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.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Plastic film cover during the fallow season preceding sowing increases yield and water use efficiency of rain-fed spring maize in a semi-arid climate
Zhang, Zhe ; Zhang, Yanqing ; Sun, Zhanxiang ; Zheng, Jiaming ; Liu, Enke ; Feng, Liangshan ; Feng, Chen ; Si, Pengfei ; Bai, Wei ; Cai, Qian ; Yang, Ning ; Werf, Wopke van der; Zhang, Lizhen - \ 2019
Agricultural Water Management 212 (2019). - ISSN 0378-3774 - p. 203 - 210.
Film cover - Soil temperature - Water availability - Yield components

Plastic film mulch increases crop yields in rain-fed agriculture in cool semi-arid climates by warming the soil and reducing evaporative water losses. The semi-arid Khorchin area in Northeast China is an important production area for rain-fed maize. Drought stress occurs frequently, even if plastic film mulch is applied at sowing. We hypothesized that the yield and water capture of maize could be increased by reducing evaporative loss of water by use of plastic film cover during the autumn and winter preceding sowing. In this study, we compared maize growth, water uptake and yield in three film cover treatments: (1) film cover from the autumn before maize sowing until maize harvest (autumn mulching: AM), (2) film cover from maize sowing till harvest (conventional practice) (spring mulching: SM), (3) no film cover (no mulch: NM). Field experiments were conducted in Fuxin city, Khorchin region, Liaoning province, China in 2013/2014 and 2014/2015. Autumn mulching increased grain yield on average by 18% when compared to spring mulching and by 36% when compared to no mulching. The 1000-kernel weight in AM was 7% higher than in SM, and 12% higher than in NM. Soil water content in the root zone before sowing was 35 mm greater in AM than in SM and NM. Water uptake during the growing season was 34 mm greater in AM than in SM and NM. Water use efficiency for grain yield (yield per unit water uptake) in AM was on average 2.5% higher than in conventional mulching (SM) and 27% higher than in NM. Autumn mulching advanced development, with an advance of 5 days in tasseling time as compared to SM and 10 days when compared to NM. These results show that film cover during the fallow period before maize sowing can increase crop yield and water use efficiency, and reduce climate risks in rain-fed agriculture under semi-arid conditions.

Custom Amazon Sun-Induced Fluorescence dataset used in Koren et al., (2018) publication
Peters, W. ; Koren, G.B. ; Schaik, Erik van - \ 2018
This dataset was used to create the results in the paper of Koren et al., (2018) published by the journal "Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B". It contains SIF data for the region of South America retrieved from GOME-2A radiances using a modified version of the SIFTERv2 algorithm developed at the Royal Dutch Meteorological Office (KNMI). The dataset spans 10 years (2007-2016) and is at 0.5x0.5 degrees resolution. Details are provided as attributes in the NetCDF file.
Genetic analysis of Chinese cabbage reveals correlation between rosette leaf and leafy head variation
Sun, Xiao Xue ; Luo, Shuangxia ; Luo, Lei ; Wang, Xing ; Chen, Xueping ; Lu, Yin ; Shen, Shuxing ; Zhao, Jianjun ; Bonnema, Guusje - \ 2018
Frontiers in Plant Science 9 (2018). - ISSN 1664-462X
Chinese cabbage - Co-location of QTLs - Correlation - Heading degree - Leafy head - Rosette leaf

To understand the genetic regulation of the domestication trait leafy-head formation of Chinese cabbages, we exploit the diversity within Brassica rapa. To improve our understanding of the relationship between variation in rosette-leaves and leafy heads, we phenotyped a diversity set of 152 Chinese cabbages. This showed correlation between rosette-leaf traits and both head traits and heading capacity. Interestingly, the leaf number of the mature head is not correlated to heading degree nor head shape. We then chose a non-heading pak choi genotype to cross to a Chinese cabbage to generate populations segregating for the leafy head traits. Both a large F2 (485 plants) and a smaller Doubled Haploid (88 lines) mapping population were generated. A high density DH-88 genetic map using the Brassica SNP array and an F2 map with a subset of these SNPs and InDel markers was used for quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis. Thirty-one quantitative trait loci (QTLs) were identified for phenotypes of rosette-leaves in time and both heading degree and several heading traits. On chromosome A06 in both DH-88 and F2-485 QTLs for rosette leaf length and petiole length at different developmental days and an F2 QTL for head height co-located. Variation in head height, width and weight all correlate with variation in heading degree with co-locating QTLs, respectively, on chromosome A03, A05, and A08 in F2-485. The correlation between rosette-leaf and heading traits provides not only insight in the leaf requirements to form a head, but also can be used for selection by Chinese cabbage breeders.

