NIBIO's Scientific Publications

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

2019 (184)

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High-throughput sequencing is increasingly favoured to assay the presence and abundance of microRNAs (miRNAs) in biological samples, even from low RNA amounts, and a number of commercial vendors now offer kits that allow miRNA sequencing from sub-nanogram (ng) inputs. Although biases introduced during library preparation have been documented, the relative performance of current reagent kits has not been investigated in detail. Here, six commercial kits capable of handling <100ng total RNA input were used for library preparation, performed by kit manufactures, on synthetic miRNAs of known quantities and human total RNA samples. We compared the performance of miRNA detection sensitivity, reliability, titration response and the ability to detect differentially expressed miRNAs. In addition, we assessed the use of unique molecular identifiers (UMI) sequence tags in one kit. We observed differences in detection sensitivity and ability to identify differentially expressed miRNAs between the kits, but none were able to detect the full repertoire of synthetic miRNAs. The reliability within the replicates of all kits was good, while larger differences were observed between the kits, although none could accurately quantify the relative levels of the majority of miRNAs. UMI tags, at least within the input ranges tested, offered little advantage to improve data utility. In conclusion, biases in miRNA abundance are heavily influenced by the kit used for library preparation, suggesting that comparisons of datasets prepared by different procedures should be made with caution. This article is intended to assist researchers select the most appropriate kit for their experimental conditions.

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Aim Species–area relationships (SARs) are fundamental scaling laws in ecology although their shape is still disputed. At larger areas, power laws best represent SARs. Yet, it remains unclear whether SARs follow other shapes at finer spatial grains in continuous vegetation. We asked which function describes SARs best at small grains and explored how sampling methodology or the environment influence SAR shape. Location Palaearctic grasslands and other non‐forested habitats. Taxa Vascular plants, bryophytes and lichens. Methods We used the GrassPlot database, containing standardized vegetation‐plot data from vascular plants, bryophytes and lichens spanning a wide range of grassland types throughout the Palaearctic and including 2,057 nested‐plot series with at least seven grain sizes ranging from 1 cm2 to 1,024 m2. Using nonlinear regression, we assessed the appropriateness of different SAR functions (power, power quadratic, power breakpoint, logarithmic, Michaelis–Menten). Based on AICc, we tested whether the ranking of functions differed among taxonomic groups, methodological settings, biomes or vegetation types. Results The power function was the most suitable function across the studied taxonomic groups. The superiority of this function increased from lichens to bryophytes to vascular plants to all three taxonomic groups together. The sampling method was highly influential as rooted presence sampling decreased the performance of the power function. By contrast, biome and vegetation type had practically no influence on the superiority of the power law. Main conclusions We conclude that SARs of sessile organisms at smaller spatial grains are best approximated by a power function. This coincides with several other comprehensive studies of SARs at different grain sizes and for different taxa, thus supporting the general appropriateness of the power function for modelling species diversity over a wide range of grain sizes. The poor performance of the Michaelis–Menten function demonstrates that richness within plant communities generally does not approach any saturation, thus calling into question the concept of minimal area.

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Timber structures in marine applications are often exposed to severe degradation conditions caused by mechanical loads and wood-degrading organisms. This paper presents the use of timber in marine environments in Europe from a wood protection perspective. It discusses the use of wood in coastline protection and archeological marine wood, reviews the marine borer taxa in European waters, and gives an overview of potential solutions for protection of timber in marine environments. Information was compiled from the most relevant literature sources with an emphasis on new wood protection methods; the need for research and potential solutions are discussed. Traditionally, timber has been extensively utilized in a variety of marine applications. Although there is a strong need for developing new protection systems for timber in marine applications, the research in this field has been scarce for many years. New attempts to protect timber used in marine environments in Europe have mainly focused on wood modification and the use of mechanical barriers to prevent colonization of marine wood borers. The importance of understanding the mechanisms of settlement, migration, boring, and digestion of the degrading organisms is key for developing effective systems for protecting timber in marine environments.

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Knowledge of soil microtopography and its changes in space and over time is important to the understanding of how tillage influences infiltration, runoff generation and erosion. In this study, the use of a terrestrial laser scanner (TLS) is assessed for its ability to quantify small changes in the soil surface at high spatial resolutions for a relatively large surface area (100 m2). Changes in soil surface morphology during snow cover and melt are driven by frost heave, slaking, pressure exertion by the snowpack and overland flow (erosion and deposition). An attempt is undertaken to link these processes to observed changes at the soil surface. A new algorithm for soil surface roughness is introduced to make optimal use of the raw point cloud. This algorithm is less scale dependent than several commonly used roughness calculations. The results of this study show that TLSs can be used for multitemporal scanning of large surfaces and that small changes in surface elevation and roughness can be detected. Statistical analysis of the observed changes against terrain indices did not yield significant evidence for process differentiation.

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We investigated the impact of Norway’s current zonal carnivore management system for four large carnivore species on sheep farming. Sheep losses increased when the large carnivores were reintroduced, but has declined again after the introduction of the zoning management system. The total number of sheep increased outside, but declined slightly inside the management zones. The total sheep production increased, but sheep farming was still lost as a source of income for many farmers. The use of the grazing resources became more extensive. Losses decreased because sheep were removed from the open outfield pastures and many farmers gave up sheep farming. While wolves expel sheep farming from the outfield grazing areas, small herds can still be kept in fenced enclosures. Bears are in every respect incompatible with sheep farming. Farmers adjust to the seasonal and more predictable behavior of lynx and wolverine, although these species also may cause serious losses when present. The mitigating efforts are costly and lead to reduced animal welfare and lower income for the farmers, although farmers in peri-urban areas increasingly are keeping sheep as an avocation. There is a spillover effect of the zoning strategy in the sense that there is substantial loss of livestock to carnivores outside, but geographically near the management zones. The carnivore management policy used in Norway is a reasonably successful management strategy when the goal is to separate livestock from carnivores and decrease the losses, but the burdens are unequally distributed and farmers inside the management zones are at an economic disadvantage.

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Accurately positioned single-tree data obtained from a cut-to-length harvester were used as training harvester plot data for k-nearest neighbor (k-nn) stem diameter distribution modelling applying airborne laser scanning (ALS) information as predictor variables. Part of the same harvester data were also used for stand-level validation where the validation units were stands including all the harvester plots on a systematic grid located within each individual stand. In the validation all harvester plots within a stand and also the neighboring stands located closer than 200 m were excluded from the training data when predicting for plots of a particular stand. We further compared different training harvester plot sizes, namely 200 m2, 400 m2, 900 m2 and 1600 m2. Due to this setup the number of considered stands and the areas within the stands varied between the different harvester plot sizes. Our data were from final fellings in Akershus County in Norway and consisted of altogether 47 stands dominated by Norway spruce. We also had ALS data from the area. We concentrated on estimating characteristics of Norway spruce but due to the k-nn approach, species-wise estimates and stand totals as a sum over species were considered as well. The results showed that in the most accurate cases stand-level merchantable total volume could be estimated with RMSE values smaller than 9% of the mean. This value can be considered as highly accurate. Also the fit of the stem diameter distribution assessed by a variant of Reynold’s error index showed values smaller than 0.2 which are superior to those found in the previous studies. The differences between harvester plot sizes were generally small, showing most accurate results for the training harvester plot sizes 200 m2 and 400 m2.

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The continuous increase in global population and living standards, is leading to an increase in demand for food and feed resources. The world’s oceans have the largest unlocked potential for meeting such demands. Norway already has an extensive aquaculture industry, but still has great ambitions and possibilities to develop and expand this industry. One of the important topics for improving the value chain of Norwegian aquaculture is to secure the access to feed resources and to improve the environmental impacts. Today, most of the feed-protein sources used in aquaculture are imported in the form of soy protein. The research project Energy efficient PROcessing of MACroalgae in blue-green value chains (PROMAC) aimed, among other research questions, to investigate cultivated seaweeds as a potential raw material for fish feed. This paper assesses Life Cycle Analysis (LCA)-perspectives of scenarios for future seaweed production of feed-protein for fish, and compares this with today’s situation of imported soy protein for fish feed. The insights from the LCA are very important for the configuration of the entire production value chain, to ensure that the environmental aspects are taken into account in a holistic fashion.

