Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

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Creating common ground : The role of Indigenous Peoples’ sacred natural sites in conservation practice, management and policy
Verschuuren, Bas - \ 2017
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Leontine Visser, co-promotor(en): Gerard Verschoor. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463436496 - 219
indigenous people - indigenous knowledge - historic sites - history - nature conservation - natural landscape - australia - ghana - guatemala - nature conservation policy - inheemse volkeren - inheemse kennis - historische plaatsen - geschiedenis - natuurbescherming - natuurlandschap - australië - natuurbeleid

In this thesis, I hold a plea for the recognition and integration of Indigenous people’s realities in conservation practice, management and policy related to their sacred natural sites. Sacred natural sites can be mountains, rivers, forests, trees and rocks that have special spiritual significance to indigenous peoples. To Indigenous peoples these places are not just part of their environment, culture and spirituality but they also form their worldviews and ethnicities.

Based on my research on sacred natural sites, I look at how Indigenous people’s realities can be integrated into conservation approaches and how they lead to the co-creation of new forms of nature conservation. In doing so I focus on how a common ground is being created by Indigenous peoples and development and conservation actors. I argue that this common ground has the capacity to transform conservation practice, management and policy if different worldviews, including those of Indigenous peoples, are equally considered.

The structure of this thesis represents my personal learning curve. It starts off with my earlier work developed as a conservationist with a natural sciences background and with many years of working experience in the field of international nature conservation. The Chapters gradually take on a sociological and anthropological angle, applying ethnographic research to conservation issues. As a result, the thesis represents the experience of a social conservation scientist doing applied and socially engaged research.

The first part of the thesis is built upon conservation literature and draws on a multitude of case studies and previously published work. It presents an overview of the overall importance that indigenous sacred natural sites have to the current field of nature conservation and the main challenges and opportunities that these sites pose to conservationists.

The second part of the thesis builds on case studies and applied ethnographic field research undertaken on conservation projects in North East Arnhem Land in Australia, Santa Cruz del Quiché in Guatemala and the Upper North-West Region in Ghana. In these locations, I have built up working relationships with local indigenous groups and the organisations that support them; respectively these are Yolŋu (since 2007), Maya (since 2012) and Dagara (since 2011).

The qualitative research methods used throughout my research are based on ethnography, participatory research, observational research, co-creation of research, semi-structured interviews, focus groups, freelisting but also the field of social policy analysis, discourse analysis and literature research. They are particularly useful in situations where the research process contributes to finding solutions for concrete conservation problems with all parties involved.

The conceptual framework brings together empirical studies and critical analyses of Indigenous sacred natural sites in different geographical, ecological, cultural and spiritual contexts. As these contexts vary across different places I studied the development of different common grounds between indigenous and non-indigenous actors in the specific locations. Eventually, I brought these studies together in an effort to distil common elements for the construction of a generic common ground.

In the conceptual framework, worldviews and spirituality meet with conceptual areas such as ontological pluralism, biocultural diversity and rights-based approaches across geographical scales and governance levels. I argue that were they meet a common ground is created. I provide further analysis of the process of creating a common ground on the basis of the conceptual areas mentioned above, and draw conclusions that are relevant to furthering scientific debate in these areas as well to the field of conservation.

Chapter 2 concludes that sacred natural sites are important to the conservation of nature and biodiversity because they form an informal network managed and governed by local Indigenous people. This network goes largely unrecognized by the international conservation community and local protected area managers and planners. The chapter presents ten challenges that sacred natural sites pose to the field of conservation and restoration of biological and cultural diversity.

Chapter 3 takes examples of Indigenous worldviews and conservation practices from around the world to demonstrate that these form part of approaches that integrate biocultural values in nature conservation. I argue that in order to be effective and sustainable, nature conservation requires to be based on both science and culture, and combine scientific data on the natural world with experiential knowledge about nature of the social-cultural groups involved. The chapter concludes that, for management to be truly adaptive, it needs to respond to societal and cultural changes which can be achieved by enabling Indigenous people and local communities to guide conservation efforts.

Chapter 4 addresses how the modern conservation movement can use biocultural conservation approaches to overcome disparities between the management and governance of nature and culture. In this discourse about biocultural conservation approaches, the spiritual and the sacred are essential to the conservation of an interconnected network of biocultural hotspots – sacred natural sites.

Chapter 5 demonstrates the importance of Indigenous ontologies in cross-cultural coastal conservation management, particularly the development of locally relevant guidelines for fishers in North East Arnhem Land, Australia. I explore the ‘both ways’ approach adopted by the Dhimurru Aboriginal Corporation, and that guides collaboration between Yolŋu and non-Yolŋu. Disjunctures and synergies between the two ontologies are identified and I offer reflection on the role of the researcher in the cross-cultural co-production of guidelines for fishers and boaters.

