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Articles by M. Ashraf
Total Records ( 15 ) for M. Ashraf
  A.M. Anwar , K. Hattori , H. Ogata , M. Ashraf and Mandula
  The current research addresses Engineered Cementitious Composites (ECC) as a new alternative for retrofitting damaged concrete beams. Twenty-one plain concrete beams with pre-defined artificial cracks were prepared and repaired using different combinations of ECC alone or together with Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymers (CFRP). The study showed that replacement of the inferior layer from the bottom of the deteriorated beams with a thin layer of ECC could be able to restore the beam to a condition better than its original state. Moreover, the repair with ECC was found effective in enhancing the member ductility as well. It was also shown that pasting CFRP directly over ECC substrate resulted in shear failure rather than the undesirable interfacial debonding mode of failure that typically occurs in case of concrete substrates.
  M. Ashraf , A. Goyal , A.M. Anwar , K. Hattori , H. Ogata and S. Guo
  An evaluation was made on the mutual beneficial role of fly ash and ground granulated blast furnace slag in combating adiabatic temperature rise. The experimental program was designed in two stages; the main experiment consisted of two massive concrete specimens with dimensions (50x50x50) cm. In first stage of experiment, an adiabatic rise in temperature of specimens was measured. In second stage, the mechanical properties of massive concrete specimens were measured at the ages of 8, 14, 28, 56 and 91 days. At the age of 91 days, surface core and central cores were extracted from the surface and the central part of massive concrete specimens to determine compressive strength and dynamic modulus of elasticity. In the massive concrete specimen without any additive, the peak temperature noted was 64.5°C at 7th h after casting. While in mineral substituted concrete the maximum adiabatic temperature was 49.6°C at 19th h after casting. Lower rate of temperature rise in mineral substituted concrete has resulted in higher value of ultrasonic pulse velocity and ultimate compressive strength of concrete.
  M. Irshad , M. Inoue , M. Ashraf , Faridullah , Hossain K.M. Delower and A. Tsunekawa
  The natural resource base of land, water and vegetation in arid and semi arid areas is highly fragile and greatly vulnerable to degradation. There is a serious problem of desertification in many parts of Pakistan. Population pressure along with the demand for more food, fodder and fuelwood has generated a chain of interrelated economic, social and environmental issues associated with the land degradation inside Pakistan. A variety of natural and human factors are contributing to desertification and severely impairs the biological productivity of lands across the country, including dwindling vegetation cover, overgrazing, flooding, over exploitation of water and land resources, over cultivation of marginal lands, deforestation, soil erosion, salinization, sodication and the use of inappropriate technologies. Unsustainable agricultural activities including inadequate soil conservation, cultivation of steep slopes, cultivation without adequate fallow periods, unbalanced fertilizer use and improper irrigation management coupled with the misuse of prime agricultural land for urbanization/industrialization had a devastating impact on land resources. The increased pressure on land with low productivity and environmental pollution through industrial wastes has further exacerbated the prevailing condition. In spite of the concerted national efforts to mitigate the effects of drought, combating desertification is still one of the major challenges to the people of the country. The action necessary to help avert desertification is to educate people as to the value of precious land and water resources. The present deserted situation is directly related to the failures of the unrealistic resource management policies. Various approaches are being applied to arrest the menace of desertification. The institutional set-up for formulation and implementation of programs and policies is being strengthened in the country. Numbers of land reclamation projects have been launched. The activities and efforts already underway by several public and private organizations, departments, NGOs and rural support programs to combat desertification are required to be strengthened, integrated and supplemented through a nationally supported, coordinated and monitored system. This study reviews some of the causes of desertification, identifies the patterns of land degradation and highlights the future prospects of combating desertification in Pakistan.
  Ajay Goyal , Hattori Kunio , Hidehiko Ogata , Monika Garg , A.M. Anwar , M. Ashraf and Mandula
  Pozzolan materials obtained from various sources; when used as partial replacement for Portland cement in cement based applications play an important role not only towards sustainable development but in reducing the construction costs as well. Present study was conducted to investigate the synergic effect of Rice-Husk Ash (RHA) and Wheat Straw Ash (WSA) on the strength properties of ash substituted mortar. Ash materials were obtained after burning the wastes at 600°C for 5 h at a control rate of 2°C min. Two binary blends of mortar substituting 15% cement with WSA and RHA and three combinations of ternary blend with (10+5)%, (5+10)% and (7.5+7.5)% mix ratios of WSA and RHA, together with a control specimen were subjected to destructive (compressive and flexural strength) as well as non-destructive (ultrasonic pulse velocity) tests till 180 days of curing. Ternary blend with (7.5 + 7.5)% combination of WSA and RHA showed better strength results than control and other blends and proved to be the optimum combination for achieving maximum synergic effect.
