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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    From innovation to co-innovation? An exploration of African agrifood chains
    Bitzer, V.C. ; Bijman, J. - \ 2015
    British Food Journal 117 (2015)8. - ISSN 0007-070X - p. 2182 - 2199.
    global value chains - south-africa - developing-countries - systems-approach - ethiopia - partnerships - insights - creation - farmers - quality
    Purpose – Building on recent advances in innovation research on developing country agriculture, this paper explores the concept of co-innovation, i.e. innovations that combine technological, organisational and institutional changes and that encompass different actors in and around the value chain. The purpose of this paper is to contribute to a further conceptualisation of co-innovation and show its usefulness for analysing innovation initiatives in agrifood chains. Design/methodology/approach – The paper combines two streams of literature (innovation systems and value chains) and is based on a review of the experiences with innovation in three different value chains in three African countries: potato in Ethiopia, pineapple in Benin and citrus in South Africa. Findings – Co-innovation is the combination of collaborative, complementary and coordinated innovation. “Collaborative” refers to the multi-actor character of the innovation process, where each actor brings in specific knowledge and resources. “Complementary” indicates the smart combination of technological, organisational and institutional innovation. “Coordinated” draws attention to the importance of chain-wide adjustments and changes to make innovation in one stage of the chain a success. Practical implications – The identified dimensions of co-innovation (the triple “co-”) provide a practical guide for the design of effective interventions aimed at promoting innovation in African agrifood chains. Originality/value – The paper is the first to provide a comprehensive conceptualisation of co-innovation. On the basis of both theoretical arguments and evidence from three illustrative case studies it is argued that successful innovation in agrifood chains requires the innovation process to be collaborative, coordinated and complementary.
    Environmental proxies of antigen exposure explain variation in immune investment better than indices of pace of life
    Horrocks, N.P.C. ; Hegemann, A. ; Ostrowski, S. ; Ndithia, H. ; Shobrak, M. ; Williams, J.B. ; Matson, K.D. ; Tieleman, B.I. - \ 2015
    Oecologia 177 (2015)1. - ISSN 0029-8549 - p. 281 - 290.
    female pied flycatchers - tropical birds - trade-offs - ecological immunology - microbial diversity - natural antibodies - aridity gradient - south-africa - history - patterns
    Investment in immune defences is predicted to covary with a variety of ecologically and evolutionarily relevant axes, with pace of life and environmental antigen exposure being two examples. These axes may themselves covary directly or inversely, and such relationships can lead to conflicting predictions regarding immune investment. If pace of life shapes immune investment then, following life history theory, slow-living, arid zone and tropical species should invest more in immunity than fast-living temperate species. Alternatively, if antigen exposure drives immune investment, then species in antigen-rich tropical and temperate environments are predicted to exhibit higher immune indices than species from antigen-poor arid locations. To test these contrasting predictions we investigated how variation in pace of life and antigen exposure influence immune investment in related lark species (Alaudidae) with differing life histories and predicted risks of exposure to environmental microbes and parasites. We used clutch size and total number of eggs laid per year as indicators of pace of life, and aridity, and the climatic variables that influence aridity, as correlates of antigen abundance. We quantified immune investment by measuring four indices of innate immunity. Pace of life explained little of the variation in immune investment, and only one immune measure correlated significantly with pace of life, but not in the predicted direction. Conversely, aridity, our proxy for environmental antigen exposure, was predictive of immune investment, and larks in more mesic environments had higher immune indices than those living in arid, low-risk locations. Our study suggests that abiotic environmental variables with strong ties to environmental antigen exposure can be important correlates of immunological variation.
    Homo erectus at Trinil on Java used shells for tool production and engraving
    Joordens, J.C.A. ; d’Errico, F. ; Wesselingh, F.P. ; Munro, S. ; Vos, J. de; Wallinga, J. ; Ankjaergaard, C. ; Reimann, T. ; Wijbrans, J.R. ; Kuiper, K.F. ; Mücher, H.J. ; Coqueugniot, H. ; Prié, V. ; Joosten, I. ; Os, B. van; Schulp, A.S. ; Panuel, M. ; Haas, V. van der; Lustenhouwer, W. ; Reijmer, J.J.G. ; Roebroeks, W. - \ 2015
    Nature 518 (2015). - ISSN 0028-0836 - p. 228 - 231.
