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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    MOOC drones for agriculture : The making-of
    Valente, Joao ; Kooistra, Lammert - \ 2020
    In: Proceedings of the 2020 IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference, EDUCON 2020. - IEEE computer society (IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference, EDUCON ) - ISBN 9781728109312 - p. 1692 - 1695.
    Agriculture - Drones - MOOCs - Online learning - UAVs

    Imagine that there is an online course where you could learn how Drones/UAVs could be used to solve agricultural problems and contribute to the global food problem. What if you could make it yourself? We present the steps given in the design and development of the MOOC Drones for Agriculture: Prepare and Design your Drone (UAV) Mission. This MOOC is the first attempt to teach people about aerial remote sensing in agriculture. From the early stage idea to the making-of, this paper will drive you behind the scenes that made this MOOC.

    Online drone education, a mapping review
    Velasco, Omar ; Valente, Joao - \ 2020
    In: Proceedings of the 2020 IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference, EDUCON 2020. - IEEE computer society (IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference, EDUCON ) - ISBN 9781728109312 - p. 1286 - 1289.
    Drones - M00C - Online Education - UAV

    As Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) increase in popularity, legislation, use and applications education becomes a paramount objective for safety reasons and correct usage of this technology. Online education is becoming one of the main sources of knowledge, especially thanks to the wider geographical and social reach. Online education regarding UAVs has become a crucial mean to transfer and spread this knowledge. This work presents a mapping review of the state of such education with the aim of finding knowledge gaps and areas of improvement.

    Physicochemical-guided design of cathelicidin-derived peptides generates membrane active variants with therapeutic potential
    Oliveira, Nelson G.J. ; Cardoso, Marlon H. ; Velikova, Nadya ; Giesbers, Marcel ; Wells, Jerry M. ; Rezende, Taia M.B. ; Vries, Renko de; Franco, Octávio L. - \ 2020
    Scientific Reports 10 (2020)1. - ISSN 2045-2322

    The spread of multi-drug resistance and the slow pace at which antibiotics come onto the market are undermining our ability to treat human infections, leading to high mortality rates. Aiming to overcome this global crisis, antimicrobial peptides are considered promising alternatives to counter bacterial infections with multi-drug resistant bacteria. The cathelicidins comprise a well-studied class of AMPs whose members have been used as model molecules for sequence modifications, aiming at enhanced biological activities and stability, along with reduced toxic effects on mammalian cells. Here, we describe the antimicrobial activities, modes of action and structural characterization of two novel cathelicidin-like peptides, named BotrAMP14 and CrotAMP14, which were re-designed from snake batroxicidin and crotalicidin, respectively. BotrAMP14 and CrotAMP14 showed broad-spectrum antibacterial activity against susceptible microorganisms and clinical isolates with minimal inhibitory concentrations ranging from 2–35.1 μM. Moreover, both peptides had low cytotoxicity against Caco-2 cells in vitro. In addition, in vivo toxicity against Galleria mellonella moth larvae revealed that both peptides led to>76% larval survival after 144 h. Microscopy studies suggest that BotrAMP14 and CrotAMP14 destabilize E. coli membranes. Furthermore, circular dichroism and molecular dynamics simulations indicate that, in a membrane-like environment, both peptides adopt α-helical structures that interact with bilayer phospholipids through hydrogen bonds and electrostatic interaction. Thus, we concluded that BotrAMP14 and CrotAMP14 are helical membrane active peptides, with similar antibacterial properties but lower cytotoxicity than the larger parent peptides batroxicidin and crotalicidin, having advantages for drug development strategies.

    Land use change drives the spatio-temporal variation of ecosystem services and their interactions along an altitudinal gradient in Brazil
    Gomes, Lucas Carvalho ; Bianchi, Felix J.J.A. ; Cardoso, Irene M. ; Fernandes Filho, Elpídio I. ; Schulte, Rogier P.O. - \ 2020
    Landscape Ecology 35 (2020). - ISSN 0921-2973 - p. 1571 - 1586.
    Atlantic Forest biome - Biophysical conditions - Land use transition - Synergy - Trade-off