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The extent of land lease is increasing in many countries, including Norway. This paper develops a von Thünen type model of optimal land plots to lease from a farm’s center. For a single farm setting, the optimality principle is that land is leased as long as the expected marginal value of leasing a tract of land is greater than or equal to the expected marginal costs of leasing the land. The single farm model setting captures land lease at the extensive margin, i.e., under absence of competition for leasing land. Land lease at the intensive margin, i.e., when there is competition for leasing farm fields, is more interesting. We distinguish between two cases. In the first case, continued farm operations do not depend on being able to lease more land. Then we show that optimal land lease results when the expected profits for each farm of leasing its least profitable field is equal among farms competing for the same farm field. This also corresponds to an economically efficient allocation of leased land. Our second case at the intensive margin is more complicated. Here, farm survival depends on attracting acreage of leased land to allow for investment in cost saving technology. We show that the resulting allocation of leased land corresponds to the solution of a game involving bidding for land in order to prevent other farmers from getting land, which in turn leads to farmer exit and therefore increases the future supply of land available at the land lease market. In the first round of the game, winners of the land lease auction pay more for the leased land than they would have done in the absence of preventive bidding. The model framework is applicable for other settings where locking out competitors are parts of agents’ strategy space.

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The present study described a droplet-vitrification cryopreservation for shoot tips of shallot (Allium cepa var. aggregatum), a small bulb onion. Shoot tips taken from in vitro stock shoots were precultured with 0.3 M and 0.5 M of sucrose, with 1 day for each concentration. Precultured shoot tips were treated with a loading solution containing 2 M glycerol and 0.6 M sucrose for 20 min and then exposed to plant vitrification solution 3 (PVS3) at 24 °C for 3 h of dehydration. Following exposure to PVS3, shoot tips were moved onto 5.0 μl PVS3 droplets on aluminum foil strips, followed by direct immersion into liquid nitrogen for 1 h. Frozen shoot tips were thawed by incubation in liquid MS medium containing 1.2 m sucrose for 20 min at room temperature, and then post-thaw cultured for shoot regrowth. Exposure of the shoot tips to PVS3 produced shoot regrowth (58%). Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) detected 1.8% of freezable water in the shoot tips that had been dehydrated by PVS2, and no freezable water in those by PVS3 treatment. Exposure to PVS3 provided a broader safe temperature range (− 196 °C to − 88 °C), compared to that (− 196 °C to − 116 °C) of PVS2, for cryopreserved samples. Histological observations found that PVS3 dehydration allowed many cells in the apical dome and in the leaf primordia to survive following freezing in LN, while PVS2 dehydration resulted in much fewer surviving cells in the apical dome. The droplet-vitrification cryopreservation produced 56%, 72% and 32% shoot regrowth in cryopreserved shoot tips taken from in vitro shoots, adventitious buds regenerated from stem discs and field-grown bulbs, respectively. Advantages and disadvantages of the use of different source explants for cryopreservation were discussed. The droplet-vitrification cryopreservation produced 45% and 70% shoot regrowth in the additional two shallot genotypes ‘Kverve’ and ‘Lunteviga’. The results obtained in this study provide technical supports for setting-up cryo-bankings of genetic resources of shallots and other Allium species.

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Hay-making structures are part of the agricultural landscape of meadows and pastures. Hay meadows are still used and found all over Europe, but their distribution patterns as well as their characteristics and regional features depend on geographical area, climate, culture, and intensity of agriculture. Intensively used hay meadows are the most dominant, using heavy machinery to store hay mostly as rounded or square bales. Traditional hay-making structures represent structures or constructions, used to quickly dry freshly cut fodder and to protect it from humidity. The ‘ancient’ forms of traditional hay-making structures are becoming a relic, due to mechanisation and the use of new technologies. Both the need for drying hay and the traditional methods for doing so were similar across Europe. Our study of hay-making structures focuses on their current state, their development and history, current use and cultural values in various European countries. Regarding the construction and use of hay-making structures, we have distinguished three different types, which correlate to natural and regional conditions: (1) temporary hay racks of various shapes; (2) hay barracks, a special type of shelters for storing hay and (3) different types of permanent construction and buildings for drying and storing hay. Hay-making structures have been mostly preserved in connection with traditional agricultural landscapes, and particularly in the more remote regions or where associated with strong cultural identity.

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Acetylated wood is a durable and dimensionally stable product with many potential applications in exterior timber structures. Research has shown that acetylated wood can be effectively bonded by various adhesive types. However, one of the most commonly used adhesives for timber constructions, melamine urea formaldehyde (MUF), shows poor performance in combination with acetylated wood in delamination tests based on cyclic wetting and drying. The hydrophobic acetylated wood surface leads to reduced adhesion due to poorer adhesive wetting and fewer chemical bonds between the resin and the wood polymers. The use of a resorcinol-formaldehyde (RF)-based primer on the acetylated wood surface prior to the application of MUF leads to positive gluing results with both acetylated radiata pine and beech, providing significantly improved resistance to delamination. Radial penetration of the primer and MUF in acetylated wood shows higher penetration compared with untreated wood. In addition, a phenol resorcinol-formaldehyde adhesive system showed high resistance against delamination and can be used for gluing of acetylated wood.

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Carbon footprint over the life cycle is one of the most common environmental performance indicators. In recent years, several wood material producers have published environmental product declarations (EPDs) according to the EN 15804, which makes it possible to compare the carbon footprint of product alternatives. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of service life aspects by comparing the carbon footprint of treated wood decking products with similar performance expectations. The results showed that the modified wood products had substantially larger carbon footprints during manufacturing than preservative-treated decking materials. Replacement of modified wood during service life creates a huge impact on life cycle carbon footprint, while maintenance with oil provided a large contribution for preservative-treated decking. Hence, service life and maintenance intervals are crucial for the performance ranking between products. The methodological issues to be aware of are: how the functional unit specifies the key performance requirements for the installed product, and whether full replacement is the best modeling option in cases where the decking installation is close to the end of the required service life.

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We present the results of an inventory and status assessment of alien species in Norway. The inventory covered all known multicellular neobiota, 2496 in total, 1039 of which were classified as naturalised. The latter constitute c. 3% of all species known to be stably reproducing in Norway. These figures are higher than expected from Norway’s latitude, which may be due a combination of climatic and historical factors, as well as sampling effort. Most of the naturalised neobiota were plants (71%),followed by animals (21%) and fungi (8%). The main habitat types colonised were open lowlands (79%), urban environments (52%) and woodlands (42%). The main areas of origin were Europe (67%), North America (15%) and Asia (13%). For most taxa, the rate of novel introductions seems to have been increasing during recent decades. Within Norway, the number of alien species recorded per county was negatively correlated with latitude and positively correlated with human population density. In the high-Arctic territories under Norwegian sovereignty, i.e. Svalbard and Jan Mayen, 104 alien species were recorded, of which 5 were naturalised.

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Drainage and afforestation of peatlands cause extensive habitat degradation and species losses. Restoration supports peatland biodiversity by creating suitable habitat conditions, including stable high water tables. However, colonization by characteristic species can take decades or even fail. Peatland recovery is often monitored shortly after restoration, but initial trends may not continue, and results might differ among taxonomic groups. This study analyzes trends in plant, dragonfly, and butterfly diversity within 18 years after rewetting of montane peatlands in central Germany. We compared diversity and species composition of 19 restored sites with three drained peatlands and one near‐natural reference site. Restoration resulted in improved habitat conditions and benefited species diversity, but there were marked differences among taxonomic groups. Dragonflies rapidly colonized small water bodies but their diversity did not further increase in older restoration sites. Characteristic peatland vegetation recovered slowly, since it depended on a high water holding capacity that was only reached after peat started accumulating. Generally, plant diversity developed toward reference conditions albeit incompletely, even 18 years after restoration. Butterflies responded less to peatland restoration; generalists increased only temporarily and specialists could not establish. In conclusion, peatland restoration improves habitat conditions and biodiversity, while trajectories of recovery are nonlinear and incomplete after two decades. This highlights the need for long‐term monitoring and a strategic selection of indicator species for evaluation of restoration success.

