NIBIO's Scientific Publications

This list contains articles, books and chapters that are published in authorised publication channels in The Norwegian Register for Scientific Journals, Series and Publishers. The register shows which scientific publications are recognized in the weighted funding model. The list is sorted by latest registered publication.

2019 (130)

Abstract

Short-day (SD) treatment is used by forest nurseries to induce growth cessation in Picea abies seedlings. SD treatment may however increase the risk of reflushing in autumn and earlier bud break the following spring. When the start of the SD treatment is early in order to control seedling height, the duration of the SD treatment should be longer in order to prevent reflushing in autumn. However, due to the amount of manual work involved in the short-day treatment, increasing the number of days is undesirable from a practical point of view. Splitting the SD treatment could be a way to achieve both early height control and at the same time avoid autumn bud break with less workload. We tested how different starting dates and durations of SD treatment influenced on morphological and phenological traits. Regardless of timing and duration of the SD treatment, height growth was reduced compared to the untreated controls. Seedlings given split SD (7+7 days interrupted with two weeks in long days) had less height growth than all other treatments. Root collar diameter growth was significantly less in control seedlings than in seedlings exposed to early (7 or 14 days) or split (7+7 days) SD treatment. There were also differences in the frequency of reflushing and bud break timing among the SD treated seedlings, dependent on duration and starting date. If the SD treatment started early, a continuous 14-day SD treatment was not sufficient to avoid high frequencies of reflushing. However, by splitting the SD treatment into two periods of 7+7 days these negative effects were largely avoided, although spring bud break occurred earlier than in the controls.

To document

Abstract

The belowground environment is heterogeneous and complex at fine spatial scales. Physical structures, biotic components and abiotic conditions create a patchwork mosaic of potential niches for microbes. Questions remain about mechanisms and patterns of community assembly belowground, including: Do fungal and bacterial communities assemble differently? How do microbes reach the roots of host plants? Within a 4 m2 plot in alpine vegetation, high throughput sequencing of the 16S (bacteria) and ITS1 (fungal) ribosomal RNA genes was used to characterise microbial community composition in roots and adjacent soil of a viviparous host plant (Bistorta vivipara). At fine spatial scales, beta-diversity patterns in belowground bacterial and fungal communities were consistent, although compositional change was greater in bacteria than fungi. Spatial structure and distance-decay relationships were also similar for bacteria and fungi, with significant spatial structure detected at <50 cm among root- but not soil-associated microbes. Recruitment of root microbes from the soil community appeared limited at this sampling and sequencing depth. Possible explanations for this include recruitment from low-abundance populations of soil microbes, active recruitment from neighbouring plants and/or vertical transmission of symbionts to new clones, suggesting varied methods of microbial community assembly for viviparous plants. Our results suggest that even at relatively small spatial scales, deterministic processes play a significant role in belowground microbial community structure and assembly.

To document

Abstract

The Generic Ecological Impact Assessment of Alien Species (GEIAA) is described. It comprises a set of criteria and an assessment procedure. The set of criteria consists of three criteria that quantify invasion potential, and six criteria that capture the ecological effects of alien species. The threshold values for all criteria are numerically defined, rendering the set of criteria fully quantitative. Genericity is ensured by using criteria that are applicable to all taxonomic groups and in all habitats. In being generic, quantitative, ecological and normatively neutral, the criteria were inspired by the international Red List criteria. Capturing both invasion potential and effect, GEIAA can be regarded as a full ecological impact assessment. The assessment procedure contains guidelines on documentation, the collection of background information, the handling of uncertainty, and quality assurance. GEIAA represents the second revision, and thus the third generation, of assessment methodology in Norway. It has recently been used to carry out more than 2500 impact assessments of alien species in Norway and Sweden.

To document

Abstract

Restrictions on the use of long-chain per- and polyfluoralkyl substances (PFASs) has led to substitutions with short-chain PFASs. This study investigated the presence of four short-chain PFASs and twenty-four long-chain PFASs in leachate and sediment from ten Norwegian landfills, including one site in Svalbard, to assess whether short-chain PFASs are more dominant in leachate. PFASs were detected in all sites. Short-chain PFASs were major contributors to the total PFAS leachate concentrations in six of ten landfills, though not in Svalbard...

To document See dataset

Abstract

In this study, a brown macroalgae species, Saccharina latissima, processed to increase its protein concentration, and a red macroalgae species, Porphyra spp., were used to evaluate their in vivo digestibility, rumen fermentation and blood amino acid concentrations. Four castrated rams were used, whose diets were supplemented with a protein-rich fraction of S. latissima, a commercial Porphyra spp. and soybean meal (SBM). Our results show that the protein digestibility of a diet with S. latissima extract was lower (0.55) than those with Porphyra spp. (0.64) and SBM (0.66). In spite of the higher nitrogen (N) intake of diets containing Porphyra spp. and SBM (20.9 and 19.8 g N/day, respectively) than that with S. latissima (18.6 g N/day), the ratio of N excreted in faeces to total N intake was significantly higher in the diet with S. latissima than those with Porphyra spp. and SBM. This reflects that the utilization of protein in S. latissima was impaired, possibly due to reduced microbial activity. The latter statement is corroborated by lower volatile fatty acid composition (25.6, 54.8 and 100 mmol/l for S. latissima, Porphyra spp. and SBM, respectively) and a non-significant tendency for lower ammonia concentration observed in diets with S. latissima and Porphyra spp. compared to SBM. It is important to note that the S. latissima used in this trial was rinsed during processing to remove salt. This process potentially also removes other water-soluble compounds, such as free amino acids, and may have increased the relative fraction of protein resistant to rumen degradation and intestinal absorption. Furthermore, the phlorotannins present in macroalgae may have formed complexes with protein and fibre, further limiting their degradability in rumen and absorption in small intestines. We recommend that further studies explore the extent to which processing of macroalgae affects its nutritive properties and rumen degradability, in addition to studies to measure the intestinal absorption of these macroalgae species

To document

Abstract

As primary producers, plants are under constant pressure to defend themselves against potentially deadly pathogens and herbivores. In this review, we describe short- and long-term strategies that enable plants to cope with these stresses. Apart from internal immunological strategies that involve physiological and (epi)genetic modifications at the cellular level, plants also employ external strategies that rely on recruitment of beneficial organisms. We discuss these strategies along a gradient of increasing timescales, ranging from rapid immune responses that are initiated within seconds to (epi)genetic adaptations that occur over multiple plant generations. We cover the latest insights into the mechanistic and evolutionary underpinnings of these strategies and present explanatory models. Finally, we discuss how knowledge from short-lived model species can be translated to economically and ecologically important perennials to exploit adaptive plant strategies and mitigate future impacts of pests and diseases in an increasingly interconnected and changing world.

To document

Abstract

Tree-killing bark beetles are the most economically important insects in conifer forests worldwide. However, despite >200 years of research, the drivers of population eruptions and crashes are still not fully understood and the existing knowledge is thus insufficient to face the challenges posed by the Anthropocene. We critically analyze potential biotic and abiotic drivers of population dynamics of an exemplary species, the European spruce bark beetle (ESBB) (Ips typographus) and present a multivariate approach that integrates the many drivers governing this bark beetle system. We call for hypothesis-driven, large-scale collaborative research efforts to improve our understanding of the population dynamics of this and other bark beetle pests. Our approach can serve as a blueprint for tackling other eruptive forest insects.

To document

Abstract

The effect of inoculation of strawberry roots by two entomopathogenic fungal isolates, Metarhizium robertsii (ESALQ 1622) and Beauveria bassiana (ESALQ 3375), on naturally occurring arthropod pests and plant diseases was investigated in four commercial strawberry fields during two growing seasons in Brazil. Three locations represented open-field production while strawberries were grown in low tunnels at the fourth location. Population responses of predatory mites to the fungal treatments were also assessed. Plants inoculated by the fungal isolates resulted in significantly fewer Tetranychus urticae adults compared to control plants at all four locations. The mean cumulative numbers ± SE of T. urticae per leaflet were: M. robertsii (225.6 ± 59.32), B. bassiana (206.5 ± 51.48) and control (534.1 ± 115.55) at the three open-field locations, while at the location with tunnels numbers were: M. robertsii (79.7 ± 10.02), B. bassiana (107.7 ± 26.85) and control (207.4 ± 49.90). Plants treated with B. bassiana had 50% fewer leaves damaged by Coleoptera, while there were no effects on numbers of whiteflies and thrips. Further, lower proportions of leaflets with symptoms of the foliar plant pathogenic fungi Mycosphaerella fragariae and Pestalotia longisetula were observed in the M. robertsii (4.6% and 1.3%)- and B. bassiana (6.1% and 1.3%)-treated plots compared to control plots (9.8% and 3.7%). No effect was seen on numbers of naturally occurring predatory mites. Our results suggest that both isolates tested may be used as root inoculants of strawberries to protect against foliar pests, particularly spider mites, and also against foliar plant pathogenic fungi without harming naturally occurring and beneficial predatory mites.

To document

Abstract

Grøntanlegg kan spille en viktig rolle som infiltrasjonsareal i lokal overvannsdisponering. Med Modifisert Philip-Dunne infiltrometer ble det ble dokumentert infiltrasjonsevne mellom <0,5-83 cm/time på naturlig jord i parken rundt Norges miljø og biovitenskapelige universitet (NMBU-parken) og på Landvik forskningsstasjon, tilhørende Norsk institutt for bioøkonomi (NIBIO). Nitti prosent av målepunktene i NMBU-parken lå under 20 cm/time. I konstruert jord (USGA-profil (USGA, 2018)) på Landvik forskningsstasjon var infiltrasjons- kapasiteten mellom 32-107 cm/time. Infiltrasjonsevnen i samme punkt over tid (høst- og vintersesong 2017) ble målt i NMBU parken. Generelt var det først en økende infiltrasjons- evne, men etterhvert dannet det seg et islag på bunnen inne i infiltrometeret, men ikke utenfor. Dette tyder på at de gjentatte målingene påvirker jorden og ikke gjenspeiler den naturlige utviklingen. Basert på våre analyser bør en ha minst 1 målepunkt per 600 m2 for å få et godt estimat av den lokale infiltrasjonsevnen.

To document

Abstract

BACKGROUND: There is a search for raspberry cultivars with high sensory quality. The best way to determine sensory quality is by descriptive analysis. To perform sensory analysis by a trained panel is, however, not always feasible. Therefore, there is a need for instrumental measurements that correlate with sensory attributes. OBJECTIVE: To characterize eight genotypes of raspberry (Rubus idaeus L.) and to correlate sensory attributes with instrumentally determined quality. METHODS: Raspberry fruits were analysed by descriptive sensory analysis and by instrumental measurements, i.e. colour, total monomeric anthocyanins, soluble solids (SS), pH, titratable acidity (TA) and volatile compounds. The relationships between sensory attributes and instrumentally measured quality were determined by partial least square regression and by univariate correlation analysis. RESULTS: Sour and green odours/flavours versus chemical and cloying odours/flavours described most of the sensory variation of the raspberry genotypes. TA correlated with acidic taste, astringency and flavour intensity. SS/TA was positively correlated with sour flavour and sweet taste and negatively correlated with acidic taste and astringency. C6-aldehydes and (Z)-3-hexen-1-ol correlated positively with green flavour. _-ionone and _-ionone correlated with flower odour and flavour, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Eight raspberry genotypes were characterized. Important sensory attributes could be predicted by instrumental measurements.

Abstract

In this paper, we present a novel method for obstacle avoidance designed for a nonholonomic mobile robot. The method relies on light detection and ranging (LiDAR) readings, which are mapped into a polar coordinate system. Obstacles are taken into consideration when they are within a predefined radius from the robot. A central part of the approach is a new Heading Weight Function (HWF), in which the beams within the aperture angle of the LiDAR are virtually weighted in order to generate the best trajectory candidate for the robot. The HWF is designed to find a solution also in the case of a local-minima situation. The function is coupled with the robot’s controller in order to provide both linear and angular velocities. We tested the method both by simulations in a digital environment with a range of different static obstacles, and in a real, experimental environment including static and dynamic obstacles. The results showed that when utilizing the novel HWF, the robot was able to navigate safely toward the target while avoiding all obstacles included in the tests. Our findings thus show that it is possible for a robot to navigate safely in a populated environment using this method, and that sufficient efficiency in navigation may be obtained without basing the method on a global planner. This is particularly promising for navigation challenges occurring in unknown environments where models of the world cannot be obtained.

To document

Abstract

The effect of wood modification on wood-water interactions in modified wood is poorly understood, even though water is a critical factor in fungal wood degradation. A previous review suggested that decay resistance in modified wood is caused by a reduced wood moisture content (MC) that inhibits the diffusion of oxidative fungal metabolites. It has been reported that a MC below 23%–25% will protect wood from decay, which correlates with the weight percent gain (WPG) level seen to inhibit decay in modified wood for several different kinds of wood modifications. In this review, the focus is on the role of water in brown rot decay of chemically and thermally modified wood. The study synthesizes recent advances in the inhibition of decay and the effects of wood modification on the MC and moisture relationships in modified wood. We discuss three potential mechanisms for diffusion inhibition in modified wood: (i) nanopore blocking; (ii) capillary condensation in nanopores; and (iii) plasticization of hemicelluloses. The nanopore blocking theory works well with cell wall bulking and crosslinking modifications, but it seems less applicable to thermal modification, which may increase nanoporosity. Preventing the formation of capillary water in nanopores also explains cell wall bulking modification well. However, the possibility of increased nanoporosity in thermally modified wood and increased wood-water surface tension for 1.3-dimethylol-4.5-dihydroxyethyleneurea (DMDHEU) modification complicate the interpretation of this theory for these modifications. Inhibition of hemicellulose plasticization fits well with diffusion prevention in acetylated, DMDHEU and thermally modified wood, but plasticity in furfurylated wood may be increased. We also point out that the different mechanisms are not mutually exclusive, and it may be the case that they all play some role to varying degrees for each modification. Furthermore, we highlight recent work which shows that brown rot fungi will eventually degrade modified wood materials, even at high treatment levels. The herein reviewed literature suggests that the modification itself may initially be degraded, followed by an increase in wood cell wall MC to a level where chemical transport is possible.

To document

Abstract

Four species of the destructive forest pathogen Heterobasidion annosum sensu lato (s.l.) are present in Europe: H. annosum sensu stricto (s.s.), H. abietinum and H. parviporum are native species, while H. irregulare is a non‐native invasive species currently reported only in Italy, yet recommended for regulation throughout Europe. In this study, real‐time PCR detection tests were developed for each of the four species, which can be used simultaneously or individually thanks to probes labelled with species‐specific fluorescent dyes. The different performance criteria of each assay were evaluated, and it was determined that they were theoretically capable of detecting amounts of DNA corresponding to 311, 29 and 29 cell nuclei in H. annosum s.s., H. irregulare and H. parviporum, respectively. The specificity of each assay was assessed with a wide set of strains. Real‐time PCR tests successfully detected Heterobasidion species from 36 fruiting bodies taken from the forest, as well as from artificially inoculated or naturally infected wood samples. The multiplex real‐time PCR assays developed in this study could have practical applications both in forest management and in phytosanitary monitoring.

To document

Abstract

Humic substances are important indicators of soil fertility. The fluorescence properties of humic acids from black soils in Harbin, northeast China, were investigated, after long-term fertilization using treatments with or without mineral fertilizer (NPK) and organic manure. Excitation and emission matrices combined with parallel factor analysis were used to investigate the structure of the humic acid. Principal component analysis was performed to select the most suitable parameters for the description of humic acid. The dimension reduction for the original fluorescence parameters extracted two principal components. By using the two principal component scores as a new index for clustering, it was concluded that long-term fertilization treatments in black soil in Harbin clustered into three groups of manure + NPK and organic manure treatments, NPK treatment, and soil without any fertilization. Manure + NPK fertilization and manure fertilization alone led to a higher degree of humification than NPK only or the control. We conclude that long-term fertilization with organic matter with or without NPK could increase the humification degree of these soils.

To document

Abstract

This article describes the first implementation of green treatment technology for wastewater from agritourism facilities in Romania. The general concept was based on the principles of a nature-based treatment system (NBTS) developed, tested and successfully operated in cold climate in Norway. Two NBTSs, each constituting a three-element system equipped with a septic tank, a pre-treatment section and a filter/wetland bed, were constructed and set in full operation in Mara and Vadu Izei villages (Maramures County, Northern Romania, Carpathian Mountains). Both systems revealed sufficient adaptation to wastewater treatment during the first year of operation. The highest removal rates of BOD5, CODCr, Ntot and Ptot reached 93–97%, 94–98%, 97–98% and 98–99%, respectively. In addition, these parameters did not exceed their permitted values in effluents discharged to water bodies. Both systems demonstrate integrated measures of ecological engineering implemented as “treatment gardens” perfectly suited to the tourist facilities, rural surroundings and cultural landscape of the region.

To document

Abstract

The aim of this work was to investigate whether the agronomic traits of vermicompost prepared from partially stabilised sewage sludge digestate after thermophilic composting were more favourable than those of conventional compost. The effects of various additives (green waste, spent mushroom compost, wheat straw, biochar) were also tested after 1.5 months precomposting followed by 3 months vermicomposting with Eisenia fetida or by compost maturing. Vermicomposting did not result in significantly more intensive mineralisation than composting; the average organic carbon contents were 21.2 and 22.2% in vermicomposts and composts, respectively. Hence, the average total (N: 2.4%; P: 1.9%; K: 0.9%) and available (N: 160 mg/kg; P: 161 mg/kg; K: 0.8%) macronutrient concentrations were the same in both treatments. The processing method did not influence the organic matter quality (E4/E6) either. However, on average the concentration of the plant growth regulator kinetin was more than twice as high in vermicomposts.

To document

Abstract

Thermal melanism theory states that dark-colored ectotherm organisms are at an advantage at low temperature due to increased warming. This theory is generally supported for ectotherm animals, however, the function of colors in the fungal kingdom is largely unknown. Here, we test whether the color lightness of mushroom assemblages is related to climate using a dataset of 3.2 million observations of 3,054 species across Europe. Consistent with the thermal melanism theory, mushroom assemblages are significantly darker in areas with cold climates. We further show differences in color phenotype between fungal lifestyles and a lifestyle differentiated response to seasonality. These results indicate a more complex ecological role of mushroom colors and suggest functions beyond thermal adaption. Because fungi play a crucial role in terrestrial carbon and nutrient cycles, understanding the links between the thermal environment, functional coloration and species’ geographical distributions will be critical in predicting ecosystem responses to global warming.

