Archives

2008

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Volume 25 Economics of Poverty, Environment and Natural-Resource Use

Economics of Poverty, Environment and Natural-Resource Use
Series: Wageningen UR Frontis Series , Vol. 25
Dellink, R.B.; Ruijs, A. (Eds.)
2008, VI, 218 p., Softcover
ISBN: 978-1-4020-8303-7

About this book
Reduction of poverty is a tremendous and persistent challenge for the global community. Given that the livelihood of millions is at stake, there is an urgent need to reconsider the causes of and the remedies for poverty. Poverty and its reduction are closely linked to the natural-resources base. The quality and bounty of the local environment certainly affect living conditions of the poor and their poverty is often seen as a contributing factor to the degraded condition of the local environment. Teasing apart the direction of causality in this resource–poverty nexus is a serious empirical challenge.

This book contributes to an improved understanding of the economic dimensions of environmental and natural-resource management and poverty alleviation. The ten chapters of the book offer an overview of the current knowledge concerning the relation between poverty, environment and natural-resource use. Three sides of the debate receive particular attention. First, the relation between resource use and poverty is discussed from a theoretical point of view. Second, it is questioned whether payments for environmental services or considering values of resources can be an effective tool for stimulating both sustainable resource use and poverty alleviation. Third, alternative strategies to break the land degradation–poverty cycle are discussed.

Written for:
Researchers, policy advisors and policy makers in the field of environmental economics and/or development economics
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Volume 24 Pathways to High-Tech Valleys and Research Triangles

Pathways to High-Tech Valleys and Research Triangles : Innovative Entrepreneurship, Knowledge Transfer and Cluster Formation in Europe and the United States
Series: Wageningen UR Frontis Series , Vol. 24
Hulsink, W.; Dons, H. (Eds.)
2008, VIII, 316 p., Softcover
ISBN: 978-1-4020-8338-9

About this book
Silicon Valley and the industrial districts of Italy, where shared identity, superior skills, regional specialization and trust-based networking among local firms have produced dynamic and flexible ecosystems, are inspiring examples of the successful promotion of thriving technology and business clusters. Cluster studies, besides acknowledging (the potential of) concentration and spill-overs in a dynamic network of larger companies and new start-up firms, also pay attention to the importance of investors, universities and other supportive institutions that contribute to the international and longer-term competitiveness of local industry clusters.

This book looks at why certain regions are successful in creating an innovative technology cluster (with chapters on Silicon Valley and the Italian Food districts) and why aspiring communities and districts seek to learn from those examples and create an internationally successful region or sector (with chapters on the Dutch Biopartner program to stimulate entrepreneurship in the life sciences, on high-tech Israel and on the Italian Slow Food Movement). In some cases internationally renowned universities and/or research laboratories inspire engineers and scientists to become entrepreneurs and take the lead in cluster development (e.g. in the chapters on Food Valley Wageningen, the Knowledge Pearl Leuven-Flanders and the Scandinavian Oresund cluster). In other cases indigenous flagship firms, collaborating with each other and outsourcing many activities to smaller companies, may act as a region’s catalyst (e.g. in the chapters on Flanders Vegetable Valley, the Dutch horticultural industry and the Defence Diversification Agency in the UK). Chapters on North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park and the recent initiative to stimulate innovativeness in East Netherlands show that also an active government can stimulate emerging clusters by making local resources and funds available (e.g. risk capital, high-quality infrastructure), attracting foreign firms to invest and building ties between the private sector, knowledge institutions and local authorities.

Written for:
Technology managers; business developers; economic policy makers; investors/venture capitalists; entrepreneurs; consultants

2007

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Volume 23 Resource Ecology : Spatial and Temporal Dynamics of Foraging

Resource Ecology : Spatial and Temporal Dynamics of Foraging
Series: Wageningen UR Frontis Series , Vol. 23
Prins, H.H.T.; Langevelde, F. van (Eds.)
2007, X, 306 p., Softcover
ISBN: 978-1-4020-6849-2

About this book
This multi-author book deals with ‘resource ecology’, which is the ecology of trophic interactions between consumers and their resources. Resource ecology is perhaps the most central part of ecology. In its linkage between foraging theory and spatial ecology, it shows how old and fundamental questions can be tackled afresh. It addresses crucial aspects of the interactions between consumers and resources. Foraging is the central process in resource ecology because it leads to growth, survival and reproduction of the animal. Resource ecology forms the basis for comprehending the functioning of multi-species assemblages, and is thus key to grasp the organisation of biodiversity.

