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The following results are related to Rural Digital Europe. Are you interested to view more results? Visit OpenAIRE - Explore.
9 Research products

  • Rural Digital Europe
  • 2013-2022
  • Doctoral thesis
  • 15. Life on land

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  • image/svg+xml art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos Open Access logo, converted into svg, designed by PLoS. This version with transparent background. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Open_Access_logo_PLoS_white.svg art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos http://www.plos.org/
    Authors: Moreno Fernández, Daniel;

    El principal objetivo de esta tesis doctoral es evaluar a distintas escalas, la influencia de la gestión forestal sostenible en la dinámica de los pinares de Pinus sylvestris L. (pino silvestre) en el Sistema Central el efecto del cambio global en los montes mediterráneos. En primer lugar se estudia a microescala la influencia de distintos factores ecológicos y de la intensidad de las cortas de regeneración en las primeras etapas de regeneración de P. sylvestris. Además, se comparan distintas técnicas estadísticas y se analizan las debilidades y las fortalezas de cada una de ellas. Las distintas técnicas estadísticas muestran que el número de plántulas del P. sylvestris está positivamente relacionado con la intensidad de las cortas y negativamente con el contenido de sodio en el suelo (Capítulo 2). A continuación, se plantea un modelo espacio-temporal para determinar la distribución espacial del número de pies menores en función del tamaño y de la distancia entre los pies adultos. Se encuentra una influencia negativa en la distancia de los pies adultos a los pies menores de hasta 7 m (Capítulo 3). En el Capítulo 4 se trabaja a escala monte comparando el efecto de dos sistemas de gestión forestal en el carbono almacenado en los distintos compartimentos durante el periodo de rotación. El sistema de gestión menos intenso y con periodo de rotación más largo almacena, como media anual, más carbono que el sistema más intenso. Sin embargo, el carbono almacenado en los horizontes superficiales no se ve afectado ni por el sistema de gestión ni por la edad de la masa. Finalmente, se estudian los cambios de distribución y abundancia del P. sylvestris y del Quercus pyrenaica Willd. (rebollo) en los últimos 40 años en la Sierra de Guadarrama de la Comunidad de Madrid como consecuencia del cambio global (Capítulo 5). Además, se valida una metodología para determinar la significación de las variables auxiliares y la varianza asociada a la función principal, así como a la autocorrelación espacio-temporal en modelos de krigeado y cokrigeado universal. Los resultados indican que tanto la distribución y la abundancia del P. sylvestris se han mantenido constante mientras que la distribución y la abundancia del Q. pyrenaica han aumentado significativamente. Como consecuencia, la superficie donde ambas especies coexisten se ha triplicado. ----------ABSTRACT---------- The main objective of this thesis is to assess the influence of sustainable forest management at different scales on the dynamics of Pinus sylvestris L. (Scots pine) stands in Central Spain as well as the effects of global change on Mediterranean forests. Firstly, the influence of ecological factors and of the intensity of regeneration fellings on the first stages of the regeneration of P. sylvestris at microscale are assessed. Additionally, several statistical approaches are used to model forest regeneration and the weaknesses and strengths of each are discussed. The alternative approaches show that the number of P. sylvestris seedlings is positively related to heavy fellings and negatively related to sodium content (Chapter 2). On a larger scale (plot level), a spatio-temporal recruitment model is proposed. This model determines the spatial distribution of the saplings as a function of the size of adult trees and the distance between adult trees and saplings. The model detects a negative association between the diameter of adult trees and number of saplings up to a distance of 7 m (Chapter 3). Chapter 4 analyses the way in which two management systems affect the carbon stored in forest pools over the rotation period. The results reveal that less severe management systems with longer rotation periods increase carbon fixation. On the other hand, neither the forest management nor the stand age have a significant effect on the carbon stored in the soil. Finally, the shifts in distribution and changes in abundance of P. sylvestris and Quercus pyrenaica Willd. (Pyrenean oak) as a result of global change over the last 40 years are assessed in the Sierra of Guadarrama (Comunidad de Madrid) are assessed (Chapter 5). Furthermore, it is addressed the performance of a novel method to calculate the significance of climatic variables as auxiliary variables and to estimate which part of the variance is linked to the mean function and which part is linked to the space-time autocorrelation in space-time universal kriging and co-kriging distribution models. The results indicate that both the distribution and the abundance of P. sylvestris remained relatively constant, whereas the distribution and abundance of Q. pyrenaica increased significantly. As a consequence, the area where the two species coexist has increased three fold.

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    http://oa.upm.es/50909/1/DANIE...
    Thesis
    License: CC BY NC ND
    Data sources: UnpayWall
    https://doi.org/10.20868/upm.t...
    Thesis . 2018 . Peer-reviewed
    Data sources: Crossref
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      http://oa.upm.es/50909/1/DANIE...
      Thesis
      License: CC BY NC ND
      Data sources: UnpayWall
      https://doi.org/10.20868/upm.t...
      Thesis . 2018 . Peer-reviewed
      Data sources: Crossref
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    Authors: Dutrieux, L.P.;

    Tropical forests concentrate a large part of the terrestrial biodiversity, provide important resources, and deliver many ecosystem services such as climate regulation, carbon sequestration, and hence climate change mitigation. While in the current context of anthropogenic pressure these forests are threatened by deforestation, forest degradation and climate change, they also have shown to be, in certain cases, highly resilient and able to recover from disturbances. Quantitative measures of forest resources and insights into their dynamics and functioning are therefore crucial in this context of climate and land use change. Sensors on-board satellites have been collecting a large variety of data about the surface of the earth in a systematic and objective way, making remote sensing a tool that holds tremendous potential for mapping and monitoring the earth. The main aim of this research is to explore the potential of remote sensing for mapping forest attributes and dynamics. Tropical South America, which contains the largest area of tropical forest on the planet, and is therefore of global significance, is the regional focus of the research. Different methods are developed and assessed to: (i) map forest attributes at national scale, (ii) detect forest cover loss, (iii) quantify land use intensity over shifting cultivation landscapes, and (iv) measure spectral recovery and resilience of regrowing forests. Remote sensing data are diverse and multidimensional; a constellation of satellite sensors collects data at various spatial, temporal and spectral resolutions, which can be used to inform on different components of forests and their dynamics. To better map and monitor ecological processes, which are inherently multidimensional, this thesis develops methods that combine multiple data sources, and integrate the spatial, temporal and spectral dimensions contained in remote sensing datasets. This is achieved for instance by assembling time-series to fully exploit the temporal signal contained in the data, or by working with multiple spectral channels as a way to better capture subtle ecological features and processes. After introducing the general objectives of the thesis in Chapter 1, Chapter 2 presents an approach for mapping forest attributes at national scale. In this chapter, 28 coarse resolution remote sensing predictors from diverse sources are used in combination with in-situ data from 220 forest inventory plots to predict nine forest attributes over lowland Bolivia. The attributes include traditional forest inventory variables such as forest structure, floristic properties, and abundance of life forms. Modelling is done using the random forest approach and reasonable prediction potential was found for variables related to floristic properties, while forest attributes relating to structure had a low prediction potential. This methodological development demonstrates the potential of coarse resolution remote sensing for scaling local in-situ ecological measurements to country-wide maps, thus providing information that is highly valuable for biodiversity conservation, resource use planning, and for understanding tropical forest functioning. Chapter 3 presents an approach to detect forest cover loss from remote sensing time-series. While change detection has been the object of many studies, the novel contribution of the present example concerns the capacity to detect change in environments with strong inter-annual variations, such as seasonally dry tropical forests. By combining Landsat with Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) time-series in a change detection framework, the approach provides information at 30 m resolution on forest cover loss, while normalizing for the natural variability of the ecosystem that would otherwise be detected as change. The proposed approach of combining two data streams at different spatial resolutions provides the opportunity to distinguish anthropogenic disturbances from natural change in tropical forests. Chapter 4 introduces a new method to quantify land use intensity in swidden agriculture systems, using remote sensing time-series. Land use intensity — a parameter known for influencing forest resilience — is retrieved in this case by applying a temporal segmentation algorithm derived from the econometrics field and capable of identifying shifts in land dynamic regimes, to Landsat time-series. These shifts, or breakpoints, are then classified into the different events of the swidden agriculture cycle, which allows to quantify the number of cultivation cycles that has taken place for a given agricultural field. The method enables the production of objective and spatially continuous information on land use intensity for large areas, hence benefiting the study of spatio-temporal patterns of land use and the resulting forest resilience. The results were validated against an independent dataset of reported cultivation frequency and proved to be a reliable indicator of land use intensity. Chapter 5 further explores the concept of forest resilience. A framework to quantify spectral recovery time of forests that regrow after disturbance is developed, and applied to regrowing forests of the Amazon. Spatial patterns of spectral resilience as well as relations with environmental conditions are explored. Regrowing forests take on average 7.8 years to recover their spectral properties, and large variations in spectral recovery time occur at a local scale. This large local variability suggests that local factors, rather than climate, drive the spectral recovery of tropical forests. While spectral recovery times do not directly correspond to the time required for complete recovery of the biomass and species pool of tropical forests, they provide an indication on the kinetics of the early stages of forest regrowth. Chapter 6 summarizes the main findings of the thesis and provides additional reflections and prospects for future research. By predicting forest attributes country-wide or retrieving land use history over the 30 years time-span of the Landsat archive, the developed methods provide insights at spatial and temporal scales that are beyond the reach of ground based data collection methods. Remote sensing was therefore able to provide valuable information for better understanding, managing and conserving tropical forest ecosystems, and this was partly achieved by combining multiple sources of data and taking advantage of the available remote sensing dimensions. However, the work presented only explores a small part of the potential of remote sensing, so that future research should intensively focus on further exploiting the multiple dimensions and multi-scale nature of remote sensing data as a way to provide insights on complex multi-scale processes such as interactions between climate change, anthropogenic pressure, and ecological processes. Inspired by recent advances in operational forest monitoring, operationalization of scientific methods to retrieve ecological variables from remote sensing is also discussed. Such transfer of scientific advances to operational platforms that can automatically produce and update ecologically relevant variables globally would largely benefit ecological research, public awareness and the conservation and wise use of natural resources.

