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Ranka Junge   Professor  Institute, Department or Faculty Head 
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Ranka Junge published an article in February 2019.
Top co-authors See all
Patricia Burkhardt-Holm

94 shared publications

Program Man-Society-Environment, Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Basel, Vesalgasse 1, CH-4051 Basel, Switzerland

Karel J. Keesman

88 shared publications

Biobased Chemistry & Technology, Mathematical and Statistical Methods Group (Biometris), Wageningen University, Wageningen, the Netherlands

Tamás Kömives

83 shared publications

Plant Protection Institute, Centre for Agricultural Research, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary

Maurizio Borin

75 shared publications

Dep. of Agronomy, Food, Natural Resources, Animals and Environment, Univ. of Padova, Viale dell’Università 16, 35020 Legnaro, Italy

Morris Villarroel

61 shared publications

Department of Animal Science, College of Agricultural Engineering, Technical University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain

Publication Record
Distribution of Articles published per year 
(1989 - 2019)
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Article 0 Reads 0 Citations Exploring Bacterial Communities in Aquaponic Systems Mathilde Eck, Abdoul Razack Sare, Sébastien Massart, Zala Sc... Published: 02 February 2019
Water, doi: 10.3390/w11020260
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Aquaponics is a production system based on the dynamic equilibrium between fish, plants, and microorganisms. In order to better understand the role of microorganisms in this tripartite relationship, we studied the bacterial communities hosted in eight aquaponic and aquaculture systems. The bacterial communities were analyzed by 16S rRNA gene deep sequencing. At the phylum level, the bacterial communities from all systems were relatively similar with a predominance of Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes. At the genus level, however, the communities present in the sampled systems were more heterogeneous. The biofilter samples harbored more diverse communities than the corresponding sump samples. The core microbiomes from the coupled and decoupled systems shared more common operational taxonomic units than with the aquaculture systems. Eventually, some of the taxa identified in the systems could have beneficial functions for plant growth and health, but a deeper analysis would be required to identify the precise functions involved in aquaponics.
Article 2 Reads 2 Citations Extension of Aquaponic Water Use for NFT Baby-Leaf Production: Mizuna and Rocket Salad Carlo Nicoletto, Carmelo Maucieri, Alex Mathis, Zala Schmaut... Published: 17 May 2018
Agronomy, doi: 10.3390/agronomy8050075
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Aquaponics is a recirculating technology that combines aquaculture with hydroponics. It allows nutrients from fish waste to feed plants and thus saves water and nutrients. However, there is a mismatch between the nutrients provided by the fish waste and plant needs. Because of this, some nutrients, notably N, tend to accumulate in the aquaponic water (APW or AP water). The aim of this study was to investigate how APW, which is depleted of P and K but still rich in N, could be further utilized. APW was used in a mesocosm and compared with APW from the same source that had been supplemented with macro-nutrients (complemented AP water or CAPW) and a hydroponic control (HC). Mizuna (M) and rocket salad (R) were used as short-cycle vegetable crops in a NFT system. The results revealed that the low production potential of APW was mainly caused by the lack of P and K. If these were supplemented, the yields were comparable to those in the HC. M yield in CAPW was significantly higher than that of HC, probably due to biostimulant effects connected to the organic components in the water as a result of fish farming. Water type, cultivation density, and intercropping significantly influenced the qualitative characteristics of the crop in terms of antioxidant compounds and minerals. Nitrate content in vegetables was lower than European regulation limits. The extended use of APW is viable if the missing nutrients are supplemented; this could be a strategy to increase the efficiency of water and nitrogen use, while further reducing environmental impact.
Article 2 Reads 1 Citation Nutrient Management in Aquaponics: Comparison of Three Approaches for Cultivating Lettuce, Mint and Mushroom Herb Valentina Nozzi, Andreas Graber, Zala Schmautz, Alex Mathis,... Published: 07 March 2018
Agronomy, doi: 10.3390/agronomy8030027
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Nutrients that are contained in aquaculture effluent may not supply sufficient levels of nutrients for proper plant development and growth in hydroponics; therefore, they need to be supplemented. To determine the required level of supplementation, three identical aquaponic systems (A, B, and C) and one hydroponic system (D) were stocked with lettuce, mint, and mushroom herbs. The aquaponic systems were stocked with Nile tilapia. System A only received nutrients derived from fish feed; system B received nutrients from fish feed as well as weekly supplements of micronutrients and Fe; system C received the same nutrients as B, with weekly supplements of the macronutrients, P and K; in system D, a hydroponic inorganic solution containing N, Ca, and the same nutrients as system C was added weekly. Lettuce achieved the highest yields in system C, mint in system B, and mushroom herb in systems A and B. The present study demonstrated that the nutritional requirements of the mint and mushroom herb make them suitable for aquaponic farming because they require low levels of supplement addition, and hence little management effort, resulting in minimal cost increases. While the addition of supplements accelerated the lettuce growth (Systems B, C), and even surpassed the growth in hydroponic (System C vs. D), the nutritional quality (polyphenols, nitrate content) was better without supplementation.
