Records 1 - 20 / 1950
Effects of exchanging lactose for fat in milk replacer on ad libitum feed intake and growth performance in dairy calves
Berends, H. ; Laar, H. van; Leal, L.N. ; Gerrits, W.J.J. ; Martín-Tereso, J. - \ 2020
Journal of Dairy Science 103 (2020). - ISSN 0022-0302 - p. 4275 - 4287.
calf - fat - growth - lactose - milk replacer
The recent trend in the dairy industry toward ad libitum feeding of young calves merits reconsideration of calf milk replacer (CMR) formulations. Additionally, feed intake regulation in young calves provided with ad libitum milk and solid feeds is insufficiently understood. This study was designed to determine the effect of exchanging lactose for fat in CMR on voluntary feed intake and growth performance. Lactose was exchanged for fat on a weight/weight basis, resulting in different energy contents per kilogram of CMR. Thirty-two male calves (1.7 ± 0.12 d of age, 47.6 ± 0.83 kg of body weight) were assigned to 1 of 16 blocks based on arrival date. Within each block, calves were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 treatments. The experimental period was divided into 4 periods. In period 1, until 14 ± 1.7 d of age, calves were individually housed, restricted-fed their assigned CMR treatments at 2.5 to 3 L twice daily, and provided with unlimited access to water, chopped straw, and starter. In period 2, calves were group-housed with 8 calves per pen and received ad libitum access to their assigned CMR treatments, starter feed, chopped wheat straw, and water. During period 3, from 43 until 63 d of age, calves were weaned by restricting CMR allowance in 2 steps, maintaining access to all other feeds. All calves were completely weaned at d 64 of age and were monitored until 77 d of age (period 4). Measurements included the intake of all dietary components, body weight gain, and a selection of blood traits. Increasing fat content at the expense of lactose decreased CMR intake by 10%, whereas total calculated metabolizable energy intake and growth remained equal between treatments. Total solid feed (starter and straw) consumption was not affected by CMR composition. These data indicate that calves fed ad libitum regulate their CMR intake based on energy content. High-fat CMR increased plasma phosphate, nonesterified fatty acids, triglycerides, and bilirubin, whereas plasma glucose remained unchanged. Despite the limited animal numbers in the present experiment, there was a significant decrease in the total number of health events (mainly respiratory) requiring therapeutic intervention and in the total number of therapeutic interventions in calves fed high-fat CMR. Calves appeared to consume CMR based on energy content, with a difference in ad libitum intake proportional to the difference in energy content of the CMR, maintaining equal body weight gain and solid feed intake.
Boosted trees to predict pneumonia, growth, and meat percentage of growing-finishing pigs
Mollenhorst, Herman ; Ducro, Bart J. ; Greef, Karel H. de; Hulsegge, Ina ; Kamphuis, Claudia - \ 2019
Journal of Animal Science 97 (2019)10. - ISSN 0021-8812 - p. 4152 - 4159.
boosted trees - growth - machine learning - pig production - pneumonia
In pig production, efficiency is benefiting from uniform growth in pens resulting in single deliveries from a pen of possibly all animals in the targeted weight range. Abnormalities, like pneumonia or aberrant growth, reduce production efficiency as it reduces the uniformity and might cause multiple deliveries per batch and pigs delivered with a low meat yield or outside the targeted weight range. Early identification of pigs prone to develop these abnormalities, for example, at the onset of the growing-finishing phase, would help to prevent heterogeneous pens through management interventions. Data about previous production cycles at the farm combined with data from the piglet's own history may help in identifying these abnormalities. The aim of this study, therefore, was to predict at the onset of the growing-finishing phase, that is, at 3 mo in advance, deviant pigs at slaughter with a machine-learning technique called boosted trees. The dataset used was extracted from the farm management system of a research center. It contained over 70,000 records of individual pigs born between 2004 and 2016, including information on, for example, offspring, litter size, transfer dates between production stages, their respective locations within the barns, and individual live-weights at several production stages. Results obtained on an independent test set showed that at a 90% specificity rate, the sensitivity was 16% for low meat percentage, 20% for pneumonia and 36% for low lifetime growth rate. For low lifetime growth rate, this meant an almost three times increase in positive predictive value compared to the current situation. From these results, it was concluded that routine performance information available at the onset of the growing-finishing phase combined with data about previous production cycles formed a moderate base to identify pigs prone to develop pneumonia (AUC > 0.60) and a good base to identify pigs prone to develop growth aberrations (AUC > 0.70) during the growing-finishing phase. The mentioned information, however, was not a sufficient base to identify pigs prone to develop low meat percentage (AUC < 0.60). The shown ability to identify growth aberrations and pneumonia can be considered a good first step towards the development of an early warning system for pigs in the growing-finishing phase.
Human Milk Short-Chain Fatty Acid Composition is Associated with Adiposity Outcomes in Infants
Prentice, Philippa M. ; Schoemaker, Marieke H. ; Vervoort, Jacques ; Hettinga, Kasper ; Lambers, Tim T. ; Tol, Eric A.F. van; Acerini, Carlo L. ; Olga, Laurentya ; Petry, Clive J. ; Hughes, Ieuan A. ; Koulman, Albert ; Ong, Ken K. ; Dunger, David B. - \ 2019
The Journal of Nutrition 149 (2019)5. - ISSN 0022-3166 - p. 716 - 722.
breast milk - growth - lipids - nutrition - short chain fatty acids - weight
BACKGROUND: Presumed benefits of human milk (HM) in avoiding rapid infancy weight gain and later obesity could relate to its nutrient composition. However, data on breast milk composition and its relation with growth are sparse. OBJECTIVE: We investigated whether short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), known to be present in HM and linked to energy metabolism, are associated with infancy anthropometrics. METHODS: In a prospective birth cohort, HM hindmilk samples were collected from 619 lactating mothers at 4-8 wk postnatally [median (IQR) age: 33.9 (31.3-36.5) y, body mass index (BMI) (kg/m2): 22.8 (20.9-25.2)]. Their offspring, born at 40.1 (39.1-41.0) wk gestation with weight 3.56 (3.22-3.87) kg and 51% male, were assessed with measurement of weight, length, and skinfold thickness at ages 3, 12, and 24 mo, and transformed to age- and sex-adjusted z scores. HM SCFAs were measured by 1H-nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) and GC-MS. Multivariable linear regression models were conducted to analyze the relations between NMR HM SCFAs and infancy growth parameters with adjustment for potential confounders. RESULTS: NMR peaks for HM butyrate, acetate, and formic acid, but not propionate, were detected. Butyrate peaks were 17.8% higher in HM from exclusively breastfeeding mothers than mixed-feeding mothers (P = 0.003). HM butyrate peak values were negatively associated with changes in infant weight (standardized B = -0.10, P = 0.019) and BMI (B = -0.10, P = 0.018) between 3 and 12 mo, and negatively associated with BMI (B = -0.10, P = 0.018) and mean skinfold thickness (B = -0.10, P = 0.049) at age 12 mo. HM formic acid peak values showed a consistent negative association with infant BMI at all time points (B < = -0.10, P < = 0.014), whereas HM acetate was negatively associated with skinfold thickness at 3 mo (B = -0.10, P = 0.028) and 24 mo (B = -0.10, P = 0.036). CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that HM SCFAs play a beneficial role in weight gain and adiposity during infancy. Further knowledge of HM SCFA function may inform future strategies to support healthy growth.