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The abundance of Juncus effusus (soft rush) and Juncus conglomeratus (compact rush) has increased in coastal grasslands in Norway over recent decades, and their spread has coincided with increased precipitation in the region. Especially in water‐saturated, peaty soils, it appears from field observations that productive grasses cannot compete effectively with such rapidly growing rush plants. In autumn–winters of 2012–2013 and 2013–2014, a four‐factor, randomised block greenhouse experiment was performed to investigate the effect of different soil moisture regimes and organic matter contents on competition between these rush species and smooth meadow‐grass (Poa pratensis). The rush species were grown in monoculture and in competition with the meadow‐grass, using the equivalent of full and half the recommended seed rate for the latter. After about three months, above‐ and below‐ground dry matter was measured. J. effusus had more vigorous growth, producing on average 23–40% greater biomass in both fractions than J. conglomeratus. The competitive ability of both rush species declined with decreasing soil moisture; at the lowest levels of soil moisture, growth reductions were up to 93% in J. conglomeratus and 74% in J. effusus. Increasing water level in peat–sand mixture decreased competivitiveness of meadow‐grass, while pure peat, when moist, completely impeded its below‐ground development. These results show that control of rush plants through management may only be achieved if basic soil limitations have been resolved.

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This study was designed to analyze the chemical composition and in vitro rumen fermentation of eight seaweed species (Brown: Alaria esculenta, Laminaria digitata, Pelvetia canaliculata, Saccharina latissima; Red: Mastocarpus stellatus, Palmaria palmata and Porphyra sp.; Green: Cladophora rupestris) collected in Norway during spring and autumn. Moreover, the in vitro ruminal fermentation of seventeen diets composed of 1:1 oat hay:concentrate, without (control diet) or including seaweeds was studied. The ash and N contents were greater (p < 0.001) in seaweeds collected during spring than in autumn, but autumn-seaweeds had greater total extractable polyphenols. Nitrogen in red and green seaweeds was greater than 2.20 and in brown seaweeds, it was lower than 1.92 g/kg DM. Degradability after 24 h of fermentation was greater in spring seaweeds than in autumn, with Palmaria palmata showing the greatest value and Pelvetia canaliculata the lowest. Seaweeds differed in their fermentation pattern, and autumn Alaria esculenta, Laminaria digitata, Saccharina latissima and Palmaria palmata were similar to high-starch feeds. The inclusion of seaweeds in the concentrate of a diet up to 200 g/kg concentrate produced only subtle effects on in vitro ruminal fermentation.

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The aim of this paper was to determine the factors influencing biogas adoption as a livestock waste management among smallholder farmers in Indonesia. The study emphasized the positive influence of farmer engagement on the technology transfer process. A cross-sectional survey was conducted in Yogyakarta Province, Indonesia by involving 351 respondents who were smallholder practicing the Mixed Crops and Livestock (MCL) farming from 2013 to 2014. The results of Logit regression showed that the biogas technology adoption in Indonesia was influenced by attainment of formal education, women involvement in decision making, number of cattle in the household, household’s income, availability of biogas instalment funding, and the degree of connectedness to stakeholders in the agricultural technology transfer system. The study concluded that the availability of biogas installation funding and better engagement to the technology transfer stakeholders positively influenced the biogas technology adoption among MCL farmers.

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With increasing intensification of the dairy sector in many countries and with the introduction of automatic milking, exercise paddocks combined with full indoor feeding, as an alternative to production pasture, are being used as a compromise between farm economics and cow welfare. This study examined whether there are production benefits for high-producing dairy cows in an alternative system that uses pasture at a level of approximately 50% of the total roughage intake in the diet. In an automatic milking system with 12-h night access to the outdoor environment, we compared milk production and behavior of cows in 2 systems: an exercise paddock combined with ad libitum grass silage indoor feeding and a production pasture combined with a restricted daytime grass silage ration. There were 20 cows in the former and 21 cows in the latter system, with the treatments running in parallel. The experiment started in late June with no complete darkness during the night, and lasted for 12 wk, with 5.6 h of darkness at the end. We therefore also explored the effect of night length on milk production and behavior parameters. All cows showed strong motivation for going outdoors and grazing when pasture access was given in early evening, but after a few hours both groups went to the barn and did not return to the pasture area during the remaining night. As the season progressed and nights became longer, cows on the exercise paddock treatment reduced time spent outdoors and grazing time, whereas they increased time spent resting outdoors. The group on exercise paddock had a greater milk yield (kg of milk) over the experimental period than the production pasture group. The latter group also showed a greater drop in milk yield over the duration of the trial. Thus, for cows milked in an automatic milking system and offered nighttime outdoor access, no milk production benefits were observed in offering production pasture with restricted indoor silage allowance instead of an exercise paddock with ad libitum silage. We therefore suggest that automatic milking farmers with similar production levels and automatic milking-management systems as in the present experiment, who wish to in-clude grazed grass as part of the dairy cow diet, should ensure that cows have pasture access in the afternoon and evening.

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Multi-temporal Sentinel 2 optical images and 3D photogrammetric point clouds can be combined to enhance the accuracy of timber volume models on large spatial scale. Information on the proportion of broadleaf and conifer trees improves timber volume models obtained from 3D photogrammetric point clouds. However, the broadleaf-conifer information cannot be obtained from photogrammetric point clouds alone. Furthermore, spectral information of aerial images is too inconsistent to be used for automatic broadleaf-conifer classification over larger areas. In this study we combined multi-temporal Sentinel 2 optical satellite images, 3D photogrammetric point clouds from digital aerial stereo photographs, and forest inventory plots representing an area of 35,751 km2 in south-west Germany for (1) modelling the percentage of broadleaf tree volume (BL%) using Sentinel 2 time series and (2) modelling timber volume per hectare using 3D photogrammetric point clouds. Forest inventory plots were surveyed in the same years and regions as stereo photographs were acquired (2013–2017), resulting in 11,554 plots. Sentinel 2 images from 2016 and 2017 were corrected for topographic and atmospheric influences and combined with the same forest inventory plots. Spectral variables from corrected multi-temporal Sentinel 2 images were calculated, and Support VectorMachine (SVM) regressions were fitted for each Sentinel 2 scene estimating the BL% for corresponding inventory plots. Variables from the photogrammetric point clouds were calculated for each inventory plot and a non-linear regression model predicting timber volume per hectare was fitted. Each SVMregression and the timber volume model were evaluated using ten-fold cross-validation (CV). The SVMregression models estimating the BL% per Sentinel 2 scene achieved overall accuracies of 68%–75% and a Root Mean Squared Error (RMSE) of 21.5–26.1. The timber volumemodel showed a RMSE% of 31.7%, amean bias of 0.2%, and a pseudo-R2 of 0.64. Application of the SVMregressions on Sentinel 2 scenes covering the state of Baden-Württemberg resulted in predictions of broadleaf tree percentages for the entire state. These predicted values were used as additional predictor in the timber volume model, allowing for predictions of timber volume for the same area. Spatially high-resolution information about growing stock is of great practical relevance for forest management planning, especially when the timber volume of a smaller unit is of interest, for example of a forest stand or a forest districtwhere not enough terrestrial inventory plots are available to make reliable estimations. Here, predictions from remote-sensing based models can be used. Furthermore, information about broadleaf and conifer trees improves timber volume models and reduces model errors and, thereby, prediction uncertainties.

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Laboratory screening tests are commonly used to indicate wood materials’ resistance or susceptibility to surface mould growth, but the results can deviate from what happens during outdoor exposure. In this study, the aim was to investigate how well agar plate screening tests and water uptake tests can predict mould growth on exterior wooden claddings. The tested wood materials included Norway spruce heartwood (Picea abies), sapwood and heartwood of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris), aspen (Populus tremula), acetylated Radiata pine (Pinus radiata) and DMDHEU-modifed Scots pine sapwood. The agar plate test included four inoculation methods (two monoculture spore suspensions of Aureobasidium species, one mixed-culture spore suspension, and inoculation from outdoor air) and three incubation temperatures (5, 16 and 27 °C). Inoculation method and incubation temperature had signifcant efects on the mould rating in the agar plate screening test, but none of the agar plate test combinations gave good indications of outdoor performance. Results from the agar plate test gave signifcantly negative correlations or no signifcant correlation with results from the outdoor test. However, the water uptake test gave signifcantly positive correlations with outdoor mould rating, and could be a useful indicator of susceptibility of uncoated wooden claddings to surface mould growth.

