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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    Dynamic energy efficiency assessment of dairy farming system in Iran : Application of window data envelopment analysis
    Sefeedpari, Paria ; Shokoohi, Zeinab ; Pishgar-Komleh, Seyyed Hassan - \ 2020
    Journal of Cleaner Production 275 (2020). - ISSN 0959-6526
    Dairy farming - Data envelopment analysis - Energy use - Window analysis

    Livestock production systems, such as dairy farming, are one of the most important contributors to resource use and if not managed well, it can be environmentally detrimental. Iranian livestock sector faces a variety of the challenges such as high costs of energy and environmental legislations as well as an increasing demand for dairy products to respond the growing population. This paper aims to contribute to the discussion on technical efficiency as a key indicator of energy use within dairy farming systems. A Window Data Envelopment Analysis (W-DEA) with energy use as inputs and milk production as output was modelled with data from 25 provinces during the last 22 years (1994–2016) in Iran. In addition, the Slack-Based Model (SBM) was used to compare the radial DEA model with non-radial SBM, both in a dynamic environment (window analysis). The average efficiency score of Iranian dairy farming production system was estimated at approximately 0.85. Through the years, three provinces including Zanjan, Ardabil and Hormozgan had the highest technical efficiencies. Window analysis represented that provinces are distinctive in terms of their technical efficiencies and energy consumption over the years. Applying the SBM model improved the accuracy of the estimated efficiency scores compared to the radial (DEA) model. Further analysis represented a significant difference between the technical efficiency of different milk production levels. Provinces that produced higher volumes of milk had lower technical efficiencies. Based on the results it can be concluded that there is a substantial space for upgrading the technical efficiency of dairy farming in Iran by improving resource use efficiency which leads to an optimized energy consumption. It is recommended to reform Iranian livestock farming policies by applying mechanized systems, optimal strategies for water, electricity and fossil fuel consumption, use of renewable energy and better feed management while enhancing milk productivity and technical efficiency. In this respect, it is suggested that policy makers consider different indicators such as energy use efficiency and environmental impacts when allocating subsidies and resources to different provinces and farms.

    2020 taxonomic update for phylum Negarnaviricota (Riboviria: Orthornavirae), including the large orders Bunyavirales and Mononegavirales
    Kuhn, Jens H. ; Adkins, Scott ; Alioto, Daniela ; Alkhovsky, Sergey V. ; Amarasinghe, Gaya K. ; Anthony, Simon J. ; Avšič-Županc, Tatjana ; Ayllón, María A. ; Bahl, Justin ; Balkema-Buschmann, Anne ; Ballinger, Matthew J. ; Bartonička, Tomáš ; Basler, Christopher ; Bavari, Sina ; Beer, Martin ; Bente, Dennis A. ; Bergeron, Éric ; Bird, Brian H. ; Blair, Carol ; Blasdell, Kim R. ; Bradfute, Steven B. ; Breyta, Rachel ; Briese, Thomas ; Brown, Paul A. ; Buchholz, Ursula J. ; Buchmeier, Michael J. ; Bukreyev, Alexander ; Burt, Felicity ; Buzkan, Nihal ; Calisher, Charles H. ; Cao, Mengji ; Casas, Inmaculada ; Chamberlain, John ; Chandran, Kartik ; Charrel, Rémi N. ; Chen, Biao ; Chiumenti, Michela ; Choi, Ryong ; Clegg, J.C.S. ; Crozier, Ian ; Graça, John V. da; Bó, Elena Dal; Dávila, Alberto M.R. ; Torre, Juan Carlos de la; Lamballerie, Xavier de; Swart, Rik L. de; Bello, Patrick L. Di; Paola, Nicholas Di; Serio, Francesco Di; Dietzgen, Ralf G. ; Digiaro, Michele ; Dolja, Valerian V. ; Dolnik, Olga ; Drebot, Michael A. ; Drexler, Jan Felix ; Dürrwald, Ralf ; Dufkova, Lucie ; Dundon, William G. ; Duprex, W.P. ; Dye, John M. ; Easton, Andrew J. ; Ebihara, Hideki ; Elbeaino, Toufic ; Ergünay, Koray ; Fernandes, Jorlan ; Fooks, Anthony R. ; Formenty, Pierre B.H. ; Forth, Leonie F. ; Fouchier, Ron A.M. ; Freitas-Astúa, Juliana ; Gago-Zachert, Selma ; Gāo, George Fú ; García, María Laura ; García-Sastre, Adolfo ; Garrison, Aura R. ; Gbakima, Aiah ; Goldstein, Tracey ; Gonzalez, Jean Paul J. ; Griffiths, Anthony ; Groschup, Martin H. ; Günther, Stephan ; Guterres, Alexandro ; Hall, Roy A. ; Hammond, John ; Hassan, Mohamed ; Hepojoki, Jussi ; Hepojoki, Satu ; Hetzel, Udo ; Hewson, Roger ; Hoffmann, Bernd ; Hongo, Seiji ; Höper, Dirk ; Horie, Masayuki ; Hughes, Holly R. ; Hyndman, Timothy H. ; Jambai, Amara ; Jardim, Rodrigo ; Jiāng, Dàohóng ; Jin, Qi ; Jonson, Gilda B. ; Junglen, Sandra ; Karadağ, Serpil ; Keller, Karen E. ; Klempa, Boris ; Klingström, Jonas ; Kobinger, Gary ; Kondō, Hideki ; Koonin, Eugene V. ; Krupovic, Mart ; Kurath, Gael ; Kuzmin, Ivan V. ; Laenen, Lies ; Lamb, Robert A. ; Lambert, Amy J. ; Langevin, Stanley L. ; Lee, Benhur ; Lemos, Elba R.S. ; Leroy, Eric M. ; Li, Dexin ; Lǐ, Jiànróng ; Liang, Mifang ; Liú, Wénwén ; Liú, Yàn ; Lukashevich, Igor S. ; Maes, Piet ; Marciel de Souza, William ; Marklewitz, Marco ; Marshall, Sergio H. ; Martelli, Giovanni P. ; Martin, Robert R. ; Marzano, Shin Yi L. ; Massart, Sébastien ; McCauley, John W. ; Mielke-Ehret, Nicole ; Minafra, Angelantonio ; Minutolo, Maria ; Mirazimi, Ali ; Mühlbach, Hans Peter ; Mühlberger, Elke ; Naidu, Rayapati ; Natsuaki, Tomohide ; Navarro, Beatriz ; Navarro, José A. ; Netesov, Sergey V. ; Neumann, Gabriele ; Nowotny, Norbert ; Nunes, Márcio R.T. ; Nylund, Are ; Økland, Arnfinn L. ; Oliveira, Renata C. ; Palacios, Gustavo ; Pallas, Vicente ; Pályi, Bernadett ; Papa, Anna ; Parrish, Colin R. ; Pauvolid-Corrêa, Alex ; Pawęska, Janusz T. ; Payne, Susan ; Pérez, Daniel R. ; Pfaff, Florian ; Radoshitzky, Sheli R. ; ul Rahman, Aziz ; Ramos-González, Pedro L. ; Resende, Renato O. ; Reyes, Carina A. ; Rima, Bertus K. ; Romanowski, Víctor ; Robles Luna, Gabriel ; Rota, Paul ; Rubbenstroth, Dennis ; Runstadler, Jonathan A. ; Ruzek, Daniel ; Sabanadzovic, Sead ; Salát, Jiří ; Sall, Amadou Alpha ; Salvato, Maria S. ; Sarpkaya, Kamil ; Sasaya, Takahide ; Schwemmle, Martin ; Shabbir, Muhammad Z. ; Shí, Xiǎohóng ; Shí, Zhènglì ; Shirako, Yukio ; Simmonds, Peter ; Širmarová, Jana ; Sironi, Manuela ; Smither, Sophie ; Smura, Teemu ; Song, Jin Won ; Spann, Kirsten M. ; Spengler, Jessica R. ; Stenglein, Mark D. ; Stone, David M. ; Straková, Petra ; Takada, Ayato ; Tesh, Robert B. ; Thornburg, Natalie J. ; Tomonaga, Keizō ; Tordo, Noël ; Towner, Jonathan S. ; Turina, Massimo ; Tzanetakis, Ioannis ; Ulrich, Rainer G. ; Vaira, Anna Maria ; Hoogen, Bernadette van den; Varsani, Arvind ; Vasilakis, Nikos ; Verbeek, Martin ; Wahl, Victoria ; Walker, Peter J. ; Wang, Hui ; Wang, Jianwei ; Wang, Xifeng ; Wang, Lin Fa ; Wèi, Tàiyún ; Wells, Heather ; Whitfield, Anna E. ; Williams, John V. ; Wolf, Yuri I. ; Wú, Zhìqiáng ; Yang, Xin ; Yáng, Xīnglóu ; Yu, Xuejie ; Yutin, Natalya ; Zerbini, Murilo ; Zhang, Tong ; Zhang, Yong Zhen ; Zhou, Guohui ; Zhou, Xueping - \ 2020
    Archives of Virology (2020). - ISSN 0304-8608

