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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    Fungal artillery of zombie flies: infectious spore dispersal using a soft water cannon
    Ruiter, Jolet de; Arnbjerg-Nielsen, Sif Fink ; Herren, Pascal ; Høier, Freja ; Fine Licht, Henrik H. De; Jensen, Kaare H. - \ 2019
    Journal of the Royal Society, Interface 16 (2019)159. - ISSN 1742-5689 - 10 p.
    biomimetic soft cannon - dispersal range - Entomophthora muscae - force-balance model - fungal spore ejection - high-speed videography

    Dead sporulating female fly cadavers infected by the house fly-pathogenic fungus Entomophthora muscae are attractive to healthy male flies, which by their physical inspection may mechanically trigger spore release and by their movement create whirlwind airflows that covers them in infectious conidia. The fungal artillery of E. muscae protrudes outward from the fly cadaver, and consists of a plethora of micrometric stalks that each uses a liquid-based turgor pressure build-up to eject a jet of protoplasm and the initially attached spore. The biophysical processes that regulate the release and range of spores, however, are unknown. To study the physics of ejection, we design a biomimetic 'soft cannon' that consists of a millimetric elastomeric barrel filled with fluid and plugged with a projectile. We precisely control the maximum pressure leading up to the ejection, and study the cannon efficiency as a function of its geometry and wall elasticity. In particular, we predict that ejection velocity decreases with spore size. The calculated flight trajectories under aerodynamic drag predict that the minimum spore size required to traverse a quiescent layer of a few millimetres around the fly cadaver is approximately 10 µm. This corroborates with the natural size of E. muscae conidia (approx. 27 µm) being large enough to traverse the boundary layer but small enough (less than 40 µm) to be lifted by air currents. Based on this understanding, we show how the fungal spores are able to reach a new host.

    The role of food retailers in improving resilience in global food supply
    Macfadyen, Sarina ; Tylianakis, J.M. ; Letourneau, D.K. ; Benton, T.G. ; Tittonell, Pablo ; Perring, M.P. ; Gómez-Creutzberg, Carla ; Báldi, András ; Holland, J.M. ; Broadhurst, Linda ; Okabe, Kimiko ; Renwick, A.R. ; Gemmill-Herren, Barbara ; Smith, H.G. - \ 2015
    Global Food Security 7 (2015). - ISSN 2211-9124 - p. 1 - 8.
    Ecosystem services - Landscape - Resilience - Supermarkets - Sustainable intensification - Vulnerability

    We urgently need a more resilient food supply system that is robust enough to absorb and recover quickly from shocks, and to continuously provide food in the face of significant threats. The simplified global food supply chain we currently rely upon exacerbates threats to supply and is unstable. Much attention has been given to how producers can maximise yield, but less attention has been given to other stakeholders in the supply chain. Increasingly, transnational food retailers (supermarkets) occupy a critical point in the chain, which makes them highly sensitive to variability in supply, and able to encourage change of practice across large areas. We contend that the concentration in the chain down to a few retailers in each country provides an opportunity to increase resilience of future supply given appropriate, scale-dependent interventions. We make ten recommendations aimed at reducing variability in supply that can be driven by retailers (although some of the interventions will be implemented by producers). Importantly, resilience in our food supply requires the restoration and expansion of ecosystem services at the landscape-scale.

