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2022 (212)

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Planted filters are often used to remove pesticides from runoff water. However, the detailed fate of pesticides in the planted filters still remains elusive. This hampers an accurate assessment of environmental risks of the pesticides related to their fate and thereby development of proper mitigation strategies. In addition, a test system for the chemical fate analysis including plants and in particular for planted filters is not well established yet. Therefore, we developed a microcosm test to simulate the fate of pesticide in planted filters, and applied 2-13C,15N-glyphosate as a model pesticide. The fate of 2-13C,15N-glyphosate in the planted microcosms over 31 day-incubation period was balanced and compared with that in the unplanted microcosms. The mass balance of 2-13C,15N-glyphosate turnover included 13C mineralization, degradation products, and the 13C and 15N incorporation into the rhizosphere microbial biomass and plants. We observed high removal of glyphosate (> 88%) from the water mainly due to adsorption on gravel in both microcosms. More glyphosate was degraded in the planted microcosms with 4.1% of 13C being mineralized, 1.5% of 13C and 3.8% of 15N being incorporated into microbial biomass. In the unplanted microcosms, 1.1% of 13C from 2-13C,15N-glyphosate was mineralized, and only 0.2% of 13C and 0.1% of 15N were assimilated into microbial biomass. The total recovery of 13C and 15N was 81% and 85% in planted microcosms, and 91% and 93% in unplanted counterparts, respectively. The microcosm test was thus proven to be feasible for mass balance assessments of the fate of non-volatile chemicals in planted filters. The results of such studies could help better manage and design planted filters for pesticide removal.

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Plant selection for rain gardens along streets and roads in cold climates can be complicated, as the plants are subjected to combined stresses including periodic inundation, de-icing salts, road dust, splashes of water from the road, freezing and thawing of soil, and periods with ice cover during the winter. The purpose of this study was to identify species suited to grow in these conditions and determine their optimal placement within roadside rain gardens. Thirty-one herbaceous perennial species and cultivars were planted in real-scale rain gardens in a street in Drammen (Norway) with supplemental irrigation, and their progress was recorded during the following three growing seasons. The study highlights considerable differences between species’ adaptation to roadside rain gardens in cold climates, especially closest to the road. Some candidate species/cultivars had a high survival rate in all rain garden positions and were developed well. These were: Amsonia tabernaemontana, Baptisia australis, Calamagrostis × acutiflora ‘Overdam’, Hemerocallis ‘Camden Gold Dollar’, Hemerocallis ‘Sovereign’, Hemerocallis lilioasphodelus, Hosta ‘Sum & Substance’, Iris pseudacorus and Liatris spicata ‘Floristan Weiss’. Other species/cultivars appeared to adapt only to certain parts of the rain garden or had medium tolerance. These were: Calamagrostis brachytricha, Carex muskingumensis, Eurybia × herveyi ‘Twilight’, Hakonechloa macra, Hosta ‘Francee’, Hosta ‘Striptease’, Liatris spicata ‘Alba’, Lythrum salicaria ‘Ziegeunerblut’, Molinia caerulea ‘Moorhexe’, Molinia caerulea ‘Overdam’, and Sesleria autumnalis. Species/cultivars that showed high mortality and poor development at all rain garden positions should be avoided in roadside cold climate rain gardens. These include Amsonia orientalis, Aster incisus ‘Madiva’, Astilbe chinensis var. tacquettii ‘Purpurlanze’, Chelone obliqua, Dryopteris filix-mas, Eurybia divaricata, Geranium ‘Rozanne’, Helenium ‘Pumilum Magnificum’, Luzula sylvatica, Polygonatum multiflorum and Veronicastrum virginicum ‘Apollo’. The study also found considerable differences between cultivars within the same species, especially for Hosta cvv. and Liatris spicata. Further investigations are needed to identify the cultivars with the best adaption to roadside rain gardens in cold climates.

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The remote sensing of the biophysical and biochemical parameters of crops facilitates the preparation of application maps for variable-rate nitrogen fertilization. According to comparative studies of machine learning algorithms, Gaussian process regression (GPR) can outperform more popular methods in the prediction of crop status from hyperspectral data. The present study evaluates GPR model accuracy in the context of spring wheat dry matter, nitrogen content, and nitrogen uptake estimation. Models with the squared exponential covariance function were trained on images from two hyperspectral cameras (a frenchFabry–Pérot interferometer camera and a push-broom scanner). The most accurate predictions were obtained for nitrogen uptake (R2=0.75–0.85, RPDP=2.0–2.6). Modifications of the basic workflow were then evaluated: the removal of soil pixels from the images prior to the training, data fusion with apparent soil electrical conductivity measurements, and replacing the Euclidean distance in the GPR covariance function with the spectral angle distance. Of these, the data fusion improved the performance while predicting nitrogen uptake and nitrogen content. The estimation accuracy of the latter parameter varied considerably across the two hyperspectral cameras. Satisfactory nitrogen content predictions (R2>0.8, RPDP>2.4) were obtained only in the data-fusion scenario, and only with a high spectral resolution push-broom device capable of capturing longer wavelengths, up to 1000 nm, while the full-frame camera spectral limit was 790 nm. The prediction performance and uncertainty metrics indicated the suitability of the models for precision agriculture applications. Moreover, the spatial patterns that emerged in the generated crop parameter maps accurately reflected the fertilization levels applied across the experimental area as well as the background variation of the abiotic growth conditions, further corroborating this conclusion.

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Light exposure of potatoes induces formation of both chlorophyll (greening) and of toxic glycoalkaloids (GAs). Greening leads to rejection by consumers and thus to food waste and economic loss. The aim of this study was to (1) study light sensitivity with respect to colour changes and GA development for different Norwegian grown potato cultivars stored at 20 °C and (2) evaluate the light protective effect of selected packaging materials on colour development in cv. Folva at 6 °C and 20 °C. Potatoes of seven cultivars were stored under LED illumination for 4 days at 20 °C. Changes in colour were measured during storage by Minolta Chroma meter and by visually assessing the limit for unacceptable change of colour. The tested cultivars became unacceptable at different times (24–60 h) and differed both in absolute colour values and relative changes of values. The levels of total glycoalkaloids in cultivars with and without light exposure did not correspond well to the changes in colour. Potatoes of cultivar Folva were packaged in materials with different light barrier properties, followed by LED illumination for 4 days at 20 °C and 18 days at 6 °C. None of the tested packaging types provided sufficient protection from light. All potatoes at 20 °C were unacceptably green after 2 days in light (16 h/day) while the potatoes at 6 °C were unacceptably green after 9 days. Packaging material for potatoes cv. Folva should aim for a total light transmittance below 0.02 W/m2 to avoid development of green colour during light exposure at 20 °C in grocery stores.

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The reported annual temperature increase and significant precipitation drop in Armenia impact the country’s ecosystems and biodiversity. The present study surveyed the geographical distribution of the local wild beet species under the ongoing climate change conditions. We showed that B. lomatogona, B. corolliflora and B. macrorhiza are sensitive to climate change and were affected to various degrees, depending on their location. The most affected species was B. lomatogona, which is at the verge of extinction. Migration for ca. 90 and 200–300 m up the mountain belt was recorded for B. lomatogona and B. macrorhiza, respectively. B. corolliflora was found at 100–150 m lower altitudes than in the 1980s. A general reduction in the beet’s population size in the native habitats was observed, with an increased number of plants within the populations, recorded for B. corolliflora and B. macrorhiza. A new natural hybrid Beta x intermedium Aloyan between B. corolliflora and B. macrorhiza was described and confirmed using chloroplast DNA trnL-trnF intergenic spacer (LF) and partially sequenced alcohol dehydrogenase (adh) of nuclear DNA. An overview of the wild beets reported in Armenia with the taxonomic background, morphological features, and distribution is provided. Conservation measures for preservation of these genetic resources are presented.

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The categories and concepts in the existing official land-use maps have been under improvements over recent years; however, this study from Nordland, northern Norway, shows that they continue to pose several dilemmas when aiming to better capture the impacts of multiple land uses on reindeer herding. While these developments have done much to better communicate the presence of reindeer herding to developers and planners, there remain significant challenges to achieve best practices. In particular, the confluence of multiple landscape features, for instance, roads, farmland, ecoregions, tenure, pastures, tourism paths and cabins, may have interactions that create cumulative impacts that do not “add up” neatly across map layers. Migration routes, herding routes, and resting areas have been introduced in these maps. In collaboration with reindeer herders, this article analyses how to enrich mapping practices by for example including bottlenecks, parallel to increased attention to influence zones and avoidance zones, as important emergent impacts of multiple interacting features of the landscape. Our research reveals how local knowledge developed by herders through their “presence in the landscape” is better capable of accounting for interactions and cumulative dimensions of landscape features. Through our participatory mapping approach with Sámi reindeer herders, we focus on ways of combining reindeer herders’ knowledge and GIS maps and demonstrate the potential in collaborative work between herders and policymakers in generating a richer understanding of land-use change. We conclude that the practical knowledge of people inhabiting and living with the landscape and its changing character generates a rich understanding of cumulative impacts and can be harnessed for improved land-use mapping and multi-level governance.

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Background: Gastrointestinal nematode (GIN) control is traditionally achieved with the use of anthelmintic drugs, however due to regulations in organic farming and the rise in anthelmintic resistance, alternatives are sought after. A promising alternative is the use of bioactive plant feeding due to the presence of plant secondary metabolites (PSMs) such as proanthocyanidins (PAs). This study focussed on the perennial shrub heather (Ericaceae family), a plant rich in PAs, highly abundant across Europe and with previously demonstrated anthelmintic potential. Methods: In vitro assays were used to investigate heather’s anthelmintic efficacy against egg hatching and larval motility. Heather samples were collected from five European countries across two seasons, and extracts were tested against two GIN species: Teladorsagia circumcincta and Trichostrongylus colubriformis. Polyphenol group‑specific ultraperformance liquid chromatography‑tandem mass spectrometry analysis was performed to identify relevant polyphenol subgroups present, including the PA concentration and size and ratio of the subunits. Partial least squares analysis was performed to associate efficacy with variation in PSM composition. Results: Heather extracts reduced egg hatching of both GIN species in a dose‑dependent manner by up to 100%, while three extracts at the highest concentration (10 mg/ml) reduced larval motility to levels that were not signifi‑ cantly different from dead larvae controls. PAs, particularly the procyanidin type, and flavonol derivatives were associ‑ ated with anthelmintic activity, and the particular subgroup of polyphenols associated with the efficacy was depend‑ ent on the GIN species and life stage. Conclusions: Our results provide in vitro evidence that heather, a widely available plant often managed as a weed in grazing systems, has anthelmintic properties attributed to various groups of PSMs and could contribute to sustainable GIN control in ruminant production systems across Europe.

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Host-specialist parasites of endangered large vertebrates are in many cases more endangered than their hosts. In particular, low host population densities and reduced among-host transmission rates are expected to lead to inbreeding within parasite infrapopulations living on single host individuals. Furthermore, spatial population structures of directly-transmitted parasites should be concordant with those of their hosts. Using population genomic approaches, we investigated inbreeding and population structure in a host-specialist seal louse (Echinophthirius horridus) infesting the Saimaa ringed seal (Phoca hispida saimensis), which is endemic to Lake Saimaa in Finland, and is one of the most endangered pinnipeds in the world. We conducted genome resequencing of pairs of lice collected from 18 individual Saimaa ringed seals throughout the Lake Saimaa complex. Our analyses showed high genetic similarity and inbreeding between lice inhabiting the same individual seal host, indicating low among-host transmission rates. Across the lake, genetic differentiation among individual lice was correlated with their geographic distance, and assignment analyses revealed a marked break in the genetic variation of the lice in the middle of the lake, indicating substantial population structure. These findings indicate that movements of Saimaa ringed seals across the main breeding areas of the fragmented Lake Saimaa complex may in fact be more restricted than suggested by previous population-genetic analyses of the seals themselves.

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The Pasvik River experiences chemical, physical, and biological stressors due to the direct discharges of domestic sewage from settlements located within the catchment and runoff from smelter and mine wastes. Sediments, as a natural repository of organic matter and associated contaminants, are of global concern for the possible release of pollutants in the water column, with detrimental effects on aquatic organisms. The present study was aimed at characterizing the riverine benthic microbial community and evaluating its ecological role in relation to the contamination level. Sediments were sampled along the river during two contrasting environmental periods (i.e., beginning and ongoing phases of ice melting). Microbial enzymatic activities, cell abundance, and morphological traits were evaluated, along with the phylogenetic community composition. Amplified 16S rRNA genes from bacteria were sequenced using a next-generation approach. Sediments were also analyzed for a variety of chemical features, namely particulate material characteristics and concentration of polychlorobiphenyls, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and pesticides. Riverine and brackish sites did not affect the microbial community in terms of main phylogenetic diversity (at phylum level), morphometry, enzymatic activities, and abundance. Instead, bacterial diversity in the river sediments appeared to be influenced by the micro-niche conditions, with differences in the relative abundance of selected taxa. In particular, our results highlighted the occurrence of bacterial taxa directly involved in the C, Fe, and N cycles, as well as in the degradation of organic pollutants and toxic compounds.

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The European Union (EU) Water Framework Directive is of paramount importance for water management. According to the legal text, coordination with other directives like the Floods Directive is imperative and motivated by potential synergy effects. In this paper, the degree to which such coordination is achieved is evaluated for five Nordic and Baltic countries. The evaluation is based on legal documents, management plans, as well as on organizational structure in the five countries. The results show that the coordination between the Water Framework Directive and the Floods Directive (or flood management for Norway's case), have been successful for Estonia and Lithuania, whereas Norway, Finland, and especially Sweden need to improve more.

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Raspberries are considered valuable fruits due to their high levels of nutrients and phytochemicals, which have many beneficial effects on humans. As many external factors affect the composition of these fruits (the type of cultivation, soil characteristics, ripeness, storage time and post-harvest technologies, cultivar/genotype, and climatic conditions), the goal of this study was to analyze different raspberry cultivars grown in Norway. Considering that Norway is a country with specific climatic conditions, as well as has a limited period of fruit vegetation, another important goal of this study was also to compare raspberries from different Norwegian areas, as well as different grown cultivars. Modern analytical techniques, such as high-performance anion-exchange liquid chromatography with pulsed amperometric detection (HPEAC-PAD), ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography with diode array detector coupled to triple quadrupole mass spectrometry (UHPLC-DAD MS/MS), and inductively coupled plasma–optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES), provided a detailed examination of the raspberry extract samples. Based on their high levels of minerals (especially N, P, and K), organic acids (predominantly citric and malic acids), sugars (glucose, fructose, sucrose, and galactose), and polyphenols (ellagic acid, syringic acid, quercetin, and rutin), Norwegian raspberries could be considered fruits with increased health-beneficial compounds. The chemical composition of the studied cultivars depended on the locality of growth.

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At times of crisis, home gardening has often been sought out as a potential solution for threats to food security and as a measure to increase socio-psychological effects, such as public sense of self-efficacy, trust in the government and care for one’s wellbeing. The objective of this study was to investigate if home gardening increased during the COVID-19 pandemic in the spring/summer of 2020 and to provide socio-psychological insights into the explanatory factors of such an increase. An explanatory theoretical model of home gardening was proposed and tested to analyse whether home gardening is correlated to food security concerns, and if so, to what extent. A non-representative survey was conducted in five European countries (Slovenia, Norway, Estonia, Switzerland, and Iceland) using snowball sampling via social media networks, reaching 1144 participants. The results showed the pandemic did prove to be an important psychological push towards home gardening prompted by food security concerns. Measured as loose as introducing at least one new gardening activity during COVID-19, this study found an approximately 10% increase in home gardening during the first wave of COVID-19 in the sample population, which was skewed towards educated, female, middle-class Europeans.

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Digestate, a by-product from anaerobic digestion of organic materials such as animal manure, is considered a suitable plant fertilizer. However, due to its bulkiness and low economic value, it is costly to transport over long distances and store for long periods. Refinement processes to valorize digestate and facilitate its handling as a fertilizer include precipitation of phosphorus-rich mineral compounds, such as struvite and calcium phosphates, membrane filtration methods that concentrate plant nutrients in organic products, and carbonization processes. However, phosphorus retention efficiency in output products from these processes can vary considerably depending on technological settings and characteristics of the digestate feedstock. The effects of phosphorus in plant fertilizers (including those analogous or comparable to refined digestate products) on agronomic productivity have been evaluated in multiple experiments. In this review, we synthesized knowledge about different refinement methods for manure-based digestate as a means to produce phosphorus fertilizers, thereby providing the potential to increase phosphorus retention in the food production chain, by combining information about phosphorus flows in digestate refinement studies and agronomic fertilizer studies. It was also sought to identify the range, uncertainty, and potential retention efficiency by agricultural crops of the original phosphorus amount in manure-based digestate. Refinement chains with solid/wet phase separation followed by struvite or calcium phosphate precipitation or membrane filtration of the wet phase and carbonization treatments of the solid phase were included. Several methods with high potential to extract phosphorus from manure-based wet phase digestate in such a way that it could be used as an efficient plant fertilizer were identified, with struvite precipitation being the most promising method. Synthesis of results from digestate refinement studies and agronomic fertilizer experiments did not support the hypothesis that solid/wet separation followed by struvite precipitation, or any other refinement combination, results in higher phosphorus retention than found for unrefined digestate. Further studies are needed on the use of the phosphorus in the solid phase digestate, primarily on phosphorus-rich soils representative of animal-dense regions, to increase understanding of the role of digestate refinement (particularly struvite precipitation) in phosphorus recycling in agricultural systems.

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The greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions in the European Union (EU) are mainly caused by human activity from five sectors—power, industry, transport, buildings, and agriculture. To tackle all these challenges, the EU actions and policies have been encouraging initiatives focusing on a holistic approach but these initiatives are not enough coordinated and connected to reach the much needed impact. To strengthen the important role of regions in climate actions, and stimulate wide stakeholders’ engagement including citizens, a conceptual framework for enabling rapid and far-reaching climate actions through multi-sectoral regional adaptation pathways is hereby developed. The target audience for this framework is composed by regional policy makers, developers and fellow scientists. The scale of the framework emphasizes the regional function as an important meeting point and delivery arena for European and national climate strategies and objectives both at urban and rural level. The framework is based on transformative and no-regret measures, prioritizing the Key Community Systems (KCS) that most urgently need to be protected from climate impacts and risks.

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River meandering and anabranching have become major problems in many large rivers that carry significant amounts of sediment worldwide. The morphodynamics of these rivers are complex due to the temporal variation of flows. However, the availability of remote sensing data and geographic information systems (GISs) provides the opportunity to analyze the morphological changes in river systems both quantitatively and qualitatively. The present study investigated the temporal changes in the river morphology of the Deduru Oya (river) in Sri Lanka, which is a meandering river. The study covered a period of 32 years (1989 to 2021), using Landsat satellite data and the QGIS platform. Cloud-free Landsat 5 and Landsat 8 satellite images were extracted and processed to extract the river mask. The centerline of the river was generated using the extracted river mask, with the support of semi-automated digitizing software (WebPlotDigitizer). Freely available QGIS was used to investigate the temporal variation of river migration. The results of the study demonstrated that, over the past three decades, both the bend curvatures and the river migration rates of the meandering bends have generally increased with time. In addition, it was found that a higher number of meandering bends could be observed in the lower (most downstream) and the middle parts of the selected river segment. The current analysis indicates that the Deduru Oya has undergone considerable changes in its curvature and migration rates.

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Hydrologic models are indispensable tools for water resource planning and management. Accurate model predictions are critical for better water resource development and management decisions. Single-site model calibration and calibrating a watershed model at the watershed outlet are commonly adopted strategies. In the present study, for the first time, a multi-site calibration for the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) in the Kelani River Basin with a catchment area of about 2340 km2 was carried out. The SWAT model was calibrated at five streamflow gauging stations, Deraniyagala, Kithulgala, Holombuwa, Glencourse, and Hanwella, with drainage areas of 183, 383, 155, 1463, and 1782 km2, respectively, using three distinct calibration strategies. These strategies were, utilizing (1) data from downstream and (2) data from upstream, both categorized here as single-site calibration, and (3) data from downstream and upstream (multi-site calibration). Considering the performance of the model during the calibration period, which was examined using the statistical indices R2 and NSE, the model performance at Holombuwa was upgraded from “good” to “very good” with the multi-site calibration technique. Simultaneously, the PBIAS at Hanwella and Kithulgala improved from “unsatisfactory” to “satisfactory” and “satisfactory” to “good” model performance, while the RSR improved from “good” to “very good” model performance at Deraniyagala, indicating the innovative multi-site calibration approach demonstrated a significant improvement in the results. Hence, this study will provide valuable insights for hydrological modelers to determine the most appropriate calibration strategy for their large-scale watersheds, considering the spatial variation of the watershed characteristics, thereby reducing the uncertainty in hydrologic predictions.

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Transpiration makes up the bulk of total evaporation in forested environments yet remains challenging to predict at landscape-to-global scales. We harnessed independent estimates of daily transpiration derived from co-located sap flow and eddy-covariance measurement systems and applied the triple collocation technique to evaluate predictions from big leaf models requiring no calibration. In total, four models in 608 unique configurations were evaluated at 21 forested sites spanning a wide diversity of biophysical attributes and environmental backgrounds. We found that simpler models that neither explicitly represented aerodynamic forcing nor canopy conductance achieved higher accuracy and signal-to-noise levels when optimally configured (rRMSE = 20%; R2 = 0.89). Irrespective of model type, optimal configurations were those making use of key plant functional type dependent parameters, daily LAI, and constraints based on atmospheric moisture demand over soil moisture supply. Our findings have implications for more informed water resource management based on hydrological modeling and remote sensing.