All chapters in the book were prepared for a small symposium and were circulated in advance to the participants. They were subjected to intense group discussions; comments and critiques were subsequently used for writing new versions, which were peer-reviewed. For the purposes of stimulating future research, each chapter ends with two or three testable hypotheses. Each chapter is followed by a comment. This makes the book ideal for teaching and course work, because it highlights the fact that ecology is a living and active research field.

Written for: Academia, active researchers; 3rd-year students (end of bachelor, master); PhD students and post-docs
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Volume 22 Functional-Structural Plant Modelling in Crop Production

Functional-Structural Plant Modelling in Crop Production
Series: Wageningen UR Frontis Series , Vol. 22
Vos., J.; Marcelis, L.F.M.; Visser, P.H.B.de; Struik, P.C.; Evers, J.B. (Eds.)
2007, X, 269 p., Softcover
ISBN: 978-1-4020-6033-5

About this book
Functional-structural plant models (FSPMs) describe in quantitative terms the development over time of the three-dimensional (3D) structure of plants as governed by physiological processes and affected by environmental factors. FSPMs are particularly suited to analyse problems in which the spatial structure of the plant or its canopy is an essential factor to explain, e.g., plant competition (intra-plant, inter-plant, inter-species) and the effects of plant configuration and plant manipulation (e.g., pruning and harvesting) on yield and produce quality.

This book describes the philosophy of functional-structural plant modelling and several tools for making FSPMs; it outlines methods for measuring essential parameters, including those pertaining to plant structure. As FSPMs offer new opportunities to model sink–source interactions, the physiological theory and modelling approaches regarding partitioning of carbon are given specific attention. Examples of application of FSPMs include wheat modelling in the context of remote sensing and the analysis of predator–prey insect interactions on glasshouse plants.

The book will be useful for scientists and advanced students interested in innovative approaches in plant and crop modelling.

Written for:
Scientists and students interested in advanced approaches in plant and crop modelling
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Volume 21 Scale and Complexity in Plant Systems Research: Gene-Plant-Crop Relations

Scale and Complexity in Plant Systems Research
Gene-Plant-Crop Relations
Series: Wageningen UR Frontis Series , Vol. 21
Spiertz, J.H.J.; Struik, P.C.; Laar, H.H. van (Eds.)
2007, X, 332 p., Softcover
ISBN: 978-1-4020-5905-6

About this book
This book presents and discusses new directions in plant systems research to bridge knowledge from the gene to the plant, crop and agro-ecosystem levels and to assist in solving problems in production ecology and resource use by identifying and applying new research methods. Functional genomics, systems biology and ecophysiological modelling of crop growth and development provide powerful tools for identifying genes and genotypes of agronomic importance. Despite remarkable advances in basic knowledge of plant genes and gene networks, there has been relatively little impact on crop improvement from the application of genomics and recombinant-DNA technology. Novel directions in linking plant sciences to crop and systems research are needed to meet the growing demand for food in a sustainable way. The challenge is to produce more food on the limited available land through more efficient use of natural resources and external inputs.

Genetics of plant performance are discussed using examples of Arabidopsis thaliana and food crops. The concept of ‘crop system biology’ is introduced. Within the theme ‘physiology and genetics’ traits and mechanisms to improve crop adaptation are discussed. Furthermore, various approaches in modelling G x E interactions and crop performance are presented. Some chapters are dedicated to the role of diversity in optimizing resource use and crop performance. An outlook and dialogue on future directions in plant system research challenges readers with contrasting opinions on the way forward concerning this critical issue for the future of food production.

Written for:
Research managers and policymakers; post-graduate students in the field of plant sciences
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Volume 20 New Approaches to the Economics of Plant Health

New Approaches to the Economics of Plant Health
Series: Wageningen UR Frontis Series , Vol. 20
Oude Lansink, Alfons G.J.M. (Ed.)
2007, VIII, 208 p., Softcover
ISBN: 978-1-4020-5826-4

About this book
The world trade of plants and plant products is gradually increasing in both quantity and variety. Also, as more and more citizens are nowadays travelling to distant destinations, there is an increased risk of unintentionally importing harmful organisms and invasive species. Governments respond to increased phytosanitary risks by imposing trade-restricting measures. However, they are under increasing pressure of the private sector and the World Trade Organization to justify costly and trade-restricting phytosanitary policies. On the other side, current phytosanitary policies are required to account for impacts on the environment.