    In March 2020, following the annual International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) ratification vote on newly proposed taxa, the phylum Negarnaviricota was amended and emended. At the genus rank, 20 new genera were added, two were deleted, one was moved, and three were renamed. At the species rank, 160 species were added, four were deleted, ten were moved and renamed, and 30 species were renamed. This article presents the updated taxonomy of Negarnaviricota as now accepted by the ICTV.

    Novel application of near-infrared spectroscopy and chemometrics approach for detection of lime juice adulteration
    Jahani, Reza ; Yazdanpanah, Hassan ; Ruth, Saskia M. van; Kobarfard, Farzad ; Alewijn, Martin ; Mahboubi, Arash ; Faizi, Mehrdad ; Aliabadi, Mohammad Hossein Shojaee ; Salamzadeh, Jamshid - \ 2020
    Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research 19 (2020)2. - ISSN 1735-0328 - p. 34 - 44.
    Chemometrics - Food fraud - K-NN - Lime juice - PLS-DA - Portable NIR

    The aim of this study is to investigate the novel application of a ‎handheld near infra-red spectrophotometer coupled with classification methodologies as a screening approach in detection of adulterated lime juices. For this purpose, a miniaturized near infra-red spectrophotometer (Tellspec®) in the spectral range of 900–1700 nm was used. Three diffuse reflectance spectra of 31 pure lime juices were collected from Jahrom, Iran and 25 adulterated juices were acquired. Principal component analysis was almost able to generate two clusters. Partial least square discriminant analysis and k-nearest neighbors algorithms with different spectral preprocessing techniques were applied as predictive models. In the partial least squares discriminant analysis, the most accurate prediction was obtained with SNV transforming. The generated model was able to classify juices with an accuracy of 88% and the Matthew’s correlation ‎coefficient ‎value of 0.75 in the external validation set. In the k-NN model, the highest accuracy and Matthew’s correlation ‎coefficient in the test set (88% and 0.76, respectively) was obtained with multiplicative signal correction followed by 2nd-order derivative and 5th nearest neighbor. The results of this preliminary study provided promising evidence of the potential of the handheld near infra-red spectrometer and machine learning methods for rapid detection of lime juice adulteration. Since a limited number of the samples were used in the current study, more lime juice samples from a wider range of variability need to be analyzed in order to increase the robustness of the generated models and to confirm the promising results achieved in this study.

    Non-conventional sources of agricultural water management : Insights from young professionals in the irrigation and drainage sector
    Amali, Amali A. ; Mersha, Adey N. ; Nofal, Eman R. ; Murray, Kathleen ; Norouzi, Sahar ; Saboory, Shoaib ; Salo, Heidi ; Chevuru, Sneha R. ; Sarai Tabrizi, Mahdi ; Reddy, Paavan K. ; Abdullahi, Abdulrahman O. ; Farahani, Hassan ; Kolhe, Pravin ; Dowlati Fard, Reza ; Salik, Abdul W. ; Hussein, Abdullahi H. ; Najafi, Husain ; Poormoghadam, Mojtaba ; Adiaha, Monday - \ 2020
    Irrigation and Drainage (2020). - ISSN 1531-0353 - 17 p.
    drainage - food security - irrigation - non-conventional - water security - Young Professionals

    Distribution and availability of global resources is highly variable over time and heterogeneous in space. With the natural or conventional supply of these resources no longer meeting a growing demand, the need to promote resource efficiency is now being paralleled with innovative approaches to conserve resources within their use cycle. These ‘innovative approaches’ herewith referred to as non-conventional was the subject of a 10-weeks extensive discussion among Young Professionals (YPs) in the field of irrigation and drainage. The discussion aligns to a higher objective of breeding a generation of YPs with an open mindset and multi-disciplinary approach to the challenges in irrigation and drainage. Cutting across development corridors in the water sector, this review paper presents insights on non-conventional sources of agricultural water management (AWM) as viewed from the lenses of YPs. The discussions underscore the need for broad-based approaches to resource management, building on the premise that all forms of resources are linked to form a system that provides the most effective service when managed in an integrated fashion. Non-conventional requires divergent approaches and flexibility; underlining the invaluable capabilities YPs present in AWM. Besides highlighting these roles, insights provided by YPs suggests that feeding a growing population necessitates looking beyond system efficiency to multivariate approaches of resource optimisation and utilisation in the field of irrigation and drainage.

    Concordance of SNP-and allele-based typing workflows in the context of a large-scale international Salmonella enteritidis outbreak investigation
    Coipan, Claudia E. ; Dallman, Timothy J. ; Brown, Derek ; Hartman, Hassan ; Voort, Menno van der; Berg, Redmar R. van den; Palm, Daniel ; Kotila, Saara ; Wijk, Tom van; Franz, Eelco - \ 2020
    Microbial Genomics 6 (2020)3. - ISSN 2057-5858
    Epidemiology - Hierarchical clustering - Infectious disease - Surveillance - Unsupervised machine learning - Whole-genome sequencing

    A large European multi-country Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis outbreak associated with Polish eggs was character-ized by whole-genome sequencing (WGS)-based analysis, with various European institutes using different analysis workflows to identify isolates potentially related to the outbreak. The objective of our study was to compare the output of six of these different typing workflows (distance matrices of either SNP-based or allele-based workflows) in terms of cluster detection and concordance. To this end, we analysed a set of 180 isolates coming from confirmed and probable outbreak cases, which were representative of the genetic variation within the outbreak, supplemented with 22 unrelated contemporaneous S. enterica serovar Enteritidis isolates. Since the definition of a cluster cut-off based on genetic distance requires prior knowledge on the evolutionary processes that govern the bacterial populations in question, we used a variety of hierarchical clustering methods (single, average and complete) and selected the optimal number of clusters based on the consensus of the silhouette, Dunn2, and McClain–Rao internal validation indices. External validation was done by calculating the concordance with the WGS-based case definition (SNP-address) for this outbreak using the Fowlkes–Mallows index. Our analysis indicates that with complete-linkage hierarchical clustering combined with the optimal number of clusters, as defined by three internal validity indices, the six different allele-and SNP-based typing workflows generate clusters with similar compositions. Furthermore, we show that even in the absence of coordinated typing procedures, but by using an unsupervised machine learning methodology for cluster delineation, the various workflows that are currently in use by six European public-health authorities can identify concordant clusters of genetically related S. enterica serovar Enteritidis isolates; thus, providing public-health researchers with compara-ble tools for detection of infectious-disease outbreaks.

