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2016 (316)

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Assessing the vulnerability of groundwater to adverse effects of human impacts is one of the most important problems in applied hydrogeology. At the same time, many of the widespread vulnerability assessment methods do not provide physically meaningful and operational indicators of vulnerability. Therefore, this review summarizes (i) different methods used for intrinsic vulnerability assessment and (ii) methods for different groundwater systems. It particularly focuses on (iii) timescale methods of water flow as an appropriate tool and (iv) provides a discussion on the challenges in applying these methods. The use of such physically meaningful indices based on timescales is indispensable for groundwater resources management.

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We examine the effects of adding an independent food attribute on consumers’ willingness to pay (WTP) estimates for both cue and independent food attributes. In three separate choice experiments, a cue attribute present along the entire sequence of choices had independent food attributes enucleated and made explicit from the cue at later stages. Logit models were estimated using (i) a complete panel approach; (ii) error components and (iii) utility in WTP-space. Results suggest that the way a subject processes food attributes depends not only on the design dimensions but also on food attributes’ functional roles. When complexity of designs increases, models that account for different sources of heterogeneity have better fit to the data.

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Dothistroma needle blight (DNB) is one of the most important diseases of pine. Although its notoriety stems from Southern Hemisphere epidemics in Pinus radiata plantations, the disease has increased in prevalence and severity in areas of the Northern Hemisphere, including Europe, during the last two decades. This increase has largely been attributed to expanded planting of susceptible hosts, anthropogenic dispersal of the causative pathogens and changes in climate conducive to disease development. The last comprehensive review of DNB was published in 2004, with updates on geographic distribution and host species in 2009. Importantly, the recognition that two species, Dothistroma septosporum and D. pini, cause DNB emerged only relatively recently in 2004. These two species are morphologically very similar, and DNA-based techniques are needed to distinguish between them. Consequently, many records of host species affected or geographic location of DNB prior to 2004 are inconclusive or even misleading. The objectives of this review were (i) to provide a new database in which detailed records of DNB from 62 countries are collated; (ii) to chart the current global distribution of D. septosporum and D. pini; (iii) to list all known host species and to consider their susceptibility globally; (iv) to collate the published results of provenance trials; and (v) to consider the effects of site factors on disease incidence and severity. The review shows that DNB occurs in 76 countries, with D. septosporum confirmed to occur in 44 and D. pini in 13. There are now 109 documented Pinaceae host taxa for Dothistroma species, spanning six genera (Abies, Cedrus, Larix, Picea, Pinus and Pseudotsuga), with Pinus being the dominant host genus, accounting for 95 host taxa. The relative susceptibilities of these hosts to Dothistroma species are reported, providing a resource to inform species choice in forest planting. Country records show that most DNB outbreaks in Europe occur on Pinus nigra and its subspecies. It is anticipated that the collaborative work described in this review will both underpin a broader global research strategy to manage DNB in the future and provide a model for the study of other forest pathogens.

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India has more than 215 million food-insecure people, many of whom are farmers. Genetically modified (GM) crops have the potential to alleviate this problem by increasing food supplies and strengthening farmer livelihoods. For this to occur, two factors are critical: (i) a change in the regulatory status of GM crops, and (ii) consumer acceptance of GM foods. There are generally two classifications of GM crops based on how they are bred: cisgenically bred, containing only DNA sequences from sexually compatible organisms; and transgenically bred, including DNA sequences from sexually incompatible organisms. Consumers may view cisgenic foods as more natural than those produced via transgenesis, thus influencing consumer acceptance. This premise was the catalyst for our study—would Indian consumers accept cisgenically bred rice and if so, how would they value cisgenics compared to conventionally bred rice, GM-labelled rice and ‘no fungicide’ rice? In this willingness-to-pay study, respondents did not view cisgenic and GM rice differently. However, participants were willing-to-pay a premium for any aforementioned rice with a ‘no fungicide’ attribute, which cisgenics and GM could provide. Although not significantly different (P = 0.16), 76% and 73% of respondents stated a willingness-to-consume GM and cisgenic foods, respectively.

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When establishing an apple orchard it is important to stimulate the growth of young trees to fill up their allotted space in the row and minimize the time to come into full production with high quality fruit. In May 2012 two-year-old 'Summerred'/'M.9' knip trees were planted at the experimental farm at NIBIO Ullensvang, western Norway. The planting distance was 4×1 m (2500 trees ha-1). Three fertigation schemes were established (zero; low - 0.15 g N m-1 row day-1, and high nitrogen - 0.30 g N m-1 row day-1) and two crop loads allowed (low and high). In the year after planting the crop loads were limited to zero and five apples tree-1, respectively. In the third leaf the crop loads were adjusted by hand to 15 apples and 30 apples tree-1, respectively. The experimental design was a randomized blocks with four replications and 10 trees treatment-1. No significant effects of N-fertigation on soil NO3-, NH4+ or N-min contents were found. However, N-fertigation increased the leaf nitrogen content the whole season and leaf N were ≥ than the standard adequacy range (1.5-2.0%). Trees reached the desirable height of 3 m in the third leaf. Trunk circumference and number of branches per tree increased from second to third leaf, but were not significantly influenced by the N-fertigation. In the third leaf the high crop load trees yielded 7 kg tree-1 (17.5 t ha-1) and the low crop load 4 kg tree-1. Fruit weights were negatively correlated with the crop loads. Small differences in fruit quality attributes were found. Return bloom was not affected after the second leaf. However, the high crop load in the third leaf clearly reduced the amounts of return bloom in 2015, irrespective of the amount of N-fertigation.

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The response of three-year-old 'Summerred' trees to crop load regulation by the chemical thinning agent Brevis® was tested in comparison with different levels of hand thinning. Brevis® was applied once or twice at a dosage of 1.1 and 2.2 kg ha-1 when fruitlets were approximately 15 and 19 mm in diameter at the time of the first and second application, respectively. All Brevis® applications significantly reduced the number of fruits tree-1. Both the single application of 2.2 kg ha-1 and the two-fold application of 1.1 kg ha-1 thinned the tree to the target crop load level of 30 apples tree-1. The degree of thinning by the single application of 1.1 kg ha-1 Brevis® did not significantly increase fruit weight and resulted in a very strong inhibition of return bloom similar to that observed in the untreated controls and trees hand thinned to 60 fruits tree-1. Return bloom was positively related to the level of thinning obtained. At the target fruit load of about 30 apples tree-1, return bloom was around 40% of the bloom in the year of the thinning trial. A further thinning to circa 15 fruits tree-1 increased return bloom to approximately 60%. In conclusion, 'Summerred' trees planted as two-year-old feathered trees should not bear more than 20 to 25 fruits tree-1 in their 3rd leaf in a northern climate to avoid the onset of biennial bearing and to ensure regular annual yields. Only then sufficient numbers of flower buds will develop to have the chance to obtain a good crop in the next year.

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Nonylphenols (NP) are a group of alkylphenols, formed upon degradation of nonylphenol ethoxylates such as nonylphenol monoethoxylate (NP1EO) or nonylphenol diethoxylate (NP2EO), which have been broadly used as non-ionic surfactants. Both NP and their ethoxylates are often present in the sewage, despite being banned and substituted by less toxic alcohol ethoxylates in many countries. There is a number of degradation studies of nonylphenol in the soil environment, but there is a lack of understanding on how plants and soil organisms such as earthworms can affect the degradation. In our study, we investigated the degradation of 4-nonylphenol (4-NP) in a mineral field soil in the presence of barley (Hordeum vulgare) and earthworms (Aporrectodea caliginosa). Soil was spiked with 4-NP at a concentration of 12.5 mg kg-1 d.w. soil. Results showed that the degradation of 4-NP in soil was rapid during the 28 days after spiking, with remaining concentration of 0.397 mg kg-1 d.w. soil on day 28. Degradation was much slower between days 28 and 120, with a remaining concentration of 0.214 mg kg-1 d.w. soil on day 120. No significant difference in the degradation of 4-NP in the presence of either plants or worms was observed, but sampling after 28 days of exposure revealed transfer of 4-NP to worms (worm tissue concentration = 0.79 μg g-1), which increased with time (1.66 μg g-1 after 120 d). The calculated transfer factor after 28 (TF28) and 120 days (TF120) was 0.07 and 0.13 respectively. No toxicity or accumulation in plants was observed at the concentration tested herein. Concentration of 4-NP in the rhizosphere was not statistically different from that in the bulk soil.

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Grassland and the associated ruminant livestock production is the backbone of Norwegian agriculture, as ruminant products contribute nearly 50% of the gross income of the agricultural sector. About 2/3 of the agricultural area is used for temporary and permanent grassland, and a large proportion (40%) of the arable land is used for producing cereals that are included in concentrate mixtures fed to ruminants. The huge variation in climatic conditions, caused by the wide range in both latitude and altitude as well as in the distance to the coast, determines the land use and choice of species and varieties used in grassland. However, the dominating ley grassland species used in in almost all parts of the country are timothy (Phleum pratense L.), meadow fescue (Festuca pratensis Huds.) and red clover (Trifolium pratense L.). The use of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) is increasing, particularly in the southwestern parts of the country. The grassland yields and forage feed quality have remained very much the same during the last decade, while the intensity in ruminant production, e.g. milk yield per cow, has increased considerably. Factors that have contributed to grassland yield stagnation are probably the increasing proportion of rented farmland by larger farm units, the increasing price ratio between livestock products and feed concentrates and the increasing cost of producing forage relative to the price of concentrates

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We review the experiences and challenges that researchers can face when conducting contingent valuation studies in developing countries. We discuss these challenges based on our own experiences of conducting field-contingent valuation studies about genetically modified rice in five developing countries that represent different regions of the world and diverse cultures; we also base our discussion on results from a survey we conducted of agricultural and applied economists regarding their own experiences. The issues covered include the selection and training of local personnel, the recruitment of participants, sampling challenges, participants' compensation, survey methods and implementation, elicitation methods, the literacy rate of the population, and security/safety issues in developing countries. We also discuss the implications of our findings to other well-established stated-preference methods such as choice experiments.

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Grain products are the main source of carbohydrates but they also contain other bioactive substances such as phenolic compounds. Content of phenolic compounds differ among cereal types, varieties, and farming methods. The aim of the current study was to assess total phenolic content and radical scavenging activity in different oats and barley varieties compared to hulled ones. In the experiment hull-less varieties / lines were analysed: three barley (line ‘GN 03386’, from Norway and ‘Kornelija’, ‘Irbe’ from Latvia) and three oats varieties (‘Bikini’, ‘Nudist’, from Norway and ‘Stendes Emilija,’ from Latvia). One hulled variety of barley and oats from each country was included in the experiment for comparison. For the isolation of phenolic compounds ultrasound assisted extraction was used. For all extracts the total phenol content and DPPH, ABTS+ radical scavenging activity were determined spectrophotometrically. Overall, the highest content of total phenols was detected in hull-less barley samples. The barley variety with the highest content was line ‘GN 03386,’ followed by varieties ‘Kornelija’, ‘Irbe,’ and hulled Norwegian barley variety ‘Tyra’. High DPPH and ABTS+ radical scavenging activity was recorded in barley line ‘GN 03386’. Generally, there was strong correlation between total phenol content and ABTS˙+radical scavenging activity and moderate correlation between total phenol content and DPPH radical scavenging activity. In conclusion, the barley varieties had generally higher content of bioactive substances than oats and the barley line ‘GN 03386’ seems to be one of the best.

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Net primary production (NPP) is an important ecological metric for studying forest ecosystems and their carbon sequestration, for assessing the potential supply of food or timber and quantifying the impacts of climate change on ecosystems. The global MODIS NPP dataset using the MOD17 algorithm provides valuable information for monitoring NPP at 1-km resolution. Since coarse-resolution global climate data are used, the global dataset may contain uncertainties for Europe. We used a 1-km daily gridded European climate data set with the MOD17 algorithm to create the regional NPP dataset MODIS EURO. For evaluation of this new dataset, we compare MODIS EURO with terrestrial driven NPP from analyzing and harmonizing forest inventory data (NFI) from 196,434 plots in 12 European countries as well as the global MODIS NPP dataset for the years 2000 to 2012. Comparing these three NPP datasets, we found that the global MODIS NPP dataset differs from NFI NPP by 26%, while MODIS EURO only differs by 7%. MODIS EURO also agrees with NFI NPP across scales (from continental, regional to country) and gradients (elevation, location, tree age, dominant species, etc.). The agreement is particularly good for elevation, dominant species or tree height. This suggests that using improved climate data allows the MOD17 algorithm to provide realistic NPP estimates for Europe. Local discrepancies between MODIS EURO and NFI NPP can be related to differences in stand density due to forest management and the national carbon estimation methods. With this study, we provide a consistent, temporally continuous and spatially explicit productivity dataset for the years 2000 to 2012 on a 1-km resolution, which can be used to assess climate change impacts on ecosystems or the potential biomass supply of the European forests for an increasing bio-based economy. MODIS EURO data are made freely available at ftp://palantir.boku.ac.at/Public/MODIS_EURO.

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Important losses in strawberry production are often caused by the oomycete Phytophthora cactorum, the causal agent of crown rot. However, very limited studies at molecular levels exist of the mechanisms related to strawberry resistance against this pathogen. To begin to rectify this situation, a PCR-based approach (NBS profiling) was used to isolate strawberry resistance gene analogs (RGAs) with altered expression in response to P. cactorum during a time course (2, 4, 6, 24, 48, 96 and 192 h post-infection). Twenty-three distinct RGA fragments of the NB-LRR type were identified from a resistance genotype (Bukammen) of the wild species Fragaria vesca. The gene transcriptional profiles after infection showed that the response of most RGAs was quicker and stronger in the resistance genotype (Bukammen) than in the susceptible one (FDP821) during the early infection stage. The transcriptional patterns of one RGA (RGA109) were further monitored and compared during the P. cactorum infection of two pairs of resistant and susceptible genotype combinations (Bukammen/FDP821 and FDR1218/1603). The 5′ end sequence was cloned, and its putative protein was characteristic of NBS-LRR R protein. Our results yielded a first insight into the strawberry RGAs responding to P. cactorum infection at molecular level.

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High concentrations of the mycotoxin deoxynivalenol (DON), produced by Fusarium graminearum have occurred frequently in Norwegian oats recently. Early prediction of DON levels is important for farmers, authorities and the Cereal Industry. In this study, the main weather factors influencing mycotoxin accumulation were identified and two models to predict the risk of DON in oat grains in Norway were developed: (1) as a warning system for farmers to decide if and when to treat with fungicide, and (2) for authorities and industry to use at harvest to identify potential food safety problems. Oat grain samples from farmers’ fields were collected together with weather data (2004–2013). A mathematical model was developed and used to estimate phenology windows of growth stages in oats (tillering, flowering etc.). Weather summarisations were then calculated within these windows, and the Spearman rank correlation factor calculated between DON-contamination in oats at harvest and the weather summarisations for each phenological window. DON contamination was most clearly associated with the weather conditions around flowering and close to harvest. Warm, rainy and humid weather during and around flowering increased the risk of DON accumulation in oats, as did dry periods during germination/seedling growth and tillering. Prior to harvest, warm and humid weather conditions followed by cool and dry conditions were associated with a decreased risk of DON accumulation. A prediction model, including only pre-flowering weather conditions, adequately forecasted risk of DON contamination in oat, and can aid in decisions about fungicide treatments.

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Glucosinolates are plant secondary metabolites with important roles in plant defence against pathogens and pests and are also known for their health benefits. Understanding how environmental factors affect the level and composition of glucosinolates is therefore of importance in the perspective of climate change. In this study we analysed glucosinolates in Arabidopsis thaliana accessions when grown at constant standard (21 °C), moderate (15 °C) and low (9 °C) temperatures during three generations. In most of the tested accessions moderate and pronounced chilling temperatures led to higher levels of glucosinolates, especially aliphatic glucosinolates. Which temperature yielded the highest glucosinolate levels was accession-dependent. Transcriptional profiling revealed also accession-specific gene responses, but only a limited correlation between changes in glucosinolate-related gene expression and glucosinolate levels. Different growth temperatures in one generation did not consistently affect glucosinolate composition in subsequent generations, hence a clear transgenerational effect of temperature on glucosinolates was not observed.

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Winching is common in small-scale forest operations, especially on steep slopes, where tractors cannot reach the logs inside the forest. In this case, logs are dragged to the roadside with tractor-mounted winches, for later collection by transportation units. Winching is a heavy task, posing a high physiological stress on winching crew members. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between experienced workload, work conditions and operator fitness. The study confirmed the assumption that fit, young operators experience a lower workload than older ones. Workload depends on winching direction, and it is higher when winching downhill than when winching uphill. Results confirmed that gravity is the main factor, and it has a stronger effect than task type and tool weight. Walking uphill with no tools is heavier than walking downhill and carrying a steel cable. As a consequence, tool weight reduction can only palliate the problem, without solving it. Winching crews should be composed of fit, young workers. When the task is assigned to older workers, it is necessary to allow longer rest breaks, accepting a lower productivity. Keywords: steep terrain, winching, workload, heart rate

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A majority of purchases that consumers make are classified as repeat purchases. One of the main reasons why consumers make repeat food purchases is the food's taste. Therefore, we examined the importance of including taste testing in nonhypothetical experimental auctions. Specifically, we used two experiments to determine consumers’ willingness to pay for soft drinks labeled with different calorie and sweetener information. In Experiment 1, participants tasted the soft drinks prior to the bidding rounds. In Experiment 2, participants did not taste the soft drinks prior to the bidding rounds. Bidding behavior for the soft drinks was significantly different between Experiment 1 and Experiment 2. Results suggest that including taste testing in the design of experimental auctions is important to accurately capture consumers’ willingness to pay for foods that are purchased repeatedly. Results also imply that policies aimed at combating obesity by making the calorie content of foods more visible may not produce desired outcomes.