The Preterm Gut Microbiota: An Inconspicuous Challenge in Nutritional Neonatal Care
Henderickx, Jannie G.E. ; Zwittink, Romy D. ; Lingen, Richard A. van; Knol, Jan ; Belzer, Clara - \ 2019
Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology 9 (2019). - ISSN 2235-2988 - 1 p.
development - gastrointestinal tract - growth - gut microbiota - health - immune system - preterm - very low birth weight
The nutritional requirements of preterm infants are unique and challenging to meet in neonatal care, yet crucial for their growth, development and health. Normally, the gut microbiota has distinct metabolic capacities, making their role in metabolism of dietary components indispensable. In preterm infants, variation in microbiota composition is introduced while facing a unique set of environmental conditions. However, the effect of such variation on the microbiota's metabolic capacity and on the preterm infant's growth and development remains unresolved. In this review, we will provide a holistic overview on the development of the preterm gut microbiota and the unique environmental conditions contributing to this, in addition to maturation of the gastrointestinal tract and immune system in preterm infants. The role of prematurity, as well as the role of human milk, in the developmental processes is emphasized. Current research stresses the early life gut microbiota as cornerstone for simultaneous development of the gastrointestinal tract and immune system. Besides that, literature provides clues that prematurity affects growth and development. As such, this review is concluded with our hypothesis that prematurity of the gut microbiota may be an inconspicuous clinical challenge in achieving optimal feeding besides traditional challenges, such as preterm breast milk composition, high nutritional requirements and immaturity of the gastrointestinal tract and immune system. A better understanding of the metabolic capacity of the gut microbiota and its impact on gut and immune maturation in preterm infants could complement current feeding regimens in future neonatal care and thereby facilitate growth, development and health in preterm infants.
LiGAPS-Beef, a mechanistic model to explore potential and feed-limited beef production 1 : model description and illustration
Linden, A. van der; Ven, G.W.J. van de; Oosting, S.J. ; Ittersum, M.K. van; Boer, I.J.M. de - \ 2019
Animal 13 (2019)4. - ISSN 1751-7311 - p. 845 - 855.
beef cattle - growth - mechanistic modelling - production ecology - yield gap
The expected increase in the global demand for livestock products calls for insight in the scope to increase actual production levels across the world. This insight can be obtained by using theoretical concepts of production ecology. These concepts distinguish three production levels for livestock: potential (i.e. theoretical maximum) production, which is defined by genotype and climate only; feed-limited production, which is limited by feed quantity and quality; and actual production. The difference between the potential or limited production and the actual production is the yield gap. The objective of this paper, the first in a series of three, is to present a mechanistic, dynamic model simulating potential and feed-limited production for beef cattle, which can be used to assess yield gaps. A novelty of this model, named LiGAPS-Beef (Livestock simulator for Generic analysis of Animal Production Systems – Beef cattle), is the identification of the defining factors (genotype and climate) and limiting factors (feed quality and available feed quantity) for cattle growth by integrating sub-models on thermoregulation, feed intake and digestion, and energy and protein utilisation. Growth of beef cattle is simulated at the animal and herd level. The model is designed to be applicable to different beef production systems across the world. Main model inputs are breed-specific parameters, daily weather data, information about housing, and data on feed quality and quantity. Main model outputs are live weight gain, feed intake and feed efficiency (FE) at the animal and herd level. Here, the model is presented, and its use is illustrated for Charolais and Brahman × Shorthorn cattle in France and Australia. Potential and feed-limited production were assessed successfully, and we show that FE of herds is highest for breeds most adapted to the local climate conditions. LiGAPS-Beef also identified the factors that define and limit growth and production of cattle. Hence, we argue the model has scope to be used as a tool for the assessment and analysis of yield gaps in beef production systems.
Influence of larval density and dietary nutrient concentration on performance, body protein, and fat contents of black soldier fly larvae (Hermetia illucens)
Barragan-Fonseca, Karol B. ; Dicke, Marcel ; Loon, Joop J.A. van - \ 2018
Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 166 (2018)9. - ISSN 0013-8703 - p. 761 - 770.
detritivory - diet quality - Diptera - growth - nutritional value - ration - Stratiomyidae - survival
Performance and body composition of insect larvae depend on quality and quantity of their diet, and on biotic factors such as larval density. We investigated the effect of dietary nutrient concentration and larval rearing density on survival, development, growth, and protein and fat contents of larvae of the black soldier fly (BSF), Hermetia illucens L. (Diptera: Stratiomyidae). Neonate larvae were fed with a low (NC1), intermediate (NC2), or high nutrient concentration (NC3), and with four rearing densities (50, 100, 200, or 400 larvae per container). Two feeding regimes (FR) were tested: in FR1, the amount of diet added during the experiment was based on the visually estimated larval mass present, whereas in FR2, a fixed feeding ration of 0.6 g of food per larva was applied at the start. FR1 resulted in food limitation, resulting in significantly lower body crude protein content on diet NC1 than on NC2 at larval densities 100 and 200. Larval crude fat content was higher on diets with higher nutrient concentration and at lower larval densities. For FR2, development time was shorter on diets with higher nutrient concentration and at lower larval densities. Individual larval weight and total larval yield increased with higher nutrient concentration at all four larval densities. At lower nutrient concentration, higher larval density resulted in higher individual larval weight and total larval yield, revealing an interaction between larval density and dietary quality. Larval crude protein content was higher at lower densities and lower nutrient concentration. Larval crude fat was higher at higher larval densities and nutrient concentrations. This study indicates that larval protein content is regulated within narrow limits, whereas larval crude fat content is strongly affected by nutrient concentration and by larval density.
Can traits predict individual growth performance? A test in a hyperdiverse tropical forest
Poorter, Lourens ; Castilho, Carolina V. ; Schietti, Juliana ; Oliveira, Rafael S. ; Costa, Flávia R.C. - \ 2018
New Phytologist 219 (2018)1. - ISSN 0028-646X - p. 109 - 121.
acclimation - Amazon - defense - functional traits - growth - plant strategies - plasticity - tropical rainforest
The functional trait approach has, as a central tenet, that plant traits are functional and shape individual performance, but this has rarely been tested in the field. Here, we tested the individual-based trait approach in a hyperdiverse Amazonian tropical rainforest and evaluated intraspecific variation in trait values, plant strategies at the individual level, and whether traits are functional and predict individual performance. We evaluated > 1300 tree saplings belonging to > 383 species, measured 25 traits related to growth and defense, and evaluated the effects of environmental conditions, plant size, and traits on stem growth. A total of 44% of the trait variation was observed within species, indicating a strong potential for acclimation. Individuals showed two strategy spectra, related to tissue toughness and organ size vs leaf display. In this nutrient- and light-limited forest, traits measured at the individual level were surprisingly poor predictors of individual growth performance because of convergence of traits and growth rates. Functional trait approaches based on individuals or species are conceptually fundamentally different: the species-based approach focuses on the potential and the individual-based approach on the realized traits and growth rates. Counterintuitively, the individual approach leads to a poor prediction of individual performance, although it provides a more realistic view on community dynamics.
