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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    Assessment of land use change scenario to increase primary productivity function at local scale
    Valujeva, Kristine ; Nipers, Aleksejs ; Lupikis, Ainars ; Pilecka, Jovita ; Schulte, Rogier P.O. - \ 2019
    Livestock Research for Rural Development 1 (2019). - ISSN 1691-4031 - p. 181 - 187.
    Agricultural land - Forestry land - Functional land management - Policy - Production - Soil functions

    The global population has begun to rise exponentially; therefore, the demand for bioresources including food and fibre is increasing. An increasing demand for food and fibre necessitates more sustainable use of natural resources especially for soilbased ecosystem services. In this context, Functional Land Management was developed to optimize agricultural soilbased ecosystem services to meet both agricultural and environmental targets simultaneously. The aim of the research is to evaluate unmanaged agricultural land use change impact on primary productivity function in three parishes in Latvia by using Functional Land Management framework. Evaluation of primary productivity function was accomplished for both sectors agriculture and forestry by using profit and working hours as a proxyindicators. Production of vegetables and perennial plantations have higher supply of primary productivity function comparing to other land uses. Land use changes affect all soil functions that we expect from our land, especially primary productivity function. After applying land use changes, an increase in profit is higher in Liezere parish for both areas on mineral soils (7.1%) and areas on organic soils (5.2%); while an increase in working hours is higher in Usma parish: 36.6% in areas on mineral soils and 1.0% increase in areas on organic soils. Shortterm benefits are received from agricultural land, while forest land provides long-term return which increases over time but can only be obtained after reaching the age of felling. Before applying land use changes or changes in management practices we have to consider other soil function and national commitments.

    Nitrogen footprints
    Leip, Adrian ; Uwizeye, Aimable - \ 2019
    In: Encyclopedia of Ecology / Fath, B., Elsevier - ISBN 9780444641304 - p. 370 - 382.
    Agriculture - Consumption - Energy - Food - Footprints - Nitrogen - Production

    N is one of essential element of life on earth, but it contributes in its reactive form to the global environmental problems that are already larger than our earth is able to cope with, and it expected further aggravate (Galloway and Leach, 2016) driven by the increasing demand of food products fuelled by growth of human population, rising incomes and urbanization. The quantification of N footprints at production level can support decision and policy making in the economy, by raising awareness of different stakeholders such as farmers, industrial actors, businesses, governments and scientists on the global threats of anthropogenic activities. These stakeholders have responsibility to reduce the environmental pressures by continuous improvement of the production system through technology and innovation. N footprint is also a tool to inform consumers on the impact of their lifestyle choices on the N pollution, which is essential to share the responsibility in protecting the planet. Raising awareness to all stakeholders and consumers at all levels will help to reduce the N footprint.

    Balanced harvest: concept, policies, evidence, and management implications
    Zhou, Shijie ; Kolding, Jeppe ; Garcia, Serge M. ; Plank, Michael J. ; Bundy, Alida ; Charles, Anthony ; Hansen, Cecilie ; Heino, Mikko ; Howell, Daniel ; Jacobsen, Nis S. ; Reid, David G. ; Rice, Jake C. ; Zwieten, Paul A.M. van - \ 2019
    Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries 29 (2019)3. - ISSN 0960-3166 - p. 711 - 733.
    Ecological effect - Ecosystem approach to fishery - Ecosystem structure - Fishing intensity - Production - Selectivity - Sustainability

    Balanced harvest has been proposed to reduce fishing impact on ecosystems while simultaneously maintaining or even increasing fishery yield. The concept has attracted broad interest, but also received criticisms. In this paper, we examine the theory, modelling studies, empirical evidence, the legal and policy frameworks, and management implications of balanced harvest. The examination reveals unresolved issues and challenges from both scientific and management perspectives. We summarize current knowledge and address common questions relevant to the idea. Major conclusions include: balanced harvest can be expressed in several ways and implemented on multiple levels, and with different approaches e.g. métier based management; it explicitly bridges fisheries and conservation goals in accordance with international legal and policy frameworks; modelling studies and limited empirical evidence reveal that balanced harvest can reduce fishing impact on ecosystem structure and increase the aggregate yield; the extent of balanced harvest is not purely a scientific question, but also a legal and social choice; a transition to balanced harvest may incur short-term economic costs, while in the long-term, economic results will vary across individual fisheries and for society overall; for its application, balanced harvest can be adopted at both strategic and tactical levels and need not be a full implementation, but could aim for a “partially-balanced” harvest. Further objective discussions and research on this subject are needed to move balanced harvest toward supporting a practical ecosystem approach to fisheries.