    quartz osl ages - luminescence signals - south-africa - indonesia - sediments - reliability - sangiran - record - rates
    The manufacture of geometric engravings is generally interpreted as indicative of modern cognition and behaviour1. Key questions in the debate on the origin of such behaviour are whether this innovation is restricted to Homo sapiens, and whether it has a uniquely African origin1. Here we report on a fossil freshwater shell assemblage from the Hauptknochenschicht (‘main bone layer’) of Trinil (Java, Indonesia), the type locality of Homo erectus discovered by Eugène Dubois in 1891 (refs 2 and 3). In the Dubois collection (in the Naturalis museum, Leiden, The Netherlands) we found evidence for freshwater shellfish consumption by hominins, one unambiguous shell tool, and a shell with a geometric engraving. We dated sediment contained in the shells with 40Ar/39Ar and luminescence dating methods, obtaining a maximum age of 0.54 ± 0.10 million years and a minimum age of 0.43 ± 0.05 million years. This implies that the Trinil Hauptknochenschicht is younger than previously estimated. Together, our data indicate that the engraving was made by Homo erectus, and that it is considerably older than the oldest geometric engravings described so far4, 5. Although it is at present not possible to assess the function or meaning of the engraved shell, this discovery suggests that engraving abstract patterns was in the realm of Asian Homo erectus cognition and neuromotor control.
    Modeling elephant-mediated cascading effects of water point closure
    Hilbers, J.P. ; Langevelde, F. van; Prins, H.H.T. ; Grant, C.C. ; Peel, M. ; Coughenour, M.B. ; Knegt, H.J. de; Slotow, R. ; Smit, I. ; Kiker, G.A. ; Boer, W.F. de - \ 2015
    Ecological Applications 25 (2015)2. - ISSN 1051-0761 - p. 402 - 415.
    kruger-national-park - african savanna - south-africa - distribution patterns - wildlife management - sexual segregation - large herbivores - habitat use - landscape - systems
    Wildlife management to reduce the impact of wildlife on their habitat can be done in several ways, among which removing animals (by either culling or translocation) is most often used. There are however alternative ways to control wildlife densities, such as opening or closing water points. The effects of these alternatives are poorly studied. In this paper, we focus on manipulating large herbivores through the closure of water points (WPs). Removal of artificial WPs has been suggested to change the distribution of African elephants, which occur in high densities in national parks in Southern Africa and are thought to have a destructive effect on the vegetation. Here, we modeled the long-term effects of different scenarios of WP closure on the spatial distribution of elephants, and consequential effects on the vegetation and other herbivores in Kruger National Park, South Africa. Using a dynamic ecosystem model, SAVANNA, scenarios were evaluated that varied in (1) availability of artificial WPs, (2) levels of natural water, and (3) elephant densities. Our modeling results showed that elephants can indirectly negatively affect the distributions of mesomixed feeders, mesobrowsers and some mesograzers under wet conditions. The closure of artificial WPs hardly had any effect during these natural wet conditions. Only under dry conditions the spatial distribution of both elephant bulls and cows changed when the availability of artificial water was severely reduced in the model. These changes in spatial distribution triggered changes in the spatial availability of woody biomass over the simulation period of 80 years and this led to changes in the rest of the herbivore community, resulting in increased densities of all herbivores, except for giraffe and steenbok, in areas close to rivers. The spatial distributions of elephant bulls and cows showed to be less affected by the closure of WPs than most of the other herbivore species. Our study contributes to ecologically informed decisions in wildlife management. The results from this modeling exercise imply that long-term effects of this intervention strategy should always be investigated at an ecosystem scale.
    Transboundary water justice: a combined reading of literature on critical transboundary water interaction and "justice", for analysis and diplomacy
    Zeitoun, M. ; Warner, J.F. ; Mirumachi, N. ; Matthews, N. ; McLaughlin, K. - \ 2014
    Water Policy 16 (2014)S2. - ISSN 1366-7017 - p. 174 - 193.
    global environmental justice - hydro-hegemony - south-africa - nile basin - power - management - allocation - equity - law - hydrosolidarity
    By reviewing and blending two main bodies of research (critical transboundary water interaction analysis and centuries of thought on social justice) this paper seeks to improve international transboundary water interaction analysis and diplomacy. Various implications for transboundary analysis and diplomacy are grouped under themes of equitability, process/outcomes, and structural concerns. These include shortcomings of analysis and policy based on unfounded assumptions of equality, and options excluded from consideration by the legitimisation of particular concepts of justice over others. As power asymmetry is seen to enable or disable justice claims and conflict resolution efforts, the importance of ensuring equitable outcomes as a pre-condition for cooperation is asserted. Similarly, water conflict resolution is found to be more fair – procedurally – than is conflict management, and may be supported to a limited extent by international water law. A number of analytical tasks are suggested for future research and policy, including a call to scrutinise the source of legitimacy of strands of justice invoked. Given the very many perspectives on justice that exist in the network of relevant actors, potential bias in research and diplomacy could be reduced if all involved openly stated the morals underpinning their understanding of ‘justice’.
