Moderate pollination limitation in some entomophilous crops of Europe
Holland, John M. ; Sutter, Louis ; Albrecht, Matthias ; Jeanneret, Philippe ; Pfister, Sonja C. ; Schirmel, Jens ; Entling, Martin H. ; Kaasik, Riina ; Kovacs, Gabriella ; Veromann, Eve ; Bartual, Agustín M. ; Marini, Simone ; Moonen, Anna Camilla ; Szalai, Márk ; Helsen, Herman ; Winkler, Karin ; Lof, Marjolein E. ; Werf, Wopke van der; McHugh, Niamh M. ; Smith, Barbara M. ; Wallis, David W. ; Cresswell, James E. - \ 2020
Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 302 (2020). - ISSN 0167-8809
Agroecology - Crop yield - Entomophilous crops - Landscape ecology - Pollination - Pollinators
Pollination services to crops may be worsening because of declines in farmland pollinators, but the consequences for yields have been uncertain. We therefore investigated pollination limitation in four entomophilous crops (oilseed rape, sunflower, pears and pumpkin) by quantifying the difference in harvestable mass between open-pollinated and saturation-pollinated (hand-pollinated) flowers. We also examined whether pollination limitation in the four crops was associated with the number of flower visits by insects. Across 105 commercial fields in six European countries, the average decrease in harvestable mass due to pollination limitation was 2.8 % (SE = 1.15). Among crops, the highest decreases were in sunflowers (8%) and in one of three oilseed rape production regions (6%). We observed substantial variation among crops in the numbers of insect visits received by flowers, but it did not significantly correspond with the levels of pollination limitation. Our results suggest that yields in these crops were not severely pollination-limited in the regions studied and that other factors besides visitation by pollinators influenced the degree of pollination limitation.
A critical analysis of the potential for EU Common Agricultural Policy measures to support wild pollinators on farmland
Cole, Lorna J. ; Kleijn, David ; Dicks, Lynn V. ; Stout, Jane C. ; Potts, Simon G. ; Albrecht, Matthias ; Balzan, Mario V. ; Bartomeus, Ignasi ; Bebeli, Penelope J. ; Bevk, Danilo ; Biesmeijer, Jacobus C. ; Chlebo, Róbert ; Dautartė, Anželika ; Emmanouil, Nikolaos ; Hartfield, Chris ; Holland, John M. ; Holzschuh, Andrea ; Knoben, Nieke T.J. ; Kovács-Hostyánszki, Anikó ; Mandelik, Yael ; Panou, Heleni ; Paxton, Robert J. ; Petanidou, Theodora ; Pinheiro de Carvalho, Miguel A.A. ; Rundlöf, Maj ; Sarthou, Jean Pierre ; Stavrinides, Menelaos C. ; Suso, Maria Jose ; Szentgyörgyi, Hajnalka ; Vaissière, Bernard E. ; Varnava, Androulla ; Vilà, Montserrat ; Zemeckis, Romualdas ; Scheper, Jeroen - \ 2020
Journal of Applied Ecology 57 (2020)4. - ISSN 0021-8901 - p. 681 - 694.
agri-environment schemes - bees - CAP Green Architecture - Common Agricultural Policy - Ecological Focus Areas - habitat complementarity - pollination services - pollinator conservation
Agricultural intensification and associated loss of high-quality habitats are key drivers of insect pollinator declines. With the aim of decreasing the environmental impact of agriculture, the 2014 EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) defined a set of habitat and landscape features (Ecological Focus Areas: EFAs) farmers could select from as a requirement to receive basic farm payments. To inform the post-2020 CAP, we performed a European-scale evaluation to determine how different EFA options vary in their potential to support insect pollinators under standard and pollinator-friendly management, as well as the extent of farmer uptake. A structured Delphi elicitation process engaged 22 experts from 18 European countries to evaluate EFAs options. By considering life cycle requirements of key pollinating taxa (i.e. bumble bees, solitary bees and hoverflies), each option was evaluated for its potential to provide forage, bee nesting sites and hoverfly larval resources. EFA options varied substantially in the resources they were perceived to provide and their effectiveness varied geographically and temporally. For example, field margins provide relatively good forage throughout the season in Southern and Eastern Europe but lacked early-season forage in Northern and Western Europe. Under standard management, no single EFA option achieved high scores across resource categories and a scarcity of late season forage was perceived. Experts identified substantial opportunities to improve habitat quality by adopting pollinator-friendly management. Improving management alone was, however, unlikely to ensure that all pollinator resource requirements were met. Our analyses suggest that a combination of poor management, differences in the inherent pollinator habitat quality and uptake bias towards catch crops and nitrogen-fixing crops severely limit the potential of EFAs to support pollinators in European agricultural landscapes. Policy Implications. To conserve pollinators and help protect pollination services, our expert elicitation highlights the need to create a variety of interconnected, well-managed habitats that complement each other in the resources they offer. To achieve this the Common Agricultural Policy post-2020 should take a holistic view to implementation that integrates the different delivery vehicles aimed at protecting biodiversity (e.g. enhanced conditionality, eco-schemes and agri-environment and climate measures). To improve habitat quality we recommend an effective monitoring framework with target-orientated indicators and to facilitate the spatial targeting of options collaboration between land managers should be incentivised.