This book presents a number of recent scientific developments regarding the economic analysis of impacts that harmful organisms have on agriculture and the environment, and of measures to control these organisms. It also contains a number of new approaches that integrate economic and epidemiological modelling and economic approaches for measuring these impacts.

Written for:
Policy makers of National Ministries of Agriculture, EU, FAO, World Bank; National Plant Protection Services; agricultural economists in universities and research institutes working on trade policies, plant protection
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Volume 19 Agricultural Trade Liberalization and the Least Developed Countries

Agricultural Trade Liberalization and the Least Developed Countries
Series: Wageningen UR Frontis Series , Vol. 19
Koning, Niek; Pinstrup-Andersen, Per (Eds.)
2007, VIII, 252 p., Softcover
ISBN: 978-1-4020-6085-4

About this book
Although the current round of international trade negotiations was called a ‘Development Round’, very little was accomplished before the negotiations stalled in mid-2006. Developing countries as a group stand to gain very substantially from trade reform in agricultural commodities. It is less clear how the 50 countries identified by the United Nations as the ‘Least Developed Countries’ (LDCs), which have been subject to special consideration in international trade negotiations, would fare. Would they lose their preferential trade access to the OECD markets and, if so, would these losses exceed the potential gains from liberalized trade? Or would low-income countries that currently receive high prices for commodities such as sugar in some OECD-country markets be out-competed by countries such as Brazil in a liberalized market? More generally, would any benefits from liberalized agricultural trade be captured by middle-income countries with good domestic infrastructure and well-functioning markets, leaving few or no economic benefits to the LDCs? How should the LDCs prepare for multilateral reform of agricultural trade, and should they take policy action now in response to the continuation of the trade-distorting agricultural policies pursued by the OECD countries? To what extent do the LDCs and the middle-income developing countries have common interests with respect to the desired outcomes of the trade round? Are the LDCs well represented by the Group of 21, which consists primarily of middle-income countries with strong export potential in agriculture, or should they pursue a different set of goals in future negotiations? In this book, several experts on international trade and development address these and related questions

Written for:
Students of agricultural trade and development, trade negotiators, researchers, policy analysts, policy advisors and policy-makers in both developed and developing countries, and the news media.
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Volume 18 Fresh Herbage for Dairy Cattle: the Key to a Sustainable Food Chain

Fresh Herbage for Dairy Cattle
The Key to a Sustainable Food Chain
Series: Wageningen UR Frontis Series , Vol. 18
Elgersma, Anjo; Dijkstra, Jan; Tamminga, Seerp (Eds.)
2006, VII, 194 p., Softcover
ISBN: 978-1-4020-5451-8

About this book
Product quality and a sustainable food chain of ruminant products are largely determined by animal nutrition, in which forage is the major feed source. Forages and grasslands play a unique role in agriculture because they contribute through animals to our food supply and to the abatement of environmental problems. Interest in grassland management and grass utilization for dairy production in temperate and subtropical regions has recently led to considerable research efforts. In the past this research often emphasized on plant and animal aspects separately. However, the interrelationship between pasture and the grazing ruminant is a dynamic, two-way process. Many people are not aware of these complex relations, and scientists often focus on either soil-plant interactions, plant production, animal nutrition, animal production or product quality issues.

This book contains the contributions of active researchers and leading experts in the field of grassland management and grass utilization. Chapters are arranged in an order that allows progressive development within the food chain, moving from the big picture to basic principles of grassland management and effects on herbage quality, intake and nutrient flows.

Written for:
Advanced students and research workers in grassland and animal nutrition sciences

2006

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Volume 17 Medicinal and Aromatic Plants: Agricultural, Commercial, Ecological, Legal, Pharmacological and Social Aspects

Medicinal and Aromatic Plants
Agricultural, Commercial, Ecological, Legal, Pharmacological and Social Aspects
Series: Wageningen UR Frontis Series , Vol. 17
Bogers, Robert J.; Craker, Lyle E.; Lange, Dagmar (Eds.)
2006, XVIII, 309 p., Softcover
ISBN: 978-1-4020-5448-8

About this book
This book presents the opinions of an international panel of specialists that explored the agricultural, commercial, ecological, legal, pharmacological and social future of medicinal and aromatic plants. It represents a wide collection of views, reflecting the diversity of disciplines and interests of the panel members. It highlights the necessity of continued and integrated research on plant sources, conservation, bioactivity, analysis and marketing in examining future scenarios for application and sale of medicinal and aromatic plants. It shows the need for proof of efficacy and safety in drug development and the need to recognize societies contributing plant materials.