    Sex-biased inbreeding effects on reproductive success and home range size of the critically endangered black rhinoceros
    Cain, W.S. ; Wandera, A.B. ; Shawcross, S.G. ; Ouma, B.O. ; Watts, P.C. - \ 2014
    Conservation Biology 28 (2014)2. - ISSN 0888-8892 - p. 594 - 603.
    heterozygosity-fitness correlations - wide genetic diversity - natural-populations - diceros-bicornis - multilocus heterozygosity - microsatellite markers - wild populations - south-africa - depression - reserve
    A central premise of conservation biology is that small populations suffer reduced viability through loss of genetic diversity and inbreeding. However, there is little evidence that variation in inbreeding impacts individual reproductive success within remnant populations of threatened taxa, largely due to problems associated with obtaining comprehensive pedigree information to estimate inbreeding. In the critically endangered black rhinoceros, a species that experienced severe demographic reductions, we used model selection to identify factors associated with variation in reproductive success (number of offspring). Factors examined as predictors of reproductive success were age, home range size, number of nearby mates, reserve location, and multilocus heterozygosity (a proxy for inbreeding). Multilocus heterozygosity predicted male reproductive success (p<0.001, explained deviance >58%) and correlated with male home range size (p <0.01, r2 > 44%). Such effects were not apparent in females, where reproductive success was determined by age (p <0.01, explained deviance 34%) as females raise calves alone and choose between, rather than compete for, mates. This first report of a 3-way association between an individual male's heterozygosity, reproductive output, and territory size in a large vertebrate is consistent with an asymmetry in the level of intrasexual competition and highlights the relevance of sex-biased inbreeding for the management of many conservation-priority species. Our results contrast with the idea that wild populations of threatened taxa may possess some inherent difference from most nonthreatened populations that necessitates the use of detailed pedigrees to study inbreeding effects. Despite substantial variance in male reproductive success, the increased fitness of more heterozygous males limits the loss of heterozygosity. Understanding how individual differences in genetic diversity mediate the outcome of intrasexual competition will be essential for effective management, particularly in enclosed populations, where individuals have restricted choice about home range location and where the reproductive impact of translocated animals will depend upon the background distribution in individual heterozygosity. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.
    Efficiency of selection for body weight in a cooperative village breeding program of Menz sheep under smallholder farming system
    Gizaw, S. ; Getachew, T. ; Goshme, S. ; Valle-Zárate, A. ; Arendonk, J.A.M. van; Kemp, S. ; Mwai, O. ; Dessie, T. - \ 2014
    Animal 8 (2014)8. - ISSN 1751-7311 - p. 1249 - 1254.
    genetic-parameters - south-africa - improvement - traits - livestock - ethiopia - design
    We evaluated the efficiency of selection for body weight in a cooperative village breeding program for Menz sheep of Ethiopia under smallholder farming system. The design of the program involved organizing villagers in a cooperative breeding group to implement selective breeding of their sheep. The program was jump-started through a one-time provision of elite rams from a central nucleus flock, but subsequent replacement rams were selected from within the village flocks. We also evaluated body weight trends in a village where cooperative breeding was not implemented and individual farmers managed their flocks under traditional breeding practices. Under traditional breeding practices, genetic progress over 8 years either stagnated or declined in all the weights recorded. In the cooperative villages, selection differentials of 2.44 and 2.45 kg were achieved in 2010 and 2011 selection seasons, respectively. Birth weight, 3-month weight and 6-month weight increased, respectively, by 0.49, 2.29 and 2.46 kg in the third-generation lambs over the base generation. Improved rams supplied from the central nucleus flock gave an initial genetic lift of 14.4% in the 6-month weight. This was higher than the gain achieved from selection in the village flocks, which was 5.2%. Our results showed that village-based genetic improvement in body weights under smallholder conditions could be feasible if appropriate designs are adopted and that commencing with elite central nucleus rams help jump-start village-based programs.
