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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A Global Survey on the Perceptions and Impacts of Gender Inequality in the Earth and Space Sciences
Popp, Andrea L. ; Lutz, Stefanie R. ; Khatami, Sina ; Emmerik, Tim H.M. van; Knoben, Wouter J.M. - \ 2019
Earth and Space Science (2019). - ISSN 2333-5084
gender inequality - leaky pipeline - women in Earth and space science

The leaky pipeline phenomenon refers to the disproportionate decline of female scientists at higher academic career levels and is a major problem in the natural sciences. Identifying the underlying causes is challenging, and thus, solving the problem remains difficult. To better understand the reasons for the leaky pipeline, we assess the perceptions and impacts of gender bias and imbalance—two major drivers of the leakage—at different academic career levels with an anonymous survey in geoscience academia (n=1,220). The survey results show that both genders view male geoscientists as substantially more gender biased than female scientists. Moreover, female geoscientists are more than twice as likely to experience negative gender bias at their workplaces and scientific organizations compared to male geoscientists. There are also pronounced gender differences regarding (i) the relevance of role models, (ii) family-friendly working conditions, and (iii) the approval of gender quotas for academic positions. Given the male dominance in senior career levels, our results emphasize that those feeling less impacted by the negative consequences of gender bias and imbalance are the ones in position to tackle the problem. We thus call for actions to better address gender biases and to ensure a balanced gender representation at decision-making levels to ultimately retain more women in geoscience academia.

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.

Simulating the effect of tillage practices with the global ecosystem model LPJmL (version 5.0-tillage)
Lutz, Femke ; Herzfeld, Tobias ; Heinke, Jens ; Rolinski, Susanne ; Schaphoff, Sibyll ; Bloh, Werner Von; Stoorvogel, Jetse J. ; Müller, Christoph - \ 2019
Geoscientific Model Development 12 (2019)6. - ISSN 1991-959X - p. 2419 - 2440.

The effects of tillage on soil properties, crop productivity, and global greenhouse gas emissions have been discussed in the last decades. Global ecosystem models have limited capacity to simulate the various effects of tillage. With respect to the decomposition of soil organic matter, they either assume a constant increase due to tillage or they ignore the effects of tillage. Hence, they do not allow for analysing the effects of tillage and cannot evaluate, for example, reduced tillage or no tillage (referred to here as "no-till") practises as mitigation practices for climate change. In this paper, we describe the implementation of tillage-related practices in the global ecosystem model LPJmL. The extended model is evaluated against reported differences between tillage and no-till management on several soil properties. To this end, simulation results are compared with published meta-analyses on tillage effects. In general, the model is able to reproduce observed tillage effects on global, as well as regional, patterns of carbon and water fluxes. However, modelled N fluxes deviate from the literature values and need further study. The addition of the tillage module to LPJmL5 opens up opportunities to assess the impact of agricultural soil management practices under different scenarios with implications for agricultural productivity, carbon sequestration, greenhouse gas emissions, and other environmental indicators.

Patterns of nitrogen-fixing tree abundance in forests across Asia and America
Menge, Duncan N.L. ; Chisholm, Ryan A. ; Davies, Stuart J. ; Abu Salim, Kamariah ; Allen, David ; Alvarez, Mauricio ; Bourg, Norm ; Brockelman, Warren Y. ; Bunyavejchewin, Sarayudh ; Butt, Nathalie ; Cao, Min ; Chanthorn, Wirong ; Chao, Wei Chun ; Clay, Keith ; Condit, Richard ; Cordell, Susan ; Silva, João Batista da; Dattaraja, H.S. ; Andrade, Ana Cristina Segalin de; Oliveira, Alexandre A. de; Ouden, Jan den; Drescher, Michael ; Fletcher, Christine ; Giardina, Christian P. ; Savitri Gunatilleke, C.V. ; Gunatilleke, I.A.U.N. ; Hau, Billy C.H. ; He, Fangliang ; Howe, Robert ; Hsieh, Chang Fu ; Hubbell, Stephen P. ; Inman-Narahari, Faith M. ; Jansen, Patrick A. ; Johnson, Daniel J. ; Kong, Lee Sing ; Král, Kamil ; Ku, Chen Chia ; Lai, Jiangshan ; Larson, Andrew J. ; Li, Xiankun ; Li, Yide ; Lin, Luxiang ; Lin, Yi Ching ; Liu, Shirong ; Lum, Shawn K.Y. ; Lutz, James A. ; Ma, Keping ; Malhi, Yadvinder ; McMahon, Sean ; McShea, William ; Mi, Xiangcheng ; Morecroft, Michael ; Myers, Jonathan A. ; Nathalang, Anuttara ; Novotny, Vojtech ; Ong, Perry ; Orwig, David A. ; Ostertag, Rebecca ; Parker, Geoffrey ; Phillips, Richard P. ; Abd. Rahman, Kassim ; Sack, Lawren ; Sang, Weiguo ; Shen, Guochun ; Shringi, Ankur ; Shue, Jessica ; Su, Sheng Hsin ; Sukumar, Raman ; Fang Sun, I. ; Suresh, H.S. ; Tan, Sylvester ; Thomas, Sean C. ; Toko, Pagi S. ; Valencia, Renato ; Vallejo, Martha I. ; Vicentini, Alberto ; Vrška, Tomáš ; Wang, Bin ; Wang, Xihua ; Weiblen, George D. ; Wolf, Amy ; Xu, Han ; Yap, Sandra ; Zhu, Li ; Fung, Tak - \ 2019
Journal of Ecology (2019). - ISSN 0022-0477
forest - legume - nitrogen fixation - nutrient limitation - Smithsonian ForestGEO - symbiosis

