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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    Carbon-nitrogen interactions in European forests and semi-natural vegetation - Part 1 : Fluxes and budgets of carbon, nitrogen and greenhouse gases from ecosystem monitoring and modelling
    Sutton, Mark A. ; Flechard, Chris R. ; Ibrom, Andreas ; Skiba, Ute M. ; Vries, Wim De; Oijen, Marcel Van; Cameron, David R. ; DIse, Nancy B. ; Korhonen, Janne F.J. ; Buchmann, Nina ; Legout, Arnaud ; Simpson, David ; Sanz, Maria J. ; Aubinet, Marc ; Loustau, Denis ; Montagnani, Leonardo ; Neirynck, Johan ; Janssens, Ivan A. ; Pihlatie, Mari ; Kiese, Ralf ; Siemens, Jan ; Francez, Andre Jean ; Augustin, Jurgen ; Varlagin, Andrej ; Olejnik, Janusz ; Juszczak, Radoslaw ; Aurela, Mika ; Berveiller, Daniel ; Chojnicki, Bogdan H. ; Dämmgen, Ulrich ; Delpierre, Nicolas ; Djuricic, Vesna ; Drewer, Julia ; Dufrêne, Eric ; Eugster, Werner ; Fauvel, Yannick ; Fowler, David ; Frumau, Arnoud ; Granier, André ; Gross, Patrick ; Hamon, Yannick ; Helfter, Carole ; Hensen, Arjan ; Horvath, Laszlo ; Kitzler, Barbara ; Kruijt, Bart ; Kutsch, Werner L. ; Lobo-Do-Vale, Raquel ; Lohila, Annalea ; Longdoz, Bernard ; Marek, Michal V. ; Matteucci, Giorgio ; Mitosinkova, Marta ; Moreaux, Virginie ; Neftel, Albrecht ; Ourcival, Jean Marc ; Pilegaard, Kim ; Pita, Gabriel ; Sanz, Francisco ; Schjoerring, Jan K. ; Sebastià, Maria Teresa ; Sim Tang, Y. ; Uggerud, Hilde ; Urbaniak, Marek ; DIjk, Netty Van; Vesala, Timo ; Vidic, Sonja ; Vincke, Caroline ; Weidinger, Tamas ; Zechmeister-Boltenstern, Sophie ; Butterbach-Bahl, Klaus ; Nemitz, Eiko - \ 2020
    Biogeosciences 17 (2020)6. - ISSN 1726-4170 - p. 1583 - 1620.

    The impact of atmospheric reactive nitrogen (Nr) deposition on carbon (C) sequestration in soils and biomass of unfertilized, natural, semi-natural and forest ecosystems has been much debated. Many previous results of this dC=dN response were based on changes in carbon stocks from periodical soil and ecosystem inventories, associated with estimates of Nr deposition obtained from large-scale chemical transport models. This study and a companion paper (Flechard et al., 2020) strive to reduce uncertainties of N effects on C sequestration by linking multi-annual gross and net ecosystem productivity estimates from 40 eddy covariance flux towers across Europe to local measurement-based estimates of dry and wet Nr deposition from a dedicated collocated monitoring network. To identify possible ecological drivers and processes affecting the interplay between C and Nr inputs and losses, these data were also combined with in situ flux measurements of NO, N2O and CH4 fluxes; soil NO3 leaching sampling; and results of soil incubation experiments for N and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, as well as surveys of available data from online databases and from the literature, together with forest ecosystem (BASFOR) modelling. Multi-year averages of net ecosystem productivity (NEP) in forests ranged from 70 to 826 gCm2 yr1 at total wetCdry inorganic Nr deposition rates (Ndep) of 0.3 to 4.3 gNm2 yr1 and from 4 to 361 g Cm2 yr1 at Ndep rates of 0.1 to 3.1 gNm2 yr1 in short semi-natural vegetation (moorlands, wetlands and unfertilized extensively managed grasslands). The GHG budgets of the forests were strongly dominated by CO2 exchange, while CH4 and N2O exchange comprised a larger proportion of the GHG balance in short semi-natural vegetation. Uncertainties in elemental budgets were much larger for nitrogen than carbon, especially at sites with elevated Ndep where Nr leaching losses were also very large, and compounded by the lack of reliable data on organic nitrogen and N2 losses by denitrification. Nitrogen losses in the form of NO, N2O and especially NO3 were on average 27%(range 6 % 54 %) of Ndep at sites with Ndep < 1 gNm2 yr1 versus 65% (range 35 % 85 %) for Ndep > 3 gNm2 yr1. Such large levels of Nr loss likely indicate that different stages of N saturation occurred at a number of sites. The joint analysis of the C and N budgets provided further hints that N saturation could be detected in altered patterns of forest growth. Net ecosystem productivity increased with Nr deposition up to 2 2.5 gNm2 yr1, with large scatter associated with a wide range in carbon sequestration efficiency (CSE, defined as the NEP = GPP ratio). At elevated Ndep levels (> 2.5 gNm2 yr1), where inorganic Nr losses were also increasingly large, NEP levelled off and then decreased. The apparent increase in NEP at low to intermediate Ndep levels was partly the result of geographical cross-correlations between Ndep and climate, indicating that the actual mean dC=dN response at individual sites was significantly lower than would be suggested by a simple, straightforward regression of NEP vs. Ndep.

    Improving sub-seasonal forecast skill of meteorological drought: A weather pattern approach
    Richardson, Doug ; Fowler, Hayley J. ; Kilsby, Christopher G. ; Neal, Robert ; Dankers, Rutger - \ 2020
    Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences 20 (2020)1. - ISSN 1561-8633 - p. 107 - 124.

    Dynamical model skill in forecasting extratropical precipitation is limited beyond the medium-range (around 15 d), but such models are often more skilful at predicting atmospheric variables. We explore the potential benefits of using weather pattern (WP) predictions as an intermediary step in forecasting UK precipitation and meteorological drought on sub-seasonal timescales. Mean sea-level pressure forecasts from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts ensemble prediction system (ECMWF-EPS) are post-processed into probabilistic WP predictions. Then we derive precipitation estimates and dichotomous drought event probabilities by sampling from the conditional distributions of precipitation given the WPs. We compare this model to the direct precipitation and drought forecasts from the ECMWF-EPS and to a baseline Markov chain WP method. A perfect-prognosis model is also tested to illustrate the potential of WPs in forecasting. Using a range of skill diagnostics, we find that the Markov model is the least skilful, while the dynamical WP model and direct precipitation forecasts have similar accuracy independent of lead time and season. However, drought forecasts are more reliable for the dynamical WP model. Forecast skill scores are generally modest (rarely above 0.4), although those for the perfect-prognosis model highlight the potential predictability of precipitation and drought using WPs, with certain situations yielding skill scores of almost 0.8 and drought event hit and false alarm rates of 70 % and 30 %, respectively.