    Optimum strip width increases dry matter, nutrient accumulation, and seed yield of intercrops under the relay intercropping system
    Raza, Muhammad Ali ; Feng, Ling Yang ; Werf, Wopke van der; Iqbal, Nasir ; Khan, Imran ; Khan, Ahsin ; Din, Atta Mohi Ud ; Naeem, Muhammd ; Meraj, Tehseen Ahmad ; Hassan, Muhammad Jawad ; Khan, Aaqil ; Lu, Feng Zhi ; Liu, Xin ; Ahmed, Mukhtar ; Yang, Feng ; Yang, Wenyu - \ 2020
    Food and Energy Security 9 (2020)2. - ISSN 2048-3694
    competition ratio - growing space - maize - relay intercropping - soybean

    Strip width management is a critical factor for producing higher crop yields in relay intercropping systems. A 2-year field experiment was carried out during 2012 and 2013 to evaluate the effects of different strip width treatments on dry-matter production, major-nutrient (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) uptake, and competition parameters of soybean and maize in relay intercropping system. The strip width (SW) treatments were 0.40, 0.40, and 0.40 m (SW1); 0.40, 0.40, and 0.50 m (SW2); 0.40, 0.40, and 0.60 m (SW3); and 0.40, 0.40, and 0.70 m (SW4) for soybean row spacing, maize row spacing, and spacing between soybean and maize rows, respectively. As compared to sole maize (SM) and sole soybean (SS), relay-intercropped maize and soybean accumulated lower quantities of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in all treatments. However, maize in SW1 accumulated higher nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium than SW4 (9%, 9%, and 8% for nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, respectively). Soybean in SW3 accumulated 25% higher nitrogen, 33% higher phosphorus, and 24% higher potassium than in SW1. The improved nutrient accumulation in SW3 significantly increased the soybean dry matter by 19%, but slightly decreased the maize dry matter by 6% compared to SW1. Similarly, SW3 increased the competition ratio value of soybean (by 151%), but it reduced the competition ratio value of maize (by 171%) compared to SW1. On average, in SW3, relay-cropped soybean produced 84% of SS seed yield and maize produced 98% of SM seed yield and achieved the land equivalent ratio of 1.8, demonstrating the highest level in the world. Overall, these results suggested that by selecting the appropriate strip width (SW3; 0.40 m for soybean row spacing, 0.40 m maize row spacing, and 0.60 m spacing between soybean and maize rows), we can increase the nutrient uptake (especially nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium), dry-matter accumulation, and seed yields of relay-intercrop species under relay intercropping systems.

    Physiological and morphological characterisation of Limonium species in their natural habitats : Insights into their abiotic stress responses
    González-Orenga, Sara ; Llinares, Josep V. ; Hassan, Mohamad Al; Fita, Ana ; Collado, Francisco ; Lisón, Purificación ; Vicente, Oscar ; Boscaiu, Monica - \ 2020
    Plant and Soil 449 (2020)1-2. - ISSN 0032-079X - p. 267 - 284.
    Antioxidants - Climate change - Drought - Endemics - Osmolytes - Salt marshes - Soil analysis

    Background and aims: Morphological and biochemical traits of four halophytes of the genus Limonium were analysed in plants sampled from salt marshes in SE Spain. This work aimed to explore the mechanism(s) behind the adaptation of these species to stressful habitats, with particular emphasis on responses to drought. Methods: Plants of each species together with soil samples were collected in summer, which is the most stressful season in the Mediterranean. Soil parameters and plant morphological traits were determined, and the levels of several biochemical stress markers in plants were measured using spectrophotometric assays. A multivariate analysis was performed to correlate soil and plant data. Results: Morphological characteristics regarding the underground system topology and several biochemical traits (higher foliar Ca2+, sucrose and glucose, and lower proline, glycine-betaine and fructose) clearly separate L. santapolense individuals from plants of the other three species. Conclusions: Drought tolerance of L. santapolense in the field is mostly dependent on morphological adaptations: when growing in an arid location, plants of this species develop long taproots that can extract water from the deep, moist layers of the soil.

    Plant ontogeny determines strength and associated plant fitness consequences of plant-mediated interactions between herbivores and flower visitors
    Rusman, Quint ; Lucas-Barbosa, Dani ; Hassan, Kamrul ; Poelman, Erik H. - \ 2020
    Journal of Ecology 108 (2020)3. - ISSN 0022-0477 - p. 1046 - 1060.
    florivores - herbivore-induced plant responses - indirect interactions - ontogenetic trajectories - ontogenetic variation - plant defence - plant reproduction - pollinators

    Plants show ontogenetic variation in growth–defence strategies to maximize reproductive output within a community context. Most work on plant ontogenetic variation in growth–defence trade-offs has focussed on interactions with antagonistic insect herbivores. Plants respond to herbivore attack with phenotypic changes. Despite the knowledge that plant responses to herbivory affect plant mutualistic interactions with pollinators required for reproduction, indirect interactions between herbivores and pollinators have not been included in the evaluation of how ontogenetic growth–defence trajectories affect plant fitness. In a common garden experiment with the annual Brassica nigra, we investigated whether exposure to various herbivore species on different plant ontogenetic stages (vegetative, bud or flowering stage) affects plant flowering traits, interactions with flower visitors and results in fitness consequences for the plant. Effects of herbivory on flowering plant traits and interactions with flower visitors depended on plant ontogeny. Plant exposure in the vegetative stage to the caterpillar Pieris brassicae and aphid Brevicoryne brassicae led to reduced flowering time and flower production, and resulted in reduced pollinator attraction, pollen beetle colonization, total seed production and seed weight. When plants had buds, infestation by most herbivore species tested reduced flower production and pollen beetle colonization. Pollinator attraction was either increased or reduced. Plants infested in the flowering stage with P. brassicae or Lipaphis erysimi flowered longer, while infestation by any of the herbivore species tested increased the number of flower visits by pollinators. Our results show that the outcome of herbivore–flower visitor interactions in B. nigra is specific for the combination of herbivore species and plant ontogenetic stage. Consequences of herbivory for flowering traits and reproductive output were strongest when plants were attacked early in life. Such differences in selection pressures imposed by herbivores to specific plant ontogenetic stages may drive the evolution of distinct ontogenetic trajectories in growth–defence–reproduction strategies and include indirect interactions between herbivores and flower visitors. Synthesis. Plant ontogeny can define the direct and indirect consequences of herbivory. Our study shows that the ontogenetic stage of plant individuals determined the effects of herbivory on plant flowering traits, interactions with flower visitors and plant fitness.