Symbiotic nitrogen (N)-fixing trees can provide large quantities of new N to ecosystems, but only if they are sufficiently abundant. The overall abundance and latitudinal abundance distributions of N-fixing trees are well characterised in the Americas, but less well outside the Americas. Here, we characterised the abundance of N-fixing trees in a network of forest plots spanning five continents, ~5,000 tree species and ~4 million trees. The majority of the plots (86%) were in America or Asia. In addition, we examined whether the observed pattern of abundance of N-fixing trees was correlated with mean annual temperature and precipitation. Outside the tropics, N-fixing trees were consistently rare in the forest plots we examined. Within the tropics, N-fixing trees were abundant in American but not Asian forest plots (~7% versus ~1% of basal area and stems). This disparity was not explained by mean annual temperature or precipitation. Our finding of low N-fixing tree abundance in the Asian tropics casts some doubt on recent high estimates of N fixation rates in this region, which do not account for disparities in N-fixing tree abundance between the Asian and American tropics. Synthesis. Inputs of nitrogen to forests depend on symbiotic nitrogen fixation, which is constrained by the abundance of N-fixing trees. By analysing a large dataset of ~4 million trees, we found that N-fixing trees were consistently rare in the Asian tropics as well as across higher latitudes in Asia, America and Europe. The rarity of N-fixing trees in the Asian tropics compared with the American tropics might stem from lower intrinsic N limitation in Asian tropical forests, although direct support for any mechanism is lacking. The paucity of N-fixing trees throughout Asian forests suggests that N inputs to the Asian tropics might be lower than previously thought.

Strategic resources and smallholder performance at the bottom of the pyramid
Olthaar, Matthias ; Dolfsma, Wilfred ; Lutz, Clemens ; Noseleit, Florian - \ 2019
International Food and Agribusiness Management Review 22 (2019)3. - ISSN 1096-7508 - p. 365 - 380.
Competitive advantage - Mixed method - Resource-based theory - Smallholder performance

In a competitive business environment at the Bottom of the Pyramid smallholders supplying global value chains may be thought to be at the whims of downstream large-scale players and local market forces, leaving no room for strategic entrepreneurial behavior. In such a context we test the relationship between the use of strategic resources and firm performance. We adopt the Resource Based Theory and show that seemingly homogenous smallholders deploy resources differently and, consequently, some do outperform others. We argue that the 'resource-based theory' results in a more fine-grained understanding of smallholder performance than approaches generally applied in agricultural economics. We develop a mixed-method approach that allows one to pinpoint relevant, industry-specific resources, and allows for empirical identification of the relative contribution of each resource to competitive advantage. The results show that proper use of quality labor, storage facilities, time of selling, and availability of animals are key capabilities.

When can legacy soil data be used, and when should new data be collected instead?
Hendriks, C.M.J. ; Stoorvogel, J.J. ; Lutz, F. ; Claessens, L. - \ 2019
Geoderma 348 (2019). - ISSN 0016-7061 - p. 181 - 188.
Conventional soil map - Sampling effort - Scale level - Soil data acquisition - Soil data warehouses - Soil survey

Soil data requirements and soil data acquisition tools and techniques have changed over recent decades. In general, soil scientists can: i) collect new data in the field and ignore the data that are available, ii) rely entirely on legacy soil data or iii) combine available legacy data with new data collection. This study aims to analyse and discuss the choices soil scientists make to balance between the use of legacy soil data and the collection of new soil data. A literature review on soil data acquisition was carried out and illustrated that the use of legacy soil data is still often very limited, while soil data availability increased over recent decades. Studies that use legacy soil data often use conventional soil data, which are criticised in literature. A regional and local case study was carried out to illustrate the choices that have to be made for obtaining the required soil data. It turned out that both case studies preferred to combine new soil data collection and legacy soil data. Many of the reviewed studies could reduce their sampling effort by making better use of available data, tools and techniques. Besides, soil scientists can help facilitating soil data acquisition by developing soil data warehouses.