    The ecology of infrastructure decommissioning in the North Sea: what we need to know and how to achieve it
    Fowler, A.M. ; Jørgensen, A.M. ; Coolen, J.W.P. ; Jones, D.O.B. ; Svendsen, J.C. ; Brabant, R. ; Rumes, B. ; Degraer, S. - \ 2020
    ICES Journal of Marine Science 77 (2020)3. - ISSN 1054-3139 - p. 1109 - 1126.
    artificial reefs - biodiversity - conservation - decommissioning - ecosystem - marine policy - North Sea - offshore infrastructure - platform - sustainability - wind farm
    As decommissioning of oil and gas (O&G) installations intensifies in the North Sea, and worldwide, debate rages regarding the fate of these novel habitats and their associated biota—a debate that has important implications for future decommissioning of offshore wind farms (OWFs). Calls to relax complete removal requirements in some circumstances and allow part of an O&G installation to be left in the marine environment are increasing. Yet knowledge regarding the biological communities that develop on these structures and their ecological role in the North Sea is currently insufficient to inform such decommissioning decisions. To focus debate regarding decommissioning policy and guide ecological research, we review environmental policy objectives in the region, summarize existing knowledge regarding ecological aspects of decommissioning for both O&G and OWF installations, and identify approaches to address knowledge gaps through science–industry collaboration. We find that in some cases complete removal will conflict with other policies regarding protection and restoration of reefs, as well as the conservation of species within the region. Key ecological considerations that are rarely considered during decommissioning decisions are: (i) provision of reef habitat, (ii) productivity of offshore ecosystems, (iii) enhancement of biodiversity, (iv) protection of the seabed from trawling, and (v) enhancement of connectivity. Knowledge gaps within these areas will best be addressed using industry infrastructure and vessels for scientific investigations, re-analysis of historical data held by industry, scientific training of industry personnel, joint research funding opportunities, and trial decommissioning projects.
    Scientific opinion on the proposed amendment of the EU specifications for titanium dioxide (E 171) with respect to the inclusion of additional parameters related to its particle size distribution
    Younes, Maged ; Aquilina, Gabriele ; Castle, Laurence ; Engel, Karl Heinz ; Fowler, Paul ; Frutos Fernandez, Maria Jose ; Gürtler, Rainer ; Gundert-Remy, Ursula ; Husøy, Trine ; Mennes, Wim ; Agneta Oskarsson, Peter Moldeus ; Rainieri, Sandra ; Shah, Romina ; Waalkens-Berendsen, Ine ; Wölfle, Detlef ; Gaffet, Eric ; Mast, Jan ; Peters, Ruud ; Rincon, Ana Maria ; Fürst, Peter - \ 2019
    EFSA Journal 17 (2019)7. - ISSN 1831-4732
    E 171 - food additive - particle size - specifications - Titanium dioxide

    The present opinion deals with the assessment of the data provided by interested business operators in support of an amendment of the EU specifications for titanium dioxide (E 171) with respect to the inclusion of additional parameters related to its particle size distribution. Titanium dioxide which is used as a food additive E 171 in food undergoes no surface treatment and is not coated. It consists of anatase or rutile generally containing small amounts of the other phase (rutile or anatase, < 2% m/m) and it may also contain small quantities (< 0.5%) of constituent particle growth and crystal phase control agents (alumina, sodium or potassium in combination with phosphate). Particle size analyses, by TEM, SEM, XDC or DC, have been carried out on five commercial brands of anatase E 171 and one of rutile E 171 manufactured by the only three EU manufacturers that, according to information submitted by interested business operators, produce food-grade titanium dioxide. Interested business operators proposed to introduce in the EU specifications for E 171 a specification of more than 100 nm for median Feret min diameter and less than 50% of the number of constituent particles below 100 nm; measured by EM in both cases. The Panel, after reviewing the data, concluded that a specification of more than 100 nm for median minimal external dimension, equivalent to less than 50% of the number of constituent particles with a median minimal external dimension below 100 nm, should be inserted in the current EU specifications. The Panel considered that the conclusions made, and the uncertainties identified, in the previous EFSA assessments on E 171 remain valid. The Panel reiterates the need for the further research as recommended in the previous opinions in order to decrease the level of uncertainty and acknowledged that additional studies with characterised E 171 are being carried out by interested business operators.

