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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Het Oerdswater op Ameland; 78 jaar na Braun-Blanquet revisited
Slim, P.A. ; Janssen, J.A.M. ; Kuiters, A.T. - \ 2019
Stratiotes (2019)54. - ISSN 0928-2297 - p. 42 - 52.
Mild maternal hyperglycemia in INSC93S transgenic pigs causes impaired glucose tolerance and metabolic alterations in neonatal offspring
Renner, Simone ; Martins, Ana Sofia ; Streckel, Elisabeth ; Braun-Reichhart, Christina ; Backman, Mattias ; Prehn, Cornelia ; Klymiuk, Nikolai ; Bähr, Andrea ; Blutke, Andreas ; Landbrecht-Schessl, Christina ; Wünsch, Annegret ; Kessler, Barbara ; Kurome, Mayuko ; Hinrichs, Arne ; Koopmans, Sietse Jan ; Krebs, Stefan ; Kemter, Elisabeth ; Rathkolb, Birgit ; Nagashima, Hiroshi ; Blum, Helmut ; Ritzmann, Mathias ; Wanke, Rüdiger ; Aigner, Bernhard ; Adamski, Jerzy ; Hrabě de Angelis, Martin ; Wolf, Eckhard - \ 2019
Disease Models & Mechanisms 12 (2019)8. - ISSN 1754-8411
Developmental programming - Maternal diabetes - Metabolomics - Pig - Transgenic

Alongside the obesity epidemic, the prevalence of maternal diabetes is rising worldwide, and adverse effects on fetal development and metabolic disturbances in the offspring's later life have been described. To clarify whether metabolic programming effects are due to mild maternal hyperglycemia without confounding obesity, we investigated wild-type offspring of INSC93S transgenic pigs, which are a novel genetically modified large-animal model expressing mutant insulin (INS) C93S in pancreatic β-cells. This mutation results in impaired glucose tolerance, mild fasting hyperglycemia and insulin resistance during late pregnancy. Compared with offspring from wild-type sows, piglets from hyperglycemic mothers showed impaired glucose tolerance and insulin resistance (homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance: +3-fold in males; +4.4-fold in females) prior to colostrum uptake. Targeted metabolomics in the fasting and insulin-stimulated state revealed distinct alterations in the plasma metabolic profile of piglets from hyperglycemic mothers. They showed increased levels of acylcarnitines, gluconeogenic precursors such as alanine, phospholipids (in particular lyso-phosphatidylcholines) and α-aminoadipic acid, a potential biomarker for type 2 diabetes. These observations indicate that mild gestational hyperglycemia can cause impaired glucose tolerance, insulin resistance and associated metabolic alterations in neonatal offspring of a large-animal model born at a developmental maturation status comparable to human babies.

Oil and gas platforms as artificial substrates for epibenthic North Sea fauna: Effects of location and depth
Schutter, Miriam ; Dorenbosch, Martijn ; Driessen, Floor M.F. ; Lengkeek, Wouter ; Bos, Oscar G. ; Coolen, Joop W.P. - \ 2019
Journal of Sea Research 153 (2019). - ISSN 1385-1101
Hard substrates - benthos - species richness - ROV videos - offshore constructions
Offshore oil and gas platforms, shipwrecks and wind farms are known to act as artificial reefs, attracting a broad range of marine species such as algae, invertebrate species and fish. Using Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) videos made for technical inspection of eight Dutch and nine Danish oil and gas platforms, we characterize the abundance and diversity of invertebrates and fish species found on or around these artificial hard substrates. Dutch platforms located in the southern part of the North Sea were at depths ranging from 26 to 46 meters, whereas Danish platforms located about 400 km further north were deeper (40 – 66 m). A total of 38 taxa were identified. The most common species were Mytilus edulis (Mollusca), Metridium senile (Cnidaria) and Asterias rubens (Echinodermata). One non-indigenous species was identified: Mnemiopsis leidyi (Ctenophora). A significant clustering of species communities was found based on geographical location: a southern cluster close to the Dutch shoreline and a northern cluster near Denmark (p=0.01). Species diversity was not significantly different between geographical clusters; however, average Braun-Blanquet abundance was significantly higher on in the northern cluster (p<0.05). Invertebrate and fish communities did not change significantly with depth. However, depth zone was a significant clustering factor (p=0.01): communities closer to the seafloor (maximum depth minus 5 m) were characterized by higher species diversity and species richness compared to communities found closer to the surface (<10 m). Future research should focus on the potential role of habitat complexity, substrate orientation and type, and inter-specific relations in explaining the different communities on offshore platforms.
Ecosystem service change caused by climatological and non-climatological drivers: a Swiss case study
Braun, Daniela ; Jong, Rogier de; Schaepman, Michael E. ; Furrer, Reinhard ; Hein, Lars ; Kienast, Felix ; Damm, Alexander - \ 2019
Ecological Applications 29 (2019)4. - ISSN 1051-0761
climate change - land use change - regulating services - remote sensing - time series - trends