High land-use intensity in grasslands constrains wild bee species richness in Europe. Biological Conservation
Ekroos, Johan ; Kleijn, D. ; Batáry, Péter ; Albrecht, M. ; Baldi, A. ; Blüthgen, Nico ; Knop, E. ; Kovacs-Hostyanszki, Aniko ; Smith, Henrik - \ 2020
Biological Conservation 241 (2020)108255. - ISSN 0006-3207 - 8 p.
There is widespread concern regarding declines in bee populations given their importance for the functioning of both natural and managed ecosystems. An increasing number of studies find negative relations between bee species richness and simplification of agricultural landscapes, but the role of land-use intensity and its relative importance compared to landscape simplification remain less clear. We compared the relative effects of nitrogen inputs, as a proxy for land-use intensity, and proportion of natural and semi-natural habitat, as a measure of landscape complexity on total bee species richness, rare species richness and dominant crop-visiting species richness. We used data from 282 grasslands across five countries, covering the entire range of low intensity, no-input systems, to high-input sites (>400 kg N/ha/year). We found consistent negative impacts of increasing land-use intensity at a regional scale on total bee species richness and dominant crop-visiting species across Europe, but no such effects of landscape complexity. In contrast, the richness of rare bee species was not significantly related to increasing land-use intensity. Nevertheless, based on species accumulation curves, grasslands with no nitrogen inputs had higher total bee richness and higher shares of rare species compared with sites with high nitrogen inputs (>125 kg N/ha/year). Our results highlight the importance of retaining grasslands characterised by low land-use intensity across agricultural landscapes to promote bee diversity.
|Characterising permanent grassland-based farming systems in Europe
Korevaar, H. ; Sacco, Dario ; Ravetto Enri, Simone ; Lombardi, Giampiero ; Berge, H.F.M. ten; Bufe, Conny ; Whittingham, Mark J. ; Smith, Pete ; Vanwalleghem, Tom ; Lellei-kovács, Eszter ; Stypinski, Piotr ; Hejduk, Stanislav ; Tonn, Bettina ; Newell Price, Paul J. - \ 2019
In: Improving sown grasslands through breeding and management Wageningen Academic Publishers (Grassland Science in Europe ) - p. 164 - 166.
Assessment of ecosystem services from permanent grassland systems
Korevaar, H. ; Berge, H.F.M. ten; Bufe, Conny ; Whittingham, Mark J. ; Smith, Pete ; Vanwalleghem, Tom ; Lellei-kovács, Eszter ; Stypinski, Piotr ; Hejduk, Stanislav ; Tonn, Bettina ; Sacco, Dario ; Newell-Price, Paul P. - \ 2019
In: Proceedings of the joint BGS/BSSS Winter meeting Improving grassland performance: managing soil structure and organic matter, 19th March 2019: 23-24. - British Grassland Society - p. 23 - 24.
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.
The interplay of landscape composition and configuration: new pathways to manage functional biodiversity and agroecosystem services across Europe
Martin, Emily A. ; Dainese, Matteo ; Clough, Yann ; Báldi, András ; Bommarco, Riccardo ; Gagic, Vesna ; Garratt, Michael P.D. ; Holzschuh, Andrea ; Kleijn, David ; 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, Mario 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 ; 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, Jeroen ; 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
Ecology Letters 22 (2019)7. - ISSN 1461-023X - p. 1083 - 1094.
Agroecology - arthropod community - biological control - edge density - pest control - pollination - response trait - semi-natural habitat - trait syndrome - yield
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 land use on infestation and parasitism rates of cabbage seed weevil in oilseed rape
Kovács, Gabriella ; Kaasik, Riina ; Lof, Marjolein E. ; Werf, Wopke van der; Kaart, Tanel ; Holland, John M. ; Luik, Anne ; Veromann, Eve - \ 2019
Pest Management Science 75 (2019)3. - ISSN 1526-498X - p. 658 - 666.
Ceutorhynchus obstrictus - conservation biological control - hymenopteran parasitoids - landscape ecology - semi-natural habitats
BACKGROUND: This study investigated how infestation rates of an important oilseed rape pest, the cabbage seed weevil (Ceutorhynchus obstrictus) and rates of parasitization by its parasitoids are affected by land use, up to 1000 m from 18 focal fields. RESULTS: The mean proportion of C. obstrictus-infested pods per plant was 8% (2–19.5%). Infestation rates were higher if the adjacent habitat was a herbaceous semi-natural habitat than if it was either another crop or a woody habitat. Infestation rates were positively related to the area of herbaceous semi-natural vegetation, permanent grassland and wheat (which followed oilseed rape in the crop rotation) at a spatial scale of at least 1 km. The mean parasitism rate of C. obstrictus larvae was 55% (8.3–87%), sufficient to provide efficient biocontrol. Parasitism rates were unrelated to adjacent habitats, however, they were positively related to the presence of herbaceous linear elements in the landscape and negatively related to permanent grasslands at a spatial scale of 200 m. CONCLUSION: Proximity of herbaceous elements increased both infestation rates and parasitism, while infestation was also related to landscape factors at larger distances. The findings provide an empirical basis for designing landscapes that suppress C. obstrictus, at both field and landscape scales.
