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2023 (285)

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This introductory chapter will evaluate how we have reached the current point in the history of world urbanity, its relationship with nature, and why a fusion between the two is now necessary. In order to define BioCities as cities which follow the principles of natural ecosystems to promote life, we will refer to the extensive knowledge of the history of urban science, the need for cities to be reinvented based on ecological principles, and new methods of analysing and measuring reality through digital systems. This vision of the main functions and traits of BioCities will also serve as a thread and reference for the subsequent chapters which will highlight and elaborate on the different properties of the BioCity vision. The final chapter will draw from this vision the constituting principles of the BioCity and will outline possible pathways of transition towards BioCities.

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Background and terms of reference Farmed Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) that escape into the wild could interbreed with native fish, posing a potential risk to the genetic diversity of wild Atlantic salmon populations. The Atlantic salmon in aquaculture are diploid, meaning the fish has two sets of chromosomes. To mitigate the genetic impact on wild populations, the concept of producing sterile triploid farmed Atlantic salmon has been suggested as a solution. However, it is important to ensure that the utilization of triploids in commercial farming aligns with the regulations set forth in the Norwegian Animal Welfare Act. The Norwegian Food Safety Authority (NFSA) requested the Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food and Environment (VKM) to do an assessment about health- and welfare consequences in triploid Atlantic salmon under commercial farming conditions, as compared to diploid counterparts. VKM was also requested to describe the underlying physiological mechanisms concerning consequences of triploidy as well as address potential measures to reduce the negative impacts on the health and welfare of the fish. Methods A working group consisting of members with expertise in salmonid biology, aquaculture systems, veterinary medicine, fish health and welfare, virology, bacteriology, parasitology, breeding and genetics has drafted this opinion. To answer the Terms of Reference as mandated by the NFSA, the authors addressed fish health and welfare as a unified concept in this report. Two external experts have reviewed and provided their opinion before it was assessed and approved by the VKM’s Panel on Animal Health and welfare. The literature used in this work was peer-reviewed studies retrieved from a search in four databases as well as non peer-reviewed reports. Selection of studies was conducted independently by two members in the working group and based on predefined inclusion and exclusion criteria. Conclusions Under commercial farming conditions, triploid Atlantic salmon are often found to have lower standards of health and welfare compared to diploids. For example, field and experimental studies have found triploids to be more prone to skeletal and heart deformities, and cataracts, while field studies suggest that under commercial farming conditions they cope less well with handling and are more susceptible to skin ulcers. However, research has indicated that some of the effects of triploidy can be mitigated through specialized diets or environmental adjustments. There is a noticeable tendency across farm studies and experimental trials for triploid salmon to be equal or larger in size at the end of freshwater phase, but equal or smaller in size at the end of the seawater phase. Most publications conclude that within what is considered the optimal temperature range of diploids, oxygen consumption rate, oxygen binding capacity, and aerobic swimming capacity do not significantly differ between triploid and diploid Atlantic salmon. However, findings from experimental trials suggest a lower optimal temperature range for triploids, and data consistent across studies indicate that triploids possess lower tolerance to hypoxia at elevated temperatures. Triploid Atlantic salmon are less robust to higher water temperatures than diploid, and have other nutritional needs than diploids, especially regarding phosphorus, and histidine. There are few studies on the susceptibility of triploid salmon to infectious agents and diseases. Field observations indicate that triploid fish are more susceptible to primary infectious salmon anaemia (ISA) outbreaks than diploids under commercial farming conditions at the level of the farm, and at cage level within farms that experience an ISA outbreak. A higher susceptibility to the ISA virus would potentially affect not only the health and welfare of the triploid fish at the farm with an outbreak but may potentially spread to other farms. .............

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The aim of this study was to evaluate whether sea lice grazing efficiency, behaviour, size variation and cataract development can be improved through selective breeding of lumpfish. A series of studies was conducted over a four-year period where distinctive lumpfish families were established initially from wild caught mature fish and latterly from established breeding lines. Four subsequent trials (called: Phase I-IV) with ten families of lumpfish (N = 480) with a mean (± SD) weight of 46.4 ± 9.4 g (Phase I), 54.8 ± 9.2 g (Phase II), 42.0 ± 7.4 g (Phase III) and 31.3 ± 2.4 g (Phase IV) were distributed among ten sea cages (5 × 5 × 5 m) during autumn 2018 to spring 2022, each stocked with 400–404 Atlantic salmon with an average initial mean (± SD) of 387 ± 9 g (Phase I), 621 ± 15 g (Phase II), 280 ± 16 g (Phase III) and 480 ± 66 g (Phase IV). All the ten cages were stocked with 48 lumpfish (12% stocking density). In all phases there was a large inter-family variation of lice grazing of lumpfish of both L. salmonis and C. elongatus. When sea lice grazing was scaled in relation to sea lice infestation numbers on the salmon the highest sea lice grazing activity was found in Phase IV and in particular in families sired from farmed parents. There was a general trend for mean start weights and standard deviations to decrease as the phases continued. A significant increase was found in frequency of behaviour associated with feeding on natural food sources and grazing sea lice from salmon during each subsequent phase. The increase in incidence of cataracts from start to end of each trial phase was significantly reduced from Phase I (16%) to Phase IV (2%). Overall, present findings showed that sea lice grazing of both L. salmonis and C. elongatus, size variation, cataract prevalence and behaviour types can be enhanced through selection and targeted breeding programs.

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The gut microbiota plays an important role in host health and disease. Our understanding of the fish microbiota lags far behind our knowledge of that of humans and other mammals. Nevertheless, research has highlighted the importance of the microbiota in the health, performance, and various physiological functions of fish. The microbiota has been studied in various fish species, including model animals, economic fish, and wild fish species. The composition of the fish microbiota depends on host selection, diet, and environmental factors. The intestinal microbiota affects the nutritional metabolism, immunity, and disease resistance of the fish host, while the host regulates the intestinal microbiota in a reciprocal way through both immune and non-immune factors. Improved and novel gnotobiotic fish models have been developed, which are important for the mechanistic study of host-microbiota interactions in fish. In this review, we discuss recent progress in fish microbiota research. We describe various aspects of this research, including both studies on fish microbiota variations and fundamental research extending our knowledge of host–microbiota interaction in fish. Perspectives on how fish microbiota research may benefit fish health and industrial sustainability are also discussed.

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Aquaculture of the lumpfish (Cyclopterus lumpus L.) has become a large, lucrative industry owing to the escalating demand for “cleaner fish” to minimise sea lice infestations in Atlantic salmon mariculture farms. We used over 10K genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) to investigate the spatial patterns of genomic variation in the lumpfish along the coast of Norway and across the North Atlantic. Moreover, we applied three genome scans for outliers and two genotype–environment association tests to assess the signatures and patterns of local adaptation under extensive gene flow. With our ‘global’ sampling regime, we found two major genetic groups of lumpfish, i.e., the western and eastern Atlantic. Regionally in Norway, we found marginal evidence of population structure, where the population genomic analysis revealed a small portion of individuals with a different genetic ancestry. Nevertheless, we found strong support for local adaption under high gene flow in the Norwegian lumpfish and identified over 380 high-confidence environment-associated loci linked to gene sets with a key role in biological processes associated with environmental pressures and embryonic development. Our results bridge population genetic/genomics studies with seascape genomics studies and will facilitate genome-enabled monitoring of the genetic impacts of escapees and allow for genetic-informed broodstock selection and management in Norway.

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Closing nutrient cycles by bio-based fertilizer products (BFPs) can improve the environmental sustainability of food systems and facilitate a more circular economy. Although the theoretical potential for nutrient recycling has been explored in detail, BFPs still seldom replace mineral fertilizer products in practice. The aim of the present study was to explore the critical enabling and limiting factors for the use of BFPs as seen from the perspective of farmers, suppliers, and civil society. To this aim, qualitative interviews were conducted with seven conventional grain farmers, six suppliers of BFPs, and five representatives of civil society, limited to environmental non-governmental organizations. The presented results illustrate a mismatch between demand and supply. On the one hand, the interviewed farmers were only interested in using BFPs if they are practical to use, balanced with respect to nutrient contents, and potentially provide the same earnings as mineral fertilizers. Positive effects for soil quality were an important driver for many of the farmers. On the other hand, the suppliers of BFPs were generally not able to offer products that fulfilled the farmers’ demands without economic losses, and they emphasized that they have faced several regulatory challenges. Representatives of regional civil society organizations expressed concern that new technical solutions could cause new environmental challenges, and that BFPs could enable further intensification of livestock production. The central-level representatives from the same NGOs, however, were positive about that BFPs can solve environmental problems. Policy instruments will be needed to increase the adoption of PFPs. Fostering BFPs’ that contribute to a sustainable agriculture is important to consider when formulating these polices.

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Peatlands cover only 3–4% of the Earth’s surface, but they store nearly 30% of global soil carbon stock. This significant carbon store is under threat as peatlands continue to be degraded at alarming rates around the world. It has prompted countries worldwide to establish regulations to conserve and reduce emissions from this carbon rich ecosystem. For example, the EU has implemented new rules that mandate sustainable management of peatlands, critical to reaching the goal of carbon neutrality by 2050. However, a lack of information on the extent and condition of peatlands has hindered the development of national policies and restoration efforts. This paper reviews the current state of knowledge on mapping and monitoring peatlands from field sites to the globe and identifies areas where further research is needed. It presents an overview of the different methodologies used to map peatlands in nine countries, which vary in definition of peat soil and peatland, mapping coverage, and mapping detail. Whereas mapping peatlands across the world with only one approach is hardly possible, the paper highlights the need for more consistent approaches within regions having comparable peatland types and climates to inform their protection and urgent restoration. The review further summarises various approaches used for monitoring peatland conditions and functions. These include monitoring at the plot scale for degree of humification and stoichiometric ratio, and proximal sensing such as gamma radiometrics and electromagnetic induction at the field to landscape scale for mapping peat thickness and identifying hotspots for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Remote sensing techniques with passive and active sensors at regional to national scale can help in monitoring subsidence rate, water table, peat moisture, landslides, and GHG emissions. Although the use of water table depth as a proxy for interannual GHG emissions from peatlands has been well established, there is no single remote sensing method or data product yet that has been verified beyond local or regional scales. Broader land-use change and fire monitoring at a global scale may further assist national GHG inventory reporting. Monitoring of peatland conditions to evaluate the success of individual restoration schemes still requires field work to assess local proxies combined with remote sensing and modeling. Long-term monitoring is necessary to draw valid conclusions on revegetation outcomes and associated GHG emissions in rewetted peatlands, as their dynamics are not fully understood at the site level. Monitoring vegetation development and hydrology of restored peatlands is needed as a proxy to assess the return of water and changes in nutrient cycling and biodiversity.

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The effects of tree pollen on precipitation chemistry are not fully understood and this can lead to misinterpretations of element deposition in European forests. We investigated the relationship between forest throughfall (TF) element fluxes and the Seasonal Pollen Integral (SPIn) using linear mixed-effects modelling (LME). TF was measured in 1990–2018 during the main pollen season (MPS, arbitrary two months) in 61 managed, mostly pure, even-aged Fagus, Quercus, Pinus, and Picea stands which are part of the ICP Forests Level II network. The SPIn for the dominant tree genus was observed at 56 aerobiological monitoring stations in nearby cities. The net contribution of pollen was estimated as the TF flux in the MPS minus the fluxes in the preceding and succeeding months. In stands of Fagus and Picea, two genera that do not form large amounts of flowers every year, TF fluxes of potassium (K+), ammonium-nitrogen (NH4+-N), dissolved organic carbon (DOC), and dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) showed a positive relationship with SPIn. However- for Fagus- a negative relationship was found between TF nitrate-nitrogen (NO3−-N) fluxes and SPIn. For Quercus and Pinus, two genera producing many flowers each year, SPIn displayed limited variability and no clear association with TF element fluxes. Overall, pollen contributed on average 4.1–10.6% of the annual TF fluxes of K+ > DOC > DON > NH4+-N with the highest contribution in Quercus > Fagus > Pinus > Picea stands. Tree pollen appears to affect TF inorganic nitrogen fluxes both qualitatively and quantitatively, acting as a source of NH4+-N and a sink of NO3−-N. Pollen appears to play a more complex role in nutrient cycling than previously thought.

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The morphological ontogeny of Nanhermannia sellnicki Forsslund, 1958 is described and illustrated. In all juvenile stages the bothridial seta is minute, and two pairs of exobothridial setae are present (exa reduced to its alveolus, exp short). In the larva, the seta f1 is setiform but in the nymphs it is unobservable among cuticular tubercles. Most prodorsal and gastronotal setae of the larva are short while thouse of nymphs are long; seta in and all gastronotal and adanal setae are inserted in small individual depressions. In all instars the leg segments are oval in cross section and relatively thick, and most setae on tarsi are relatively short, thick or conical. The seta d accompanies solenidion σ on all genua, φ1 on tibia I and φ on other tibiae.

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Drought-induced mortality is a major direct effect of climate change on tree health, but drought can also affect trees indirectly by altering their susceptibility to pathogens. Here, we report how a combination of mild or severe drought and pathogen infection affected the growth, pathogen resistance and gene expression in potted 5-year-old Norway spruce trees [Picea abies (L.) Karst.]. After 5 weeks of drought, trees were inoculated with the fungal pathogen Endoconidiophora polonica. Combined drought–pathogen stress over the next 8 weeks led to significant reductions in the growth of drought-treated trees relative to well-watered trees and more so in trees subjected to severe drought. Belowground, growth of the smallest fine roots was most affected. Aboveground, shoot diameter change was most sensitive to the combined stress, followed by shoot length growth and twig biomass. Both drought-related and some resistance-related genes were upregulated in bark samples collected after 5 weeks of drought (but before pathogen infection), and gene expression levels scaled with the intensity of drought stress. Trees subjected to severe drought were much more susceptible to pathogen infection than well-watered trees or trees subjected to mild drought. Overall, our results show that mild drought stress may increase the tree resistance to pathogen infection by upregulating resistance-related genes. Severe drought stress, on the other hand, decreased tree resistance. Because drought episodes are expected to become more frequent with climate change, combined effects of drought and pathogen stress should be studied in more detail to understand how these stressors interactively influence tree susceptibility to pests and pathogens.

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Interactions between plants and herbivores are central in most ecosystems, but their strength is highly variable. The amount of variability within a system is thought to influence most aspects of plant-herbivore biology, from ecological stability to plant defense evolution. Our understanding of what influences variability, however, is limited by sparse data. We collected standardized surveys of herbivory for 503 plant species at 790 sites across 116° of latitude. With these data, we show that within-population variability in herbivory increases with latitude, decreases with plant size, and is phylogenetically structured. Differences in the magnitude of variability are thus central to how plant-herbivore biology varies across macroscale gradients. We argue that increased focus on interaction variability will advance understanding of patterns of life on Earth.

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Eco-efficiency is gaining popularity to measure the agricultural system's economic and environmental performance. The dynamic eco-efficiency of the agricultural system is assessed in this study using a parametric frontier framework that considers the inter-temporal nature of production decisions and methane emissions. We also estimated the static eco-efficiency model for comparison. The empirical analysis is based on 30 years of unbalanced panel data from 692 dairy farms (1991–2020). The generalized method of moment estimation is used to compute dynamic models. Both dynamic and static models show that dairy farms in the study area used available technology inefficiently, which means that some farmers produced lower outputs per input than the best-performing farmers. According to the dynamic eco-efficiency score, dairy farms only generate 94% of the maximum viable output for the input used. If all dairy farms became eco-efficient, an average dairy farm could raise its output by about 6% using the existing technology. According to the projected scores, farmers might improve their eco-efficiency by 10% on average without using more inputs in a static condition. Policymakers should encourage dairy farms to share information with the best-performing dairy farms on how to improve production while considering environmental concerns.

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Forests are a substantial terrestrial carbon sink, but anthropogenic changes in land use and climate have considerably reduced the scale of this system1. Remote-sensing estimates to quantify carbon losses from global forests2,3,4,5 are characterized by considerable uncertainty and we lack a comprehensive ground-sourced evaluation to benchmark these estimates. Here we combine several ground-sourced6 and satellite-derived approaches2,7,8 to evaluate the scale of the global forest carbon potential outside agricultural and urban lands. Despite regional variation, the predictions demonstrated remarkable consistency at a global scale, with only a 12% difference between the ground-sourced and satellite-derived estimates. At present, global forest carbon storage is markedly under the natural potential, with a total deficit of 226 Gt (model range = 151–363 Gt) in areas with low human footprint. Most (61%, 139 Gt C) of this potential is in areas with existing forests, in which ecosystem protection can allow forests to recover to maturity. The remaining 39% (87 Gt C) of potential lies in regions in which forests have been removed or fragmented. Although forests cannot be a substitute for emissions reductions, our results support the idea2,3,9 that the conservation, restoration and sustainable management of diverse forests offer valuable contributions to meeting global climate and biodiversity targets.