Understanding the drivers of ecosystem change and their effects on ecosystem services are essential for management decisions and verification of progress towards national and international sustainability policies (e.g., Aichi Biodiversity Targets, Sustainable Development Goals). We aim to disentangle spatially the effect of climatological and non-climatological drivers on ecosystem service supply and trends. Therefore, we explored time series of three ecosystem services in Switzerland between 2004 and 2014: carbon dioxide regulation, soil erosion prevention, and air quality regulation. We applied additive models to describe the spatial variation attributed to climatological (i.e., temperature, precipitation and relative sunshine duration) and non-climatological drivers (i.e., random effects representing other spatially structured processes) that may affect ecosystem service change. Obtained results indicated strong influences of climatological drivers on ecosystem service trends in Switzerland. We identified equal contributions of all three climatological drivers on trends of carbon dioxide regulation and soil erosion prevention, while air quality regulation was more strongly influenced by temperature. Additionally, our results showed that climatological and non-climatological drivers affected ecosystem services both negatively and positively, depending on the regions (in particular lower and higher altitudinal areas), drivers, and services assessed. Our findings highlight stronger effects of climatological compared to non-climatological drivers on ecosystem service change in Switzerland. Furthermore, drivers of ecosystem change display a spatial heterogeneity in their influence on ecosystem service trends. We propose an approach building on an additive model to disentangle the effect of climatological and non-climatological drivers on ecosystem service trends. Such analyses should be extended in the future to ecosystem service flow and demand to complete ecosystem service assessments and to demonstrate and communicate more clearly the benefits of ecosystem services for human well-being.

B-vitamins and body composition: integrating observational and experimental evidence from the B-PROOF study
Oliai Araghi, Sadaf ; Braun, Kim V.E. ; Velde, Nathalie van der; Dijk, Suzanne C. van; Schoor, Natasja M. van; Zillikens, M.C. ; Groot, Lisette C.P.G.M. de; Uitterlinden, Andre G. ; Stricker, Bruno H. ; Voortman, Trudy ; Kiefte-de Jong, Jessica C. - \ 2019
European Journal of Nutrition (2019). - ISSN 1436-6207 - 10 p.
BMI - Body composition - Effect of vitamin B12 and folic acid on obesity - Fat (Free) mass - Vitamin B12 and folic acid

Purpose: Higher folate and vitamin-B12 have been linked to lower risk of overweight. However, whether this is a causal effect of these B-vitamins on obesity risk remains unclear and evidence in older individuals is scarce. This study aimed to assess the role of B-vitamin supplementation and levels on body composition in older individuals. Methods: A double-blind, randomized controlled trial in 2919 participants aged ≥ 65 years with elevated homocysteine levels. The intervention comprised a 2-year supplementation with a combination of folic acid (400 µg) and vitamin B12 (500 µg), or with placebo. Serum folate, vitamin-B12, active vitamin-B12 (HoloTC), methylmalonic acid (MMA), and anthropometrics were measured at baseline and after 2 years of follow-up. Dietary intake of folate and vitamin-B12 was measured at baseline in a subsample (n = 603) using a validated food-frequency questionnaire. Fat mass index (FMI) and fat-free mass index (FFMI) were assessed with Dual Energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). Results: Cross-sectional analyses showed that a 1 nmol/L higher serum folate was associated with a 0.021 kg/m 2 lower BMI (95% CI − 0.039; − 0.004). Higher HoloTC (per pmol/L log-transformed) was associated with a 0.955 kg/m 2 higher FMI (95% CI 0.262; 1.647), and higher MMA (per μgmol/L) was associated with a 1.108 kg/m 2 lower FMI (95% CI − 1.899; − 0.316). However, random allocation of B-vitamins did not have a significant effect on changes in BMI, FMI or FFMI during 2 years of intervention. Conclusions: Although observational data suggested that folate and vitamin B12 status are associated with body composition, random allocation of a supplement with both B-vitamins combined versus placebo did not confirm an effect on BMI or body composition.

Stability of creatine monohydrate and guanidinoacetic acid during manufacture (retorting and extrusion) and storage of dog foods
Poel, Antonius F.B. van der; Braun, Ulrike ; Hendriks, Wouter H. ; Bosch, Guido - \ 2019
Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition (2019). - ISSN 0931-2439
additive - creatinine - guanidinoacetic acid - heat sterilisation - stability - uniformity

The stability of creatine monohydrate (CrMH), crystallised guanidinoacetic acid (GAA-C) and granulated GAA (GAA-G) in a moist retorted and a dry extruded dog food formulation during production and storage was investigated. Commercial food mixtures were supplemented with CrMH, GAA-C or GAA-G. Uniformity after mixing and retorting or extrusion was determined based on replicate samples (moist n = 8, dry n = 10). Storage stability was evaluated at 25°C/60% relative humidity for 15 months and 40°C/75% for 6 months. Foods with CrMH were analysed for creatine (Cr) and creatinine (Crn), whereas GAA-C and GAA-G foods were analysed for GAA concentrations. Coefficients of variation (CV) for uniformity of the additives after mixing of moist and dry pet food formulations were below 15%, and the CV was lower in processed mixtures. Recoveries after retorting and extrusion were higher for GAA-G (79 and 99%) and GAA-C (89 and 86%) compared to CrMH (36 and 85%) foods. In moist CrMH food, Cr concentrations re-increased by 54% whilst Crn concentrations decreased by 39% after storage at 25°C for 15 months. With total molar Cr + Crn remaining stable throughout storage, Crn and Cr appeared to effectively interconvert. Storage of the extruded CrMH food at 25°C for 15 months resulted in a 63% decrease in Cr and a 39% increase in Crn concentration. The decrease in Cr concentration was larger at 6 months storage at 40°C compared to 15 months storage at 25°C. Both GAA-C and GAA-G moist and dry foods were stable during storage (<10% decrease). This study showed that GAA is highly stable during production and storage of moist and dry canine foods whilst CrMH is relatively unstable, particularly during storage. The latter makes it difficult to establish a guaranteed Cr content in finished moist retorted and dry extruded foods with CrMH.