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Global climate change and increased pressure for adopting more sustainable agricultural practices call for new approaches in breeding forage crops. In the cool temperate regions of Europe these crops may benefit from a warmer and prolonged growing season, but new stresses may emerge during autumn and winter, whereas further south risk of drought will increase. In addition, future forage crops have to use both nutrients and water more efficiently to maximize production per unit area. This paper presents examples of how perennial forage crops can be adapted to the projected European environmental conditions through breeding. In the Nordic region, the focus is on identifying traits that are important for high yields under changed overwintering conditions and management practices. In temperate maritime Europe, the breeding focus is on forage grass and legume root systems for ecosystem service, nutrient and water use, as well as the advantages and potential for Festulolium, including its role in ruminant nutrition. In temperate and southern Europe, breeders aim to develop varieties that can survive long drought periods and recover rapidly following autumn rains, as well as improving adapted legume species with the following aims: reducing use of synthetic fertilizers, mitigating the environmental impacts of ruminant production systems; and reducing their dependency on external protein-rich feeds. Forage production systems, which are commonly found in areas less suited to grain production, can contribute significantly to future food security but only if forage crops can be successfully adapted to meet future environmental challenges.

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Ryegrass x fescue interspecific hybridization (so-called Festulolium) has great potential for forage diversification because of its many amphiploid and introgression-bred forms. Festulolium breeding efforts aim to improve adaptation to mainly winter cold and summer drought through higher abiotic stress tolerance. This goal must be met with a minimum of compromise regarding productivity in the first years of full exploitation. To compare field performances, a 21-entry trial of Festulolium and controls of pure species has been ongoing since 2012 in eight European countries. The yield data collected in 2012 and 2013 in nine locations showed that the Festulolium cultivars performed on average quite well compared to pure species controls. In amphiploids, the annual yield appeared to be mainly driven by the Lolium sp. parent combined with F. pratensis (Fp); the Lm x Fp amphiploids performed thus far better on average than the Lp x Fp equivalents. The only amphiploid from F. glaucescens included in the study had an intermediate response over locations, which was closer to tall fescue than to F. pratensis. Interestingly, a broad variability for yield among the Lm x Fp cultivars appeared to be associated with climate interactions when cold, wet locations were contrasted with more temperate locations with early spring growth.

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National and international carbon reporting systems require information on carbon stocks of forests. For this purpose, terrestrial assessment systems such as forest inventory data in combination with carbon estimation methods are often used. In this study we analyze and compare terrestrial carbon estimation methods from 12 European countries. The country-specific methods are applied to five European tree species (Fagus sylvatica L., Quercus robur L., Betula pendula Roth, Picea abies (L.) Karst. and Pinus sylvestris L.), using a standardized theoretically-generated tree dataset. We avoid any bias due to data collection and/or sample design by using this approach. We are then able to demonstrate the conceptual differences in the resulting carbon estimates with regard to the applied country-specific method. In our study we analyze (i) allometric biomass functions, (ii) biomass expansion factors in combination with volume functions and (iii) a combination of both. The results of the analysis show discrepancies in the resulting estimates for total tree carbon and for single tree compartments across the countries analyzed of up to 140 t carbon/ha. After grouping the country-specific approaches by European Forest regions, the deviation within the results in each region is smaller but still remains. This indicates that part of the observed differences can be attributed to varying growing conditions and tree properties throughout Europe. However, the large remaining error is caused by differences in the conceptual approach, different tree allometry, the sample material used for developing the biomass estimation models and the definition of the tree compartments. These issues are currently not addressed and require consideration for reliable and consistent carbon estimates throughout Europe.

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Data analysis and model-data comparisons in the environmental sciences require diagnostic measures that quantify time series dynamics and structure, and are robust to noise in observational data. This paper investigates the temporal dynamics of environmental time series using measures quantifying their information content and complexity. The measures are used to classify natural processes on one hand, and to compare models with observations on the other. The present analysis focuses on the global carbon cycle as an area of research in which model-data integration and comparisons are key to improving our understanding of natural phenomena. We investigate the dynamics of observed and simulated time series of Gross Primary Productivity (GPP), a key variable in terrestrial ecosystems that quantifies ecosystem carbon uptake. However, the dynamics, patterns and magnitudes of GPP time series, both observed and simulated, vary substantially on different temporal and spatial scales. We demonstrate here that information content and complexity, or Information Theory Quantifiers (ITQ) for short, serve as robust and efficient data-analytical and model benchmarking tools for evaluating the temporal structure and dynamical properties of simulated or observed time series at various spatial scales. At continental scale, we compare GPP time series simulated with two models and an observations-based product. This analysis reveals qualitative differences between model evaluation based on ITQ compared to traditional model performance metrics, indicating that good model performance in terms of absolute or relative error does not imply that the dynamics of the observations is captured well. Furthermore, we show, using an ensemble of site-scale measurements obtained from the FLUXNET archive in the Mediterranean, that model-data or model-model mismatches as indicated by ITQ can be attributed to and interpreted as differences in the temporal structure of the respective ecological time series. At global scale, our understanding of C fluxes relies on the use of consistently applied land models. Here, we use ITQ to evaluate model structure: The measures are largely insensitive to climatic scenarios, land use and atmospheric gas concentrations used to drive them, but clearly separate the structure of 13 different land models taken from the CMIP5 archive and an observations-based product. In conclusion, diagnostic measures of this kind provide dataanalytical tools that distinguish different types of natural processes based solely on their dynamics, and are thus highly suitable for environmental science applications such as model structural diagnostics.

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In the absence of effective control measures, the strawberry blossom weevil (Anthonomus rubi) (SBW) and the raspberry beetle (Byturus tomentosus) (RB) cause large (10 - >80%) losses in yield and quality in organically grown raspberry. Attractive lures for both pests were combined into a single multitrap for the economical management of both of these pests at the same time. This is one of the first approaches to pest management of non-lepidopteran insect pests of horticultural crops using semiochemicals in the EU, and probably the first to target multiple species from different insect orders. The aim is to develop optimized lures and cost-effective trap designs for mass trapping and to determine the optimum density and spatial and temporal patterns of deployment of the traps for controlling these pests by mass trapping. The combination between an aggregation pheromone that attracts Anthonomus rubi and a raspberry flower volatile that attracts Byturus tomentosus seems to be the best combination.

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Key Message. This analysis of the tools and methods currently in use for reporting woody biomass availability in 21 European countries has shown that most countries use, or are developing, National Forest Inventory-oriented models whereas the others use standwise forest inventory--oriented methods. Context. Knowledge of realistic and sustainable wood availability in Europe is highly relevant to define climate change mitigation strategies at national and European level, to support the development of realistic targets for increased use of renewable energy sources and of industry wood. Future scenarios at European level highlight a deficit of domestic wood supply compared to wood consumption, and some European countries state they are harvesting above the increment. Aims. Several country-level studies on wood availability have been performed for international reporting. However, it remains essential to improve the knowledge on the projection methods used across Europe to better evaluate forecasts. Methods. Analysis was based on descriptions supplied by the national correspondentsinvolved in USEWOOD COST Action (FP1001), and further enriched with additionaldata from international reports that allowedcharacterisation of the forests in these countries for the same base year. Results. Methods currently used for projecting wood availability were described for 21 European countries. Projection systems based on National Forest Inventory (NFI) data prevail over methods based on forest management plans. Only a few countries lack nationwide projection tools, still using tools developed for specific areas. Conclusions. A wide range of NFI-based systems for projecting wood availability exists, being under permanent improvement. The validation of projection forecasts and the inclusion of climate sensitive growth models into these tools are common aims for most countries. Cooperation among countries would result in higher efficiency when developing and improving projection tools and better comparability among them.

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Nutrients for food production are traditionally extracted from natural resources, most importantly as nitrogen from the air, and phosphorous from limited mineral resources. They can also be recovered and recycled from human waste products. There is generally a low P status in the world’s soils, while Norwegian soils are rich in phosphorous. Most recyclable P is in human and animal waste products as wastewater and manure, but also municipal solid waste and more recently, organic waste contain a considerable amount of P that ideally can be utilized.

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Water quality problems in Norway are caused mainly by high phosphorus (P) inputs from catchment areas. Multiple pollution sources contributes to P inputs into watercourses, and the two main sources in rural areas are agricultural runoff and discharge from on-site wastewater treatment systems (OWTSs). To reduce these inputs, Constructed wetlands (CWs) treating catchment runoff have been implemented in Norway since early 1990s. These CWs have been proven effective as supplements to agricultural best management practices for water quality improvements and therefore there are more than 1000 CWs established in Norway at present. This study aims to present some overall data on the present status of CWs treating catchment runoff in Norway, and in particular recent results of source tracking and retention of sediments and total phosphorus (TP) in a model, full-scale, long-term operated CW, which in practice treats runoff from a typical rural catchment with pollution from both point and diffuse sources. Nutrient contributions from agricultural runoff and OWTSs have been quantified in eight catchments, while the source tracking and retention of sediments and P has been studied in the model CW. P runoff in the catchments was largely affected by precipitation and runoff situation, and varied both throughout the year (every single year) and from one year to another. Annual TP contribution that origins from OWTSs was in general limited, and only 1 % in the catchment of the model CW. Monthly contribution, however, was higher than 30 % during warm/dry season, and cold months with frost season. For the purpose of source tracking study, faecal indicator bacteria (reported in terms of Escherichia coli - E. coli) and host-specific 16S rRNA gene markers Bacteroidales have been applied. High E.coli concentrations were well associated with high TP inputs into waterbodies during dry or/and cold season with little or no agriculture runoff, and further microbial source tracking (MST) tests proved human contribution. There are considerable variations in retention of sediments and TP in the CW between the years, and the annual yearly retention was about 38 % and 16 %, respectively. During the study period, the average monthly retention of sediments and TP was 54 % and 32 %, respectively. E. coli concentrations were also reduced in water passing the CW. The study confirmed that runoff from agricultural areas is the main P source in watercourses, however, discharges from OWTS can also be of great importance for the water quality, especially during warm/dry- and cold/frosty periods. Small CWs treating catchment runoff contribute substantially to the reduction of sediments, TP and faecal indicator bacteria transport into water recipients.

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Norwegian constructed wetlands (CWs) that treat domestic wastewater are classified as horizontal subsurface flow constructed wetlands (HSFCWs). Over the years of continuous performance, the HSFCWs operating under cold climate conditions have shown a high and stable treatment efficiency with regard to the removal of organic matter (>90 % BOD), nutrients (>50 % N and >90 % P) and microbes (>99 % bacteria). The majority of Norwegian HSFCWs are categorised as small (<50 pe) on-site, decentralised wastewater treatment systems. The Norwegian systems consist of three fundamental elements: a septic tank, a pre-filter (i.e. an aerobic vertical flow biofilter) and a horizontal flow saturated filter/wetland bed. The first, primary treatment step begins in the septic tank from which effluents are pre-treated in the second step occurring in the pre-filter/biofilter section and further in the third, final step taking place in the filter bed/HSFCW. The first and third treatment steps are quite common in systems with CWs, but the pre-treatment in biofilter(s) is mainly known from Norway. The main purpose of using the pre-treatment phase is to supply air during the cold season, to enhance nitrification processes, and to reduce the load of organic matter before entering the filter/wetland bed. If constructed and maintained correctly, the biofilters alone can remove 90 % BOD and 40 % N. Various filter/CW beds have been introduced for treatment of domestic wastewater (as complete or source-separated streams) in Norway, but the most common feature is the use of specific filter media for high phosphorus (P) removal. A few Norwegian municipalities also have limits with respect to nitrogen (N) discharge, but the majority of municipalities use 1.0 mg P/l as the discharge limit for small wastewater treatment systems. This particular limit affects the P retention lifetime of the filter media, which varies from system to system depending on the filter media applied, the type of wastewater treated, and the system design and loading rates. An estimated lifetime of filter media with regard to P removal is approximately 15–18 years for a filter/CW bed of a single household. After completing the lifetime, the filter media is excavated and replaced with new/fresh materials, allowing the system to operate effectively for another lifespan. Since the exploited media are P-rich materials, the main intention is their reuse in a safe and hygienic way, in which P could be further utilised. Therefore, the Norwegian systems can represent a complex technology combining a sustainable technique of domestic wastewater treatment and a bio-economical option for filter media reuse. This is a quite challenging goal for reclamation and recycling of P from wastewater. Thus, there are some scenarios of reusing the P-rich filter media as a complementary P fertiliser, a soil amendment or a conditioner, provided the quality is acceptable for utilisation in agriculture. Alternatively, the filter media could be reused in some engineering projects, e.g. green roof technology, road screening or construction of embankments, if the quality allows application in the environment. The core aspect of the reuse options is the appropriate quality of the filter media. As for the theoretical assumption, it should not be risky to reuse the P-rich media in agriculture. In practice, however, the media must be proven safe for human and environmental health prior to introducing into the environment.

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Simulation models are widely used to assess the impact of climate change on crop production and adaptation options, but few model comparisons have been done to assess uncertainties in the simulation results of forage grass models. The aim of this study was to compare the performance of three models (BASGRA, CATIMO, and STICS) to simulate the dry matter yield of the first and second cut of timothy (Phleum pratense L.) using observed field data from a wide range of climatic conditions, cultivars, soil types and crop management practices that are associated with timothy production in its main production regions in Canada and Northern Europe. The performance of the models was assessed with both cultivarspecific and non-cultivar-specific (generic) calibrations. The results showed the strengths and weaknesses of different modelling approaches and the magnitude of uncertainty related to simulated timothy grass yield. Model results were sensitive to calibrations applied.

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The aims of this study were: (1) to assess the trends of climatic variables in two contrasting geographical locations: central Poland and northern Norway; and (2) to evaluate the influence of the detected trends on timothy yields. This grass species was selected for its high importance for forage production in Norway as well as in Poland. For the assessment of climate trends, historical meteorological data, which cover time series from 1985 onwards, were used. Trends of various climate condition indicators were investigated. Data on timothy yields were collected beginning in the 1990s for Brody in Poland from cultivar testing experiments and Holt in Norway by the national cultivar-testing program. The results indicated that in central Poland air temperature in specific months significantly decrease the annual yield of timothy while in northern Norway many climatic variables, such as earlier start and prolonged length of growing season, may have a slightly positive impact on timothy productivity.

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Grasslands are significant as a source of forage for animal production, but are also important in many ecological functions. To be able to analyse changes in environmental conditions of grasslands, monitoring of grassland areas using remote sensing is an important task. Studying changes in environmental condition over time and space in grasslands has been the subject of research at different scales. Such an example is the Polish-Norwegian Research Project FINEGRASS „Effect of climatic changes on grassland growth, its water conditions and biomass’. In situ measured soil-vegetation parameters and satellite observations have been combined and analysed to quantify the spatial and temporal variability of grassland conditions, as reflected in variations of vegetation surface temperature, soil moisture, and biomass. Results show a significant trend of increasing grassland surface temperature in Poland, based on AVHRR satellite data; a positive significant relationship between the (April-September) standardized precipitation evapotranspiration index (SPEI) and grass yields in Poland; northern Norway has shown trends towards warmer springs and autumns since 1991, and significant trends towards earlier snowmelt and green-up on test fields in northern Norway.

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In Serbia permanent grasslands represent a significant source of animal feed. However, in most regions the animal production and grazing, and thus the productivity and investment in grasslands, are on a very low level. This research aims to analyse impact of nitrogen fertilization and harrowing on lowland permanent grassland (Vojvodina province, Serbia) in order to improve floristic composition and thus yield and quality. Research was carried out during 2012-2015 in Vojvodina province, Serbia, on permanent grassland which was mainly used for sheep grazing. Trial included two nitrogen rates, namely 40 kg ha-1 and 80 kg ha-1, divided on plots with and without harrowing, as well as control treatments. Floristic composition was mostly composed of species from families Poaceace and Asteraceae with a small number and presence of legume species. The number of species changed in the third and fourth years of the trial. Cynodon dactylon L., Lolium perenne L., Festuca sp., were significantly higher on plots with the higher nitrogen rate, while on the control the most frequent spp. were Trifolium campestre Schreb. and Medicago lupulina L. Harrowing, on the other hand, had smaller impact on improvement of permanent grassland.

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Wavy hair-grass (Avenella flexuosa (L.) Drejer; Deschampsia flexuosa (L.) Trin.) is the main pasture species in blueberry mountain birch forest and dwarf birch – blueberry moorland, which cover large parts of outfield pastures in the mountainous region of Southern Norway. Blueberry mountain birch forest with continuous mats of A. flexuosa was fenced in and harvested at different times in the summers of 2014 and 2015. Regrowth was also recorded. The grass from sample plots was dried after harvest, and analyzed for feed quality using NIRS. There were no statistically significant differences in total net energy yield between different harvesting regimes. Grass growth was highest in early summer, and harvesting on 2 July gave about 60% of the seasonal yield. Grass yield in undisturbed population increased until the last harvest (early September). Regrowth after harvest was small at the end of the season, but the growth here corresponded with the growth in undisturbed population. A. flexuosa remained at vegetative stage during the season. The energy value was highest at harvest first in July, and relatively constant at later harvests. The protein concentration declined towards the end of the season.