Fatty acid biomarkers of dairy fat consumption and incidence of type 2 diabetes : A pooled analysis of prospective cohort studies
Imamura, Fumiaki ; Fretts, Amanda ; Marklund, Matti ; Ardisson Korat, Andres V. ; Yang, Wei Sin ; Lankinen, Maria ; Qureshi, Waqas ; Helmer, Catherine ; Chen, Tzu An ; Wong, Kerry ; Bassett, Julie K. ; Murphy, Rachel ; Tintle, Nathan ; Yu, Chaoyu Ian ; Brouwer, Ingeborg A. ; Chien, Kuo Liong ; Frazier-Wood, Alexis C. ; Gobbo, Liana C. Del; Djoussé, Luc ; Geleijnse, Johanna M. ; Giles, Graham G. ; Goede, Janette de; Gudnason, Vilmundur ; Harris, William S. ; Hodge, Allison ; Hu, Frank ; Koulman, Albert ; Laakso, Markku ; Lind, Lars ; Lin, Hung Ju ; McKnight, Barbara ; Rajaobelina, Kalina ; Risérus, Ulf ; Robinson, Jennifer G. ; Samieri, Cécilia ; Siscovick, David S. ; Soedamah-Muthu, Sabita S. ; Sotoodehnia, Nona ; Sun, Qi ; Tsai, Michael Y. ; Uusitupa, Matti ; Wagenknecht, Lynne E. ; Wareham, Nick J. ; Wu, Jason Hy ; Micha, Renata ; Forouhi, Nita G. ; Lemaitre, Rozenn N. ; Mozaffarian, Dariush - \ 2018
PLOS Medicine 15 (2018)10. - ISSN 1549-1676 - p. e1002670 - e1002670.

BACKGROUND: We aimed to investigate prospective associations of circulating or adipose tissue odd-chain fatty acids 15:0 and 17:0 and trans-palmitoleic acid, t16:1n-7, as potential biomarkers of dairy fat intake, with incident type 2 diabetes (T2D).

METHODS AND FINDINGS: Sixteen prospective cohorts from 12 countries (7 from the United States, 7 from Europe, 1 from Australia, 1 from Taiwan) performed new harmonised individual-level analysis for the prospective associations according to a standardised plan. In total, 63,682 participants with a broad range of baseline ages and BMIs and 15,180 incident cases of T2D over the average of 9 years of follow-up were evaluated. Study-specific results were pooled using inverse-variance-weighted meta-analysis. Prespecified interactions by age, sex, BMI, and race/ethnicity were explored in each cohort and were meta-analysed. Potential heterogeneity by cohort-specific characteristics (regions, lipid compartments used for fatty acid assays) was assessed with metaregression. After adjustment for potential confounders, including measures of adiposity (BMI, waist circumference) and lipogenesis (levels of palmitate, triglycerides), higher levels of 15:0, 17:0, and t16:1n-7 were associated with lower incidence of T2D. In the most adjusted model, the hazard ratio (95% CI) for incident T2D per cohort-specific 10th to 90th percentile range of 15:0 was 0.80 (0.73-0.87); of 17:0, 0.65 (0.59-0.72); of t16:1n7, 0.82 (0.70-0.96); and of their sum, 0.71 (0.63-0.79). In exploratory analyses, similar associations for 15:0, 17:0, and the sum of all three fatty acids were present in both genders but stronger in women than in men (pinteraction < 0.001). Whereas studying associations with biomarkers has several advantages, as limitations, the biomarkers do not distinguish between different food sources of dairy fat (e.g., cheese, yogurt, milk), and residual confounding by unmeasured or imprecisely measured confounders may exist.

CONCLUSIONS: In a large meta-analysis that pooled the findings from 16 prospective cohort studies, higher levels of 15:0, 17:0, and t16:1n-7 were associated with a lower risk of T2D.

Comparative transcriptome analysis of Poncirus trifoliata identifies a core set of genes involved in arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis
An, Jianyong ; Sun, Mengqian ; Velzen, Robin van; Ji, Chuanya ; Zheng, Zijun ; Limpens, Erik ; Bisseling, Ton ; Deng, Xiuxin ; Xiao, Shunyuan ; Pan, Zhiyong - \ 2018
Journal of Experimental Botany 69 (2018)21. - ISSN 0022-0957 - p. 5255 - 5264.

