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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    Bladderworts, the smallest known suction feeders, generate inertia-dominated flows to capture prey
    Müller, Ulrike K. ; Berg, Otto ; Schwaner, Janneke M. ; Brown, Matthew D. ; Li, Gen ; Voesenek, Cees J. ; Leeuwen, Johan L. van - \ 2020
    New Phytologist (2020). - ISSN 0028-646X
    carnivorous plants - functional morphology - plant biomechanics - suction feeding - Utricularia australis - Utricularia gibba

    Aquatic bladderworts (Utricularia gibba and U. australis) capture zooplankton in mechanically triggered underwater traps. With characteristic dimensions less than 1 mm, the trapping structures are among the smallest known to capture prey by suction, a mechanism that is not effective in the creeping-flow regime where viscous forces prevent the generation of fast and energy-efficient suction flows. To understand what makes suction feeding possible on the small scale of bladderwort traps, we characterised their suction flows experimentally (using particle image velocimetry) and mathematically (using computational fluid dynamics and analytical mathematical models). We show that bladderwort traps avoid the adverse effects of creeping flow by generating strong, fast-onset suction pressures. Our findings suggest that traps use three morphological adaptations: the trap walls' fast release of elastic energy ensures strong and constant suction pressure; the trap door's fast opening ensures effectively instantaneous onset of suction; the short channel leading into the trap ensures undeveloped flow, which maintains a wide effective channel diameter. Bladderwort traps generate much stronger suction flows than larval fish with similar gape sizes because of the traps' considerably stronger suction pressures. However, bladderworts' ability to generate strong suction flows comes at considerable energetic expense.

    The case for improving crop carbon sink strength or plasticity for a CO2-rich future
    Dingkuhn, Michael ; Luquet, Delphine ; Fabre, Denis ; Muller, Bertrand ; Yin, Xinyou ; Paul, Matthew J. - \ 2020
    Current Opinion in Plant Biology (2020). - ISSN 1369-5266

    Atmospheric CO2 concentration [CO2] has increased from 260 to 280 μmol mol−1 (level during crop domestication up to the industrial revolution) to currently 400 and will reach 550 μmol mol−1 by 2050. C3 crops are expected to benefit from elevated [CO2] (e-CO2) thanks to photosynthesis responsiveness to [CO2] but this may require greater sink capacity. We review recent literature on crop e-CO2 responses, related source-sink interactions, how abiotic stresses potentially interact, and prospects to improve e-CO2 response via breeding or genetic engineering. Several lines of evidence suggest that e-CO2 responsiveness is related either to sink intrinsic capacity or adaptive plasticity, for example, involving enhanced branching. Wild relatives and old cultivars mostly showed lower photosynthetic rates, less downward acclimation of photosynthesis to e-CO2 and responded strongly to e-CO2 due to greater phenotypic plasticity. While reverting to such archaic traits would be an inappropriate strategy for breeding, we argue that substantial enhancement of vegetative sink vigor, inflorescence size and/or number and root sinks will be necessary to fully benefit from e-CO2. Potential ideotype features based on enhanced sinks are discussed. The generic ‘feast-famine’ sugar signaling pathway may be suited to engineer sink strength tissue-specifically and stage-specifically and help validate ideotype concepts. Finally, we argue that models better accounting for acclimation to e-CO2 are needed to predict which trait combinations should be targeted by breeders for a CO2-rich world.

    I, Robot: How Human Appearance and Mind Attribution Relate to the Perceived Danger of Robots
    Müller, Barbara C.N. ; Gao, Xin ; Nijssen, Sari R.R. ; Damen, Tom G.E. - \ 2020
    International Journal of Social Robotics (2020). - ISSN 1875-4791
    Human/robot interaction - Mind perception - Need for distinctiveness - Uncanny valley

    Social robots become increasingly human-like in appearance and behaviour. However, a large body of research shows that these robots tend to elicit negative feelings of eeriness, danger, and threat. In the present study, we explored whether and how human-like appearance and mind-attribution contribute to these negative feelings and clarified possible underlying mechanisms. Participants were presented with pictures of mechanical, humanoid, and android robots, and physical anthropomorphism (Studies 1–3), attribution of mind perception of agency and experience (Studies 2 and 3), threat to human–machine distinctiveness, and damage to humans and their identity were assessed for all three robot types. Replicating earlier research, human–machine distinctiveness mediated the influence of anthropomorphic appearance on the perceived damage for humans and their identity, and this mediation was due to anthropomorphic appearance of the robot. Perceived agency and experience did not show similar mediating effects on human–machine distinctiveness, but a positive relation with perceived damage for humans and their identity. Possible explanations are discussed.