Article 5 Reads 1 Citation Energy Toolbox—Framework for the Development of a Tool for the Primary Design of Zero Emission Buildings in European and... Christoph Koller, Max Jacques Talmon-Gros, Ranka Junge, Thor... Published: 05 December 2017
Sustainability, doi: 10.3390/su9122244
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This paper discusses the framework for the development of an Energy Toolbox (ETB). The aim of the ETB is to support the design of domestic Zero Emission Buildings (ZEBs), according to the concept of net zero-energy buildings during the early architectural design and planning phases. The ETB concept is based on the calculation of the energy demand for heating, cooling, lighting, and appliances. Based on a building’s energy demand, technologies for the onsite conversion and production of the specific forms and quantities of final and primary energy by means of renewable energy carriers can be identified. The calculations of the ETB are based on the building envelope properties of a primary building design, as well as the physical and climate parameters required for the calculation of heat transfer coefficients, heat gains, and heat losses. The ETB enables the selection and rough dimensioning of technologies and systems to meet, and, wherever possible, reduce the thermal and electric energy demand of a building. The technologies included comprise green facades, adaptable dynamic lighting, shading devices, heat pumps, photovoltaic generators, solar thermal collectors, adiabatic cooling, and thermal storage. The ETB facilitates the balancing of the energy consumption and the production of renewable energies of a primary building design.
Article 0 Reads 1 Citation Vegetable Intercropping in a Small-Scale Aquaponic System Carmelo Maucieri, Carlo Nicoletto, Zala Schmautz, Paolo Samb... Published: 23 September 2017
Agronomy, doi: 10.3390/agronomy7040063
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This paper reports the results of the first study of an aquaponic system for Pangasianodon hypophthalmus production that uses Lactuca sativa L. (lettuce) and Cichorium intybus L. rubifolium group (red chicory) intercropping in the hydroponic section. The experiment was conducted in a greenhouse at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Wädenswil, Switzerland, using nine small-scale aquaponic systems (each approximately 400 L), with the nutrient film technique (NFT). The intercropping of vegetables did not influence the water temperature, pH, electric conductivity (EC), oxidation–reduction potential, nor O2 content. Intercropping with red chicory increased the lettuce sugar content (+16.0% and +25.3% for glucose and fructose, respectively) and reduced the lettuce caffeic acid content (−16.8%). In regards to bitter taste compounds (sesquiterpene lactones), intercropping reduced the concentrations of dihydro-lactucopicrin + lactucopicrin (−42.0%) in lettuce, and dihydro-lactucopicrin + lactucopicrin (−22.0%) and 8-deoxy–lactucin + dihydro-lactucopicrin oxalate (−18.7%) in red chicory, whereas dihydro-lactucin content increased (+40.6%) in red chicory in regards to monoculture. A significantly higher organic nitrogen content was found in the lettuce (3.9%) than in the red chicory biomass (3.4%), following the intercropping treatment. Anion and cation contents in vegetables were affected by species (Cl−, NO3−, PO43−, SO42−, and Ca2+), intercropping (K+ and Mg2+), and species × intercropping interactions (NO2− and NH4+). Experimental treatments (monoculture vs intercropping and distance from NFT inlet) did not exert significant effects on leaf SPAD (index of relative chlorophyll content) values, whereas the red coloration of the plants increased from the inlet to the outlet of the NFT channel. Intercropping of lettuce and red chicory affected the typical taste of these vegetables by increasing the sweetness of lettuce and changing the ratio among bitter taste compounds in red chicory. These results suggest intercropping as a possible solution for improving vegetable quality in aquaponics. Although the results are interesting, they have been obtained in a relatively short period, thus investigations for longer periods are necessary to confirm these findings. Further studies are also needed to corroborate the positive effect of the presence of red chicory in the system on fish production parameters.
Article 8 Reads 6 Citations Strategic Points in Aquaponics Ranka Junge, Bettina König, Morris Villarroel, Tamas Komives... Published: 03 March 2017
Water, doi: 10.3390/w9030182
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Global environmental, social and economic challenges drive the need for new and improved solutions for food production and consumption. Food production within a sustainability corridor requires innovations exceeding traditional paradigms, acknowledging the complexity arising from sustainability. However, there is a lack of knowledge about how to direct further activities, to develop technologies as potential solutions for questions related to climate change, loss of soil fertility and biodiversity, scarcity of resources, and shortage of drinking water. One approach that promises to address these problems is controlled environment agriculture. Aquaponics (AP) combines two technologies: recirculation aquaculture systems (RAS) and hydroponics (plant production in water, without soil) in a closed-loop system. One challenge to the development of this technology is the conversion of the toxic ammonium produced by the fish into nitrate, via bacteria in a biofilter, to provide nitrogen to the plants. However, as this Special Issue shows, there are many other challenges that need to be addressed if the goal of the technology is to contribute to more sustainable food production systems.