To document

Abstract

Wild animal populations experience selection pressures from both natural and anthropogenic sources. The availability of extensive pedigrees is increasing along with our ability to quantify the heritability and evolvability of phenotypic traits and thus the speed and potential for evolutionary change in wild populations. The environment may also affect gene expressions in individuals, which may in turn affect the potential of phenotypic traits to respond to selection. Knowledge about the relationship between the genetic and environmental components of phenotypic variation is particularly relevant, given ongoing anthropogenically driven global change. Using a quantitative genetic mixed model, we disentangled the genetic and environmental components of phenotypic variance in a large carnivore, the brown bear (Ursus arctos). We combined a pedigree covering ~1,500 individual bears over seven generations with location data from 413 bears, as well as data on bear density, habitat characteristics, and climatic conditions. We found a narrow‐sense heritability of 0.24 (95% CrI: 0.06–0.38) for brown bear head size, showing that the trait can respond to selection at a moderate speed. The environment contributed substantially to phenotypic variation, and we partitioned this into birth year (5.9%), nonadditive among‐individual genetic (15.0%), and residual (50.4%) environmental effects. Brown bear head circumference showed an evolvability of 0.2%, which can generate large changes in the trait mean over some hundreds of generations. Our study is among the first to quantify heritability of a trait in a hunted large carnivore population. Such knowledge about the degree to which species experiencing hunting can respond to selection is crucial for conservation and to make informed management decisions. We show that including important environmental variables when analyzing heritability is key to understanding the dynamics of the evolutionary potential of phenotypic traits.

To document

Abstract

With climate change, the effect of global warming on snow cover is expected to cause range expansion and enhance habitat suitability for species at their northern distribution limits. However, how this depends on landscape topography and sex in size-dimorphic species remains uncertain, and is further complicated for migratory animals following climate-driven seasonal resource fluctuations across vast landscapes. Using 11 years of data from a partially migratory ungulate at their northern distribution ranges, the red deer (Cervus elaphus), we predicted sex-specific summer and winter habitat suitability in diverse landscapes under medium and severe global warming. We found large increases in future winter habitat suitability, resulting in expansion of winter ranges as currently unsuitable habitat became suitable. Even moderate warming decreased snow cover substantially, with no suitability difference between warming scenarios. Winter ranges will hence not expand linearly with warming, even for species at their northern distribution limits. Although less pronounced than in winter, summer ranges also expanded and more so under severe warming. Summer habitat suitability was positively correlated with landscape topography and ranges expanded more for females than males. Our study highlights the complexity of predicting future habitat suitability for conservation and management of size-dimorphic, migratory species under global warming.

To document

Abstract

The aerial parts of land plants are covered by a hydrophobic layer called cuticle that limits non-stomatal water loss and provides protection against external biotic and abiotic stresses. The cuticle is composed of polymer cutin and wax comprising a mixture of very-long-chain fatty acids and their derivatives, while also bioactive secondary metabolites such as triterpenoids are present. Fleshy fruits are also covered by the cuticle, which has an important protective role during the fruit development and ripening. Research related to the biosynthesis and composition of cuticles on vegetative plant parts has largely promoted the research on cuticular waxes in fruits. The chemical composition of the cuticular wax varies greatly between fruit species and is modified by developmental and environmental cues affecting the protective properties of the wax. This review focuses on the current knowledge of the cuticular wax biosynthesis during fleshy fruits development, and on the effect of environmental factors in regulation of the biosynthesis. Bioactive properties of fruit cuticular waxes are also briefly discussed, as well as the potential for recycling of industrial fruit residues as a valuable raw material for natural wax to be used in food, cosmetics and medicine.

To document

Abstract

Satellite telemetry is an increasingly utilized technology in wildlife research, and current devices can track individual animal movements at unprecedented spatial and temporal resolutions. However, as we enter the golden age of satellite telemetry, we need an in-Depth understanding of the main technological, species-specific and environmental factors that determine the success and failure of satellite tracking devices across species and habitats. Here, we assess the relative influence of such factors on the ability of satellite telemetry units to provide the expected amount and quality of data by analyzing data from over 3,000 devices deployed on 62 terrestrial species in 167 projects worldwide. We evaluate the success rate in obtaining GPS fixes as well as in transferring these fixes to the user and we evaluate failure rates. Average fix success and data transfer rates were high and were generally better predicted by species and unit characteristics, while environmental characteristics influenced the variability of performance. However, 48% of the unit deployments ended prematurely, half of them due to technical failure. Nonetheless, this study shows that the performance of satellite telemetry applications has shown improvements over time, and based on our findings, we provide further recommendations for both users and manufacturers.

To document

Abstract

Biodiversity of ecosystems is an important driver for the supply of ecosystem services to people. Soils often have a larger biodiversity per unit surface area than what can be observed aboveground. Here, we present what is to our knowledge, the most extensive literature-based key-word assessment of the existing information about the relationships between belowground biodiversity and ecosystem services in European forests. The belowground diversity of plant roots, fungi, prokaryota, soil fauna, and protists was evaluated in relation to the supply of Provisioning, Regulating, Cultural, and Supporting Services. The soil biota were divided into 14 subgroups and the ecosystem services into 37 separate services. Out of the 518 possible combinations of biotic groups and ecosystem services, no published study was found for 374 combinations (72%). Of the remaining 144 combinations (28%) where relationships were found, the large majority (87%) showed a positive relationship between biodiversity of a belowground biotic group and an associated ecosystem service. However, for the majority of the combinations (102) there were only three or fewer studies. The percentage of cases for which a relationship was detected varied strongly between ecosystem service categories with 23% for Provisioning, 8% for Regulating, 40% for Cultural, and 48% for Supporting Services.We conclude that (1) soil biodiversity is generally positively related to ecosystem services in European forests; (2) the links between soil biodiversity and Cultural or Supporting services are better documented than those relating to Provisioning and Regulating services; (3) there is a huge knowledge gap for most possible combinations of soil biota and ecosystem services regarding how a more biodiverse soil biota is associated with a given ecosystem service. Given the drastically increasing societal demand for knowledge of the role of biodiversity in the functioning of ecosystems and the supply of ecosystem services, we strongly encourage the scientific community to conduct well-designed studies incorporating the belowground diversity and the functions and services associated with this diversity.

To document

Abstract

The aim of this study was to investigate differential expression profiles of the brown rot fungus Rhodonia placenta (previously Postia placenta) harvested at several time points when grown on radiata pine (Pinus radiata) and radiata pine with three different levels of modification by furfuryl alcohol, an environmentally benign commercial wood protection system. The entire gene expression pattern of a decay fungus was followed in untreated and modified wood from initial to advanced stages of decay. The results support the current model of a two-step decay mechanism, with the expression of genes related to initial oxidative depolymerization, followed by an accumulation of transcripts of genes related to the hydrolysis of cell wall polysaccharides. When the wood decay process is finished, the fungus goes into starvation mode after five weeks when grown on unmodified radiata pine wood. The pattern of repression of oxidative processes and oxalic acid synthesis found in radiata pine at later stages of decay is not mirrored for the high-furfurylation treatment. The high treatment level provided a more unpredictable expression pattern throughout the incubation period. Furfurylation does not seem to directly influence the expression of core plant cell wall-hydrolyzing enzymes, as a delayed and prolonged, but similar, pattern was observed in the radiata pine and the modified experiments. This indicates that the fungus starts a common decay process in the modified wood but proceeds at a slower pace as access to the plant cell wall polysaccharides is restricted. This is further supported by the downregulation of hydrolytic enzymes for the high treatment level at the last harvest point (mass loss, 14%). Moreover, the mass loss does not increase during the last weeks. Collectively, this indicates a potential threshold for lower mass loss for the high-furfurylation treatment. IMPORTANCE Fungi are important decomposers of woody biomass in natural habitats. Investigation of the mechanisms employed by decay fungi in their attempt to degrade wood is important for both the basic scientific understanding of ecology and carbon cycling in nature and for applied uses of woody materials. For wooden building materials, long service life and carbon storage are essential, but decay fungi are responsible for massive losses of wood in service. Thus, the optimization of durable wood products for the future is of major importance. In this study, we have investigated the fungal genetic response to furfurylated wood, a commercial environmentally benign wood modification approach that improves the service life of wood in outdoor applications. Our results show that there is a delayed wood decay by the fungus as a response to furfurylated wood, and new knowledge about the mechanisms behind the delay is provided.

Abstract

Faecal contamination is one of the major factors affecting biological water quality. In this study, we investigated microbial taxonomic diversity of faecally polluted lotic ecosystems in Norway. These ecosystems comprise tributaries of drinking water reservoirs with moderate and high faecal contamination levels, an urban creek exposed to extremely high faecal pollution and a rural creek that was the least faecally polluted. The faecal water contamination had both anthropogenic and zoogenic origins identified through quantitative microbial source tracking applying host‐specific Bacteroidales 16S rRNA genetic markers. The microbial community composition revealed that Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes (70–90% relative abundance) were the most dominant bacterial phyla, followed by Firmicutes, especially in waters exposed to anthropogenic faecal contamination. The core archaeal community consisted of Parvarchaeota (mainly in the tributaries of drinking water reservoirs) and Crenarchaeota (in the rural creek). The aquatic microbial diversity was substantially reduced in water with severe faecal contamination. In addition, the community compositions diverge between waters with dominant anthropogenic or zoogenic pollution origins. These findings present novel interpretations of the effect of anthropo‐zoogenic faecal water contamination on microbial diversity in lotic ecosystems.

Abstract

The regulation and labeling scheme for PDO, PGI and TSG was set up in Norway in 2002, modeled on corresponding systems for geographical indications (GIs) in the European Union. The implementation of GI in Norway was demanding, causing administrators, producers, consultants and others to make a significant and all-round effort to adapt the scheme to the Norwegian food culture and the Norwegian food culture to the scheme. This chapter probes the theme of this mutual adaptation work and its consequences. Norway makes up the food-cultural context in this study, whereas Tørrfisk fra Lofoten (Stockfish from Lofoten (SfL)) is used as a specific case of a GI product. SfL was selected as unit for analysis mainly because it is also registered as a third-country GI product in the European Union. Including the Norway/EU dimension makes it possible to consider not only the local and national levels but also the multilevel dimension and complexity of GI systems as part of the analysis – making the power within, and the consequences of, the adaptation work even more complex and intriguing. The analysis is based on diverse forms of empirical material, such as document studies of laws, policy documents, other documents and interviews with people responsible for working out product regulations in producer organizations. Interviews have also been conducted with key informants representing public administrative bodies administering the regulation. The analysis is not dedicated to any specific methodological or theoretical tools but takes inspiration from an adapted set of perspectives to describe and understand the cultural adaptation work of GI schemes and products. The conclusion is that the evolution of GI in Norway, with SfL as the case study, can be understood as a chain of adaptations and adaptive practices necessary to unite the dynamic that occurs in modern global regulations’ ordering of the cultural status of traditional local products. The consequences of this food-cultural adaptation work give voice to and empower local actors and subordinate groups, but they can also be seen as instruments that hamper democratic forms of development.

To document

Abstract

The emissions of nitrous oxide (N2O) and leaching of nitrate (NO3) from agricultural cropping systems have considerable negative impacts on climate and the environment. Although these environmental burdens are less per unit area in organic than in non-organic production on average, they are roughly similar per unit of product. If organic farming is to maintain its goal of being environmentally friendly, these loadings must be addressed. We discuss the impact of possible drivers of N2O emissions and NO3 leaching within organic arable farming practice under European climatic conditions, and potential strategies to reduce these. Organic arable crop rotations are generally diverse with the frequent use of legumes, intercropping and organic fertilisers. The soil organic matter content and the share of active organic matter, soil structure, microbial and faunal activity are higher in such diverse rotations, and the yields are lower, than in non-organic arable cropping systems based on less diverse systems and inorganic fertilisers. Soil mineral nitrogen (SMN), N2O emissions and NO3 leaching are low under growing crops, but there is the potential for SMN accumulation and losses after crop termination, harvest or senescence. The risk of high N2O fluxes increases when large amounts of herbage or organic fertilisers with readily available nitrogen (N) and degradable carbon are incorporated into the soil or left on the surface. Freezing/thawing, drying/rewetting, compacted and/or wet soil and mechanical mixing of crop residues into the soil further enhance the risk of high N2O fluxes. N derived from soil organic matter (background emissions) does, however, seem to be the most important driver for N2O emission from organic arable crop rotations, and the correlation between yearly total N-input and N2O emissions is weak. Incorporation of N-rich plant residues or mechanical weeding followed by bare fallow conditions increases the risk of NO3 leaching. In contrast, strategic use of deep-rooted crops with long growing seasons or effective cover crops in the rotation reduces NO3 leaching risk. Enhanced recycling of herbage from green manures, crop residues and cover crops through biogas or composting may increase N efficiency and reduce N2O emissions and NO3 leaching. Mixtures of legumes (e.g. clover or vetch) and non-legumes (e.g. grasses or Brassica species) are as efficient cover crops for reducing NO3 leaching as monocultures of non-legume species. Continued regular use of cover crops has the potential to reduce NO3 leaching and enhance soil organic matter but may enhance N2O emissions. There is a need to optimise the use of crops and cover crops to enhance the synchrony of mineralisation with crop N uptake to enhance crop productivity, and this will concurrently reduce the long-term risks of NO3 leaching and N2O emissions.

Abstract

Over the past few decades, there has been increasing interest in recording landscape change. Monitoring programmes have been established to measure the scope, direction and rate of change, and assess the consequences of changes for multiple interests, such as biodiversity, cultural heritage and recreation. The results can provide feedback for multiple sectors and policy domains. Political interests may change over time, but long-term monitoring demands long-term funding. This requires that monitoring programmes remain relevant and cost-efficient. In this paper, we document experiences from 20 years of the Norwegian Monitoring Programme for Agricultural Landscapes—the ‘3Q Programme’. We explain how data availability and demands for information have changed over time, and how the monitoring programme has been adapted to remain relevant. We also discuss how methods of presentation influence the degree of knowledge transfer to stakeholders, in particular to policy makers.

To document

Abstract

For a diverse pollinator fauna it is important that pollen and nectar are available over the entire summer at spatially relevant scales. Semi-natural hay meadows are among the most important sources of flower resources for pollinators, but the resources are strongly affected by the timing of mowing. Management recommendations for hay meadows often prescribe late mowing on order to allow undisturbed flowering during most of the summer. Traditional practices, however, often include also earlier mowing. We investigate the link between the temporal variation of flower resources and traditional mowing practices of semi-natural hay meadows in a low-intensity agricultural landscape in Romania. In early August, we botanically surveyed meadows that were cut early, intermediately, or late in the season. We recorded all herb species, their phenological stage, and the number of reproductive units of each species. Data were analysed using DCA, LM and GLM. Plant species richness and composition are not affected by the time of mowing, but different sets of species flower in semi-natural grasslands with different mowing regimes. In August the proportion of species flowering and flower density are highest in the early-mown meadows due to re-flowering after mowing. Analyses of phenological stages indicate that late-mown meadows are the main pollen and nectar sources in July, whereas meadows mown early are the main resource from August to the end of the season. The results demonstrate that for pollinator conservation, heterogeneous mowing times within a landscape need to be encouraged when possible, and that strict focus on late mowing may lead to shortage of flower resources late in the summer. Studies of low-intensity agriculture has a great potential for learning about management methods that can be used in other parts of the world where traditional practices have been lost. Such studies can thereby contribute with important knowledge to manage global pollinator loss.

To document

Abstract

Understanding how drivers of change affect ecosystem services (ES) is of great importance. Indicators of ES can be developed based on biophysical measures and be used to investigate the service flow from ecosystems to socio-ecological systems. However, the ES concept is multivariate and the use of normalized composite indicators reduces complexity and facilitates communication between science and policy. The aim of this study is to analyze how land use change affects ES and species richness and how the effects are modified by environmental factors by using composite indicators based on biophysical indicators. Using multivariate and regression analyses, we analyze the effect of grazing management abandonment in semi-natural grasslands in Norway on six ES: nutrient cycling, pollination, forage quality, aesthetics and global and regional climate regulation in addition to species richness along soil and climate gradients. Nutrient cycling, forage quality, regional climate regulation, aesthetics and species richness are larger in managed compared to abandoned grasslands. There are trade-offs among ES as different management strategies provide various ES and these trade-offs vary along environmental gradients. Management policies that aim to conserve ES need to have conservation goals that are context dependent, should recognize ES trade-offs and be adapted to local conditions.

To document

Abstract

Early detection provides the best way to prevent introduction and establishment of alien plant pathogens. Amplification of DNA by PCR has revolutionized the detection and monitoring of plant pathogens. Most of those assays rely on the amplification of a fraction of the genome of the targeted species. With the availability of whole genomes for a growing number of fungi and oomycetes it is becoming possible to compare genomes and discover regions that are unique to a target organism. This study has applied this pipeline to develop a set of hierarchical TaqMan real‐time PCR detection assays targeting DNA of all four Phytophthora ramorum lineages, and a closely related species, P. lateralis. Nine assays were generated: three targeting DNA of all P. ramorum lineages, one for each lineage of P. ramorum, one for P. lateralis and one targeting DNA of P. ramorum and P. lateralis. These assays were very accurate and sensitive, ranging from 98.7% to 100% detection accuracy of 2–10 gene copies of the targeted taxa from pure cultures or inoculated tissues. This level of sensitivity is within the lowest theoretical limit of detection of DNA. It is expected that these assays will be useful because of their high level of specificity and the ease with which they can be multiplexed because of the inherent flexibility in primer and probe design afforded by their lack of conservation in non‐target species.

To document

Abstract

Fusarium langsethiae is one of the common Fusarium species infecting small grain cereals in the Nordic region and the UK. It is usually described as a weak pathogen, and with a strong preference for oats, although no studies have yet addressed the explanations for this at the microscopic level. Using microscope techniques we have studied the early steps of colonization of oat and wheat grain by F. langsethiae particularly addressing the role of pollen in the infection process and the fungal ability to penetrate plant cell wall. The aim was to better understand its non-aggressive colonization picture and why oat is preferred over wheat as a host. Spray inoculated oat and wheat plants were scored for fungal progression at 3, 6, 10 and 14 days post inoculation (dpi) using light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Fungal hyphae entered the grain at the apex, or along the sides in the overlapping zone between palea wings and lemma, then spread basipetally and laterally, with a clear directional growth towards the caryopsis. Hyphal growth was clearly aided by the presence of pollen. On oat proliferating hyphae developed a variety of penetration structures on all internal surfaces. F. langsethiae infection on wheat progressed along the same routes, however slower and overall with less hyphal mass. Interestingly, hyphae closely associated to the wheat caryopsis seemed to undergo degradation, and profuse conidiation was observed at 14 dpi. Explanations for the differences in F. langsethiae colonization of oat versus wheat are suggested in light of the results.

To document

Abstract

The predicted and ongoing climate warming is expected to affect many aspects of plant development. We analysed data from a 31-year series of observations (1985–2016) on spring phenology and flowering and fruiting performance of three plum cultivars in an experimental orchard at Ås in southeast Norway (59° 40′N; 10° 50′E). Regression analyses revealed a trend of increasing March and April temperature during the study period that was highly significantly (P <  0.001) negatively correlated with the date of full bloom (FB). On average for all cultivars, blooming was advanced by 10 days over the study period. August and September temperature, which also increased significantly during the study period, was closely positively correlated with the amount of flowering in the subsequent spring and also interacted with early spring temperature in advancing blooming time. Investigation of the time of floral initiation in two of the studied plum cultivars revealed that the transition to reproductive development took place in early to mid-August. This finding strongly suggests that the close positive correlation between August-September temperature and the amount of flowering in plum observed in this and other studies, is causally linked to a specific physiological effect of elevated temperature on the flower bud formation process. Increasing March and April temperatures during the last 30 years has advanced blooming and spring phenology in plum and the resulting extension of the growing season has led to increasing fruit size at harvest. We conclude that so far, the ongoing climate warming appears to have been positive for plum production in the cool Nordic environment. However, an increasing risk of frost associated with earlier blooming will represent a potential negative effect of continued warming.

