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2020 (14)

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Field trapping experiments were carried out in Norway to measure attraction of the cherry bark tortrix (CBT) Enarmonia formosana to volatile blends of candidate compounds including acetic acid (AA), linalool oxide pyranoid (LOXP), 2-phenylethanol (PET), pear ester (E,Z)2,4-ethyl decadienoate (PE) and (E)-β-farnesene (BF). The binary blend of AA and LOXP caught the highest number of CBT adults. While addition of PET along with PE did not significantly change the attraction, a sex-dependent decrease of female captures was found when LOXP was replaced by PET/PE. Male attraction to AA/LOXP did not differ when PET/PE were added to the blend or when LOXP was substituted by the same two compounds. A similar attraction to blank traps was recorded for the ternary blend of LOXP/PET/PE, for the binary blend of PET/PE and for LOXP alone, supporting AA as a possible fundamental component of CBT kairomone. In addition, a lower number of bycatches of Hedya nubiferana, Anthophila fabriciana, Synanthedon myopaeformis, Pammene spp. and Pandemis spp. were scored in the AA/LOXP than in any blend including AA/PET/PE. BF was not behaviourally active on CBT in our field experiments. The high attraction of both sexes of CBT to the binary blend of AA/LOXP represents a first step towards the identification of a multicomponent kairomone for this pest. A continuous flight activity of both sexes of CBT was recorded from the end of May until the beginning of August, supporting the hypothesis that CBT is univoltine in Norway. Because larval infestation on tree trunks varies substantially with apple varieties, we encourage the collection of additional data to attempt a correlation between adult catch by AA/LOXP traps and the following larval population.

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From the Middle Ages until the twentieth century, water meadows in Europe were primarily irrigated to improve their productivity and to lengthen the growing season. They were water management systems designed to collect and use water and to discharge it: water had to be kept moving. This chapter presents a general overview and a history of research on European water meadows. It also examines examples from the sandy landscapes of northwestern Europe, from Slovakia, and Norway. Three main types of water meadows are distinguished: simple dam systems, more elaborate catchworks, and highly developed bedworks. Of these, bedworks were technically and organizationally the most complex; they were also the most costly in construction and maintenance. Most water meadows were abandoned in the twentieth century; in many places, however, their traces can still be recognized in the landscape. They are both an interesting part of European agrarian and landscape heritage and a carrier of regional identity. In recent years, a number of water meadows have been restored, for ecological, water management, tourism, and heritage purposes.

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Risk models for decisions on fungicide use based on weather data, disease monitoring, and control thresholds are used as important elements in a sustainable cropping system. The need for control of leaf blotch diseases in wheat (caused by Zymoseptoria tritici, Parastagonospora nodorum and Pyrenophora tritici-repentis) vary significantly across years and locations. Disease development is mainly driven by humidity events during stem elongation and heading. Two risk models were tested in field trials in order to identify situations favourable for the development of leaf blotch diseases in Lithuania, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark. The Crop Protection Online (CPO) model uses days with precipitation (>1 mm), while the humidity model (HM) uses 20 continuous hours with relative humidity (RH) ≥ 85% as criteria for the need of a fungicide application. Forty-seven field trials were carried out during two seasons to validate these two risk-models against reference fungicide treatments. The season 2018 was dry and 2019 had an average precipitation profile. The two risk models with few exceptions provided acceptable disease control. In 2018, very few treatments were recommended by the models, saving 85–98% of treatments compared to the reference treatments, while in the wetter season 2019, 31% fewer applications were recommended. Based on specific criteria including fungicide input and net yield responses the models gave correct recommendations in 95% of the trials in 2018 and in 54–58% of the trials in 2019 compared with reference treatments dominated by 2–3 sprays. In comparison with single spray references, the models gave correct recommendations in 54–69% of the situations.

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It is commonly known that the pretreatment of complex substrates yields higher biogas production in anaerobic digestion (AD) by improving hydrolysis. However, it is still questioned whether all solubilized fractions after pretreatment can be used for CH4 production during AD. In this study, the relationship between increased solubilization and AD efficiency in response to different pretreatment conditions of lipid-extracted microalgae waste (LEMW) was investigated. The individual pretreatment (acid and ultrasonic) and combined pretreatment were applied to assess the solubilization of LEMW. A biochemical methane potential (BMP) test was subsequently performed to determine the AD efficiency. Combined pretreatment of LEMW (60 min of irradiation + pH 1) showed the highest performance, achieving CH4 production of 1245 ± 28 mL CH4/L with increased solubilization of 50.4%. However, it was found that increased solubilization did not proportionally increase CH4 productivity. The assessment of the origin of produced CH4 through biomass fractionation supports this finding in that the soluble fraction that does not contribute to CH4 production increased at more severe pretreatment conditions.