Chapter 6 analyses how spiritual leaders build common ground for community conservation of sacred natural sites in the face of neoliberalism in Ghana and Guatemala. The research demonstrates that, beyond rights-based approaches, a common ground is essential to developing feasible and acceptable solutions for the protection and conservation of sacred natural sites. I identify ‘ontological equity’ as an important principle for establishing this common ground. I then argue that neoliberal approaches to conservation and resource development are prejudiced because they ignore the principle of ontological equity and suppress lived realities of sacred natural sites and the existence of the wider spiritscape.

Chapter 7 describes the emerging spaces in international policy and conservation practices as they manifest themselves in a series of conferences, the development of guidelines for protected area managers, and how these have worked to sensitize conservationists to sacred natural sites and their custodians. In connecting different conservation approaches from the local to the international level the chapter shows how a common ground is being created.

The key findings of this thesis include several universal elements to the creation of a common ground: willingness to learn about other worldviews; application of participatory approaches and applied research; the use of cultural brokers; active processes of stakeholder engagement; agreement on governance arrangements and the adoption of ontological equity.

I draw four conclusions derived from the main research results:

1) Biocultural conservation approaches can enable the creation of a common ground, but they may also constrain Indigenous ontologies;

2) Conservationists should learn from other worldviews and ontologies in order to improve the conservation of Indigenous sacred natural sites;

3) Non-human agency and spiritual governance are under-recognised in the conservation of spiritscapes and sacred natural sites;

4) Combining an ethnographic approach with an engaged and participatory research strategy is useful for considering multiple ontologies.

The recommendations of this thesis could form part of a future research agenda for the development of a common ground between Indigenous people, conservationists, and development actors in relation to the conservation of Indigenous sacred natural sites. The main recommendation is that conservation and development actors should consider multiple ontologies when creating a common ground for the development of biocultural conservation approaches.

Understanding and changing children’s sensory acceptance for vegetables
Poelman, A.A.M. - \ 2016
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Kees de Graaf, co-promotor(en): C.M. Delahunty. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462577831 - 164 p.
sensory sciences - vegetables - food acceptability - preschool children - organoleptic traits - australia - sensorische wetenschappen - groenten - voedselacceptatie - peuters en kleuters - organoleptische kenmerken - australië

Vegetable intake of children is well below recommendations in Australia and in most other western countries. Vegetables are the food category least liked by children. As acceptance is a key driver of intake, strategies are needed to increase children’s acceptance of vegetables. The present thesis was directed at understanding and changing children’s acceptance for vegetables, focusing on strategies that could be employed by parents in the home environment. The research was conducted with 4-6 year old Australian children.

To gain understanding of vegetable sensory properties, these were compared to sensory properties of other core food groups representative of the diet of Australian children, through the use of trained sensory panel. To increase vegetable acceptance and intake, two types of strategies were investigated. Preparation was investigated as a strategy to create vegetable sensory properties that were more accepted by children. Two experimental taste tests with children and a survey amongst parents together explored a range of vegetables (both across and within vegetable categories) and preparation (including cooking methods such as boiling, steaming, baking, use in mixed dishes, the use of an atypical colour, and cooking time), and sensory evaluation was used to measure the vegetable sensory properties. A behavioural sensory learning intervention strategy was investigated as a strategy to increase children’s acceptance of vegetable sensory properties per se, in which repeated exposure to a single and to multiple target vegetables were compared in their effectiveness to increase acceptance and intake.

Compared to other core foods, vegetables were more bitter in taste, amongst the hardest foods, and were low in sweet, salty and sour taste as well as fatty mouthfeel. Unlike the other core food groups, vegetables had no known drivers of liking as well as a known driver of dislike. The preparation studies showed several results generic across the vegetables tested. An atypical colour (e.g. green cauliflower) increased willingness to try vegetables. Despite a more intense flavour profile, boiling and steaming were equally accepted by children. Use in mixed dishes was also well accepted by children. Other effects of preparation method were mostly vegetable specific, and a non-linear combination of flavour and texture properties were driving acceptance. The behavioural intervention study showed that repeated exposure to both single and multiple target vegetables increased acceptance. Exposure to multiple target vegetables increased usual daily vegetable intake from 0.6 to 1.2 serves per day, whereas exposure to a single vegetable did not.

This study showed that vegetable sensory properties predispose to low acceptance based on innate likes and dislikes, and food preferences acquired within the first few months of life. Preparation strategies and sensory learning strategies are both effective to increase vegetable acceptance amongst children in their peak of food neophobia. The results of this research can be used by health professionals to support parents with strategies and advice to increase children’s enjoyment and intake of vegetables.

