They mitigate climate change and prevent algal blooms – and they can also reduce concentrations of potentially harmful bacteria in seawater, according to the latest research: seagrass beds provide another ecosystem service for us humans, according to a study now published by researchers in Kiel. The findings provide further incentive for the protection and restoration of these long-underrated ecosystems in the German Baltic Sea.
It has been known for some time that seagrass beds can absorb nutrients and thus prevent over-fertilization of the seas and thus algal blooms. In addition, their important role as a marine carbon sink is also increasingly recognized, which means they can counteract the greenhouse effect. In a study now published in the journal Marine Biology, a team of researchers from GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel has demonstrated that native seagrass meadows can also improve water quality with respect to potentially harmful bacteria: Water from the densely vegetated submarine areas contains fewer vibrios – naturally occurring bacteria that can be harmful to health in high concentrations.
At five locations in the Bay of Kiel, divers took targeted water samples from overgrown and vegetation-free sandy bottoms. In the laboratory, these were placed on a plate coated with nutrient solution. After a few days, the Vibrio colonies that formed were counted. Analyses showed that water from seagrass beds contained an average of 39 percent fewer Vibriones and 63 percent fewer of the potentially harmful Vibrio vulnificus/cholerae type compared to unvegetated areas.
The underlying mechanism of action will be studied in more detail in the future. “It is conceivable both that the increased sedimentation in the dense meadow leads to the settling of fine particles to which vibrions also adhere,” explains Professor Thorsten Reusch, marine biologist at GEOMAR and leader of the study. “But it could also be that chemical substances from the seagrass leaves inhibit the growth of the bacteria.”
“Our pilot study was motivated by a 2017 Science publication that showed a reduction of coral and human pathogens for tropical meadows wherever dense seagrass meadows grow between human settlements and reefs. Now, for the first time, we have been able to demonstrate similar functions for our native waters.”
– Prof. Thorsten Reusch
The new results are of particular importance because all climate models predict above-average warming in the future in combination with a sweetening of the Baltic Sea. “These are exactly the environmental conditions that will lead to the further spread of vibrios also on bathing beaches in summer,” said Professor Ute Hentschel Humeida, microbiologist at GEOMAR and co-author of the publication. The study also highlights the crucial importance of seagrass beds as a nature-based solution for the health of shallow water ecosystems and their water quality. Thus, it provides further incentives for the protection and restoration of these long underestimated coastal ecosystems.
Advanced analog IC foundry process technologies
Now, Siemens Digital Industries Software announced that its new mPower™ solution for power integrity analysis of analog, digital and mixed-signal integrated circuit (IC) designs has now been certified for Tower Semiconductor’s SBC13 and SBC18 process technologies.
This software is the industry’s first IC power integrity verification solution that offers virtually unlimited scalability for analog, digital and mixed-signal ICs and provides comprehensive power, electromigration (EM) and voltage drop (IR) analysis for even the largest IC designs.
“Siemens is proud that Tower Semiconductor, an industry leader in analog technologies, has now certified mPower for the SBC13 and SBC18 processes it offers. This solution, developed collaboratively by Tower Semiconductor and Siemens, contributes to more accurate and faster EM/IR analysis for joint customers. This, in turn, results in shorter time-to-market and higher quality end devices.”
– Joseph Davis, Senior Director
With this technology, IC designers can more quickly and thoroughly verify that their analog and mixed-signal designs meet performance-based design goals – capabilities that help IC customers dramatically improve quality, increase reliability and shorten time-to-market.
With the PlusClean tank cleaning nozzle, Alfa Laval sets a new standard for hygienic fluid handling in the food, dairy, beverage, pharmaceutical and personal care industries. Users achieve 100 percent cleaning coverage, which is unique in the market. In addition, up to 80 percent water and detergent savings can be achieved compared to conventional methods.
The cleaning nozzle works in tandem with primary tank cleaning equipment such as rotating spray balls or jet cleaners. Depending on the design of the tank, the nozzle can be easily integrated flush into the wall or floor. When activated by the cleaning medium or, optionally, the air drive, it removes contaminants below the agitator blades and in other areas in a fan-shaped pattern.
Controlled and repeated rotation of the agitator shaft and blades ensures 100 percent cleaning coverage. Even the shadow areas below the agitator blades, heating or cooling coils and connections, which are inaccessible to top-mounted tank cleaning equipment, are reliably hit. When the cleaning cycle is complete, the integrated drive returns the piston to its original position, securely closing and sealing the cleaning device.
Contamination risks are minimized by thorough tank cleaning with PlusClean. Faster and safer changeovers increase the productivity of batches or continuous processes.
In the middle of Lower Saxony’s Wadden Sea lies Norderney – a sea that has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2009. The East Frisian island is a climatic health resort and spa. That’s why freight forwarder Georg Fischer has recently turned to electromobility. A native of Norderney, he is the fourth generation of his family to run the island haulage company “Johann Fischer”. His fleet includes 35 MAN vehicles – among them several semitrailer tractors and, since about a quarter of a year, three MAN eTGEs. With the electrically powered transporters, he wants to set an example. Holidaymakers are very nature-conscious, he says, and Norderney is known throughout Germany.He is one of the first companies on the North Sea island to switch to electric mobility.
“If we set a good example here, that radiates out.”
– Georg Fischer
Vehicle fleet for transporting goods on the islands
Georg Fischer is a “reception forwarder” for Norderney and the other East Frisian islands. Its core business is distribution services along the North Sea coast. He operates a large warehouse in the town of Norden, where the other forwarders unload their goods, and delivers them to the ferries six days a week with his own vehicles. He also travels for grocery and drug store chains. He picks up the goods from their central warehouses and then transports them to the stores on the islands. He even transports building materials with his fleet of vehicles specially tailored to the island. 85 employees are on the road for him and active in the warehouses in Norden and on Norderney.
Delivery service to the hotel
Since larger trucks are allowed to cross the island by ferry but are not allowed to drive across the island, the freight forwarder handles the goods directly in the warehouse at Norderney harbor. From the articulated trucks, they are loaded onto smaller vehicles – including the battery-electric transporters that take drinks, food and parcels from the warehouse through the narrow alleyways to the hotels, guesthouses and stores. The suitcases of the vacation guests are also delivered directly to the vacation domicile by the electric transporters.
For Georg Fischer, the three vehicles are an ideal addition to its fleet. The range of up to 130 kilometers is absolutely sufficient for the distances on the island. Often, one battery charge is enough for two full days of work. The three vehicles are charged at wallboxes directly at the warehouse. The eTGEs are quiet and hardly disturb the tourists who are looking for peace and quiet on Norderney, says Georg Fischer. He is also convinced of the driving comfort: “You quickly get used to the electric drive. After all, an all-electric van like this has no gearshift and delivers full power to the axle.” In addition, he says, the eTGEs offer the comfort he has been used to for many years. “I am absolutely convinced of the quality of my vehicles, the workmanship, the reliability – nothing squeaks or creaks,” he says.