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Heterogeneity of structure can increase mechanical stability, stress resistance and resilience, biodiversity and many other functions and services of forest stands. That is why many silvicultural measures aim at enhancing structural diversity. However, the effectiveness and potential of structuring may depend on the site conditions. Here, we revealed how the stand structure is determined by site quality and results from site-dependent partitioning of growth and mortality among the trees. We based our study on 90 mature, even-aged, fully stocked monocultures of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) sampled in 21 countries along a productivity gradient across Europe. A mini-simulation study further analyzed the site-dependency of the interplay between growth and mortality and the resulting stand structure. The overarching hypothesis was that the stand structure changes with site quality and results from the site-dependent asymmetry of competition and mortality. First, we show that Scots pine stands structure across Europe become more homogeneous with increasing site quality. The coefficient of variation and Gini coefficient of stem diameter and tree height continuously decreased, whereas Stand Density Index and stand basal area increased with site index. Second, we reveal a site-dependency of the growth distribution among the trees and the mortality. With increasing site index, the asymmetry of both competition and growth distribution increased and suggested, at first glance, an increase in stand heterogeneity. However, with increasing site index, mortality eliminates mainly small instead of all-sized trees, cancels the size variation and reduces the structural heterogeneity. Third, we modelled the site-dependent interplay between growth partitioning and mortality. By scenario runs for different site conditions, we can show how the site-dependent structure at the stand level emerges from the asymmetric competition and mortality at the tree level and how the interplay changes with increasing site quality across Europe. Our most interesting finding was that the growth partitioning became more asymmetric and structuring with increasing site quality, but that the mortality eliminated predominantly small trees, reduced their size variation and thus reversed the impact of site quality on the structure. Finally, the reverse effects of mode of growth partitioning and mortality on the stand structure resulted in the highest size variation on poor sites and decreased structural heterogeneity with increasing site quality. Since our results indicate where heterogeneous structures need silviculture interventions and where they emerge naturally, we conclude that these findings may improve system understanding and modelling and guide forest management aiming at structurally rich forests.

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Many forestry roles have changed from being manual tasks with a high physical workload to being a machine operator task with a high mental workload. Automation can support a decrease in mental fatigue by removing tasks that are repetitive and monotonous for the operators. Cable yarding presents an ideal opportunity for early adoption of automation technology; specifically the carriage movement along a defined corridor. A Valentini V-850 cable yarder was used in an Italian harvesting setting, in order to gauge the ergonomic benefit of carriage control automation. The study showed that automating yarder carriage movements improved the ergonomic situation of the workers directly involved in the related primary tasks. However, the caveat is that improving one work task may negatively affect the other work tasks, and therefore introducing automation to a worksite must be done after considering all impacts on the whole system. Practitioner summary: Automation decreased the winch operator’s mental workload while improving overall productivity. At the same time, the mental and physiological workload of the operator tasked with bucking were slightly increased. Ideally, winch automation should be coupled with bucking mechanisation to balance the intervention and boost both operator well-being and productivity.

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Despite the importance of vegetation uptake of atmospheric gaseous elemental mercury (Hg(0)) within the global Hg cycle, little knowledge exists on the physiological, climatic, and geographic factors controlling stomatal uptake of atmospheric Hg(0) by tree foliage. We investigate controls on foliar stomatal Hg(0) uptake by combining Hg measurements of 3569 foliage samples across Europe with data on tree species' traits and environmental conditions. To account for foliar Hg accumulation over time, we normalized foliar Hg concentration over the foliar life period from the simulated start of the growing season to sample harvest. The most relevant parameter impacting daily foliar stomatal Hg uptake was tree functional group (deciduous versus coniferous trees). On average, we measured 3.2 times higher daily foliar stomatal Hg uptake rates in deciduous leaves than in coniferous needles of the same age. Across tree species, for foliage of beech and fir, and at two out of three forest plots with more than 20 samples, we found a significant (p<0.001) increase in foliar Hg values with respective leaf nitrogen concentrations. We therefore suggest that foliar stomatal Hg uptake is controlled by tree functional traits with uptake rates increasing from low to high nutrient content representing low to high physiological activity. For pine and spruce needles, we detected a significant linear decrease in daily foliar stomatal Hg uptake with the proportion of time during which water vapor pressure deficit (VPD) exceeded the species-specific threshold values of 1.2 and 3 kPa, respectively. The proportion of time within the growing season during which surface soil water content (ERA5-Land) in the region of forest plots was low correlated negatively with foliar Hg uptake rates of beech and pine. These findings suggest that stomatal uptake of atmospheric Hg(0) is inhibited under high VPD conditions and/or low soil water content due to the regulation of stomatal conductance to reduce water loss under dry conditions. Other parameters associated with forest sampling sites (latitude and altitude), sampled trees (average age and diameter at breast height), or regional satellite-observation-based transpiration product (Global Land Evaporation Amsterdam Model: GLEAM) did not significantly correlate with daily foliar Hg uptake rates. We conclude that tree physiological activity and stomatal response to VPD and soil water content should be implemented in a stomatal Hg model to assess future Hg cycling under different anthropogenic emission scenarios and global warming.

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Aim: In this study, we tested plant community-based management methods to reduce the abundance of the invasive native plant Jacobaea aquatica (marsh ragwort). As J. aquatica mainly occurs in species-rich wet grasslands, our aim was to define management measures that do not reduce the conservation value of the resident communities. Location: Data were collected from 20 independent sites which varied in productivity and management intensity across the pre-alpine Allgäu region (South Germany). Methods: We monitored effects of temporary abandonment and decreased mowing intensity in very low- and low-productive sites, as well as of decreased mowing and fertilization at moderately productive sites. Abundances of J. aquatica and the co-occurring species were recorded at start and end of two experiments (2018–2021: very low- and low-productive conservation grasslands; 2017–2020: moderately productive agricultural grasslands), while functional traits data of all species were gathered from the literature and specific databases. Generalized linear mixed-effects models (GLMMs) were used to analyse the effects of management intensity on the abundance of J. aquatica, functional diversity and species richness of the resident communities. Results: At all productivity levels, the abundance of J. aquatica declined under reduced management. Changes in community composition and species richness of the resident community were less pronounced than the reduction of J. aquatica, but species richness declined under lowest management intensities. Thus, moderate reduction in management intensity provided the most benefits in terms of reduction of J. aquatica, and maintenance of species richness and composition of the resident plant community. Conclusions: Reducing management intensity in wet grasslands decreases the abundance of J. aquatica and thus is a suitable method to control this species. As plant community responses were only partially consistent, management plans must account for the productivity of invaded sites. To avoid negative effects on grassland biodiversity, only moderate suppression of J. aquatica is recommended.

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Water-Energy-Food (WEF) Nexus and CO2 emissions for a farm in northwest Iran were analyzed to provide data support for decision-makers formulating national strategies in response to climate change. In the analysis, input–output energy in the production of seven crop species (alfalfa, barley, silage corn, potato, rapeseed, sugar beet, and wheat) was determined using six indicators, water, and energy consumption, mass productivity, and economic productivity. WEF Nexus index (WEFNI), calculated based on these indicators, showed the highest (best) value for silage corn and the lowest for potato. Nitrogen fertilizer and diesel fuel with an average of 36.8% and 30.6% of total input energy were the greatest contributors to energy demand. Because of the direct relationship between energy consumption and CO2 emissions, potato cropping, with the highest energy consumption, had the highest CO2 emissions with a value of 5166 kg CO2eq ha−1. A comparison of energy inputs and CO2 emissions revealed a direct relationship between input energy and global warming potential. A 1 MJ increase in input energy increased CO2 emissions by 0.047, 0.049, 0.047, 0.054, 0.046, 0.046, and 0.047 kg ha−1 for alfalfa, barley, silage corn, potato, rapeseed, sugar beet, and wheat, respectively. Optimization assessments to identify the optimal cultivation pattern, with emphasis on maximized WEFNI and minimized CO2 emissions, showed that barley, rapeseed, silage corn, and wheat performed best under the conditions studied.

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Wood growth phenology of temperate deciduous trees is less studied than leaf phenology, hindering the understanding of their interaction. In order to describe the variability of wood growth and leaf phenology across locations, species and years, we performed phenological observations of both xylem formation and leaf development in three typical temperate forest areas in Western Europe (Northern Spain, Belgium and Southern Norway) for four common deciduous tree species (Fagus sylvatica L., Betula pendula Roth., Populus tremula L. and Quercus robur L.) in 2018, 2019 and 2020, with only beech and birch being studied in the final year. The earliest cambial reactivation in spring occurred at the Belgian stands while the end of cambial activity and wood growth cessation generally occurred first in Norway. Results did not show much consistency across species, sites or years and lacked general patterns, except for the end of cambial activity, which occurred generally first in birch. For all species, the site variation in phenophases (up to three months) was substantially larger than the inter-annual variability (up to six weeks). The timeline of bud-burst and cambium reactivation, as well as of foliar senescence and cessation of wood growth, were variable across species even with the same type of wood porosity. Our results suggest that wood growth and leaf phenology are less well connected than previously thought. Linear models showed that temperature is the dominant driver of wood growth phenology, but with climate zone also having an effect, especially at the start of the growing season. Drought conditions, on the other hand, have a larger effect on the timing of wood growth cessation. Our comprehensive analysis represents the first large regional assessment of wood growth phenology in common European deciduous tree species, providing not only new fundamental insights but also a unique dataset for future modelling applications.

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T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) is an aggressive malignant leukemia with extremely limited treatment for relapsed patients. N6‐methyladenosine (m6A) reader insulin-like growth factor 2 mRNA-binding protein 2 (IGF2BP2) participates in the initiation and growth of cancers by communicating with various targets. Here, we found IGF2BP2 was highly expressed in T-ALL. Gain and loss of IGF2BP2 demonstrated IGF2BP2 was essential for T-ALL cell proliferation in vitro and loss of IGF2BP2 prolonged animal survival in a human T-ALL xenograft model. Mechanistically, IGF2BP2 directly bound to T-ALL oncogene NOTCH1 via an m6A dependent manner. Furthermore, we identified a small-molecule IGF2BP2 inhibitor JX5 and treatment of T-ALL with JX5 showed similar functions as knockdown of IGF2BP2. These findings not only shed light on the role of IGF2BP2 in T-ALL, but also provide an alternative γ‑Secretase inhibitors (GSI) therapy to treat T-ALL.

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Timber cladding has been used since historical times as a locally available, affordable weather protection option. Nowadays, interest in timber cladding is again increasing because of ecological reasons as well as naturalistic viewpoints. This review presents a comprehensive report on timber cladding in a European context, beginning with a brief overview of the history before considering contemporary use of timber cladding for building envelopes. The basic principles of good design are considered, paying attention to timber orientation, fixings and environmental risk factors. The relationship of timber with moisture is discussed with respect to sorption behaviour, dimensional instability and design methods to minimise the negative consequences associated with wetting. The behaviour of timber cladding in fires, the effects of environmental stresses and weathering, as well as the cladding properties and the variation thereof with different types of wood and anatomical factors (including exposure of different timber faces), are examined. The review then moves on to considering different methods for protecting timber, such as the use of coatings, preservatives, fire retardants and wood modification. A brief discussion of various environmental considerations is also included, including life cycle assessment, embodied carbon and sequestered atmospheric carbon. The review finishes by making concluding remarks, providing a basis for the selection of appropriate cladding types for different environments.

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Lack of national soil property maps limits the studies of soil moisture (SM) dynamics in Norway. One alternative is to apply the global soil data as input for macro-scale hydrological modelling, but the quality of these data is still unknown. The objectives of this study are 1) to evaluate two recent global soil databases (Wise30sec and SoilGrids) in comparison with data from local soil profiles; 2) to evaluate which database supports better model performance in terms of river discharge and SM for three macro-scale catchments in Norway and 3) to suggest criteria for the selection of soil data for models with different complexity. The global soil databases were evaluated in three steps: 1) the global soil data are compared directly with the Norwegian forest soil profiles; 2) the simulated discharge based on the two global soil databases is compared with observations and 3) the simulated SM is compared with three global SM products. Two hydrological models were applied to simulate discharge and SM: the Soil and Water Integrated Model (SWIM) and the Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) model. The comparison with data from local soil profiles shows that SoilGrids has smaller mean errors than Wise30sec, especially for upper soil layers, but both soil databases have large root mean squared errors and poor correlations. SWIM generally performs better in terms of discharge using SoilGrids than using Wise30sec and the simulated SM has higher correlations with the SM products. In contrast, the VIC model is less sensitive to soil input data and the simulated SM using Wise30sec is higher correlated with the SM products than using SoilGrids. Based on the results, we conclude that the global soil databases can provide reasonable soil property information at coarse resolutions and large areas. The selection of soil input data should depend on the characteristics of both models and study areas.

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The availability of fresh vegetables grown in greenhouses under controlled conditions throughout the year has given rise to concerns about their impact on the environment. In high latitude countries such as Norway, greenhouse vegetable production requires large amounts of energy for heat and light, especially during the winter. The use of renewable energy such as hydroelectricity and its effect on the environment has not been well documented. Neither has the effect of different production strategies on the environment been studied to a large extent. We conducted a life cycle assessment (LCA) of greenhouse tomato production for mid-March to mid-October (seasonal production), 20th January to 20th November (extended seasonal) production, and year-round production including the processes from raw material extraction to farm gate. Three production seasons and six greenhouse designs were included, at one location in southwestern and one in northern Norway. The SimaPro software was used to calculate the environmental impact. Across the three production seasons, the lowest global warming (GW) potential (600 g CO2-eq per 1 kg tomatoes) was observed during year-round production in southwestern Norway for the design NDSFMLLED + LED, while the highest GW potential (3100 g CO2-eq per 1 kg tomatoes) was observed during seasonal production in northern Norway for the design NS. The choice of artificial lighting (HPS (High Pressure Sodium) or LED (Light Emitting Diodes)), heating system and the production season was found to have had a considerable effect on the environmental impact. Moreover, there was a significant reduction in most of the impact categories including GW potential, terrestrial acidification, and fossil resource scarcity from seasonal to year-round production. Overall, year-round production in southwestern Norway had the lowest environmental impact of the evaluated production types. Heating of the greenhouse using natural gas and electricity was the biggest contributor to most of the impact categories. The use of an electric heat pump and LED lights during extended seasonal and year-round production both decreased the environmental impact. However, while replacing natural gas with electricity resulted in decreased GW potential, it increased the ecotoxicity potential.

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Two Life-Cycle Assessments (LCAs) were conducted to evaluate the environmental performances of selected novel eco-intensification innovations for the treatment and valorisation of sludge and fish mortalities from finfish aquaculture. The first innovation is based on a new process for filtering and drying particles from the reject water from a Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS), with end-of-life recovery of nutrients and biomass to be reused as organic fertiliser or as energy source. The second process is based on a new device for drying fish mortalities and reusing the end-product as ingredient in the pet food industry or as energy source. Innovations refer to a functional unit of 1 ton of farmed fish and of fish mortalities, respectively, and were tested with a RAS for smolt production within the physical system boundary of a Norwegian facility. A set of standard indicators was selected for the Life-Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA). The results indicate that the new processes compare well with the established ones, showing a marked decrease in most impact categories: indicators decrease by −12% through to −67% when sludge treatment innovations are applied, and by more than −86% after novel changes about fish mortality, with water consumption instead increasing by +7% and up to +50%, respectively. Furthermore, the analysis provided insights which could lead to improve their environmental performances.

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The preservation of the functionality of forest soil is a key aspect in planning mechanized harvesting operations. Therefore, knowledge and information about stand and soil characteristics are vital to the planning process. In this respect, depth-to-water (DTW) maps were reviewed with regard to their potential use as a prediction tool for wheel ruts. To test the applicability of open source DTW maps for prediction of rutting, the ground surface conditions of 20 clear-cut sites were recorded post harvesting, using an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). In total, 80 km of machine tracks were categorized by the severity of occurring rut-formations to investigate whether: i) operators intuitively avoid areas with low DTW values, ii) a correlation exists between decreasing DTW values and increasing rut severity, and iii) DTW maps can serve as reliable decision-making tool in minimizing the environmental effects of big machinery deployment. While the machine operators did not have access to these predictions (DTW maps) during the operations, there was no visual evidence that driving through these areas was actively avoided, resulting in a higher density of severe rutting within areas with DTW values <1 m. A logistic regression analysis confirmed that the probability of severe rutting rapidly increases with decreasing DTW values. However, significant differences between sites exist which might be attributed to a series of other factors such as soil type, weather conditions, number of passes and load capacity. Monitoring these factors is hence highly recommended in any further follow-up studies on soil trafficability.

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Given the right climatic and environmental conditions, a range of microorganisms can deteriorate wood. Decay by basidiomycete fungi accounts for significant volumes of wood in service that need to be replaced. In this study, a short-wave infrared hyperspectral camera was used to explore the possibilities of using spectral imaging technology for the fast and non-destructive detection of fungal decay. The study encompassed different degradation stages of Scots pine sapwood (Pinus sylvestris L.) specimens inoculated with monocultures of either a brown rot fungus (Rhodonia placenta Fr.) or a white rot fungus (Trametes versicolor L.). The research questions were if the hyperspectral camera can profile fungal wood decay and whether it also can differentiate between decay mechanisms of brown rot and white rot decay. The data analysis employed Partial Least Squares (PLS) regression with the mass loss percentage as the response variable. For all models, the mass loss could be predicted from the wavelength range 1460–1600 nm, confirming the reduction in cellulose. A single PLS component could describe the mass loss to a high degree (90%). The distinction between decay by brown or white rot fungi was made based on spectral peaks around 1680 and 2240 nm, related to lignin.

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A study was conducted to investigate the effect of different storage periods and temperatures on pollen viability in vitro and in vivo in plum genotypes ‘Valerija’, ‘Čačanska Lepotica’ and ‘Valjevka’. In vitro pollen viability was tested at day 0 (fresh dry pollen) and after 3, 6, 9 and 12 months of storage at four different temperatures (4, −20, −80 and −196 °C), and in vivo after 12 months of storage at distinct temperatures. In vitro germination and fluorescein diacetate (FDA) staining methods were used to test pollen viability, while aniline blue staining was used for observing in vivo pollen tube growth. Fresh pollen germination and viability ranged from 42.35 to 63.79% (‘Valjevka’ and ‘Čačanska Lepotica’, respectively) and 54.58 to 62.15%, (‘Valjevka’ and ‘Valerija’, respectively). With storage at 4 °C, pollen viability and germination decreased over the period, with the lowest value after 12 months of storage. Pollen germination and viability for the other storage temperatures (−20, −80 and −196 °C) were higher than 30% by the end of the 12 months. Pollination using pollen stored at 4 °C showed that pollen tube growth mostly ended in the lower part of the style. With the other storage temperatures, pollen tube growth was similar, ranging between 50 and 100% of the pistils with pollen tubes penetrated into the nucellus of the ovule in the genotype ‘Čačanska Lepotica’. The results of these findings will have implications for plum pollen breeding and conservation.

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In order to best conserve, as well as utilize, traditional apple germplasm in Norway, an apple heritage cultivar collection was established in Ullensvang, western Norway, which aims to become the National Clonal Germplasm Repository. The establishment of the apple heritage cultivar collection was preceded by a molecular study that aimed to genotype a large number of apple accessions maintained in various ex situ sites in western and south-eastern Norway, using a rather small set of eight SSR markers. However limited, the marker set managed to identify synonyms, homonyms, and duplicates within and among the investigated collections. In this study, 171 apple accessions from the Ullensvang apple heritage cultivar collection were genotyped using a set of 20 different SSR markers. Approximately half of the accessions have been previously genotyped using eight SSR markers, enabling an assessment of whether the use of a larger marker set would yield a more accurate characterization. Based on the obtained molecular data, the apple heritage cultivar collection was determined to hold a key part of the overall genetic diversity of the Norwegian apple germplasm. Furthermore, the twelve additional SSR markers were able to differentiate several accessions groups originally thought to be synonyms, as well as to provide a more detailed insight into the genetic structure of this germplasm.

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The British forestry sector lacks reliable dynamic growth models for stands of improved Sitka spruce, the most important commercial forest type in Great Britain. The aim of this study is to fill this gap by trialling a new modelling framework and to lay the foundations of a future dynamic growth simulator for that forest type. First, we present single tree diameter and height increment models that are climate sensitive and include explicit competition effects. The predictions from the increment models are pooled to project diameter and height at a given age. These projections are then used as inputs to an integrated taper model from which stochastic tree volume predictions are obtained. Retrospective data from over 1400 trees collected in two extensive genetic trials in Scotland and Wales were used for the purposes of this study. Diameter increment and height increment predictions were highly accurate and diameter and height projections proved consistent. The predicted volume at the time of harvesting also exhibited a high degree of accuracy, which shows the robustness of our approach. Further data will be needed in the future to recalibrate the present models and extend their range of validity to the whole of Great Britain.