Multiscale socio-ecological networks in the age of information
Lenormand, Maxime ; Luque, Sandra ; Langemeyer, Johannes ; Tenerelli, Patrizia ; Zulian, Grazia ; Aalders, Inge ; Chivulescu, Serban ; Clemente, Pedro ; Dick, Jan ; Dijk, Jiska van; Eupen, Michiel van; Giuca, Relu C. ; Kopperoinen, Leena ; Lellei-Kovács, Eszter ; Leone, Michael ; Lieskovský, Juraj ; Schirpke, Uta ; Smith, Alison C. ; Tappeiner, Ulrike ; Woods, Helen - \ 2018
PLoS ONE 13 (2018)11. - ISSN 1932-6203
Interactions between people and ecological systems, through leisure or tourism activities, form a complex socio-ecological spatial network. The analysis of the benefits people derive from their interactions with nature-also referred to as cultural ecosystem services (CES)-enables a better understanding of these socio-ecological systems. In the age of information, the increasing availability of large social media databases enables a better understanding of complex socio-ecological interactions at an unprecedented spatio-temporal resolution. Within this context, we model and analyze these interactions based on information extracted from geotagged photographs embedded into a multiscale socio-ecological network. We apply this approach to 16 case study sites in Europe using a social media database (Flickr) containing more than 150,000 validated and classified photographs. After evaluating the representativeness of the network, we investigate the impact of visitors' origin on the distribution of socio-ecological interactions at different scales. First at a global scale, we develop a spatial measure of attractiveness and use this to identify four groups of sites. Then, at a local scale, we explore how the distance traveled by the users to reach a site affects the way they interact with this site in space and time. The approach developed here, integrating social media data into a network-based framework, offers a new way of visualizing and modeling interactions between humans and landscapes. Results provide valuable insights for understanding relationships between social demands for CES and the places of their realization, thus allowing for the development of more efficient conservation and planning strategies.
Comparing mixed-media and conventional slow-sand filters for arsenic removal from groundwater
Śmiech, Karolina M. ; Tolsma, Aize ; Kovács, Tímea ; Dalbosco, Vlade ; Yasadi, Kamuran ; Groendijk, Leo ; Agostinho, Luewton L.F. - \ 2018
Water 10 (2018)2. - ISSN 2073-4441
Arsenic - Corrosive iron matter - Groundwater - Iron-coated sand - Slow sand filer
Arsenic contamination of groundwater is a major public health concern worldwide. The problem has been reported mainly in southern Asia and, especially, in Bangladesh. Slow-sand filters (SSF) augmented with iron were proven to be a simple, low-cost and decentralized technique for the treatment of arsenic-contaminated sources. In this research, three pilot-scale SSF (flowrate 6 L·h−1) were tested regarding their capability of removing arsenic from groundwater in conditions similar to those found in countries like Bangladesh (70 µg As(III) L−1, 26 ◦C). From the three, two filters were prepared with mixed media, i.e., sand mixed with corrosive iron matter (CIM filter) and iron-coated sand (ICS filter), and a third conventional SSF was used as a reference. The results obtained showed that the CIM filter could remove arsenic below the World Health Organization (WHO) guideline concentration of 10 µg·L−1, even for inlet concentrations above 150 µg·L−1. After 230 days of continuous operation the arsenic concentration in the effluent started increasing, indicating depletion or saturation of the CIM layer. The effluent arsenic concentration, however, never exceeded the Bangladeshi standard of 50 µg·L−1 throughout the whole duration of the experiments.