Effects of rumen-undegradable protein on intake, performance, and mammary gland development in prepubertal and pubertal dairy heifers
Silva, A.L. ; Detmann, E. ; Dijkstra, J. ; Pedroso, A.M. ; Silva, L.H.P. ; Machado, A.F. ; Sousa, F.C. ; Santos, G.B. dos; Marcondes, M.I. - \ 2018
Journal of Dairy Science 101 (2018)7. - ISSN 0022-0302 - p. 5991 - 6001.
growth - mammary gland ultrasound - nitrogen retention
The objective of this study was to evaluate the influence of different amounts of rumen-undegradable protein (RUP) on intake, N balance, performance, mammary gland development, carcass traits, and hormonal status of Holstein heifers at different physiological stages (PS). Sixteen prepubertal (PRE) heifers (initial BW = 106 ± 7.6 kg; age = 4.3 ± 0.46 mo) and 16 pubertal (PUB) heifers (initial BW = 224 ± 7.9 kg; age = 12.6 ± 0.45 mo) were used in an experiment over a period of 84 d. Four diets with increasing RUP contents (38, 44, 51, and 57% of dietary crude protein) and heifers at 2 PS (PRE or PUB) were used in a 4 × 2 factorial arrangement of treatments in a completely randomized design. Throughout the experiment, 2 digestibility trials were performed over 5 consecutive days (starting at d 36 and 78) involving feed and ort sampling and spot collections of feces and urine. At d 0 and 83, body ultrasound images were obtained for real-time carcass trait evaluation. The mammary gland was ultrasonically scanned at d 0 and every 3 wk during the experiment. Blood samples were taken at d 0 and 84 to determine serum concentrations of progesterone, estrogen, insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I), and insulin. No interaction between PS and the level of RUP was found for any trait. Apparent digestibility of dry matter, organic matter, and neutral detergent fiber corrected for ash and protein was not affected by RUP level but was lower for PRE compared with PUB heifers. Sorting against neutral detergent fiber corrected for ash and protein (tendency only) and for crude protein was greater for PUB than PRE heifers. Pubertal heifers had greater average daily gain (905 vs. 505 g/d) and N retention (25.9 vs. 12.5 g/d) than PRE heifers. In addition, average daily gain and N retention were greatest at 51% RUP of dietary protein. Mammary ultrasonography indicated no effects of RUP amounts on mammary gland composition, whereas PRE heifers had greater pixel values than PUB, indicating higher contents of fat rather than protein in the mammary glands of PRE heifers. Serum progesterone and IGF-I concentration was affected only by PS, and PRE heifers had greater values of progesterone and IGF-I concentrations than PUB heifers. Serum insulin concentration was unaffected by PS but tended to be higher at 51% of RUP. In conclusion, an RUP level of 51% increases body weight, average daily gain, feed efficiency, and N retention in heifers regardless of the PS. In addition, PRE heifers have a lower sorting ability and reduced intake, total-tract digestibility, and N retention. They also have higher amounts of fat in their mammary glands, even at moderate growth rates.
Divergent regulation of Arabidopsis SAUR genes: a focus on the SAUR10-clade
Mourik, H. van; Dijk, A.D.J. van; Stortenbeker, Niek ; Angenent, G.C. ; Bemer, M. - \ 2017
SAUR - hormones - growth - cell elongation - regulatory region - auxin - brassinosteroids - ABA - shade response
Background Small Auxin-Upregulated RNA (SAUR) genes encode growth regulators that induce cell elongation. Arabidopsis contains more than 70 SAUR genes, of which the growth-promoting function has been unveiled in seedlings, while their role in other tissues remained largely unknown. Here, we focus on the regulatory regions of Arabidopsis SAUR genes, to predict the processes in which they play a role, and understand the dynamics of plant growth. Results In this study, we characterized in detail the entire SAUR10-clade: SAUR8, SAUR9, SAUR10, SAUR12, SAUR16, SAUR50, SAUR51 and SAUR54. Overexpression analysis revealed that the different proteins fulfil similar functions, while the SAUR expression patterns were highly diverse, showing expression throughout plant development in a variety of tissues. In addition, the response to application of different hormones largely varied between the different genes. These tissue-specific and hormone-specific responses could be linked to transcription factor binding sites using in silico analyses. These analyses also supported the existence of two groups of SAURs in Arabidopsis: Class I genes can be induced by combinatorial action of ARF-BZR-PIF transcription factors, while Class II genes are not regulated by auxin. Conclusions SAUR10-clade genes generally induce cell-elongation, but exhibit diverse expression patterns and responses to hormones. Our experimental and in silico analyses suggest that transcription factors involved in plant development determine the tissue specific expression of the different SAUR genes, whereas the amplitude of this expression can often be controlled by hormone response transcription factors. This allows the plant to fine tune growth in a variety of tissues in response to internal and external signals.
Data from: Shifts in North Sea forage fish productivity and potential fisheries yield
Clausen, Lotte W. ; Rindorf, Anna ; Deurs, Mikael van; Hintzen, N.T. - \ 2017
maximum sustainable yield - functional complimentarity - bottom-up effect - small pelagic fisheries - fisheries - regime shift - recruitment - growth
Forage fish populations support large scale fisheries and are key components of marine ecosystems across the world, linking secondary production to higher trophic levels. While climate-induced changes in the North Sea zooplankton community are described and documented in literature, the associated bottom-up effects and consequences for fisheries remain largely unidentified. We investigated the temporal development in forage fish productivity and the associated influence on fisheries yield of herring, sprat, Norway pout and sandeel in the North Sea. Using principal component analysis, we analysed 40 years of recruitment success and growth proxies to reveal changes in productivity and patterns of synchroneity across stocks (i.e. functional complementarity). The relationship between forage fish production and Calanus finmarchicus (an indicator of climate change) was also analysed. We used a population model to demonstrate how observed shifts in productivity affected total forage fish biomass and fisheries yield. The productivity of North Sea forage fish changed around 1993 from a higher average productivity to lower average productivity. During the higher productivity period, stocks displayed a covariance structure indicative of functional complementarity. Calanus finmarchicus was positively correlated to forage fish recruitment, however, for growth, the direction of the response differed between species and time periods. Maximum sustainable yield (MSY) and the associated fishing mortality (Fmsy) decreased by 33%–68% and 26%–64%, respectively, between the higher and lower productivity periods. Synthesis and applications. The results demonstrate that fisheries reference points for short-lived planktivorous species are highly dynamic and respond rapidly to changes in system productivity. Furthermore, from an ecosystem-based fisheries management perspective, a link between functional complementarity and productivity, indicates that ecosystem resilience may decline with productivity. Based on this, we advise that system productivity, perhaps monitored as forage fish growth, becomes an integral part of management reference points; in both single species and ecosystem contexts. However, to retain social license of biological advice when fish catch opportunities are reduced, it is crucial that shifts in productivity are thoroughly documented and made apparent to managers and stakeholders.