    Potatoes and livelihoods in Chencha, southern Ethiopia
    Tadesse, Yenenesh ; Almekinders, Conny J.M. ; Schulte, Rogier P.O. ; Struik, Paul C. - \ 2019
    NJAS Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences 88 (2019). - ISSN 1573-5214 - p. 105 - 111.
    Agronomy - Asset - Consumption pattern - Food security - Log-linear analysis - Potato - Production - Wealth category

    Potato is highly productive crop and can provide a cheap and nutritionally-rich staple food. Its potential as a cash generator and source of food is much under-utilized in many emerging economies. In this paper we study the impact of an intervention that introduced improved potato technologies in Chencha, Ethiopia on the livelihoods of smallholder farmers. We collected information through in-depth interviews in order to explore possible pathways of impact on farmers’ livelihoods; and used this information as the basis for designing a household survey. The results show changes in agronomic practices and consumption; these changes were most pronounced among wealthy farmers who participated in the intervention. Farmers used the additional income from potato in different ways: wealthier farmers improved their houses and increased their livestock, whereas poor farmers mainly invested in furniture, cooking utensils, tools and in developing small businesses like selling and buying cereals, milk and weaving products in the local markets. Some wealthy farmers, who did not participate in the project, also derived some indirect benefits from the intervention. This underscores: i) interventions that promote uniform farming technologies in themselves are not always sufficient to improve the livelihoods of poor farmers, and ii) the need to broaden the scope of interventions so as to take into account the resources available to farmers in different wealth categories, and the diversity of strategies that they employ for improving their livelihoods. Our approach allows to understand and describe the different developmental effects of a single technological intervention on the different aspects of farmers’ livelihoods.

    Addressing global ruminant agricultural challenges through understanding the rumen microbiome : Past, present, and future
    Huws, Sharon A. ; Creevey, Christopher J. ; Oyama, Linda B. ; Mizrahi, Itzhak ; Denman, Stuart E. ; Popova, Milka ; Muñoz-Tamayo, Rafael ; Forano, Evelyne ; Waters, Sinead M. ; Hess, Matthias ; Tapio, Ilma ; Smidt, Hauke ; Krizsan, Sophie J. ; Yáñez-Ruiz, David R. ; Belanche, Alejandro ; Guan, Leluo ; Gruninger, Robert J. ; McAllister, Tim A. ; Newbold, C.J. ; Roehe, Rainer ; Dewhurst, Richard J. ; Snelling, Tim J. ; Watson, Mick ; Suen, Garret ; Hart, Elizabeth H. ; Kingston-Smith, Alison H. ; Scollan, Nigel D. ; Prado, Rodolpho M. Do; Pilau, Eduardo J. ; Mantovani, Hilario C. ; Attwood, Graeme T. ; Edwards, Joan E. ; McEwan, Neil R. ; Morrisson, Steven ; Mayorga, Olga L. ; Elliott, Christopher ; Morgavi, Diego P. - \ 2018
    Frontiers in Microbiology 9 (2018)SEP. - ISSN 1664-302X
    Diet - Host - Methane - Microbiome - Omics - Production - Rumen

    The rumen is a complex ecosystem composed of anaerobic bacteria, protozoa, fungi, methanogenic archaea and phages. These microbes interact closely to breakdown plant material that cannot be digested by humans, whilst providing metabolic energy to the host and, in the case of archaea, producing methane. Consequently, ruminants produce meat and milk, which are rich in high-quality protein, vitamins and minerals, and therefore contribute to food security. As the world population is predicted to reach approximately 9.7 billion by 2050, an increase in ruminant production to satisfy global protein demand is necessary, despite limited land availability, and whilst ensuring environmental impact is minimized. Although challenging, these goals can be met, but depend on our understanding of the rumen microbiome. Attempts to manipulate the rumen microbiome to benefit global agricultural challenges have been ongoing for decades with limited success, mostly due to the lack of a detailed understanding of this microbiome and our limited ability to culture most of these microbes outside the rumen. The potential to manipulate the rumen microbiome and meet global livestock challenges through animal breeding and introduction of dietary interventions during early life have recently emerged as promising new technologies. Our inability to phenotype ruminants in a high-throughput manner has also hampered progress, although the recent increase in "omic" data may allow further development of mathematical models and rumen microbial gene biomarkers as proxies. Advances in computational tools, high-throughput sequencing technologies and cultivation-independent "omics" approaches continue to revolutionize our understanding of the rumen microbiome. This will ultimately provide the knowledge framework needed to solve current and future ruminant livestock challenges.