The perennial woody plants of citrus are one of the most important fruit crops in the world and largely depends on arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis (AMS) to obtain essential nutrients from soil. However, the molecular aspects of AMS in citrus and perennial woody plants in general have largely been understudied. We used RNA-sequencing to identify differentially expressed genes in roots of Poncirus trifoliata upon mycorrhization by the AM fungus Glomus versiforme and evaluated their conservation by comparative transcriptome analyses with four herbaceous model plants. We identified 282 differentially expressed genes in P. trifoliata, including orthologs of 21 genes with characterized roles in AMS and 83 genes that are considered to be conserved in AM-host plants. Comparative transcriptome analysis revealed a 'core set' of 156 genes from P. trifoliata whose orthologous genes from at least three of the five species also exhibited similar transcriptional changes during AMS. Functional analysis of one of these conserved AM-induced genes, a 3-keto-acyl-ACP reductase (FatG) involved in fatty acid biosynthesis, confirmed its involvement in AMS in Medicago truncatula. Our results identify a core transcriptional program for AMS that is largely conserved between P. trifoliata and other plants. The comparative transcriptomics approach adds to previous phylogenomics studies to identify conserved genes required for AMS.

Widespread reduction in sun-induced fluorescence from the Amazon during the 2015/2016 El Niño
Koren, Gerbrand ; Schaik, Erik van; Araújo, Alessandro C. ; Boersma, K.F. ; Gärtner, Antje ; Killaars, Lars ; Kooreman, Maurits L. ; Kruijt, Bart ; Laan-Luijkx, Ingrid T. van der; Randow, Celso von; Smith, Naomi E. ; Peters, Wouter - \ 2018
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. Biological sciences 373 (2018)1760. - 10 p.
Amazon rainforest - drought response - El Niño-Southern Oscillation - gross primary production - sun-induced fluorescence - tropical terrestrial carbon cycle

The tropical carbon balance dominates year-to-year variations in the CO2 exchange with the atmosphere through photosynthesis, respiration and fires. Because of its high correlation with gross primary productivity (GPP), observations of sun-induced fluorescence (SIF) are of great interest. We developed a new remotely sensed SIF product with improved signal-to-noise in the tropics, and use it here to quantify the impact of the 2015/2016 El Niño Amazon drought. We find that SIF was strongly suppressed over areas with anomalously high temperatures and decreased levels of water in the soil. SIF went below its climatological range starting from the end of the 2015 dry season (October) and returned to normal levels by February 2016 when atmospheric conditions returned to normal, but well before the end of anomalously low precipitation that persisted through June 2016. Impacts were not uniform across the Amazon basin, with the eastern part experiencing much larger (10-15%) SIF reductions than the western part of the basin (2-5%). We estimate the integrated loss of GPP relative to eight previous years to be 0.34-0.48 PgC in the three-month period October-November-December 2015.This article is part of a discussion meeting issue 'The impact of the 2015/2016 El Niño on the terrestrial tropical carbon cycle: patterns, mechanisms and implications'.

Representation of decision-making in European agricultural agent-based models
Huber, Robert ; Bakker, Martha ; Balmann, Alfons ; Berger, Thomas ; Bithell, Mike ; Brown, Calum ; Grêt-Regamey, Adrienne ; Xiong, Hang ; Le, Quang Bao ; Mack, Gabriele ; Meyfroidt, Patrick ; Millington, James ; Müller, Birgit ; Polhill, J.G. ; Sun, Zhanli ; Seidl, Roman ; Troost, Christian ; Finger, Robert - \ 2018
Agricultural Systems 167 (2018). - ISSN 0308-521X - p. 143 - 160.

The use of agent-based modelling approaches in ex-post and ex-ante evaluations of agricultural policies has been progressively increasing over the last few years. There are now a sufficient number of models that it is worth taking stock of the way these models have been developed. Here, we review 20 agricultural agent-based models (ABM) addressing heterogeneous decision-making processes in the context of European agriculture. The goals of this review were to i) develop a framework describing aspects of farmers’ decision-making that are relevant from a farm-systems perspective, ii) reveal the current state-of-the-art in representing farmers’ decision-making in the European agricultural sector, and iii) provide a critical reflection of underdeveloped research areas and on future opportunities in modelling decision-making. To compare different approaches in modelling farmers’ behaviour, we focused on the European agricultural sector, which presents a specific character with its family farms, its single market and the common agricultural policy (CAP). We identified several key properties of farmers’ decision-making: the multi-output nature of production; the importance of non-agricultural activities; heterogeneous household and family characteristics; and the need for concurrent short- and long-term decision-making. These properties were then used to define levels and types of decision-making mechanisms to structure a literature review. We find most models are sophisticated in the representation of farm exit and entry decisions, as well as the representation of long-term decisions and the consideration of farming styles or types using farm typologies. Considerably fewer attempts to model farmers’ emotions, values, learning, risk and uncertainty or social interactions occur in the different case studies. We conclude that there is considerable scope to improve diversity in representation of decision-making and the integration of social interactions in agricultural agent-based modelling approaches by combining existing modelling approaches and promoting model inter-comparisons. Thus, this review provides a valuable entry point for agent-based modellers, agricultural systems modellers and data driven social scientists for the re-use and sharing of model components, code and data. An intensified dialogue could fertilize more coordinated and purposeful combinations and comparisons of ABM and other modelling approaches as well as better reconciliation of empirical data and theoretical foundations, which ultimately are key to developing improved models of agricultural systems.