Fokwaarde voeropname op volle kracht : vanaf komende Interbull-draai is de fokwaarde voeropname voor elke stier beschikbaar in Nederland en Vlaanderen
Haas, Yvette de; Veerkamp, Roel - \ 2016
cattle husbandry - bulls - milk production - dairy cows - feed intake - farm results - intensive livestock farming - breeding value - flanders - netherlands - australia
Global Focus Tour Nuffield Veenkolonien 2014 en 2015
Beldman, A.C.G. - \ 2015
LEI Wageningen UR - 7 p.
agrarisch onderwijs - internationale vergelijkingen - nederland - australië - veenkolonien - eu regelingen - zetmeelgewassen - aardappelen - gebiedsontwikkeling - agricultural education - international comparisons - netherlands - australia - eu regulations - starch crops - potatoes - area development
Twee groepen Nuffield scholars kwamen gezamenlijk naar Nederland in juni 2014. Een derde groep scholars bracht juni 2015 een bezoek aan de Veenkoloniën. Een Nuffield scholar reist de wereld rond om informatie te verzamelen om de antwoorden op de belangrijkste vragen van hun Nuffield studie te vinden. Hiervoor leggen ze bezoeken af bij collega ondernemers, bij ketenpartijen, onderzoeksinstellingen, overheden en daar stellen ze vooral veel kritische vragen. Dit deel van het Global Focus Tour werd op een iets andere manier georganiseerd. Natuurlijk kregen de scholars ook de kans om te leren over de Nederlandse landbouw in het algemeen en op zoek te gaan naar antwoorden voor hun eigen onderwerpen. Maar de Nuffield scholars werden ook 'gebruikt' om te helpen om de huidige situatie in een bepaalde regio in Nederland te analyseren en om te komen met nieuwe ideeën en oplossingen. Eigenlijk is de case study van het gebied "de Veenkoloniën” al begonnen tijdens de conferentie van 2014 scholars in Australië. 2012 Nuffield scholar Henk Smith presenteerde daar al de casus van de Veenkoloniën.
Evaluating vaccination strategies to control foot and mouth disease: a model comparison study
Roche, S.E. ; Garner, M.G. ; Sanson, R.L. ; Cook, C. ; Birch, C. ; Backer, J.A. ; Dube, C. ; Patyk, K.A. ; Stevenson, M.A. ; Yu, Z.D. - \ 2015
Epidemiology and Infection 143 (2015)6. - ISSN 0950-2688 - p. 1256 - 1275.
emergency vaccination - simulation-model - epidemic - spread - australia - outbreak
SUMMARY Simulation models can offer valuable insights into the effectiveness of different control strategies and act as important decision support tools when comparing and evaluating outbreak scenarios and control strategies. An international modelling study was performed to compare a range of vaccination strategies in the control of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD). Modelling groups from five countries (Australia, New Zealand, USA, UK, The Netherlands) participated in the study. Vaccination is increasingly being recognized as a potentially important tool in the control of FMD, although there is considerable uncertainty as to how and when it should be used. We sought to compare model outputs and assess the effectiveness of different vaccination strategies in the control of FMD. Using a standardized outbreak scenario based on data from an FMD exercise in the UK in 2010, the study showed general agreement between respective models in terms of the effectiveness of vaccination. Under the scenario assumptions, all models demonstrated that vaccination with 'stamping-out' of infected premises led to a significant reduction in predicted epidemic size and duration compared to the 'stamping-out' strategy alone. For all models there were advantages in vaccinating cattle-only rather than all species, using 3-km vaccination rings immediately around infected premises, and starting vaccination earlier in the control programme. This study has shown that certain vaccination strategies are robust even to substantial differences in model configurations. This result should increase end-user confidence in conclusions drawn from model outputs. These results can be used to support and develop effective policies for FMD control.
Multimodel ensembles of wheat growth: Many models are better than one
Martre, P. ; Wallach, D. ; Asseng, S. ; Ewert, F. ; Jones, J.W. ; Rötter, R.P. ; Boote, K.J. ; Ruane, A.C. ; Thorburn, P. ; Cammarano, D. ; Hatfield, J.L. ; Rosenzweig, C. ; Aggarwal, P.K. ; Angula, C. ; Basso, B. ; Bertuzzi, P. ; Biernath, C. ; Brisson, N. ; Challinor, A. ; Doltra, J. ; Gayler, S. ; Goldberg, R.A. ; Grant, R.F. ; Heng, L. ; Hooker, J. ; Hunt, L.A. ; Ingwersen, J. ; Izaurralde, C. ; Kersebaum, K.C. ; Mueller, C. ; Kumar, S. ; Nendel, C. ; O'Leary, G.J. ; Olesen, J.E. ; Osborne, T.M. ; Palosuo, T. ; Priesack, E. ; Ripoche, D. ; Semenov, M.A. ; Shcherbak, I. ; Steduto, P. ; Stöckle, C.O. ; Stratonovitch, P. ; Streck, T. ; Supit, I. ; Tao, Fulu ; Travasso, M. ; Waha, K. ; White, J.W. ; Wolf, J. - \ 2015
Global Change Biology 21 (2015)2. - ISSN 1354-1013 - p. 911 - 925.
climate-change - crop production - impacts - yield - simulations - calibration - australia - billion - europe - grain