  M. Ashraf , Zafar Iqbal Zafar , T.M. Ansari and Fiaz Ahmad
  In the present study, reaction kinetics was carried out using low grade calcareous phosphate rock particles in dilute phosphoric solution. To study the reaction parameters a number of experiments were carried out in a glass reactor column. The results indicate that the selective leaching of the calcareous material in the rock is controlled by the fluid layer depending on the reaction conditions. The results also show that the value of reaction rate constant does not appear to be a strong function of the particle size while the value of mass transfer coefficient increases with an increase in particle size.
  Muhammad Ishtiaq , Wajahat Hanif , M.A. Khan , M. Ashraf and Ansar M. Butt
  Ethnobotanical knowledge is one of the precious cultural heritage parts of an area that involves the interaction between plants and people and foremost among these are the management of plant diversity by indigenous communities and the traditional use of medicinal plants. An ethnobotanical analysis was conducted in order to document the traditional medicinal uses of plants, particularly medicinally important folklore food phytonims of flora of Samahni valley, Azad Kashmir (Pakistan). In the valley, inhabitants use different taxa of flora in two different ways; herbal medicines and food (vegetable and fruits) medicines. The distinctive geographic position and historic demological background of the area keep folk phytotherapy potential of medicinal herbs hitherto alive, which are used in various forms; as regular herbal medicines prescribed by Hakeems (herbal practitioners) and as food (medicines) recepies suggested by elder people. Among these, some herbs are used as single remedy while others depict better curative effects in synergistic mode against various ailments. Some interesting and uncommon findings are as; Sisymbrium irio is used for treatment of measles, asthma; Solanum miniatum to cure urinary calculi, heart pain, rheumatism, Momordica balsamina leaves as wound healer; Allium sativum bulb juice as anti cancer, contraceptive, blood pressure; Boerhavia diffusa roots as anti jaundice, anemia, edema; Capsicum annuum fruit as omen against evil eye and giant, yellow fever; Corriandrum sativum seeds as diuretic, anti spermatogenesis; Raphanus sativus seeds against syphilis; Solanum miniatum fruit for treatment of enlarged spleen and liver; seed's oil of Pisum sativum as anti spermatogenesis; Bauhinia variegata for skin diseases, ulcers; Malva sylvestris for cough, bladder ulcer; Phoenix sylvestris kernel as anti-aging tonic; Phyllanthus emblica for diuretic, anemia, biliousness; Terminalia chebula to cure chronic ulcers, carious teeth pain, heart problems; Veronica anthelmintica for bandage of broken bones and Withania coagulans is used to treat small pox. Many wild plants are eaten green and raw as salad, or in boiled form of soup as blood and intestine cleansing tonics. Moreover, some plants are spiritually recorded as sacred and used as ritual plant for good omens or against the evil eye and removal of giant. About 95 species of 38 families were recorded to be important part of phyto heritage of folk pharmacopoeia of Samahni valley. Among most frequent used families are Papilionaceae 9.47%, Solanaceae and Poaceae 8.42% each, Cucurbitaceae 7.36% and Brassicaceae and Rosaceae 6.31% each. Among the surveyed families used to treat various diseases, Solanaceae is at first rank with 9.74%, Brassicaceae 8.23% and Cucurbitaceae 7.39% subsequently. Most commonly used families with highest percentage of plants used as food medicines are Solanaceae (11.37%), Brassicaceae (8.38%) and Papilionaceae (7.18%) respectively. Most frequent plant parts used are; roots, leaves, seeds and flowers while popular forms of plants uses are decoction, poultice, infusions, soups and raw form as salad. Importance of ethnobotanical inventory constructed from ethnomedicinal uses and folklore phytonims of flora in perspectives of initiative for future phytochemical and pharmacological research on these taxa to develop and discover of new drugs is present and discussed.