    Twenty-three unsolved problems in hydrology (UPH)–a community perspective
    Blöschl, Günter ; Bierkens, Marc F.P. ; Chambel, Antonio ; Cudennec, Christophe ; Destouni, Georgia ; Fiori, Aldo ; Kirchner, James W. ; McDonnell, Jeffrey J. ; Savenije, Hubert H.G. ; Sivapalan, Murugesu ; Stumpp, Christine ; Toth, Elena ; Volpi, Elena ; Carr, Gemma ; Lupton, Claire ; Salinas, Josè ; Széles, Borbála ; Viglione, Alberto ; Aksoy, Hafzullah ; Allen, Scott T. ; Amin, Anam ; Andréassian, Vazken ; Arheimer, Berit ; Aryal, Santosh K. ; Baker, Victor ; Bardsley, Earl ; Barendrecht, Marlies H. ; Bartosova, Alena ; Batelaan, Okke ; Berghuijs, Wouter R. ; Beven, Keith ; Blume, Theresa ; Bogaard, Thom ; Borges de Amorim, Pablo ; Böttcher, Michael E. ; Boulet, Gilles ; Breinl, Korbinian ; Brilly, Mitja ; Brocca, Luca ; Buytaert, Wouter ; Castellarin, Attilio ; Castelletti, Andrea ; Chen, Xiaohong ; Chen, Yangbo ; Chen, Yuanfang ; Chifflard, Peter ; Claps, Pierluigi ; Clark, Martyn P. ; Collins, Adrian L. ; Croke, Barry ; Dathe, Annette ; David, Paula C. ; Barros, Felipe P.J. de; Rooij, Gerrit de; Baldassarre, Giuliano Di; Driscoll, Jessica M. ; Duethmann, Doris ; Dwivedi, Ravindra ; Eris, Ebru ; Farmer, William H. ; Feiccabrino, James ; Ferguson, Grant ; Ferrari, Ennio ; Ferraris, Stefano ; Fersch, Benjamin ; Finger, David ; Foglia, Laura ; Fowler, Keirnan ; Gartsman, Boris ; Gascoin, Simon ; Gaume, Eric ; Gelfan, Alexander ; Geris, Josie ; Gharari, Shervan ; Gleeson, Tom ; Glendell, Miriam ; Gonzalez Bevacqua, Alena ; González-Dugo, María P. ; Grimaldi, Salvatore ; Gupta, A.B. ; Guse, Björn ; Han, Dawei ; Hannah, David ; Harpold, Adrian ; Haun, Stefan ; Heal, Kate ; Helfricht, Kay ; Herrnegger, Mathew ; Hipsey, Matthew ; Hlaváčiková, Hana ; Hohmann, Clara ; Holko, Ladislav ; Hopkinson, Christopher ; Hrachowitz, Markus ; Illangasekare, Tissa H. ; Inam, Azhar ; Innocente, Camyla ; Istanbulluoglu, Erkan ; Jarihani, Ben ; Kalantari, Zahra ; Kalvans, Andis ; Khanal, Sonu ; Khatami, Sina ; Kiesel, Jens ; Kirkby, Mike ; Knoben, Wouter ; Kochanek, Krzysztof ; Kohnová, Silvia ; Kolechkina, Alla ; Krause, Stefan ; Kreamer, David ; Kreibich, Heidi ; Kunstmann, Harald ; Lange, Holger ; Liberato, Margarida L.R. ; Lindquist, Eric ; Link, Timothy ; Liu, Junguo ; Loucks, Daniel Peter ; Luce, Charles ; Mahé, Gil ; Makarieva, Olga ; Malard, Julien ; Mashtayeva, Shamshagul ; Maskey, Shreedhar ; Mas-Pla, Josep ; Mavrova-Guirguinova, Maria ; Mazzoleni, Maurizio ; Mernild, Sebastian ; Misstear, Bruce Dudley ; Montanari, Alberto ; Müller-Thomy, Hannes ; Nabizadeh, Alireza ; Nardi, Fernando ; Neale, Christopher ; Nesterova, Nataliia ; Nurtaev, Bakhram ; Odongo, Vincent O. ; Panda, Subhabrata ; Pande, Saket ; Pang, Zhonghe ; Papacharalampous, Georgia ; Perrin, Charles ; Pfister, Laurent ; Pimentel, Rafael ; Polo, María J. ; Post, David ; Prieto Sierra, Cristina ; Ramos, Maria Helena ; Renner, Maik ; Reynolds, José Eduardo ; Ridolfi, Elena ; Rigon, Riccardo ; Riva, Monica ; Robertson, David E. ; Rosso, Renzo ; Roy, Tirthankar ; Sá, João H.M. ; Salvadori, Gianfausto ; Sandells, Mel ; Schaefli, Bettina ; Schumann, Andreas ; Scolobig, Anna ; Seibert, Jan ; Servat, Eric ; Shafiei, Mojtaba ; Sharma, Ashish ; Sidibe, Moussa ; Sidle, Roy C. ; Skaugen, Thomas ; Smith, Hugh ; Spiessl, Sabine M. ; Stein, Lina ; Steinsland, Ingelin ; Strasser, Ulrich ; Su, Bob ; Szolgay, Jan ; Tarboton, David ; Tauro, Flavia ; Thirel, Guillaume ; Tian, Fuqiang ; Tong, Rui ; Tussupova, Kamshat ; Tyralis, Hristos ; Uijlenhoet, Remko ; Beek, Rens van; Ent, Ruud J. van der; Ploeg, Martine van der; Loon, Anne F. Van; Meerveld, Ilja van; Nooijen, Ronald van; Oel, Pieter R. van; Vidal, Jean Philippe ; Freyberg, Jana von; Vorogushyn, Sergiy ; Wachniew, Przemyslaw ; Wade, Andrew J. ; Ward, Philip ; Westerberg, Ida K. ; White, Christopher ; Wood, Eric F. ; Woods, Ross ; Xu, Zongxue ; Yilmaz, Koray K. ; Zhang, Yongqiang - \ 2019
    Hydrological Sciences Journal 64 (2019)10. - ISSN 0262-6667 - p. 1141 - 1158.
    hydrology - interdisciplinary - knowledge gaps - research agenda - science questions

    This paper is the outcome of a community initiative to identify major unsolved scientific problems in hydrology motivated by a need for stronger harmonisation of research efforts. The procedure involved a public consultation through online media, followed by two workshops through which a large number of potential science questions were collated, prioritised, and synthesised. In spite of the diversity of the participants (230 scientists in total), the process revealed much about community priorities and the state of our science: a preference for continuity in research questions rather than radical departures or redirections from past and current work. Questions remain focused on the process-based understanding of hydrological variability and causality at all space and time scales. Increased attention to environmental change drives a new emphasis on understanding how change propagates across interfaces within the hydrological system and across disciplinary boundaries. In particular, the expansion of the human footprint raises a new set of questions related to human interactions with nature and water cycle feedbacks in the context of complex water management problems. We hope that this reflection and synthesis of the 23 unsolved problems in hydrology will help guide research efforts for some years to come.