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    NARCIS; Research@WUR
    Doctoral thesis . 2016
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    Research@WUR; NARCIS
    Other literature type . Doctoral thesis . Thesis . 2016 . Peer-reviewed
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      NARCIS; Research@WUR
      Doctoral thesis . 2016
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      Research@WUR; NARCIS
      Other literature type . Doctoral thesis . Thesis . 2016 . Peer-reviewed
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    Authors: Pavageau, Charlotte;

    Complex agro-ecological landscapes are recognized for providing a range of ecosystem goods and services at different levels. Agricultural intensification affects the long-term sustainability of these landscapes by weakening natural processes that are indirectly important to agriculture, such as pollination, biological control of pest or soil retention. In response, agro-ecological intensification has appeared as an approach to ensure the sustainability of agricultural landscapes. This approach is based on the active management of ecosystem services. However, implementation of this approach remains a challenge given there is insufficient information on the functioning of ecosystem services, trade-offs between different land management strategies and decisions, as well as other socio-economic barriers. Pollination services provide significant contributions to agricultural production. In recent years, wild pollinators have received increased attention. Pollination services depend on the interactions between various spatially separated elements of the landscape, such as nesting and foraging resources, and are influenced by interventions from various actors, such as agricultural practices. As a result, the evaluation and planning of pollination services requires adopting a socio-ecological landscape approach. This thesis aims to explore the effectiveness and implications of different strategies of landscape management for pollination services and agricultural production. It focuses on a coffee tropical agroforestry landscape in Kodagu district in India where the wild honeybee species, Apis dorsata, is the main pollinator species. In the first two results chapters, I explore the ecosystem services cascade by showing the interactions between landscape patterns, management practices and ecosystem service delivery across temporal and spatial scales. In the next chapter, I propose two landscape management strategies aimed at optimizing pollination services for agricultural production. In the last chapter, I discuss how both social and ecological factors interact to co-produce pollination services. After a general introduction, in Chapter 2, I examine the interactions between landscape patterns, in particular land cover and resource heterogeneity, and the distribution of wild nests of Apis dorsata. I reveal scaling and non-uniform effects by combining two different approaches of spatial analysis, the point-pattern analysis and the cutting-edge surface-pattern analysis. I conclude that both forest fragments and the agroforestry matrix influence the presence of nests, although the scale of the interactions vary across the two land covers (fine scales for forest fragments, and broad scales for agroforests) and are not uniform across the study zone. The results demonstrate how maintaining structurally complex landscapes at multiple scales help to preserve bee populations. In Chapter 3, I develop a landscape-scale probabilistic pollination model of dispersion of Apis dorsata, from their nesting habitats, mostly in forest patches, to surrounding coffee plantations. Using the electrical circuit theory, the model indicates that honeybees are highly sensitive to temporal changes in coffee flower availability at landscape scales, and that their movement is not limited by fragmentation of tree cover. The flowering of individual coffee plantations is controlled by irrigation decisions from farmers. The results show that the aggregation of individual decisions creates an emergent dynamic landscape-scale pattern of flowering to which honeybees are responding. The pollination model has broad relevance for other complex mosaic landscapes where floral resources are dynamic. In Chapter 4, I explore optimal landscape management strategies that maximize pollination services and simultaneously increase agricultural production. Using the pollination model in Chapter 2 and an optimization algorithm, I compare the potential benefits of two alternative management strategies: a spatio-temporal management of coffee flowering (via the coordination of irrigation dates), versus habitat conservation, which impacts the spatial distribution of nests. Coordinated efforts on irrigation allow greater gains in terms of pollinator visits than a redistribution of nests in different nesting sites. However, both scenarios lead to similar significant increases in fruit set. While irrigation coordination aims to minimize inter-plantation competitions, conservation of multiple nesting sites redistributes bee individuals more effectively across plantations. Given each strategy involves different stakeholders and different types of decision, I assess the challenges associated to the implementation of each scenario and possible trade-offs with other management options. In Chapter 5, I use a socio-ecological approach for assessing alternatives to ecosystem service management. I compare pollination services supported by wild bees versus managed bees, using ecological data and interviews with farmers. I demonstrate that Apis dorsata is more abundant in coffee plantations and also supports more heterogeneous pollination services in space and time than the managed pollinator, Apis cerana. I highlight the interrelationships between different human factors that influence the mobilization of hives or the management of wild nesting sites by coffee farmers. These ”mediating factors“ include individual farmer’s assets, institutions and policies, values and perceptions. This approach is useful to understand to which extent recommendations on pollination services are relevant for local actors.