    Context: Land use and land cover (LULC) changes may affect the provision of ecosystem services. However, little is known how LULC changes influence the spatio-temporal variation in ecosystem service and their interactions along altitudinal gradients. Objectives: Here we assessed the spatio-temporal variation of eight ecosystem services in an altitudinal gradient between the year of 1986 and 2015, and quantified the effect of LULC transitions on the provision and interactions of ecosystems services. Methods: We modelled and mapped eight ecosystem services in an altitudinal gradient characterized by low (< 600 m), middle (600–1200) and high altitudes (> 1200) in Zona da Mata, Minas Gerais state, Brazil. We quantified changes in ecosystem services by contrasting ecosystem service maps between 1986 and 2015, and explored how four common LULC transitions affected the variation and the interactions between the eight ecosystem services. Results: The spatio-temporal analysis indicated that six out of eight ecosystem services increased from 1986 to 2015, while soil erosion control and water flow regulation decreased. In areas above 1200 m, regulating services dominated, while in areas below 1200 m provisioning service were most evidenced. LULC transitions from forest to agricultural areas, and vice versa, resulted in trade-offs between provisioning and regulating ecosystem services. Conclusions: LULC changes drive the spatio-temporal variation of ecosystem services along an altitudinal gradient with contrasting biophysical conditions. Future management of ecosystem services in the landscapes should take into the account the biophysical conditions and the consequences of specific LULC transitions.

    Land use and land cover scenarios : An interdisciplinary approach integrating local conditions and the global shared socioeconomic pathways
    Gomes, L.C. ; Bianchi, F.J.J.A. ; Cardoso, I.M. ; Schulte, R.P.O. ; Arts, B.J.M. ; Fernandes Filho, E.I. - \ 2020
    Land Use Policy 97 (2020). - ISSN 0264-8377
    Forest transition - Future scenarios - Interdisciplinarity - Land use - Public policies

    Land Use and Land Cover (LULC) changes have profound impacts on the functioning of (agro)ecosystems and have potential to mitigate global climate change. However, we still lack interdisciplinary methods to project future LULC scenarios at spatial scales that are relevant for local decision making and future environmental assessments. Here we apply an interdisciplinary approach to develop spatially explicit projections of LULC at a resolution of 30 × 30 m informed by historic relationships between LULC and their key drivers, within the context of the four qualitative scenarios of global shared socioeconomic pathways. We apply this methodology to a case study in the Zona da Mata, Brazil, which has a history of major LULC changes. The analysis of LULC changes from 1986 to 2015 indicates that pasture area decreased from 76 to 58 % of total area, while forest areas increased from 18 to 24 %, and coffee from 3 to 11 %. Environmental protection legislation, rural credit for smallholder farmers, and demand for agricultural and raw products were identified as main drivers of LULC changes. Projected LULC for 2045 strongly depends on the global socioeconomic pathway scenarios, and forest and coffee areas may increase substantially under strong government measures in the environmentally conscious Green Road scenario or decrease in the high consumption Rocky Road scenario. Our study shows that under the set of drivers during the past three decades reforestation can go hand in hand with increase of agricultural production, but that major and contrasting changes in LULC can be expected depending on the socioeconomic pathway that will be followed in the future. To guide this process, LULC scenarios at the local scale can inform the planning of local and regional development and forest conservation.

    Land use change and ecosystem services: linking social and ecological systems across time
    Carvalho Gomes, Lucas de - \ 2020
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): R.P.O. Schulte; I.M. Cardoso, co-promotor(en): F.J.J.A. Bianchi; B.J.M. Arts. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463953979 - 217