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BACKGROUND: Interest in the wild berries of dwarf shrubs (wild berries) is increasing. Therefore, an update is important regarding how these species react to and interact with different climatic factors, and on how the predicted climatic changes will affect their distribution, growth and content of compounds affecting health. OBJECTIVE: To systemize knowledge of the Ericaceae and Empetraceae wild berry species. METHODS: A review of literature covering the above topics. CONCLUSION: This review includes five wild berry species and their subspecies: Vaccinium myrtillus, Vaccinium vitis-idaea, Vaccinium uliginosum, Vaccinium oxycoccos with ssp. microcarpon, and Empetrum nigrum with ssp. nigrum, hermaphroditum and japonicum. They have been and still are collected in the wild, by local households and industry. The berries have high content of biological compounds of interest for human health. Despite the increasing interest in and demand for these wild berries, domestication attempts have been rare. The species often grow together and are competitors. Which species dominate depends on soil conditions and is determined by small differences. The changing climate and various disturbances will also influence the distribution patterns of wild berries and competing plant species. Semi-cultivation in the natural habitat is probably the best solution for viable and sustainable commercial exploitation of these resources, at least if they are sold with the label “wild berries”. However, these species are easily propagated by fresh cuttings, and they can grow on arable land, adapting soil conditions to fit their growing preferences. Such cultivation, to our knowledge has not yet been performed on a large economic scale.

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An understanding of relationships between stand volume growth and stand density is important for making informed management decisions. Contradictions concerning these relationships have been attributed to differences in definitions of volume growth and stand density, among other pitfalls. Models were developed to test growth-density relationships using past-growth data from three thinning studies in 11- to 41-year-old loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) plantations. Relationships between gross growth and stand density measures of basal area per hectare, stand density index, volume per hectare, and relative spacing were compared. Relative growth-density relationships were also compared by relating the growth and density of thinned plots to unthinned plots. Analyses indicated that gross volume growth increases with increasing stand density when accounting for age, quadratic mean diameter, and site quality. Results from relative growth-density relationships suggested that thinned stands can exhibit increased growth at relatively lower densities compared to that of an unthinned stand on a similar site. The fitted models, across all four density measures, indicated ever-increasing gross volume growth with increasing stand density within the range of observed data for loblolly pine plantations.

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There is growing international interest in better managing soils to increase soil organic carbon (SOC) content to contribute to climate change mitigation, to enhance resilience to climate change and to underpin food security, through initiatives such as international ‘4p1000’ initiative and the FAO's Global assessment of SOC sequestration potential (GSOCseq) programme. Since SOC content of soils cannot be easily measured, a key barrier to implementing programmes to increase SOC at large scale, is the need for credible and reliable measurement/monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) platforms, both for national reporting and for emissions trading. Without such platforms, investments could be considered risky. In this paper, we review methods and challenges of measuring SOC change directly in soils, before examining some recent novel developments that show promise for quantifying SOC. We describe how repeat soil surveys are used to estimate changes in SOC over time, and how long‐term experiments and space‐for‐time substitution sites can serve as sources of knowledge and can be used to test models, and as potential benchmark sites in global frameworks to estimate SOC change. We briefly consider models that can be used to simulate and project change in SOC and examine the MRV platforms for SOC change already in use in various countries/regions. In the final section, we bring together the various components described in this review, to describe a new vision for a global framework for MRV of SOC change, to support national and international initiatives seeking to effect change in the way we manage our soils.

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Standardized tools are needed to identify and prioritize the most harmful non-native species (NNS). A plethora of assessment protocols have been developed to evaluate the current and potential impacts of non-native species, but consistency among them has received limited attention. To estimate the consistency across impact assessment protocols, 89 specialists in biological invasions used 11 protocols to screen 57 NNS (2614 assessments). We tested if the consistency in the impact scoring across assessors, quantified as the coefficient of variation (CV), was dependent on the characteristics of the protocol, the taxonomic group and the expertise of the assessor. Mean CV across assessors was 40%, with a maximum of 223%. CV was lower for protocols with a low number of score levels, which demanded high levels of expertise, and when the assessors had greater expertise on the assessed species. The similarity among protocols with respect to the final scores was higher when the protocols considered the same impact types. We conclude that all protocols led to considerable inconsistency among assessors. In order to improve consistency, we highlight the importance of selecting assessors with high expertise, providing clear guidelines and adequate training but also deriving final decisions collaboratively by consensus.

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Species of the genus Ulva (Chlorophyta) are regarded as opportunistic organisms, which efficiently adjust their metabolism to the prevailing environmental conditions. In this study changes in chlorophyll‐a fluorescence‐based photoinhibition of photosynthesis, electron transport rates, photosynthetic pigments, lipid peroxidation, total phenolic compounds and antioxidant metabolism were investigated during a diurnal cycle of natural solar radiation in summer (for 12 h) under two treatments: photosynthetically active radiation (PAR: 400‐700 nm) and PAR+ ultraviolet (UV) radiation (280‐700 nm). In presence of PAR alone, Ulva rigida showed dynamic photoinhibition, and photosynthetic parameters and pigment concentrations decreased with the intensification of the radiation. On the other hand, under PAR+UV condition a substantial decline up to 43% was detected and an incomplete fluorescence recovery, also, P‐I curve values remained low in relation to the initial condition. The phenolic compounds increased their concentration only in UV radiation treatments without showing a correlation with the antioxidant activity. SOD and APX activities increased over 2‐fold respect at initial values during the onset of light intensity. In contrast, CAT increased its activity rapidly in response to the radiation stress to reach maxima at 10:00 h and decreasing during solar. The present study suggests that U. rigida is capability to acclimate to natural radiation stress relies on a concerted action of various physiological mechanisms that act at different times of the day and under different levels of environmental stress.

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We grew young sweet cherry (Prunus avium L.) trees under controlled temperature and natural summer daylight conditions in order to study the control of flowering of the species. Two experiments with the cultivars ‘Lapins’ and ‘Van’, were conducted and compared with field results with the same cultivars at Ås in southeast Norway (59° 40′N, 10° 50′E, 90 m a.s.l.). Shoot growth increased with increasing temperature in the 12–21 °C range, but ceased in late summer (August) regardless of temperature conditions. A marked drop in temperature always induced an immediate cessation of growth. Under field conditions at Ås, both growth cessation and floral initiation took place by about 1 August. Low temperature (12–15 °C) significantly enhanced flowering of both cultivars compared with 21 °C, which tended to depress flower bud formation during the summer but stimulated the subsequent flower differentiation process. These results concur with earlier regression analyses, which revealed a close positive correlation between historical records of sweet cherry yields over a 40-year period in farmer’s fields in the fjord districts of western Norway and previous year August-September temperature, and a negative correlation with previous year July temperature. Practical implications of the results are discussed and it is suggested that inadequate temperature control in rain-protected cultivation in plastic tunnels might have negative consequences for next year’s flowering and yield.