The development of safe and effective medicinal and aromatic plant products depends upon the collaborative efforts of growers, collectors, conservationists, processors and businesses along with those of educators, sociologists, researchers and investors in developed and developing societies. This book shows the progress that can be made by further developing this collaboration to enhance the discovery, production and use of medicinal and aromatic plants.

Written for:
Researchers, educators, policy makers and comercial firms working with medicinal and aromatic Plants. Anthropologists, economists, patent lawyers, botanists, nature conservationists, food processors, pharmacologists and medical professions
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Volume 16 Chemical Ecology: from Gene to Ecosystem

Chemical Ecology
From Gene to Ecosystem
Series: Wageningen UR Frontis Series , Vol. 16
Dicke, Marcel; Takken, Willem (Eds.)
2006, VIII, 189 p., Softcover
ISBN: 978-1-4020-4792-3

About this book
Chemical ecology is the ecology of body odour. Every organism uses chemical information in intra- and inter-specific interactions. Animals emit chemicals to attract a mate or to prevent a competitor from mating with the partner they just mated with. Plants emit chemicals to recruit other organisms to take care of their sex life or to attract bodyguards to defend them against their enemies. Chemical cues mediate a whole gamut of interactions in plant and animal communities. Chemical cues are used to communicate, but can also be exploited in espionage or eavesdropping. To understand the ecology of chemical signalling in communities one needs to carry out manipulative experiments. Such experiments have been done throughout the last century. However, in recent years the degree of precision with which such experiments can be done has grown tremendously as a result of rapidly increasing knowledge at the molecular-genetic level. This opens exciting new avenues to chemical ecologists. The connection of molecular genetics to community ecology and ecosystem ecology provides novel tools to take up old questions that were often hard to answer. This book provides an overview of chemical ecology related to different ecosystems and an outlook at novel directions that can be taken in chemical ecology through a molecular-ecological or eco-genomic approach. The book addresses above- and belowground terrestrial systems as well as aquatic systems, and the organisms involved are micro- and macro-organisms, such as plants, arthropods and mammals. The scientific approach presented in this book is characteristic of modern biological research. The book will be useful for scientists and students interested in ecology in general as well as those working in the fields of molecular, chemical, behavioural, population or community ecology.

Written for:
Scientists and students interested in Ecology in General as well as those working in the fields of Molecular, Chemical, Behavioural, Population or Community Ecology
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Volume 15 Quantifying the Agri-Food Supply Chain

Quantifying the Agri-Food Supply Chain
Series: Wageningen UR Frontis Series , Vol. 15
Ondersteijn, C.J.M.; Wijnands, J.H.M.; Huirne, R.B.M.; van Kooten, O. (Eds.)
2006, VIII, 242 p., Softcover
ISBN: 1-4020-4693-6

About this book
Due to globalization and internationalization of agri-food production, the arena of competition and competitive advantage is moving from individual firms operating on spot markets towards supply chains and networks. Therefore, coordination between firms within the chain becomes more important. Topics like costs, efficiency, risk and investment analysis have received little empirical attention within chain and network research. Nonetheless, these performance measures are of vital importance for continuity of individual companies, chains and networks.

This book aims at offering a coherent view on this matter by discussing the possibilities and limitations of quantifying performance, risks and investments in the agri-food chain. A wide variety of approaches from different economic disciplines was used to analyse the complex systems of agri-food supply chains and develop appropriate models for management decision support. Research gaps and discussion points are identified by an international forum of researchers in order to enhance progress in this field.

Written for:
Researchers in Management Studies, Agri-Food Supply Chains, Industrial Organization, Business Economics
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Volume 14 Agro-Food Chains and Networks for Development

The Agro-Food Chains and Networks for Development
Series: Wageningen UR Frontis Series , Vol. 14
Ruben, Ruerd; Slingerland, Maja; Nijhoff, Hans (Eds.)
2006, XI, 233 p., Softcover
ISBN: 1-4020-4600-6

About this book
Agro-food chains and networks play an increasingly important role in providing access to markets for producers from developing countries. In developing countries companies become integrated into geographically dispersed supply networks that link producers, traders and processors from the South with retailers and consumers in urban centres and in the North. Globalization of trade and integration of supply chains lead to new demands regarding food quality, safety and health.

Companies involved in global food and agri-business chains and networks face fast changes in their market and business environment. New procedures and practices for organizing food supply networks – based on co-innovation between primary producers, processors and retailers – are emerging to cope with food grades and standards. Optimizing chain performance asks for cooperation between all agents involved in the supply chain. Agro-food companies communicate consumers’ demands to smallholders to guarantee stable market access. Public and voluntary agencies may provide important contributions for reinforcing the supply-chain environment.