    In light of the projected climate change for the coming decades, there is an urgent need for multifunctional landscapes that are capable to provide a diversity of ecosystem services. This requires a better understanding of social and ecological factors that influence how these landscapes are managed and how this, in turn, influences the provision of ecosystem services. Land Use Land Cover (LULC) changes are one of the main factors that lead to spatiotemporal changes of ecosystems services. As such, the identification of the main socioeconomic drivers of LULC can give important insights about the drivers of ecosystem services. However, the analysis of ecosystem services in a context of socio-ecological systems is still underdeveloped. Brazil has witnessed intense changes in LULC in the last five centuries, which may have influenced the provision of ecosystem services at local, regional and global scales. In the southeast mountain area of the Atlantic Forest biome, the Zona da Mata de Minas Gerais is characterized by a heterogeneous landscape mosaic composed of pasture and coffee fields intermingled with forest fragments, which are predominantly inhabited and managed by family farmers. The Zona da Mata is considered a complex socio-ecological system and is an interesting case to study the spatio-temporal provision of ecosystem services. In Chapter 2, I assessed the LULC changes from 1986 to 2015 and their main socioeconomic drivers. By combining data obtained from satellite images, workshops and secondary data, I showed that forest and coffee areas increased, and pasture decreased. These changes were associated with government measures to protect the environment, financial support of family farmers, migration to cities and the agroecological movement. A scenarios analysis of contrasting socio-economic narratives indicated that sustainable measures taken by the government to protect the environment and support family farmers with financial credit will lead to increase forest and coffee areas in the Green Road scenario. In contrast, the socioeconomic development in the Fossil Fuel scenario, which projects a decline in environmental protection and focuses on rapid economic development, there will be a decline in forest areas. In Chapter 3, I explored the spatial variation of ecosystem services from 1986 to 2015 and the impacts of LULC changes on ecosystem services provision levels and their interactions. To map the spatio variation of ecosystem services, I used the LULC maps from 1986 and 2015 (Chapter 2) and the InVEST model. This analysis indicated that the conversion of forest to pasture has strong negative impacts on soil erosion control and water flow regulation, manifesting mostly as trade-offs and dis-synergies between ecosystem services. In Chapter 4, I investigated the separate effects of LULC changes and climate on water dynamics from 1990 to 2015, and explored scenarios of LULC change and climate change for 2045. For this purpose, I used the SWAT model and climate data combined with historical and future LULC maps developed in Chapter 2. I found that the variation in climate variables was the main factor for the observed increase in the river streamflow in the study period and that forest can buffer extreme precipitation events. The exploration of future scenarios indicated that the increase in forest cover under the Green Road scenario is expected to decrease the surface runoff water and increase evapotranspiration as compared to the Fossil Fuel scenario, mitigating the impacts of soil erosion and climatic extremes in the region. Projected changes in precipitation and temperature are expected to have negative impacts for agriculture in the future. In Chapter 5, I assessed the impact of climate change on the suitability of Coffea arabica production in the study region and the potential of agroforestry systems to mitigate these impacts. For this, I combined the species distribution model MaxEnt with current and future climate projections. Agroforestry system have the potential to reduce air temperatures under the canopy of trees. I explored the effect of the altered the microclimate in agroforestry systems on the suitability for coffee production by adjusting future climate data to reflect conditions in agroforestry systems. I found that the area suitability for coffee production from the current monoculture coffee systems will decline by 60% under the projected climatic changes. However, the implementation of coffee agroforestry systems can mitigate these negative impacts of climatic change and maintain 75% of the area suitable for coffee production in 2050. Combining social and ecological systems in an interdisciplinary framework, generated insights in the relationships between climate and LULC change, and how this influences several ecosystem services. This framework connects different research fields and allows different stakeholders to work together to find effective ways to work towards multifunctional landscapes that promote the sustainable use of ecosystem services.

    Agroforestry systems can mitigate the impacts of climate change on coffee production: A spatially explicit assessment in Brazil
    Gomes, L.C. ; Bianchi, F.J.J.A. ; Cardoso, I.M. ; Fernandes, R.B.A. ; Filho, Fernandes E.I. ; Schulte, R.P.O. - \ 2020
    Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 294 (2020). - ISSN 0167-8809
    Adaptation - Climate change - Coffea arabica - Family farmers - Shade trees

    Climate change may impose severe challenges to farmers to maintain agricultural production levels in the future. In this study we analysed the effect of projected changes in climate on the area suitable for coffee production in 2050, and the potential of agroforestry systems to mitigate these effects in a major coffee production region in southeast Brazil. We conducted a spatially explicit analysis with the bioclimatic model MaxEnt to explore the area that is suitable for coffee production in 2050 when coffee is grown in unshaded plantations and in agroforestry systems. The projected climate in 2050 was assessed using 19 global circulation models, and we accounted for the altered microclimate in agroforestry systems by adjusting the maximum and minimum air temperature. The climate models indicated that the annual mean air temperature is expected to increase 1.7 °C ± 0.3 in the study region, which will lead to almost 60 % reduction in the area suitable for coffee production in unshaded plantations by 2050. However, the adoption of agroforestry systems with 50 % shade cover can reduce the mean temperatures and maintain 75 % of the area suitable for coffee production in 2050, especially between 600 and 800 m altitude. Our study indicates that major shifts in areas suitable for coffee production may take place within three decades, potentially leading to land conflicts for coffee production and nature conservation. Incentives that contribute to the development of coffee agroforestry systems at appropriate locations may be essential to safeguard coffee production in the southeast of Brazil.