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Due to the potential for land-use–land-cover change (LULCC) to alter surface albedo, there is need within the LULCC science community for simple and transparent tools for predicting radiative forcings (ΔF) from surface albedo changes (Δαs). To that end, the radiative kernel technique – developed by the climate modeling community to diagnose internal feedbacks within general circulation models (GCMs) – has been adopted by the LULCC science community as a tool to perform offline ΔF calculations for Δαs. However, the codes and data behind the GCM kernels are not readily transparent, and the climatologies of the atmospheric state variables used to derive them vary widely both in time period and duration. Observation-based kernels offer an attractive alternative to GCM-based kernels and could be updated annually at relatively low costs. Here, we present a radiative kernel for surface albedo change founded on a novel, simplified parameterization of shortwave radiative transfer driven with inputs from the Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) Energy Balance and Filled (EBAF) products. When constructed on a 16-year climatology (2001–2016), we find that the CERES-based albedo change kernel – or CACK – agrees remarkably well with the mean kernel of four GCMs (rRMSE = 14 %). When the novel parameterization underlying CACK is applied to emulate two of the GCM kernels using their own boundary fluxes as input, we find even greater agreement (mean rRMSE = 7.4 %), suggesting that this simple and transparent parameterization represents a credible candidate for a satellite-based alternative to GCM kernels. We document and compute the various sources of uncertainty underlying CACK and include them as part of a more extensive dataset (CACK v1.0) while providing examples showcasing its application.

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Vegetation optical properties have a direct impact on canopy absorption and scattering and are thus needed for modeling surface fluxes. Although plant functional type (PFT) classification varies between different land surface models (LSMs), their optical properties must be specified. The aim of this study is to revisit the “time-invariant optical properties table” of the Simple Biosphere (SiB) model (later referred to as the “SiB table”) presented 30 years ago by Dorman and Sellers (1989), which has since been adopted by many LSMs. This revisit was needed as many of the data underlying the SiB table were not formally reviewed or published or were based on older papers or on personal communications (i.e., the validity of the optical property source data cannot be inspected due to missing data sources, outdated citation practices, and varied estimation methods). As many of today's LSMs (e.g., the Community Land Model (CLM), the Jena Scheme of Atmosphere Biosphere Coupling in Hamburg (JSBACH), and the Joint UK Land Environment Simulator (JULES)) either rely on the optical properties of the SiB table or lack references altogether for those they do employ, there is a clear need to assess (and confirm or correct) the appropriateness of those being used in today's LSMs. Here, we use various spectral databases to synthesize and harmonize the key optical property information of PFT classification shared by many leading LSMs. For forests, such classifications typically differentiate PFTs by broad geo-climatic zones (i.e., tropical, boreal, temperate) and phenology (i.e., deciduous vs. evergreen). For short-statured vegetation, such classifications typically differentiate between crops, grasses, and photosynthetic pathway. Using the PFT classification of the CLM (version 5) as an example, we found the optical properties of the visible band (VIS; 400–700 nm) to fall within the range of measured values. However, in the near-infrared and shortwave infrared bands (NIR and SWIR; e.g., 701–2500 nm, referred to as “NIR”) notable differences between CLM default and measured values were observed, thus suggesting that NIR optical properties are in need of an update. For example, for conifer PFTs, the measured mean needle single scattering albedo (SSA, i.e., the sum of reflectance and transmittance) estimates in NIR were 62 % and 78 % larger than the CLM default parameters, and for PFTs with flat leaves, the measured mean leaf SSA values in NIR were 20 %, 14 %, and 19 % larger than the CLM defaults. We also found that while the CLM5 PFT-dependent leaf angle values were sufficient for forested PFTs and grasses, for crop PFTs the default parameterization appeared too vertically oriented, thus warranting an update. In addition, we propose using separate bark reflectance values for conifer and deciduous PFTs and demonstrate how shoot-level clumping correction can be incorporated into LSMs to mitigate violations of turbid media assumption and Beer's law caused by the nonrandomness of finite-sized foliage elements.

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Nematodes of the genera Elaphostrongylus and Dictyocaulus are associated with disease in semi-domesticated tundra reindeer and farmed red deer whereas less knowledge exists in the wild. Their first stage larvae (L1) develop to the infective third stage (L3) in the environment; Elaphostrongylus spp. within intermediate gastropod hosts and Dictyocaulus spp. as free-living larvae. Larval development of Elaphostrongylus is highly temperature dependent with a developmental minimum of 9–10 °C. Larval development of Dictyocaulus spp. may occur at low temperatures (5 °C) but the larvae are sensitive to desiccation. We examined the prevalence and intensity of Elaphostrongylus spp. and Dictyocaulus spp. infections in six wild reindeer and two wild red deer populations in relation to altitude, temperature and rainfall in their respective main summer pasture area over the 5 summers prior to sampling. The parasitological examination was based upon morphological identification of L1 in the faeces of hunted animals. Altitude was calculated from animal position data and temperature and precipitation by means of a nationwide gridded data set. Temperature decreased with increasing altitude, from 13.3 °C for the lowest located red deer population (300 m) to 6.1 °C for the highest located reindeer population (1400 m). No significant relationship between altitude and rainfall was identified. Elaphostrongylus spp. infection decreased in prevalence with increasing altitude, being identified in 89% of investigated samples from the lowest located population and in 3% of samples from the highest. The prevalence of Dictyocaulus spp. infection varied between 28 and 80% and no relationship with altitude was found. The intensity of Elaphostrongylus spp. infection was low in reindeer and moderate in red deer whereas the intensity of Dictyocaulus spp. infection was moderate in both species. Our results indicated that the climatic conditions in all areas studied were suitable for Dictyocaulus spp., whereas summer temperature was a restrictive factor for Elaphostrongylus sp. in reindeer.

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The aim of this research was to analyze sugars and phenolics of pollen obtained from 15 different ‘Oblačinska’ sour cherry clones and to assess the chemical fingerprint of this cultivar. Carbohydrate analysis was done using high-performance anion-exchange chromatography (HPAEC) with pulsed amperometric detection (PAD), while polyphenols were analyzed by ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography–diode array detector–tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC-DAD MS/MS) system. Glucose was the most abundant sugar, followed by fructose and sucrose. Some samples had high level of stress sugars, especially trehalose. Rutin was predominantly polyphenol in a quantity up to 181.12 mg/kg (clone III/9), with chlorogenic acid (up to 59.93 mg/kg in clone III/9) and p-coumaric acid (up to 53.99 mg/kg in clone VIII/1) coming after. According to the principal component analysis (PCA), fructose, maltose, maltotriose, sorbitol, and trehalose were the most important sugars in separating pollen samples. PCA showed splitting off clones VIII/1, IV/8, III/9, and V/P according to the quantity of phenolics and dissimilar profiles. Large differences in chemical composition of studied ‘Oblačinska sour cherry’ clone pollen were shown, proving that it is not a cultivar, but population. Finally, due to the highest level of phenolics, clones IV/8, XV/3, and VIII/1 could be singled out as a promising one for producing functional food and/or in medicinal treatments.

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Boreal and temperate forests cover a large part of the Earth. Forest ecosystems are a key focus for research because of their role in the carbon (C) balance and cycle. Increasing atmospheric temperatures, different disturbances (fire, storm and insects) and forest management (clear-cutting) will change considerably the C status of forest ecosystems. Using the eddy covariance (EC) method, we can define interactions among environmental factors that influence the C-balance and whether a forest ecosystem is functioning as a C-sink or C-source or possibly is C-neutral. In our review of published studies of different disturbances, we found that most of the post-disturbance studies based on EC method focused on the effects of forest fire and clear-cutting, only a few studies studies focused on the effects of storms and insects. Generally a forest is a C-source until several years after disturbance and then a forest is able to absorb C and become a C-sink. Recovery to C-sink status required up to 20 years in clear-cut areas. Recovery following wildfire disturbance was much longer, possibly more than 50 years. Recovery to C-sink status required approximately 5 years after storm and insect outbreak, however we can not predict overall recovery period because of the missing data.

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Strawberry powdery mildew (Podosphaera aphanis Wallr.) is a pathogen which infects the leaves, fruit, stolon and flowers of the cultivated strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa), causing major yield losses, primarily through unmarketable fruit. The primary commercial control of the disease is the application of fungicidal sprays. However, as the use of key active ingredients of commercial fungicides is becoming increasingly restricted, interest in developing novel strawberry cultivars exhibiting resistance to the pathogen is growing rapidly. In this study, a mapping population derived from a cross between two commercial strawberry cultivars (‘Sonata’ and ‘Babette’) was genotyped with single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers from the Axiom iStraw90k genotyping array and phenotyped for powdery mildew susceptibility in both glasshouse and field environments. Three distinct, significant QTLs for powdery mildew resistance were identified across the two experiments. Through comparison with previous studies and scrutiny of the F. vesca genome sequence, candidate genes underlying the genetic control of this trait were identified.