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The present agricultural landscape reflects a long history of changing land-use and farming practices, caused by e.g. technological development, urbanization processes and climate changes. A deeper understanding of how agricultural practices have altered the landscape is essential for the management of biodiversity and conservation of semi-natural grasslands. In this study, we explore the influence that changes in agricultural land-use, and grassland abandonment, have on successional changes in vegetation. The distribution, patch size, and plant species composition of semi-natural grasslands in a Central Norwegian agricultural landscape were mapped during two summers. Semi-natural grassland species decreased from managed grasslands to late regrowth successional phase, while number of forest species increased. Structural changes, e.g. increasing litter and tree cover, were also seen along the succession. Variation in species composition was related to management intensity and successional phase along the main gradient.

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The effects of cutting frequency, silage fermentation pattern and legume performance in grass-clover ley on use of inputs and profitability in an organic dairy system in Mid-Norway were examined. A whole-farm linear programming model was developed to compare a three-cut and a two-cut system, either with restricted silage fermentation through acidification or untreated at low or high red clover (Trifolium pratense L) proportion in the ley. Input-output relations incorporated into the model were derived from a meta-analysis of organic grassland field trials in Norway, silage fermentation experiments, and with feed intakes and milk yields from simulations with the NorFor feed evaluation system. The model maximised total gross margin of farms with 250,000 l milk quota, and housing capacity for 45 cows. Farmland availability was allowed to vary with 40 ha as the basis. High proportion of legumes in the leys was far more important for profitability than the score on the other variables considered. With little land available, the costs of preservatives were higher than their benefits. At higher land areas applying preservatives was more profitable. Cutting systems producing silages that result in an increased intake of silage per cow, generally three-cut systems, performed relatively better at higher land availabilities.

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Eight experiments with cultivars (cvs.) of grass and clover species were established in the Faroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden to evaluate important forage species and cvs. in terms of yield potential, persistence and adaptation to variable climate in the West Nordic countries. Timothy had on average the highest spring cover after three years of trial together with smooth meadow grass (cv. Knut), whereas perennial ryegrass had the lowest spring cover after three years. On average cocksfoot (cv. Laban) and timothy (Grindstad related cvs.) gave the highest yield, 8.85 and 8.71 t ha-1, respectively, and smooth meadow grass and common bent grass the lower yields, 7.52 and 7.30 t ha-1, respectively. The results from these experiments show that we have a wide range of species and cultivars usable in the West Nordic areas. We can meet an increase in temperature to a certain level by moving the more southern species and cvs. farther north, however, our most winter hardy cvs. are still important to maintain.

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In this study potential links between biodiversity, ecosystem service (ES) indicators and agricultural land use were examined. Semi-natural grasslands, either actively used for sheep grazing or abandoned, were surveyed and all vascular plant species recorded. Based on this survey, species richness (per 4 m2), fodder quality and quantity, as well as pollination, were estimated. We found lower species richness and indications of lower fodder quantity and quality, but of higher pollination in abandoned grasslands. The relationships between ES indicators and species richness were both negative and positive, and differed in managed and abandoned semi-natural grasslands.

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The effect of abandonment of sheep grazing management in semi-natural grasslands were studied in 14 sites in Norway. Data of species and vegetation composition, functional traits and pollination resources were used as indicators for nine selected ecosystem services (ES). The majority of the ES were negatively affected by abandonment of sheep grazing management. We therefore conclude that abandonment diminishes delivery of ES.

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Climate, available resources and disturbance by agricultural land use influence ecosystem service (ES) delivery. In our project we studied how ES provision from managed and abandoned semi-natural grasslands vary along soil and climatic gradients. Information on climate (temperature and precipitation) and soil (pH-value and phosphorous content) were used to test whether ES varied along these environmental gradients. 13 ES indicators were calculated and assigned to nine ES. Some of the ES varied along the gradients, but the results indicate that the effects of soil and climate on ES are modified by agricultural land use.

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The Action plan for hay meadows in Norway is an instrument used to manage hay meadows of high biological value. The mowing management is regulated by a specific date and we aimed to assess the suitability of this date. We compared proportions of mature plants of species associated with semi-natural grasslands at the defined mowing date in 2014 and 2015. Numbers of mature species differed between the two years, but even in the warmest year the percentage of mature plants was only 44%. In order to plan a more successful agri-environmental scheme, the cutting date should be more site-specific and based on knowledge of the former practices that originally created and maintained the biological values.

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Large areas of cultivated grasslands have been abandoned in Norway and are no longer used for production. Knowing that access to spring and autumn pastures is a limiting factor for sheep farmers, this study aims at testing the effect of introducing abandoned farmland into sheep production. One sheep €ock with 83(88) ewes (lambs) in 2014 and 77 (106) ewes (lambs) in 2015 was each year assigned to three treatments: (1) control; common farm procedure with a short spring grazing period before summer grazing on range pasture; (2) spring extended; a four-week extended spring grazing period on abandoned cultivated grassland before summer grazing on range pasture; (3) whole season grazing on abandoned cultivated grassland. Weight gain from spring to autumn, slaughter weight and carcass value were signicantly (P<0.05) higher in lambs assigned to treatment 2, with four weeks extended spring grazing period (255 g day-1, 15.7 kg, 699 NOK), compared to treatment 1 (229 g day-1, 14.3 kg, 615 NOK) and treatment 3 (206 g day-1, 13.2 kg, 548 NOK). !e use of abandoned cultivated grassland for extended spring grazing improved weight gain and slaughter weight, while whole season grazing on abandoned grassland was the least productive option tested.

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Large areas of cultivated grassland are annually abandoned and no longer used for production in Norway. Such areas will over time be encroached by shrubs and trees, which is regarded as undesirable. We assessed plant community development, pasture production, herbage quality and pasture utilization by sheep and heifers of a grassland that has been unmanaged for 12 years. e experiment was run for two consecutive years. Sheep grazed the whole area for one month in spring and autumn. During the summer, the area was assigned to three replicated treatments: (1) control with no management; (2) grazing heifers; and (3) grazing sheep with off€spring. The stocking rate was 1.8 LU ha-1, in both b and c, for a duration of one month. The area was left resting for a month aer treatment and before autumn sheep grazing. Pasture production and herbage intake was estimated using grazing exclosure cages. Herbage consumed during summer period was on average 211 g DM m-2 and the pasture utilization was 55%. The annual consumption and utilization was 336 g DM m-2 and 62% in the grazed treatments and 28 g DM m-2 and 15% in the control, respectively. Total annual pasture production was on average 72% higher in the grazed treatments compared to the control. Tere was no diff€erence between the grazed treatments on annual production, herbage intake or pasture utilization. Grazing stimulated herbage production, and such abandoned grasslands are valuable forage resources.

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Grassland-based ruminant production systems are integral to sustainable food production in Europe, converting plant materials indigestible to humans into nutritious food, while providing a range of environmental and cultural benefits. Climate change poses significant challenges for such systems, their productivity and the wider benefits they supply. In this context, grassland models have an important role in predicting and understanding the impacts of climate change on grassland systems, and assessing the efficacy of potential adaptation and mitigation strategies. In order to identify the key challenges for European grassland modelling under climate change, modellers and researchers from across Europe were consulted via workshop and questionnaire. Participants identified fifteen challenges and considered the current state of modelling and priorities for future research in relation to each. A review of literature was undertaken to corroborate and enrich the information provided during the horizon scanning activities. Challenges were in four categories relating to: 1) the direct and indirect effects of climate change on the sward 2) climate change effects on grassland systems outputs 3) mediation of climate change impacts by site, system and management and 4) cross-cutting methodological issues. While research priorities differed between challenges, an underlying theme was the need for accessible, shared inventories of models, approaches and data, as a resource for stakeholders and to stimulate new research. Developing grassland models to effectively support efforts to tackle climate change impacts, while increasing productivity and enhancing ecosystem services, will require engagement with stakeholders and policy-makers, as well as modellers and experimental researchers across many disciplines. The challenges and priorities identified are intended to be a resource 1) for grassland modellers and experimental researchers, to stimulate the development of new research directions and collaborative opportunities, and 2) for policy-makers involved in shaping the research agenda for European grassland modelling under climate change.

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A future wetter climate in Northern Europe may increase soil compaction from traffic of heavy machinery. This study investigated the impact of tractor traffic on grassland yield, soil physical properties and penetration resistance in three experimental field trials in Norway; on medium sand at Tjøtta, Nordland, on silty medium sand at Fureneset, Sogn og Fjordane and on silt at Løken, Oppland. The experiments were conducted in a split-plot design with three levels of two wheel-by-wheel passes with tractor traffic after each cut: no traffic, light tractor or heavy tractor on large plots, and three different seed mixtures on small plots. The yield reduction by tractor traffic was 26% at Løken, 4% at Fureneset and 1% at Tjøtta. There was a positive correlation between soil moisture content and yield reduction by traffic. Tractor traffic reduced pore volume and air capacity and increased bulk density, compaction degree and penetration resistance with the largest effect at Løken and the smallest at Tjøtta. There were no statistically significant differences in yield or soil physical properties between light and heavy tractor. The study shows that soil texture and soil moisture content are major factors explaining traffic effects on soil physical properties and grassland yield.

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Biochar is a carbon-rich solid product obtained by pyrolysis of biomass. Here, we investigated multiple biochars produced under slow pyrolysis (235–800 °C), flash carbonization, and hydrothermal carbonization (HTC), using Scanning Electron Microscope—Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (SEM-EDX) in order to determine whether SEM-EDX can be used as a proxy to characterize biochars effectively. Morphological analysis showed that feedstock has an integrated structure compared to biochar; more pores were generated, and the size became smaller when the temperature increased. Maximum carbon content (max. C) and average carbon content (avg. C) obtained from SEM-EDX exhibited a positive relationship with pyrolysis temperature, with max. C correlating most closely with dry combustion total carbon content. The SEM-EDX O/C ratios displayed a consistent response with the highest treatment temperature (HTT). The study suggests that SEM-EDX produces highly consistent C, oxygen (O), and C/O ratios that deserve further investigation as an operational tool for characterization of biochar products.

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China has experienced enormous changes in land use in recent decades, which are largely driven by its unparalleled economic development. We analyze changes in vegetation and soil carbon storage between 1990 and 2010 resulting from combinations of land-use category conversion and management. Results demonstrate a major decline in grasslands (−6.85%; 20.83 × 106 ha) and large increases in urban areas (+43.73%; 6.87 × 106 ha), farmlands (+0.84%; 1.48 × 106 ha), and forests (+0.67%; 1.52 × 106 ha). The total soil organic carbon pool has been reduced by approximately 11.5 Tg of carbon (TgC) year−1, whereas 13.2 TgC year−1 has accumulated in the biomass carbon pool because of land-use category change. Large carbon losses (approximately 101.8 TgC year−1) have resulted from land management failures, including forest fires and insect pests. Overall land-use change and land management have contributed about 1.45 Pg of carbon to the total carbon released from 1990 to 2010. Our results highlight the importance of improving land-use management, especially in view of the recently proposed expansion of urban areas in China.

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A total of 967 students (males and females) from four secondary schools in Vysocina region of Czechia were interviewed via 24‐question Likert‐type questionnaire to assess student’s environmental awareness and perceptions. The generalized linear models were used to test if (and to what extent) student perceptions related to environment are/ or not influenced by various factors including gender, age, place of residence, educational level, and specialization. The results showed that students’ age, place of residence, education level and their specialization did not significantly affect (p<0.05) their environmental perceptions. However, gender appeared to be statistically significant (p<0.05) influencing student environmental perceptions and also showed linkages to basic environmental education, attitudes and engagement of students in science-related activities. Our results strongly support the need for more environmental education, awareness campaigns in the schools and engaging students in outdoor environment related activities. Future research should include detail environmental surveys targeting school students across Czechia.

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The supply of wood in Europe on a sustainable basis is highly relevant for forestry and related policies, particularly in relation to (i) analysing global change mitigation strategies and carbon accounting (ii) establishing realistic forecasts and targets for wood resources, biomass and renewable energy and (iii) assessing and supporting strategies for an increased use of wood. Therefore, it is relevant to have robust information of the availability for wood supply. The main aim of this paper is to harmonize the concept of ‘forest available for wood supply’ (FAWS) at European level. The data employed in this study was acquired through two questionnaires. The first questionnaire, conducted under the framework of COST Action FP1001 and a second questionnaire was completed by national correspondents and members of the UNECE/FAO. The analysis showed that reasons for the exclusion of forest from FAWS are diverse. Legal restrictions and specifically ´Protected areas´ are considered by 79% of the countries while very few countries consider economic restrictions. A new FAWS reference definition is provided and the consequences of using this new definition in eight European countries were analysed. Application of the proposed definition will increase consistency and comparability of data on FAWS and will result in decreasing the area of FAWS at a European level.

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The density and diversity of springtails (Collembola) in the upper soil layer (0–3.8 cm) were studied in a perennial grass-clover ley in NW Norway during April–June 2012. The study was part of a field experiment comparing yields and soil characteristics after application of non-digested slurry (NS) versus anaerobically digested slurry (DS) from dairy cows. In total for three sampling dates, 39 species of springtails were identified. In the Control plots receiving no manure, the density level was around 30 000 individuals (ind.) m−2 throughout the whole season. Three days after slurry application (40 t ha−1), the density of springtails had dropped significantly; from 55 214 to 7410 ind. m−2 in the NS treatment and from 41 914 to 10 260 ind. m−2 in the DS treatment. After 7 weeks the densities had increased again to 54% and 38% of the initial levels in NS and DS treatments, respectively. The springtails were divided into two ecological groups based on morphology and colour. The epigeic group comprised surface-dwelling species with eye organs and pigmentation. The endogeic group comprised soil-dwelling species lacking eye organs and pigmentation, and generally with shorter extremities than those found in the epigeic group. The negative effect of manure application on density was more severe and long-lasting in the epigeic than in the endogeic group. This effect was similar for both manure types. One species (Parisotoma notabilis) comprised 50% of the epigeic population, while three Mesaphorura spp. and Stanaphorura lubbocki comprised half the endogeic population. In general, the community structure, described by the relative abundance of each species, was more affected by manure application in the epigeic than in the endogeic group. Hence, slurry application seemed to affect surface-dwelling species more negatively than soil- dwelling species, even within the small sampling depth used here. The density of endogeic species seemed to recover faster than the density of the epigeic species. A simplified classification of epigeic and endogeic springtails, based on the presence or absence of pigmentation and eyes, may be useful in studies of soil springtails where identification of the actual species is not the primary purpose.

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The market for herbage seed straw has diminished in many seed-production areas due to less livestock. Seed growers are therefore looking for alternatives to straw removal, which up to now has been the most common practice. During 2000–2006, different alternative straw chopping methods, both at the back of the combiner and with a tractor-mounted flail-chopper, and field burning strategies were evaluated in seed crops of timothy (Phleum pratense) and meadow fescue (Festuca pratensis) in southeast Norway. The requirement for an extra N input in autumn (30–40 kg ha-1) when practising straw chopping was also examined. Compared to straw removal, straw chopping at the back of the combiner during seed harvest did not reduce seed yield in the following year as long as stubble height was low (<10 cm in timothy) and the straw spread uniformly in the field. On average, seed yield was 1–4% and 1–9% higher compared to straw removal in timothy and meadow fescue, respectively. If the chopped straw was spread unevenly, or long stubble was left at combining, it is recommended to use a tractor-mounted flail-chopper after harvest. The experiments did not provide any support for an extra input of nitrogen in autumn, either in timothy or meadow fescue, when the straw was chopped rather than removed. Burning of stubble and straw soon after seed harvest was another efficient clean-up method after harvest, which increased seed yield 9–15% and 17–20% compared to straw removal in the two species, respectively. However, as the burning method is risky and causes smoke emissions, it is normally not recommended. It is concluded that for most seed growers, the most effective, least laborious and most environment-friendly alternative to straw removal will be to chop the straw at the back of the combiner during seed harvest.

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Backgrounds and Aims Crops with reduced requirement for nitrogen (N) fertilizer would have substantial benefits in developed nations, while improving food security in developing nations. This study employs the functional structural plant model SimRoot to test the hypothesis that variation in the growth angles of axial roots of maize ( Zea mays L.) is an important determinant of N capture. Methods Six phenotypes contrasting in axial root growth angles were modelled for 42 d at seven soil nitrate levels from 10 to 250 kg ha −1 in a sand and a silt loam, and five precipitation regimes ranging from 0·5× to 1·5× of an ambient rainfall pattern. Model results were compared with soil N measurements of field sites with silt loam and loamy sand textures. Key Results For optimal nitrate uptake, root foraging must coincide with nitrate availability in the soil profile, which depends on soil type and precipitation regime. The benefit of specific root architectures for efficient N uptake increases with decreasing soil N content, while the effect of soil type increases with increasing soil N level. Extreme root architectures are beneficial under extreme environmental conditions. Extremely shallow root systems perform well under reduced precipitation, but perform poorly with ambient and greater precipitation. Dimorphic phenotypes with normal or shallow seminal and very steep nodal roots performed well in all scenarios, and consistently outperformed the steep phenotypes. Nitrate uptake increased under reduced leaching conditions in the silt loam and with low precipitation. Conclusions Results support the hypothesis that root growth angles are primary determinants of N acquisition in maize. With decreasing soil N status, optimal angles resulted in 15–50 % greater N acquisition over 42 d. Optimal root phenotypes for N capture varied with soil and precipitation regimes, suggesting that genetic selection for root phenotypes could be tailored to specific environments.

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Three perennial legumes (alfalfa, red clover and birdsfoot trefoil) and four cool-season perennial grasses (orchardgrass, tall fescue, Italian ryegrass and red fescue) were grown in legume–grass combinations and in pure stands of individual species, at three locations in the West Balkan region (Novi Sad, Banja Luka and Pristina) in the period from 2012 to 2015. The study evaluated dry matter yield, legume–grass–weed proportion and forage quality. High annual forage yield of legume–grass mixtures can be obtained with proper selection of species and an appropriate legume–grass ratio. However, high and stable yield, particularly in the case of grasses, depends on the amount and schedule of precipitation as well as the cutting time. The mixtures and legume pure stands achieved better forage production both per cutting and on the annual basis and had better forage quality than grass pure stands.