    Smallholder inclusion in high value-adding supply chain by Food & Agribusiness Enterprises : A case study on black soybean in Java
    Sjauw-Koen-Fa, A. ; Blok, V. ; Omta, S.W.F. - \ 2014
    World agriculture faces increasing resource scarcity (land, water and phosphate) and growing environmental challenges (climate change effects, declining biodiversity, land degradation) and significant post-harvest food losses. As a consequence of a tighter and more volatile future food supply, global food insecurity will raise and conventional sourcing strategies of food and agribusiness enterprises will be affected. A growing number of private and public stakeholders are considering the crucial elements of an approach that meets the challenges of global food security and ecological responsible management of resources within a framework of inclusive business models. It is increasingly recognized that to guarantee global food supply, smallholder agriculture in developing and emerging economies needs to be integrated into high value adding local-, regional- but also international food supply chains. However, the inclusion of smallholders in high value supply chain, in particular in Asia and Africa, is highly complex. Small-scale farmers face major disadvantages in accessing high value supply chains. These include low volumes of produce to sell, variable quality, high transaction costs, poor functioning producer organizations and rural financial systems, and a limited ability to meet the high credence requirements of many high value outlets. They typically face a tilted playing field in terms of access to land, input, credit, technology and markets. The aspiration of food and agribusiness multinational enterprises (F&A MNEs) is to increase agricultural production by 20% while decreasing greenhouse gas emissions by 20% and reducing the prevalence of rural poverty by 20% each decade (WEF 2011). The WEF (2013, p. 4) reported that the initiatives taken by the public and private sector since the launching of ‘The New Vision of Agriculture’, will directly impact 12 million smallholder farmers in the next three to five years. The research question therefore arises: How can F&A MNEs be able to realise the so called 20/20/20 goals from a business perspective and therefore, how can they integrate smallholder supply in their core supply chains? Until now it is unclear how MNEs can realize smallholder inclusion in a manner that is both profitable and sustainable. Most pilot projects are supported and subsidized by governments, development agencies, NGOs or charitable organizations (i.e. Biénabe et al.,eds., 2011; Reardon et al.,2009). Smallholder inclusion pilot projects in which companies are involved, are often primarily CSR-driven. While this is how new experiences often begin prior to reaching mainstream corporate businesses and markets, the business perspective of investments in smallholders as supply source is still underrepresented in current research. In the present paper, we provide arguments for smallholder inclusion into high value supply chains from a business perspective. Based on an literature review, we identify potential keys to unlock smallholder agricultural production potential and elaborate on the challenges of smallholder inclusion in high value supply chains. A framework for an inclusive food strategy and an agenda for future research will be provided in the paper. This framework can help stakeholders along the food supply chain with the development of an inclusive food strategy in general, and F&A MNE’s in particular with the development of sustainable sourcing strategies. References Biénabe, E., Berdegué, J., Peppelenbos, L., and Belt, J., eds., 2011. Reconnecting Markets: Innovative Global Practices in connecting small-scale producers with dynamic food markets, Grower Publishing Limited, Farnham. Genier, C., Stamp, M. and Pfitzer, M., 2009. Corporate Social Responsibility for agro-industries development, Agro-industries for development, 223-252, FAO, UNIDO and CAB international, Rome. London, T. and Hart, S. L., eds. (2010). Next generation business strategies for the base of the pyramid. New approaches for building mutual value, Pearson Education, New Jersey. McIntyre, B.D., Herren, R.H., Wakhungu, J. and Watson, R.T., eds., 2009. Agriculture at a crossroad: Global report. IAASTD, Island Press, Washington. World Economic Forum, 2011. Realizing a new vision for agriculture: A road map for stakeholders, Geneva. World Economic Forum, 2013. Achieving the new vision for agriculture: New models for action, Geneva.
    An agroecosystem approach to protecting pollinators from pesticides
    Gemmill-Herren, B. ; Allara, M. ; Koomen, I. ; Valk, H. van der; Roubik, D.W. - \ 2014
    In: Pollinator Safety in Agriculture / Roubik, D.W., Rome : Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations - ISBN 9789251083819 - p. 1 - 13.