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Sentinel plants, plants in exporting countries that are inspected at regular intervals for signs and symptoms of invertebrate pests and microbial pathogens, are a promising tool for detecting and identifying harmful organisms of woody plants prior to their introduction into importing countries. Monitoring of sentinel plants reveals crucial information for pest risk analyses and the development of mitigation measures. The establishment of sentinel plants requires the import and plantation of non-native plants, which may be affected by the laws, regulations and administrative procedures in the individual countries. To evaluate the feasibility of sentinel plants as a global approach, this study aimed to summarise regulations and administrative procedures that affect the establishment of sentinel plants using non-native plants in countries worldwide. Information about national regulations of import and planting of non-native plant species was collected through a questionnaire survey, conducted among national representatives to the International Plant Protection Convention. Over 40 countries responded. The results show that legislations and regulations should not be major obstacles for a global use of the sentinel plants approach. However, the few existing experiences show that it can be complicated in practice. Here we describe the current state of art of the procedures that should be adopted to establish sentinel plants and we propose a strategy to circumvent the shortcomings resulting from the lack of a specific regulation.

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Flowering performance and phenology of six new pear cultivars of Nordic origin were examined during a 12 year period. The seasonal timing of shoot growth and flower initiation were monitored in three years. The morphological floral stages of the flower bud formation process were examined for the cultivar ‘Celina’. Seven floral stages were identified and described. The date of full bloom varied between years as a function of the currently accumulated heat sum in early spring. Still, the earliness ranking of the cultivars was consistent across years for both flower initiation and blooming. The cultivars ‘Anna’ and ‘Ingeborg’ consistently initiated floral primordia 2–3 weeks earlier than ‘Celina’, ‘Clara Frijs’, ‘Fritjof’ and ‘Kristina’, and this was accompanied with 4–5 days earlier blooming in the following spring. The early flower initiation cultivars ‘Anna’ and ‘Ingeborg’ also had richer flowering than the late-blooming cultivars. ‘Fritjof’ was identified as a suitable pollinator for ‘Celina’ in the Nordic climate. Comparison of the flowering phenology of pear and apple cultivars showed that while the pears, on average, flowered a week ahead of the apples, they initiated flower primordia almost two weeks later, thus rendering the intervening period approximately three weeks longer in pear than in apple

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A robust hydrological modeling at a fine spatial resolution is a vital tool for Norway to simulate river discharges and hydrological components for climate adaptation strategies. However, it requires improvements of modelling methods, detailed observational data as input and expensive computational resources. This work aims to set up a distributed version of the HBV model with a physically based evapotranspiration scheme at 1 km resolution for mainland Norway and to calibrate/validate the model for 124 catchments using regionalized parameterizations. The Penman-Monteith equation was implemented in the HBV model and vegetation characteristics were derived from the Norwegian forest inventory combined with multi-source remote sensing data at 16 m spatial resolution. The estimated potential evapotranspiration (Ep) was compared with pan measurements and estimates from the MODerate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MOD16) products, the Global Land Evaporation Amsterdam Model (GLEAM) and Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) hydrological model. There are 5 climatic zones in Norway classified based on 4 temperature and precipitation indices. For each zone, the model was calibrated separately by optimizing a multi-objective function including the Nash-Sutcliff efficiency (NSE) and biases of selected catchments. In total, there are 85 catchments for calibration and 39 for validation. The Ep estimates showed good agreement with the measurements, GLEAM and VIC outputs. However, the MOD16 product significantly overestimates Ep compared to the other products. The discharge was well reproduced with the median daily NSE of 0.68/0.67, bias of −3%/−1%, Kling-Gupta efficiency (KGE) of 0.70/0.69 and monthly NSE of 0.80/0.78 in the calibration/validation periods. Our results showed a significant improvement compared to the previous HBV application for all catchments, with an increase of 0.08–0.16 in the median values of the daily NSE, KGE and monthly NSE. Both the temporal and spatial transferability of model parameterizations were also enhanced compared to the previous application.

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China is continually seeking to improve river water quality. Implemented in 1996, the total pollutant load control system (TPLCS) is a regulatory strategy to reduce total pollutant loads, under which a Pollutant Discharge Permit (PDP) program tracks and regulates nutrient inputs from point source polluters. While this has been promising, the input-response relationship between discharge permits and water quality targets is largely unclear – especially in China's large and complex river basins. In response, this study involved a quantitative analysis method to combine the water quality targets of the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011–2015) with allocated PDPs in the Nenjiang River Basin, China. We demonstrated our approach by applying the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) to the Nenjiang River Basin for hydrological and water quality simulation. Ammonia nitrogen (NH3-N) was used as the primary water quality indicator. Modelling indicated that only one control section in the wider river basin did not achieve the water quality target, suggesting that the TPLCS is largely effective. The framework should be applied in other basins to study the effectiveness of PDP policies, advise further updates to the TPLCS, and ultimately aim to achieve freshwater quality targets nationally.

Abstract

Green-sprouting potato seed tubers in light and elevated temperatures are vital for production in short-season climates. Using light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to inhibit sprout elongation during pre-sprouting may represent an energy-efficient alternative to traditional indoor light sources. Sprout growth inhibition and some photomorphogenic responses were therefore examined in potato cultivars exposed to LEDs of different wavelength maxima and irradiance rates. Red LED (660 nm) produced the strongest inhibition of sprout elongation at very low irradiances 10–100 nmol m−2 s−1, while far-red LED (735 nm) produced the strongest inhibition at higher irradiances. This inhibitory pattern was similar in all cultivars, although the degree of inhibition varied. The colour of sprouts and tuber skin remained etiolated under far-red LED, in contrast to LEDs between 380 and 660 nm which developed green colour intensity in an irradiance-dependent manner. Mixtures of red and far-red light, and pulses including red/far-red reversals did not produce stronger inhibition, except in some instances where total fluence was increased. Furthermore, green-sprouting under different LED colours did not seem to affect subsequent emergence and growth after planting. The current results suggest an involvement of multiple phytochromes in de-etiolation and sprout growth inhibition in seed potato tubers, which may be selectively utilised in LED-based green-sprouting in red and far-red wavelengths.

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The viability and physiological state of brown macroalgae Fucus vesiculosus and its associated epiphytic bacteria exposed to diesel water-accommodated fraction (WAF), as well as the capacity of this association to deplete petroleum hydrocarbons (HCs) were experimentally tested. After a 6-day exposure treatment, the algal-surface associated bacteria were identified as primarily hydrocarbon-oxidising bacteria (HOB), and the algal-HOB association was able to deplete petroleum hydrocarbons from the diesel WAF by 80%. The HOB density on the algal surface exposed to diesel WAF was 350% higher compared to the control (i.e. HOB density on the algal surface exposed to ambient seawater), which suggest that they actively proliferated in the presence of hydrocarbons and most likely consumed hydrocarbons as their primary organic substrate. Exposure to diesel WAF did not affect the metabolic activity of F. vesiculosus. Higher lipid peroxidation was observed in F. vesiculosus exposed to diesel WAF while catalase concentration decreased only during the first day of exposure. Results suggest F. vesiculosus is tolerant to oil pollution and the algal-HOB association can efficiently deplete petroleum hydrocarbons in oil-contaminated seas.

Abstract

Aims Bacterial decays of onion bulbs have serious economic consequences for growers, but the aetiologies of these diseases are often unclear. We aimed to determine the role of Rahnella, which we commonly isolated from bulbs in the United States and Norway, in onion disease. Methods and Results Isolated bacteria were identified by sequencing of housekeeping genes and/or fatty acid methyl ester analysis. A subset of Rahnella spp. strains was also assessed by multilocus sequence analysis (MLSA); most onion strains belonged to two clades that appear closely related to R. aquatilis. All tested strains from both countries caused mild symptoms in onion bulbs but not leaves. Polymerase chain reaction primers were designed and tested against strains from known species of Rahnella. Amplicons were produced from strains of R. aquatilis, R. victoriana, R. variigena, R. inusitata and R. bruchi, and from one of the two strains of R. woolbedingensis. Conclusions Based on binational testing, strains of Rahnella are commonly associated with onions, and they are capable of causing mild symptoms in bulbs. Significance and Impact of the Study While Rahnella strains are commonly found within field‐grown onions and they are able to cause mild symptoms, the economic impact of Rahnella‐associated symptoms remains unclear.