Crop models of crop growth are increasingly used to quantify the impact of global changes due to climate or crop management. Therefore, accuracy of simulation results is a major concern. Studies with ensembles of crop models can give valuable information about model accuracy and uncertainty, but such studies are difficult to organize and have only recently begun. We report on the largest ensemble study to date, of 27 wheat models tested in four contrasting locations for their accuracy in simulating multiple crop growth and yield variables. The relative error averaged over models was 24-38% for the different end-of-season variables including grain yield (GY) and grain protein concentration (GPC). There was little relation between error of a model for GY or GPC and error for in-season variables. Thus, most models did not arrive at accurate simulations of GY and GPC by accurately simulating preceding growth dynamics. Ensemble simulations, taking either the mean (e-mean) or median (e-median) of simulated values, gave better estimates than any individual model when all variables were considered. Compared to individual models, e-median ranked first in simulating measured GY and third in GPC. The error of e-mean and e-median declined with an increasing number of ensemble members, with little decrease beyond 10 models. We conclude that multimodel ensembles can be used to create new estimators with improved accuracy and consistency in simulating growth dynamics. We argue that these results are applicable to other crop species, and hypothesize that they apply more generally to ecological system models.
Adaptive behaviour of fishers to external perturbations: simulation of the Tasmanian rock lobster fishery
Hamon, K.G. ; Frusher, S.D. ; Little, L.R. ; Thebaud, O. ; Punt, A.E. - \ 2014
Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries 24 (2014)2. - ISSN 0960-3166 - p. 577 - 592.
jasus-edwardsii - fleet dynamics - climate-change - individual variation - australia - size - management - victoria - model
The rock lobster, Jasus edwardsii, lies on a global "hotspot" for climate change in the southeastern Australian state of Tasmania. The short-term effects of climate change are predicted to lead to an increasing exploitable biomass in the south and declining biomass in the north of the state. The future of the fishery is highly uncertain due to climate change, but also due to insecurities linked to the market conditions. The market for Tasmanian rock lobster is driven by the demand of a single market, China, which absorbs 75 % of the catch. This study examines how fishers can adapt to external perturbations that affect the social and economic viability of the fleet and the ecological dynamics of the stock. Three fleet dynamic models of increasing complexity are used to investigate the effects of climate change and lobster price changes on the fishery. There could be local depletion leading to negative short-term profit for the fleet if it is static and the proportion of the total catch taken in each region of the fishery does not respond to climate-induced-changes. Better outcomes would occur if the fleet adapts dynamically to environmental conditions, and fishing effort follows stock abundance, which would counter-act the short-term effects of climate change. Only a model with explicit representation of economic drivers can fully capture the local economic and social impacts of large scale global perturbations.
Developing the role of perennial forages for crop-livestock farms: a strategic multi-disciplinary approach
Llewellyn, R. ; Robertson, M.J. ; Hayes, R.C. ; Ferris, D. ; Descheemaeker, K.K.E. ; Revell, C. - \ 2014
Crop and Pasture Science 65 (2014)10. - ISSN 1836-0947 - p. 945 - 955.
subtropical grasses - potential scale - stocking rate - systems - pasture - australia - persistence - grain - adoption - lucerne
Developing new and improved grazing systems for crop–livestock farms where crop production is the major driver of farm management decisions presents a unique research and development challenge. In southern Australia, a substantial proportion of animal production from grazing comes from regions and farms where cropping is the major enterprise. In this paper, we describe a multi-disciplinary farming-systems research approach (EverCrop) aimed at improving farm profitability, risk management and environmental impacts through the development and integration of new grazing options with an emphasis on perennial species. It has been used to analyse and target new opportunities for farmers to benefit from perennial species across dry Mediterranean-type and temperate regions of southern Australia. It integrates field experimentation, on-farm trialling, farmer participatory research, soil–plant–climate biophysical modelling, whole-farm bioeconomic analysis and evaluations of adoptability. Multi-functional roles for summer-active grasses with winter cropping, integration of forage shrubs and establishment of new mixes of perennial grasses in crop rotations to improve farming system performance are identified, along with an analysis of factors likely to affect rate of uptake by farmers.
Wageningen leads the way : Wageningen UR University in The Netherlands provides access to cutting edge greenhouse technology worldwide
Brown-Paul, Chr. ; Bakker, J.C. - \ 2014
Practical Hydroponics & Greenhouses (2014)147. - ISSN 1321-8727 - p. 14 - 19.
landbouwkundig onderzoek - toegepast onderzoek - wetenschappelijk onderzoek - kennisoverdracht - glastuinbouw - australië - nederland - klimaatregeling - teeltsystemen - agricultural research - applied research - scientific research - knowledge transfer - greenhouse horticulture - australia - netherlands - air conditioning - cropping systems