Stress behaviour and physiology of developing Arctic barnacle goslings (Branta leucopsis) is affected by legacy trace contaminants
Scheiber, Isabella B.R. ; Weiß, Brigitte M. ; Jong, Margje E. De; Braun, Anna ; Brink, Nico W. Van Den; Loonen, Maarten J.J.E. ; Millesi, Eva ; Komdeur, Jan - \ 2018
Proceedings of the Royal Society. B: Biological Sciences 285 (2018)1893. - ISSN 0962-8452
acute stress behaviour - Arctic - barnacle goose (Branta leucopsis) - HPA corticosterone metabolites - legacy trace metal contamination - stress coping

Natural populations are persistently exposed to environmental pollution, which may adversely impact animal physiology and behaviour and even compromise survival. Responding appropriately to any stressor ultimately might tip the scales for survival, as mistimed behaviour and inadequate physiological responses may be detrimental. Yet effects of legacy contamination on immediate physiological and behavioural stress coping abilities during acute stress are virtually unknown. Here, we assessed these effects in barnacle goslings (Branta leucopsis) at a historical coal mine site in the Arctic. For three weeks we led human-imprinted goslings, collected from nests in unpolluted areas, to feed in an abandoned coal mining area, where they were exposed to trace metals. As control we led their siblings to feed on clean grounds. After submitting both groups to three well-established stress tests (group isolation, individual isolation, on-back restraint), control goslings behaved calmer and excreted lower levels of corticosterone metabolites. Thus, legacy contamination may decisively change stress physiology and behaviour in long-lived vertebrates exposed at a young age.

Considerations and consequences of allowing DNA sequence data as types of fungal taxa
Zamora, Juan Carlos ; Svensson, Måns ; Kirschner, Roland ; Olariaga, Ibai ; Ryman, Svengunnar ; Parra, Luis Alberto ; Geml, József ; Rosling, Anna ; Adamčík, Slavomír ; Ahti, Teuvo ; Aime, M.C. ; Ainsworth, A.M. ; Albert, László ; Albertó, Edgardo ; García, Alberto Altés ; Ageev, Dmitry ; Agerer, Reinhard ; Aguirre-Hudson, Begoña ; Ammirati, Joe ; Andersson, Harry ; Angelini, Claudio ; Antonín, Vladimír ; Aoki, Takayuki ; Aptroot, André ; Argaud, Didier ; Sosa, Blanca Imelda Arguello ; Aronsen, Arne ; Arup, Ulf ; Asgari, Bita ; Assyov, Boris ; Atienza, Violeta ; Bandini, Ditte ; Baptista-Ferreira, João Luís ; Baral, Hans-Otto ; Baroni, Tim ; Barreto, Robert Weingart ; Beker, Henry ; Bell, Ann ; Bellanger, Jean-Michel ; Bellù, Francesco ; Bemmann, Martin ; Bendiksby, Mika ; Bendiksen, Egil ; Bendiksen, Katriina ; Benedek, Lajos ; Bérešová-Guttová, Anna ; Berger, Franz ; Berndt, Reinhard ; Bernicchia, Annarosa ; Biketova, Alona Yu. ; Bizio, Enrico ; Bjork, Curtis ; Boekhout, Teun ; Boertmann, David ; Böhning, Tanja ; Boittin, Florent ; Boluda, Carlos G. ; Boomsluiter, Menno W. ; Borovička, Jan ; Brandrud, Tor Erik ; Braun, Uwe ; Brodo, Irwin ; Bulyonkova, Tatiana ; Burdsall, Harold H. ; Buyck, Bart ; Burgaz, Ana Rosa ; Calatayud, Vicent ; Callac, Philippe ; Campo, Emanuele ; Candusso, Massimo ; Capoen, Brigitte ; Carbó, Joaquim ; Carbone, Matteo ; Castañeda-ruiz, Rafael F. ; Castellano, Michael A. ; Chen, Jie ; Clerc, Philippe ; Consiglio, Giovanni ; Corriol, Gilles ; Courtecuisse, Régis ; Crespo, Ana ; Cripps, Cathy ; Crous, Pedro W. ; Silva, Gladstone Alves Da ; Silva, Meiriele Da ; Dam, Marjo ; Dam, Nico ; Dämmrich, Frank ; Das, Kanad ; Davies, Linda ; Crop, Eske De; Kesel, Andre De; Kuijper, T.W.M. - \ 2018
IMA fungus 9 (2018)1. - ISSN 2210-6340 - p. 167 - 185.
Nomenclatural type definitions are one of the most important concepts in biological nomenclature. Being physical objects that can be re-studied by other researchers, types permanently link taxonomy (an artificial agreement to classify biological diversity) with nomenclature (an artificial agreement to name biological diversity). Two proposals to amend the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants (ICN), allowing DNA sequences alone (of any region and extent) to serve as types of taxon names for voucherless fungi (mainly putative taxa from environmental DNA sequences), have been submitted to be voted on at the 11th International Mycological Congress (Puerto Rico, July 2018). We consider various genetic processes affecting the distribution of alleles among taxa and find that alleles may not consistently and uniquely represent the species within which they are contained. Should the proposals be accepted, the meaning of nomenclatural types would change in a fundamental way from physical objects as sources of data to the data themselves. Such changes are conducive to irreproducible science, the potential typification on artefactual data, and massive creation of names with low information content, ultimately causing nomenclatural instability and unnecessary work for future researchers that would stall future explorations of fungal diversity. We conclude that the acceptance of DNA sequences alone as types of names of taxa, under the terms used in the current proposals, is unnecessary and would not solve the problem of naming putative taxa known only from DNA sequences in a scientifically defensible way. As an alternative, we highlight the use of formulas for naming putative taxa (candidate taxa) that do not require any modification of the ICN.
Circumpolar Arctic Vegetation Classification
Walker, Donald A. ; Daniëls, Fred J.A. ; Matveyeva, Nadezhda V. ; Šibík, Jozef ; Walker, Marilyn D. ; Breen, Amy L. ; Druckenmiller, Lisa A. ; Raynolds, Martha K. ; Bültmann, Helga ; Hennekens, Stephan ; Buchhorn, Marcel ; Epstein, Howard E. ; Ermokhina, Ksenia ; Fosaa, Anna M. ; Heidmarsson, Starri ; Heim, Birgit ; Jónsdóttir, Ingibjörg S. ; Koroleva, Natalia ; Lévesque, Esther ; MacKenzie, William H. ; Henry, Greg H.R. ; Nilsen, Lennart ; Peet, Robert ; Razzhivin, Volodya ; Talbot, Stephen S. ; Telyatnikov, Mikhail ; Thannheiser, Dietbert ; Webber, Patrick J. ; Wirth, Lisa M. - \ 2018
Phytocoenologia 48 (2018)2. - ISSN 0340-269X - p. 181 - 201.
Alaska - Bioclimate gradient - Braun-Blanquet approach - Habitat type - Plant growth form - Plot database - Syntaxon - Tundra - Vegetation mapping