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Understanding what controls global leaf type variation in trees is crucial for comprehending their role in terrestrial ecosystems, including carbon, water and nutrient dynamics. Yet our understanding of the factors influencing forest leaf types remains incomplete, leaving us uncertain about the global proportions of needle-leaved, broadleaved, evergreen and deciduous trees. To address these gaps, we conducted a global, ground-sourced assessment of forest leaf-type variation by integrating forest inventory data with comprehensive leaf form (broadleaf vs needle-leaf) and habit (evergreen vs deciduous) records. We found that global variation in leaf habit is primarily driven by isothermality and soil characteristics, while leaf form is predominantly driven by temperature. Given these relationships, we estimate that 38% of global tree individuals are needle-leaved evergreen, 29% are broadleaved evergreen, 27% are broadleaved deciduous and 5% are needle-leaved deciduous. The aboveground biomass distribution among these tree types is approximately 21% (126.4 Gt), 54% (335.7 Gt), 22% (136.2 Gt) and 3% (18.7 Gt), respectively. We further project that, depending on future emissions pathways, 17–34% of forested areas will experience climate conditions by the end of the century that currently support a different forest type, highlighting the intensification of climatic stress on existing forests. By quantifying the distribution of tree leaf types and their corresponding biomass, and identifying regions where climate change will exert greatest pressure on current leaf types, our results can help improve predictions of future terrestrial ecosystem functioning and carbon cycling.

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Determining the drivers of non-native plant invasions is critical for managing native ecosystems and limiting the spread of invasive species1,2. Tree invasions in particular have been relatively overlooked, even though they have the potential to transform ecosystems and economies3,4. Here, leveraging global tree databases5,6,7, we explore how the phylogenetic and functional diversity of native tree communities, human pressure and the environment influence the establishment of non-native tree species and the subsequent invasion severity. We find that anthropogenic factors are key to predicting whether a location is invaded, but that invasion severity is underpinned by native diversity, with higher diversity predicting lower invasion severity. Temperature and precipitation emerge as strong predictors of invasion strategy, with non-native species invading successfully when they are similar to the native community in cold or dry extremes. Yet, despite the influence of these ecological forces in determining invasion strategy, we find evidence that these patterns can be obscured by human activity, with lower ecological signal in areas with higher proximity to shipping ports. Our global perspective of non-native tree invasion highlights that human drivers influence non-native tree presence, and that native phylogenetic and functional diversity have a critical role in the establishment and spread of subsequent invasions.

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An essential prerequisite to safeguard pollinator species is characterisation of the multifaceted diversity of crop pollinators and identification of the drivers of pollinator community changes across biogeographical gradients. The extent to which intensive agriculture is associated with the homogenisation of biological communities at large spatial scales remains poorly understood. In this study, we investigated diversity drivers for 644 bee species/morphospecies in 177 commercial apple orchards across 33 countries and four global biogeographical biomes. Our findings reveal significant taxonomic dissimilarity among biogeographical zones. Interestingly, despite this dissimilarity, species from different zones share similar higher-level phylogenetic groups and similar ecological and behavioural traits (i.e. functional traits), likely due to habitat filtering caused by perennial monoculture systems managed intensively for crop production. Honey bee species dominated orchard communities, while other managed/manageable and wild species were collected in lower numbers. Moreover, the presence of herbaceous, uncultivated open areas and organic management practices were associated with increased wild bee diversity. Overall, our study sheds light on the importance of large-scale analyses contributing to the emerging fields of functional and phylogenetic diversity, which can be related to ecosystem function to promote biodiversity as a key asset in agroecosystems in the face of global change pressures.

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Phenolic compounds constitute one of the most important groups of the bioactive molecules in food plants. These compounds have received attention for their beneficial properties for human health and they also are involved in diverse important roles in plants, including signaling and defense against biotic and abiotic stress factors. Vaccinium berries are one of the richest sources of phenolic compounds of which flavonoid classes of anthocyanins, proanthocyanidins, flavonols in addition to hydroxycinnamic acids are the main phenolics in these species. Besides in berries, phenolic compounds are also present in other parts of the plant. Biosynthesis of flavonoids via the phenylpropanoid pathway is well understood and the key enzymes leading to different intermediates or different flavonoid classes have been characterized in many species including wild and cultivated Vaccinium species. At the molecular level, the biosynthesis is regulated via co-ordinated transcriptional control of the enzymes in the pathway by the interaction with transcription factors of the MYB-bHLH-WD40 (MBW) complex. Upstream regulators of the pathway have also been identified. The biosynthesis is controlled both at the level as well as by the surrounding environmental factors. Plant hormones are the key players in the development and the ripening process of the fruits. Especially abscisic acid (ABA) and methyl jasmonate (MeJA) have been shown to have a key role in the flavonoid metabolism of Vaccinium species. Accumulation of transcriptome, genome and metabolome data are currently increasing our understanding on the complicated regulation networks controlling the metabolism of the phenolic compounds in the Vaccinium species. This offers new tools for selection of the species and cultivars with preferred characteristics, for instance berries with higher health benefit potential or plants with better stress resistance.

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Vaccinium berries include several economically important cultivated and wild species such as blueberries, cranberries, bilberries and lingonberries. These species are recognized for the various health beneficial properties, which are generally linked to the high yields and the complex profile of flavonoids in the berries, including anthocyanin, proanthocyanidin, and flavonol classes of flavonoids. Anthocyanins are one of the main pigments in plants contributing to the characteristic reddish to bluish colours in flowers and fruits. Most important anthocyanins are glucosides of six common aglycons: cyanidins, delphinidins, pelargonidins, petunidins, peonidins and malvidins. Of these, delphinidin branch anthocyanins, namely delphinidins, petunidins, and malvidins are responsible of bluish colours in blue Vaccinium berries. The biosynthesis of anthocyanins has been intensively studied, and the structural enzyme genes responsible of the specific steps of the pathway have been characterised also in diverse Vaccinium species. For the delphinidin branch, flavanone 3’5’ hydroxylase (F3’5’H) is the key enzyme for the branching point towards bluish anthocyanins. Our recent results both from controlled and field experiments have revealed new information on the key regulators controlling the different branches of the anthocyanin biosynthesis in blue-coloured berries. Transcriptome analyses combined with metabolite results have identified signaling routes leading to increase in delphinidin branch anthocyanins. Our results show that the anthocyanin composition in blue Vaccinium berries could be modified by specific environmental factors.

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Wild berries are abundant in health-beneficial bioactive compounds, such as flavonoids, carotenoids, vitamins, and polyphenolic compounds, which accumulate during the fruit ripening process. Interestingly, wild Vaccinium berries from northern latitudes are found to contain more bioactive compounds compared to southern clones. The genetic adaptation is most likely favoured by environmental conditions, such as extended day length, cool temperatures and light spectral qualities. The molecular mechanisms underlying the regulation of secondary metabolite biosynthesis in response to light quality have been scarcely explored in Vaccinium berries. The present study is focused on gaining knowledge on the regulatory process under supplemental red and blue light in non-climacteric wild bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L.). Controlled experiments were carried out in phytotrons with local Norwegian ecotypes of bilberry, which were subjected from early to late ripening stages to continuous exposure to specific red and blue wavelengths provided by light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Berry samples from mid-ripening stage were utilized for the gene expression analysis based on RNA-seq transcriptome profiling. Our recent analyses from the transcriptome data set have shown that light wavelengths induce the anthocyanin biosynthetic genes, resulting in higher delphinidin accumulation in ripe bilberries. The enhanced secondary metabolic pathways influenced by such light qualities and the differential expression patterns in light-reaction centers as observed in various subunit complexes of photosystem I and II in the photosynthetic apparatus are briefly discussed in this study. This is crucial in order to study how plants acclimatize to modified light environment in terms of photosynthesis. The differences in expression of hormone signal transduction pathway genes were also discussed. The results will contribute to a better understanding of the light-mediated biosynthesis of phytochemicals in Vaccinium berries.

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Forest damage caused by heavy wet snow accumulation in the canopy is the second most important abiotic forest disturbance agent in Nordic conifer stands after wind. The extent and frequency of snow damage in the future climate in the Nordic region is a major uncertainty. Few mechanistic models of snow damage risk to trees exist that could support forest management scenario analysis and decision making. We propose a snow damage risk model consisting of a numerical weather prediction-based snow accumulation model for forest canopies and a mechanistic critical snow load model. Snow damage probability predictions were validated on snow breakage data from the winters of 2016 and 2018 covering 3.5 million individual trees in south-eastern Norway derived from pre- and post-damage aerial laser scanning campaigns. The proposed model demonstrated satisfactory damage and no-damage class separation with an AUC of 0.72 and 0.77 in Norway spruce and Scots pine, respectively, and an F1 score of 0.7 in conifers taller than 10 m that suffered moderate stem breakage. The model achieved a classification accuracy that is comparable to that of statistical models but is simpler and requires fewer inputs.

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Chlorella vulgaris is a freshwater microalga that synthesises large amounts of saturated lipids, which makes it suitable for production of bioenergy and biofuels. Since its cultivation usually requires freshwater, it competes with agriculture, economic development and ecological conservation for this limited natural resource. This study investigated the possibility of the partial replacement of freshwater by seawater (50 %) in the growth medium for a more sustainable biomass and lipid production. Chlorella vulgaris 211-11b was cultivated as shake-flask cultures in Bold's Basal Medium (BBM) formulated with 50 % freshwater and 50 % seawater under photoautotrophic, mixotrophic and heterotrophic conditions for eight days with glucose as organic carbon source in the latter two cases. The alga's best growth performance and highest lipid contents (49 % DW−1), dominated by palmitioleic and oleic acid, occurred under mixotrophic rather than photoautotrophic and heterotrophic conditions. This study demonstrates a more economic and ecologically sustainable biomass and lipid production of C. vulgaris by saving 50 % freshwater, which is available for other purposes.

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Questions During the winter of 2014, an intense drought combined with sub-zero temperatures resulted in a massive Calluna dieback in Norwegian heathlands. We studied the initial vegetation recovery under two management approaches: natural recovery and prescribed burning. We hypothesized that natural recovery will be slower in more drought-affected sites, whereas burning will facilitate post-fire recovery in all sites by effectively removing dead and damaged heath. Both natural recovery and post-fire succession will be slower in the north. Location Calluna heath in seven sites spanning an approx. 600-km latitudinal gradient along the coast of Norway (60.22–65.69° N). Methods After a natural drought, 10 permanent plots per site were either burnt or left for natural recovery. Vegetation data were recorded annually in 2016 (pre-fire) and 2017–2019 (post-fire) reflecting a factorial repeated-measures design (n = 280). The data were analyzed using mixed-effects models. Results Two years after the drought, we observed high but variable Calluna damage and mortality. Over the four years of study, damaged Calluna recovered, whereas dead Calluna showed little recovery. Both the extent of the damage and mortality, as well as the rate of natural recovery, are only weakly related to site climate or environmental factors. Fire efficiently removed dead and damaged Calluna and facilitated post-fire successional dynamics and recovery in a majority of sites. Conclusions Extreme winter drought resulted in substantial and often persistent damage and dieback on Calluna along the latitudinal gradient. In sites with high mortality, prescribed burning removed the dead biomass and, in some cases, facilitated vegetation recovery. Traditional heathland management, which uses burning to facilitate all-year grazing by Old Norse sheep in Atlantic coastal heathlands, can be an efficient tool to mitigate dieback events and more generally to increase resistance to and resilience after extreme drought events in the future.

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VKM has evaluated to what extent keeping of cats pose a risk to biodiversity in Norway. Risks were assessed separately for threats to biodiversity from direct predation, indirect (non-lethal) effects, competition with other wildlife and spread of infectious organisms. VKM also assessed the risk of reduced animal welfare related to the keeping of domestic cats, both for the cats and their prey. In addition, VKM has assessed a range of risk-reducing measures aimed at minimizing the risk for negative impacts on biodiversity and animal welfare. Overall, VKM find that the risk of negative impact on vulnerable birds and red-listed mammalian species are high under certain conditions. VKM also find that there is a considerable risk associated with increased spread of infectious organisms from cats to wildlife and other domestic species. Some of these infectious organisms may also infect humans. With respect to mitigation measures, VKM concludes that measures focused on limiting cats’ access to prey populations are likely to yield the most positive outcomes in terms of mitigating the adverse impact on biodiversity.

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Three lichen species, Fuscopannaria praetermissa, Lepraria borealis and Xanthomendoza fulva, are reported as additions to the biodiversity of the Gaupne area, Sogn og Fjordane, Norway. The fungal universal barcode DNA sequence (nrITS) is provided for Fuscopannaria praetermissa and Lepraria borealis. Results of preliminary molecular analyses indicate the need for a systematic revision of Lepraria borealis and other taxa in the L. neglecta group.

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Crop residues are important inputs of carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) to soils and thus directly and indirectly affect nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions. As the current inventory methodology considers N inputs by crop residues as the sole determining factor for N2O emissions, it fails to consider other underlying factors and processes. There is compelling evidence that emissions vary greatly between residues with different biochemical and physical characteristics, with the concentrations of mineralizable N and decomposable C in the residue biomass both enhancing the soil N2O production potential. High concentrations of these components are associated with immature residues (e.g., cover crops, grass, legumes, and vegetables) as opposed to mature residues (e.g., straw). A more accurate estimation of the short-term (months) effects of the crop residues on N2O could involve distinguishing mature and immature crop residues with distinctly different emission factors. The medium-term (years) and long-term (decades) effects relate to the effects of residue management on soil N fertility and soil physical and chemical properties, considering that these are affected by local climatic and soil conditions as well as land use and management. More targeted mitigation efforts for N2O emissions, after addition of crop residues to the soil, are urgently needed and require an improved methodology for emission accounting. This work needs to be underpinned by research to (1) develop and validate N2O emission factors for mature and immature crop residues, (2) assess emissions from belowground residues of terminated crops, (3) improve activity data on management of different residue types, in particular immature residues, and (4) evaluate long-term effects of residue addition on N2O emissions.

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Understanding the chemical composition of our planet's crust was one of the biggest questions of the 20th century. More than 100 years later, we are still far from understanding the global patterns in the bioavailability and spatial coupling of elements in topsoils worldwide, despite their importance for the productivity and functioning of terrestrial ecosystems. Here, we measured the bioavailability and coupling of thirteen macro- and micronutrients and phytotoxic elements in topsoils (3–8 cm) from a range of terrestrial ecosystems across all continents (∼10,000 observations) and in response to global change manipulations (∼5,000 observations). For this, we incubated between 1 and 4 pairs of anionic and cationic exchange membranes per site for a mean period of 53 days. The most bioavailable elements (Ca, Mg, and K) were also amongst the most abundant in the crust. Patterns of bioavailability were biome-dependent and controlled by soil properties such as pH, organic matter content and texture, plant cover, and climate. However, global change simulations resulted in important alterations in the bioavailability of elements. Elements were highly coupled, and coupling was predictable by the atomic properties of elements, particularly mass, mass to charge ratio, and second ionization energy. Deviations from the predictable coupling-atomic mass relationship were attributed to global change and agriculture. Our work illustrates the tight links between the bioavailability and coupling of topsoil elements and environmental context, human activities, and atomic properties of elements, thus deeply enhancing our integrated understanding of the biogeochemical connections that underlie the productivity and functioning of terrestrial ecosystems in a changing world.

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COVID-19 lockdowns in early 2020 reduced human mobility, providing an opportunity to disentangle its effectson animals from those of landscape modifications. Using GPS data, we compared movements and roadavoidance of 2300 terrestrial mammals (43 species) during the lockdowns to the same period in 2019.Individual responses were variable with no change in average movements or road avoidance behavior, likely dueto variable lockdown conditions. However, under strict lockdowns 10-day 95th percentile displacementsincreased by 73%, suggesting increased landscape permeability. Animals’1-hour 95th percentiledisplacements declined by 12% and animals were 36% closer to roads in areas of high human footprint,indicating reduced avoidance during lockdowns. Overall, lockdowns rapidly altered some spatial behaviors,highlighting variable but substantial impacts of human mobility on wildlife worldwide.

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1. Biodiversity is an important component of natural ecosystems, with higher species richness often correlating with an increase in ecosystem productivity. Yet, this relationship varies substantially across environments, typically becoming less pronounced at high levels of species richness. However, species richness alone cannot reflect all important properties of a community, including community evenness, which may mediate the relationship between biodiversity and productivity. If the evenness of a community correlates negatively with richness across forests globally, then a greater number of species may not always increase overall diversity and productivity of the system. Theoretical work and local empirical studies have shown that the effect of evenness on ecosystem functioning may be especially strong at high richness levels, yet the consistency of this remains untested at a global scale. 2. Here, we used a dataset of forests from across the globe, which includes composition, biomass accumulation and net primary productivity, to explore whether productivity correlates with community evenness and richness in a way that evenness appears to buffer the effect of richness. Specifically, we evaluated whether low levels of evenness in speciose communities correlate with the attenuation of the richness–productivity relationship. 3. We found that tree species richness and evenness are negatively correlated across forests globally, with highly speciose forests typically comprising a few dominant and many rare species. Furthermore, we found that the correlation between diversity and productivity changes with evenness: at low richness, uneven communities are more productive, while at high richness, even communities are more productive. 4. Synthesis. Collectively, these results demonstrate that evenness is an integral component of the relationship between biodiversity and productivity, and that the attenuating effect of richness on forest productivity might be partly explained by low evenness in speciose communities. Productivity generally increases with species richness, until reduced evenness limits the overall increases in community diversity. Our research suggests that evenness is a fundamental component of biodiversity–ecosystem function relationships, and is of critical importance for guiding conservation and sustainable ecosystem management decisions.