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    ETH Zürich Research Collection
    Doctoral thesis . 2017
    Data sources: Datacite
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      ETH Zürich Research Collection
      Doctoral thesis . 2017
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    Authors: García Fortea, Edgar;

    [ES] La berenjena (Solanum melongena) es una hortaliza muy importante en muchas áreas tropicales y subtropicales del mundo. Es la tercera solanácea más producida a nivel mundial, pero a pesar de su importancia los recursos genéticos y las herramientas biotecnológicas para su investigación no han sido desarrollados lo suficiente. Con la actual situación de cambio climático, muchas de las áreas donde se produce este cultivo están sufriendo modificaciones dramáticas en el ambiente y la climatología. Esto está ocasionando una reducción de los rendimientos de este cultivo que cada vez se ven más afectados por la aparición de nuevas enfermedades, plagas, malezas, pérdida en la fertilidad de los suelos, mayor prevalencia de sequía y salinidad, así como el incremento de las temperaturas. La berenjena se encuentra en una situación de vulnerabilidad ante estos cambios debido a los efectos de cuello de botella genético acontecidos durante su domesticación y a la disponibilidad limitada de recursos genéticos accesibles para su mejora genética. En un primer gran bloque de esta tesis, mediante el uso de especies silvestres relacionadas con la berenjena, se ha iniciado el desarrollo de una colección de líneas de introgresión (ILs). Utilizando tres especies representantes de los tres grupos de germoplasma de la berenjena (S. insanum del germoplasma primario, S. dasyphyllum del germoplasma secundario y S. elaeagnifolium del germoplasma terciario) se ha ampliado el fondo genético de este cultivo. Estas especies, han sido seleccionadas por sus extraordinarias capacidades de adaptación a climas áridos, suelos secos y tolerancia a plagas y enfermedades. Reintroduciendo estos genes en el genoma de la berenjena cultivada hemos desarrollado un conjunto de materiales élite, que ponen a disposición de los investigadores y mejoradores nuevos recursos genéticos para la mejora genética de este cultivo. También hemos desarrollado un modelo experimental (Micro-Mel) a partir de materiales de introgresión con la especie S. anguivi. Este modelo consiste en una berenjena de tipo compacto y crecimiento determinado con floración y cuajado múltiple y puede ayudar a desarrollar experimentos rápidos, así como acelerar los ciclos generacionales en los proyectos de mejora. En otro segundo gran bloque de este trabajo, hemos desarrollado una serie de herramientas biotecnológicas que van a permitir desarrollar otro tipo de investigaciones para la adaptación al cambio climático en berenjena. En primer lugar, frente a la necesidad de un protocolo eficiente de regeneración in vitro para poder llevar a cabo experimentos de transformación y edición genética en la berenjena, se ha desarrollado con éxito un protocolo de alto rendimiento basado en el uso del ribósido de zeatina y que presenta una baja dependencia del factor genotipo. Como resultado derivado de este primer desarrollo, diseñamos otro protocolo para la obtención de organismos poliploides en berenjena sin la necesidad de utilizar agentes antimitóticos para la duplicación de su genoma. Empleando los distintos niveles de ploidía presente en algunos tejidos jóvenes (patrón polisomático) conseguimos desarrollar plantas tetraploides in vitro a través de la regeneración directa a partir de estas células, suponiendo una nueva vía hacia el desarrollo de plantas triploides sin semillas. Finalmente, la última herramienta de apoyo a la mejora de la berenjena que se ha desarrollado en esta tesis doctoral ha sido una herramienta basada en la inteligencia artificial para la identificación de estadios de desarrollo de las células precursoras del polen en retrocruces avanzados con especies silvestres. Con esto se ha conseguido optimizar los protocolos de androgénesis empleados para la producción de plantas dobles haploides, automatizando y haciendo más eficiente la selección de anteras con estadios inducibles y por tanto incrementando la tasa de plantas dobles haploid [CA] L'albergínia (Solanum melongena) és una hortalissa molt important en moltes zones tropicals i subtropicals del món. És la tercera solanàcia més produïda en l'àmbit mundial, però malgrat la seua importància els recursos genètics i les ferramentes biotecnològiques per a la seua investigació no han sigut desenvolupades el suficient. Amb l'actual situació de canvi climàtic, moltes de les zones on es produeix aquest cultiu estan patint modificacions dramàtiques al seu ambient i climatologia. Açò ocasiona una reducció dels rendiments d'aquest cultiu que cada vegada es veu més afectat per l'aparició de noves malalties, plagues, males herbes, pèrdua de la fertilitat del sol, major prevalença de la sequera i salinitat, així com l'increment de les temperatures. L'albergínia es troba a una situació de vulnerabilitat davant aquests canvis debuts als efectes de l'erosió genètica ocasionats durant la seua domesticació i a la disponibilitat limitada de recursos genètics accessibles per a la seua millora genètica. En un primer gran bloc d'aquesta tesi, mitjançant l'ús d'espècies silvestres relacionades amb l'albergínia, s'ha iniciat el desenvolupament d'una col·lecció de línies de introgressió (ILs). Utilitzant tres espècies representants dels tres grups de germoplasma de l'albergínia (S. insanum del germoplasma primari, S. dasyphyllum del germoplasma secundari i S. elaeagnifolium del germoplasma terciari) s'ha ampliat el fons genètic d'aquest cultiu. Aquestes espècies, han sigut seleccionades per les seues extraordinàries capacitats d'adaptació a climes àrids, sòls secs i tolerància a plagues i malalties. Reintroduint aquests gens en el genoma de l'albergínia cultivada hem desenvolupat un conjunt de materials elit, que posen a la disposició dels investigadors i milloradors nous recursos genètics per a la millora genètica d'aquest cultiu. També hem desenvolupat un model experimental (Micro-Mel) a partir de materials de introgressió amb l'espècie S. anguivi. Aquest model consisteix en una albergínia de tipus compacte i creixement determinat amb floració i quallat múltiple i pot ajudar a desenvolupar experiments ràpids, així com accelerar els cicles generacionals en els projectes de millora. En un altre segon gran bloc d'aquest treball, hem desenvolupat una sèrie d'eines biotecnològiques que permetran desenvolupar un altre tipus d'investigacions per a l'adaptació al canvi climàtic en albergínia. En primer lloc, enfront de la necessitat d'un protocol eficient de regeneració in vitro per a poder dur a terme experiments de transformació i edició genètica en l'albergínia, s'ha desenvolupat amb èxit un protocol d'alt rendiment basat en l'ús del ribòsid de zeatina i que presenta una baixa dependència del factor genotip. Com a resultat derivat d'aquest primer desenvolupament, dissenyem un altre protocol per a l'obtenció d'organismes poliploids en albergínia sense la necessitat d'utilitzar agents antimitòtics per a la duplicació del seu genoma. Emprant els diferents nivells de ploidía present en alguns teixits joves (patró polisomàtic) aconseguim desenvolupar plantes tetraploids in vitro a través de la regeneració directa a partir d'aquestes cèl·lules, suposant una nova via cap al desenvolupament de plantes triploids sense llavors. Finalment, l'última eina de suport a la millora de l'albergínia que s'ha desenvolupat en aquesta tesi doctoral ha sigut una eina basada en la intel·ligència artificial per a la identificació d'estadis de desenvolupament de les cèl·lules precursores del pol·len en retrocreuaments avançats amb espècies silvestres. Amb això s'ha aconseguit optimitzar els protocols d'androgènesi emprats per a la producció de plantes dobles haploids, automatitzant i fent més eficient la selecció d'anteres amb estadis induïbles i per tant incrementant la taxa de plantes dobles haploids produïdes. [EN] Eggplant (Solanum melongena) is a very important vegetable in many tropical and subtropical areas of the world. It is the third most produced Solanaceae in the world, but despite its importance, genetic resources and biotechnological tools for research have not been sufficiently developed. With the current climate change situation, many of the areas where this crop is produced are undergoing dramatic changes in the environment and the weather. This is causing a reduction in the yields of this crop that are increasingly affected by the appearance of new diseases, pests, weeds, loss of soil fertility, greater prevalence of drought and salinity, as well as the increase in temperatures. The eggplant is in a situation of vulnerability to these changes due to the genetic bottleneck effects that occurred during its domestication and the limited availability of accessible genetic resources for its genetic improvement. In a first large block of this thesis, using wild species related to eggplant, the development of a collection of introgression lines (ILs) has been started. Using three species representing the three groups of eggplant germplasm (S. insanum from primary germplasm, S. dasyphyllum from secondary germplasm and S. elaeagnifolium from tertiary germplasm) the genetic background of this crop has been expanded. These species have been selected for their extraordinary capacities to adapt to arid climates, dry soils and tolerance to pests and diseases. By reintroducing these genes into the genome of cultivated eggplant, we have developed a set of elite materials that make new genetic resources available to researchers and breeders for the genetic improvement of this crop. We have also developed an experimental model (Micro-Mel) from introgression materials with the species S. anguivi. This model consists of an eggplant of compact type and determined growth with multiple flowering and fruit set and can help to develop rapid experiments, as well as accelerate generational cycles in improvement projects. In another second large block of this work, we have developed a series of biotechnological tools that will allow the development of other types of research for adaptation to climate change in eggplant. In the first place, in view of the need for an efficient in vitro regeneration protocol to be able to carry out transformation and gene editing experiments in eggplant, a high-throughput protocol based on the use of zeatin riboside and which presents a low dependence on the genotype factor was developed. As a result, derived from this first development, we designed another protocol to obtain polyploid organisms in eggplant without the need to use antimitotic agents for the duplication of their genome. Using the different levels of ploidy present in some young tissues (polysomatic pattern) we managed to develop tetraploid plants in vitro through direct regeneration from these cells, assuming a new path towards the development of triploid seedless plants. Finally, the last tool to support the breeding of eggplant that has been developed in this doctoral thesis has been a tool based on artificial intelligence for the identification of stages of development of pollen precursor cells in advanced backcrosses with wild species. With this it has been possible to optimize the androgenesis protocols used to produce double haploid plants, automating, and making the selection of anthers with inducible stages more efficient and therefore increasing the rate of double haploid plants produced.