Aims: An Arctic Vegetation Classification (AVC) is needed to address issues related to rapid Arctic-wide changes to climate, land-use, and biodiversity. Location: The 7.1 million km2 Arctic tundra biome. Approach and conclusions: The purpose, scope and conceptual framework for an Arctic Vegetation Archive (AVA) and Classification (AVC) were developed during numerous workshops starting in 1992. The AVA and AVC are modeled after the European vegetation archive (EVA) and classification (EVC). The AVA will use Turboveg for data management. The AVC will use a Braun-Blanquet (Br.-Bl.) classification approach. There are approximately 31,000 Arctic plots that could be included in the AVA. An Alaska AVA (AVA-AK, 24 datasets, 3026 plots) is a prototype for archives in other parts of the Arctic. The plan is to eventually merge data from other regions of the Arctic into a single Turboveg v3 database. We present the pros and cons of using the Br.-Bl. classification approach compared to the EcoVeg (US) and Biogeoclimatic Ecological Classification (Canada) approaches. The main advantages are that the Br.-Bl. approach already has been widely used in all regions of the Arctic, and many described, well-accepted vegetation classes have a pan-Arctic distribution. A crosswalk comparison of Dryas octopetala communities described according to the EcoVeg and the Braun-Blanquet approaches indicates that the non-parallel hierarchies of the two approaches make crosswalks difficult above the plantcommunity level. A preliminary Arctic prodromus contains a list of typical Arctic habitat types with associated described syntaxa from Europe, Greenland, western North America, and Alaska. Numerical clustering methods are used to provide an overview of the variability of habitat types across the range of datasets and to determine their relationship to previously described Braun-Blanquet syntaxa. We emphasize the need for continued maintenance of the Pan-Arctic Species List, and additional plot data to fully sample the variability across bioclimatic subzones, phytogeographic regions, and habitats in the Arctic. This will require standardized methods of plot-data collection, inclusion of physiogonomic information in the numeric analysis approaches to create formal definitions for vegetation units, and new methods of data sharing between the AVA and national vegetation- plot databases.