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Lingonberries (Vaccinium vitis-idaea L.) have received much positive attention due to their exotic taste and high phenolic content. These small red fruits grow across Norway, a country with large variations in abiotic and biotic growth conditions. The large variations in abiotic and biotic growth conditions have potential to influence quality and availability of lingonberries. A three-year study (2019-2021) with 64 field plots across Norway have therefore been set up, with the aim of studying the effect of climate and growth conditions on lingonberries. Here, anthocyanin content in berries from the first growth season is presented. Eight locations across Norway (58 to 69°N) with supposed high production potential of lingonberries were selected. Within each location, eight stands (250 m2) with different biotic conditions were chosen. Berries from each sector were lyophilised and extracted with 70% methanol. Phenolic compounds were analysed by HPLC-DAD-MSn, with quantification of anthocyanin at 520 nm and MS used for identification. The three major anthocyanins in Norwegian lingonberries were cyanidin-3-galactoside (69-90%), -arabinoside (6-23%) and 
-glucoside (2-10%). Additionally, small quantities of three other cyanidin glycosides were preliminarily identified. The total content of anthocyanins in lingonberries ranged from approximately 320 to 790 mg 100 g‑1 dw. There appears to be a variation in anthocyanin concentration linked to latitude. However, as the variation was as large within the stands of each location as they were between the locations, different growth factors would also play key parts in synthesis of anthocyanins in lingonberries. Results from analysis of berries collected in 2020 and 2021 are necessary to have the basis to draw a conclusion on how biotic and abiotic factors influence anthocyanin content of lingonberries.

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Fire in the boreal forests emits substantial amounts of organically bound carbon (C) to the atmosphere and converts a fraction of the burnt organic matter into charcoal, which in turn is highly refractory and functions as a long-term stable C pool. It is well established that the boreal forest charcoal pool is sufficiently large to play a significant role in the global C cycle. However, there is a need for spatially representative estimates of how large proportions of the forest floor C pool are made up of charcoal across different plant communities in the boreal forest ecosystem. Thus, we have quantified the amounts of C separately in charcoal and the organic layers of the forest floor across fine spatial scales in a boreal forest landscape with a well-documented fire history. We found that the proportion of charcoal C made up an average of 1.2% of the total forest floor C, and the charcoal proportions showed a high small-scale spatial variability and were concentrated in the organic–mineral soil interface. Proportions of charcoal C decreased with increasing time since last fire. Deeper soils, denser soils, and local concave areas had the highest proportions of charcoal C, whereas historical fire frequencies and current differences in vegetation did not relate to the proportions of charcoal C.

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Arctic tundra vegetation is affected by rapid climatic change and fluctuating herbivore population sizes. Broad-billed geese, after their arrival in spring, feed intensively on belowground rhizomes, thereby disturbing soil, mosses, and vascular plant vegetation. Understanding of how springtime snowmelt patterns drive goose behavior is thus key to better predict the state of Arctic tundra ecosystems. Here, we analyzed how snowmelt progression affected springtime habitat selection and vegetation disturbance by pink-footed geese (Anser brachyrhynchus) in Svalbard during 2019. Our analysis, based on GPS telemetry data and field observations of geese, plot-based assessments of signs of vegetation disturbance, and drone and satellite images, covered two spatial scales (fine scale: extent 0.3 km2, resolution 5 cm; valley scale: extent 30 km2, resolution 10 m). We show that pink-footed goose habitat selection and signs of vegetation disturbance were correlated during the spring pre-breeding period; disturbances were most prevalent in the moss tundra vegetation class and areas free from snow early in the season. The results were consistent across the spatial scales and methods (GPS telemetry and field observations). We estimated that 23.4% of moss tundra and 11.2% of dwarf-shrub heath vegetation in the valley showed signs of disturbance by pink-footed geese during the study period. This study demonstrates that aerial imagery and telemetry can provide data to detect disturbance hotspots caused by pink-footed geese. Our study provides empirical evidence to general notions about implications of climate change and snow season changes that include increased variability in precipitation.

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This article reports findings from two research projects that aimed to understand the vulnerabilities of cultural heritage sites in Svalbard and investigated factors that influence tourism-induced pressures and site degradation. It draws upon fieldwork conducted at ten selected historic locations, including interviews with tourists and guides, consultations with regional and central cultural heritage management authorities, on-site observations, and condition assessments. The primary goal was to explore indicators rendering cultural heritage sites susceptible to the impacts of tourism and human visitors. These indicators were common denominators and encompassed the sites’ physical state/degree of decay, legibility, accessibility, and quantity and quality of objects at the sites. This article seeks to enhance the understanding of these sites’ vulnerabilities and provide insights for effective heritage site management and sustainable tourism development. The principal findings highlight key factors contributing to cultural heritage sites’ vulnerability. These factors encompass intensity and frequency of visitor traffic, suboptimal visitor management strategies, tourists’ limited awareness of proper site behaviour and conservation practices, and restricted resources for site maintenance and protection. These findings can guide policymakers, site managers, and tourism stakeholders in formulating strategies to balance tourism promotion with site conservation, ensuring the long-term preservation of cultural heritage in this unique and vulnerable environment.

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In the last decade, several studies aimed at dissecting the genetic architecture of local small ruminant breeds to discover which variations are involved in the process of adaptation to environmental conditions, a topic that has acquired priority due to climate change. Considering that traditional breeds are a reservoir of such important genetic variation, improving the current knowledge about their genetic diversity and origin is the first step forward in designing sound conservation guidelines. The genetic composition of North-Western European archetypical goat breeds is still poorly exploited. In this study we aimed to fill this gap investigating goat breeds across Ireland and Scandinavia, including also some other potential continental sources of introgression. The PCA and Admixture analyses suggest a well-defined cluster that includes Norwegian and Swedish breeds, while the crossbred Danish landrace is far apart, and there appears to be a close relationship between the Irish and Saanen goats. In addition, both graph representation of historical relationships among populations and f4-ratio statistics suggest a certain degree of gene flow between the Norse and Atlantic landraces. Furthermore, we identify signs of ancient admixture events of Scandinavian origin in the Irish and in the Icelandic goats. The time when these migrations, and consequently the introgression, of Scandinavian-like alleles occurred, can be traced back to the Viking colonisation of these two isles during the Viking Age (793-1066 CE). The demographic analysis indicates a complicated history of these traditional breeds with signatures of bottleneck, inbreeding and crossbreeding with the improved breeds. Despite these recent demographic changes and the historical genetic background shaped by centuries of human-mediated gene flow, most of them maintained their genetic identity, becoming an irreplaceable genetic resource as well as a cultural heritage.

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Bark beetle (Ips typographus) outbreaks have the potential to damage large areas of spruce-dominated forests in Scandinavia. To define forest management strategies that will minimize the risk of bark beetle attacks, we need robust models that link forest structure and composition to the risk and potential damage of bark beetle attacks. Since data on bark beetle infestation rates and corresponding damages does not exist in Norway, we implement a previously published meta-model for estimating I. typographus damage probability and intensity. Using both current and projected climatic conditions we used the model to estimate damage inflicted by I. typographus in Norwegian spruce stands. The model produces feasible results for most of Norway’s climate and forest conditions, but a revised model tailored to Norway should be fitted to a dataset that includes older stands and lower temperatures. Based on current climate and forest conditions, the model predicts that approximately nine percent of productive forests within Norway’s main spruce-growing region will experience a loss ranging from 1.7 to 11 m3/ha of spruce over a span of five years. However, climate change is predicted to exacerbate the annual damage caused by I. typographus, potentially leading to a doubling of its detrimental effects.

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The aim was to explore the impact of temperature during seed development on yield performance and seed quality in faba bean when grown at cool temperatures representative for high latitude regions. Two varieties, an early and a medium late maturing, were grown in climate chambers with three temperature regimes (day/night temperatures of 14°C/12°C, 19°C/12°C, and 24°C/12°C) from onset of flowering to maturation. Yield components were recorded, and the accumulation of protein, starch, and low molecular weight carbohydrates including the raffinose family oligosaccharides was followed during the accumulation phase until physiological maturity. The lower temperature regimes strongly delayed pod and seed development compared with 24°C/12°C. Temperature affected the number of pods per plant for the upper node group. Plants grown at 19°C had the highest total dry seed weight compared with plants grown at 14°C and 24°C. Temperature per se did not influence the content of starch, protein, and low molecular weight carbohydrates, while their accumulation followed the moisture content in the seed, and thus the seed development stage. The content of raffinose family oligosaccharides increased sharply when the seed moisture dropped below 70% and leveled off at about 40% and 50% moisture for verbascose and stachyose, respectively, coinciding with physiological maturity. The results provide more knowledge about the seed maturation and accumulation in faba bean under low temperatures, important for cultivation under high latitude regions.

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Renewable energy in the form of biogas can be produced by anaerobic digestion (AD) of animal manure. However, there is still a lack of knowledge on the long-term effects of AD-treated manure on soil characteristics and crop productivity, compared with untreated manure. A field experiment was established in a perennial grass-clover ley in 2011 to study the effects on important soil and crop characteristics when the slurry from a herd of organically managed dairy cows is anaerobically digested. While the rate of manure application affected soil concentrations of extractable nutrients and pH, these variables were unaffected by AD. Soil organic matter (SOM) concentrations decreased in all plots and faster on the plots with high intrinsic SOM. The decrease was similar with application of untreated (non-digested) slurry (US) and anaerobically digested slurry (ADS), and it was not affected by application rates. The general decline may be explained by the initial high SOM content, the long-term effect of drainage, and higher temperatures with climatic change. US and ADS gave similar yields of grass-clover ley (2 cuts/year) and green fodder, on average 0.79 and 0.40 kg DM m−2, respectively. Clover yield was similar in manured treatments and the non-fertilized control. With respect to crop yields and chemical soil characteristics, long-term (10 years) effects of AD in an organic dairy cow farming system seem to be minor. The benefits of extracting energy from the slurry did not compromise grassland productivity or soil quality in the long term.

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The efficacy of currently available fungicides against apple scab, caused by the fungal pathogen Venturia inaequalis, was investigated in relation to when growers spray (ahead, during, or after rain) and how the spray reaches the target. The adaxial surface of individual leaves of potted trees were sprayed and then inoculated with ascospores of V. inaequalis, to establish dose-response curves for each fungicide. Discriminatory doses providing 50 and 90% symptom inhibition (EC50 and EC90, respectively) in sprays mimicking applications ahead of rain were used for experiments imitating alternative spray timings. Sprays were either applied during the spore germination phase or early or late after infection onset (either 336 or 672 degree-hours after inoculation, respectively), corresponding to grower spray schedules. Experiments were also carried out with sprays applied on the abaxial leaf surface to investigate fungicide efficacy through the leaf lamina. For all fungicides, the best efficacy was observed when sprays were applied during germination, followed by applications ahead of inoculation. Some products maintained equal or better efficacy at early infection, while efficacy in late infection dropped for all products, clearly indicating that this spray timing should be avoided. Some products with postinfection efficacy also showed translaminar efficacy. The close relationship found between EC50 of the active ingredients on potted trees and the label rate could help improve spraying decisions and reduce costs.

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Little is known about the environmental control of growth and flower bud initiation (FBI) in commercial blackberries. We studied the processes in the cultivars ‘Lock Ness’, ’Ouachita’ and ‘Sweet Royalla’ at 12, 16 and 20 °C in a daylight phytotron under naturally decreasing autumn daylength at Ås, Norway (59°40′ N). Growth rate increased with increasing temperature but was much lower at all temperatures in the erect ‘Ouachita’ than in the trailing cultivars ‘Lock Ness’ and ‘Sweet Royalla’. In all cultivars, FBI occurred earliest at 16 °C, whereas little or no FBI took place in ‘Ouachita’ and ‘Lock Ness’ at 12 °C. Growth cessation was earliest at 16 °C where it occurred in early September in all cultivars, suggesting a critical daylength of approximately 14 h. At variance from earlier statements, FBI started in lateral buds situated several nodes below the apex and progressed in both acropetal and basipetal directions as previously reported for red raspberry. Winter chill at 0 °C enhanced flowering in spring in marginally induced plants of all cultivars except ‘Ouachita’ grown at 12 °C, which remained vegetative in spring. The results suggest that temperature is as important as daylength for FBI in biennial-fruiting blackberry, and that winter chilling may enhance flowering and yield potential in partially induced plants.

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Forests provide a range of vital services to society and are critical habitats for biodiversity, holding inherent multifunctionality. While traditionally viewed as a byproduct of production-focused forestry, today's forest ecosystem services and biodiversity (FESB) play an essential role in several sectoral policies’ needs. Achieving policy objectives requires careful management considering the interplay of services, influenced by regional aspects and climate. Here, we examined the multifunctionality gap caused by these factors through simulation of forest management and multi-objective optimization methods across different regions - Finland, Norway, Sweden and Germany (Bavaria). To accomplish this, we tested diverse management regimes (productivity-oriented silviculture, several continuous cover forestry regimes and set asides), two climate scenarios (current and RCP 4.5) and three policy strategies (National Forest, Biodiversity and Bioeconomy Strategies). For each combination we calculated a multifunctionality metric at the landscape scale based on 5 FESB classes (biodiversity conservation, bioenergy, climate regulation, wood, water and recreation). In Germany and Norway, maximum multifunctionality was achieved by increasing the proportion of set-asides and proportionally decreasing the rest of management regimes. In Finland, maximum MF would instead require that policies address greater diversity in management, while in Sweden, the pattern was slightly different but similar to Finland. Regarding the climate scenarios, we observed that only for Sweden the difference in the provision of FESB was significant. Finally, the highest overall potential multifunctionality was observed for Sweden (National Forest scenario, with a value of 0.94 for the normalized multifunctionality metric), followed by Germany (National Forest scenario, 0.83), Finland (Bioeconomy scenario, 0.81) and Norway (National Forest scenario, 0.71). The results highlight the challenges of maximizing multifunctionality and underscore the significant influence of country-specific policies and climate change on forest management. To achieve the highest multifunctionality, strategies must be tailored to specific national landscapes, acknowledging both synergistic and conflicting FESB.

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Renting agricultural land is a common practice in many countries. The possibility to rent land provides farmers with increased flexibility in terms of production volume. Land renting may have various effects on farmland management; however, results from studies analysing these are ambivalent. Farmland in the best possible state is a prerequisite for following up ambitions of feeding a growing population through a sustainable agriculture. Decisions regarding investments on farmland are key. The aim of this study is to increase the understanding of which factors are the most important ones for farmers’ decisions about investments on land they rent. We carried out a questionnaire survey followed by a multiple linear regression considering 34 variables. Although variables included in our model come out as significant in explaining investments, a large part of the variation is left unexplained (R2 = 0.22). Our interpretation of this result is that making investments is a complex decision. Non-economic factors impacting on farmers’ investment decisions such as trust or norms may contribute to the unexplained variation, but may only have been captured partly by our variables. Moreover, decisions regarding investments may not only vary among farmers but also among investments made by an individual farmer. The complex nature of the decisions on how to treat rented land makes it challenging for policymakers to develop measures targeted at farmers renting land. However, the finding that farmers are driving longer distances to rented land than they find acceptable deserves political attention. One potential policy implication may be strengthened incentives for land re-allotment. Re-allotment may address increasing distances and potential consequences such as reduced productivity and increased land abandonment. However, the sustainability of a re-allotment process needs to be considered carefully in terms of economic viability, ecological soundness and social responsibility.

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The benefits of individual vessel quota (IVQ) management in terms of improved harvest strategy and profitability are well recognized, but there is less focus on how different components of a quota portfolio can influence decisions underlying the effort allocation and profit-maximizing behaviour of fishers. Variations in the components of the quota portfolio may create economic incentives that alter the optimal harvest strategy and profitability. Thus, we study the potential impact of different components of quota portfolio on the intra-annual harvest strategy and profitability in two segments of the Norwegian bottom trawl fleet. By developing a vessel-based spatio-temporal bioeconomic framework, we demonstrate and compare adopted harvest strategies and accrued profits for small and large trawl vessels under three scenarios regarding restrictive quotas in codfish fishery. Our analysis confirms that alternations in the components of the quota portfolio influence the spatio-temporal dynamics of the fishing effort for small and large trawl vessels in different ways, probably due to the differences in vessel-specific characteristics. We also demonstrate that the differences in profit between small and large vessels in part depend on the overall size of the quota portfolio. The economies of scale in the trawl industry are being eroded as the shares of higher-priced species in the quota portfolio decreases. The benefits of economies of scale cannot be reaped as trawlers respond to the reduction in profit by redirecting effort from offshore areas of the Arctic to nearshore waters or staying ashore. Likewise, having small quotas of high-priced species reduces the effectiveness of the IVQ system in meeting management objectives, and could in some cases undermine sustainability outcomes. Our results also demonstrate that both the intensity with which fishers react to the fluctuations in market price levels and fishers’ perceptions of location attractiveness are influenced by the components of the quota portfolio.