    Environmental benefits of leaving offshore infrastructure in the ocean
    Fowler, Ashley M. ; Jørgensen, A.M. ; Svendsen, Jon C. ; Macreadie, Peter I. ; Jones, Daniel O.B. ; Boon, Arjen R. ; Booth, David J. ; Brabant, Robin ; Callahan, Emily ; Claisse, Jeremy T. ; Dahlgren, Thomas G. ; Degraer, Steven ; Dokken, Quenton R. ; Gill, Andrew B. ; Johns, David G. ; Leewis, Robert J. ; Lindeboom, Han J. ; Linden, Olof ; May, Roel ; Murk, Albertinka J. ; Ottersen, Geir ; Schroeder, Donna M. ; Shastri, Sunil M. ; Teilmann, Jonas ; Todd, Victoria ; Hoey, Gert Van; Vanaverbeke, Jan ; Coolen, Joop W.P. - \ 2018
    Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 16 (2018)10. - ISSN 1540-9295 - p. 571 - 578.
    The removal of thousands of structures associated with oil and gas development from the world’s oceans is well underway, yet the environmental impacts of this decommissioning practice remain unknown. Similar impacts will be associated with the eventual removal of offshore wind turbines. We conducted a global survey of environmental experts to guide best decommissioning practices in the North Sea, a region with a substantial removal burden. In contrast to current regulations, 94.7% of experts (36 out of 38) agreed that a more flexible case-by- case approach to decommissioning could benefit the North Sea environment. Partial removal options were considered to deliver better environmental outcomes than complete removal for platforms, but both approaches were equally supported for wind turbines. Key considerations identified for
    decommissioning were biodiversity enhancement, provision of reef habitat, and protection from bottom trawling, all of which are negatively affected by complete removal. We provide recommendations to guide the revision of offshore decommissioning policy, including a temporary suspension of obligatory removal.
    Data from: Origins of food crops connect countries worldwide
    Khoury, C.K. ; Achicanoy, Harold A. ; Bjorkman, Anne D. ; Navarro-Racines, Carlos ; Guarino, Luigi ; Flores-Palacios, Ximena ; Engels, Johannes M.M. ; Wiersema, John H. ; Dempewolf, Hannes ; Sotelo, Steven ; Ramírez-Villegas, Julian ; Castañeda-Álvarez, Nora P. ; Fowler, Cary ; Jarvis, Andy ; Rieseberg, Loren H. ; Struik, P.C. - \ 2016
    food security - crop diversity - crop origins - plant genetic resources - crop domestication - crop improvement
    Research into the origins of food plants has led to the recognition that specific geographical regions around the world have been of particular importance to the development of agricultural crops. Yet the relative contributions of these different regions in the context of current food systems have not been quantified. Here we determine the origins (‘primary regions of diversity’) of the crops comprising the food supplies and agricultural production of countries worldwide. We estimate the degree to which countries use crops from regions of diversity other than their own (‘foreign crops’), and quantify changes in this usage over the past 50 years. Countries are highly interconnected with regard to primary regions of diversity of the crops they cultivate and/or consume. Foreign crops are extensively used in food supplies (68.7% of national food supplies as a global mean are derived from foreign crops) and production systems (69.3% of crops grown are foreign). Foreign crop usage has increased significantly over the past 50 years, including in countries with high indigenous crop diversity. The results provide a novel perspective on the ongoing globalization of food systems worldwide, and bolster evidence for the importance of international collaboration on genetic resource conservation and exchange.
    Predicting bee community responses to land-use changes : Effects of geographic and taxonomic biases
    Palma, Adriana De; Abrahamczyk, Stefan ; Aizen, Marcelo A. ; Albrecht, Matthias ; Basset, Yves ; Bates, Adam ; Blake, Robin J. ; Boutin, Céline ; Bugter, Rob ; Connop, Stuart ; Cruz-López, Leopoldo ; Cunningham, Saul A. ; Darvill, Ben ; Diekötter, Tim ; Dorn, Silvia ; Downing, Nicola ; Entling, Martin H. ; Farwig, Nina ; Felicioli, Antonio ; Fonte, Steven J. ; Fowler, Robert ; Franzén, Markus ; Goulson, Dave ; Grass, Ingo ; Hanley, Mick E. ; Hendrix, Stephen D. ; Herrmann, Farina ; Herzog, Felix ; Holzschuh, Andrea ; Jauker, Birgit ; Kessler, Michael ; Knight, M.E. ; Kruess, Andreas ; Lavelle, Patrick ; Féon, Violette Le; Lentini, Pia ; Malone, Louise A. ; Marshall, Jon ; Pachón, Eliana Martínez ; McFrederick, Quinn S. ; Morales, Carolina L. ; Mudri-Stojnic, Sonja ; Nates-Parra, Guiomar ; Nilsson, Sven G. ; Öckinger, Erik ; Osgathorpe, Lynne ; Parra-H, Alejandro ; Peres, Carlos A. ; Persson, Anna S. ; Petanidou, Theodora ; Poveda, Katja ; Power, Eileen F. ; Quaranta, Marino ; Quintero, Carolina ; Rader, Romina ; Richards, Miriam H. ; Roulston, Tai ; Rousseau, Laurent ; Sadler, Jonathan P. ; Samnegård, Ulrika ; Schellhorn, Nancy A. ; Schüepp, Christof ; Schweiger, Oliver ; Smith-Pardo, Allan H. ; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf ; Stout, Jane C. ; Tonietto, Rebecca K. ; Tscharntke, Teja ; Tylianakis, Jason M. ; Verboven, Hans A.F. ; Vergara, Carlos H. ; Verhulst, Jort ; Westphal, Catrin ; Yoon, Hyung Joo ; Purvis, Andy - \ 2016
    Scientific Reports 6 (2016). - ISSN 2045-2322 - 14 p.

    Land-use change and intensification threaten bee populations worldwide, imperilling pollination services. Global models are needed to better characterise, project, and mitigate bees' responses to these human impacts. The available data are, however, geographically and taxonomically unrepresentative; most data are from North America and Western Europe, overrepresenting bumblebees and raising concerns that model results may not be generalizable to other regions and taxa. To assess whether the geographic and taxonomic biases of data could undermine effectiveness of models for conservation policy, we have collated from the published literature a global dataset of bee diversity at sites facing land-use change and intensification, and assess whether bee responses to these pressures vary across 11 regions (Western, Northern, Eastern and Southern Europe; North, Central and South America; Australia and New Zealand; South East Asia; Middle and Southern Africa) and between bumblebees and other bees. Our analyses highlight strong regionally-based responses of total abundance, species richness and Simpson's diversity to land use, caused by variation in the sensitivity of species and potentially in the nature of threats. These results suggest that global extrapolation of models based on geographically and taxonomically restricted data may underestimate the true uncertainty, increasing the risk of ecological surprises.