State-of-the-art global models underestimate impacts from climate extremes
Schewe, Jacob ; Gosling, Simon N. ; Reyer, Christopher ; Zhao, Fang ; Ciais, Philippe ; Elliott, Joshua ; Francois, Louis ; Huber, Veronika ; Lotze, Heike K. ; Seneviratne, Sonia I. ; Vliet, Michelle T.H. Van; Vautard, Robert ; Wada, Yoshihide ; Breuer, Lutz ; Büchner, Matthias ; Carozza, David A. ; Chang, Jinfeng ; Coll, Marta ; Deryng, Delphine ; Wit, Allard De; Eddy, Tyler D. ; Folberth, Christian ; Frieler, Katja ; Friend, Andrew D. ; Gerten, Dieter ; Gudmundsson, Lukas ; Hanasaki, Naota ; Ito, Akihiko ; Khabarov, Nikolay ; Kim, Hyungjun ; Lawrence, Peter ; Morfopoulos, Catherine ; Müller, Christoph ; Müller Schmied, Hannes ; Orth, René ; Ostberg, Sebastian ; Pokhrel, Yadu ; Pugh, Thomas A.M. ; Sakurai, Gen ; Satoh, Yusuke ; Schmid, Erwin ; Stacke, Tobias ; Steenbeek, Jeroen ; Steinkamp, Jörg ; Tang, Qiuhong ; Tian, Hanqin ; Tittensor, Derek P. ; Volkholz, Jan ; Wang, Xuhui ; Warszawski, Lila - \ 2019
Nature Communications 10 (2019). - ISSN 2041-1723
Global impact models represent process-level understanding of how natural and human systems may be affected by climate change. Their projections are used in integrated assessments of climate change. Here we test, for the first time, systematically across many important systems, how well such impact models capture the impacts of extreme climate conditions. Using the 2003 European heat wave and drought as a historical analogue for comparable events in the future, we find that a majority of models underestimate the extremeness of impacts in important sectors such as agriculture, terrestrial ecosystems, and heat-related human mortality, while impacts on water resources and hydropower are overestimated in some river basins; and the spread across models is often large. This has important implications for economic assessments of climate change impacts that rely on these models. It also means that societal risks from future extreme events may be greater than previously thought.
Memory effects of climate and vegetation affecting net ecosystem CO2 fluxes in global forests
Besnard, Simon ; Carvalhais, Nuno ; Arain, M.A. ; Black, Andrew ; Brede, Benjamin ; Buchmann, Nina ; Chen, Jiquan ; Clevers, Jan G.P.W. ; Dutrieux, Loïc P. ; Gans, Fabian ; Herold, Martin ; Jung, Martin ; Kosugi, Yoshiko ; Knohl, Alexander ; Law, Beverly E. ; Paul-Limoges, Eugénie ; Lohila, Annalea ; Merbold, Lutz ; Roupsard, Olivier ; Valentini, Riccardo ; Wolf, Sebastian ; Zhang, Xudong ; Reichstein, Markus - \ 2019
PLoS ONE 14 (2019)2. - ISSN 1932-6203 - 22 p.
Forests play a crucial role in the global carbon (C) cycle by storing and sequestering a substantial amount of C in the terrestrial biosphere. Due to temporal dynamics in climate and vegetation activity, there are significant regional variations in carbon dioxide (CO2) fluxes between the biosphere and atmosphere in forests that are affecting the global C cycle. Current forest CO2 flux dynamics are controlled by instantaneous climate, soil, and vegetation conditions, which carry legacy effects from disturbances and extreme climate events. Our level of understanding from the legacies of these processes on net CO2 fluxes is still limited due to their complexities and their long-term effects. Here, we combined remote sensing, climate, and eddy-covariance flux data to study net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) at 185 forest sites globally. Instead of commonly used non-dynamic statistical methods, we employed a type of recurrent neural network (RNN), called Long Short-Term Memory network (LSTM) that captures information from the vegetation and climate’s temporal dynamics. The resulting data-driven model integrates interannual and seasonal variations of climate and vegetation by using Landsat and climate data at each site. The presented LSTM algorithm was able to effectively describe the overall seasonal variability (Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency, NSE = 0.66) and across-site (NSE = 0.42) variations in NEE, while it had less success in predicting specific seasonal and interannual anomalies (NSE = 0.07). This analysis demonstrated that an LSTM approach with embedded climate and vegetation memory effects outperformed a non-dynamic statistical model (i.e. Random Forest) for estimating NEE. Additionally, it is shown that the vegetation mean seasonal cycle embeds most of the information content to realistically explain the spatial and seasonal variations in NEE. These findings show the relevance of capturing memory effects from both climate and vegetation in quantifying spatio-temporal variations in forest NEE.
Options to model the effects of tillage on N2O emissions at the global scale
Lutz, Femke ; Stoorvogel, Jetse J. ; Müller, Christoph - \ 2019
Ecological Modelling 392 (2019). - ISSN 0304-3800 - p. 212 - 225.
Agriculture - GHG emissions - Global ecosystem models - Mitigation - Soil management

Strategies on agricultural management can help to reduce global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. However, the potential of agricultural management to reduce GHG emissions at the global scale is unclear. Global ecosystem models often lack sufficient detail in their representation of management, such as tillage. This paper explores whether and how tillage can be incorporated in global ecosystem models for the analysis of nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions. We identify the most important nitrogen processes in soils and their response to tillage. We review how these processes and tillage effects are described in field-scale models and evaluate whether they can be incorporated in the global-scale models while considering the data requirements for a global application. The most important processes are described in field-scale models and the basic data requirements can be met at the global scale. We therefore conclude that there is potential to incorporate tillage in global ecosystem models for the analysis of N2O emissions. There are several options for how the relevant processes can be incorporated into global ecosystem models, so that generally there is potential to study the effects of tillage on N2O emissions globally. Given the many interactions with other processes, modelers need to identify the modelling approaches that are consistent with their modelling framework and test these.

