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.

2018

2017

Abstract

Agricultural landscapes are products of farming activity in the past and present. They are everyday landscapes for many people and are important for outdoor recreation. Many plant and animal species find their habitat in these landscapes, and a high number of cultural heritage sites can also be found there. At the same time, agricultural landscapes are continuously subject to change. To ensure sufficient information on how these landscapes change, a national monitoring programme with the acronym “3Q” was initiated in 1998, to document status, continuity and change in agricultural landscapes in Norway. The Division of Survey and Statistics at NIBIO is responsible for the programme.

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Abstract

Tick-borne fever (TBF) is stated as one of the main disease challenges in Norwegian sheep farming during the grazing season. TBF is caused by the bacterium Anaplasma phagocytophilum that is transmitted by the tick Ixodes ricinus. A sustainable strategy to control tick-infestation is to breed for genetically robust animals. In order to use selection to genetically improve traits we need reliable estimates of genetic parameters. The standard procedures for estimating variance components assume a Gaussian distribution of the data. However, tick-count data is a discrete variable and, thus, standard procedures using linear models may not be appropriate. Thus, the objectives of this study were twofold: 1) to compare four alternative non-linear models: Poisson, negative binomial, zero-inflated Poisson and zero-inflated negative binomial based on their goodness of fit for quantifying genetic variation, as well as heritability for tick-count and 2) to investigate potential response to selection against tick-count based on truncation selection given the estimated genetic parameters from the best fit model. Our results showed that zero-inflated Poisson was the most parsimonious model for the analysis of tick count data. The resulting estimates of variance components and high heritability (0.32) led us to conclude that genetic determinism is relevant on tick count. A reduction of the breeding values for tick-count by one sire-dam genetic standard deviation on the liability scale will reduce the number of tick counts below an average of 1. An appropriate breeding scheme could control tick-count and, as a consequence, probably reduce TBF in sheep.

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Abstract

Understanding how toxic contaminants affect wildlife species at various levels of biological organization (subcellular, histological, physiological, organism, and population levels) is a major research goal in both ecotoxicology and radioecology. A mechanistic understanding of the links between different observed perturbations is necessary to predict the consequences for survival, growth, and reproduction, which are critical for population dynamics. In this context, experimental and modeling studies were conducted using the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. A chronic exposure to external gamma radiation was conducted under controlled conditions. Results showed that somatic growth and reproduction were reduced with increasing dose rate. Modeling was used to investigate whether radiation effects might be assessed using a mechanistic model based upon the dynamic energy budget (DEB) theory. A DEB theory in toxicology (DEB-tox), specially adapted to the case of gamma radiation, was developed. Modelling results demonstrated the suitability of DEB-tox for the analysis of radiotoxicity and suggested that external gamma radiation predominantly induced a direct reduction in reproductive capacity in C. elegans and produced an increase in costs for growth and maturation, resulting in a delay in growth and spawning observed at the highest tested dose rate.