    Monty Roberts’ public demonstrations : Preliminary report on the heart rate and heart rate variability of horses undergoing training during live audience events
    Loftus, Loni ; Marks, Kelly ; Jones-McVey, Rosie ; Gonzales, Jose L. ; Fowler, Veronica L. - \ 2016
    Animals 6 (2016)9. - ISSN 2076-2615
    Heart rate - Heart rate variability - Horse training - Live demonstration - Monty roberts

    Effective training of horses relies on the trainer’s awareness of learning theory and equine ethology, and should be undertaken with skill and time. Some trainers, such as Monty Roberts, share their methods through the medium of public demonstrations. This paper describes the opportunistic analysis of beat-to-beat (RR) intervals and heart rate variability (HRV) of ten horses being used in Monty Roberts’ public demonstrations within the United Kingdom. RR and HRV was measured in the stable before training and during training. The HRV variables standard deviation of the RR interval (SDRR), root mean square of successive RR differences (RMSSD), geometric means standard deviation 1 (SD1) and 2 (SD2), along with the low and high frequency ratio (LF/HF ratio) were calculated. The minimum, average and maximum RR intervals were significantly lower in training (indicative of an increase in heart rate as measured in beats-per-minute) than in the stable (p = 0.0006; p = 0.01; p = 0.03). SDRR, RMSSD, SD1, SD2 and the LF/HF ratio were all significantly lower in training than in the stable (p = 0.001; p = 0.049; p = 0.049; p = 0.001; p = 0.01). When comparing the HR and HRV of horses during Join-up® to overall training, there were no significant differences in any variable with the exception of maximum RR which was significantly lower (p = 0.007) during Join-up®, indicative of short increases in physical exertion (canter) associated with this training exercise. In conclusion, training of horses during public demonstrations is a low-moderate physiological, rather than psychological stressor for horses. The physiological stress responses observed within this study were comparable or less to those previously reported in the literature for horses being trained outside of public audience events. Furthermore, there is no evidence that the use of Join-up® alters HR and HRV in a way to suggest that this training method negatively affects the psychological welfare of horses.

    Origins of food crops connect countries worldwide
    Khoury, Colin K. ; Achicanoy, Harold A. ; Bjorkman, Anne D. ; Navarro-Racines, Carlos ; Guarino, Luigi ; Flores-Palacios, Ximena ; Engels, Johannes M.M. ; Wiersema, John H. ; Dempewolf, Hannes ; Sotelo, Steven ; Ramírez-Villegas, Julian ; Castañeda-Álvarez, Nora P. ; Fowler, Cary ; Jarvis, Andy ; Rieseberg, Loren H. ; Struik, Paul C. - \ 2016
    Proceedings of the Royal Society. B: Biological Sciences 283 (2016)1832. - ISSN 0962-8452 - 9 p.
    Crop diversity - Crop domestication - Crop improvement - Crop origins - Food security - Plant genetic resources

    Research into the origins of food plants has led to the recognition that specific geographical regions around the world have been of particular importance to the development of agricultural crops. Yet the relative contributions of these different regions in the context of current food systems have not been quantified. Here we determine the origins ('primary regions of diversity') of the crops comprising the food supplies and agricultural production of countries worldwide. We estimate the degree to which countries use crops from regions of diversity other than their own ('foreign crops'), and quantify changes in this usage over the past 50 years. Countries are highly interconnected with regard to primary regions of diversity of the crops they cultivate and/or consume. Foreign crops are extensively used in food supplies (68.7% of national food supplies as a global mean are derived from foreign crops) and production systems (69.3% of crops grown are foreign). Foreign crop usage has increased significantly over the past 50 years, including in countries with high indigenous crop diversity. The results provide a novel perspective on the ongoing globalization of food systems worldwide, and bolster evidence for the importance of international collaboration on genetic resource conservation and exchange.