Stakeholders’ perspectives on the operationalisation of the ecosystem service concept: Results from 27 case studies
Dick, Jan ; Turkelboom, Francis ; Woods, Helen ; Iniesta-Arandia, Irene ; Primmer, Eeva ; Saarela, Sanna-Riikka ; Bezák, Peter ; Mederly, Peter ; Leone, Michael ; Verheyden, Wim ; Kelemen, Eszter ; Hauck, Jennifer ; Andrews, Chris ; Antunes, Paula ; Aszalós, Réka ; Baró, Francesc ; Barton, David N. ; Berry, Pam ; Bugter, Rob ; Carvalho, Laurence ; Czúcz, Bálint ; Dunford, Rob ; Garcia Blanco, Gemma ; Geamănă, Nicoleta ; Giucă, Relu ; Grizzetti, Bruna ; Izakovičová, Zita ; Kertész, Miklós ; Kopperoinen, Leena ; Langemeyer, Johannes ; Montenegro Lapola, David ; Liquete, Camino ; Luque, Sandra ; Martínez Pastur, Guillermo ; Martin-Lopez, Berta ; Mukhopadhyay, Raktima ; Niemela, Jari ; Odee, David ; Peri, Pablo Luis ; Pinho, Patricia ; Patrício-Roberto, Gleiciani Bürger ; Preda, Elena ; Priess, Joerg ; Röckmann, Christine ; Santos, Rui ; Silaghi, Diana ; Smith, Ron ; Vădineanu, Angheluţă ; Wal, Jan Tjalling van der; Arany, Ildikó ; Badea, Ovidiu ; Bela, Györgyi ; Boros, Emil ; Bucur, Magdalena ; Blumentrath, Stefan ; Calvache, Marta ; Carmen, Esther ; Clemente, Pedro ; Fernandes, João ; Ferraz, Diogo ; Fongar, Claudia ; García-Llorente, Marina ; Gómez-Baggethun, Erik ; Gundersen, Vegard ; Haavardsholm, Oscar ; Kalóczkai, Ágnes ; Khalalwe, Thalma ; Kiss, Gabriella ; Köhler, Berit ; Lazányi, Orsolya ; Lellei-Kovács, Eszter ; Lichungu, Rael ; Lindhjem, Henrik ; Magare, Charles ; Mustajoki, Jyri ; Ndege, Charles ; Nowell, Megan ; Nuss Girona, Sergi ; Ochieng, John ; Often, Anders ; Palomo, Ignacio ; Pataki, György ; Reinvang, Rasmus ; Rusch, Graciela ; Saarikoski, Heli ; Smith, Alison ; Soy Massoni, Emma ; Stange, Erik ; Vågnes Traaholt, Nora ; Vári, Ágnes ; Verweij, Peter ; Vikström, Suvi ; Yli-Pelkonen, Vesa ; Zulian, Grazia - \ 2018
Ecosystem Services 29 (2018)pt. C. - ISSN 2212-0416 - p. 552 - 565.
The ecosystem service (ES) concept is becoming mainstream in policy and planning, but operational influence on practice is seldom reported. Here, we report the practitioners’ perspectives on the practical implementation of the ES concept in 27 case studies. A standardised anonymous survey (n = 246), was used, focusing on the science-practice interaction process, perceived impact and expected use of the case study assessments. Operationalisation of the concept was shown to achieve a gradual change in practices: 13% of the case studies reported a change in action (e.g. management or policy change), and a further 40% anticipated that a change would result from the work. To a large extent the impact was attributed to a well conducted science-practice interaction process (>70%). The main reported advantages of the concept included: increased concept awareness and communication; enhanced participation and collaboration; production of comprehensive science-based knowledge; and production of spatially referenced knowledge for input to planning (91% indicated they had acquired new knowledge). The limitations were mostly case-specific and centred on methodology, data, and challenges with result implementation. The survey highlighted the crucial role of communication, participation and collaboration across different stakeholders, to implement the ES concept and enhance the democratisation of nature and landscape planning.
In-situ observations using tagged animals
Roquet, F. ; Boehme, L. ; Bester, M.N. ; Bornemann, H. ; Brasseur, S.M.J.M. ; Charrassin, J.B. ; Costa, D. ; Fedak, M.A. ; Guinet, C. ; Hall, A. ; Harcourt, R. ; Hindell, M.A. ; Kovacs, K.M. ; Lea, M.A. ; Lovell, P. ; Lowther, A. ; Lyderson, C. ; Mcmahon, C. ; Picard, B. ; Reverdin, G. ; Vincent, C. - \ 2017
- 5 p.
Marine mammals help gather information on some of the harshest environments on the planet, through the use of miniaturized ocean sensors glued on their fur. Since 2004, hundreds of diving marine animals, mainly Antarctic and Arctic seals, have been fitted with a new generation of Argos tags developed by the Sea Mammal Research Unit of the University of St Andrews in Scotland, UK. These tags investigate the at-sea ecology of these animals while simultaneously collecting valuable oceanographic data. Some of the study species travel thousands of kilometres continuously diving to great depths (up to 2100 m). The resulting data are now freely available to the global scientific community at http://www.meop.net. Despite great progress in their reliability and data accuracy, the current generation of loggers while approaching standard ARGO quality specifications have yet to match them. Yet, improvements are underway; they involve updating the technology, implementing a more systematic phase of calibration and taking benefit of the recently acquired knowledge on the dynamical response of sensors. Together these efforts are rapidly transforming animal tagging into one of the most important sources of oceanographic data in polar regions and in many coastal areas
Reijnders, P.J.H. ; Borrell, P.J.H. ; Franeker, J.A. van; Aguilar, A. - \ 2017
In: Encyclopedia of marine mammals / Wuersig, B., Thewissen, J.G.M., Kovacs, K.M., London : Academic Press - ISBN 9780128043271 - p. 746 - 759.
Awareness of the threat of environmental contaminants to marine mammals is widespread. High concentration of certain compounds in the tissues of these animals has been associated with organ anomalies, impaired reproduction, and immune function and, as a consequence of the latter, with the occurrence of large die-offs among seal and cetacean species. This prompted alertness about the impact of pollution and stimulated research into the relationship between observed effects and pollutants. However, a clear causeand- effect relationship between residue levels of contaminants and observed effects has been might elicit a serious backlash, because in the absence of evidence, concerns expressed are easily interpreted as fear-mongering. This might lead to inertia in taking appropriate management measures, something which is undesirable for conservation and wise environmental management. The main reasons for the lack of proof of the impact of pollution on marine mammals are the difficulty or impossibility of experimenting in laboratory conditions with these animals, and
the frequent occurrence of confounding factors that hamper the establishment of cause-and-effect relationships. Examples of these factors are the fact that pollution always occurs as a mixture of a large number of chemical compounds, the lack of data on biological variables influencing tissue levels, low quality of the samples usually analyzed, the limited information on pathology and
occurrence of disease in the specimens studied, the absence of reliable population data, and the lack of information on the influence of other detrimental factors such as concurrent anthropogenic and natural changes acting as environmental, ecological, and physiological stressors.