    Exploring the prospects of engineered Newcastle disease virus in modern vaccinology
    Bashir Bello, Muhammad ; Yusoff, Khatijah ; Ideris, Aini ; Hair-Bejo, Mohd ; Hassan Jibril, Abdurrahman ; Peeters, Ben P.H. ; Rahman Omar, Abdul - \ 2020
    Viruses 12 (2020)4. - ISSN 1999-4915
    Cancer - Infectious diseases - Newcastle disease virus - Reverse genetics - Vaccines

    Many traditional vaccines have proven to be incapable of controlling newly emerging infectious diseases. They have also achieved limited success in the fight against a variety of human cancers. Thus, innovative vaccine strategies are highly needed to overcome the global burden of these diseases. Advances in molecular biology and reverse genetics have completely restructured the concept of vaccinology, leading to the emergence of state-of-the-art technologies for vaccine design, development and delivery. Among these modern vaccine technologies are the recombinant viral vectored vaccines, which are known for their incredible specificity in antigen delivery as well as the induction of robust immune responses in the vaccinated hosts. Although a number of viruses have been used as vaccine vectors, genetically engineered Newcastle disease virus (NDV) possesses some useful attributes that make it a preferable candidate for vectoring vaccine antigens. Here, we review the molecular biology of NDV and discuss the reverse genetics approaches used to engineer the virus into an efficient vaccine vector. We then discuss the prospects of the engineered virus as an efficient vehicle of vaccines against cancer and several infectious diseases of man and animals.

    A global database of soil nematode abundance and functional group composition
    Hoogen, Johan van den; Geisen, Stefan ; Wall, Diana H. ; Wardle, David A. ; Traunspurger, Walter ; Goede, Ron G.M. de; Adams, Byron J. ; Ahmad, Wasim ; Ferris, Howard ; Bardgett, Richard D. ; Bonkowski, Michael ; Campos-Herrera, Raquel ; Cares, Juvenil E. ; Caruso, Tancredi ; Brito Caixeta, Larissa de; Chen, Xiaoyun ; Costa, Sofia R. ; Creamer, Rachel ; Cunha e Castro, José Mauro da; Dam, Marie ; Djigal, Djibril ; Escuer, Miguel ; Griffiths, Bryan S. ; Gutiérrez, Carmen ; Hohberg, Karin ; Kalinkina, Daria ; Kardol, Paul ; Kergunteuil, Alan ; Korthals, Gerard ; Krashevska, Valentyna ; Kudrin, Alexey A. ; Li, Qi ; Liang, Wenju ; Magilton, Matthew ; Marais, Mariette ; Martín, José Antonio Rodríguez ; Matveeva, Elizaveta ; Mayad, El Hassan ; Mzough, E. ; Mulder, Christian ; Mullin, Peter ; Neilson, Roy ; Nguyen, Duong T.A. ; Nielsen, Uffe N. ; Okada, Hiroaki ; Rius, Juan Emilio Palomares ; Pan, Kaiwen ; Peneva, Vlada ; Pellissier, Loïc ; Silva, Julio Carlos Pereira da; Pitteloud, Camille ; Powers, Thomas O. ; Powers, Kirsten ; Quist, Casper W. ; Rasmann, Sergio ; Moreno, Sara Sánchez ; Scheu, Stefan ; Setälä, Heikki ; Sushchuk, Anna ; Tiunov, Alexei V. ; Trap, Jean ; Vestergård, Mette ; Villenave, Cecile ; Waeyenberge, Lieven ; Wilschut, Rutger A. ; Wright, Daniel G. ; Keith, Aidan M. ; Yang, Jiuein ; Schmidt, Olaf ; Bouharroud, R. ; Ferji, Z. ; Putten, Wim H. van der; Routh, Devin ; Crowther, Thomas W. - \ 2020
    Scientific Data 7 (2020)1. - ISSN 2052-4463

    As the most abundant animals on earth, nematodes are a dominant component of the soil community. They play critical roles in regulating biogeochemical cycles and vegetation dynamics within and across landscapes and are an indicator of soil biological activity. Here, we present a comprehensive global dataset of soil nematode abundance and functional group composition. This dataset includes 6,825 georeferenced soil samples from all continents and biomes. For geospatial mapping purposes these samples are aggregated into 1,933 unique 1-km pixels, each of which is linked to 73 global environmental covariate data layers. Altogether, this dataset can help to gain insight into the spatial distribution patterns of soil nematode abundance and community composition, and the environmental drivers shaping these patterns.

    Bioresources and biocommodities for the global bioeconomy
    Dam, Jan E.G. Van; Meesters, Koen ; Elbersen, Wolter ; Annevelink, Bert ; Bos, Harriette L. - \ 2019
    In: Lignocellulose for Future Bioeconomy / Ariffin, H., Sapuan, S.M., Hassan, M.A., Elsevier - ISBN 9780128163542 - p. 287 - 300.
    Biobased products - Biocommodities - Bioeconomy - Biomass residues - Bioresources - Lignocellulose - Logistic centers - Trade

    For the fossil-to-biobased transition it is relevant to link the biomass production capacity to the growing demands for supplies of suitable biomass feedstock. Lignocellulosic residues from agriculture and forestry may find enhanced utilization, without the need to increase the arable land areas. Therefore, it is important to develop a variety of tradable biomass products or biocommodities. These new biocommodities should become available in sufficient quantities, validated, and quality standardized to provide biobased industries with reliable feedstock and provide additional jobs and income regionally. To convert heterogenic biomass to bioeconomic value installment, regional Integrated Biomass Logistic Centers need to be set-up. In these centers, the initial pretreatment of biomass (cleaning, dewatering, and compaction) can take place in order to create biomass commodities of stable quality that can be conserved over longer periods of time. On the other hand, demand is needed to mobilize the supply and commodification process of biomass. Only if pretreatment chains are set up in response to market demand for biomass commodities can a large conversion from the traditional economy to a bioeconomy emerge and the opportunities to produce valuable, low-CO2 impact consumer goods, platform chemicals, and energy from biomass will take off. Tradable biocommodities are, therefore, indispensable for decarbonizing our economy.

    An international outbreak of Salmonella enterica serotype Enteritidis linked to eggs from Poland: a microbiological and epidemiological study
    Pijnacker, Roan ; Dallman, Timothy J. ; Tijsma, Aloys S.L. ; Hawkins, Gillian ; Larkin, Lesley ; Kotila, Saara M. ; Amore, Giusi ; Amato, Ettore ; Suzuki, Pamina M. ; Denayer, Sarah ; Klamer, Sofieke ; Pászti, Judit ; McCormick, Jacquelyn ; Hartman, Hassan ; Hughes, Gareth J. ; Brandal, Lin C.T. ; Brown, Derek ; Mossong, Joël ; Jernberg, Cecilia ; Müller, Luise ; Palm, Daniel ; Severi, Ettore ; Gołębiowska, Joannna ; Hunjak, Blaženka ; Owczarek, Slawomir ; Hello, Simon Le; Garvey, Patricia ; Mooijman, Kirsten ; Friesema, Ingrid H.M. ; Weijden, Coen van der; Voort, Menno van der; Rizzi, Valentina ; Franz, Eelco ; Bertrand, Sophie ; Brennan, Martine ; Browning, Lynda ; Bruce, Ryan ; Cantaert, Vera ; Chattaway, Marie ; Coia, John ; Couper, Sarah ; Žohar Čretnik, Tjaša ; Daniel, Ondřej ; Dionisi, Anna Maria ; Fabre, Laetitia ; Fitz-James, Ife ; Florek, Karolina ; Florianová, Martina ; Fox, Eithne ; Frelih, Tatjana ; Grilc, Eva ; Katalinic Jankovic, Vera ; Jourdan, Nathalie ; Karpíšková, Renata ; Kerkhof, Hans van den; Kuiling, Sjoerd ; Kurečić Filipović, Sanja ; Laisnez, Valeska ; Lange, Heidi ; deLappes, Niall ; Leblanc, Judith ; Luzzi, Ida ; Mandilara, Georgia ; Mather, Henry ; Mattheus, Wesley ; Mellou, Kassiani ; Morgan, Deborah ; Pinna, Elizabeth de; Ragimbeau, Catherine ; Røed, Margrethe Hovda ; Salmenlinna, Saara ; Smith, Robert ; Smith-Palmer, Alison ; Špačková, Michaela ; Torpdahl, Mia ; Trkov, Marija ; Trönnberg, Linda ; Tzani, Myrsini ; Utsi, Lara ; Wasyl, Dariusz ; Weicherding, Pierre - \ 2019
    The Lancet Infectious Diseases 19 (2019)7. - ISSN 1473-3099 - p. 778 - 786.