This volume combines insights from theory with a large number of business cases to enable a better understanding of the opportunities and constraints that supply-chain integration can offer for stimulating rural development.

Written for:
Key stakeholders from the communities of science, public policy and the business sector

2005

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Volume 13 Farming for Health: Green-Care Farming across Europe and the United States of America

Farming for Health
Green-Care Farming Across Europe and the United States of America
Series: Wageningen UR Frontis Series , Vol. 13
Hassink, Jan; Dijk, van, Majken (Eds.)
2006, X, 357 p., Softcover
ISBN: 978-1-4020-4541-7

About this book
Farming for Health describes the utilization of agricultural farms, farm animals, plants and landscapes as a base for promoting human mental and physical health and social well-being. This book gives an overview of the development of ‘Farming for Health’ initiatives across Europe. This development is a logical result of the changing paradigms in the health-care sector and the demand for new social and financial impulses in agriculture and rural areas.

Researchers from The Netherlands, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Slovenia, Germany, Belgium, Poland, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Austria and Italy as well as the USA contributed to this book. It not only describes the situation in different countries, it also includes scientific papers dealing with different aspects of ‘Farming for Health’.

Written for:
Researchers, policymakers and practitioners,in the fields of landscape development, horticultural therapy, animal-assisted therapy, long-term care and social farming
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Volume 12 From Landscape Research to Landscape Planning: Aspects of Integration, Education and Application

From Landscape Research to Landscape Planning
Aspects of Integration, Education and Application
Series: Wageningen UR Frontis Series , Vol. 12
Tress, B.; Tres, G.; Fry, G.; Opdam, P. (Eds.)
2006, XIII, 434 p., Softcover
ISBN: 978-1-4020-3978-2

About this book
Research policy favours projects that integrate disciplinary knowledge and involve non-academic stakeholders. Consequently, integrative concepts – interdisciplinarity and transdisciplinarity – are gaining currency in landscape research and planning. Researchers are excited by the prospect of merging disciplinary and non-academic expertise to improve their understanding and performance, but often struggle with the challenges of operationalizing integration.

This book provides guidelines for those coping with these challenges, whether they are members of an integrative research team or individuals working on a problem that demands integration. They must define terminology, choose appropriate methodologies, overcome epistemological barriers and cope with the high expectations of some stakeholders while encouraging others to participate at all.

The book deals with the development of integrative theory and concepts, the development of integrative tools and methods, training and education for integration, and the application of integrative concepts in landscape research. As it also presents examples of successful integrative PhD studies, it is not only valuable for experienced scientists but will also help other PhD students find their way in integrative research.

Written for:
PhD students, teachers and researchers interested in integrative landscape research
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Volume 11 Bridging Laboratory and Field Research for Genetic Control of Disease Vectors

Bridging Laboratory and Field Research for Genetic Control of Disease Vectors
Series: Wageningen UR Frontis Series , Vol. 11
Knols, B.G.J.; Louis, C. (Eds.)
2006, 210 p., Softcover
ISBN: 978-1-4020-3800-6

About this book
Contemporary research on genetic control of disease-transmitting insects knows two kinds of scientists: those that work in the laboratory and those known as ‘field people’. Over the last decade, both groups seem to have developed differing research priorities, address fundamentally different aspects within the overall discipline of infectious-disease control, and worse, have developed a scientific ‘language’ that is no longer understood by the ‘other’ party. This gap widens every day, between the North and the South, between ecologists and molecular biologists, geneticists and behaviourists, etc. The need to develop a common research agenda that bridges this gap has been identified as a top priority by all parties involved. Only then shall the goal of developing appropriate genetic-control strategies for vectors of disease become reality.

This book is the reflection of a workshop, held in Nairobi (Kenya) in July 2004, that addressed the above issues. It brought together a good representation of both the molecular and ecological research disciplines and, for the first time, included a significant number of researchers from disease-endemic countries. The research agenda presented here will serve the research and science-policy communities alike, and guide sponsoring organizations with the selection of priority areas for research funding.