    Linking vegetation and soil functions during secondary forest succession in the Atlantic forest
    Teixeira, Heitor Mancini ; Cardoso, Irene Maria ; Bianchi, Felix J.J.A. ; Cruz Silva, Arthur da; Jamme, Delphin ; Peña-Claros, Marielos - \ 2020
    Forest Ecology and Management 457 (2020). - ISSN 0378-1127
    Secondary forest succession can be an effective and low-cost strategy to increase forest cover and the associated biodiversity and soil functions. However, little is known about how soil functions develop during succession, and how vegetation attributes influence soil functions, especially in highly biodiverse and fragmented landscapes in the tropics. Here we assessed a wide range of indicators of taxonomic (e.g. number of tree species), structural (e.g. basal area, canopy openness) and functional diversity (e.g. community weighted means of functional traits) of tree species, as well as indicators for soil functions related to soil organic matter accumulation, nutrient cycling and soil cover in secondary forest patches ranging from 5 to 80 years. Two recently abandoned agricultural fields were included as the starting point of forest succession and two primary forest patches served as references for the end point of forest succession. Four ecological hypotheses, centred around the role of functional diversity, structural diversity and biomass, were tested to explore mechanisms in which forest vegetation may influence soil functions. Most measures of structural, taxonomic and functional diversity converged to values found in primary forests after 25–50 years of succession, whereas functional composition changed from acquisitive to conservative species. Soil carbon and nutrient cycling showed a quick recovery to the levels of primary forests after 15 years of succession. Although soil cover also increased during succession, levels of primary forests were not reached within 80 years. Variation in tree height and trait dominance were identified as aboveground drivers of carbon and nutrient cycling, while aboveground biomass was the main driver of litter accumulation, and the associated soil cover and water retention. Our results indicate that secondary forest succession can lead to a relative fast recovery of nutrient and carbon cycling functions, but not of soil cover. Our findings highlight the essential role of secondary forests in providing multiple ecosystem services. These results can be used to inform management and reforestation programmes targeted at strengthening soil functions, such as soil cover, nutrient and carbon cycling.

    Linking biodiversity, ecosystem services and social actors to promote agroecological transitions
    Mancini Teixeira, Heitor - \ 2020
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): M. Peña-Claros; I.M. Cardoso, co-promotor(en): F.J.J.A. Bianchi. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463952521 - 287

    The landscape in Zona da Mata region (Brazil) can be understood as a dynamic mosaic of land uses, including secondary forest, pastures and coffee. Spatial patterns of such mosaics are determined by heterogeneous physical landscape features and shaped by the diversity in management practices and decisions made by individual farmers. Thus, a gradient of more biodiverse to overly simplified farms can be found in the region. These farming systems contribute differently to local livelihoods and to the provision of ecosystem services (ES). Currently, we lack understanding of the incentives that farmers have to manage agrobiodiversity and the consequences of management for functional diversity and the provision of multiple ES. Therefore, I used a combination of social and ecological methods to link biodiversity, ecosystem services and social actors for informing the development of sustainable agroecological systems. First, a farm typology was conducted in the region to explore implications of farm diversity for promoting agroecology and agrobiodiversity. Second, fuzzy cognitive maps were used to unravel and contrast farmers` perceptions on ecosystem services and their management. Third, coffee and pastures were selected on different farm types to evaluate the direct and indirect impact of management on biodiversity and ecosystem services. A variety of indicators were measured in each system and grouped in three components: soil-based ecosystem services; plant diversity (taxonomical, functional and structural); and management practices. Fourth, the effects of forest regeneration on biodiversity and soil functions was assessed along a successional gradient in the Atlantic forest biome. The results show that changes in the cognitive perception of farmers on ES led to changes in management strategies, that in turn, influenced biodiversity and the provision of ES. Agroecological farmers had a more complex perception on ES than other farm types, which was associated to greater access to public policies and participation in social organisations as well as higher biodiversity in their agroecosystems. Thus, the transition to agroecology in Zona da Mata was successful to help a group of a farmers to enhance biodiversity based ecological processes, moving away from the dependence of industrial inputs without compromising soil quality and plant health. In addition, I demonstrated the potential of secondary forest succession as an strategy to help farmers to increase on-farm forest cover and recover the associated biodiversity and soil functions. The outcomes from this thesis were useful both to answer more fundamental research questions and also to support land users, managers, policy-makers, technicians and other actors to take informed decisions based on a multilevel scientific assessment of agroecosystems.