Combined effects of agrochemicals and ecosystem services on crop yield across Europe
Gagic, Vesna ; Kleijn, David ; Báldi, András ; Boros, Gergely ; Jørgensen, Helene Bracht ; Elek, Zoltán ; Garratt, Michael P.D. ; Groot, Arjen de; Hedlund, Katarina ; Kovács-Hostyánszki, Anikó ; Marini, Lorenzo ; Martin, Emily A. ; Pevere, Ines ; Potts, Simon G. ; Redlich, Sarah ; Senapathi, Deepa ; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf ; Świtek, Stanislaw ; Smith, Henrik G. ; Takács, Viktória ; Tryjanowski, Piotr ; Putten, Wim H. van der; Gils, Stijn van; Bommarco, Riccardo - \ 2017
Ecology Letters 20 (2017)11. - ISSN 1461-023X - p. 1427 - 1436.
Agricultural intensification - biological pest control - ecological intensification - fertilisers - insecticides - landscape complexity - soil organic carbon - yield loss
Simultaneously enhancing ecosystem services provided by biodiversity below and above ground is recommended to reduce dependence on chemical pesticides and mineral fertilisers in agriculture. However, consequences for crop yield have been poorly evaluated. Above ground, increased landscape complexity is assumed to enhance biological pest control, whereas below ground, soil organic carbon is a proxy for several yield-supporting services. In a field experiment replicated in 114 fields across Europe, we found that fertilisation had the strongest positive effect on yield, but hindered simultaneous harnessing of below- and above-ground ecosystem services. We furthermore show that enhancing natural enemies and pest control through increasing landscape complexity can prove disappointing in fields with low soil services or in intensively cropped regions. Thus, understanding ecological interdependences between land use, ecosystem services and yield is necessary to promote more environmentally friendly farming by identifying situations where ecosystem services are maximised and agrochemical inputs can be reduced.
Application of laser-based photoacoustic spectroscopy and colorimetry for quantification of anthocyanin in hard boiled candy
Kovács, Mihály ; Dóka, Ottó ; Bicanic, Dane ; Ajtony, Zsolt - \ 2017
Microchemical Journal 135 (2017). - ISSN 0026-265X - p. 100 - 104.
Anthocyanin (E163) - Colorimetry - Hard boiled candy - Laser-based photoacoustic spectroscopy - Non-destructive analysis - Spectrophotometry
The analytical performance of the newly proposed laser-based photoacoustic spectroscopy (LPAS) and colorimetric method for quantification of anthocyanin (E163) in commercially available hard boiled candies are compared to that of the spectrophotometry (SP). Both LPAS and colorimetry are direct methods that unlike SP do not require the extraction of the analyte or some additional sample treatment. Results indicate that LPAS and colorimetry are both suitable for quickly screening content of anthocyanin in hard boiled candies. The correlation between the two methods and spectrophotometry is linear with R 2 = 0.9989 for LPAS and R 2 = 0.9570 for colorimetry.
Subunit-selective proteasome activity profiling uncovers uncoupled proteasome subunit activities during bacterial infections
Misas-villamil, Johana C. ; Burgh, Aranka M. Van Der; Grosse-holz, Friederike ; Bach-pages, Marcel ; Kovács, Judit ; Kaschani, Farnusch ; Schilasky, Sören ; Emon, Asif E.K. ; Ruben, Mark ; Kaiser, Markus ; Overkleeft, Hermen S. ; Hoorn, Renier A.L. van der - \ 2017
The Plant Journal 90 (2017)2. - ISSN 0960-7412 - p. 418 - 430.
The proteasome is a nuclear-cytoplasmic proteolytic complex involved in nearly all regulatory pathways in plant cells. The three different catalytic activities of the proteasome can have different functions, but tools to monitor and control these subunits selectively are not yet available in plant science. Here, we introduce subunit-selective inhibitors and dual-color fluorescent activity-based probes for studying two of the three active catalytic subunits of the plant proteasome. We validate these tools in two model plants and use this to study the proteasome during plant–microbe interactions. Our data reveal that Nicotiana benthamiana incorporates two different paralogs of each catalytic subunit into active proteasomes. Interestingly, both β1 and β5 activities are significantly increased upon infection with pathogenic Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000 lacking hopQ1-1 [PtoDC3000(ΔhQ)] whilst the activity profile of the β1 subunit changes. Infection with wild-type PtoDC3000 causes proteasome activities that range from strongly induced β1 and β5 activities to strongly suppressed β5 activities, revealing that β1 and β5 activities can be uncoupled during bacterial infection. These selective probes and inhibitors are now available to the plant science community, and can be widely and easily applied to study the activity and role of the different catalytic subunits of the proteasome in different plant species.