The evaluation of energy in fish feed
Haidar, Mahmoud - \ 2017
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): J.A.J. Verreth, co-promotor(en): J.W. Schrama. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463438049 - 155
oreochromis niloticus - fish feeding - feed formulation - digestible energy - dietary protein - dietary fat - carbohydrates - growth - feed evaluation - fish culture - aquaculture - oreochromis niloticus - visvoeding - voersamenstelling - verteerbare energie - voedingseiwit - voedingsvet - koolhydraten - groei - voederwaardering - visteelt - aquacultuur
New and alternative plant ingredients are increasingly incorporated in fish feed due to the scarcity of captured fish and increased fishmeal and fish oil prices. As a result, current fish feeds are characterized by a highly variable ingredients composition, leading to a similar variability in the dietary macronutrients composition, especially the carbohydrates fraction. Appropriate formulation of the energy component in fish feeds requires information on nutrient digestibility, energy requirements for maintenance, and the efficiency of utilization of digestible energy for growth (kgDE). In fish feed formulation, the energy evaluation is based on digestible energy (DE) basis. The main assumptions of this DE system are that maintenance requirements and kgDE are independent of dietary factors. The main objective of this thesis was to evaluate and improve the DE system for Nile tilapia. Data showed that, opposite to what is assumed in literature and irrespective of the feeding level applied, an optimal digestible protein to digestible energy ratio (DP/DE) for young Nile tilapia could not be detected. In addition, it was expected that Nile tilapia would show a maximal protein deposition in relation to a wide range of DP/DE ratios, however, this was either observed. Further investigations showed that different body compartments/organs responded differently in terms of protein and fat composition as a result of changes in the dietary DP/DE ratio. In tilapia, viscera and the “rest” fraction (head, skin, fins and bones) were the main site for fat retention. In addition, protein content of fillets seems to be constant (about 17%) and not affected by dietary factors in Nile tilapia. In addition, the effect of using new plant ingredients in Nile tilapia diets was also investigated. The results showed that the ingredients composition had an effect on the maintenance requirements of Nile tilapia. Further, changes in the ratio of starch vs non starch carbohydrates revealed that energy retention was lower when more dietary fibers were included. In addition, the net energy retention differed also when the levels of digestible protein, fat and carbohydrates changed in the diets. The latter results proved that kgDE was not constant and was dependent on diet composition. All aforementioned results led us to calculate the energetic efficiencies of digestible protein, fat and carbohydrates for net energy retention. These estimated efficiencies were used to propose a net energy evaluation system being feasible for Nile tilapia.
Crop growth and development in closed and semi-closed greenhouses
Qian, Tian - \ 2017
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): L.F.M. Marcelis, co-promotor(en): J.A. Dieleman; A. Elings. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463430708 - 112
crops - crop production - growth - greenhouse crops - greenhouse horticulture - climate - semi-closed greenhouses - photosynthesis - temperature - gewassen - gewasproductie - groei - kasgewassen - glastuinbouw - klimaat - semi-gesloten kassen - fotosynthese - temperatuur
(Semi-)closed greenhouses have been developed over the last decades to conserve energy. In a closed greenhouse, window ventilation is fully replaced by mechanical cooling while solar heat is temporarily stored in an aquifer. A semi-closed greenhouse has a smaller cooling capacity than a closed greenhouse and, in which mechanical cooling is combined with window ventilation. (Semi-)closed greenhouses create new climate conditions: high CO2 concentrations irrespective of the outdoor climate, and vertical gradients in temperature and vapour pressure deficit throughout the canopy. This thesis focuses on the crop physiology in (semi-)closed greenhouses, and investigates the effects of the new climate conditions on crop growth, development and underlying processes.
Cumulative production in (semi) closed greenhouses increased by 6-14% compared to the open greenhouse, depending on the cooling capacity. The production increase in the (semi-)closed greenhouses was explained by the higher CO2 concentrations. In many species, feedback inhibition of photosynthesis occurs when plants are grown at high CO2. The results, however, suggest that high CO2 concentrations do not cause feedback inhibition in high producing crops, because the plants have sufficient sink organs (fruits) to utilise all assimilates. Pruning experiments showed that photosynthetic acclimation to elevated CO2 concentration only occurred when the number of fruits was considerably reduced.
Cooling below the canopy induced vertical temperature and vapour pressure deficit gradients. These gradients correlated with outside radiation and outside temperature. Despite the occurrence of vertical temperature gradients, plant growth and fruit yield were mostly unaffected. Leaf and truss initiation rates did not differ in the presence or absence of a vertical temperature gradients, since air temperatures at the top of the canopy were kept comparable. The only observed response of plants to the vertical temperature gradient was the reduced rate of fruit development in the lower part of the canopy. This resulted in a longer period between anthesis and fruit harvest and an increase in the average fruit weight in summer. However, total fruit production over the whole season was not affected.
The effects of the climate factors light, CO2 concentration, temperature, and humidity on leaf photosynthesis were investigated. The photosynthesis model of Farquhar, von Caemmerer and Berry (FvCB) was modified by adding a sub-model for Ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase (Rubisco) activation. The photosynthetic parameters: the maximum carboxylation capacity (Vcmax) and the maximum electron transport rate (Jmax), α (the efficiency of light energy conversion), θ (the curvature of light response of electron transport), and Rd (the non-photorespiratory CO2 release) were estimated based on measurements under a wide range of environmental conditions in the semi-closed greenhouse. The simultaneous estimation method and the nonlinear mixed effects model were applied to ensure the accuracy of the parameter estimation. Observations and predictions matched well (R2=0.94).
The yield increase in a closed greenhouse, compared to that in an open greenhouse was analyzed based on physiological and developmental processes. The yield increase in the (semi-)closed greenhouses was the result of an increase of net leaf photosynthesis. The (semi-)closed greenhouses have been applied commercially first in the Netherlands, and later in other countries. The knowledge obtained from (semi-)closed greenhouses is applied in conventional open greenhouse as well, which is called the next generation greenhouse cultivation. A number of innovations are being developed for greenhouse industry to reduce energy consumption while improving production and quality.