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Semi-natural grasslands are hotspots of biodiversity in Europe and provide amounts of flower resources for pollinators. We present data on composition and spatial turnover of herb species and flower resources in and between semi-natural grasslands in Romania mown at different times during the growth season (early, intermediate, late). The data include herb species occurrences, their phenological stage, flower resources, and measures of spatial turnover of the species occurrences and flower resources based on Detrended Correspondence Analyses (DCA), in the start of August. The dataset is provided as supplementary material and associated with the research article “Traditional semi-natural grassland management with heterogeneous mowing times enhances flower resources for pollinators in agricultural landscapes” [1] Johansen et al.. See Johansen et al. for data interpretation.

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This paper is the outcome of a community initiative to identify major unsolved scientific problems in hydrology motivated by a need for stronger harmonisation of research efforts. The procedure involved a public consultation through online media, followed by two workshops through which a large number of potential science questions were collated, prioritised, and synthesised. In spite of the diversity of the participants (230 scientists in total), the process revealed much about community priorities and the state of our science: a preference for continuity in research questions rather than radical departures or redirections from past and current work. Questions remain focused on the process-based understanding of hydrological variability and causality at all space and time scales. Increased attention to environmental change drives a new emphasis on understanding how change propagates across interfaces within the hydrological system and across disciplinary boundaries. In particular, the expansion of the human footprint raises a new set of questions related to human interactions with nature and water cycle feedbacks in the context of complex water management problems. We hope that this reflection and synthesis of the 23 unsolved problems in hydrology will help guide research efforts for some years to come.

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Sustainable production of biofuels from lignocellulose feedstocks depends on cheap enzymes for degradation of such biomass. Plants offer a safe and cost‐effective production platform for biopharmaceuticals, vaccines and industrial enzymes boosting biomass conversion to biofuels. Production of intact and functional protein is a prerequisite for large‐scale protein production, and extensive host‐specific post‐translational modifications (PTMs) often affect the catalytic properties and stability of recombinant enzymes. Here we investigated the impact of plant PTMs on enzyme performance and stability of the major cellobiohydrolase TrCel7A from Trichoderma reesei, an industrially relevant enzyme. TrCel7A was produced in Nicotiana benthamiana using a vacuum‐based transient expression technology, and this recombinant enzyme (TrCel7Arec) was compared with the native fungal enzyme (TrCel7Anat) in terms of PTMs and catalytic activity on commercial and industrial substrates. We show that the N‐terminal glutamate of TrCel7Arec was correctly processed by N. benthamiana to a pyroglutamate, critical for protein structure, while the linker region of TrCel7Arec was vulnerable to proteolytic digestion during protein production due to the absence of O‐mannosylation in the plant host as compared with the native protein. In general, the purified full‐length TrCel7Arec had 25% lower catalytic activity than TrCel7Anat and impaired substrate‐binding properties, which can be attributed to larger N‐glycans and lack of O‐glycans in TrCel7Arec. All in all, our study reveals that the glycosylation machinery of N. benthamiana needs tailoring to optimize the production of efficient cellulases.

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Key observational indicators of climate change in the Arctic, most spanning a 47 year period (1971–2017) demonstrate fundamental changes among nine key elements of the Arctic system. We find that, coherent with increasing air temperature, there is an intensification of the hydrological cycle, evident from increases in humidity, precipitation, river discharge, glacier equilibrium line altitude and land ice wastage. Downward trends continue in sea ice thickness (and extent) and spring snow cover extent and duration, while near-surface permafrost continues to warm. Several of the climate indicators exhibit a significant statistical correlation with air temperature or precipitation, reinforcing the notion that increasing air temperatures and precipitation are drivers of major changes in various components of the Arctic system. To progress beyond a presentation of the Arctic physical climate changes, we find a correspondence between air temperature and biophysical indicators such as tundra biomass and identify numerous biophysical disruptions with cascading effects throughout the trophic levels. These include: increased delivery of organic matter and nutrients to Arctic near‐coastal zones; condensed flowering and pollination plant species periods; timing mismatch between plant flowering and pollinators; increased plant vulnerability to insect disturbance; increased shrub biomass; increased ignition of wildfires; increased growing season CO2 uptake, with counterbalancing increases in shoulder season and winter CO2 emissions; increased carbon cycling, regulated by local hydrology and permafrost thaw; conversion between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems; and shifting animal distribution and demographics. The Arctic biophysical system is now clearly trending away from its 20th Century state and into an unprecedented state, with implications not only within but beyond the Arctic. The indicator time series of this study are freely downloadable at AMAP.no.

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Preferential flow may become significant in partially frozen soils because infiltration can occur through large, initially air-filled pores surrounded by a soil matrix with limited infiltration capacity. The objectives of this study were to develop and evaluate a dual-permeability approach for simulating water flow and heat transport in macroporous soils undergoing freezing and thawing. This was achieved by introducing physically based equations for soil freezing and thawing into the dual-permeability model MACRO. Richards’ equation and the heat flow equation were loosely coupled using the generalized Clapeyron equation for the soil micropore domain. Freezing and thawing of macropore water is governed by a first-order equation for energy transfer between the micropore and macropore domains. We assumed that macropore water was unaffected by capillary forces, so that water in macropores freezes at 0°C. The performance of the model was evaluated for four test cases: (i) redistribution of water in the micropore domain during freezing, (ii) a comparison between the first-order energy transfer approach and the heat conduction equation, (iii) infiltration and water flow in frozen soil with an initially air-filled macropore domain, and (iv) thawing from the soil surface during constant-rate rainfall. Results show that the model behaves in accordance with the current understanding of water flow and heat transport in frozen macroporous soil. To improve modeling of water and heat flow in frozen soils, attention should now be focused on providing experimental data suitable for evaluating models that account for macropore flow.

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Satellite time-series data are bolstering global change research, but their use to elucidate land changes and vegetation dynamics is sensitive to algorithmic choices. Different algorithms often give inconsistent or sometimes conflicting interpretations of the same data. This lack of consensus has adverse implications and can be mitigated via ensemble modeling, an algorithmic paradigm that combines many competing models rather than choosing only a single “best” model. Here we report one such time-series decomposition algorithm for deriving nonlinear ecosystem dynamics across multiple timescales—A Bayesian Estimator of Abrupt change, Seasonal change, and Trend (BEAST). As an ensemble algorithm, BEAST quantifies the relative usefulness of individual decomposition models, leveraging all the models via Bayesian model averaging. We tested it upon simulated, Landsat, and MODIS data. BEAST detected changepoints, seasonality, and trends in the data reliably; it derived realistic nonlinear trends and credible uncertainty measures (e.g., occurrence probability of changepoints over time)—some information difficult to derive by conventional single-best-model algorithms but critical for interpretation of ecosystem dynamics and detection of low-magnitude disturbances. The combination of many models enabled BEAST to alleviate model misspecification, address algorithmic uncertainty, and reduce overfitting. BEAST is generically applicable to time-series data of all kinds. It offers a new analytical option for robust changepoint detection and nonlinear trend analysis and will help exploit environmental time-series data for probing patterns and drivers of ecosystem dynamics.