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Key message The increment estimation methods of European NFIs were explored by means of 12 essential NFI features. The results indicate various differences among NFIs within the commonly acknowledged methodological frame. The perspectives for harmonisation at the European level are promising. Context The estimation of increment is implemented differently in European National Forest Inventories (NFIs) due to different historical origins of NFIs and sampling designs and field assessments accommodated to country-specific conditions. The aspired harmonisation of increment estimation requires a comparison and an analysis of NFI methods. Aims The objective was to investigate the differences in volume increment estimation methods used in European NFIs. The conducted work shall set a basis for harmonisation at the European level which is needed to improve information on forest resources for various strategic processes. Methods A comprehensive enquiry was conducted during Cost Action FP1001 to explore the methods of increment estimation of 29 European NFIs. The enquiry built upon the preceding Cost Action E43 and was complemented by an analysis of literature to demonstrate the methodological backgrounds. Results The comparison of methods revealed differences concerning the NFI features such as sampling grids, periodicity of assessments, permanent and temporary plots, use of remote sensing, sample tree selection, components of forest growth, forest area changes, sampling thresholds, field measurements, drain assessment, involved models and tree parts included in estimates. Conclusion Increment estimation methods differ considerably among European NFIs. Their harmonisation introduces new issues into the harmonisation process. Recent accomplishments and the increased use of sample-based inventories in Europe make perspectives for harmonised reporting of increment estimation promising.

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Shelf life of plum is limited by several factors, including development of fungal decay. In either one or two seasons, European plum cultivars were exposed to different applications of calcium or fungicide before harvest or left unsprayed. On the experimental trees, the yield was harvested as commercial practice, giving a sample of fruit with a range in maturity acceptable for sale. The yield was divided into two groups, less and more ripened fruit. Fruit samples from each group were stored for 10-14 days at 4°C followed by a simulated shelf life period of 2-3 days at 20°C. Fruit quality was assessed at harvest and after storage. Number of fruit with fungal decay was counted at the end of storage and after simulated shelf life. At harvest, the more ripened fruit had higher weight, soluble solids content, background and cover colour, and lower firmness in most of the experiments. Fruit from trees sprayed six times with calcium had higher weight in first year, but not in second, was less ripen as measured by colour and firmness on some cultivars, but not on others. Time of fungicide application had no effect on fruit quality at harvest. Differences in fruit quality at harvest were most often similar after storage. Fruit grouped as more mature at harvest developed more fungal decay after simulated shelf life than less mature fruit in five of eight experiments. In one out of six experiments calcium applications reduced development of postharvest fungal decay. Fungicide applications had no effect on postharvest fungal decay in either of four experiments. The present results indicate that the ripening degree of plum fruit is more important for development of fungal decay than preharvest applications of calcium or fungicides

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Dieback of European ash was first observed in Europe in the early 1990s. The disease is caused by the invasive ascomycete Hymenoscyphus fraxineus, proposed to originate from Far East Asia, where it has been considered a harmless saprotroph. This study investigates the occurrence of H. fraxineus in tissues of local ash species in the Russian Far East, and assesses its population-specific genetic variation by ITS sequencing. Shoot dieback symptoms, characteristic of H. fraxineus infection on European ash, were common, but not abundant, on Fraxinus mandshurica and Fraxinus rhynchophylla trees in Far East Russia. High levels of pathogen DNA were associated with necrotic leaf tissues of these ash species, indicating that the local H. fraxineus population is pathogenic to their leaves. However, the low levels of H. fraxineus DNA detected in shoots with symptoms, the failure to isolate this fungus from such tissues, and the presence of other fungi with pathogenic potential in shoots with symptoms indicate that local H. fraxineus strains may not be responsible (or their role is negligible) for the observed ash shoot dieback symptoms in the region. Conspicuous differences in ITS rDNA sequences detected between H. fraxineus isolates from Russian Far East and European populations suggest that the current ash dieback epidemic in Europe might not directly originate from the Russian Far East. Revision of the herbarium material shows that the earliest specimen of H. fraxineus was collected in 1962 from the Russian Far East and the oldest H. fraxineus specimen of China was collected in 2004.

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Abstract Questions Vegetation mapping based on field surveys is time-consuming and expensive. Distribution modelling might be used to overcome these challenges. What is the performance of distribution modelling of vegetation compared to traditional vegetation mapping when projected locally? Does the modelling performance vary among ecosystems? Does vegetation type distribution and abundance influence the modelling performance? Location Gravfjellet, Øystre Slidre commune, southern Norway. Methods Two comparable neighbouring areas, each of 4 km2, were mapped for species-defined vegetation types. One area was used for model training, the other for model projection. Maximum entropy models were run for six vegetation types, two from each of the ecosystems present in the area: forest, wetland and mountain heath- and shrublands. For each ecosystem, one locally abundant and one locally rare vegetation type were tested. AUC, the area under the receiver operating curve, was used as the model selection criterion. Environmental variables (n = 9) were selected through a backwards selection scheme, and model complexity was kept low. The models were evaluated using independent data. Results Distribution modelling of vegetation types by local projection gave high AUC values, and the results were supported by the evaluation using independent data. The modelling ability was not affected by ecosystem differences. A negative relationship between the number of points used to train the models and the AUC value before evaluation suggests that models for locally rare vegetation types had better predictive performance than the models for abundant types. This result was not significant after evaluation. Conclusion Provided that relevant explanatory variables are available at an appropriate scale, and that field-validated training points are available, distribution modelling can be used for local projection of the six tested vegetation types from the boreal–alpine ecotone.

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A climate change mitigation mechanism for emissions reduction from reduced deforestation and forest degradation, plus forest conservation, sustainable management of forest, and enhancement of carbon stocks (REDD +), has received an international political support in the climate change negotiations. The mechanism will require, among others, an unprecedented technical capacity for monitoring, reporting and verification of carbon emissions from the forest sector. A functional monitoring, reporting and verification requires inventories of forest area, carbon stock and changes, both for the construction of forest reference emissions level and compiling the report on the actual emissions, which are essentially lacking in developing countries, particularly in Africa. The purpose of this essay is to contribute to a better understanding of the state and prospects of forest monitoring and reporting in the context of REDD+ in Africa. We argue that monitoring and reporting capacities in Africa fall short of the stringent requirements of the methodological guidance for monitoring, reporting and verification for REDD+, and this may weaken the prospects for successfully implementing REDD+ in the continent. We presented the challenges and prospects in the national forest inventory, remote sensing and reporting infrastructures. A North–South, South–South collaboration as well as governments own investments in monitoring, reporting and verification system could help Africa leapfrog in monitoring and reporting. These could be delivered through negotiations for the transfer of technology,technical capacities, and experiences that exist among developed countries that traditionally compile forest carbon reports in the context of the Kyoto protocol.

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Aroma is an important quality factor in fruit, and it is important to know the effect of new orchard management practices on fruit aroma. Fruit growers are using more foliar fertilizers to achieve the optimum mineral status in fruit. In this work the effects of adding extra nitrogen, calcium and both nitrogen and calcium to apple trees in the fruit cell division phase were studied. Even though the given nitrogen and calcium did not give significantly higher content of N and Ca in the treated fruits, differences in the contents of some aroma compounds were found. Nitrogen treated trees gave apples with more hexanal, a compound known in unripe ("green, grassy") apples. When both calcium and nitrogen were applied, the negative effect of nitrogen on aroma compounds was less pronounced. The aroma of these fruits was more similar to the controls. Using multivariate statistical analyses, the grouping of the different treatments during storage was confirmed. Foliar fertilization with nitrogen and calcium during the cell division phase had a significant effect on the amount of aroma compounds in apples at harvest and during storage.

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In this paper, we estimate the cost-effectiveness of tillage methods as a measure to reduce phosphorus loss. The study was based on real-world information on costs. Data on phosphorus loss for different soil tillage methods were modelled. The cost-effectiveness of various soil tillage methods were related to autumn ploughing. The results showed large variation in cost-effectiveness related to erosion risk. Furthermore, spring harrowing was the most cost-effective method to reduce phosphorus loss, followed by autumn harrowing and spring ploughing in spring cereals. Implementation of changed tillage methods showed lower costs for spring cereals compared to winter wheat. The differences in costs between areas were most evident for spring tillage due to differences in yields and agronomic management. Cost-effectiveness is an important criterion in selecting mitigation methods, but due to large variations in the effect of changed tillage, these should be locally adapted to the high risk areas of erosion.

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The re-measurement of permanent forest inventories offers a unique opportunity to assess the occurrence and impact of forest disturbances. The present study aims at exploring the main forest damages in Norway based on the extensive data of several consecutive national forest inventories during the period 1995–2014. Five of the most common disturbance agents in Norway are selected for analysis: wind, snow, browsing, fungus and insect damage. The analyses focuses on the frequency and variation along time, the average damage at stand level and the spatial patterns of damage occurrence, resulting in a characterization of the damage produced by disturbances in Norway. The highest damage occurrences by disturbance agent are due to browsing, snow and wind. Snow presents a decreasing temporally trend in damage frequency in the studied period. By forest type, mature and intermediate birch forest are found to be more affected by snow damage, whereas mature spruce forest is by wind damage. The results from this study provide support to the hypothesis that damages by autumnal moth (Epirrita autumnata) on birch are more common in mature stands. No major attacks from bark beetle (Ips typographus) are found, probably related to the lack of major storm damages in the period. Forest types susceptibility to fungus has no apparent variation over time except in the last years, as increased occurrence is observed on mature spruce stands probably correlated with warmer than average periods. Browsing damage causes the most severe losses, as expected, in young stands, and is allocated mainly on the most productive forests. Although some of the disturbances present locally moderate effects, the results show no major disturbances threatening Norwegian forests in the studied period. Finally, the Norwegian national forest inventory demonstrates its reliability as a basis to understand the occurrence and effects of major natural disturbances.

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The objective of this paper is to determine the pruning level that does not affect tree growth, increasing the amount of clear wood production in a single lift at age 1.3 years. The experiment was developed in the municipality of Aracruz, Espírito Santo state, Brazil. The pruning intensities considered were: 40%, 55%, 70% and 85% of the total tree height, as well as no pruning for control. The results obtained three years after pruning showed that it is possible to reach up to a 70% of total tree height pruned (mean pruned height of 7.3 m) in a single pruning lift without affecting the size of the 700 largest trees per hectare in diameter. High intensity pruning (85%) translated into negative effects on tree growth. Low intensity pruning (40%) also had moderate effects on growth, possibly due to exposure of negative effects of leaf area removal without benefiting from the positive effects on canopy characteristics. Finally, the paper discusses different thinning regimes and its implications on the pruning regime. The results of this research can contribute to improve the management of fast growing plantations for timber production.

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Plantations of genetically improved forest trees are critical for economic sustainability in forestry. This review summarizes gains in objective traits and the resulting economic impact of tree breeding programmes in Scandinavia and Finland. Genetic improvement of forest trees in these countries began in the late 1940s, when the first phenotypically superior plus-trees were selected from natural environments. The main findings from this review are that (i) tree breeding can increase volume growth in the range 10–25%, and (ii) the bare land value associated with genetically improved trees gives a better return on investment and a shorter rotation period compared to the unimproved forests. As some Nordic countries are quite dependent on the forest industry, breeding programmes that have resulted in economic gains have been beneficial for society. Growth and wood quality traits are often adversely correlated, and the weighting of traits from an economic perspective could provide an index for determining maximum profit from breeding. Tree breeding faces an array of challenges in the future, such as changes in silviculture, climate, new pests and diseases, and demand for wood-based products.

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Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a widely used tool to assess environmental sustainability of products. The LCA should optimally cover the most important environmental impact categories such as climate change, eutrophication and biodiversity. However, impacts on biodiversity are seldom included in LCAs due to methodological limitations and lack of appropriate characterization factors. When assessing organic agricultural products the omission of biodiversity in LCA is problematic, because organic systems are characterized by higher species richness at field level compared to the conventional systems. Thus, there is a need for characterization factors to estimate land use impacts on biodiversity in life cycle assessment that are able to distinguish between organic and conventional agricultural land use that can be used to supplement and validate the few currently suggested characterization factors. Based on a unique dataset derived from field recording of plant species diversity in farmland across six European countries, the present study provides new midpoint occupation Characterization Factors (CF) expressing the Potentially Disappeared Fraction (PDF) to estimate land use impacts on biodiversity in the ‘Temperate Broadleaf and Mixed Forest’ biome in Europe. The method is based on calculation of plant species on randomly selected test sites in the biome and enables the calculation of characterization factors that are sensitive to particular types of management. While species richness differs between countries, the calculated CFs are able to distinguish between different land use types (pastures (monocotyledons or mixed), arable land and hedges) and management practices (organic or conventional production systems) across countries. The new occupation CFs can be used to supplement or validate the few current CF's and can be applied in LCAs of agricultural products to assess land use impacts on species richness in the ‘Temperate Broadleaf and Mixed Forest’ biome.

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Boreal species were repeatedly exposed to ice ages and went through cycles of contraction and expansion while sister species alternated periods of contact and isolation. The resulting genetic structure is consequently complex, and demographic inferences are intrinsically challenging. The range of Norway spruce (Picea abies) and Siberian spruce (Picea obovata) covers most of northern Eurasia; yet their geographical limits and histories remain poorly understood. To delineate the hybrid zone between the two species and reconstruct their joint demographic history, we analysed variation at nuclear SSR and mitochondrial DNA in 102 and 88 populations, respectively. The dynamics of the hybrid zone was analysed with approximate Bayesian computation (ABC) followed by posterior predictive structure plot reconstruction and the presence of barriers across the range tested with estimated effective migration surfaces. To estimate the divergence time between the two species, nuclear sequences from two well-separated populations of each species were analysed with ABC. Two main barriers divide the range of the two species: one corresponds to the hybrid zone between them, and the other separates the southern and northern domains of Norway spruce. The hybrid zone is centred on the Urals, but the genetic impact of Siberian spruce extends further west. The joint distribution of mitochondrial and nuclear variation indicates an introgression of mitochondrial DNA from Norway spruce into Siberian spruce. Overall, our data reveal a demographic history where the two species interacted frequently and where migrants originating from the Urals and the West Siberian Plain recolonized northern Russia and Scandinavia using scattered refugial populations of Norway spruce as stepping stones towards the west.

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Grazing is an important management action to conserve biodiversity in semi-natural grasslands but it is important to understand how grazing influences the life-history components and population dynamics of plant species. In this study, we analysed effects of grazing intensity and abandonment on population dynamics of the semi-natural grassland species Knautia arvensis which is an important nectar source for pollinating species and an indicator of biodiversity in agricultural landscapes. We recorded life-history stage, survival, establishment of seedlings and ramets, number of inflorescences and grazing marks on permanently marked individuals in eight populations in mid-Norway for three consecutive years. Matrix modelling was used to estimate population growth rates and elasticities, and life Table response experiments (LTREs) were used to assess the contribution of different life-history components to the observed variation in population growth rates between different management treatments. Generalized linear mixed effects models (GLMMs) were used to investigate the effect of management on vital rates and number of inflorescences as well as damage to K. arvensis individuals. Populations in abandoned grasslands had more inflorescences, a lower proportion of seedlings and a higher proportion of flowering ramets compared to populations in grasslands under high grazing intensity. There were no differences in population growth rates between different grazing intensities. Fecundity however, contributed more to the growth rate in grazed grasslands compared to abandoned grasslands where clonal regeneration contributed the most. Survival of non-flowering rosettes made the largest impact to overall growth rates. Our results indicate that a long life-span and clonal growth buffer the effect of environmental change in abandoned grasslands and that there is a trade-off between fertility and clonal regeneration in K. arvensis populations.

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According to the Norwegian Diversity Act, practitioners of restoration in Norway are instructed to use seed mixtures of local provenance. However, there are no guidelines for how local seed should be selected. In this study, we use genetic variation in a set of alpine species (Agrostis mertensii, Avenella flexuosa, Carex bigelowii, Festuca ovina, Poa alpina and Scorzoneroides autumnalis) to define seed transfer zones to reduce confusion about the definition of ‘local seeds’. The species selected for the study are common in all parts of Norway and suitable for commercial seed production. The sampling covered the entire alpine region (7–20 populations per species, 3–15 individuals per population). We characterised genetic diversity using amplified fragment length polymorphisms. We identified different spatial genetic diversity structures in the species, most likely related to differences in reproductive strategies, phylogeographic factors and geographic distribution. Based on results from all species, we suggest four general seed transfer zones for alpine Norway. This is likely more conservative than needed for all species, given that no species show more than two genetic groups. Even so, the approach is practical as four seed mixtures will serve the need for restoration of vegetation in alpine regions in Norway.

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Denmark is one of the EU countries with a highly recognised agricultural sector, a high level of animal health and one of the lowest medication usages. In this article we aim to provide an overview of both private and public animal health incentives nested in the cattle and pig production industry that influence the decisions and behaviours of farmers in prevention of livestock disease epidemics. Not only do individual Danish pig and cattle farmers aim at highly efficient animal production, they are also involved in collective marketing and contracting which can enhance social capital, peer pressure and instill a greater sense of ownership of disease control prevention. Public incentives including rules on how animals should be transported within Denmark, SPF certification requirements and rules on farm biosecurity further improve farmer incentives to prevent animal diseases. However, Danish pig and cattle farmers’ incentives could be further improved by specifying consequences for not following requirements such as failure to make a compulsory biosecurity plan. The relatively high compensation in case of a disease outbreak provides a safety net for farmers, encourages them to quickly report suspected notifiable diseases but it could also reduce incentives for disease prevention due to the relatively high amounts of compensation.