First week nutrition for broiler chickens : effects on growth, metabolic status, organ development, and carcass composition
Lamot, David - \ 2017
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Bas Kemp, co-promotor(en): Henry van den Brand; Peter Wijtten. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463430777 - 187
broilers - animal nutrition - poultry feeding - feeds - growth - metabolism - carcass composition - nutrition physiology - vleeskuikens - diervoeding - pluimveevoeding - voer - groei - metabolisme - karkassamenstelling - voedingsfysiologie
During the first week of life, broiler chickens undergo various developmental changes that are already initiated during incubation. Ongoing development of organs such as the gastro- intestinal tract and the immune system may affect the nutritional requirements during this age period. Despite the residual yolk that is available at hatch and that may provide nutritional support during the first days after hatch, the growth performance may be affected by the time in between hatch and first feed intake. Furthermore, it remains largely unknown to what extend nutritional composition of a pre-starter diet, as well as feed availability directly after hatch have an effect on physiological development directly after hatch, but also at later age. The aim of this thesis was to determine the impact of feed availability and feed composition provided during the first week of life on short-term physiological development, as well as potential long-term effects on growth performance of broiler chickens. Especially early hatched chickens were suggested to benefit more from direct feed access compared to midterm and late hatched chickens, as they tended to have a higher body weight gain during the first week after hatch. A delay in feed access for 48 h resulted in lowered body weight gain and feed intake when compared to direct feed access, but so did a short (13 to 26 h) delay in feed access after hatch. In the latter case, delayed feed access resulted in a lower weight to length ratio of the jejunum and ileum at 4 d of age compared with chickens with direct feed access. Although delayed feed access after hatch resulted in lower body weight gain during the first week after hatch and thereafter, it can be discussed whether this is truly an impairment of long-term growth or just a delayed onset of growth. With respect to feed composition, the inclusion of fish oil and medium chain fatty acids in a pre-starter diet had minor effects on humoral immune function. Inclusion of medium chain fatty acids did result in higher body weight gain and lowered feed efficiency during the first week of life, but only during the period it was provided. Feeding increased diet densities during the first week of life, obtained by formulating diets with different dietary fat levels, resulted in an increased gain to feed ratio, whereas body weight gain and feed intake decreased. Despite the shift in dietary energy supply from carbohydrates to fat and the perceived lower fat digestibility in young broiler chickens, nitrogen metabolizability and fat digestibility were not affected in the current study by feeding increased diet densities. The relative crop, liver and pancreas weights decreased when feeding increased diet densities, whereas the length of the entire intestinal tract increased. This suggests that broiler chickens repartition visceral organ development in response to feeding more concentrated diets during the first week of life. Interestingly, protein and fat accretion were not affected. Continued feeding of increased diet densities after 7 d of age resulted in increased BW gain, G:F ratio and metabolizable energy intake, but mainly during the periods that these diets were provided. In summary, even short durations of delayed feed access already impact intestinal development of young broiler chickens. However, a delayed feed access up to 48 h after hatch does not result in impaired growth, but only a delayed onset of growth. Even though digestibility of fats and oils may be suboptimal in young broiler chickens, feeding of these diets does not have to result in lowered performance per se. Young broiler chickens appear to adapt themselves towards high density diets with high fat inclusion levels in the first week of life, enabling them to digest and metabolize these diet types despite a suboptimal capacity for fat digestion. High density diets result in higher growth performance, but only for the period these diets are provided and thus carry-over effects at later age appear to be limited.
Feeding ragworm (Nereis virens Sars) to common sole (Solea solea L.) alleviates nutritional anaemia and stimulates growth
Kals, J. ; Blonk, R.J.W. ; Palstra, A.P. ; Sobotta, Tim ; Mongile, Fulvio ; Schneider, O. ; Planas, J.V. ; Schrama, J.W. ; Verreth, J.A.J. - \ 2017
Aquaculture Research 48 (2017)3. - ISSN 1355-557X - p. 752 - 759.
solea-solea l - nereis virens Sars - growth - anaemia - hepcidin - gene expression
Common sole fed with commercial pellets develop anaemia and are restricted in their growth performance. The anaemia can be the result of a difference in feed intake, a nutritional deficiency, an inflammatory response to infection or combinations of these aspects. In this study, it was investigated whether feeding ragworm would alleviate the anaemia and stimulate growth. Sole were fed one of three diets: a commercial feed, a commercial feed treated with ragworm extract or chopped ragworm. By comparing groups, three hypotheses were tested: (1) feeding ragworm alleviates the anaemia and positively affectS the sole’s metabolic performance reflected in feed intake, feed efficiency and growth; (2) anaemia is alleviated by a higher feed intake when feeding ragworm and (3)
anaemia is caused by an inflammatory response to infection. The sole fed with a commercial diet suffered from anaemia. Feeding sole with ragworm alleviated the anaemia as the average haematocrit level nearly doubled in these fish as
compared to fish fed pellets. Investigation of the expression of genes in the liver indicated that the anaemia in sole fed pellets is a nutritional anaemia and not an anaemia due to an inflammatory response. Sole fed ragworm showed improved
growth which may be a consequence of the higher haematocrit levels in these fish increasing their oxygen carrying capacity. Addition of ragworm extract to the pellets levelled the feed intake between pellets and ragworm, but did not
improve the anaemic state of sole and had only a limited effect on growth
Monitoring mosselgroei Flakkeese spuisluis : resultaten T0 bemonstering 2016
Wijsman, J.W.M. ; Brummelhuis, E. ; Gool, A.C.M. van - \ 2016
Yerseke : Wageningen Marine Research (Wageningen Marine Research rapport C126/16) - 33
mossels - mosselteelt - groei - monitoring - zuid-holland - mussels - mussel culture - growth - monitoring - zuid-holland
In de winter van 2016/2017 zal de Flakkeese spuisluis in de Grevelingendam weer in gebruik worden genomen. De spuisluis, bestaande uit een hevel, vormt een verbinding tussen het Grevelingenmeer en de Oosterschelde. Door het openen van de hevel zal als gevolg van het getij op de Oosterschelde water heen en weer worden getransporteerd tussen de Oosterschelde en het Grevelingenmeer. De verwachting is dat door de toename in waterbeweging de waterkwaliteit in het Grevelingenmeer zal verbeteren, met name nabij de bodem waar zuurstofloosheid optreedt. Om deze veranderingen te kunnen monitoren zijn er mosselen uitgezet in speciale mandjes op twee locaties in het Grevelingenmeer en twee locaties in de Oosterschelde. De groei en ontwikkeling van de mosselen kan worden gebruikt als een indicator voor de waterkwaliteit en -productiviteit. Doordat de mosselen gedurende een periode van enkele maanden zijn uitgezet, zijn de groeimetingen de resultante van de waterkwaliteit over die hele periode. Ook zijn in het Grevelingenmeer continue-metingen verricht voor zuurstofconcentratie (alleen bij de bodem) en temperatuur (nabij de bodem en het wateroppervlak). Dit rapport beschrijft de situatie in 2016 vóór de ingebruikname van de hevel.
Super-performance in a palm species
Jansen, Merel - \ 2016
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Niels Anten; Pieter Zuidema, co-promotor(en): Frans Bongers; M. Martínez-Ramos. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462579996 - 193
chamaedorea elegans - understorey - tropical forests - spatial variation - leaves - growth - population ecology - defoliation - genetic variation - chamaedorea elegans - onderlaag - tropische bossen - ruimtelijke variatie - bladeren - groei - populatie-ecologie - ontbladering - genetische variatie
The world is changing rapidly due to anthropogenic disturbance. Effects include: global warming, massive pollution, a changed global nitrogen cycle, high rates of land-use change, and exotic species spread. This has a tremendous impact on both natural and agricultural systems. To understand these impacts, good understanding of ecological systems and underlying drivers is necessary. Ecological systems can be studied at different levels of aggregation. Different levels of aggregation influence each other and are also influenced by external drivers like the environment. The population level is of particular interest, because many important ecological processes occur at the population level, like evolution, extinction, and invasion. Ecologists are increasingly recognizing that population processes are strongly influenced by one level of aggregation lower, the individual level. Individual heterogeneity (i.e. differences between individuals in performance), determines many population processes including population growth rate. However, the exact relations between individual heterogeneity, the external drivers of it, and the population level are not always well understood. Furthermore, methods to analyze these relations are not always available.