    Diaporthe species associated with Vaccinium, with specific reference to Europe
    Lombard, L. ; Leeuwen, G.C.M. van; Guarnaccia, V. ; Polizzi, G. ; Rijswick, P.C.J. van; Rosendahl, K.C.H.M. ; Gabler, J. ; Crous, P.W. - \ 2014
    Phytopathologia Mediterranea 53 (2014)2. - ISSN 0031-9465 - p. 287 - 299.
    phomopsis-vaccinii - maximum-likelihood - south-africa - stem canker - blueberry - grapevines - cranberry - australafricana - inference - diseases
    Species of the genus Vaccinium are commercially cultivated in Europe for their berries, which are highly valued for dietary and pharmaceutical properties. Cultivation is severely limited due to a range of fungal diseases, especially those caused by species of Diaporthe. A number of Diaporthe isolates have been collected from Vaccinium growing regions in Europe, and initially identified as D. vaccinii based on host association. Using DNA sequence inference of the combined ß-tubulin, calmodulin, translation elongation factor 1-alpha and the internal transcribed spacer region of the nuclear rDNA, along with morphological characteristics, six species were characterised. Diaporthe eres, D. vaccinii and D. viticola are known species and three novel taxa are described here as D. asheicola, D. baccae and D. sterilis. This study is the first confirmed report of D. vaccinii in Latvia and the Netherlands.
    Large-spored Alternaria pathogens in section Porri disentangled
    Woudenberg, J.H.C. ; Truter, M. ; Groenewald, J.Z. ; Crous, P.W. - \ 2014
    Studies in Mycology 79 (2014). - ISSN 0166-0616 - p. 1 - 47.
    south-africa - solani - themes - disease - blight - diagnostics - tomatophila - phylogeny - potatoes - dauci
    The omnipresent fungal genus Alternaria was recently divided into 24 sections based on molecular and morphological data. Alternaria sect. Porri is the largest section, containing almost all Alternaria species with medium to large conidia and long beaks, some of which are important plant pathogens (e.g. Alternaria porri, A. solani and A. tomatophila). We constructed a multi-gene phylogeny on parts of the ITS, GAPDH, RPB2, TEF1 and Alt a 1 gene regions, which, supplemented with morphological and cultural studies, forms the basis for species recognition in sect. Porri. Our data reveal 63 species, of which 10 are newly described in sect. Porri, and 27 species names are synonymised. The three known Alternaria pathogens causing early blight on tomato all cluster in one clade, and are synonymised under the older name, A. linariae. Alternaria protenta, a species formerly only known as pathogen on Helianthus annuus, is also reported to cause early blight of potato, together with A. solani and A. grandis. Two clades with isolates causing purple blotch of onion are confirmed as A. allii and A. porri, but the two species cannot adequately be distinguished based on the number of beaks and branches as suggested previously. This is also found among the pathogens of Passifloraceae, which are reduced from four to three species. In addition to the known pathogen of sweet potato, A. bataticola, three more species are delineated of which two are newly described. A new Alternaria section is also described, comprising two large-spored Alternaria species with concatenate conidia.
    Botryosphaeriaceae associated with diseases of mango (Mangifera indica)
    Trakunyingcharoen, T. ; Cheewangkoon, R. ; To-anun, C. ; Crous, P.W. ; Niekerk, J.M. van; Lombard, L. - \ 2014
    Australasian Plant Pathology 43 (2014)4. - ISSN 0815-3191 - p. 425 - 438.
    1st report - south-africa - neofusicoccum-mediterraneum - phylogenetic inference - gene genealogies - fruit rot - lasiodiplodia - dieback - trees - morphology
    Fungal species of Botryosphaeriaceae have a cosmopolitan distribution and are important pathogens of a wide range of plant hosts. This study aims to use phylogenetic inference to review the geographical distribution of botryosphaeriacous species that have been associated with diseases of mango (Mangifera indica) globally. The phylogenetic analyses were performed based on the combined sequence datasets of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region of the nuclear rDNA and a partial region of the translation elongation factor 1-alpha (EF1-a) gene. The phylogenetic study revealed seven clades with distinct morphological characters from several countries, including Australia, Brazil, Egypt, Iran, Mali, Peru, South Africa, Taiwan and Thailand. Lasiodiplodia theobromae appears to be a dominant species on mango with the largest geographical distribution, whereas L. crassispora and Barriopsis iraniana have only been reported on mango in Brazil and Iran, respectively. These finding indicate that most of the species reported from mango are not restricted to specific geographical regions, although some genera appear to have a limited distribution.