    International scientists formulate a roadmap for insect conservation and recovery
    Harvey, Jeffrey A. ; Heinen, Robin ; Armbrecht, Inge ; Basset, Yves ; Baxter-Gilbert, James H. ; Bezemer, T.M. ; Böhm, Monika ; Bommarco, Riccardo ; Borges, Paulo A.V. ; Cardoso, Pedro ; Clausnitzer, Viola ; Cornelisse, Tara ; Crone, Elizabeth E. ; Dicke, Marcel ; Dijkstra, Klaas Douwe B. ; Dyer, Lee ; Ellers, Jacintha ; Fartmann, Thomas ; Forister, Mathew L. ; Furlong, Michael J. ; Garcia-Aguayo, Andres ; Gerlach, Justin ; Gols, Rieta ; Goulson, Dave ; Habel, Jan Christian ; Haddad, Nick M. ; Hallmann, Caspar A. ; Henriques, Sérgio ; Herberstein, Marie E. ; Hochkirch, Axel ; Hughes, Alice C. ; Jepsen, Sarina ; Jones, T.H. ; Kaydan, Bora M. ; Kleijn, David ; Klein, Alexandra Maria ; Latty, Tanya ; Leather, Simon R. ; Lewis, Sara M. ; Lister, Bradford C. ; Losey, John E. ; Lowe, Elizabeth C. ; Macadam, Craig R. ; Montoya-Lerma, James ; Nagano, Christopher D. ; Ogan, Sophie ; Orr, Michael C. ; Painting, Christina J. ; Pham, Thai Hong ; Potts, Simon G. ; Rauf, Aunu ; Roslin, Tomas L. ; Samways, Michael J. ; Sanchez-Bayo, Francisco ; Sar, Sim A. ; Schultz, Cheryl B. ; Soares, António O. ; Thancharoen, Anchana ; Tscharntke, Teja ; Tylianakis, Jason M. ; Umbers, Kate D.L. ; Vet, Louise E.M. ; Visser, Marcel E. ; Vujic, Ante ; Wagner, David L. ; Wallis DeVries, Michiel F. ; Westphal, Catrin ; White, Thomas E. ; Wilkins, Vicky L. ; Williams, Paul H. ; Wyckhuys, Kris A.G. ; Zhu, Zeng Rong ; Kroon, Hans de - \ 2020
    Nature Ecology & Evolution 4 (2020)4. - ISSN 2397-334X - p. 174 - 176.
    Maillard induced aggregation of individual milk proteins and interactions involved
    Cardoso, Hugo B. ; Wierenga, Peter A. ; Gruppen, Harry ; Schols, Henk A. - \ 2019
    Food Chemistry 276 (2019). - ISSN 0308-8146 - p. 652 - 661.
    Aggregation - Disulphide - Maillard - α-Lactalbumin - β-Casein - β-Lactoglobulin

    The aggregation of α-lactalbumin, β-lactoglobulin and β-casein after heating in dry state was studied in absence and presence of saccharides. In absence of saccharides, differences were observed in the extent of aggregation. Differences between the proteins were mostly due to differences in covalent aggregation. The presence of glucose during the heat treatment of milk proteins significantly increased the extent of aggregation, and decreased differences between proteins. α-Lactalbumin was selected as a model protein for the study of cross-links formed after heat treatment. In the presence of saccharides, these cross-links were found to consist of 36% of disulphide bridges (compared to >75% in the absence of glucose), followed by other cross-links such as lanthionine. Larger saccharides led to a decrease in Maillard induced aggregation; maltotriose actually even inhibited the formation of α-lactalbumin aggregates.

    Cyanobacteria dominance drives zooplankton functional dispersion
    Josué, Iollanda I.P. ; Cardoso, Simone J. ; Miranda, Marcela ; Mucci, Maíra ; Ger, Kemal Ali ; Roland, Fabio ; Marinho, Marcelo Manzi - \ 2019
    Hydrobiologia 831 (2019)1. - ISSN 0018-8158 - p. 149 - 161.
    Biodiversity - Eutrophication - Freshwater - Microbial food quality - Plankton

    Accelerated eutrophication reduces water quality and shifts plankton communities. However, its effects on the aquatic food web and ecosystem functions remain poorly understood. Within this context, functional ecology can provide valuable links relating community traits to ecosystem functioning. In this study, we assessed the effects of eutrophication and cyanobacteria blooms on zooplankton functional diversity in a tropical hypereutrophic lake. Phytoplankton and zooplankton communities and limnological characteristics of a tropical Brazilian Lake (Southeast, Brazil) were monitored monthly from April 2013 to October 2014. Lake eutrophication indicators were total phosphorus, total chlorophyll-a, and chlorophyll-a per group (blue, green, and brown). The variation of major phytoplankton taxonomic group biomass was calculated and used as a proxy for changes in phytoplankton composition. Zooplankton functional diversity was assessed through functional dispersion and the community-weighted mean trait value. Regressions were performed between the lake eutrophication indicators, the phytoplankton biomass variation, and zooplankton functional dispersion. Our results suggest that eutrophication and cyanobacterial dominance change the composition of zooplankton traits and reduce functional dispersion, leading to zooplankton niche overlap. These findings are important because they provide a meaningful view of phytoplankton-zooplankton trophic interactions and contribute to an improved understanding their functional effects on aquatic ecosystems.