  F. Azam , M. Ashraf , A. Lodhi and A. Gulnaz
  A microplot field experiment was conducted to study the effect of irradiated and unirradiated sewage sludge on dry matter yield and N uptake of wheat. Sewage sludge was applied at rates equivalent to 120, 180, and 240 kg N ha–1, either with or without 15N-labelled (NH4)2SO4-N at 20 kg ha–1. In addition, one control (no treatment) and a treatment receiving 120 kg N ha–1 as 15N-labelled (NH4)2SO4 was also included in the experiment. Wheat was grown to maturity and the plots were then sown to Sesbania aculeata (a green manuring legume). A highly positive effect of sewage sludge, whether irradiated or unirradiated on dry matter yield and N uptake. Sewage sludge not only served as an additional source of plant available N but it helped conserve fertilizer N leading to its increased uptake by plants. The beneficial effect of sludge was more pronounced in the presence of fertilizer N and the effect increased with the rate of application. The effects seemed to persist after harvesting wheat as suggested by higher dry matter yield and N yield of Sesbania. However, the analyses of physico-chemical and biological properties of the soil after harvesting wheat indicated that probably the applied sewage sludge decomposed quite rapidly and thus did not add much to the soil organic matter content and other properties. Nevertheless, N content of the soil showed some improvement although not very consistent with the rate of application.
  M. Ashraf , M. Asif , M. Adrees , Wajahat Hanif and CH. Muhammad Ishtiaq
  Various techniques are applied to control the pest damage to (pome) crops in different countries of the world. Among the integrated pest management programmes (IPCP), mating disruption (MD) approach has its own advantages over pesticide techniques being less hazardous to environment. An exhaustive systematic field trial surveys were conducted to explore the seasonal activities of Codling Moth (CM) Cydia pomonella under natural conditions and the (MD) method was applied to Control Maling Disruption (CM) damage to apple (pome) crops in area of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, (Pakistan). Mating Disruption (MD) technique offers several advantages over pesticide sprays methods and, MD reduces CM damage. The present study describes the assessment of time of pest infestation, peak flight temporal and spatial variation of CM (Cydia pomonella) in two different experimented habitats by the use of pheromone trap approach. For experimental data, two distinct flight periods of CM were recorded, suggesting two generations per year. The pest population density was observed to be the highest in the first weeks of May and July. It was concluded that by application of the MD technique a better growth of pome crops can be obtained. Hence, for sustainable and comprehensive fruit farming, a more widespread use of pheromones technique (Mating Disruption- MD) may be useful step to enhance the agricultural yield of apple (pome) crops
  M. Ashraf , A. Gulnaz , S.R.A. Shamsi and F. Azam
  A substantial portion of fertilizer N is lost from foliar parts of plants. However, the data on this aspect of gaseous N loss is sketchy due to the limitations existing with the methodologies. A simple and economical method was devised and standardized for studying such type of N losses. The results demonstrated the suitability of the method for the quantification of oxidized and reduced N gases evolved/absorbed from foliar parts of the plants especially the plants with low leaf area.
  M. Ashraf and S. Nisar
  Seeds of Salvadora oleiodes (locally called Jhal or Pelun) were tested for their germination performance and membrane leakage properties during early hours of imbibtion. The optimal germination temperature determined was 30°C wherein 85 percent germination was obtained within 5 days of imbibition. When seeds with testa (intact) or without testa (‘naked’) were immersed in water and electrical conductance (E.C.) measured, higher E.C. values were obtained in ‘naked’ seeds than the intact ones. Potassium ions in leachates of 1 h imbibed seeds were 14-18 ppm/seed in intact and 133 ppm/seed in ‘naked’ seeds. Inorganic phosphorus contents (Pi) were 61 ppm/‘naked’ seed which remained un-detectable in leachates of intact ones. Less tham 1 ppm/seed Na was detected in leachates of ‘naked’ seeds. Amino acids and carbohydrate contents (33 μmol/seed and 68 μg/seed, respectively) were among organic solutes effluxed during early minutes of imbibition.