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Conservation of species associated with semi-natural grasslands, a threatened habitat, is dependent on their ability to disperse between the few and fragmented patches remaining in the landscape. To maintain metapopulations dynamics and reduce the risk of regional extinction, it is essential to know whether other, more widespread, habitats can act as alternative habitat for the biodiversity associated with threatened habitats. Here, we study how four widespread habitat types in boreal landscapes—forest, permanent grassland, abandoned grassland and road verge—can contribute to the conservation of plant species found in semi-natural grasslands which is a species-rich ecosystem important for plant and pollinator diversity that has experienced extensive reduction, fragmentation and isolation. We compare richness of all vascular plants, insect-pollinated plants and semi-natural grassland specialists among habitat types in two regions is Norway where semi-natural grasslands are few and fragmented. Based on overlap in community composition and local species richness, road verges were the most promising alternative habitat for both insect-pollinated plants and semi-natural grasslands specialists. Several habitat specialist species were, however, only found in semi-natural grasslands and, for these species, no other habitat can be considered suitable as alternative habitat. Our results highlight that a holistic management perspective is needed to maintain biodiversity associated with semi-natural grasslands. Thus, both the protection of remaining patches of the primary, threatened habitats as well as management of widespread, alternative habitats in the landscape should be prioritized.

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Tetraselmis chui is known to accumulate starch when subjected to stress. This phenomenon is widely studied for the purpose of industrial production and process development. Yet, knowledge about the metabolic pathways involved is still immature. Hence, in this study, transcription of 27 starch-related genes was monitored under nitrogen deprivation and resupply in 25 L tubular photobioreactors. T. chui proved to be an efficient starch producer under nitrogen deprivation, accumulating starch up to 56% of relative biomass content. The prolonged absence of nitrogen led to an overall down-regulation of the tested genes, in most instances maintained even after nitrogen replenishment when starch was actively degraded. These gene expression patterns suggest post-transcriptional regulatory mechanisms play a key role in T. chui under nutrient stress. Finally, the high productivity combined with an efficient recovery after nitrogen restitution makes this species a suitable candidate for industrial production of high-starch biomass.

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Previous studies have evaluated how changes in atmospheric nitrogen (N) inputs and climate affect stream N concentrations and fluxes, but none have synthesized data from sites around the globe. We identified variables controlling stream inorganic N concentrations and fluxes, and how they have changed, by synthesizing 20 time series ranging from 5 to 51 years of data collected from forest and grassland dominated watersheds across Europe, North America, and East Asia and across four climate types (tropical, temperate, Mediterranean, and boreal) using the International Long-Term Ecological Research Network. We hypothesized that sites with greater atmospheric N deposition have greater stream N export rates, but that climate has taken a stronger role as atmospheric deposition declines in many regions of the globe. We found declining trends in bulk ammonium and nitrate deposition, especially in the longest time-series, with ammonium contributing relatively more to atmospheric N deposition over time. Among sites, there were statistically significant positive relationships between (1) annual rates of precipitation and stream ammonium and nitrate fluxes and (2) annual rates of atmospheric N inputs and stream nitrate concentrations and fluxes. There were no significant relationships between air temperature and stream N export. Our long-term data shows that although N deposition is declining over time, atmospheric N inputs and precipitation remain important predictors for inorganic N exported from forested and grassland watersheds. Overall, we also demonstrate that long-term monitoring provides understanding of ecosystems and biogeochemical cycling that would not be possible with short-term studies alone.

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Satellite-based precipitation products, (SbPPs) have piqued the interest of a number of researchers as a reliable replacement for observed rainfall data which often have limited time spans and missing days. The SbPPs possess certain uncertainties, thus, they cannot be directly used without comparing against observed rainfall data prior to use. The Kelani river basin is Sri Lanka’s fourth longest river and the main source of water for almost 5 million people. Therefore, this research study aims to identify the potential of using SbPPs as a different method to measure rain besides using a rain gauge. Furthermore, the aim of the work is to examine the trends in precipitation products in the Kelani river basin. Three SbPPs, precipitation estimation using remotely sensed information using artificial neural networks (PERSIANN), PERSIANN-cloud classification system (CCS), and PERSIANN-climate data record (CDR) and ground observed rain gauge daily rainfall data at nine locations were used for the analysis. Four continuous evaluation indices, namely, root mean square error (RMSE), (percent bias) PBias, correlation coefficient (CC), and Nash‒Sutcliffe efficiency (NSE) were used to determine the accuracy by comparing against observed rainfall data. Four categorical indices including probability of detection (POD), false alarm ratio (FAR), critical success index (CSI), and proportional constant (PC) were used to evaluate the rainfall detection capability of SbPPs. Mann‒Kendall test and Sen’s slope estimator were used to identifying whether a trend was present while the magnitudes of these were calculated by Sen’s slope. PERSIANN-CDR performed well by showing better performance in both POD and CSI. When compared to observed rainfall data, the PERSIANN product had the lowest RMSE value, while all products indicated underestimations. The CC and NSE of all three products with observed rainfall data were also low. Mixed results were obtained for the trend analysis as well. The overall results showed that all three products are not a better choice for the chosen study area.

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In the present study, the streamflow simulation capacities between the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) and the Hydrologic Engineering Centre-Hydrologic Modelling System (HEC-HMS) were compared for the Huai Bang Sai (HBS) watershed in northeastern Thailand. During calibration (2007–2010) and validation (2011–2014), the SWAT model demonstrated a Coefficient of Determination (R2) and a Nash Sutcliffe Efficiency (NSE) of 0.83 and 0.82, and 0.78 and 0.77, respectively. During the same periods, the HEC-HMS model demonstrated values of 0.80 and 0.79, and 0.84 and 0.82. The exceedance probabilities at 10%, 40%, and 90% were 144.5, 14.5, and 0.9 mm in the flow duration curves (FDCs) obtained for observed flow. From the HEC-HMS and SWAT models, these indices yielded 109.0, 15.0, and 0.02 mm, and 123.5, 16.95, and 0.02 mm. These results inferred those high flows were captured well by the SWAT model, while medium flows were captured well by the HEC-HMS model. It is noteworthy that the low flows were accurately simulated by both models. Furthermore, dry and wet seasonal flows were simulated reasonably well by the SWAT model with slight under-predictions of 2.12% and 13.52% compared to the observed values. The HEC-HMS model under-predicted the dry and wet seasonal flows by 10.76% and 18.54% compared to observed flows. The results of the present study will provide valuable recommendations for the stakeholders of the HBS watershed to improve water usage policies. In addition, the present study will be helpful to select the most appropriate hydrologic model for humid tropical watersheds in Thailand and elsewhere in the world.

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Field experiments were conducted in 2015 and 2016 to study the effect of tillage frequency, seed rate, and glyphosate on teff and weeds. The experiments were arranged in a split plot design with three replications consisting of tillage frequency (conventional, minimum, and zero tillage) as the main plot and the combination of seed rate (5, 15, and 25 kg ha−1) and glyphosate (with and without) as subplots. Results showed that zero tillage reduced teff biomass yield by 15% compared to minimum tillage and by 26% compared to conventional tillage. Zero tillage and minimum tillage also diminished grain yield by 21% and 13%, respectively, compared to conventional tillage. Lowering the seed rate to 5 kg ha−1 reduced biomass yield by 22% and 26% compared to 15 and 25 kg ha−1, respectively. It also reduced the grain yield by around 21% compared to 15 and 25 kg ha−1 seed rates. Conventional tillage significantly diminished weed density, dry weight, and cover by 19%, 29%, and 33%, respectively, compared to zero tillage. The highest seed rate significantly reduced total weed density, dry weight, and cover by 18%, 19%, and 15%, respectively, compared to the lowest seed rate. Glyphosate did not affect weed density but reduced weed dry weight by 14% and cover by 15%. Generally, sowing teff using minimum tillage combined with glyphosate application and seed rate of 15 kg ha−1 enhanced its productivity and minimized weed effects.

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To meet international and national commitments to decrease emissions of fossil fuels, cities around the world must obtain information on their historical levels of emissions, identifying hotspots that require special attention. Direct atmospheric measurements of pollution sources are almost impossible to obtain retrospectively. However, tree rings serve as an archive of environmental information for reconstructing the temporal and spatial distribution of fossil-fuel emissions in urban areas. Here, we present a novel methodology to reconstruct the spatial and temporal contribution of fossil-fuel CO2 concentration ([CO2F]) in the urban area of Medellin, Colombia. We used a combination of dendrochronological analyses, radiocarbon measurements, and statistical modeling. We obtained annual maps of [CO2F] from 1977 to 2018 that describe changes in its spatial distribution over time. Our method was successful at identifying hotspots of emissions around industrial areas, and areas with high traffic density. It also identified temporal trends that may be related to socioeconomic and technological factors. We observed an important increase in [CO2F] during the last decade, which suggests that efforts of city officials to reduce traffic and emissions did not have a significant impact on the contribution of fossil fuels to local air. The method presented here could be of significant value for city planners and environmental officials from other urban areas around the world. It allows identifying hotspots of fossil fuels emissions, evaluating the impact of previous environmental policies, and planning new interventions to reduce emissions.

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The species composition of benthic algae changes as water phosphorus concentrations increase, and these changes can be used for ecological status assessment according to the Water Framework Directive. Natural background phosphorus concentrations in rivers and streams that are unaffected by anthropogenic impacts are usually low. Running waters draining catchments with deposits of marine clay, however, may have enhanced phosphorus concentrations, because the clay is naturally rich in apatite. Almost all clay rich areas have been cultivated for centuries, however, and fertilization has increased the soil phosphorus levels. It has, therefore, been difficult to disentangle natural from anthropogenically enhanced phosphorus in streams draining clay rich areas. We compared water phosphorus concentrations, and the Periphyton Index of Trophic Status PIT, between clay and non-clay, impacted and unimpacted rivers in Norway. We found that water phosphorus concentrations and the PIT index were higher in unimpacted clay rivers than in unimpacted non-clay rivers, indicating that natural phosphorus concentrations in clay rivers are indeed enhanced compared to rivers without deposits of marine clay. In addition, phosphate-P contributed 18–23% to total phosphorus in unimpacted clay rivers, but 33–37% in unimpacted and impacted non-clay rivers and clay rivers affected by agriculture. This indicates that the total phosphorus in unimpacted clay rivers is less bioavailable than in non-clay rivers and in impacted clay rivers. Water total phosphorus concentrations in unimpacted clay rivers significantly increased with catchment clay cover. Based on these findings, we derived new status class boundaries for the PIT index in clay rivers. Clay rivers are suggested to be assessed in only two status classes, i.e., “good or better” or “moderate or worse”, respectively. The good/moderate status class boundary for the PIT index was shown to increase with increasing catchment clay cover.

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To understand the state and trends in biodiversity beyond the scope of monitoring programs, biodiversity indicators must be comparable across inventories. Species richness (SR) is one of the most widely used biodiversity indicators. However, as SR increases with the size of the area sampled, inventories using different plot sizes are hardly comparable. This study aims at producing a methodological framework that enables SR comparisons across plot-based inventories with differing plot sizes. We used National Forest Inventory (NFI) data from Norway, Slovakia, Spain, and Switzerland to build sample-based rarefaction curves by randomly incrementally aggregating plots, representing the relationship between SR and sampled area. As aggregated plots can be far apart and subject to different environmental conditions, we estimated the amount of environmental heterogeneity (EH) introduced in the aggregation process. By correcting for this EH, we produced adjusted rarefaction curves mimicking the sampling of environmentally homogeneous forest stands, thus reducing the effect of plot size and enabling reliable SR comparisons between inventories. Models were built using the Conway–Maxell–Poisson distribution to account for the underdispersed SR data. Our method successfully corrected for the EH introduced during the aggregation process in all countries, with better performances in Norway and Switzerland. We further found that SR comparisons across countries based on the country-specific NFI plot sizes are misleading, and that our approach offers an opportunity to harmonize pan-European SR monitoring. Our method provides reliable and comparable SR estimates for inventories that use different plot sizes. Our approach can be applied to any plot-based inventory and count data other than SR, thus allowing a more comprehensive assessment of biodiversity across various scales and ecosystems.

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Understanding how niche-based and neutral processes contribute to the spatial varia-tion in plant–pollinator interactions is central to designing effective pollination con-servation schemes. Such schemes are needed to reverse declines of wild bees and other pollinating insects, and to promote pollination services to wild and cultivated plants. We used data on wild bee interactions with plants belonging to the four tribes Loteae, Trifolieae, Anthemideae and either spring- or summer-flowering Cichorieae, sampled systematically along a 682 km latitudinal gradient to build models that allowed us to 1) predict occurrences of pairwise bee–flower interactions across 115 sampling locations, and 2) estimate the contribution of variables hypothesized to be related to niche-based assembly structuring processes (viz. annual mean temperature, landscape diversity, bee sociality, bee phenology and flower preferences of bees) and neutral processes (viz. regional commonness and dispersal distance to conspecifics). While neutral processes were important predictors of plant–pollinator distributions, niche-based processes were reflected in the contrasting distributions of solitary bee and bumble bees along the temperature gradient, and in the influence of bee flower preferences on the distri-bution of bee species across plant types. In particular, bee flower preferences separated bees into three main groups, albeit with some overlap: visitors to spring-flowering Cichorieae; visitors to Anthemideae and summer-flowering Cichorieae; and visitors to Trifolieae and Loteae. Our findings suggest that both neutral and niche-based pro-cesses are significant contributors to the spatial distribution of plant–pollinator inter-actions so that conservation actions in our region should be directed towards areas: Page 2 of 11near high concentrations of known occurrences of regionally rare bees; in mild climatic conditions; and that are surrounded by heterogenous landscapes. Given the observed niche-based differences, the proportion of functionally distinct plants in flower-mixes could be chosen to target bee species, or guilds, of conservation concern. Keywords: ecological networks, machine learning, plant–pollinator interactions, spatial, wild bees

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Conventional agricultural practices favoring the use of glyphosate-based herbicides (GBHs) increase the risk of GBH residues ending up in animal feed, feces, and, eventually, manure. The use of poultry manure as organic fertilizer in the circular food economy increases the unintentional introduction of GBH residues into horticultural and agricultural systems, with reportedly negative effects on the growth and reproduction of crop plants. To understand the potential lasting effects of exposure to GBH residues via organic manure fertilizers, we studied strawberry (Fragaria x vescana) plant performance, yield quantity, biochemistry, folivory, phytochemistry, and soil elemental composition the year after exposure to GBH. Although plants exposed to GBH residues via manure fertilizer were, on average, 23% smaller in the year of exposure, they were able to compensate for their growth during the following growing season. Interestingly, GBH residue exposure in the previous growing season led to a trend in altered plant size preferences of folivores during the following growing season. Furthermore, the plants that had been exposed to GBH residues in the previous growing season produced 20% heavier fruits with an altered composition of phenolic compounds compared to non-exposed plants. Our results indicate that GBHs introduced via manure fertilizer following circular economy practices in one year can have effects on perennial crop plants in the following year, although GBH residues in soil have largely vanished.

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In organic pig production systems, one of the main challenges is to meet the demand for resources rich in protein. Among the resources available, temperate green plants, such as forage legumes, are potential sources of energy and protein. The aim of the study was to determine the nutritional value of silages (S) from the whole plant of lucerne (L) and red clover (R) and protein pastes (PPs) obtained from L and R leaves. In a first trial, 30 pigs were used in a factorial design to determine the total tract digestibility (TTD) of dietary nutrients and energy in five dietary treatments. The control group was fed a control diet (C1). The lucerne silage (LS) and red clover silage (RS) groups were fed a 78%:22% mixture (on a DM basis) of the C1 diet and LS or RS. The lucerne protein paste (LPP) and the red clover protein paste (RPP) groups were fed an 81%:19% mixture (on a DM basis) of the C1 diet and LPP or RPP. In the second trial, five pigs were used in a 5 × 5 Latin square design to evaluate the standardised ileal digestibility (SID) of amino acids (AAs) in the four legume products. The control diet (C2) was formulated with casein as the sole protein source. The LS and RS groups were fed an 85%:15% mixture (on a DM basis) of the C2 diet and LS or RS. The LPP and RPP groups were fed an 80%:20% mixture (on a DM basis) of the C2 diet and LPP or RPP. Regardless of the plant species, silages obtained from L and R leaves contained less AA and more fibre than protein pastes. While the fresh forages contained the same percentage of protein N in total N (63.6%), lucerne lost more protein N during ensiling than red clover (−75.5 vs −33.8%). The calculated TTD coefficient of energy was higher in silages than in protein pastes and lower in R than in L products (72.8, 71.5, 67.7, and 61.3 for LS, RS, LPP and RPP, respectively). The SID of total essential AA was higher in LPP than in RPP (87.2 vs 79.2%) whereas it was lower in LS than in RS (33.2 vs 56.8%). The lower SID values in silages were explained by the protein degradation during the ensiling process and a high proportion of AA linked to the NDF fraction. The results of the present study show that protein pastes obtained from lucerne and red clover are valuable protein sources for pig. In contrast, legume silages have to be considered as an energy source rather than a protein source.

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It has been shown that the COVID-19 pandemic affected some agricultural systems more than others, and even within geographic regions, not all farms were affected to the same extent. To build resilience of agricultural systems to future shocks, it is key to understand which farms were affected and why. In this study, we examined farmers’ perceived robustness to COVID-19, a key resilience capacity. We conducted standardized farmer interviews (n = 257) in 15 case study areas across Europe, covering a large range of socio-ecological contexts and farm types. Interviews targeted perceived livelihood impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on productivity, sales, price, labor availability, and supply chains in 2020, as well as farm(er) characteristics and farm management. Our study corroborates earlier evidence that most farms were not or only slightly affected by the first wave(s) of the pandemic in 2020, and that impacts varied widely by study region. However, a significant minority of farmers across Europe reported that the pandemic was “the worst crisis in a lifetime” (3%) or “the worst crisis in a decade” (7%). Statistical analysis showed that more specialized and intensive farms were more likely to have perceived negative impacts. From a societal perspective, this suggests that highly specialized, intensive farms face higher vulnerability to shocks that affect regional to global supply chains. Supporting farmers in the diversification of their production systems while decreasing dependence on service suppliers and supply chain actors may increase their robustness to future disruptions.

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Elymus repens (L.) Gould), Cirsium arvense (L.) Scop. and Sonchus arvensis L. are important arable creeping perennial weeds in Europe. These are clonal plants with subterranean reproductive organs (E. repens, rhizomes, the two dicots, horizontal creeping roots) sprouting from ramets. We tested the sprouting ability and early growth of ramet sprouts at temperatures typical for Nordic autumn climate and with different preconditions of the mother plant (time in autumn, mother plant age, climate change experiences of the mother plants (two experiments)). The species reacted differently, with S. arvensis not sprouting at all, and C. arvense ramets sprouting at higher temperatures than those of E. repens, which sprouted at all tested temperatures. Plant age affected only the ramet sprout biomass of E. repens. Climate change during mother plant growth only affected C. arvense, with the highest above-ground biomass of the sprouted ramets at an elevated temperature and ambient CO2. Testing earlier in autumn showed more sprouting and biomass for C. arvense and E. repens than testing later in the season. The observed temperature responses confirmed more and bigger sprouts with higher autumn temperatures. Controlling the sprouted ramets in autumn is easier for E. repens than for C. arvensis. Due to their low/no sprouting ability in autumn, the ramets of S. arvensis cannot be controlled in autumn.

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Desiccation with diquat about one week before seed harvest has been common practise in Norwegian clover seed production. However, after withdrawal of diquat in 2020, clover seed growers no longer have desiccators available. In 2019 and 2020, six field trials in red clover and two field trials in white clover were carried out to evaluate alternative chemical products at different rates and at two different spraying dates, either early at 50% mature seed heads and / or late at 65% mature seed heads. Products included, either for one or two years, was Spotlight Plus (carfentrazonethyl), Beloukha (pelargonic acid), Glypper (glyphosate), Gozai (Pyraflufen-ethyl), Harmonix LeafActive (acetic acid), Harmonix FoliaPlus (pelargonic acid), Flurostar (fluroxypyr) and Saltex (sodium chloride) and liquid urea-based fertilizers. In addition, swathing was examined as an alternative in two red clover trials in 2020. While none of the tested chemicals were superior to diquat, the most promising alternatives were Harmonix FoliaPlus and Harmonix LeafActive in red clover or Harmonix FoliaPlus in white clover. Although usually less effective than these products, Beloukha also had an acceptable desiccation effect, especially when sprayed early and late. Swathing before harvest, using finger bar cutters, was an effective drying method under favourable weather conditions.

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The Environmental Effects Assessment Panel of the Montreal Protocol under the United Nations Environment Programme evaluates effects on the environment and human health that arise from changes in the stratospheric ozone layer and concomitant variations in ultraviolet (UV) radiation at the Earth’s surface. The current update is based on scientific advances that have accumulated since our last assessment (Photochem and Photobiol Sci 20(1):1–67, 2021). We also discuss how climate change affects stratospheric ozone depletion and ultraviolet radiation, and how stratospheric ozone depletion affects climate change. The resulting interlinking effects of stratospheric ozone depletion, UV radiation, and climate change are assessed in terms of air quality, carbon sinks, ecosystems, human health, and natural and synthetic materials. We further highlight potential impacts on the biosphere from extreme climate events that are occurring with increasing frequency as a consequence of climate change. These and other interactive effects are examined with respect to the benefits that the Montreal Protocol and its Amendments are providing to life on Earth by controlling the production of various substances that contribute to both stratospheric ozone depletion and climate change.