Water-grabbing: Practices of Contestation and Appropriation of Water Resources in the Context of Expanding Global Capital : from Part I - Re-Politicizing Water Allocation
Veldwisch, G.J.A. ; Franco, Jennifer ; Mehta, Lyla - \ 2018
In: Water Justice / Boelens, R., Perreault, T., Vos, J., Cambridge : Cambridge University Press - ISBN 9781107179080 - p. 59 - 70.
Introduction Over the past decade, much media, academic, and policy attention has focused on the rapid growth of large-scale land deals around the world (see Borras and Franco, 2010; Cotula, 2012; Cotula et al., 2009; Deininger, 2011; De Schutter, 2011; GRAIN, 2008; Li, 2011; Oxfam, 2011; von Braun and Meinzen-Dick, 2009; White et al., 2012; World Bank, 2010; Zoomers, 2010). The rush to acquire land as sources of alternative energy, food and feed crops, and environmental services led to the phenomenon popularly known as “land grabbing,” which made global headlines and contributed to skyrocketing global food prices in 2008. Drawing on notions of “marginal,” “waste,” “vacant,” “idle,” and “unproductive” lands, powerful transnational and national actors moved into large-scale agriculture to take advantage of potential windfall gains in sub-sectors such as biofuels, “flex crops” (e.g. sugar cane, palm oil, maize, soya - see Borras et al., 2012) and other major commodities (e.g. rice, wheat and other cash crops). Conservation and climate change mitigation measures also drove new demands for land (hence the notion of “green grabbing,” cf. Fairhead et al., 2012).Headline attention to “land grabbing” also turned a spotlight (albeit comparatively weaker) on the implications for existing surface water and groundwater resources (hence the notion of “water grabbing,” see Transnational Institute, 2014a). Early on, evidence suggested that in many cases the location of land grabbing was motivated also by the desire to capture water resources (Skinner and Cotula, 2011; Smaller and Mann, 2009; Woodhouse and Ganho, 2011). Although water is a potential constraint on large-scale agricultural projects, many land deal contracts did not explicitly mention water requirements (Woodhouse, 2012). Meanwhile, the land grabbed was rarely “marginal” but either already being used by small-and large-scale producers, or of prime quality and associated with irrigation facilities, or with the potential to acquire fresh water from river systems or aquifers; in arid areas, land is plentiful, and agricultural expansion will not create conflict until water is provided. This raised the crucial question of whether this water is truly “available,” unsustainably withdrawn (ultimately undermining the land’s quality), or unequally reallocated (away from existing users).Although initial media and policy attention associated land grabbing almost exclusively with large-scale food, feed and fuel crops, later research and advocacy moved beyond this limited focus on agriculture-driven resource-grabbing.
Serum folate and vitamin B12 are associated with body composition in elderly: The B-PROOF study
Oliai Araghi, S. ; Braun, K.V.E. ; Velde, Nathalie van der; Dijk, S. van; Schoor, Natasja M. van; Zillikens, M.C. ; Groot, C.P.G.M. de; Uitterlinden, André G. ; Stricker, B.H. ; Voortman, Trudy ; Kiefte-de Jong, J.C. - \ 2018
Spatio-temporal trends and trade-offs in ecosystem services : An Earth observation based assessment for Switzerland between 2004 and 2014
Braun, Daniela ; Damm, Alexander ; Hein, Lars ; Petchey, Owen L. ; Schaepman, Michael E. - \ 2018
Ecological Indicators 89 (2018). - ISSN 1470-160X - p. 828 - 839.
Cultural services - MODIS - Regulating services - Remote sensing - Synergies - Time series
Understanding and monitoring pressures on ecosystems and their consequences for ecosystem services (ES) is essential for management decisions and verification of progress towards national and international policies (e.g. Aichi Biodiversity Targets, Sustainable Development Goals). Remote sensing (RS) offers a unique capability to assess ES systematically and regularly across spatial and temporal scales. We aim to evaluate the benefits of RS to monitor spatio-temporal variations of ES by assessing several ES in Switzerland between 2004 and 2014. We coupled mechanistic ES models and RS data to estimate time series of three regulating (i.e. carbon dioxide regulation (CO2R), soil erosion prevention (SEP), and air quality regulation (AQR)) and one cultural ES (recreational hiking (RH)). The resulting ES were used to assess spatial and temporal changes, trade-offs and synergies of ES potential supply and flow in Switzerland between 2004 and 2014. Resulting ES trends showed diverse spatial patterns across Switzerland with largest changes in CO2R and AQR. ES interactions revealed a scale and elevation dependency. We identified weak to strong synergies between all ES combinations except for trade-offs between CO2R-AQR and AQR-RH at Swiss scale. Spatially, all ES interactions revealed a heterogeneous mix of synergies and trade-offs within Switzerland.Our results demonstrate the strength of RS for systematic and regular spatio-temporal ES monitoring and contribute insights to the large potential of RS, which will be extended with future Earth observation missions. Derived spatially explicit ES information will facilitate decision-making in landscape planning and conservation and will allow examining progress towards environmental policies.
Mercury associated neurochemical response in Arctic barnacle goslings (Branta leucopsis)
Brink, Nico W. van den; Scheiber, Isabella B.R. ; Jong, Margje E. de; Braun, Anna ; Arini, Adeline ; Basu, Niladri ; Berg, Hans van den; Komdeur, Jan ; Loonen, Maarten J.J.E. - \ 2018
Science of the Total Environment 624 (2018). - ISSN 0048-9697 - p. 1052 - 1058.
Exposure and effect - Neurotoxicity - Polar - Terrestrial - Tundra
There remains great concern over mercury pollution in the Arctic, though relatively little is known about impacts on biota that inhabit Arctic terrestrial systems. To help address this, the current study was performed with barnacle goslings (Branta leucopsis) from a coal mine-impacted site and a control site near Ny-Ålesund, Spitsbergen (Svalbard). The works focused mainly on mercury, as coal contains trace levels of this element. Total mercury concentrations were quantified in soil and vegetation from the two sites, as well as feces and liver from the goslings. Next, the mercury exposures were related to dopamine 2 (D2)- and NMDA-receptors in the brain, given that mercury is a proven neurotoxicant. Soil and vegetation in the mining area contained mercury levels that were approximately 3- and 2.2-times higher than in the control site. Despite a significant difference between the sites, the soil and vegetation mercury levels where were within ranges found at other Arctic locations. Goslings grazing in the mine-impacted area contained significantly higher hepatic mercury levels than those sampled from the control site. Compared to other species, the hepatic concentrations were relatively low possibly due to dilution of the mercury in growing goslings (growth dilution) and deposition of mercury in the growing feathers. Hepatic mercury concentrations were positively related to D2-neuroreceptor levels but not to NMDA-receptor levels thus suggesting a possible subtle neurological effect. To our knowledge, this is among the first studies on mercury exposure in Arctic terrestrial organisms, and one of the first to document potential subtle neurological responses associated with exposure to low, environmentally relevant mercury levels, which also can be found at other locations in the Arctic. However, as a pilot effort, the results here need to be examined in additional studies that include, for example, lager study designs, different geographic sites and other terrestrial species.
Oats in healthy gluten-free and regular diets : A perspective
Smulders, Marinus J.M. ; Wiel, Clemens C.M. van de; Broeck, Hetty C. van den; Meer, Ingrid M. van der; Israel-Hoevelaken, T.P.M. ; Timmer, Ruud D. ; Dinter, Bert Jan van; Braun, Susanne ; Gilissen, Luud J.W.J. - \ 2018
Food Research International 110 (2018). - ISSN 0963-9969 - p. 3 - 10.
Approved health claim - Avena - Avenin - Beta-glucan - Coeliac disease - Healthy food - Prevention - Production chain
During the 20th century, the economic position of oats (Avena sativa L.) decreased strongly in favour of higher yielding crops including winter wheat and maize. Presently, oat represents only ∼. 1.3% of the total world grain production, and its production system is fragmented. Nonetheless, current interest is growing because of recent knowledge on its potential benefits in food, feed and agriculture. This perspective will serve as a further impetus, with special focus on the recently valued advantages of oats in human food and health.Five approved European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) health claims apply to oats. Four relate to the oat-specific soluble fibres, the beta-glucans, and concern the maintenance and reduction of blood cholesterol, better blood glucose balance and increased faecal bulk. The fifth claim concerns the high content of unsaturated fatty acids, especially present in the endosperm, which reduces the risks of heart and vascular diseases. Furthermore, oat starch has a low glycemic index, which is favourable for weight control. Oat-specific polyphenols and avenanthramides have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Thus, oats can contribute significantly to the presently recommended whole-grain diet.Next to globulins, oats contain a small fraction of prolamin storage proteins, called 'avenins', but at a much lower quantity than gluten proteins in wheat, barley and rye. Oat avenins do not contain any of the known coeliac disease epitopes from gluten of wheat, barley and rye. Long-term food studies confirm the safety of oats for coeliac disease patients and the positive health effects of oat products in a gluten-free diet. These effects are general and independent of oat varieties. In the EU (since 2009), the USA (since 2013) and Canada (since 2015) oat products may be sold as gluten-free provided that any gluten contamination level is below 20. ppm. Oats are, however, generally not gluten-free when produced in a conventional production chain, because of regular contamination with wheat, barley or rye. Therefore, establishing a separate gluten-free oat production chain requires controlling all steps in the chain; the strict conditions will be discussed.Genomic tools, including a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) marker array and a dense genetic map, have recently been developed and will support marker-assisted breeding. In 2015, the Oat Global initiative emerged enabling a world-wide cooperation starting with a data sharing facility on genotypic, metabolic and phenotypic characteristics. Further, the EU project TRAFOON (Traditional Food Networks) facilitated the transfer of knowledge to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to stimulate innovations in oat production, processing, products and marketing, among others with regard to gluten-free. Finally, with focus on counteracting market fragmentation of the global oat market and production chains, interactive innovation strategies between customers (consumers) and companies through co-creation are discussed.
Mycosphaerellaceae – Chaos or clarity?
Videira, S.I.R. ; Groenewald, J.Z. ; Nakashima, C. ; Braun, U. ; Barreto, R.W. ; Wit, P.J.G.M. de; Crous, P.W. - \ 2017
Studies in Mycology 87 (2017). - ISSN 0166-0616 - p. 257 - 421.
Multi-gene phylogeny - Mycosphaerella - Plant pathogen - Taxonomy
The Mycosphaerellaceae represent thousands of fungal species that are associated with diseases on a wide range of plant hosts. Understanding and stabilising the taxonomy of genera and species of Mycosphaerellaceae is therefore of the utmost importance given their impact on agriculture, horticulture and forestry. Based on previous molecular studies, several phylogenetic and morphologically distinct genera within the Mycosphaerellaceae have been delimited. In this study a multigene phylogenetic analysis (LSU, ITS and rpb2) was performed based on 415 isolates representing 297 taxa and incorporating ex-type strains where available. The main aim of this study was to resolve the phylogenetic relationships among the genera currently recognised within the family, and to clarify the position of the cercosporoid fungi among them. Based on these results many well-known genera are shown to be paraphyletic, with several synapomorphic characters that have evolved more than once within the family. As a consequence, several old generic names including Cercosporidium, Fulvia, Mycovellosiella, Phaeoramularia and Raghnildiana are resurrected, and 32 additional genera are described as new. Based on phylogenetic data 120 genera are now accepted within the family, but many currently accepted cercosporoid genera still remain unresolved pending fresh collections and DNA data. The present study provides a phylogenetic framework for future taxonomic work within the Mycosphaerellaceae.
Measuring the bioeconomy: Economics and Policies
Wesseler, J.H.H. ; Braun, Joachim von - \ 2017
Annual Review of Resource Economics 9 (2017). - ISSN 1941-1340 - p. 275 - 298.
bioeconomy - real option - sustainability - tecnical change - technology policy - value added
The emerging concept of bioeconomy offers several opportunities to address
societal challenges. The bioeconomy is mainly driven by advances in
microbiology, which can be applied to various processes that use biological
resources by shifting consumer preferences and by yielding new insights
into resource constraints related to such issues as climate and land. Although
expectations are high, less is known about the economic importance of the
bioeconomy. This article reviews the methodological challenges of measuring
the bioeconomy, the approaches used, and the outcomes reported. The
results show that measuring the bioeconomy is still in its infancy and faces a
number of methodological challenges. Bioeconomy cuts across sectors and
therefore cannot be treated as a traditional sector in economics. Economics
must catch up with bioeconomy realities. For a comprehensive economic assessment,
information about bioeconomy resources, compounds, and product
flows is required. We outline innovations in data storage and analytical methods that would realize bioeconomy opportunities and help guide policy.
From instantaneous to continuous : Using imaging spectroscopy and in situ data to map two productivity-related ecosystem services
Braun, Daniela ; Damm, Alexander ; Paul-Limoges, Eugénie ; Revill, Andrew ; Buchmann, Nina ; Petchey, Owen L. ; Hein, Lars ; Schaepman, Michael E. - \ 2017
Ecological Indicators 82 (2017). - ISSN 1470-160X - p. 409 - 419.
APEX - Carbon dioxide regulation - Ecosystem functions - Ecosystem services - Food supply - Gross primary production - Remote sensing - Sun-induced chlorophyll fluorescence

