Publications

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

2018

Abstract

Norway is strongly committed to the Paris Climate Agreement with an ambitious goal of 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emission by 2030. The land sector, including agriculture and forestry, must critically contribute to this national target. Beyond emission reduction, the land sector has the unique capacity to actively removing CO2 from the atmosphere through biological carbon storage in biomass and in soils. Soils are the largest reservoir of terrestrial carbon, and relatively small changes in soil carbon content can have an amplified mitigation effect on the Earth’s climate. Therefore, improved management of soils for carbon storage is receiving a lot of attention, for example through international political initiatives such as the “4-permill” initiative. However, in Norway, many mitigation measures targeting soil carbon might negatively impact food production and economic activity. For example, soil carbon storage can be increased by shifting from cereal crop production to grasslands, but Norway already has abundant grassland and a comparatively small area dedicated to cereals. Another such issue is cultivation on drained peatland, where food is produced at the expense of large losses of soil carbon as CO2 to the atmosphere. Therefore, there is a need to look for win-win solutions for soil carbon storage, which benefit both food production and climate mitigation. Large-scale conversion of agricultural and forest waste biomass to biochar is such an option, and is considered the activity with the largest potential for soil carbon sequestration in Norway. Biochar has been demonstrated to have a mean residence time exceeding 100 years in Norwegian field conditions (Rasse et al, 2017), and no negative effects on plant and soils has been observed. However, despite the convincing benefits of biochar as a climate mitigation solution, it has not yet advanced much beyond the research stage, notably because its effect on yield are too modest. Here, we will first present the comparative advantage of biochar technology as compared to traditional agronomy methods for large-scale C storage in Norwegian agricultural soils. We will further discuss the need for developing innovations in pyrolysis and nutrient-rich waste recycling leading to biochar-fertilizer products as win-win solution for carbon storage and food production.

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Abstract

Using Caenorhabditis elegans as a model organism, this study addresses the potential linkage between toxicity of NM300K Ag nanoparticles (AgNPs), their particle size distribution and the presence of dissolved Ag in the test media. Of the three endpoints assessed (growth, fertility and reproduction), reproduction was the most sensitive, with 50% effect concentration (EC50) ranging from 0.26-0.84 mg Ag L-1 and 0.08-0.11 mg Ag L-1 for NM300K and AgNO3, respectively. Silver uptake by C. elegans was similar for both forms of Ag, while bioaccumulation was higher in AgNO3 exposure. The observed differences in toxicity between NM300K and AgNO3 did not correlate to bioaccumulated Ag, which suggests the toxicity to be a function of the type of exposing agent (AgNPs vs AgNO3) and their mode of action. Before addition of the food source, E. coli, size fractionation revealed that dissolved Ag comprised 13-90 % and 4-8 % of total Ag in the AgNO3 and NM300K treatments, respectively. No dissolved Ag was detectable in the actual test media, due to immediate Ag adsorption to bacteria. Results from the current study highlight that information on behavior and characterization of exposure conditions is essential for nanotoxicity studies.

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: In the past few years, much effort has been invested into developing a new blue economy based on harvesting, cultivating and processing marine macroalgae in Norway. Macroalgae have high potential for a wide range of applications, e.g. as source of pharmaceuticals, production of biofuels or as food and feed. However, data on the chemical composition of macroalgae from Norwegian waters are scant. This study was designed to characterize the chemical composition of 21 algal species. Both macro- and micronutrients were analysed. Concentrations of heavy metals and the metalloid arsenic in the algae were also quantified. RESULTS: The results confirm that marine macroalgae contain nutrients which are relevant for both human and animal nutrition, the concentrations whereof are highly dependent on species. Although heavy metals and arsenic were detected in the algae studied, concentrations were mostly below maximum allowed levels set by food and feed legislation in the EU. CONCLUSION: This study provides chemical data on a wide range of algal species covering the three taxonomic groups (brown, red and green algae) and discusses both benefits of and potential limitations to their use for food and feed purposes.