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The European plum cultivar 'Opal', widely grown in Scandinavia, frequently initiates too many flowers and set too many fruits. If excess fruitlets remain on the trees until harvest, the crop consists of small, unmarketable fruits of low fruit quality and return bloom will be reduced. The current study investigated effects of different crop loads established at blossom and fruitlet stages on yield, fruit quality and return bloom. For two seasons starting in 2008 on mature 'Opal'/'St. Julien A' trees, two crop loads 50 and 25% flowers reduced were established at full bloom and at 10-12 mm fruitlet size and compared with an un-thinned control treatment. Treatments were applied on single whole trees in a randomized complete block design with six replications. Spindle trees spaced at 3.0×5.0 m were selected for uniformity in growth habit, flowering intensity and trunk cross sectional area. Final fruit set varied from 63% on the control trees to 18% when thinned at bloom. Yield was negatively correlated with the fruit set response. Thinning at the fruitlet stage resulted in smaller fruits at the same crop level compared to flower thinning. Fruit quality parameters characterized by bright yellow skin background colour, red surface colour and the concentrations of soluble solids increased significantly as the crop load was reduced. Other fruit quality parameters like percentage acidity were not significantly different and did not show a clear response to the thinning. Return bloom was promoted most when trees were thinned at bloom the year before.

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Skogen har vært, er og vil være en viktig ressurs i Norge. Skogen leverer biomasse til produksjon av en mengde forskjellige varer: bioenergi i mange former, treprodukter til bygningsindustri, papir og papp, og avanserte produkter fra bioraffineringsprosesser. I fremtiden vil trolig trebaserte produkter dekke et enda bredere produktspekter. Tilgangen på biomasse er imidlertid begrenset, selv om bevisst forvaltning kan øke tilgangen utover dagens nivå. Skogen leverer også andre økosystemtjenester, som biodiversitet og friluftsliv, og kan ikke minst spille en rolle i det grønne skiftet. Men optimal forvaltning for klima og næring kan stå i motsetning til optimal forvaltning for andre økosystemtjenester.

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This review summarizes current knowledge from the literature and experimental studies on the role of cover crops (CCs) in reducing nitrogen (N) leaching and phosphorus (P) losses to waters under the marine and humid continental climate conditions of southern Scandinavia and Finland. Field leaching studies from 11 sites indicate that undersown ryegrass (Lolium spp.) CCs are robust, with average N uptake in aboveground CC biomass of 7 to 38 kg N ha−1 (6.2 to 34 lb N ac−1). Use of CCs sown at harvest (e.g., crucifers) is restricted to southern Scandinavia for climate reasons. The mean relative reduction in N leaching reported for all CCs investigated was 43%, but it ranged between 62% increase instead of a reduction after a red clover (Trifolium pratense) CC on a clay soil to a reduction of 85% to 89% with a perennial ryegrass CC on sandy soils in Denmark (36 to 51 kg ha−1 [32 to 46 lb ac−1]). The data indicate that CCs do not substantially reduce total P losses by runoff and leaching. The effects of CCs on total P leaching varied between a relative increase of 86% and a decrease of 43%. Climate conditions involving freezing-thawing during winter increased the risk of losses of dissolved P from CC biomass. CCs have been implemented to varying degrees into agri-environmental programs. They are mandatory in Denmark and subsidized in Norway, Sweden, and Finland. CCs are grown on 8% of arable land in Denmark, 5% in Sweden, 1% in Finland, and 0.5% in Norway, but CC area is now increasing dramatically in Finland due to a new subsidy program. In all countries there is a need, and potential, for increased use of CCs, but there are several constraints, particularly reduced interest among farmers. There is a clear need to identify CC systems and develop implementation strategies for appropriate distribution of CCs on different soils and regions with respect to required reductions in N leaching and P losses. For this, more knowledge is required, especially about the effect of CCs on P losses (e.g., the effect of species with different partitioning between shoot and root biomass and the effects of CC systems with harvesting of biomass). There is also a need to devise balanced solutions for maintaining and increasing the frequency of CCs in crop rotations to exploit the possible benefits of CCs in reducing nutrient losses.

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Key priorities in biochar research for future guidance of sustainable policy development have been identified by expert assessment within the COST Action TD1107. The current level of scientific understanding (LOSU) regarding the consequences of biochar application to soil were explored. Five broad thematic areas of biochar research were addressed: soil biodiversity and ecotoxicology, soil organic matter and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, soil physical properties, nutrient cycles and crop production, and soil remediation. The highest future research priorities regarding biochar’s effects in soils were: functional redundancy within soil microbial communities, bioavailability of biochar’s contaminants to soil biota, soil organic matter stability, GHG emissions, soil formation, soil hydrology, nutrient cycling due to microbial priming as well as altered rhizosphere ecology, and soil pH buffering capacity. Methodological and other constraints to achieve the required LOSU are discussed and options for efficient progress of biochar research and sustainable application to soil are presented.

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Biophysical restoration or rehabilitation measures of land have demonstrated to be effective in many scientific projects and small-scale environmental experiments. However circumstances such as poverty, weak policies, or inefficient scientific knowledge transmission can hinder the effective upscaling of land restoration and the long term maintenance of proven sustainable use of soil and water. This may be especially worrisome in lands with harsh environmental conditions. This review covers recent efforts in landscape restoration and rehabilitation with a functional perspective aiming to simultaneously achieve ecosystem sustainability, economic efficiency, and social wellbeing. Water management and rehabilitation of ecosystem services in croplands, rangelands, forests, and coastlands are reviewed. The joint analysis of such diverse ecosystems provides a wide perspective to determine: (i) multifaceted impacts on biophysical and socio-economic factors; and (ii) elements influencing effective upscaling of sustainable land management practices. One conclusion can be highlighted: voluntary adoption is based on different pillars, i.e. external material and economic support, and spread of success information at the local scale to demonstrate the multidimensional benefits of sustainable land management. For the successful upscaling of land management, more attention must be paid to the social system from the first involvement stage, up to the long term maintenance.

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Agricultural management practices are among the major drivers of agricultural nitrogen (N) loss. Legislation and management incentives for measures to mitigate N loss should eventually be carried out at the individual farm level. Consequently, an appropriate scale to simulate N loss from a scientific perspective should be at the farm scale. A data set of more than 4000 agricultural fields with combinations of climate, soils and agricultural management which overall describes the variations found in the Baltic Sea drainage basin was constructed. The soil–vegetation–atmosphere model Daisy (Hansen et al. 2012) was used to simulate N loss from the root zone of all agricultural fields in the data set. From the data set of Daisy simulations, we identified the most important drivers for N loss by multiple regression statistics and developed a statistical N loss model. By applying this model to a basin-wide data set on climate, soils and agricultural management at a 10 × 10 km scale, we were able to calculate root-zone N losses from the entire Baltic Sea drainage basin and identify N loss hot spots in a consistent way and at a level of detail not hitherto seen for this area. Further, the root-zone N loss model was coupled to estimates of nitrogen retention in catchments separated into retention in groundwater and retention in surface waters allowing calculation of the coastal N loading.

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Apple genetic resources in Norway are currently conserved within a number of local clonal archives. However, during establishment of these ex situ collections, primary focus was not on capturing as much of the diversity as possible, but instead on preserving cultivars of particular importance to specific fruit-growing areas. To identify redun- dancies within the collection as well as to assess the genetic diversity and structure of apple germplasm currently being conserved in Norway, eight microsatellites were used in genetic characterization of 181 apple accessions. Overall, 14 cases of synonym or possibly mislabeled accessions were identified, as well as several homonyms and duplicates within and among the analyzed collections. The information obtained should contribute to overall better management of the preserved germplasm. Bayesian analysis of genetic structure revealed two major clusters, one containing most of the foreign cultivars, while the other consisted mainly of traditional Scandinavian cultivars, but also some very winter-hardy genotypes such as ‘Charlamovsky’, ‘Gravenstein’, ‘Transparente Blanche’, and ‘Wealthy’. Analyses of molecular variance (AMOVA) detected a signifi- cant genetic differentiation among the clusters ( fCT = 0.077; P < 0.01). The results of the Bayesian analyses do not indicate a strong differentiation between the foreign and the Norwegian apple accessions, however, they do suggest that climate adaptation has had a significant influence on the genetic structure of the preserved germplasm. Overall, apple accessions currently maintained ex situ in Norway represent a diverse germplasm which could be very valuable in future breeding programs, especially for the Scandinavian climate.

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Knowledge of hydrological processes and water balance elements are important for climate adaptive water management as well as for introducing mitigation measures aiming to improve surface water quality. Mathematical models have the potential to estimate changes in hydrological processes under changing climatic or land use conditions. These models, indeed, need careful calibration and testing before being applied in decision making. The aim of this study was to compare the capability of five different hydrological models to predict the runoff and the soil water balance elements of a small catchment in Norway. The models were harmonised and calibrated against the same data set. In overall, a good agreement between the measured and simulated runoff was obtained for the different models when integrating the results over a week or longer periods. Model simulations indicate that forest appears to be very important for the water balance in the catchment, and that there is a lack of information on land use specific water balance elements. We concluded that joint application of hydrological models serves as a good background for ensemble modelling of water transport processes within a catchment and can highlight the uncertainty of models forecast.

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Prohexadione-Ca, an acylcylohexadione, is a plant growth retardant jointly developed by BASF, Germany and Kumiai Chemical Industry, Japan. In 2012, a trial on 11-year-old 'Aroma'/'M 9' apple trees growing on the experimental farm at NIBIO Ullensvang, western Norway was initiated. Trees were treated with prohexadione-Ca (trade name Regalis®, 10% prohexadione-Ca as active ingredient) 10 days after full bloom (June 6) at concentrations of 125 or 250 g ha-1; other trees were also sprayed 10 days after full bloom and again one month later (July 5) at the same concentrations and compared against an untreated control. Treatments were applied to individual whole trees in a randomized complete block design with four replications. Prohexadione-Ca treatments significantly reduced shoot growth of treated apple trees. Two treatments with 125 g or one treatment of 250 g reduced growth by ~80%. Prohexadione-Ca had little effect on yield and fruit quality. Shoot growth was also retarded in the year following application and this is attributed to a carry over effect of the prohexadione-Ca application(s).

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People provide wild ungulates with large quantities of supplementary feed to improve their health and survival and reduce forest damage. Whereas supplementary feeding can positively affect the winter survival of ungulates and short-term hunting success, some of the feeds provided may actually reduce ungulate health and increase forest damage. Here, we highlight how recent advances in ungulate nutritional ecology can help explain why supplementary feeding can lead to undesirable outcomes. Using Europe’s largest cervid, the moose (Alces alces), as a model species, and Sweden, as the socio-ecological context, we explain the concept of nutritional balancing and its relevance to supplementary feeding. Nutritional balancing refers to how animals alter their food intake to achieve a specific nutritional target balance in their diet, by selecting balanced food items or by combining items with nutritional compositions that are complimentary. As the most common supplementary feeds used contain higher concentrations of non-structural carbohydrates than the ungulates’ normal winter diet, the consumption of such feeds may cause animals to increase their intake of woody browse, and thereby exacerbate forest damage. We also explain how animal health may be negatively affected by large intakes of such feed if complementary browse items are not available. We therefore suggest that the use of inappropriate feed is an additional means by which supplementary feeding may result in negative outcomes for hunters, forest owners, and wild animals.

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Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) understory seedlings, growing in partially harvested plots with different canopy cover in a boreal spruce stand, were spot fertilized (Hydro 15-4-12) 9 years after planting. The principal aimwasto test the hypothesis that nitrogen (N)availability influences growthof understory seedlings at intermediate but not at lowlevels of irradiance. In addition, we tested the combined influences of N and light availability on selected morphological and phenological traits, covering a 2-year period after treatment. Diffuse radiation (DIFR) at the seedling level was estimated from hemispherical photographs and ranged from 19 to 46 per cent of DIFR in openconditions. Fertilizer applicationwasassociatedwithamarkedincreasein foliarNconcentration.Thefertilized seedlings grew better in height and root collar diameter compared with unfertilized controls. While the absolute growth in both diameterand height increased with increasing DIFR, seedlings also responded to improved nutrient availability across the rangeof light conditions studied. Fertilizer treatment did not affect thenumberof nodal buds, but we observed a higher apical dominance ratio and advanced bud burst in fertilized seedlings. In conclusion, nutrient availability influenced growth and bud phenology of understory Norway spruce seedlings at least down to 20 per cent DIFR.

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During post glacial colonization, loss of genetic diversity due to leading edge effects may be attenuated in forest trees because of their prolonged juvenile phase, allowing many migrants to reach the colonizing front before populations become reproductive. The northern range margins of temperate tree taxa in Europe are particularly suitable to study the genetic processes that follow colonization because they have been little affected by northern refugia. Here we examined how post glacial range dynamics have shaped the genetic structure of common ash (Fraxinus excelsior L.) in its northern range compared to its central range in Europe. We used four chloroplast and six nuclear microsatellites to screen 42 populations (1099 trees), half of which corresponded to newly sampled populations in the northern range and half of which represented reference populations from the central range obtained from previously studies. We found that northern range populations of common ash have the same chloroplast haplotypes as south-eastern European populations, suggesting that colonization of the northern range took place along a single migration route, a result confirmed by the structure at the nuclear microsatellites. Along this route, diversity strongly decreased only in the northern range, concomitantly with increasing population differentiation and complex population substructures, a pattern consistent with a leading edge colonization model. Our study highlights that while diversity is maintained in the central range of common ash due to broad colonizing fronts and high levels of gene flow, it profoundly decreases in the northern range, where colonization was unidirectional and probably involved repeated founder events and population fluctuations. Currently, common ash is threatened by ash dieback, and our results on northern populations will be valuable for developing gene conservation strategies.

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Spatially explicit knowledge of recent and past soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks in forests will improve our understanding of the effect of human- and non-human-induced changes on forest C fluxes. For SOC accounting, a minimum detectable difference must be defined in order to adequately determine temporal changes and spatial differences in SOC. This requires sufficiently detailed data to predict SOC stocks at appropriate scales within the required accuracy so that only significant changes are accounted for. When designing sampling campaigns, taking into account factors influencing SOC spatial and temporal distribution (such as soil type, topography, climate and vegetation) are needed to optimise sampling depths and numbers of samples, thereby ensuring that samples accurately reflect the distribution of SOC at a site. Furthermore, the appropriate scales related to the research question need to be defined: profile, plot, forests, catchment, national or wider. Scaling up SOC stocks from point sample to landscape unit is challenging, and thus requires reliable baseline data. Knowledge of the associated uncertainties related to SOC measures at each particular scale and how to reduce them is crucial for assessing SOC stocks with the highest possible accuracy at each scale. This review identifies where potential sources of errors and uncertainties related to forest SOC stock estimation occur at five different scales—sample, profile, plot, landscape/regional and European. Recommendations are also provided on how to reduce forest SOC uncertainties and increase efficiency of SOC assessment at each scale.

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Understanding the hydration of the collagen historic parchments is of great importance to the conservation and restoration processes. In this study, modern and historic (dated 1817 and 1769) parchments were investigated using dynamic water vapour adsorption/desorption (sorption) experiments. The relationship between the equilibrium moisture content against the relative humidity at constant temperature for two consecutive sorption cycles, the hysteresis and kinetic properties were analysed for different parchments from a historic archive. It was found that historical parchment samples exhibited higher equilibrium moisture content levels throughout most of the hygroscopic range and the hysteresis was greater than that of the contemporary sample. The samples were all found to obey parallel exponential kinetics for both adsorption and desorption. By applying the parallel exponential kinetic model, it was observed that the difference in the hysteresis is apparently mostly due to changes in the collagen matrix relaxation processes.

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Two species of blue-stain fungi with similar morphologies, Ophiostoma brunneo-ciliatum and Ophiostoma clavatum, are associates of bark beetles infesting Pinus spp. in Europe. This has raised questions whether they represent distinct taxa. Absence of herbarium specimens and contaminated or mistakenly identified cultures of O. brunneo-ciliatum and O. clavatum have accentuated the uncertainty regarding their correct identification. The aim of this study was to reconsider the identity of European isolates reported as O. brunneo-ciliatum and O. clavatum by applying DNA-based identification methods, and to provide appropriate type specimens for them. Phylogenetic analyses of the ITS, βT, TEF-1α and CAL gene sequences revealed that the investigated isolates represent a complex of seven cryptic species. The study confirmed that ITS data is insufficient to delineate species in some Ophiostoma species clusters. Lectotypes and epitypes were designated for O. clavatum and O. brunneo-ciliatum, and three new species, Ophiostoma brunneolum, Ophiostoma macroclavatum and Ophiostoma pseudocatenulatum, are described in the newly defined O. clavatum-complex. The other two species included in the complex are Ophiostoma ainoae and Ophiostoma tapionis. The results suggest co-evolution of these fungi in association with specific bark beetles. The results also confirm the identity of the fungus associated with the pine bark beetle Ips acuminatus as O. clavatum, while O. brunneo-ciliatum appears to be mainly associated with another pine bark beetle, Ips sexdentatus.