Spatially well-informed decisions are essential to sustain and regulate processes and ecosystem services (ES), and to maintain the capacity of ecosystems to supply services. However, spatially explicit ES information is often lacking in decision-making, or exists only as ES maps based on categorical land cover data. Remote sensing (RS) opens new pathways to map ES, in particular biophysical ES supply. We developed an observation-based concept for spatially explicit and continuous ES mapping at landscape scale following the biophysical part of the ES cascade. We used Earth observations in combination with in situ data to map ecosystem properties, functions, and biophysical ES supply. We applied this concept in a case study to map two ES: carbon dioxide regulation and food supply. Based on Earth observations and in situ data, we determined the ecosystem property Sun-Induced chlorophyll Fluorescence (SIF) to indicate ecosystem state and applied scaling models to estimate gross primary production (GPP) as indicator for ecosystem functioning and consequently carbon dioxide regulation and food supply as ES. Resulting ES maps showed heterogeneous patterns in ES supply within and among ecosystems, which were particularly evident within forests and grasslands. All investigated land cover classes were sources of CO2, with averages ranging from ‐66 to ‐748 g C m‐2 yr‐1, after considering the harvest of total above ground biomass of crops and the storage organ, except for forest being a sink of CO2 with an average of 105 g C m‐2 yr‐1. Estimated annual GPP was related to food supply with a maize grain yield average of 9.5 t ha‐1 yr‐1 and a sugar beet root yield of 110 t ha‐1 yr‐1. Validation with in situ measurements from flux towers and literature values revealed a good performance of our approach for food supply (relative RMSE of less than 23%), but also some over- and underestimations for carbon dioxide regulation. Our approach demonstrated how RS can contribute to spatially explicit and continuous ES cascade mapping and suggest that this information could be useful for environmental assessments and decision-making in spatial planning and conservation.