    Introducing the Consolidated Species Concept to resolve species in the Teratosphaeriaceae
    Quaedvlieg, W. ; Binder, M. ; Groenewald, J.Z. ; Summerell, B.A. ; Carnegie, A.J. ; Burgess, T.I. ; Crous, P.W. - \ 2014
    Persoonia 33 (2014). - ISSN 0031-5850 - p. 1 - 40.
    internal transcribed spacer - mycosphaerella-spp. - sp-nov - eucalyptus leaves - gene genealogies - south-africa - leaf spots - phylogenetic reassessment - reproductive isolation - multigene phylogeny
    The Teratosphaeriaceae represents a recently established family that includes numerous saprobic, extremophilic, human opportunistic, and plant pathogenic fungi. Partial DNA sequence data of the 28S rRNA and RPB2 genes strongly support a separation of the Mycosphaerellaceae from the Teratosphaeriaceae, and also provide support for the Extremaceae and Neodevriesiaceae, two novel families including many extremophilic fungi that occur on a diversity of substrates. In addition, a multi-locus DNA sequence dataset was generated (ITS, LSU, Btub, Act, RPB2, EF-1a and Cal) to distinguish taxa in Mycosphaerella and Teratosphaeria associated with leaf disease of Eucalyptus, leading to the introduction of 23 novel genera, five species and 48 new combinations. Species are distinguished based on a polyphasic approach, combining morphological, ecological and phylogenetic species concepts, named here as the Consolidated Species Concept (CSC). From the DNA sequence data generated, we show that each one of the five coding genes tested, reliably identify most of the species present in this dataset (except species of Pseudocercospora). The ITS gene serves as a primary barcode locus as it is easily generated and has the most extensive dataset available, while either Btub, EF-1a or RPB2 provide a useful secondary barcode locus.
    Global, regional, and national levels and causes of maternal mortality during 1990–2013: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013
    Kassebaum, N.L. ; Bertozzi-Villa, A. ; Coggeshall, M.S. ; Shackelford, K.A. ; Steiner, C. ; Heuton, K.R. ; Geleijnse, J.M. - \ 2014
    The Lancet 384 (2014)9947. - ISSN 0140-6736 - p. 980 - 1004.
    immunodeficiency virus-1 infection - pregnancy-related mortality - hiv-infection - peripartum cardiomyopathy - health initiatives - adult mortality - child survival - south-africa - women - deaths
    Background The fifth Millennium Development Goal (MDG 5) established the goal of a 75% reduction in the maternal mortality ratio (MMR; number of maternal deaths per 100¿000 livebirths) between 1990 and 2015. We aimed to measure levels and track trends in maternal mortality, the key causes contributing to maternal death, and timing of maternal death with respect to delivery. Methods We used robust statistical methods including the Cause of Death Ensemble model (CODEm) to analyse a database of data for 7065 site-years and estimate the number of maternal deaths from all causes in 188 countries between 1990 and 2013. We estimated the number of pregnancy-related deaths caused by HIV on the basis of a systematic review of the relative risk of dying during pregnancy for HIV-positive women compared with HIV-negative women. We also estimated the fraction of these deaths aggravated by pregnancy on the basis of a systematic review. To estimate the numbers of maternal deaths due to nine different causes, we identified 61 sources from a systematic review and 943 site-years of vital registration data. We also did a systematic review of reports about the timing of maternal death, identifying 142 sources to use in our analysis. We developed estimates for each country for 1990–2013 using Bayesian meta-regression. We estimated 95% uncertainty intervals (UIs) for all values. Findings 292¿982 (95% UI 261¿017–327¿792) maternal deaths occurred in 2013, compared with 376¿034 (343¿483–407¿574) in 1990. The global annual rate of change in the MMR was -0·3% (–1·1 to 0·6) from 1990 to 2003, and -2·7% (–3·9 to -1·5) from 2003 to 2013, with evidence of continued acceleration. MMRs reduced consistently in south, east, and southeast Asia between 1990 and 2013, but maternal deaths increased in much of sub-Saharan Africa during the 1990s. 2070 (1290–2866) maternal deaths were related to HIV in 2013, 0·4% (0·2–0·6) of the global total. MMR was highest in the oldest age groups in both 1990 and 2013. In 2013, most deaths occurred intrapartum or postpartum. Causes varied by region and between 1990 and 2013. We recorded substantial variation in the MMR by country in 2013, from 956·8 (685·1–1262·8) in South Sudan to 2·4 (1·6–3·6) in Iceland. Interpretation Global rates of change suggest that only 16 countries will achieve the MDG 5 target by 2015. Accelerated reductions since the Millennium Declaration in 2000 coincide with increased development assistance for maternal, newborn, and child health. Setting of targets and associated interventions for after 2015 will need careful consideration of regions that are making slow progress, such as west and central Africa.