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Knowledge about population genetic structure and dispersal capabilities is important for the development of targeted management strategies for agricultural pest species. The apple fruit moth, Argyresthia conjugella (Lepidoptera, Yponomeutidae), is a pre-dispersal seed predator. Larvae feed on rowanberries (Sorbus aucuparia), and when rowanberry seed production is low (i.e., inter-masting), the moth switches from laying eggs in rowanberries to apples (Malus domestica), resulting in devastating losses in apple crops. Using genetic methods, we investigated if this small moth expresses any local genetic structure, or alternatively if gene flow may be high within the Scandinavian Peninsula (~850.000 km2, 55o - 69o N). Genetic diversity was found to be high (n = 669, mean He = 0.71). For three out of ten tetranucleotide STRs, we detected heterozygote deficiency caused by null alleles, but tests showed little impact on the overall results. Genetic differentiation between the 28 sampling locations was very low (average FST = 0.016, P < 0.000). Surprisingly, we found that all individuals could be assigned to one of two non-geographic genetic clusters, and that a third, geographic cluster was found to be associated with 30% of the sampling locations, with weak but significant signals of isolation-by-distance. Conclusively, our findings suggest wind-aided dispersal and spatial synchrony of both sexes of the apple fruit moth over large areas and across very different climatic zones. We speculate that the species may recently have had two separate genetic origins caused by a genetic bottleneck after inter-masting, followed by rapid dispersal and homogenization of the gene pool across the landscape. We suggest further investigations of spatial genetic similarities and differences of the apple fruit moth at larger geographical scales, through life-stages, across inter-masting, and during attacks by the parasitoid wasp (Microgaster politus).

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Identification of stocktype attributes that speed up field establishment has potential to reduce rotation time of Christmas tree productions. Such morphological and physiological attributes can be targeted in the nursery production. This study tested the effects of container type and nursery seedling density on stocktype attributes at planting and the effects of these on field performance over two years in Abies lasiocarpa and A. nordmanniana Christmas tree stock. Nursery conditions had a considerable impact on seedling attributes at planting. Although sets of these correlated stocktype attributes contributed to forecast field performance, the predictive power was low. No simple relationships were found between plant biomass, stem diameter or height at planting and biomass at final harvest in either of the two species under the range of stocktype variation and field conditions tested. Contrary, stem diameter and stem height at planting explained some of the responses in stem diameter and height after two years in the field. Thus, any target seedling approach would have to be based on a combined set of stocktype attributes exploring more productive stocktypes. The differences observed between stocktypes were largely due to size differences and ontogenetic drift, and stocktypes converged towards a similar field phenotype over time.

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Growth of CO2 concentration level has strong interactions with forests. Forests are able to sequester carbon (C) through photosynthesis and can help to mitigate the effects of climate warming, as well as to reduce the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. Drought and other extreme weather conditions play a key role in ecosystem functioning and the C-cycle. The eddy covariance (EC) method can be used to better understand forest ecosystems CO2 exchange by directly measuring net carbon and water fluxes. In our study, EC results for measurement of fluxes between the atmosphere and forest canopy are reported for the study period from May to August 2018 in Järvselja, Estonia. Stand-replacing disturbance (clear-cutting) took place in April 2013. The young forest stand is dominated by Norway spruce (Picea abies) and birch (Betula spp.). Findings so far include (1) a C-budget for the study period that showed a slight C-sink status; (2) net ecosystem exchange (NEE) was −0.0084 µmol m−2 s−1 indicating C-uptake during the measurement period; (3) in May, June, July and August, NEE was −0.027, −0.015, 0.001 and 0.006 µmol m−2 s−1, respectively; (4) NEE fluxes are lower in drought conditions and are affected by temperature that averaged 15 °C.