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The genus Pinus represents more than a hundred different tree species, most of them forming stems that can be commercially utilised for both timber and wood pulp industry. Pines are native to most of the Northern Hemisphere, while introduced and often naturalized in the Southern Hemisphere. The sapwood of pines is considered ‘not durable’ but generally easy to impregnate. On the contrary, the coloured heartwood of pines is difficult to impregnate and considered ‘less to moderately durable’ against decay fungi, but due to varying content and composition of extractives, both moisture performance and inherent durability vary within and between species. This study reviewed the literature to quantify the extent of variability of pine wood and its potential causes. Literature data from durability tests performed under laboratory and field conditions made it possible to compile reference factors for 26 pine species. The inter-species variation of biological durability is more prominent in above-ground exposure (0.7–14.9 times higher compared to the non-durable pine sapwood) compared to soil contact scenarios (1.0–2.4). The latter might be explained by fungicidal and hydrophobic extractives of pines, which play a more dominant role in above-ground exposure compared to soil exposure with permanent wetting.

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Reusing soil can reduce environmental impacts associated with obtaining natural fresh soil during road construction and analogous activities. However, the movement and reuse of soils can spread numerous plant diseases and pests, including propagules of weeds and invasive alien plant species. To avoid the spread of barnyardgrass in reused soil, its seeds must be killed before that soil is spread to new areas. We investigated the possibility of thermal control of barnyardgrass seeds using a prototype of a stationary soil steaming device. One Polish and four Norwegian seed populations were examined for thermal sensitivity. To mimic a natural range in seed moisture content, dried seeds were moistened for 0, 12, 24, or 48 h before steaming. To find effective soil temperatures and whether exposure duration is important, we tested target soil temperatures in the range 60 to 99 C at an exposure duration of 90 s (Experiment 1) and exposure durations of 30, 90, or 180 s with a target temperature of 99 C (Experiment 2). In a third experiment, we tested exposure durations of 90, 180, and 540 s at 99 C (Experiment 3). Obtaining target temperatures was challenging. For target temperatures of 60, 70, 80, and 99 C, the actual temperatures obtained were 59 to 69, 74 to 76, 77 to 83, and 94 to 99 C, respectively. After steaming treatments, seed germination was followed for 28 d in a greenhouse. Maximum soil temperature affected seed germination, but exposure duration did not. Seed premoistening was of influence but varied among temperatures and populations. The relationships between maximum soil temperature and seed germination were described by a common dose–response function. Seed germination was reduced by 50% when the maximum soil temperature reached 62 to 68 C and 90% at 76 to 86 C. For total weed control, 94 C was required in four populations, whereas 79 C was sufficient in one Norwegian population.

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The variability in the emergence process of different populations was confirmed for two Echinochloa crus-galli populations, one from Italy (IT) and the second from Norway (NO). Seeds were sown in 12 localities over Europe and the Middle East, and the emergence patterns of IT and NO were compared with those of several local populations at each location. Seeds of each population were sown in pots buried to the ground level. The base temperature (Tb) for emergence was estimated by (1) analysing logistic models applied to the field emergence of IT and NO, and (2) a germination assay set in winter 2020 at constant temperatures (8, 11, 14, 17, 20, 26, 29°C) with newly collected seeds in 2019 from the same fields where IT and NO had previously been harvested in 2015. The logistic models developed for IT and NO in each location showed that the emergence pattern of IT was similar to that of the local populations in Poland, Italy, Spain, Turkey South and Iran, while NO fitted better to those in Sweden and Latvia. No germination was obtained for IT in a germination chamber, but the estimated Tb with the logistic model was 11.2°C. For NO, the estimated Tb was 8.8°C in the germination chamber and 8.1°C in the field. Results suggest that adaptation to local environmental conditions has led to inter-population differences in Tb and parameter estimates of thermal-time models to predict the emergence of E. crus-galli should only be used for populations with similar climatic and habitat conditions.

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Echinochloa crus-galli (L.) P. Beauv. is one of the most important weeds. It is distributed worldwide and has adapted to diverse habitats and climatic conditions. This study aimed to compare the emergence patterns of two populations of E. crus-galli from different environments at 11 locations across Europe and the Middle East. Seeds of the two populations were collected from maize in Italy and from spring barley in Norway and were then buried in soil in autumn 2015. In the spring of 2016, the soil was disturbed around the usual seedbed preparation date in each location and emergence was recorded. The soil was again disturbed a year later and emergence was recorded for a second season. Total emergence, the times of onset, end and to 50% emergence and the period between 25% and 75% of emergence were analysed by two-way ANOVA and principal components analysis. The Italian population showed a higher emergence than the Norwegian population in Southern locations, while the ranking was reversed in Northern locations. In almost all locations, a tendency to emerge earlier was recorded for the Norwegian population, but the periods from 25% to 75% emergence were similar for both populations. Total emergence, and the times of onset and end of emergence seemed to be mainly under genotypic (plus maternal) control, suggesting there were different temperature thresholds for seedling emergence in each population. Conversely, the duration of emergence seemed to be mainly under environmental control. This research confirms the high variability between populations and suggests the need to continue identifying key characteristics for the development of efficient models for seedling emergence in specific climates and/or latitudes.

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Fecal contamination of water constitutes a serious health risk to humans and environmental ecosystems. This is mainly due to the fact that fecal material carries a variety of enteropathogens, which can enter and circulate in water bodies through fecal pollution. In this respect, the prompt identification of the polluting source(s) is pivotal to guiding appropriate target-specific remediation actions. Notably, microbial source tracking (MST) is widely applied to determine the host origin(s) contributing to fecal water pollution through the identification of zoogenic and/or anthropogenic sources of fecal environmental DNA (eDNA). A wide array of host-associated molecular markers have been developed and exploited for polluting source attribution in various aquatic ecosystems. This review is intended to provide the most up-to-date overview of genetic marker-based MST studies carried out in different water types, such as freshwaters (including surface and groundwaters) and seawaters (from coasts, beaches, lagoons, and estuaries), as well as drinking water systems. Focusing on the latest scientific progress/achievements, this work aims to gain updated knowledge on the applicability and robustness of using MST for water quality surveillance. Moreover, it also provides a future perspective on advancing MST applications for environmental research.

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Anaerobic digestion of animal slurry to produce biogas is the dominated treatment approach and a storage period is normally applied prior to digestion. Pre-storage, however, contributes to CH4 emissions and results in loss of biogas potential. Manure management was found to be an efficient approach to reduce not only the on-site CH4 emission but may also have extended influence on CH4 emission/losses for storage and subsequent biogas process, while the connection remains unclear. The objective of this study was therefore to evaluate the impact of slurry management (e.g. removal frequency) on CH4 emission (both on-site and storage process prior to biogas) and biogas yield. An experimental pig house for growing-finishing pigs (30–110 kg) and the relevant CH4 emission was monitored for one year. In addition, the specific CH4 activity (SMA) test was conducted and used as an alternative indicator to reflect the impact. Results showed that the manure management affected both on-site and subsequent methane emission; with increased manure removal frequencies, the methane emission became less dependent on variation of temperatures and the specific methanogenesis activity was significantly lower. The highest SMA (100 mL CH4 gVS-1), for instance, was observed from the slurries with limited emptied times, which was 10 times of that from the slurries being emptied three times a week. These findings could enlighten the development of environmentally friendly strategies for animal slurry management and biogas production.

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The estimated global production of raspberry from year 2016 to 2020 averaged 846,515 tons. The most common cultivated Rubus spp. is European red raspberry (Rubus idaeus L. subsp. idaeus). Often cultivated for its high nutritional value, the red raspberry (Rubus idaeus) is susceptible to multiple viruses that lead to yield loss. These viruses are transmitted through different mechanisms, of which one is invertebrate vectors. Aphids and nematodes are known to be vectors of specific raspberry viruses. However, there are still other potential raspberry virus vectors that are not well-studied. This review aimed to provide an overview of studies related to this topic. All the known invertebrates feeding on raspberry were summarized. Eight species of aphids and seven species of plant-parasitic nematodes were the only proven raspberry virus vectors. In addition, the eriophyid mite, Phyllocoptes gracilis, has been suggested as the natural vector of raspberry leaf blotch virus based on the current available evidence. Interactions between vector and non-vector herbivore may promote the spread of raspberry viruses. As a conclusion, there are still multiple aspects of this topic that require further studies to get a better understanding of the interactions among the viral pathogens, invertebrate vectors, and non-vectors in the raspberry agroecosystem. Eventually, this will assist in development of better pest management strategies.

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This paper presents results from a container experiment and a real-scale study in road environments for evaluating the performance of soil mixtures and herbaceous perennials for use in rain gardens. The container experiment included 12 soil mixtures and 4 perennial species. The plants were exposed to three flooding events and one drought period, and their overall vitality was recorded after the floodings. The containers were stored outdoors the following winter and plant survival was observed in spring. Amsonia orientalis did not survive the winter after being exposed to flooding in the growing season and was replaced by Hosta ‘Francee’ in the real-scale study, which was established in Drammen (Norway) in a soil mixture based on optimisation of the best mixtures in the container experiment. Luzula sylvatica performed well in the container study and survived the winter; however, in the field study, individuals of this species that were located close to the road died due to de-icing salt. Eurybia divaricata showed some mortality in both studies, and total mortality occurred in individuals that were close to the road, due to de-icing salt. Hemerocallis cvv. performed well in both experiments and appeared to be useful in all rain garden positions in the cold climate road environment. H. ‘Francee’ developed well in the road environment, except when exposed to splashes of road water. The study highlights considerable differences between species’ adaption to roadside rain gardens in cold climates, and the need for further field investigations.

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Maize and other cereals are the commodities most contaminated with fumonisins. The maize acreage is increasing in Africa, and the maize harvest provides important foods for humans and feeds for domestic animals throughout the continent. In North Africa, high levels of fumonisins have been reported from Algeria and Morocco, while low levels have been detected in the rather few fumonisin analyses reported from Tunisia and Egypt. The West African countries Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ghana, and Nigeria all report high levels of fumonisin contamination of maize, while the few maize samples analysed in Togo contain low levels. In Eastern Africa, high levels of fumonisin contamination have been reported from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. The samples analysed from Rwanda contained low levels of fumonisins. Analysis of maize from the Southern African countries Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe revealed high fumonisin levels, while low levels of fumonisins were detected in the few analyses of maize from Botswana and Mozambique.

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Over recent decades, the Norwegian cereal industry has had major practical and financial challenges associated with the occurrence of Fusarium head blight (FHB) pathogens and their associated mycotoxins in cereal grains. Deoxynivalenol (DON) is one of the most common Fusarium-mycotoxins in Norwegian oats, however T-2 toxin (T2) and HT-2 toxin (HT2) are also commonly detected. The aim of our study was to rank Nordic spring oat varieties and breeding lines by content of the most commonly occurring Fusarium mycotoxins (DON and HT2 + T2) as well as by the DNA content of their respective producers. We analyzed the content of mycotoxins and DNA of seven fungal species belonging to the FHB disease complex in grains of Nordic oat varieties and breeding lines harvested from oat field trials located in the main cereal cultivating district in South-East Norway in the years 2011–2020. Oat grains harvested from varieties with a high FHB resistance contained on average half the levels of mycotoxins compared with the most susceptible varieties, which implies that choice of variety may indeed impact on mycotoxin risk. The ranking of oat varieties according to HT2 + T2 levels corresponded with the ranking according to the DNA levels of Fusarium langsethiae, but differed from the ranking according to DON and Fusarium graminearum DNA. Separate tests are therefore necessary to determine the resistance towards HT2 + T2 and DON producers in oats. This creates practical challenges for the screening of FHB resistance in oats as today’s screening focuses on resistance to F. graminearum and DON. We identified oat varieties with generally low levels of both mycotoxins and FHB pathogens which should be preferred to mitigate mycotoxin risk in Norwegian oats.

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En stor utfordring i dagens arealplanlegging er de mange virksomhetene som benytter seg av land- og naturressurser som konkurrerer eller kommer i konflikt med reindriftsnæringen. Reindrifta deltar i et mangfold av prosesser hvor det planlegges nye inngrep og aktiviteter og hvor det skjer endringer i landskap som benyttes til reinbeite. Det er en økende anerkjennelse av at tradisjons- og erfaringsbasert kunnskap må inkluderes i arealplanleggingen for å oppnå en mer helhetlig økosystembasert forvaltning. Lover og regler på ulike nivå forutsetter medvirkning og inkludering av reindriftsutøvernes kunnskap. Utbyggere legger opp til medvirkningsprosesser og avbøtende tiltak, mens forskere inviterer til samarbeidsprosjekter på tvers av disipliner, hvor reindrifta inviteres med som deltakere og informanter. Det er likevel mye som tyder på at intensjonene med slike medvirkningsprosesser ikke blir tilstrekkelig fulgt opp, og at den erfaringsbaserte kunnskapen ofte blir oversett med påfølgende konsekvenser for reindriftas livsgrunnlag og kultur. Vi vil i dette kapitlet sette søkelys på prosessene rundt samarbeidet hvor ulike kunnskapssystemer møtes og samspiller. Artikkelen bygger på diskusjoner omkring reindriftas erfaringsbaserte kunnskap på workshopen om reindrift og arealinngrep i Tromsø i 2019, samt diskusjoner med reindriftsutøvere i Nordland gjennom flere år. Problemstillinger som er løftet fram er knyttet til metodikk, verktøy og retningslinjer som forskere og forvaltning tar utgangspunkt i, og betydningen av deres tilnærminger for å takle reindriftas utfordringer knyttet til økt rovdyrpress, økt menneskelig aktivitet i landskapet og utbygginger på ulike skala. I tillegg er selve prosessene rundt samarbeid og dialog ved planlagte utbygginger ansett som spesielt viktig å sette nærmere søkelys på. Vi diskuterer denne tematikken gjennom noen konkrete eksempler fra Nordland. En utfordring sett fra reindriftas ståsted er manglende forståelse for kompleksiteten i samspillet mellom reindrifta, landskapet og menneskelig aktivitet. Reindrifta peker på et stort behov for mer helhetlig økosystemtenkning både i forskning og forvaltning, hvor økologiske og samfunnsmessige prosesser i mye større utstrekning sees i sammenheng enn hva som gjøres i dag. Tradisjonskunnskap må inkluderes tidligst mulig, og allerede når metodikk, retningslinjer og verktøy utformes. Dette for å oppnå prosesser som skaper grunnlag for samarbeid og samskaping av kunnskap. Det må også stilles krav til utbyggere for at de skal kunne etterleve intensjonene i regelverket og reindrifta må også tilføres ressurser for å være i stand til å bidra til saksbehandlingsprosessene som forutsatt.

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Septoria nodorum blotch (SNB), caused by the necrotrophic fungal pathogen Parastagonospora nodorum, is the dominant leaf blotch pathogen of wheat in Norway. Resistance/susceptibility to SNB is a quantitatively inherited trait, which can be partly explained by the interactions between wheat sensitivity loci (Snn) and corresponding P. nodorum necrotrophic effectors (NEs). Two Nordic wheat association mapping panels were assessed for SNB resistance in the field over three to four years: a spring wheat and a winter wheat panel (n = 296 and 102, respectively). Genome-wide association studies found consistent SNB resistance associated with quantitative trait loci (QTL) on eleven wheat chromosomes, and ten of those QTL were common in the spring and winter wheat panels. One robust QTL on the short arm of chromosome 2A, QSnb.nmbu-2AS, was significantly detected in both the winter and spring wheat panels. For winter wheat, using the four years of SNB field severity data in combination with five years of historical data, the effect of QSnb.nmbu-2AS was confirmed in seven of the nine years, while for spring wheat, the effect was confirmed for all tested years including the historical data from 2014 to 2015. However, lines containing the resistant haplotype are rare in both Nordic spring (4.0%) and winter wheat cultivars (15.7%), indicating the potential of integrating this QTL in SNB resistance breeding programs. In addition, clear and significant additive effects were observed by stacking resistant alleles of the detected QTL, suggesting that marker-assisted selection can greatly facilitate SNB resistance breeding.

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Aims Root traits associated with resource foraging, including fine-root branching intensity, root hair, and mycorrhiza, may change in soils that vary in rock fragment content (RFC), while how these traits covary at the level of individual root branching order is largely unknown. Methods We subjected two xerophytic species, Artemisia vestita (subshrub) and Bauhinia brachycarpa (shrub), to increasing RFC gradients (0%, 25%, 50%, and 75%, v v− 1) in an arid environment and measured fine-root traits related to resource foraging. Results Root hair density and mycorrhizal colonization of both species decreased with increasing root order, but increased in third- or fourth-order roots at high RFCs (50% or 75%) compared to low RFCs. The two species tend to produce more root hairs than mycorrhizas under the high RFCs. For both species, root hair density and mycorrhizal colonization intensity were negatively correlated with root length and root diameter across root order and RFCs. Rockiness reduced root branching intensity in both species comparing with rock-free soil. At the same level of RFC, A. vestita had thicker roots and lower branching intensity than B. brachycarpa and tended to produce more root hairs. Conclusion Our results suggest the high RFC soil conditions stimulated greater foraging functions in higher root orders. We found evidence for a greater investment in root hairs and mycorrhizal symbioses as opposed to building an extensive root system in rocky soils. The two species studied, A. vestita and B. brachycarpa, took different approaches to foraging in the rocky soil through distinctive trait syndromes of fine-root components.

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Background and aims It is demonstrated that intercropping improves soil fertility, but its effect on deep soil is still unclear. The major objective of this study was to determine the distribution of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and soil aggregates and their interrelationship across soil depths in intercropping systems. Methods A three-year positioning experiment based on a two-factor experimental design at two N application levels (N0 and N2) and different cropping systems (maize/soybean intercropping and corresponding monocultures) was started in 2017. Soil samples were collected from 0–15 cm and 15–30 cm for analyzing soil aggregates and from 0–15 cm, 15–30 cm, 30–5 cm, and 45–60 cm for determining the AMF composition. Results It was observed that intercropping improved the macro-aggregate (> 5 mm) content at 0–15 cm and 15–30 cm depths for maize soil and only 0–15 cm depth for soybean soil without N treatment. The application of N decreased the macro-aggregate content in the intercropping soil at 0–15 cm and 15–30 cm depths. Moreover, intercropping significantly improved the AMF diversity of maize and soybean soils across soil depths, while the application of N reduced the AMF diversity of soil across depths. Conclusions The structural equation modeling analysis indicated that the intercropping system influenced the stability of soil aggregates and promoted the formation of large aggregates by altering soil nutrients and the diversity of AMF. The results further revealed the reasons behind soil fertility improvement by adopting crop diversification.

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Norway’s most common tree species, Picea abies (L.) Karst. (Norway spruce), is often infected with Heterobasidion parviporum Niemelä & Korhonen and Heterobasidion annosum (Fr.) Bref.. Because Pinus sylvestris L. (Scots pine) is less susceptible to rot, it is worth considering if converting rot-infested spruce stands to pine improves economic performance. We examined the economically optimal choice between planting Norway spruce and Scots pine for previously spruce-dominated clear-cut sites of different site indexes with initial rot levels varying from 0% to 100% of stumps on the site. While it is optimal to continue to plant Norway spruce in regions with low rot levels, shifting to Scots pine pays off when rot levels get higher. The threshold rot level for changing from Norway spruce to Scots pine increases with the site index. We present a case study demonstrating a practical method (“Precision forestry”) for determining the tree species in a stand at the pixel level when the stand is heterogeneous both in site indexes and rot levels. This method is consistent with the concept of Precision forestry, which aims to plan and execute site-specific forest management activities to improve the quality of wood products while minimising waste, increasing profits, and maintaining environmental quality. The material for the study includes data on rot levels and site indexes in 71 clear-cut stands. Compared to planting the entire stand with a single species, pixel-level optimised species selection increases the net present value in almost every stand, with average increase of approximately 6%.

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The aim of this study was to compare total phenolic content (TPC), radical-scavenging activity (RSA), total anthocyanin content (TAC), sugar and polyphenolic profiles of two apple cultivars (‘Discovery’ and ‘Red Aroma Orelind’) from organic and integrated production systems in climatic conditions of Western Norway. Sixteen sugars and four sugar alcohols and 19 polyphenols were found in the peel, but less polyphenols were detected in the pulp. The peel of both apples and in both production systems had significantly higher TPC and RSA than the pulp. The peel from integrated apples had higher TPC than the peel from organic apples, while organic apples had higher TAC than the integrated. Sucrose and glucose levels were higher in organic apples; fructose was cultivar dependent while minor sugars were higher in integrated fruits. The most abundant polyphenolic compound in the peel of the tested cultivars was quercetin 3-O-galactoside, while chlorogenic acid was most abundant in the pulp. Regarding polyphenols, phloretin, phloridzin, protocatechuic acid, baicalein and naringenin were higher in organic apple, while quercetin 3-O-galactoside, kaempferol 3-O-glucoside, chlorogenic acid and syringic acid was higher in integrated fruits. In conclusion, organic ‘Discovery’ and integrated ‘Red Aroma Orelind’ had higher bioavailability of health related compounds from the peel and the pulp.