    Volume, value and floristic diversity of Gabon's medicinal plant markets
    Towns, A.M. ; Quiroz Villarreal, D.K. ; Guinee, L. ; Boer, H. ; Andel, T. van - \ 2014
    Journal of Ethnopharmacology 155 (2014)2. - ISSN 0378-8741 - p. 1184 - 1193.
    timber forest products - south-africa - eastern-cape - trade - benin - opportunities - province
    Ethnopharmacological relevance - African medicinal plant markets offer insight into commercially important species, salient health concerns in the region, and possible conservation priorities. Still, little quantitative data is available on the trade in herbal medicine in Central Africa. The aim of this study was to identify the species, volume, and value of medicinal plant products sold on the major domestic markets in Gabon, Central Africa. Materials and methods - We surveyed 21 herbal market stalls across 14 of the major herbal medicine markets in Gabon, collected vouchers of medicinal plants and documented uses, vernacular names, prices, weight, vendor information and weekly sales. From these quantitative data, we extrapolated volumes and values for the entire herbal medicine market. Results - We encountered 263 medicinal plant products corresponding with at least 217 species. Thirteen species were encountered on one-third of the surveyed stalls and 18 species made up almost 50% of the total volume of products available daily, including the fruits of Tetrapleura tetraptera and seeds of Monodora myristica. Although bark comprised the majority of the floristic diversity (22%) and the highest percentage of daily stock (30%), the resin of IUCN red-listed species Aucoumea klaineana represented 20% of the estimated daily volume of the entire herbal market. Plants sold at the market were mainly used for ritual purposes (32%), followed by women¿s health (13%), and childcare (10%). The presence of migrant herbal vendors selling imported species, especially from Benin, was a prominent feature of the Gabonese markets. Conclusion - An estimated volume of 27 t of medicinal plant products worth US$ 1.5 million is sold annually on the main Gabonese markets. Aucoumea klaineana and Garcinia kola are highlighted as frequently sold species with conservation priorities. The herbal market in Gabon is slightly higher in species diversity but lower in volume and value than recently surveyed sub-Saharan African markets.
    Food security governance: a systematic literature review
    Candel, J.J.L. - \ 2014
    Food Security 6 (2014)4. - ISSN 1876-4517 - p. 585 - 601.
    global governance - south-africa - consensus frame - policy - debate - collaboration - insecurity - management - government - health
    The role of governance has been receiving increasing attention from food security scholars in recent years. However, in spite of the recognition that governance matters, current knowledge of food security governance is rather fragmented. To provide some clarity in the debate about the role of governance in addressing food (in)security, this paper reports the results of a systematic review of the literature. The synthesis revolves around seven recurring themes: i) the view of governance as both a challenge and solution to food security; ii) a governability that is characterized by high degrees of complexity; iii) failures of the current institutional architectures; iv) the arrival of new players at the forefront; v) calls for coherency and coordination across multiple scales; vi) variation and conflict of ideas; and vii) calls for the allocation of sufficient resources and the integration of democratic values in food security governance. Two lines of discussion of this synthesis are raised. First, the researcher argues that a large proportion of the food security governance literature is characterized by an optimist governance perspective, i.e., a view of governance as a problem-solving mechanism. Complementing this body of literature with alternative governance perspectives in future research may strengthen current understandings of food security governance. Approaching food security as a ‘wicked problem’ could provide valuable insights in this respect. Second, food security governance as a research field could make headway by engaging in further empirical investigation of current governance arrangements, particularly at sub-national levels. Keywords Food security . governance . Systematic literature review . Food governance .Wicked problem . Agricultural policy
    One health approach to Rift Valley fever vaccine development
    Kortekaas, J.A. - \ 2014
    Antiviral Research 106 (2014)24. - ISSN 0166-3542 - p. 24 - 32.