    Global Heat Uptake by Inland Waters
    Vanderkelen, I. ; Lipzig, N.P.M. van; Lawrence, D.M. ; Droppers, B. ; Golub, M. ; Gosling, S.N. ; Janssen, A.B.G. ; Marcé, R. ; Müller Schmied, H. ; Perroud, M. ; Pierson, D. ; Pokhrel, Y. ; Satoh, Y. ; Schewe, J. ; Seneviratne, S.I. ; Stepanenko, V.M. ; Tan, Z. ; Woolway, R.I. ; Thiery, W. - \ 2020
    Geophysical Research Letters 47 (2020)12. - ISSN 0094-8276
    heat uptake - inland waters - lakes - reservoirs - rivers

    Heat uptake is a key variable for understanding the Earth system response to greenhouse gas forcing. Despite the importance of this heat budget, heat uptake by inland waters has so far not been quantified. Here we use a unique combination of global-scale lake models, global hydrological models and Earth system models to quantify global heat uptake by natural lakes, reservoirs, and rivers. The total net heat uptake by inland waters amounts to 2.6 ± 3.2 ×1020 J over the period 1900–2020, corresponding to 3.6% of the energy stored on land. The overall uptake is dominated by natural lakes (111.7%), followed by reservoir warming (2.3%). Rivers contribute negatively (-14%) due to a decreasing water volume. The thermal energy of water stored in artificial reservoirs exceeds inland water heat uptake by a factor ∼10.4. This first quantification underlines that the heat uptake by inland waters is relatively small, but non-negligible.

    The role of spatial and temporal model resolution in a flood event storyline approach in western Norway
    Schaller, Nathalie ; Sillmann, Jana ; Müller, Malte ; Haarsma, Reindert ; Hazeleger, Wilco ; Hegdahl, Trine Jahr ; Kelder, Timo ; Oord, Gijs van den; Weerts, Albrecht ; Whan, Kirien - \ 2020
    Weather and Climate Extremes 29 (2020). - ISSN 2212-0947
    AROME - Atmospheric river - Climate change - Dynamical downscaling - EC-Earth - Extreme precipitation - Flood - Storyline approach - Western Norway

    We apply a physical climate storyline approach to an autumn flood event in the West Coast of Norway caused by an atmospheric river to demonstrate the value and challenges of higher spatial and temporal resolution in simulating flood impacts. We use a modelling chain whose outputs are familiar and used operationally, for example to issue flood warnings. With two different versions of a hydrological model, we show that (1) the higher spatial resolution between the global and regional climate model is necessary to realistically simulate the high spatial variability of precipitation in this mountainous region and (2) only with hourly data are we able to capture the fast flood-generating processes leading to the peak streamflow. The higher resolution regional atmospheric model captures the fact that with the passage of an atmospheric river, some valleys receive high amounts of precipitation and others not, while the coarser resolution global model shows uniform precipitation in the whole region. Translating the event into the future leads to similar results: while in some catchments, a future flood might be much larger than a present one, in others no event occurs as the atmospheric river simply does not hit that catchment. The use of an operational flood warning system for future events is expected to facilitate stakeholder engagement.

    Satellite evidence for changes in the NO2 weekly cycle over large cities
    Stavrakou, T. ; Müller, J.F. ; Bauwens, M. ; Boersma, K.F. ; Geffen, J. van - \ 2020
    Scientific Reports 10 (2020)1. - ISSN 2045-2322

    Anthropogenic activities, by far the largest source of NOx into the atmosphere, induce a weekly cycle of NO2 abundances in cities. Comprehensive analysis of the 2005–2017 OMI NO2 dataset reveals significant weekly cycles in 115 of the 274 cities considered. These results are corroborated by a full year of high-resolution TROPOMI NO2 observations. The OMI dataset permits us to identify trends in the weekly cycle resulting from NOx emissions changes. The data show a clear weakening of the weekly cycle over European and U.S. cities, an evolution attributed to the decline in anthropogenic emissions and the resulting growing importance of background NO2, whereas NO2 lifetime changes also play a minor role. In particular, the Sunday NO2 columns averaged over all U.S. cities are found to increase, relative to the weekly average, from 0.72 during 2005–2007 to 0.88 in 2015–2017. The opposite tendency is recorded in regions undergoing rapid emission growth. Multiyear simulations over the U.S. and the Middle East using the chemistry-transport model MAGRITTEv1.1 succeed in capturing the observed weekly cycles over the largest cities, as well as the observed long-term trends in the weekly cycle.