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The occurrence of freeze–thaw cycles modifies water infiltration processes and surface runoff generation. Related processes are complex and are not yet fully investigated at field scale. While local weather conditions and soil management practices are the most important factors in both runoff generation and surface erosion processes, local terrain heterogeneities may significantly influence soil erosion processes in catchments with undulating terrain. This paper presents a field-based investigation of spatial and temporal heterogeneities in subsurface soil moisture and soil temperature associated with freezing, thawing, and snowmelt infiltration. The field setup consists of a combination of traditional point measurements performed with frequency domain reflectometry (FDR) and electrical resistivity tomography (ERT). The transect was approximately 70 m long and spanned an entire depression with a north-facing slope (average slope of 11.5%) and a south-facing slope (average slope of 9.7%). The whole depression was entirely covered with stubble. Observed resistivity patterns correspond well to the measured soil moisture patterns. During the observation period, the north facing slope froze earlier and deeper compared with the south facing slope. Freeze–thaw cycles were less pronounced in the north-facing slope than in the south-facing slope. There were also differences in soil temperature and soil moisture patterns between lower and upper parts of the monitored depression. These indicate that initiation and development of runoff related processes, and consequently soil erosion, in regions with freeze–thaw cycles may differ significantly depending on local terrain characteristics. Consequently, it indicates that spatial terrain heterogeneities, especially slope aspects, may be important when studying soil erosion processes, water flow and nutrient leaching in lowlands where patchy snowpacks and dynamic freeze–thaw cycles are predominating.

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European ash (Fraxinus excelsior) and narrow-leafed ash (F. angustifolia) are keystone forest tree species with a broad ecological amplitude and significant economic importance. Besides global warming both species are currently under significant threat by an invasive fungal pathogen that has been spreading progressively throughout the continent for almost three decades. Ash dieback caused by the ascomycete Hymenoscyphus fraxineus is capable of damaging ash trees of all age classes and often ultimately leads to the death of a tree after years of progressively developing crown defoliation. While studies at national and regional level already suggested rapid decline of ash populations as a result of ash dieback, a comprehensive survey at European level with harmonized crown assessment data across countries could shed more light into the population decline from a pan-European perspective and could also pave the way for a new conservation strategy beyond national boarders. Here we present data from the ICP Forests Level I crown condition monitoring from 27 countries resulting in > 36,000 observations. We found a substantial increase in defoliation and mortality over time indicating that crown defoliation has almost doubled during the last three decades. Hotspots of mortality are currently situated in southern Scandinavia and north-eastern Europe. Overall survival probability after nearly 30 years of infection has already reached a critical value of 0.51, but with large differences among regions (0.20–0.86). Both a Cox proportional hazard model as well as an Aalen additive regression model strongly suggest that survival of ash is significantly lower in locations with excessive water regime and which experienced more extreme precipitation events during the last two decades. Our results underpin the necessity for fast governmental action and joint rescue efforts beyond national borders since overall mean defoliation will likely reach 50% as early as 2030 as suggested by time series forecasting.

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Roadsides, in particular those being species-rich and of conservation value, are considered to improve landscape permeability by providing corridors among habitat patches and by facilitating species' dispersal. However, little is known about the potential connectivity offered by such high-value roadsides. Using circuit theory, we modelled connectivity provided by high-value roadsides in landscapes with low or high permeability in south-central Sweden, with ‘permeability’ being measured by the area of semi-natural grasslands. We modelled structural connectivity and, for habitat generalists and specialists, potential functional connectivity focusing on butterflies. We further assessed in which landscapes grassland connectivity is best enhanced through measures for expanding the area of high-value roadsides. Structural connectivity provided by high-value roadsides resulted in similar patterns to those of a functional approach, in which we modelled habitat generalists. In landscapes with low permeability, all target species showed higher movements within compared to between grasslands using high-value roadsides. In landscapes with high permeability, grassland generalists and specialists showed the same patterns, whereas for habitat generalists, connectivity provided by high-value roadsides and grasslands was similar. Increasing the ratio of high-value roadsides can thus enhance structural and functional connectivity in landscapes with low permeability. In contrast, in landscapes with high permeability, roadsides only supported movement of specialised species. Continuous segments of high-value roadsides are most efficient to increase connectivity for specialists, whereas generalists can utilize also short segments of high-value roadsides acting as stepping-stones. Thus, land management should focus on the preservation and restoration of existing semi-natural grasslands. Management for enhancing grassland connectivity through high-value roadsides should aim at maintaining and creating high-value roadside vegetation, preferably in long continuous segments, especially in landscapes with low permeability.

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Global land use change has resulted in more pasture and cropland, largely at the expense of woodlands, over the last 300 years. How this change affects soil hydraulic function with regard to feedbacks to the hydrological cycle is unclear for earth system modelling (ESM). Pedotransfer functions (PTFs) used to predict soil hydraulic conductivity (K) take no account of land use. Here, we synthesize >800 measurements from around the globe from sites that measured near-saturated soil hydraulic conductivity, or infiltration, at the soil surface, on the same soil type at each location, but with differing land use, woodland (W), grassland (G) and cropland (C). We found that texture based PTFs predict K reasonably well for cropland giving unbiased results, but increasingly underestimate K in grassland and woodland. In native woodland and grassland differences in K can usually be accounted for by differences in bulk density. However, heavy grazing K responses can be much lower indicating compaction likely reduces connectivity. We show that the K response ratios (RR) between land uses vary with cropland (C/W = 0.45 [W/C = 2.2]) and grassland (G/W = 0.63 [W/G = 1.6]) having about half the K of woodland.

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Litter comprises a major nutrient source when decomposed via soil microbes and functions as subtract that limits gas exchange between soil and atmosphere, thereby restricting methane (CH4) uptake in soils. However, the impact and inherent mechanism of litter and its decomposition on CH4 uptake in soils remains unknown in forest. Therefore, to declare the mechanisms of litter input and decomposition effect on the soil CH4 flux in forest, this study performed a litter-removal experiment in a tropical rainforest, and investigated the effects of litter input and decomposition on the CH4 flux among forest ecosystems through a literature review. Cumulative annual CH4 flux was −3.30 kg CH4-C ha−1 y−1. The litter layer decreased annual accumulated CH4 uptake by 8% which greater in the rainy season than the dry season in the tropical rainforest. Litter decomposition and the input of carbon and nitrogen in litter biomass reduced CH4 uptake significantly and the difference in CH4 flux between treatment with litter and without litter was negatively associated with N derived from litter input. Based on the literature review about litter effect on soil CH4 around world forests, the effect of litter dynamics on CH4 uptake was regulated by litter-derived nitrogen input and the amount soil inorganic nitrogen content. Our results suggest that nitrogen input via litter decomposition, which increased with temperature, caused a decline in CH4 uptake by forest soils, which could weaken the contribution of the forest in mitigating global warming.

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Prediction of the relative phosphorus (P) fertiliser value of bio-based fertiliser products is agronomically important, but previous attempts to develop prediction models have often failed due to the high chemical complexity of bio-based fertilisers and the limited number of products included in analyses. In this study, regression models for prediction were developed using independently produced data from 10 different studies on crop growth responses to P applied with bio-based fertiliser products, resulting in a dataset with 69 products. The 69 fertiliser products were organised into four sub-groups, based on the inorganic P compounds most likely to be present in each product. Within each product group, multiple regression was conducted using mineral fertiliser equivalents (MFE) as response variable and three potential explanatory variables derived from chemical analysis, all reflecting inorganic P binding in the fertiliser products: i) NaHCO3-soluble P, ii) molar ratio of calcium (Ca):P and iii) molar ratio of aluminium+iron (Al+Fe):P. The best regression model fit was achieved for sewage sludges with Al-/Fe-bound P (n = 20; R2 = 79.2%), followed by sewage sludges with Ca-bound P (n = 11; R2 = 71.1%); fertiliser products with Ca-bound P (n = 29; R2 = 58.2%); and thermally treated sewage sludge products (n=9;R2=44.9%). Even though external factors influencing P fertiliser values (e.g. fertiliser shape, application form, soil characteristics) differed between the underlying studies and were not considered, the suggested prediction models provide potential for more efficient P recycling in practice.

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The amount of lignocellulose biomass and sludge is enormous, so it is of great significance to find a treatment combining the two substances. Co-hydrothermal carbonization (Co-HTC) has emerged as an efficient approach to dispose sludge. However, the improvement of sludge upgrading and combustion performance remains an important challenge during the Co-HTC of sludge. In this work, the Co-HTC of sludge and Fenton's reagent at different mixing ratios was proposed to achieve sludge reduction. Moreover, the addition of two kinds of biomass improved the adsorption capacity and combustion performance of hydrochars. When sludge and sawdust were the Co-HTC at the mass ratio of 1:3, the liquid phase Pb concentration decreased notably to 18.06%. Furthermore, the adsorption capacity of hydrochars was further improved by modification, which was in accordance with pseudo-second-order kinetics. Particularly, the hydrochars derived from the Co-HTC had higher heating value (HHV) and could be used as a clean fuel. This study proposed a new technical route of combining the HTC with Fenton's reagent and lignocellulose biomass, which could be served as a cleaner and eco-friendly treatment of sludge.

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Knowledge about the spatial variation of boreal forest soil carbon (C) stocks is limited, but crucial for establishing management practices that prevent losses of soil C. Here, we quantified the surface soil C stocks across small spatial scales, and aim to contribute to an improved understanding of the drivers involved in boreal forest soil C accumulation. Our study is based on C analyses of 192 soil cores, positioned and recorded systematically within a forest area of 11 ha. The study area is a south-central Norwegian boreal forest landscape, where the fire history for the past 650 years has been reconstructed. Soil C stocks ranged from 1.3 to 96.7 kg m−2 and were related to fire frequency, ecosystem productivity, vegetation attributes, and hydro-topography. Soil C stocks increased with soil nitrogen concentration, soil water content, Sphagnum- and litter-dominated forest floor vegetation, and proportion of silt in the mineral soil, and decreased with fire frequency in site 1, feathermoss- and lichen-dominated forest floor vegetation and increasing slope. Our results emphasize that boreal forest surface soil C stocks are highly variable in size across fine spatial scales, shaped by an interplay between historical forest fires, ecosystem productivity, forest floor vegetation, and hydro-topography.

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The number of people affected by snow avalanches during recreational activities has increased over the recent years. An instrument to reduce these numbers are improved terrain classification systems. One such system is the Avalanche Terrain Exposure Scale (ATES). Forests can provide some protection from avalanches, and information on forest attributes can be incorporated into avalanche hazard models such as the automated ATES model (AutoATES). The objectives of this study were to (i) map forest stem density and canopy-cover based on National Forest Inventory and remote sensing data and, (ii) use these forest attributes as input to the AutoATES model. We predicted stem density and directly calculated canopy-cover in a 20 Mha study area in Norway. The forest attributes were mapped for 16 m × 16 m pixels, which were used as input for the AutoATES model. The uncertainties of the stem number and canopy-cover maps were 30% and 31%, respectively. The overall classification accuracy of 52 ski-touring routes in Western Norway with a total length of 282 km increased from 55% in the model without forest information to 67% when utilizing canopy cover. The F1 score for the three predicted ATES classes improved by 31%, 9%, and 6%.

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In a fertiliser experiment in a Norway spruce forest in SE Norway, four treatments were applied in a block design with three replicates per treatment. Treatments included 3 t wood ash ha−1 (Ash), 150 kg nitrogen ha−1 (N), wood ash and nitrogen combined (Ash + N), and unfertilised control (Ctrl). Treatment effects on understory plant species numbers, single abundances of species and (summarised) cover of main species groups were studied. Two years after treatment there were no significant changes for species numbers or abundances of woody species, dwarf shrubs or pteridophytes, nor for Sphagnum spp. in the bottom layer. The cover of graminoids decreased in Ctrl plots. Herb cover increased significantly in Ash + N and N plots due to the increase of Melampyrum sylvaticum. In Ash + N plots, mosses decreased significantly in species number, while their cover increased. Moss cover also decreased significantly in N plots. The species number and cover of hepatics decreased significantly in Ash and Ash + N plots. Hepatics cover also decreased in Ctrl plots. Both the lichen number and cover decreased in Ash + N plots. Single species abundances decreased for many bryophytes in fertilised plots. To conclude, fertilisation had modest effects on vascular plants, while bryophytes were more strongly affected, especially by Ash + N.

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Stand-level growth and yield models are important tools that support forest managers and policymakers. We used recent data from the Norwegian National Forest Inventory to develop stand-level models, with components for dominant height, survival (number of survived trees), ingrowth (number of recruited trees), basal area, and total volume, that can predict long-term stand dynamics (i.e. 150 years) for the main species in Norway, namely Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.), Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.), and birch (Betula pubescens Ehrh. and Betula pendula Roth). The data used represent the structurally heterogeneous forests found throughout Norway with a wide range of ages, tree size mixtures, and management intensities. This represents an important alternative to the use of dedicated and closely monitored long-term experiments established in single species even-aged forests for the purpose of building these stand-level models. Model examination by means of various fit statistics indicated that the models were unbiased, performed well within the data range and extrapolated to biologically plausible patterns. The proposed models have great potential to form the foundation for more sophisticated models, in which the influence of other factors such as natural disturbances, stand structure including species mixtures, and management practices can be included.

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Due to the diversity of microbiota and the high complexity of their interactions that mediate biogas production, a detailed understanding of the microbiota is essential for the overall stability and performance of the anaerobic digestion (AD) process. This study evaluated the microbial taxonomy, metabolism, function, and genetic differences in 14 full-scale biogas reactors and laboratory reactors operating under various conditions in China. This is the first known study of the microbial ecology of AD at food waste (FW) at a regional scale based on multi-omics (16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing, metagenomics, and proteomics). Temperature significantly affected the bacterial and archaeal community structure (R2 = 0.996, P = 0.001; R2 = 0.846, P < 0.002) and total inorganic carbon(TIC) slightly changed the microbial structure (R2 = 0.532, P = 0.005; R2 = 0.349, P = 0.016). The Wood-Ljungdahl coupled with hydrogenotrophic methanogenic pathways were dominant in the thermophilic reactors, where the acs, metF, cooA, mer, mch and ftr genes were 10.1-, 2.8-, 16.2-, 1.74-, 4.15-, 1.04-folds of the mesophilic reactors (P < 0.01). However, acetoclastic and methylotrophic methanogenesis was the primary pathway in the mesophilic reactors, where the ackA, pta, cdh and mta genes were 2.2-, 3.2-, 14.3-, 1.88-folds of the thermophilic group (P < 0.01). Finally, the Wilcoxon rank-sum test was applied to explain the cause of the temperature affecting AD microbial activities. The findings have deepened the understanding of the effect of temperature on AD microbial ecosystems and are expected to guide the construction and management of full-scale FW biogas plants.

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The alpine treeline ecotone is expected to move upwards in elevation with global warming. Thus, mapping treeline ecotones is crucial in monitoring potential changes. Previous remote sensing studies have focused on the usage of satellites and aircrafts for mapping the treeline ecotone. However, treeline ecotones can be highly heterogenous, and thus the use of imagery with higher spatial resolution should be investigated. We evaluate the potential of using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for the collection of ultra-high spatial resolution imagery for mapping treeline ecotone land covers. We acquired imagery and field reference data from 32 treeline ecotone sites along a 1100 km latitudinal gradient in Norway (60–69°N). Before classification, we performed a superpixel segmentation of the UAV-derived orthomosaics and assigned land cover classes to segments: rock, water, snow, shadow, wetland, tree-covered area and five classes within the ridge-snowbed gradient. We calculated features providing spectral, textural, three-dimensional vegetation structure, topographical and shape information for the classification. To evaluate the influence of acquisition time during the growing season and geographical variations, we performed four sets of classifications: global, seasonal-based, geographical regional-based and seasonal-regional-based. We found no differences in overall accuracy (OA) between the different classifications, and the global model with observations irrespective of data acquisition timing and geographical region had an OA of 73%. When accounting for similarities between closely related classes along the ridge-snowbed gradient, the accuracy increased to 92.6%. We found spectral features related to visible, red-edge and near-infrared bands to be the most important to predict treeline ecotone land cover classes. Our results show that the use of UAVs is efficient in mapping treeline ecotones, and that data can be acquired irrespective of timing within a growing season and geographical region to get accurate land cover maps. This can overcome constraints of a short field-season or low-resolution remote sensing data.

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Numerous species of pathogenic wood decay fungi, including members of the genera Heterobasidion and Armillaria, exist in forests in the northern hemisphere. Detection of these fungi through field surveys is often difficult due to a lack of visual symptoms and is cost-prohibitive for most applications. Remotely sensed data can offer a lower-cost alternative for collecting information about vegetation health. This study used hyperspectral imagery collected from unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to detect the presence of wood decay in Norway spruce (Picea abies L. Karst) at two sites in Norway. UAV-based sensors were tested as they offer flexibility and potential cost advantages for small landowners. Ground reference data regarding pathogenic wood decay were collected by harvest machine operators and field crews after harvest. Support vector machines were used to classify the presence of root, butt, and stem rot infection. Classification accuracies as high as 76% with a kappa value of 0.24 were obtained with 490-band hyperspectral imagery, while 29-band imagery provided a lower classification accuracy (~60%, kappa = 0.13).

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The Copernicus high-resolution layer imperviousness density (HRL IMD) for 2018 is a 10 m resolution raster showing the degree of soil sealing across Europe. The imperviousness gradation (0–100%) per pixel is determined by semi-automated classification of remote sensing imagery and based on calibrated NDVI. The product was assessed using a within-pixel point sample of ground truth examined on very high-resolution orthophoto for the section of the product covering Norway. The results show a high overall accuracy, due to the large tracts of natural surfaces correctly portrayed as permeable (0% imperviousness). The total sealed area in Norway is underestimated by approximately 33% by HRL IMD. Point sampling within pixels was found to be suitable for verification of remote sensing products where the measurement is a binomial proportion (e.g., soil sealing or canopy coverage) when high-resolution aerial imagery is available as ground truth. The method is, however, vulnerable to inaccuracies due to geometrical inconsistency, sampling errors and mistaken interpretation of the ground truth. Systematic sampling inside each pixel is easy to work with and is known to produce more accurate estimates than a simple random sample when spatial autocorrelation is present, but this improvement goes unnoticed unless the status and location of each sample point inside the pixel is recorded and an appropriate method is applied to estimate the within-pixel sampling accuracy.

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Active crop sensor-based precision nitrogen (N) management can significantly improve N use efficiency but generally does not increase crop yield. The objective of this research was to develop and evaluate an active canopy sensor-based precision rice management system in terms of grain yield and quality, N use efficiency, and lodging resistance as compared with farmer practice, regional optimum rice management system recommended by the extension service, and a chlorophyll meter-based precision rice management system. Two field experiments were conducted from 2011 to 2013 at Jiansanjiang Experiment Station of China Agricultural University in Heilongjiang, China, involving four rice management systems and two varieties (Kongyu 131 and Longjing 21). The results indicated that the canopy sensor-based precision rice management system significantly increased rice grain yield (by 9.4–13.5%) over the farmer practice while improving N use efficiency, grain quality, and lodging resistance. Compared with the already optimized regional optimum rice management system, in the cool weather year of 2011, the developed system decreased the N rate applied in Kongyu 131 by 12% and improved N use efficiency without inducing yield loss. In the warm weather year of 2013, the canopy sensor-based management system recommended an 8% higher N rate to be applied in Longjing 21 than the regional optimum rice management, which improved rice panicle number per unit area and eventually led to increased grain yield by over 10% and improved N use efficiency. More studies are needed to further test the developed active canopy sensor-based precision rice management system under more diverse on-farm conditions and further improve it using unmanned aerial vehicle or satellite remote sensing technologies for large-scale applications.

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The demand for meat products is rising globally. A potential substitute for meat is synthetic meat, meat produce d in the laboratory. Synthetic meat is not in the market yet due to high production costs and regulatory issues, but it will probably be available during the next decade. If cheap and popular it may crowd out the demand and production of farmed meat and herby affect farmers income. In this study we have used data from a choice experiment in Norway to construct price and income elasticities for synthetic meat with three different assumptions. The data shows that half of the population does not accept synthetic meat. They will not buy it whatever the price. The own-price elasticities were estimated to be in the interval [-0.47,-0.08] and the cross-price elasticities were in the interval [0.09,0.40]. The income elasticities were all close to 0. If these elasticities were valid in a situation in which synthetic meat is available on the market, we could infer that the market for synthetic meat is limited.

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Rapid methods allowing for non-destructive crop monitoring are imperative for accurate in-season nitrogen (N) status assessment and precision N management. The objectives of this paper were to (1) compare the performance of a leaf fluorescence sensor Dualex 4 and an active canopy reflectance sensor Crop Circle ACS-430 for estimating maize (Zea mays L.) N status indicators across growth stages; (2) evaluate the potential of N status prediction across growth stages using the reflectance parameters acquired from the canopy sensor at an early growth stage; and, (3) investigate the prospect of combining the active canopy sensor and leaf fluorescence sensor data to estimate N nutrition index (NNI) indirectly using a general model across growth stages. The results indicated that data from both sensors were closely related to NNI across stages. However, using the direct NNI estimation method, among the tested indices, only the N balance index (NBI) could diagnose N status satisfactorily, based on the Kappa statistics. The effect of growth stages on proximal sensing was reduced by incorporating the information of days after sowing. It was found that the leaf fluorescence sensor performed relatively better in estimating plant N concentration whereas the canopy reflectance sensor performed better in aboveground biomass estimation. Their combination significantly improved the reliability of N diagnosis, including NNI prediction. In addition, the study confirmed that N status can be assessed by predicting aboveground biomass at the later stages using the canopy reflectance measurements at an early stage. Furthermore, the integrated NBI was verified to be a more robust and sensitive N status indicator than the chlorophyll concentration index. It is concluded that combining active canopy sensor data, of an early growth stage (e.g. V8), with leaf fluorescence sensor data, modified using days after sowing, can improve the accuracy of corn N status diagnosis across growth stages.