    lethal virus challenge - saudi-arabia - immune-responses - rhesus macaques - mp-12 vaccine - south-africa - enzootic hepatitis - northeastern kenya - ifnar(-/-) mice - rvfv infection
    Since its discovery in the 1930s, Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) spread across the African continent and invaded the Arabian Peninsula and several islands off the coast of Southeast Africa. The virus causes recurrent outbreaks in these regions, and its continued spread is of global concern. Next-generation veterinary vaccines of improved efficacy and safety are being developed that can soon be used for the widespread vaccination of livestock. However, due to regulatory and economic challenges, vaccine manufacturers have been reluctant to develop a human vaccine. Recent innovations in veterinary vaccinology, animal models and licensing strategies can now be used to overcome these hurdles. This paper reviews the historical impact of RVFV on human health and proposes strategies to develop and license a next-generation vaccine for both animals and humans
    Effect of patches of woody vegetation on the role of fire in tropical grasslands and savannas
    Langevelde, F. van; Groot, C. de; Groen, T.A. ; Heitkonig, I.M.A. ; Gaigher, I. - \ 2014
    International Journal of Wildland Fire 23 (2014)3. - ISSN 1049-8001 - p. 410 - 416.
    south-africa - neotropical savanna - semiarid woodland - national-park - tree cover - ecosystems - intensity - frequency - dynamics - plants
    In tropical grasslands and savannas, fire is used to reduce woody vegetation expansion. Woody vegetation in these biomes is often patchily distributed, and micro-climatic conditions can largely vary locally with unknown consequences for fire effects. We hypothesized that (1) fire has higher temperature and maintains high temperatures for a longer period at the windward side than at the leeward side of wooded patches, (2) this difference increases with patch size, (3) fire has a larger effect on woody vegetation at the windward side than at the leeward side of wooded patches, and (4) this effect increases with patch size. We planted tree seedlings around wooded patches in a grassland and burnt these plots. We found that fire had a lower temperature and had an elevated temperature for a shorter time period at the leeward side of wooded patches than at the windward side. Also, we found smaller effect of fire on the seedlings at the leeward side. We conclude that patches of woody vegetation can have a large effect on the role of fire in tropical grasslands and savannas. This effect suggests a ⿿safe zone� for seedlings at the leeward side, which consequently promotes woody vegetation expansion. This paper contributes to understanding of the effect of patchiness of woody vegetation on the role of fire in tropical grasslands and savannas in reducing woody vegetation expansion.
    Producing Woodfuel for Urban Centers in the Democratic Republic of Congo: A Path Out of Poverty for Rural Households?
    Schure, J.M. ; Levang, P. ; Wiersum, K.F. - \ 2014
    World Development 64 (2014)suppl.1. - ISSN 0305-750X - p. S80 - S90.
    timber forest products - tropical forests - south-africa - charcoal - livelihoods - alleviation - conservation - biomass - demand - amazon
    Woodfuel is a renewable energy source with good potential for climate change mitigation. In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the sector employs over 300,000 people for the supply of Kinshasa alone, but the benefits to the poor are often unknown. This paper analyzes the contribution of commercial woodfuel production to livelihoods and poverty reduction in the DRC. Woodfuel revenues, especially those of charcoal, contribute substantially to producers’ household income, ranging from 12% for fuelwood producers around Kisangani to 75% for charcoal producers around Kinshasa. It supports basic needs and investments in other livelihood activities (for 82% of charcoal producers and 65% of fuelwood producers), which helps to reduce poverty. The contribution of woodfuel commercialization to poverty reduction should be part of energy and forestry policies.
    Pastoralism, sustainability, and marketing. A review
    Tessema, W.K. ; Ingenbleek, P.T.M. ; Trijp, J.C.M. van - \ 2014
    Agronomy for Sustainable Development 34 (2014)1. - ISSN 1774-0746 - p. 75 - 92.