    Adult lifetime predation of Tuta absoluta eggs by three Neotropical mirid predators on tomato
    Lenteren, Joop C. van; Bueno, Vanda Helena Paes ; Montes, Flavio Cardoso ; Hemerik, Lia ; Jong, Peter W. de - \ 2018
    Bulletin of Insectology 71 (2018)2. - ISSN 1721-8861 - p. 179 - 188.
    Biological control - Engytatus varians - Infumatus - Macrolophus basicornis - Miridae - Tomato borer

    Tuta absoluta (Meyrick), a key pest of tomato, is quickly spreading over the world. Here we report lifetime predation of T. absoluta eggs by adults of three Neotropical mirid species [Campyloneuropsis infumatus (Carvalho), Engytatus varians (Distant) and Macrolophus basicornis (Stal)]. Prey eggs were offered ad libitum on a tomato leaflet at 24 ± 1 °C, 70 ± 10% RH and 12-h photophase. Daily, the number of eggs consumed by adults was noted. Observations were terminated after all adults had died. Total adult lifetime predation of T. absoluta eggs was 337, 313 and 339 for males, and 845, 668 and 934 for females of C. infumatus, E. varians and M. basicornis, respectively. Mean adult lifespan was 27 days for males and 24 for females of C. infumatus, 17 days for males and 14 for females of E. varians, and 30 days for males and 26 days for females of M. basicornis. Total and daily predation was significantly higher for females than for males, though lifespan was significantly longer for males than for females. The daily predation rates of C. infumatus and M. basicornis were similar, but were significantly lower than that of E. varians. Predation rates tended to decrease significantly with adult age for both sexes of all three species, except for males of M. basicornis, although proportions of explained variance were low (r2 < 0.24). Adult survival and egg predation data will later be combined with data about egg development time and survival, and nymphal development time, survival and egg predation to determine the pest kill rate of the three mirid species. The pest kill rate will then be used to predict which of the mirids might be best for control of T. absoluta on tomato. Eventually, experiments at practical tomato production conditions will show whether our predictions are correct.

    Understanding farm diversity to promote agroecological transitions
    Teixeira, Heitor Mancini ; Berg, Leonardo van den; Cardoso, Irene Maria ; Vermue, Ardjan J. ; Bianchi, Felix J.J.A. ; Peña-Claros, Marielos ; Tittonell, Pablo - \ 2018
    Sustainability 10 (2018)12. - ISSN 2071-1050
    Agroecological practice - Participatory action research - Participatory farm typology - Peasant - Statistical farm typology

    Agroecology is increasingly promoted by scientists, non-governmental organisations (NGO's), international organisations and peasant movements as an approach to foster the transition to sustainable and equitable food systems. The challenges to agroecological transitions are not the same for all farmers, as they can face different social and bio-physical conditions. We developed a farm typology combining participatory and quantitative methodologies to assess and categorise farm diversity and its implications for developing strategies to promote agroecological transitions. The participatory typology was developed during workshops to acquire insights on local farmers' perceptions and knowledge, and to generate hypotheses on family farm diversity. The participatory-based hypotheses were tested in the quantitative farm characterisation, which provided information on household characteristics, production strategies, land use, participation in public policies and extension services. Farms were located in Zona da Mata, Minas Gerais, Brazil, which harbour a wide diversity of farmers and where different actors have been engaged in agroecological transitions for the past 30 years. Our main findings were: (i) In the face of agroecological transitions, farmers differ in their management strategies, practices and principles; (ii) farmers identified as agroecological typically had stronger engagements in a network composed of farmers' organisations, universities and NGO's; (iii) agroecological farms showed great potential to provide a wide range of ecosystem services as they featured a higher crop diversity and a higher number of crops for self-consumption; (iv) to promote agroecology, it is crucial to recognise peasant knowledge, to change the dominant discourse on agriculture through social movement dynamics, and to generate support from public policies and funds; and (v) participatory and quantitative methodologies can be combined for more precise and relevant assessments of agroecological transitions.