Mapping the Leaf Economic Spectrum across West African Tropical Forests Using UAV-Acquired Hyperspectral Imagery
Thomson, Eleanor ; Malhi, Yadvinder ; Bartholomeus, Harm ; Oliveras, Imma ; Gvozdevaite, Agne ; Peprah, Theresa ; Suomalainen, Juha ; Quansah, John ; Seidu, John ; Adonteng, Christian ; Abraham, Andrew ; Herold, Martin ; Adu-Bredu, Stephen ; Doughty, Christopher - \ 2018
Remote Sensing 10 (2018)10. - ISSN 2072-4292 - 25 p.
The leaf economic spectrum (LES) describes a set of universal trade-offs between leaf mass per area (LMA), leaf nitrogen (N), leaf phosphorus (P) and leaf photosynthesis that influence patterns of primary productivity and nutrient cycling. Many questions regarding vegetation-climate feedbacks can be addressed with a better understanding of LES traits and their controls. Remote sensing offers enormous potential for generating large-scale LES trait data. Yet so far, canopy studies have been limited to imaging spectrometers onboard aircraft, which are rare, expensive to deploy and lack fine-scale resolution. In this study, we measured VNIR (visible-near infrared (400–1050 nm)) reflectance of individual sun and shade leaves in 7 one-ha tropical forest plots located along a 1200–2000 mm precipitation gradient in West Africa. We collected hyperspectral imaging data from 3 of the 7 plots, using an octocopter-based unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), mounted with a hyperspectral mapping system (450–950 nm, 9 nm FWHM). Using partial least squares regression (PLSR), we found that the spectra of individual sun leaves demonstrated significant (p < 0.01) correlations with LMA and leaf chemical traits: r2 = 0.42 (LMA), r2 = 0.43 (N), r2 = 0.21 (P), r2 = 0.20 (leaf potassium (K)), r2 = 0.23 (leaf calcium (Ca)) and r2 = 0.14 (leaf magnesium (Mg)). Shade leaf spectra displayed stronger relationships with all leaf traits. At the airborne level, four of the six leaf traits demonstrated weak (p < 0.10) correlations with the UAV-collected spectra of 58 tree crowns: r2 = 0.25 (LMA), r2 = 0.22 (N), r2 = 0.22 (P), and r2 = 0.25 (Ca). From the airborne imaging data, we used LMA, N and P values to map the LES across the three plots, revealing precipitation and substrate as co-dominant drivers of trait distributions and relationships. Positive N-P correlations and LMA-P anticorrelations followed typical LES theory, but we found no classic trade-offs between LMA and N. Overall, this study demonstrates the application of UAVs to generating LES information and advancing the study and monitoring tropical forest functional diversity.
Agrivoltaic systems to optimise land use for electric energy production
Amaducci, Stefano ; Yin, Xinyou ; Colauzzi, Michele - \ 2018
Applied energy 220 (2018). - ISSN 0306-2619 - p. 545 - 561.
Agrivoltaic - Biogas - Land use efficiency - Maize - Modeling - Photovoltaic panels