Wageningen UR Greenhouse Horticulture collaborate with research institutes in Australia on research in the field of greenhouse horticultural production. Interview with Dr. Sjaak Bakker of the Business Unit.
Palaeofloods and ancient fishing weirs in NW Iberian rivers
Viveen, W. ; Sanjurjo-Sanchez, J. ; Goy-Dizc, A. ; Veldkamp, A. ; Schoorl, J.M. - \ 2014
Quaternary Research 82 (2014)1. - ISSN 0033-5894 - p. 56 - 65.
regenerative-dose protocol - north-atlantic oscillation - quartz - luminescence - climate - single - australia - peninsula - sediments - records
A 15-m-thick, fluvial sedimentary record of the NW Iberian lower Miño River was studied. Grain-size analyses were performed and twelve samples were dated using optically stimulated luminescence dating techniques, documenting a 1300-yr-old reconstructed fluvial record that does not match with known climate fluctuations in the area, but is linked instead to the construction of a series of ancient fishing weirs (pesqueiras). The sedimentation phases are in agreement with known episodes of increased population density, which suggests active use of the pesqueiras. A number of sedimentation hiatuses in the fluvial record point towards damage to the pesqueiras during large-scale flooding in the Miño River basin, and a sudden drop in population probably due to the arrival of the plague in the 13th century AD. The oldest sedimentation phases started just after 700 AD, and we infer that the first pesqueiras were constructed around this time. This timing coincides with the transition of the NW Iberian landscape towards a more intensively used agricultural landscape, as evidenced from other geo-archeological investigations. The results demonstrate that the pesqueiras are several hundreds of years older than known from historical records, but not so old as to date back to the Roman occupation.
Biochar application rate affects biological nitrogen fixation in red clover conditional on potassium availability
Mia, S. ; Groenigen, J.W. van; Voorde, T.F.J. van de; Oram, N.J. ; Bezemer, T.M. ; Mommer, L. ; Jeffery, S.L. - \ 2014
Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 191 (2014). - ISSN 0167-8809 - p. 83 - 91.
fast-pyrolysis biochar - natural-abundance - plant-growth - soil - carbon - n-15 - consequences - hydrochar - australia - nutrition
Increased biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) by legumes has been reported following biochar application to soils, but the mechanisms behind this phenomenon remain poorly elucidated. We investigated the effects of different biochar application rates on BNF in red clover (Trifolium pratense L.). Red clover was grown in mono or mixed cultures with red fescue grass (Festuca rubra L.) and plantain (Plantago lanceolata L.) at a range of different biochar application rates (0, 10, 50 and 120 t ha-1). In a separate experiment, nutrient effects of biochar on BNF were investigated using nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium (N, P and K) and micronutrient fertilization using the same plant species. Biochar addition increased BNF and biochar applied at a rate of 10 t ha-1 led to the highest rate of BNF. Total biomass also showed the greatest increase at this application rate. An application rate of 120 t ha-1 significantly decreased biomass production in both single and mixed cultures when compared to the control, with the greatest reduction occurring in red clover. Furthermore, BNF was significantly higher in pots in which red clover was grown in mixed cultures compared to monocultures. In the absence of biochar, K fertilization caused a significant increase in BNF. For N, P, and micronutrient fertilization, BNF did not significantly differ between treatments with and without biochar addition. We conclude that different biochar application rates lead to different effects in terms of BNF and biomass production. However, due to the high variety of biochar properties, different application rates should be investigated on a case specific basis to determine the optimum biochar application strategies.
Tree species from different functional groups respond differently to environmental changes during establishment
Barbosa, E.R.M. ; Langevelde, F. van; Tomlinson, K.W. ; Carvalheiro, L.M.G.R. ; Kirkman, K. ; Bie, S. de; Prins, H.H.T. - \ 2014
Oecologia 174 (2014)4. - ISSN 0029-8549 - p. 1345 - 1357.
semiarid savannas - colophospermum-mopane - african savannas - southern-africa - patch-dynamics - national-park - acacia - fire - management - australia