    Background: Salmonella spp are a major cause of food-borne outbreaks in Europe. We investigated a large multi-country outbreak of Salmonella enterica serotype Enteritidis in the EU and European Economic Area (EEA). Methods: A confirmed case was defined as a laboratory-confirmed infection with the outbreak strains of S Enteritidis based on whole-genome sequencing (WGS), occurring between May 1, 2015, and Oct 31, 2018. A probable case was defined as laboratory-confirmed infection with S Enteritidis with the multiple-locus variable-number tandem repeat analysis outbreak profile. Multi-country epidemiological, trace-back, trace-forward, and environmental investigations were done. We did a case-control study including confirmed and probable cases and controls randomly sampled from the population registry (frequency matched by age, sex, and postal code). Odds ratios (ORs) for exposure rates between cases and controls were calculated with unmatched univariable and multivariable logistic regression. Findings: 18 EU and EEA countries reported 838 confirmed and 371 probable cases. 509 (42%) cases were reported in 2016, after which the number of cases steadily increased. The case-control study results showed that cases more often ate in food establishments than did controls (OR 3·4 [95% CI 1·6–7·3]), but no specific food item was identified. Recipe-based food trace-back investigations among cases who ate in food establishments identified eggs from Poland as the vehicle of infection in October, 2016. Phylogenetic analysis identified two strains of S Enteritidis in human cases that were subsequently identified in salmonella-positive eggs and primary production premises in Poland, confirming the source of the outbreak. After control measures were implemented, the number of cases decreased, but increased again in March, 2017, and the increase continued into 2018. Interpretation: This outbreak highlights the public health value of multi-country sharing of epidemiological, trace-back, and microbiological data. The re-emergence of cases suggests that outbreak strains have continued to enter the food chain, although changes in strain population dynamics and fewer cases indicate that control measures had some effect. Routine use of WGS in salmonella surveillance and outbreak response promises to identify and stop outbreaks in the future. Funding: European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control; Directorate General for Health and Food Safety, European Commission; and National Public Health and Food Safety Institutes of the authors' countries (see Acknowledgments for full list).

    Qualitative and quantitative differences in osmolytes accumulation and antioxidant activities in response to water deficit in four mediterranean limonium species
    González-Orenga, Sara ; Hassan, Mohamad Al; Llinares, Josep V. ; Lisón, Purificación ; López-Gresa, Pilar M. ; Verdeguer, Mercedes ; Vicente, Oscar ; Boscaiu, Monica - \ 2019
    Plants 8 (2019)11. - ISSN 2223-7747
    Antioxidant enzymes - Drought - Ions - Limonium girardianum - Limonium narbonense - Limonium santapolense - Limonium virgatum - Osmolytes - Oxidative stress - Water deficit

    Limonium is a genus represented in the Iberian Peninsula by numerous halophytic species that are affected in nature by salinity, and often by prolonged drought episodes. Responses to water deficit have been studied in four Mediterranean Limonium species, previously investigated regarding salt tolerance mechanisms. The levels of biochemical markers, associated with specific responses—photosynthetic pigments, mono-and divalent ions, osmolytes, antioxidant compounds and enzymes—were determined in the control and water-stressed plants, and correlated with their relative degree of stress-induced growth inhibition. All the tested Limonium taxa are relatively resistant to drought on the basis of both the constitutive presence of high leaf ion levels that contribute to osmotic adjustment, and the stress-induced accumulation of osmolytes and increased activity of antioxidant enzymes, albeit with different qualitative and quantitative induction patterns. Limonium santapolense activated the strongest responses and clearly differed from Limonium virgatum, Limonium girardianum, and Limonium narbonense, as indicated by cluster and principal component analysis (PCA) analyses in agreement with its drier natural habitat, and compared to that of the other plants. Somewhat surprisingly, however, L. santapolense was the species most affected by water deficit in growth inhibition terms, which suggests the existence of additional mechanisms of defense operating in the field that cannot be mimicked in greenhouses.

    Optimum leaf defoliation: A new agronomic approach for increasing nutrient uptake and land equivalent ratio of maize soybean relay intercropping system
    Raza, Muhammad Ali ; Feng, Ling Yang ; Werf, Wopke van der; Iqbal, Nasir ; Khan, Imran ; Hassan, Muhammad Jawad ; Ansar, Muhammad ; Chen, Yuan Kai ; Xi, Zeng Jin ; Shi, Jian Yi ; Ahmed, Mukhtar ; Yang, Feng ; Yang, Wenyu - \ 2019
    Field Crops Research 244 (2019). - ISSN 0378-4290
    Defoliation - Economics - LER - Nutrient - Relay-intercropping

    Upper canopy leaves of maize decrease the light-transmittance at middle-strata-leaves of maize and soybean canopy in maize-soybean relay-intercropping systems (MS). This affects the uptake of nutrients and distribution patterns in various plant organs of intercrop species in MS. Judicious defoliation of maize plants in MS could help to alleviate this problem and improve nutrient uptake and intercrop yields. In a two-year field experiment with MS, including the measurements of biomass production, nutrients uptake, and distribution at the organ level, and grain yields of intercrop species, maize plants were subjected to four-leaf defoliation treatments to improve the light-transmittance of maize and soybean plants. Defoliation of the topmost two-leaves (T2), four-leaves (T4), six-leaves (T6) was compared to no defoliation (T0). Compared to T0, treatment T2 improved the uptake of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) in each plant part of maize by 23, 12, and 11% (grain), 22, 19, and 13% (straw), and 28, 14, and 18% (root), respectively. Defoliation also enhanced the uptake of N, P, and K in each plant part of soybean by 5, 5, and 10% (grain), 10, 17, and 13% (straw), and 14, 11, and 11% (root), respectively. The improved nutrient uptake in T2 increased the total biomass and its distribution in the root, straw, and grain of soybean and maize by 15 and 13%, and 21 and 15%, 20 and 14%, 7 and 10%, respectively compared to T0. On average, over two years, under T2, relay-cropped maize obtained 107% of the sole-yield, and relay-cropped soybean obtained 65% of the sole-yield. The T2 defoliation treatment also achieved the highest land equivalent ratio of 1.69 and 1.77, with a net profit of 1301.6 $ ha−1 and 1293.4 $ ha−1 in 2017 and 2018, respectively. Following the optimum defoliation treatment of maize in maize-soybean intercrops, i.e., defoliation of the topmost two-leaves, the nutrient uptake can be increased, and the nutrient partitioning over plant organs be better balanced. Optimum defoliation, therefore, enhances the productivity of maize-soybean intercropping systems.