    Author Correction: Nitrogen and phosphorus constrain the CO2 fertilization of global plant biomass
    Terrer, César ; Jackson, Robert B. ; Prentice, I.C. ; Keenan, Trevor F. ; Kaiser, Christina ; Vicca, Sara ; Fisher, Joshua B. ; Reich, Peter B. ; Stocker, Benjamin D. ; Hungate, Bruce A. ; Peñuelas, Josep ; McCallum, Ian ; Soudzilovskaia, Nadejda A. ; Cernusak, Lucas A. ; Talhelm, Alan F. ; Sundert, Kevin Van; Piao, Shilong ; Newton, Paul C.D. ; Hovenden, Mark J. ; Blumenthal, Dana M. ; Liu, Yi Y. ; Müller, Christoph ; Winter, Klaus ; Field, Christopher B. ; Viechtbauer, Wolfgang ; Lissa, Caspar J. Van; Hoosbeek, Marcel R. ; Watanabe, Makoto ; Koike, Takayoshi ; Leshyk, Victor O. ; Polley, H.W. ; Franklin, Oskar - \ 2020
    Nature Climate Change 10 (2020). - ISSN 1758-678X - p. 696 - 697.

    Reply to: An appeal to cost undermines food security risks of delayed mitigation
    Hasegawa, Tomoko ; Fujimori, Shinichiro ; Havlík, Petr ; Valin, Hugo ; Bodirsky, Benjamin Leon ; Doelman, Jonathan C. ; Fellmann, Thomas ; Kyle, Page ; Koopman, Jason F.L. ; Lotze-Campen, Hermann ; Mason-D’Croz, Daniel ; Müller, Christoph ; Ochi, Yuki ; Pérez Domínguez, Ignacio ; Stehfest, Elke ; Sulser, Timothy B. ; Tabeau, Andrzej ; Takahashi, Kiyoshi ; Takakura, Junya ; Meijl, Hans van; Zeist, Willem Jan van; Wiebe, Keith ; Witzke, Peter - \ 2020
    Nature Climate Change 10 (2020)5. - ISSN 1758-678X - p. 420 - 421.
    Modelling food security : Bridging the gap between the micro and the macro scale
    Müller, Birgit ; Hoffmann, Falk ; Heckelei, Thomas ; Müller, Christoph ; Hertel, Thomas W. ; Polhill, J.G. ; Wijk, Mark van; Achterbosch, Thom ; Alexander, Peter ; Brown, Calum ; Kreuer, David ; Ewert, Frank ; Ge, Jiaqi ; Millington, James D.A. ; Seppelt, Ralf ; Verburg, Peter H. ; Webber, Heidi - \ 2020
    Global environmental change : human and policy dimensions 63 (2020). - ISSN 0959-3780
    Agent-based models - Crop models - Economic equilibrium models - Food security - Land use - Model integration - Multi-scale interactions - Social-ecological feedbacks

    Achieving food and nutrition security for all in a changing and globalized world remains a critical challenge of utmost importance. The development of solutions benefits from insights derived from modelling and simulating the complex interactions of the agri-food system, which range from global to household scales and transcend disciplinary boundaries. A wide range of models based on various methodologies (from food trade equilibrium to agent-based) seek to integrate direct and indirect drivers of change in land use, environment and socio-economic conditions at different scales. However, modelling such interaction poses fundamental challenges, especially for representing non-linear dynamics and adaptive behaviours. We identify key pieces of the fragmented landscape of food security modelling, and organize achievements and gaps into different contextual domains of food security (production, trade, and consumption) at different spatial scales. Building on in-depth reflection on three core issues of food security – volatility, technology, and transformation – we identify methodological challenges and promising strategies for advancement. We emphasize particular requirements related to the multifaceted and multiscale nature of food security. They include the explicit representation of transient dynamics to allow for path dependency and irreversible consequences, and of household heterogeneity to incorporate inequality issues. To illustrate ways forward we provide good practice examples using meta-modelling techniques, non-equilibrium approaches and behavioural-based modelling endeavours. We argue that further integration of different model types is required to better account for both multi-level agency and cross-scale feedbacks within the food system.