Written for:
Ecologists and molecular biologists, geneticists and behaviourists
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Volume 10 Allergy Matters: New Approaches to Allergy Prevention and Management

Allergy Matters
New Approaches to Allergy Prevention and Management
Series: Wageningen UR Frontis Series , Vol. 10
Gilissen, L.J.E.J.; Wichers, H.J.; Savelkoul, H.F.J.; Bogers, R.J. (Eds.)
2006, 205 p., Softcover
ISBN: 978-1-4020-3896-9

About this book
In Western societies, the incidence and prevalence of respiratory and food-related allergies have increased rapidly over the past decades. Changes in life style, e.g. in hygiene, child vaccination, housing insulation, food consumption patterns, etc. are thought to be involved in this increase. Direct and indirect costs related to allergy are expected to rise rapidly, especially in the Central and Eastern European countries that recently joined the European Union. Major concerns relate to the significant decrease of the quality of life of patients and their relatives.

Therefore, time is urgent to develop strategies for large-scale and structural tackling of the allergy problem. Approaches aiming at allergy prevention with a focus on controlling our living environment and the food production chain, as well as on the choices consumers and patients make, seem very promising and complementary to solve this medicalized problem.

This book, written by renowned experts, reflects the current ideas for future possibilities of allergy prevention, using integrated and multidisciplinary strategies and covering the entire knowledge framework from comprehensive fundamental research to implementation into society. It describes approaches from the following main topics:

* The medical and molecular context
* The food production chain and novel foods
* The living and occupational environment
* People and society.

This book will be an indispensable tool for all those scientists that are searching for ways to solve the current allergy problems.

Written for:
Scientists and researchers in the fields of medicine, environmental analysis, agriculture and food science who are searching for ways to solve the current allergy problems
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Volume 9 Environmental Change and Malaria Risk: Global and Local Implications

Environmental Change and Malaria Risk
Global and Local Implications
Series: Wageningen UR Frontis Series , Vol. 9
Takken, Willem; Martens, Pim; Bogers, Robert J. (Eds.)
2005, XXII, 139 p., Softcover
ISBN: 978-1-4020-3928-7

About this book
In the past decade global change, mainly caused by climate change, and its effect on the society has been on the forefront of world news. Indeed, the issue has become a standard item on the agendas of political leaders, as it is feared that the economic costs caused by the predicted changes will be high, and mitigating measures consume scarce resources. Climate change is expected to impact heavily on human and animal health because of disturbance of ecological equilibriums and more favourable conditions for disease agents. Vector-borne diseases such as malaria, leishmaniasis and dengue will benefit particularly from the predicted changes by expansion of the geographic range of the vectors and accelerated development of the infectious parasites.

This book is the reflection of a workshop in which the potential impact of global change on malaria and other vector-borne diseases was discussed from different angles. The workshop brought together a series of leading scientists in the field of malaria and global change, to discuss the likelihood of changes in disease risk with respect to the scale of the predicted changes. Field research, laboratory studies and epidemiological modelling were presented and showed how combining theoretical modelling and field validations can be used to demonstrate the likely effects of global change on an infectious disease such as malaria. It was clear that environmental change, more than climate change, is the driving force behind the observed changes. The rapid spread of blue tongue, another highly infectious vector-borne disease, illustrates what might happen if the world looks on unguarded.

Written for:
Graduate students and researchers in the fields of environmental and climate change, and in the fields of public health
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Volume 8 Avian Influenza: Prevention and Control

Avian Influenza
Prevention and Control
Series: Wageningen UR Frontis Series , Vol. 8
Schrijver, Remco S.; Koch, G. (Eds.)
2005, IX, 152 p., Softcover
ISBN: 978-1-4020-3440-4

About this book
Avian Influenza has become one of the biggest threats for human and animal health. The old paradigm was that the disease in waterfowl, poultry, pigs and man was caused by separate viruses that each stayed reasonably well within their own niche. The only danger to man was considered being infected by pigs, being the mixing vessel, where avian and human influenza viruses could come together and exchange genetic material to form new viruses that are potentially dangerous to man.

This has dramatically proven wrong during the last decade, with huge outbreaks in the USA, Europe, and Asia. The H5N1 strain that caused human deaths in Hong Kong appeared to be transmitted directly from poultry to man. This initiated sudden awareness that pigs were not a necessary intermediate in the transmission chain. During the AI outbreaks in Italy, mutation of low-pathogenicity viruses into high-pathogenicity viruses in poultry appeared another new threat, and further evidence that the poultry sector had a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It put pressure on development of diagnostic methods that could be used in large monitoring programmes.

In The Netherlands a human fatality, after increased reports of conjunctivitis during a H7N7 outbreak, signalled that different AI strains could be fatal to man. Also, the huge economic losses and difficulties in controlling the spread of the infection in densely populated poultry areas, problems with vaccination and lack of marker vaccines demonstrated that the current control policy must be improved. These events led to an international AI conference with experts from Asia, USA and Europe.