    Narrow-wide-row planting pattern increases the radiation use efficiency and seed yield of intercrop species in relay-intercropping system
    Raza, Muhammad Ali ; Feng, Ling Yang ; Werf, Wopke van der; Cai, Gao Ren ; Khalid, Muhammad Hayder Bin ; Iqbal, Nasir ; Hassan, Muhammad Jawad ; Meraj, Tehseen Ahmad ; Naeem, Muhammd ; Khan, Imran ; Ur Rehman, Sana ; Ansar, Muhammad ; Ahmed, Mukhtar ; Yang, Feng ; Yang, Wenyu - \ 2019
    Food and Energy Security 8 (2019)3. - ISSN 2048-3694
    competition - intercropping - land equivalent ratio - radiation use efficiency

    Planting arrangements affect radiation use efficiency (RUE) and competitiveness of intercrop species in intercropping systems. Here, we reveal that narrow-wide-row planting arrangement in maize-soybean relay-intercropping system increases the dry matter and competitiveness of soybean, increased the RUE of maize and soybean, and compensates the yield loss of maize by substantially increasing the yield of soybean. In this field study, maize was planted with soybean in different planting arrangements (P1, 20:180, P2, 40:160; P3, 60:140, and P4, 80:120) of relay intercropping, all the relay-intercropping treatments were compared with sole crops of maize (SM) and soybean (SS). Results showed that P1 improved the total RUE 3.26 g/MJ (maize RUE + soybean RUE) of maize and soybean in relay-intercropping system. Compared to P4, treatment P1 increased the soybean competition ratio (CR) values (by 55%) but reduced the maize CR values (by 29%), which in turn significantly improved the yield of soybean by maintaining the maize yield. Generally, in P1, soybean produced 82% of SS yield, and maize produced 88% of SM yield, and it achieved the land equivalent ratio of 1.7. These results suggest that by maintaining the appropriate planting distances between maize and soybean we can improve the competitiveness and yield of intercrop species in relay-intercropping system.

    Importance of snow and glacier meltwater for agriculture on the Indo-Gangetic Plain
    Biemans, H. ; Siderius, C. ; Lutz, A.F. ; Nepal, S. ; Ahmad, B. ; Hassan, T. ; Bloh, W. von; Wijngaard, R.R. ; Wester, P. ; Shrestha, A.B. ; Immerzeel, W.W. - \ 2019
    Nature Sustainability 2 (2019)7. - ISSN 2398-9629 - p. 594 - 601.

    Densely populated floodplains downstream of Asia’s mountain ranges depend heavily on mountain water resources, in particular for irrigation. An intensive and complex multi-cropping irrigated agricultural system has developed here to optimize the use of these mountain water resources in conjunction with monsoonal rainfall. Snow and glacier melt thereby modulate the seasonal pattern of river flows and, together with groundwater, provide water when rainfall is scarce. Climate change is expected to weaken this modulating effect, with potentially strong effects on food production in one of the world’s breadbaskets. Here we quantify the space-, time- and crop-specific dependence of agriculture in the Indo-Gangetic Plains on mountain water resources, using a coupled state-of-the-art, high-resolution, cryosphere–hydrology–crop model. We show that dependence varies strongly in space and time and is highest in the Indus basin, where in the pre-monsoon season up to 60% of the total irrigation withdrawals originate from mountain snow and glacier melt, and that it contributes an additional 11% to total crop production. Although dependence in the floodplains of the Ganges is comparatively lower, meltwater is still essential during the dry season, in particular for crops such as sugar cane. The dependency on meltwater in the Brahmaputra is negligible. In total, 129 million farmers in the Indus and Ganges substantially depend on snow and glacier melt for their livelihoods. Snow and glacier melt provides enough water to grow food crops to sustain a balanced diet for 38 million people. These findings provide important information for agricultural and climate change adaptation policies in a climate change hot spot where shifts in water availability and demand are projected as a result of climate change and socio-economic growth.

    The need for bottom-up assessments of climate risks and adaptation in climate-sensitive regions
    Conway, Declan ; Nicholls, Robert J. ; Brown, Sally ; Tebboth, Mark G.L. ; Adger, William Neil ; Ahmad, Bashir ; Biemans, Hester ; Crick, Florence ; Lutz, Arthur F. ; Campos, Ricardo Safra De; Said, Mohammed ; Singh, Chandni ; Zaroug, Modathir Abdalla Hassan ; Ludi, Eva ; New, Mark ; Wester, Philippus - \ 2019
    Nature Climate Change 9 (2019)7. - ISSN 1758-678X - p. 503 - 511.

    Studies of climate change at specific intervals of future warming have primarily been addressed through top-down approaches using climate projections and modelled impacts. In contrast, bottom-up approaches focus on the recent past and present vulnerability. Here, we examine climate signals at different increments of warming and consider the need to reconcile top-down and bottom-up approaches. We synthesise insights from recent studies in three climate-sensitive systems where change is a defining feature of the human-environment system. Whilst top-down and bottom-up approaches generate complementary insights into who and what is at risk, integrating their results is a much-needed step towards developing relevant information to address the needs of immediate adaptation decisions.

    Technical, environmental and cost-benefit assessment of manure management chain: A case study of large scale dairy farming
    Sefeedpari, Paria ; Vellinga, Theun ; Rafiee, Shahin ; Sharifi, Mohammad ; Shine, Philip ; Pishgar-Komleh, Seyyed Hassan - \ 2019
    Journal of Cleaner Production 233 (2019). - ISSN 0959-6526 - p. 857 - 868.
    Anaerobic digestion - Cost-benefit analysis - Dairy - Environmental analysis - Manure management

    Improper management of livestock manure has resulted in loss of nutrients and organic matter available in manure in addition to negative environmental impacts. This study developed and compared eight manure management scenarios across their entire life cycles, rom excretion to transport to land, considering technical, environmental and economic aspects. The scenarios based on combinations of collection, sand separation, solid/liquid (S/L) separation, anaerobic digestion (AD), composting, and storage were compared. Mass balances, costs and benefits and greenhouse emissions were evaluated. The model framework was tested and validated for a large-scale dairy farm with 9000 heads of cattle and daily manure production of approximately 505 t in Iran. The study indicated that sand separation and S/L separation did not contribute to a change in manure nutrients or emissions but reduced sand, maintenance cost, and transport requirements. AD followed by separation achieved the highest emission reduction (27.7 kg CO2eq t−1) due to the avoided emissions from replacing fossil fuels by renewable energy. Composting method had the lowest costs; however it resulted in a low nutrient recovery efficiency and high nitrous oxide emission. The assessment revealed that AD is a promising management option yielding a high potential greenhouse gas savings, nutrients recovery and nitrogen availability in fertilizer for plants. In spite of the high investment costs of AD, it could be a profitable strategy due to the high subsidies paid to renewable energy projects in Iran. In conclusion, this study showed that the choice of manure treatment method has a strong influence on nutrients, profitability and greenhouse gas balances by performing sensitivity analysis. The results of this study and the application of this model further indicate the need to consider various significant impacts, farm specifications and local conditions to decide the best manure management options.