    Novel routes towards bioplastics from plants: elucidation of the methylperillate biosynthesis pathway from Salvia dorisiana trichomes
    Jongedijk, Esmer ; Müller, Sebastian ; Dijk, Aalt D.J. Van; Schijlen, Elio ; Champagne, Antoine ; Boutry, Marc ; Levisson, Mark ; Krol, Sander Van Der; Bouwmeester, Harro ; Beekwilder, Jules ; Takahashi, Hideki - \ 2020
    Journal of Experimental Botany 71 (2020)10. - ISSN 0022-0957 - p. 3052 - 3065.
    Plants produce a large variety of highly functionalized terpenoids. Functional groups such as partially unsaturated rings and carboxyl groups provide handles to use these compounds as feedstock for biobased commodity chemicals. For instance, methylperillate, a monoterpenoid found in Salvia dorisiana, may be used for this purpose, as it carries both an unsaturated ring and a methylated carboxyl group. The biosynthetic pathway of methylperillate in plants is still unclear. In this work, we identified glandular trichomes from S. dorisiana as the location of biosynthesis and storage of methylperillate. mRNA from purified trichomes was used to identify four genes that can encode the pathway from geranyl diphosphate towards methylperillate. This pathway includes a (–)-limonene synthase (SdLS), a limonene 7-hydroxylase (SdL7H, CYP71A76), and a perillyl alcohol dehydrogenase (SdPOHDH). We also identified a terpene acid methyltransferase, perillic acid O-methyltransferase (SdPAOMT), with homology to salicylic acid OMTs. Transient expression in Nicotiana benthamiana of these four genes, in combination with a geranyl diphosphate synthase to boost precursor formation, resulted in production of methylperillate. This demonstrates the potential of these enzymes for metabolic engineering of a feedstock for biobased commodity chemicals
    Assessment of the quality of tropomi high-spatial-resolution no2 data products in the greater toronto area
    Zhao, Xiaoyi ; Griffin, Debora ; Fioletov, Vitali ; McLinden, Chris ; Cede, Alexander ; Tiefengraber, Martin ; Müller, Moritz ; Bognar, Kristof ; Strong, Kimberly ; Boersma, Folkert ; Eskes, Henk ; Davies, Jonathan ; Ogyu, Akira ; Chi Lee, Sum - \ 2020
    Atmospheric Measurement Techniques 13 (2020)4. - ISSN 1867-1381 - p. 2131 - 2159.

    The TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI) aboard the Sentinel-5 Precursor satellite (launched on 13 October 2017) is a nadir-viewing spectrometer measuring reflected sunlight in the ultraviolet, visible, near-infrared, and shortwave infrared spectral ranges. The measured spectra are used to retrieve total columns of trace gases, including nitrogen dioxide (NO2). For ground validation of these satellite measurements, Pandora spectrometers, which retrieve high-quality NO2 total columns via direct-sun measurements, are widely used. In this study, Pandora NO2 measurements made at three sites located in or north of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) are used to evaluate the TROPOMI NO2 data products, including a standard Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) tropospheric and stratospheric NO2 data product and a TROPOMI research data product developed by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) using a high-resolution regional air quality forecast model (in the air mass factor calculation). It is found that these current TROPOMI tropospheric NO2 data products (standard and ECCC) met the TROPOMI design bias requirement (< 10 %). Using the statistical uncertainty estimation method, the estimated TROPOMI upper-limit precision falls below the design requirement at a rural site but above in the other two urban and suburban sites. The Pandora instruments are found to have sufficient precision (< 0.02 DU) to perform TROPOMI validation work. In addition to the traditional satellite validation method (i.e., pairing ground-based measurements with satellite measurements closest in time and space), we analyzed TROPOMI pixels located upwind and downwind from the Pandora site. This makes it possible to improve the statistics and better interpret the high-spatial-resolution measurements made by TROPOMI. By using this wind-based validation technique, the number of coincident measurements can be increased by about a factor of 5. With this larger number of coincident measurements, this work shows that both TROPOMI and Pandora instruments can reveal detailed spatial patterns (i.e., horizontal distributions) of local and transported NO2 emissions, which can be used to evaluate regional air quality changes. The TROPOMI ECCC NO2 research data product shows improved agreement with Pandora measurements compared to the TROPOMI standard tropospheric NO2 data product (e.g., lower multiplicative bias at the suburban and urban sites by about 10 %), demonstrating benefits from the high-resolution regional air quality forecast model.