A system combining soil grown crops with photovoltaic panels (PV) installed several meters above the ground is referred to as agrivoltaic systems. In this work a patented agrivoltaic solar tracking system named Agrovoltaico® was examined in combination with a maize crop in a simulation study. To this purpose a software platform was developed coupling a radiation and shading model to the generic crop growth simulator GECROS. The simulation was conducted using a 40-year climate dataset from a location in North Italy, rainfed maize and different Agrovoltaico configurations (that differ according to panel density and sun-tracking set up). Control simulations for an irrigated maize crop under full light were added to results. Reduction of global radiation under the Agrovoltaico system was more affected by panel density (29.5% and 13.4% respectively for double density and single density), than by panel management (23.2% and 20.0% for sun-track and static panels, respectively). Radiation reduction, under Agrovoltaico, affected mean soil temperature, evapotranspiration and soil water balance, on average providing more favorable conditions for plant growth than in full light. As a consequence, in rainfed conditions, average grain yield was higher and more stable under agrivoltaic than under full light. The advantage of growing maize in the shade of Agrovoltaico increased proportionally to drought stress, which indicates that agrivoltaic systems could increase crop resilience to climate change. The benefit of producing renewable energy with Agrovoltaico was assessed using the Land Equivalent Ratio, comparing the electric energy produced by Agrovoltaico cultivated with biogas maize to that produced by a combination of conventional ground mounted PV systems and biogas maize in monoculture. Land Equivalent Ratio was always above 1, it increased with panel density and it was higher with sun tracking than with static panels. The best Agrivoltaico scenario produced twice as much energy, per unit area, as the combination of ground mounted PV systems and biogas maize in monoculture. For this Agrivoltaico can be considered a valuable system to produce renewable energy on farm without negatively affecting land productivity.

Cross-fertilizing weed science and plant invasion science to improve efficient management: A European challenge
Müller-Schärer, H. ; Sun, Y. ; Chauvel, B. ; Karrer, G. ; Kazinczi, G. ; Kudsk, P. ; Oude Lansink, A.G.J.M. ; Schaffner, U. ; Skjoth, C.A. ; Smith, M. ; Vurro, M. ; Weger, L.A. De; Lommen, S.T.E. - \ 2018
Basic and Applied Ecology (2018). - ISSN 1439-1791 - 13 p.
Both weed science and plant invasion science deal with noxious plants. Yet, they have historically developed as two distinct
research areas in Europe, with different target species, approaches and management aims, as well as with diverging institutions
and researchers involved. We argue that the strengths of these two disciplines can be highly complementary in implementing
management strategies and outline how synergies were created in an international, multidisciplinary project to develop efficient
and sustainable management of common ragweed, Ambrosia artemisiifolia. Because this species has severe impacts on human
health and is also a crop weed in large parts of Europe, common ragweed is one of the economically most important plant
invaders in Europe. Our multidisciplinary approach combining expertise from weed science and plant invasion science allowed
us (i) to develop a comprehensive plant demographic model to evaluate and compare management tools, such as optimal cutting
regimes and biological control for different regions and habitat types, and (ii) to assess benefits and risks of biological control.
It further (iii) showed ways to reconcile different stakeholder interests and management objectives (health versus crop yield),
and (iv) led to an economic model to assess invader impact across actors and domains, and effectiveness of control measures.
(v) It also led to design and implement management strategies in collaboration with the various stakeholder groups affected by
noxious weeds, created training opportunities for early stage researchers in the sustainable management of noxious plants, and
actively promoted improved decision making regarding the use of exotic biocontrol agents at the national and European level.
We critically discuss our achievements and limitations, and list and discuss other potential Old World (Afro-Eurasian) target
Reduced phloem uptake of Myzus persicae on an aphid resistant pepper accession
Sun, Mengjing ; Voorrips, Roeland E. ; Steenhuis-Broers, Greet ; van't Westende, Wendy ; Vosman, Ben - \ 2018
BMC Plant Biology 18 (2018)1. - ISSN 1471-2229
Aphid resistance screening - Callose - Capsicum baccatum - EPG - Real-time PCR

Background: The green peach aphid (GPA), Myzus persicae, is economically one of the most threatening pests in pepper cultivation, which not only causes direct damage but also transmits many viruses. Breeding aphid resistant pepper varieties is a promising and environmentally friendly method to control aphid populations in the field and in the greenhouse. Until now, no strong sources of resistance against the GPA have been identified. Therefore the main aims of this study were to identify pepper materials with a good level of resistance to GPA and to elucidate possible resistance mechanisms. Results: We screened 74 pepper accessions from different geographical areas for resistance to M. persicae. After four rounds of evaluation we identified one Capsicum baccatum accession (PB2013071) as highly resistant to M. persicae, while the accessions PB2013062 and PB2012022 showed intermediate resistance. The resistance of PB2013071 resulted in a severely reduced uptake of phloem compared to the susceptible accession, as determined by Electrical Penetration Graph (EPG) studies. Feeding of M. persicae induced the expression of callose synthase genes and resulted in callose deposition in the sieve elements in resistant, but not in susceptible plants. Conclusions: Three aphid resistant pepper accessions were identified, which will be important for breeding aphid resistant pepper varieties in the future. The most resistant accession PB2013071 showed phloem-based resistance against aphid infestation.