To document

Abstract

Background: Global warming is going to affect both agricultural production and carbon storage in soil worldwide. Given the complexity of the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum, in situ experiments of climate warming are necessary to predict responses of plants and emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) from soils. Arrays of infrared (IR) heaters have been successfully applied in temperate and tropical agro-ecosystems to produce uniform and large increases in canopy surface temperature across research plots. Because this method had not yet been tested in the Arctic where consequences of global warming on GHG emission are expected to be largest, the objective of this work was to test hexagonal arrays of IR heaters to simulate a homogenous 3 °C warming of the surface, i.e. canopy and visible bare soil, of five 10.5-m2 plots in an Arctic meadow of northern Norway. Results: Our results show that the IR warming setup was able to simulate quite accurately the target + 3 °C, thereby enabling us to simulate the extension of the growing season. Meadow yield increased under warming but only through the lengthening of the growing season. Our research also suggests that, when investigating agricultural systems on the Arctic, it is important to start the warming after the vegetation is established,. Indeed, differential emergence of meadow plants impaired the homogeneity of the warming with patches of bare soil being up to 9.5 °C warmer than patches of vegetation. This created a pattern of soil crusting, which further induced spatial heterogeneity of the vegetation. However, in the Arctic these conditions are rather rare as the soil exposed by snow melt is often covered by a layer of senescent vegetation which shelters the soil from direct radiation. Conclusions: Consistent continuous warming can be obtained on average with IR systems in an Arctic meadow, but homogenous spatial distribution requires that the warming must start after canopy closure.

To document

Abstract

Horses use human-made shelters actively during inclement weather, but the costs of building shelters may be high and owners use blankets or rugs on horses instead. The aim of the study was to investigate how wearing a blanket might affect the shelter seeking behaviour of horses under coastal arctic winter conditions. Could blankets make shelters redundant? During different winter weather conditions, seventeen horses had a full-neck blanket of their size put on and were released in a test paddock. There, horses were given free choice between staying outdoors, going into a heated shelter compartment or into a non-heated shelter compartment. An observer scored horse’s location and behaviour using instantaneous sampling every minute for 1 h. Each horse was tested 2–12 days but only once per day. Detailed weather data (precipitation, wind and temperature) were continuously recorded by a weather station at the site. In general, horses with blankets still used the shelter and were observed inside in (mean per horse) 20.6% of total observations. Horses spent more time inside shelters on days with rain and wind (39.7% of tot obs) compared to on days with wind only (11.8% of tot obs, P = 0.05). Small coldblood horses were more active, spending more time in movement than large coldblood and large warmblood horses (P = 0.01). In conclusion, wearing blankets reduced the impact of inclement weather, but did not make the shelter redundant for horses, under Nordic winter conditions.

To document

Abstract

Both enzymatic or oxidative carotenoids cleavages can often occur in nature and produce a wide range of bioactive apocarotenoids. Considering that no detailed information is available in the literature regarding the occurrence of apocarotenoids in microalgae species, the aim of this study was to study the extraction and characterization of apocarotenoids in four different microalgae strains: Chlamydomonas sp. CCMP 2294, Tetraselmis chuii SAG 8-6, Nannochloropsis gaditana CCMP 526, and Chlorella sorokiniana NIVA-CHL 176. This was done for the first time using an online method coupling supercritical fluid extraction and supercritical fluid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. A total of 29 different apocarotenoids, including various apocarotenoid fatty acid esters, were detected: apo-12’-zeaxanthinal, β-apo-12’-carotenal, apo-12-luteinal, and apo-12’-violaxanthal. These were detected in all the investigated strains together with the two apocarotenoid esters, apo-10’-zeaxanthinal-C4:0 and apo-8’-zeaxanthinal-C8:0. The overall extraction and detection time for the apocarotenoids was less than 10 min, including apocarotenoids esters, with an overall analysis time of less than 20 min. Moreover, preliminary quantitative data showed that the β-apo-8’-carotenal content was around 0.8% and 2.4% of the parent carotenoid, in the C. sorokiniana and T. chuii strains, respectively. This methodology could be applied as a selective and efficient method for the apocarotenoids detection.

To document See dataset

Abstract

Utilisable crude protein (uCP), methane (CH4) production and other fermentation parameters were analysed in vitro for a diet in which grass silage was replaced by different levels of seaweed protein fractions prepared from three seaweed species: Saccharina latissima, Alaria esculenta and Palmaria palmata. Ten fractions from these three species in which the protein content had been increased and the salt content reduced by simple processing were tested, with inclusion levels in the diet based on the nitrogen content of the fractions. Following an extraction procedure, four fractions from Saccharina latissima, three from Alaria esculenta and one from Palmaria palmata, were gradually included in the diet by replacing high quality silage with approximately 0, 0.15, 0.30 and 0.45 g/g DM, while two high-protein fractions of Palmaria palmata were tested at replacement levels of 0, 0.075, 0.15 and 0.225 g/g DM. To estimate fermentation parameters, 500 mg of each diet were incubated in bottles with 60 mL buffered rumen fluid. Estimated uCP increased linearly with increasing replacement rate of grass silage with seaweed protein fractions (from 158 g/kg DM to 206 g/kg DM on average for all fractions). Increasing protein fraction from the brown seaweed Saccharina latissima in the diet significantly increased true organic matter digestibility (OMD) (from on average 0.786 to 0.821). Organic matter digestibility decreased with increasing level of Alaria esculenta fractions (from on average 0.785 to 0.733), which also gave a linear decrease in CH4 production (from on average 45.3 to 38.5 mL/g organic matter). As a result of decreased CH4 production and OMD, total volatile fatty acid concentration decreased with increasing level of Alaria esculenta fractions (from on average 69.5 to 63.0 mmol/L). Thus, positive and species-specific effects of seaweed on estimated uCP and fermentation parameters were observed in vitro when protein fractions remaining after an extraction procedure on seaweed partly replaced grass silage in the feed ration.

To document

Abstract

Shallot (Allium cepa var. aggregatum) is an important vegetable crop belonging to the genus Allium. The present study attempted to develop an efficient droplet-vitrification cryopreservation method for shallot ‘10603’ shoot tips. In vitro stock shoots were maintained on Murashige and Skoog (1962) medium (MS) supplemented with 30 g L-1 sucrose, 0.5 mg L-1 BAP, 0.1 mg L-1 NAA and 8 g L-1 agar (pH=5.8). Shoot tips (2.0-3.0 mm in length) were excised from 4-week-old stock shoots and stepwise precultured with increased sucrose concentrations from 0.3 to 0.5 M, each concentration for 1 day. The precultured shoot tips were then loaded for 20 min with a solution composed of 2 M glycerol and 0.5 M sucrose, before exposure to PVS3 for 3 h at room temperature. Dehydrated shoot tips were transferred onto aluminum foils (2×0.8 cm), prior to direct immersion into liquid nitrogen (LN) for cryostorage. For thawing, frozen aluminum foils were moved from LN and immediately transferred into unloading solution composed of liquid MS containing 1.2 M sucrose. After incubation at room temperature for 20 min, shoot tips were post-cultured on solidified MS medium containing 0.3 M sucrose for 2 days and then transferred onto a recovery medium for shoot regrowth. With this procedure, 94% shoot tips survived, and 58% shoot tips regenerated into shoots following cryopreservation.

To document See dataset

Abstract

Aerial surfaces of plants are covered by a waxy cuticle protecting plants from excessive water loss and UV light. In the present study, composition and morphology of cuticular waxes of northern wild berry species bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L.), lingonberry (V. vitis-idaea L.), bog bilberry (V. uliginosum L.) and crowberry (Empetrum nigrum L.) were investigated. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) revealed differences in epicuticular wax morphology, and gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS) analysis confirmed variation in chemical composition of cuticular waxes between the berry species. The dominant compounds in bilberry and lingonberry cuticular waxes were triterpenoids, while fatty acids and alkanes were the dominant ones in bog bilberry and crowberry, respectively. Wax extracted by supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) from industrial press cakes of bilberry and lingonberry contained linoleic acid and γ-linolenic acid as the dominant compounds. Furthermore, in vitro sun protection factor (SPF) of berry waxes depicted good UV-B absorbing capacities.

To document

Abstract

This paper presents the water vapour sorption behaviour of degraded archaeological oak (Quercus robur L.) and the influence of methyltrimethoxysilane treatment on hygroscopicity. Wood samples (archaeological and undegraded recent oak) were treated with methyltrimethoxysilane using an oscillating pressure method. Moisture properties of the samples were determined using a dynamic vapour sorption system, and the surface area and porosity of treated and untreated waterlogged wood, previously dried using different methods, were characterised using a nitrogen sorption method. It was found that the silane modification resulted in a decrease in the equilibrium moisture content of archaeological oak samples from 23.7 to 19.4% for heartwood and from 23.3 to 10.0% for sapwood, respectively. After correction for silane content, however, the maximum equilibrium moisture content of the treated samples was 23.6% for heartwood and 21% for sapwood, which points rather at a bulking mechanism than chemical modification by silane. The results of the surface area and porosity measurements indicate that methyltrimethoxysilane is deposited in the cell wall and thus helps to preserve the microstructure of archaeological waterlogged wood.

Abstract

In studies of consumption of local food specialties individuals' personality are rarely included. In this article we want to expand and give nuances to the understanding of what characterizes these consumers and ask: Are there any common personality traits, or personal characteristics of these consumers? We make use of the Big Five personality model to unpack the relation between individual's personality and choices of local food specialties. This model consists of the following five personal traits: Extraversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Neuroticism, Openness to Experience. These personality traits are hidden but through questions regarding behavior the traits may be retrieved. In order to construct latent variables to represent measures of these traits, we apply Item Response Theory (IRT). Socioeconomic variables are combined with personality traits in logistic regression models to find the connection between personality and choice of Norwegian local food specialties. The results show that in all models the latent variable Openness to Experience is a significant predictor for choice of local food specialties. This personality trait was one of the most important predictors in all the choices made by the individuals. Openness to Experience is characterized by fantasy, aesthetic sensitivity, attentiveness to inner feelings, preference for variety, and intellectual curiosity.

To document

Abstract

Despite the scientific evidence that more plants and less animal-based food is more sustainable, policy interventions to reduce meat consumption are scarce. However, campaigns for meat free days in school and office canteens have spread globally over the last years. In this paper, we look at the Norwegian Armed Forces’ attempt to introduce the Meatless Monday campaign in their camps, and we evaluate the implementation process as well as the effect of the campaign on soldiers. Qualitative interviews with military staff indicate that lack of conviction about benefits of meat reduction, and the fact that kitchen staff did not feel ownership to the project, partly explain why vegetarian measures were not fully implemented in all the camps. A multivariate regression analysis with survey data from soldiers indicate that those who have experienced meat free days in the military kitchen are more prone to claim that joining the military has given them a more positive view on vegetarian food. Furthermore, the survey gives evidence that stated willingness to eat more vegetarian food is higher among soldiers who believe in the environmental and health benefits of meat reduction.

To document

Abstract

This study evaluates MODIS snow cover characteristics for large number of snowmelt runoff events in 145 catchments from 9 countries in Europe. The analysis is based on open discharge daily time series from the Global Runoff Data Center database and daily MODIS snow cover data. Runoff events are identified by a base flow separation approach. The MODIS snow cover characteristics are derived from Terra 500 m observations (MOD10A1 dataset, V005) in the period 2000–2015 and include snow cover area, cloud coverage, regional snowline elevation (RSLE) and its changes during the snowmelt runoff events. The snowmelt events are identified by using estimated RSLE changes during a runoff event. The results indicate that in the majority of catchments there are between 3 and 6 snowmelt runoff events per year. The mean duration between the start and peak of snowmelt runoff events is about 3 days and the proportion of snowmelt events in all runoff events tends to increase with the maximum elevation of catchments. Clouds limit the estimation of snow cover area and RSLE, particularly for dates of runoff peaks. In most of the catchments, the median of cloud coverage during runoff peaks is larger than 80%. The mean minimum RSLE, which represents the conditions at the beginning of snowmelt events, is situated approximately at the mean catchment elevation. It means that snowmelt events do not start only during maximum snow cover conditions, but also after this maximum. The mean RSLE during snowmelt peaks is on average 170 m lower than at the start of the snowmelt events, but there is a large regional variability.

To document

Abstract

Ongoing global warming is now affecting migratory cycles in a large variety of taxa in seasonally variable environments. Disruption of migratory systems can cause population decline and affect ecosystem function across the globe. It is therefore urgent to understand the drivers of migration and how the different fitness limitations of the sexes affect migration, but studies seldom considered the full annual cycle. We analysed the annual migration cycle of 237 red deer (Cervus elaphus) in Norway and investigate how different seasonal limitations affected the variation in a suite of migration characteristics. We found fundamental differences in migration phenology between seasons, and migratory traits were much more variable in males. Spring migratory movements were characterized by longer distance roamed, lower speed, lasted longer, more frequent use of stopovers, timing was more synchronized and coincided with onset of plant growth, and with higher daily activity levels. Timing of autumn migration was more variable and not closely related to cease of plant growth. Our study emphasizes the benefits of studying the full annual cycle to gain further insight into the migration process, and how understanding the limitations of the full annual migration process of both sexes is critical for conservation purposes.

To document

Abstract

Conventions and policies for biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation state the need for increased protection, restoration and climate change adaptation of forests. Much degraded land may be targeted for large-scale forest restoration, yet challenges include costs, a shortage of regeneration material and the need for restored forests to serve as a resource for communities. To ensure ecosystem function for the future, forest restoration programs must: (1) learn from the past; (2) integrate ecological knowledge; (3) advance regeneration techniques and systems; (4) overcome biotic and abiotic disturbances and (5) adapt for future forest landscapes. Historical forest conditions, while site-specific, may help to identify the processes that leave long-term legacies in current forests and to understand tree migration biology/population dynamics and their relationship with climate change. Ecological theory around plant–plant interactions has shown the importance of negative (competition) and positive (facilitation) interactions for restoration, which will become more relevant with increasing drought due to climate change. Selective animal browsing influences plant–plant interactions and challenges restoration efforts to establish species-rich forests; an integrated approach is needed to simultaneously manage ungulate populations, landscape carrying capacity and browse-tolerant regeneration. A deeper understanding of limiting factors that affect plant establishment will facilitate nursery and site preparation systems to overcome inherent restoration challenges. Severe anthropogenic disturbances connected to global change have created unprecedented pressure on forests, necessitating novel ecological engineering, genetic conservation of tree species and landscape-level approaches that focus on creating functional ecosystems in a cost-effective manner.

To document

Abstract

The study aimed to explore whether digestibility by cows of whole crop wheat silage harvested at two different dough stages of maturity was impaired due to its content of whole kernels. Wheat was harvested at early (ED) and soft-to-hard (SHD) dough and preserved as roundbale silage. After five months of storage, half of silage from each maturity stage was processed using a roller mill. Early dough silages contained 334 g dry matter (DM)/kg and 110 g starch/kg DM whereas SHD silages contained 423 g DM/kg and 254 g starch/kg DM. Total tract apparent digestibility and milk production by dairy cows was studied in a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement of silages harvested at the two maturity stages, either unprocessed or processed before feeding. Eight dairy cows were assigned to two Latin squares with four 3-week periods. Diets consisted of wheat silages offered ad libitum as the sole forage supplemented with 7.5 kg concentrates. Cows consumed on average 14.1 kg DM of wheat silage, 0.6 kg DM more of SHD than of ED silage (P <  0.001), and 0.4 kg DM more of processed than of unprocessed silage (P <  0.001). Apparent organic matter digestibility of wheat silage, calculated by difference, was 0.62 and 0.60 (P =  0.02) for ED and SHD respectively, and the respective starch digestibility was 0.98 and 0.99 (P =  0.02). There was no main effect (P >  0.20) of processing on total tract digestibility for any nutrient, but a weak interaction (P =  0.08) suggesting that starch digestibility was slightly higher in unprocessed than in processed wheat silage from SHD with an opposite tendency for ED. Daily yields of protein and lactose were higher, and milk yield tended to be higher (P =  0.07), with processed than with unprocessed silage from ED, as expected due to higher forage intake, whereas no effect of processing was found in SHD silage, in spite of higher intake. Soft-to-hard dough diets contained a high load of starch plus sugar compared with fibre. This might have influenced the rate and extent of ruminal neutral detergent fibre digestion. It is concluded that starch in wheat kernels harvested at the soft-to-hard dough stage or earlier, at a DM concentration in wheat silage up to 430 g/kg, is completely digested in dairy cows without processing.

To document

Abstract

Increasing global levels of meat consumption are a threat to the environment and to human health. To identify measures that may change consumption patterns towards more plant-based foods, it is necessary to improve our understanding of the causes behind the demand for meat. In this paper we use data from 137 different countries to identify and assess factors that influence meat consumption at the national level using a cross-country multivariate regression analysis. We specify either total meat or ruminant meat as the dependent variable and we consider a broad range of potential drivers of meat consumption. The combination of explanatory variables we use is new for this type of analysis. In addition, we estimate the relative importance of the different drivers. We find that income per capita followed by rate of urbanisation are the two most important drivers of total meat consumption per capita. Income per capita and natural endowment factors are major drivers of ruminant meat consumption per capita. Other drivers are Western culture, Muslim religion, female labour participation, economic and social globalisation and meat prices. The main identified drivers of meat demand are difficult to influence through direct policy intervention. Thus, acting indirectly on consumers’ preferences and consumption habits (for instance through information, education policy and increased availability of ready-made plant based products) could be of key importance for mitigating the rise of meat consumption per capita all over the world.

To document See dataset

Abstract

There is a large potential in Europe for valorization in the vegetable food supply chain. For example, there is occasionally overproduction of tomatoes for fresh consumption, and a fraction of the production is unsuited for fresh consumption sale (unacceptable color, shape, maturity, lesions, etc.). In countries where the facilities and infrastructure for tomato processing is lacking, these tomatoes are normally destroyed, used as landfilling or animal feed, and represent an economic loss for producers and negative environmental impact. Likewise, there is also a potential in the tomato processing industry to valorize side streams and reduce waste. The present paper provides an overview of tomato production in Europe and the strategies employed for processing and valorization of tomato side streams and waste fractions. Special emphasis is put on the four tomato-producing countries Norway, Belgium, Poland, and Turkey. These countries are very different regards for example their climatic preconditions for tomato production and volumes produced, and represent the extremes among European tomato producing countries. Postharvest treatments and applications for optimized harvest time and improved storage for premium raw material quality are discussed, as well as novel, sustainable processing technologies for minimum waste and side stream valorization. Preservation and enrichment of lycopene, the primary health promoting agent and sales argument, is reviewed in detail. The European volume of tomato postharvest wastage is estimated at >3 million metric tons per year. Together, the optimization of harvesting time and preprocessing storage conditions and sustainable food processing technologies, coupled with stabilization and valorization of processing by-products and side streams, can significantly contribute to the valorization of this underutilized biomass.