    Farmers show complex and contrasting perceptions on ecosystem services and their management
    Teixeira, Heitor Mancini ; Vermue, Ardjan J. ; Cardoso, Irene Maria ; Peña Claros, Marielos ; Bianchi, Felix J.J.A. - \ 2018
    Ecosystem Services 33 (2018). - ISSN 2212-0416 - p. 44 - 58.
    Agroecology - Agroecosystems - Biodiversity - Brazil - Fuzzy cognitive maps

    Agricultural systems are complex socio-ecological systems that are managed by farmers to achieve desired outcomes, including food production and other ecosystem services (ES). While farm management is a key factor for ES provision, farmers may widely differ in their awareness, ambition and skills to manage their systems. Currently there is a lack of understanding of farmers’ perception on ES, and how this is related to their management. We studied the management and perception of large scale farmers, conventional family farmers and agroecological family farmers in the Zona de Mata region in Brazil. Farmers were interviewed and constructed fuzzy cognitive maps (FCM) of their perception on ES. The FCM analysis revealed that in general, the perception of farmers on ES is highly complex and interconnected. Yet, agroecological family farmers showed a more complex perception on ES, which is associated with more diversified and autonomous agroecosystems. Both agroecological and conventional family farmers had a strong peasant identity, recognising more cultural ecosystem services than large scale farmers and relied more on production for consumption. Initiatives that aim to strengthen on-farm ecosystem services provision should be sensitive to farmer's perceptions and may need to consider using specific strategies for different farmer types.

    An acidic model pro-peptide affects the secondary structure, membrane interactions and antimicrobial activity of a crotalicidin fragment
    Júnior, Nelson G.O. ; Cardoso, Marlon H. ; Cândido, Elizabete S. ; Broek, Danielle van den; Lange, Niek de; Velikova, Nadya ; Kleijn, J.M. ; Wells, Jerry M. ; Rezende, Taia M.B. ; Franco, Octávio Luiz ; Vries, Renko de - \ 2018
    Scientific Reports 8 (2018)1. - ISSN 2045-2322

    In order to study how acidic pro-peptides inhibit the antimicrobial activity of antimicrobial peptides, we introduce a simple model system, consisting of a 19 amino-acid long antimicrobial peptide, and an N-terminally attached, 10 amino-acid long acidic model pro-peptide. The antimicrobial peptide is a fragment of the crotalicidin peptide, a member of the cathelidin family, from rattlesnake venom. The model pro-peptide is a deca (glutamic acid). Attachment of the model pro-peptide only leads to a moderately large reduction in the binding to- and induced leakage of model liposomes, while the antimicrobial activity of the crotalicidin fragment is completely inhibited by attaching the model pro-peptide. Attaching the pro-peptide induces a conformational change to a more helical conformation, while there are no signs of intra- or intermolecular peptide complexation. We conclude that inhibition of antimicrobial activity by the model pro-peptide might be related to a conformational change induced by the pro-peptide domain, and that additional effects beyond induced changes in membrane activity must also be involved.