    Data from: The interplay of landscape composition and configuration: new pathways to manage functional biodiversity and agro-ecosystem services across Europe
    Martin, Emily A. ; Dainese, Matteo ; Clough, Yann ; Báldi, András ; Bommarco, R. ; Gagic, Vesna ; Garratt, Michael P.D. ; Holzschuh, Andrea ; Kleijn, D. ; Kovács-Hostyánszki, Anikó ; Marini, Lorenzo ; Potts, Simon G. ; Smith, Henrik G. ; Hassan, Diab Al; Albrecht, Matthias ; Andersson, Georg K.S. ; Asís, Josep D. ; Aviron, Stéphanie ; Balzan, M.V. ; Baños-Picón, Laura ; Bartomeus, Ignasi ; Batáry, Péter ; Burel, Francoise ; Caballero-lópez, Berta ; Concepción, Elena D. ; Coudrain, Valérie ; Dänhardt, Juliana ; Diaz, Mario ; Diekötter, Tim ; Dormann, Carsten F. ; Duflot, Rémi ; Entling, Martin H. ; Farwig, Nina ; Fischer, Christina ; Frank, Thomas ; Garibaldi, Lucas A. ; Hermann, John ; Herzog, Felix ; Inclán, Diego J. ; Jacot, Katja ; Jauker, Frank ; Jeanneret, Philippe ; Kaiser, Marina ; Krauss, Jochen ; Féon, Violette Le; Marshall, Jon ; Moonen, Anna Camilla ; Moreno, Gerardo ; Riedinger, Verena ; Rundlöf, Maj ; Rusch, Adrien ; Scheper, J.A. ; Schneider, Gudrun ; Schüepp, Christof ; Stutz, Sonja ; Sutter, Louis ; Tamburini, Giovanni ; Thies, Carsten ; Tormos, José ; Tscharntke, Teja ; Tschumi, Matthias ; Uzman, Deniz ; Wagner, Christian ; Zubair Anjum, Muhammad ; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf - \ 2019
    University of Würzburg
    biodiversity - agroecosystem - landscape composition - landscape configuration - functional traits - arthropods - natural pest control - pollination - yields
    Managing agricultural landscapes to support biodiversity and ecosystem services is a key aim of a sustainable agriculture. However, how the spatial arrangement of crop fields and other habitats in landscapes impacts arthropods and their functions is poorly known. Synthesising data from 49 studies (1515 landscapes) across Europe, we examined effects of landscape composition (% habitats) and configuration (edge density) on arthropods in fields and their margins, pest control, pollination and yields. Configuration effects interacted with the proportions of crop and non‐crop habitats, and species’ dietary, dispersal and overwintering traits led to contrasting responses to landscape variables. Overall, however, in landscapes with high edge density, 70% of pollinator and 44% of natural enemy species reached highest abundances and pollination and pest control improved 1.7‐ and 1.4‐fold respectively. Arable‐dominated landscapes with high edge densities achieved high yields. This suggests that enhancing edge density in European agroecosystems can promote functional biodiversity and yield‐enhancing ecosystem services.
    Effects of changes in climate and land cover on Tanzanian nature-based tourism in national parks : How are tourist attractions affected?
    Hassan, Halima Kilungu - \ 2019
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): R. Leemans, co-promotor(en): B. Amelung; P.K.T. Munishi. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463439213 - 136

    The impacts of environmental change are generally recognised as the major threats to humans and biodiversity. With respect to nature-based tourism (NBT), the impact of environmental change not only changes the types and distributions of tourist attractions but also interfere with tourists’ comfort and safety. In Tanzania, some environment impact assessments are available, but these do cover neither NBT nor specific attractions and destinations. A major knowledge gap is that tourist attractions are poorly defined in coarse categories, such as ‘wildlife’, without details on types or species, and knowledge on how individual attractions are rooted in the environmental properties in which they occur. This knowledge gap is primarily related to the current lack of approaches to link individual attractions with their supporting environments (i.e. microclimate, soil, water and vegetation types and hydrology).

    My thesis fills this knowledge gap as it assesses how tourist attractions react to climate and land-cover change for the key Tanzanian NBT destinations: Serengeti and Kilimanjaro National Parks. To achieve this, Chapter 2 reviews and synthesizes the major factors that drove the Tanzanian NBT since the 19th century. This review provides the state-of-the-art information on the Tanzanian contemporary NBT and its destinations.

    Subsequently, I developed a tourism-resource assessment approach referred to as the ‘eco-parcel’ approach (Chapter 3). The eco-parcel approach is a three-step approach that classifies tourist attractions in fine categories and firmly links individual attractions with their supporting environments of discrete landscape patches. Each well-described discrete landscape patch is an eco-parcel. An eco-parcel is a landscape patch with distinct physical features on which one or multiple attractions occur and whose supporting environmental properties are known. I applied the eco-parcel approach in Serengeti National Park (SENAPA) and Kilimanjaro National Park (KINAPA) to identify all attractions in details. ‘Wildlife’ is now classified into types and species. In addition, plants and physical features are as well identified as key attractions for NBT. The eco-parcel approach uses land-cover type as a proxy to link attractions with their supporting environment so that land-cover change would be an approximate of environmental change. I use this link to assess the impacts of environmental change on individual tourist attractions and tourism in KINAPA and SENAPA (Chapters 4 and 5).

    Chapter 4 assesses the impacts of climate and land-cover change on the physical and sightseeing aspects of trekking in KINAPA for the past forty years. Trekking is the main tourism activity in KINAPA and sightseeing is an add-on to the experience. In this Chapter, I use a hazard-activity pairs approach to link trekking with the impacts of environmental change, especially changes in climate and land cover. Hazard-activity pairs’ is an approach to structure the analysis of the complex interactions between environmental change and tourism for particular destinations. Chapter 5 assesses the implications of climate and land-cover change on the key tourist attractions and tourism in SENAPA for the past forty years. I focus on wildebeest migration as the key tourist attraction although important attractions in SENAPA are many (cf. Chapter 3). In this chapter, I use the inferential statistics approach to make judgments on the probability of causal relationships between happened environmental impacts and observed changes on attractions through climate and land-cover statistical analysis. In Chapters 4 and 5, an increase in a specific land-cover type suggests an increase in types and distribution of attractions supported therein. Land cover is a basis for wildlife and plant to breed and grow. An adverse change in land-cover types is, therefore, an indicative threat to tourist attractions.

    Chapter 2 shows that environmental change is a root cause for the substantial changes in tourist attractions and, in turn, motives and preferences of tourists visiting Tanzania. As such, tourism activities changed from trophy hunting to mass tourism and finally, to environmental friendly tourism. These trends changed the management of tourism destinations from open areas and game reserves (mainly for hunting) or forest reserves (forest products) to national parks (mainly for experience tourism) to minimise the impacts and conserve wildlife.

    Chapter 3 concludes that, first; wildlife is not the only key attractions for NBT contrary to what is well-known. Attractions are diverse and the relative importance of each attraction for tourism varies widely. For instance, wildebeest migration and snow are indeed the key attractions but not the only important attractions in SENAPA’s and KINAPA’s tourism respectively. I found, however, high ratings for other identified attractions, such as big cats and kopjes in SENAPA, and high altitude, wildlife and flowers in KINAPA. These findings imply that assessing the relative importance of each attraction adds value in environmental-change impacts assessment from a tourism perspective. These details are likely to lead into the conservation of attractions at risk that have high tourism potential but are simultaneously marginalised in traditional and coarse assessments. Second, attractions emerge from and are connected to specific characteristic environments. This means that these characteristic environments regulate the attractiveness (e.g. breeding, migration or flowering) of many attractions. The spatial link between individual attractions and land-cover types enables the eco-parcel approach to localise the impacts assessment to individual attractions in time and space. The magnitude of environmental impacts on attractions, however, varies depending on their capacity to adapt, behaviour, sensitivity and resiliency.