To document See dataset

Abstract

Coastal erosion is an issue of major concern for coastal managers and is expected to increase in magnitude and severity due to global climate change. This paper analyzes the potential consequences of climate change on coastal erosion (e.g., impacts on beaches, wetlands and protected areas) by applying a Regional Risk Assessment (RRA) methodology to the North Adriatic (NA) coast of Italy. The approach employs hazard scenarios from a multi-model chain in order to project the spatial and temporal patterns of relevant coastal erosion stressors (i.e., increases in mean sea-level, changes in wave height and variations in the sediment mobility at the sea bottom) under the A1B climate change scenario. Site-specific environmental and socio-economic indicators (e.g., vegetation cover, geomorphology, population) and hazard metrics are then aggregated by means of Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) with the aim to provide an example of exposure, susceptibility, risk and damage maps for the NA region. Among seasonal exposure maps winter and autumn depict the worse situation in 2070–2100, and locally around the Po river delta. Risk maps highlight that the receptors at higher risk are beaches, wetlands and river mouths. The work presents the results of the RRA tested in the NA region, discussing how spatial risk mapping can be used to establish relative priorities for intervention, to identify hot-spot areas and to provide a basis for the definition of coastal adaptation and management strategies.

To document

Abstract

Efficient digestate dewatering is crucial to reduce the volume and transportation cost of solid residues from anaerobic digestion (AD) plants. Large variations in dewatered cake solids have been reported and predictive models are therefore important in design and operation of such plants. However, current predictive models lack validation across several digestion substrates, pre-treatments and full-scale plants. In this study, we showed that thermogravimetric analysis is a reliable prediction model for dewatered cake solids using digestates from 15 commercial full-scale plants. The tested digestates originated from different substrates, with and without the pre-AD thermal hydrolysis process (THP). Moreover, a novel combined physicochemical parameter (C/N•ash) characterizing different digestate blends was identified by multiplying the C/N ratio with ash content of the dried solids. Using samples from 22 full-scale wastewater, food waste and co-waste plants, a linear relationship was found between C/N•ash and predicted cake solids for digestates with and without pre-AD THP. Pre-AD THP improved predicted cake solids by increasing the amount of free water. However, solids characteristics like C/N ratio and ash content had a more profound influence on the predicted cake solids than pre-AD THP and type of dewatering device. Finally, C/N•ash was shown to have a linear relationship to cake solids and reported polymer dose from eight full-scale pre-AD THP plants. In conclusion, we identified the novel parameter C/N•ash which can be used to predict dewatered cake solids regardless of dewatering device and sludge origin.

To document

Abstract

Tree mortality from insect infestations can significantly reduce carbon storage in forest soils. In subarctic birch forests (Betula pubescens), ecosystem C cycling is largely affected by recurrent outbreaks of defoliating geometrid moths (Epirrita autumnata, Operophtera brumata). Here, we show that soil C stocks in birch forests across Fennoscandia did not change up to 8 years after moth outbreaks. We found that a decrease in woody fine roots was accompanied by a lower soil CO2 efflux rate and a higher soil N availability following moth outbreaks. We suggest that a high N availability and less ectomycorrhiza likely contributed to lowered heterotrophic respiration and soil enzymatic activity. Based on proxies for decomposition (heterotrophic respiration, phenol oxidase potential activity), we conclude that a decrease in decomposition is a prime cause why soil C stocks of mountain birch forest ecosystems have not changed after moth outbreaks. Compared to disturbed temperate and boreal forests, a CO2-related positive feedback of forest disturbance on climate change might therefore be smaller in subarctic regions. Betula pubescens; disturbed subarctic forests; Epirrita autumnata; heterotrophic soil respiration; Operophtera brumata; root biomass; soil carbon sequestration; soil CO2 efflux; soil enzyme activity; structural equation modelling.

To document

Abstract

Sorption could be a way to concentrate nutrients in diluted waste streams to bring more nutrients back to agriculture. However, the sorbed nutrients must be plant available. The aim of this work was to investigate how plant available nitrogen (N) added sorbed to zeolite and is compared to conventionally added N. First, 15N labelled ammonium was sorbed to a sorbent, zeolite, in an aqueous solution. Then, the fertilizer effect was compared to the ammonium fertilizer and added the conventional way, with and without zeolite. A pot experiment with two soil types (chernozem and sandy soil) and wheat as test crop was used. Results indicated that the fertilizer effect of sorbed ammonium in the first growth cycle is about 50% of ammonium added conventionally. The sorbent itself had a positive effect in sandy soil, but not in chernozem. N uptake without added N was higher in chernozem than in sandy soil and more N from fertilizer was left in the soil after the experiment in the chernozem than in the sandy soil. In conclusion, ammonium added sorbed is plant available to some extent, but less so than conventionally added ammonium.

To document

Abstract

The objective of this study was to determine and compare the sugar profile, distribution in fruits and leaves and sink-source relationship in three strawberry (‘Favette’, ‘Alba’ and ‘Clery’) and three blueberry cultivars (‘Bluecrop’, ‘Duke’ and ‘Nui’) grown in organic (OP) and integrated production systems (IP). Sugar analysis was done using high-performance anion-exchange chromatography (HPAEC) with pulsed amperometric detection (PAD). The results showed that monosaccharide glucose and fructose and disaccharide sucrose were the most important sugars in strawberry, while monosaccharide glucose, fructose, and galactose were the most important in blueberry. Source-sink relationship was different in strawberry compared to blueberry, having a much higher quantity of sugars in its fruits in relation to leaves. According to principal component analysis (PCA), galactose, arabinose, and melibiose were the most important sugars in separating the fruits of strawberries from blueberries, while panose, ribose, stachyose, galactose, maltose, rhamnose, and raffinose were the most important sugar component in leaves recognition. Galactitol, melibiose, and gentiobiose were the key sugars that split out strawberry fruits and leaves, while galactose, maltotriose, raffinose, fructose, and glucose divided blueberry fruits and leaves in two groups. PCA was difficult to distinguish between OP and IP, because the stress-specific responses of the studied plants were highly variable due to the different sensitivity levels and defense strategies of each cultivar, which directly affected the sugar distribution. Due to its high content of sugars, especially fructose, the strawberry cultivar ‘Clery’ and the blueberry cultivars ‘Bluecrop’ and ‘Nui’ could be singled out in this study as being the most suitable cultivars for OP.

To document

Abstract

The presence of pollinators in orchards is crucial to obtain high fruit set and yields of fruits. Despite the fact that sour cherry cultivars are mainly autogamous, insect visits are still of great importance for their propagation. In order to attract and reward pollinators, flowers have to provide adequate nourishment to them. Besides nectar, bees gather pollen, which are a prerequisite for normal colony growth and development of their broods. ‘Oblačinska’ sour cherry (Prunus cerasus L.), an autochthonous cultivar, is the most highly planted cultivar in Serbian commercial orchards. Since the cultivar is actually a mixture of different clones, variability in numerous traits and, particularly, its yields has been reported. Since phenolic compounds are considered to be fundamental pollen chemicals, the aim of this study was to determine the phenolic compounds profile in pollen collected from 15 ‘Oblačinska’ sour cherry clones with varying productivity levels. Solid phase extraction (SPE), combined with ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with a diode array detector and a triple quadruple mass spectrometer (UHPLC DAD-MS/MS), was used to analyse the polyphenolic profile of pollen. Among 23 components quantified, rutin was the most abundant phenolic compound. It ranged from 98.49 (clone V/P) to 358.83 mg kg-1 (clone III/9) and was observed to contribute, on average, 56% of the total phenolic compounds in pollen as quantified in different ‘Oblačinska’ sour cherry clones. In addition to this compound, clones contained significant amounts of chlorogenic acid (12.92%), astragalin (8.19%), and hyperoside (5.59%) as well. Cluster analysis grouped pollen clones in four different clusters, which showed that clones III/9, IV/8, and V/P had unique phenolic profiles. Despite the significant differences among the studied clones, the contents of chlorogenic acid, rutin, naringin, hyperoside, astralgin, and phlorizin were distinguishable between the clusters.

Abstract

Sweet cherry production worldwide is grown in the open land. Production technique is more or less similar with scions grafted on dwarfing and semi-dwarfing rootstock and trees arranged in single rows. Sweet cherries can be grown in Norway in areas with suitable local climatic conditions up to 60°N. All orchards have high-density planting systems and are rain covered. Rain-induced fruit cracking in cherries remains a problem at an international level. The most common systems in Norway are multibay high tunnel systems and retractable rain covers. Covered orchard tunnel systems offer not only the advantage of rain exclusion but also allow additional manipulation of the environment, tree growth and fruiting. In general, sweet cherry high tunnel production gives increased yields of larger fruit than in the open land, but investment costs are higher. One more advanced way of producing sweet cherries is to grow the trees in small pots in greenhouses. A greenhouse gives opportunity to control the temperature regime and in that way program the maturity of the fruits. Research is conducted to test different cultivars, rootstocks, training methods in high-density production systems (1 tree m-2) with different fertigation levels. Preliminary results show that the yield potential is much higher than in the open land with larger fruits. Challenges are to optimize the water and nutrition supply and adjust the temperatures to obtain large yields of high quality fruits during different periods of the season.

To document

Abstract

Despite sophisticated mathematical models, the theory of microevolution is mostly treated as a qualitative rather than a quantitative tool. Numerical measures of selection, constraints, and evolutionary potential are often too loosely connected to theory to provide operational predictions of the response to selection. In this paper, we study the ability of a set of operational measures of evolvability and constraint to predict short‐term selection responses generated by individual‐based simulations. We focus on the effects of selective constraints under which the response in one trait is impeded by stabilizing selection on other traits. The conditional evolvability is a measure of evolutionary potential explicitly developed for this situation. We show that the conditional evolvability successfully predicts rates of evolution in an equilibrium situation, and further that these equilibria are reached with characteristic times that are inversely proportional to the fitness load generated by the constraining characters. Overall, we find that evolvabilities and conditional evolvabilities bracket responses to selection, and that they together can be used to quantify evolutionary potential on time scales where the G‐matrix remains relatively constant.

To document

Abstract

We examine the origins, implications, and consequences of yield-based N fertilizer management. Yield-based algorithms have dominated N fertilizer management of corn (Zea mays) in the United States for almost 50 yr, and similar algorithms have been used all over the world to make fertilizer recommendations for other crops. Beginning in the mid-1990s, empirical research started to show that yield-based rules-of-thumb in general are not a useful guide to fertilizer management. Yet yield-based methods continue to be widely used, and are part of the principal algorithms of nearly all current “decision tool” software being sold to farmers for N management. We present details of the theoretical and empirical origins of yield-based management algorithms, which were introduced by George Stanford (1966, 1973) as a way to make N fertilizer management less reliant on data. We show that Stanford’s derivation of his “1.2 Rule” was based on very little data, questionable data omissions, and negligible and faulty statistical analysis. We argue that, nonetheless, researchers, outreach personnel, and private-sector crop management consultants were obliged to give some kind of N management guidance to farmers. Since data generation is costly, it is understandable that a broad, “ball park” rule-of-thumb was developed, loosely based on agronomic principles. We conclude by suggesting that technology changes now allow for exciting new possibilities in data-intensive fertilizer management research, which may lead to more efficient N management possibilities in the near future.

To document

Abstract

In organic plant production, nitrogen (N) availability is often a growth-limiting factor. Under such conditions, off-farm waste-derived nutrient resources may be an alternative to meet the N demand. In this study, we described a production method for a shrimp shell (SS) pellet Product and evaluated the N fertiliser effect and N recovery efficiency (NRE) in a controlled climate pot experiment with potatoes. The experiment was set up with low, medium and high N levels of SS pellets in comparison with a standard mineral fertiliser (MF) at 9°C, 15°C and 21°C. In a separate study, we examined the loss of N as N2O from SS pellets in comparison with SS powder in a 100 days incubation experiment. The results documented the possibility to formulate a fertiliser pellet product from SS, and that SS pellets were an effective N fertiliser in potato at all Growth temperatures. Nevertheless, a slightly slower development and lower tuber yields than for MF indicated a delayed N-availability from SS pellet fertiliser. NRE after use of MF was around 90%, and about 70% for the different levels of SS pellets. The incubation experiment showed a higher rate of available N for SS powder than for pellets (67% and 39%, respectively) after 100 days of incubation at constant humidity and temperature. This difference was attributed to a lower degree of dissolved materials and a higher rate of denitrification and N2O emissions for pellets than for powder, probably caused by differences in physical properties, occurrence of anoxic hotspots and higher microbial activity around and inside the SS pellets.

To document

Abstract

To meet increasing demand for animal protein, swine have been raised in large Chinese farms widely, using antibiotics as growth promoter. However, improper use of antibiotics has caused serious environmental and health risks, in particular Antimicrobial resistance (AMR). This paper reviews the consumption of antibiotics in swine production as well as AMR and the development of novel antibiotics or alternatives in China. The estimated application of antibiotics in animal production in China accounted for about 84240 tons in 2013. Overuse and abuse of antibiotics pose a great health risk to people through food-borne antibiotic residues and selection for antibiotic resistance. China unveiled a national plan to tackle antibiotic resistance in August 2016, but more support is needed for the development of new antibiotics or alternatives like plant extracts. Antibiotic resistance has been a major global challenge, so international collaboration between China and Europe is needed.

To document

Abstract

The recalcitrance bottleneck of lignocellulosic materials presents a major challenge for biorefineries, including second-generation biofuel production. Because of their abundance in the northern hemisphere, softwoods, such as Norway spruce, are of major interest as a potential feedstock for biorefineries. In nature, softwoods are primarily degraded by basidiomycetous fungi causing brown rot. These fungi employ a non-enzymatic oxidative system to depolymerize wood cell wall components prior to depolymerization by a limited set of hydrolytic and oxidative enzymes. Here, it is shown that Norway spruce pretreated with two species of brown-rot fungi yielded more than 250% increase in glucose release when treated with a commercial enzyme cocktail and that there is a good correlation between mass loss and the degree of digestibility. A series of experiments was performed aimed at mimicking the brown-rot pretreatment, using a modified version of the Fenton reaction. A small increase in digestibility after pretreatment was shown where the aim was to generate reactive oxygen species within the wood cell wall matrix. Further experiments were performed to assess the possibility of performing pretreatment and saccharification in a single system, and the results indicated the need for a complete separation of oxidative pretreatment and saccharification. A more severe pretreatment was also completed, which interestingly did not yield a more digestible material. It was concluded that a biomimicking approach to pretreatment of softwoods using brown-rot fungal mechanisms is possible, but that there are additional factors of the system that need to be known and optimized before serious advances can be made to compete with already existing pretreatment methods.

To document

Abstract

Actors who seek to restrict scientists’ academic freedom often believe they have legitimate reasons for doing so, and this belief often relies on misunderstandings regarding the nature and rationale of freedom in science. This chapter explains principles of freedom in science, why these principles matter, and how they can be protected when interests conflict. The authors distinguish between four freedoms in science: freedom of subject, freedom of source, freedom of interpretation, and freedom of speech. These freedoms each serve their scientific purpose and are – each to their own degree – important to the legitimacy of science. The authors argue that the freedoms of interpretation and speech, especially, must be absolute in science. This chapter delves particularly into the freedom of speech, because interested parties frequently attack this freedom when they fight over knowledge presented to the public. The authors draw on their experiences from the Norwegian scientific community to exemplify how problems of academic freedom may arise and eventually be solved.

Abstract

Global Forest Watch (GFW) provides a global map of annual forest cover loss (FCL) produced from Landsat imagery, offering a potentially powerful tool for monitoring changes in forest cover. In managed forests, FCL primarily provides information on commercial harvesting. A semi-autonomous method for providing data on the location and attributes of harvested sites at a landscape level was developed which could significantly improve the basis for catchment management, including risk mitigation. FCL in combination with aerial images was used for detecting and characterising harvested sites in a 1607 km2 mountainous boreal forest catchment in south-central Norway. Firstly, the forest cover loss map was enhanced (FCLE) by removing small isolated forest cover loss patches that had a high probability of representing commission errors. The FCLE map was then used to locate and assess sites representing annual harvesting activity over a 17-year period. Despite an overall accuracy of >98%, a kappa of 0.66 suggested only a moderate quality for detecting harvested sites. While errors of commission were negligible, errors of omission were more considerable and at least partially attributed to the presence of residual seed trees on the site after harvesting. The systematic analysis of harvested sites against aerial images showed a detection rate of 94%, but the area of the individual harvested site was underestimated by 29% on average. None of the site attributes tested, including slope, area, altitude, or site shape index, had any effect on the accuracy of the area estimate. The annual harvest estimate was 0.6% (standard error 12%) of the productive forest area. On average, 96% of the harvest was carried out on flat to moderately steep terrain (<40% slope), 3% on steep terrain (40% to 60% slope), and 1% on very steep terrain (>60% slope). The mean area of FCLE within each slope category was 1.7 ha, 0.9 ha, and 0.5 ha, respectively. The mean FCLE area increased from 1.0 ha to 3.2 ha on flat to moderate terrain over the studied period, while the frequency of harvesting increased from 249 to 495 sites per year. On the steep terrain, 35% of the harvesting was done with cable yarding, and 62% with harvester-forwarder systems. On the very steep terrain (>60% slope), 88% of the area was harvested using cable yarding technology while harvesters and forwarders were used on 12% of the area. Overall, FCL proved to be a useful dataset for the purpose of assessing harvesting activity under the given conditions.

To document

Abstract

Premise of the Study Fungal diversity (richness) trends at large scales are in urgent need of investigation, especially through novel situations that combine long‐term observational with environmental and remotely sensed open‐source data. Methods We modeled fungal richness, with collections‐based records of saprotrophic (decaying) and ectomycorrhizal (plant mutualistic) fungi, using an array of environmental variables across geographical gradients from northern to central Europe. Temporal differences in covariables granted insight into the impacts of the shorter‐ versus longer‐term environment on fungal richness. Results Fungal richness varied significantly across different land‐use types, with highest richness in forests and lowest in urban areas. Latitudinal trends supported a unimodal pattern in diversity across Europe. Temperature, both annual mean and range, was positively correlated with richness, indicating the importance of seasonality in increasing richness amounts. Precipitation seasonality notably affected saprotrophic fungal diversity (a unimodal relationship), as did daily precipitation of the collection day (negatively correlated). Ectomycorrhizal fungal richness differed from that of saprotrophs by being positively associated with tree species richness. Discussion Our results demonstrate that fungal richness is strongly correlated with land use and climate conditions, especially concerning seasonality, and that ongoing global change processes will affect fungal richness patterns at large scales.