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Tree defense against xylem pathogens involves both constitutive and induced phenylpropanoids and terpenoids. The induced defenses include compartmentalization of compromised wood with a reaction zone (RZ) characterized by polyphenol deposition, whereas the role of terpenoids has remained poorly understood. To further elucidate the tree–pathogen interaction, we profiled spatial patterns in lignan (low-molecular-weight polyphenols) and terpenoid content in Norway spruce (Picea abies) trees showing heartwood colonization by the pathogenic white-rot fungus Heterobasidion parviporum. There was pronounced variation in the amount and composition of lignans between different xylem tissue zones of diseased and healthy trees. Intact RZ at basal stem regions, where colonization is the oldest, showed the highest level and diversity of these compounds. The antioxidant properties of lignans obviously hinder oxidative degradation of wood: RZ with lignans removed by extraction showed significantly higher mass loss than unextracted RZ when subjected to Fenton degradation. The reduced diversity and amount of lignans in pathogen-compromised RZ and decaying heartwood in comparison to intact RZ and healthy heartwood suggest that α-conindendrin isomer is an intermediate metabolite in lignan decomposition by H. parviporum. Diterpenes and diterpene alcohols constituted above 90% of the terpenes detected in sapwood of healthy and diseased trees. A significant finding was that traumatic resin canals, predominated by monoterpenes, were commonly associated with RZ. The findings clarify the roles and fate of lignan during wood decay and raise questions about the potential roles of terpenoids in signal transduction, synthesis, and translocation of defense compounds upon wood compartmentalization against decay fungi.

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Mountain birch forest covers large areas in Eurasia, and their ecological resilience provides important ecosystem services to human societies. This study describes long-term stand dynamics based on permanent plots in the upper mountain birch belt in SE Norway. We also present forest line changes over a period of 70 years. Inventories were conducted in 1931, 1953, and 2007. Overall, there were small changes from 1931 up to 1953 followed by a marked increase in biomass and dominant height of mountain birch throughout the period from 1953 to 2007. In addition, the biomass of spruce (Picea abies) and the number of plots with spruce present doubled. The high mortality rate of larger birch stems and large recruitment by sprouting since the 1960s reveal recurrent rejuvenation events after the earlier outbreak of the autumnal moth (Epirrita autumnata). Our results demonstrate both a high stem turnover in mountain birch and a great ability to recover after disturbances. This trend is interpreted as regrowth after a moth attack, but also long-term and time-lagged responses due to slightly improved growth conditions. An advance of the mountain birch forest line by 0.71 m year−1 from 1937 to 2007 was documented, resulting in a total reduction of the alpine area by 12%. Most of the changes in the forest line seem to have taken place after 1960. Regarding silviculture methods in mountain birch, a dimension cutting of larger birch trees with a cutting interval of c. 60 years seems to be a sustainable alternative for mimicking natural processes.

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Norway spruce (Picea abies) is an economically and ecologically important tree species that grows across northern and central Europe. Treating Norway spruce with jasmonate has long-lasting beneficial effects on tree resistance to damaging pests, such as the European spruce bark beetle Ips typographus and its fungal associates. The (epi)genetic mechanisms involved in such long-lasting jasmonate induced resistance (IR) have gained much recent interest but remain largely unknown. In this study, we treated 2-year-old spruce seedlings with methyl jasmonate (MeJA) and challenged them with the I. typographus vectored necrotrophic fungus Grosmannia penicillata. MeJA treatment reduced the extent of necrotic lesions in the bark 8 weeks after infection and thus elicited long-term IR against the fungus. The transcriptional response of spruce bark to MeJA treatment was analysed over a 4-week time course using mRNA-seq. This analysis provided evidence that MeJA treatment induced a transient upregulation of jasmonic acid, salicylic acid and ethylene biosynthesis genes and downstream signalling genes. Our data also suggests that defence-related genes are induced while genes related to growth are repressed by methyl jasmonate treatment. These results provide new clues about the potential underpinning mechanisms and costs associated with long-term MeJA-IR in Norway spruce.

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Control of grey mould, caused by Botrytis spp., is a major challenge in open field strawberry production. Botrytis was isolated from plant parts collected from 19 perennial strawberry fields with suspected fungicide resistance in the Agder region of Norway in 2016. Resistance to boscalid, pyraclostrobin and fenhexamid was high and found in 89.1%, 86.0% and 65.4% of conidia samples, respectively. Multiple fungicide resistance was common; 69.6% of conidia samples exhibited resistance to three or more fungicides. Botrytis group S and B. cinerea sensu stricto isolates were obtained from 19 and 16 fields, respectively. The sdhB, cytb, erg27 and mrr1 genes of a selection of isolates were examined for the presence of mutations known to confer fungicide resistance to boscalid, pyraclostrobin, fenhexamid and pyrimethanil plus fludioxonil, respectively. Allele-specific PCR assays were developed for efficient detection of resistance-conferring mutations in cytb. Among B. cinerea isolates, 84.7%, 86.3% and 61.3% had resistance-conferring mutations in sdhB, cytb and erg27, respectively. A triplet deletion in mrr1, resulting in ΔL497, commonly associated with the multidrug resistance phenotype MDR1h, was detected in 29.2% of Botrytis group S isolates. High frequencies of resistance to several fungicides were also detected in Botrytis from both imported and domestically produced strawberry transplants. Fungicide resistance frequencies were not different among fields grouped by level of grey mould problem assessed by growers, indicating factors other than fungicide resistance contributed to control failure, a fact that has important implications for future management of grey mould.

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We determined the mitogenome of Cyclopterus lumpus using a hybrid sequencing approach, and another four closely related species in the Liparidae based on available next-generation sequence data. We found that the mitogenome of C. lumpus was 17,266 bp in length, where the length and organisation were comparable to those reported for cottoids. However, we found a GC-homopolymer region in the intergenic space between tRNALeu2 and ND1 in liparids and cyclopterids. Phylogenetic reconstruction confirmed the monophyly of infraorders and firmly supported a sister-group relationship between Cyclopteridae and Liparidae. Purifying selection was the predominant force in the evolution of cottoid mitogenomes. There was significant evidence of relaxed selective pressures along the lineage of deep-sea fish, while selection was intensified in the freshwater lineage. Overall, our analysis provides a necessary expansion in the availability of mitogenomic sequences and sheds light on mitogenomic adaptation in Cottoidei fish inhabiting different aquatic environments.

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Strawberry powdery mildew, caused by Podosphaera aphanis, can be particularly destructive in glasshouse and plastic tunnel production systems, which generally are constructed of materials that block ultraviolet (UV) solar radiation (about 280 to 400 nm). We compared epidemic progress in replicated plots in open fields and under tunnels constructed of polyethylene, which blocks nearly all solar UV-B, and two formulations of ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE), one of which contained a UV blocker and another that transmitted nearly 90% of solar UV-B. Disease severity under all plastics was higher than in open-field plots, indicating a generally more favorable environment in containment structures. However, the foliar severity of powdery mildew within the tunnels was inversely related to their UV transmissibility. Among the tunnels tested, incidence of fruit infection was highest under polyethylene and lowest under UV-transmitting ETFE. These effects probably transcend crop, and the blocking of solar UV transmission by glass and certain plastics probably contributes to the widely observed favorability of greenhouse and high-tunnel growing systems for powdery mildew.

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Until recently, genotypes of Phytophthora infestans were regionally distributed in Europe, with populations in western Europe being dominated by clonal lineages and those in northern Europe being genetically diverse because of frequent sexual reproduction. However, since 2013 a new clonal lineage (EU_41_A2) has successfully established itself and expanded in the sexually recombining P. infestans populations of northern Europe. The objective of this study was to study phenotypic traits of the new clonal lineage of P. infestans, which may explain its successful establishment and expansion within sexually recombining populations. Fungicide sensitivity, aggressiveness, and virulence profiles of isolates of EU_41_A2 were analyzed and compared with those of the local sexual populations from Denmark, Norway, and Estonia. None of the phenotypic data obtained from the isolates collected from Denmark, Estonia, and Norway independently explained the invasive success of EU_41_A2 within sexual Nordic populations. Therefore, we hypothesize that the expansion of this new genotype could result from a combination of fitness traits and more favorable environmental conditions that have emerged in response to climate change.

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The visual impacts of landscape change are important for how people perceive landscapes and whether they consider changes to be positive or negative. Landscape photographs and photographs of landscape elements may capture information about the visual qualities of landscapes and can also be used to illustrate, and even to quantify, how these visual qualities change over time. We developed a methodology for a monitoring scheme, based on taking photographs from exactly the same locations at different points in time. We tested two methods: one where fieldworkers chose freely the location and direction of photographs, and one where photo locations and four out of five directions were predefined. We found that the method using predefined locations provided a representative sample of the visual qualities present in the landscape and was relatively person-independent but missed rare landscape components. The method using free selection of photo locations and directions captured rarities, but the content of the photos varied from photographer to photographer. Considering the strengths and weaknesses of the two approaches, we recommend a method that combines aspects of both when establishing a monitoring scheme based on repeat photography, with predefined locations to ensure that the entire area is covered, and additional freely chosen photo locations to capture special subject matter that would otherwise be missed.

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Despite the increasing interest in applying composts as soil amendments worldwide, there is a lack of knowledge on short-term effects of compost amendments on soil structural and hydraulic properties. Our goal was to study the effect of compost and vermicompost-based soil amendments on soil structure, soil water retention characteristics, aggregate stability and plant water use efficiency compared to that of mineral fertilizers and food-waste digestate and examine if these effects are evident within a short time after application. We set up a pot experiment with spring wheat using a sandy and a loamy soil receiving either mineral fertilizer (MF); dewatered digestate from anaerobic digestion of food waste (DG), vermicomposted digestate (VC_DG); sewage sludge-based compost (C_SS) and sewage sludge-based vermicompost (VC_SS). We then monitored and calculated the soil water balance components (irrigation, outflow, evaporation, transpiration, and soil water content). At harvest, we measured shoot biomass, soil texture, bulk density, water retention characteristics and aggregate stability. The irrigation use efficiency (IE) and the plant water use efficiency (WUE) were calculated for each treatment by dividing the transpiration and the dry shoot biomass with the amount of water used for irrigation, respectively. For the sandy soil, we used X-Ray computed tomography to visualise the pore system after applying organic amendments and to derive metrics of the pore-network such as its fractal dimension, imaged macroporosity and critical pore diameter. X-Ray tomography indicated that composting and vermicomposting resulted in more complex and diverse porous system and increased soil macroporosity. The increased fractal dimensions also indicated that compost and vermicompost can contribute to structure formation and stabilization within a short time after their application. Despite the small application rate and short incubation time, the application of organic amendments to the two different soil types resulted in improved soil water holding capacity and water use efficiency. Composting and vermicomposting appeared to have the best effect at reducing the irrigation demand and evaporation losses and increasing the water use efficiency of the plant, likely through their effect on soil structure and the pore-size distribution.

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Phototrophic microalgae use light to produce biomass and high-value compounds, such as pigments and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), for food and feed. These biomolecules can be induced by flashing light during the final growth stage. We tested different exposure times (1–6 days) of flashing light (f = 0.5, 5, 50 Hz; duty cycle = 0.05) on biomass, pigment and fatty acid productivity in Diacronema lutheri and Tetraselmis striata. A three-day exposure to low-frequency (5 Hz) flashing light successfully increased the production of fucoxanthin, diatoxanthin, eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA) acids in D. lutheri up to 4.6-fold and of lutein, zeaxanthin and EPA in T. striata up to 1.3-fold compared to that of continuous light. Biomass productivity declined 2-fold for D. lutheri and remained similar for T. striata compared to that of continuous light. Thus, short-term treatments of flashing light may be promising for industrial algal production to increase biomass value.

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The worldwide decline in bees and other pollinating insects is a threat to biodiversity and food security, and urgent action must be taken to stop and then reverse this decline. An established cause of the insect decline is the use of harmful pesticides in agriculture. This case study focuses on the use of pesticides in Norwegian apple production and considers who among farmers, consumers and public authorities is most responsible for protecting bees against harmful pesticides. The extent to which these three different groups consider themselves responsible and the degree to which they are trusted by each of the other groups are also studied. This empirical study involves both qualitative interviews with Norwegian apple farmers, consumers and public authorities and survey data from consumers and farmers. The results show that consumers consider public authorities and farmers equally responsible for protecting bees, while farmers are inclined to consider themselves more responsible. Farmers, consumers and public authorities do not consider consumers significantly responsible for protecting bees, and consumers have a high level of trust in both farmers and public authorities regarding this matter. This study also finds that a low level of consumer trust in farmers or public authorities increases consumers’ propensity to purchase organic food, suggesting that those who do not trust that enough action is adopted to protect the environment take on more individual responsibility. This paper adds to the existing literature concerning the allocation of responsibility for environmental outcomes, with empirical evidence focusing specifically on pesticides and bees.

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The rapid conversion of tropical rainforests into monoculture plantations of rubber (Hevea brasiliensis) in Southeast Asia (SEA) necessitates understanding of rubber tree physiology under local climatic conditions. Frequent fog immersion in the montane regions of SEA may affect the water and carbon budgets of the rubber trees and the plantation ecosystems. We studied the effect of fog on various plant physiological parameters in a mature rubber plantation in southwest China over 3 years. During the study period, an average of 141 fog events occurred every year, and the majority occurred during the dry season, when the temperature was relatively low. In addition to the low temperature, fog events were also associated with low vapor pressure deficit, atmospheric water potential, relative humidity and frequent wet-canopy conditions. We divided the dry season into cool dry (November-February) and hot dry (March-April) seasons and classified days into foggy (FG) and non-foggy (non-FG) days. During the FG days of the cool dry season, the physiological activities of the rubber trees were suppressed where carbon assimilation and evapotranspiration showed reductions of 4% and 15%, respectively, compared to the cool dry non-FG days. Importantly, the unequal declines in carbon assimilation and evapotranspiration led to enhanced crop water productivity (WPc) on cool dry FG days but insignificant WPc values were found between FG and non-FG days of the hot dry season. Our results suggest that, by regulating plant physiology, fog events during the cool dry season significantly reduce water demand and alleviate water stress for the trees through improved WPc.

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The morphogenetic changes of the bud meristem during floral initiation in gooseberry were examined by scanning electron microscopy. Six floral stages, similar to those reported for black currants, were identified. We also studied the environmental control of shoot growth and floral initiation of cvs. Mucurines, Pax and Xenia in two experiments in daylight phytotron compartments at 12, 18 and 24°C. Under natural daylength conditions at Ås, Norway (69°40’N), shoot growth started to decline by mid-August and ceased in early September. Cessation of growth was associated with floral initiation at 18 and 12°C, while at 24°C, only ‘Mucurines’ initiated floral primordia. Floral Stage 2 was reached by 3 September in ‘Mucurines’ and ‘Xenia’ at 18 and 12°C and nearly 2 weeks later in ‘Pax’. In a second experiment with controlled photoperiods, all cultivars ceased growing and initiated flowering in 10-h SD within 2–3 weeks, while in 20-h LD, growth continued for 8 weeks without floral initiation. Under 10-h SD conditions, all cultivars initiated flowers also at 24°C. Flowering performance in the following spring verified these results. We conclude that gooseberry is an obligatory SD plant with a critical photoperiod of 15–16 h.

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The success of Phasmarhabditis hermaphrodita (Schneider) Andrássy (Rhabditida: Rhabditidae) as a biological control agent of molluscs has led to a worldwide interest in phasmarhabditids. However, scant information is available on the lifecycle development of species within the genus. In the current study, the development of P. hermaphrodita, Phasmarhabditis papillosa, Phasmarhabditis bohemica and Phasmarhabditis kenyaensis were studied using ex vivo cultures, in order to improve our understanding of their biology. Infective juveniles (IJs) of each species were added to 1 g of defrosted homogenized slug cadavers of Deroceras invadens and the development monitored after inoculated IJ recovery, over a period of eight–ten days. The results demonstrated that P. bohemica had the shortest development cycle and that it was able to produce first-generation IJs after eight days, while P. hermaphrodita, P. papillosa and P. kenyaensis took ten days to form a new cohort of IJs. However, from the perspective of mass rearing, P. hermaphrodita has an advantage over the other species in that it is capable of forming self-fertilizing hermaphrodites, whereas both males and females are required for the reproduction of P. papillosa, P. bohemica and P. kenyaensis. The results of the study contribute to the knowledge of the biology of the genus and will help to establish the in vitro liquid cultures of different species of the genus.

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The Faro Convention underlined the importance of educational initiatives related to heritage. This paper focuses on the educational dimension of landscape, as a means to better facilitate its social acceptance and hence its inclusion in planning and management processes. The relation between landscape education and social perception, through a few European examples will be analysed to ascertain whether the principles of the Convention are being complied with effectively. The authors introduce four case studies of heritage-related education carried out in three European countries (Spain, Norway and Italy). These case studies provide the possibility to coherently analyse a wide range of activities and initiatives occurring at various scales and levels: geographic, local and sectoral. In addition, they describe the pedagogical potential of cultural landscapes and cultural heritage, and highlight some of the educational strategies and measures currently used in this field.

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The major event that hit Europe in summer 2021 reminds society that floods are recurrent and among the costliest and deadliest natural hazards. The long-term flood risk management (FRM) efforts preferring sole technical measures to prevent and mitigate floods have shown to be not sufficiently effective and sensitive to the environment. Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) mark a recent paradigm shift of FRM towards solutions that use nature-derived features, processes and management options to improve water retention and mitigate floods. Yet, the empirical evidence on the effects of NBS across various settings remains fragmented and their implementation faces a series of institutional barriers. In this paper, we adopt a community expert perspective drawing upon LAND4FLOOD Natural flood retention on private land network (https://www.land4flood.eu) in order to identify a set of barriers and their cascading and compound interactions relevant to individual NBS. The experts identified a comprehensive set of 17 barriers affecting the implementation of 12 groups of NBS in both urban and rural settings in five European regional environmental domains (i.e., Boreal, Atlantic, Continental, Alpine-Carpathian, and Mediterranean). Based on the results, we define avenues for further research, connecting hydrology and soil science, on the one hand, and land use planning, social geography and economics, on the other. Our suggestions ultimately call for a transdisciplinary turn in the research of NBS in FRM.

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The role of soil moisture for organic matter decomposition rates remains poorly understood and underrepresented in Earth System Models (ESMs). We apply the Dual Arrhenius Michaelis-Menten (DAMM) model to a selection of ESM soil temperature and moisture outputs to investigate their effects on decomposition rates, at different soil depths, for a historical period and a future climate period. Our key finding is that the inclusion of soil moisture controls has diverging effects on both the speed and direction of projected decomposition rates (up to ± 20%), compared to a temperature-only approach. In the top soil, the majority of these changes is driven by substrate availability. In deeper soil layers, oxygen availability plays a relatively stronger role. Owing to these different moisture controls along the soil depth, our study highlights the need for depth-resolved inclusion of soil moisture effects on decomposition rates within ESMs. This is particularly important for C-rich soils in regions which may be subject to strong future warming and vertically opposing moisture changes, such as the peat soils at northern high latitudes.

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1. Climate change is increasing the severity and frequency of droughts around the globe, leading to tree mortality that reduces production and provision of other ecosystem services. Recent studies show that growth of mixed stands may be more resilient to drought than pure stands. The two most economically important and widely distributed tree species in Europe are Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst) and Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.), but little is known about their susceptibility to drought when coexist. 2. This paper analyses the resilience (resistance, recovery rate and recovery time) at individual-tree level using a network of tree-ring collections from 22 sites along a climatic gradient from central Europe to Scandinavia. We aimed to identify differences in growth following drought between the two species and between mixed and pure stands, and how environmental variables (climate, topography and site location) and tree characteristics influence them. 3. We found that both the timing and duration of drought drive the different responses between species and compositions. Norway spruce showed higher vulnerability to summer drought, with both lower resistance and a longer recovery time than Scots pine. Mixtures provided higher drought resistance for both species compared to pure stands, but the benefit decreases with the duration of the drought. Especially climate sensitive and old trees in climatically marginal sites were more affected by drought stress. 4. Synthesis. Promoting Scots pine and mixed forests is a promising strategy for adapting European forests to climate change. However, if future droughts become longer, the advantage of mixed stands could disappear which would be especially negative for Norway spruce.