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Butt rot is a main defect in Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) trees and causes large economic losses for forest owners. However, little empirical research has been done on the effects of butt rot on harvested roundwood and the magnitude of the resulting economic losses. The main objective of this study was to characterize the direct economic losses caused by butt rot in Norway spruce trees for Norwegian forest owners. We used data obtained from seven cut-to-length harvesters, comprising ∼400,000 trees (∼140,000 m3) with corresponding stem profiles and wood grade information. We quantified the economic losses due to butt rot using bucking simulations, for which in a first case, defects caused by butt rot were included, and in a second case, all trees were assumed to be free of butt rot. 16% of trees were affected by butt rot, whereby butt rot tended to occur in larger trees. When butt rot was present in a tree, the saw log volume was reduced by 48%. Proportions of roundwood volume affected by butt rot varied considerably across harvested stands. Our results suggest that butt rot causes economic losses upwards of 7% of wood revenues, corresponding to € 18.5 million annually in Norway.

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Plants must adapt with increasing speed to global warming to maintain their fitness. One rapid adaptation mechanism is epigenetic memory, which may provide organisms sufficient time to adapt to climate change. We studied how the perennial Fragaria vesca adapted to warmer temperatures (28°C vs. 18°C) over three asexual generations. Differences in flowering time, stolon number, and petiole length were induced by warmer temperature in one or more ecotypes after three asexual generations and persisted in a common garden environment. Induced methylome changes differed between the four ecotypes from Norway, Iceland, Italy, and Spain, but shared methylome responses were also identified. Most differentially methylated regions (DMRs) occurred in the CHG context, and most CHG and CHH DMRs were hypermethylated at the warmer temperature. In eight CHG DMR peaks, a highly similar methylation pattern could be observed between ecotypes. On average, 13% of the differentially methylated genes between ecotypes also showed a temperature-induced change in gene expression. We observed ecotype-specific methylation and expression patterns for genes related to gibberellin metabolism, flowering time, and epigenetic mechanisms. Furthermore, we observed a negative correlation with gene expression when repetitive elements were found near (±2 kb) or inside genes. In conclusion, lasting phenotypic changes indicative of an epigenetic memory were induced by warmer temperature and were accompanied by changes in DNA methylation patterns. Both shared methylation patterns and transcriptome differences between F. vesca accessions were observed, indicating that DNA methylation may be involved in both general and ecotype-specific phenotypic variation.

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An epigenetic memory of the temperature sum experienced during embryogenesis is part of the climatic adaptation strategy of the long-lived gymnosperm Norway spruce. This memory has a lasting effect on the timing of bud phenology and frost tolerance in the resulting epitype trees. The epigenetic memory is well characterized phenotypically and at the transcriptome level, but to what extent DNA methylation changes are involved have not previously been determined. To address this, we analyzed somatic epitype embryos of Norway spruce clones produced at contrasting epitype-inducing conditions (18 and 28°C). We screened for differential DNA methylation in 2744 genes related mainly to the epigenetic machinery, circadian clock, and phenology. Of these genes, 68% displayed differential DNA methylation patterns between contrasting epitype embryos in at least one methylation context (CpG, CHG, CHH). Several genes related to the epigenetic machinery (e.g., DNA methyltransferases, ARGONAUTE) and the control of bud phenology (FTL genes) were differentially methylated. This indicates that the epitype-inducing temperature conditions induce an epigenetic memory involving specific DNA methylation changes in Norway spruce.

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Mitigating enteric methane (CH4) emissions is crucial as ruminants account for 5% of global greenhouse gas emissions. We hypothesised that less frequent harvesting, use of crops with lower WSC concentration, ensiling at low crop dry matter (DM) and extensive lactic acid fermentation would reduce in vitro CH4 production. Timothy (T), timothy + red clover mixture (T + RC) or perennial ryegrass (RG), cut either two or three times per season, was wilted to 22.5% or 37.5% DM and ensiled with or without formic acid-based additive. Silages were analysed for chemical composition and fermentation products. In vitro CH4 production was measured using an automated gas in vitro system. Methane production was, on average, 2.8 mL/g OM lower in the two-cut system than in the three-cut system (P < 0.001), and 1.9 mL/g OM lower in T than in RG (P < 0.001). Silage DM did not affect CH4 production (P = 0.235), but formic acid increased CH4 production by 1.2 mL/g OM compared to the untreated silage (P = 0.003). In conclusion, less frequent harvesting and extensive silage fermentation reduce in vitro CH4 production, while RG in comparison to T resulted in higher production of CH4.

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Anaerobic digestion (AD) can be used as a stand-alone process or integrated as part of a larger biorefining process to produce biofuels, biochemicals and fertiliser, and has the potential to play a central role in the emerging circular bioeconomy (CBE). Agricultural residues, such as animal slurry, straw, and grass silage, represent an important resource and have a huge potential to boost biogas and methane yields. Under the CBE concept, there is a need to assess the long-term impact and investigate the potential accumulation of specific unwanted substances. Thus, a comprehensive literature review to summarise the benefits and environmental impacts of using agricultural residues for AD is needed. This review analyses the benefits and potential adverse effects related to developing biogas-centred CBE. The identified potential risks/challenges for developing biogas CBE include GHG emission, nutrient management, pollutants, etc. In general, the environmental risks are highly dependent on the input feedstocks and resulting digestate. Integrated treatment processes should be developed as these could both minimise risks and improve the economic perspective.

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Research centred on understanding scientists’ attitudes towards open data in ecology and evolution point to an increased acceptance of and willingness to engage in open data practices1,2, but also identifies common threads of concern which present barriers to data sharing.

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The morphological ontogeny of Zachvatkinibates svanhovdi A. Seniczak & S. Seniczak, 2023 is described and illustrated. The juveniles of this species are light brown with slightly darker colour on the prodorsum, gastronotal shield, surrounding of gla opening, and legs. The larva has 12 pairs of gastronotal setae, most are of medium size and barbed; the nymphs have 15 pairs, most are short and smooth. In all juveniles, the setae of c-series are inserted on unsclerotized integument. In the larva, the pygidial shield is absent but, in the nymphs, the gastronotal shield is present and the setae p2 and p3 are inserted on unsclerotized integument. In the larva, a humeral organ is absent but is present in the nymphs.

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This book analyses the implementation and challenges of using Geographical Indications in Norway. Adapting the modern and global system of Geographical Indications (GIs) to food cultures is a recurring challenge. This text uses Norway as a case study to describe, understand, and explain the socio-cultural adaptation of GIs. The empirical analysis shows that administrators, producers, consultants, and others make a significant effort to adapt the scheme to Norwegian food culture and the food culture to the scheme. Through the development and use of a new conceptual framework, the book continues to show how adaptations occurred and their influence on the development of the Norwegian food culture. The author also reflects upon the status of Norwegian GIs in emerging food cultural contexts related to sustainable and technology change. In summary, this book exhibits the connection between modern global legislative arrangements and traditional local products, providing a springboard for further research on cultural adaptation work of GIs in established and future global food cultures. This book will be of interest to researchers, policymakers, and students in agri-food studies, sociology of food and agriculture, agricultural and rural development, and cultural studies.

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Studies on host–parasite systems that have experienced distributional shifts, range fragmentation, and population declines in the past can provide information regarding how parasite community richness and genetic diversity will change as a result of anthropogenic environmental changes in the future. Here, we studied how sequential postglacial colonization, shifts in habitat, and reduced host population sizes have influenced species richness and genetic diversity of Corynosoma (Acanthocephala: Polymorphidae) parasites in northern European marine, brackish, and freshwater seal populations. We collected Corynosoma population samples from Arctic, Baltic, Ladoga, and Saimaa ringed seal subspecies and Baltic gray seals, and then applied COI barcoding and triple-enzyme restriction-site associated DNA (3RAD) sequencing to delimit species, clarify their distributions and community structures, and elucidate patterns of intraspecific gene flow and genetic diversity. Our results showed that Corynosoma species diversity reflected host colonization histories and population sizes, with four species being present in the Arctic, three in the Baltic Sea, two in Lake Ladoga, and only one in Lake Saimaa. We found statistically significant population-genetic differentiation within all three Corynosoma species that occur in more than one seal (sub)species. Genetic diversity tended to be high in Corynosoma populations originating from Arctic ringed seals and low in the landlocked populations. Our results indicate that acanthocephalan communities in landlocked seal populations are impoverished with respect to both species and intraspecific genetic diversity. Interestingly, the loss of genetic diversity within Corynosoma species seems to have been less drastic than in their seal hosts, possibly due to their large local effective population sizes resulting from high infection intensities and effective intra-host population mixing. Our study highlights the utility of genomic methods in investigations of community composition and genetic diversity of understudied parasites.

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Climate change, urbanization, and many anthropogenic activities have intensified the floods in today’s world. However, poor attention was given to mitigation strategies for floods in the developing world due to funding and technical limitations. Developing flood inundation maps from historical flood records would be an important task in mitigating any future flood damages. Therefore, this study presents the predictive capability of the Rainfall-Runoff-Inundation (RRI) model, a 2D coupled hydrology-inundation model, and to build flood inundation maps utilizing available ground observation and satellite remote sensing data for Kalu River, Sri Lanka. Despite the lack of studies in predicting flood levels, Kalu River is an annually flooded river basin in Sri Lanka. The comparative results between ground-based rainfall (GBR) measurement and satellite rainfall products (SRPs) from the IMERG satellite have shown that SRPs underestimate peak discharges compared to GBR data. The accuracy and the reliability of the model were assessed using ground-measured discharges with a high coefficient of determination (R2 = 0.89) and Nash–Sutcliffe model efficiency coefficient (NSE = 0.86). Therefore, the developed RRI model can successfully be used to simulate the inundation of flood events in the KRB. The findings can directly be applied to the stakeholders.

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Greenhouse gas (GHGs) emissions from peatlands contribute significantly to ongoing climate change because of human land use. To develop reliable and comprehensive estimates and predictions of GHG emissions from peatlands, it is necessary to have GHG observations, including carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O), that cover different peatland types globally. We synthesize published peatland studies with field GHG flux measurements to identify gaps in observations and suggest directions for future research. Although GHG flux measurements have been conducted at numerous sites globally, substantial gaps remain in current observations, encompassing various peatland types, regions and GHGs. Generally, there is a pressing need for additional GHG observations in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean regions. Despite widespread measurements of CO2 and CH4, studies quantifying N2O emissions from peatlands are scarce, particularly in natural ecosystems. To expand the global coverage of peatland data, it is crucial to conduct more eddy covariance observations for long-term monitoring. Automated chambers are preferable for plot-scale observations to produce high temporal resolution data; however, traditional field campaigns with manual chamber measurements remain necessary, particularly in remote areas. To ensure that the data can be further used for modeling purposes, we suggest that chamber campaigns should be conducted at least monthly for a minimum duration of one year with no fewer than three replicates and measure key environmental variables. In addition, further studies are needed in restored peatlands, focusing on identifying the most effective restoration approaches for different ecosystem types, conditions, climates, and land use histories.

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Grasslands represent key functional ecosystems due to their global contribution to macronutrients cycling and their role as reservoirs of microbial diversity. The strategic importance of these habitats rests on their involvement in carbon and nitrogen fluxes from the atmosphere to the soil, while at the same time offering extensive sites for livestock rearing. In this study the management type, differentiated in pasture or meadow, was investigated as a variable for its possible effects on overall bacterial diversity and specific genes related to functional guilds. Its contribution was compared to that of other variables such as region, soil pH, and soil organic carbon, to rank their respective hierarchies in shaping microbial community structure. A latitudinal gradient across the European continent was studied, with three sampling groups located in Norway, France, and Northern Italy. The applied methods involved 16S DNA metabarcoding for taxonomic classification and determination of the relative abundance of the bacterial component, and quantitative PCR for the genetic determinants of bacterial and archaeal nitrification, intermediate or terminal denitrification, and nitrogen fixation. Results indicated that soil pH exerted the dominant role, affecting high taxonomy ranks and functions, along with organic carbon and region, with whom it partly covaried. In contrast, management type had no significant influence on microbial community structure and quantitative counts of functional genes. This suggests an ecological equivalence between the impacts of pasture and meadow practices, which are both perturbations that share the aspect of vegetation withdrawal by browsing or cutting, respectively.

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Biowaste is becoming a significant category in the global energy mix to mitigate the negative impacts of burning fossil fuels. The aim of this review paper was to investigate the potential, conversion mechanisms, benefits, and policy gaps related to the utilization of solid biowaste resources as renewable, clean, and affordable energy sources. Thus, a systematic review approach was employed to undertake a comprehensive analysis of the studies that dealt with solid biowaste resources for energy recovery. This review paper was conducted from November 2022 to June 2023. The relevant literature was searched using databases from scholarly journal publishers, online search engines, and websites. A total of 82 studies were determined to be eligible from 659 records. Ethiopia has a huge potential for biowaste resources, with an annual generation potential of 18,446.4 MJ per year. The multifaceted advantages associated with biowaste-to-energy conversion such as clean energy production, waste management, forest conservation, greenhouse gas emission reduction, and maintaining soil fertility using the digestate left after anaerobic digestion were mentioned. This review highlights various conversion technologies for converting solid biowastes into valuable forms of energy, such as thermochemical, biochemical, and physico-mechanical techniques. It also investigated the value-added products of the Solid Biowastes-to-Energy (SBWtoE) process, including bio-oil, syngas, bioethanol, biodiesel, biomethane, bio-briquettes, and pellets, with applications ranging from transportation to power generation. Furthermore, this review addresses the multifaceted challenges associated with implementing a circular economy, emphasizing the need to overcome policy, technological, financial, and institutional barriers. These efforts are crucial for harnessing the growing biowaste resources in Ethiopia, ultimately promoting sustainable and cost-effective energy production while advancing the nation's environmental objectives.

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Saccharomyces cerevisiae is commonly used for the production of alcoholic beverages, including cider. In this study, we examined indigenous S. cerevisiae and S. uvarum strains, both species commonly found in cider from Hardanger (Norway), for their strain-specific abilities to produce volatile and non-volatile compounds. Small-scale fermentation of apple juice with 20 Saccharomyces strains was performed to evaluate their aroma-producing potential as a function of amino acids (AAs) and other physicochemical parameters under the same experimental conditions. After fermentation, sugars, organic acids, AAs, and biogenic amines (BAs) were quantified using the HPLC–UV/RI system. A new analytical method was developed for the simultaneous determination of nineteen AAs and four BAs in a single run using HPLC–UV with prior sample derivatization. Volatile compounds were determined using HS-SPME-GC-MS. Based on 54 parameters and after the removal of outliers, the nineteen strains were classified into four groups. In addition, we used PLS regression to establish a relationship between aroma compounds and predictor variables (AAs, BAs, organic acids, sugars, hydrogen sulfide (H2S) production, CO2 release) of all 19 strains tested. The results of the VIP show that the main predictor variables affecting the aroma compounds produced by the selected yeasts are 16, belonging mainly to AAs.

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The Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant (ChNPP) accident in 1986 resulted in extremely high levels of acute ionising radiation, that killed or damaged Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) trees in the surrounding areas. Dead trees were cleared and buried, and new plantations established a few years later. Today, more than three decades later, gamma and beta-radiation near the ChNPP is still elevated compared with ambient levels but have decreased by a factor of 300 and 100, respectively. In the present work, Scots pine-trees growing at High (220 μGy h−1), Medium (11 μGy h−1), and Low (0.2 μGy h−1) total (internal + external) dose rates of chronically elevated ionising radiation in the Chernobyl Exclusion zone were investigated with respect to possible damage to DNA, cells and organelles, as well as potentially increased levels of phenolic and terpenoid antioxidants. Scots pine from the High and Medium radiation sites had elevated levels of DNA damage in shoot tips and needles as shown by the COMET assay, as well as increased numbers of resin ducts and subcellular abnormalities in needles. Needles from the High radiation site showed elevated levels of monoterpenes and condensed tannins compared with those from the other sites. In conclusion, more than three decades after the ChNPP accident substantial DNA damage and (sub)cellular effects, but also mobilisation of stress-protective substances possessing antioxidant activity were observed in Scots pine trees growing at elevated levels of ionising radiation. This demonstrates that the radiation levels in the Red Forest still significantly impact the plant community.