    The top 100 questions of importance to the future of global agriculture
    Pretly, J. ; Sutherland, W.J. ; Ashby, J. ; Auburn, J. ; Baulcombe, D. ; Bell, M. ; Bentley, J. ; Bickersteth, S. ; Brown, K. ; Burke, J. ; Campbell, H. ; Chen, K. ; Crowley, E. ; Crute, I. ; Dobbelaere, D. ; Edwards-Jones, G. ; Funes-Monzote, F. ; Godfray, H.C.J. ; Griffon, M. ; Gypmantisiri, P. ; Haddad, L. ; Halavatau, S. ; Herren, H. ; Holderness, M. ; Izac, A.M. ; Jones, M. ; Koohafkan, P. ; Lal, R. ; Lang, T. ; McNeely, J. ; Mueller, A. ; Nisbett, N. ; Noble, A. ; Pingali, P. ; Pinto, Y. ; Rabbinge, R. ; Ravindranath, N.H. ; Rola, A. ; Röling, N.G. ; Sage, C. ; Settle, W. ; Sha, J.M. ; Luo, S.M. ; Simons, T. ; Smith, P. ; Strzepeck, K. ; Swaine, H. ; Terry, E. ; Tomich, T.P. ; Toulmin, C. ; Trigo, E. ; Twomlow, S. ; Vis, J.K. ; Wilson, J. ; Pilgrim, S. - \ 2010
    International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability 8 (2010)4. - ISSN 1473-5903 - p. 219 - 236.
    green-revolution - sustainability - biodiversity - conservation - management - science - uk
    Despite a significant growth in food production over the past half-century, one of the most important challenges facing society today is how to feed an expected population of some nine billion by the middle of the 20th century. To meet the expected demand for food without significant increases in prices, it has been estimated that we need to produce 70-100 per cent more food, in light of the growing impacts of climate change, concerns over energy security, regional dietary shifts and the Millennium Development target of halving world poverty and hunger by 2015. The goal for the agricultural sector is no longer simply to maximize productivity, but to optimize across a far more complex landscape of production, rural development, environmental, social justice and food consumption outcomes. However, there remain significant challenges to developing national and international policies that support the wide emergence of more sustainable forms of land use and efficient agricultural production. The lack of information flow between scientists, practitioners and policy makers is known to exacerbate the difficulties, despite increased emphasis upon evidence-based policy. In this paper, we seek to improve dialogue and understanding between agricultural research and policy by identifying the 100 most important questions for global agriculture. These have been compiled using a horizon-scanning approach with leading experts and representatives of major agricultural organizations worldwide. The aim is to use sound scientific evidence to inform decision making and guide policy makers in the future direction of agricultural research priorities and policy support. If addressed, we anticipate that these questions will have a significant impact on global agricultural practices worldwide, while improving the synergy between agricultural policy, practice and research. This research forms part of the UK Government's Foresight Global Food and Farming Futures project.
    Historical analysis of the effectiveness of AKST systems in promoting innovation
    Dreyfus, F. ; Plencovich, C. ; Petit, M. ; Akca, H. ; Dogheim, S. ; Ishii-Eitman, M. ; Kingamkono, R. ; Jiggins, J.L.S. ; Keith, D. - \ 2008
    In: Agriculture at a Crossroads: The IAASTD Global Report / McIntyre, B.D., Herren, H.R., Wakhungu, J., Watson, R.T., Washington, DC : Island Press - ISBN 9781597265393
    Soil fauna impacts on soil physical properties
    Ouédraogo, E. ; Mando, A. ; Brussaard, L. - \ 2006
    In: Biological approaches to sustainable soil systems / Uphoff, N., Ball, A.S., Fernandez, E., Herren, H., Husson, O., Laing, M., Palm, C., Pretty, J., Sanchez, P., Sanginga, N., Thies, J., Boca Raton : CRC Press - ISBN 9781574445831 - p. 163 - 175.
    Restoring soil fertility in semi-arid West-Africa: assessment of an indigenous technology
    Mando, A. ; Fatondji, D. ; Zougmoré, R. ; Brussaard, L. ; Bielders, C.L. ; Martius, C. - \ 2006
    In: Biological approaches to sustainable soil systems / Uphoff, N., Ball, A.S., Fernandez, E., Herren, H., Husson, O., Laing, M., Palm, C., Sanchez, P., Sanginga, N., Thies, J., Boca Raton : CRC Press - ISBN 9781574445831 - p. 271 - 287.
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