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Nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions from cultivated soils correlate positively with the amount of N-fertilizer applied, but a large proportion of the annual N2O emission occurs outside the cropping season, potentially blurring this correlation. We measured the effect of split-N application (total N addition varying from 0 to 220 kg N ha−1) on N2O emissions in a spring wheat plot trial in SE Norway from the time of split-N application until harvest, and during the following winter and spring thaw period. N2O emissions were largest in the two highest N-levels, whereas yield-scaled emission (N2O intensity) was highest in the 0 N treatment. Nitrogen yield increased by 23% when adding 80 kg N ha−1 compared to adding 40 kg N ha−1 as split application, while corresponding N2O emissions were reduced by 16%. No differences in measured emissions between the N-fertilization levels were observed during the winter period or during spring thaw. Measurements of soil air composition below the snow pack revealed that N2O production continued throughout winter as the concentration in the soil air increased from 0.37 to 30.0 µL L−1 N2O over the 3 months period with continuous snow cover. However, only 7–28% of the N2O emitted during spring thaw could be ascribed to accumulated N2O, indicating de novo production of N2O in the thawing soil. The direct effect of split-N fertilizer rate on N2O emissions in sub-boreal cereal cropping was limited to the first 15–21 days after N-addition.

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Modelling is key to adapting agriculture to climate change (CC), facilitating evaluation of the impacts and efficacy of adaptation measures, and the design of optimal strategies. Although there are many challenges to modelling agricultural CC adaptation, it is unclear whether these are novel or, whether adaptation merely adds new motivations to old challenges. Here, qualitative analysis of modellers’ views revealed three categories of challenge: Content, Use, and Capacity. Triangulation of findings with reviews of agricultural modelling and Climate Change Risk Assessment was then used to highlight challenges specific to modelling adaptation. These were refined through literature review, focussing attention on how the progressive nature of CC affects the role and impact of modelling. Specific challenges identified were: Scope of adaptations modelled, Information on future adaptation, Collaboration to tackle novel challenges, Optimisation under progressive change with thresholds, and Responsibility given the sensitivity of future outcomes to initial choices under progressive change.

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Abstract

Deforestation influences surface properties such as surface roughness, resulting in changes in the surface energy balance and surface temperature. Recent studies suggest that the biogeophysical effects are dominated by changing roughness, and it remains unclear whether this can be reconciled with earlier modeling studies that highlighted the importance of a reduction of evapotranspiration in the low latitudes and a reduction of net shortwave radiation at the surface in the high latitudes. To clarify this situation, we analyze the local effects of deforestation on surface energy balance and temperature in the MPI‐ESM climate model by performing three separate experiments: switching from forest to grass all surface properties, only surface albedo, and only surface roughness. We find that the locally induced changes in surface temperature are dominated by changes in surface roughness for the annual mean, the response of the diurnal amplitude, and the seasonal response to deforestation. For these three quantities, the results of the MPI‐ESM lie within the range of observation‐based data sets. Deforestation‐induced decreases in surface roughness contribute substantially to winter cooling in the boreal regions and to decreases in evapotranspiration in the tropics. By comparing the energy balance decompositions from the three experiments, the view that roughness changes dominate the biogeophysical consequences of deforestation can be reconciled with the earlier studies highlighting the relevance of evapotranspiration.

Abstract

Surface albedo is an important physical attribute of the climate system and satellite retrievals are useful for understanding how it varies in time and space. Surface albedo is sensitive to land cover and structure, which can vary considerably within the area comprising the effective spatial resolution of the satellite-based retrieval. This is particularly true for MODIS products and for topographically complex regions, such as Norway, which makes it difficult to separate the environmental drivers (e.g., temperature and snow) from those related to land cover and vegetation structure. In the present study, we employ high resolution datasets of Norwegian land cover and structure to spectrally unmix MODIS surface albedo retrievals (MCD43A3 v6) to study how surface albedo varies with land cover and structure. Such insights are useful for constraining land cover-dependent albedo parameterizations in models employed for regional climate or hydrological research and for developing new empirical models. At the scale of individual land cover types, we found that the monthly surface albedo can be predicted at a high accuracy when given additional information about forest structure, snow cover, and near surface air temperature. Such predictions can provide useful empirical benchmarks for climate model predictions made at the land cover level, which is critical for instilling greater confidence in the albedo-related climate impacts of anthropogenic land use/land cover change (LULCC).

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We present a game-theoretical model arguing that greater public transparency does not necessarily lead to higher social welfare. Political agents can benefit from providing citizens with misleading information aimed at aligning citizens’ choices with the political agents’ preferences. Citizens can lose from being fooled by political agents, though they can mitigate their losses by conducting costly inspections to detect false information. Producing and detecting false information is costly and can reduce social welfare.

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Snow and wind damages are one of the major abiotic disturbances playing a major role in forest ecosystems and affecting both stand dynamics and forest management decisions. This study analyses the occurrence of wind and snow damage on Norwegian forests, based on data from four consecutive forest inventories (1995–2014). The methodological approach is based on boosted regression trees, a machine learning method aiming to demonstrate the effects of different variables on damage probability and their interactions as well as to spatialize damage occurrence to make predictions. In total, 313 models are fitted to detect trends, interactions and effects among the variables. The main variables associated with damage occurrence are consistent across all the models and include: latitude, altitude and slope (related to site and location), and tree density, mean diameter and height (related to forest characteristics). The results show that stand dominant height is a key variable in explaining damage probability, whereas stand slenderness has a limited effect. More heterogeneous forest structures make birch dominated stands more resistant to damage. Finally, the models are translated into occurrence maps, to provide landscape-level information on snow and wind damage hazard. Further application of the models can be oriented towards assessing the probability of damage for alternate stand management scenarios.

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Abstract

Aim Root growth strategies may be critical for seeding survival and establishment under dry conditions, but these strategies and their plasticity are little known. We aim to document the ability of young grass seedlings to adjust their root system architecture, root morphology and biomass allocation to roots to promote water uptake and survival under progressive drought. Methods Seedlings growing in columns filled with sand and exposed to drought or well-watered controls were repeatedly harvested for determination of biomass fractions, root length, −architecture and -morphology in a greenhouse experiment. Allometric scaling exponents and standardised major axis regression were used to investigate allocation patterns. Results Young seedlings were able to sustain leaf turgor and functions during eight weeks of progressive drought through phenotypic plasticity of the primary root system producing deeper and simpler roots. Biomass allocation to roots decreased or did not respond, and other components of root morphology showed only moderate plasticity. Conclusion Our results suggest that morphological and architectural plasticity of the primary root system may well be key features for dehydration avoidance and survival in grass seedlings under moderate drought when allocation of biomass to roots and development of secondary roots are constrained.

Abstract

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

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

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

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

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Abstract

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

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

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

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

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

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

Abstract

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

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

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Abstract

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

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

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

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

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Advances in techniques for automated classification of point cloud data introduce great opportunities for many new and existing applications. However, with a limited number of labelled points, automated classification by a machine learning model is prone to overfitting and poor generalization. The present paper addresses this problem by inducing controlled noise (on a trained model) generated by invoking conditional random field similarity penalties using nearby features. The method is called Atrous XCRF and works by forcing a trained model to respect the similarity penalties provided by unlabeled data. In a benchmark study carried out using the ISPRS 3D labeling dataset, our technique achieves 85.0% in term of overall accuracy, and 71.1% in term of F1 score. The result is on par with the current best model for the benchmark dataset and has the highest value in term of F1 score. Additionally, transfer learning using the Bergen 2018 dataset, without model retraining, was also performed. Even though our proposal provides a consistent 3% improvement in term of accuracy, more work still needs to be done to alleviate the generalization problem on the domain adaptation and the transfer learning field.

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

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Abstract

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

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

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

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

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

Abstract

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

Abstract

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

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

Abstract

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Abstract

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

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

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Abstract

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

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

Abstract

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Abstract

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

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Abstract

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

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

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Abstract

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

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

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

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

Abstract

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Abstract

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

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Abstract

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

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

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Abstract

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

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

Abstract

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

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

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

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

Abstract

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

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

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

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

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

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Abstract

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

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Abstract

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

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Abstract

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

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Abstract

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

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Abstract

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

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Abstract

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

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Abstract

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

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Abstract

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

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Abstract

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

Abstract

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

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Abstract

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

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Abstract

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

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

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Abstract

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

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

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

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Abstract

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

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Abstract

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

Abstract

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

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Abstract

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

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Abstract

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

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Abstract

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

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

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Abstract

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

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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

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

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Abstract

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

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Abstract

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

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Abstract

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

Abstract

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

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Abstract

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