  M. Ashraf and M. M. Hussain
  Amino acid and carbohydrate contents during early 30 minutes of wheat seed imbibition have not been reported -earlier. In this study, wheat seeds (cv. Ingelab) preimbibed in water for 2, 6, 16 and 24 hours and dried back, were soaked in water for 30 minutes and amino acid and carbohydrate contents in leachates were measured. Untreated seeds showed 4.5 times increase in amino acid contents (2-9.1 nmoles/seed) in 30 min of imbibition. However, in preimbibed seeds, as the time to pretreatment increased (from 2 to 24 h), the amount of amino acids leached decreased and in 24 h preimbibed seeds, it was 2.8 nmoles/seed after 30 min. Changes in carbohydrate contents in leachates in untreated seeds rose from 13 to 52 μg/seed in 30 min, an overall increase of 4 times was exhibited. All the pretreated seeds exhibited lower levels of carbohydrates effluxed in 30 min. However, the significant difference was observed in the initial 10 min of start of imbibition in which preimbibed seeds effluxed carbohydrate contents at faster rates (e.g. 10 times increase in 6 h and 24 h preimbibed seeds) than the control ones (0.7 times increase). Changes in these electrolytes had no effect on seed germination of these preimbibed seeds since all seeds exhibited 100 percent germination in two days. These results demonstrate that amino acid and carbohydrate contents leakage during initial 30 min of imbibition have no effect on viability of seeds but may have implications in studying seed-soil relations.
  M. Ashraf , O. Berge , F. Azam and T. Heulin
  This study was conducted to isolate and identify the EPS-producing bacteria associated with the roots of three wheat lines grown in saline and non-saline soils. Results indicated the presence of various EPS-producing bacterial genera in unplanted saline and non-saline soil, rhizosphere and rhizoplane of the three wheat fines. Bacillus sp. were more variable in unplanted saline than non-saline soil. In contrast to uniform distribution of Bacillus sp. in unplanted soils, other EPS-producing bacterial genera isolated from rhizosphere and rhizoplane were more numerous and diversified. Frequent occurrence of Microbacterium sp. in the soil and rhizosphere of the plants invoke the desire for more research work to explore the role of this bacterium in the saline environment.
  Shazia Naseer , A. Nisar and M. Ashraf
  A laboratory experiment was conducted to determine the effect of salt stress on germination and seedling growth of two barley varieties, Jow-83 and Jow-87, during winter 1996-97. The results showed that the germination percentage, root and shoot lengths and fresh and dry weights decreased in both barley varieties with increase in salt level. However, variety Jow-83 showed better response at all salinity levels.
  Screening cultivars to grow under conditions of low phosphorus (P) availability and utilize P efficiently from compounds of low solubility in soils may be beneficial to overcome poor plant growth in P-deficient soils. The growth behavior and P utilization efficiency of seven wheat cultivars grown in hydroponics were studied, using rock phosphate as P source. The wheat cultivars grown for 30 days were significantly different in biomass accumulation, P uptake and P utilization efficiency. The dry matter production of all the cultivars was significantly correlated with P uptake, which in turn correlated to the drop in the root medium pH. The ranking of wheat cultivars on the basis of dry matter yield, P uptake and P utilization efficiency was Zamindar 80 > Yecora > C 271 > WL 711 > Barani 83 > PARI 73 > Rohtas. The cultivar Zamindar 80 appeared to possess the best growth potential in P-deficient soils.
  A hydroponics experiment was conducted to evaluate the role of potassium (K) and silicon (Si) in mitigating the deleterious effects of NaCl on sugarcane genotypes differing in salt tolerance. Two salt-sensitive (CPF 243 and SPF 213) and two salt-tolerant (HSF 240 and CP 77-400) sugarcane genotypes were grown for six weeks in ½ strength Johnson's nutrient solution. The nutrient solution was salinized by two NaCl levels (0 and 100 mmol L−1 NaCl) and supplied with two levels of K (0 and 3 mmol L−1) and Si (0 and 2 mmol L−1). Applied NaCl enhanced Na+ concentration in plant tissues and significantly (P ≤ 0.05) reduced shoot and root dry matter in four sugarcane genotypes. However, the magnitude of reduction was much greater in salt-sensitive genotypes than salt-tolerant genotypes. The salts interfered with the absorption of K+ and Ca2+ and significantly (P ≤ 0.05) decreased their uptake in sugarcane genotypes. Addition of K and Si either alone or in combination significantly (P ≤ 0.05) inhibited the uptake and transport of Na+ from roots to shoots and improved dry matter yields under NaCl conditions. Potassium uptake, K+/Na+ ratios, and Ca2+ and Si uptake were also significantly (P ≤ 0.05) increased by the addition of K and/or Si to the root medium. In this study, K and Si-enhanced salt tolerance in sugarcane genotypes was ascribed to decreased Na+ concentration and increased K+ with a resultant improvement in K+/Na+ ratio, which is a good indicator to assess plant tolerance to salt stress. However, further verification of these results is warranted under field conditions.
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