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    https://doi.org/10.4995/thesis...
    Thesis . 2021 . Peer-reviewed
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      https://doi.org/10.4995/thesis...
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    Authors: Michiel de Haas;

    The economic history of Sub-Saharan Africa is characterized by geographically and temporally dispersed booms and busts. The export-led ‘cash-crop revolution’ in parts of Sub-Saharan Africa during the colonial era is a key example of an economic boom. This thesis examines how external influences and local realities shaped the nature, extent and impact of the ‘cash-crop revolution’ in colonial Uganda, a landlocked country in central east Africa, where cotton and coffee production for global markets took off following completion of a railway to the coast. The thesis consists of five targeted ‘interventions’ into contemporary debates of comparative African development. Each of these five interventions is grounded in the understanding that the ability of rural Africans to respond to and benefit from trade integration during the colonial era was mediated by colonial policies, resource endowments and local institutions. The first chapter reconstructs welfare development of Ugandan cash-crop farmers. Recent scholarship on historical welfare development in Sub-Saharan Africa has uncovered long-term trends in standards of living. How the majority of rural dwellers fared, however, remains largely elusive. This chapter presents a new approach to reconstructing rural living standards in a historical context, building upon the well-established real wage literature, but moving beyond it to capture rural realities, employing sub-national rural survey, census, and price data. The approach is applied to colonial and early post-colonial Uganda (1915–70), and yields a number of findings. While an expanding smallholder-based cash-crop sector established itself as the backbone of Uganda’s colonial economy, farm characteristics remained largely stagnant after the initial adoption of cash crops. Smallholders maintained living standards well above subsistence level, and while the profitability of cash crops was low, their cultivation provided a reliable source of cash income. At the same time, there were pronounced limits to rural welfare expansion. Around the time of decolonization, unskilled wages rose rapidly while farm incomes lagged behind. As a result, an urban–rural income reversal took place. The study also reveals considerable differences within Uganda, which were mediated to an important extent by differential resource endowments. Smallholders in Uganda’s banana regions required fewer labour inputs to maintain a farm income than their grain-farming counterparts, creating opportunities for additional income generation and livelihood diversification. The second chapter zooms in on labour migration which connected Belgian-controlled Ruanda-Urundi to British-controlled Buganda, the central province of Uganda on the shores of Lake Victoria. The emergence of new labour mobility patterns was a key aspect of economic change in colonial Africa. Under conditions of land abundance and labour scarcity, the supply of wage labour required either the ‘pull’ forces of attractive working conditions and high wages, or the ‘push’ forces of taxation and other deliberate colonial interventions. Building upon primary sources, I show that this case diverges from the ‘conventional’ narrative of labour scarcity in colonial Africa. I argue that Ruanda-Urundi should be regarded as labour abundant and that migrants were not primarily ‘pushed’ by colonial labour policies, but rather by poverty and limited access to agricultural resources. This explains why they were willing to work for low wages in Buganda. I show that African rural employers were the primary beneficiaries of migrant labour, while colonial governments on both sides of the border were unable to control the course of the flow. As in the first chapter, this chapter highlights that the effects of trade integration on African rural development were uneven, and mediated by differences in resource endowments, local institutions and colonial policies. The third chapter zooms out of the rural economy, evaluating the broader opportunity structures faced by African men and women in Uganda, and discussing the interaction of local institutions and colonial policies as drivers of uneven educational and occupational opportunities. The chapter engages with a recent article by Meier zu Selhausen and Weisdorf (2016) to show how selection biases in, and Eurocentric interpretations of, parish registers have provoked an overly optimistic account of European influences on the educational and occupational opportunities of African men and women. We confront their dataset, drawn from the marriage registers of the Anglican Cathedral in Kampala, with Uganda’s 1991 census, and show that trends in literacy and numeracy of men and women born in Kampala lagged half a century behind those who wedded in Namirembe Cathedral. We run a regression analysis showing that access to schooling during the colonial era was unequal along lines of gender and ethnicity. We foreground the role of Africans in the spread of education, argue that European influences were not just diffusive but also divisive, and that gender inequality was reconfigured rather than eliminated under colonial rule. This chapter also makes a methodological contribution. The renaissance of African economic history in the past decade has opened up new research avenues to study the long-term social and economic development of Africa. We show that a sensitive treatment of African realities in the evaluation of European colonial legacies, and a critical stance towards the use of new sources and approaches, is crucial. The fourth chapter singles out the role of resource endowments in explaining Uganda’s ‘cotton revolution’ in a comparative African perspective. Why did some African smallholders adopt cash crops on a considerable scale, while most others were hesitant to do so? The chapter sets out to explore the importance of factor endowments in shaping the degrees to which cash crops were adopted in colonial tropical Africa. We conduct an in-depth case study of the ‘cotton revolution’ in colonial Uganda to put the factor endowments perspective to the test. Our empirical findings, based on an annual panel data analysis at the district-level from 1925 until 1960, underscore the importance of Uganda’s equatorial bimodal rainfall distribution as an enabling factor for its ‘cotton revolution’. Evidence is provided at a unique spatial micro-level, capitalizing on detailed household surveys from the same period. We demonstrate that previous explanations associating the variegated responses of African farmers to cash crops with, either the role of colonial coercion, or the distinction between ‘forest/banana’ and ‘savannah/grain’ zones, cannot explain the widespread adoption of cotton in Uganda. We argue, instead, that the key to the cotton revolution were Uganda’s two rainy seasons, which enabled farmers to grow cotton while simultaneously pursuing food security. Our study highlights the importance of food security and labour seasonality as important determinants of uneven agricultural commercialization in colonial tropical Africa. The fifth and final chapter further investigates the experience of African smallholders with cotton cultivation, providing a comparative explanatory analysis of variegated cotton outcomes, focusing in particular on the role of colonial and post-colonial policies. The chapter challenges the widely accepted view that (i) African colonial cotton projects consistently failed, that (ii) this failure should be attributed to conditions particular to Africa, which made export cotton inherently unviable and unprofitable to farmers, and that (iii) the repression and resistance often associated with cotton, all resulted from the stubborn and overbearing insistence of colonial governments on the crop per se. I argue along three lines. Firstly, to show that cotton outcomes were diverse, I compare cases of cotton production in Sub-Saharan Africa across time and space. Secondly, to refute the idea that cotton was a priori unattractive, I argue that the crop had substantial potential to connect farmers to markets and contribute to poverty alleviation, particularly in vulnerable, marginal and landlocked areas. Thirdly, to illustrate how an interaction between local conditions and government policies created conducive conditions for cotton adoption, I zoom in on the few yet significant ‘cotton success stories’ in twentieth century Africa. Smallholders in colonial Uganda adopted cotton because of favourable ecological and marketing conditions, and policies had an auxiliary positive effect. Smallholders in post-colonial Francophone West Africa faced much more challenging local conditions, but benefitted from effective external intervention and coordinated policy. On a more general level, this chapter demonstrates that, from a perspective of rural development, colonial policies should not only be seen as overbearing and interventionist, but also as inadequate, failing to aid rural Africans to benefit from new opportunities created by trade integration.