    Review of solar dryers for agricultural products in Asia and Africa : An innovation landscape approach
    Udomkun, Patchimaporn ; Romuli, Sebastian ; Schock, Steffen ; Mahayothee, Busarakorn ; Sartas, Murat ; Wossen, Tesfamicheal ; Njukwe, Emmanuel ; Vanlauwe, Bernard ; Müller, Joachim - \ 2020
    Journal of Environmental Management 268 (2020). - ISSN 0301-4797
    Active dryer - Hybrid dryer - Passive dryer - Renewable energy - Solar drying application - Technology adoption

    Solar drying is one of the most efficient and cost-effective, renewable, and sustainable technologies to conserve agricultural products in Asian and sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries. This review paper presents the different types of solar dryers that are widely used in Africa and Asia. In addition, the pre-eminent effects of their use on product quality, as well as their economic, environmental, and social impacts, are highlighted. Since financial, external, and structural factors play a key role in the adoption and scaling of solar dryers, this paper also discusses the impact of these factors on the effectiveness of solar drying technologies in selected Asian and SSA countries.

    Anthocyanin profile, antioxidant activity and total phenolic content of a strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa Duch) genetic resource collection
    Dzhanfezova, Tsaneta ; Barba-Espín, Gregorio ; Müller, Renate ; Joernsgaard, Bjarne ; Hegelund, Josefine Nymark ; Madsen, Bjoern ; Larsen, Dorthe H. ; Martínez Vega, Mabel ; Toldam-Andersen, Torben Bo - \ 2020
    Food Bioscience 36 (2020). - ISSN 2212-4292
    Anthocyanins - Antioxidant - Cyanidin 3-O-Glucoside - Fragaria ananassa - Pelargonidin 3-O-glucoside - Phenolic content

    Screening of strawberry anthocyanin composition and antioxidant capacities are important in the characterization and development of sources of natural colors. Here, Fragaria vesca (wild strawberry) and three commercial (cultivars ‘Elsanta’, ‘Korona’ and ‘Honeyoe’) and 14 non-commercial cultivars of Fragaria × ananassa Duch. were characterized in terms of anthocyanin content and composition, total phenolic content and antioxidant activities for two consecutive growing seasons. Twelve non-commercial strawberry cultivars had higher anthocyanin contents when compared to previous reports, varying between 1.13 and 1.89 g kg-1 fresh weight (fw) in total, with pelargonidin 3-O-glucoside as the major (50–90%) and cyanidin 3-O-glucoside as the second most abundant (1–47%) anthocyanins. Among the characterized cultivars, S 94 combined high antioxidant activities (4.6 mmol Trolox equivalents g-1 fw and 24.6 mmol Fe2+ g-1 fw on average for both years) and total anthocyanin (1.76 g kg-1 fw) and cyanidin 3-O-glucoside contents. Furthermore, the breeding potential of wild strawberry was highlighted as it had the highest antioxidant activity among tested cultivars and 44% of anthocyanins as cyanidin-3-O-glucoside. This study identified strawberry cultivars with traits desirable for colorants, which might guide future breeding programs for healthier strawberries.

