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Ranka Junge   Professor  Institute, Department or Faculty Head 
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Ranka Junge published an article in September 2017.
Top co-authors See all
Patricia Burkhardt-Holm

24 shared publications

Man Society Environment, Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Basel, Vesalgasse 1, Basel CH-4051, Switzerland;;; Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, CW 405 Biological Sciences Building, Edmonton, AB T6G 2E9, Canada

Constanze Pietsch

23 shared publications

Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Institute of Natural Resource Sciences, Gruental, P.O. Box, 8820 Waedenswil, Switzerland

Susanne Kersten

13 shared publications

Institute of Animal Nutrition, Friedrich-Loeffler Institute (FLI), Federal Research Institute of Animal Health, Bundesallee 50, 38116 Braunschweig, Germany.

C. Schulz

7 shared publications

GMA–Gesellschaft für Marine Aquakultur mbH, Hafentörn 3, 25761 Büsum, Germany

Hana Valenta

3 shared publications

Friedrich-Loeffler-Institute (FLI), Federal Research Institute for Animal Health, Institute of Animal Nutrition, Bundesallee 50, Braunschweig 38116, Germany

Publication Record
Distribution of Articles published per year 
(1989 - 2017)
Total number of journals
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Publications See all
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 6 Reads 5 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.
Article 3 Reads 6 Citations Tomato Productivity and Quality in Aquaponics: Comparison of Three Hydroponic Methods Zala Schmautz, Fionna Loeu, Frank Liebisch, Alex Mathis, Tja... Published: 16 November 2016
Water, doi: 10.3390/w8110533
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Aquaponics (AP) is a food production system that combines hydroponic (HP) crop production with recirculating aquaculture. Different types of hydroponic systems have been used for growing crops in aquaponics. However, very few studies have compared their suitability and efficiency in an aquaponic context. The study presented here compares tomato yield, morphological (external) and biochemical (internal) fruit quality, and overall tomato plant vitality from three different HP systems (nutrient film technique, drip irrigation system, and floating raft culture) and examines the distribution of nutrients in different parts of the tomato plant. Three replicate AP systems were set up, each incorporating the three different HP systems coupled with a separate recirculating aquaculture unit growing Nile tilapia. The results showed that the choice of the cultivation system had little influence on most of the above-mentioned properties. Tomato fruit mineral content was found to be in similar range for N, P, K, Ca, Mg, Fe, and Zn as reported in the literature. Yield and fruit quality were similar in all three systems. However, the drip irrigation system did perform slightly better. The slightly higher oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) of the fruits grown in AP in comparison to commercially produced and supermarket derived tomatoes might indicate a potential for producing fruits with higher health value for humans.
Article 0 Reads 1 Citation Potential for Combined Biocontrol Activity against Fungal Fish and Plant Pathogens by Bacterial Isolates from a Model Aq... Ivaylo Sirakov, Matthias Lutz, Andreas Graber, Alex Mathis, ... Published: 07 November 2016
Water, doi: 10.3390/w8110518
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One of the main challenges in aquaponics is disease control. One possible solution for this is biological control with organisms exerting inhibitory effects on fish and plant pathogens. The aim of this study was to examine the potential of isolating microorganisms that exert an inhibitory effect on both plant and fish pathogens from an established aquaponic system. We obtained 924 isolates on selective King’s B agar and 101 isolates on MRS agar from different compartments of a model aquaponic system and tested them for antagonism against the plant pathogen Pythium ultimum and fish pathogen Saprolegnia parasitica. Overall, 42 isolates were able to inhibit both fungi. Although not yet tested in vivo, these findings open new options for the implementation of biological control of diseases in aquaponics, where plants and fish are cultivated in the same water recirculating system.
Article 1 Read 3 Citations Global Trends and Current Status of Commercial Urban Rooftop Farming Devi Buehler, Ranka Junge Published: 29 October 2016
Sustainability, doi: 10.3390/su8111108
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The aim of this study was to analyze current practices in commercial urban rooftop farming (URF). In recent years, URF has been experiencing increasing popularity. It is a practice that is well-suited to enhancing food security in cities and reducing the environmental impact that results from long transportation distances that are common in conventional agriculture. To date, most URF initiatives have been motivated by social and educational factors rather than the aim of creating large sustainable food production systems in cities. The commercial operation of urban rooftop farms, should they become profitable, is likely to attract notable private investment, allowing a significant level of high quality urban food production to be achieved. There is a reasonable amount of literature available on urban farming that deals with its potential, and its limitations. However, it does not focus on commercial operations. In contrast to other surveys and theoretical papers, this study of URF focuses on large and commercial operations. The analysis showed that commercial URFs can be grouped into two main types: Firstly, hydroponic systems in greenhouses where mostly leafy greens, tomatoes, and herbs are grown; secondly, soil-based open-air farms that grow a large variety of vegetables. Hydroponics is frequently seen as the key technology for commercial urban food production. While the technology is not in and of itself sustainable, hydroponic farms often make an effort to implement environmentally friendly technologies and methods. However, there is still untapped potential to systemically integrate farms into buildings. The findings of this study identified where future research is needed in order to make URF a widespread sustainable solution.
Article 2 Reads 4 Citations Survey of Aquaponics in Europe Morris Villarroel, Ranka Junge, Tamas Komives, Ignacio Plaza... Published: 20 October 2016
Water, doi: 10.3390/w8100468
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International aquaponic production has increased over the past decade, but less is known about research activities and production facilities operating in Europe. We conducted an online survey to get a better idea about research and production in Europe, focusing on five areas of aquaponics (i.e., demographics, facilities used, fish and crops produced, funding sources, and personal or company priorities for further development). The 68 respondents were distributed among 21 European countries, 43% were working at a university, and 19% were commercial producers. Only 11.8% of those surveyed had sold fish or plants in the past 12 months. Most respondents were male (66.2%) and had a post-graduate degree (91.7%). Facilities were generally new (74.5% constructed after 2010) and self-designed. Production figures were modest, with less than 10 respondents producing more than 1000 kg of fish or plants per year (mostly tilapia or catfish and herbs or lettuce). Systems were often funded by government grants (35.3%). The great majority of respondents (80.4%) stated that aquaponics was not their main source of income. Most respondents prioritized using aquaponics for educational purposes, while few (25%) used it to produce their own food or improve their health. Questions related to personal knowledge about aquaponics underlined the need for more training about fish diseases and plant pests.