Individual heterogeneity occurs at different temporal scales, ranging from short- to long-term performance differences between individuals, where short- and long-term refer to the expected lifespan of the species in question. Short-term differences between individuals are relatively easily identifiable and are common in almost all species. But long-term differences are much harder to determine especially for long-lived organisms. Long-term differences between individuals in reproduction have been identified for several animal species, and in growth for several tree species, but less is known about the existence of such differences in other life forms (e.g. palms, lianas or clonal plants). Quantifying the extent to which individuals differ is essential for understanding the influence of individual heterogeneity on population processes. Super-performing individuals (i.e. individuals that persistently grow faster and reproduce more than others), probably contribute more to the growth of the population and therefore to future generations. Future populations will, therefore, have the genetic characteristics of the super-performers. Which characteristics this will be, depends on the genetic and environmental drivers of super-performance. Full understanding of the influence of individual heterogeneity on population processes, therefore, requires knowledge of the underlying causes of individual heterogeneity.
For many species, it is known that spatial variation in environmental conditions can cause short-term performance differences between individuals, but it is often not clear if the same environmental factors that cause short-term performance differences are also the environmental factors that cause long-term performance differences. Furthermore, genetic variation is known to cause performance differences, but to what extent is not well studied in natural long-lived plant populations. Within-population genetic variation can be maintained in habitats that are characterized by strong temporal or spatial heterogeneity in environmental conditions if the performance of a genotype relative to others depends on the environment it experiences.
Super-performing individuals possibly play an important role in the resistance and resilience of populations to disturbance (i.e. maintaining and recovering population growth rate under stress), because super-performers potentially contribute more to the recovery of the population. However, this depends on the relative tolerance to disturbance of super-performers compared to under-performers. A positive relation between performance and tolerance would make super-performers more important, while a negative relation would make them less important. Many types of disturbances entail leaf loss and tolerance to leaf loss is associated with performance being larger than what one would assume based on the amount of leaf area loss. Tolerance can be achieved by compensating for leaf loss in terms of growth rate, which entails either allocating more new assimilates to leaves, allocating new assimilates more efficiently to leaf area (i.e. by increasing specific leaf area), or growing faster with existing leaf area (i.e. by increasing net assimilation rate). Genetic variation in tolerance and compensatory responses would allow populations to adapt to changes in disturbance events that entail leaf loss.
Individual heterogeneity could also have implications for management. Plant and animal populations are managed at many different levels ranging from harvest from natural populations to modern agricultural practices. When harvesting from natural populations, it might be beneficial to spare the individuals that are most important for future production. Individuals could be spared, either because they contribute most to population growth, because they are tolerant to harvesting (which is relevant when only part of a plant is harvested), or when they start producing less or lower quality product. The productivity of natural populations could also be increased by actively promoting those environmental conditions and genotypes that allow for high productivity, which is the basis of agriculture and common practice in forest management. To determine how this can best be done, knowledge of the causes of individual heterogeneity is necessary.
The general aim of this thesis is to identify and quantify the mechanisms that determine individual heterogeneity and to determine how this heterogeneity, in turn, affects population level processes. This aim was divided into four main questions that I addressed: (1) To what extent do individuals differ in performance? (2) What causes individual heterogeneity in performance? (3) What are the demographic consequences of individual heterogeneity? (4) Can individual differences be used to improve the management of populations? To answer these questions, we used the tropical forest understorey palm Chamaedorea elegans as a study system, of which the leaves are an important non-timber forest product that is being used in the floral industry worldwide. We collected demographic data, measured spatial variation in environmental conditions, and applied a defoliation treatment to simulate leaf harvesting, in a natural population in Chiapas, Mexico. Furthermore, we grew seedlings from different mothers from our study population in the greenhouses of Wageningen University, where we also applied a defoliation treatment.
In Chapter 2 we quantified the extent to which individuals differ in long-term growth rate, and analyzed the importance of fast growers for population growth. We reconstructed growth histories from internodes and showed that growth differences between individuals are very large and persistent in our study population. This led to large variation in life growth trajectories, with individuals of the same age varying strongly in size. This shows that not only in canopy trees but also in species in the light limited understorey growth differences can be very large. Past growth rate was found to be a very good predictor of current performance (i.e. growth and reproduction). Using an Integral Projection Model (i.e. a type of demographic model) that was based on size and past growth rate, we showed that fast-growing individuals are much more important for population growth than others: the 50% fastest growing individuals contributed almost two times as much to population growth as the 50% slowest growing individuals.
In Chapter 3 we analyzed the extent to which observed long-term growth differences can be caused by environmental heterogeneity. Short-term variation in performance was mainly driven by light availability, while soil variables and leaf damage had smaller effects, and spatial heterogeneity in light availability and soil pH were autocorrelated over time. Using individual-based simulation models, we analyzed the extent to which spatial environmental heterogeneity could explain observed long-term variation in growth, and showed that this could largely be explained if the temporal persistence of light availability and soil pH was taken into account. We also estimated long-term inter-individual variation in reproduction to be very large. We further analyzed the importance of temporal persistence in environmental variation for long-term performance differences, by analyzing the whole range of values of environmental persistence, and the strength of the effect of the environmental heterogeneity on short-term performance. We showed that long-term performance differences become large when either the strength of the effect of the environmental factor on short-term performance is large, or when the spatial variation in the environmental factor is persistent over time. This shows that an environmental factor that in a short-term study might have been dismissed as unimportant for long-term performance variation, might, in reality, contribute strongly.
In Chapter 4 we tested for genetic variation in growth potential, tolerance to leaf loss, compensatory growth responses, and if growth potential and tolerance were genetically correlated in our study population. We quantified compensatory responses with an iterative growth model that takes into account the timing of leaf loss. Genetic variation in growth potential was large, and plants compensated strongly for leaf loss, but genetic variation in tolerance and compensatory growth responses was very limited. Growth performances in defoliated and undefoliated conditions were positively genetically correlated (i.e. the same genotypes perform relatively well compared to others, both with and without the stress of leaf loss). The high genetic variation in growth potential and the positive correlation between treatments suggests that the existence of super-performing individuals in our study population likely has (at least in part) a genetic basis. These super-performing individuals, that grow fast even under the stress of leaf loss, possibly contribute disproportionately to population resistance and resilience to disturbance. The low genetic variation in tolerance and compensatory responses, however, suggests that populations might have limited ability to adapt to changes in disturbance regimes that entail increases in leaf loss. Furthermore, the high genetic variation in growth potential could potentially be used in management practices like enrichment planting.
In Chapter 5 we explore the potential of using individual heterogeneity to design smarter harvest schemes, by sparing individuals that contribute most to future productivity. We tested if fast and slow growers, and small and large individuals, responded differently to leaf loss in terms of vital rates, but found only very limited evidence for this. Using Integral Projection Models that were based on stem length and past growth rate, we simulated leaf harvest over a period of 20 years, in several scenarios of sparing individuals, which we compared to “Business as usual” (i.e. no individuals being spared, BAU). Sparing individuals that are most important for population growth, was beneficial for population size (and could, therefore, reduce extinction risk), increased annual leaf harvest at the end of the simulation period, but cumulated leaf harvest over 20 years was much lower compared to BAU. Sparing individuals that produced leaves of non-commercial size (i.e. <25cm), therefore allowing them to recover, also resulted in a lower total leaf harvest over 20 years. However, a much higher harvest (a three-fold increase) was found when only leaves of commercial size were considered. These results show that it is possible to increase yield quality and sustainability (in terms of population size) of harvesting practices, by making use of individual heterogeneity. The analytical and modeling methods that we present are applicable to any natural system from which either whole individuals, or parts of individuals, are harvested, and provide an extra tool that could be considered by managers and harvest practitioners to optimize harvest practices.