    Exploring potential of non-destructive and non-invasive sensors in food supply chains
    Bouzembrak, Y. ; Chauhan, A. ; Daniels, F.M.J. ; Gavai, Anand ; Gonzales Rojas, Jose ; Kamphuis, C. ; Marvin, H.J.P. ; Meesters, Lydia ; Mishra, Puneet ; Müller-Maatsch, Judith ; Ouweltjes, W. ; Paillart, M.J.M. ; Petie, R. ; Petropoulou, Anna ; Plantenga, F.D.M. ; Rijgersberg, H. ; Top, J.L. ; Tsafaras, I. ; Ummels, Meeke ; Breukelen, Anouk van; Weesepoel, Y.J.A. - \ 2020
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    Tilling the earth; modelling global N2O emissions caused by tillage
    Lutz, Femke - \ 2020
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): J.J. Stoorvogel, co-promotor(en): C. Müller. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463952743 - 186

    Agriculture is the largest contributor of non-CO2 anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). Agricultural based mitigation strategies (e.g. no-tillage) are identified to reduce emissions from agricultural soils through improved agricultural management. Global ecosystem models that are usually used for finding the potential of agricultural based mitigation strategies are limited, because processes related to agricultural management are currently underrepresented in global ecosystem models. The aim of this thesis is to contribute to the representation of agricultural management in global ecosystem models, so that the potential of agricultural based mitigation practices can be better quantified. Therefore, this thesis first addressed how processes related to agricultural management can be described in global ecosystem models, with a focus on processes related to tillage and N2O emissions. This analysis resulted in a standardized framework that can be followed to incorporate other agricultural management practices in global ecosystems as well. After indicating how processes related to tillage can be described, they were implemented into the global ecosystem model LPJmL. Subsequently, the extended LPJmL model was evaluated on its performance on various fluxes (including N2O and CO2) at the global scale and for a number of experimental sites. Finally, the uncertainty caused by the upscaling of soil input data when assessing tillage effects on N2O emissions were addressed. LPJmL was not capable of accurately simulating tillage effects on N2O emissions. Hence, the potential of mitigating N2O emissions through tillage management cannot be well assessed. However, the implementation of the more detailed tillage-related mechanism into the global ecosystem model LPJmL improved the ability to understand agricultural management options for agricultural mitigation of CO2 emissions, climate change adaptation and reducing environmental impacts. The work in this thesis concludes that as processes related to agricultural management can be incorporated into global ecosystem models by following the standardized framework, and data-scarcity on agricultural management does not necessarily limit the evaluation of the extended model, there is no general barrier to extend global ecosystem models by modules for the representation of agricultural management.

    Soil carbon sequestration in grazing systems: managing expectations
    Godde, Cécile M. ; Boer, Imke J.M. de; Ermgassen, Erasmus zu; Herrero, Mario ; Middelaar, Corina E. van; Muller, Adrian ; Röös, Elin ; Schader, Christian ; Smith, Pete ; Zanten, Hannah H.E. van; Garnett, Tara - \ 2020
    Climatic Change (2020). - ISSN 0165-0009
    Cattle - Climate change - Grasslands - Greenhouse gases - Livestock - Soil carbon

    Grazing systems emit greenhouse gases, which can, under specific agro-ecological conditions, be partly or entirely offset by soil carbon sequestration. However, any sequestration is time-limited, reversible, and at a global level outweighed by emissions from grazing systems. Thus, grazing systems are globally a net contributor to climate change and the time scale of key processes needs to be factored into any mitigation efforts. Failing to do so leads to unrealistic expectations of soil carbon management in grazing systems as a mitigation strategy. Protecting the large carbon stocks in grazing lands is also essential in order to avoid further climate change from additional CO2 release. Despite the time-limited and reversible nature of soil carbon sequestration in grazing lands, sequestration should be promoted in cases where it delivers environmental and agronomic benefits as well as for its potential, particularly on degraded land, to increase the feasibility of limiting global warming to less than 2 or preferably 1.5 °C. Some peer-reviewed sequestration estimates are of a similar order of magnitude to other food systems mitigation options over a 10–20 years period, such as reducing food loss and waste by 15% or aligning diets with current health related dietary-recommendations. However, caution should be applied to such comparisons since mitigation estimates are associated with large uncertainties and will ultimately depend on the economic cost-benefit relation, feasibility of implementation and time frame considered.