Effect of ambient temperature fluctuation on the timing of the transition to the generative stage in cauliflower
Sun, Xiaoxue ; Bucher, Johan ; Ji, Yongran ; Dijk, Aalt D.J. Van; Immink, Richard G.H. ; Bonnema, Guusje - \ 2018
Environmental and Experimental Botany 155 (2018). - ISSN 0098-8472 - p. 742 - 750.
Cauliflower (Brassica oleracea ssp. botrytis) is an important vegetable that is grown worldwide from the tropics to temperate zones. The harvested product is the curd, which consists of arrested inflorescence meristems. The switch from vegetative development to curd formation in cauliflower, referred to as the generative switch, is strongly temperature responsive in the majority of varieties. We aimed at measuring the delay in timing of the generative switch by high ambient temperature, and how temperature affects the expression of genes with a potential role in timing of this switch. A seven day increase of six degrees in day and night temperature during vegetative development, results in a substantial delay of the generative switch and increased variation in timing of this switch in sensitive cultivars only. The expression level of the Cauliflower FRUITFULL-like gene BoFULc increased significantly at the generative switch and therefore can be used as marker for this developmental phase change. The expression profiles of the majority of the other investigated cauliflower flowering time genes resembled the expression behaviour of their homologous genes in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana during the vegetative stage and flowering induction. An exception was the expression of two FLC paralogues BoFLC-1 and BoFLC-3, which showed opposite expression profiles of which the pattern of BoFLC-1 resembles the pattern expected based on Arabidopsis FLC. This interesting observation suggests different roles for these two FLC paralogs in regulation of the timing of the generative switch in cauliflower. Unexpectedly, high temperatures did not delay timing of expression of the majority of investigated genes in meristems and leaves of sensitive cultivars that were delayed in the switch to the generative stage. However, expression of a few potential flowering-time genes was affected by the high temperature treatment in a sensitive cultivar, making them potential candidates to be causal for the observed delay in generative switch.
Use of the beta growth function to quantitatively characterize the effects of plant density and a growth regulator on growth and biomass partitioning in cotton
Mao, Lili ; Zhang, Lizhen ; Sun, Xuezhen ; Werf, Wopke van der; Evers, Jochem B. ; Zhao, Xinhua ; Zhang, Siping ; Song, Xianliang ; Li, Zhaohu - \ 2018
Field Crops Research 224 (2018). - ISSN 0378-4290 - p. 28 - 36.
Beta growth function - Biomass partitioning - Growth rate - Mepiquat chloride - Plant population density
Allocation of newly formed biomass towards plant organs is a key determinant of plant performance that is affected by agronomic practices such as plant population density and use of growth regulators. Here we quantified biomass allocation of intercropped cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) growing at two population densities (3.0 and 7.5 plants m−2) and with or without application of the growth regulator mepiquat chloride (MC) in three consecutive years. The beta growth function was used to quantitatively characterize the dynamics of biomass partitioning. Compared to low density, high density increased daily growth rate and final above-ground dry matter, but decreased allocation to fruits. Application of MC did not affect dry matter accumulation but increased allocation to fruits by 22%. The parameters of the beta growth function have a clear biological interpretation, providing a useful quantitative characterization of the effect of management on dry matter allocation in cotton. The function may also be used to model organ-specific daily assimilate partitioning as a component in models of plant growth and crop production with the consideration of discussed caveats.
An experimental approach in revisiting the magnetic orientation of cattle
Weijers, Debby ; Hemerik, Lia ; Heitkönig, Ignas M.A. - \ 2018
PLoS One 13 (2018)4. - ISSN 1932-6203
In response to the increasing number of observational studies on an apparent south-north orientation in non-homing, non-migrating terrestrial mammals, we experimentally tested the alignment hypothesis using strong neodymium magnets on the resting orientation of individual cattle in Portugal. Contrary to the hypothesis, the 34 cows in the experiment showed no directional preference, neither with, nor without a strong neodymium magnet fixed to their collar. The concurrently performed 2,428 daytime observations–excluding the hottest part of the day–of 659 resting individual cattle did not show a south-north alignment when at rest either. The preferred compass orientation of these cows was on average 130 degrees from the magnetic north (i.e., south east). Cow compass orientation correlated significantly with sun direction, but not with wind direction. In as far as we can determine, this is the first experimental test on magnetic orientation in larger, non-homing, non-migrating mammals. These experimental and observational findings do not support previously published suggestions on the magnetic south-north alignment in these mammals.