    Policy Brief - Where our Food Crops Come from: A New Estimation of Countries’ Interdependence in Plant Genetic Resources
    Khoury, C.K. ; Achicanoy, H.A. ; Bjorkman, A.D. ; Navarro-Racines, C. ; Guarino, L. ; Flores-Palacios, X. ; Engels, J.M.M. ; Wiersema, J.H. ; Dempewolf, H. ; Ramirez-Villegas, J. ; Castaneda-Alvarez, N.P. ; Fowler, C. ; Jarvis, A. ; Rieseberg, L.H. ; Struik, P.C. - \ 2015
    CIAT International Center for Tropical Agriculture
    Key messages: • Access to plant genetic resources used in crop improvement is essential for achieving food and nutrition security. • All countries utilize crops whose genetic diversity originates outside their borders and therefore benefi t from international collaboration to access plant genetic resources. • Countries are highly interdependent in regard to these resources, as 68.7% of their diets and 69.3% of their national agricultural production systems depend on crops whose genetic diversity originates largely outside their borders, on average across countries worldwide. • Countries’ dependence on crops that originated in other regions has increased over the past 50 years in concert with economic and agricultural development and the globalization of food systems. Increased utilization of these “foreign” crops is correlated with greater dietary diversity and higher GDP. • Global interdependence in plant genetic resources provides a strong rationale for proactively conserving and facilitating access to this diversity worldwide. We recommend more comprehensive participation of countries in the Multilateral System of Access and Benefi t Sharing of the ITPGRFA, and for widening international cooperation and a multilateral approach to the exchange of plant genetic diversity in order to consider all crops of present and future international importance.
    Estimation of countries’ interdependence in plant genetic resources provisioning national food supplies and production systems
    Khoury, C.K. ; Achicanoy, H.A. ; Bjorkman, A.D. ; Navarro-Racines, C. ; Guarino, L. ; Flores-Palacios, X. ; Engels, J.M.M. ; Wiersema, J.H. ; Dempewolf, H. ; Ramirez-Villegas, J. ; Castaneda-Alvarez, N.P. ; Fowler, C. ; Jarvis, A. ; Rieseberg, L.H. ; Struik, P.C. - \ 2015
    The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (Research study 8) - 26 p.
    The Contracting Parties of the International Treaty recognize that plant genetic resources for food and agriculture are a common concern of all countries, in that all countries depend largely on plant genetic resources for food and agriculture that originated elsewhere. Nearly 20 years ago, an initial research on interdependence mong countries on crop diversity provided information helpful for countries to establish the Treaty, and in particular its Multilateral System of Access and Benefit-sharing. Through Resolution 2/2013, the Governing established an intergovernmental process to enhance the functioning of the Multilateral System requested all available information be taken into account as a basis for supporting the work of the Ad Hoc Open-Ended Working Group to Enhance the Functioning of the Multilateral System. The Secretariat of the International Treaty published a notification encouraging international organizations to make available information relevant to the work of the Working Group. In response to such call, the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in collaboration with a wide range of research partners, have prepared a fully updated estimation of interdependence among countries, with enhancements in regard to the breadth and depth of the analysis for more than 150 countries. The research confirms the results of the initial research, and provides major enhancements in regard to the breadth and depth of the analyses, using powerful visualization tools to display the results. While the initial research focused only on calories, the new analyses include all available measures of national food supplies (calories, protein, fat, and food weight) and three pertinent measures of national production systems (production quantity, harvested area, and production value), and reveal change over the past 50 years.
    Climate change impacts on the leaching of a heavy metal contimination in a small lowland catchment
    Visser, A. ; Kroes, J.G. ; Vliet, M.T.H. van; Blenkinsop, S. ; Fowler, H.J. ; Broers, H.P. - \ 2012
    Journal of Contaminant Hydrology 127 (2012)1-4. - ISSN 0169-7722 - p. 47 - 64.
    surface-water contamination - regional climate - soil-moisture - model data - groundwater recharge - nitrogen deposition - multimodel ensemble - hydrological model - river flows - fresh-water
    The Keersop catchment (43 km2) in the south of The Netherlands has been contaminated by the emissions of four zinc ore smelters. The objective of this study was to assess the effects of future projected climate change on the hydrology and the leaching of heavy metals (i.e. Cd and Zn) in the catchment. The numerical, quasi-2D, unsaturated zone Soil Water Atmosphere Plant model was used with 100-year simulated daily time series of precipitation and potential evapotranspiration. The time series are representative of stationary climates for the periods 1961–1990 (“baseline”) and 2071–2100 (“future”). The time series of future climate were obtained by downscaling the results of eight regional climate model (RCM) experiments, driven by the SRES A2 emissions scenario, using change factors for a series of climate statistics and applying them to stochastic weather generator models. The time series are characterized by increased precipitation in winter, less precipitation in summer, and higher air temperatures (between 2 °C and 5 °C) throughout the year. Future climate scenarios project higher evapotranspiration rates, more irrigation, less drainage, lower discharge rates and lower groundwater levels, due to increased evapotranspiration and a slowing down of the groundwater system. As a result, lower concentrations of Cd and Zn in surface water are projected. The reduced leaching of heavy metals, due to drying of the catchment, showed a positive impact on a limited aspect of surface water quality. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    A multi-model ensemble of downscaled spatial climate change scenarios for the Dommel catchment, Western Europe
    Vliet, M.T.H. van; Blenkinsop, S. ; Burton, A. ; Harpman, C. ; Broers, H.P. ; Fowler, H.J. - \ 2012
    Climatic Change 111 (2012)2. - ISSN 0165-0009 - p. 249 - 277.
    stochastic weather generator - regional climate - river meuse - model projections - flood frequency - rainfall model - united-kingdom - lowland river - low-flows - precipitation
    Regional or local scale hydrological impact studies require high resolution climate change scenarios which should incorporate some assessment of uncertainties in future climate projections. This paper describes a method used to produce a multi-model ensemble of multivariate weather simulations including spatial-temporal rainfall scenarios and single-site temperature and potential evapotranspiration scenarios for hydrological impact assessment in the Dommel catchment (1,350 km2) in The Netherlands and Belgium. A multi-site stochastic rainfall model combined with a rainfall conditioned weather generator have been used for the first time with the change factor approach to downscale projections of change derived from eight Regional Climate Model (RCM) experiments for the SRES A2 emission scenario for the period 2071-2100. For winter, all downscaled scenarios show an increase in mean daily precipitation (catchment average change of +9% to +40%) and typically an increase in the proportion of wet days, while for summer a decrease in mean daily precipitation (-16% to -57%) and proportion of wet days is projected. The range of projected mean temperature is 7.7°C to 9.1°C for winter and 19.9°C to 23.3°C for summer, relative to means for the control period (1961-1990) of 3.8°C and 16.8°C, respectively. Mean annual potential evapotranspiration is projected to increase by between +17% and +36%. The magnitude and seasonal distribution of changes in the downscaled climate change projections are strongly influenced by the General Circulation Model (GCM) providing boundary conditions for the RCM experiments. Therefore, a multi-model ensemble of climate change scenarios based on different RCMs and GCMs provides more robust estimates of precipitation, temperature and evapotranspiration for hydrological impact assessments, at both regional and local scale.
    Climate change impacts on the hydrology of a small lowland catchment and the leaching of a heavy metal contamination
    Visser, A. ; Kroes, J. ; Vliet, M.T.H. van; Blenkinsop, S. ; Fowler, H.J. ; Broers, H.P. - \ 2011
    Genome sequence of the pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum
    Richards, Stephen ; Gibbs, Richard A. ; Gerardo, Nicole M. ; Moran, Nancy ; Nakabachi, Atsushi ; Stern, David ; Tagu, Denis ; Wilson, Alex C.C. ; Muzny, Donna ; Kovar, Christie ; Cree, Andy ; Chacko, Joseph ; Chandrabose, Mimi N. ; Dao, Marvin Diep ; Dinh, Huyen H. ; Gabisi, Ramatu Ayiesha ; Hines, Sandra ; Hume, Jennifer ; Jhangian, Shalini N. ; Joshi, Vandita ; Lewis, Lora R. ; Liu, Yih Shin ; Lopez, John ; Morgan, Margaret B. ; Nguyen, Ngoc Bich ; Okwuonu, Geoffrey O. ; Ruiz, San Juana ; Santibanez, Jireh ; Wright, Rita A. ; Fowler, Gerald R. ; Hitchens, Matthew E. ; Lozado, Ryan J. ; Moen, Charles ; Steffen, David ; Warren, James T. ; Zhang, Jingkun ; Nazareth, Lynne V. ; Chavez, Dean ; Davis, Clay ; Lee, Sandra L. ; Patel, Bella Mayurkumar ; Pu, Ling Ling ; Bell, Stephanie N. ; Johnson, Angela Jolivet ; Vattathil, Selina ; Williams, Rex L. ; Shigenobu, Shuji ; Dang, Phat M. ; Morioka, Mizue ; Fukatsu, Takema ; Kudo, Toshiaki ; Miyagishima, Shin Ya ; Jiang, Huaiyang ; Worley, Kim C. ; Legeai, Fabrice ; Gauthier, Jean Pierre ; Collin, Olivier ; Zhang, Lan ; Chen, Hsiu Chuan ; Ermolaeva, Olga ; Hlavina, Wratko ; Kapustin, Yuri ; Kiryutin, Boris ; Kitts, Paul ; Maglott, Donna ; Murphy, Terence ; Pruitt, Kim ; Sapojnikov, Victor ; Souvorov, Alexandre ; Thibaud-Nissen, Françoise ; Câmara, Francisco ; Guigó, Roderic ; Stanke, Mario ; Solovyev, Victor ; Kosarev, Peter ; Gilbert, Don ; Gabaldón, Toni ; Huerta-Cepas, Jaime ; Marcet-Houben, Marina ; Pignatelli, Miguel ; Moya, Andrés ; Rispe, Claude ; Ollivier, Morgane ; Quesneville, Hadi ; Permal, Emmanuelle ; Llorens, Carlos ; Futami, Ricardo ; Hedges, Dale ; Robertson, Hugh M. ; Alioto, Tyler ; Mariotti, Marco ; Nikoh, Naruo ; McCutcheon, John P. ; Burke, Gaelen ; Kamins, Alexandra ; Latorre, Amparo ; Ashton, Peter ; Calevro, Federica ; Charles, Hubert ; Colella, Stefano ; Douglas, Angela E. ; Jander, Georg ; Jones, Derek H. ; Febvay, Gérard ; Kamphuis, Lars G. ; Kushlan, Philip F. ; Macdonald, Sandy ; Ramsey, John ; Schwartz, Julia ; Seah, Stuart ; Thomas, Gavin ; Vellozo, Augusto ; Cass, Bodil ; Degnan, Patrick ; Hurwitz, Bonnie ; Leonardo, Teresa ; Koga, Ryuichi ; Altincicek, Boran ; Anselme, Caroline ; Atamian, Hagop ; Barribeau, Seth M. ; Vos, Martin De; Duncan, Elizabeth ; Evans, Jay ; Ghanim, Murad ; Heddi, Abdelaziz ; Kaloshian, Isgouhi ; Vincent-Monegat, Carole ; Parker, Ben J. ; Pérez-Brocal, Vicente ; Rahbé, Yvan ; Spragg, Chelsea J. ; Tamames, Javier ; Tamarit, Daniel ; Tamborindeguy, Cecilia ; Vilcinskas, Andreas ; Bickel, Ryan D. ; Brisson, Jennifer A. ; Butts, Thomas ; Chang, Chun Che ; Christiaens, Olivier ; Davis, Gregory K. ; Duncan, Elizabeth ; Ferrier, David ; Iga, Masatoshi ; Janssen, Ralf ; Lu, Hsiao Ling ; McGregor, Alistair ; Miura, Toru ; Smagghe, Guy ; Smith, James ; Zee, Maurijn Van Der; Velarde, Rodrigo ; Wilson, Megan ; Dearden, Peter ; Edwards, Owain R. ; Gordon, Karl ; Hilgarth, Roland S. ; Rider, Stanley Dean ; Srinivasan, Dayalan ; Walsh, Thomas K. ; Ishikawa, Asano ; Jaubert-Possamai, Stéphanie ; Fenton, Brian ; Huang, Wenting ; Rizk, Guillaume ; Lavenier, Dominique ; Nicolas, Jacques ; Smadja, Carole ; Zhou, Jing Jiang ; Vieira, Filipe G. ; He, Xiao Li ; Liu, Renhu ; Rozas, Julio ; Field, Linda M. ; Campbell, Peter ; Carolan, James C. ; Fitzroy, Carol I.J. ; Reardon, Karen T. ; Reeck, Gerald R. ; Singh, Karam ; Wilkinson, Thomas L. ; Huybrechts, Jurgen ; Abdel-Latief, Mohatmed ; Robichon, Alain ; Veenstra, Jan A. ; Hauser, Frank ; Cazzamali, Giuseppe ; Schneider, Martina ; Williamson, Michael ; Stafflinger, Elisabeth ; Hansen, Karina K. ; Grimmelikhuijzen, Cornelis J.P. ; Price, Daniel R.G. ; Caillaud, Marina ; Fleet, Eric Van; Ren, Qinghu ; Gatehouse, John A. ; Brault, Véronique ; Monsion, Baptiste ; Diaz, Jason ; Hunnicutt, Laura ; Ju, Ho Jong ; Pechuan, Ximo ; Aguilar, José ; Cortés, Teresa ; Ortiz-Rivas, Benjamín ; Martínez-Torres, David ; Dombrovsky, Aviv ; Dale, Richard P. ; Davies, T.G.E. ; Williamson, Martin S. ; Jones, Andrew ; Sattelle, David ; Williamson, Sally ; Wolstenholme, Adrian ; Cottret, Ludovic ; Sagot, Marie France ; Heckel, David G. ; Hunter, Wayne - \ 2010
    PloS Biology 8 (2010)2. - ISSN 1544-9173