Recent insights on uncertainties present in integrated catchment water quality modelling
Tscheikner-Gratl, Franz ; Bellos, Vasilis ; Schellart, Alma ; Moreno-Rodenas, Antonio ; Muthusamy, Manoranjan ; Langeveld, Jeroen ; Clemens, Francois ; Benedetti, Lorenzo ; Rico-Ramirez, Miguel Angel ; Carvalho, Rita Fernandes de; Breuer, Lutz ; Shucksmith, James ; Heuvelink, Gerard B.M. ; Tait, Simon - \ 2019
Water Research 150 (2019). - ISSN 0043-1354 - p. 368 - 379.
Complexity management - Integrated catchment modelling - Sub-models of integrated modelling - Uncertainty - Water quality

This paper aims to stimulate discussion based on the experiences derived from the QUICS project (Quantifying Uncertainty in Integrated Catchment Studies). First it briefly discusses the current state of knowledge on uncertainties in sub-models of integrated catchment models and the existing frameworks for analysing uncertainty. Furthermore, it compares the relative approaches of both building and calibrating fully integrated models or linking separate sub-models. It also discusses the implications of model linkage on overall uncertainty and how to define an acceptable level of model complexity. This discussion includes, whether we should shift our attention from uncertainties due to linkage, when using linked models, to uncertainties in model structure by necessary simplification or by using more parameters. This discussion attempts to address the question as to whether there is an increase in uncertainty by linking these models or if a compensation effect could take place and that overall uncertainty in key water quality parameters actually decreases. Finally, challenges in the application of uncertainty analysis in integrated catchment water quality modelling, as encountered in this project, are discussed and recommendations for future research areas are highlighted.

South Asian river basins in a 1.5 °C warmer world
Lutz, Arthur F. ; Maat, Herbert W. ter; Wijngaard, René R. ; Biemans, Hester ; Syed, Abu ; Shrestha, Arun B. ; Wester, Philippus ; Immerzeel, Walter W. - \ 2019
Regional Environmental Change 19 (2019)3. - ISSN 1436-3798 - p. 833 - 847.
1.5 degrees - Brahmaputra - Climate change - Ganges - Indus - Paris agreement - South Asia

In 2015, with the signing of the “Paris Agreement”, 195 countries committed to limiting the increase in global temperature to less than 2 °C with respect to pre-industrial levels and to aim at limiting the increase to 1.5 °C by 2100. The regional ramifications of those thresholds remain however largely unknown and variability in the magnitude of change and the associated impacts are yet to be quantified. We provide a regional quantitative assessment of the impacts of a 1.5 versus a 2 °C global warming for a major global climate change hotspot: the Indus, Ganges, and Brahmaputra river basins (IGB) in South Asia, by analyzing changes in climate change indicators based on 1.5 and 2 °C global warming scenarios. In the analyzed ensemble of general circulation models, a global temperature increase of 1.5 °C implies a temperature increase of 1.4–2.6 (μ = 2.1) °C for the IGB. For the 2.0 °C scenario, the increase would be 2.0–3.4 (μ = 2.7) °C. We show that climate change impacts are more adverse under 2 °C versus 1.5 °C warming and that changes in the indicators’ values are in general linearly correlated to average temperature increase. We also show that for climate projections following Representative Concentration Pathways 4.5 and 8.5, which may be more realistic, the regional temperature increases and changes in climate change indicators are much stronger than for the 1.5 and 2 °C scenarios.