Savanna plant communities change considerably across time and space. The processes driving savanna plant species diversity, coexistence and turnover along environmental gradients are still unclear. Understanding how species respond differently to varying environmental conditions during the seedling stage, a critical stage for plant population dynamics, is needed to explain the current composition of plant communities and to enable us to predict their responses to future environmental changes. Here we investigate whether seedling response to changes in resource availability, and to competition with grass, varied between two functional groups of African savanna trees: species with small leaves, spines and N-fixing associations (fine-leaved species), and species with broad leaves, no spines, and lacking N-fixing associations (broad-leaved species). We show that while tree species were strongly suppressed by grass, the effect of resource availability on seedling performance varied considerably between the two functional groups. Nutrient inputs increased stem length only of broad-leaved species and only under an even watering treatment. Low light conditions benefited mostly broad-leaved species’ growth. Savannas are susceptible to ongoing global environment changes. Our results suggest that an increase in woody cover is only likely to occur in savannas if grass cover is strongly suppressed (e.g. by fire or overgrazing). However, if woody cover does increase, broad-leaved species will benefit most from the resulting shaded environments, potentially leading to an expansion of the distribution of these species. Eutrophication and changes in rainfall patterns may also affect the balance between fine- and broad-leaved species.
Worldwide Sustainability Hotspots in Potato Cultivation. 2. Areas with Improvement Opportunities
Evert, F.K. van; Ruijter, F.J. de; Conijn, J.G. ; Rutgers, B. ; Haverkort, A.J. - \ 2013
Potato Research 56 (2013)4. - ISSN 0014-3065 - p. 355 - 368.
farming systems - multiyear assessment - unilevers progress - soil-erosion - nitrogen - biodiversity - indicators - australia - region - crops
Agriculture has a large impact on the environment and retailers increasingly stimulate their suppliers to reduce the environmental impact of agricultural production. The environmental impact resulting from producing a commodity can be measured with a life cycle analysis (LCA) but performing an LCA is costly and time-consuming. In the first paper of this series a practical and general method to identify hotspot areas in crop production on a global scale was developed. The method was implemented for potatoes. The objective of the work reported here was to evaluate the tool and to identify improvement opportunities for each of seven indicators: yield, erosion risk, nitrogen surplus, depletion of water reserves, biocide use, carbon footprint, and impact on biodiversity. The tool produces realistic outputs that can be used to target improvement efforts and thus improves the use efficiency of limited resources. The tool can be expanded to produce similar results for other crops; methods to improve the resolution of the tool are discussed.
Understanding consumer acceptance of intervention strategies for healthy food choices: a qualitative study
Bos, C. ; Lans, I.A. van der; Rijnsoever, F.J. ; Trijp, J.C.M. van - \ 2013
BMC Public Health 13 (2013). - ISSN 1471-2458 - 14 p.
obesity prevention - financial incentives - public-health - policies - overweight - acceptability - environments - australia - responses - subsidies
Background: The increasing prevalence of overweight and obesity poses a major threat to public health. Intervention strategies for healthy food choices potentially reduce obesity rates. Reviews of the effectiveness of interventions, however, show mixed results. To maximise effectiveness, interventions need to be accepted by consumers. The aim of the present study is to explore consumer acceptance of intervention strategies for low-calorie food choices. Beliefs that are associated with consumer acceptance are identified. Methods: Data was collected in the Netherlands in 8 semi-structured interviews and 4 focus group discussions (N = 39). Nine archetypical strategies representing educational, marketing and legal interventions served as reference points. Verbatim transcriptions were coded both inductively and deductively with the framework approach. Results: We found that three beliefs are related to consumer acceptance: 1) general beliefs regarding obesity, such as who is responsible for food choice; 2) the perceived effectiveness of interventions; and 3) the perceived fairness of interventions. Furthermore, the different aspects underlying these general and intervention-specific beliefs were identified. Conclusions: General and intervention-specific beliefs are associated with consumer acceptance of interventions for low-calorie food choices. Policymakers in the food domain can use the findings to negotiate the development of interventions and to assess the feasibility of interventions. With respect to future research, we recommend that segments of consumers based on perceptions of intervention strategies are identified. Keywords: Public health, Consumer acceptance, Intervention strategies, Low-calorie, Food choice, Obesity prevention
Structure and composition of woody vegetation in two important bird areas in southern Zimbabwe
Gandiwa, P. ; Chinoitezvi, E. ; Gandiwa, E. - \ 2013
The JAPS 23 (2013)3. - ISSN 1018-7081 - p. 813 - 820.
gonarezhou-national-park - african elephants - savanna woodlands - communities - diversity - population - australia - swaziland - ecosystem - adjacent