    Aphids are important agricultural pests and also biological models for studies of insect-plant interactions, symbiosis, virus vectoring, and the developmental causes of extreme phenotypic plasticity. Here we present the 464 Mb draft genome assembly of the pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum. This first published whole genome sequence of a basal hemimetabolous insect provides an outgroup to the multiple published genomes of holometabolous insects. Pea aphids are host-plant specialists, they can reproduce both sexually and asexually, and they have coevolved with an obligate bacterial symbiont. Here we highlight findings from whole genome analysis that may be related to these unusual biological features. These findings include discovery of extensive gene duplication in more than 2000 gene families as well as loss of evolutionarily conserved genes. Gene family expansions relative to other published genomes include genes involved in chromatin modification, miRNA synthesis, and sugar transport. Gene losses include genes central to the IMD immune pathway, selenoprotein utilization, purine salvage, and the entire urea cycle. The pea aphid genome reveals that only a limited number of genes have been acquired from bacteria; thus the reduced gene count of Buchnera does not reflect gene transfer to the host genome. The inventory of metabolic genes in the pea aphid genome suggests that there is extensive metabolite exchange between the aphid and Buchnera, including sharing of amino acid biosynthesis between the aphid and Buchnera. The pea aphid genome provides a foundation for post-genomic studies of fundamental biological questions and applied agricultural problems.