An experimental approach in revisiting the magnetic orientation of cattle
Hemerik, A. ; Heitkönig, I.M.A. - \ 2018
In response to the increasing number of observational studies on an apparent south-north orientation in non-homing, non-migrating terrestrial mammals, we experimentally tested the alignment hypothesis using strong neodymium magnets on the resting orientation of individual cattle in Portugal. Contrary to the hypothesis, the 34 cows in the experiment showed no directional preference, neither with, nor without a strong neodymium magnet fixed to their collar. The concurrently performed 2,428 daytime observations - excluding the hottest part of the day - of 659 resting individual cattle did not show a south-north alignment when at rest either. The preferred compass orientation of these cows was on average 130 degrees from the magnetic north (i.e., south east). Cow compass orientation correlated significantly with sun direction, but not with wind direction. In as far as we can determine, this is the first experimental test on magnetic orientation in larger, non-homing, non-migrating mammals. These experimental and observational findings do not support previously published suggestions on the magnetic south-north alignment in these mammals.
Performance of an environmentally benign acid base flow battery at high energy density
Egmond, W.J. van; Saakes, M. ; Noor, I. ; Porada, S. ; Buisman, C.J.N. ; Hamelers, H.V.M. - \ 2018
International Journal of Energy Research 42 (2018)4. - ISSN 0363-907X - p. 1524 - 1535.
acid base flow battery - bipolar membrane - co-ion transport - energy efficiency - ion exchange membranes - renewable energy storage - sustainable materials
An increasing fraction of energy is generated by intermittent sources such as wind and sun. A straightforward solution to keep the electricity grid reliable is the connection of large-scale electricity storage to this grid. Current battery storage technologies, while providing promising energy and power densities, suffer from a large environmental footprint, safety issues, and technological challenges. In this paper, the acid base flow battery is re-established as an environmental friendly means of storing electricity using electrolyte consisting of NaCl salt. To achieve a high specific energy, we have performed charge and discharge cycles over the entire pH range (0–14) at several current densities. We demonstrate stable performance at high energy density (2.9 Wh L−1). Main energy dissipation occurs by unwanted proton and hydroxyl ion transport and leads to low coulombic efficiencies (13%–27%).
Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi negatively affect nitrogen acquisition and grain yield of maize in a N deficient soil
Wang, Xin Xin ; Wang, Xiaojing ; Sun, Yu ; Cheng, Yang ; Liu, Shitong ; Chen, Xinping ; Feng, Gu ; Kuyper, Thomas W. - \ 2018
Frontiers in Microbiology 9 (2018)MAR. - ISSN 1664-302X
Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi - Benomyl - Competition - Maize - Nitrogen uptake
Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) play a crucial role in enhancing the acquisition of immobile nutrients, particularly phosphorus. However, because nitrogen (N) is more mobile in the soil solution and easier to access by plants roots, the role of AMF in enhancing N acquisition is regarded as less important for host plants. Because AMF have a substantial N demand, competition for N between AMF and plants particularly under low N condition is possible. Thus, it is necessary to know whether or not AMF affect N uptake of plants and thereby affect plant growth under field conditions. We conducted a 2-year field trial and pot experiments in a greenhouse by using benomyl to suppress colonization of maize roots by indigenous AMF at both low and high N application rates. Benomyl reduced mycorrhizal colonization of maize plants in all experiments. Benomyl-treated maize had a higher shoot N concentration and content and produced more grain under field conditions. Greenhouse pot experiments showed that benomyl also enhanced maize growth and N concentration and N content when the soil was not sterilized, but had no effect on maize biomass and N content when the soil was sterilized but a microbial wash added, providing evidence that increased plant performance is at least partly caused by direct effects of benomyl on AMF. We conclude that AMF can reduce N acquisition and thereby reduce grain yield of maize in N-limiting soils.
Habitat heterogeneity promotes intraspecific trait variability of shrub species in Australian granite inselbergs
Smedt, P. de; Ottaviani, G. ; Wardell-Johnson, G. ; Sýkora, K.V. ; Mucina, L. - \ 2018
Folia Geobotanica 53 (2018)2. - ISSN 1211-9520 - p. 133 - 145.
Fire-refugia - Functional traits - Global biodiversity hotspot - Mediterranean-type climate - Plant resource strategies - Proteaceae