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Endogenous antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are evolutionarily ancient factors of innate immunity, which are produced by all multicellular organisms and play a key role in their protection against infection. Red king crab (Paralithodes camtschaticus), also called Kamchatka crab, is widely distributed and the best known species of all king crabs belonging to the family Lithodidae. Despite their economic importance, the genetic resources of king crabs are scarcely known and no fullgenome sequences are available to date. Therefore, analysis of the red king crab transcriptome and identifcation and characterization of its AMPs could potentially contribute to the development of novel antimicrobial drug candidates when antibiotic resistance has become a global health threat. In this study, we sequenced the P. camtschaticus transcriptomes from carapace, tail fap and leg tissues using an Illumina NGS platform. Libraries were systematically analyzed for gene expression profles along with AMP prediction. By an in silico approach using public databases we defned 49 cDNAs encoding for AMP candidates belonging to diverse families and functional classes, including buforins, crustins, paralithocins, and ALFs (anti-lipopolysaccharide factors). We analyzed expression patterns of 27 AMP genes. The highest expression was found for Paralithocin 1 and Crustin 3, with more than 8,000 reads. Other paralithocins, ALFs, crustins and ubiquicidins were among medium expressed genes. This transcriptome data set and AMPs provide a solid baseline for further functional analysis in P. camtschaticus. Results from the current study contribute also to the future application of red king crab as a bio-resource in addition to its being a known seafood delicacy.

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Norway spruce (Picea abies) is a widely used Christmas tree species in the Nordic countries. Postharvest needle retention is an important characteristic for Christmas trees and compared to many fir (Abies) species, Norway spruce has poor postharvest needle retention. This trait is one of the most important qualities in choice of natural versus plastic trees. In this study, current year shoots were cut from 30 Norway spruce seedlot sources, including the most widely used Norwegian Christmas tree provenances, and tested to identify genetic variation in postharvest needle retention. Current year shoots were collected from one field in November and December 2018, and from three fields in October, November and December 2019. The current year shoots were displayed indoors under controlled conditions and allowed to dry. Differences in postharvest needle retention were seen between seedlots, harvesting dates and locations. Our study indicates possibilities of selecting for improved postharvest needle retention in Norway spruce seed sources. Furthermore, postharvest needle retention should be considered as one characteristic to add in the ongoing Norway spruce Christmas tree breeding program.

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Rhodiola rosea L. (roseroot) is an adaptogen plant belonging to the Crassulaceae family. The broad spectrum of biological activity of R. rosea is attributed to its major phenyletanes and phenylpropanoids: rosavin, salidroside, rosin, cinnamyl alcohol, and tyrosol. In this study, we compared the content of phenyletanes and phenylpropanoids in rhizomes of R. rosea from the Norwegian germplasm collection collected in 2004 and in 2017. In general, the content of these bioactive compounds in 2017 was significantly higher than that observed in 2004. The freeze-drying method increased the concentration of all phenyletanes and phenylpropanoids in rhizomes compared with conventional drying at 70 °C. As far as we know, the content of salidroside (51.0 mg g−1) observed in this study is the highest ever detected in Rhodiola spp. Long-term vegetative propagation and high genetic diversity of R. rosea together with the freeze-drying method may have led to the high content of the bioactive compounds observed in the current study.

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Norwegian pear production is low due to climatic limitations, a lack of well-adapted cultivars and suitable pollinizers. However, nowadays it is increasing as a result of newly introduced and bred pear cultivars. Since cross pollination is necessary for high yields and good fruit quality, the aim of this investigation was to find the most suitable pollinizers for the pear cultivars “Ingeborg” (“Conference” × “Bonne Louise”) and “Celina” (“Colorée de Juillet” × “Williams”). Self-pollination of “Ingeborg” and “Celina”, together with “Conference”, “Belle Lucrative”, “Anna”, “Clara Frijs”, “Herzogin Elsa”, “Kristina” and “Fritjof” as potential pollinizers, were studied in this experiment during the 2017 and 2018 seasons in Norway. The success rate of each pollinizer was tested under field conditions, while the monitoring of pollen tube growth was done using the fluorescence microscopy method. All reproductive parameters (pollen germination, number of pollen tubes in the upper part of the style, pollen tube number in the locule of the ovary, number of fertilized ovules, initial fruit set, and final fruit set) in all crossing combinations were higher in 2018 due to much warmer weather. Based on the flowering overlap and success rate of each individual pollinizer and fruit set, the cultivars “Anna” and “Clara Frijs” can be suggested as pollinizers for the cultivar “Ingeborg”, while “Fritjof”, “Anna”, “Kristina” and “Herzogin Elsa” for the cultivar “Celina”. An even distribution of two compatible pollinizers having overlapping flowering times with the main commercial pear cultivar is a general recommendation for commercial pear production.