EFSA Scientific Colloquium 24 – 'omics in risk assessment: state of the art and next steps
Aguilera, Jaime ; Aguilera‐gomez, Margarita ; Barrucci, Federica ; Cocconcelli, Pier Sandro ; Davies, Howard ; Denslow, Nancy ; Lou Dorne, Jean ; Grohmann, Lutz ; Herman, Lieve ; Hogstrand, Christer ; Kass, George E.N. ; Kille, Peter ; Kleter, Gijs ; Nogué, Fabien ; Plant, Nick J. ; Ramon, Matthew ; Schoonjans, Reinhilde ; Waigmann, Elisabeth ; Wright, Matthew C. - \ 2018
EFSA Supporting Publications 15 (2018)11. - ISSN 2397-8325
In recent years, the development of innovative tools in genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics (designated collectively as 'omics technologies) has opened up new possibilities for applications in scientific research and led to the availability of vast amounts of analytical data. The interpretation and integration of 'omics data can provide valuable information on the functional status of an organism and on the effect of external factors such as stressors. The European Food Safety Authority's (EFSA) 24th Scientific Colloquium on 'omics in risk assessment: state of the art and next steps explored the opportunities for integration of datasets produced via specific 'omics tools within the remit of EFSA's risk assessment approaches and tried to build further towards concrete paths of implementation. Discussions focused on genomics in microbial strain characterisation, metabolomics for the comparative assessment of GM plants and the use of 'omics for toxicological and environmental risk assessment. From the Colloquium it became clear that 'omics technologies are a valuable addition in some aspects of risk assessment of food and feed products and the environment, especially now that this technology is almost mature and stable. However, a consistent reporting framework for data collection, processing, interpretation, storage and curation should be further drawn up together with national and international organisations before 'omics technologies can be routinely used in risk assessment. For 'omics datasets in chemical and environmental risk assessments, the use of 'omics technologies alongside current toxicological or environmental risk assessment approaches is needed to re‐inforce confidence and expertise before implementation of these datasets as a standalone tool in risk assessment. Test cases could be worked out to enhance confidence in the use of 'omics datasets in risk assessment.
Risks to human and animal health related to the presence of moniliformin in food and feed
Knutsen, Helle Katrine ; Alexander, Jan ; Barregård, Lars ; Bignami, Margherita ; Brüschweiler, Beat ; Ceccatelli, Sandra ; Cottrill, Bruce ; Dinovi, Michael ; Grasl‐Kraupp, Bettina ; Hogstrand, Christer ; Hoogenboom, Laurentius ; Nebbia, Carlo Stefano ; Oswald, Isabelle P. ; Petersen, Annette ; Rose, Martin ; Roudot, Alain-Claude ; Schwerdtle, Tanja ; Vleminckx, Christiane ; Vollmer, Günter ; Wallace, Heather ; Saeger, Sarah De; Eriksen, Gunnar Sundstøl ; Farmer, Peter ; Fremy, Jean-Marc ; Gong, Yun Yun ; Meyer, Karsten ; Naegeli, Hanspeter ; Parent‐Massin, Dominique ; Egmond, Hans van; Altieri, Andrea ; Colombo, Paolo ; Eskola, Mari ; Manen, Mathijs van; Edler, Lutz - \ 2018
EFSA Journal 16 (2018)3. - ISSN 1831-4732
Moniliformin (MON) is a mycotoxin with low molecular weight primarily produced by Fusarium fungi and occurring predominantly in cereal grains. Following a request of the European Commission, the CONTAM Panel assessed the risk of MON to human and animal health related to its presence in food and feed. The limited information available on toxicity and on toxicokinetics in experimental and farm animals indicated haematotoxicity and cardiotoxicity as major adverse health effects of MON. MON causes chromosome aberrations in vitro but no in vivo genotoxicity data and no carcinogenicity data were identified. Due to the limitations in the available toxicity data, human acute or chronic health‐based guidance values (HBGV) could not be established. The margin of exposure (MOE) between the no‐observed‐adverse‐effect level (NOAEL) of 6.0 mg/kg body weight (bw) for cardiotoxicity from a subacute study in rats and the acute upper bound (UB) dietary exposure estimates ranged between 4,000 and 73,000. The MOE between the lowest benchmark dose lower confidence limit (for a 5% response ‐ BMDL05) of 0.20 mg MON/kg bw per day for haematological hazards from a 28‐day study in pigs and the chronic dietary human exposure estimates ranged between 370 and 5,000,000 for chronic dietary exposures. These MOEs indicate a low risk for human health but were associated with high uncertainty. The toxicity data available for poultry, pigs, and mink indicated a low or even negligible risk for these animals from exposure to MON in feed at the estimated exposure levels under current feeding practices. Assuming similar or lower sensitivity as for pigs, the CONTAM Panel considered a low or even negligible risk for the other animal species for which no toxicity data suitable for hazard characterisation were identified. Additional toxicity studies are needed and depending on their outcome, the collection of more occurrence data on MON in food and feed is recommended to enable a comprehensive human risk assessment.
Update of the Scientific Opinion on opium alkaloids in poppy seeds