The role of intraspecific trait variability is increasingly recognized as a key factor shaping plant fitness and community assembly worldwide. Studying the direct effects of habitat heterogeneity on trait expression of individual plants of the same species is a useful tool to quantify intraspecific trait variability locally. We investigated how habitat heterogeneity on granite inselbergs affected intraspecific trait variability of 19 functional traits in three shrub species of the family Proteaceae in south western Australia, a global biodiversity hotspot. We used pairwise comparison (single trait) and multivariate analysis (multiple traits, functional space) to detect shifts in trait patterns. Consistent with our predictions, we found that individuals developing in putatively more stressful habitats (highly sun-irradiated, shallow-soil patches on the outcrops) were characterized by trait expressions indicative of more conservative resource-related strategies when compared with plants occurring in the surrounding woodlands that were experiencing more benign ecological conditions. These results were significant for two out of three species. Granite inselbergs promoted plant longevity, a signal that these granite inselbergs might offer refugial conditions defined as protection against fire.
Short-term salt stress strongly affects dynamic photosynthesis, but not steady-state photosynthesis, in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum)
Zhang, Yuqi ; Kaiser, Elias ; Zhang, Yating ; Yang, Qichang ; Li, Tao - \ 2018
Environmental and Experimental Botany 149 (2018). - ISSN 0098-8472 - p. 109 - 119.
Dynamic photosynthesis - Fluctuating light - Salt stress - Solanum lycopersicum - Stomatal conductance - Tomato
Salt stress occurs worldwide due to widespread soil salinization. Also, plants are often subjected to rapidly alternating periods of sun and shade (sunflecks). Despite this combined occurrence of salt stress and sunflecks, dynamic photosynthetic responses to sunflecks under salt stress remain unknown. This study addresses this discrepancy by exploring photosynthetic gas exchange and chlorophyll fluorescence, both after dark-light transitions and during artificial light fluctuations (lightflecks and shadeflecks), in salt stressed leaves. Three weeks old growth-chamber grown tomato (Solanum lycopersicum Mill ‘Beijing Cherry Tomato’) plants were exposed to 0, 70 or 140 mM of sodium chloride (NaCl), for 7–9 days. Photosynthetic induction after dark-light transitions was strongly inhibited in salt-stressed leaves, due to increased transient stomatal limitation and slower apparent Rubisco activation. During photosynthetic induction, non-photochemical quenching (NPQ) and intrinsic water use efficiency (WUEi) were positively correlated with [NaCl]. Under periods of low light (shadeflecks), the longer the shadefleck lasted, the more strongly photosynthesis after re-illumination was downregulated by salt stress, and this downregulation in photosynthesis was positively correlated with the severity of salt stress. Under regularly applied lightflecks, salt stress decreased photosynthesis by 12–42%, which was mainly caused by decreased stomatal conductance. Salt-stressed leaves also displayed significantly lower stomatal pore area and stomatal index. Crucially, salt stress did not affect steady-state photosynthetic capacity as indicated by similar light and CO2 response curves of photosynthesis. We conclude that a short-term salt stress strongly affects dynamic leaf photosynthesis in tomato while its effect on steady state photosynthesis is negligible.
Influence of calcium and phosphate on pH dependency of arsenite and arsenate adsorption to goethite
Deng, Yingxuan ; Li, Yongtao ; Li, Xiaojing ; Sun, Yang ; Ma, Jie ; Lei, Mei ; Weng, Liping - \ 2018
Chemosphere 199 (2018). - ISSN 0045-6535 - p. 617 - 624.
Adsorption - Arsenic - CD-MUSIC - Modeling - Multi-component
In the environment, simultaneous presence of arsenic (As) of different oxidation states is common, which hampers our understanding of As behavior. In the current study, the pH dependency of arsenite (As(III)) and arsenate (As(V)) adsorption to goethite under the influence of calcium (Ca2+) (as a major cation) and phosphate (PO4 3−) (as a major anion) was studied, and the reliability of the CD-MUSIC model prediction was tested. The results show that the presence of the major ions led in general to a weaker and more complicated pH dependency of As adsorption. Calcium promoted As(V) adsorption especially at high pH, which can reverse the direction of the pH dependency. The presence of Ca2+ can even decrease As(III) adsorption when As(V) and/or PO4 3− are present. Phosphate competed strongly with both As(III) and As(V) in their adsorption, especially at intermediate and low pH. In the multi-component system, As(III) adsorbs weaker than As(V) over the environmental relevant pH range, therefore it is often the dominant As species in solution and soluble As(III) concentration generally decreases with increasing pH. In the same pH range, As(V) adsorption shows a complicated pH dependency. Soluble As(V) reaches a minimum around pH 6 at high concentration of major bivalent cations (e.g. Ca2+), whereas soluble As(V) will decrease with pH at low bivalent cation concentrations. The experimental results can be reliably predicted and explained with the CD-MUSIC model. The outcome of this study can provide understanding needed in the risk assessment and remediation of As contaminated soils and water.
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