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Plants can form an immunological memory known as defense priming, whereby exposure to a priming stimulus enables quicker or stronger response to subsequent attack by pests and pathogens. Such priming of inducible defenses provides increased protection and reduces allocation costs of defense. Defense priming has been widely studied for short‐lived model plants such as Arabidopsis, but little is known about this phenomenon in long‐lived plants like spruce. We compared the effects of pretreatment with sublethal fungal inoculations or application of the phytohormone methyl jasmonate (MeJA) on the resistance of 48‐year‐old Norway spruce (Picea abies) trees to mass attack by a tree‐killing bark beetle beginning 35 days later. Bark beetles heavily infested and killed untreated trees but largely avoided fungus‐inoculated trees and MeJA‐treated trees. Quantification of defensive terpenes at the time of bark beetle attack showed fungal inoculation induced 91‐fold higher terpene concentrations compared with untreated trees, whereas application of MeJA did not significantly increase terpenes. These results indicate that resistance in fungus‐inoculated trees is a result of direct induction of defenses, whereas resistance in MeJA‐treated trees is due to defense priming. This work extends our knowledge of defense priming from model plants to an ecologically important tree species.

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In order to predict the effects of climate change on the global carbon cycle, it is crucial to understand the environmental factors that affect soil carbon storage in grasslands. In the present study, we attempted to explain the relationships between the distribution of soil carbon storage with climate, soil types, soil properties and topographical factors across different types of grasslands with different grazing regimes. We measured soil organic carbon in 92 locations at different soil depth increments, from 0 to 100 cm in southwestern China. Among soil types, brown earth soils (Luvisols) had the highest carbon storage with 19.5 ± 2.5 kg m−2, while chernozem soils had the lowest with 6.8 ± 1.2 kg m−2. Mean annual temperature and precipitation, exerted a significant, but, contrasting effects on soil carbon storage. Soil carbon storage increased as mean annual temperature decreased and as mean annual precipitation increased. Across different grassland types, the mean carbon storage for the top 100 cm varied from 7.6 ± 1.3 kg m−2 for temperate desert to 17.3 ± 2.9 kg m−2 for alpine meadow. Grazing/cutting regimes significantly affected soil carbon storage with lowest value (7.9 ± 1.5 kg m−2) recorded for cutting grass, while seasonal (11.4 ± 1.3 kg m−2) and year-long (12.2 ± 1.9 kg m−2) grazing increased carbon storage. The highest carbon storage was found in the completely ungrazed areas (16.7 ± 2.9 kg m−2). Climatic factors, along with soil types and topographical factors, controlled soil carbon density along a soil depth in grasslands. Environmental factors alone explained about 60% of the total variation in soil carbon storage. The actual depth-wise distribution of soil carbon contents was significantly influenced by the grazing intensity and topographical factors. Overall, policy-makers should focus on reducing the grazing intensity and land conversion for the sustainable management of grasslands and C sequestration.

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Land-sea riverine carbon transfer (LSRCT) is one of the key processes in the global carbon cycle. Although natural factors (e.g. climate, soil) influence LSRCT, human water management strategies have also been identified as a critical component. However, few systematic approaches quantifying the contribution of coupled natural and anthropogenic factors on LSRCT have been published. This study presents an integrated framework coupling hydrological modeling, field sampling and stable isotope analysis for the quantitative assessment of the impact of human water management practices (e.g. irrigation, dam construction) on LSRCT under different hydrological conditions. By applying this approach to the case study of the Nandu River, China, we find that carbon (C) concentrations originating from different land-uses (e.g. forest, cropland) are relatively stable and outlet C variations are mainly dominated by controlled runoff volumes rather than by input C concentrations. These results indicate that human water management practices are responsible for a reduction of ∼60% of riverine C at seasonal timescales, with an even greater reduction during drought conditions. Annual C discharges have been significantly reduced (e.g. 77 ± 5% in 2015 and 39 ± 11% in 2016) due to changes in human water extraction coupled with climate variation. In addition, isotope analysis also shows that C fluxes influenced by human activities (e.g. agriculture, aquaculture) could contribute the dominant particulate organic carbon under typical climatic conditions, as well as drought conditions. This research demonstrates the substantial effect that human water management practices have on the seasonal and annual fluxes of LSRCT, especially in such small basins. This work also shows the applicability of this integrated approach, using multiple tools to quantify the contribution of coupled anthropogenic and natural factors on LSRCT, and the general framework is believed to be feasible with limited modifications for larger basins in future research.