In conclusion, in this thesis, I showed that in a long-lived understorey palm growth differences are very large and persistent (Chapter 2) and that it is likely that long-term differences in reproduction are also very large (Chapter 3). I also showed that spatial heterogeneity in environmental conditions can to a large extent explain these differences and that when evaluating the environmental drivers of individual heterogeneity, it is important to take the persistence of spatial variation into account (Chapter 3). Individual heterogeneity also is partly genetically determined. I showed that genetic variation in growth potential to be large (Chapter 4), and that fast growers keep on growing fast under the stress of leaf loss (Chapters 4,5). Therefore it is likely that genetic variation contributes to long-term differences between individuals. Genetic variation for tolerance and compensatory responses was estimated to be low (Chapter 4), suggesting that the adaptive potential of our study population to changes in disturbance events that entail leaf loss might be low. I also showed that super-performing individuals are much more important for the growth of the population (Chapter 2) and that individuals that are important for future production could be used to improve the management of natural populations (Chapter 5).
This study provides improved insight into the extent of individual heterogeneity in a long-lived plant species and its environmental and genetic drivers, and clearly shows the importance of individual heterogeneity and its drivers for population processes and management practices. It also presents methods on how persistent performance differences between individuals can be incorporated into demographic tools, how these can be used to analyze individual contributions to population dynamics, to extrapolate short-term to long–term environmental effects, and to analyze smart harvesting scenarios that take differences between individuals into account. These results indicate that individual heterogeneity, underlying environmental and genetic drivers, and population processes are all related. Therefore, when evaluating the effect of environmental change on population processes, and in the design of management schemes, it is important to keep these relations in mind. The methodological tools that we presented provide a means of doing this.
Simulation nitrogen-limited crop growth with SWAP/WOFOST : process descriptions and user manual
Groenendijk, Piet ; Boogaard, Hendrik ; Heinen, Marius ; Kroes, J.G. ; Supit, Iwan ; Wit, Allard de - \ 2016
Wageningen : Wageningen Environmental Research (Wageningen Environmental Research rapport 2721) - 59
crops - growth - soil - nitrogen - organic matter - mineralization - leaching - simulation models - nitrates - gewassen - groei - bodem - stikstof - organische stof - mineralisatie - uitspoelen - simulatiemodellen - nitraten
This report describes a soil nitrogen module (Soil-N), which is combined with the agro-hydrological model, SWAP, and the crop growth model, WOFOST. The core of the Soil-N module is a description of the nitrogen cycle, which is coupled to the organic matter cycle based upon the RothC-26.3 model. Nitrogen can be supplied to the soil as different types of fertilizer applications and through mineralisation of organic nitrogen. Ammonium and nitrate balances are calculated including uptake by plant roots, de-nitrification and leaching of nitrate. Data exchange is on a daily base. The partitioning of nitrogen within crops and the nitrogen contents of crop residues are calculated by WOFOST and passed to the Soil-N module. SWAP generates the data for establishing the water balance of the soil compartment for which the Soil-N perform the simulations. Nitrogen uptake by the crop is calculated as the minimum of the demand by the crop and the availability of nitrogen in the soil. The crop production rate is reduced when the mineral nitrogen stock is limited. Nitrogen-fixation is based on a simple approach. An improved sub-model for phenological stages of soybean was implemented. Increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations can be accounted for. The innovated integrated model was tested using data sets from The Netherlands, China and Argentina, for which examples are given. This new model can be used as a tool in studies, in which both water and nitrogen can be limited for crop growth.
Altered expression of the bZIP transcription factor DRINK ME affects growth and reproductive development in Arabidopsis thaliana
Lozano-Sotomayor, Paulina ; Chávez Montes, Ricardo A. ; Silvestre-Vañó, Marina ; Herrera-Ubaldo, Humberto ; Greco, Raffaella ; Pablo-Villa, Jeanneth ; Galliani, Bianca M. ; Diaz-Ramirez, David ; Weemen, Mieke ; Boutilier, Kim - \ 2016
The Plant Journal 88 (2016)3. - ISSN 0960-7412 - p. 437 - 451.
Arabidopsis thaliana - bZIP transcription factor - bZIP30 - DRINK ME - growth - meristem activity - reproductive development
Here we describe an uncharacterized gene that negatively influences Arabidopsis growth and reproductive development. DRINK ME (DKM; bZIP30) is a member of the bZIP transcription factor family, and is expressed in meristematic tissues such as the inflorescence meristem (IM), floral meristem (FM), and carpel margin meristem (CMM). Altered DKM expression affects meristematic tissues and reproductive organ development, including the gynoecium, which is the female reproductive structure and is determinant for fertility and sexual reproduction. A microarray analysis indicates that DKM overexpression affects the expression of cell cycle, cell wall, organ initiation, cell elongation, hormone homeostasis, and meristem activity genes. Furthermore, DKM can interact in yeast and in planta with proteins involved in shoot apical meristem maintenance such as WUSCHEL, KNAT1/BP, KNAT2 and JAIBA, and with proteins involved in medial tissue development in the gynoecium such as HECATE, BELL1 and NGATHA1. Taken together, our results highlight the relevance of DKM as a negative modulator of Arabidopsis growth and reproductive development.
Examining growth, yield and bean quality of Ethiopian coffee trees : towards optimizing resources and tree management
Bote, Adugna - \ 2016
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Niels Anten, co-promotor(en): Jan Vos; F.L. Ocho. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462578319 - 138
coffea - coffea arabica - trees - growth - yields - quality - radiation - nitrogen - agroecosystems - coffea - coffea arabica - bomen - groei - opbrengsten - kwaliteit - straling - stikstof - agro-ecosystemen
Coffee (Coffeaarabica L.)bean production and quality are determined by a diversity of interacting factors (e.g. shade, nitrogen, crop traits). Bean yield increases with increase in radiation, but adequate fertilizer suppliesare needed to sustain the productivity. This thesis analysed coffee tree growth, bean production and bean quality in relation to different degrees of exposure to radiation and nitrogen supply. Growth of leaves and branches and properties of leaves such as specific leaf area, nitrogen content per unit leaf area and light-saturated rate of photosynthesis were determined. Radiation interception and nitrogen uptake were also determined as were radiation use efficiency and apparent nitrogen recovery. Tree biomass and coffee bean yield responded positively to both radiation and nitrogen supply. Abundant bean yield to the detriment of vegetative growth, however, resultedin biennial bearing in coffee trees. Effects of fruit load on coffee treegrowth and productivity were studied for two consecutive years and the resultshowed that competition between fruit growth and vegetative growth predisposed the trees for biennial bearing. Reduced vegetative growth when fruit load is high reduces the number of flower bearing nodes and hence yields in the next season. Coffee quality is a sum of favourable characteristics that satisfies requirements of different actors in the coffee chain and is the factor determining the price on the coffee market. This study has also examined coffee quality attributes in relation to radiation and nitrogen, fruit load manipulation, and genotype by environment (different altitudes) interactions. The result indicated that factors and conditions that support non-limiting supply of resources for bean to grow and a sufficient long period of maturation promote coffee bean quality. Overall, the study gained further understanding of coffee tree growth, yield and bean quality responses to aforementioned factors and explored traits that underlie the patterns. Further works are required to use the traits and describe the behaviour of coffee trees in different agro-ecosystems.