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Biomass pyrolysis is the anoxic thermal conversion of biomass into a carbon rich, porous solid, often called biochar. This could be a better waste management alternative for contaminated organic wastes than incineration, due to the useful properties of biochar and potential for carbon sequestration. There are, however, concerns about the potential formation/destruction of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and furans (PCDD/Fs). Six organic wastes, including digested sewage sludges, wood wastes, and food waste reject, were pyrolyzed (500–800°C) in a full-scale relevant unit (1–5 kg biochar hr−1). Removal efficiencies for PCBs and PCDD/Fs were > 99% in the produced biochars. Biochar PAH-content (2.7–118 mgkg−1) was not significantly correlated to feedstock or temperature. PAHs (2563–8285 mgkg−1), PCBs (22–113 µgkg−1), and PCDD/Fs (1.8–50 ngTEQ kg−1) accumulated in the pyrolysis condensate, making this a hazardous waste best handled as a fuel for high temperature combustion. Emission concentrations for PAHs (0.22–421 µgNm−3) and PCDD/Fs (≤2.7 pgTEQ Nm−3) were mainly associated with particles and were below the European Union’s waste incineration thresholds. Emission factors ranged from 0.0002 to 78 mg tonne−1 biochar for PAHs and 0.002–0.45 µgTEQ tonne−1 biochar for PCDD/Fs. PCDD/F-formation was negligible during high temperature (≥500 °C) biomass pyrolysis (69–90% net loss)

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Productive and stable forage yields are essential for the sustainability of ruminal livestock production. Grassland seed mixtures composed of species of diverse functional groups have previously been demonstrated to increase yield performance and stability compared to monocultures. In this study we conducted field trials with five grass and two legume species either grown in monocultures or a range of mixtures from two-species to seven-species mixtures sown in a simplex design. The species represented different functional groups regarding ability to fixate atmospheric nitrogen (N), rate of establishment and temporal persistence.The experiments were established with the same cultivars of species at five locations in Norway with climatically contrasting environments – from mild humid, mountainous continental to sub-arctic. The experimental plots were harvested for three years at four of the sites and two years at one of the sites, and they were fertilised according to normal practise in intensive silage grass production in the respective regions (regular N). At three of the sites, a treatment with low mineral N supply rate was also included.We found that crops sown as mixtures returned higher yields and contained less weeds than the average of monoculture crops, and these effects were consistent over all sites and study years. The grass-legume mixtures managed at low N supply rate performed equally well or better than monocultures or grass-only mixtures managed at regular N supply. We found no effects of the functional groups categorised as temporal persistence or rate of establishment on the yield performance, and there were no apparent benefits of increasing the number of species beyond the species P. pratense, F. pratensis and T. pratense over the three production years the experiments lasted.The results suggest that by using grass-clover mixtures, farmers can reduce N fertiliser rates, without compromising productivity of temporary grassland under northern conditions over the first three years of production.

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Lodging is a major problem in maize (Zea mays L.) production worldwide. An analytical lodging model has previously been established. However, some of the model inputs are time consuming to obtain and require destructive plant sampling. Efficient prediction of lodging risk early in the season would be beneficial for management decision-making to reduce lodging risks and ensure high yield potential. Remote sensing technology provides an alternative method for fast and nondestructive measurements with the potential for efficient prediction of lodging risks. The objective of this study was to explore the potential of using an active canopy sensor for the early prediction of maize stem lodging risk using simple regression and multiple linear regression (MLR) models. The results indicated that the MLR models using active canopy sensor data together with weather and management factors performed better than simple regression models using only sensor data for predicting maize stem lodging indicators. Similar results were achieved either using regression models to predict the maize stem lodging risk indicators directly or using the regression models to predict lodging related plant parameters as inputs to a process-based lodging model to predict lodging risk indicators indirectly, although the latter approach using MLR models performed slightly better. A medium planting density (7.0 plants m-2) and 240 kg ha-1 N rate would be suitable in the study region, and the recommendations may be adjusted according to different weather conditions. It is concluded that maize stem lodging risks can be predicted using active canopy sensor data together with weather and management information at V8 stage, which can be used to guide in-season management decisions. Additional research is needed to evaluate the potential of using unmanned aerial vehicles and satellite remote sensing technologies in conjunction with machine learning methods to improve the prediction of lodging risks for large scale applications.

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The treatment of organic waste (OW) by anaerobic digestion (AD) conforms to the concept of sustainable development. But AD is facing the issue of low conversion rate. In this work, the photo-AD system using visible light (LED lamp) as the source was constructed and the performances and mechanism of N-doped carbon quantum dots (NCQD) were explored in the system for the first time. The results showed that 0.5 g/L NCQD promoted a 23.1 % increase in cumulative CH4 yield in the photo-AD system. Microbial analysis results showed that in photo-AD with NCQD, the dominant strain was Methanosarciniales, with an abundance of 69.0 %. Microbial activity and structural integrity tests showed that the microorganisms were not damaged by free radicals. In addition, NCQD increased the redox peak intensity of the CV curve and increased photocurrent intensity of photo-AD. Furthermore, it promoted an increase of 18.2 % (0.26 ± 0.03 μmol/mL) in ATP concentration. The photoelectrochemical analysis and quantitative analysis of functional genes results indicated that NCQD mainly promoted methanogenesis by providing photoelectrons. This promotion mechanism increased the copynumber (61,652.8 g−1) of EchA in photo-AD, rather than Vht and Hdr related to cytochrome. This work provided new strategies for the enhancement of AD and clarified potential mechanisms.

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Exploring key factors has important guidance for understanding complex anaerobic digestion (AD) systems. This study proposed a multi-layer automated machine learning framework to understand the complex interactions in AD systems and explore key factors at the environmental factor, microorganisms and system levels. The first layer of the framework identified hydraulic residence time (HRT) as the most important environmental factor, with an optimal range of 33–45 d. In the second layer of the framework, Methanocelleus (optimal relative abundance (ORA) = 3.0%) and Candidatus_Caldatribacterium (ORA = 1.7%) were found to be the key archaea and bacteria, respectively. Furthermore, the prediction of key microorganisms based on environmental factors and remaining microbial data showed the essential roles of Methanothermobacter and Acetomicrobium. The third layer for finding the optimal combination of data variables for predicting biogas production demonstrated that combined Archaea genera and environmental factors should be achieved for the most accurate prediction (root mean square error (RMSE) = 84.21). GBM had the best model performance and prediction accuracy among all the built-in models. Based on the optimal GBM model, the analysis at the system level showed that HRT was the most important variable. However the most important microorganism, Methanocelleus, within the appropriate survival range is also essential to achieve optimal biogas production. This research explores key parameters at various levels through automated machine learning techniques, which are expected to provide guidance in understanding the complex architecture of industrial and laboratory AD systems.

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Agricultural extension services are integral to technology adoption where they play a key role in delivering relevant agricultural information and technologies to farmers. In China, agricultural extension services are provided through experimentation, demonstration, training, and consulting. In Norway, agricultural extension is focused on collecting, developing, and coordinating agricultural knowledge to farmers. This chapter focuses on why agricultural extension is needed, how it is developed, and what services agricultural extension provides to its clients. It discusses experiences from China and Norway where agricultural extension has led to or is necessary for boosting agricultural productivity, increasing food security and safety, and improving the well-being of farmers.

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Lignosulphonates are water-soluble polymeric by-products from wood pulp production using sulphite pulping and can be used as soil amendments in agriculture, amongst other uses. Here, we review effects of lignosulphonates as biostimulants and in enhancing the action of fertilizers. In soils, they affect the nitrogen and phosphorous cycles, as well as acting as transporters of micronutrients. The action of tree-associated fungi can be improved, and plant growth and yield can be increased. The beneficial effects of lignosulphonates in agriculture mean that there is likely to be a market for commercial specialty lignosulphonate products.

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Black soil is a major agricultural soil in China. Based on published research papers and related research, this chapter reviews the composition, diversity, and ecological functions of farmland soil microbial communities in black soil areas of China. The aim is to summarize the main groups of soil microorganisms in black soil farmland, the ecological processes they participate in, their responses to environmental factors, and the main environmental indicators, and then put forward the importance of isolation and cultivation of indigenous functional microbial strains, so as to provide a basis for the protection and sustainable use of black soil resources.

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Biochar, derived from organic waste via pyrolysis, is proposed as a soil amendment in the early twenty-first century. In this chapter, we summarize the great potential of pure biochar application in food production, soil fertility improvement, plant disease suppression, climate change mitigation, and heavy metal contamination control, based on field experiments globally. However, large-scale pure biochar implementation is restricted by high cost in terms of high price and application rate. The difficulty of biochar application using machines further reduces the farmers’ willingness to use biochar. Based on the experience of biochar usage in China, we propose a framework for large-scale implementation of industrialized biochar. Biochar can be developed into three products including liquid fertilizer, biochar-based organic fertilizer, and inorganic fertilizer. The soluble components in biochar after water extraction or in the wood vinegar during biochar production can be used to develop liquid fertilizer and used in fruit and vegetable growing. For fertile soils, biochar-based inorganic fertilizer is recommended for use instead of pure biochar. For degraded soils, biochar-based organic fertilizer is recommended to improve soil structure and provide nutrients for crops. Pure biochar is recommended to apply to heavy metal contaminated soil to decrease their uptake by crops.

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Soil management is important for sustainable agriculture, playing a vital role in food production and maintaining ecological functions in the agroecosystem. Effective soil management depends on highly accurate soil property estimation. Machine learning (ML) is an effective tool for data mining, selection of key soil properties, modeling the non-linear relationship between different soil properties. Through coupling with spectral imaging, ML algorithms have been extensively used to estimate physical, chemical, and biological properties quickly and accurately for more effective soil management. Most of the soil properties are estimated by either near infrared (NIR), Vis-NIR, or mid-infrared (MIR) in combination with different ML algorithms. Spectroscopy is widely used in estimation of chemical properties of soil samples. Spectral imaging from both UAV and satellite platforms should be taken to improve the spatial resolution of different soil properties. Spectral image super-resolution should be taken to generate spectral images in high spatial, spectral, and temporal resolutions; more advanced algorithms, especially deep learning (DL) should be taken for soil properties’ estimation based on the generated ‘super’ images. Using hyperspectral modeling, soil water content, soil organic matter, total N, total K, total P, clay and sand were found to be successfully predicted. Generally, MIR produced better predictions than Vis-NIR, but Vis-NIR outperformed MIR for a number of properties. An advantage of Vis-NIR is instrument portability although a new range of MIR portable devices is becoming available. In-field predictions for water, total organic C, extractable phosphorus, and total N appear similar to laboratory methods, but there are issues regarding, for example, sample heterogeneity, moisture content, and surface roughness. More precise and detailed soil property estimation will facilitate future soil management.

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To ensure compliance with food safety regulations, monitoring programs and reliable analytical methods to detect relevant chemical pollutants in food and the environment are key instruments. Pesticides are an important part of pest management in agriculture to sustain and increase crop yields and control post-harvest decay, while pesticide residues in food may pose a risk to human health. Thus, the levels of pesticide residues in food must be controlled and should align with Maximum Residue Levels regulations to ensure food safety. Food safety monitoring programs and analytical methods for pesticide residues and metabolites are well developed. Future developments to ensure food safety must include the increased awareness and improved regulatory framework to meet the challenges with natural toxins, emerging contaminants, novel biopesticides, and antimicrobial resistance in food and the environment. The reality of a complex mixture of pollutants, natural toxins, and their metabolites potentially occurring in food and the environment implies the necessity to consider combined effects of chemicals in risk assessment. Here, we present challenges, monitoring efforts, and future perspectives for chemical food safety focused on the importance of current developments in high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) technologies to meet the needs in food safety and environmental monitoring.

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This chapter describes the work performed within the Sinograin II project on implementation of new precision nitrogen management technologies in three regions of North China. Each of the analyzed regions represents a different crop and scale of a farming system: large-scale rice farming system in Heilongjiang province, medium-scale maize farming system in Jilin province, and small-scale wheat farming system in the North China Plain. A village was selected in each region to represent the agricultural practices and current nutrient and crop management strategies of the tested region. Moreover, the initial regional optimum crop management, the current agricultural extension, as well as the precision nitrogen technologies implemented in the respective regions are described. During the course of the project, a number of novel tools and strategies for precision nitrogen management were developed for the respective regions and published in scientific papers. This chapter reviews and discusses the selected findings and indicates directions of the upcoming research.

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Protected areas are one of the main strategic means for conserving biodiversity. Yet, the design of protected areas usually neglects phylogenetic diversity, an important diversity measure. In this paper we assess the phylogenetic diversity and species richness of vascular plants in Fennoscandian protected areas. We evaluate how much species richness and phylogenetic diversity is found within and outside protected areas, and the differences in plant diversity between different categories of protected areas. We also assess the differences in the diversity-area relationship of the different protected area categories in terms of both species richness and phylogenetic diversity. We build a multi-locus phylogeny of 1,519 native vascular plants of Norway, Sweden, and Finland. We estimate the phylogenetic diversity and species richness by combining the phylogeny with publicly available occurrence data and the currently protected area system of Fennoscandia. Our results indicate that protected areas in Fennoscandia hold more plant diversity when larger, and that phylogenetic diversity increases faster with area than species richness. We found evidence for more plant diversity outside of protected areas of the different countries of Fennoscandia than inside of protected areas, but no evidence for plant diversity differences between areas with different protection status. Hence, our results indicate that the current protected area system in Fennoscandia is no more effective in conserving phylogenetic diversity and species richness of vascular plants than a random selection of localities. Our results also indicate that planning conservation strategies around phylogenetic diversity, rather than species richness, might be a first step to protect vascular plant diversity more effectively. Biodiversity · Spatial phylogenetics · Conservation · Diversity-area relationship · Flora

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Active canopy sensors (ACSs) are great tools for diagnosing crop nitrogen (N) status and grain yield prediction to support precision N management strategies. Different commercial ACSs are available and their performances in crop N status diagnosis and recommendation may vary. The objective of this study was to determine the potential to minimize the differences of two commonly used ACSs (GreenSeeker and Crop Circle ACS-430) in maize (Zea mays L.) N status diagnosis and recommendation with multi-source data fusion and machine learning. The regression model was based on simple regression or machine learning regression including ancillary information of soil properties, weather conditions, and crop management information. Results of simple regression models indicated that Crop Circle ACS-430 with red-edge based vegetation indices performed better than GreenSeeker in estimating N nutrition index (NNI) (R2 = 0.63 vs. 0.50–0.51) and predicting grain yield (R2 = 0.56–0.57 vs. 0.49). The random forest regression (RFR) models using vegetation indices and ancillary data greatly improved the prediction of NNI (R2 = 0.81–0.82) and grain yield (R2 = 0.87–0.89), regardless of the sensor type or the vegetation index used. Using RFR models, moderate degree of accuracy in N status diagnosis was achieved based on either GreenSeeker or Crop Circle ACS-430. In comparison, using simple regression models based on spectral data only, the accuracy was significantly lower. When these two ACSs were used independently, they performed similarly in N fertilizer recommendation (R2 = 0.57–0.60). Hybrid RFR models were established using vegetation indices from both ACSs and ancillary data, which could be used to diagnose maize N status (moderate accuracy) and make side-dress N recommendations (R2 = 0.62–0.67) using any of the two ACSs. It is concluded that the use of multi-source data fusion with machine learning model could improve the accuracy of ACS-based N status diagnosis and recommendation and minimize the performance differences of different active sensors. The results of this research indicated the potential to develop machine learning models using multi-sensor and multi-source data fusion for more universal applications.

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Leys are an important part of northern European livestock production, particularly for ruminants since monogastric animals are limited in their ability to digest the fibres of the forage. Crop fractionation methods are a promising option to make forages more beneficial for monogastric animals and decrease the amount of imported protein feed. A leaf stripping harvesting technique was evaluated at Röbäcksdalen in northern Sweden in mixed grass-clover leys over 2 years. The PremAlfa Mini leaf stripper (Trust'ing-Alf'ing, Nantes, France) worked well in mixed stands, harvesting on average a third of the available forage biomass, primarily in the form of leaves and soft stems from the clover plants. It proved successful in producing a forage fraction that had a significantly higher crude protein (CP) concentration (+39.1%) and lower neutral detergent fibre (aNDFom) concentration (−21.4%) than the pre-harvest mixed sward (all significant at p < .05 level). Due to the remaining high level of aNDFom in the leaf stripper fraction, it is more suited for use as an energy source for monogastrics rather than as a protein supplement. Alternatively, the leaf stripper fraction could be used to increase digestibility and CP content in the feed rations of high producing dairy cows.

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Motion planning algorithms have seen considerable progress and expansion across various domains of science and technology during the last few decades, where rapid advancements in path planning and trajectory optimization approaches have been made possible by the conspicuous enhancements brought, among others, by sampling-based methods and convex optimization strategies. Although they have been investigated from various perspectives in the existing literature, recent developments aimed at integrating robots into social, healthcare, industrial, and educational contexts have attributed greater importance to additional concepts that would allow them to communicate, cooperate, and collaborate with each other, as well as with human beings, in a meaningful and efficient manner. Therefore, in this survey, in addition to a brief overview of some of the essential aspects of motion planning algorithms, a few vital considerations required for assimilating robots into real-world applications, including certain instances of social, urban, and industrial environments, are introduced, followed by a critical discussion of a set of outstanding issues worthy of further investigation and development in future scientific studies.

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Agroforestry practices improve soil health which in turn improves crop nutrient concentrations and quality. This study examined how the agroforestry tree Gliricidia sepium intercropped with soybean, groundnuts, or maize affects crop nutrient compositions. The study was conducted in five Zambian chiefdoms for three crop-growing seasons (2019–2022) on 13 farmer-led demonstration trial sites. Seven treatments were tested that included maize, soybean, and groundnut plots with and without Gliricidia interventions. Grain samples were analyzed for crop nutrient contents using standard laboratory methods. Results showed that the treatments significantly (P < 0.05) improved maize nutritional properties except for crude fiber, total carbohydrate, and metabolizable energy. G. sepium intercropping with maize and soybean decreased the antinutritional contents and displayed better functional qualities. All elemental mineral components (except potassium, calcium, and sodium) were higher in the Gliricidia + maize intercrop than in the control treatment. The Gliricidia+soybean intercrop had lower mean mineral concentrations than the control (soybean only) except for Mg, Cu, and Zn. The Giliricidia+groundnut intercrop significantly increased groundnut mineral components except for Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium, and Iron. It can be concluded that G. sepium intercropped with maize, soybean, and groundnuts significantly improved the crops’ nutritional quality.