To document

Abstract

Habitat discontinuity, anthropogenic disturbance, and overharvesting have led to population fragmentation and decline worldwide. Preservation of remaining natural genetic diversity is crucial to avoid continued genetic erosion. Brown trout (Salmo trutta L.) is an ideal model species for studying anthropogenic influences on genetic integrity, as it has experienced significant genetic alterations throughout its natural distribution range due to habitat fragmentation, overexploitation, translocations, and stocking. The Pasvik River is a subarctic riverine system shared between Norway, Russia, and Finland, subdivided by seven hydroelectric power dams that destroyed about 70% of natural spawning and nursing areas. Stocking is applied in certain river parts to support the natural brown trout population. Adjacent river segments with different management strategies (stocked vs. not stocked) facilitated the simultaneous assessment of genetic impacts of dams and stocking based on analyses of 16 short tandem repeat loci. Dams were expected to increase genetic differentiation between and reduce genetic diversity within river sections. Contrastingly, stocking was predicted to promote genetic homogenization and diversity, but also potentially lead to loss of private alleles and to genetic erosion. Our results showed comparatively low heterozygosity and clear genetic differentiation between adjacent sections in nonstocked river parts, indicating that dams prevent migration and contribute to genetic isolation and loss of genetic diversity. Furthermore, genetic differentiation was low and heterozygosity relatively high across stocked sections. However, in stocked river sections, we found signatures of recent bottlenecks and reductions in private alleles, indicating that only a subset of individuals contributes to reproduction, potentially leading to divergence away from the natural genetic state. Taken together, these results indicate that stocking counteracts the negative fragmentation effects of dams, but also that stocking practices should be planned carefully in order to ensure long‐term preservation of natural genetic diversity and integrity in brown trout and other species in regulated river systems.

To document

Abstract

Climate change has altered global precipitation patterns and has led to greater variation in hydrological conditions. Wetlands are important globally for their soil carbon storage. Given that wetland carbon processes are primarily driven by hydrology, a comprehensive understanding of the effect of inundation is needed. In this study, we evaluated the effect of water level (WL) and inundation duration (ID) on carbon dioxide (CO2) fluxes by analysing a 10‐year (2008–2017) eddy covariance dataset from a seasonally inundated freshwater marl prairie in the Everglades National Park. Both gross primary production (GPP) and ecosystem respiration (ER) rates showed declines under inundation. While GPP rates decreased almost linearly as WL and ID increased, ER rates were less responsive to WL increase beyond 30 cm and extended inundation periods. The unequal responses between GPP and ER caused a weaker net ecosystem CO2 sink strength as inundation intensity increased. Eventually, the ecosystem tended to become a net CO2 source on a daily basis when either WL exceeded 46 cm or inundation lasted longer than 7 months. Particularly, with an extended period of high‐WLs in 2016 (i.e., WL remained >40 cm for >9 months), the ecosystem became a CO2 source, as opposed to being a sink or neutral for CO2 in other years. Furthermore, the extreme inundation in 2016 was followed by a 4‐month postinundation period with lower net ecosystem CO2 uptake compared to other years. Given that inundation plays a key role in controlling ecosystem CO2 balance, we suggest that a future with more intensive inundation caused by climate change or water management activities can weaken the CO2 sink strength of the Everglades freshwater marl prairies and similar wetlands globally, creating a positive feedback to climate change.

To document

Abstract

Aim Polar and alpine ecosystems appear to be particularly sensitive to increasing temperatures and the altered precipitation patterns linked to climate change. However, little is currently known about how these environmental drivers may affect edaphic organisms within these ecosystems. In this study, we examined communities of plant root‐associated fungi (RAF) over large biogeographical scales and along climatic gradients in the North Atlantic region in order to gain insights into the potential effects of climate variability on these communities. We also investigated whether selected fungal traits were associated with particular climates. Locations Austria, Scotland, Mainland Norway, Iceland, Jan Mayen and Svalbard. Taxa Root fungi associated with the ectomycorrhizal and herbaceous plant Bistorta vivipara. Methods DNA metabarcoding of the ITS1 region was used to characterize the RAF of 302 whole plant root systems, which were analysed by means of ordination methods and linear modelling. Fungal spore length, width, volume and shape, as well as mycelial exploration type (ET) of ectomycorrhizal (ECM) basidiomycetes were summarized at a community level. Results The RAF communities exhibited strong biogeographical structuring, and both compositional variation as well as fungal species richness correlated with annual temperature and precipitation. In accordance with general island biogeography theory, the least species‐rich RAF communities were found on Jan Mayen, a remote and small island in the North Atlantic Ocean. Fungal spores tended to be more elongated with increasing latitude. We also observed a climate effect on which mycelial ET was dominating among the ectomycorrhizal fungi. Main conclusions Both geographical and environmental variables were important for shaping root‐associated fungal communities at a North Atlantic scale, including the High Arctic. Fungal OTU richness followed general biogeographical patterns and decreased with decreasing size and/or increasing isolation of the host plant population. The probability of possessing more elongated spores increases with latitude, which may be explained by a selection for greater dispersal capacity among more isolated host plant populations in the Arctic.

Abstract

The objective of this study was to assess the use of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) data for modelling tree density and canopy height in young boreal forests stands. The use of UAV data for such tasks can be beneficial thanks to the high resolution and reduction of the time spent in the field. This study included 29 forest stands, within which 580 clustered plots were measured in the field. An area-based approach was adopted to which random forest models were fitted using the plot data and the corresponding UAV data and then applied and validated at plot and stand level. The results were compared to those of models based on airborne laser scanning (ALS) data and those from a traditional field-assessment. The models based on UAV data showed the smallest stand-level RMSE values for mean height (0.56 m) and tree density (1175 trees ha−1 ). The RMSE of the tree density using UAV data was 50% smaller than what was obtained using ALS data (2355 trees ha−1 ). Overall, this study highlighted that the use of UAVs for the inventory of forest stands under regeneration can be beneficial both because of the high accuracy of the derived data analytics and the time saving compared to traditional field assessments.

To document

Abstract

Cereal cyst nematode (CCN, Heterodera avenae) presents severe challenges to wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) production worldwide. An investigation of the interaction between wheat and CCN can greatly improve our understanding of how nematodes alter wheat root metabolic pathways for their development and could contribute to new control strategies against CCN. In this study, we conducted transcriptome analyses of wheat cv. Wen 19 (Wen19) by using RNA-Seq during the compatible interaction with CCN at 1, 3 and 8 days past inoculation (dpi). In total, 71,569 transcripts were identified, and 10,929 of them were examined as differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in response to CCN infection. Based on the functional annotation and orthologous findings, the protein phosphorylation, oxidation-reduction process, regulation of transcription, metabolic process, transport, and response process as well as many other pathways previously reported were enriched at the transcriptional level. Plant cell wall hydrolysis and modifying proteins, auxin biosynthesis, signalling and transporter genes were up-regulated by CCN infection to facilitate penetration, migration and syncytium establishment. Genes responding to wounding and jasmonic acid stimuli were enriched at 1 dpi. We found 16 NBS-LRR genes, 12 of which were down-regulated, indicating the repression of resistance. The expression of genes encoding antioxidant enzymes, glutathione S-transferases and UDP-glucosyltransferase was significantly up-regulated during CCN infection, indicating that they may play key roles in the compatible interaction of wheat with CCN. Taken together, the results obtained from the transcriptome analyses indicate that the genes involved in oxidation-reduction processes, induction and suppression of resistance, metabolism, transport and syncytium establishment may be involved in the compatible interaction of Wen 19 with CCN. This study provides new insights into the responses of wheat to CCN infection. These insights could facilitate the elucidation of the potential mechanisms of wheat responses to CCN.

To document

Abstract

Soil fertility building measures should be explored at the short and long-term for an adequate evaluation of their impact on sustaining yields and of its environmental consequences in crop rotations under organic farming. For such a purpose, process-based crop models are potential useful tools to complement and upscale field observations under a range of soil and climatic conditions. Organic rotations differ in soil fertility dynamics in comparison to conventional farming but very few modelling studies have explicitly considered this specific situation. Here, we evaluate the FASSET model to predict the effects of different fertility management options in organic crop rotations on dry matter (DM) and nitrogen (N) yield, and soil N dynamics, including N2O emissions. For that, we used data from seven short and long-term field experiments in different agro-climatic environments in Europe (Norway, Denmark, Poland, Switzerland, Italy and Spain) including climate, soil and management data. Soil fertility building measures covered fertilization type, green manures, cover crops, tillage, crop rotation composition and management (organic or conventional). Model performance was evaluated by comparing observed and simulated values of crop DM and N yield, soil mineral N and nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions using five complementary statistical indices. The model closely reproduced most observed DM and N yield trends and effects of soil fertility building measures in arable crops, particularly in cereals. Contrary, yields of grass-clover, especially N, were generally reproduced with low degree of accuracy. Model performance for simulating soil mineral N depended on site and the availability of soil and management information. Although high uncertainty was associated to the simulation of soil N dynamics, differences of cumulative N2O emissions between fertility building measures were reflected in model outputs. Aspects for modelling improvement include cover crop growth and decomposition, biological N fixation (BNF) or weed and pest soil-crop interactions. It is concluded that FASSET can be successfully used to investigate the impact of fertilization type, green manures, tillage and management (organic or conventional) on crop productivity and to a certain extent on soil N dynamics including soil N2O emissions at different soils and climates in organic farming in Europe.

To document

Abstract

Background To improve plant phosphorus (P)-acquisition efficiency to secure sustainable food production, an important step is to increase the concentration of plantavailable P in the rhizosphere. Root exudation of organic anions is a key strategy in mobilizing less-available soil P. Scope This review covers how organic anions (carboxylates) mobilize soil P and research methodologies applied. It then discusses the root-release of organic anions induced by low P availability and their contribution to soil P mobilization and plant P acquisition, and highlights the impact, challenges and perspectives in this research area. Conclusions The release of organic anions is increased considerably in some plant species, but very little in others under low P availability. Rhizosphere organic anions play important roles in increasing plantavailable P, but the contribution is greatly affected by many factors. In future research, improved and ecologically meaningful root exudation sampling methods, the use of mature leaf manganese (Mn) concentration or total 14C exudation as a proxy for rhizosphere carboxylates, case-by-case field experiments, molecular mechanisms underpinning organic anion biosynthesis and efflux under low P availability warrant further attention. Finally, carbon costs and multiple root trait combinations (e.g., root hairs plus root exudation) should be considered in crop breeding programs to generate more P-efficient cultivars.

Abstract

Measures designed to control erosion serve two purposes: on site (reduce soil loss) and off site (reduce sediment delivery to streams and lakes). While these objectives often coincide or at least are complementary, they could result in different priority areas when spatial planning is concerned. Prioritising for soil loss reduction at the field level will single out areas with high erosion risk. When sediment flux at the catchment scale is concerned, sediment pathways need to be identified in ex ante analyses of soil conservation plans. In Norway, different subsidy schemes are in place to reduce the influx of solutes and sediments to the freshwater system. Financial support is given to agronomic measures, the most important of which is reduced autumn tillage where areas with higher erosion risk receive higher subsidies. The objectives of this study are (1) to assess the use of an index of connectivity to estimate specific sediment yields, and (2) to test whether conservation measures taken in critical source areas are more effective than those taken at where erosion risk levels are the highest. Different modelling approaches are combined to assess soil loss at catchment level from sheet and gully erosion and soil losses through the drainage system. A calibration on two parameters gave reasonable results for annual soil loss. This model calibration was then used to quantify the effectiveness of three strategies for spatial prioritisation: according to hydrological connectivity, sheet erosion risk level and estimated specific sediment yield. The latter two strategies resulted in a maximum reduction in total soil loss due to reduced autumn tillage of 10%. Both model performance and the effectiveness of the different prioritisation strategies varied between the study catchments.

To document

Abstract

Key message Volume predictions of sample trees are basic inputs for essential National Forest Inventory (NFI) estimates. The predicted volumes are rarely comparable among European NFIs because of country-specific dbh-thresholds and differences regarding the inclusion of the tree parts stump, stem top, and branches. Twenty-one European NFIs implemented harmonisation measures to provide consistent stem volume predictions for comparable forest resource estimates. Context The harmonisation of forest information has become increasingly important. International programs and interest groups from the wood industry, energy, and environmental sectors require comparable information. European NFIs as primary source of forest information are well-placed to support policies and decision-making processes with harmonised estimates. Aims The main objectives were to present the implementation of stem volume harmonisation by European NFIs, to obtain comparable growing stocks according to five reference definitions, and to compare the different results. Methods The applied harmonisation approach identifies the deviations between country-level and common reference definitions. The deviations are minimised through country-specific bridging functions. Growing stocks were calculated from the un-harmonised, and harmonised stem volume estimates and comparisons were made. Results The country-level growing stock results differ from the Cost Action E43 reference definition between − 8 and + 32%. Stumps and stem tops together account for 4 to 13% of stem volume, and large branches constitute 3 to 21% of broadleaved growing stock. Up to 6% of stem volume is allocated below the dbh-threshold. Conclusion Comparable volume figures are available for the first time on a large-scale in Europe. The results indicate the importance of harmonisation for international forest statistics. The presented work contributes to the NFI harmonisation process in Europe in several ways regarding comparable NFI reporting and scenario modelling.

To document

Abstract

The present work studied the effect of the year of harvest, the genotype and the cultivation method on the nutritional quality and the allergen content of three plum cultivars. The common quality parameters and the phytochemical content strongly varied with the year and the cultivar, while the system of cultivation had a minor influence. In particular, ascorbic acid greatly decreased in 2016 compared to 2015, while polyphenols were higher in 2016. The health-promoting compounds, and particularly phenolics, were significantly correlated with the antioxidant capacity. Finally, the allergen content was strongly dependent on the content of flavan-3-ols, suggesting that this class of phenolics is determinant in influencing the allergen content in plums. Results showed that the major factor affecting the quality and the concentration of natural metabolites of plum, in addition to the diversity among genotypes, is the year-to-year variation, whereas the system of cultivation plays a marginal role.

To document See dataset

Abstract

This study presents a novel application of machine learning to deliver optimised, multi-model combinations (MMCs) of Global Hydrological Model (GHM) simulations. We exemplify the approach using runoff simulations from five GHMs across 40 large global catchments. The benchmarked, median performance gain of the MMC solutions is 45% compared to the best performing GHM and exceeds 100% when compared to the ensemble mean (EM). The performance gain offered by MMC suggests that future multi-model applications consider reporting MMCs, alongside the EM and intermodal range, to provide end-users of GHM ensembles with a better contextualised estimate of runoff. Importantly, the study highlights the difficulty of interpreting complex, non-linear MMC solutions in physical terms. This indicates that a pragmatic approach to future MMC studies based on machine learning methods is required, in which the allowable solution complexity is carefully constrained.

To document

Abstract

The fungal genera Metarhizium and Beauveria are considered as both entomopathogens and endophytes; they are able to colonize a wide variety of plants and can cause increased plant growth and protect plants against pests. In view of the need for new biological methods for plant protection and how promising and little studied candidates entomopathogens are, the aim of this research was to evaluate the potential of two isolates of Metarhizium robertsii (ESALQ 1622) and Beauveria bassiana (ESALQ 3375) to suppress spider mite Tetranychus urticae population growth and ability to promote growth of bean plants Phaseolus vulgaris after seed treatment, in order to develop an innovative strategy by using these fungi as inoculants to improve both spider mites control and plant growth and yield. In addition, behavioral responses and predation rates of the predatory mite Phytoseiulus persimilis towards fungal treated plants and spider mites from these plants were also evaluated in leaf disc assays to assess potential conflicting effects of the fungal inoculations on overall pest control at higher trophic levels. Seed inoculations by the two isolates of M. robertsii and B. bassiana were done individually and in combinations to evaluate potential benefits of co-inoculants. The results showed a significant reduction in T. urticae populations and improved plant development when inoculated with M. robertsii and B. bassiana individually and in combination. The predatory mite P. persimilis showed no difference in the predation rate on T. urticae from treated and untreated plants even though the predators were most likely to feed on spider mites from fungal treated plants during the first half of the trial, and on spider mites from control plants during the remainder of the trial. Overall, the two fungal isolates have potential as seed inoculants to suppress spider mites in bean and the strategy appears to have no conflict with use of predatory mites. Co-inoculation of both fungal isolates showed no additional benefits compared to single isolate applications under the given test conditions.

To document

Abstract

Fusarium is one of the most diverse fungal genera affecting several crops around the world. This study describes the phylogeny of Fusarium species associated with grains of sorghum and finger millet from different parts of Ethiopia. Forty-two sorghum and 34 finger millet grain samples were mycologically analysed. All of the sorghum and more than 40% of the finger millet grain samples were contaminated by the Fusarium species. The Fusarium load was higher in sorghum grains than that in finger millet grains. In addition, 67 test isolates were phylogenetically analysed using EF-1α and β-tubulin gene primers. Results revealed the presence of eight phylogenetic placements within the genus Fusarium, where 22 of the isolates showed a close phylogenetic relation to the F. incarnatum–equiseti species complex. Nevertheless, they possess a distinct shape of apical cells of macroconidia, justifying the presence of new species within the Fusarium genus. The new species was the most dominant, represented by 33% of the test isolates. The current work can be seen as an important addition to the knowledge of the biodiversity of fungal species that exists within the Fusarium genus. It also reports a previously unknown Fusarium species that needs to be investigated further for toxin production potential.

To document

Abstract

The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of wheeling with two different wheel loads (1.7 and 2.8 Mg) and contrasting wheeling intensities (1x and 10x) on the bearing capacity of a Stagnosol derived from silty alluvial deposits. Soil strength was assessed by laboratory measurements of the precompression stress in topsoil (20 cm) and subsoil (40 and 60 cm) samples. Stress propagation, as well as elastic and plastic deformation during wheeling were measured in the field with combined stress state (SST) and displacement transducers (DTS). We also present results from soil physical analyses (bulk density, air capacity, saturated hydraulic conductivity) and barley yields from the first two years after the compaction. Although the wheel loads used were comparatively small, typical for the machinery used in Norway, the results show that both increased wheel load and wheeling intensity had negative effects on soil physical parameters especially in the topsoil but with similar tendencies also in the subsoil. Stress propagation was detected down to 60 cm depth (SST). The first wheeling was most harmful, but all wheelings led to accumulative plastic soil deformation (DTS). Under the workable conditions in this trial, increased wheeling with a small machine was more harmful to soil structure than a single wheeling with a heavier machine. However, the yields in the first two years after the compaction did not show any negative effect of the compaction.