    Sustainability assessment of agricultural production: Case study of latvian crop sector
    Lenerts, Arnis ; Popluga, Dina ; Schulte, Rogier P.O. ; Pilvere, Irina - \ 2017
    In: 16th International Scientific Conference. - Jelgava, Latvia : Latvia University of Agriculture (Engineering for Rural Development ) - p. 1312 - 1320.
    Assessment - Crop - Production - Sustainability

    The concept of sustainability in agricultural production is characterised by three interrelated dimensions: environmental sustainability; economic sustainability; and social sustainability. Research studies are needed to understand what the specific characteristics of each dimension are and how they interact in time and space. The aim of this research is to make a sustainability assessment of agricultural production in the crop sector in Latvia. In the paper, the authors have compiled existing studies that have tried to include all the three dimensions of sustainability analysis and to provide explanations of factors determining sustainable agricultural production. It was concluded that some agricultural development indicators pointed to the challenges of meeting sustainable economic development objectives in agricultural production. The results showed that this development of agricultural production in the crop sector took place at the expense of natural capital impairment, as the environmental sustainability index had fallen from a neutral value of 0 to a negative value of -0.25 during the last decade. Activity data characterising the production practices of crop farms pointed to a non-sustainable farming system, where the intensity of exploitation of production resources of fossil origin had essentially increased.

    The environmental, socioeconomic, and health impacts of woodfuel value chains in Sub-Saharan Africa : A systematic map
    Sola, Phosiso ; Cerutti, Paolo Omar ; Zhou, Wen ; Gautier, Denis ; Iiyama, Miyuki ; Schure, Jolien ; Chenevoy, Audrey ; Yila, Jummai ; Dufe, Vanessa ; Nasi, Robert ; Petrokofsky, Gillian ; Shepherd, Gill - \ 2017
    Environmental Evidence 6 (2017)1. - ISSN 2047-2382
    Africa - Charcoal - Consumption - Firewood - Forests - Fuelwood - Livelihoods - Production - Trade - Woodlands
    Background: In Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), the production and use of woodfuel remains an important socio-economic activity with more than 70% of the population relying on woodfuel as their primary household energy source. Despite their socio-economic significance, woodfuel value chains are often viewed negatively due to their association with detrimental health and environmental impacts. However, the lack of sound evidence and limited understanding of the role of contextual factors in influencing the various impacts of woodfuel value chains have prevented the formulation of properly guided policy interventions. Thus the objective of this systematic map is to provide a comprehensive review of the environmental, socio-economic, and health impacts of woodfuel value chains across SSA. Methods: The search strategy for this review map was defined in a peer-reviewed protocol and refined by iterative testing. Search strings were composed of population, intervention, and location terms and combined using Boolean operators. The bibliographic databases Web of Science, Scopus, and CAB Abstracts were used as the main sources of literature for this review, and a total of 4728 results were initially retrieved. Following title and abstract screening, 659 entered full text screening. Critical appraisal of 219 articles led to the exclusion of studies that did not set meet quality criteria for this map, resulting in a final total of 131 articles for inclusion in data extraction and analysis. Results: From the 131 included articles, 152 individual studies were identified during data extraction. Studies came from 26 of the 49 Sub Saharan African countries, with a particular preponderance of articles published in the last 10 years. Critical appraisal found significant weaknesses in the experimental design of woodfuel value chain studies with the exception of health impact studies, which frequently utilized controls or other relevant comparators. Findings suggest that woodfuel value chains have environmental, socioeconomic and health consequences with the frequent presence of trade-offs. The reporting of contextual factors in the studies challenge the widespread perception of deforestation as being directly caused by bush fires, overgrazing and woodcutting. Instead, agricultural expansion (which often includes forest clearing) and pre-existing biophysical factors were the most frequently cited factors in shaping environmental outcomes. Conclusions: This systematic map suggests that there are environmental, socioeconomic and health consequences associated with woodfuel value chains in Sub-Saharan Africa. However, the literature also shows a weak and geographically limited evidence base to justify the above claims. We argue that policy formulation processes targeting woodfuels in SSA require more solid, coherent and broad body of knowledge, especially for such a vital sector in rural economies. Thus, there is an urgent need to design and undertake research using robust methodologies, at appropriate scales that further takes into account the interrelationships between environmental and socio-economic outcomes in order to generate substantial and reliable evidence for informed policy formulation.
    Untapped Potential : Opportunities and Challenges for Sustainable Bioenergy Production from Marginal Lands in the Northeast USA
    Stoof, C.R. ; Richards, B.K. ; Woodbury, P.B. ; Fabio, E.S. ; Brumbach, A.R. ; Cherney, Jerry ; Das, Srabani ; Geohring, Larry ; Hansen, Julie ; Hornesky, Josh ; Mayton, Hilary ; Mason, Cedric ; Ruestow, Gerry ; Smart, L.B. ; Volk, T.A. ; Steenhuis, T.S. - \ 2015
    Bio Energy Research 8 (2015)2. - ISSN 1939-1234 - p. 482 - 501.
    Impacts - Marginal land - Northeast USA - Perennial grass - Policy - Production - Second-generation bioenergy feedstocks - Short-rotation woody crops