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1. The persistence of perennial herbaceous species is threatened by increasing aridity. However, summer dormancy is a strategy conferring superior survival to grasses adapted to hot and dry summers. The role of temperature on the induction of summer dormancy was investigated in the perennial grass Dactylis glomerata to analyse the potential expression of this strategy under warmer climates. 2. We tested seven populations of D. glomerata originating from Morocco to Norway across the same latitudinal gradient in a five-site experiment. One population of the highly summer-dormant grass Poa bulbosa was used as a reference. Plants were grown from autumn in pots under full irrigation for 1 year mostly under open-air shelters. Heading date (ear emergence preceding flowering) was recorded and foliage senescence was assessed from end of spring until autumn. The maximum plant senescence under summer irrigation indicated the level of dormancy expression. Summer dormancy onset, release, expression and duration were modelled as a function of climatic variables. 3. From north to south, the duration of summer dormancy of the Mediterranean populations of D. glomerata and P. bulbosa ranged from 0 to 122 days, and 79 to 200 days, respectively. P. bulbosa was always completely dormant, while dormancy expression of D. glomerata was positively correlated with the sum of temperatures from winter onset (R2 = 0.57) and with the mean of minimum temperatures in summer (R2 = 0.73). Dormancy onset, release and duration were also positively correlated with thermal time from winter onset, while the duration of summer dormancy was longer as maximum temperatures increased. Mapping the European regions with climates allowing the expression of summer dormancy in D. glomerata showed that the potentially inductive areas for this strategy may expand in parallel with increasing summer aridity under a future climate warming scenario. 4. Synthesis. The large phenotypic variability of the expression of summer dormancy in D. glomerata was driven by temperature, suggesting that this strategy may have a greater role in higher latitudes to increase plant survival over the predicted hotter and drier summers. Leveraging this strategy for the choice and selection of suitable populations could enhance future adaptation of major perennial grasses to climate change.

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Aims To investigate and compare antimicrobial resistance genes (ARGs) in faeces from cohabiting dogs and owners. Methods and Results DNA from faecal samples from 35 dogs and 35 owners was screened for the presence of 34 clinically relevant ARGs using high throughput qPCR. In total, 24 and 25 different ARGs were present in the dog and owner groups, respectively. The households had a mean of 9.9 ARGs present, with dogs and owners sharing on average 3.3 ARGs. ARGs were shared significantly more in households with dogs over 6 years old (3.5, interquartile range 2.75–5.0) than in households with younger dogs (2.5, interquartile range 2.0–3.0) (p = 0.02). Dogs possessed significantly more mecA and aminoglycoside resistance genes than owners. Conclusions Dogs and owners can act as reservoirs for a broad range of ARGs belonging to several antimicrobial resistance classes. A modest proportion of the same resistance genes were present in both dogs and owners simultaneously, indicating that ARG transmission between the dog and human gut is of minor concern in the absence of antimicrobial selection. Significance and Impact of the Study This study provides insight into the common dog and human gut resistomes, contributing to an improved knowledge base in risk assessments regarding ARG transmission between dogs and humans.

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Urban agriculture is increasingly recognized as an important sustainable pathway for climate change adaptation and mitigation, for building more resilient cities, and for citizens’ health. Urban agriculture systems appear in many forms – both commercial and non-commercial. The value of the services derived from urban agriculture, e.g., enhanced food security, air quality, water regulation, and high level of biodiversity, is often difficult to quantify to inform policymakers and the general public in their decision making. We perform a contingent valuation survey of four different types of urban agriculture Where the citizens of Oslo are asked about their attitudes and willingness to pay non-commercial (urban community gardens and urban gardens for work training, education and kindergartens) and for commercial (i.e. aquaponics and vertical production) forms of urban agriculture. Results show that the citizens of Oslo are willing to increase their tax payments to contribute to further development of urban farming in Oslo.

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Milder winters and extended wetter periods in spring and autumn limit the amount of time available for carrying out ground-based forest operations on soils with satisfactory bearing capacity. Thus, damage to soil in form of compaction and displacement is reported to be becoming more widespread. The prediction of trafficability has become one of the most central issues in planning of mechanized harvesting operations. The work presented looks at methods to model field measured spatio-temporal variations of soil moisture content (SMC, [%vol]) – a crucial factor for soil strength and thus trafficability. We incorporated large-scaled maps of soil characteristics, high-resolution topographic information – depth-to-water (DTW) and topographic wetness index – and openly available temporal soil moisture retrievals provided by the NASA Soil Moisture Active Passive mission. Time-series measurements of SMC were captured at six study sites across Europe. These data were then used to develop linear models, a generalized additive model, and the machine learning algorithms Random Forest (RF) and eXtreme Gradient Boosting (XGB). The models were trained on a randomly selected 10% subset of the dataset. Predictions of SMC made with RF and XGB attained the highest R2 values of 0.49 and 0.51, respectively, calculated on the remaining 90% test set. This corresponds to a major increase in predictive performance, compared to basic DTW maps (R2 = 0.022). Accordingly, the quality for predicting wet soils was increased by 49% when XGB was applied (Matthews correlation coefficient = 0.45). We demonstrated how open access data can be used to clearly improve the prediction of SMC and enable adequate trafficability mappings with high spatial and temporal resolution. Spatio-temporal modelling could contribute to sustainable forest management.

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

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Purpose of Review Mechanized logging operations with ground-based equipment commonly represent European production forestry but are well-known to potentially cause soil impacts through various forms of soil disturbances, especially on wet soils with low bearing capacity. In times of changing climate, with shorter periods of frozen soils, heavy rain fall events in spring and autumn and frequent needs for salvage logging, forestry stakeholders face increasingly unfavourable conditions to conduct low-impact operations. Thus, more than ever, planning tools such as trafficability maps are required to ensure efficient forest operations at reduced environmental impact. This paper aims to describe the status quo of existence and implementation of such tools applied in forest operations across Europe. In addition, focus is given to the availability and accessibility of data relevant for such predictions. Recent Findings A commonly identified method to support the planning and execution of machine-based operations is given by the prediction of areas with low bearing capacity due to wet soil conditions. Both the topographic wetness index (TWI) and the depth-to-water algorithm (DTW) are used to identify wet areas and to produce trafficability maps, based on spatial information. Summary The required input data is commonly available among governmental institutions and in some countries already further processed to have topography-derived trafficability maps and respective enabling technologies at hand. Particularly the Nordic countries are ahead within this process and currently pave the way to further transfer static trafficability maps into dynamic ones, including additional site-specific information received from detailed forest inventories. Yet, it is hoped that a broader adoption of these information by forest managers throughout Europe will take place to enhance sustainable forest operations.

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European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) forests provide multiple essential ecosystem goods and services. The projected climatic conditions for the current century will significantly affect the vitality of European beech. The expected impact of climate change on forest ecosystems will be potentially stronger in southeast Europe than on the rest of the continent. Therefore, our aim was to use the long-term monitoring data of crown vitality indicators in Croatia to identify long-term trends, and to investigate the influence of current and previous year climate conditions and available site factors using defoliation (DEF) and defoliation change (DDEF) as response variables. The results reveal an increasing trend of DEF during the study period from 1996 to 2017. In contrast, no significant trend in annual DDEF was observed. The applied linear mixed effects models indicate a very strong influence of previous year drought on DDEF, while climate conditions have a weak or insignificant effect on DEF. The results suggest that site factors explain 25 to 30% DEF variance, while similar values of conditional and marginal R2 show a uniform influence of drought on DDEF. These results suggest that DEF represents the accumulated impact of location-specific stressful environmental conditions on tree vitality, while DDEF reflects intense stress and represents the current or recent status of tree vitality that could be more appropriate for analysing the effect of climate conditions on forest trees.

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Compatibility and synchrony between specialized tissues of the pistil, female gametophytes and male gametophytes, are necessary for successful pollination, fertilization, and fruit set in angiosperms. The aim of the present work was to study the development and viability of embryo sacs, as well as fertilization success, in relation to the fruit set of the cultivars ‘Mallard’, ‘Edda’, ‘Jubileum’, and ‘Reeves’, under specific Norwegian climatic conditions. Emasculated, unpollinated, and open-pollinated flowers were collected at the beginning of flowering, and on the 3rd, 6th, 9th, and 12th days after flowering, from all four plum cultivars over two years (2018/2019). Ovaries were dehydrated, embedded in paraffin wax, sectioned, stained, and observed under a light microscope. Results showed the existence of synchronization between successive phases in the development of the embryo sac and individual phases of flowering. All plum cultivars had higher percentages of viable embryo sacs, fertilized embryo sacs, and fruit set in 2018 than in 2019. These differences may be related to the very low temperatures during the post-full-flowering period in 2019, and to the low adaptation of some studied cultivars to unfavorable conditions. In our study, the cultivar ‘Jubileum’ showed the highest percentage of viable embryo sacs, fertilized embryo sacs, and fruit set compared to other cultivars, i.e., the best low-temperature adaptation.

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

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Fall armyworm (FAW) Spodoptera frugiperda (J.E. Smith, 1797) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) was recorded for the first time in 2016 attacking maize fields in central and west Africa. Soon after, several other regions and countries have reported the pest in almost the entire sub-Saharan Africa. In the present study, we assumed that (i) a variety of alternative plant species host FAW, especially during maize off-season, (ii) a wide range of local parasitoids have adapted to FAW and (iii) parasitoid species composition and abundance vary across seasons. During a two-year survey (from June 2018 to January 2020), parasitoids and alternative host plants were identified from maize and vegetable production sites, along streams and lowlands, on garbage dumps and old maize fields in southern and partly in the central part of Benin during both maize growing- and off-season. A total of eleven new host plant species were reported for the first time, including Cymbopogon citratus (de Candolle) Stapf (cultivated lemon grass), Bulbostylis coleotricha (A. Richard) Clarke and Pennisetum macrourum von Trinius (wild). The survey revealed seven parasitoid species belonging to four families, namely Platygastridae, Braconidae, Ichneumonidae, and Tachinidae associated with FAW on maize and alternative host plants. The most abundant parasitoid species across seasons was the egg parasitoid Telenomus remus (Nixon) (Hymenoptera: Platygastridae). These findings demonstrate FAW capability to be active during the maize off-season in the selected agro-ecologies and provide baseline information for classical and augmentative biocontrol efforts.

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The application of numerical models to understand the behavioural pattern of a flood is widely found in the literature. However, the selection of an appropriate hydraulic model is highly essential to conduct reliable predictions. Predicting flood discharges and inundation extents are the two most important outcomes of flood simulations to stakeholders. Precise topographical data and channel geometries along a suitable hydraulic model are required to accurately predict floods. One-dimensional (1D) hydraulic models are now replaced by two-dimensional (2D) or combined 1D/2D models for higher performances. The Hydraulic Engineering Centre’s River Analysis System (HEC-RAS) has been widely used in all three forms for predicting flood characteristics. However, comparison studies among the 1D, 2D to 1D/2D models are limited in the literature to identify the better/best approach. Therefore, this research was carried out to identify the better approach using an example case study of the Kelani River basin in Sri Lanka. Two flood events (in 2016 and 2018) were separately simulated and tested for their accuracy using observed inundations and satellite-based inundations. It was found that the combined 1D/2D HEC-RAS hydraulic model outperforms other models for the prediction of flows and inundation for both flood events. Therefore, the combined model can be concluded as the better hydraulic model to predict flood characteristics of the Kelani River basin in Sri Lanka. With more flood studies, the conclusions can be more generalized.

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Climate change is a serious and complex crisis that impacts humankind in different ways. It affects the availability of water resources, especially in the tropical regions of South Asia to a greater extent. However, the impact of climate change on water resources in Sri Lanka has been the least explored. Noteworthy, this is the first study in Sri Lanka that attempts to evaluate the impact of climate change in streamflow in a watershed located in the southern coastal belt of the island. The objective of this paper is to evaluate the climate change impact on streamflow of the Upper Nilwala River Basin (UNRB), Sri Lanka. In this study, the bias-corrected rainfall data from three Regional Climate Models (RCMs) under two Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs): RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 were fed into the Hydrologic Engineering Center-Hydrologic Modeling System (HEC-HMS) model to obtain future streamflow. Bias correction of future rainfall data in the Nilwala River Basin (NRB) was conducted using the Linear Scaling Method (LSM). Future precipitation was projected under three timelines: 2020s (2021–2047), 2050s (2048–2073), and 2080s (2074–2099) and was compared against the baseline period from 1980 to 2020. The ensemble mean annual precipitation in the NRB is expected to rise by 3.63%, 16.49%, and 12.82% under the RCP 4.5 emission scenario during the 2020s, 2050s, and 2080s, and 4.26%, 8.94%, and 18.04% under RCP 8.5 emission scenario during 2020s, 2050s and 2080s, respectively. The future annual streamflow of the UNRB is projected to increase by 59.30% and 65.79% under the ensemble RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 climate scenarios, respectively, when compared to the baseline scenario. In addition, the seasonal flows are also expected to increase for both RCPs for all seasons with an exception during the southwest monsoon season in the 2015–2042 period under the RCP4.5 emission scenario. In general, the results of the present study demonstrate that climate and streamflow of the NRB are expected to experience changes when compared to current climatic conditions. The results of the present study will be of major importance for river basin planners and government agencies to develop sustainable water management strategies and adaptation options to offset the negative impacts of future changes in climate.

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After five years of its first report on the African continent, Fall armyworm (FAW), Spodoptera frugiperda (J.E. Smith) is considered a major threat to maize, sorghum, and millet production in sub-Saharan Africa. Despite the rigorous work already conducted to reduce FAW prevalence, the dynamics and invasion mechanisms of FAW in Africa are still poorly understood. This study applied interdisciplinary tools, analytics, and algorithms on a FAW dataset with a spatial lens to provide insights and project the intensity of FAW infestation across Africa. The data collected between January 2018 and December 2020 in selected locations were matched with the monthly average data of the climatic and environmental variables. The multilevel analytics aimed to identify the key factors that influence the dynamics of spatial and temporal pest density and occurrence at a 2 km x 2 km grid resolution. The seasonal variations of the identified factors and dynamics were used to calibrate rule-based analytics employed to simulate the monthly densities and occurrence of the FAW for the years 2018, 2019, and 2020. Three FAW density level classes were inferred, i.e., low (0–10 FAW moth per trap), moderate (11–30 FAW moth per trap), and high (>30 FAW moth per trap). Results show that monthly density projections were sensitive to the type of FAW host vegetation and the seasonal variability of climatic factors. Moreover, the diversity in the climate patterns and cropping systems across the African sub-regions are considered the main drivers of FAW abundance and variation. An optimum overall accuracy of 53% was obtained across the three years and at a continental scale, however, a gradual increase in prediction accuracy was observed among the years, with 2020 predictions providing accuracies greater than 70%. Apart from the low amount of data in 2018 and 2019, the average level of accuracy obtained could also be explained by the non-inclusion of data related to certain key factors such as the influence of natural enemies (predators, parasitoids, and pathogens) into the analysis. Further detailed data on the occurrence and efficiency of FAW natural enemies in the region may help to complete the tri-trophic interactions between the host plants, pests, and beneficial organisms. Nevertheless, the tool developed in this study provides a framework for field monitoring of FAW in Africa that may be a basis for a future decision support system (DSS).

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The populations of European ash and its harmless fungal associate Hymenoscyphus albidus are in decline owing to ash dieback caused by the invasive Hymenoscyphus fraxineus, a fungus that in its native range in Asia is a harmless leaf endophyte of local ash species. To clarify the behavior of H. albidus and its spatial and temporal niche overlap with the invasive relative, we used light microscopy, fungal species-specific qPCR assays, and PacBio long-read amplicon sequencing of the ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 region to examine fungal growth and species composition in attached leaves of European ash. The plant material was collected from a healthy stand in central Norway, where ash saplings in late autumn showed leaflet vein necrosis like that commonly related to H. fraxineus. For reference, leaflet samples were analyzed from stands with epidemic level of ash dieback in southeastern Norway and Estonia. While H. albidus was predominant in the necrotic veins in the healthy stand, H. fraxineus was predominant in the diseased stands. Otherwise, endophytes with pathogenic potential in the genera Venturia (anamorph Fusicladium), Mycosphaerella (anamorph Ramularia), and Phoma, and basidiomycetous yeasts formed the core leaflet mycobiome both in the healthy and diseased stands. In necrotic leaf areas with high levels of either H. albidus or H. fraxineus DNA, one common feature was the high colonization of sclerenchyma and phloem, a region from which the ascomata of both species arise. Our data suggest that H. albidus can induce necrosis in ash leaves, but that owing to low infection pressure, this first takes place in tissues weakened by autumn senescence, 1–2 months later in the season than what is characteristic of H. fraxineus at an epidemic phase of ash dieback. The most striking difference between these fungi would appear to be the high fecundity of H. fraxineus. The adaptation to a host that is phylogenetically closely related to European ash, a tree species with high occurrence frequency in Europe, and the presence of environmental conditions favorable to H. fraxineus life cycle completion in most years may enable the build-up of high infection pressure and challenge of leaf defense prior to autumn senescence.

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

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The plant pomological characteristics and physiological behaviors of genotypes in modern apple cultivation could be different depending on the use of rootstock, changing growth ecology and application of biological control agents. The aim of this research was to determine the effects of rhizobacteria application on leaf and fruit nutrient contents in different apple scion–rootstock combinations. This study was carried out with seven standard cultivars (Scarlet Spur, Red Chief, Fuji, Jeromine, Galaxy Gala, Granny Smith, and Golden Reinders) budded on M.9 and MM.106 rootstocks. In the experiment, trees were sprayed by a nitrogen + phosphorus solvent rhizobacteria three times, with an interval of 15 days in the spring period. The effect of rhizobacteria application on leaf and fruit nutrient contents was statistically significant and provided generally significant positive contributions, except for leaf Mg content. Comparing both rootstocks, the positive effect of bacterial application was higher on the M.9 rootstock for leaf N and B content and fruit N and Fe content, and on the MM.106 rootstock for other nutrient content. While the effects of bacterial application on the basis of cultivars were generally positive, the highest positive contribution was made in leaf P content (10.7%) and fruit Mn content (32.1%) of the Fuji cultivar. Considering the total increase in nutrients in scion–rootstocks combination, rhizobacteria application had a positive effect on the leaf nutrient contents in Golden Reinders/MM.106, but not leaf K content. The highest increases in leaves of scion-rootstock combinations were determined as 4.0% in N content in Granny Smith/M.9, 14.1% in P content in Scarlet Spur/MM.106, 7.1% in K content in Fuji/MM.106, 4.4% in Ca content in Jeromine/M.9, and 14.0% in Mg content in Granny Smith/MM.106. The highest increase in fruit nutrient contents was between 4.9% (N content) and 13.5% (Ca content) for macro elements, and between 9.5% (Cu content) and 41.8% (Mn content) for microelements. The results of the present study may provide significant leads for further studies on this subject.

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This study evaluated the effective pollination period (EPP) in four European plum (Prunus domestica L.) cultivars (‘Mallard’, ‘Edda’, ‘Jubileum’, and ‘Reeves’) during two years (2018–2019) under the environmental conditions in western Norway. The pollination of plum cultivars was carried out one, three, five, seven, and nine days after anthesis (DAA) with a pollen mix of two compatible cultivars (‘Victoria’ and ‘Opal’). Initial, middle-season, and final fruit set was recorded after one month and two months after pollination and just before the harvest, respectively. On average from both years cultivar ‘Jubileum’ had the highest fruit set when pollinated one, three, five, seven, and nine DAA (33.23%, 30.83%, 8.47%, 3.08%, and 1.15%, respectively), which was more than two folds higher fruit set than in the other studied cultivars. Cultivar ‘Jubileum’ showed significantly reduced fruit set between pollination on five and nine DAA, while cultivars ‘Mallard’, ‘Edda’, and ‘Reeves’ had markedly reduced fruit set if pollinated three to five DAA, implying that the EPP in ‘Jubileum’ was five days while in the rest it was three days. Variation of weather conditions during the flowering period in both years did not have a major effect on the receptivity of stigmas in the studied plum cultivars, which means that the existing differences in the length of EPP is maternal-genotype dependent.

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Using modern analytical techniques, a comprehensive study of the chemical composition of fruits from apple cultivars grown in Western Norway during 2019 and 2020 was done. Metals, sugars, organic acids, antioxidant tests, and polyphenol content have been observed. In all investigated samples, the most dominant sugars were glucose, fructose, and sucrose. Among 11 tested organic acids, the dominant was malic acid, followed by citric and maleic acid. The most common metal was potassium, followed by magnesium and zinc. The quantification of polyphenols showed that among the 11 quantified polyphenols, chlorogenic acid, quercetin 3-O-rhamnoside, quercetin 3-O-glucoside, quercetin, and phlorizin were the most abundant. A detailed study of the polyphenolic profile of nine investigated apple samples provided 30 identified polyphenolic compounds from the class of hydroxybenzoic and hydroxycinnamic acids, flavonoids, and dihydrochalcones. In addition to the identified 3-O-caffeoylquinic acid, its two isomers of 5-O-caffeoylquinic acid and three esters were also found. Present polyphenols of the tested apples provided significant data on the quality of Norwegian apples, and they contribute to the distinguishing of these apple samples.

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Atrazine is a widely used triazine herbicide, which poses a serious threat to human health and aquatic ecosystem. A montmorillonite–biochar composite (MMT/BC) was prepared for atrazine remediation. Biochar samples were characterized by using scanning electron microscope (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and X-ray photoelectron spectrometer (XPS). Structural and morphological analysis of raw biochar (BC) and MMT/BC showed that MMT particles have been successfully coated on the surface of biochar. Sorption experiments in aqueous solution indicated that the MMT/BC has higher removal capacity of atrazine compared to BC (about 3.2 times). The sorption of atrazine on the MMT/BC was primarily controlled by both physisorption and chemisorption mechanisms. The amendment of MMT/BC increased the sorption capacity of soils and delayed the degradation of atrazine. Findings from this work indicate that the MMT/BC composite can effectively improve the sorption capacity of atrazine in aquatic environment and farmland soil and reduce the environmental risk.