In this book you will find new views on the issues, expert opinions and the results of in-depth discussions among avian experts of around the world that do not want to give up against this dangerous virus.

Written for:
Researchers and policy makers, R/D managers in pharmaceutical and poultry industry, EU officials
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Volume 7 Environmental Costs and Benefits of Transgenic Crops

Environmental Costs and Benefits of Transgenic Crops
Series: Wageningen UR Frontis Series , Vol. 7
Wesseler, J.H.H. (Ed.)
2005, IX, 268 p., Softcover
ISBN: 978-1-4020-3248-6

About this book
Concern about the environmental impacts of transgenic crops is one of the major reasons for the EU’s quasi-moratorium on GMOs. The contributions in this book show that the economic implications of these concerns are far-reaching and complex. They range from the farm level to research and technology development on the one side and consumer reactions on the other side, and influence not only government response but also international trade and public and private incentives for R&D.

Each contribution includes a comment, which raises questions that need further investigation. A summary of the questions in research topics concludes the contributions. The book will be of interests for policy makers as well as scholars working in established areas of social and natural sciences with an interest in the complex issues related to the release of transgenic crops.

Written for:
Policy makers and scholars working in established areas of social and natural sciences with an interest in the complex issues related to the release of transgenic crops
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Volume 6 Unsaturated-zone Modeling: Progress, Challenges and Applications

Unsaturated-zone Modeling
Progress, Challenges and Applications
Series: Wageningen UR Frontis Series , Vol. 6
Feddes, R.A.; Rooij, G.H.de; Dam, J.C. van (Eds.)
2004, XXII, 364 p., Softcover
ISBN: 978-1-4020-2918-9

About this book
Mankind has manipulated the quantity and quality of soil water for millennia. Food production was massively increased through fertilization, irrigation and drainage. But malpractice also caused degradation of immense areas of once fertile land, rendering it totally unproductive for many generations. In populated areas, the pollutant load ever more often exceeds the soil’s capacity for buffering and retention, and large volumes of potable groundwater have been polluted or are threatened to be polluted in the foreseeable future. In the past decades, the role of soil water in climate patterns has been recognized but not yet fully understood.

The soil-science community responded to this diversity of issues by developing numerical models to simulate the behavior of water and solutes in soils. These models helped improve our understanding of unsaturated-zone processes and develop sustainable land-management practices.

Aimed at professional soil scientists, soil-water modelers, irrigation engineers etc., this book discusses our progress in soil-water modeling. Top scientists present case studies, overviews and analyses of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats related to soil-water modeling. The contributions cover a wide range of spatial scales, and discuss fundamental aspects of unsaturated-zone modeling as well as issues related to the application of models to real-world problems.

Written for:
Soil scientists, soil-water modelers, irrigation engineers
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Volume 5 Ethics for Life Scientists

Ethics for Life Scientists
Series: Wageningen UR Frontis Series , Vol. 5
Korthals, Michiel; Bogers, Robert J. (Eds.)
2005, 236 p., Softcover
ISBN: 978-1-4020-3179-3

About this book
Life sciences have huge controversial social implications. In doing experiments with animals, plants or humans the welfare of these living beings can be hampered; in communicating research results private and public interests can be harmed (patents!) or at least severely influenced; in being a member of a research group issues of human rights (like discriminatory behaviour) can become prominent; individual and collective forms of responsibility because of controversial types of research can become urgent.

Funding organizations can confront scientists and engineers with new ethical issues; the public at large or, as is the case with sustainability, future generations can challenge existing ways of doing research, and educating and teaching can confront scientists with new ethical issues.

In this book, resulting from an expert workshop at Wageningen University and Research Centre, European and American experts discuss topics and theories like the relationship between ethics, professional ethics and business ethics, the public responsibility of researchers and communicating, organizing, teaching and discussing ethical issues

2004

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Volume 4 The New Dimensions of the European Landscapes

The New Dimensions of the European Landscapes
Series: Wageningen UR Frontis Series , Vol. 4
Jongman, R.H.G (Ed.)
2004, 267 p., Softcover
ISBN: 978-1-4020-2910-3

About this book
This Frontis Publication is based on the workshop on "The New Dimensions of the European Landscape" that was held in Wageningen on 10-12 June 2002. The workshop was aiming to develop visions on the landscape in Europe, its development and design in the future and to strengthen the international network in landscape planning. This book contains the majority of the contributions; only a few have not been included due to various reasons.