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    Other literature type . Article . 2020
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    Doctoral thesis . 2017
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    European Review of Economic History
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    Other literature type . Doctoral thesis . Thesis . 2017 . Peer-reviewed
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    European Review of Economic History
    Article . 2020 . 2019 . Peer-reviewed
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    Other literature type . 2019
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      Other literature type . Article . 2020
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      Doctoral thesis . 2017
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      Other literature type . Doctoral thesis . Thesis . 2017 . Peer-reviewed
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    Authors: Lukas Wille;

    Pea (Pisum sativum L.) is a valuable and healthy protein source for food and feed. In addition to the nutritional benefits, pea is an invaluable agro-ecological asset for sustainable cropping systems through positive effects on soil fertility and soil microbial diversity. The symbiosis with nitrogen-fixing bacteria allows pea and other legume crops to supply the soil with nitrogen and, therefore, to significantly reduce the application of external nitrogen fertilisers. Therefore, pea plays an important role especially in low-input farming systems. The growing market for plant- based protein supply is likely to promote pea cultivation in the near future. However, pea production is severely challenged by various soil-borne pathogens that form a Pea Root Rot Complex (PRRC) causing root-rot diseases. Despite considerable progress in resistance breeding against individual pathogens, current pea varieties lack resistance against multiple interacting pathogens. The overall goal of this thesis was to contribute to the understanding of resistance against root rot pathogen complexes in pea. Chapter 1 gives an overview of the importance of pea as a future key player in agricultural systems and the food sector before introducing the pea root rot complex concept and its relevance for research on resistance. Furthermore, the most recent developments in molecular biology relevant for molecular plant breeding of pea are briefly summarised and an overview of quantitative real-time PCR relevant for research on microbial interactions in the pea root rot complex is given. Chapter 2 reviews the current knowledge of resistance against root- rot pathogens in major grain legumes, highlights the importance of the host genotype in determining the composition of plant-associated microbial communities and how the root associated microbiome relates to plant health. In addition, major findings on the role of root exudation in disease susceptibility and resistance of grain legumes are summarised. Finally, it delineates how this knowledge could be integrated in resistance breeding of grain legumes. In Chapter 3, a resistance screening assay was established based on infested soil from an agricultural field that showed severe pea root rot pressure. This approach was chosen in order to account for the whole rhizosphere microbiome - including the naturally occuring pathogen complex - in the assessment of root rot resistance in pea. The initial ITS- amplicon sequencing of the fungal rhizosphere community of diseased pea roots grown in the infested soil showed a root community of evenly abundant fungal taxonomic units not dominated by a few taxa. This finding points at complex interactions within the PRRC. Two hundred and sixty-one pea cultivars, landraces and breeding lines were screened for resistance on the naturally infested field soil in a controlled conditions experiment. The screening system allowed for a reproducible assessment of disease parameters among the tested genotypes. Broad sense heritabilities on the infested soil were H2 = 0.89 for plant emergence, H2 = 0.43 for root rot index and H2 = 0.51 for relative shoot dry weight. The resistance ranking was verified in an on-farm experiment with nine pea genotypes in two field sites: The controlled conditions root rot index showed a significant correlation with the resistance ranking in the field site with high PRRC infestation (Spearman's ρ = 0.73, p = .03). The screening system offers a tool for selection at early stages of the plant development, and for the study of plant resistance in the light of complex plant-microbe interactions. For Chapter 4, a subset of five resistant and three susceptible pea genotypes was selected based on the initial screening. In analogy to the previous experiment, a controlled conditions experiment was setup up in order to assess and validate resistance of the eight pea genotypes on four soils. Plant growth was significantly reduced on the three sick soils compared to the healthy soil. Despite the significantly different levels of disease pressure in the three infested soils (ANOVA: p < .001) and the strong genotype effect (p < .001), no significant soil × genotype interaction (p < .342) was found for plant growth reduction. In addition to disease assessments, ten key microbial taxa (eight putative pea pathogens and two putative beneficials) were quantified in the roots by quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR). Fusarium solani, F. oxysporum and Aphanomyces euteiches were the most abundant pathogens in diseased roots from the three sick soils. Further, various levels of the pathogens F. avenaceum, F. redolens, Rhizoctonia solani, D. pinodella and Pythium sp. as well as the potential antagonist Clonostachys rosea were quantified by qPCR. The contribution of individual pathogens to root rot and growth reduction differed among the three sick soils: F. solani and F. oxysporum showed significant correlations (Spearman correlations; p < 0.05) with root rot index and relative shoot dry weight in the two soils with the highest infestation level; A. euteiches showed significant relations with disease in two sick soils from Germany. The quantities of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi were negatively correlated with root rot index and positively correlated with relative shoot dry weight in all sick soils. Furthermore, the root microbial composition differed significantly among the pea genotypes (PERMANOVA; p < .0001) and the soils (p < .0001) and a significant pea genotype × soil interaction was evidenced (p < .0001). In addition, resistant pea genotypes showed significantly lower F. solani and A. euteiches, and higher arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi abundance in the roots (Wilcoxon rank-sum test; p < .05). These results give insights into the complex interaction between key microorganisms of the PRRC and the plant, by pointing out potential key microorganisms in the root rot pathobiome. Further disentanglement of this complex and the validation of key microbial players can be harnessed by resistance breeding. Chapter 5 reviews the experimental approaches and results from the previous chapters before discussing the major findings and implications for future research and resistance breeding. I also raise the question if and how knowledge about complex soil microorganisms-plant feedbacks can be incorporated in resistance screenings and breeding efforts to conclude that today we are at a point where information on microbial complexes could indeed assist resistance breeding. However, our current state of knowledge does not yet allow to design specific microbiome-enabled selection-tools. This last chapter will also give short outlooks and indicate possible future lines of research in the field of microbe-mediated plant resistance.