    Effect of wheat bran derived prebiotic supplementation on gastrointestinal transit, gut microbiota, and metabolic health: a randomized controlled trial in healthy adults with a slow gut transit
    Müller, Mattea ; Hermes, Gerben D.A. ; Canfora, Emanuel E. ; Holst, Jens J. ; Zoetendal, Erwin G. ; Smidt, Hauke ; Troost, Freddy ; Schaap, Frank G. ; Damink, Steven Olde ; Jocken, Johan W.E. ; Lenaerts, Kaatje ; Masclee, Ad A.M. ; Blaak, Ellen E. - \ 2020
    Gut Microbes (2020). - ISSN 1949-0976
    Arabinoxylan-Oligosaccharides - Energy metabolism - Gastrointestinal transit - Gut Hormones - Gut microbiota - Prebiotic - Stool consistency

    Acute intake of the wheat bran extract Arabinoxylan-Oligosaccharide (AXOS) modulates the gut microbiota, improves stool characteristics and postprandial glycemia in healthy humans. Yet, little is known on how long-term AXOS intake influences gastrointestinal (GI) functioning, gut microbiota, and metabolic health. In this randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study, we evaluated the effects of AXOS intake on GI function and metabolic health in adults with slow GI transit without constipation. Forty-eight normoglycemic adults were included with whole-gut transit time (WGTT) of >35 h receiving either 15 g/day AXOS or placebo (maltodextrin) for 12-wks. The primary outcome was WGTT, and secondary outcomes included stool parameters, gut permeability, short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), microbiota composition, energy expenditure, substrate oxidation, glucose, insulin, lipids, gut hormones, and adipose tissue (AT) function. WGTT was unchanged, but stool consistency softened after AXOS. 12-wks of AXOS intake significantly changed the microbiota by increasing Bifidobacterium and decreasing microbial alpha-diversity. With a good classification accuracy, overall microbiota composition classified responders with decreased WGTT after AXOS. The incretin hormone Glucagon-like protein 1 was reduced after AXOS compared to placebo. Energy expenditure, plasma metabolites, AT parameters, SCFA, and gut permeability were unchanged. In conclusion, intake of wheat bran extract increases fecal Bifidobacterium and softens stool consistency without major effects on energy metabolism in healthy humans with a slow GI transit. We show that overall gut microbiota classified responders with decreased WGTT after AXOS highlighting that GI transit and change thereof were associated with gut microbiota independent of Bifidobacterium. NCT02491125.

    Distal colonic transit is linked to gut microbiota diversity and microbial fermentation in humans with slow colonic transit
    Müller, Mattea ; Hermes, Gerben D.A. ; Canfora, Emanuel E. ; Smidt, Hauke ; Masclee, Ad A.M. ; Zoetendal, Erwin G. ; Blaak, Ellen E. - \ 2020
    American Journal of Physiology. Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology 318 (2020)2. - ISSN 0193-1857 - p. G361 - G369.
    gastrointestinal transit - gut microbiota - short-chain fatty acids - stool consistency

    Longer colonic transit time and hard stools are associated with increased gut microbiota diversity. Here, we investigate to what extent quantitative measures of (segmental) colonic transit time were related to gut microbiota composition, microbial metabolites, and gut-related parameters in a human cross-sectional study. Using radiopaque markers, (segmental) colonic transit time (CTT) was measured in 48 lean/overweight participants with long colonic transit but without constipation. Fecal microbiota composition was determined using 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing. Associations between gastrointestinal transit (segmental CTT and stool frequency and consistency), microbiota diversity and composition, microbial metabolites [short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), branched-chain fatty acids, and breath hydrogen], habitual diet, and gut-related host parameters [lipopolysaccharide-binding protein (LBP) and fecal calprotectin] were investigated using univariate and multivariate approaches. Long descending (i.e., distal) colonic transit was associated with increased microbial α-diversity but not with stool consistency. Using unweighted and weighted UniFrac distance, microbiota variation was not related to (segmental) CTT but to demographics, diet, plasma LBP, and fecal calprotectin. Bray-Curtis dissimilarity related only to stool consistency. Rectosigmoid and descending colonic transit were negatively associated with fecal SCFA and plasma acetate, respectively. This study suggests that the distal colon transit may affect not only microbiota diversity but also microbial metabolism.NEW & NOTEWORTHY We extend previous findings showing that long distal colonic transit time influences microbial diversification and fermentation, whereas stool consistency is related to microbiota composition in humans with a long colonic transit. This study puts the importance of the (distal) colonic site in microbiota ecology forward, which should be considered in future therapeutic studies targeting, for instance, short-chain fatty acid production to improve metabolic health.