    group ranch subdivision - south-africa - northern kenya - land-use - rangeland management - climate-change - resource-use - east-africa - property-rights - communal areas
    Pastoralism is a highly traditional production system for livestock and livestock products. Under the surface of a seeming stability a variety of pressures of the modern time all seem to accumulate to put the sustainability of the pastoralist production system to the test. Population growth and growing demand formeat, put pressure on the natural resources used by pastoralists because the grazing lands that are saved from encroachment or conversion into arable lands, may be overexploited. Changing climatic conditions, such as frequent droughts, put even more pressure on the system.With so many challenges coming together, it is important to analyze whether pastoralism in itself can be considered a sustainable production system that in principle can cope with these challenges and thus deserves support from policy, or whether the pastoralist production system has fundamental misfit with today’s challenges, in the sense that it is detrimental to the world’s scarce resources. The scientific literature on pastoralism provides an important entry point to such fact finding. This article therefore analyzes 125 recent research contributions to the literature on pastoralism on their inferences as to whether pastoralism is a sustainable production system for livestock-based products. The results show substantial consensus that pastoralism is seen as a sustainable production system for livestock and livestock products (78 of the 125 studies contain sustainability inferences, of which 58 infer that the pastoral system is sustainable, while only 2 come to a negative conclusion). A total of 18 studies point however at conditional factors. The main factors that can potentially explain differences in the conclusions on whether pastoralism is sustainable pertain among others to the domain of sustainability, including abiotic and biotic factors representing the planet dimension, mobility, adaptation, indigenous knowledge, institutions and population growth as people-related factors, and economic contribution as a profitrelated factor. Other factors include the ecosystem and land use types, policy instruments, constant/flexible stocking, controlled/mobile grazing, and diversification policies, as well as academic discipline, research methods and geographic focus. A quantitative test shows that consideration of adaptation, institutions and mobility are most strongly related to the sustainability inference. Such studies suggest that pastoralists that can adapt to external conditions, that are supported by effective institutions and that can exercise mobility, are more likely to behave sustainably. We argue that marketing can help to meet these conditions. Because the role of marketing has received scant attention in the context of pastoralists and because it has often been narrowly interpreted as market integration, we further explain the potential role of marketing in sustainable pastoralism. The role of marketing comes down to a strategic competence that enables pastoralists to create value for target buyers with whom they may develop economic and social relationships that can be favorable for both parties. Because it is likely to stabilize prices and generate a long-term perspective on value creation, and therefore on resource use,marketing can contribute to a pastoral systemthat supports people, planet, and profit.
    Restoration of natural capital: a key strategy on the path to sustainability
    Blignaut, J.N. ; Aronson, J. ; Groot, R.S. de - \ 2014
    Ecological Engineering 65 (2014). - ISSN 0925-8574 - p. 54 - 61.
    climate-change - ecological restoration - ecosystem services - limiting factor - south-africa - economics - biodiversity
    Three intertwining braids or strategies to enable transition towards sustainability can be identified, namely: (i) appropriate sustainable technologies, (ii) revising behaviour including reproduction and consumption patterns, and (iii) investment in the restoration of natural capital (RNC). Less explored than the first two, “RNC-thinking” might be the game-changer. Recent evidence suggests that not only is restoration urgently required from a biophysical perspective, but also that it makes eminently good economic sense to make that investment. The alternative to this triple approach is the prevailing paradigm that treats the world as if it were a “business in liquidation”, as pathfinder economist Herman Daly put it. Not only is the restoration of natural capital both ecologically and economically beneficial, as indicated herein with benefit–cost ratios varying between (on average) 0.4 (for coastal systems) and 110 (for coastal wetlands including mangroves) with the majority of ecosystems recording an average of an BC-ratio of about 10, it also holds an important key to unlock future sustainable growth and development trajectories
    Assessing the impacts of livestock production on biodiversity in rangeland ecosystems
    Alkemade, R. ; Reid, R.S. ; Berg, M. van den; Leeuw, J. de; Jeuken, M. - \ 2013
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 110 (2013)52. - ISSN 0027-8424 - p. 20900 - 20905.
    land-use changes - south-africa - diversity - conservation - assemblages - grassland - management - scenarios - responses - savanna
    Biodiversity in rangelands is decreasing, due to intense utilization for livestock production and conversion of rangeland into cropland; yet the outlook of rangeland biodiversity has not been considered in view of future global demand for food. Here we assess the impact of future livestock production on the global rangelands area and their biodiversity. First we formalized existing knowledge about livestock grazing impacts on biodiversity, expressed in mean species abundance (MSA) of the original rangeland native species assemblages, through metaanalysis of peer-reviewed literature. MSA values, ranging from 1 in natural rangelands to 0.3 in man-made grasslands, were entered in the IMAGE-GLOBIO model. This model was used to assess the impact of change in food demand and livestock production on future rangeland biodiversity. The model revealed remarkable regional variation in impact on rangeland area and MSA between two agricultural production scenarios. The area of used rangelands slightly increases globally between 2000 and 2050 in the baseline scenario and reduces under a scenario of enhanced uptake of resource-efficient production technologies increasing production [high levels of agricultural knowledge, science, and technology (high-AKST)], particularly in Africa. Both scenarios suggest a global decrease in MSA for rangelands until 2050. The contribution of livestock grazing to MSA loss is, however, expected to diminish after 2030, in particular in Africa under the high-AKST scenario. Policies fostering agricultural intensification can reduce the overall pressure on rangeland biodiversity, but additional measures, addressing factors such as climate change and infrastructural development, are necessary to totally halt biodiversity loss.
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