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    Authors: Plećaš, Milan D.;

    Intenzifikacija poljoprivrede predstavlja jedan od globalnih procesa sa izrazito negativnim efektima na biodiverzitet. Održavanje visokog nivoa biodiverziteta neophodno je za obezbeđivanje ekosistemskih usluga, od kojih su neke, poput biološke kontrole štetočina, od velike važnosti u agroekosistemima. Rezultati sve većeg broja studija ukazuju na to da elementi i karakteristike kompozicije i konfiguracije poljoprivrednih predela imaju ključnu ulogu u očuvanju, odnosno, narušavanju agrobiodiverziteta. Predeono-ekološki pristup u agroekologiji proučava uticaj različitih obrazaca i procesa u savremenoj poljoprivrednoj praksi na mehanizme degradacije biodiverziteta i gubitak funkcionalnosti njegovih komponenti. Posebno je značajno upoznati obrazce i trendove u trofičkim interakcijama koje povezuju intenzivno korišćene agroekosisteme i okolna poluprirodna i prirodna staništa. U ovom istraživanju, analizirani su efekti predeonih karakteristika na diverzitet i interakcije model sistema žitne vaši – parazitoidi na području Pančevačkog rita. Istraživanje je bilo podeljeno u tri dela kako bi se ispitali efekti tri različita aspekta predeone heterogenosti. Cilj prvog dela istraživanja bio je određivanje efekta predeone kompleksnosti izražene preko procenta prirodnih i poluprirodnih staništa (heterogenost tipova staništa) na model sistem. Odabrane su dve jasno diferencirane kategorije predela: 1) kompleksni predeli (>50% poluprirodnih staništa) i 2) jednostavni predeli (20 ha). Analizirano je 24 predeona sektora u toku dve godine (2008-2009). Treći deo bio je fokusiran na određivanje efekata različitog tipa ivice polja na model sistem. Kontrastirana su dva tipa ivice polja: 1) ivica sa poluprirodnom vegetacijom i 2) ivica bez poluprirodne vegetacije... Agricultural intensification and associated farming practices are among the most significant human impacts on the global environment. Increase in agricultural land-use area and the intensification of crop management are causing numerous environmental problems, including loss of biodiversity and degradation of some key ecosystem services, such as biological control. Numerous studies have emphasized the importance of landscape scale effects in these processes. To determine how agricultural intensification affects agrobiodiversity and accompanied ecological service (biological control), we examined effects of key landscape features on aphid–parasitoid complex in winter wheat agroecosystems in Pančevački rit region. Study was organized in three parts. Aim of the first part was to determine effect of landscape compositional heterogeneity defined through proportion of crop vs. non-crop land in landscape sectors. Two broadly contrasting classes were selected: complex landscapes, characterized by more than 50% of non-crop land cover (forests, fallows, pastures, hedgerows and shrubs), and simple landscapes, with much less than 30% of non-crop land. Total of 50 landscape sectors were sampled in course of four years (2008-2011). In the second part of the study, effects of configurational landscape heterogeneity of crop habitats were tested through contrasting landscape sectors dominated by small fields (field size averaging less than 3 ha) and landscape sectors dominated by large fields (field size averaging more than 20 ha). Total of 24 sectors were sampled in two years (2008-2009). In the third part, aim was to analyze edge effects of field margin types on aphid–parasitoid interactions. Two markedly different margin types were selected: one bordering on irrigation canal with permanent semi-natural shrub vegetation, and the other close to service road without semi-natural vegetation. Total of 12 fields were sampled in two years (2008-2009). Additionally, changes in aphid population growth and parasitism rates between phases were monitored to determine parasitism threshold value for effective biological control. In total, 4 aphid species, 7 parasitoid species and 9 hyperparasitoid species were found...

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    https://doi.org/10.2298/bg2013...
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      https://doi.org/10.2298/bg2013...
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    Authors: Barth, Ruud;

    The objective of this work was to further advance technology in agriculture, specifically by pursuing the research direction of agricultural robotics for harvesting in greenhouses, with the specific use-case of Capsicum annuum, also known as sweet or bell pepper. Within this scope, it was previously determined that the primary cause of agricultural robotics not yet maturing was the complexity of the tasks due to inherent variations of the crops, in turn limiting performance in harvest success and time. As a solution, it was suggested to further enhance robotic systems with sensing, world modelling and reasoning, for example by pursuing approaches like machine learning and visual servo control. In this work, we have followed this suggestion. It was identified that facilitating new levels of artificial intelligence in the domains of sensing and motion control would be one of the ways to improve upon classical mechanization. Specifically, we investigated the means of using machine learning based computer vision guided manipulation towards a basic form of world representation and autonomy. For this, in Chapter 2 we developed an eye-in-hand sensing and visual control framework for dense crops with the goal to overcome issues of occlusion and image registration that were previously introduced when sensing was performed externally from the robot manipulator. Additionally, simultaneous localization and mapping was investigated to aid in forming a world model. In Chapter 3 we aimed to reduce the requirement of annotating empirical images by providing a method to synthetically generate large sets of automatically annotated images as input for convolutional neural network (CNN) based segmentation models. An annotated dataset was created of 10,500 synthetic and 50 empirical images. In Chapter 4 we further investigated how synthetic images can be used to bootstrap CNNs for successful learning of empirical images. We provided computer vision in agriculture a pioneering machine learning based methodology for state-of-the-art plant part segmentation performance, whilst simultaneously reducing the reliance on labor intensive manual annotations. Chapter 5 explored applying a cycle consistent generative adversarial network to our dataset with the objective to generate more realistic synthetic images by translating them to the feature distribution of the empirical domain. We show that this approach can further improve segmentation performance whilst further reducing the requirement of annotated empirical images. In Chapter 6 we aimed to bring all previous chapters into practice. The objective was to estimate angles between fruit and stems from image segmentations to support visual servo control grasping in a sweet-pepper harvesting robot. Our approach calculated angles under unmodified greenhouse conditions that met the accuracy requirement of 25 degrees for 73% of the cases. Combined, the work shows a promising stepping stone towards agricultural robotics which could ensure the quality of meals and nourishment of a growing population. Furthermore, it can become an important technology for societal issues in developed nations, e.g. by solving current labor problems. It can further improve upon the quality of life and contribute to reaching an exemplary equilibrium of sustainable agricultural production.

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    Other literature type . Doctoral thesis . 2018
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    Authors: Bongiorno, Giulia;

    Developments in soil biology and methods to characterize soil organic carbon have the potential to deliver novel soil quality indicators that can help to identify soil management practices that sustain soil productivity and environmental resilience. This thesis aimed at investigating the suitability of a range of soil biological and biochemical parameters as novel soil quality indicators for agricultural management. The soil parameters, selected through a literature review, comprised different labile organic carbon fractions (hydrophilic dissolved organic carbon (Hy-DOC), dissolved organic carbon (DOC), permanganate oxidizable carbon (POXC), hot water extractable carbon (HWEC) and particulate organic matter carbon (POMC), ordered here from the smallest to the largest proportion of the total organic carbon), soil disease suppressiveness measured with a Pythium-Cress bioassay, nematode communities characterized with amplicon sequencing and qPCR, and microbial community level physiological profiling (CLPP) measured with MicroRespTM. We tested the sensitivity of the novel indicators to tillage and organic matter addition in 10 European long-term field experiments, and assessed their relationship with already existing soil quality indicators linked to soil functioning. Lastly, the results of these experimental chapters are interpreted relative to each other and to the broader body of literature on soil quality assessments. Moreover, pros and cons of the novel indicators are discussed, and possibilities and needs for future research are outlined. Reduced tillage increased carbon availability, disease suppressiveness, nematode richness and diversity, the stability and maturity of the food web, and microbial activity and functional diversity. Organic matter addition had a weaker role in sustaining soil quality, possibly due to the different compositions of the organic matter inputs in the long-term field experiments that were sampled. Random forest analysis showed that POXC was the indicator that discriminates soil management most, and structural equation modelling showed its central role in nutrient cycling, carbon sequestration, biodiversity conservation, erosion control and disease regulation/suppression. The novel indicators proposed here have great potential to improve existing soil quality assessment schemes, but their usefulness is still to be validated and optimized.