The science, policy and practice of nature-based solutions : An interdisciplinary perspective
Nesshöver, Carsten ; Assmuth, Timo ; Irvine, Katherine N. ; Rusch, Graciela M. ; Waylen, Kerry A. ; Delbaere, Ben ; Haase, Dagmar ; Jones-Walters, Lawrence ; Keune, Hans ; Kovacs, Eszter ; Krauze, Kinga ; Külvik, Mart ; Rey, Freddy ; Dijk, Jiska van; Vistad, Odd Inge ; Wilkinson, Mark E. ; Wittmer, Heidi - \ 2017
Science of the Total Environment 579 (2017). - ISSN 0048-9697 - p. 1215 - 1227.
Ecosystem management - Ecosystem services - Environmental governance - Sustainability
In this paper, we reflect on the implications for science, policy and practice of the recently introduced concept of Nature-Based Solutions (NBS), with a focus on the European context. First, we analyse NBS in relation to similar concepts, and reflect on its relationship to sustainability as an overarching framework. From this, we derive a set of questions to be addressed and propose a general framework for how these might be addressed in NBS projects by funders, researchers, policy-makers and practitioners. We conclude that: (1) NBS need to be developed and discussed in relation to existing concepts to clarify their added value;(2) When considering and implementing NBS, the ‘relabelling’ of related concepts and the misuse of the concept have to be prevented in order to avoid misunderstanding, duplication and unintended consequences;(3) NBS as currently framed by the European Commission provides an opportunity for: a) transdisciplinary research into the design and implementation of solutions based on nature; and b) overcoming a bias towards development alternatives with narrow perspectives that focus on short-term economic gains and effectiveness;(4) The strength of the NBS concept is its integrative, systemic approach which prevents it from becoming just another “green communication tool” that provides justification for a classical model of natural resource exploitation and management measures.To realise their full potential, NBS must be developed by including the experience of all relevant stakeholders such that ‘solutions’ contribute to achieving all dimensions of sustainability. As NBS are developed, we must also moderate the expectations placed on them since the precedent provided by other initiatives whose aim was to manage nature sustainably demonstrates that we should not expect NBS to be cheap and easy, at least not in the short-term.
Genome-wide analysis identifies 12 loci influencing human reproductive behavior
Barban, Nicola ; Jansen, Rick ; Vlaming, Ronald de; Vaez, Ahmad ; Mandemakers, Jornt J. ; Tropf, Felix C. ; Shen, Xia ; Wilson, James F. ; Chasman, Daniel I. ; Nolte, Ilja M. ; Tragante, Vinicius ; Laan, Sander W. van der; Perry, John R.B. ; Kong, Augustine ; Ahluwalia, Tarunveer S. ; Albrecht, Eva ; Yerges-Armstrong, Laura ; Atzmon, Gil ; Auro, Kirsi ; Ayers, Kristin ; Bakshi, Andrew ; Ben-Avraham, Danny ; Berger, Klaus ; Bergman, Aviv ; Bertram, Lars ; Bielak, Lawrence F. ; Bjornsdottir, Gyda ; Bonder, Marc Jan ; Broer, Linda ; Bui, Minh ; Barbieri, Caterina ; Cavadino, Alana ; Chavarro, Jorge E. ; Turman, Constance ; Concas, Maria Pina ; Cordell, Heather J. ; Davies, Gail ; Eibich, Peter ; Eriksson, Nicholas ; Esko, Tõnu ; Eriksson, Joel ; Falahi, Fahimeh ; Felix, Janine F. ; Fontana, Mark Alan ; Franke, Lude ; Gandin, Ilaria ; Gaskins, Audrey J. ; Gieger, Christian ; Gunderson, Erica P. ; Guo, Xiuqing ; Hayward, Caroline ; He, Chunyan ; Hofer, Edith ; Huang, Hongyan ; Joshi, Peter K. ; Kanoni, Stavroula ; Karlsson, Robert ; Kiechl, Stefan ; Kifley, Annette ; Kluttig, Alexander ; Kraft, Peter ; Lagou, Vasiliki ; Lecoeur, Cecile ; Lahti, Jari ; Li-Gao, Ruifang ; Lind, Penelope A. ; Liu, Tian ; Makalic, Enes ; Mamasoula, Crysovalanto ; Matteson, Lindsay ; Mbarek, Hamdi ; McArdle, Patrick F. ; McMahon, George ; Meddens, S.F.W. ; Mihailov, Evelin ; Miller, Mike ; Missmer, Stacey A. ; Monnereau, Claire ; Most, Peter J. van der; Myhre, Ronny ; Nalls, Mike A. ; Nutile, Teresa ; Kalafati, Ioanna Panagiota ; Porcu, Eleonora ; Prokopenko, Inga ; Rajan, Kumar B. ; Rich-Edwards, Janet ; Rietveld, Cornelius A. ; Robino, Antonietta ; Rose, Lynda M. ; Rueedi, Rico ; Ryan, Kathleen A. ; Saba, Yasaman ; Schmidt, Daniel ; Smith, Jennifer A. ; Stolk, Lisette ; Streeten, Elizabeth ; Tönjes, Anke ; Thorleifsson, Gudmar ; Ulivi, Sheila ; Wedenoja, Juho ; Wellmann, Juergen ; Willeit, Peter ; Yao, Jie ; Yengo, Loic ; Zhao, Jing Hua ; Zhao, Wei ; Zhernakova, Daria V. ; Amin, Najaf ; Andrews, Howard ; Balkau, Beverley ; Barzilai, Nir ; Bergmann, Sven ; Biino, Ginevra ; Bisgaard, Hans ; Bønnelykke, Klaus ; Boomsma, Dorret I. ; Buring, Julie E. ; Campbell, Harry ; Cappellani, Stefania ; Ciullo, Marina ; Cox, Simon R. ; Cucca, Francesco ; Toniolo, Daniela ; Davey-Smith, George ; Deary, Ian J. ; Dedoussis, George ; Deloukas, Panos ; Duijn, Cornelia M. van; Geus, Eco J.C. de; Eriksson, Johan G. ; Evans, Denis A. ; Faul, Jessica D. ; Sala, Cinzia Felicita ; Froguel, Philippe ; Gasparini, Paolo ; Girotto, Giorgia ; Grabe, Hans-Jörgen ; Greiser, Karin Halina ; Groenen, Patrick J.F. ; Haan, Hugoline G. de; Haerting, Johannes ; Harris, Tamara B. ; Heath, Andrew C. ; Heikkilä, Kauko ; Hofman, Albert ; Homuth, Georg ; Holliday, Elizabeth G. ; Hopper, John ; Hyppönen, Elina ; Jacobsson, Bo ; Jaddoe, Vincent W.V. ; Johannesson, Magnus ; Jugessur, Astanand ; Kähönen, Mika ; Kajantie, Eero ; Kardia, Sharon L.R. ; Keavney, Bernard ; Kolcic, Ivana ; Koponen, Päivikki ; Kovacs, Peter ; Kronenberg, Florian ; Kutalik, Zoltan ; Bianca, Martina la; Lachance, Genevieve ; Iacono, William G. ; Lai, Sandra ; Lehtimäki, Terho ; Liewald, David C. ; Lindgren, Cecilia M. ; Liu, Yongmei ; Luben, Robert ; Lucht, Michael ; Luoto, Riitta ; Magnus, Per ; Magnusson, Patrik K.E. ; Martin, Nicholas G. ; McGue, Matt ; McQuillan, Ruth ; Medland, Sarah E. ; Meisinger, Christa ; Mellström, Dan ; Metspalu, Andres ; Traglia, Michela ; Milani, Lili ; Mitchell, Paul ; Montgomery, Grant W. ; Mook-Kanamori, Dennis ; Mutsert, Renée de; Nohr, Ellen A. ; Ohlsson, Claes ; Olsen, Jørn ; Ong, Ken K. ; Paternoster, Lavinia ; Pattie, Alison ; Penninx, Brenda W.J.H. ; Perola, Markus ; Peyser, Patricia A. ; Pirastu, Mario ; Polasek, Ozren ; Power, Chris ; Kaprio, Jaakko ; Raffel, Leslie J. ; Räikkönen, Katri ; Raitakari, Olli ; Ridker, Paul M. ; Ring, Susan M. ; Roll, Kathryn ; Rudan, Igor ; Ruggiero, Daniela ; Rujescu, Dan ; Salomaa, Veikko ; Schlessinger, David ; Schmidt, Helena ; Schmidt, Reinhold ; Schupf, Nicole ; Smit, Johannes ; Sorice, Rossella ; Spector, Tim D. ; Starr, John M. ; Stöckl, Doris ; Strauch, Konstantin ; Stumvoll, Michael ; Swertz, Morris A. ; Thorsteinsdottir, Unnur ; Thurik, A.R. ; Timpson, Nicholas J. ; Tung, Joyce Y. ; Uitterlinden, André G. ; Vaccargiu, Simona ; Viikari, Jorma ; Vitart, Veronique ; Völzke, Henry ; Vollenweider, Peter ; Vuckovic, Dragana ; Waage, Johannes ; Wagner, Gert G. ; Wang, Jie Jin ; Wareham, Nicholas J. ; Weir, David R. ; Willemsen, Gonneke ; Willeit, Johann ; Wright, Alan F. ; Zondervan, Krina T. ; Stefansson, Kari ; Krueger, Robert F. ; Lee, James J. ; Benjamin, Daniel J. ; Cesarini, David ; Koellinger, Philipp D. ; Hoed, Marcel den; Snieder, Harold ; Mills, Melinda C. - \ 2016
Nature Genetics 48 (2016)12. - ISSN 1061-4036 - p. 1462 - 1472.