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This study aimed to evaluate the rheological properties of doughs with 50% brewers’ spent grain (BSG) derived from a rye-based (RBSG) and barley-based (BBSG) beer added, and the textural profile of the related baked products. Simple model systems using BSG flour mixed with water were studied. Two bakery products, focaccia and cookies, were made as food systems using BSG in a 1:1 ratio with wheat flour (WF). Their rheological properties and texture after baking were characterized. BSG-added dough exhibited viscoelastic properties with a solid gel-like behavior. The addition of BSG increased G′ > G″ and decreased the dough flexibility. BSG addition in baked RBSG focaccia increased the hardness, gumminess, and chewiness by 10%, 9%, and 12%, respectively. BBSG cookies had a 20% increase in fracturability. A positive correlation was found between the rheological metrics of the dough and the textural parameters of BBSG-added cookies. PCA analysis revealed that complex viscosity, G′, G″, and cohesiveness separated BBSG focaccia from RBSG focaccia and the control. Therefore, the rheological properties of BSG dough will have industrial relevance for 3D-printed customized food products with fiber. Adding RBSG and BBSG to selected foods will increase the up-cycling potential by combining techno-functional properties.

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Up-to-date and reliable information on land cover and land use status is important in many aspects of human activities. Knowledge about the reference dataset, its coverage, nomenclature, thematic and geometric accuracy, spatial resolution is crucial for appropriate selection of reference samples used in the classification process. In this study, we examined the impact of the selection and pre-processing of reference samples for the classification accuracy. The classification based on Random Forest algorithm was performed using firstly the automatically selected reference samples derived directly from the national databases, and secondly using the pre-processed and verified reference samples. The verification procedures involved the iterative analysis of histogram of spectral features derived from the Sentinel-2 data for individual land cover classes. The verification of the reference samples improved the accuracy of delineation of all land cover classes. The highest improvement was achieved for the woodland broadleaved and non- and sparce vegetation classes, with the overall accuracy increasing from 51% to 73%, and from 33% to 74%, respectively. The second objective of this study was to derive the best possible land cover classification over the mountain area in Norway, therefore we examined whether the use of the Digital Elevation Model (DEM) can improve the classification results. Classifications were carried out based on Sentinel-2 data and a combination of Sentinel-2 and DEM. Using the DEM the accuracy for nine out of ten land cover classes was improved. The highest improvement was achieved for classes located at higher altitudes: low vegetation and non- and sparse vegetation.

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Several actors have an impact on the quality of drinking water, but ultimately drinking water treatment plants (DWTPs) play a decisive role in ensuring that water quality complies with public regulations. Several developing technologies are combined in water treatment processes. In this paper, we are analysing the technological development of DWTPs in the South Bohemian region of the Czech Republic. The empirical basis is five DWTPs of varying size, and data are gathered through semi-structured interviews with relevant staff inside and outside of the five DWTPs. This study identifies the interplay of factors driving technological development: public regulations, the economic capacity of local DWTP owners together with subsidies from the European Union and national authorities, political priorities by local authorities, and the knowledge network. The paper addressess learning–knowledge–change processes of DWTPs, thereby contributing to our understanding of developing competence in producing drinking water. Generally, large DWTPs are front-runners in introducing new technologies while the smaller ones are lagging. Still, private companies operating small plants on behalf of municipal owners ensure that those DWTPs are part of a wider knowledge network, aiding to introduce a necessary and cost-effective upgrade to treatment steps.

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The management of infectious wildlife diseases often involves tackling pathogens that infect multiple host species. Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is aprion disease that can infect most cervid species. CWD was detected in reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) in Norway in 2016. Sympatric populations of red deer(Cervus elaphus) and moose (Alces alces) are at immediate risk. However, the estimation of spillover risk across species and implementation of multispecies management policies are rarely addressed for wildlife. Here, we estimated the broad risk of CWD spillover from reindeer to red deer and moose by quantifying the probability of co-occurrence based on both (1) population density and(2) habitat niche overlap from GPS data of all three species in Nordfjella,Norway. We describe the practical challenges faced when aiming to reduce the risk of spillover through a marked reduction in the population densities of moose and red deer using recreational hunters. This involves setting the popu-lation and harvest aims with uncertain information and how to achieve them.The niche overlap between reindeer and both moose and red deer was low overall but occurred seasonally. Migratory red deer had a moderate niche over-lap with the CWD-infected reindeer population during the calving period, whereas moose had a moderate niche overlap during both calving and winter. Incorporating both habitat overlap and the population densities of the respective species into the quantification of co-occurrence allowed for more spatially targeted risk maps. An initial aim of a 50% reduction in abundance for the Nordfjella region was set, but only a moderate population decrease of less than 20% from 2016 to 2021 was achieved. Proactive management in the form of marked population reduction is invasive and unpopular when involving species of high societal value, and targeting efforts to zones with a high risk ofspillover to limit adverse impacts and achieve wider societal acceptance is important. disease management, host range, moose, multihost pathogens, niche overlap, Norway,population estimation, red deer, reindeer

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The energy in agricultural systems is two-fold: transformation and utilization. The assessment and proper use of energy in agricultural systems is important to achieve economic benefits and overall sustainability. Therefore, this study was conducted to evaluate the energy balance of crop and livestock production, net energy ratio (NER), and water use efficiency (WUE) of crops of a selected farm in Sri Lanka using the life cycle assessment (LCA) approach. In order to assess the diversification, 18 crops and 5 livestock types were used. The data were obtained from farm records, personal contacts, and previously published literature. Accordingly, the energy balance in crop production and livestock production was −316.87 GJ ha−1 Year−1 and 758.73 GJ Year−1, respectively. The energy related WUE of crop production was 31.35 MJ m−3. The total energy balance of the farm was 736.2 GJ Year−1. The results show a negative energy balance in crop production indicating an efficient production system, while a comparatively higher energy loss was shown from the livestock sector. The procedure followed in this study can be used to assess the energy balance of diversified agricultural systems, which is important for agricultural sustainability. This can be further developed to assess the carbon footprint in agricultural systems.

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Light penetration plays a vital role in lakes and drinking water reservoirs, influencing fundamental processes such as primary production and thermal budgets. The Secchi depth (ZSD) and the compensation depth (ZCD) are commonly used measurements in this context. ZSD is determined through visual inspection using a Secchi disc, while ZCD represents the depth at which photosynthetic activity balances respiration and can be measured using a quantum irradiance sensor. Through in situ water-core samples from 23 lakes within a lake district in Southeastern Norway, we observed that DNOM exerts a diverse influence on these light irradiance measurements. If DNOM concentrations are reduced to half or a quarter of the current concentration, similar to what was measured during the 1980s, the median ZCD:ZSD ratios are estimated to have decreased by approximately 30 and 60% since then, respectively. Conversely, a plausible future climate-driven doubling or quadrupling of the present DNOM concentrations are estimated to further decrease the median ZCD:ZSD ratios in the lake district with approximately 10 and 25%, respectively. From this, the ZCD:ZSD ratios seem to have experienced a considerable long-term decline attributed to both climate change and the recovery from acid rain, and a further climate-driven decrease is expected.

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In this study, we leverage geographical coordinates and firm-level panel data to uncover variations in production across different locations. Our approach involves using a semiparametric proxy variable regression estimator, which allows us to define and estimate a customized production function for each firm and its corresponding location. By employing kernel methods, we estimate the nonparametric functions that determine the model’s parameters based on latitude and longitude. Furthermore, our model incorporates productivity components that consider various factors that influence production. Unlike spatially autoregressive-type production functions that assume a uniform technology across all locations, our approach estimates technology and productivity at both the firm and location levels, taking into account their specific characteristics. To handle endogenous regressors, we incorporate a proxy variable identification technique, distinguishing our method from geographically weighted semiparametric regressions. To investigate the heterogeneity in production technology and productivity among Norwegian grain farmers, we apply our model to a sample of farms using panel data spanning from 2001 to 2020. Through this analysis, we provide empirical evidence of regional variations in both technology and productivity among Norwegian grain farmers. Finally, we discuss the suitability of our approach for addressing the heterogeneity in this industry.

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The durability against decay organisms is an essential material property for wood in outdoor use. A jack of all trades method for above-ground wood durability testing has been sought for decades, but until now no method has found its way into European standardization. The method of choice shall be applicable for untreated and treated wood—ideally also for wood composites. It shall further be reproducible, objective, fast, easy, and inexpensive. Finally, it shall provide high predictive power. This study was aimed at a review of results and practical experience with the Bundle test method which could serve as a standard procedure for above-ground field tests of wood-based materials. The method allows for water-trapping, creates a moderate moisture-induced decay risk typical for UC 3 situations, and was found applicable for a wide range of wood materials. The method allows for rapid infestation and failure of non-durable reference species within five years in Central Europe. Based on results from Bundle tests with different modifications and performed at different locations, a guideline has been developed. The method is recommended as a suitable tool for determining the durability of various wood-based materials including modified and preservative-treated wood and can provide data for durability classification.

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For many fruit crops, the colour of the fruit outwardly defines its eating quality. Fruit pigments provide reproductive advantage for the plant as well as providing protection against unfavourable environmental conditions and pathogens. For consumers these colours are considered attractive and provide many of the dietary benefits derived from fruits. In the majority of species, the main pigments are either carotenoids and/or anthocyanins. They are produced in the fruit as part of the ripening process, orchestrated by phytohormones and an ensuing transcriptional cascade, culminating in pigment biosynthesis. Whilst this is a controlled developmental process, the production of pigments is also attuned to environmental conditions such as light quantity and quality, availability of water and ambient temperature. If these factors intensify to stress levels, fruit tissues respond by increasing (or ceasing) pigment production. In many cases, if the stress is not severe, this can have a positive outcome for fruit quality. Here, we focus on the principal environmental factors (light, temperature and water) that can influence fruit colour.

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Weeds affect crop yield and quality due to competition for resources. In order to reduce the risk of yield losses due to weeds, herbicides or non-chemical measures are applied. Weeds, especially creeping perennial species, are generally distributed in patches within arable fields. Hence, instead of applying control measures uniformly, precision weeding or site-specific weed management (SSWM) is highly recommended. Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) imaging is known for wide area coverage and flexible operation frequency, making it a potential solution to generate weed maps at a reasonable cost. Efficient weed mapping algorithms need to be developed together with UAV imagery to facilitate SSWM. Different machine learning (ML) approaches have been developed for image-based weed mapping, either classical ML models or the more up-to-date deep learning (DL) models taking full advantage of parallel computation on a GPU (graphics processing unit). Attention-based transformer DL models, which have seen a recent boom, are expected to overtake classical convolutional neural network (CNN) DL models. This inspired us to develop a transformer DL model for segmenting weeds, cereal crops, and ‘other’ in low-resolution RGB UAV imagery (about 33 mm ground sampling distance, g.s.d.) captured after the cereal crop had turned yellow. Images were acquired during three years in 15 fields with three cereal species (Triticum aestivum, Hordeum vulgare, and Avena sativa) and various weed flora dominated by creeping perennials (mainly Cirsium arvense and Elymus repens). The performance of our transformer model, 1Dtransformer, was evaluated through comparison with a classical DL model, 1DCNN, and two classical ML methods, i.e., random forest (RF) and k-nearest neighbor (KNN). The transformer model showed the best performance with an overall accuracy of 98.694% on pixels set aside for validation. It also agreed best and relatively well with ground reference data on total weed coverage, R2 = 0.598. In this study, we showed the outstanding performance and robustness of a 1Dtransformer model for weed mapping based on UAV imagery for the first time. The model can be used to obtain weed maps in cereals fields known to be infested by perennial weeds. These maps can be used as basis for the generation of prescription maps for SSWM, either pre-harvest, post-harvest, or in the next crop, by applying herbicides or non-chemical measures.

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Inthis study, we introduce Point2Tree, a modular and versatile framework that employs a three-tiered methodology, inclusive of semantic segmentation, instance segmentation, and hyperparameter optimization analysis, designed to process laser point clouds in forestry. The semantic segmentation stage is built upon the Pointnet++ architecture and is primarily tasked with categorizing each point in the point cloud into meaningful groups or ’segments’, specifically in this context, differentiating between diverse tree parts, i.e., vegetation, stems, and coarse woody debris. The category for the ground is also provided. Semantic segmentation achieved an F1-score of 0.92, showing a high level of accuracy in classifying forest elements. In the instance segmentation stage, we further refine this process by identifying each tree as a unique entity. This process, which uses a graph-based approach, yielded an F1-score of approximately 0.6, signifying reasonable performance in delineating individual trees. The third stage involves a hyperparameter optimization analysis, conducted through a Bayesian strategy, which led to performance improvement of the overall framework by around four percentage points. Point2Tree was tested on two datasets, one from a managed boreal coniferous forest in Våler, Norway, with 16 plots chosen to cover a range of forest conditions. The modular design of the framework allows it to handle diverse pointcloud densities and types of terrestrial laser scanning data.

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The relationship between the quality of forest seedlings and their outplanting survival and growth has long been recognized. Various attributes have been proposed to measure the quality of planted seedlings in forest regeneration projects, ranging from simple morphological traits to more complex physiological and performance attributes, or a combination thereof. However, the utility and meaning of seedling quality attributes can differ significantly among regions, nursery practices, site planting conditions, species and the establishment purpose. Here, forest scientists compiled information using a common agreed questionnaire to provide a review of current practices, experiences, legislation and standards for seedling quality across 23 European countries. Large differences exist in measuring seedling quality across countries. The control of the origin of seed and vegetative material (genetic component of plant quality), and control of pests and diseases are common practices in all countries. Morphological attributes are widely used and mandatory in most cases. However, physiological attributes are hardly used at the operative level and mainly concentrated to Fennoscandia. Quality control legislation and seedling quality standards are less strict in northern European countries where seedling production is high, and quality control relies more on the agreements between producers and local plant material users. In contrast, quality standards are stricter in Southern Europe, especially in the Mediterranean countries. The control of seedling quality based on plantation and reforestation success is uncommon and depends on the conditions of the planting site, the traditional practices and the financial support provided by each country. Overall, European countries do not apply the “target seedling concept” for seedling production except for seed origin. Seedling production in many countries is still driven by traditional “know-how” and much less by scientific knowledge progress, which is not adequately disseminated and transferred to the end-users. Our review highlights the need for greater harmonization of seedling quality practices across Europe and the increased dissemination of scientific knowledge to improve seedling quality in forest regeneration activities.

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Soil health assessments that integrate physical, chemical and biological indicators help the evaluation of soil functioning, provide a framework for monitoring soil degradation, guide land management activities and secure the delivery of soil ecosystem services. In this study, we assessed soil health by soil texture class on arable land in Southeast Norway and mid-Norway and between grassland and arable land in mid-Norway. We used descriptive statistics and the Welch t-test with unequal variance and Bonferroni corrections to compare a physical soil indicator (bulk density) and chemical indicators (organic matter, P-AL, K-AL, Ca-AL, Mg-AL, Na-AL and pH). We developed scoring curves from cumulative normal distribution functions on regional soil data for various soil indicators where climate, soil texture class and land use were considered. Our results show that for certain soil texture classes, average soil indicator values differed between pedo-climatic zones on arable land, but for others the difference was not significant. The variability between the pedo-climatic zones for these can be neglected, but for the ones that differ, the variability is important to consider when assessing soil health. Similarly, this was the case when comparing land use (grassland and arable land) for most soil indicators in mid-Norway. This finding illustrates the importance of addressing unique local conditions in soil health assessments. We propose aggregating similar soil texture classes where no differences are apparent when developing scoring curves. The sub-optimal levels of plant available nutrients (P-AL and K-AL) found in the soil in both pedo-climatic zones highlights the importance of suitable threshold values for targeted soil ecosystem services to ensure soil health and sustainable agricultural production. We also recommend prioritizing the most relevant soil ecosystem services to limit the number of soil indicators that need monitoring.

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Virtual fencing systems have emerged as a promising technology for managing the distribution of livestock in extensive grazing environments. This study provides comprehensive documentation of the learning process involving two conditional behavioral mechanisms and the documentation of efficient, effective, and safe animal training for virtual fence applications on nursing Brangus cows. Two hypotheses were examined: (1) animals would learn to avoid restricted zones by increasing their use of containment zones within a virtual fence polygon, and (2) animals would progressively receive fewer audio-electric cues over time and increasingly rely on auditory cues for behavioral modification. Data from GPS coordinates, behavioral metrics derived from the collar data, and cueing events were analyzed to evaluate these hypotheses. The results supported hypothesis 1, revealing that virtual fence activation significantly increased the time spent in containment zones and reduced time in restricted zones compared to when the virtual fence was deactivated. Concurrently, behavioral metrics mirrored these findings, with cows adjusting their daily travel distances, exploration area, and cumulative activity counts in response to the allocation of areas with different virtual fence configurations. Hypothesis 2 was also supported by the results, with a decrease in cueing events over time and increased reliance with animals on audio cueing to avert receiving the mild electric pulse. These outcomes underscore the rapid learning capabilities of groups of nursing cows in responding to virtual fence boundaries.