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    Article . 2020
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    Doctoral thesis . 2020
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      NARCIS; Research@WUR
      Article . 2020
      License: CC BY
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      Doctoral thesis . 2020
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      Research@WUR; NARCIS
      Other literature type . Doctoral thesis . Thesis . 2020 . Peer-reviewed
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      Thesis
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9 Research products
  • image/svg+xml art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos Open Access logo, converted into svg, designed by PLoS. This version with transparent background. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Open_Access_logo_PLoS_white.svg art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos http://www.plos.org/
    Authors: Moreno Fernández, Daniel;

    El principal objetivo de esta tesis doctoral es evaluar a distintas escalas, la influencia de la gestión forestal sostenible en la dinámica de los pinares de Pinus sylvestris L. (pino silvestre) en el Sistema Central el efecto del cambio global en los montes mediterráneos. En primer lugar se estudia a microescala la influencia de distintos factores ecológicos y de la intensidad de las cortas de regeneración en las primeras etapas de regeneración de P. sylvestris. Además, se comparan distintas técnicas estadísticas y se analizan las debilidades y las fortalezas de cada una de ellas. Las distintas técnicas estadísticas muestran que el número de plántulas del P. sylvestris está positivamente relacionado con la intensidad de las cortas y negativamente con el contenido de sodio en el suelo (Capítulo 2). A continuación, se plantea un modelo espacio-temporal para determinar la distribución espacial del número de pies menores en función del tamaño y de la distancia entre los pies adultos. Se encuentra una influencia negativa en la distancia de los pies adultos a los pies menores de hasta 7 m (Capítulo 3). En el Capítulo 4 se trabaja a escala monte comparando el efecto de dos sistemas de gestión forestal en el carbono almacenado en los distintos compartimentos durante el periodo de rotación. El sistema de gestión menos intenso y con periodo de rotación más largo almacena, como media anual, más carbono que el sistema más intenso. Sin embargo, el carbono almacenado en los horizontes superficiales no se ve afectado ni por el sistema de gestión ni por la edad de la masa. Finalmente, se estudian los cambios de distribución y abundancia del P. sylvestris y del Quercus pyrenaica Willd. (rebollo) en los últimos 40 años en la Sierra de Guadarrama de la Comunidad de Madrid como consecuencia del cambio global (Capítulo 5). Además, se valida una metodología para determinar la significación de las variables auxiliares y la varianza asociada a la función principal, así como a la autocorrelación espacio-temporal en modelos de krigeado y cokrigeado universal. Los resultados indican que tanto la distribución y la abundancia del P. sylvestris se han mantenido constante mientras que la distribución y la abundancia del Q. pyrenaica han aumentado significativamente. Como consecuencia, la superficie donde ambas especies coexisten se ha triplicado. ----------ABSTRACT---------- The main objective of this thesis is to assess the influence of sustainable forest management at different scales on the dynamics of Pinus sylvestris L. (Scots pine) stands in Central Spain as well as the effects of global change on Mediterranean forests. Firstly, the influence of ecological factors and of the intensity of regeneration fellings on the first stages of the regeneration of P. sylvestris at microscale are assessed. Additionally, several statistical approaches are used to model forest regeneration and the weaknesses and strengths of each are discussed. The alternative approaches show that the number of P. sylvestris seedlings is positively related to heavy fellings and negatively related to sodium content (Chapter 2). On a larger scale (plot level), a spatio-temporal recruitment model is proposed. This model determines the spatial distribution of the saplings as a function of the size of adult trees and the distance between adult trees and saplings. The model detects a negative association between the diameter of adult trees and number of saplings up to a distance of 7 m (Chapter 3). Chapter 4 analyses the way in which two management systems affect the carbon stored in forest pools over the rotation period. The results reveal that less severe management systems with longer rotation periods increase carbon fixation. On the other hand, neither the forest management nor the stand age have a significant effect on the carbon stored in the soil. Finally, the shifts in distribution and changes in abundance of P. sylvestris and Quercus pyrenaica Willd. (Pyrenean oak) as a result of global change over the last 40 years are assessed in the Sierra of Guadarrama (Comunidad de Madrid) are assessed (Chapter 5). Furthermore, it is addressed the performance of a novel method to calculate the significance of climatic variables as auxiliary variables and to estimate which part of the variance is linked to the mean function and which part is linked to the space-time autocorrelation in space-time universal kriging and co-kriging distribution models. The results indicate that both the distribution and the abundance of P. sylvestris remained relatively constant, whereas the distribution and abundance of Q. pyrenaica increased significantly. As a consequence, the area where the two species coexist has increased three fold.

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    http://oa.upm.es/50909/1/DANIE...
    Thesis
    License: CC BY NC ND
    Data sources: UnpayWall
    https://doi.org/10.20868/upm.t...
    Thesis . 2018 . Peer-reviewed
    Data sources: Crossref
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      http://oa.upm.es/50909/1/DANIE...
      Thesis
      License: CC BY NC ND
      Data sources: UnpayWall
      https://doi.org/10.20868/upm.t...
      Thesis . 2018 . Peer-reviewed
      Data sources: Crossref
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  • image/svg+xml art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos Open Access logo, converted into svg, designed by PLoS. This version with transparent background. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Open_Access_logo_PLoS_white.svg art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos http://www.plos.org/
    Authors: Dutrieux, L.P.;