Knutsen, Helle Katrine ; Alexander, Jan ; Barregård, Lars ; Bignami, Margherita ; Brüschweiler, Beat ; Ceccatelli, Sandra ; Cottrill, Bruce ; Dinovi, Michael ; Edler, Lutz ; Grasl‐Kraupp, Bettina ; Hogstrand, Christer ; Hoogenboom, Laurentius ; Nebbia, Carlo Stefano ; Oswald, Isabelle P. ; Petersen, Annette ; Rose, Martin ; Roudot, Alain-Claude ; Schwerdtle, Tanja ; Vollmer, Günter ; Wallace, Heather ; Benford, Diane ; Calò, Girolamo ; Dahan, Albert ; Dusemund, Birgit ; Mulder, Patrick ; Németh‐zámboriné, Éva ; Arcella, Davide ; Baert, Katleen ; Cascio, Claudia ; Levorato, Sara ; Schutte, Marijke ; Vleminckx, Christiane - \ 2018
EFSA Journal 16 (2018)5. - ISSN 1831-4732
Poppy seeds are obtained from the opium poppy (Papaver somniferum L.). They are used as food and to produce edible oil. The opium poppy plant contains narcotic alkaloids such as morphine and codeine. Poppy seeds do not contain the opium alkaloids, but can become contaminated with alkaloids as a result of pest damage and during harvesting. The European Commission asked EFSA to provide an update of the Scientific Opinion on opium alkaloids in poppy seeds. The assessment is based on data on morphine, codeine, thebaine, oripavine, noscapine and papaverine in poppy seed samples. The CONTAM Panel confirms the acute reference dose (ARfD) of 10 μg morphine/kg body weight (bw) and concluded that the concentration of codeine in the poppy seed samples should be taken into account by converting codeine to morphine equivalents, using a factor of 0.2. The ARfD is therefore a group ARfD for morphine and codeine, expressed in morphine equivalents. Mean and high levels of dietary exposure to morphine equivalents from poppy seeds considered to have high levels of opium alkaloids (i.e. poppy seeds from varieties primarily grown for pharmaceutical use) exceed the ARfD in most age groups. For poppy seeds considered to have relatively low concentrations of opium alkaloids (i.e. primarily varieties for food use), some exceedance of the ARfD is also seen at high levels of dietary exposure in most surveys. For noscapine and papaverine, the available data do not allow making a hazard characterisation. However, comparison of the dietary exposure to the recommended therapeutical doses does not suggest a health concern for these alkaloids. For thebaine and oripavine, no risk characterisation was done due to insufficient data. However, for thebaine, limited evidence indicates a higher acute lethality than for morphine and the estimated exposure could present a health risk.
Risk to human and animal health related to the presence of 4,15‐diacetoxyscirpenol in food and feed
Knutsen, Helle Katrine ; Alexander, Jan ; Barregård, Lars ; Bignami, Margherita ; Brüschweiler, Beat ; Ceccatelli, Sandra ; Cottrill, Bruce ; Dinovi, Michael ; Grasl‐Kraupp, Bettina ; Hogstrand, Christer ; Hoogenboom, Laurentius ; Nebbia, Carlo Stefano ; Oswald, Isabelle P. ; Petersen, Annette ; Rose, Martin ; Roudot, Alain-Claude ; Schwerdtle, Tanja ; Vleminckx, Christiane ; Vollmer, Günter ; Wallace, Heather ; Saeger, Sarah De; Eriksen, Gunnar Sundstøl ; Farmer, Peter ; Fremy, Jean-Marc ; Gong, Yun Yun ; Meyer, Karsten ; Parent‐Massin, Dominique ; Egmond, Hans van; Altieri, Andrea ; Colombo, Paolo ; Horváth, Zsuzsanna ; Levorato, Sara ; Edler, Lutz - \ 2018
EFSA Journal 16 (2018)8. - ISSN 1831-4732
4,15‐Diacetoxyscirpenol (DAS) is a mycotoxin primarily produced by Fusarium fungi and occurring predominantly in cereal grains. As requested by the European Commission, the EFSA Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain (CONTAM) assessed the risk of DAS to human and animal health related to its presence in food and feed. Very limited information was available on toxicity and on toxicokinetics in experimental and farm animals. Due to the limitations in the available data set, human acute and chronic health‐based guidance values (HBGV) were established based on data obtained in clinical trials of DAS as an anticancer agent (anguidine) after intravenous administration to cancer patients. The CONTAM Panel considered these data as informative for the hazard characterisation of DAS after oral exposure. The main adverse effects after acute and repeated exposure were emesis, with a no‐observed‐adverse‐effect level (NOAEL) of 32 μg DAS/kg body weight (bw), and haematotoxicity, with a NOAEL of 65 μg DAS/kg bw, respectively. An acute reference dose (ARfD) of 3.2 μg DAS/kg bw and a tolerable daily intake (TDI) of 0.65 μg DAS/kg bw were established. Based on over 15,000 occurrence data, the highest acute and chronic dietary exposures were estimated to be 0.8 and 0.49 μg DAS/kg bw per day, respectively, and were not of health concern for humans. The limited information for poultry, pigs and dogs indicated a low risk for these animals at the estimated DAS exposure levels under current feeding practices, with the possible exception of fattening chicken. Assuming similar or lower sensitivity than for poultry, the risk was considered overall low for other farm and companion animal species for which no toxicity data were available. In consideration of the similarities of several trichothecenes and the likelihood of co‐exposure via food and feed, it could be appropriate to perform a cumulative risk assessment for this group of substances.
Risk for animal and human health related to the presence of dioxins and dioxin‐like PCBs in feed and food