    Over two million hectares of marginal land in the Northeast USA no longer used for agriculture may be suitable and available for production of second-generation cellulosic bioenergy crops, offering the potential for increased regional bioenergy production without competing with food production on prime farmland. Current yields of perennial bioenergy grasses and short-rotation woody crops range from 2.3 to 17.4 and 4.5 to 15.5 Mg/ha, respectively, and there is great potential for increased yields. Regional advantages for bioenergy development include abundant water resources, close proximity between production and markets, and compatibility of bioenergy cropping systems with existing agriculture. As New York and New England (a subset of the Northeast region) account for ~85 % of the nation’s heating oil consumption, production of bioheat, biopower, and combined heat and power could substantially reduce the region’s dependence on imported petroleum. While numerous grassroots efforts are underway in the region across supply chains, bioenergy development faces several challenges and unknowns in terms of environmental impact, production, yields, socioeconomics, and policy. We explore the opportunities for second-generation bioenergy production on the unused marginal lands of the Northeast USA and discuss the challenges to be addressed to promote sustainable bioenergy production on the region’s underutilized marginal land base.

    On-line optimization of intensity and configuration of supplementary lighting using fluorescence sensor technology
    Schapendonk, A.H.C.M. ; Pot, C.S. ; Yin, X. ; Schreiber, U. - \ 2006
    In: Proceedings of the Fifth Int. Symposium on Artificial Lighting in Horticulture / Moe, R., International Society for Horticultural Sciences (ISHS) (Acta Horticulturae ) - ISBN 9789066055391 - p. 423 - 429.
    Fluorescence - Monitoring - Photosynthesis - Production - Rose - Supplementary light

    To estimate the impact of different applications of supplemental light in greenhouses, laborious and time consuming experiments are required to measure and verify differences in crop productivity. Especially when the expected differences are small, it will be difficult to prove that a given lighting application outperforms others in that test. Random variation and interaction of numerous environmental factors in a greenhouse environment limit differences that can be determined accurately enough to 5%, at least in an experimental setup. Still effects of less than 5% are of very high economic importance and it would be a big advantage if these small effects could be made visible in an earlier stage than at the time of harvest. Therefore it is important, that effects are not only made visible by comparison of integrated yield, but also by comparison of the dynamics of the responses at different developmental stages and seasons. We tested a modulated fluorescence monitoring system that was specially adapted for horticultural practice, in combination with a sensor system (Growlab) to study photosynthesis responses under 2 different lighting configurations in roses. Comparison of the yield data, based on fluorescence measurements with data based on photosynthesis measurements gave strong support that fluorescence signals, after species-specific calibration, are a sound basis for optimization of light intensity and lamp configuration in roses, with good perspectives for application in other horticultural crops.

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