Indices of stress and immune function in Arctic barnacle goslings (Branta leucopsis) were impacted by social isolation but not a contaminated grazing environment
Jong, Margje E. de; Scheiber, Isabella B.R. ; Brink, Nico W. van den; Braun, Anna ; Matson, Kevin D. ; Komdeur, Jan ; Loonen, Maarten J.J.E. - \ 2017
Science of the Total Environment 601-602 (2017). - ISSN 0048-9697 - p. 132 - 141.
Acute phase proteins - Complement - Corticosterone - Heavy metals - Natural antibodies - Nitric oxide

In many areas around the Arctic remains and spoil heaps of old mines can be found, which have been abandoned after their heydays. Runoff from tailings of these abandoned mines can directly contaminate the local environment with elevated concentrations of trace metals. Few studies have investigated the possible negative effects of contaminants on Arctic terrestrial animals that use these areas. Trace metals can accumulate in animals and this accumulation has been linked to negative effects on fitness. Both, the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and/or the immune system have been named as possible underlying causes for these observations. Free-living animals are often exposed to multiple stressors simultaneously, however, and this is often not considered in studies on the effects of contaminants on animal physiology. Here, we performed a study on Spitsbergen (Svalbard) taking both potential effects of trace metal contamination and social stress into account. We investigated experimentally effects of exposure to contaminants from a historic coal mine area on plasma corticosterone levels and on four innate immune parameters (haemolysis, haemagglutination, haptoglobin-like activity and nitric oxide) before and after social isolation in human-raised barnacle goslings (Branta leucopsis). Baseline corticosterone and immune parameters were not affected by mine-exposure. After social isolation, mine goslings tended to show decreased haemagglutination in comparison with control goslings, but we detected no difference in the other measures. Social isolation increased corticosterone and decreased haptoglobin-like activity in all goslings. Immunology and corticosterone levels of barnacle goslings thus seem unaffected, at least on the short term, by Arctic coal mining contamination.