    Tropical forests concentrate a large part of the terrestrial biodiversity, provide important resources, and deliver many ecosystem services such as climate regulation, carbon sequestration, and hence climate change mitigation. While in the current context of anthropogenic pressure these forests are threatened by deforestation, forest degradation and climate change, they also have shown to be, in certain cases, highly resilient and able to recover from disturbances. Quantitative measures of forest resources and insights into their dynamics and functioning are therefore crucial in this context of climate and land use change. Sensors on-board satellites have been collecting a large variety of data about the surface of the earth in a systematic and objective way, making remote sensing a tool that holds tremendous potential for mapping and monitoring the earth. The main aim of this research is to explore the potential of remote sensing for mapping forest attributes and dynamics. Tropical South America, which contains the largest area of tropical forest on the planet, and is therefore of global significance, is the regional focus of the research. Different methods are developed and assessed to: (i) map forest attributes at national scale, (ii) detect forest cover loss, (iii) quantify land use intensity over shifting cultivation landscapes, and (iv) measure spectral recovery and resilience of regrowing forests. Remote sensing data are diverse and multidimensional; a constellation of satellite sensors collects data at various spatial, temporal and spectral resolutions, which can be used to inform on different components of forests and their dynamics. To better map and monitor ecological processes, which are inherently multidimensional, this thesis develops methods that combine multiple data sources, and integrate the spatial, temporal and spectral dimensions contained in remote sensing datasets. This is achieved for instance by assembling time-series to fully exploit the temporal signal contained in the data, or by working with multiple spectral channels as a way to better capture subtle ecological features and processes. After introducing the general objectives of the thesis in Chapter 1, Chapter 2 presents an approach for mapping forest attributes at national scale. In this chapter, 28 coarse resolution remote sensing predictors from diverse sources are used in combination with in-situ data from 220 forest inventory plots to predict nine forest attributes over lowland Bolivia. The attributes include traditional forest inventory variables such as forest structure, floristic properties, and abundance of life forms. Modelling is done using the random forest approach and reasonable prediction potential was found for variables related to floristic properties, while forest attributes relating to structure had a low prediction potential. This methodological development demonstrates the potential of coarse resolution remote sensing for scaling local in-situ ecological measurements to country-wide maps, thus providing information that is highly valuable for biodiversity conservation, resource use planning, and for understanding tropical forest functioning. Chapter 3 presents an approach to detect forest cover loss from remote sensing time-series. While change detection has been the object of many studies, the novel contribution of the present example concerns the capacity to detect change in environments with strong inter-annual variations, such as seasonally dry tropical forests. By combining Landsat with Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) time-series in a change detection framework, the approach provides information at 30 m resolution on forest cover loss, while normalizing for the natural variability of the ecosystem that would otherwise be detected as change. The proposed approach of combining two data streams at different spatial resolutions provides the opportunity to distinguish anthropogenic disturbances from natural change in tropical forests. Chapter 4 introduces a new method to quantify land use intensity in swidden agriculture systems, using remote sensing time-series. Land use intensity — a parameter known for influencing forest resilience — is retrieved in this case by applying a temporal segmentation algorithm derived from the econometrics field and capable of identifying shifts in land dynamic regimes, to Landsat time-series. These shifts, or breakpoints, are then classified into the different events of the swidden agriculture cycle, which allows to quantify the number of cultivation cycles that has taken place for a given agricultural field. The method enables the production of objective and spatially continuous information on land use intensity for large areas, hence benefiting the study of spatio-temporal patterns of land use and the resulting forest resilience. The results were validated against an independent dataset of reported cultivation frequency and proved to be a reliable indicator of land use intensity. Chapter 5 further explores the concept of forest resilience. A framework to quantify spectral recovery time of forests that regrow after disturbance is developed, and applied to regrowing forests of the Amazon. Spatial patterns of spectral resilience as well as relations with environmental conditions are explored. Regrowing forests take on average 7.8 years to recover their spectral properties, and large variations in spectral recovery time occur at a local scale. This large local variability suggests that local factors, rather than climate, drive the spectral recovery of tropical forests. While spectral recovery times do not directly correspond to the time required for complete recovery of the biomass and species pool of tropical forests, they provide an indication on the kinetics of the early stages of forest regrowth. Chapter 6 summarizes the main findings of the thesis and provides additional reflections and prospects for future research. By predicting forest attributes country-wide or retrieving land use history over the 30 years time-span of the Landsat archive, the developed methods provide insights at spatial and temporal scales that are beyond the reach of ground based data collection methods. Remote sensing was therefore able to provide valuable information for better understanding, managing and conserving tropical forest ecosystems, and this was partly achieved by combining multiple sources of data and taking advantage of the available remote sensing dimensions. However, the work presented only explores a small part of the potential of remote sensing, so that future research should intensively focus on further exploiting the multiple dimensions and multi-scale nature of remote sensing data as a way to provide insights on complex multi-scale processes such as interactions between climate change, anthropogenic pressure, and ecological processes. Inspired by recent advances in operational forest monitoring, operationalization of scientific methods to retrieve ecological variables from remote sensing is also discussed. Such transfer of scientific advances to operational platforms that can automatically produce and update ecologically relevant variables globally would largely benefit ecological research, public awareness and the conservation and wise use of natural resources.

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    NARCIS; Research@WUR
    Doctoral thesis . 2016
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    Research@WUR; NARCIS
    Other literature type . Doctoral thesis . Thesis . 2016 . Peer-reviewed
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      NARCIS; Research@WUR
      Doctoral thesis . 2016
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      Research@WUR; NARCIS
      Other literature type . Doctoral thesis . Thesis . 2016 . Peer-reviewed
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    Authors: Pavageau, Charlotte;

    Complex agro-ecological landscapes are recognized for providing a range of ecosystem goods and services at different levels. Agricultural intensification affects the long-term sustainability of these landscapes by weakening natural processes that are indirectly important to agriculture, such as pollination, biological control of pest or soil retention. In response, agro-ecological intensification has appeared as an approach to ensure the sustainability of agricultural landscapes. This approach is based on the active management of ecosystem services. However, implementation of this approach remains a challenge given there is insufficient information on the functioning of ecosystem services, trade-offs between different land management strategies and decisions, as well as other socio-economic barriers. Pollination services provide significant contributions to agricultural production. In recent years, wild pollinators have received increased attention. Pollination services depend on the interactions between various spatially separated elements of the landscape, such as nesting and foraging resources, and are influenced by interventions from various actors, such as agricultural practices. As a result, the evaluation and planning of pollination services requires adopting a socio-ecological landscape approach. This thesis aims to explore the effectiveness and implications of different strategies of landscape management for pollination services and agricultural production. It focuses on a coffee tropical agroforestry landscape in Kodagu district in India where the wild honeybee species, Apis dorsata, is the main pollinator species. In the first two results chapters, I explore the ecosystem services cascade by showing the interactions between landscape patterns, management practices and ecosystem service delivery across temporal and spatial scales. In the next chapter, I propose two landscape management strategies aimed at optimizing pollination services for agricultural production. In the last chapter, I discuss how both social and ecological factors interact to co-produce pollination services. After a general introduction, in Chapter 2, I examine the interactions between landscape patterns, in particular land cover and resource heterogeneity, and the distribution of wild nests of Apis dorsata. I reveal scaling and non-uniform effects by combining two different approaches of spatial analysis, the point-pattern analysis and the cutting-edge surface-pattern analysis. I conclude that both forest fragments and the agroforestry matrix influence the presence of nests, although the scale of the interactions vary across the two land covers (fine scales for forest fragments, and broad scales for agroforests) and are not uniform across the study zone. The results demonstrate how maintaining structurally complex landscapes at multiple scales help to preserve bee populations. In Chapter 3, I develop a landscape-scale probabilistic pollination model of dispersion of Apis dorsata, from their nesting habitats, mostly in forest patches, to surrounding coffee plantations. Using the electrical circuit theory, the model indicates that honeybees are highly sensitive to temporal changes in coffee flower availability at landscape scales, and that their movement is not limited by fragmentation of tree cover. The flowering of individual coffee plantations is controlled by irrigation decisions from farmers. The results show that the aggregation of individual decisions creates an emergent dynamic landscape-scale pattern of flowering to which honeybees are responding. The pollination model has broad relevance for other complex mosaic landscapes where floral resources are dynamic. In Chapter 4, I explore optimal landscape management strategies that maximize pollination services and simultaneously increase agricultural production. Using the pollination model in Chapter 2 and an optimization algorithm, I compare the potential benefits of two alternative management strategies: a spatio-temporal management of coffee flowering (via the coordination of irrigation dates), versus habitat conservation, which impacts the spatial distribution of nests. Coordinated efforts on irrigation allow greater gains in terms of pollinator visits than a redistribution of nests in different nesting sites. However, both scenarios lead to similar significant increases in fruit set. While irrigation coordination aims to minimize inter-plantation competitions, conservation of multiple nesting sites redistributes bee individuals more effectively across plantations. Given each strategy involves different stakeholders and different types of decision, I assess the challenges associated to the implementation of each scenario and possible trade-offs with other management options. In Chapter 5, I use a socio-ecological approach for assessing alternatives to ecosystem service management. I compare pollination services supported by wild bees versus managed bees, using ecological data and interviews with farmers. I demonstrate that Apis dorsata is more abundant in coffee plantations and also supports more heterogeneous pollination services in space and time than the managed pollinator, Apis cerana. I highlight the interrelationships between different human factors that influence the mobilization of hives or the management of wild nesting sites by coffee farmers. These ”mediating factors“ include individual farmer’s assets, institutions and policies, values and perceptions. This approach is useful to understand to which extent recommendations on pollination services are relevant for local actors.

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    ETH Zürich Research Collection
    Doctoral thesis . 2017
    Data sources: Datacite
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      ETH Zürich Research Collection
      Doctoral thesis . 2017
      Data sources: Datacite