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In Europe, common ash (Fraxinus excelsior) is being decimated because of the invasive fungus Hymenoscyphus fraxineus. In its native range in Asia this ascomycete is considered a harmless leaf associate of F. mandshurica and F. chinensis subsp. rhynchophylla. Field observations from Europe suggest that there is speciesspecific variation in disease susceptibility among European and North American Fraxinus species, but a wider comparison at the genus level has been missing so far. We assessed disease symptoms and pathogen apothecium development in 17 Fraxinus species from Asia, Europe and North America exposed to high infection pressure in a Danish arboretum. We also tested their susceptibility to pathogen infection through controlled stem and leaf inoculations and subsequently assessed the level of pathogen DNA by a qPCR assay. The results suggested the presence of a phylogenetic signal in disease susceptibility where closely related Asian, European and North American species in section Fraxinus had relatively high levels of H. fraxineus DNA in the leaves and supported high production of apothecia. Leaves from some North American species also contained relatively high levels of H. fraxineus DNA, supported moderate production of apothecia and developed lesions—stating the need to avoid introduction of H. fraxineus to North America.

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Time preferences have been recognized by numerous studies as an important driver of a number of healthy and environmentally-friendly behaviors. In this study, we first examined if healthy and environmentally-friendly food labels (e.g., USDA organic, carbon trust, health claim, and calories) are relevant in driving food choices. Second, using the Consideration of Future Consequences (CFC) scale we analyzed if individuals with different time preferences have different choice behavior and valuations in relation to these labels. Results indicate that consumers value both healthy and environmentally-friendly attributes displayed on labels. Results also suggest that time preferences can significantly influence consumers’ valuation for the USDA organic label, the presence of health claims and the calorie amount attribute.

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Invasive nitrogen-fixing plants drive vegetation dynamics and may cause irreversible changes in nutrient-limited ecosystems through increased soil resources. We studied how soil conditioning by the invasive alien Lupinus nootkatensis affected the seedling growth of co-occurring native plant species in coastal dunes, and whether responses to lupin-conditioned soil could be explained by fertilisation effects interacting with specific ecological strategies of the native dune species. Seedling performance of dune species was compared in a greenhouse experiment using field-collected soil from within or outside coastal lupin stands. In associated experiments, we quantified the response to nutrient supply of each species and tested how addition of specific nutrients affected growth of the native grass Festuca arundinacea in control and lupin-conditioned soil. We found that lupin-conditioned soil increased seedling biomass in 30 out of 32 native species; the conditioned soil also had a positive effect on seedling biomass of the invasive lupin itself. Increased phosphorus mobilisation by lupins was the major factor driving these positive seedling responses, based both on growth responses to addition of specific elements and analyses of plant available soil nutrients. There were large differences in growth responses to lupin-conditioned soil among species, but they were unrelated to selected autecological indicators or plant strategies. We conclude that Lupinus nootkatensis removes the phosphorus limitation for growth of native plants in coastal dunes, and that it increases cycling of other nutrients, promoting the growth of its own seedlings and a wide range of dune species. Finally, our study indicates that there are no negative soil legacies that prevent re-establishment of native plant species after removal of lupins.

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Legislation in Sweden and Norway requires that Dairy cattle have outdoor acess in summertime. Pasture utilization can be challenging with high-yielding cattle abd karge herd-sizes. Tehrefore, many farmers choose to offer their cows Access to an exercise- and recreation area only, rather than a full Production pasture. However, is an exercise paddoc as attractive as Production pasture for the cow? We compared part-time production and exercise grazing in an automated milking system, with outdoor acess in the morning (4.5 h) and the evening (4 h). The Production pasture group (P)was offered fresh Production pasture daily and given a Limited silage ration night-time. The exercise pasture group (E) was given Access to a small exercise paddoc and were fed silage ad libitum 24 hours. Milk yield dit not differ significantly: 36.1 kg for P and 36.0 kg for E. However, behaviour differed, with 5.5 (P) and 2.6 h(E) spent outdoors, and 3.7 h (P) and 0.6 h (E) grazing time. In conclusion, while milk-yields were similar between the Groups, lower ammounts of supplementary feed were needed for cows on treatment P, who also spent longer hours putdoors and grazing.

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Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in surface waters is connected to DOC in soil solution through hydrological pathways. Therefore, it is expected that long-term dynamics of DOC in surface waters reflect DOC trends in soil solution. However, a multitude of site studies have failed so far to establish consistent trends in soil solution DOC, whereas increasing concentrations in European surface waters over the past decades appear to be the norm, possibly as a result of recovery from acidification. The objectives of this study were therefore to understand the long-term trends of soil solution DOC from a large number of European forests (ICP Forests Level II plots) and determine their main physico-chemical and biological controls. We applied trend analysis at two levels: (1) to the entire European dataset and (2) to the individual time series and related trends with plot characteristics, i.e., soil and vegetation properties, soil solution chemistry and atmospheric deposition loads. Analyses of the entire dataset showed an overall increasing trend in DOC concentrations in the organic layers, but, at individual plots and depths, there was no clear overall trend in soil solution DOC. The rate change in soil solution DOC ranged between −16.8 and +23 % yr−1 (median  = +0.4 % yr−1) across Europe. The non-significant trends (40 %) outnumbered the increasing (35 %) and decreasing trends (25 %) across the 97 ICP Forests Level II sites. By means of multivariate statistics, we found increasing trends in DOC concentrations with increasing mean nitrate (NO3−) deposition and increasing trends in DOC concentrations with decreasing mean sulfate (SO42−) deposition, with the magnitude of these relationships depending on plot deposition history. While the attribution of increasing trends in DOC to the reduction of SO42− deposition could be confirmed in low to medium N deposition areas, in agreement with observations in surface waters, this was not the case in high N deposition areas. In conclusion, long-term trends of soil solution DOC reflected the interactions between controls acting at local (soil and vegetation properties) and regional (atmospheric deposition of SO42− and inorganic N) scales.

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Four field trials (spring wheat and oats) were conducted (one on clay soil, one on loam soil and two on silt soil) for three years in important cereal growing districts, to investigate the influence of tillage regimes (ploughing versus reduced tillage in either autumn or spring) and straw management (removed and retained) on plant residue amounts, weed populations, soil structural parameters and cereal yields. The effect of tillage on soil structure varied, mainly due to the short trial period. In general, the amount of small soil aggregates increased with tillage intensity. Reduced soil tillage, and in some cases spring ploughing, gave significantly higher aggregate stability than autumn ploughing, thus providing protection against erosion. However, decreasing tillage intensity increased the amounts of weeds, particularly of Poa annua on silt soil. Straw treatment only slightly affected yields, while effects of tillage varied between both year and location. Reduced tillage, compared to ploughing, gave only small yield differences on loam soil, while it was superior on clay soil and inferior on silt soil. Our results suggest that shallow spring ploughing is a good alternative to autumn ploughing, since it gave comparable yields, better protection against erosion and was nearly as effective against weeds.

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Despite the critical importance of fungi as symbionts with plants, resources for animals, and drivers of ecosystem function, the spatiotemporal distributions of fungi remain poorly understood. The belowground life cycle of fungi makes it difficult to assess spatial patterns and dynamic processes even with recent molecular techniques. Here we offer an explicit spatiotemporal Bayesian inference of the drivers behind spatial distributions from investigation of a Swiss inventory of fungal fruit bodies. The unique inventory includes three temperate forest sites in which a total of 73 952 fungal fruit bodies were recorded systematically in a spatially explicit design between 1992 and 2006. Our motivation is to understand how broad-scale climate factors may influence spatiotemporal dynamics of fungal fruiting within forests, and if any such effects vary between two functional groups, ectomycorrhizal (ECM) and saprotrophic fungi. For both groups we asked: 1) how consistent are the locations of fruiting patches, the sizes of patches, the quantities of fruit bodies, and of prevalence (occupancy)? 2) Do the annual spatial characteristics of fungal fruiting change systematically over time? 3) Are spatial characteristics of fungal fruiting driven by climatic variation? We found high inter-annual continuity in fruiting for both functional groups. The saprotrophic species were characterised by small patches with variable fruit body counts. In contrast, ECM species were present in larger, but more distinctly delimited patches. The spatial characteristics of the fungal community were only indirectly influenced by climate. However, climate variability influenced overall yields and prevalence, which again links to spatial structure of fruit bodies. Both yield and prevalence were correlated with the amplitudes of occurrence and of fruit body counts, but only prevalence influenced the spatial range. Summarizing, climatic variability affects forest-stand fungal distributions via its influence on yield (amount) and prevalence (occupancy), whereas fungal life-history strategies dictate fine-scale spatial characteristics.

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High biodiversity is regarded as a barrier against biological invasions. We hypothesized that the invasion success of the pathogenic ascomycete Hymenoscyphus fraxineus threatening common ash in Europe relates to differences in dispersal and colonization success between the invader and the diverse native competitors. Ash leaf mycobiome was monitored by high-throughput sequencing of the fungal internal transcribed spacer region (ITS) and quantitative PCR profiling of H. fraxineus DNA. Initiation of ascospore production by H. fraxineus after overwintering was followed by pathogen accumulation in asymptomatic leaves. The induction of necrotic leaf lesions coincided with escalation of H. fraxineus DNA levels and changes in proportion of biotrophs, followed by an increase of ubiquitous endophytes with pathogenic potential. H. fraxineus uses high propagule pressure to establish in leaves as quiescent thalli that switch to pathogenic mode once these thalli reach a certain threshold – the massive feedback from the saprophytic phase enables this fungus to challenge host defenses and the resident competitors in mid-season when their density in host tissues is still low. Despite the general correspondence between the ITS-1 and ITS-2 datasets, marker biases were observed, which suggests that multiple barcodes provide better overall representation of mycobiomes.

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The current germplasm of forage crops like perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.), timothy (Phleum pratense L.) and red clover (Trifolium pratense L.) are not adequately adapted to future climatic conditions at higher latitudes. The climate is predicted to be more unstable during winter, and winter survival needs to be improved. In this study, the aim was to detect the effects of selection/local adaptation by estimating genome-wide shifts in allelic composition of single nucleotide polymorphism markers in samples from swards of perennial ryegrass, timothy and red clover grown and managed at diverse locations in Norway. In addition separate mixtures of cultivars and breeding populations of perennial ryegrass, timothy and red clover was sown at five geographically distinct locations throughout Norway. The fields were harvested for 3 years and leaf tissues sampled randomly from about 200 plants field-1 year-1. To detect allelic shifts, genotyping by sequencing was used to generate genome-wide allele frequency fingerprints (GWAFFs). These allele frequency fingerprints were used to monitor shifts in population structure in response to location and years. Preliminary analyses demonstrate that the GWAFFs clearly distinguished samples from years/fields with good survival from those with poor survival based on scoring of winter survival in spring in perennial ryegrass and red clover.

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We assessed milk production with 24 mid-lactation Norwegian Red dairy cows on a spring pasture dominated by timothy (Phleum pratense) for a period of 21 days using three pasture allocation techniques (n=8). Cows received weekly allowances at once (7 day-set-paddocking; 7SP), grazed 1/7 of 7SP allowance each day (daily-strip-grazing; 1SG), or grazed like 1SG but also had access to the previously grazed part of the paddock (daily-forward-grazing; 1FG). We hypothesized that 7SP would deteriorate sward quality and quantity over the grazing days whilst the other two treatments would provide balanced pasture quality and intake. These changes were expected to result in differences in milk yield and its components. However, changes in sward chemical composition (e.g. neutral netergent fiber, crude protein) over the grazing days in each week were not different among treatments (treatment × grazing day; P>0.05). Furthermore, no effect of treatments on milk yield and its components was observed. Nonetheless, the effects of grazing days over a week on milk yield and components were different among treatments (treatment × grazing day; P<0.05). These treatment by grazing day interaction effects, in the absence main effect of treatment, could be due to fluctuations in daily DMI among treatments over the grazing days in each week.

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The term “integrated valuation” is defined and its relevance is discussed in terms of bridging the gap between cost-effectiveness analysis and economic valuation in the implementation of the European Union Water Framework Directive. We demonstrate how to integrate benefit valuation with the ecosystem services cascade framework using an Object-Oriented Bayesian Network (OOBN). The OOBN is then used to assess the benefits of nutrient abatement measures across a cascade of submodels of the driver-pressure-state-impact-response (DPSIR) chain for the Vanemfjord lake in Morsa catchment in south-eastern Norway. The lake is part of a complex lake system in a semi-urbanized catchment dominated by forest and agriculture. The catchment has highly variable seasonal climatic conditions affecting nutrient run-off and algal blooms. It has been one of the most eutrophic lakes in Norway with periodic cyanobacteria blooms, but continues to attract a large recreational user population, despite the large variations in water quality. The “DPSIR-OOBN” model is used as a case study of “integrated valuation” and evaluated for its applicability for decision support in nutrient abatement. We find that the DPSIR-OOBN model meets seven of the nine criteria we propose for “integrated valuation”. The model struggles to meet the criteria that ecological, social and economic values should be defined consistently in relation to impacts on lake quality. While the DPSIR-OOBN integrates from valuation methods across an ecosystem cascade to management alternatives, it is neither a full benefit-cost analysis, nor a multi-criteria analysis. However, we demonstrate how the DPSIR-OOBN can be used to explore issues of consistency in scaling and weighting of different ecological, social and economic values in the catchment system. Bayesian belief networks offer a consistent approach to analysing how management implementation probability may determine economic valuation. We discuss the implication of our integrated valuation not being able to account for farmer responses, in particular the incentive effects of the model not being able to predict abatement effectiveness and value. The resolution of the nutrient monitoring data and modeling technologies that were at our disposal are probably better in the Morsa catchment than for any other catchment of this size in Norway. We therefore conclude that using our integrated valuation model for assessing benefits of eutrophication abatement measures as part of the EU Water Framework Directive still lies in the realm of utopia – euphemistically speaking a “eutropia”.

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Food production contributes considerably to global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Animal products – particularly meat from ruminants – generally have higher GHG emissions than plant products. Over the last few decades the global per capita consumption of animal products has increased. This has a negative impact on climate change, land and water availability, and human health. We are faced with the two-fold challenge of reducing GHG emissions while still producing enough food for our growing population. Part of the solution could be for consumers to change towards a more sustainable diet. In this paper we take Norway as a case study for estimating optimal taxes and subsidies on different food items which can change consumption patterns in order to reduce the GHG emissions derived from the average Norwegian diet. In the estimate we ensure that the average calorie intake with the new diet remains the same as with the current diet, and factor in other health considerations. Our findings suggest that limited but useful emission reduction targets can be set with only a few changes in diets. The methodology presented in this paper may be used to estimate optimal climate taxes and subsidies under different emission, quantities, taxes, subsidies, and health constraints.

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Demand for organic meat is partially driven by consumer perceptions that organic foods are more nutritious than non-organic foods. However, there have been no systematic reviews comparing specifically the nutrient content of organic and conventionally produced meat. In this study, we report results of a meta-analysis based on sixty-seven published studies comparing the composition of organic and non-organic meat products. For many nutritionally relevant compounds (e.g. minerals, antioxidants and most individual fatty acids (FA)), the evidence base was too weak for meaningful meta-analyses. However, significant differences in FA profiles were detected when data from all livestock species were pooled. Concentrations of SFA and MUFA were similar or slightly lower, respectively, in organic compared with conventional meat. Larger differences were detected for total PUFA and n-3 PUFA, which were an estimated 23 (95 % CI 11, 35) % and 47 (95 % CI 10, 84) % higher in organic meat, respectively. However, for these and many other composition parameters, for which meta-analyses found significant differences, heterogeneity was high, and this could be explained by differences between animal species/meat types. Evidence from controlled experimental studies indicates that the high grazing/forage-based diets prescribed under organic farming standards may be the main reason for differences in FA profiles. Further studies are required to enable meta-analyses for a wider range of parameters (e.g. antioxidant, vitamin and mineral concentrations) and to improve both precision and consistency of results for FA profiles for all species. Potential impacts of composition differences on human health are discussed.

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Demand for organic milk is partially driven by consumer perceptions that it is more nutritious. However, there is still considerable uncertainty over whether the use of organic production standards affects milk quality. Here we report results of meta-analyses based on 170 published studies comparing the nutrient content of organic and conventional bovine milk. There were no significant differences in total SFA and MUFA concentrations between organic and conventional milk. However, concentrations of total PUFA and n-3 PUFA were significantly higher in organic milk, by an estimated 7 (95 % CI −1, 15) % and 56 (95 % CI 38, 74) %, respectively. Concentrations of α-linolenic acid (ALA), very long-chain n-3 fatty acids (EPA+DPA+DHA) and conjugated linoleic acid were also significantly higher in organic milk, by an 69 (95 % CI 53, 84) %, 57 (95 % CI 27, 87) % and 41 (95 % CI 14, 68) %, respectively. As there were no significant differences in total n-6 PUFA and linoleic acid (LA) concentrations, the n-6:n-3 and LA:ALA ratios were lower in organic milk, by an estimated 71 (95 % CI −122, −20) % and 93 (95 % CI −116, −70) %. It is concluded that organic bovine milk has a more desirable fatty acid composition than conventional milk. Meta-analyses also showed that organic milk has significantly higher α-tocopherol and Fe, but lower I and Se concentrations. Redundancy analysis of data from a large cross-European milk quality survey indicates that the higher grazing/conserved forage intakes in organic systems were the main reason for milk composition differences.

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Black locust, poplar and spruce samples were steamed at 80°C and 120°C for 48 hours. IR difference spectra and the CIE Lab colour coordinates were measured for determining the chemical changes caused by the steaming. Steaming at 80°C caused only small changes in both IR spectra and colour. But steaming at 120°C produced intensive colour change and well-visible changes in IR spectra. The guaiacyl lignin in hardwoods underwent slight degradation but in spruce suffered substantial degradation during steaming at 120°C. The syringyl lignin absorbing around 1600 cm−1 did not show any changes, indicating that it is more stable to steaming than guaiacyl lignin. The absorption decrease at 1175 cm−1 indicated the cleavage of ether linkage in cellulose and hemicelluloses at both steaming temperatures.

