Publications

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

2019

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Abstract

The notion of the Anthropocene does not fit well into the frame of scientific disciplines. The proposed onset of a new geological epoch has become closely linked with human history and with notions such as purposeful human actions. Purposefulness, however, is also subject to interpretation in the humanities and does not fit into analytical methods in Earth sciences. Scholars have taken up this challenge and engage with Earth scientists in public discourse on the Anthropocene. Due to the lack of a common frame of reference, discussions suffer from incompatible abstractions, notions, methods and results. Here, we propose an abstract model-framework facilitating communication between Earth scientists and scholars. In Earth sciences, models are often employed to provide a representation of an independent reality which imposes limits to growth. In the humanities, self-reference and reflexivity of modernity at all scales including the globe becomes a key issue. In the former view models can be decomposed and locally tested, in the latter models and concepts involving human action need to be considered in all their contextual and semantic relations. Typically, such concepts, for example in anthropology, do not come in a mathematical language. Nevertheless, we suggest that a common reference can be sought in an abstract model language, rather than in realistic models. Category theory and formal notions developed in computer science may provide such an abstract framework to accommodate the apparently incompatible views of models and concepts, which are considered as successful by their respective home disciplines. Diverse models such as examples from game theory (economics), from dynamic system theory (Earth science) and from a classification of ethnocosmologies (anthropology) can be formulated as different instances within a joint and abstract framework. Such a framework allows to investigate implications of the Anthropocene for logical similarities with past environmental events by seeking historical analogies (for example with the great oxygenation event) or formulating consistency requirements for the future (for example by defining sustainability). The prize for the common basis is a strict ‘epistemic hygiene’, avoiding most ontological assumptions and criticisms which often appear as dear to Earth scientists and scholars, but which may prevent a more fruitful exchange on an urgent interdisciplinary topic

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Abstract

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

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Abstract

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

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Abstract

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

Abstract

Rhodiola rosea is a highly valued herbal medicinal plant. It is growing wild in most parts of Norway and mountainous areas around the world. The marker compounds are salidroside, cinnamyl alcohol, glycosides (rosine, rosavine, rosarine), flavonoids (rhodionin, rhodiosin, rhodiolin) and terpens (Galambosi 1999), where the rosavins are unique to R. rosea. In Norway, germplasm collections of R. rosea are maintained by NIBIO; at Apelsvoll in Southern Norway, consisting of 97 different clones. The ranges in content of secondary metabolites in the collection are for rosavin 2.90-85.95 mg g-1, salidroside 0.03-12.85 mg g-1, rosin 0.08-4.75 mg g-1, tyrosol 0.04-2.15 mg g-1 and cinnamyl alcohol 0.02-1.18 mg g-1. A number of different studies have been performed on how biotic and abiotic factors affects the yield of the roots as well the content in metabolites. We find that the flowering of the plant is dependent on cool temperatures during dormancy and thus climatic changes may affect the plant development as well as the production of metabolites. Studies performed in Norway as well as between European countries shows that geographical location affects the content of metabolites and here also variation in clones are a player. In the present presentation results from these and more studies will be presented. Also comprising results on the effect of white-, blue- and red light on the growth and chemical composition of greenhouse grown plants.

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Abstract

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

Abstract

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