The genetic architecture of human reproductive behavior—age at first birth (AFB) and number of children ever born (NEB)—has a strong relationship with fitness, human development, infertility and risk of neuropsychiatric disorders. However, very few genetic loci have been identified, and the underlying mechanisms of AFB and NEB are poorly understood. We report a large genome-wide association study of both sexes including 251,151 individuals for AFB and 343,072 individuals for NEB. We identified 12 independent loci that are significantly associated with AFB and/or NEB in a SNP-based genome-wide association study and 4 additional loci associated in a gene-based effort. These loci harbor genes that are likely to have a role, either directly or by affecting non-local gene expression, in human reproduction and infertility, thereby increasing understanding of these complex traits.
Liberation Deliverable 3.2: Report on the effectiveness of a range of landscape management practices
Gils, S.H. van; Marini, L. ; Ádám, Réka ; Baldi, A. ; Bereczki, Krisztina ; Dainese, Matteo ; Coston, Duncan J. ; Boros, Gergely ; Dimmers, W.J. ; Elek, Zoltan ; Garratt, Mike P.D. ; Groot, G.A. de; Kats, R.J.M. van; Kovács-Hostyánszki, Anikó ; Lammertsma, D.R. ; Montecchiari, Silvia ; Mortimer, Simon ; Potts, S.G. ; senapathi, Deepa ; Sigura, Maurizia ; Somay, László ; Szalkovszki, Ottó ; Sitzia, Tommaso ; Kleijn, D. - \ 2016
FP7 Project Liberation
Ecological intensification aims to enhance important ecosystem processes that contribute to the delivery of the ecosystem services that underpin agricultural production allowing us to reduce our reliance on synthetic inputs. The potential of ecological intensification will depend on many factors, among the most important of which are off-field management and landscape context. These factors, and importantly the interaction between them, are likely to vary across regions and countries.
Identifying off-field management approaches that are successful in enhancing ecosystem services will require assessing a range of strategies. The empirical work carried out in task 3.2 provided Original data on the effectiveness of three off-field interventions (hedgerow, set- aside and flower strips) on
the delivery of biocontrol and yield in winter cereals across different European countries. For hedgerows we found that the quality of the hedgerow (flower diversity) generally increased biodiversity of several beneficial groups of insects (e.g. butterflies, tachinids, carabids, spiders), while the delivery of ecosystems services such as pollination and pest control tended to respond more to
landscape factors (proportion of hedgerows or semi-natural habitats in general in the surrounding).
For set-aside we found that this intervention increased locally the biodiversity of several beneficial insect groups (literature) but the spillover to winter wheat fields was small with no apparent benefit on the delivery of aphid biocontrol. Finally, we found that wildflower strips helped to reduce aphid pests in winter wheat fields, which, in turn, enhanced crop yield. However, this potential may only be reached in case strips are properly managed, in a way that optimizes floral diversity, and may only be relevant in agricultural landscapes with a low availability of habitat area for natural enemies.
Irrespective of the intensity of the agricultural systems, the two most promising interventions to foster biocontrol and support yield in winter wheats are hedgerows and flower strips, but their effect appeared to be stronger in landscapes with low cover of existing semi-natural habitats.
Fingerprinting the macro-organisation of pigment-protein complexes in plant thylakoid membranes in vivo by circular-dichroism spectroscopy
Tóth, Tünde N. ; Rai, Neha ; Solymosi, Katalin ; Zsiros, Ottó ; Schröder, Wolfgang P. ; Garab, Gyozo ; Amerongen, Herbert van; Horton, Peter ; Kovács, László - \ 2016
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta. B, Bioenergetics 1857 (2016)9. - ISSN 0005-2728 - p. 1479 - 1489.
Chiral macrodomain - Circular dichroism - Light-harvesting complexes - Photosystem II supercomplexes - Psi-type CD - Thylakoid membrane
Macro-organisation of the protein complexes in plant thylakoid membranes plays important roles in the regulation and fine-tuning of photosynthetic activity. These delicate structures might, however, undergo substantial changes during isolating the thylakoid membranes or during sample preparations, e.g., for electron microscopy. Circular-dichroism (CD) spectroscopy is a non-invasive technique which can thus be used on intact samples. Via excitonic and psi-type CD bands, respectively, it carries information on short-range excitonic pigment-pigment interactions and the macro-organisation (chiral macrodomains) of pigment-protein complexes (psi, polymer or salt-induced). In order to obtain more specific information on the origin of the major psi-type CD bands, at around (+)506, (-)674 and (+)690 nm, we fingerprinted detached leaves and isolated thylakoid membranes of wild-type and mutant plants and also tested the effects of different environmental conditions in vivo. We show that (i) the chiral macrodomains disassemble upon mild detergent treatments, but not after crosslinking the protein complexes; (ii) in different wild-type leaves of dicotyledonous and monocotyledonous angiosperms the CD features are quite robust, displaying very similar excitonic and psi-type bands, suggesting similar protein composition and (macro-) organisation of photosystem II (PSII) supercomplexes in the grana; (iii) the main positive psi-type bands depend on light-harvesting protein II contents of the membranes; (iv) the (+)506 nm band appears only in the presence of PSII-LHCII supercomplexes and does not depend on the xanthophyll composition of the membranes. Hence, CD spectroscopy can be used to detect different macro-domains in the thylakoid membranes with different outer antenna compositions in vivo.