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Tick-borne diseases, such as anaplasmosis and babesiosis, are of major concern for Norwegian sheep farmers. Ticks can be controlled on and off the host, usually with the long-term, high-rotation use of chemicals. Fungal pathogens, predatory mites and ants are thought to be important tick killers in nature. However, the prevalence and diversity of predatory mites in tick habitats has barely been evaluated. It is known that most soil mite species of the cohort Gamasina (order Mesostigmata) are predators. Until now, 220 mesostigmatid species have been reported from Norway, most of them belonging to the Gamasina. One of the first recommended steps in a biological control program involves the determination of the fauna in the pest habitat. The objective of this study was to determine the groups of gamasines co-occurring with I. ricinus in sheep grazing areas in Isfjorden and Tingvoll in Western Norway. A total of 2,900 gamasines of 12 families was collected. The most numerous families were Parasitidae (46.9%) and Veigaiidae (25.7%), whereas the most diverse families were Laelapidae, Macrochelidae, Parasitidae and Zerconidae. Our results showed that the tick density was significantly related only to locality, elevation and rainfall. Differences in the prevailing environmental conditions resulted in more outstanding differences between Gamasina abundances than diversities. Based on our present knowledge of the potential of different gamasine groups as biological control agents, the results suggested that laelapid mites should be among the priority groups to be further evaluated for their role in the natural control of I. ricinus in Norway.

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Herbivory by insects and mites on physic nut (Jatropha curcas L.) seedlings was investigated and compared with irrigation in the semi-arid Sahelian Niger, utilizing a randomized complete block design experiment. Three water treatment protocols were applied and the types of damage were recorded. Less than 5% of the seedlings died during the 10-month trial period with sap suckers causing the most damage on the surviving plants. Plants with high production of biomass and leaf cover (foliage) were most strongly positively correlated with irrigation and were also the plants that endured the highest degree of herbivory. The low dieback may indicate that defence mechanisms counteract seedling herbivory and that drought-stressed plants invest more in their defence mechanism system than vital plants.

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Two new species of Schistidium are described from Asian Russia. Their distinctness is supported by nrDNA ITS1-2 sequence data. S. austrosibiricum was not previously differentiated from S. sinensi- apocarpum, mainly due to their similarly long and sharply serrate hair-points in stem and perichaetial leaves and papillose dorsal side of costa. However, they differ in leaf size and shape, hair-points flatness and leaf lamina areolation. S. austrosibiricum is known from southernmost mountain areas of Asian Russia, while S. sinensiapocarpum is a widespread circumholarctic montane species. The sec- ond species, S. scabripilum is morphologically similar to S. echinatum, and some specimens were previously referred to it. The main differences between them concern hair-point length and structure, including length of protruding spinulae and their angle with the hair-point axis. However, they belong to different clades in the molecular phylogenetic tree and possess different distribution patterns. S. scabripilum is a northern Asian species, found in the Putorana Plateau, southern Taimyr, Yakutia and Chukotka, while S. echinatum is known from the Alps, Caucasus and Ural mountains, and in western North America. Description, illustrations, distribution and ecological data are provided for the new species, and comparison with similar species is given.

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The production of accurate and reliable data on copper ecotoxicology of marine algae depends on the use of trace metal clean techniques during experimentation. We reviewed the methodologies used in the literature on copper ecotoxicology of marine macro- and microalgae, specifically the use of trace metal clean procedures such as the labware used (glassware vs. plasticware), methods of cleaning the labware (acid soaking and ultrapure water rinsing), stock solution preparation (copper source and acidification), and measurement and reporting of dissolved copper concentrations. In terms of taxonomic classification, the most studied algal groups were the Phyla Ochrophyta, Bacillariophyta, Rhodophyta, and Chlorophyta. In terms of methodology, ∼50% of the articles did not specify the labware, ∼25% used glassware, and ∼25% plasticware; ∼30% of the studies specified cleaning protocols for labware to remove trace metal impurities; the copper form used to prepare the stock solutions was specified in ∼80% of studies but acidification to stabilise the dissolved copper was performed in only ∼20%; and the dissolved copper concentration was measured in only ∼40% of studies. We discuss the importance of following trace metal clean techniques for the comparison and interpretation of data obtained on copper ecotoxicology in algae.

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1.To evaluate progress on political biodiversity objectives, biodiversity monitoring provides information on whether intended results are being achieved. Despite scientific proof that monitoring and evaluation increase the (cost) efficiency of policy measures, cost estimates for monitoring schemes are seldom available, hampering their inclusion in policy programme budgets. 2.Empirical data collected from 12 case studies across Europe were used in a power analysis to estimate the number of farms that would need to be sampled per major farm type to detect changes in species richness over time for four taxa (vascular plants, earthworms, spiders and bees). A sampling design was developed to allocate spatially, across Europe, the farms that should be sampled. 3.Cost estimates are provided for nine monitoring scenarios with differing robustness for detecting temporal changes in species numbers. These cost estimates are compared with the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) budget (2014–2020) to determine the budget allocation required for the proposed farmland biodiversity monitoring. 4.Results show that the bee indicator requires the highest number of farms to be sampled and the vascular plant indicator the lowest. The costs for the nine farmland biodiversity monitoring scenarios corresponded to 0·01%–0·74% of the total CAP budget and to 0·04%–2·48% of the CAP budget specifically allocated to environmental targets. 5.Synthesis and applications. The results of the cost scenarios demonstrate that, based on the taxa and methods used in this study, a Europe-wide farmland biodiversity monitoring scheme would require a modest share of the Common Agricultural Policy budget. The monitoring scenarios are flexible and can be adapted or complemented with alternate data collection options (e.g. at national scale or voluntary efforts), data mobilization, data integration or modelling efforts.

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Copper in low natural concentrations is essential for cell metabolism but in excess it becomes extremely toxic to aquatic life, including to the early life stages of marine macroalgae. This work determined the effects of copper exposure on meiospore development of two kelp species, the native Macrocystis pyrifera and invasive Undaria pinnatifida. After settlement, meiospores were exposed to nominal copper concentrations of control (no added copper), 100, 200, 300 and 400 μg L−1 Cu for 9 days. Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry of total dissolved copper (CuT) concentrations in the blanks showed that nominal copper concentrations were reduced to 54, 91, 131 and 171 μg L−1 CuT, respectively, indicating that > 50% of the dissolved copper was adsorbed onto the culture vessel walls. In the media with meiospores, the dissolved copper concentrations decreased to 39, 86, 97 and 148 μg L−1 CuT in M. pyrifera and to 39, 65, 97 and 146 μg L−1 CuT in U. pinnatifida, indicating that 6–15% of the dissolved copper was adsorbed by the cells. For both species, meiospores germinated in all copper treatments, with germination decreasing with increasing copper concentration. However, gametophyte growth and sexual differentiation were arrested under all copper treatments. The effective copper concentration causing 50% of arrested germination (Cu-EC50) was 157 and 231 μg L−1 CuT for M. pyrifera and U. pinnatifida, respectively. The higher Cu-EC50 for U. pinnatifida suggests ecological success for the invasive species in copper-polluted environments; however, the subsequent inhibition of gametogenesis under all copper treatments indicated no difference in copper tolerance between both kelp early life stages. We compare our results with the literature available on the effects of copper on the development of early life stages of brown seaweed (Laminariales and Fucales) and discuss the importance of reporting actual experimental dissolved copper concentrations and the necessity of standardizing the response variables measured in macroalgal copper ecotoxicology.

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The aim of cell wall modification is to keep wood moisture content (MC) below favorable conditions for decay organisms. However, thermally modified, furfurylated, and acetylated woods partly show higher MCs than untreated wood in outdoor exposure. The open question is to which extent decay is influenced by the presence of liquid water in cell lumens. The present paper contributes to this topic and reports on physiological threshold values for wood decay fungi with respect to modified wood. In total, 4200 specimens made from acetylated, furfurylated, and thermally modified beech wood (Fagus sylvatica L.) and Scots pine sapwood (sW) (Pinus sylvestris L.) were exposed to Coniophora puteana and Trametes versicolor. Piles consisting of 50 small specimens were incubated above malt agar in Erlenmeyer flasks for 16 weeks. In general, pile upward mass loss (ML) and MC decreased. Threshold values for fungal growth and decay (ML ≥ 2%) were determined. In summary, the minimum MC for fungal decay was slightly below fiber saturation point of the majority of the untreated and differently modified materials. Surprisingly, T. versicolor was able to degrade untreated beech wood at a minimum of 15% MC, and growth was possible at 13% MC. By contrast, untreated pine sW was not decayed by C. puteana at less than 29% MC.

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We demonstrate the efficacy of using close-range photogrammetry from a consumer grade camera as a tool in generating high-resolution, three-dimensional coloured point clouds for detailed analysis or monitoring of wheel ruts. Ground-based timber harvesting results in vehicle traffic on 12–70 per cent of the site, depending on the system used, with a variable probability of causing detrimental soil disturbance depending on climatic, hydrological and soil conditions at the time of harvest. Applying the technique described in this article can reduce the workload associated with the conventional manual measurement of wheel ruts, while providing a greatly enhanced source of information that can be used in analysing both physical and biological impact, or stored in a repository for later operation management or monitoring. Approaches for deriving and quantifying properties such as rut depths and soil displacement volumes are also presented. In evaluating the potential for widespread adoption of the method among forest or environmental managers, the study also presents the workflow and provides a comparison of the ease of use and quality of the results obtained from one commercial and two open source image processing software packages. Results from a case study showed no significant difference between packages on point cloud quality in terms of model distortion. Comparison of photogrammetric profiles against profiles measured manually resulted in root mean square errors of between 2.07 and 3.84 cm for five selected road profiles. Maximal wheel rut depth for three different models were 1.15, 0.99 and 1.01 m, and estimated rut volumes were 9.84, 9.10 and 9.09 m3, respectively, for 22.5 m long sections.

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A meta-analysis based on experiments in organically cultivated grasslands in Norway was conducted to quantify the effects of management factors on herbage yield and feed quality. A dataset was collected that included 496 treatment means from experiments in five studies carried out at eight locations with the latitude range of 58.8 to 69.6 N between 1993 and 2010. We tested the effect of harvesting system (two vs. Three cuts annually), plant developmental stage at the first cut, growth period (temperature sum) and the herbage clover proportion. Plant maturity at the first cut and herbage clover proportion explained to a large extent herbage yield and quality of the first cut and annual yield. The timing of the first cut influenced also the yield and herbage quality of the second cut. The analysis confirmed the importance of legumes performance for herbage yield and quality from grasslands in organic production. Estimated annual herbage DM yield harvested at standardized plant development stage and at average clover proportion was 9%higher in the two—compared to the three-cut system. The crude protein concentration and in vitro dry matter digestibility was 17 and 3 % higher and the NDF concentration 7 % lower in the annual herbage from the three-cut than from the twocut system, respectively. The empirical equations developed in this study may be applied to explore different options for grassland management as basis for ration and production planning and in scenario analysis of economic performance of individual and model farms. The equations do also reveal in numeric terms the tradeoffs in management practice between high yields, yield digestibility, NDF and crude protein content in organic forage production relying on red clover N2 fixation as the engine in the system.

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Individual tree mortality models based on logistic regression exist for different tree species and countries around the world. We examine two mortality models developed in Norway and two models from Austria for Norway spruce (Picea abies), Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) and birch (Betula pubescens and Betula pendula) trees. We apply all models with their original coefficients on the Norwegian National Forest Inventory (NNFI) data. The dataset comprises 36,217 spruce, 17,483 pine and 24,418 birch trees. We show the differences in predictions that arise from newly paramete-rized predictor variables and the effect of the original calibration data from different geographic regions. Next we recalibrate the mortality functions with the NNFI data to show the improvements in the predictions and illustrate the impact of the different predictor variables. We apply statistical methods to assess which of the original and recalibrated models best mimic the observed mortality rates of the three species. Finally we provide the new coefficient set for the model functions for spruce, pine and birch in Norway.

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There is increasing interest in keeping horses in groups, but progress is hampered by a lack of knowledge about which horses can and should be kept together. Therefore, our objective was to investigate the effect of group composition on the occurrence of injuries among horses, the ease of removing horses from groups and horses’ reactivity to a fearful stimulus. Using a matched case control design, 61 groups of horses were studied in Denmark, Norway, Finland and Sweden. They were allocated into groups of similar or different age and sex or where membership changed regularly or remained stable. Injuries were recorded before mixing the horses into treatment groups, the day after mixing and four weeks later. Reactivity of horses to a moving novel object and the behaviour of a horse being removed from its group and the reactions of other group members towards this horse and the handler were evaluated. It was hypothesized that a more socially variable group composition has beneficial effects on behaviour, ease of handling and reducing reactivity whereas frequent changes in group composition has negative consequences, resulting in more injuries. We found that differences in treatment effects were mainly related to breed, rather than group composition. Icelandic horses reacted less to the movement of the novel object (P = 0.007) and approached it more afterwards (P = 0.04). They also had fewer new injuries than warmbloods following mixing (P < 0.001) and fewer than all other groups four weeks later (P < 0.01). Most new injuries after mixing were minor and recorded on the horse’s head, chest, hind legs and rump. In conclusion, variations in sex and age composition of the group had little effect on injury level, reactivity and ease of handling compared to the general effect of breed. Concerns about the risk of severe injuries associated with keeping horses in groups are probably overestimated. Thus, we propose that horses can be successfully kept in groups of different sex and age composition.

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Satisfactory seed yield of red clover (Trifolium pratense L.) cultivars is crucial for the availability of seeds on the market. Many breeders and researchers have used seed yield components to measure, compare, and explain differences in seed yield between diploid and tetraploid red clover cultivars and populations; however, the relative importance of each component varies between studies. In 2011 and 2012, single-plant trials with several tetraploid and one diploid red clover cultivar were established at the Norwegian plant breeding station at Bjørke. The goal was to study the impact of different seed-yield components on the seed yield of tetraploid plants. Seed weight per flower head was the seed-yield component that correlated best with the seed yield plant−1 (r = 0.91 and r = 0.68 in 2011 and 2012, respectively). Path coefficient analysis has also shown that the seed weight per flower head had the highest direct impact on seed yield plant−1 (direct path coefficients were 0.867 and 0.783 in 2011 and 2012, respectively). In comparison, the direct path coefficients for calculated number of flower heads, which was previously highlighted as the most important seed-yield component, were lower and more variable (0.739 and 0.392 in 2011 and 2012, respectively). Since previously seed yield per flower head was also identified as the most important seed-yield component in dense plant canopy, this component might have the potential to select for improved seed yield of new cultivars based on single plants. However, further studies are required to confirm this conclusion.

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Methods: In 2009, we resurveyed three plant sociological studies up to 85 years after the first surveys. Vegetation data were recorded from 1m2 non-permanently marked plots, and soil pH was measured. We applied restricted permutation tests to evaluate whether observed changes in vegetation (species richness, occurrence frequency, coverage) and in soil pH were significant and independent of plant community type. We compared species co-occurrences over time to study changes in species composition and to identify the species most likely causing these changes. Results: Total number of species and average number of species per plot has not changed and are 75 and 9, respectively. Occurrence frequency changed significantly for 34% of the 64 species tested (11 species increased, 11 decreased). Species cover decreased significantly for 27% of the species and increased for one species. Observed changes in frequency and cover are not significantly related with species’ functional groups or species affiliated with moist or dry habitats. Polygonum viviparum, Saxifraga cernua and Alopecurus borealis have changed most in co-occurring with other species. Soil pH increased significantly from 6.4 to 6.8. Conclusions: Our results suggest that the strong climatic warming in the High Arctic over the past decades has contributed to significant changes in the vegetation studied on Svalbard over the past 85 years. Internal community re-structuring and the overall stability in species richness may be explained by time-delayed responses of well-established communities, and/or by a limited size of the species pool in the area.

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Empirical studies have often shown wide differences in productivity among firms. Although several studies have sought to identify factors causing such differences, only a few studies have examined the effects of risk and risk aversion on productivity. In this study, using Norwegian dairy farming data for 2009, we examined the effects of different aspects of risk on productivity. We used a range of variables to construct indices of risk taking, risk perception and risk management. These indices were then included as arguments in an input distance function which represents the production technology. Our results show that these risk indices did affect productivity. Regional differences in productivity, though small, were also found to exist, suggesting that unobserved edaphic factors that differ between regions also affected productivity.

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Background: Resurveying historical vegetation plots has become more and more popular in recent years as it provides a unique opportunity to estimate vegetation and environmental changes over the past decades. Most historical plots, however, are not permanentlymarked and uncertainty in plot location, in addition to observer bias and seasonal bias, may add significant errors to temporal change. These errorsmay havemajor implications for the reliability of studies on long-term environmental change and deserve closer attention of vegetation ecologists. Methods: Vegetation data obtained from the resurveying of non-permanently marked plots are assessed for their potential to study environmental change effects on plant communities and the challenges the use of such data have to meet. We describe the properties of vegetation resurveys, distinguishing basic types of plots according to relocation error, and we highlight the potential of such data types for studying vegetation dynamics and their drivers. Finally, we summarize the challenges and limitations of resurveying non-permanently marked vegetation plots for different purposes in environmental change research. Results and conclusions: Re-sampling error is caused by three main independent sources of error: error caused by plot relocation, observer bias and seasonality bias. For relocation error, vegetation plots can be divided into permanent and non-permanent plots, while the latter are further divided into quasi-permanent (with approximate relocation) and non-traceable (with random relocation within a sampled area) plots. To reduce the inherent sources of error in resurvey data, the following precautions should be followed: (i) resurvey historical vegetation plots whose approximate plot location within a study area is known; (ii) consider all information available from historical studies in order to keep plot relocation errors low; (iii) resurvey at times of the year when vegetation development is comparable to the historical survey to control for seasonal variability in vegetation; (iv) retain a high level of experience of the observers to keep observer bias low; and (v) edit and standardize data sets before analyses.