    Corrigendum to “The structuring role of submerged macrophytes in a large subtropical shallow lake : Clear effects on water chemistry and phytoplankton structure community along a vegetated-pelagic gradient” [Limnologica (2018) 142–154]
    Finkler Ferreira, T. ; Crossetti, Luciane O. ; Motta Marques, David M.L. ; Cardoso, Luciana ; Fragoso, Carlos Ruberto ; Nes, Egbert H. van - \ 2018
    Limnologica 71 (2018). - ISSN 0075-9511 - p. 89 - 89.
    Performance of immatures of three neotropical miridae at five different temperatures, reared on ephestia kuehniella eggs on tobacco plants
    Bueno, Vanda Helena Paes ; Montes, Flavio Cardoso ; Sampaio, Marcus Vinicius ; Calixto, Ana Maria ; Lenteren, Joop C. van - \ 2018
    Bulletin of Insectology 71 (2018)1. - ISSN 1721-8861 - p. 77 - 87.
    Biological control - Campyloneuropsis infumatus - Engytatus varians - Macrolophus basicornis - Mass production - Thermal constants - Tuta absoluta
    Effects of temperature (16, 20, 24, 28 and 32 ± 1 °C), host plant (Nicotiana tabacum L.) and factitious prey (eggs of Ephestia kuehniella Zeller) on immature development of three recently found Neotropical mirids, Campyloneuropsis infumatus (Carvalho), Engytatus varians (Distant) and Macrolophus basicornis (Stal) were studied at RH 70 ± 10% and 12h photophase in climate cabinets. These mirids are being evaluated for biological control of the South American tomato borer Tuta absoluta (Meyrick) and other pests on tomato. Survival of eggs of the three mirid species on tobacco was high (> 80%) at 16-28 °C, but lower (< 80%) at 32 °C. Development times decreased with increasing temperature from 16-28 °C. Nymphal survival was higher (84-96%) at 20, 24 and 28 °C than at 16 and 32 °C (46-83%). The sex ratio of C. infumatus was strongly female biased at all temperatures, whereas it was 1:1 for the other two species. The lower temperature thresholds for egg-adult development of C. infumatus, E. varians and M. basicornis were 9.4, 9.4 and 7.9 °C, and their thermal constants were 384.6, 384.6 and 476.2 DD, respectively. Temperatures between 24 to 28 °C are best for immature performance and for rearing of these mirids species. Eggs of the factitious host E. kuehniella provide adequate food for their mass production. Optimal temperatures for best mirid predator performance are similar to those for the pest T. absoluta, indicating good climate matching.
    The structuring role of submerged macrophytes in a large subtropical shallow lake : Clear effects on water chemistry and phytoplankton structure community along a vegetated-pelagic gradient
    Finkler Ferreira, Tiago ; Crossetti, Luciane O. ; Motta Marques, David M.L. ; Cardoso, Luciana ; Fragoso, Carlos Ruberto ; Nes, Egbert H. van - \ 2018
    Limnologica 69 (2018). - ISSN 0075-9511 - p. 142 - 154.
    Cyanobacteria control - Littoral-pelagic gradient - Phytoplankton community - Shallow lake restoration - Submerged macrophytes - Water quality
    It is well known that submerged macrophytes exert positive feedback effects that enhance the water transparency, stabilizing the clear-water state in shallow temperate lakes. However, the structuring effect of macrophytes on the food web of subtropical and tropical ecosystems is still poorly understood. In this study we investigated the influence of dense submerged vegetation beds on the water chemistry and phytoplankton structure along a littoral-pelagic gradient of large subtropical shallow lake in southern Brazil. Seasonal monitoring was carried throughout one year following along a submerged vegetated-pelagic transect in order to analyze the effects of macrophyte's coverage (percentage of volume infested- PVI) on the water chemistry and phytoplankton community structure. Clear variations on nutrient concentration and phytoplankton biomass/composition could be observed permanently along the transect. Nutrients as orto-phosphate (PO4 −) and bicarbonate increased linearly towards the pelagic zone, whereas dissolved organic carbon and humic substances decreased linearly as PVI decreased. Concomitantly, a significant increase in the phytoplankton biomass was observed outwards from the submerged vegetation bed. In the vegetated area, small species (C-R strategists), unicellular flagellates were selected; whereas in the pelagic zone, larger (K-selected) species of cyanobacteria occurred, especially representatives of the functional groups M, LO, SN, S1 and K. Such results indicate that the macrophytes and inherent metabolism, such as potential excretion of dissolved organic compounds with allelochemicals and nutrient uptake from water column influence the structure of the phytoplankton community reducing also significantly the biomass of cyanobacteria within the dense submerged vegetated zone. Because of the continuous growth of macrophytes over the year in low latitude systems, their feed-back effect pattern tends to also dictate a different role in ecosystem dynamics and structure of the food web. These findings contribute to the management and conservation of subtropical and tropical lakes.
    Maillard induced glycation behaviour of individual milk proteins
    Cardoso, Hugo B. ; Wierenga, Peter A. ; Gruppen, Harry ; Schols, Henk A. - \ 2018
    Food Chemistry 252 (2018). - ISSN 0308-8146 - p. 311 - 317.
    Reactivity - α-Lactalbumin - β-Casein - β-Lactoglobulin
    This paper set out to differentiate the Maillard induced glycation reactivity of individual milk proteins using different saccharides under well-defined reaction conditions. α-Lactalbumin, β-lactoglobulin and β-casein were incubated with mono-, di- and trisaccharides in the dry state under standardised buffered conditions and glycation was expressed relative to the available reactive groups per protein (DG). Protein reactivity, described by the DG max and initial speed of glycation (v), followed the same order for each protein-saccharide incubation: α-lactalbumin > β-lactoglobulin ≫ β-casein. Glycation of whey proteins by different monosaccharides was double that of β-casein. Differences in DG between whey proteins and β-casein decreased with increased saccharide size. A two-fold difference was found for glycation in the presence of the dimers lactose and maltose for β-casein but not for the whey proteins. The percentage of glycated lysines increased with increased lysine to protein size ratio.
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