This study assessed the status of woody vegetation structure and composition in two Important Bird Areas (IBA) i.e. Manjinji Pan and Save-Runde Junction located in southeastern Zimbabwe. The objectives of this study were to: (i) determine the woody vegetation structure and composition of the study areas and (ii) find out any differences and similarities in woody vegetation between the two IBAs. Data about woody vegetation were collected from 40 randomly placed sample plots from both study areas. Tree density was higher in Manjinji Pan IBA (406.67 +/- 16.86 trees ha(-1)) than Save-Runde Junction IBA (275.83 +/- 17.62 trees ha(-1)). In contrast, Save-Runde Junction IBA had higher numbers of stems per plant (2.88 +/- 0.22), species richness (59) and diversity (H' = 3.28) than Manjinji Pan IBA: numbers of stems per plant (2.16 +/- 0.12), species richness (43) and diversity (H' = 2.90). No significant differences were recorded in woody plant height, shrub and dead plant densities. The findings suggest that several factors including fires, herbivory and human activities could be influencing the woody vegetation in the two IBAs. However, further research is suggested to better understand the drivers of woody vegetation variation in IBAs occurring in savanna ecosystems. It is recommended that species richness and diversity of woody plants should be maintained and invasive plant species controlled for the conservation of endemic and migratory avifauna.
What kind of leadership do we need for climate adaptation? A framework for analyzing leadership objectives, functions, and tasks in climate change adaptation
Meijerink, S. ; Stiller, S.J. - \ 2013
Environment and Planning C. Government and Policy 31 (2013)2. - ISSN 0263-774X - p. 240 - 256.
social-ecological systems - policy change - adaptive governance - entrepreneurs - transitions - mitigation - innovation - complexity - knowledge - australia
This paper explores the relevance of various leadership concepts for climate change adaptation. After defi ning four main leadership challenges which are derived from the key characteristics of climate adaptation issues, a review of modern leadership theories addressing these challenges is presented. On the basis of this review we develop an integrative framework for analyzing leadership for climate change adaptation. It distinguishes between various leadership functions which together contribute to climate change adaptation: the political–administrative, adaptive, enabling, connective, and dissemination functions. Each function requires the execution of specifi c leadership tasks which can be performed by diff erent types of leaders, such as positional leaders, ideational leaders, sponsors, boundary workers, policy entrepreneurs, or champions. The framework can be used to analyze or monitor the emergence and realization of specifi c leadership functions and to specify the need for strengthening particular functions in practices of climate adaptation.
Mediterranean dietary pattern and prevalence and incidence of depressive symptoms in mid-aged women: results from a large community-based prospective study
Rienks, J. ; Dobson, A. ; Mishra, G.D. - \ 2013
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 67 (2013). - ISSN 0954-3007 - p. 75 - 82.
mood disorders - short-form - fast-food - ces-d - association - cohort - health - risk - australia - validity
BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: To investigate the association between dietary patterns and prevalence and incidence 3 years later of depressive symptoms using data from the mid-aged cohort in the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health. SUBJECTS/METHODS: Participants (aged 50–55 years) completed a food frequency questionnaire in 2001. Depressive symptoms were measured in 2001 and 2004 using the validated 10-item Centre for Epidemiologic Studies Depression scale. Multiple logistic regression was used for cross-sectional analysis (8369 women) and longitudinal analysis (7588) to assess the associations between dietary patterns and prevalence of depressive symptoms, and then for longitudinal analysis (6060) on their associations with the incidence of depressive symptoms in 2004, while adjusting for sociodemographic and lifestyle factors. RESULTS: Six dietary patterns were identified from factor analysis: cooked vegetables, fruit, Mediterranean style, meat and processed meat, dairy, and high fat and sugar. A higher consumption of the Mediterranean-style diet had a cross-sectional association with lower prevalence of depressive symptoms in 2001, adjusted odds ratio 0.82 (95% confidence interval 0.77–0.88); and longitudinally with lower incidence of depressive symptoms in 2004, adjusted odds ratio 0.83 (0.75–0.91). None of the associations found for other dietary patterns remained statistically significant after adjustment for confounders. A dose–response relationship was found cross-sectionally when women were grouped according to quintiles of Mediterranean-style diet (P-value for trend o0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Consumption of a ‘Mediterranean-style’ dietary pattern by mid-aged women may have a protective influence against the onset of depressive symptoms. These findings suggest that dietary patterns have a potential role in the prevention and management of depressive symptoms.
Factor analysis is more appropriate to identify overall dietary patterns associated with diabetes when compared with treelet transform analysis
Schoenaker, D.A.J.M. ; Dobson, A. ; Soedamah-Muthu, S.S. ; Mishra, G.D. - \ 2013