To document See dataset

Abstract

Interspecific brood parasitism is common in many animal systems. Brood parasites enter the nests of other species and divert host resources for producing their own offspring, which can lead to strong antagonistic parasite–host coevolution. Here, we look at commonalities among social insect species that are victims of brood parasites, and use phylogenetic data and information on geographical range size to predict which species are most probably to fall victims to brood parasites in the future. In our analyses, we focus on three eusocial hymenopteran groups and their brood parasites: (i) bumblebees, (ii) Myrmica ants, and (iii) vespine and polistine wasps. In these groups, some, but not all, species are parasitized by obligate workerless inquilines that only produce reproductive-caste descendants.We find phylogenetic signals for geographical range size and the presence of parasites in bumblebees, but not in ants and wasps. Phylogenetic logistic regressions indicate that the probability of being attacked by one or more brood parasite species increases with the size of the geographical range in bumblebees, but the effect is statistically only marginally significant in ants. However, non-phylogenetic logistic regressions suggest that bumblebee species with the largest geographical range sizes may have a lower likelihood of harbouring social parasites than do hosts with medium-sized ranges. Our results provide new insights into the ecology and evolution of host–social parasite systems, and indicate that host phylogeny and geographical range size can be used to predict threats posed by social parasites, as well to design efficient conservation measures for both hosts and their parasites. This article is part of the theme issue ‘The coevolutionary biology of brood parasitism: from mechanism to pattern’.

To document

Abstract

The study intended to compare repellency of three insecticides on bumble bees and honey bees in Norwegian red clover (Trifolium pratense L.) seed crops, and to examine effects of thiacloprid on bumble bee colony development in the field. The repellency study was carried out in a largescale field trial in SE Norway in 2013. On average for observations during the first week after spraying, 17 and 40% less honey bees (P = .03) and 26 and 20% less bumble bees (P = .36) were observed on plots sprayed with the pyrethroids lambda-cyhalothrin and alpha-cypermethrin, respectively, than on unsprayed control plots. No pollinator repellency was found on plots sprayed with the neonicotinoid thiacloprid. Compared with unsprayed control the seed yield increases were 22% on plots sprayed with thiacloprid vs. 12–13% on plots sprayed with pyrethroids (P = .10). Follow-up studies in 2014–2016 focused on the effect of thiacloprid on bumble bee colony development in commercially reared nests of Bombus terrestris placed into red clover seed crops at the start of flowering. Unsprayed control crops were compared with crops sprayed either at the bud stage or when 18–44% of flower heads were in full bloom. Chemical analyses of adult bumble bees showed that thiacloprid was taken up in bees when crops were sprayed during flowering, but not detected when crops were sprayed at the bud stage. The bumble bees in late-sprayed crops also developed weaker colonies than in unsprayed crops. Dead bees with a high internal concentration of thiacloprid were found in one crop sprayed during the night at 35% flowering. This shows that thiacloprid is not bee-safe if sprayed after anthesis and that spraying has to be conducted at the bud stage to reduce its contamination of nectar and pollen.

To document

Abstract

Convergent evolution of semiochemical use in organisms from different Kingdoms is a rarely described phenomenon. Tree-killing bark beetles vector numerous symbiotic blue-stain fungi that help the beetles colonize healthy trees. Here we show for the first time that some of these fungi are able to biosynthesize bicyclic ketals that are pheromones and other semiochemicals of bark beetles. Volatile emissions of five common bark beetle symbionts were investigated by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. When grown on fresh Norway spruce bark the fungi emitted three well-known bark beetle aggregation pheromones and semiochemicals (exo-brevicomin, endo-brevicomin and trans-conophthorin) and two structurally related semiochemical candidates (exo-1,3-dimethyl-2,9-dioxabicyclo[3.3.1]nonane and endo-1,3-dimethyl-2,9-dioxabicyclo[3.3.1]nonane) that elicited electroantennogram responses in the spruce bark beetle Ips typographus. When grown on malt agar with 13C D-Glucose, the fungus Grosmannia europhioides incorporated 13C into exo-brevicomin and trans-conophthorin. The enantiomeric compositions of the fungus-produced ketals closely matched those previously reported from bark beetles. The production of structurally complex bark beetle pheromones by symbiotic fungi indicates cross-kingdom convergent evolution of signal use in this system. This signaling is susceptible to disruption, providing potential new targets for pest control in conifer forests and plantations.

To document

Abstract

Surface mould growth contributes to the colour changes of outdoor exposed wood over time. Modelling mould growth can thus help visualize wooden facades’ colour development, which can improve facade design and service life. However, existing wood mould models do not consider transient wetting effects that occur outdoors due to precipitation and condensation. To address this, four mould models were evaluated using laboratory experimental data that included exposure to transient wetting. First, the models (the original and the updated VTT model, the biohygrothermal model and the mould resistance design (MRD) model) were evaluated for Scots pine sapwood. For this evaluation, the transient wetting effect was implemented in the models by using hourly wood surface relative humidity (RH), calculated from electrical resistance measurements, as input. This showed that the original and the updated VTT model gave best fit to the experimental data. However, further evaluation of these two models for more wood materials showed that the updated VTT model was sensitive to the choice of material parameters. Large discrepancies occurred when varying the material parameters in the updated VTT model. Finally, different estimates of RH were tested in the original VTT model. Using wood surface RH as input gave best fit to the experimental data, and ambient air RH gave poorest fit. Overall, the results indicate that the original VTT model is fairly reliable and can be used to predict mould growth on wooden claddings exposed to transient wetting as long as the wood surface climate is used as climatic input data.

To document

Abstract

Knowledge about spatiotemporal variability of climate change effect on tree-ring width (TRW) and crown condition is essential to optimize the modelling of future forest ecosystem responses to the changing climate. Geographical differences in the climate–growth relationship are a reflection of the regional climatic conditions mainly. In this study, 175 Picea abies trees from the north-western edge of its geographical distribution in Central Norway were evaluated with respect to geographical and age-dependent differences during the common period of 1950–2015. The results showed that the most significant positive correlations between TRW and the current June temperature were unstable although the temperature increased. The correlations suddenly started to decrease (regardless of the site placement and tree age) at the beginning of the 1990s, but subsequently unexpectedly increased in the 2010s. The superposed epoch analysis revealed longer TRW regeneration of the southern plots (except over-mature trees) after negative pointer years compared to the northern plots. Previous summer temperature and related physiological processes (cone crops, storage of nutrients, etc.) significantly negatively affected P. abies growth in the current year. Additionally, our results showed that the selection of the chronology version (standard or residual) significantly affects the resulting correlations and thus must be carefully considered in dendroclimatological studies. Our main outputs can contribute to better understanding of the climate–growth relationship variability and general prediction of the radial growth.

To document

Abstract

Red clover (Trifolium pratense) grown in mixtures with grasses often constitutes a lower proportion of total yield in spring than in summer growth. A more even red clover proportion between the harvests would benefit forage quality and management at feeding. We investigated whether inclusion of early versus late‐maturing red clover varieties could reduce this disproportionality. In a two‐year field trial harvested three times per season, each of six red clover varieties was grown in two grass mixtures. Rate of phenological development did not differ during spring growth, but did so in regrowth after first and second cuts. Here, the earliest varieties constituted the highest proportion. At all harvests, the early varieties had lower crude protein concentrations and a higher content of neutral detergent fibre (NDF) and indigestible NDF than the late varieties. Clover proportion was higher in swards with a mixture of timothy and meadow fescue than in swards with perennial ryegrass during the first year and lower in the second year. It is concluded that developmental rate should be explored further as a key character for red clover competiveness in spring growth of rapidly elongating grasses.

To document

Abstract

With the ongoing climate change, African rainforests are expected to experience severe drought events in the future. In Africa, the tropical genus Erythrophleum (Fabaceae) includes two forest sister timber tree species displaying contrasting geographical distributions. Erythrophleum ivorense is adapted to wet evergreen Guineo-Congolian forests, whereas E. suaveolens occurs in a wider range of climates, being found in moist dense forests but also in gallery forests under a relatively drier climate. This geographical distribution pattern suggests that the two species might cope differently to drought at the genomic level. Yet, the genetic basis of tolerance response to drought stress in both species is still uncharacterized. To bridge this gap, we performed an RNA-seq approach on seedlings from each species to monitor their transcriptional responses at different levels of drought stress (0, 2 and 6 weeks after stopping watering seedlings). Monitoring of wilting symptoms revealed that E. suaveolens displayed an earlier phenotypic response to drought stress than E. ivorense. At the transcriptomic level, results revealed 2020 (1204 down-regulated/816 up-regulated) and 1495 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in response to drought stress from a total of 67,432 and 66,605 contigs assembled in E. ivorense and E. suaveolens, respectively. After identifying 30,374 orthologs between species, we found that only 7 of them were DEGs shared between species, while 587 and 458 were differentially expressed only in E. ivorense or E. suaveolens, respectively. GO and KEGG enrichment analysis revealed that the two species differ in terms of significantly regulated pathways as well as the number and expression profile of DEGs (Up/Down) associated with each pathway in the two stress stages. Our results suggested that the two studied species react differently to drought. E. suaveolens seems displaying a prompt response to drought at its early stage strengthened by the down-regulation of many DEGs encoding for signaling and metabolism-related pathways. A considerable up-regulation of these pathways was also found in E. ivorense at the late stage of drought, suggesting this species may be a late responder. Overall, our data may serve as basis for further understanding the genetic control of drought tolerance in tropical trees and favor the selection of crucial genes for genetically enhancing drought resistance.

Abstract

A novel method for age-independent site index estimation is demonstrated using repeated single-tree airborne laser scanning (ALS) data. A spruce-dominated study area of 114 km2 in southern Norway was covered by single-tree ALS twice, i.e. in 2008 and 2014. We identified top height trees wall-to-wall, and for each of them we derived based on the two heights and the 6-year period length. We reconstructed past, annual height growth in a field campaign on 31 sample trees, and this showed good correspondence with ALS based heights. We found a considerable increase in site index, i.e. about 5 m in the H40 system, from the old site index values. This increase corresponded to a productivity increase of 62%. This increase appeared to mainly represent a real temporal trend caused by changing growing conditions. In addition, the increase could partly result from underestimation in old site index values. The method has the advantages of not requiring tree-age data, of representing current growing conditions, and as well that it is a cost-effective method with wall-towall coverage. In slow-growing forests and short time periods, the method is least reliable due to possible systematic differences in canopy penetration between repeated ALS scans.

To document

Abstract

Biochar has been shown to reduce nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions from soils, but the effect is highly variable across studies and the mechanisms are under debate. To improve our mechanistic understanding of biochar effects on N2O emission, we monitored kinetics of NO, N2O and N2 accumulation in anoxic slurries of a peat and a mineral soil, spiked with nitrate and amended with feedstock dried at 105 °C and biochar produced at 372, 416, 562 and 796 °C at five different doses. Both soils accumulated consistently less N2O and NO in the presence of high-temperature chars (BC562 and BC796), which stimulated reduction of denitrification intermediates to N2, particularly in the acid peat. This effect appeared to be strongly linked to the degree of biochar carbonisation as predicted by the H:C ratio of the char. In addition, biochar surface area and pH were identified as important factors, whereas ash content and CEC played a minor role. At low pyrolysis temperature, the biochar effect was soil dependent, suppressing N2O accumulation in the mineral soil, but enhancing it in the peat soil. This contrast was likely due to the labile carbon content of low temperature chars, which contributed to immobilise N in the mineral soil, but stimulated denitrification and N2O emission in the peat soil. We conclude that biochar with a high degree of carbonisation, high pH and high surface area is best suited to supress N2O emission from denitrification, while low temperature chars risk supporting incomplete denitrification.

To document

Abstract

When exposed to moisture, wood undergoes swelling and is susceptible to fungal degradation. Chemical modification via oligomeric lactic acid (OLA) treatment has been found to be a promising environmentally friendly solution to this disadvantage. In this study, wood was impregnated with OLA and then variously heat treated to polymerize the OLA in situ. The effect of curing temperature and time on OLA polymerization has been determined chemically. Dimensional stability was examined by water immersion and hygroscopicity measurements and biological decay resistance also evaluated. OLA impregnation followed by heat treatment enhanced wood properties. OLA cure at 160 °C for 48 h resulted in treated wood with greater dimensional stability and biological resistance.

To document

Abstract

Retail food environment is increasingly considered in relation to obesity. This study investigates the impacts of access to supermarkets, the primary source of healthy foods in the United States, on the bodyweight of children. Empirical analysis uses individual-level panel data covering health screenings of public schoolchildren from Arkansas with annual georeferenced business lists, and utilizes the variations of supermarket openings and closings. There is little overall impact in either case. However, supermarket openings are found to reduce the BMI z-scores of low-income children by 0.090 to 0.096 standard deviations. Such impact remains in a variety of robustness exercises. Therefore, improvement in healthy food access could at least help reduce childhood obesity rates among certain population groups.

To document

Abstract

Fungal non-ribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) clusters are spread across the chromosomes, where several modifying enzyme-encoding genes typically flank one NRPS. However, a recent study showed that the octapeptide fusaoctaxin A is tandemly synthesized by two NRPSs in Fusarium graminearum. Here, we illuminate parts of the biosynthetic route of fusaoctaxin A, which is cleaved into the tripeptide fusatrixin A and the pentapeptide fusapentaxin A during transport by a cluster-specific ABC transporter with peptidase activity. Further, we deleted the histone H3K27 methyltransferase kmt6, which induced the production of fusaoctaxin A.

To document

Abstract

We introduce a mathematical model to describe the tritrophic interaction between crop, pest and the pest natural enemy where the release of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) by crop is taken into account. The VOCs may be considered as an indirect defence mechanism of the plant as they attract the pest natural enemies toward the attacked plants. The model dynamics is studied through qualitative analysis and numerical simulations. The factors that may enhance pest disappearance are identified. In particular, we show that VOCs may have a beneficial effect on the environment since their release may be able to stabilize the model dynamics. Specifically, for the parameter values that we have explored, this effect can arise only when both the phenomena of VOCs basic plant release and VOCs plant release due to pest attack are present.

To document

Abstract

We studied the effect of three Pandora neoaphidis isolates from one Sitobion avenae population, three temperatures, and two aphid species namely S. avenae and Rhopalosiphum padi on (i) aphid mortality, (ii) time needed to kill aphids, and (iii) aphid average daily and lifetime fecundity. A total of 38% of S. avenae and 7% of R. padi died and supported fungus sporulation. S. avenae was killed 30% faster than R. padi. Average daily fecundity was negatively affected only in S. avenae inoculated with, but not killed by, P. neoaphidis. Nevertheless, lifetime fecundity of both aphid species inoculated and sporulating with P. neoaphidis was halved compared to lifetime fecundity of surviving aphids in the control. Increased temperature resulted in higher mortality rates but did not consistently affect lethal time or fecundity. Results suggest that (i) temperature effects on virulence differ between isolates, even when obtained within the same host population, and (ii) even though an isolate does not kill a host it may reduce its fecundity. Our findings are important for the understanding of P. neoaphidis epizootiology and for use in pest-natural enemy modelling.

To document See dataset

Abstract

Field and laboratory studies show increased leaching of pesticides through macropores in frozen soil. Fast macropore flow has been shown to reduce the influence of pesticide properties on leaching, but data on these processes are scarce. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of soil freezing and thawing on transport of pesticides with a range of soil sorption coefficients (Kf). To do this we conducted a soil column study to quantify the transport of bromide and five pesticides (2-methyl-4-chlorophenoxyacetic acid, clomazone, boscalid, propiconazole, and diflufenican). Intact topsoil and subsoil columns from two agricultural soils (silt and loam) in southeastern Norway were used in this experiment, and pesticides were applied to the soil surface in all columns. Half the columns were then frozen (−3°C), and the other half were left unfrozen (4°C). Columns were subjected to repeated irrigation events where 25 mm of rainwater was applied during 5 h at each event. Irrigations were followed by 14-d periods of freezing or refrigeration. Percolate was collected and analyzed for pesticides and bromide. Pesticide leaching was up to five orders of magnitude larger from frozen than unfrozen columns. Early breakthrough (<<1 pore volume) of high concentrations was observed for pesticides in frozen columns, indicating that leaching was dominated by preferential flow. The rank order in pesticide leaching observed in this study corresponded to the rank order of mean Kf values for the pesticides, and the results suggest that sorption plays a role in determining leaching losses even in frozen soil.

To document

Abstract

Pasteuria spp. belong to a group of genetically diverse endospore-forming bacteria (phylum: Firmicutes) that are known to parasitize plant-parasitic nematodes and water fleas (Daphnia spp.). Collagen-like fibres form the nap on the surface of endospores and the genes encoding these sequences have been hypothesised to be involved in the adhesion of the endospores of Pasteuria spp. to their hosts. We report a group of 17 unique collagen-like genes putatively encoded by Pasteuria penetrans (strain: Res148) that formed five different phylogenetic clusters and suggest that collagen-like proteins are an important source of genetic diversity in animal pathogenic Firmicutes including Pasteuria. Additionally, and unexpectedly, we identified a putative collagen-like sequence which had a very different sequence structure to the other collagen-like proteins but was similar to the protein sequences in Megaviruses that are involved in host-parasite interactions. We, therefore, suggest that these diverse endospore surface proteins in Pasteuria are involved in biological functions, such as cellular adhesion; however, they are not of monophyletic origin and were possibly obtained de novo by mutation or possibly through selection acting upon several historic horizontal gene transfer events.

Abstract

Norway has a political goal to minimize the loss of cultural heritage due to removal, destruction or decay. On behalf of the national Directorate for Cultural Heritage, we have developed methods to monitor Cultural Heritage Environments. The complementary set of methods includes (1) landscape mapping through interpretation of aerial photographs, including field control of the map data, (2) qualitative and quantitative initial and repeat landscape photography, (3) field recording of cultural heritage objects including preparatory analysis of public statistical data, and (4) recording of stakeholder attitudes, perceptions and opinions. We applied these methods for the first time to the historical clustered farm settlement of Havrå in Hordaland County, West Norway. The methods are documented in a handbook and can be applied as a toolbox, where different monitoring methods or frequency of repeat recording may be selected, dependent on local situations, e.g., on the landscape character of the area in focus.

To document

Abstract

Root and butt-rot (RBR) has a significant impact on both the material and economic outcome of timber harvesting, and therewith on the individual forest owner and collectively on the forest and wood processing industries. An accurate recording of the presence of RBR during timber harvesting would enable a mapping of the location and extent of the problem, providing a basis for evaluating spread in a climate anticipated to enhance pathogenic growth in the future. Therefore, a system to automatically identify and detect the presence of RBR would constitute an important contribution in addressing the problem without increasing workload complexity for the machine operator. In this study we developed and evaluated an approach based on RGB images to automatically detect tree-stumps and classify them as to the absence or presence of rot. Furthermore, since knowledge of the extent of RBR is valuable in categorizing logs, we also classify stumps to three classes of infestation; rot = 0%, 0% < rot < 50% and rot >= 50%. In this work we used deep learning approaches and conventional machine learning algorithms for detection and classification tasks. The results showed that tree-stumps were detected with precision rate of 95% and recall of 80%. Using only the correct output (TP) of the stump detector, stumps without and with root and butt-rot were correctly classified with accuracy of 83.5% and 77.5%. Classifying rot to three classes resulted in 79.4%, 72.4% and 74.1% accuracy for stumps with rot = 0%, 0% < rot < 50% and rot >= 50\%, respectively. With some modifications, the algorithm developed could be used either during the harvesting operation to detect RBR regions on the tree-stumps or as a RBR detector for post-harvest assessment of tree-stumps and logs.

