, we first explore how climate change drives risks that are within the realm of social protection, and their implications, including likely future trends in demand for social protection. Based on this analysis, we critically review existing arguments for what social protection can do and evidence of what it currently does to manage risks arising from climate change. From the analysis, a set of reconceptualised roles emerge for social protection to strategically contribute to climate resilient development.
Rhizosphere associated bacteria as bio fertilisers in herbicide treated alfalfa (Medicago sativa)Purpose: The objective of the current study was to identify native bacterial strains with potential to mitigate the abiotic stress, caused by the topical application of the herbicide imazethapyr, as well as promoting growth of alfalfa (Medicago sativa). Methods: The initial investigation, involved the isolation of bacteria from the rhizosphere of field grown alfalfa, which were subsequently screened for their ability to fix nitrogen, synthesis auxin, solubilise phosphate and potassium, and the production of lipase, protease and cellulase enzymes, in addition to their tolerance to imazethapyr. Results: Among the selected isolates, Serratiarubidaea (A), Pseudomonasputida (B) and Serratia sp. (C) were found to have highest potential for these growth promoting traits. However, auxin production was only detected in S. rubidaea. In the second phase of the study, the effects of soil inoculation with bacterial species A, B and C and Sinorhizobium meliloti(R), on the growth and development of alfalfa were assessed in pot and field experiments. The results of these experiments, indicated that herbicide application decreased both crop yield and photosynthetic pigments. In most cases, the herbicide was shown to have less impact upon the growth of the inoculated plants compared to the control. However, increase of yield traits, photosynthetic pigments and microbial population only occurred in plants treated by AB, AR and ABR bacterial inoculations. Conclusions: Thus, alleviation of herbicide stress in conjunction with growth promotion has been achieved by using native rhizosphere-associated bacterial isolates. These findings open new avenues of research to develop potent biofertilizers, that are effective under herbicide stressed conditions.
Effects of pharmacological castration on endocrinological and chemical profiles in captive red and fallow deerIn wildlife captive management, contraception is highly desirable due to inbreeding risk and needed control of intra- and inter-specific aggressions. Deer, for which surgical castration can cause abnormal growth of the antlers, are suitable candidates for pharmacological castration. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of pharmacological castration on the physiological patterns and volatile chemical profiles of two deer species. We placed a subcutaneous implant of deslorelin acetate (4.7 mg) on four male red deer (Cervus elaphus) and two male fallow deer (Dama dama) (N=6) living together in a mixed-sex and -species group housed at a wildlife rescue centre in Tuscany, Italy. We combined hormone measurements and chemical investigation of metatarsal scent-gland odour secretions to test whether pharmacological castration will influence the volatile chemical profile, potentially modifying the olfactory communication during the rutting season. We used radioimmunoassay technique to determine faecal and plasma testosterone as well as faecal cortisol levels, and solid-phase microextraction coupled to gas chromatography-mass spectrometry to analyse the scent-gland odour secretions. We found that deer testosterone levels decreased after the subcutaneous deposition of the implant. However, castrated red deer exhibited more variability in testosterone concentrations throughout the study period compared to fallow deer, whose testosterone levels remained low after the implant. We detected a total of 124 (red deer) and 88 (fallow deer) volatile compounds in male scent-gland odour secretions, including naturally occurring ketones, alcohols, aldehydes, terpenes, carboxylic acids, esters, volatile fatty acids, and hydrocarbons. Odour richness, but not total abundance or ratios of compounds, changed with testosterone levels in red deer. In conclusion, our preliminary findings suggest that deslorelin acetate, causing a decrease of testosterone level and impacting the chemical profile of odour secretions, could work as a non-invasive contraception approach in human-managed populations of deer.
Association between maternal haemoglobin concentration and stillbirth: A cohort study among a multi-ethnic population in EnglandIntroduction There have been many calls for action to reduce stillbirths including the need to understand the determinants. Low maternal haemoglobin concentrations have been explored as a risk factor for stillbirth and perinatal death, but evidence is weak. The objective of this work was to examine the association of maternal haemoglobin concentration with stillbirth and perinatal death in a multi-ethnic population in England. Methods A retrospective cohort analysis was conducted using anonymised data from 14 001 women with singleton pregnancies ≥24 weeks of gestation giving birth in two hospitals in 2013–15. Multivariable logistic regression models were built to analyse associations between maternal haemoglobin at first visit and at 28 weeks with stillbirth and perinatal death, adjusting for 11 other risk factors. Results Almost half of the study population had anaemia at some point during their pregnancy. The risk of stillbirth and perinatal death decreased linearly per unit increase in haemoglobin concentration at first visit (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] stillbirth = 0.70, 95% CI 0.58–0.85; aOR perinatal death = 0.71, 95% CI 0.60–0.84) and at 28 weeks (aOR stillbirth = 0.83, 95% CI 0.62–1.11; aOR perinatal death = 0.86, 95% CI 0.67–1.12). Compared with women with normal haemoglobin concentrations, the risk of stillbirth and perinatal death was five-fold and three-fold higher in women with moderate-severe maternal anaemia at first visit and 28 weeks, respectively. Conclusion These findings are of clinical and public health importance. If the observed association is causal, iron supplementation during pregnancy could have an incremental benefit on reducing the risk of stillbirth and perinatal death for all women.
Maternal iron deficiency anaemia in pregnancy: Lessons from a national auditWe describe the management and the prevalence of iron deficiency anaemia (IDA) during pregnancy by comparison to standards. A cross-sectional national cohort study of women who had given birth six weeks prior to data collection was conducted at maternity units in the UK and Ireland. Participating centres collected data from 10 consecutive pregnant women. Analysis was descriptive to define the prevalence of IDA in pregnancy and the puerperium, and to compare the outcomes in women who had IDA with women who did not have anaemia anytime during pregnancy. Eighty-six maternity units contributed data on 860 pregnancies and births. The overall prevalence of IDA during pregnancy was 30.4% and in the puerperium 20%. Anaemic women were more likely to be from ethnic minorities, odds ratio 2.23 (1.50, 3.32). Adherence to national guidance was suboptimal, and the prevalence of anaemia in pregnancy remains very high. There is pressing need to explore barriers to early identification and effective management of iron deficiency. IDA should be considered a major public health problem in the UK.