The Journal of Nutrition 143 (2013)3. - ISSN 0022-3166 - p. 392 - 398.
adaptive multiscale basis - sparse unordered data - womens health - prevention - australia - validity - rotation - cohort - index
Treelet transform (TT) is a proposed alternative to factor analysis for deriving dietary patterns. Before applying this method to nutrition data, further analyses are required to assess its validity in nutritional epidemiology. We aimed to compare dietary patterns from factor analysis and TT and their associations with diabetes incidence. Complete data were available for 7349 women (50-55 y at baseline) from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health. Exploratory factor analysis and TT were performed to obtain patterns by using dietary data collected from an FFQ. Generalized estimating equations analyses were used to examine associations between dietary patterns and diabetes incidence. Two patterns were identified by both methods: a prudent and a Western dietary pattern. Factor analysis factors are a linear combination of all food items, whereas TT factors also include items with zero loading. The Western pattern identified by factor analysis showed a significant positive association with diabetes [highest quintile: OR = 1.94 (95% CI: 1.25, 3.00); P-trend = 0.001). Both factor analysis and TT involve different assumptions and subjective decisions. TT produces clearly interpretable factors accounting for almost as much variance as factors from factor analysis. However, TT patterns include food items with zero loading and therefore do not represent overall dietary patterns. The different dietary pattern loading structures identified by both methods result in different conclusions regarding the relationship with diabetes. Results from this study indicate that factor analysis might be a more appropriate method for identifying overall dietary patterns associated with diabetes compared with TT.
Mycosphaerella and Teratosphaeria species associated with leaf diseases on Eucalyptus globulus in southern Brazil
Teodoro, M.G. ; Ferreira, M.A. ; Guimarães, L.M.S. ; Mafia, R.G. ; Groenewald, J.Z. ; Crous, P.W. ; Alfenas, A.C. - \ 2012
Phytopathologia Mediterranea 51 (2012)2. - ISSN 0031-9465 - p. 355 - 364.
ribosomal dna-sequences - phylogenetic reassessment - anamorphs - nubilosa - spp. - identification - dissoconium - plantations - lateralis - australia
Leaf blight and defoliation caused by Teratosphaeria species is one of the most important leaf diseases of Eucalyptus globulus. Due to the importance of this tree species for the production of pulp and paper, and recent reports of severe leaf disease symptoms in Brazil, the present study was conducted to identify the pathogen(s) involved. Symptomatic leaves were collected in the Brazilian states of Paraná and Rio Grande do Sul, single ascospore cultures established, and isolates were investigated using DNA-based molecular tools. A species-specific PCR and sequence data from the nuclear ribosomal DNA operon were used for species identification. The following seven species were identified: Mycosphaerella scytalidii, Dissoconium dekkeri (=M. lateralis), Teratosphaeria ohnowa, T. perpendicularis, T. pseudafricana, T. flexuosa and T.nubilosa. Of the recorded species, T. nubilosa is regarded as the most serious threat to the cultivation of E. globulus in the states surveyed.
Comparing water options for irrigation farmers using Modern Portfolio Theory
Gaydon, D.S. ; Meinke, H.B. ; Rodriguez, D. ; McGrath, D.J. - \ 2012
Agricultural Water Management 115 (2012). - ISSN 0378-3774 - p. 1 - 9.
markets - systems - distributions - australia
For irrigation farmers, the deregulation of water markets and consequent emergence of water as a tradeable commodity calls for a method of comparing traditional on-farm water options (growing crops) with off-farm market options (selling water seasonally, or selling water licences permanently). The option to diversify farm income in this way is a desirable future adaptation strategy in response to decreased and more variable water supplies. We demonstrate a method for comparing such options based on their risk-return characteristics. A framework commonly used in the finance sector is adapted to agricultural water decisions, and illustrated using a case-study farm from Australia's Riverina region. In our example, a range of potential farm management practices are examined for several future water availability scenarios, and then compared with a fixed-return option (selling water entitlements to the Australian Government's current water buy-back scheme). We demonstrate how the attractiveness of the scheme for farmers depends on future water availability levels. For any future allocation level, the best way to use water on-farm varies with the value of the fixed-return option. The farmer's decision on what portion of their water entitlement to sell provides them with the opportunity to tailor their operation's risk-return performance. This method is universally applicable wherever there is a mix of variable and fixed-return options, and offers a framework to assist farmers in conceptualizing comparisons between traditional on-farm uses for water and newer, market-based options
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