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Animal welfare monitoring relies on sensor accuracy for detecting changes in animal well-being. We compared the distance calculations based on global positioning system (GPS) data alone or combined with motion data from triaxial accelerometers. The assessment involved static trackers placed outdoors or indoors vs. trackers mounted on cows grazing on pasture. Trackers communicated motion data at 1 min intervals and GPS positions at 15 min intervals for seven days. Daily distance walked was determined using the following: (1) raw GPS data (RawDist), (2) data with erroneous GPS locations removed (CorrectedDist), or (3) data with erroneous GPS locations removed, combined with the exclusion of GPS data associated with no motion reading (CorrectedDist_Act). Distances were analyzed via one-way ANOVA to compare the effects of tracker placement (Indoor, Outdoor, or Animal). No difference was detected between the tracker placement for RawDist. The computation of CorrectedDist differed between the tracker placements. However, due to the random error of GPS measurements, CorrectedDist for Indoor static trackers differed from zero. The walking distance calculated by CorrectedDist_Act differed between the tracker placements, with distances for static trackers not differing from zero. The fusion of GPS and accelerometer data better detected animal welfare implications related to immobility in grazing cattle.

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Plant rooting patterns in bioswales, raingardens and other vegetated infiltration systems are essential, as they contribute biopores which maintain the infiltration function over time. However, fluctuating hydrological conditions, ranging from flooded to drained, can have a heavy impact on plant rooting, as well as consequences for plant contributions to other ecosystem services and ecological functions. This study tested the biomass allocation to roots and the vertical root profile of four plant species, alone or in competition with a grass, and their responses to the experimental manipulation of soil hydrology in soil column microcosms. The hydrological regimes were combinations of flooded and drained conditions, respectively, including Wet cycles (72 and 96 h), Dry cycles (24 and 144 h), Wet-dry cycles (72 and 264 h), and Control group (watered twice per week). When the species were exposed to repeated wet-dry cycling hydrological regimes, we found a clear shift in vertical root distribution and shallower rooting in wetter regimes. It was also found that alongside this shallower rooting, there were no changes to total biomass and only moderate adjustments to biomass investment in roots. Overall, differences in rooting patterns between hydrological regimes and species were moderate when the dicot species were grown alone. The addition of the grass Festuca rubra contributed to a strong increase in total root mass density that evened out the differences in rooting patterns but also gave a deeper rooting. Accordingly, mixed species systems may be a robust approach to vegetated infiltration systems.

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Potato Cyst Nematodes (PCN) (Globodera rostochiensis and G. pallida Woll.) are quarantine pests of potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) worldwide capable of causing significant yield loss and difficult to manage with conventional methods. The study explored the diversity of antagonistic fungi associated with PCN obtained from soil samples collected in Nyandarua and Nakuru Counties in Kenya and their effect on PCN egg viability and hatching was also evaluated. Twelve fungal isolates from five genera were isolated and characterized using morphological and molecular techniques. The twelve isolates were Trichoderma asperellum (4), T. hamatum, T. breve, T. atrobruneum, Amanita basiorubra, Setophoma terrestris (2), Penicillium chrysogenum and Clonostachys rosea. The most abundant isolate was Trichoderma spp. with 58 % occurrence. The effect of seven of the isolates on PCN eggs showed that T. breve and P. chrysogenum reduced egg viability by 41 % and 34 %, respectively while T. asperellum and T. breve reduced their hatching by 50 % on average. Trichoderma atrobrunneum, T. hamatum, and A. basiorubra also reduced the PCN egg viability by 27 % on average. These fungal isolates could provide a potential tool for PCN management in potato production systems for improved yields. However, further studies are warranted to validate these findings under greenhouse and field conditions. A more comprehensive bioprospecting survey for PCN associated antagonistic fungi needs to be extended to other potato growing regions to explore further cyst pathogens.

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Climate change can have an influence on rainfall that significantly affects the magnitude frequency of floods and droughts. Therefore, the analysis of the spatiotemporal distribution, variability, and trends of rainfall over the Mahi Basin in India is an important objective of the present work. Accordingly, a serial autocorrelation, coefficient of variation, Mann–Kendall (MK) and Sen’s slope test, innovative trend analysis (ITA), and Pettitt’s test were used in the rainfall analysis. The outcomes were derived from the monthly precipitation data (1901–2012) of 14 meteorology stations in the Mahi Basin. The serial autocorrelation results showed that there is no autocorrelation in the data series. The rainfall statistics denoted that the Mahi Basin receives 94.8% of its rainfall (821 mm) in the monsoon period (June–September). The normalized accumulated departure from the mean reveals that the annual and monsoon rainfall of the Mahi Basin were below average from 1901 to 1930 and above average from 1930 to 1990, followed by a period of fluctuating conditions. Annual and monsoon rainfall variations increase in the lower catchment of the basin. The annual and monsoon rainfall trend analysis specified a significant declining tendency for four stations and an increasing tendency for 3 stations, respectively. A significant declining trend in winter rainfall was observed for 9 stations under review. Likewise, out of 14 stations, 9 stations denote a significant decrease in pre-monsoon rainfall. Nevertheless, there is no significant increasing or decreasing tendency in annual, monsoon, and post-monsoon rainfall in the Mahi Basin. The Mann–Kendall test and innovative trend analysis indicate identical tendencies of annual and seasonal rainfall on the basin scale. The annual and monsoon rainfall of the basin showed a positive shift in rainfall after 1926. The rainfall analysis confirms that despite spatiotemporal variations in rainfall, there are no significant positive or negative trends of annual and monsoon rainfall on the basin scale. It suggests that the Mahi Basin received average rainfall (867 mm) annually and in the monsoon season (821 mm) from 1901 to 2012, except for a few years of high and low rainfall. Therefore, this study is important for flood and drought management, agriculture, and water management in the Mahi Basin.

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Background Cultivation of oilseed rape Brassica napus is pesticide-intensive, and alternative plant protection strategies are needed because both pesticide resistance and legislation narrow the range of effective chemical pesticides. The entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana is used as a biocontrol agent against various insect pests, but little is known about its endophytic potential and role in plant protection for oilseed rape. First, we studied whether B. bassiana can establish as an endophyte in oilseed rape, following seed inoculation. To evaluate the plant protection potential of endophytic B. bassiana on oilseed rape, we next examined its ability to induce plant metabolite biosynthesis. In another experiment, we tested the effect of seed inoculation on seedling survival in a semi-field experiment. Results Beauveria bassiana endophytically colonized oilseed rape following seed inoculation, and, in addition, natural colonization was also recorded. Maximum colonization rate was 40%, and generally increased with inoculation time. Seed inoculation did not affect the germination probability or growth of oilseed rape, but B. bassiana inoculated seeds germinated more slowly compared to controls. Endophytic colonization of B. bassiana induced biosynthesis of several flavonoids in oilseed rape leaves under controlled conditions. In the experiment conducted in semi-field conditions, inoculated seedlings had slightly higher mortality compared to control seedlings. Conclusion Beauveria bassiana showed endophytic potential on oilseed rape via both natural colonization and seed inoculation, and it induced the biosynthesis of flavonoids. However, its use as an endophyte for plant protection against pests or pathogens for oilseed rape remains unclear. © 2023 The Authors. Pest Management Science published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Society of Chemical Industry.

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This paper provides an overview of traditional hay-making structures and the related agricultural landscapes in Europe. The information was collected using a standardised questionnaire that was completed by experts from different countries. What all countries had in common was that hay production with its corresponding structures was widespread. However, the scope and importance differed among the countries today. We found differences in type and extent, in degree of awareness, and in the cultural meaning of hay-making structures. The differences were connected with built structures, as well as with other tangible and intangible aspects of cultural heritage. The distribution of the broad variety of hay-making-related structures, especially semipermanent ones, has changed throughout history, as well as the hay-making techniques, as a result of agrarian specialisation, land reclamation, and consolidation. Today, in some countries, the relevance of hay-making was mainly connected to horse keeping and landscape management (like in Germany and Hungary), while in others (like Slovakia and Slovenia), it was still predominantly used for cattle and sheep.

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Increasing soil organic carbon is promoted as a negative emission technology for the agricultural sector with a potential co-benefit for climate adaptation due to increased soil water retention. Field-scale hydrological models are powerful tools for evaluating how the agricultural systems would respond to the changing climate in upcoming years and decades, for predicting impacts, and for looking for measures that would help decrease drought-driven crop stress under current and future climatic conditions. We quantified how different levels of soil organic carbon (SOC) additions at varied soil depths are expected to influence drought-induced transpiration reduction (Treddry) in maize cultivated in Switzerland. Parameterization of the model based on a pedotransfer function (PTF) was validated against soil moisture data from a long-term lysimeter experiment with a typical Swiss soil, and the model was subsequently applied under climate forcing between 1981 until 2099, representative of three distinct climatic sites of Switzerland. We used the same PTF to indirectly assess the effects of SOC additions at different depths on soil hydraulic properties. We found a threshold in both the added amount of SOC (2 % added) and the depth of sequestering that SOC (top 65 cm), beyond which any additional benefit appears to be substantially reduced. However, adding at least 2 % SOC down to at least 65 cm depth can reduce Treddry in maize, i.e. increase transpiration annually but mostly at the onset of summer drought, by almost 40 mm. We argue that SOC increases in subsoils can play a supporting role in mitigating drought impacts in rain-fed cropping in Switzerland.

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The soil water retention curve (SWRC) is a key soil property required for predicting basic hydrological processes. The SWRC is often obtained in the laboratory with non-harmonized methods. Moreover, procedures associated with each method are not standardized. This can induce a lack of reproducibility between laboratories using different methods and procedures or using the same methods with different procedures. The goal of this study was to estimate the inter- and intralaboratory variability of the measurement of the wet part (from 10 to 300 hPa) of the SWRC. An interlaboratory comparison was carried out between 14 laboratories, using artificially constructed, porous reference samples that were transferred between laboratories according to a statistical design. The retention measurements were modelled by a series of linear mixed models using a Bayesian approach. This allowed the detection of sample-to-sample variability, interlaboratory variability, intralaboratory variability and the effects of sample changes between measurements. The greatest portion of the differences in the measurement of SWRCs was due to interlaboratory variability. The intralaboratory variability was highly variable depending on the laboratory. Some laboratories successfully reproduced the same SWRC on the same sample, while others did not. The mean intralaboratory variability over all laboratories was smaller than the mean interlaboratory variability. A possible explanation for these results is that all laboratories used slightly different methods and procedures. We believe that this result may be of great importance regarding the quality of SWRC databases built by pooling SWRCs obtained in different laboratories. The quality of pedotransfer functions or maps that might be derived is probably hampered by this inter- and intralaboratory variability. The way forward is that measurement procedures of the SWRC need to be harmonized and standardized.

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There is a stable growth in aquaculture production to avoid seafood scarcity. The usage of eco-friendly feed additives is not only associated with aquatic animal health but also reduces the risk of deleterious effects to the environment and consumers. Aquaculture researchers are seeking dietary solutions to improve the growth performance and yield of target organisms. A wide range of naturally derived compounds such as probiotics, prebiotics, synbiotics, complex carbohydrates, nutritional factors, herbs, hormones, vitamins, and cytokines was utilized as immunostimulants in aquaculture. The use of polysaccharides derived from natural resources, such as alginate, agar, laminarin, carrageenan, fucoidan, chitin, and chitosan, as supplementary feed in aquaculture species has been reported. Polysaccharides are prebiotic substances which are enhancing the immunity, disease resistance and growth of aquatic animals. Further, chitin (CT), chitosan (CTS) and chitooligosaccharides (COS) were recognized for their biodegradable properties and unique biological functions. The dietary effects of CT, CTS and COS at different inclusion levels on growth performance, immune response and gut microbiota in aquaculture species has been reviewed. The safety regulations, challenges and future outlooks of CT, CTS and COS in aquatic animals have been discussed in this review.

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Seed is a critically important basic input of agriculture, because sowing healthy seeds is essential to food production. Using high quality seed enables less use of synthetic pesticides in the field. Seedborne pathogens can reduce yield quantity and quality of the crops produced. Seed treatments protect plant seedlings from pathogen attacks at emergence and at the early growth stages, contributing to healthy crop plants and good yield. However, there is increased concern about the application of synthetic pesticides to seeds, while alternatives are becoming increasingly addressed in seedborne pathogen research. A series of strategies based on synthetic fungicides, natural compounds, biocontrol agents (BCAs), and physical means has been developed to reduce seed contamination by pathogens. The volume of research on seed treatment has increased considerably in the past decade, along with the search for green technologies to control seedborne diseases. This review focuses on recent research results dealing with protocols that are effective in the management of seedborne pathogens. Moreover, the review illustrated an innovative system for routine seed health testing and need-based cereal seed treatment implemented in Norway.

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Ophiostomatales (Ascomycota) contains many species, most of which are associated with bark beetles. Some members of this order are plant or animal pathogens, while others colonize soil, different plant tissues, or even carpophores of some Basidiomycota. However, little is known about soil-inhabiting Ophiostomatales fungi. A survey of these fungi associated with soil under beech, oak, pine, and spruce stands in Poland yielded 623 isolates, representing 10 species: Heinzbutinia grandicarpa, Leptographium procerum, L. radiaticola, Ophiostoma piliferum, O. quercus, Sporothrix brunneoviolacea, S. dentifunda, S. eucastaneae, and two newly described taxa, namely Sporothrix roztoczensis sp. nov. and S. silvicola sp. nov. In addition, isolates collected from fallen shoots of Pinus sylvestris that were pruned by Tomicus sp. are described as Sporothrix tumida sp. nov. The new taxa were morphologically characterized and phylogenetically analyzed based on multi-loci sequence data (ITS, β-tubulin, calmodulin, and translation elongation factor 1-α genes). The Ophiostomatales species were especially abundant in soil under pine and oak stands. Leptographium procerum, S. silvicola, and S. roztoczensis were the most frequently isolated species from soil under pine stands, while S. brunneoviolacea was the most abundant in soil under oak stands. The results highlight that forest soil in Poland has a wide diversity of Ophiostomatales taxa, but further studies are required to uncover the molecular diversity and phylogenetic relationships of these fungi, as well as their roles in soil fungal communities.

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Levels of dissolved natural organic matter (DNOM) are increasing in our boreal watercourses. This is manifested by an apparent increase in its yellow to brown colour of the water, i.e., browning. Sound predictions of future changes in colour of our freshwaters is a prerequisite for predicting effects on aquatic fauna and a sustainable operation of drinking water facilities using surface waters as raw water sources. A model for the effect of climate on colour (mg Pt L-1) has been developed for two surface raw water sources in Scotland, i.e., at Bracadale and Port Charlotte. Both sites are situated far out on the Scottish west coast, without major impact of acid rain, with limited amounts of frost, and with limited recent land-use changes. The model was fitted to 15 years long data-series on colour measurements, provided by Scottish Water, at the two sites. Meteorological data were provided by UK Met. The models perform well for both sites in simulating the variation in monthly measured colour, explaining 89 and 90% of the variation at Bracadale and Port Charlotte, respectively. These well fitted models were used to predict future changes in colour due to changes in temperature and precipitation based on median climate data from a high emission climate RCP8.5 scenario from the HadCM3 climate model (UKCP18). The model predicted an increase in monthly average colour during growing season at both sites from about 150 mg Pt L-1 to about 200 mg Pt L-1 in 2050–2079. Temperature is found to be the most important positively driver for colour development at both sites.

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This trial aimed to assess the growth performance of trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) fed novel formulations, evaluate fish welfare status, and determine flesh quality as part of the evaluation of sustainable feeds. A control diet containing fish meal and soy products (CTRL) was compared to: a diet with processed animal proteins (PAP); a diet without PAP (NoPAP); a PAP diet lower in protein (PAP−); and a NoPAP diet higher in protein (NoPAP+). Groups of 50 fish, weighing 58.84 ± 1.39 g (IBW), were allocated to 20 tanks and fed with formulated diets ad libitum over 91 days. Better growth performance was observed after the experiment in fish fed the NoPAP+ diet when compared to other diets. Protein retention was higher in CTRL diets than in PAP and PAP− diets. Protein and phosphorous digestibility were lower in fish fed PAP− diet. Diets did not influence the texture analysis. However, sensory analysis revealed higher acceptance for fish fed the NoPAP diet when compared to the PAP diet. Lysozyme was higher in the NoPAP diet than in other treatments. In addition, long-term predictions using FEEDNETICSTM software suggest some of these alternative formulations may be economically sustainable. Overall, these results support the hypothesis that the new formulations are viable options for trout farming.