To document

Abstract

1 Ips amitinus arrived in Northern Europe at the beginning of 1900s, although its recent expansions to the northernmost conifers have been rapid. 2 Analyses of recent records, MaxEnt models and regional population size estimates are used to discuss its peculiar range shifts and potential as a forest pest in Northern Europe. 3 Ips amitinus was probably absent in northern glacial refugia for Norway spruce in the Russian plain and northward expansions from its glacial refugia in the Central European mountains may have been slowed down by: (i) ecological barriers of post-glacial dry plains and bogs in Central Europe; (ii) heavy utilization of conifers; and (iii) Allee effects as a result of fragmented forests and an unfavourable climate for a cold-adapted species in the continental lowlands. 4 MaxEnt models predict that I. amitinus may become widespread in the Northern European forests, whereas its populations in the southernmost mountain ranges of Europe may decline in the future. 5 The population levels of I. amitinus in recently invaded northern areas are still lower than those in core areas of Central Europe, although the population development in Central Europe indicates that future bark beetle outbreak periods may boost the I. amitinus populations in Northern Europe as well.

To document

Abstract

Recent studies on using soil enhancer material, such as biochar, provide varying results from a soil hydrological and chemical perspective. Therefore, research focusing on soil-biochar-plant interactions is still necessary to enhance our knowledge on complex effects of biochar on soil characteristics. The present study investigated the changes in soil water content (SWC) and soil respiration (belowground CO2 production) over time during the growth of Capsicum annuum (pepper) in pot experiments. Concurrently, we investigated the influence of grain husk biochar with the amount of 0, 0.5%, 2.5%, and 5.0% (by weight) added to silt loam soil. Pepper plants were grown under natural environmental conditions to better represent field conditions, and additional irrigation was applied. SWC among treatments showed minor changes to precipitation during the beginning of the study while plants were in the growing phase. The highest water holding throughout the experiment was observed in the case of BC5.0. CO2 production increased in biochar amended soils during the first few days of the experiments; while the overall cumulative CO2 production was the highest in control and the lowest in BC2.5 treatments. We used the HYDRUS 1D soil hydrological model to simulate changes in SWC, using the control treatment without biochar as a reference data source for model calibration. The simulated SWC dynamics fitted well the measured ones in all treatments. Therefore, the HYDRUS 1D can be an exceptionally valuable tool to predict the hydrological response of different amount of biochar addition to silt loam soil including plant growth.

To document

Abstract

This study addresses changes in visual appearance of unpainted wood materials exposed outdoors. Specimens of aspen (Populus tremula), Norway spruce (Picea abies), untreated Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris), DMDHEU-modified Scots pine and acetylated Radiata pine (Pinus radiata) were exposed facing south in Ås, Norway for 62 weeks. During this period, mould growth coverage, lightness (L*) and the uniformity of the weather grey colour were assessed. Mould growth coverage was evaluated visually using a rating system. L* and the uniformity were evaluated using image analysis. The increase in mould rating of the wood materials developed in varying speed, but all specimens had reached the maximum rating after 42 weeks. Until then, the changes in L* correlated significantly with the mould rating. However, the specimens continued to darken after they had reached maximum mould rating. DMDHEU was the only material that obtained a more uniform colour as a consequence of the weathering.

To document

Abstract

Mediterranean climate areas are home to highly relevant and distinctive agro-ecosystems, where sustainability is threatened by water scarcity and continuous loss of soil organic carbon. In these systems, recycling strategies to close the loop between crop production (and agrorelated industries) and soil conservation are of special interest in the current context of climate change mitigation. Pyrolysis represents a recycling option for the production of energy and biochar, a carbonaceous product with a wide range of environmental and agronomic applications. Considering that biochar functionality depends on both the original biomass and the pyrolysis conditions, we produced and characterized 22 biochars in order to evaluate their potential to sequester C and modify soil physicochemical properties. The pore size distribution was a function of the original biomass and did not change with the temperature of pyrolysis. The highest number of pores within the size 0.2−30 μm, relevant for plant available water retention, was reached at 600 °C. However, ideal pyrolysis conditions to optimize C stability and hydrologic properties was reached at 400 °C in woody derived biochars, as higher temperatures lead to a nontransient hydrophobicity. This study highlights relevant physicochemical properties of locally derived biochars that can be used to tackle specific challenges in Mediterranean agroecosystems.

To document

Abstract

Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data have gained interest for a variety of remote sensing applications, given the capability of SAR sensors to operate independent of solar radiation and day/night conditions. However, the radiometric quality of SAR images is hindered by speckle noise, which affects further image processing and interpretation. As such, speckle reduction is a crucial pre-processing step in many remote sensing studies based on SAR imagery. This study proposes a new adaptive de-speckling method based on a Gaussian Markov Random Field (GMRF) model. The proposed method integrates both pixel-wised and contextual information using a weighted summation technique. As a by-product of the proposed method, a de-speckled pseudo-span image, which is obtained from the least-squares analysis of the de-speckled multi-polarization channels, is also produced. Experimental results from the medium resolution, fully polarimetric L-band ALOS PALSAR data demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm compared to other well-known de-speckling approaches. The de-speckled images produced by the proposed method maintainthe mean value of the original image in homogenous areas, while preserving the edges of features in heterogeneous regions. In particular, the equivalent number of look (ENL) achieved using the proposed method improves by about 15% and 47% compared to the NL-SAR and SARBM3D de-speckling approaches, respectively. Other evaluation indices, such as the mean and variance of the ratio image also reveal the superiority of the proposed method relative to other de-speckling approaches examined in this study.

To document

Abstract

This study investigated the effect of five different pre-treatment methods (ammonia (NH3), caustic soda (NaOH), dry milling, hot water and steam explosion) for straw for biogas production. The methods were selected based on their suitability for implementation in farm-scale biogas plants. The pre-treatment methods were applied to four different types of straw. Batch anaerobic digestion tests were carried out in bottles at mesophilic temperature (37 ± 1 °C). The straw was analysed for lignin, hemicellulose and cellulose. The results showed large variations in methane production following the different pre-treatment methods. There were also large variations between the pre-treatment methods in their effect on the different types of straw. Pre-treatment with NaOH on barley straw was particularly effective. The results also showed that the shorter the retention time in the reactor, the more important the choice of pre-treatment method. Different pre-treatment methods were found to be optimal, to some extent, for different retention times.

To document See dataset

Abstract

Dairy products are often considered challenging for health due to their saturated fatty acid content, yet they also provide beneficial nutrients, some unique to ruminants. The degree of fat saturation is influenced by cows’ diets; grazing pasture enhances unsaturated fatty acids in milk compared with conserved forages. These benefits can be partially mimicked by feeding oilseeds and here we consider the impact on milk composition in a 2 × 2 trial, feeding rapeseed to both conventional and organic cows, finding very differing lipid metabolism in the 4 experimental groups. For milk fat, benefits of organic rather than conventional management (+39% PUFA, +24% long chain omega-3 and +12% conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)) appear complementary to those from feeding rape (+43% MUFA, +10% PUFA, +40% CLA), combining to produce milk 16% lower SFA and higher in MUFA (43%), PUFA (55%) and CLA (59%). Organic and rape feeding provide less omega-3 PUFA than the conventional and control diets, yet contrary to expectations, together they almost doubled (+94%) the omega-3 concentration in milk, implying a 3.8 fold increase in net transfer from diet into milk. Organic and rape feeding also gave lower trace-elements and antioxidants in milk. Greater understanding of these phenomena might enhance the sustainability of dairying.

To document

Abstract

Liming of acidic soils has been suggested as a strategy to enhance N2O reduction to N2 during heterotrophic denitrification, and mitigate N2O emission from N fertilised soils. However, the mechanisms involved and possible interactions of key soil parameters (NO3− and O2) still need to be clarified. To explore to what extent soil pH controls N2O emissions and the associated N2O/(N2O + N2) product ratio in an acidic sandy soil, we set-up three sequential incubation experiments using an unlimed control (pH 4.1) and a limed soil (pH 6.9) collected from a 50-year liming experiment. Interactions between different NO3− concentrations, N forms (ammonium- and nitrate) and oxygen levels (oxic and anoxic) on the liming effect of N2O emission and reduction were tested in these two sandy soils via direct N2 and N2O measurements. Our results showed 50-year liming caused a significant increase in denitrification and soil respiration rate of the acidic sandy soil. High concentrations of NO3− in soil (>10 mM N in soil solution, equivalent to 44.9 mg N kg−1 soil) almost completely inhibited N2O reduction to N2 (>90%) regardless of the soil pH value. With decreasing NO3− application rate, N2O reduction rate increased in both soils with the effect being more pronounced in the limed soil. Complete N2O reduction to N2 in the low pH sandy soil was also observed when soil NO3− concentration decreased below 0.2 mM NO3−. Furthermore, liming evidently increased both N2O emissions and the N2O/(N2+N2O) product ratio under oxic conditions when supplied with ammonium-based fertiliser, possibly due to the coupled impact of stimulated nitrification and denitrification. Overall, our data suggest that long-term liming has the potential to both increase and decrease N2O emissions, depending on the soil NO3− level, with high soil NO3− levels overriding the assumed direct pH effect on N2O/(N2+N2O) product ratio.

To document

Abstract

The use of blankets in horses is widespread in Northern Europe. However, horses are very adaptable to low temperatures and the practice is questioned because blankets may hamper heat dissipation at high temperatures and also disturb free movement. The aim of the current study was to gain information about horses’ own preferences for wearing or not wearing a blanket under different weather conditions during the seasons. 10 horses usually wearing blankets and 13 horses usually not wearing blankets were kept outside in their paddock for 2 h during different weather conditions. Then, these horses were tested for their preference for wearing blankets (see Mejdell et al., 2016). When only considering air temperature and not the impact of other weather factors, the horses preferred to have the blanket on in 80% and 90% of the test at t < -10 °C in horses usually wearing and not wearing blankets, respectively. As air temperature increased, the preference for keeping the blanket on decreased and at air temperatures > 20 °C, the horses preferred to remove the blanket in all the tests. According to the statistical model, the probability for choosing to have a blanket on increased with increasing wind speed, and also precipitation increased the probability for choosing to have a blanket on. Sunshine however, reduced the probability for choosing to wear a blanket.

Abstract

The objective of this paper was to examine how cutting frequency, silage fermentation patterns and clover performance in grass-clover swards influence the use of inputs and profitability in an organic dairy system. A linear programming model was developed to compare a three-cut and a two-cut system for a model farm in Central Norway, either with restricted or extensive silage fermentation at low or high red clover (Trifolium pratense L.) proportion in the sward, giving 8 different silage types in all. Input-output relations incorporated into the model were derived from a meta-analysis of organic grassland field trials in Norway as well as a silage fermentation experiment, and with feed intakes and milk yields from simulations with the ‘TINE Optifôr’ feed ration planner in the Norfor feed evaluation system. The model maximized total gross margin of farms with 260,000 l milk quota and housing capacity for 45 cows, with separate model versions for each of the 8 silage types. Farmland availability varied from 30 to 70 ha with 40 ha as the basis. Our results suggested that farmland availability and marginal return of a competing barley crop profoundly influenced the profitability of the different silage types. A high clover proportion increased dry matter (DM) yields and was far more important for profitability than the score on the other factors considered at restricted land availabilities. Profits with the three-cut systems were always greater than those with the two-cut systems, the former being associated with greater silage intakes and improved dairy cow performances but lower DM forage yields. Three-cut systems were further favoured as land availability increased and also by a lower marginal return of barley. Although use of an acidifying silage additive improved feed intakes and milk production per cow, the practice reduced total milk production and depressed profit compared to untreated, extensively fermented silage at restrictive land availabilities. With more land available, and in particular at a low marginal return of barley, use of a silage additive was profitable.

Abstract

In the family Orchidaceae, many species have highly specialised floral structures and floral fragrances resulting from interactions with specific pollinators. Olfactory cues are important for the moths to locate orchids at a distance, whereas visual cues are important at a closer range. In this study, we combined a portable air entrainment kit with an automated video monitoring system for collecting volatiles and observing behaviour directly around-the-clock (24 h) in the natural habitat of our target plant–arthropod system, the orchid Platanthera chlorantha and the hawkmoth Sphinx pinastri. We found that P. chlorantha was visited almost exclusively by S. pinastri. All the visits occurred after sunset, principally between sunset and midnight. Soon after midnight, visits dropped to levels recorded at sunset, then declined further towards sunrise. The period with most visits matched the peak production of the terpenoids (Z)-β-ocimene and (E)-β-ocimene. In contrast, linalool, (E)-cinnamyl alcohol and benzyl benzoate emission continued to increase beyond the period of peak visits up to sunrise. Methyl benzoate emissions declined throughout the night from a sunset peak. As temporal emission of the two volatile ocimenes from P. chlorantha flowers matches S. pinastri foraging visits to the flowers, we propose that they play a vital role in assisting hawkmoths locate their hosts. This is the first study to show correspondence in the timing of specific scent emissions in orchids and moth activity on the scale of hours.

To document

Abstract

Norway is the largest sheep meat producer among Nordic countries with more than 1.3 million lambs and sheep slaughtered in 2017. The sheep industry is limited by the need for in-house feeding during the winter months. In summer, Norwegian sheep are mainly kept on rangeland pastures, with sufficient feed for almost double the current sheep population. Lambs are slaughtered over a three- to four-month period from September to December with a peak in September–October, providing a surplus of lamb, much of which is subsequently frozen, followed by eight months during which fresh produce is in limited supply. Norwegian consumers eat an average of 5.4 kg of sheep meat per person per year, much of which is purchased as a frozen product. The Muslim (4.2% of the population) preference for year-round halal meat, with an increased demand on the eve of the Muslim meat festival (Eid al-Adha), has the potential to boost demand, particularly in Oslo. This paper provides an overview of the Norwegian sheep farming system, the current market value chains, and the potential to meet the demand for halal meat in Norway (specifically during the Muslim meat festival—Eid al-Adha) to the advantage of both consumers and sheep farmers.

To document

Abstract

Soil is one of the most species-rich habitats and plays a crucial role in the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems. It is acknowledged that soils and their biota deliver many ecosystem services. However, up to now, cultural ecosystem services (CES) provided by soil biodiversity remained virtually unknown. Here we present a multilingual and multisubject literature review on cultural benefits provided by belowground biota in European forests. We found 226 papers mentioning impact of soil biota on the cultural aspects of human life. According to the reviewed literature, soil organisms contribute to all CES. Impact on CES, as reflected in literature, was highest for fungi and lowest for microorganisms and mesofauna. Cultural benefits provided by soil biota clearly prevailed in the total of the reviewed references, but there were also negative effects mentioned in six CES. The same organism groups or even individual species may have negative impacts within one CES and at the same time act as an ecosystem service provider for another CES. The CES were found to be supported at several levels of ecosystem service provision: from single species to two or more functional/taxonomical groups and in some cases morphological diversity acted as a surrogate for species diversity. Impact of soil biota on CES may be both direct – by providing the benefits (or dis-benefits) and indirect – through the use of the products or services obtained from these benefits. The CES from soil biota interacted among themselves and with other ES, but more than often, they did not create bundles, because there exist temporal fluctuations in value of CES and a time lag between direct and indirect benefits. Strong regionality was noted for most of CES underpinned by soil biota: the same organism group or species may have strong impact on CES (positive, negative or both) in some regions while no, minor or opposite effects in others. Contrarily to the CES based on landscapes, in the CES provided by soil biota distance between the ecosystem and its CES benefiting area is shorter (CES based on landscapes are used less by local people and more by visitors, meanwhile CES based on species or organism groups are used mainly by local people). Our review revealed the existence of a considerable amount of spatially fragmented and semantically rich information highlighting cultural values provided by forest soil biota in Europe.

To document

Abstract

Two short-term grazing experiments were conducted with Norwegian Red cows. In Exp 1, 24 cows were randomly assigned to one of the following three pasture allocation methods (PAM): weekly pasture allowance (7RG), grazing 1/7 of 7RG each day (1SG), or grazing as 1SG but had access to grazed part of the paddock within one week (1FG). In Exp 2, 7RG was shortened to 5 days (5RG). We hypothesized that PAM will affect sward quality, quantity, intake and production differently. Pasture chemical composition changed with advancing grazing days but were not different between treatments. Pasture intake, milk yield, and methane emission were not affected by PAM. In Exp 1, 7RG cows spent less time on grazing, whereas in Exp 2, 1FG cows spent longer on grazing than others. Patterns observed in sward quality, and behavioural and physiological adaptations of cows to short-term changes in nutrient supply may explain the observed effects.

Abstract

Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) is one of the most important crops grown in Norway, and virus-free plants are required for commercial potato production and for preservation of potato germplasm. The present study evaluates three in vitro therapies – meristem culture, cryotherapy, and chemotherapy combined with thermotherapy – to eliminate viruses from eight historically valuable potato cultivars belonging to the Norwegian potato germplasm. Potato virus Y, potato virus M, potato virus X and potato virus S were present in eight selected old potato cultivars due to long-term conservation in open field. Double-antibody sandwich enzyme-linked immunological assay (DAS-ELISA) and biological indicators were the standard tests used to confirm virus infection in our study. Six virus-free plants from four potato cultivars were obtained after meristem culture, and no virus-free potato cultivars were obtained after cryotherapy. Virus-free frequency for eight different potato cultivars after combining chemotherapy with thermotherapy varied from 36.4% to 100%, with single virus elimination rates of between 74.2% and 92.9%. Chemotherapy compared with thermotherapy was the most effective of the three in vitro therapies used in this study. Highly sensitive small RNA high-throughput sequencing (HTS) was used to evaluate the virus status of potato virus-free materials after virus eradication, and no virus was found, which was consistent with the results of DAS-ELISA and biological indicators. Small RNA HTS has been reported for the first time to evaluate the virus status after virus elimination and to control virus-free potato nuclear stocks.

To document

Abstract

We investigated dissipation, earthworm and plant accumulation of organic contaminants in soil amended with three types of sewage sludge in the presence and absence of plants. After 3 months, soil, plants and earthworms were analyzed for their content of organic contaminants. The results showed that the presence of plant roots did not affect dissipation rates, except for galaxolide. Transfer of galaxolide and triclosan to earthworms was significant, with transfer factors of 10–60 for galaxolide and 140–620 for triclosan in the presence of plants. In the absence of plants, transfer factors were 2–9 times higher. The reduced transfer to worms in the presence of plants was most likely due to roots serving as an alternative food source. Nonylphenol monoethoxylate rapidly dissipated in soil, but initial exposure resulted in uptake in worms, which was detected even 3 months after sewage sludge application. These values were higher than the soil concentration at the start of the exposure period. This indicates that a chemical's short half-life in soil is no guarantee that it poses a minimal environmental risk, as even short-term exposure may cause bioaccumulation and risks for chronic or even transgenerational effects.