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The paper is a mini review on the climatic effects on berry production and berry quality in the Arctic north. Plants in the north are facing short growing seasons with low temperatures and long days with a unique light quality. The winter time is cold but with fluctuating temperatures, especially along the coast. Fluctuating winter temperatures and unstable snow cover is a challenge for the perennials that need to be dormant during winter time. Dormancy is induced in the autumn by a combination of day length and temperature. The wild berries domestic to the Nordic countries are adapted to these growth conditions while many of the commercially important berry species originate from more southern areas. Pre-breeding studies on interactions between genotype and environment are essential in order to develop climatically adapted berry cultivars for northern growth conditions.

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Red fescue (RF, Festuca rubra L.) is used on golf putting greens in the Nordic region due to its high disease resistance and low requirements for nitrogen (N) and water, but low density and growth rate makes RF susceptible to annual bluegrass (AB, Poa annua L.) invasion. Putting greens seeded with RF + bentgrass (Agrostis sp.) may be more competitive with AB but also have different playing characteristics. Our objective was to compare RF, RF + colonial bentgrass (CB, Agrostis capillaris L.), and RF + velvet bentgrass (VB, Agrostis canina L.) putting greens at two mowing heights (4.0 or 5.5 mm), three N rates (5, 10, or 15 g N m−2 yr−1), and three phosphorus (P)–arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi treatments (0 and 1.8 g P m−2yr−1 without inoculation and 0 g P m−2yr−1 with inoculation). The four-factorial experiment was conducted in 2011 and 2012 at Landvik, Norway. Red fescue provided lower visual quality and density and less competition against AB than RF + bentgrass combinations. Increasing the N rate from 5 to 15 g N m−2yr−1 increased the proportion of bentgrass tillers from 53 to 64% in RF + CB and from 86 to 92% in RF + VB. Surface hardness increased in the order RF + VB < RF + CB < RF turfs. Ballroll distance decreased with increasing N rate and was longer with RF and RF + VB than with RF + CB. The main effects of N and mowing height on AB invasion were not significant, but lower mowing increased AB competition in RF. Mycorrhiza colonization of roots was not significantly affected by any practice, and neither P nor arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi influenced the competition against AB.

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Microdochium nivale (Fries) Samuels & Hallett is an important turfgrass pathogen on golf courses. Our objective was to evaluate Gliocladium catenulatum Gilman & Abbott and/or Streptomyces species for biological control of M. nivale on golf greens. The microbial agents were tested relative to fungicides and an untreated control in vitro and in five field trials from 2011 to 2014. G. catenulatum (Turf G+/WPG, Verdera OY, Finland) was applied from October to December and in March–April, while Streptomyces species (Turf S+/WPS, same manufacturer) was applied from May to October, both at four week intervals. In vitro, Streptomyces species suppressed the growth of M. nivale at 6 and 16°C, while G. catenulatum suppressed growth of M. nivale at 16°C only. In contrast, neither product, nor their combination, had any consistent effect in the field trials. A statistically significant reduction in Microdochium patch (from 3 to 2% of plot area) was seen in a trial on a green dominated by Festuca rubra L., but this reduction was deemed to be of little practical interest to the greenkeeper. Despite multiple applications over 3 yr to build up an antagonistic microflora, only fungicides reduced M. nivale significantly on greens dominated by Poa annua L. or Agrostis capillaris L., which generally had more disease. In conclusion, this research showed no potential of G. catenulatum or Streptomyces species to replace fungicides for control of M. nivale on northern-latitude golf greens.

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Lack of resistance to pink snow mould (Microdochium nivale) is a major constraint for adaptation of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) to continental regions with long-lasting snow cover at higher latitudes. Almost all investigations of genetic variation in resistance have been performed using cold acclimated plants. However, there may be variation in resistance mechanisms that are functioning independently of cold acclimation. In this study our aim was to identify candidate genes involved in such resistance mechanisms. We first characterized variation in resistance to M. nivale among non-acclimated genotypes from the Norwegian cultivar ‘Fagerlin’ based on relative regrowth and fungal quantification by real-time qPCR. One resistant and one susceptible genotype were selected for transcriptome analysis using paired-end sequencing by Illumina Hiseq 2000. Transcriptome profiles, GO enrichment and KEGG pathway analysis indicate that defense response related genes are differentially expressed between the resistant and the susceptible genotype. A significant up-regulation of defense related genes, as well as genes involved in cell wall cellulose metabolic processes and aryl-alcohol dehydrogenase (NADP+) activity, was observed in the resistant genotype. The candidate genes identified in this study might be potential molecular marker resources for breeding perennial ryegrass cultivars with improved resistance to pink snow mould.

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The cyanomorph and photosymbiodemes are here reported for the first time for Ricasolia virens (With.) H.H. Blom & Tønsberg comb. nov. (≡ Lobaria virens (With.) J.R. Laundon). The cyanomorph of R. virens is dendriscocauloid. The observed early developmental stages involve (1) a free-living cyanomorph and (2) a photosymbiodeme composed of the cyanomorph supporting small, foliose, chloromorphic lobes. Whereas the chloromorph continues to grow, the cyanomorph decays and disappears leading to the final stage (3), the free-living chloromorph. Secondary cyanomorphs emerging from the chloromorph are not known.

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Berry yield and chemical composition of four commercial black currant cultivars were recorded in a field experiment in Norway over an 8-year period and related by linear regression analysis to temperature and precipitation conditions prevailing during the May-July preharvest period. Highly significant differences between cultivars and among years were found for all measured parameters. Fruit dry matter, soluble solids and pH were positively correlated with temperature and negatively correlated with precipitation during May-July, while yield, berry weight, and the concentration of total phenols and ascorbic acid showed the opposite relationship, being highly negatively correlated with temperature and positively correlated with precipitation. Similar black currant experiments elsewhere in Europe have often given deviating results, varying from opposite to no effects of the same weather variables, suggesting that fruit composition is influenced by several interacting genetic and environmental parameters. We conclude that differences in local weather and soil conditions and the use of different cultivars complicate direct comparison of such field experiments. Nevertheless, the observed strong and opposite correlations with precipitation and temperature suggest an inherently low drought tolerance of black currant plants.

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We are increasingly confronted with severe social and economic impacts of environmental degradation all over the world. From a valuation perspective, environmental problems and conflicts originate from trade-offs between values. The urgency and importance to integrate nature's diverse values in decisions and actions stand out more than ever. Valuation, in its broad sense of ‘assigning importance’, is inherently part of most decisions on natural resource and land use. Scholars from different traditions -while moving from heuristic interdisciplinary debate to applied transdisciplinary science- now acknowledge the need for combining multiple disciplines and methods to represent the diverse set of values of nature. This growing group of scientists and practitioners share the ambition to explore how combinations of ecological, socio-cultural and economic valuation tools can support real-life resource and land use decision-making. The current sustainability challenges and the ineffectiveness of single-value approaches to offer relief demonstrate that continuing along a single path is no option. We advocate for the adherence of a plural valuation culture and its establishment as a common practice, by contesting and complementing ineffective and discriminatory single-value approaches. In policy and decision contexts with a willingness to improve sustainability, integrated valuation approaches can be blended in existing processes, whereas in contexts of power asymmetries or environmental conflicts, integrated valuation can promote the inclusion of diverse values through action research and support the struggle for social and environmental justice. The special issue and this editorial synthesis paper bring together lessons from pioneer case studies and research papers, synthesizing main challenges and setting out priorities for the years to come for the field of integrated valuation.

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In a landscape of fragmented private ownership, the need to coordinate game management across large areas presents challenges for landowners and public agencies alike. This paper describes how a recent reorganization of moose management in Norway achieves landscape-level planning while maintaining a tradition of local management by hunting teams. These two seemingly contradictory imperatives – coordinating wildlife management across large areas while keeping benefits and control in the hands of local resource users – are resolved through a nesting of management institutions, wherein the state serves a regulatory function and mid-level government (the county) serves to facilitate inter-local cooperation. This paper documents how the system is structured and describes the balance of incentives that enable the system to work. Information was gathered via interviews with staff at the Norwegian Directorate for Nature Management (now called the Norwegian Environment Agency), with wildlife management officials at the municipal level, with hunters, and from the most recent regulatory documents.

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Wooden elements may be subjected to mechanical, environmental or biological alterations during their service life. The most susceptible parts of wood structural members are the exposed surfaces since they are subjected to ageing, weathering and/or decay. Knowledge of the influence of weathering factors and polymer degradation mechanisms is essential for understanding the weathering process of wood. The goal of this study was to investigate the degradation of thin wooden samples exposed to short-term weathering. Tests were performed through the European summer (July), which according to previous research is considered as the most severe period for weathering of wood micro-sections. Fourier transform near infrared spectroscopy was used for evaluation of chemical changes of wood samples. Three approaches for data evaluation are presented in this paper: (1) direct spectral interpretation, (2) a concept for calculation of a weathering index Wind and (3) kinetics of lignin changes in relation to the exposure direction for selected wavelengths. Observation of the effects of weathering will allow better understanding of the degradation process. The southern exposure site was slightly more affected by weathering than other sites. Results of this research will be used for future determination of the weather-dose response model and could be essential for predicting the future performance of timber facade elements.

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Disease-suppressive effects of nighttime applications of ultraviolet-B (UV-B) were investigated at two irradiance levels (1.6 or 0.8 W/m2) in strawberry and rosemary plants inoculated with Podosphaera aphanis or Golovinomyces biocellatus, respectively. Plants were exposed to each irradiance level every third night for either 9 or 18 min, every night for either 3 or 6 min, or three times every night for either 1 or 2 min. Thus, over time, all plants received the same cumulative dose of UV-B, and severity of powdery mildew was reduced by 90 to 99% compared with untreated controls in both crops. Use of polished aluminum lamp reflectors and UV-B reflective surfaces on greenhouse benches significantly increased treatment efficacy. An automated apparatus consisting of an adjustable boom with directed airflow was used to move UV-B lamps over greenhouse benches at 25 or 50 cm/min. Directed airflow moved leaves on the subtending plants to better expose upper and lower surfaces to UV-B but directed airflow actually decreased the efficacy of UV-B treatments, possibly by dispersing conidia from lesions before they were exposed to a lethal dose of UV-B. Results indicate broad applicability of nighttime applications of UV-B to suppress powdery mildews, and that cumulative UV-B dose is an overriding factor determining efficacy. Finally, enhanced suppression on shaded or obscured tissues is more likely to be affected by reflective bench surfaces than through attempts to physically manipulate the foliage.

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Background: Many wingless ectoparasites have a limited capacity for active movement and are therefore primarily dependent on hitchhiking on their hosts for transportation. The distribution of the tick Ixodes ricinus is expected to depend mainly on transportation by hosts and tick subsequent survival in areas where they drop off. In Europe, the most important hosts of adult female I. ricinus are cervids. The extensive space use of large hosts provides a much larger dispersal potential for I. ricinus than that of smaller mammalian hosts. We aim to determine the contribution of red deer (Cervus elaphus) space use on the spatial distribution of I. ricinus, after accounting for landscape factors. Methods: We analysed the spatial distribution of I. ricinus with generalised mixed effects models (GLMMs) based on data from extensive field surveys of questing density in two coastal regions in Norway, from which home range data from 73 red deer with GPS collars were available. Red deer home ranges were derived using the kernel method to identify areas most frequently used by deer. We first fitted a baseline model with tick questing densities relative to landscape features that are likely to affect local climate conditions and hence, survival. We then added deer space use variables to the baseline model with only landscape variables to test whether areas more frequently used by red deer had higher questing tick densities. Results: Questing I. ricinus density was predicted by several landscape features, such as elevation, distance to the fjord and topographic slope. In addition, we found that areas more heavily used within the red deer home ranges, correlated with higher questing tick densities. Increased effects of deer space use were additive to the landscape model, suggesting that correlations were more than just shared landscape preferences between deer and ticks. Conclusions: Our results imply that the distribution of I. ricinus is controlled by a complex set of factors that include both local conditions related to landscape properties that affect survival and how the large host population redistributes ticks. In particular, we have provided evidence that the local distribution of large hosts, with their extensive space use, redistributes ticks at the local scale.

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Effects of wilting rate and fermentation stimulators and inhibitors on protein characteristics of forages typ- ical for organic production were assessed using tradi- tional analytical methods and a gas production in vitro assay. The hypotheses were that the proportion of the crude protein (CP) fraction that was soluble would be lowest, and the protein feed value highest, under rapid wilting and restricted fermentation. The solubil- ity of the CP fraction varied according to treatments and between a first and a second cut, with moderate and high content of clover respectively. It was, how- ever, of minor importance for the protein value, both calculated as amino acids absorbed in the small intes- tine (AAT 20 ) and estimated as effective utilizable crude protein (uCP 04 ) by the in vitro assay. In ensiled her- bage, AAT 20 was highest in rapidly wilted and restrict- edly fermented silages made from a first cut dominated by highly digestible grasses. Silages from the second cut dominated by red clover were far lower in AAT 20 . The in vitro assay did not separate silages according to herbage composition or wilting rate, but ranked restrictedly fermented above extensively fer- mented with regard to protein supply. The assay might still have caught the characteristics that determine the true protein value in vivo.

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As part of an overall assessment of the commercial suitability of strawberry cultivars for the Nordic environment, we studied 13 diverse cultivars in an experimental field in South East Norway. Early-maturing cultivars were characterized by early initiation of floral primordia and early flowering and fruit maturation. High temperatures in July and early August delayed floral initiation in the early cultivars, resulting in more synchronous initiation of early and late cultivars. The recent Norwegian cultivar ‘Nobel’, which has an everbearing parent, differed from the other cultivars by early initiation also at elevated summer temperature. Inadequate yield and berry size were identified as important causes for outdating of older cultivars, such as ‘Senga Sengana’ and ‘Glima’. Overall, the high-yielding and large-fruited ‘Sonata’ was judged as the best fresh consumption cultivar in Norway, and market trends indicate that it will continue to expand its market share at the expense of ‘Korona’, mainly because of inadequate fruit firmness and shelf life of the latter. Adequate yields and berry quality justify the use of the late maturing ‘Florence’ for prolongation of the fresh market season. The results are discussed together with practical experiences and market preferences in an attempt to provide overall cultivar recommendations for Norway.

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There are differences in grass-clover proportions and chemical composition between herbage from primary growth (PG) and regrowth (RG) in grass-clover leys. Mixing silages made from PG and RG may provide a more optimal diet to dairy cows than when fed separately. We tested the hypotheses that increasing dietary proportions of grass-clover silage made from RG compared with PG would increase digestion rate of potentially degradable NDF (pdNDF), and increase ruminal accumulation of indigestible NDF (iNDF). Eight rumen cannulated Norwegian Red cows were used in two replicated 4 × 4 Latin squares with 21-day periods. Silages were prepared from PG and RG of an organically cultivated ley, where PG and RG silages were fed ad libitum in treatments with RG replacing PG in ratios of 0, 0.33, 0.67 and 1 on dry matter basis in addition to 8 kg concentrate. We evaluated the effect of the four diets with emphasis on rumen- and total tract fiber digestibility. Increasing RG proportions decreased silage intake by 7%. Omasal flow of pdNDF decreased, whereas iNDF flow increased with increasing RG proportions. Increasing RG proportions decreased rumen pool sizes of NDF and pdNDF, whereas pool sizes of iNDF and CP increased. Increasing RG proportions increased digestion rate of NDF, which resulted in greater total tract digestion of NDF. Pure PG diet had the highest calculated energy intake, but the improved rumen digestion of NDF by cows offered 0.33 and 0.67 of RG leveled out milk fat and protein yields among the three PG containing diets.

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A glutathione (GSH) adduct of the mycotoxin 4-deoxynivalenol (DON), together with a range of related conjugates, has recently been tentatively identified by LC-MS of DON-treated wheat spikelets. In this study, we prepared samples of DON conjugated at the 10- and 13-positions with GSH, Cys, CysGly, -GluCys and N-acetylcysteine (NAC). The mixtures of conjugates were used as standards for LC-HRMS analysis of one of the DON-treated wheat spikelet samples, as well as 19 Norwegian grain samples of spring wheat and 16 grain samples of oats that were naturally-contaminated with DON at concentrations higher than 1 mg/kg. The artificially-contaminated wheat spikelets contained conjugates of GSH, CysGly and Cys coupled at the olefinic 10-position of DON, whereas the naturally-contaminated harvest-ripe grain samples contained GSH, CysGly, Cys, and NAC coupled mainly at the 13-position on the epoxy group. The identities of the conjugates were confirmed by LC-HRMS comparison with authentic standards, oxidation to the sulfoxides with hydrogen peroxide, and examination of product-ion spectra from LC-HRMS/MS analysis. No -GluCys adducts of DON were detected in any of the samples. The presence of 15-O-acetyl-DON was demonstrated for the first time in Norwegian grain. The results indicate that a small but significant proportion of DON is metabolized via the GSH-conjugation pathway in plants. To our knowledge, this is the first report of in vivo conjugation of trichothecenes via their epoxy group, which has generally been viewed as unreactive. Because conjugation at the 13-position of DON and other trichothecenes has been shown to be irreversible, this type of conjugate may prove useful as a biomarker of exposure to DON and other 12,13-epoxytrichothecenes.