Knutsen, Helle Katrine ; Alexander, Jan ; Barregård, Lars ; Bignami, Margherita ; Brüschweiler, Beat ; Ceccatelli, Sandra ; Cottrill, Bruce ; Dinovi, Michael ; Edler, Lutz ; Grasl‐Kraupp, Bettina ; Hogstrand, Christer ; Nebbia, Carlo Stefano ; Oswald, Isabelle P. ; Petersen, Annette ; Rose, Martin ; Roudot, Alain-Claude ; Schwerdtle, Tanja ; Vleminckx, Christiane ; Vollmer, Günter ; Wallace, Heather ; Fürst, Peter ; Håkansson, Helen ; Halldorsson, Thorhallur ; Lundebye, Anne-Katrine ; Pohjanvirta, Raimo ; Rylander, Lars ; Smith, Andrew ; Loveren, Henk van; Waalkens‐Berendsen, Ine ; Zeilmaker, Marco ; Binaglia, Marco ; Gómez Ruiz, José Ángel ; Horváth, Zsuzsanna ; Christoph, Eugen ; Ciccolallo, Laura ; Ramos Bordajandi, Luisa ; Steinkellner, Hans ; Hoogenboom, Laurentius - \ 2018
EFSA Journal 16 (2018)11. - ISSN 1831-4732
The European Commission asked EFSA for a scientific opinion on the risks for animal and human health related to the presence of dioxins (PCDD/Fs) and DL‐PCBs in feed and food. The data from experimental animal and epidemiological studies were reviewed and it was decided to base the human risk assessment on effects observed in humans and to use animal data as supportive evidence. The critical effect was on semen quality, following pre‐ and postnatal exposure. The critical study showed a NOAEL of 7.0 pg WHO2005‐TEQ/g fat in blood sampled at age 9 years based on PCDD/F‐TEQs. No association was observed when including DL‐PCB‐TEQs. Using toxicokinetic modelling and taking into account the exposure from breastfeeding and a twofold higher intake during childhood, it was estimated that daily exposure in adolescents and adults should be below 0.25 pg TEQ/kg bw/day. The CONTAM Panel established a TWI of 2 pg TEQ/kg bw/week. With occurrence and consumption data from European countries, the mean and P95 intake of total TEQ by Adolescents, Adults, Elderly and Very Elderly varied between, respectively, 2.1 to 10.5, and 5.3 to 30.4 pg TEQ/kg bw/week, implying a considerable exceedance of the TWI. Toddlers and Other Children showed a higher exposure than older age groups, but this was accounted for when deriving the TWI. Exposure to PCDD/F‐TEQ only was on average 2.4‐ and 2.7‐fold lower for mean and P95 exposure than for total TEQ. PCDD/Fs and DL‐PCBs are transferred to milk and eggs, and accumulate in fatty tissues and liver. Transfer rates and bioconcentration factors were identified for various species. The CONTAM Panel was not able to identify reference values in most farm and companion animals with the exception of NOAELs for mink, chicken and some fish species. The estimated exposure from feed for these species does not imply a risk.
Assessment of a decontamination process for dioxins and PCBs from fish meal by replacement of fish oil
Knutsen, Helle Katrine ; Alexander, Jan ; Barregård, Lars ; Bignami, Margherita ; Brüschweiler, Beat ; Ceccatelli, Sandra ; Cottrill, Bruce ; Dinovi, Michael ; Edler, Lutz ; Grasl‐Kraupp, Bettina ; Hoogenboom, Laurentius ; Nebbia, Carlo Stefano ; Oswald, Isabelle P. ; Petersen, Annette ; Rose, Martin ; Roudot, Alain-Claude ; Schwerdtle, Tanja ; Vleminckx, Christiane ; Vollmer, Günter ; Wallace, Heather ; Lundebye, Anne-Katrine ; Metzler, Manfred ; Colombo, Paolo ; Hogstrand, Christer - \ 2018
EFSA Journal 16 (2018)2. - ISSN 1831-4732
Following a request from the European Commission, the EFSA Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain (CONTAM) provided a scientific opinion on the assessment of a decontamination process of fish meal. It consisted of extraction of the fish oil, filtration and adsorption with activated carbon, and replacement with decontaminated fish oil in order to reduce the amount of dioxins (polychlorinated dibenzo‐p‐dioxins (PCDDs) and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs)), and dioxin‐like (DL‐) and non‐dioxin‐like (NDL‐) polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). All feed decontamination processes must comply with the acceptability criteria specified in the Commission Regulation (EU) 2015/786. Data provided by the feed business operator were assessed for efficacy of the process and to demonstrate that the process did not adversely affect the characteristics and the nature of the product. The process was effective in removing PCDD/Fs (97%) and DL‐ and NDL‐PCBs (93%). The fish meal produced complied with EU regulations for these contaminants. The Panel considered that the reference to information available in published literature was a pragmatic approach to demonstrate that the replacement of fish oil and the use of activated carbon to adsorb these contaminants does not lead to any detrimental changes in the nature of the fish meal. However, it was noted that the process could deplete some beneficial constituents (e.g. oil‐soluble vitamins). Information was provided to demonstrate the safe disposal of the waste material. The CONTAM Panel concluded that on the basis of the information submitted by the feed business operator the proposed decontamination process to remove dioxins (PCDD/Fs) and PCBs from the fish meal by oil extraction followed by replacement with decontaminated fish oil, was compliant with the acceptability criteria provided for in Commission Regulation (EU) 2015/786 of 19 May 2015.