To document

Abstract

Several studies have looked at how individual environmental factors influence needle morphology in conifer trees, but interacting effects between drought and canopy position have received little attention. In this study, we characterized morphological responses to experimentally induced drought stress in sun exposed and shaded current-year Norway spruce needles. In the drought plot trees were suffering mild drought stress, with an average soil water potential at 50 cm depth of -0.4 MPa. In general, morphological needle traits had greater values in sun needles in the upper canopy than in shaded needles in the lower canopy. Needle morphology 15 months after the onset of drought was determined by canopy position, as only sun needle morphology was affected by drought. Thus, canopy position was a stronger morphogenic factor determining needle structure than was water availability. The largest influence of mild drought was observed for needle length, projected needle area and total needle area, which all were reduced by ~27% relative to control trees. Needle thickness and needle width showed contrasting sensitivity to drought, as drought only affected needle thickness (10% reduction). Needle dry mass, leaf mass per area and needle density were not affected 15 months after the onset of mild drought. Our results highlight the importance of considering canopy position as well as water availability when comparing needle structure or function between conifer species. More knowledge about how different canopy parts of Norway spruce adapt to drought is important to understand forest productivity under changing environmental conditions.

To document

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.

To document

Abstract

Auxin is a molecule, which controls many aspects of plant development through both transcriptional and non-transcriptional signaling responses. AUXIN BINDING PROTEIN1 (ABP1) is a putative receptor for rapid non-transcriptional auxin-induced changes in plasma membrane depolarization and endocytosis rates. However, the mechanism of ABP1-mediated signaling is poorly understood. Here we show that membrane depolarization and endocytosis inhibition are ABP1-independent responses and that auxin-induced plasma membrane depolarization is instead dependent on the auxin influx carrier AUX1. AUX1 was itself not involved in the regulation of endocytosis. Auxin-dependent depolarization of the plasma membrane was also modulated by the auxin efflux carrier PIN2. These data establish a new connection between auxin transport and non-transcriptional auxin signaling.

To document

Abstract

Bipolar surface EMG (sEMG) signals of the trapezius muscles bilaterally were recorded continuously with a frequency of 800 Hz during full-shift field-work by a four-channel portable data logger. After recordings of 60 forest machine operators in Finland, Norway and Sweden, we discovered erroneous data. In short of any available procedure to handle these data, a method was developed to automatically discard erroneous data in the raw data reading files (Discarding Erroneous EPOchs (DESEPO) method. The DESEPO method automatically identifies, discards and adjusts the use of signal disturbances in order to achieve the best possible data use. An epoch is a 0.1 s period of raw sEMG signals and makes the basis for the RMS calculations. If erroneous signals constitute more than 30% of the epoch signals, this classifies for discharge of the present epoch. Non-valid epochs have been discarded, as well as all the subsequent epochs. The valid data for further analyses using the automatic detection resulted in an increase of acceptable data from an average of 2.15–6.5 h per day. The combination of long-term full-shift recordings and automatic data reduction procedures made it possible to use large amount of data otherwise discarded for further analyses.

Abstract

Diffuse phosphorus loss from agricultural fields is an important contributor to the eutrophication of waterbodies. The objective of this study was to evaluate a pilot project for the implementation of mitigation measures to reduce P losses. The pilot project is situated in southwestern Norway and, covers a 14-year period (2004–2018). It included data on the implementation of mitigation measures and water quality monitoring for six small catchments. The mitigation measures consisted of no tillage in autumn, reduced P fertilizer application, grassed buffer zones, and sedimentation ponds. Extra efforts were made to reduce diffuse P losses during the period from 2008 to 2010. The project comprised economic incentives, an information campaign, and farm visits. Data from 2004 and 2010 showed that the use of P fertilizer during this period decreased by 80% and the area of no-till in autumn increased in all six catchments and covered 100% of the area in three of the six catchments in 2010. However, with decreased economic incentives after 2010, the degree to which the mitigation measures were implemented was reversed; P-fertilization increased, and no-till in autumn decreased. No significant effects of mitigation measures on total P and suspended sediment concentrations were detected. We conclude that economic incentives are necessary for the comprehensive implementation of mitigation measures and but that it is not always possible to show the effect on water quality.

To document See dataset

Abstract

Ruminant fodder production in agricultural lands in latitudes above the Arctic Circle is constrained by short and hectic growing seasons with a 24-hour photoperiod and low growth temperatures. The use of remote sensing to measure crop production at high latitudes is hindered by intrinsic challenges, such as a low sun elevation angle and a coastal climate with high humidity, which influences the spectral signatures of the sampled vegetation. We used a portable spectrometer (ASD FieldSpec 3) to assess spectra of grass crops and found that when applying multivariate models to the hyperspectral datasets, results show significant predictability of yields (R2 > 0.55, root mean squared error (RMSE) < 180), even when captured under sub-optimal conditions. These results are consistent both in the full spectral range of the spectrometer (350–2500 nm) and in the 350–900 nm spectral range, which is a region more robust against air moisture. Sentinel-2A simulations resulted in moderately robust models that could be used in qualitative assessments of field productivity. In addition, simulation of the upcoming hyperspectral EnMap satellite bands showed its potential applicability to measure yields in northern latitudes both in the full spectral range of the satellite (420–2450 nm) with similar performance as the Sentinel-2A satellite and in the 420–900 nm range with a comparable reliability to the portable spectrometer. The combination of EnMap and Sentinel-2A to detect fields with low productivity and portable spectrometers to identify the fields or specific regions of fields with the lowest production can help optimize the management of fodder production in high latitudes.

To document

Abstract

During the past twenty years, the Nordic countries (Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway) have introduced a range of measures to reduce losses of nitrogen (N) to air and to aquatic environment by leaching and runoff. However, the agricultural sector is still an important N source to the environment, and projections indicate relatively small emission reductions in the coming years. The four Nordic countries have different priorities and strategies regarding agricultural N flows and mitigation measures, and therefore they are facing different challenges and barriers. In Norway farm subsidies are used to encourage measures, but these are mainly focused on phosphorus (P). In contrast, Denmark targets N and uses control regulations to reduce losses. In Sweden and Finland, both voluntary actions combined with subsidies help to mitigate both N and P. The aim of this study was to compare the present situation pertaining to agricultural N in the Nordic countries as well as to provide recommendations for policy instruments to achieve cost effective abatement of reactive N from agriculture in the Nordic countries, and to provide guidance to other countries. To further reduce N losses from agriculture, the four countries will have to continue to take different routes. In particular, some countries will need new actions if 2020 and 2030 National Emissions Ceilings Directive (NECD) targets are to be met. Many options are possible, including voluntary action, regulation, taxation and subsidies, but the difficulty is finding the right balance between these policy options for each country. The governments in the Nordic countries should put more attention to the NECD and consult with relevant stakeholders, researchers and farmer's associations on which measures to prioritize to achieve these goals on time. It is important to pick remaining low hanging fruits through use of the most cost effective mitigation measures. We suggest that N application rate and its timing should be in accordance with the crop need and carrying capacity of environmental recipients. Also, the choice of application technology can further reduce the risk of N losses into air and waters. This may require more region-specific solutions and knowledge-based support with tailored information in combination with further targeted subsidies or regulations.

Abstract

Repeat photography is an efficient method for documenting long-term landscape changes. So far, the usage of repeat photographs for quantitative analyses is limited to approaches based on manual classification. In this paper, we demonstrate the application of a convolutional neural network (CNN) for the automatic detection and classification of woody regrowth vegetation in repeat landscape photographs. We also tested if the classification results based on the automatic approach can be used for quantifying changes in woody vegetation cover between image pairs. The CNN was trained with 50 × 50 pixel tiles of woody vegetation and non-woody vegetation. We then tested the classifier on 17 pairs of repeat photographs to assess the model performance on unseen data. Results show that the CNN performed well in differentiating woody vegetation from non-woody vegetation (accuracy = 87.7%), but accuracy varied strongly between individual images. The very similar appearance of woody vegetation and herbaceous species in photographs made this a much more challenging task compared to the classification of vegetation as a single class (accuracy = 95.2%). In this regard, image quality was identified as one important factor influencing classification accuracy. Although the automatic classification provided good individual results on most of the 34 test photographs, change statistics based on the automatic approach deviated from actual changes. Nevertheless, the automatic approach was capable of identifying clear trends in increasing or decreasing woody vegetation in repeat photographs. Generally, the use of repeat photography in landscape monitoring represents a significant added value to other quantitative data retrieved from remote sensing and field measurements. Moreover, these photographs are able to raise awareness on landscape change among policy makers and public as well as they provide clear feedback on the effects of land management.

Abstract

A complete diallel cross was made among nine Betula pendula trees growing in a natural population and a trial was planted on agricultural soil at one site. This exceptional trial has provided estimates of genetic parameters that can only be estimated in complete diallels. Traits measured were height and diameter during a period of 37 years, and assessments were made of bud burst, leaf abscission and rust infection at the early ages. All traits showed genetic variation and the variance components of general combining ability (GCA) effects were dominating, with heritability estimates of 0.16 and 0.23 for height and diameter at age six years. The best-growing families could be identified at that age. At age 37 years, when the trial had been thinned twice, the offspring from the highest and lowest ranked parent for growth contributed with 19% and 6% of the total volume of the stand, respectively. The GCA effects were also highly significant for the assessment traits, but with an interaction with year for bud burst. High values of estimates of genetic correlations proved that bud burst, leaf abscission and rust infection are interrelated, and also to some extent with growth traits. Families with an early bud burst were tallest, were less affected by the rust fungus and kept their leaves later in the autumn.

Abstract

Temperature during seed maturation can induce an epigenetic memory effect in growth phenology of Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) that lasts for several years. To quantify the epigenetic modifications induced by natural climatic variation, common garden experiments with plants originating from different provenances and seed years were performed. Plants from warmer seed years showed delayed phenology with later bud flush, bud set and growth cessation. This effect was quantified by linear models of phenology traits as a function of climate indices for the origin and seed year of the plants. Significant effects of the temperature during seed production (seed year) was found for the bud set in seedlings in their first growing season and for bud flush and growth cessation in the 7th-8th growing season from seed. The models suggest that growth start and growth cessation are delayed 0.7–1.8 days per 100 additional degree days experienced by the seed during embryo development and seed maturation. Models that include factors that are known to induce epigenetic effects could be used to better predict future performance of forest reproductive material.

To document

Abstract

Pastures are botanically diverse and difficult to characterize. Digital modeling of pasture biomass and quality by non-destructive methods can provide highly valuable support for decision-making. This study aimed to evaluate aerial and on-ground methods to characterize grass ley fields, estimating plant height, biomass and volume, using digital grass models. Two fields were sampled, one timothy-dominant and the other ryegrass-dominant. Both sensing systems allowed estimation of biomass, volume and plant height, which were compared with ground truth, also taking into consideration basic economical aspects. To obtain ground-truth data for validation, 10 plots of 1 m2 were manually and destructively sampled on each field. The studied systems differed in data resolution, thus in estimation capability. There was a reasonably good agreement between the UAV-based, the RGB-D-based estimates and the manual height measurements on both fields. RGB-D-based estimation correlated well with ground truth of plant height (R 2 > 0.80) for both fields, and with dry biomass (R 2 = 0.88), only for the timothy field. RGB-D-based estimation of plant volume for ryegrass showed a high agreement (R 2 = 0.87). The UAV-based system showed a weaker estimation capability for plant height and dry biomass (R 2 < 0.6). UAV-systems are more affordable, easier to operate and can cover a larger surface. On-ground techniques with RGB-D cameras can produce highly detailed models, but with more variable results than UAV-based models. On-ground RGB-D data can be effectively analysed with open source software, which is a cost reduction advantage, compared with aerial image analysis. Since the resolution for agricultural operations does not need fine identification the end-details of the grass plants, the use of aerial platforms could result a better option in grasslands.

To document

Abstract

Upon herbivory, plants release herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs), which induce chemical defenses in the plant as well as recruit natural enemies. However, whether synthetic HIPVs can be employed to enhance biological control in a cultivated crop in the field is yet to be explored. Here we show that a biodegradable formulation loaded with induced and food-signaling volatiles can selectively recruit the common green lacewing, Chrysoperla carnea, and reduce pest population under field conditions. In apple orchards, the new formulation attracted lacewing adults over a 4-week period, which correlated well with independent assessments of the longevity of the slow-release matrix measured through chemical analyses. In barley, lacewing eggs and larvae were significantly more abundant in treated plots, whereas a significant reduction of two aphid species was measured (98.9% and 93.6% of population reduction, for Sitobion avenae and Rhopalosiphum padi, respectively). Results show the potential for semiochemical-based targeted recruitment of lacewings to enhance biological control of aphids in a field setting. Further research should enhance selective recruitment by rewarding attracted natural enemies and by optimizing the application technique.

To document

Abstract

The transmission of pathogens from partially or fully treated wastewater to different water sources are a pervasive risk to public health. To reduce the risk, the integration of source separation, on-site greywater treatment system, and an efficient disposal scheme are the most critical approaches. This study intended to evaluate the removal of nutrient and microbial suspension in the filtration systems used for effluent disposal. The effluent from an on-site greywater treatment plant was loaded into the columns, and the effluent from the columns was monitored for nutrients, total coliform bacteria, Escherichia coli, and Salmonella typhimurium phage 28B (St28B) for one year. Thus, from the range of infiltration systems tested, column-B (15 cm layer of each, Filtralite, fine sand, and till soil) showed the highest removal of total coliforms and E. coli, 3–4 log10 reduction, while the lowest removal observed in column-C (a layer of 25 cm crushed stone and 50 cm till soil), 2–3 log10 reduction. The virus removal efficiency of the columns reduced from 19% to 70% during the simulation of a rainfall event. Moreover, the rise of St28B concentration after rainfall experiment may probably the sign of detachment enhanced by low ionic strength rainwater.

To document

Abstract

While every society can be exposed to heatwaves, some people suffer far less harm and recover more quickly than others from their occurrence. Here we project indicators of global heatwave risk associated with global warming of 1.5 and 2 °C, specified by the Paris agreement, for two future pathways of societal development representing low and high vulnerability conditions. Results suggest that at the 1.5 °C warming level, heatwave exposure in 2075 estimated for the population living in low development countries is expected to be greater than exposure at the warming level of 2 °C for the population living in very high development countries. A similar result holds for an illustrative heatwave risk index. However, the projected difference in heatwave exposure and the illustrative risk index for the low and very high development countries will be significantly reduced if global warming is stabilized below 1.5 °C, and in the presence of rapid social development.

To document

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.

To document

Abstract

Introduction Blackcurrant (Ribes nigrum L.) is an excellent example of a “super fruit” with potential health benefits. Both genotype and cultivation environment are known to affect the chemical composition of blackcurrant, especially ascorbic acid and various phenolic compounds. Environmental conditions, like temperature, solar radiation and precipitation can also have significant impact on fruit chemical composition. The relevance of the study is further accentuated by the predicted and ongoing changes in global climate. Objectives The aim of the present study was to provide new knowledge and a deeper understanding of the effects of post flowering environmental conditions, namely temperature and day length, on fruit quality and chemical composition of blackcurrant using an untargeted high performance liquid chromatography–photo diode array–mass spectrometry (HPLC– PDA–MS) metabolomics approach. Methods A phytotron experiment with cultivation of single-stemmed potted plants of blackcurrant cv. Narve Viking was conducted using constant temperatures of 12, 18 or 24 °C and three different photoperiods (short day, short day with night interruption, and natural summer daylight conditions). Plants were also grown under ambient outdoor conditions. Ripe berries were analysed using an untargeted HPLC–PDA–MS metabolomics approach to detect the presence and concentration of molecules as affected by controlled climatic factors. Results The untargeted metabolomics dataset contained a total of 7274 deconvolved retention time-m/z pairs across both electrospray ionisation (ESI) positive and negative polarities, from which 549 metabolites were identified or minimally annotated based upon accurate mass MS. Conventional principal component analysis (PCA) in combination with the Friedman significance test were applied to first identify which metabolites responded to temperature in a linear fashion. Multi-block hierarchical PCA in combination with the Friedman significance test was secondly applied to identify metabolites that were responsive to different day length conditions. Temperature had significant effect on a total of 365 metabolites representing a diverse range of chemical classes. It was observed that ripening of the blackcurrant berries under ambient conditions, compared to controlled conditions, resulted in an increased accumulation of 34 annotated metabolites, mainly anthocyanins and flavonoids. 18 metabolites were found to be regulated differentially under the different daylength conditions. Moreover, based upon the most abundant anthocyanins, a comparison between targeted and untargeted analyses, revealed a close convergence of the two analytical methods. Therefore, the study not just illustrates the value of non-targeted metabolomics approaches with respect to the huge diversity and numbers of significantly changed metabolites detected (and which would be missed by conventional targeted analyses), but also shows the validity of the non-targeted approach with respect to its precision compared to targeted analyses. Conclusions Blackcurrant maturation under controlled ambient conditions revealed a number of insightful relationships between environment and chemical composition of the fruit. A prominent reduction of the most abundant anthocyanins under the highest temperature treatments indicated that blackcurrant berries in general may accumulate lower total anthocyanins in years with extreme hot summer conditions. HPLC–PDA–MS metabolomics is an excellent method for broad analysis of chemical composition of berries rich in phenolic compounds. Moreover, the experiment in controlled phytotron conditions provided additional knowledge concerning plant interactions with the environment.

To document

Abstract

The nitrogen cycle has been radically changed by human activities1 . China consumes nearly one third of the world’s nitrogen fertilizers. The excessive application of fertilizers2,3 and increased nitrogen discharge from livestock, domestic and industrial sources have resulted in pervasive water pollution. Quantifying a nitrogen ‘boundary’4 in heterogeneous environments is important for the effective management of local water quality. Here we use a combination of water-quality observations and simulated nitrogen discharge from agricultural and other sources to estimate spatial patterns of nitrogen discharge into water bodies across China from 1955 to 2014. We find that the critical surface-water quality standard (1.0 milligrams of nitrogen per litre) was being exceeded in most provinces by the mid-1980s, and that current rates of anthropogenic nitrogen discharge (14.5 ± 3.1 megatonnes of nitrogen per year) to fresh water are about 2.7 times the estimated ‘safe’ nitrogen discharge threshold (5.2 ± 0.7 megatonnes of nitrogen per year). Current efforts to reduce pollution through wastewater treatment and by improving cropland nitrogen management can partially remedy this situation. Domestic wastewater treatment has helped to reduce net discharge by 0.7 ± 0.1 megatonnes in 2014, but at high monetary and energy costs. Improved cropland nitrogen management could remove another 2.3 ± 0.3 megatonnes of nitrogen per year—about 25 per cent of the excess discharge to fresh water. Successfully restoring a clean water environment in China will further require transformational changes to boost the national nutrient recycling rate from its current average of 36 per cent to about 87 per cent, which is a level typical of traditional Chinese agriculture. Although ambitious, such a high level of nitrogen recycling is technologically achievable at an estimated capital cost of approximately 100 billion US dollars and operating costs of 18–29 billion US dollars per year, and could provide co-benefits such as recycled wastewater for crop irrigation and improved environmental quality and ecosystem services.