    Multiple actors : capacity lives between multiple stakeholders
    Woodhill, A.J. - \ 2010
    In: Capacity Development In Practice / Ubels, J., Acquaye-Baddoo, N.A., Fowler, A., London / Washington DC : Earthscan - ISBN 9781844077410 - p. 25 - 41.
    HYDRO – Climate and Water Cycle at the Basin Scale - Chapter 2
    Fowler, H.J. ; Gutierrez, A. ; Marani, M. ; Blenkinsop, S. ; Burton, A. ; Stollsteiner, P. ; Brouyere, S. ; Goderniaux, P. ; Vliet, M.T.H. van; Zanetti, S. ; Girard, J.F. ; Dautrebande, S. ; Baes, D. ; Mouvet, C. ; Baran, N. ; Baltassat, J.M. ; Bovolo, C.I. ; Bellin, A. ; Majone, B. ; Zanbrano-Bigiarini, M. ; Boni, M. ; Jouin, F. ; Klinka, T. ; Janniche, G.S. ; Albrechtsen, H.J.A. ; Nygaard, B. ; Morvan, X. ; Wuilleumier, A. ; Gigleux, S. - \ 2010
    In: Advanced Tools and Models to Improve River Basin Management in Europe in the Context of Global Change - AquaTerra / Finkel, M., Grathwohl, P., Barth, J., Londen : IWA Publishing - ISBN 9781843393726
    Atmospheric composition change: Ecosystems-Atmosphere interactions
    Fowler, D. ; Pilegaard, K. ; Sutton, M.A. ; Ambus, P. ; Raivonen, M. ; Duyzer, J. ; Simpson, D. ; Fagerli, H. ; Fuzzi, S. ; Schjoerring, J.K. ; Granier, C. ; Neftel, A. ; Isaksen, I.S.A. ; Laj, P. ; Maione, M. ; Monks, P.S. ; Burkhardt, J. ; Daemmgen, U. ; Neirynck, J. ; Personne, E. ; Wichink Kruit, R.J. ; Butterbach-Bahl, K. ; Flechard, C. ; Tuovinen, J.P. ; Coyle, M. ; Gerosa, G. ; Loubet, B. ; Altimir, N. ; Gruenhage, L. ; Ammann, C. ; Cieslik, S. ; Paoletti, E. ; Mikkelsen, T.N. ; Ro-Poulsen, H. ; Cellier, P. ; Cape, J.N. ; Horvath, L. ; Loreto, F. ; Niinemets, U. ; Palmer, P.I. ; Rinne, J. ; Misztal, P. ; Nemitz, E. ; Nilsson, D. ; Pryor, S. ; Gallagher, M.W. ; Vesala, T. ; Skiba, U. ; Brueggemann, N. ; Zechmeister-Boltenstern, S. ; Williams, J. ; O'Dowd, C. ; Facchini, M.C. ; Leeuw, G. de; Flossman, A. ; Chaumerliac, N. ; Erisman, J.W. - \ 2009
    Atmospheric Environment 43 (2009)33. - ISSN 1352-2310 - p. 5193 - 5267.
    volatile organic-compounds - relaxed eddy accumulation - dry deposition velocity - reaction mass-spectrometry - cloud condensation nuclei - gas-particle interactions - surface-exchange fluxes - nitric-oxide emissions - beech fagus-sylvatica - ozone risk-assessment
    Ecosystems and the atmosphere: This review describes the state of understanding the processes involved in the exchange of trace gases and aerosols between the earth's surface and the atmosphere. The gases covered include NO, NO2, HONO, HNO3, NH3, SO2, DMS, Biogenic VOC, O-3, CH4, N2O and particles in the size range 1 nm-10 mu m including organic and inorganic chemical species. The main focus of the review is on the exchange between terrestrial ecosystems, both managed and natural and the atmosphere, although some new developments in ocean-atmosphere exchange are included. The material presented is biased towards the last decade, but includes earlier work, where more recent developments are limited or absent. New methodologies and instrumentation have enabled, if not driven technical advances in measurement. These developments have advanced the process understanding and upscaling of fluxes, especially for particles, VOC and NH3. Examples of these applications include mass spectrometric methods, such as Aerosol Mass Spectrometry (AMS) adapted for field measurement of atmosphere-surface fluxes using micrometeorological methods for chemically resolved aerosols. Also briefly described are some advances in theory and techniques in micrometeorology. For some of the compounds there have been paradigm shifts in approach and application of both techniques and assessment. These include flux measurements over marine surfaces and urban areas using micrometeorological methods and the up-scaling of flux measurements using aircraft and satellite remote sensing. The application of a flux-based approach in assessment of O-3 effects on vegetation at regional scales is an important policy linked development secured through improved quantification of fluxes. The coupling of monitoring, modelling and intensive flux measurement at a continental scale within the NitroEurope network represents a quantum development in the application of research teams to address the underpinning science of reactive nitrogen in the cycling between ecosystems and the atmosphere in Europe. Some important developments of the science have been applied to assist in addressing policy questions, which have been the main driver of the research agenda, while other developments in understanding have not been applied to their wider field especially in chemistry-transport models through deficiencies in obtaining appropriate data to enable application or inertia within the modelling community. The paper identifies applications, gaps and research questions that have remained intractable at least since 2000 within the specialized sections of the paper, and where possible these have been focussed on research questions for the coming decade. (C) 2009 Published by Elsevier Ltd.
    Resource efficiency and economic implications of alternatives to surgical castration without anaesthesia
    Roest, K. de; Montanari, C. ; Fowler, T. ; Baltussen, W.H.M. - \ 2009
    Animal 3 (2009)11. - ISSN 1751-7311 - p. 1522 - 1531.
    intact male pigs - growth-performance - piglet castration - vaccine improvac - boars - gnrh - quality - carcass
    This paper presents an analysis of the economic implications of alternative methods to surgical castration without anaesthesia. Detailed research results on the economic implications of four different alternatives are reported. castration with local anaesthesia, castration with general anaesthesia, immunocastration and raising entire males. The first three alternatives have been assessed for their impact on pig production costs in the most important pig-producing Member States of the EU. The findings on castration with anaesthesia show that cost differences among farms increase if the anaesthesia cannot be administered by farmers and when the veterinarian has to be called to perform it. The cost of veterinarian service largely affects the total average costs, making this solution economically less feasible in small-scale pig farms. In all other farms, the impact on production costs of local anaesthesia is however limited and does not exceed 1 (sic)ct per kg. General anaesthesia administered by inhalation or injection of Ketamin in combination with a sedative (Azaperone, Midazolan) is more expensive. These costs depend heavily on farm size, as the inhalation equipment has to be depreciated on the largest number of pigs possible. The overall costs of immunocastration - including the cost of the work load for the farmer - has to be evaluated against the potential benefits derived from higher daily weight gain and feed efficiency in comparison with surgical castrates. The economic feasibility of this practice will finally depend on the price of the vaccine and on consumer acceptance of immunocastration, The improvement in feed efficiency may compensate almost entirely for the cost of vaccination. The main advantages linked to raising entire males are due to the higher efficiency of feed conversion, to the better growth rate and to the higher leanness of carcass. A higher risk of boar taint on the slaughter line has to be accounted for Raising entire males should not generate more than 2.5% of boar taint among slaughter pigs, in order to maintain the considerable economic benefits of better feed efficiency of entire males with respect to castrates.
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