    Chapter 4 shows that both, climate change and variability and land-cover change have positive and negative impacts on Mount Kilimanjaro’s tourism. Trekking is its key tourism activity and it needs conducive weather and preferably dry weather conditions and other attractions to enhance the trekking experience. Consequently, trekking Mount Kilimanjaro is mostly done during the dry months of June and September to avoid the long-rain period of March through May. The results indicate that mean annual temperature increased by 1.3oC (p< 0.05) between 1973 and 2013 and no significant trend for annual rainfall. Rainfall’s seasonality, however, did change with backward shift from May to March. This change extends the favourable trekking conditions. Moreover, land-cover changed substantially. This change has had substantial impacts on the extent and distribution of tourist attractions and, in turn, trekking experience. Heathlands that are known to attract tourists because of their flowers and giant groundsels, have increased by 38% and currently covers most of the Shira plateau. The montane forests that are also known to attract tourists because of their rich attractions including, Black-and-White Colobus monkey, birds and other wildlife species and high-crest waterfalls, have decreased by 15% in the past two decades. Snow cover, which is the mountain’s second most attraction, lost more than 50% of its extent in the last two decades.

    As these changes resonate with previous studies, in the short-term, the rapid decline in snow is likely to add to the mountain’s appeal through an increase in ‘last chance tourism’ (i.e. tourism in disappearing destinations). Warmer temperatures and reduced rainfall create better trekking conditions. In the long-term, however, the loss of snow and the montane forest cover will likely decrease the number of tourists. With this knowledge, I argue that climate and land-cover change should be considered more systematically and interactively to device appropriate management practices to adapt the Tanzanian NBT sector to current and future impacts.

    In Chapter 5, the key findings are that since the 1970s climate and land cover have changed significantly with potential influence on wildlife migration tourism and tourist comfort in SENAPA. Temperature has warmed by 0.8oC (i.e. approximately .0.2oC per decade). Mean monthly minimum and maximum temperature during the high tourism season (June to September) shifted from 17.5oC and 28.1oC in the 1970s to 18.3oC and 28.7oC in the 2000s. As a result, daily temperatures during high tourism season sometimes exceed 30oC. This rise likely interferes with comfort temperature (~21oC to 30oC) adapted for outdoor tourism activities. Rainfall totals have become highly variable despite long-term data showing no significant change. The rainfall amount received in different zones within the park varied substantially. In the northwest and eastern Serengeti, the amount of annual rainfall received in the short-rain season of October through December increased by 8%, while in the south-central Serengeti rainfall decreased by 4%. In the long rain season of March through May, the rainfall decreased by 5% in the northwest-eastern and increased by 6% in the southern-central zone. Furthermore, savannah grasslands, which form the main food for wildebeest migration, increased by 21% between 1970 and 2010. Woodlands and the riparian forests, which are the alternative food during the critical dry season, decreased by 87% and by 30% respectively. The surface water (i.e. lakes Ndutu and Magadi) shrank by 14%.

    As these changes resonate with previous studies, the implications of these results in SENAPA’s tourism include disruption of wildebeest migration patterns and timing. The disruption makes fulfilling tourists’ expectations to see wildebeest migration tourism to experience a challenge. Wildebeest-migration tourism is largely conducted between December and March in the southern-central Serengeti when the wildlife synchronously breeds and between June and September in northern Serengeti when the migration aggregates along the Mara River and ready to migrate to the Masai Mara in Kenya. The findings in Chapter 5 imply that this calendar is slowly changing and affects tourism. Personal communication in 2013 with park ecologist and tourism wardens acknowledge that the odds of delayed migration in the southern and northern Serengeti have increased and sometimes make tourism a chaotic experience. In the future, the likeness for tourists to visit Serengeti only to find no migration is increasing. Strategies to adapt tourism to the impacts of climate and land-cover change require active and integrated management approaches to improve or maintain the park’s attractiveness. The results in Chapters 4 and 5 can be used to develop climate and land-cover change adaptation strategies to inform tourism planning.

    The pioneering environmental-change impact assessments presented in my thesis bring new methods and mindset to NBT researches. This assessment is timely and indispensable. Very few studies exist that quantify the implications of environmental change on the Tanzanian NBT. My research potentially makes a substantial contribution to science and society. A detailed temporal and spatial link between tourists and attractions, and between attractions and their supporting environments provides a platform to assess the impacts of weather or climate change and land-cover change on individual tourist attractions. Chapters 4 and 5 demonstrate that the eco-parcel approach developed in Chapter 3 supports impacts assessment and allows the inclusion of tourists’ and other stakeholders’ perspectives or interests to support their decision-making process.

    My research, therefore, presents the eco-parcel approach as a generic tourism-resources assessment approach that can be used to study the impacts of environmental change on attractions in any tourism destination. The eco-parcel approach is timely. It provides NBT and recreation sectors with reliable spatial and temporal tourist attractions information to support impacts assessment. The spatial link between individual attractions with their characteristics environments not only allows to assessing changes in the distribution of attractions but also determine the attractions likely to be lost or gained when environment changes. With the ongoing rapid rate of forest loss and snow melting, the odds of complete loss of key attractions increase. I, therefore, argue that the impacts of environmental change on individual attractions and, in turn, NBT should not be ignored.

    Because attractions emerge from and are connected to specific environments, the integration of remote sensing in data collection and GIS-data analysis tool within the eco-parcel approach to determine changes on attraction is not an option. In fact, the majority of tourism destinations in developing countries are located in remote areas that are either difficult to access or poorly equipped with weather stations. As such, to acquire long-term environmental data including climate and types of attractions is difficult. This situation presents a challenge in addressing the impacts of environmental change on NBT in Africa’s tourism destinations. The IPCC 2014 and 2007 Africa reports acknowledge this knowledge gap. The use of land-cover within the eco-parcel approach makes a substantial contribution to tourism researches. Land-cover data are often freely acquired from satellites. Thus, the link between attractions and specific land-cover types makes the eco-parcel approach a model and a cost-effective approach to assessing the impacts of environmental change on NBT. The eco-parcel approach is the key contribution to the scientific arena

    My thesis informs the importance of the NBT sector to adapt to the impacts of environmental change. The tourism sector has long taken climate and environmental change for granted. This has hindered the mainstreaming of climate and environmental change adaptation in tourism management, planning and policies, particularly in Africa. My thesis is, therefore, timely to inform at least the three on-going policy processes. First, most Tanzanian National Parks are reviewing or about to review their general management plans and information provided in my thesis particularly the discussed impacts and implications of changing climate and land cover on tourist attractions is a valuable input. Second, Tanzania is reviewing its almost twenty-year-old tourism policy from 1999 and my research argues that the new policy should pay serious attention to the effects of environmental change. Third, in April 2018 Tanzania ratified the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, which not only covers mitigation but also adaptation. The discussion in my thesis about the tourism-specific adaptation plans and diversification of tourism products to match with the current rate of environmental change may be taken as part of Tanzania’s adaptation efforts.

    In conclusion, my thesis quantified the impacts of environmental change on tourist attractions by using empirical environmental data (i.e. climate and land-cover) and societal data (i.e. tourist visits and preferences). Although I acknowledge that my research alone will not solve all the environmental problems that Tanzanian NBT face, my research process and methods bring innovations in tourism-resources and environmental impact assessments. In addition, my research also provides insights on how to (1) identify the impacts, (2) proactively address the impacts on individual attractions and (3) identify opportunities to invest and adapt. This knowledge is indispensable to informing decisions and actions to better manage individual attractions and the Tanzanian NBT under the current rate of environmental change.

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