The European Landscape is under stress of globalization, the disappearance of the iron curtain and the recent EU enlargement to 25 countries. The European landscapes as we know them now are facing huge changes. The rural and cultural heritage of Europe has to be adapted to the new situation, but it is also worth to be conserved as it represents the European history in the same way as castles and churches.

It cannot be avoided that Europe adapts to the new dimensions of the world. We, in Europe, have to define what we think is important, what must be conserved and what can be adapted to be used for new functions. In this workshop no final answers have been given, but the various aspects have been discussed and new roads are presented. One thing is agreed: education is needed to teach the urban dweller his or her rural past. That is the basis for the rural economy and the persistence of the cultural landscape.

Written for:
Graduates, undergrads and students interested in changes in European landscapes and landscape and environmental planning
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Volume 3 Bayesian Statistics and Quality Modelling in the Agro-Food Production Chain

Bayesian Statistics and Quality Modelling in the Agro-Food Production Chain
Series: Wageningen UR Frontis Series , Vol. 3
van Boekel, M.A.J.S.; Stein, A.; van Bruggen, A.H.C. (Eds.)
2004, 172 p., Softcover
ISBN: 978-1-4020-1917-3

About this book
The food market is changing from a producer-controlled to a consumer-directed market. A main driving force is consumer concern about agricultural production methods and food safety. More than before, the consumer demands transparency of the production and processing chain.

A food chain can be quite complex and the use of models has become indispensable to handle this complexity. Modelling tools are becoming increasingly important to guide the decisions for production of high-quality and safe agricultural foods. With the aid of models it becomes possible to control and predict quality attributes, so that product innovation can be done more efficiently. However, quality is an elusive concept, and there is always an aspect of subjectivity and uncertainty.

A novel approach in the agro-food chain would be to tackle subjective elements and uncertainty in modelling by using Bayesian statistics and Bayesian Belief Networks. Bayesian approaches use prior probabilities (partly accounting for subjectivity) to estimate posterior probabilities, resulting in higher accuracy than is possible with classical statistical techniques. Thus, the variability and uncertainty in data and decisions, inherent in a complex food chain, can be dealt with.

Written for:
Scientists, researchers
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Volume 2 Ecological Aspects for Application of Genetically Modified Mosquitoes

Ecological Aspects for Application of Genetically Modified Mosquitoes
Series: Wageningen UR Frontis Series , Vol. 2
Takken, W.; Scott, T.W. (Eds.)
2003, 244 p., Softcover
ISBN: 978-1-4020-1585-4

About this book
New interventions are needed to reduce the burden of vector-borne diseases like malaria and dengué, which are among the most serious and prevalent infectious diseases worldwide. The release of genetically modified (GM) mosquitoes may offer an alternative strategy to do so while circumventing the pitfalls of current vector control methods. Current methodologies are stalling because of drug resistance, absence of vaccines and inadequate mosquito control techniques. GM mosquitoes have been developed that are resistant to pathogen infection and transmission, but the public-health and environmental consequences of releasing such insects are unclear, mainly because of a lack of knowledge of the ecology and population biology of mosquitoes.

This book is the reflection of a workshop, held in June 2002, that addressed these issues. Experts on mosquito ecology met for the first time to discuss the current knowledge of mosquito ecology with respect to GM-insect technology. Emphasis of the workshop was on evaluating how human health and natural ecosystems, including target wild-mosquito populations, will respond to the invasion of GM vectors. This volume will stimulate discussion by clearly showing the importance of vector ecology for prevention of vector-borne diseases.

Written for:
Researchers, scientists

2003

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Volume 1 New Approaches to Food-Safety Economics

New Approaches to Food-Safety Economics
Series: Wageningen UR Frontis Series , Vol. 1
Velthuis, A.G.J.; Unnevehr, L.J.; Hogeveen, H.; Huirne, R.B.M. (Eds.)
2003, 148 p., Softcover
ISBN: 978-1-4020-1426-0

About this book
This book is notable for its coverage of the entire range of food safety economics issues from "farm to table", including consumer issues, production supply chain coordination, and international trade.

It is the first to provide a comprehensive look at emerging issues such as tracking and tracing, product liability, and the interface between risk assessment and economic analysis. The book is also notable for providing international perspectives on these issues from both the European Union and the United States. It is intended for technical specialists and policy makers in agricultural economics, food safety, or risk assessment.

Written for:
Technical specialists and policy makers in agricultural economics, food safety, or risk assessment

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