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Manure management is a significant source of methane (CH4) and ammonia (NH3), and there is an urgent need for strategies to reduce these emissions. More frequent export of manure for outside storage can lower gaseous emissions from housing facilities, but the longer residence time may then increase emissions during outside storage. This study examined CH4 and NH3 emissions from liquid pig manure (pig slurry) removed from the in-house slurry collection pits at three different frequencies, i.e., three times per week (T2.3), once per week (T7), or once after 40 days (T40, reference). The slurry from treatments T2.3 and T7 was transferred for outside storage weekly over four weeks, and slurry from treatment T40 once after 40 days, in connection with summer and winter production cycles with growing-finishing pigs. The slurry was stored in pilot-scale storage tanks with solid cover and continuous ventilation. Compared to T40, the treatments T2.3 and T7 increased CH4 emissions during outside storage, but in-house emissions were reduced even more, and the net effects on total CH4 emissions from manure management (housing unit and outside storage) were reductions of 18–41% in summer and 53–83% in winter. The frequent slurry export for outside storage led to more NH3 emissions, except for the treatment T2.3, which has slurry funnel inserts beneath the slatted floor. Measurements of in-vitro CH4 production rates suggested that shorter residence time for slurry in pig houses delayed the development of active methanogenic populations, and that this contributed to the reduction of CH4 emissions.

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Key words: VKM, pest risk analysis, Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food and Environment, Norwegian Food Safety Authority, Sudden oak death, Phytophthora ramorum Introduction The Norwegian Food Safety Authority has asked the Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food and Environment for an updated pest risk assessment of Phytophthora ramorum in Norway. The previous risk assessment of P. ramorum for Norway is from 2009. Since then, the pathogen has been detected repeatedly in Norway, primarily in parks, garden centres, and nurseries in southwestern Norway. The knowledge base concerning P. ramorum has changed since the last pest risk assessment, with increased genetic knowledge about different populations, lineages, and mating types. The risks associated with P. ramorum have also changed, since the disease has become epidemic in new host plants, such as larch trees in England. This updated pest risk assessment will provide important input to the Norwegian Food Safety Authority’s efforts to develop the Norwegian plant health regulation. Methods VKM established a project group with expertise in plant health, forest pathology, horticultural plant pathology, plant disease modelling, and pest risk assessment. The group conducted systematic literature searches and scrutinized the relevant literature. In the absence of Norwegian studies, VKM relied on literature from other countries. The group did a quantitative risk assessment describing the level of confidence in the conclusions and identifying uncertainties and data gaps. The report underwent pre-submission commenting and external expert reviewing before final approval and publication. Results and conclusions Phytophthora ramorum is present in the PRA area but has a restricted distribution, mainly being detected in the southern and southwestern parts of Norway. The only P. ramorum lineage considered to be present in Norway is EU1 with mating type A1. The other lineage in Europe, EU2, has so far mainly been documented from the UK. The most widely distributed multilocus genotype of P. ramorum in Norway is EU1MLG1, which became dominant in Europe (including Norway) after 2008. In North America, the NA1, NA2, and EU1 lineages are known from both nurseries and forests. NA1 and NA2 are of the opposite mating type (A2) than European lineages. Recently, various other lineages of P. ramorum have been described from Asia. The main risks for future problems with P. ramorum in Norway are related to entry and establishment of non-European isolates (of all lineages), as well as emergence of new genotypes in European P. ramorum populations. There are several options for diagnosing P. ramorum to species and lineage (mainly EU1, EU2, NA1, and NA2). From a management perspective it is more important to distinguish these entities than mating type and isolate groups (genotypes). The latter are mainly relevant for research purposes or in cases of unexpected disease developments, such as new hosts, increased spread or more severe symptoms on known hosts. However, for more detailed regulation, monitoring, and management of P. ramorum it could also be useful to test for genotypes, i.e. to distinguish EU1MLG1 from other genotypes. Rhododendron remains the most important host plant for P. ramorum in Norway, both in terms of imported plants and detections (mainly in nurseries, garden centres, and public parks). Species in other ornamental plant genera, such as Viburnum, Pieris, and Kalmia, are also listed as major hosts in Europe, and P. ramorum has been detected at least once on species in all these genera in Norway. In the US, Rhododendron, Viburnum, Pieris, Syringa, and Camellia are considered to be the main ornamental hosts. .....................

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The perennial forage grass timothy (Phleum pratense L.) is the most important forage crop in Norway. Future changes in the climate will affect growing conditions and hence the yield output. We used data from the Norwegian Value for Cultivation and Use testing to find a statistical prediction model for total dry matter yield (DMY) based on agro-climatic variables. The statistical model selection found that the predictors with the highest predictive power were growing degree days (GDD) in July and the number of days with rain (>1mm) in June–July. These predictors together explained 43% of the variability in total DMY. Further, the prediction model was combined with a range of climate ensembles (RCP4.5) to project DMY of timothy for the decades 2050–2059 and 2090–2099 at 8 locations in Norway. Our projections forecast that DMY of today’s timothy varieties may decrease substantially in South-Eastern Norway, but increase in Northern Norway, by the middle of the century, due to increased temperatures and changing precipitation patterns.

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Near-shore areas face multiple stressors, effects of climate change, coastal construction and contamination. Although capping the seabed in these areas with mineral masses can reduce the impact of legacy contaminants in sediment, it can also result in the loss of flora and sessile fauna, both of which are vital components of near-shore ecosystems. Eelgrass (Zostera marina) is essential to marine near-shore areas as it supports biodiversity and mitigates the effects of climate change. Therefore, it would be beneficial to modify the top layer of caps to facilitate the reestablishment of these ecosystems when capping near-shore areas. This study describes results from an in situ, six-month field experiment conducted to compare increase in leaf length over the growing season and survival of eelgrass transplanted in two commercially available substrates (Natural sand and Crushed stone) and indigenous sediment (i.e., indigenous control sediment) in a capping project in Horten Inner harbour, Norway. Similar leaf length increase was found in Natural sand and Indigenous control sediment, both significantly higher compared to Crushed stone substrate. Survival was highest in our case in the Indigenous control sediment (120 %), with no significant difference between Crushed stone (20 %) and Natural sand substrates (25 %). These findings emphasize the importance of selecting appropriate substrate for successful seagrass restoration.

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Since the world’s population is increasing, alternative food sources must be tapped. Although algae have a high potential to become a part of our diets due to their favorable nutritional properties, there is a little information on the willingness of consumers in Norway to try algae-made foods. In this paper we used a Norwegian survey to address this question. We constructed an order logistic regression model and predicted conditional probabilities to try algae food. The results show that among the most important aspect for willingness to try food with algae is age, health conscientiousness, and environmental attitudes.

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Numerical models are crucial to understand and/or predict past and future soil organic carbon dynamics. For those models aiming at prediction, validation is a critical step to gain confidence in projections. With a comprehensive review of ~250 models, we assess how models are validated depending on their objectives and features, discuss how validation of predictive models can be improved. We find a critical lack of independent validation using observed time series. Conducting such validations should be a priority to improve the model reliability. Approximately 60% of the models we analysed are not designed for predictions, but rather for conceptual understanding of soil processes. These models provide important insights by identifying key processes and alternative formalisms that can be relevant for predictive models. We argue that combining independent validation based on observed time series and improved information flow between predictive and conceptual models will increase reliability in predictions.

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Purpose: Laser diffraction (LD) for determination of particle size distribution (PSD) of the fine earth fraction appeared in the 1990s, partly substituting the Sieving and Sedimentation Method (SSM). Whereas previous comparison between the two methods predominantly encompasses agricultural soils, less attention has been given to forest soils, including pre-treatment requirements related to their highly variable contents of carbon and Alox+ Feox. In this small collaborative learning study we compared (1) national SSM results with one type/protocol of LD analysis (Coulter), (2) LD measurements performed on three different LD instruments / laboratories, and (3) the replication error for LD Coulter analysis of predominantly sandy and loamy forest soils. Methods: We used forest soil samples from Denmark, Norway and Lithuania and their respective national SSM protocols / results. LD analyses were performed on Malvern Mastersizer 2000, Sympatec HELOS version 1999, and Coulter LS230, located at University of Copenhagen, Aarhus University and Helsinki University, respectively. The protocols differed between laboratories, including the use of external ultrasonication prior to LD analysis. Results: The clay and silt fractions content (<20 μm) from the LD analysis were not comparable with SSM results, with differences ranging from −0.5 to 22.3 percentage points (pp) for clay. Preliminary results from loamy samples with spodic material suggested inconsistent effects of external ultrasonication to disperse aggregates. The comparison between the three LD instruments showed a range in the clay and silt fractions content of 1.9–5.3 and 6.2–8.1 pp, respectively. Differences may be related to the instruments, protocols, and content of a given particle size fraction. The replication error of the Coulter LD protocol was found to be <3 pp in sandy soils, but up to 10 pp in loamy soils. Conclusion: Differences in the clay fraction results partly affected the classification of soil types. The fast replication of the LD analysis enables more quality control of results. The pedological evaluation of non-silicate constituents and optional pre-treatment steps (e.g., soil organic matter or sesquioxides) remains the same for LD and SSM. For comparison of results, detailed descriptions of the analytical protocol including pre-treatments are needed irrespective of instrument and theoretical approach.

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Parametric modeling of downwelling longwave irradiance under all-sky conditions (LW↓) typically involves “correcting” a clear- (or non-overcast) sky model estimate using solar-irradiance-based proxies of cloud cover in lieu of actual cloud cover given uncertainties and measurement challenges of the latter. While such approaches are deemed sound, their application in time and space is inherently limited. We report on a correction model free of solar irradiance-derived cloud proxies that is applicable at the true daily (24 hr) and global scales. The new “cloud-free” correction model demonstrates superior performance in a range of environments relative to existing cloud-free modeling approaches and to corrections based on solar-derived cloudiness proxies. Literature-based performance benchmarking indicates a performance that is often comparable to—and in some cases superior to—performances yielded by conventional parametric modeling approaches employing locally or regionally calibrated parameters, as well as to performances of satellite-based algorithms.

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Catastrophic floods have large effect on agricultural land both in short and long term. In this chapter, examples of impact of floods of different size in cold regions with glaziers have been presented. The largest floods occur as combination of heavy rainfall and melting and snow and ice in the mountainous areas. Periods of waterlogging by cold running water resulted in decreased yields, but N-fertilization after the soil no longer was water saturated could reduce the yield loss considerably. Although the floods cause severe erosion and sedimentation, results show that it is possible to find measures for reconstruction of the soils with the same productivity as undamaged soils, while the average result was about 85% of the original productivity.

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Crown rot, caused by Phytophthora cactorum, is a devastating disease of strawberry. While most commercial octoploid strawberry cultivars (Fragaria × ananassa Duch) are generally susceptible, the diploid species Fragaria vesca is a potential source of resistance genes to P. cactorum. We previously reported several F. vesca genotypes with varying degrees of resistance to P. cactorum. To gain insights into the strawberry defence mechanisms, comparative transcriptome profiles of two resistant genotypes (NCGR1603 and Bukammen) and a susceptible genotype (NCGR1218) of F. vesca were analysed by RNA-Seq after wounding and subsequent inoculation with P. cactorum. Differential gene expression analysis identified several defence-related genes that are highly expressed in the resistant genotypes relative to the susceptible genotype in response to P. cactorum after wounding. These included putative disease resistance (R) genes encoding receptor-like proteins, receptor-like kinases, nucleotide-binding sites, leucine-rich repeat proteins, RPW8-type disease resistance proteins, and ‘pathogenesis-related protein 1’. Seven of these R-genes were expressed only in the resistant genotypes and not in the susceptible genotype, and these appeared to be present only in the genomes of the resistant genotypes, as confirmed by PCR analysis. We previously reported a single major gene locus RPc-1 (Resistance to Phytophthora cactorum 1) in F. vesca that contributed resistance to P. cactorum. Here, we report that 4–5% of the genes (35–38 of ca 800 genes) in the RPc-1 locus are differentially expressed in the resistant genotypes compared to the susceptible genotype after inoculation with P. cactorum. In particular, we identified three defence-related genes encoding wall-associated receptor-like kinase 3, receptor-like protein 12, and non-specific lipid-transfer protein 1-like that were highly expressed in the resistant genotypes compared to the susceptible one. The present study reports several novel candidate disease resistance genes that warrant further investigation for their role in plant defence against P. cactorum.

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Pandora neoaphidis is a common entomopathogenic fungus on Sitobion avenae, which is an important aphid pest on cereals in Europe. Pandora neoaphidis is known to cause epizootics (i.e. an unusually high prevalence of infected hosts) and the rapid collapse of aphid populations. We developed a weather-driven mechanistic model of the winter wheat-S. avenae-P. neoaphidis system to simulate the dynamics from spring to harvest. Aphid immigration was fixed at a rate that would lead to a pest outbreak, if not controlled by the fungus. We estimated the biocontrol efficacy by running pair-wise simulations, one with and one without the fungus. Uncertainty in model parameters and variation in weather was included, resulting in a range of simulation outcomes, and a global sensitivity analysis was performed. We identified two key understudied parameters that require more extensive experimental data collection to better assess the fungus biocontrol, namely the fungus transmission efficiency and the decay of cadaver, which defines the time window for possible disease transmission. The parameters with the largest influence on the improvement in yield were the weather, the lethal time of exposed aphids, the fungus transmission efficiency, and the humidity threshold for fungus development, while the fungus inoculum in the chosen range (between 10 and 70% of immigrant aphids carrying the fungus) was less influential. The model suggests that epizootics occurring early, around Zadoks growth stage (GS) 61, would lead to successful biocontrol, while later epizootics (GS 73) were a necessary but insufficient condition for success. These model predictions were based on the prevalence of cadavers only, not of exposed (i.e. infected but yet non-symptomatic) aphids, which in practice would be costly to monitor. The model suggests that practical Integrated Pest Management could thus benefit from including the cadavers prevalence in a monitoring program. We argue for further research to experimentally estimate these cadaver thresholds.

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Extractives from silver birch (Betula pendula) can play an important role in the future bioeconomy by delivering the feedstock, for instance, for antioxidative applications. It is, therefore, inevitable to gain knowledge of the distribution of extractive content and composition in the different tissues of the tree for estimating the potential volumes of valuable extractable compounds. This study examines the extractable compound distribution of different tree tissues such as outer and inner bark and wood, respectively, considering the original height of the stem and comparing the yields after Soxhlet and accelerated solvent extraction (ASE). Eleven parts of the model tree (seven stem discs and four branches) were separated into primary tissues and extracted with a ternary solvent system. The investigated extraction methods resulted in a comparable performance regarding yields and the composition of the extractives. The extractives were divided into single compounds such as betulin, lupeol, γ-sitosterol, and lupeone and substance groups such as carbohydrates, terpenes, aromatics, and other groups. The distribution of single substances and substance groups depends on the location and function of the examined tissues. Furthermore, the evidence for the correlation of a single substance’s location and original tree height is stronger for lupeol than for betulin. Primary betulin sources of the calculated betulin output are the outer bark of the stem and the branches. By using small branches, further potential for the extraction of betulin can be utilized. A model calculation of the betulin content in the current birch tree revealed a significant potential of 23 kg of betulin available as a valuable chemical resource after by-product utilization.

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Macroalgae, or seaweeds, have potential for use as feed ingredients and are currently unexploited despite their content of vitamins, minerals, and protein. Brown species can accumulate iodine from seawater and there are strict limits set by the European Food Safety Authority and the FDA regarding iodine content in animal feeds. Iodine can cause health problems for consumers if over or under-consumed and its presence in end food products is strictly regulated. The aim of the present experiment was to gain knowledge on intake, distribution, and excretion of iodine in sheep supplemented with Laminaria hyperborea by-product known to contain iodine. Twelve Norwegian White Sheep male lambs, four months of age, were blocked according to initial live weight (average 37.8 kg) and randomly allocated to two diet groups. Animals were fed gras silage and concentrate, without (CTR) and including the alga by-product at a 6% inclusion rate (HYP). The iodine concentrations were 4.1 and 476 mg/kg dry matter in the CTR and HYP concentrate, respectively. After 26 days of adaptation in a barn, animals were placed in metabolism crates for three consecutive days (Period 1) with collection of rumen fluid (via esophagus), grass silage, feces, urine, and blood for iodine content. After 5 weeks in the barn, animals returned to the metabolism crates for a subsequent three consecutive day sampling and iodine analyzes (Period 2). Data were analyzed via ANOVA using a repeated measure mixed model procedure. Dry matter intake (P = 0.001) and live weight (P = 0.001) increased from Period 1 to Period 2. Lambs fed CTR had higher daily growth rate than those fed HYP (P = 0.001). Iodine intake and excretion in feces and urine increased from Period 1 to Period 2 (P < 0.001, P = 0.010, P = 0.007, respectively). Iodine excreted in feces was 37% and 67% for lambs in fed the CTR and HYP diets, respectively. None of the animals showed signs of iodine poisoning during ten the experiment. We found that most of the iodine excreted from lambs fed the HYP diet was in feces.

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The commercial apple production in Norway is limited to the small regions along the fjords in the southwest part of the country and around lakes or near the sea in the southeast with favorable climate. Due to the rapid rate of climate change over the recent decades, it is expected that suitable heat conditions for apple growing will expand to the areas that were previously too cold. This study analyses the heat suitability of future climate (2021–2100) under the RCP8.5 scenario for 6 common apple varieties in Norway: Discovery, Gravenstein, Summerred, A