SaudiVeg ecoinformatics: Aims, current status and perspectives
El-sheikh, Mohamed A. ; Thomas, Jacob ; Alfarhan, Ahmed H. ; Alatar, Abdulrahman A. ; Mayandy, Sivadasan ; Hennekens, Stephan M. ; Schaminee, Joop ; Mucina, Ladislav ; Alansari, Abdulla M. - \ 2017
Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences 24 (2017)2. - ISSN 1319-562X - p. 389 - 398.
During the last decade many electronic databases of vegetation plots were established in many countries around the world. These databases contain valuable phytosociological information assisting both governmental and NGO (Non-governmental organizations) agencies to formulate strategies and on-ground plans to manage and protect nature resources. This paper provides an account on aims, current status and perspectives of building of a vegetation database for the Central Region (Najd) of Saudi Arabia – the founding element of the Saudi Vegetation Database (SVD). The data stored by the database are sample plots (vegetation relevés) collected according to the field techniques of the Braun-Blanquet approach (lists of taxa accompanied by semi-quantitative cover assessment), and are accompanied by general vegetation characteristics such as vegetation layering and cover, information on life-form of the recorded species, geographical coordinates, altitude, soil typology, topography and many more. More than 2900 vegetation-plot records (relevés) have so far been collected in the Najd region; of these more than 2000 have already been stored using the Turboveg database platform. These field records cover many habitats such as depressions, wadis (dry river beds), agricultural lands, sand dunes, sabkhas, and ruderal habitats. The ecological information collected in the database is currently the largest set of vegetation data collated into a database in the Middle East. These data are of great importance for biodiversity studies in Saudi Arabia, since the region is recording a loss of biodiversity at a fast rate due to environmental problems such as global warming and land-use changes. We envisage that this database would catalyze further data collection on vegetation of the entire Arabian Peninsula, and shall serve as one of the most important datasets for classification and mapping of the vegetation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Vegetation of Europe: hierarchical floristic classification system of vascular plant, bryophyte, lichen, and algal communities
Mucina, L. ; Bültmann, Helga ; Dierssen, Klaus ; Theurillat, Jean-Paul ; Raus, Thomas ; Carni, Andraz ; Šumberová, Kateřina ; Willner, Wolfgang ; Dengler, J. ; Schaminee, J.H.J. ; Hennekens, S.M. - \ 2016
Applied Vegetation Science 19 (2016)Suppl. 1. - ISSN 1402-2001 - p. 3 - 264.
Aims: Vegetation classification consistent with the Braun-Blanquet approach is
widely used in Europe for applied vegetation science, conservation planning
and landmanagement. During the long history of syntaxonomy,many concepts
and names of vegetation units have been proposed, but there has been no single
classification system integrating these units. Here we (1) present a comprehensive, hierarchical, syntaxonomic system of alliances, orders and classes of Braun-Blanquet syntaxonomy for vascular plant, bryophyte and lichen, and algal communities of Europe; (2) briefly characterize in ecological and geographic terms accepted syntaxonomic concepts; (3) link available synonyms to these accepted concepts; and (4) provide a list of diagnostic species for all classes.
Location: European mainland, Greenland, Arctic archipelagos (including Iceland,
Svalbard, Novaya Zemlya), Canary Islands,Madeira, Azores, Caucasus, Cyprus.
Methods: We evaluated approximately 10 000 bibliographic sources to create a
comprehensive list of previously proposed syntaxonomic units. These units were
evaluated by experts for their floristic and ecological distinctness, clarity of geographic distribution and compliance with the nomenclature code. Accepted
units were compiled into three systems of classes, orders and alliances
(EuroVegChecklist, EVC) for communities dominated by vascular plants
(EVC1), bryophytes and lichens (EVC2) and algae (EVC3).
Results: EVC1 includes 109 classes, 300 orders and 1108 alliances; EVC2
includes 27 classes, 53 orders and 137 alliances, and EVC3 includes 13 classes,
24 orders and 53 alliances. In total 13 448 taxawere assigned as indicator species to classes of EVC1, 2087 to classes of EVC2 and 368 to classes of EVC3. Accepted syntaxonomic concepts are summarized in a series of appendices, and detailed information on each is accessible through the software tool EuroVegBrowser.
Conclusions: This paper features the first comprehensive and critical account of
European syntaxa and synthesizes more than 100 yr of classification effort by
European phytosociologists. It aims to document and stabilize the concepts and
nomenclature of syntaxa for practical uses, such as calibration of habitat classification used by the European Union, standardization of terminology for environmental assessment, management and conservation of nature areas, landscape planning and education. The presented classification systems provide a baseline for future development and revision of European syntaxonomy.
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