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.

2022

Abstract

Management of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) in Norway requires a forest growth and yield model suitable for describing stand dynamics of even-aged forests under contemporary climatic conditions with and without the effects of silvicultural thinning. A system of equations forming such a stand-level growth and yield model fitted to long-term experimental data is presented here. The growth and yield model consists of component equations for (i) dominant height, (ii) stem density (number of stems per hectare), (iii) total basal area, (iv) and total stem volume fitted simultaneously using seemingly unrelated regression. The component equations for stem density, basal area, and volume include a thinning modifier to forecast stand dynamics in thinned stands. It was shown that thinning significantly increased basal area and volume growth while reducing competition related mortality. No significant effect of thinning was found on dominant height. Model examination by means of various fit statistics indicated no obvious bias and improvement in prediction accuracy in comparison to existing models in general. An application of the developed stand-level model comparing different management scenarios exhibited plausible long-term behavior and we propose this is therefore suitable for national deployment.

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Abstract

Just as the aboveground tree organs represent the interface between trees and the atmosphere, roots act as the interface between trees and the soil. In this function, roots take-up water and nutrients, facilitate interactions with soil microflora, anchor trees, and also contribute to the gross primary production of forests. However, in comparison to aboveground plant organs, the biomass of roots is much more difficult to study. In this study, we analyzed 19 European datasets on above- and belowground biomass of juvenile trees of 14 species to identify generalizable estimators of root biomass based on tree sapling dimensions (e.g. height, diameter, aboveground biomass). Such estimations are essential growth and sequestration modelling. In addition, the intention was to study the effect of sapling dimension and light availability on biomass allocation to roots. All aboveground variables were significant predictors for root biomass. But, among aboveground predictors of root biomass plant height performed poorest. When comparing conifer and broadleaf species, the latter tended to have a higher root biomass at a given dimension. Also, with increasing size, the share of belowground biomass tended to increase for the sapling dimensions considered. In most species, there was a trend of increasing relative belowground biomass with increasing light availability. Finally, the height to diameter ratio (H/D) was negatively correlated to relative belowground biomass. This indicates that trees with a high H/D are not only more unstable owing to the unfavorable bending stress resistance, but also because they are comparatively less well anchored in the ground. Thus, single tree stability may be improved through increasing light availability to increase the share of belowground biomass.

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Abstract

Despite their important ecological roles for soil health and soil fertility, free-living nematodes (FLN) have received relatively limited research attention. The present study evaluated the community structure and diversity of FLN in a field setting. The experiments were conducted in on-farm and on-station field plots sown to maize (Zea mays) and beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) under four cropping practices. These farming systems included organic (compost and biopesticide use), conventional (synthetic fertilizer and pesticide applications), farmer practice (organic and synthetic amendments) and a control (non-amended plots). Nineteen genera of free living nematodes, belonging to bacterivores, fungivores, omnivores and predators were recorded. Among these, bacterivores (Cephalobidae and Rhabditidae) were the most dominant group in the organic systems when compared to the conventional and control systems. Farming systems influenced the abundance and diversity of free living nematodes, with the organic farming system having higher values of maturity, enrichment and structural indices than other farming systems. This would indicate greater stability in soil health and improved soil fertility. This implies that the organic farming systems play a key role in improving the biodiversity and population buildup of FLN, compared with other systems. Our study helps to improve our understanding of how farming systems influence soil biodynamics, while studies on the longer-term effects of organic and conventional farming systems on the build-up or reduction of free living nematodes for improved ecosystem services are needed.

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Abstract

Aquaculture industry is one of the major food-producing sectors in the world that provide nutritional food security for mankind. Fish and crustacean farmers are facing various challenges in treating the rapid spread of infectious diseases in recent times. Numerous strategies, including antibiotics, disinfectants, and other antimicrobial agents, have been applied to protect the cultivable aquatic animals from infectious diseases. These applications lead to the development of antimicrobial resistance, toxicity, and the accumulation of antibiotic residues in cells and organelles of the cultivable edible organisms and the environment. The use of naturally derived compounds, polysaccharides, and functional metabolites has gained immense attention among aquaculturists. Mushrooms and their nutraceutical components have been widely used in various sectors, including food, pharmaceutical, poultry, and aquaculture industries, for their non-toxic and eco-friendly properties. To date, there are several reports available on edible and medicinal mushrooms as a dietary ingredient for fish and decapod crustacean culture. The mushroom products such as mycelia, stalk, dry powder, polysaccharides, and extracts have been utilized in aquaculture as growth promoters and immunostimulants, improving the digestive enzyme activity, antimicrobials, and improving the health status of cultivable aquatic animals. This present review elucidates the effectiveness of mushrooms and mushroom-derived compounds as prebiotics in aquaculture. The challenges and future perspectives of mushroom-derived bioactive molecules have been discussed in this review.

Abstract

Fusarium graminearum is regarded as the main deoxynivalenol (DON) producer in Norwegian oats, and high levels of DON are occasionally recorded in oat grains. Weather conditions in the period around flowering are reported to have a high impact on the development of Fusarium head blight (FHB) and DON in cereal grains. Thus, it would be advantageous if the risk of DON contamination of oat grains could be predicted based on weather data. We conducted a functional data analysis of weather-based time series data linked to DON content in order to identify weather patterns associated with increased DON levels. Since flowering date was not recorded in our dataset, a mathematical model was developed to predict phenological growth stages in Norwegian spring oats. Through functional data analysis, weather patterns associated with DON content in the harvested grain were revealed mainly from about three weeks pre-flowering onwards. Oat fields with elevated DON levels generally had warmer weather around sowing, and lower temperatures and higher relative humidity or rain prior to flowering onwards, compared to fields with low DON levels. Our results are in line with results from similar studies presented for FHB epidemics in wheat. Functional data analysis was found to be a useful tool to reveal weather patterns of importance for DON development in oats.