Publications

NIBIOs employees contribute to several hundred scientific articles and research reports every year. You can browse or search in our collection which contains references and links to these publications as well as other research and dissemination activities. The collection is continously updated with new and historical material.

2019

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Abstract

Crop wild relatives (CWR) can provide one solution to future challenges on food security, sustainable agriculture and adaptation to climate change. Diversity found in CWR can be essential for adapting crops to these new demands. Since the need to improve in situ conservation of CWR has been recognized by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) (2010) and the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (2011–2020), it is important to develop ways to safeguard these important genetic resources. The Nordic flora includes many species related to food, forage and other crop groups, but little has been done to systematically secure these important wild resources. A Nordic regional approach to CWR conservation planning provided opportunities to network, find synergies, share knowledge, plan the conservation and give policy inputs on a regional level. A comprehensive CWR checklist for the Nordic region was generated and then prioritized by socio-economic value and utilization potential. Nordic CWR checklist was formed of 2553 taxa related to crop plants. Out of these, 114 taxa including 83 species were prioritized representing vegetable, cereal, fruit, berry, nut and forage crop groups. The in situ conservation planning of the priority CWR included ecogeographic and complementarity analyses to identify a potential network of genetic reserve sites in the region. Altogether 971,633 occurrence records of the priority species were analysed. A minimum number of sites within and outside existing conservation areas were identified that had the potential to support a maximum number of target species of maximum intraspecific diversity.

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Abstract

Deforestation and forest degradation (D&D) in the tropics have continued unabated and are posing serious threats to forests and the livelihoods of those who depend on forests and forest resources. Smallholder farmers are often implicated in scientific literature and policy documents as important agents of D&D. However, there is scanty information on why smallholders exploit forests and what the key drivers are. We employed behavioral sciences approaches that capture contextual factors, attitudinal factors, and routine practices that shape decisions by smallholder farmers. Data was collected using household surveys and focus group discussions in two case study forests—Menagesha Suba Forest in Ethiopia and Maasai Mau Forest in Kenya. Our findings indicate that factors that forced farmers to engage in D&D were largely contextual, i.e., sociodemographic, production factors constraint, as well as policies and governance issues with some influences of routine practices such as wood extraction for fuelwood and construction. Those factors can be broadly aggregated as necessity-driven, market-driven, and governance-driven. In the forests studied, D&D are largely due to necessity needs and governance challenges. Though most factors are intrinsic to smallholders’ context, the extent and impact on D&D were largely aggravated by factors outside the forest landscape. Therefore, policy efforts to reduce D&D should carefully scrutinize the context, the factors, and the associated enablers to reduce forest losses under varying socioeconomic, biophysical, and resource governance conditions

Abstract

Although supporting high productivity, modern agriculture caused a long-term impact on natural trophic interactions, releasing pests from pressure linked with their natural enemies. Studies have demonstrated that volatiles released under herbivory can recruit natural enemies of pests from a distance. Here, we used a novel biodegradable formulation loaded with induced and food-signalling volatiles with the aim to attract the green lacewing, Chrysoperla carnea, and increase biological control of two cereal aphids Sitobion avenae and Rhopalosiphum padi. The new product consisted of a biodegradable matrix loaded with a 3-component blend of methyl salicylate, acetic acid and phenylacetaldehyde in a 1:1:1 ratio. Field experiments were carried out in a barley field in Norway. Single plants were provided with a 1 ml dollop of the new formulation or with a standard polyethylene emballage dispenser loaded with the same amount of compounds. The number of lacewing eggs and larvae as well as the attraction of additional natural enemies was recorded both on the treated and surrounding plants by visual inspection. At the same time, an assessment of aphid infestation was carried out. A higher local density of lacewing adults, eggs and larvae over an 8-week period was observed for both the standard and the biodegradable formulation in comparison with untreated plants. Chemical analysis of the volatiles emitted from the slow-release matrix showed an active emission of the blend over at least a 4-week period. Significant biological control of aphid was measured in the vegetation surrounding the odour source. Both aphid populations were significantly reduced, with no difference between the new and the standard treatment. While coccinellids and hoverflies were not affected by the treatment, a lower number of mummified aphids were measured in some of the treated plants in comparison with untreated ones. Results show the potential for semiochemical-based targeted attraction of lacewings to enhance biological control of aphids in a prevalent monoculture field setting. Additional studies are required to support the development of practical integrated pest management guidelines, including optimization of application density, threshold value for pest and natural enemies and practical recommendation for the establishment of non-crop vegetation within and around the crop.