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Tomato greenhouses at high latitudes (≥58°North) require supplemental light to enable high yields and year-round production. Supplemental light systems can differ in lamp type, high-pressure sodium (HPS) or light emitting diode (LED), and also vary in lamp capacity. Based on a combined greenhouse climate, tomato yield, and greenhouse economics model, a methodology was developed, for determining the optimal supplemental light system, dependent on local climate and economic conditions. Two optimisation objectives were considered separately, maximal energy use efficiency (EUE) and maximal net financial result (NFR). The developed methodology was applied to four different greenhouse locations in Norway. At each location, both optimisation objectives were reached with LEDs. The optimal lamp capacities range from 256 to 341 μmol m−2 s−1 (maximal EUE) and 302–323 μmol m−2 s−1 (maximal NFR). The economically optimal lamp capacity is little sensitive to climate conditions. At the lamp type respective NFR maxima, LEDs resulted, on average, in 10% higher tomato yield, 102.2 NOK m−2 year−1 higher NFR, and 35% higher EUE. Consequently, switching from HPS lamps to LEDs enables increasing productivity, energy efficiency and profitability of greenhouse tomato production. Furthermore, the difference between EUE and NFR optima was, on average, 24% lower in terms of EUE and 56% lower in terms of NFR, when using LEDs instead of HPS lamps. On farm-scale, the proposed methodology can be used as decision-support-tool for selecting an efficient and profitable supplemental light system for greenhouse tomato production, dependent on local climate and economic conditions.

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Validation of models for plant disease management is a crucial part in the development of decision support systems in plant protection. Bespoke field trials are usually conducted to determine the performance of a model under practical conditions. However, field trials are very resource-demanding, and the use of already existing field trial data could significantly reduce costs for model validation. In this study, we took this novel approach to verify the performance of models for determining the need of fungicide applications against leaf blotch diseases in wheat by utilising historical weather data and yield data available from fungicide efficacy field trials. Two models based on humidity factors were used in the study. To estimate how specific humidity settings in the two models affect the number of recommended fungicide treatments per season, historical weather data from a 5-year period from weather stations in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Lithuania was used. The model output shows major differences between seasons and regions, typically recommending between one and three treatments per season. To determine the prediction potential of the models, data on yield gains from either one or two fungicide applications in fungicide efficacy trials conducted in wheat over a 5-year period in the five countries was utilised. The yield responses from fungicide treatments in the efficacy trials varied considerably between years and countries, as did the proportion of predictions of profitable treatments. In general, there was a tendency for the models to overestimate the need to apply fungicides (low specificity), but they rarely failed to recommend an application that was needed (high sensitivity). Despite the importance of having specific trials across regions in order to adjust models to local cropping and weather conditions, our study shows that historical weather data and existing field trial data have the potential to be used in model validation.

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

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Kelp forests in the North Atlantic are at risk of decline at their warm temperature distribution margins due to anthropogenic temperature rise and more frequent marine heat waves. To investigate the thermal adaptation of the cold-temperate kelp Laminaria digitata, we sampled six populations, from the Arctic to Brittany (Spitsbergen, Tromsø, Bodø [all Norway], Helgoland [Germany], Roscoff and Quiberon [both France]), across the species’ entire distribution range, spanning 31.5° latitude and 12-13°C difference in mean summer sea surface temperature. We used pooled vegetative gametophytes derived from several sporophytes to approximate the genetic diversity of each location. Gametophytes were exposed to (sub-) lethal high (20-25°C) and (sub-) optimal low (0-15°C) temperature gradients in two full-factorial, common-garden experiments, subjecting subsets of populations from different origins to the same conditions. We assessed survival of gametophytes, their ability to develop microscopic sporophytes, and subsequent growth. We hypothesized that the thermal performance of gametophytes and microscopic sporophytes corresponds to their local long-term thermal history. Integrated gametophyte survival revealed a uniform upper survival temperature (UST) of 24°C among five tested populations (Tromsø to Quiberon). In contrast, following two weeks of thermal priming of gametophytes at 20-22°C, sporophyte formation at 15°C was significantly higher in southern populations (Quiberon and Roscoff) compared to the high-latitude population of Tromsø. Between 0-15°C, survival of the Arctic population (Spitsbergen) was negatively correlated with increasing temperatures, while the southern-most population (Quiberon) showed the opposite. Thus, responses of survival at low, and sporophyte formation at high temperatures, support the concept of local adaption. On the other hand, sporophyte formation between 0-15°C peaked at 6-9°C in the Quiberon and at 9-12°C in the Spitsbergen population. Sporophyte growth rates (GR) both in length and width were similar for Spitsbergen, Tromsø and Quiberon; all had maximum GRs at 12-15°C and low GRs at 0-6°C. Therefore, responses of sporophyte formation and growth at low temperatures do not reflect ecotypic adaptation. We conclude that L. digitata populations display trait-dependent adaptation, partly corresponding to their local temperature histories and partly manifesting uniform or unpredictable responses. This suggests differential selection pressures on the ontogenetic development of kelps such as L. digitata.

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Soils form the skin of the Earth’s surface, regulating water and biogeochemical cycles and generating production of food, timber, and textiles around the world. Changes in soil and its ability to perform a range of processes have important implications for Earth system function, especially in the critical zone (CZ)—the area that extends from the top of the canopy to the bottom of groundwater and that harbors most of Earth’s biosphere. A key aspect of the way soil functions results from its structure, defined as the size, shape, and arrangement of soil particles and pores. The network of pores provides storage space for at least a quarter of Earth’s biodiversity, while the abundance, size and connectivity of the pore space regulates fluxes of heat, water, nutrients and gases that define the physical and chemical environment. Here we review the nature of soil structure, focusing on its co-evolution with the plants and microbes that live within the soil, and the degree to which these processes have been incorporated into flow and transport models. Though it is well known that soil structure can change with wetting and drying events, often oscillating seasonally, the dynamic nature of soil structure that we discuss is a systematic shift that results in changes in its hydro-bio-geochemical function over decades to centuries, timescales over which major changes in carbon and nutrient cycles have been observed in the Anthropocene. We argue that the variable nature of soil structure, and its dynamics, need to be better understood and captured by land surface and ecosystem models, which currently describe soil structure as static. We further argue that modelers and empiricists both are well-poised to quantify and incorporate these dynamics into their studies. From these efforts, four fundamental questions emerge: 1) How do rates of soil aggregate formation and collapse, and their overall arrangements, interact in the Anthropocene to regulate CZ functioning from soil particle to continental scales? 2) How do alterations in rooting-depth distributions in the Anthropocene influence pore structure to control hydrological partitioning, biogeochemical transformations and fluxes, exchanges of energy and carbon with the atmosphere and climate, regolith weathering, and thus regulation of CZ functioning? 3) How does changing microbial functioning in a high CO2, warmer world with shifting precipitation patterns influence soil organic carbon dynamics and void-aggregate profile dynamics? 4) How deeply does human influence in the Anthropocene propagate into the subsurface, how does this depth relate to profile structure, and how does this alter the rate at which the CZ develops? The United Nations has recently recognized that 33% of the Earth's soils are already degraded and over 90% could become degraded by 2050. This recognition highlights the importance of addressing these proposed questions, which will promote a predictive understanding of soil structure.

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Sorption to cheap sorbents can be used to concentrate nutrients from liquid waste streams and make them into fertilisers. In this study we assess how plant available is ammonium nitrogen (N) sorbed to three sorbents, and if the potential for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions after a non-growing season is affected by sorption. Ammonium-N labelled with N15 was sorbed to biochar, bentonite and zeolite. Treatments where N was sorbed and where N and sorbents were applied separately were tested in a pot experiment with wheat, and soil samples were then frozen and dried to simulate non-growing seasons. After thawing and re-wetting, GHG emissions from the soil were assessed. There was no difference between sorption treatments in biomass or N uptake or fertiliser N left in the soil, and little difference between sorption treatments in gas emissions after the non-growing seasons was seen. We conclude that ammonium applied sorbed to these sorbents is as plant available as ammonium applied the conventional way. GHG emissions at the beginning of the next season are also not affected by ammonium applied sorbed.

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Clopyralid is a systemic herbicide used in oilseed rape and other crops. It was found in Danish honey from 2016 in concentrations exceeding the maximum residue level (MRL) of 0.05 mg kg−1. About 50% of the Danish honey is based on nectar from winter oilseed rape. In 2019 and 2020, winter oilseed rape fields were sprayed with clopyralid just before the assigned spraying deadline. At flowering, nectar and pollen samples were collected and the content of clopyralid was measured. Honey and pollen samples were also collected from beehives next to ten conventional winter oilseed rape fields sprayed with clopyralid. Clopyralid was found in nectar and pollen from the experimental fields, and in honey and pollen from beehives next to the conventional fields. For most samples the content in nectar and honey exceeded the MRL. The concentrations found, may not pose any health risk for consumers, as the MRL is based on the original detection limit and not on toxicological tests. However, it can have a significant economical consequence for the beekeepers, who are not allowed to sell the honey if the concentration of clopyralid exceeds 0.1 mg kg−1. Reducing the acceptable applicable rate of clopyralid or implementing an earlier deadline for spraying of clopyralid may reduce the risk of contaminating bee food products. However, if it is not possible to obtain a satisfactory effect of clopyralid on the weed flora under these conditions, spraying with pesticides containing clopyralid should be restricted in winter oilseed rape. Determination of an MRL value based on toxicological tests might result in a higher value and make it acceptable selling the honey containing higher levels of clopyralid.

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Seed production is an important element of weed population dynamics, and weed persistence relies upon the soil seed bank. In 2017 and 2018, we studied the relationship between the aboveground dry biomass of common weed species and their seed production. Weeds were selected randomly in the fields, and we surrounded the plants with a porous net to collect shed seeds during the growth season. Just before crop harvest, weeds were harvested, the plants’ dry weights were measured, and the number of seeds retained on the weeds was counted. A linear relationship between the biomass and the number of seeds produced was estimated. This relationship was not affected by year for Avena spica-venti, Chenopodium album, Galium aparine, or Persicaria maculosa. Therefore, the data of the two seasons were pooled and analysed together. For Alopecurus myosuroides, Anagallis arvensis, Capsella bursa-pastoris, Geranium molle, Polygonum aviculare, Silene noctiflora, Sonchus arvensis, Veronica persica, and Viola arvensis, the relationship varied significantly between the years. In 2017, the growing season was cold and wet, and the slope of the regression lines was less steep than in the dry season in 2018 for most species. Capsella bursa-pastoris was the most prolific seed producer with the steepest slope.

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Microalgal biomass is widely studied for its possible application in food and human nutrition due to its multiple potential health benefits, and to address raising sustainability concerns. An interesting field whereby to further explore the application of microalgae is that of beer brewing, due to the capacity of some species to accumulate large amounts of starch under specific growth conditions. The marine species Tetraselmis chui is a well-known starch producer, and was selected in this study for the production of biomass to be explored as an active ingredient in beer brewing. Cultivation was performed under nitrogen deprivation in 250 L tubular photobioreactors, producing a biomass containing 50% starch. The properties of high-starch microalgal biomass in a traditional mashing process were then assessed to identify critical steps and challenges, test the efficiency of fermentable sugar release, and develop a protocol for small-scale brewing trials. Finally, T. chui was successfully integrated at a small scale into the brewing process as an active ingredient, producing microalgae-enriched beer containing up to 20% algal biomass. The addition of microalgae had a noticeable effect on the beer properties, resulting in a product with distinct sensory properties. Regulation of pH proved to be a key parameter in the process.

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Non-native forest tree species have been introduced in Europe since the 16th century, but only in the second half of the 20th century the significance of the seed source origin for their economic use was recognized, resulting in the establishment of numerous provenance trials at a national, regional, European and International level, as those led by IUFRO. Breeding programs have also been launched in the continent for the most economically important species. Aim of this work is the formulation of provenance recommendations for planting of five non-native tree species in Europe (Douglas fir, grand fir, Sitka spruce, lodgepole pine and black locust), based on the information obtained from twenty countries, in the frame of the EU FP-1403 NNEXT Cost Action. The survey revealed that official and non-official national recommendations, based on provenance research results, have been elaborated and followed at a different level and extend for the above five species, but only for Douglas fir recommendations exist in almost all the participating to the survey countries. The compilation of provenance recommendations across Europe for each species is presented in the current work. Besides the recommended introduced seed sources, European seed sources are also preferred for planting, due to ease of access and high availability of forest reproductive material. European breeding programs yielding genetic material of high productivity and quality constitute currently the seed source of choice for several species and countries. Consolidation of trial data obtained across countries will allow the joint analysis that is urgently needed to draw solid conclusions, and will facilitate the development of ‘Universal-Response-Functions’ for the species of interest, rendering possible the identification of the genetic material suitable for global change. New provenance trial series that will test seed sources from the entire climatic range of the species, established in sites falling within and outside the environmental envelopes of their natural ranges, are urgently needed to pinpoint and understand the species-specific climate constraints, as well as to correlate functional traits to the seed origin and the environmental conditions of the test sites, so that the selection of suitable forest reproductive material of non-native tree species in the face of climate change can be feasible.

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Using periodic measurements from permanent plots in non-thinned and thinned Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.) stands in Norway, individual-tree growth models were developed to predict annual diameter increment, height increment, and height to crown base increment. Based on long-term data across a range of thinning regimes and stand conditions, alternative approaches for modeling response to treatment were assessed. Dynamic thinning response functions in the form of multiplicative modifiers that predict no effect at the time of thinning, a rapid increase followed by an early maximum before the effect gradually declines to zero could not be fitted to initially derived baseline models without thinning related predictors. However, alternative approaches were used and found to perform well. Specifically, indicator variables representing varying time periods after thinning were statistically significant and behaved in a robust manner as well as consistent with general expectations. In addition, they improved overall prediction accuracy when incorporated as fixed effects into the baseline models for diameter and height to crown base increment. Further, more simply, including exponentially decreasing multiplicative thinning response functions improved prediction accuracy for height increment and height to crown base increment. Irrespective of studied attribute and modelling approach, improvement in performance of these extended models was relatively limited when compared to the corresponding baseline models and more pronounced in trees from thinned stands. We conclude that the largely varying and often multi-year measurement intervals of the periodic data used in this study likely prevented the development of more sophisticated thinning response functions. However, based on the evaluation of the final models’ overall performance such complex response functions may not to be necessary to reliably predict individual tree growth after thinning for certain conditions or species, which should be further considered in future analyses of similar nature.

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Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) is a commercially important wild berry species, which accumulates high amounts of polyphenols, particularly anthocyanins, in the skin and flesh. Whilst a number of studies have quantified these phytochemicals in intact ripe bilberry fruit, we extend the current knowledge by investigating the spatial distribution of anthocyanin-associated polyphenols in fruit tissue, and study their links with primary metabolism during ripening. To address this, we used LC-MS and mass spectrometry imaging to measure and map primary and secondary metabolites in fruit. Correlation analysis showed that five sugars displayed strong positive correlations with anthocyanin accumulation, whereas all amino acids were negatively correlated. The accumulation patterns of polyphenols correlated in fruit skin and flesh, but altered with development. Finally, spatial segmentation analysis revealed that the chemical signatures of ripening first appear at defined regions under the skin and rapidly expand to encompass the entire fruit at the eating-ripe stage.

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Legumes are important in sustainable agriculture and particularly so when they are intercropped with other species. In breeding programs, little attention is paid to their agronomic performance in species mixtures. In red clover, improved persistence is an important breeding goal. We identified traits associated with survival of red clover cultivated in pure stands (PS 3) or in mixtures with grasses (MS 3) and managed under a 3-cut system (two locations), as well as in pure stands in a 5-cut system (PS 5, one location). Survivors from replicate plots were collected and a new generation made from each plot. The new generations were characterized in a growth experiment with light or simulated shade, and in a freezing experiment. We show that the traits related to red clover persistence depend on both plant community composition and cutting frequency. MS 3 had more leaves with larger leaf blades and longer petioles during the vegetative stage, followed by earlier stem elongation, higher number of elongating stems, higher biomass (also when accounting for earlier stem elongation) and more leaves in the regrowth after cutting than PS 3. MS 3 also had better freezing tolerance. PS 5 was similar to MS 3 and different from PS 3 in the number of leaves, leaf blade size, petiole length and number of elongating stems. These results show that breeding and cultivar evaluation, which is currently almost exclusively considering performance in pure stands, may miss some variation which provides persistence of red clover in mixtures with grasses.

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In total, 154 wild raspberry samples were collected from 26 localities representing a large area in Norway (21 localities) and a narrowly defined region of the Giant Mountains in the northern parts of the Czech Republic (5 localities). The samples were characterized for genetic diversity and population differentiation as well as for their potential use in crop breeding. Choice of plant material was based on the biogeographical similarity between the Giant Mountains and relevant areas in Norway, where plant communities may have evolved in parallel since the ice ages. The overall level of genetic diversity ĥ = 0.786, I = 2.153 was high. Numerous rare alleles were found for raspberries originating especially from the East Giant Mountains populations Jeleni louky and Krakonosuv lom. The overall degree of population subdivision measured by Wright’s fixation index (FST) was of a moderate level of 0.28. The highest level 0.33 was found between populations in Northern Norway and 0.31 between populations in the Giant Mountains. The genetic structure was evaluated using Bayesian analyses as implemented using STRUCTURE software. According to the ΔK value, eight clusters (K8) were identified among all the analysed samples. The results of the analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) indicated that 79.7% of the total variation could be attributed to differences among individuals within populations, 15.3% was credited to differences among populations within regions, and only 5.0% was attributed to differences among regions. We concluded based on the results that Czech and Norwegian raspberry (R. idaeus) populations growing in natural high altitude and northern ecosystems are important genetic resources and represent a valuable source of genes and unique allele compositions for in situ and ex situ conservation and future raspberry breeding programmes.

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River otters (Lontra canadensis) are apex predators that bioaccumulate contaminants via their diet, potentially serving as biomonitors of watershed health. They reside throughout the Green-Duwamish River, WA (USA), a watershed encompassing an extreme urbanization gradient, including a US Superfund site slated for a 17-year remediation. The objectives of this study were to document baseline contaminant levels in river otters, assess otters’ utility as top trophic-level biomonitors of contaminant exposure, and evaluate the potential for health impacts on this species. We measured a suite of contaminants of concern, lipid content, nitrogen stable isotopes (δ15N), and microsatellite DNA markers in 69 otter scat samples collected from twelve sites. Landcover characteristics were used to group sampling sites into industrial (Superfund site), suburban, and rural development zones. Concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ether flame-retardants (PBDEs), dichlorodiphenyl-trichloroethane and its metabolites (DDTs), and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) increased significantly with increasing urbanization, and were best predicted by models that included development zone, suggesting that river otters are effective biomonitors, as defined in this study. Diet also played an important role, with lipid content, δ15N or both included in all best models. We recommend river otter scat be included in evaluating restoration efforts in this Superfund site, and as a potentially useful monitoring tool wherever otters are found. We also report ΣPCB and ΣPAH exposures among the highest published for wild river otters, with almost 70% of samples in the Superfund site exceeding established levels of concern.

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The INTENSE project, supported by the EU Era-Net Facce Surplus, aimed at increasing crop production on marginal land, including those with contaminated soils. A field trial was set up at a former wood preservation site to phytomanage a Cu/PAH-contaminated sandy soil. The novelty was to assess the influence of five organic amendments differing in their composition and production process, i.e. solid fractions before and after biodigestion of pig manure, compost and compost pellets (produced from spent mushroom substrate, biogas digestate and straw), and greenwaste compost, on Cu availability, soil properties, nutrient supply, and plant growth. Organic amendments were incorporated into the soil at 2.3% and 5% soil w/w. Total soil Cu varied from 179 to 1520 mg kg−1, and 1 M NH4NO3-extractable soil Cu ranged from 4.7 to 104 mg kg−1 across the 25 plots. Spring barley (Hordeum vulgare cv. Ella) was cultivated in plots. Changes in physico-chemical soil properties, shoot DW yield, shoot ionome, and shoot Cu uptake depending on extractable soil Cu and the soil treatments are reported. Shoot Cu concentration varied from 45 ± 24 to 140 ± 193 mg kg DW−1 and generally increased with extractable soil Cu. Shoot DW yield, shoot Cu concentration, and shoot Cu uptake of barley plants did not significantly differ across the soil treatments in year 1. Based on soil and plant parameters, the effects of the compost and pig manure treatments were globally discriminated from those of the untreated, greenwaste compost and digested pig manure treatments. Compost and its pellets at the 5% addition rate promoted soil functions related to primary production, water purification, and soil fertility, and the soil quality index.

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Sustainable water resources management roots in monitoring data reliability and a full engagement of all institutions involved in the water sector. When competences and interests are overlapping, however, coordination may be difficult, thus hampering cooperative actions. This is the case of Santa Cruz Island (Galápagos, Ecuador). A comprehensive assessment on water quality data (physico-chemical parameters, major elements, trace elements and coliforms) collected since 1985 revealed the need of optimizing monitoring efforts to fill knowledge gaps and to better target decision-making processes. A Water Committee (Comité de la gestión del Agua) was established to foster the coordinated action among stakeholders and to pave the way for joint monitoring in the island that can optimize the efforts for water quality assessment and protection. Shared procedures for data collection, sample analysis, evaluation and data assessment by an open-access geodatabase were proposed and implemented for the first time as a prototype in order to improve accountability and outreach towards civil society and water users. The overall results reveal the high potential of a well-structured and effective joint monitoring approach within a complex, multi-stakeholder framework.