Microalgae production in a biofilm photobioreactor
Blanken, Ward - \ 2016
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Rene Wijffels, co-promotor(en): Marcel Janssen. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462578425 - 234
algae - algae culture - biofilms - bioreactors - growth - production costs - biomass - artificial lighting - photosynthesis - carbon dioxide - algen - algenteelt - biofilms - bioreactoren - groei - productiekosten - biomassa - kunstmatige verlichting - fotosynthese - kooldioxide
Microalgae can be used to produce high-value compounds, such as pigments or high value fatty acids, or as a feedstock for lower value products such as food and feed compounds, biochemicals, and biofuels. In order to produce these bulk products competitively, it is required to lower microalgae production cost. Production costs could be reduced by employing microalgae biofilms as a production platform. The main advantages of microalgae biofilms are a direct harvest of concentrated microalgae paste, and the uncoupling of the hydraulic retention time from the microalgal retention time. The latter allows to decrease the liquid volume or to employ dilute waste streams. To successfully employ biofilms, however, it is required that microalgal biofilms can be cultivated at high productivity and high photosynthetic efficiency. The aim of this thesis was to optimize the productivity of microalgal biofilms.
Light energy drives microalgal growth. Sunlight is free and abundant, but sunlight intensity varies over the day and the seasons. This makes it impossible to maintain optimal production conditions throughout the day. These fluctuations in irradiance can be prevented by applying artificial lighting. Although, artificial lighting will supply a constant light intensity and thus increase productivity and simplify process control, it will also increase microalgae production cost. A quantitative evaluation of lighting costs and energy requirement was still missing and this was the topic of Chapter 2. The costs related to artificial lighting were identified as 25.3 $ per kilogram of dry-weight biomass, with only 4% to 6% of the electrical energy required to power the lamps eventually stored as chemical energy in microalgal biomass. Energy loss and increased production cost may be acceptable for the production of high value products, but in general they should be avoided.
In Chapter 3, a photobioreactor design based on a rotating biological contactor (RBC) was introduced and used as a production platform for microalgal biomass cultivated in a biofilm. In the photobioreactor, referred to as the Algadisk, microalgae grow in biofilm on vertical rotating disks partially submerged in water with dissolved nutrients. The objective was to evaluate the potential of the Algadisk photobioreactor, and identify the window of operation of the process with respect to the effects of disk roughness, disk rotation speed and CO2 concentration. These parameters were evaluated in relation to biomass productivity, photosynthetic efficiency, and the long-term cultivation stability of the production process.
The mesophilic green microalga Chlorella sorokiniana was used as a model organism. In the lab-scale Algadisk reactor, a productivity of 20.1 ±0.7 gram per m2 disk surface per day and a biomass yield on light of 0.9 ±0.04 gram dry weight biomass per mol photons were obtained. This productivity could be retained over 21 weeks without re-inoculation. To obtain maximal and stable productivity it was important that the disk surface provides a structure that allows biomass retention on the disk after harvest. The retained biomass acts as inoculum for the new biofilm and is therefore essential for quick biofilm regrowth. Most important process parameters were CO2 supply, temperature, and pH. Although deviations of these parameters from the optimal conditions resulted in productivity loss, the system quickly recovered when optimal conditions were restored. These results exhibit an apparent opportunity to employ the Algadisk photobioreactor and biofilm systems in general at large scale for microalgae biomass production provided CO2 supply is adequate.
In order to better understand the process conditions inside the biofilm a model was developed in the further chapters. These mathematical models were calibrated and validated with dedicated experiments. In Chapter 4 first a general applicable kinetic model was developed able to predict light limited microalgal growth. This model combines a mathematical description for photoautotrophic sugar production with a description for aerobic chemoheterotrophic biomass growth. The model is based on five measurable biological parameters which were obtained from literature for the purpose of this study. The model was validated on experiments described in literature for both Chlorella sorokiniana and Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. The specific growth rate was initially predicted with a low accuracy, which was most likely caused by simplifications in the light model and inaccurate parameter estimations. When optimizing the light model and input parameters the model accuracy was improved and validated. With this model a reliable engineering tool became available to predict microalgal growth in photobioreactors. This microalgal growth model was included in the biofilm growth models introduced in Chapters 5 and 6.
In Chapter 5 microalgal biofilms of Chlorella sorokiniana were grown under simulated day-night cycles at high productivity and high photosynthetic efficiency. The experimental data under day/night cycles were used to validate a microalgal biofilm growth model. For this purpose the light limited microalgal growth model from Chapter 4 was extended to include diurnal carbon-partitioning and maintenance under prolonged dark conditions. This new biofilm growth model was then calibrated and validated experimentally. Based on these experiments and model simulations no differences in the light utilization efficiency between diurnal and continuous light conditions were identified. Indirectly this shows that biomass lost overnight represents sugar consumption for synthesis of new functional biomass and maintenance related respiration. This is advantageous, as this result shows that it is possible to cultivate microalgae at high photosynthetic efficiencies on sunlight and that the night does not negatively impact overall daily productivity. Long periods of darkness resulted in reduced maintenance related respiration.
Based on simulations with the validated biofilm growth model it could be determined that the photosynthetic efficiency of biofilm growth is higher than that of suspension growth. This is related to the fact that the maintenance rate in the dark zones of the biofilm is lower compared to that in the dark zones of suspension cultures, which are continuously mixed with the photic zone.
In Chapter 3 it was identified that concentrated CO2 streams are required to obtain high productivities. However, over-supplying CO2 results into loss of CO2 to the environment and is undesirable for both environmental and economic reasons. In Chapter 6 the phototrophic biofilm growth model from Chapter 5 was extended to include CO2 and O2 consumption, production, and diffusion. The extended model was validated in growth experiments with CO2 as limiting substrate. Based on the validated model the CO2 utilization and productivity in biofilm photobioreactors were optimized by changing the gas flow rate, the number of biofilm reactors in series, and the gas composition. This resulted in a maximum CO2 utilization efficiency of 96% by employing flue gas, while the productivity only dropped 2% compared to non-CO2 limited growth. In order to achieve this 25 biofilm reactors units, or more, must be operated in series. Based on these results we conclude that concentrated CO2 streams and plug flow behaviour of the gaseous phase over the biofilm surface are essential for high CO2 utilization efficiencies and high biofilm productivity.
In Chapter 7 the implications of these studies for the further development of biofilm photobioreactors was discussed in the light of current biofilm photobioreactor designs. Design elements of state of the art biofilm photobioreactors, were combined into a new conceptual biofilm photobioreactor design. This new design combines all advantages of phototrophic biofilms minimizing the amount of material required. Further improvements by means of process control strategies were suggested that aim for maximal productivity and maximal nutrient utilization efficiency. These strategies include: control of the biofilm thickness, control of the temperature, and optimized nutrient supply strategies.