    A framework for nitrogen futures in the shared socioeconomic pathways
    Kanter, David R. ; Winiwarter, Wilfried ; Bodirsky, Benjamin L. ; Bouwman, Lex ; Boyer, Elizabeth ; Buckle, Simon ; Compton, Jana E. ; Dalgaard, Tommy ; Vries, Wim de; Leclère, David ; Leip, Adrian ; Müller, Christoph ; Popp, Alexander ; Raghuram, Nandula ; Rao, Shilpa ; Sutton, Mark A. ; Tian, Hanqin ; Westhoek, Henk ; Zhang, Xin ; Zurek, Monika - \ 2020
    Global environmental change : human and policy dimensions 61 (2020). - ISSN 0959-3780
    Environmental policy - Nitrogen pollution - Scenarios

    Humanity's transformation of the nitrogen cycle has major consequences for ecosystems, climate and human health, making it one of the key environmental issues of our time. Understanding how trends could evolve over the course of the 21st century is crucial for scientists and decision-makers from local to global scales. Scenario analysis is the primary tool for doing so, and has been applied across all major environmental issues, including nitrogen pollution. However, to date most scenario efforts addressing nitrogen flows have either taken a narrow approach, focusing on a singular impact or sector, or have not been integrated within a broader scenario framework – a missed opportunity given the multiple environmental and socio-economic impacts that nitrogen pollution exacerbates. Capitalizing on our expanding knowledge of nitrogen flows, this study introduces a framework for new nitrogen-focused narratives based on the widely used Shared Socioeconomic Pathways that include all the major nitrogen-polluting sectors (agriculture, industry, transport and wastewater). These new narratives are the first to integrate the influence of climate and other environmental pollution control policies, while also incorporating explicit nitrogen-control measures. The next step is for them to be used as model inputs to evaluate the impact of different nitrogen production, consumption and loss trajectories, and thus advance understanding of how to address environmental impacts while simultaneously meeting key development goals. This effort is an important step in assessing how humanity can return to the planetary boundary of this essential element over the coming century.

    The Global Museum: natural history collections and the future of evolutionary science and public education
    Bakker, F.T. ; Antonelli, A. ; Clarke, J.A. ; Cook, J.A. ; Edwards, S.V. ; Ericson, P.G.P. ; Faurby, S. ; Ferrand, N. ; Gelang, M. ; Gillespie, R.G. ; Irestedt, M. ; Lundin, K. ; Larsson, E. ; Matos-Maraví, P. ; Müller, J. ; Proschwitz, T. von; Roderick, G.K. ; Schliep, A. ; Wahlberg, N. ; Wiedenhoeft, J. ; Källersjö, M. - \ 2020
    PeerJ 8 (2020). - ISSN 2167-8359
    Natural history museums are unique spaces for interdisciplinary research and educational innovation. Through extensive exhibits and public programming and by hosting rich communities of amateurs, students, and researchers at all stages of their careers, they can provide a place-based window to focus on integration of science and discovery, as well as a locus for community engagement. At the same time, like a synthesis radio telescope, when joined together through emerging digital resources, the global community of museums (the ‘Global Museum’) is more than the sum of its parts, allowing insights and answers to diverse biological, environmental, and societal questions at the global scale, across eons of time, and spanning vast diversity across the Tree of Life. We argue that, whereas natural history collections and museums began with a focus on describing the diversity and peculiarities of species on Earth, they are now increasingly leveraged in new ways that significantly expand their impact and relevance. These new directions include the possibility to ask new, often interdisciplinary questions in basic and applied science, such as in biomimetic design, and by contributing to solutions to climate change, global health and food security challenges. As institutions, they have long been incubators for cutting-edge research in biology while simultaneously providing core infrastructure for research on present and future societal needs. Here we explore how the intersection between pressing issues in environmental and human health and rapid technological innovation have reinforced the relevance of museum collections. We do this by providing examples as food for thought for both the broader academic community and museum scientists on the evolving role of museums. We also identify challenges to the realization of the full potential of natural history collections and the Global Museum to science and society and discuss the critical need to grow these collections. We then focus on mapping and modelling of museum data (including place-based approaches and discovery), and explore the main projects, platforms and databases enabling this growth. Finally, we aim to improve relevant protocols for the long-term storage of specimens and tissues, ensuring proper connection with tomorrow’s technologies and hence further increasing the relevance of natural history museums.
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