Assessment of a decontamination process for dioxins and PCBs from fish meal by hexane extraction and replacement of fish oil
Knutsen, Helle Katrine ; Alexander, Jan ; Barregård, Lars ; Bignami, Margherita ; Brüschweiler, Beat ; Ceccatelli, Sandra ; Cottrill, Bruce ; Dinovi, Michael ; Edler, Lutz ; Grasl‐Kraupp, Bettina ; Hoogenboom, Laurentius ; Nebbia, Carlo Stefano ; Oswald, Isabelle P. ; Petersen, Annette ; Rose, Martin ; Roudot, Alain-Claude ; Schwerdtle, Tanja ; Vleminckx, Christiane ; Vollmer, Günter ; Wallace, Heather ; Lundebye, Anne-Katrine ; Metzler, Manfred ; Colombo, Paolo ; Hogstrand, Christer - \ 2018
EFSA Journal 16 (2018)2. - ISSN 1831-4732
Following a request from the European Commission, the EFSA Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain (CONTAM) provided a scientific opinion on the assessment of a decontamination process for fish meal. This process entails solvent (hexane) extraction of fish oil from fish meal to remove dioxins (polychlorinated dibenzo‐p‐dioxins (PCDDs) and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs)) as well as dioxin‐like (DL‐) and non‐dioxin‐like (NDL‐) polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) followed by replacement with decontaminated fish oil. All feed decontamination processes must comply with the acceptability criteria specified in the Commission Regulation (EU) 2015/786. The data provided by the feed business operator were assessed with respect to the efficacy of the process, absence of solvent residues, and on information demonstrating that the process does not adversely affect the nature and characteristics of the product. According to data provided, the process was effective in removing PCDD/Fs and DL‐PCBs by approximately 70% and NDL‐PCBs by about 60%. The data showed that it is possible to meet the current EU requirements with respect to these contaminants, provided that the level of contamination of untreated fish meal is within the range of the tested batches. It is unlikely that hazardous substances (i.e. hexane) remain in the final product. The Panel considered that there is no evidence that fish oil extraction followed by replacement with decontaminated fish oil leads to detrimental changes in the nutritional composition of the fish meal, although some beneficial constituents (e.g. lipophilic vitamins) might be depleted. The feed business operator submitted information to demonstrate safe disposal of the waste material. The CONTAM Panel concluded that the proposed decontamination process to remove dioxins (PCDD/Fs) and PCBs from fish meal by means of solvent extraction and fish oil replacement was assessed to be compliant with the acceptability criteria provided for in Commission Regulation (EU) 2015/786 of 19 May 2015.
Risks for animal health related to the presence of fumonisins, their modified forms and hidden forms in feed
Knutsen, Helle-Katrine ; Alexander, Jan ; Barregård, Lars ; Bignami, Margherita ; Brüschweiler, Beat ; Ceccatelli, Sandra ; Cottrill, Bruce ; Dinovi, Michael ; Edler, Lutz ; Grasl‐Kraupp, Bettina ; Hogstrand, Christer ; Hoogenboom, Laurentius ; Nebbia, Carlo Stefano ; Petersen, Annette ; Rose, Martin ; Roudot, Alain-Claude ; Schwerdtle, Tanja ; Vleminckx, Christiane ; Vollmer, Günter ; Wallace, Heather ; Dall'Asta, Chiara ; Eriksen, Gunnar-Sundstøl ; Taranu, Ionelia ; Altieri, Andrea ; Roldán‐Torres, Ruth ; Oswald, Isabelle P. - \ 2018
EFSA Journal 16 (2018)5. - ISSN 1831-4732
Fumonisins, mycotoxins primarily produced by Fusarium verticillioides and Fusarium proliferatum, occur predominantly in cereal grains, especially in maize. The European Commission asked EFSA for a scientific opinion on the risk to animal health related to fumonisins and their modified and hidden forms in feed. Fumonisin B1 (FB1), FB2 and FB3 are the most common forms of fumonisins in feedstuffs and thus were included in the assessment. FB1, FB2 and FB3 have the same mode of action and were considered as having similar toxicological profile and potencies. For fumonisins, the EFSA Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain (CONTAM) identified no‐observed‐adverse‐effect levels (NOAELs) for cattle, pig, poultry (chicken, ducks and turkeys), horse, and lowest‐observed‐adverse‐effect levels (LOAELs) for fish (extrapolated from carp) and rabbits. No reference points could be identified for sheep, goats, dogs, cats and mink. The dietary exposure was estimated on 18,140 feed samples on FB1–3 representing most of the feed commodities with potential presence of fumonisins. Samples were collected between 2003 and 2016 from 19 different European countries, but most of them from four Member States. To take into account the possible occurrence of hidden forms, an additional factor of 1.6, derived from the literature, was applied to the occurrence data. Modified forms of fumonisins, for which no data were identified concerning both the occurrence and the toxicity, were not included in the assessment. Based on mean exposure estimates, the risk of adverse health effects of feeds containing FB1–3 was considered very low for ruminants, low for poultry, horse, rabbits, fish and of potential concern for pigs. The same conclusions apply to the sum of FB1–3 and their hidden forms, except for pigs for which the risk of adverse health effect was considered of concern.
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